Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Constitution

1961 Supreme Court Decision Likely to Decide Sanctuary City Issue

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 17, 2019:  

When three Cleveland police officers demanded entry into Dollree Mapp’s home in 1957, she demanded to see a search warrant. They didn’t have one. They were looking for a bombing suspect. When they returned a few hours later, they claimed they now had a search warrant but didn’t show it to her. They entered her home anyway and didn’t find the suspect. Instead they found some “lewd” literature, possession of which was illegal under Ohio law.

She was tried, convicted, and sentenced for possession. Her conviction was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court but reversed by the Supreme Court in 1961:

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Florida Governor Signs Ban on Sanctuary Cities; President Trump Approves

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 17, 2019:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he was fulfilling a campaign promise on Friday when he signed into law a bill prohibiting local municipalities from adopting “sanctuary city” laws. The new law, which becomes effective next month, also requires law-enforcement officials in the state to “cooperate” with federal ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officials when they present a “detainer request” on individuals being held on criminal charges in the state. The new law also provides sanctions for law-enforcement officials who don’t comply.

Tweeted DeSantis:

Earlier this year I made a promise that we would ban sanctuary cities in Florida and today we are delivering on that promise.

 

I am proud to sign the bill … to uphold the law and ensure that our communities are safe.

Then the governor compared sanctuary cities to “gun-free zones”:

Sanctuary cities basically created law-free zones where people can come to our state illegally and our country illegally, commit criminal offenses and then just walk right out the door and continue to do it.

Upon learning about the action of DeSantis, President Trump tweeted:

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“Originalist Thinking” Informing Recent Court Rulings

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, June 5, 2019: 

Steven Calabresi carefully defined the difference between “originalism” and “living constitutionalism.” A law professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, Calabresi wrote:

Originalism is a theory of the interpretation of legal texts, including the text of the Constitution. Originalists believe that the constitutional text ought to be given the original public meaning that it would have had at the time that it became law….

 

Living constitutionalists believe that the meaning of the constitutional text changes over time, as social attitudes change, even without the adoption of a formal constitutional amendment.

Candidate Trump promised to nominate only “originalists” to fill judicial vacancies, and he has kept, and is keeping, his promise. One of them, Trevor McFadden, now sits on the bench of the District Court for the District of Columbia and gave a lesson on “originalist” thinking in a recent case:

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Trump Judge Rules House Can’t Stop Him From Building Wall Using Other Funds

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 4, 2019:

As a candidate for president Donald Trump promised that, if elected, he would nominate judges and justices on the basis of their commitment to “original intent” of the Founders when they crafted the U.S. Constitution in 1787. One of those judges used the words of our Founders in a ruling on the contentious issue of President Trump’s “beautiful wall.” Trevor McFadden, who served previously as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department, was nominated to the District Court for the District of Columbia in June 2017 and took office in October.

The “beautiful wall” issue came to his attention after House Democrats sued Trump and his administration, claiming that he broke the law by threatening to move monies the House had already approved for other purposes toward building the wall.

McFadden disagreed in his ruling issued on June 3:

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Virginia Beach Shooting Gives Gun-Grabbers Another Opportunity

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Saturday, June 1, 2019: 

The shooting at a state government office building in Virginia late Friday afternoon by an employee seeking revenge over being fired from his job is already giving anti-gunners another opportunity to promote their anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment agenda.

DeWayne Craddock, a 40-year-old former engineer with the city’s public utilities department, planned his attack carefully in advance. Police reported that over recent weeks he legally purchased a number of firearms including the .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and semi-automatic rifle that he used in his attack. He chose the perfect time to commit his crime:

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Alabama Targets Roe v. Wade With Its Complete Abortion Ban Bill

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 15, 2019: 

The bill that just passed the Alabama State Senate banning almost all abortions in the Yellowhammer State was designed specifically to challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. The bill — House Bill 314, the “Human Life Protection Act” — declares that a fetus is a human being with all inherent rights, and that a provider performing an abortion that ends that life could be sentenced to life in prison. There are no exceptions for rape or incest; the only one is when “an abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk” to the mother.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Terri Collins, called the bill a “direct attack” on Roe v. Wade, adding, “The heart of this bill is to confront a decision that was made by the court in 1973 that said the baby in the womb is not a person. This bill addresses that one issue. Is that baby in the womb a person? I believe our law says it is.”

