Category Archives: Gun Rights

Supreme Court Allows Sandy Hook Families’ Case Against Remington Arms To Proceed

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With Tuesday’s order from the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys for the plaintiffs will be able to test whether a gun company can be held liable for how it markets a firearm that is later used in a crime. READ MORE

bushmaster

SOURCE: NPR, Bill Chappell, et al.

The Supreme Court has denied Remington Arms Co.’s bid to block a lawsuit filed by families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting. The families say that Remington should be held liable. Remington manufactured the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle that Adam Lanza used in the shooting.

In a decision that was announced Tuesday morning, the court opted not to hear the gun-maker’s appeal. The justices did not include any comment about the case, Remington Arms Co. v. Soto, as they turned it away.

Remington had appealed to the highest federal court after the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed the Sandy Hook lawsuit to proceed in March. In recent court filings, Remington says the case “presents a nationally important question” about U.S. gun laws — namely, how to interpret the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which grants broad immunity to gun-makers and dealers from prosecution over crimes committed with their products.

The families first filed their lawsuit in December 2014, saying the Bushmaster rifle never should have been sold to the public because it is a military-style weapon. They accuse Remington of violating Connecticut’s unfair trade practices law when it “knowingly marketed and promoted the Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle for use in assaults against human beings.”

While the suit initially centered on a claim of negligent entrustment — or providing a gun to someone who plans to commit a crime with it — the case now hinges on how Remington marketed the gun.

The 2005 federal law that shields gun companies from liability has several exceptions — including one allowing lawsuits against a gun-maker or seller that knowingly violates state or federal laws governing how a product is sold or marketed.

In the case’s first major test, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision that Remington cannot be held liable for simply selling its AR-style Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle. However, they also ruled that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act includes an exception that allows the lawsuit to be brought against the company’s marketing practices.

“Congress did not intend to immunize firearms suppliers who engage in truly unethical and irresponsible marketing practices promoting criminal conduct,” the court said. “It falls to a jury to decide whether the promotional schemes alleged in the present case rise to the level of illegal trade practices and whether fault for the tragedy can be laid at their feet.”

At trial, Sandy Hook families cited examples of what they believe are “unethical, oppressive, immoral, and unscrupulous” advertisements that extol the “the militaristic and assaultive qualities of the rifle.” Furthermore, they argued, the Sandy Hook shooter was “especially susceptible to militaristic marketing” due to his aspirations of being in the military.

In filings with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Sandy Hook families say Remington “published promotional materials that promised ‘military-proven performance’ for a ‘mission-adaptable’ shooter in need of the ‘ultimate combat weapons system.’ ” They also accuse the company of fostering a “lone gunman” narrative as it promoted the Bushmaster, citing an ad that proclaimed, “Forces of opposition, bow down. You are single-handedly outnumbered.”

Another source cited comments from Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. Gottlieb: “This suit is just plain wrong and should never have been allowed to proceed.” Gottlieb called that rationale “absurd” at the time.

“Did the advertising even remotely suggest that the Bushmaster is best for murdering people?” Gottlieb asked. “That’s a stretch of credulity worthy of surgical elastic. There is no evidence the killer was driven by any advertising whatsoever. This is an affront to the First Amendment as well as the Second. Even hinting that the killer was motivated in some way by an advertising message is so far out in the weeds that it may take a map for the court to find its way back.”

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up Remington’s appeal, the case will return to a lower court in Connecticut.

 

Constitutional Carry OK in Oklahoma

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The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) welcomes Oklahoma as the newest constitutional carry state. READ MORE

concealed carry

 

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Constitutional carry, now the law in 16 states across the country, allows law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms without first getting government permission to do.

The NRA-backed law, which took effect Friday, Nov. 1, fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a firearm openly or concealed without a permit.

“Government exists for the people, not the other way around. This law honors the right of law-abiding Oklahomans to defend themselves and their loved ones without begging for the government’s permission beforehand,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The NRA fights for law-abiding gun owners because we recognize that our freedoms are fundamental and natural, not government-given.”

For nearly 10 years, the NRA has worked closely with the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association to make constitutional carry a reality in Oklahoma.

“After 112 years, constitutional carry returns the fundamental right to self-defense to every law-abiding Oklahoman,” said Don Spencer, president, Oklahoma Second Amendment Association. “By eliminating financial barriers imposed by government permitting schemes, constitutional carry ensures that law-abiding, but economically disadvantaged Oklahomans can always protect themselves in times of crisis.”

