Knock! Knock! – Show Us Your Glock

What to Expect & How to Protect Yourself from the New Jersey Murphy Magazine Ban

By U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney Evan F. Nappen

The Murphy Magazine Ban WILL be enforced. It is only a question of what degree it will be enforced against honest gun owners.

“The New Jersey State Police corresponded with Breitbart News on December 11 and refused to rule out house-to-house enforcement of the state’s “high capacity” magazine ban.”

Possession of any magazine capable of holding over 10 rounds that works in a semi-automatic firearm is now a felony-level offense with a penalty of up to 18 months in prison. There is no “grandfather clause.” If you are convicted, you lose your gun rights for the entire United States. These standard-capacity magazines, which have been turned into contraband, are commonly being called “Murphy Mags.”

There are four basic levels of potential enforcement. The question is how aggressive the anti-gun-rights Murphy administration is going to be in enforcing the Murphy Mag Ban. Here are the four possibilities:

  1. Police Raids: House-to-house searches of suspected possessors.
  2. Police Investigations: Interrogation of suspected possessors.
  3. Demand Letters: Intimidating official letters sent to suspected possessors.
  4. Random Prosecutions: Randomly prosecuting anyone caught possessing.

Police Raids

Many gun owners are very concerned that the police will be coming door-to-door and searching homes. It is unlikely to happen. The State Police claim to have “no plans” at this time to do this. However, it is not an unreasonable fear. Ultimately, New Jersey’s zealous anti-gun-rights Attorney General could order the State Police to act. To say it will never happen would be foolish. Although a search warrant is normally necessary, house-to-house searches have happened without warrants when there are “exigent circumstances.” Approximately five years ago, this was done in Boston when the police were looking for a terrorist suspect. Here are some reasons/scenarios why it might happen in New Jersey:

  1. Some highly publicized mass shooting occurs, and the knee-jerk, politically expedient reaction is to go after Murphy Mag possessors.
  2. Murphy’s failure to aggressively enforce his ban gives his political challengers the opportunity to call him out on it. There is already pressure on Murphy to explain how he intends to enforce the ban. Breitbart News also reached out to Murphy’s press secretary, Daniel Bryan, about enforcement of the ban. He confirmed that the Governor “…had not ruled out house-to-house enforcement of the ban either.”
  3. New Jersey has a computerized database of registered gun owners & their registered handguns (which includes make and model). Many of these handguns came with Murphy Mags. For example, 15-round magazines come standard with the Glock Model 19, Beretta Model 92 and SIG Model P226, just to name three commonly possessed handguns.
  4. New Jersey has a long history of abusing gun owners, creating “gun law victims” (destroying people’s lives with arbitrary gun laws) and undermining Second Amendment rights.
  5. New Jersey has an anti-gun news media which actively acts as the propaganda arm for the anti-gun-rights movement.
  6. New Jersey law enforcement will obey orders and enforce the law, rather than lose their jobs & pensions.

In 1990, the Florio Administration explored going after “Assault Firearm” owners under the newly enacted “Assault Firearm” law, which included a “large-capacity ammunition magazine” ban. They tried to quietly sneak through an Administrative Code provision requiring the filing of the Certificate of Eligibility with the police on private sales of long arms. This would have cured the break in the chain of possession. I personally helped to kill it by successfully challenging the code modification as being outside the statutory law. The Florio Administration abandoned their scheme. Since then, the Murphy Administration has eliminated private sales via newly passed legislation.

There are other important differences between the Florio Ban of 1990 & the current Murphy Mag Ban:

  1. There are substantially more, commonly possessed, standard capacity magazines that can hold over 10 rounds, than magazines that can hold over 15 rounds, that fit readily identifiable, registered handguns.
  2. There was no reliable pre-existing computer database in 1990.
  3. There was no windfall of Bloomberg money for anti-gun extremist candidates in 1990.

What to Do If the Police Raid Your Home

A right given up is a right lost. Do not consent to a search without a warrant. Never physically resist. Do not sign any documents or statements without an attorney’s advice. All citizens have a Fourth Amendment right to a warrant being issued before their person or premises are searched. Exceptions exist regarding the necessity for a warrant, and a large body of law exists as to when a law enforcement officer has probable cause for a warrantless search. However, whether probable cause for the warrantless search exists or not, one should never consent to a warrantless search. The key here is never consent.

Warning: Even if you are not home, the police can search your home based on the consent of your spouse, roommate or a guest. If a law enforcement officer insists on searching your home, do not resist the search. Just make it clear that you are not consenting to this search. Additionally, do not sign any consent form—or for that matter, any document—without the advice of your attorney. Law enforcement officers cannot get a warrant simply based on your refusal, nor can they punish you for not giving consent to search.

If a search is done in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, the court will suppress the evidence obtained, and the State will not be able to use it against you in a criminal prosecution. When you consent to a search, anything found may be used as evidence—evidence against you—whether there was probable cause or not! Although you may feel that you have nothing to hide, consider that you may inadvertently possess contraband which you believe to be legal, or that a friend may have left contraband in your car, house, or borrowed clothing.

Police Investigations

There is a much greater chance that the police will investigate based on information gleaned from the computerized database of registered gun owners and their registered handguns. It is a relatively simple task for state or local police to look at their database of registered gun owners with their registered handguns and start knocking on doors to talk to suspected possessors of handguns with standard issue Murphy Mags (such as Glock 19, SIG P226, Beretta 92, etc.). No warrant is necessary to investigate. Talking to suspected possessors at their homes will possibly lead to more information justifying a search, seizure and arrest.

What if the Police Want to Talk to You?

If police knock on your door, do not open the door. Ask them through the closed door if they have a warrant. If they don’t have a warrant, do not allow them into your home. Do not answer any questions. Simply say “I do not want to talk to you” and do not talk to the police. The Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and against self-incrimination is one of the most important Constitutional rights. By remaining silent, a person is not assisting the State in its case against him or her. This is the purest form of self-protection. It is something everyone should do, whether the person believes him/herself innocent or not. You cannot be punished for a refusal to answer questions. Basically, only a court can order you to answer questions. Remember, anything you say can be used against you. For instance, merely affirming that you still have the registered handgun could lead to you being searched and arrested. Lying to the police is a crime, but remaining silent is not. So, stay silent!

Not giving consent is not probable cause for a search. Some people feel that if they do not consent to the search then the officer will think they are guilty of hiding something. Some people are afraid of the improper question: “What do you have to hide?” The proper question you should ask yourself is: “Why does this law enforcement officer feel it is necessary to invade my privacy and conduct a search without a warrant?” This mindset properly shifts the burden to the police. Remember, the Fourth Amendment is there to protect our privacy.

Always remain polite when asserting your rights, but the key is to assert them. Do not be embarrassed or intimidated into giving up your rights. If you give up your rights (apart from making defending you that much harder), you will have substantially increased your chance of becoming another victim of New Jersey gun law.

Intimidation Letters

Law Enforcement agencies might choose to send intimidating letters demanding information based on the computerized database of registered gun owners and their registered handguns. The letters would go to suspected possessors of handguns with standard-issue Murphy Mags. It is a simple matter today to send letters via a database. This type of intimidation letter is often used to collect taxes. Any information gleaned could then be followed up with further enforcement actions.

What if You Receive an Intimidation Letter?

Generally, you have no obligation to respond to questions in such a letter. Contact an attorney as soon as possible for specific advice regarding such a letter.

Random Prosecutions

There is no doubt that enforcement will occur by way of random prosecutions. Police will find Murphy Mags due to Red Flag Laws, Domestic Violence Laws, Duty to Warn Laws, safekeeping seizures, house fires, home inspections and the endless other ways that contraband items find their way to the authorities. You can be sure to see criminal charges on these Murphy Mags. This is the default setting for minimum enforcement.

What if You Are the Subject of a Random Prosecution?

If you are charged with Murphy Mag possession or any other criminal offense, contact an attorney as soon as possible for specific advice and representation.

Action Items:

  1. Make sure that your friends and family are aware of this potential threat.
  2. Make sure that your friends and family are aware of the implications of talking with the police and consenting to searches.
  3. Make sure that you do not have in your possession any Murphy Mags or other prohibited items.
  4. Make sure that you, your family and your friends have the mindset to stand up for your rights!
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3D-Printed Guns: What is The Law?

3D-printed guns are a hot-button issue. The Liberator took center stage in 2013 when blueprints were released for this 3D-printed, fully-operational single-shot pistol. The inventor of the Liberator, Cody Wilson, started a company called Defense Distributed for the purpose of sharing his invention with the world. Thousands downloaded the blueprints, allowing them to print a plastic gun on a compatible 3D printer.

The federal government quickly took down the blueprints, stating that providing blueprints online was illegal trafficking of firearms. Additionally, the federal government argued that the Liberator, being that it is printed entirely from plastic, isn’t detectable by standard metal detectors, making it illegal under federal law.

Cody Wilson responded by filing a lawsuit for the violation of his First Amendment right to free speech. He argued that the source code is a form of speech and he has a right to share it with the world. Government censorship would be unconstitutional; and so, this case was settled prior to reaching the Supreme Court. Without guidance from the highest court, we may see some legal battles on the horizon.

So, are these 3D printed guns even legal to build?

Yes. Americans have always been able to manufacture their own firearms and 3D-printed guns aren’t any different. Just like machining parts to build your own AR-15, you can use the blueprints of the Liberator to print your own polymer pistol.

While federal law freely allows individuals to make firearms, for their personal use, in light of the 3D-printed gun technology, some states that embrace anti-gun laws are beginning to discuss legislation that will prevent people from building their own guns.

For example, New Jersey has drafted and passed a ban on homemade firearms that is not yet law, and California, while not prohibiting them outright, requires them to be serialized and registered. So be sure to get in touch with your state’s U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney for the current status of your state’s law.

It is important to keep in mind that these items are still firearms. Even though you can print one in the comfort of your own home, if you are disqualified from possessing a firearm you cannot possess a 3D-printed gun either.

You cannot sell these firearms as part of a commercial business without first becoming a licensed manufacturer. There is no bright line here. If you decide to manufacture 80 guns for private sale you might start to look like an unlicensed firearm dealer and you’ll find yourself subject to some unwanted legal scrutiny.

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding 3D-printed guns and you will likely see headlines in the near future addressing some of the remaining legal issues. In the meantime, U.S. & Texas LawShield will always keep you informed with the latest in gun laws, safety, and stories from our members across the nation.

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Gun Rights Groups Challenge Ohio Firearms Regulations

Gun rights activists have filed lawsuits against the city of Columbus regarding Ohio gun regulations. City leaders approved a broad package of regulations that made carrying a firearm after suffering a disability a misdemeanor and prohibited the brandishing of imitation firearms in public. The city also has approved the banning of so-called “rate-of-fire firearms enhancers,” commonly referred to as bump stocks.

In March, the city of Columbus announced several new pieces of legislation to tighten Ohio gun regulations, despite the state’s ban on local restrictions. City leaders called for 11 new ordinances that they said would close the gap between state and federal weapons laws and help reduce gun violence.

Mayor Andrew Ginther, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein and Columbus City Council president Shannon Hardin, announced the measure and said it would increase protections for victims of domestic violence and assault, prohibit firearm sales in residential areas, expand the weapons reporting process, and prohibit the sale of imitation firearms to minors.

This new legislation included a Weapons Under Disability Ordinance, which mirrors federal law that prohibits the possession of a firearm by persons who were previously convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, currently is the subject of a protection order, or previously was convicted of, or is under indictment for, a felony crime that is considered a disability under federal law but not Ohio law.

This includes convictions for drug offense, either as an adult or a child; chronic alcoholic, drug dependent or in danger of drug dependence. In addition, those deemed mentally incompetent, mentally defective or mentally ill by a judge, and subject to hospitalization or otherwise committed to a mental institution would be considered disabled under this legislation.

Having weapons while under disability is a third degree felony punishable by up to 36 months in prison.

However, since 2006 the Ohio General Assembly has prohibited cities and localities from enforcing gun control measures stricter than the state’s laws, which is part of why the Buckeye Firearms Foundation and Ohioans for Concealed Carry filed the lawsuits, on June 14,  and were named as plaintiffs in the cases. The two groups cited that these ordinances, including those related to bump stocks, are unconstitutional and violate Ohio law.

A similar lawsuit has been filed against the city of Cincinnati.

Ohio Revised Code 9.68 preempts the home rule powers of municipalities to regulate firearms, their components, and ammo,” said Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association, in a statement.  “This is important because Ohio used to have a confusing patchwork of gun laws. Merely crossing a city border could turn an otherwise law-abiding citizen into a criminal. More than a decade ago, legislators wisely decided to correct this problem by creating a uniform system of state law and forbidding cities from passing any laws which conflict with those laws.”

In May, Cincinnati became the first city in the Buckeye State to ban bump stocks, and later that same month Columbus approved a broad package of regulations to ban the bump stocks, along with the aforementioned Weapons Under Disability Ordinance.

Bump stocks were of course cast in the spotlight nationwide following the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, where a gunman was found to have used one in a massacre that left nearly 60 people dead and many more injured.

However, the gun advocates in Ohio challenge that this isn’t just about simulating the fire of an automatic weapon, which opponents of the bump stocks contend.

“This isn’t just about bump stock devices,” said Doug Deeken, a director with Ohioans for Concealed Carry, via a statement. “This is about rule of law in Ohio.”

The Ohio gun rights groups have requested that the new ordinances be suspended until their lawsuits are settled. However, attorneys for Columbus and Cincinnati rejected demand letters to file for an injunction to prevent the cities from enforcing the ordinances.

Precedence could weigh in on the case, as the Buckeye Firearms Foundation and Ohioans for Concealed Carry have won lawsuits against cities who have attempted to regulate firearms.

In 2010, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in a 5-2 opinion that Ohio’s “preemption” law was valid; and in a case brought by the City of Cleveland against the State of Ohio, the court held that R.C. 9.68 is valid in all respects, including, but not limited to, the mandatory attorney fee provision against any city that attempts to violate a citizen’s right to self-defense.

Continue to follow U.S. LawShield to stay up-to-date on all of the changing laws affecting your gun rights.

-Peter Suciu, U.S. & Texas LawShield Contributor

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217 School Districts Allow Staff to Carry Guns in Texas

217 Texas Independent School Districts firearms

After the deadly high school shooting in Florida, 217 school districts in Texas have adopted policies that allow staff members to carry firearms. That is an increase of almost 50 districts between February and May.

As reported in the Corpus Christi Caller Times, “In February, 172 school districts reported adopting such policies to the Texas Association of School Boards. As of May, that number was at 217, said Dax González, TASB’s division director for governmental relations.”

González predicts that the number of districts adopting similar policies may continue to grow as “districts continue to revise policies.”

With 1,023 independent school districts in Texas, these 217 districts represent a growing trend to allow staff members to carry firearms at schools.

 

Give your kids the same protection you have with U.S. LawShield by adding Minor Children coverage when you sign up.

 —

Original article can be found here.
Image Courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Federal Bureau of Investigation Sued for Denying Americans’ Right to Bear Arms

gun store, gun shop, NICS, background check, NCIS, shotgun, us lawshield, Federal Bureau of Investigation

 

Federal Bureau of Investigation Sued for Denying Americans’ Right to Bear Arms

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Attorney General, et al. have been served with a lawsuit according to a press release dated June 5th, 2018. The lawsuit alleges that the FBI actively refused to process background check appeals for  National Instant Criminal Background Check System(NICS) denials during 2016. This was only recently discovered through a freedom of information act request that uncovered this unconstitutional denial of due process.

 

“The Defendants and FBI in particular, is improperly shifting their burden to the individual to follow up with various courts or jurisdictions,” the press release explains. The government is basically using its vast and overwhelming power to discourage Americans from appealing the government’s errors when they attempt to claim their Second Amendment rights.

 

“This has been an ongoing issue with Defendants … [who were] improperly shifting the burden.” Numerous prior cases have been filed in various courts since 2016. “It is appalling that Americans should have to hire an attorney, go to court, and obtain a judgment to exercise a fundamental constitutional right” says Richard Hayes Independent Program Attorney with U.S. LawShield.

 

We can only hope that the FBI steps up their act and starts taking American’s civil rights, including the right to bear arms and the right to due process, much more seriously in the future.

 

U.S. LawShield® members enjoy hefty discounts on ammo at local gun shops and nationwide retailers as part of our Member Perks program. Sign up now to get started.

Original article can be found here.

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Intuit Stops Processing Payments for Gun Companies Without Notice

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Intuit Stops Processing Payments for Firearms Companies Without Notice

 

A number of firearm and firearm-related businesses were cut off from their merchant services and credit card processor last week when Intuit stopped their service without warning or notice. This caused several merchants to rush to find another way to take credit and debit card payments.

This affected a number of small businesses who were left reeling after they found out the majority of businesses hit were firearms and Second Amendment related products such as coffee or pro-2A t-shirts.

In several cases, businesses learned that Intuit cut their service only after customers received refunds for merchandise and services they already received. This left many a business holding the bag for these unauthorized refunds.

A number of larger firearms wholesalers who sell only to other Federal Firearms Licensed(FFL) dealers had similar problems with Intuit claiming that it was a banking requirement that the customer be physically present to swipe their card in the store rather than allowing online ordering.

The stores selling firearms over the internet are required to ship the firearm to a local FFL who will perform a full and complete background check on the individual picking up the weapon before signing the weapon over to the buyer. This background check is the same one that is performed if the weapon was bought in the store without using any website or online dealer to purchase the weapon.

 

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Original article can be found here.

 

 

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Real Avid Introduces New AR15 Master Bench Block

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(U.S. Air Force photo/Robbin Cresswell)

 

The Master Bench Block allows, even new AR-15 owners to disassemble, clean, and reassemble their firearms without losing roll pins, anti-walk pins, or those small little springs that, easily get lost.

 

The Master Bench Block allows you to put all 14 critical pins into their own slots. These slots are engraved and molded with magnets to ensure that no small parts disappear.

 

According Real Avid the block has, “engraved on the ultra-tough engineering grade surface are clear component labels marked with pin punch sizes to make determining what component to place where and what pins to use, simple… on the backside of the block, to capture pins and keep them from rolling away, are embedded magnets and, to keep your pins from getting lost, a pin storage section is included.”

 

The MSRP is $29 and The Master Bench Block can be bought directly from Real Avid today.

 

 

U.S. LawShield® members enjoy hefty discounts on firearms, ammo, and accessories like this one at many nationwide retailers and gun ranges through our Member Perks program. Sign up now to start saving.

 

Original article can be found here

 

 

 

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New Jersey is Ratcheting Down Garden State Residents’ Second Amendment Rights

New Jersey Gun Rights
 

A Changing Legislative Sea for New Jersey Gun Rights

Since Chris Christie has left office the new Democratic Governor Phil Murphy has wasted no time in making New Jersey’s already draconian gun rights laws even harder to comply with for law-abiding Americans who just want to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

A legislative analysis by two New Jersey newspapers shows that the proposed changes will do little to have a real impact on anything except for lawful gun owner’s rights. This comes after nearly twenty people were injured and one shooter was killed in a two-person shootout at an overnight art festival in New Jersey last week. Both men illegally owned and carried weapons.

The Democrats in New Jersey have said that this current wave of gun legislation is “just the beginning.” Chris Christie had previously been holding back the anti-Second Amendment legislature having vetoed more than fifteen firearms related pieces of legislation during his tenure.

Assault Rifles

Although New Jersey had banned so-called “assault weapons” in 1990, they have had to continue to add weapons to the list of banned firearms. This is due to the ingenious ability of gun makers to simply make another slightly modified weapons platform that complies with state law. These weapons are often marketed online as “New Jersey Compliant.” They are similar to those weapon variants sold in California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts which have modified grips, stocks, and rail systems.

This is not to say that many unmodified weapons are not still available as the sheer number of available weapon systems and platforms do not lend themselves to banning based on features or a simple name-based list.

More Magazine Capacity Limits

New Jersey has recently lowered the capacity of magazines from fifteen round maximum capacity to a smaller ten round capacity. This will do little more than require people to buy new magazines or modify their current ones to remain legal.

Many experts concur that the concept of a magazine limit will do little to actually stop gun violence or mitigate its effects. However, Assemblyman Lou Greenwald, unfortunately, is immune to logic and reason stating, “You talk to all the experts you want” he went on to say “Those words of those people resonate with me and it makes a difference. I don’t care what anyone says. It makes a difference. And if you’re the 11th person, if you’re the 12th or 13th person, it changes your perspective.”

Additional Requirements for Additional Background Checks

Another piece of legislation snaking its way through the statehouse is A-2757 which would mandate that all gun sales require a National Instant Criminal Check System(NICS) background check. Although this is already a requirement and even at gun shows in all fifty states, the legislators at the statehouse are now demanding that it covers personal transactions between two private people. This would mean that any gun transfer would now be subject to an FFL dealer fee that ranges from $25-$75 per background check.

Assemblyman Lou Greenwald again chimed in showing ignorance of the law when he stated, “gun shows are going to be hesitant to come to New Jersey because they’re not going to want to go through this extra step.” To clarify again, it is already required that if an FFL (the people with the gun booths at the gun shows) sell a firearm, they must fill out a Form 4473 and perform a NICS background check.

Banning Armor Piercing Ammunition (Again)

As NorthJersey.com notes, “nothing would change” under A-2759 which is legislation aimed at banning armor piercing ammunition. The law simply copies the Federal language on the prohibition of armor piercing ammunition so that New Jersey can say they banned it too.

The purpose is, in the event the Federal Government ever unbans the ammunition, then New Jersey residents will still be prohibited from possessing the ammunition.


 

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Original article can be found here.

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Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Deals Blow to Stand Your Ground Laws

A literal reading of Oklahoma’s Stand Your Ground law reveals that a person has no duty to retreat and that they may meet force with force, including deadly force, when confronted by a threat of death or grievous bodily injury, and that they can protect themselves with deadly force if they believe that their own lives are in jeopardy. It is part of the Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971 and amplified in 21 O.S. 1289.25 of state statutes. However, in a recent decision, the Court of Criminal Appeals says that a literal reading of the law is wrong and that there is no absolute immunity in Oklahoma.

Read More…

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