Currently Browsing: Gun Rights
Sep 30, 2015
Chris Christie has been trying to convince gun owners he’s not like all the other New Jersey Governors and politicians on gun issues, and to be honest, he’s not. Today he pardoned three more people, otherwise law abiding, who happened to run afoul of New Jersey’s draconian gun laws. Chalk it up to wanting to do better among GOP primary voters, but no other New Jersey governor has been willing to pardon honest citizens who mistakenly run afoul of their gun laws. These are not isolated incidents. These kinds of cases have been happening in New Jersey at a pretty regular frequency for years, and often these people just end up rotting in jail, their lives and families destroyed. So I will give Christie credit where it is due.
A tip of the hat to Charles C.W. Cooke over at National Review, who broke the story.
Sep 21, 2015
Eugene Volokh has a great post up on the Nassau County District Attorney’s office policy that forbids employees from owning handguns at home.
While he does first address the Second Amendment constitutional rights, I found the second part of the post the most compelling. There’s actually a law in New York that forbids employers from discriminating against employees or candidates for employment based on their lawful hobbies that in no way impacts their work (no compensation, no use of work equipment, not done on premises, etc.). I had no idea that such a statute was on the books in their Labor Code, but it seems like one that gun owners in New York might want to keep in mind.
Volokh only makes the case that this protects handgun collecting, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t also protect a competitive shooter. Sports are listed as a protected leisure time activity. Regardless, this was a very interesting tidbit that could come in handy should an anti-gun boss decide to take an extreme action against a New York gun owner – like the DA’s office has apparently decided to do in Nassau County.
Sep 16, 2015
Mike Fitzpatrick and Pat Meehan have shown a willingness to play both sides of the gun control debate, and it’s no surprise they are co-sponsoring a gun control bill that tries to make gun trafficking double plus illegal. There’s no middle ground with this issue anymore, especially when the Democrats they are joining with are liars, and the worst that party has to offer in terms of people who would like to burn the Second Amendment. Take a look what Rep. Elijah Cummings has to say about the bill:
The current penalties for straw purchasers are “toothless” and merely serve as a “slap on the wrist,” critics say. They argue there is little incentive to prevent people from making straw purchases, or for law enforcement to arrest them.
“It’s like going 65 miles an hour in a 55 zone and getting a speeding ticket,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) told The Hill. “There’s no real punishment.”
In what way is a 10 year federal felony conviction “no real punishment.” You can rob a bank and do less time. Elijah Cummings is flat our lying. Constituents of Pat Meehan should write him and ask him why he’s joining with liars are frauds. Fitzpatrick is not running again, so I could care less of about him. He’s always been a worm. Good riddance.
Meehan has some pretty rural parts in his district. There’s certainly a few gun clubs. He has no reason to keep working with the enemies of the Second Amendment, other than his constituents are not applying enough pressure to keep him in the pro-gun fold. That district isn’t going to support a wild-eyed conservative firebrand, but it should support a candidate pretty solid on Second Amendment issues. Meehan’s district is even on the Cook PVI scale. You don’t see Ryan Costello next door in six, which is only R+1 on Cooke PVI equivocating on the issue.
Suburban Philadelphia gun owners need to get more active. This is the only part of the country outside of New York where you’re getting Republicans who are soft on this issue.
Sep 14, 2015
I used to be accepted in the Democratic Party that gun control cost them Congress in 1994, and cost Al Gore the election in 2000. Them somehow, Obama and the media convinced candidates it was cool again. Our opponents are saying this poll shows growing interest in gun policy, but a closer look at the crosstabs show this is actually very bad news for them. That’s probably why Martin O’Malley thought it was a good idea to introduce a gun control plan that makes Al Gore’s look mild. Let me briefly summarize what Obama’s Chosen One to take out Hillary proposes:
- Universal gun registration.
- Licensing and fingerprinting of gun owners.
- Ban on so-called “assault weapons” like he did in Maryland.
- Ban possession of any firearm by people under 21. No more teaching your kids.
- Reject federally mandated concealed carry.
- Require microstamping federally.
- Extend domestic situations to people dating.
- Mandated “lost & stolen” reporting.
- Allow unlimited surprise inspection of dealers.
- Revoke the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
- Make people subject to TROs prohibited persons.
- Require guns in the home be locked up and made unavailable for self-defense. Remember, the Supreme Court is retreating from Heller and McDonald.
- Force manufacturers who do business with the federal government to install “safety features” like magazine disconnects.
