Currently Browsing: Gun Rights
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.
Jul 27, 2015
A Pew Poll rates the parties on issues, and look what party isn’t winning on “gun control.”
Well, well, it looks to me like gun control is a losing issue for the Democrats after all, just like I’ve been saying. This is the GOP’s biggest issue, meaning the one they are most trusted on by voters. When are the Democrats going to tell Barack Obama to get bent on the issue and have the courage to admit publicly gun control is a failure, and bad politics for Democrats. This strikes me as a bad time for Bernie Sanders to capitulate to the lunatic wing of his party on this issue.
Jul 27, 2015
A new poll shows that Colorado voters oppose tougher gun laws. Opposition pushes to 70% for men, with women barely getting a majority of 51%. That’s still a pretty significant gender gap, but support is still dropping among women, it’s just dropping much faster among men. This is good news. The article does note that Hickenlooper enjoys a 51-40% approval rating, which is pretty good. But there is significant hope that is Colorado activists can get ahead of Dudley Brown, there’s a pretty good chance they can get the 15 round limit raised to 30 rounds, and then get rid of it if the legislature can become more favorable.
Jul 20, 2015
A set of thumbscrews. A metaphor for this Administration.
Sometimes you just have to wonder if the Obama Administration is trolling us at this point. The White House floated a proposal to strip Second Amendment rights from about four million of our nation’s senior citizens who receive Social Security benefits through a “representative payee.” This is personal for Bitter and I because her grandfather, at 90 years old, falls into this category, and he owns firearms that have been in the family for a long time. He’s plenty safe to handle firearms, however he has had someone else managing his affairs for him for some time. One can imagine someone elderly who might forget to pay bills if they managed their own affairs, but can still handle a firearm safely.
NRA has more to say about it here. And what is the purpose of this? Do we have an epidemic of octogenarians committing mass murder? Holding up banks? Hitting the streets and robbing people so they can get the money for their next hit of Geritol? There’s no public safety issue at work here. This is just meant to screw people for embarrassing the Administration on guns.
The thing I really hate about the Obama Administration is that it has no issue with being unjust or unfair; if you oppose its policies, you can expect it to try to stick it to you. Not stick it to Congress, or stick it to political rivals in DC, you will be made to pay. The Obama Administration has no issue taking out their anger on ordinary Americans. Bill Clinton’s Administration dealt us a number of defeats in the 1990s, and you did have the HUD deals, and other executive shenanigans, but even then I don’t remember Clinton sticking it directly to the rank and file like Obama does.
So what’s going to happen here? My guess is NRA can probably get another of the many budget riders it’s gotten out of Congress to defund any attempt by the Administration to implement this plan. I can’t imagine preventing 4 million SSA recipients from suddenly, overnight, becoming prohibited persons is going to be much of an ask to Congress.
Jul 16, 2015
I have four different devices I use for trolling for news and keeping track of what I want to post about. I hate it when I find a tab with something I meant to post about, but overlooked until the news was stale. Ordinarily, I usually just write that story up as a loss, but I’d feel bad if I did that in this case.
Several weeks ago I was on an episode of the Gunblog Variety Podcast, talking about this post. I had the episode open but didn’t find it until yesterday when I did my gun news post and went through all my tabs on every device. Checking my history, sure enough, I never did the post. You can listen to their latest podcast here.
I tend to feel that there’s an obligation to engage in cross promotion, so I didn’t just want to let this go. It takes a lot of work to do vlogging and podcasting, and I dropped the ball here. If you ever looked at my desk, yeah, the computer side of things isn’t much more organized.