Friday, May 31, 2024

Failed ATF Bryan Malinowski Raid Gets Senator Jim Jordan's Attention


Senate hearing into Bryan Malinowski's death due to a failed ATF raid, raises many questions as to why the camera was tapped over and why no body cams were worn.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Glock Under Fire: NSSF Senior VP Calls for Congressional Investigation

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Larry Keane, the senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), expressed strong criticism regarding the lawsuit filed by the city of Chicago against Glock, which Everytown Law supports. The lawsuit accuses Glock of enabling the illegal modification of its pistols into machine guns with switches. Keane revealed that Everytown’s leadership has been openly discussing this lawsuit, suggesting an attempt by the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, led by former Everytown lobbyist Rob Wilcox, to pressure Glock into redesigning its highly reliable pistols.

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Keane highlighted that Glock has been proactive in combating the misuse of switches, collaborating with the Department of Homeland Security and initiating legal actions against those illegally producing and importing such devices. He accused the White House, Everytown, and the city of Chicago of conspiring against Glock, pushing the lawsuit as a means to hold the company responsible for criminal misuse of its products. Keane suggested a congressional inquiry into what he perceives as undue influence and coercion exercised by Wilcox and the White House.

Concerning the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) stance, Keane suggested that similar pressure might have been attempted by the ATF and warned that ATF Director Steve Dettelbach could potentially reclassify semi-automatic firearms as machine guns, based on their potential for illegal modification. Despite this possibility, Keane remains skeptical of any immediate changes but cautioned that a second term for Biden could lead to more aggressive anti-gun measures.

In response to the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) current limitations, Keane mentioned the establishment of the Protect Liberty PAC by NSSF to support Second Amendment-friendly candidates in the upcoming elections. He called for public support to compensate for the resources the NRA might not be able to contribute this election cycle due to its internal issues. Keane emphasized the importance of collective action in defending Second Amendment rights against what he sees as the most anti-gun administration in U.S. history.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2024

New Mexico's Attempt to Ban Concealed Guns in Parks Hits Judicial Roadblock

(AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
The effort by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to enforce a ban on lawful concealed carry in public parks within Albuquerque and Bernalillo County encountered a significant obstacle. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals declined her appeal to pause a lower court’s injunction that prevented the imposition of civil penalties on licensed concealed carriers found with firearms in these parks. Initially, Governor Grisham sought a broader ban across Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, which was quickly overturned by a federal judge. The governor then narrowed the scope of her order to restrict concealed carry specifically in parks and playgrounds. However, a district court judge further scaled back this order by upholding the injunction against the park ban while permitting the playground prohibition to remain.

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Governor Grisham, in her appeal to the Tenth Circuit, argued that the history of gun ownership in the United States supported restrictions on carrying firearms in public parks, citing numerous 19th and early 20th-century laws. This stance, however, contradicts the Supreme Court’s interpretation in the Bruen case, which highlighted the limited nature of “sensitive places” historically exempt from gun carry rights and warned against expansive “gun-free zones.”

The Tenth Circuit’s refusal to stay the injunction suggests skepticism towards the constitutional validity of the park carry ban, though a detailed opinion has yet to be released. When District Judge Kea W. Riggs initially granted the partial injunction, she noted the state’s failure to provide historical justification for such a ban. This stance was maintained upon appeal, with Judge Riggs reaffirming the lack of historical precedent for extensive firearm regulations in public parks as argued by the state.

This development signals promising news for Second Amendment supporters and represents a significant blow to Governor Grisham’s efforts to impose stricter gun control measures through public health orders. Although the legal battle continues, the rejection of the governor’s request by the appellate court marks a critical moment in the ongoing challenge to New Mexico’s proposed firearm restrictions.

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Friday, March 15, 2024

House Judiciary Committee Advances Colorado Bill on Vehicle Gun Safes


The Colorado State House Judiciary Committee has recently advanced a bill, House Bill 1348, aimed at combating gun thefts from vehicles, a growing concern nationwide. This proposed legislation, requiring firearms in motor vehicles to be stored in lock boxes or the vehicle’s trunk, passed with a party-line vote of 7–3. This initiative responds to incidents like the theft of two firearms from a car owned by state Representative-elect Ron Weinberg (R-Loveland) on the Capitol campus in Denver.

