Category Archives: Gun Rights

Keep Telling Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Two bills recently introduced into Congress are no more than traps for law-abiding gun owners. READ WHY

gun control

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On January 8, two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called “universal” background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is just a small part of what these overbroad pieces of legislation would do.

A vote on this gun control legislation could take place as early as the first weeks of February. Therefore, it is vital that gun owners immediately contact their members of Congress to urge them to oppose this legislation, and that gun owners encourage their freedom-minded family and friends to do the same.

Both bills would make it a crime, subject to certain exceptions, to simply hand a firearm to another person. Any time gun owners carry out this simple act, they would potentially be exposing themselves to criminal penalties. While the bills do create some exceptions, they are overly complicated and create many traps for unwary gun owners. Accidental violations of these complicated provisions are not excused under the proposed legislation.

Ask your Representative and Senators to oppose H.R.8 and S.42. Additionally, you may call your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators using the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

This legislation is not about public safety. These bills attack law-abiding gun owners by placing further burdens on gun ownership and use. For the anti-gun groups and politicians intent on criminalizing the private transfer of firearms, this legislation is just another step in their effort to extinguish America’s vibrant and legitimate gun culture.

Expanded Background Checks Don’t Work
Proponents of so-called “universal” background checks claim that this legislation is the “most important” thing that can be done to stop dangerous people from obtaining firearms. This is a lie. There is no evidence that expanded background checks are useful for this purpose.

Just last year, a study by anti-gun researchers confirmed that expanded background checks in California did not reduce gun homicides or gun suicides.

This finding is consistent with a review of past studies on expanded background checks by the RAND Corporation that found that “evidence of the effect of private-seller background checks on firearm homicides is inconclusive.”

In 2013, the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice researched so-called “universal” background checks and determined that they would be not be effective without further harsh firearms restrictions and efforts to combat straw purchasing.

Criminals are not deterred by background checks. ATF has reported, “[t]he most frequent type of trafficking channel identified in ATF investigations is straw purchasing from federally licensed firearms dealers. Nearly 50 percent …” A Chicago-area inmate explained this reality to researchers from the University of Chicago in relation to Illinois’s stringent firearm licensing regime for a 2015 study, stating, “All they need is one person who got a gun card in the ‘hood’ and everybody got one.”

A 2016 Department of Justice survey of “state and federal prisoners who had possessed a firearm during the offense for which they were serving” found that the most common source of prisoner firearms was “Off the street/underground market.” This was defined as “Illegal sources of firearms that include markets for stolen goods, middlemen for stolen goods, criminals or criminal enterprises, or individuals or groups involved in sales of illegal drugs.” Less than one percent had obtained their firearm from a gun show.

The research confirms that anti-gun members of Congress aren’t interested in actually addressing violent crime; they’re just trying to deflect the blame on law-abiding gun owners. Please use this link to let your elected officials know that you won’t be blamed for the actions of violent criminals. Ask your Representative and Senators to oppose H.R.8 and S.42. Additionally, you may call your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators using the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

 

New Mexico: Governor Lujan Grisham Highlights Gun Control In Opening Day Speech

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Anti-Gun lawmakers respond by considering restrictive firearm bills as early as this Thursday! READ WHY

new mexico

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In her opening day speech to state lawmakers, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham called on them to pass various gun control proposals that she supported on the campaign trail and which have been filed in the New Mexico Legislature. She stated that “hunters, sportsmen and responsible gun owners also recognize the need for New Mexico to take steps toward smart, effective gun violence prevention…”, implying that the gun community supports the restrictive measures outlined below.

While nobody is more adamant about preventing violent crime than gun owners and sportsmen, we know that the way to accomplish this is not through intrusive, ineffective and unenforceable gun control schemes. NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are strongly encouraged to contact Governor Lujan Grisham and tell her that you OPPOSE the bills listed below.

In response to the governor’s call-to-action, the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee is expected to hold public hearings on the following gun control measures on Thursday, January 24, at 1:30pm in Room 317 of the State Capitol. (Note: committee agendas have not been officially posted and we will notify you of any changes in scheduling.)

