Archive for category: State Firearm legislation
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.
2nd Amendment Rights Protected During Emergency In Hawaii; “Castle Doctrine” Enacted As Governor Signs Laws
Governor Linda Lingle today signed into law two important bills preserving 2nd Amendment rights passed by the recently adjourned 25th Hawaii State Legislature.
SB 358, SD1, HD2 introduced by State Senator Sam Slom (R-8th O’ahu – Hawaii Kai to Diamondhead) (Act 96) establishes provisions relating to prohibition against seizure of firearms or ammunition during emergency or disaster, suspension of permit or license. Prohibits any person or government entity to seize or confiscate, under any civil defense, emergency, or disaster relief powers or functions conferred, or during any civil defense emergency period, or during any time of national emergency or crisis, any firearm or ammunition and permit or license of any individual who is lawfully permitted to carry or possess the firearm or ammunition and who carries, possesses, or uses the firearm or ammunition in a lawful manner and in accordance with the criminal laws of this State. — Amends provisions relating to civil defense powers, in general. Section Affected: 134- (1 SECTION), 128-6.
Slom, a Trustee and Secretary of the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation said he introduced the legislation in part as a result of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath in New Orleans when law enforcement officials went door-to-door and seized legal firearms from legally registered owners. The court subsequently overturned the state’s actions. He said he also had worried constituents call this year during the Hawaii Tidal Wave alert. Citizens were concerned that the police would not be able to protect everyone and their property during a major emergency.
Slom added, ” I emphasize this law applies to legally owned and registered firearms. This is a good bill and Governor Linda Lingle should be thanked for her prompt attention to this important legislation which passed the Senate unanimously. Hawaii now joins 30 other states with similar legislation.”
The other bill signed today (Act 97) is SB0532 SD1 HD1 CD1 RELATING TO LIMITING CIVIL LIABILITY. Also known as the “CASTLE DOCTRINE”, and originally introduced by Slom, the version that passed was sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Brian Taniguchi (D-Manoa), By Request. Current Hawaii law requires a homeowner to “retreat” from his or her own home when invaded by a criminal engaging in a felony. The new law establishes provisions relating to owner to felon; limited liability. Provides that any owner of any other interest in real property shall not be liable to any perpetrator for any injury or death that occurs upon the real property during the course or after the commission of certain felony offenses. –
Section Affected: 663- (1 SECTION) OWNER TO FELON.
Slom said of this bill, “It represents common sense and confirms in Hawaii the old adage, “A man’s (or woman’s) home is his (her) castle.” It should put potential criminals on notice that they no longer can break in, commit a felony, threaten the owner and escape with no risk of personal harm. Both laws are about taking back our individual, Constitutional rights”
An update from Oklahoma :
Oklahoma law passed, 37 to 9, had a few liberals in the mix, an amendment to place the Ten Commandments on the front entrance to the state capitol. The feds in D.C., along with the ACLU, said it would be a mistake. Hey this is a conservative state, based on Christian values…! HB 1330
Guess what………. Oklahoma did it anyway.
Oklahoma recently passed a law in the state to incarcerate all illegal immigrants, and ship them back to where they came from unless they want to get a green card and become an American citizen. They all scattered. HB 1804. Hope we didn’t send any of them to your state This was against the advice of the Federal Government, and the ACLU, they said it would be a mistake.
Guess what………. Oklahoma did it anyway.
Recently we passed a law to include DNA samples from any and all illegals to the Oklahoma database, for criminal investigative purposes. Pelosi said it was unconstitutional. SB 1102
Guess what…….. Oklahoma did it anyway.
Several weeks ago, we passed a law, declaring Oklahoma as a Sovereign state, not under the Federal Government directives. Joining Texas, Montana and Utah as the only states to do so. More states are likely to follow: Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolina’s, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi, Florida. Save your confederate money, it appears the South is about to rise up once again. HJR 1003
The federal Government has made bold steps to take away our guns. Oklahoma, a week ago, passed a law confirming people in this state have the right to bear arms and transport them in their vehicles. I’m sure that was a set back for the criminals (and Obamaites). Liberals didn’t like it — But ……..
Guess what……….. Oklahoma did it anyway.
