Gun Related News Stories
Judge Rules New Florida Stand Your Ground Law Unconstitutional - July 3, 2017
Florida's updated "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law is unconstitutional, a Miami judge ruled on Monday.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that lawmakers overstepped their authority in creating the law this year that forces prosecutors to disprove a defendant's self-defense claim at a pre-trial hearing.
The judge ruled that under Floridaâ€™s constitution, that change should have been crafted by the Florida Supreme Court, not the Legislature.
"As a matter of constitutional separation of powers, that procedure cannot be legislatively modified," Hirsch wrote in a 14 page order.
The ruling is a victory for prosecutors who have firmly opposed the law they believe makes it easier for defendants to get away with murder and other violent crime.
Federal Judge Blocks California Magazine Limit Law - June 30, 2017
A federal judge on Thursday blocked a California law set to take effect July 1 that bans residents under many circumstances from owning a firearm magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, court documents showed.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, in San Diego, issued a preliminary injunction halting the law while he takes up the underlying complaint filed last month by five California residents backed by the California Rifle & Pistol Association, a lobby group.
"If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one's self of lawfully acquired property," Benitez wrote in his 66-page order.
California has some of the nation's most complex gun laws. Battles over guns in California are part of a fierce debate over gun-control measures in the wake of deadly mass shootings across the United States, including the 2015 rampage at a holiday party in San Bernardino.
Since 2000, California has prohibited buying, selling, or importing "large-capacity" magazines capable of accepting more than 10 rounds, according to the complaint. There are some exceptions, including for active and retired law enforcement officers and for movie actors using a large magazine as a prop.
New York Assembly Passes Gun Violence Restraining Order Bill - June 29, 2017
A measure to establish "extreme risk protection orders" in the Empire State was approved by the lower chamber of the legislature this month.
The Democrat backed proposal, A.6994, would allow a family member, police officer, or district attorney to file a petition with the court for a judge to decide if a subject poses a threat to themselves or others. This could lead to an order prohibiting firearms possession for up to one year, which could be renewed. Proponents feel the move, already law in California and Washington, would save lives.
"Family and household members are often the first to notice when someone is in crisis or exhibiting dangerous behavior," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. "Preventing access to guns by individuals in crisis who are found to be a danger to themselves or others could prevent incidents of interpersonal gun violence and suicide involving a gun."
Under the measure's guidelines, if a protection order is granted it would prohibit the subject from purchasing guns while mandating they surrender any they already own to authorities. When the order expires the owner could get their guns back so long as they were not a prohibited possessor and then records of the proceedings would be sealed.
New California Magazine Ban Goes Into Effect July 1st - June 28, 2017
A new state law tightening up on gun control will go into effect Saturday, but not without a fight.
Voters passed the law in November, 2016. It will prevent gun owners from carrying magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Any gun owner who has a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammo will have to give it up their magazine by Saturday.
"All of our rights are becoming to be attacked," said John Lewis of Herb Bauer.
Lewis says a state law prevented them from selling high capacity magazines to the public since 2000. But those who already owned them were allowed to keep the magazines until now. Under the new law, those with high capacity magazines must destroy them or turn them into law enforcement with no reimbursement.
Rhode Island House Passes Domestic Abuser Firearm Ban Bill - June 26, 2017
Heading into the home stretch, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted Monday to require convicted domestic-abusers to surrender their guns for up to six years.
The House approved the legislation, after more than an hour of debate, on a 55 to 12 vote.
The opposition was led by the 11 member Republican bloc, with Rep. Sherry Roberts, R- West Greenwich, among those arguing: "We are going to make many of our constituents into criminals needlessly."
"If you get some crazy person who really wants to kill someone and they don't have a gun, guess what?" she said. "They're going to find another means to do that. They'll hit them with a car if they have to and what are we going to do? Are we going to outlaw cars?"
But proponents called the legislation, now headed to an uncertain fate in the Senate, a "reasonable balance" between gun rights and a public health threat, that has left a trail of homicide victims in its wake.
