Gun stores considered non-essential businesses by Texas legislators. READ MORE
Mike Cox Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA) Legislative Director
Dear TSRA Member:
Earlier this week, pro-Second Amendment State Representative Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) requested an opinion from Attorney General Ken Paxton on whether city and county officials can prohibit the sale of firearms through an emergency order or declaration by excluding firearm manufacturers and retailers as “essential businesses.” Over the course of this week, local officials across the state from the cities of Austin, Lubbock and Waco, as well as Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Travis counties adopted (and in some cases modified) such orders. Forcing some gun stores to close and denying law-abiding Texans the right to purchase for protection during these uncertain times.
On March 31, General Paxton issued Opinion No. KP-0296 stating that Section 229.001(a) and 236.002(a) of the Texas Local Government Code prohibit municipalities and counties from adopting regulations related to the transfer of and commerce in firearms, and that these emergency stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders may not regulate or restrict the sale of firearms.
Thanks go out to Representative Burrows for his timely request and to General Paxton for issuing this critical opinion affirming that the state firearms preemption statute overrides these local orders and protecting the exercise of your Second Amendment rights in the Lone Star State.
Also, thanks go out to State Representative Travis Clardy (R-Nacogdoches) and State Senator Pat Fallon (R-Prosper) for sponsoring and passing House Bill 3231 during the 2019 legislative session, legislation which strengthened and made important clarifications to Texas’ state firearms preemption statute, and to Governor Greg Abbott for signing the measure into law.
Thousands in Virginia showed to support their unalienable rights. Zero problems, major statements! READ MORE
SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Thousands of gun-rights activists from around the country rallied peacefully at the Virginia Capitol on Monday, protesting plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation that have become a key flash point in the national debate over gun violence. About 22,000 people attended the rally, 6,000 on Capitol Square and 16,000 outside the security gates, authorities said.
The size of the crowd and the expected participation of white supremacists and fringe militia groups raised fears that the state could see a repeat of the violence that exploded in 2017 in Charlottesville. But the rally concluded uneventfully around noon, and the mood was largely festive, with rally-goers chanting “USA!” and waving signs denouncing Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.
Many protesters chose not to enter the designated rally zone, where Northam had instituted a temporary weapons ban, and instead packed the surrounding streets, many dressed in tactical gear and camouflage and carrying military-style rifles as they cheered on the speakers.
“I love this. This is like the Super Bowl for the Second Amendment right here,” said P.J. Hudson, a truck driver from Richmond who carried an AR-15 rifle just outside Capitol Square. He was one of the few African-American rally goers in the crowd that was overwhelmingly white and male, and frequently was stopped and asked to pose for pictures wearing his “Black Guns Matter” sweatshirt.
Police announced one arrest: a 21-year-old Richmond woman charged with wearing a mask in public after she allegedly ignored an officer’s warnings to remove a bandanna covering her face.
The Richmond protesters came out in the thousands despite the frigid temperature to send a message to legislators, they said.
“The government doesn’t run us, we run the government,” said Kem Regik, a 20-year-old private security officer from northern Virginia who brought a white flag with a picture of a rifle captioned, “Come and take it.”
Northam was a particular focus of the protesters’ wrath. One poster showed his face superimposed on Adolf Hitler’s body.
But Democratic lawmakers said the rally wasn’t going to impact their plans to pass gun-control measures, including universal background checks and a one-handgun-purchase-a-month limit.
“I was prepared to see a whole lot more people show up than actually did and I think it’s an indication that a lot of this rhetoric is bluster, quite frankly,” said Del. Chris Hurst, a gun-control advocate whose TV journalist girlfriend was killed in an on-air shooting in 2015.
Some of the protesters waved flags with messages of support for President Donald Trump. Trump, in turn, tweeted support for their goals.
“The Democrat Party in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia are working hard to take away your 2nd Amendment rights,” he tweeted. “This is just the beginning. Don’t let it happen, VOTE REPUBLICAN in 2020!”
The Virginia State Police, the Virginia Capitol Police and the Richmond Police had a heavy presence, with officers deploying on rooftops, others patrolling in cars and on bicycles.
