Friday, September 25, 2015

Gone Fishin'

Note to readers:

I am taking a break from blogging for a while. My thanks to all of you who have read my blog and supported my efforts to protect our rights and freedoms. Always remember that the wise founding fathers put our rights in place for eternity, and nobody on earth can take them away.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Walmart Stops Selling AR-15s Claiming Lack Of “Customer Demand”

Walmart, the biggest seller of guns and ammunition in the United States, announced last week it will stop selling “semi-automatic weapons” like the AR-15 and instead will focus on “firearms more associated with hunters and sportsmen.”

The company said the decision was based solely on declining sales, not political pressure. Yet many find this explanation more than a little suspicious.

Although gun sales have indeed slowed down recently, there are signs they may be picking back up. Gun sales spiked 11% in June alone, making it the busiest June ever, according to CNN.

The AR-15 remains one of the most popular guns in the United States, with an estimated four million currently in circulation. AR-15 sales accounted for “roughly a billion dollars of the $4 billion U.S. gun industry” in 2013, CNBC reported.

And there is at least one explanation for Wal-Mart’s decision that has nothing to do with gun sales. The company recently faced a lawsuit to force shareholders to vote on whether the store should carry products that “endanger public safety and well being.”

Walmart’s explanation simply doesn’t add up. Yet the company insisted that market forces were the sole reason for its decision.

"It’s based on what customers are looking for and what they were buying when they come into Walmart," company spokesman Kory Lundberg told USA Today. "It’s very similar to what we do with other products. If there’s not customer demand there, we’ll phase it out."

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Conflicts Between Conservationists And Gun Owners Threaten Gun Rights On Public Land

Recreational gun owners have been shooting in national forests for years, but the practice is under threat due to increasing conflicts between gun owners and conservationists.

Officials in several states have launched efforts to restrict shooting on public lands. The Bureau of Land Management enacted a two-year ban on target shooting in the Lake Mountains of Utah. A national forest in North Carolina banned target shooting until November.

Conservationists claim shooting on public land causes environmental destruction and unsafe conditions. According to the New York Times, hikers have been “pinned down” by gunfire and heard bullets whizzing overhead. Others described landscapes blighted by “trigger trash” -- bullet-riddled targets, shell casings and other gun-related debris.

Although it is unlikely the federal government would unilaterally ban guns on public land, restrictions could spread from park to park and state to state. In addition to North Carolina and Utah, restrictions have already been proposed in parts of New Mexico and Colorado.

That’s why it is more important than ever to behave responsibly when shooting on public land. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t leave behind trash and used targets. The small minority of gun owners who do those things are just giving people an excuse to take away access for others.

Shooters have the same right to use public land as any other American. As long as we clean up after ourselves and observe proper safety precautions – and officials don’t overreact to a few isolated incidents – there is no reason we can’t coexist peacefully with hikers and everyone else.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Guns & Ammo: Kentucky Fifth Best State For Gun Owners

Guns & Ammo released its annual ranking of the best states for gun owners last month, awarding the top spot to Arizona and the bottom spot (51st) to Washington, DC. Kentucky finished in fifth place.

The states were scored in a number of different categories including right to carry laws, regulations for semi-automatic rifles, and self-defense laws. Non-legal factors such as shooting range availability and the popularity of shooting sports were also incorporated into the rankings.

The rankings illustrate the dramatic variations in gun laws from state to state. While some states grant residents almost unlimited freedom to exercise their gun rights, others make it nearly impossible to own a gun at all.

Arizona took the top spot due to “strong laws [combined with] an unmatched shooting culture and strong industry presence,” followed by Vermont (2nd), Alaska (3rd) and Utah (4th).  Kentucky rounded out the top five with a strong performance across all of the judging categories, earning full points for its Castle Doctrine law and for its unrestrictive approach to tactical firearms.

Not surprisingly, the worst performing states included gun control strongholds like New York (50th), New Jersey (49th) and Massachusetts (48th). Each of those states lost points thanks to restrictive licensing schemes, magazine capacity limits and local bans on NFA items.

