Slowdown

The entire planet was at SHOT Show this week (and if they weren’t in Vegas for the SHOT Show, there were there for the porn convention, apparently). It should go without saying that there isn’t much gun news worth discussion, especially after last week’s mad-dash of legislation. We’ll keep it extremely brief both due to that and due to the insane amount of information I hit you with last time.

1.) Washington. Guns.com has a story of some 2nd Amendment advocates holding a rally on the steps of the Capitol, which was fine by itself. When the protest went into the gallery, an altercation followed resulting in arrests.

This isn’t the same as what happened in Texas, where a group of people trying to “help” the cause basically threatened legislators on camera.

2.) SAFE Act. A New York gun dealer is blaming the state’s SAFE Act for forcing him to close two stores. Kordell Jackson, owner of Jackson Guns and Ammo, <a href="http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2015/01/22/jackson-gun-shop-closes-amid-regulation-trouble/22170727/?utm_medium=%5B%27referral%27%5D&utm_source=%5B%27t.co%27%5D"told the Democrat & Chronicle that higher regulation, and the extra work involved therein only made a bad situation worse.

Incidentally, a SAFE Act sponsor was arrested on federal graft and corruption charges this evening.

3.) Kansas. Continuing with the legislation from last week, 26 Kansas senators are pushing to allow for concealed carry without a permit. Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce said that it doesn’t “make sense that in Kansas we allow for open carry without a permit but we refuse somebody to have the ability to carry a firearm concealed on their person.”

As we’ve seen, Constitutional carry seems to be the big story this year.

4.) Women. Finally this week, another report shows that women continue to be the driving force behind gun sales. Interestingly, some are giving credit to reality TV like “Duck Dynasty” and films like “Hunger Games” for helping this trend and, in a way, making hunting more mainstream.

This is nothing new, of course. Women have been the force behind the spike in gun sales for months now. It is good to see such a trend continue, however, as it makes the stereotype of the gun-owning, overweight white male redneck even more obsolete than it already is.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Gavel

Legislation. Everywhere.

1.) Oklahoma. Campus Carry has entered the Oklahoma legislature. University of Oklahoma’s president David Boren opposes the idea, claiming that allowing guns on campus would jeopardize the security of the students. Rep. John Enns, however, suggested that with the rise in shootings and sexual assaults on various campuses, schools aren’t a safe place without some form of self-defense.

2.) Nullification: ShallNot.Org has details on bills looking to nullify federal gun legislation. A bill in Minnesota that would basically gut all federal legislation, “past, present and future.” Two bills in South Carolina, Two more in Kentucky, plus a bill in Montana aiming to block any ban on semi-automatic guns and “large capacity” (or, as rifle shooters call them, “standard capacity”) clips magazines.

ShallNot.Org is making decent progress it seems.

3.) Texas. Barring a ridiculous incident by one Kory Watkins that led to Texas lawmakers installing panic buttons, a bill supporting constitutional carry (AKA permitless carry) was filed in the Texas legislature. The bill has the backing of Open Carry Texas (no relation to Open Carry Tarrant County, which is Watkins’ group) and the National Association for Gun Rights.

But, seriously, if anyone knows anybody in Open Carry Tarrant County….tell them to stop.

4.) Indiana. Constitutional Carry legislation was also filed in Indiana, only this one goes a bit further than the Texas legislation. Whereas Texas seems to have Constitutional Carry in addition to the permit system (largely for reciprocity purposes), this one seems to repeal the permit program altogether.

Guns.com also notes that Constitutional Carry is already the law in Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, and Wyoming. Wisconsin also allows for permitless open carry.

5.) Alabama. The ability to carry a gun in your car without a license is the focus of a bill in Alabama’s legislature. The bill’s sponsor, Tuscaloosa State Senator Gerald Allen, says that the bill is basically an extension of the state’s Castle Doctrine, which states that your vehicle is itself an extension of the home.

6.) Kentucky. A mixed bag of legislation coming out of Kentucky. The NRA-ILA has a recap of most of it, with bills dealing with the aforementioned nullification (which, for some reason, isn’t mentioned in the NRA piece), allowing an NRA safety course to count towards a CCW permit, and allow current/retired military, law enforcement, etc. to apply for a CCW permit even if they aren’t 21.

But, like I said, it’s a mixed bag. Also on the schedule are 2 bills, one of which apparently reinstates “duty to retreat” and requires the initial aggressor to retreat before deadly force becomes an option.

At least that’s how I read it.

7.) Missouri. Two things from Missouri. The first would ban people convicted or suspected of domestic violence. (Yes, suspected.) The second would tax all handguns and ammo, supposedly to finance police body cameras.

8.) Nationally. From the NRA-ILA:

U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) recently introduced H.R. 131, a bill that would more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms and ammunition for law-abiding gun owners.

Current federal law guarantees the right of law-abiding persons to transport firearms between two locations where they have a legal right to possess and carry them, regardless of state or local laws that would otherwise apply. The firearm must be cased or otherwise not readily accessible. Unfortunately, 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.

H.R. 131 would ensure the law has the effect Congress intended when it passed more than 25 years ago. Specifically, the legislation would make clear that transportation of both firearms and ammunition is federally protected, as well as expand the protections afforded to 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. Additionally, the bill would place the burden of proof clearly on the state to show that the traveler failed to comply with the law.

In short, the emphasis this year is on nullification of federal gun laws, and permitless carry up to and including the destruction of pre-existing licensing schemes.

If any of them pass, it will be amazing. If MOST of them pass, it will be a watershed moment in support of the right of self-defense.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

School Zone

I need to rectify something.

In the lead-up to HB60, there was a lot of activity on the campus carry front.

That didn’t happen in Georgia, but other states have continued to look at it.

And we haven’t covered that in ages.

This week, we fix all of that. With many state legislatures convening over the next few weeks, and with the new Congress seated, we can get back to work.

On tap this week, a Federal bill against “gun free schools,” Florida mulls a campus carry bill, and students speak out in favor of campus carry.

1.) Gun-free Schools. “Gun Free Zones” tend to be gun-free except for that one guy who is shooting everybody he sees. Name any school shooting of the last decade and the result is the same. One or two people entering a building and tearing it up, with nothing to stop them. Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced a bill Friday that aims to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act. The GFSZA was passed by George H.W. Bush and introduced by Joe Biden.

This is in line with the recent movement by ShallNot.Org, which yesterday teased on Facebook that they intend to go after the 1934 National Firearms Act.

2.) Florida. A bill to allow guns on college campuses was filed in Florida back in December. (Like I said….it has been a while since we looked at this.) The debate over guns on campus took center stage in Florida after an incident in November, when a man walked into the FSU library and shot and wounded three people. Weeks later, the group Florida Carry publicly argued that the shooting would have been mitigated if people had been allowed to carry guns on campus.

Their lead counsel, Eric Friday, debated representatives from the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action November 24

Whereas Georgia was the center of attention last year, there is a lot of evidence that Florida will be the nucleus of the campus carry debate this year.

3.) Texas. Texas A&M’s student body seems to be going for campus carry as well. The university’s student body president signed a bill allowing for campus carry, which passed the Student Senate 39-12, with six abstaining from voting. The bill now goes to the university’s administration and, should it pass that, to the Texas legislature.

With that and a Constitutional Carry bill in the works, Texas may both be the center of the gun-rights movement this year and live up to its reputation as a gun-friendly state.

4.) Hysterics. Of course, the campus carry legislation will lead to the usual promises of bloodshed and violence everywhere. (HB60 was a lot of fun, wasn’t it fellow Georgians? Support for that thing was tantamount to support for mass shootouts at bars…which never happened. So to deal with that, we turn our attention to Illinois, which as you know recently went shall-issue. This was followed by the usual promises of bloodshed and “don’t you care about the children” false dichotomies that we’re used to.

As early as January 3, Illinois police called the passage of concealed carry in Illinois a, to use their words, “non-event.”

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Warmup

To the shock of absolutely nobody, not much has happened in the time between when we left and now. As such, we don’t have all that much to cover this week. Let’s keep it brief, let’s keep it simple. This week, ShallNot.org on the constitutionality of background checks, Ben Carson announces that he’ll soon make a decision on 2016, and a new poll suggests more Americans think government is the problem.

1.) Background Checks. There is a growing field in the gun rights movement that, not only are background checks ineffective, but they are flat-out unconstitutional. ShallNot.org, a relative newcomer to the scene, posted a thought-provoking brief on the topic this week, which reads in part:

First and foremost, the claimed “benefits” of background checks are irrelevant, because the feds don’t have the authority. The Second Amendment is pretty clear on their lack of authority, as we’ve written on this site previously.

But a lot of gun owners and so-called gun rights groups don’t see it that way. Not only are they supportive of background checks at a state level, but the federal level as well.

No other right in the Constitution requires a background check before you may exercise it. Some may say this is because owning a firearm can lead to violence, but this is silly. People can cause riots after speaking at a political rally, start religious cults that end in mass suicide, or say terrible things about other people on the Internet that can cause harm to one’s reputation.

As we saw in Ferguson, it isn’t hard to incite a riot with only words.

2.) Carson. Ben Carson, who has had something of a rough relationship with gun owners, says that he is close to a decision on whether he will run for office in 2016. Not much more to say there, other than Jeb Bush is also angling for 2016 for those of you who think a political dynasty is a good idea.

3.) Government. A new poll suggests something we may have been waiting a long time for. Many Americans think the biggest problem with America, is the government of America. It’s a small crack in the wall, and we all know that polls can be/generally are miserable samples….but at this point we will take them where we can get them.

4.) RKBS. Finally, 2 police officers are facing a lawsuit in Saratoga Springs, Utah after shooting 22-year-old Darrien Hunt. Prosecutors say that Hunt lunged at the two officers with a “samurai-type sword” and that the actions of the officers were reasonable and justified. Hunt’s family is saying that he was shot while fleeing and that he had a right to have the sword in public under the Second Amendment.

Believe it or not, “Knife Rights” has been entering the fold lately, complete with a National Journal bit that suggests a knife can be “just as lethal” as a gun.

Of course, regular readers already know that…..even if a lot of anti-gun groups don’t.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.