Category Archives: Politics

If it concerns your Second Amendment, or other policy driven content, you’ll be able to find it in our politics section

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) Pushes May-Issue Federal Firearm Owner Licensing and Gun Confiscation

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He’s just all over the news… Here’s his “plan.” READ MORE

cory booker

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On Monday, in an obvious and desperate attempt to garner attention in an overcrowded 2020 Democratic presidential field, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) threw long-cultivated anti-gun strategy and messaging to the wind and further exposed the gun control endgame when he released his “Plan To End the Gun Violence Epidemic.” The document is a slapdash gun control advocate wish list, at the core of which is a plan to create a may-issue federal gun owner licensing scheme and confiscate millions of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.

As intended, Booker’s senseless gun control declaration garnered the serial grandstander modest media attention. Elaborating on his anti-gun agenda during an interview with CNN, Booker made clear his intent to imprison those who do not comply with his confiscation plan. Anchor Poppy Harlow asked the senator,

Your competitor in the 2020 race… has also, like you, proposed an assault weapons ban, but he’s proposing a buyback program. Where Americans that currently have those guns could sell them essentially to the government. But if they don’t within a certain period of time they would be prosecuted, so subject to be thrown in jail perhaps. Are you supportive of the same measure?

At first Booker equivocated, but Harlow continued to press the candidate, reiterating, “Would you prosecute people? Do you support the government buying them back, and if not, potentially people could go to jail if they don’t want to sell them back; yes or no?” While failing to directly acknowledge the logical penal consequences of his proposal, Booker responded to Harlow’s question by stating, “We should have a law that bans these weapons and we should have a reasonable period in which people can turn in these weapons.”

Booker’s proposal does not provide a definition of “assault weapon,” so it is unclear the exact firearms that would be implicated under his plan. However, given that Booker is a cosponsor of S.66, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) “Assault Weapons Ban of 2019,” it can be deduced that the senator from New Jersey seeks to prohibit an even larger category of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms than Bill Clinton’s 1994 ban.

For a candidate that has made criminal justice reform a focal point of his campaign, Booker’s indifference to the incarceration of nonviolent and otherwise law-abiding gun owners makes clear that his compassion does not extend to those who defy his political sensibilities. And there is ample evidence that many would defy Booker’s preferred policies.

Enacted in 2013, the New York SAFE Act required owners of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms to register their guns with the state. An estimated 1-1.2 million firearms were implicated under the measure. Data released in 2015 revealed that 23,847 people had registered a total of 44,485 guns.

A 2013 Connecticut measure required gun owners to register certain configurations of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and individual magazines that could hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. According to a 2011 report, there were an estimated 2.4 million such magazines in the state. Gun owners had registered 38,290 magazines at the registration deadline.

Booker need only to look at his home state of New Jersey to understand the folly of his proposal. An April 17, 1992 New York Times article, “Owners of Assault Guns Slow to Obey Law,” noted, “In New Jersey, which enacted an assault weapon ban in 1990, 2,000 weapons have been surrendered, made inoperable or registered as collectors’ items, according to the State Police. The state Attorney General’s office estimates that there are between 20,000 and 50,000 assault weapons in New Jersey.”

Aside from the impracticality and hypocrisy of Booker’s proposal, it would also be ineffective and unconstitutional. A congressionally-mandated study of the 1994 semi-automatic ban determined that “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement,” in part because, “[assault weapons] and [large capacity magazines] were used in only a minority of gun crimes prior to the 1994 federal ban.” In joining Justice Clarence Thomas in a dissent from a denial of certiorari in Friedman v. Highland Park, which concerned a local ban on commonly-owned semi-automatics, Justice Antonin Scalia made clear that existing Supreme Court precedent (which he authored in District of Columbia v. Heller) precluded bans on such firearms. In the dissent, Justice Thomas explained that “several Courts of Appeals… have upheld categorical bans on firearms that millions of Americans commonly own for lawful purposes,” which he noted was “noncompliance with our Second Amendment precedents.”

The other core aspect of Booker’s gun control agenda is federal firearm owner licensing, which he likens to a driver’s license, complete with a firearms version of the DMV. Such a license would be required to merely own a firearm.

Americans should not be required to obtain a license that serves as a prior restraint on the exercise of a constitutional right. That aside, this lazy analogy is flawed.

