Anti-gun Politicians, Media Exploit Paris Attacks in “Terrorist Gap” Rehash
The Paris terrorist attacks were not easily pinned on America's supposedly lax gun laws or the NRA, but that didn't stop exploitative assaults on America's law-abiding gun owners and those who support them.
While some media sources did ruefully acknowledge that Paris already has highly restrictive gun control and that the firearms used in the attacks were obtained illegally, attention soon focused on supposed loopholes in American laws that critics claim make the U.S. a virtual arms bizarre for terrorists. One tabloid went so far as to characterize NRA’s Second Amendment advocacy as a “sick jihad.”
They've been saying essentially the same thing for over 10 years, even as “heavily-armed” America continues to enjoy a period of historic peace and calm.
The truth is that NRA, like all patriotic Americans, wants to protect the country from terrorists and violent criminals, not facilitate their acts. In protecting America, however, we will not throw away the values and freedoms that separate us from the medieval mindset of the Paris attackers, people whose hatred for Western Civilization is driven by its refusal to accept their twisted world view.
The claim driving these media assaults on the NRA is that “terrorists,” or at least “terror suspects,” are legally able to purchase firearms in the U.S. because inclusion on the government's so-called Terrorist Watchlist is not an automatic disqualifier under federal law.
Yet the basis for this claim is a highly-subjective, highly-secret government list that a number of the very same papers have reported on as being inaccurate,over-inclusive,and ignoring civil rights. Indeed, even the Huffington Post “ rarely one to take NRA’s side in an argument “ last year warned its readers of “7 Ways You (Yes You) Could End Up On A Terrorist Watch List.” The list, which has reportedly ballooned to a million names, and has included the likes of former South African President Nelson Mandela, Sen. Ted Kennedy and even a two-year-old child, is rife with errors.
We have discussed again and again the serious problems and constitutional violations inherent in denying people their Second Amendment rights based on inclusion in Terrorist Watch list. Those who are on the list are not even supposed to know, and if they become aware of (or come to suspect) their listing, they have very little recourse to challenge it.
Even assuming (contrary to available evidence) that the Watch list is administered flawlessly, it's still a list of people who are only “dangerous” enough to be watched but not arrested, prosecuted, detained, deported, or any of the other things the government does (up to and including summary execution) to imminently dangerous terrorists.
In fact, to the degree it involves foreign nationals (and it overwhelmingly does), the only ones who could legally buy a firearm would be those who had been lawfully admitted to the country as immigrants. If a foreign national is so dangerous as to be on a list of “terror suspects,” why would the government tolerate his or her presence in the country at all, much less invite the person to live in the country?
But again, putting all that aside, is it really true that the government is helpless when any of these individuals attempts to buy a gun? Far from it, actually.
In testimony to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, an FBI official detailed what happens when a person on this list is flagged by the mandatory background check that federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLS) have to run on their customers. The official emphasized, “Our Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) are engaged every day, across the country, in following up leads, monitoring intelligence, and otherwise pursuing information about suspected terrorists who may be trying to obtain the means by which they or their associates can do harm to this country and its citizens.” These means, of course, are not limited to firearms.
In brief, the official explained that a NICS check for a firearm purchase includes a query of information from the so-called “KST File” (for “known or suspected terrorist”). If a possible match is detected and confirmed, the sale is placed in "delayed" status, and the matter is transferred to the FBI’s NICS Command Center.
The Command Center will carefully scrutinize the individual's record for any possible legal basis of denial. Even if no such basis is found, the case will continue to be delayed for further research, with the Command Center contacting the FFL to obtain further information about the individual. The case is also referred to the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center.
If further research substantiates the match, the case is referred to the government's Counter terrorism Watch Unit, where a case agent conducts additional follow-up with the FBI’s Counter Terrorism Division. That division immediately determines whether the FBI has an active investigation already ongoing into the individual. If not, one is opened, with notifications made as appropriate to other law enforcement agencies.
In summary, the FBI official testified:
Regardless of whether the transaction is given the green light to proceed or is denied, the encounter is noted at the time and its import is assessed in the same manner as all newly discovered pieces of intelligence about the subject of the investigation. What the attempt to buy a firearm means in a counter terrorism investigation, and as a result the subsequent actions it warrants, necessarily must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Of course, just because and individual is allowed to purchase a legal item doesn't mean that person is thereafter beyond the reach of law enforcement. If authorities knew, for example, that a person were buying fertilizer to make a bomb, they obviously wouldn't sit on their hands simply because the fertilizer purchase was legal.
The same would obviously be true of the otherwise-lawful purchase of a firearm by a person who officials had evidence intended to use it to commit a terrorist act. In this regard, current law, coupled with the FBI’s procedure, could actually produce useful and actionable anti-terrorism intelligence.
On the other hand, prohibiting every purchase by a watch listed individual gives real terrorists under investigation or surveillance an easy way to determine whether their acts have drawn the government's suspicion. All they would have to do is go to a gun shop and attempt to buy a gun. If they were denied and knew they had no other basis of denial, they would know the denial was watch list related.
In the end, it's not surprising that elites who don't want anybody to have guns under any circumstances would gin up fears about terrorism to make it harder for some to obtain firearms. In contrast, NRA has always stood for the right of law-abiding Americans to protect themselves from any unlawful threat. We will never abandon that value, nor will we yield our uniquely American freedoms to the demands of terrorists or any other enemies of liberty.
No body armor for you; and mass shootings where?
The gun grabbing crowd would have you believe that they want everyone to be safe from ‘gun violence’ (which is a code word or progressive control phrase designed to create a conditioned response). It is for that reason, they say, that they want to limit access to guns. Never mind that laws ‘limiting access’ would only limit access to firearms by law abiding citizens.
Criminals ignore laws, and in fact, actively work to skirt them. That's what makes them criminals. And murder, by the way, is already frowned upon by the elites, except in cases of dropping bombs on Middle Eastern and African people, killing people slowly with vaccinations, or when carried out by government agents.
Banning body armor
If the gun grabbers truly want you to be safe from ‘gun violence,’ why would they seek to make unavailable to people one major source of protection: body armor? California Democrat Mike Honda (under an ethics cloud for improperly coordinating campaign duties) has once again introduced a bill to ban the public’s access to body armor.
Honda's bill (H.R.378) would prohibit the purchase, ownership or possession of enhanced body armor by anyone not in law enforcement.
If body armor is outlawed, only outlaws and law enforcement, which is often the same thing, will have it.
Didn't they ban guns?
Another gun-grabber lie is that mass shootings only happen in America, and that countries like Great Britain and Australia are immune from such atrocities because they confiscated guns. In fact, President Barack Obama said as much as he politicized the Umpqua Community College shooting before the corpses had even been removed from the classrooms. But look what happened in England on Oct. 10.
Four men were taken to hospital with bullet wounds to their legs after a shooting in Birmingham.
Police said they were called to the Costcutter shop in Great Hampton Row, north of the city centre, on Saturday.
Three men remain in hospital for treatment for their injuries, which are not thought to be life-threatening.
West Midlands Police refused to speculate on any motive for the attack. There were no arrests and no direct appeal for witnesses.
The FBI defines mass shootings as involving four or more victims.
And last year in Australia
Obama and the gun grabbers wouldn't lie to us about their motivations and justifications, would they?
Source: Bob Livingston, founder of Personal Liberty Digest
Come and take them
In the wake of last week's tragedy on the campus of Umpqua Community College, President Barack Obama
asked commanded Americans to “politicize a violent Muslim's attack on a crowd of innocent college students and teachers. Of course, asking Democrats to politicize tragedy is like asking Michael Moore if he wants another dough nut.
These are people who politicize everything. However, they did seem reluctant to politicize the fact that UCC murderer Chris Harper-Mercer appears to have been influenced by radical Islam. And they missed a chance to politicize the ludicrous parental failings of the killer's father, who blamed his son's actions on firearms: “How on Earth could he compile 13 guns? How could that happen?”
But the same president who trafficked guns to Mexican narcoterrorists ” and then lied about it to Congress ” thinks we should politicize the tragedy that befell Roseburg, Oregon. I certainly wouldn't doubt the expertise of a guy who literally put firearms in criminals’ hands.
The problem is it's as difficult to have a political discussion, especially about so-called “gun control,” with a liberal as it is to have any other discussion with a liberal. When it comes to firearms, they manage to compound nearly comprehensive ignorance with learning curves steeper than the Himalayas. In the days since a lunatic Muslim shot up UCC, I've encountered an impressive menu of outright nonsense proffered by the anti-Bill of Rights crowd as proof that “gun violence” is a “public health hazard.”
They actually believe that guns kill people. According to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, “More Americans have died from guns in the United States since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history.” I don't know where these vast herds of sinister and sentient guns roam, but the ones in my house are either lazy or defective. If I don't take them out of the safe, they just sit there.
The reality is that guns don't kill people. People kill people. The anti-Bill of Rights kids have been sneering dismissively at that point for years. What they have yet to do is refute it. It doesn't matter who's behind the gun. He's the one doing the shooting. Even in the exceptionally rare instances of accidental shootings, the gun never “just went off.”
They think gun shows are some sort of terrorist weapons bazaar. I've been to more gun shows than I can count. I've also purchased at least half the weapons I currently own at gun shows. The guys from whom I purchased them are pretty regular small-business owners. Many of the sellers own shops in their hometowns and supplement their incomes with show sales. Very few, if any, subsist solely on the money they make on the show circuit. And every single seller at every single table at every single show to which I've ever been required the same paperwork and the same background check that they would run in their store. While there are some weird cats around the edges of the arena at most shows, those guys are usually ATF agents trying to blend in; and even the real freaks are less menacing than the average “Occupy” thug.
By closing the so-called “gun show loophole,” not only would liberals not affect gun shows; they'd merely be making it impossible for my old man to give me his Rizzini 12 gage. (Note to Pop: Do it now, before Obama gets his paws on it! Y’know, if you were considering it.)
They're absolutely terrified of “automatic weapons” and “assault weapons.” Of course, they also think anything with a bayonet lug, pistol grip or “high-capacity clip” is an “automatic weapon.” My wife owns a Ruger 10/22. It's painted a color she and Rust-Oleum call “French lilac,” and I call “mortifying.” It's possibly the least intimidating firearm on the planet. It also would not have passed muster under the Clinton-era “assault weapons” ban.
Meanwhile, automatic weapons have been illegal since 1934. To be sure, it is possible to purchase a tax stamp and then wade into the fully automatic market. I'd love a chance to bring my own iron to someplace like Big Sandy, but I'm pretty sure I can't sell the wife on a gun worth more than the jewelry I'd have to not buy in order to afford the gun.
They think that laws restricting legal firearm ownership and carriage will somehow prevent so-called “gun violence.” Think about the logical gymnastics required to conclude that disarming you will make you safer from people who make a career out of flouting the law. Think about the logical gymnastics required to continue believing that even after nearly every mass shooting in the past few decades, including a few on military bases, took place in a so-called “gun-free zone.”
