gun rights

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.

Acting AG Signs New Bump Stock Ban

Devices Must Be Destroyed Within 90 Days of Rule Being Published

After months of speculation on whether such a measure could be taken under an ostensibly pro-RKBA administration, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker signed a new rule today that classifies “bump stocks” as machine guns and bans their possession. The rule, set to take effect 90 days after it is published in the Federal Register – which is expected to happen this Friday – would require current owners of the devices to destroy them.

The BATFE had previously concluded that such devices were unable to be federally regulated as such because they are simply an accessory part. Following the Mandalay Bay attack in October 2017 in which the attacker allegedly used weapons equipped with such devices, President Trump prompted the DOJ to revisit the matter. AG Jeff Sessions introduced the proposed legislation in March 2018.

The new rule inaccurately concludes that these devices allow a “shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger,” making it a machine gun. Generally, under current regulations, possession or transfer of a machine gun manufactured prior to May 19, 1986 – the date on which the Firearms Owners Protection Act (and the Hughes Amendment thereof) went into effect.

The complete Final Rule can be read here. The summary of the rule reads as follows (emphasis added):

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify that bump-stock-type devices […] are “machineguns” as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger. Specifically, these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun by functioning as a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that harnesses the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm in a manner that allows the trigger to reset and continue firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter. Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger. With limited exceptions, the Gun Control Act, as amended, makes it unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun unless it was lawfully possessed prior to the effective date of the statute. The bumpstock-type devices covered by this final rule were not in existence prior to the effective date of the statute, and therefore will be prohibited when this rule becomes effective. Consequently, under the final rule, current possessors of these devices will be required to destroy the devices or abandon them at an ATF office prior to the effective date of the rule.

The BATFE sought public comment on the proposal, receiving upward of 100,000 comments, although passage of such a rule seems to have been a foregone conclusion with direction straight from the White House. Given the Second and Fifth Amendment concerns surrounding the issue and the time frame for it to go into effect, we expect to see a number of legal challenges to the rule.

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

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