H.B. 2597 passed both chambers with broad bi-partisan support (House vote 70-30 , Senate vote 40-6).

This law does not change prohibited person laws or any law governing the misuse of a firearm, prohibited places where a firearm cannot be carried, or when force may be used in defense of self or others.

Sixteen states — Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Kentucky — allow law-abiding individuals to carry a concealed handgun without a government-issued permit. (Montana allows Permitless Carry for all areas outside city limits — 99.4% of the state.)

 

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

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Montana and Pennsylvania show just how much state firearms preemption statutes are an essential protection for gun owners. READ MORE

gun rights

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In recent weeks, gun owners have been given two prime examples of just how important strong firearms preemption laws are to the vibrant exercise of Second Amendment rights. On October 22, the Montana Supreme Court struck down a Missoula ordinance that purported to restrict city residents’ ability to transfer firearms. On October 29, Allegheny County Common Pleas Senior Judge Joseph M. James struck down a raft of Pittsburgh ordinances that purported to regulate the use of firearms in public places within the city and provide for the confiscation of firearms without due process. In both instances the tribunals pointed to the state firearms preemption statute as precluding the locality’s anti-gun efforts.

Today, almost all states have a firearms preemption law that prohibits localities from regulating firearms in a manner more stringent than state law. These laws are vital as they prevent localities from enacting an incomprehensible patchwork of local ordinances. Without these measures unsuspecting gun owners would be forced to forego the exercise of their Second Amendment rights or risk running afoul of convoluted and potentially inaccessible local rules.

A look back at a 1970s edition of ATF’s State Laws and Local Ordinances reveals a baffling mishmash of local ordinances aimed at all manner of firearms related conduct. Prior to the enactment of preemption statutes there were city waiting periods, county gun seller licensing and gun registration schemes, and local permits to purchase regimes.

With prodding from moneyed interests, localities have become increasingly brazen in defying state preemption statutes.

The Missoula case concerned City Ordinance 3581. Passed in 2016, the ordinance criminalized the private transfer of firearms in the city. The ordinance required almost all transfers to take place pursuant to a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check. The city passed the ordinance in defiance of Montana’s strong state firearms preemption statute.

The Montana Code Annotated § 45-8-351 provides,

A county, city, town, consolidated local government, or other local government unit may not prohibit, register, tax, license, or regulate the purchase, sale or other transfer (including delay in purchase, sale, or other transfer), ownership, possession, transportation, use, or unconcealed carrying of any weapon, including a rifle, shotgun, handgun, or concealed handgun.

The language is straightforward and explicitly prohibited the locality from regulating “the purchase, sale or other transfer” of firearms. Illustrating the obvious illegality of Missoula’s ordinance, the Montana Supreme Court ruled 5-0 against the city.

The Pittsburgh case concerned a trio of ordinances passed in 2018. Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto called on the city to enact a total ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, a total ban on standard capacity magazines, and the development of a procedure to confiscate an individual’s firearms without due process of law. Further, Peduto called on municipalities throughout the country to ignore state statutes enacted by their residents’ elected representatives.

In the end, Peduto and his cohorts on the city council enacted narrower, but still impermissible, versions of the initial gun and magazine ban proposals and the confiscation measure.

Pennsylvania’s firearms preemption statute, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6120, provides,

No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.

Like Montana’s statute, the language clearly prohibited Pittsburgh’s conduct. Moreover, in the Keystone State the matter of Pittsburgh’s power to regulate firearms had already been decided in the courts.

In the 1996 case Ortiz v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania settled the question as to whether Pittsburgh and Philadelphia could restrict commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. In finding that they could not, the court stated,

Because the ownership of firearms is constitutionally protected, its regulation is a matter of statewide concern. The constitution does not provide that the right to bear arms shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth except Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where it may be abridged at will, but that it shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth. Thus, regulation of firearms is a matter of concern in all of Pennsylvania, not merely in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the General Assembly, not city councils, is the proper forum for the imposition of such regulation.

In ruling against the city’s most recent ordinances, Judge James noted that “the City has expended a large amount of energy attempting to categorize the restricted behavior in such a way that it is not expressly prohibited” by the state preemption statute. Continuing, James explained, “Despite the city’s efforts…. they are not able to avoid the obvious intent of the Legislature to preempt this entire field.”