The ACLU of Alabama, along with the National ACLU and Planned Parenthood, is preparing a lawsuit to challenge the bill even though it has yet to be signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey. She is expected to sign it, but even if she doesn’t, the strong majorities in both houses that passed the bill would be more than sufficient to override her veto.

The legislation was drafted by Eric Johnston,

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Dems Call for More Gun Control After Colorado Shooting

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 8, 2019:

The shooting by two students at the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) high school in Highlands Ranch (a suburb of Denver) that left one student dead and eight others wounded, some seriously, predictably elicited calls for more gun control from a number of progressive Democrats. The fact that the school was located just seven miles away from Columbine High School, and that the shooting took place just three weeks after the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, was just gravy on that red meat.

In their tweets and other public statements, the Democrats said nothing about the

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Anti-gunners’ Narrative Blown Up Again by John Lott

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 6, 2019: 

John Lott never intended to be a lightning rod in the war over the Second Amendment. He studied to be an economist, hoping to hide out in a think tank somewhere and crank out scholarly articles on economics, heavily laden with statistics. But in 1997, curious about how gun laws might be impacting violent crime, he co-authored an article with a fellow academic at the University of Chicago that concluded that the increasing presence of privately owned firearms was having a favorable impact on gun violence.

He published More Guns, Less Crime in 1998, which altered his professional life direction dramatically. Using his statistician’s mind, he proved that as more and more Americans took advantage of their right to keep and bear arms, gun violence began its decades-long decline.

Critics attacked his analysis, so Lott revised his study, republishing More Guns, Less Crime in 2010. Since then, he has written The Bias Against Guns and founded his Crime Prevention Research Center. Unwittingly, Lott has become what Newsweek called “The Gun Crowd’s Guru.”

And he’s done it again. Anti-gunners have protested that the presence of firearms on school campuses would lead to more violence: teachers should teach and not pack; students could snatch guns away from unsuspecting teachers; accidents could happen; etc., etc. With Texas and Florida proposing to expand the freedom of school teachers to carry concealed on campus, Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group Moms Demand Action warned that this “would make school a much more dangerous place for our children.”

The same tune was sung by the Giffords Law Center (GLC), which this writer took to task last month here, calling its study of how teachers were mishandling their firearms “laughable.” (See Sources below)

We wrote at the time:

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John Lott’s Latest Study Refutes Claims That Schools With Armed Teachers Are Dangerous

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 6, 2019:

John Lott couldn’t find a single instance of a shooting on a school campus where teachers and staff were permitted to carry concealed, going all the way back to 2000.

John Lott’s latest study refutes claims by anti-gunners that the presence of firearms on school campuses increases the chances of gun violence. President of his Crime Prevention Research Center, Lott’s study answered two questions raised by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Giffords Law Center and others: 1) Does letting teachers carry a firearm on campus and in the classroom increase the chances of gun violence?; and 2) Does the presence of those teachers carrying legally deter mass shooters?

The study, released last month, found: “We don’t need to guess how the policy would work. There has yet to be a single case of someone being wounded or killed from a shooting, let alone a mass public shooting, between 6 AM and midnight at a school that lets teachers carry guns” since at least January 2000. Fears that a student might grab a firearm from a teacher and use it to commit gun violence are groundless as well, said Lott’s study: “Students obtaining teachers guns have not occurred at all.” Appropriately, Lott entitled his study: “Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry Guns are Extremely Safe.”

On the other hand, shootings on campuses where teachers and staff are prohibited from carrying concealed have “increased significantly — doubling [in number] between 2001 and 2008 versus 2009 and 2018.”

The study concluded:

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House Committee Hearings Are Becoming White Noise

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 3, 2019: 

The endless hearings over the Mueller Report are becoming white noise to that part of the voting demographic that Democrats need the most to have any chance of ousting Donald Trump in 2020: the independent voter. As Karl Rove (George W. Bush’s campaign manager and Republican policy wonk) wrote:

House committee chairmen won’t stop trying to oust Mr. Trump. Reps. Jerry Nadler (Judiciary), Adam Schiff (Intelligence), Elijah Cummings (Oversight), and Maxine Waters (Financial Services) will keep issuing demands and subpoenas.

 

The country will have to put up with endless hearings built around five minutes of questions of varying quality by mostly forgettable members of Congress, punctuated by a few moments of drama.

