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Federal judge blocks California ban on high-capacity magazines

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a voter-approved California law that would have forced gun owners to get rid of high-capacity ammunition magazines by this Saturday.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, who is based in San Diego, issued a preliminary injunction Thursday that found the law was likely unconstitutional because it prevented people from using firearms that employed “whatever common magazine size he or she judges best suits the situation.” The law would have barred people from possessing magazines containing more than 10 bullets.

“The State of California’s desire to criminalize simple possession of a firearm magazine able to hold more than 10 rounds is precisely the type of policy choice that the Constitution takes off the table,” the injunction read.

Benitez added that “a final decision will take too long to offer relief, and because the statute will soon visit irrevocable harm on Plaintiffs and all those similarly situated a state-wide preliminary injunction is necessary and justified to maintain the status quo.”

The judge granted the request of attorneys from the National Rifle Association-affiliated California Rifle & Pistol Association to temporarily block the law.

In the days leading up to the ban, some California gun owners, pro-gun sheriffs and sellers have been reluctant to give up their magazines. Some gun owners have previously said that they were hoping pending court challenges would block the ban.

“We’re not going to be knocking on anybody’s door looking for them,” said Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko in an earlier interview with The Bee. “We’re essentially making law-abiding citizens into criminals with this new law.”

The ban is part of Proposition 63, approved with 63 percent of votes in November, that required background checks for people buying ammunition and instituted other firearms restrictions.

In a statement, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that the proposition aims to prevent further mass shootings by those who own high-capacity magazines.

“Proposition 63 was overwhelmingly approved by voters to increase public safety and enhance security in a sensible and constitutional way,” Becerra said in the statement. “Restricting large capacity magazines and preventing them from ending up in the wrong hands is critical for the well-being of our communities.”

To get rid of magazines in compliance with the approved law, California gun owners would have been allowed to move them out of state, sell them to a licensed dealer, destroy them or hand them over to law enforcement.

Gun Makers Work Around California’s New “Assault Weapons” Ban

June 24, 2017 Leave a comment

Mac Slavo

California’s draconian new gun laws will require residents of the Golden state to register their “assault weapons” with the state (which they will have to pay to do of course) by the end of the year.  But thanks to capitalism and the free market, gun makers have already figured out workarounds.

One of the new laws labels an “assault weapon” as any gun that doesn’t have a fixed magazine.  So Franklin Armory owner Jay Jacobson invented “Drop in Fixed Magazine” or DFM. Jacobson had demonstrated his patented new device which is designed to get around the state’s new “assault weapons” law. The new law clamps down on a previous device known as a bullet button to Californians. The bullet button was a workaround for an earlier ban on rifles with detachable and quickly reloadable ammunition magazines. The DFM invention is actually ingenious for those stuck in the Golden state. The magazine is fixed from the bottom as the law requires; but it can come out the top, technically legal because it involves partially disassembling the gun. It’s a workaround that still allows shooters to quickly reload with very little delay.

If curious as to how the magazine works, watch the below video.


“Basically if it’s not written that you can’t do it, it should be good to go. So it’s not a loophole, it’s just the legislature hasn’t covered that yet,” said Jacobson. And the good news is that that is not the only new product on the market for Californians.

CBS News San Francisco says they have found at least six new inventions that work around the new law.  One is the AR Maglock, which allows California AR-15 owners to comply with existing fixed magazine laws, thus avoiding Department of Justice registration. The AR MAGLOCK engages the magazine so it stays “fixed” in the firearm until the action is disassembled, complying with California SB 880 & AB 1135, and Department of Justice regulations.

Other inventions to get around the registration of your gun are the Patriot Mag Release, the MA Loader, and the Bear Flag Defense. They are all designed to allow bullet button gun owners to avoid registering, yet still, have fast reloading weapons. Many anti-gun hoplophobes reside in California, and they are not happy that the private market has found workarounds.  But Jacobson says it will always be this way, and the market is going to provide.

“Criminals don’t care. So the only people that are affected by this are law abiding Californians that are trying to do the right thing. The legislature has tried several times to basically find ways to prevent the AR-15 from entering California. And the reality is that whether it’s Franklin Armory or my peers in the industry, there’s always going to be a way to make the firearm legal in California, and they are just grasping at straws,” said Jacobson.

The Department of Justice won’t say whether any of these devices are legal until after it issues formal regulations on how to implement the new assault weapons ban, a process that is six months behind schedule because a government is inefficient at everything. They can’t seem to even roll out a ban on an item they hate with the mass majority of the state’s voters behind them. But the private market is well ahead of these new draconian laws.

Washington D.C. Takes Aim At Insane Gun Ban In Huge Way After Scalise Shooting

June 22, 2017 Leave a comment

In the wake of the shooting spree in Alexandria, VA that targeted U.S. representatives, new legislation is being proposed. The congressman from Kentucky, Tom Massie introduced the bill the day after Republican Steve Scalise was gunned down at batting practice.

The D.C. Personal Protection Reciprocity Act will ensure that citizens in the capitol have recourse to their own weapons in the event of an attack. Rep. Massie said that rather than extending “special privileges” to members of Congress, his bill would ensure everyone’s right to self-defense.

“The right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it’s a God-given right protected by our constitution,” Massie explained.

The measure is a reaction to liberal gunman James Hodgkinson’s premeditated attack on Republican lawmakers. The Bernie supporter, fueled by liberal rhetoric, took matters into his own hands last week and was apparently intent on murdering every Republican in sight. Investigators even discovered a hit list of politicians he planned to kill.

Everyone seems to agree that if it hadn’t been for the presence of armed Capitol Hill police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey, Hodgkinson would have completed his deadly task. Massie’s bill was created because of the District’s horrifically stringent, and obviously ineffective, gun laws.

The measure will make it possible for licensed, concealed carry permit holders from other states to stay armed while in D.C. This is referred to as reciprocity.

Although Virginia and Maryland both comply with reciprocity policies in some form, the city itself makes its own laws. Since legislators were quickly moving from D.C. to the ballpark and back again on Wednesday last week, no one had any weapons.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk from Georgia was there that day. He explained that nothing like that could have happened in his home state because he and his staff stay armed. “If this had happened in Georgia, he wouldn’t have gotten too far,” Loudermilk said. Citing the fact that his staff member had a clear shot at Hodgkinson, Loudermilk informed reporters that since they aren’t allowed to carry guns in D.C. neither was could help that day.

The D.C. city council refuses to extend reciprocity to other states. However, the Constitution gives Congress the power to void such an illogical and dangerous stance. Although the legislative body has rarely interfered with the city before, the attack last week has provided an impetus.

In fact, several of the representatives whose names were on Hodgkinson’s list of targets are backing the measure introduced by Rep. Massie. Mo Brooks, the Representative from Alabama, was also present during the Bernie-supporter’s rampage.

Rep. Brooks plans to introduce legislation this week that will make it possible for any congressman to carry a sidearm, anywhere in the country. Although not many lawmakers have had an opportunity to read the bill, many have tentatively pledged their support.

Morgan Griffith from Virginia “has always been inclined to support concealed carry laws” a spokeswoman from his office said. Arizona Representative Trent Franks is also “in favor of expanding those rights to everyone,” according to his staff. Rep. Massie’s legislation would make it legal for any individual to protect himself in the nation’s Capitol. His proposed legislation has already received 23 co-sponsors, including Rep. Brooks.

Representatives adding their named support to the bill also include Trent Franks, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, and Jim Jordan from Ohio. All of these legislators were on the killer’s list.

Scott DesJarlais, the Representative from Tennessee, is joining the legislation as a co-sponsor as well. He is a strong proponent of nation-wide carry laws and likes the measure because it “appeals to all Americans.”

Desjarlais is right. The plan to allow these types of carrying laws is popular with second amendment groups. With a Republican-controlled House and Senate, there’s a good chance that D.C. lawmakers won’t be able to infringe on the rights of congressional members, visitors, or residents at the Capitol for much longer.

“The only thing that stops a bag guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Rep. Massie said.

This legislative move is a big one. Hopefully, it will cut down on the rampant violence and assaults with a dangerous weapon that plague a city that is supposed to be gun-free.

Despite All Expectations, Gun Sales Reached a Record High in May

Daniel Lang

There’s a reason why President Obama was often referred to as the “gun salesman of the year.” His administration stoked plenty of fears that gun rights would be restricted, which resulted in shortages of firearms and ammunition, and drove record gun sales. During the second half of his administration, it seemed like gun sales were at times, breaking records every few months.

