Archive for category: Firearm legislation
The Congressional Progressive Caucus has announced it will introduce legislation designed to strip Americans of the right to defend themselves. Called “Stop Shoot First Laws,” the amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill under consideration in the House would deny states federal funding allocated under section 505 of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 if they continue to allow citizens to defend themselves.
“Shoot first laws have already cost too many lives,” said Progressive Caucus co-chairs Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva upon introducing their amendment. “In Florida alone, deaths due to self-defense have tripled since the law was enacted. Federal money shouldn’t be spent supporting states with laws that endanger their own people. This is no different than withholding transportation funds from states that don’t enforce seatbelt laws.”
“The message here is if you have this kind of law that your federal funding is going to take a hit because they make states less safe,” Adam Sarvana, communications director for Grijalva, told Politico.
<this is pulled directly and verbatim from http://www.shtfmovement.com/post122550.html.
H.R. 822, introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), would allow any person with a valid state-issued concealed firearm permit to carry a concealed firearm in any state that issues concealed firearm permits, or that does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms for lawful purposes. A state’s laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within its borders. The bill applies to D.C., Puerto Rico and U.S. territories. It would not create a federal licensing system; rather, it would require the states to recognize each others’ carry permits, just as they recognize drivers’ licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards. Rep. Stearns has introduced such legislation since 1995.
• H.R. 822 recognizes the significant impact of the landmark cases, District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010), which found that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms and that the protections of the Second Amendment extend to infringements under state law.
• Today, 48 states have laws permitting concealed carry, in some circumstances. Forty states, accounting for two-thirds of the U.S. population, have right-to-carry laws. Thirty-six of those have “shall issue” permit laws (including Alaska and Arizona, which also allow carrying without a permit), two have fairly administered “discretionary issue” permit laws, and Vermont (along with Alaska and Arizona) allows carrying without a permit. (Eight states have restrictive discretionary issue laws.)
• Citizens with carry permits are more law-abiding than the general public. Only 0.01% of nearly 1.2 million permits issued by Florida have been revoked because of firearm crimes by permit holders. Similarly low percentages of permits have been revoked in Texas, Virginia, and other right-to-carry states that keep such statistics. Right-to-carry is widely supported by law enforcement officials and groups.
• States with right-to-carry laws have lower violent crime rates. On average, right-to-carry states have 22 percent lower total violent crime rates, 30 percent lower murder rates, 46 percent lower robbery rates, and 12 percent lower aggravated assault rates, compared to the rest of the country. The seven states with the lowest violent crime rates are right-to-carry states. (Data: FBI.)
• Crime declines in states with right-to-carry laws. Since adopting right-to-carry in 1987, Florida’s total violent crime and murder rates have dropped 32 percent and 58 percent, respectively. Texas’ violent crime and murder rates have dropped 20 percent and 31 percent, respectively, since enactment of its 1996 right-to-carry law. (Data: FBI.)
• The right of self-defense is fundamental, and has been recognized in law for centuries. The Declaration of Independence asserts that “life” is among the unalienable rights of all people. The Second Amendment guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms for “security.”
• The laws of all states and the constitutions of most states recognize the right to use force in self-defense. The Supreme Court has stated that a person “may repel force by force” in self-defense, and is “entitled to stand his ground and meet any attack made upon him with a deadly weapon, in such a way and with such force” as needed to prevent “great bodily injury or death.” (Beard v. United States (1895))
• Congress affirmed the right to own guns for “protective purposes” in the Gun Control Act (1968) and Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (1986). In 1982, the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution described the right to arms as “a right of the individual citizen to privately possess and carry in a peaceful manner firearms and similar arms.”
Enroute to the U.S. Supreme Court
MISSOULA, MONT. – Plaintiffs in litigation to validate the principles of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA) have appealed an expected but adverse federal district court decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs in MSSA v. Holder include the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA), the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and MSSA President Gary Marbut of Missoula.
