Saturday, December 30, 2023

Louisiana Sporting Goods Store Employees Fired for Pursuing Alleged Gun Thief

Three staff members at a sports equipment retailer in Metairie, Louisiana, were dismissed following their effort to thwart a thief who reportedly absconded with a handgun. Michelle Sutton, along with two other colleagues at Academy Sports + Outdoors, recounted that the theft occurred on December 16.

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The sales team, thinking they were close to finalizing a sale, were showcasing a pistol to a customer who suddenly fled with the weapon.

Sutton, serving as a team leader, acted swiftly upon receiving the alert, rushing to assist. "I immediately sprang into action," Sutton shared with WGNO, a local television station. "It was crucial to assist law enforcement in any way possible." Despite their search efforts, Sutton and her coworkers were unable to find the culprit.

Four days later, the store's firearm compliance team dismissed Sutton and her two colleagues, citing a violation of the company’s loss prevention guidelines. These rules prohibit employees from pursuing or physically restraining suspected thieves. While loss prevention staff or managers can approach suspects outside the store from a safe distance and request their return, employees are not allowed to leave the premises.

Sutton explained that their actions, including stepping outside the building, were deemed a breach of the 'front porch' policy. She expressed to the media that, while she now understands the policy, more explicit guidelines and training on handling such incidents would have been beneficial. "Stores selling concealable firearms like pistols must have explicit policies and provide additional training to handle unforeseen situations," she emphasized.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Door Dash Driver Released After Shooting YouTube Prankster in Self-Defense Case

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Alan Colie, a Door Dash driver, was recently released from a Loudoun County, Virginia, jail after serving time for the illegal discharge of a firearm inside an occupied structure.

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This incident occurred in early April 2023 when Colie, 31, was at a Popeyes Chicken in Dulles Town Center, Sterling, Virginia, to collect a delivery order. He was confronted by 21-year-old Tanner Cook and his associates. Cook, who was recording for his "Classified Goons" YouTube channel, aggressively thrust a phone in Colie's face, playing offensive audio repeatedly and harassing him. Cook's YouTube activities included various provocative acts like feigning vomiting on an Uber driver and simulating stalking women.

Despite Colie's requests for Cook to back off, Cook persisted, encroaching on Colie's personal space. Feeling threatened, Colie, who had a legally concealed weapon, shot Cook in the abdomen. Cook managed to leave the mall but was later given first aid by the police and taken to a hospital, where he recovered. Colie was arrested in the mall's food court and cooperated with the authorities.

Initially, Colie faced several charges, including malicious wounding and using a firearm in a felony. Represented by a public defender, he pleaded not guilty. In September, a Loudoun County jury acquitted him of most charges but found him guilty of unlawfully discharging a firearm.

Judge Matthew P. Snow, while acknowledging Colie's fear, ruled that his reaction was excessive. Snow emphasized the responsibilities associated with carrying a firearm, even in self-defense. As a result, Colie is now a convicted felon, prohibited from owning firearms and his concealed carry permit revoked.

Colie, intending to appeal the verdict, argues that using a gun in self-defense should not be deemed illegal. While the timeline for this appeal remains uncertain, he was able to spend Christmas at home. Meanwhile, Tanner Cook plans to continue producing content for his YouTube channel.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Lawsuit Update: Challenge Against Handgun Purchase Ban for Young Adults Receives New Filings


The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), alongside partners in a federal lawsuit contesting the prohibition of handgun sales to young adults aged 18-20, has submitted a motion to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to update the record with an additional plaintiff. This case, Reese v. ATF, also involves the Firearms Policy Coalition, Louisiana Shooting Association, and two individuals, Emily Naquin and Caleb Reese, the latter being the namesake of the case. The legal team comprises George J. Armbruster from Lafayette, LA, David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson, John D. Ohlendorf, William V. Bergstrom from Washington, D.C., and Joseph Greenlee from Las Vegas, Nev. 

The motion aims to include Christian Michael Broussard, an 18-year-old from Vermilion Parish, as a new plaintiff, given that original client Emily Naquin has reached 21 and is no longer part of the impacted demographic. This addition addresses concerns that the case might become moot as the standing of the Organizational Plaintiffs hinges on having at least one member within the affected age range.

Adam Kraut, SAF Executive Director, elaborated, "Since initiating this lawsuit in November 2020, our initial plaintiffs are approaching or have reached 21 years of age. To counteract any notion that the issue is now irrelevant, we've brought in Mr. Broussard as a new plaintiff. This ensures our legal challenge remains valid, allowing for a comprehensive judicial review of the core issue."