You can read the rest of the rankings here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul Only Republican To Mention Guns In First GOP Debate

The Republican presidential candidates generally avoided talk of guns and gun control during last week’s debate, the first of the 2016 election. The lone exception was Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who told the audience: “I don’t want my marriage or my guns registered in Washington.”

Considering how much it has been in the news recently, the issue of gun control should have gotten more attention. Yet Walker, Bush, Trump and all of the other frontrunners – who have all bragged about their support for gun rights at one point or another – avoided the topic completely.

Even Sen. Ted Cruz stayed quiet, and he has gone out of the way to showcase his support gun rights whenever he can.

Too many Republicans pretend to be pro-gun when it suits their political needs, only to disappear when our rights are actually under threat. To them, gun rights are nothing more than just another talking point.

Sen. Paul’s campaign may be struggling, but at least he isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in – even when it’s not politically convenient.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

State Of New York Cracks Down On … Toy Guns

New York State issued more than $300,000 in fines against Walmart, Amazon and other retailers for selling children’s toy guns that bear too strong a resemblance to the real thing. The state requires all toy guns to be brightly colored.

“State law prohibits the sale of imitation guns in realistic colors such as black, blue, silver, or aluminum, unless it has a non-removable one-inch-wide orange stripe running down both sides of the barrel and the front end of the barrel,” the attorney general’s office said.

This is not the first time the state has cracked down on toy guns. In 2003, then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sued Walmart for violating the state’s toy gun laws, leading to a $200,00 fine. Retailers including Rite-Aid were forced to pay a total of $69,500 for “failure to comply fully with the state’s toy gun law” and other “toy gun law violations” in 2001 and 2002.

The latest fines are the result of an investigation that began in December, which reportedly uncovered a number of guns that “closely resemble dangerous weapons.”

“Some of the toy guns discovered during the investigation are advertised as ‘realistic looking’ and ‘full size,’” the office said in a statement. “Since they lack the orange striping down both sides of the barrel as required under state law, these imitation assault rifles, shotguns, and pistols closely resemble dangerous weapons, and could be easily mistaken for real weapons by law enforcement and civilians alike.”

The Attorney General’s office blamed toy guns for eight deaths and sixty -three shootings since 1994.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Oregon Recalls Scrapped Following Lack Of Support From Republicans And NRA

Three out of four recall campaigns against Oregon legislators who helped pass universal background checks were scrapped earlier this month, having received zero support from mainstream Republicans and the NRA. A fourth recall is still in progress.

The recalls targeted four left-wing legislators who supported a bill requiring background checks on gun sales and private transfers between individuals. Gov. Kate Brown signed the bill into law on May 11.

Two of the recalls failed because they weren’t able to collect a sufficient number of signatures needed to generate a recall election. A third, against House Majority Leader Rep. Val Hoyle, was abandoned after Hoyle announced she would step down to explore a run for Secretary of State. A recall against Sen. Floyd Prozanski, chief sponsor of the background check bill, is still ongoing.

Organizers of the abandoned recalls blamed the failure on a lack of logistical and financial support from gun groups and Republicans. The state Republican Party reportedly told people not to help the recall efforts and may have deliberately tried to sabotage them. The NRA apparently offered to help but never delivered on the promise.

As one of the organizers told The Oregonian, “Everyone refused to work with us.”

It is unclear why Oregon Republicans were so unwilling to support efforts that would have given them a majority in the legislature. As for the NRA’s no show, one organizer blamed it on the organization’s complete inability to function on a state level. He wrote:

“The NRA response really felt like it was an organization that is just too big to function. I don’t think they have any sort of way to function on a state level. After repeated requests for help, money or even advice their response was purely stalling. Letting me know they would get back to me with help and then providing nothing. It was clear they were wasting our time. The very first conversation they should have said ‘No we are not going to help’ instead of wasting hours of my time.”

