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Gun Related News Stories

Florida Pro-Gun Bills Dead In 2017 Session - April 17, 2017

It appears Florida won't be legalizing open carry, airport carry and campus carry, at least not this year.

A slew of gun bills proposed during this year's legislative session, all sponsored by Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, have once again ended up in the legislative graveyard and none of them will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee's final hearing Wednesday.

The committee, which Steube heads, has an agenda of over a dozen bills for its last meeting, none of which are gun-related. This week's meeting, during the seventh week of session, is the final Judiciary committee hearing until next year.

The lack of gun proposals on the agenda means gun activists will have to wait until then to make another push to expand gun access in the Sunshine State.

Nearly all of the gun proposals were effectively killed off earlier this legislative session by Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, who took a stance against the measures by saying she wouldn't support Steube's gun bills.

"Throughout my personal, professional, and legislative career I have expressed concerns with the reduction of traditional gun-free zones," Flores told Sunshine State News in March. "This is not something new nor should it be a surprise to those who follow the legislative process."

Federal Judge Upholds California Gun Law That Doesn't Exist - April 14, 2017

A Federal judge in California upheld a ban on persons who have a license to carry a concealable weapon (CCW) from carrying a handgun within 1,000 feet of a K-12 public or private school.

The problem is there is no such ban. California's Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 provides several exemptions to its ban on carrying a firearm within 1,000 feet of a K-12 public or private school and one of those exemptions is for those people who have a license to carry a concealable weapon.

Senate Bill 707 'SB 707' removed the automatic exemption CCW holders had when carrying a concealable weapon in schools and on school grounds. It did not remove the exemption that CCW holders have while carrying a concealable weapon (i.e., handgun) in the 1,000 foot gun-free school zone that extends from the grounds of a K-12 public or private school.

Iowa Governor Signs Sweeping Pro-Gun Bill - April 13, 2017

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) on Thursday signed one of the most ambitious expansions of gun rights legislation passed in any state in recent years, giving gun owners the ability to defend themselves in public and preventing local governments from implementing their own rules.

The new law, House File 517, comes months after Republicans won back control of the Iowa state Senate, which had blocked earlier proposals when Democrats ran the chamber.

"After 7 years of hard work, House Republicans successfully passed a comprehensive bipartisan bill protecting Second Amendment Rights for Iowans," the state House Republican caucus wrote in its weekly newsletter, before Branstad signed the bill.

Bloomberg Groups Vow 25 Million Dollar Fight Over Reciprocity - April 10, 2017

Preparing for life with Donald Trump as president and Republican majorities in Congress, Mike Bloomberg's gun control group is threatening to spend more than $25 million in 2018 races.

Everytown for Gun Safety, founded and funded by the billionaire former New York City mayor, is hiring several new top staffers and turning much of its attention to state legislatures, while moving to a defensive posture in Washington as it tries to stop what’s known as "concealed carry reciprocity" from becoming law. That will include starting to score Congressional votes, like the NRA does, to guide spending decisions more directly.

Utah Governor Signs Bill To Allow 18 Year Olds To Carry - March 23, 2017

Of a record 535 bills passed by the Utah Legislature before it adjourned March 9, governor Herbert has signed 313 thus far. The Republican governor has until March 29 to decide whether to veto, sign or allow remaining unsigned bills to become law without his signature.

Among the newly signed bills is HB198. The measure lowers the age for obtaining a concealed-weapons permit from 21 to 18. Although Utah law allows Utahns as young as 18 to purchase, possess and openly carry guns, most colleges and universities in the state ban open carrying on their campuses. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, said that has prevented young women from carrying guns as a protection against sexual assault.

North Dakota Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Bill - March 23, 2017

Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill into law allowing qualified people to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, his office announced late Thursday night.

The Republican governor signed the so-called 'constitutional carry' bill, which allows those who are not otherwise prevented from having a Class 2 concealed weapons permit and have had a state Department of Transportation-issued ID for a year to carry a concealed firearm. North Dakota currently offers Class 1 and Class 2 permits with reciprocity with other states, but House Bill 1169 is only effective in North Dakota.

Critics of the bill said other everyday activities, such as driving, require a government-issued license. But supporters said it reaffirms a constitutional right, and noted the Class 2 permit only requires the completion of an open-book test and a criminal records check.

