Senate Republicans Introduce Constitutional Carry States’ Rights Act

Springfield TRP 1911

The bill, as introduced, would protect those carrying without a permit in states that recognize constitutional carry from the specter of federal charges should they cross within 1,000 feet of a school zone (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

A bill to keep gun owners in constitutional carry states out of a federal legal pitfall while near a school zone was introduced this month to the U.S. Senate.

The Constitutional Carry States’ Rights Act was filed last week by U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, a South Dakota Republican, who stressed the state’s pending permitless concealed carry law could pose an issue for those passing near school zones. In short, the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act bans carrying firearms within 1,000 feet of a school zone, with an exception for those with a carry permit. Supporters of the bill fear that those practicing legal constitutional carry may not meet that exception.

“This legislation would help ensure that gun owners exercising Constitutional carry will no longer be stuck with confusing laws about where they can and can’t have their firearms,” said U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming, a co-sponsor.

According to sponsors, the bill, filed as S.1506, would cover both local and out-of-state individuals lawfully carrying a concealed weapon within 1,000 feet of a school zone in states that recognize constitutional carry. The move is needed, points out Enzi’s office, because for example a traveler driving along Interstate 25 in Cheyenne will come within the school zone limit set by the GFSZA, which, if the driver is carrying without a permit, could technically be a violation of federal law.

The Constitutional Carry States’ Rights Act currently has seven sponsors, all Republicans, and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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White House, 2A Groups Urge Supreme Court to Scrap NYC Gun Law

Steyr Arms M9-A1

Gun owners in New York City with “premises permits” are largely restricted from taking their legally-owned guns off the property. A challenge to the ban is now before the Supreme Court. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Over two dozen legal briefs have been filed this month with the U.S. Supreme Court on a case challenging one of New York City’s restrictive gun control laws.

The case, brought by three NYC gun owners and the state’s NRA affiliate, argues the city’s “premises permit” scheme, which drastically restricts the ability to leave one’s premises with a firearm, is unconstitutional. While the nation’s high court has turned away an effort by New York officials to derail the challenge, the justices will have no shortage of paperwork to consider as part of the case.

So far this month, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-AL, and 119 other GOP members of Congress have filed a brief in support of the gun owners, followed by another brief submitted by the allied attorneys general or governors of 24 red states. Add to this are separate briefs from dozens of gun rights groups ranging from Gun Owners of California and the Firearms Policy Coalition to Black Guns Matter, the Liberal Gun Club, and the Pink Pistols. Importantly, the U.S. Justice Department has also gone on record as being against New York’s gun restriction.

“The ban all but negates the textually protected right to bear arms, and interferes with the right to keep arms as well; few laws in our history have restricted the right to keep and bear arms as severely as the ban does, and some of those few have been struck down,” said a 39-page brief filed by the office of Noel Francisco, the U.S. Solicitor General.

Other briefs have been filed by anti-gun groups such as the Brady Campaign and Giffords, who are urging the court not to use New York’s largely unique ban to revisit the Second Amendment as a whole and instead steer clear of larger constitutional questions posed by the case. Notably, these groups have filed their briefs in support of neither party.

No group has filed in support of the city’s law.

The last major gun case the court decided was the McDonald case concerning carry outside of the home in 2010. Since then, the court has ruled in a series of cases concerning guns that are focused more on property law, for instance, that felons could sell their guns after a conviction, rather than challenges brought on Second Amendment grounds.

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LAPD Impound 1,000 Guns from California Man (PHOTOS)

An anonymous tip from a neighbor triggered a search warrant on the Bel-Air residence of a California man that held over 1,000 firearms.

The Los Angeles Police Department on Wednesday described the search warrant at an affluent Holmby Hills residence as “one of the largest recoveries in LAPD history,” and released images of some of the guns heaped on the pavement.

The collection was extensive and wide-ranging, judging from photos released by the LAPD.

LAPD Impound 1,000 Guns from California Man (PHOTOS) (1)

This pile of handguns includes numerous rare Colt “snake” guns, Ruger Blackhawks and Redhawks, Webley break action revolvers, Smith & Wessons of all sorts and at least one Dan Wesson. (Photos: LAPD)

LAPD Impound 1,000 Guns from California Man (PHOTOS) (3)

While this array may look impressive for the cameras, it is heavy with Ruger rimfires including over a dozen 10/22 Takedowns, a Boy Scout commemorative, a few Ruger Mini-14s, and a single M1 Carbine.

