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Posts Tagged ‘Gun Free Zones

Racism And Guns: Why The Left Keeps Painting Gun Owners As Racist

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
September 18, 2017

Gun owners get an awful rap in the modern media. While it’s fine for a Hollywood action hero to be loaded down with guns, the average citizen who does so is a ticking time bomb in their world. It’s worse with the news media, which routinely paints gun owners as being every kind of bigot imaginable. Recently, Bearing Arms has run two stories where this has come up. The first one, anti-gunners were trying to paint pro-gun folks as racists. The second, run just this weekend, liberal gun folks talked about the NRA’s supposedly “racist” policies.

Now, we all know this isn’t true. Gun owners are incredibly open to new folks, regardless of ethnicity. We love seeing new people shoot. Race is irrelevant for the vast majority of us.

I’m not saying there are no racist gun owners because we’re not some monolithic group, but you’ll have a far easier time finding racists at the Democratic National Convention than at the NRA’s annual meeting.

And that, my friends, is why the left tries to paint gun owners as the racists.

By now, many pro-Second Amendment advocates and activists understand the racist roots of gun control in this country. Even the more mainstream political site, The Hill, understands it.

One month after the Confederate surrender in 1865, Frederick Douglass urged federal action to stop state and local infringement of the right to arms. Until this was accomplished, Douglass argued, “the work of the abolitionists is not finished.”

Indeed, it was not. As the Special Report of the Paris Anti-Slavery Conference of 1867 found, freedmen in some southern states “were forbidden to own or bear firearms, and thus were rendered defenseless against assault.” Thus, white supremacists could continue to control freedmen through threat of violence.

Congress demolished these racist laws. The Freedmen’s Bureau Bill of 1865Civil Rights Act of 1866, and Civil Rights Act of 1870 each guaranteed all persons equal rights of self-defense. Most importantly, the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, made the Second Amendment applicable to the states.

Because of the 14th Amendment, gun control laws now had to be racially neutral. But states quickly learned to draft neutrally-worded laws for discriminatory application. Tennessee and Arkansas prohibited handguns that freedmen could afford, while allowing expensive “Army & Navy” handguns, which ex-Confederate officers already owned.

The South Carolina law against concealed carry put blacks in chain gangs, but whites only paid a small fine, if anything. In the early 20th century, such laws began to spread beyond the ex-Confederacy. An Ohio Supreme Court Justice acknowledged that such statutes reflected “a decisive purpose to entirely disarm the Negro.”

 

The anti-gun left paints gun owners in general, and the NRA in particular, as racist because they don’t want anyone to see their own racist past. They’re the mean kid in school who picks on everyone so nobody will look too closely at their own flaws.

Unfortunately, most folks who don’t know the gun culture don’t realize that no, we’re not a bunch of racist rednecks. They don’t understand that we’re just good folks who want to protect ourselves and our families.

They might know an individual gun owner or two who they don’t think of a racist, but the media paints a picture that makes it easy for the average American to believe those are the exception, not the rule. The anti-gun left likes it that way because it makes it easier to disarm law-abiding gun owners if the rank and file voter thinks we’re all hood-wearing Klansmen.

Meanwhile, they hide the racism in their past all while stilltrying to keep inner city blacks from obtaining weapons to protect themselves.

They’ll paint us a racist because they don’t want anyone to see their own hoods.

NRA Takes WaPo Writer to the Woodshed Over ‘Fake News’ Story on the SHARE Act

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By Erika Haas
Bearing Arms
September 15, 2017

If you just so happen to find yourself perusing through the Washington Post’s opinion section, you might stumble upon this gem: “The NRA’s idea of recreation: Assault rifles, armor-piercing bullets and silencers.”

As you’d expect based on the snide headline, the piece tears into the NRA for supporting sport-shooting. More specifically, the author takes issues with the NRA’s backing of the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2017, also known as the SHARE Act, which was recently revived by the House.