Authorities were looking to avoid a repeat of the violence that erupted in Charlottesville during one of the largest gatherings of white supremacists and other far-right groups in a decade. Attendees brawled with counterprotesters, and an avowed white supremacist drove his car into a crowd, killing a woman and injuring dozens more. Law enforcement officials faced scathing criticism for what both the white supremacist groups and anti-racism protesters said was a passive response.
In contrast to Charlottesville, there was little sign of counterprotesters challenging the gun-rights activists.
Police limited access to Capitol Square to only one entrance, and a long line formed to get into the rally zone.
Gun rights advocates also filled the hallways of the building that houses lawmakers’ offices. One couple, Jared and Marie March, traveled from Floyd County, over three hours west of Richmond, to meet with lawmakers.
“Guns are a way of life where we live,” said Marie March, who was concerned about a proposed red-flag law which she said would allow citizens to be stripped of their guns due to “subjective criteria.” A proposal to establish universal background checks amounted to “more Big Brother,” she said. “We just feel like we need to push government back into their rightful spot.”
Monday’s rally was organized by an influential grassroots gun-rights group, the Virginia Citizens Defense League. The group holds a yearly rally at the Capitol, typically a low-key event with a few hundred gun enthusiasts listening to speeches from a handful of ambitious Republican lawmakers. But this year, many more attended. Second Amendment groups have identified the state as a rallying point for the fight against what they see as a national erosion of gun rights.
The pushback against proposed new gun restrictions began immediately after Democrats won majorities in both the state Senate and House of Delegates in November, with much of the opposition focused on a proposed assault weapons ban. More than 100 localities have since passed measures declaring support for the Second Amendment.
Florida REPUBLICAN Senators Vote for Massive Gun Control Bill. READ MORE
SOURCE: NRA-ILA, from Marion P. Hammer USF Executive Director and NRA Past President
On Monday, 1/13/20, it happened again. Senate President Bill Galvano picked a fight with Floridians who believe in the constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It is well known — even by the media — that in 2018 Bill Galvano orchestrated the creation and passage of the “Parkland Gun Control Bill.” And, of course, it didn’t stop gun crime or criminals. It only took away rights of law-abiding people.
So now, he’s back for more gun control and it appears likely that Bloomberg’s $500,000.00 “donation” to Senate President Bill Galvano is behind yet another Galvano gun control bill — SB-7028 — an admitted priority of Galvano.
All but one of the Republican Senators on the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee put Galvano’s wishes ahead of principle, the Constitution, their Oath of Office and YOU, their constituents, and voted for a gun control bill.
FORGET that some of them were not truthful with NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida about supporting the Second Amendment. REMEMBER, they KNOW gun control doesn’t work. They know that only law-abiding people obey the law and criminals don’t care what the law says.
When RINOs (Republican In Name Only) vote like Anti-gun Democrats, one has to wonder how many real Republicans are left in the Florida Senate.
If Senate Republicans, who vote for gun control, don’t care about compromising their own integrity, you have to wonder if they care about what they are doing to the character the Republican Party?
Michael Bloomberg is no friend to Republicans! He’s running in the Democratic Primary for President of the US on an anti-gun platform. Why are Senate Republicans doing his bidding?
***IMPORTANT NEW DEVELOPMENT*** ***IMPORTANT NEW DEVELOPMENT*** ***IMPORTANT NEW DEVELOPMENT***
The media is now reporting that House Speaker Jose Oliva and Governor Ron DeSantis are pushing back against this massive gun control bill. Speaker Oliva and Governor DeSantis are to be commended for working to protect Second Amendment rights. They KNOW gun control doesn’t stop crime or criminals.
SB-7028 by the Committee on Infrastructure & Security is a gun control bill. Among other things, it contains a massive two-pronged “Universal” Background Check system that is the worst I have ever seen.
It is clearly meant to simply ban all private sales of firearms through red tape and fear.
This bill contains so much red tape and nonsense that there is almost no way a law-abiding person could comply.
The only thing we know for sure is that this bill will only stop law-abiding people from exercising a constitutional right and it will be completely ignored by criminals.
Voting in favor of this bill is like a doctor giving a patient an antibiotic for a virus. The doctor knows an antibiotic won’t cure the illness but at least he can make people think he’s “doing something.”