Alan M. Gottlieb, SAF founder and Executive Vice President, highlighted the importance of Broussard's inclusion, stating, "The court’s acceptance of Broussard’s declaration reaffirms the ongoing relevance and urgency of this case. It’s crucial for resolving a persistent legal matter that affects a specific segment of the population."

Friday, December 22, 2023

U.S. Attorney’s Office Announces Forfeiture Process to Begin for Firearms Seized From Dave’s Gunshop in Lafayette, LA


Editor's Note: This press release is sourced directly from the ATF. Faithful readers of Gun Coyote News are familiar with our perspective on this unregulated federal entity: We encourage our readers to share their insightful and impactful thoughts in the comments section below.

LAFAYETTE, La. — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana will be handling a forfeiture proceeding in connection with the seizure of numerous firearms in the case involving Dave’s Gunshop in Lafayette.

U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that two individuals from Broussard have been found guilty on all counts after a jury trial that began in federal court on Monday, Nov. 27, and ended Thursday evening, Nov. 30. The couple was originally indicted for conspiring to deal firearms without a license, making false statements in records required to be kept by a licensed firearms dealer and failing to file sales reports in connection with their firearms business located in Lafayette.

Jeremiah Micah Deare, 37, Sarah Elaine Fogle, 30, were found guilty of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, after the jury heard from over 20 witnesses and numerous trial exhibits demonstrating the illegal sale and attempted illegal sale of hundreds of firearms out of their residence and at gun shows as an unlicensed business. The couple was found to have engaged in the business of dealing firearms without following applicable laws, including the required background checks on their customers. The 246 firearms seized from the couple’s home, many with price tags, were brought into court for the jury to inspect, and the indictment also seeks forfeiture of a total of 619 firearms which were involved in the commission of these offenses.

Trial testimony and evidence revealed that Deare was the owner of Dave’s Gunshop, LLC, aka “Dave’s,” and the responsible party for Dave’s Federal Firearms License, which was located in Lafayette. Deare and Fogle did not hold a Federal Firearms License in their individual capacities. On or about Aug. 13, 2019, a compliance inspection was conducted at Dave’s by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. At a warning conference on Sept. 19, in Baton Rouge, Deare and Fogle were warned for numerous violations, including failing to complete a background check form ATF-4473 (one time), failing to accurately keep acquisition and disposition records for dispositions (67 times), failing to accurately keep acquisition and disposition records for acquisitions (62 times), transferring firearms without having a final response from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (two times), inaccurate completion of ATF-4473 forms (111 times), and for missing firearms. Trial evidence confirmed that, on that same day, the ATF investigator provided an Acknowledgement of Federal Firearms Regulations to inform Deare of their responsibilities as a Federal Firearms License holder, and about laws relating to engaging in the business of selling firearms at gun shows. Trial documents further proved the acknowledgment was signed by Deare acknowledging that he understood he was responsible for familiarizing himself with the laws and regulations.

During trial, testimony and evidence showed that Deare and Fogle, after being warned, willfully engaged in the business of dealing in firearms without a license by buying and selling firearms without complying with the recordkeeping and background check requirements required by federal law. Deare and Fogle acquired large quantities of firearms and ammunition from estate sales and other means but would not document the firearms in Dave’s Acquisition & Disposition Book as required by federal law. In addition, firearms brought to Dave’s to be sold on consignment were not logged into Dave’s Acquisition & Disposition Book and were not placed for sale at Dave’s, but rather were brough to gun shows to sell off of Dave’s A&D book and without background checks.

The jury trial revealed that Deare and Fogle kept firearms at their residence without logging them out of Dave’s store inventory and would travel with the firearms to gun shows conducted at various locations in Louisiana and several other states. Deare and Fogle sold firearms at gun shows to non-Louisiana residents for which no ATF-4473 or background checks were ever completed. Their failure to conduct background checks resulted in the sales of firearms to persons prohibited by law from possessing or purchasing firearms. Additionally, the sales of firearms at gun shows outside the State of Louisiana were not done through a dealer licensed in the state where the gun show was conducted as required by law. The proceeds from the out-of-state gun sales of firearms were not included as revenue for Dave’s, but instead, evidence and testimony revealed Deare and Fogle used it for their own personal gain to avoid any record of these profits with Dave’s, which at the time was in litigation with the previous owner.

