Archive for the ‘gun rights’ Category

Pew Poll: Support for Gun Rights Exceeds Gun Control

Posted: December 11, 2014 by gamegetterII in gun rights

In a Pew Research poll released Wednesday, 52 percent are in support of the protection of gun rights and 46 percent support gun control. This is the first time in two decades that Pew has found more support for gun rights than gun control.

Backing for gun rights has been on the rise since January 2013, when it had 45 percent supporting protections. During that time period, support for gun control also fell from 51 percent to its current standing.

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Gun rights, even in New Jersey

Posted: December 2, 2014 by gamegetterII in gun rights
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I blogged in April about In the Matter of the Application by Michael McGovern, which offers some interesting (though non-precedential) views on New Jersey gun law. As I noted then, New Jersey requires a license to buy a handgun, and allows sheriffs to deny such licenses if the person was not of “good character and good repute in the community” or “where the issuance would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare.” There is, however, an appellate review process.

Michael McGovern was denied a license, for several reasons. First, the Jersey City Police Department requires applicants to fill out extra forms, beyond those required by state law; McGovern refused to fill them out, arguing that state law didn’t authorize them.

Second, the trial court reviewing the department’s denial took the view that such uncooperativeness showed a lack of “good repute within the community.”

Third, the police department discovered that McGovern had a few arrests in Florida 10 years earlier, for petty theft, resisting arrest, and failures to appear in court or pay a fine for possession of an alcoholic beverage while under 21; it did not find any conviction record, but demanded that McGovern give further details on the incidents, and provide court records from the Florida courts. “There are no final dispositions listed for these offenses. You will have to get certified dispositions from the Courts involved as to the outcome of these charges. This department also has a concern over your actions during the incidents.” McGovern refused to provide these items.

Fourth, the government argued that McGovern acted wrongly by “surreptitiously record[ing] a conversation” with the police detective who was dealing with the case (though the trial court did not expressly rely on this justification).

The appellate court ruled in McGovern’s favor, for reasons I’ll mention shortly. But for now, I wanted to blog this photograph, which Mr. McGovern was kind enough to send me:

“I’m off to the range to break in my HK45c,” writes Mr. McGovern, and asks me to thank his appellate counsel Louis Nappen of The Nappen Law Firm, as well as Louie (Luigi) DeCecco of Louie G’s Outdoors.

In any event, here’s what the Appellate Division held back in April, and what led to the final success in November:


Tomorrow, December 3, the Ohio Senate Civil Justice Committee will hold additional testimony hearings on House Bill 234 and Senate Bill 338 with the possibility of a vote on them.

HB 234, sponsored by state Representative Cheryl Grossman (R-23), would revise state law to allow a person to use a firearm sound suppressor while hunting in the Buckeye State.  Currently, more than half of the states across the country permit hunters to use suppressors while hunting.  There are numerous benefits to hunting with suppressed firearms, including:

  • Elimination of noise complaints frequently used as an excuse to close hunting lands throughout the country, resulting in the protection of hunting areas well into the future.
  • Reduction of recoil and muzzle rise resulting in increased accuracy of hunters.  More accurate shooting in the field means fewer wounded and lost animals, good for both hunters and wildlife.
  • Reduction in muzzle report to hearing-safe levels, limiting the risk that the hunter or anyone with the hunter will suffer permanent hearing loss if they fail to use hearing protection.

SB 338, introduced by state Senator Joe Uecker (R-14), makes improvements to Ohio’s current concealed carry laws, including:

  • Closing a public property loophole in state law by preventing persons or entities leasing certain government property from banning concealed handguns from the premises.
  • Reducing the number of training hours required to obtain a concealed carry permit from 12 hours to 8 hours and eliminate the two-hour minimum live-fire training requirement.
  • Allowing investigators in the Attorney General’s office to carry a concealed weapon while investigating nursing homes, residential care facilities, long-term care facilities, Medicaid programs, and patient abuse or neglect violations.

The Senate Civil Justice Committee hearing on these important pro-gun bills will take place tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. in the North Hearing Room of the state Capitol.  Using the contact information provided below, please call and e-mail members of this Senate committee today and urge them to support HB 234 and SB 338.

