Firearm Related News Stories
Federal Court Strikes Down Parts Of New York Concealed Carry Law, Upholds Other Parts - December 8, 2023
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit blocked three provisions of New York's "Concealed Carry Improvement Act" (CCIA), a law Democrats passed last year in response to a Supreme Court ruling that declared the state's previous concealed carry permitting requirements unconstitutional. In doing so, the appeals court allowed other parts of the law to go into effect.
In a 261-page ruling, the three judge panel struck down a requirement that gun owners disclose their social media accounts for review when applying for a concealed carry permit. The court also blocked restrictions on carrying firearms on private property that is accessible to the public, as well as a restriction on concealed carry in houses of worship.
However, controversial parts of the law remain intact, including a requirement that applicants demonstrate good moral character and disclose household and family members on a permit application. New York will also be allowed to enforce bans on concealed carry in so-called "sensitive places," including theaters, bars, public parks and other spaces.
Voter Approved Oregon Gun Law Blocked By Federal Judge - November 21, 2023
A voter approved Oregon gun control law violates the state constitution, a judge ruled Tuesday, continuing to block it from taking effect and casting fresh doubt over the future of the embattled measure.
The law, one of the toughest in the nation, was among the first gun restrictions to be passed after a major U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year changed the guidance judges are expected to follow when considering Second Amendment cases.
The decision was handed down by Circuit Court Judge Robert S. Raschio, the presiding judge in Harney County in rural southeast Oregon.
The law requires people to undergo a criminal background check and complete a gun safety training course in order to obtain a permit to buy a firearm. It also bans high-capacity magazines.
Measure 114 has been tied up in state and federal court since it was narrowly approved by voters last November.
Appeals Court Strikes Down Maryland Firearm Licensing Law - November 21, 2023
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Maryland law requiring potential handgun owners to go through a qualification process, saying the law is unconstitutional.
In a scathing opinion penned by Judge Julius N. Richardson, the federal appeals court reversed a lower court's decision to uphold Maryland's 'handgun qualification license' requirement, or the state's 'HQL' law.
"The answer is not complicated. If you do not already own a handgun, then the only way to 'keep' or 'bear' one is to get one, either through sale, rental, or gift. And the challenged law cuts off all three avenues, at least, for those who do not comply with its terms," U.S. Fourth Circuit Court Judge Julius N. Richardson wrote in his opinion
Filed by the nonprofit gun advocacy group Maryland Shall Issue, the 2016 federal lawsuit argued the state's increasingly strict HQL regulations placed 'undue' burden on citizen's constitutional rights to obtain, own and possess firearms.
Federal Judge Blocks Enforcement Of ATF Pistol Brace Rule - November 9, 2023
Millions of law abiding gun owners who were turned into criminals overnight under the Biden administration's new pistol brace ban have temporary relief after a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction preventing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives from enforcing it.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled on Wednesday that the unelected bureaucrats' attempts to legislate by regulation instead of enforcing the gun laws already on the books were unlawful and, in the case of pistol braces, must cease immediately.
The ATF's rule, enacted earlier this year, sought to jail and fine any of the estimated 40 million U.S. pistol brace owners who refused to reclassify their weapons as short barrel rifles, which require registration with the government and a $200 tax stamp, or destroy the pistol brace. Gun owners in the 21 states with SBR bans were forced to choose between relinquishing their weapons or destroying their pistol brace-equipped firearms to avoid penalty and punishment.
Fifth Circuit Court Strikes Down ATF 'Ghost Gun' Ruling In Unanimous Decision - November 6, 2023
A federal appeals court Thursday tossed part of a rule targeting build at home 'ghost guns' in a case advocates brought, holding the regulation exceeds "limits on agency authority in the name of public policy."
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part a lower court ruling that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives final 'frame or receiver' rule targeting privately made firearms without serial numbers conflicts with the Gun Control Act.
"ATF, in promulgating its Final Rule, attempted to take on the mantle of Congress to 'do something' with respect to gun control. But it is not the province of an executive agency to write laws for our nation. That vital duty, for better or for worse, lies solely with the legislature," Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt wrote for the court.
