CSF Applauds CA Court’s Injunction in Ammo Restriction Case

On April 23, a federal court in California put a halt to California’s ammunition background check requirements declaring, “Accordingly, the Court enjoins the State of California from enforcing the ammunition sales background check provisions” found in the California Penal Code. The Court’s grant of this injunction is a strong win for all California sportsmen and women because the ammunition sales restrictions will prevent the State of California from enforcing the ammunition sales background checks through its now enjoined onerous and flawed system as the Rhode v. Becerra case continues to be litigated.

“This is a huge victory for California gun owners. Though we have several lawsuits pending at this time, none in my opinion are as important as Rhode v. Becerra. This case impacts every gun owner in California and establishes a precedent for California law makers to learn to respect federal law,” said Roy Griffith, Legislative Director of California Rifle and Pistol Association.   Continue reading

Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to New York Gun Law

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a challenge to a New York City law restricting the rights of handgun owners to carry their weapons outside the home.

The 6-3 decision sends the case back to the lower courts — a move that pleases gun control advocates who were afraid that the conservative-majority court would rule against them.

The case centered on the New York City gun licenses that let handgun owners carry their locked and unloaded weapons only from their homes to several shooting ranges within city limits.

Attorneys for the city argued that the law was a matter of public safety and did not infringe on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

A group of gun owners, backed by Trump administration lawyers, challenged the law, arguing that it was too restrictive.

But after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, New York amended the law to allow people to carry their guns to places outside the city, including second homes, gun clubs, target shooting ranges and where hunting is allowed.

The court decided not to hear the case Monday, saying the changes to the law makes the challenge moot, and sent it back to the lower court for any further challenges and arguments.

Three conservative justices — Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas — dissented.

“Petitioners got most, but not all, of the prospective relief they wanted,” Alito wrote, saying gun owners can still seek damages.

Gun control advocates are pleased the court decided not to rule on the case.

“Today’s decision rejects the NRA’s invitation to use a moot case to enact its extreme agenda aimed at gutting gun safety laws supported by a majority of Americans,” said Hannah Shearer, litigation director at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

But the National Rifle Association, the country’s premier gun rights group, said the court Monday accepted what the NRA calls New York City’s “surrender” and admission of wrongdoing. It calls on the city to reimburse the plaintiffs’ legal fees.

Southeast: States Provide Hunter Education Course Options and Ease Restrictions during COVID-19 Pandemic

As the nation continues to adjust to social distancing requirements, some state fish and wildlife agencies are providing alternatives to hunter education course requirements while other states are easing access restrictions for anglers that were imposed due to COVID-19.

These waivers and revisions allow sportsmen and women to participate in hunting and fishing activities as long as the necessary social distancing requirements are maintained. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and conservation partners are promoting the #ResponsibleRecreation social media campaign that encourages people to hunt and fish while adhering to the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. In a related effort, CSF and other members of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners sent a letter to governors to encourage them to maintain open access for hunters and anglers.

Kentucky

The Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources altered the range day requirement for their internet-based hunter’s education course. In response to the COVID-related restrictions, a “virtual range day” has been instituted for those wanting to complete the hunter education course prior to May 15. A few different vendors offer an online hunter education course, including one that offers the course for free. Interested individuals can access the courses and the virtual range day here.

North Carolina

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) waived the field day component for their hunter education course for individuals who want to purchase their hunting license during the COVID-19 pandemic. The WRC offers three online hunter education courses, ranging from $13.00 to $29.00, as an alternative to the traditional classroom course. Upon successful completion, the hunter can print the temporary hunter education card to purchase their license. Those interested in this convenient alternative can access the online course offerings here.

Mississippi

In an effort to ease restrictions for anglers in Mississippi, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Tate Reeves issued Executive Order 1473, which allows the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) to reopen state lakes and state park lakes for fishing and boating on April 20. The MDWFP announced that bank fishing will also be permitted on these lakes as long as social distancing requirements are observed.

South Carolina

In similar fashion, Governor Henry McMaster granted authority to local governments or managing authorities to reopen public boat landings and ramps for launching and retrieving boats on April 17. Executive Order 2020-25 also clarified that while public access may be reopened for lakes, the rafting or beaching of boats is still prohibited for the duration of the State of Emergency.

With turkey seasons and fishing seasons underway across the South, CSF commends these efforts to ease restrictions for hunters and anglers during this time.

