Category Archives: Gun Rights

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dies; Is ‘Heller’ Now In Danger?

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United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of the Court’s landmark Second Amendment decision Heller v. District of Columbia, has died at age 79. Scalia was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.

Reports the San Antonio Express-News:

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.

Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Saturday at a luxury resort in West Texas, Scalia was 79.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Saturday at a luxury resort in West Texas, Scalia was 79.

According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

In a statement, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism. And he authored some of the most important decisions ever, including District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized our fundamental right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms….”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement Saturday afternoon, calling Scalia a man of God, a patriot and an “unwavering defender of the written Constitution.”

“He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution,” Abbott said. “We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”

President Obama has said he will try to name a Supreme Court successor to Scalia immediately. Should the Senate try to block such a move? Let us hear your strategy in the comments section below.

Law Shield Responds to Facebook’s Anti-Gun-Sales Announcement

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U.S. Law Shield and Texas Law Shield, the largest legal-self-defense membership organizations in the country with more than 170-thousand members, responded to social-media-giant Facebook’s recent announcement that it is shutting down gun sales by individuals. Please see Midsouth Shooters Supply’s previous coverage of Facebook’s decision here.

US Law Shield Logo x 72 ppi“U.S. Law Shield and Texas Law Shield lawyers have reviewed Facebook’s recent announcement and the related media coverage, and have concluded that because Facebook is a private social website, it can have whatever policies it would like,” said Edwin Walker, a program attorney for U.S. Law Shield and Texas Law Shield based in Houston. “However, this action does speak to the general lack of knowledge about how legal gun sales, even by private individuals, are actually consummated in the United States.”

Walker quoted an Associated Press story describing Facebook’s move: “Facebook has announced a new policy barring private individuals from advertising or selling firearms on the world’s largest social network. The new policy applies also to Facebook’s photo-sharing service Instagram… Facebook had announced some restrictions on gun sales and advertising in 2014, saying it would block minors from seeing posts that advertised guns. But the social network did not ban private sales at that time… Also, licensed firearms retailers can still promote their businesses on Facebook, but they aren’t allowed to accept orders or make sales on the site.”

Walker said, “Anti-gun-rights groups, such as the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence, who are quoted in the AP story, claim that ‘it’s too easy for anyone to buy any gun they want online without a NICS background check.’ In reality it is quite difficult, if you follow existing federal and state law.”

Walker explained that if individuals were to contact each other on Facebook or any other social-media system, a “sale” cannot be completed online — because the product cannot be delivered without the buyer going through a background check, in the vast majority of cases.

Walker pointed out that some elements of a transaction can occur — product description, promotion, price negotiation, even funds transfer. However, the firearm cannot be delivered to the buyer, unless both buyer and seller can meet face to face and are residents of the same state.

Otherwise, Walker explained, “If a gun goes into the UPS, Fedex, or U.S. Post Office delivery systems, it has to identified and shipped to a designated Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). The receiving FFL is then required by federal law to run a NICS background check on the buyer, who must complete an ATF Form 4473, before the firearm can be physically delivered. An FFL would never risk his or her license, livelihood, and freedom by failing to do so. It’s already a felony for an FFL dealer not to run a NICS check prior to delivery, except in very limited circumstances, such as when the new buyer has a state-issued handgun license or permit that has been pre-approved by the ATF.”

“Effectively, the new Facebook policy is nothing more than a business regulating what happens on its premises,” Walker said. “Facebook is a private business, and we respect its ability to manage the business as the owners decide. So if they don’t want guns mentioned in commerce on their social-media platform, that’s their prerogative. But let’s be clear that what Facebook is actually regulating with this new policy is speech, pure and simple. The actual act of selling a firearm is highly regulated, even for private individuals. Facebook is only shutting down conversations between individuals because the subject matter is about guns, and nothing more.”

About U.S. Law Shield and Texas Law Shield

The U.S. Law Shield and Texas Law Shield Firearms Legal Defense Program is dedicated to preserving 2nd Amendment rights for all legal gun owners and ensuring legal representation for our members who ever have to use a firearm or any other lawful weapon in self-defense. Click for more information on USLawShield.com and Texaslawshield.com., or learn more at a GunLawSeminar.com.

