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

Omnibus Spending Bill Contains Anti-gun Measures

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 14, 2022:  

Buried in the omnibus spending bill that hurriedly passed both the U.S. House and the Senate last week were two provisions that no doubt delighted anti-gun groups: expanded enforcement of the NICS background-check system and the recruitment of local and state officials to enforce federal gun-control laws.

The measure that passed the House earlier in the week arrived at the Senate at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. By 10:00 p.m. Wednesday, 68 Senators had voted for it under pressure to avoid a government shutdown.

Anti-gun Democrats saw their opportunity to stuff these two provisions into the bill, and they took it.

The first “insertion” is the “NICS Denial Notification Act of 2022”:

Reporting of background check denials to State authorities:

 

If the national instant criminal background check system … provides a notice … that the receipt of a firearm by a person would violate [the law], the Attorney General shall … report [this] to the local law enforcement authorities of the State … within 24 hours.

The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) scarcely had time to ferret out the offending language before warning its members of its danger:

Over 95 percent of all NICS denials are false positives, which means [that] all local and state police would be required to investigate law-abiding citizens when they’re wrongly and unconstitutionally denied the right to purchase a firearm.… This constitutes a serious expansion of federal gun control.

It especially endangers women, said NAGR’s executive director, Dudley Brown:

We will find ourselves in a situation where law-abiding women who need to arm themselves for self-defense get wrongfully denied a firearm purchase when the National Instant Check System [NICS] wrongfully flags them, and then [they] find themselves being investigated by the cops for doing nothing wrong.

This is bad enough. But the second “insertion” compounds the flagrant violation of the Constitution. Called the “Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys and Cross-Deputized Attorneys,” it allows the attorney general of the United States to

appoint … local prosecutors and qualified attorneys working for the United States government to serve as special assistant United States attorneys for the purpose of prosecuting violations … and deputize State … and local law enforcement officers for the purpose of enhancing the capacity of the agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives [ATF] in responding to and investigating violations.

In other words, this “insertion” violates states’ rights, and any sanctuary laws that states may have erected to keep federal law-enforcement officials from entering and enforcing laws the states consider to be unconstitutional.

The bill is more than 2,700 pages long, thus ensuring that hardly any representative or senator had time to read it before voting on it. And it neatly precluded any response from Second Amendment advocates such as the National Association for Gun Rights or Gun Owners of America to rally their members in protest.

It’s another example of how Congress passes laws the people don’t want.

Indiana, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio Could Soon Allow Constitutional Carry

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 8, 2022: 

Indiana’s General Assembly is likely to pass “constitutional carry” legislation this week, perhaps as soon as today, making it the 23rd state to do so once Republican Governor Eric Holcomb signs it into law.

The law would allow any Hoosier aged 18 and older to carry a firearm without first having to obtain government permission. It’s called “constitutional” as it reflects the Second Amendment guarantee that exercising such a right may not be “infringed” by government.

The bill’s author, Representative Ben Smaltz, said his bill “levels the playing field” by allowing the state’s citizens to carry openly or concealed, adding:

House Bill 1077 gets us to a place where the law-abiding citizen is not required to go through a process of asking permission, submitting to government investigation, supplying their fingerprints to enjoy a right that is constitutional at the federal level and constitutional at the state level.

On March 5, the Georgia Senate passed a similar bill, removing the need for Georgians to obtain a permit before being able to carry a firearm in public.

Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill last week that would grant the state’s citizens the freedom to carry a firearm without first obtaining permission. It now heads to the full Senate for approval and then on to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk for her signature.

On March 3, Ohio’s General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill eliminating the need for Ohioans to get a concealed-carry permit — the House by 57-35, and the Senate by 24-8. That bill now heads to Governor Mike DeWine for signing into law.

The momentum is all in favor of such legislation. Vermont has never had any such requirements thanks to its carefully worded Constitution. A synonym for “constitutional carry” is “Vermont carry.”

In 2003, Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski signed a constitutional carry bill into law; Arizona followed suit in 2010. Wyoming passed similar legislation in 2011, followed by Maine and Kansas in 2015. Four more states passed constitutional carry laws in 2016: West Virginia, Idaho, Mississippi, and Missouri. New Hampshire and North Dakota joined the lengthening list of states removing the permission requirement in 2017, while South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Kentucky followed suit in 2019.