After facing little opposition in passing universal background checks in Washington State last year, the gun control lobby said it intends to push similar laws in a number of other states.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul To Push For Guns On Military Bases

Following the latest military shooting in Chattanooga last week, which took the lives of five servicemen, thirty-four members of the military have been shot and killed on US soil since President Obama took office in 2008. Last week’s attack was the fourth mass killing at a military facility in the past six years.

Yet soldiers are still prohibited from carrying guns on military bases, thanks to a twenty three year old policy put in place by President George H. W. Bush. The policy limits those who can carry at military facilities to law enforcement and security personnel.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul announced this week that he is working on a bill that would strike down this policy and finally allow soldiers to defend themselves at bases and recruiting centers.

Earlier this week, Paul said, “One of the weird things is that we have 15-20 states where you can open carry. So everybody can carry, except for the military? I think that’s crazy. The rules that apply to everybody should at least apply to the military.”

Paul also called guns a “great deterrent” and said he would like to make it easier to arm airline pilots as well.

Despite a strong track record of prioritizing gun issues, Paul has had a rocky relationship with the NRA, which left him off the list of speakers for its convention earlier this year.

Paul and his father have long been associated with non-NRA gun groups like National Association For Gun Rights and Gun Owners of America.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Donald Trump’s Shaky “Pro-Gun” Record

Donald Trump has taken the Republican Party completely by surprise, climbing into first place among Republican voters who plan to participate in their states’ primaries next year.

While it is refreshing to see somebody rattling the cages of the establishment, it remains to be seen whether Trump is actually a trustworthy conservative candidate  -- especially on gun issues.

Trump makes a big deal about his support for the Second Amendment and his lifetime membership in the NRA, but he may be more open to compromise than he is willing to let on. The truth is that he has supported gun control in the past and may be willing to do so again.

Trump stated his support for gun control in his 2000 book “The America We Deserve,” writing, “The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse to even limited restrictions. I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”

When confronted about this quote during a recent interview with Ammoland, Trump did not disavow his former comments or say he has changed his position. Instead, he evaded the question completely, saying:
I certainly stand by my opposition to Gun Control when it comes to taking guns from law-abiding citizens. You mention that the media describes the AR-15 as an ‘assault rifle,’ which is one example of the many distortions they use to sell their agenda.  However, the AR-15 does not fall under this category. Gun-banners are unfortunately preoccupied with the AR-15, magazine capacity, grips, and other aesthetics, precisely because of its popularity. 
As The Truth About Guns pointed out in a follow up post, Trump’s answer was essentially a complete dodge. TTAG wrote:
How do I put this politely? Bullsh*t. When Trump wrote: ‘I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons,” he wasn’t writing in support of a ban on fully - automatic rifles (gun control advocates’ definition of the term ‘assault rifle’, already highly restricted). He was giving a thumbs-up to a ban on all ‘scary black rifles’ (gun control advocates’ definition of the term “assault rifle”). Trump was dodging the question. At best.
It is certainly tempting to jump on the Donald Trump bandwagon. But it would be nice to see him give a clear answer about gun rights first.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Study Claims Gun Ownership Driven By “Gun Culture”

A new study, which the mainstream media has been covering heavily, claims gun ownership in America is highest among those who come from a “social gun culture.”

The study, published in a journal called “Injury Prevention,” seems innocuous at first. But a closer look reveals a clear anti-gun bias.

The survey breaks down respondents according to geographical area and whether or not they come from a “gun culture.” According to the study,
One-third of Americans reported owning a gun, ranging from 5.2 percent in Delaware to 61.7 percent in Alaska. Gun ownership was 2.25 times greater among those reporting social gun culture than those who did not.
In other words, people who own guns tend to come from places where gun ownership is popular. Pretty simple, right?

Wrong. While the study may seem harmless, the subtext is actually quite dangerous. Linking gun ownership to “gun culture” implies that reducing gun violence requires undermining that culture. As the authors of the study conclude: “Gun cultures may need to be considered for public health strategies that aim to change gun ownership in the USA.”

