Tag Archives: Second Amendment

Beto O’Rourke: We’ll Use Fines to ‘Compel’ Compliance with AR-15 Ban

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Robert “Beto” O’Rourke explained he plans to use fines to “compel” American gun owners to comply with his AR-15 ban, during an exchange with reporters last weekend. READ MORE

beto

SOURCE: Breitbart News, AWR Hawkins

O’Rourke made his claim in a video posted by Fox4 DFW’s Teresa Riley.

He was asked how he plans to make Americans comply with his AR-15 ban and he said, “I begin by saying we expect our fellow Americans to follow the law. If they do not there would be a fine imposed to compel them to follow the law.”

Teresa Riley
@TeresaRFox4
Question: what happens if people don’t sell their guns back to the govt….answer:

See the video HERE

O’Rourke went to talk about the example of Australia, citing how that country put in place a similar ban. He claimed Australia witnessed, “a near 50 percent reduction in gun violence deaths” as a result. But O’Rourke did not mention that rifles are not a statistically significant contributor to overall gun deaths in the U.S.

In fact, FBI crime stats for 2017 show there were 403 rifle-related deaths for the year, and those deaths were from all kinds of rifles combined — breech action, pump action, bolt action, lever action, semiautomatic, etc. Crossing the street resulted in over 5,800 deaths in 2017.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports there are 16 million-plus privately owned AR-15s in the U.S.

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

 

 

Wal-Mart Expands Their Anti-Gun Agenda

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What the absolute heck is Wal-Mart doing? Once a proud symbol of American Capitalism, and the face of big-box retail, Wal-Mart continues to alienate it’s base of consumers with another knee-jerk reaction prodded by woke-troopers and social justice warriors.

wal-mart ammo

by Midsouth Shooters

Wal-Mart has been steadily rolling back their support of the Second Amendment since 1993 when they stopped the sale of all handguns in every state except Alaska. Then, in 2015 it ended the sale of AR-15 style MSR rifles, and any toy or airgun resembling any “military-style rifle used in mass shootings,” per the published Wal-Mart policy. Last year, it raised the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, two weeks after 17 students and teachers were killed in a shooting at a high school in Parkland, FL.

Just this past week, Wal-Mart rolled out another set of policies after the recent shooting at a Wal-Mart Super Center in El Paso, TX. The shooting resulted in 22 deaths and 24 injuries. Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old from Allen TX, was arrested shortly after the shooting and charged with capital murder. Police believe he published a document, described by others as a white nationalist, anti-immigrant manifesto, on 8chan shortly before the attack, citing inspiration from that year’s Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand.

Wal-Mart CEO, Doug McMillon was quoted as saying:

“After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a memo to employees on Tuesday.

Wal-Mart has also stated in it’s newly minted policy they will no longer sell handgun ammo. McMillon previously said Walmart was responsible for 2% of firearm sales in the US and 20% of ammunition sales. Walmart expects its share of ammunition sales to drop to between 6% and 9% as a result of the newly announced changes. The company will continue to sell the shotguns and rifles that it carries.

“In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again,” McMillon said in a memo to employees on Tuesday. “The status quo is unacceptable.”

Another rider on the new Wal-Mart policy affects customers who open-carry in their stores. If shoppers openly carry guns into Walmart stores going forward, store managers may ask the shopper to leave and safely secure their gun in their vehicle before returning to the store. “The policies will vary by location, however, and shoppers who are openly carrying guns may not always be asked to leave the store,” a Walmart spokesman said.

“We encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger,” McMillon said. “We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness.”

In the days since the new policies have taken effect, Kroger, and it’s holdings have also announced their plans to cease the sale of handgun ammunition.

It’s the belief of this writer the precedent set here is a slippery, if not inherently dangerous one. Capitalism is the lifeblood of any strong economy, and works hand-in-hand with a strong republic, but allowing a company to be swayed by social temperature is inherently dangerous, not only for the company, but the population at large.

In a quote from 2007, Jason Hornady of Hornady Ammunition said, “As long as a Hornady is at Hornady, we will never sell direct to Wal-Mart. They are no friend of the industry.”

Midsouth Shooters was founded on the tenants of honesty, family, and fairness, rooted in American and God. For a company, or organization, to be swayed by knee-jerk reactions sets a precedent of allowing the mob to dictate overreaching policies which put many in harms way. Effectively, Wal-Mart has been bullied into cow-towing to the social justice warriors, and woke-ninjas in the vocal minority.

Wal-Mart may not sell the ammo you need, and more companies beholden to the pressure of the vocal minority may follow suit. Midsouth will continue to sell the ammunition and reloading supplies you need, regardless. Our Second Amendment right is a sacred right, and for you to protect your family with the tools available, you need access to fairly priced ammunition and firearms.

Colorado Student Banned From School For Going Shooting With His Mom

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Dang. When I was a kid in Colorado I used to go shooting with the School Superintendent and his kids… This is insane! READ ABOUT IT

loveland high school

SOURCE: RallyForYourRights.com by Lesley Hollywood

Justine Myers is your pretty average northern Colorado mom. She loves her kids, supports the troops, praises our first responders, and owns firearms. On Wednesday, Justine picked up her 16 year old son Nate early from school for some mother-son bonding time — she took him shooting, a common northern Colorado hobby.

After a fun afternoon, they return home and get settled in — and the police show up. Nate had posted on his Snapchat that he was going shooting with his mom along with a video (for those who need a little help translating the slang kids use these days “Finna be lit” basically means “Going to be a good time”)… See that HERE

And there’s a VIDEO of him shooting with his mother, who can be heard instructing him.

A report had come in to the police department about the video and they were told Nate was a threat. After showing the videos to the police officers and explaining that they’d simply gone on a mother-son outing to train with their legally owned firearms, the police stated that they had done nothing illegal and were well within their rights. They also determined Nate was not a threat to himself or anyone else, and went on their way.

But it wasn’t over.

The next Justine woke up to a voicemail from Thompson Valley School District where Nate is a junior at Loveland High School in Loveland, Colorado. The voicemail informed Justine that a report had come in claiming Nate was a threat to the school and he was not allowed to return until further notice. The report presumably came through “Safe 2 Tell,” which is essentially an anonymous “red flag” reporting outlet. There are reports that a schoolwide email was also sent to parents about the “threat.” Justine immediately contacted the school assuming she could easily clear things up, especially since the police had already assessed the situation and realized no one had done anything wrong or made any threats. She was wrong. The school not only refused to provide her with more information about the “threat,” but they refused to provide Nate with schoolwork so he didn’t get behind. A “threat assessment hearing” has been scheduled for Thursday morning at 10am at the school admin building where Justine will be allowed to defend her son against SEVEN school officials who will be in attendance to, as she was told, “make their case.” Make their case of what? That Nate’s outing with his mother to train using firearms with her somehow makes him a danger to the school?

I spoke with Justine, as well as two different attorneys who specialize in Second Amendment issues. The bottom line is the school is legally within their rights at this time. According to the attorneys, the school has a protocol that must be followed when a report of a threat comes in through Safe 2 Tell or other means, even if the report is completely false — and there is nothing parents or students can legally do about it, even with a lawyer. If the student is charged or further action is taken, that changes. This is why students have dubbed Safe 2 Tell as “Safe 2 Swat,” referencing the act of “swatting,“ a criminal harassment tactic of deceiving an emergency service into sending a police and emergency service response team to another person’s address. The person who will face no repercussions? The false accuser. As for Nate, he has aspirations to join the military and is now worried this incident will go on his permanent school record with far-reaching implications.

If this happens to you or your child, what should you do?

1.) Don’t talk to the police.
2.) Be prepared for a visit from CPS.
3.) Consider moving your firearms to safe place until it is cleared up.
4.) Contact us for lawyer referrals and moral support. HERE

We’ve had some people accuse us of this story being fabricated. We don’t fabricate stories. The mother is a member of our organization [Rocky Mountain Gun Owners] and we reached out to help her. We have both email and voicemails from the school but chose to not publish them out of fear of readers doxxing the school employees (something we’d rather not be held legally liable for). The story is breaking. Click HERE for another source.

