Tag Archives: ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN

Virginia Police Chief Advocates Ban on All Guns at U.S. House “Assault Weapons” Hearing

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Chief says: “I believe any weapon that can be used to hunt individuals should be banned.” READ MORE

gun ban

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On Sept. 25, the Democrat-led U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a 3 ½ hour “hearing” entitled “Protecting America From Assault Weapons.” That framing of the issue underscored the erroneous notion that Americans need protection from inanimate objects, rather than from violent criminals who have and always will use any means at their disposal to harm innocent, defenseless people. It also revealed the unfortunate agenda of the proceedings, which was to emphasize politics and finger-pointing over any useful exploration of how Congress might take meaningful steps to improve public safety.

The most startling claim of the proceedings came when Dr. RaShall Brackney, Chief of the Charlottesville Police Department in Virginia responded to a question from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) about whether she would support a ban on hunting rifles. “I believe any weapon that can be used to hunt individuals should be banned,” Brackney replied.

This admission seemed to indicate that Brackney would be open to the banning of any firearm — or even any weapon — whatsoever, since a criminal bent on “hunt[ing] individuals” could use virtually any firearm for that purpose.

Dr. Brackney was given two opportunities by pro-gun committee members to walk back or provide more context for that statement. Instead, she dug in and reiterated the statement.

Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) even asked her directly, “Okay, so you then stand for the proposition to ban any type of firearm, because any firearm can be used and misused to kill people.”

Rather than answering the question directly, Dr. Brackney began talking about police and the social contract. Rep. Steube tried asking again, only to be interrupted by an anti-gun committee member who tried to raise a point of order. She claimed that Rep. Steube was “attacking” the witness — when in fact he was merely trying to get a straight answer — and requested that he “tone down his words.” That exchange took up most of Steube’s remaining time for questioning, which was not reinstated.

Again, however, Rep. Steube tried, to clarify, asking, “Any type of weapon … that can be used to kill people should be banned?” “Sir,” Brackney replied, “you’re adding the word ‘type.’ I said ‘any weapons,’ so that’s my answer. Thank you.”

The entire exchange can be seen at this link, click HERE

Notably, none of the committee members or witnesses in favor of the ban attempted to distance themselves from Brackney’s push for a complete gun ban.

Unfortunately, Dr. Brackney’s statements may have been one of the only honest claims of the entire hearing by those arguing in favor of the ban.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a Harvard Law School graduate, told a breathtaking whopper about the U.S. Supreme Court’s pivotal Second Amendment decision, District of Columbia v. Heller. He claimed the decision says, “the Second Amendment gives you a right to a handgun for purposes of self-defense and a rifle for purposes of hunting or recreation, but nowhere does it give you a right to weapons of war … .”

The essence of the Heller decision is that Americans have a right to possess the sorts of bearable arms “in common use for lawful purposes,” particularly self-defense, and that handguns qualify because they are overwhelmingly chosen by responsible, law-abiding persons for that purpose. Notably, the decision does not purport to overturn the 1939 Supreme Court case of U.S. v. Miller, which held that the Second Amendment protection extends to arms that are “part of the ordinary military equipment” or the use of which “could contribute to the common defense.” It also notes that while Americans of the founding era might have owned firearms primarily for self-defense and hunting, the founders themselves wanted to ensure the Second Amendment provided an effective check against disarming the people, which in turn was necessary to “be able to resist tyranny.”

Nowhere does either decision suggest that rifles are only protected to the extent they are used for hunting or recreation. Indeed, Heller makes clear that self-defense is the “core lawful purpose” with which the Second Amendment is concerned.

Another theme pushed again and again was that “assault weapons” like the AR-15 are “battlefield weapons” that have no place on “America’s streets.”

Fortunately, as witness Amy Swearer testified, the overwhelmingly majority of the 16 million or so AR and AK pattern rifles in America are not “on the streets” but in the homes of law-abiding owners who never have and never will use them for anything other than lawful purposes. Violent criminals have not embraced semi-automatic rifles as their “weapons of choice.”

Rifles of all types, of which the guns that would be categorized as “assault weapons” are only a subset, are used in only 2% of homicides. In 2018, more than five times as many people were killed with knives than were killed with all rifles. The same year, more than twice as many people were killed with personal weapons like hands, fists, or feet.

