JUDGE FINDS AGAINST SEATTLE IN PRA CASE FILED BY SAF, MAGAZINE EDITOR
A King County Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a firearms magazine editor and the Second Amendment Foundation in a case challenging the City of Seattle’s refusal to disclose “gun violence tax” revenues under the Public Records Act (PRA).
SAF filed the lawsuit in September with Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag.com. SAF owns the publication. At issue was the city’s refusal to comply with Workman’s PRA request for revenue collected by the city under its “gun violence tax,” passed by the city council in the summer of 2015.
“We are delighted with the outcome of this case,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, who is also publisher of TheGunMag.com. “It was silly for Seattle to withhold this information, but we’re pretty certain why the city did it. The council was told that this tax could generate between $300,000 and a half-million dollars, but now it appears the city has collected just over $100,000, which is an embarrassing shortfall.
“As a result,” he added, “the city has essentially lost money on this scheme because now they have to pay our attorney fees, plus a small penalty. On top of that, the city has lost tax revenue because one major gun dealer has moved out of the city and another has reported considerable sales losses. That is tax money the city will never realize.” Read more
The Second Amendment Foundation today won a significant court victory against “good reason” requirements for concealed carry when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of such a requirement in Washington, D.C.
The 2-1 ruling, written by Judge Thomas Beall Griffith, a 2005 George W. Bush appointee, declared that, “At the Second Amendment’s core lies the right of responsible citizens to carry firearms for personal self-defense beyond the home, subject to longstanding restrictions…The District’s good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on exercises of that constitutional right for most D.C. residents. That’s enough to sink this law under (the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court’sHeller ruling).”
“Today’s ruling contains some powerful language that affirms what we have argued for many years, that requiring a so-called ‘good cause’ to exercise a constitutionally-protect right does not pass the legal smell test,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We’re particularly pleased that the opinion makes it clear that the Second Amendment’s core generally covers carrying in public for self-defense.”
The 31-page majority opinion also said that the District’s “good cause” requirement was essentially designed to prevent the exercise of the right to bear arms by most District residents. Thus, it amounts to a complete prohibition, and that does not pass muster under the 2008 Heller ruling that struck down the District’s 30-year handgun ban.
“The good-reason law,” Judge Griffith wrote, “is necessarily a total ban on most D.C. residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs…”
“To read the majority opinion and not come away convinced that such ‘good reason’ or ‘good cause’ requirements are just clever ways to prevent honest citizens from exercising their rights is not possible,” Gottlieb stated. “To say we are delighted with the ruling would be an understatement. We are simply more encouraged to keep fighting, winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time.”
The case is Wrenn v. District of Columbia.
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.
SAF Sues Michigan Agency Over Civil Rights Violations Against Foster Parents
The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a federal lawsuit against the head of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on behalf of four Michigan residents, alleging civil rights violations under color of law for enforcing restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of people who want to be foster or adoptive parents.
SAF is joined in the lawsuit by William and Jill Johnson and Brian and Naomi Mason. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, alleges that MDHHS caseworkers told Mr. Johnson, a 100-percent disabled Marine Corps veteran who sought custody of his grandson that he would have to give the agency the serial numbers of all of his firearms. When he questioned this, the caseworkers allegedly told him, “If you want to care for your grandson you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights.” This was after the state asked the Johnsons to be foster parents to their grandson.
Two weeks later, the lawsuit alleges, a Gogebic County Court judge told the Johnsons that if they wanted their grandson placed in their care, “We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy from your home.” Read more
GW: Wow! Look how quickly they’ve swung into action to save their own hides. Just don’t forget about us everday-Americans!
Washington, D.C – Today, Congressman Thomas Massie, Chairman of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus, introduced H.R 2909, the D.C Personal Protection Reciprocity Act. This legislation would allow individuals with a valid concealed carry permit issued from their home state to carry their firearms in the District of Columbia.
“After the horrific shooting at the Republican Congressional Baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians,” Congressman Massie explained. “Our reaction should instead be to protect the right of all citizens guaranteed in the Constitution: the right to self-defense. I do not want to extend a special privilege to politicians, because the right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it is a God-given right protected by our Constitution.”
“If not for the heroic efforts of the United States Capitol Police at the ball field yesterday, things could have been much worse. What’s always evident in these situations is this: the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
“To ensure public safety, we need to repeal laws that keep good guys from carrying guns, since not everyone has a personal police detail,” stated Congressman Massie. “The right to keep and bear arms is the common person’s first line of defense in these situations, and it should never be denied.” Read more
The constitutional concealed carry bills shot through the full Michigan House of Representatives on Wednesday, a week after they were approved by the House Judiciary Committee. The legislation, House Bills 4416-4419, received bi-partisan support, each passing with between 4-6 more votes than necessary for a majority.
Reps. John Chirkun (D-Roseville), Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) and Phil Phelps (D-Flushing) joined most Republicans in supporting the bills. Among Republicans, Reps. Chris Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids Twp.), Martin Howrylak (R-Troy), David MATUREN (R-Brady Twp.), Michael McCready (R-Bloomfield Hills), Dave Pagel (R-Berrien Springs), and Rob Verheulen (R-Walker) voted against some or all of the bills. Many thanks to all of you who contacted your state representative in support of removing this barrier to self defense rights. Our grassroots lobbying paid off!
The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration. A reminder that these bills are not yet law and carrying concealed without a license is still a felony in Michigan. Due to the extra benefits that a concealed pistol license provides including an exemption from MCL 750.234d gun free zones, out-of-state reciprocity, the ability to borrow a pistol from another person, and the ability to by-pass purchase permits for private party pistol purchases, CPL holders with licenses expiring this year should renew regardless of the forward progress of this legislation.
U.S. Concealed Carry Association President: “London Terror Attacks SHOULD Spark Gun Debate” Asks Why National Media Isn’t Focusing On Failed Anti-Gun Laws in Europe, Elsewhere
Tim Schmidt, President & Founder of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, Available for Commentary
In the aftermath of this past weekend’s terrorist attacks in London, some in the national media and anti-Second Amendment community criticized President Donald Trump for rightly observing that they did not immediately spark a renewed debate over gun control because the attackers did not use guns. But Tim Schmidt, President & Founder of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, said today that the President’s observation was the correct one and that the recent terrorist attacks in London, Paris and elsewhere SHOULD bring the issue of failed gun control laws to the forefront including the inability of citizens in many countries to adequately protect themselves. Read more
This past Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved constitutional concealed carry legislation on a party line vote of 6-4. The bills now go to the full House of Representatives for consideration. Timing on a vote is unpredictable.
One important change was made in committee. Both concealed pistol license holders and people carrying without a license would be required to disclose “upon request” of a peace officer. This would eliminate the current requirement for CPL holders to provide immediate disclosure but adds a disclosure requirement for carry without a license. The change was made at the request of the Michigan State Police.
A Democratic amendment to disqualify people from constitutional concealed carry if they would not qualify for a concealed pistol license was defeated due to the burden it would impose on law enforcement. Also defeated was a Democratic amendment to impose a mandatory training requirement for constitutional carry as it would be very difficult to enforce without a license.
CPL holders would continue to enjoy the additional benefits not provided to unlicensed individuals. It is our expectation that most CPL holders would wish to retain and renew their concealed pistol licenses once the legislation becomes law rather than engaging in unlicensed carry. The additional benefits a CPL provides would likely result in an increase in the number of people seeking training and a license in the future as interest in concealed carry increases. This is the result that has been experienced in other states that have adopted constitutional carry. Counterintuitively, not mandating training results in more people pursuing it.
It is time to contact your state representative on these bills. You can find your state representative HERE. Please ask them to support House Bills 4416-4419.
ATLANTA – On Monday, the National Rifle Association of America announced the launch of NRA Carry Guard, a program created to provide America’s most comprehensive insurance and legal coverage, as well as best-in-class training for those who carry a gun. NRA Carry Guard members can access many great benefits including legal assistance and the ability to select their own counsel, as well as immediate access as needed to supplementary payments for bail, legal retainer fees, compensation while in court and more. NRA Carry Guard is the only membership program for self-defense insurance and training developed and supported by the National Rifle Association, representing the next evolution in freedom’s defense from the most powerful civil rights organization in American history. Read more
Following the passage of concealed pistol reform sponsored by Sen. Mike Green (R-Mayville) and spearheaded by MCRGO in early 2015, the past two years have been relatively quiet. That is about the change with some major changes on the agenda for this legislative session. Note that the legislative process is very unpredictable and it is impossible to provide an accurate prediction on when or if these bills will pass and be signed into law. Similarly, Snyder, like most governors, often does not indicate in advance whether he will sign or veto legislation.
Constitutional Concealed Carry: This is the big goal for many gun owners. Two constitutional concealed carry packages have been introduced in the House so far and a third is expected. The legislation would eliminate the need to have a license to carry concealed in Michigan while retaining Michigan’s existing CPL for reciprocity and other benefits. A growing number of states are adopting constitutional concealed carry and seeing positive results including a decrease in crime and an increase in people taking non-mandatory training.
Pistol Free Zones: Legislation is expected to be introduced shortly in the Senate which would repeal many of Michigan’s pistol free zones.
Registration: Of all the major firearms bills on the horizon, upcoming House legislation to eliminate mandatory pistol registration has the best prospects. Michigan is one of only a handful of states that requires pistol registration. Michigan’s existing system is in disarray.
Young Adult Concealed Carry: Legislation separate from constitutional concealed carry will be introduced shortly in the House which would allow 18-20 year olds to obtain a provisional concealed pistol license. Because of the provisional nature of the license, it would not impact reciprocity agreements with other states.
Preemption Enforcement: While a difficult battle is expected with lobbyists representing local government interests, MCRGO supports a re-introduction of legislation from last session which would strengthen the enforcement of preemption.
Online CPL Renewal: Concealed pistol reform includes a requirement that the Michigan State Police offer on-line renewal of concealed pistol licenses by 2018. Technical legislation which would allow this to happen has nearly completed its journey through the legislative process and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Snyder later this spring.
SACRAMENTO, CA — Yesterday, attorneys for civil rights advocacy organizations Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) sent legal letters to the cities of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Tacoma, Washington; and Wilmington, Delaware demanding that they repeal their respective bans on electronic arms or face federal Second Amendment litigation. Last week, a demand was sent to the City of Westminster, Maryland, regarding its ban.
The Philadelphia Code § 10-825 states that no “person shall own, use, possess, sell or otherwise transfer any ‘stun gun’,” making a violation of the law subject to a fine of up to $300 “and/or imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days.”
“The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms, not only the right to keep and bear firearms,” explained attorney Stephen D. Stamboulieh in the letters. Read more