Supreme Court Will Hear Federal Bump Stock Ban Case - November 3, 2023
The Supreme Court will decide whether the Trump administration's ban on bump stocks, implemented by the ATF in 2018 after the Route 91 music festival shootings in Las Vegas, was a proper exercise of agency authority or an overreach on the part of the administration. On Friday the Court granted cert in a case known as Garland v. Cargill; one of several cases that have been bouncing around the lower courts since the ban was first put in place.
The Court's granting of the case wasn’t exactly a surprise, for a couple of reasons. The Solicitor General had sought Supreme Court review, but there are also splits in the federal appellate courts over the legality of the ban. The Fifth Circuit has ruled the bump stock ban was improperly put into effect, while the D.C. Circuit, Sixth Circuit, and Tenth Circuit have all allowed the ban to remain in effect.
Federal Court Files Injunction Against California Ban On Gun Shows On State Property - October 30, 2023
On Monday, U.S. District Judge John W. Holcomb granted an injunction barring enforcement of the California statutes and refused to grant a temporary stay to allow the state time to appeal.
In his ruling, Holcomb said the gun show ban may have ostensibly been about public safety, but in practice violated the First Amendment in several ways.
The rules at gun shows are the same as they are at brick and mortar stores in the state, including the 10-day waiting period that precludes any firearms from actually being transferred at a show.
Holcomb's decision on that particular First Amendment claim would have been enough to grant an injunction, but Holcomb was just getting started. He next concluded the plaintiffs are likely to succeed at trial with their argument that SB 264 and SB 915 were put into effect to discriminate against pro-Second Amendment voices.
BIden Administration Bans Exort Of Firearms For 90 Days - October 28, 2023
The United States has halted most civilian firearm exports for the next 90 days, the U.S. Department of Commerce said late Friday.
Citing national security reasons, the Commerce Department said the U.S. will largely stop issuing civilian export licenses and will assess the "risk of firearms being diverted to entities or activities that promote regional instability, violate human rights, or fuel criminal activities."
The ban doesn’t cover around 40 countries, including Israel and Ukraine, that have a separate export agreement for firearms.
Federal Judge Rules Against Some Provisions In Maryland Gun Control Law - September 30, 2023
A Maryland federal judge ruled Friday that the state's provisions banning firearm possession in certain private and public areas be limited, pending further consideration of its legality.
Maryland passed sweeping gun control legislation in May which banned the carrying of guns in many places, including in businesses where alcohol is sold, on private property without the owner's consent and at public gatherings.
Judge George Russell III ruled that those provisions should be halted, siding with gun rights supporters. The law is scheduled to go into effect Sunday.
Senate Joins House in Overturning Administration's School Hunting Program Cuts - September 29, 2023
Only hours after the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms blasted the Biden administration's attempt to eliminate funding for school hunter education and archery programs, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation to prevent the cuts, and now the White House has confirmed President Biden will sign the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act.
The bill passed the House 424-1 Tuesday. It was championed by members of both parties who recognized the administration had deliberately misinterpreted tenets of the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to cut funding for hunter safety, archery and other student programs.
"Joe Biden may be incapable of reading the writing on the wall," said a jubilant CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, "but there is no question the House and Senate members who almost unanimously passed this legislation do not suffer from the same foggy vision."
Federal Judge Strikes DOwn California Magazine Ban Law - September 22, 2023
California cannot ban gun owners from having detachable magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, a federal judge ruled Friday.
The decision from U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez won't take effect immediately. Democratic U.S. Attorney General Rob Bonta has already promised to appeal the ruling. The ban is likely to remain in effect while the case is still pending.
This is the second time Benitez has truck down California's law banning high-capacity magazines. The first time he struck it down, way back in 2017, an appeals court ended up reversing his decision.
Extreme Oregon Gun Law Heads To COurt Next Week - September 13, 2023
An Oregon law dubbed the nation's "most extreme" gun control measure heads to trial next week in a case that has drawn close attention from firearm advocates and opponents.
"I have never seen this many people so interested in a legal proceeding," attorney Tony Aiello Jr. told Fox News.
"This case is about a bare majority of voters passing a poorly-written ballot measure that erodes, and I would say erases, a constitutional right," added Aiello, who is representing a pair of Harney County gun owners challenging Measure 114 under the Oregon Constitution.