Arkansas joined the constitutional-carry crowd in 2020, followed by Utah, Montana, Iowa, Tennessee, and Texas in 2021.

CNN took note of the accelerating move toward constitutional carry, noting that similar legislation is now pending in Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Nebraska. Michigan and Louisiana are also lining up behind the move toward permitless carry. CNN complained that such a law somehow “protects criminals,” claiming further that such freedom will lead to a rise in violent gun-related crime.

Not so, wrote John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center. In fact, those carrying firearms are much less likely to be convicted of a gun-related crime than even police — 12 times less likely, in fact:

Permit holders nationwide are incredibly law-abiding. Police officers are extremely rarely convicted of firearms-related violations, but it still happens, at a rate twelve times more often than for permit holders.

The case for constitutional carry is persuasive:

The people who benefit the most are those who live in high-crime urban areas;

 

None of the states which have passed constitutional carry laws have reconsidered them, or even held a single hearing questioning the decision;

 

The citizens resisting tyranny in Ukraine provide unassailable evidence of the efficacy of the private ownership of firearms; and

 

Where firearms are prevalent violent crime predictably and consistently declines.

The Second Amendment is overcoming its status as a “second-class” right. Next on the agenda must be repeal of the oppressive Gun Control Act of 1968 and then the National Firearms Act of 1934.

New York State Attorney General Suffers Setback in Effort to Dissolve NRA

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 4, 2021:  

New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who called the National Rifle Association (NRA) a “terrorist organization” with a “poisonous agenda” during her election campaign in 2018, was rebuffed in her attempt to have the group dissolved altogether.

Judge Joel M. Cohen chided AG James for overreaching:

The Attorney General’s claims to dissolve the NRA are dismissed.

 

Her allegations concern primarily private harm to the NRA and its members and donors, which if proven can be addressed by the targeted, less intrusive relief she seeks through other claims in her Complaint.

 

The Complaint does not allege that any financial misconduct benefited the NRA, or that the NRA exists primarily to carry out such activity, or that the NRA is incapable of continuing its legitimate activities on behalf of its millions of members.

 

In short, the Complaint does not allege the type of public harm that is the legal linchpin for imposing the “corporate death penalty.”

 

Moreover, dissolving the NRA could impinge, at least indirectly, on the free speech and assembly rights of its millions of members. While that alone would not preclude statutory dissolution if circumstances otherwise clearly warranted it, the Court believes it is a relevant factor that counsels against State-imposed dissolution, which should be the last option, not the first.

In other words, Judge Cohen accused James of massive overreach in her attempt to close down the NRA altogether over the alleged, and as-yet unproven, misbehavior on the part of the group’s top officials.

Not surprisingly, James, on the day she filed suit, claimed that politics or her personal animosity against the NRA had nothing to do with her complaint: “This is not a question of the moment that I’ve been waiting for. This is a question … of following the facts and applying the law.”

Of course.

She began the investigation into the NRA’s alleged misconduct within a month of taking office in January 2019, an investigation involving dozens of lawyers and investigators in her office and costing taxpayers millions of dollars. In August 2020, she filed the infamous lawsuit, 169 pages long, detailing what she and her task force found: that NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre

has exploited the organization for his financial benefit, and the benefit of a close circle of NRA staff, board members, and vendors.

 

Contrary to his statutory duties of care, loyalty and obedience to the mission of the charity, LaPierre has undertaken a series of actions to consolidate his position; to exploit that position for his personal benefit and that of his family; to continue, by use of a secret “poison pill contract,” his employment even after removal and ensuring NRA income for life; and to intimidate, punish, and expel anyone at a senior level who raised concerns about his conduct.

 

The effect has been to divert millions of dollars away from the charitable mission, imposing substantial reductions in its expenditures for core program services, including gun safety, education, training, member services and public affairs.

And then, in a non sequitur, she claimed that La Pierre and his cohorts cost the group millions of dollars, as a result:

During the period 2015 to 2018, the NRA has reported a reduction in unrestricted net assets by $63 million.

