Tag Archives: CALIFORNIA

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.

California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills Into Law

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Seven new anti-gun bills are now law in California. Oh wait… And one more Monday makes eight! READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Last Friday, Governor Newsom signed seven anti-gun bills into law — continuing the assault on our Second Amendment rights in the Golden State. These new laws pile onto the hundreds of existing laws and, like the others, will be equally ignored by criminals. Your NRA will not back down while we explore further action on these new laws.

Assembly Bill 12, sponsored by Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin (D-44), would extend the duration of California’s “gun violence restraining order” law from one year to a period of up to five years. Meaning a person could be prohibited from owning and possessing firearms for five years at a time without ever being adjudicated as dangerously mentally ill or convicted of a crime.

Assembly Bill 61, sponsored by Assembly Member Philip Ting (D-19), would expand the list of those eligible to file “gun violence restraining orders” beyond the currently authorized petitioners, which include immediate family and law enforcement. The new list is expanded to employers, coworkers and employees of a secondary or postsecondary school that the person has attended in the last 6 months. GVRO’s can remove a person’s Second Amendment rights, not based on criminal convictions or mental health adjudications, but based on third party allegations, often without due process until weeks after a person’s rights have been suspended.

Assembly Bill 879, sponsored by Assembly Member Mike Gipson (D-64), would require precursor firearms parts to be sold/transferred through a licensed precursor parts dealer in a similar process to the new laws regarding ammunition purchases. It would further create a registry of these parts and a new crime for transfer of precursor parts without the involvement of a licensed precursor parts dealer to anyone under 21 years of age or prohibited from owning firearms. Precursor parts include items such as unfinished frames and receivers.

Assembly Bill 893, sponsored by Assembly Member Todd Gloria (D-78), would prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition at the Del Mar fairgrounds located in the 22nd District Agricultural Association on and after January 1, 2021.

Assembly Bill 1297, sponsored by Assembly Member Kevin McCarty (D-7), would remove the maximum fee a local authority can charge on the concealed carry permit application.

Assembly Bill 1669, sponsored by Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-18), would raise the fees paid by consumers when purchasing firearms. The DROS account has generated a massive surplus at times, so much so that tens of millions of dollars that have been utilized to fund other DOJ programs, including a $24 million dollar loan to the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) just a few years ago. This legislation appears nothing more than an effort to put more cost constraints on gun owners to foot the bill for the massive cost pressures the legislature has put on DOJ in recent years including ammunition background checks and long gun registration.

Senate Bill 61, sponsored by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-25), as amended would expand California’s existing one handgun a month law to also apply to handguns or centerfire semi-automatic rifles, with limited exceptions. Further the bill expands the prohibition on acquisition of firearms by a person under 21 years of age by eliminating the existing exception for 18-20 year-olds with a valid hunting license.

But that’s not all folks!

California: Anti-Gun and Anti-Hunting Bill Signed into Law

Prior to the October 13 deadline, Governor Newsom signed the final anti-gun and anti-hunting bills, AB 1254 and SB 172 into law. These two bills, combined with the seven anti-gun bills just shown and signed into law on Friday, made it a tough year for gun owners and sportsmen in the Golden State as our Second Amendment Rights and Hunting Heritage were under an all out assault. Your NRA will not back down and will continue to explore further action on these new laws.

Assembly Bill 1254, sponsored by Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-54) would prohibit the ability to hunt, trap or otherwise take a bobcat except in specified circumstances including depredation permits.

Senate Bill 172, sponsored by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-25), would expand California’s existing storage laws and includes harsh penalties, such as a 10 year ban on firearm ownership.

 

 

A Tale of Two Rallies

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California Democratic Rep. Eric Swallwell takes his battle “to the NRA’s doorstep” to press his points about gun control. Here’s what happened. READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The 2020 presidential contest is now underway in earnest. Last Tuesday, President Trump officially kicked off his reelection campaign to a packed house at the 20,000 seat Amway Center in Orlando, FL. Earlier that day, one of the two dozen or so contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination tried to have a rally of his own to draw attention to his signature issue of gun control. The difference between the two events speaks volumes about the role the Second Amendment plays in American politics.