In fact, the (bipartisan) bill was advanced by the House Committee on Natural Resources on Wednesday. According to the committee, the act “expands opportunities for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting; increases safety and hearing protection for sportsmen and women; and protects Second Amendment rights.”

Upon passage out of the committee, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said, “The SHARE Act removes bureaucratic roadblocks that inhibit Americans’ access to outdoor sporting activities on federal lands and reigns in federal encroachment on Second Amendment rights. Members also adopted important amendments that improve upon this package, including provisions to address cumbersome permitting processes for guides and outfitters, which will result in more jobs and more Americans recreating outdoors. I look forward to advancing this package through the House and working with our Senate colleagues on a final bill that can be signed into law.”  

However, in the eyes of the Washington Post, if the bill is passed, it means  hunters will soon be able to “load their automatic weapons with armor-piercing bullets, strap on silencers, head off to the picnic grounds on nearby public lakes — and start shooting.”

Thankfully, the NRA wasn’t going to let this one go. It decided the best way to address this poorly-researched, fear-mongering article would be with, well, facts (via the NRA Blog):

Washington Post Fake News:

Under the Share Act, hunters “will load their automatic weapons with armor-piercing bullets, strap on silencers, head off to the picnic grounds on nearby public lakes — and start shooting.”

The Facts:

Automatic Weapons

It is against the law in every state to hunt with fully automatic firearms. Such weapons are highly restricted and very rare due to the 1986 ban on their manufacture or importation.  The SHARE Act doesn’t change this.

“Armor piercing bullets”

All shotgun and rifle ammunition is so-called armor piercing. Congress never intended to place restrictions on all shotgun and rifle ammunition. The SHARE Act simply clarifies congressional intent and limits interpretations that are contrary to that.

Picnic grounds and public lakes

Laws restrict hunting and shooting to designated areas on public lands. You can’t just go to any casual “picnic ground” and “start shooting.”

Washington Post Fake News:

The SHARE Act would allow people to “bring assault guns and other weapons through jurisdictions where they are banned.”

The Facts:

Since 1986, federal law has allowed a person in lawful possession of any firearm to transport it from any place where they can lawfully possess a firearm to any other place where they can lawfully possess the firearm. But prosecutors in anti-gun states such as New York and New Jersey have ignored this federal law, and arrested individuals who were lawfully travelling with firearms.  The SHARE Act would put a stop to that.

Washington Post Fake News:

The SHARE Act would “[r]oll back decades-old regulations on the use of silencers.
The Facts:

The SHARE Act would simply make it easier for law-abiding gun owners to protect their hearing with suppressors, sometimes called silencers in Hollywood movies. Current federal law requires registration, the paying of a $200 tax, and up to a 12 month wait to acquire a firearm suppressor. The SHARE Act would replace that antiquated 1934 system with the modern NICS system used for acquiring firearms in the United States.

According to the Center for Disease Control,“The only potentially effective noise control method to reduce students’ or instructors’ noise exposure from gunfire is through the use of noise suppressors that can be attached to the end of the gun barrel.”  The SHARE Act recognizes that we must give law-abiding sportsmen and women greater options for protecting their hearing.

Washington Post Fake News:

The SHARE Act would: “Eas[e] importation of foreign-made assault rifles.”

The Facts:

Due to a quirk in federal firearms import law, firearms that are perfectly legal to manufacture, acquire, and possess in the United States are nonetheless prohibited from importation.  The SHARE Act would simply allow for the importation of firearms that are already legal within the United States.

Washington Post Fake News:

The SHARE Act would “[protect] the practice of baiting birds with grain as they migrate and then [mow] them down.

The Facts:

Currently, if a person happens to hunt migratory game birds near a cornfield, they could be cited for “baiting” the animals.  This law leaves hunters open to fines whenever hunting near any agricultural operations. The SHARE Act would clarify that such activities are only unlawful where the agricultural operations are manipulated in some way to entice the game birds into the area.

Well done, NRA, for putting this WaPo columnist in his place.

Can The Government Confiscate My Firearms During a Disaster?

