Archive for the ‘2nd Amendment’ Category
By Bob Owens
March 23, 2017
A woman on a multi-day violent crime spree who was firing at Tusla (OK) police officers trying to arrest her was intentionally struck and killed by another officer in a dramatic conclusion to a deadly-force situation.
A woman wanted for a string of gun-related crimes was killed Saturday afternoon when an officer intentionally ran over her in south Tulsa after she exchanged gunfire with police following a vehicular chase.
Madison Sueann Dickson, 21, was pronounced dead at 3:07 p.m., Tulsa homicide Sgt. Dave Walker said.
Officers roped off the scene in the 8900 block of South Harvard Avenue outside of Jenks East Elementary School.
Police had been searching for Dickson because of her alleged involvement in a spree of gun-related crimes over the past week.
Officers found Dickson at an apartment at 81st Street and Sheridan Road on Saturday, police spokesman Leland Ashley said. Dickson then got into a pickup as a passenger and fled from the officers, Ashley said.
Dickson eventually bailed out of the truck and presented a handgun, Ashley said, which was when at least two officers shot at her. She fired gunshots at officers, Ashley said.
During the altercation, she was run over by a patrol cruiser, Ashley said, noting police desperately were trying to stop her because of the threat she represented. He said no one was struck by gunfire.
“She had every opportunity to stop and turn herself in,” he said.
By Beth Baumann
March 20, 2017
Amy Schumer, gun control group’s favorite advocate, decided to go on a gun rant in her latest Netflix special, The Leather Special.
In her rant, Schumer attempts to use sarcasm and “humor” – assuming you find her funny – to go after lawful gun owners. The problem with her rant is his logic is severely flawed. She’s simply spewing the typical gun control talking points.
Schumer explains she got into the gun control debate when two women were shot and killed in a movie theater when they went to see her movie.
“I found out that the guy who did this was mentally ill and a domestic abuser,” she says. “And I was like ‘Oh. Okay. Well, how could he get a gun?’ I didn’t – I wasn’t educated about it. I learned that if you’re severely mentally ill or have been convicted of domestic violence, there are loopholes where it’s not that hard to get a firearm.”
FACT: In order to legally possess a firearm, you have to go through a background check to acquire said firearm. Anyone who is convicted of domestic abuse would not pass a background check.
“I believe in the Right to Bear Arms, the Second Amendment. I’m friends with gun owners but what I learned was no matter what you say as soon as you say the word ‘gun’ with gun nuts here is just, ‘You want to take all our guns!’” Schumer explains, mocking gun owners.
FACT: Just because you have friends who are gun owners does not mean you’re in favor of the Second Amendment. Stop using your friends as your political get out of jail card.
“Then I found – and I’m sure most of you probably know this already – that if you’re on a terrorist watch list, not just the no-fly list but the straight up terrorist watch list, you can easily get a gun,” Schumer claims.
FACT: Again, background checks come into play. If you’re buying a gun legally from a federally licensed dealer, you have to go through a background check. If you’re on the terrorist watch list, you can’t pass a background check and you won’t be sold a gun. These “terrorists” you speak of are getting their guns off the black market because, you know, criminals – and terrorists – don’t follow laws.
Hey, Schumer – It’s insulting that you believe every gun owner in America is a white trash, trailer park hillbilly. The truth is simple, and it’s probably hard for you to understand, but gun owners come in every race, religion, creed, political party and all across America. The Second Amendment protects each and every one of us: even you with your armed bodyguards.
But if you pointed that out you would be called hypocritical, no?
By Bob Owens
March 7, 2017
Gun-grabbing grifter Gabby Giffords recently attempted to use the killing of Albuquerque Police Department officer Daniel Webster to argue for more infringement on the rights of American citizens.
Webster’s widow Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Detective Michelle Carlino-Webster, is outraged at Gifford’s attempt to exploit her husband’s death to go against everything he stood for in life.
Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ recent visit to New Mexico to call for restrictive firearms legislation is further evidence that House Bill 50 and Senate Bill 48 are products of a national gun control agenda. Her organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions, joins the chorus of outside groups led by billionaire New Yorker Michael Bloomberg pushing for burdensome regulations on the sale and temporary loaning of your personal firearms, even to people close to you, such as friends, neighbors, co-workers and even some family members.
