May 18th, 2019

SCOTUS Will Hear Challenge to Crazy New York City Gun Law

SCOTUS U.S. Supreme Court New York City handgun law challenge appeal

Story based on Report by NRA-ILA
The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a challenge by an NRA state affiliate to a New York City gun control scheme that effectively prohibits lawfully-licensed handgun owners from leaving the city with their own firearms. In the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, NY case, the plaintiffs raise objections to the N.Y. City law, particularly that it violates the Second Amendment.

Few laws in the history of our nation, or even in contemporary times, have come close to such a sweeping prohibition on the transportation of arms. — U.S. DOJ Brief challenging N.Y. City law

Given the uniquely oppressive and bizarre nature of the challenged restrictions, many observers believe the real question in the case isn’t whether New York City will lose but on what grounds and how badly. The City itself, in fact, recently made a desperate attempt to avoid a ruling on its laws by claiming to the court that it was in the process of revising the regulations to address the issues raised in the case. The court rejected that gambit, and proceedings in the case have continued.

SCOTUS U.S. Supreme Court New York City handgun law challenge appeal

The Trump administration, through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), has filed a brief in support of the plaintiffs. The DOJ argues that the New York City regulation is unconstitutional, because the “transport ban infringes the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.” The DOJ’s brief states the Second Amendment does not end at the property line of one’s own home.

“The Second Amendment guarantees both the right to ‘keep’ and the right to ‘bear’ firearms”, the brief states. “Read naturally, the right to ‘bear’ firearms includes the right to transport firearms outside the home; otherwise, the right to ‘bear’ would add nothing to the right to ‘keep’.”

(more…)

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July 2nd, 2016

Sweeping Anti-Gun Legislation Enacted in California

California Gun Confiscation Magazine Ban Jerry Brown AR15 Ammunition Confiscation

California Governor Jerry Brown just departed for a luxurious European vacation. But before he left the state, he savaged the Second Amendment rights of millions of California gun owners. Less than 24 hours after they arrived on his desk, Brown signed six anti-gun bills railroaded through the Democratic-controlled California Legislature. Among the bills signed by Brown was SB 1446 which will require Californians to forfeit, destroy, or ship out of the state ALL firearms magazines that can hold more than ten rounds. Owners of legally-obtained magazines, previously “grandfathered”, will receive no compensation though they must give up their property. Those who fail to comply will be fined and charged with an infraction, a low-level crime. This magazine restriction goes into effect July 1, 2017.

Gov. Brown also signed SB 1235 which will require background checks for the purchase of any and all ammunition. Ammo buyers’ names and personal information will be logged and tracked in a database.

Notice from NSSF RE California Legislation

The NSSF issued this statement: “The National Shooting Sports Foundation is extremely disappointed that Gov. Brown today chose to sign into law these highly restrictive and unneeded gun control measures, all of which will affect law-abiding Californians while doing nothing to stop the criminal misuse of firearms. By acting within 24 hours after being sent these bills, and not allowing the public to voice their opinions in order to depart for his European vacation, the governor compounded the miscarriage of legislative process and procedure while demonstrating disdain for Californians who now face laws that clearly infringe on their Constitutional rights.”

Gov. Brown SIGNED the following bills into law:

AB 1135 (Levine) and SB 880 (Hall) Firearms: Assault Weapons – Expands the definition of assault weapons based on whether a semiautomatic firearm has a detachable magazine, banning thousands of popular firearms.

SB 1235 (de Leon) Ammunition – Requires authorization to purchase ammunition and track what and how much ammunition each person buys, creating a database of ammunition purchasers.

SB 1446 (Hancock) Firearms: Magazine Capacity – Makes it illegal to possess magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds no matter how long a person has owned them.

AB 1511 (Santiago) Firearms: Lending – Makes it illegal to loan a firearm to a person who is personally known to you (except for family members with restrictions).

AB 1695 (Bonta) Firearms: False Reports – Creates a 10-year prohibition on owning firearms for someone convicted of falsely reporting a lost or stolen firearm.

Gov. Brown VETOED the following bills:

SB 894 (Jackson) Firearms: Lost or Stolen: reports – Would have made it a crime not to report lost and stolen firearms to law enforcement within the arbitrary time limit.

AB 1673 (Gipson) Firearms: Unfinished frame or receiver – Would have expanded the definition of a firearm to include partially finished frames and receivers (no definition of what this means) and require their registration.

AB 1674 (Santiago) Firearms: Transfers – Would have made it illegal to buy or receive more than one firearm in any 30-day period.

If you wish to Contact Gov. Brown’s office to voice your concern about his signing of six anti-gun measures, here is the contact information:

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
E-mail: https://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php

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June 24th, 2016

More Guns, Less Crime — The Numbers Prove It

Gun Control FACTS Chart

Amidst the hue and cry (and Congressional sit-ins) calling for more gun control, few observers have actually looked at the facts. Do we, in fact, have an increasing gun crime problem in this nation? Is gun violence spiraling out of control, as the anti-gunners would have you believe?