The MFFA is designed to test the power of Congress to regulate everything without limits under the narrow power given to Congress in the Constitution to “regulate commerce … among the states.” The MFFA declares that any firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories made and retained in Montana are not subject to any federal authority under the Commerce Clause. Congress must find some authority among the Constitution’s “enumerated powers” for every action it takes.
Plaintiffs filed the lawsuit MSSA v. Holder on the day the MFFA became effective in Montana, October 1, 2009. Since the MFFA enactment in Montana, the MFFA has been cloned and enacted in seven other states, and FFA bills have been introduced in the legislatures of 20 more states.
In a judgment entered on October 19, 2010, the district court granted the U.S. Motion to Dismiss. It is this judgment that is now appealed to the Ninth Circuit.
MSSA President and plaintiff Gary Marbut commented, “We’ve known all along that the district court will not provide what we seek, the reversal of a half-century of bad Commerce Clause precedent. We need to get to the U.S. Supreme Court for that. This notice of appeal puts us at the 50-yard line in our quest to get to the Supreme Court – it is a big step in the direction we need to go.”
Not only has the FFA concept attracted the interest and support of many other states frustrated with an overbearing federal government, but the MSSA v. Holder lawsuit has attracted an unusual, perhaps record, number of amici (amicus curiae, friends of the court). Some qualified observers say they’ve never seen a case that has attracted as much amici support at the district court level as this case has. Amici include the State of Utah (also representing several other states), Gun Owners Foundation (Gun Owners of America), the Goldwater Institute of Arizona, the Paragon Foundation of New Mexico, the Weapons Collectors Society of Montana, an amicus group of Montana legislators who supported the MFFA, and another amicus group of non-Montana legislators who sponsored or co-sponsored FFA bills in other states. The State of Montana has also intervened in support of the MFFA. Other amici are expected to enter in support of the MFFA when the lawsuit is argued before Ninth Circuit.
“It is totally obvious from the positions of federal participants, both lawyers and judges for the U.S.,” Marbut commented, “that the federal establishment definitely, almost desperately, wishes to prevent this issue from having a trial on merit.”
The likely options for the Ninth Circuit are to uphold the judgment of the district court or to overrule the district court and remand the case back to the district court for trial. Regardless of what action is taken by the Ninth Circuit, MSSA v. Holder is certain to be appealed to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court only reviews the district court dismissal on appeal to it, the Supreme Court can still rule on the merits of the case since part of the grounds for dismissal is based on merit.
New York City residents who want to own a gun may soon be denied permits if they are litterbugs, if they are bad drivers, or if they have fallen behind on a few bills.
Under proposed revisions to the police department’s handgun, rifle and shotgun permit procedures, the NYPD can reject gun license applicants for a number of reasons, including:
If they have been arrested or convicted of almost any “violation,” in any state; having a “poor driving history”; having been fired for “circumstances that demonstrate lack of good judgment”; having “failed to pay legally required debts”; being deemed to lack “good moral character”; or if any other information demonstrates “other good cause for the denial of the permit.”
Critics say many of the restrictions are vague, have nothing to do with one’s fitness to own a gun and are unconstitutional.
Supporters say the new restrictions will make gun purchasing more efficient and don’t give the NYPD any more power than it already has.
According to a Report of the Governmental Affairs Division, the changes came about as the result of two recent Supreme Court decisions.
“In District of Columbia v. Heller the Court found that a District of Columbia law banning the possession of handguns in the home was invalid due to the rights conferred by the Second Amendment; in McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., the Court applied that right equally to the States,” the report says.
As result, Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., chairman of the Public Safety Committee, introduced a proposal to lower the city’s fees for gun permits to ones that more accurately reflect what the city spends to issue them.
“Now the fees are going to be much less and they’re going to have a relationship to the amount of administrative costs that are involved, and in that way it will withstand the Constitution and the court challenge that most people expect will be coming down the road,” Vallone told FoxNews.com.