When all was said and done, gun owners had no reassurance that there was any limiting principle to the anti-gun committee members’ prohibitive intentions or that they were willing to learn anything that would influence their decision-making. Indeed, one could imagine that long after semi-automatic rifles were banned, the exact same hearing could be held on the next class of firearm law-abiding gun owners would be forced to surrender because the guns were used in crimes they did not commit.

 

Bill Clinton Touts Failed Gun Ban With Bogus Info

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Bill and Hillary Clinton just don’t draw like they used to. READ MORE

bill clinton

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Shunned by much of his own party, (described by one Vanity Fair commentator as “2020’s bubonic plague”) the former president has been relegated to providing lazy commentary on the issues of the day. Such was the case this week when the would-be first gentleman penned an op-ed touting one of his presidential administration’s abject policy failures, the so-called “assault weapons” ban.

Enacted in 1994 as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the Clinton semi-auto ban prohibited several models of semi-automatic firearms by name and prohibited other commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms based on certain cosmetic characteristics. The measure also banned standard capacity magazines that could hold more than 10 rounds. The legislation contained a 10-year sunset provision and required the Department of Justice to study the efficacy of the ban. The ban was not renewed in 2004.

The ban was allowed to lapse because in infringed on the constitutional right of law-abiding Americans, and, more simply, it didn’t work. The primary focus of the ban was the prohibition on certain configurations of semi-automatic rifles. Rifles of any description are rarely used in crime. FBI Uniform Crime Reporting data shows that in 2017 there were nearly four times as many individuals listed as killed with “knives or cutting instruments,” than with any type of rifle. Rifles were also listed as being used in less homicides than “blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.)” or “personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.).

A pair of DOJ studies on the ban found the ban ineffective precisely because the banned firearms were rarely used in crime. A 1997 DOJ study explained that “At best, the assault weapons ban can have only a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders.” A 2004 DOJ study reiterated this point, noting “AWs [assault weapons] and LCMs [large capacity magazines] were used in only a minority of gun crimes prior to the 1994 federal ban” and that “relatively few attacks involve more than 10 shots fired.” The study went on to determine, “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”

In his commentary, a strident Clinton proclaimed that his gun ban ameliorated mass shootings. Regarding such shootings, the 1997 DOJ study explained,

We were unable to detect any reduction to date in two types of gun murders that are thought to be closely associated with assault weapons, those with multiple victims in a single incident and those producing multiple bullet wounds per victim.

The 2004 DOJ study found, “it is not clear how often the outcomes of gun attacks depend on the ability to fire more than 10 shots (the current limit on magazine capacity) without reloading.”

In promoting further gun controls, Clinton pointed to a wide-ranging 2018 RAND Corporation study of the firearms issue. The former president must not have bothered to read what RAND had to say about so-called “assault weapons” bans. After surveying the available research on the topic, RAND researchers noted, “We found no qualifying studies showing that bans on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines decreased any of the eight outcomes we investigated” The outcomes the researchers investigated included “violent crime” and “mass shootings.”

Prodding lawmakers to reenact his failed policy, Clinton wrote,

The gun lobby often invokes the Democratic losses in the 1994 midterm elections after passing the assault-weapons ban and the Brady background-check bill to try to scare lawmakers of both parties into maintaining the status quo.

Clinton went on to assure lawmakers that “it’s a different world now.”

First, it is not just gun rights supporters that point to the 1994 midterm elections. Clinton himself has repeatedly acknowledged the devastating toll pro-gun activism and the Clinton gun ban exacted on Democratic incumbents.

Recalling the 1994 election in his autobiography “My Life,” Clinton explained,

On November 8, we got the living daylights beat out of us, losing eight Senate races and fifty-four House seats, the largest defeat for our party since 1946…. The NRA had a great night. They beat both Speaker Tom Foley and Jack Brooks, two of the ablest members of Congress, who had warned me this would happen. Foley was the first Speaker to be defeated in more than a century. Jack Brooks had supported the NRA for years and had led the fight against the assault weapons ban in the House, but as chairman of the Judiciary Committee he had voted for the overall crime bill even after the ban was put into it. The NRA was an unforgiving master: one strike and you`re out. The gun lobby claimed to have defeated nineteen of the twenty-four members on its hit list. They did at least that much damage….

Hillary Clinton reiterated this point in her 2017 book, “What Happened.” Hillary wrote,

In the 1990s, my husband fought hard to pass both a ten-year ban on assault weapons and the Brady Bill, which, for the first time, required background checks on many gun purchases at federally licensed firearms dealers… The NRA funded an intense backlash to the new safety measures and helped defeat a lot of Democratic members of Congress in the disastrous 1994 midterm elections. Then, in 2000, the NRA helped beat Al Gore.

Second, Clinton is correct that it is “a different world now,” just not in the way he thinks. Banning commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms has become less popular over the last 25 years. A March 1993 Gallup poll found that 66 percent of respondents supported an “assault gun” ban. When asked in a October 2018 Gallup poll about an “assault rifle” ban, 57 percent of respondents opposed the measure and only 40 percent supported it.

Aside from a general recognition of the failure of the Clinton’s ban, it is easy to see why public opinion has shifted on this issue. There are now well over 16 million commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles possessed by Americans. Since the end of the Clinton gun ban, the AR-15 has become the most popular rifle in the country. Further, Americans now own hundreds of millions of magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds. As ignorance about these firearms and magazines has receded, so too has the unfounded prejudice against them.

For a whole host of reasons, much of the Democratic Party has chosen to move on from Bill Clinton. The party would be wise to move past his stale and ineffective gun policies as well.

Never Enough: New Zealand Government Pushes Even More Gun Control

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In the wake of a failed ban and confiscate measure now there’s a proposed national registry to get it going again… READ MORE

new zealand gun ban

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On July 22, New Zealand’s Labour-led government announced a wide array of new gun control proposals. The move came amidst the island nation’s ongoing program to confiscate commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms from law-abiding gun owners that will last through December 20. The government’s most recent attack on gun owners is likely to engender further civil disobedience to the firearm confiscation scheme.

In March, following a high-profile shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern moved to ban and confiscate several types of commonly-owned firearms. The “Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Regulations 2019” was enacted in early April and, according to a summary from the New Zealand Police, prohibits the following —

All semi-automatic firearms (including semi-automatic shotguns), but:
Excluding rimfire rifles .22 calibre or less as long as they have a magazine (whether detachable or not) that holds 10 rounds or less; and
Excluding semi-automatic shotguns that have a non-detachable, tubular magazine that holds 5 rounds or less.
Pump action shotguns that:
Are capable of being used with a detachable magazine; or
Have a non-detachable tubular magazine capable of holding more than 5 rounds.

Moreover, the legislation prohibits rifle magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, shotgun magazines capable of holding more than 5 rounds of ammunition, and a host of semi-automatic firearm parts and accessories. Those in possession of the newly prohibited firearms are required to modify them to comply with the Arms Amendment or surrender them at a “collection event” for a predetermined compensation price.

Soon after enacting the new prohibition, some in law enforcement and the gun control community expressed concerns that the government had missed a crucial step in the civilian disarmament process — firearms registration. At present, prospective gun owners must acquire a firearms license. However, only pistols and a small subset of long guns are required to be registered.

This lack of a registry has frustrated the government’s ability to ensure compliance with their firearm confiscation effort. Addressing this issue, New Zealand Police Association President Chris Cahill complained in May, “We really have no idea how many of these firearms are out there in New Zealand… Which really points to how bad our firearms legislation has been, that we have let this get out of control.” Gun Control NZ co-founder Philippa Yasbek whined to the Washington Post, “These weapons are unlikely to be confiscated by police because they don’t know of their existence… These will become black-market weapons if their owners choose not to comply with the law and become criminals instead.”

According to a July 22 press release from Ardern and Minister of Police Stuart Nash, comprehensive firearms registration is the government’s top firearms legislative priority.

Given the government’s recent course of action, one might reasonably wonder how successful such a registration plan would be. Kiwi gun owners are now on notice that their government will confiscate firearms and that a registry would facilitate this task. Gun owners who register their firearms would possess their guns at the temporary pleasure of a state that has demonstrated a willingness to dispossess them of their property at a moment’s notice.