Federal Court Issues Preliminary Injunction in Rhode v. Becerra

Major Victory in Case Challenging Constitutionality of California’s Ammo Background Check Law

A major victory was secured on Thursday when a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in the NRA-supported case, Rhode v. Becerra. The case challenges the constitutionality of a California law that puts draconian restrictions on ammunition acquisition and transfers as a result of Prop 63 and SB 1235 (2016).

As the court said, ‘The right to keep and bear arms is the insurance policy behind the right to life … a shield from the tyranny of the majority.’ California wasn’t just obstructing the people’s fundamental right to defend their families and lives—it was encouraging unlawful hostility toward an individual, Constitutional right,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “The NRA funded this case for the same reason the court struck down the laws: enough was enough.

The law required law-abiding citizens to undergo background checks when purchasing ammunition and for all transactions to occur in-person through a licensed ammunition vendor.

Thursday’s injunction means the law cannot be enforced while the case is active unless the decision is stayed.

ATF Offers Reward in Gun Store Burglaries

ATF, Area Law Enforcement Agencies and the Firearms Industry Seek Public’s Help in Firearms Thefts From the Gun Store and Keith Warner Gunsmith

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in conjunction with the Memphis, Germantown and Collierville Police Departments, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction for those responsible for the theft of firearms from The Gun Store and Keith Warner Gunsmith, both federal firearm licensees (FFL).

On April 20, 2020, The Gun Store, in Memphis, Tenn. was burglarized where several firearms were reported stolen.

On April 23, 2020, the Keith Warner Gunsmith in Germantown, Tenn. was burglarized where several firearms were reported stolen.

ATF Industry Operations Investigators responded to the FFL’s and are in the process of conducting an inventory to determine the exact number of firearms stolen.

In addition to the two actual FFL thefts, there were at least 8 additional attempted thefts of firearms from FFL’s in the area during the past week.

ATF is offering the reward for the amount of up to $15,000, which the NSSF has provided $5,000 of the total amount. This reward is part of a larger national cooperative initiative between the NSSF and ATF in which NSSF matches ATF’s reward in cases involving the theft of firearms from federally licensed firearms retailers. Below are pictures of the persons of interest:

“ATF works closely with members of the firearms industry to curb the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms. ATF Special Agent in Charge, Marcus Watson said, “ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence will leverage investigative resources combined with community partnerships to recover the stolen firearms.”

Anyone with information about this crime should contact ATF at (888) ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477) or Memphis Police Department at (901) 528-2274. Information can also be sent to ATFTips@atf.gov, through ATF’s website at www.atf.gov/contact/atftips. Tips can be submitted anonymously using the Reportit app, available from both Google Play and the Apple App store, or by visiting www.reportit.com.

Ruger Responds to Pandemic with Support for Employees and Local Communities

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. has made its people and the communities in which it operates a top priority during the tragic and unprecedented coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Ruger has undertaken a number of measures to help support its people and communities, and has placed significant efforts behind manufacturing resources to help the country at large.

“As COVID-19 has driven us into extraordinary times, we knew we must step up to help our employees, their families and our broader local communities,” said Ruger President and CEO, Chris Killoy. “Our Company values of integrity, respect, innovation and teamwork are more important than ever, and are surely guiding us through these times as we work together on doing what is best for everyone.”

As some local food pantries in our communities have closed or faced shortages, Ruger has set up its own food pantry for employees and is supporting other local food sources to help employees and families in need. Ruger employees have donated food, hard-to-get items and cash totaling over $11,000 to support this effort. Additionally, Ruger has provided two additional weeks of paid time off for hourly employees, as well as other accommodations for employees who are directly or indirectly impacted by this pandemic.

“Supporting our employees is the primary goal of our task force,” stated Sarah Colbert, Vice President of Administration and Chair of the Ruger Coronavirus Task Force. “Our focus is to keep our people safe and healthy; help take care of our Ruger families and local communities where we live and work; and keep us safely working for as long as we can.”

Keeping employee safety in mind, Ruger has reconfigured all locations to accommodate Federal social distancing guidelines at entranceways, on the factory floor and in common areas. Ruger has limited all non-essential access to its facilities, has embraced remote work wherever possible, and has professionally disinfected all manufacturing equipment and facilities utilizing a contracted service.

In an effort to support local communities, Ruger donated resources to hospitals, nursing homes, police, fire and first responder departments, including:

  • 6,500 surgical masks
  • Almost 5,000 safety glasses
  • 700 Tyvek suits
  • 200 shoe coverings
  • Over 200 N95 masks.

Ruger also donated $6,000 in cash to local food charities and made its facilities and resources available to truck drivers and delivery personnel.  Continue reading

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