They think we should emulate more “civilized nations” gun control laws. Obama brought up England's and Australia's infamous gun grabs. He left out the fact that England's crime rate has skyrocketed since the government disarmed the people. And they have the added bonus of hosting a growing islamofascist population, which proved perfectly willing to use knives, machetes and even meat cleavers in their war on humanity” a fact brought bloodily to mind by the 2013 murder of British soldier Lee Rigby. The U.K. is also contending with a spike in so-called “knife violence.”
Meanwhile, armed Muslim terrorists have turned Australia into a playground, including last December's Sydney hostage crisis and last Friday's western Sydney attack. If that's not enough proof that emulating other countries misses the mark, consider our next-door neighbors. Mexico has far more stringent gun laws than the U.S. does. I'd like to see Obama politicize guns while standing in Ciudad Juarez. As for Europe: By law, nearly every household in Switzerland harbors a gun. Switzerland's murder rate is one of the 15 lowest on the planet.
They think they can get the guns. This is where the pin hits the primer, kids. The ultimate dream of every anti-Bill of Rights “activist” is confiscation. The number of privately owned firearms in the United States is somewhere between 270 million and 330 million. For all intents and purposes, there is a firearm for nearly every person in the country. The American civilian population is one of the most heavily armed forces on Earth. Many of those private owners are the same police officers, federal agents and service personnel who would be deployed against the civilian population in the Democrats’ gun-grab fantasy.
The Democrats are willing to risk the most destructive civil conflict in human history, one that would likely cost tens of millions of lives, just to save people from a danger that doesn't actually exist. OK, kids. You want them? Come and take them.
Source: Ben Crystal (Personal Liberty Digest)
Everytown Wants Schools Defenseless
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today accused Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun lobbying group, Everytown for Gun Safety, of working to keep schools vulnerable to violent attack, while also challenging the group's claim that there have been more than 140 school shootings since 2013.
Earlier this week, Everytown published a map of the United States, showing where it claims there have been 142 school shootings over the past two years. A list with very brief details of each incident accompanied the map.
The only thing this map proves, which Everytown ignores,” said CCRKBAA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “is that gun free school zones” do not work and are a magnet for violent and crazy people to commit atrocities in a target rich environment. It's more than a bit ironic that the very thing that Everytown is railing against is the one thing that will optimally protect students, teachers and faculty from a crazed and armed sociopath.”
But Gottlieb also suggested that this map might be open to question, based on a finding earlier this year by the Washington Post Fact Checker that “it is difficult to see how many of the incidents included in Everytown’s list ” such as suicide in a car parked on a campus or a student accidentally shooting himself when emptying his gun and putting it away in his car before school ” would be considered a school shooting” in the context of Sandy Hook.”
“The Washington Post in June gave this claim Four Pinocchios, which is tantamount to calling it a bald-faced lie,” Gottlieb said. “At that time, the newspaper was criticizing U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) for using the figure in a speech on June 24, but the numbers came from Everytown.”
“Whether the numbers are accurate or not,” he concluded, “the fact remains that Everytown is perpetuating a dangerous situation that leaves our schools, colleges and universities vulnerable to tragedy. Even if it saves just one life, the gun free school zones” concept must be abolished. The safety of our children depends on it.”
Source: Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms www.ccrkba.org
Washington Post contributor finds zero correlation” between state gun laws and murder rate
Washington Post contributor Eugene Volokh finds “zero” correlation between state-level gun laws and the death rate, including murders in which firearms have been used.
After looking at data on all manner of gun-related deaths and comparing that with the laws that attempt to affect access to firearms, Volokh found there’s simply no way to demonstrate that each state's varyingly stringent laws have any positive effect on rate at which people are murdered by gun-wielding bad guys.
Volokh does what so many lazy writers don't: He looks deeper into the data to see what it's really saying. Here he is explaining how he came up with the criteria for his refined survey:
[I]f we do look now at correlation, it seems to me that the key question should focus on state total homicide rates, or perhaps (for reasons I describe below) total intentional homicide plus accidental gun death rates. And it turns out that there is essentially zero correlation between these numbers and state gun laws.
To begin with, here's why I focus on total homicide, rather than gun homicide or all gun deaths. First, few people care much about whether they are stabbed to death or shot to death. And even if gun restrictions do decrease gun homicides, that effect may well be offset (or more than offset) by an increase in other homicides:
Some killers would kill with knives or other weapons instead of guns.
To the extent that today some attempted killings are stopped by defenders who have guns, those attempts might succeed if the guns become harder enough for defenders to get.
To the extent that today some potential killings (or attempted robberies, rapes, or burglaries that lead to killings) are deterred by attackers’ fear of running into a gun, it might be that fewer will be deterred if guns become harder enough for defenders to get.
If put together, these effects mean that tighter gun laws will mean 100 fewer gun homicides in a state but 100 more homicides with knives or other weapons, the net result would hardly be a gun law success.
Using 2012 data from the Department of Justice, he goes on to examine the homicide rate per 100,000 people and compares that with the pro-gun control Brady Campaign's state-by-state gun law “grades” (a high grade means a state has very restrictive gun laws).
What Volokh found was that states that scored high in the Brady Campaign's book didn't fare any better than their more gun-friendly counterparts.” All those states received F's for not doing enough to keep guns away from people.
“The correlation between the homicide rate and Brady score in all 51 jurisdictions is +.032 (on a scale of -1 to +1), which means that states with more gun restrictions on average have very slightly higher homicide rates, though the tendency is so small as to be essentially zero,” he explained.
You can view some charts and graphs that plot his findings here. There’s even an Excel spreadsheet for those who want to play with the data set.
“Figuring out the actual effect of government actions, whether gun laws, changed policing rules, drug laws, or anything else, is devilishly difficult,” he concludes.
“But since people have been talking about simple two-variable correlations between gun laws and crime, I thought it would be helpful to note this correlation” or, rather, absence of correlation.
Source: Washington Post contributor Eugene Volokh
Virginia Senator Kaine Introduces Bill to Turn Innocent Mistakes into Felonies
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) introduced what he is calling the “Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act.” As The Hill amusingly noted, “It is the latest gun bill introduced by Democrats that is unlikely to pass through a Republican-controlled Congress.” And with good reason. Sen. Kaine's current anti-gun effort is incomprehensible and unconstitutional. And that, unfortunately, is not a laughing matter.
Current law prohibits transferring a firearm to a person “knowing or having reasonable cause to believe” that the person falls into one of the federally prohibited categories. Appropriately, the prosecution has to prove the transferor knew or had reason to know of the recipient's prohibited status. The law, of course, does not presume that everyone who seeks to acquire a firearm has a criminal record or intends to use the firearm for a criminal purpose, nor does it require those who transfer firearms to make this presumption.
Under Sen. Kaine's bill, however, a person would be held strictly liable for transferring a firearm to a prohibited person, unless he or she could somehow demonstrate having “taken reasonable steps to determine that the recipient [was] not legally barred from possessing firearms or ammunition. “ Just what those steps are, however, is not specified in the bill. Thus, a person would be risking a federal felony with every firearm transfer, unless he or she adhered to an unwritten code of conduct that could shift with every circumstance.
Sen. Kaine is presumably aware that all dealers are already federally required to run background checks for retail sales. Nevertheless, according to The Hill, “Kaine blamed loose gun laws for allowing firearms dealers to sell guns to people who are prohibited from owning them.”
Apparently, then, Kaine contemplates some further duty to which gun dealers would be held accountable, even for customers who pass the mandatory background checks. But what is it? Is he suggesting, for example, that dealers profile their customers on the basis of race, age, sex, religion, appearance, or some other characteristic? Would the sales of certain types of firearms require more due diligence than others?
Similarly, the bill does not explicitly make background checks mandatory for all private sales, but conversely, even obtaining a background check before such a transfer might not be enough, at least in some cases. Gaps in the background check system itself could be the bases for criminal liability under the bill, should the transferor rely on a faulty “proceed,” rather than on some unknown cue an anti-gun official later determined should have been discernible.
Ultimately, the bill seems designed to do nothing so much as to scare people from transferring firearms to anybody with whom they are not very closely associated. Hidden facts about long-term neighbors“ a long ago commitment for an eating disorder, for example“ could spell the difference between an innocent act and a federal felony. Importantly, the penalty would attach, whether or not the recipient of the firearm ever did anything harmful or illegal with it.
Of course, nothing in the bill would discourage criminals from transferring firearms to each other, as they routinely do already in complete defiance of existing law. Indeed, we recently reported on a study out of Chicago that found persons in jail who had illegally possessed a firearm most often said they obtained it from trusted family members or associates. They weren't willing to risk law enforcement stings by obtaining guns from people they didn't know. Nothing about Sen. Kaine's bill would change any of that.
As The Hill notes, the bill is likely to go nowhere in the current Congress. Even if it did, it would fail the constitutional requirement that the law adequately apprise the public of what sort of actions are prohibited.
Yet Sen. Kaine's effort well illustrates the increasingly radicalized gun control lobby, to which ”niceties” like constitutionality and fundamental fairness are irrelevant. Sen. Kaine simply wants to identify himself as being in league with the president and high dollar political donors on gun control. On that point, at least, we're happy to help him spread the message.
Sunday Hunting Legislation Introduced to Legislature
Thanks to you, “Sunday Hunting” legislation, House Bill 1374, has been officially introduced this week and will be making its way through the General Assembly. As introduced, HB 1374 would give discretion to the Pennsylvania Game Commission to implement Sunday hunting relative to seasons and bag limits in the Keystone state. Just as they are trusted to make science-based decisions Monday through Saturday, the management of hunting seasons, harvest limits and times on Sundays should rest with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the wildlife experts who advise it.
The prohibition on Sunday hunting is an old blue law left on the books in just a handful of states. Although Pennsylvania allows some private landowners to hunt and some varmint hunting on Sundays, a large sector of the hunting population and the benefits they bring to the economy are being ignored. This prohibition denies hunters access one day per week despite the fact that each year, hunters provide millions of dollars to habitat restoration and conservation through Pittman-Robertson funds and are primarily responsible for healthy ecosystems throughout Pennsylvania.
Furthermore, current law gives a select group of private landowners, whose property is enrolled as a noncommercial regulated hunting ground, the privilege to hunt on Sundays. This law amounts to tens of thousands of acres being hunted on Sundays by landowners who can afford to own and enroll their 100+ acre plots as a noncommercial regulated hunting ground. This exemption, which became law more than a decade ago, only allows those who own large tracts of land the pleasure of hunting on Sundays, while continuing to deny the majority of Pennsylvania hunters the same freedom.
Many hunters are prohibited from introducing their children or friends to hunting because they are competing with organized sports and other activities on Saturday, which is currently their only opportunity to hunt outside of the work week. Countless hunters stop hunting because of the lack of opportunity, time restrictions and accessible land. The addition of an extra day in the field, especially on the weekend, increases the opportunity for those individuals to experience hunting. Allowing hunting on Sundays would undoubtedly invigorate essential hunter recruitment and retention efforts -- key factors in preserving Pennsylvania`s hunting heritage for future generations to come.