House Bill 8, so-called “universal background check” legislation sponsored by Representative Debra Sarinana, would ban all private firearms sales between law-abiding individuals. Gun owners will be forced to pay undetermined fees and obtain government approval before selling firearms to family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers, or fellow hunters, competitive shooters and gun club members. This proposal will have no impact on crime and is unenforceable without gun registration.

House Bill 35, by Representative Miguel Garcia, would require federal firearm licensed dealers to pay the state $200 annually to establish a system for the Department of Public Safety to run stolen gun checks on any used firearm an FFL purchases. While FFLs and gun owners support getting stolen firearms off the street, a functional process that allows them to conduct such checks in real time needs to be worked out in advance of any such mandate. And the state, rather than small business owners, should finance such a public safety initiative.

House Bill 40, by Representative Miguel Garcia, would require criminal records checks on private firearms sales at gun shows – a perennial target of the gun control crowd, even though studies show that these events are not a source of crime guns.

House Bill 83, extreme risk protection order or “red flag” legislation sponsored by Representative Damon Ely, would authorize the seizure of firearms and ammunition from individuals without due process. Unchallenged statements made by a petitioner before a judge, alleging that someone is a danger to themselves or others in an ex parte proceeding — prior to any formal court hearing at which the respondent can be represented by counsel and present counter evidence — would be sufficient for law enforcement to enter that person’s home and confiscate their private property.

House Bill 87 by Representative Deborah Armstrong expands the state’s “prohibited person” firearm law by purportedly incorporating federal firearm disqualifications. The bill would prohibit individuals convicted of certain domestic violence misdemeanor crimes or who are subject to a domestic violence protective order from purchasing or possessing a firearm, with violations being a criminal offense. However, the bill goes beyond the prohibited categories in federal law in several significant ways. The state law definition of “household member” — unlike federal law — specifically includes a person who is or has been a continuing personal relationship, which applies to dating or intimate partners who have never lived together. The bill would include, as firearm-prohibiting offenses, nonviolent misdemeanors with no physical contact between the parties (like harassment by telephone or email, or criminal damage to the property or jointly owned property of a “household member”). Unlike federal law, this bill would require anyone subject to a protective order to surrender any firearms they own, possess, or control to law enforcement within 48 hours of the order. Not only does this bill impose a mandatory surrender, it authorizes law enforcement to seize any guns that are in plain sight or are discovered pursuant to a lawful search. Similar legislation had passed the Legislature in 2017 but was vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez. Significantly, the 2017 legislation contained other options for affected parties to comply with the firearm surrender requirement, including storing their guns with licensed firearm dealers, or transferring the guns to a qualified third party. These key alternatives are not contained in this bill.

House Bill 130, sponsored by Representative Linda Trujillo, would make gun owners criminally and civilly liable if a child gains unsupervised access to an unsecured firearm. New Mexico already has a first degree felony child abuse statute on the books to hold adults accountable for putting children’s lives or health at risk in any manner. The tools exist to charge and prosecute parents or guardians in appropriate cases. Education is the key to protecting gun owners and their kids, not a state mandate on how one stores a firearm in his or her home.

 

Washington: Attorney General Introduces Additional Gun Ban Legislation

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

It’s back in full-swing: Two bills filed Saturday in Washington state seek to ban commonly-owned semi-autos. READ IT ALL

washington attorney general

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Just months after pushing for the passage of Initiative 1639 to impose severe regulations on purchasing and possessing semi-automatic firearms, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has now introduced legislation that would outright ban commonly owned semi-automatic firearms with certain features.

Senate Bill 5340, sponsored by Senator Patty Kuderer (D-48), and companion House Bill 1286, sponsored by Representative Strom Petersen (D-21), were filed at the request of the Attorney General. They would ban possession of commonly owned semi-automatic firearms based on certain listed cosmetic features, along with specifically listed firearms and magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. Those who own these firearms and magazines prior to the ban would only be allowed to possess them on their own property and in other limited instances such as at licensed shooting ranges if they are transported unloaded and locked. A violation of this firearm ban would result in a Class C Felony.