Following the trial, a detention hearing was held and Deare was remanded into custody, where he will remain until the sentencing on April 2, 2024. Fogle will remain out on bond, with a restriction prohibiting her from traveling outside the State of Louisiana.

Deare faces a sentence of not more than five years in prison on Counts 1 and 2, and not more than one year on Count 3 of the Indictment. Fogle faces a sentence of not more than five years in prison on Count 1 of the Indictment. Each defendant also faces up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.

The ATF conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lauren L. Gardner and Myers P. Namie prosecuted the case.

During the investigation of this case, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives seized numerous firearms from Dave’s Gunshop and also from the residence of Jeremiah Micah Deare and Sarah Elaine Fogle. The defendants in this case, Deare and Fogle, were charged and found guilty of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license.

If you, your family member, or anyone that you know may have an interest in claiming ownership of any of the firearm(s) seized in this case, please contact the Forfeiture Unit of our office at 318-676-3600 for information on how to file a claim with the court for any firearm(s).

New Orleans Field Division

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Investigation Launched into New Mexico's Anti-Gun Organization for Potential Firearms Law Violations

New Mexico's Anti-Gun Group Under Investigation for Possible Firearms Law Violations

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In a turn of events, New Mexico's anti-gun organization, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV), is currently under investigation for potentially violating state gun laws. This inquiry follows their activities in Farmington, NM, where they collected unwanted firearms from residents, aiming to dismantle them as part of their "Guns to Garden" program.

The group, known for its gun buyback events, encountered a setback when the City of Farmington canceled their scheduled program. Despite this, NMPGV proceeded to collect firearms directly from households, which they later claimed involved dismantling the guns into non-functional pieces. This action has raised questions about the legality of their operation, particularly regarding background checks and proper firearms transfer procedures.

State Representative Stefani Lord highlighted these concerns in response to NMPGV's social media post about the event. She questioned the lack of background checks and the potential possession of stolen firearms, prompting the need for an investigation by authorities, including the New Mexico State Police, FBI, and ATF.

Responding to these allegations, NMPGV maintained that their process of dismantling unwanted firearms did not constitute a transfer and hence did not violate background check laws. However, State Rep. John Block questioned the legality of their actions, considering that dismantling would require taking possession of the guns first.

Gun owners and Second Amendment activists have noted the irony of an anti-gun group potentially breaking the very gun laws they advocate for. This situation further underscores the ongoing debate about firearms regulations and the challenges in enforcing them.

Sheriff Shane Ferrari of San Juan County has initiated an investigation into whether the NMPGV's actions complied with state laws. This includes examining if the collected firearms were destroyed according to ATF guidelines. The sheriff clarified that his investigation is not against the City of Farmington, which had responsibly canceled the event upon recognizing potential issues.

Additionally, Sheriff Ferrari is seeking opinions from the District Attorney and the Attorney General on the legality of NMPGV's actions and the proper disposition of abandoned or unclaimed firearms. This investigation will shed light on whether the group's activities were in line with legal requirements or if they indeed violated state firearms laws.

This development in New Mexico is part of a broader national conversation about gun control, the enforcement of existing laws, and the roles various groups play in shaping firearms policy. As the situation unfolds, many are watching closely to see the outcome of the investigation and its implications for gun legislation and enforcement.

Monday, December 18, 2023

California DOJ Implements 'Emergency' CCW Regulations Limiting Firearms Instructors

California's Department of Justice has introduced an "emergency regulation" that seeks to significantly limit the number of firearms instructors eligible to provide training to concealed carry permit applicants. This new regulation notably excludes National Rifle Association certified instructors, a move that has been met with strong opposition from the California State Sheriff’s Association. As reported by KTXL/Fox 40 News, the association highlighted the potential impact of this regulation, stating, "A likely and obvious byproduct of reducing the number of trained and certified CCW instructors will be an increased difficulty in CCW applicants’ ability to access appropriate CCW training and certification…It can be argued that impeding access to sufficient numbers of adequate CCW instructors will jeopardize CCW applicants’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights lawfully."

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According to the emergency regulations, initial applicants must now present training certification from one of the following approved sources:

1. Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Department of Consumer Affairs, State of California-Firearm Training Instructor;

2. Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), State of California Firearms Instructor or Rangemaster;

3. Authorization from a State of California accredited school to teach a firearm training course.

The California Rifle & Pistol Association expressed its discontent, suggesting that these regulations seem designed to limit and slow the processing of concealed carry permits in California, especially in light of the significant increase in CCW applications following the Bruen decision.

