Gun Related News Stories
Georgia Supreme Court Rules Against Gun-Rights Group - October 31, 2016
A gun rights group has lost its attempt to make it legal to carry a firearm on school property in Georgia.
In a unanimous ruling Monday, the state Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit the group GeorgiaCarry.Org Inc. brought against Georgia's Code Revision Commission and its members, including Gov. Nathan Deal.
The case stemmed from the 2014 General Assembly session, when lawmakers passed two gun-related bills and Deal signed them into law.
The first measure legalized carrying a firearm in a "school safety zone," defined as any building owned or leased by a school, college or university. But the second bill limited guns on school campuses to people picking up or dropping off a student.
The Code Revision Commission determined that the two bills were in conflict. Because the governor signed the second bill one day later than the first, the commission declared that only the more restrictive gun bill would become state law.
Bloomberg Sponsored Gun Control and the Californication of Nevada - October 18, 2016
A gun control initiative that would expand background checks to all private gun sales in Nevada also portends something else: The 'Californication of Nevada.'
After all, the initiative is not Nevadan in its funding, the 'bulk' of which comes from Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety. Nor is the initiative Nevadan in its conception. Rather, the Los Angles Times posits Nevada as a state chosen by external forces to be "the latest testing site for Michael R. Bloomberg's attempt to pass a law requiring background checks for gun sales between private parties, including those conducted over the Internet."
Washington state went Bloomberg's way in 2014, passing a comprehensive background checks initiative. Yet there have been two mass shootings and a high profile shooting in Washington state this year alone. On September 23, five innocent lives were gunned down in Cascades Mall in Burlington. On July 30, three innocents were shot and killed at a house party just north of Seattle. In late February, the AP reported a gunman killed four people then himself in Belfair, Washington.
The Washington story is the same story we saw in Colorado, which passed comprehensive background checks in 2013. Yet on Halloween day 2015, a gunman opened fire in the streets of Colorado Springs, killing three before being killed by police. CBS News reported that the Halloween gunman acquired all his guns legally. And just over a month later, Robert Lewis Dear opened fire outside a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, killing three including a police officer. Comprehensive background checks failed to stop either of these high-profile shootings.
Arizona Attorney General Calls Concealed Carry On Private School Grounds Legal - October 1, 2016
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has decided people can carry concealed guns on private school campuses.
"State and federal law do not prohibit an individual that holds an Arizona Concealed Carry Weapons Permit from carrying a concealed handgun on private school grounds in Arizona," said in an opinion he wrote in response to questions he said he received about the issue.
The opinion notes, "Under Arizona law, a person commits 'misconduct involving weapons' by knowingly 'possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds.'"
However, the state recognizes that individuals with a state issued license already are allowed by law to carry concealed weapons.
The opinion suggests that Arizona law has technically always allowed this, but private school officials had not heard of the opinion, which was issued last month.
New Hampshire Senate Fails To Override Veto On Constitutional Carry - September 30, 2016
Gun owners in New Hampshire will still need a permit to carry concealed weapons after the state Senate failed to override Gov. Maggie Hassan's veto of a bill that would have removed the licensing requirement.
New Hampshire Public Radio reports Thursday's veto attempt fell short by three votes.
Sen. Jeb Bradley, the Republican majority leader, says he's disappointed in the failed override. He says the bill was an important step in protecting gun owners' constitutional rights.
DC To End Stun Gun Ban After Constitutional Challenge - September 27, 2016
The District government will not seek to enforce the city's stun-gun ban against three residents who challenged the law, and court records show city lawmakers are preparing legislation to lift the long standing prohibition.
In a two page order filed late Monday, the District agreed not to enforce a blanket city prohibition against importing, purchasing, possessing or using Taser-style weapons 'for lawful self-defense in their residences.' The suspension affects only three plaintiffs, a conservative blogger, a nurse and an armed robbery victim, and will halt litigation for 90 days.
The plaintiffs, attorney, George L. Lyon Jr., called the order 'a first step to greater Second Amendment rights for D.C. residents.' He added, 'I think they have effectively conceded that the ban is unconstitutional. They did not contest my showing that my clients were likely to prevail on the merits.'
Cops In Southern California Have Lost 329 Firearms - September 26, 2016
Law enforcement agencies in Southern California have lost or had stolen a total of 329 firearms, including AR-15 and M16 assault rifles, shotguns, and several handguns, over the past five years, according to a new report.