Constitutional scholar and UCLA School of Law Professor Eugene Volokh has pointed out on multiple occasions what treating firearm ownership like car ownership would mean in practice. In a 2014 piece for WashingtonPost.com, Volokh explained,

Cars are basically regulated as follows (I rely below on California law, but to my knowledge the rules are similar throughout the country):

(1) No federal licensing or registration of car owners.

(2) Any person may use a car on his own private property without any license or registration. See, e.g., California Vehicle Code §§ 360, 12500 (driver’s license required for driving on “highways,” defined as places that are “publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel”); California Vehicle Code § 4000 (same as to registration).

(3) Any adult –and in most states, 16- and 17-year-olds, as well –may get a license to use a car in public places by passing a fairly simple test that virtually everyone can pass.

(4) You can lose your license for proved misuse of the car, but not for most other misconduct; and even if you lose your driver’s license, you can usually regain it some time later.

(5) Your license from one state is good throughout the country.

Now I suspect that many gun control advocates would in reality prefer a much more onerous system of regulations for guns than for cars.

Booker’s proposal proves Volokh’s suspicion correct.

Like all of his gun control proposals, Booker’s description of the licensing scheme is short on details. However, The New York Times reported that under Booker’s proposal, the application process would include “sitting for an interview.” The only reason to subject an applicant to an interview is to inject subjective criteria into the licensing process. Under such a scheme, a person’s ability to exercise their constitutional right would be at the discretion of federal government functionary and whatever prejudices they may hold.

Perhaps unbeknownst to Booker, over the last three decades the vast majority of states have removed subjective criteria and government discretion from their concealed carry licensing procedures. In some jurisdictions, such discretion had been, and still is, used to deny residents’ right to bear arms outside the home wholesale. In other jurisdictions that discretion has fostered corruption and been abused to limit the Right-to-Carry to the rich or well-connected.

All current polling and prediction market data suggest that that Booker is not a serious candidate for president. However, unlike even more vacuous candidates, Booker does possess significant political power as the junior senator from New Jersey.

While his flagrant hostility to gun owners may be intemperate and imprudent, Booker’s proposal does serve to show the radical confiscatory aims of the gun control movement. Moreover, it should be a warning to gun owners that these fringe ideas have well-positioned backers within the corridors of power.

 

Frank Miniter: Student Walkout at Colorado Shooting Vigil is a Good Sign

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Politicians attending a vigil in Colorado to push their agendas got the shock of their lives. READ MORE

school walkout

SOURCE: FOX News, Frank Miniter

The very public scene of hundreds of Colorado students and their parents walking out of a vigil that was turned into political theater by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was so embarrassing that the gun control group actually issued an apology.

Before leaving the Wednesday night event, students shouted, in front of journalists who the Brady Campaign invited: “this is not for us,” “political stunt,” and “we are people, not a statement.”

The Brady Campaign had portrayed the event as a vigil in memory of Kendrick Castillo, a student hero who died from gunshot wounds after he and two other students charged one of the attackers Tuesday at the Highlands Ranch STEM School in Colorado.

VIDEO

Eight other students were injured in the shooting. Two students were arrested and accused of the attack.

Instead of putting together an event to bring people together to mourn, the gun control group brought in activists and Colorado politicians — Democratic presidential contender U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and Democratic U.S. Rep. Jason Crow — to push a one-sided political agenda.

The speakers said they weren’t there to just offer thoughts and prayers, but that they instead were there to push for more restrictions on the right to bear arms.

We saw this with events after the shooting at Parkland High School in Florida. The events, including a CNN town hall, weren’t open forums or vigils. They were orchestrated propaganda designed to push a political cause.

Law-abiding gun owners enjoy shooting competitions, hunting or simply want to defend themselves and their loved ones. They should not be blamed for the evil actions of criminals and those with serious mental health problems.

The CNN event even featured then-Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. He vociferously stuck to the gun control narrative. He should have known – and we would all soon find out — that a school resource officer stayed outside during the attack. President Trump later called the officer a “coward.”

Turning grieving students into props for an agenda has become what these gun control groups and the mainstream media do after shootings. This has become so choreographed that the Brady Campaign was caught flat-footed when hundreds of students and their parents wouldn’t be extras in the production.

This is an important moment because it signals that a less ideological time is coming.