In an editorial for the Los Angeles Daily News, Susan Shelley emphasized the U.S. Supreme Court's clear stance that American citizens, including those in California, have an individual right to keep and bear arms, a right the California government seems reluctant to acknowledge.

The implementation of Senate Bill 2, which is set to take effect on January 1, has been met with controversy, particularly due to the limited five-day window provided by the CalDOJ for public feedback.

The Sacramento Bee pointed out that Senate Bill 2 has also doubled the training requirements for both new applicants and renewals, a move that has been seen in various states as an attempt to discourage gun ownership. This trend is observed in states like Oregon, where a similar measure was recently deemed unconstitutional, and in Washington, where a new proposal includes a permit-to-purchase with a training requirement.

Delaware is also considering a similar bill (Senate Bill 2(S)), which mandates proof of completion of a firearms safety course. Democrat House Majority Leader Melissa Minor-Brown defended the bill, comparing the need for firearm training to other areas where training is required, such as driving and medical purposes.

These developments have sparked debate over the distinction between privileges and constitutionally protected rights, with critics arguing that such mandates demonstrate a misunderstanding of this crucial difference.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Senate Nears Vote on Bill to Prohibit Gun CAD File Sharing


A legislative proposal in the United States Senate, aimed at prohibiting the online distribution of digital blueprints for 3D printing firearms, is poised for a vote. Titled the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act, Senate Bill 1819 was initiated by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and received backing from 28 Democratic senators, including prominent figures like Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and the late Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

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Senator Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), one of the bill's co-sponsors, emphasized the gravity of the issue, stating, “We’re not discussing toy guns here. This is about actual, functioning semi-automatic weapons such as AR-15 rifles and Beretta M9 handguns. Many 3D printed guns are plastic, making them undetectable by metal detectors in secure public venues. These 'ghost guns' are increasingly being used in crimes, posing challenges for law enforcement."

The proposed legislation aims to curb the distribution of computer-aided design (CAD) files online, specifically targeting platforms like Defense Distributed’s Def CAD website. These files enable individuals with access to 3D printers – now more affordable than ever – to produce their own firearm receivers. This burgeoning DIY gun culture, fueled by the 3D printing revolution, is seen as rendering current gun regulations ineffective.

A key concern addressed by the bill is the absence of serial numbers on 3D-printed firearms. Although federal law doesn't mandate serial numbers on homemade guns, efforts to modify this have stalled in Congress. Consequently, President Joe Biden directed the ATF to enact a rule prohibiting 80% kits and reclassify unfinished frames as firearms, although this rule sidestepped the issue of 3D-printed guns.

Some states, like New York, have proposed stringent measures, including mandating background checks for purchasing 3D printers and barring individuals prohibited from owning firearms from obtaining these printers.

The bill's implications extend beyond the Second Amendment, raising First Amendment concerns as well. Advocates argue that computer code is a form of protected speech. They draw parallels to publications like the Anarchist Cookbook, which, despite its controversial content, is shielded by free speech rights, suggesting that gun-related computer code should receive similar protection.

While a corresponding bill in the House of Representatives faces challenges due to Republican opposition, the Senate bill's fate is uncertain. Despite previous successes in passing bipartisan gun legislation, achieving a supermajority in the Senate for this bill remains doubtful.

New Jersey's Attorney General Initiates Controversial Legal Action Against Firearms Industry Entities

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin, a long-time member of Governor Phil Murphy's administration, has launched two significant civil lawsuits against entities in the firearms industry. These actions are in line with the enforcement of the 2022 firearms public nuisance law, which New Jersey employs to circumvent the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. This law empowers the Attorney General to pursue civil suits against gun companies for violations of New Jersey law, even those based outside the state.

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The lawsuits target New Jersey-based FSS Armory, Patriot Enterprises Worldwide LLC (operating as Eagle Shows), and Not An LLC (operating as JSD Supply) from Pennsylvania.

Platkin accuses FSS Armory of negligence in firearm storage, leading to theft and subsequent illegal trafficking. The official complaint against FSS Armory cites their storage practices as placing local and neighboring state residents at risk by enabling the circulation of firearms among criminals and unauthorized individuals.

