Gun Related News Stories
North Carolina Democrats Trying To Force Anti-Gun Bills Out Of Committee - August 5, 2019
North Carolina's legislature hasn't passed gun control legislation since 2015. But in the wake of this weekend's mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, pressure is building to change that.
Several bills changing gun policy have stalled in committee, and on Monday Gov. Roy Cooper and four House Democrats urged pulling two of them out for debate.
House Bill 86 would restrict who can obtain firearms. Currently, North Carolina requires either a concealed-carry permit or a sheriff-issued pistol purchase permit to buy a handgun, but long guns including assault-style rifles can be bought with only a state I.D. and a background check at the counter.
Under HB86, long guns like rifles would also require a permit, and there would be a 72-hour waiting period before the buyer could take the gun home.
"This includes the weapons that were used in the mass shootings this weekend," said Rep. Christy Clark, a Mecklenburg Democrat who's co-sponsoring the bill with Reps. Marcia Morey, Pricey Harrison and Shelly Willingham. They plan to file a discharge petition Tuesday to pry HB86 and another bill out of committee.
New York Governor Signs Bill Prohibting School Staff / Teachers From Carrying Firearms - July 31, 2019
New York schools won't be allowed to arm teachers and administrators as a strategy to combat mass shootings, according to a measure signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The law specifically prohibits firearms to be carried in schools by "any teacher, school administrator" or others who aren't licensed security guards or those who act primarily as school resource officers. Most school resource officers are police officers.
Violating the law would be a Class E felony punishable by two to five years in prison.
"While hundreds of districts across the country have decided to arm teachers in response to mass shootings, in New York, we said, 'not here,'" said State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), who co-sponsored the bill.
"Arming teachers with guns can only lead to additional tragedies," said Assemb. Judy Griffin (D-Rockville Centre), the Assembly sponsor of the bill.
Wednesday's signing is the third straight day Cuomo has enacted more gun control laws passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature. The laws add to his legacy on the issue since he pushed through the extensive SAFE Act in 2013, weeks after the massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut.
Alabama Sheriffs Working To Fix ATF Rejection Of Concealed Carry Permits - July 30, 2019
On Wednesday, Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) began receiving phone calls and letters from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms instructing them that they could no longer accept Alabama Concealed Carry Permits (CCPs) issued by Alabama's Sheriffs as an alternative to completion of a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check or after a NICS denial.
Monday, the Alabama Sheriff's Association announced in a statement that "A procedure is presently underway to correct this error and restore acceptance of Alabama CCPs as an alternative for the citizens of Alabama and the FFLs."
NY Governor Signs Bump Stock Ban, Safe Storage Laws - July 30, 2019
Governor Cuomo has signed a law, banning undetectable firearms, including those created on 3d printers and others not detected by metal detectors.
The law will also expand storage laws, calling for the proper storage of firearms while living with someone under the age of 16.
The law will continue to permit licensed or supervised minors under the age of 16 to hunt and practice at a firing range.
"3D guns and improperly stored firearms pose an enormous risk to our children and today we're addressing both dangers head-on to keep our families safe," Governor Cuomo said. "These measures continue New York's legacy of enacting the strongest gun laws in the nation by helping keep firearms out of the hands of children and by acknowledging and addressing technological advancements like 3D printed guns."
Federal Judge Upholds New Jersey Magazine Capacity Ban - July 30, 2019
A federal judge on Monday upheld New Jersey's law that lowers the number of bullets a gun can hold, dismissing a lawsuit filed by a gun rights group. New Jersey passed a law last year that made it unlawful to possess firearm magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, with some exceptions. The state has said that’s enough for self-defense and that anything more could prove dangerous to bystanders. A 15-round limit had been in place since 1990.
The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs argued that the law only hurts law-abiding gun owners and homeowners because criminals will ignore it, and plans to appeal.
Previously, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia declined to grant an injunction to stop the law from taking effect.
U.S. District Court Judge Peter Sheridan based his ruling Monday on the 3rd Circuit's conclusion that New Jersey's law "does not violate the Second Amendment, the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause, and the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause."
Sheridan also denied the gun rights group’s request to delay action on New Jersey’s law while the U.S. Supreme Court decides a New York case the involves a restriction on the right to carry a firearm in public, writing that it poses a different legal question.
Maryland Gun Rights Groups Sue Over Concealed Carry Law - July 29, 2019
A gun rights group is challenging Maryland's concealed carry laws, arguing that a clause requiring gun owners to provide "good and substantial reason" to receive a concealed carry permit is unconstitutional.
Maryland is one of 10 states considered a "may issue" state, meaning authorities have discretion over whether to issue concealed carry permits to individuals.
Maryland Shall Issue is the group behind a lawsuit filed against the state's Handgun Permit Review Board in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. The lawsuit contends the state's laws are unconstitutional and have been superseded by other case precedents.
"This case may establish important new precedent in Maryland by making clear the right of self-defense applies to all 'the people' protected by the Second Amendment, not merely the tiny select few favored by the State Police," Maryland Shall Issue said in a post on its website.
Under Maryland's current laws, those applying for a concealed carry are interviewed by state police. Applicants can appeal to the Handgun Permit Review Board if they disagree with the decisions police make.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Holmes Whalen, the person Maryland Shall Issue is representing in Whalen v. Handgun Permit Review Board, who was denied a concealed carry permit by state police and on appeal to the review board. The case is tentatively set for oral argument in November, according to the Maryland Shall Issue website.
Florida AG Moves To Block Semiautomatic Rifle Ban Ballot Initiative - July 29, 2019
Florida's Republican attorney general is trying to scuttle a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban the type of rifle used in last year's Parkland school shooting, a move that comes as the state's gun control debate intensifies heading into 2020.
Attorney General Ashley Moody asked the state Supreme Court on Friday to block the ballot initiative, which is being pushed by Miami-based Ban Assault Weapons Now, a group that wants to ban most semiautomatic rifles. The group has gathered more than 99,000 certified signatures so far, enough to trigger an automatic legal review of the amendment by the state's highest court.
If organizers succeed in getting a gun control question on the ballot, it will inject another hot-button issue into what already is shaping up to be a turbocharged election in the crucial battleground state. President Donald Trump's key to victory in Florida, whose legislature and governor's office are controlled by Republicans, includes winning the state's 29 electoral votes again this time.
The amendment also could test the strength of the gun lobby in Florida, which had largely been successful pushing gun-rights legislation until the Parkland massacre led to the state's first significant gun restrictions in decades.
In a notice filed with the court, Moody said that the proposal as worded would ban "the possession of virtually every semi-automatic long-gun. To be included on the ballot, the sprawling practical effect must be revealed in the ballot language."
Moody also said that a provision that would grandfather existing owners of semiautomatic weapons is misleading because it requires owners to register their guns within a year. She called the amendment language "deficient" and said it would mislead voters.
New Lawsuit Challenges Two New Mexico Gun Laws - July 26, 2019
A conservative coalition filed a lawsuit this week challenging the constitutionality of two new gun laws in New Mexico, one requiring background checks, the other prohibiting the possession of guns by domestic abusers.
The New Mexico Patriots Advocacy Coalition also accused state officials of illegally blocking their right to petition for the repeal of 10 bills passed in this year’s legislative session, when Democrats held substantial majorities in both chambers.
Blair Dunn, the Libertarian candidate for attorney general last year, filed the six-page lawsuit Thursday in Curry County on behalf of the coalition.
It first asks a judge to authorize the circulation of petitions that would allow opponents of 10 new laws, including the gun legislation, the opportunity to gather enough signatures to force an election on them.
In the alternative, the lawsuit asks a judge to declare the two gun bills unconstitutional.
The suit says the approval of the background check legislation, Senate Bill 8, violates the right of New Mexicans to keep and bear arms. The new law interferes with private transactions, according to the lawsuit, by mandating a federal background check before most gun sales.
Another piece of legislation, Senate Bill 328, violates people's right to due process by requiring them to surrender firearms even if they haven’t been convicted of a crime, the lawsuit says.
Florida School Board Votes To Arm Teachers - July 25, 2019
Teachers in Okeechobee County public schools will be allowed to carry guns inside classrooms.
According to a district spokesperson, the school board voted on Wednesday night to revise its policy to allow teachers who volunteer, complete an application, are approved by the superintendent and sheriff, and complete all hiring requirements to be assigned to a training program.
Once that training is complete, those teachers will be allowed to carry a concealed weapon on campus.
Sheriff Noel Stephen said "The Okeechobee County School District and the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office have already opted into the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program under the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which was passed last year."
Through that program, school staff members who are not teachers can train to carry concealed weapons on school campuses.
The new measure passed Wednesday night would allow teachers to carry guns inside classrooms to protect students.
Philadelphia State Legislators Push To Allow City To Ban Guns At Rec Centers - July 24, 2019
Philadelphia's City Council president says he'll take another crack at a bill that would prohibit guns at parks and recreation centers and this time, he's enlisted the help of state legislators.
City Council previously banned weapons at city facilities, one of the gun regulations that's never been enforced because the state has authority over gun laws. This time, though, local state legislators are lined up to introduce enabling legislation in Harrisburg.
State Sen. Vincent Hughes will co-sponsor a bill in the Senate, giving the city the power to ban guns at recreation facilities.
"The task is simple: protect these places for children," he said.
And state Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell will co-sponsor a bill in the House.
"This legislation is so critical to Philadelphia," she said.
All the sponsors are Democrats, a minority in the legislature. But they say they're hopeful.
Virginia Majority Whip Resigns Over Special Session Gun Bills - July 9, 2019
A Virginia Republican senator has resigned his leadership role to protest a top Republican's push to ban guns in government controlled buildings.
Sen. Bill Stanley told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he's resigned as majority whip of the GOP Senate caucus after Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment sponsored legislation to implement a broad ban on guns in government buildings.
Norment's legislation caught both Republicans and gun-control advocates off guard. His GOP colleagues immediately pushed back. They say it's an infringement on the rights of law-abiding citizens to prevent them from carrying guns into government buildings.
Norment is married to a lobbyist for the city of Virginia Beach, where a municipal worker gunned down his co-workers in a mass shooting.
Virginia Senate Majority Leader Withdrawls Anti-Gun Bill 24 Hours After Introducing It - July 9, 2019
Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment announced Tuesday that he will withdraw the gun bill he proposed only 24 hours before.
Norment filed a bill Monday that would extend a state prohibition on guns in courthouses to any "building owned or used by a locality for governmental purposes." The proposal would also increase the penalty for breaking the law from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Political experts called Norment's bill surprising and unexpected considering Republicans have historically blocked gun control measures. So much so, the Virginia Senate GOP majority whip offered his resignation calling Norment's proposal "a great betrayal."
Tuesday afternoon, Norment said he will withdraw the gun bill because "as currently drafted, the legislation represents neither my views nor my intention."
Virginia Legislature Adjourns Until November With No Votes On Gun Bills - July 9, 2019
Less than two hours after beginning a special session called in response to a mass shooting, Virginia lawmakers abruptly adjourned Tuesday without taking any action and postponed any movement on gun control until after the November election.
The Republican-led Virginia Senate voted first to end the special session and adjourn until after November elections with a 20-18 vote following a contentious back-and-forth between lawmakers
Shortly afterward, the House, which has 1-vote Republican majority, voted 50-46 to do the same.
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam called the Republican-led Legislature to the Capitol to address gun violence in the wake of the May 31 attack that killed a dozen people in Virginia Beach. The meeting got off to a chaotic start, with the Republican Senate majority leader averting a mutiny in the GOP caucus by publicly disavowing a gun-control bill he proposed only a day earlier.
Lawmakers were summoned to consider a package of eight gun-control measures put forward by Northam, who called for "votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers" in response to the Virginia Beach massacre.
House Speaker Kirk Cox said the session was premature because the shooting is still being investigated.
"The whole thing is just an election-year stunt," Cox said.
Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment shocked his fellow Republicans by filing surprise legislation Monday to broadly ban guns in any government building statewide. That prompted an immediate backlash in the GOP caucus, which controls the chamber by a slim 20-19 advantage. His top vote-counter, Sen. Bill Stanley, resigned as majority whip in protest.
"Sometimes you just got to stand for principle," Stanley said.
Ohio House Committee Approves Constitutional Carry Bill - June 26, 2019
An Ohio House committee has approved proposed legislation to give Ohioans the legal right to carry concealed firearms without obtaining training or a license.
The House Federalism Committee sent the bill to the Republican dominated House on a 7-4 vote Wednesday. Three Democrats and Republican Rep. Ryan Smith voted against the measure. The panel voted 6-5 to remove a Republican-sponsored amendment requiring licensed firearms dealers to give purchasers a leaflet describing state gun laws after a pro-gun group and Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder objected.
Law enforcement and prosecuting attorney groups oppose the bill, especially a provision removing the duty of gun owners to tell police officers they’re carrying a concealed weapon.
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:
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.