So when Trump was elected, most people assumed that gun sales were finally going to slow down, myself included. Last March I wrote:

But with a Republican in the Oval Office, it appears that gun sales are finally going to slow down for the first time since the early 2000’s. Despite the fact that there aren’t any recent statistics to back this up, we can safely assume that it’s true based on a recent action taken by Remington.

The gun manufacturing company revealed last week that they are going to lay off 120 workers from their Ilion plant, and 16 workers from their plant in Kentucky. According to Zerohedge and the Wall Street Journal, Remington isn’t alone. American Outdoor Brands, which used to be known as Smith & Wesson, is also losing sales. And this is a very recent trend. A month ago, the number of firearm background checks was still breaking records.

You’d think that Trump’s ascent to the White House would allay the fears of conservative gun owners. But despite all expectations, recently released data has shown that this isn’t the case. Gun sales are still climbing according to the Washington Examiner.

The spurt in terror attacks, including the recent two in England, are pushing gun sales into record territory just months after predictions that the election of a pro-gun president would end the rush.

The FBI just reported that the number of gun sales background checks for May was the highest ever for that month, 1,942,677, a trend that will make 2017 the first or second highest year for gun sales.

The continued growth of gun sales is in stark contrast to some in the media and industry who feared that the election of President Trump would snuff out sales that in 2016 were driven in part by concerns Hillary Clinton would win and implement strict gun control and an assault weapons ban.

Clearly, fears of gun confiscations weren’t the only thing driving firearm sales. The Washington Examiner asked the marketing director of Hyatt Guns to explain this phenomenon, to which he replied:

“People are nervous about their safety, and rightly so. It’s a dangerous world we live in and American citizens know that we’re not immune to terrorist attacks. They’re taking the necessary steps to defend themselves. Frankly, the most recent terrorist attack in London underscores the importance of an armed populace. Remember that when seconds count the police are only minutes away,” he added.

I would add that there’s probably another factor driving gun sales. After all, very few Americans are killed by terrorists on a regular basis, and even fewer are killed by terrorists on American soil. Terrorism isn’t common enough in the US to make millions of people spend so much money on firearms.

I think that what’s really on the minds of gun owners, who are largely conservative, is the sudden surge in violent rhetoric and actions among radical leftists in this country. It makes a lot more sense than blaming terrorism for increasing gun sales.

After all, radical leftists vastly outnumber Islamic extremists in America. If the latter of those two decided to attack America en masse, it would result in many terror attacks. But if the far-left decided to take up arms all at once, there would be a civil war.

Once again, the Left is driving gun sales to new heights.

Oklahoma Churches Combine God & Guns, Delivering Weapon Training Alongside Bible Verses

A handgun on a bible (pictured above).

One of the most important rights we have as American citizens is the right to bear arms. Without it, many of us would live in constant fear. A gun provides many with comfort as well as protection. It gives people the ability to fall asleep knowing their loved ones are safe. However, simply owning a gun doesn’t make someone an expert in how to use it. To become proficient, they must attend weapons training courses. As the demand for guns increases, so does the necessity for proper instruction. To help meet this need, some are getting creative.

In response to the growing demand for gun training, churches across the state of Oklahoma are offering gun safety lessons alongside their bible study. This helps promote the word of God as well as responsible gun use and ownership. This may even break the stereotypes of reckless gun owners.

Armed Christians listening to a church service.

According to reports, churchgoing Christians in Oklahoma are being taught how to defend themselves with a gun. The program, led by firearms instructor Roy Jones, has taught roughly 5,000 students over the last decade how to properly handle a firearm. However, instead of working at a usual training facility, Jones takes his courses to churches across the state, calling it, “not your typical gun class.” Since he teaches at a church, he also educates his students more about Christianity.

Despite what some may think, Jones argues that self-defense and spirituality are not mutually exclusive. “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle,” he quoted during an interview with Fox News. He reasons that although the scripture teaches love and compassion, if someone’s life is in danger, then it’s perfectly acceptable to do whatever is necessary to protect them. The same goes for self-defense. “We will turn the other cheek…I’m the least likely guy to pull out a gun in a fight,” he claimed, adding, “but we will not turn the other cheek if you’re going to assault my family or cut off my head in the process.”

