Category Archives: Gun Rights

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

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There’s more! Democratic contender Bloomberg again denies the importance of the 2nd amendment. READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Jack Wilson — a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. — is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow worshippers during a service at the church on Dec. 29, Wilson took swift action. He exposed himself to danger to deliver a single shot from his lawfully carried handgun that instantly ended what undoubtedly would have been even more terrible carnage among the hundreds present.

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Other congregants were also seen producing lawfully carried handguns in response to the threat. Several closed in on the fallen assailant to ensure he was neutralized. None of them panicked or acted rashly and no errant shots were fired.

The entire episode was over in six seconds and was captured on the church’s livestream.

The evidence is inescapable and available to anyone who cares to view it. Anybody who has ever tried to justify a public policy proposal on the grounds that it could save “just one life” is now on notice that lawful concealed carry saved many lives in just that one episode.

Yet one person who did not bother to watch the video or acquaint himself with the facts is Democrat presidential contender Michael Bloomberg. Commenting on the incident at a campaign stop in Montgomery Ala., Bloomberg did not mention Jack Wilson’s name. Bloomberg did not even acknowledge that the events depicted in video and widely reported in the media – including on Bloomberg’s self-named news site – were authentic.

But if they were, he huffed, it didn’t change his mind that only the police (which apparently include the current and former officers on his own armed protection detail) should be able to carry firearms in public.

“It may true, I wasn’t there, I don’t know the facts, that somebody in the congregation had their own gun and killed the person who murdered two other people,” he said. “But it’s the job of law enforcement to, uh, have guns and to decide when to shoot.” He continued, “You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place.”

In the best-case scenario, responding police would still have been minutes away from the violence breaking out in the West Freeway Church of Christ. The shotgun-wielding assailant could have killed many more people in that time had he not faced armed resistance of his own.

But Bloomberg’s own words indicate he would consider that an acceptable price to pay to vindicate his arch-statist and anti-constitutional view that the government should have a complete monopoly on the lawful use of lethal force.

What, in Bloomberg’s mind, make police the only people who can be trusted with firearms?

Does he feel that only law enforcement can effectively and safely use firearms?

Jack Wilson answered that question on Dec. 29, 2019, by delivering a single, precise shot at 15 yards that felled its target and only its target, saving innocent lives.

But somehow that’s still not good enough for Michael Bloomberg because Wilson is not an active-duty police officer.

What lesson are we supposed to learn from Bloomberg’s response to the White Settlement events, other than who shoots whom isn’t as important to him as who gets to decide who lawfully wields lethal force?

Are you willing to helplessly take one for Team Bloomberg’s scheme of law and order if you end up in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Note that Michael Bloomberg isn’t taking that risk himself; his payroll includes plenty of armed men to keep him safe.

The Second Amendment is your guarantee that you need not take the risk either, which is why Michael Bloomberg’s worldview cannot be reconciled with that fundamental liberty.

This stands in stark contrast to President Trump, who understands exactly what the right to keep and bear arms is all about and unabashedly respects that right.

“It was over in 6 seconds thanks to the brave parishioners who acted to protect 242 fellow worshippers,” President Trump tweeted on Dec. 30. “Lives were saved by these heroes, and Texas laws allowing them to carry guns!

Virginia Gov. Northam Wants to Ban Your Guns AND Make You Pay for It!

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Northam pushes new tax-paid bill undermining rights and values, and wanting you to pay for it! READ MORE

VIRGINIA

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

As if Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s wholesale attack on law-abiding gun owners wasn’t enough, the disgraced public official and his Michael Bloomberg-bought allies in the General Assembly now want the state’s hard-working taxpayers to foot the bill for their unconstitutional schemes. The budget bill (HB30) includes an appropriation of a quarter million dollars to carry out a host of gun control measures that Northam and his anti-gun allies hope to enact.

The $250,000 is appropriated to the Corrections Special Reserve Fund in order to provide for the “increase in the operating cost of adult correctional facilities resulting from the enactment” of Northam’s gun control measures. Among the enumerated laws that this allocation is meant to fund is a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, the criminalization of private firearms transfers, and gun confiscation orders issued without due process.

Aside from the insult of forcing law-abiding Virginia taxpayers to pay for the diminution of their rights, the gun control allocation is a severe waste of resources. Northam’s Bloomberg-backed gun control measures will not make Virginia safer.

In additional to being unconstitutional, a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms will not reduce violent crime.