Oregonians passed Measure 114 last November with 50.65% of the vote, with voters in just six of the state's 36 counties supporting it. The law, which groups like the NRA's legislative arm deem "the nation's most extreme gun control Initiative," requires a permit to purchase any gun and bans the sale of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
But the law hasn't taken effect due to immediate legal challenges at both the federal and state level.
NM Gov Cancels 2nd Amendment In Albuquerque - September 9, 2023
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order suspending the right of citizens to carry firearms across the City of Albuquerque and the surrounding county for thirty days. She claimed the ability to do this by declaring a state of emergency in the area and seizing emergency powers under that premise. The'emergency' in question was a spate of shootings in the city in recent weeks. The Governor plans to have the state police enforce the order, likely because the city's Chief of Police has already refused to enforce it and the County Sheriff immediately said he was 'uneasy' about the order. (Associated Press)
"New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday issued an emergency order suspending the right to carry firearms in public across Albuquerque and the surrounding county for at least 30 days in response to a spate of gun violence.
The Democratic governor said she expects legal challenges but was compelled to act because of recent shootings, including the death of an 11-year-old boy outside a minor league baseball stadium this week.
Lujan Grisham said state police would be responsible for enforcing what amount to civil violations. Albuquerque police Chief Harold Medina said he won't enforce it, and Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said he’s uneasy about it because it raises too many questions about constitutional rights."
California Lawmakers Approve Raising Taxes On Guns And Ammunition - September 8, 2023
California lawmakers on Thursday voted to raise taxes on guns and ammunition to pay for security improvements at public schools and gun violence prevention programs.
The federal government already taxes the sale of guns and ammunition nationwide. The government gives that money to the states, which spend it on wildlife conservation and hunter safety programs.
California's proposed tax, if it becomes law, would be 11%; matching the highest tax imposed by the federal government on guns.
"Don't let politics stand in the way of saving the lives of our children and providing mental health care in our school districts," Democratic state Sen. Anthony Portantino said. "Fear should not be on the brow of a parent when they send their kids to school."
Illinois Supreme Court Upholds State's Semiautomatic Weapons Ban - August 11, 2023
Illinois' highest court upheld the state’s ban on the sale of assault weapons Friday.
The ruling came in a lawsuit brought earlier this year by a central Illinois lawmaker who argued that banning the sale of high-powered rifles and high-capacity magazines violates the state constitution.
The suit, by state Rep. Dan Caulkins of Decatur, was part of a flurry of challenges to the constitutionality of the ban after it was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Jan. 10.
Lawmakers approved the ban about six months after a gunman killed seven people and wounded more than 48 others at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade using a high-powered rifle that was outfitted with a large magazine.
Police collected 83 shell casings after the shooting and said the shooter fired a 30-round magazine, then fired two more.
The law bans the sale, delivery, import and purchase of guns that the law defines as "assault weapons." It also makes devices known as switches, which modify guns to allow them to fire more rapidly, illegal because they turn firearms into fully automatic weapons.
Federal Court Strikes Down ATF Unfinished Frame And Receiver Rule - July 1, 2023
Joe Biden's anti-gun agenda has taken another body blow, with a U.S. District Judge in Texas putting a halt to the ATF's rule treating unfinished frames and receivers as if they’re firearms themselves.
In a Friday decision, Judge Reed O'Connor smacked down the rule, finding that the ATF overstepped its authority to promulgate regulations and instead crossed the line into making new law. The Firearms Policy Coalition, which sued the agency along with the Second Amendment Foundation and several individual plaintiffs, celebrated with a late night email to members and supporters.
IRS Agents Raid, Close Gun Shop, Confiscate 4473 Forms, U.S. Lawmaker Says - June 17, 2023
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) is demanding answers after he says a group of armed IRS agents raided and temporarily closed a Montana gun shop in Great Falls Wednesday.
"This event is another example of President Biden weaponizing federal agencies to target and harass hardworking Americans for exercising their constitutional rights," Rosendale said in a letter to leaders of the Internal Revenue Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Twenty heavily armed federal agents pulled in behind Highwood Creek Outfitters' owner Tom Van Hoose as he arrived at his shop Wednesday morning, KRTV reported.
IRS agents confiscated background check forms from the store that contained sensitive personal information about all customers who ever purchased a gun at the shop. The forms do not include financial information, Rosendale said, calling the act an "egregious breach of privacy" that "showed no regard for federal law."
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.