Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Judge Benitez Rules Against California's Ammunition Purchase Restrictions in Landmark Case

In a significant development for California gun owners, Judge Roger Benitez has ruled in favor of the challenges brought forth by the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) in the case Rhode v. Bonta. This ruling aims to dismantle the state's stringent restrictions on ammunition purchases established under Prop 63, passed eight years ago. These restrictions include mandatory background checks for purchases, fees for an ammo purchasing permit, a requirement to transfer ammunition only through licensed dealers, a ban on direct online ammunition shipments to buyers, and a DOJ-maintained list of authorized ammunition purchasers.

Rhode v. Bonta has been navigating the judicial system for eight years. This case, along with Duncan v. Bonta, awaited the Supreme Court's Bruen decision at the Ninth Circuit level last year. Following the Bruen decision, both cases were sent back to lower courts for additional briefing. Ammunition Depot, Able Ammo, and Sam's Shooters Emporium, alongside CRPA and other parties, have steadfastly supported this case through its various legal stages.

Judge Benitez's analysis strongly criticized the state's ammunition background check policy, asserting that it inverts constitutional norms by presuming citizens do not have the right to purchase ammunition and obligates them to seek state permission, likening it more to a government-granted privilege than a constitutional right. Consequently, the court has once again enjoined the law.

Olympic champion and named plaintiff Kim Rhode lauded the ruling, reaffirming her commitment to fighting for Second Amendment rights and expressing satisfaction that the court's decision aligns with her stance. Rhode emphasized the impact of this ruling on future generations of hunters, sportsmen, and Olympians in preserving their shooting heritage.

This latest ruling, though likely to be appealed by the state, is seen as a significant stride in countering longstanding attacks on the rights of lawful gun owners. It further underscores the transformative impact of the Bruen and Heller decisions on how courts are now required to scrutinize overly restrictive gun laws.

Sean Brady of Michel & Associates, the lead attorney for the Rhode case, highlighted the extremity of California's background check system and Judge Benitez's consistency in his judgments favoring gun owners. Today's ruling, according to Brady, reconfirms the unconstitutionality of California's ammunition purchase restrictions and aligns with the Supreme Court's opinion in Bruen.

CRPA, together with collaborators such as Ammunition Depot, Sam's Shooter's Emporium, and Able Ammo, celebrates this major victory against unconstitutional legislation in California, emphasizing the importance of collective efforts in securing significant legal triumphs for gun owners.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Democratic Felon Lawmaker Advocates for Stricter Gun Control Supported by Criminal Advocates

Re-Elect Tarra Simmons/Facebook

A recent bill proposed in Washington state has sparked controversy by suggesting that a convicted sex offender should be included as a member of the State Sex Offender Policy Board, which is proposed to be renamed as the "Sex Offense Policy Board," according to a report by The Denver Gazette.

House Bill 2177, initiated by Democrat Representative Tarra Simmons, seeks to add a convicted sex offender to the board, a move supported by Alex Mayo of Washington Voices, an organization representing convicted sex offenders. Mayo argues that this would add diverse perspectives to the board, shifting the focus from punishment to healing and prevention.

Representative Simmons, who has a history of felony charges including theft, drug offenses, and firearm possession, and Mayo, labeled as a "returning citizen," have raised concerns regarding their advocacy for this legislation. Critics argue that the idea of reliably rehabilitating sex offenders, especially pedophiles, is unrealistic. A clinical therapist from the Residential Sex Offender Treatment Program at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has stated the considerable challenges in rehabilitating preferential offenders, often leading to recidivism.

Simmons has previously been involved in efforts to reduce penalties for serious crimes. In 2022, she proposed a bill to lessen the penalties for drive-by shooters, an initiative that was met with significant opposition.

The Post Millennial also reported that Simmons and other Washington Democrats are pushing for legislation that would enable felons, including serial killers, to vote, serve on juries, and run for office while incarcerated. This initiative aligns with the endorsement Simmons received from the “Alliance for Gun Responsibility,” a group advocating for strict gun control measures. Their support for Simmons aligns with a broader agenda to disarm citizens while potentially empowering convicted criminals.


The support for Simmons extends to national and state political figures, including Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Governor Jay Inslee, and Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Furthermore, the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police's endorsement of Simmons adds to the complexities of this political scenario.

In a related development, Seattle has agreed to a $10 million settlement for a lawsuit alleging excessive force during “Black Lives Matter” protests. This settlement raises questions about the potential impact of Simmons' proposed policies on such civic matters.

