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."

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NRA Endorses Tate Reeves For Lt. Gov. Over Tea Party Challenger

The NRA endorsed Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves for re-election last week, giving him an A+ rating and saying the State Senate has taken “critically important steps” to protect the Second Amendment under Reeves’ leadership.

Reeves is being challenged by conservative Alisha McElhenney in the Republican primary for Lt. Governor, which takes place on August 4th. McElhenney is a newcomer to politics and is considered a long shot candidate in the primary.

Reeves’ record on gun issues has generally been decent, although he has occasionally been accused of letting pro-gun bills languish in the Senate to settle political scores. He supported two pro gun bills earlier year, and recently backed Gov. Bryant’s executive order to allow national guardsmen to carry at certain recruiting centers.

On non-gun issues, Reeves has been a frequent target of conservatives and Tea Party groups. Earlier this year, he proposed a study group to scrutinize Common Core standards that the Brookhaven Tea Party called a “waste of tax dollars” that would “enrich Haley Barbour’s friends.”

He has also clashed frequently with Chris McDaniel, who openly backed Reeves’ opponent Billy Hewes III in 2011. McDaniel has frequently accused Reeves of preventing bills he supported from moving forward.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Is Ted Nugent Switching To Gun Owners Of America?

Ted Nugent, possibly the NRA’s most famous board member, appeared in a publicity photo for rival gun group Gun Owners of America last week. Does this mean Nugent might be switching to a new team?

GOA tweeted a photo of Nugent along with a quote of him saying: “Be a real American warrior for gun rights and freedom. Join GOA & sign up as many members as you can.”

Although Nugent doesn’t seem to have said anything publicly about switching over to GOA, the organization certainly reflects his strong views on gun rights. 

In 2013, the NY Times said GOA “pushes harder than the NRA” in its defense of the Second Amendment, and credited GOA with convincing Republican lawmakers like Tom Coburn to back off gun control legislation that year. 

The newspaper also pointed out that GOA spends almost as much on lobbying as the NRA despite being less than 1% of its size:
While it might be increasingly potent, the group is not rich. Gun Owners of America’s total revenue in 2011 was less than $2 million, compared with the N.R.A.’s nearly $220 million. The group spent $1.3 million last year to lobby Congress, while the N.R.A. spent nearly $3 million. Its campaign contributions last year were $119,850, placing it at 2,669 on a list of 20,968 lobbying groups ranked by the Center for Responsive Politics. The N.R.A. spent $1.5 million, putting it at 230th. Gun Owners of America has 300,000 dues-paying members; the N.R.A. has five million. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Anti-Gun Democrat Pleads Guilty To Arms Trafficking-Related Charges

Former California State Sen. Leland Yee pleaded guilty last week to bribery, money laundering and arms trafficking – related charges.

A prominent San Francisco-area Democrat, Yee was known for his support for gun control and had an “A+” rating from the Brady Campaign. He was arrested last year after being caught up in an eight-year investigation of a Chinese-American mafia association.

Last week, Yee admitted that he discussed helping an undercover FBI agent buy automatic weapons from the Philippines. News reports have said the guns were intended to be brought to the US for distribution.

In 2012, Yee said, “no one will convince me it’s anything other than a joke to say having multiple clips and semi-automatic weapons that can shoot 100 or more bullets at a time is necessary in this state or in this country, it’s ridiculous.”

Yee previously pleaded not guilty to all the charges, but changed his plea last week. According to news reports, he now faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Federal Court Says Police Can Confront Open Carriers

Should police be allowed to stop and question open carriers who they believe are acting “suspiciously”?

A United States District Court in the state of Michigan said yes earlier this month, ruling that police are entirely within their rights to question open carriers.

Johann Deffert of Grand Rapids filed the lawsuit after police confronted him at gunpoint while he was legally open carrying a holstered FNP-45 pistol.

According to a video of the incident captured on a police dash cam, an officer forced Deffert to lie on the asphalt at gunpoint until backup arrived.

The officer said he thought Deffert seemed to be “mentally ill” because he was talking to himself. (It was later determined that Deffert was in fact singing a song from the Disney movie The Lion King.)

Deffert was released after fifteen minutes, once officers determined no laws had been broken. He filed a federal lawsuit several months later.

Deffert’s lawsuit challenged whether law enforcement had the authority to detain him. He argued that his constitutional rights had been violated because he did not break any laws.

