Georgia’s gun bill passes both chambers, the latest on Ares Armor, anti-gunners go after private business, and Feinstein proposes a ban on imported firearms. Big news in the gun world. Thanks as always to Armed Novelist (DeviantArt / Tumblr) for providing some of the stories this week.

1.) Georgia. Because I’m both biased and live here, let me get this out of my system early. Thursday night, at about 11:20 (40 minutes before the end of the 2014 session) HB 60, a massive gun rights expansion restoration bill got final approval by the House after a few amendments in the Senate. The amendments allowed for churches to “opt-in” to allowing firearms, as well as legalizing suppressors for use in hunting.

Georgia Carry posted an email written BEFORE the bill passed by Americans for Responsible Solutions, an anti-gun group headed up by former AZ Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The email basically shows that HB 60’s failure would have had national implications, and would have been a major boost to anti-gun groups. ARS, Moms Demand Action, and others referred to the bill as the “most extreme gun bill” in the country.

For what it’s worth, ARS posted a brief statement on their Facebook page shortly after the bill’s passage celebrating the defeat of campus carry as well as (falsely) the defeat of church carry. Georgia Carry posted a different, and much longer response on their Facebook, recapping the night and suggesting that more was in the pipe for 2015.

2.) Florida. Elsewhere in the country, Florida’s House passed a bill augmenting the state’s Stand Your Ground law with allowing people to fire a warning shot instead of retreating from the threat of death or harm. The Senate has a bill that is “in line” with the House, and it slated for a vote March 26.

3.) Ares. Now to the big story: the ATF vs. Ares Armor. By now, most who have been monitoring the story know the basics, so we won’t spend too much time on that. A look at an application for a warrant on Ares/EP put the company as part of a wider investigation. The application does not, however, suggest Ares/EP is engaged in any sort of criminal activity.

On March 17, the ATF filed a motion in opposition of the restraining order placed on the agency by Ares. (Not that they paid attention to the order to start with.) At the center of this is whether the 80% complete lowers the company sold were or were not defined as firearms.

Since then, a hearing between the two sides scheduled for Thursday was vacated.

Outside of the Ares fight, the ATF was slammed by a Los Angeles Federal judge for its recent tactics. Judge Otis Wright took his decision to throw out charges on a man arrested during an ATF sting to criticize the ATF’s tactics during those stings. In short, he accused the ATF of setting up “made-up crimes” and “ensnaring chronically unemployed individuals from poverty-ridden areas” in those crimes.

Not the best PR situation for the ATF this week. It could only be worse if the major news outlets were paying attention. That they are in this position at least signifies they are starting to meet resistance. After Fast and Furious, they don’t exactly have credibility.

4.) Connecticut. Authorities in Connecticut seem to be desperate to avoid the word “confiscation.” Apparently being asked to relinquish firearms is not confiscation because it doesn’t involve police physically going door-to-door to grab them. Ever since CT gun owners refused en masse to register their guns, suggesting that it would lead eventually to confiscation efforts, the government and state police have been walking a fine line between being “fair” to those who refused to register and mulling attempting to arrest over three-hundred thousand people.

Keep watching CT. It’s either going to explode or the gun laws will be ignored.

5.) Feinstein. To nobody’s surprise, California Senator Dianne Feinstein has a new gun control proposal out. This time, the bill seeks to ban firearms “not generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes” from being imported into the US. Yes, “sporting purposes.” Although, one could argue that target shooting/3-Gun are sports and any number of guns can be used in those.

But even if they couldn’t…..”sporting purposes” is a resurrection of the idea that the Second Amendment is not about defense, but about hunting. It hasn’t worked in decades, and there is no reason to suspect it will work now.

6.) Idaho. A massive nullification bill was signed into law in Idaho this week. The bill, which nullifies future gun laws and prevents all forms of confiscation (barring guns used to commit felonies), among other things, is part of a growing movement among states to nullify what they see as the Federal government overstepping its authority. The Tenth Amendment has seen a lot of attention lately.

7.) Next up. With the legislative front going so poorly, gun control advocates are moving to pushing private businesses to ban firearms. It’s nothing new, but it is general admission that gun control isn’t popular enough to get through any government. The only two “victories” in that have been Starbucks saying guns are “unwelcome” and a minor Facebook policy change regarding blatantly illegal gun purchases.

Let’s be honest, when you are resigned to “pressuring” businesses and taking credit for things you had nothing to do with, it’s time to re-evaluate your argument.

Stay informed, stay alert, stay free.

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