This line echoes a strategy that the anti-gun movement has been using for decades. According to The Gun Writer:
Since the 1980s, gun control groups have realized that once a person becomes part of the gun culture, they’re likely to become a single-issue voter focused on protecting the right to keep and bear arms. This is why anti-gun activist groups are now pushing the lie that — even though Americans have been buying guns in unprecedented numbers — gun ownership is declining. They hope other people will essentially say, ‘Well, if no one is owning guns, I guess I don’t need to own guns either, or fret about additional restrictions.’”
As The Gun Writer points out, the information in the study was drawn directly from two well-known anti-gun groups – the Brady Campaign and the CDC’s Injury Prevention and Control Center.

It is also important to note that the study focuses on law-abiding gun owners. People who own guns illegally – and are much more likely to commit gun crimes – are much harder to track down.

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. 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.

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.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

NRA Putting GOP Establishment Over Gun Owners At 2015 Annual Meeting

The list of politicians appearing at the 2015 NRA annual meeting this weekend illustrates how the NRA has ceased being a gun rights group and has become little more than a puppet organization for the establishment wing of the Republican Party.

The NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on Friday will include a number of political insiders with questionable records on guns, like Jeb Bush and Bobby Jindal. Truly pro-freedom legislators like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Utah Senator Mike Lee were not invited.

This comes after an election year where the NRA endorsed several establishment types (like Mitch McConnell and Thad Cochran) over conservatives with stronger records on guns, before going on to pour millions into barely contested Senate races while leaving Washington state gun owners out to dry.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the most head-scratching speaker at the forum. In addition to supporting universal background checks on all gun purchases, he is also the poster child for Republican support of immigration amnesty. As David Codrea has smartly pointed out, amnesty is a critical issue for gun owners because it would introduce millions of anti-gun voters to the electorate.

Another speaker is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who signed a law last year allowing the state to seize firearms from people accused of domestic abuse, calling it “one more big step toward trying to make sure that for every gun you take away, it’s that much better for (a victim, their) family and friends and loved ones who care about that person.”

Also speaking is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who signed a confiscatory law in 2013 allowing state officials to share mental health records with to the federally administered National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for firearms purchases. History shows that laws like this are ripe for abuse by the government, which uses them to target average citizens in addition to the dangerously mentally ill.

Meanwhile, Gun Owners of America A+ rated Rand Paul, who vowed to filibuster all gun control legislation in 2013, and Sen. Mike Lee, who last month introduced a ban on all federal gun control, were left off the guest list.  

Instead of giving career politicians a platform to pay lip service to gun rights, the NRA should be boosting leaders who actually make gun owners a priority.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Arkansas Senate Passes Three Pro-Gun Bills

The Arkansas Senate passed three pro-gun bills this week expanding concealed carry rights and reforming the process for obtaining items under the National Firearms Act (NFA).

The bills will be sent to Governor Asa Hutchinson with an almost undivided seal of approval: the two measures expanding concealed carry rights each received only a single opposing vote and the NFA reform proposal passed unanimously.

HB 1505 would expand state code allowing lawful concealed carry on a public school, college or university campus to include sporting facilities and stadiums. The bill will also allow permit holders to store their handguns in their vehicle while on public college campuses and in the parking lot of the state Capitol.

HB 1372 would allow private schools to set their own policy regarding guns on their campuses. Currently Arkansas has a statewide prohibition banning concealed carry on private school grounds.

HB 1488 would reform a state law that gives law enforcement the power to approve or deny private firearms transfers at their own discretion. The new law would mandate that officials approve all transfers needed to obtain automatic weapons, shotguns and other firearms under Title II of the NFA, so long as the recipient of the firearm is legally allowed to possess it.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

After ATF Ammo Ban Fails, Dem Leaders Double Down

Following ATF’s decision to delay a proposed ban on M855 ammo, Democrat legislators are trying to ban the ammunition on their own.

M855 ammo has traditionally been exempt from restrictions on “armor piercing” ammunition because it is primarily used by hunters and sportsmen. It is one of the most popular rounds on the market due to its widespread availability and accuracy.

