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: Second Amendment

9th Circuit Reverses Lower Court Ruling, Reinstates California Ban on “Large Capacity Magazines”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 2, 2021:

After a three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that California’s LCM — large capacity magazine — ban was clearly unconstitutional, the en banc court reversed on Tuesday, upholding California’s unconstitutional ban.

The majority, 7-3, had to jump through some significant legal and logical hoops to reach their conclusion. First, it had to ignore the word “infringed” in the wording of the Second Amendment: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

A slight infringement is acceptable, wrote the majority, as long as it doesn’t really strongly impact a citizen’s right. Ten rounds are more than enough, ruled the court, using California’s argument that the average homeowner defending him or herself only uses 2.2 rounds in doing so and therefore having the freedom to carry a firearm with a magazine with 10 rounds ought to be plenty.

In its summary of the ruling, the court “determined that [California’s ban] imposed only a minimal burden on the core Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms … that [the state’s] limitation interferes only minimally with the core right of self-defense.”

Second, the court had to play the statistical game. As Mark Twain so aptly said, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” From the summary:

The court noted that in the past half-century, large-capacity magazines have been used in about three-quarters of gun massacres with 10 or more deaths and in 100 percent of gun massacres with 20 or more deaths, and more than twice as many people have been killed or injured in mass shootings that involved a large-capacity magazine as compared with mass shootings that involved a smaller-capacity magazine.

 

Accordingly, the ban on legal possession of large-capacity magazines reasonably supported California’s effort to reduce the devastating damage wrought by mass shootings.

So, because a mass shooting resulting in 10 or more deaths — an exceedingly rare event — might involve a firearm with a magazine carrying more than 10 rounds, all such magazines must be banned.

The majority goes on to say that “reasonable restrictions on the time, place, or manner of exercising the Second Amendment right … are permissible if they leave open ample alternative means of exercising that right … [the California ban] leaves open ample alternative means for self-defense.”

Judge Lawrence VanDyke, a Trump appointee who was vetted by the Federalist Society, would have none of it. One of the three dissenters, he dismantled the majority opinion. He began by stating the obvious: that every claim that a law infringed on the Second Amendment brought before the court was denied.

He wrote:

Our court’s [majority has a] single-minded focus on ensuring that any [3-judge] panel opinions actually enforcing the Second Amendment are quickly reversed.

 

The majority of our court distrusts gun owners and thinks the Second Amendment is a vestigial organ of their living constitution.

 

Those views drive this circuit’s case law ignoring the original meaning of the Second Amendment….

 

By my count, we have had at least 50 Second Amendment challenges since Heller — significantly more than any other circuit — all of which we have ultimately denied.

 

In those few instances where a panel of our court has granted Second Amendment relief, we have without fail taken the case en banc to reverse that ruling.

 

This is true regardless of the diverse regulations that have come before us — from storage restrictions to waiting periods to ammunition restrictions to conceal carry bans to open carry bans to magazine capacity prohibitions — the common thread is our court’s ready willingness to bless any restriction related to guns.

Judge VanDyke takes on the silliness of California’s claim that firearms with a magazine carrying more than 10 rounds makes that firearm excessively dangerous:

Essentially every attribute of a weapon that makes it more effective for self-defense makes it more dangerous when misused.

 

Good sights on a handgun make it more effective for lawful self-defense — but also make it more dangerous when misused.

 

A pistol that doesn’t malfunction is really nice to have in a self-defense situation — but is also more dangerous when misused.

 

Modern hollow-point ammunition, with its dramatically increased stopping potential, has seriously improved the performance of handguns in a self-defense situation — but of course also make the handgun more dangerous when misused.

 

This type of logic, applied the way the majority does, would justify banning all semi-automatics since they are more dangerous than revolvers, all revolvers since they are more dangerous than derringers, all derringers since they are more dangerous than knives … until we are left with toothpicks….

 

The mere fact that some attribute (like a larger capacity magazine) might make a weapon more “dangerous” when misused cannot be a basis to avoid the Second Amendment — if so, the Second Amendment protects only nerf guns.

The dissenting judge ends his vivisection of the majority opinion:

If ever there was a case study illustrating Madison’s concern about “evil lurking under plausible disguises, and growing up from small beginnings,” it is our circuit’s Second Amendment jurisprudence.

 

In the thirteen years since the Supreme Court ruled in Heller that the Second Amendment “guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” our court has trimmed back that right at every opportunity — to the point that now, in the nine Western states covered by our court, the right to “keep and bear arms” means, at most, you might get to possess one janky handgun and 2.2 rounds of ammunition, and only in your home under lock and key.

 

That’s it.

 

That’s ridiculous, and so I must respectfully dissent.

That there’s this much common sense lurking even in the bowels of the Ninth Circuit should give great comfort to supporters of the Second Amendment, as the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling is certain to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Crime, Biden Drive Down Americans’ Demand for Stricter Gun Laws

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 17, 2021:

As violent crime rises along with anti-gun rhetoric from the Biden administration, so does Americans’ pushback against more gun control. On Wednesday, Gallup reported that “stricter gun laws [are now] less popular in the U.S.”

Americans’ demand for stricter gun laws has fallen to the lowest point since 2014. The demand for stricter gun laws peaked at 67 percent — two out of three people — in 2018 following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead. Today, barely half of those polled by Gallup think stricter gun controls are needed.

Not surprisingly, most support for more gun laws comes from Democrats, at 91 percent. Among Republicans, however, support for more Second Amendment infringements has fallen by nearly 12 points since 2019, to just 24 percent. Among independents, support for more gun controls has declined by an astonishing 19 points, to 45 percent.

When asked about their desire for a total ban on all handguns (“Do you think there should be, or should not be, a law that would ban the possession of handguns, except by police and other authorized persons?”), support for such a ban dropped to 19 percent, an “all-time low,” said Gallup, “and down six points in the past year.” Gallup failed to mention that support for a total handgun ban has declined by 10 full percentage points since 2019, according to its results.

Gallup explained:

The latest drop in support for a handgun ban is largely attributable to political independents.

 

Currently, 14% of independents think there should be a ban on handguns, which marks a 16-point decline since 2019, including nine points since 2020.

 

Even fewer Republicans, 6%, favor such a ban, while 40% of Democrats do.

Diminishing support for a total handgun ban is also attributable to the current occupant of the White House. Back in July, President Biden told a town hall meeting:

The idea that you need a weapon that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 30, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether it’s a 9mm pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous.

 

I’m continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things.

And, according to Gallup, that’s one of the reasons Americans continue to push back. It should be remembered that support for banning all handguns began to decline after Congress passed the “Clinton Gun Ban” (a.k.a The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993). In 1991, it peaked at 43 percent, and stands at 19 percent today.

Congress understandably has not passed any new gun laws under Biden. Such legislation has now replaced Social Security as “the third rail” of politics.

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney Concedes to Truck Driver in Upset Victory

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 11, 2021:  

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, conceded on Wednesday that he lost his reelection bid to truck driver and political novice Edward Durr. It was an upset victory that made headlines across the land and likely sets the stage for a dramatic Republican victory in the midterm elections in November.

Sweeney blamed his loss on a “red wave” that cost him the election. What really cost him the election was the 12,000 new voters who made their voices heard last Tuesday, erasing Sweeney’s lead and providing Durr with the additional 2,298 votes he needed to win.

Sweeney’s delayed concession, more than a week after the election and nearly a week after the Associated Press called the race for Durr, caused many to wonder if election fraud was afoot in New Jersey — that a recount would somehow miraculously rescue Sweeney from defeat.

But the four-percent margin was too much to overcome, and Sweeney, a long-time politician dating back 20 years and considered a major “power broker” in the state, finally conceded on Wednesday: “I, of course, accept the results. I want to congratulate Mr. Durr and wish him the best of luck.”

It wasn’t luck, unless luck is defined as the providential conjunction of the right man recognizing the right time and seizing the opportunity.

Durr says of himself:

I believe in God. I am hard working, trusting and very loyal. I believe in fiscal responsibility, transparency, and lower taxes … We have taxed the people to the verge of death….

 

I also support the Second Amendment.

That second point is important. Back in 2015, an effort from Second Amendment supporters to remove Sweeney from office over his infringement of their rights failed. But his anti-gun record remained resonant with New Jersey gun owners.

 

It also helped that, after serving more than 10 years as president of the New Jersey Senate, he had accrued to himself a mantle of superiority. Said Durr:

 

It was the combination of a governor [Phil Murphy] who acts like a king, and a senate president who acts like a court jester and does nothing.

 

That made it very easy to convince people they were not being paid attention to. And when they got ignored, they got angry.

Money didn’t matter. Durr spent $153 in winning the primary. In total, he spent between $8,000 and $9,000, compared to Sweeney’s campaign spending more than $600,000.

