Gun Related News Stories
Ohio Lawmakers Studying Error That Could Ban Some Guns - February 17, 2019
A mistake in writing up an Ohio bill could inadvertently ban several types of already legal guns and must be fixed quickly, gun rights advocates say.
At issue is legislation approved by lawmakers last year that allows off-duty police officers to carry firearms and phases in preemption of many local firearms restrictions, among other changes.
The bill also attempted to align Ohio law with federal law regarding short-barrel weapons, or generally speaking shotguns with barrel lengths less than 16 inches.
Such guns are legal under federal law but classified as illegal in Ohio, even though many gun stores sell them. As the bill was being drafted, a misplaced paragraph unintentionally lumped a variety of long guns into a prohibited category.
Those could include semi-automatic AK-47s and any long gun with a pistol grip, which could also affect shotguns used in competitive shooting.
It's unclear if the mistake would cause gun owners problems in "real-world terms," said Dean Rieck, executive director of the gun rights group Buckeye Firearms, who said who said he's consulted with lawyers for the National Rifle Association and Ohio's Legislative Services Commission, among others.
Nevertheless, "We would prefer they deal with it immediately because it is causing a lot of concern and confusion among gun owners in Ohio," Rieck said.
Oklahoma Consitutional Carry Bill Passed In House - February 13, 2019
A bill vetoed last year by Oklahoma's Republican former governor that would allow adult residents to carry a gun without training or a background check has easily passed a vote in the state House on its way to the desk of the new governor, who is expected to sign it into law.
The plan dubbed "constitutional carry" by its supporters was approved Wednesday on a 70-30 vote. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate.
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt and Senate Republican Leader Greg Treat both say they support the concept.
Nearly identical bills to this one cleared the Oklahoma House and Senate last year, but then-Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed the legislation over opposition from law enforcement and concerns about the elimination of training and background checks.
Nevada Senate Passes Universal Background Check Bill - February 13, 2019
Legislation to expand background checks to private gun sales and transfers passed Wednesday in the state Senate with a party-line vote, marking a step forward in a years-long push to close the loophole.
Lawmakers delivered emotional speeches on both sides of the issue one day after a Senate committee approved the measure.
Lawmakers say the legislation would be a fix to a 2016 gun background check initiative approved by voters. The measure has gone unenforced.
"A lot of us are relieved, I think we're feeling like this is finally an issue we can put to bed," Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, a Democrat, said after the vote. "Obviously, there will be court challenges. But we think we're standing on solid ground."
Ohio Judge Shoots Down Cincinnati Ban On Bump Stocks - February 12, 2019
An Ohio judge last week rejected a ban adopted by the city of Cincinnati on bump fire stocks, siding with gun rights groups who challenged the local law.
Hamilton County Judge Robert Ruehlman on Monday hit city officials with a permanent injunction against the ordinance, leaving Cincinnati unable to enforce it. The lawsuit, brought by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation and Ohioans for Concealed Carry, argued the local ban was illegal considering state laws.
"This ban was completely unjustified and a great concern for gun owners," said Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Foundation. “Under Ohio law, local municipalities are not permitted to enact firearms laws that conflict with state law. And clearly, outlawing guns or gun parts is a clear violation of state law.”
It is not the first time that Ohio courts have thrown out a municipal bump stock prohibition. Judge David Cain, writing for the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, last year found that the city’s ban did not square against state preemption law which prevents local governments from regulating firearms.
South Dakota Lawmakers Advance Bill Banning College Gun Free Zones - February 12, 2019
A bill prohibiting South Dakota public universities and colleges from banning guns on their campuses received a Senate committee's approval over the objections from university administrators and students on Tuesday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced in a 4-3 motion Senate Bill 122, which will prohibit the Board of Regents and the Board of Technical Education from adopting a policy that would restrict or limit a person's ability to carry a firearm on campus. The committee also attempted to send the bill to the 41st legislative day, which would have killed the bill, but the motion failed.
The South Dakota Gun Owners Association was the sole supporter during Tuesday's meeting. Jordan Mason, the association's political director, said the bill is "finally giving our students a chance to defend themselves."
The South Dakota Constitution guarantees citizens' right to bear arms, said Sen. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, one of the bill's sponsors.
