Second Amendment

White House Issues Presidential Message on National Shooting Sports Month

Today, on the first day of National Shooting Sports Month, The White House issued a Presidential message to the nation on the importance and tradition of the shooting sports in America. This annual 31-day celebration, developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) in 2017, reminds people that everyone can enjoy these safe, fun and social activities. It’s also the perfect time for an experienced shooter to mentor a newcomer in a sport that can provide a lifetime of enjoyment at every skill level.

From The White House:

Presidential Message on National Shooting Sports Month, 2019

During National Shooting Sports Month, we celebrate the cherished tradition of recreational and sport shooting activities. Shooting sports bring people together and instill comradery among a significant portion of its fellow enthusiasts. The vibrant shooting sport culture is made possible, in large part, by our steadfast protection of one of our bedrock and most-cherished liberties, the right to keep and bear arms.   Continue reading

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

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.

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