Firearm Related News Stories
Federal Judge Strikes Down California Assault Weapon Ban - June 5, 2021
California's three decade old ban on assault weapons has been declared unconstitutional.
Judge Roger Benitez, a San Diego federal judge appointed by President George W. Bush, Friday overturned the ban, stating that it violated the right to bear arms.
The assault weapons ban was passed in 1989 and has since been updated a number of times.
The main issue appeared to be the state's definition of an assault weapon. California's attorney general argued that assault weapons were more dangerous and were used in more crimes and mass shootings.
But the judge disagreed, stating in his ruling that the guns were overwhelmingly owned for legal purposes. And, he said, the definition unlawfully deprived law-abiding citizens from owning firearms that are legal in most other states.
Texas Senate Passes Constitutional Carry Bill - May 6, 2021
A controversial proposal to allow Texans to carry handguns in public without obtaining a license or training passed the state Senate Wednesday, putting Texas on track to potentially join a handful of others that have passed permitless carry laws this year.
More than a dozen states have introduced measures this year to allow residents to carry guns in public without a license, according to Brady, a gun control advocacy group. Gun safety advocates said it's not unusual for states to introduce such proposals but said the measures appear to be gaining steam.
So far this year, five states; Iowa, Tennessee, Montana, Utah and Wyoming; have passed legislation allowing some form of permitless carry. The bills are an indication of how conservative lawmakers and gun lobbyists are making inroads at expanding gun rights at the state level, even as lawmakers in Washington debate more gun restrictions.
The Texas Senate passed the bill in an 18-to-13 party line vote after hours of debate on Wednesday. The permitless carry bill already passed the Texas House, but the legislation will have to return to the House before a reconciled bill can make its way to the governor's desk.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has already indicated he would sign the bill if it's passed.
South Carolina Senate Passes Open Carry With Permit Bill - May 6, 2021
A bill that would change gun laws in South Carolina is now a step closer to the governor's desk.
The South Carolina Senate on Thursday passed the Open Carry With Training Act, by a 28-16 vote.
The proposal allows so-called open carry of guns for people who undergo training and background checks to carry guns hidden under a jacket or other clothing.
Senators did make changes to some parts of the bill before the vote, so it will have to head back to the House for further consideration.
McMaster has said he will sign the bill into law if it's brought to his desk.
Supreme Court To Hear Appeal Of New York Permit Case - April 26, 2021
The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear an appeal to expand gun rights in the United States in a New York case over the right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.
The case marks the court’s first foray into gun rights since Justice Amy Coney Barrett came on board in October, making a 6-3 conservative majority.
The justices said Monday they will review a lower-court ruling that upheld New York’s restrictive gun permit law. The court’s action follows mass shootings in recent weeks in Indiana, Georgia, Colorado and California.
The case probably will be argued in the fall.
The court had turned down review of the issue in June, before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.
New York is among eight states that limit who has the right to carry a weapon in public. The others are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
West Virtginia Attorney General Threatens To Sue Biden Administration Over Gun Proposals - April 8, 2021
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) on Thursday threatened to sue the Biden administration over President Biden’s proposed gun safety measures.
Morrisey issued a statement threatening to be in court "very quickly" if Biden follows through on his proposals, which the president unveiled at the White House Rose Garden on Thursday.
"Defending the Second Amendment remains one of the most important priorities for the West Virginia Attorney General's Office," Morrisey said. "I will not allow the far left to run roughshod over our citizens' gun rights. If President Biden follows through on his proposals, we will be in court very quickly."
"Gun violence and the senseless death attributed to it should pain all Americans, however, the evil acts of a select few should never be a catalyst for stripping the lawful masses of their constitutional rights, especially their right to self-defense and to bear arms," he continued.
Iowa Governor Signs Consitutional Carry Bill - April 2, 2021
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a pair of bills that will, among other things, no longer require Iowans to have a permit to buy or carry a gun.
If you go to a store and buy a gun from a licensed dealer, the new law won't change much. You will still have to undergo a federal background check by the FBI. Iowans would still be able to obtain permits to carry or acquire guns, but it would be optional.