In ruling in favor of law enforcement, the judge said they used “swift action to determine whether [Deffert’s] behavior gave rise to a need to protect or preserve life…in the neighborhood.”

Deffert’s lawyers said he intends to file an appeal.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Democrat Presidential Candidate: One Life “Is Worth More Than All The Guns In The United States”

Left-wing politicians have been hard at work trying to exploit the tragedy in South Carolina to advance their gun control agenda.

Barack Obama called for a renewed push for gun control on Friday, saying America should follow the example of the strict anti-gun laws in Australia. The following day, Hillary Clinton stated her support for “common sense” gun restrictions like universal background checks.

It was long shot presidential candidate Martin O’Malley who took things the farthest. In a speech US Conference of Mayors in San Francisco on Sunday, he called for a national “assault weapons ban,” claiming “a single American life is worth more than all the guns in the United States.”

These comments conveniently ignore the fact that gun violence has dropped by almost 20% since the end of the previous assault weapons ban in 2004. The only places it remains high are ones that already prohibit so-called “assault weapons.”

Take O’Malley’s home state of Maryland, which passed an assault weapons ban while he was Governor in 2013. The state remains one of the most violent in the country. The city of Baltimore, where O’Malley was Mayor for six years, has a murder rate nearly ten times higher than the national average.

None of this seems to bother O’Malley, who has vowed to make gun control a central issue for his struggling presidential campaign. For him, it seems that the horrific deaths of nine innocent people are nothing more than a political opportunity.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Republicans Scramble To Save Obama’s Anti-Gun Trade Bill

Establishment Republicans are scrambling to save Obama’s anti-gun “free trade” agreement in the face of opposition from both conservatives and Democrats.

House Speaker John Boehner spoke with the President yesterday to figure out a way to save the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which fell apart after 158 Republicans and 144 Democrats voted against it last week.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy re-stated his support for the bill, saying there are “many different options” for passing it and assuring people the bill’s opponents would “come to their senses.”

Boehner and McCarthy have shown yet again how willing they are to sell out freedom and the Second Amendment just to please their corporate donors.  

As conservatives like Sen. Jeff Session have pointed out, the Trans-Pacific Partnership would create an international legal framework that the President could use to regulate labor policy, immigration policy, environmental policy, and even guns.

Gun Owners of America pointed out that the deal will give the President power to unilaterally install everything from “gun import bans…micro-stamping of firearms…ammunition bans…[and] the anti-gun UN Arms Trade Treaty.”

As he has shown over and over again, Obama will use any means necessary to achieve his gun control agenda -- most recently by trying to unilaterally ban M855 “green tip” ammo.

Is there any question he would use his new trade powers to do the same thing?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Obama Trying To Censor Free Speech About Guns?

The Obama Administration may be trying to censor free speech about guns by proposing a new rule requiring anyone who posts “technical data” about firearms online to first obtain permission from the federal government.

This restriction – which the State Department claims is meant to limit “international traffic in arms” – could affect hobbyists, gunsmiths, bloggers and potentially anyone who talks about guns on the Internet, threatening them with severe penalties including fines of up to $1 million and up to 20 years in prison.

The proposal involves a broad re-interpretation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), rules intended to prevent foreigners and enemies of America from obtaining sensitive information about American weapons technology.

While ITAR are generally intended to stop people from doing things like sending submarine blueprints to the Russians, the new proposal means they could be applied to anyone who shares or discusses technical information about weapons on the Internet.

The specific language in question is pretty vague and complex, so I’ll leave it to the National Review to explain:
“At present, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) dictate that any weapons-related ‘technical data’ that is in the ‘public domain’ can be published and discussed with impunity. This arrangement, State submits, was all very well when ‘public domain’ meant ‘in a library,’ but it is simply not good enough in the era of Twitter and WordPress. (Clearly, it would be self-defeating if the rules intended to prevent foreigners from reading the technical data for the F-35 became impotent the moment that that information found its way online.) In principle at least, Foggy Bottom has a point: In a rapidly changing world, regulations do indeed to need to be updated. And yet the manner in which the proposed alterations have been constructed is alarming indeed. Essentially, the State Department now wants to ensure that any new information that is subject to ITAR be approved by the government prior to release online. ‘If you’ve talked about a given piece of information before,’ the agency is saying, ‘you can talk about it again. But if you haven’t, you’ll need to ask our permission first.’”
As the NRA wrote last week, this means that “gunsmiths, manufacturers, re-loaders, and do-it-yourselfers could all find themselves muzzled under the rule and unable to distribute or obtain the information they rely on to conduct these activities.”

