gun rights

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

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.

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