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By US and Texas Law Shield Admin
September 6, 2017

During the recent disaster wrought by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and the impending landfall in Florida of Hurricane Irma, many of our members have been asking if the government can confiscate their firearms if the Governor or Federal Government declare a state of emergency.

Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the New Orleans police went door to door seeking people who rode out the storm in their homes to force them to comply with the forced evacuation ordered by the government. As part of the effort, the officers were also confiscating firearms.

This created an outrage among the law-abiding gun owners of the country and resulted in the passage of state and federal laws to prevent such confiscations from occurring in the future.

In 2006, Congress passed the DISASTER RECOVERY PERSONAL PROTECTION ACT OF 2006. The law was intended to prevent the government from seizing legally owned firearms during the time of a disaster. It was incorporated as an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act 2007 and signed into law on October 4, 2006.

CAN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONFISCATE MY FIREARMS?

This law amended 42 U.S.C 5201 Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to add the following provision:

SEC. 706. FIREARMS POLICIES.

(a) PROHIBITION ON CONFISCATION OF FIREARMS- No officer or employee of the United States (including any member of the uniformed services), or person operating pursuant to or under color of Federal law, or receiving Federal funds, or under control of any Federal official, or providing services to such an officer, employee, or other person, while acting in support of relief from a major disaster or emergency, may–

(1) temporarily or permanently seize, or authorize seizure of, any firearm the possession of which is not prohibited under Federal, State, or local law, other than for forfeiture in compliance with Federal law or as evidence in a criminal investigation;

(2) require registration of any firearm for which registration is not required by Federal, State, or local law;

(3) prohibit possession of any firearm, or promulgate any rule, regulation, or order prohibiting possession of any firearm, in any place or by any person where such possession is not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State, or local law; or

(4) prohibit the carrying of firearms by any person otherwise authorized to carry firearms under Federal, State, or local law, solely because such person is operating under the direction, control, or supervision of a Federal agency in support of relief from the major disaster or emergency.

(b) LIMITATION- Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any person in subsection (a) from requiring the temporary surrender of a firearm as a condition for entry into any mode of transportation used for rescue or evacuation during a major disaster or emergency, provided that such temporarily surrendered firearm is returned at the completion of such rescue or evacuation.

Following the lead of the federal government, most state legislatures adopted their own version of this law.

TEXAS LAW ON FIREARMS CONFISCATION

In Texas, Government Code Chapter 418 (EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT) permits the Governor to declare a State of Disaster which suspends certain state laws and regulations to allow local authorities to conduct rescue and recovery operations.

However, it does not allow for the seizure of any legally owned firearms, with limited exception.

Specifically,

Sec. 418.003.  LIMITATIONS.  This chapter does not:

(5)  except as provided by Section 418.184, authorize the seizure or confiscation of any firearm or ammunition from an individual who is lawfully carrying or possessing the firearm or ammunition;

Sec. 418.184.  FIREARMS.

(a)  A peace officer who is acting in the lawful execution of the officer’s official duties during a state of disaster may disarm an individual if the officer reasonably believes it is immediately necessary for the protection of the officer or another individual.

(b)  The peace officer shall return a firearm and any ammunition to an individual disarmed under Subsection (a) before ceasing to detain the individual unless the officer:

(1)  arrests the individual for engaging in criminal activity; or

(2)  seizes the firearm as evidence in a criminal investigation.

To read Governor Abbott’s actual declaration, click here.

FLORIDA LAW ON FIREARMS CONFISCATION   

Article IV, Section 1(a) of the Florida Constitution permits the Governor to issue an Executive Order to declare a State of Emergency in times of a natural disaster, allowing him to enact provisions of the State’s Emergency Management Plan.

For Hurricane Irma, the Executive Order provides specific provisions regarding the activities permissible to state and local officials during the emergency, as provided for in  Florida Statutes beginning with Chapter 252.31  “State Emergency Management Act.”