This comes in addition to Ferguson’s already introduced legislation to ban standard capacity magazines, Senate Bill 5062 and House Bill 1068, which have both been scheduled for committee hearings next week, along with other gun control bills.

 

Researchers Credit Right to Carry Law With Reduction in Chicago Property Crimes

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Less crime due to criminals weighing gains against the possibility of an armed victim? Sounds like the argument that gun-rights supporters have been making for a long time. READ IT ALL

governor quinn

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In July 2013, the Illinois legislature overrode the veto of then-Governor Patrick Quinn to eliminate the state’s status as the last holdout in refusing to issue concealed-carry permits. In moving from “no-issue” to “shall issue,” law-abiding citizens of the Land of Lincoln were finally able to enjoy the Second Amendment rights affirmed in D.C. v. Heller, McDonald v. Chicago, and Moore v. Madigan. Yet, even while benefitting from armed protection at the expense of taxpayers, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel maintained that “gun control is essential,” and that the new concealed carry law would result in an increase in crime.

Recently, two researchers disproved at least some of Emanuel’s prognostications and added to the growing body of evidence that allowing citizens the right to defend themselves with guns outside their homes can lead to a decrease in crime (see, e.g., here, here, here, and here for examples). Publishing in Applied Economics Letters, Srikant Devaraj and Pankaj Patel (from Ball State University and Villanova University, respectively) used neighborhood-level crime reports from Chicago and Philadelphia during the period January 2006 to December 2015. Their goal was to ascertain the effect of the Illinois concealed carry law on property crimes in Chicago, with the Philadelphia data serving as a “control” comparison over the same term. (Philly was selected because of its similar population density, demographic characteristics, and property crime levels, and because Pennsylvania also is a shall-issue state.)

Using a variation of regression analysis (i.e., zero-inflated negative binomial regression, appropriate when data are counts of an event, occurrence, etc., and having high/frequent occurrence of zeros as values), Devaraj and Patel assessed property crime rates as a function of the availability of permits in Illinois, examining rates prior to the introduction of shall-issue and at three points following the law’s enactment: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, and 1 year or later. Other, potentially important variables for which the researchers controlled were the number of violent crimes; overall time trend; economic recession; whether a crime was reported on the first day of the year or first day of the month (to account for artifacts in record-keeping); and, the city in which the crime was reported.

“The results show[ed] that after the implementation of the ‘shall issue’ CCW law in Chicago, property crimes decreased,” and the reduction continued across all three time intervals. The authors offered several potential explanations for Chicago’s decrease in property crime, not least of which is that concealed carry “may influence the opportunity cost for committing … crimes, as criminals may weigh gains … against higher risk (with the possibility of a victim carrying a firearm)” (Devaraj and Patel, 2018, p. 1128, emphasis added).

Outback Steakhouse: ‘No Rights, Just Rules’

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

G’Day? Not hardly! Outback Steakhouse manager ousts uniformed law enforcement officer and his wife because he refused to leave his gun in his vehicle. READ IT ALL…

outback

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The word “Outback” used to conjure images of Australia’s tenacious frontier spirit; of hunters, ranchers, and other adventurers who carved out a harsh existence from an unforgiving land. Thanks to a decades-long campaign to distance the island nation from certain elements of its rugged heritage and the proliferation of an Australian-themed casual dining restaurant chain, today the word “Outback” is more likely to bring to mind a 3,000 calorie deep-fried onion.

Despite its namesake and decor, culinary critics have long questioned whether Outback Steakhouse offers an authentic Down Under dining experience. However, these detractors should know that in recent years the chain has gone to great lengths to replicate for their guests Australia’s culture of civilian disarmament by prohibiting diners from carrying firearms onto the premises. This commitment to reproducing Australia’s defenseless society is so profound that last month a uniformed law enforcement officer was asked to leave an Outback in Cleveland, Tenn. because he was armed.

The incident occurred when Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Officer Andrew Ward and his wife went to the restaurant for dinner. In a Facebook post, Ward explained:

I was approached by the manager and asked if I would put my gun in my truck. I let her know that I couldn’t because I was in uniform. She then went and made a call and came back and we were asked to leave because Outback is a gun-free zone.