The 329 firearms that are unaccounted for among 134 state and local law enforcement agencies, located in Southern California as far north as Kern County, likely represent only a small portion of firearms the agencies have actually misplaced or had stolen over the span of the five years analyzed in an investigation conducted by the Orange County Register.
Law enforcement agencies in the US are not required by federal law to track missing firearms, nor are there any state laws that demand the agencies accurately account for guns in their possession, the Register reported.
Furthermore, both on and off-duty law enforcement officers in California are not held to the same standard as other citizens regarding how firearms must be stored or carried when not in use. The Register also found that none of the agencies it contacted for information on missing guns included details in its internal reports of any officer reprimands that occurred following such mishaps.
Adam Webber of HK Parts Convicted - September 23, 2016
It all started at a local Dallas pawnshop more than a decade ago. On the shelf was an HK53, a very short 5.56 rifle. Had it been registered with the NFA, this story may end here. The ATF seized the SBR in June of 2005. Tracking down the source of the rifle, the ATF eventually ended up on the doorsteps of Adam and Benjamin Webber.
As is often the case with law enforcement investigations, officers will start unraveling one case that turns into another. Just a couple months after that first pawn shop seizure in June, the ATF yolked up several machine guns and suppressors from the Webbers, alleging that they were purchased for resale. They took custody of multiple Fleming Hk auto sears, a number of automatic MAC-10's, and some suppressors and magazines. Eventually in 2007 the Department of Justice came to a civil settlement with the them. Per the conditions of the settlement, Adam and Benjamin would be allowed to consign the Fleming sears to a third party FFL for sale, and would renounce the rights to all other assets seized. Additionally they agreed to never apply for or act as an FFL, or even be what’s called a 'Responsible Party' for an FFL. The stipulated settlement did specifically state that the manufacture and sale of gun parts and components was authorized.
DC Concealed Carry Law In Front Of Appeals Court Today - September 20, 2016
It was just over eight years ago that the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller ruled that D.C.'s outright ban on handgun ownership was unconstitutional, and declared for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, rather than a collective one, to keep and bear arms.
While the ruling forced D.C. to allow residents to purchase and keep handguns, it didn't really go very far by way of specifying what types of regulations, registration, ballistics tests, mandatory training classes, were permissible. Instead, the court's majority simply left it at this: "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited."
That lack of clarity has spawned multiple lawsuits over D.C.'s handgun regulations. Some of the regulations, like mandatory registration, have been upheld. Others, like a one gun a month limit, have not.
But one significant post-Heller issue has yet to be settled: How far can cities like D.C. go in restricting and regulating who gets to carry a handgun outside of the home?
That's the question a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will face today. At stake is the city's restrictive two-year-old law that allows residents to apply for permits to carry concealed handguns in public — but sets a very high bar for what it takes to actually be eligible for one of the permits.
Breaking Missouri Becomes 11th Constitutional Carry State - September 15, 2016
Late on Wednesday night Sept 15th, the Missouri legislature voted to overturn Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of bill SB656 and allow Missourians to carry concealed weapons without a permit. This is known as "Constitutional carry." Missouri is now the 11th state to have a Constitutional carry law on the books.
Mossberg Moving Operations Out Of Connecticut - September 7, 2016
America's largest shotgun manufacturer, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., decided not to expand in Connecticut. Sure it was founded there 1919 and still has its corporate headquarters in North Haven. But in 2013 Connecticut rushed through legislation to ban some of Mossberg's popular products. As a result, Mossberg CEO, Iver Mossberg, says, "Investing in Texas was an easy decision. It's a state that is not only committed to economic growth but also honors and respects the Second Amendment and the firearm freedoms it guarantees for our customers."
Mossberg has instead expanded its Maverick Arms, Inc. facility in Eagle Pass, Texas, with 116,000 new square-feet of factory space. Mossberg is not a small gun manufacturer. According to records kept by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Mossberg made 475,364 guns in America in 2011. Of those guns, a total of 423,570 were shotguns made for sportsmen, for shotgun sports enthusiasts, for law enforcement and for people who want a shotgun to protect their homes and families.
More than 90 percent of Mossberg's guns are now made in Texas. Some of its Connecticut jobs are going there, too. Tom Taylor, O.F. Mossberg & Sons' senior vice president, sales & marketing, tells me, "We're moving all wood gun stock production to our Texas facility. More of our product lines like our modern sporting rifles might move to Texas in the future. Texas has been very good to us. Also, our gun sales have been so dynamic over the last number of years. We've outgrown our facilities. This major expansion will help us keep up with demand."
