Gun News of the Week: 16.3 Million Americans Have Concealed Carry Permits
Plus: California makes gun owners criminals if accused of crime
16.3 Million Americans Have Concealed Carry Permits
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), 2 million Americans obtained concealed carry permits in 2016, establishing a new annual record for the fourth consecutive year and bringing the total number of citizens with concealed carry permits nationwide to 16.3 million.
That is a remarkable number — one in every 20 citizens has a concealed carry permit (CCP) — considering only 4.5 million Americans had a CCP in 2007. Equally remarkable is the biggest growth in CCPs is among women and minorities.
Remarkable, but not surprising, said John Lott, CPRC founder and chief researcher. “It’s pretty much the most vulnerable people in our society who benefit the most from having the option to be able to go and protect themselves,” he writes.
The report is available here.
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SNUFFED BY SESSIONS
DOJ Officially Ends ‘Operation Choke Point’
The U.S. Department of Justice on August 19 formally announced the end of Operation Choke Point, a DOJ program that instructed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to label some industries as “high risk,” particularly gun shops, firearm and firearm accessory manufacturers, to limit their access to loans and other banking services.
Operation Choke Point was “one of the more subtle and potentially devastating programs put into place by former Attorney General Eric Holder” that served as a “subtle assault on the finances of law-abiding businesses … in the name of ‘safety,’” writes Rick Dembroski in Loadoutroom.com.
House Republicans appealed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the program. An August 10 letter from Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee; Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform; and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, outlined the unfair and predatory nature of the politically motivated program.
Dembroski writes that Operation Choke Point was typical of the way the Obama Administration targeted gun owners and firearms-related businesses.
“In my opinion, the Obama Administrations largely left gun laws in place on a large-scale but worked in a more covert fashion of targeted enforcement and subtle erosion of our gun rights,” he wrote. “This was in direct contrast to the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton, who made his assault on our Constitutional rights very obvious, even to people who didn’t follow politics closely.”
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California Makes Gun Owners Criminals If Accused Of Crime
The Firearms Policy Coalition is demanding California legislators amend a recently signed bill that would make gun owners guilty of a crime simply for being named in an “outstanding warrant.”
According to Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) spokesman Craig DeLuz, AB 103 expands state law that prohibits felons from possessing firearms to include persons who have an “outstanding warrant” for their arrest for a felony or specified misdemeanors, without regard to whether the person even knows they are the subject of a warrant, let alone been found guilty of any crime.
DeLuz said the FPC also objects to the way AB 103 was attached as a hardly-noticed and little-discussed trailer to a budget bill.
“Under AB 103, a person becomes prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm as soon as the warrant is issued for one of the specified crimes without regard to whether they even know that a warrant was issued or whether they are ever convicted of the underlying crime”, DeLuz said in a statement published by the Associated Press. “In essence, the law now guarantees that anyone who possesses or owns a firearm and becomes the subject of an arrest warrant for one of the specified crimes will automatically be guilty of the additional, new crime of possession. This is blatantly unconstitutional.”
DeLuz also notes, “As a budget trailer bill, AB 103 bypassed all the usual policy committees where constitutional issues like this would normally be caught and addressed. This is what happens when the legislature subverts their own rules and procedures.”
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IN THE COURTS
American Bar Association To Lobby For ‘Gun Violence Restraining Orders’
The American Bar Association (ABA) will lobby state and local governments to adopt “gun violence restraining orders” similar to the firearm confiscation laws recently approved in California and Washington.
During its 2017 Annual Meeting, August 10-13, in New York, the ABA House of Delegates adopted Resolution 118B, which “urges governments to enact statutes, rules, or regulations authorizing courts to issue gun violence restraining orders, including ex parte orders.”
Ex parte orders can be issued without input from anyone but the person making an allegation. California law allows a judge to issue a firearm confiscation order without the owner of the firearms having a voice in the process.
The NRA, among other civil rights groups, opposes ex parte orders because they violate due process. The NRA-ILA said it is ironic that the ABA, which claims to be avowed defenders of due process, would support and lobby for laws that utterly disregard such a fundamental Constitutional concept.
“When it comes to the due process rights of gun owners, however, the ABA has abandoned any pretense of principle and adopted the prevailing left-wing orthodoxy,” the NRA-ILA writes in a statement.
“Despite the ABA’s more than 50-year history of gun control advocacy, Resolution 118B stands out as notably pernicious,” the statement continues. “The organization has never respected Second Amendment rights, but in order to endorse this resolution the ABA necessarily disregarded constitutionally guaranteed due process protections; something the group purports to cherish and that is a cornerstone of our system of government. The House of Delegates’ actions suggest that when it comes to ABA policymaking, all rights are subservient to the group’s anti-gun bias.”
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