The provisions could also be used to outlaw “detailed reviews of new firearms, in-depth technical discussions involving recently patented parts, amateur repair- and upgrade-manuals, 3D-printing schematics, and even self-defense programs,” according to the National Review.

Whether or not the Obama Administration intends to use the proposed rules this way remains to be seen. But given the administration’s history on gun rights, gun owners are right to be a little nervous.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Obama’s DOJ To Pursue Laundry List Of Gun Restrictions

Having failed to get gun control passed in Congress, Obama is turning to the Justice Department in one final attempt to impose his anti-gun agenda before he leaves office.

According to The Hill, the Justice Department plans to pursue “more than a dozen new gun-related regulations” ranging from “new restrictions on high-powered pistols to gun storage requirements.”

None of these proposals were announced publicly. Instead, they were buried among 2300 other proposals in Obama’s “unified agenda” for federal agencies for Spring 2015.

One of the rules would make it illegal for anyone convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from owning a gun. Another would expand the ATF’s mental health requirements on background checks.

Other rules would increase reporting requirements on FFLs and place restrictions on trusts and corporations that hold guns after someone dies. The trusts would be required to produce a “responsible person” who has passed a background check to hold onto the guns while the estate is settled.

Obama’s previous attempts at gun control have failed miserably, especially when the Senate struck down every major proposal he supported after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2013.

Earlier this year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tried to ban M855 or “green tip” rifle ammunition before a backlash from gun owners forced them to back down.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why Does The NRA Still Support NICS?

The NRA recently re-stated its longstanding support for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), a program that was originally mandated by the Brady Bill in 1993.

In a statement directed at the North Carolina Sherriff Association last week, the NRA said:

“[North Carolina’s] antiquated and inefficient system has been in place for nearly a century and was enacted long before the age of computers and computerized records. Unfortunately, the [North Carolina Sherriff’s Association] has determined it would like to continue to use discretion to deny permits to purchase handguns, rather than simply use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) utilized by the majority of other states.”

The NRA has publicly supported NICS for years, arguing it should be “improved” and  “limited” rather than completely eradicated.

The reasons for this are almost certainly political. As The Truth About Guns pointed out recently, the NRA would take a serious hit with lawmakers and the public if it came out against any and all criminal background checks.

But this “compromise” approach gives the enemy a permanent foundation to expand gun control.

Just yesterday, New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced a bill that would require anyone buying or selling firearms to undergo a NICS background check, and further require that every gun transfer be reported to the United States Attorney General.

Maloney’s bill has no chance of passing, but it won’t be the last. For as long as NICS is around, the anti-gun crowd will keep using it as a foundation for laws that limit our rights.

By continuing to publicly support an unconstitutional system, the NRA is playing with fire.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Anti-Gun Politician Fires Shotgun At Ex-Wife In Domestic Argument

Michigan State Senator Virgil Smith (D-Detroit) is in police custody after firing a gun during a domestic argument with his ex-wife.

Police responded to a domestic dispute at Smith’s home in Detroit at 1 AM on Sunday morning. Witnesses reported that Smith fired multiple rounds from a shotgun toward his ex-wife’s car, a 2015 Mercedes Benz.

Smith reportedly fled the scene after the shooting, but “made himself available” to police the next day. He is expected to face charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and malicious destruction of property.

Smith, a Democrat, has amassed a lengthy anti-gun voting record during his four years in the Michigan legislature. Blogger Rob Hoey wrote (via Bearing Arms):

Sen. Virgil Smith (D-MI) represents parts of Detroit, Dearborn and all of Allen Park. As a Democrat, it should come as no surprise that he is rated at 0% by the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Ownership. 
Smith has voted anti-gun since taking office in the House of Representatives back in 2003 to 2008, and now as a state senator. 
The NRA rated Smith ‘D’ regarding his voting on gun rights, which translates to 21% overall. 
He voted ‘nay’ on SB 59 bill that: ‘Expands Areas Where Concealed Weapons are Authorized,’ and voted ‘nay’ on SB 789 that ‘Amends Firearm Licensing Procedures,’ that makes obtaining a license easier but with more training. 
He did, however, vote ‘yea’ on H-1 Self-Defense/Deadly Force Bill. 