I am offended by the tactics that some of the sponsors, advocates and organizations backing these bills are using to push their unpopular proposals. It is bad enough that they have poured more than a quarter of a million dollars into our state over the past few months in an attempt to influence elections and legislation. Then, at the public hearing on HB50 before the New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, it became more personal for me. The bill’s author, as well as her lead witness, both invoked the name of my late husband, Albuquerque Police Department officer Daniel Webster, to promote the measure. Along with the media, they continue to imply that had these proposed laws been in place, my husband’s death would have been prevented; in doing so, they actually remove accountability from the criminal who caused it. Focus must be placed on the individual who committed the horrific crimes. We, as a nation, have gotten too far removed from self-accountability and responsibility for one’s actions.
I am not okay with this, and I know Dan would not have wanted his name associated with this bill either. He was against expanded background checks of any kind and stood behind our Second Amendment rights with honor and appreciation. The idea of him having to go to a licensed firearms dealer, complete federal paperwork and pay a fee for a records check on his buddy at work or on my dad if he wanted to sell or loan a gun to either of them is not only ridiculous, but intrusive. He certainly did not believe this type of gun control would solve the larger problems in our communities.
Dan believed that tough-on-crime legislation, such as increased penalties and stiffer sentencing, would have the most positive effect on violence in our state.
US Law Shield
March 5, 2017
You might have read some articles or seen headlines about a court upholding a ban on “assault rifles,” including the AR-15. Independent Program Attorneys at the law firm of Walker & Byington, PLLC have received many questions from Members concerned that this ruling has made the AR-15 (and similar semi-automatic firearms) illegal “assault weapons” everywhere in the country. Is this the truth of the matter, or a case of media misinformation?
It is true that a federal appellate court did uphold an “assault weapon” ban; the Maryland federal appeals court, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, upheld a Maryland law as being constitutional that banned certain semi-automatic weapons, including AR-15s. While the decision is disappointing to gun owners everywhere, the good news is that the only people affected by the ruling will be individuals living in the Fourth Circuit. To give North Carolina and Virginia Members peace of mind, this decision upheld a Maryland law that was on the books; it does not apply the law to North Carolina or Virginia.
The bad news, though, is that Marylanders just lost a little more of their Second Amendment rights. Chances are that the case will go to the U.S. Supreme Court in the next few years, so that the Court can decide whether these types of bans are unconstitutional. Until then, the people living in Maryland will not be able to own, protect themselves, or protect their families with so-called “assault rifles.”
Thankfully, Members in most other states can continue to exercise their 2nd Amendment right and own AR-15s and other semi-auto firearms. And as always, this ban is just a reminder that you visit certain states at your own risk! — by Walker & Byington, PLLC
By Beth Baumann
March 4, 2017
Earlier this week, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced Senate Bill 446, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which would allow Americans to conceal carry a firearm across state lines.
“This bill strengthens both the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and the power of states to implement laws best-suited for the folks who live there,” Cornyn said in a statement obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. “This legislation is an important affirmation of our Second Amendment rights and has been a top priority of law-abiding gun owners in Texas for a long time.”
Both the NRA and Gun Owners of America (GOA) came out in favor of SB 446.
“The current patchwork of state and local gun laws is confusing and can cause the most conscientious and law-abiding gun owner to run afoul of the law when they are traveling or temporarily living away from home,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, said in a statement. “Senator Cornyn’s legislation provides a much needed solution to a real problem for law-abiding gun owners. Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines.”
“GOA is very grateful to Sen. Cornyn for introducing legislation into the Senate that will allow citizens to protect themselves and families while traveling across the country,” Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said in a statement. “Let’s hand gun grabbers a crushing defeat. Rolling back the restrictions that have prevented gun owners from fully exercising rights protected by the Second Amendment will go a long way in saving lives.”
The bill currently has 31 co-sponsors, all of which are Republican Senators.
Back in January, a similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC).
By Matt Vespa
March 5, 2017
After President Donald J. Trump’s upset win over Hillary Clinton, the Obama White House went on what could be arguable called a F-you tour. Former President Obama released more Gitmo detainees, banned offshore drilling, ended the Cuban wet foot, dry foot and Cuban Medical Professional Parole Programs (screwing over Cuban refugees), and designated almost 2 million acres national monuments that will prevent further natural gas and oil exploration.
In what many called a petty swipe at hunters and rural Americans, the 44th president also banned lead ammunition on federal lands. With Ryan Zinke confirmed as out new interior secretary, he immediately repealed the ban this week (via The Hill):
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order Thursday overturning a ban on using lead ammunition on wildlife refuges.Zinke signed the order on his first day in office, overturning a policy implemented by former Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe on Jan. 19, the Obama administration’s last full day in office.