Ardern and Stuart’s message only provided the broad outlines of the government’s legislative proposals, noting that the full legislation would be released in August. The proposed restrictions encumber every aspect of gun ownership in New Zealand. The release stated that the legislation would do the following,

Establish a register of firearms and licence holders to be rolled out over 5 years

Tighten the rules to get and keep a firearms licence

Tighten the rules for gun dealers to get and keep a licence

Require licences to be renewed every five years

Introduce a new system of warning flags so Police can intervene and seek improvement if they have concerns about a licence holder’s behaviour

Prohibit visitors to New Zealand from buying a gun
Establish a licensing system for shooting clubs and ranges for the first time

Set up a new formal group to give independent firearms advice to Police, which will include people from within and outside the gun-owning community

Provide for new controls on firearms advertising

Require a licence to buy magazines, parts and ammunition
Increase penalties and introduce new offences

Enshrine in law that owning a firearm is a privilege and comes with an obligation to demonstrate a high level of safety and responsibility

Aside from the registration requirement, the most concerning proposal is the expansion of subjective government discretion in the firearm licensing process.

A document accompanying the press release titled, “Arms Amendment Bill: Q+As,” made clear just how intrusive the new licensing requirements could be. The Q+A stated that “Police will have a wider range of powers to intervene using a range of compliance and enforcement measures.” Moreover, the legislation will deputize medical officials to infringe gun rights. The document explained, “Health practitioners will have a new responsibility to notify Police if they believe a licence holder should not use a firearm.” The paper cited “gambling addiction” as a circumstance that could disqualify an individual from licensure.

The Q+A also elaborated on the “warning flags being built in to the licensing system.” The paper noted, “Behaviour that will raise flags includes encouraging or promoting violence, hatred or extremism…” In other words, the New Zealand government would be the arbiter of acceptable speech and political opinion and permit the exercise of firearms rights dependent upon an individual’s conformance with their dictates. A prospective or current firearms licensee might also earn a “warning flag” for the nebulous offense of “showing disregard for others property or land.”

In he and Ardern’s press release, Nash is quoted as stating, “Owning a gun is a privilege, not a right.” This is incorrect. The right to keep and bear arms is an extension of the natural right to self-defense and is therefore inherent to all people and not dependent upon a government for its existence. Governments may fail to recognize the right, but have no power to eliminate it.

Some American politicians share Nash’s view of gun rights and many share Ardern’s zeal to control her population through firearms restrictions. Americans should pay careful attention to the New Zealand government’s actions as it provides important insight into the goals and mindset of the Second Amendment’s domestic political adversaries.

 

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

Washington: Attorney General Introduces Additional Gun Ban Legislation

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

washington attorney general

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

 

Boulder’s AR-15 Certification Ordinance Sure Sounds Like A Test Run For A Gun Registry

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Boulder, Colorado calls for nothing less than an out-and-out registry to allow “grandfather clause” possession of AR-15s. READ MORE

boulder ar 15 ban

SOURCE: NRA-ILA, Matt Vespa

Remember when Boulder, Colorado banned the ownership of AR-15 rifles? They also banned high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, giving gun owners with such magazines until July 15, 2018 to either sell them or dispose of them –whatever that means. Most likely, you’ll have to turn them over to the authorities. Now, there is a grandfather clause allowing residents who already owned AR-15s to keep them as long as they get a certificate by the local sheriff’s office. Well, that date is rapidly approaching. AR-15 owners have until December 27 to certify their weapons. If owners fail to do this, they won’t be allowed to own their rifles within city limits. So far, only 85 rifles have been certified (via Denver Post):

“Boulder police have certified 85 assault weapons to residents with less than a month to go before all such firearms will need to be verified or removed from the city.

A ban on the sale or possession of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks was passed unanimously in May by Boulder city council. Guns already owned by residents were grandfathered in; council gave residents until the end of the year to obtain a certificate.

Certification is not a registry; the department keeps no records or paperwork of any kind. The only information they have is a handwritten count, said Boulder police Sgt. Dave Spraggs. Eighty-seven certificates have been issued to date. Two of those were redundancies, for the same weapon shared between a husband and wife.”