Supporting a bill so you can say you’re doing something is “political eyewash.”
This bill is nothing less than GUN CONTROL ON STEROIDS.
Any person of SOUND MIND knows that only law-abiding people obey the law and that criminals don’t care what the law says.
Make no mistake, 4 Senators who claim to be Republicans voted for massive gun control: Not to uphold their oath of office; not to protect and defend the Constitution; not to represent the rights of law-abiding gun owners in their districts.
The article below is reprinted with permission.
SENATE PANEL BACKS GUN CONTROL MEASURE
January 13, 2020
TALLAHASSEE — Over the objections of the National Rifle Association, a Senate panel Monday unanimously signed off on a far-reaching measure that would close the gun-show “loophole,” create a record-keeping system for private gun sales and set aside $5 million to establish a “statewide strategy for violence prevention.”
The proposal (SB 7028) is a priority of Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, as evidenced by the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee’s consideration and passage of the measure the day before the 2020 legislative session begins.
The sweeping legislation would require background checks and a three-day waiting period for firearms sold “on property to which the public has the right of access,” such as “a flea market, a gun show, or a firearm exhibit.”
The measure would also mandate that guns be securely stored in households and other places where minors under age 18 — up from the current threshold of 16 — could have access to the weapons.
The bill also would create a new section of law that would require guns to be stored to prevent access “by a person of unsound mind.”
And the proposal would impose new requirements for private gun sales. Under the measure, individuals who sell guns to other people would be required to fill out a form that would include the name, date of birth and identification information of the purchaser. The affidavit, which would include background questions aimed at ensuring the purchaser is eligible to buy a gun, would have to be notarized.
The measure contains “the worst universal background check language I have ever seen,” Marion Hammer, the NRA’s Florida lobbyist and a former president of the national gun-rights organization, told the Senate panel.
“It appears to be an actual attempt to ban private sales through red tape and fear,” she said. “Asking average citizens to create what amounts to a government form and get it notarized is ridiculous.”
The legislation is “nothing less than gun control on steroids,” Hammer said.
But committee Chairman Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, said the legislation “just makes sense.”
The Senate’s proposal comes as mass shootings in Florida and throughout the nation continue to rise. At least 81 people have died in mass shootings scattered throughout Florida over the past three years.
In 2018, the Legislature for the first time in decades passed a handful of gun-control measures after a massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 students and faculty members and injured 17 others.
Lee, a former Senate president, said he empathized with gun owners who are exercising their Second Amendment rights.
“I know that you don’t see NRA members in the headlines of these mass shootings,” he told reporters following Monday’s meeting. “But we have a job to do. We can’t just sit by idly while our children are killing children and pretend this isn’t happening.”
While the Senate measure is a Galvano priority, it lacks a companion measure in the House. Lee said House leaders are “well aware we’re working on this.”
“Frankly, a lot of this is going to happen president-to-speaker and work down from there. But they’re very well aware that this is a priority for the president,” he said.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro states controversial opinion regarding firearm classification. READ MORE
Once again, anti-gun officials contort case law and statute to undermine our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Last week, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a tortured opinion defining partially-manufactured receivers as firearms. This opinion flies in stark contrast to the current, and widely held, understanding that receivers that are unfinished and require additional work to operate as a functional frame or receiver are not considered firearms and therefore aren’t regulated as such.
Shapiro relies on two arguments to arrive at this absurd result. One, that unfinished receivers are “designed” to expel a projectile by action of an explosive. It doesn’t take a law degree to figure out how backward this thinking is. Partially-manufactured lowers are explicitly designed so that they are unable to expel a projectile by action of an explosive without further work. In other words, by their very nature, they are not firearms.
Two, Shapiro claims that these receivers “may be readily converted (to expel a projectile)” which he argues is analogous to the “may readily be restored” language of the federal National Firearms Act.
With this make-believe bridge, Shapiro then imports federal case law concerning the “may be readily restored” (to a machine gun) language to draw up extremely broad contours of what would be considered a firearm under state law. He uses extreme case law to lower the threshold for what constitutes a firearm to facilitate his anti-gun position and leanings.
