March 15th, 2015

Illustrated History of the Second Amendment (Part Two)

Last month we showcased an Illustrated History of the Second Amendment by attorney Robert J. McWhirter. That fascinating article, published in Arizona Attorney magazine, explained the history and evolution of the Second Amendment in a novel way. McWhirter included dozens of annotations with images from old books, magazines, even stills from movies and television shows. This was certainly the most entertaining discussion of the Second Amendment ever published.

Second Amendment Illustrated History McWhirter Part two 2 militia

This month, Arizona Attorney released Part Two of McWhirter’s Illustrated History of the Second Amendment. Like Part One, this article is informative and chock full of fascinating historical footnotes. The footnotes are just as interesting as the main article, as they feature dozens of eye-catching graphics — everything from 18th century lithographs to modern movie posters. Click the Links below to read both Part Two and Part One:

Second Amendment History PART TWO | Second Amendment History PART ONE

Part Two of McWhirter’s illustrated history addresses interesting historical subtopics such as: Guns and Colonial Slavery, Militias and Minutemen, and the Founders’ concerns about Government Tyranny. If you have any interest in American history or Constitutional law, check out this article — it’s definitely worth a read. Part Two of McWhiter’s Illustrated History is available FREE online in digital, eZine Format.

Second Amendment Illustrated History McWhirter Part two 2 militia

Story Tip from German Salazar. We welcome reader submissions.
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March 10th, 2015

Gun Laws by State — Know the Law, Protect Your Rights

Gun Laws by State Brian CiyouMany of our readers travel far and wide during summer months, both on family vacations and to participate in shooting matches. When transporting firearms across state lines, it is vital to understand the laws and regulations that apply in each jurisdiction. Moreover, all of us need to stay informed about gun laws in our home states, since new laws are passed every year.

Indiana attorney Brian Ciyou has created an outstanding resource, Gun Laws by State (2015 Ed.) (GLBS), that explains firearms laws in all 50 states. Ciyou’s gun law treatise, available in both book and online (web) formats, covers state laws as well as key federal laws that apply in federal buildings, airports, National Parks, and school zones. There is a handy Reciprocity Map showing which states recognize concealed weapon permits issued in other jurisdictions. Moreover, GLBS covers Reciprocal Carry for all 50 states, Constitutional Law, Federal Statutory Law, Use of Force, Criminal Provisions, Civil and Criminal Liability, Preemption, Federal Property Rules, and Interstate Transportation.

Gun Laws by State Brian CiyouAmazingly, you can access all this important legal information for FREE on the GLBS website. Click on an interactive map to quickly review gun laws in any state. Navigation links provide quick access to particular topics, such as rules for Airline Travel, Amtrak, National Parks, and Federal properties. The web version of Gun Laws by State is updated regularly, and Ciyou even provides a GLBS Gun Laws Blog with current “news and views” on gun regulations nationwide. This Editor regularly references the Gun Laws by State website. I suggest readers bookmark the site, and consider buying the book if you frequently travel with firearms outside your home state. The printed book version costs $19.95, while a digital eBook is $9.95. Click here to purchase GLBS books and eBooks.

WATCH Gun Laws by State Introduction Video

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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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February 2nd, 2015

Illustrated History of the Second Amendment (Part One)

History Second Amendment Arizona McWhiter LawA well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a firearm owner (most of our Daily Bulletin readers are). But how much do you really know about the history of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? The Second Amendment itself contains only 27 words (printed above), but those words have a rich history behind them.

To illuminate the origins of the Second Amendment, and to explain how its interpretations have evolved over the years, Arizona Attorney, the journal for the State Bar of Arizona, has published a detailed two-part “Illustrated History” of the Second Amendment by attorney Robert J. McWhirter, an expert on the Bill of Rights.* Part One was just released, and Part Two will be published next month.

CLICK HERE to launch eZine with Second Amendment Story.

History Second Amendment Arizona McWhiter Law

We think all gun owners should read McWhirter’s article, which is both entertaining and insightful. Don’t worry — this is not a dull “law school” treatise. McWhirter’s article features dozens of illustrated footnotes (some fascinating, some merely amusing). Here are some sample footnotes — you can see this is a treasure trove of Second Amendment trivia.

History Second Amendment Arizona McWhiter Law

History Second Amendment Arizona McWhiter Law

*The American Bar Association has just published Mr. McWhirter’s book Bills, Quills, and Stills: An Annotated, Illustrated and Illuminated History of the Bill of Rights.

Story tip by German Salazar.

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December 31st, 2014

2nd Amendment Foundation Challenges I-594 in Washington

vote no I 594 Court Legal lawsuit Second Amendment FoundationReport by Anette Wachter, 30CalGal.com
The ball is rolling to challenge the I-594 bill that passed in Washington state last November. This is perhaps the strictest gun control law out there. Why? Because it is like the Health Care Law. There are too many pages of undefined crap that they said they would figure out after it goes in to law.

Our local Second Amendment Foundation with Alan Gottlieb has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Tacoma, WA. The language in the new law is unclear to even law enforcement and the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). Have you gone to DOL’s website about this recently? There is no advice and the site just pushes you to your local law enforcement or the ATF. Local law enforcement officials do not want to enforce this law and do not know how to do so. And the ATF, a federal organization, is unclear [as to the impact of the law] as well.

The law will not be overturned so don’t get your hopes up. But they have to define it. It is so confusing. We need to get the ridiculous parts about transfers undone. So many people and agencies are affected by this unclear language.

vote no I 594 Court Legal lawsuit Second Amendment FoundationI just had dinner last night with Brian Judy of the NRA and Adina Hicks of the Protect Our Gun Rights Washington group. There will be an organized rally in Olympia on January 15th starting at 9:00 am. That’s on a weekday when the Legislature is again in session. Visits to Legislators start at 11:00. I will be there and I will go to the office of my district’s Representative. We need your support! If you are in Washington please join us out there.

Please call your legislator ahead of time and make an appointment to see them after the rally that day. The Washington Firearms Leadership and Activism Group (WAFLAG), Protect Our Gun Rights Washington, and the Gun Rights Coalition will host the event. Both the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and the Second Amendment Foundation are sponsoring the event also. Please read more details and the entire article by Dave Workman of TheGunMag.com HERE.

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September 24th, 2014

How America Became a “Shall Issue” Nation

Concealed Carry Legislation Right to Carry handgun weaponOver the past three decades, a quiet revolution has been taking place across the country. We’re talking about the expansion of “right-to-carry” or “shall issue” laws allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms. If you look at the animated map below, you’ll see that the vast majority of states now allow citizens to obtain carry permits on a “shall-issue” basis. That typically means than a citizen can obtain a carry permit after fulfilling basic requirements, such as a background check, safety class, and finger-printing.

As recently as the mid-1990s, most states disallowed carry permits, or allowed such permits only at the discretion of local law enforcement officials. Over the past 30 years states have migrated to less restrictive alternatives. The map below shows how most states have gone from “No-Issue” (Red) or “May-Issue” (Yellow) status to “Shall Issue” (Blue).

Concealed Carry Legislation Right to Carry handgun weapon

Opponents of right-to-carry legislation argued that the passage of “shall issue” laws would increase gun violence. In fact, the opposite occurred. The level of violent gun crime has declined in recent decades. A study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) showed a 39% decline in gun murders from 1993 to 2011 plus a 69% drop in non-fatal gun crimes during that period.

All 50 states have now passed laws allowing citizens to carry certain concealed firearms in public, either without a permit or after obtaining a “shall-issue” or “may-issue” permit from local law enforcement. Illinois had been the last state without such a provision — but its long-standing ban on concealed weapons was overturned in a federal appeals court, on Constitutional grounds. Illinois was required by the court to draft a concealed carry law by July 9, 2013 at which time the Illinois legislature, over-riding the amendatory veto of the governor who had sought to impose many restrictions, approved concealed carry to begin January 2014, at the latest.

