Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Establishment Republicans Betray Second Amendment Following Charleston Attack

Two prominent Republicans expressed anti-gun views following the Charleston killings last week, proving how the Republican establishment can be just as bad as Democrats when it comes to Second Amendment issues.

First, Fox News talking head Bill O’Reilly proposed a “solution” to gun violence that would involve federalizing all gun crimes, saying “if anyone is caught with a gun, in the commission of any crime at all, it [should] automatically become a federal beef. If convicted in federal court, the offender gets a mandatory sentence of ten years.”

Then, Republican political advisor Karl Rove told Fox News that “acts of violence” would continue until America is forced to “repeal the Second Amendment” in its entirety. He said:
Maybe there’s some magic law that will keep us from having more of these [shootings]. I mean, basically, the only way to guarantee that we would dramatically reduce acts of violence involving guns is to basically remove guns from society, and until somebody gets enough oomph to repeal the Second Amendment, that’s not going to happen.
It’s hard to tell which statement is more dangerously ignorant. O’Reilly seems to think it’s a good idea to put minor crimes involving gun owners in the hands of the federal government, giving the United States Attorney General unprecedented power over guns and gun owners. If he doesn’t see the risk in that, he clearly didn’t pay much attention when Eric Holder was in office.

As for Rove, whether or not he actually wants the Second Amendment repealed, he clearly thinks doing so would make America safer. This goes against basic evidence showing that legal gun ownership reduces violence, not the other way around. Between 2007 and 2011, for example, gun violence plummeted while gun ownership went through the roof.

When liberals use mass murder to further their anti-gun perspective, it is infuriating but predictable. But it is even more concerning when so-called conservatives start to join in.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dem. Lawmakers Introduce Federal Gun Licensing Bill

Congressional Democrats are trying again to expand federal restrictions on gun rights, this time by requiring Americans to provide police with fingerprints, photos and other personal information before making any handgun purchase.

Democratic Reps. Elizabeth Esty (CT) and Chris Van Hollen (MD) and Sens. Chris Murphy (CT) and Richard Blumenthal (CT) introduced twin versions of a bill, the Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act, in the House and Senate last week.

The bill is modeled on Connecticut’s handgun purchasing law, which requires potential gun owners to undergo a background check, submit fingerprints, complete a training course and pay a $70 fee.

The bill’s sponsors claim the Connecticut system has saved thousands of lives since it was passed in 1995, although researchers including John Lott of the Crime Prevention Center have pointed out that shootings fell even faster in other nearby states that didn’t have the law during the same time period.

The authors of the bill also conveniently ignore the endless list of killers who have passed criminal background checks to purchase murder weapons. Breitbart.com lists a few:

Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi (Garland), Jared and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), Paul Ciancia (LAX), Andrew John Engeldinger (Minneapolis), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard), Tennis Melvin Maynard (West Virginia), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Jared Loughner (Tucson), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009), Jiverly Wong (Binghamton), Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech), Naveed Haq (Seattle), and Mark Barton (Atlanta). 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Supreme Court Refuses To Hear San Francisco Gun Control Case

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on the Constitutionality of the city of San Francisco gun storage laws yesterday, meaning the city’s requirement that guns in the home be “stored in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock” will stay in place.

The court’s refusal to take this law into consideration raises serious questions about the Court’s commitment to protecting the Second Amendment, especially considering the similarities between this case and the District of Columbia v. Heller decision in 2008.

The Heller ruling is best known for striking down Washington DC’s handgun ban, but it also ruled unconstitutional the city’s strict gun storage requirements, stating that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep “lawful firearms in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.”

The San Francisco case – Jackson v. San Francisco - was virtually identical to the gun storage aspects of the Heller case. When Jackson was submitted to the court in January, it was widely expected the court would take up the case and issue a similar ruling.

Instead, the court has gone to great lengths to avoid addressing the case at all. Jackson was submitted for conference five times before finally being accepted for review yesterday – and then promptly rejected.

The court did not offer an explanation as to why it refused to hear the San Francisco case, but two justices spoke out in opposition to the court’s refusal to get involved. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a dissent, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, stating:
Less than a decade ago, we explained that an ordinance requiring firearms in the home to be kept inoperable, without an exception for self-defense, conflicted with the Second Amendment because it “ma[de] it impossible for citizens to use [their firearms] for the core lawful purpose of self- defense.” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 630 (2008). Despite the clarity with which we described the Second Amendment’s core protection for the right of self-defense, lower courts, including the ones here, have failed to protect it. Because Second Amendment rights are no less protected by our Constitution than other rights enumerated in that document, I would have granted this petition.  
Thomas added:
The Court’s refusal to review this decision is difficult to account for in light of its repeated willingness to review split-less decisions involving alleged violations of other constitutional rights.
Jackson v. San Francisco has been moving through the federal court system since 2009. Last year, an appeals court ruled against the plaintiffs, saying San Francisco’s gun storage laws are “not a substantial burden on the Second Amendment.”

Monday, June 1, 2015

Pro-2A Matt Bevin Wins Kentucky Gubernatorial Nomination

Former Senate candidate Matt Bevin officially won the Republican nomination for Kentucky Governor on Friday. Agricultural Commissioner James Comer conceded the race after a recount confirmed Bevin’s victory by a slim margin of 83 votes.

In his concession, Comer said he “grew to appreciate Bevin’s knowledge of the issues, his work ethic and his morals,” adding that Bevin would “fight the corrupt elements that still exist in Frankfort.”

Bevin’s victory is a clear victory for Kentucky gun owners. Bevin recently called on Kentucky to legalize “constitutional carry”, which would allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms without having to obtain a permit.

Bevin also supports returning gun rights to convicted felons who have completed their sentences, a position also held by Sen. Rand Paul.

Gun Owners of America endorsed Bevin over Mitch McConnell last year’s Senate primary, saying, “Matt Bevin will not be a follower, but a leader who will uncompromisingly fight for our liberties.”

The NRA endorsed McConnell in the race, despite McConnell’s history of waffling on Second Amendment issues.

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.