What do the verified FACTS say (as opposed to the ‘sky is falling’ anti-gun zealots)? Well, the truth of the matter is that major gun-related crime rates have been steadily on the decline for more than a decade. Likewise, most of the major violent crime rates have been declining over the past two decades. What’s more, even accidental gun deaths have been declining despite a huge rise in gun ownership.

Gun Control FACTS Chart

So the next time someone tells you that guns must be outlawed to halt a terrible increase in gun crime, you can respond, with 100% certainty, that gun-related crime is going down, not up.

And interestingly, as the supply of handguns has increased, the amount of property crimes has plummeted. Maybe the bad guys are thinking twice before breaking and entering…

Gun Control FACTS Chart
Chart Source: www.GunFacts.info.

Gun Facts™ debunks common myths about gun control. It is intended as a reference guide for journalists, politicians and anyone interested in learning about gun control facts… crime, and the Second Amendment. The free Gun Facts e-book provides over 100 pages of indexed information.

Credit Boyd Allen for finding this first chart. We welcome reader submissions.
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January 7th, 2016

NSSF Comments on President Obama’s Executive Actions

execorder1601

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has responded to President Obama’s proposed Executive Actions concerning gun ownership and firearms transfers. The NSSF stated: “We all share the goal of reducing the intentional misuse of guns and enhancing the safety of our communities. As the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) will carefully review all aspects of the executive actions that President Obama announced today. Much remains to be spelled out. In the interim we have some initial reactions:”

We support further resources being allocated to staffing and increasing operational hours for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to make the system more efficient and responsive.

We represent Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). The criteria for what will constitute being “engaged in the business” going forward needs considerable clarification and raises questions about enforceability.

The number of firearms lost or stolen while in transit to or from FFLs is less than 0.15 percent of the number manufactured and imported in a given year. In these rare occurrences, FFLs already actively participate in ATF’s long-standing voluntary reporting program and FFLs and common carriers work closely with ATF to investigate them. Proposals to make a shipping FFL responsible for tracking and reporting firearms no longer in their inventories, after the legal title has been transferred to the purchaser, are misdirected, as the receiving FFL is in the best position to know if it receives its shipment.

We have long called for the effective enforcement of the numerous laws already on the books regarding the criminal misuse of firearms and would encourage the administration to carry through on this directive.

NSSF has been working actively since early 2013 through our FixNICS initiative to encourage states to report all appropriate adjudicated mental health records to NICS and has succeeded in getting legislation passed in more than a dozen states. We welcome the administration’s attention to this issue.

With regard to the development of “smart-gun” technology, the industry has never opposed its development. How additional government research into this technology would advance it is unclear. Law enforcement agencies and consumers themselves will have to make the determination whether acquisition of firearms with this technology “would be consistent with operational needs,” as the White House itself states. We would continue to oppose mandates for this technology, particularly since there are well proven existing methods to secure firearms, and firearms accidents are at historic low levels.

NSSF will have additional responses in the days, weeks and months ahead, especially as federal departments and agencies begin the work of carrying out the executive orders.

Presidential photo courtesy Cheaper Than Dirt Shopter’s Log.
See related article:
Obama to Enact Gun Control.

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September 6th, 2015

Bleak Vision of Future Gun Control Becomes Reality in California

gun control los Angeles video pre-approval

A few years ago, some folks released a video that showed how gun control laws might operate in a fictional California of the future. The video shows how State Agency pre-authorization would have to be obtained before a handgun could be employed for self-defense in the home. Sound far-fetched? Well, it turns out that this satirical video was not that far from the truth. That disturbing vision of the future is coming to pass… at least in some parts of California.

The City of Los Angeles recently passed an municipal ordinance that would require handguns to be locked up (or otherwise disabled) when kept in the home. Modeled after a similar law in San Francisco, the Los Angeles ordinance makes it a misdemeanor to keep an unsecured handgun in a home. There are some exceptions to the locking rule (such as when the owner has the firearm in “close proxmity”), but this Los Angeles ordinance still imposes onerous burdens on citizens who might need a firearm to defend themselves in their own homes.

Under the new Los Angeles city ordinance, there is no “pre-authorization” requirement — at least not yet. But that could be the next step, as this video shows…

Think about it… how can you respond to an intruder if you have to call and ask for permission to access your own firearm. How that scenario might unfold is depicted in this video, a chilling preview of gun ownership in California. The video is a dramatization, but it shows what could happen in the Golden State in the not-too-distant future.

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March 1st, 2015

California Microstamping Requirement Upheld in Court

Californians may be relegated to shooting revolvers soon. On February 27, 2015, a Federal Judge in California over-ruled objections to a California state law requiring that all new semi-auto handguns have microstamping capability. In granting summary judgment to the State, Eastern District Judge Kimberly Mueller halted legal efforts to over-turn microstamping requirements for semi-auto pistols. Unless this District Court ruling is overturned on appeal, this Federal Court decision would effectively ban the sale or possession of most (if not all) new semi-auto handguns in the state.