Washington AG Proposes Assault Weapon Ban - September 7, 2016
Spurred by the recent killings of three teenagers in Mukilteo, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson will propose legislation next year to ban the sale of military style assault weapons and high capacity magazines in Washington.
Ferguson announced his proposal Wednesday, flanked by the parents of a fourth Mukilteo victim, who was seriously injured, as well as dozens of Democratic legislators and officials.
The legislation, which has not yet been written, would ban military style semi automatic weapons like the AR-15 rifle that police say was used by the 19 year old alleged gunman in Mukilteo as well any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
"Military style weapons are designed for killing people," Ferguson said. "These weapons have no place in civilian use."
California Sheriffs Oppose New Gun Control Legislation - September 3, 2016
Some of Southern California's most vocal gun rights advocates wear badges.
Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff and San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon have consistently opposed new gun control legislation. So does Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.
In a telephone interview, McMahon said more gun control rules are not the best way to preventing gun violence.
"I generally oppose any legislation that puts any more restrictions or control on citizens having an ability to possess firearms," said McMahon, who has been sheriff since 2012. "We still have people running around with guns that aren’t supposed to have them."
In emailed responses to questions, Sniff wrote that while the courts "have long held that reasonable restrictions to the Second Amendment are both constitutional and also protect our communities. Many proposed firearms control bills are very poorly thought out, hastily drafted without appropriate expert input, and incorrectly proffered to the public as 'making things safer' in our communities."
Glock And Remington Sue MA AG To Stop Investigation - September 1, 2016
Attorney General Maura Healey has launched a sweeping investigation into possible safety problems involving guns manufactured by at least two major companies, Remington and Glock, according to lawsuits filed by both firms, which are fighting Healey's efforts.
The lawsuits reveal that this year, Healey invoked her powers under the state's consumer protection law to demand that both companies turn over a wide range of documents, including safety related complaints from customers and the companies' responses.
The investigation is the second prominent battle Healey is waging against the gun industry. In July, she angered gun owners and manufacturers when she moved to bar the sale of military style rifles that have been altered slightly to evade the state’s ban on assault weapons.
In her newly disclosed legal action, Healey argues Glock firearms are "prone to accidental discharge" and makes clear in court papers that she is concerned the company may have been warned about the problem and failed to act.
Responding to Glock's lawsuit, she referenced news stories about a sheriff's deputy accidentally firing a Glock pistol in San Francisco's Hall of Justice, a Los Angeles police officer who was paralyzed from the waist down after his 3 year old son accidentally fired his Glock pistol, and a Massachusetts man who was dancing at a July 4th party when his Glock handgun fired while it was in his pocket.
Federal Appeals Court Upholds Gun Ban On Medical Marijuana Users - September 1, 2016
As marijuana is slowly legalized both for recreational and medicinal purposes in a variety of states across the United States, those states' laws sometimes come head to head with already existing federal legislation. These clashes are problematic, and they can create legal gray areas that courts then need to weigh in on. That's exactly what happened recently in a federal appeals court in San Francisco, when the court ruled that the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana users obtaining a firearm does not violate the Second Amendment.
The case was sparked by a Nevada woman named S. Rowan Wilson, who in 2011 tried to purchase a gun. She had a medical marijuana card, which was legal given that Nevada had legalized medicinal weed over a decade before. The store refused to sell her the gun, because in 1968 Congress passed a law prohibiting anyone who used illegal drugs from obtaining a firearm. While Wilson wasn't exactly using an illegal drug, at least under Nevada law, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. That's what makes this case a perfect example of the confusing interplay between state and federal law when it comes to marijuana, yet Wilson was upset by what she saw as a violation of her Second Amendment rights.
ATF Clarifies Statement On Nitrocellulose Reclassification - September 1, 2016
The internet is a blaze with articles declaring that ATF just banned ammunition sales as a result of a June 2016 Explosives Newsletter; however, it isn't exactly true (at least, not anymore). The ATF publishes newsletters which provide insight into complex subjects, shifting policies, and guidance on ATF's plans to enforce regulations. In the June 2016 Explosives Newsletter ATF 'clarified' that Nitrocellulose is a high explosive subject to the requirements of the Safe Explosives Act and other laws governing the sale, storage, and transport of high explosives. You may be thinking – "Well great but what is Nitrocellulose and what does that have to do with ammo?"
The answer to that is simple – most ammunition used in the United States is powered by smokeless gunpowders. Unlike black powder which is a fairly straight forward mix of chemicals, smokeless powders are proprietary blends of different chemicals each unique to the manufacturer. Unique that is except for the base chemical – Nitrocellulose.
Judge Upholds Cleveland Gun Registry Strikes Down Other Gun Laws - August 25, 2016
A Cuyahoga County judge ruled that some of Cleveland's new gun control laws violate the state constitution, but left intact a controversial gun offender registry that drew the ire of gun-rights groups.
Common Pleas Judge Shirley Strickland-Saffold ruled Monday that three of Cleveland's laws enacted in April 2015 violated a state law that gives state legislators preemptive control over gun laws, including a provision that allowed police officers to confiscate guns.
The ruling came after Ohioans for Concealed Carry filed a constitutional challenge against the ordinance just days after it was passed by city council.
Jeff Gravas, president and founder of the concealed carry group, said that the ruling corroborates his organization's claim that the ordinance was passed in the face of a prior Ohio Supreme Court ruling against the city six years ago.
No Right To Concealed Carry Per 9th Circuit Court - August 16, 2016
At 1:24:41 PM PDT on August 15, 2016, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Thomas issued the following Order in the combined concealed carry cases of Peruta v. San Diego and Richards v. Prieto:
Filed order (SIDNEY R. THOMAS) The full court was advised of appellants petitions for full court en banc rehearing (Docket Entry Nos.  and ). A judge requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter en banc by the full court. The matter failed to receive a majority of the votes of the nonrecused active judges in favor of full court en banc consideration. Fed. R. App. P. 35. Accordingly, the petitions for full court en banc rehearing (Docket Entry Nos.  and ) are denied. In No. 10-56971, appellants motion for leave to file a reply brief (Docket Entry No. ) is denied as moot.
Olympic Sponsors Refuse Team USA Shooter Sponsorship - August 12, 2016
When Team USA's Kim Rhode won a bronze medal in skeet shooting Friday, she claimed a piece of Olympic history: the 37-year-old Californian became the first woman to take the podium in six straight Olympics.
Landing a big name sponsor might be the bigger feat. In the year leading up to Rio 2016, Rhode's agent Patrick Quinn pitched her to around 20 companies that back the Olympics. None were convinced.
"The big mystery is how someone like Kim isn't part of the Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and the Olympics sponsor push," Quinn said by phone from Chicago. "It would be nice to have an Olympic sponsor recognize the magnitude of her accomplishment."
Coca-Cola Co. didn't respond to a request for comment, and Procter & Gamble Co.'s spokesperson Damon Jones said in an email the company receives hundreds of sponsorship requests so it must be selective. Rhode and other shooters on Team USA think the reason they're passed over is obvious. The rise in gun violence and mass shootings in the US have attached a stigma to shooting as a sport, they say. So while companies like Winchester, Beretta and Otis Technology support Rhode, she doesn't have a single sponsor from outside the firearm industry.
New Jersey Lawmakers Move To Invalidate Governor Order On Concealed Carry - August 8, 2016
Lawmakers moved closer Monday toward invalidating regulations proposed by Governor Christie's administration that would allow more people to legally carry a handgun in New Jersey.
The proposed regulation would allow gun permits to be granted to people who can demonstrate a 'serious threat' and need to carry a firearm. The state's current standard only allows permits to be issued if a person can cite a specific threat or earlier attack.
While lawmakers do not directly vote on administrative rules, if both the Senate and Assembly approve a resolution rejecting the regulations, the new rules can be blocked.
Assistant Attorney General Stephen Finkel, however, told the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee that his office was never officially notified of the Legislature's attempt to overturn proposed gun permit 'justifiable needs' regulations proposed by the state police in March.
New ATF Director Wants Gun Database - August 1, 2016
Deputy Director Thomas Brandon, head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) appeared on CBS's Sunday Morning television show, complaining that his agency is 'a small agency with a big job' and that he really needs more agents and more money to do that job.
What he would really like, however, is a computerized database of all gun purchases made by every buyer and seller in the country:
"There's a lot of things that don’t make sense.… Would [having such a database at the ATF] be efficient and effective? Absolutely. Would the taxpayers benefit with [improved] public safety? Absolutely. Are we allowed to do it? No."
Brandon took over the agency in April 2015 after Todd Jones bailed out following the agency's failed attempt to ban ammunition for the popular AR-15 rifle. Jones had taken over the agency after Kenneth Melson bailed out in 2011 following the implosion of the ATF's Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal.