Firearm Related News Stories
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."