Shall Not Be Infringed: A Bullseye Book that Clarifies Gun Control Arguments

— James A. Swan, Ph.D
News media are bombarding us with more stories than ever before in human history. This could make us well-informed, but that isn’t happening because of media bias. Research shows that there’s now between 10 and 17 times more negative and sensational news than positive news, resulting in increasing anxiety about what the world is really like. As sociologist Barry Glassner has described in his award-winning book, The Culture of Fear, thanks to media bias we no longer live in “The Information Age,” we live in what has become “The Age of Anxiety”. Read more

Calif. Gov. Brown Vetoes Anti-Conceal Carry Measure

Gov. Brown Takes Action on Remaining Gun Bills, Including Two Vetoes Urged by Firearms Policy Coalition

SACRAMENTO – Earlier today, California Governor Jerry Brown took action on the remaining gun bills that were passed by the Legislature.

AB 450 – VETOED – McCarty (D-Sacramento)
AB 450 would have allowed local governments to radically increase the amount of fees they charge for handgun carry license (“CCW”) applications and license issuance. In FPC’s letter requesting a veto of the measure, we argued, among other things, that the “legislative process should not be used to settle local political scores.” Brown’s veto message mirrored FPC’s concerns, stating that the “bill was spurred by a local dispute in one county,” and that he was “unaware of a larger problem that merits a statewide change at this time.”

SB 1332 – VETOED – Mendoza (D-Los Angeles)
SB 1332 would have created hyper-technical new laws surrounding the loan and possession of firearms. In our letter requesting a veto, FPC argued, among other reasons, that “on the heels of SB 826….which moved the existing fund surplus over to a failed, unaccountable DOJ [APPS] program, [SB 1332] is the nail in the coffin for the account.” The Governor shared the same concerns, stating in his veto message that SB 1332 would create “millions of dollars in new and ongoing costs for the Department of Justice” and that he does not believe “that this additional burden and cost comes with a commensurate public safety benefit.”

AB 2510 – SIGNED – Linder (R-Corona)
Following months of FPC’s direct lobbying and significant grassroots pressure, AB 2510 was amended to provide for a modern, uniform carry license format.

AB 2165 – SIGNED – Bonta (D-Alameda)
AB 2165 amends California’s laws surrounding its “roster” of handguns deemed “not unsafe” by creating new exemptions for a number of law enforcement-related government employees. These exemptions allow more government employees to directly acquire from dealers thousands of handgun models that the State does not believe is “safe” enough for its law-abiding eligible residents to buy and use. AB 2165 was opposed by Firearms Policy Coalition.

Firearms Policy Coalition is still awaiting the Governor’s decision on Senate Bill 443, a civil asset reform measure FPC strongly urged Governor Brown to sign. SB 443 is also supported by such wide-ranging advocacy groups as the American Civil Liberties Union and Institute for Justice. Last week, Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 884, a measure to immediately repeal a law that criminalized the political use of Assembly video footage that followed FPC’s successful federal First Amendment free speech lawsuit FPCSADC, et al. v. Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Firearms Retailers, NSSF File Federal Suit Against Massachusetts AG

Firearms Retailers, NSSF File Federal Suit against Attorney General Healey’s Overreaching ‘Enforcement Notice’

NEWTOWN, Conn. – Four federally-licensed Massachusetts firearms retailers and the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, today filed action in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts to challenge on Constitutional grounds the “Enforcement Notice” issued by state Attorney General Maura Healey. The lawsuit states that her office overstepped its legal authority and deprived the retailers of their due process protections guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The action seeks declaratory relief and a permanent injunction enjoining enforcement.

The retailers are Pullman Arms Inc. of Worcester; Guns and Gear, LLC of Agawam; Paper City Firearms of Holyoke; and Grrr Gear of Orange.

“Attorney General Maura Healey’s actions were unconstitutional. Firearms retailers in Massachusetts cannot determine the meaning or scope of the Attorney General’s Enforcement Notice and subsequent explanations,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Because criminal penalties can result due to Attorney General Healey’s unilateral reinterpretation of a state statute done without administrative process or input from affected parties, her office exceeded its lawful authority and retailers were deprived of their due process protections under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”

“In addition, if the Attorney General’s Enforcement Notice is understood as applying to all semi-automatic firearms, it violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to keep and bear arms because it bans the manufacture, sale and possession of a broad range of firearms in common use by the citizens of Massachusetts,” Keane said. “Unfortunately, Attorney General Healy’s unconstitutional action has left us no other option than to seek relief from the courts.”