Rightfully disturbed by the encounter, Ward added:

What is this country coming to? A uniformed Law Enforcement Officer who is sworn to protect and serve the public, is refused service because they have a firearm! I am disgusted and have no other words!!!

In an update to his initial post, Ward noted that he was asked to leave after Outback management bent to the will of an unhinged customer. According to Ward, “There was another customer who was ‘scared for her life’… because ‘police are shooting people.’” Ward explained that “the customer went on to demand to be escorted to her vehicle out of fear of being shot.”

Given the decades of statistics showing the law-abiding character of Right-to-Carry permit holders, Outback’s gun free zone policy is foolish. However, that the company would cite their gun-free policy as justification to yield to the ravings of an unreasonable individual to the detriment of a uniformed law enforcement officer is radical.

There is a general consensus that uniformed and ununiformed current and former law enforcement officers should be allowed to carry a firearm for the public benefit. That is why in 2004 Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act (LEOSA). Under LEOSA, current and former law enforcement officers who meet certain basic criteria, such as carrying qualified identification, are permitted to carry a firearm throughout the country.

Showing the strong bipartisan support for this measure, the original legislation, H.R. 218, had 297 co-sponsors in the House of Representative and passed the Senate unanimously. Subsequent changes that have been made to increase the number of officers able to take advantage of this protection have been similarly popular.

Sensing a growing public outrage, Outback reached out to the Wards and offered them a $100 gift card and an apology. Outback’s parent-company, Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., issued a statement to Chattanooga’s WTVC that contended it is not company policy to prohibit law enforcement officers from carrying at their restaurants. The statement went on to blame the incident on the individual restaurant manager.

While the manager might have handled the situation better, Bloomin’ Brands shares some responsibility for creating the irrational gun free zone policy that the employee was forced to interpret. Outback Steakhouse ads have long carried the tagline “Outback: No Rules, Just Right.” In order to better reflect company values and bolster ongoing efforts at authenticity, we submit for consideration, “Outback: No Rights, Just Rules.”

Guns and Taxes

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

David Hogg wants a federal tax on firearms and ammunition. Uh. David… That’s very old news! READ MORE

hogg

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

David Hogg has repeatedly broached the idea of taxing firearms and ammunition, including multiple times on Twitter, and only sometimes suggests a use for the tax revenue. Hogg’s tweets on a federal gun tax include references to implementing the same sort of licensing and permitting requirements as the government requires to drive a car or funding “gun violence” research.

We’ve previously addressed the problem with comparing “gun violence” and motor vehicle accidents or smoking, and the problem with anti-gun research, so we’ll focus exclusively on Hogg’s tax idea.

Except it isn’t Hogg’s idea. The idea of a tax on firearms and ammunition predates Hogg by about a hundred years. A moment on Google would have shown Mr. Hogg as much.

The Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET) was first imposed in 1919. In 1937, the Pittman-Robertson Act directed all revenue from FAET and related excise taxes to be used for hunting-related activities. The FAET includes a 10% tax on the sale price of pistols and revolvers and 11% of the sale price of other firearms and ammunition, and 11% tax on archery equipment. The tax is applied whether or not the equipment is likely to be used for hunting. The U.S. Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau provides an informative reference guide, and the Congressional Research Service compiled a report on the tax and relevant legislative proposals just this past March.

The Pittman-Robertson Act funds acquisition and improvement of wildlife habitat, introduction of wildlife into suitable habitat, research into wildlife problems, surveys and inventories of wildlife problems, acquisition and development of access facilities for public use, and hunter education programs, including construction and operation of public target ranges.

More than $12 billion has been collected under the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, including more than $761 million in fiscal year 2017 alone. Revenues from the tax are placed into the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund and distributed to the states and U.S. territories.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, put together an informative video about how the excise tax supports conservation efforts and an infographic showing how the money collected from under the Act has impacted species. Spoiler alert: the white-tailed deer population went from 500,000 in 1900 to 32 million today, and the waterfowl population grew from few to 44 million. There are similar success stories for other species, all made possible through the excise tax on firearms and ammunition.

The Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax is public information, as is the distribution of funds. Awareness of the tax may be low, but that doesn’t make the tax any less real. More than three-quarters of a billion dollars was collected last year; such an amount does not go unnoticed, particularly by the state wildlife agencies that depend on that funding for research and conservation efforts.

Mr. Hogg and others who want a federal tax on firearms and ammunition, would be well-served by spending a bit of time researching an idea before they start issuing demands.

Gun Controllers Want Credit Card Companies to Monitor and Restrict Lawful Purchases

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Now they’re blaming credit cards for violent crimes… Really! NY Times columnist calls for financial institutions to monitor its customers gun purchases. READ MORE

credit cards

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Gun controllers frustrated that their federal agenda has been repeatedly rejected by Americans through their elected representatives are seeking to restrict gun rights by way of the private financial system. The goal is to pressure financial services companies into either not doing business with the firearms industry and gun owners or to comprehensively surveille their lawful activity.

On December 24, the gun confiscation supporters at the New York Times ran a thinly-veiled advocacy piece by Andrew Ross Sorkin in the news section, titled, “Devastating Arsenals, Bought With Plastic and Nary a Red Flag.” The piece outlined how some of the perpetrators of high-profile mass murders had purchased firearms and ammunition in the same manner that many ordinary law-abiding Americans do, with credit cards.

The online edition of the piece carried the headline “How Banks Unwittingly Finance Mass Shootings,” suggesting that financial services companies were somehow complicit in violence by facilitating the exchange of lawful goods that were ultimately used for criminal purposes. Under such juvenile logic the U.S. Treasury Department should have to answer for all of the unlawful conduct they’ve facilitated by printing dollars and minting coins.

According to the misbranded op-ed, banks and other financial services companies are “uniquely positioned” to monitor gun owner purchasing habits. Under Sorkin’s preferred scenario, credit card companies would require retailers to tag firearms-related purchases with additional data that could be used by the credit card companies to compile information on gun owners. The surveillance data could then be used to flag suspicious purchases for law enforcement.

Moreover, the piece suggests that this data collection could be used to restrict certain types of lawful firearms transactions outright. Sorkin suggested,

Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods this year announced that they would not sell firearms to anyone under 21. If banks chose to use the systems they already have in place, they might decide to monitor such customers, perhaps preventing them from buying multiple guns in a short period of time.

To their credit, when asked for comment by the Times’s advocate, the major financial transaction firms expressed a reluctance to violate the privacy of their law-abiding customers. A Visa spokesperson explained, “We do not believe Visa should be in the position of setting restrictions on the sale of lawful goods or services… Asking Visa or other payment networks to arbitrate what legal goods can be purchased sets a dangerous precedent.” A Mastercard spokesperson added that the transaction company values the privacy of their customers’ “own purchasing decisions.”

Sorkin’s “news article” echoes many of the ideas he advocated in a February 2018 Times commentary. Making clear Sorkin has none of the objectivity on this topic one might have expected from a professional journalist pursuing a news story, the earlier piece overtly advocated for leveraging the private financial system to restrict firearms transactions. Sorkin contended that it would take “leadership and courage” on behalf of the financial services industry in order to implement his private firearms restrictions, which included a plan to eliminate commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms “from virtually every firearms store in America.” Were journalistic ethics as integral to the operation of the legacy press as those institutions purport, Sorkin’s authorship of the more recent item may have drawn interest of a forthright editor, ombudsman, or the Columbia Journalism Review.

The Sorkin article is just part of a wider-ranging effort to attack firearms owners through the financial system. In April 2018, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety expressed their support for increased credit card company surveillance of firearms transactions. Moreover, the anti-gun organization has developed “guidelines” for financial institutions doing business with the firearms industry. Under the guidelines, firearms manufacturers and retailers would be forced to adopt a host of gun control measures in order to do business with financial services providers.

In 2013, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice instituted Operation Chokepoint. Under the program, the DOJ leveraged the power of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to discourage banks from transacting with lawful businesses they deemed to be “associated with high-risk activity,” including members of the firearms industry.