This isn’t much of a sage prediction, but O’Malley is not even going to give Hillary a run for her money. He’s a loser, as Donald Trump would say. Stick a fork in him, he’s done. He’ll be a glaring example that gun control won’t save you, even in a Democratic Primary.
Aug 6, 2015
The Trace spins so fast you could enrich uranium over the Cornyn bill, because supposedly it pushes the debate onto friendlier ground for them. They aren’t happy, however, about all the veterans that will get yanked out of NICS under the bill because there was insufficient due process given to them. I have a very small violin to play for them.
We’ve seen this before, because history has repeated itself. We trade more incentives for the states to report records to the federal system, and get something in return: this time gutting the Administration’s program to strip veterans of Second Amendment rights, and a halt to any plan to do the same for some Social Security recipients. This has been done several times now. The first time Congress did this, if you recall, the Brady Campaign declared outright victory over the NICS Improvement Amendments Act (NIAA), even though the bill created a relief from disability program for the first time since the Gun Control Act passed. Prior to 2008, mental health disabilities were irrevocable lifetime prohibitions. You might recall that back in 2007, VPC were the only anti-gun group willing to call bullshit on the deal, but VPC has always had the luxury of being able to rely on a few big foundations for its existence.
That bill had weaknesses, however, as the Administration is currently exploiting, because it only provided for relief after the fact, and did not do enough to define criteria for placement in the system in the first place. This latest improvement should remove those veterans that have been screwed out of their rights, and put the onus on the VA to show they’ve been legally adjudicated, meaning that they were judged to be a danger to themselves or others by “court, board, commission or other lawful authority,” which presumably will not be some bureaucrat at the VA making a determination based solely on financial considerations. We still need to see language to know exactly what the bill does and how it does it, but I’m pleased to see the long tradition of spinning this by the control movement continuing.
Aug 5, 2015
Looks like this will be the vehicle to thwart their plans to put 4 million plus Social Security recipients who have designated a “representative payee” into NICS, and put a stop to the VA’s habit of putting veterans in there who aren’t managing their own affairs. From NRA a few minutes ago:
FAIRFAX, Va. — The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced its support for legislation that would protect the constitutional rights of millions of veterans and social security recipients. The Mental Health and Safe Communities Act, sponsored by U.S. Senator John Cornyn, contains provisions that would stop the Obama administration’s efforts to deny millions of veterans and social security recipients their Second Amendment rights without due process.
“The NRA is fighting to stop the Obama administration from denying millions of veterans and social security recipients their Second Amendment rights for no other reason than they want assistance in managing their financial affairs,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA executive director. “We thank Senator Cornyn for his leadership in standing up to the Obama administration and introducing legislation that will take meaningful steps toward fixing America’s broken mental health system.”
President Obama’s Department of Veterans Affairs has denied more than 100,000 veterans and dependents their Second Amendment rights because they use a “fiduciary” to manage their benefits. Veterans who the agency determines need help administering their compensation are then labeled “mental defectives” and reported to the National Instant background Check System (NICS), which prohibits them from purchasing or possessing firearms. The process of assigning a fiduciary does not require the VA to consider whether a veteran poses a danger to himself or others.
In addition, the Social Security Administration announced that it is moving forward with a proposal that would strip the Second Amendment rights of more than 4.2 million people, by reporting social security recipients who use a “representative payee” to help them manage their benefits to the NICS.
Details of the legislation include:
- The bill will stop the Obama administration’s Social Security Administration and other agencies from defining as “prohibited persons” those who meet arbitrary criteria such as having a representative payee assigned to their account.
- The bill will stop the Obama administration’s Veterans Administration (VA) from throwing veterans into NICS simply for having a fiduciary assigned to their account.
- Veterans who have been swept into NICS under previous VA rules will be given the opportunity to have their case reviewed in a full hearing. Requires a specific finding that the veteran is a danger to self or others. Veterans who are not found to be a danger will have their rights restored and will be removed from NICS.
- Requires that real adjudications take place before an individual can be determined a prohibited person under federal law. Full notice, hearing, the right to participate, and the right to counsel are required.
- Provides funding for the states to forward records of mental health adjudications which meet the new due process requirements outlined in the bill.
- Recognizes state orders restoring the firearms rights of individuals under state law.
- Requires AG to remove individuals from NICS in cases where rights have been restored or procedures failed to provide adequate due process protections, as with the VA program.
UPDATE: A later release had more bullet points. I have updated this post to reflect the later bullet points.
Aug 3, 2015
Politifact has taken on claim that the Social Security changes floated by the Obama Administration amount to a huge gun ban for millions of elderly Americans, and have concluded it’s bunk. They have done this because they do not understand the federal gun laws, and did not consult any experts on the topic. They did consult Gary Kleck, it seems, who is a hell of a criminologist, but he’s not an expert on gun laws. Let’s go over Politifacts claims:
The new policy would not ban all Social Security recipients from owning guns. Rather, it would only affect the small fraction who are deemed mentally incompetent, and who are thus are barred from purchasing guns under the law.
No one argued it would. Sure, that’s going around, because most people don’t bother to read, but that’s not an argument NRA has made or the LATimes article made. If you’re debunking the Times article, stick to what they actually argued, not what’s going around on the social media fever swamps.
The policy is not yet in force. When we reached out to the Social Security Administration, a spokesman responded, “We are still developing our policy.”
Well, no shit sherlock. Again, that was not what was argued. They are debunking a straw man, not what was actually argued. I would expect better than this from a site claiming to spread the truth.
The policy would not take away guns from people who already own them. There is no indication that this policy would take guns away from people who already own guns. Rather, the policy would affect the ability of some mentally incompetent people from buying new guns.
Yes it would, because it would essentially mean those people have been adjudicated mentally defective. There’s only one class of person who can’t buy guns but is still free to possess them under federal law, and that’s people who have been charged or indicted for a felony offense. The government needs a legal basis for reporting someone to NICS. If that legal basis is that they are “mentally defected” they are prohibited from possessing firearms, even if they don’t realize they are in the system. This is just flat out wrong, and if they had consulted experts, they would have been told that.
This is a vast exaggeration of the actual policy under consideration. It would not affect all Social Security recipients, but rather those who have already been declared mentally incompetent, and thus ineligible under current law from purchasing a gun.
That wasn’t the criteria reported in the LA Times article. The LA Times article noted the proposal was that anyone who had a fiduciary assigned would be reported to NICS. These people were in no, way shape or form “adjudicated” as the law requires. Many of them, including Bitter’s grandfather, are still capable of handling a firearm safely, they just can’t deal with their own finances. We don’t want our older citizens reluctant to turn over their finances to loved ones, and risk losing property, risk their credit, or risk losing things like heat and running water because in their old age they have become forgetful and absent minded. These people are not a danger to themselves or others, and should not meet the standard for adjudication under the Gun Control Act. Politifact should be ashamed for giving such an important topic, that will affect millions of Americans, the short shrift, and should immediately correct their error.
h/t to Bearing Arms, who came to the same conclusion.
Jul 29, 2015
A watered down gun bill is headed to the North Carolina Governor, but the Jim Crow era pistol permitting scheme will remain in place. The opposition in this case were the Sheriffs themselves, who are responsible for issuing the purchase permits. It’s always hard to overcome law-enforcement opposition to something when dealing with “law and order” Republicans. I don’t know the politics of North Carolina all that well, but I suspect if North Carolinians really want to be rid of this remaining vestige of Jim Crow, it may be necessary to buy off the Sheriffs. Remember that Clinton got his Assault Weapons Ban by buying FOP support in the form of federal money to hire 100,000 new police officers. Perhaps it’s possible to buy the support of the Sheriffs by throwing them a bone on another issue that’s important to them, or buying their support with cash to their departments from the state coffers. Without the sheriffs railing against the bill, a lot of those “law and order” Republicans will likely drop their opposition as well.
Jul 28, 2015
The 11th Circuit has lifted the injunction on enforcement starting Tuesday. When this idea was originally proposed, I was against it, believing it would be a slam dunk First Amendment case. But as the medical establishment becomes more and more in cahoots with the ruling elite, to push gun control on the peasantry, screw ’em. This is how the peasants punch back twice as hard. There’s one way doctors can prevent the proliferation of these laws, and that’s by getting the medical establishment out of political issues that have nothing to do with the practice of medicine, and have everything to do with using the stature and prestige of their profession to shame their patients into the adopting the progressive-left orthodoxy on how to live the good life. To the extent that these bills threaten the autonomy and speech rights of doctors, they have invited this on themselves.
Jul 28, 2015
So say Americans. We are winning this culture war, slowly but surely. My primary worry is increasingly becoming that we’re going to lose the White House in 2016, and thus lose the Supreme Court, in which case Heller and McDonald, if not outright overturned, will go the way of the Lopez and Morrison federalism cases. But other than that, I think things look pretty good for for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Unfortunately, I think everything else in this country is going to hell in a hand basket, so perhaps we are indeed to become a European style social democracy with guns. Well, at least until we run out of other people’s money. Then it will get…. interesting.