Firearm Related News Stories
Virginia House Of Delegates To Vote On Anti-Gun Bills Next Week - January 24, 2020
More gun control bills advanced in the Virginia legislature on Friday. The House of Delegates Public Safety Committee moved six bills through, sending them to a debate in front of the chamber and, ultimately, a floor vote.
A Red Flag law, which takes guns away from people believed to be a risk to themselves or others. The Senate passed a version earlier this week.
Universal background checks, which would include private sales.
Letting localities ban guns in public spaces.
Increasing the penalties for leaving guns unsecured around children.
Anyone under a protective order can’t have a gun, which had Republican support.
People have to report lost or stolen guns within 24 hours, a bill that also had Republican support.
Colorado Lawmakers Kill Campus Carry Bill After Victim's Father Endorses It - January 23, 2020
House Republican leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock tried and failed for a sixth straight year to make it legal to possess a gun on a school campus with a concealed-carry permit in Colorado.
House Bill 1040 failed on a 6-3 party-line vote before the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee in the Democratic-controlled General Assembly.
Thursday night, the committee also killed House Bill 1099 to remove the state's 15-round limit on ammunition magazines by the same 6-3 vote.
The latter law, a ban on high-capacity magazines, was passed in 2013, the last time Democrats held majorities in the House, Senate and the governor's office, before reclaiming the Senate in 2018. The explosive issue then cost at least two Democrats their seats in recall elections that year.
The history Neville had in mind Tuesday goes back farther than his legislative service, to when he was sophomore at Columbine High School on the day of historic massacre that left classmates and a teacher dead in 1999.
His bill would end gun-free zones, which the Republican leader said are magnets for those looking to do harm on K-12 campuses.
Virginia Democrats Kill 11 Pro-Gun Bills In Committee - January 22, 2020
House Democrats have shut down several gun rights bills filed by Republicans.
The Roanoke Times reported that the subcommittee of the House Public Safety Committee had been known for killing Democrats' bills in the past, but this year the tables were turned as Democrats have control of both the House and Senate.
Democrats defeated 11 bills within about two hours Tuesday.
Two of the bills filed by representative Christopher Head, R - Botetourt, included HB 1470 and HB 1471, which would help landowners who have land in multiple localities with different firearms ordinances.
Other bills defeated include one that would increase the mandatory minimum sentences for use or display of a firearm and Wendell Walker's bill allowing those to carry a weapon in a place of religious worship.
New Jersey Bans Realistic Toy Guns - January 21, 2020
Fake guns that look too much like the real thing are now banned in New Jersey under a new law that seeks to prevent police from mistakenly shooting people carrying toy firearms.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed a bill into law barring the sale of toy guns and imitation firearms that may be reasonably confused for a real weapon.
The legislation comes after several years of outcry following high-profile police-involved shootings, many which killed unarmed black men. But two separate incidents in Ohio caused particular outrage after police shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice and 13-year-old Tyre King dead, after mistaking toy guns they boys had for real weapons and opening fire.
To continue selling fake guns in the Garden State, toy manufactures now must abide by the following guidelines under the new law (A4260):
YouTube Cuts Live Feeds From Richmond Rally - January 21, 2020
As thousands of Second Amendment protesters flocked to the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond on Monday, YouTube livestreams of the protest started freezing or getting flat-out removed from the video platform.
"This video has been removed for violating YouTube's community guidelines," YouTube explained after taking down live coverage of the gun rights rally from WUSA9, a news channel in the Washington, D.C. area.
The WUSA9 coverage repeatedly stopped and then resumed, with this message repeating every time the video stopped.
The same phenomenon seemed to happen with many livestreams of the event. While a livestream may pause for any number of reasons; bad internet connection and buffering, for example; the WUSA9 video paused before YouTube took it down.
Some Marines Get OK To Carry Concealed On Base - December 31, 2019
Marine Corps law enforcement personnel who meet specific federal qualifications are now authorized to carry their own concealed firearms on base; even when off duty, a three-star general announced.
Marine Corps law enforcement professionals can now carry privately owned weapons "for personal protection not in the performance of official duties," a new service-wide message released Tuesday states.
While the new rules apply only to Marine law enforcement personnel, Lt. Gen. George Smith Jr., head of Marine Corps Plans, Policies and Operations, indicated that additional concealed carry policies could be in the works.
"[Headquarters Marine Corps] will continue to develop policy to address the total force requirements for the carry, transport, and storage of concealed [personally owned firearms] aboard Marine Corps property," he wrote.
The moves follow two recent fatal shootings on separate Navy installations -- one in Hawaii and another in Florida. The attacks killed six and prompted a Navy Department-wide review of safety measures.
Attorney Generals From 21 States Ask Supreme Court To Strike Down Maryland Concealed Carry Law - December 25, 2019
A coalition of 21 state attorneys general is asking the Supreme Court to strike down a Maryland law that denies concealed carry permits unless applicants can convince local officials they have a "good and substantial reason" to be granted one by local authorities.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican, and the other state officials filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court Dec. 18 in a case cited as Malpasso v. Pallozzi. Morrisey and the others want to expand the scope of protection afforded to gun ownership rights after the high court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller (2010), that the right to possess a firearm is an individual right, and in McDonald v. Chicago (2012), that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" applies to the states.
Apart from West Virginia, the other states that participated in the brief are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah.
FPC Files Emergency Injuction Against Pennsylvania State Police - December 20, 2019
Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of a petition and emergency motion in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania seeking an injunction against Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick following Attorney General Josh Shapiro's press release and unlawful gun ban opinion mandating that PSP treat non-firearm objects and materials as regulated firearms. The court filings are available at pafirearmcase.com and FPCLegal.org.
Along with Attorney General Shapiro publishing his misguided December 16 opinion, the PSP modified its “Instant Check System” website to include a new rule the Commissioner apparently began enforcing on December 16. The rule in pertinent part says that, "[a]s of 12-16-19, the sale of partially-manufactured (often referred to as 80%) frames and receivers and kits which include the same, requires a background check through the Pennsylvania Instant Check System, in accordance with the Attorney General's binding opinion and applicable requirements within the [Uniform Firearms Act]. No sales may occur by a licensed firearms dealer without such a check. PSP is not yet ready to process such checks. . ."
Petitioners include Landmark Firearms LLC of Newville, Pennsylvania, US Rifle, LLC of Dublin, New Hampshire, Polymer80, Inc. of Dayton, Nevada, and FPC. Representing the petitioners are Joshua Prince, Chief Counsel of Firearms Industry Consulting Group, a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., and FPC Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut.
"PSP Commissioner Evanchick’s unprecedented actions to conspire with Pennsylvania Governor Wolf and Attorney General Shapiro and turn law-abiding Pennsylvania residents and others into criminals with a stroke of a pen defies the Pennsylvania Constitution and the rule of law," said Prince. "As the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declared, our State Constitution protects against the arbitrary exercise of unnecessary and uncontrolled discretionary power, and only the Pennsylvania General Assembly has the power to make law. It is truly a sad day for our Commonwealth when our top elected officials, who swear an oath to uphold and defend the Pennsylvania and U.S. Constitutions violate them with both impunity and zeal."
Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Against Cities Over Carrying On Busses - December 14, 2019
Wisconsin's capital city must allow passengers to carry hidden weapons on buses, the state Supreme Court said Tuesday in siding with a gun rights group that local governments cannot trump the state's concealed-carry law.
The ruling from the high court's conservative majority could provide fodder for gun advocates to challenge local governments' weapon policies they feel are tougher than the state concealed-carry law. City of Madison attorney John Strange said the ruling puts passengers in danger.
"From a public safety perspective, the decision creates greater risk to passengers by allowing guns on moving and crowded buses," he said.
Wisconsin Carry, a gun rights group, challenged Madison's Metro Transit in 2014 after it prohibited a passenger with a concealed-carry license from bringing a gun on a bus. The group argued Metro Transit's policy prohibiting weapons of any kind on buses cannot supersede the state's concealed-carry law. Metro Transit adopted its rule in 2005.
The state appeals court sided with the city in 2015, saying that Metro Transit's rule did not amount to an "ordinance" or "resolution" banning concealed weapons, which the concealed-carry law prohibits. In overturning that ruling, the Supreme Court concluded that passengers can bring firearms or other type weapons on buses, as long as they follow other applicable laws.
Washington State Governor, AG Seek Assault Weapon and High Capacity Magazine Ban - December 13, 2019
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee are asking lawmakers to ban assault weapons and for new limits on "high capacity" magazines in an effort to combat mass shootings in Washington.
"It took just 32 seconds for an individual armed with a 100-round double-drum magazine and an AR-15-style weapon to shoot 36 people before he was killed by law enforcement," Ferguson said, referring to an August mass shooting at a Dayton, Ohio nightclub.
Ferguson, who has been pushing for these gun laws since 2016, says it doesn't make sense that the same rifle and magazine used to kill so many in Dayton are legal to buy in Washington state.
Inlsee has always been a big supporter of gun safety measures, but for the first time this session he is joining the AG in officially asking state lawmakers for the new gun regulations.
"We should be making it harder for those who want to inflict mass violence and destruction upon innocent people," Inslee said. "By limiting magazine capacity and banning assault weapons, we can work toward a day where no one in Washington state loses a friend or family members to senseless gun violence."
Virginia Legislators Float Prosecution Of Local Law Enforcement That Don't Enforce New Gun Laws - December 11, 2019
Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill say local police who do not enforce gun control measures likely to pass in Virginia should face prosecution and even threats of the National Guard.
After November's Virginia Legislature elections that led to Democrats taking control of both chambers, the gun control legislation proposed by some Democrats moved forward, including universal background checks, an "assault weapons" ban, and a red flag law.
Legal firearm owners in the state, however, joined with their sheriffs to form Second Amendment sanctuary counties, which declare the authorities in these municipalities uphold the Second Amendment in the face of any gun control measure passed by Richmond.
Over 75 counties in Virginia have so far adopted such Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in the commonwealth, the latest being Spotsylvania County. The board of supervisors voted unanimously to approve a resolution declaring that county police will not enforce state-level gun laws that violate Second Amendment rights.
Virginia Democratic officials, however, already say local law enforcement supporting these resolutions will face consequences if they do not carry out any law the state Legislature passes.
"I would hope they either resign in good conscience, because they cannot uphold the law which they are sworn to uphold, or they're prosecuted for failure to fulfill their oath," Democratic Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly told the Washington Examiner of local county police who may refuse to enforce future gun control measures. "The law is the law. If that becomes the law, you don't have a choice, not if you're a sworn officer of the law."
Lawsuit Filed To Stop Nevada Red Flag Law - December 5, 2019
A nonprofit conservative group has filed a lawsuit seeking to block implementation of Nevada's newly adopted "red flag" law before it takes effect next year.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Carson City District Court by NevadansCAN, a self-described "non-profit citizens action network" based in Henderson and led by Mary Rooney, a former Republican state Assembly candidate and a conservative activist. Attorneys representing the group are Alan Lefebvre and William Schuller of the Kolesar & Leatham law firm.
In a news release, Rooney and fellow plaintiff on the lawsuit Julie Chen Hereford called the law; which allows law enforcement and family members to petition a court to temporarily seize a person's firearms; a "government power grab." In addition to due process concerns, they also cited the Nevada Supreme Court's recent decision to require jury trials in misdemeanor domestic violence cases (made because of state laws requiring gun confiscation in those circumstances) meant that the "red flag" law was unconstitutional because the decision to seize a person’s firearms came from an individual judge and not a jury.
"A person accused of being a danger may not even be aware of the court action against him, and his guns can be forcibly taken by law enforcement and his premises searched," Rooney said in a statement. "Due process never enters into it."
Colorado Democrats Ready To Introduce More Anti-Gun Measures In 2020 - November 25, 2019
Having passed the red flag gun bill last year, the state legislature cannot become complacent on the issue of gun violence, argues state Rep. Tom Sullivan.
"It should be something that we discuss on a regular basis," said Sullivan, a Democrat from Aurora who championed the red flag bill, and whose son was murdered in the 2012 movie theater massacre. "You should see one or two of these types of bills being brought forward, year after year after year, so that collectively, after five or six bills, we've tightened things up."
Sullivan knows how some will interpret that statement: as a declaration of war on the Second Amendment. He insists that safe, responsible gun owners have nothing to fear. He and other Democrats said similar things last legislative session, but the red flag bill subjected them to a backlash that included a failed effort to recall Sullivan.
Nevertheless, gun-related legislation will be introduced next session, Sullivan assured The Denver Post in an interview last week.
"It's coming. It is. That's why I'm here," he said.
"I've made it clear to my colleagues that I will be standing up for this, and that I'm welcoming their participation as well. Many of them are joining me in starting to put together bill titles, in wanting to be involved."
US Supreme Court Rejects Appeal Of Case Against ArmsList - November 25, 2019
The daughter of a woman killed in a 2012 mass shooting will not be able to sue the operator of a firearms classified advertising website from which the killer illegally bought his gun after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear her appeal.
The justices left in place an April ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court that found that a federal law that shields website operators from liability for user content applied to Armslist LLC, the operator of Armslist.com.
Armslist is an Oklahoma-based website that allows users to post classified advertisements for firearms and related equipment. Potential buyers contact sellers directly.
Santa Clara County California Approves 'Safe Storage' Law - November 21, 2019
In the wake of a mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival last summer, Santa Clara County leaders this week approved a new gun control law that requires firearm owners to safely lock their weapons when not in arm's reach.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance requiring the safe storage of firearms within residences on unincorporated county land. The new law requires firearms either be lawfully carried by residents, in their close proximity and control, or disabled with a trigger lock or in a locked container when left unattended. The storage requirements do not apply when firearms are carried outside of residences.
But regulating guns isn't so simple, especially in the unincorporated parts of the county. That's why Supervisor Dave Cortese worked to strike a balance with the law and take into consideration the needs of the rural communities.
County officials did not replicate laws already in effect in cities like Sunnyvale and San Francisco. Instead, they worked to tweak the language to consider both of the county's diverse urban and rural populations, such as making an exception for facilities that could be deemed “residences” during hunting trips or target practice.
Wisconsin County Becoming A 2nd Amendment Sanctuary County - November 16, 2019
Florence County, located in northern Wisconsin, is leaving it up to their sheriff not to enforce gun laws he deems unconstitutional. Some are calling it a 'sanctuary county' for the second amendment.
We'’re about one week away from gun-deer season and gun enthusiasts say they're glad local government is looking out for their rights. However, pro-gun control groups tell a sanctuary county is not only dangerous, it's also illegal.
"It's a really awesome thing hear that we've actually got local government standing behind the citizenry, and making sure that all of our rights are respected," said George Riggs, a gun enthusiast.
Florence County Supervisor Edwin Kelley says the county wanted to take a stand against potential legislation supported by Governor Tony Evers, namely a red flag law.
New Federal Bill Would Target Financial Institutions To Monitor Firearm Sales - November 15, 2019
It comes via Representative Jennifer Wexton, the Democrat who recently replaced Barbara Comstock in Northern Virginia. The obvious inspiration is Andrew Ross Sorkin's suggestion in the New York Times last year that financial institutions should reject or report gun purchases made on credit cards if they deem those purchases excessive, because some mass shootings have been committed with guns bought on credit.
The good news is that this is an actual bill in Congress, not liberals trying to enact gun controls through the financial industry that they couldn't pass into law, the way Sorkin envisioned. The bad news is that, well, it's still a terrible idea.
The bill is meant to get us to a place where the federal government's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and private institutions work together to monitor gun sales, with the latter reporting 'suspicious' firearm related activity to the former for investigation. The process starts with a 'request for information' from financial companies regarding the data they already collect. If that data isn't sufficient to monitor gun sales, and it isn't, Congress will receive a report detailing 'any barriers to obtaining the information.'
Colorado Supreme Court Weighs Undoing Magazine Capacity Law - November 13, 2019
Gun rights groups are urging the Colorado Supreme Court to follow guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out the state’s ban on gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.
In arguments before the state court Wednesday, the groups' lawyer, Barry Arrington, said that since the U.S. Supreme Court has found that the right to bear arms is a fundamental right, the state has a heavier burden to prove that the magazine limit is needed. He said they cannot meet that standard.
The law was passed in 2013, a year after the Aurora theater shooting, in an effort to limit the number of deaths in mass shootings. While large capacity magazines were used in the Columbine and Aurora shootings, Arrington said that have also been widely used by gun owners, with millions of them in existence when the law was passed.
The legal challenge brought by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the National Association for Gun Rights is based on the gun rights' provision in the Colorado Constitution, which expressly protects the right of people to be armed to defend their homes, property and themselves. Given that, Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson told the justices they have the right to interpret the state's constitution on their own, noting that U.S. Supreme Court guidance changes over time.
US Justice Department Rools Out New Programs To Address Gun Violence - November 13, 2019
Attorney General William Barr announced a new initiative Wednesday that would better enforce the U.S. gun background check system, coordinate state and federal gun cases and ensure prosecutors quickly update databases to show when a defendant can’t possess a firearm because of mental health issues.
The push, known as Project Guardian, was unveiled at a news conference in Memphis, Tennessee, alongside officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, on the same day public impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump began in Washington.
As part of the program, U.S. prosecutors will coordinate with state and local law enforcement officials to consider potential federal charges when a suspect is arrested for weapons possession, is believed to have used a gun to commit a violent crime or drug-trafficking offense or is suspected of being a violent gang member.
Supreme Court Allows Sandy Hook Case To Go Forward - November 12, 2019
The Supreme Court said Tuesday that a survivor and relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting can pursue their lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 26 people.
The justices rejected an appeal from Remington Arms that argued it should be shielded by a 2005 federal law preventing most lawsuits against firearms manufacturers when their products are used in crimes.
The case is being watched by gun control advocates, gun rights supporters and gun manufacturers across the country, as it has the potential to provide a roadmap for victims of other mass shootings to circumvent the federal law and sue the makers of firearm.
The court's order allows the lawsuit filed in Connecticut state court by a survivor and relatives of nine victims who died at the Newtown, Connecticut, school on Dec. 14, 2012, to go forward.