ACSL Archives 2017

PLEASE NOTE: We have tried to maintain links where possible,but due to the archival nature of these articles,some links may have changed or be otherwise unavailable.

Nanny Bloomberg vows millions for assault on the 2nd Amendment

Liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg has vowed to spend $25 million through his anti-2nd Amendment Everytown for Gun Safety group to derail congressional efforts to pass national concealed carry reciprocity legislation.

Currently a mishmash of state and local gun laws often make it difficult for American concealed carry permit holders to know where they may find themselves in hot water for carrying a self-defense firearm.

And in jurisdictions where lawmakers have opted to use concealed carry restrictions as de facto bans on 2nd Amendment, travelers who wrongfully believed their out of state permits valid for carry while traveling— or other who have mistakenly traveled into anti-firearm territory with a firearm in tow— have on more than one occasion found themselves being prosecuted harshlyto send a message.

With Republican control in Washington and in many statehouses throughout the country, conservative lawmakers have been working on legislative changes that would make it harder for these types of situations to occur.

Legislation introduced in both the House, Rep. Richard Hudson’s (R-NC) Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, and Senate, Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, for example would require states to honor outside concealed carry permits.

Critics of the legislation argue that it would essentially eliminate popular gun control efforts in liberal enclaves by making every jurisdiction in the U.S. subject to the gun laws of the most pro-2nd Amendment regions in the country.

Bloomberg’s eponymous news company published an editorial pushing that line of thinking last month, the author of which groaned: “Every state would be required to honor concealed-carry permits issued by any other state, no matter how shabby (Hello, Florida!) or nonexistent (11 states require no permit) its process is.”

But supporters of the 2nd Amendment-strengthening measures see things differently.

As the National Rifle Association has pointed out:

It’s easy to see what the real source of opposition is. The same states that severely restrict carry by their own residents also refuse to recognize non-resident permits. These include California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

It’s not that the permitting standards of these states are any more effective in screening out dangerous applicants. It’s that concealed carry permits in those states are treated as the exclusive domain of the wealthy and the connected. The idea that “common” people would have the same rights simply offends the ruling elite’s sense of entitlement.

Bloomberg’s efforts to derail the push are already well underway. According to a report in POLITICO, his organization is in the process of hiring dozens of staffers to assist leaders in harshly anti-gun regions in pushing back against conservative efforts to force compliance with the 2nd Amendment.

“This is a line in the sand on this issue, there’s no question about it. The NRA wants to normalize carrying guns in public. It’s not where the American public is,” Everytown president John Feinblatt told the outlet. “We’re putting people on notice today that we’re watching … and that we expect to hold people accountable.”

Source: by Sam Rolley By Sam Rolley (Personal Liberty)by Sam Rolley

 

 

5 reasons to support National Reciprocity

1. Exercising a right shouldn’t be contingent upon what state you’re in.

This seems like it would be obvious. Sadly, it’s not. The Supreme Court affirmed in 2008 that Americans have a constitutionally-protected individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms for self-defense. What’s more, no state can deny a Constitutional right. All national reciprocity means is that state governments must respect non-residents’ right to carry a firearm for self-defense to the same degree as residents of the state. And despite rumors to the contrary, national reciprocity legislation would not dictate to states how and where residents could carry concealed. Non-residents would also have to abide by state regulations governing behavior and places of carry.

2. You don’t want to be an accidental criminal.

Ever of heard of Brian Fletcher? How about Raymond Hughes and Meredith Graves? Each one of them has something in common: They are concealed carriers-turned-accidental criminals because they carried their legally-owned firearms into a state without reciprocity.

Brian Fletcher was a utility repairman who traveled from North Carolina to New Jersey with his legally-owned firearm to do disaster relief work. After volunteering the information about his gun to a police officer in New Jersey, he was arrested and subsequently faced five years in prison.

Raymond Hughes, a corrections officer, was simply traveling through New Jersey when a drunk driver sent him to the emergency room. He had his legally-owned firearm in the car, but because New Jersey doesn’t recognize non-resident carry permits, Hughes was charged with a Class 2 felony.

A similar story happened to Meredith Graves. A registered nurse and concealed carrier, Graves left her handgun in her purse while visiting the 9/11 memorial. When she left New York, she left with a misdemeanor weapons charge added to her record.

These are only a few stores, but they represent many, many instances of law-abiding gun owners getting caught up in the confusing patchwork of reciprocity laws we currently have in the United States.

3. Concealed carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding citizens in the country.

Yes, it’s true. A 2014 study from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) showed that roughly 11 million Americans have concealed carry permits, up from an estimated 8 million in 2011. Today, the number is closer to 15 million. The CPRC also examined permit holders in Florida and Texas. Between 2008 and 2014, Florida had an average of 875,000 active permit holders. Its permit revocation rate during those years (i.e., the rate of concealed carriers who had their permits revoked due to firearm-related offenses) was a staggering…wait for it…0.00007%.

The rate of concealed carriers convicted of crimes was similarly low in Texas, a state that had 584,850 active permit holders in 2012. Of those, only 0.021% were convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony.

The bottom line? Concealed carry permit holders have overwhelmingly proven to be responsible and law-abiding. And they’re certainly not out there turning American communities into the Wild, Wild West.

4. Reciprocity laws can change frequently with little notice…

Which leads us back to the part about otherwise law-abiding gun owners becoming accidental criminals. When laws change with little public notice, it’s difficult to know when or how you’d run afoul of them.

It does happen: In 2012 for example, the state of Delaware, under the direction of then-attorney general Beau Biden, dropped reciprocity with concealed carriers from Virginia. In 2015, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced his state would stop recognizing permits from 25(!) other states.

And while it is up to each individual gun owner to stay on top of state gun laws, if you’ve been legally carrying your concealed handgun from Virginia to Delaware for 10 years and didn’t know about changes in reciprocity coming down the pipeline, it’s understandable that you’d make that additional trip without checking.

Again: it’s easy for well-intentioned people to get caught up in legal troubles when we’re talking about a patchwork of state laws that can change with little notice.

5. Law-abiding concealed carriers can protect YOU in all 50 states.

As much as gun control advocates like to argue that there’s no such thing as a “good guy with a gun,” mountains of evidence say otherwise.