Because of his job as a truck driver for a local furniture company, he could only go door-to-door on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. On Saturdays and Sundays he walked six to eight hours — so much so that his feet hurt. Said Durr: “Trust me, plenty of days I did not feel like walking. It was too hot, my ankles and my feet hurt — I’m not a young man anymore [he is 58], and I have gout, and plantar fasciitis — it was a hard thing.”

But it was worth it:

It allowed me the opportunity to talk to every person I could possibly talk to, and understand what they were feeling, and get the pulse.

Durr takes positions that warm the hearts of conservatives. He calls himself a “constitutional conservative” and advocates for cutting taxes — income, corporate, state, and property. He says that “abortion is wrong and should be stopped” and is a supporter of Texas-style “heartbeat” laws.

He’s also a fan of conservative media: “I watch a lot of Greg Gutfeld, Newsmax and One America.” He listens to Dan Bongino and Steven Crowder. He watches Mark Levin’s Life, Liberty and Levin on Sunday nights.

The main issue in the campaign was rights, said Durr:

The main issue was rights. People talk about how New Jersey has the highest taxes, and we’re the worst state for business, with high debt, and so on.

 

But the bottom line is rights. It’s family.

 

When someone is messing with your family, you’ll do anything. The governor was messing with people’s families. When you mess with somebody’s job, their livelihood, their home, their children — people just won’t take that.

Durr tapped into the growing discontent among voters over what Democrats are doing to the country. With Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s near-death experience thanks to an unknown Republican challenger, analysts, pollsters, and commentators are considering Durr’s victory a harbinger for Republicans and a bad omen for Democrats a year from now.

As Durr himself noted:

It didn’t happen because of me. I’m nobody. I’m absolutely nobody. I’m just a simple guy.

 

It was the people. It was a repudiation of the policies that have been forced down their throats.

The Second Amendment Had a Very Good Day on Wednesday

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Saturday, November 6, 2021:  

The Supreme Court heard opening arguments on Wednesday in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen and, based on the questioning by a number of the justices, supporters of the Second Amendment are likely to claim a victory.

The question to be resolved is “Whether [New York] State’s denial of petitioners’ applications for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.”

Robert Nash and Brandon Koch brought the case after they were denied such licenses. The New York law reads that they must “demonstrate a special need for self-protection [which is] distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.” The bureaucrats said they didn’t, and denied their applications.

This was despite the fact that Nash, for example, proved himself to be a person of exemplary character who had taken some gun-safety classes and had proved himself confident and capable in the handling of a firearm; and despite that fact that there had recently been a string of robberies in his neighborhood. The state officials denied their applications, ruling that there was no “special” proof that Nash and Koch were endangered more than any others in the general population.

When they sued, the lower court ruled that the denials were proper since the applicants “did not face unique or special danger to their lives.” On appeal to the Supreme Court, Nash and Koch declared that “The Second Amendment makes the right to carry arms for self-defense the rule, not the exception, and fundamental rights cannot be left to the whim of local government officials.”

The high court justices were tough on the defendants in the initial round of oral argument. Chief Justice John Roberts, probably the weakest link in the chain, was surprisingly supportive of the plaintiffs. He told the lawyers defending New York’s law, “The idea that you need a license to exercise the right [to bear arms], I think, is unusual in the context of the Bill of Rights.”

That should be heartening to those who have long claimed that “one doesn’t need permission to exercise a right.”

 

Justice Alito tripped up the defense over twisting history. Here’s the exchange:

Justice Alito: I’m going to give you an example, which is … troubling. I can see how it would slip through. I’m not accusing you personally of anything.

 

But, on page 23, you say that in founding-era America, legal reference guides advised local officials to “arrest all such persons as in your sight shall ride or go armed”….

 

So I looked at this manual, and what it actually says is “You shall arrest all such persons as in your sight shall ride or go armed offensively.”

 

And somehow that word “offensively” got dropped –

 

Ms. Underwood [defense attorney]: Well, our –

 

Alito: – from your brief.

 

Ms. Underwood: I will –

 

Alito: Do you think that’s an irrelevant word?

Alito went on to explain that by leaving out that word it changed the entire meaning, showing that that quote doesn’t support gun control at all.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh heard the state’s argument and told them, “That’s just not how we do constitutional rights, where we allow basic blanket discretion [to government bureaucrats] to grant or deny something.”

John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, weighed in on the case in an op-ed published in Newsweek on Wednesday. He said that if you think Nash and Koch had it tough in New York, try getting a concealed-carry license “in California and six-other ‘may-issue’ states where officials can turn down requests for a carry permit for any reason, or for no reason at all.”

Lott pointed out that rarely are permits granted to ordinary citizens in those states but “when permit decisions rest solely with judges and bureaucrats, the few people who [do] get permits … often have special connections.… Those without connections, more often women and minorities, get the short end of the stick.”

In San Francisco, for example, Lott told of a woman with a court protective order who wasn’t able to get a permit, but the local sheriff’s personal lawyer did. In New Jersey, a man was denied a permit even though he was threatened and robbed at gunpoint in the past, and currently carries a lot of cash in his job servicing ATM machines.

Lott pointed out that “may carry” laws in those states “stop almost everyone [from getting a permit]. Only about 1 percent of adults in may-issue states have a permit to carry. In the other 42 states, 10.8 percent of adults have a concealed handgun permit.”

And those who do carry concealed are among the lowest risk individuals as they “are convicted of firearms-related violations at one-twelfth the rate at which police officers are convicted.”

Even Ian Millhiser, writing for the anti-gun Vox, said that “the NRA had a very good day in the Supreme Court” on Wednesday. After reviewing the oral arguments and the justices’ questions, he concluded that “the case is likely to end with the curtailment of states’ ability to regulate where people can carry guns.”

Tom Knighton, writing for BearingArms.com, said:

It was clear from the questioning that, while it’s unlikely we’ll see all rules restricting the carrying of a firearm overturned, we will probably see something like “shall-issue” becoming the law of the land….

 

More importantly … people in states like New Jersey and California are going to score wins … when we get the ruling on this next year, I expect they’ll be able to get a permit.

He added:

I also expect to see crime begin to drop as criminals start hearing about more and more people carrying firearms.

The war against guns will continue. As long as permission is still needed in some form or fashion to exercise the right to keep and bear arms, the Second Amendment will remain a second-class right.

Pro-gun Group Asks Appeals Court to Reject Texas Heartbeat Law

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 28, 2021:  

Erik Jaffe, an attorney who once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, crafted a request on behalf of the Firearms Policy Coalition asking the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to consider and then rule against the Texas “heartbeat” law, SB 8. His strongly worded request — a writ of certiorari — explained that the issue at hand isn’t abortion, but the way the Texas law has prevented its citizens from exercising a so-called constitutional right.

As long as the Supreme Court persists in claiming that abortion is a “right,” then states are duty-bound to enforce those rights against infringement, says Jaffe.

The Texas law, warns Jaffe, if it is upheld, would serve as encouragement for other states to use the Texas example to infringe on other rights, such as those guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

He wrote:

Texas’s novel scheme for infringing upon and chilling the exercise of the right to abortion under the Court’s Roe and Casey decisions while seeking to evade judicial review, if allowed to stand, could and would just as easily be applied to other constitutional rights….

If Texas’s scheme … is successful here, it will undoubtedly serve as a model for deterring and suppressing the exercise of numerous [other] constitutional rights.

Indeed, the anti-gun state of New York has already begun:

New York is already experimenting with private enforcement of anti-gun laws … and will gladly incorporate the lessons of this case … to suppress the right to keep and bear arms.

Other states, targeting those and other rights, will not be far behind.

Anti-gun states would be quick to adopt the Texas model against the Second Amendment, wrote Jaffe:

While New York has only started down the path of subcontracting enforcement of constitutionally suspect laws to private parties, Texas has aggressively expanded upon the model by deputizing virtually all private persons to legally threaten citizens exercising or assisting the exercise of what is, at least for now and unless the Court says otherwise, the rights it established in Roe and Casey.

To the extent this tactic is effective at evading or outright blocking preenforcement review … it will easily become the model for suppression of other constitutional rights, with Second Amendment rights being the most likely targets of such suppression.

For those who believe that election fraud put Joe Biden into the White House, Jaffe said states could “declare that protests about elections are felonious threats to democracy and may [legitimately] be dispersed with deadly force (by private citizens only, of course).”

 

Jaffe’s line of reasoning, and, by extension, the reasoning of the Firearms Policy Coalition, is faulty. Just because the Supreme Court, in a ruling that many today still consider highly controversial, says that a “right” to abortion exists in the U.S. Constitution, doesn’t make it so. The Constitution does not give the federal government any authority over matters such as abortion. Such regulatory power, in this instance, belongs to the states. The right to keep and bear arms, however, is clearly protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

 

Article VI of the Constitution states that laws made in pursuance of the Constitution are the supreme law of the land. Laws not made in pursuance of the Constitution are therefore null and void. The states properly have the authority to regulate abortion. The federal government does not. On the contrary, states to do not have the authority to enact gun-control laws.