The anti-gun proposals targeting credit card companies should be of grave concern to all gun owners. As the Federal Reserve regularly reports, consumer use of credit and debit cards is growing. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s 2017 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice reported that “[i]n October 2017, the period covered by this DCPC, consumers made most of their payments with cash (30.3 percent of payments), debit cards (26.2 percent), and credit cards (21.0 percent).”

The recent credit card proposals also prompt important questions. Under what a scenario would a gun owner’s purchases be flagged as suspicious or be outright denied? Might the criteria be defined by anti-gun activists to include any volume of firearms-related goods they consider deviant? Gun owners routinely purchase large quantities of firearms products and ammunition for the same reason consumers buy anything in bulk, to save money.

Moreover, gun owners should be aware that any increase in the information that the financial services companies collect may wind up in the federal government’s hands. A June 2013 item in the Wall Street Journal reported that the National Security Agency was scooping large quantities of data from credit card providers. At the time, experts speculated that the NSA would not be able to obtain the exact products an individual purchased, but could see where the purchases were made and the merchant category codes. Changing merchant category code data to be more descriptive is one of the ways control advocates intend to advance their credit card company gun control scheme.

Even those who do not value the right to keep and bear arms but do cherish their other civil liberties should be concerned with the recent credit card transaction proposals. Back in early 2018, when some of these ideas were first floated, Georgetown University Law Professor Adam Levitin pointed out, “There’s a privacy angle here… There’s the slippery slope danger if it’s guns today maybe it is pornography tomorrow and the day after it’s right-wing literature.”

And with even mainstream television fare such as “Friends,” “Seinfeld,” and “The Simpsons” having come under fire by today’s social justice vigilante mob, it’s difficult to imagine any product or service that could be immune from their perpetually outraged sensibilities.

New rules or surveillance procedures imposed by the credit card industry on firearms transactions would have a profound negative effect on gun owners and the firearms industry and pose a broader threat to all liberty-minded Americans. NRA will continue to monitor these efforts and keep our members apprised of any further developments.

No Christmas Truce in the Culture War: Gun Controllers Indoctrinate Kids with Toy Gun Turn-in

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Toy Gun Control? Yep. Maybe the anti-gunners would be better off visiting the Island of Misfit Notions. READ IT ALL

toy gun ban

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

During the Christmas of 1914, some French, British, and German soldiers along World War I’s Western Front informally ceased hostilities in order to celebrate the holiday. The truce offered the combatants a brief moment to celebrate their shared humanity amidst the otherwise ghastly conflict.

No such luck for Americans weary of the United States’ all-consuming culture war. For anti-gun zealots, the Christmas season offers fresh opportunities to mold the next generation of obedient statists.

On December 13, the Village of Hempstead, N.Y. hosted the Long Island Toy Gun Exchange Program, modelled after so-called gun “buybacks” that target real firearms. According to a report from local newspaper Newsday, each child received one politically correct toy in exchange “for whatever water pistols, Nerf guns and other toy guns they turn[ed] in.”

The toys for the turn-in were supplied by local businessman Sean Acosta, who made clear that the program is intended to influence impressionable children against firearm ownership at a young age, with the goal of shifting American public opinion against guns. As reported in the Newsday article:

“It has to start at a young age,” Acosta says of changing gun culture. “If we can get them to say, ‘It’s not cool to carry these toy guns,’ then maybe when they get older, they won’t ever carry a real gun.”

The Newsday report does not indicate that Acosta made any distinction between lawful gun ownership and the criminal misuse of firearms.

This was not the first year Hempstead has hosted this yuletide propaganda effort. In 2015 and 2016, a series of toy gun grabs were organized by Manhattan socialite Jean Shafiroff. At the 2016 iteration, Shafiroff told Newsday her motivation behind the event, stating, “I wanted children to know toy guns are not good toys… By exchanging them for a much better gift, it shows a toy gun is not worth having.”

Toy gun turn-ins have long been a staple of anti-gun activists’ indoctrination efforts, with various types of payouts and foolish spectacle.

In 2010, Providence, R.I. held a Christmastime turn-in where tots were encouraged by the state’s attorney general to toss their toys into a plastic shredder dubbed the Bash-O-Matic, which the Boston Globe described as “a large black, foam creature with churning metal teeth and the shape of a cockroach spliced with a frog.” A 2011 toy turn-in in Buffalo, N.Y. bribed the local children with pizza. When asked about their plans for the pretend ordnance, the Buffalo organizers said they would place the toys in a coffin and bury them as a “symbolic” act.

A 1997 toy gun “buyback” in Rockville, Md. gave children who placed their violent toys in a “peace drum” a new “toy of peace” and asked them to help construct a “Peace Pole.” Another 1997 turn-in at Northern Light School in Oakland, Calif. resulted in a bizarre statue of the ruined toys and the praise of real firearms confiscation advocate Hillary Clinton.

As NRA-ILA has repeatedly pointed out, there is nothing unhealthy about playing with toy guns. In an interview with WebMd.com clinical psychologist and best-selling author Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. stated, “Everyone has an informal causation theory that playing with guns leads to the use of guns in adulthood,” but that, “There’s no scientific evidence suggesting that playing war games in childhood leads to real-life aggression.” The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development notes, “If playful aggression is supported, it is highly beneficial to child development,” and that, “The act of pretending to be aggressive is not equivalent to being aggressive.”

As Acosta pointed out, toy gun turn-ins aren’t about the toys. These events are about conditioning children against all firearm ownership and use. Covering a 1999 toy turn-in in Buffalo, N.Y., a Buffalo News article titled, “Toy gun buyback sends disarming message to young,” reported this fact, noting, “The idea behind the buyback, community leaders said, is to send a message: guns are bad – all guns are bad.”

It’s unfortunate that the deep hatred some have towards America’s legitimate gun culture has compelled them to exploit the Christmas season and impressionable youngsters to score cheap political points. A November 2016 Gallup poll found that 77 percent of U.S. adults thought that “Americans are greatly divided when it comes to the most important values.” Rather than replace a few perfectly good toys, these anti-gun extremists could help provide the entire country what it wants for Christmas, a short respite from the ceaseless political strife, if only they could manage to curb their intolerance for a few brief moments this year.

 

How a Democratic House Will Affect Gun Rights

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

How will a Democrat-controlled House affect your Second Amendment-protected freedom? HERE’S HOW!

gun rights

SOURCE: NSSF, by Larry Keane

Democrats voted overwhelmingly for U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to become Speaker of the House in the new Congress. She promises to make gun control a priority. The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Larry Keane told the Washington Times what we can expect.

Republicans do still hold the Senate by a slim margin and President Donald J. Trump could veto legislation, so gun-control bills passed by the House aren’t likely to become law. Instead, they are more likely to be passed to create political talking points for 2020.

“Expect hearings on taxpayer-funded gun violence research, magazine restrictions, ammunition bans, age-based gun bans, and attempts to outright ban entire classes of firearms,” says Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers.

“Virginia Democratic Congresswoman-elect Jennifer Wexton defeated Rep. Barbara Comstock on a platform that included banning AR-15 modern sporting rifles and standard capacity magazines. She’s just one of several newly elected members of Congress who will be looking to make good on their campaign promises,” says Mr. Keane.

Pittsburgh Mayor Declares Intent to Ban Guns in Violation of State Law

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Under the proposed semi-automatic ban, it would be “unlawful to manufacture, sell, purchase, transport, carry, store, or otherwise hold in one’s possession” a firearm defined as an “assault weapon.” READ IT ALL

pittsburgh mayor

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Last week, we reported that it was likely that sweeping gun control measures would be proposed in Pittsburgh. On December 14 Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto held a press conference to propose a trio of anti-gun city ordinances that, if enacted, would constitute a direct violation of Pennsylvania’s state firearms preemption law and Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent. At the event, Peduto was joined by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who benefitted from $500,000 in spending from Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety during his 2018 re-election bid, and City Council members Corey O’Connor and Erika Strassburger.