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Statistics underscore the gravity of the issue, with Denver District Attorney Beth McCann revealing that over two years, more than 1,000 guns were stolen from vehicles. The bill, facing criticism for possibly deterring individuals from reporting stolen firearms due to a $500 civil penalty, highlights a broader national dilemma.

Various reports across the country illustrate the severity of gun thefts from vehicles, with hundreds to thousands of firearms being stolen annually in cities like ColumbusNashvilleSan AntonioCincinnatiDenverTacomaPhiladelphia, and Seattle. These thefts not only fuel criminal activity but also cast gun owners in a negative light, prompting legislative responses such as Colorado’s HB 1348.

The debate around such measures often circles back to the restrictions imposed by businesses and “sensitive areas” on legally carrying firearms, which inadvertently contribute to the problem by forcing gun owners to leave their firearms in vehicles. Despite the stigma, it’s important to recognize the rights of armed citizens, particularly in states with “Constitutional Carry” laws, which permit the lawful carry of firearms without a permit.

To address the issue of gun safety in vehicles, many gun owners are turning to vehicle gun safes, a solution that Cincinnati Police Chief Teresa Theetge has adopted by installing a gun safe in her vehicle. Manufacturers like Truck VaultConsole Vault, and Hornady offer robust vehicle safes and lockboxes, providing secure options for gun owners to prevent theft while complying with legal carry restrictions and promoting responsible gun ownership.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2024

ATF Inspector Halts Gun Purchase Over Marijuana Scent Allegation

 

(iStock-919659526)

Last month, a man in central Florida experienced a violation of his Second Amendment rights when an ATF Industry Operations Investigator (IOI) from the Tampa Field Office halted his firearm purchase at a Plant City gun dealer. The IOI, conducting a standard audit, intervened when the man, identified only as Daniel for privacy reasons, attempted to pick up a 9mm Beretta APX he had ordered. The reason given for stopping the sale was the investigator’s suspicion that Daniel might smell like marijuana.

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Daniel had completed all necessary legal procedures, including denying illegal drug use on ATF form 4473 and passing a background check. He expressed confusion and frustration over the situation, insisting he was not under the influence of marijuana.

Given Florida’s legalization of medical cannabis in 2016 and the widespread availability of cannabis dispensaries, there are numerous legitimate reasons someone might carry the odor of marijuana without having used it. Moreover, products like marijuana-scented candles or incense could also account for the smell.

The actions of the IOI have sparked questions regarding the scope of authority and training of ATF investigators, who are not sworn law enforcement officers and may not possess the expertise to accurately identify drug use based on smell alone.

The ATF’s refusal to comment on the incident and clarify its policies regarding firearm transfer interruptions has raised concerns about transparency and accountability within the agency. Despite Daniel’s compliance with all legal requirements for the firearm purchase, the IOI’s decision to halt the transaction based solely on suspicion underscores the need for clearer guidelines and protections for lawful gun buyers against arbitrary enforcement actions.

This incident serves as a reminder of the challenges facing individuals exercising their constitutional rights and the importance of scrutinizing regulatory actions that may infringe on those rights.

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Monday, March 11, 2024

Colorado Considers Unique Firearm Tax, Sparking Debate on Gun Rights and Public Funding


Taxes permeate nearly every aspect of our lives, from income to expenditures, with few actions escaping the reach of taxation. It seems inevitable that if it were feasible to tax the air we breathe, that would be taxed as well. Similarly, purchasing firearms and ammunition involves paying sales tax, a routine part of transactions that typically goes unquestioned as it aligns with the norm for other products.

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However, for Colorado residents, this standard might soon shift significantly.

Democrats in Colorado are considering introducing a specific tax on firearms and ammunition, aiming to establish one of the first such taxes in the nation. The tax, which is supposedly not designed to deter gun ownership but to generate revenue, could see the cost of firearmsammunition, and gun components increase by 11 percent. If the legislative proposal is approved, it would be put to a vote this November, following California’s lead, which has previously enacted a similar tax.

Representative Monica Duran of Jefferson County, the proponent of HB24–1349 and the House Majority Leader, emphasizes that the bill’s intent is financial, not regulatory. She estimates the tax could generate around $60 million annually for crime victim services and related needs, stating that the measure is not aimed at infringing on Second Amendment rights but rather at maintaining essential services for families and individuals.

This year, Democrats have tabled numerous proposals related to firearms, including carrying restrictions and a ban on certain firearms. Critics of the new tax argue that it introduces unnecessary financial burdens on exercising a constitutional right.

Despite Duran’s assurances that the tax is not about gun control or limiting purchases, skepticism remains. Taxes on specific goods often serve as a deterrent, as seen with elevated taxes on products like cigarettes to discourage use. Applying a tax to a product associated with a constitutional right raises concerns about the true impact on those rights.

Firearm affordability is already an issue for many, with even lower-priced options like Hi-Points experiencing price increases. An additional 11 percent tax could further hinder individuals, especially those purchasing a firearm for the first time in challenging circumstances, from acquiring protection.

There’s hope among gun rights supporters that Colorado voters will reject this tax proposal, emphasizing that funding for programs should not be sourced from the pockets of responsible gun owners. Yet, there’s apprehension that Colorado’s recent trends may lead to the tax’s adoption, potentially alienating firearm purchasers.

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Friday, March 8, 2024

Report Exposes Federal Surveillance of Lawful Gun Buyers, Sparking Privacy Concerns

 

concerning report from a House Judiciary subcommittee reveals allegations that federal law enforcement agencies have utilized financial institutions to monitor American citizens under the guise of detecting potential criminals or ‘extremists.’ This surveillance was particularly focused on transactions related to ‘small arms’ purchases at well-known retailers like ‘Cabela’s,’ ‘Bass Pro Shop,’ and ‘Dick’s Sporting Goods.’ The scrutiny extends to ordinary Americans engaging in lawful activities or exercising their Second Amendment rights, as detailed in the 56-page document released by the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

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Dated March 6, the report highlights a case where the FBI allegedly received a database containing financial information of thousands of Bank of America customers following a broad search. Despite requests, Bank of America did not provide the Subcommittee with documentation pertaining to its collaboration with the FBI. This has raised concerns about the lack of specificity in the FBI’s investigation criteria and the implications for customer privacy.

James Lynch, reporting for the National Review, emphasizes that guidance from federal law enforcement equated conservative viewpoints on gun control and immigration with violent extremism, aiming to aid financial institutions in monitoring customer transactions.

On Page 21 of the subcommittee report, readers find this: “While BoA has refused to provide the Committee and Select Subcommittee with its ‘filing on the parameters’ it discussed and shared with the FBI, it is clear that the FBI was not interested in particularized criminal activity. Rather, the FBI cast a wide net with its search parameters and used BoA’s database to identify responsive accounts, creating a sprawling file of individuals whose financial accounts were flagged for federal law enforcement without any particularized allegation of engaging in federal criminal conduct. It is highly disturbing for any huge financial institution to comply with such a sweeping request from federal law enforcement and hand over its customers’ information without any legal process or regard for the privacy of its customers’ information.”

This revelation comes at a critical time for the Biden administration, just before President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address and amid his campaign for re-election, which includes advocating for stricter gun control measures.

The subcommittee’s findings also prompt questions about the privacy of financial transactions in the digital age, underscoring the balance that needs to be struck between law enforcement interests and the privacy rights of citizens. The report suggests that the current legal framework may not adequately protect Americans’ financial data from extensive government surveillance.

This situation underscores arguments by gun rights advocates about the intrusion of government surveillance into private transactions, advocating for cash purchases of firearms and ammunition to safeguard privacy.

The ongoing investigation by the House Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government aims to further examine the scope of financial surveillance, how shared information has been utilized, and the overall impact on Americans’ civil liberties. The commitment to addressing these issues highlights the importance of ensuring that citizens’ rights and privacy are protected in the face of government surveillance practices.

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Thursday, March 7, 2024

Washington Legislature Passes Bill Imposing Stringent Requirements on Gun Dealers

 

(Dan Brekke, Inlander)

Democrats holding the majority in the Washington Legislature have successfully pushed through House Bill 2118, a piece of legislation that has been criticized for imposing costly and burdensome requirements on licensed firearms dealers within the state. This has sparked considerable debate among members of the Washington 2024 Legislative Action Group on social media platforms like Facebook.

