State Progress on Gun Rights

USAMapI’ve noticed a flurry of state news in the past two days, some of which is significant. First, the Texas Legislature has sent a Right to Hunt amendment to the voters for approval. The number of hunters continues to decline, which translates into a loss of political power. It’s important to get these constitutional protections in place before it becomes a real issue. Animal rights people are far more numerous than anti-gunners, and unlike people who favor gun control, animal rights supporters are very passionate and motivated.

Governor Dayton has signed the budget bill that contained the pro-gun measures he did not like. It doesn’t appear the Governor was willing to pick that fight. This was a bevy of pro-gun measures, the most newsworthy of which was legalizing suppressors. In addition to that measure, it also fixes some reciprocity issues, adds emergency powers protections for gun owners, removes the requirement for notification to carry in the state capitol, and allows the purchase of long guns in other states, rather than just contiguous ones.

Constitutional Carry in vehicles has just passed the Alabama legislature, allowing people to transport firearms, loaded or unloaded, without a permit in vehicles. Not as good as full Constitutional Carry, but I’ll take what I can get when I can get it.

In Florida, you can now carry a firearm without a permit during an emergency evacuation or a declared state of emergency. Governor Scott signed it into law. Again, partial victory for Constitutional Carry, but we’re now a step closer to having one of the big states buy in, which we really need to get other states to go along.

Not all is good news. Oregon is in the process of passing more gun control. When the dam breaks, it’s hard to stop the flood. Apparently some lawmakers in Oregon can’t read or understand, “[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Sadly, a lot of federal judges can’t either.

Also, apparently one Republican lawmaker, the Senate Majority leader, has been holding up campus carry in Nevada. The bill went down to defeat with 6 Republicans voting against. Nevadans have some work to do.


18 thoughts on “State Progress on Gun Rights”

  1. 10 Days until the Texas legislature goes away for 2 years. Right now, open carry, campus carry, making govt. agency not post illegal signs are in the home stretch. The anti’s usual gun show and “assault weapon” bills didn’t even get a hearing. Also a “get out of jail free” bill for concealed handgun license types that “forget” they had a handgun in their carry on when they go into the airport metal detector. We’ll see how it ends.

    1. God, a legislature that goes away for two years must be amazing. Can we make that a thing everywhere?

  2. “Apparently some lawmakers in Oregon can’t read or understand, ‘[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.’ Sadly, a lot of federal judges can’t either.”

    Oh, no. They can read it, and they understand it.

    The trouble is that farcical “intermediate scrutiny” two-step nonsense, wherein abridgement of fundamental civil rights can be “balanced” against so-called “legitimate government interests”. To these jokers, banning all (legal) guns and (legal) gun transfers in the name of “public safety” is a legitimate government interest worthy of abridging everyone’s fundamental civil rights.

    That it won’t actually accomplish anything productive as far as real “public safety” goes is inconsequential; “public safety” is just the excuse they’re using.

    1. Now that I think of it, that kind of thinking goes back at least to William Blackstone, who justified the requirement that everyone be buried in a wool suit, because it supported the local shepherds. Sure, on the surface, it does, but even then, wool was in short enough supply that people would be buried in their suits, then exhumed so that the suit could be reclaimed.

      We have too many laws on the books because politicians *think* they will help, with no evidence that they will–or worse, with evidence that they actually harm us. (And too often, these laws are created because We the People cry “we must do *something*” when something bad happens, and are satisfied when something is done, even when that something makes the situation worse…)

      1. “…too often, these laws are created because We the People cry “we must do *something*” when something bad happens, and are satisfied when something is done, even when that something makes the situation worse…”

        The obvious remedy is to force the attachment of a sunset clause to every piece of legislation.

        The problem with our current system is that moving any bill requires the expenditure of political capital; Thus, since the process to repeal a statute is the same as passing a new one, there is never desire to expend political capital on repealing old statutes. Thus we must change the equation to make action, rather than inaction, the only way to maintain a statute.

  3. I can’t say that I’ve ever really been a fan of the notion of prohibited persons — it’s far too slippery a slope: Yesterday it was felons and the mentally defective, today it’s domestic abusers….

    Who will it be tomorrow? Will they try to expand the definitions of domestic abusers to include anyone who ever had an argument with raised voices with their domestic partner(s)? What about expanding the definition of mentally defective to include anyone who ever took certain medications (sleep aids, anti-depressants, etc.) or needed help with book-keeping (as is already being done to our veterans by/with/through the VA)?

    On the whole, I’m convinced that the current system is wholly unconstitutional: An honest application of even intermediate scrutiny would put require individual adjudication every time the government wished to strip someone of his/her RKBA, and the burden of proof would be on the government. Furthermore, in cases where an individual has been stripped of his/her rights, that individual should be entitled to have their prohibition re-adjudicated periodically, and the government should again bear the burden of proof.