States nullifying federal overreach are fully within their constitutional rights. States enacting legislation that violates the Constitution are not. Therefore, if New York or any other state decide to enact more gun control legislation, for any reason, such an action is unconstitutional and should be treated as such. It would be much like states refusing to implement federal immigration laws, as immigration and naturalization is something the federal government is given authority over.

If a right is conjured and not among those enumerated in the Bill of Rights, then states not only have no responsibility to resist infringements of it, but should do everything in their power to neuter its enforcement. Powers not specifically given to the federal government are instead reserved to the states, or to the people. Accordingly, states are the ones under the U.S. Constitution, to determine the validity of abortion versus the sanctity of life.

The solution, of course, is for the Supreme Court to declare that its previous decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were wrongly decided and place the issue back onto the states where it properly belongs. The high court will have that opportunity starting in December when it hears oral arguments in the Mississippi case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Data Supporting ABC’s Gun-violence Narrative Dreadfully Flawed

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 27, 2021:  

As part of ABC’s ongoing propaganda series about gun violence in the United States — “Rethinking Gun Violence” — the liberal media outlet relies heavily on data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).

Its bias is obvious from the very start. In a recent ABC News piece Ivan Pereira states that “Mass shootings have dominated the headlines, conversations, and political debate around America’s gun violence problem for decades.” That is because the mainstream liberal kept media has made it so.

He errs by claiming that gun violence is “perpetrated in many cases with military-style rifles [which] have become a symbol for … America’s obsession with guns.” This makes America an “anomaly … a wealthy country with an endemic gun violence issue and the seeming inability to solve it.”

As John Stott and others have proven, most gun violence occurs in inner cities run by Democrats, and involves handguns that are readily available in spite of onerous restrictions on gun ownership. Pereira and ABC News ignore this. The “problem” is the gun, and they want to “solve” it.

One way to solve it is to blow that “problem” out of all proportion. So, wrote Pereira, “We developed a Gun Violence Tracker to help illustrate the daily toll of gun violence in America in partnership with the independent, nonprofit Gun Violence Archive (GVA).”

GVA purports to be independent, and therefore utterly reliable. But digging into its history, one finds that GVA grew out of the work of Slate.com’s 2013 study of deaths by gun violence. Slate, of course, is one of the more vociferous opponents of Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.

The effort was taken over by Michael Klein, the founder of the left-leaning Sunlight Foundation.

So much for being independent and free of bias.

 

From its website, one learns that GVA is an online “archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 7,500 law enforcement, media, government, and commercial sources daily in an effort to provide near real-time data about the results of gun violence.” Pure of heart, it claims that GVA “is an independent data collection and research group with no affiliation with any advocacy organization.”

 

Of course, its real purpose is to provide “information [that] will inform and assist those engaged in discussions and activities concerning gun violence, including analysis of proposed regulations or legislation … GVA is not, by design, an advocacy group.”

It doesn’t need to be. By providing data useful to groups and agencies bent on ultimately removing lawfully owned firearms from the citizenry, it can claim its purity.

But, as AWR Hawkins points out at Breitbart, “Gun Violence Tracker pads the numbers.” And those numbers come from GVA.

GVA is clear about its bias:

Gun Violence describes the results of all incidents of death or injury or threat with firearms without pejorative judgment within the definition.

 

Violence is defined without intent or consequence as a consideration.

 

To that end a shooting of a victim by a subject/suspect is considered gun violence as is a defensive use or an officer involved shooting.

 

The act itself, no matter the reason is violent in nature.

To be clear, says GVA, if a gun is involved, it is called gun violence. If someone squeezes a trigger, and the incident appears somewhere in the media or the government, it is counted. GVA explains:

Our definition of gun violence is intended to be fully inclusionary of disparate elements of gun related incidents … in that, all types of shootings are included, whether OIS [officer involved shooting], accidental, children shooting themselves, murders, armed robberies, familicide, mass shootings, DGU [defensive gun use], Home Invasions, drivebys and everything else.

Through October 27, GVA reports that there have been 36,786 deaths from all causes. Of those, 19,800 were suicides, or 54 percent. And even that number is suspect. Explains GVA: “Suicides are collected through the CDC and, because of privacy and CDC policy, they are only available as an aggregate number, without detail.”

So, of the alleged 36,786 deaths by gun violence, only 46 percent are listed as “homicide/murder/unintentional/DGU [Defensive Gun Uses].” The takeaway is this: whenever GVA is used as a source for independent, unbiased, reliable data on so-called gun violence, one may be certain that the data is wrong. Flawed data in = flawed conclusions out. Caveat emptor.

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Cook County’s taxes on guns and ammunition Are Unconstitutional, 6-0

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 25, 2021:

In a remarkable decision, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled 6-0 that the taxes enacted on firearms and ammunition by Cook County in 2012 and 2015 are unconstitutional, both under the U.S. Constitution and the Illinois Constitution.

The October 21 ruling is remarkable because the court’s decision was unanimous. It’s remarkable because Illinois is arguably one of the most anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment states in the union. It’s remarkable in that it obliterates the county’s stated purpose that these taxes somehow have anything to do with reining in rampant gun violence, especially in Chicago.

The weekend before the ruling came down, Chicago suffered 22 of its citizens being shot, four fatally. The weekend after the ruling, 29 Chicagoans were shot, three fatally. So much for Cook County’s argument that taxes on firearms and ammunition would have any perceivable impact on gun violence in the Windy City.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis wrote that the $25 tax on the purchase of a firearm imposed by Cook County in 2012, and the tax on the retail sale of ammunition (five cents on each centerfire cartridge and one cent on each rimfire cartridge purchased) imposed three years later

violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution … [and] the Illinois State Constitution….

 

We agree that the ordinances impose a burden on the exercise of a fundamental right protected by the Second Amendment … [that] they do directly burden a law-abiding citizen’s right to acquire a firearm and the necessary ammunition for self-defense.

Secondarily Justice Theis noted that Cook County deliberately and intentionally imposed those taxes on firearms and ammunition, calling them “a special object of taxation.” This, she wrote, also violated the Illinois State Constitution’s prohibition under its “uniformity” clause.

Justice Theis never used the word “infringed,” which appears in both the U.S. and the state constitutions:

Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

 

The Illinois State Constitution: “Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Instead, she consistently used the word “burden,” which is a synonym for infringe, including “afflict,” “depress,” “encumber,” “handicap,” “hinder,” and “impede.” Synonyms for “infringe” include “breach,” “contravene,” “encroach,” “intrude,” and “trespass.”

For those readers still struggling to understand the founders’ use of “a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” in the Second Amendment, the following might prove helpful. It describes the freedom to read books:

A well-educated citizenry, being necessary to the culture of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.

All of which is entirely lost to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who issued this nearly incomprehensible statement following the Illinois Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling, apparently blaming the state’s epidemic gun violence on bullets:

It is no secret that gun violence continues to be an epidemic in our region. Addressing societal costs of gun violence in Cook County is substantial and an important governmental objective.

 

We continue to maintain that the cost of a bullet should reflect, even if just a little bit, the cost of the violence that ultimately is not possible without the bullet.

 

We are committed to protecting County residents from the plague of gun violence with or without this tax.

 

Massachusetts’ Anti-gun Threats Force Departure of Smith & Wesson

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 1, 2021:  

“An Act to Stop Mass Shootings,” a bill co-authored by anti-gun Massachusetts State Representatives Frank Moran and Marjorie Decker, and supported by anti-gun Representative Bud Williams, was the last straw. In the news release issued by Smith & Wesson on Thursday, the gunmaker that has been based in Springfield, Massachusetts, for nearly 170 years said it was left “with no other alternative” but to move its headquarters and part of its manufacturing facilities out of the state.

Said Mark Smith, S&W’s president and CEO:

This has been an extremely difficult and emotional decision for us, but after an exhaustive and thorough analysis, for the continued health and strength of our iconic company, we feel that we have been left with no other alternative.

Anti-gun bills “would,” said Smith, “prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing firearms that are legal in almost every state in America, and that are safely used by tens of millions of law-abiding citizens every day.”

Those bills, which are likely to be passed by the anti-gun Massachusetts legislature, would ban the manufacture of the firearms that made up more than 60 percent of the company’s gross revenue last year. They would preclude the company, and many of the 24 other gunmakers presently located in the state, from manufacturing so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The state already forbids its citizens to purchase, sell, or possess such items. The bills would be an extension of the state’s anti-gun mentality, applying it to gunmakers as well.

S&W’s move, scheduled for the summer of 2023, will end some 550 jobs in and around Springfield. The company will also close operations in Connecticut and Missouri as part of the move.

Said Smith:

We are deeply saddened by the impact that this difficult decision will have on so many of our dedicated employees, but in order to preserve future jobs and for the viability of our business in the long run, we are left with no choice but to relocate these functions to a state that does not propose burdensome restrictions on our company.

