gun rights

Branco: Revealing – The Left’s “Common Sense” Gun Law Goals

We all know what they mean by “common sense gun laws.”

Repeal Revealed – A.F. Branco

Branco: Same Left Strategy, Different Day

“The Left can’t let a mass murder go to waste, and immediately move to exploit the tragedy in Los Vegas.” Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco

Bloody Luck – A.F. Branco

Branco: Flak News – Open Fire on Trump SCOTUS Pick

“Open Fire”

Flak News – A.F. Branco

NRA Membership Dues Scheduled for Another Imminent Increase

CLICK HERE to join or renew today at discounted rates

If you are a current member who retrieved your National Rifle Association publication, such as Shooting Illustrated, American Rifleman, American Hunter, or America’s First Freedom from your mailbox, or if you visited the NRA website, you were likely greeted by the news that dues are set to increase again in the very near future.

The half-cover of the August 2018 issue of NRA magazines (sent mid-July) posits that the increase is set to take place on August 1st.

You may recall that the gun rights lobbying group’s dues also increased in 2016 in the run-up ahead of the big push during the presidential election campaign.  You may also recall that the eventual increase came only after the organization kicked the can down the road a number of times, issuing the date of the increase only to keep pushing it back several times before the inevitable price hike. While that may happen again with this increase, it also may very well not. We don’t have any insider information about that, but we will share whatever we find out as soon as we know.

Even though this is the second time in as many years that price increases have taken place, NRA touts the fact that dues increases are few and far between. The inside jacket of the magazine reads: “On August 1, 2018, NRA dues will increase for only the second time in more than 20 years.  There’s simply no other way we can stop a gun-ban takeover of the U.S. Congress and save our Second Amendment Rights. But you can beat the dues increase by renewing today.”

In addition to beating the dues increase, you can also get extra savings on your NRA membership dues here. Even after the increase, this link will provide savings off of the normal new member and renewal fees, although the prices there will automatically adjust once the increase goes into effect.

DOJ, SAF Reach Settlement in Defense Distributed Lawsuit

The Department of Justice and Second Amendment Foundation have reached a settlement in SAF’s lawsuit on behalf of Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed over free speech issues related to 3-D files and other information that may be used to manufacture lawful firearms.

SAF and Defense Distributed had filed suit against the State Department under the Obama administration, challenging a May 2013 attempt to control public speech as an export under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), a Cold War-era law intended to control exports of military articles.

Under terms of the settlement, the government has agreed to waive its prior restraint against the plaintiffs, allowing them to freely publish the 3-D files and other information at issue. The government has also agreed to pay a significant portion of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees, and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed as a result of the prior restraint.

Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.

“Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called ‘weapons of war,’ and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.

“Under this settlement,” he continued, “the government will draft and pursue regulatory amendments that eliminate ITAR control over the technical information at the center of this case. They will transfer export jurisdiction to the Commerce Department, which does not impose prior restraint on public speech. That will allow Defense Distributed and SAF to publish information about 3-D technology.”

Judge Brett Kavanaugh Has Earned NRA Members’ Support

NRA members can feel confident throwing their enthusiastic support behind President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout his time on the bench, Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated deep respect for the Second Amendment as construed in Justice Antonin Scalia’s landmark decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. Moreover, his record on the Second Amendment is well established. As Second Amendment scholar and University of Denver Law Professor Dave Kopel wrote earlier this week, “No nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court has had such a detailed record on Second Amendment as does Brett Kavanaugh.”

The bulk of Judge Kavanaugh’s record on the Second Amendment comes from his 2011 dissent in Heller v. District of Columbia, or Heller II. The case concerned a challenge to Washington, D.C.’s ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles and the city’s onerous firearms registration regime.

Under much constitutional precedence, courts are tasked with interpreting a law’s impact on a given right by using a system of tiered balancing tests, where they weigh the government’s interest against the right at stake. Fundamental rights are tested under a strict scrutiny standard, whereby the government has the burden of showing that a given restriction serves a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive means to further that interest. Lesser infringements are tested using intermediate scrutiny, which requires a restriction to serve an important government interest and that the means of doing so are substantially related to the interest. All laws are subject to the rational basis test, whereby a given restriction must be at least rationally related to a legitimate government purpose.   Continue reading

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