Just this month, the state has voted and passed a law that ALL driver’s license exams will be printed in English, and only English, and no other language. They have been called racist for doing this, but the fact is that ALL of the road signs are in English only. If you want to drive in Oklahoma , you must read and write English. Really simple.
By the way, Obama does not like any of this.
Guess what….who cares… Oklahoma is doing it anyway.
Federal government, BATFE, congress, president, and even the Supreme Court, you laws and rulings, violate the 9th and 10th amendment of the constitution. So thus unconstitutional and thus unenforceable. So says Alaska. Great news for gun rights and second amendment supporters.
Our legislators have come up with the statutory equivalent of my favorite lines from “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”
“Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”
In approving Rep. Mike Kelly’s HB 186, the Legislature is officially on record declaring that we don’t need no stinkin’ badges from the Federales to make and sell guns or ammo in Alaska.
Fifty of our 60 lawmakers agree that the U.S. Supreme Court, the Congress and the president have been wrong for a long time about what the 9th and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution mean regarding the powers of the federal government.
With Gov. Sean Parnell’s signature, it will soon be official state policy that in-state gun makers selling guns in Alaska are not subject to federal laws, federal regulations or federal registration, despite what the federal government says.
The message to the future firearms industry in Alaska is to not worry about federal prosecution or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The bill is almost the same as a measure approved in Montana and a half-dozen other states. One difference is that Alaska lawmakers did not include the comment by Idaho lawmakers that they “are declaring their intention of Idaho becoming the freest state in the Union.”
Perhaps the biggest difference, however, is that lawmakers in those other states, including Montana, Idaho, Arizona and Utah, placed limits on the size of weapons that are free from federal regulation.
In the other states, people still have to follow federal laws if the guns “cannot be carried and used by one person.”
Under the Alaska measure, however, the guns can be bigger than something one person can carry.
In the other states, the laws say that firearms with a bore diameter of more than 1.5 inches that use smokeless powder as a propellant and those that fire two or more projectiles with one pull of the trigger are not free of federal laws. Again, the Alaska measure has no comparable limits.
It is possible that after the Alaska firearms plan becomes law, the BATF will send a letter to federal firearms licensees similar to that which was sent last year to gun dealers in other states. Those letters said that federal law requires a federal license to manufacture firearms or ammo for sale, even if the products remain in state.
But if the feds come knocking on your door for violations of those firearms laws, don’t worry. The Alaska attorney general will defend you with both guns blazing.
No wait, I take that back.
Hold the celebratory gunfire.
The original version of Kelly’s bill said that the Alaska attorney general will ride to the defense of Alaska firearms makers with a posse of lawyers.
But the new state policy now says that the attorney general’s office “may” come to your defense. And you may find $1 million between the cushions on your couch tonight or you may wake up tomorrow as a member of Mensa.
If lawmakers really believe they are right to encourage people to ignore a federal law, they should not have been so wishy-washy with the pledge for free government legal aid.
Congratulations Arizona citizens. Your state has joined the growing list of states with a Constitutional Cary type law. Great job Gov. Jan Brewer
Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1108 into law Friday afternoon. It eliminates the requirement for a concealed-carry weapons permit, but does require gun owners to accurately answer if an officer asks them if they are carrying weapon concealed. It also allows officers to temporarily confiscate a weapon while they are talking to an individual, including during a traffic stop.
“I believe strongly in the individual rights and responsibilities of a free society, and as governor I have pledged a solemn and important oath to protect and defend the Constitution,” Brewer said in a news release. “I believe this legislation not only protects the Second Amendment rights of Arizona citizens, but restores those rights as well.”
The law goes into effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns for this session, which could happen in the next couple of weeks.
Arizona joins Vermont and Alaska in not requiring such permits.
“If you want to carry concealed, and you have no criminal history, you are a good guy, you can do it,” bill sponsor Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, has said of his bill. “It’s a freedom that poses no threat to the public.”
National Rifle Association lobbyist Matt Dogali said the new state law would not violate any current federal requirements.
“There is no federal requirement for a permit or lack thereof,” Dogali said.
The federal government oversees the background-check program required to purchase a weapon, which will still be required in Arizona in most cases.
Brewer last week did sign a separate law that exempts guns made and kept in Arizona from federal regulation, including background checks.
Arizona had 154,279 active permits as of April 4. Permit holders are spread across all ages, races and counties, but White males older than 30 in Maricopa and Pima counties hold the majority, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety data.
The permits generated $1.8 million in revenue last fiscal year, according to DPS. The money is used to help cover costs for enforcing laws related to the Highway Patrol, operating the concealed-carry weapon-licensing program and impounding vehicles.
Arizona’s permit process will remain in place, and many gun owners may still choose to get a permit. Permits would still be needed in order to carry a weapon into a restaurant or bar that serves alcohol. They would also be needed if an Arizonan wants to carry his or her gun concealed in most other states.
For those who do choose to get a permit, the education requirements do change under the new law. Classes are no longer required to be a set number of hours or include any hands-on use of the weapon. Those who don’t get a permit would not be required to get any training or education.
Retired Mesa police officer Dan Furbee runs a business teaching permit and other gun safety classes. He said if most people choose not to get a permit, it will put several hundred Arizona firearms instructors out of business.
“It’s going to hurt,” he said.
But he said what really concerns him is that the new law will allow people who have had no education about Arizona’s laws and no training on the shooting range to carry a concealed gun. The eight-hour class currently required to get a permit includes information on state law and gun safety, as well as requires students to be able to hit a target 14 out of 20 times. Furbee said his class at Mesa-based Ultimate Accessories costs $79, plus $60 for the five-year permit.
“I fully agree that we have a right to keep and bear arms,” Furbee said. “But if you are not responsible enough to take a class and learn the laws, you are worse than part of the problem.”
He said it’s not uncommon for students to walk into his classroom and pull a new gun out of a box with no idea how to hold it and no understanding of the laws surrounding it.
“If you are going to carry a concealed weapon, you should have some kind of training and show that you are at least competent to know how the gun works and be able to hit a target,” he said. “You owe the people around you a measure of responsibility.”
This new law is the latest of several that have passed over the past year since Brewer took over the office from former Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat.
Napolitano vetoed at least a dozen weapons bills that crossed her desk during her seven years in office, all of which would have loosened gun restrictions. In 2005, Napolitano rejected a bill that would have allowed patrons to carry loaded guns into bars and restaurants. In 2008, she also vetoed a bill that would have allowed people to have a hidden gun in vehicles without a concealed-carry permit.
In January 2009, Napolitano resigned to become U.S. Homeland Security secretary and Republican Secretary of State Brewer became governor.
During her first year in office, Brewer signed a bill allowing loaded guns in bars and restaurants, as well as another that prohibits property owners from banning guns from parking areas, so long as the weapons are kept locked in vehicles.
Innocent until proven guilty? Not in Colorado and not when it comes to your constitutional second amendment rights!
This bigoted, hateful, and mean spirited mesure has to be stopped in Colorado or it is possible that it could spead even further. This is a ken to the civil rights movement of the 1900’s and beyond. If they can do this firearm owners and purchasers who will be next?
The Colorado House of Representatives is currently considering legislation that would that would solidify an unconstitutional provision in the state’s background check system.
House Bill 1391, sponsored by State Representative Joe Rice (D-38), would extend a provision in state law that was due to sunset in July 2010. The provision the bill extends would deny gun purchases to those with an arrest on their record, even if they were never convicted. This deny-on-arrest provision would remove a constitutional right to own a firearm based on an arrest (an accusation), NOT a conviction. It directly conflicts with the fundamental American doctrine of “innocent until proven guilty.”
Because the disposition of an arrest record isn’t always available, the burden of proof falls on gun buyers to prove they are eligible to purchase a firearm. In many cases, this costs these individuals thousands of dollars of their own money to prove their innocense.
The bill has been scheduled for a hearing on Monday, April 12, in the House Judiciary Committee. Please call members of the committee and respectfully urge them to vote against HB 1391 and this unconstitutional attack on the Second Amendment rights of Colorado citizens. Contact information can be found below.
State Representative Claire Levy (D-13), Chair
Phone: (303) 866-2578
State Representative Beth McCann (D-8), Vice Chair
Phone: (303) 866-2959
State Representative Lois Court (D-6)
Phone: (303) 866-2967
State Representative Bob Gardner (R-21)
Phone: (303) 866-2191
State Representative Daniel Kagan (D-3)
Phone: (303) 866-2921
State Representative Steve King (R-54)
Phone: (303) 866-3068
State Representative Joe Miklosi (D-9)
Phone: (303) 866-2910
State Representative B.J. Nikkel (R-49)
Phone: (303) 866-2907
State Representative Sal Pace (D-46)
Phone: (303) 866-2968
State Representative Su Ryden (D-36)
Phone: (303) 866-2942
State Representative Mark Waller (R-15)
Phone: (303) 866-5525
NRA National Riffle Association cares more about their own political victories then the second amendment of the US Constitution we have proof.
The NRA is reportedly threatening to campaign against a pro-gun Iowa legislator because he is pushing a bill that is too pro-gun.
Rep. Kent Sorenson is an outspoken gun advocate and one of the leading voices for 2nd Amendment rights in the Iowa legislature. He introduced and pushed for a right-to-carry bill that would have given people the right to carry a gun, concealed or otherwise, without having to obtain a permit. The bill did not pass because of a tie vote. Other compromise bills have also been introduced. Sorenson is against these “watered down” bills, saying they don’t provide true gun rights.
The NRA is involved in crafting one of these compromise bills that was introduced last week by two traditionally anti-gun politicians. The bill was written in such a way that moderates could support it, giving it a better chance of passing.
Sorenson came out against the NRA bill. So according to a report on Ammoland.com, a lobbyist working for the NRA went to Sorenson and told him if he didn’t support the bill, the NRA would work to get his opponent elected in an upcoming election — an anti-gun candidate at that.
The NRA has not commented on the accusation.
Over the weekend the Iowa Senate approved a bill that overhauls the system for issuing permits to carry concealed weapons. It requires that sheriffs give a reason if they deny a permit and make such decisions based on consistent state guidelines.
Arizona Senate has given preliminary approval to legislation that would make Arizona the third state allowing people to carry concealed weapons without a permit
The Arizona Senate on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to legislation that would make Arizona the third state allowing people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
The Senate approved the measure in a voice vote, setting the stage for a formal vote. Passage would send it to the House.
The measure would make it legal for any U.S. citizen 21 or older to carry a concealed weapon in Arizona without the permit now required. Currently, carrying a hidden firearm without a permit is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
If the legislation is enacted, Arizona would join Alaska and Vermont in not requiring permits to carry concealed weapons.
The Wyoming House in February approved a bill to allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit, but the measure died in the Senate after gun-rights groups angered lawmakers with a massive e-mail campaign that clogged their inboxes.
By eliminating the permit requirement, Arizonans no longer would have to undergo background checks and take training classes to carry hidden guns. They would still be subject to background checks required under federal law when buying a gun from a store.
People carrying a concealed weapon would be required to tell a police officer if asked, and the officer could temporarily take the weapon while communicating with the gun carrier.
Mesa Republican Sen. Russell Pearce sponsored the legislation. Pearce said lawmakers removed a provision that would have allowed concealed weapons in some public buildings and events, following a request by Gov. Jan Brewer’s office. And they added a provision making it illegal to carry a hidden firearm while committing a felony.
The changes prompted the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police to drop its opposition to the bill. The organization’s president, Sahuarita Police Chief John Harris, said the chiefs saw the bill was going to pass anyway so they wanted to ensure it was as favorable as possible.
Supporters have said criminals don’t honor current laws, so the permitting requirements only burden law-abiding citizens who just want to protect themselves.
John Wentling, vice president of gun-rights lobbying group Arizona Citizens Defense League, said nearly all adults are allowed to carry a gun openly in Arizona and shouldn’t face extra restrictions just to hide the gun.
“To have them jump through all these hoops just to untuck their shirt just seems unconscionable,” Wentling said.
Opponents have said eliminating the permit requirement would pose risks to police officers and the public, partly through accidental gun discharges by people not adequately trained in firearms safety.
Under the legislation, permits still could be obtained on an optional basis so Arizonans could carry concealed weapons in states with reciprocity agreements. Permits also would be required to carry weapons in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.
Senators beat back an attempt to add an amendment requiring sellers at gun shows to verify buyers’ citizenship.
Arizona in 2009 loosened its gun laws to lift a ban on guns in establishments that serve alcohol, although gun-bearers still cannot drink alcohol and establishments can ban firearms.
Brewer, a Republican who took office in January 2009, signed that measure into law. Her predecessor, Democrat Janet Napolitano, vetoed several measures pushed by gun-rights supporters.