Shapiro’s “theory” of treating non-functioning blocks of polymer, steel, or aluminum as “firearms” is the equivalent of calling a pile of aluminum tubes a bicycle or even considering a hickory or ash tree a baseball bat.
Make No Mistake — This opinion applies to much more than unfinished receiver kits!
Using the extremely vague description provided by AG Shapiro, almost any chunk of material (metal, polymer, etc.) could be considered a firearm and he and his anti-gun cronies can use this precedent to destroy our freedoms one step at a time.
“The Second Amendment already guarantees my equality: Firearms are the ultimate equalizer.” READ MORE
Suburban women are expected to play a pivotal role in the 2020 elections, which is why a lot of political groups are attempting to appeal to them. One of Bloomberg’s groups, Moms Demand Action, is styled to fool voters into thinking their extreme beliefs are representative of all suburban moms. Earlier this month in Virginia, this billionaire-funded group spent an enormous amount of money to flip a few seats and win a thin, anti-gun majority in the state legislature. Pro-gun suburban women in Virginia were outraged by the misleading campaign. We spoke with one, NRA member Megan Boland, who says the tactics employed by anti-gun groups in Virginia should serve as a cautionary tale to pro-gun suburban women across the country.
Q. What was your initial reaction when you heard gun control politicians took control of the Virginia House and Senate?
A. I was disappointed, but not surprised. As a communications professional, I could tell from the political ads that gun control groups were targeting suburban women with emotional messages. They were clearly trying to shame women like myself into believing that law-abiding gun owners are the problem in Virginia.
Q. As a long-time Virginian, what do you think is going on in Virginia politics?
A. It’s no longer Virginia politics. Virginia was flooded with out-of-state money from people like New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg. It’s very clear what he’s doing. He’s reaching into local- and state-level elections and beta testing his political message with the strategic and long-term goal of getting these local politicians eventually into national office. Personally, I’m really tired of billionaire men determining women’s futures and that’s what is going on here. If they really believe that women’s rights are important, why attempt to strip me of a Constitutional right?
Q. Do you think Gov. Northam and anti-gun lawmakers in Richmond will stop at “common-sense” gun measures? Where do you think they are headed with gun control?
A. There is nothing common sense about taking away people’s right and ability to defend themselves. Gov. Northam speaks about women’s equality, but the Second Amendment already guarantees my equality: Firearms are the ultimate equalizer. I think Northam and Bloomberg’s end game is to try and destroy the NRA and then, unopposed, eliminate the Second Amendment. I’m worried they’ll use things like red flag laws to silence us. For example, many of us fear an anti-gun nut job could try to red flag us and have our guns removed for simply talking about a weekend trip to the range. If we can no longer share our stories without fear of government retribution, it’s just one small step away from losing our rights. History is riddled with the systemic silencing of populations intended to dilute and destroy the culture until it is no more.
Q. What did you see the Bloomberg moms do in Virginia that upset you?
A. The big thing I see is that the Bloomberg Moms are getting into our schools and influencing administrators, teachers and, de facto, our children. Our side needs to do a better job of that. I’ve seen it time and again where gun control activists show up at playgrounds, local parks, and community parades and push their nonsense on other parents. I’ve tried getting equal access by going to my children’s school and inviting the NRA’s Eddie Eagle in the classroom. I’ve worked with my local law enforcement to make sure they are working with Eddie Eagle. There are a lot moms can be doing in their schools and communities to get our message out. The NRA is the only organization in the world dedicated to promoting the safe and responsible use of firearms; we need to talk about that! We need to make noise in our communities and be willing to have uncomfortable conversations with those who disagree with us. We have to do more than just gather for rallies and talk to people who are like-minded. We must engage respectfully with our opponents.
Q. Any final thoughts on what the rest of the country can learn from the Virginia elections?
A. The big thing we need is more pro-Second Amendment women to run for office, any office, school board, city council, judicial, state legislature and federally. I know [the head of Moms Demand Action] is working to get women to strategically build their resumes to run for office. We should be cultivating local women to do the same, and start by running for local office. This is such a huge issue, it requires those who support the 2A to get active and involved — not days before an election, but years before the election.
Montana and Pennsylvania show just how much state firearms preemption statutes are an essential protection for gun owners. READ MORE
In recent weeks, gun owners have been given two prime examples of just how important strong firearms preemption laws are to the vibrant exercise of Second Amendment rights. On October 22, the Montana Supreme Court struck down a Missoula ordinance that purported to restrict city residents’ ability to transfer firearms. On October 29, Allegheny County Common Pleas Senior Judge Joseph M. James struck down a raft of Pittsburgh ordinances that purported to regulate the use of firearms in public places within the city and provide for the confiscation of firearms without due process. In both instances the tribunals pointed to the state firearms preemption statute as precluding the locality’s anti-gun efforts.
Today, almost all states have a firearms preemption law that prohibits localities from regulating firearms in a manner more stringent than state law. These laws are vital as they prevent localities from enacting an incomprehensible patchwork of local ordinances. Without these measures unsuspecting gun owners would be forced to forego the exercise of their Second Amendment rights or risk running afoul of convoluted and potentially inaccessible local rules.
A look back at a 1970s edition of ATF’s State Laws and Local Ordinances reveals a baffling mishmash of local ordinances aimed at all manner of firearms related conduct. Prior to the enactment of preemption statutes there were city waiting periods, county gun seller licensing and gun registration schemes, and local permits to purchase regimes.
With prodding from moneyed interests, localities have become increasingly brazen in defying state preemption statutes.
The Missoula case concerned City Ordinance 3581. Passed in 2016, the ordinance criminalized the private transfer of firearms in the city. The ordinance required almost all transfers to take place pursuant to a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check. The city passed the ordinance in defiance of Montana’s strong state firearms preemption statute.
The Montana Code Annotated § 45-8-351 provides,
A county, city, town, consolidated local government, or other local government unit may not prohibit, register, tax, license, or regulate the purchase, sale or other transfer (including delay in purchase, sale, or other transfer), ownership, possession, transportation, use, or unconcealed carrying of any weapon, including a rifle, shotgun, handgun, or concealed handgun.
The language is straightforward and explicitly prohibited the locality from regulating “the purchase, sale or other transfer” of firearms. Illustrating the obvious illegality of Missoula’s ordinance, the Montana Supreme Court ruled 5-0 against the city.
The Pittsburgh case concerned a trio of ordinances passed in 2018. Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto called on the city to enact a total ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, a total ban on standard capacity magazines, and the development of a procedure to confiscate an individual’s firearms without due process of law. Further, Peduto called on municipalities throughout the country to ignore state statutes enacted by their residents’ elected representatives.
In the end, Peduto and his cohorts on the city council enacted narrower, but still impermissible, versions of the initial gun and magazine ban proposals and the confiscation measure.
No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.
Like Montana’s statute, the language clearly prohibited Pittsburgh’s conduct. Moreover, in the Keystone State the matter of Pittsburgh’s power to regulate firearms had already been decided in the courts.
In the 1996 case Ortiz v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania settled the question as to whether Pittsburgh and Philadelphia could restrict commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. In finding that they could not, the court stated,
Because the ownership of firearms is constitutionally protected, its regulation is a matter of statewide concern. The constitution does not provide that the right to bear arms shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth except Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where it may be abridged at will, but that it shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth. Thus, regulation of firearms is a matter of concern in all of Pennsylvania, not merely in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the General Assembly, not city councils, is the proper forum for the imposition of such regulation.
In ruling against the city’s most recent ordinances, Judge James noted that “the City has expended a large amount of energy attempting to categorize the restricted behavior in such a way that it is not expressly prohibited” by the state preemption statute. Continuing, James explained, “Despite the city’s efforts…. they are not able to avoid the obvious intent of the Legislature to preempt this entire field.”
Note Judge James’ use of the word “obvious.” Both the Montana and Pennsylvania statutes contain clear language that obviously barred the cities’ behavior. Even so, city officials usurped the authority to regulate firearms and wasted untold taxpayer resources in order to persecute a disfavored subset of law-abiding citizens.
Often more ideologically homogenous than larger political units, local governments have repeatedly shown a willingness to attack their gun owning constituents rather than practice the politics of pluralism. The larger political unit of a state can temper such virulent intolerance and provide a much-needed check on the radical impulses of local politicians.