Another image shows semi-auto Thompson carbines, more rimfires, hunting rifles, a few AR-pattern guns and a couple of SKSs including one in a TAPCO SVD stock of the type popular in the 1990s.

While authorities say they received info that a person was selling and manufacturing illegal firearms at the location, the man arrested in the case, Girard Saenz, 57, was out on a $50,000 bond Thursday. Saenz is reportedly a contractor who owns several pieces of real estate in both the LA and San Franciso area.

Los Angeles area officials have long maintained a strict policy of melting down recovered and impounded firearms as well as those purchased via “buybacks.” In the past, this has included rare and collectible guns including a pistol once owned by performer Sammy Davis, Jr.

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Brazilian President Embraces Personal Gun Rights, Taurus Shares Surge

Taurus Raging Hunter 357

Although Brazil is home to one of the largest handgun makers in the world, Taurus, private ownership of legal pistols and revolvers is rare due to tight regulations. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro sliced through the country’s controversial gun control laws this week, which produced a surge in shares for Brazil’s largest gun maker.

Brazil has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world, while the country of over 200 million inhabitants at the same time also has one of the highest murder rates, two concepts that Bolsonaro linked in his campaign for office last year. This week he kept his campaign promises and relaxed some controls on personal gun ownership and use adopted by past administrations.

“We are following a path totally opposed to authoritarianism, which always seeks to disarm the population,” said Bolsonaro on his social media account, which has nearly 12 million followers. “We are mainly attending the good citizen, who follows the laws and respects society.”

As detailed by the Rio Times, the new decree will open Brazil to more gun imports as well as enable more individuals to legally own, use and carry firearms. Additionally, the move will boost the yearly ammo purchase limit on restricted categories of firearms from 50 cartridges to 1,000 and on unrestricted types to 5,000.

Many of the current controls were implemented during the administration of leftist president and union boss, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, who held power in the country from 2003 to 2010. De Silva was convicted last year of public corruption charges and is currently imprisoned.

Although the country is home to one of the largest handgun makers in the world, Taurus, private ownership of legal pistols and revolvers is rare due to tight regulations. With the adoption of Bolsonaro’s decree, the Brazilian gunmaker saw their stock jump 21 percent, according to Reuters. Taurus said the order “could significantly increase the demand for firearms by hunters, shooters and collectors (CACs) and law-abiding citizens for their self-defense and defense of their property.”

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7 New Gun Control Laws Signed in Washington State

Gov. Jay Inslee signing gun control bills

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, gave his signature to over a half-dozen new gun control measures this week. (Photo: Inslee’s office)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed seven new gun control bills sent to his desk by the state’s Democrat-controlled state legislature. The measures include several to remove gun rights from those thought to be in danger, a ban on 3D-printed firearms and removal of the ability for those with a valid concealed pistol license to buy a gun without additional background checks at purchase.

“Our state is a leader on gun safety, but more work is needed to protect our students & the people of WA,” said Inslee, a Democrat, on social media after he approved the bills.

The bills include:

  • HB 1465 removes a provision allowing a licensed gun dealer to deliver a handgun to any of the 600,000 individuals with a valid state-issued concealed pistol license without the completion of an additional background check at the point of sale. While several states allow such an exemption, Washington will not be one of them.
  • HB 1739 makes it a violation of state law to make or possess “undetectable and untraceable firearms,” which is already a federal crime. The bill also outlaws sending a printable 3-D gun file to a person who is ineligible to possess a firearm. Punishment for the new class of state crimes ranges from a misdemeanor to a class C felony.
  • HB 1786 applies the same procedures and standards for the mandatory surrender of firearms under the state’s 2016 Extreme Risk Protection Order or “red flag” law to the surrender process for other types of protection orders.
  • SB 5027 strengthens the state’s ERPO law to include enforcement against those under age 18. The ERPO process can lead to an order prohibiting firearms possession for up to one year and could be renewed annually.
  • SB 5181 suspends the firearm rights of a person detained for 72 hours under the involuntary treatment act. The suspension would last six months and could be challenged in court.
  • SB 5205 requires courts to determine whether a defendant has a history of violent acts when dismissing nonfelony charges because the defendant is incompetent to stand trial. This could result in the removal of firearm rights.
  • SB 5508 concerns concealed pistol licensing in the state, requiring that all background checks for such permits be conducted through the Washington State Patrol’s Criminal Identification Section and must include a fingerprint background check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Supporters of the legislation included Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and an array of local and national gun control organizations. The groups, many of whom supported key candidates in 2017 to flip control of the formerly Republican-led state Senate, welcomed the passage of the bills.