Groups like the Brady Campaign and the politicians who agree with them have been treating legal gun ownership as a problem that needs to be solved. They are blaming law-abiding gun owners for the actions of criminals as a way to impose more controls on the citizenry.

This political treatment of an important issue has made it difficult to even have an intelligent discussion about the problem.

How can an open and honest dialogue be possible when the mainstream media and so many Democrats prefer to blame America’s 100-million-plus gun owners?

Law-abiding gun owners enjoy shooting competitions, hunting or simply want to defend themselves and their loved ones. They should not be blamed for the evil actions of criminals and those with serious mental health problems.

Guns have been commonly owned by Americans since before the beginning of our republic, but school shootings are a modern trend. Yet they are not new.

The most deadly attack on a school actually occurred in 1927 in Bath, Mich., when a trustee from a local school board detonated 600 pounds of dynamite he placed inside the Bath Consolidated School.

Andrew Kehoe killed 44 people, including 38 elementary school children and his wife. He then committed suicide by detonating a final explosion in his truck that also killed another three adults and a child.

There is a lot of evidence, however, that some things have changed.

There is certainly a mental health crisis growing in our youth in America. Suicide rates among the young, especially those between 15 and 24, have climbed rapidly in recent years. Levels of anxiety and depression among young people are also up.

The reasons for this growing epidemic are numerous and many researchers are studying the problem. But it is clear that if we honestly target the actual problem things can be done.

Often, after a murderer strikes a school or another so-called “gun-free zone,” we find that the person responsible was calling out for help. Parents try, but they too often can’t find enough resources.

The bureaucracy has also failed us again and again. Too often the killers weren’t stopped before they acted, even though many people reported them to the proper authorities.

Various federal, state and local agencies have also too often failed to give the names of people prohibited from owning firearms to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), so these people can at least be stopped from legally buying a gun.

Political differences aside, imagine if the media actually treated gun rights groups honestly. The National Rifle Association (full disclosure, I write a weekly gun rights column for the NRA) has the School Shield program that sends teams of experts to schools to help them create safer environments.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers, has lobbied for FixNICS and many other initiatives to keep guns out of the hands of those who are prohibited from owning them.

Instead of demonizing these groups, imagine if the mainstream media were willing to be more factual and nuanced in their reporting. Solutions would become much clearer in such a climate.

The students who boldly walked out en masse as they chanted “mental health, mental health” from what shouldn’t have been a political event did shock the mainstream media into actually reporting on the story. That’s a big step toward finding honest solutions to a horrifying problem.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY FRANK MINITER 

Does Shannon Watts Want a Ban on all Centerfire Rifle Ammunition?

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NRA asked a simple, straight question — and got no answer. Read about what’s behind this HERE

shannon watts

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Shannon Watts has developed her persona as a “full-time volunteer” who wants nothing more than to bring “common sense gun laws” to this country. However, she once again reminded gun owners of her true agenda with a recent tweet. We are used to individuals misrepresenting our message to push their own political agendas, but, in this case, we thought it necessary to correct the record.

In an attempt to attack an NRA-ILA article, Watts tweeted: “They’re proud of this? ‘In response to claims that ‘armor piercing ammunition’ could penetrate police body armor, … the @NRA stepped up, once again, and performance-based ammunition bans have been repeatedly defeated at the federal level.’”

We responded by pointing out “that all centerfire rifle ammunition pierces soft body armor” and asked Watts if she wanted “to ban all rifle ammunition used for self-defense, sport, and hunting?” If she had done a bit of research Watts would have discovered that NRA wasn’t alone in our opposition to “performance-based ammunition bans,” even ATF opposed the same legislation. In congressional hearings in 1982 and 1984, Department of the Treasury (where ATF was then located) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement, Robert Powis, testified against the same bills that NRA opposed.

Instead of answering a simple yes or no question Watts took it upon herself to delete a large number of comments on her instagram account from individuals who just wanted a simple answer. After disabling her comments we decided to pose the question again, “Do you want to ban all rifle ammunition used for self-defense, sport, and hunting?”

Naturally, the question was not answered. Instead Watts decided to declare to her followers that “I couldn’t be more thrilled that they’re [@NRA] terrified of a middle aged mom.” Falsely claiming that the NRA encouraged its followers to threaten her. While we certainly don’t condone making threats, we do think that someone who attacked us for our policy position should at least answer a simple question about that policy.