Please continue to contact your state Representative and politely urge him or her to support this important legislation.
Source: NRA - ILA
Houston Zoo forced to take down its ‘No Guns’ signs
A privately owned zoo in Houston recently found out it could not violate its patrons’ civil rights by requiring them to leave their weapons behind, after the city notified the zoo its ‘No Guns’ signs would have to come down.
On Sept. 10, the city informed the zoo it could not require permitted firearms owners to forego their right to bear arms because the zoo sits on city-owned land. Instead of forcing the issue and waging a legal battle, the zoo quickly complied.
“Effective immediately, the Houston Zoo will not ask anyone who is lawfully permitted to carry a concealed legal hand-gun to stow their weapon in their vehicle while visiting the zoo,” the administration said in a statement quoted by KHOU News. “We do recognize that this has the potential to confuse or concern our guests and members and we want to emphasize that this will not alter our number-one priority, which is the safety of our guests, employees and animals.”
The issue arose, according to KHOU, after “a local gun rights attorney pointed out the zoo sits on city-owned land. Being on public land means the zoo cannot ban guns on the property.”
While some visitors interviewed by the station groused about guns being dangerous around children, at least one zoo guest praised the decision.
“If you have the right to carry, you should be able to carry,” visitor Chrissy Richey said. “That’s my opinion. Everyone should be safe.”
Source: Personal Liberty News
by Personal Liberty News Desk
SAF To Pete Holmes: "Tax Pot Sales Like You Want To Tax Firearms"
Responding to statements made by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes Thursday to KING 5 News that the so-called “gun violence tax” is “not too drastic,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, “ which is suing the city over the tax,“ suggested that Holmes should apply that same principle to legalized marijuana sales in the city.
SAF, along with the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, filed suit last month against the new tax, asserting that it violates the state firearms preemption law.
Gottlieb recalled that Holmes was among the first in line at a Seattle pot shop in July 2014 to purchase a couple of two-gram bags of weed, one of which he said he was keeping for posterity, and one for personal enjoyment at some point when it's appropriate.
“For Holmes to brush off this new gun and ammunition tax as no big deal suggests he`s been smoking some of that weed already,” Gottlieb quipped. “A person would have to be stoned to believe that a tax, no matter how large or small, doesn't affect somebody.
“But,” he continued, “if thats the way economics works in Pete's alternate universe, then he should support a tax of $25 on the sale of every ounce of marijuana, and a five-cent tax on every joint. Think of the money that could be raised for drug treatment and gang violence prevention programs. It would force drug gangs and pot smokers to pay for those efforts.”
Last year, Holmes had to publicly apologize for bringing his newly-purchased bags of pot back to his office. Gottlieb thinks he should now apologize to Seattle firearms retailers for putting them at an unfair disadvantage with competing stores outside the city by driving away customers.
“I'll reiterate what I told KING News Thursday,” Gottlieb said. “If Seattle officials really think that criminals are going to buy their guns at gun stores and pay a tax, they're crazy, or maybe they've just been smoking a few too many doobies.”
Source: The Second Amendment Foundation
Seattle Getting Sued Over Gun And Ammo Tax
When it comes to BS gun laws, King County, Washington, is clearly vying for the throne.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, joined forces with the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, Seattle-based retailers and gun owners in filing a lawsuit today in King County Superior Court challenging the City of Seattle's recently approved sales tax of $25 on each firearm sold and five cents for each round of ammunition (two cents for .22 caliber).
NSSF and other pro-gun groups fought the city ordinance, labeled a “gun violence tax,” but the City Council nevertheless approved the measure on Aug. 10, 2015, and Mayor Ed Murray signed it last week.
"NSSF has no alternative but to be an active party in this lawsuit against the City of Seattle's attempt to interfere in the lawful commerce in firearms and ammunition on the grounds that it violates Washington States preemption statute that blocks cities from regulating the sale of firearms on their own" said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “The Seattle ordinance is nothing but a poll tax” on the Second Amendment and an effort to drive Seattle's firearms retailers out of business.”
NSSF says the law is misguided because criminals do not purchase guns through legal means, and that the tax will generate far less revenue than projected because customers will simply go outside the city to make their purchases and Seattle's licensed firearms retailers will be forced to move their businesses or simply be forced out of business.
“Once again, anti-gun activists in Seattle have chosen to violate the Washington State Constitution and trample upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” said Chris Cox, executive director of NRA`s Institute for Legislative Action. “They tried to enact similar regulations back in 2009 and lost. It's a shame to see such a waste of public resources on issues the courts have already ruled to be unconstitutional.”
“We've been down this path before with Seattle when we sued them and won, knocking out their attempt to ban guns in city park facilities,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “The city does not seem to understand that no matter how they wrap this package, it's still a gun control law and it violates Washington's long-standing preemption statute.”
Source: The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)
Obama Administration Opposes CMP Handgun Sales
The House of Representatives has approved Congressman Mike D. Rogers’ amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which, if accepted in the Senate, could make it possible for Americans who meet stringent requirements to purchase a military surplus handgun from the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
As NRA High Power and CMP Service Rifle competitors know, the CMP is authorized under federal law to sell surplus rifles and ammunition to U.S. citizens of age, who belong to shooting clubs affiliated with the program, after passing a background check, and satisfying all federal and state laws. Representative Rogers’ amendment would simply extend the authorization to include other firearms. For example, allowing the Army to provide the program with 100,000 M1911 .45 caliber pistols. This would benefit the Army, the CMP and taxpayers alike.
Of course, there’s a hitch, because if there’s one thing that gun control supporters dislike more than semi-automatic rifles like the M-1s the CMP sells, its handguns!
On Monday, the Huffington Post approvingly reported that the Obama administration opposes Representative Rogers’ amendment, claiming that the CMP would sell the .45s over the ‘Internet’ or by ‘mail-order,’ without background checks. But the Obama administration isn't telling the truth. Federal law requires the CMP to conduct background checks and to comply with federal and state laws governing firearm sales.
The administration is apparently also claiming that .45s sold by the CMP would be 'untraceable' But this, too, is false. All military firearms have serial numbers, and the CMP keeps records on every firearm it sells.
Finally, Team Obama also says that if Congress wanted the CMP to sell handguns, it should have said so in 1996, when it established the program in its current configuration. But this is Obama’s most frivolous objection of all. As he knows, but doesn't care, Article I of the Constitution vests all legislative powers in the hands of Congress and Congress alone. That means if Congress now wants the CMP to be able to sell handguns, like it did decades ago, when the program was known as the DCM, Congress has the power to say so.
One final irony is that if any handgun would pass muster with the White House and like minded anti-gunners, seemingly the M1911 would be it. After all, it was issued with a single-stack, seven-round magazine, a capacity even New York was willing to tolerate with the original version of the execrable SAFE Act. This just demonstrates what we’ve said all along, which is that despite their insistence to the contrary, these folks just don't like guns or the fact that guns are commercially available under any circumstances.
Like Congress, we too have power. The grassroots power to call or email our U.S. senators, to ask them to support the inclusion of the Rogers amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act. The power to experience the satisfaction of owning a piece of history, when those .45s become available. The power to encourage the Army to transfer the handguns according to Congress’s intent. And the power, on Election Day 2016, to make sure the next president is someone with whom endless arguments related to gun ownership and the limits the Constitution places upon presidential power will not be necessary.
Stop Obama's Planned Gag Order on Firearm-Related Speech
It's happening again, President Obama is using his imperial pen and telephone to curb your rights and bypass Congress through executive action.
Even as news reports have been highlighting the gun control provisions of the Administration's "Unified Agenda" of regulatory objectives (see accompanying story), the Obama State Department has been quietly moving ahead with a proposal that could censor online speech related to firearms. This latest regulatory assault, published in the June 3 issue of the Federal Register, is as much an affront to the First Amendment as it is to the Second. Your action is urgently needed to ensure that online blogs, videos, and web forums devoted to the technical aspects of firearms and ammunition do not become subject to prior review by State Department bureaucrats before they can be published.
To understand the proposal and why it's so serious, some background information is necessary.
For the past several years, the Administration has been pursuing a large-scale overhaul of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which implement the federal Arms Export Control Act (AECA). The Act regulates the movement of so-called "defense articles" and "defense services" in and out of the United States. These articles and services are enumerated in a multi-part "U.S. Munitions List," which covers everything from firearms and ammunition (and related accessories) to strategic bombers. The transnational movement of any defense article or service on the Munitions List presumptively requires a license from the State Department. Producers of such articles and services, moreover, must register with the U.S. Government and pay a hefty fee for doing so.
Also regulated under ITAR are so-called "technical data" about defense articles. These include, among other things, "detailed design, development, production or manufacturing information" about firearms or ammunition. Specific examples of technical data are blueprints, drawings, photographs, plans, instructions or documentation.
In their current form, the ITAR do not (as a rule) regulate technical data that are in what the regulations call the "public domain." Essentially, this means data "which is published and which is generally accessible or available to the public" through a variety of specified means. These include "at libraries open to the public or from which the public can obtain documents." Many have read this provision to include material that is posted on publicly available websites, since most public libraries these days make Internet access available to their patrons.
The ITAR, however, were originally promulgated in the days before the Internet. Some State Department officials now insist that anything published online in a generally-accessible location has essentially been "exported," as it would be accessible to foreign nationals both in the U.S. and overseas.
With the new proposal published on June 3, the State Department claims to be "clarifying" the rules concerning "technical data" posted online or otherwise "released" into the "public domain." To the contrary, however, the proposal would institute a massive new prior restraint on free speech. This is because all such releases would require the "authorization" of the government before they occurred. The cumbersome and time-consuming process of obtaining such authorizations, moreover, would make online communication about certain technical aspects of firearms and ammunition essentially impossible.
Penalties for violations are severe and for each violation could include up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Civil penalties can also be assessed. Each unauthorized "export," including to subsequent countries or foreign nationals, is also treated as a separate violation.
Gunsmiths, manufacturers, reloaders, and do-it-yourselfers could all find themselves muzzled under the rule and unable to distribute or obtain the information they rely on to conduct these activities. Prior restraints of the sort contemplated by this regulation are among the most disfavored regulations of speech under First Amendment case law.
But then, when did the U.S. Constitution ever deter Barack Obama from using whatever means are at his disposal to exert his will over the American people and suppress firearm ownership throughout the nation?
Time is of the essence! Public comment will be accepted on the proposed gag order until August 3, 2015. Comments may be submitted online at regulations.gov or via e-mail at DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line, ITAR Amendment`s Revisions to Definitions; Data Transmission and Storage.''
Finally, please contact your U.S. Senators and Member of Congress. Urge them to oppose the State Department's attempt to censor online speech concerning the technical aspects of firearms and ammunition. Use the "Write Your Lawmakers" feature on our website or call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.
New Study: More Carry Permits = Less Crime
A new study by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) finds that the number of people with concealed firearm carry permits has reached an all-time high, and that increasing the number of permit-holders is associated with a decrease in murder and total violent crime.