Walther Issues Recall For CCP Pistol - March 20, 2017

Walther has issued a recall of the Walther CCP pistols because of what they call a potential condition in the CCP that can cause the firearm to discharge regardless of the manual safety being engaged or disengaged. Walther has issued a voluntary recall as a result and will be upgrading all affected CCPs in order to remove the risk of a drop-fire.

Walther asks CCP owners to not load or fire their CCP and contact them immediately to arrange for the upgrade to be done to your gun free of charge.

The upgrade will be performed by Walther for free, thankfully no cheapo gun owner will go on carrying a potentially unsafe firearm thanks to the recall being handled the right way.

Visit the Walther recall website to get the full rundown on how to have your gun repaired. You can also email or mail them the old fashioned way at Walther Arms, Inc. 7700 Chad Colley Boulevard, Fort Smith, AR 72916

Walther says that the current turnaround time is 3 weeks for the repair to be performed.

South Dakota Governor Vetoes Pro-Gun Bills - March 17, 2017

South Dakota's Republican governor on Friday vetoed a pair of bills that would have loosened restrictions on carrying concealed guns in the conservative state.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard had warned he would veto the bills; one to let people carry concealed handguns without a permit, the other to allow concealed weapons in the Capitol building. Daugaard has said the state's current gun laws are reasonable.

"As a longtime member of the NRA, I support the right to bear arms," Daugaard said in his veto letter for the permitless carry bill. "It is paramount that our state protect the rights of our citizens while at the same time protecting the lives of our citizens. I believe our current laws appropriately protect both interests, and I ask that you sustain my veto."

Supporters of both bills plan to attempt overrides; and if that's not successful, to try again next year. Neither bill got the two-thirds support that suggests an override would succeed. Both passed one chamber only narrowly.

Read more here:

Maryland Bill Would Disolve Concealed Carry Review Board - March 7, 2017

A Democratic state senator from Maryland wants to abolish the state's Handgun Permit Review Board, which gun control advocates say has become too willing to overturn state police recommendations about who should receive a concealed carry permit.

A bill proposed Monday by Sen. Richard Madaleno would dissolve the review board, which is staffed with gubernatorial appointees, and transfer the power to review permit denials to administrative judges.

Jen Pauliukonis, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, welcomed the legislation as stripping politics out of gun safety. She says the review board has overturned more recommendations from state troopers to deny permits since Gov. Larry Hogan (R) took office and reshaped the panel.

Miami Republican Say She Will Not Allow Pro-Gun Bills To Pass - March 7, 2017

en. Greg Steube came fully loaded this legislative session with nearly a dozen gun bills. He got one through a Senate committee Tuesday, but it may be the last to advance.

In a stunning setback for gun rights supporters, Sen. Anitere Flores, one of the most powerful lawmakers in Tallahassee, declared on the very first day of Florida's two-month legislative session that she likely would not support any of Steube's 10 other gun bills, leaving them with little chance of moving forward.

"He and I do not see eye-to-eye on probably any of the other gun bills," said Flores, a Miami Republican. "I do not support having guns on campus, I do not support having guns in airports, I do not support having guns in school zones. I don't support those things and Sen. Steube feels differently and that's fine but this is where we are this year."

Flores is the second-highest ranking Republican in the Senate and a close ally of President Joe Negron. Just as importantly, she is the decisive vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee is the first stop for all of Steube's gun bills. It has five Republicans and four Democrats, meaning if every Democrat opposes a gun bill it takes just one Republican to kill the legislation.

"Gun issues will continue perhaps to be debated," Flores said. "I don't know that they'll continue to be debated in this committee because these would be bills that I wouldn't be in support of."

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules That Passengers Can Carry Concealed Weapons On Buses - March 7, 2017

A state law that preempts local municipalities from enacting gun ordinances that are stricter than state law also bars cities from enacting rules that prohibit guns on public transportation, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

In a 5-2 decision, the court overturned an appeals court decision that allowed a Madison Metro Transit policy to ban firearms on city buses, saying it did not conflict with a state law that bars municipalities in Wisconsin from enacting ordinances or resolutions that restrict firearms more than state law.

