Gun Related News Stories
Dangerous New Threat to Gun Ownership, Gun Violence Taxes - August 16, 2017
Thanks to a tortured ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court, the gun prohibition lobby has reloaded to use this tax for an assault on gun ownership.
On August 10 Washington's high court sided with the City of Seattle, which adopted a "gun violence tax" in a strategy to slither around the state preemption law that placed exclusive authority for regulating firearms in the hands of the State Legislature. And this new scheme could be coming to any city that has an anti-gun rights Mayor and City Council.
In Seattle's case, the tax is $25 on the sale of each firearm, plus two to five cents for each round of ammunition sold. This threat takes on even more sinister dimensions when one considers the potential for cities to simply up the fee. Seattle started with $25 per gun, but what if they want to raise that to $100, $500 or even $1,000?
It opens the door wide to making gun ownership prohibitively expensive for average citizens. Essentially, Washington's Supreme Court just handed the gun prohibition lobby and its allies in government a new strategy: If they can't ban or regulate gun ownership out of existence, they will simply tax it into oblivion.
The ruling creates a new battleground for groups like the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
FBI Admits Matching Gun Buyers To Terrorist Watch List In Court - August 12, 2017
Think all these bills trying to get gun owners 'screened' against the terrorist no-fly list are outrageous?
How about if we told you the FBI has been doing it for 10 years without permission from Congress?
Yup, that's right, the FBI has admitted in court that every form 4473 is matched against the terrorist watch list.
Time to call you congress critters and raise holy hell.
A federal lawsuit has finally brought the topic to light, please read the information in the link for more details.
Washington State Supreme Court Upholds Seattle Gun Tax - August 10, 2017
The Washington state Supreme Court upheld Seattle's gun and ammunition tax in an 8-1 ruling Thursday morning.
The city passed legislation in 2015 to charge gun shops $25 for every gun sale and a nickel for every round of ammunition, projecting that it would raise up to $500,000 a year for gun violence prevention programs. But in 2016, it raised less than $200,000, according to The Seattle Times.
The National Rifle Association was among those suing the city, arguing the tax is illegal because Washington state prohibits local governments from adopting laws related to firearms unless those local ordinances are specifically authorized. But the city said the measure is within its taxing authority.
The majority opinion, written by Justice Debra Stephens, determined the ordinance is not unconstitutional, saying it "imposes a tax because its primary purpose is to raise revenue for the public benefit. That tax is specifically authorized under RCW 35.22.280(32), which grants first class cities broad tax powers, including the authority to levy a flat tax on gun sales."
Innocent New York Vet Had Guns Confiscated Under SAFE Act - August 8, 2017
A 70 year old New York veteran spent months fighting to get his guns back after being wrongfully targeted for confiscation after a bureaucratic screw-up labeled him mentally ill.
Don Hall, who served in Vietnam, said police showed up at his house late one night with an order to take his guns. Hall said he was surprised by the order and didn't have any idea why it declared him "mentally defective." When he told police he hadn't ever had any mental issues, they told him he must've done something to trigger the state's restrictive New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act.
"They said that they never did this to anybody that they didn't know why they were doing it," Hall told Syracuse.com. "I said well, I don't know why.'"
The police then took six guns from Hall, four long guns and two handguns.
Hall and his lawyer believe the confiscation was the result of a report filed under the SAFE Act, as police told Hall the night of the confiscation. However, the New York Office of Mental Health told Syracuse.com the confiscation was initiated under federal law, which requires hospitals to report when somebody has been involuntarily committed. Either way, Hall said nobody would tell him what he was supposed to have done wrong or listen to his claims of innocence.
"I was guilty until I could prove myself innocent," Hall told the publication. "They don't tell you why or what you supposedly did. It was just a bad screw up."
D.C. Court Of Appeals Strikes Down 'Good Cause' Carry Clause - July 25, 2017
Today, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down Washington, D.C.'s 'good cause' handgun carry rule that plaintiffs in 2 cases argued constituted a ban on the right to keep and bear arms.
In today's Wrenn v. District of Columbia decision (a related case, Grace v. District of Columbia, was consolidated with Wrenn on appeal), a lawsuit helmed by civil rights attorney Alan Gura and backed by the Second Amendment Foundation, the Court held in relevant part that D.C.'s "good-reason" handgun carry ban laws were unconstitutional:
House Passes Spending Bill That Includes Sale Of Military 1911s - July 17, 2017
The House version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act was approved and included a plan to transfer the U.S. Army's remaining stock of .45 ACP M1911A1 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
Added as an amendment by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, while the NDAA was in debate in the House Armed Service Committee, it would speed up the transfer of potentially the largest remaining stock of military surplus World War II-era handguns in government hands to the public. The legislation passed 344-81 and was sent to the Senate for consideration.
"This policy has been included in the NDAA since 2015, but the Obama Administration blocked the Army to transfer the 1911s for political reasons," said Rogers in a statement Friday. "I am hopeful that with the help of the Trump Administration, we can make this provision a reality."
Two years ago, President Obama signed the FY16 spending bill into law, which authorized the Army may transfer no more than 10,000 of their estimated 100,000 surplus 1911s per year to the CMP during a one-year pilot program. However, the transfer was never implemented, leaving the pistols in limbo. Rogers' amendment, added as Section 1064, would strip away the 10,000-gun cap and make it mandatory for the pistols to move, striking "may transfer" and replacing it with "shall transfer" with the schedule in the hands of the secretary of the Army.
Florida Carry Takes Open Carry Case To US Supreme Court - July 10, 2017
A Florida gun group has filed an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case dealing with how Florida regulates open carry for weapons and firearms.
On Monday, Florida Carry Inc. filed an appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dale Norman vs. Florida case, a case revolving around how Florida regulates concealed weapons permit holders and the accidental brandishing of firearms.
It all started in 2012 when Dale Norman was found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor after his firearm accidentally became exposed outside of his house.
Norman was walking down the street in Fort Pierce carrying his handgun, which was not covered by his clothing. When a passerby saw the gun, the police were called and Norman was arrested.
A lower court found Norman guilty of violating the state's open carry ban, even though Norman had a concealed weapons permit for his handgun.
The court slapped Norman with a $300 fine and court costs, but the legal challenges didn't end there.
Norman alleged state lawmakers were wrong in banning open carry because it requires people looking to defend themselves to first get a concealed weapons permit if they ever want to protect themselves while outside the four walls of their homes.
The state, on the other hand, believes that if open carry were to be legal, legislators would have already passed a bill allowing it.
Judge Rules New Florida Stand Your Ground Law Unconstitutional - July 3, 2017
Florida's updated "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law is unconstitutional, a Miami judge ruled on Monday.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that lawmakers overstepped their authority in creating the law this year that forces prosecutors to disprove a defendant's self-defense claim at a pre-trial hearing.
The judge ruled that under Florida’s constitution, that change should have been crafted by the Florida Supreme Court, not the Legislature.
"As a matter of constitutional separation of powers, that procedure cannot be legislatively modified," Hirsch wrote in a 14 page order.
The ruling is a victory for prosecutors who have firmly opposed the law they believe makes it easier for defendants to get away with murder and other violent crime.
Federal Judge Blocks California Magazine Limit Law - June 30, 2017
A federal judge on Thursday blocked a California law set to take effect July 1 that bans residents under many circumstances from owning a firearm magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, court documents showed.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, in San Diego, issued a preliminary injunction halting the law while he takes up the underlying complaint filed last month by five California residents backed by the California Rifle & Pistol Association, a lobby group.
"If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one's self of lawfully acquired property," Benitez wrote in his 66-page order.
California has some of the nation's most complex gun laws. Battles over guns in California are part of a fierce debate over gun-control measures in the wake of deadly mass shootings across the United States, including the 2015 rampage at a holiday party in San Bernardino.
Since 2000, California has prohibited buying, selling, or importing "large-capacity" magazines capable of accepting more than 10 rounds, according to the complaint. There are some exceptions, including for active and retired law enforcement officers and for movie actors using a large magazine as a prop.
New York Assembly Passes Gun Violence Restraining Order Bill - June 29, 2017
A measure to establish "extreme risk protection orders" in the Empire State was approved by the lower chamber of the legislature this month.
The Democrat backed proposal, A.6994, would allow a family member, police officer, or district attorney to file a petition with the court for a judge to decide if a subject poses a threat to themselves or others. This could lead to an order prohibiting firearms possession for up to one year, which could be renewed. Proponents feel the move, already law in California and Washington, would save lives.
"Family and household members are often the first to notice when someone is in crisis or exhibiting dangerous behavior," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. "Preventing access to guns by individuals in crisis who are found to be a danger to themselves or others could prevent incidents of interpersonal gun violence and suicide involving a gun."
Under the measure's guidelines, if a protection order is granted it would prohibit the subject from purchasing guns while mandating they surrender any they already own to authorities. When the order expires the owner could get their guns back so long as they were not a prohibited possessor and then records of the proceedings would be sealed.
New California Magazine Ban Goes Into Effect July 1st - June 28, 2017
A new state law tightening up on gun control will go into effect Saturday, but not without a fight.
Voters passed the law in November, 2016. It will prevent gun owners from carrying magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Any gun owner who has a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammo will have to give it up their magazine by Saturday.
"All of our rights are becoming to be attacked," said John Lewis of Herb Bauer.
Lewis says a state law prevented them from selling high capacity magazines to the public since 2000. But those who already owned them were allowed to keep the magazines until now. Under the new law, those with high capacity magazines must destroy them or turn them into law enforcement with no reimbursement.
Supreme Court Declines To Hear California Concealed Carry Case - June 26, 2017
The Supreme Court will not intervene in a lower court's decision that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to carry a concealed weapon in public.
Gun rights advocates had asked the court to review a California law that gives local sheriffs power to require that those seeking concealed-carry permits show a particular need, such as a threat.
"Whether the Second Amendment secures an individual right to bear arms for self-defense outside the home" is the perhaps the "single most important unresolved Second Amendment question," said a brief filed by the California Rifle and Pistol Association Foundation.
Because California bans carrying weapons openly in public, the association said the state law can effectively prohibit carrying a gun in any manner outside the home.
Rhode Island House Passes Domestic Abuser Firearm Ban Bill - June 26, 2017
Heading into the home stretch, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted Monday to require convicted domestic-abusers to surrender their guns for up to six years.
The House approved the legislation, after more than an hour of debate, on a 55 to 12 vote.
The opposition was led by the 11 member Republican bloc, with Rep. Sherry Roberts, R- West Greenwich, among those arguing: "We are going to make many of our constituents into criminals needlessly."
"If you get some crazy person who really wants to kill someone and they don't have a gun, guess what?" she said. "They're going to find another means to do that. They'll hit them with a car if they have to and what are we going to do? Are we going to outlaw cars?"
But proponents called the legislation, now headed to an uncertain fate in the Senate, a "reasonable balance" between gun rights and a public health threat, that has left a trail of homicide victims in its wake.
"This isn't a liberal [versus] conservative debate. It's a life saving-debate," said the lead sponsor, Rep. Teresa Tanzi, D-South Kingstown, reading off the names of many of the 27 states that, along with the District of Columbia, have what she described as similar laws.
National Reciprocity Bill Gets 200th Supporter In The House - June 22, 2017
Legislation to treat concealed carry permits like drivers licenses nationwide is gaining steam in Congress while opponents dig in.
Introduced by U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-NC, on the first day of session in the new House, the bill now enjoys the support of Hudson and 199 co-sponsors from 42 states. The bill is largely Republican, with three Democrats crossing the aisle, and is currently one of the top 10 most-viewed bills in Congress.
"Your driver’s license works in every state, so why doesn't your concealed carry permit?" says a backgrounder on the bill circulated by Hudson's office. "Just like your privilege to drive, your Second Amendment right does not disappear when you cross state lines. However, conflicting state codes have created a confusing patchwork of reciprocity agreements for concealed carry permit holders."
Hudson's bill would amend federal law to allow those eligible to possess a firearm to have a concealed handgun in any state that allows individuals to carry a pistol or revolver. Those who do so would have to carry a valid permit with them as well as a photo ID. The bill also applies to nonresident permit holders.
A companion measure, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's S.446, has 37 co-sponsors, all Republican.
Florida Governor Signs Stand Your Ground Improvement Bill - June 12, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott on Friday approved a Republican-backed measure that clarifies the state's burden of proof in self-defense cases.
The legislation, SB 128, which expands justifiable homicide protections in Florida, was approved by the House 74-39 in April and 22-14 in the Senate last month. The law clarifies that the government, not the accused, has the burden of proof in a 'stand your ground' immunity hearing prior to proceeding to trial, which supporters of the effort felt should have been the case all along.
"“If the State of Florida is going to accuse a citizen of committing a crime, the State of Florida should have the burden of proof at each and every part of the proceeding," said Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, in a statement. "This legislation requires the state to meet the standard of clear and convincing evidence to overcome an immunity claim."
North Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry Bill - June 8, 2017
The North Carolina House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would allow state residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit. It now goes to the state Senate.
House Bill 746 would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit only in the same places where they currently are allowed to carry handguns openly.
It passed its final of three votes in the House 64-51.
The latest measure features certain restrictions and applies to persons 18 or older and who aren't otherwise prohibited by law to carry a firearm.
Supporters argue that the bill would equalize concealed carry-open carry laws in the state, while opponents continue to raise concerns about safety and gun violence.
Ruger Mark VI Pistol Recall - June 8, 2017
Ruger has announced a recall of Mark VI pistols manufactured before June 1, 2017. From their website:
"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."
Michigan House Approves Permitless Carry Bill - June 7, 2017
Any legal firearm owner could carry a concealed gun without a permit or mandatory training under a controversial plan the Michigan House approved Wednesday.
The House passed the four bill package in a series of votes mostly along party lines that prompted spirited debate. Supporters said it would extend constitutional rights to gun owners, while opponents argued it would endanger public safety without current rules required under the state's 17 year old concealed carry law.
Proponents argue that the legislation protects and upholds Second Amendment rights and scraps what they say amounts to a coat tax: a $100 permit application fee, a fingerprint fee and another $115 every four years to renew the license. Required gun training classes can also cost hundreds of dollars, a barrier to exercising a freedom enshrined in the state and federal constitutions, gun advocates said.
During the floor debate, Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, pointed to a copy of the constitution and said it was each law-abiding resident's permit to carry a concealed weapon in Michigan.
"Criminals do not obey the law. Criminals don't obey the gun laws we have now. And criminals won’t obey the new gun laws we pass. That is why they're called criminals" Chatfield said.
Michigan Constitutional Carry Bills Advance To House Floor - May 31, 2017
A package of bills backed by Republicans to allow law-abiding Michigan residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit passed a key House committee Tuesday.
The measures, HB 4416, 4417, 4418, and 4419 by Reps. Hoitenga, Hornberger, Allor, and Cole, won approval from the House Judiciary Committee 6-4. The sponsors argue open carry without a permit or training is already legal in the state.
"It only becomes illegal when someone puts on a coat, because the gun then becomes concealed," said Rep. Michelle Hoitenga, R-Manton, in lengthy testimony earlier this month to the committee. "One millimeter of clothing makes a difference between a criminal act and a legal act. My question is, why are law abiding citizens paying expensive fees for courses and permits to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms?"
The bills would repeal a host of Michigan's laws that require training and a state-issued permit to carry a concealed firearm. They do not eliminate the state's permitting system for those who wish to obtain a $105 license to carry to take advantage of existing out-of-state reciprocity agreements. Those currently unable to possess a firearm by law would still be barred from carrying.
Hackers May Have Florida Concealed Carry Persons Private Information - May 23, 2017
16,000 Floridians with data on file with the Florida Department of Agriculture may have had their personal information compromised. Most of the information was hacked from the Concealed Carry License Database, and the department is calling the hack unprecedented.
The Department of Agriculture says it fights hundreds of cyber-attacks each day, but it also says it has never experienced an attack like the one that obtained data on thousands of residents.
The Department of Agriculture announced the attack on its website Monday. The department says 16,000 people had their names, but no other identifying information, stolen off the Concealed Carry License Database.
Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam says, "This was an unprecedented attack. It came just a couple of days before the global hack that occurred."
Over 400 people who renewed their licenses with a credit card online had their social security numbers compromised.