Gun Control

NRA Supported Case Calls for Suspension of Illinois’s FOID Act

Grassroots Illinois-based Second Amendment organization Guns Save Life filed an important NRA-supported case challenging the very foundations of Illinois gun law. Following an early adverse ruling the group filed an expedited appeal asking the Illinois Supreme Court to put aside the lower court’s ruling and suspend the state’s Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Act. NRA has supported and been involved in this case as they are in cases all over the state. The FOID Act requires law-abiding Illinois citizens to obtain and pay for a license from the State before they are allowed to posses or purchase any firearms and ammunition.

“Law-abiding citizens should not be required to obtain government approval before exercising a constitutionally protected right,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.

The case of one Guns Save Life member, mentioned in the organization’s complaint, shows how drastically the FOID Act infringes on that right. In compliance with the Act, the member recently sought to renew his FOID card. But the police denied his application and revoked his card, claiming to have “suddenly” found a battery conviction in his record. The problem is he has no such conviction, and the courts have no record of one. Nevertheless, because he no longer had a FOID card, he was forcibly disarmed.

Yesterday’s motion asks for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to put the Act on hold while litigation is underway.

“Illinois is one of only two states to impose such extreme gun control restrictions upon law-abiding citizens,” continued Cox. “The men and women of the National Rifle Association are pleased to join Guns Save Life in this fight to protect the Second Amendment rights of Illinois gun owners.”

Gun Control Takes Center Stage in 2020 Democratic Presidential Race

U.S. Senator Cory Booker on Monday released a sweeping plan to curb gun violence by creating a national licensing program and repealing a law that gives gun manufacturers legal immunity, becoming the latest Democrat in the 2020 presidential race to make gun control measures a feature of their campaign.

In the past, Democrats have feared that supporting gun restrictions could cost them the backing of working-class, swing voters – the group widely credited with tipping the 2016 presidential contest to Republican Donald Trump.

After dozens of mass shootings in recent years, however, including at schools like the February 2018 massacre in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead, curbing gun violence has become a component of the Democratic policy platform embraced by congressional and presidential candidates.

“In my community, kids fear fireworks on the Fourth of July because they sound like gunshots,” Booker said of his hometown of Newark, New Jersey, in a news release. “In communities across the country, from Newark to Charlotte, from San Diego to Chicago, and everywhere in between, Americans are being killed and families are being torn apart. We must do better. We need to do better.”

Booker’s plan would also ban assault weapons; allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission to regulate gun manufacturers; require microstamping technology be incorporated into new models of semi-automatic handguns; calls for universal background checks for gun sales; and close the “boyfriend loophole” that allows dating partners to purchase firearms after being convicted of abuse or under a restraining order. Current and former spouses convicted of abuse or under a restraining order are prohibited from purchasing a firearm.

Most but not all components of Booker’s plan would require approval of the U.S. Congress. Democrats currently control the House of Representatives and Republicans the Senate, where gun safety legislation would likely meet intense pushback.   Continue reading

USCCA Sets the Record Straight on “Red Flag” Legislation

USCCA Continues To Oppose Legislative Efforts Aimed At Stripping Americans of Their 2A Rights Without Due Process

The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA), which provides education, training and self-defense protection to more than 300,000 responsible American gun owners across the country, said today that it will continue to oppose any legislative efforts at the state and federal level that seek to strip law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights without due process.

This comes as anti-gun groups are pressuring lawmakers in a number of states to pass so-called “Red Flag” laws – which are also referred to as Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) – and some have inaccurately suggested the USCCA would support these efforts.

USCCA President and Founder Tim Schmidt said today that the USCCA will continue to stand behind any law-abiding, responsibly-armed American who faces an unfounded “Red Flag” situation and will oppose legislative efforts that allow for the confiscation of firearms without due process. “We must ensure that dangerous persons with mental illnesses do not have access to firearms, but that cannot come at the expense of allowing our government to target law-abiding Americans and confiscate their firearms without due process,” Schmidt said today.

“Many of the so-called ‘red flag’ laws under consideration by various states would make it far too easy for bad actors to abuse them and target innocent people. Imagine, for example, losing your right to self-protection simply because someone with an axe to grind against you falsely claims you’re a danger. Many of these legislative proposals are nothing more than backdoor efforts by the anti-gun lobby to strip law-abiding Americans of their God-given right to self-defense, and the USCCA will continue to oppose them.”

Schmidt also noted in a new video that he recorded and shared with USCCA members today that the USCCA has been voicing its serious concern with “red flag” laws that have been passed by states like California for the last several years now including in a January 2018 message to USCCA members where he wrote, “Therein lies the ‘extreme risk of ERPOs: relying on feelings to potentially strip an individual of his or her constitutional right to keep and bear arms — all while neglecting due process.”