The study notes that the number of carry permit-holders has increased most sharply during the Obama administration, from 4.6 million in 2007 to over 12.8 million currently. Furthermore, coinciding with Pew Research Center polling finding that support for gun ownership and opposition to gun control is increasing among young people, minorities and women, the CPRC study found that carry permits are increasing more among minorities than among whites, and more among women than among men. Both sets of findings contradict gun control supporters` claim that gun ownership is confined to elderly white males.
Gun control supporters continue to pretend that permit-holders commit crimes at a high rate, but the CPRC study concludes that permit-holders are “extremely law-abiding convicted of crimes at a lower rate than even law enforcement officers in some states.
This represents a 25% drop in the murder rate at the same time that the percentage of the adult population with permits soared by 156%.
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Overall, the study notes, between 2007 and 2014, as permit numbers have increased, “murder rates have fallen from 5.6 to 4.2 (preliminary estimates) per 100,000. This represents a 25% drop in the murder rate at the same time that the percentage of the adult population with permits soared by 156%. Overall violent crime also fell by 25 percent over that period of time.”
In sum, the CPRC study validates what supporters of modern firearm carry laws have been saying ever since past NRA President Marion P. Hammer got the Right-to-Carry ball rolling with Florida's adoption of a ’shall-issue carry permit law in 1987. Detractors in Florida and in states that adopted similar laws thereafter uniformly predicted dire consequences if people were allowed to carry firearms for protection, but those predictions have not come to pass. Americans who carry guns for protection have earned the trust of their countrymen, and that trust has become the foundation upon which further legal recognition of defensive firearm rights will continue to be achieved.
Data Shows Obama Still Best Gun Salesman In The US,
Last month set a new record for the number of background checks ever conducted during the month of June in the 17-year history of the National Instant Check System, prompting the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to declare that, for the seventh year in a row, Barack Obama is the best gun salesman in the United States.
“It's a dubious honor for the president, I'm sure,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb chuckled. “After all, Barack Obama has been advocating all forms of gun control since before he was elected back in 2008, and the only thing that has really ever accomplished is to push gun sales higher.”
Gottlieb cited data released Monday by the National Shooting Sports Foundation that said the NSSF-adjusted National Instant Check System (NICS) figure of 886,825 checks was the highest on record for the month of June since the system was inaugurated. It is up considerably over June 2014, when there were 805,571 NICS checks, according to the NSSF-adjusted data. This year's second quarter figure was also the second highest in the system's history, at 2,793,230 checks.
“Barack Obama is a heck of a gun salesman,” Gottlieb observed. “All he has to do is complain in an interview about his disappointment at not being able to push more gun control, and sales spike.”
“On the plus side,” he added, “this has brought more than $808 million into the federal aid to wildlife restoration program this year, according to figures from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. And it has brought many new people into the ranks of shooters and gun owners, including lots more women.”
“Under the Obama administration" Gottlieb concluded, “the one industry that seems to have flourished throughout has been the firearms industry. His policies and pronouncements have resulted in higher gun and ammunition sales, more new gun owners, more jobs at retail gun shops and sporting good stores, and increased membership and support for gun rights organizations. Just keep talking, Mr. President. it's good for the Second Amendment."
Source: Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms www.ccrkba.org
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Source: Centers For Disease Control And Prevention
SAF Lauds Puerto Rico Court Victory For Gun Rights
A surprising victory for gun rights in Puerto Rico has eliminated the firearms registry and licensing requirements to purchase and carry in the Commonwealth, the Second Amendment Foundation has confirmed.
As of now, according to Sandra Barreras with Ladies of the Second Amendment (LSA), the group that brought the lawsuit, “there is no regulation to purchase or carry (and) all purchases will be handled in accordance with federal firearms regulations.” LSA is affiliated with SAF through the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR).
The class-action lawsuit challenged various articles in Puerto Rico`s gun law, which the court declared unconstitutional. Because of the ruling, Barreras said, Puerto Ricans may now carry openly or concealed without a permit, and they do not need to obtain a permit before purchasing a firearm.
This was a class action lawsuit involving more than 850 individual plaintiffs, she reported to SAF offices. The news was greeted with delight, especially because in reaching its decision, the court cited the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases, and the recent ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia. Both the McDonald and Palmer cases were won by SAF.
“Cumbersome firearms regulations have never prevented criminals from getting their hands on guns,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “They have only inconvenienced law-abiding citizens, or deprived them outright from exercising their rights under the Second Amendment.”
Gottlieb said the lawsuit was brought in a Puerto Rican Commonwealth court, rather than a federal court. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and thus is subject to federal court jurisdiction.
“This case turned out better than anyone had really anticipated,” he commented. “We`re very pleased to have played an advisory role in this case, and if there is a government appeal, we`ll definitely be there with whatever support we can provide to our good friends in Puerto Rico.”
Source: The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org)
Hunting Violation? Think Twice Before Pleading Guilty
Hunting license revocation season is upon us. I've been contacted by a number of individuals in the last several weeks regarding letters they've received from the Pennsylvania Game Commission stating that their hunting licenses have been revoked for the two years or more.
As I've stated in the past and continue to maintain, when you are cited for a hunting violation, DO NOT plead guilty immediately. Seek out the advice of legal counsel. Many individuals are under the impression that by simply pleading guilty they will only be responsible for the fine that is attached. Often times, the officer issuing the citation even leads the person to believe that.
Unfortunately, more often than not, an individual will plead guilty, pay the fine and then receive a revocation letter in the mail. These letters are usually sent several months later and by then it is too late to attempt to reopen the guilty plea. As a result, the only option is to request a hearing in front of the Game Commission.
These hearings are conducted in front of a Game Commission Hearing Officer. The Game Commission's case is presented by the Game Commission Officer. The individual is allowed to cross examine the officer and then present evidence and testimony of their own. The problem for the individual is they've already plead guilty to the citation, so there is no disputing they are guilty. The hearing only allows for the individual to present a case as to mitigating or extenuating circumstances for which the Game Commission may take into consideration in reviewing its decision to revoke.
The hearing officer makes a recommendation to the Game Commission itself and the Game Commission issues a final determination. The Game Commission is under no obligation to accept the hearing officer's recommendation.
What does this mean for you? Several things. First, remember your constitutional right to remain silent. As I previously blogged, the Wildlife Conservation Officers are now able to utilize recording devices in the field. Second, do not make statements without legal counsel present. That includes appearing at a Game Commission office to answer questions in circumstances where you did nothing wrong! Third, if you receive a citation, contact a lawyer immediately. There is an opportunity to fight the citation at the Magisterial District Court level and deal with the issue quickly. Fourth, if you have received a letter stating your license was revoked, contact a lawyer to represent you at the hearing you are entitled to at the Game Commission.
Source: by Adam Kraut, Esq.
SAF Wins Preliminary Injunction In Challenge To New DC Gun Law
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today won a preliminary injunction against the District of Columbia and Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s enforcement of a requirement to provide a ‘good reason’ when applying for a concealed carry permit.
Judge Frederick J. Scullin ordered that the city is ‘enjoined from denying handgun carry licenses to applicants who meet the requirements of D.C. Code 22-4506(a) and all other current requirements for the possession and carrying of handguns under District of Columbia law.’
Judge Scullin further wrote in his 23-page opinion that the District's ‘good reason/proper reason requirement” has far more than a de minimis” effect on [their] rights it completely bars the right from being exercised, at all times and places and in any manner, without exception and that the requirement impinges on Plaintiff's Second Amendment right to bear arms.”
“This is a devastating loss for the District and its anti-gun-rights policy,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We're delighted with the judge's ruling, because once again, the court has thwarted the District's blatantly obvious effort to discourage the exercise of Second Amendment rights by forcing permit applicants to jump through a series of hoops and then frustrate them by requiring an arbitrary good reason” for the exercise of a constitutionally-protected civil right.”
Gottlieb said that the court ruling essentially says the ‘good reason’ requirement does not pass the smell test.
“It stinks, and always did stink, and now everybody knows it,” Gottlieb said.
The order also says that attorneys for both sides shall appear for a conference with the court on July 7, to "discuss an expedited schedule for the resolution of this case.
“You can't ask for more than that,” Gottlieb said. He noted that this is the second time in a row the District has lost on a carry issue in a case involving SAF.
“This is getting to be rather tiring,” he said. “To quote the renowned American folk trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, ‘when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?’”
Source: The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org)
Latest Status of Pending National Right-to-Carry Legislation
Thanks to your continued calls and emails, NRA supported National Right-to-Carry bills have seen increases in co sponsorships over the last couple of weeks. Please continue to contact your elected officials and urge them to cosponsor and support these important bills:
S. 498 Introduced by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), this legislation would respect the rights of individuals who possess concealed carry permits from their home state, or who are not prohibited from carrying concealed in their home state, to exercise those rights in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. This bill currently has 23 cosponsors. Please contact your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121, and ask them to cosponsor and support S. 498.
H.R. 923 Introduced by U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), this legislation is the House companion bill to S. 498. The legislation would also respect the rights of individuals who possess concealed carry permits from their home state, or who are not prohibited from carrying concealed in their home state, to exercise those rights in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. This bill currently has 17 cosponsors. Please contact your U.S. Representative at (202) 224-3121 and ask him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 923.
H.R. 986 Introduced by U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), this bill would allow any person with a valid carry permit or license issued by a state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. This bill would also provide legal protection for law-abiding concealed carry permit holders against states that violate the intent of this bill. This bill currently has 114 cosponsors. Please contact your U.S. Representative at (202) 224-3121 and ask him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 986.
H.R. 402 Introduced by U.S. Representative Rich Nugent (R-Fla.), this bill would allow any person with a valid carry permit or license issued by a state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. The bill currently has 81 cosponsors. Please contact your U.S. Representative at (202) 224-3121 and ask him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 402.
NRA would like to thank the sponsors and cosponsors of these critically important bills. Again, we ask that you contact your lawmakers today and ask them to cosponsor and support these bills.
You can contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative by phone at (202) 224-3121 or click here to write your lawmakers today.
Source: NRA / ILA
Arizona Navy Vet Gets Guns Back, Thanks SAF
A retired Navy veteran in Arizona whose gun collection had been seized by Glendale police now has his firearms back, the Second Amendment Foundation revealed today.
SAF had intervened in the case of Glendale resident Rick Bailey early last month, taking on funding of the case and working with Chandler, Ariz., attorney Marc J. Victor. Bailey's case had fired up Second Amendment activists across the country after police confiscated 28 firearms valued at more than $25,000, which Bailey had collected over more than a decade.
Bailey was generous in his praise of SAF’s intervention, noting, “I want to thank Alan Gottlieb and the Second Amendment Foundation for all the help in getting my firearms returned.”
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb said he was honored to have been able to step in with support for what he called a “worthy effort on behalf of a deserving veteran.”
Bailey had complained to the City of Glendale about a neighbor's habit of parking dump trucks used in his landscaping company. The dispute unfolded over several months until Bailey called police over concerns of toxic chemical odors apparently coming from the neighbor's property. The neighbor apparently alleged that Bailey had threatened him, and the following day, he obtained a harassment order against Bailey.