Just last June, headlines swept the nation of a concealed carrier who stopped a mass shooter outside a nightclub in South Carolina, potentially saving dozens of lives. And who could forget the Minnesota mall stabbing spree last September? He too, was stopped by a law-abiding concealed carrier. Then in January, when two armed men tried to rob a jewelry store in a mall in San Antonio, Texas, they were stopped by concealed carrier. The armed men had already shot and killed an innocent bystander. Who knows what would have happened if the gun owner hadn’t stepped in?

These are just a few stories, but there are many more out there. The truth is responsible, law-abiding concealed carriers are an added layer of protection for ALL of us. Unfortunately, too many states make it difficult or impossible for gun owners to carry concealed — let alone across state lines. In this uncertain world, the last thing states should do is disarm law-abiding gun owners. That doesn’t make anyone safer. But you know what will? Empowering gun owners with the freedom to exercise their right to defend their life and the lives of those around them — no matter what state they’re in.

Source: NRA / ILA

 

Sisters Successfully Change Iowa Youth Shooting Law as Part of Major Gun Rights Legislation

Gibson sisters convince Iowa to legalize youth pistol shooting

The Gibson sisters watched Thursday as four years of gun rights activism came to fruition with the stroke of Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad's pen.

Meredith Gibson, 13, and Natalie Gibson, 11, had pushed for reform of the state's age restrictions on handling pistols. With Branstad's signing of House File 517, the omnibus bill that includes a number of pro-gun reforms, their quest to legalize youth pistol shooting succeeded. The bill repealed the state's restriction on children under 14 shooting handguns in any capacity, the most restrictive such law in the country.

Under the new law, individuals under 21 years may handle and shoot pistols so long as they are under "direct supervision" by a parent or instructor over the age of 21.

The sisters stood by Branstad's side as he signed HF 517 into law. They told the Washington Free Beacon they were excited to watch their work pay off in real time.

"It was really exciting and kind of nerve-racking because there were a lot of cameras," Meredith said. "Knowing that all of our hard work has actually paid off is exciting and I'm happy that it's all done."

Before HF 517 the girls, who often compete in shooting competitions, were allowed to shoot rifles and shotguns of all calibers in Iowa but had to go to other states to shoot handguns. After the signing ceremony ended, the girls were invited to go shooting with Bearing Arms' Jenn Jacques.

They said they looked forward to finally shooting their pistols in their home state.

"It's going to feel really good because normally I can only shoot my rifle at the range but now that I can finally shoot my pistol," Natalie said. "I'm excited!"

"I'm excited to shoot my pistol," Meredith said. "It's one of my favorite guns."

HF 517 makes major changes to a number of gun laws in Iowa. In addition to the change in age restrictions on handguns, the law adopts a "stand your ground" self-defense standard and adds

privacy protections for people with gun carry permits.

Gun rights groups celebrated the passage of the law.

The Iowa Firearms Coalition, which worked closely with the Gibson sisters to lobby for the bill, said it was a landmark piece of legislation.

"We just got a lot done," Kurt Liske, the group's vice president, told the Free Beacon. "It's awesome."

The National Rifle Association, which also lobbied for HF 517, said the bill helped promote Iowans' right to self defense.

"In state legislatures across America, lawmakers are expanding law-abiding citizens’ constitutional right to self-protection," Chris Cox, head of the NRA's legislative arm, said in a statement. "The NRA and our five million members thank the Iowa legislature and Governor Branstad for working to strengthen Iowans' Second Amendment rights so they have the freedom to protect themselves and their families."

However, Liske argued Meredith and Natalie deserve the real credit for getting the age restriction removed. "They worked their butts off for this," he said. "They deserve a ton of credit for it."

"I know, without a doubt, Meredith and Natalie both are going to grow up and do some amazing things."

Source: BY: Stephen Gutowski

 

The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

Last week, we wrote about Americans for Responsible Solutions’ irresponsible misinformation about The Hearing Protection Act on Twitter.  Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who took notice of ARS’s complete disregard for the facts on firearm suppressors.

On Monday, The Washington Post Fact Checker took a look at ARS’s tweet as well as a tweet by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) about suppressors.  While the Post raised many of the same problems we did, its fact check further confirmed that ARS has no problem with lying to achieve its mission for gun (or in this case suppressor) control. 

Perhaps the most interesting part of the fact check came from ARS’s defense of its claim “You know what protections your hearing better than a silencer?  Ear plugs.”  According to the Post, to support this claim ARS spokeswoman Katie Peters supplied the Post with an article that showed an average of 30 decibels of reduction for commonly available suppressors. 

Even if ARS was unaware that earplugs and earmuffs should have their Noise Reduction Ratings substantially reduced using a derating calculation, citing a 30 decibel reduction for suppressors would still put them amongst the best available hearing protectors.  But, as we pointed out last week, in real world use earplugs only get about 50% of their stated NRR, so the 30 decibel figure cited by ARS is better than any available earplug once the derating formula is applied. 

The Post also addressed Sen. Gillibrand’s claim “When someone gets shot by a gun with a silencer, it’s quiet. Witnesses might not hear. Police will be less likely to track down the shooter.” To support this claim, opponents of the HPA relied on a favorite argument of anti-suppressor activists: that suppressors might limit the utility of ShotSpotter and other similar gun fire detection equipment.

Here the Post went straight to the source and found that suppressors do not pose the great hurdle for ShotSpotter that some have been lead to believe.  The fact check cited Ralph Clark, the chief executive of ShotSpotter, as stating “We have successfully if not inadvertently detected confirmed suppressed gunfire within our existing deployments. Although we have not formally tested the theoretical impact to our system, we intend to do some targeted testing in the near future. We believe we will have various options ranging from increasing our sensor array density to developing software/firmware to address the detection of suppressed gunfire if it were to become a widespread issue.”

In the end, the Post gave ARS and Gillibrand three pinocchios, which the Post describes as “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions. This gets into the realm of ‘mostly false.’” 

Don’t let lying anti-gun groups and politicians endanger the Hearing Protection Act. Please make sure your U.S. senators and congressional representative hear from you on this important legislation to protect Second Amendment rights and the health of the American gun owner. It is long past time to discard America’s antiquated and unsupported approach to suppressor regulation.

You can contact your member of Congress via our Write Your Reps tool by clicking HERE or use the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Source: NRA / ILA

 

CRIME DATA SHOW U.K. GUN, KNIFE CRIME SPIKE; ‘CONTROL’ FAILED, SAYS CCRKBA 
A new report from Scotland Yard reveals that a “significant spike in knife and gun offenses” has occurred in the United Kingdom, throwing cold water on the notion that restrictive British gun and knife laws have made that nation safer, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

According to Scotland Yard, there has been a 42 percent increase in so-called “gun violence” and a 24 percent rise in “knife offenses” during the 2016-2017 financial year.