Senate Civil Justice Committee:

Senator Bill Coley (R-4), Chairman
(614) 466-8072

Senator Larry Obhof (R-22), Vice Chairman
(614) 466-7505

Senator Kevin Bacon (R-3)
(614) 466-8064

Senator Edna Brown (D-11)
(614) 466-5204

Senator John Eklund (R-18)
(614) 644-7718

Senator Eric Kearney (D-9)
(614) 466-5980

Senator Scott Oelslager (R-29)
(614) 466-0626

Senator Bill Seitz (R-8)
(614) 466-8068

Senator Michael Skindell (D-23)
(614) 466-5123

Senator Joe Uecker (R-17)
(614) 466-8082

A court ruling that dramatically loosened California’s restrictions on concealed firearms came closer to taking effect Wednesday, as an appeals court quashed legal maneuvering that might have staved it off.

As a result, sheriffs all over California — including the Bay Area, where many are reluctant to grant concealed-carry permits — could soon have to hand them out based on nothing more than the applicant’s stated wish to carry a gun for self-defense.

Currently, some sheriffs require applicants to prove a specific threat to their safety requires a concealed weapon while other sheriffs don’t. Those in most urban counties hand out permits by the dozens; those in many less-populated rural counties hand them out by the thousands. The court ruling involved a San Diego sheriff’s restrictions.

The state is one step closer to removing the concealed weapons permit decision from police chiefs and sheriffs, said Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. “We’re starting to smell the hint of freedom in the air, and it smells good,” he said.

COLUMBUS — In the few weeks remaining in the legislative session, lawmakers may send Gov. John Kasich a bill eliminating the legal duty of Ohioans to retreat from danger before using deadly force to protect themselves.

“A person facing a life-threatening situation should not have a duty to flee and hope for the best,” Rep. Terry Johnson (R., McDermott) told the Senate Civil Justice Committee weighing his bill containing numerous changes to Ohio gun laws.

“They should have the right to protect themselves and protect their loved ones.”

House Bill 203 passed the House nearly a year ago by a bipartisan vote of 63-27. It has drawn comparisons with Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.

Florida’s law was tried in the court of public opinion but not in the actual courtroom when George Zimmerman was accused but acquitted in the 2012 shooting of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.

But Dr. Johnson noted that Ohioans in such situations would still have to show they acted in self-defense and did nothing to escalate the danger. Under Florida’s law, the prosecutor bears the burden of proving the shooter did not act in self-defense.

“Ohio is one of the toughest states in the union to prove self-defense,” Dr. Johnson said. “In other states you don’t have nearly that barrier to get across.”

In a victory for gun owners who simply seek medical care, not political philosophy, from their doctors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has upheld the NRA-supported Florida’s Firearm Owner’s Privacy Act. This law was passed after an escalating series of events in which patients were harassed or denied access to services because they refused to be interrogated by their doctors about their ownership of firearms. The case, Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida, vindicated Florida’s attempt to protect patients from being forced to divulge personal information that is irrelevant to their own medical treatment.

In challenging the law, Dr. Wollschlaeger and the other plaintiffs insisted they had a First Amendment right to routinely grill patients on their choices concerning firearm ownership, without regard to any good faith belief such information was relevant to the patient’s individual case. They also alleged the law’s proscriptions were unconstitutionally vague.

The Court of Appeals rejected these claims.  “The essence of the Act,” the court’s opinion stated, “is simple: medical practitioners should not record information or inquire about patients’ firearm-ownership status when doing so is not necessary to providing the patient with good medical care.” Accordingly, the court determined that “[t]he Act merely circumscribes the unnecessary collection of patient information on one of many potential sensitive topics.”

As the court noted, nothing in the Florida law prohibits doctors from expressing their views about firearms or about any other medical or public policy issue. Rather, the law is within keeping of long-established “codes of conduct that define the practice of good medicine and affirm the responsibility that physicians bear” and “protects a patient’s ability to receive effective medical treatment without compromising the patient’s privacy with regard to matters unrelated to healthcare.”

What will happen tomorrow, and if gun owners "win," how much difference will it make without their continued activism?
What will happen tomorrow, and if gun owners “win,” how much difference will it make without their continued activism?

Tomorrow gun owners will see if all the hype about sweeping Democrat losses is just that, or if Republicans actually end up capitalizing on a disaffected electorate to enjoy substantial gains in state and federal races. Tomorrow we’ll see if the balance of the Senate shifts, ousting Harry Reid from its leadership, with all that means in terms of bills advanced and nominations confirmed.

Tomorrow we’ll see if gun owners are motivated to vote. That’s not a sure thing, with some declaring it makes no difference who is in power, deeming all politicians sell-outs, and others maintaining “lesser of two evils is still evil” purity and opting for a third party. That among those, at least based on comments they post on the internet, there’s no shortage of “Molon Labe!” bravado, we may see what the likely results of detachment and/or reaching for the unreachable star yield. For those committed to sit on their hands, we’ll see if not lifting a finger now will really work out better for them — and for us all — in the long run.