This situation poses a significant challenge to traditional Democratic supporters, particularly as these initiatives gain traction within the party's mainstream. The implications of such policies, if implemented, could have far-reaching effects on public safety and civil liberties.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

NCLA Challenges ATF's Bump Stock Ban in Supreme Court, Defends Gun Rights

The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) has submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Garland v. Cargill, urging the court to rule that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) ban on bump stocks is in conflict with the federal definition of “machineguns.”

The ATF's regulatory ban, which was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit early last year, contradicted the agency's previous stance that firearms equipped with bump stocks do not qualify as illegal machine guns. NCLA is looking forward to presenting its case to the Supreme Court Justices in Garland v. Cargill on February 28, advocating on behalf of their client Michael Cargill and numerous other American citizens. The brief was primarily authored by former Texas Solicitor-General Jonathan Mitchell, who will also represent Mr. Cargill in the upcoming oral argument.

In 2018, the ATF redefined semi-automatic firearms with bump stocks as “machineguns,” which are prohibited under federal law. This rule compelled Mr. Cargill, a Texas gun shop owner and Army veteran, along with all other bump-stock owners in the country, to either destroy or surrender their lawfully acquired devices. In a significant decision in January 2023, the Fifth Circuit en banc ruled in Cargill v. Garland that any ban on bump stocks must be legislated by Congress. This decision aligns with judgments from the Sixth Circuit and the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, though it is at odds with rulings from the Tenth and D.C. Circuits.

NCLA argues that the Constitution designates Congress as the sole body to create new criminal laws. The 1986 statute banning machine guns did not include bump stocks, and as such, the ATF lacks the authority to extend criminal laws beyond what Congress has explicitly prohibited. The NCLA is confident that the Supreme Court will correctly interpret the statute and reject the ATF's rule, safeguarding American citizens from overreach by administrative agencies.

The NCLA, renowned for defending American civil liberties against administrative state violations, recently presented oral arguments in the Supreme Court in the case of Relentless Inc. v. Dept. of Commerce. This spring, the Court will hear arguments in NCLA's Murthy v. Missouri case concerning federal agency influence on social media censorship.

Richard Samp, Senior Litigation Counsel at NCLA, emphasized, “This is not just a matter of gun rights; it's about adhering to the rule of law. The decision on bump stock ownership should be made by Congress, not an administrative agency.”

Mark Chenoweth, President and Chief Legal Officer at NCLA, added, “The government's attempt to classify legal bump stocks and their owners as illegal is alarming. The Supreme Court needs to overturn this rule that misinterprets the 1986 machine gun ban and reverses the ATF's longstanding position on non-mechanical bump stocks. If federal agencies are allowed to create new criminal liabilities by reinterpreting old statutes, ordinary citizens face significant risk.”

For more details, visit the case page on NCLA's website.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Florida Court Rules USPS Gun Ban Unconstitutional, USPS Maintains Existing Firearms Policy

In January 2023, a landmark ruling by a federal district court in Florida reinstated the right to bear arms on United States Postal Service (USPS) properties. The court declared the 1972 statute prohibiting firearms on USPS premises unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. However, this ruling presently affects only the specific case in Florida. Despite this, the USPS has communicated to its employees that its current policies remain unchanged.

The USPS has clarified in a statement that the recent court decision does not overturn the Postal Service's existing regulations regarding firearms. The organization underscored that the case in question pertained to a different federal statute and not the Postal Service's internal policies. Therefore, the ruling does not alter the USPS's stance on prohibiting employees from carrying or storing firearms and other potentially dangerous items on its properties. Violation of this policy could lead to disciplinary actions, including removal and possible legal consequences.

Federal News Network, a platform focused on government-related issues, quoted USPS spokesperson Jim McKean, who reiterated the Postal Service's commitment to regulating its facilities for public and employee safety. McKean noted that a 2015 federal court of appeals decision upheld a USPS regulation banning firearms on its properties. The Postal Service is currently assessing the relationship between this regulation and the broader federal criminal statute in light of the recent court ruling.

The case McKean referred to is Bonidy v. USPS, which was adjudicated in the Tenth Circuit. At that time, several circuits were interpreting the Second Amendment restrictively, often confining the Heller and McDonald decisions' applicability to private residences and subjecting them to intermediate scrutiny. The Tenth Circuit concluded that the regulation prohibiting firearms was constitutional, including in the parking lot of the Avon Post Office, considering it part of "government buildings."

The Supreme Court chose not to review this decision. Given the circumstances of the Court at the time, including the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and a lack of a reliable majority to uphold Second Amendment rights, the decision to forego this case was understandable.

Since then, significant developments have occurred, notably the election of Donald Trump as President and his appointment of three Supreme Court justices, potentially shifting the Court's stance on interpreting the Constitution. The recent Bruen decision reaffirms the originalist and textualist interpretation of the Second Amendment, as penned by Justice Clarence Thomas, emphasizing that restrictions on Second Amendment rights must align with norms accepted at the time of its ratification.

Given that federal restrictions on carrying weapons in post offices were only instituted in 1972, such prohibitions, as Judge Mizelle determined, are likely unconstitutional. However, federal employee restrictions may still be governed by labor laws and union agreements, marking a distinction in how these rulings apply.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Kansas Legislators Propose Resolution to Strengthen Gun Rights



In contrast to several states pushing for tighter gun control, Kansas legislators are taking steps to strengthen their residents' right to bear arms.

Currently being reviewed by a state House committee, House Concurrent Resolution 5020 aims to enhance the Kansas State Constitution's existing provisions on the right to bear arms. Boasting over 60 legislators as sponsors, this resolution seeks to explicitly include firearm components, accessories, and ammunition under constitutional protection. It also proposes that any future gun restrictions should undergo rigorous scrutiny by the judicial system.

The amendment reads: "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, family, home, state, lawful hunting and recreation, and other lawful activities. This right encompasses the ownership and use of ammunition, firearm accessories, and firearm components. However, standing armies during peacetime are deemed a threat to liberty and are therefore not permitted. The military must always remain subordinate to civilian authority. The right to keep and bear arms is intrinsic and fundamental, and shall not be violated. Any limitation on this right will be subject to a strict scrutiny standard." 

It's important to note that legislative approval and gubernatorial endorsement alone won’t make this amendment law. If passed, Kansas voters will decide its fate in the November general election.

The proposed ballot question would read: "A vote in favor of this proposition would affirm the unassailable right of Kansans to keep and bear arms, including the use and possession of ammunition, firearm accessories, and components. This vote would also acknowledge this right as natural and fundamental, subjecting any limitations to strict scrutiny. A vote against this proposition would leave the Kansas Constitution unchanged in terms of firearm rights."

For the amendment to be placed on the ballot, it requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate, as well as the governor's signature. If it appears on the November ballot, a simple majority will determine whether it is adopted or rejected.

Virginia and Washington Democrats Forge Ahead with Gun Control Agenda Amid Constitutional Debates

As soon as the Virginia Democrats regained control of the state legislature in Richmond, they promptly revived their agenda for gun control. The newly elected House Speaker, Delegate Don Scott, assured a Lobby Day audience at the Capitol of their intent to pass legislation banning "assault weapons."

Cardinal News reported on the proposed bill SB 2, initiated by Senator Creigh Deeds, a Democrat from Charlottesville. This bill, if passed, would classify the possession or sale of "assault-style" rifles or "high-capacity" magazines as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Fox News highlighted that Democratic legislators have introduced various measures aimed at enhancing public safety and curtailing gun violence. These proposals include not only the ban on new assault-style weapons but also the imposition of stringent limits on concealed handguns in public spaces like restaurants and clubs.

This swift move by Virginia Democrats reflects a broader trend among their party, with a clear focus on implementing tight gun control measures.

In a similar vein, House Democrats in Washington conducted consecutive hearings on multiple bills related to gun control during a meeting of the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee in Olympia. These hearings covered a range of proposed legislation, including requirements for firearms purchase and transfer, mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms, regulations concerning the management of privately owned firearms in custody, additional requirements for licensed firearms dealers, and restrictions on bulk purchases and transfers of firearms.

Representatives from the National Rifle Association, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and National Shooting Sports Foundation, along with certified firearms instructors, provided testimony against these measures.

Despite the debates, a worrying trend has emerged since Washington adopted stricter gun laws in 2014: a significant increase in homicides both statewide and in Seattle. This raises critical questions about the effectiveness of restrictive gun control measures.

The Washington Post noted that previous gun control efforts in Virginia had been stalled due to a divided government. However, the recent Democratic majority in the House and Senate has led to an increase in gun control bills, including bans on assault-style weapons and restrictions on firearms in specific locations.

Governor Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, now stands as a potential obstacle to these measures. Philip Van Cleave, head of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, expressed confidence in the Governor's stance against gun-control bills. Conversely, Angela Ferrell-Zabala of Moms Demand Action voiced hope for new Democratic initiatives focused on public safety, potentially at the expense of Second Amendment rights.

In Virginia, Fox News also reported proposed restrictions on concealed handguns in restaurants and clubs. Lori Haas, a gun control advocate, expressed determination to pass significant legislation on this issue.

The push for gun control measures is not isolated to Virginia or Washington but is a nationwide trend in states with Democratic-controlled legislatures. Despite constitutional challenges, such as a similar permit-to-purchase firearms mandate in Oregon being declared unconstitutional, these efforts show no signs of abating. The forthcoming decisions of these legislative bodies will reveal the impact on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

ATF and FBI Launch Updated Appeals Process for NFA Application Denials and Delays

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have recently established a revised and formalized appeals process for certain National Firearms Act (NFA) applicants. This new system, effective this month, allows for appeals against denials or delays in NFA applications.

The collaboration between ATF and FBI, formalized last October, addresses longstanding requests for a more structured approach to contest NFA application rejections. This need became particularly evident with the introduction of the new brace rule, highlighting issues in the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) segment of the NFA application process.

When an NFA tax stamp application is submitted, the ATF forwards the applicant's details to the FBI for a NICS check, which confirms the applicant's eligibility to own a firearm. While the system aims for immediacy, delays and open statuses are not uncommon, leading to complications in the application process.

Previously, if a NICS check was delayed beyond 88 days, the FBI would close the check without a clear approval or denial, resulting in an automatic denial of the NFA application by the ATF. Applicants faced significant challenges in understanding and resolving the cause of such delays.

The new policy introduces a more transparent and accessible appeals process. For denials, applicants can now use the FBI's "Firearm Related Challenge" (FRC), an administrative appeal process for challenging NICS denials. The ATF will provide applicants with a NICS Transaction Number (NTN) to initiate this challenge.

For delays, applicants can turn to the Voluntary Appeal File (VAF) process. This is another administrative appeal route specifically designed for delay issues. Similar to denial cases, the applicant will receive an NTN and guidance on utilizing the VAF process to address the delay.

It's important to note that the new policy specifically addresses issues related to the FBI NICS system. Denials made directly by the ATF are not covered under this new procedure.

This policy revision reflects an effort to streamline the NFA application process, providing clearer guidance and recourse for applicants facing delays or denials in their attempts to legally obtain NFA-regulated firearms.

Monday, January 15, 2024

West Virginia Senate Passes Bill to Employ Veterans, Retired Officers for School Security


In West Virginia, a new bill that has been approved by the state Senate, led by the Republican majority, proposes that local education boards could hire military veterans and retired law enforcement officers to bolster security in K-12 public schools.

Introduced by Republican Senator Eric Tarr of Putnam County, the bill was inspired by retired military officers concerned about the national frequency of school shootings. Senator Tarr, who heads the Senate Finance Committee, highlighted the need for trained individuals in schools who can swiftly respond to threats to protect children.

The bill received unanimous support in the Senate, including votes from all three Democratic members, with two Republicans absent.

The proposal will now be reviewed by the House of Delegates. A similar bill was passed by the Senate last year but did not progress in the House. The House committee had previously considered a different bill that would allow K-12 teachers and other school staff with concealed carry permits to be armed in schools, but it did not move forward.

This year's bill outlines specific criteria for contracting individuals. It would enable county education boards to hire honorably discharged veterans or former law enforcement officers, who would not function as school resource officers or have arresting powers.

Candidates for these positions would be required to possess a concealed carry permit, pass a drug screening, and have completed physical, vision, and psychiatric evaluations. Additionally, they would need to undergo training with the West Virginia State Police and complete a course in firearms and/or lethal force use.

The bill also includes provisions to prevent school boards from hiring individuals with convictions for domestic violence, DUI, child abuse, or other specified criminal offenses.

Each county board of education would have the discretion to contract with as many veterans or retired officers as needed. Republican Senator Laura Wakim Chapman of Ohio County expressed her support for the bill, emphasizing its importance in enhancing the safety of the state's public schools and ensuring the well-being of teachers, staff, and students.

Florida Judge Rules Post Office Firearm Ban Unconstitutional, Citing Supreme Court Precedent

On Friday, a Florida federal judge ruled against the U.S. law that prohibits individuals from carrying firearms in post offices, declaring it unconstitutional. This decision aligns with the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that broadened gun rights.

Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, appointed by former Republican President Donald Trump in Tampa, came to this decision while dismissing a portion of the charges against a postal worker accused of illegal gun possession in a federal facility.

Mizelle argued that the charge against Emmanuel Ayala violated his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. She highlighted that "a blanket restriction on firearms possession in post offices does not align with the traditional American approach to firearms regulation."

However, Mizelle upheld a separate charge against Ayala for resisting arrest. Neither Ayala's attorney nor a representative from the U.S. Justice Department responded to requests for comments on the ruling.

This case is part of a series of recent legal decisions overturning gun restrictions, following the Supreme Court's June 2022 ruling in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. This landmark decision acknowledged the individual's right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense and set a new standard for evaluating firearms laws, emphasizing consistency with the nation's historical tradition of firearm regulation.

Ayala, a U.S. Postal Service truck driver from Tampa with a concealed weapons permit, was carrying a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun in his fanny pack for self-defense. He faced indictment after reportedly bringing the gun onto Postal Service property in 2012 and evading federal agents attempting to apprehend him.

He faced charges under a broad statute prohibiting firearms in federal facilities, including post offices.

Judge Mizelle noted that while post offices have been around since the nation's founding, the federal prohibition of guns in government buildings only began in 1964 and in post offices in 1972. She found no historical precedent dating back to the 1700s to justify the ban.

Mizelle further stated that allowing the federal government to restrict visitors from bringing guns into government buildings as a condition of entry could potentially "erode the right to bear arms to the point of practical non-existence."

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

ATF Admits NFA Tax Purposely Prohibitive on X (Formerly Twitter)


ATF posted this gem to Twitter on January 8th, 2024.

The National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934, which mandates the registration and taxation of certain firearms, raises significant constitutional and legal concerns. The Act imposes a $200 tax on the transfer of NFA firearms, a fee that was deliberately set high at the time to be prohibitive. This aspect of the NFA can be argued to infringe upon Second Amendment rights and poses questions about the appropriate use of tax power.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The imposition of a prohibitively high tax on certain firearms effectively restricts access to these arms, disproportionately affecting individuals and groups with limited financial means. This creates a scenario where the right to bear arms is contingent upon one's economic status, contradicting the universal and egalitarian nature of constitutional rights.

The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to levy taxes. However, this power is intended to generate revenue for governmental functions and services, not to prohibit or discourage the exercise of constitutional rights. The NFA's $200 tax, particularly given its initial intent to be prohibitive, can be seen as a misuse of tax power. It appears to be less about revenue generation and more about discouraging the ownership of certain firearms, which encroaches on the legislative intent behind tax laws.

The NFA tax and registration requirements primarily impact law-abiding citizens who comply with these regulations. Criminals, by their very nature, are unlikely to adhere to such legal mandates. This creates a situation where the law-abiding bear a financial and bureaucratic burden, while those with criminal intent continue unaffected. Such regulations could thus be seen as ineffective in addressing the issues of gun violence they ostensibly aim to mitigate.

The $200 tax amount, established in 1934, was a significant sum at the time and was explicitly designed to be a deterrent. While the amount has not changed since then, its relative economic impact has diminished. However, the principle behind its imposition remains problematic. A tax specifically designed to deter the exercise of a constitutional right is arguably in conflict with the spirit of the Constitution.

The NFA's tax requirement on certain firearms is an infringement on Second Amendment rights, a questionable use of Congress's taxing power, and an ineffective measure that unfairly targets lower income and law-abiding citizens. This advocates for the reconsideration of such regulations in light of their constitutional implications and their actual impact on public safety and the rights of individuals.

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20 Attorneys General Call for 5.56 Ban: The Misguided Concerns Over Civilian Use of "Military-Grade Ammunition"

Several states have expressed concerns over the commercial availability of "Military-grade ammunition," manufactured at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. These concerns, as voiced in a letter to Director Feldman (Director of the "White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention"), highlight the use of such ammunition in mass shootings and call for an investigation into the contracting processes that have allowed this ammunition to enter the civilian market for years.

Contrary to the perception that "Military-grade ammunition," is solely for combat, many civilian gun owners use such ammunition for lawful and legitimate purposes. These include sports shooting, hunting, and self-defense. The 5.56 NATO cartridge, which is under scrutiny, is particularly favored for its low-cost, reliability and precision. Limiting access to this type of ammunition would impact law-abiding citizens who use it responsibly and safely as well as the fact that 5.56 NATO is the most popular rifle caliber in the United States.

