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Firearm Related News Stories

Georgia Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge To Campus Carry Law - May 31, 2023

The Georgia Supreme Court issued an opinion Wednesday affirming the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by five university professors against the state's campus carry law.

Passed in 2017, the law removed public colleges and other public postsecondary educational institutions from the statutory definition of "school safety zone," permitting concealed carry on campus grounds and in classes where there are no high school students enrolled.

The professors sought a declaration from the court that the statutory amendment is unconstitutional, arguing it usurps the Board of Regents' constitutional authority to govern, control, and manage the 28 University System of Georgia institutions.

A Fulton County Superior Court judge granted the state's motion to dismiss the professors' complaint on several grounds, including that they didn't have standing and that their suit was barred by sovereign immunity.

The state's highest court agreed Wednesday with the judge's ruling that the court lacked jurisdiction because the professors' claim had become moot, due to the board having already adopted gun-carrying policies consistent with the 2017 amendment.

Louisiana House Passes Constitutional Carry Bill - May 23, 2023

The Louisiana House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would allow adults to conceal carry a firearm without a license.

House Bill 131, sponsored by Rep. Danny McCormick, R Oil City, was approved on a 70-29 vote. Several conservative Democrats supported the bill, while several moderate Republicans opposed it.

The bill is similar to one McCormick advanced last year, which stalled in the Senate in the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. This is the fourth time he has offered the proposal.

McCormick's legislation, which he referred to as a "constitutional carry" bill, is based on a conservative position that the U.S. Constitution allows a firearm to be carried without a permit. It would eliminate all training and background check requirements to carry a concealed weapon in Louisiana.

The House rejected an amendment Rep. Debbie Villio, R-Kenner, a former prosecutor, proposed that would have raised the age of those able to conceal carry without a license to from 18 to 21, the current age to carry concealed with a license. Of the 27 states that have permitless carry laws, 20 have a 21+ age requirement, Rep. Bryan Fontenot, R-Thibodaux, said.

Federal Judge Blocks Most Of New Jersey Gun Law - May 16, 2023

New Jersey's new gun law took another hit Tuesday when a federal judge expanded her January order blocking much of its provisions from taking effect.

U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb issued preliminary injunctions that lift the state's ban on firearms at zoos, film sets, public gatherings, medical offices, and airports' pickup/dropoff areas. The new order also prohibits the state from requiring gun owners to get liability insurance, a provision that was set to take effect July 1. Bumb also blocked a provision that would have required in-person interviews of character references for gun applicants.

Bumb's latest order comes 11 months after the U.S. Supreme Court, in a New York case known as Bruen, upheld the constitutional right to carry guns, essentially toppling New Jersey's law requiring gun owners to show a "justifiable need" to take a gun outside their home or business.

New Jersey legislators responded to Bruen by passing a law in December with new restrictions that gun supporters warned courts would ultimately strike down.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Ban On Handgun Sales To 18-20 Year Olds - May 11, 2023

Second Amendment advocates scored a major victory in federal court on Thursday after a federal judge in Virginia found that the federal prohibition on handgun sales to adults younger than 21 violates their Second Amendment rights.

The case, known as Fraser v. ATF, was initiated last June on behalf of John "Corey" Fraser, a resident of Fluvanna County and a student at Hampden-Sydney College just outside of my own stomping grounds of Farmville, Virginia. As happy as I am to see a local challenging the under-21 ban on handgun sales, I'm even more pleased with today's ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne. In his opinion, Payne soundly rejected the arguments by the Department of Justice and gun control groups who'd filed amicus briefs urging the judge to uphold the law, in part by suggesting that even though under-21s can't lawfully purchase a handgun from an FFL, they could always have their parents buy a gun for them or buy one from a private party.

North Carolina Constitutional Carry Bill Fails To Pass - May 5, 2023

Legislative leaders say they won't take action to repeal North Carolina's concealed-carry permit requirements.

A House bill that would have allowed people to carry concealed handguns without a permit passed two committees in the past week. But it was later removed from the House’s floor calendar without a vote.

House Speaker Tim Moore said Thursday that some Republican lawmakers were opposed to the change. The state sheriffs' association also spoke out against the bill. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Keith Kidwell, R-Beaufort, agreed to drop the proposal for now.

"There was some difference of opinion within the caucus on it, and the reality is, before that bill could become law, you would need to have all 72 votes," he said. "I didn't count 72 votes there, and Rep. Kidwell concurred."

Vermont Gun Bill Creating 72-Hour Waiting Period Passes - May 5, 2023

The Vermont Legislature on Friday passed a bill that requires a 72-hour waiting period for the purchase of guns and includes other provisions aimed at reducing suicides and community violence.

The Vermont House concurred with a Senate amendment by a vote of 106 to 34. But Republican Gov. Phil Scott “has significant concerns about the constitutionality of the waiting period provision,” his spokesman Jason Maulucci said Friday.

The legislation also creates a crime of negligent firearms storage and expands the state's extreme risk protection orders so that a state's attorney, the attorney general's office or a family or household member may ask a court to prohibit a person from purchasing, possessing or receiving a dangerous weapon.

