Category Archives: Law

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.

 

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

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New Bloomberg-based legislation poses serious threat to Virginia gun owners. READ MORE

bloomberg

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

SB 16, introduced by Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, would create a total ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, like the AR-15. Even worse, the ban would even extend to common firearm parts. The restrictions included in the proposed legislation does not grandfather current owners. The legislation is clearly designed to be firearms confiscation, as current owners would be forced to dispossess themselves of their property or face a felony conviction.

Saslaw’s legislation provides,

It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport an assault firearm.

Otherwise law-abiding gun owners found in possession of an “assault firearm,” even one they purchased prior to the ban, could be convicted of a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.

The legislation lays out several criteria by which a firearm would be defined as an “assault firearm.” This includes,

A semi-automatic centerfire rifle with a fixed magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds.
A semi-automatic centerfire rifle with a detachable magazine that has one of the following characteristics:
(i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the rifle; (iii) a thumbhole stock; (iv) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (v) a bayonet mount; (vi) a grenade launcher; (vii) a flare launcher; (viii) a silencer; (ix) a flash suppressor; (x) a muzzle brake; (xi) a muzzle compensator; (xii) a threaded barrel… or (xiii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (xii)

A semi-automatic centerfire pistol with a fixed magazine capacity greater than 10 rounds.
A semi-automatic centerfire pistol with a detachable magazine that has one of the following characteristics:
(i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a thumbhole stock; (iii) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (iv) the capacity to accept a magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip; (v) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the pistol with the non-trigger hand without being burned; (vi) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; (vii) a threaded barrel… or (viii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (vii);

A shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
A semi-automatic shotgun with one of the following characteristics:
(i) a folding or telescoping stock, (ii) a thumbhole stock, (iii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the shotgun, (iv) the ability to accept a detachable magazine, (v) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds, or (vi) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (v).

With this definition, SB 16 would outlaw America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15, along with countless other rifles, pistols, and shotguns that Virginians use for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.

A knowledgeable firearms owner will take a look at the ridiculous definition and realize that such ham-handed legislation must be born out of petty vindictiveness or a complete ignorance of firearm technology, as there is no logical public safety rationale.

For example, the legislation is so broad that it would ban hunting guns like the Mossberg 935 Turkey shotgun for its “pistol grip.”

Banned shotgun
Banned!

The ban would prohibit the possession of guns like this Model SP-10 Magnum Thumbhole Camo due to its thumbhole stock.

banned shotgun
Banned!

The ban would also capture guns such as this version of the Browning BAR Mark II Safari hunting rifle, as it has a detachable box magazine and a muzzle brake.

banned rifle
Banned!

Moreover, the “any characteristic of like kind” language that appears after each list of prohibited features introduces an unacceptable vagueness into the definition of what does or does not constitute an “assault firearm.” Law-abiding gun owners would be forced to prophesy just how a court might interpret those unclear provisions.

As bad and senseless as the prohibition on certain firearms is, the proposed ban on firearm parts truly shows how Michael Bloomberg is cashing in on his political investment.

The legislation provides,

“Assault firearm” includes any part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert, modify, or otherwise alter a firearm into an assault firearm, or any combination of parts that may be readily assembled into an assault firearm.

This passage would appear to make all of the firearm parts listed under the various feature tests in and of themselves “assault firearms” and therefore prohibited. As the individual part is treated as an “assault firearm,” possession of such a part would be punishable in the same manner as a prohibited firearm, as a Class 6 felony.

Many firearms are modular. For instance, the same muzzle brake or flash suppressor could be used to turn a semi-automatic firearm into an “assault firearm” under the bill’s definition, or it could be used by a hunter or precision rifle shooter on their bolt-action rifle.

In recent years the popularity of the AR-15 platform has led to the adoption of AR-15 parts in other types of firearms. An example of this trend is the Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle. The firearm is a bolt-action rimfire rifle that accepts an AR-15 pistol grip. As the pistol grip part is a prohibited feature on a semi-automatic rifle that can accept a detachable magazine and is designed for use on a prohibited AR-15, the mere grip itself could be banned under this legislation.

ruger rimfire
Banned!

