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Charlie T Waite

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  1. Matthew Larosiere is the Director of Legal Policy at Firearms Policy Coalition. You can connect with him on Twitter @MattLaAtLaw. Senator introduces a bill to expand rights to travel with a firearm, Virginia Governor Northam to ban guns at the Capital, Michigan passes bill to allow stun guns, Blueprints for 3D printable guns remain in limbo, New FL gun law exits State Senate Committee, and guns being seized in airports. Senator introduces a bill to expand rights to travel with a firearm Traveling with a firearm can be incredibly challenging. Despite living under a legal system that allegedly recognizes the fundamental right to keep and bear arms, we stress over what states we have to pass through. In many states, simply staying overnight or stopping to dine in a restaurant could render your cargo in violation of the state’s laws. Senator Steve Daines of Montana has introduced a bill aimed at alleviating a number of concerns traveling gun owners face. The Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act amends the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA), defining ‘transport’ to include “staying in temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, or any other activity incidental to the transport.” Senator Daines’ stated goal is to give federal protection to legal gun owners that he says are harassed in less gun friendly states. While well intentioned, FOPA is almost completely gutless. Not only did we have to endure the Hughes amendment, which took lawful machineguns out of the financial reach of most Americans, but the protections offered interstate travelers are unbelievably tedious. The firearm must be locked away, unloaded, in a compartment other than the glove box. So if you’re one of millions of Americans who drive a pickup… sorry, I guess. Daines’ move seems nice, but the overall protections of FOPA are so thin, one is left to wonder if it really makes a difference. Maybe a better move would be to protect all peaceful interstate travelers from overzealous law enforcement? Or maybe do something for all of us pickup owners with nowhere but the cab to stow the cargo we allegedly have a right to possess. Virginia Governor Northam to ban guns at the Capital Governor Northam has signed an emergency action to ban weapons at the state capital in an attempt to discourage protest by Second Amendment supporters on the planned Monday rally. This ban, just like the full brigade of other gun laws being pushed through the state legislature, comes under the pretext of preventing violence, and unnamed officials admitted that the state had received no intelligence indicating that any groups were planning a specific act of violence, but rather that Northam has “grown increasingly concerned” about “ominous-sounding postings on social media from forces outside Virginia.” This admission came in advance of the Governor’s declaration, which related the situation to the violence caused by white supremacists and counter-protestors at the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville; an event wholly unrelated to the protection of Virginians’ constitutional rights. The state of emergency will exist from Friday to Tuesday and will include a ban on all bearable weapons, including chains and sticks and stuff. Michigan passes bill to allow stun guns Michigan is finally catching up with the rest of the country and the state of the law. Representative Michele Hoitenga of Michigan has advanced state legislation permitting any individuals over the age of 18 to possess a stun gun in the state. Prior to a 2012 Michigan Court of Appeals decision there was a total ban on stun guns, and in the years between, only individuals with concealed pistol licenses were permitted to possess them. Banning stun guns conflicts with the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Caetano v. Massachusetts, where the Court found that stun guns constitute bearable arms, and are thus their ownership is protected under the Second Amendment. Blueprints for 3D printable guns remain in limbo The Executive Branch has notified Congress of its intent to transfer regulation of small arms sales from the Department of State to the Commerce Department, as we covered before. What this means for distribution of 3D printable gun files, though, remains unclear. Throwing a wrench into the works, the Bureau of Industry and Security had this to say: BIS shares the concerns raised over the possibility of widespread and unchecked availability of the software and technology internationally, the lack of government visibility into production and use, and the potential damage to U.S. counter proliferation efforts. In this final rule, BIS addresses the