Many gun-friendly locales bid for the opportunity to host the gunmaker’s new headquarters, but the winner was Maryville, Tennessee. Key factors included, said the company:

Support for the 2nd Amendment;

Business friendly environment;

Quality of life for employees;

Cost of living and affordability;

Access to higher education institutions;

Availability of qualified labor for its operations and headquarter functions; and

Favorable location for efficiency of distribution.

It helped that, back in 2019, the Blount County Commission passed a resolution declaring the county, where Maryville is located, a “2nd Amendment Sanctuary.” The governor is equally supportive of the move.

Said Smith on Thursday:

The strong support we have received from the state of Tennessee and the entire leadership of Blount County throughout the process, combined with the quality of life, outdoor lifestyle, and low cost of living in the Greater Knoxville area has left no doubt that Tennessee is the ideal location for Smith & Wesson’s new headquarters.

Steve Troy, the founder and head of gunmaker Troy Industries, also located in Springfield, Massachusetts, agrees. Back in May, in response to threats from groups such as Stop Handgun Violence to pressure Massachusetts legislators to ban the making of firearms, he announced he was moving his operations to Tennessee.

His move was the first olive out of the bottle. With S&W’s announcement, many of the other two-dozen gun makers in the Bay State may be encouraged to make similar moves. At present, the gun industry supports nearly 8,000 jobs in Massachusetts.

State Representative Bud Williams, the Democrat who represents Springfield, doesn’t care. He remarked, “It’s unfortunate that [Smith & Wesson has] taken that position. I guess it’s in response to the ban on making assault weapons.”

Once passed, Massachusetts will join California, New York, and New Jersey in banning the manufacture of firearms. Those states are also suffering an exodus of businesses and citizens tired of oppressive government and who are finding much more friendly locales.

Latest Survey Reveals Women Now Nearly Half of all New Gun Buyers

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 16, 2021:  

According to the most recent 2021 National Firearms Survey, almost half of all new gun buyers in the last two and a half years have been women. There were 7.5 million brand new gun owners since January 2019, and 3.4 million of them were female. Among those women, more than a quarter of them were black.

The survey also noted that among those new gun owners 55 percent were white, 21 percent were black, and 19 percent were Hispanic.

A previous survey issued in July provided even more details about gun ownership in the United States. That survey found that nearly a third of all American adults owned at least one firearm. That translates into more than 81 million Americans who are armed. And that number keeps growing. In 2020, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there were more than 21 million background checks completed on people purchasing firearms, up an astonishing 40 percent from the previous year.

That same survey revealed that more than half of those gun owners carry a firearm on their persons for self-defense purposes, with an estimated 21 million of them carrying concealed.

The survey further revealed that about a third of those gun owners have used a firearm to protect themselves or their property. It estimates “that guns are used defensively by firearms owners in approximately 1.67 million incidents each year.”

In sum, 58 percent of gun owners are male, 42 percent are female. And approximately a quarter of blacks own at least one firearm while 28 percent of Hispanics own firearms, nearly 20 percent of Asians own firearms, and 34 percent of whites own firearms.

Those new gun owners are taking their purchases seriously as nearly a quarter of them have subsequently taken at least one gun class, and many have become proficient in the handling of their firearms.

Much of this surge in private gun ownership may be ascribed to the breakdown of law and order by BLM and Antifa groups, the defunding of local police, and the threat of additional gun regulations emanating from the present administration.

This makes the job of turning the United States into a “gun-free zone” — necessary for those working to turn the country into a communist dictatorship — ever more difficult. There are an estimated 100 million U.S. households where a firearm is present, and the task of disarming them would be incomprehensibly difficult.

The reason? Whether each new gun owner realizes it or not, he or she is taking advantage of the freedom to own a firearm guaranteed by the Second Amendment. This peculiar, and vital, freedom is what distinguishes the U.S. from every other nation on the planet. And as long as that freedom is recognized, and enjoyed, it presents a nearly insurmountable stumbling block to those who would disarm the populace in preparation for their New World Order.

Nevertheless the war against the private ownership of firearms in America continues. Earlier this month William Malzahn — with the imposing title of Acting Deputy Director of Office of Conventional Arms Threat Reduction, Bureau of International Security & Nonproliferation at United States Department of State — told the 7th Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty:

I have come from Washington, D.C., this week to take the floor on the agenda item Treaty Universalization to underscore the continuing commitment of the United States to responsible international trade in conventional arms … the Arms Trade Treaty is an important [tool] for promoting those controls internationally.

This treaty is the one that President Donald Trump “unsigned” at the National Rifle Association’s 2019 annual meeting.

As long as the present administration presses forward in its efforts to disarm the American people, the ownership of private firearms by those people is likely to continue and even accelerate, making the task of tyrants ever more difficult.

Two Courts Take Opposite Views of Second Amendment

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, August 22, 2021:

Chief Justice J. Michael Seabright — a George W. Bush appointee — of Hawaii’s District Court blasted two of Hawaii’s more ridiculous infringements of the Second Amendment last week, claiming that they had no basis in fact, or history, or common sense.

Seabright declared that Hawaii “has entirely failed to demonstrate how each law effectuates its asserted interest in public safety [and therefore] neither law can pass constitutional muster.”

At issue are two parts of Hawaii’s Revised Statutes: 1) that requires an individual to obtain permission to purchase a firearm and that that permission expires 10 days later if it isn’t exercised; and 2) that a firearm thus purchased must be taken in person to the police department for inspection and registration five days after purchase.

Plaintiffs brought suit last October when they alleged that these provisions violated their rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Seabright excoriated attorneys defending Hawaii’s laws, declaring that “there is no evidence in the record suggesting that these laws are tethered — in any way — to the ‘original meaning of the American right to keep and bear arms.’” They tried to hold that the 10-day permit somehow “furthers the ‘important government interest’ of public safety … but [they] failed to demonstrate how the 10-day permit use furthers that interest.… The government provides no empirical evidence or case law suggesting that a 10-day permit use period would enhance public safety.” (Emphasis in original.)

He nailed shut his decision: “It is worth nothing that if it really were common sense that a 10-day permit use period promoted public safety, Hawaii likely would not be the only state in the nation to maintain such a restrictive requirement.” (Emphasis in original.)

He obliterated the second part of the law requiring inspection and registration of the firearm after purchase: “The Government has provided absolutely no evidence suggesting that in-person inspection and registration was historically understood as an appropriate regulation on the right to bear arms.”

He dismissed the defendant’s attorneys’ claim that such a requirement “ensures that the registration information is accurate, [that] it ensures that the firearm complies with Hawaii law, and [that] it confirms the identity of the firearm so as to facilitate tracing by law enforcement.” Wrote Seabright:

The Government wholly fails to demonstrate how the in-person inspection and registration requirement furthers [Hawaii’s] interests [in public safety].…

 

In the absence of concrete evidence, the only support that the Government offers is conjecture. [Emphasis in original.]

He added:

It appears that the Government’s only permissible argument is that common sense shows the law is reasonably related to its interest in promoting public safety.

 

But the notion that in-person inspection and registration promotes public safety is not a matter of common sense….

 

If it were truly a matter of common sense that in-person inspection and registration promoted public safety … one would expect additional states to maintain similar requirements.

 

The Government has failed to show that the in-person inspection and registration requirement is reasonably tailored to a significant, substantial, or important government interest. [Thus, Hawaii’s statute] does not survive intermediate scrutiny.

Seabright’s ruling follows a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (in Young v. State of Hawaii), which declared that Hawaii’s total and complete ban on carrying a firearm, open or concealed, in public places was constitutional. In fact, the court ruled, 7-4, that the Second Amendment had no bearing on the matter at all!

Wrote Judge Jay Bybee, also a George W. Bush appointee,

There is no right to carry arms openly in public; nor is any such right within the scope of the Second Amendment….

 

The overwhelming evidence from the states’ constitutions and statutes [at the time of the nation’s founding], the cases, and the commentaries confirms that we have never assumed that individuals have an unfettered right to carry weapons in public spaces.

In dissent, Judge Ryan Nelson, a Trump appointee, wrote:

The Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm openly for self-defense in public — and Hawaii’s near complete ban on the open carry of handguns cannot stand.

 

I cannot join an opinion that would flout the Constitution by holding, in effect, that “in regulating the manner of bearing arms, the authority of [the State of Hawaii] has no other limit than its own discretion.” [Emphasis in original.]

Another dissenter, Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee, took the majority to task as well:

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.”

 

Today, a majority of our court has decided that the Second Amendment does not mean what it says. Instead, the majority holds that while the Second Amendment may guarantee the right to keep a firearm for self-defense within one’s home, it provides no right whatsoever to bear — i.e., to carry — that same firearm for self-defense in any other place.

 

This holding is as unprecedented as it is extreme. While our sister circuits have grappled with — and disagreed over — the question of whether public firearms carry falls within the inner “core” of the Second Amendment, we now become the first and only court of appeals to hold that public carry falls entirely outside the scope of the Amendment’s protections.