In her humble opinion, therefore, she asked the court to dissolve the NRA, use its remaining liquidated assets to reimburse injured parties, and ban the guilty parties from ever running another charity in New York State:

As a result of these persistent violations of law by the Defendants, the Attorney General seeks a finding by this Court that the NRA is liable to be dissolved … based upon the NRA’s pattern of conducting its business in a persistently fraudulent or illegal manner, abusing its powers contrary to public policy of New York and its tax exempt status, and failing to provide for the proper administration of its trust assets and institutional funds; because directors or members in control of the NRA have looted or wasted the corporation assets, have operated the NRA solely for their personal benefit, or have otherwise acted in an illegal, oppressive or fraudulent manner.

 

The Attorney General requests that this Court determine … that the interest of the public and the members of the NRA supports a decision to dissolve the NRA.

James is disappointed in Cohen’s rebuffing of her request, but relishes the opportunity to pursue the defendants: “We are disappointed that the judge ruled against the dissolution portion of the case [but] are considering our legal options with respect to this ruling. We remain committed to enforcing New York law regardless of how powerful any individual or organization may be.”

Her campaign promise to attack the “terrorist organization” with its “poisonous agenda” will continue despite the court’s rebuff.

Remington’s Insurance Carriers Forced Remington to Settle With Sandy Hook Victims’ Families, Paying Them $73 Million

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 16, 2022:  

The announcement on Tuesday that Remington Arms had finally settled (some used the words “claimed liability” for) the seven-year-old lawsuit filed by parents of children lost in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012 was portrayed as a major breakthrough by the anti-gun major media. The settlement, wrote the New York Times, “is a significant setback to the firearms industry.”

No, it is not. The Times explained why: “The lawsuit worked around the federal law [Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA] protecting gun companies from litigation by arguing that the manufacturer’s marketing of the weapon had violated Connecticut consumer law.”

That’s why the lawsuit has meandered through the court system for seven long years: the plaintiffs had no case. It was the Supreme Court that refused to hear the case on appeal from Connecticut’s Supreme Court, thus allowing the case to proceed. Finally, in exhaustion and not admission of guilt, the settlement was made.

Originally the parents wanted $225 million. But Remington was in bankruptcy and the only asset it had was its insurance coverage from four different insurance companies, which just happened to be the amount of the $73 million settlement.

The Connecticut law involved in the “workaround” is the state’s Unfair Trade Practices Act. Its meaning had to be expanded to include marketing practices that the left-wing state Supreme Court considered illegal: Remington pointed its ads to young men, its most profitable target market. Some of those young men included mentally unbalanced people such as Adam Lanza who saturated his mind with video games that involved firearms.

As John Lott, head of the Crime Prevention Research Center, wrote in USA Today: “There is no evidence that the ads influenced the actions of the Sandy Hook killer.” In fact, Lanza didn’t even purchase the firearms used in the shooting: he stole them from his mother.

Added Lott:

The [Connecticut] state Supreme Court decision [that the Supreme Court refused to hear on appeal] significantly expands the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. For the first time, the court has allowed the act to be used in cases where there was no “commercial relationship.” The shooter did not buy the gun he used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School; his mother did.

It’s clear who the ruling is targeting, and it’s not mentally unstable young men such as Adam Lanza: It’s the gun manufacturers. Jonathan Lowy, chief counsel for the rabid anti-gun group Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (“Brady”), clearly stated:

This is an important win for victims of gun violence and the movement to hold the gun industry accountable. It sends a powerful message to these executives — even with your special protections, you can and will be held accountable for gun violence.

Not according to Timothy Lytton, professor of law and expert on the firearms industry at Georgia State University: “Most of the country — or at least half the country — is not looking for ways to liberalize or open the door to litigation. They’re looking for ways to expand gun rights and clamp down on anything that would restrict supply.”

The only state to pass a copycat law like Connecticut’s is New York, which is already notoriously anti-gun. A similar bill has been introduced in anti-gun California, and anti-gun legislators in New Jersey is considering similar legislation.

As crime rises in big cities across the land, the demand isn’t for more restrictions on the right to keep, bear and use firearms, but the contrary. Brady and its sycophants in the media celebrating the “big win” on Tuesday are pushing their agenda uphill against an increasingly informed electorate who know who is threatening their rights.