The current $340 fee for all pistol licenses would be lowered to $70 for a premises license and $110 for a carry license. Rifle and shotgun permits would drop from $140 to $65. Costs for license renewals would also be significantly reduced.
With the lower fees, the New York Police Department also introduced revisions to the police department’s gun permit procedures, which, unlike Vallone’s bill, need only approval from the mayor’s office, not the City Council.
“Although I do have oversight capability and I can have a hearing on it, I don’t have any formal say in it,” Vallone said.
Councilmember Dan Halloran says those revisions are intended to give the police more power to deny licenses, which could counter a possible spike in gun ownership triggered by the lower fees.
But Halloran and Vallone say the proposed restrictions give the NYPD so much authority that they violate the Second Amendment.
“The disqualification categories are downright scary. They’re completely open to interpretation and they really don’t measure anybody’s fitness to own a gun,” Halloran told FoxNews.com.
He pointed to a restriction stating applicants can be denied if they’ve “been arrested, indicted or convicted for a crime or violation, except minor traffic violations.”
“So now the city can deny a permit for a building code violation, a sanitation ticket for failing to sweep the sidewalk … an array of non-criminal acts,” Halloran said.
Another troublesome restriction, Halloran said, is one that allows permit denial if “the applicant has failed to pay legally required debts such as child support, taxes, fines or penalties imposed by governmental authorities.”
“So people who are in foreclosure, or have credit card judgments, maybe filed bankruptcy, can now be legally denied,” he said.
Applicants can also be denied, under the new restrictions, if they’ve “been terminated from employment under circumstances that demonstrate lack of good judgment or lack of good moral character.”
“It seems to me it’s more of an application to be pope than to be a gun owner,” Vallone said. “I don’t know anyone who would pass this thing. Anyone who has ever tried marijuana or has a bad driving history, lost a job regarding a lack of judgment – those are ridiculous criteria for gun ownership.”
But Jason Post, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office, said nothing in the proposal gives police a power they don’t already have.
“The revisions will make the application process more efficient and give more clarity to applicants for gun licenses,” Post told FoxNews.com in an e-mail.
Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, agreed, saying the changes appear to be a “fleshing out” of existing gun restrictions, and not an expansion of them.
“I think it’s a good faith attempt by New York City authorities to make sure that their restrictions comply with the Constitution standards that the Supreme Court’s adopted over the last two years,” he told FoxNews.com.
While some restrictions, like paying legally required debts, may seem irrelevant to critics, Helmke says they are not.
“Child support, taxes, fines and governmental penalties I think are legitimate things. Basically, if someone’s not complying with what the government requires of somebody, that’s usually a sign that you can’t trust them to follow the rules with something like a gun,” he said.
As for whether the rule could apply to failure to pay a cable TV bill, as Halloran implied, Helmke said, “I think he’s stretching it there.”
Halloran said the biggest problem is that the rules are open to that kind of interpretation, and he pointed to the clause that reads that applicants can be denied for failure “to provide information requested by the License Division or required by this chapter” or “other information demonstrates an unwillingness to abide by the law, a lack of candor towards lawful authorities, a lack of concern for the safety of oneself and/or other persons and/or for public safety, and/or other good cause for the denial of the license,” as the most obvious example.
“Could this be any more vague and open ended?” he asked. “Ask yourself, would any other constitutional right be subject to such vagaries? Imagine these requirements put to be eligible to vote, to have a lawyer, to be secure in your person or possessions, your right to a jury.”
Former federal prosecutor and constitutional law expert Douglas Burns said that while the Heller and McDonald cases allow guns to be regulated closely, New York’s proposal has some legal issues.
“If left unchanged, I think there could be some problems in court with it,” Burns told FoxNews.com in an e-mail.
With a few adjustments, though, the proposal could be made to stand up in court, he said.
“I think like any proposed amendments, it has to be fine-tuned — you can’t leave in “violations other than traffic” because under NYS law a violation is not a criminal offense, so I think that’s a problem. Also, as I said, the debt payment and job-firing language has to be fine-tuned; it is too broad…. I think the legislator does raise some valid concerns.”
