Gun Related News Stories
Federal Judge Blocks California From BAnning Gun Shows - June 19, 2019
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking a California board's effort to ban gun shows from a San Diego County fairground.
Federal District Judge Cathy Bencivengo issued a verbal order from the bench preventing the Del Mar Fair Board from enforcing a moratorium they recently adopted on gun shows at their fairgrounds. The case was filed by a coalition of gun-rights groups after the board passed the ban in January.
The Second Amendment Foundation, the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, and California Rifle and Pistol Assocation joined a number of gun dealers and clubs as well as five private citizens to challenge the board in court. They said the ban on gun shows at the location is a violation of their Second Amendment rights. Judge Bencivengo agreed there was enough of a case to block the ban pending further litigation.
Nevada Governor To Sign Anti-Gun Bills In Las Vegas - June 14, 2019
Gov. Steve Sisolak is expected to sign a multi-pronged gun control bill into law on Friday in Las Vegas.
The measure bans bump stocks, which effectively convert semi-automatic firearms into fully automatic weapons. The devices were used during the Route 91 Harvest festival mass shooting.
The bill also creates so-called "red flag" laws to take guns from those deemed to be threatening to themselves or others. It further enforces safe storage to keep guns away from minors and drops the allowable blood-alcohol level for possessing a firearm to 0.08.
Once Sisolak signs the bill, it will have various effective dates through Jan. 1.
Maine House Rejects Bill Requiring Backgrouund Checks On Private Gun Sales - June 13, 2019
A bill that would have required background checks for private gun sales in Maine was defeated in the Maine House Thursday.
The 66-80 vote against the measure is the latest in a series of gun control measures to be rejected by the Legislature, despite intensive lobbying efforts by gun safety advocates.
Still pending is a so-called 'red flag' bill that would allow police to temporarily confiscate firearms from a person who is deemed to be a danger to themselves or others as well another measure that would require people taken into protective custody to surrender their guns if they were deemed dangerous.
But earlier this week the Legislature rejected a bill that would have allowed municipal and county governments to ban firearms from public places, including polling stations. The Legislature has also rejected a bill that would have created a minimum 72-hour waiting period for the purchase of a gun and another that would have required gun owners to use trigger locks or gun safes on weapons stored at home.
Thousands Of Guns Stolen From ATF Facility - June 13, 2019
ATF agents across the country have been working to track down thousands of guns and firearms parts that had been seized by law enforcement and were supposed to be destroyed but were stolen first, according to sources familiar with the effort.
The agents are searching for some of their own retired service weapons as well as guns from other federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and DEA.
All of the weapons had been sent to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' National Firearms and Ammunition Destruction Branch in Martinsburg, West Virginia, to be shredded, according to court documents and congressional letters.
A longtime guard at the ATF facility has admitted to carting off thousands of firearms, gun parts and ammunition and selling them over several years.
Christopher Yates, 52, a guard who worked as a contract employee for ATF for 16 years, was charged in federal court in West Virginia. He pleaded guilty in April to possession of a stolen gun and stealing government property.
Smith And Wesson Issues Safety Alert For All MP 15-22s - June 12, 2019
STOP USING YOUR M&P15-22 UNTIL IT HAS BEEN INSPECTED AND YOUR BOLT REPLACED (IF NECESSARY).
Smith & Wesson has identified two M&P15-22 firearms from recent production on which the breech face counter bore depth was not within manufacturing specification. In those firearms, the lack of depth may allow the bolt, upon closing, to crush the rim of the case, causing the round to fire, cycling the bolt, and potentially resulting in multiple discharges without depressing the trigger. This issue can occur in the following two scenarios:
Vermont Governor Vetos Waiting Period Bill - June 10, 2019
Republican Gov. Phil Scott has vetoed legislation that would have made Vermont the 10th state in the country to institute a waiting period for gun sales.
Supporters of the legislation, called S.169, said the 24-hour waiting period approved by lawmakers earlier this year would have reduced suicide rates in Vermont by protecting residents from impulsive acts of self-harm.
Scott said Monday, however, that Vermont has already enacted numerous restrictions on gun ownership during his tenure. He said universal background checks, raising the legal age to purchase a gun to 21 years old, and a ban on the sale of high capacity magazines, all of which Scott signed into law last year, address the supply-side of the gun-violence problem.
Florida Anti-Gun Organizers Reach 100,000 Signature To Put Assault Weapon Ban On Ballot - June 10, 2019
Organizers of a drive to have a proposed assault weapon ban constitutional amendment on Florida’s 2020 ballot said they have topped 100,000 signatures and expect to get a review of ballot language by the Florida Supreme Court any day.