Additionally, Complete Colorado, a news and commentary source in the state, sent Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams the Snapchat with no context to what was happening and asked him how he would interpret the post, he said it appeared to him someone got a new gun and was excited to go shoot it.

When told of the outcome, Reams could not believe one person’s fears were causing such a shakeup for another. He said this is the perfect example of the damage a Red Flag Law can do.

“People base their apprehension on their own paradigm and their own fear of guns and gun culture,” Reams said. “One kid is totally excited to go out and train on how to use a gun responsibly, while another kid is totally freaked out about seeing a gun.”

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Parkland father Andrew Pollack: Daughter’s murder made me ‘pro-Second Amendment’

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Not what “they” expected this man to say, but this is the reality of the value of the Second Amendment. READ MORE

pollack

SOURCE: The Washington Times, by Jessica Chasmar, and Fox News

Andrew Pollack, the outspoken father of one of the students killed during the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting, said last Wednesday that he was never a big gun-rights supporter until he realized how defenseless his daughter was when she was gunned down at school last year.

“I was never such a pro-Second Amendment type of guy until this happened to my daughter and I saw how she became such a victim on that third floor and no one came in to help her,” Mr. Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was among the 17 students and staff killed by a gunman on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told Fox News host Martha MacCallum.

Mr. Pollack cited the recent mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed and others attempted to hide or flee, as an example of people needing to be able to carry guns so they can fight back.

“Every time that there’s a mass shooting and there’s a victim cowering, like at Walmart recently where those people were killed in Texas and there were victims cowering — it shows you how important the Second Amendment is,” he said. “When seconds count, you need to be able to protect yourself. First responders are usually minutes away.

“That is why I am such a believer in the Second Amendment and I’ll never let one of my friends or loved ones be a victim, like what happened to my daughter on that third floor.”

@AndrewPollackFL
When SECONDS matter, police are MINUTES away.

This is why people must start protecting themselves with a gun until police arrive.

I will NEVER again let what happened to my daughter happen to one of my friends or loved ones. #FixIt

SEE it HERE

See full article HERE

White House School Safety Report Recommends Gun Confiscation Orders

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Seems that the Trump Administration is supporting “Red Flag Laws.” This is disconcerting stuff folks, confusing to say the very least. READ MORE

trump with report

SOURCE: Breitbart, others

On December 18, the White House released results of its School Safety Commission findings. Notable within the content of the 177-page report:

“The Commission endorses Extreme Risk Protection Order laws, which give authorities a temporary way to keep those who threaten society from possessing or purchasing firearms.”

Breitbart quoted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s preview of the report: “Our report endorses states adoption of extreme risk protection orders, which temporarily restrict access to firearms to individuals found to be a danger to themselves or others.” DeVos stressed that the White House wants the confiscatory orders structured in a way that is “cognizant of due process protections and respectful of Second Amendment liberties.”

Such orders, often referred to as Red Flag Laws, already exist in California and Florida. A few months ago, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) noted the push for red flag laws post-Parkland, saying, “Anti-gun interest groups and politicians have used the Parkland shooting to launch what, until recently, they regarded as a distant dream — a wave of state legislation authorizing the confiscation of firearms.”

Looks like it’s upon us. Stay tuned. Closely.

Here’s NRA-ILA official statement:NRA statement

White House official report page:
CLICK HERE

Watch this one folks…
CLICK HERE

Uh… Remember this?
CLICK HERE

 

President Trump Reassures Gun Owners: THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED!

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In the wake of outrageous statements by anti-gun radicals like former Justice John Paul Steven, here’s President Trump on the issue. READ MORE

trump 2a tweet

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In response to statements last week by Former Justice Stevens, President Trump’s tweet read: THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED! As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the recent words of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY.

Trump also called for the election of more supporters to ensure that the Supreme Court does not lose its pro-Second Amendment majority. Right now the court has 4 members who oppose the right to Keep and Bear arms.

Unsurprisingly, radical media outlets such as Rolling Stone joined the chorus calling for repeal. The Washington Post reported that their polling shows that 20% of the American people also support repeal.

