Under the guise of “public safety,” Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) announced Monday his push for a package of gun control measures during the 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly in his latest misguided attempt to erode the rights of law-abiding citizens.
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Perhaps inspired by the recent introduction of surprise home inspections of gun licensees in the UK, Beloit, Wisc.,Police Chief Norm Jacobs issued a press release on December 1, urging city residents to volunteer for warrantless police searches of their homes for firearms. Jacobs framed the residential probes as a valuable “opportunity” his department was offering to the public. Notably, the press release did not offer participants immunity from prosecution for any illegally-possessed firearms or other contraband police might find while “inspecting” the premises, suggesting the program was aimed squarely at law-abiding households.
In May, we reported on a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee exposé that substantiated improper activities by the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the guise of Operation Choke Point. While DOJ insisted that the operation was meant to protect the soundness of America’s financial system by targeting fraudulent businesses, the committee report concluded that the true goal of the operation was to “choke out” legitimate industries that regulators considered objectionable. Among others, these included firearm and ammunition sales.
The Brady Campaign’s attempt to require “smart guns” in New Jersey recently hit a significant hurdle. In November, Acting Attorney General John Jay Hoffman issued a report that concluded the allegedly available “smart gun,” the Armatix iP1, did not meet New Jersey’s legal definition of a “personalized handgun.” A lawsuit filed in May by the Brady Campaign sought to force the attorney general to issue a report finding that the iP1 is a “personalized handgun” and would therefore trigger a more than decade old New Jersey law. Under the law, all new handguns sold in New Jersey have to be personalized 30 months after a single production model of a personalized handgun is delivered to a firearm dealer in New Jersey or another state.
Last week, Associated Press reporter Matt Stroud incorrectly implied that the recent increase in firearm-related background checks run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) frequently results in violent criminals beating the system and acquiring guns.
By James W. Porter II, NRA President
As we reported last month, a coalition of congressional representatives led by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) had requested internal investigators at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to conduct formal inquiries into Operation Choke Point, as well as any officials and staff involved in the program. Rep. Luetkemeyer is now reporting that those requests have been granted. According to his press release announcing the decisions, “The correspondence I received from the FDIC and DOJ is a great first step in ensuring that those responsible for Operation Choke Point are held accountable and that Congress and the American people receive details and answers they deserve.”
This week, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch announced a decision to relax the rules governing the carrying of firearms and the issuance of licenses to carry. The move came shortly after the reprehensible slaughter of four Orthodox Jewish men and a police officer in a West Jerusalem Temple by terrorists armed with knives, axes and a gun. The assailants in the attack had been shot and killed at the scene by police. Aharonovitch was quoted in an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz as stating, “The decision to ease [approving gun permits] is a result of the present need to strengthen the feeling of security for the population, in light of the recent terrorist incidents befalling us."
All categories of violent and property crime declined from 2012 to 2013, the FBI has announced, in conjunction with the release of its annual crime report for 2013.
Score this one as a victory for the judgment of the American people.
Pro-Second Amendment Ruling Stands – Ninth Circuit Rejects Attempts By California AG And Brady Campaign
As we’ve been reporting, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit handed gun owners a tremendous victory in February by recognizing the Second Amendment protects a right to bear arms outside the home. The decision also invalidated the San Diego County Sheriff’s policy of issuing concealed carry permits only upon a showing of extraordinary need for self-protection that would distinguish the applicant “from the mainstream.”
The Eau Claire Area School District set a new low for the actions of anti-gun school administrators Tuesday when they put a halt to what had been a Veterans Day tradition in the Wisconsin city. The school district barred a local veterans group, the Patriotic Council, from conducting their traditional Veterans Day program on school grounds because it includes veterans carrying rifles and a 21-gun salute with blank ammunition.
In a victory for gun owners who simply seek medical care, not political philosophy, from their doctors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has upheld the NRA-supported Florida’s Firearm Owner’s Privacy Act. This law was passed after an escalating series of events in which patients were harassed or denied access to services because they refused to be interrogated by their doctors about their ownership of firearms. The case, Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida, vindicated Florida’s attempt to protect patients from being forced to divulge personal information that is irrelevant to their own medical treatment.
While the state of Connecticut ponders how to handle the owners of thousands of unregistered semi-automatic firearms and magazines in the state, an important NRA-backed case challenging the constitutionality of the state’s firearm and magazine bans is making its way through the federal courts.
On November 3, the day before the midterm elections, the Department of Justice released over 64,000 pages of materials pertaining to BATFE’s Operation Fast and Furious, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Some, including former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson who helped break the Fast and Furious story, have suggested that the timing of the document dump was cynically calculated to ensure the release of the documents would not receive adequate press coverage.
By James W. Porter II, President National Rifle Association
As part of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' gun control-promotion tour, a cross-section of anti-gun activists, politicians, Obama administration representatives, and others of like mind gathered in Oregon recently to discuss “what we can do in the legislature next year.” Topics discussed included “universal” background checks, gun registration, and a plan to sell “universal” checks with fake gun sportsmen in flannel shirts, in the style of John Kerry.
Tuesday, Governor Tom Corbett (R) signed into law House Bill 80, the strongest firearms preemption statute in the country, at a public signing ceremony. This critical pro-gun legislation strengthens the state firearms preemption statute to further ensure that firearm and ammunition laws are consistent throughout Pennsylvania and allows citizens to seek legal remedies against localities whose gun control ordinances exceed state law. A much-needed protection for gun owners in the Keystone State, HB 80 will provide a way for responsible gun owners to hold municipalities accountable and responsible for infringing on our Second Amendment rights. HB 80 takes effect in sixty days.
UPDATE: 27 of 39 Sheriffs now oppose Initiative 594