Gun Related News Stories
Missouri Senators Pass Expanded Gun Rights On Final Day - May 13, 2016
With only hours remaining in Missouri's legislative session, state senators passed a bill Friday that would allow people to carry concealed guns without needing permits while also expanding their right to stand and fight against perceived threats.
The gun legislation, which now moves to the House, was one of the more prominent bills still in play as a 6 p.m. constitutional deadline approached to pass bills. Gov. Jay Nixon said he remained hopeful that lawmakers would also approve the state's first-ever limits on lobbyist gifts, though some legislators said the prospects appeared slim.
US Appeals Court Hears Maryland Assault Weapon Ban Appeal - May 11, 2016
A federal appeals court spent more than an hour Wednesday vigorously questioning lawyers about the constitutionality of Maryland's assault weapons ban and whether a judge who upheld it applied the correct legal standard.
Gun rights supporters claim the ban violates the Second Amendment because it applies to firearms that many Maryland residents keep in their homes. The state argues that lawmakers had authority to prohibit the weapons because they are rarely used for self-defense and are disproportionately used in mass shootings and killings of police officers.
The appeals court typically takes several weeks to issue a ruling.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake upheld the ban, but a divided three judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in February that she did not apply the proper legal standard. The panel sent the case back to Blake and ordered her to apply "strict scrutiny," a more rigorous test of a law's constitutionality. The state appealed to the full appeals court.
Arizona Governor Vetoes One Gun Bill Approves Two Others - May 10, 2016
Gov. Doug Ducey is refusing to force Arizona to join with other states to restrict what kind of gun laws each can adopt.
The governor said he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. But he said what was in HB 2524 essentially would surrender Arizona's right to decide what laws it does and does not want about things like requiring background checks when a weapon is purchased.
"I believe it's important that Arizona continue to chart its own course and retain its sovereignty,'' he wrote in a veto message.
Ducey said he has nothing against protecting the rights of gun owners. In fact, he signed two other measures today, one to allow gun owners to carry their weapons on public streets near and through college and university campuses, and the other to allow lawsuits against cities that enact their own gun laws beyond what the legislature permits.
New Jersey Senate Votes To Rollback Carry Changes Made By Governor - May 9, 2016
Lawmakers approved a resolution that says the Legislature finds the regulations proposed by the Christie Administration to be inconsistent with existing laws on who can carry a concealed handgun.
The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, is the first move in a two step legislative process aimed at reversing the regulatory changes.
The superintendent of the State Police now has 30 days to amend or withdraw the rules. If he does not, the Legislature can pass another resolution invalidating all or part of the new regulations.
The regulations were adopted on the recommendation of a panel appointed by Governor Christie.
Cheyenne Wyoming Weapons Laws May Be Changing - May 4, 2016
Cheyenne City Council members are looking at revamping the city's weapons laws, some of which are outdated or overridden by current state law.
A proposed ordinance moving through council would strike sections of city law that prohibit people from owning or carrying small weapons like switchblade knives and brass knuckles. It also would remove a prohibition against the carrying of slingshots.
The ordinance would add a section prohibiting minors from carrying BB guns, paintball guns, crossbows or bows in public. But it would remove a waiting period for the sale of pistols, since that is preempted by state law.
Finally, residents would be able to practice archery or fire weapons like BB guns and paintball guns at targets in their backyards, provided they have measures in place that prevent projectiles from leaving the property and minors are supervised by an adult.
Discharge of firearms would still be prohibited within city limits, except at indoor shooting ranges.
Oklahoma House Panel OKs Open Carry Without Permit - May 4, 2016
Oklahoma residents age 21 and up could openly carry guns without a license, training or background checks under legislation that a House committee gave preliminary approval to on Wednesday.
The House Conference Committee on Public Safety passed the bill, of which different versions have already been approved in both chambers, prompting the formation of the committees to resolve disagreements. Rep. Jeff Coody, R-Grandfield, said he needs the signatures of seven members of House or Senate conference committees before further action can be taken on the measure before the legislative session is scheduled to end May 27.