Trump’s strong support for our fundamental rights stands in stark contrast to these calls to repeal the Second Amendment. But this newfound openness is useful information for gun owners. For decades anti-gun leaders have claimed that they only want “common sense” gun regulations. Stevens and others expose the truth that the anti-gun movement really wants to erase our rights and ban all or almost all guns.

NRA appreciates the outspoken support of President Trump for our Second Amendment freedoms. With the strong support of our members and all gun owners, NRA will always stand with the President in opposition to these efforts.

Dissenting Justice in the Heller Case Now Argues for Repeal of the Second Amendment

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Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens claims that the concerns which underlie the 2nd amendment are a “relic of the 18th century” and that it should be repealed in its entirety. READ IT ALL

supreme court building

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

In 2008, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was on the losing side of District of. Columbia v. Heller, the landmark Supreme Court case that clearly recognized the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms independent of service in an organized militia. Stevens wrote a lengthy dissent, insisting that the framers of the amendment showed not “the slightest interest in limiting any legislature’s authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms.” Years later, Stevens wrote a book which argued in favor of amending the Second Amendment to reverse the Heller decision and give his side the win. Recently, however, Stevens dropped the pretense of believing the Second Amendment has any value at all, arguing in a New York Times editorial that the concerns which underlie the amendment are a “relic of the 18th century” and that it should be repealed in its entirety.

Stevens insisted that the “civic engagement” of “schoolchildren” participating in recent antigun demonstrations “demand[s] our respect.” Yet his “respect” for the protestors ironically does not extend to trusting their ability to exercise their own fundamental rights, as he immediately turned to endorsing several ambitious gun control proposals, including increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years. He also signaled his support for “prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons” and “establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms.” Stevens should perhaps be credited with being more intellectually honest and transparent than he has been in the past when he merely advocated for a narrow reading of the Second Amendment. Now he’s willing to admit he simply wants the amendment — and the right to individual and corporate defense that it serves — to go away altogether.

Stevens, however, had some further advice for the young protestors, encouraging them to “seek more effective and more lasting reform” by demanding “a repeal of the Second Amendment.” It would, he noted, “move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform.”

What’s particularly notable about Stevens’s argument is how dismissive he remains about the Second Amendment’s existing individual right, viewing it as no bar to banning all modern firearms and as allowing for broad classes of Americans to be categorically banned from acquiring any firearm at all.

But even that state of affairs is intolerable to him, because it still allows for the thought crime of believing the right to keep and bear arms has enduring value or any sort of instrumental role in limiting government authority. Worse still, the current status of the Second Amendment empowers the NRA in its advocacy and messaging efforts.

What Steven wants, in other words, is to completely shut down — not just the substance of the right to keep and bear arms — but the very legitimacy of defending it as an American value

As is often the case when gun control advocates feel emboldened, one of their more oblivious and politically inept standard bearers has embarrassed the whole movement by being too forthcoming about an “objective” still roundly rejected by a large majority of Americans. After the Stevens editorial appeared, the Washington Post quickly reported on a February poll in which 60% of Americans opposed repealing the Second Amendment, a rate three times higher than for support of a repeal. Such a move is hardly the “simple” solution that Stevens portrays it to be. As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox said in response to Stevens’s comments: “The men and women of the National Rifle Association, along with the majority of the American people and the Supreme Court, believe in the Second Amendment right to self-protection and we will unapologetically continue to fight to protect this fundamental freedom.”

Indeed, within hours of the New York Times publishing the Stevens editorial, an article appeared in the Washington Post characterizing Stevens’s comments as “supremely unhelpfull” and proving that the Post’s writers aren’t wrong about everything. “In one fell swoop,” the article laments, Stevens has lent credence to the talking point that the left really just wants to get rid of gun ownership and reasserted the need for gun-rights supporters to prevent his ilk from ever being appointed again (with the most obvious answer being: Vote Republican).”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Stories abound about some of the more overreaching and extreme views that were expressed during the antigun March in Washington. Yet while youthful calls for a “gun free world” can be chalked up to innocent idealism, no one can claim that a man who sat on the U.S. Supreme Court during the heyday of the handgun ban era and personally participated in the Heller case did not speak knowingly and deliberately. He was, in fact, simply expressing the prevailing opinion of the law’s liberal elite, however unartfully.