"This isn't a liberal [versus] conservative debate. It's a life saving-debate," said the lead sponsor, Rep. Teresa Tanzi, D-South Kingstown, reading off the names of many of the 27 states that, along with the District of Columbia, have what she described as similar laws.
Supreme Court Declines To Hear California Concealed Carry Case - June 26, 2017
The Supreme Court will not intervene in a lower court's decision that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to carry a concealed weapon in public.
Gun rights advocates had asked the court to review a California law that gives local sheriffs power to require that those seeking concealed-carry permits show a particular need, such as a threat.
"Whether the Second Amendment secures an individual right to bear arms for self-defense outside the home" is the perhaps the "single most important unresolved Second Amendment question," said a brief filed by the California Rifle and Pistol Association Foundation.
Because California bans carrying weapons openly in public, the association said the state law can effectively prohibit carrying a gun in any manner outside the home.
National Reciprocity Bill Gets 200th Supporter In The House - June 22, 2017
Legislation to treat concealed carry permits like drivers licenses nationwide is gaining steam in Congress while opponents dig in.
Introduced by U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-NC, on the first day of session in the new House, the bill now enjoys the support of Hudson and 199 co-sponsors from 42 states. The bill is largely Republican, with three Democrats crossing the aisle, and is currently one of the top 10 most-viewed bills in Congress.
"Your driverâ€™s license works in every state, so why doesn't your concealed carry permit?" says a backgrounder on the bill circulated by Hudson's office. "Just like your privilege to drive, your Second Amendment right does not disappear when you cross state lines. However, conflicting state codes have created a confusing patchwork of reciprocity agreements for concealed carry permit holders."
Hudson's bill would amend federal law to allow those eligible to possess a firearm to have a concealed handgun in any state that allows individuals to carry a pistol or revolver. Those who do so would have to carry a valid permit with them as well as a photo ID. The bill also applies to nonresident permit holders.
A companion measure, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's S.446, has 37 co-sponsors, all Republican.
Florida Governor Signs Stand Your Ground Improvement Bill - June 12, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott on Friday approved a Republican-backed measure that clarifies the state's burden of proof in self-defense cases.
The legislation, SB 128, which expands justifiable homicide protections in Florida, was approved by the House 74-39 in April and 22-14 in the Senate last month. The law clarifies that the government, not the accused, has the burden of proof in a 'stand your ground' immunity hearing prior to proceeding to trial, which supporters of the effort felt should have been the case all along.
"â€śIf the State of Florida is going to accuse a citizen of committing a crime, the State of Florida should have the burden of proof at each and every part of the proceeding," said Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, in a statement. "This legislation requires the state to meet the standard of clear and convincing evidence to overcome an immunity claim."
Ruger Mark VI Pistol Recall - June 8, 2017
Ruger has announced a recall of Mark VI pistols manufactured before June 1, 2017. From their website:
"Ruger recently discovered that all Mark IV™ pistols (including 22/45™ models) manufactured prior to June 1, 2017 have the potential to discharge unintentionally if the safety is not utilized correctly. In particular, if the trigger is pulled while the safety lever is midway between the "safe" and "fire" positions (that is, the safety is not fully engaged or fully disengaged), then the pistol may not fire when the trigger is pulled. However, if the trigger is released and the safety lever is then moved from the mid position to the "fire" position, the pistol may fire at that time."
North Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry Bill - June 8, 2017
The North Carolina House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would allow state residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit. It now goes to the state Senate.
House Bill 746 would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit only in the same places where they currently are allowed to carry handguns openly.
It passed its final of three votes in the House 64-51.
The latest measure features certain restrictions and applies to persons 18 or older and who aren't otherwise prohibited by law to carry a firearm.
Supporters argue that the bill would equalize concealed carry-open carry laws in the state, while opponents continue to raise concerns about safety and gun violence.
Michigan House Approves Permitless Carry Bill - June 7, 2017
Any legal firearm owner could carry a concealed gun without a permit or mandatory training under a controversial plan the Michigan House approved Wednesday.