At about 1:30 in the afternoon, Eric Swallwell, a little-known U.S. Congressman from California’s 15th District, held an event on the sidewalk across from NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, VA. Swallwell is polling at a pathetic 1% in his party’s primary race and just barely qualified to attend the first Democrat debate.

The location of the “event” (if that’s not too strong a word) was meant to be symbolic. Speaking to The Hill last week, the candidate boasted: “I’m taking the battle to the NRA’s doorstep with a new, broader package of commonsense reforms to end gun violence.” The Hill article noted that “gun control” is the “centerpiece” of this individual’s “long-shot Democratic presidential bid.” Indeed, at his campaign launch in April, he told his audience that “this issue [i.e., gun control] comes first.”

It can only be assumed, then, that this “confrontation” with the NRA was a key moment in his effort to gain some national attention and raise his profile in a crowded field.

Instead, the gathering was an embarrassingly lame example of either extremely poor planning or rank disinterest in anything the individual had to say. With sun breaking through the clouds, accompanied by typical Northern Virginia heat and humidity, the crowd topped out at 18 individuals during the height of the event. This does not include the individual himself or a small contingent of reporters, but it does include his own staff and others who actually accompanied him to the site.

Adding to the humorous nature of the scene was the backdrop of a giant black tour bus that looked as if it could have held many dozens of occupants. Like a reverse clown car, it disgorged a “crowd” completely disproportionate to its size.

There’s nothing funny, however, about what this pretender would do to your Second Amendment rights in the far-fetched event he actually wielded power from the Oval Office.

Swallwell’s plan — which he misleadingly calls “A National Framework to End Gun Violence” — is basically a compendium of the worst thinking on gun control from the last 40 years.

Needless to say, the centerpiece of the “Framework” is a massive gun ban, in this case on what he calls “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons.” This likely refers to magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, which not incidentally is America’s most popular centerfire rifle platform.

Unlike other recent proposals, his plan calls for forcing those who previously obtained the newly-banned guns lawfully to surrender them to the government for whatever compensation D.C. bureaucrats decided to offer. He calls this the option for the person “who chooses to follow the law.”

Any person “caught defying the law” by refusing to relinquish their lawfully-obtained and constitutionally-protected property, meanwhile, could expect to be criminally prosecuted under the plan.

Of course, the true threats to public peace and order do not “choose[] to follow the law,” and the types of firearms he proposes to ban are actually under-represented in violent crime in the U.S. And even considering the far more infrequent phenomena of mass shootings, semi-automatic rifles are under-represented in those crimes as well.

The rest of his proposed agenda is too lengthy to fully enumerate, but lowlights include:

a mandatory 48-hour waiting period to take possession of a purchased gun (including, apparently, for those who already own guns);
a ban on the private sale of firearms;

federal licensing and mandatory training to obtain a firearm;

a nationwide registry of every firearm, firearm owner, and firearm transaction in America;

rationing of the purchase of handguns and ammunition; and

a cap on the amount of ammunition that individuals may possess at any one time to 200 rounds per caliber or gauge.

The full list is considerably longer, but the obvious intent is to discourage gun ownership by making it as expensive, burdensome, bureaucratic, legally perilous, and socially unacceptable as possible. Indeed, if he accomplished every item he proposes, American citizens would be worse off in terms of access to firearms than residents of many Western European countries that have no pretense of a “right” to arms and instead treat gun ownership as a tightly-restricted privilege.

Yet even as this plan was being unveiled to an audience that could barely fill a spacious utility closet, another, significantly larger audience was massing well ahead of President Trump’s official campaign kick-off later that night. That event packed the 20,000 seats of the arena, with an overflow crowd cheering the President on from outside of the venue as well.

And it wasn’t just the numbers that told the tale. There was an enthusiasm and electricity to the crowd in Orlando that is simply unmatched in American politics today.

For Second Amendment supporters, the president has been a steadfast ally, refusing to bend to the will of anti-gun forces within the Democrat party, the legacy media, and increasingly in a business climate that appears to embrace virtue signaling even over company mission or shareholder value. His years in office have seen some of the harshest, most sustained attacks against the Second Amendment in our nation’s history, and he has held firm to his promise to be friend to the law-abiding gun owner. None of the many gun control bills introduced into Congress have succeeded during his watch.

