Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Could Pro-Gun Ruling In Washington DC Spread To Other Jurisdictions?

Following a federal judge’s ruling that Washington D.C.’s concealed carry system violates the Second Amendment, some are saying the end could be near for similar may-issue schemes across the country – even in places like New York City and Maryland.

Last week, federal judge Frederick J. Scullin issued preliminary injunction against the concealed carry system in the District of Columbia, saying the process “makes it impossible for the overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens to obtain licenses to carry handguns in public for self-defense, thereby depriving them of their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

The permit process in Washington D.C. requires residents to prove a “good reason” for owning a gun before acquiring one for self-defense. It was recently reported that the city police department turns down more applications than it grants.

Similarly restrictive laws are in place in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and a number of other states. If last week’s ruling holds – the District of Columbia filed a request to stay the order yesterday – could this mean the end for may-issue laws everywhere?

The answer is probably not – unless the case goes to the Supreme Court. Judges in most may-issue states have upheld the constitutionality of the laws, and last week’s ruling doesn’t provide enough grounds to challenge them.

But if the case goes the Supreme Court and the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, the local laws would be struck down.

There is some chance that this could happen. The Attorney General in the District of Columbia has reportedly hinted that he will appeal last week’s ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which could send the case to the Supreme Court.

If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, it would provide a strong enough legal precedent to strike down may-issue schemes everywhere.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dems Push Ban On Online Ammo Sales

In their latest attempt to harass gun owners with pointless and illegal legislation, House Democrats are pushing a bill that would effectively prohibit the sale of ammunition over the Internet.

The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act of 2015 would require anyone who wants to purchase ammo online to present a photo ID to a licensed ammo dealer in person, essentially taking the transaction offline.  The bill would also require ammo dealers to report any sale of more than 1000 rounds to the US Attorney General.

Rep. Bonnie Coleman (D-NJ), the sponsor of the bill, implied these measures would have prevented the mass shooting in Aurora, CO in 2012. She said:
“This is a common sense safeguard that would give law enforcement the tools to identify suspicious activity and hopefully prevent a mass shooting. (James) Holmes changed that town forever with an immense stockpile of ammunition that he purchased online. Without better regulation of ammunition purchases, we risk watching another individual do the same thing.”
As Breitbart pointed out a few days ago, the restrictions in this bill would have done nothing to stop the Aurora massacre. Because James Holmes passed a criminal background check when he bought his weapons, he would have had no problem meeting the bill’s ID requirements for ammo buyers.

As with nearly every gun control proposal, this law has nothing to do with saving lives and everything to do with harassing gun owners and scoring political points.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Texas Legislators Reduce Penalty For Guns At Airports

The Texas state legislature voted 139-0 to reduce the penalty for licensed gun owners who accidentally bring their guns to the airport.

Bringing a gun to the airport under any circumstances is a 3rd degree felony in Texas, a penalty that one legislator called a “massive inconvenience.”

Under the new law, CHL holders who are stopped by security will be allowed to put their guns in their vehicles or check it with their luggage.

“One of the big arguments is, ‘What if someone is trying to use it to gauge our security? TSA will record it. If you try it multiple times during the day, you will be targeted,” said Rep. Drew Springer.

Texas made it a felony to have guns at airports during the 1990s, when the state first started issuing concealed carry licenses.

The law generated national headlines when State Rep. Drew Darby was charged with a felony after trying to take a .38 caliber Ruger pistol through security at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in 2013. Darby told security that he forgot the handgun was in his bag.

The number of guns confiscated at airports in the United States has reportedly quadrupled in the past decade, from 660 in 2005 to 2,212 this year.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Anti-Gun Groups Call For Investigation Of NRA’s Finances

Anti-gun groups are calling for an investigation of the National Rifle Association’s finances following a report that donations intended for the main division of the NRA went to the political division instead.

A left-wing reporter made online donations to the regular NRA that showed up on his bank statement as having been deposited by the NRA Political Victory Fund, the NRA’s political action committee. An election lawyer called this a “clear violation” of campaign finance laws.

“There are at least three clear violations,” election lawyer Brett Kappel told Yahoo. “First of all, they can’t be soliciting from he general public at their website. Then there’s the fact that the money is not being solicited in the name of the PAC; they have to say it’s for the PAC and what the political purpose of the PAC is. And then there are multiple missing disclaimers [on the NRA-ILA website] such as the disclaimer saying that contributions have to be voluntary.”

This is not the first time the NRA has been accused of breaking fundraising and campaign finance regulations. Last year, it was fined $63,000 for breaking campaign finance laws in the state of Rhode Island.

The NRA should be able to do whatever it wants with the money people donate. But these mistakes reflect poorly on gun owners and give fuel to the enemy. The NRA is playing a dangerous game if it thinks it is above the rules.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Colorado Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Gun Stores Who Sold Weapons To James Holmes

A federal judge in Colorado dismissed a lawsuit against gun-sellers who sold weapons to James Holmes before the Aurora movie theater rampage in 2012, ruling the merchants did not play a significant role in the tragedy.

The lawsuit, filed by anti-gun group Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence last year, accused Lucky Gunner and Sportsman’s Guide of failing to properly screen Holmes before selling him the murder weapons. The plaintiffs included the parents of one of the victims.

Senior District Judge Richard Matsch ruled that the gun sellers were not a “substantial factor” in the tragedy.

“Holmes meticulously prepared for his crime, arriving at the theater equipped with multiple firearms, ammunition, and other gear allegedly purchased from several distinct business entities operating both online and through brick and mortar locations,” Matsch wrote. “Neither the web nor the face-to-face sales of ammunition and other products to Holmes can plausibly constitute a substantial factor causing the deaths and injuries in this theater shooting.”

Matsch’s ruling cited the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which was created to protect arms manufacturers and retailers from liability for harm caused by a third party with their products.

Matsch also ruled that the plaintiffs pay the defendants’ legal fees, which might reach a quarter of a million dollars.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Handgun Open Carry Set To Pass In Texas

A law legalizing the open carry of handguns is close to passing in the Lone Star State, one of only six states that still don’t allow any type of open carry. The state does allow long guns to be openly carried in public.

The bill was approved 101-42, despite efforts by Democrats to water it down and allow big cities to opt out. Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign the bill after it is combined with a similar bill that passed the State Senate last week.

In addition to the handgun open carry bills that just passed, there is also a campus carry bill that is currently sitting in the House.

Despite its reputation for cowboys and conservatism, Texas has always had restrictive gun laws due to the political influence of big cities like Houston and Dallas. Now the state is finally living up to its image.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Real Reason For The NRA’s Rand Paul Snub

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will not be appearing at the NRA annual meeting this weekend due to his affiliation with National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR).

While a number of Republican presidential candidates were invited to the convention, including Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, Paul was left off the list.

NRA officials have blamed Paul’s absence on scheduling concerns, but a new report states that he has been banned from NRA events “as long as he remains affiliated with NAGR.”

Sen. Paul has been affiliated with NAGR since 2010, often appearing in their publicity materials.

NRA-ILA President Chris Cox criticized NAGR in today’s report, saying: “It’s amusing when some self-proclaimed ‘gun groups’ try to take credit for the work of the five million men and women of the NRA.”

NAGR president Dudley Brown is also quoted in the article, saying: “I’ve been a gun lobbyist for 22 years and there’s never been a point at which we not have tension [with the NRA]. We’re younger, we’re hungrier and we care less about the cocktail parties in Washington, DC.”

Instead of attending the NRA convention, Paul will continue the kickoff tour for his presidential campaign, launched earlier this week.