Facebook To Ban Private Gun-Sale Conversations

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Facebook has announced it will no longer allow private gun-sale negotiations to take place on its social-media platform.
Facebook has announced it will no longer allow private gun-sale negotiations to take place on its social-media platform.

Facebook has announced a change in its Community Standards that will ban negotiations of private sales of guns on its social network and Instagram, its photo-sharing service. Licensed gun dealers and gun clubs can still maintain Facebook pages and post on Instagram.

The updated language under Facebook’s Regulated Goods tab reads, “We prohibit any attempts by unauthorized dealers to purchase, sell, or trade prescription drugs, marijuana, or firearms. If you post an offer to purchase or sell alcohol, tobacco, or adult products, we expect you to comply with all applicable laws and carefully consider the audience for that content. We do not allow you to use Facebook’s payment tools to sell or purchase regulated goods on our platform.”

Although Facebook was not directly involved in gun sales, it previously allowed gun sales to be negotiated. The new policy supposedly arose because the company is expanding e-commerce on the site, including allowing users of its Messenger service to send electronic payments to other individual users.

Facebook spokeswoman Monika Bickert, who oversees the company’s product policies, said in a statement,

“Over the last two years, more and more people have been using Facebook to discover products and to buy and sell things to one another. We are continuing to develop, test, and launch new products to make this experience even better for people and are updating our regulated goods policies to reflect this evolution.”

The company did not highlight the substantial legal safeguards built into delivery of firearms whose prices were negotiated online and then paid for. Facebook is based in Menlo Park, California.

Is curtailing private guns sales on Facebook a big deal to you? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below:

Virginia Reciprocity Agreements May Be Renewed

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The Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc., (VCDL), an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization defending the right to keep and bear arms in the state, released a statement regarding the pending cancellation of carry reciprocity with 25 other states. Most important: The just-passed February 1, 2016 cutoff date for dropping recognition of 25 states has been extended to March 1.

Click here to read our previous coverage.

VCDL reported that there is a package deal in the works between Governor McAuliffe and the Republicans in the General Assembly dealing with 1) concealed handgun permit (CHP) reciprocity, 2) voluntary background checks at gunshows, and 3) those subject to a permanent domestic violence protection order.

VCDL-logoThe VCDL release said, “To many CHP holders, CHP reciprocity is a HUGE deal, especially if they travel out-of-state regularly and want to be able to carry discretely. For example, there is no solution to carrying in South Carolina if we don’t have an agreement between our two states.”

Gunowners should know the deal is still in the works, and there is no absolute guarantee this will become law — but there’s a reasonably good chance it will.

There are three components that make up the deal, each component represented by matching bills in the House and in the Senate.

1: Reciprocity Details

Virginia will honor the carry permits from all states, VCDL reported. “This is considerably better than current law and something VCDL has been trying to get for at least seven years now,” the release said.

Because Virginia will honor all other states, Virginia CHPs will be recognized by all the states affected by the reciprocity cancellation, plus three new states will be given reciprocity status: New Hampshire, Georgia, and Colorado.

Further, going forward, the State Police and the attorney general will have no say in the new law. If another state requires a formal agreement to honor Virginia CHPs, the new law requires the attorney general to enter into any such agreement.

It’s important to recognize that reciprocity does not mean equal treatment inside all other states, VCDL said. For example, someone from New York will be able to carry in Virginia, but a Virginia resident won’t be able to carry in New York, unless New York is willing to enter into a reciprocal agreement with Virginia.

2: Voluntary gun-show background checks

Background checks for a private sale are completely voluntary. The State Police shall be at every gun show in Virginia, by law. The gun show promoter shall notify the State Police of the location and times of the gun show at least 30 days in advance, shall provide a free location for the police to set up, and shall have signs letting attendees know of the voluntary background checks at the State Police booth. The State Police may charge a reasonable fee. If a background check is run, the seller receives some special legal protections that are currently not available for private sales. If a background check is not run, the seller doesn’t have any more, or any less, legal protections than under current law.