SB 16 also bans the importation, sale, and transfer of standard capacity firearm magazines that are designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Many handguns commonly-owned by law-abiding citizens for concealed carry come standard with magazines that would be banned. Otherwise law-abiding gun owners who violate the magazine provision could be found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail.

All Virginia gun owners must organize to fight against Bloomberg-backed gun confiscation in the Old Dominion. In the coming days NRA will keep gun owners apprised of the latest developments in Richmond and the actions necessary to defend the right to keep and bear arms. In the meantime, please sign up to volunteer to help defeat this and other terrible legislation.

 

Virginia Mom Is Telling Voters To ‘Watch Out’ For Bloomberg’s Tricks In 2020

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“The Second Amendment already guarantees my equality: Firearms are the ultimate equalizer.” READ MORE

bloomberg

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Suburban women are expected to play a pivotal role in the 2020 elections, which is why a lot of political groups are attempting to appeal to them. One of Bloomberg’s groups, Moms Demand Action, is styled to fool voters into thinking their extreme beliefs are representative of all suburban moms. Earlier this month in Virginia, this billionaire-funded group spent an enormous amount of money to flip a few seats and win a thin, anti-gun majority in the state legislature. Pro-gun suburban women in Virginia were outraged by the misleading campaign. We spoke with one, NRA member Megan Boland, who says the tactics employed by anti-gun groups in Virginia should serve as a cautionary tale to pro-gun suburban women across the country.

Q. What was your initial reaction when you heard gun control politicians took control of the Virginia House and Senate?

A. I was disappointed, but not surprised. As a communications professional, I could tell from the political ads that gun control groups were targeting suburban women with emotional messages. They were clearly trying to shame women like myself into believing that law-abiding gun owners are the problem in Virginia.

Q. As a long-time Virginian, what do you think is going on in Virginia politics?

A. It’s no longer Virginia politics. Virginia was flooded with out-of-state money from people like New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg. It’s very clear what he’s doing. He’s reaching into local- and state-level elections and beta testing his political message with the strategic and long-term goal of getting these local politicians eventually into national office. Personally, I’m really tired of billionaire men determining women’s futures and that’s what is going on here. If they really believe that women’s rights are important, why attempt to strip me of a Constitutional right?

Q. Do you think Gov. Northam and anti-gun lawmakers in Richmond will stop at “common-sense” gun measures? Where do you think they are headed with gun control?

A. There is nothing common sense about taking away people’s right and ability to defend themselves. Gov. Northam speaks about women’s equality, but the Second Amendment already guarantees my equality: Firearms are the ultimate equalizer. I think Northam and Bloomberg’s end game is to try and destroy the NRA and then, unopposed, eliminate the Second Amendment. I’m worried they’ll use things like red flag laws to silence us. For example, many of us fear an anti-gun nut job could try to red flag us and have our guns removed for simply talking about a weekend trip to the range. If we can no longer share our stories without fear of government retribution, it’s just one small step away from losing our rights. History is riddled with the systemic silencing of populations intended to dilute and destroy the culture until it is no more.

Q. What did you see the Bloomberg moms do in Virginia that upset you?

A. The big thing I see is that the Bloomberg Moms are getting into our schools and influencing administrators, teachers and, de facto, our children. Our side needs to do a better job of that. I’ve seen it time and again where gun control activists show up at playgrounds, local parks, and community parades and push their nonsense on other parents. I’ve tried getting equal access by going to my children’s school and inviting the NRA’s Eddie Eagle in the classroom. I’ve worked with my local law enforcement to make sure they are working with Eddie Eagle. There are a lot moms can be doing in their schools and communities to get our message out. The NRA is the only organization in the world dedicated to promoting the safe and responsible use of firearms; we need to talk about that! We need to make noise in our communities and be willing to have uncomfortable conversations with those who disagree with us. We have to do more than just gather for rallies and talk to people who are like-minded. We must engage respectfully with our opponents.