Note Judge James’ use of the word “obvious.” Both the Montana and Pennsylvania statutes contain clear language that obviously barred the cities’ behavior. Even so, city officials usurped the authority to regulate firearms and wasted untold taxpayer resources in order to persecute a disfavored subset of law-abiding citizens.

Often more ideologically homogenous than larger political units, local governments have repeatedly shown a willingness to attack their gun owning constituents rather than practice the politics of pluralism. The larger political unit of a state can temper such virulent intolerance and provide a much-needed check on the radical impulses of local politicians.

Such blatant defiance of state law and profligacy with taxpayer dollars should have state legislatures looking for ways to strengthen existing state firearms preemption statutes. This can be achieved by providing a clear avenue for which a variety of interested parties, such as civil rights organizations like the NRA, can bring suit to enjoin improper laws. Moreover, state preemption statutes can be crafted in a manner that provides a prevailing plaintiff with attorneys’ fees and liquidated damages.

As the cases in Montana and Pennsylvania show, state firearms preemption statutes are an essential protection for gun owners. However, gun owners should not be forced to constantly vindicate their rights through the courts. State legislators should work to craft state preemption laws that prevent even the most recalcitrant localities from enacting illegal ordinances.

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Tremp

 

Wisconsin: Gov. Evers Calls for Firearm Confiscation & Criminalizing Private Transfers

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New Wisconsin firearms legislation reveals “Democrats’ real agenda” — total government control over all firearms and firearm owners. READ MORE

Wisconsin gun laws

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On September 19th, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, Representative Melissa Sargent (D-48), and Senator Lena Taylor (D-4) held a press conference calling on the Legislature to violate the Second Amendment by: 1) allowing confiscation of firearms without due process; and 2) criminalizing private transfers. If the Legislature does not quickly comply with these demands, Gov. Evers threatened to push for a special session. Please urge your state legislators to oppose Gov. Evers’ threats against Wisconsin’s law-abiding citizens and our Second Amendment rights.

Fortunately, Second Amendment defenders like Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos were courageous enough to highlight the Governor’s true intentions, saying “today in a partial answer to a reporter’s question Governor Evers revealed Democrats’ real agenda: taking away firearms that are lawfully owned, which is unacceptable. Wisconsin laws already say if you’re a felon, you lose your right to own a gun. With Governor Evers considering confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens, it shows just how radical Democrats have become.”

As NRA members know, most so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” laws—the kind of scheme that Gov. Evers would like to impose—seek to confiscate firearms while suspending your Second Amendment rights. This is why lawful gun owners who would otherwise defend themselves are often excluded from the very hearings where the gun-grab is ordered. If Gov. Evers gets his way, every Wisconsin citizen would be vulnerable to such orders, which do not rest upon a criminal conviction or adjudication of dangerously mental illness. Under Gov. Evers’ approach, your Second Amendment rights would be usurped by uncorroborated third party allegations.

Similar flaws permeate the Governor’s effort to criminalize private transfers. Contrary to the Second Amendment, the Governor wants to force law-abiding citizens to obtain the government’s permission, at their own expense, before transferring firearms; this even includes any gifts or trades between family members and close friends. Unbelievable.

Laws that insert the government between the Second Amendment and lawful transactions are fundamentally illogical and inconsistent with our U.S. Constitution. Existing studies of these laws—even when conducted by anti-gun researchers—confirm that such laws are ineffective at reducing homicides or suicides. Criminals who are already prohibited from possessing firearms and who already illegally obtain firearms through unlawful methods (such as theft or straw purchase) will not be deterred by one more law. And don’t be fooled: because such schemes are ultimately unenforceable without a firearm registry, they are the precursor to the registry itself.

Your action is needed. Please take a brief moment to contact your state legislators—stand up for the law-abiding citizens of this State, and protect our Second Amendment rights by refusing the politicians’ efforts to violate fundamental due process rights and criminalize private firearm transfers.

WISCONSIN, PRIVATE TRANSFERS, DUE PROCESS, CONFISCATION, gun control

NRA Statement on 2019 Election Results

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NRA ILA releases statement overview of controversial Bloomberg elections — common sense trumps money. READ MORE

2020 elections

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The National Rifle Association released the following statement on the 2019 election results:

“As if Gov. Northam’s legacy of ineptitude wasn’t enough, Virginians are about to experience life under a distant tycoon’s thumb. Candidates who proudly accepted Bloomberg’s cash — and every voter they misled — will soon realize the cost of being beholden to a Manhattan billionaire who despises Virginians’ right to self-defense. Fortunately, many NRA-backed candidates in Virginia, New Jersey, Kentucky and Mississippi prevailed over their Bloomberg-funded opponents. As the battle continues, so does the NRA’s defense of the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.”