Ashe’s policy banned the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on all FWS wildlife refuges that allow hunting or fishing, as well as in all other hunting or fishing regulated by the agency elsewhere.
It was meant to help prevent plants and animals from being poisoned by lead left on the ground or in the water.
“After reviewing the order and the process by which it was promulgated, I have determined that the order is not mandated by any existing statutory or regulatory requirement and was issued without significant communication, consultation or coordination with affected stakeholders,” Zinke wrote in his order.
Zinke also signed an order Thursday asking agencies within his purview to find ways to increase access to outdoor recreation on the lands they oversee.
We’ll see if we can reverse other last minute action items that the Obama administration undertook, but right now the Trump White House is dealing with getting the rest of his cabinet confirmed, Obamacare repealed and replaced, and leaks within the administration.
In an unusual opinion that at times reads more like an op-ed at the New York Times than a legal ruling, the 4th Circuit Court last week upheld Maryland’s highly restrictive “Firearms Safety Act.” It’s apparent that the 4th Circuit acted in anticipation of a Hillary Clinton victory in November, in which case its decision would have gone unchallenged by the Supreme Court or affirmed, thus substantially laying the groundwork for the overturn of the Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, and with that the effective national evisceration of the 2nd Amendment under a second Clinton administration. The 4th Circuit, like a lot of people, miscalculated, and their judicial overreach should push a heretofore reluctant Supreme Court to reinforce the Heller decision.
The 4th Circuit’s decision in Kolbe et al v. Maryland was a direct, if often legally incomprehensible attempt to greatly limit the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Heller and set the stage for a new national ban on semi-automatic rifles. Heller held that the 2nd Amendment confers an individual not a collective right to keep and bear arms. Kolbe, so long as it stands, says this individual right does not extend to any firearm with military utility, which is arguably pretty much every gun ever made.
That’s for the long term. More immediately, the decision transparently is an attempt to pave the way for a return of a national ban on AR-15-type rifles, falsely labeled by the Court and various gun banners “assault rifles.” Had Hillary won the election in November, as the Court expected, it would have been a done deal.
Following a decision against the plaintiff gun owners in the Maryland District Court, Kolbe went to the 4th Circuit on appeal over a year ago. Oral arguments in 2015 appeared to go in favor the plaintiff/appellants when the case was heard before a mostly sympathetic three-judge panel, giving Maryland gun owners some sense of hope. In 2016, that panel vacated the District Court’s ruling as unconstitutional in that the lower court had applied an inappropriate standard of “intermediate scrutiny” to the Maryland statute. The panel remanded the case to the District for rehearing under the appropriate standard of “strict scrutiny” that ordinarily applies to laws that seek to restrict fundamental constitutional rights.
At this point, the rest of the left-leaning 4th Circuit stepped in, vacating their own panel’s decision, and ordered the case to be reheard en banc (before the entire 4th Circuit). That happened in May 2016, and it’s likely the Court reached its decision not too long after but awaited the outcome of the November presidential election to issue the opinion. Expecting a Clinton victory, the decision would have given Hillary the entry point she needed to reimpose the “assault rifle” ban – thus the relatively breathtaking nature of the decision, which did not merely disagree with the panel that found that the District Court did not apply the proper standard of review, but rather found that the 2nd Amendment did not even apply to the to the case.
That determination was based on a highly tendentious argument that takes five words from the Heller decision – that the 2nd Amendment does not apply to “M-16 rifles and the like.” In specifying the M-16, the Supreme Court clearly meant weapons that are fully automatic, such as machine guns, which have long been subject to strict regulation. This is what distinguishes an M-16 from an AR-15, and why only the former is an assault rifle. Instead, the 4th Circuit devised an argument – quite as if it were the appellee rather than the court hearing the appeal – that the AR-15 (and the large-capacity magazines that feed it) are essentially indistinguishable from M-16 and other weapons with particular military utility, even though neither the U.S. military nor any other military has adopted the AR-15. For analyses of the factual and legal contortions the 4th Circuit goes through to get to that conclusion, National Review has good stuff here and here.
What is more interesting politically is that most of the 4th Circuit’s opinion is really surplusage – that is, gratuitous commentary that lawyers also call dicta. While not binding on other courts, dicta can be cited and added to the briefs of gun control advocates in future cases, form the basis of more restrictive substantive rulings by this Court or other courts, or support legislative initiatives in blue states to further restrict 2nd Amendment rights.