The House passed the four bill package in a series of votes mostly along party lines that prompted spirited debate. Supporters said it would extend constitutional rights to gun owners, while opponents argued it would endanger public safety without current rules required under the state's 17 year old concealed carry law.
Proponents argue that the legislation protects and upholds Second Amendment rights and scraps what they say amounts to a coat tax: a $100 permit application fee, a fingerprint fee and another $115 every four years to renew the license. Required gun training classes can also cost hundreds of dollars, a barrier to exercising a freedom enshrined in the state and federal constitutions, gun advocates said.
During the floor debate, Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, pointed to a copy of the constitution and said it was each law-abiding resident's permit to carry a concealed weapon in Michigan.
"Criminals do not obey the law. Criminals don't obey the gun laws we have now. And criminals wonâ€™t obey the new gun laws we pass. That is why they're called criminals" Chatfield said.
Michigan Constitutional Carry Bills Advance To House Floor - May 31, 2017
A package of bills backed by Republicans to allow law-abiding Michigan residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit passed a key House committee Tuesday.
The measures, HB 4416, 4417, 4418, and 4419 by Reps. Hoitenga, Hornberger, Allor, and Cole, won approval from the House Judiciary Committee 6-4. The sponsors argue open carry without a permit or training is already legal in the state.
"It only becomes illegal when someone puts on a coat, because the gun then becomes concealed," said Rep. Michelle Hoitenga, R-Manton, in lengthy testimony earlier this month to the committee. "One millimeter of clothing makes a difference between a criminal act and a legal act. My question is, why are law abiding citizens paying expensive fees for courses and permits to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms?"
The bills would repeal a host of Michigan's laws that require training and a state-issued permit to carry a concealed firearm. They do not eliminate the state's permitting system for those who wish to obtain a $105 license to carry to take advantage of existing out-of-state reciprocity agreements. Those currently unable to possess a firearm by law would still be barred from carrying.
Hackers May Have Florida Concealed Carry Persons Private Information - May 23, 2017
16,000 Floridians with data on file with the Florida Department of Agriculture may have had their personal information compromised. Most of the information was hacked from the Concealed Carry License Database, and the department is calling the hack unprecedented.
The Department of Agriculture says it fights hundreds of cyber-attacks each day, but it also says it has never experienced an attack like the one that obtained data on thousands of residents.
The Department of Agriculture announced the attack on its website Monday. The department says 16,000 people had their names, but no other identifying information, stolen off the Concealed Carry License Database.
Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam says, "This was an unprecedented attack. It came just a couple of days before the global hack that occurred."
Over 400 people who renewed their licenses with a credit card online had their social security numbers compromised.
How Gun Control Advocates Play The Mainstream Media - May 16, 2017
Time-after-time, the New York Times and other publications have repeated the same false claim that concealed handgun permit holders are dangerous.
This claim will continue to be made as debate heats up over reciprocity, which would allow concealed handgun permits to be used across states like driver's licenses.
With 192 co-sponsors lined up for the reciprocity bill in the House and 36 in the Senate, Democrats are already threatening a filibuster.
The Violence Policy Center (VPC), the source of these claims, asserts that in the 10 years from May 2007 to April 2017, U.S. concealed handgun permit holders were responsible for 969 non self-defense gun deaths (with any type of weapon, not just handguns).
Of these deaths, 314 were suicides and 17 were the result of accidental shootings. In all, 324 permit holders purportedly killed people.
Looking at the VPC numbers for 2016, they claim that 26 permit holders supposedly committed 29 homicides. With over 15 million permit holders nationwide last year, those deaths amount to 0.2 homicides per 100,000 permit holders.
Permitless Carry Bill Moves Forward in South Carolina - May 2, 2017
A bill that would allow South Carolinians to carry their guns openly without getting a permit continued through the Legislature Tuesday, while a proposal aiming to close the so-called Charleston loophole that is supposed to keep guns out the hands of criminals has stalled for the year.
A Senate panel approved the open-carry measure, often referred to as "constitutional carry," by a 3-1 vote, bringing it just one step away from reaching the Senate floor. The House passed a separate but similar version of open carry earlier this year.
