House overwhelmingly Okays GOP mental health bill with gun rights’ ramifications
In a summer of campaign posturing, pandering and positioning by ideologues left and right, the House returned from its July 4 recess and did something remarkable on July 7: It passed a bill.
Even more stunning: It passed a good bill that actually addresses gun violence.
You may not have heard much about Rep. Tim Murphy’s (R-Pa.) ’Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act,’ which passed the House in a 422-2 vote, because it didn’t draw many TV cameras. But it is important because it proves that even Democrats are capable of supporting “common sense” gun laws that actually do make common sense.
Murphy’s law addresses a nationwide shortage of psychiatric beds and child psychiatrists, in addition to creating a federal position of assistant secretary for mental health and substance use disorders.
The bill now heads to the Senate, which will consider a companion measure, although some Democrats indicate rather than support a real bill that offers real help, it would be politically more expedient to distract the TV educated by proposing purposely flawed, no-go gun-control bills … until November, anyway.
Pre-teen sisters put age-restrictions in their sights
Pre-teen sisters are making a case in Iowa that is resounding nationwide as they lobby against unconstitutional age-restrictions that prohibit them from enjoying a sport they’ve learned to love from birth—competitive shooting.
Meredith Gibson, 12, and her sister Natalie, 10, say Iowa state law—like many nationwide—prohibit anyone under the age of 14 from legally handling handguns, meaning they cannot legally participate in, and practice for, competitive shooting matches.
Perhaps most bizarre—and galling—is the girls are often forced to practice in the neighboring anti-gun caliphate of Illinois, so they can compete in states where competitors are not denied their right to be competitors by an artificially imposed age restriction.
To make a great story short and sweet: They lobbied every single state legislator, nabbing them one-by-one, ducking down stairwells, in parking lots, at happy hours, and got their bill passed.
“Natalie got kicked off a range and that’s how we became aware of the law,” Nathan Gibson, the girls’ father, told Stephen Gutowski of freebeacon.com. “So at that point Meredith was just learning about the legislative process in school and she looked at me and goes, ‘Well how can we fix it? Can’t we just go make a bill?’
“So,” he continued, “they asked to start going down to the capital and they worked with Iowa Firearms Coalition, a local NRA affiliate, non-profit, to draft a bill to basically strike the age in the law, so it’s basically up to parental discretion to determine when it’s best.”
Gutowski interviewed Meredith for an article on Iowa’s “Toddler Militia” and “I quickly realized that no one could tell her story better than she could.”
Especially not when Meredith begins the interview with this: “Never would I have imagined that at the age of 10, I would get involved in politics … “
California ‘six-pack from hell’ faces defiant backlash
California gun owners vow they will overturn six new state gun ordinances signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on July 1 in court or simply not comply as Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ‘Safety for All’ voter referendum — promising even more gun control regulation — looms in November.
Brown signed six bills and vetoed five bills before leaving on vacation. Those enacted include limiting magazine capacity to 10 bullets; requiring a background check for those purchasing ammunition; and restricting the lending of firearms. Among those rejected is a measure making it a felony to steal a gun because, Brown said, its a proposal included in Newsom’s ballot initiative.
Anyone caught with a magazine holding more than 10 rounds of ammo would be arrested. Gun owners with bullet button rifles will have to register them or they could also face jail time. Assault rifles with bullet buttons will be phased out starting in January. The law that requires a background check to purchase ammunition will go into effect in 2018.
The laws will cost California jobs, tax revenues and, perhaps, lives. Chris Eger of Guns.com reports that Montana-based AR-15 maker Falkor Defense has announced it will no longer sell any firearms, parts or accessories to California Law Enforcement, agents of the State or First Responders “who hold themselves to be ‘more equal’ than its citizens.” Mississippi-based black rifle-maker Kelly Firearms did the same.
Two of the bills close the alleged ”bullet button loophole," which refers to the sale of 'California legal' firearms that don't fall under California's ban of guns with detachable magazines.
Darin Price, who holds the trademark to the Bullet Button, told Eger that he has modified his design as the ‘Bullet Button Reloaded,’ which will be compliant with the new California law, proving that people who make gun laws should know something about guns, but don’t.
Brandon Combs, president of Firearms Policy Coalition, in an email to Guns.com, said grassroots efforts are afoot among gun owners to simply not comply with the new laws.
“We expect mass non-compliance with these laws and encourage good, peaceful Californians to carefully consider the risks of voluntarily identifying their firearms, magazines, and ammunition to law enforcement officials, especially the California Department of Justice,” he said.
Combs said the Firearms Policy Coalition, among many groups, is reviewing legal options.
“These are constitutionally-illegitimate laws passed by a patently illegitimate government that had the audacity to attack and criminalize millions of its own people in Stalin-esque fashion,” he told Guns.com, noting “legal experts” are studying the group’s next move
IN THE COURTS
Suit: Feds don’t lack gun laws, just lax in enforcing gun laws
The families of at least five of the nine people killed in Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in June 2015 by Dylann Roof are suing the federal government not for it lack of gun-control laws, but for its lax enforcement of gun-control laws.
Lawyers for three people, including Felicia Sanders and Polly Shepard, who survived the attack, and the estates of five who were slain, say the FBI failed to thoroughly check Roof's background before he bought the gun in 2015 before the shooting.
Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon has acknowledged that a jail clerk entered incorrect information for Roof's February 2015 drug arrest., which prevented an FBI examiner from finding the arrest details when Roof tried to buy a handgun. The mistake was noticed within days, but it wasn't fixed in a state database. When Roof sought to buy the gun two months later, an FBI examiner spotted the arrest, but called the wrong agency to get his record. Without the necessary documents, the purchase had to go through.
According to the lawsuit, If the FBI had done its job, Roof's prior drug arrest would have shown up, and the bureau would have denied his purchase of a .45 caliber handgun.
Attorney Andy Savage told the Associated Press on July 1 that his clients hope the litigation will lead to improvements in gun safety. “In this case, you had an unqualified purchaser that slipped through the cracks,” he said. “And the result is what happened on June 17.”
“Federal law precluded the government from allowing the firearm sale,” said lawyer Mullins McLeod, who represents three of the Emanuel victims’ estates. “The victims’ civil suit against the FBI seeks to hold the government accountable to the law and demonstrate it is not above the law.”
The FBI runs federal background checks for gun dealers in more than 30 states, including South Carolina. It makes about 58,000 checks on a typical day, handled by about 500 people at a call center. The agency has reported that about 2 per cent of the checks end without enough information to give an answer.
If the agency does not report back to the retailer with a yes or no decision in three business days, federal law allows a gun to be sold.