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The bill, which faced opposition from every House Republican and Democrat Representative Mike Chapman, but support from the remaining Democrats, passed the House with a vote of 56–39 and the Senate with a 28–21 tally. It is now awaiting signature from Governor Jay Inslee, a known advocate for gun control measures.

Critics, including an editorial from the Seattle Times, have argued that the bill overreaches by imposing stringent operational requirements on gun dealers under the guise of enhancing public safety. The bill mandates comprehensive security upgrades for firearm dealers, including the installation of security systems, digital video surveillance, and specific storage protocols for firearms outside business hours.

“This bill would impose costs on small firearms sellers that could force them out of business and open even wider the black market for gun sales,” the newspaper said.

Authored by a group of Democratic legislators frequently involved in proposing gun control laws, the bill specifically targets the operational aspects of firearms dealerships, demanding extensive security measures. It offers exemptions for dealers with a monthly sales volume of $1,000 or less but requires compliance within a year if that threshold is exceeded.

Comments from opponents on social media suggest a strong belief that the legislation aims to drive small firearms dealers out of business, with one stating the potential for every gun store in the state to be affected barring significant amendments. Calls for organized protests against the lawmakers responsible have also been voiced.

Should Governor Inslee sign the bill, which seems probable, its provisions will not be implemented until July 1, 2025, potentially allowing time for legal challenges from the firearms retail sector.

Criticism from the Seattle Times and other commentators focuses on the undue financial burden the bill places on small business owners, suggesting it could inadvertently fuel a black market for firearms by eliminating legitimate sales avenues. The united stance of larger firearms dealers in opposition to the bill highlights a collective effort within the firearms community to protect the rights and operational viability of smaller retailers.

This legislation marks yet another contentious move in what has been characterized as a broader campaign against gun rights in the current legislative session, with measures extending beyond licensing and taxation to include efforts aimed at shutting down gun shops through the imposition of prohibitive costs.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Maine Legislators Discuss New Gun Control Laws in Wake of Lewiston Tragedy

 

(Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

This week, Maine legislators are engaging with the public on newly proposed gun control legislation, introduced by Democratic lawmakers in reaction to a violent event in Lewiston last year. The initial hearing took place on Monday, as reported by the Lewiston Sun Journal.

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House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross (D-Portland) is sponsoring L.D. 2237, aiming to establish an “Office of Violence Prevention” and initiate a “Gun Shop Project” under the state’s Department of Public Safety. Talbot Ross is proposing an investment exceeding $2.5 million towards enhancing mental health crisis intervention and an additional $9 million for the creation of six new mental health crisis centers. Furthermore, the bill mandates the public safety commissioner to formulate a strategy for informing the public about active shooter situations.

Another proposal, L.D. 2238 by State Senator Peggy Rotundo (D-Lewiston), seeks to introduce a 72-hour waiting period for firearm purchases by individuals.

However, these legislative efforts are encountering resistance. State Senator Matt Harrington, a Republican from York, and State Representative Donald Ardell (R-Monticello) have voiced objections, attributing the Lewiston tragedy to failures in enforcement rather than deficiencies in current laws. They emphasize the underutilization of existing measures like the Yellow Flag Law during the Lewiston incident.

Maine’s history of rejecting gun control measures, such as universal background checks in 2016, reflects the state’s longstanding tradition of gun ownership and hunting. The proposed laws are facing pushback from gun owners wary of further restrictions.

The Lewiston shooter, Robert Card, a 40-year-old Army reservist, had previously been hospitalized in New York state before his deadly spree. The effectiveness of a proposed three-day waiting period in preventing such incidents remains uncertain.

Gun control advocates in Maine are also pushing for bans on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. These efforts come amid ongoing federal court challenges that could impact the constitutionality of such bans nationwide, with cases potentially being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Additionally, the Maine Legislature is considering L.D. 2086, proposed by Senator Anne Carney, which aims to restrict firearms equipped with devices mimicking machine gun functionality, including so-called “bump stocks.”

With the legislative session concluding on April 17, there is mounting pressure to advance these bills to Governor Janet Mills, who has introduced her gun control proposals. The outcome of this legislative push and its implications for Maine’s upcoming elections remain to be seen.

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