And just who are these “mostly forgettable members?” Without exception they are far-left liberals with simply awful voting records. For those who consider elections as nothing more than popularity contests, voting records mean little. But for those who understand the underpinnings of the republic, they mean everything. The founders built in numerous limitations and restrictions to keep people like Nadler, Schiff, et al from wreaking their totalitarian havoc on the citizenry. As Thomas Jefferson noted: “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government; so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so that the second will not become a legalized version of the first.”

This writer prefers the Freedom Index (FI), published by the John Birch Society, because it compares politicians’ voting records to those “chains of the Constitution” and creates an index from zero to 100 depending on how closely their votes hew to those chains and limitations.

For Nadler, his FI is 24 out of 100. Translation:

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“No More Mr. Nice Guy” Trump Fights Back Against Congressional Attempts to Embarrass Him

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 24, 2019: 

The second demand for Trump’s income tax returns and related documents for the past six years was for all practical purposes ignored by the White House. The deadline imposed by the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Richard Neal (D-Mass.) was 5 p.m. Tuesday. Instead Neal received a letter from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting more time to consider the matter:

 History demonstrates that private tax information is susceptible to abuse for partisan purposes — regardless of which party is in power. Unless carefully restrained by law, this risk threatens the privacy of all taxpayers….

 

[Your committee’s request is] unprecedented [and] this Department cannot act upon your request unless and until it is determined to be consistent with the law.

Mnuchin then threw down the gauntlet: “Article I [of the U.S. Constitution] grants Congress no express power to investigate.”

Neal is reportedly considering his options.

Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is way ahead of Neal and has already issued more than 100 subpoenas in his quest to obtain information from the president that would be used to embarrass him and give Democrats ammunition in the upcoming presidential election campaign next year.

After having given the Mueller investigation team full access to more than 1.5 million documents, Trump has had enough. In an interview with the Washington Post on Tuesday, he said: “There is no reason to go any further, and especially in Congress where it’s very partisan — obviously very partisan.”

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, agrees:

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“Second Amendment Sanctuary” Movement Explodes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 18, 2019: 

It’s unlikely that Joe Thoele, a member of the board of Effingham County, Illinois, had any idea that his unhappiness over Springfield’s anti-gun measures would spark a national resistance movement. A year ago all he wanted to do was send a message to the anti-gun politicians in his state’s capitol: “I would just like to send a statement to Springfield that I don’t want them to be infringing on our Second Amendment rights as legal gun owners.”

Thoele persuaded six of the seven other members of the board to pass a resolution declaring his county (population 34,000) a “sanctuary” county. After all, if political entities such as counties and states could declare themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants, why couldn’t they declare themselves sanctuaries for legal gun owners?

Effingham County’s resolution not only targeted a number of anti-gun proposals and laws emanating from Springfield, but also

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County Sheriff Blasts Colorado’s Red Flag Law on Facebook

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 15, 2019:

More than half of Colorado’s county sheriffs are on record opposing the Red Flag (ERPO) bill signed into law by Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Friday. One of them went a very large step further: He posted the reasons for his opposition to it in a carefully crafted, thoughtfully drawn six-page statement on his Facebook page.

Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek wrote that, under the new law to be effective January 1, 2020:

A household/family member could petition the court for an order requiring the Respondent to immediately surrender all firearms and any concealed carry permit. A law enforcement agency could also petition the court for a search warrant, based upon presumptive criminal acts.

 

Upon a judge’s order, without notice, or the accused’s ability to defend charges, his property is taken away. Imagine … their first awareness of an issue is when police arrive at their home stating that they represent the government and are there to confiscate their guns.

 

It’s not hard to imagine how that could elicit conflict, which could easily escalate to a physical encounter, as the defendant attempts to protect their property, placing deputies in immediate danger.

This was the story of Gary Willis, as covered by The New American. Awakened early one morning by sheriff’s deputies from Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Willis answered the door “with a gun in his hand,” according to a department spokesman. According to that spokesman, Willis put his firearm down to read the ERPO but then, apparently recognizing that it wasn’t a legal search warrant issued by a judge in accordance with protections guaranteed to him by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but instead was issued by a local judge under Maryland’s newly minted “red flag” law, he retrieved his firearm.

The spokesman said that Willis “became irate.” In the melee that followed, one of the firearms carried either by one of the deputies, or by Willis, went off. One of the officers then shot Willis dead.