State senators in Michigan earn a minimum annual salary of $71,000.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Are Republican Leaders Letting Obama Advance His Gun Control Agenda?

Republican leaders in Washington are working furiously to pass a massive free trade deal, the Trans Pacific Partnership, some time this month. In their desperation to get the deal done, they are giving President Obama an opportunity to advance the worst parts of his agenda – including gun control.

The trade agreement, negotiated in secret by Republican leaders and the President, would give Obama so-called “fast track authority” to ratify the agreement without permission from Congress.

This would give Obama the power to insert any restrictions he wants into the trade agreement -- including ones that infringe on the rights of American citizens -- without a majority vote from the Senate.

Some conservatives are already wondering whether Obama might use this power to add language to the bill aimed at bringing foreign workers into the United States. Senator Jeff Sessions said Sunday there are “numerous ways” the deal “could facilitate immigration increases above current law – and precious few ways anyone in Congress could stop its happening.”

But Obama could just as easily use this authority to sneak a gun ban into the bill. It wouldn’t be the first time he tried to use treaty power to impose gun control, having tried (and failed) to pass the UN Arms Trade Treaty last year.

What makes you think he won’t be tempted to do it again?

If and when Obama uses “fast track” to push his anti-gun agenda, Republican leaders will have no one to blame but themselves.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Some Mississippi State Parks Still Banning Guns

Despite laws allowing people to carry guns in state-owned parks in Mississippi – along with most other places in the state -- some state-owned parks in Mississippi continue have strict no-gun policies.

An article published in Mississippi Watchdog last week found a number of parks in the Pascagoula River Basin prohibit firearms altogether.

“Right now, it’s policy that weapons aren’t allowed in the parks,” said Steven Wright, director of the Pat Harrison Waterway District, a state organization that runs the parks. “To allow someone to carry one on their hip and walk around the park with it, no, that’s just a recipe for disaster, in my opinion.”

SB 2862, which passed in 2010, specifically allows gun owners to carry in state parks. State Rep. Andy Gipson said parks that continue to ban guns are in violation of this law.

“A concealed carry license holder should be able to have their firearm concealed, open or however they want to carry it in a public park,” Gipson told Mississippi Watchdog. “With all of those statutes, I don’t see any authority for any state board or district to ban the carrying of firearms for people to protect themselves and their families.”

State parks may be safer than a city street, but they are often hideouts for criminals and other unsavory types, making it all the more necessary that they remain gun-friendly.

 “If you’re going to a state park, criminals like to use parks and there all kinds of case where fugitives were arrested at parks on the run because they don’t want to be at a hotel with surveillance cameras, use a credit card and be tracked,” gun rights advocate Rick Ward told Watchdog. ” You’re there with your family and there’s a pervert who’s a fugitive on the run next to you. You should be able to have your gun.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Poll Finds Gun Rights More Popular Than Gun Control

The Pew Research Center published a poll today revealing that most Americans prefer gun ownership to gun control by a margin of 52 to 46, meaning that support for gun rights has reached another all time high.

The poll says more Americans are coming to support their gun rights because of rising crime, finding “We are at a moment when most Americans believe crime rates are rising and when most believe gun ownership – not gun control – makes people safer.”

Sixty-three percent of Americans said that controlling gun ownership was the best way to prevent crime, meaning that more and more voters are coming to see the value of defensive gun use.

This means that the hypocrites in the White House and the left wing media have had it wrong this entire time. Town Hall reports:
“These numbers suggest that Americans are rejecting the Obama administration's gun control agenda. Two years ago, after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, President Obama showed real remorse for the young lives lost, yet offered a misguided response by trying to push through anti-gun legislation. His gun control measure, which would have expanded background checks and banned "assault weapons," didn't get very far in Congress. Now, it's clear his gun control agenda is just as unpopular outside Capitol Hill.” 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Colorado Dems Shoot Down Three Gun Control Repeals

Democrats in Colorado successfully squashed a repeal of the state’s universal background check law and 15 cartridge magazine cap.

The House Committee on State, Veterans and Military Affairs voted to indefinitely postpone the two bills, which had previously passed the Republican-controlled Senate.

Senate Bill 86 and 175 were passed in the months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. The former bill would have removed expanded background check language applicable to private sales, while the latter would have repealed the state’s prohibition on the sale, transfer and possession of “large-capacity” magazines.

Colorado’s House Committee on State, Veterans and Military Affairs also indefinitely postponed House Bill 1169, which would have eliminated gun free zones around the state’s elementary, middle, junior high and high schools and allowed lawful concealed carry on public school grounds.

Republican Rep. Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, a survivor of the 1999 Columbine shooting, sponsored House Bill 1169.

“I remember fathers coming up to me whose sons I knew well, asking where they were,” Rep. Neville told the Colorado Independent. “People I’d known since elementary school are no longer with us today. I think some of the staff who were heroic in so many ways that day, if they’d had the ability to equip themselves, some of my friends might still be with us.”

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Constitutional Carry Passes In Kansas, Under Consideration In Ohio

Kansas became the sixth constitutional carry state in the country last week. Now, Ohio is looking to become the seventh.

Kansas governor Sam Brownback signed constitutional carry into law last week, making it legal for law abiding gun owners in the state to concealed carry without a permit (starting this summer).  The bill easily passed both chambers of the Kansas legislature earlier this year.

“We have been conditioned to accept licensing, fees, mandatory classes, and other such restrictions,” said Representative Steve Brunk. “Government must trust its law abiding citizens.”

Kansas’ previous concealed carry law passed in 2006.

Less than a week after Governor Brownback signed the law, lawmakers in Ohio introduced similar legislation. The Ohio bill is more comprehensive than the Kansas version, legalizing permit-less concealed carry not only for handguns but also for rifles and shotguns.

However, gun rights supporters in Ohio are skeptical about the bill’s chances.

“I think it would be great to see this become law in Ohio,” said Joe Eaton of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “But, unfortunately in the past, the Ohio legislature has not even been willing to allow a licensed person simple rights.”

Monday, March 30, 2015

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Laws -- Not Worth The Risk

Sen. John Cornyn’s Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act has gotten strong support from Republicans in Washington. The bill has twenty-three co-sponsors in the Senate, and a companion bill has seventeen co-sponsors in the House.

None of them have acknowledged that the bill could end up hurting gun owners.

National reciprocity would allow law abiding gun owners to travel to different states without having to worry about the local permit requirements, which is something that nearly every gun owner supports.  But it would do so by relying on the authority of the federal government, which would give future politicians a legal framework to expand federal gun control.

Considering that all but a handful of highly liberal states already recognize out of state gun permits, why take the risk of passing this law?

Think of what would happen if, with a national reciprocity law in place, someone with an out-of-state carry permit committed a mass shooting. The left wouldn’t hesitate to load up the law with new requirements and restrictions. The law would become a vehicle for any number of gun control measures from universal background checks to gun registration.

History tells us that the federal government will use any law as an excuse to give itself more power. The Common Core education initiative was started by Republicans, but ended up as a tool for Obama and his cronies to impose their agenda in the classroom.

Couldn’t the same thing happen with guns?  

Nearly every state has chosen to recognize out of state permits without any help from the federal government. Adding the federal government into the mix simply isn’t worth the risk.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Constitutional Carry Coming To Kansas?

Constitutional carry may have died in Mississippi, but in Kansas it may soon become a reality.

Last week, the Kansas House Federal and State Affairs Committee agreed to send to the House floor Senate Bill 45, which would allow residents to obtain a concealed carry permit without having to first undergo gun safety training or a background check.

The bill also allows previously denied applicants to carry concealed weapons.

The Senate voted 31-7 in support of the proposal last month. A full vote by the House, where Republicans currently enjoy a 92-33 majority, will be the last step before the proposal heads to Republican Governor Sam Brownback for approval.

“Law-abiding citizens who carry firearms are exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and their natural right to defend themselves,” Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady told the Topeka Capital Journal.

“You can’t be proficient with firearms just because the government mandates you sit in a classroom for a couple hours.”

Anti-gun legislators like Democrat John Wilson have already voiced their concerns. Wilson said that Senate Bill 45 would allow dangerous people to carry hidden and loaded weapons.

But as Rep. Brett Hildabrand put it, “Dangerous people already do carry guns.”

Gov. Sam Brownbrack has signed several pro-gun bills since taking office.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

CA: Gun sales up, crime down

Gun sales in California reached an all-time high in 2014 -- and gun-related homicides dropped to a twenty-year low.

A record 510,000 handguns were sold in the state last year, breaking the previous record of 433,000 in 1993 and doubling the amount sold in 2010. Firearms-related homicides fell to their lowest level in twenty years, and gun-related accidental deaths also went down.

This reflects is a national trend toward reduced violence and increased gun ownership. Gun violence in America is half of what it was twenty years ago, while gun sales reached an all time high in 2012.

These statistics prove yet again that the left’s claim of “more guns, more crime” is nothing more than a political fiction. Places with the toughest gun laws, like Chicago, continue to have some of the highest crime rates in the country. Places where there are almost no gun restrictions, like Vermont, are some of the safest in the country.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pros And Cons Of The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act

The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which Sen. John Cornyn introduced to Congress last month, would allow concealed carry weapons permit holders to travel from one state to another without breaking the law.

Gun owners are supporting the bill because it would reduce the legal burden on gun owners and make our lives simpler. But it would also give the federal government more power to regulate firearms – something that should bother gun owners under any circumstances.

There are a lot of good things about national concealed carry reciprocity. As Cornyn says, it will “eliminate some of the ‘gotcha moments’ where people [with a CCW permit] inadvertently cross state lines with guns they are legally allowed to carry in their home state.” Under the new law, he says, permits would function “more or less like a driver’s license.”

The problem with national reciprocity is that it would give the federal government more authority over guns, which is why several conservatives ended up voting against it the last time it came up in 2011.

Rep. Justin Amash pointed out that national concealed carry reciprocity bills take their authority from the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government power to regulate interstate commerce and subvert states rights. In 2011, he wrote:

It is important to note that H R 822 is neither premised on, nor properly drafted to comport with, the Second Amendment, because the NRA and other proponents do not believe that the Second Amendment justifies this federal mandate. That is why they turned to the Commerce Clause.

But having a concealed carry permit and carrying a gun across a state line is not commerce. Therefore, H R 822 is not constitutional under the Commerce Clause. If it were, it also would be constitutional for Congress to pass other laws, premised on the Commerce Clause, regulating concealed carry permits—including laws that restrict gun rights.

Amash concluded that national concealed carry reciprocity would “hurt rights by conceding broad new authority to the federal government to override state sovereignty.”

Gun owners need to be aware of these issues when considering whether to support national concealed carry reciprocity. In the end, anything that opens the door to expanded federal gun control might not be worth the benefit.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Are Corporations Cracking Down On Homemade Guns?

The use of 3-D printers to make homemade guns has become increasingly popular recently. The practice allows private individuals to manufacture untraceable guns in the comfort of their own homes.

Efforts to regulate homemade gun making have been totally unsuccessful, and the practice remains completely legal. But the industry still faces serious opposition – not from the government, but from private corporations.

In the past week alone, two companies announced their intentions to cut off supplies from would be gunmakers.

First, Fed Ex announced it would not ship a newly released gun-making device called the Ghost Gunner, citing legal uncertainty surrounding homemade gunsmithing. A company spokesman said: “We are uncertain at this time whether this device is a regulated commodity by local, state or federal governments. As such, to ensure we comply with the applicable law and regulations, FedEx declined to ship this device until we know more about how it will be regulated.”

Then, the 3D printing company MarkForged said it will not sell printers to anyone who intends to use them to make firearms. The company released a statement claiming that their terms of service “limit experimentation with ordinance to the United States Government and its authorized contractors.”

Cody Wilson, founder of the homemade gunmaking non-profit Defense Distributed, says that both companies are simply playing politics.  “They’re acting like this is [a] legal [issue] when in fact it’s the expression of a political preference,” he says. “The artifact that they’re shipping is a CNC mill. There’s nothing about it that is specifically related to firearms except the hocus pocus of the marketing.”

The decision by MarkForged to withhold their products from homemade gunmakers has prompted Wilson to offer a $15,000 bounty to anyone who would give him one of MarkForged’s newest machines.

He said: “Anyone who’s got access to one, any reseller, any individual or business or entity that can deliver it to me, I will give them fifteen grand. I’m going to get this printer. I’m going to make a gun with it. And I’m going to make sure everyone knows it was made with a MarkForged printer.”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Why Did The NRA Support The Wrong Permit Fee Reduction Bill In Mississippi?

Two competing bills were introduced to the Mississippi legislature last month, both intended to reduce the state’s sky-high fees for concealed carry permits.

One of the bills was much better than the other one. SB 2226 called for a reduction of the licensing fee by fifty percent, while SB 2394 called for a reduction of twenty percent.

Yet the NRA came out in support of the weaker bill, which passed the Senate last week. The stronger bill never made it out of committee.