 

In so holding, the majority reduces the right to “bear Arms” to a mere inkblot. The majority’s decision undermines not only the Constitution’s text, but also half a millennium of Anglo-American legal history, the Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, and the foundational principles of American popular sovereignty itself. [Emphasis in original.]

In stark relief, these two diametrically opposed decisions make an increasingly strong case for appeals to the Supreme Court to sort them out. Gun-rights attorney Alan Beck, who represents Young, said, “The Second Amendment can’t mean one thing in California, in Texas it means something else, and then in Tennessee something different entirely.”

He plans to appeal to the Supreme Court. As of this writing, it’s unclear whether Hawaii will appeal the ruling against its permit and registration requirements to the high court. But the time is certainly ripe for such a conflict to be resolved.

Judge Napolitano Asks, “Does the U.S. Still Have a Constitution?”

This article was published at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 12, 2021:  

In the Washington Times on Wednesday, Judge Andrew Napolitano asked rhetorically in the title above his column: “Does the United States still have a Constitution?“ Though he never explicitly says yes, it is clear from his analysis that his question refers to a de facto abandonment of, not de jure elimination of, the Constitution.

Despite being ignored and circumvented, the Constitution is still the law of the land, and still protects our freedom, needing only to be upheld and applied. Napolitano writes:

The Constitution does not permit the government to infringe upon personal freedoms, no matter the emergency or pandemic.

The founders crafted the Constitution “both to establish the government and to limit it.” Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution specifies the powers of the Congress, the only branch of the federal government that may make law. But Congress may not make any law it chooses; in its law-making it is limited to exercising only its enumerated powers.

Others protections against the abuse of power are found in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, collectively known as the Bill of Rights. For example, the First Amendment explicitly prohibits Congress from violating freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and “the right of the people peacefully to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” And the Second Amendment protects “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” But in addition to the rights listed in the Bill of Rights, the people possess many other rights not articulated therein.

Napolitano explains:

The Ninth [Amendment] declares that the enumeration of rights in the first eight shall not mean that there are no other rights that are fundamental, and the government shall not disparage those other rights.

 

The Tenth [Amendment] reflects that the states have reserved [to themselves] the powers that they did not delegate to the [federal government.]

Without explanation or expansion the judge used the term “natural rights,” assuming that his readers would automatically know what he was referring to:

Natural rights collectively constitute the moral ability and sovereign authority of every human being to make personal choices – free from government interference and without a government permission slip.

In an interview with The New American magazine, Pastor David Whitney with the Institute on the Constitution gave a fuller description of the source of man’s rights by quoting from the opening paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. [Emphasis added.]

The Declaration states clearly that

All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights….

 

We, therefore, the representatives of the united state of America, “appeal … to the Supreme Judge of the World….

 

With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

In other words, as expressed by Whitney’s Institute:

  1. There is a God.
  2. Our rights come from Him.
  3. The purpose of civil government is to secure and protect our God-given rights.

On the day the Declaration was signed Samuel Adams said: “We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven and … from the rising to the setting sun, may His kingdom come.”

John Hancock wrote: “Let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great Lord of the universe … let us joyfully leave our concerns in the hands of Him Who raises up and puts down the empires and kingdoms of the earth as He pleases.”

James Madison wrote: “Religion … [is] the basis and foundation of government … before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”

John Adams wrote: “We recognize no Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus.”

Napolitano’s article flowed naturally from the principle that all rights come from God — though again, he uses the phrase “natural rights.” All powers that temporal government might have come only “from the consent of the governed” who are themselves governed by their Creator.

Napolitano noted in his column that

interferences with the exercise of rights protected by the Bill of Rights devolve around travel, assembly, commercial activities, the exercise of religious beliefs, and your face. These infringements have all come from mayors and state governors who claim the power to do so, and they raise three profound constitutional issues.

He then raised three critical questions regarding these infringements. First, Napolitano asked:

Do mayors and governors have the inherent power to craft regulations that carry the force of law in an emergency?

 

The answer is no … the separation of powers [crafted into the Constitution by the founders gives] each [branch of government] a distinct core function that cannot constitutionally be performed by either of the other two.

What about state legislatures that give temporary powers to the governor to handle “emergencies”? Asked the judge:

Can state legislatures delegate away to governors their law-making powers? Again, the answer is no, because the separation of powers prevents one branch of government from ceding to another branch its core powers.

Lastly the judge asked:

Third: can a state legislature enact laws that interfere with personal liberties protected by the Bill of Rights, prescribe punishments for violations of those laws, and authorize governors to use force to compel compliance?

 

Again, the answer is no, because all government in America [federal, state, and local] is subordinate to the natural rights [emphasis added] articulated in the Bill of Rights and embraced in the Ninth Amendment.

Why did the founders limit governmental powers? Why did they separate those limited powers among three branches of government, and also divide powers between the national government and the states? Because men — including men who govern others — possess a sinful nature that must be held in check. John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902), an historian and moralist who was otherwise known simply as Lord Acton, expressed this opinion in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887:

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.

Thomas Jefferson explained:

In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

Back to Napolitano. Referring particularly to those “dangerous people” who govern on the state level and “who are again threatening to take away our ability to make personal choices and use force to compel compliance,” he ended optimistically:

We must remind them that by using the powers of state governments to do this, they will make themselves candidates for federal criminal prosecutions when saner days return.

Letter From House Members Blasts ATF Attempt to Expand Definition of a Firearm

This article was published by TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 11, 2021:  

When the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) proposed expanding its power over firearms in May, it invited public response. On Tuesday, the bureau received a blistering response from eight Republican members of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security:

[Your] attempt to expand the definition of firearm, like other ATF regulatory efforts, is deeply flawed, beyond the scope of ATF’s authority, contrary to years of previous ATF opinions, and harmful to millions of law-abiding American firearm owners….

 

[Your] proposed rule goes well beyond the authority granted to the agency in any applicable federal statutes … [and] expands the definition of a firearm beyond the intent of Congress….

 

[Your proposed] rule appears to be a deliberate attempt to usurp the authority of Congress. In so doing, ATF has also unconstitutionally infringed on American citizens’ fundamental Second Amendment rights [as well as] privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment.

In its statement of proposed redefining of “Frame or Receiver” on May 21, the bureau claimed that the present definitions “fail to capture the full meaning of those terms” and it proceeds to “clarify” such terms as “complete weapon,” “complete muffler or silencer device,” “privately made firearm,” and “readily,” stating that redefining, or clarifying, such terms is necessary “given advancements in firearms technology.”

It added, “Because ‘frames’ or ‘receivers’ are included in the definition of ‘firearm,’ any person who engages in the business of manufacturing, importing, or dealing in frames or receivers must obtain a license from ATF.”

A large portion of the 34-page expansion was dedicated to “Privately Made Firearms or ‘Ghost Guns’”:

Technological advances have also made it easier for unlicensed persons to make firearms at home from standalone parts or weapon parts kits, or by using 3D printers or personally owned or leased equipment, without any records or background check….

 

[This] makes it difficult for law enforcement to determine where, by whom, or when they were manufactured, and to whom they were sold or otherwise disposed.

The ATF cited “intelligence reports” from the FBI, the DHS, and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) that claim that “ghost guns … enable prohibited buyers to purchase deadly weapons with just a few clicks online … [while] hamstringing law enforcement’s ability to investigate crimes committed with untraceable weapons.” They also claim that the “wide availability of ghost guns and the emergence of functional 3D-printed guns are a homeland security threat.”

All of which, as The New American has repeatedly pointed out, are lies (see hereherehere and here). Hundreds of millions of firearms are already untraceable, either due to inheritance or private purchase. “Ghost guns” are costly both in terms of money and time expended in their manufacture. While popular media suggest that the average “ghost gun” can be made or purchased for around $400, the real cost is over $1,000 and approaches $2,000 when all related costs are counted.

And “ghost guns” make up an imperceptibly small percentage of the estimated 400 to 600 million firearms already legally possessed by American gun owners.

Finally, criminals find it much easier to steal, or purchase on the street, a firearm rather than to manufacture one.

Unfortunately missing from the letter was mention of the fact that any attempt to regulate the possession or use of a firearm is an infringement on the Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms. That would include the first infringement dating back to 1934 — the National Firearms Act. Everything from that moment on concerning the regulation, licensing, limiting, etc., of the right to keep and bear arms is an infringement.

And, it must be asked, where did Congress gets its power to assign its legislative responsibility to an unelected agency (the ATF) in the first place?

The New American has repeatedly noted that the real effort is the ultimate disarming of the American public so that all weaponry remains in the hands only of the police, the government, and criminals. As Adolph Hitler said:

The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject race to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.

There is good news in all of this. As the effort to disarm the public becomes increasingly obvious, so does the mounting pushback. The John Birch Society, smeared repeatedly in its early days by the leftist media, is seeing enormous growth in numbers and influence. Its program is simplicity itself: A lone citizen, concerned about how to fight the coming tyranny, can do little. But organized and following a strategic plan to expose the plans where the communists are most vulnerable, just a few can make an enormous difference.