Much of the 4th Circuit’s dicta surround the efficacy and success of the 1994 statute that banned AR-15-type rifles, which expired in 2004. The plaintiffs inKolbe noted the ban’s almost nonexistent impact on reducing criminal activity and, similarly, the negligible effect of the lifting of the ban. Through extraneous commentary and footnotes, the Court repeatedly suggests that the ban was effective despite convincing unbiased evidence to the contrary.
Most of the rest of the 4th Circuit’s dicta constitute an explanation that even had the guns subject to the ban been subject to the 2nd Amendment, the trial court’s selection of a lower standard of review (intermediate scrutiny) was appropriate. This obviously to buttress the opinion in case the Supreme Court does go after it, along with an accounting of three other Circuits (Second, Ninth, and Seventh) that have upheld various state restrictions on similar weapons since the Hellerruling but on less aggressive grounds.
Despite Clinton’s loss, the 4th Circuit decided not to back off its decision and put down a marker to challenge the Supreme Court. It’s a bold step but not an unreasonable one for these leftist jurists. The Supreme Court has proved reluctant to take 2nd Amendment cases and has basically done little to supportHeller. But in Kolbe, the 4th Circuit has gone far beyond what the other Circuits have done, boldly rewriting Justice Scalia’s decision in a fashion the late Justice would never have condoned.
The case will be appealed, and Justice Gorsuch should be on the bench by the time the decision for review is ripe. It’s incumbent on the Roberts Court to act appropriately, make the justices of the 4th Circuit pay for their gamble, and put some meat on Heller. A failure to do so would set the stage for a quick national ban in the event that Trump does not win re-election in 2020.
By Beth Baumann
February 26, 2017
Concealed carriers in Contra Costa County (CA) received an unexpected letter in the mail recently. Earlier this month, the county’s sheriff department sent a letter telling CCW permit holders that their personal information had been released to ABC7 as part of a public records request.
Although the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department complied with the public records request, they did reject part of the request which called for permit holders’ addresses.
“We try and balance the needs of the public and the people who want or need access to the information to ensure everyone’s safety,” said Lt. Nate McCormack told East County Today.
Below is a copy of the letter from a concealed carrier whose information was part of the request:
The Office of the Sheriff has received a California Public Records Request Act from ABC7 News for the disclosure of all CCW permit holders’ names and home addresses from January 1, 2011 to date. The provisions of statutory and decisional law mandates most information contained in CCW applications and permits are subject to public disclosure. The law specifically allows for limited exceptions to public disclosure include the home addresses of permit holders employed in certain occupations, including judges, court commissioners or magistrates, deputy district attorney’s and peace officers. Names of CCW permit holders are not except from public disclosure.
In compliance with the law, the Office of the Sheriff will soon be releasing your name and city of residence as a CCW permit holder in response to the ABC7 News request. CCW permit holders in the above occupations will not have their city of residence released. The office of the Sheriff has declined to release the home address of any permit holder, regardless of occupation, in accordance with our interpretation of statutory and decisional law. The Office of the Sheriff understands you may have well founded concerns about your privacy, including release of your home address, and the Office of the Sheriff intends to protect this privacy in balance with its obligation to comply with the law regarding public records. If, in the future, the Office of the Sheriff is in receipt of information which indicates our position on the non-disclosure of CCW holders addresses cannot be legally justified, we will be forced to release your address unless there is a qualifying statutory exception as described above.
David O. Livingston, Sheriff-Coroner
Peter Enea, Specialist
Professional Standards Division
Currently, the county has 317 CCW permits, 290 of which are non-law enforcement applicants. Their concealed carry application approval rate is a whopping 17 percent.
By Jazz Shaw
February 23, 2017
It looks like Neil Gorsuch is going to have his plate full when he finally takes his seat on the Supreme Court. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has been busy uprooting the Second Amendment this week, delivering a stunning opinion which essentially overturns the Heller decision without so much as a by your leave to SCOTUS. It involves a case out of Maryland where the state’s Democrats decided to ban “assault rifles” and high-capacity magazines. Apparently the idea of precedent is not something they care to have any truck with, as Charles C.W. Cook explains at National Review.
Freed up by the Supreme Court’s ongoing reluctance to engage in depth with the Second Amendment, the Fourth Circuit has taken it upon itself to rewrite Heller en banc. In a 10–4 decision, issued yesterday afternoon, the court upheld Maryland’s ban on both “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines.” By so doing, it deprived the people of Maryland, the Carolinas, and the Virginias of the core protections to which the Constitution entitles them.
As Judge Traxler’s dissent pointedly establishes, the majority achieved this transformation by contriving “a heretofore unknown ‘test,’ which is whether the firearm in question is ‘most useful in military service.’” In effect, this “test” is designed to permit judges to determine that any weapon they might dislike is unprotected by the Second Amendment and can therefore be prohibited with impunity. Forget that Heller contains its own explicit tests. Forget the “common use” standard. Forget “dangerous and unusual.” There’s a new kid in town, and he’s coming for your rifles.
Pardon my language, but where the hell did the phrase “most useful in military service” come from? As Charles aptly points out, this is completely new ground which was summoned up out of whole cloth by the majority in this decision. And what does that even mean?
There are two competing narratives which could be applied to these questions. First, let’s look at the ostensible target of the original legislation. They were going after the AR-15 and its related cousins in the firearms market. This begs the question of how many AR-15 style rifles are currently in use. On the civilian side, the NRA estimates that more than 5 million households have one. In a single seven day span last year following the Orlando shooting, more than 30,000 were sold. But how about the military? As it turns out, the rifles under discussion are civilian models which only fire one shot each time the trigger is pulled. The military doesn’t use them. So technically, calling this particular firearm “most useful in military service” is a complete red herring since the military has no interest in them.
But that’s not to say that the weapon couldn’t be used in a military scenario for the purpose of killing the enemy. (Even though the AR-15 is a somewhat under-powered platform.) The same could be said, as Charles points out, for most standard hunting rifles. If you really have to kill the enemy a good 30:06 will get the job done. The same can be said for virtually any semiautomatic handgun of sufficient caliber and they are frequently carried in combat scenarios. Going by the “logic” of the Fourth Circuit court there is almost no weapon of any sort which would fail to meet this test.
Will the Supreme Court actually entertain nonsense like this as some new standard in defiance of all precedent? I can certainly think of four members who might. This is yet another case which demonstrates how important it is to get Neil Gorsuch on the job as quickly and efficiently as possible. This sort of claptrap coming from the lower courts must be kept in check.
By Jenn Jacques
February 24, 2017
Following the November elections, Iowa legislators are looking to pass a gaggle of gun-friendly legislation in the Hawkeye State.
“As a whole, this puts us light-years beyond where we’re at currently,” said Rep. Matt Windschitl, a Republican from Missouri Valley who spearheaded drafting the bill. “If we can get this down to the governor’s desk, I believe that Iowans will see this as a wholesale change that they approve of and agree with.”
A three-member subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee signed off on the bill Thursday.
The Iowa Firearms Coalition focused its lobbying power on flipping control of the Senate ahead of the November 2016 elections. Now that Senate Democrats no longer hold the power to block legislation they dislike, coalition president Barry Snell said he and his members are excited to see changes moving forward.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Snell said. “I think we’re all pretty positive and excited that the things that we’ve striven for these past years are finally coming to fruition and that they are a real possibility now instead of just fantasy.”
“We want to work with Republican lawmakers,” said Amber Gustafson, leader of the Iowa chapter for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Because the truth is that no Republican lawmaker puts forth a piece of legislation with the desire to increase gun violence in Iowa. Nobody wants that. So we’re united in that. But sometimes there are many ways of looking at an issue.”
Some of the major changes in the legislation include ‘stand your ground’ provisions, of which Snell said, “We’ve seen in other states in the past, for example, where somebody is the victim of a home invasion, and they unfortunately have to shoot the person, and then the family (of the convicted criminal) turns around and sues them. Even if they win — and they almost always do win, it’s not a question of that — it’s that now they have a $200,000 legal bill.”
Another major change would be to lift the restriction against minors. Current state law prevents anyone under the age of 14 to touch, handle or shoot a handgun, even under the instruction of parents or firearms instructors. The bill would allow youth under the age of 21 to possess a pistol or revolver while under direct supervision of a parent or guardian who is at least 21 years old.
Other changes proposed in legislation include:
- The legalization of short-barreled rifles and shotguns as well as machine guns
- New penalties on “straw purchases” of firearms
- Allowing any member of the public who is lawfully carrying a pistol or revolver to do so within the Capitol
- Elimination of Iowa’s “permit to acquire” necessary to purchase a handgun
- Making concealed carry permits ‘lifetime permits’
- Permit-holder confidentiality
- Blocking cities, counties and the Iowa Board of Regents from enacting restrictions on the use of firearms
“If we have the opportunity to write some protections into our laws now before a situation like this would occur, why wouldn’t we do that?” Windschitl asked. “I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”
“Our intent is to protect Iowans at all cost,” he said. “This will allow Iowans more freedoms and the ability to exercise those freedoms in a responsible fashion.”