Ban Assault Weapons NOW and the League of Women Voters of Florida joined with Democratic state Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Anna Eskamani and U.S. Rep. Darren Soto Monday to announce they’ve reached the point where they expect the review.
They also vowed that final approval Friday of HB 5, which restricts citizen initiatives to get measures on the statewide ballot, will not slow them down.
They met at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office Monday to turn in another 728 petitions. The news conference was held minutes after one concluded a few blocks away at Pulse, where organizers are preparing to mark the third year, Wednesday, of the massacre there that left 49 dead and 53 wounded. The Ban Assault Weapons NOW conference included family members of people killed at Pulse on June 12, 2016, and at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2017, in Parkland, a massacre that took 17 lives.
Maine House Rejects Stand Your Ground Bill - June 7, 2019
The Maine House on Friday rejected a "stand your ground" bill backed by gun rights advocates who say it clarifies the right to use deadly force in self-defense.
The 78-57 vote to defeat the bill, which came after a short debate, fell largely along party lines, with Republicans supporting the measure and Democrats opposing it.
"This bill seeks to correct state statute, to get it in line with the protection of our natural rights, mainly to defend life and obtain safety," said Rep. John Andrews, R-Paris, the bill's primary sponsor. He said the bill was necessary to protect Mainers if they faced danger outside of their homes.
The measure would have removed the requirement in state law that a person first try to retreat to safety before using deadly force in a confrontation outside of a person's home.
Conservative lawmakers hoped to remove the requirement and replace it with a so-called "stand your ground" provision similar to those in 25 other states, including New Hampshire.
Stag Arms Announces They Will Leave Connecticut - June 7, 2019
Stag Arms, a New Britain manufacturer of automatic and semiautomatic AR-15 rifles, announced Friday it's leaving the city for a yet-to-be-determined site that offers "significant support for the firearms industry."
Stag Arms announced its board of directors decided to relocate as part of its "strategic initiative to significantly improve the overall customer experience."
"The location of Stag’s new headquarters has not been finalized but the board has narrowed down the options to a short list of vibrant communities where there is significant support for the firearms industry," the company said in a statement posted on Facebook.
30 Colorado Sheriffs Join Opposition to Magazine Ban Bill Headed For Supreme Court - June 6, 2019
About half of the state's county sheriffs this week joined the battle against Colorado's ban on gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, arguing that the law hinders peoples' ability to defend themselves.
Although law enforcement are exempt from the ban, the sheriffs argued in their brief to the Colorado Supreme Court that civilians should have the same access to magazines as typical officers and deputies. If law enforcement agencies believe a magazine that holds 20 or 30 rounds is best for defense, then those magazines are the best option for regular people who want to defend themselves, the sheriffs argued.
“Citizens do and should copy sheriffs' firearm and magazine selections so they will have reliable, sturdy arms for defense of self and others,” the brief stated. "These arms will be powerful enough for defense against violent criminals, and these arms will be appropriate for use in civil society, because sheriffs' arms are not mass-killing military arms. Instead, sheriffs' arms are best for defense of self and others, including against multiple attackers."
Thirty county sheriffs, the Colorado Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association and the Independence Institute filed the brief on Monday in support of a group of gun rights advocates challenging the law's constitutionality.
Colorado Supreme Court Will Hear Magazine Capacity Ban Case - April 23, 2019
The Colorado Supreme Court will decide whether the state's large-capacity magazine ban is constitutional.
The state's highest court announced Monday that it will review Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and National Association for Gun Rights' legal challenge of the controversial 2013 law that banned the sale and possession of rifle and pistol magazines with more than 15 cartridges.
People who already owned large-capacity magazines when the law went into effect could keep but not sell them.
Lower courts ruled the law is constitutional. The state supreme court would have the last word on the law unless it rules in favor of the state of Colorado and the plaintiffs successfully appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners argues the magazine limit violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The law was one of three gun control measures the Colorado legislature and then-Gov. John Hickenlooper put in place in 2013 after the Aurora movie theater shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Both shooters used high-capacity magazines.
Federal Judge Strikes Down California Magazine Ban - March 29, 2019
A federal judge Friday declared California's ban on high-capacity gun magazines over 10 rounds unconstitutional, blocking the state from enforcing the voter approved ban outlined in Proposition 63.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, a George W. Bush appointee, prefaced the introduction to his 86 page order released Friday afternoon granting summary judgment in favor of gun owner Virginia Duncan and the California Pistol & Rifle Association by stating "individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts."
He proceeded to cite the stories of three women who were at their homes, not in California, but in Florida and Georgia, when they were shot at by intruders toting guns.
A variety of semiautomatic rifles.(Damian Dovarganes, Associated Press)
Those stories of women home alone when ambushed by armed robbers also peppered Benitez's comments during the nearly four hour long court hearing on the motion for summary judgment last summer where he suggested women who were attacked and had lower capacity gun magazines to defend themselves would not be able to stop an assailant, saying "now you're raped and now you're dead."
He also suggested at the court hearing, based on a reading of the Second Amendment, it "would probably be okay" for someone to own a bazooka or grenade.
Illinois Judge Throws Out Deerfield Assault Weapon Ban - March 22, 2019
A Lake County Circuit Court judge ruled Friday that the village of Deerfield overstepped its authority last year when it enacted a ban on assault weapons five years after the Illinois legislature declared such regulations the exclusive power of the state.
Judge Luis Berrones issued a permanent injunction blocking the village from enforcing its ordinance. In the ruling, Berrones wrote that the plaintiff gun owners have "a clearly ascertainable right to not be subjected to a preempted and unenforceable ordinance" that prohibits possession of assault weapons, imposes financial penalties for keeping them and allows their property to be confiscated.
Deerfield officials said they are reviewing the ruling with their legal team and exploring options including an appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court.
New Mexico Republicans Start Process To Annul Anti-Gun Laws - March 7, 2019
House Republicans joined a majority of New Mexico's sheriffs to begin the process of overturning a spate of gun control legislation recently passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature Thursday.
House Minority Leader Rep. Jim Townsend (R-Artesia) sent a letter to the Secretary of State requesting the petitions for Senate Bill 8.
House Republicans announced they would begin the formal process to annul Senate Bill 8.
Under the New Mexico Constitution, the people have the power to 'disapprove, suspend and annul' laws enacted by the Legislature.
The process begins with a petition of New Mexico voters and requires several different actions depending on the number of signatures. The number of required signatures is based on the voters who cast a ballot in the 2018 General Election.
If 10 percent of voters sign the petition, the law is placed on the ballot for approval or rejection of all voters.
If 25 percent of the voters sign the petition within 90 days after adjournment of the session, the law is immediately suspended and it is placed on the ballot for approval or rejection of all voters.
"The response to this bill and others like it all around New Mexico is unprecedented, and we need to listen to the people," said House Republican Leader Rep. Jim Townsend (R-Artesia). "What is happening in Santa Fe does not reflect what an overwhelming number of New Mexicans want, so we're going to make sure they are heard."
Kentucky Constitutional Carry Bill Passes House On Its Way To Governors Desk - March 1, 2019
Senate Bill 150, allowing permitless carry in the state of Kentucky, passed the Kentucky House Friday by a 60 to 37 vote.
The measure, backed by the NRA, was debated heavily with several legislators attempting to add amendments that ultimately failed.
The summary of Senate Bill 150 says the objective is to "create a new section of Chapter 237 to allow concealed deadly weapons to be carried by persons age 21 and over without a license in same locations where concealed carry license holders may carry them."
The Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police along with several other law enforcement agencies were against the bill, citing safety concerns.
Oklahoma Becomes The Latest Constitutional Carry State - February 27, 2019
Just hours after a controversial permitless carry bill sailed through the state Senate, Oklahoma's Republican governor quickly signed it into law.
The action though came as no surprise to House Bill 2597's supporters as Gov. Kevin Stitt had repeatedly promised to ink his name to the legislation more popularly known as "constitutional carry."
It also marked the first legislation Stitt signed into law since being elected in November.
"Oklahomans are strong supporters of the Second Amendment, and they made their voice known across all 77 counties last year," Stitt said in a statement.
He said the legislation's authors found a balance for both private property owners and Second Amendment rights.
The legislation allows anyone at least 21 years old without a felony conviction or other criminal records to carry openly or concealed with no permitting, licensing or training. The bill does not allow people to brandish firearms nor does it change where Oklahomans can legally carry. For instance, people would still be prohibited from carrying on college campuses, supporters said.
Ohio Lawmakers Moving Quickly To Fix Mistake In Gun Bill - February 26, 2019
Ohio lawmakers can move quickly on a problem, especially if it involves guns.