The permits and background checks will not be required for private sales such as from websites, gun shows and individual sellers.
It is a federal crime to sell a gun to someone who isn't allowed to own one. Under the bill, doing so would be a class D felony and be punishable by up to five years in prison.
Reynolds released the following statement after signing House File 756.
"Today I signed legislation that protects the 2nd Amendment rights of Iowa's law-abiding citizens while still preventing the sale of firearms to criminals and other dangerous individuals. This law also takes greater steps to inform law enforcement about an individual's mental illness helping ensure firearms don't end up in the wrong hands. We will never be able to outlaw or prevent every single bad actor from getting a gun, but what we can do is ensure law-abiding citizens have full access to their constitutional rights while keeping Iowans safe."
Delaware Senate Approves Bills Requiring Training To Buy Gun High Capacity Mag Ban - April 1, 2021
The Delaware Senate voted Thursday afternoon to require handgun buyers to get permits and training before making their purchases. The lawmakers also banned large magazine clips that have been frequently used in mass shootings.
Senate Bill 3 would require anyone who wants to buy a handgun to first undergo a training course and apply for a permit. Currently, only those who carry concealed weapons in Delaware are required to get training and a permit.
"It ensures that handgun owners will have undergone firearm training courses to reduce the number of accidental shootings, suicides, and gun deaths," said the bill's prime sponsor, Sen. Tizzy Lockman. "That will keep everyone that much safer."
SB 3 passed in a 13-8 vote, with Sen. Bruce Ennis as the only Democrat to join seven Republicans in voting against the measure.
Lawmakers also approved Senate Bill 6, which makes magazines that hold more than 17 rounds illegal. Again, Ennis was the lone Democrat to vote no.
Tennessee Legislature Passes Constitutional Carry Bill - March 30, 2021
Late Monday evening, the Tennessee General Assembly approved Gov. Lee's legislation to allow most adults to carry handguns without obtaining a permit.
Governor Bill Lee backed the bill but said there is little concern for gun safety throughout the state. The bill restricts some people from getting their hands on a weapon without a permit, including people who have had a DUI in the past five years or two DUIs in 10 years.
The permitless carry bill passed the House of Representatives 64-29 on Monday night.
Only five House Republicans voted against it.
Director Rallings with the Memphis Police Department has been very vocal and stressing concern about this bill.
"I think permitless carry is bad for Memphis. I don’t see how it is such a great thing for the state of Tennessee when the state of Tennessee leads the nation in violence, one of the top three in violence, especially violence against children," he stated.
Rallings said when the state changed the law to let you carry a gun in the car without a permit, that was the first red flag.
"We've seen what happened with extending the house to the car, because we saw an explosion of guns being stolen from cars," he stated.
Second Amendment Foundation Wins Huge Victory Against New Jersey Attorney General - March 29, 2021
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition for certiorari from New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in his effort to escape the jurisdiction of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the ongoing First Amendment case brought by Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation.
The Fifth Circuit had ruled unanimously that Grewal, because of his efforts to prevent distribution of materials related to the 3D printing of firearms, was subject to the jurisdiction of the Texas courts. Defense Distributed is headquartered in Texas.
"It's not every day you beat a state attorney general at the Supreme Court," observed SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, "especially when he had been supported by other anti-gun state attorneys general from New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, and the District of Columbia. This is a huge victory."
The Defense Distributed case has always been about the First Amendment, Gottlieb observed. He recalled how Grewal had moved to dismiss the SAF/Defense Distributed lawsuit filed in the Western District of Texas "for lack of personal jurisdiction." But the Fifth Circuit appellate ruling placed Grewal's efforts squarely under that circuit’s jurisdiction and the SCOTUS allowed that to stand.
Federal Appeals Court Rules American Dont Have The Right To Open Carry - March 24, 2021
On Wednesday, an en banc panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the second amendment right to keep and bear arms does not citizens include the right to carry a firearm, either openly or concealed, in public.