Representing NSSF and the retailers are the Boston-based law firm of Kenney and Sams, P.C., and Michael Sullivan of the Ashcroft Law Firm, who is a former United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and former Acting Director, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Read the Civil Action at: http://www.nssf.org/share/pdf/092216-Complaint_for_Declaratory_Relief_As_Filed.pdf. Read more

CCRKBA Rips Media For Coverage of Mall Hero


BELLEVUE, WA – The “mainstream press” is once again trying to spin away from positive coverage about armed citizens and the fallacy of so-called “gun-free zones” in its reports about the St. Cloud, Minnesota mall shooting and the hero shooter, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

“There have been very few references to the fact that Jason Falconer owns and operates a private business in which he teaches firearms and self-defense skills to armed private citizens,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “He is a firearms instructor and competitive shooter, and his skill with firearms certainly paid off for the citizens of St. Cloud last Saturday.

“The media has made only passing reference to the fact that Mr. Falconer was out of his police jurisdiction, and off duty at the time of the shooting,” Gottlieb added. “In effect, he was essentially an armed citizen on a shopping trip to the mall who acted in defense of himself and others who were attacked by a dangerous man armed with a knife.”

Crossroads Center’s website lists a “code of conduct” that includes a prohibition on “firearms and illegal weapons.” Gottlieb said it was fortunate that Falconer was armed despite this prohibition, because having a gun stopped the carnage and may have saved lives.

“How many times must it be repeated before the public understands that ‘gun-free zones’ can be magnets for mayhem,” Gottlieb wondered. “It goes against all common sense that malls and other public venues would mandate disarming visitors, thus leaving them vulnerable to attack. Read more

Concealed Carry Part of the Conversation in After Mall Attack


Tim Schmidt, President & Founder of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, Available for CommentaryU.S. Concealed Carry Association Discusses New Headquarters in West Bend, WI U.S. Concealed Carry Assoc. President, Tim Schmidt, on Defending the 2nd Amendment The Story of The USCCA in 60 Seconds

The media has noted over the last 24 hours that the St. Cloud, Minnesota mall in which the September 17 mass stabbing occurred is a “gun free zone” that expressly forbids “firearms or illegal weapons.” Fortunately, the attack was stopped by an off-duty police officer, Jason Falcone, who carried his gun with him, the “gun free” policy notwithstanding.

Of note, Officer Falcone is also a certified firearms instructor with the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA).

Tim Schmidt, President and Founder of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, today made the following statement regarding Saturday’s terrorist attack in Minnesota:

“The thoughts and prayers of my family and the members of the USCCA across the country are with the victims of this terrible attack. By all accounts Officer Jason Falcone is a hero and even though he was off-duty, he put himself in harms’ way to protect and defend others.

“As the investigation of the circumstances surrounding this attack unfolds in the days ahead and we discuss ways to try and prevent future attacks, it’s my hope the critical role of concealed carry rights can play in incidents like this will be part of that conversation.

“Gun free zones’ are essentially advertisements to evil-doers of soft targets where citizens will not have the ability to fight back. We don’t know if an ordinary citizen with a concealed carry permit could have stopped this attack earlier because firearms and other weapons were expressly banned by mall policy. But we do know the loss of life was prevented because an armed, law-abiding citizen ignored that policy and stepped forward to defend those who could not defend themselves.

“This should not be ignored in the aftermath of this attack as we look at ways to keep America safe in the face of rising threats.” Read more

Appeals Court Rules That Non-Serious Convictions Do Not Erase 2A Rights

BELLEVUE, WA – The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that individuals convicted of certain non-serious misdemeanor crimes do not lose their fundamental rights under the Second Amendment in a decision involving two separate cases brought by the Second Amendment Foundation.

The unanimous ruling came from an en banc panel in the combined cases of Binderup v. the U.S. Attorney General and Suarez v. the U.S. Attorney General.

In 1990, Julio Suarez was stopped on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. At the time he was carrying a handgun and spare ammunition without a permit. He pleaded guilty in Maryland state court to the charge and received a 180-day suspended sentence and $500 fine. Daniel Binderup pleaded guilty in 1996 to a misdemeanor charge related to a consensual relationship he had with a 17-year-old female employee and received three years’ probation and a $300 fine. Neither man was ever incarcerated.

However, in both cases, the crimes could have resulted in jail time for which the federal gun law blocks firearms possession. Binderup and Suarez petitioned the Pennsylvania court in 2009 to remove the state prohibition against firearms possession, but federal law “continues to bar them from possessing firearms because their convictions have not been expunged or set aside, they have not been pardoned, and their civil rights have not been restored,” the court noted.

“Where the Second Amendment’s guarantees apply, as they do for Binderup and Suarez, ‘certain policy choices’ are ‘necessarily’ taken ‘off the table.’ Forever prohibiting them from possessing any firearm is one of those policy choices,” the appeals court said in today’s ruling.

“Today’s victory confirms that the government can’t simply disarm anyone it wishes,” stated SAF attorney Alan Gura. “At an absolute minimum, people convicted of non-serious crimes, who pose no threat to anyone, retain their fundamental rights. That this is even controversial is a matter of some concern.” Read more

New Book: The War on Guns

The War on Guns narrow cover
A COPY OF THE BOOK IS AVAILABLE HERE.
What are people saying about the book?
“The Second Amendment has no better defender than John Lott. What makes him so invaluable is his ability to go beyond philosophical arguments and to engage opponents of gun ownership on the facts. Through rigorous research and analysis of data, he has been able to show in previous books that increased gun possession can actually make people safer and reduce crime. In The War on Guns, his latest contribution to the gun debate, he takes aim at a wide range of anti-gun shibboleths and exposes the fraudulence of each one. For that, he has done his country and the cause of gun rights a great service. For anyone looking to be armed with the truth about guns, I highly recommend that you add this book to your arsenal.”
—TED CRUZ, U.S. senator, Texas

CCRKBA: Obama Commuted Sentences of 50 “Gun Criminals”


Obama Is Soft On Criminals, Hard On Gun OwnersBELLEVUE, WA – When Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 214 convicted criminals Wednesday, there were some 50 people on that list whose offenses included either using or carrying a gun at the time, leading the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to wonder why the president is softer on gun-packing criminals than he is on gun-owning honest citizens.

“Barack Obama has never missed an opportunity to exploit some tragedy in an effort to curtail legal gun ownership,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb observed. “But the other day he granted leniency to people who have actually committed crimes while armed. As many people have been led to suspect with his foreign policy decisions, his action on Wednesday leaves us convinced that he can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys.

“Considering who he wants to have replacing him in January,” he continued, “that’s really not difficult to believe. But the fact remains that the president seems more worried about people who haven’t committed crimes with guns they legally own than people who have committed crimes while carrying guns they probably did not legally own.” Read more

NSSF to Challenge Massachusetts Attorney General’s “Enforcement Notice”

BOSTON, Mass. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, today announced that it will pursue legal action to challenge the “Enforcement Notice” issued by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey that would appear to ban sales of semiautomatic rifles in the commonwealth.

“With this ‘Enforcement Action,’ the Attorney General’s office has demonstrated how little it understands about firearms and has generated considerable uncertainty and confusion,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “Attorney General Healey and/or her staff have overreached their authority and decided to legislate from her office without the benefit of any public process. Her actions totally disregard 18 years of Massachusetts firearm law, supported by all state regulatory agencies and understood by all concerned, in which firearm retailers have operated. The Attorney General has undermined the legislative and public process by unilaterally declaring products that were legal to be illegal. In doing so, she has endangered the livelihoods of family-owned businesses and made potential felons out of tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens.”

“This unlawful overstepping of power must be challenged,” Keane said. NSSF has retained Michael Sullivan of the Ashcroft Law Firm, who is a former United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and former acting director, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Boston-based law firm of Kenney and Sams, P.C. Read more

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