Confiscation or “Mandatory Buyback”?

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If it looks like a duck… READ MORE

gun confiscation

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

It is interesting to watch certain Democrats struggle when trying to convince law-abiding gun owners how “reasonable” it is for the government to take away your firearms. Do the anti-gun groups and candidates pushing confiscation honestly believe you’ll be fooled?

The Democrat plan to confiscate your firearms isn’t in question. In fact, the plan was laid bare by Robert Francis O’Rourke when, during the third Democrat Presidential Debates, he proclaimed, “Hell yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15, your AK47….” Prior to this broadcast, most Democrats were more subtle, promoting what they euphemistically called a “mandatory buy-back” program for most semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and handguns (so-called “assault weapons”). In the hope of capturing voters, they opted to soothe instead of share, and continually shied away from admitting the true goal: confiscation.

But as the saying goes, if it looks like a duck…

Leading up to the fourth Democrat debate, the effort to disguise confiscation as something else continued. Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, complained in an interview with Snapchat’s Good Luck America about the Democrats’ “fight over confiscation,” which was distracting from other, more palatable infringements on your Second Amendment rights. Buttigieg’s comment seemed to be a continuation of his spat with O’Rourke earlier this month in Las Vegas.

After the Good Luck America interview was released, another Democrat presidential “hopeful,” New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, decided he needed to chastise Buttigieg for simply telling the truth. Booker tweeted, “Calling buyback programs ‘confiscation’ is doing the NRA’s work for them, @PeteButtigieg — and they don’t need our help.” Interestingly, Booker didn’t challenge the idea that “mandatory buyback” schemes, which he proudly supports, and confiscation are really the same thing. His complaint was over the accepted terminology for confiscation, not the confiscation itself.

Of course, part of NRA’s “work” is exposing the lies of the anti-gun movement, and bringing the truth to light. We welcome any “help” in that arena, even if it comes from hyperbolic Democrats who fundamentally misunderstand firearms. Buttigieg may be wrong about promoting other anti-gun policies, but at least he is honest about another Democrat’s desire for confiscation.

To be clear, though, he hasn’t said that he is entirely opposed to confiscation. He’s merely said he is opposed to talking about it right now.

And that kind of makes sense, politically. The four Democrat candidates that are leading in the polls–Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Buttigieg–have all referred to supporting a “voluntary buyback” scheme, rather than confiscation. Booker, O’Rourke, and California Senator Kamala Harris have all called for confiscation, and are all struggling in the low- to mid-single digits.

This week, during the fourth debate, banning AR-15s and other “assault weapons” was again brought up. And the sparks flew between Bittigieg and O’Rourke.

Moderator Anderson Cooper asked O’Rourke how his “mandatory buyback” would work if, as O’Rourke has claimed, police would not be going door-to-door to confiscate firearms. After insulting every single lawful owner of an AR-15 by claiming their firearm is a “potential instrument of terror,” “Beto” then stated he expects everyone to simply follow the law.

And that may very well be the case, for those who wish to remain law-abiding. But those who have malice in mind will not. Those who have acquired the tools of their criminal trade illegally will not. And while NRA strongly encourages gun owners to obey gun laws and work to change those with which they disagree, there are many otherwise law-abiding citizens who, when faced with a law they feel is unjust or unconstitutional, will simply not comply.

Cooper pressed O’Rourke to explain how he intends to treat those who currently own AR-15s and similar firearms, and do not turn them in, if his ban were to become law. The candidate said, “If someone does not turn in an AR-15…then that weapon will be taken from them.”

…if it swims like a duck…

O’Rourke went beyond mere confiscation, though, and offered a chilling, Swalwell-like statement about “other consequences from law enforcement.”

Mayor Buttigieg was given an opportunity to speak on the subject, where he made clear that the confiscation plan is not off the table for him. He suggested that if O’Rourke could come up with a more developed scheme, “I think we can have a debate about it.” Harkening back to the anti-gun rally in Las Vegas earlier this month, when O’Rourke all but called Buttigieg a coward for not currently supporting confiscation, the South Bend Mayor slapped down the failed Texas Senate candidate when he stated, “I don’t need lessons from you on courage.”

