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Lawsuit Against Maryland’s Handgun Licensing Law Moves Forward

September 11, 2017 Leave a comment

(Washington Free Beacon) A federal judge ruled on Monday that a lawsuit against Maryland’s law requiring a license to purchase a handgun could move forward after denying the bulk of the state’s dismissal request.

handgun photo

Photo by robertnelson (CC)

In his ruling, Federal District Judge Marvin Garbis said the plaintiffs have standing to bring their case against the state’s Handgun Qualification License (HQL) and ordered discovery in the case to move forward.

“Accepting the pleadings as true, the Court finds that the Plaintiffs allege adequate facts to present a plausible claim that the HQL Provision and regulations have deprived them (or their members or customers) of the Second Amendment right to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense,” Garbis wrote in his ruling. “Accordingly, Count 1 shall not be dismissed.”

The case stems from Maryland’s law requiring those who want to purchase a handgun to obtain a license before doing so. In order to obtain the license, a Maryland resident is required to obtain training, submit an application to the state police, submit electronic fingerprint records to the state police, pay associated fees, and pass a background check. The same background check is also required when purchasing any firearm in the state, whether from a licensed dealer or in a sale between private individuals.

RELATED: D.C. Refuses to Comply with Court’s Decision for Carrying Guns

Maryland Shall Issue, a gun-rights group and one of the plaintiffs in the case, has criticized the law as unnecessary and discriminatory.

“It’s redundant as to the current law which already commands that background check to be done,” Mark Pennak, president of Maryland Shall Issue, told the Washington Free Beacon. “The whole idea, and I think this was the underlying intention, was to discourage, as much as possible, the exercise of your constitutional right to buy a handgun…”

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Governor in U.S. Virgin Islands Orders Gun & Ammo Confiscation

September 7, 2017 Leave a comment

(WND) A hurricane is on the way, and preparations always include boarding up windows, stocking up on food, water and batteries, and sometimes fleeing inland.

bullets photo

Photo by longhorndave (CC)

A governor in one U.S. territory, however, has another plan: Grab all the guns.

According to the Daily Caller, the governor of the Virgin Islands, a U.S. territory, has signed an order to that effect.

The order explains that Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp authorized the territory’s adjutant general “to mobilize such units of the National Guard as are necessary to maintain or restore public order, and to guarantee the safety of life and property,” as Hurricane Irma approaches from the Atlantic.

The adjutant general, he said, “is authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission, in accordance with the Rules of Force promulgated by the Virgin Islands National Guard and approved by the Virgin Islands Department of Justice.”

RELATED: American Bar Assn Asks States to Adopt Gun Confiscation Laws

Irma was reported on Tuesday to be a Category 5 hurricane, with winds up to 175 miles her hour, and the eye is expected to pass just north of the heart of the islands on Wednesday.

The Daily Caller said Mapp signed the order Monday.

He warned, “This is not an opportunity to go outside and try to have fun with a hurricane.

“It’s not time to get on a surfboard,” he continued.

The gun seizure order technically also allows authorities to take control of “any other property.”

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselo and Florida Gov. Rick Scott also declared states of emergencies in anticipation of Irma. But they did not include the gun confiscation authorization.

Mapp wrote that the order was issued under authority of Title 23, Chapter 19, Virgin Islands Code, and insisted it is necessary “to maintain the health, welfare, and safety of the people of the Virgin Islands.”

The adjutant general is given the right to “take whatever actions she considers necessary to carry out the assigned missions.”

The order provides for “payment for salaries, benefits, health insurance, worker’s compensation, necessary meals, fuel and other operational and administrative costs.”

But there was no mention of compensation to gun owners.

Republished with permission from WND.com via iCopyright license

House Conservatives Want End to Obama’s Chokehold on Gun Dealers

August 14, 2017 Leave a comment

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) In February 2013, President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice began issuing subpoenas to banks that provided financial services to firearm dealers, without evidence of wrongdoing.

Bob Goodlatte photo

Bob Goodlatte Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC)

The subpoenas contained warnings from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) that marked these businesses “high risk,” which was enough for some banks to cut off financial services.

This plan to sink firearm retailers, along with payday lenders and other supposedly “high risk” businesses, is called Operation Choke Point, and it’s still in effect today.

But a group of House members, led by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and asked for the anti-gun policy to end.

PREVIOUSLY: Obama Gone, Firearms Industry Hopes for New Gun Owner Freedom

Goodlatte said the FDIC’s decision to arbitrarily label certain legal businesses as “high risk” created a “guilty until proven innocent” scenario.

“Ordinarily speaking, law enforcement moves from the specific to the general. A bad actor is identified and then gradually the net widens to capture co-conspirators or a larger criminal enterprise. OCP started by presuming a whole industry guilty until individual merchants prove their innocence,” he wrote.

In 2014, The Washington Times reported about a Massachusetts gun seller who was targeted by OCP. Mark Cohen, the owner of Powderhorn Outfitters, said the bank he had always used — TD Bank — dropped his account because of OCP.

“Our loan was turned not because of our credit — we had perfect financials and been working with the same bank manager for 20 years. It was just because we sell guns — and they said that to us specifically,” Cohen said, according to the Times.