For those gun owners who would feel safer selling a gun to someone who has had a background check, this provides a new option, in addition to the current option of either asking if the person has a CHP or going through the more laborious and expensive route of letting an FFL do the transfer. It also has no effect on private sales conducted anywhere outside of gun shows, where this voluntary option is not provided.

3: Persons subject to a permanent domestic violence protection order cannot possess firearms until the order expires.

The only permanent protection order this restriction applies to is one for domestic violence and nothing else. VCDL said, “The subject of the protection order must have had his day in court along with any legal counsel. Temporary protection orders do not affect possession of firearms.”

For further effects of the deal, click the following links:

McAuliffe’s Cave On Concealed Carry In VA Suggests Problems For Clinton in Iowa

Five things that (kind of) explain McAuliffe’s gun deal with Republicans

Everytown For Gun Safety Comes Unglued Over Terry McAuliffe’s Gun Control Reversal

Sour Grapes: Gun Control Advocates Feel ‘Betrayed’ Over McAuliffe Reversal On Carry Rights

Governor, GOP call gun deal a bipartisan win, but gun-safety activists unconvinced

Gun control advocates slam usual ally McAuliffe on gun deal

GUN-SHOW LOOPHOLE: NOT

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Conservative pundit and comedian Steven Crowder wanted to see how easy it is to purchase automatic rifles, which some liberal politicians and celebrities have claimed is a walk in the park. Also, he tried to buy semi-auto rifles without a background check, which anti-gun forces have said is possible. He then featured the undercover stunt on his web-based series Louder With Crowder. Click the video below to see how he failed spectacularly:

HILLARY ENDORSES OBAMA FOR SUPREME COURT SEAT

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On the campaign trail recently, Hillary Clinton said she thinks it would be a “great idea” for Barack Obama to serve on the high court. The most recent Second Amendment cases at the U.S. Supreme Court have been decided by a 5-4 vote. Would a Justice Obama tip the ideological balance of SCOTUS against gun rights?

Taya Kyle Addresses POTUS at Town Hall.

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Last night President Barack Hussein Obama took to the airwaves yet again, to repeat his rhetoric on gun control at a town hall style meeting with press and commentators. The president has stood by his agenda from day one, but decided in the last few remaining months of his presidency to make it an issue worth politicizing for liberal gains at the polls in 2016.

Taya Kyle, widow of war hero Chris Kyle, challenged Obama openly at the town hall. Please take a moment to watch the clip below.

There are several issues here, but let’s break down what you’re seeing here:

Firstly, you stand up. Stand up and address the lady. It’s taken up till now for the president to even acknowledge Taya or Chris Kyle, and offer a word of thanks. He didn’t stand to do this. He didn’t shake her hand. A hug may have been a bit much for some, but it wouldn’t have been off the table. It may be my upbringing that causes me to take offense to any man that treats another person this way. He’s an elected official who’s protected because of what he is, not who he is. This does not give him the right to disrespect anyone, especially the widow of a hero who died helping those who’ve given so much for their country.

Taya Kyle made excellent points on how the media is causing terror by using this current administrations agenda against the general public. People are scared, and the likelihood of anything violent happening to them now is remote. You wouldn’t know that by the way our media, and current administration sensationalizes the acts of the mentally unstable or the criminally driven, but they’re good statistics, nonetheless.

Secondly, the president is a broken record when it comes to his agenda, and he will not deviate from that agenda. In his mind Guns=bad, Gun Control=good.

Here’s his false narrative on that. The president says:

“The fact of the matter is that violent crime has been steadily declining across America for a pretty long time. And you wouldn’t always know it from watching television.” (this part is true, and it weirds me out to think that he admitted to something backed by fact) “Now, I challenge the notion that the reason for that is that there is more gun ownership. Because if you look at the where the areas are with the highest gun ownership, those are the places that the crime hasn’t dropped down that much,” (nope, that’s just false, or they are areas with low crime already, i.e. New Hampshire) “and the areas with the greatest amount of gun control, gun deaths are down.” (It must be amazing to be able to disregard entire cities like Chicago, Baltimore, and Detroit. The overall total of gun deaths may be down from years past, but they are still the largest hot spots for gun violence today in the U.S.A.)

The president went on to tell a single mother of two, also a survivor of rape, that he wouldn’t make it harder for her to arm herself for protection, but goes on to contradict himself further by telling the next questioner that he would make obtaining a weapon more difficult for everyone by doing whatever he could to increase the prices of firearms, therefor making them harder to obtain.

It seems that this administration will continue with its impotent agenda, while trying to remain as divisive as possible, in hopes that they can scare the ignorant voter into showing up at the poles for protection, and more “free” stuff.

Please feel free to express your opinions in the comments (no foul language please), but also remember that you are not alone in your sentiments on gun control. Remember that Taya Kyle voiced her thoughts to the President of the United States, and all he could do was stammer his memorized statement. He didn’t cry this time, though.

Are Obama’s New Actions on Gun Sales ‘Legally Meaningless’?

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Many Midsouth Shooter Supply customers have asked us what the likely effects of President Obama’s recently announced executive actions will be, and because we’re not lawyers, we’ve been reluctant to forecast the outcomes of the president’s initiatives and tearful press conference. However, one lawyer, Case Western University School of Law Professor Jonathan H. Adler, wrote on the Washington Post’s The Volokh Conspiracy Opinion blog Jan. 5 that President Obama’s recently announced executive actions will likely have no effect on gun laws.

In Adler’s post, “New ATF guidance on gun sales is legally meaningless (or else it would be unlawful),” the professor lays out the legal reasoning why gun owners needn’t get too exercised about Obama’s “series of executive branch actions (not executive orders) that are supposed to reduce the threat of gun violence.”

Adler writes, “Taken at face value, the new ATF guidance [contained in the White House’s action list] is thus nothing more than a restatement of existing legal requirements. Put another way, it merely identifies those who are already subject to the relevant federal requirements and does not in any way expand the universe of those gun sellers who are required to obtain a license and perform background checks. In other words, it is — as the document says — a guidance, and not a substantive rule. It has no legal effect.”

The BATFE publishes a booklet to help you understand when a Federal Firearms License is required under federal law.
The BATFE publishes a booklet to help you understand when a Federal Firearms License is required under federal law.

Adler asks rhetorically, “If the ATF guidelines are nothing more than a guidance — an indication of the sorts of things that might trigger a federal investigation or prosecution, but not a tightening of the relevant legal standard — why would the administration do this?” He posits four potential reasons:

1: “… guidance documents are often useful insofar as they explicate relevant legal standards and (as the name implies) provide guidance to the regulated community. Such documents can help people know when they are subject to specific legal requirements.”

2: “… the administration hopes to “chill” marginal gun sales.”

3: “… to respond to the political demand for action.”

4: “… issuing a guidance is relatively quick and easy.”

In the event ATF gets challenged in court about any actions it might take as a result of the administration’s executive actions, Adler writes, “The first question a court will consider is whether the ATF document is, in fact, a guidance. The administration will argue that it is, as this is the best way to make a legal challenge go away. But in arguing that the ‘guidance’ is a guidance, the administration will also be conceding that the document has no legal effect and that it does not require anything that is not already required under federal law.”

Click here to see BATFE’s existing brochure, “Do I need a license to buy and sell firearms?”, available as a downloadable PDF.

What concerns you about the proposed Obama gun actions?  That you’ll be declared to be “in the business” because you sell a gun to a friend?  Tell us your worries in the comments section below.

Reaction to President Obama’s Executive Actions on Guns

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On January 5, 2016, President Obama spoke from the White House on the additional steps he’s taking to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to buy and sell firearms. Video from the press conference is below. The president begins speaking about 4 minutes 30 seconds into the video. Reactions to his proposals from gunowner’s rights supporters follow below the video. Want to join in? Leave your insights in the comments section below:

President Obama is obsessed with undermining the 2nd Amendment.

— Marco Rubio(@marcorubio) January 5, 2016

President Obama’s executive orders will do nothing to improve public safety. #2A #fact

— NRA (@NRA) January 5, 2016

Obama just gave communist china as an example of good gun control He wonders why Americans think he doesn’t believe in the second amendment

— Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) January 5, 2016

Obama’s Executive Actions on Guns Will Help . . . Obama

What kind of well-thought-out criteria will the government use to determine that somebody is a firearms dealer under federal law?