Q. Any final thoughts on what the rest of the country can learn from the Virginia elections?

A. The big thing we need is more pro-Second Amendment women to run for office, any office, school board, city council, judicial, state legislature and federally. I know [the head of Moms Demand Action] is working to get women to strategically build their resumes to run for office. We should be cultivating local women to do the same, and start by running for local office. This is such a huge issue, it requires those who support the 2A to get active and involved — not days before an election, but years before the election.

 

Ohio Supreme Court to Decide Whether People Can Have Firearms in the Home While Intoxicated

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Should gun owners in Ohio be permitted to “carry” their firearms in their homes while intoxicated? READ MORE

handgun

SOURCE: AP and Jordan Michaels

That’s the question at issue in a case headed for the Ohio Supreme Court in February.

Fredrick Weber was convicted in June of 2018 under a 45-year-old law that prohibits Ohio residents from carrying or using a firearm while intoxicated. Weber appealed his conviction to the 12th District Court of Appeals, which confirmed the municipal court’s ruling. Now, on a 4-3 vote, the state Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

According to court documents, a deputy and a sergeant from the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to Weber’s home after his wife reported that her husband was carrying a firearm while intoxicated. Even though she told deputies that Weber had put his firearm away, she let them into the home, where they saw Weber coming out of a doorway and holding a shotgun.

The shotgun was pointed towards the ground, and deputies confirmed that it was unloaded. Weber claimed he had been wiping down the firearm to put it away.

Deputies noticed that Weber’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy, his speech was slurred, and he was unsteady on his feet. Weber admitted he was drunk and subsequently failed a field sobriety test.

In his appeal, Weber’s attorneys argued that their client wasn’t using the shotgun “as a firearm” and had not or was not about to commit a crime. They also argued that the law prohibiting the use or possession of firearms while intoxicated is unconstitutional because it infringed on their client’s rights to keep and bear arms and defend himself.

They further argued that a person’s intoxication level shouldn’t have a bearing on possessing a weapon “in the hearth and home,” according to the Associated Press.

“Weber suggests that it was never the intention of the constitutional framers that someone like him (or anyone similarly situated) be guilty of possessing a weapon while intoxicated in his/her home,” Weber’s appeal reads, according to The Toledo Blade.

“If such be the case, any off-duty law enforcement officer (or any other person that has firearms in the residence) who has a few alcoholic beverages while in his/her house and has law enforcement happen into that residence can be charged and convicted under a ritualistic or formulaic implementation of the statute,” it reads.

“Their police officers are the first to respond to domestic violence incidents, interpersonal gun violence, gun suicides, and unintentional shootings, all of which are made more lethal by the combination of guns and alcohol,” reads a brief filed by Toledo, Lima, Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, and Dayton, according to The Blade. “They are the ones who have to respond to domestic violence calls where the mixture of guns and alcohol often leads to women being killed and officers being assaulted.”

Toledo Law Director Dale Emch put an even finer point on it:

“It’s just common sense that the intoxicated should not be carrying weapons in my mind, whether in your home or not,” he said. “That’s just a bad recipe.”

Oral arguments aren’t scheduled until February 25, and a final decision isn’t expected for months, according to the AP.

 

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

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The Second Amendment and laws designed to protect the right to keep and bear arms are meaningless if they are not adequately enforced in court. READ MORE

PLCAA

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

A law designed to protect the firearm industry from frivolous litigation is now in jeopardy thanks to inaction by the U.S. Supreme Court, which earlier this month passed on a petition to review a case creating a new exception to the law’s protection. The case before the Supreme Court was Remington Arms v. Soto.

It’s hard to imagine a more ridiculous or implausible legal theory: a gunmaker intentionally marketed its products to criminals through macho ad copy, patriotic images, and product placement in video games, thus causing the criminal to carry out a mass attack.

It’s particularly ludicrous when the murderer himself stole rather than bought the gun (after killing the person who actually bought it) with no evidence the murderer saw any of the gunmaker’s ads.

In a sane world, this lawsuit would have been recognized as an abuse of the legal system, a cynical exploitation of tragedy for political and ideological ends. That world used to exist under a law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

The PLCAA was enacted by Congress in 2005 with broad bipartisan support for the very purpose of stopping coordinated lawsuits seeking to hold the firearm industry liable for the acts of criminals who used guns to commit their offenses. Few of the cases ever had any chance of success in court, but that didn’t matter. Bankrupting the companies by forcing them to defend the suits, or to accept settlements that required “voluntary” adoption of punitive gun control measures, was the real agenda.

There is certainly nothing “unusual” or “extraordinary” about a legal rule that says a business is not responsible for the wrongful acts of a third party that misuses its products, absent some special connection to the offender or the victim. The victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver cannot ordinarily sue the car manufacturer or dealer, for example.

What was unusual was the determination of gun control advocates to press these meritless claims in court, which resulted in Congress making clear with the PLCAA that courts could not create especially unfavorable rules around the manufacturing and selling of guns. The entire point of the law was to ensure activist litigants and courts could not sue the U.S. firearms industry out of business.

As of Nov. 8, however, the sane world of the PLCAA came dangerously closer to an end. That was the day the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court that denied a firearm manufacturer the PLCAA’s protection because, so the argument went, the company knowingly engaged in illegal advertising.

That case will now proceed in a Connecticut court. And while even gun control advocates admit the plaintiff’s claim might not prevail at trial (if the case gets to trial at all), it will cost the defendants a king’s ransom to continue fighting the case.

It’s true the PLCAA was never intended to protect businesses that knowingly flaunt laws governing the sale or marketing of firearms. Congress created narrow exceptions for when the manufacturer or seller violated specific types of gun control laws, sold a firearm to a person the seller knew couldn’t be safely trusted with it, sold a defective product, or violated a contract or warranty relating to the purchase.

These exceptions also included knowingly violating a state or federal statute “applicable to the sale or marketing of the [firearm or ammunition],” such as making or facilitating false statements in required recordkeeping or disposing of a firearm or ammunition to someone legally prohibited from having it. Both examples relate to provisions in the federal Gun Control Act, indicating that gun-specific laws are what Congress intended the exception to cover.

Yet the plaintiffs in the Remington Arms case sought to get around the PLCAA by claiming that violation of any state or federal statute that could conceivably be applied to the sale or marketing of a firearm should count, whether or not that statute was enacted with firearms or ammunition in mind.

Because the sale of the firearm to the original purchaser in the case complied with all applicable state and federal regulations on firearm sales, the plaintiffs had to stretch the existing bounds of the law to find a statute they could claim was violated. They finally settled on the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), which prohibits “unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.” The plaintiffs argued that a similar federal law has been interpreted to include ““immoral, unethical, oppressive and unscrupulous” advertising.

They then went on to argue that Connecticut law thus effectively prohibits the sorts of advertisements the defendants used to promote their firearms, because those ads were specifically designed to appeal to and incite deranged individuals like the criminal who killed the victims they represent.

In other words, the plaintiffs are essentially claiming that but for the defendants’ supposedly illegal ads, the victims would still be alive.

Even the Connecticut Supreme Court recognized proving that claim may prove to be impossible. But by allowing the case to proceed, the court also empowered the plaintiffs to force the defendants to turn over copious amounts of documents and information about their marketing and advertising strategies. The plaintiffs hope this fishing expedition will turn up material that, if it doesn’t lead to victory in the case, could at least be used to embarrass and shame the defendants in the court of public opinion.

Why the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene when the lawsuit falls squarely into the type of abusive litigation that Congress sought to prevent is unknown. No written opinions on the order were issued by any member of the high court.

The case, however, could set a very ominous precedent, as states across the country have laws similar to CUTPA, and the question of what a company intended with an image or phrase in advertising is an inherently subjective determination.

What is clear, however, is that the Second Amendment and laws designed to protect the right to keep and bear arms are meaningless if they are not adequately enforced in court. That did not happen here, and future anti-gun opportunists may now have roadmap to navigate around the PLCAA.

 

Joe Biden Wants to Ban 9mm Pistols

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Democratic presidential candidate foreshadows tyrranical policies. READ MORE

biden

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

A week after he told voters that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect “a magazine with a hundred clips in it,” 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden offered supporters more of his singular brand of anti-gun nonsense. While attending a private campaign event in Seattle, the former vice president reportedly called for a ban on 9mm pistols.

According to an article from the Seattle Times, Biden was in town to attend two private fundraisers, one of which was at the home of “a top Amazon executive.” The posh soiree set attendees back a princely $2,800 per-person. The other fundraiser was held at the home of a local philanthropist. That staider event offered donors a relative bargain with a $500 minimum price tag.

While speaking to attendees of the latter event, Biden claimed that he supports the Second Amendment. The 77-year-old then went on to ask “Why should we allow people to have military-style weapons including pistols with 9mm bullets and can hold 10 or more rounds?” Biden also shared his tired and inaccurate claim that because there is a shot-shell restriction for migratory bird hunting, “We protect geese from Canada more than we do people.”

In targeting 9mm pistols, Biden has called for a ban on one of the most popular firearms in America. According to ATF’s Firearms Commerce in the United States FY 2019, there were over 3.6 million pistols manufactured in the U.S. in 2017. This was more than 1 million more guns than the next most popular category of firearms, rifles. Further, over 3.2 million handguns (including revolvers) were imported in to the U.S. in 2017.

In its annual report on the U.S. firearms industry, Shooting Industry reported that 9mm caliber pistols are the most commonly produced pistol and have been for many years. In 2017 alone, there were more than 1.7 million 9mm pistols produced in the U.S. Cumulatively there are tens of millions of 9mm pistols in the hands of law-abiding Americans.

The 9mm pistol is the choice of the nation’s leading civilian law enforcement agency, the FBI. Moreover, 9mm pistols are used by countless other federal, state, and local civilian law enforcement agencies. Biden alluded to the 9mm handgun’s military applications, but these agencies are not tasked with waging war on the public, but rather defending the public. This defensive application is the same reason that millions of Americans have chosen a 9mm pistol as their self-defense firearm.

The landmark Second Amendment U.S. Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller concerned a complete prohibition on the ownership of handguns in Washington, D.C. The opinion made clear that the Second Amendment at a minimum protects the right to acquire and possess firearms “in common use at the time” for lawful purposes such as self-defense.

It is impossible to square Biden’s statement with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment. Many types of firearms, such as the AR-15, are “in common use” for lawful purposes like self-defense and therefore protected under the Second Amendment. The 9mm pistol is not just “in common use” for self-defense. As the production statistics indicate, it may be the most common firearm in use for self-defense. Therefore, it is not permissible under the Second Amendment for a jurisdiction to prohibit 9mm pistols. The law-abiding 9mm pistol-owning residents of the D.C., Chicago, and a handful of Chicago suburbs are a testament to this fact.

Biden’s political career is an ongoing spectacle of anti-gun incompetence. However, his high-profile gaffes can serve an instructive purpose. Biden is emblematic of a political class that cannot be bothered to learn the most rudimentary information concerning firearms and the right to keep and bear arms. Despite nearly four decades in the U.S. Senate and eight years as vice president, he is still a complete ignoramus on the subject. Biden and his cohort don’t want to know anything about guns, gun rights, or gun owners. Rather, they prefer to mindlessly indulge their anti-gun prejudice at every opportunity.

 

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

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

bushmaster

SOURCE: NPR, Bill Chappell, et al.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Constitutional Carry OK in Oklahoma

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

concealed carry

 

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

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

gun rights

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Tremp

 

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

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

Wisconsin gun laws

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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