If you’ve read this far, consider JBS.org for more information on how to join the increasing resistance to the tyranny planned and being implemented by agencies such as the ATF.

NYC Gun-trafficking Case Reveals Surveillance Against Perps and Lawful Gun Owners

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 5, 2021:  

The announcement by the U.S. attorney’s office of the Southern District of New York on Wednesday revealed not only indictments against nine individuals accused of gun trafficking, but also the vast array of surveillance technology involved in the investigation.

Said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss:

Today’s arrests shut down the alleged gun pipeline of these nine defendants. These arrests should also send a message to anyone who is thinking about illegally selling guns to New Yorkers or illegally bringing guns to New York.

 

We and our law enforcement partners are watching. And we will prosecute gun traffickers to the fullest extent of the law.

The key player in the scheme is DuVaughn Wilson, also known as “Dupree,” who, over an eight-month period, purchased some 87 firearms (mostly handguns) in his own name, and then provided them to members of the network. They transported them, mostly via public transportation, to New York City where they were sold for cash to various buyers.

If convicted, Wilson and his accomplices could spend the next 15 years in prison for the crime.

Strauss exposed part of the vast network that was involved in the takedown, including law-enforcement “partners” in Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

The announcement came just days after the U.S. Department of Justice announced its “strike force” focused on gun trafficking. Initially, that “strike force” — enhanced personnel and technology — would focus on New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the effort is designed to “bolster cooperation” between the federal government and “local partners,” calling it “another concrete step to address violent crime and illegal firearms trafficking.”

The danger to law-abiding gun owners is clear, as those “strike forces” can also be used to track firearms they legally own. The program is, according to the DOJ, a “long-term, coordinated, multi-jurisdictional strategy” using gun trafficking as cover:

This new approach that links law enforcement and prosecutors and locations where violence is occurring with the law enforcement and prosecutors in the jurisdictions where the firearms originate broadens our focus to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated response in both of those areas.

The technology that is being used has been installed over recent years and is vast and intrusive. It includes the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), which automates ballistics evaluations and analyses that used to be done by hand. Cartridge-casing evidence gathered at a crime scene is now entered into the Integrated Ballistic Identification System, which can be searched online by law-enforcement agencies.

At the DOJ’s disposal is eTrace, a web-based application that tracks the purchase and use history of firearms used in violent crimes. “These leads,” notes the ATF, “help law enforcement agencies quickly identify potential firearm traffickers and suspects … in order to identify an unlicensed purchaser.” eTrace, added the ATF, “is part of the broader ATF mission to catch violent offenders and criminal suppliers, and get their firearms off the street.” It added ominously, “ATF is constantly looking to leverage technology like eTrace to streamline the investigative process.” “The eTrace system allows law enforcement to conduct comprehensive traces of recovered crime guns and establish potential leads in their investigations,” the ATF continued.

The ATF uses the National Tracing Center to track the movement of a firearm from its manufacture through the distribution chain of wholesalers and retailers to identify “unlicensed” purchasers. “That information,” intones the ATF, “can help to link a suspect to a firearm in a criminal investigation and identify potential traffickers.”

Since 1968, the ATF has received several hundred million such records. So much for the claim that there is no national registry of firearms legally owned by American citizens.

The ATF has 25 Crime Gun Intelligence Centers (CGICs) across the land “designed to collect, analyze and distribute intelligence data about guns, mass shootings, and major incidents across multiple jurisdictions.” These centers “take a preventative approach to violent crime by targeting and prosecuting the sources of crime guns.” The ATF proudly reports that “CGICs disrupt the shooting cycle by identifying and prosecuting shooters and their sources of crime guns.”

All of this technology was woven together in late 2019 with the launch of Project Guardian in November, and Operation Relentless Pursuit in December. Project Guardian, launched by the DOJ, was “designed to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws across the country.” As then-Attorney General William Barr explained:

Project Guardian will strengthen our efforts to reduce gun violence by allowing the federal government and our state and local partners to better target offenders who use guns in crimes and those who try to buy guns illegally….

 

[It] will coordinate with state, local and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors to consider potential federal prosecution….

 

[It] will create new … guidelines for … prosecution of federal cases involving false statements [on Form 4473] made during the acquisition … of firearms.

“These tools,” said Barr, “can greatly enhance the speed and effectiveness in identifying trigger-pullers and finding their guns.”

Operation Relentless Pursuit is a practical application of all of these technologies and purposes by combining the ATF, the DEA, the FBI, and the U.S. Marshals “to support those cities that … continue to be plagued by rates of violent crime that are simply too high.”

Barr made it clear:

Through Relentless Pursuit, we pledge to hold accountable the trigger-pullers, firearm traffickers, violent criminals and those who supply them the guns to terrorize our communities.

 

ATF will aggressively utilize every available tool, including our crime gun enforcement teams, National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, and firearms tracing, to identify, investigate and support the prosecution of the most violent firearm offenders.

It’s a short step to expand the definition of who those “violent firearm offenders” might be to include anyone who owns a firearm. That would be prima facie evidence that such an individual is a potential “violent firearm offender” merely by his possession of such a weapon.

If virulent anti-gun David Chipman, Biden’s pick to head the ATF, somehow gets confirmed, every legal gun owner in the country will shortly be in his crosshairs. All the tools are in place. And the agency knows where millions of those gun owners live.

The success the ATF and the DOJ had in rounding up those gun traffickers from Georgia to New York reveals just how potent those tools are.

SCOTUS Will Hear Challenge to New York’s Gun Laws

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 4, 2021:

The Supreme Court has accepted 52 amici curiae (friend of the court) briefs in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association’s lawsuit against New York’s superintendent of state police, Keith Corlett. Nearly all of them focus on a particular part of the case that the justices might otherwise miss during the deliberations scheduled to begin in October.

One of them, however, focuses directly on the personal and intimate pain suffered by innocents, especially innocent people of color — black and Hispanic — who transgressed, often without knowing it, New York City’s draconian and unconstitutional limits on their right to keep and bear arms.

The brief, presented by the Black Attorneys of Legal Aid, or BALA, a group formed in 2017 to defend innocents against laws such as New York’s, makes the case that not only do New York’s gun-control laws prevent law-abiding citizens from obtaining permission to keep and bear firearms outside their homes, they are being used primarily against people of color. BALA presents six cases. We will look closely at just one of them here.

BALA summarizes its argument:

The … Second Amendment affords the people “the right to keep and bear arms.”Despite the clear text and this Court’s precedents [McDonald and Heller], New York’s licensing regime does the opposite.

 

It deprives everyone of that right, only returning it to those select few who manage to first secure a firearm license from the police.

 

For everyone else, possession of a firearm is effectively a “violent felony,” punishable by 3½ to 15 years in prison.

 

New York’s licensing requirements criminalize the exercise of the fundamental Second Amendment right, with rare exceptions.

 

As a result, each year, we represent hundreds of indigent people whom New York criminally charges for exercising their right to keep and bear arms. For our clients, New York’s licensing regime renders the Second Amendment a legal fiction. Worse, virtually all our clients whom New York prosecutes for exercising their Second Amendment right are Black or Hispanic.

 

And that is no accident. New York enacted its firearm licensing requirements to criminalize gun ownership by racial and ethnic minorities. That remains the effect of its enforcement by police and prosecutors today.

 

The consequences for our clients are brutal. New York police have stopped, questioned, and frisked our clients on the streets. They have invaded our clients’ homes with guns drawn, terrifying them, their families, and their children.

 

They have forcibly removed our clients from their homes and communities and abandoned them in dirty and violent jails and prisons for days, weeks, months, and years.

 

They have deprived our clients of their jobs, children, livelihoods, and ability to live in this country. And they have branded our clients as “criminals” and “violent felons” for life.

 

They have done all of this only because our clients exercised a constitutional right.

This, wrote the attorneys, results in a system where the New York Police Department “unilaterally decides whose firearm possession is an unlicensed crime and whose is a licensed right. It thus leaves the right to keep and bear arms up to the discretion of local police.”

Consider the case of Jasmine Phillips, a Texan who lawfully owned a gun in that state but was prosecuted under the New York law for unlicensed possession of the firearm while visiting family in the city:

Ms. Jasmine Phillips is a combat-decorated military veteran who served in Iraq. She had never been convicted of a crime. She legally possessed a pistol in Texas for self-defense.

 

After she and her husband separated, her husband moved to New York. To have their children spend some time with their father, Ms. Phillips and her children drove to New York.

 

While Ms. Phillips was parked in her car in New York, police officers surrounded the vehicle. One officer knocked on the passenger side window. Another opened the driver side car door, put her in a chokehold, dragged her out of the car, threw her on the pavement, flipped her over and handcuffed her. She heard officers search the car and find her pistol.

 

The prosecution later justified these acts because of a “tip.”