His eight-hour course teaches people how to handle weapons, makes them take a 15-question exam, lets them practice at a private range, and informs people about relevant state laws gun owners should be aware of. He also teaches people how to avoid being arrested if they shoot someone in self-defense. He tells his students, ““you show the officer respect, but you never consent. You have to articulate that you were the victim, but you say, ‘With all due respect, you will have my full cooperation after I seek my legal counsel.”

Churchgoers learning how to properly handle a firearm.

Some argue that he’s just using religion to make extra money. However, he claims that this assumption is inaccurate. Instead, he wants people to know what to do in a dangerous situation. Unless properly trained, an armed person in a life-threatening situation could panic and either miss the aggressor or accidentally hit an innocent bystander. In response to people who claim he’s just “getting rich by using God’s name,’” he stated, “I’m just one little guy. Do I make a little money? Yes. But I’m not doing this to get rich.”

Instead, he insists that his courses are designed to teach people self-defense. He believes that people should be prepared if they find themselves in a dangerous situation. There are countless stories that reinforce the importance of gun ownership. One news story that Jones mentioned to journalists had to do with a woman recently killed by two pit bulls. Another story involved a fatal stabbing at a food distribution center. He asked reporters, “can you imagine what went through her mind the last few minutes of her life?” He argues that both of these deaths could have been averted “if they’d had a legal gun and been trained to use it.”

Many who attend Jones’ class understand firsthand why owning a gun is important. Wendy Johnson, one of his students, claims that she started taking the class after her friend was mugged. “One day, my co-worker did not show up for work,” she stated, explaining “someone had attacked her in a parking lot and had literally beaten her face. I don’t want to see anyone else in the ER with a swollen face because someone hit them in the head for their purse.”

Legal firearms don’t just protect people out in public, they also protect people at home. Earlier this year, three armed intruders broke into a house in Oklahoma. Thankfully, the homeowner’s son heard them breaking in and raced downstairs with an AR-15. Upon seeing them, he opened fire, striking and killing all three. And just recently, an armed intruder kicked down the door of a random house in Las Vegas, Nevada and attempted to rob the person inside. However, the resident had a weapon, and once he stepped inside, the burglar was shot dead.

Guns also protect people at work. Last month, an armed burglar attempted to rob a store at gunpoint. Fortunately, one of the other associates in the back heard the commotion and had a gun. He snuck up behind him and got him to surrender. Video of the altercation can be seen below (Warning: Graphic video):

States like Oklahoma and Nevada have legislation, known as “Stand Your Ground” laws, which offer a broad range of protections for gun owners defending their life or property. Their legislation makes it legal for someone to use “reasonable force, including deadly force” if someone is unlawfully entering “the dwelling, place of business or employment, or occupied vehicle,” of another person.

Unfortunately, not all states are friendly towards gun owners. Republican lawmakers in Oregon recently betrayed their party by introducing legislation that allows for the confiscation of personal guns. The bill, sponsored by State Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas), makes it possible for an immediate family member to strip someone of their Second Amendment right. It also makes it more difficult to buy a gun. Those who make it more difficult for people to have a gun put the lives of others at risk. They must be voted out of office and replaced with pro-gun conservatives.

The importance of gun ownership is undeniable. Programs like the one offered by Jones help people not just own a gun but understand how to use it. This gives people the opportunity to protect the ones they love so God can focus on other things. Conservatives nationwide must do everything possible to ensure the Second Amendment is not infringed upon. Those who wish to disarm the country must not succeed. If they do, innocent people will die.

 

Gun Groups Files Appeal Against California’s Exemptions for Retired Law Enforcement Officers

April 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Groups say special exceptions to strict gun laws violate the Fourteenth Amendment

In federal circuit court on Wednesday, a coalition of gun-rights groups filed its opening brief in a suit against exemptions for retired law enforcement officers under California’s strict gun laws.

The Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Madison Society Foundation, and 11 individuals signed on to the suit, which District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell, an Obama appointee, ruled against in August. They’re now taking their case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming the exemptions are a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. The group says the exemptions for retired law enforcement personnel are unfair and unconstitutional.

The groups cite the recent passage of SB707, which banned those with gun-carry permits from bringing a gun on any school property but left in place exemptions for retired law enforcement, as an example of special protections they believe are wrong.