Last month, the ATF announced plans to re-categorize the ammo and “armor piercing,” taking it off the general market. After receiving more than 80,000 complaints, ATF backed down and announced that the ban would be delayed.

The new bill, introduced to the House by Rep. Jack Speier (D-CA) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), expands on the ATF proposal by banning any ammunition that can be loaded into a handgun and “can penetrate the soft body armor often worn by police.”

As has pointed out, this would technically include any rifle round that can be loaded into a handgun.

Republicans fired back on Monday with their own bill specifically exempting M855 ammo and all other rifle ammo from the government’s definition of “armor-piercing.”

NRA Investigating Grover Norquist’s Alleged Ties To Muslim Groups

The NRA is investigating board member Grover Norquist’s alleged ties to Islamist groups, following Glenn Beck’s vow to resign his lifetime membership if Norquist is re-elected to the board this year.

Beck reported on Norquist's alleged ties to terrorist groups on his show last week. His report focused on an organization that Norquist co-founded, the Islamic Free Market Institute, which Beck says may have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Whether Beck’s claims have any merit will be determined by the investigation. Norquist himself welcomed the inquest, saying that he hopes the NRA investigation will “put a stake through the heart” of the rumors once and for all.

But the NRA’s investigation also raises another question – why is Grover Norquist on the NRA board in the first place?

Norquist is a professional influence peddler and establishment-type best known for using his “anti-tax” organizations to funnel money to Jack Abramoff. He has also lobbied for Fannie Mae, attacked Ted Cruz’ effort to defund Obamacare and, most recently, served as the public face of an advertising campaign for immigration amnesty funded by George Soros.

The NRA’s involvement with Norquist might be excusable if he were an uncompromising supporter of the Second Amendment. But he isn’t. In 2012, the Examiner reported that he had endorsed, campaigned for, and made a video on behalf of award-winning gun control advocate Robert Dold.

NRA leaders are doing the right thing in investigating Beck’s allegations against Norquist. But they put themselves in this position by allowing an establishment moderate – with no commitment to gun rights -- onto their board in the first place.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Supreme Court Judge Refuses To Stay California City’s Magazine Ban

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy rejected a request to block enforcement of Sunnyvale, CA’s new ban on large capacity magazines. The ban, which was passed in 2013, went into effect last week.

A group of gun owners has been challenging the ban in court, alleging that it violates their constitutional rights. Last week, an appeals court refused to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the ban from going into effect while the legal challenges to the ban are still underway.

The appeals court ruled that the ban “applies only the most minor burden on the Second Amendment,” adding that “Sunnyvale’s interests in promoting public safety and reducing violent crime were substantial and important government interests.”

Following last week’s appeals court ruling, the plaintiffs turned to Justice Kennedy as a last resort. His refusal to issue an injunction is not all that surprising, given that the Supreme Court rarely awards emergency injunctions in cases like this.

In practical terms, though, this means that any resident of Sunnyvale who owns a magazine that holds more than ten rounds is now committing a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

While it is not clear how many Sunnyvale residents will be affected by the ban, research has shown that more than half of the magazines in the United States hold more than ten rounds.

The ongoing legal battle over the ban will continue in April, when the parties are due to submit their briefs.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Opposition Mounting To Obama’s Ammo Ban

Police officers, lawmakers and gun shop owners are coming forward to challenge an attempt by Obama’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to prohibit one of the most popular forms of ammo in the country.

Critics are saying that there is simply no evidence to support ATF’s claim that banning SS109/M855 ammunition – commonly known as “green tip” ammo -- will protect law enforcement from cop killers. In a letter protesting the ban, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlate writes:  “ATF has not even alleged -- much less offered evidence -- that even one such round has ever been fired from a handgun at a police officer.”

Police officer Jeffery Denning says the same thing, writing on “The truth of the matter is that all my friends in law enforcement that have been shot were NOT shot by armor piercing rounds.  They were shot—and unfortunately one of them was killed—by everyday ammo, so singling out green-tip ammo simply makes no sense to me.”