The second complaint concerns Eagle Shows and JSD Supply, alleging that these companies have been deliberately marketing "ghost gun" products to New Jersey residents, despite being aware of their illegality in the state. These accusations hinge on the claim that these businesses have been exploiting proximity to the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border to make such firearms easily accessible to New Jersey residents.

Assistant Attorney General David Leit is the signatory attorney for both complaints, not Platkin. In these actions, Platkin is seen to be targeting not only the victim of a crime (FSS Armory) but also a business legally operating in another state (Eagle Shows and JSD Supply). Platkin's statement emphasizes New Jersey’s commitment to holding those responsible for illegal gun trafficking and industry enablers accountable, stressing the importance of gun dealers and the firearms industry complying with state laws.

SAFE Director Ravi Ramanathan echoed this sentiment, stating that the actions of the accused have caused considerable harm to communities and must face consequences. However, there is a notable absence of criminal complaints against the accused, raising questions about the allegations of "unlawful" actions.

As New Jersey continues to enforce its firearms public nuisance law, the outcome of these civil complaints remains uncertain. The state's aggressive stance may lead to significant legal challenges for the involved firearms industry members, and developments in these cases will be closely monitored.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Washington State Democrats Propose New Firearms Purchase Permit Legislation with Mandatory Training and Live-Fire Component

In Washington State, a group of over 20 Democrat legislators has introduced a bill that would establish a permit-to-purchase requirement for anyone seeking to buy a firearm. This legislation, known as House Bill 1902, also mandates training that includes demonstrating live-fire competency.

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This bill, extending to 72 pages, has attracted exclusively liberal Democrat sponsors, with no Republicans signing on. It aims to create a "state firearms background check system account" under the state treasurer's control. Second Amendment advocates have criticized the bill as an overt move toward stricter gun control.

Should the bill become law, it will likely face legal challenges as an infringement on both the Second Amendment and the state's right-to-bear-arms provision (Article 1, Section 24). Democrat Rep. Liz Berry of Seattle, supporting the bill, compared the permit requirement to licensure for driving or fishing, saying, "It’s just common sense to require a license for purchasing a firearm... Permit to purchase helps to ensure that guns are only purchased by responsible individuals."

Opponents counter this argument by highlighting the distinction between constitutionally protected rights and state-granted privileges. They also point out the futility of such measures in curbing criminal activity, as criminals typically do not acquire firearms through legal channels.

The bill's sponsors include Representatives Emily Alvarado, Liz Berry, Lisa Callan, and others. In response to similar legislative moves, Dan Mitchell, owner of Sporting Systems in Vancouver and a vocal gun rights advocate, has offered a free online "gun safety course" to comply with the current requirements set to take effect in January 2024. This course covers various topics including conflict avoidance and firearm safety basics.

Furthermore, the bill assigns the Washington State Patrol the task of certifying firearms safety training programs and mandates recertification every five years.

In parallel, these Democrat lawmakers are also pushing for HB 1903, a bill requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms within 24 hours, with a failure to report resulting in a fine of up to $1,000.

These legislative efforts in Washington mirror actions in other Democrat-controlled states, such as Oregon, where recent gun control measures have faced constitutional challenges. Washington's legislative session is set to begin in January, and many are questioning the constitutional viability of these proposed laws, especially considering the state's historically reasonable approach to gun legislation and its high number of resident concealed pistol licenses.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Appeals Court Overturns New York's Concealed Carry Signage and Social Media Rules


In a notable legal development, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has invalidated certain aspects of New York's recent gun control laws enacted in response to the state's previous may-issue carry permitting system being declared unconstitutional. Among the overturned provisions is a unique signage requirement that presumed a ban on concealed carry in publicly accessible places unless property owners explicitly allowed it.

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This ruling comes as a result of several combined legal challenges, including objections to the law mandating that individuals seeking a carry permit provide access to their social media accounts. The court's decision, which spans 261 pages, addresses multiple cases but leaves other components of the Bruen response law intact.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) played a pivotal role in two of the four cases addressed in the ruling, namely Hardaway v. Chiumento and Christian v. Chiumento. In the Christian case, the court found that the requirement for private property owners to post signs permitting concealed carry infringed upon the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Consequently, this signage rule, which carried a Class E felony penalty and could permanently revoke an individual's gun rights, was nullified.

The Hardaway case, which contested the prohibition of carrying firearms in places of worship, was rendered moot following a legislative amendment prompted by SAF's lawsuit. This amendment permits individuals, including plaintiff Jimmie Hardaway, to carry firearms in churches. The Firearms Policy Coalition also collaborated with SAF in these cases.