Before the back-and-forth between Buttigieg and O’Rourke devolved into a full-blown slap-fight, Cooper allowed some of the other candidates on the stage to weigh in on banning semi-automatic firearms.

Senator Booker pretended to be concerned about how the candidates “talk to each other and about each other,” then began talking about his gun licensing scheme without talking about the confiscation plan he has already stated he supports.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar talked about a number of anti-gun proposals, did not say that she specifically opposes confiscation, but has stated in the past that she supports “voluntary buybacks,” rather than confiscation.

Senator Warren talked about treating semi-automatic firearms like AR-15s the same as fully-automatic firearms, invoking the registration and taxation scheme under the National Firearms Act (NFA). She also called for an end to the filibuster in the Senate to help ram through gun control legislation.

Senator Harris then grossly underestimated the number of so-called “assault weapons,” saying there are only five million, when most estimates put the number at over 15 million for just AR-15s. Perhaps she is trying to minimize the impact her anti-gun efforts will have on law-abiding Americans by lying about how many will be affected. She also repeated her audacious plan of using her executive authority as President to do what has already been done. While she didn’t actually say she supports confiscation on the debate stage this week, she has stated support for it in the past.

Former Vice President Biden stumbled through his statement next. He talked about the failed Clinton gun ban of 1994-2004 — trying to take sole credit for its passage — brought up registering AR-15s under the NFA–presumably to show he doesn’t support confiscation–and spoke of repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

The last candidate given an opportunity to speak about confiscation was former HUD Secretary Julián Castro. He stated he is opposed to confiscation because he does not want to see police going door-to-door to implement the policy, as he expressed concerns over “police violence.”

So, while some candidates sparred over what to call the confiscation scheme, others made clear their opposition to it…for now.

…and if it quacks like a duck…

While the Democrat debate ended Tuesday night, the debate over what to call gun confiscation continues. In fact, on MSNBC the following day, O’Rourke spoke to Joe Scarborough to make sure everyone understood his position; and his preferred terminology. While Scarborough correctly referred to the plan as confiscation, O’Rourke claimed it was not, and continually referred to a “buyback.”

Scarborough labored to get the candidate to admit confiscation is his goal, suggesting a hypothetical Texas rancher who simply does not feel a ban on AR-15s is just or constitutional. In response, O’Rourke said that, as with any law, “there have to be consequences,” and in Scarborough’s hypothetical scenario, “there would be a visit by law enforcement.”

Look, if you have to send law enforcement to someone’s house to remove their lawfully acquired property under threat of penalty, you can try to say that’s NOT confiscation…

…but it is probably a duck.

 

Dick’s Spends Big on Gun-Chopping, Virtue-Signaling Bonanza (But It Will Still Sell You a Firearm)

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Hypocrisy and hype are now the hallmarks of Dick’s Sporting Goods. READ MORE

dicks

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Ed Stack, the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, wants you to know he’s committed to keeping AR-15s “off the street.” But he’s also committed (for the time being) to selling other types of firearms.

That’s the genius of Ed Stack. He’s perfectly capable of holding two contradictory opinions at the same time. He’ll take one sort of gun buyer’s money and then lecture another on the evils of firearms.

We call that being a hypocrite.

But for Ed Stack, it’s just being Dick’s.

Recently, Ed took to the airwaves to explain in an interview with CBS News how he made his decision upon finding out that the criminal responsible for the Parkland attack had previously purchased a shotgun from Dick’s. If you tried to follow the “reasoning” of the conversation (if not the words actually spoken), it went something like this:

Ed: We sold the bad guy a shotgun. And I said, “We’re done.’”

Reporter: But that wasn’t the gun he used.

Ed: But it could have been.

Reporter: So you were done with shotguns.

Ed: No, we were done with AR-15s.

Reporter: So you sold the bad guy an AR-15, too?

Ed: No, but we could have.

Reporter: So you’re not selling AR-15s or shotguns.

Ed: No, we’re just not selling AR-15s.

Reporter: But you said he could have used a shotgun.

Ed: That’s right.

Reporter: But you’re still selling shotguns.

Ed: That’s right. But we’re not selling AR-15s.