Editor’s Comment: There is some hope however — the Calguns Foundations said counsel has already appealed the recent ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The ruling was issued in Peña v. Lindley, a Federal case that pitted California resident Ivan Peña and three other individual plaintiffs against Stephen Lindley, the chief of the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms.

At issue was California’s microstamping law, which was signed into law in 2007 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but which only took effect in 2013. In the two years since the micro-stamping requirement went into effect, no manufacturer has made a new firearm that complies with the requirement. Both Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., are not shipping their latest (post-2013 design) firearms into the California market because of the microstamping law. Opponents of the law argued that the microstamping requirment was, effectively, a de facto ban on all semi-auto pistols, since not one manufacturer has offered guns that comply with the law.

“This is about the state trying to eliminate the handgun market,” said Alan Gura, the lead attorney in Peña v. Lindley told Fox News last week. “The evidence submitted by the manufacturers shows this is science fiction and there is not a practical way to implement the law.”

The Peña v. Lindley case was argued at the trial court on December 17, 2013. Peña, gun manufacturers, and attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation argued that microstamping relies on impractical and unworkable technology. The plaintiffs argued that, if guns without the technology can’t be sold in California, and gun manufacturers can’t implement the technology, then the law functions as a de facto handgun ban that violates the Second Amendment.

The Calguns Foundation stated that the group is “disappointed that the district court sidestepped a clear violation of Second Amendment civil rights in its decision today. However, we are absolutely committed to litigating this case as far as necessary to reverse this incorrect ruling and restore the right to keep and bear modern handguns in the Golden State.”

Story based on report in Cheaper that Dirt Shooters’ Log.

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March 18th, 2014

Miculek Tests California Politician’s “.30-Caliber Magazine Clip”

In the video below, California State Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) advocates anti-gun legislation at a press conference. Sen. de León makes a series of blunders and mistakes. He confuses magazine capacity with the rifle’s bore size, referring to “.30 caliber” when in fact the gun is a .223/5.56mm. He then says it “has the ability with a 30-caliber clip [sic] to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second. Thirty magazine clip [sic] in half a second”. We think Sen. de León means that the gun fires 30 rounds in 0.5 seconds, but even that is preposterous — as legendary shooter Jerry Miculek recently demonstrated.

Jerry Miculek Magazine Clip California Senator AR15Miculek Tries to Shoot 30 Rounds in Half a Second with .30-Caliber Magazine Clip
Jerry Miculek watched Senator de León’s press conference — but Jerry was confused by the politician’s reference to a .30-caliber magazine clip. But being a fierce competitor, Jerry was intrigued by the idea of a gun that could shoot 30 rounds in half a second — such a weapon could improve his split times considerably Jerry figured. So, with a rubber band and a little duct tape, Jerry assembled a “.30-caliber magazine clip” and then tried it out in his AR15. Hoping to achieve de León’s promised 30 rounds in 0.5 seconds, Jerry gave it a go.

Pulling the trigger as fast as he could, Jerry managed to put 4 rounds on target in half a second. That’s a far cry from 30 rounds in half a second (3600 rounds per minute). Jerry observes: “Apparently the enhancement of the .30-caliber clip on the magazine didn’t make me a better shooter so I’m kind of disappointed.”

After this little exercise, Jerry cautions that we should be wary of politicians who may make factually incorrect claims about firearms. “Being a gun enthusiast, when I hear politicians talk about firearms, I listen with an open ear. So I really paid attention to this individual and what he was trying to say. He referred to a .30-caliber magazine clip — so I tried to assemble all that just the way I heard it.”

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January 22nd, 2014

Ignorant California Legislator Calls for New Gun-Control Laws

If you have wondered why so many gun control laws are illogical, impractical, and misguided, here’s one simple answer. The politicians who draft these laws may be misinformed, misguided, and well, just plain ignorant. Here’s proof. In the video below, California State Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) advocates anti-gun legislation at a press conference. Sen. de León makes a series of blunders and mistakes. He confuses magazine capacity with the rifle’s bore size, referring to “.30 caliber” when in fact the gun is a .223/5.56mm. He then says it “has the ability with a 30-caliber clip [sic] to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second. Thirty magazine clip [sic] in half a second”. We think he means that the gun fires 30 rounds in 0.5 seconds, but even that is preposterous. Have a good look at the kind of politician that is writing California’s laws these days. Would you trust this guy to park your car, much less protect your Constitutional rights?

To be honest, we don’t know why Sen. de León believes new legislation is needed to ban this “Ghost Gun”? This firearm* is already restricted under existing California law. It also appears to be a short-barreled rifle (SBR), meaning that it is already regulated as a Class III firearm in all fifty states. (In the United States, it is a federal felony to possess an SBR without fling a BATFE Form 4, and paying a $200 tax to the BATFE.) As one web journalist observes: “It’s hard to trust Democrats when they say completely… inept things like this.”

*The term “Ghost Gun” has been used to describe plastic guns that evade metal detectors, and/or arms built from 80% lowers or unregistered receivers. But it is already against the law in California to create or sell a functioning AR15-type rifle that carries no serial number.