Stevens should perhaps be credited with being more intellectually honest and transparent than he has been in the past when he merely advocated for a narrow reading of the Second Amendment. Now he’s willing to admit he simply wants the amendment — and the right to individual and corporate defense that it serves — to go away altogether.

He’s also right that this, ultimately, is the “objective” behind the long-standing movement that is lately receiving a boost from some well-meaning and earnest young activists.

And whether gun owners hear it from a 17-year-old high school student or a 97-year-old retired Supreme Court Justice, they’d do well to listen carefully. Today’s antigun advocacy merely foreshadows tomorrow’s abolition of your rights.

That’s why the NRA will not yield real rights for symbolic measures that offer no public safety benefits. As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox said in response to Stevens’s comments: “The men and women of the National Rifle Association, along with the majority of the American people and the Supreme Court, believe in the Second Amendment right to self-protection and we will unapologetically continue to fight to protect this fundamental freedom.”

D.C. Appeals Court Strikes Down ‘Good Reason’ Licensing Scheme

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“Unconstitutional” is what a federal appeals court has ruled on the D.C. gun law that says people must show “good reason” to have concealed handgun permits.

The Second Amendment is sufficient reason itself to issue permits, according to the 2-1 ruling released Tuesday July 25, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

“In fact, the Amendment’s core at a minimum shields the typically situated citizen’s ability to carry common arms generally,” wrote Judge Thomas B. Griffith in the ruling on the case Wrenn v. District of Columbia.

Subsequently, the appeals court instructed lower courts to block the D.C. law with permanent injunctions. City officials indicated they’re exploring an appeal, while gun-control groups claim the ruling shrinks public safety in the nation’s capital.

D.C. gun laws are among the strictest in the U.S., but they’ve also faced several legal challenges in the last few years, said Kirk Evans, President of U.S. & Texas LawShield.

Evans noted that one landmark pro-gun victory was District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 in which the U.S. Supreme Court—voting 5 to 4—struck down D.C.’s ban on handguns. Then, in 2014, another federal court prevented a proposed ban on carrying guns in public.

The D.C. Council—the enclave’s municipal government—responded by creating the “good reason” rule, which only issued permits to citizens who could prove they faced legitimate threats, Evans said.

“Simply residing in one of the District’s high-crime neighborhoods was not considered ‘good reason,’” Evans said. “This was not unnoticed by at least one member of Congress who complained colleagues were unarmed when a gunman shot up their ball practice in June.”

But, according to the appeals court’s decision, the “good reason” rule negated what the Supreme Court decided in Heller.

“The District’s good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on exercises of that constitutional right for most D.C. residents,” Judge Griffith wrote. “That’s enough to sink this law under (Heller).

Second Amendment advocates praised the latest ruling, including Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF).

He said the ruling “contains some powerful language that affirms what we’ve argued for many years, that requiring a so-called ‘good-cause’ to exercise a constitutionally-protected right does not pass the legal smell test.”

Gottlieb added, “We are particularly pleased that the opinion makes it clear that the Second Amendment’s core generally covers carrying in public for self-defense.”

In the days after the ruling it was too early to tell how far the case would rise through the appeals process. The Supreme Court in June declined to consider another Second Amendment case, Peruta v. California, in which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a San Diego County law requiring gun owners to prove they have “good cause” to apply for concealed carry permits.

But Gottlieb said the latest victory in D.C. spurs confidence among Second Amendment advocates.

“To say we are delighted with the ruling would be an understatement,” Gottlieb said. “We are simply more encouraged to keep fighting, winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time.” — Bill Miller, Contributor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield blog

 

 

Check out these other great articles from U.S. Law Shield and click here to become a member:

 

The “purple paint law” became official in Texas on September 1, 1997. The law doesn’t appear to be common knowledge for every hunter in the Lone Star State, even though Texas hunting regulations describe it.
Can your employer restrict your ability to carry firearms at the workplace? Click to watch Emily Taylor, Independent Program Attorney with Walker & Byington, explain that in Texas, employers call the shots regarding workplace self-defense.
In this excerpt from a U.S. Law Shield News live report, watch Emily Taylor, independent program attorney with Walker & Byington, discuss the ground rules for carrying firearms into restaurants and bars. Click the video below to find out the significant differences between blue signs and red signs in Texas establishments, and how getting those colors crossed up could lead to some orange jumpsuit time.   If you would like to see these reports live on Facebook, click here to join the Texas Law Shield Facebook page and sign up for live notifications.