Ed went on to say that he figured at the time his voluntary gun control policies would cost the company about a “quarter of a billion dollars” in losses. He turned out to be right, or pretty close, he noted.

And he continued by explaining that after removing $5 million worth of perfectly good, perfectly lawful semi-automatic rifles from Dick’s inventory, he turned them into scrap metal.

Why?

Because, according to Ed Stack, “If we really think these things should be off the street, we need to destroy them.”

We don’t think Dick’s ever considered just leaving the guns out on the street.

But even if Ed believed that the federally-mandated background check process was an inadequate safeguard to keep the semi-automatic rifles “off of the street,” he had options other than destroying valuable company property at company expense.

He could have, for example, donated the guns to cash-strapped law enforcement agencies across the country. Then they could have been used to help round up real crime guns from real criminals on the street and elsewhere. Maybe Dick’s could have even qualified for a tax deduction.

Instead, for all Ed knows, the scrap metal might just be melted down and repurposed into new semi-automatic rifles for sale by a competitor who defers to the choices of its law-abiding customers, not to the choices of gun control advocates who don’t shop at firearm retailers.

Ed Stack told CBS News the future of gun sales at Dick’s is under “strategic review.” So far, he’s removed all firearms from more than 100 of the company’s 720 stores.

Meanwhile, many gun buyers and Second Amendment supporters have removed all of their business from all of the company’s stores. As Hot Air reports, “Three years ago the company’s stock was trading at 60 bucks per share. This week it’s hovering around 38 dollars.”

 

NRA & Gun Owners Win; Bloomberg / Everytown Lose

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Montana Supreme Court finds localities cannot go rogue and enact extreme gun control. READ MORE

montana legislature

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauds a decision last Thursday by the Montana state Supreme Court protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners in that state. In an NRA-backed case, the justices held, in a 5-0 decision, that the City of Missoula’s attempt to impose extreme gun control measures was a clear violation of state law.

“This is a huge victory for Montana gun owners and everyone who cherishes freedom in Big Sky Country,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The unanimous ruling from Montana’s Supreme Court confirms that politicians cannot usurp a constitutional framework by contemptuously enacting gun control at the local level.”

Montana, like more than 40 other states, has a preemption law restricting local governments from passing gun control measures that are more restrictive than state law. Preemption laws protect law-abiding gun owners from dealing with a confusing patchwork of laws that can make it nearly impossible to carry a firearm for home and self-defense.

The City of Missoula’s gun control ordinance would have criminalized virtually all private firearms transfers in the city, even between relatives, friends, and co-workers.

Earlier this month, in an NRA-backed case, a Washington court similarly ruled that the state preemption law prohibits local governments from regulating the storage of firearms.

The NRA has led the fight to enact state preemption laws across the country to ensure uniformity in state gun laws.

“These cases underscore the peoples’ need for judges who will faithfully interpret the law in defense of their freedom,” Ouimet concluded.

 

Ted Cruz: Corporate Gun Control Is ‘Social Signaling at the Country Club’

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to 145 companies pushing for more gun laws by suggesting corporate gun control is “social signaling at the country club.”

ted cruz

SOURCE: Breitbart, AWR Hawkins

On September 12, Breitbart News reported the GAP, Levi Strauss, Pinterest, Twitter, Yelp, and 140 other companies sent a letter to Congress asking for universal background checks and legislation allowing court orders to seize firearms.

The Hill reports that Cruz responded to the letter while attending a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday. He said, “I don’t think it’s a positive thing to see big corporations shifting their focus from their customers and actually doing what they were created to do into trying to become political players on divisive social issues.”

Cruz observed that the corporate gun control push “is about social signaling at the country club.”

Without revealing the name of the financial institution, Cruz spoke about one bank that removed its name from a gun control push after learning more about what was really going on.

He said, “I will note with at least one of those banks that came out with one of those oh-so-brave corporate letters, when I sat down with their leadership and actually asked them about it, the people who wrote the letter didn’t know the first thing about the substance.”

Cruz said he asked the bank CEO to define/detail an “assault rifle,” and the CEO could not do it.

Cruz then referenced the September 12 letter signed by 145 companies and said, “I promise you the people signing this letter they don’t know any of the details of [the gun controls they are pushing] either.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range.