“All the rhetoric we’ve heard over the years about how the British solved their crime problem by having law-abiding citizens turn in their guns, and adopting strict knife and gun control has suddenly turned out to be wishful thinking, if not simply wrong,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Like gun control efforts anywhere, the Brits have disarmed the wrong people.

“It is ironic that this news appears now, as America celebrates the 242nd anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, when American colonists resisted Britain’s attempt to confiscate arms from the militia,” he added. “British gun control then ignited a revolution. Now it is just resulting in a higher violent crime rate.”

The famous battles occurred on April 19, 1775 after someone fired “the shot heard ‘round the world.”

Scotland Yard’s report shows something else. There were 12,074 knife-related crimes in the 2016-2017 financial year, which demonstrates that criminals will resort to whatever weapon they can get their hands on against a unilaterally-disarmed public. This has happened at the same time that law enforcement budget cuts are in the news.

“British ruffians are no different than criminals in the United States,” Gottlieb observed. “They will take advantage of any weakness the see, whether in law enforcement or the public’s inability to defend against an attack. This is why we fight so hard to protect our nation’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and why our friends across the pond should seriously reconsider how their policies have made their citizens more vulnerable to people who routinely ignore the law.”

Source: The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at www.ccrkba.org or by email to InformationRequest@ccrkba.org.

 

Top 10 ways to secure your mobile phone

Seems like everywhere you turn, there’s news of another mobile security breach. Just last month, vulnerabilities in iOS 9.3.5 were being exploited by the notorious NSO Group, maker of surveillance software, to read text messages and emails, record sounds, collect passwords, and even track the calls and whereabouts of users. Apple released a security patch on August 25 in response.

Meanwhile, on the Android side, a Linux bug first introduced in Android 4.4 (and present in all future versions) left 1.4 billion users vulnerable to hijacking attacks. The vulnerability allows attackers to terminate connections and, if the connections aren’t encrypted, inject malicious code or content into users’ communications. Representatives from Google say they are aware of the vulnerability and are “taking the appropriate actions.”

These hacks aren’t happening in a vacuum. Mobile malware is a frontier ripe for cybercriminal activity. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center Report, nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and roughly one in five of those users conduct most of their online browsing using their phone instead of a computer. The reality is that as more and more people use their phones to go online, more cybercriminals will hear the call.

Mobile malware on the rise

“Mobile malware has been on the rise drastically in last couple of years,” says Nathan Collier, Senior Malware Intelligence Analyst at Malwarebytes. “Everything from backdoor malware that steals personal information to ransomware that locks your phone until payment is made exists in the mobile space. With millions of malware samples in the wild, there is no reason not to be concerned.”

In addition to an increased volume of people turning to their phones as the primary means for going online, there’s also an increase in using mobile devices for storing and transmitting sensitive data. The 2015 Pew Research Center Report also shows a full 57 percent of smartphone users doing their online banking on their phones.

But online banking is just the tip of the iceberg. GPS programs can find your location. Mobile apps often require that you allow them to access data stored in your phone or on the cloud. You can receive digital boarding passes via text message or verification codes for logging into sites, social media apps publish photos and personal data, fitness and health apps track steps, heartrate, and food intake—a cybercriminal can learn all there is to know about their targets by breaching their cell phone.

Your phone may contain and transmit a larger volume of and more sensitive info than your computers—but it’s not always as protected.

Security issues with phones

A number of factors contribute to weak mobile phone security, but one of the top concerns is that phones are much easier to be misplaced, lost, and stolen. Mobile phones go with you everywhere, which means there’s more potential for leaving them behind. Once a criminal has physical control over your phone, it’s often not too difficult to gain control of its data.

A second huge concern for mobile phone security is the validity of third-party apps. They aren’t vetted by the major app stores iTunes and Google Play, therefore they needn’t pass a minimum standard for safety. Apple iPhone has strict laws about apps: They can only be downloaded from iTunes, therefore they’re more secure. The downside is that users are restricted from going outside the iTunes ecosystem, which is why people sometimes jailbreak their phones. This is a dangerous measure, as it negates all security, not only for apps, but also for operating systems.

Google’s Android, however, allows for third-party apps to be downloaded. “Android is highly customizable and open to innovation by its users,” says Collier. “Also, although Google highly recommends you only install from the Google Play store, they allow you to take the risk into your own hands if you really want to install elsewhere.”

Another security risk with mobile phones is that users don’t update their OSes as often as computers. Updating phone software requires ample memory and battery power, and users are often running low on both. Every time a software update is delayed on a mobile phone, a cybercriminal has an opportunity to exploit security vulnerabilities in the operating system.

Of course, mobile phones are also vulnerable to the same pitfalls that befall desktops and laptops—mainly, users who don’t practice safe surfing. Social engineering in the form of social media scams and phishing can especially ensnare mobile users who regularly check their email, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. Phishing in the form of text messaging, or smishing, has also become a popular attack vector, particularly for criminals looking to cash in on the popularity of mobile banking.

Finally, all of these risks are compounded by the fact that technical security measures are not commonplace in phones. While computers are often equipped with firewalls, antivirus, and/or anti-malware software, mobile devices typically have only their operating systems and the security of their apps to protect them.

Ways to stay secure

So what does this mean for mobile phone users? It means that it’s even more important to stay vigilant about cybersecurity when using a mobile device. Here are some ways you can protect yourself, your data, and your phone.

