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Charlie T Waite

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Everything posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today said that if state agencies and officials around the country that are responsible for issuing concealed carry licenses or permits are not taking new applications because of the COVID-19 outbreak, they should not arrest people for carrying without a license/permit. “We’ve received reports that some agencies are using the coronavirus outbreak as an excuse for suspending the concealed carry application process,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The constitution wasn’t put on hold because of the coronavirus.” SAF has been involved in several legal actions across the country stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Two of those cases, which have been favorably resolved, involved gun permit applications. “The right to bear arms,” Gottlieb observed, “translates to the right to carry, and like other rights protected by the Constitution, that right is not limited to the confines of one’s home. Ever since the SAF victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago ten years ago, the Second Amendment has been incorporated to the states via the 14th Amendment. A lot of people apparently have forgotten that, but we haven’t. You cannot suspend a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right, especially in times of emergency. “The past few months have seen a significant increase in the number of new gun owners,” he noted. “Many, if not most, of those new owners bought firearms for personal protection, and not just in the home. Where state law requires a license or permit to carry concealed in public, issuing agencies cannot be allowed to arbitrarily stop that process, using the coronavirus outbreak as the reason. “If a sheriff’s or police department is not accepting carry license applications,” Gottlieb said, “they should not arrest someone for carrying without a license.”
  2. Before the Oklahoma Legislature adjourned on Friday, May 15, they passed Senate Bill 1081, an anti "Red Flag" bill. Authored by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Tulsa, and Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon, the bill was signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt on Saturday. It prevents Oklahoma cities and towns from enacting policies that would allow a court or other entity to restrict gun access to people they deem to be an imminent danger. The bill passed the House 77-14 and the Senate 34-9. “This bill would stop any action from the federal government or even from local or state authorities that would infringe on the Second Amendment rights of our citizens,” Steagall said. The bill is said to be the first of its type in the nation. Critics of the bill said it was unnecessary because Oklahoma municipalities are already prevented from engaging in gun control. Two thoughts: First, gun control is a fundamental plank in the Democrat platform. Their platform states: "We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans' Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation." Their "reasonable regulation" includes banning of assault rifles and more background checks. So much for not infringing. The Republican Party platform states: "We believe the Second Amendment and all the rights guaranteed by it should enable law-abiding citizens throughout the country to own firearms in their homes for self-defense." Perhaps there is not an issue where the two major parties differ than on the Second Amendment. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democrat nominee, says he would push to have gun manufacturers held accountable when one of their guns is used in a mass shooting. No word on whether he would hold knife manufacturers to the same standard. Clearly, the Second Amendment is under attack across the country. It is sad to say, but in conservative Oklahoma, there are mayors and city councils who would attempt to implement gun control if they could. We have seen several examples of "heavy-handed" mayors overstepping their bounds by restricting liberty of their citizens above and beyond the recommended guidelines of the CDC during the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, many Americans don’t understand the Second Amendment. It wasn’t placed in the U.S. Constitution for hunters. It was placed there to allow the citizens of the United States to own firearms for self-defense and to ensure the security of a free state. Some believe only the military should have guns, but the Second Amendment specifically intended to allow everyday citizens the ability to protect themselves and their country. We, as citizens, are guardians of the Second Amendment. No one should be neutral on the Second Amendment. It is our duty to uphold it. The Second Amendment protects the rest of the Bill of Rights. Younger Americans need to understand the importance of the Second Amendment. Voters need to recognize the importance of the November elections. If Democrats gain control of the Senate and win the White House, "Red Flag" laws will be enacted. The Second Amendment will be under attack. The problem with Red Flag laws is who determines who presents imminent danger. Is an imminent danger someone who disagrees with their post on Facebook? Is it someone who goes to church three times a week? What are the Red Flag triggers? Red Flag laws clearly violate due process, a guaranteed constitutional right. Thanks to Gov. Stitt, Sen. Dahm, and Rep. Steagall for proactively addressing the issue.
  3. Oklahoma lawmakers passed a law to block enforcement of Red Flag Laws (RFL) or Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) in the state with SB1081. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia currently have some form of RFL or ERPO. Unfortunately, this dangerous concept is gaining traction among ill-informed Congressional members, as we've seen in the disastrous Federal Gunpocalypse bill and in supportive commentary by President Trump, among other attempts. Seeing this problem, and seeking to safeguard Oklahomans from these terrible abrogations of due process, SB1081 was signed into law in Oklahoma. The law completely preempts the field of red flag laws, barring "any agency of this state or any political subdivision in this state...from accepting any grants or funding to implement any statute, rule or executive order, judicial order or judicial findings that would have the effect of forcing an extreme risk protection order against or upon a citizen of this state." This preemptive effort to safeguard the people of Oklahoma was pursued by Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. Jay Steagall, which the OK legislature did overwhelmingly vote to pass. House votes were 77-14 and Senate votes were 34-9, both with a few Excused or Vacant votes. This does leave Oklahomans with 23 troubling representatives to deal with but the overall vote count is a significant win for protecting liberty. At Firearms Policy Coalition, it's no secret that we absolutely oppose red flag or ERPO laws for a number of reasons. Red flag laws are not new – various jurisdictions began enacting them in 1999, and there are eighteen of them in place to date. However, in the wake of recent tragedies, both Republicans and Democrats, like Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal, have been pushing for these at both the state and federal levels.
  4. Pro-Gun Bills Set for Floor Debate TOMORROW The liberal, left wing media in Louisiana is calling basic 2A protections "extremism" and "ridiculous." Last week, a House committee passed four pro-gun bills to the House Floor where they will be considered for a vote tomorrow. NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are encouraged to contact State Representatives and ask them to stand with gun owners and the Second Amendment by voting YES on the following bills: House Bill 746, sponsored by Rep. Ray Garofalo, allows those who lawfully possess a firearm to carry concealed for self-defense during a mandatory evacuation under a declared state of emergency or disaster. House Bill 781, sponsored by Rep. Blake Miguez, establishes that firearms and ammunition manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, suppliers, and retailers are “Essential Businesses” that shall not be prohibited from conducting business during a declared disaster or emergency. HB 781 further prevents law-abiding gun owners’ rights from being infringed during proclaimed curfews. House Bill 140, sponsored by Rep. Blake Miguez, prevents local authorities and municipalities from imposing restrictions to prohibit the possession of a firearm. Preemption legislation is designed to stop municipalities from creating a patchwork of different laws that turn a law-abiding citizen into a criminal for simply crossing a jurisdictional line. House Bill 334, sponsored by Reps. Bryan Fontenot, Blake Miguez and Charles Owen, authorizes a concealed handgun permit holder to carry a concealed handgun in a church, synagogue, mosque, or other similar place of worship. Don’t let those who believe that your Constitutional Rights are “extremist” drown out your voice. Please contact your state Representative and ask them to support the above pro-2A bills.
  5. DATE: May 22, 2020 TO: USF & NRA Members and Friends FROM: Marion P. Hammer USF Executive Director NRA Past President On May 13, 2020, Leon County Tax Collector, Doris Maloy, sent out an email blast to a group of government officials informing them that she would be re-opening her offices on June 1st, but was refusing to process "concealed weapon original applications." The following letter was sent out this morning to Tax Collector Maloy and Leon County Administrator Vince Long. This gives Ms. Maloy the opportunity to do the right thing and reverse her decision to refuse to process CW Licenses when her office re-opens on June 1, 2020. In other words, Ms. Maloy will have over a week to decide whether or not to knowingly and willfully violate Florida law and constitutional rights. Below is the email/letter we sent this morning: IMPORTANT COMMUNICATION RE: Illegal Actions of Doris Maloy, Leon Country Tax Collector Formal Letter Attached in PDF format To: Doris Maloy, Leon County Tax Collector Vincent S. Long, Leon County Administrator From: Marion P. Hammer Date: May 22, 2020 RE: Concealed Weapon or Firearm License Application Policy VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL maloyd@leoncountyfl.gov longv@leoncountyfl.gov Dear Ms. Maloy and Mr. Long, The Florida Constitution provides that "[t]he right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law." Fla. Const. art. I, § 8. We have reviewed Ms. Maloy’s email regarding the re-opening of Leon County Service Centers on June 1, 2020. While this email details procedures her office is putting in place for the restoration and delivery of services, it also indicates that she will be refusing to provide the essential constitutional service of processing original applications for Concealed Weapon or Firearm Licenses. The proposed action is prohibited by state law and conflicts with Executive Orders issued by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, which clearly extend “essential service” designation to firearm-related activities. The processing of new applications for Concealed Weapon or Firearm Licenses is one such essential service. The Legislature made it possible for county Tax Collectors to become local agents of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in order to accept Concealed Weapon or Firearm License applications, thereby providing convenient access to citizens. The intent was to promote such rights, not stifle them as you propose. Your email suggests you have the discretion to “pick and choose” which services to provide, but the Legislature has made it clear that as an agent of the state, in your capacity as Leon County Tax Collector, you do not have discretion over whether or not to accept these applications (Section 790.0625). Thus, your office must adhere to the directive contained in Section 790.06(15) which clearly prohibits a county Tax Collector from arbitrarily refusing to process original applications: (15) … The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall implement and administer the provisions of this section. The Legislature does not delegate to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the authority to regulate or restrict the issuing of licenses provided for in this section, beyond those provisions contained in this section. Subjective or arbitrary actions or rules which encumber the issuing process by placing burdens on the applicant beyond those sworn statements and specified documents detailed in this section or which create restrictions beyond those specified in this section are in conflict with the intent of this section and are prohibited. This section shall be liberally construed to carry out the constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense. This section is supplemental and additional to existing rights to bear arms, and nothing in this section shall impair or diminish such rights. Moreover, the Legislature has prohibited your proposed action by preempting local officials from engaging in such conduct. Section 790.33 (1) specifically prohibits any regulation of firearms by a local government official: Except as expressly provided by the State Constitution or general law, the Legislature hereby declares that it is occupying the whole field of regulation of firearms and ammunition, including the purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage, and transportation thereof, to the exclusion of all existing and future county, city, town, or municipal ordinances or any administrative regulations or rules adopted by local or state government relating thereto. Any such existing ordinances, rules, or regulations are hereby declared null and void. To ensure compliance, the Legislature established sanctions when local officials engage in prohibited conduct. Section 790.33(3) provides several penalties against offending officials, including monetary fines, damages and attorney fees for plaintiffs, and even removal from office when warranted. On behalf of our members in Leon County, and to avoid further action, I respectfully request that you reverse your refusal to process original Concealed Weapon or Firearm License applications when you "reopen" on June 1, 2020. Sincerely, Marion P. Hammer The National Rifle Association Unified Sportsmen of Florida
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