Gun Related News Stories
Washington State Supreme Court Allows Anti-Gun Initiative 1639 To Be Placed On Ballot - August 24, 2018
The Washington state Supreme Court has ruled that the proposed gun-regulations measure, Initiative 1639, will appear on November's election ballot.
The decision clears the way for a statewide vote on a sweeping proposal that, among other things, would raise the legal age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21.
Friday's ruling comes after a Thurston County judge earlier this month blocked the proposed initiative after Alan Gottlieb of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association (NRA) challenged the legality of the campaign's signature-gathering petitions.
Gun-rights advocates had argued the petitions violated state law because they did not include text formatting such as underlines and strike-throughs to demonstrate how exactly the initiative would change the language of existing gun laws.
But a four-page order released Friday and signed by Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst reversed the lower court's ruling.
The measure would make several changes to the law. Aside from raising the purchase age to 21 for semi-automatic rifle purchases, it would mandate training, enhanced background checks and waiting periods in order to obtain them.
It would also require owners to keep firearms secured at home. Gun owners could face misdemeanor or felony charges in some circumstances if someone prohibited from possessing a weapon accessed the firearm.
Federal Judge Blocks Washington State Anti-Gun Ballot Initiative - August 18, 2018
Gun rights groups in Washington State have spent the last few months fighting gun control ballot initiative I-1639 which would create stricter gun laws. A Thurston County Superior Court judge on Friday, however, ruled in favor of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). The judge ordered a writ of mandamus to prevent I-1639 from appearing on the November ballot.
SAF and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) previously challenged the constitutionality behind the initiative because questions were raised about whether or not the petition's format complies with state law.
SAF Founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb previously told Townhall that I-1639's signature petitions "failed to underline new law and strike through removed law so that the reader could not know the current law, added law and subtracted law."
Judge James Dixon, who ruled in the case, was very clear about his position. â€śFrankly, this court does not struggle with this issue,â€ť Dixon said. The law, he said, requires that petitions â€śmust have a readable, full, true, correct copy of the proposed measure.â€ť
Judge Temporarily Blocks Release Of 3D Gun Plans - July 31, 2018
Federal Judge Robert Lasnik issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday "blocking (the) federal government from allowing distribution of downloadable 3D printed" guns, according to a tweet from the Washington State Office of the Attorney General.
"The judge's rule is clear," Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said at a news conference. "We go back to the status quo, before the federal government made the disastrous decision to undo these protections for public safety."
The ruling blocked a settlement that Defense Distributed, a Texas based gun rights organization, and the federal government reached in June that made it legal to post 3D printable gun plans online.
Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson said the site has disabled downloads until he reviews the order.
Pennslyvania Stops Citizens From Accessing 3D Printed Firearm Website - July 30, 2018
Numerous news agencies are reporting that Governor Wolf, Attorney General Shapiro and the Pennsylvania State Police yesterday filed an emergency motion in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Defense Distributed, DEFCAD, Ghost Gunner and Cody Wilson, to preclude access to their websites by Pennsylvania residents and that Defense Distributed, et al., agreed to make "its sites unaccessible to Pennsylvania users," all in violation of the First and Second Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, not to mention the numerous violations of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Although the article mentions a press release being sent out by the AG Shapiro's Office, the AG's website has no mention of the press release, PACER does not yet list such a matter in the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania and a recently found Complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief is dated July 30, 2018 (i.e. for today). Of course, in an emergency situation, it would not be unusual for a motion for a restraining order to be made in advance of a complaint being filed.
A copy of the state's court filing can be found here
9th Circuit Court Upholds Right To Open Carry A Gun - July 24, 2018
A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment protects a right to openly carry a gun in public for self-defense, rejecting a claim by Hawaii officials that the right only applies to guns kept at home.
The extent of the right to gun ownership protected by the Second Amendment is one of the most hotly contested debates in the United States, where life has been punctuated by a steady stream of mass shootings.
The ruling issued by a three-judge panel on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, came a year after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule either way on the carrying of guns in public.
Two of the three 9th Circuit judges voted to reverse a decision by the U.S. District Court in Hawaii that state officials did not infringe on the rights of George Young, the plaintiff, in twice denying him a permit to carry a gun outside.