Veteran Criticizes Police Practices, Gets Guns and Firearm License Seized by Chief of Police

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Watch what you say about local officialdom in Tisbury, Mass., or you may find Police Chief Mark Saloio knocking at your door to revoke your Second Amendment rights.

gun confiscation

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

That’s the harsh lesson 84-year-old Stephen Nichols learned last month when he was overheard criticizing one of Saloio’s employees for leaving his post as a school resource officer to drink coffee at a local convenience store during work hours. Nichols would later explain he couldn’t imagine someone whose job it was to guard kids leaving them defenseless.

Nichols knows a thing or two about fidelity to duty. According to an article in MV Times, he served in the U.S. Army as a Morse Code Specialist during the Korean War era and as a police officer in Tisbury for decades. After his wife died a couple of years ago, Nichols took a job in Tisbury as a crossing guard to stay involved in the community and because, he said, “I love the kids.”

Ironically, it was Nichols’s concern for those kids that caused him to run afoul of Chief Saloio.

As Nichols explained to MV Times, a school resource officer believed to be responsible for the children’s safety would go “to Xtra Mart to get coffee when children came to school in the morning.” He mentioned this to a friend while conversing at a restaurant on Sept. 18. Nichols expressed his concern about this to a friend, worrying that somebody could “shoot up the school” while the officer was away from “his post.”

A waitress at the restaurant overheard the conversation and reported Nichols to the police two days later as potentially threatening the school. “[O]n the strength of that,” according to the MV Times, “Saloio and another officer relieved Nichols of his crossing guard duties while he was in the midst of performing them and subsequently drove to his home and took away his firearms license and guns.”

Nichols indicated the firearm and license seizures occurred without due process or the opportunity to contest the process. There was no paperwork involved in either case, Nichols told MV Times. “No he just told me to hand [the firearm license] over so I took it out of my wallet and handed it to him.” Nichols likewise reported there was no paperwork presented to justify the firearm seizures and no receipts provided for the property that was taken.

Nichols emphatically denied that he meant any threat to children at the school or that he would ever hurt a child. As he explained to MV Times:

When I was in the U.S. Army, and it wasn’t just me, it’s anybody who’s in the U.S. service, if you are on guard duty for eight hours, you didn’t leave that position. … And I’m just so accustomed to that, that when I see someone who’s supposed to be protecting kids … leave the school unguarded — if you’re on guard duty, you stay there.

The friend with whom Nichols shared his concerns, and the owner of the restaurant, both defended Nichols.

The restaurant owner told the MV Times he has known Nichols for decades and called the situation absolutely outrageous.” He acknowledged that one of his restaurant employees “overreacted” to what was said.

Nichols’s friend characterized the city’s reaction as “absurd.” “He loves kids,” the man said. “It’s almost like of all the people …” He added that no one else at the restaurant where Nichols is a regular customer believes him to be a threat.

MV Times said its reporting of the incident “generated social media activity never before seen on the Martha’s Vineyard Times webpages, including links on gun activist and law enforcement pages, and tens of thousands of Facebook hits.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, Nichols has now been reinstated to his crossing guard duties. He said Chief Saloio met with him on Columbus Day, and, without explanation, offered him his job back. Nichols accepted.

The fate of Nichols’s guns and firearm license, however, remain unclear. An attorney who represents Nichols told MV Times confirmed his intent to file an appeal to secure the return of what Chief Saloio seized. Meanwhile, Nichols was informed that his grandson, who manages a Worcester gun shop, is “going to be allowed to come down and take the weapons and sell them for me.” As it stands, Nichols has yet to receive his license or firearms back.

Nothing in the MV Times reporting indicates that Nichols was ever found to be a legitimate threat; Nichols is said to have held a Massachusetts firearm license without incident since 1958, and nothing was ever adjudicated against Nichols by a court of law prior to the seizures of his property. Because there was no proven justification for depriving Nichols of his legally owned firearms, commentators are citing the situation as a cautionary tale against “red flag” firearm seizure laws.

Incredibly, the situation may be more insidious than the commentators suspect.

Even the worst “red flag” laws contemplate the involvement of a disinterested judge or magistrate; someone who would hear some evidence, even at the lowest evidentiary standard, before issuing a confiscation order. But because lawful firearm possession in Massachusetts requires a license, some officials — like Chief Saloio — are growing comfortable with treating your fundamental Second Amendment rights as a privilege to be revoked at their discretion.

This is patently unconstitutional.

Rest assured: The NRA will continue to monitor developments in this case.

Photo Courtesy of Martha’s Vineyard Times/Rich Saltzberg