The court issued the ruling in the case of George Young Jr. V Hawaii, a lawsuit challenging a Hawaii firearm licensing law, which states residents seeking license to openly carry a firearm in public must demonstrate "the urgency or the need" to carry a firearm, must be of good moral character, and must be "engaged in the protection of life and property." The court said, "There is no right to carry arms openly in public; nor is any such right within the scope of the Second Amendment."
The majority opinion also states "we can find no general right to carry arms into the public square for self-defense." The majority further argued that the second amendment applies to the "defense of hearth and home" and "the power of the government to regulate carrying arms in the public square does not infringe in any way on the right of an individual to defend his home or business."
35 Senators Introduce Ban On AR-15s Citing Domestic Terrorism - March 12, 2021
Thirty-five Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to ban “assault weapons” including popular AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles, citing concern about "domestic terrorism" following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Lead sponsor Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) enlisted a majority of her Democratic colleagues as co-sponsors of the "Assault Weapons Ban of 2021."
"To be clear, this bill saves lives. When it was in place from 1994-2004, gun massacres declined by 37 percent compared with the decade before. After the ban expired, the number of massacres rose by 183 percent," Feinstein said in a statement.
"We're now seeing a rise in domestic terrorism, and military-style assault weapons are increasingly becoming the guns of choice for these dangerous groups"
Schumer Pledges Vote On Universal Background Check Bill - March 11, 2021
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Thursday vowed that the Senate would vote on the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, which passed the House Thursday in a 227-203 vote.
A prior version of the H.R. 8 bill, which would require background checks for all U.S. firearm purchases, passed the House in 2019 but did not receive 60 votes in the Senate to clear the filibuster.
"In the past, when they sent it over to us last time, it went into [fomer Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell's legislative graveyard," Schumer said during a press conference Thursday. "The legislative graveyard is over. H.R. 8 will be on the floor of the Senate, and we will see where everybody stands. No more hopes and prayers, thoughts and prayers. A vote is what we need, a vote, not thoughts and prayers."
Idaho City Declares Itself 2nd Amendment Santuary - February 21, 2021
The Hagerman City Council unanimously approved a resolution making this declaration during its Feb. 3 meeting. This comes a few weeks after the Gooding City Council passed a similar one.
Both resolutions include paragraphs stating the respective city councils "will not appropriate any funds for the enforcement of unconstitutional laws or executive actions."
But it's unclear to what extent these resolutions are enforceable. Other city councils in the Magic Valley have decided it's not within their purview to consider whether a law is constitutional.
Wendell City Council member Rebecca Vipperman said the city attorney advised that council not to adopt one of these resolutions after a resident asked for the item to be added to the Feb. 18 meeting agenda.
Vipperman said the city attorney told the council these resolutions mostly political statements without much teeth. Therefore, the council decided not to take action on the item.
Vermont Supreme Court Upholds Magazine Capacity Limit - February 19, 2021
The Vermont Supreme Court on Friday upheld the legality of a 2018 state law that restricts the size of large-capacity ammunition magazines for firearms.
The law, passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Phil Scott in response to what police described as a near-miss school shooting in Fair Haven, is a "reasonable regulation of the right of the people to bear arms for self-defense," the court said in its decision.
The court issued the ruling in a case filed by Max Misch, of Bennington, who was charged in 2019 with the misdemeanor counts for allegedly buying two, 30-round rifle magazines in New Hampshire and then bringing them back to Vermont. He was the first person charged in Vermont with violating the law.
The court also used the Misch decision to answer a separate civil challenge to the law filed by the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.
Misch, who asked the trial court to dismiss the criminal case against him, and the federation argued the law restricting magazine size violated the Vermont constitution.
In a statement, Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan said he was pleased with the decision and the state could now resume the criminal prosecution of Misch.
Montana Becomes Latest Constitutional Carry State - February 18, 2021
Permitless concealed carry of firearms, also known as constitutional carry, is now legal in Montana, following Governor Greg Gianforte signing House Bill 102 into law.
The new law allows people to carry concealed firearms without a permit in most locations, and with a permit in state and local government facilities such as the State Capitol Building.
"Gun control measures don't prevent criminals from perpetuating violence or crime," said Gianforte. "Gun control measures step on the rights of law abiding citizens and our Second Amendment is very clear, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Gianforte was joined at the signing ceremony by Rep. Seth Berglee, R-Joliet, and other Republicans.
Utah Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Bill - February 12, 2021
Gov. Spencer Cox signed five bills into law on Friday, including a bill that would make it legal to concealed carry a gun in Utah without a permit.
House Bill 60 was sponsored by Rep. Walt Brooks (R-St. George).
The bill specifies that those who carry concealed weapons must be over 21 and be legally allowed to possess a firearm.
"We need to get back to trusting law-abiding citizens, and get rid of these regulations that are not doing any good," Brooks previously told 2News.
Iowa Senate Passes Gun Rights Constitutional Amendment - January 28, 2021
Iowa Senators voted 29-18 to add an amendment to the Iowa Constitution giving Iowans the right to keep and bear arms under Iowa law.
Senate Joint Resolution 7 would add this exact wording to Article 1 of the state's constitution: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny."
Democrats believe that wording goes too far in protecting Iowans' gun rights. Republicans say the issue should be decided on by Iowa voters. If the Iowa House passes the measure with the same language, Republicans will get their wish and the issue will go before voters in the 2022 general election.
Any amendments to Iowa's Constitution must pass two separate legislatures with the exact same language. Unlike the anti-abortion constitutional amendment that passed out of the House last night, the gun rights amendment already passed through the previous legislature in 2019-2020.
Iowa is one of six states without gun rights specifically written in its constitution. The amendment has drawn scrutiny for the phrase, "any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny." That wording would make it difficult for future state lawmakers to pass any future gun control measures and could subject existing measures to legal challenges.
Former Kimber VP Opposes Consitutional Carry In Montana - January 26, 2021
Ryan Busse says he helped build an iconic firearms company. Busse was the Vice President of Sales for Kimber America for 25 years until 2020 and he uses those bona fides to bolster his argument opposing a bill currently under consideration in the Montana legislature that would make it the seventeenth constitutional carry state in the nation.
The Missoulian published a column by Busse yesterday in which he states his case against un-permitted concealed carry in Big Sky Country. After the requisite paragraphs establishing his gun-owning credentials, Busse wrote this:
"Montana boasts of a wonderful common sense and deep down all of us know that protecting our rights also means avoiding extremist policies that only increase the likelihood of bloodshed. Montana House Bill 102 will not make us safer. It is not a pro-gun bill. It is an anti-responsibility bill."
Utah House Passes Consititutional Carry Bill - January 26, 2021
A bill in the Utah Legislature that would allow adults to carry a concealed firearm in public without a permit has cleared the House of Representatives and now moves to the Senate.
House Bill 60, sponsored by Rep. Walt Brooks, (R-St. George), specifies that those who carry concealed weapons must be over 21 and be legally allowed to possess a firearm.
The bill passed the House 54 to 19. Two Republicans; Rep. Jim Dunnigan (R-Taylorsville) and Rep. Merrill Nelson (R-Grantsville); joined Democrats in voting against it.
The bill was amended during the House debate Tuesday morning to require money from the state's "concealed weapons account" to go toward suicide prevention and education about safe firearm storage.
Brooks told 2News last week, "We need to get back to trusting law-abiding citizens, and get rid of these regulations that are not doing any good."
Virginia House Of Delegates Passed Voting Place Gun Ban - January 25, 2021
A bill that would ban firearms from polling locations has passed the Virginia House of Delegates and now will head to the state Senate.
House Bill 2801 "Prohibits any person from knowingly possessing a firearm within 40 feet of any building, or part thereof, used as a polling place, including one hour before and one hour after its use as a polling place." Exceptions would be made for law enforcement, citizens on private property within 40 feet of a polling location and licensed armed security guards "whose employment or performance of his duties occurs within 40 feet of the polling place."
The bill passed the House of Delegates by a 53-47 vote.