ATF Reveals It Has a National Gun Registry Already in Place

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 1, 2022:  

When the Washington Free Beacon obtained documents last November revealing that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) had more than 54 million records of Americans who purchased firearms from local gun dealers, Representative Michael Cloud (R-Texas) and 51 other members of Congress demanded answers. In November he expressed his “concern”:

We are concerned that this Administration is leveraging its power in a way to establish a federal gun registry….

 

Congress has made it clear … that the federal government shall not create a federal gun registry and has prohibited ATF from creating any centralized databases.

He demanded answers to a number of questions, including just how many records ATF had, how many of them have been digitized using OCR or Optical Character Recognition technology, and specifically “how its Out-of-Business Records Center policy [of capturing all records from gun dealers who go out of business] does not violate the statutory restriction on a federal gun or gun owner registry?”

Cloud’s letter was signed by House members Thomas Massie, Pete Sessions, Ronny L. Jackson, Andy Biggs, Chip Roy, Jim Jordan, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Burgess Owens, Louie Gohmert, and others. 

Those members were stunned when Daniel Board, ATF’s assistant director, responded:

In total, ATF manages 920,664,765 OBR [Out of Business Records], as of November 2021 … 865,787,086 of those records are in digitized format.

Board then tried to explain that the ATF’s purposes in keeping such an immense database were benign:

The OBR [database does] not capture and store certain key information, such as firearms purchaser information in an automated file….

 

The ATF National Tracing Center … only traces crime guns … ATF is confident that it does not violate any laws.

Cloud didn’t buy it, telling the Free Beacon:

A federal firearm registry is explicitly banned by law. Yet, the Biden administration is again circumventing Congress and enabling the notably corrupt ATF to manage a database of nearly a billion gun transfer records.

 

Under the president’s watch, the ATF has increased surveillance of American gun owners at an abhorrent level. The Biden administration continues to empower criminals and foreign nationals while threatening the rights of law-abiding Americans.

John Crump, writing for Ammoland Inc., caught the lie about the OBR database only capturing “certain” limited information in its files, excluding purchaser information:

Although the ATF claims not to have the ability to search for specific character strings [such as purchaser names and related information], the fact they are using OCR means that it would only take mere minutes to enable [its] ability to search the documents.

The information-technology company Teris explains just how easy it is to turn paper documents into digital form that then can be searched using keywords such as “purchaser”:

OCR is the process of converting images and flat non-searchable documents into searchable text documents … so you can search for keywords….

 

OCR has a range of benefits, including:

 

Converting non-searchable documents into searchable text documents,

 

Quickly find relevant information: keywords, dates, phrases, and more, and

 

Convert paper files into a searchable digital repository.

So, the ATF already has nearly a billion searchable files on American gun owners, including name, address, phone number, and other information the agency requires on its Form 4473 a purchaser must complete before a gun may be purchased from a gun dealer.

This is the agency that Cloud describes as “notably corrupt” and about which Lee Williams, a researcher for The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project, notes:

There has never been a federal agency with so little regard for the sanctity of human life, with such a history of failure, with such antiquated duties and responsibilities, with such a propensity to overreact, with such an addiction to good press, with such a willingness to bend over for any politician in charge, and — as we currently see playing out — with such little regard for the constitutional rights of American citizens.

Readers seeking more information about ATF’s failures and atrocities in Ruby Ridge, Waco, the Branch Davidians, and Operation Fast and Furious, Crump’s review is available here.

The gun registry that gun owners have feared for years as the next step towards gun confiscation is now in place. Disarming the public is the final step in turning the American Republic into a dictatorship.

San Jose City Council Moves to Tax Lawful Gun Owners and Require Them to Buy Liability Insurance

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 26, 2022:  

Even after being warned against moving to tax law-abiding gun owners and require them to buy liability insurance, the San Jose City Council voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to move ahead with those infringements.

The city’s mayor, Sam Liccardo, even admitted during the hours-long council meeting that the new measures would do nothing to reduce violent crime: “This won’t stop mass shootings and keep bad people from committing violent crime.” But he justified the move by concern that the availability of firearms in homes somehow risks an increase in suicides. And besides, said the mayor, the cost of gun violence in San Jose costs the city millions and, therefore (by his reasoning), law-abiding gun owners should help defray some of that expense.