If she had done a bit of research Watts would have discovered that NRA wasn’t alone in our opposition to “performance-based ammunition bans,” even ATF opposed the same legislation. In congressional hearings in 1982 and 1984, Department of the Treasury (where ATF was then located) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement, Robert Powis, testified against the same bills that NRA opposed.

We’re not so sure that Watts didn’t already understand why we opposed these ammunition bans. In her tweet, the ellipsis just happened to remove the sentence where we identified the main problem with the bans: “Had they succeeded, all centerfire rifle ammunition would have been banned.”

This isn’t the first time Watts has let slip a position that even the most ardent gun control supporters would struggle to characterize as “reasonable.” Just last year, Watts was appalled that an 18 year old could purchase a .22 bolt-action rifle because it looked scary. As we noted at the time, focusing your gun control agenda on a bolt-action rimfire because it looks scary is “a pretty sorry showing for someone whose only claim to fame is imperiously hectoring the rest of the country on the evils of guns and gun owners and pushing prohibitory firearm policies and laws.”

To answer your question Shannon, yes, we are proud of our defense of rifle ammunition that millions of law-abiding gun owners use every year for self-defense, hunting, and target shooting.

Now, will you answer our question?

 

Kamala Harris Says She’ll Ban Imports of all AR-15-Style Assault Weapons if Congress Doesn’t Act

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Harris: I’ll give Congress 100 days to pass gun laws… READ MORE

kamala harris

SOURCE: CNN, by Kyung Lah

Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday announced that, if she is elected president, she will ban the importation of all AR-15 style assault weapons by executive action if Congress fails to act in the first 100 days of her administration.

Harris made the announcement at a campaign stop in New Hampshire. “Assault weapons are designed to kill a lot of people in a very short period of time,” Harris said.

“I think that this has got to be something that is understood, that we cannot any longer afford to allow people to make this a partisan issue,” Harris added. “Those guns, those assault weapons, do not discriminate and determine, ‘OK, is the person pointing it at, is it a Democrat or Republican.’ “

Harris’ proposal is the latest in a series of gun-related executive actions she has promised to take if she wins the Democratic nomination and defeats Donald Trump in 2020. Previously, Harris had said she’d use presidential executive action to mandate near-universal background checks, revoke licenses of gun dealers who break the law, limit fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants from buying guns and close the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”

Harris’ new proposal “would ban AR-15-style assault weapon imports because they are not ‘suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.’ Additionally, the Harris proposal would have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives suspend all assault weapons imports until the agency studies and determines admissibility under the “sporting purpose” test, said the Harris official.

SEE the video HERE

Florida Alert! Governor DeSantis has SIGNED SB-7030

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Teachers in Florida will now be allowed to go through training and carry firearms on school campuses. READ MORE

florida legislature

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB-7030 within hours after receiving it. SB-7030 contains the language that authorizes local school boards to allow classroom teachers to go through training and carry firearms on school campuses.

News reports suggested that “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” and another Bloomberg group, “Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” were apparently pushing on Governor DeSantis to veto SB-7070 — the wrong bill.

According to News Service Florida, the “Demand” groups delivered a stack of signatures to the Governor’s office urging the Governor to veto a bill that would arm classroom teachers. It further reported that a DeSantis employee was asked by the group to tell the Governor to veto SB-7070 because it expanded the “guardian” program. THAT’S THE WRONG BILL!

Not only is their anti-gun reasoning flawed, their legislative information is wrong. SB-7070 is the K-12 Education Bill.

We are pleased that Governor DeSantis signed SB-7030.

When seconds matter, law enforcement is often minutes away. That’s why the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Commission, Chaired by Sheriff Bob Gualtiere, recommended to the legislature that they pass legislation to allow classroom teachers to be armed.

BACKGROUND:

SB-7030 Implementation of Legislative Recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission – Requires sheriffs to establish a school guardian program; requires the Office of Safe Schools to annually provide training for specified personnel teachers; requires district school boards and school district superintendents to partner with security agencies to establish or assign safe-school officers; revises requirements for school district zero-tolerance policies; provides standards and training for classroom teachers who choose to go through training in order to be armed at school.

The vote in the House was 65 – 47 with five (5) Republicans voting AGAINST the bill. The five are all newly elected freshmen. They are: Vance Aloupis (R-Miami), Mike Beltran (R-Valrico), Mike Caruso (R-Boca Raton), Chip LaMarca (R-Lighthouse Point) and David Smith (R-Winter Springs).

