Second Amendment

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

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.

DOJ, SAF Reach Settlement in Defense Distributed Lawsuit

The Department of Justice and Second Amendment Foundation have reached a settlement in SAF’s lawsuit on behalf of Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed over free speech issues related to 3-D files and other information that may be used to manufacture lawful firearms.

SAF and Defense Distributed had filed suit against the State Department under the Obama administration, challenging a May 2013 attempt to control public speech as an export under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), a Cold War-era law intended to control exports of military articles.

Under terms of the settlement, the government has agreed to waive its prior restraint against the plaintiffs, allowing them to freely publish the 3-D files and other information at issue. The government has also agreed to pay a significant portion of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees, and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed as a result of the prior restraint.

Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.

“Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called ‘weapons of war,’ and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.

“Under this settlement,” he continued, “the government will draft and pursue regulatory amendments that eliminate ITAR control over the technical information at the center of this case. They will transfer export jurisdiction to the Commerce Department, which does not impose prior restraint on public speech. That will allow Defense Distributed and SAF to publish information about 3-D technology.”

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

SAF Applauds Trump Nomination of Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

Second Amendment FoundationThe Second Amendment Foundation this evening applauded president Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court created by the looming retirement of Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“We’re encouraged by this nomination,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “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.

“While 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,” he continued, “but the court has yet to even begin defining the right to bear arms outside of the home or business, in public.

“We know that the Court will face enormous challenges on other rights issues,” Gottlieb observed, “but the right to keep and bear arms is a cornerstone of the Bill of Rights that has set this nation apart as a beacon of freedom and liberty. It is time for the court to examine the constitutionality of various state laws that restrict the right to carry, for example, and make arbitrary decisions about who can exercise that right.

“Our courts should be the place that we can trust to safeguard our rights and promote freedom,” he added.

“We’re hoping that the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the court will be quickly affirmed by the Senate,” Gottlieb concluded.

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