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May 1st, 2014

Every Penny Counts — MidwayUSA Round-Up Hits $9.9 Million

Twenty-two years ago Larry and Brenda Potterfield launched the NRA Round-Up, a special program designed to raise funds for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). To date, MidwayUSA Customers have contributed nearly $10 million dollars to the NRA-ILA National Endowment for the Protection of the 2nd Amendment.

“On January 2, 1992 we started asking our Customers at MidwayUSA if they would ‘Round-Up’ their order to the next higher dollar and let us donate that money to the NRA-ILA. Our Customers overwhelmingly said yes and to date they have donated nearly $10 Million,” said Larry Potterfield, Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA. “The actual donations have never been spent, but each year, NRA-ILA spends five percent of the interest to fight anti-gun legislation.”

At the 143rd NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Indianapolis last weekend, Larry and Brenda Potterfield presented a ceremonial check to NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox for $9,892,195.82, the total amount of money that has been donated by MidwayUSA Customers since 1992.

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April 30th, 2014

NRA Video Focuses on Women’s Firearms Rights

Maggie Reese NRA videoThe NRA (with help from Smith & Wesson) has created a compelling video explaining how and why women use firearms for hunting, sport, and self-defense.

The video features many of our friends, including pistol champion Julie Golob and ace 3-Gun competitor Maggie Reese. The video spotlights women who value their Second Amendment rights, understanding that a firearm remains the “great equalizer”, allowing women to protect themselves and their families. The video challenges the anti-gun politicians and media “talking heads” who want to disarm women: “These authorities that I’ve never met, they’ll never know me, they’ll never know my circumstances, they’ll never know what I’m up against”, says Natalie Foster.

“So many things can change when we start losing our civil rights, and our most basic civil rights of self-defense.” — Julianna Crowder.

“I want to protect my child in any way that’s possible. And I want them to have that right to protect… our future. It’s not just about Washington… it’s about sharing your sport, sharing your passion, sharing your desire to protect yourself.” — Julie Golob

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February 28th, 2014

Charlton Heston Honored in ‘Legends of Hollywood’ Stamp

Story by Lars Dalseide for NRA BLog

NRA Charlton HestonAt the NRA’s 127 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Charlton Heston was elected President of the National Rifle Association. A World War II veteran, Oscar-winning actor, and heralded civil rights activist, Heston led the NRA for an unprecedented six years.

An icon to supporters of the Second Amendment, his address at the 2000 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a flintlock rifle raised above his head, still brings chills to this day:

So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: ‘From my cold, dead hands’.

The stamp is set to be released on April 11, 2014. Designated as a Forever® stamp, it will cover the cost of sending any First Class letter from now until the end of time.

Earlier this week, the United States Postal Service announced that the face of John Charles ‘Charlton Heston’ Carter would grace the 18th stamp in their Legends of Hollywood collection:

With his chiseled jaw, compelling baritone voice, and muscular physique, Charlton Heston (1923-2008) seemed perfectly at home leading a cast of thousands. The 18th stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series salutes an actor who portrayed presidents and prophets, Moses and Michelangelo[.] This stamp features a color portrait based on a photograph taken by the actor’s wife, Lydia Clarke Heston. The Charlton Heston stamp is being issued in sheets of 20 self-adhesive Forever® stamps.

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February 25th, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Firearms Cases

U.S. Supreme Court Second Amendment Challenge young adultsThe U.S Supreme Court has declined to review two cases involving handguns and young adults in the 18 to 20 year-old age bracket. The first case, NRA v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, challenged a 1968 law which prohibits FFLs from selling handguns to any person under 21 (including adults 18, 19, and 20 years of age). Arguing that the Second Amendment protects all adult citizens, Petitioners argued that restrictions should be lifted for legal adults over 18 but under 21 years of age. The other case, NRA v. McCraw, sought to over-turn various Texas laws that prevent 18 to 20 year-olds from getting a handgun carry license.

Gun-rights activists have been pressing the nation’s highest court to accept the cases. Those advocates have cited various courts’ resistance to expanding gun ownership rights following the Supreme Court’s decision in 2008 in the Heller case that there is a Constitutional right to gun ownership for self-defense and in 2010 in the McDonald case that found the right applies to state and local gun-control efforts.

Writing in the SCOTUS Blog, Lyle Denniston observes:

The Supreme Court refused on [February 24, 2014], as it has done repeatedly in recent years, to settle the issue of whether Second Amendment rights to have a gun extend beyond the home. Since the Court first ruled nearly six years ago that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to have a gun, it has issued only one further ruling — expanding that right so that it applies nationwide, to state and local gun control laws, as well as to federal laws. But, without exception, the Justices have turned aside every potential sequel, essentially leaving it to lower courts to continue to sort out variations on the right.

One thing seemed clear from the denial of review of two of the new cases, the NRA’s challenges: the Court is not, as yet, ready to stop lower courts from creating an entirely new group in society with less than full gun rights. In those cases, it was youths aged eighteen to twenty years old.

Credit G. Salazar for story tip. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 13th, 2014

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down California Concealed Carry Restrictions

California Appeals Ninth Circuit CCWCalifornia gun owners can celebrate a major legal victory today. The Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California’s “good cause” requirement (for handgun carry licenses) is unconstitutional (as least as it is applied in San Diego County). A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that California’s restrictions on handgun carry permits abrogate the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

According to Fox News: “By a 2-1 vote, the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said California was wrong to require applicants to show ‘good cause’ to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon.” READ Related story.

“The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority. The court held that the requirement of “good cause” was both too burdensome and too indefinite to pass muster under the Second Amendment. The San Diego County Sheriffs Department’s requirement that applicants provide documentation to show a “special need” for permits “impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.” Vague “good cause” requirements, the court determined, could be invoked too broadly, thereby denying citizens the legitimate exercise of their Second Amendment rights.

As the result of this ruling, the appellant, Edward Peruta, may now revive his lawsuit challenging San Diego County’s denial of a concealed weapons permit.

Later in the opinion, however, O’Scannlain wrote: “We are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry. But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self defense outside the home.”

California Appeals Ninth Circuit CCW

Read Washington Times Analysis of Ninth Circuit Decision on California Gun Laws.

Though this ruling settles the matter in the Ninth Circuit (for now), the U.S. Supreme Court may get involved down the road. The Ninth Circuit’s decision runs contrary to decisions by three other Federal Courts of Appeals regarding issuance standards for firearm carry permits. Accordingly, there is a conflict among the Circuits, which, ultimately, can only be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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February 7th, 2014

Second Amendment Foundation Launches New Website

second amendment foundationThe Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has launched an improved, redesigned website at www.SAF.org. As before, this website provides comprehensive news on Second Amendment issues, including analysis of important Second Amendment cases with links to actual case filings.

The new, enhanced site is now LIVE. SAF invites you to check it out at www.SAF.org

The new SAF.org website is faster, more modern, and way easier to navigate, particularly for mobile users. The new site features a “responsive” web design that optimizes the display for the user’s platform. So, if you are viewing the site from an iPad or smartphone, you see an optimized layout for that particular device/platform. It’s pretty slick, and mobile users will immediately notice the easier-to-read displays.

The new site also features better search functionality and quick access to news about Second Amendment issues and the activities of SAF.

Enhancements to the site include:

  • All of the latest SAF news “front and center” on the homepage.
  • Advanced, mobile-friendly “responsive” site layout (platform optimized).
  • Up-to-date info on important Amendment Cases with links to case filings.
  • Over 175 legal and scholarly articles on Second Amendment issues.
  • Back issues of Second Amendment Reporter.
  • Audios of Gun Rights Policy Conferences (GRPC).
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