Long guns of any description are rarely used in violent crime. FBI Uniform Crime Reporting data breaks down homicides by weapon type. In 2018, the FBI reported that there were five times as many individuals listed as killed with “knives or cutting instruments,” than with rifles of any kind. The data also showed that rifles were listed as being used in less homicides than “blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.)” or “personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.).”

A 1997 Department of Justice-funded study of the 1994 federal “assault weapons” ban determined that “At best, the assault weapons ban can have only a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders.” A 2004 follow-up Department of Justice-funded study came to a similar conclusion. The study determined that “AWs [assault weapons] and LCMs [large capacity magazines] were used in only a minority of gun crimes prior to the 1994 federal ban,” “relatively few attacks involve more than 10 shots fired,” and “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”

So-called “universal” background checks do not stop criminals from obtaining firearms.

Background checks don’t stop criminals from stealing firearms, getting them on the black market, or getting them from straw purchasers. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 75 percent of criminals in state and federal state prison who had possessed a firearm during their offense acquired the firearm through theft, “Off the street/underground market,” or “from a family member or friend, or as a gift.” Less than one percent got firearms from dealers or non-dealers at gun shows. ATF has reported, “[t]he most frequent type of trafficking channel identified in ATF investigations is straw purchasing from federally licensed firearms dealers.”

This year, researchers at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the UC Davis School of Medicine found that comprehensive background checks and prohibitions based on violent misdemeanors “were not associated with changes in firearm suicide or homicide.”

Aside from enabling the unacceptable deprivation of constitutional rights without due process, an Extreme Risk Protection Order (Red Flag) law is unnecessary in Virginia because the state already has strong and effective civil commitment laws.

Under Virginia law, a law enforcement officer may take an individual into emergency custody for a mental health evaluation without prior court approval. A person detained in this manner is then evaluated to determine whether they meet the criteria for a temporary detention. A person that was subject to a temporary detention order and subsequently agreed to voluntary admission to a mental health facility is prohibited from possessing firearms until their rights are restored by a court.

Tax-paying Virginians should not have to foot the bill for Northam and Bloomberg’s radical attack on their fundamental rights. Please contact Gov. Northam and let him know you oppose his unconstitutional gun control measures. You can contact Northam using the Governor’s Office contact form or call his office at 804-786-2211.

 

Armed Parishioner Says He’s ‘No Hero,’ As Details Emerge About The Texas Church Shooter

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Jack Wilson, member of West Freeway Church of Christ volunteer security team, abruptly ended an armed gunman’s plan for destruction. READ MORE

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SOURCE: ABC News by Bill Hutchinson and Josh Margolin. See the full story HERE

The pistol-packing churchgoer captured on livestream gunning down a man who opened fire inside a Texas church last Sunday morning, killing two members of the congregation, says he doesn’t consider himself a hero.

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Jack Wilson, a former reserve sheriff’s deputy, speaks of how he fatally shot a man who opened fire with a shotgun killing two parishioners inside the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, on Dec. 29, 2019.

Jack Wilson, a 71-year-old former reserve deputy sheriff, took out the shotgun-wielding suspect with a single shot to the head during services at the West Freeway Church of Christ in the Fort Worth suburb of White Settlement, police and witnesses said.

“I don’t see myself as a hero,” Wilson told reporters. “I see myself as doing what needed to be done to take out the evil threat.”

Not only is Wilson a former law enforcement officer, he also provides firearms training to members of the church who volunteer to help with security of the sanctuary, he said. He also has his own gun range.

Wilson was standing at the rear of the church during communion when the suspect, who witnesses said was wearing a fake beard and sunglasses, stood up just before 11 a.m. and confronted a church official. A livestream of the service showed the gunman suddenly pull out a short-barreled shotgun from under a long coat and shoot two churchgoers before Wilson killed him.

A church deacon, Tony Wallace, 64, was among the two church members fatally shot by the suspect, Wallace’s family confirmed to ABC News on Monday.

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Family members confirmed to ABC News that Tony Wallace, pictured in an undated handout photo, was one of the victims in a church shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, on Dec. 29, 2019.
Photo courtesy Wallace Family

A second victim has been confirmed as Richard “Rich” White. He was 67 years old, lived in River Oaks and was an armed member of the church’s volunteer security team, his family told ABC News.

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Family members confirmed to ABC News that Richard “Rich” White, pictured in an undated handout photo, was one of the victims in a church shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, on Dec. 29, 2019.
Photo courtesy White Family

“Rich constantly put others first and was always willing to help with a smile on his face,” his family said in a statement. “Rich was an Eagle Scout, lover of adventure, and all things outdoors. He was a strong man of faith and a devoted member to the West Freeway Church of Christ community.”

“We lost two great men. And it could have been a lot worse,” Britt Farmer, senior minister of the church, said at a news conference Sunday night.

The suspect was identified as 43-year-old Keith Thomas Kinnunen of River Oaks, Texas, which is about 12 miles southwest of White Settlement, a law enforcement source told ABC News.

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Law enforcement sources have identified Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43, pictured here in a booking photo from 2015, as the shooter who attacked the West Freeway Church in White Settlement, Texas, Dec. 29, 2019.Law enforcement sources have identified Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43, pictured here in a booking photo from 2015, as the shooter who attacked the West Freeway Church in White Settlement, Texas, Dec. 29, 2019.
Photo credit: River Oaks Police Department

Kinnunen has a lengthy criminal history. He pleaded guilty to charges of arson and aggravated assault and battery in Oklahoma from 2011 to 2012. He also had a restraining order filed against him in 2012. In each of the criminal cases, Kinnunen was required to undergo a mental evaluation, according to court records.

His rap sheet also includes an arrest in River Oaks for possession of narcotics in 2009 and an arrest in 2016 for unlawful possession of a weapon in Linden, New Jersey, the source said.

Kinnunen’s sister, Amy Kinnunen, confirmed to ABC News on Monday that her brother was the gunman. She said he allegedly committed the double slaying at the church on the 10th anniversary of the suicide of their brother, Joel Kinnunen.

Amy Kinnunen told ABC News that she believes Keith Kinnunen was on his own suicide mission.

Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton said the alleged shooter had attended the church several times and has had multiple run-ins with law enforcement.

Although two members of the congregation died, Paxton praised Wilson for saving lives, noting that more than 200 people were at the church when the shooting erupted.

The attorney general called Wilson, a Republican candidate for Hood County, Texas, Precinct 3 commissioner, a “hero.”

“This church responded in seconds and it saved lives of potentially over 200 people,” Paxton said. “They are the model for what other churches and places of business should focus on.”

Wilson said that in the chaos that broke out when the shooting started, he drew his handgun and paused to prevent shooting people standing in his line of fire.

“There were people in front of me, between the shooter and myself,” Wilson said. “I had to wait for just a second because the whole thing was less than six seconds from start to finish and I had to make sure I didn’t hit a member as they were right in front of me.”

texas church
Law enforcement and the media work outside the West Freeway Church of Christ after a shooting took place during services, Dec. 29, 2019, in White Settlement, Texas.
Photo credit: Stewart F. House/Getty Images

On Sunday, White Settlement Police Chief J.P. Bevering initially said a second church member also opened fire, but Paxton said on Monday that Wilson was the only one who fired a shot. In the livestream of the incident, other church members are seen drawing weapons.

“I only fired one round. It was the only shot I had, which was a head shot,” Wilson said. “In my classes, I teach not to take head shots, but that was the only shot I had that was a clear shot and I was comfortable with taking the shot because of my training and my practice.”

He said once he took out the suspect, he walked over to the gunman to make sure he “was not going to get up.”

“There was no verbal communication out of him whatsoever at that point. He was down, he was bleeding profusely from his head and the only movement was just body twitching, which happens when someone is in that condition where they’re about to die,” Wilson said.

Told he saved countless lives, Wilson added, “I feel confident of that because when an individual is using a 12-gauge, short-barrel shotgun with double-aught buck in it, which is what he had in it, then, you know, it could have been a whole lot worse.”

Wilson said the church decided to create an armed volunteer security team about 1-1/2 years ago when the congregation moved into its new sanctuary, where Sunday’s shooting occurred. The church leaders felt they needed extra protection after five homicides occurred within two miles of the church in 2018 and two homicides happened close to the church earlier this year.

Prompted by the November 2017 mass shooting that left 26 people dead at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law in September allowing legal gun owners to carry concealed weapons to churches and other places of worship that welcome the added security.

“I hope through this tragedy more churches will prepare like this church did — not just in Texas but across the country,” Paxton said at a news conference on Monday.

Asked by reporters if was politicizing the church shooting by promoting the state’s new laws signed by Abbott, easing restrictions on firearms — that also included removing a cap on the number of armed marshals allowed on school campuses and prohibiting landlords from banning tenants from having guns in their apartments — Paxton responded, “If we end up saving a life that’s darn worth it to me.”