A significant victory for gun rights also emerged from the decision in a separate case not involving the SAF. The court invalidated the requirement for carry license applicants to grant government access to their private social media accounts.

Adam Kraut, SAF's Executive Director, described the outcome of the Christian case as a "small but significant victory," while Alan M. Gottlieb, founder and Executive Vice President of SAF, referred to these successes as examples of SAF's commitment to advancing firearms freedom through strategic litigation.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

ESG Shareholders Prepare Legal Action Against Smith & Wesson for Producing and Selling M&P-15 Sport

Fox News reports that a faction of Smith & Wesson's shareholders, aligned with the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) movement, is preparing to sue the company over the sale of its M&P-15 rifle, a model similar to the AR-15. These shareholders, advocating for ESG principles that prioritize social responsibility and progressive values over profit, are focusing their efforts on gun control.

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The impending lawsuit alleges that Smith & Wesson has knowingly exposed itself to significant legal risks by manufacturing, marketing, and selling AR-15 style rifles and similar semiautomatic firearms, despite not violating any laws. The plaintiffs argue that the company's board of directors has neglected its fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders by overlooking potential liabilities and failing to exercise oversight over the production and marketing of these firearms.

Among the plaintiffs are the Adrian Dominican Sisters, guided by Sister Judy Byron, a prominent anti-gun advocate and member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a key player in the ESG movement. The ICCR, known for championing leftist causes in corporate governance, recently issued a statement co-authored by Sister Byron, criticizing the National Rifle Association (NRA) for impeding gun control legislation. The ICCR urges companies to take a stand against gun violence, including ceasing the production of AR-15s and other semiautomatic firearms.

The ICCR's statement emphasizes the moral and business imperatives for companies to distance themselves from gun violence. It advocates for corporate actions that could counter gun violence and promote safer communities, beyond relying on federal legislation.

“While we believe that sensible gun control legislation and enforcement is needed to help halt the wave of senseless gun tragedies, progress has been stalled at the federal level in large part due to an aggressive NRA lobby,” the ICCR statement said.

“Corporations, therefore, have an important role to play both to ensure that they are not indirectly complicit in these lethal events, and in advancing the solutions that may help prevent them,” the statement continues. “While the business case for companies to reduce their exposure to this issue is clear, the moral case for action grows more urgent each day. We therefore ask companies to carefully reflect on how their operations, business relationships, supply chain policies, marketing practices and public voices might be used to counter gun violence and foster safer communities.”

Some observers suggest that Sister Byron is leveraging the Adrian Dominican Sisters' financial resources to advance her anti-gun agenda. Her commitment to social justice and systemic change was highlighted in her comments following the Parkland shooting, indicating a desire to use the Sisters’ shares to influence corporate policies.

Despite this lawsuit involving some of Smith & Wesson's current shareholders, the majority of the company's investors have historically opposed the ICCR's demands. Past proposals at shareholder meetings to halt the sale of products like the M&P-15 Sport have been overwhelmingly defeated, with more than 73% of investors rejecting these initiatives.

ATF Withdraws Attempt to Revoke Florida Gun Store’s FFL Following Legal Action

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has withdrawn its attempt to revoke the federal firearms license (FFL) of Kiloton Tactical, LLC. This action came after Gun Owners of America (GOA) assisted the gun store in suing the government over President Joe Biden's zero-tolerance policy for minor infractions. The case, titled Kiloton Tactical, LLC v. ATF, has garnered attention as part of a broader conflict between the ATF and firearms dealers.

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An ATF inspector had seized Kiloton Tactical’s records, including its bound book and completed ATF Form 4473s containing customer information, which was a violation of federal law. The law stipulates that the seizure of such records requires copies to be provided to the licensee within a reasonable time.

The ATF's revocation effort was reportedly due to minor paperwork errors, reflecting the agency's increased pace in revoking FFLs under Biden's zero-tolerance policy. Many gun dealers believe this policy has led to an adversarial stance by the ATF against gun stores.

The ATF's decision to drop the revocation against Kiloton Tactical is seen by some as an attempt to avoid legal scrutiny over its zero-tolerance policy. This pattern of action was also observed in another case involving GOA, where the ATF reversed a revocation decision against Morehouse Enterprises after legal intervention.