    1. They’d like everyone to be prohibited. We’re going to have a devil of a time arguing at the margins in regards to prohibited persons. Now that the antis are mostly getting that bans are largely off the table unless they can flip more states blue, they are going to go after marginal issues.

      What I mean by marginal is expanding this or that idea here and there. So yes, expanding the categories of prohibited persons, and expanding background checks, etc, etc. It’s going to be a serious issue for us. But the obstacle is that a very high number of Americans don’t think violent felons or wife beaters should not have guns. That’s what you have to change, and to do that you have to make them aware of very subtle things about how the law and criminal justice system operate. That’s very hard, because most people are very ignorant about that kind of thing.

      Until then, they will unfortunately have some luck arguing that wife beaters and stalkers shouldn’t have guns, even though wife beater might mean a guy who pushed his wife out of the way, and stalker could mean a nutty ex girlfriend using the system to screw an ex. Or an actual violent ex boyfriend using the system to screw the ex he’s really talking. You get into due process, and then people stop understanding. It’s a very difficult issue to argue. They know that, which is why they are doing it.

      If they didn’t have Bloomberg’s money, this would not be an issue, but with Bloomberg willing to throw millions behind gun control, it’s a real issue.

      1. The thing to keep in mind is that the other side is trying to use an emotional argument to make us look like heartless bastards to the masses who generally aren’t interested enough in our issue to care about our facts and figures.

        The answer to their insinuation that we want to arm murders/rapists/domestic abusers/etc. is not books full of dry/boring political legalese that no “undecided” has interest in reading.

        The REAL answer is to play up sympathetic cases. Martha Stewart is a prohibited person. Shaneen Allen almost got the book thrown at her. Some guy nearly got the book thrown at him over a muzzle-loading flintlock pistol (read: exactly the kind of gun that was around when the Second Amendment was written). There are many more, and we need to do everything in our power to find and publicize them.

        That’s not to say that facts and figures are useless, just that a fisherman needs bait. In this case, the emotional arguments are the bait that get people to care enough to pay attention to our data, and support (or at least not oppose) our favored legislation.

        1. Indeed.

          I actually saw a bit of the reverse on the book of face when this story was being discussed:

          It was being pointed out how many anti-gun tropes this story broke and the antis went streaming with how “This isn’t typical!”

          Which opened the response of “Why do you want to disarm minorities?” And then it was the antis trying to argue statistics. Which didn’t go well due to insane foot stamping and a demand that there can’t even be /hundreds/ of defensive gun uses.

          But the point was that the sympathetic case opened the door, and it was on the anti’s interests to -well- argue that this man was atypical. That is dehumanize him.

          So yes I think your idea is a great opener.

      2. Sebastian, one way to approach the wife beater / domestic violence angle is to use “Jackie” or mattress girl to remind people hoe easily THEY could be screwed by a false accusation.

        1. Those two cases are both problematic, because the left still largely refuses to acknowledge that the accusations were mendacious.

          The Duke Lacrosse case, on the other hand, fell apart fairly spectacularly, and the prosecutor’s crash & burn (ethics issues in the case–namely continuing the prosecution–, leading to disbarment) was headline news.

            1. True to an extent.

              The problem is that many in the middle have been conditioned/indoctrinated to uncritically accept anything the left-leaning mainstream media puts out, while at the same time being skeptical of centrist/right-leaning mainstream sources (and outright dismissive of anything truly right-wing.

              They give off the appearance of being completely in the tank for the left, but in many cases it’s because they’ve never had occasion to think critically about their assumptions.

              As such, in order to reach them we need to center our arguments around cases that are extremely well-documented and have significant emotional impact.

              Mattress girl and the Rolling Stone case aren’t good cases for us to argue for a number of reasons. First, the lack of substantive prosecution and/or punative action against the alleged aggressors plays into the media narrative of “rape culture.” Second, the vast majority of the critical examination of their claims has come from right-leaning blogs that nobody starting out on the other side would accept as credible. I know how I feel about a variety of left-leaning blogs (e.g. ThinkProgress), and it would be unreasonable to assume that people leaning the other way wouldn’t feel the same about right-leaning blogs.

              Ultimately, this is a big part of why the Duke Lacrosse case is such a good case for us to argue: It was in the news constantly for well over a year. It became clear fairly early on that there really wasn’t a (good) case against the students, but the prosecution continued. The issues with the credibility of the alleged victim, along with the malfeasance of the prosecutor, were well documented by the media. The ultimate rulings against the prosecutor for ethics violations, leading ultimately to his disbarment, were ALSO quite public.

              In other words, with the Duke Lacrosse case we can argue not only the false accusations of rape, but also issues with our criminal justice system. We can only do this because it was adjudicated, and because it got so much media attention.

  4. The dumb shits in Portland and Salem are in la la land. The rest of us don’t pay attention to their laws.

  5. We need Vehicle Constitutional Carry here in PA. The fact that we can OC without a permit but still need one to transport our gun to the location unless we want to transport it like a set of nuclear launch codes is very “New York” of us.

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