The bill, dubbed a "constitutional-carry" measure, would allow those without a felony conviction to openly carry firearms without a license, training or background checks. Those who wish to conceal a weapon would still be required to obtain a license.
Missouri House Approve Constitutional Carry Bill - April 27, 2016
A bill designed to ease limits on the concealed carry of weapons advanced in the Missouri Legislature after House members voted 112 to 37 to send it to the Senate.
The legislation that House members approved on Tuesday would let people carry concealed guns without a permit anywhere they now can carry guns openly, something that doesn't require a permit.
The bill also would expand the state's castle doctrine law by giving people the right to use deadly force to defend themselves and their property against intruders. House guests given permission, such as a baby sitter, also would be covered.
Constitutional Carry Approved By New Hampshire Senate - April 23, 2016
For the second time in two years, lawmakers in New Hampshire are on the verge of sending a bill to make the Second Amendment your concealed carry permit to the governor.
Last fall, staunch anti-gun Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed a measure placed on her desk to codify the right to carry without first being issued a permit. A new proposal this session passed the House with a 206-146 vote earlier this year and the Senate 14-10 this week.
"This is our opportunity to ensure the Second Amendment rights of our constituents are upheld," said supporter Sen. Gary Daniels, R-Milford, on the Senate floor.
Federal Lawsuit Filed Over Carry Rights For Resident Aliens In Montana - April 18, 2016
A 34 year old Slovakian woman who is a legal resident filed suit in federal court Monday after being denied a concealed carry permit for the past two years.
Lenka Knutson is a citizen of Slovakia but has been living with her husband and children in Whitefish, Montana since 2005. As a permanent resident, she has a green card and has been employed at a local bank since 2007. While neither federal nor state laws prevent her from owning a gun, she was denied a concealed carry permit in 2014 by the Flathead County Sheriff's office because Montana law only allows U.S. citizens to apply.
After being denied the ability to legally carry a firearm outside of her home, Knutson, a member of the Second Amendment Foundation, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana against Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry this week with the support of the group.
Mississippi Governor Sign Constitutional Carry Bill - April 15, 2016
With a holstered Glock, a tattered Bible and a copy of the Reagan Diaries on his desk, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a multifaceted gun reform bill into law on Friday.
The measure, which passed the House in February in an impressive 85-33 vote, began life as a church security bill to allow those with a concealed carry permit to have a firearm in church. During its passage through that body, it picked up an amendment to allow unlicensed carry of a concealed gun elsewhere in the state so long as it is in a holster or scabbard on the belt or shoulder.
Gun Sales Reach New High In March - April 5, 2016
A new FBI study released this week shows the number of firearms sold across the country in March was the highest ever, The Washington Free Beacon reports. The agency said it performed some 2,523,265 background checks last month, about 35,000 more than in March 2014.
The Beacon says the March record is the "eleventh straight monthly record for background checks."
And with 7,682,141 checks done already this year, 2016 is expected to break another annual sales record.
New Jersey Ordered To Pay Gun Rights Group 100k In Legal Fees - April 5, 2016
The state Attorney General's Office has paid a New Jersey gun rights group $101,626 in legal costs and released documents describing the state's firearms background check process after fighting their disclosure in court for years, NJ Advance Media has learned.
The payment was ordered by a judge after a lengthy legal battle between the state and the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, which was seeking the State Police's guide for local departments performing checks on those applying for gun permits.
It comes after a commission formed by Gov. Chris Christie issued a December report finding New Jersey's permitting process was opaque and inefficient.
Iowa Governor Signs Suppressor Legislation Into Law - March 31, 2016
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has signed a bill that legalizes the sale, use and possession of technology that will protect gun owners' hearing.
"The good people of Iowa were not misled by the lies out of state gun control groups were spreading in Iowa," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action. "This law will make it easier for Iowa's gun owners to protect their hearing with the proven technology of firearm suppressors. Suppressors also reduce noise complaints at ranges. People in the shooting sports take safety seriously and want to be good neighbors."