The Senate vote was 22-17 with Sen. Anitere Flores voting against it (along with the Democrats).

For those who want to contact Governor DeSantis and thank him for signing the bill, his email address is below:

Ron.DeSantis@eog.myflorida.com

MSNBC Accidentally Stumbles On Defense Of 2nd Amendment Over Gov’t Violence In Venezuela

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What it looks like when you’re ‘mugged by reality.’ At :30 in it gets serious… READ IT ALL

venezula gun news

SOURCE: TheBlaze.com, Carlos Garcia

Viewers of the progressive cable news network MSNBC were stunned to hear a justification for 2nd Amendment gun rights after violence broke out in Venezuela by the government against their unarmed citizenry.

MSNBC news anchor Andrea Mitchell was speaking to their correspondent Kerry Sanders when he made what sounded like a common gun rights argument.

“This is taking longer than they thought,” said Mitchell of the U.S. efforts to unseat Venezuelan dictator Maduro, “despite the sanctions, despite the pressure, with the help of Russia and other outside forces, Maduro is hanging on.”

“Not only hanging on,” agreed Sanders, “but he appears to still control the military. You have to understand that in Venezuela, gun ownership is not something that is open to everybody, so if the military have the guns, they have the power. And as long as Nicolas Maduro controls the military, he controls the country.”

Sanders was unwittingly making the argument for gun rights in order to secure the liberty of the people against what often veers into government tyranny.

“And Juan Guaido and his supporters have tried to peacefully protest,” Sanders explained, “they have gathered in large numbers. What we saw today when he met early this morning and stood there in front of those wearing uniforms, appear to be rank and file members who have switched their allegiance. We have seen over the recent months, those who have switched their allegiance, but not en masse.”

The surprise defense of gun rights from a network that often defends and advocates for greater gun control was widely celebrated on social media by proponents of the 2nd Amendment.

Here’s the video of MSNBC becoming gun-woke:

 

New Jersey Governor Hopes to Price Low-Income Residents Out of the Lawful Gun Market

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Proposed firearm-specific tax hikes promise radically higher costs to gun owners. READ MORE

new jersey gun tax

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

It’s no secret that the Garden State is hardly Eden for Second Amendment supporters, who are subjected there to some of the strictest firearm laws in the nation. But now Democrat Gov. Philip D. Murphy is targeting New Jersey’s law-abiding gun owners and would-be gun owners with proposals to increase by several orders of magnitude the mandatory fees state residents must pay to own or carry firearms. These anti-gun taxes would hit low-income residents the hardest, predictably pricing many of them out of the gun market entirely, even though they typically live in the state’s highest crime areas.

As reported in a New York Times article published on April 22, Murphy proposes to hike the fees for a firearm identification card from $5 to $100, a permit to own a firearm from $2 to $50, and a permit to carry a firearm from $20 to $400.

He additionally wants to impose excise taxes of 2.5% on firearms and 10% on ammunition.

The article states that although Murphy “is prohibited by state law from directing the new revenue toward specific programs,” he insisted “it would go toward anti-violence initiatives.”

The Times article mentions no evidence that Murphy’s plan would have any beneficial effect on violent crime, going so far as to say that “gun control advocates and researchers” were “not certain” that “higher fees alone would reduce violence.”

Indeed, as we have noted many times before, criminals typically go outside legitimate retail markets to obtain the firearms used in their offenses.

But research by economist John Lott reveals the most predictable outcome of raising fees for firearm-related permits, licenses, and mandatory training is simply to suppress the number of people who lawfully exercise their Second Amendment rights. Because fewer people can afford to participate in lawful gun markets, moreover, the promised funding for anti-violence initiatives never materializes. Meanwhile, the costs of policing low-income neighborhoods where law-abiding residents are disarmed may well increase.

All this presumably is not lost on Gov. Murphy, who believes imposing affirmative steps for voter registration (such as obtaining a state-issued ID) is tantamount to “voter suppression.” He can hardly escape the conclusion that punitive taxes aimed specifically at law-abiding firearm purchasers, especially when heaped upon the considerable delays and bureaucratic procedures New Jersey requires simply to keep a firearm in one’s home, are an even more drastic form of suppression.