Not content to spearhead his own city’s violation of state law, Peduto called for municipalities throughout the country to ignore state statutes duly enacted by their residents’ elected representatives. A press release from the mayor’s office chronicling the conference explained, “Mayor Peduto has asked cities around the country to support Pittsburgh’s measures and/or introduce similar legislation to create nationwide momentum behind the critically needed gun changes.”

Councilmember O’Connor, who purportedly authored the anti-gun proposals, took a similar tack, stating that Pittsburgh “must seize the opportunity to make a real difference by partnering with other municipalities in the Commonwealth and cities across America to enact” gun restrictions. Councilmember Strassburger also encouraged the municipal lawlessness, stating, “I hope more cities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the entire nation will join Pittsburgh in this critical effort.”

The three legislative proposals are a total ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, a total ban on several types of common firearms accessories and standard capacity magazines, and the development of a procedure to confiscate an individual’s firearms without due process of law.

The legislation defines “assault weapon” by listing several models of commonly owned semi-automatic firearms, including the Colt AR-15 and certain configurations of the Ruger Mini-14. Moreover, the legislation goes on to add to the definition of “assault weapon” semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns that meet a certain set of criteria.

The prohibition criteria for rifles is the following:

a. The firearm is a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following:

i. A folding or telescoping stock;

ii. A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

iii. A bayonet mount;

iv. A flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and

v. A grenade launcher;

Pistols would be judged under the following criteria:

b. The firearm is a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least two of the following:

i. An ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;

ii. A threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip or silencer;

iii. A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned;

iv. A manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and

v. A semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm;

The following shotguns would banned:

c. The firearm is a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least two of the following:

i. A folding or telescoping stock;

ii. A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

iii. A fixed magazine capacity in excess of five rounds; and

iv. An ability to accept a detachable magazine;

The legislation would also prohibit the possession of machine guns lawfully registered under the National Firearms Act.

The legislative proposal targeting common firearms accessories would ban the possession of firearms magazines “that [have] the capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.” The ordinance would also ban any semi-automatic centerfire rifle that can accept a detachable magazine and is equipped with either a pistol grip, thumbhole stock, folding or telescoping stock, or a forward pistol grip (among other items).

Both pieces of legislation impose severe penalties on those who refuse to submit to the city’s unlawful mandates. Those who do not comply “shall be fined $1,000 and costs for each offense, and in default of payment thereof, may be imprisoned for not more than 90 days.” Moreover, the proposals provide that “[e]ach day of a continuing violation of or failure to comply … shall constitute and separate and distinct offense.” Meaning that otherwise law-abiding individuals who fail to comply with the ordinances would face potential financial ruin.

The final proposal would empower law enforcement to search for and confiscate an individual’s firearms without due process. Acting on merely a petition offered by a law enforcement official or family or household member a court could issue an order for an individual’s firearms to be seized. The individual would have no opportunity to speak or present evidence on their own behalf prior to confiscation.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has made clear that firearms laws are a state matter and that it is unlawful for the state’s political subdivisions to regulate firearms. 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6120, concerning the “Limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition,” states:

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.

The language of the statute is crystal clear. Municipalities like Pittsburgh may not pass their own firearms regulations.

However, the simple statute wasn’t simple enough for the reading challenged lawmakers of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

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.

Another portion of the opinion described Pittsburgh’s position as “frivolous.”

In the 2009 case National Rifle Association v. Philadelphia, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania came to the same conclusion after Philadelphia ignored the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s 1996 ruling and enacted a ban on commonly-owned firearms and a lost or stolen reporting ordinance. Citing Pennsylvania’s firearms preemption statute and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s decision in Ortiz, the Commonwealth Court struck down the local firearms ordinances. Philadelphia appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and was denied.

In pursuing their local gun control ordinances, Peduto and his anti-gun allies have demonstrated an extraordinary indifference to state law, judicial precedents, and the taxpaying constituents who will foot the bill for this political grandstanding. NRA stands ready to use all available legal avenues to ensure that the residents of Pittsburgh are never subject to these unconstitutional and unlawful proposals.