This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 18, 2016:
Recent victories, both small and large, are reflective of the paradigm shift in thinking about guns, gun ownership, self-defense, and the Second Amendment. After victories at the Supreme Court level, the restoration of gun rights battle has moved to the state and local levels.
For instance, last Friday Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law the Church Protection Act, which now allows church authorities to develop security programs involving church members with concealed carry permits to keep their churches safe. The law grants the same “Castle Doctrine” rights they enjoy at home in the event of a shooting incident.
The new law also expands the state’s permitless carry law to include belt and shoulder holsters in addition to the already allowed carry in purses, handbags, satchels, briefcases, and other fully enclosed cases.
Most importantly, the new Mississippi law prohibits state and local officials from enforcing federal gun control laws that haven’t been passed by the Congress and violate the federal and Mississippi constitutions.
Mississippi is the ninth state to recognize the right of a citizen to carry concealed without government permission. Only two states – Georgia and North Dakota – ban all guns from places of worship, while eight states prohibit those with concealed carry permits from carrying into places of worship. Every other state leaves the matter up to the churches individually.
Larry Dean, pastor of the Bridgetown Baptist Church in Nesbit, Mississippi, favors the new law, telling The Daily Beast, “The reality is that we’re a soft target. Anyone can carry a weapon at any time and do whatever evil they are going to do. Having a gun [owner among our parishioners] is one way to stop or restrain them.”
Not everyone was in favor of the new law, however. Larry Decker, the executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, called it “the worst bill in America,” adding that it puts “soldiers of God above the law, allowing them to act as judge, jury and executioner … this legislation emboldens extremists by creating a legal means for radical preachers to enlist their congregants into ‘God’s army.’”
The new law in Mississippi on Friday follows hard after the victory in Iowa allowing that state’s citizens to purchase, own, and use suppressors on their weapons without governmental permission, registration or fees. The Iowa bill took three years of hard work by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the Iowa Firearms Coalition, and the American Suppressor Association to persuade legislators to pass the bill. Said Joshua Waldron, the CEO of SilencerCo:
SilencerCo has been a strong supporter of the American Suppressor Association since its inception. We’re proud of the hard work they have put behind [the bill], along with the help of the NRA and the Iowa Firearms Coalition.
Because of the determination and educational push by these groups, Iowans can now enjoy the same rights as are held by law-abiding citizens in 41 other states.
And the Iowa victory followed two more in Florida in January. One exempts a “recreational discharge if ‘under the circumstances, the discharge does not pose a reasonably foreseeable risk to life, safety, or property’” while another stops prosecutors from putting people in jail for 10 years if they show a gun to scare off an attacker or 20 years for firing a warning shot.
Neither space nor time permits listing the victories, both large and small, being registered and enjoyed by pro-Second Amendment advocates simply because the list is too long. Suffice to say that there remains much work to be done. For instance, Iowa’s American Suppressor Association is now going after those few states, like California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York, that still have suppressor restrictions with their program “No State Left Behind.” Arizona congressman Matt Salmon is going after the 1934 National Firearms Act, which requires a $200 fee from a citizen who wants to own a suppressor. It’s that act which began the attack on guns in earnest under President Roosevelt and has served as the basis for all manner of mischief ever since, culminating in the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Clinton assault ban in 1994.
But a measure of the success in restoring Second Amendment rights is the fact that, despite massively funded efforts by gun-controllers like Michael Bloomberg and George Soros, there has been no major incursion into the Second amendment since 2004 when the Clinton assault weapons ban was allowed to expire. Efforts to restore that ban were rebuffed in the Senate with a vote of 84 to 16.
As Winston Churchill famously said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
And pro-gun advocates are pressing their advantage.
Washington Times: Mississippi governor signs law allowing church members to carry guns
GunDigest.com: Iowa Passes Bill Legalizing Suppressors
Huffington Post: Mississippi Bill Would Let Churches Create Armed Security Squads
AmmoLand.com: BIG Day for Gun Owners in Florida – Four Victories