The problems with Colorado’s new law are the same as those with Maryland’s, wrote van Beek:

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Giffords’ Report on People Mishandling Guns in Schools Is Laughable

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 10, 2019: 

President Lincoln would not have been able to contain himself. In his sixth debate with Senator Stephen Douglas in October, 1858, Lincoln relieved himself of a quote that reverberates down to today:

Has [your argument] not got down as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death?

In an effort to justify its existence – stridently anti-gun – the Giffords Law Center (GLC) published a report with as much substance as Lincoln’s pigeon. Its position has been that guns are dangerous and that therefore no one should own one. It reported on how guns are being mishandled in schools in America.

It based its report on data obtained from another equally anti-gun group, the Gun Violence Archive, founded in 2014 and staffed with 20 eager researchers trying to find something – anything – to bolster Giffords’ position. After researching the past five years, it found some 60 “incidents” where guns were mishandled in some way in schools. Its email promotion of the study was breathless: “This week Giffords Law Center released indisputable evidence that armed adults frequently mishandled guns in schools.”

Hang on tight. It gets better.

Three of those “incidents” occurred in Pennsylvania. Philly.com reported that at the Russell Byers Charter School in Center City, a middle school student bumped into a staffer’s bag during class last year and realized that it contained a firearm! That “incident” was included in the study. At a Washington County high school, a student found a loaded gun that a security guard had left behind in the Men’s Room. That outrageous “incident” made its way into the study. And in Chambersburg in Franklin County, a group of elementary school students found a teacher’s loaded gun on top of a toilet! One more “incident” to prove the point.

It gets even better. Three students were injured in a school in Seaside, California, when a teacher accidentally fired his gun in a classroom during a safety demonstration. In another instance, a first grade substitute teacher in Blountsville, Alabama, was arrested after “his gun accidentally discharged” and a bullet fragment hit one of his students.

That’s it.

A perusal of the other “incidents” reveal how far GLC, using the data from GVA, has to reach to prove its point: guns are dangerous, teachers are stupid and not to be trusted, professionals make mistakes, and therefore no one should be allowed to own one.

Consider:

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Missouri Tries Again to Become a “Second Amendment” Sanctuary State

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 10, 2019:

Now that Missouri has a Republican governor, that state’s legislative body is trying again to pass its “Second Amendment Protection Act,” legislation that would nullify most federal gun-control legislation. Last week, a Missouri Senate Committee held a hearing on that bill that would ban any person in the state, including any public official or employee of the state, from attempting to enforce any “acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules or regulations” that infringe on the right of Missourians to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

A similar bill that passed the state legislature in 2014 was vetoed by then-Democratic Governor Jay Nixon. Hopes are high that the state’s current Republican governor, Mike Parson, will sign the new bill into law when it hits his desk.

The bill, SB367, defines “infringement” as including, but not limited to

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Giffords Law Center Study: Guns Mishandled in Rare Incidents; They Should be Banned From Schools

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 9, 2019: 

Using a “man bites dog” story bordering on the hilarious, the anti-gun Giffords Law Center overreached in its attempt to make its case that guns are dangerous, especially in schools.

Giffords Law Center (GLC) was founded in 2017 upon the merger of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a public-interest law firm originally known as the Legal Community Against Violence, and Americans for Responsible Solutions founded by former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The GLC relied on statistics obtained from the left-of-center Gun Violence Archive (GVA) for its “proof,” published last week, claiming that over the last five years (GVA began operations in 2014) there were more than 60 “incidents” where firearms were “mishandled” by their owners on school campuses.

That is more than enough evidence to convict, according to GLC’s chief counsel: “What this shows is, yes, there’s always the concern of somebody intentionally misusing a gun, but the point I think that these incidents make is that children will be at greater risk in our schools if there are more guns in the schools.”

And, Skaggs added, these incidents of mishandling of firearms were done by “professionals” — security guards employed by the districts. Imagine the horror, bloodshed, and mayhem that would follow if teachers were armed as well:

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GOP Senate Invokes “Nuclear Option” to Clear Backlog of Judicial Appointees

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 4, 2019: 

Running out of both time and patience with Democrat obstructionism in confirming some 130 of President Trump’s judicial appointees, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked the “nuclear option” on Wednesday. The phrase “nuclear option” was first used by Republican Senator Trent Lott in March 2003 to describe the change in the Senate parliamentary procedure that now limits confirmation debate on judicial and executive branch nominees to just two hours, down from the previous 30. It still leaves appointees to the Supreme Court to face 30 hours of debate over their nominations. It also requires a simple majority to confirm, down from three-fifths previously.

Democrats have used and abused the privilege to stall, stymie, delay, and slow-walk Trump’s nominees as part of their overall plan to keep him from implementing policies that threaten their agenda.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) feigned outrage: “This is a very sad day for the Senate. The majority, by taking yet another step to erode [its] legacy, risks turning this body into a colosseum of zero-sum infighting, a place where the brute power of the majority ultimately rules.”

McConnell charged:

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Sheriff Says He’ll Go to Jail Before Violating Citizens’ Rights Under Red Flag Law

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 1, 2019:  

With Colorado, now firmly in the grasp of progressive Democrats from the Governor’s Mansion to the State House and Senate, about to pass and sign into law its own odious “red flag” law, a reporter from CNN couldn’t wait to interview Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams about his threat to go to jail before he enforces it on any of his county’s citizens:

“Are you willing to sit in your own jail to avoid enforcing this law?” CNN asked Reams. His reply:

Well, obviously, no sheriff wants to be confined in [his] own jail, but if that’s what it takes to get this bill ironed out, then I guess that’s a sacrifice I’ll be forced to make. The worst way to bring attention to it is for me to be put in that position, but I’ll do that before I’ll violate somebody’s constitutional rights.

 

We’re working hard to try to figure out a mechanism to get this into the courts before somebody is harmed by it. Unfortunately, someone has to be damaged by it first. It comes down to whether I want to take this to court for violating somebody’s rights, or for me [for] refusing to enforce a court order.

It comes down to Reams taking his oath of office seriously, or not. His oath is to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Colorado.

Reams has a lot of support.

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Bump Stocks Now Illegal, With One Exception

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 26, 2019: 

The 90-day waiting period for banning bump stocks ended on Tuesday for every owner of the now-illegal firearm accessory, with one exception: Clark Aposhian. With the assistance of the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), Aposhian obtained a temporary stay of the new administrative decree. It only protects him, but it opens the door for its eventual reversal.

Said NCLA’s lead counsel, “Today [March 22] the [U.S. 10th Circuit] Court of appeals told the ATF that it could not rush through the bump stock ban without meaningful judicial review. The court understands the stakes and is refusing to let an innocent owner be declared a felon, as scheduled [on March 26].”

What’s at stake is the very functioning of the federal government under the Constitution. The NCLA makes that clear from its mission statement:

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How Is the Justice Department Going to Enforce the New Bump Stock Ban?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 27, 2019: 

Ryan Liskey has a problem. A law-abiding citizen and gun owner living in Virginia, he happens to own a bump stock. On Monday it was legal for him to do so. On Tuesday possession became illegal. Liskey raised the key question:

Do they [the ATF] have authority to do this? No. Is it a machine gun? No.

 

So do I follow an unconstitutional edict from the Department of Justice or do we stand our ground?

If Liskey “stands his ground” and is arrested for owning the newly illegal piece of plastic, and convicted, he becomes a felon, risking huge fines and up to 10 years in federal prison.

All without Congressional assent, thanks to the burgeoning administrative state exemplified by the ATF.

But just how is that arrest going to take place if Liskey fails to comply with the new administrative edict emanating from the ATF? When Justice Department officials were asked that very question last year when the ban was being announced (albeit with the 90-day waiting period which ended on Tuesday), they waffled:

We have no plans to go door to door, nor do we have the resources. The Department of Justice primarily relies on voluntary compliance by citizens. Most firearms owners are law-abiding citizens.

Numerous lawsuits against the administrative ruling have been filed, and all but one has been tossed. The single exception affects a single individual, Clark Aposhian, who had the help of the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), Aposhian obtained a temporary stay of the new administrative decree. It only protects him but it opens the door for the decree’s eventual reversal.

Said NCLA’s lead counsel, “Today [March 22] the [U.S. 10th Circuit] Court of appeals told the ATF that it could not rush through the bump stock ban without meaningful judicial review. The court understands the stakes and is refusing to let an innocent owner be declared a felon, as scheduled [on March 26].”

What’s at stake is the very functioning of the federal government under the Constitution. The NCLA makes that clear from its mission statement:

Keep reading…

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann