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.