“I am so proud of the progress we made this legislative session,” said Renee Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “We put forward our most robust legislative agenda ever and got more priority bills passed this session than in all previous sessions combined thanks to our new gun responsibility majority.”

Groups standing in opposition to the measures included a wide range of Second Amendment advocates. They argued that the proposals would do little to take guns away from criminals and in many cases only affects otherwise law-abiding firearm owners.

“They’re just as happy expanding the list of people that can’t have guns,” said Joe Waldron, a spokesman for the Gun Owners Action League of Washington. “Piece by piece, they’re chopping away.”

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CA Advances Bill to Allow Bosses, Co-Workers to File Gun Seizure Orders

The California Assembly on Monday advanced a bill to add school faculty, employers and co-workers to the list of people who can ask a judge to take away someone’s guns.

The measure, AB 61, passed the Assembly in a Democrat-heavy 54-16 vote and now heads to the state Senate. It would greatly expand who can file for a Gun Violence Restraining Order in the state under California’s so-called “red flag law.”

Adopted in 2014, the current law allows the seizure of firearms– for up to 21 days– from an otherwise legal gun owner who is believed to pose a “significant danger.” This initial order could be extended for as long as a year if the situation warrants while filing a false petition is a misdemeanor offense. As it stands, just law enforcement and immediate family can seek such an order. AB 61 would expand this to include school employees such as guidance counselors and teachers as well as the employers and co-workers of a subject.

Second Amendment groups such as the Firearms Policy Coalition and Gun Owners of California, who have long felt the orders were a dangerous pathway to gun confiscation without delivering any promise of treatment for someone in legitimate crisis, are opposed to the expansion.

According to the state Department of Justice, GVROs have been issued 614 times from 2016 to the end of 2018.

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Cory Booker if President: Gun Bans, Licensing, Microstamping

Presidential hopeful Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat running for the White House, announced an aggressive plan that would reshape American gun laws from the bottom up.

Self-described as “the most sweeping gun violence prevention proposal ever advanced by a presidential candidate,” Booker’s 16-point plan was announced by the current junior U.S. Senator from the Garden State on Monday.

“To make justice a reality for all, we have to end the epidemic of gun violence and invest in communities that have been shattered by the trauma left in its wake,” said Booker, the 50-year-old former mayor of Newark. “To do that, we need to adopt a plan that introduces aggressive gun safety measures — the most forward-leaning this country has ever seen.”

His plan, to be implemented through a mix of new laws and executive actions would:

  • Require those who want to own a gun to first obtain a federally-issued gun license “similar to applying for or renewing a passport.” The five-year licenses would require the applicant to submit fingerprints, pass a background check and meet a firearms training requirement.
  • End legal protections under federal law provided by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to the gun industry against frivolous lawsuits and instead put the sector under the purview of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Adopted in 2005, PLCAA provided a shield against civil action lawsuits brought against gun makers by several cities– to include Newark.
  • Require that new models of semi-automatic handguns sold in the United States include controversial microstamping technology. California adopted a similar requirement in 2013, which has had the effect of closing off the commercial market in that state to pistols designed since then as gun makers say the technology is not mature enough for production.
  • Adopt universal background checks on virtually all gun transfers.
  • Ban “assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks,” although the latter is already the subject of rulemaking by federal gun regulators.
  • Give the Centers for Disease Control federal funding to study gun deaths as a health care issue.
  • Increase funding to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
  • Ration handgun sales to a maximum of one per month.
  • Incentivize states to adopt controversial extreme risk protection order programs, the so-called “red flag laws” which allow a judge to issue temporary gun seizure orders without the gun owner appearing before the court.
  • Mandate that gun owners who have had a firearm lost or stolen report the loss to police under threat of a fine.
  • Pay for urban centers to install acoustic gunshot detection systems through a federal grant program.
  • Direct the IRS to investigate the NRA’s tax status.

Booker’s plan brought quick and immediate endorsement from national anti-gun groups with John Feinblatt, president of Everytown, saying. “There is no question that gun safety will be a defining issue of the 2020 campaign.”

Across the aisle from Booker, several Senate Republicans blasted the would-be 46th President’s agenda. U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, said “the latest terrible idea to come out of the Democrats’ 2020 primary is a federal gun registry. If you want to buy a gun, Cory Booker wants you to register with the federal government. This would be scary if Booker had any chance of becoming President.”

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