 

“The arrest was traumatizing,” she recounts. “Being separated from my two baby boys, who were three and four years old, broke my heart.”

 

After the arrest, she was held at the precinct, and then the courthouse, without food, water, a phone call, or even access to a bathroom. After hours and hours of prearraignment detention and processing, she finally saw a judge.

 

Like virtually everyone else accused of possessing a firearm, she was charged with violating N.Y. Penal Law § 265.03(3), a violent felony.

 

The judge set high monetary bail.

 

“I felt completely hopeless,” she says. “I thought about my kids, wracked with guilt and worry about what they were going through — were they scared? Confused? I was taken away from them so suddenly. I was crushed. I also thought about my job and the home I was renting, realizing that I was going to lose both. I felt broken.”

 

Ms. Phillips was jailed on Rikers Island for weeks before she made bail.

 

Because of her arrest, the Administration for Children Services (“ACS”) intervened and filed a child-neglect proceeding against her.

 

“I lost everything: my job, my car, my home, and my kids.”

 

She couldn’t see her children again for a full year, missing her son’s fifth birthday. She recalls:

 

Through my attorneys, I petitioned the family court to allow ACS to let me see my child, but ACS was too slow to respond. I spent my son’s fifth birthday in an Airbnb, alone, surrounded by the gifts that I had bought for him.

 

When I was finally allowed to see my children while I was in New York, ACS required that I meet with them during supervised visits in an ACS facility. It was so humiliating to have someone stand there while I tried to have some semblance of a normal, loving interaction with my kids.

 

During one visit, my older son told me that he loved going to school.

 

I was absolutely devastated. No one had told me that he had started pre-K. I missed his first day of school. I missed the chance to ask how his first day of school went. I can never undo that.

 

After extensive advocacy, Ms. Phillips’ case was diverted and eventually dismissed.

 

Still, the case had lasting effects: a Texas judge ruled against her in a child-custody case because of her “felony arrest.”

 

For Ms. Phillips, that was “the lowest moment of [her] life and the most hopeless [she] ever felt. There are no words to fully reach the depth of that emotion I was feeling,” she explains.

 

But the effects of the case did not stop there, either. ACS failed to properly close Ms. Phillips’ case and, four years after the arrest, they called the local sheriff in Texas to do a “welfare check.” She was not at home when the police came by, but her landlord was.

 

The police repeated inaccurate information about the dismissed case, provided by ACS, and the landlord then terminated the lease.

 

In addition, to this day, Ms. Phillips reports that her younger son continues to suffer severe separation anxiety:

 

If I leave the house to get something from the car without telling him, he’ll run out and say, “Momma, why didn’t you tell me you were leaving?” It hurts me so much every time he asks.

 

In sum, Ms. Phillips’ arrest for gun possession outside of the home continues to affect her, her family, and their lives today.

This is the personal side of the unconstitutional law New York uses to persecute and prosecute innocents who unwittingly violate it. There are five more equally devastating cases in the brief.

 

The high court is limiting its role to determining not whether citizens can legally carry outside the home but merely determining whether New York City’s application for a concealed-carry license violates their Second Amendment-protected rights.

It will hear arguments this fall and make its ruling next spring.

Gun-rights Groups Weigh in on Supreme Court Case on New York’s Concealed-carry Restrictions

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 21, 2021:  

Two gun-rights groups — the National Foundation for Gun Rights and the National Association for Gun Rights — have entered the fray over the Second Amendment. On Tuesday they filed an amici curiae (friends of the court) brief on the complaint filed by two gun owners against the State of New York.

When New York citizens Robert Nash and Brandon Koch each applied for permission to carry a firearm outside the home, permission was denied. The official used his discretion, claiming that neither Nash nor Koch had provided “proper cause” sufficient to justify his granting them such permission.

It didn’t matter that both of them cited their needs for self-protection, nor that each had completed extensive firearms training. It didn’t matter that they were upstanding law-abiding citizens concerned for their personal safety. New York has structured the law in such a way that almost no one can obtain such permission.

Each joined with the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA) in filing suit in federal court in February 2018, claiming that the official violated their Second Amendment-protected rights. In December, a district court dismissed their complaint. They appealed. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal in August 2020.

They appealed to the Supreme Court, and on April 26, 2021, the high court agreed to hear the appeal, but with a catch: The NYSRPA wanted the high court to rule on “whether the Second Amendment allows the government to prohibit ordinary law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns outside the home for self-defense.” This would cure and close the loophole left behind in the Heller decision.

The high court instead limited the question to: “Whether [New York’s] denial of petitioners’ application for concealed-carry licenses for self-defense violated the Second Amendment.”

In other words, by limiting the question just to the application required to obtain a permit to carry concealed in New York, the high court is already, by inference, allowing other infringements to remain in place. The core right guaranteed by the Second Amendment will remain open to question even if the high court finds New York’s restrictions on its application unconstitutional.

Nevertheless, the amici curiae makes the case for the fullest and broadest understanding of the Second Amendment even if the high court refuses to consider it in the present case.  The brief notes that “New York officials only grant a permit if an applicant can show ‘proper cause’ … [but] the term ‘proper cause’ is not defined within the statute.” This then “makes it impossible for the typical law-abiding New Yorker to obtain such a permit.”

Just the requiring of a permit to exercise a right is, in and of itself, an infringement:

Requiring law-abiding citizens to obtain a special permit to keep and bear arms, whether for concealed or open carry, violates the Second Amendment….

 

This is clear from the text of the Second Amendment itself, which enumerated the right and declared that it “shall not be infringed.”

The brief expands the argument that the Second Amendment doesn’t stand alone but is part of the remarkable “experiment in liberty” represented by the Constitution of the United States and its Bill of Rights:

The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right necessary to our system of ordered liberty.… It is an individual right that existed prior to the Founding….

It is unique:

The right to keep and bear arms is an advantage to that system of ordered liberty “which [quoting Federalist No. 46] the Americans posses over the people of almost every other nation.”

The brief extended its quote from Federalist, No. 46:

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … it forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition.

New York’s restrictions contradict the intention of the Founders:

That original understanding binds government from creating policy and regulations which encroach on the original understanding of the pre-existing right that the Second Amendment protects.

The brief also dispatches any notion that somehow only “a well-regulated militia” may carry firearms, by quoting from the high court’s ruling in Heller:

At the time of the founding, as now, to “bear” meant to “carry”…. The phrase implies that the carrying of the weapon is for the purpose of “offensive or defensive action,” [and] it in no way connotes participation in a structured military organization.

The brief makes the case that the Second Amendment’s position as an enumerated right removes it from discretionary restrictions by governments. It quoted Justice Clarence Thomas:

The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government — even the Third Branch of Government [the Judicial] — the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon.

 

A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all.

The brief invites the high court to broaden its consideration of the matter:

This Court should focus on the fact that the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms, concealed or not, was never understood, in the history and traditions of that right, at the Founding, to be limited to the home … a right so limited to one’s home would be no “right” at all.

The brief reminds the high court of the sovereignty of the individual citizen:

[In] our particular form of government … it is the individual citizen who stands as the ultimate source of governmental power and authority.

 

It is the individual citizen who ultimately possesses inalienable and pre-existing rights such as the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense against tyranny and violence.

The brief decries attempts by the courts to keep the Second Amendment as a “second-class” right:

Consider the value of the rights to speech, assembly, and religion [in the First Amendment] were they to be relegated only to being exercised within the home. Such limitation would neuter the right to the point of it being meaningless.

The brief concludes that “there is no historical or legal basis for the lower courts restricting the right to keep and bear arms, concealed or not, to being exercised solely within the home.” Consequently,

Governments and courts that fear or dislike arms should not be able to cavalierly treat the right of citizens to keep and bear arms, concealed or not, as a lesser right than the right to speech, assemble, or practice one’s religion.

Whether the high court listens and agrees to expand its consideration of the complaint to encompass the full and robust guarantee of the Second Amendment remains to be seen. There are six so-called originalists now on the high court, but recent rulings have brought into question just how “originalist” they really are.

The high court will hear arguments in the fall and make its ruling next spring. In the meantime, the war against private ownership of firearms continues.

Democrat Support for Biden’s ATF Pick Is Crumbling

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 20, 2021:

Joe Biden’s pick to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or ATF, David Chipman, has such a sorry and odious anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment, and anti-American stance on the private ownership of firearms that even the No. 2 Senate Democrat is having second thoughts.

On Monday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said “there are a lot of issues” with Chipman, admitting that the nomination “is not where we want it yet, but there’s always a chance.”

That’s Democrat double-speak for “any chance Chipman had to be confirmed by the Senate is now zero.”

Those “issues” to which Durbin referred were reviewed by The New American in May. Chipman’s responses to particularly probing questions by Republican senators were diffident, indirect, and in some cases incoherent. When pressed, he couldn’t define an “assault” weapon, even though he had worked for the ATF for 25 years and no doubt carried one on his person much of that time.