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January 13th, 2014

NSSF and SAAMI Sue to Block California Microstamping Policies

microstamping pistol identificationOn January 10, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) filed a lawsuit on behalf of their members against the State of California in Fresno Superior Court challenging the state’s microstamping law. NSSF and SAAMI seek to invalidate and enjoin enforcement of provisions of California state law enacted in 2007, but not made effective until May 2013. These newly “activated” provisions of California law will effectively require that ALL future models of semi-auto pistols be microstamp-capable. Note — semi-auto handguns that are currently on California’s “approved” handgun roster will not be banned from sale. But guns introduced in the future cannot be sold in California unless they have microstamping technology. If gun makers cannot include such features in their future designs, the next generation of handguns will effectively be banned from sale in California.

Under California law, firearms manufacturers would have to micro laser-engrave a gun’s make, model and serial number on two distinct parts of each gun, including the firing pin so that, in theory, this information would be imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired. “There is no existing microstamping technology that will reliably, consistently and legibly imprint the required identifying information by a semiautomatic handgun on the ammunition it fires. The holder of the patent for this technology himself has written that there are problems with it and that further study is warranted before it is mandated. A National Academy of Science review, forensic firearms examiners and a University of California at Davis study reached the same conclusion and the technical experts in the firearms industry agree,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “Manufacturers can not comply with a law the provisions of which are invalid, that cannot be enforced and that will not contribute to improving public safety. As a result, we are seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief against this back-door attempt to prevent the sale of new semiautomatic handguns to law-abiding citizens in California.”

In 2007, California Assembly Bill 1471 was passed and signed into law requiring microstamping on internal parts of new semiautomatic pistols. The legislation provided that this requirement would only became effective if the California Department of Justice certified that the microstamping technology is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by patent restrictions. On May 17, 2013, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris provided such certification. The DOJ’s certification notice has been attacked on the grounds that it is scientifically unsound, founded on little more than “wishful thinking”.

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October 12th, 2013

Semi-Auto Ban Vetoed in California, But Lead Ammo Ban Approved

governor jerry brown californiaWe have good news and bad news for California gun owners and hunters. The good news is that California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed SB 374. The bad news is that Gov. Brown also signed AB 711 which bans the use of lead-containing ammunition for hunting. Gov. Brown surprised many people with his veto of SB 374, a sweeping ban on virtually all semi-automatic centerfire rifles with any kind of detachable magazine. Had it become law, SB 374 would have banned the sale and transfer of hundreds of rifle types, including many classic hunting rifles with 3- or 4-round flush-mount detachable magazines. In addition, SB 374 would have banned historic military rifles such as the M1 Garand, and M1 Carbine, which are prized by collectors and widely used in vintage rifle events and CMP shooting matches.

In his Veto Message, Gov. Brown stated:

I am returning Senate Bill 374 without my signature.

The State of California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including bans on military-style assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

While the author’s intent is to strengthen these restrictions, this bill goes much farther by banning any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine. This ban covers low-capacity rifles that are commonly used for hunting, firearms training, and marksmanship practice, as well as some historical and collectible firearms. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of current gun owners would have to register their rifles as assault weapons and would be banned from selling or transferring them in the future.

I don’t believe that this bill’s blanket ban on semi-automatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners’ rights.

Governor Brown Signs Eleven Bills Targeting Gun Owners
In addition to vetoing the expanded “assault weapons” ban, Brown vetoed six other bills relating to firearms: SB299, SB475, SB567, SB755, AB169, and AB180. Again, that sounds good. However, at the same time, Gov. Brown signed eleven other bills that will affect California gun owners:

    SB 171 – Patient threats must be reported by psychotherapists to police within one day.

    SB 363 – New penalties for storing loading guns where they may be improperly accessed.

    SB 683 – Requires long gun owners to obtain safety certificates.

    AB 48 – Bans magazine conversion kits increasing capacity.

    AB 170 – Disallows organizational permits for “assault weapons”, and .50 BMG.

    AB 231 – Criminalizes leaving a gun where child might use it without permission.

    AB 500 – Imposes further rules on gun storage; expands DOJ background check times.

    AB 558 – FFLs must provide Record of Sale to gun buyers.

    AB 539 – Permits disallowed persons to temporarily transfer guns to FFL.

    AB 711 – Bans lead ammunition for all hunting activities.

    AB 1131 – 5-year gun prohibition for people who have revealed threat to psychiatrist.

Bill Banning Use of Lead-Containing Ammunition for Hunting
AB 711, the lead ammunition ban, will create real problems for California hunters as it is “phased in” over the next few years. There are no lead-free bullets readily available for many cartridge/caliber types. Critics of AB 711 have called this “a ban on hunting disguised as an ammunition ban”.

Summary of Key Provisions of AB 711:
Existing California law requires that nonlead centerfire rifle and pistol ammunition be used when taking big game with a rifle or pistol, as defined by the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s hunting regulations, and when taking coyote, within specified deer hunting zones, but excluding specific counties and areas.