"We do not take lightly the problem of gun violence," Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain wrote in Tuesday's ruling. "But, for better or for worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense."
FBI To Launch Secondary Background Check System - July 14, 2018
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) internal process for firearms-related background checks is gearing up for a change. A secondary system, known as the National Data Exchange (N-DEx), will be implemented in conjunction with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), National Public Radio (NPR) reported.
"The N-DEx system is an unclassified national information sharing system that enables criminal justice agencies to search, link, analyze, and share local, state, tribal, and federal records," the FBI's website said. "N-DEx is also a strategic investigative information sharing system that fills informational gaps and provides situational awareness."
N-DEx is being implemented because of previous NICS failures, particularly in the Charleston church shooting incident where 21-year-old shooter Dylann Roof was able to purchase a firearm two months before the shooting despite having a felony drug arrest on his record. That arrest should have barred him from purchasing a firearm.
Judge Strikes Columbus Bump Stock Ban Down As Unconstitutional - July 13, 2018
A Franklin County judge has struck down Columbus' bump-stock ban, saying it violates the Ohio Constitution.
Franklin County Judge David E. Cain ruled Friday that the bump-stock ban the Columbus City Council passed in May violates state law and that the city cannot enforce it.
Cain ruled that a separate ordinance that makes it a misdemeanor to carry a gun while under disability in Ohio does not conflict with state law and can be enforced.
Ohioans for Concealed Carry and the Buckeye Firearms Foundation had sued the city in June, arguing that Columbus had violated the state's preemption law by banning bump stocks and passing a law that made it a misdemeanor to carry a gun while under disability.
Massachusetts Governor Signs 'Red Flag' Bill Into Law - July 3, 2018
Governor Charlie Baker signed into law Tuesday a bill that will give courts the authority to strip weapons from people who have been identified by their families as a danger to themselves or others, strengthening the state's already strict gun laws, and making Massachusetts the latest state to respond to a national spate of mass shootings with more restrictions on firearms.
Baker, a Republican, signed the 'red flag' legislation at the State House surrounded by Democratic legislators, police officers, mothers who have rallied for stronger gun laws, and a Cambridge Rindge & Latin School student who had been advocating for the bill.
Lawsuit Filed Over Washington State Anti-Gun Ballot Initiative - July 2, 2018
A pro-gun nonprofit based in Bellevue has asked Washington's Supreme Court to block an initiative that would implement a new slate of gun restrictions from reaching the November ballot, arguing the campaign's petitions did not meet legal standards.
The Second Amendment Foundation filed the challenge with the high court late Friday, just days before the campaign for I-1639 said it plans to turn in more than 360,000 signatures to qualify for a public vote.
Tallman Trask, a spokesman for the I-1639 campaign, characterized the lawsuit as a last-ditch effort to stop the initiative since pro-gun organizations "can't win at the ballot." He told The News Tribune and The Olympian the I-1639 campaign plans to move forward with turning in signatures at the end of the week.
In a news release, Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the gun group, said the I-1639 campaign failed to properly show what current state laws would be changed and eliminated by the proposed measure through underlines and strike-out lines, standard practice on legislative bills at the Capitol.
State law requires a "full, true, and correct copy" of the proposed measure printed on the petition. The court filing by attorney Shawn Newman contends the petition text doesn't match official text provided by the state's Code Reviser's office since it lacks those page markups.
Massachusetts Lawmakers Pass 'Red Flag' Gun Seizure Bill - July 2, 2018
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker will now have to decide on signing a proposal allowing for temporary gun seizures from those thought to be a threat to themselves or others.
The emergency bill, H.4670, passed a final roll call in the state legislature last week with only one lawmaker, Fitchburg Republican Sen. Dean Tran, voting against the measure in the Senate, joined by 15 other GOP members in the House. Broad in scope, it would allow current and former romantic partners, family, roommates, and police to seek an extreme risk protection order, suspending someone's gun rights and firearm license for up to a year.
"This is not anything that changes Second Amendment rights," said Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Stone Creem, D-Newton. "This is about licensing, when a license needs to be suspended because that person is a risk."
The so-called "red flag law" establishes a mechanism to allow family members or law enforcement to ask the courts to remove access to guns, ammunition, firearm ID cards, or licenses to carry a firearm from an individual thought to be at risk. The order, once issued, would be transmitted to federal agencies to bar future gun sales or transfers through licensed dealers. The ERPO would last for up to one year with the option open to discontinue to renew.