Such blatant defiance of state law and profligacy with taxpayer dollars should have state legislatures looking for ways to strengthen existing state firearms preemption statutes. This can be achieved by providing a clear avenue for which a variety of interested parties, such as civil rights organizations like the NRA, can bring suit to enjoin improper laws. Moreover, state preemption statutes can be crafted in a manner that provides a prevailing plaintiff with attorneys’ fees and liquidated damages.
As the cases in Montana and Pennsylvania show, state firearms preemption statutes are an essential protection for gun owners. However, gun owners should not be forced to constantly vindicate their rights through the courts. State legislators should work to craft state preemption laws that prevent even the most recalcitrant localities from enacting illegal ordinances.
New Wisconsin firearms legislation reveals “Democrats’ real agenda” — total government control over all firearms and firearm owners. READ MORE
On September 19th, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, Representative Melissa Sargent (D-48), and Senator Lena Taylor (D-4) held a press conference calling on the Legislature to violate the Second Amendment by: 1) allowing confiscation of firearms without due process; and 2) criminalizing private transfers. If the Legislature does not quickly comply with these demands, Gov. Evers threatened to push for a special session. Please urge your state legislators to oppose Gov. Evers’ threats against Wisconsin’s law-abiding citizens and our Second Amendment rights.
Fortunately, Second Amendment defenders like Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos were courageous enough to highlight the Governor’s true intentions, saying “today in a partial answer to a reporter’s question Governor Evers revealed Democrats’ real agenda: taking away firearms that are lawfully owned, which is unacceptable. Wisconsin laws already say if you’re a felon, you lose your right to own a gun. With Governor Evers considering confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens, it shows just how radical Democrats have become.”
As NRA members know, most so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” laws—the kind of scheme that Gov. Evers would like to impose—seek to confiscate firearms while suspending your Second Amendment rights. This is why lawful gun owners who would otherwise defend themselves are often excluded from the very hearings where the gun-grab is ordered. If Gov. Evers gets his way, every Wisconsin citizen would be vulnerable to such orders, which do not rest upon a criminal conviction or adjudication of dangerously mental illness. Under Gov. Evers’ approach, your Second Amendment rights would be usurped by uncorroborated third party allegations.
Similar flaws permeate the Governor’s effort to criminalize private transfers. Contrary to the Second Amendment, the Governor wants to force law-abiding citizens to obtain the government’s permission, at their own expense, before transferring firearms; this even includes any gifts or trades between family members and close friends. Unbelievable.
Laws that insert the government between the Second Amendment and lawful transactions are fundamentally illogical and inconsistent with our U.S. Constitution. Existing studies of these laws—even when conducted by anti-gun researchers—confirm that such laws are ineffective at reducing homicides or suicides. Criminals who are already prohibited from possessing firearms and who already illegally obtain firearms through unlawful methods (such as theft or straw purchase) will not be deterred by one more law. And don’t be fooled: because such schemes are ultimately unenforceable without a firearm registry, they are the precursor to the registry itself.
Your action is needed. Please take a brief moment to contact your state legislators—stand up for the law-abiding citizens of this State, and protect our Second Amendment rights by refusing the politicians’ efforts to violate fundamental due process rights and criminalize private firearm transfers.
WISCONSIN, PRIVATE TRANSFERS, DUE PROCESS, CONFISCATION, gun control
NRA ILA releases statement overview of controversial Bloomberg elections — common sense trumps money. READ MORE
The National Rifle Association released the following statement on the 2019 election results:
“As if Gov. Northam’s legacy of ineptitude wasn’t enough, Virginians are about to experience life under a distant tycoon’s thumb. Candidates who proudly accepted Bloomberg’s cash — and every voter they misled — will soon realize the cost of being beholden to a Manhattan billionaire who despises Virginians’ right to self-defense. Fortunately, many NRA-backed candidates in Virginia, New Jersey, Kentucky and Mississippi prevailed over their Bloomberg-funded opponents. As the battle continues, so does the NRA’s defense of the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.”
Here’s a recap of MSNBC, Giffords, and March for Our Lives political “gun safety forum.” READ MORE
On October 2, anti-gun news outlet MSNBC, along with their partner organizations Giffords and March for Our Lives, hosted nine Democrat candidates for President for what was billed as a “Gun Safety Forum.” Most of the time was spent by candidates and anti-gun activists railing against guns, NRA, and occasionally, President Donald Trump.
As one can imagine, there really wasn’t much new discussed, as candidates continued to try to convince Democrat voters that each is the most anti-gun choice. At times, it seemed like a fight might break out over who had the most outrageous scheme to disarm law-abiding Americans.
Everyone seemed to agree on “universal” background checks, “red flag” laws, and that there is an “epidemic” of gun violence in our country. But as each candidate took the stage for their individual allotted time, most tried to separate themselves from the others.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, one of the higher polling lower tier candidates, started things off, trying to draw a connection between passing new gun laws and combatting “white nationalism.”
Buttigieg also promoted gun licensing, as well as “red flag” laws and “universal” background checks. Attacking NRA, he made the patently false allegation that our association represents the interests of gun manufacturers, rather than our 5 million dues-paying members.
Mayor Buttigieg also talked about banning semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, making the confusing statement that such things should not be sold “anywhere near an American school or neighborhood.” He seemed to clarify later that he was not talking about limiting where gun stores could operate, but meant he wanted to ban these popular rifles.
While trying to sell the constitutionality of banning some of the most commonly owned firearms in America, he made two bizarre comparisons. First, he said that people can own slingshots, but not nuclear weapons, followed by stating that water balloons are legal, but predator drones are not. It’s hard to imagine a more ridiculous comparison than one between children’s toys and actual weapons of war while discussing the Second Amendment.
His support of banning AR-15s, however, did not, at this time, include support for the type of confiscation scheme that has been promoted by one of the other candidates. More on that later.
Former HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro was next. He promoted increasing the tax on ammunition to further drive up its cost and supported the banning of so-called “assault weapons,” but fell short of calling for their confiscation. Instead, he promoted a voluntary “buy-back” scheme, followed by registering those not turned in and tracking their future transfer, similar to the way fully-automatic firearms are currently regulated. While he did not mention fully incorporating them into the National Firearms Act (NFA) protocols, that seemed to be where he was heading.
Next was New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. He stated support for banning and confiscating semi-automatic firearms, pushed so-called “safe” storage laws, and promoted his scheme to implement a federal licensing program for gun owners. He went so far as to call out all of his opponents that don’t support his position, claiming anyone who does not support licensing “should not be a nominee from our party.” He then went on to pat himself on the back for pushing “the most ambitious” gun plan.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has been leading the pack in some polls, then spoke. She promoted the idea of limiting firearm purchases to one-a-month, and also suggesting a 7-day waiting period before a law-abiding citizen could take possession of a lawfully purchased firearm. She also threatened a federal investigation of NRA — a clear attempt to quash our right to free speech, and that of our more than 5 million members.
Following Warren was former Vice President Joe Biden. While Biden had been the favorite in the race, at one point commanding a lead of more than 25-points over his closest rival, his advantage has all but disappeared. Biden again raised his make-believe idea on gun control — mandating guns that can only operate utilizing “biometric markers.” He also pushed a ban on the manufacture of AR-15s and similar rifles, coupled with regulating those that are currently owned under the NFA. This scheme has been promoted by representatives of Giffords, one of the sponsors of the event, so Biden was clearly playing to the audience.
His presentation was marked by the usual rambling, odd tangents, and self-promoting hyperbole to which we’ve grown accustomed. At one point he stopped in the middle of praising those behind March for Our Lives to clumsily transition to talking about the federal restrictions on hunting migratory waterfowl; pointing out that there is a limit of three shells in your shotgun when in the field. That brought him to discussing putting limits on the number of rounds one can have in other firearms. Biden seems to be struggling with determining an arbitrarily acceptable limit on ammunition capacity, so maybe he’s now testing out the idea of using three.
Former Texas Representative Robert Francis O’Rourke, who self-identifies as “Beto,” took the stage after Biden. He specifically called out Mayor Buttigieg for not supporting his gun confiscation idea, all but calling him a coward. He seemed to imply the same about Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (R-N.Y.) and Senator Chris Coons (D-Del) for their questioning the level of support for the disarmament scheme.