ABC News’ Lisa Sivertsen, Matthew Fuhrman and Bonnie Mclean contributed to this report.

Why We Fight To Preserve, Safeguard Our Important Second Amendment

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The new ILA executive director assures he will fight for me, you, us — and the Constitution. READ MORE

ILA

SOURCE: NRA-ILA by Jason Ouimet

Growing up in New York City during the ‘70s and ‘80s, I saw firsthand the tremendous injustices created by so-called “gun-control” laws.

Crime wasn’t just something we saw on television. It was part of daily life in the city. I had friends who were mugged on the way to school. And I remember praying to see a police officer on a street corner or in a subway station because criminals roamed the city streets and victimized innocent citizens.

In short, my views on the Second Amendment were cemented at a very early age—long before I studied America’s founding documents.

That’s why I joined the NRA before I ever owned a gun. And today, thanks to the NRA and our millions of members like you, I’m able to carry a gun. It’s a freedom I exercise every day. I do it to protect the people I love. I also do it with a profound sense of gratitude to people like you who’ve fought for this freedom—a freedom that was denied to many law-abiding Americans where I grew up.

Now, it’s my sincere honor to serve you and to serve our Second Amendment cause as the new executive director of our NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

Since 2005, I’ve had the privilege of working on the front lines with Wayne LaPierre and other NRA leaders—first as an NRA-ILA federal liaison, then as deputy director of Federal Affairs, then as director of Federal Affairs.

I’m proud to have played a role in advancing the cause of Right to Carry throughout this nation. I’ve been privileged to work one-on-one with U.S. House and Senate leaders to win critical legislative victories—like protecting the U.S. firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits, and defeating Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s infamous gun-ban bill at a time when no one thought it possible.

Fighting together, we stopped the government from confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens during times of national emergency—when, arguably, they need them most. We won monumental victories for our freedom with the Heller and McDonald decisions, which affirmed our individual right to keep and bear arms.

And we defeated Hillary Clinton against all odds—effectively ending the substantial threat another Clinton administration posed to our rights.

In the time ahead, I look forward to continuing our fight together as we defend our gun rights in Congress, all 50 state legislatures, courtrooms nationwide and, of course, at the ballot box.

The fact is, when I stand face-to-face with a governor, U.S. senator, congressman or any legislative leader—I know I’m not alone. I know that you and millions of NRA-ILA supporters are right there with me.

And let me tell you, the politicians know it, too.

There isn’t a single gun-rights victory—big or small—that I’ve witnessed in my 15 years at NRA-ILA that wasn’t a direct result of your hard work, your courage, your leadership and your generous support.

So, more than anything, I’m excited to have this opportunity right now, in this new role and in my first official communication to you, to say Thank You. Thank you for voting, for standing and fighting, for never backing down, for being an NRA member and for being a freedom-loving American.

There is no question that the forces aligned against you, me and our Second Amendment rights are more organized and better-funded than anything we’ve faced before. But no one has done more to make this country a better, safer place than you and your fellow NRA members. And I know that if we continue to fight hard and work together, our long legacy of protecting and strengthening freedom will prevail for years and decades to come.

 

NRA Names Jason Ouimet to Head NRA Institute for Legislative Action

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Jason Ouimet appointed to be ILA executive director. READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The National Rifle Association’s executive vice president and CEO, Wayne LaPierre, has named Jason Ouimet to serve as executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). The NRA Board of Directors unanimously affirmed Ouimet’s selection at its recent board meeting.

“Jason is a principled leader with tremendous field vision and political savvy. He has a strong campaign background and more than 15 years playing pivotal roles in all the NRA’s legislative accomplishments and victories. Our five million members and America’s gun owners have the strongest ally and the best advocate in Jason,” said LaPierre.

On his permanent appointment, Ouimet said, “I thank Wayne and the NRA leadership for entrusting me with a post so crucial to America’s freedom. Backed by millions of patriotic NRA members, NRA-ILA is the foremost defender of our Second Amendment, the safeguard of freedom itself. To every NRA member and gun owner in this country, I pledge that our defense will never waver on my watch.”

Ouimet has embraced increasing responsibilities and higher-profile roles during his time with NRA. As director of federal affairs at the NRA-ILA since 2015, Ouimet was responsible for overseeing and implementing the NRA’s federal legislative and political agenda. Between 2010 and 2015, Ouimet served as the deputy director of the NRA’s federal affairs department. Ouimet began his career with the NRA in 2005 as a federal affairs lobbyist, where he was responsible for the states of Georgia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New York and New Jersey.

Prior to joining the NRA, Ouimet served as a legislative assistant for Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia.

Ouimet also worked as a senior research analyst at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Prior to that, in 1999, Ouimet moved to Washington D.C. for a job at the Republican National Committee where he conducted field research for President George Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign.

Ouimet earned his Bachelor of Arts from Kent State University in 1999.

 

NO, Gov. Northam, Your Gun Ban is NOT Constitutional

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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam proposes new and unconstitutional legislation. READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

As Virginia gun owners have shown their displeasure with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed attack on their rights in city and county meetings across the Old Dominion, Northam has been forced to answer questions about he and gun control financier Michael Bloomberg’s gun ban agenda. In doing so, the governor has proclaimed that he supports the Second Amendment and that his gun ban does not violate the U.S. Constitution. In truth, Northam’s proposed gun ban would violate the Second Amendment as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.

On Monday, December 9, Northam told reporters, “I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment,” adding, “I hear people out there saying that they don’t want law enforcement to enforce unconstitutional laws. Well we’re not going to propose or pass any unconstitutional laws.”

In a Wednesday meeting with reporters, Northam offered a veiled threat to sanctuary jurisdictions that have promised to not enforce unconstitutional gun laws stating, “If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books then there are going to be some consequences…” The governor went on to say “Any law that we pass in Richmond and the eight pieces of legislation that I put on the table back in July — they’re constitutional, so that’s not going to be an issue.”

Northam’s allies in Richmond have proposed firearm confiscation legislation that would prohibit the sale and possession of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15. The governor has stated that he intends to push legislation that would ban such firearms but grandfather possession by gun owners who register their firearms with the government.

Banning commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms under either proposal is unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that governments cannot ban these firearms as they are “in common use” for lawful purposes.

Taken alone, Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in Heller is enough to dispose of Northam’s comments. In the decision, Justice Scalia made clear that the types of firearms protected by the Second Amendment include those “in common use at the time” for “lawful purposes like self-defense.”

The firearms industry has estimated that Americans own more than 17.5 million semi-automatic rifles. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the U.S. and therefore indisputably “in common use” and protected by the Second Amendment.

Further, in the 1994 case Staples v. United States, the Supreme Court determined that semi-automatic rifles were common. The case concerned the criminal intent requirement for a conviction for possession of an unregistered machine gun. The subject of the case had argued that he was unaware that the AR-15 in his possession had been modified for automatic fire and was not simply a legal semi-automatic AR-15. In the majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas made clear that the mere possession of a converted AR-15 is not enough to infer intent sufficient for conviction, as some firearms are “so commonplace and generally available that we would not consider them to alert individuals to the likelihood of strict regulation.” Justice Thomas went on to write that most categories of guns, including semi-automatic rifles, “traditionally have been widely accepted as lawful possessions.”

All doubt as to whether the Supreme Court’s decisions in Heller and McDonald preclude bans on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms was settled in 2015. That year, Justice Scalia joined Justice Thomas in a dissent from the denial of certiorari in Friedman v. Highland Park, a case concerning a local ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.

Justice Thomas explained,

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.

Northam’s attempt to portray his Bloomberg-sponsored gun ban as constitutional is an absurd and transparent attempt to forestall the surging Virginia grassroots gun rights movement. Virginia’s gun owners have every reason to take defensive action against Northam and Bloomberg’s unconstitutional gun control agenda.

All Virginia gun owners must organize to fight against unconstitutional Bloomberg-backed gun control in the Old Dominion. Please contact Gov. Northam and let him know you oppose his unconstitutional gun control measures. You can contact Northam using the Governor’s Office contact form below or call his office at 804-786-2211.

 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Issues Opinion On Partially-Finished Receivers In Extreme Deviation From Federal Law

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Attorney General Josh Shapiro states controversial opinion regarding firearm classification. READ MORE

80 percent lower

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Once again, anti-gun officials contort case law and statute to undermine our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Last week, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a tortured opinion defining partially-manufactured receivers as firearms. This opinion flies in stark contrast to the current, and widely held, understanding that receivers that are unfinished and require additional work to operate as a functional frame or receiver are not considered firearms and therefore aren’t regulated as such.

Shapiro relies on two arguments to arrive at this absurd result. One, that unfinished receivers are “designed” to expel a projectile by action of an explosive. It doesn’t take a law degree to figure out how backward this thinking is. Partially-manufactured lowers are explicitly designed so that they are unable to expel a projectile by action of an explosive without further work. In other words, by their very nature, they are not firearms.

Two, Shapiro claims that these receivers “may be readily converted (to expel a projectile)” which he argues is analogous to the “may readily be restored” language of the federal National Firearms Act.

With this make-believe bridge, Shapiro then imports federal case law concerning the “may be readily restored” (to a machine gun) language to draw up extremely broad contours of what would be considered a firearm under state law. He uses extreme case law to lower the threshold for what constitutes a firearm to facilitate his anti-gun position and leanings.

Shapiro’s “theory” of treating non-functioning blocks of polymer, steel, or aluminum as “firearms” is the equivalent of calling a pile of aluminum tubes a bicycle or even considering a hickory or ash tree a baseball bat.

Make No Mistake — This opinion applies to much more than unfinished receiver kits!

Using the extremely vague description provided by AG Shapiro, almost any chunk of material (metal, polymer, etc.) could be considered a firearm and he and his anti-gun cronies can use this precedent to destroy our freedoms one step at a time.

 

Puerto Rico Enacts Pro-gun Overhaul of Firearms Laws

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Puerto Rico set to pass new pro-gun legislation. READ MORE

puerto rico

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The 3.5 million residents of the Unites States’ largest territory will soon be able to better exercise their Second Amendment rights. On December 11, Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez Garced signed the Puerto Rico Weapons Act of 2020. The legislation overhauled the territory’s gun laws in a manner that will make it easier for the island’s residents and visitors to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

The legislation’s most important provisions pertain to the territory’s firearms licensing procedure. Prior to the enactment of the Weapons Act, Puerto Ricans could apply for a possession license, or a much harder to obtain carry license. The Weapons Act combines the two licenses into a single license.

Moreover, this single license will be shall-issue. Previously, Puerto Ricans were required to petition a court for the approval of a carry permit. The legislation also puts in place a flat $200 initial licensing fee, and a $100 renewal fee. This is a significant improvement over the old regime, where firearm licensing fees could range wildly.

Americans on the mainland are also set to benefit from Puerto Rico’s new gun laws. The legislation sets forth that Puerto Rico will recognize Right-to-Carry permits issued in the rest of the U.S.

Puerto Rico’s Weapons Act is an important step forward for law-abiding gun owners in the island territory. While the island’s gun laws are still stricter than the vast majority of the U.S., there are a handful of mainland jurisdictions that could learn from Puerto Rico’s example and work to similarly streamline outdated and onerous gun control laws.

 

Texas Gun Control Advocates Deride Actual Firearms Safety Efforts

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Texas Governor Greg Abbot is promoting firearm safety education and equipment to citizens. READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Gun control advocates are not concerned with gun safety. This reality was brought home once again by the anti-gun reaction to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and the firearm industry’s work to ensure Texans have free access to gun locks.

Following a high-profile shooting in Santa Fe, Texas in May 2018, Gov. Abbott released the School and Firearm Safety Action Plan. As part of the plan, the governor called on the state to promote the voluntary use of gun locks.

To carry out this goal, Abbott partnered with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Under the plan, Abbott created a $1 million grant from the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division to help fund NSSF’s “Own It? Respect it. Secure it” and “Project ChildSafe” campaigns.

As explained in the governor’s plan,

The NSSF “Own It? Respect it. Secure it” initiative was developed to promote and encourage firearm safety and safe storage. It also supplements ongoing firearm safety and education campaigns such as Project ChildSafe, which has distributed more than 37 million firearm safety kits that includes a cable-style gun lock, lock-installment instructions, and a safety booklet. Project ChildSafe firearm safety education kits are free to law enforcement agencies.

NRA opposes mandatory storage laws. Such restrictions can leave gun owners defenseless at the critical moment that they need a firearm most. Moreover, American gun ownership is diverse. A one-size-fits-all approach to gun storage doesn’t consider the varied needs of law-abiding gun owners.

However, like NSSF, NRA encourages gun owners to take the appropriate steps to voluntarily secure their firearms. Through its Education and Training Division, NRA has taught millions of Americans how to safely own and handle firearms. NRA’s gun safety rules teach firearm owners to store firearms so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the first of the grant money was delivered last month and the first batch of firearm safety kits are now making their way to law enforcement agencies. The full grant is expected to fund 625,000 safety kits.

Gov. Abbott’s efforts to provide more than half-a-million free gun locks was not enough to please so-called “gun safety” group Texas Gun Sense. The Chronicle reported that Texas Gun Sense Executive Director Gyl Switzer expressed doubts about the program. The paper noted,

Switzer said free gun locks “are always a good thing,” but said she would evaluate the project with skepticism “since NSSF is the lobby arm for gun manufacturers.”

Why would a purported “gun safety” group care about how free gun locks are provided? Because their goal isn’t gun safety, it is gun control.

When it comes to gun control advocates, unless a measure encumbers honest gun owners, who they view as their political rivals, then it is not worth doing. Gun control isn’t about gun safety or public safety. Gun control is about controlling law-abiding Americans and indulging ugly political and cultural prejudices.

Gov. Abbott and NSSF should be congratulated for their efforts to promote gun safety while respecting the rights of gun owners.

 

Virginia Gov. Seeks Gun Registration As Down Payment On Gun Confiscation

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Virginia Governor proposes harsh firearm legislation. READ MORE

northam

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) must think that Old Dominion gun owners are stupid… After months of Northam and his Michael Bloomberg-backed General Assembly allies advocating for the enactment of gun confiscation legislation, the governor has told the Virginia Mercury that he will support a gun ban bill that would grandfather currently possessed firearms but require owners to register the newly-prohibited firearms with the government. As astute gun owners know, gun registration facilitates gun confiscation. Northam wants law-abiding gun owners to register their guns with the same people who have already stated that they want to confiscate them.

The evidence is clear: Virginia politicians want to confiscate your firearms.

On June 4, an embattled Gov. Northam announced a special session of the General Assembly in order to enact a raft of gun control legislation. During his remarks, the governor expressly said that “I will propose many of the same ideas that we have proposed before… A ban on assault weapons…”

On July 8, Del. Mark H. Levine (D-45) delivered for Northam and pre-filed gun ban bill HB 4021. The legislation garnered 23 cosponsors. That same day Sen. Adam P Ebbin (D-30) pre-filed the identical SB 4024, which attracted 16 co-sponsors.

The legislation would have banned the importation, manufacture, sale, transfer, and possession of what it termed “assault firearms.” The term was defined to include any semi-automatic centerfire rifle with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 10 rounds or any semi-automatic centerfire rifle that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one of several enumerated features. These features included, a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, a second handgrip, a bayonet mount, a silencer, a flash suppressor, a muzzle brake, a muzzle compensator, or a threaded barrel. The legislation also would have banned commonly-owned semi-automatic shotguns and centerfire pistols with any one of several prohibiting features.

As Levine and Ebbin’s legislation prohibited possession of these firearms, the bills, which were drafted at Northam’s request, were firearms confiscation.

On November 18, Sen. Richard L. Saslaw (D-35) pre-filed SB 16 for the 2020 session. This legislation would ban the same types of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms as HB 4021 and SB 4024. Again, as the bill would ban the possession of these firearms, it is gun confiscation.

Northam is misleading the public
Discussing the governor’s proposed ban, Northam Spokeswoman Alena Tarmosky told the Mercury, “In this case, the governor’s assault weapons ban will include a grandfather clause for individuals who already own assault weapons, with the requirement they register their weapons before the end of a designated grace period.”

The website also reported,

The Northam-backed plan mirrors the federal assault weapon ban passed in 1994, which included a grandfather clause for weapons that were legally owned when the legislation was enacted. The federal ban expired in 2004.

It’s not clear whether the Mercury has been misled by Northam’s staff or whether the paper is misinformed on the matter of gun law in general, but this paragraph is directly contradicted by Tarmosky’s statement.

Under the 1994 Clinton assault weapons ban, gun owners could continue to possess and transfer prohibited firearms that were lawfully possessed prior to the ban. In direct contrast to the purported Northam proposal, the federal ban had no firearm registration requirement.

The details of Northam’s gun ban have yet to be released. However, the Clinton ban’s prohibiting criteria were far different than what has been proposed by Northam’s General Assembly allies. Whereas the proposed Virginia legislation would ban commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms with only one offending feature, the “assault weapon” definition under the 1994 federal ban required that a firearm have two prohibiting features. Further, the enumerated prohibited features under the Virginia legislation are far broader and include such innocuous characteristics as thumbhole stocks.