“The case is about a politically powerful group of civilians receiving special rights that other, similarly situated civilians do not receive,” Craig DeLuz, a spokesperson for Firearms Policy Coalition and one of the plaintiffs in the case, told the Washington Free Beacon. “Politically powerful police unions opposed SB707 until their retired members were exempted from the measure. Then, they not only removed their opposition, they supported it. Even the author of the measure admitted that the only reason she exempted retired law enforcement is because she could not get the law passed with their opposition.

“That is a clear violation of the Equal Protection Act, as retired law enforcement officers have not more police powers than everyday citizens.”

The exemption included in that law applied to any retired law enforcement officer regardless of whether or not their former jobs required the use of a firearm.

“For instance, retired Internal Revenue Service agents and other federal agents are exempt simply by virtue of retiring in California or working for the agency in California for more than a year,” Bradley Benbrook, the group’s attorney, wrote in the court brief.

DeLuz, who opposes SB707’s expansion of gun-free zones, said he does not believe the exemption granted to retired law enforcement is based on the group’s level of training.

“The exemption makes even less sense when one considers that there are higher standards for civilians to qualify for a CCW than for most retired law enforcement,” he said. “Look at the training standards for peace officer training, I believe you will find that there are not training requirements upon their graduation from the academy. And, in fact, the retired law enforcement exemption includes anyone who has worked for a law enforcement agency, whether they carried a firearm as a part of their duties prior to retirement.”

A hearing date for the case has not yet been announced.

Virginia Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Bill Allowing Those With Protective Orders to Carry Guns

March 29, 2017 Leave a comment

‘The governor’s veto will likely cost innocent lives’, says advocacy group president

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) vetoed a bill on Friday that aimed to allow victims of domestic violence to carry concealed firearms without obtaining a permit.

House Bill 1852 would allow anyone in Virginia who has a protective order and is over 21 to carry a concealed firearm without a permit for up to 45 days after the order is issued. It would then give anyone with an active order an additional 45 days to carry concealed should they apply for a permanent concealed-handgun permit, which can take up to 45 days to process. The person with the protective order would be required to show police the order or permit application and photo ID if stopped.

Governor McAuliffe noted in a statement that the bill bypasses the training and background check requirements associated with obtaining a Virginia concealed handgun permit and said it would make domestic violence situations worse, not better. “The bill perpetuates the dangerous fiction that the victims of domestic violence will be safer by arming themselves,” he said. “It would inject firearms into a volatile domestic violence situation, making that situation less safe, not more.

“In 2014, there were 112 family and intimate-partner related homicides in Virginia. Sixty-six of those deaths were with a firearm. I will not allow this bill to become law when too many Virginia women have already fallen victim to firearms violence at the hands of their intimate partner.”

McAuliffe’s office did not respond to questions about whether the governor believed victims of domestic violence should ever arm themselves or what victims, especially those located far from police stations, should do if they find themselves in life-threatening situations.

Gun-rights advocates who championed the bill decried the governor’s veto and said it would likely cost innocent lives.

“Governor McAuliffe claims we don’t need to introduce a gun into a ‘volatile situation,’ where there is a protective order in place,” Philip Van Cleave, the Virginia Citizens Defense League’s president, told the Washington Free Beacon. “He’s completely wrong. That situation is exactly where we DO want to introduce a firearm. Knowledge that the victim is armed is a great incentive for the aggressor to stay away.”

Van Cleave said the first 48 hours after a protective order is issued are the most crucial time for a potential victim to be armed.

“Protective orders really enrage the aggressor and the vetoed bill would have allowed the victim to be fully armed, yet in a discreet manner, even during those initial 48 hours,” he said. “Sadly, the governor’s veto will likely cost innocent lives.”

The bill passed by a vote of 63-31 in the house of delegates and 26-14 in the senate. A veto override would require a two-thirds majority in both houses.

The National Rifle Association said McAuliffe’s veto was driven by his association with gun control groups.

“Victims of domestic abuse should be free to protect themselves with more than a piece of paper,” Catherine Mortensen, a spokesperson for the NRA’s lobbying arm, told the Beacon. “This bill would allow a victim of abuse who already has a protective order to immediately protect herself with a concealed firearm. Governor McAuliffe is siding with the gun control lobby that funds his campaign over victims of abuse who want more than a piece of paper to protect themselves.”

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