Mississippi’s gun permit fees are some of the highest in the nation. The permitting program’s fund at the Department of Public Safety is currently running a $2.5 million surplus.

Why would the NRA pass up the opportunity to make permit fees more affordable?

Because the NRA has no interest in making changes to the permit process, in Mississippi or anywhere else. Permit requirements increase profits for NRA gun instructors and create tax revenue for NRA-backed politicians.

This is one of the reasons why the NRA has refused to support constitutional carry bills around the country, even threatening to lobby against them. Constitutional carry would change or abolish the system that they have come to depend on.

Gun owners should not have to ask for permission to exercise our God-given rights. Any person or organization that says otherwise does not have the true interests of gun owners in mind.

Instead of looking out for Mississippi gun owners, the NRA and Mississippi legislators chose to prioritize their profits and protect the status quo.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

States Pursue Laws To Nullify Federal Gun Control

Legislators in Montana and Arizona recently advanced laws that will pre-emptively nullify any future gun bans that are passed at the federal level.

The Montana bill passed the state’s house of representatives last week and is now under consideration in the Senate. It will prohibit local police from enforcing any federal weapon or magazine ban.

A similar bill in Arizona, recently approved by a Senate committee, also outlaws the enforcement of federal gun laws. It also takes things a step further by stripping funding for future federal investigations on gun-related issues.

The sponsor of the Arizona bill, State Sen. Kelli Ward, said: “The intent of the law is to allow Arizona to function under Arizona’s own power and not allow any current or future laws that go into effect…to affect people in Arizona.”

Both bills are part of a growing movement to limit the federal government’s ability to regulate and micromanage voters at the state level. The Hill recently reported that more than 200 “nullification” bills are currently under consideration in state legislatures around the country, on topics ranging from FDA approval of experimental medicine to the legalization of marijuana. Eight of the bills specifically target gun rights.

A spokesman for the Tenth Amendment Center, which advocates for nullification bills, said that the motivation behind the bills is simple: the federal government has gotten completely out of control.

“People are becoming more and more concerned about the overreach of the federal government,” said Tenth Amendment Center spokesman Mike Maharrey. “They feel the federal government is trying to do too much, it’s too big and it’s getting more and more in debt.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Federal Bill Introduced To Limit Magazine Size

Congressional Democrats have introduced the so-called Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act of 2015 to prohibit the sale and transfer of any magazine over ten rounds. It would also permit law enforcement to confiscate existing magazines of that size and require manufacturers to stamp serial numbers on their products.

“There is no place in our communities for ammunition magazines designed for military-style shootouts, which have been used inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Aurora, in Fort Hood, and in Tucson—and it is well-past time for Congress to listen to the American people and put this high-capacity magazine ban back in place,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

The bill has no chance of passing a Republican-controlled Senate, especially after similar legislation failed following the Newtown shooting in 2013. But it serves as a reminder that the gun control lobby has no intention of backing down at the national level. They will attempt to roll back gun rights even when the odds are stacked against them.

It makes no difference that all the research ever conducted shows that magazine limits and assault weapons bans do nothing to stop mass shootings. Research conducted in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy found that such laws do almost nothing to stop school shooters. According to Personal Liberty.com, only 14 of 93 recent mass shootings involved equipment covered in these bans.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The DEA and ATF Wanted To Illegally Spy on Gun Show Attendees

The Wall Street Journal revealed last week that the Justice Department wanted to use license plate readers to scan and monitor vehicles at gun shows in 2009.

According to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, an agent at the Department of Justice proposed a joint initiative between the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as a way to combat gun trafficking.

“DEA Phoenix Division Office is working closely with ATF on attacking the guns going to [redacted] and the gun shows, to include programs/operation with LPRs at the gun shows,” read a heavily redacted email from April 2009.

The proposal was part of the DEA’s larger initiative to build a massive database of license plate images collected by automated license plate readers. DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart told the Wall Street Journal that the “proposal in the email was only a suggestion” and “never authorized by the DEA.”

Automated license plate readers are often used by private bond agents to scan parking lots for vehicles belonging to fugitives. The devices are usually mounted on the back of tow trucks and dragged through parking lots.

In the government’s hands, the devices could be used not only to scan for particular license plates but also to collect data from all license plates and enter it into a database. As the ACLU report points out, license plate readers do not distinguish between people transporting guns legally, illegally or even if they are transporting a gun at all.