“That’s it, really?” the NRA’s Jennifer Baker told The New York Times on Monday night. “They’re not really doing anything.”

Obama has openly supported Australian-style gun confiscation so his insistence that he doesn’t want to take people’s guns is quite odd

— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) January 5, 2016

I do admire the pure cynicism of Obama here. He knows this is a completely empty gesture and yet he produced real tears. A+ work.

— Conn Carroll (@conncarroll) January 5, 2016

Fight back against @BarackObama‘s unconstitutional #2A executive actions! #ComeAndTakeIt https://t.co/I8x387Rvii pic.twitter.com/w0HfFtScnD

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 5, 2016

Obama lists Fort Hood and San Bernardino terror attacks as examples of gun violence. Disgusting #StopGunViolence

— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) January 5, 2016

Obama says we shouldn’t impugn each other’s motives, then continues to imply you want dead children if you oppose his gun control agenda

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) January 5, 2016

Proposed Executive Actions on Gun Control

Once again, President Obama has chosen to engage in political rhetoric, instead of offering meaningful solutions to our nation’s pressing problems.  Today’s event also represents an ongoing attempt to distract attention away from his lack of a coherent strategy to keep the American people safe from terrorist attack. — Executive Director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, Chris W. Cox, regarding President Barack Obama’s Executive Gun Control Order.

Gee, how did this issue gets so partisan, asks the guy who says gun owners are awful people who want to see more crime.

— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) January 5, 2016

Obama’s Gun Speech Sprinkled With Inaccuracies, Distortions

Unfortunately, the president left out most hard details on what he actually plans to have his officials do.

Eroding civil liberties, especially in America, takes time, President Obama warns.

— Tim Carney (@TPCarney) January 5, 2016

“Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns.” —@POTUS #StopGunViolence pic.twitter.com/TY1rxMObms

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 5, 2016

Two-thirds of those were suicides. Quite odd to bemoan method of suicide rather than suicide itself. https://t.co/OPyC5DrGDk

— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 5, 2016

The CRYING GAME: Obama Lies, Cries His Way Through Anti-Gun Speech

We’ve seen some truly horrific acts of dishonesty over the years from President Barack Obama, and his overly-emotional, theatrics filled speech promoting his Administration’s anti-gun executive orders (dissected earlier) was perhaps his deplorable performance yet.

“Fort Hood Binghamton Aurora Oak Creek Newtown The Navy Yard Santa Barbara Charleston San Bernardino Too many.” —@POTUS #StopGunViolence

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 5, 2016

So, once again, the president is selling his policies by pointing to incidents and people that don’t even intersect with them. Bizarre.

— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) January 5, 2016

When Obama says “mass violence” he’s being extremely disingenuous. Homicides down more than 50% since 1992

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) January 5, 2016

Executive Actions on Guns Will Have No Effect on Crime – They Serve Only to Intimidate Law-Abiding Gun Owners

After years of unsuccessful attempts to pass gun control laws, President Obama has chosen to do an end run around Congress with executive actions.

“This is not that complicated. The reason Congress blocks laws is they want to win elections” @POTUS says on gun rights fight

— Juliet Eilperin (@eilperin) January 5, 2016

This is as close to an admission of the widespread unpopularity of gun control as Obama will ever get. https://t.co/xUWTc8YXCk

— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 5, 2016

Obama’s Gun-Control Plan Includes Gun-Ban For Some Social Security Beneficiaries

One aspect of the new controls is the inclusion of “information from the Social Security Administration in the background check system about beneficiaries who are prohibited from possessing a firearm.”

Why Are Existing Federal Gun Laws Not Enforced?

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NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre says in the video below, “President Obama has all the laws he needs to stop the bloodshed now.” Then LaPierre goes on to recount how federal law enforcement of existing gun laws is practically nonexistent, and if the Department of Justice won’t prosecute gun illegalities as it is, why does Obama ask for more restrictions on gun sales? What’s your opinion?