The council is due to vote on the price changes, which are expected to pass, and to advise the police department on the restriction changes Wednesday.
Should the department decide to go forward with the proposed changes, Vallone says he is “seriously considering having an oversight hearing on this topic”
A Politician’s Stance On The Second Amendment Determines If You Are A Subject Or A Citizen a free man or a slave
Texas legislator Dr. Suzanne Gratia-Hupp said, “How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual… as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of.”
Every election cycle we see candidates with marginal commitment to gun owners doing a masquerade intended to deceive voters. A standard buzz-phrase these candidates use is “hunter access,” words designed to bait unsuspecting gun owners into thinking the candidate is truly committed to the right to bear arms.
Don’t take the bait for that particular trap, and don’t fall for the on-paper-only, hunting-sounding “groups” that emerge only shortly before each election to offer political cover for candidates who do not fully support the right to bear arms.
Rather, trust the entities that have been in the trenches for decades fighting for your rights – the Montana Shooting Sports Association and the National Rifle Association. Both MSSA and the NRA evaluate candidates for you. Find the MSSA evaluations at mtssa.org or at VoteSmart.org.
Don’t get sucked in by the photo op candidates who borrow a shotgun for a campaign photo. In Montana we call that “All hat and no cows.” Check candidates out carefully or trust MSSA and the NRA to have done a good job evaluating candidates for you.
As Dr. Gratia-Hupp implies, a candidate’s true attitude about your gun rights is a litmus for much else about that candidate.
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The Bill of Rights is not intended to be an inclusive statement of our rights. All of our rights are to be equally protected under the Constitution, whether enumerated or not. The Constitution, in general, and Bill of Rights, in particular, are intended to be limitations upon the power of the federal government.
Point 3: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is an Inviolable Personal Right. It is clear from the words of the men who founded this country that the right to “keep and bear arms” is an inviolable personal right and that there are good reasons for it to exist and to be protected by the Second Amendment. This is not a subject for debate, except for those ignorant of our history or those that purposely wish to debase the American citizenry under the tyranny of government and ultimately into subjugation. Anyone who holds the position that the American people do not possess an individual right to keep and bear arms, or that it may be legislated away through gun control laws, is ignorant of the basis upon which this country was founded; including the means by which the founders intended for us to maintain our personal liberties.
“This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty …. The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction” — St. George Tucker, Judge of the Virginia Supreme Court and U.S. District Court of Virginia in Blackstone Commentaries, 1803
“That the Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe on the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent ‘the people’ of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms… ” — Samuel Adams in arguing for a Bill of Rights, from the book “Massachusetts,” Pierce & Hale, 1850 pg. 86-87
“The great principle is that every man be armed…. everyone who is able may have a gun.” — Patrick Henry
“As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” — Tench Coxe in “Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution,” under the pseudonym “A Pennsylvanian” in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789.
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” — Jefferson’s “Commonplace Book,” 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764
“[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” — James Madison, Federalist, No. 46.
I would like to point out in Mason’s article, he states two things is one sentence: 1. That The Constitution is a Limitation on the Power of Government and 2. the Bill of Rights is not an inclusive listing of personal rights.
The rights are already there as the creators of the constitution believed, that they were granted by God, and should be rights to all people on the earth. But sadly, this is not the case by far. The Bill of Rights is to limitthe power of the federal government–created by the states to serve the states and its citizens.
This ban is no surprise to us. However the particular item and reasoning is perplexing. The item the US made and lent out M1 Garand. You the military lent these iconic firearms that helped us win World War II out to friendly nations after the end of the war. Now they are coming back. Well Obama has banned them coming back. Watch the video below for more details.
Obama Finally Reveals His Anti-Gun U.N. Intent; By Sending Ex-Seattle Mayor as U.N. Rep on Gun Control
BELLEVUE, Wash., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The appointment of anti-gun rights former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels as an alternate representative to the United Nations has removed any doubt about the Obama administration’s intentions regarding global gun control initiatives, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
Nickels, a founding member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the author of Seattle’s failed attempt to override Washington’s state firearms preemption statute, was sworn in Wednesday to “help represent the United States in the UN assembly,” according to the Seattle Times.
“Putting an extremist gun banner in any position to represent this country at the United Nations amounts to renting a billboard for advertising against the Second Amendment,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “While he was Seattle’s mayor, Greg Nickels supported every anti-gun scheme put forth by Washington CeaseFire, the Northwest’s most active gun prohibition lobby.
“Nickels is a gun ban proponent,” he continued, “so his appointment as an alternate to the UN is a clear signal of Barack Obama’s intention to rubber stamp the UN’s global gun ban agenda. We had to sue Nickels while he was still Seattle’s mayor to overturn his illegal city parks gun ban. Now he gets to push his anti-gun philosophy on a world scale. It hardly seems a coincidence that Nickels has been appointed by the Obama administration at a time when the UN is considering treaties and initiatives that pose a serious threat to the Second Amendment.”
Nickels was turned out of office in 2009, which was something of a feat in a liberal enclave like Seattle, Gottlieb recalled. His defeat in the primary demonstrated the degree of alienation voters felt from a politician who once epitomized the Seattle liberal establishment.
“By naming Greg Nickels as an alternate representative at the UN,” Gottlieb stated, “President Obama has essentially told America’s 85 million gun owners that their firearm civil rights are in jeopardy. Nickels cannot be counted on to defend the Second Amendment because he would like to see it erased from the Constitution.”
With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (www.ccrkba.org) is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States.
SOURCE Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
The Arms Trade Treaty Prep Committee began on July 12, 2010 and will conclude on July 23, 2010. Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan of Argentina is the Chair. On Friday, July 19, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) representatives were told that the majority of the meetings would be closed to them. The critical discussions on the scope of the treaty will have no input from any non-governmental entity. Scope is critical in the Arms Trade Treaty process. In North America, some Pan Asian Countries and in some other parts of the world, the arms that we expect to have covered in this treaty are nuclear weapons. In much of Europe and most all of Africa, the delegates anticipate that the ATT will cover rifles, shotguns, handguns and ammunition as well.
There appears little doubt that some sort of treaty will be adopted by 2014, if not by 2012. It is anticipated that the final treaty will attempt to register all firearms, require micro-stamping, destruction of surplus ammunition on a very set schedule, registration of all firearms and restriction on any transfer of arms including between private individuals and many other restrictions. If the United States is a signatory and this is ratified by the U.S. Senate, this UN treaty would be the law. On October 30, 2009, UN members voted in favor of an ATT. The United States voted in favor of an ATT.
The UN has an aggressive schedule of meetings planned to push for these restrictions and we will be there representing you in every way we can. We will be at the CTOP/COP meeting in Vienna the week of October 18 and a General Assembly meeting at the end of October. In January, the five permanent members of the Security Council will meet and this is on the agenda. There will be another ATT Preparatory meeting at the end of February in New York. The regional UNIDIR meeting sponsored by the EU will start in March. We will come full circle with the Programme of Action Experts Meeting in May 2011 and the July 17-21 ATT Preparatory meeting that is expected to offer the final draft to the treaty.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the U.S. State Department Celebrates U.N. Gun Destruction Event
Gun owners hold onto your firearms. This may come to a city near you.
Today, the U.S. State Department announced its support for the United Nations’ “International Small Arms Destruction Day.” The State Department, under the leadership of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calls this ridiculous event part of the United States’ ongoing efforts to support the “rule of law around the world” and boasts of spending more than $130 million to destroy “1.4 million small arms and light weapons.” A press release from the State Department says this money was spent at the behest of the anti-gun United Nations to reduce the impact of “illicit flows of small arms and light weapons.”