“Mr. Bailey had been devastated by incident Gottlieb explained. “This all started because of a dispute with a neighbor that got way out of hand. Nobody should have their life turned upside down, and their property seized, because of an allegation that should have been thoroughly investigated.”
“I want to credit attorney Marc Victor for his work in this legal action,” he added. “He was on top of this case, and SAF was delighted to help out with funding.”
“Now that Rick Bailey has his firearms back,” Gottlieb observed, “perhaps his dignity can also be restored. This kind of silly season story should never happen in real life.”
Source: The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org)
SAF Sues Feds Over Censorship Of 3-D Firearms Printing Information
The Second Amendment Foundation joined Defense Distributed of Austin, Texas, in filing a federal lawsuit against Secretary of State John Kerry, the Department of State and other federal officials, seeking to stop the Government's unconstitutional censorship of information related to the three-dimensional printing of arms.
The Government's restraint against the publication of this critical information, under the guise of controlling arms exports, violates the First Amendment right to free speech, the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and the Fifth Amendment right to due process, the lawsuit alleges.
SAF and Defense Distributed seek to publish 3-D printing information at no cost to the public. Constitutional attorney Alan Gura of Gura & Possessky leads the litigation team, which also includes William “Tommy” Jacks, Bill Mateja, and David Morris of Fish & Richardson; export control counsel Matthew Goldstein, and constitutional law Professor Josh Blackman.
“Americans have always been free to exchange information about firearms and manufacture their own arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We also have an expectation that any speech regulations be spelled out clearly, and that individuals be provided basic procedural protections if their government claims a power to silence them.”
The lawsuit asserts the defendants are unlawfully applying International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to prevent the plaintiffs from exercising in free speech on the Internet and other forums. ITAR “requires advance government authorization to export technical data,” the complaint asserts. There are criminal and civil penalties for violations, ranging up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million per violation.
Defense Distributed generated technical information on various gun-related items, which it published on the Internet. But it removed all the files from its servers upon being warned that it “may have released ITAR-controlled technical data without the required prior authorization from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), a violation of the ITAR.” In June 2013, Defense Distributed submitted various published files to DDTC for review of a machine called the “Ghost Gunner.” In April, DDTC said the machine does not fall under ITAR, but that software and files are subject to State Department jurisdiction.
“Defense Distributed appears to be caught in what seems to be a bureaucratic game of merry-go-round,” Gottlieb said. “The right to keep and bear arms includes the ability to acquire or create arms. The government is engaging in behavior that denies the company due process under the Fifth Amendment. We're compelled to file this action because the bureaucracy is evidently playing games and it's time for these agencies to behave.”
Source: The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org)
Arrest Of School Shooter's Dad Shows Fatal Flaw Of Gun Control Measure, Says CCRKBA
The arrest of Raymond Lee Fryberg, father of Marysville Pilchuck gunman Jaylen Fryberg, on charges of illegally purchasing the pistol used in that shooting demonstrates the fatal flaw of so-called “universal background check” legislation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.
“Apparently,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “a permanent protection order issued against Fryberg back in 2002 never made it into the National Instant Check System (NICS). Penalizing all law-abiding gun owners because a system is flawed does not prevent crime from happening, nor does it keep the wrong people from getting their hands on guns.”
The government alleges that not only did the elder Fryberg provide false information on the Federal Form 4473 when he bought the Beretta pistol his son used in the October shooting, he also allegedly bought four other firearms at various times. It is not known why information about the protection order did not appear in the NICS system, but Fryberg’s status as a disqualified person apparently never showed up during NICS checks. But he apparently knew the protection order was still in effect months before he bought the handgun, and so did the tribal court.
“Instead of spending millions of dollars on initiative campaigns aimed at back-door gun registration,” Gottlieb observed, “Michael Bloomberg and other wealthy anti-gun elitists could better spend their money lobbying Congress to either fix the NICS system or scrap it altogether”. Indeed, if billionaire gun prohibitionists really wanted to do something useful with their money, they could donate it to the government to pay for the fixes, including better data entry.
“We won’t forget,” he added, “that Nick Hanauer, the chief proponent of Initiative 594 last year, sarcastically joked on social media after the Marysville Pilchuck tragedy that we need more school shootings”. It was a despicable attempt to exploit the shooting, and it is now painfully clear that the measure he and his elitist friends sold the public would not have prevented what happened.
“Buying elections to pass unenforceable laws that don’t prevent crimes creates a false sense of security that is dishonest to its core,” Gottlieb concluded.
Source: Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms www.ccrkba.org
HUNTER-TRAPPER EDUCATION CLASSES AVAILABLE NOW
New hunters can beat the rush, get a license in time for gobbler season by taking a course this spring.
Those who plan to purchase their first hunting license this year will need to make plans to attend a Hunter-Trapper Education course, and classes are being held at locations across the state, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Springtime is a great time to complete the course.
Because the fall hunting seasons “ and the corresponding rush for new hunters to become certified “ still are months away, it can be easier to find a class now compared to later in the year.
Plus, those who complete the class now, still will have time to buy a license and hunt in the upcoming spring gobbler season, and will be able to apply for a 2015-16 antlerless deer license before they sell out.
To register for a course in your area, visit GoHuntPA.org and click on the” Learn to Hunt” link, or go to the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), and click on “Hunter Education Classes” icon in the center of the homepage. From here, you can elect to take the basic “Hunter-Trapper Education” course, which is typically a six-hour course held over one or two days.
Persons 16 years of age or older also may elect to take the new fully online Hunter-Trapper Education course, which also takes about six hours to complete. Those who are certified through the online course must pay a $19.50 fee upon completion.
Andy Hueser, a hunter-education specialist with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said most students continue to prefer the classroom-taught courses. And those who are looking for a course should keep in mind that the courses are added to the schedule regularly throughout the year, so it's a good idea to check back frequently, particularly if there's not a course open in your area at the present time, Hueser said.
“Please know, though, that some areas have a limited number of classes, and the dates and times when they are scheduled might not be convenient for you,” Hueser said “Still, our dedicated team of instructors amazingly offers more than 900 classes each year, and the new online option has the potential to conveniently fit into anybody’s schedule.”
More than 41,000 individuals took Hunter-Trapper Education courses throughout the state last year. There is no fee for the basic, classroom-taught course. Pre-registration is required and online registration is available for all courses through the Class Calendar.
Prior to arriving at their class, students are asked to review four chapters of their student manual, which is available online when you register. Participants must attend all instruction before taking a test at the end of the course. Youngsters must be at least 11 years old to receive certification.
Successful completion of a basic Pennsylvania Hunter-Trapper Education class, or another state's equivalent course, is required by state law to obtain a first-time hunting or furtaker license, regardless of age.
In addition, registrations are being accepted for other educational programs offered by the Game Commission, including Successful Turkey Hunting, Successful Bowhunting, Successful Furtaking and Cable Restraint Certification.
The Successful Turkey Hunting course is designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed to hunt safely and confidently in both spring and fall seasons. Veterans will learn methods and techniques that will help them become better hunters. Students will receive a 140-page student guide and a diaphragm turkey call as part of the program. Classes started this spring and continue through the summer and early fall. A $15 fee is being charged to offset costs.
The Successful Bowhunting course is a one-day voluntary training program for those seeking to expand their skills and knowledge of bowhunting. Although Pennsylvania doesn't require archers to complete a bowhunting education course before they purchase an archery license, certification for this course is required to bowhunt in some other states. There is a $20 course fee, which covers the cost of the online study course required before attending the class.
Successful Furtaking is a one-day training program that provides extensive hands-on training to new and experienced furtakers. The course promotes Best Management Practices and is designed for any person seeking to learn more about furtaking and to improve his or her skills and success. The course includes the cable-restraint certification that is required to participate in Pennsylvania's cable-restraint season for foxes and coyotes. This course also fulfills the requirement that all first-time furtaker license buyers pass either a basic trapper education course or basic Pennsylvania HTE course. A $15 course fee is charged.
The Cable Restraint Certification course is required for those trappers seeking to participate in Pennsylvania's annual trapping season in which cable restraints are used to capture coyotes and foxes. The course fee is $15, and students will get to keep various education materials and one legal cable restraint provided as part of the course.
Source: Pennsylvania Game Commission
SAF Takes Case Of Arizona Navy Vet Whose Guns Were Seized
The Second Amendment Foundation announced that it has taken on funding the case of a retired Glendale, Arizona Navy veteran whose gun collection was seized by authorities because of an on-going dispute with a neighbor who obtained a protection order.
The case of 56-year-old Rick Bailey has made headlines in the Southwest and across the Internet. Bailey had complained to the City of Glendale about the neighbor's habit of parking dump trucks used in his landscaping company. The dispute unfolded over several months until Bailey called police over concerns of toxic chemical odors apparently coming from the neighbor's property. The neighbor apparently alleged that Bailey had threatened him, and the following day, he obtained a harassment order against Bailey. Police showed up and took Bailey's gun collection, and he wants his property back.
SAF is working with Chandler, Arizona attorney Mark J. Victor to secure the return of Bailey's firearms and help solve his predicament. Bailey's collection of 28 firearms has an estimated value of more than $25,000 and took more than a decade for him to collect.
“Mr. Bailey is devastated by this situation,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “We seem to live in an environment when someone's life can be turned upside down on an allegation that should have been thoroughly investigated before any action was ordered by a court.”
“Sadly,” he continued, “this kind of hideous gun confiscation flies below the radar and it is happening more frequently to gun owners across the country.”
“Bailey had to retire from his job due to a disability from a back injury that also resulted in his medical discharge from the Navy after four years of service,” he noted. “He couldn't physically harm anybody.”
“This situation appears to have gotten out of control,” Gottlieb observed. “A generation ago, neighbors solved this kind of dispute over a cup of coffee or a Sunday barbecue. We're helping Bailey in his appeal of the judge's order so he can not only reclaim his valuable firearms, but also some of his dignity as well.”
Source: The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org )
NRA Scores Important Victory for American Hunters and Sport Shooters
This week, the NRA claimed victory for beating back an Obama administration policy that would have essentially stopped American hunters and sport shooters from traveling internationally with their personal firearms and ammunition. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on Thursday that it is returning to its previous system of facilitating the international transport of personal firearms and ammunition, after meeting with representatives from the NRA, firearms industry and sportsmen’s groups, and key members of Congress.
"We are pleased that we have been able to reverse a bureaucratic nightmare that would have jeopardized the freedoms of law-abiding gun owners," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. "On behalf of our five million members, I want to thank Senator John Hoeven and Representatives John Carter and Chris Stewart for their work to protect American hunters and sport shooters from a web of bureaucratic red-tape when traveling outside the United States."
CBP recently began enforcing regulatory changes requiring Americans travelling abroad to comply with commercial export requirements when transporting firearms and ammunition outside the U.S. for personal use. Under these requirements, in order to take personal firearms and ammunition to another country on a temporary visit, the individual would have to register the firearm in the Automated Export System (AES), after completing a 30 question test with 34 pages of user instructions, and provide their transaction number to CBP.