concerns raised about 3D printing of firearms by making certain technology and software capable of producing firearms subject to the EAR when posted on the internet under specified circumstances. Whereas a previous ruling disclaimed regulating files at all, pressure from gun control groups seem to have pressed the hand of the BIS. It went on to say: Commerce has reached the conclusion that U.S. national security and foreign policy necessitate that BIS maintain controls over the 3D printing of firearms when such software and technology is posted on the internet. The potential for the ease of access to the software and technology, undetectable means of production, and potential to inflict harm on U.S. persons and allies abroad present a grave concern for the United States. Without regulatory oversight, U.S. foreign relations and national security interests could be seriously compromised. For these reasons, this final rule provides that technology and software ready for insertion into an automated manufacturing tool that makes use of the software or technology to produce a firearm frame, receiver, or complete firearm is subject to the EAR, consistent with the regulation of such software and technology when previously controlled under the USML. This comes after a long series of court battles surrounding the essence of these files. The Department of State’s position that it can regulate gun designs is legally inconsistent with a number of Supreme Court decisions, where the Court has determined that designs, including those in computer code, being compiled by an individual or group of individuals, is First Amendment protected speech. Right now, it’s pretty unclear what is and is not covered by the final rule. Whether BIS loosens the noose on First Amendment conduct or not, the fight will continue; states such as New Jersey have enacted statutes which regulate possession and distribution of these files, and Firearms Policy Coalition is still fighting back. Remember this move is characterized as a “relaxing” export controls. However, it doesn’t change the applicable statutory structure, it only shifts responsibility for firearm exports from a department with a track record of hampering transactions, to one that might be more interested in facilitating transactions. As someone who has personally navigated the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, I can tell you it would be hard for things to get any more sluggishly bureaucratic than they are now. The United States has one of the most restrictive import-export regimes in the world when it comes to arms, and it’s certainly harmed the industry. Again, what this doesn’t do, however, is loosen the arbitrary and irrational restrictions on firearm imports that drive up costs for American gun owners. So leave the champagne chilling for now. New FL gun law exits State Senate Committee The Florida senate is pushing Senate Bill 7028, which it claims would close the “gun show loophole” by creating a record-keeping system for private gun sales. The bill also appropriates $5 million for establishing a “statewide strategy for violence prevention[.]” The Governor and Speaker of the House are rightly critical of this bill. For one, there is no such thing as a “gun show loophole.” If you’re in the business of selling firearms, federal law requires you to obtain a Federal Firearms License from the ATF. The fact that Floridians can transact with one another without asking the federal government for permission is not a “loophole,” but a Constitutional guarantee. It’s also a massive waste of money. The bill creates what is essentially a state-level ATF Form 4473; it is duplicative, unnecessary, and might I add, if in paper form, not very green. Guns being seized in airports Have gun, will travel? Mind the airports. Hundreds of gun owners are being arrested for possessing firearms despite believing themselves to be complying with the law. Customers will dutifully check a firearm for their voyage, just to be detained at an airport in another, less friendly jurisdiction. Between La Guardia and JFK, 438 people have been arrested for possession since 2014. In New York, this offense carries a potential penalty of three years in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. Fortunately 80% of these cases have resulted in a dismissal or have been pled down to disorderly conduct, but the risk is substantial. Nationally, the average fine is between $2,400 and $4,000, depending on the condition of the firearm, and the owner’s firearm is seized by the local police. We’re unsure what harm an unloaded firearm locked in a hard case in an overhead carry-on can do, but we recommend that you: 1) check out the TSA website for guidance; and 2) double check the state and local laws wherever you will be traveling with your firearms.
