Gun Rights

Today in Liberty: Treasury Department halts Ex-Im deals with Russia, federal court grants D.C. a stay on gun rights ruling

“I am a libertarian with a small ‘l’ and a Republican with a capital ‘R’. And I am a Republican with a capital ‘R’ on grounds of expediency, not on principle.” — Milton Friedman

— Boehner dismisses Democrats’ impeachment “scam”: Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says that the talk of impeachment is a “scam” being pushed by Democrats to boost their fundraising numbers and motivate their base. “This whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president’s own staff — and coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill. Why? Because they’re trying to rally their people to give money and show up in this year’s election,” said Boehner, according to the Washington Examiner. “We have no plans to impeach the president; we have no future plans. Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.” Between Friday and Monday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent out at least 19 fundraising emails (see them here and here) referencing either the lawsuit that Boehner plans to file against the White House or impeachment. The DCCC sent four more on Tuesday, including one with “ⓘⓜⓟⓔⓐⓒⓗⓜⓔⓝⓣ” in the subject line. The White House, however, says that it won’t discourage Democrats from fundraising off the completely unserious threat of impeachment.

They there go again: D.C. gun grabbers are trying to prevent law-abiding citizens from defending themselves after court ruling

In case you haven’t heard, on Saturday, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia struck down the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public, one of its most onerous gun control laws.

Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. ruled that the law was unconstitutional, based on the precedent set in the landmark Supreme Court rulings in Heller and McDonald, and that the District couldn’t deny law-abiding citizens the right to carry. D.C. police responded by granting full reciprocity to permits from other states, at least temporarily.

But the District is fighting back. They want the Imperial City to be a mostly Second Amendment-free zone. Lawyers for the District are seeking a stay of the Scullin’s ruling while they work on an appeal:

The city’s motion suggests that the judge’s order could make it more difficult for law enforcement to guard against a variety of threats, including presidential assassinations.

“The public interest is not served by rushed legislation on a foundational public-safety issue or by allowing any and all ‘dangerous or deadly’ concealable weapons to be carried in public, without reasonable restrictions being imposed, during the pendency of any appeal and/or new legislation,” the D.C. motion (posted here) states.

This is going to drive the gun control crowd crazy: NRA launches “Trigger the Vote,” a nationwide GOTV drive

NRA's Trigger the Vote

The National Rifle Association, the nation’s oldest civil liberties organization, has launched a nationwide get-out-the-vote campaign to encourage gun owners to make sure their voices are heard this fall.

Though “Trigger the Vote” is a nonpartisan voter registration drive, the NRA Freedom Action Foundation is hoping that the push will lead to defeats at the ballot box for gun control activists’ favorite candidates.

“Registering to vote is critical to preserving our Second Amendment rights. Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun allies are committed to taking away our freedoms,” Chris Cox, president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation, wrote in an email blast to supporters. ”You can protect your rights by registering to vote and making sure that your freedom loving family and friends are registered to vote.”

The NRA Freedom Action Foundation also rolled out a new 30-second ad featuring a father and a son to promote the “Trigger the Vote” campaign.

Thomas Massie went after D.C.’s absolutely terrible gun control laws, and anti-Second Amendment Democrats are losing their minds

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) really isn’t happy with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY). Since the passage of an amendment last week to block enforcement of the District of Columbia’s terrible gun control laws, Norton’s office has sent out a barrage of press releases aimed at the libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican.

It all started last Tuesday, July 15, when Massie tried to offer the amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, which would fund the Treasury Department and related agencies for the next year.

The amendment was ruled out of order by the chair, a Republican. That prompted Norton’s office to send out a press release gloating about the procedural setback (“Rep. Massie Humiliated on the House Floor, Norton Claims Victory for D.C.’s Gun Safety Laws,” 7/15).

Huzzah! Or something.

Well, Norton’s “victory” was short-lived. Massie offered the amendment again the following day. “Criminals by definition don’t care about laws. They will get guns any way they can,” said Massie. “Strict gun control laws do nothing but prevent good people from being able to protect themselves and their families in the event of a robbery, home invasion, or other crime. Studies indicate that murder rates rise following bans on firearms.”

He’s right. What’s more, Congress has constitutional authority over the District and, he declared, that it was time for his colleagues “to step in and stop the DC government’s harassment and punishment of law-abiding citizens who simply want to defend themselves.”

Today in Liberty: There are some new details about Lerner’s hard drive, oral arguments scheduled for another big Obamacare case

“Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation from government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.” — Ronald Reagan

So, there’s no evidence that Lerner’s hard drive was destroyed: This sordid mess just keeps getting crazier. Tech experts are asking questions about Lois Lerner’s hard drive, but the powerful tax agency isn’t answering them. “There is a certification of destruction any time a piece of equipment is sent to a disposal company,” the head of an IT trade group said, according to Politico. “Where is that?” Questions like this are coming on the heels of the testimony of an IRS official who said that he wasn’t sure that the backup tapes on which Lois Lerner’s emails were destroyed. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this morning at 10am. We’re expecting fireworks. So, yeah, popcorn.

Gun-Grabbing Senate Democrats are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of pro-gun voters

Harry Reid Gun Control

Embattled Senate Democrat Kay Hagan is pushing a bill with Harry Reid’s help in an effort to trick red state voters into thinking Democrats are pro-gun. The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 (S. 2363) has been written with the intention of preserving federal lands for hunting, fishing and other activities, while proposing a series of modifications that could eventually increase the debt.

While the bill is being touted as a pro-2nd Amendment piece of legislation, Republican senators are being prevented from offering their input.

Sections of S. 2363 indicate that several regulatory reforms are being proposed, but as it stands, no amendments have been added. According to The Hill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on the bill, meaning that no amendments will be allowed. This might scare off the 20 Republican co-sponsors of the bill, since they are unable to propose any changes.

This report follows the Senate’s Monday decision to advance the legislation in spite of the little support the bill might be getting from Democrats who wanted to spice the proposal by adding further gun control measures to S. 2363. Democrats from red states facing tough re-election battles this year, however, are desperate.

Reid’s decision to file for cloture on the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act also prevents Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) from offering amendments that would reportedly offer concealed carry reciprocity, among other things.

What part of “…shall not be infringed.” doesn’t SCOTUS understand? Kagan’s majority infringes on our 2nd Amendment

SCOTUS Gun Rights

The Supreme Court strayed from precedent on Monday by siding against the accused in Abramski v. United States, a landmark gun rights case that will have broad implications regarding the purchase of firearms.

The details of the case are as follows: A former police officer, Bruce Abramski, sought to buy a handgun for his uncle as a gift. Both men are legally allowed to own a handgun and are therefore not prohibited from purchasing one. During the course of the background check, Abramski attested he was the “actual transferee/buyer” of the handgun. A lower court convicted him of making false statements.

According to The Hill, “Abramski argued that federal gun law — intended to keep guns out of the wrong hands — did not apply to his transaction.”

Obama appointee Elena Kagan wrote the majority decision and was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy, and Sonia Sotomayor. This decision will no doubt embolden President Obama and his anti-gun rights allies.

The laws in question are meant to keep criminals from illegally purchasing firearms through “straw” purchasers, a criminal asking someone who can legally obtain a firearm to purchase one on their behalf. In this instance, the law prohibited one law-abiding citizen from purchasing a firearm for another law-abiding citizen.

Obama has lost his hold on Millennials: Young people oppose gun control and affirmative action

Most political conventional wisdom pegs young voters and the not-yet-of-age as definitively liberal and probably tied to the Democratic Party for life. The saying goes that once a generation votes for the same party three times in a row, they’re lifelong adherents. The youth vote has gone to Obama and the Democrats in two successive presidential elections, but the all-important third may be elusive, for surprising ideological reasons.

Young voters have been one of the driving forces behind the recent surge in support for marriage equality and drug decriminalization, of course. But their party affiliation isn’t determinant there. Sixty-nine percent of voters under 29 support same-sex marriage, but 61% of young Republican voters do as well, and only 18% of them say gay couples raising children is bad for society. Sixty-one percent of voters under 29 also support legalization of marijuana.

This poll doesn’t have the same partisan generational breakdown as the marriage poll, but I would guess the ratio is similar, with a slight majority of young Republican voters opposing marijuana prohibition.

Support for gun control has also fallen the most among Millenial generation voters than other generations in just the last few years, from 59% in 2009 to 49% this year.


Hillary Clinton to gun owners: “I don’t believe” in the Second Amendment

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s contempt for the Second Amendment was on full display yesterday. In a speech to the National Council for Behavioral Health, the likely 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner expressed her dismay that “anyone” can own a gun (emphasis added):

“We have to rein in what has become [an] almost article of faith, that anybody can own a gun anywhere, anytime. And I don’t believe that,” she said, as applause drowned her out.

Clinton, who argued it was possible to hold her position and still support the right to gun ownership, warned that unfettered access to guns could have dangerous consequences. She called the country’s approach to guns “way out of balance,” and referred to cases in which gun violence has erupted over minor issues.

She painted a dark picture, warning that, “At the rate we’re going, we’re going to have so many people with guns everywhere, fully licensed, fully validated, in settings where [one] could be in a movie theater, and they don’t like someone chewing gum loudly or talking on their cell phone and decide they have the perfect right to defend themselves against the gum chewer or cell phone user by shooting.”
The proliferation of guns combined with few restrictions on where they can be carried can “give someone the means to respond in the moment in a way that he wouldn’t if a few minutes passed and there was no means to inflict harm … We really have got to get our arms around this,” she said.

NRA to push national reciprocity for concealed carry permit holders

concealed carry

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is expected to spend some of its weekend focusing on a measure — National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act — that would ensure that gun owners who’ve obtained concealed carry permits can carry their weapon no matter where they travel in the United States:

The nation’s largest gun-rights group, which officially opens its meeting of about 70,000 people Friday in Indianapolis, wants Congress to require that concealed weapons permits issued in one state be recognized everywhere, even when the local requirements differ. Advocates say the effort would eliminate a patchwork of state-specific regulations that lead to carriers unwittingly violating the law when traveling.

“Right now it takes some legal research to find out where you are or are not legal depending on where you are,” said Guy Relford, an attorney who has sued communities for violating an Indiana law that bars local gun regulation. “I don’t think that’s right.”
The “reciprocity” effort on state concealed carry laws has strong support from Senate Republicans but narrowly missed being amended into last year’s proposed expansion of gun sale background checks. Still, it faces long odds in Washington because Democrats control the Senate and White House.

Basically, the measure would extend the same treatment that state drivers licenses and birth certificates, for example, receive under the Full Faith and Credit Clause to concealed carry permits, which can now be issued in all 50 states.

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