This bill would instead require, as soon as is practicable, but by no later than July 1, 2019, the use of nonlead ammunition for the taking of all wildlife, including game mammals, game birds, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, with any firearm. The bill would require the commission to certify, by regulation, nonlead ammunition for these purposes. The bill would require that these requirements be fully implemented statewide by no later than July 1, 2019.

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August 9th, 2013

The Truth About Gun Crime Trends in America

While the mainstream media (and many politicians) call for new bans on firearms, ammunition, and magazines, not to mention further restrictions of Second Amendment rights, too little attention is being paid to the actual facts in the debate over gun control. Sponsors of new restrictions on firearms claim that gun crime is increasing. A majority of Americans also seem to believe that firearms-related crimes are on the rise. But is this really the case? You may be surprised….

NSSF Gun Crime Stats Infographic Less Crime More GunsIn fact, if you look at the hard facts, firearms homicides and other gun-related crimes have been decreasing for decades. That’s right — gun crimes are down significantly over the past twenty years. Since 1993, in the USA, the number of homicides committed with guns has dropped 39% even while gun ownership rates have increased. The number of “all other” crimes with firearms has dropped 69% in the same period. And the number of fatal gun accidents has declined 58% in the past two decades — that’s a big change.

NSSF Gun Crime Stats Infographic Less Crime More Guns

The numbers don’t lie — over the past twenty years, there has been a significant reduction in actual gun-related crime while gun ownership levels have increased. But despite all this evidence that gun-related crimes have declined precipitously in the past two decades, 56% of Americans have the mistaken notion that gun crime is on the rise. Could that be because mainstream media outlets conveniently ignore the facts?

NSSF Gun Crime Stats Infographic Less Crime More Guns

Actual, verified gun crime trends (based on Federal crime statistics) have been presented in an interesting “infographic” chart prepared by the NSSF. Click on the illustration at right to see the full-size version with data charts.

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May 24th, 2013

Colorado Sheriffs, and Trade Groups Challenge Colorado Gun Laws

54 county sheriffs in Colorado are leading the fight to overturn anti-gun legislation recently passed in Colorado, filing a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Colorado. The NSSF, the Colorado Outfitters Association, Magpul Industries, and firearms retailers have joined the Sheriffs in a broad-based legal challenge to Colorado’s recently enacted gun-control laws. Notably, all but 10 of the state’s 64 sheriffs, who are elected officials, have joined the suit as plaintiffs.

“From the perspective of the sheriffs this legislature had an agenda rather than good public policy in mind when they rushed these bills through and in this rush to pass new laws they didn’t bother listening to the people charged with enforcing them,” explained Weld County Sheriff John Cooke.

“In addition to Constitutional infringements and unenforceable requirements regarding magazine capacity, as the sheriffs have pointed out, we believe it will be impossible for citizens to comply with mandated firearms ‘transfers’ through federally licensed retailers,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Colorado’s federally-licensed firearms retailers are being asked to process these transfers as if they were selling from their own inventory and to monitor both seller and buyer through a state-administered check process that can take hours or even days. They will not be able to recoup the actual cost of providing the service, which is capped at $10, but they will be liable for paperwork errors and subject to license revocation. For this reason and the many others detailed in our joint action with our fellow plaintiffs, these laws need to be struck down,” Keane said.

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April 22nd, 2013

California Legislature Considers Tough New Gun-Control Laws

california gun control lawsA number of extreme gun control measures are currently being pushed through the California Legislature. In California’s State Senate, the Committee on Public Safety considered some of the most restrictive pieces of gun legislation yet proposed in California.

On April 17, the Public Safety Committee approved Senate Bill 293 that bans the sale of conventional handguns and implements owner-authorized “smart-gun” technology. This would block the sale of ANY handgun that was not “coded” to the gun owner (so that nobody else could shoot it). Of course, no such “smart” handguns are currently offered for sale by any major manufacturer.

As you’d expect, California is also moving forward on legislation to further restrict self-loading rifles. On April 16, the Senate Public Safety Committee, on a 5-2 party-line vote, approved Senate Bill 374. This bill expands the definition of “assault weapons” to ban the future sale of almost all semi-auto rifles that accept a detachable magazine. SB 374 now moves to the Senate Committee on Appropriation.

The California Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee recently considered Assembly Bill 760 which would impose a new 5% sales tax on all ammunition components (complete cartridge, bullet, or case). That’s a nickel per bullet or cartridge. We’re pleased to report that AB760 has been held in committee pending further study of its financial effects. The bill is “suspended” for the time being, but it could be reconsidered in the near future. According to the L.A. Times, “The state Board of Equalization noted in a review that the proposed tax would be in addition to an existing sales tax on bullets, and it said the new tax could become a burden to businesses.”