"Gun-free zones do not work," Nelson said during the committee's discussion.
Iowa Legislative Panel Move Constitutional Carry Bill Forward - February 11, 2019
A bill that would eliminate the requirement to obtain a permit to buy or carry a gun in Iowa has been moved out of a Senate subcommittee.
The two Republicans agreed Monday to pass it up to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrat Sen. Tony Bisignano declined to recommend moving the bill forward due to safety concerns.
Bisignano says he disagrees with allowing the sale of handguns at gun shows and person-to-person with no permit or background check. He says eliminating the permit also does away with the requirement for gun holders to take a safety course.
The Senate bill has the support of 15 senators, the National Rifle Association, the Iowa Firearms Coalition and Iowa Gun Owners groups.
It's opposed by Catholic, Methodist and Episcopal church groups along with domestic violence and gun safety organizations.
Supporters say requiring permits and fees to own a gun contradicts the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Oklahoma House Committee Approves Consitutional Carry Bill - February 7, 2019
After being in session less than a week, Oklahoma lawmakers have already sent a controversial House bill through committee.
House Bill 2597 would essentially allow many gun owners to carry without a license.
Under the bill, it would allow "the carrying of a firearm, concealed or unconcealed, loaded or unloaded, by a person who is twenty one years of age or older or by a person who is eighteen years of age but not yet twenty one years of age and the person is a member or veteran of the United States Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard or was discharged under honorable conditions from the United States Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard, and the person is otherwise not disqualified from the possession or purchase of a firearm under state or federal law and is not carrying the firearm in furtherance of a crime."
The bill also states that those who are illegally in the United States would not be able to possess a weapon.
29 New Mexico Sheriffs Oppose New Legislation - February 6, 2019
Twenty-nine New Mexico sheriffs oppose several new gun control laws introduced by the New Mexico state legislature.
"You're just taking guns out of law-abiding citizen's hands," Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton. "This is not going to affect the criminals out there. They’re going to be able to get guns and they do not follow the law."
Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton is one of dozens of sheriffs who signed this statement by the New Mexico Sheriff's Association targeting four gun related bills as ineffective.
House bill 83 would allow law enforcement to temporarily seize guns from people considered an imminent threat while people subject to a protective order would be prohibited from buying guns under house bill 87.
House bill 130 aims penalizes gun owners who don't store guns safely around children and senate bill 8 looks to require background checks for private firearm sales.
Although many sheriffs oppose these bills New Mexico state representative Joy Garratt said legislation like her house bill 83 could have prevented massacres like the Parkland, Florida shooting last year.
New York Legislature Passes Six Anti-Gun Bills In New Session - January 29, 2019
New York lawmakers on Tuesday approved the most comprehensive set of gun bills in the state in six years, including measures that would ban bump stocks, prohibit teachers from carrying guns in schools and extend the waiting period for gun buyers who do not pass an instant background check.
In total, six gun bills passed easily through the State Senate and Assembly, a remarkable sight in a Capitol that for years had resisted almost all new legislation on the subject.
The relative ease of the laws passage highlighted, for the second time in just two days, the upheaval that November’s election brought to Albany. Democrats captured the Senate for the first time in a decade, delivering one-party control of state government. Since the legislative session began this month, both chambers have sent long-stymied bills in rapid-fire procession to the governor's desk.
South Dakota Constitutional Carry Bill Advances - January 28, 2019
Legislation allowing people to carry concealed handguns without a permit in South Dakota, also called "Constitutional carry," passed another hurdle on Monday morning.
The House State Affairs Committee gave Senate Bill 47 its blessing in a 10-3 vote after hearing 90 minutes of testimony about the measure. The bill now moves to the House floor for a vote. It has already passed in the Senate. Gov. Kristi Noem said she supports permit-less carry, but will consider the bill's language before supporting it.
The South Dakota Sheriffs' Association, as well as two sheriffs, testified on Monday that although they don't oppose permit-less concealed carry, they would rather it apply to only South Dakota residents. House Bill 1112, which would limit permit-less concealed carry to South Dakota residents only, was introduced in the House on Friday and has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.