Senate Democrats Waste No Time Attacking Second Amendment Rights

Feinstein & Co. Introduce “Assault Weapons” Ban for 2019

Just a week into the 116th United States Congress a swarm of angry, misinformed democrat politicians have introduced legislation that would ban the sale, manufacture, and importation of hundreds of firearms by name and potentially thousands more based on largely cosmetic characteristics as well as putting the kibosh on any magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

Dubbed the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, the official title of S.66 is A bill to regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes. Seriously? “To ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited?” This from the people who swore an oath to uphold and defend a document that explicitly reads “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Try this on for size: infringe (verb): Act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on.   Continue reading

Legal Challenges to Bump Stock Ban Begin Rolling In

As reported Tuesday and discussed on the GunLink Forums, the Department of Justice this week issued a new regulation reversing the BATFE’s longstanding position on bump stock devices. This regulation modifies the meaning of certain words and changes the codified definition of machine gun such that it now includes language inclusive of bump stocks.

This reclassification leads to a situation faced by many hundreds of thousands of owners of such devices whereby they must now either destroy or surrender to the BATFE their lawfully purchased property or become overnight felons in possession of illegal, unregistered machine guns.

No doubt worse than the fact that they must now hand over their property – purchased in good faith with assurance from the BATFE that the device was, in fact, not a machine gun – without compensation, is the manner in which the regulation came about.

To be certain, the regulation is causing an uproar among factions of the firearms community with talk about violations of everything from Article I of the US Constitution’s prohibition on ex post facto laws to various and sundry elements of the Bill of Rights to include the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 10th Amendments.

The Cato Institute published a piece rightly stating that “this regulation is not an attempt to clarify a vague law, but to seize political expediency to expand the power of the executive,” continuing that they may reserve their “right to intervene in the coming litigation.”

It should come as no surprise that the first legal challenges to the Bump Stock Ban were put into motion just a few short hours after the announcement that it had been inked by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker given that the opening shots in this legal battle were fired by some of the more prolific opposition to the change since its early stages.    Continue reading

GOA, NRA Offer Differing Views on Trump Admin’s School Safety Report

The White House yesterday announced the final report by the administration’s Federal Commission on School Safety. The full report can be read here.

Calling it a “comprehensive approach to making sure school campuses are safe places,” the commission offered a number of suggestions, including identification and treatment of mental issues, calling on media outlets to stop using names and photos of prolific attackers, and implementation of training, planning, and potentially placing armed staff.

However, the report is drawing mixed responses from pro-gun groups thanks to one contentious point: the recommendation for “extreme risk protection orders” (ERPOs), which the document describes as “also known as gun violence protection orders, risk warrants, or red flag laws, these state laws provide law enforcement (and in some instances, family members) with a legal, temporary way to prevent individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others from possessing or purchasing firearms.” So… basically firearm confiscation and removal of Second Amendment rights without due process.

In a Tuesday statement, NRA-ILA executive director Chris W. Cox highlighted some pet issues, saying “The National Rifle Association applauds the [report]. The report includes a number of recommendations for which the NRA has been advocating for years, including reforming our mental health laws, strengthening school security, and addressing an increasingly violent culture. It also calls on the media to stop reporting the names and photos of mass murderers, which only encourages copycat behavior.

Despite the fact that existing law – specifically, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) – already “makes it unlawful for [any person 2ho has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution] to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition“, Cox continued to praise the ERPO language of the report.  Cox continued, “Finally, we appreciate President Trump’s support for keeping firearms out of the hands of those who have been adjudicated by a court to be a danger to themselves or others in the form of state Extreme Risk Protection Orders — provided they include strong due process protections, require mental health treatment, and include penalties against those who file frivolous charges to harass law-abiding citizens.

Sorry, Chris – that mechanism for keeping firearms out of those people’s hands, and the due process protections, are already in existing law and, on their face, appear to be precisely the opposite of what ERPOs achieve.

Gun Owners of America’s (GOA) executive director, Erich Pratt responded with a decidedly different take, calling it a continuation of the President’s “take the guns first, due process later rhetoric,” referencing the case of 61-year old Maryland resident Gary Willis, who was killed while officers were executing firearm confiscation orders. According to Breitbart, the details behind the issuance of the confiscation order against Willis were not reported; all that was known was that a niece said one of her aunts requested the order.

Pratt continued, “Instead of resorting to the ‘Minority Report’ style gun control preferred by Michael Bloomberg and Chuck Schumer, President Trump should encourage initiatives like Concealed Carry Reciprocity, repealing gun-free zones and arming teachers — all measures he has vocally supported in the past,” concluding “These Gun Confiscation Orders are a violation of Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, and GOA will continue to stand for the Bill of Rights and oppose these dangerous initiatives.

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