Having a Gun in the Home and Drinking

Constitutionally protected, at least in Michigan. The Appeals Court ruled:

While preventing intoxicated individuals from committing crimes involving handguns is an important government objective, the infringement on defendant’s right in the instant case was not substantially related to that objective. We initially note that, at the time of the officers’ entry into the home, and at the time they were actually able to establish the level of defendant’s intoxication, defendant’s possession was constructive rather than actual. Thus, to allow application of this statute to defendant under these circumstances, we would in essence be forcing a person to choose between possessing a firearm in his home and consuming alcohol. But to force such a choice is unreasonable. As the facts illustrate, there was no sign of unlawful behavior or any perceived threat that a crime involving a handgun would be committed….

I’m OK with laws that punish the use of firearms while actually intoxicated, but not for a firearm stored in the home. Such a restriction is probably “common sense” to our opponents, but not to anyone who actually owns a firearm. It’s exactly how the court characterized it.

Why New York City Must Accept the Second Amendment

So we can save the 4th Amendment. Tactics like this, or stop and frisk, became far less attractive when a lot of ordinary citizens are legally carrying firearms. It overwhelms law enforcement with false-positives. But you can bet even if we force carry on them, they will use this anyway to harass the law-abiding, as long as the courts let them get away with it.

ATF Botches Another Operation

Looks like they botched another one. Dave Hardy notes: “ATF team wins first place in the competition for the most mucked-up sting operation in LE history.” A lot of folks want to get rid of the ATF. Certainly the FBI would likely be more competent at enforcing the laws on criminals, which would be a good thing. The problem is, the FBI will also be more competent at railroading the otherwise law-abiding on gotcha technical violations. They will also be more competent at petitioning Congress for more gun laws, and anti-gun Presidents would have more leeway to nominate anti-gun crusaders as FBI chief. Gun owners often call for the abolition of ATF, which is short sighted. As long as their are federal gun laws, someone is going to enforce them. Pick your poison.

Alan Gura on the 7 Round Limit

Clearly Unconstitutional” I am glad to hear such a firm statement. There have been others in the Second Amendment legal community that have broached the topic of round limitations, and while I realize there’s a limit to how far the federal courts are likely willing to go on these topics, if a ten round limit is conceded as constitutional, why not a seven round limit? What qualifies a judge, or legislator, to make such assessments? I know a lot of folks have derided the “common use” language in Heller as being a circular argument when it comes to machine guns and other long-regulated items, but I think that misses the forest for the trees.

If the Court does, in future cases, cement a “common use” test, that takes such questions out of the hands of judges and lawmakers and puts it squarely in the hands of the American people. You have some subjectivity in determining what does or does not constitute “in common use,” but if it’s interpreted correctly, I think in terms of magazines, it would get you to at least twenty round magazines being protected arms, and a more honest assessment ought to protect thirty round magazines as well. In terms of other arms, I likewise think it offers broad protections, without putting things like rocket launchers, MANPADs, or anti-tank missiles on the table, which federal judges, lawmakers, or the American people, are just never going to accept.

I’ve said before, we lost the machine gun argument in the 1930s. That was the time to have a fight over machine guns and it didn’t happen. I agree that for machine guns, common use is a circular argument, since they are not in common use because of the restrictions. I’d like to own a few myself if they eased the restrictions. But I think we’re beyond arguing for legal protections for machine guns, and the goal now needs to be getting serious and broad protections for everything else.

Bill to Defy Federal Gun Control Introduced in Pennsylvania

I’m glad Pennsylvania is joining the list of states poised to defy any new draconian federal gun control. You can see the bill here. I absolutely support this bill moving forward in the event we actually get some horrid law out of Washington, but I would caution until it looks like we’re going to get something out of Washington, it’s probably best if we keep this one on the back burner. The message has been sent, but we need to be prepared to push this to the hilt if something passes in D.C.

What Gun Owners Can Learn from Tea Party Activists

I think one of the most relevant lessons for gun owners from tea party efforts to fight Obamacare is that we need to be everywhere. Lawmakers and their staffers shouldn’t be able to go one single day without hearing from at least a handful of Second Amendment supporters. I realize that Obamacare ultimately passed, but not without considerable political losses. That’s not something the Democrats can afford to take again in 2014, and they know it. Obama might not know it, but the other members of his party know it.

Regardless, it’s heartening to hear stories about lawmakers being swarmed by pro-Second Amendment questions at their town hall meetings.

U.S. Rep. Charles W. Dent got a double-barrelled reception on his first visit to Hamburg, where he was peppered with questions on gun control during a town hall meeting Wednesday.

“How are you going to vote on the gun control bill?” a woman demanded. …

The audience, primarily senior citizens, took aim at President Barack Obama’s call for a ban on assault-style weapons, characterizing the president as a dictator intent upon disarming the American public.

“Are you going along with legislation that violates my God-given right to bear arms?” asked James Bewley of Windsor Township. “I believe the federal government is overstepping its bounds.”

Keep it up.

Civil Rights Victory in Hawaii

Hawaii gunnies mobilized and defeated a bill early out of the gate. This is particularly impressive in Hawaii, given that many gun owners reside on the Big Island, and a trip to the State Capital involves plane fare. I’m glad to hear this, because Hawaii’s shooting culture felt a lot more to me like Maryland than New Jersey or New York.

Thursday News Dump

It’s Thursday, and everyone is talking about guns, so time to clear the tabs:

Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk delivers 6000+ NRA Life Members.

Radley Balko to Joe Biden: The Cops Are Not Outgunned

The Defensive Line. NFLPA helps to give NFL players proper training in the safe and responsible use of firearms in self-defense.

A takedown of the New York Times’ “Confessions of a Leftist Gun Owner”

Joe takes down the notion that no one wants to take our guns, which is kind of easy when political pundits on the left are publishing articles called “How to Ban Guns.”

California lawmakers consider wide range of new gun controls.

What Feinstein’s failed to tell you. Her bill plausibly bans all semi-automatics because of a bug in the drafting. Or is it a feature?

NYPD chief says handguns are the real problems. So we must ban rifles!

Laws are for the little people.

Suburban Philly Lawmaker Launches New Anti-Gun Group

We reported in December that Pennsylvania State Representative Steve Santarsiero announced plans to introduce a bill that would ban possession of semi-automatic rifles in Pennsylvania. He said that proposed federal bills that would merely ban future firearms were not draconian enough, and that the continued possession of these commonly owned firearms was “a considerable loophole that we here in Pennsylvania should and, indeed, must close.”

Now, Rep. Santarsiero has announced a new anti-gun organization for Bucks County. He calls the group “Bucks Safe,” and their mission says that a key policy initiative is to “draw a clear line in the sand between the weapons and ammunition that have a lawful place in our society and those that do not.”

If you live in Rep. Santarsiero’s district in Bucks County, now is the time to speak out against his proposed gun ban. Let him know that these firearms are some of the most commonly owned and used guns available today for every lawful use from home defense to competition. If you live elsewhere in Bucks County, make sure to contact your local lawmakers to let them know that real voters are supporting the Second Amendment. There’s no doubt he’ll use the organization to try and pressure other area lawmakers to jump on board with gun control.

Shall Issue Bill in Illinois

I got language for it last night, but did not have time to read through it in detail and run through what it all would mean. Fortunately, John Richardson has done all the work so I don’t have to. It’s a better bill than I would have expected, and hopefully it’ll pass clean. You can bet there will be an attempt to attach Rahm’s laundry list to it.