Now for some good news from the “other side.” Kudos to South Dakota! READ WHY
The National Rifle Association today applauded South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem for signing into law Senate Bill 47, NRA-backed legislation that fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.
“On behalf of the NRA’s five-million members, we would like to thank Governor Noem for her leadership on this critical issue,” said Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of the NRA-ILA. “This law is a common sense measure that allows law-abiding South Dakotans to exercise their fundamental right to self-protection in the manner that best suits their needs.”
This was the first bill Governor Noem signed into law.
South Dakota already recognizes the right to carry a firearm openly without a permit. Current law, however, requires a state-issued permit to carry that same firearm under a coat or in a bag. This new law simply extends the current open carry rule to concealed carry. Those who obtain permits will still enjoy the reciprocity agreements that South Dakota has with other states.
With this law, South Dakota joins Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, New Hampshire and North Dakota as the fourteenth state that allows constitutional carry.
A Texas House committee has approved legislation that would allow handguns to be carried—concealed or in a holster—without a state-issued license. Also, the Texas Senate has passed SB 1408, a bill to allow first responders to conceal carry.
The just-passed version of HB 1911’s permitless carry provisions approved by the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee contained several substantial changes from previous versions.
• To carry without a permit, gun owners would have to meet existing LTC standards: be 21 years of age or older, have no criminal convictions, and be eligible to purchase a weapon under federal and state laws. The previous version would have allowed guns to be carried by those 18 and older.
• Churches and places of worship would no longer be prohibited places to carry a gun, unless they posted 30.06 and/or 30.07 signs.
• Handguns carried in the open would still be required to be kept in a holster, but the restrictions on them being in a belt or shoulder holsters would be loosened.
“This bill simply creates an unlicensed option to carrying a handgun,” said Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford., chairman of the committee.
A competing bill, House Bill 375 by Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, wasn’t considered for a vote. Stickland’s legislation would allow anybody who legally owns a firearm to carry it without a license—a much broader franchise than what’s being considered in HB 1911.
“We understand that for the most part, Texans are satisfied with the current carry laws we have now. However, there is still a significant number of Texans who believe that if you’re a law-abiding citizen, you shouldn’t necessarily have to buy your way to a right to bear arms through a license,” Rep. James White (R-Hillister) told the Austin American-Statesman.
Over in the state Senate, SB 1408, brought by Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas), would allow first responders to carry a handgun on duty if they have Licenses to Carry (LTC) and have completed a special on-duty first responder training course that will be approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Senator Huffines said, “As first responders answer our cries for help, we cannot leave them exposed to attack. First responders do dangerous work and sometimes come under fire. In a time in which our police are targeted just because of their uniform and badge, we must not leave first responders disarmed and exposed to danger, either.”
If you feel that either piece of legislation should continue, please contact your representative and voice your support for these measures.
Judicial Watch, the Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group, has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) seeking records of communications inside the agency when it was considering reclassifying certain types of AR-15 ammunition as armor-piercing—and effectively banning it from civilian use.
Members who want to understand the precise statutory definition of ‘armor-piercing ammunition’ can find it in 18 U.S.C §921(a)(17).
In March 2015, more than 200 members of Congress wrote to former ATF director Todd Jones expressing their “serious concern” that the proposal might violate the Second Amendment by restricting ammunition that had been primarily used for “sporting purposes.” The letter asserted the ATF’s move “does not comport with the letter or spirit of the law and will interfere with Second Amendment rights by disrupting the market for ammunition that law-abiding Americans use for sporting and other legitimate purposes.”
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the agency failed to respond to a March 9, 2015, FOIA request seeking information on the ammo ban effort:
All records of communications, including emails, to or from employees or officials of the ATF related to the decision to revise the ATF 2014 Regulation Guide to no longer exempt 5.56 mm. SS109 and M855 (i.e., “green tip” AR-15) ammunition from the definition of “armor-piercing” ammunition.
“This is yet another example of how Obama’s wanton use of the ‘pen and the phone’ attempted to undermine the constitutional rights of all Americans, as opposed to upholding the rule of law,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama ATF simply ignored our request on their ammo ban. Let’s hope the Trump administration finally brings transparency to this out-of-control agency.”