We’ll see if moves to punish bad governors for bad gun edicts succeed. With Connecticut now being a two-way race, we’ll see if Dannel Malloy will be given his walking papers (and we’ll see if he goes gentle into that good night, or what he’ll do if he holds on). We’ll see if Colorado gun owners can give their incumbent governor a bad case of The Hickenlooper Blues. And we’ll see if a plutocrat-funded initiative on safe blue turf is used as a template to roll Astroturf over grassroots on other ground.

While outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder continues to fend off responsibility for the law enforcement snafu known as Operation Fast and Furious, documents obtained through a judge’s order reveal that not only did Holder know about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), but he discussed it via email with his physician spouse, Sharon Malone, however President Barack Obama is granting those emails to be withheld based on an “executive privilege” claim.

“…Magazine manufacturer Magpul has left Colorado as a result (although not before equipping Coloradans with tens of thousands of the soon-to-be-banned magazines–many of them for free–just before the law went into effect), taking their tax revenue and good jobs with them. But the political fallout went much further than that. State Senator John Morse (D), who as Senate President spearheaded the law, and Senator Angela Giron (D), became the first (and so far, the only) two Colorado senators to be kicked out of office on a recall vote (actually, the first two to have even faced a serious recall effort), despite an enormous funding advantage, courtesy of gun-hating billionaire and aspiring King of the Galaxy Michael Bloomberg. Then, when faced with her own recall vote–again because of her part in passing the magazine ban–Senator Evie Hudak (D) resigned her senate seat, so that, as per Colorado law, she would be replaced by a new senator from her own party, rather than lose the recall election to a Republican, thus shifting control of the senate.

The political fallout for Governor John Hickenlooper (D) has also been severe, to the point of causing him to flip-flop and waffle chaotically with regard to the ban–prompting the superbly ironic “Hickenlooper Blues” (do not cheat yourself out of the opportunity to watch the video).”

“According to the breathless “reporting” of CBS Denver’s Brian Maass, Colorado gun shops have found a couple methods of legally providing buyers with the ability to equip themselves with 30-round magazines. One way to do it is using parts kits:

In Colorado Springs at Old Colorado City Surplus, an Army Surplus store, a CBS4 producer bought two brand-new high capacity magazine “kits.”

The kits consist of the magazine hardware and a spring that needs to be inserted to make the unit operational.

The clerk opened the package, put it together in 24 seconds and sold CBS4 the 30 round magazine for $25.

According to the clerk, the kits are “selling really, really fast.” Another method is to sell 30-round magazines that have been modified in such a way as to limit their capacity to 15, but the modification is easily reversed by the buyer:”

“Restoring the magazine back to its standard, designed capacity of 30 rounds is as easy as popping a rivet out. This, of course, is without even delving into 3-D printed magazines. A magazines is, after all, little more than a box with a spring inside–it hardly requires a sophisticated factory to produce.

The CBS crew seems unconcerned about any prosecution they might face for possessing “illegal” magazines–perhaps they have secured for themselves the hallowed “David Gregory exemption” to onerous magazine bans.”

Attorney General Eric Holder and ATF Director B. Todd Jones have been named defendants in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the federal machine gun ban.
Attorney General Eric Holder and ATF Director B. Todd Jones have been named defendants in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the federal machine gun ban.
Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

A complaint for declarative and injunctive relief was filed Thursday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division. Plaintiff Jay Aubrey Isaac Hollis, acting individually and as trustee of a revocable living trust, is suing Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director B. Todd Jones in their official capacities for administering, executing and enforcing “statutory and regulatory provisions [that] generally act as an unlawful de facto ban on the transfer or possession of a machine gun manufactured after May 19, 1986.

“By imposing such a ban on an entire class of weapons, the statutes and regulations exceed the power of the United States,” the complaint states. It makes its case by citing violations of Article I of the United States Constitution, the Second, Ninth and Tenth Amendments, and “principles of federalism and dual sovereignty.

“[B]y arbitrarily ‘disapproving’ an already approved Form 1, Defendants’ actions violate Plaintiff’s Fifth Amendment right to due process and is an unjust taking; and violate the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the complaint continues. “Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief against … unconstitutional provisions … declaring the ban on machine guns unconstitutional … and declaratory and injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants from unjustly taking property without Due Process.