As the AES is designed for commercial exporters, it requires all users to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS in order to access the system. According to the IRS, however, EINs are issued for business purposes, and applicants have to specify a business reason for obtaining one. This left American hunters and sport shooters with no recourse. In today's announcement, CBP affirmed that it will allow international hunters to use the same paper system they have used for years, while it works with the Department of State on automating that system in the future.
This is the second high-profile defeat of a proposed Obama administration anti-gun regulation in recent months. Earlier this year, the NRA led the effort to defeat an attempt by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives to ban commonly used rifle ammunition.
"It is clear that in the final years of his presidency, President Obama will stop at nothing to push his gun control agenda. This merely underscores the importance of electing a pro-Second Amendment president in 2016," concluded Cox.
Rule Change May Devastate International Travel for Hunters and Shooters
The Obama administration's relentless assault on the Second Amendment continues as the State Department implements a new rule which catches American hunters and sport shooters in a web of bureaucratic red-tape when traveling outside the United States. Coming close on the heels of the withdrawn BATFE ammo ban we reported on last week, an unmistakable pattern of abuse is beginning to emerge, suggesting Obama’s last two years could prove the most challenging period in history for America's gun owners.
Exporting firearms and ammunition from the U.S. normally requires a license--from the State Department for rifles, handguns, and rifle or handgun ammunition, and from the Commerce Department for shotguns and shot shells. But for many years, the State Department's International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR) have allowed Americans to temporarily export up to three non-automatic firearms and up to 1,000 rounds of ammunition without a permit, as long as the firearms were declared and presented to a Customs officer. This was done by bringing the firearms to a Customs office at some point before the trip and completing Customs Form 4457--a form that can be completed for any personal property and that is normally used to prove that the traveler owned the property before going abroad, thus protecting the traveler from paying import duties on items already owned. The traveler would retain the form and present it upon reentry if needed.
But a 2012 State Department rule change added an important new requirement that the traveler declare rifles or handguns ‘upon each departure’ by presenting documentation generated through the Commerce Department's “Automated Export System” (AES)--an online reporting tool designed for use by businesses. (Non-combat shotguns are not regulated by the State Department, so the AES requirement does not apply to temporary shotgun exports.) The rule change was buried in a Federal Register notice aimed at authorizing the temporary export of gas masks by government employees and contractors.
Fortunately, the change was never enforced, until now. In postings on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website and in internal ICE documents obtained by NRA-ILA, ICE makes clear that it has begun enforcing the rule change. Form 4457 may no longer be used for firearms, and electronic declarations will be the norm.
However, ICE’s internal documents implicitly acknowledge that individuals are currently unable to use the AES because the system requires entry of an Employer Identification Number. Those numbers are normally only obtained by businesses, and the Internal Revenue Service says they should only be used for tax purposes.
Fortunately for travelers who are unaware of these requirements or unable to use the AES, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has,for the moment, implemented a stopgap plan under which Customs officers at airports can manually enter identifying information about the traveler and the firearm. While this may prevent travel plans from being ruined, it also raises questions about how long the information will be kept and how it might be used. It is unclear how long this alternative will be available. It is also unclear how the new rules may be enforced in non-airport situations--for example, hunters who drive to Canada for the upcoming spring bear season.
The NRA, along with other groups representing hunters and sport shooters, are working on an emergency rule change to solve these problems. If necessary, the NRA will also pursue shorter-term administrative changes to prevent immediate headaches, and will also consider the potential need for a long-term solution through federal legislation.
In anticipation of the need for a legislative fix, NRA members are urged to contact their U.S. Representative and Senators and voice their opposition to the State Department's new implementation scheme. American law-abiding gun owners traveling to hunt or shoot competitively are not “exporters” under any reasonable understanding of what that term is intended to mean.
You can contact your U.S. Representative or Senators by using our "Write Your Lawmakers" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or by phone at (202) 224-3121.
Source: NRA / ILA
CCRKBA Blasts Anti-Gun Dems For 'Pouring Gas' On Grassroots
Anti-gun Capitol Hill Democrats just couldn’t resist further provoking the nation’s law-abiding gun owners with yesterday’s renewed push to ban ammunition even after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had temporarily stepped back from such a proposal on Tuesday, and it’s time for the public to smack them down hard, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
“Even though BATF moved its ammunition ban proposal to the shelf, Democrats started lobbying the Obama administration to push forward with a ban just as we expected,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “New York Congressman Eliot Engel has introduced legislation, and others Capitol Hill want BATF Director B. Todd Jones to “use his ‘existing authority’ to keep ‘dangerous ammunition out of our communities,’ according to a report in The Hill.
“What do the Democrats hope to achieve, other than to keep 90 million gun owners hopping mad,” Gottlieb wondered. “This push merely reinforces the notion that Democrats are the party of gun control hysteria, and that while they claim to support the Second Amendment, they’re determined to erode it every way possible.
“All this does is pour gasoline on a fire at the grassroots level,” he added. “This isn’t about police officer safety, and it’s not about crime control. This is about having a legislative trophy, an ego-stroke designed entirely to provoke and infuriate the tens of thousands of gun owners who sent comments to the BATF over the past couple of weeks, opposing the proposed framework that would ban .223-caliber M855 ammunition, which has been exempt from federal rules on armor piercing ammunition for many years.
“Pushing a ban on ammunition for which there is no documented evidence of criminal misuse, when Congress has far more important issues on its plate, shows how fanatical these people are about destroying the Second Amendment,” Gottlieb said. “Ironically, these same people portray gun owners as extremists, but it is the anti-gun Democrats who are once again inventing a problem where none exist to push an agenda that has no merit.”
Source: Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
UPDATE: Status of National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Legislation
For the last couple of weeks, NRA has updated you on the status of all NRA-supported Right-to-Carry Reciprocity bills in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. As NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said in his recent speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), βAnd itβs time for Congress to act. Pass National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity for the entire United States. Pass it today!β
Because of your calls, each of the NRA supported National Right-to-Carry bills have, for the second week in a row, seen an increase in cosponsorship. Don't let up! Please continue to contact your elected officials and urge them to cosponsor and support these important bills:
S. 498 β“ Introduced by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), this legislation would respect the rights of individuals who possess concealed carry permits from their home state, or who are not prohibited from carrying concealed in their home state, to exercise those rights in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. This bill currently has 20 cosponsors. Please contact your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121, and ask them to cosponsor and support S. 498.
H.R. 923 β“ Introduced by U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), this legislation is the House companion bill to S. 498. The legislation would also respect the rights of individuals who possess concealed carry permits from their home state, or who are not prohibited from carrying concealed in their home state, to exercise those rights in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. This bill currently has 12 cosponsors. Please contact your U.S. Representative at (202) 224-3121 and ask him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 923.
H.R. 986 β“ Introduced by U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), this bill would allow any person with a valid carry permit or license issued by a state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. This bill would also provide legal protection for law-abiding concealed carry permit holders against states that violate the intent of this bill. This bill currently has 104 cosponsors. Please contact your U.S. Representative at (202) 224-3121 and ask him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 986.
H.R. 402 β“ Introduced by U.S. Representative Rich Nugent (R-Fla.), this bill would allow any person with a valid carry permit or license issued by a state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. The bill currently has 76 cosponsors. Please contact your U.S. Representative at (202) 224-3121 and ask him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 402.
NRA would like to thank the sponsors and cosponsors of these critically important bills. Again, we ask that you contact your lawmakers today and ask them to cosponsor and support these measures.
You can contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative by phone at (202) 224-3121 or click here to write your lawmakers today.
DEP to Begin Online Live Video Stream of Harrisburg Falcons March 2
In what's become a sure sign that spring’s not far away, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced it will begin the live video stream of the pair of peregrine falcons that nest on a ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg on Monday, March 2, 2015. The feed is available http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/falcon/default.htm
“This season marks 15 years since the first pair of peregrine falcons produced eggs at this nest,” DEP Acting Secretary John Quigley said. “Over the years, tens of millions of people from across the globe have followed their story, and more importantly, learned the important environmental lessons they teach us about how pollution affects wildlife."
DEP works with Commonwealth Media Services to provide the live three-camera high definition feed during the nesting season and until the young falcons eventually fledge from the nest in June. The feed is central to an in-service program and curriculum developed by DEP and the Pennsylvania Game Commission for Pennsylvania teachers. This year's falcon education workshop will be held from 9 AM to 3 PM, March 26. Teachers will learn about peregrine reintroduction efforts in Pennsylvania, and the importance of urban habitat as well as complete endangered species curriculum activities. To register for the workshop, email Ann Devine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several pairs of peregrine falcons have bonded and made their home atop the Rachel Carson building. Over the years, two males and four females have occupied the site. The pairs have produced 56 eggs and 48 hatchlings. Thirty-eight survived -- 15 males and 22 females. The gender of one of the nestlings that hatched in 2008 could not be determined.
The peregrine falcon continues to be listed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission as an Endangered Species on the state level but was removed from the federal Endangered Species List 1999.
For more information about the falcons, visit DEP’s website at dep.state.pa.us and click on the falcon icon or follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FalconChatter.
Source: PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
SAF Authorizes Court Action If .223 Ammo Ban Is Implemented
The Second Amendment Foundation has authorized court action if the proposed ban on .223-caliber ammunition is implemented by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the foundation's general counsel has warned in a letter to BATFE Director B. Todd Jones.
Writing for SAF, general counsel Miko Tempski tells Jones, “This proposal is just an attempt to limit firearms rights because the President's other such attempts have been blocked through constitutional checks and balances on his power.
“Should the BATFE lawlessly proceed on this path,” Tempski warns, “SAF intends to call on those checks and balances to stop the Administration's executive overreach again.”
Tempski’s three-page letter dissects the BATFE proposal, noting repeatedly that M855 ammunition at the center of this controversy “is not armor piercing pursuant to the definition in the statute.” The federal provisions requires that a cartridge fire a “full jacketed projectile large than .22-caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun…,” or to otherwise be fit for use in a handgun and have a core “entirely constructed” form a specific list of non-lead metals to be prohibited.
Tempski explained that the M855 round does not meet either of these criteria. He said the first definition, “fails immediately as the 5.56 x 45 mm round is not designed and intended for use in a handgun,” and he questioned the ATF’s honesty with regard to the second definition, noting that a “small tip of steel making up less than 1/6th of the projectile cannot be used to claim the bullet or its core are “entirely” steel.
“The proposed framework,” he writes, “intends to define the intended purpose of ammunition based on the availability of certain types of handguns made for it. Such a circular definition is highly illogical in any context.”
The comment period remains open through March 16. People may submit comments to:
Fax: (202) 648-9741.
Mail: Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments.
Source: The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org )
MORE THAN 850 STUDENTS TO COMPETE IN ARCHERY TOURNAMENT
Competitors statewide converge on State College March 13.
The field has been set for Pennsylvania's statewide student archery tournament to be held March 13 in State College.
More than 850 competitors have registered for the 2015 National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament, hosted by the Pennsylvania Game Commission
Game Commission Shooting Sports Outreach Coordinator Todd Holmes said there's plenty of reason to get excited about this year's tournament.
“The preparation for this event started almost a year ago at the conclusion of last year's tournament,” said Holmes, who also serves as state-level administrator for NASP. “I'm excited to see everyone again and hope they all enjoy the new 3-D range and watching the best student archers in the state go head to head for the state title.”
The tournament, which will take place inside the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility, should be a sight to see.
Ninety-five lanes, each with two archers, will be operating at once. About 7,600 arrows will fly each hour. And somewhere near 38,000 arrows will be fired on the day.
NASP, which started in Kentucky in 2002 and has since gained participants around the globe, came to Pennsylvania in 2005. The Game Commission began coordinating the program in 2010 and, to present, the program has expanded to 185 schools.
NASP helps school districts in Pennsylvania meet physical-education curriculum standards set by the state Department of Education, and at the same time introduces students to the world of competitive archery.
Tournaments are held at the state, national and international levels. Those competing in the March 13 state tournament might qualify for the national tournament to be held May 7 through 9 in Louisville, Ky. Pennsylvania sent 17 schools to the 2014 national competition.
To get NASP started in a Pennsylvania school, contact Todd Holmes, at the Game Commission headquarters, at 717-787-4250 (ext. 3330). Also, “A NASP” can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennNASP.
The 878 students who have registered to compete in the 2014 National Archery in the Schools Program Tournament in State College represent 44 different schools. They are:
BEAVER HIGH SCHOOL -Beaver, Pa.
BEAVER MIDDLE SCHOOL - Beaver, Pa.
BLUE RIDGE HIGH -New Milford, Pa.
CAMERON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT -Emporium, Pa.
CENTRAL VALLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL - Monaca, Pa.
CENTRAL VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT -Monaca, Pa.
CHOCONUT VALLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - Choconut, Pa.
DONEGAL HIGH SCHOOL -Mount Joy, Pa.
FAIRFIELD AREA HIGH SCHOOL - Fairfield, Pa.
FOREST HILLS SCHOOL DISTRICT -Sidman, Pa.
GARDEN SPOT HIGH SCHOOL -New Holland, Pa.
GILLINGHAM CHARTER SCHOOL -Pottsville, Pa.
GROVE CITY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY - Grove City, Pa.
HALIFAX AREA MIDDLE SCHOOL - Halifax, Pa.
HALIFAX HIGH SCHOOL - Halifax, Pa.
HARRISBURG CHRISTIAN SCHOOL -Harrisburg, Pa.
LATHROP STREET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - Montrose, Pa.
LOWER DAUPHIN HIGH SCHOOL - Hummelstown, Pa.
MANHEIM CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL -Manheim, Pa.
MILLERSBURG HIGH SCHOOL -Millersburg, Pa.
MONTROSE AREA HIGH SCHOOL -Montrose, Pa.
MONTROSE HIGH SCHOOL -Montrose, Pa.
MONTROSE MIDDLE SCHOOL -Montrose, Pa.
NEW BRIGHTON HIGH SCHOOL -New Brighton, Pa.
NEW CASTLE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY - New Castle, Pa.
NORTHERN BEDFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT -Loysburg, Pa.
PCS ARCHERY - Portersville, Pa.
PENNCREST SCHOOL DISTRICT -Media, Pa.
PHOENIXVILLE AREA MIDDLE SCHOOL - Phoenixville, Pa.
PINE GROVE AREA MIDDLE SCHOOL - Pine Grove, Pa.
SHEFFIELD MIDDLE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL -Sheffield, Pa.
ST. VITUS SCHOOL - New Castle, Pa.
SUMMIT CHRISTIAN ACADEMY -South Abington, Pa.
THE SWAIN SCHOOL - Allentown, Pa.
TIDIOUTE COMMUNITY CHARTER SCHOOL -Tidioute, Pa.
TRINITAS -Grove City, Pa.
TUNKHANNOCK AREA HIGH SCHOOL - Tunkhannock, Pa.
TUNKHANNOCK AREA MIDDLE SCHOOL -Tunkhannock, Pa.
TUNKHANNOCK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL -Tunkhannock, Pa.
UPPER DAUPHIN AREA HIGH SCHOOL -Lykens, Pa.
UPPER DAUPHIN AREA MIDDLE SCHOOL - Lykens, Pa.
UPPER ST. CLAIR HIGH SCHOOL - Upper St. Clair, Pa.
WILLIAMS VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL - Tower City, Pa.
WINDBER AREA HIGH SCHOOL - Windber, Pa.
Source: Pennsylvania Game Commission
Stop ATF's Ammo Ban: Urge Your U.S. Representative to Sign Congressional Letter to ATF on Proposed Ammo Ban
As NRA has been reporting since the night the news broke, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) is moving to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding gun owners with a drastic reinterpretation of a nearly 30-year-old law regulating so-called “armor piercing” ammunition. So draconian is BATFE’s new “Framework” that it would prohibit the manufacturing, importation, and sale of M855 ball ammunition, one of the most popular cartridges for the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15. Not coincidentally, the AR-15 is among the firearms the Obama Administration has unsuccessfully sought to outlaw. If they can’t ban the pie, so the thinking apparently goes, they might at least get the apples.
In an effort to thwart BATFE's attempted action, NRA has worked with U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to draft a letter to BATFE expressing the lawmakers' opposition to the proposed Framework.
According to the letter, “The idea that Congress intended [the armor piercing” ammunition law] to ban one of the preeminent rifle cartridges in use by Americans for legitimate purposes is preposterous. “ It goes on to state that the law “should be construed in accordance with the American tradition of lawful firearms ownership, as protected by the Second Amendment.” This includes due consideration of “the many legitimate uses Americans make of their firearms including target practice, hunting, organized and casual competition, training and skills development, and instructional activities.” The letter concludes with several pointed questions for the B. Todd Jones, BATFE’s director, including why the agency bypassed the Administrative Procedures Act in proposing such a radical change to its prior interpretation and enforcement of the law.
NRA will also be submitting its own detailed comments to BATFE in opposition to the ban and is continuing to work with Members of Congress on legislation that will put a stop to this abuse.
In the meantime, gun owners and other affected members of the public must act now to help ensure BATFE does not get away with this attempt to deprive Americans of ammunition for their favorite rifle and to squeeze ammunition markets between converging bans on both lead and non-lead ammunition. BATFE is accepting comments on their proposed ban and will consider all comments received on or before March 16, 2015.
Please be sure to submit your respectful comments in opposition to the ban. For more detailed information on the proposed ban and how you can submit your comments to BATFE, please click this link.
Finally, please contact your U.S. Representative and urge him or her to sign Rep. Goodlatte's letter and to oppose BATFE's proposed "armor piercing" ammunition Framework. To contact them by phone, call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or CLICK HERE TO WRITE YOUR LAWMAKERS.
Source: NRA / ILA
SAF Victory Again Shows Gun Rights Restoration Possible
The Second Amendment Foundation has once again funded and won a small but significant federal court victory in a Pennsylvania case in which a federal judge ruled that a man convicted of a misdemeanor crime several years ago, but who has demonstrated that he “would present no more threat to the community” than an average law-abiding citizen, may not lose his Second Amendment rights under a federal gun control statute known as 922(g)(1).
Julio Suarez was convicted in Maryland 25 years ago of a misdemeanor for carrying a firearm without a license. Since then, he has led an exemplary life, but the conviction was enough to cost Suarez his ability to buy and keep a firearm for defense of his home and family. He's been married for 20 years, fathered three children and has a government security clearance. He is also an elder of his local church.
Middle District Court Judge William W. Caldwell said in his 26-page opinion that Suarez “is no more dangerous than a typical law-abiding citizen and poses no continuing threat to society”.
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb said that “This case provides a building block upon which similar cases in which people are convicted of non-violent crimes might be challenged because they have lost their right to keep and bear arms as a result.”
“A person should not lose his or her constitutional rights for non-violent indiscretions that occur once in a lifetime,” added Attorney Alan Gura, who represented Suarez in this SAF-funded case.
Gottlieb explained that such cases are helping build a volume of court precedents that can be cited in future cases, thus demonstrating how SAF is “winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time.”
“Under existing federal law” Gottlieb said, “many people convicted of non-violent state-level misdemeanors have lost their Second Amendment rights because they’ve been lumped together with convicted felons due to indeterminate sentencing laws. That’s not right, and cases like this help restore some perspective and narrow some broad legislative brush strokes.”
Source:The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org )
AUCTION OF PENNSYLVANIA ELK LICENSE RAISES $52K FOR CONSERVATION
State’s elk continue to generate excitement, revenue.
The quality of Pennsylvania’s elk, and the unique opportunity to hunt them continues to garner national attention, and there are numbers to prove it.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation on Jan. 31 held its Hunters Rendezvous Auction, at which several special elk licenses were auctioned off to raise money for conservation.
Pennsylvania, with its Special Elk Conservation Tag, was among eight states for which licenses were auctioned off.
The tag sold for $52,500 a new record for Pennsylvania. Only Arizona’s and Nevada’s licenses raised more for conservation.
Dave Ragantesi, senior regional director for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, said the money raised through the auction will stay in Pennsylvania, where it can continue to work to benefit the stateβs elk.
“We are pleased to have a strong partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and look forward to utilizing these funds for continued improvement of our public lands in Pennsylvania’s elk country,” Ragantesi said.
Wildlife Conservation Officer Doty McDowell was among Game Commission staff who represented the agency at the Hunters Rendezvous Auction. McDowell helped man a booth that featured a display showcasing Pennsylvania’s elk, and he said he was impressed with the excitement it generated.
The booth was a busy place, as many of the people who would bid on one or more of the licenses auctioned off stopped by.
The response was phenomenal, McDowell said. People were amazed with the pictures they saw of the massive bulls taken in Pennsylvania year-in and year-out.
“One of the bidders was taking photos of our display and texting them to his client,” McDowell said.
The ability of Pennsylvania’s elk to excite isn’t anything new. In 2014, more than 26,000 hunters entered the Game Commission’s lottery drawing for a chance hunt Pennsylvania elk, and the sale of two Special Elk Conservation Tags raised more than $200,000.
All of that money supports elk conservation, Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough said, making elk a resource with the uncanny ability to attract resources of its own, benefitting not only elk, but other wildlife, as well.
‘The opportunity to hunt Pennsylvania’s elk only tells part of the story,” Hough said. Every year, thousands visit the elk range to learn about elk and to see these majestic animals up close.
“Pennsylvani’s elk certainly are something to get excited about, and tens of thousands of people are showing they understand that,” Hough said.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), which has about 11,000 members who are Pennsylvanians, has been an important partner to the Pennsylvania Game Commission for many years. Since 1991, the foundation and its partners have completed 351 conservation and hunting-heritage outreach projects in Pennsylvania, with a combined value of more than $22.6 million.
RMEF has made 10 land acquisitions that have opened or secured public access to 8,546 acres on Pennsylvania’s elk range, and has been involved with land-enhancement projects on the elk range that total another 7,064 acres.
Source: Pennsylvania Game Commission
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR STATE STUDENT ARCHERY TOURNAMENT
Schools have until Feb. 20 to sign up students.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is encouraging all schools participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program to take their best shots at top honors in a statewide student archery tournament to be held in March.
Registration is open for Pennsylvania’s 2015 National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament, which is scheduled to be held on Friday, March 13, at the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility in State College.
Registration costs $11 per student, with Friday, Feb. 20 being the last day to register.
Registration can be completed online through the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us, by scrolling your cursor over the “Education” tab and selecting “National Archery in the Schools Program,” then clicking the “State Tournament” button to register.
Registration also can be completed through the NASP Tournament website, www.nasptournaments.org.
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) helps school districts in Pennsylvania meet physical-education curriculum requirements of the state Department of Education, while at the same time introducing students to the world of competitive archery.
Last year, 1,019 students from 41 school districts participated in the NASP state competition.
“In addition to offering students a state archery championship for teams and individuals to compete for honors, trophies and scholarships, the Game Commission is working with many partners to provide tournament participants and spectators the opportunity to visit a host of vendors, from archery-equipment suppliers to a 3-D range again this year for the Shooter’s Expo,” said Todd Holmes, Game Commission Shooting Sports Outreach Coordinator and state-level administrator for NASP.
Started in Kentucky in 2002, NASP has grown quickly and caught on throughout the United States, Nearly 9 million students participate worldwide, representing over 12,000 schools, 47 states, and countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Tournaments are held at the state, national and international levels. Pennsylvania sent 17 schools to the NASP 2014 national competition, which was held in Louisville, Ky.
NASP came to Pennsylvania in 2005. In mid-2010, the Game Commission began coordinating the program and has grown the program to include more than 185 schools and was recognized for the greatest percentage increase in participating schools in 2012.
To get NASP started in a Pennsylvania school, contact Todd Holmes, at the Game Commission headquarters, at 717-787-4250 (ext. 3330). Also, PA NASP can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennNASP.
Source: The Pennsylvania Game Commission
GOP representative offers legislation to protect interstate transport of firearms
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) has introduced legislation that would make it impossible for authorities in areas with restrictive firearm ordinances to abuse law-abiding gun owners attempting to transport their weapons from one place to another.
Griffith’s bill (HR 131) would, according to a summary provided by the Congressional Research Service, prohibit the arrest or detention of lawful gun owners “for a violation of any state or local law or regulation related to the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms unless there is probable cause to believe that the person is doing so in a manner not provided for under federal law.”
The legislation is designed to protect Americans carrying firearms across state lines or into municipalities with harsh gun restrictions by requiring prosecutors that the individuals broke a federal law rather than anti-gun regulations produced at the state and local level.
From the bill:
A person who is not prohibited by this chapter from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm or ammunition shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where the person may lawfully possess, carry, or transport the firearm to any other such place if, during the transportation, the firearm is unloaded, and if the transportation is by motor vehicle, the firearm is not directly accessible from the compartment of the vehicle, and, if the vehicle is without a compartment separate from the passenger compartment, the firearm is in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console, or is secured by a secure gun storage or safety device; or if the transportation is by other means, the firearm is in a locked container or secured by a secure gun storage or safety device.
The bill offers a similar provision for the transport of ammunition.
The legislation would apply to travelers on the road as well as those seeking temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment and other activities incidental to the transport.
Griffith produced similar legislation last year but was unable to get it passed.
His current legislation has 10 Republican co-sponsors and has been championed by the National Rifle Association which says the law is necessary because: “anti-gun local officials are using overly restrictive state licensing laws to harass and prosecute travelers who have made every effort to comply with the law, resulting in seized guns that are sometimes never returned, delayed travel, legal fees, and sometimes even unnecessary guilty pleas.”
Source; This entry was posted in Dome Watch and tagged 2nd Amendment.
NRA Files Lawsuits to Protect 2nd Amendment Rights in Pennsylvania
The National Rifle Association, on behalf of its 5 million members across the country, filed lawsuits against the cities of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Lancaster for refusing to comply with a state law that prohibits local governments from enacting gun control ordinances.
“The cities of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Lancaster have openly defied state law for decades. They continue to willfully violate the law and insist on politically grandstanding at taxpayers’ expense,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. “The reality is the illegal ordinances in question do not make people safer. They are simply tools to further the gun control agenda and infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
House Bill 80, signed into law last year, allows citizen groups, such as the NRA, to challenge municipalities in court. The new law does not change or expand the state’s powers, nor does it diminish the powers of local governments.
A patchwork of local gun control ordinances creates confusion for law-abiding citizens as they travel throughout the Commonwealth, as well as for law enforcement officers as to what laws can be enforced.
"Pennsylvania municipalities need to follow state law and stop infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners", concluded Cox.
Source: NRA / ILA
SAF Sues DC Over 'Good Reason' CCW Requirement
The Second Amendment Foundation filed a federal lawsuit challenging the District of Columbia's highly restrictive concealed carry permit requirement that applicants provide a “good reason” before such a permit is issued, which violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. SAF is joined by three private citizens, Brian Wrenn and Joshua Akery, both of Washington, D.C., and Tyler Whidby, a Florida resident who also maintains a residence in Virginia. The city and Police Chief Cathy Lanier are named as defendants.
The lawsuit asserts that “individuals” cannot be required to prove a good reason” or other proper reason” for the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms” All three individual plaintiffs in the case have applied for District carry permits and have been turned down by Lanier because they could not “Demonstrate a good reason to fear injury to person or property.”
“The city’s requirements to obtain a carry permit are so restrictive in nature as to be prohibitive to virtually all applicants,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.”It’s rather like a Catch 22,” in which you can apply all day long, but no reason is sufficiently good enough for Chief Lanier to issue a permit.
“Because of that,” he added, “the city has set the bar so high that it relegates a fundamental civil right to the status of a heavily-regulated government privilege. That is not only wrong, it also does not live up to previous court rulings. Law-abiding citizens who clear background checks and are allowed to have handguns in their homes are being unnecessarily burdened with the additional requirement of proving some special need.”
“The last time we checked,” Gottlieb concluded, “we had a Bill of Rights that applied to the entire nation, including the District. It’s not, and never has been, a Bill of Needs’.Β
The city is still appealing its earlier loss in Palmer v. D.C., the SAF-sponsored case that struck down the city’s total ban on carrying handguns. The courts have not yet ruled on SAF’s claim that the city’s ‘may issue’ law violates the Palmer injunction.
“We will give the courts every chance to bring Washington, D.C. into constitutional compliance,” said attorney Alan Gura, who represents SAF and the other plaintiffs in both cases.
Source: The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org)
PA Game Commission Proposal Attacks Mentored Hunting
Contact Your Commissioner Today!
A proposal before the Pennsylvania Game Commission would make the state the first in the nation to eliminate opportunities for young people to hunt. In 2006, Pennsylvania became the first state to adopt a mentored hunting season, which allows an experienced mentor to take a newcomer hunting under close supervision.
The program has since swept the nation, with 34 additional states joining and more than 1.2 million mentored hunting licenses sold. Now, due to concerns about a few law breakers, commissioners will hear a proposal at their meeting scheduled for Jan. 25-27 that would eliminate hunting for deer and turkey for mentored hunters under age 9.
In 2012, nearly 10,000 youths under age 9 experienced hunting for the first time under this program, the vast majority of which hunted deer and turkey. In total, more than 30,000 new hunters took part in the mentored hunting program in 2012. This proposal would eliminate one-third of those youth hunters.
There simply has not been a demonstrated need or evidence provided to make such draconian changes to the mentored youth hunting program. In fact, data shows that mentored hunters are significantly safer than the regularly licensed hunting public.
‘This proposal treats mentored hunting with the same broad brush that anti-hunting groups view all hunting,” said Evan Heusinkveld, vice president of government affairs for the U.S. Sportsmen’’s Alliance, which champions mentored hunting across the country. “We don’t ban all hunting due to a few trespassers or poachers. Instead, law enforcement should be able to deal with problem individuals without dismantling part of the most successful hunting recruitment program in the United States.”
Sportsmen and women expect members of the Pennsylvania Game Commission to be pro-hunting, and to make decisions based on solid research and data, and not unconfirmed allegations or the occasional bad actor.
Pennsylvania sportsmen and women do not deserve to be blindsided by last-minute proposals that drastically restrict hunting rights with no justification. This proposal should not be approved, especially since there has been no public discussion of evidence and facts to support such a restriction. Calls and emails opposing this proposal should immediately be sent to members of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Here is contact information for Commissioners:
Jay Delaney Jr
District 7 - Carbon, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties
Charles E. Fox
District 5 - Bradford, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Sullivan, Tioga, and Union counties
Brian H. Hoover
District 8 - Schuylkill, Berks, Chester, Northampton, Lehigh, Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Delaware counties
Timothy S. Layton
District 4 - Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties
Ralph A. Martone
District 1 - Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Lawrence, Venango, Butler, Warren, Forest and Clarion counties
David J. Putnam
District 3 - Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter counties
Robert W. Schlemmer
District 2 - Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Washington and Westmoreland counties
Ronald A. Weaner
District 6 - Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, Snyder and York counties
Source: U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance
DEP Reminds Pennsylvanians that January is Radon Action Month
January is National Radon Action Month, marking a time of increased public awareness for this serious health hazard.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally through the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. It can seep into homes through cracks in basements and foundations, and can build up inside to concentrations many times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, causing about 20,000 lung-cancer deaths in the United States every year. About 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s action level of four picocuries per liter. While radon problems may be more common in some regions, the potential exists for any home in Pennsylvania to have high radon levels.
This year, DEP identified a record-high radon level in a Lehigh County home. The concentration measured was 3,715 pCi/L. In this case, DEP recommended the occupants vacate the home until the measured radon concentration was remediated to a level less than 4 pCi/L. Several other homes in that area were found to have measured concentrations over 1,000 pCi/L.
Pennsylvania is particularly prone to elevated radon levels, and the only way to know if there is a radon problem is to test the home. DEP recommends testing all homes and public and private buildings. The best time to test is during the cold-weather months, when homes and buildings are closed and radon is most likely to build up to unhealthy levels.
Residents may hire a certified radon testing company, though it is easy to perform a radon test by using a kit that can be purchased at a home improvement store or a Pennsylvania-certified radon laboratory. Completed test kits are to be sent to a Pennsylvania-certified lab, where the samples are analyzed and the results are then sent to the resident. If results reveal radon levels above the action level, a radon mitigation system may be necessary.
Radon mitgation systems cost between $800 and $1,200 and require minimal maintenance. Most home or building owners choose to hire a radon mitigation professional to install the system.
For more information about radon, including information about interpreting test results or to find a Pennsylvania-certified radon contractor, visit www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword: Radon, or call 1-800-23-RADON.
Source: PA DEP