When quizzed about looking into Hunter Biden’s lying on the ATF’s Form 4430 in order to purchase a firearm, Chipman responded, “I will ensure that all violations of law are investigated and referred to.” Regarding Hunter Biden specifically, Chipman was incoherent: “I’m not sure that it has not been investigated.”

Unimpressed with his lies, prevarications, and distortions, not a single Republican Senator leaving the hearing said he would support the Biden nominee. That means that every single one of the 50 Democrat Senators must line up behind Chipman, or his nomination is dead.

The committee deadlocked, 11-11, on whether or not to move his nomination to the floor. That leaves the issue in the hands of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has yet to schedule a floor vote on the nomination.

At least eight Democrats, not including Durbin, are having their doubts. As of Monday, Maine Independent Senator Angus King (who caucuses with the Democrats) said that he still hadn’t made up his mind about Chipman. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he was still “working on it.”

Senate Democrat Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said he’s “still analyzing” the issue but added that he’s not “feeling the urgency” to move ahead with the Chipman nomination. Others not “feeling the urgency” include Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Gary Peters (D-Mich.).

Chipman hasn’t helped himself with his anti-gun sentiments. But most enraging are his deprecating comments about American gun owners. His denigration made headlines in March when he told them to “secure that gun, locked and unloaded, and hide it behind the cans of tuna and beef jerky that you have stored in a cabinet, and only bring that out if the zombies start to appear.”

With that, he ended his nomination. Those law-abiding gun owners didn’t need to know that he remains on the payroll of the anti-gun Giffords Law Center, or that he previously worked for Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun Everytown for Gun Safety. They didn’t need to know that Chipman, if confirmed, would advance the plan to disarm the American people as part of the Left’s attempt to transform America.

For all intents and purposes, Chipman’s nomination is dead.

Circuit Court: Law Prohibiting Citizens Under 21 From Purchasing Handguns Unconstitutional

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 16, 2021:  

In ruling for the majority of the three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, Judge Julius N. Richardson not only reversed a lower court’s ruling, he exposed the fatal flaw behind Congress’ creation of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968: Congress relied on fudged numbers to make its case restricting the gun rights of those under 21.

The original lawsuit was brought by 19-year-old Natalia Marshall in 2018 after she was denied the freedom to purchase a handgun for personal protection. Familiar with firearms since an early age, she decided to attempt to purchase one through a licensed dealer, but was denied thanks to the 1968 law:

[It is] unlawful for any licensed … dealer … to sell or deliver any firearm or ammunition to any individual … who the licensee knows … is less than twenty-one years of age.

Richardson wrote:

When do constitutional rights vest? At 18 or 21? 16 or 25? Why not 13 or 33?

 

In the law, a line must sometimes be drawn. But there must be a reason why constitutional rights cannot be enjoyed until a certain age.

 

Our nation’s most cherished constitutional rights vest no later than 18. And the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is no different.

 

Plaintiff seeks an injunction and a declaratory judgment that several federal laws and regulations that prevent federally licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to any 18-, 19-, or 20-year-old violate the Second Amendment.

 

We first find that 18-year-olds possess Second Amendment rights. They enjoy almost every other constitutional right, and they were required at the time of the Founding to serve in the militia and furnish their own weapons….

 

Looking through this historical lens to the text and structure of the Constitution reveals that 18- to 20-year-olds have Second Amendment rights. Virtually every other constitutional right applies whatever the age. And the Second Amendment is no different.

 

The militia laws in force at the time of ratification uniformly required those 18 and older to join the militia and bring their own arms.

While some historical restrictions existed, none support finding that 18-year-olds lack rights under the Second Amendment.

 

Judge Richardson then opened Pandora’s Box:

We then ask, as our precedent requires, whether the government has met its burden to justify its infringement of those rights under the appropriate level of scrutiny.

 

To justify this restriction, Congress used disproportionate crime rates to craft overinclusive laws that restrict the rights of overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens.

 

And in doing so, Congress focused on purchases from licensed dealers without establishing those dealers as the source of the guns 18- to 20-year-olds use to commit crimes.

 

So we hold that the challenged federal laws and regulations are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

 

Despite the weighty interest in reducing crime and violence, we refuse to relegate either the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status. Congress may not restrict the rights of an entire group of law-abiding adults because a minuscule portion of that group commits a disproportionate amount of gun violence….

 

Neither the government nor [its “friends”, i.e., Brady, Giffords, Everytown, etc.] can show that the burden of the challenged laws imposed on 18- to 20-year-olds’ rights has led to any meaningful or measurable positive effects. This highlights the lack of a reasonable connection between licensed dealers and gun crimes.

This is extraordinary. After 53 years of “settled law,” Judge Richardson boldly concludes that Congress erred in using phony data to support its infringements of young citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment.

The two judges concurring were appointed by Republican presidents. The dissenting judge, Obama appointee James A. Wynn, Jr., predictably avoided confronting the arguments the majority presented. Instead, he claimed they gave the “gun lobby a victory” that was otherwise unmerited: “The majority’s decision to grant the gun lobby a victory in a fight it lost on Capitol Hill more than fifty years ago is not compelled by law.”

He then invented another reason why the Second Amendment and its impact on young citizens should be treated differently:

The Second Amendment is exceptional not because it is uniquely oppressed or imperiled, but rather because it is singularly capable of causing harm.

Wynn makes up a new “right” under the Constitution that he thinks must be taken into account when considering the Second Amendment: the “public’s right to live — or “right not to be shot.”

Wynn claimed that the restrictions in the GCA of 1968 applying to young citizens only prevented them from buying a handgun from a licensed dealer and therefore was not really an “infringement”:

Young adults aged 18 to 20 may still possess and use handguns, may still receive handguns as gifts, and can even purchase handguns through unlicensed, but otherwise legal, private sales.

 

In other words, in enacting the challenged provisions, Congress was careful not to burden use, possession, or non-commercial sales.

This is how a judge unmoored from the “originalist” position when considering what the Founders meant at the time they wrote the Second Amendment responds. Instead, he relied on the fact that, until now, the GCA of 1968 has successfully survived various constitutional challenges and therefore it must be good law:

The challenged provisions are longstanding because they, just like the federal ban on possession of firearms by the mentally ill, were passed in 1968 — over fifty years ago — and because similar provisions making 21 the minimum age to purchase or use certain firearms have been commonplace for more than a century [i.e., the National Firearms Act of 1934 was signed into law by Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt 87 years ago].

The ruling is likely to be challenged by the now anti-gun Justice Department under Biden, knowing that the majority of the judges on the full court are Democrats who will reverse the panel’s ruling. The chances that the inevitable appeal to the Supreme Court will be considered by the high court are slim.

The fight to restore the Second Amendment to its full and robust intention is painfully slow, but the goal is worthy and increasingly achievable. Tuesday’s initial ruling is a small victory in the larger war.

Biden’s ATF Nominee David Chipman to Ban All “Assault-type” Weapons

This article was published by TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 27, 2021:

During a Senate confirmation hearing on Monday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pressed Biden pick, David Chipman, who is poised to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), to explain his position on banning the popular semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. Asked Cruz, “The AR-15 is one of if not the most popular rifles in America. It’s not a machine gun, it’s a rifle. Your public opinion is that you want to ban AR-15s. Is that correct?”

Chipman was crystal clear: “With respect to the AR-15, I support a ban.”

He then expanded on his remark, calling the rifle “particularly lethal”:

The AR-15 is a gun I was issued on ATF’s S.W.A.T. team and it’s a particularly lethal weapon, and regulating it as other particularly lethal weapons, I have advocated for.

This was the first among many lies, distortions, and prevarications that punctuated the nominee’s responses to intense probing and questions by Republican senators. The lie: the firearm Chipman was issued was no doubt a fully automatic weapon, capable of firing many rounds rapidly with a single press of the trigger. This is a far cry from popular AR-15s now owned by an estimated 20 million law-abiding American citizens.

The second statement — that the AR-15 is a “particularly lethal weapon” — is even more chilling:

Keep reading…

South Carolina Now an “Open Carry” State, But Not “Constitutional Carry”

This article was published by TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 21, 2021:  

When South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster last week signed into law an “open carry” bill that barely squeaked by the State Senate, he said, “I will proudly support any legislation that protects or enhances a South Carolinian’s ability to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.”

What he got was close to “constitutional carry,” i.e., no infringements on citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. Unfortunately, the state’s senators aren’t quite ready to allow the citizenry to exercise the full and robust nature of those rights.

The title of the bill — Open Carry With Training Act — gives it away.

Keep reading…

Supreme Court: Gun Confiscation Without a Warrant Is Unconstitutional

This article was published by TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, May 18, 2021:  

In a major setback to efforts to disarm American gun owners, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled unanimously — unanimously! — that the seizure of handguns from a residence by police without a warrant was unconstitutional.

The facts of the case — Caniglia v. Strom — are these, from the ruling:

Keep reading…

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann