Republican control spurs hope for long-overdue national conceal-carry law
The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which has been introduced over the years only to stall in committee, has been re-introduced in both chambers of Congress and stands a good chance of being approved by the Republican-controlled House and Senate before facing certain veto by President Barack Obama.
Supporters of the legislation have long argued that the bill makes common sense, arguing it would preserve states’ rights by requiring gun owners to follow the concealed-carry laws in the places they are visiting.
“The Second Amendment doesn’t end at the border of your state,” said Larry Keane, general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation in a Feb. 18 statement. “This would enhance the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves when they’re away from home.”
Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told The Hill in early February that the bill is needed to clarify a “patchwork of state and local laws” that is “confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders.”
The bill was introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) in the Senate with Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) introducing the House version. Supporters believe they can secure enough Democratic votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster and get the legislation to President Obama’s desk. Even if he doesn’t sign it — and no one expects he will — it would give Second Amendment advocates a significant victory.
Predictably, the bill sent gun-control hysterics into a tizzy-fit. They promise to make a contentious battle over Second Amendment rights an issue in the 2016 elections.
Cornyn’s concealed-carry bill fell three votes shy of passing in 2013, when Democrats still controlled the Senate. Seven of the Democrats who voted for the bill remain in Congress, potentially giving Republicans a shot at a 60-vote majority. The Republican House has passed the concealed-carry bill before, and by a comfortable margin.
If passed, gun owners who qualify for concealed carry permits in Texas, for example, would be allowed to bring their firearms into states with tougher gun laws where they may otherwise be denied.
“This operates more or less like a driver’s license,” Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the upper chamber, told The Hill last week. “So, for example, if you have a driver’s license in Texas, you can drive in New York, in Utah and other places, subject to the laws of those states.”
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Anti-Constitution elitist Bloomberg exposed as patrician racist
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose billions finance anti-Constitutional crusades against the Second Amendment and pay for campaigns that denigrate gun owners, occasionally reveals his true self in off-hand comments that reek of elitist condescension and patrician patronization of people who work for a living.
But in a Feb. 5 address to the Aspen Institute, maybe he talked a little too much, his comments earning him a new badge of dishonor: Racist.
Essentially, in recorded comments obtained by the Daily Caller, Bloomberg called for all “male, minorities, 15 to 25” to be disarmed.
“It’s controversial, but first thing is all of your—95 percent of your murders, and murderers, and murder victims fit one (profile). You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all of the cops. They are male, minorities, 15 to 25,” he said. “That’s true in New York, it’s true in virtually every city in America. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of the people getting killed,’ he continued. ‘First thing you can do to help that group is to keep them alive.’”
Unlike conservative pundit Ann Coulter, who made similar comments about race and gun violence in 2013 and was lambasted by knee-jerk experts on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, USA Today, and the New York Times, Bloomberg’s comments drew little criticism from his adherents in the mainstream media.
However, they didn’t go unnoticed by José Niño of Panampost.com in Panama’s Canal Zone, of all places, who recalled that Bloomberg’s Feb. 5 speech wasn’t the first time he exposed himself as an aristocrat shocked and saddened that all citizens are equal in a democracy, noting how Hizzoner once said it was “a joke” that minorities were legally allowed to possess firearms, and that they should be disarmed in order to save lives.
“Gun control has always been a hot button issue in the United States and has generated all sorts of media disinformation and hype,” Niño writes. “Various studies have demonstrated that gun control is a very ineffective means of negating crime. What is often overlooked in this heated discussion is the racist origin of gun control itself. Historically speaking, gun control has been used as a mechanism of minority oppression, especially of Native Americans and Blacks. To this day, gun control policies still disproportionately hurt blacks and other disadvantaged minorities. It should be very clear that advocates of stringent gun control are on the wrong side of history.”
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Indiana lawmakers target failed Rust Belt city’s 16-year-old lawsuit against gunmakers
A proposed Indiana bill that would block an ongoing lawsuit against gun manufacturers, such as Smith & Wesson, and firearms sellers is facing uncertain prospects after stalling in the Senate.
Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville) introduced Senate Bill 98 because, he said, it would help create jobs in Indiana by doing away with a silly lawsuit filed by the city of Gary in 1999 against gunmakers and sellers. Tomes, who called the suit “a beached whale,” said it is preventing gun manufacturers from establishing plants in Indiana, which several within the $37 billion industry have expressed interest in doing.
“They’re not willing to come here while that lawsuit’s still in play,” Tomes said.
Anti-Constitution gun prohibitionists say targeting Gary’s 16-year-old lawsuit is unfair because it unjustly places the interests of rank-and-file citizens who enjoy owning firearms and having good jobs over that of a bankrupt rust-belt city that has made it impossible for industry to be successful within its jurisdiction.
Gary officials filed the lawsuit in an attempt to hold gun manufacturers and sellers accountable for gun violence by criminals. The suit was filed two years before Indiana lawmakers passed legislation that put restrictions on such lawsuits.
Tomes’ bill would change current law to read that a person may not “bring or maintain an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or seller” if the firearm was criminally or unlawfully misused. The use of the word “maintain” is new, and is the language intended to affect the Gary case.
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Federal appeals court upholds Florida law against openly carrying firearms
A three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal on Feb. 18 upheld a Florida law that prevents people from openly carrying firearms, ruling that the restriction does not violate the constitutional rights to bear arms.
The decision stemmed from the 2012 arrest in Fort Pierce of Dale Norman, who was carrying a gun in a holster. A jury found Norman guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor charge, leading to the appeal on constitutional grounds.
According to Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida, the ruling is described as a “first-of-its-kind case” because it sets limits on concealed carry, but does not “destroy the core right of self-defense enshrined in the Second Amendment” and in the Florida Constitution that guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. The ruing also noted that there is no further restrictions on people who seek concealed-weapons permits.
Saunders wrote that the case presents a question of “first impression” about whether the Second Amendment forbids the state from banning the open carrying of firearms while allowing people to carry concealed weapons under a permitting system. In legal terms, a question of “first impression” indicates a first-of-its-kind decision.
In its ruling, the appeals court emphasized the role of the Florida Constitution, which it said, “Unlike the U.S. Constitution, explicitly states that the manner in which guns are borne can be regulated.”
“In fact, no controlling authority has been presented to this court for the proposition that the Legislature may not impose some restrictions and conditions on either the method or manner that lawful arms may be carried outside the home,” the ruling said. “In fact, the plain wording of the Florida Constitution provides explicit support for the state’s position that it may regulate the open carry of firearms.”
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