Not only that, he has appointed two justices to the U.S. Supreme Court committed to the original understanding of the U.S. Constitution. The Second Amendment will again be before the court this year, and thanks to President Trump, it will be given the respectful consideration it deserves. That would not have happened if Hillary Clinton had succeeded in her bid for the White House.

President Trump mentioned the Second Amendment three times in Orlando, and the crowd responded each time with raucous cheering and applause.

Like his would-be opponent from California, the President has situated the Second Amendment squarely at the center of his campaign. President Trump, however, understands the fundamental place the right to keep and bear arms holds in American life. “We will protect our Second Amendment,” he promised once again.

Fortunately, President Trump will almost certainly not be facing the Congressman from California’s 15th District in the race for the White House. And while the president’s eventual opponent is likely to take a more “moderate” stance on firearms in the general election, there’s little doubt the gun control wish list unveiled last Tuesday was as much as anything a roadmap anti-gun forces hope will lead to the eventual destruction of the Second Amendment. Bit by bit, they are hoping to change the terms of the debate and move the window on what is considered possible in infringing your rights.

Two views of the Second Amendment emerged on Tuesday, and it was clear which one was more widely embraced.

But make no mistake, there is still much work to be done to ensure that view also prevails in 2020. The media’s knives were out before the president even finished his speech, spinning familiar tales about the doom that surely await his electoral ambitions.

So we must do all we can to protect our freedoms in the 2020 elections.

 

Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

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Major 2nd Amendment boost! Judge overturns California’s ban on “high-capacity” magazines, the ban was “turning the Constitution upside down.” READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In one of the strongest judicial statements in favor of the Second Amendment to date, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined last Friday that California’s ban on commonly possessed firearm magazines violates the Second Amendment.

The case is Duncan v. Becerra.

The NRA-supported case had already been up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on the question of whether the law’s enforcement should be suspended during proceedings on its constitutionality. Last July, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit upheld Judge Benitez’s suspension of enforcement and sent the case back to him for further proceedings on the merits of the law itself.

Judge Benitez rendered his opinion late Friday afternoon and handed Second Amendment supporters a sweeping victory by completely invalidating California’s 10-round limit on magazine capacity. “Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts,” he declared.

In a scholarly and comprehensive opinion, Judge Benitez subjected the ban both to the constitutional analysis he argued was required by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and a more complicated and flexible test the Ninth Circuit has applied in prior Second Amendment cases.

Either way, Judge Benitez ruled, the law would fail. Indeed, he characterized the California law as “turning the Constitution upside down.” He also systematically dismantled each of the state’s purported justifications for the law, demonstrating the factual and legal inconsistencies of their claims.

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox hailed the decision as a “huge win for gun owners” and a “landmark recognition of what courts have too often treated as a disfavored right.”

“Judge Benitez took the Second Amendment seriously and came to the conclusion required by the Constitution,” Cox said. “The same should be true of any court analyzing a ban on a class of arms law-abiding Americans commonly possess for self-defense or other lawful purposes.”

Unfortunately, Friday’s opinion is not likely to be the last word on the case. The state will likely appeal to the Ninth Circuit, which has proven notably hostile to the Second Amendment in past decisions.

Nevertheless, the thoroughness of Judge Benitez’s analysis should give Second Amendment supporters the best possible chance for success in appellate proceedings, particularly if the case ultimately lands before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the meantime, Friday’s order prohibits California from enforcing its magazine restrictions, leaving its law-abiding residents safer and freer, at least for the time being.

To stay up-to-date on the Duncan case and other important Second Amendment issues affecting California gun owners, click HERE. And be sure to subscribe to NRA-ILA and CRPA email alerts HERE and HERE.

Anti-Gun Democrat Proposes Banning Semi-Autos and Going After “Resisters”

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Don’t believe the smoke screen: the anti-gun agenda won’t rest until they’ve got your gun… READ MORE

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SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The May 11, 2018 headline of the USA Today op-ed said it all. Anti-gun Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) last week advocated for legislation to ban an as-yet undetermined class of semi-automatic firearms and to “go after resisters” who refuse to relinquish their lawfully-acquired firearms. Lest anyone mistake his intentions, Swalwell followed up with a lengthy NBC News interview this week in which he made clear that his own proposal is a departure from prior gun bans that allowed those who obtained the firearms when they were lawful to keep them. Swalwell said that after thinking “about the different ways to address it … I concluded the only way to do this is to get those weapons out of our communities.”