The Mercury item also noted that Northam told reporters, “I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment…” and “we’re not going to propose or pass any unconstitutional laws.” In reality, the gun bans proposed by Northam and his allies are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.

Heller decision author Justice Antonin Scalia made this clear when he signed onto a dissent from denial of certiorari in the case of Friedman v. Highland Park, which concerned a local ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. The dissent, written by Justice Clarence Thomas explained,

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.

Gun registration facilitates confiscation
For undeniable evidence that gun registration facilitates gun confiscation, consider the experience of Virginia gun control financier Michael Bloomberg’s hometown of New York City.

In 1967 New York City passed an ordinance requiring gun owners to register their rifles and shotguns. In 1991 the New York City Council and Mayor David N. Dinkins enacted a bill to prohibit the possession of commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.

The year after the ban was enacted, a man`s home in Staten Island was raided by the police after he had announced that he would not comply with the city`s ban. He was arrested, and his guns were seized.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) notified the 2,340 New Yorkers who had been licensed earlier to possess semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that any of those licensed firearms that were covered by the ban had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city. The recipients of the notification were directed to send back a sworn statement indicating what had been done with those firearms. NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters Jeremy Travis, told the Daily News at the time, “for now, the department is taking owners at their word, but spot checks are planned.”

During the mayoral administration of Michael Bloomberg, New York City again used its firearms registry to confiscate guns.

In 2010, the city passed an ordinance prohibiting the possession of rifles or shotguns capable of holding more than five rounds of ammunition. In 2013, the NYPD began sending out letters to registered gun owners alerting them that their firearm was banned. The letters demanded that gun owners either surrender their firearm, permanently modify the firearm to bring it into compliance with the ordinance, or remove it from New York City. Those who chose to modify or move a prohibited firearm were forced to submit documentation to the government that they had done so.

For more proof that registration facilitates confiscation consider New Zealand’s recent gun control measures.

In early 2019, the New Zealand Parliament enacted a ban on the sale and possession of all semi-automatic centerfire rifles and semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns capable of holding more than five rounds of ammunition. To enforce the prohibition, New Zealand required owners to surrender their newly-prohibited firearms.

However, New Zealand does not have a registry of most of the banned rifles and shotguns. This created a policy dilemma for New Zealand’s gun control advocates. Without knowing how many newly-prohibited firearms were in the country or who owned them, there was no effective way for the anti-gun officials to enforce their oppressive edict.

Complaining that the lack of a registry would hamper enforcement, New Zealand Police Association President Chris Cahill told the press in May, “We really have no idea how many of these firearms are out there in New Zealand… Which really points to how bad our firearms legislation has been, that we have let this get out of control.”

Gun Control NZ co-founder Philippa Yasbek admitted that the lack of a registry would make the firearms confiscation plan difficult. Yasbek was quoted by the Washington Post as stating, “These weapons are unlikely to be confiscated by police because they don’t know of their existence… These will become black-market weapons if their owners choose not to comply with the law and become criminals instead.”

Gun owners will not comply
Contrary to what Gov. Northam might think, gun owners are not stupid. Gun owners understand that firearms registration is an integral part of the gun control plan to disarm law-abiding Americans and choose not to comply.

According to New York State Police Data there was massive noncompliance with the SAFE Act’s registration provisions. Out of an estimated 1-1.2 million semi-automatic firearms within the state that were required to be registered under the act, 23,847 people registered a grand total of 44,485 guns. Using the lower estimate of one million semi-automatic firearms, the data shows a compliance rate of 4%.

A 2013 Connecticut law required residents to register commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms, and individual magazines with a capacity greater than 10, by January 1, 2014. Out of an estimated several hundred thousand guns and 2.4 million magazines that were required to be registered, Connecticut gun owners had registered 50,016 firearms and a mere 38,290 magazines.

In 1989, California enacted a law requiring registration of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. According to a February 17, 1992 Los Angeles Times article, in the years following enactment only 46,062 semi-autos were registered. The article went on to note, “The state Department of Justice has estimated there are 200,000 to 300,000. Others have calculated as many as 450,000 to 600,000.” The authorities attempted to bolster the lackluster compliance with a 90-day amnesty period at the start of 1992; this program only netted another 13,470 firearms.

Fight back
All Virginia gun owners must organize to stand and fight against Northam and Bloomberg’s gun registration plan. Virginia’s anti-gun legislators have made it clear that they intend to confiscate guns and any registration scheme would enable their unconstitutional plans.