O’Rourke also pushed the popular lie among the anti-gun crowd that AR-15s and similar semi-automatic rifles are “weapons of war.” He even made the outrageously false claim that such firearms are “sold to the militaries of the world.” Of course, this is just an evolution of what gun-ban advocate Josh Sugarmann began promoting in the late ‘80s, when he wrote about so-called “assault weapons”:
“The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”
Of course, millions of law-abiding Americans own semi-automatic rifles, while fully-automatic firearms are strictly regulated under the NFA, and are what is actually “sold to the militaries of the world.”
He also claimed that, when the Second Amendment was ratified, it took “three minutes to reload a musket.” In fact, someone in the 18th century who was familiar with their musket could fire and reload it two- to three-times a minute. While that fact has little to do with the debate over gun control, what O’Rourke ignores is the more relevant fact that those privately owned muskets were no different than the muskets used by those in “the militaries of the world.”
The bottom-tier candidate waited until near the end of his time to break out two of the shticks for which he has become somewhat famous; profanity and high school-level Spanish.
Another bottom-tier candidate, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, was next, although she didn’t really bring anything new to the discussion. She mostly echoed the same, tired gun-control ideas promoted by those who came before her. Perhaps that is why she has been struggling throughout most of her campaign to generate more than 1% support in the polls.
Businessman Andrew Yang, who can’t seem to achieve much more than mid-single digit support in spite of promising to give people “free” money, had some curious ideas. He appeared to support Biden’s “biometric markers” idea, and mentioned expanding on the Booker notion of licensing by promoting a multi-tiered licensing program, although he didn’t offer real details on that while on stage, other than there would be different licenses for different guns.
Yang also mentioned wanting to keep track of people who own multiple firearms, but also offered no details on accomplishing this to the audience.
Two particularly odd ideas stood out. First, in order to counter the impact of organizations like NRA, he suggested giving every American $100.00 of what he referred to as “Democracy Dollars.” People could give this money to lawmakers and candidates to help influence their votes, which sounds a bit like buying votes. While we do not support the notion of buying votes, perhaps Mr. Yang did not consider the fact that NRA has five million members. Does he really want to add more than half-a-billion dollars that could be used to support the campaigns of candidates that support the Second Amendment?
His other odd idea, which may be better described as troubling, was the suggestion that gun manufacturers be fined every time one of their lawful products is used by a criminal. One presumes he is not suggesting the same penalties for the makers of any other lawful products commonly used by criminals. If he did, then he would likely be accused of trying to bankrupt the entire manufacturing industry, rather than just those that manufacture firearms.
One other odd statement he made, but also didn’t go into any real details about, was implying that criminals who use firearms to kill others are somehow victims. This line of thought deserves no additional commentary.
Finally, California Senator Kamala Harris spoke, offering nothing substantively new. She reiterated her desire to use executive action to implement many of her schemes. Perhaps hoping to avoid the ire of O’Rourke, she made clear that she supports his approach to banning and confiscating AR-15s and similar semi-automatic firearms. Some of the candidates who took the stage mentioned their version of supporting the Second Amendment included, at least to some extent, the right of self-defense. Harris, however, spoke only of respecting the Second Amendment as it relates, in her mind, to the tradition of hunting.
Ultimately, this anti-gun rally produced what would be expected of an event run by an anti-gun news outlet and anti-gun organizations. The same gun control ideas that have been promoted ad nauseum by radical extremists for years, or even decades. It was at least slightly interesting to see at what lengths candidates will go to try and out-anti-gun one another, especially considering the controlled environment where there was no chance of facing any sort of push-back. Especially from citizens who still respect the Constitution, individual freedom and our right to keep and bear arms.
Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke are not pals, and Ted calls it how he sees it. Check out the links in this post and see what Beto says, and what Beto means, for yourself. READ MORE
SOURCE: National Review, by Mairead McArdle
Texas senator Ted Cruz took aim at fact-checking website PolitiFact last Friday, criticizing the site for having previously claimed that Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke does not plan to “take our guns” after O’Rourke explicitly suggested otherwise at last Thursday night’s Democratic debate.
“When we see that being used against children . . . hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” O’Rourke said from the debate stage when asked if he was proposing that the government confiscate legally owned assault-style weapons. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”