  2. We were well aware that after New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg spent a cool $2.5 million on his latest acquisition, majority control of the Virginia General Assembly, law-abiding gun owners in The Old Dominion would see an onslaught of legislation designed to infringe on their right to keep and bear arms. As the legislature prepared to convene, NRA-ILA scheduled a day for legislative action to show our opposition to the anti-gun agenda of Bloomberg and Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam, and we asked our members to show up at the capitol in Richmond. Boy did they! Thousands of NRA members and supporters of the Second Amendment came to Virginia’s capital, and NRA handed out t-shirts and 1,000 30-round magazines, kindly donated by Magpul Industries, as thanks to freedom’s most dedicated advocates. Even the usually anti-gun Northam praised NRA’s “peaceful event,” although it would be nice if his respect for NRA members included not infringing our fundamental rights. But Bloomberg’s most prominent anti-gun shill, Shannon Watts, seemed to be overcome by the thought of law-abiding gun owners and Second Amendment advocates gathering to present their unified political voice in opposition to legislative assaults on their cherished liberty. Watts, of course, heads the anti-gun advocacy group Moms Demand Action, a Bloomberg subsidiary that he acquired in 2013. As you can probably guess, Watts had a problem with the magazines. When she was told about what happened in Richmond, she tweeted her faux outrage over the idea that “NRA gave away dangerous high-capacity magazines…to random civilians at the Virginia statehouse today.” Where to even begin with that mess? First, Shannon, magazines are not dangerous. The particular components donated by Magpul are comprised predominantly of plastic, and weigh mere ounces. Forgetting the fact that it is preposterous to try to designate an inanimate object of being capable of behaving dangerously. Second, those “random civilians” were NRA members, and were invited to come to Richmond to exercise their First Amendment rights in defense of the Second. As we said, even Governor Northam stated, “I thank the NRA for hosting a peaceful event.” Of course, it should come as no surprise that Watts was confused. Her organization has no actual membership, although she claims to have millions of supporters and hundreds-of-thousands of “donors.” While both claims are suspect, the reference to “donors” seems particularly implausible. The bulk of her group’s funding, under the umbrella of Bloomberg’s parent company, Everytown, seems to originate from Bloomberg himself. In contrast, NRA is an actual organization of members; more than five million of them. We are dedicated to freedom, as well as safe, responsible, and, as even one of the most anti-gun governors in the nation recently said, peaceful. Sorry if that confuses you, Shannon.
  3. Crime and public safety are central components of gun control rhetoric, so we’d like to make crime statistics as accessible as possible. Using data from the FBI’s annual Crime in the United States Report and the Uniform Crime Report, we’ve added a simple and interactive visualization to our crime facts page. Users can view historical trends for crime rate by crime type, by state, and by year. Compare states to each other or to the national rate. Our data runs from 1960 through 2018, the most recent data available from the FBI. Take a look at the trend. Use your cursor to hover over a section of the line chart to see the details on that data point. The drop-down menus at the top can be used to isolate a particular state or states as well as a narrower range of years or a specific type of crime. The available types of crime are aggravated assault, burglary, car theft, larceny, murder, rape (legacy definition), rape (revised definition), robbery, and totals for property crime and for violent crime. This data will be updated as new data is released. The bar at the bottom of the page can be used to download a copy of your visualization to share with friends, neighbors, or legislators. Data is a tool we can use to help protect our gun rights.
  4. On January 16th, House Bill 787 was introduced to expand the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families both within Georgia and in other states. HB 787 now awaits assignment to a committee for further consideration. House Bill 787, sponsored by Representative Mandi Ballinger (R-23), would grant universal recognition to concealed carry permits held by non-Georgia residents issued by any other state. It would also direct the Georgia Attorney General to enter into formal reciprocity agreements with any state that requires a formal agreement to recognize a Georgia Weapons Carry License. This reform recognizes that Georgia residents traveling to other states and visitors to Georgia should not be left defenseless simply by crossing a state line. Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates on this bill and others affecting our Second Amendment rights in Georgia.
  5. Gun purchases in 2019 exceeded all other years on record since 1998, according to the number of background checks. The total number of background checks for 2019 was about 28.4 million—nearly the population of Texas. This is about 3% higher than the previous record of 27.5 million in 2016. Background checks for every month during 2019 (except February and March) increased over the prior year. High numbers seen on Black Friday made gun sellers hopeful for the holidays, and indeed, December was the second-highest month on record for background checks. The number of background checks performed by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) does not equate exactly to the number of gun purchases. This is because in most places only one background check would be required for a person purchasing multiple guns and the checks also are run for concealed-handgun permits and renewals in many states. However, the NICS numbers are still used as one of the few metrics available to gauge gun-buying activity. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) regularly analyzes the NICS statistics to remove background checks that are unlikely to represent gun purchases. The NSSF sets the estimated number of firearms purchases for 2019 at about 13.2 million, a small increase over the prior year, but not beating its estimate for 2016. The previous record number of background checks in 2016 was largely attributed to it being an election year in which Hillary Clinton made restricting Second Amendment rights a significant part of her platform. The Democratic candidates for 2020 also have made it clear they favor further restrictions on gun rights, so firearms sales for this election cycle may continue trending upward in response.