The Second Amendment Story

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In the wake of the 4th of July, this is a focus for many of us, and here’s the full story of how and why the Second Amendment came to be. Learn more…

second amendment

by Chip Lohman, NRA Publications Staff

Our earliest colonial governments began with charters written for individuals and settlement companies. As colonists sought religious freedom, better land or escape from British rule, charters were authorized by the King as the legal means for the colonies to exist.
As the colonies became more independent, they established their own governments, even drafting state constitutions in some cases. During this same period in our history, complaints began to surface about the perception that traditional rights of English citizens were not being extended to the colonists. Similar unrest was vented in Jonathan Mayhew’s sermon where he coined the phrase “No taxation without representation.” These and other objections to British oversight led to the American Revolution, during which the colonies formed the Continental Congress, declared independence on July 4, 1776 and fought the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783).

Eleven years after publishing the Declaration of Independence with the legendary words “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” representatives from the 13 states were invited to Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to revise the “Articles of Confederation.” These Articles still recognized states as independent governments. After the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781, colonial activists began to compare the viability of independent state governments to a federal government better suited to national affairs. By 1786, it was apparent that the Union would not last unless the Articles of Confederation were revised.

Absent Rhode Island, the Philadelphia meetings began on Friday, May 25, 1787, with 55 prominent citizens attending. The deliberations included alternatives for wartime security, transitioning to a central government and how the states would be represented in that central government. The more populated states preferred proportional representation, while smaller states argued for equal representation. Thanks to the remarkable wisdom for our forefathers, the matter of state representation was resolved by proportional representation in the lower house (House of Representatives) and equal representation in the upper house (Senate).

As the summer debates of 1787 wore on, emphasis gradually shifted from state rule to a central, federal government. However, with little mention of individual rights guarantees written into the draft, several delegates, including anti-federalist George Mason of Virginia, proposed that a committee be appointed to prepare a bill of rights. Mason concluded in his objection: This government will commence in a moderate aristocracy. It is at present impossible to foresee whether it will, in its operation, produce a monarchy or a corrupt oppressive aristocracy. It will most probably vibrate some years between the two, and then terminate in the one or the other.
One hundred and sixteen days after convening, 39 delegates signed the carefully crafted system of checks and balances that would become the United States Constitution. As provided for in Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states.

The following summer, New Hampshire became the requisite ninth state to ratify the document, thus establishing our new form of federal government. Today, our Constitution is the oldest written, operating constitution in the world.

Mason’s objection was delivered five days before the Constitution was signed. Perhaps due to the months already spent in argument and debate, and maybe to some degree because of the summer climate, worsened by the heavy wool coats and wigs of the day, the anti-federalist’s proposal was rejected.

Those who supported the Constitution were known as federalists. Delegates who feared that a centralized government would lead to a dictatorship were called anti-federalists. Recall that our fledgling country had just fought a war over matters such as “taxation without representation,” so there remained a healthy resistance to replacing one autocratic government with another. As a result of the impasse over the proposed amendments, several delegates refused to sign the final document.

Negotiating a common, legislative rule of law for 13 states, in four months (not years) and securing a majority vote was an extraordinary task in itself. Devising a system of checks and balances with separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches was brilliant. But in 1787, the completed document contained none of the civil liberties that distinguish our government today. Were it not for the inspired, flexible design of the newly drafted Constitution that allowed a minority group to voice a dissenting opinion, the cornerstone of individual rights on which our democracy is now based may never have been laid.

The early framers recognized the need for flexibility in constitutional law. Consequently, Article V of the Constitution outlines the method for change as a two-step procedure: Proposal of an amendment, followed by ratification. Using state models for individual rights and reaching as far back as the English Magna Carta for inspiration, Mason proposed a Bill containing 10 amendments to the Constitution what became known as the Bill of Rights. Through a lengthy process of House, Senate and State ratifications, the Bill was ultimately signed four years later on December 15, 1791. Over time, more than 5,000 amendments have been proposed in Congress, with far fewer actually ratified.

Established shortly after the American Civil War (1871) as a marksmanship and firearms safety organization that today includes a myriad of related education and support programs, the National Rifle Association’s mission was significantly expanded in the mid-1970s. With an increased concentration of resources devoted to preserving Second Amendment rights, NRA became a more active participant in the legislative and public policy arena in support of protecting and advancing the guarantees of our Constitution. As originally ratified by the founding fathers, the Second Amendment decrees that: 
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.This wasn’t a new concept, with origins dating back to Great Britain’s Bill of Rights written in 1689. The British version created a separation of powers, enhanced democratic elections, bolstered freedom of speech and argued that individuals had the natural right of self-defense.

The old style grammar used when drafting the Second Amendment has since led to multiple dissections and interpretations of the founders’ intent. Were the framers referring merely to the need for a standing militia, or is it clear that their focus was to preserve an individual right, as was the theme for all 10 amendments?

Over the years, the Supreme Court has rendered its own interpretations of the intent of the Second Amendment. In 1875 (United States v. Cruikshank), the Court ruled that “the right to bear arms is not granted [emphasis added] by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendment means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National Government.”

Fast forward to 2008 (District of Columbia v. Heller), where the Court again ruled that the Second Amendment “…codified a pre-existing right” and that it “…protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” Most recently in 2010, (McDonald v. Chicago), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.

While it’s interesting to review the twists and turns of history and the awe-inspiring wisdom of the founding fathers, what lies ahead rests squarely on our shoulders. Readers will argue their own reasons why the fervent debate continues over the Second Amendment and, by extension, gun control. I believe that the implementation of Social Security (1935), the shift from an agricultural to urban life, and a dependence on others for food, shelter and safety, and maybe even the advent of 911 calls (1968), have contributed to an attitude, for many, that “someone else” is responsible for our welfare. The opposing side will argue that we are “our own 911.”

With the recent Republican wins in the White House and Congress, and the Supreme Court nominations to follow, one could mistakenly believe we have put this debate to bed for 40-50 years. Whether or not the argument can be reconciled through education, arbitration or compromise, that’s another article — for all of us to write.

Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Magazine Ban

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The Second Amendment Foundation, joined by several other groups and individuals, has filed a lawsuit in federal district court in California, challenging that state’s law prohibiting the possession, use, or acquisition of so-called “large-capacity magazines,” calling the ban “hopelessly vague and ambiguous.” This case could have repercussions on a similar magazine ban in Colorado.

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Joining SAF are the Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation and six individuals, including one retired California peace officer. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

The complaint is a constitutional challenge to California Penal Code § 32310, as recently amended by Senate Bill 1446 and Proposition 63, and Penal Code § 32390 (the “Large-Capacity Magazine Ban”). The lawsuit alleges that if these measures are enforced as applied, they would “individually and collectively prohibit law-abiding citizens from continuing to possess, use, or acquire lawfully-owned firearms, in common use for lawful purposes such as self-defense (inside and outside the home), competition, sport, and hunting.”

“What we see in the enactment of such laws,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “is continued erosion by the state of its citizens’ constitutional rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment. When the U.S. Supreme Court incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 4th Amendment under the 2010 McDonald ruling, it automatically should have stopped this kind of prohibition.

magpul pmag ar magazine“As we state in our lawsuit,” he continued, “this magazine ban fails to provide fair or even adequate notice to law-abiding gun owners of what they may do with their personal property without being subject to criminal sanctions. In effect, this ban amounts to a backdoor form of confiscation, in part, of bearable arms that are protected by the Constitution.

“Enforcement of this ban,” Gottlieb concluded, “would immediately place thousands of law-abiding California gun owners in jeopardy of criminal liability and subjects their personal property to forfeiture, seizure and permanent confiscation, which is government taking, without due process or compensation. We cannot allow that to go unchallenged.”

The Second Amendment Foundation is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

 

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