Earlier Tuesday, a different Senate panel adjourned without voting on a bill that would require courts to quickly report to a national database when someone has been charged with a crime or received an order that prevents them from obtaining a gun. In addition, the background check waiting period would be extended from three to five days for two years while the databases are updated.
PA Senate Passes Preemption Strengthening Bill, Governor Vows To Veto - April 26, 2017
Gov. Tom Wolf said he will veto NRA-backed legislation advanced Tuesday in the state Legislature that would give legal standing to individuals and organizations to sue municipalities over local firearms ordinances and seek damages.
The House and Senate moved forward with competing proposals. The Senate sent its bill to the House after a handful of amendments were defeated. In the House, dozens of Democrats joined Republicans to defeat several amendments. The House can take up its plan as early as Wednesday.
Wolf, a Democrat, said he doesn't believe the state should restrict a local government's ability to pass gun regulations, including keeping track of lost and stolen guns.
The two bills would override local ordinances regarding ownership, possession, transfer or transportation, ammunition or ammunition components in conflict with state law.
New Jersey Stun Gun Ban Found Unconstitutional - April 26, 2017
New Jersey's ban on electronic arms is an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment and the state must stop enforcing it, a federal judge ordered Tuesday. Judge Michael A. Shipp of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Vicinage of Trenton, issued the order in the matter of New Jersey Second Amendment Society and Mark Cheeseman vs. New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, Col. Rick Fuentes.
"Pursuant to the holdings in Heller, McDonald and Caetano, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-3(h), to the extent this statute outright prohibits, under criminal penalty, individuals from possessing electronic arms, is declared unconstitutional in that it violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and shall not be enforced," the consent order admitted.
Florida Pro-Gun Bills Dead In 2017 Session - April 17, 2017
It appears Florida won't be legalizing open carry, airport carry and campus carry, at least not this year.
A slew of gun bills proposed during this year's legislative session, all sponsored by Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, have once again ended up in the legislative graveyard and none of them will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee's final hearing Wednesday.
The committee, which Steube heads, has an agenda of over a dozen bills for its last meeting, none of which are gun-related. This week's meeting, during the seventh week of session, is the final Judiciary committee hearing until next year.
The lack of gun proposals on the agenda means gun activists will have to wait until then to make another push to expand gun access in the Sunshine State.
Nearly all of the gun proposals were effectively killed off earlier this legislative session by Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, who took a stance against the measures by saying she wouldn't support Steube's gun bills.
"Throughout my personal, professional, and legislative career I have expressed concerns with the reduction of traditional gun-free zones," Flores told Sunshine State News in March. "This is not something new nor should it be a surprise to those who follow the legislative process."
Federal Judge Upholds California Gun Law That Doesn't Exist - April 14, 2017
A Federal judge in California upheld a ban on persons who have a license to carry a concealable weapon (CCW) from carrying a handgun within 1,000 feet of a K-12 public or private school.
The problem is there is no such ban. California's Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 provides several exemptions to its ban on carrying a firearm within 1,000 feet of a K-12 public or private school and one of those exemptions is for those people who have a license to carry a concealable weapon.
Senate Bill 707 'SB 707' removed the automatic exemption CCW holders had when carrying a concealable weapon in schools and on school grounds. It did not remove the exemption that CCW holders have while carrying a concealable weapon (i.e., handgun) in the 1,000 foot gun-free school zone that extends from the grounds of a K-12 public or private school.
Iowa Governor Signs Sweeping Pro-Gun Bill - April 13, 2017
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) on Thursday signed one of the most ambitious expansions of gun rights legislation passed in any state in recent years, giving gun owners the ability to defend themselves in public and preventing local governments from implementing their own rules.
The new law, House File 517, comes months after Republicans won back control of the Iowa state Senate, which had blocked earlier proposals when Democrats ran the chamber.
"After 7 years of hard work, House Republicans successfully passed a comprehensive bipartisan bill protecting Second Amendment Rights for Iowans," the state House Republican caucus wrote in its weekly newsletter, before Branstad signed the bill.