When the bill was passed in the House and Senate, the Governor hinted at his support, saying it "will not only save people from hearing loss, but also could create some jobs in Iowa."
Senator Shuts Down More Gun Bills In South Carolina - March 30, 2016
Three gun bills approved by a Senate panel last week will be the only gun bills receiving a hearing this year in the Senate, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says.
The news is a blow to advocates of other legislation, including bills to expand the waiting period for background checks prior to gun sales, proposed following the murders of nine people at a Charleston church last June.
Sen. Larry Martin, a Pickens Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told The Greenville News he personally does not support the expanded waiting period bills or other gun-control measures such as gun registration or a ban on assault weapons, so he will not allow them a hearing.
Mississippi Senate Approves House Bill For Constitutional Carry - March 30, 2016
A bill that would enhance concealed carry protections while making Mississippi the 10th state to adopt constitutional carry passed with broad support Tuesday.
The measure, which passed the House last month in an impressive 85-33 vote, began life as a church security bill to allow those with a concealed carry permit to have a firearm in church. During its passage through that body, it picked up an amendment to allow unlicensed carry of a concealed gun elsewhere in the state so long as it is in a holster or scabbard on the belt or shoulder. The Senate approved it by a 36-14 vote this week.
Headed back to the House for a concurrence, the bill has the support of both Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, the latter of whom concentrated on the new church protections in a statement Tuesday.
Hi-Point Firearms Founder Tom Deeb Dies - March 24, 2016
Deeb, born near South Bend, Indiana, and grew up in a working class neighborhood before founding Hi-Point in 1993, passed away this week.
"Tom was an extraordinarily smart and accomplished entrepreneur who built a company that still represents the fair practices and honest principles he implemented in establishing it," noted Hi-Point in a post to social media Thursday.
The Ohio based company's founder died Monday while in 'semi-retirement' in Texas.
Virginia Governor Vetos Two Pro Gun Bills - March 24, 2016
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a bill that seeks to undo the Democrat's executive order banning guns in state offices.
McAuliffe also nixed a bill that would prevent most government agencies from prohibiting employees from keeping firearms in their vehicles.
State workers are currently barred from possessing a weapon not required for their job when they are on state premises or conducting state business.
Georgia Reciprocity Bill Passes South Carolina Senate - March 24, 2016
Legislation in the state Senate that lets South Carolina recognize Georgia's concealed weapons permits is a few steps closer to becoming law.
The bill, which cruised through the S.C. House in 2015, makes it so that Peach State residents who carry firearms don't have to put them away when they cross the state line.
The issue has flustered residents from border areas, Rep. Bill Taylor, Republican Aiken, said.
"South Carolina citizens who particularly live along the Savannah River and travel back and forth to Georgia have desired this overwhelmingly," Taylor said.
While Georgia does not recognize South Carolina's permit holders, lawmakers have said progress with South Carolina's bill could hopefully incentivize Georgia legislators to introduce similar legislation.
Mississippi Constitutional Carry Bill Heads To Full Senate Vote - March 18, 2016
An important Senate committee on Thursday looked past a gun control rally at the State Capitol to approve a House measure to allow concealed carry without a permit.
The measure, which passed the House last month in an impressive 85-33 vote began life as a church security bill to allow those with a concealed carry permit to have a firearm in church. House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, himself a lawyer and minister of a small church, was able to add an amendment to allow unlicensed carry of a concealed gun elsewhere in the state so long as it is in a holster or scabbard on the belt or shoulder.
Two Major Anti-Gun Groups Merge - March 17, 2016
Two of the most vocal gun control advocacy groups in the United States recently announced that they are joining forces. Americans for Responsible Solutions, founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and astronaut Mark Kelly, and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced on Wednesday that the two groups are merging to "create a bold new force for smart gun laws." The two organizations say that by pooling together resources and expertise, they can create a more powerful and influential entity to advocate for stricter gun laws. The resulting organization, which will continue to operate under the Americans for Responsible Solutions banner, will be led by Giffords and Kelly.