Category Archives: NRA

2020 Marks Year Of Change for Arms Trade Treaty

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Dangers arise from possible additions to ATT. READ MORE

AT

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

At the NRA-ILA Leadership forum last year President Trump sent the international anti-firearm community into hysterics by announcing his intent to withdraw the United States from their crowning jewel, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Having never secured membership from China or Russia, the thought of many was that in losing the treaty’s only top tier arms exporter the ATT would die, but that could not be further from the truth. Like every United Nations’ initiative, with or without the United States, the show will always go on.

Despite the ATT’s abysmal compliance rate and ever increasing deficit, voluntary financial contributions continue to keep it afloat, and as the years continue to pass the misguided argument that it be viewed as an international norm grows. This, after all, has always been the goal of the ATT. Despite lacking membership of most of the world’s top arms importers and exporters, treaty proponents have always recognized that by establishing what they view as “legitimacy over time”, an argument can be made that the ATT’s terms be adhered to by everyone, influencing and restraining foreign policies worldwide whether a country is a member or not.

This is why the presence of the United States at every meeting of the ATT has always been critical. They are the proverbial “adult in the room”, effectively keeping the ATT train from running off the tracks. Whether attending as a Signatory or Observer State, the U.S. delegation has to have a seat at the table. No year has this been more important than this, as 2020 marks the first year since the ATT entered into force that it can be amended, a year many of its proponents have been waiting for so that they can expand the treaty’s tentacles beyond diversion.

The first official work on the treaty’s expansion kicked off recently at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland with the convening of the first of two week-long ATT Working Group and Preparatory meetings. While attendance was lighter than usual, the presence of the U.S. delegation was a welcomed sight.

Proposals have been tabled calling for the incorporation of the UN’s other anti-firearm initiatives into the ATT, such as the Programme of Action and Firearms Protocol, and for expanding the ATT’s scope to specifically focus on gender and gender based violence issues. Such expansions may seem inconsequential to some, but we assure you they are not.

Incorporation of the Programme of Action and Firearms Protocol, the first of which is simply a political agreement and later a treaty lacking the membership of the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, and Russia, will allow the ATT to legally enforce their terms. The significance of this cannot be overlooked, as they are both actively working to develop international restrictions on ammunition. If successful, this would mean that any restrictions developed in one of those initiatives, such as the marking, registration, tracing and restriction of ammunition, would become legally enforceable under the ATT, even to a State Party that is not a signatory to the Protocol or one who objected to the inclusion of ammunition into the Programme of Action.

On the gender and gender based violence issues, this would grant the ATT the power to legally enforce the principle being tabled in support of their incorporation, which “requires the recognition that small arms possession is linked to violent masculinities,” or in layman’s terms, that the only way to end gender based violence is through an outright ban on males possessing firearms.

While many States recognize these issues, rarely will an objection be raised on the floor. Instead, work to quell support is done behind the scenes, and this is where the value of the U.S.’ presence cannot be overlooked. This was just the first of two week-long meetings leading to the 6th Conference of States Parties to the ATT in August where any proposals developed will ultimately be voted on. We trust that the U.S. has been working to educate our allies on the significance of such attempts to expand the ATT, but we also don’t trust blindly and have been here throughout counselling our friends as well.

 

Super Bowl of Dishonesty: Michael Bloomberg Spends Big to Lie to America

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Bloomberg manipulates with Superbowl Ad. READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Earlier this month, Michael Bloomberg added to the quarter billion dollar tally he has spent pursuing the Democrat presidential nomination with an $11 million ad that aired during the Super Bowl. It was his highest-profile effort to date in a relentless media blitz meant to familiarize Americans with his name and a “life story” that is more PR ad copy than actual biography. But the ad was perhaps more revealing than Bloomberg intended, showing him to be long on dishonesty and emotional manipulation and short on facts and substance.

Bloomberg himself barely appears in the 60 second commercial. Most of the airtime features the mother of an aspiring football player whose son was killed.

There is no question that a grieving mother has compelling emotional impact, and no one can blame the woman for wanting to tell her son’s story or to try to make a difference that will spare others a similar experience.

What is blameworthy, however, is Bloomberg’s exploitation of the woman’s personal tragedy to intentionally mislead the public.

While the woman described her loss, a graphic then appeared on the screen, stating, “2,900 CHILDREN DIE FROM GUN VIOLENCE EVERY YEAR.”

There is nothing in the commercial that explains what policies Michael Bloomberg is promoting that would have prevented the family’s tragedy or that would prevent similar tragedies in the future. The ad gives no information on the circumstances of the son’s death, other than that someone shot him.

But the obvious takeaway is that children like this young athlete are at a high risk of being killed, and only Michael Bloomberg has the moxie and know-how to stop it.

It’s clear that Michael Bloomberg himself knows next to nothing about firearms. In fact, when he began his political career with a run for New York City Mayor in 2001, Bloomberg didn’t know how to answer a question about the Second Amendment because he didn’t know what it was.

But even Michael Bloomberg knows that adults are not the same thing as children. And according to multiple media stories debunking his Super Bowl ad, his figure about “children” dying from “gun violence” inflates the number nearly 100% by including the high-risk category of 18- and 19-year-old adults.

An article by FactCheck.org., for example, claims the misleading statistic is based on information from Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group that is funded primarily by the billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s “source,” in other words, is actually propaganda that he himself paid to generate.

But even Everytown was more honest than the ad itself, claiming in a 2019 fact sheet, “Annually, nearly 2,900 children and teens (ages 0 to 19) are shot and killed … .” That figure that comes from averaging Centers for Disease Control Data from 2013 to 2017.

FactCheck.org explains that when 18- and 19-year-old adults are omitted from the data, the figure drops to 1,499. So the Bloomberg ad nearly doubles the number of minors who succumb annually to gunshot injuries to come up with a figure for “children.”

Again, these deaths are lamentable, but they are not what Bloomberg claims. What the ad did establish is that Michael Bloomberg cannot be trusted to tell the truth even on his own signature policy issue and that he will in fact spend huge sums of money to lie to the American public for his own political benefit.

Everytown Distances Itself from Bloomberg Due to ‘Stop and Frisk’ Speech

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Michael-Bloomberg-founded Everytown for Gun Safety reportedly distanced itself from Bloomberg following the publication of his comments in defense of stop and frisk. READ MORE

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SOURCE: Breitbart, AWR Hawkins

On February 11, 2020, Breitbart News reported a speech Bloomberg gave at the Aspen Institute wherein he defended his strategy of aggressively policing minority neighborhoods. He gave the speech in 2015, and a recording of it is now seizing public attention.

The Aspen Times quoted Bloomberg as saying, “Cities need to get guns out of [the] … hands” of individuals who are “male, minority, and between the ages of 15 and 25.” In the full audio of the speech, he bluntly said of young minorities, “Throw them against the wall and frisk them” and admitted that they “put all the cops in minority neighborhoods … because that’s where all the crime is.”

Also, on February 11, 2020, Breitbart News reported excerpts of a 2013 interview with WOR during which Bloomberg said:

One newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying, ‘Oh it’s a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group’ being targeted by the city’s stop-and-frisk policies. That may be, but it’s not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murder. In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.

On February 14, 2020, WAMU noted that Everytown for Gun Safety released a statement distancing itself from Bloomberg.

Everytown was founded as an umbrella group of sorts, absorbing Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns and sharing a gun control agenda with Bloomberg-funded Moms Demand Action.

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

 

Pro-Gun Rally By Thousands In Virginia Ends Peacefully

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Thousands in Virginia showed to support their unalienable rights. Zero problems, major statements! READ MORE

va rally

SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Thousands of gun-rights activists from around the country rallied peacefully at the Virginia Capitol on Monday, protesting plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation that have become a key flash point in the national debate over gun violence. About 22,000 people attended the rally, 6,000 on Capitol Square and 16,000 outside the security gates, authorities said.

The size of the crowd and the expected participation of white supremacists and fringe militia groups raised fears that the state could see a repeat of the violence that exploded in 2017 in Charlottesville. But the rally concluded uneventfully around noon, and the mood was largely festive, with rally-goers chanting “USA!” and waving signs denouncing Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

Many protesters chose not to enter the designated rally zone, where Northam had instituted a temporary weapons ban, and instead packed the surrounding streets, many dressed in tactical gear and camouflage and carrying military-style rifles as they cheered on the speakers.

“I love this. This is like the Super Bowl for the Second Amendment right here,” said P.J. Hudson, a truck driver from Richmond who carried an AR-15 rifle just outside Capitol Square. He was one of the few African-American rally goers in the crowd that was overwhelmingly white and male, and frequently was stopped and asked to pose for pictures wearing his “Black Guns Matter” sweatshirt.

Police announced one arrest: a 21-year-old Richmond woman charged with wearing a mask in public after she allegedly ignored an officer’s warnings to remove a bandanna covering her face.

The Richmond protesters came out in the thousands despite the frigid temperature to send a message to legislators, they said.

“The government doesn’t run us, we run the government,” said Kem Regik, a 20-year-old private security officer from northern Virginia who brought a white flag with a picture of a rifle captioned, “Come and take it.”

Northam was a particular focus of the protesters’ wrath. One poster showed his face superimposed on Adolf Hitler’s body.

But Democratic lawmakers said the rally wasn’t going to impact their plans to pass gun-control measures, including universal background checks and a one-handgun-purchase-a-month limit.

“I was prepared to see a whole lot more people show up than actually did and I think it’s an indication that a lot of this rhetoric is bluster, quite frankly,” said Del. Chris Hurst, a gun-control advocate whose TV journalist girlfriend was killed in an on-air shooting in 2015.

Some of the protesters waved flags with messages of support for President Donald Trump. Trump, in turn, tweeted support for their goals.

“The Democrat Party in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia are working hard to take away your 2nd Amendment rights,” he tweeted. “This is just the beginning. Don’t let it happen, VOTE REPUBLICAN in 2020!”

TRUMP TWEET

The Virginia State Police, the Virginia Capitol Police and the Richmond Police had a heavy presence, with officers deploying on rooftops, others patrolling in cars and on bicycles.

Authorities were looking to avoid a repeat of the violence that erupted in Charlottesville during one of the largest gatherings of white supremacists and other far-right groups in a decade. Attendees brawled with counterprotesters, and an avowed white supremacist drove his car into a crowd, killing a woman and injuring dozens more. Law enforcement officials faced scathing criticism for what both the white supremacist groups and anti-racism protesters said was a passive response.

In contrast to Charlottesville, there was little sign of counterprotesters challenging the gun-rights activists.

Police limited access to Capitol Square to only one entrance, and a long line formed to get into the rally zone.

Gun rights advocates also filled the hallways of the building that houses lawmakers’ offices. One couple, Jared and Marie March, traveled from Floyd County, over three hours west of Richmond, to meet with lawmakers.

“Guns are a way of life where we live,” said Marie March, who was concerned about a proposed red-flag law which she said would allow citizens to be stripped of their guns due to “subjective criteria.” A proposal to establish universal background checks amounted to “more Big Brother,” she said. “We just feel like we need to push government back into their rightful spot.”

Monday’s rally was organized by an influential grassroots gun-rights group, the Virginia Citizens Defense League. The group holds a yearly rally at the Capitol, typically a low-key event with a few hundred gun enthusiasts listening to speeches from a handful of ambitious Republican lawmakers. But this year, many more attended. Second Amendment groups have identified the state as a rallying point for the fight against what they see as a national erosion of gun rights.

The pushback against proposed new gun restrictions began immediately after Democrats won majorities in both the state Senate and House of Delegates in November, with much of the opposition focused on a proposed assault weapons ban. More than 100 localities have since passed measures declaring support for the Second Amendment.

 

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.

SHOT Show 2020: A Deep Dive

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This year, we’re taking you inside SHOT Show like never before. Stay tuned for a look at new products from the shooting, tactical and reloading world.

Image result for shot show

Imagine you’re in the desert. You’re thrust into a sea of people (80,000 or so) and you’re tasked with finding the latest and greatest in our corner of the industry in a vast labyrinth of booths and vendors. Sounds like a grown-ups candy land of wonders, right? Well, yeah, kinda! It’s also overwhelming, and more than a little intimidating. Being my 6th year in attendance, I’m hoping I can bring you some content besides what’s new, what’s popular, and dive more into what interests you. I’ll also do my best to find some of the weirder stuff along the way. It is Vegas after all.

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So, stay tuned for more updates, press releases, and more.

Let us know in the comments section just what you’d like to see from the show this year!

Why We Fight To Preserve, Safeguard Our Important Second Amendment

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The new ILA executive director assures he will fight for me, you, us — and the Constitution. READ MORE

ILA

SOURCE: NRA-ILA by Jason Ouimet

Growing up in New York City during the ‘70s and ‘80s, I saw firsthand the tremendous injustices created by so-called “gun-control” laws.

Crime wasn’t just something we saw on television. It was part of daily life in the city. I had friends who were mugged on the way to school. And I remember praying to see a police officer on a street corner or in a subway station because criminals roamed the city streets and victimized innocent citizens.

In short, my views on the Second Amendment were cemented at a very early age—long before I studied America’s founding documents.

That’s why I joined the NRA before I ever owned a gun. And today, thanks to the NRA and our millions of members like you, I’m able to carry a gun. It’s a freedom I exercise every day. I do it to protect the people I love. I also do it with a profound sense of gratitude to people like you who’ve fought for this freedom—a freedom that was denied to many law-abiding Americans where I grew up.

Now, it’s my sincere honor to serve you and to serve our Second Amendment cause as the new executive director of our NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

Since 2005, I’ve had the privilege of working on the front lines with Wayne LaPierre and other NRA leaders—first as an NRA-ILA federal liaison, then as deputy director of Federal Affairs, then as director of Federal Affairs.

I’m proud to have played a role in advancing the cause of Right to Carry throughout this nation. I’ve been privileged to work one-on-one with U.S. House and Senate leaders to win critical legislative victories—like protecting the U.S. firearms industry from frivolous lawsuits, and defeating Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s infamous gun-ban bill at a time when no one thought it possible.

Fighting together, we stopped the government from confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens during times of national emergency—when, arguably, they need them most. We won monumental victories for our freedom with the Heller and McDonald decisions, which affirmed our individual right to keep and bear arms.

And we defeated Hillary Clinton against all odds—effectively ending the substantial threat another Clinton administration posed to our rights.

In the time ahead, I look forward to continuing our fight together as we defend our gun rights in Congress, all 50 state legislatures, courtrooms nationwide and, of course, at the ballot box.

The fact is, when I stand face-to-face with a governor, U.S. senator, congressman or any legislative leader—I know I’m not alone. I know that you and millions of NRA-ILA supporters are right there with me.

And let me tell you, the politicians know it, too.

There isn’t a single gun-rights victory—big or small—that I’ve witnessed in my 15 years at NRA-ILA that wasn’t a direct result of your hard work, your courage, your leadership and your generous support.

So, more than anything, I’m excited to have this opportunity right now, in this new role and in my first official communication to you, to say Thank You. Thank you for voting, for standing and fighting, for never backing down, for being an NRA member and for being a freedom-loving American.

There is no question that the forces aligned against you, me and our Second Amendment rights are more organized and better-funded than anything we’ve faced before. But no one has done more to make this country a better, safer place than you and your fellow NRA members. And I know that if we continue to fight hard and work together, our long legacy of protecting and strengthening freedom will prevail for years and decades to come.

 

NRA Names Jason Ouimet to Head NRA Institute for Legislative Action

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Jason Ouimet appointed to be ILA executive director. READ MORE

ouimet

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The National Rifle Association’s executive vice president and CEO, Wayne LaPierre, has named Jason Ouimet to serve as executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). The NRA Board of Directors unanimously affirmed Ouimet’s selection at its recent board meeting.

“Jason is a principled leader with tremendous field vision and political savvy. He has a strong campaign background and more than 15 years playing pivotal roles in all the NRA’s legislative accomplishments and victories. Our five million members and America’s gun owners have the strongest ally and the best advocate in Jason,” said LaPierre.

On his permanent appointment, Ouimet said, “I thank Wayne and the NRA leadership for entrusting me with a post so crucial to America’s freedom. Backed by millions of patriotic NRA members, NRA-ILA is the foremost defender of our Second Amendment, the safeguard of freedom itself. To every NRA member and gun owner in this country, I pledge that our defense will never waver on my watch.”

Ouimet has embraced increasing responsibilities and higher-profile roles during his time with NRA. As director of federal affairs at the NRA-ILA since 2015, Ouimet was responsible for overseeing and implementing the NRA’s federal legislative and political agenda. Between 2010 and 2015, Ouimet served as the deputy director of the NRA’s federal affairs department. Ouimet began his career with the NRA in 2005 as a federal affairs lobbyist, where he was responsible for the states of Georgia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New York and New Jersey.

Prior to joining the NRA, Ouimet served as a legislative assistant for Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia.

Ouimet also worked as a senior research analyst at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Prior to that, in 1999, Ouimet moved to Washington D.C. for a job at the Republican National Committee where he conducted field research for President George Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign.

Ouimet earned his Bachelor of Arts from Kent State University in 1999.

 

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.

 

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.