  6. Demand is high for a new concealed-carry permit option in Tennessee that allows students to take the required training course entirely online. According to one news report, at just eight days into the new year, 1200 people had applied for the new permit after completing an online course available from one of 14 state-approved vendors. “We have done very well with it,” John McConnell, owner of a gun store in Clarksville, Tenn., and of CarryTN.com, one of the approved vendors, told America’s 1st Freedom. “Our regular classes are full every week, but we can only put 26 people through that at a time. We're doing hundreds per day through the online course.” The online course costs less—only $39 from the CarryTN site—than most in-person courses and allows people with time constraints to still obtain a concealed handgun carry permit, since they can take the course at their own pace. The training course required for the new Concealed Handgun Carry Permit must offer a minimum of 90 minutes of instruction, covering current state laws along with safe handling procedures for firearms and ammunition. The permit’s application fee is $65, and it allows only for concealed carry, not open carry, and not on school or university properties. The previous minimum-level, concealed-carry permit is being retained, but is now renamed the “Enhanced Handgun Carry permit.” It requires eight hours of in-person training and allows for open or concealed carry anywhere not otherwise prohibited.
  7. ISO - Beretta 3032 Tomcat Inox Stainless 32 Auto - looking to see if anyone has one they want to part with before I order one for better half - pm me if you do. Charlie
  8. Your comments are about the NRA and this was put out by the Gun Owners of America and the Virginia Citizens Defense League - Nothing in the article about the NRA.
  9. On Thursday, January 23, NRA’s State Association, The Rhode Island 2nd Amendment Coalition, will be hosting a pro-gun rally at the State House in the Rotunda. NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are encouraged to attend and listen to several speakers, including pro-gun members of the Rhode Island House and Senate. This will be a great opportunity to meet your lawmakers and let them know what issues are most important to you during the 2020 Legislative Session. Details and information below: Defend the 2nd Rally Thursday, January 23rd 4:00pm to 7:00pm Rhode Island State House Rotunda NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters will need to stay active this session, and this event is a great way to get involved. Please attend on January 23rd, and be sure to tell your friends, family, and fellow gun owners about the event!
  10. South Dakota legislators are able to carry concealed in the Capitol during the legislative session for the first time, thanks to a bill passed last year. Lawmakers with enhanced carry permits that also notify the Highway Patrol—which provides security at the Capitol—at least 24 hours in advance may now carry concealed during the 2020 legislative session, the first since the bill’s passage. SB115 (2019) passed by votes of 20-13 and 44-19 in the state Senate and House of Representatives, respectively. Gov. Kristi Noem signed the bill into law on March 18, 2019, and it went into effect on July 1 of the same year. State Sen. Jim Stalzer, who sponsored the bill, said he felt that it “gave lawmakers and state government employees a chance to defend themselves if someone attacks,” according to AP News. State Rep. Dayle Hammock, a former law enforcement officer, said he estimated that six to 10 legislators would be carrying this legislative session. He also plans to teach other legislators about how to carry safely. South Dakota joins a growing number of states that allow at least some law-abiding citizens to carry concealed in its Capitol. This change stands in stark contrast to the decision made by Virginia legislators to ban the carry of all firearms from Capitol buildings. Legislators in Virginia, with a newly-elected anti-gun Democratic majority in each chamber, hastily banned the carrying of firearms in state Capitol buildings. “These are policies and rules that should have passed a long, long time ago,” said House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, reported AP News. A statement from House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert read, “Through their underhanded maneuvers Democrats have already made it clear that they’ll do whatever it takes to implement their agenda, including making major policy change with no notice and little debate.” “This majority, bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg, will stop at nothing to cast your right of self-defense aside. This is just the first step as they make their way down Bloomberg’s wish-list,” reported the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. The decision to allow only armed security in Virginia’s capitol certainly aligns with Bloomberg’s worldview. Responding to an incident in Texas where a lawfully armed citizen stopped a murderer within seconds, the former New York City mayor said, “It’s the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot. You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place.” While Virginia politicians are threatening to limit your Second Amendment freedoms, South Dakota also legalized constitutional carry last year, allowing residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit throughout the state.
  11. Thursday, January 16th, 2020 BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is encouraging gun owners from across Virginia to gather Monday in Richmond as a show of opposition to the extremist gun control agenda put forth by Gov. Ralph Northam and his Democrat majority in the General Assembly. Events begin at 8 a.m. with committee meetings starting at 9 o’clock. The rally on the Capitol Steps begins at 11 a.m. Speakers include Stephen Williford, the Texas hero who shot the Sutherland Springs church gunman two years ago; Dick Heller, Bearing Arms Editor Cam Edwards, Jan Morgan, founder of 2A Women, State Sen. Amanda Chase, Delegates nick Freitas and John McGuire, and many others. CCRKBA also stresses the importance of being vigilant in the wake of rumored potential for confrontation with provocateurs who may show up in an attempt to create an incident to discredit law-abiding gun owners. “With more than 100 counties, cities and smaller jurisdictions having declared themselves to be ‘Second Amendment Sanctuaries,’ we concur with our friends at the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) that the eyes of the nation, and maybe the world, will be on Richmond,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. Virginia gun owners have been gathering peacefully every year in Richmond to support their Second Amendment rights, and this year must be no different, CCRKBA said. A much larger-than-normal crowd is anticipated, so this will be a good opportunity for gun owners to meet like-minded fellow Virginians, and to deliver a unified message to the General Assembly about gun control proposals such as reviving the failed one-gun-per-month law and other extremist proposals. Information about the rally, and about scheduled bus transportation from many locations around the state may be found here, at the VCDL website. “We’re suspicious of Gov. Northam’s temporary ban on firearms in and around the State Capitol,” Gottlieb noted, “but we’ve been saying for a long time that Ralph Northam is a gun-banner, and now he’s proving it.”
  12. On January 23rd, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 469, sponsored by Senator Jeanne Dietsch (D – District 9), at 10:00 AM in Room 100 of the State House. NRA members and Second Amendment supporters are encouraged to attend this hearing in order to express opposition to this anti-shooting range bill. If you are unable to attend, please contact committee members and urge them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 469. Senate Bill 469 would repeal New Hampshire’s shooting range protection law by allowing municipalities to subject already-existing shooting ranges to noise ordinances, while also making it easier for individuals to sue local gun ranges for noise violations. Currently, under New Hampshire law, shooting ranges are immune from lawsuits as long as they complied with existing noise ordinances at the time the range opened. This legislation would endanger shooting ranges, even if they operate safely and are otherwise in full compliance with the law. Municipalities and individuals could use these ordinances to effectively shut down ranges with costly renovations, unreasonable court fees, hiatus, or even closure of operations. Shooting ranges provide a safe environment for law-abiding individuals to learn, practice, and train. They should not be regulated out of existence.
  13. While the New Mexico Legislature won’t convene until next week, anti-gun legislators have already pre-filed multiple gun control bills, including “Red Flag” gun confiscation laws and bans on popular firearm accessories. House Bill 7 / Senate Bill 5 – Sponsored by Rep. Daymon Ely and Senator Joseph Cervantes, these bills would authorize the seizure of firearms and/or ammunition from individuals without due process. Unchallenged statements made by a petitioner before a judge, alleging that someone is a danger to themselves or others in an ex parte proceeding -- prior to any formal court hearing at which the respondent can be represented by counsel and present counter evidence -- would be sufficient for law enforcement to enter that person's home and confiscate their private property. Constitutional rights should only be restricted with sufficient due process of law. Due process limits restrictions on constitutional rights to only serious convictions and adjudications that provide procedural protections to the accused, which results in more reliable proceedings. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms should not be treated as a second-class right and should only be restricted when sufficient protections are in place. House Bill 85 – Sponsored by Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, HB 85 was introduced with the intent to ban possession of a “semiautomatic firearm converter.” However, the bill is so poorly written it would potentially ban normal and legal firearm accessories like match triggers and many ergonomic modifications. The vague language could lead to the banning of virtually any performance-enhancing product for a semi-automatic firearm, and ultimately threaten the legality of semi-automatic firearms themselves. Further, those who possess any of the mentioned items would become felons overnight. Session convenes on January 21st. Your NRA-ILA will continue to fight to promote and protect your right to keep and bear arms and hunting heritage. Our members remain the most powerful political force in American history, and together, we will secure the Second Amendment for present and future generations.
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