Second Amendment

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.

SAF, CCRKBA, JPFO: “Bill of Rights Still Includes Second Amendment”

Second Amendment to the United States ConstitutionAs the nation prepares to celebrate National Bill of Rights Day on Saturday, it is important to remember that all of the rights enshrined in the first ten amendments to the Constitution are equal, and deserve the same zealous protection as all the others, the Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership said today.

“Despite the efforts of lobbying groups and some politicians,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “the Second Amendment has retained its position as the cornerstone of our Bill of Rights. The individual citizen’s right to keep and bear arms protects all of the other rights, including free speech and press, the right to legal counsel, the presumption of innocence, and to be secure in our persons, homes and papers against unreasonable search and seizure.

Gottlieb, who is also CCRKBA chairman, noted that these two organizations have steadfastly defended other rights, and will continue doing so “because the Bill of Rights is only as strong as its weakest link.” JPFO is a non-profit educational organization that defends human rights.

“Our mission is that of any citizen who values the liberty and freedom our nation symbolizes above all other nations of the world,” he stated. “Our Bill of Rights is the envy of every other citizen of every other country. Our Bill of Rights is the foundation upon which our nation continues to stand as the land of opportunity. It’s why so many want to come here, and why so few ever want to leave.

“Since it was ratified in 1789,” Gottlieb continued, “our Bill of Rights has weathered many a storm, not the least of which has been the almost unceasing effort to erode the protections provided by the Second Amendment. We must defend the Second as vigorously as we have defended all of our other individual rights.

“The Bill of Rights doesn’t give anything to anyone,” he observed. “It doesn’t grant rights, but it does guarantee them. Our Bill of Rights has the much tougher job of protecting our natural and fundamental rights from infringement or abridgment. Those wise old Founders understood this when they delineated our rights within the first ten amendments of the Constitution. Bill of Rights Day serves as a reminder that what we have is worth protecting.”

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

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