In part, the Executive Order states:

Section 2. I designate the Director of the Division of Emergency Management as the State Coordinating Officer for the duration of this emergency and direct him to execute the State’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and other response, recover, and mitigation plans necessary to cope with the emergency. Pursuant to section 252.36(1)(a), Florida Statutes, I delegate to the State Coordinating Officer the authority to exercise those powers delineated in sections 252.36(5)-(10), Florida Statutes, which he shall exercise as needed to meet this emergency, subject to the limitations of section 252.33, Florida Statutes.

But those powers have certain limitations with regards to firearms. In particular,

Chapter 252.36(5)(h) states the Governor may:

(h) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles. However, nothing contained in ss. 252.31-252.90 shall be construed to authorize the seizure, taking, or confiscation of firearms that are lawfully possessed, unless a person is engaged in the commission of a criminal act.

FINAL WORD

So, there you have it. During our times of disaster, we can all focus on recovery and not have to worry about the authorities coming along and confiscating our firearms. The Second Amendment survives disasters.

Surprising Hurricane Harvey Heroes

 

[Addendum: Due inquiries from Members, this story was updated on Sept. 7.]

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS CONFISCATING FIREARMS

On Tuesday, the island’s Governor ordered the National Guard to confiscate weapons and ammo that may be required for them to carry out their mission.  What that specifically means is unclear. Also, the U.S. Virgin Islands IS NOT governed by the U.S. Constitution, but instead by the “Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands,” a federal law approved by Congress in 1954. The island does not have its own constitution yet.

The NRA has threatened to file a lawsuit, and here is their take:

In 1997, the chairman of the House Committee on Resources asked the General Accounting Office (GAO) to clarify just how the U.S. Constitutional applies to various “U.S. Insular Areas,” including the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its findings were inconclusive and unsettling, especially to those now living under Governor Mapp’s orders. Said the report:

Under the Insular Cases and subsequent decisions, rights other than fundamental rights, even though they may be stated in the Constitution, do not apply to the territories or possessions unless the Congress makes them applicable by legislation. The Congress can by law extend the coverage of the Constitution in part or in its entirety to a territory or possession, and has done so with respect to some territories. In the absence of such congressional action, however, only fundamental rights apply.

Digging further, one finds that only parts of the Fifth Amendment are considered to be “fundamental” based on court rulings, and none of the Sixth Amendment applies. And nothing is said in the 75-page report about the Second.

If the NRA does sue and their position is sustained by the courts that people living on the island are U.S. Citizens with full protection of the U.S. Constitution, the issue will be settled. If not, or no suit is filed, those living on the island will be subjected to having their weapons confiscated by the National Guard.

National Reciprocity Reportedly Going Nowhere Due To Paul Ryan

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
September 11, 2017

Republicans are supposed to be pro-gun. Not only is that how Democrats paint them, but it’s how Republican lawmakers paint themselves. After all, the Second Amendment is a sacred right and must be defended.

Following the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise at the hands of a deranged liberal terrorist, Rep. Thomas Massie introduced a bill for national reciprocity. This bill would make it so concealed carry license would be treated like marriage licenses or drivers licenses; a permit in one state would be recognized in every other state.

The bill, however, has stalled, and Massie points the finger for this squarely at Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Speaker Paul Ryan will not allow Congressional action on national concealed carry reciprocity to move bills forward, Rep. Thomas Massie told host Mark Walters Thursday on Armed American Radio.  The reason given is Ryan thinks the timing isn’t right to consider H.R. 2909, the D.C. Personal Protection Reciprocity Act, a supplement to state reciprocity provisions of H.R. 38.

“We’ve got over 80 cosponsors at this point,” Massie told Walters when asked the status of his bill, which is currently and procedurally in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform because Congress has oversight responsibility for Washington D.C. He’s “pressing for a hearing on it.”

“Why haven’t we seen movement over either 38 or 2909 since the horrific events in Virginia?” Walters asked, noting the Republicans control the House and the Senate and both Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appear to be blocking bills advancing the right to keep and bear arms.

“You know what?” Massie replied, “The Speaker told me he didn’t think the timing was right. And I think this is the exact timing to bring this bill.”

