Politics

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

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

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: Shut Up and Conform – Social Media’s Shadow Bans

“Project Veritas with their hidden camera has busted social media giant twitter for shadow banning conservatives views.” – AFB

Shut Up and Conform – A.F. Branco

Kavanaugh Pick as Supreme Court Justice Receives Universal Support from Gun Groups

Trump’s Second SCOTUS Nominee Garners Wide Support from RKBA Organizations: NRA, SAF, GOA, NSSF

Just over a year after Justice Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat on the United States Supreme Court, President Trump has tapped the second SCOTUS nominee of his first term.

President Trump’s has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Anthony Kennedy, who has sat on the court since being nominated by Ronald Reagan and confirmed in 1988.  Since his July 9th nomination, Kavanaugh has received universal support from major gun rights organizations, including the National Rifle Association (NRA), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Gun Owners of America (GOA), and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

In their statement, the NRA said that “President Trump has made another outstanding choice in nominating Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court. He has an impressive record that demonstrates his strong support for the Second Amendment.” The statement also referenced Kavanaugh’s strong dissenting opinion in opposition to Washington, D.C.’s ban on commonly owned semi-automatic firearms and their registration requirement which, consistent with Justice Scalia’s opinion in Heller.  NRA’s Chris Cox continued, “Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated his clear belief that the Constitution should be applied as the Framers intended.”

In a separate statement, NRA said that “Judge Brett Kavanaugh has earned NRA members’ support.” In this statement, the gun-rights organization goes into additional details on the nominee’s Second Amendment history.

Second Amendment Foundation

SAF likewise applauded Kavanaugh’s nomination for the SCOTUS seat, saying “We’re encouraged by this nomination because by adding Judge Kavanaugh, we might see the high court become more willing to accept and rule on important Second Amendment issues, such as right-to-carry.” Second Amendment Founder and Executive VP, Alan Gottlieb, noted that “the Supreme Court has twice affirmed in the last ten years that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental, individual right to keep a firearm for home defense, but the court has yet to even begin defining the right to bear arms outside of the home or business, in public.”  Gottlieb says that he hopes that Kavanaugh’s nomination would be “quickly affirmed by the Senate.”

On the topic of Senate confirmation, one potential hold-out that may have stymied Kavanaugh’s progress to Kennedy’s vacant SCOTUS seat, Rand Paul, yesterday got on board with the President’s nomination, saying that “his strong defenses of the First and Second Amendments in landmark cases show someone who isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo and will fight with backbone.” Paul concluded, “Judge Kavanaugh will have my support and my vote to confirm him to the Supreme Court.”   Continue reading

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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