In addition to taxing ammunition directly, California legislators have introduced bills that would make it much more difficult to purchase ammunition. SB 53 mandates a background check for ammo purchases. In addition, SB 53 would require gun owners to obtain a permit to purchase ammo. The permit, good for one-year only, would have to be renewed annually with a recurring $50/year cost. “It’s a way to red-tape the right to bear arms to death,” said Chuck Michel, attorney for the California Rifle and Pistol Association. “It’s all part of a campaign of shame, the fight to make it as difficult as possible for law-abiding citizens to make the choice to have a firearm for self-defense.”

State-wide ban on Lead-containing Ammunition
In addition, the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife (WPW) approved AB 711, a bill that if passed and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown would extend the now limited condor range ban on traditional lead ammunition to the entire state. By its terms, AB 711 will “require the use of nonlead ammunition for the taking of all wildlife, including game mammals, game birds, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, with any firearm.” This bill passed the WPW Committee and was re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

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April 15th, 2013

New York State Mandatory Registration Program Starts Today

The state of New York has activated its online registration service for owners of semi-automatic firearms that have been re-classified as “Assault Weapons” under New York’s SAFE Act. We put that term in quotes because the same firearms, such as AR-platform rifles, are legal to own, with few restrictions, in most other U.S. states. New York owners of newly-restricted semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns have one year from today to register their firearms. Failure to register a newly-defined “assault weapon” by April 15th, 2014 is punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor, with forfeiture of the firearm(s).

Graphic from NY State Police Website
NY gunregistration state police

The online registration system is implemented through the New York Division of State Police website at: https://firearms.troopers.ny.gov/safeact/welcome.faces.

If you are a New York gun owner with firearm(s) that may be covered by the SAFE Act, you should read the statute carefully and possibly consult with an attorney if you have questions about your legal obligations. There are many confusing provisions in the new law, but primarily the law requires registration of any auto-loading firearm (pistol, shotgun or rifle) that takes a detachable magazine and has any one or more “evil” features, which are separately enumerated for pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Click these links to read the exact list of banned features.

Pistol Banned Features | Rifle Banned Features | Shotgun Banned Features

New York has issued a non-exhaustive list of rifles classified as “assault weapons”. However, even if you don’t see your rifle on this list, it may still be restricted. Under the SAFE Act, ANY semi-automatic rifle “capable of receiving a detachable magazine” is considered an “assault rifle” if it has any ONE or more of these “military characteristics”:

Grenade Launcher
Folding Stock
Thumbhole Stock
Protruding Pistol Grip
Second handgrip or “protruding grip that can be held by the non-shooting hand”.
Bayonet Mount
Flash Suppressor
Muzzle Brake
Muzzle Compensator
Threaded barrel “designed to accommodate” Brake, Suppressor, or Compensator.

In addition to the new registration requirement, the sale and/or transfer of newly-defined “assault weapons” is banned within the state, although sales out of state are permitted. Possession of the newly-defined “assault weapons” is allowed only if they were possessed at the time that the law was passed, and they must be registered with the state within one year (of today) by the owner. The SAFE Act grandfathers the prior ownership of “assault weapons”, but requires that they be registered with the NY State Police by April 15, 2014 — plus they must be recertified every five years. More information can be found at www.Renzullilaw.com.

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April 7th, 2013

NSSF Attacks Flaws in Connecticut’s New Gun Legislation

Over the objections of legions of Connecticut gun-owners, Connecticut enacted what has been called the “nation’s strictest gun laws” (Huffington Post). Along with new controls on semi-automatic rifles, magazine-capacity limits, and restrictions on ammunition purchases, Connecticut adopted a new system of background checks on all gun transfers. Apparently, the new legislation was so poorly drafted that Connecticut’s new gun laws do not comply with Federal NICS procedures.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, issued the following statement: “Gov. Dannel Malloy … signed into law a package of gun-control legislation that was assembled in secret by a small group of state legislators and that never received a public hearing. Most legislators had little time to even read the actual bill language. The unfortunate results of this process… [are] that mistakes in [the] enacted law will have to be corrected.

For example, language in the new law specifies a procedure for licensed firearms retailers to perform mandatory ‘universal’ background checks on private party transactions that is not permissible based on federal law and regulations governing the National Instant Criminal Background Checks (NICS) system. As we read it, this mistake in lawmaking means that all private party transactions in the state now cannot be accomplished legally. We will be carefully studying all provisions of the law for possible challenge in the courts.”

The new Connecticut gun-control laws are the main focus of this week’s Gun Talk® Radio show with Tom Gresham. Richard Burgess, President of Connecticut Carry, joins Tom this Sunday to discuss the latest anti-gun legislation passed this week by Connecticut legislators and signed into law by Governor Malloy.

The new legislation, among other things, adds more than 100 firearms to the state’s assault weapons ban and creates what is being called the nation’s first dangerous weapon offender registry, as well as a magazine ban and eligibility rules for buying ammunition. You can learn more about Connecticut’s passage of the new laws in a feature from the Litchfield County Times.

In its 19th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio airs live on Sundays from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Eastern, and runs on more than 138 stations, plus on XM (Ch. 165) Satellite Radio. All Gun Talk shows can be downloaded as podcasts or accessed via Apple iTunes. To get more information, visit www.guntalk.com.