Governor Desantis Signs Constitutional Carry Bill - April 3, 2023

The U.S. now has a majority of states with constitutional carry laws on the books after Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Monday that eliminates the requirement for an individual to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

The Florida Senate voted 27 to 13 last week on the constitutional carry bill, sending the legislation to DeSantis, who signed it into law on Monday morning. There were already 25 states that had permitless or "constitutional carry" laws on the books, meaning Florida tipped the U.S. into becoming a constitutional carry-majority nation.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Minnesota Law Banning 18-20 Year Olds From Carry Permits - April 1, 2023

A federal judge on Friday struck down a Minnesota law that prohibits adults age 18-20 from obtaining permits to carry handguns in public.

Assisted by gun-rights advocacy groups, three individuals who were under 21 challenged a 2003 state law that enacted an age requirement to apply for a permit to carry a pistol. They argued that the law unconstitutionally prohibited young adults from exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

In a 50 page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Menendez agreed. Relying on the Supreme Court's 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass'n v. Bruen, the judge concluded that Minnesota's law was unconstitutional and blocked the state from enforcing it.

"Based on a careful review of the record, the court finds that defendants have failed to identify analogous regulations that show a historical tradition in America of depriving 18 to 20 year-olds the right to publicly carry a handgun for self-defense," Menendez wrote. "As a result, the age requirement prohibiting persons between the ages of 18 and 20 from obtaining such a permit to carry violates the Second Amendment."

Credit Card Companies Halt Roll Out Of Codes For Gun Purchases - March 9, 2023

Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. have decided to pause implementing a plan that activists had hoped would track firearm sales and help curb gun violence.

The payments giants, along with Discover Financial Services and American Express Co., are delaying the work after a series of bills in state legislatures targeted the International Organization for Standardization's new merchant category code. The MCC was created to be used when processing transactions for gun and ammunition stores

Federal Judge Blocks Biden's Ban On Parts Kits - March 4, 2023

The ATF can no longer enforce its unfinished-gun parts ban against one of the foremost makers of homemade firearm kits.

Judge Reed O'Connor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a preliminary injunction on Thursday extending protections against the government's new regulations on homemade gun parts to Defense Distributed. The ATF can no longer implement its rule in regard to the company or its customers. The judge found those rules, proposed at the request of President Joe Biden are likely unconstitutional and cause an undue burden on the parts maker.

Judge O'Connor wrote in VanDerStok v. Garland that "[t]he Government's likely ultra vires enforcement efforts upset decades of ATF regulatory precedent against a public that has relied on that historic posture" and "the liberty interests of law-abiding citizens wishing to engage in historically lawful conduct (dealing in now-regulated parts), which Defense Distributed shares, outweighs the Government's competing interest in preventing prohibited persons from unlawfully possessing firearms."

Nebraska Legislature Close To Passing Constitutional Carry Bill - March 3, 2023

Nebraskans are closer than ever before to not having to obtain a government-issued permission slip before exercising their right to bear arms in self-defense after lawmakers voted to advance a Constitutional Carry bill on Friday morning, overcoming a filibuster attempt by Democratic opponents that stretched over three days.

LB 77 passed first reading by a vote of 36-12 shortly before noon on Friday; the strongest sign yet that the bill's chances of passage are much better than in recent years. Sen. Tom Brewer has brought forward a Constitutional Carry bill for several sessions running, and last year came just two votes short of ending the Democrats' filibuster. In last November's elections Republicans were able to make some additional gains in the unicameral legislature, while Brewer was able to defuse the objections and win the support or neutrality of the state's largest police unions by offering an amendment that will enhance the penalties for using a firearm in the commission of some crimes.

Federal Court Strikes Down Law Barring Gun Ownership By People Accused Of Domestic Violence - February 2, 2023

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the government can't stop people who have domestic violence restraining orders against them from owning guns, the latest domino to fall after the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority set new standards for reviewing the nation's gun laws.

Police in Texas found a rifle and a pistol at the home of a man who was the subject of a civil protective order that banned him from harassing, stalking or threatening his ex-girlfriend and their child. The order also banned him from having guns.

Illinois loses appeal over gun control law, leaving restraining order in effect - January 31, 2023

The state of Illinois lost an appeal on Tuesday after a lower court judge issued a restraining order on a newly enacted ban on some semiautomatic rifles as well as high-capacity magazines.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the gun control law on Jan. 10, which bans the sale and distribution of assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and switches, which went into effect immediately after he approved it.

Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison issued a temporary restraining order against the law on Jan. 24, preventing it from being enforced.

Morrison's ruling came in response to a lawsuit from four gun merchants and 850 individuals who argued that the law was enacted improperly and didn't have proper public input, adding that the law violated the state and U.S. Constitutions equal protection clause in providing exemptions for some groups of people based on their occupation or training. For example, people who are active or retired law enforcement are excluded from the ban.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker Signs 'Assault Weapon' Ban Bill - January 10, 2023

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an assault weapons ban into law Tuesday night, hours after the Illinois House passed it in Springfield.