  • Lock your phone with a password or fingerprint detection. At the very least, if you leave your phone on the counter at Starbucks or if it’s stolen out of your pocket, cybercriminals will have to get through that first gate. Set the time on your password lock to be short as well—30 seconds or less should cut it.
  • If it’s not already the default on your phone, consider encrypting your data. Doing so is especially useful for protecting sensitive data, whether that’s business emails or investing and banking apps.
  • Set up remote wipe. If your phone is lost or stolen, you’ll be able to wipe all of its data remotely (and therefore keep it out of the hands of criminals). You can often also use remote wipe to find your phone’s location.
  • Back up phone data. Consider connecting your device to its associated cloud service in order to automatically back up data (and encrypt it). However, if you don’t trust the cloud, be sure you connect to a PC or Mac to sync data regularly in order to preserve photos, videos, apps, and other files.
  • Avoid third-party apps. If you’re on an iPhone, you don’t have much of a choice. However, for Android users, staying on Google Play and not allowing apps from unknown sources keeps you relatively safe. If you do decide to use third-party apps, research to be sure you’re not getting a malicious one. Read reviews, and if the app asks for access to too much personal data up front, don’t download it.
  • Avoid jailbreaking your iPhone or rooting your Android. While the processes are different, the end result is bypassing what phone manufacturers intended (including security protocols) and ultimately weakening the security of your device.
  • Update operating systems often. When that pop-up reminder comes up, don’t ignore it. Charge your phone, clear out some space, and install the update right away.
  • Be wary of social engineering scams. Cybercriminals love to spoof banking apps, send phony texts meant to collect personal data, and email malicious links and attachments. Just as you do on your computer, view any communications from unknown sources with a careful eye. If it seems fishy, it very likely is.
  • Use public wifi carefully. Yes, you don’t want to use up all your data. However, public wifi is inherently insecure, so try not to make transactions or transmit sensitive data while using it. Consider using a VPN service to encrypt data transmitted online.
  • Download anti-malware for your mobile device. If you do happen to download a malicious app or open a malicious attachment, mobile anti-malware protection can prevent the infection.

Chances are, you use your phone to do a lot of stuff online. You may even be reading this article on it right now. For peace of mind, and to get a leg up against a rising tide of mobile malware activity, don’t just phone it in—be proactive about your mobile security.

Source: Posted by Wendy Zamora

 

 

Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use

Pro-gun members of Congress have introduced legislation to protect travelers who are transporting firearms interstate for lawful purposes.

The first such bill was
H.R. 358, filed by Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and 38 cosponsors in February. Joining him this week was Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who introduced S.618 on Tuesday.

Unlike
pending national reciprocity bills, this legislation deals specifically with transporting unloaded firearms, rather than for carry on one’s person en route.

Both bills would reform important provisions of the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) intended to protect the right of law-abiding gun owners to transport firearms throughout our nation. Yet in the years since its enactment, this law has too often been ignored by anti-gun local officials and effectively gutted by the courts. H.R. 358 and S. 618 would rewrite the law to implement the outcome Congress intended when it was passed more than 25 years ago.

FOPA’s safe transport provisions (
codified at 18 U.S.C. ᄃ 926A) guarantee the right of a law-abiding person to transport an unloaded firearm between two locations where he or she may legally possess it, regardless of state or local laws along the route of travel that would otherwise prohibit such conduct. Under the current law, the gun must be cased or otherwise not readily accessible.

Most states have never had a problem with this law.  However, both before and after enactment of FOPA, gun owners have had serious problems lawfully traveling in two states in particular: New York (especially New York City) and New Jersey. Rather than recognize Congressional intent to protect the rights of Americans traveling with legally owned firearms, these jurisdictions have used overly restrictive state licensing laws to harass and persecute nonresident gun owners.

In 2004, the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) arrested John Torraco at LaGuardia Airport for illegal possession of a firearm.  Torraco, an attorney and law professor from Florida, had properly stored his legally owned, unloaded handgun in his checked luggage.  However, when he declared the firearm to the counter agent (as required by federal law) he was arrested and charged for possessing the handgun without a New York handgun license.

In 2005, William Winstanley, a New York State resident, was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport when he attempted to check a handgun in his luggage, again in compliance with the requirements of § 926A.  Winstanley was not arrested, but his travel was delayed for several days while he proved that he was in compliance with federal law.

In 2005, Greg Revell, a Utah resident, was flying through Newark Liberty International Airport to his final destination in Pennsylvania. However, his flight into New Jersey was late, which caused him to miss his connecting flight. Revell was forced to collect his baggage and spend the night in a Newark hotel. When he attempted to recheck his baggage the following morning, he declared his unloaded handgun to the counter agent. PAPD officers arrested Revell for illegal possession of a handgun and ammunition under New Jersey law.  Revell spent three days in jail before he was able to make bail.

Each of these gun owners filed a civil rights suit in federal court to vindicate their rights under FOPA.  In each case, however, the courts interpreted the law to deprive travelers who comply with its provisions of any effective remedy after they’ve been arrested or detained by police for violation of state or local law.

Since that time, many other cases have resulted in guilty pleas to reduced charges, civil penalties, seized firearms, and delayed travel in situations where FOPA should have provided protection.

While cases of inappropriate arrest or detention are most common at the New York City airports, they are not limited to those locations. In Albany, NY, detention of gun owners and confiscation of firearms have been reported by persons traveling in full compliance with § 926A.  The NRA has been forced to repeatedly warn gun owners that they should avoid using New York or New Jersey airports when traveling with firearms.

To correct this situation, the pending bills would:

Expand the protections afforded travelers to include “staying in temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, and any other activity incidental” to the trip.

Put the burden of proof clearly on the state to show that a traveler did not meet the requirements of § 926A, rather than allow travelers to be arrested on local charges and forced to raise § 926A before a judge as an “affirmative defense.”

Make clear that transportation of firearms, their magazines, and ammunition is federally protected.

Make clear that violation of the right to transport firearms is judicially enforceable as a federal civil right, with attorney’s fees available to victorious plaintiffs in civil suits, as well as to defendants who prevail in criminal cases after raising a FOPA defense.


The NRA thanks Rep. Griffith and Sen. Hatch for their leadership in this vitally important effort and urges their respective chambers to take up the bills as soon as possible.

A constitutional “right” to arms that can be vetoed at every state, county, or municipal border is no right at all.

Source: NRA / ILA

 

 

Pennsylvania: Critical Firearms Preemption Legislation Passes Committee

 Senate Bill 1330, legislation that would strengthen Pennsylvania’s firearms preemption law to further ensure firearm and ammunition laws are consistent throughout the state,  passed the Senate Local Government Committee with an 8-3 vote.  SB 1330 will now go to the Senate floor for consideration by the full chamber.  

On the heels of last week’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down ACT 192 – Firearm Preemption Legislation - for violation of the “single subject” rule for legislative process, Senator Rich Alloway (R-33) has re-introduced legislation, SB 1330, to replace the intent of the original measure. 

Title 18 Pa.C.S., Section 6120 of Pennsylvania law specifically states that "No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth."

State firearms preemption was enacted by the state legislature to avoid the possibility of 2,639 separate firearm laws across the Commonwealth; however, over recent years, numerous local governments have enacted gun control ordinances in violation of the current state firearms preemption law.

A myriad of local firearm laws makes compliance very difficult and nearly impossible for responsible gun owners.  This creates a situation where gun owners and sportsmen have difficulty even knowing about certain laws, much less understanding them.  SB 1330 will correct the problem by preventing localities from imposing ordinances more restrictive than laws passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature.

We would like to thank Senator Alloway for reintroducing this important legislation and urge you to contact your state Senator TODAY and urge them to support this important measure.

Source: NRA / ILA

 

‘ARMED EVIL ALWAYS BEATS UNARMED INNOCENCE,’ WARNS SAF FOUNDER

Wednesday’s horrific terror attack in London that left three people dead, including an unarmed police constable, underscores the dangerously backward logic that leaves British police officers largely unarmed while terrorists and criminals will use whatever weapon they can, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.
 
“The death of veteran Constable Keith Palmer, along with a female British subject and an American citizen is yet another graphic demonstration of what we’ve learned in America,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Armed evil beats unarmed innocence every time. In this case, Constable Palmer was betrayed by his employer, by his government, and essentially set up to die.
 
“Our hearts and prayers go out to Constable Palmer’s family,” Gottlieb continued, “as well as the families of the other victims. It takes a good deal of courage in today’s world to become a police officer, and it takes a special kind of backbone to do that job unarmed.”
 
The American gun rights leader noted that the increasing use of violence by terrorists across the European landscape has given new urgency to the mission of the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) of which SAF is a founding member. Gottlieb was instrumental in creating that worldwide organization, and its efforts are taking on more importance with the growing terrorist threat.
 
“Terrorists and violent criminals prefer unarmed victims,” he stated. “British gun control laws have disarmed the general public along with most police officers, making the entire country a target rich environment.
 
“While it is being reported that Constable Palmer was supported by armed colleagues who shot the attacker, he should not have had to depend upon brother officers for his own safety,” Gottlieb stressed. “We realize there is a tradition of unarmed officers across Great Britain, but this brutal attack should serve as a wake-up warning that officer safety outweighs tradition. You cannot handcuff police with rules and regulations when terrorists, whether they are international criminals or home-grown lone wolf lunatics, simply disregard the mores and morals of a civilized society. In the end, all that you wind up with is a body count.”

Source:  The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org)

 

 

SAF CALLS GUN SHOW LICENSE PLATE SCANS A ‘CIVIL RIGHTS OUTRAGE,’ WANTS PROBE

A new Gallup poll that shows dramatically declining support for a ban on so-called “assault weapons” is proof that more Americans are waking up to the fact that gun bans and restrictive control in general are not the solutions to violent crime, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

“While extremist anti-gunners in Washington, D.C. push their agenda of public disarmament, this new poll shows that support for the right to keep and bear arms stretches across party lines all over the country,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Some people may think gun control is an issue that will carry them into the White House, but out here where common sense prevails, the idea of banning guns only puts people in the dog house.”

According to Gallup, only 36 percent of the people support a ban on “assault weapons,” where 44 percent backed the idea in 2012 and 57 percent liked the idea back in 1996. Gottlieb said the past 20 years have allowed Second Amendment organizations to educate the public, and many political leaders, about the false promise of restrictive gun control and outright bans.

“Taking perfectly legal firearms away from law-abiding citizens does nothing to discourage criminals from committing crimes with guns they obtain illegally,” Gottlieb explained. “Demonizing honest citizens who have harmed nobody by blaming their guns for crimes they didn’t commit does not pass the smell test, and the new Gallup results show that an increasing number of Americans have wised up to that.”

Gottlieb was disappointed, though not surprised, that more Democrats than Republicans still favor a ban. But he is encouraged because the poll results suggest that efforts by gun rights organizations to educate the public about Second Amendment issues and the futility of gun bans are working.

“The more people understand that banning guns for law-abiding citizens will not prevent criminals from breaking the law, the less time we will waste on fighting over gun rights and the more time we can spend on finding sensible solutions to lowering the violent crime rates,” Gottlieb concluded.

Source: The Second Amendment Foundation
www.saf.org

 

U.S. House Passes NRA-Backed Bill to Protect Second Amendment Rights of America’s Veterans

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1181, the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, sponsored by Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate.

H.R. 1181 in many respects mirrors a recently enacted resolution to repeal an Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) rule that sought to deprive certain SSA beneficiaries of their Second Amendment rights.

A federal statute prohibits firearm acquisition or possession by anyone who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective.” The statute, however, does not define the meaning of this term.

Like the SSA, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) interprets the phrase very broadly. It considers any VA beneficiary who is declared “incompetent” to manage his or her benefits and assigned a fiduciary for assistance to be a prohibited “mental defective.”

This is even broader and more arbitrary than the invalidated SSA rule. That rule at least excluded beneficiaries who were minors or of retirement age and applied only where the underlying condition that qualified the person for Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income was itself a mental condition.

The VA’s practice, however, has no such limitations. It applies to all beneficiaries receiving benefits for any reason who are assigned a fiduciary. The VA’s position is that an admission or finding that a fiduciary is needed is tantamount to an “adjudication” that a person “lacks the mental capacity” to “manage his own affairs.”  

But in most cases, these decisions are summary bureaucratic actions. They very rarely involve a hearing, much less lawyers or judges. So calling them an “adjudication” is inaccurate.

It’s also false to claim that needing help with finances is the sort of “mental defectiveness” Congress intended would prevent a person from being eligible to exercise his or her Second Amendment rights.

Mental health experts warn that there is no connection between financial acumen and a person’s ability safely and responsibly to handle a firearm. That point was made again and again in the context of the debate on the SSA bill.

Thus, the same arguments against the SSA rule apply just as strongly, if not more so, against the VA’s regime.

In other words, the VA’s regime is unconstitutional; inconsistent with the underlying statute; unsupported by science or empirical evidence establishing any link between financial acumen and the ability to safely and responsibly handle firearms; and harmfully stigmatizing. It also serves as a deterrent for vulnerable people who need help and benefits from seeking them.

In addition to all that, it presents the bitter irony of being targeted directly at the very people who bore the cost for the freedoms that all Americans enjoy.

The Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act would correct these deficiencies by ensuring that no beneficiary could be reported to NICS as a prohibited “mental defective” unless a judicial authority (such as a judge or magistrate) first determined the person to be a danger to self or others.

That leaves options in the case of a person experiencing an acute episode of dangerous mental illness, while also ensuring that veterans are not arbitrarily denied their rights without due process of law.

Meanwhile, the media is whipping up the usual frenzy about Congress “giving guns” to the “mentally ill.”

Even the self-styed legal experts from The View got in on the act, going so far as to encourage their viewers to contact their congressional representatives to object. Their comments on the bill and its effects, unsurprisingly, were rife with misunderstanding and misinformation.

Due process, as well as Second Amendment rights, are fundamental liberties that all Americans enjoy. They are exactly the sorts of rights for which America’s veterans have sacrificed so much. The fact that the VA would infringe them in this manner is a national disgrace and one that is long past due for correction.

The NRA thanks Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), as well as Chairman Roe, for their leadership in this critical effort.

The U.S. Senate should swiftly follow their lead and send the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act to President Trump’s desk.

Source: NRA / ILA

 

A Declaration of Independence for today

Two-hundred forty years ago a group of men pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor and embarked on a dangerous journey with an uncertain outcome in an effort to wrest themselves and their country from a despotic monarch and forge a new nation.

When taken in context, the tyranny under which the Founders languished pales in comparison to that we face today, as our Becky Akers so ably wrote last week.

So with apologies to Mr. Jefferson, the drafters and signatories of the original Declaration of Independence, I have taken their framework and drafted a new document stating our new grievances – many of which are eerily similar to those of yesteryear.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these united States; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of recent presidents, congresses and federal courts is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

They have created a host of Laws, regulations, ordinances and statutes that are most unwholesome and contrary to the public good. Presidents have created laws with the stroke of a pen, congresses have ceded their authority under the Constitution to make law and declare war to both the president and bureaucrats, and the courts have created law from whole cloth and stricken down laws passed by the people, all contrary to the established Constitution.

They have forbidden Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation, till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

They have refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

They have labeled freedom-loving people as dissidents and enemies of the state and sought to have them disarmed.

They have endeavored to prevent the population of these States, for that purpose establishing Laws for Admittance of Foreigners to act on their own behalf; refusing also to pass others to discourage their migrations hither, and raising the limits of foreigners imported.

They have obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing to restrain the bureaucrats and by granting the Judiciary powers it does not possess.

They have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out our substance and spy on us, rifle through our bank accounts, scan our electronic correspondence, raid our homes and places of business, prevent the self-determination of land use, inspect our gardens and livestock pens, prevent us from determining what is good and proper for consumption and to steal our property.

They have kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies in the form of militarized and federalized police officers who steal our possessions in the name of the “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terror,” who torture us and shoot us in order ensure their own safety; and have militarized a host government alphabet soup agencies with huge stockpiles of weapons and ammunition.

They have affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the civil power.

They have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

  • For establishing crony Trade pacts with all parts of the world:
  • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  • For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending laws passed by our own Legislatures and voted on by the people, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

They have abdicated Government here, by declaring illegal immigrants in his Protection and waging War against us through an intentional invasion of foreigners.

They are at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation, making war on other nations that have not attacked us and do not threaten us.

They and their minions have excited domestic insurrections amongst us.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to representatives in Congress. We have warned them from time to time about their attempts to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation from the federal leviathan, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

I, therefore, as a Representative of the people of the united States of America and the readers of Personal Liberty,  appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these states, solemnly publish and declare, That we are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the unlawful U.S. government, and that all political connection between them and the people, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Who will join me?

Source: Bob Livingston (Personal Liberty)

 

SAF INVITES SUPPORT FROM SEATTLE MEDIA IN P.R.A. LEGAL ACTION

BELLEVUE, WA – Renewed interest by Seattle news outlets in the revenues generated by the City of Seattle’s so-called “gun violence tax” demonstrates that the media is wondering why the city continues to withhold that information, especially considering an ongoing lawsuit by the Second Amendment Foundation and its publication, TheGunMag.com.

“Back in 2015, when the city adopted this gun tax, there were predictions that it would generate between $300,000 and $500,000 in revenue,” SAF founder Alan Gottlieb recalled. “Here we are, more than a year after the tax took effect, and the city still hasn’t released any information. The public has a right to know whether this was an accurate forecast, or just a pie-in-the-sky sales pitch to push this tax into law.

“Other news agencies have sought this information,” he added, “and we invite and challenge the media to join with us in the fight to protect the First Amendment and the people’s right to know because this is clearly a First Amendment issue. The city has argued that releasing the tax revenue information would jeopardize the privacy of the few businesses that have paid the tax, but that argument seems pretty thin. It’s becoming our strong suspicion that the city doesn’t want to release the revenue figure because it doesn’t come close to what they predicted.”

TheGunMag.com senior editor Dave Workman, who is a plaintiff in the case, repeated what has been the publication’s position since the outset: “We have never been interested in disclosing who paid what amount. All we want is an aggregate figure, and the longer the city holds out, the more people will wonder if they’re trying to conceal something.”

A separate lawsuit challenging the tax was filed in late 2015 by SAF, the National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation, plus two retail gun dealers. One of those retailers has moved his business outside the city, and the lawsuit asserts this is not a sales tax but a gun control measure that violates Washington State’s preemption statute.

“The City of Seattle is stonewalling us,” Gottlieb stated. “It’s time for them to come clean.”

Source: The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) 

 

 

QUALIFYING OPEN FOR STATE STUDENT ARCHERY TOURNAMENT
Qualifying for the National Archery in the Schools Program state championships is happening now.

 

  • A huge opportunity is “nocking” for Pennsylvania’s student archers.
  • The 2017 National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament is set to be held March 10 in State College. Qualifying for the state event is currently open across the state. And the Pennsylvania Game Commission is encouraging all schools participating in the program, commonly referred to as NASP, to take part.
  • Teams hoping to make the state tournament must first shoot at one of the many state qualifiers being held across the state. Qualifying opened on Oct. 1 and closes on Feb. 5.  The top 12 teams in each age division, as well as the top 30 individuals in each age class, will earn a ticket to the state championships. 
  • For information on how to host a state qualifier at your school use this link. http://www.pgc.pa.gov/Education/NationalArcheryInTheSchoolsProgram/Pages/NASPStateTournament.aspx 
  • The NASP state tournament has been growing each year since its inception in 2011, and the March 10 tournament to be held at the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility figures to include close to 1,000 participants. Students from more than 50 schools across Pennsylvania are expected to participate. The increase is representative of growth in the program statewide.
  • 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 237 schools.
  • The tournament should be a sight to see. Ninety-five lanes, each with two archers, will be operating at once. About 9,000 arrows will fly each hour. And somewhere near 46,000 arrows will be shot on the day.
  • This year, there will be over $7,000 in scholarships handed out to the top-performing archers in the state to help pay for college or trade school. 
  • To find a state qualifier tournament in your area, use the NASP Tournament website, http://nasptournaments.org.
  • Teams are reminded they must be NASP schools and participate in a state qualifier for a chance to qualify for the state championships. 
  • NASP helps school districts in Pennsylvania meet physical-education curriculum requirements 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, and Pennsylvania sent over 160 students to the 2016 national competition, which was held in Louisville, Kentucky;
  • 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: Pennsylvania Game Commission

 

 

SAF BLAMES GUN CONTROL HYSTERIA FOR RISE IN STOLEN GUNS FROM CARS

The Second Amendment Foundation responded to a biased story about firearms theft that appears in The Trace, an on-line anti-gun-rights publication.

The story concerns gun thefts from vehicles. SAF noted that those guns would not be left in cars were it not for the ridiculous gun control laws supported by wealthy anti-gun elitists who also support the publication.

“Michael Bloomberg and other gun prohibition elitists who bankroll The Trace should be demanding tougher sentences for people who break into cars just to steal guns, rather than whining about law-abiding citizens who are forced to leave guns locked in vehicles because of gun-free zones and other restrictions,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.

The article contends that gun owners “make it easy for thieves.” In reality, Gottlieb countered, it is laws that prevent legally-armed citizens from carrying their firearms into so-called ‘gun-free zones’ that include restaurants, shopping malls, theaters and other public places. And, he added, the blame also lies with lax enforcement of existing laws that are supposed to punish car prowlers.

“Gun prohibitionists encourage businesses to post their property off limits to legally-carried firearms,” Gottlieb noted. “The best way to keep firearms out of the wrong hands is to make it easier, not harder, for those guns to remain in the right hands. No honest citizen should be forced to leave a legal firearm locked in a vehicle while dining out with friends, or taking their families to a movie, or to a shopping mall, where they might be attacked and seriously injured, without the means to fight back, as last weekend’s incident in Minnesota demonstrated.

“This makes it easier for thieves to steal guns,” he added. “It’s almost as though anti-gunners want car prowlers to take those firearms, and for legal gun owners to be sitting ducks for the next madman with a knife.

“Bloomberg and The Trace don’t seem to understand who the good guys and bad guys are,” Gottlieb concluded.

Source:

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org)

 

Pa. Bill for Mentored Hunters Advances to Full Senate

Legislation that would allow Pennsylvania middle- and high-school-aged kids to try hunting under the direct control of an experienced mentor has cleared the final committee, allowing the bill to be voted on by the full Senate. House Bill 1452 would extend mentored hunting privileges to kids ages 12 to 17.  Mentored hunting is already permitted for people under 12 years old, and for adults.

 “Pennsylvania is the only mentored hunting state that currently prohibits high school and middle school kids from participating in mentored hunting,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Mentored hunting has been shown to be the safest and most effective means of attracting newcomers to hunting. We strongly encourage Pennsylvania senators to allow teenagers to join younger kids and adults in this opportunity.” 

House Bill 1452 was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, the final hurdle preventing it from receiving a vote before the entire Senate. The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Game and Fish Committee on March 22. If approved, it must also be voted on by the full House because of the mentored hunting changes inserted into the bill. HB 1452 also provides discount hunting licenses to trapping instructors. 

The Sportsmen’s Alliance, and the other Families Afield partners (National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, National Rifle Association and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation), have successfully championed mentored or apprentice hunting in 39 states since the Families Afield program was launched in 2005. The result has been more than 1.6 million licenses sold, many to suburban and urban people as well as women and girls. 

Pennsylvania was the first state to adopt a Families Afield-style mentored hunting bill for kids in 2006, and has led the nation in mentored hunting license sales ever since. In 2013, the Pennsylvania legislature approved legislation allowing adults to join the program. However, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reported that it needed special authorization to include kids ages 12 to 17. House Bill 1452 would correct that age loophole in the law and open the opportunity to them. 

Source: The Sportsmen’s Alliance

 

SAF Says Punish Democrats For House Rules Violations 

Reacting to an ethics complaint filed by an independent watchdog group against several House Democrats for violating House rules during their gun control sit-in, the Second Amendment Foundation today said the offenders should be punished for attacking the Second Amendment.

“I hope that these Democrat assault politicians get punished for their ethics violations,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “What they should really get punished for is violating their oath of office to protect our Constitution and the Second Amendment rights it protects.”

The complaint was filed by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust. It alleges that “House Democrats sent fundraising emails based on action taken in the Members official capacity and using official House images.”

“Bad enough that some House members appear to have exploited the sit-in for their own political purpose,” Gottlieb stated, “but their antics were primarily aimed at eroding the Second Amendment. Whether they like it or not, the right to keep and bear arms is part of the Bill of Rights, and if they can’t abide by that, they should hand in their resignations immediately.”

The partisan sit-in was staged entirely for the purpose of pushing for new gun control measures following the Orlando terror incident.

“In other countries,” Gottlieb observed, “authorities blame such attacks on Islamic or political extremism. But in the United States, Democrats always seem to blame such attacks on the Second Amendment, and they try to penalize 90 million law-abiding gun owners for something they didn’t do.

“If some drunk crashed a car into a school bus,” he noted, “you wouldn’t take car keys away from every motorist or try to ban cars. But these Democrats would rather go after guns because it diverts public attention away from the fact that they have been either unwilling or unable to prevent terror attacks on American soil.”

Source: The Second Amendment Foundation

 

 Connecticut Judge Grants Immunity to Bushmaster in Case Seeking to Gut the PLCAA

On January 26, 2015, survivors of victims killed by a deranged man at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut sued the maker and distributor of the firearm he used in his crimes.

This afternoon, a judge issued a ruling in the case, Soto v. Bushmaster, that held the defendants were entitled to immunity from the suit.

The defendants in the case originally asked the court to dismiss the complaint under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which was enacted in 2005 to prohibit frivolous suits against firearm makers for criminal acts committed with their products by unaffiliated third parties. 

In April, the court in the Soto case issued a highly technical ruling that found the defendants had filed the wrong type of motion to invoke the protections of the PLCAA. The court at that time expressed no opinion on the merits of either the complaint or the defenses.

The defendants renewed their claim of immunity under the PLCAA, this time by filing “motions to strike” the plaintiffs’ claims.

In a lengthy decision on the merits, Connecticut Judge Barbara Bellis today granted those motions in their entirety.

Judge Bellis stated in her order: 

Congress, through the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act … has broadly prohibited lawsuits “against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms … for the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful use of firearm products … by others when the produced functioned as designed and intended.” … The present case seeks damages for harms … that were caused solely by the criminal misuse of a weapon by [the perpetrator of the Newtown slayings]. Accordingly, this action falls squarely within the broad immunity provided by the PLCAA.  

The plaintiffs in the case tried to avoid the obvious problems the PLCAA presented for their claims by citing one of the law’s exceptions for “negligent entrustment.” This requires a plaintiff to show that the seller of the product knew, or reasonably should have known, that selling the product to a particular recipient created an unreasonable risk of harm.

In the Newtown case, none of the defendants sold or supplied a firearm directly to the ultimate perpetrator. Instead, the firearm was sold to his mother, who passed the legally required background check. The perpetrator, however, subsequently killed her and stole the firearm he then used in his crimes. 

Nevertheless, the plaintiffs claimed the defendants were negligent for entrusting any member of the general public with the Bushmaster XM-15E2S (an AR-15 variant) used in the crime. Despite the fact the firearm was perfectly legal to sell and own under federal and Connecticut law at the time and that AR-15s are America’s most popular and fastest-selling rifles, the plaintiffs insisted that “civilians are unfit to operate AR-15s.”

Had this claim succeeded, it would have not only been the first time a court essentially banned an otherwise legal class of firearms, it would have essentially gutted the protections of the PLCAA by making courts, rather than legislatures, the ultimate arbiters of what firearms are legal to sell.

Fortunately, Judge Bellis understood this was exactly the sort of claim for which the PLCAA was enacted. It would be impossible for businesses to manufacture and sell firearms to the public if courts could decide, after that fact, that even legal gun were too dangerous for any member of the public to own. 

Judge Bellis also rejected other claims under a PLCAA exception that allows for a lawsuit when a manufacturer or seller knowingly violated a state or federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, and that violation led to the harms claimed in the suit. For these claims, the plaintiffs cited the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, but the court held they had not alleged the sorts of commercial relationships with the defendants necessary to establish a right of action under that law.

The court’s decision is a reminder of the critical importance of the PLCAA to preserving the Second Amendment in America. It should come as no surprise, then, that Hillary Clinton has promised to pursue repeal of the PLCAA if elected to the presidency.  

It should also come as no surprise that the plaintiffs have already expressed their intention to appeal today’s ruling. We will report on further developments as they occur.

Source: NRA / ILA

 

Winter boating update

Colder weather is upon us, but you can still enjoy the water.

Be aware that between Nov. 1 and April 30 each year,
Pennsylvania boating law requires a life jacket be worn by ALL people aboard any water craft less than 16 feet in length, which would include small boats, canoes and kayaks.

Wearing a life jacket in cold water may save your life!

The body's first reaction to immersion in cold water is frequently an involuntary gasp, which can lead to swallowing water, and can also lead to changes in heart rhythm.

The colder the water temperature,
the less time a person can remain conscious and survive.

A life jacket will keep you afloat even if your body is unable to respond.

Learn more about
boating in PA on the Fish and Boat Commission website.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding this or any state-related issue, please
contact my office.

Source: Rep. Harry A. Readshaw

 

Additional State Forest Roads Opening Across the State For Hunting Seasons, Other Outdoor Activities

Hunters and other outdoors enthusiasts heading into Pennsylvania’s state-owned woodlands this autumn will find additional roads open in 18 of the 20 state forest districts, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced today.

“We know improved accessibility and DCNR’s promotion of deer hunting where needed benefits forest regeneration and the overall ecosystem,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “As a result, the Bureau of Forestry is opening more than 540 miles of state forest roads normally open only for administrative use. They again will be available to hunters, hikers, foliage viewers and others visiting state forestlands this fall.”

More than 3,000 miles of state forest roadways will be open during the statewide archery deer season, which opens Saturday, Oct. 1, and closes Saturday, Nov. 12. They will continue to stay open through other hunting seasons continuing into January, 2017.

“Regardless of whether they seek deer, bear, turkey or small game, hunters in our state forests will find more than 90 percent of that land now is within one-half mile of an open road,” said Dunn.

With the hunter in mind, DCNR continues to update a new interactive map of state forestlands across Pennsylvania that offers details on newly opened roads, timber harvesting activity, forestry office contact numbers and more.

Meanwhile, top-quality hunting is offered at many state parks -- especially those in the 12.5-county Pennsylvania Wilds region -- where state forestland often surrounds them. Inexpensive camping can be found at many of those parks.

Primitive camping on state forestlands is also an option, giving hunters a backcountry camping or hunting experience. Camping permits, issued by the managing forest district, are required when camping on state forestlands on designated sites.

Many of these campsites are close to state parks and forestlands enrolled in the Pa. Game Commission’s Deer Management Assistance Program, permitting hunters to take one antlerless deer or more when properly licensed. Hunters are advised to check with state forests district headquarters or state park offices about availability.

Hunters traveling to some north central areas of the state are reminded some hunting areas and travel routes may be impacted by Marcellus Shale-related activities. Some state forest roads may be temporarily closed during drilling operations or other peak periods of heavy use to reduce potential safety hazards.

Some state forest roads only will be opened for the second week of the traditional rifle season because they cannot withstand the expected heavy traffic of the first week of that season. Two- or three-month long openings will be in effect only where there is minimal threat of damage or deterioration to road surfaces or forest surroundings.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s 20 state forest districts and 120 state parks, visit http://www.dcnr.state.pa and select “Find a Forest” or “Find a Park.”

The new interactive state forest map can be viewed at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/deer/openroads/index.htm.

Marcellus Shale information can be found on Bureau of Forestry pages under “Natural Gas Drilling on State Forests.” Camping opportunities and details can be found on both the “Forestry” and “State Park” pages.

Source: PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources