Cornyn to introduce Senate national reciprocity bill this week
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) will introduce a Senate companion to the House’s HR 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, sometime this week.
Cornyn announced the move while addressing the annual meeting of the Texas State Rifle Association, the state’s National Rifle Association affiliate, in Austin on Feb. 25.
Cornyn did not elaborate on what, exactly, the Senate version will look like, but fellow Senate Republican Roger Wicker of Mississippi told the Associated Press that he has helped craft the proposal and it “would give gun owners the freedom to use their concealed carry permits in other parts of the country, so long as the jurisdiction recognizes the permit as lawful.”
HR 38, sponsored by North Carolina Republican U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, was introduced last month in the House with 159 co-sponsors. The bill seeks to make concealed carry permits valid nationwide. It was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations on Jan. 12, where it remains.
Cornyn has long supported national reciprocity bills. According to Guns.com’s Chris Eger, in 2013, he sponsored an amendment to a Democrat-backed safe schools bill that was rejected and proposed a stand-alone legislation in 2015 that picked up 35 co-sponsors, including West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, but failed to make its way out of committee.
Making concealed carry permits valid nationwide makes sense and actually ensures safety by doing away with a confusing patchwork of state laws that can leave those traveling while armed in violation of local mandates, gun control advocates say.
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GUN CONTROL TO REMAIN DNC PRIORITY
Lesser-known Perez a clear-and-present danger to gun rights as DNC chair
Former Obama Labor Secretary and unrepentant Hilliaryite Tom Perez edged Progressive insurgent Keith Ellison in a 235-200 vote on Feb. 25 to become the first Hispanic Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Before serving as Obama’s Secretary of Labor (2013-17), Perez, 55, was an Assistant Attorney General under Eric Holder, administering the Justice Civil Rights Division. A former Special Counselor for Sen. Ted Kennedy, he served as a federal prosecutor and Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under Attorney General Janet Reno from 1989 to 1995.
Liberal Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and supported by the growing “Progressive” wing within the Democratic Party. Compared with Ellison’s long track record as an ardent gun prohibitionist, Perez has been more subtle in displaying his anti-gun sentiments. In fact, is page on www.ontheissues.org states: “Thomas Perez on Gun Control: No stance on record.”
But don’t be fooled, warns WarOnGuns.com’s David Codrea. “Both he and Ellison have long histories of oath-breaking and subversion,” he writes. “And both are hostile to the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
While attending October’s Vocal Majority Tour in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, sponsored by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ gun control PAC Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), then-Labor Secretary Perez urged voters “to reject the false choices presented by the gun lobby in regard to gun laws.”
“If I want to make sure someone who makes a terrorist watch list doesn’t get access to the ability to purchase a gun, somehow that means the Second Amendment is dead in America,” Perez told ‘Vocal Majority’ and ARS. “That’s a false choice. We can protect the Second Amendment and protect communities.”
“Mr. Perez’ presence at the event tells you what you need to know about his support for gun control,” Robert Farago wrote in the truthaboutguns.com.
“By selecting a D.C. insider, Democrats only create deeper divisions within their own party by pushing a far left agenda that rejects a majority of their base outside Washington,” Farago wrote. “The DNC would be well-served to learn from two straight election cycle losses, encourage the leaders in their party to listen to what the voters want.”
The “lesser-known Perez has been more insulated, and will be better able to present his agenda as humanitarian, and as championing of the desperate and downtrodden,” Codrea writes. “And that – being able to appeal to empathy from those who neither understand the underlying issues nor what is at stake – makes his ascendency to Democrat leadership all the more dangerous.”
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New Hampshire becomes 12th state to approve permitless carry
New Hampshire became the 12th state where it’s now legal to carry a concealed firearm without a license after Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill into law eliminating the concealed-carry license requirement for pistol and revolver owners.
It is the first bill signed by the newly-elected Sununu. Under the new law, anyone who can legally possess a gun under state and federal law can carry it concealed in a purse, car or briefcase without a license.
“It is common-sense legislation,” Sununu said, according to the Associated Press. “This is about making sure that our laws on our books are keeping people safe while remaining true to the live-free-or-die spirit.”
New Hampshire is already an open-carry state. The new law makes a concealed-carry license optional rather than mandatory.
Sixteen states have introduced “permitless carry” or “Constitutional carry” legislation in 2017, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Rifle Association. Legislation is pending in Kentucky, Texas, Colorado and Indiana.
Idaho, Mississippi and West Virginia passed laws last year that do away with concealed carry permits, boosting the number of permit less carry states to 12. North Carolina could become the 13th state to do so as early as this week. NC House Bill 69 would allow people to put their pistols in pockets or purses without a permit, just as gun owners are already allowed to do with visible holsters through the state’s open carry law.
Currying momentum for permitless carry is “kind of the next step in expanding law-abiding gun owners’ constitutional right to self-protection,” said Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, in a statement. “It’s where a lot of states are moving.”
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— [Missouri — Gun locks available for free; don’t need taxpayer subsidizing](/Gun locks available for free; don’t need taxpayer subsidizing)
IN THE COURTS
4th Circuit becomes fifth federal court to uphold ‘assault weapons’ ban
The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 20 voted 10-4 to uphold Maryland’s 2013 Firearms Safety Act “assault weapons” ban, stating the Second Amendment doesn’t protect a right for citizens to own “weapons of war.”
In its 116-page Kolbe et al v. Maryland decision, the court found the law banning certain semi-automatic firearms — such as the AR-15 — and limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds to be constitutional, overturning a ruling by a three-judge panel of the same court last year which held the opposite viewpoint.
That now-rejected viewpoint applied “strict scrutiny” in upholding the challenge to Maryland’s Firearms Safety Act (FSA). Strict scrutiny is the most stringent form of legal review, requiring government to show a law serves a compelling state interest in the “least restrictive” way possible. The panel argued that a “strict scrutiny” review of firearms regulations would preclude a state’s ability to ban “assault weapons.”
No dice, the full court ruled. “We conclude — contrary to the now-vacated decision of our prior panel — that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment,” Judge Robert B. King wrote for the majority.
In its majority ruling, the Court determined its “selection of a lower standard of review (intermediate scrutiny) was appropriate.”
“This obviously to buttress the opinion in case the Supreme Court does go after it, along with an accounting of three other Circuits (2nd, 7th and 9th) that have upheld various state restrictions on similar weapons since the Heller ruling but on less aggressive grounds,” writes Jonathan F. Keiler in Americanthinker.com.
In the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings, three states — Connecticut, New York, Maryland — passed 2013 laws banning “assault weapons.” In October 2015, the 2nd Circuit upheld the New York and Connecticut bans, joining the 9th Circuit Court, which upheld California’s “assault weapon” ban in 2002’s Silveira v. Lockyer ruling.
In 2016, the 10th Circuit upheld Colorado’s “assault weapon” ban and the 7th Circuit Court refused to hear a challenge of an Illinois’ city’s municipal ordinance banning “assault weapons.” So, the 4th Circuit’s Feb. 20 ruling makes it five federal circuit court rulings upholding “assault weapons” bans.
But there could be a viable challenge emerging from the far, far West in, of all places, the ultra-Liberal 9th Circuit. In 2016, U.S. District Court Chief Justice Ramona Manglona ruled the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ (CNMI) ban on “assault weapons” violates the U.S. Constitution.
While “the right of armed self-defense, including in public, is subject to traditional limitations,” Manglona wrote, “it is not subject to elimination. (CNMI’s restrictions) completely destroys that right. It is unconstitutional regardless of the level of scrutiny applied, and the Court must strike it down.”
Keiler called the ruling an “unusual opinion that at times reads more like an op-ed at the New York Times than a legal ruling.”
“It’s a bold step but not an unreasonable one for these leftist jurists” of the 4th Circuit Court, he adds. “The Supreme Court has proved reluctant to take 2nd Amendment cases and has basically done little to support Heller. But in Kolbe, the 4th Circuit has gone far beyond what the other Circuits have done, boldly rewriting Justice Scalia’s decision in a fashion the late Justice would never have condoned.”
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