Category Archives: Law

State of Ignorance: California Pushes False Information to School Kids on the Second Amendment

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California continues to try to limit constitutional rights. READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

As an incorporated provision of the United States Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is the supreme law of the land, applying to all U.S. jurisdictions and to the actions of federal, state, and local officials. The U.S. Supreme Court provides the final and authoritative interpretation of that provision, as well as other provisions of the U.S. Constitution. All of this is elementary civics.

But the State of California believes it knows better, requiring publisher McGraw-Hill to annotate a discussion of the Bill of Rights in a popular social studies textbook with the state’s own peculiar view of the Second Amendment’s meaning.

According to pictures from the California edition in the New York Times, the annotation states:

Right to Bear Arms

This amendment is often debated. Originally it was intended to prevent the national government from repeating the actions of the British, who tried to take weapons away from the colonial militia, or armed forces of the citizens. This amendment seems to support the right of citizens to own firearms, but the Supreme Court has ruled it does not prevent Congress from regulating the interstate sale of weapons.

The Times article goes on to state that the publisher “said it had created the additional wording on the Second Amendment and gun control for the California textbook.” The same language, however, does not appear in a national version of the same section, according to the Times report.

The point of the New York Times article is to suggest that different states emphasize different aspects of U.S. history in otherwise similar textbooks, depending on the prevailing political outlook among the state’s education officials.

Whatever might be said of that approach, the problem with California’s account of the Second Amendment isn’t just one of emphasis but of accuracy. California, which prides itself on being one of the most anti-gun states in the nation, simply gets it wrong, using language that falsely portrays the Second Amendment as a “debated” provision that has changed meaning over time and that only “seems” to protect an individual right.

Any “debate” about the Second Amendment’s protection of an individual right have been authoritatively settled by the U.S. Supreme Court: The Second Amendment protects “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” independent of service in an organized militia. That fact was unambiguously articulated in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008.

That decision, moreover, was based on the public understanding of the Second Amendment at the time it was ratified. In other words, not only was the Second Amendment an individual right as of 2008, it has always been an individual right. As the Supreme Court noted, “virtually all interpreters of the Second Amendment in the century after its enactment interpreted the Amendment as we do.” It is false to suggest, as the California textbook does, that it originally meant something different and then somehow changed meaning in 2008.

Regarding the prefatory militia clause, the Supreme Court took pains to explain the difference between the justification for including the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights and the scope and substance of that right.

“The debate with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, as with other guarantees in the Bill of Rights, was not over whether it was desirable (all agreed that it was) but over whether it needed to be codified in the Constitution,” the court wrote. What justified its codification was “the threat that the new Federal Government would destroy the citizens’ militia by taking away their arms … .” But, the court noted, the prefatory militia clause announcing the reason for the right’s codification “does not limit or expand the scope of the operative clause.”

That scope, meanwhile, included using arms for “self-defense and hunting,” with self-defense being “the central component of the right itself,” according to the Supreme Court.

The California textbook also misconstrues what the term “militia” meant to the founding generation at the time of the Second Amendment’s enactment. It wasn’t just a discrete, organized military force, the court explained, but members of the population “physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense,” whether they were mustered in that capacity or not. Thus, the terms “militia” and “the people” are not at odds with each other in the Second Amendment. The people, with their own arms, are the basis of the militia. To protect the peoples’ private right to arms is therefore to protect the militia’s ability to muster with arms and to preserve its viability.

As for Congress’ ability to regulate the interstate sale of weapons, the Supreme Court indicated in Heller that “laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms” are part of the “longstanding” history and tradition of the Second Amendment, and are thus “presumptively lawful.” That does not mean, however, that every such law trumps the amendment’s protections, especially if there is no longstanding precedent for it.

In any event, the Supreme Court has yet to hear a case that pits the Second Amendment against the Commerce Clause, and it explicitly reserved that and other questions for later consideration. “[S]ince this case represents this Court’s first in-depth examination of the Second Amendment, one should not expect it to clarify the entire field,” the court wrote. “[T]here will be time enough to expound upon the historical justifications for the exceptions we have mentioned if and when those exceptions come before us.”