Oregon Supreme Court Kills Assault Weapon Ban Initiative Over Deceptive Language - June 29, 2018
On Wednesday, Oregon's Supreme Court refused to approve Initiative Petition 43, a state ballot proposal for an assault weapon and high-capacity magazine ban, due to the initiative's repeated use of vague and misleading language and outright false claims to describe the proposed law to voters. Furthermore, the court directed Oregon's attorney general to revise the language of the initiative to comply with state laws requiring Oregonians to be accurately informed about the law's key provisions at the ballot box.
However, even if the necessary revisions were made to the gun control initiative's language, supporters of the measure would need to collect 88,184 signatures by July 6th to get it on this year's ballot. Furthermore, the collection of those signatures could not legally start until Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum made the revisions to the ballot language required by the court. Given these legal roadblocks, multiple local news sources were not optimistic about the initiative's chances for success.
Billionaire Bloomberg To Dole Out 80 Million To Anti-Gun Candidates In 208 Election - June 23, 2018
Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, has decided to throw his political clout and personal fortune behind the Democratic campaign to take control of the House of Representatives this year, directing aides to spend tens of millions of dollars in an effort to expel Republicans from power.
Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent who has championed left-of-center policies on gun control, immigration and the environment, has approved a plan to pour at least $80 million into the 2018 election, with the bulk of that money going to support Democratic congressional candidates, advisers to Mr. Bloomberg said.
By siding so emphatically with one party, Mr. Bloomberg has the potential to upend the financial dynamics of the midterm campaign, which have appeared to favor Republicans up to this point. Facing intense opposition to President Trump and conservative policies, Republicans have been counting on a strong economy and heavily funded outside groups to give them a political advantage in key races, especially in affluent suburbs where it is expensive to run television ads.
Mr. Bloomberg's intervention is likely to undermine that financial advantage by bankrolling advertising on television, online and in the mail for Democratic candidates in a dozen or more congressional districts, chiefly in moderate suburban areas where Mr. Trump is unpopular. Democrats need to gain 23 congressional seats to win a majority.
While Mr. Bloomberg has not chosen his list of targeted races yet, he is unlikely to get involved in rural, conservative-leaning districts where his views on guns and other issues could stir an uproar, according to people briefed on his plans, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.
Ruger Mark IV Recalled - June 14, 2018
Ruger recently discovered that all Mark IV™ pistols (including 22/45™ models) manufactured prior to June 1, 2017 have the potential to discharge unintentionally if the safety is not utilized correctly. In particular, if the trigger is pulled while the safety lever is midway between the "safe" and "fire" positions (that is, the safety is not fully engaged or fully disengaged), then the pistol may not fire when the trigger is pulled. However, if the trigger is released and the safety lever is then moved from the mid position to the "fire" position, the pistol may fire at that time
Kent State Student Stopped And Searched For Discussing Concealed Carry License - May 11, 2018
A Kent State University student said she was detained unlawfully by campus police for talking about carrying a concealed weapon.
Leandra Westbrook, a junior at KSU in Ohio, said that on April 27, she was on the phone with a friend and said: "It is a shame that I cannot carry a gun on campus, considering I have my carry license," according to Campus Reform.
"In the conversation I had, there was no way to misinterpret what I said, or to even suggest that I had a gun with me," Westbrook said.
When student cadet officers overheard the exchange between Westbrook and her friend, they immediately informed campus police, the police report stated.
Westbrook, who was in the lecture hall getting ready to take an anatomy quiz, was "removed from class and searched," by the police in front of 200 other students, both Westbrook and the police report stated.
Oklahoma Senate Passes Constitutional Carry Bill - Now On Governors Desk - May 3, 2018
The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday night passed the so-called "Constitutional Carry" gun bill in a 33-9 vote. The bill, which passed the state's House of Representatives about a week ago, will now be presented to Republican Gov. Mary Fallin for a signature.
It's not yet clear if Gov. Fallin plans to sign the bill, though Rep. Shane Stone, D-Okla., who voted against the bill when it went through the House, previously told Fox News he doesn't expect Fallin to veto it.