Research has shown that the vast majority of gun show attendees are not criminals, nor are they there to avoid a criminal background check. The Justice Department itself published a survey finding that only 0.7 percent of criminals obtain their guns at gun shows.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Trying To Ban Human-Shaped Gun Targets

A state representative in Pennsylvania is trying to ban human shaped shooting targets because they “perpetuate violence.”

Like many anti-gunners, Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland is under the delusion that defensive gun use doesn’t exist – despite the fact that it happens literally thousands of times a year. He believes that firearms should only be used for hunting.

That is why he is circulating a memo in the Pennsylvania legislature proposing that shooters should only be able to use animal shaped targets.

The memo reads: “Rather than perpetuate violence by continuing to allow individuals to practice their target shooting by shooting at human silhouette targets at shooting ranges, my legislation will prohibit the use of targets that depict human silhouettes at shooting ranges across the Commonwealth. Instead, silhouette targets could include, but are not limited to the following: white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, and elk.”

Kirkland is a big gun control supporter, having sponsored a “Hoodies on the Hill” event in 2012 and staged a protest to support gun control on the statehouse floor last year.

Luckily, most Pennsylvanians aren’t buying into the idea that a piece of paper can cause violence. The local media conducted a poll shortly after Kirkland announced his proposal, and ninety three percent of respondents opposed Kirkland’s plan.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pizza Delivery Driver Could Lose Her Job For Defending Her Life

A Papa John’s delivery driver in Georgia is afraid that she might lose her job after using a gun in self-defense during a robbery attempt.

The unnamed female driver was making a delivery in Dekalb County last Sunday when she was approached by two armed thugs who ordered her to the ground. While lying on the pavement, she pulled her defense weapon and shot one of the robbers in the face.

The suspect, Donquez Stephenson, survived the wound and was found soon after in a nearby yard. He is currently in jail facing charges of armed robbery. The second suspect is still at large.

“She had no other choice,” said DeKalb County Police Captain Stephen Fore. “She must have been in fear for her life and she reacted.”

Now the driver is afraid that she will lose her job, her mother told reporters. Papa John’s has a corporate policy prohibiting its employees from carrying while on the clock.

Policies like this are common among delivery companies, despite the fact that food delivery is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. This is because companies would rather put their employees at risk than face a lawsuit if one of them is involved in a shooting.

These policies force delivery people to choose between risking their lives and risking their jobs. The driver in Georgia clearly made the right choice.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Maryland Police Targeting Out-Of-State Gun Owners

The gun laws in the state of Maryland are so tyrannical that the attorneys general of twenty-one states recently led a legal effort to overturn them. As if that weren’t bad enough, it now appears that police in the state are exploiting these laws to target out-of-state gun owners for illegal searches.

The Washington Times recently reported the story of John Fillipedes, a Florida gun owner who was driving through the state in 2013 when he was pulled over for speeding. Instead of simply writing a ticket, officers of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police placed Fillipedes and his family in the back of the police cruiser while they searched his car from top to bottom.

“My wife’s hysterical, shaking and crying,” Mr. Filippidis told the Washington Times. “I don’t have a criminal record. I own a business. I’m a family man, and I tried to explain that to [the officer]. But he had a bad attitude, didn’t want to hear my story.”

And why were the police searching his car?

Because they were looking for his Florida-licensed handgun, which was locked away safely hundreds of miles from the scene. Maryland law does not recognize out-of-state gun permits.

To this day, Filippidis doesn’t know how the police knew about his gun or what gave them the legal right to search his car. Although the MDPA later issued an apology, an internal police review later found that the stop and search were lawful.

Another Florida gun owner also told the Times that Maryland police targeted him for an illegal search. John IV Tonneson says he was pulled over and searched for unknown reasons, by the same officer who searched harassed Filippides.

“There’s scanners in Maryland that scan every tag, and Florida is one of their target vehicles. They’ll find whatever reason they can to pull you over,” he said.

A local criminal defense lawyer told the Times that these kinds of searches happen all the time.

“You think that Maryland would honor legitimate people with guns rather than charging people who are legitimately carrying but doing it incorrectly,” said the lawyer, Paul Kramer.

“I would think that the police would want to take the time to go after those people who don’t have a legitimate right to have a gun rather than locking up people who have a valid license. An otherwise law-abiding citizen can get arrested here. It’s just a waste of officer time and resources. The police should let those people go.”