California likes to emphasize how it sees things differently than the rest of the United States. That’s why common consumer products come with warnings that they include substances “known to the State of California” to pose various hazards, including cancer or birth defects. So numerous are these warnings that people at this point are most likely to ignore them as sensational and unreliable.

The state’s students would be wise to take the same approach to official state pronouncements about firearms and the Second Amendment.

California, as the saying goes, is entitled to its opinions. But it’s not entitled to its own facts.

And when it comes to the Second Amendment, the facts are different than the opinions expressed in the California-specific version of McGraw-Hill’s social studies textbook.

Activist Wilma Mankiller is quoted as saying, “Whoever controls the education of our children controls our future.”

Year after year California chips away at the Second Amendment with its ever-expanding gun control regime.

If this continues unabated, the right to keep and bear arms will effectively be nullified for future generations of Californians.

What’s worse – if California’s educational bureaucrats have their way – is that those generations will be too ignorant of their liberties to even understand what has been taken from them.

Our advice to these students is to exercise their First Amendment rights to learn and speak the truth, and as soon as they are able, exercise the right to vote in favor of those who respect their fundamental liberties, rather than those who try to write them out of history.

Trump Jr Blasts FL Republican Bill Galvano Over Past Support From Anti-Gun Extremist Bloomberg

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Donald Trump Jr. slammed incoming Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, a Republican, for siding with extreme anti-Second Amendment advocate and communist China sympathizer Michael Bloomberg. READ MORE

SOURCE: DailyWire.com by Ryan Saavedra

Last Friday, Breitbart Second Amendment columnist AWR Hawkins called attention to two massive contributions totaling $500,000 that Bloomberg’s far-left group Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund gave to Galvano’s political committee, the Innovate Florida committee, after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018.

Galvano responded to the contribution by saying in September 2018 that he “will make no apologies” for supporting gun control championed by Bloomberg, and said that he was “grateful for the support” from Bloomberg’s group.

In a statement to The Daily Wire, Trump Jr. slammed Galvano for siding with Bloomberg, who is running for president as a Democrat and on the issue of stripping Americans of their Second Amendment rights.

“Any supposed ‘Republican’ who proudly accepts money from Mini Mike Bloomberg and is supportive of his gun control agenda is nothing more than a stone cold RINO,” Trump Jr. told The Daily Wire. “The last thing Florida Republicans need is a liberal, gun-grabbing Bloomberg minion leading them in the State Senate.”

Andrew Pollack, who lost his daughter in the Parkland tragedy, slammed Galvano in a tweet, writing: “Democrats exploited the murder of my daughter. I never imagined a Republican would do the same, but that’s exactly what Bill Galvano did. He took $500,000 from Bloomberg & tried to reinstate disgraced Sheriff Scott Israel This boils my blood! #FixIt”

SEE TWEET

In a separate tweet, Pollack highlighted the money that Galvano got from Bloomberg’s far-left group, writing: “Florida Senate President @BillGalvano is bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg. He’s accepted over $500k from Bloomberg’s anti-gun PAC. He’s constantly working against Governor Desantis and the Republican Party. He’s a RINO #FixIt”

SEE TWEET

The past donations from Bloomberg’s far-left group to Galvano garnered attention because Galvano led a Senate panel this last week to ram through Bloomberg’s gun control agenda in Florida.

News 4 Jax reported: A Senate panel Monday unanimously signed off on a far-reaching measure that would close the gun-show “loophole,” create a record-keeping system for private gun sales and set aside $5 million to establish a “statewide strategy for violence prevention.” The proposal (SB 7028) is a priority of Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, as evidenced by the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee’s consideration and passage of the measure the day before the 2020 legislative session begins.

The sweeping legislation would require background checks and a three-day waiting period for firearms sold “on property to which the public has the right of access,” such as “a flea market, a gun show, or a firearm exhibit.” The measure would also mandate that guns be securely stored in households and other places where minors under age 18 — up from the current threshold of 16 — could have access to the weapons.

Former NRA President Marion P. Hammer responded at the time by indicating that Galvano betrayed those who voted for him, saying, “Looks like our Second Amendment Rights were sold for a large contribution from anti-gun former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”

Hammer said that the gun control bill advocated for by Galvano this week, SB-7028, was “the worst I have ever seen” and “is clearly meant to simply ban all private sales of firearms through red tape and fear.”

“This bill contains so much red tape and nonsense that there is almost no way a law-abiding person could comply,” Hammer continued. “The only thing we know for sure is that this bill will only stop law-abiding people from exercising a constitutional right, and it will be completely ignored by criminals.”

“Voting in favor of this bill is like a doctor giving a patient an antibiotic for a virus. The doctor knows an antibiotic won’t cure the illness, but at least he can make people think he’s ‘doing something,’” Hammer added. “Supporting a bill so you can say you’re doing something is ‘political eyewash.'”

 

Alert!

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Florida REPUBLICAN Senators Vote for Massive Gun Control Bill. READ MORE

Senate President Bill Galvano

SOURCE: NRA-ILA, from Marion P. Hammer USF Executive Director and NRA Past President

On Monday, 1/13/20, it happened again. Senate President Bill Galvano picked a fight with Floridians who believe in the constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It is well known — even by the media — that in 2018 Bill Galvano orchestrated the creation and passage of the “Parkland Gun Control Bill.” And, of course, it didn’t stop gun crime or criminals. It only took away rights of law-abiding people.

So now, he’s back for more gun control and it appears likely that Bloomberg’s $500,000.00 “donation” to Senate President Bill Galvano is behind yet another Galvano gun control bill — SB-7028 — an admitted priority of Galvano.

All but one of the Republican Senators on the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee put Galvano’s wishes ahead of principle, the Constitution, their Oath of Office and YOU, their constituents, and voted for a gun control bill.

FORGET that some of them were not truthful with NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida about supporting the Second Amendment. REMEMBER, they KNOW gun control doesn’t work. They know that only law-abiding people obey the law and criminals don’t care what the law says.

When RINOs (Republican In Name Only) vote like Anti-gun Democrats, one has to wonder how many real Republicans are left in the Florida Senate.

If Senate Republicans, who vote for gun control, don’t care about compromising their own integrity, you have to wonder if they care about what they are doing to the character the Republican Party?

Michael Bloomberg is no friend to Republicans! He’s running in the Democratic Primary for President of the US on an anti-gun platform. Why are Senate Republicans doing his bidding?

You can ask them:

Tom Lee 850-487-5020 Lee.Tom@flsenate.gov

Keith Perry 850-487-5008 Perry.Keith@flsenate.gov

Ed Hooper 850-487-5016 Hooper.Ed@flsenate.gov

Travis Hutson 850-487-5007 Hutson.Travis@flsenate.gov

***IMPORTANT NEW DEVELOPMENT***
***IMPORTANT NEW DEVELOPMENT***
***IMPORTANT NEW DEVELOPMENT***

The media is now reporting that House Speaker Jose Oliva and Governor Ron DeSantis are pushing back against this massive gun control bill. Speaker Oliva and Governor DeSantis are to be commended for working to protect Second Amendment rights. They KNOW gun control doesn’t stop crime or criminals.

BACKGROUND:

SB-7028 by the Committee on Infrastructure & Security is a gun control bill. Among other things, it contains a massive two-pronged “Universal” Background Check system that is the worst I have ever seen.

It is clearly meant to simply ban all private sales of firearms through red tape and fear.

This bill contains so much red tape and nonsense that there is almost no way a law-abiding person could comply.

The only thing we know for sure is that this bill will only stop law-abiding people from exercising a constitutional right and it will be completely ignored by criminals.

Voting in favor of this bill is like a doctor giving a patient an antibiotic for a virus. The doctor knows an antibiotic won’t cure the illness but at least he can make people think he’s “doing something.”

Supporting a bill so you can say you’re doing something is “political eyewash.”

This bill is nothing less than GUN CONTROL ON STEROIDS.

Any person of SOUND MIND knows that only law-abiding people obey the law and that criminals don’t care what the law says.

Make no mistake, 4 Senators who claim to be Republicans voted for massive gun control: Not to uphold their oath of office; not to protect and defend the Constitution; not to represent the rights of law-abiding gun owners in their districts.

The article below is reprinted with permission.

SENATE PANEL BACKS GUN CONTROL MEASURE

January 13, 2020

Dara Kam

TALLAHASSEE — Over the objections of the National Rifle Association, a Senate panel Monday unanimously signed off on a far-reaching measure that would close the gun-show “loophole,” create a record-keeping system for private gun sales and set aside $5 million to establish a “statewide strategy for violence prevention.”

The proposal (SB 7028) is a priority of Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, as evidenced by the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee’s consideration and passage of the measure the day before the 2020 legislative session begins.

The sweeping legislation would require background checks and a three-day waiting period for firearms sold “on property to which the public has the right of access,” such as “a flea market, a gun show, or a firearm exhibit.”

The measure would also mandate that guns be securely stored in households and other places where minors under age 18 — up from the current threshold of 16 — could have access to the weapons.

The bill also would create a new section of law that would require guns to be stored to prevent access “by a person of unsound mind.”

And the proposal would impose new requirements for private gun sales. Under the measure, individuals who sell guns to other people would be required to fill out a form that would include the name, date of birth and identification information of the purchaser. The affidavit, which would include background questions aimed at ensuring the purchaser is eligible to buy a gun, would have to be notarized.

The measure contains “the worst universal background check language I have ever seen,” Marion Hammer, the NRA’s Florida lobbyist and a former president of the national gun-rights organization, told the Senate panel.

“It appears to be an actual attempt to ban private sales through red tape and fear,” she said. “Asking average citizens to create what amounts to a government form and get it notarized is ridiculous.”

The legislation is “nothing less than gun control on steroids,” Hammer said.

But committee Chairman Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, said the legislation “just makes sense.”

The Senate’s proposal comes as mass shootings in Florida and throughout the nation continue to rise. At least 81 people have died in mass shootings scattered throughout Florida over the past three years.

In 2018, the Legislature for the first time in decades passed a handful of gun-control measures after a massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 students and faculty members and injured 17 others.

Lee, a former Senate president, said he empathized with gun owners who are exercising their Second Amendment rights.

“I know that you don’t see NRA members in the headlines of these mass shootings,” he told reporters following Monday’s meeting. “But we have a job to do. We can’t just sit by idly while our children are killing children and pretend this isn’t happening.”

While the Senate measure is a Galvano priority, it lacks a companion measure in the House. Lee said House leaders are “well aware we’re working on this.”

“Frankly, a lot of this is going to happen president-to-speaker and work down from there. But they’re very well aware that this is a priority for the president,” he said.

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

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

VIRGINIA

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

gov northam

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Justice Thomas explained,

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

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

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

 

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

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

80 percent lower

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Puerto Rico Enacts Pro-gun Overhaul of Firearms Laws

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

puerto rico

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

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

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

 

Texas Gun Control Advocates Deride Actual Firearms Safety Efforts

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

tx

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

As explained in the governor’s plan,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Virginia Governor proposes harsh firearm legislation. READ MORE

northam

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The website also reported,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

NRA-Supported Case Heard by Supreme Court

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“This case is just one more example of how the NRA fights every day, as it always has, to protect the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans.”

supreme court

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) said last week’s Supreme Court hearing on a New York City gun control law could ultimately strengthen the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights by making it harder for governments to impose gun control schemes.

The NRA-supported case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) v. the City of New York, centers on New York City’s handgun “premises” license that restricts gun owners from transporting a handgun to a range or other residence outside city limits. After the NRA’s New York affiliate, the NYSRPA, challenged that law, and the Supreme Court took up the case, the City amended its regulation in an attempt to moot the case and prevent the high court from hearing it.

“It’s rare that SCOTUS takes on a Second Amendment case. It is perhaps unprecedented when a defendant, in this case New York City, tries to win by admitting they passed an unconstitutional law and revoking it in a last-ditch effort to stop the Court from hearing the case,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director, NRA-ILA. “Will other states facing similar NRA-supported challenges “throw in the towel” at the 11th hour as Justice Sotomayor says New York did in this case?

“This case is just one more example of how the NRA fights every day, as it always has, to protect the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans.”

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on this case before the end of June 2020.