Washington State Sheriffs Refuse To Enforce New Gun Laws - January 26, 2019
In Washington state, a freshly implemented ballot initiative and a raft of new bills may produce some of the tightest firearms regulations in the US. But standing in the way is a group of rural law enforcement officers who say point blank that they won’t enforce any of it.
The Klickitat county sheriff, Bob Songer, is one of them. He told the Guardian that the initiative passed last November "is unconstitutional on several grounds. I've taken the position that as an elected official, I am not going to enforce that law".
Songer also cited ongoing litigation by the National Rife Association gun industry lobby and others which aims to demonstrate the laws violate both the second amendment and the state's constitution. He also said that if other agencies attempted to seize weapons from county residents under the auspices of the new laws, he would consider preventively "standing in their doorway".
Wyoming Sub-Committee Kills Repeal Of Gun Free Zones Bill - January 24, 2019
The Wyoming Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted against a Senate bill that would have repealed gun-free zones in Wyoming public buildings.was voted down Wednesday morning by a 3-2 margin.
However, a House bill that would do the same thing was still awaiting committee action as of mid-day Wednesday.
A long parade of about 15 witnesses appeared at the Senate hearing in opposition to Senate File 75, including several representing schools, school board, and the Wyoming Education Association. Barb Cook of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America told the committee that studies show the presence of firearms increases the risk of suicide by 300 percent and the risk of homicide by 200 percent. Tammy Johnson of the Wyoming Education Association said her daughter was so terrified by the proposal that she said she might forego her senior year of high school if the bill became law.
Virginia Committee Votes Down More Than A Dozen Anti-Gun Bills - January 17, 2019
A Republican-led subcommittee in the Virginia House of Delegates voted down more than a dozen Democratic gun control bills Thursday, including a red-flag proposal endorsed by President Donald Trump's school safety committee.
In a packed hearing room, Republicans on a House Militia, Police and Public Safety subcommittee used their 4-2 majority to methodically defeat the gun bills over the course of more than two hours.
For the first time, the panel heard arguments about a bill to create extreme risk protection orders, which would allow authorities to take guns from people whose behavior gives law enforcement reason to believe they may hurt others or themselves.
South Dakota Senate Panel Advances Constitutional Carry Bill - January 17, 2019
A Senate panel has advanced a measure that would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit in South Dakota.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to send the bill to the full chamber.
It's currently a misdemeanor for someone to carry a concealed pistol or to have one concealed in a vehicle without a permit. Senate President Pro Tempore Brock Greenfield, the bill's sponsor, says people are being asked to "lease back" their constitutionally protected right to bear firearms.
Hawaii Refuses To Abide By LEOSA Disarming Out Of State Officers - December 22, 2018
Following New Jersey's recently-revised ban on police officers possessing guns, new attention has been brought to states with strict gun laws for law enforcement officers.
Standing out from the rest of the states is Hawaii, with their refusal to recognize the provisions of the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA).
LEOSA was "designed to protect officers and their families from vindictive criminals, and to allow thousands of equipped, trained and certified law enforcement officers, whether on-duty, off-duty or retired, to carry concealed firearms in situations where they can respond immediately to a crime across state and other jurisdictional lines."
The purpose of the law was to preempt states from restricting the type of ammunition that officers could carry off duty, and allow them to carry their weapons in any state without running afoul of any state laws.
Hawaii's attorney general's office says that the federal law doesn't actually preempt state law.
According to Hawaii's Department of the Attorney General, if police officers from out of state are not on duty, then they are not actually considered to be police officers and LEOSA doesn't apply to them.
"If you are not on official duty with your governmental law enforcement agency and you are carrying a concealed firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 926B, you are not considered a 'law enforcement officer' in the State of Hawaii. The Hawaii Revised Statutes will be applied to you as if you were a 'civilian' with no law enforcement powers," the state Attorney General memo says.
CPRC Study Shows 98% Of Mass Shootings Since 1950 Happened In Gun Free Zones - December 17, 2018
Findings from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) show that 97.8 percent of mass shootings over a 68-year period occurred in "gun-free zones."