According to the NBC piece, Swalwell is modeling his own proposal on laws passed during the 1990s in Australia. The article then inaccurately states, “But while Australia comes up often in gun debates, almost no prominent figures have proposed national laws that would demand that gun owners turn in existing weapons en masse.”

The truth is that anyone who suggests the United States should adopt Australian-style gun control — a club that includes such infamous gun ban advocates as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — is by definition advocating for the forcible disarming of “resisters.” That, in fact, was the signature feature of the Australian approach.

The widespread disarming of Australian citizens occurred through a comprehensive scheme that proceeded as follows. What is no longer debatable, however, is the true agenda and ideology that lies behind the gun control project in America. It is the abolition of the right to gun ownership in America as we know it … “resisters” be damned.

First, the various political subdivisions within Australia unanimously agreed to a uniform ban on large categories of popular firearms. The ban was both retroactive and prospective.

Second, the government instituted “amnesty” periods, which allowed those who had previously acquired the newly-banned firearms lawfully to surrender them to the government for a fixed and nonnegotiable rate of compensation.

Third, and most importantly, anyone who refused to relinquish their formerly lawful property was to be treated as an armed criminal, with all the physical jeopardy and legal consequences that entails.

The Australian government also uses a “may-issue” licensing scheme for firearm acquisition, which among other things requires an applicant to show a “genuine reason” for needing the gun. Self-defense — which the U.S. Supreme Court considers the “central component” of America’s right to keep and bear arms – is not recognized under Australian law as a permissible reason for the acquisition, ownership, or use of a firearm.

Australian-style gun control, in other words, is completely foreign to and incompatible with America’s history, tradition, and rights of firearm ownership. Simply put, there is no reconciling Australian-style gun control with America’s Second Amendment, a fact which even some gun control advocates in their more candid moments are willing to admit.

If Swalwell has distinguished himself at all from other American advocates of the Australian approach, it’s because he is willing to be more forthcoming about the fact that it would turn millions of formerly law-abiding Americans into armed “criminals” with the stroke of a pen.

In his NBC interview, however, he tried to have it both ways.

First, he insisted:

I’m not proposing a roundup or confiscation. It would be like anything else that’s banned: If you’re caught with it there would be a steep penalty. Any fear of ATF agents going door to door to collect assault weapons is unfounded and not what is proposed here. They don’t go collecting drugs that are banned or any other substance or weapon that’s banned and I’m not proposing that here.

That, of course, is a lie. Law enforcement agents with enough probable cause that someone possesses drugs or other contraband to get a warrant absolutely do go after the contraband. Some might even say they are duty-bound to do so. A quick Internet search will show you what that looks like in the real world.

Anybody who illegally possesses a contraband firearm potentially risks the same treatment. Swalwell, who touts his credentials as a former prosecutor, surely knows that.

But when asked to elaborate about the “stiff penalties” that would supposedly ensure compliance with his scheme, Swalwell seemingly contradicted his no-confiscation stance, stating, “I’d want to first get the gun.”

To their credit, NBC asked Swalwell directly whether he was “prepared for some of the confrontations that might erupt from this,” adding, “You’re surely familiar with the slogan, ‘I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands.’” Swalwell brushed aside the question, indicating that Parkland survivors who have been advocating for gun control have given him “courage” for resolute action.

The actions he is calling for, however, carry inherent risks of further unnecessary loss of innocent life.

But that is what the gun “debate” has come to in America, with at least one gun control advocate so emboldened that he’s openly willing to put violent confrontations on the table to advance the agenda.

Whether Rep. Swalwell is serious or whether he is just hoping to move the Overton Window on what is considered legitimate rhetoric in the realm of gun control policy is perhaps debatable.

What is no longer debatable, however, is the true agenda and ideology that lies behind the gun control project in America. It is the abolition of the right to gun ownership in America as we know it … “resisters” be damned.