The FDIC admitted to unfairly labeling certain legal businesses as “high risk” back in 2015 and instead advised financial institutions to take “a risk-based approach in assessing individual customer relationships rather than declining to provide banking services to entire categories of customers,” Forbes reported.

A Maryland gun seller, Kat O’Connor, said she was denied credit card services in 2014, according to The Blaze.

“I believe the failure of Congress to enact strict gun control led to this method of starving manufacturers out of business,” O’Connor said. “I also believe this is an unfortunate abuse of power. Sadly, I don’t see how this is any different than a mafia-style shakedown, promising to leave banks and card processors alone if they ‘play along’ by foregoing money from certain industries, regardless of their legal status.”

PREVIOUSLY: Gun Sales Have Fallen Since Obama Left Office

Goodlatte said the DOJ and FDIC have not done enough to reverse the harm caused by OCP, and he has called for them to affirm a neutral stance toward legally operating businesses. Specifically, he asked the FDIC to “rescind its general guidance about reputation risks posed by bank customers” and to retract “its assertion that the industries it had listed are particularly high risk.”

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), who also signed the letter, said to Forbes, “The FDIC has allowed a culture within their agency to blossom that they believe it’s okay to impose their personal opinions and value system in a regulatory way. They are not a regulatory police—their job is to enforce the law.”

Goodlatte and the letter’s signees asked for a plan to remedy OCP’s harms by August 31.

Everytown Calls for More Gun Control Following Charlottesville Car Attack

August 14, 2017 Leave a comment

On August 12, Everytown for Gun Safety pushed for more gun control in connection with the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally where attendees were attacked with a car.

CNN reported that one attendee was killed and 19 were injured as 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. allegedly accelerated his vehicle into the crowd in Charlottesville.

Everytown focused on the fact that open carry is legal in Virginia and some of the attendees were openly armed:

And on August 13 — the day after the car attack — Everytown tweeted a quote from a University of Virginia professor, who commented on the violence at the rally, saying, “When so many demonstrators come out armed, it only takes one to ignite a fire.”

Again, one person was killed and 19 injured in a car attack in Charlottesville. Guns were not used. But Everytown is using the violence to push gun control.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

Gun Owners Warned: ‘Avoid California’ After Second Amendment Ditched

August 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Gun owners have been warned not to travel to California, after State officials secretly scrapped the Second Amendment – making it illegal for Americans to carry guns. 

On August 7, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) issued a stark travel advisory warning to gun owners, warning them that if they enter California they risk being sent to jail.

Breitbart.com reports: The gun rights group is “warning law-abiding armed citizens that their civil rights could be in jeopardy due to that state’s restrictive gun control laws.”

SAF founder and executive vice president Alan Gottlieb observed:

The California Legislature has been out of control for years when it comes to placing restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of honest citizens. Right now, I wouldn’t suggest to any gun owner that they even travel through the state, much less to it as their final destination.

Lawmakers in Sacramento either ignored or have forgotten that in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment in SAF’s landmark case of McDonald v. City of Chicago. The Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms applies to state and local governments, but they seem rather oblivious to that fact in the halls of California’s Legislature.

He added:

If you are licensed to carry in your home state, that license is not recognized in California. It doesn’t matter how many background checks you’ve gone through or whether you took a gun safety course. Your license is no good in the Golden State, which suggests that your safety and the safety of your family are of no concern to state lawmakers or city administrators. You could be prosecuted for having a gun for personal protection, or you might get killed because you didn’t.

Gottlieb is spot on. California refuses to recognize any concealed carry permit other the one they issue. This is an expression of Democratic hegemony whereby they have made concealed carry licenses extremely difficult for Californians to acquire — fewer than 100,000 Californians have a license — and they do not want to provide a means for additional law-abiding citizens to be armed via reciprocity.

What does this mean? It means that when a visitor from another state drives into California, he is not supposed to be armed, regardless of the number of out-of-state concealed permits he possesses or the risks associated with being defenseless. None of these things matter because the Democrats have spoken.

Gottlieb’s verdict: “By not going to California, the life you save may be your own.”

Parents Of Mass Shooting Victim Sued Ammo Dealer – Now They Face Bankruptcy

August 9, 2017 1 comment

Daniel Lang

2012 was a devastating year for gun rights in America. Together, the Aurora shooting and the Sandy Hook shooting galvanized the gun control movement, leading to the passing of a slew of unconstitutional firearm laws across the country. Amid the Left’s panic over privately owned “assault” weapons that were used in these incidents, was the tragic case of Lonnie and Sandy Phillips. They were the parents of a woman who was killed by James Holmes. They responded by suing the popular ammunition supplier known as Lucky Gunner, because the company had sold Holmes ammunition that was used in the attack.

From the beginning, it was obvious that their lawsuit would go nowhere. There was no legal basis for it, because Lucky Gunner had done nothing illegal. In fact, the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was put in place specifically to protect gun companies like Lucky Gunner from frivolous lawsuits like this. Simply put, gun companies can’t be held liable for the criminal actions of their customers, no more than a cutlery company can be sued by the victims of knife attacks.

So it’s no surprise that their case was recently thrown out by the courts. But not only was it thrown out, the couple has been ordered to pay Lucky Gunner’s $200,000 legal fees.

Sadly for Phillips and her husband, by acting on the Brady Campaign’s advice to file suit against the store, they have seriously damaged their own finances. After they sold their home and belongings in Texas to attend Holmes’s trial in Colorado — and then to travel around the country in a camper to advocate more gun control — their frivolous lawsuit finished them off. In throwing out the case, the judge ordered the family to pay Lucky Gunner’s legal fees — which totaled more than $200,000. Harsh as it may sound, this was fair and correct decision considering the underlying facts and the lack of any substance in the case.

Of course, you can probably expect the Leftists to jump on this case, and whine about how a wildly successful company is bankrupting a poor couple who challenged them in court after losing their daughter. But it’s important to keep in mind that not only does Lucky Gunner have the right to that money, they would be stupid to let it go. If they absorbed those legal fees, what message would it send? That anyone anyone could sue them for any silly reason, and not suffer any financial consequences. They would be inviting pointless lawsuits from gun control activists who wish to hurt the company.

What should really be discussed, is why the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence advised this couple to attempt this costly lawsuit that had almost no chance of succeeding. And perhaps more importantly, why isn’t the Brady Campaign helping this couple with their legal fees?

And where is the Brady Campaign in all this? After all, it was Brady that recklessly encouraged the Phillipses to file a lawsuit that Brady almost certainly knew would get dismissed. It was Brady that knew the judge would likely order the Phillipses to pay Lucky Gunner’s legal expenses. Why, one must ask, aren’t they stepping up to help with the legal fees that the Phillipses have incurred on their behalf? The Brady Campaign took in $25 million in revenues in 2014 and 2015. Surely they can write a check for $200,000 and save the Phillipses from the indignity of going bankrupt?

We’ll probably never know why the Brady Campaign convinced Lonnie and Sandy to sue Lucky Gunner, but it sure looks like these people have been used and discarded. Based on recent statements made by Sandy, it doesn’t appear that they’re aware of that possibility. The Brady Campaign approached a grieving couple, told them to attempt a hopeless and politically charged lawsuit that raised the profile of the organization, and when they were saddled with massive legal fees, the Brady Campaign is nowhere to found. How convenient?

This New Piece Of Legislation Could Demolish State Gun Control Laws Across The Country

August 4, 2017 Leave a comment

Mac Slavo

Over the past century there has been one undeniable trend working against gun rights. Put simply, as time goes on, it’s harder for a law abiding citizen to own and use a firearm, largely due to the proliferation of state and federal gun laws. A hundred years ago, one could own pretty much any firearm without restriction, and buy a firearm without even a background check (though of course one argue could that a few of these laws are a good idea). Now it’s a heavily regulated industry.

And sure, there have been some victories for the Second Amendment. A few decades ago there were only a handful of states where it was fairly easy to attain a concealed carry permit, and even many deeply conservative states didn’t issue these permits at all. Now that situation has completely reversed, and continues to improve. However, when you look at gun rights on a long enough timeline, it’s obvious that the Second Amendment has lost more than it has won, as state and federal laws have chipped away at our rights little by little.

Fortunately there is a new piece of legislation that could significantly roll back the worst of these laws on the state level, in particular the laws that were put in place under the Obama administration. The Second Amendment Guarantee Act, which was recently proposed by New York Congressman Chris Collins, could prove to be the most significant attack on gun control laws that we’ve seen in generations. According to a press release issued by Collins’ office:

“This legislation would protect the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers that were unjustly taken away by Andrew Cuomo,” said Collins. “I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and have fought against all efforts to condemn these rights. I stand with the law-abiding citizens of this state that have been outraged by the SAFE Act and voice my commitment to roll back these regulations.”

SAGA would provide an intimidating bulwark against gun control advocates in blue states. In a nutshell, it would prevent these states from passing restrictive laws that exceed the scope of federal gun laws.

In the Collins’ bill, States or local governments would not be able to regulate, prohibit, or require registration and licensing (that are any more restrictive under Federal law) for the sale, manufacturing, importation, transfer, possession, or marketing of a rifle or shotgun. Additionally, “rifle or shotgun” includes any part of the weapon including any detachable magazine or ammunition feeding devise and any type of pistol grip or stock design.

Under this legislation, any current or future laws enacted by a state or political subdivision that exceeds federal law for rifles and shotguns would be void. Should a state violate this law, and a plaintiff goes to court, the court will award the prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney’s fee in addition to any other damages.

For decades, gun owners living in certain states have had their rights slowly stripped away by legislative bodies that repeatedly passed laws which are in violation of the Second Amendment, and they’ve done so almost completely unopposed. It’s the perfect example of what the Founders hoped to prevent in our society. They feared that the rights of the minority could be taken away by the majority, which is exactly what gun owners in leftists states have had to contend with.

But if SAGA passes, state governments will no longer be able to bully gun owners with their onerous and unconstitutional laws. Gun owners will finally have the same right to bear arms in every state of the union.

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