Firearm Related News Stories
Missouri Governor Suspends Late Payments For Concealed Carry License Renewals - April 2, 2020
Gov. Mike Parson has signed an executive order suspending late penalties for concealed carry permit renewals in Missouri.
Parson says its his sixth executive order signed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Day in and day out, we are working around the clock to respond and adapt to COVID-19 in every way possible," Parson announced via Twitter.
Republican Governor of Massachusetts Closes All Gun Stores - April 1, 2020
In an enraging turn of events, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has closed the doors of gun stores and all federally licensed firearms dealers in the state. This comes as a reversal of his earlier policy, which aligned with the Trump administration’s guidelines calling gun stores 'essential.'
The Department Of Homeland Security announced on Saturday, March 28th that gun stores were considered 'essential businesses' and thus could remain open for business. Shortly thereafter,Republican Governor Charlie Baker updated Massachusetts's official Covid-19 guidance to match the current information from the Department of Homeland Security.
Gun owners and those who wanted to become gun owners were elated! They could still purchase a gun and ammunition if they wanted and didn't need to worry about being able to defend themselves.
But it wasn't to last. Just a few hours later, the wording allowing gun stores was struck from the official state website. Not all of the DHS's statement, which would have meant that the state was reverting back to their own standard. JUST the section on gun stores.
Trump DHS - Gun And Ammunition Manufacturers, Sellers Essential Businesses - March 28, 2020
President Trump's Department of Homeland Security released updated guidelines naming gun manufacturers and retailers as essential on Saturday, which means they are to stay open and operational nationwide during a Chinese coronavirus shutdown.
The DHS guidelines list as essential:
Workers supporting the manufacturing of safety equipment and uniforms for law enforcement, public safety personnel, and first responders.
Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.
The Second Amendment Foundation's Alan Gottlieb commented on the DHS declaration, saying, "Every freedom loving American owes President Trump and his administration a very big thank you for protecting our Second Amendment Rights. This is another Trump promise made and promise kept."
The DHS declaration comes just days after Governor Phil Murphy (D) laughed in the face of a man who expressed concern that the statewide shutdown in New Jersey had put an end to gun sales, thereby eliminating the ability to get a firearm for self-defense.
Georgia Lawmaker Want Concealed Carry Laws Suspended During Emergency - March 26, 2020
As Georgia gun sales surge in Georgia due to worries over the coronavirus, Georgia state Rep. Matt Gurtler, R-Tiger, wants to make sure people can carry weapons, concealed or open, without fear of arrest.
"It's imperative that we suspend the enforcement of those weapons licenses," Gurtler said.
The power to suspend the licenses would come from Gov. Brian Kemp. Under the current public health state of emergency, the governor can override state laws.
The Georgia General Assembly approved the executive order at a special called legislative session on March 16.
"We need to suspend enforcement especially during the state of emergency, when so many individuals need to be able to defend themselves and their families and their loved ones and their property," Gurtler said.
New Jersey Shuts Off NICS System, No Firearm Sales Allowed - March 22, 2020
As of Saturday March 21 the New Jersey State Police have shut off the NICS background check system used by all NJ gun shops. Their website states:
"On Saturday March 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced he is putting New Jersey in lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus. Per Executive Order 107, he is ordering the residents of New Jersey to stay home, directing all non-essential retail businesses closed to the public. At this time, the order includes New Jersey Firearms State Licensed Dealers. The New Jersey State Police NICS Unit is directing the vendor of the NICS Online Application (NICUSA) to turn off the NICS Online Services for submitting NICS transactions by eliminating the 'Request Form' button, effective 9:00pm EST, Saturday, March 21, 2020. You will still have the ability to view the message board and the status of previously submitted transactions. This 'Request Form' feature will remain off until further order by Governor Murphy."
Illinois Governor List Gun And Ammunition Stores As 'Essential Businesses' - March 21, 2020
When Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) issued an executive order Friday to put a statewide shutdown in place, he exempted gun and ammunition stores by labeling them 'essential.'
The order, titled 'Executive Order in Response to COVID-19 (COVID-19 Executive Order No. 8),' contains various headings, under which are listings of businesses considered 'essential' for day-to-day life. Under the heading, “Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations,” the order makes clear that 'firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers' can remain open, noting that they serve the purposes of 'safety and security.'
The Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb reacted to Pritzker's recognition of the 'essential' nature of firearms to the American life by saying, 'When an anti-gun Democrat Governor declares that essential businesses includes firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for purposes of safety and security, that is really a big deal. Every Governor should copy the Illinois example when issuing stay in place and business closure orders in the face of the Corona Virus.'
New Orleans Mayor Signs Executive Order That Blocks The Sales And Transportation Of Firearms - March 16, 2020
The mayor of Champaign, IL made headlines two days ago when she declared a state of emergency which granted her power over, well, everything. Most notably, she now has the unilateral authority to ban the sale or purchase of firearms.
New Orleans' mayor, Latoya Cantrell, just signed a similar document on March 11th.
Except tyrannical Mayor Cantrell not only gave herself the authority to stop the sale of but also the TRANSPORTATION of firearms! In case that’s unclear, this would nullify concealed and open carry laws currently on the books.
Illinois Mayor Signs Executive Order Allowing Her To Ban The Sale Of Firearms And Ammunition - March 13, 2020
Mayor Deborah Feinen of Champaign, Illinois had declared a state of emergency is now in effect in the city of nearly 90,000 people. While the city or even Central Illinois doesn't have a single case of the Corona Virus, Mayor Feinen has preemptively declared the state of emergency. Her office also released a list of possible emergency actions that she is now legally allowed to take.
As word spread through Champaign that these options were now on the table, people started to get upset. Of course, a bureaucrat in a suit tried to calm everybody down by saying that they aren't necessarily going to do any of those things.
"The executive order allows the city to be flexible to properly respond to the emergency needs of our community. None of the options will necessarily will be implemented but are available in order to protect the welfare and safety of our community if needed," Jeff Hamilton the City of Champaign's Communications Manger.
Tennessee Constitutional Carry Bill Gets House Subcommittee Approval - March 11, 2020
A Tennessee subcommittee has advanced legislation that would permit individuals to conceal or open carry a handgun without a permit, but gun-rights advocates say the bill doesn't go far enough and gun-control advocates say it goes too far.
The legislation, House Bill 2817, would remove all criminal penalties for a person carrying a firearm without a permit as long as that person otherwise would have qualified for a permit. A person who would have had his permit revoked would not be allowed to carry. It still would require a person to obtain a permit to carry a firearm in a city park.
Violations of some gun laws also would see stricter penalties under this legislation, including increasing the mandatory minimum for firearm theft from 30 days to 180 days.
"It increases our liberties here in Tennessee, and, at the same time, it is tough on those criminals out there that would abuse the privilege and the right to carry a firearm," the bill’s primary sponsor, House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland, told the House Constitutional Protections & Sentencing Subcommittee on Tuesday.
Washington State Democrats Revive 10 Round Magazine Limit Bill - February 20, 2020
Legislation to ban high-capacity gun magazines looked to be dead, but Thursday afternoon there was a surprise at the state Capitol.
On Thursday morning, Democratic leaders explained why they put the bill aside; because Republicans had offered 120 amendments, enough to consume two weeks of debate in a legislative session that has just three weeks to go.
Republicans said they were representing the gun rights views of their constituents.
"Nobody sends us here to give up, right. They send us here to fight hard for the values that we've told people that we represent in elections," said House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox.
In a surprise Thursday afternoon, Democrats revived the high-capacity magazine ban. It would limit magazines to 10 rounds.
It now includes a yearlong buy-back of high-capacity magazines. The buy-back will be funded by eliminating an old tax break on bullion, precious metal like gold or silver. That means it is now considered to be "necessary-to-implement-the-budget" and is no longer subject to Wednesday’s deadline.
Two Anti-Gun Bills Fail In Washington Legislature - February 19, 2020
Bills that would have limited how many rounds can be stored in gun magazines and what guns can be sold did not pass in Olympia.
Neither bill was approved before Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline.
Lawmakers knew earlier this month the proposed ban on firearms defined as assault weapons did not have the votes to proceed.
The high-capacity limit bill passed out of House and Senate committees but never came up on the floor for debate.
Republicans opposed to the bill filed an unusually high number of amendments on the bill, meaning debate could last a day or more, according to Democratic staffers.
Aberdeen Republican Rep. Jim Walsh, who submitted six amendments, was asked if the long list of amendments was a political ploy to prevent debate.
"That's part of it," said Walsh. "But it's also a very bad policy and we believe our amendments are essential to highlighting the problems."
Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued the following statement Wednesday: "Republican legislators have effectively filibustered the bill. That’s disappointing, given that statewide polling shows that nearly two-thirds of Washingtonians support limiting high-capacity magazines. If there's a mass shooting using a high-capacity magazine in one of our schools or communities, these legislators will be accountable to the victims and their families."
A bill to require background checks to purchase ammunition also did not pass.
Vermont Supreme Court Weighs High Capacity Magazine Ban - February 19, 2020
The Vermont Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday on whether a trial court should move forward with a civil case on the constitutionality of the state's new high-capacity gun magazine law.
The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs argues that the 2018 law violates the Vermont constitution. But the Vermont Attorney General's office says that a criminal case before the high court later this year involves the exact same issues and should be resolved first.
The criminal case concerns Max Misch, a self-described white supremacist who was charged with violating the law. Police say the Bennington man was stockpiling weapons and ammunition and was in possession of high-capacity magazines.
A Superior Court judge last summer rejected Misch's constitutional challenge to the magazine ban and the Vermont Supreme Court is set to review that decision.
Officials with the Vermont Attorney General's office are asking the high court to issue a stay in the civil case until the Misch matter is resolved. Moving forward, they say, would be a waste of state and court resources for a case that shows little merit.
Lawyers with the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs say not moving forward in the trial court would deprive them of due process.
New Mexico Red Flag Anti Gun Bill On Governor's Desk - February 14, 2020
The Democrat-led New Mexico Legislature approved a red-flag gun law Thursday with a final vote of the state House, virtually ensuring adoption of new procedures for courts to order the surrender of firearms from people who appear to pose a danger to themselves or others.
The House approved the bill on a 39-31 vote with Republicans and seven Democrats in opposition, sending the bill to a supportive Democratic governor.
As they cast votes, Republican legislators held aloft paperback copies of the Constitution in protest.
The bill would allow law enforcement officers to petition a state district court to order the temporary surrender of firearms by a gun holder who "poses a significant danger of causing imminent personal injury to self or others."
Complaints also could be filed indirectly by sworn affidavits from relatives, employers or school administrators.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham supports the proposal that gained momentum after the August 2019 mass shooting at a Walmart store in nearby El Paso, Texas. She says new tools are needed for law enforcement to prevent gun violence and better secure the safety of schools.
Virginia House Passes 'Assault Weapon', High Capacity Mag Ban - February 10, 2020
The Virginia House of Delegates on Monday advanced an assault weapon and high-capacity magazine ban to its third reading.
House Bill 961, which is sponsored by Del. Mark Levine, D-Alexandria, would prohibit the sale of assault weapons, but would allow a person who already owns such a weapon to keep his or her firearm. Any person who obtains a firearm before January 1, 2021, would be grandfathered in.
The prohibition on high-capacity magazines will not include a grandfather clause, which means that it will be illegal to possess a magazine that can hold more than 12 rounds of ammunition.
The legislation has support from most of the chamber's Democrats, but strong opposition from Republicans.
Although the initial language made it a felony to possess a high-capacity magazine once the law is in effect, a floor amendment weakened the penalty to a Class 1 misdemeanor. This could still land someone in jail for a year.
"No law-abiding citizen will be affected [by this bill]," Levine said on the House floor. "Virginians understand that laws change, and law-abiding citizens follow the law."
Virginia Democrat Led Committee Pass Bill Making All Suppressors Illegal - February 9, 2020
Democrats on Virginia's House of Delegates Public Safety Committee passed legislation Friday making it a felony to possess a suppressor in the state after July 1, 2020.
The felony applies to all suppressors, including those legally purchased through the federal background check and registered with the ATF.
The Washington Examiner reports the ban is expected to pass in the full Democrat-controlled House of Delegates. The opportunity to stop the ban will occur in the Senate, where a few Democrats have expressed hesitancy to support bans on firearms or certain accessories.
For example, on January 29, 2020, Breitbart News reported Virginia State Sen. Lynwood Lewis (D) made clear he will not support a magazine or firearm bans. He indicated his focus in solely on strengthening laws that deal with access to firearms, not laws that prohibit certain firearms or related hardware.
The bill that bans suppressor possession also bans "high capacity" magazines, making it precisely the type of legislation Lewis said he would not support.
Red Flag BIll Defeated In South Dakota - February 4, 2020
State Sen. Arthur Rusch, a Republican and former judge from Vermillion, sought to create risk protection orders. His bill would have allowed law enforcement officers to seek the orders from judges, to seize guns from people flagged as a risk of injury or death to themselves or others.
Rusch said South Dakota and the nation have a problem with gun violence.
"I brought this bill to get a discussion going about that issue," Rusch said. "What can we do to address that issue? It does not resolve the problem to close our eyes and pretend that it’s not a problem."
The Senate Judiciary Committee rejected the bill by a vote of 5-2. The two votes in support of the bill came from Rusch and Sen. Craig Kennedy, D-Yankton.
South Carolina Attorney General Sues City of Columbia Over Gun Laws - January 29, 2020
Gun laws passed by the City of Columbia are coming under fire from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.
On Wednesday, Wilson filed a lawsuit with the South Carolina Supreme Court regarding a number of city ordinances.
The attorney general says the city ordinances violate state law, as well as the Second Amendment.
According to the suit, Wilson believes there are three city ordinances that are unconstitutional or preempt state law. The city ordinances in question include:
Allowing the city to take weapons from people with Extreme Risk Protection Orders against them, banning firearms within 1,000 feet of a school and prohibiting homemade firearms (also known as ghost guns)
Wilson sent Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin a letter on Dec. 3, 2019, addressing this issue and asking that the ordinances be repealed. That has not happened.
"We have consistently advised for almost three decades, since 1991, that state law preempts local regulation of firearms. These ordinances clearly violate the state law that prohibits local governments from passing any gun laws or ordinances that regulate the transfer, ownership, or possession of firearms," Wilson said.
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.