The fee would be $25 per firearm (which assumes that the city either already knows where they are and who owns them, or would establish some sort of registry to collect such data), and liability insurance would be required to cover costs related to “accidental use of the firearm, including death, injury, or property damage,” according to the Associated Press.

This ignores the fact that, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, gun owners are already among the safest, lowest-risk individuals in the country. But the tax and insurance, according to the anti-gun majority on the council, would “incentivize” gun owners to take extra special care of their weaponry, take gun safety classes, and lock up their firearms at home when not in use.

How would such an ordinance be enforced? The mayor said the liability insurance would be just like car insurance, which he said (without proof) has already dramatically reduced traffic fatalities. Implementation would fall to law-enforcement officers making routine traffic stops, by requiring them to ask drivers if they own a firearm and if they have liability insurance, and to demand to “see proof of that insurance.”

All of this was just too much for Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights and executive director of the National Foundation for Gun Rights. Just before the final vote on Tuesday night, Brown told CNN:

We’ve opposed this ordinance every step of the way, and we will see this through to the end.

If the San Jose City Council actually votes to impose this ridiculous tax on the Constitutional right to gun ownership [the final vote is scheduled to take place at the next monthly meeting in February], our message is clear and simple: see you in court.

That’s what he promised in a letter his foundation had their lawyers send to each member of the council back in July.

From the letter:

This Firm represents the National Foundation for Gun Rights. It has come to our attention that on June 29, 2021, you voted unanimously to have the City Attorney research and draft an ordinance that would impose a mandatory fee on gun owners and require them to buy gun liability insurance. Given that the city’s own press release regarding the proposed ordinance, concedes that “criminals won’t obey these mandates,” the City of San Jose is seeking to impose a tax on a select group of law abiding citizens simply for exercising their right to keep and bear arms.

The letter reminded council members that the issue was settled at the Supreme Court, in two rulings: McDonald v. City of Chicago held that the Second Amendment not only guarantees the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, but also guarantees against infringement by the individual states through the Fourteenth Amendment; and Nordyke v. King held that the Second Amendment is “fundamental and is incorporated against states and municipalities” like the City of San Jose.

The attorneys added:

What you propose to do strikes at the very core of this fundamental right and seeks to punish (though registration and taxation) citizens of your city who have committed no crime or offense.

The attorneys made it sound as if the council members were suffering a temper tantrum: “It is easily understood that the goal of the proposed ordinance is to suppress and discourage the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms … [which is] presumptively unconstitutional.”

The warning by Brown through his attorneys was clear to the San Jose City Council, or should have been:

Please be advised that should you pass the proposed ordinance and blatantly violate the constitutional rights of the residents of San Jose, my clients have authorized our firm to file a lawsuit against the City to protect the constitutional rights of their members. This lawsuit will be brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 for the deprivation of constitutional rights.

 

As such, once we prevail in protecting the residents of San Jose’s constitutional rights, our firm will then seek our reasonable attorney fees under 42 U.S.C. §1988(b).

 

We thereby strongly encourage you to reconsider moving forward with the proposed ordinance.

CNN noted in its coverage of the vote by the city council that the legislation, if passed into law, would be “the first of its kind” in the country. If the San Jose City Council votes in February to approve it, Brown’s attorneys are prepared to make it the last.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams Announces Revised “Stop, Question, and Frisk” Policy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 25, 2022:  

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced on Monday a four-step program to reduce violent crime in the Big Apple. Since he took over from former mayor Bill DeBlasio on January 1, five NYPD officers have been shot.

His plan:

Reinstating the Public Safety Teams that were terminated under DeBlasio, calling them Neighborhood Safety Teams;

 

Employing state-of-the-art technology to identify if an individual is carrying a firearm;

 

Increasing funding for the department’s Gun Violence Suppression Division which builds cases against criminals; and

 

Appointing judges with a “demonstrated commitment to keeping violent criminals who use guns off New York City streets.”

Adams is attempting to fulfill a campaign promise to rein in violent crime, saying, “I know how to do this. New York has done it before.”