It is critical to recognize that the problem of gun violence is multi-dimensional, more often than not involving factors like mental health issues. Focusing on the type of ammunition used in isolated incidents, while ignoring these broader issues, will divert attention from more effective solutions. Initiatives aimed at enhancing mental health support, keeping violent and repeat offenders imprisoned, and enforcing existing gun laws could prove more impactful in preventing gun violence.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms, a right that implicitly extends to ammunition, without which firearms are ineffective. Restricting access to specific types of ammunition is an infringement (i.e. Armor Piercing ammo) upon these constitutional rights, especially when it affects law-abiding citizens who use these rounds for legal and conventional purposes.

The manufacturing of ammunition, including that used by the military, is a complex industry that often benefits from government subsidies. These subsidies not only support defense but also contribute to the economy and recreational activities, including sports shooting – a significant part of American heritage and culture.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Everytown's Gun Control Ranking Contrasts with California's High Homicide Rate

Everytown for Gun Safety, supported by billionaire funding and known for its gun prohibition lobbying, recently grabbed headlines with a new state-by-state scorecard that ranked California as the leader in strict gun control laws. This designation was covered by the Sacramento Bee, which featured comments from a volunteer with the California Moms chapter of Everytown, praising the state's tough gun laws for their impact on reducing gun violence.

However, an important detail was omitted from this narrative. Recent statistics from Statista show that California also led the nation in the number of homicides in 2022, presenting a stark contrast to the group's claims.


In the backdrop of this report, California's latest restrictive gun law, SB2, faces legal challenges in federal court. The Second Amendment Foundation and the California Rifle & Pistol Association have filed a lawsuit, known as May v. Bonta, contesting this law.

Everytown recently made another appearance in the news when CNN reported their prediction that nearly 298,000 lives could be saved if all states implemented gun control measures similar to those in California.

However, a closer examination of the states with the top homicide rates, as reported by Statista, raises questions about the effectiveness of strict gun control laws. States like New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maryland, all of which follow California in the rankings, also have high homicide rates.

In contrast, states like Montana and Wyoming, which have high gun ownership rates but low rankings on Everytown's list, reported significantly fewer murders in 2022. This discrepancy points to potential flaws in Everytown's approach and raises doubts about the correlation between strict gun control and reduced firearm-related homicides.

This discussion occurs as the National Rifle Association faces a civil trial in New York, with senior leaders including Wayne LaPierre accused of financial misconduct. LaPierre recently announced his resignation, effective January 31.

Everytown, headquartered in New York like the NRA, has been scrutinized for its scoring system and its stance on California's gun laws, especially in light of some law enforcement agencies' refusal to enforce provisions of SB2.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has criticized Everytown's research methods, particularly regarding their evaluation of Washington State's gun laws and the corresponding increase in homicides. CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb expressed skepticism about Everytown's findings and their implications for public safety.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Joshua Powell Settles Fraud Claims as NRA's Wayne LaPierre Announces Resignation

SOPA Images via LightRocket via Getty Images, FILE

Joshua Powell, ex-operations director of the National Rifle Association (NRA), has reached a settlement regarding accusations of fraud and abuse filed by the New York Attorney General's office.

This development occurred shortly after NRA's Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, announced his intention to step down, citing health issues. His resignation is set to take effect on January 31, just ahead of a trial scheduled for Monday.

Powell, who worked at the NRA from 2016 to January 2020, was accused in the settlement of misusing his position to divert the NRA's charitable funds for personal and familial gain. New York Attorney General Letitia James commented on these events, stating, "The admissions of misconduct by Joshua Powell and the resignation of Wayne LaPierre affirm our longstanding claims of fiscal mismanagement within the NRA."

James' ongoing lawsuit against the NRA, a New York-registered nonprofit, alleges the misappropriation of millions of dollars for private jets, vacations, and luxury items by its top executives.

The NRA's attempt to declare bankruptcy in 2021 was dismissed by a federal judge for lack of good faith. The lawsuit seeks the appointment of an independent monitor to supervise the NRA's financial activities.

Under the terms of his settlement, Powell acknowledged his failure in fulfilling his fiduciary responsibilities and mismanaging the NRA's charitable assets for personal and family benefits. He consented to pay $100,000 in restitution and is permanently prohibited from holding an officer position in any nonprofit organization. Additionally, Powell has agreed to provide testimony against LaPierre and others during the trial.

LaPierre previously criticized the lawsuit by the New York AG as a targeted and unconstitutional effort to dismantle the NRA, which he described as a staunch advocate for American freedoms in the electoral process.