One of the first bills passed by the Senate in this session would correct a gun bill the legislature passed last year that, gun supporters say, would mistakenly ban a number of legal guns in Ohio.
The new law placed a variety of long guns in a prohibited category, potentially including AK-47s, long guns with a pistol grip, and some shotguns used in competitive shooting.
"Clearly this was not the legislative intent of House Bill 228," said Sen. Kristina Roegner, R-Hudson, before the Senate voted 24-8 for a bill to fix the problem. Democrats opposed the measure.
House Bill 228 was a wide-ranging gun bill that further preempted local gun-related laws and shifted the burden of proof in self-defense situations, requiring prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person did not act in self-defense when taking lethal action.
On Tuesday, the Senate passed the corrective bill as an emergency, meaning that, if the House also approves it, it would take effect immediately, beating the March 28 effective date of House Bill 228.
Buffalo Lawyer Argues New York Pistol Permit Case In Federal Court - February 20, 2019
A Western New York lawyer on Wednesday made his case before a federal appeals court to overturn the state's requirement that hand gun owners obtain a pistol permit.
"This could change the standard for evaluating gun laws," said attorney James Ostrowski, following his argument before justices of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.
The case, entitled Libertarian Party of Erie County vs. Cuomo, seeks to upend New York's more than century old pistol permit requirement.
Currently, once a permit applicant passes a police background check, it is then left to the sole discretion of a judge to decide if they get their permit.
The judge must find, among other things, that the applicant is of "good moral character" and in their view (and only their view) has a good reason to own a pistol.
Ostrowski argues the determination is thus not only open ended, but overly subjective. And because the standard being applied may be inconsistent from county to county, he also labels it as arbitrary.
"In New York the pistol permit is considered to be a privilege granted by the state," Ostrowski said. "In the Supreme Court the right to bear arms is a fundamental right, so there's a huge conflict, and we're asking the court to resolve that conflict in favor of the right to bear arms."
The overreaching aim of the suit, however, is to target other gun control measures such as the NY SAFE Act, which could potentially be expunged should the plaintiffs win. It could also head off even more onerous proposals, such one that has been floated that would require permit seekers to open up their social media accounts for decision makers to review before permits are granted.
Supreme Court Requires New Jersey To Reply To Concealed Carry Challenge - February 20, 2019
The nation's high court on Tuesday took a step to show they aim to weigh the merits of a challenge to New Jersey’s strict "may issue" concealed carry laws.
The U.S. Supreme Court this week asked New Jersey officials to respond to a petition filed by a state resident allied with gun rights advocates. The case, that of Thomas Rogers and the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, had been turned away by the state's own supreme court, setting the stage for the current appeal to the federal bench.
"While the move is not a guarantee that the Supreme Court will agree to hear the appeal, the fact that the court is requiring NJ to take a position on ANJRPC’s request is significant, and signals that the court is not willing to take any action without first hearing from both sides," said the pro-gun organization in a statement.
Rogers, according to court documents, meets all the guidelines under New Jersey state law to obtain a permit, but cannot show evidence of a direct or specific threat to his life. In other words, even though he was threatened and robbed at gunpoint in the past and currently manages an ATM business, a job that requires him to service machines in high-crime areas, police say he does not have a justifiable need to carry a gun.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, joined with attorneys general and governors from 22 other states, are now on his side, and have filed a supporting amicus brief last month urging the high court to take up his case.
The response from New Jersey, who had previously ignored the appeal, has to be submitted to the court by March 21.
North Dakota House Rejects Red Flag Bill - February 19, 2019
The North Dakota House rejected a bipartisan bill allowing judges to issue protection orders temporarily preventing people deemed dangerous from possessing guns Tuesday, Feb. 19.
The so-called "red flag" bill, championed by Fargo Democratic Rep. Karla Rose Hanson, failed in a 76-17 vote. It was backed by the police chiefs from Fargo and West Fargo as a way to address a rising number of suicide calls. Proponents argued it could also help prevent mass shootings.
Hanson invoked the shooting death of Fargo police officer Jason Moszer in 2016 and the Sandy Hook school shooting while urging her colleagues to pass the bill in an effort to reduce gun violence.
"Public safety protection orders will save lives by allowing law enforcement and families to intervene in a crisis before there's irreversible harm done," she said.
The bill would have allowed family members and law enforcement to seek a court-issued "public safety protection order" preventing somebody from possessing firearms for up to one year, although a judge could extend the order. Law enforcement could have sought a warrant to seize firearms from people officers believed were dangerous under the bill.