Without saying so directly, Adams is clearly inferring that he will allow officers in the new Public Safety Teams to infiltrate the highest crime-ridden precincts and reinstitute the controversial “stop, question, and frisk” policies that cost former mayor Michael Bloomberg his job when running against leftist Bill DeBlasio in 2013.

The officers will cruise high-crime precincts in unmarked vehicles and will wear street clothes. When confronting a suspect, under Terry Stop rules, they will identify themselves as officers by wearing jackets similar to those used by the FBI when they conduct raids. The new technology could amount to “a no-contact (no frisk) version” of the Terry Stop, said Nolan Hicks of the New York Post.

The Terry Stop, based upon the 1968 Supreme Court ruling in Terry v. Ohio, reduced the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated … but upon probable cause” to “reasonable suspicion.”

Under Mayor Bloomberg, the policy resulted in major pushback from liberal groups who complained that it was enforced out of all proportion in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

Bloomberg tried to explain his way out of the dilemma in 2015:

Ninety-five percent of murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city … and that’s where the real crime is….

 

[We] put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is.

The impact on violent crime in New York City apparently was inconclusive, and Bloomberg lost his reelection bid to DeBlasio, who shut down the effort.

The new mayor faces a daunting task: selling the resurrected team as a way to fight violent crime to hard-core leftists who are opposed to it. They include Keechant Sewell, Adams’ newly appointed police commissioner, who failed to show up at Adam’s announcement ceremony. Observers will remember that when Sewell accepted her appointment, she did so with a poster featuring cop-killer Assata Shakur behind her. Shakur was charged in 1977 with the murder of New York State Trooper Werner Foerster, escaped from prison in 1979, and now lives in communist Cuba.

Adams also faces resistance from Adrienne Adams, the newly elected speaker of the New York City Council. Her resume includes being a “long time member of the NAACP and the National Action Network (NAN).” The NAN was founded by tax-evader and race-baiter “Reverend” Al Sharpton. In June 2021, the NAN and the NAACP joined forces in a march down Fifth Avenue calling for an end to stop-and-frisk.

Also on the City Council is another hard-core leftist, Tiffany Daban, who, upon learning of Adams’ plans to reduce violent crime, said, “Much in the Mayor’s plan is cause for deep concern.… [It’s] built on a foundation of surveillance and punishment, which are ineffective and dangerous.”

There are other solutions to New York City’s spiraling violent-crime rate, such as allowing constitutional carry among its citizens. At present, the proposed reinstatement of stop and frisk is likely to go nowhere, and violent crime in the Big Apple will continue to increase.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Pushes Legislators to Pass Constitutional-carry Bill

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 6, 2022:  

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced his support for constitutional-carry legislation on Wednesday. The announcement was made at Adventure Outdoors, which touts itself as the “World’s Largest Gun Store” in Smyrna, outside Atlanta. Kemp was joined by other Republicans supporting the move.

Constitutional carry refers to the carrying of a handgun, either openly or concealed, without requiring its owner first to obtain government permission, through a license or a permit, to do so.

Said Kemp,

In the face of rising violent crime across the country, law-abiding citizens should have their constitutional rights protected, not undermined.

 

And while this position has recently become popular for [22 other states] as we enter the campaign season, my position has remained the same: I believe the United States Constitution grants the citizens of our state the right to carry a firearm without state government approval.

According to Georgia’s constitution, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but the General Assembly shall have the power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne.”

State Senator Jeff Mullis plans to introduce just such legislation next week, and other legislators are preparing similar bills. Both chambers of the General Assembly, along with the governor’s office, the secretary of state, and the state’s attorney general are in Republican hands. So, if Mullis’ bill, or one like it, is passed by the General Assembly, Kemp will sign it into law.

However, Kemp’s commitment to protecting the right of Georgians to carry according to the Second Amendment has wavered in the past. The Associated Press noted that Kemp failed to mention the issue in his 2019, 2020, or 2021 State of the State speeches “when governors urge their top priorities on lawmakers.”

Kemp is arguably more interested in retaining his position as governor. He is up for reelection this November, and he has some serious competition, including former Senator David Perdue, whom Donald Trump has endorsed instead of Kemp.