St. Louis gun shop owner Karl Schoenbeck agrees, telling that green tip ammo is used almost exclusively by hunters and sport shooters. He told CBS: “Most guys that I know who could buy green tip at gun shows years ago would lay in a supply of it simply because it shot so well. They weren’t going after armor, they were going after just the accuracy of the round.”

Other critics are pointing out that the ban is based on a false interpretation of the law. The legal basis for the ban on M855 bullets is the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act of 1986, which prohibits so-called “armor-piercing” ammunition that can be fired from handguns. Yet M855 bullets ammo doesn’t fit the law’s definition of armor piercing – not even close.

The Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act defines “armor piercing” bullets as those constructed entirely of “one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper or depleted uranium.” The M855 bullet doesn’t fit that description, because it is made of a much softer metal – lead.

The real motivations for the ATF’s ban are unknown. But one thing is certain – the explanations they are giving just don’t add up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Should Malls Have To Allow Guns?

The Somali terrorist group Al-Shabbab released a video on Sunday calling on Western Muslims to launch a homegrown attack on the Mall of America in Minnesota.

This has led local gun owners and activists to call on the Mall to repeal its longstanding gun ban. Minnesota legislator Tony Cornish is now drafting a law to bill that would force the mall to allow customers to carry in public areas of the mall.

"The situation with the Mall of America is completely ridiculous. The complete opposite of what they should be doing,” he said. “If we’re threatened with an attack of any type, the last thing you ever want to do is disarm citizens.”

Cornish is completely right about the stupidity of the mall’s gun ban -- researchers like John Lott have shown that gun free zones do nothing but attract killers and murderers.

But he is wrong to use government power to force the mall the change its policy.

Private property owners have the right to decide what items people bring on their property, no matter how wrongheaded. The Constitution and the Second Amendment are there to limit the power of the government, not there to give the government power over the individual.

Instead of trying to get a law passed, Minnesota gun owners should take an approach that is not only more constitutional but also more effective – boycott the mall until they come to their senses.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Obama Issues Executive Order Banning .223-Caliber Ammo

President Obama is once again using an executive order to bypass Congressional authority and the will of the American people. This time the objective is backdoor gun control.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently proposed banning the manufacture, sale or importation of .223-caliber ammunition, commonly used in the AR-15 and other general-purpose rifles. It has also recently been used in several kinds of handguns.

Obama is trying to justify the proposal by arguing that the M855 ball, the most widely used .233-caliber round, is “armor-piercing” and cannot be used in handguns, per the Gun Control Act of 1968 amended by Congress in 1986. He is also claiming that the ammunition in the AR-15 and similar rifles puts the lives of police officers at risk.

This logic is faulty. Because it has a traditional lead core with a steel tip, the M855 ball was originally exempted from the “armor-piercing” ammunition category it and has long been categorized as sporting ammunition.

Reclassifying the M855 will actually threaten more lives instead of saving them. Bob Owens at Bearing Arms smartly notes that banning the M855 would mean a return to the full-metal-jacketed 55-grain M193 round that NATO wanted to get away from in the 1970s because it was too “inhumane” for use against Soviet troops.

This executive order has no practical value whatsoever. It is nothing more than a silly attempt by Obama to flex his muscles. Since he failed to pass gun-control legislation through legal means, he has decided to abuse his office and engage in backdoor maneuvers to get his way.

Friday, February 6, 2015

European Police Admit That Gun Control Isn’t Working

European police are finally admitting that gun control laws do nothing to stop violent terrorist attacks and the murder of innocent civilians.

A recent report by Time Magazine proved that despite the strict gun regulations in place throughout most of Europe, the black market for arms is thriving more than ever.

Europol Chief of Staff Brian Donald told Time that were two “large seizures” of assault weapons in Europe over the past two weeks, including “several vanloads of 30 or 40 weapons at the time” with “AK-47s, Scorpions, handguns and semiautomatic rifles.”

Donald also mentioned a new training exercise for young police recruits: buy a Kalashnikov rifle or a similar weapon off the street.

“One came back two hours later with an AK-47,” Donald said. “He bought it for €1,000.”

While terrorists like ones that attacked Charlie Hebdo are busy arming themselves to the teeth, Europeans who choose to follow the law cannot purchase a self-defense weapon without passing a number of hurdles. Even police rarely carry anything bigger than a pistol.

This makes European countries a ripe target for homegrown terrorists like the Charlie Hebdo attackers and psychopaths like Anders Breivik, who killed nearly 100 people in Norway in 2011.

As Donald Trump recently said: “If the people so violently shot down in Paris had guns, at least they would have had a fighting chance… Remember, when guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns!”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

NRA Ignoring Immigration Threat To Gun Rights

Mitch McConnell’s surrender on immigration reform last week could have major consequences for Second Amendment rights.

Deportation amnesty is one of the biggest threats to gun rights because it will add millions of anti-gun voters to the electorate in one fell swoop.

The vast majority of illegal aliens are Hispanics, and Hispanics are one of the most anti-gun demographics in the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, 62% of Hispanics prefer expanding gun control to percent gun rights, compared to 39% of white voters.

Gun Owners of America estimates that amnesty could add more than 8 million anti-gun voters to the electorate. The consequences of this would be nothing short of devastating. GOA explained:

“This is exactly what happened to California -- which was once a Red State,” GOA explained in a 2014 alert. “Because of the Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty bill of 1986, the state lurched violently to the left and now can’t pass gun control restrictions fast enough.”

Yet GOA seems to be the only gun group drawing attention to the issue. As David Codrea noted in a series of columns last year, the NRA avoids addressing the immigration issue like the plague.

The NRA launched an advertising campaign last year devoted entirely to non-gun issues such as the IRS scandal and national security. Immigration reform was one of the few aspects of Obama’s agenda that the campaign failed to acknowledge.

The NRA also declined to punish the seventeen NRA A-rated Senators who voted to confirm Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who stated during his confirmation hearings that illegals have “earned the right to be citizens.”

Now, with Obama’s amnesty order on the verge of becoming law, the NRA is doing a major disservice to its members by failing to acknowledge amnesty for what it is --- a grave threat to gun rights.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Congressman Introduces Bill To Ban Body Armor And Homemade Firearms

A Democratic Congressman introduced three anti-gun bills last week that would put severe restrictions on body armor and home-assembled firearms across the country.

Representative Mike Honda of California says the bills are “sensible, reasonable measures to limit the damage that can be inflicted by guns.” He added that the bills will “modernize our gun laws.”

The first bill, the Home Assembled Firearms Restriction Act, would outlaw the sale, manufacture and import of so called “80 percent lowers,” the unfinished receivers that are used in home gun assembly. It was co-sponsored by seven other Democrats.

The second bill, the Homemade Firearms Accountability Act, would mandate that all home built firearms have a permanent unique serial number and are reported to ATF for entry into their databases.

The last bill, the Responsible Body Armor Possession Act, would ban so-called “enhanced body armor.” The bill defines this as “any wearable armor including helmets or shields that offer a ballistic protection of Type III or above” as determined by National Institute of Justice standards.

Rep. Honda tried and failed to pass several similar bills in Congress last year. He was also a sponsor of the infamous “ghost gun” bill that passed the California Senate last year but was so poorly written that it was actually vetoed by liberal Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.

He is unlikely to have much more luck in a Republican-controlled Congress, and these bills amount to little more than political grandstanding.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

“Pro-Gun” Lawsuit Is About Money, Not Rights

The Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit last week against I-594 in Washington State. It will do nothing to protect the rights of Washington state gun owners.

The lawsuit only addresses one small aspect of the law -- the restrictions it places on out-of-state gun owners. It says nothing about gun owners who live in Washington, nor does it mention that universal background checks are a clear infringement on the Constitution. Even if the lawsuit is successful, the worst aspects of I-594 will remain intact.

Why doesn’t the lawsuit challenge the legislation head on?

