Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Federal Court Issues Mixed Ruling In D.C. Gun Case

A federal appeals court issued a mixed ruling on Washington D.C.’s gun control laws last week, upholding a number of restrictions on D.C. gun owners while ruling other restrictions unconstitutional.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld laws requiring D.C. gun owners to be fingerprinted and photographed, complete a firearms safety-training course, and register all weapons with the city (including rifles and handguns.)

Meanwhile, it struck down laws prohibiting gun owners from registering more than one pistol per month, requiring them to re-register their weapons every three years, and mandating they pass a test about gun laws.

The plaintiff in the case was Dick Heller, who famously won a Supreme Court case against Washington, D.C., in 2008. In that case, the court ruled for the first time ever that the Second Amendment protects the right of individual Americans to won a gun, striking down the city’s prohibition on handguns.

The city council of the District responded by passing the Firearms Registration Amendment Act of 2008, which it amended in 2012. Heller filed lawsuits challenging both the 2008 law and the amended version of 2012. Last week’s appeals court ruling addressed the most recent of Heller’s lawsuits.

It is unknown whether either side will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Schoolteachers in Oklahoma Undergo Concealed Carry Training

A school district in Oklahoma announced this week that several of its teachers are training for concealed carry permits. The teachers are expected to begin carrying in the classroom in November.

Wilson Public Schools announced that six of its teachers have enrolled in the training. The district superintendent said that having armed teachers in each of the district’s school buildings would make the students safer.  

“In today’s world with things that are happening, you have to do whatever you can to protect your school district and the children who come to school here…and that’s what we are doing,” Superintendent Eric Smith told a local news outlet.

Although Wilson Public Schools is the first district in Oklahoma to allow its teachers to be armed, other districts will likely follow suit. Oklahoma passed a law earlier this year allowing designated school personnel to carry firearms.

“I’m sure there will be more – we have a lot of rural schools in Oklahoma,” said Ginger Tinney, executive director of Professional Oklahoma Educators. “It would take a long time for law enforcement to get there.”

Tinney said that many teachers view being armed as a necessary precaution.

“For our members, it’s the last line of defense,” Tinney said. “Ultimately, they want to protect their students.”

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Background Checks For Prospective Gun Buyers Reach An All Time High

The FBI conducted more background checks for prospective gun buyers in August 2015 than in any previous month on record, proving once again that nothing helps boost gun sales like a push for gun control.

Retailers called in roughly 1.8 million background checks last month, the highest monthly figure since the FBI started tracking background checks in 1998. Monthly gun sales have grown by more than a million over the past fifteen years, the Washington Times reported.

Because the government doesn’t publish statistics on gun sales, background checks are often used as an indicator for sales of firearms. When the number of background checks goes up, it means business is booming for the firearms industry.

The recent increase in background checks came after shootings in South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia this summer prompted renewed calls for gun control.

“Whenever there is a call for gun control, sales increase,” said Larry Keane, a general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  “The concern that anti-gun politicians are seeking to infringe and restrict the right to keep and bear arms is very real and well-founded.”

Democrats and moderate Republicans have introduced a number of gun control measures over the past. Even the NRA threw its support behind a gun control bill encouraging states to share information on the “mentally ill” with the federal government.  

Senate Democrat Tim Kaine introduced yet another confiscatory proposal was introduced last week. The “Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act” would make anyone who transfers a gun to a prohibited individual criminally liable.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Dems Double Down On Gun Control After Virginia Shooting

It seems as if any time innocent people lose their lives, it takes Democrats about five minutes to start shamelessly exploiting the tragedy.

Both the White House and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton issued statements last week calling for increased restrictions on guns, with Clinton saying on Twitter “we cannot wait any longer” to address gun violence.

Of course, neither Clinton nor the White House gave any evidence as to how their gun control policies would actually prevent deadly shootings. Perhaps this is because there is no evidence.

According to Breitbart, the first part of Clinton’s gun control platform is “universal background checks,” which would give the federal government jurisdiction over all firearm transactions.

Despite the vast expansion of federal power, there is little evidence background checks do anything to stop criminals.

A number of notorious murderers – including the shooter in Virginia last week, Aurora shooter James Holmes, and Gabby Giffords’ would be assassin Jared Loughner -- all passed a background checks to get the guns they used to murder innocent people.

The second piece of Clinton’s gun control platform is a so-called “assault weapons ban.” As Breitbart also points out, the category of “assault weapons” is something Democrats invented in the 1990s and only includes a handful of different guns.

Even if you banned every rifle in the country, it would barely have an effect on violence. In 2011, rifle-related deaths represented only “.012 percent of the overall deaths in America.”

None of this is stopping the left from hopping back on the gun control bandwagon. As always, Democrats’ comments on guns are meant to capitalize on a political opportunity rather than provide a realistic solution to gun violence in America.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MN: More Gun Permits Than Ever Before, Crime Stays Flat

When the state of Minnesota passed a permit-to-carry law in 2003, gun control advocates said it would lead to increased violence and mayhem.

Today, more people in Minnesota have permits than ever before – yet gun violence involving permit-holders remains virtually nonexistent.

The total number of active permits in Minnesota has gone up every year since the permit law passed in 2003, growing from less than 50,000 to more than 200,000 this year, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Since then, examples of violence involving permit-holders have been few and far between. There have been just five deadly incidents involving permit-holders in the past five years, none of which resulted in criminal charges. Overall, gun crimes involving permit owners fell by half between 2013 and 2014.

“Virtually every case has been a person defending themselves,” James Franklin, executive director of the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association, told the newspaper. “And I can’t recall a single case where a person hurt themselves with a gun [used for self-defense].”

The surge in permits in Minnesota reflects a nationwide trend. In 2014, the US saw the largest jump in active permits ever, despite the fact that a number of states no longer require a permit to carry, gun rights expert John Lott to the Star-Tribune.

Andrew Rothman, the head of the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, said, “Over they years, the idea of carrying a gun has become much more normalized in society.”

Monday, August 17, 2015

NRA And Sen. John Cornyn Propose Bill To Expand Background Checks

A new NRA-backed bill would encourage states to share information on the “mentally
ill” with the federal background check system for gun sales.

NRA A+ rated Sen. John Cornyn of Texas introduced the Mental Health and Safe
Communities Act two weeks ago, after several mass shootings that made news earlier this

The bill would increase federal law enforcement grants to states that choose to share “at
least 90 percent” of their records on people with serious mental problems with the federal
background check database. States that refuse to share such information could also face

While the NRA has praised the bill, pointing out provisions in the law to prevent the
government from labeling certain veterans as mentally ill, other gun groups have come
out against it.

NAGR issued an alert last week claiming the bill would increase gun control by “forcing
states to hand over your private medical records to the federal government.”
While most people agree that individuals with serious mental problems shouldn’t have
guns, governments have abused “mental illness” provisions in the past in an effort to
expand gun control. In the state of New York, for instance, one individual lost his pistol 
permit because he had once been prescribed anti-anxiety medication.

Sen. Cornyn’s proposal has been referred to the Senate judiciary committee.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Trump Widens Lead; Channels Tea Party Energy

Real estate mogul Donald Trump continues to take the Republican primaries by storm, with the latest poll showing him earning almost double the support (24%) of second place finisher Jeb Bush (13%).

Trump is even gaining ground in terms of overall favorability rating, with another recent poll showing him tied with Bush and trailing leader Marco Rubio by just two points (54%-52%) in the category.

One expert told Fox News recently Trump is succeeding by channeling the same energy that swept the Tea Party to victory in 2010.

“There’s going to be a candidate who says it’s time for us to change,” said Michael Needham of Heritage Action for America. “For a lot of Americans right now, they feel disconnected from Washington.”

This may be true for all Americans, but it is especially true for conservatives. More than any other candidate, Trump has connected with the millions of conservatives who are sick of being ignored and condescended to by the same old career politicians.

“People are sick of the establishment and hate their party,” Needham said. “And that’s what needs to be addressed. The reason Donald Trump is generating a lot of enthusiasm is that he's ticking off the right people."