Kemp got sideways with the former president over the November 2020 presidential election results. Trump believed there was significant fraud in the election process in the state, giving Biden a razor-thin victory with just a one-quarter of one percent margin — less than 12,000 votes out of nearly five million that were cast — over Trump.

When the former president called Kemp for help, whom he had previously endorsed for the governorship, his plea was ignored.

Trump recalled that conversation with Kemp:

You know you have a big election integrity problem in Georgia. I hope you can help us out and call a special election and let’s get to the bottom of it for the good of the country, for the good of the state of Georgia.

Kemp instead ratified the election results, and Trump retaliated. In a telephone interview with Fox News days after the controversial election, Trump said,

Everything [in Georgia] has to be approved by the legislature, and they had judges making deals, and they had electoral officials making deals, like this character in Georgia [Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger] who’s a disaster.

 

And the governor’s done nothing. I’m ashamed that I endorsed him. But I look at what’s going on, it’s so terrible.

Now Trump has endorsed Perdue in his race against Kemp for the governorship and his endorsement has, according to a recent poll, pushed Perdue into a dead heat with Kemp.

In another poll taken among Georgians, Trump’s favorable/unfavorable image is 84 percent-10 percent, Perdue’s is 79 percent-nine percent, while Kemp’s is just 68 percent-22 percent. In that same poll, 78 percent of Republican voters in the state believe that “significant fraud occurred in the 2020 election” and just 31 percent “believe Kemp did enough to prevent voter fraud in the election.”

While Kemp’s move to free Georgians from state demands that gun owners first obtain government permission to exercise their Second Amendment-guaranteed rights is applauded, his motives for doing so, even before the General Assembly has passed anything for him to sign, must be questioned.

Biden Uses Anniversary of Sandy Hook to Push Gun Control

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 15, 2021:  

In a video message from the White House, President Biden mourned yesterday with the families who lost children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, nine years ago. He assumed the patina of a sincere close friend familiar with their suffering, claiming that it was “one of the saddest days” during his time as vice president under Barack Obama.

He then turned the memorial service directed to those families into political theater directed to anyone else who might be watching: “We owe all of these families more than our prayers. We owe them action.”

Biden sounded like President Obama when Obama made a televised statement following the shooting back in December 2012. Said Obama at the time, “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this.” He said he would “use whatever power this office holds” to prevent future such tragedies.

All of which is hyperbole, tiresome repetitions of remedies that have nothing to do with preventing future Adam Lanzas from committing similar mayhem. But those “remedies” have everything to do with continuing the government’s war against private ownership of firearms by American citizens.

Lanza, it will be remembered, had no criminal record. His mother was a law-abiding citizen and owner of a number of firearms which she had purchased legally over time. Lanza’s first crime was theft. He stole a few of his mother’s firearms and used them first to murder his mother and then kill a total of 28 people, including himself. 

The report from Connecticut’s attorney for the District of Danbury, where Sandy Hook Elementary School is located, concluded that the firearms and ammunition that Lanza used were legally purchased by Nancy Lanza and then stolen by her son Adam.

 

Wrote AWR Hawkins, a freelance writer with a Ph.D. in U.S. military history:

All of the guns were lawfully purchased by Lanza’s mother as was all the ammunition. Lanza then bypassed all gun control [laws] by stealing the firearms before using them to carry out his heinous crimes.

 

Because the guns were stolen [gun control laws did] nothing to prevent the crime at Sandy Hook Elementary.

What Biden’s mourning did was reveal once again that the issue wasn’t preventing similar atrocities in the future but continuing the long war on private gun ownership in the United States.

So, the chipping away at the Second Amendment continues. In his message, Biden said he already had “curbed the proliferation of ghost guns, crack[ed] down on rogue gun dealers, and promot[ed] safe storage [rules for firearms].”

And, if history is any guide, Biden is likely to unleash a barrage of illegal executive orders that have nothing to do with preventing future tragedies but everything to do with continuing the war on guns.

Following the shooting in 2012, President Obama issued 23 executive orders that were irrelevant to the shooting, including:

  • Directing his Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure that dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks;
  • Proposing a rule giving law enforcement authorities the power to run background checks on an individual before returning a seized gun;
  • Publishing instructions from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers;
  • Directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to research [the causes of] gun violence; and
  • Directing the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies.