Gov. Fallin declined to say whether or not she plans to sign the bill, a spokesperson told Fox News, adding that Fallin does not typically comment on pending legislation "until after the final version reaches the governor's office, and she and her staff have a chance to review it."
If signed into law, the legislation would allow handgun owners in the state to carry without first obtaining a license.
Supporters of the bill argue it protects a gun owner's right to self defense, adding that it would eliminate the costly permit process.
Dick's Sporting Goods Hires Gun Control Lobbyists - May 2, 2018
Dick's Sporting Goods, which announced in February it would no longer sell rifles to anyone under the age of 21, hired three Beltway lobbyists to lobby Congress for gun control, according to federal records reviewed by The Federalist.
The lobbying records show Dick's hired two Democrats and one Republican from Glover Park Group, a DC-based government affairs firm, for "[l]obbying related to gun control." No other policy issues were listed in the disclosure form filed by the firm. The disclosure forms show Dick's pro-gun control lobbying effort began official on April 27, 2018. The official registration form noting Dick's retention of Glover to push for gun control was filed on Monday morning.
The three lobbyists tapped by Dick's to push for gun control are listed by name in the federal disclosure forms, which are required by the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to be filed quarterly: Joel Johnson, who worked for both President Bill Clinton and Senate Democrat leadership; Andrew King, who worked for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); and Christina Brown, a former staffer for Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.).
Banks And Credit Card Companies Explore Ways to Monitor Gun Purchases - April 30, 2018
Banks and credit card companies are discussing ways to identify purchases of guns in their payment systems, a move that could be a prelude to restricting such transactions, according to people familiar with the talks.
The discussions are preliminary but could be deeply controversial. Gun-rights groups have long resisted any effort to monitor which Americans own guns; there are federal laws limiting the government's use of electronic databases of gun sales.
The financial companies have explored creating a new credit-card code for firearms dealers, similar to how they code restaurants or department stores, according to people familiar with the matter. Another idea would require merchants to share information about specific firearm products consumers are buying, some of the people said.
New York Bill Would Outlaw Rifle Clubs, Archery And Trap Shooting In Public Schools - April 26, 2018
A state lawmaker from New York City has authored a bill that would end riflery, trap shooting and archery as a sport in public schools.
Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, a Democrat who represents the 67th Assembly District in western Manhattan, introduced the bill on April 20. At this point, there is no co-sponsor for it in the state Senate.
The bill, A10428, which was sent to the Assembly's Education Committee, would amend the state's Education Law and calls for the "prohibition of marksmanship and/or shooting programs in public schools" - a change that "shall take effect immediately."
Rosenthal's bill, covering "marksmanship and/or shooting programs," includes "any competitive or recreational shooting activities involving proficiency tests of accuracy, precision and speed in using various types of ranged weapons, such as firearms and air gun, in forms such as handguns, rifles and shotguns and/or bows or crossbows."
Unpublished CDC Study Confirms over 2 Million Annual Defensive Gun Uses - April 21, 2018
An unpublished Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study confirms Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck's findings of more than two million defensive handgun uses (DGUs) per year.
Since the early 1990s, Kleck has maintained that there is a minimum of 760,000 DGUs annually. That is his low estimate; Kleck and research partner Marc Gertz have contended the actual number is closer to 2.5 million.
Kleck reaffirmed his numbers on February 17, 2015, explaining that while plenty of naysayers have criticized his findings, none have been able to offer empirical evidence to counter them.
Now, a CDC study conducted on data from 1996, 1997, and 1998 has been uncovered. The study, which was never released to the public, shows approximately 2.46 million DGUs per year.
Two New Jersey High School Students Suspended After Going to Gun Range With Their Parents - April 20, 2018
Lacey Township School District in central New Jersey suspended two high school students after Snapchat pictures showed them at a gun range outside of school hours.
Attorney Daniel Schmutter with the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs said a lawsuit might be pending since the pictures were non-threatening and not alarming in any way. The two students were simply at a gun range after school hours.
Schmutter indicated in a letter to Lacey Township School District that suspending the two students for posting photos off school grounds and unrelated to school activities was a 'very serious violation' of the their rights, according to Patch.com.
After the incident, the 'straight A' students returned to school but were not permitted to go to class, Schmutter said, according to Patch.com.