Murphy’s proposals are so drastic and patently discriminatory that even some of his normally anti-gun Democrat colleagues are not enthusiastic. The Times quotes Democrat Stephen M. Sweeney, Senate President, as stating, “Just to check a box to say you did something, I’m not sure that’s necessary. I don’t think it’s going to raise a lot of money.” Former Colorado governor and current Democrat presidential candidate John Hickenlooper agreed in the Times article that raising costs would “reduce” participation in otherwise lawful activity. “But I’m not sure that’s the right way to make policy,” he admitted.

Murphy himself, however, seems unburdened by such concerns, proving that he’s just as comfortable with hypocrisy and double standards as he is with infringing the Second Amendment rights of New Jersey residents.

 

President Trump Withdraws U.S. from United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

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President Trump vows to get the United States out of the UN Arms Trade Treaty. READ MORE

trump att

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

During his speech to the 2019 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum, President Trump announced that he would “unsign” the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) effectively withdrawing the United States from the treaty.

Officially signed onto by the United States in 2013 by former Secretary of State John Kerry, the ATT represented the most dangerous step yet taken by international gun ban advocates. By announcing that he will officially withdraw the United States from the treaty, President Trump made clear that he would not abdicate control over the rights of law-abiding gun owners to foreign bureaucrats. He then signed, in front of all in attendance, a formal letter to the Senate requesting that it halt the ratification process and return the treaty to the Oval Office, where President Trump would “dispose” of it.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of President Trump’s actions to protect gun owners from international gun control. As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox put it, ?“today in front of 15,000 NRA members, President Trump once again demonstrated his commitment to our Second Amendment freedoms and American Sovereignty. His commitment to un-sign the anti-gun United Nations Arms Trade Treaty that was forced on us by John Kerry and Barrack Obama, gives NRA members one more reason to enthusiastically support his presidency. Donald Trump isn’t afraid to stand on the side of freedom and defend our God-given right to self-defense and we couldn’t be prouder to stand with him.”

While never ratified by the United States Senate, even unsigned treaties can be dangerous when they attempt to bind the United States to refrain from any act that would defeat the “object and purpose” of the treaty. This type of vague policy statement is typical of the many intentionally unclear provisions of the ATT that we have repeatedly warned could be used by future administrations or foreign bureaucrats to restrict the rights of law-abiding American gun owners.

In fact, the ATT was drafted with the express purpose of allowing future foreign officials to be able to amend the treaty without the agreement of the United States. By requiring only 3/4 of the treaty signatories to create an amendment to the treaty, the future danger of the treaty to American gun owners was effectively limitless.

Please join us in thanking President Trump for putting the constitutional rights of American gun owners ahead of the interests of foreign gun control advocates.

Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls

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The Swiss have had a long-standing and proud tradition of gun ownership. It’s being infringed on. READ MORE

swiss gun rights

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On May 19, Swiss citizens will go to the polls to vote in a referendum that will determine whether the peaceful mountain nation will acquiesce to the mandates of the European Firearms Directive. The Swiss have a proud history of voting to protect their firearms heritage. In 2011, the Swiss electorate rejected a ballot measure that would have ended the tradition of militia members keeping their firearms at home and burdened law-abiding gun owners with federal gun registration and new acquisition requirements.

Less than a week after the November 13, 2015, terrorist attack at the Bataclan theater in Paris, the European Union expedited its pre-existing plans to amend the European Firearms Directive. The European Firearms Directive sets the minimum threshold of gun regulation that EU member states must enact.

Finalized in May 2017, the new European Firearms Directive included a significant expansion of firearms registration and licensing requirements. Moreover, the European Firearms Directive prohibited most gun owners from accessing the following categories of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms,

Any of the following centre-fire semi-automatic firearms:

(a) short firearms which allow the firing of more than 21 rounds without reloading, if:

(i) a loading device with a capacity exceeding 20 rounds is part of that firearm; or

(ii) a detachable loading device with a capacity exceeding 20 rounds is inserted into it;

(b) long firearms which allow the firing of more than 11 rounds without reloading, if:

(i) a loading device with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds is part of that firearm; or

(ii) a detachable loading device with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds is inserted into it.

EU member states were given 15 months to conform their national laws to most portions of the European Firearms Directive and 30 months to conform to the registration provisions.

Neutral Switzerland is not a member of the EU. However, the country is a member of the Schengen Area – a coalition of European countries that have abolished the border controls between their nations. As a member of the Schengen Area, the Swiss are obligated to comply with the EU’s firearms mandates. During the convoluted EU legislative process, the Swiss were able to secure a small concession from the EU to permit preservation of its longstanding tradition of allowing members of the militia to keep their service rifles after their term of service.

In December 2017, Swiss gun rights group ProTell made clear that the group would oppose the attempt to align Swiss gun laws to the European Firearms Directive by referendum if necessary. On September 28, 2018 both houses of the Swiss Federal Assembly (parliament) voted to revise the country’s firearms laws to comport with the EU’s mandate.

After the Federal Assembly capitulated to Brussels’s demands, Swiss gun rights activists made good on their promise. On January 17, the pro-gun referendum committee submitted the necessary signatures to put the changes to Swiss gun law to a popular vote on May 19. Voters will be asked if they “Ja” support the Federal Assembly’s surrender to the EU, or “Nein” do not want the country to adopt the EU gun control requirements.

The referendum committee has developed the “Nein” campaign to promote the pro-gun rights position on the ballot. The “Nein” campaign has attracted a wide variety of support, including backing from many of the various archery and shooting sports clubs and organizations, ProTell, the largest political party in the National Council the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), and militia organizations. The campaign materials highlight Swiss shooters from all walks of life and point out that the attempt to conform Swiss firearms law to the European Firearms Directive is wrong, hostile to freedom, useless, dangerous, and anti-Swiss.

The referendum campaign shows that there are many in Switzerland that possess a deep understanding of the vital role an armed populace plays in a system of ordered liberty. The referendum committee website published a piece from SVP National Councilor Werner Salzmann which explained,

There are three mechanisms of protection that have proven effective throughout history to prevent state arbitrariness and human rights abuses: the separation of powers, the right to freedom of expression and the right to private firearms ownership.

All three of these protections have always been exceptionally well developed in Switzerland. The power-limiting effect of the separation of powers is reinforced in Switzerland by the referendum and initiative right. So-called “hate speech” censorship, as in Germany, does not exist with us. And every law-abiding, mentally unremarkable citizen in Switzerland could always buy as many commercial weapons and ammunition as she wanted. [Translated from the original German using Google Translate]

The referendum committee’s fact sheets point out several of the specific problems with the European Firearms Directive. The EU laws would turn the right to own commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms into a privilege. The measure would curtail possession of the civilian versions of the military’s SIG SG 510 and SIG SG 550, which account for 80 percent of the rifles used in sports shooting. Casual shooters could face disarmament, as they would not be able to provide the proof of the need for a semi-automatic firearm required by EU law.

The campaign has also made clear that the 2017 additions to the European Firearms Directive are only the beginning of the EU’s gun control efforts. Article 17 of the Directive requires that every five years the European Commission must “submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a report on the application of [the European Firearms] Directive, including a fitness check of its provisions, accompanied, if appropriate, by legislative proposals…”

With the natural rights of the Swiss in the balance May 19, NRA will continue to monitor Switzerland’s European Firearms Directive Referendum and keep American gun owners apprised of the latest developments.

 

NRA Statement on New York City’s Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

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New York City asks the U.S. Supreme Court to take a break in reviewing NYC’s anti-second-amendment policies… That’s NOT how the Supreme Court works! READ MORE

supreme court

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement in regards to last Friday’s attempt by the City of New York to dismiss the NRA-supported Supreme Court case N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. v. City of N.Y., et al.:

“The City of New York clearly knows that its current restrictions on the carrying and transportation of lawfully owned firearms are unconstitutional and will fail under any standard of constitutional review, as the NRA has been saying for years. Today, it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ignore the Constitution and allow the City to slow walk a narrow expansion of its current policy through a lengthy bureaucratic process — the result of which, even if adopted, would still unduly infringe upon the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. That is not how things work in the Supreme Court; the Court does not put its review on hold while the government embarks on a journey that at best might fix only a limited part of the constitutional defect. This is nothing more than a naked attempt by New York City to resist Supreme Court review of policies that even New York must recognize as inconsistent with the holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. The City of New York did not respect its citizens’ Second Amendment rights before the Supreme Court granted review in this case and it will not respect them going forward. We are confident that the Court will reject New York’s desperate attempt to avoid review of its blatantly unconstitutional laws.”