Anti-Gunners Have Their Sights on Your Rights

The following is a video transcript.

On November 6th, 2018, voters in all 50 states will go to the polls for the mid-term elections. Every single seat in the House of Representatives and 35 seats in the U.S. Senate are up for grabs. This is a very important election for gun rights. Many people believe that the 2nd Amendment is for the courts to protect. However, every elected official is charged with upholding and protecting all constitutional rights. Your job is to make sure that you elect representatives who share your beliefs in those rights.

For example, there’s currently a bill pending in Congress that will dramatically impact gun rights. This bill is numbered H.R. 5087 and is commonly referred to as the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018. Some of you may remember the Federal Assault Weapons Ban between the years 1994 and 2004. Well, this new version is much worse. Not only does H.R. 5087 ban dozens of firearms specifically by name, including all types of AR and AK platform rifles and pistols, it also creates a catch-all description whereby most commonly owned and possessed semiautomatic rifles and handguns will be considered to be assault weapons.

Basically, if your semiautomatic rifle has a detachable magazine and a pistol grip, or collapsible stock, the two most common features on modern sporting rifles, it will be banned by H.R. 5087. If your semiautomatic handgun has a threaded barrel, or the manufacturer makes a select-fire variant of it, it will be banned by H.R. 5087.

On the state and local level, there are anti-gun laws proposed virtually every year, in every state. You may think that the courts will protect your 2nd Amendment rights from laws like H.R. 5087. However, in the years since the Heller and the McDonald cases, the Supreme Court has refused to review the decisions of the Federal Courts of Appeals that have upheld state and local restrictions on firearms, including bans on assault weapons.

Therefore, the best way to currently protect your 2nd Amendment rights is to keep these laws from being passed at all. You do this by voting for candidates who share your views on the 2nd Amendment.

Finally, it’s important to remember that when you’re going to cast your vote on November 6th, 2018, most states have specific prohibitions against carrying a firearm at a polling place. While we encourage you to do your civic duty and vote, as a responsible gun owner, make sure to follow your state’s laws and if prohibited, leave your firearm at home or in your vehicle.

If you have any questions about H.R. 5087 or prohibited places to carry your firearm, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

Are California’s Gun Confiscation Laws Coming to Missouri?

Going into this next year, there are no new laws that will affect your right to carry in Missouri. There is a bill in the House of Representatives that has gained some traction. It proposes a law that would allow citizens to have a locked firearm in their trunk, and they would have a right to have that firearm wherever they are. That is not a bill that has yet been signed into law.

There are two positive court decisions federally that have come out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals—one dealing with California, another dealing with Hawaii.

When a California state law asked for the confiscation of large capacity magazines, the Ninth Circuit upheld an injunction of a lower court saying “No, you can’t do this.”

Dealing with Hawaii, the Ninth Circuit has upheld an individual’s right to carry a firearm and to do so openly outside of the home. Those are both decisions that reflect a deeper respect for gun rights within the Ninth Circuit.

Can a Family Argument Take Away Your Gun Rights?

The General Assembly meets at the first part of every year—typically January and February. If there are new laws, they go into effect immediately upon signature by the Governor (typically on July 1st). This year, nothing new went into effect July 1st.

Are there any new Georgia gun laws on the horizon?

Let’s talk about gun violence restraining orders or what are known as extreme risk protective orders (ERPOs). Currently, more than 20 states have proposed or enacted some version of an extreme risk protective order. Some versions are much like California, Oregon, and Washington’s. In each of these states there was a version of a gun violence restraining order that allowed family members, household members, and law enforcement to obtain orders restraining individuals from possessing firearms.

Other states like Florida and Vermont have enacted extreme risk protective orders which permit only law enforcement or the State’s Attorney to obtain these extreme risk protective orders. In Florida’s case, extreme risk protective orders can be sought and obtained against an individual who does not even own a firearm.

What do you think is on the horizon in Georgia? As you and I know, Georgia has given back to its citizens many of the Second Amendment privileges and rights that were initially obtained in the Bill of Rights. Do you think this is on the horizon? Comment below if you do, and thank you.

Important Change to Gun Law Impacting Minor Children

In 2018, there were upwards of 70 bills proposing changes to Virginia’s gun laws, but only one was passed into law. This new law change was made in Virginia Code section 18.2-308.1:3. This statute makes it illegal for any person who has been involuntarily admitted or ordered into outpatient treatment to purchase, possess, or transport a firearm. The change to the statute in the 2018 legislative session adds “minors 14 years of age or older” to this prohibition.

It is important to note that, for any person who comes under the amendment to this statute that are prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting firearms under this section may, at any time following their release from involuntary admission to a facility, their release from an order or mandatory outpatient treatment, or release from voluntary admission following the issuance of a temporary detention order, petition the general district court to restore their right to purchase, possess, or transport a firearm.

Are California’s Gun Confiscation Laws Coming to Oklahoma?

Presently, there are no California-style confiscation laws coming to Oklahoma. Some proposals from California deal with confiscating magazines in excess of 10 rounds. Other types of schemes of confiscation in California have to do with medical marijuana users who are recreational marijuana users—they could lose their rights to have firearms, and they could have their firearms confiscated.

Do these schemes impact the Second Amendment and our due process rights? Yes, they certainly do. And there are lawsuits pending trying to block the various schemes of confiscation that the California Legislature has passed.

The Oklahoma Legislature does not seem to have much support for confiscation laws. Governor Fallin signed into law several years ago anti-confiscation laws in the State of Oklahoma—Katrina-style laws, where the police could come knocking on people’s doors, asking them if they have firearms during a natural emergency,  tornado, or giant storm that would make people desperate and make them want to use their firearms.

The police cannot come to your door and confiscate your weapons. We want to give a shout-out to OK2A for their unceasing support of anti-confiscation laws.

Are California’s Gun Confiscation Laws Coming to Texas?

After the tragedy in Santa Fe, Governor Abbott requested that the issue of school shootings be examined to see if new legislation would help prevent further terrible acts. Soon the Texas legislature will consider what proponents called “red flag protective orders.” These orders were made popular by their prominent use in California to confiscate firearms from those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

Folks in support of these laws claim they simultaneously protect due process, stop mass murder, and reduce suicides. Here in Texas, the legislature decided not to pass a 2017 version of the red flag law, in a bill that would have allowed confiscation of all firearms from accused individuals. Rather than protecting our due process rights as Texans, that bill would have allowed the seizure of firearms based only on statements made by a current or former family member without the accused individual having the opportunity to be heard.

The argument by national and state gun control organizations that this type of law could prevent mass murder was not openly accepted. This is because the accused was not even required to be taken into custody. The bill simply allowed for the seizure of their firearms and sent the accused back into the world free to perpetrate mayhem by using another weapon of their choice, like a knife, bomb, or a car.

The argument by gun control advocates that this type of law could help prevent suicide and mass murder would be more believable if the legislation included any number of safeguards, including a mental health evaluation or treatment component.

With all this proposed legislation, how can you make a difference? Stay informed and make sure your voice is heard. Contact your representatives, and partner with organizations that are active in making sure legislation reflects the wants and needs of the law-abiding gun owner. A good example, by no means the only one, is the Texas State Rifle Association.

Lawmakers should do more than pay lip service to the constitutional requirement of due process, and they need to address the mental health component, including a thorough review of tools that currently exist for dealing with individuals who may be a danger to themselves or others. As always, we will keep you updated with any changes or proposed changes to our laws here in Texas.

If you have any further questions about gun laws, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to an Independent Program Attorney today.

PA Lawmaker Takes Extreme Steps to Stop Gun Control Bills

One Pennsylvania lawmaker is making it his mission to derail two pieces of legislation proposed in the Pennsylvania Legislature that he believes infringe on the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment, even if it meant taking extreme measures.

“We’re going to do every single thing that we can do to stop the folks in the anti-gun movement of achieving their goals of removing firearms from law-abiding citizens in Pennsylvania,” said state Rep. Aaron Bernstine, (R-10, New Beaver).

To that end, Rep. Berstine and his staff worked late into the evening on June 20 to draft 79 amendments to the two measures, and on June 21, Rep. Bernstine filed all 79 amendments.

At issue, are House Bill 1872  and House Bill 2227.

HB 1872

Introduced by state Rep. Madeline Dean, (D-Montgomery County), in October, this piece of legislation seeks to ban “multi-burst trigger activators”  such as bump stocks that allow semi-automatic rifles to mimic the firing speed of automatic weapons.

Bernstine believes banning bump stocks sets a bad precedent for the gun rights of law-abiding citizens, especially since such devices have only been used in one mass shooting ever. “We’re talking about a slippery slope where people are intending to infringe on Second Amendment rights,” he said. “I take that seriously.”

HB 2227

HB 2227 was introduced by state Rep. Todd Stephens, (R-Montgomery County), in April. Upon filing this measure, Rep. Stephens released a statement that this bill would create an extreme risk protective order  (ERPO) that a court would issue to prohibit someone from possessing guns when they pose an extreme risk to themselves or others. The bill would also require the information be forwarded to the state police to have the individual’s name listed on the prohibited person’s list for gun purchase background checks.

Under the proposed law, temporary extreme risk protective orders could be issued upon the filing of a petition by law enforcement or a family member against an individual thought to be a danger to himself or others without a hearing. But a final order would require a “full expedited hearing” within ten days, involving the subject of the order, evidence, and testimony.

What is troubling are some of the factors listed in the proposed law that the court could consider in determining whether the individual did indeed pose a threat, including abuse of alcohol, recklessly brandishing a firearm, or even the recent acquisition or attempted acquisition of a firearm, among others.

“Legislation that chips away at our Second Amendment rights will never get my support in the General Assembly, and I’ll do everything in my power to stop such attempts in their tracks,” Bernstine said.

His attempt began in earnest when he filed his 79 amendments.

“These amendments will drastically revise the original bills to ensure our constitutional right to keep and bear arms is not threatened or questioned,” he said, adding, “Our state Constitution is crystal clear when it says citizens’ Second Amendment rights ‘shall not be questioned.’ I took an oath to defend and protect our Constitution, and I take that very seriously.”

While not a filibuster, Bernstine acknowledged his tactics may have the same effect, forcing the House into lengthy debates on each amendment unless the bills were shelved.

“I’m confident that what we did will stop anti-gun legislation from moving forward,” stated Bernstine, who had vowed to “use any and all legislative tactics available to defeat these attempts to infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

Stay tuned to U.S. LawShield to stay up-to-date on these laws and more. Become a member of U.S. LawShield and you will have up-to-date information on laws affecting your gun rights, legal updates, groundbreaking education materials and 24/7 access to our Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline.

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

North Carolinians Closer to Constitutionally Guaranteed Right to Hunt and Fish

Should hunting and fishing be constitutionally guaranteed rights?

Both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly think so.

On June 25, Senate Bill 677 was passed 92-23 by the North Carolina House. The bill had previously passed 44-4 in the Senate.  The amendment will now be on the ballot in November for North Carolina voters to decide its fate.

But, “what’s the point,” asked Sen. Floyd McKissick. The Democrat from Durham cast one of the four votes against SB 677 in the Senate.

“The problem is those rights are not being threatened or challenged,” he said soon after the Senate’s vote. “I suppose we’ll next need a Constitutional Amendment to protect our rights to eat, sleep, and use the bathroom.”

The bill’s Republican sponsors disagreed.

They are Sens. Danny Britt, Robeson County; Norman Sanderson, Pamlico County; and Tom McInnis, Anson County. They said in a joint statement that the constitutional protection would be a hedge against future threats from anti-hunting-and-fishing organizations.

The sponsors said they are following the example of 21 other states that amended their constitutions to protect outdoor pursuits.

“North Carolinians deserve to have their voices heard when it comes to protecting the hunting and fishing rights that have always been part of our heritage and way of life,” the sponsors said in their statement.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CFS) reports 1.63 million hunters and anglers call North Carolina home. They spend $2.3 billion each year to pursue their passions, which supports 35,088 jobs.

But, according to the CFS, North Carolina sportsmen and women have reason to worry about future threats from groups like PETA and the Humane Society of the United States.

“Anti-hunting organizations would lead the public to believe that hunting, fishing, and harvesting wildlife are only a privilege subject to social pressures and prevailing public sentiments, rather than an inherent right,” the CFS reported.

“Currently,” CFS added, “21 states have enacted legislation that protects the right to hunt and fish. Though there has been little resistance in several of the states that have recently passed ballot initiatives, others have met considerable resistance and, in one instance, defeat.”

That state was Arizona where, in 2010, Proposition 109—similar to North Carolina’s SB 677—was shot down after the HSUS managed to convince voters that the measure would give the Legislature exclusive authority over wildlife issues and prevent citizens “from initiating statutory petitions.”

But SB 677 states, in part, that, “The people have a right, including the right to use traditional methods, to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, subject only to laws enacted by the General Assembly and rules adopted pursuant to authority granted by the General Assembly to promote wildlife conservation and management and preserve the future of hunting and fishing.”

“As sporting traditions are increasingly threatened, right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife constitutional amendments are important to protect our outdoor heritage,” said John Culclasure, the foundation’s Appalachian states manager.

He added that “every state adjacent to North Carolina” is among the 21 states that amended their constitutions to protect hunting and fishing.

The bill’s sponsors are optimistic voters will approve the constitutional amendment in November.

In their joint statement, they said, “We’re confident voters will agree that this amendment will help ensure North Carolina remains a sportsman’s paradise for future generations.”

— Bill Miller, Contributor, U.S. & Texas LawShield blog

Hunting and fishing laws are constantly changing, as it can be seen in North Carolina. Maximize your U.S. LawShield membership with HunterShield. With this additional coverage, you’ll have 24/7/365 emergency access to Independent Program Attorneys experienced in hunting and fishing laws. Join now by logging into your Member Portal.

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 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.