"I'm signing this legislation tonight so it can take immediate effect," Pritzker said in a press conference Tuesday night.

Pritzker announced the bill's signing while flanked by Illinois congressional Democrats and gun control advocates from around the state and across the country.

The legislation bans the manufacture or possession of dozens of brands and types of rapid-fire rifles and pistols, .50-caliber guns and some attachments. The law will allow gun owners to keep the guns they have now, but will require them to register them with the state.

Illinois gun manufacturers can continue to make assault weapons and sell them to suppliers in other states, but may not sell them to buyers in Illinois under the new proposal.

The House vote came down mostly along party lines, though outgoing Republican leader Jim Durkin voted for the assault weapons ban. Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, who lost in November, did not record a vote, though she argued against the bill in floor debate.

After the bill passed the Senate, Pritzker released the following statement:

“For a long time now, I and many other leaders in the Illinois General Assembly have prioritized getting the most dangerous weapons off our state’s streets. Today, honoring the commitment we made, we passed one of the strongest assault weapons bans in the nation, one I will be proud to sign."

Federal Court Block Key Points Of New Jersey Concealed Carry Law - January 9, 2023

A federal judge on Monday hit the brakes on New Jersey's new concealed carry law, finding that the tough restrictions on where and when a person can carry a firearm in public present "considerable constitutional problems."

The ruling comes less than three weeks after Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation pushed by the governor and his Democratic colleagues in the Legislature to strictly limit concealed carry in an array of "sensitive places" and prohibiting permit-holders from keeping a loaded gun in their car.

In a 60-page decision, Judge Renee Marie Bumb, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a temporary restraining order against New Jersey officials preventing them from enforcing certain provisions of the law, including the "sensitive places" restriction and the restrictions placed to carry in cars and private property. The law specifies dozens of places where guns are not allowed, including schools, courthouses, and parks and beaches.

Bumb also sharply criticized state leaders, whom she wrote "should have been better prepared to defend the legislation’s constitutionality."

Federal Court Strikes Down Bump Stock Ban - January 7, 2023

A federal appeals court on Friday struck down the Trump-era ban on bump stocks, a firearm accessory that enables a semi-automatic gun to shoot at an increased rate of fire.

In a 13-3 decision, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans held that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), acting under "tremendous" public pressure, shot-circuited the legislative process by approving a rule to define bump stocks as "machineguns," which are illegal to possess. The court said ATF did not have the authority from Congress to do so.

The bump stock ban, opposed by gun rights activists, was enacted by the Trump administration after the 2017 massacre in Las Vegas, where a gunman slaughtered 58 people at a music festival. The shooter used rifles equipped with bump stocks, allowing him to fire more than 1,000 rounds in 11 minutes at a crowd of 22,000 people.

Concealed Carry Doubles Due To Soft On Crime Policies - November 27, 2022

According to a new study by the University of Washington, the number of U.S. adult handgun owners carrying daily nearly doubled in four years.

The November 16 study found that 6 million adults carried a firearm on themselves in 2019, which is up by 3 million in 2015.

Self-protection was cited as the main reason for the uptick in gun holders, with seven out of 10 saying that they carry a gun to protect themselves against other people.

In 2015, only 9 million people reported carrying a handgun. Now, at least 16 million people say they carry a loaded weapon on them at least once a month.

The total number of Americans owning handguns spiked from 38 million to 53 million in just a few short years.

Number Of People Carrying For Protection Dramatically Increases - November 26, 2022

Twice the number of Americans were carrying handguns daily in 2019 compared to 2015, according to a new study published this month.

Around 6,000 gun owners carried handguns every day in 2019, up from 3,000 in 2015, according to a study from the American Journal of Public Health published on Nov. 16.

The number of respondents to the online survey who said they had carried a gun in the last month also nearly doubled from 9 million to 16 million in 2015.

The study focuses solely on owners carrying a handgun on their person, not in their car.

Supreme Court Rejects Bump Stock Ban Suit - November 14, 2022

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a federal ban on devices known as "bump stocks" that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns, according to a report from Reuters.

The Supreme Court justices reportedly declined to review an appeal by a group of firearm dealers and individuals after a lower court rejected their argument that the bump stock ban violated the U.S. Constitution. The ban was first instituted during President Donald Trump’s term

Tennessee Court of Appeals Strikes Down Gun Ban In Public Housing - October 14, 2022

Public housing agencies in Tennessee can no longer include provisions in their leases that bar tenants from having guns in their homes, a state appeals panel has ruled.

A three-judge panel of the Tennessee Court of Appeals made the unanimous decision Thursday, saying that the prohibitions in public housing violate the 2nd Amendment rights of its residents.

In the ruling, the judges cited a prominent U.S. Supreme Court decision from June that expanded gun rights, while striking down a New York law requiring people to demonstrate a particular need for carrying a gun in order to get a license to carry a gun in a concealed way in public.

The Tennessee decision could set up an appeal to the state Supreme Court, which has a majority appointed by Republican governors.

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