Because the organization behind it – the Second Amendment Foundation – does not believe that universal background checks are unconstitutional. It supports them.

Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb admitted this in a press release, saying:

“We’re not trying to stop background checks. We’re taking action against a poorly-written and unconstitutionally vague measure that criminalizes activities that are perfectly legal anywhere else in the country, thus striking at the very heart of a constitutionally-protected, fundamental civil right.”

This is not the first time that Gottlieb has promoted background checks – far from it. He endorsed the Manchin-Toomey Amendment that nearly passed U.S. Congress in 2013. Last year, he released a video calling on gun groups to “lead, not follow” on the issue of background checks.

Gottlieb says that gun owners have to compromise on background checks because otherwise we will be dismissed as “extremists”. He says that we have to give up our rights because it is the only way to keep the Second Amendment intact.

But the late Aaron Zelman, founder of Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, felt that Gottlieb had a different motivation for supporting background checks: fundraising. In August 2014, Claire Wolfe wrote:

“[Zelman] despised Alan Gottlieb and saw him as an opportunist who used scary mailings to turn SAF/CCRKBA into a fundraising factory. He saw Gottlieb as a person who needed and wanted ‘gun control’ because that’s what kept the money and the publicity flowing.”

The I-594 lawsuit is nothing more than a publicity stunt. It is not meant to protect gun rights. It is meant to raise money. Why else would a group that supports background checks take the trouble to challenge them – unless they thought there was money to be made?

It was recently reported that Gottlieb uses his gun rights groups to funnel money to the private companies that he owns:

 “While tax documents show Gottlieb collects $72,000 in pay annually between Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee, millions of dollars raised by those nonprofits have gone to Gottlieb’s for-profit direct-mail business, Merril Associates. According to tax records nonprofits must file, Second Amendment Foundation paid Merril Associates $4.1 million between 2002 and 2012, while Citizens Committee paid the company nearly $1.1 million in that time.”

There are millions of patriots in this country who won’t budge an inch in their support of the Second Amendment. It is a shame that some people will bargain away our rights just so they can turn a profit.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Liberal Professor Demands Repeal Of Second Amendment

An obscure liberal academic who teaches “conflict resolution” at Portland State University has written a newspaper editorial saying that the “stupid” Second Amendment should be abolished completely.

“Repeal the stupid Second Amendment. Surround it, grab it, bring it in the back room, pull down the shades, and end it,” writes Tom H. Hastings in the Wisconsin Gazette.

Hastings’ argument hinges on a particularly deranged piece of leftist logic: that the Constitution somehow impinges on the government’s freedom rather than the other way around.

Hastings writes that the Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, which upheld the Second Amendment rights of private citizens, was in fact a violation of the rights of state and local governments to pass whatever gun control laws they want.

“Now when a city or state wants to outlaw firearms, too bad,” he writes. “The conservatives took away their powers and rights in favor of Big Brother.”

In other words, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the real oppressors, not the government that routinely infringes on them.

This perspective, despite how ridiculous it sounds, is not uncommon among left-wing academics. As Gina Loudon pointed out in World Net Daily, it is an argument that they use to indoctrinate impressionable young students:

“[Hasting’s argument] is the cultivation of a very dangerous twist of truth that statists are busily evangelizing in our universities. They take the natural independence/ invincibility bent of young, inexperienced (pre-wise) youth at the college level and teach them that Big Brother is not the overreaching bureaucracy of regimes like the Obama administration, or other socialist governments. They say instead that Big Brother is somehow our Founding Fathers, and their documents like the U.S. Constitution and our Bill of Rights. They give their fable the ominous twist of the archaic haunting of dead, white men who lived more than 200 years ago, trying to control our lives today. Then they ask the obvious question that culminates from such a scenario: Why would you want to live under the rule of ‘Big Brother’ (200-year dead, old, white men who can’t possibly understand society today)?”

Perhaps this is why so many young people continue to vote for Socialists and Democrats, despite the fact that students generally support civil rights and freedoms. They have been tricked into believing that supporting freedom means ignoring the Constitution.