Despite the renewal of Kiloton Tactical’s FFL and the withdrawal of the revocation threat, the plaintiffs are continuing their legal fight. They are seeking a preliminary injunction against the zero-tolerance policy. The ATF, however, argues that there is no longer a case for irreparable harm since the revocation threat is removed and claims the plaintiffs are challenging the Bureau’s authority to inspect and enforce regulations in gun stores.

The ATF suggests that Kiloton Tactical could have used the agency's administrative procedures to contest the revocation but chose to file a lawsuit instead. According to the ATF, "There is accordingly no license revocation to enjoin, nor any other imminent, irreparable harm to Kiloton that could justify a preliminary injunction.”

The court is set to decide on the preliminary injunction in the coming weeks. This lawsuit is one among several challenging President Biden's zero-tolerance policy, with another notable case led by Eric Blandford of IraqVeteran8888.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Fifth Circuit Court Rejects ATF's Appeal for Stay of District Court's FRT Injunction


In a series of legal setbacks for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the agency has faced another defeat regarding the regulation of forced reset triggers (FRTs). The dispute centered around the ATF's classification of the Rare Breed FRT-15 and similar devices as machine guns, which led to enforcement actions against owners of these triggers. The case, National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) v. Merrick Garland, filed by Rare Breed Triggers and NAGR in a Texas Federal District Court, challenged this classification.

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Several individuals had faced charges under the National Firearms Act of 1934 for possessing FRTs, with potential penalties including up to ten years in prison and fines up to $250,000. However, Federal District Court Judge Reed O’Connor ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, granting a preliminary injunction and thereby halting the ATF's enforcement actions related to FRTs.

The ATF appealed this decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting a stay on the lower court's ruling. However, the Fifth Circuit Court denied the ATF's request, maintaining the injunction and thus preventing ATF enforcement actions on the Rare Breed FRT-15. The decision cited the defendants' failure to meet the criteria for a stay.

“Defendants have fallen short of meeting their burden to justify a stay pending appeal,” The Fifth Circuit Order reads. “Their motion to stay the district court’s preliminary injunction pending appeal is therefore DENIED.”

This ruling follows the Fifth Circuit's previous decision in the Cargill case, where it was determined that the ATF exceeded its authority in classifying bump stocks as machine guns. Similarly, in the current case, Judge O’Connor, supported by the Fifth Circuit, found that FRTs do not function as machine guns. The courts scrutinized the ATF's tests and arguments, concluding that FRTs require a reset of the trigger after each shot and do not operate as machine guns, which fire continuously when the trigger is held in the rearmost position.

“As the district court noted, it is undisputed that, ‘[w]hen firing multiple shots using an FRT, the trigger must still reset after each round is fired and must separately function to release the hammer by moving far enough to the rear in order to fire the next round.’ The district court evaluated the Defendants’ zip-tie test, which Defendants argue shows that FRTs fire like machine guns,” The Circuit Court’s decision reads. ‘In a machine gun,’ the district court explained, ‘the trigger must be held in its rearmost position for the gun to fire automatically.’ The district court found that, to the contrary, if the FRT trigger is constantly held in its most rearward position, ‘the weapon would malfunction and not fire subsequent shots.’ ‘Instead, the elasticity in the zip tie allows for sufficient movement to allow for a trigger reset.’”

The series of legal challenges and defeats for the ATF in Texas suggests a pattern of the agency's overreach in its regulatory actions. While the case is ongoing, the ATF faces an uphill battle, potentially needing to escalate the issue to the Supreme Court for a favorable outcome.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Court Declares Ban on Firearms Sales to Young Adults from FFLs Unconstitutional


A federal judge in the Northern District of West Virginia recently declared the law prohibiting 18 to 20-year-olds from purchasing handguns from federal firearms licensees (FFLs) unconstitutional. The case, titled Brown v. the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), was initiated in September 2022 by Steven Brown, Benjamin Weekley (both under 21), the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and the West Virginia Citizens Defense League (WVCDL).

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Under current legislation, individuals under 21 are barred from purchasing handguns from FFLs due to restrictions on undergoing the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for handguns. This ruling comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, which ended the practice of "means-end scrutiny" and stated that the government can only use the original text, tradition, and history of the Second Amendment to evaluate a law's constitutionality.

Judge Thomas S. Kleeh’s ruling focused on defining "the people" as mentioned in the Second Amendment, concluding that it includes all law-abiding residents aged 18 and above. He noted that the Constitution specifies age requirements for certain positions like President but does not do so for the right to bear arms. The government’s attempt to argue for a different understanding of the "founding era" was dismissed by the judge, who considered the relevant period to be around 1791, the time of the Second Amendment's ratification.

The government's attempt to use the NRA v. Bondi case from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals as a supporting argument was negated by Judge Kleeh. He pointed out that the Bondi decision was vacated following an en banc review, rendering it inapplicable as a precedent.

Additionally, the judge rejected the government's standing argument, which suggested that plaintiffs could still acquire guns through parental gifting, thereby not affecting their ability to possess firearms.

SAF and WVCDL expressed satisfaction with the judgment. SAF leadership emphasized the inconsistency in allowing 18-year-olds to serve in the military with firearms but not permitting them to purchase a handgun. They viewed the decision as a significant win for Second Amendment rights, especially for young adults.

The judge did not find a stay on his decision necessary, meaning the ruling is immediately effective for the plaintiffs and other eligible 18-20-year-olds. However, an appeal and request for an emergency stay by the government is anticipated.

This case marks another legal setback for the ATF, following a series of defeats in court over issues such as bump stocks, pistol braces, forced reset triggers, frames, receivers, and other matters.

Friday, December 1, 2023

ATF Breaches Consensual Schedule with Appeal Filing in Pistol Brace Lawsuit

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recently filed an appeal in a legal battle over its rule on pistol braces, defying an agreed timeline with Gun Owners of America (GOA) and other parties. This development follows a motion for summary judgment filed by GOA in the Texas v. ATF case, a collaborative effort between GOA, Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), and the state of Texas, aiming to overturn the ATF's pistol brace rule.

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The rule faced significant legal challenges, with Federal District Court Judge Drew Tipton issuing a preliminary injunction for GOA members, halting ATF enforcement actions. This decision paralleled the Mock v. Garland case in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which also blocked rule enforcement for Firearms Policy Coalition members. The Second Amendment Foundation achieved a similar injunction.

The Fifth Circuit Court later extended the injunction nationwide, effectively nullifying the ATF rule. Despite this, the ATF filed an appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court just a day before Texas and GOA's motion for summary judgment, a move seen by many as a delay tactic. Given the Fifth Circuit's history of rulings against the ATF, particularly concerning rule-making powers, the appeal is viewed skeptically.

The ATF has faced opposition in the Fifth Circuit before, notably in cases related to bump stocks, frames, and receivers, and the Mock v. Garland case, closely resembling Texas v. ATF. The consensus among GOA, GOF, and Texas is that the ATF’s appeal aims to delay inevitable defeat, as they anticipate another nationwide injunction against the pistol brace rule.

GOA's motion for summary judgment builds on their successful preliminary injunction, adding more evidence and substance. Given the Fifth Circuit's critical stance on the ATF's compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act, the ATF faces a challenging legal battle. The agency has experienced setbacks in various areas, including pistol braces, force reset triggers, and bump stocks. Their last resort may be the Supreme Court, but prospects for success in these legal challenges appear slim.

Maryland State Police Persist in Upholding Law Deemed Unconstitutional


Despite a recent ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declaring Maryland's Handgun Qualification License (HQL) law unconstitutional, the Maryland State Police have issued a directive to continue enforcing the law. The ruling came from a panel of three judges who scrutinized the HQL law, which mandates training, an application, a background check, and a fee for handgun purchasers.

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The case, Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. v. Wes Moore, challenged the HQL requirements, arguing that they violated the United States Constitution. This claim gained more ground following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in NYPRA v. Bruen, where Associate Justice Clarence Thomas emphasized that firearm laws must align with the Second Amendment's text, tradition, and history. The government failed to present historical examples from the founding era that resembled Maryland's current HQL law.

The Fourth Circuit Court's decision highlighted the lack of historical precedent for such preemptive measures in firearm regulation. The court's opinion stated that Maryland's law, which delays handgun ownership for up to thirty days until state approval, does not align with the nation's traditional approach to firearm regulation. The ruling overturned the district court's previous decision.

However, the Maryland State Police's memo, issued on the same day as the court's opinion (November 21, 2023), clarified that the HQL law remains in force. The enforcement will continue until the court issues an official mandate, which, although expected, has not yet been released.

Maryland is anticipated to request an en banc hearing from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. If granted, the entire bench of judges will reevaluate the case, potentially leading to the vacating of the current decision until the case is fully reviewed.