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March 31st, 2013

New Jersey Legislators Introduce 76 Anti-Gun Bills

New Jersey Association Rifle Pistol ClubsNew Jersey legislators have introduced no less than 76 new bills to regulate firearms, control the sale of ammunition, and tightly restrict gun ownership. We’ve summarized some of the most important new NJ gun-control bills below, and you can read the full list here. Legislators in the New Jersey Assembly pushed through 20 of 43 pieces of legislation last month. And New Jersey’s State Senators have been hard at work too, introducing dozens of other bills restricting gun rights. According to the New Jersey Association of Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC), “the legislative feeding frenzy of anti-gun bill introductions by Democrats has steadily continued [with] no end in sight. Apparently, they won’t be satisfied until there’s nothing left of the Second Amendment in the Garden State.”

Important New Anti-Gun Legislation in New Jersey (Partial List)

  • Establishes regulatory/reporting program for ammunition sales and transfers. A3645 Acs.
  • Defines most centerfire 50-caliber firearms as “destructive devices”. A3659aa.
  • Bans mail order, telephone, and internet sales of ammunition. A366 and S2465.
  • Requires, to purchase a gun, mental health screening by licensed professional. A3667.
  • Requires psychological evaluation and in-home inspection in order to buy a gun. A3676.
  • Requires handgun ammunition to be encoded with serial number. A3704.
  • Imposes additional 5% tax on sale of firearms and ammunition. A3727.
  • Requires firearms to be unloaded and securely locked or stored within home. A3752.
  • Requires background checks for ammunition sales and transfers. A3800.
  • Disqualifies persons with three DUIs in 5 years from purchasing firearm. A3973.
  • Prohibits persons with “disorderly persons” convictions from purchasing firearm. A3974.
  • Requires firearms endorsement on driver’s license or state ID card. A4001.
  • Reduces maximum capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. S2475.
  • Requires ammunition sales/transfers be done as face-to-face transactions. S3476.
  • Requires submission of mental health records to NICS. S2492.
  • Extends reach and coverage of State’s assault weapons ban. S2605.
  • Creates penalty for failing to report unintentional discharge of firearm in home. S2642.

The above list is just a sample — there are many other pending bills which would restrict gun rights in other ways. CLICK HERE for the full list of pending New Jersey Anti-Gun Bills.

COMMENT: The above list is a wake-up call, and not just for residents of New Jersey. All readers should take a long, hard look at the above list. This is what happens when anti-gun politicians “pull out all the stops”. These proposed laws are not just about so-called “assault weapons”. Note the tight restrictions (and new taxes) on ammunition purchases. Note the mandating of “gun owner endorsements” on drivers’ licenses. Note the chilling requirements of “mental health screenings” and “in-home inspections”. Law-abiding gun owners across the country need to understand that these kind of regulations are now “on the table” and we can expect “copy-cat” legislation in other states….

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March 24th, 2013

Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court to Over-Turn New York’s SAFE Act

New York State Rifle Pistol Assn. logoLed by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) and the NRA, a group of gun organizations filed suit on March 21, 2013, seeking to overturn the recently-passed New York SAFE Act. The pro-Second Amendment coalition filed suit in Federal court in Buffalo seeking to toss out New York’s new gun control law on a variety of constitutional grounds.

Specifically, the complaint states that the SAFE Act violates the Second Amendment as well the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Buffalo News explains: “The lawsuit says the gun law… violates the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause, which empowers the federal government to regulate interstate commerce, because the law restricts interstate commerce by requiring private gun owners to go through dealers if they want to sell guns to a private party in another state.” Read Full Article from BuffaloNews.com.

NYSRPA President Thomas King says the SAFE Act infringes New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights: “The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms in the landmark 2008 case of Heller v. District of Columbia and incorporated that decision to the states in the 2010 case of McDonald v. Chicago. These decisions apply to all New Yorkers”. Chris Cox, Executive Director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, added: “Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature usurped the legislative and democratic process in passing these extreme anti-gun measures with no committee hearings and no public input“.

Along with the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, other plaintiffs in this action are the NRA, the Westchester County Firearms Owners Association, Sportsmen’s Association for Firearms Education, New York State Amateur Trapshooting Association, Bedell Custom, Beikirch Ammunition Corporation, Blueline Tactical & Police Supply, and three individual citizens.

Injunction Against SAFE Act Denied in State Action
In another related lawsuit, on March 12, N.Y. State Supreme Court Justice Thomas McNamara refused to enjoin implementation of the SAFE Act. That ruling applied to a lawsuit brought by Robert Schultz and hundreds of other private citizen plaintiffs. A motion had been filed asking the court to temporarily halt the SAFE Act on the grounds that the legislation had been rushed through, without proper consideration or the opportunity for citizen input. The judge denied the motion, holding that the Legislature was authorized by “messages of necessity” to enact the SAFE Act on a “fast track” schedule. Schultz stated that his group would appeal the ruling to the N.Y. State Court of Appeals: “We’re saying the language of the Message of Necessity has to match up with the legislation.”

READ More about Schultz Lawsuit in N.Y. State Court.

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March 19th, 2013

Colt Employees Attend Connecticut Gun Law Hearing in Hartford

On March 14, 2013, 550 employees of Colt’s Manufacturing Company traveled to the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Connecticut. They came in strength to show support for Connecticut-based firearms manufacturing, and their message was direct: “Save our Jobs.”

Last week workers from two Colt operating companies (successors to the famed Colt Armory), boarded buses bound for the Legislative Office Building, in Connecticut’s state Capitol complex. They came to participate in a General Assembly committee hearing on a large number of gun-control measures under consideration in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Michael Holmes, Colt United Auto Workers Shop Chairman, testified at the hearing, as did NSSF Director Government Relations, State Affairs Jake McGuigan, Joe Bartozzi from O.F. Mossberg, and Mark Malkowski of Stag Arms. Though not all the proposed additional gun-control legislation will move forward for eventual votes, action on some of the measures is expected within days.

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February 27th, 2013

Connecticut Firearms Manufacturers and Employees Speak Up

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has produced a video in which management and employees of three Connecticut-based companies, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Stag Arms, and Ammunition Storage Components, talk about the importance of their jobs and how their companies contribute to the Constitution State’s economy.

This video was produced in response to Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s recent call for severe new gun control laws. An NSSF statement noted: “We are troubled by the Governor’s apparent change in attitude[.] We do not believe a rush to quick-fix legislation is likely to produce real public safety solutions, while it holds the clear potential to hurt good-paying manufacturing jobs in our state.”

NSSF and member companies based in Connecticut and western Massachusetts have been working for several weeks to help educate legislators, the media and the public not only about the economic impact of the firearms industry in the Constitution State, but also what measures are most effective at keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals and unauthorized individuals. To that end, NSSF President Steve Sanetti authored an op-ed in The Hartford Courant, entitled “Focus on Gun Access, Not Gun Ban”.

Connecticut has a long tradition of arms-making. In 1848, on a site overlooking the Connecticut River in Hartford, Samuel Colt built the Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company factory. A larger factory, called the Colt Armory, was added in 1855. The 1850s were a decade of phenomenal success for Colt’s Connecticut-based enterprise.

Colt’s Mfg. was the first to widely commercialize the total use of interchangeable parts throughout a product. A leader in assembly line practice, the company was a major innovator and training ground in manufacturing technology. Colt’s armories in Hartford trained several generations of toolmakers and machinists, who had great influence in American manufacturing. Prominent examples included F. Pratt and A. Whitney, and Henry Leland (who would end up at Cadillac and Lincoln).

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February 16th, 2013

Four Gun Control Bills Moving Forward in Colorado

Colorado General Assembly Capitol

By voice vote yesterday (Friday), the Colorado State House of Representatives* approved tough new gun-control legislation after hours of heated debate. One new law will ban ammunition magazines over 15 rounds (or 8 for shotguns). In addition, companion bills will require exhaustive background checks on all firearm purchases, and impose severe restrictions on lending guns. Yet another new law will prohibit CCW permit-holders from carrying a firearm on college campuses.

The new laws are not final yet. They advanced on Friday’s unrecorded “voice vote”, but there will be a final “recorded vote” in the House next week. Then, before they can become law, these bills must be approved by the Democrat-controlled Colorado Senate and signed by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. However, Senate approval is likely and Hickenlooper has stated his support for the new laws.

House Bill 1224 – Bans magazines with a capacity greater than fifteen rounds.
House Bill 1228 – Imposes a “gun tax” for a background check when purchasing a firearm.
House Bill 1229 – Criminalizes the private transfer of a firearm.
House Bill 1226 – Repeals law allowing CCW permit-holders to carry firearms on college campuses.

Colorado resident (and one of our contributing writers) Zak Smith says: “We are facing a tough fight here in Colorado — but don’t give up yet. Now is the time to contact your state representatives.” The official recorded vote will be taken Monday. Accordingly, Zak adds: “Concerned Colorado gun owners need to contact their legislators this weekend before the final recorded vote.” CLICK THIS LINK to get contact information on Colorado State Legislators, in Colorado General Assembly House and Senate.

MagPul Says it May Leave Colorado
Colorado gun parts-maker Magpul has announced that it might leave Colorado if the magazine ban becomes law. This could result in the loss of 600-700 jobs (Magpul employees and subcontractors). Magpul also contributes “nearly $85 million to Colorado’s economy” according to Fox News. “If we’re able to stay in Colorado and manufacture a product, but law-abiding citizens of the state were unable to purchase the product, customers around the state and the nation would boycott us for remaining here,” Doug Smith, Magpul’s chief operating officer, told the Denver Post.

*The Colorado General Assembly is bicameral, composed of the Colorado House of Representatives and the Colorado Senate. The House has 65 members while the Senate has 35 members.
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