Grab Bag: March 2017

A bill in Missouri regarding felons and gun rights, Campus Carry passes the Georgia, and a note on firearms safety classes returning to public schools in Idaho.

1.) Felons. A bill in Missouri would lay out how people convicted of a number of felonies COULD have those rights reinstated. The bill is restarting the debate on whether people convicted of felonies (particularly violent ones) should have their rights reinstated at all.

We have handled this topic numerous times in the past. If it succeeds in Missouri, it could very much spread.

CJ Grisham of Open Carry Texas also wrote a fantastic article on the subject last year as well. 

All of this is built around 2 central questions. If people released from prison cannot be trusted to have firearms, how can they be trusted with any other possibly lethal object?

And if people released from prison cannot be trusted with that, why are pathologically violent people being released at all?

2.) Georgia. Campus Carry will stop coming up in the Georgia legislature when Campus Carry becomes law, so get used to this until then. This week, the House passed what is basically a carbon copy of last year’s. It now moves to the Senate, where Republicans are practically daring Lt. Gov Cagle and Gov. Deal to try and block it again.

A bill passed last session legalizing stun guns/TASERs.

3.) Idaho. A new bill has been introduced to put firearms safety classes into Idaho public schools. While live ammo would be banned, the classes would be taught by the “Idaho Department of Fish and Game, law enforcement, or a firearms organization.”

The question is whether gun control types will have something against education. We already know they prey on ignorance.

Stay alert. Stay informed. Stay free.

States Fights 2017: Part 2

Already we have a ton of news to update the States Fights from 2 weeks ago. This week, we stop by Georgia, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nevada. Plus, a surge in membership for Georgia militias that is splitting from the national trend, and a new law in Arizona that would significantly amp up penalties for rioting.

1.) Georgia. As a matter of efficiency tonight, let’s deal with all of the news out of Georgia in one shot.

First off, this week saw a meeting in the State House for a number of gun bills. Campus carry, new residents with carry permits, and reciprocity with Virginia were the main topics in a hearing with the Hose Homeland Security and Public Safety Committees.

Campus carry is pretty much a carbon copy of the bill from last year.

The second bill would make it so that new residents holding a CCW from a state with which GA has reciprocity would have 90 days to get a Georgia Weapons License.

The third would directly change the reciprocity agreement with Virginia.

Representative Eddie Lumsden noted that “most conservatives don’t believe it’s wise of government to require training because this is a right, not a privilege.” In case you are wondering, that is a reference to bills in the past which would have required training if they had a chance in hell of getting through the State Legislature.

Which they don’t.

Moving on.

1a.) Georgia militias. Despite the trend elsewhere, Georgia militias are apparently seeing a post-election spike in membership. The “Three Percent Security Force” had an interview with CBS46, in which their leader Chris Hill said “the level of violence that I see coming from these protests is alarming, and I think that creates more of a need for people like us.”

Whether that scares you depends on your perspective of the so-called Three Percent movement.

2.) Iowa. Is there such a thing as “too much pro-gun legislation”? Well, no, but if there were, Iowa would probably be one of the first states to meet the standard. With Republican majorities in both chambers, the Des Moines Register reports that Republicans are now “proposing a comprehensive rewrite that touches nearly every aspect of Iowa’s firearms laws, including adding “stand your ground” provisions, instituting lifetime permits to carry, allowing children to use handguns while under adult supervision and pre-empting local ordinances that restrict firearms use.”

“As a whole, this puts us light-years beyond where we’re at currently,” said Rep. Matt Windschitl, a Republican from Missouri Valley who spearheaded drafting the bill. “If we can get this down to the governor’s desk, I believe that Iowans will see this as a wholesale change that they approve of and agree with.”

Many of the changes outlined in House Study Bill 133 have been approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in recent years, only to meet a swift defeat in the Senate where Democrats previously held the advantage.

Watch Iowa, folks. It could get really interesting there. Out of all of the articles this week on the Run, this one is easily the longest.

3.) Nevada. While not nearly as ambitious as Iowa, some bills in Nevada are headed for hearings next week. NRA-ILA has information on both, one pro-gun, one anti-gun. The anti-gun measure expands the list of prohibited places to carry, and also bars the storage of firearms in vehichles. The pro-gun bill would allow guns to be stored in vehicles on school property.

4.) South Dakota. Not much more to say here other than the headline from NRA-ILA: “House Passes Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation.” The bill now moves onto the Senate. It is already legal to carry a firearm openly without a permit, just not concealed. This law would fix that.

5.) Arizona. [Side note: My InSov Network colleague over at This Is The Line brought this up shortly before tonight’s Run was written, and deserves all the credit for what follows.]

Apparently exhausted at the recent tendency of protests to evolve into riots, legislators in Arizona (and apparently seventeen other states) are looking to amp up penalties for those convicted of rioting.

The Arizona bill would allow for charges against rioters, particularly in the event of damage to property. The driving force behind this seems to be the fact that a lot of riots are organized well in advance (as we saw in Berkeley when Milo was slated to speak there earlier this year).

Critics believe the bills amount to little more than an attempt to crackdown on protesting generally.

It is an interesting, and rather new trend, that should definitely be on your radar as the year (and the protests, considering the pattern after every time Trump signs something) continue.

While the Federal legislation has been fairly slow to move, that has clearly not been the case at the State level. Expect many more editions of States Fights in the next few months, as we will be checking in regularly with everything from campus carry, to permitless carry, to reciprocity. Clearly, the GOP takeover at virtually all levels of government has galvanized pro-gun/pro-self defense activists and legislators, all of whom know they may not have as good a chance as they do now.

Things are about to start moving very quickly because of that.

Stay alert. Stay informed. Stay free.

Outrage

Paying taxes becomes optional, Obamacare is collapsing, and South Dakota’s Governor goes on record as anti-Constitutional Carry. A fairly diverse palette of news this week, honestly.

1.) Taxes. Remember when the Affordable Care Act went through? How the mandate (tax) was something you had to pay as a method of “helping society”?

It turns out, with the election of Donald Trump, that paying taxes is no longer the cost of living in a civilized society, but in fact is entirely optional as a form of protest against being forced to pay for something you don’t want. The Guardian does a fantastic job covering this new, but predictably oddball form of protest.

2.) Obamacare. Speaking of ACA, the heads of major insurance companies are slowly starting to suggest that the current environment is basically not survivable for most major insurance carriers. With Aetna and Humana both pulling out, and others like Anthem examining their options, there continues to be little more than anecdotal evidence in support of the Affordable Care Act.

Which is a neutral way of saying that there is a growing mountain of evidence showing why the law needs to be repealed before it does any more damage.

3.) Permitless carry. In this year’s first States Fights update, we discussed the surge of Constitutional Carry. This week, we can now discuss one of the roadblocks. According to Guns.com, the governor of South Dakota has promised to veto the Constitutional Carry legislation working through the legislature.

And things aren’t much rosier in Colorado, where a permitless carry bill has passed a Senate committee, but is expected to almost certainly be blocked in the Democrat-controlled CO House.

Also, I would like to draw your attention to something on that. Note how the anti-gun statements begin in almost EXACTLY the same way; attempting to both establish some kind of unwarranted authority and speak for an entire demographic (and in the second case, multiple demographics) of people.

It’s actually kind of amusing how robotic the talking points are.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

States Fights 2017: Part 1

A new year means part-time legislatures have new sessions. This week, we check in on Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina.

Put bluntly, Constitutional Carry is gonna be BIG.

1.) Georgia. Campus and Constitutional Carry take center stage. Constitutional Carry has a long way to go, not helped by the support of the frequently reactionary Georgia Gun Owners. 

College campuses are also getting a lot of attention. In addition to campus carry, there is a bill that would essentially force colleges to hand over all rape cases to the police. We’ll let slide the issue of why this hasn’t happened already, but it’s worth noting in the context of campus carry, and the overall subject of reducing crime in and around campus.

Campus carry was only recently introduced in the Gold Dome, although it is largely a carbon copy of last session’s.

2.) Kentucky. Constitutional Carry isn’t doing great everywhere. A bill was withdrawn without warning in Kentucky’s Senate. Nobody is entirely sure why the broadly-supported measure was withdrawn regardless.

3.) North Carolina. Consitutional Carry has been introduced in NC, according to the consistently exellent ShallNot.org (who have been a go-to source for all things Constitutional Carry). The bill, as is the norm, would not dismantle the current licensing system to allow for reciprocity.
4.) Mississippi. We have gone over crime and punishment a lot around here. What we haven’t given much attention to the death penalty. Now Missippi now looks at bringing the death penalty back with the electric chair, gas chanber, and firing squad as methods of execution. The bill, which was approved by the State House this week, would add the above to lethal injection, the only legal form of execution in the states.

Expect this to really start picking up national attention.

5.) Outrage. Finally tonight, a lot of the people you see protesting friggin’ everything apparently live mostly with their parents. Which explains all the free time they have to allow for all that protesting.

Stau informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Grab Bag: Feburary 2017

Georgia State Republicans go for Constitutional AND Campus carry, 2 states already on the verge of campus carry, plus the new normal in gun sales as NICS checks tank in January over the same month last year.

1.) Georgia. While I would argue that they are getting way ahead of themselves, legislators the Georgia State House have introduced a bill for Constitutional Carry this session. The bill would not dismantle the current system, but only so that Georgia residents can have something to use for CCW reciprocity elsewhere (or, depending on Congress, everywhere). The Tenth Amendment Center has been keeping track of multiple Constitutional Carry laws, as the movement seems to be gaining momentum just about everywhere, even with the national reciprocity issue on the table.

2.) Campus Carry. Meanwhile, the State Houses of Arkansas and Wyoming approved campus carry bills in their respective states. The Arkansas measure only allows for faculty and staff, whereas Wyoming’s would allow anybody with a permit. Georgia’s, for the record, appears to be about allowing anybody with a permit. It is, for whatever reason, a carbon copy of the one Governor Deal vetoed last session.

3.) NICS. To say that background checks in January of this year were lower than January of last is to undersell it. FBI records show that, compared to last year, January saw an incredible 43.7% drop.

This is likely the new normal, it also proves that (perhaps ironically), former President Obama was indeed the best gun salesman the industry ever had.

4.) Trump. While that may be the case, former President Obama did leave a ton of anti-gun Executive Orders in place (which were probably the reason gun sales were so high). On the upshot, with a much more gun-friendly President in the White House, most of that should be dealt with in fairly short order.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Grab Bag: January 2017

More from Trump, PA sets a background check record, and an update to Midnight Run: Debt.

1.) Trump. A ton of activity from the Trump administraion, largely in the form of a torrent of executive orders. Perhaps chief among them were two orders set on restarting two pipeline projects that have been dormant due to being caught up in political posturing and protests. Of course, the Dakota Pipeine became famous for the Standing Rock protests, which ended with the line being rerouted around the territory in what was called a pyrric victory by the Economist (who predicted it would be overturned).

Sure enough, that is precisely what has happened, and it is clear that both Trump and the pipeline’s opeator are eager to get the project moving again.

2.) Debt. A man in Arizona was hailed as a hero this week for shooting a suspect who was beating a state trooper.

While that in and of itself is newsworthy (as DGUs tend to be), there is another part of this story that is definitely worth paying attention to. Namely, the man is a former felon who had his gun rights restored.

There is a post by a man named Greg Ellifritz on this subject that makes a number of excellent points on the story. Both the restoration of rights and that a lot of people would look down on the guy for his past and his appearance.

A story with many lessons.

3.) PICS. Pennsylvania deserves special mention this week. A report from Leigh Valley Live states that the Commonwealth’s background check system set records firearm checks in 2016. For the uninitiated, generally PA residents must file two background check forums. One for the NICS system we all know, and a second for the State Police system (the PA Instant Check System or PICS).

With the growth of the overall liberty movement, a pro-gun Congress, a pro-gun President, and the possibility of supressors becoming more easily available, the number is almost certainly going to stay high.

Continue to follow the National Reciprocity and Hearing Protection acts. Expect critics to resort to “nationwide bloodshed” with the former, and “James Bond” fantasy with the latter.

Because, at this point, it is ignorance and fear really are all they have left.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Daybreak

Suddenly, we have a ton of extremely solid news for the liberty movement as a whole. This week, manufacturing on suppressors ramps up as the Hearing Protection Act appears almost certain, major reforms on the docket during the Trump administration, and some news from Inauguration Day that will set the stage for weeks to come.

1.) Suppressors. Controversial Times has a report out stating that the manufacturing of suppressors has been accelerated at major companies as the passage of the Hearing Protection Act starts looking like a near certainty. This is obviously in preparation for the surge of sales that is expected upon passage of the bill, which looks to take what are essentially hearing safety items (that cannot silence an explosion, let us be absolutely clear) off of the National Firearms Act. While this is happening, at least right now, there does not appear to be much appetite for taking the rest of the NFA down with the suppressor restriction.

2.) Gun reform. Bearing Arms adds to CT’s work by noting the Hearing Protection Act, as well as four other reforms that look certain to pass under a Trump presidency, that would never pass under now-former President Barack Obama. Among them, of course, is the National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity bill (which has seen some resistance from within the pro-gun community), and the reform of the NICS background check system.

3.) The road ahead. It is worth noting that, regardless of the wild-card/almost-constant backtracking that we saw during the campaign, his present Cabinet choices are appearing to be both incredibly competent and, for the most part, intent on shrinking the power of their respective departments. Of course, one department that is aiming for incredible growth (and a general reorientation) is the Department of Defense under Marine Corps General/Legend James Mattis (who penned a memo to DoD noting ““it’s good to be back.”) Outside of that, we have an Education secretary who endorses school choice and vouchers, an EPA head that is an EPA skeptic, an Energy Secretary who once suggested dismantling the agency, and a host of other very solid choices.

In addition to all of that, of course, we have the idea of the Affordable Care Act, which has helped millions pay far too much for absurd deductibles being replaced with a program more focused on choice and competition, including not providing a bizarre framework where all programs must carry certain things that the person may not use. (Like requiring a male to carry maternity coverage in the off chance he manages to break science.)

The next four years are going to be one of significant, if not very fast, change. The end result remains to be seen, of course, but the rough sketch looks promising in terms of gun rights, the liberty movement as a whole, and the dismantling of a disastrous healthcare law.

And talk of “resistance” appears to be going absolutely nowhere at present. It could be a very solid four years.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.