Over 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).
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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Long-time Guns & Ammo Magazine Technical Editor Dick Metcalf is looking for a new job this morning. The reason? Metcalf defended restrictive gun control laws in a story he wrote in the December issue of Guns & Ammo. This infuriated the magazine’s readers, who raised a storm of protest, flooding the internet with condemnations of Metcalf and the magazine. In damage control mode, Guns & Ammo immediately fired Metcalf and published an apology to its subscribers.
In his article, Metcalf completely misconstrued the language of the Second Amendment of the U.S, Constitution which states: “A 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.” Seizing on the word “regulated”, Metcalf argued that this means that government regulations which restrict fireams should NOT be considered “infringements” of the right to keep and bear arms.
Metcalf’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is faulty. In the Second Amendment, “regulated” does not refer to gun control — it is an adjective describing the status of the militia. As used in the 18th Century with reference to militias (and army units), “well regulated” meant “trained and organized”. If you read the dispatches from the Revolutionary War, the phrase “well regulated militia” was used to describe units that were trained, had a command structure, and were drilled regularly.* In modern parlance, we might use the phrase “trained and disciplined” in place of “well regulated”.
In any case, Metcalf has been fired from his position as technical Editor of Guns & Ammo. The magazine’s Chief Editor, Jim Bequette, issued this statement, disavowing Metcalf’s words, and announcing that Metcalf’s “association with Guns & Ammo has officially ended”:
*This is explained in the award-winning history book, Almost A Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence, by John Ferling. In that book, you can read actual military dispatches and orders from the Revolutionary War. Contemporary letters and dispatches often contrasted “well-regulated militias” to untrained units that had no assigned officers and rarely drilled.
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Colorado voters have sent a message that has caused a stir around the country. In the first-ever state recall election in Colorado history, two anti-gun politicians were sent packing. Colorado State Senate President John Morse was turned out of office on a 51-49% vote, while fellow Democrat State Senator Angela Giron was removed from office on a 56-44% tally.
The L.A. Times reports: “In an unprecedented backlash, two state lawmakers who helped stiffen Colorado’s gun laws were ousted Tuesday in a recall that turned into a nationally watched referendum on gun control.” Two new Republican-party Senators, Colorado Springs Councilman Bernie Herpin and Pueblo police officer George Rivera, were elected to replace Morse and Giron, respectively.
Senate President Morse lead the charge for new gun control laws, enacted in Colorado earlier this year without a single Republican vote. Critics attacked the legislation, saying it was fast-tracked through Colorado’s Democratic-controlled Legislature with insufficient public debate. Recall sponsors also faulted Morse and Giron for failing to listen to constituents’ concerns about Second Amendment rights.
The Shooting Wire reports:
“Both races were described by many in the mainstream media as a national litmus test on gun rights versus new regulations. If that’s the case, it may also prove that all politics are, indeed, local. Despite being outspent by more than 7 to 1, pro-gun advocates turned out more voters than their opposition. But Colorado residents told reporters that when it came down to it, the millions spent by either side wouldn’t matter. This recall was designed to send a simple message to elected officials.’If I don’t listen to my boss and do what he wants,’ one Colorado Springs voter told reporters, ‘I get fired. Why should our elected officials be any different?’.”
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Louisiana has adopted a program we’d like to see state governments copy nationwide. From September 6th through 8th, 2013, Louisiana shoppers can buy guns, ammo, and hunting supplies without paying a penny of sales tax. The Sales Tax Holiday is authorized by a Louisiana statute that waives gun-related sales and use taxes each year on the first Friday through Sunday in September.
Now that’s a “stimulus program” all firearms owners can support. Don’t you wish your state had a similar Second Amendment tax holiday?
The sales tax holiday takes place Friday, September 6, through Sunday, September 8, pursuant to the Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Holiday Act. This law provides a three-day exemption from state and local sales and use taxes on consumer purchases of firearms, ammunition, and hunting supplies. Tax-free items include: Guns, Ammunition, Game feed and Decoys, Camo Gear, Hunting Safety Gear, Knives, Bows, Arrows, Boats and Off-Road Vehicles. Get more information at Louisiana’s Department of Revenue Website.
Learn More About Louisiana’s Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday
Business Purchases Still Taxed
During Louisiana’s Sales Tax Holiday weekend, the sales and use tax levied by the state and its political subdivisions shall not apply to any consumer purchases (by individuals) of firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies. However, sales and use taxes will still be due on business purchases of guns and ammo. Also sales tax will still apply to sales of animals used for hunting purposes .
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On Saturday, June 29, 2013, just two days before Colorado’s new anti-gun laws go into effect, Magpul Industries will give away 1,500 30-rd AR-platform magazines. Magnul is giving away the magazines as a protest against the new legislation. The give-away will take place at the “Farewell to Arms” event to be held Saturday in Glendale, Colorado. The event is being sponsored by Free Colorado, a non-profit organization advocating for the rights of gun owners. New Colorado laws take effect on July 1st limiting magazine capacity to 15 rounds. Magpul announced:
Come on out and join the festivities at Infinity Park in Glendale, CO, this Saturday, June 29, celebrating FREEDOM on the last weekend before the unconstitutional mag ban takes effect, and get your last shot at purchasing PMAGs. We’ll be there, and we’ve ponied up a LOT of PMAGs. The first 1500 attendees through the gate over the age of 18 will receive a free Magpul Gen M2 MOE 30rd magazine featuring either the Free Colorado or Boulder Airlift design, courtesy of Magpul Industries Corp. Proceeds from mag sales go towards the legislative and legal fight for Second Amendment rights in CO. There will be food, live music, and a helo-borne aerial delivery of PMAGs. Get tickets and pre-purchase PMAGs at: www.freecolorado.net.
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This item should make you guys smile. An anti-gun organization, StopNRA.org, has shot itself in the foot, figuratively speaking. The StopNRA group, which opposes the NRA and seeks to curtail Second Amendment freedoms, put up a reader poll on its StopNRA.org website. The poll asked: “Do you agree or disagree with NRA gun policies?” Well it turns out that over 71% of respondents AGREE with NRA policies. So, the anti-gun poll has back-fired, big time. View poll results here:
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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The 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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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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New 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.
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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Led 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.”
On Thursday, February 28, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (supported by the NRA-ILA), held a rally to stand up for the Second Amendment and protest New York’s recent passage of the so-called S.A.F.E. Act. The rally drew more than 10,000 law-abiding gun owners. According to the New York State Police, it was one of the largest rallies ever held at the State Capital in Albany, New York.
NRA President David Keene was the featured speaker and told attendees that NRA is committed to helping repeal the S.A.F.E. Act, saying NRA would do “whatever is necessary”–including going to court–to defend the Second Amendment. For the latest updates on efforts to repeal New York’s S.A.F.E. Act, visit www.NRA-ILA.org
Women for Second Amendment at S.A.F.E Act Rally
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