Justice Daniel Kelly wrote the opinion for the majority. Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Shirley Abrahamson dissented.

John Monroe, who represented Wisconsin Carry, which brought the lawsuit that led to the court's decision, said he and Wisconsin Carry are pleased with the decision.

Interior Secretary Revokes Obama Rule Banning Lead Ammo On Federal Lands - March 2, 2017

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order Thursday overturning a ban on using lead ammunition on wildlife refuges.

Zinke signed the order on his first day in office, overturning a policy implemented by former Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe on Jan. 19, the Obama administration's last full day in office.

Ashe's policy banned the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on all FWS wildlife refuges that allow hunting or fishing, as well as in all other hunting or fishing regulated by the agency elsewhere.

It was meant to help prevent plants and animals from being poisoned by lead left on the ground or in the water.

"After reviewing the order and the process by which it was promulgated, I have determined that the order is not mandated by any existing statutory or regulatory requirement and was issued without significant communication, consultation or coordination with affected stakeholders," Zinke wrote in his order.

Florida Supreme Court Upholds Open Carry Ban - March 2, 2017

Rejecting arguments by Second Amendment supporters, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a longstanding state ban on people openly carrying firearms in public.

Justices, in a 4-2 ruling, said the state law "regulates only one manner of bearing arms and does not impair the exercise of the fundamental right to bear arms." In doing so, the Supreme Court sided with the 4th District Court of Appeal, which ruled in 2015 against a man arrested in St. Lucie County for openly carrying a gun in a holster.

"We agree with the 4th District and are satisfied that the state's prohibition on openly carrying firearms in public with specified exceptions --- such as authorizing the open carrying of guns to and from and during lawful recreational activities --- while still permitting those guns to be carried, albeit in a concealed manner, reasonably fits the state's important government interests of public safety and reducing gun-related violence," said the 47-page majority opinion, written by Justice Barbara Pariente and joined fully by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and Justice Peggy Quince. Justice R. Fred Lewis agreed with the result but did not sign on to the opinion.

But Justice Charles Canady, in a dissent joined by Justice Ricky Polston, said the law "collides with the Second Amendment right as understood" in a landmark 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Washington, D.C. gun law. He described as "feeble" arguments that the open-carry ban is justified for public-safety reasons.

Montana Governor Vetos Constitutional Carry, Post Office Carry Bills - February 24, 2017

In Big Sky Country, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock on Thursday scrapped measures expanding permitless carry and to allow guns on post office property.

The bills, passed along party lines earlier this month, would have updated the state's concealed carry laws while potentially setting the stage for a potential 10th Amendment challenge with the federal government. In the end, Bullock would have neither.

The carry reform legislation, HB 262, would have allowed the carry of concealed firearms in the state without a permit providing the resident can legally possess a firearm. Currently, the state enjoys a rural form of constitutional carry, with permits only required inside certain city limits. If signed into law, the patchwork system would have homogenized statewide to permitless carry, also known as constitutional carry.

"HB 262 would effectively eliminate Montana's concealed weapon permitting process by allowing anyone eligible to possess a handgun to carry a concealed weapon without a permit," wrote Bullock. "The measure would allow individuals to decide for themselves whether they are eligible to carry a concealed weapon."

House Bill 246, aimed at enforcement of federal laws prohibiting guns on property managed by the U.S. Post Office in Montana, was scuttled by Bullock over concerns it would violate both the U.S. Constitution’s Property and Supremacy clauses.

Feds Approve South Dakota Gold Permits Exempting Background Checks - February 24, 2017

The federal government has approved the 'gold card' and enhanced concealed carry permits that will allow South Dakota residents to purchase firearms without a background check.

The legislature created the gold card permit program during the 2016 legislative session and the enhanced carry provisions the year before.

Attorney General Marty Jackley announced Friday that both programs had been approved as alternatives to background checks by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms this week.

To get the gold concealed carry permit, residents must pay a $70 fee plus $43.25 for fingerprinting and pass a federal background check. The enhanced permit requires the fingerprinting and FBI background check, a $100 fee and the completion of a firearms safety course.

Utah Constitutional Carry Bill Comes Back From The Dead - February 22, 2017

Never believe it when a gun-slinging bill looks dead after a shoot-out. One arose from its supposed grave on Wednesday and blasted its way out of committee, leaving critics admittedly stunned.

The House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee voted 7-5 to resurrect and endorse HB237 to allow carrying concealed guns in Utah without a permit. It also contains new, greater protection for victims of domestic violence.

That bill,sponsored by the committee's chairman, Rep. Lee Perry, R had apparently died there earlier this month on a tie 5-5 vote. But a couple of members who were absent for the first vote appeared and supported it on Wednesday, after some minor amendments.

New Hampshire Becomes 12th Constitutional Carry State - February 22, 2017

A license is no longer required to carry hidden loaded guns in New Hampshire.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has signed legislation removing the licensing requirement for carrying concealed firearms. A representative from the National Rifle Association says that makes New Hampshire the 12th state that doesn't require a license or permit.

Now anyone who isn't prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun can carry it concealed without a license. The previous law gave police chiefs and local officials the discretion to decide if someone was 'suitable' to carry a gun concealed.

Supporters say the bill restores gun owners' constitutional rights. But opponents worry it will allow dangerous people to carry hidden guns.

Fourth Circuit Court Upholds Maryland Assault Weapon Ban - February 21, 2017

Maryland's ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons and its 10 round limit on gun magazines were upheld Tuesday by a federal appeals court in a decision that met with a strongly worded dissent.

In a 10-4 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., said the guns banned under Maryland's law aren't protected by the Second Amendment.

"Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war," Judge Robert King wrote for the court, adding that the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller explicitly excluded such coverage.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who led the push for the law in 2013 as a state senator, said it's "unthinkable that these weapons of war, weapons that caused the carnage in Newtown and in other communities across the country, would be protected by the Second Amendment."

"It's a very strong opinion, and it has national significance, both because it's en-banc and for the strength of its decision," Frosh said, noting that all of the court's judges participated.

Judge William Traxler issued a dissent. By concluding the Second Amendment doesn't even apply, Traxler wrote, the majority "has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms." He also wrote that the court did not apply a strict enough review on the constitutionality of the law.

"For a law-abiding citizen who, for whatever reason, chooses to protect his home with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a semi-automatic handgun, Maryland's law clearly imposes a significant burden on the exercise of the right to arm oneself at home, and it should at least be subject to strict scrutiny review before it is allowed to stand," Traxler wrote.

Virginia Governor Vetos Gun And Switchblade Bills - February 21, 2017

Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe on Monday vetoed a bill Monday that would have legalized the carrying of a concealed switchblade knife, carried for use in a lawful profession or recreational activity.

Del. R. Lee Ware Jr., R-Powhatan, sponsored House Bill 1432 at the request of a Richmond-area switchblade enthusiast, who said he worried that he and his colleagues in the Greater Richmond Knife Club are breaking the law by taking knives from their collections to monthly club meetings.

A second bill McAuliffe vetoed on Monday would expand eligibility for concealed handgun permits. It would allow military service members who are between the ages of 18 and 21 and on active military duty, or who have been honorably discharged, to apply for a permit.

Under current law, residents and nonresidents must be 21 to carry a concealed handgun.

Del. Jeffrey L. Campbell, R-Smyth, sponsored House Bill 1582. GOP proponents say that if young soldiers can be trusted with guns while fighting overseas, they should be allowed to carry concealed at home.

McAuliffe said in his veto message that "weapons familiarization training as a component of an individual's military basic training" does not qualify the person to carry weapons in follow-on service.

Montana Governor Says He Will Veto Constitutional Carry Bill - February 17, 2017

Gov. Steve Bullock indicated Thursday he's going to veto a bill that would allow anyone who legally owns a gun in Montana to carry a concealed weapon, without a permit.

House Bill 262, sponsored by Rep. Bill Harris, R-Winnett, passed the Senate on Wednesday and is on its way to the governor's desk.

At his weekly meeting with Capitol reporters, Bullock said Thursday he'll "take a close look" at the bill before deciding, but that if it's the same concealed-weapon bill he vetoed in 2013 and 2015, he'd have the same problems with it.

Harris' HB262 is identical to the bills Bullock vetoed in the previous two sessions.

Each bill says anyone who can legally possess a handgun in Montana cannot be required to have a permit, to carry a concealed weapon.

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