The study covers 1950 through May 2018. Otherwise, it would also include the November 7, 2018, mass public attack at Borderline Bar & Grill, in which 12 were killed. The November 19, 2018, attack at Chicago Mercy Hospital, where three were killed, would not be listed because it does not meet FBI criteria for a mass shooting, but it should, nevertheless, be noted that Borderline Bar and Mercy Hospital were both state-mandated gun-free zones.
According to CPRC, 97.8 percent of mass public shootings from 1950 to May 2018 occurred in gun-free zones. These include the Virginia Tech University attack, which killed 32 (April 16, 2007); the Fort Hood attack, which killed 13 (November 5, 2009); the Aurora movie theater attack, which killed 12 (July 20, 2012); the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack, which killed 26 (December 12, 2014); the D.C. Navy Yard attack, which killed 13 (September 16, 2013); the Chattanooga military base attack, which killed 5 (July 16, 2015); the Umpqua Community College attack, which killed 9 (October 1, 2015); the San Bernardino attack, which killed 14 (December 2, 2015); the Orlando Pulse attack, which killed 49 (June 12, 2016); the Parkland high school attack, which killed 17 (February 14, 2018); and the Santa Fe High School attack, which killed 10 (May 18, 2018).
Two New Illinois Gun Laws Go Into Effect January 1st - December 14, 2018
Two new gun laws affecting waiting periods and "dangerous" gun owners will take effect on the new year.
According to the Office of Senator Neil Anderson, the first law titled "SB 3256/PA 100-0606" Creates a 72-hour waiting period on all firearms, not just handguns.
The bill also eliminates the current waiting period exemption when a non-Illinois resident buys a gun at an Illinois gun show.
A violation of this law would be considered a class four felony.
The second new gun law titled "HB 2354/PA 100-0607" Allows family or police to petition the court for an ex parte order (Restraining order or an order that benefits only one side in a case) if the person:
"poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself/herself or another by having in his/her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm."
This new law would allow family or police to take away a persons right to own a firearm without their knowledge if they are deemed "too dangerous"
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission Votes To Arm Teachers - December 13, 2018
The panel investigating the Florida high school massacre recommended Wednesday that teachers who volunteer and undergo extensive background checks and training be allowed to carry concealed guns on campus to stop future shootings.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission voted 13-1 to recommend the Legislature allow the arming of teachers, saying it's not enough to have one or two police officers or armed guards on campus. Florida law adopted after the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead allows districts to arm non-teaching staff members such as principals, librarians and custodians; 13 of the 67 districts do, mostly in rural parts of the state.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the commission's chairman, pushed the measure at the Tallahassee meeting. He said most deaths in school shootings happen within the first few minutes, before officers on and off campus can respond. He said suspect Nikolas Cruz stopped to reload his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle five times, all of which would have been opportunities for an armed teacher to shoot him.
SCOTUS Agrees To Hear Case That Could Undermine BATFE - December 11, 2018
One of the biggest problems with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) isn't that it enforces the law. I mean, it exists explicitly for that purpose, so that's kind of what it's supposed to be doing.
No, the biggest problem is that in addition to enforcing those rules, it also gets to make them up as it goes. The ATF is also tasked by Congress to interpret the law and create regulatory policies on the subject that it then gets to turn around and enforce.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see all the many ways this creates problems.
Then top it off with the fact that the courts have taken a hands-off approach to this, known as Auer and Chevron deference, and you have a disaster in the making.
However, it seems there's a chance that those days are numbered.
New Nevada Governor Calls For Gun Control As Priority - December 8, 2018
Nevada's new governor-elect, Steve Sisolak, says several gun control measures top the list of his agenda.
"Sisolak said in an interview with The Associated Press that he wants to see the state ban assault weapons, silencers, and bump stocks" the Las Vegas Sun reports. "In addition to those changes, Sisolak has said he wants to find a way to enact a 2016-voter-approved background check initiative that Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt and GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval say was flawed and can't be enforced."
"This is something that's extremely important to me," Sisolak said. "I've already been in discussion with some law enforcement and intend to get going on that very, very quickly."
Sisolak, the Sun reports, "will be the first Democrat in the post in two decades" when he takes office in January 2019. Sisolak will also have many allies in the Legislature, as Democrats achieved a supermajority in the Assembly during the November 2018 midterm elections.