I’m forced to agree with Massie. This is exactly the right time. The GOP has control of both chambers of Congress and the White House. That may not necessarily be the case in after the midterms.

Unless Ryan is thinking the right time is just a couple months away, he’s wasting this opportunity to strike a meaningful blow for the Second Amendment. Assuming, of course, what Massie says is accurate.

Yet, despite this, he’s likely to maintain his pro-2A credentials. After all, those good grades from pro-gun organizations are typically dependant on how they vote on Second Amendment-related legislation. Vote against gun control bills when they spring up, vote in favor of repealing gun control laws, maybe propose a few pro-gun bills, and you get a good grade from the gun groups.

In fairness, that’s all they have to go on. The backroom deals are, by definition, out of the limelight and hard to quantify. As it stands, all we have is Thomas Massie’s word for what’s transpiring, which means groups like the NRA may be hesitant to base any part of their grading on such claims.

However, none of that really matters. National reciprocity, as well as other pro-gun legislation, needs to move forward, get passed, then signed by President Trump.

Frankly, I’d be delighted to hear just how the timing could be any better.

Social Justice Warriors Suggest Banning Veterans From Campus

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By Erika Haas
Bearing Arms
September 4, 2017

The social justice warriors are at it again, and this time they’re going after our veterans.

A flyer was recently posted on a community bulletin board at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) claiming veterans have no place at traditional, four-year universities or colleges, reports Campus Reform.

The flyer is apparently a part of a new “Social Justice Collective Weekly” newsletter, which aims to “promote justice in our society.” The first issue included an article titled “Should Veterans Be Banned From UCCS and Other Universities?” And according to the author, the answer is yes – because nothing screams justice quite like a veterans ban.

“A four-year, traditional university is supposed to be a place of learning, of understanding, of safety, and security. However, there is an element among us who may be frustrating those goals: Veterans,” the author writes.

He goes on to call our veterans tainted individuals who are nothing more than insensitive, close-minded racists that are a product of a “white supremacist organization.”

“Many veterans openly mock the ideas of diversity and safe spaces for vulnerable members of society,” he writes. “This is directly in contradiction to the mission of UCCS.”

“Veterans usually are associated with extremist right-wing groups such as the Tea Party and the NRA,” he continues. Since when is the NRA an extremist group?

The author then claims that veterans only frighten other students, and are simply a distraction. They offer nothing of value to their peers’ education.

“[They] are no longer fit for a four-year university,” the author asserts.

But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean veterans should be completely banned from getting an education.

“Veterans should be allowed to attend trade schools, or maybe even community college,” he offers (how kind). “But in order to protect our academic institutions, we must ban veterans from four-year universities.”

So these veterans are good enough to fight for your freedoms, to put their lives on the line so you can maintain the right to say whatever you choose without fear – even if it’s a crazy idea like banning veterans from getting an education – but they’re not good enough to sit by you in class at a four-year university and earn their degree like everyone else?

A spokesman from UCCS tells Campus Reform that the creators of the newsletter are in no way affiliated with the university.

“[The newsletter] does not represent the views of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs,” he says. “As a university, we value the contributions of veterans to the campus as well as to the broader community and nation.”

Similarly, the university’s chancellor issued a formal statement saying “UCCS does not discriminate against veterans…People earn the right to study at UCCS by virtue of hard work and individual effort, and we do not bar the door.”

“I disagree with anyone who says that we should refuse veterans a UCCS education,” he concludes. “We know our student veterans to be high achieving individuals with diverse viewpoints and values, and all of us are enriched by and fortunate to have the military community represented in our classrooms and campus spaces.”

It’s becoming more and more clear that the only people we need to protect our academic institutions from are these social justice warriors.

Industry Group Makes Statement On Microstamping

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
September 5, 2017

We get it. Hoplophobes don’t like guns.

They make it clear with everything they do. One of the more annoying things is a requirement to use microstamping technology on guns sold in the state of California.  I’ll admit it, this should have been on the list of dumb gun control laws, but I didn’t think about it. Why? Because it’s so impractical as to be unthinkable.

Yet, it’s the law.

As Guns.com reports, however, industry groups are taking issue with this law because of that impracticality.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute argued to the California Supreme Court in a filing last month that the state’s 2007 law requiring new semi-auto handguns sold in the state to have the capability to permanently mark shell casings fired through the gun with an identifying mark asks for something that cannot be done. As such, the state has whittled down the number of pistols certified for sale to the point that the industry has lost $183 million annually since 2013 in missed sales to California’s gun owners.

The groups point to the fact that the roster of approved handguns as of late July contained just 504 models of semi-auto pistols, compared to 867 in early 2014 when they first filed suit against the provision of the state’s Unsafe Handgun Act. As old designs are decertified, and no new ones are approved as they lack the capability to stamp their ejected shell casings, the roster contracts. Manufacturers such as Smith & Wesson have publicly stated they will not include microstamping in their firearms.

A key sticking point with the California doctrine is that it requires “dual placement” of the microstamp on the cartridge case, a concept that requires two separate internal parts of the pistol to apply stamps to the case in order to defeat the possibility that a firing pin could be filed down or swapped out for a different one in an attempt to spoof the system. The industry contends there is no expert that can be found “to show that dual placement microstamping technology can ever be developed for semi-automatic pistols.”

Of course, we all have a good idea that the reduction of “approved” handguns isn’t a bug of the law, but a feature. Hoplophobes gonna hoplophobe and all that.

Further, California’s requirement for dual placement is no better than a single placement scheme, even if it was possible. I guarantee you that someone, somewhere, will figure out how to defeat the second microstamp within days of the gun hitting the market. After all, if they can defeat the stamp on a firing pin–an essential piece for the operation of a firearm–then anything else can be beaten.

Instead, it merely restricts what the law abiding citizen can purchase. It’s an attempt to turn California into its own anti-gun fiefdom while trying to at least look like they’re adhering to the letter of the Second Amendment, if not the spirit.

Then again, it’s not like California is particularly known for even caring for the spirit of the Second Amendment.

21 States Band Together In Calling For Review Of This State’s Anti-Gun Law

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
September 1. 2017

One of the amusing things about the United States, at least to me, is how different various states can be. While we may all watch the same movies or television shows, Texas has a very different culture than California and Massachusetts has a very different one than Georgia. One example of that is the myriad of anti-gun laws that can exist in one state and are openly mocked in another.

Now, it appears that things have passed the stage of residents mocking other states and now 21 states have joined together to call for a review of Maryland’s assault weapon ban.

A coalition of 21 state attorneys general filed a brief on Friday urging the Supreme Court to hear a case against Maryland’s assault weapons ban.

The attorneys general for Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming jointly filed a friend of the court brief supporting the plaintiffs in Kolbe v. Hogan. The group believes Maryland’s ban on certain semi-automatic rifles and magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition is unconstitutional, and are asking the Supreme Court to step in and strike the law down.

“Banning certain types of firearms steps on the Second Amendment,” said West Virginia attorney general Patrick Morrisey in a statement about the group’s brief. “Law abiding gun owners routinely use these firearms for self-defense or sporting. Such an unconstitutional act cannot stand.”

Attorney General Morrissey said the outcome of the Maryland case will have repercussions for the entire country.

“This coalition’s effort is really important because we have to protect Second Amendment rights,” he said. “I hope that the Supreme Court hears this case so there are not undue restrictions on peoples’ right to enjoy the Second Amendment. This matters not only for West Virginia, it matters for the entire country.”

The attorneys general brief joins one from the Second Amendment Foundation in urging the Supreme Court to take a look at the Maryland case.

This is especially important because Heller struck down the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, basically arguing that because handguns are common firearms, they don’t count as “dangerous and unusual weapons” exemption the Court has granted to the Second Amendment. In other words, you can ban bazookas, but not pistols.

However, so-called assault weapons weren’t specified. That means lawmakers can argue that the AR-15 is a “dangerous and unusual weapon.” Of course, those lawmakers are idiots.

The AR-15 is one of the most popular firearm types in this country today, making them quite common. Further, they are no more dangerous than any other weapon. The 5.56 round isn’t a particularly powerful round, and while it does have a higher capacity magazine than most, there’s no evidence that they’re used in any way to warrant them being classified as dangerous.

The Court has a duty to protect the Constitution from assault by government in any form, be it federal, state, or local, yet they have failed to hear a case on the Second Amendment since McDonald, as Justice Clarence Thomas noted when the Court refused to hear the Maryland case. He’s absolutely right.

Maybe the brief by so many attorneys general will open the Court’s eyes to how important an issue this is.

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Second Amendment Foundation Weighs In On SCOTUS Assault Weapon Case

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
August 23, 2017

No matter how many times we show that assault weapons bans are useless, gun control nuts keep trying to push them through. Now the matter is sitting before the Supreme Court of the United States, which should settle the matter once and for all.

In particular, the idea of banning an entire class of weapons is being challenged as unconstitutional.

The Second Amendment Foundation has joined other groups in filing an amicus brief with SCOTUS in opposition to a Maryland assault weapon ban.

“Our interest in this case [Kolbe v. Hogan] is guided by the belief that government cannot prohibit whole classes of firearms, including semiautomatic sport-utility rifles, that are in common use by private citizens and civilian law enforcement,” explained SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb in a press release.

“But in Maryland, they want to do exactly that,” he continued. “It’s almost as if they either don’t understand Heller, but are deliberately ignoring what was explained clearly by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.”

Back in February, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ban, which was expanded in 2013 under the “Firearms Safety Act of 2013,” arguing that the Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller decision left the door open to permit governments to regulate firearms that are similar to those issued to military personnel.

Here is the excerpt from Heller that the 4th Circuit underscored as grounds for bans on black rifles (emphasis added):

It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

In the brief, SAF, the Cato Institute, the Independence Institute and the National Sheriffs’ Association argue that the 4th Circuit’s decision is a misreading of Heller.

 

That seems to be a fair assessment of the 4th Circuit’s case.

Further, there’s the idiocy that lead to this in the first place. So-called assault weapons—as the term is applied in the media and in political circles, at least—are fundamentally no different than hunting weapons that most gun grabbers claim they want to leave alone. Add in a couple of superficial features and WHAM! Instant MurderDeathKill machine.

Let’s not even touch the fact that there are practically no murders with any rifle during the course of an average year anyway, and you can see why any effort to ban assault rifles are nothing more than appeasing an idiotic base that knows jack about guns.

I can only pray that this decision follows the path laid out by Heller and McDonald. If so, maybe it will convince politicians that it’s beyond stupid to keep going after assault weapons.

Then again, these are politicians we’re talking about. I’d best not hold my breath.

More Judges Arming Up Following Recent Uptick In Violence Around Courthouses

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
August 24, 2017

The attempt on the life of Steubenville, OH Judge Joseph Bruzzese, Jr. may seem like an isolated even, but courthouses have been home to violence before. Just weeks earlier, an inmate stole a sheriff’s deputy’s weapon, killing the deputy and another officer before fleeing and eventually taking his own life.

Incidents like this are disconcerting to those who work in courthouses, to be sure, but it’s probably most disconcerting to those who are the most likely targets of violence: The judges themselves.

It seems that Judge Bruzzese wasn’t an anomaly in one other way. More and more judges are apparently arming themselves.

As violence inside and near courthouses grows, judges increasingly are choosing to carry concealed weapons, experts say.

Judge Eugene Lucci, who presides over cases in an Ohio county courthouse and sits on the board of the American Judges Association, says there’s a clear concern among his colleagues in the judicial world about safety.

Lucci, who delivers talks to judges about protecting themselves, says he’s seen an unmistakable interest in carrying concealed firearms.

“Based on the number of requests that I get to speak on the topic, there’s definitely an uptick in interest by judges,” Lucci said, adding that while judges are more of a target for violent attacks than they once were, carrying a concealed weapon is not for everyone.

“It’s never wise to carry a firearm without training or experience,” said Lucci, who takes refresher firearms training about three times a year. “That weapon, in your hesitance based on lack of confidence and training, can be used against you, and you can make a mistake.”

First, it makes sense that judges would arm themselves. I’m frankly shocked that there are all that many who aren’t already armed, especially considering what they do for a living. So many make rulings that, while legal and just, still make someone feel like their life was just destroyed. The accompanying rage can make people dangerous, so it makes sense that judges would want protection.

However, anyone can be the target of a violent attack, not just judges.

In this day and age, just having the wrong haircut can apparently get you attacked. It makes sense not just for judges to be armed, but for everyone who can handle the responsibility of carrying a firearm to do so.

As for training, Lucci’s right that it’s necessary. I think few of us would disagree, though depending on what he means be “refresher training,” three times a year might be a bit excessive. If he’s talking about range trips, then maybe. If he’s talking about actual classes, well, not everyone can afford that.

Still, everyone should get some quality training and keep their skills up.

Especially if you’re in an occupation where you’re likely to anger people regularly, like being a judge. For any judge who believes that the police will be there to protect them, I’d like to call their attention and legal minds to Castle Rock versus Gonzales. The police may want to protect the judge, just like they want to protect every one of us, but they can only be so many places at a given time.

Charlottesville Mayor Wants To Be Able To Suspend Second Amendment

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
August 24, 2017

What happened recently in Charlottesville was one of those things no mayor wants to experience while in office. Demonstrations happen, sure, but the magnitude of what took place and the national attention focused on the city are the kinds of things most communities probably think they can live without.

But that doesn’t excuse Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer’s request that the state essentially throw out the constitution when it’s convenient.

Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer called on the Virginia state legislature on Friday to convene a special session to push for new laws that would give local governments power to decide the fates of their Confederate war memorials.

Signer, a Democrat, also asked that localities be able to suspend some gun laws after his city was besieged by violence during a white nationalist rally last weekend.

Signer issued a lengthy, six-page statement outlining what he views as the next steps for the progressive Southern college town reeling from the fallout of the violence, attention and outrage that has made Charlottesville the center of a national debate about Confederate history and white supremacy.

“Last weekend changed not only Charlottesville, but America,” Signer wrote. “While we are getting back on our feet, we are still traumatized. . . . But we will overcome this hatred.”

It’s unsurprising that Signer would ask to suspect gun laws despite there being zero loss of life due to firearms. After all, he’s a Democrat. That’s not a party particularly eaten up with Second Amendment advocates.

Of course, here lately, it’s not a party particularly eaten up with advocates for any other part of the Constitution either.

Signer appears to be an adherent to the “never let a good crisis go to waste” school of policy, and is trying to seize on this opportunity to gain some ground in the left’s battle against the Second Amendment. After all, such a win could help elevate him to higher office someday.

The sad thing is that I can actually see this happening. Signer will undoubtedly claim that his officers couldn’t stop the violence because of the militia—a group that claims it stopped violence plenty in its own right—and will hope that no one remembers that despite all the guns present, not a single shot was fired.

Not. A. One.

This is despite the fact that Antifa came to fight just like they always do. They came to fight when they stormed a free speech rally in Berkeley, CA. They did the same thing when President Trump spoke in Phoenix, AZ the other day, though the outcome of that one was just hilarious.

Signer doesn’t care about Antifa. He doesn’t care about a group of militant, angry anarcho-communists who exist solely to fight anyone they disagree with in the streets of any American city. He won’t get a pat on the head from his party for that.

Instead, he targets the one group of people present that literally no one can honestly say took part in any of the violence in Charlottesville: The people with guns.

No, he’s not alone in that, but being second doesn’t make his requests to the state legislature any more idiotic, wrongheaded, or unconstitutional.

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