This is nonsense. And yes, it may not be a registry, but it sure sounds like a test run. We all know that the anti-gun Left wants to shred the Constitution, ban firearms, and confiscate them by force if necessary. How can one do that efficiently? You need a gun registry, which is why the universal background check push is such a fraud. We have enough laws on the books that prevents criminals and nutcases from committing heinous acts. In recent months, we’ve seen that such laws are not enforced all the time, however. Just look at the Navy Yard Shooting, Dylann Roof’s preventable hate crime in South Carolina, and the Sutherland Springs shooting in Texas, where an Air Force veteran, who served a year in jail after a 2012 court martial for domestic violence, was allowed to purchased an AR-15 because…the Air Force did not inform the FBI of his conviction. The recent school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Broward County, Florida was also preventable.

I’ll let Tom Knighton at our sister site Bearing Arms sign off on this one:

Councilman Brockett thinks he wants to see these guns gone, but he doesn’t understand what that world would look like. He doesn’t get that with every gun unavailable to the law-abiding citizen, there’s another gun the criminals can use without worrying about whether their victims have a way to respond.

That way lies chaos. It leads to horrific crimes that no one can stop, crimes like the gang violence plaguing Mexico where the average citizen is essentially disarmed. You’re deluded if you think the disarmed populace doesn’t play into the cartels’ plans.

I’m not saying it would happen overnight, but it would embolden criminals.

As it stands, Boulder will still have people with these rifles. It’ll have them, and that will keep the worst of this kind of thing away. It’ll let the gun grabbers live in the delusion that they’re somehow safer, at least for a little while.

But it doesn’t change the fact that this is wrong, stupid, and immoral.

Wrong, stupid, and immoral — excellent words to describe American liberalism.

 

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly-Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

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I guess we all figured THIS one was coming, and, well, here it is… Read more.

Dianne Feinstein

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On Wednesday, November 8, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced S. 2095, which she is calling the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2017.” The 125-page firearm prohibition fever dream is perhaps the most far-reaching gun ban ever introduced in Congress.

Subject to an exception for “grandfathered” firearms, the bill would prohibit AR-15s and dozens of other semi-automatic rifles by name (as well as their “variants” or “altered facsimiles”), and any semi-automatic rifle that could accept a detachable magazine and be equipped with a pistol grip, an adjustable or detachable stock, or a barrel shroud. And that’s just a partial list. “Pistol grip” would be defined as “a grip, a thumbhole stock, or any other characteristic that can function as a grip,” meaning the ban could implicate even traditional stocks or grips specifically designed to comply with existing state “assault weapon” laws.

Needless to say, semi-automatic shotguns and handguns would get similar treatment.

Also banned would be any magazine with a capacity of greater than 10 rounds or even any magazine that could be “readily restored, changed, or converted to accept” more than 10 rounds.

While Feinstein’s bill would graciously allow those who lawfully owned the newly-banned guns at the time of the law’s enactment to keep them, it would impose strict storage requirements any time the firearm was not actually in the owner’s hands or within arm’s reach. Violations would be punishable (of course) by imprisonment.

Owners of grandfathered “assault weapons” could also go to prison for allowing someone else to borrow or buy the firearm, unless the transfer was processed through a licensed firearms dealer. The dealer would be required to document the transaction and run a background check on the recipient.

Should lawful owners of the newly-banned firearms and magazines decide that the legal hazards of keeping them were too much, the bill would authorize the use of taxpayer dollars in the form of federal grants to establish programs to provide “compensation” for their surrender to the government.

This bill is nothing more than a rehash of Feinstein’s failed experiment in banning “assault weapons” and magazines over 10 rounds. Except this time, Feinstein would like to go even further in restricting law-abiding Americans’ access to firearms and magazines that are commonly owned for lawful self-defense.

The congressionally-mandated study of the federal “assault weapon ban” of 1994-2004 found that the ban had little, if any, impact on crime, in part because “the banned guns were never used in more than a modest fraction” of firearm-related crime.

Don’t let Dianne Feinstein infringe on our Second Amendment rights with a policy that’s been proven to do nothing to stop crime. Please contact your U.S. Senators and encourage them to oppose S. 2095. You can contact your U.S. Senators by phone at (202) 224-3121.