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, 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.