Gun Stories of the Week: Gun Bill Faceoff at U.S. Senate

TOP STORY
Gun Bill Faceoff At the U.S. Senate this week

Gun Owners of America is calling on the nation’s gun owners to contact their U.S. Senators this week in anticipation of several looming votes on significant gun-related legislation.

“We expect more gun-related showdowns in the next 72 hours than in the next 9 months combined,” Ammoland states in a March 26 action alert. “At least five gun-related amendments are expected on the Budget Resolution—a once-a-year vehicle that gives senators an opportunity to get hundreds of votes on any issue they choose.”

Pending votes on tap in the Senate include:

  • Outlawing ATF bullet bans
  • Concealed Carry reciprocity
  • Prohibiting Senate anti-gun amendments

Other amendments and votes that may come before the Senate this week:

  • An amendment by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and David Vitter (R-LA) to prohibit ATF from banning bullets—in the way it tried to do with AR-15 ammunition
  • Another amendment by Senator Inhofe to block any and all funding for the implementation of the UN Arms Trade Treaty
  • An amendment by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) to prohibit any more anti-gun amendments in the Senate—be they semi-auto bans, magazine bans, universal gun registries, etc.—unless anti-gunners get more Senate votes than they will ever conceivably be able to achieve
  • And there is an amendment to prohibit the ATF from copying 4473's and using them to compile a national gun registry; and another one to push national concealed carry reciprocity -- in a way that allows residents of "constitutional carry" states to carry without asking, "May I?" from the government first.

For more, go to AmmoLand.com

SECOND AMENDMENT ADVOCATE UNDER FIRE
Fringe group demands 'Pro Second Amendment' reporter be fired

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is demanding Fox News fire an investigative correspondent because, it says, if she advocates for a topic that she covers, how does she remain fair and objective?

The reporter, of course, is Emily Miller, who has made a nationwide name for herself by revealing she was a gun owner and by exposing the intellectual bankruptcy of the gun control movement.

In other words, the CSGV wants her fired because she’s a pain in their butts, continuously befuddling them with facts, continuously stunning them into acknowledging that not all reporters are liberals and anti-gun zealots. And somehow, they say, that means she should be fired.

CSGV delivered a petition on March 24 with more than 6,300 signatures to Washington DC’s Fox affiliate, WTTG Fox 5, calling for the station’s general manager to fire Miller.

CSGV spokesperson Ladd Everitt told Guns.com that the station’s general manager “wouldn’t come down to talk to us and accept the petition. We left it with their guy at the front and he assured us it would be delivered.”

Miller is a vocal critic of gun control laws, especially in Maryland and D.C. On Jan. 16, she attended a rally hosted by the Virginia Citizens Defense League and a few weeks later, on Feb. 10, she attended a Second Amendment rally hosted by Maryland Shall Issue.

According to Guns.com, at these events she said she isn't "pro-gun" or a "gun nut," but rather "pro-Second Amendment" because "a gun is a tool but this fight—this fight is for freedom."

Miller penned an award-winning series for The Washington Times about the arduous process of buying a gun in D.C., which she was inspired to do after feeling victimized by a break-in at a house she was watching. She later turned the series into a political book. "Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours," and has since regularly acted as a voice for information on guns for panel discussions, cable news shows and other public events.

She joined WTTG, which acknowledges that she’s a Second Amendment “proponent,” early last year after success with her book.

STATE ROUNDUP
Florida lawmakers likely to OK concealed carry in emergencies

The Florida State Senate on March 24 advanced a bill that would allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons when evacuating during hurricanes or other emergencies. Meanwhile, the Florida House is pondering a proposal to exempt gun and skeet shooting club membership fees from sales taxes and to add rifles, shotguns and ammunition to a July 4 tax holiday for camping gear.

Florida Senators approved the proposed concealed carry during emergencies bill in a 29-10 vote. The bill, supported by the National Rifle Association, would give gun owners a 48-hour exemption from needing a license to carry a concealed weapon during an evacuation.

According to Bill Cotterell of Reuters, supporters pointed to the looting in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as a reason to approve the exception for law-abiding gun owners. Opponents said carrying firearms in such stressful situations could make shelters more dangerous.

“It’s preventative and most likely will save lives,” State Senator Joseph Abruzzo, a Democrat from Palm Beach County, told Cotterell.

The guns cannot be openly displayed, but could be locked in glove compartments or stored safely with a person’s belongings in a shelter.

The bill now goes to the state House of Representatives, which passed a similar measure last year. That version did not clear the Senate, but the 48-hour limit is expected to improve its chances this year. The timing can be extended by the Florida governor in a longer emergency.

The House bill offering tax breaks to gun club members says state officials estimate the club membership exemption will cut state and local revenue by $1.2 million. Proponents say it is a good idea because it promotes gun safety.

For more, go to:

COURT ROUNDUP
Appeals Court Hears Arguments on Maryland Gun-Control Law

Maryland’s sweeping gun-control laws enacted after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre bans firearms that people commonly keep in their homes for self-defense, gun-rights attorney John Parker Sweeney told the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals during a 50-minute hearing on March 25.

Gun owners are not trying to overtly overturn most of Maryland’s Firearms Safety Act of 2013's provisions, such as its fingerprinting and licensing requirements for handgun buyers. But, as Sweeney told the three-judge panel, two provisions in the bill are unconstitutional and must be given the heave-ho -- the ban on 45 assault weapons and the 10-round limit on gun magazines.

Those provisions were upheld last year by U.S. District Judge Catharine Blake, ruling that they serve the government's interest in protecting public safety without infringing on individuals' Second Amendment rights.

According to ABCNews.com, Sweeney argued that Blake got it wrong by allowing the state to ban firearms that many Maryland residents keep in their homes for self-defense, target practice and even hunting.

"If these firearms are typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, then they are protected by the Second Amendment," Sweeney said.

As one of the nation's strictest gun-control laws, proposed by former Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley, Maryland’s 2013 law was challenged by two individuals and several organizations, including the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association Inc. and the Maryland Licensed Firearms Dealers Association Inc.

It typically takes several weeks for the appeals court to issue rulings.

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