One can see at once how the war is being conducted. Under the cover of the Sandy Hook shooting, that war will be ramped up once again, this time by the Biden administration, not in any attempt to prevent another Sandy Hook shooting, but to continue the steady chipping away at and erosion of precious rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Cato: New Hampshire Freest State; New York Still Least Free

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 6, 2021:  

There were few surprises in the Cato Institute’s sixth annual “Freedom in the 50 States” report released last week: New Hampshire is No. 1 while New York is No. 50. And for the same reasons. In New Hampshire, government is the most restricted, allowing the state’s citizens the most freedom. In New York, it’s the reverse: The state’s citizens are controlled, mandated, restricted, regulated, and heavily taxed.

In determining its rankings, the institute measures three broad categories in each state: personal freedoms (smoking, licensing, speed limits, marijuana, starting and running a business, etc.); fiscal policies (state debt, pension liabilities versus assets, income and sales taxes, etc.); and regulatory policies (speed limits, helmet laws, COVID mandates, zoning, and so forth).

Without saying so out loud, eight of the top 10 states for freedom in Cato’s ranking are run by Republicans, while eight of the 10 least-free states are run by Democrats. It’s ideology in practice: The freest states value freedom by limiting government, while in the least-free states, governments have been allowed to interfere and trespass personal freedoms almost without limit.

New Hampshire:

New Hampshire grabs the top spot overall because it does well in both economic freedom (3rd) and personal freedom (2nd)….

 

New Hampshire’s overall tax burden is well below the national average at 8.1 percent. The state government taxes less than any other state but Alaska [which ranks 24th in overall freedom]….

 

New Hampshire’s regulatory outlook is not so sunny.… The Granite State’s primary sin is exclusionary zoning … [along with] the absence of a right-to-work law [and] no exceptions to the [state’s] workers’ compensation mandate….

 

The state is above average on occupational freedom solely because the health professions enjoy broad scope of practice….

 

New Hampshire is quite personally free.… Nondrug victimless crime arrests are down significantly [and] the state enacted a significant asset forfeiture reform in 2016….

 

Educational freedom is extensive in the Granite State.… A 2021 expanded ESA (Educational Savings Account) will help the state improve its ranking in this category….

 

It is one of the two best states in the country for gun rights. The “constitutional carry” [no permit needed] bill was enacted [in 2017].

On the other hand, New York deserves to be dead last as it has been rated by Cato for years. “In fact,” wrote the authors of the study, “the Empire State has been the worst state for freedom in every year since our data set began in 2000.”

The state levies both state and local taxes, which together (7.9 percent plus 6.6 percent, respectively) total 14.5 percent, almost twice that of New Hampshire’s. From a regulatory perspective, New York, New Jersey, and California are nearly tied as worst in the nation. Wrote the authors, “Land-use freedom is very low, primarily because of the economically devastating rent control law in New York City.” It has a minimum-wage law and a disability insurance mandate, plus paid family leave.

From the perspective of personal freedom, New York ranks last because, wrote the authors, “New York is perhaps the worst state for homeschoolers.… It has no private school choice program, and only a meager public program.”

As for the Second Amendment, “gun rights are hedged about with all kinds of restrictions,” wrote the authors. A case now pending before the Supreme Court is likely to change all of that, however, making it vastly easier for the state’s citizens to obtain a concealed-carry permit than it is currently. With that single victory, New York might be able to move out of the basement on freedom in Cato’s study next year.

For the record, here are the top and bottom states from the Cato study, along with the governor’s party:

In overall freedom, the top 10 states are:

New Hampshire – Republican governor

Florida – Republican governor

Nevada – Democratic governor

Tennessee – Republican governor

South Dakota – Republican governor

Indiana – Republican governor

Michigan – Democratic governor

Georgia – Republican governor

Arizona – Republican governor

Idaho – Republican governor

The worst 10 states for freedom:

New York – Democratic governor

Hawaii – Democratic governor

California – Democratic governor

New Jersey – Democratic governor

Oregon – Democratic governor

Maryland – Republican governor

Delaware – Democratic governor

Vermont – Republican governor

New Mexico – Democratic governor

Rhode Island – Democratic governor

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.

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