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Charlie T Waite

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Posts posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. With violent crime increasing over the last year, Americans want a solution. Over and over, President Joe Biden frames violent crime as a gun problem. His presentation this month was no different. But the problem is much more far-reaching. Violent crime is rising across the board, and in 2019, 92% of it didn’t involve guns. Even just 2% of gun crimes end in murder. That has been virtually the same percentage for decades, and even if gun crime surged relative to all other violent crime it would still be a relatively small percentage.

    It’s not hard to find explanations for the increased violence. In many urban areas, more than half of prison inmates have been released on account of the pandemic and the releases are continuing. In some places, police have been ordered to stand down and their budgets cut. Prosecutors in many major urban areas have refused to prosecute violent criminals.

    We have to enforce the law by ensuring that criminals are afraid of being caught and punished. But when New York City cut its police budget by $1 billion, that sent quite the opposite message.

    If you want to get an idea of the administration’s narrow focus, just look at the titles that the White House put on Biden’s April, June and this week’s talks: “Remarks by President Biden on Gun Violence Prevention,” “Remarks by President Biden and Attorney General Garland on Gun Crime Prevention Strategy,” and “Remarks by President Biden Discussing His Administration’s Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Gun Crimes.”

    Biden argues that lax gun control is responsible for the increase in violent crime. But why can’t someone in the White House press corps ask a simple question: “What change in gun control laws could possibly explain the increase in violent crime over the last year?” Why did violent crime increase now, rather than two or three or four years ago? I have written the White House Press Office, but received no response to this question.

    In Biden’s three speeches on crime, he mentioned “gun” or “firearm” 148 times. The term “weapon,” sometimes in connection with “assault weapon,” is used another 21 times. By contrast, when not directly in context with guns, such as describing “gun violence,” the words “crime,” “violence,” or “violent” were mentioned about half as often — 89 times. And Biden was talking about violence generally, not just murder, which would make more sense in terms guns much more frequently involved in murders, but he only mentions the words “murder” or homicide just seven times in these three presentations and completely ignoring them in his most recent talk.

    This emphasis on overall violence and not murders is somewhat understandable if only because of how heavily concentrated murders are in the country. Over 50% of the murders take place in just 2% of the counties (60 of the 3,140 counties), and even within those counties most murders occur within just ten block areas. These are overwhelmingly gang related murders. They are surely important, but don’t touch the lives of most Americans. Fifty-four percent of counties have no murders and another 15% have just one.

    Biden only mentions policing four times in these three talks. He does so once in connection with Red Flag gun laws, and three times boasted that the American Rescue Plan passed earlier this year by Congress provided funds to hire “more police officers, more nurses, more counselors, more social workers.” But the bill gave local governments money to spend on anything they wanted. They didn’t have to spend any of it on police.

    Biden calls for an assault weapon ban, but rifle murders account for only about 2 percent of all murders in recent years. We need to try to reduce murders of every kind, but we also need to prioritize the most effective solutions.

    Biden’s other solutions overwhelmingly focus on guns. He has demanded a zero-tolerance policy for “rogue gun dealers” who knowingly or carelessly sell guns to criminals. This may sound reasonable, but it isn’t what this policy is really about. Biden will impose the corporate death penalty on any seller who makes the most trivial, inconsequential paperwork mistake. You accidentally write the city’s name in the form’s county box, and you are out of business.

    “Five percent [of dealers] sold 90 percent of the guns found at crime scenes,” says Biden. But that five percent of dealers sold about 90 percent of all guns, not just crime guns.

    Just as with his other proposals, from changing liability rules to costly and error filled background checks on the private transfer of guns, the objective is to make it more costly for people to buy guns. Putting gun dealers out of business will do just that. It is the poor who will be hurt the most, particular those who are the most likely victims of violent crime, poor blacks who live in high crime urban areas.

    Often, a single event motivates a whole new area of gun control. This year’s shooting in Boulder, Colo. was followed by calls for bans on handgun stabilizers, just because the perpetrator used one. The braces were originally designed to allow wounded and disabled veterans to hold handguns, and they are just a strap attached to the gun. Disabled individuals are often viewed as easy targets by criminals, and stabilizers make it easier for them to defend themselves.

    The surge in violent crime has nothing to do with stabilizer straps. Disabled people aren’t suddenly committing a lot of crimes. Even in the Boulder case, there is no evidence that the stabilizer helped target people at close range. The shooter wasn’t disabled and didn’t have any problem holding the handgun normally.

    These myriad gun control measures will not solve our current crime woes. These rules will only make Americans, particular the poor who can least afford more expensive guns for protection, more vulnerable. Americans want a more comprehensive approach to fighting all types of violent crime. They want our laws to be enforced, and for criminals to be brought to justice.

    Lott is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and most recently the author of “Gun Control Myths.” Up until January, he worked in the U.S. Department of Justice as senior adviser for research and statistics.


  2. Have you noticed how our language is changing?

    At a congressional hearing on “Birthing While Black,” nearly every politician used the words “birthing people” instead of “women” or “mothers.” Asked why, Shalanda Young, President Joe Biden’s budget director, said, “Our language needs to be more inclusive.”

    Activists have also changed “equality” to “equity” and “affirmative action” to “diversity.”

    The Associated Press no longer uses “mistress.” It tells reporters to use “companion, friend, or lover.”

    Worse, certain speech is now labeled “violence.”

    Calling a transgender woman a man is “an act of violence,” says transgender actress Laverne Cox.

    Last week, the American Booksellers Association apologized for promoting a book on gender dysphoria after activists called it “anti-trans.” The book is hardly “anti-trans.” The Economist and the Times of London called it one of the best books of the year. But the Booksellers Association actually groveled, calling promoting the book “violent.”

    Tim Sandefur of the Goldwater Institute says it’s dangerous to call words violence.

    “The only way human beings can deal with one another is through language, discussion, debate,” he says in my new video. “If we say that that’s violence, then the only way for us to relate to one another is through power.”

    I push back. “You’re white. Why should anybody listen to you about this?”

    “Because what I say has, or doesn’t have, merit on its own,” he replies. “A big problem with the social justice movement is the idea that people’s mindset is controlled by their skin color. That may be called ‘anti-racism’ today, but it’s just plain old-fashioned racism.”

    Linguist John McWhorter, author of the forthcoming book “Woke Racism,” adds, “It can be really hard for us to talk to each other, because we don’t know what the words we’re using mean.”

    “The idea is, wherever there are white and black disparities, we’re supposed to call that phenomenon ‘racism,'” says McWhorter. “It never fully holds together.”

    “Latinx” is another new term created by activists.

    And yet, says Sandefur, “‘Latino’ originated as a reaction led by Hispanic people! They chose the word Latino or Latina. And now here’s a largely white, middle-class movement of social justice activists telling other people, ‘No, no, you can’t make distinctions in gender that way.'”

    “Largely white?” I ask.

    “The social justice movement in general is a largely white, upper-middle-class, college-educated movement,” he replies. “You hardly find anybody in the Hispanic community who prefers the term ‘Latinx.'”

    He’s right. Only 4% of Hispanics prefer the term.

    It’s hard to keep up with what’s OK and what’s forbidden.

    Students at the University of Illinois-Chicago recently became upset because law professor Jason Kilborn included the N-word, with only the first letter shown, in an exam on employment discrimination. He’d used the same word in exams for 10 years.

    But this year, one student said she “had to seek counsel immediately after the exam to calm myself.”

    McWhorter says those students are lying. Why?

    “Claiming that kind of victimhood gives them a sense of belonging, of togetherness, a sense that they’re contributing to a struggle that their ancestors dealt with in a more concrete way.”

    The students demanded the professor be punished. He was. The law school suspended him in the name of “social justice.”

    “Social justice seeks to redistribute wealth and power between groups to suit what some political authority thinks is the right outcome,” says Sandefur.

    I push back. “Social justice just means it’s time to pay attention to the minorities who never got justice.”

    “No,” he responds. “Social justice [says], ‘We’re going to reorganize how people live their lives, silence some groups that have been heard more often.'”

    It’s as if America is moving toward “1984,” George Orwell’s novel, in which government controls people’s thoughts by creating a new language, Newspeak.

    The only way to stop it, says McWhorter, is to push back.

    “Enlightened America needs to develop a backbone and start getting used to being called racist on Twitter. Just withstand it. Keep their voices out there. Make us understand what true justice is.”


  3. “They’re killing people.”

    That was the simple declarative sentence President Joe Biden uttered in response to a question a reporter asked him as he left the White House on Friday.

    “On COVID misinformation, what’s your message to platforms like Facebook?” the reporter had shouted as the president was walking toward Marine One.

    Biden turned and walked directly toward the reporter.

    “They’re killing people,” he said.

    “I mean, it really—look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated,” he said. “And they’re killing people.”

    At her regular briefing the day before, White House press secretary Jen Psaki had explained how the administration was working with social media companies, including Facebook, in the hope of getting them to adopt what she called “a robust enforcement strategy” against COVID-19 misinformation.

    “Can you talk a little bit more about this request for tech companies to be more aggressive in policing misinformation?” a reporter asked Psaki. “Has the administration been in touch with any of these companies? And are there any actions that the federal government can take to ensure their cooperation, because we’ve seen, from the start, there’s not a lot of action on some of these platforms?”

    “Sure,” Psaki responded. “Well, first, we are in regular touch with these social media platforms, and those engagements typically happen through members of our senior staff, but also members of our COVID-19 team, given, as [Surgeon General Vivek] Murthy conveyed, this is a big issue of misinformation, specifically on the pandemic.”

    Then she made a very specific claim that is memorialized at 17 minutes and 30 seconds into C-SPAN’s online video of the briefing.

    “We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” Psaki said.

    Psaki went on to explain that the administration had “proposed changes” for Facebook and other social media companies.

    “There are also proposed changes that we have made to social media platforms, including Facebook, and those specifically are four key steps,” Psaki said.

    The first one, she said, is “that they measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform. Facebook should provide, publicly and transparently, data on the reach of COVID vaccine misinformation.”

    The second change the White House proposed for Facebook and other social media companies was what Psaki called “a robust enforcement strategy” against those who engage in COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

    “Second, we have recommended—proposed that they create a robust enforcement strategy that bridges their properties and provides transparency about the rules,” said Psaki.

    “There’s about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms,” Psaki said. “All of them remain active on Facebook, despite some even being banned on other platforms, including ones that Facebook owns.”

    Psaki did not name these 12 people.

    The next thing the White House wanted, Psaki explained, was for Facebook and other social media companies “to move more quickly to remove” posts deemed “harmful.”

    “Third, it’s important to take faster action against harmful posts,” said Psaki. “As you all know, information travels quite quickly on social media platforms; sometimes it’s not accurate. And Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove harmful, violative posts. Posts that will be within their policies for removal often remain up for days. That’s too long. The information spreads too quickly.”

    The final thing the White House wants Facebook to do is “promote” what the White House calls “quality information.”

    “Finally, we have proposed they promote quality information sources in their feed algorithm,” said Psaki. “Facebook has repeatedly shown that they have the leverage to promote quality information. We’ve seen them effectively do this in their algorithm over low-quality information and they’ve chosen not to use it in this case. And that’s certainly an area that would have an impact.

    “So, these are certainly the proposals,” Psaki said. “We engage with them regularly and they certainly understand what our asks are.”

    Obviously, a person can make a true statement about a particular subject or a false one. They can also make a statement that presents a reasonable hypothesis based on facts, or that presents an unreasonable hypothesis based on the same facts.

    Or they can make an unreasonable hypothesis based on no facts or on blatant falsehoods.

    But whatever the merits or demerits of a person’s thoughts and conclusions, when they express those thoughts and conclusions, they are invariably engaging in speech.

    What does Biden want Facebook to do with speech related to COVID-19?

    As summarized by Psaki last week, the administration is “flagging problematic posts for Facebook” that the administration believes are spreading “disinformation” and that “Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove.”

    Then, as Psaki put it: “We have proposed they promote quality information sources in their feed algorithm.”

    Now, put this in the context of a subject other than COVID-19 where human lives are also at risk.

    In its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood said that in fiscal year 2019, its affiliates did 354,871 “abortion procedures.”

    In a 2012 vice presidential debate with former Rep. Paul Ryan, as this column has noted before, Biden presented a scientific fact as if it were a religious position.

    “Life begins at conception,” Biden said. “That’s the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life.”

    On its Facebook page, by contrast, Planned Parenthood presents abortion as a form of “health care” provided by “heroes.”

    “Abortion is an essential part of health care,” Planned Parenthood said on Facebook on July 17.

    “Abortion providers are heroes,” it said in a March 11 posting.

    Does Biden—who said life begins at conception—believe it is misinformation to call the deliberate taking of a human life “health care” and those who do that taking “heroes”?

    Does he believe Facebook needs to take action “against harmful posts” that promote the taking of unborn lives?


  4. WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 20, 2021) — The Center for Human Liberty and Dr. William English have submitted an amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court in NYSRPA v. Bruen, the most important Second Amendment case in over a decade. The Supreme Court granted certiorari earlier this year in a challenge to New York’s “may-issue” carry license scheme and will address whether Second Amendment rights extend outside of the home. The brief can be found at FPCLegal.org.

    The brief, submitted by Edward Paltzik of Joshpe Mooney Paltzik LLP and Philip Williamson of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP on behalf of co-amici Dr. William English and the Center, cites statistical studies showing that lawful carriage of firearms for self-defense and defensive gun use are common. The brief also surveys empirical studies concluding that right-to-carry laws do not result in statistically significant increases in violent crime rates while also identifying serious methodological problems with an outlier study by Stanford Professor John J. Donohue (with Abhay Aneja and Kyle D. Weber) that reaches a different conclusion.

    Dr. English said, “While most scholarship has concluded that the right to carry has not exacerbated crime rates, this literature has been rife with methodological challenges. It is reassuring to find that, when the growth of carry permits is analyzed in detail, there is no positive association with violent crime rates. Likewise, recent survey results confirm what prior literature has shown: defensive gun use is common and in most cases guns deter crime without a shot being fired.”

    Edward Paltzik of Joshpe Mooney Paltzik LLP said, “This is one of the most important opportunities for the Court to vindicate and protect a sacrosanct, constitutional right in a generation. While constitutional rights should not hinge on favorable statistical studies, it is nonetheless important for the Court to recognize that there is no credible evidence that right-to-carry laws increase violent crime.”

    The Center for Human Liberty is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and advancing individual liberty and freedom, including the rights and liberties protected by the Constitution. Consistent with this purpose, it promotes the publication of unbiased social science research relating to rights and society and engages in legal efforts to ensure protection of human liberty and natural rights.

    William English, Ph.D. is a political economist and Assistant Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, where he has taught since 2016. In 2021, English conducted the largest-ever nationally representative survey of firearms owners in order to estimate reliably the frequency of firearm carriage and use for self-defense. English also recently authored the first statistical study utilizing estimates of state carry permits issued each year in order to accurately assess the effects of right-to-carry laws on violent crime and murder rates.

  5. WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 21, 2021) — Today, a coalition of Second Amendment organizations from California to New Jersey announced the filing of an important merits-stage United States Supreme Court brief in the case of NYSRPA v. Bruen supporting the right to bear arms in public. The brief’s parties include FPC American Victory Fund, Coalition of New Jersey Firearms Owners, San Diego County Gun Owners, Orange County Gun Owners, Riverside County Gun Owners, California County Gun Owners, and Knife Rights Foundation. The brief can be found at FPCLegal.org.

    The brief, submitted by historian and constitutional scholar David T. Hardy, argues that nineteenth-century state constitutions equated the term ‘bear arms’ with ‘carry arms for self-defense’; antebellum and post-Civil War case law confirm the original public understanding of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments; restrictions from the old west do not inform the Second Amendment’s original meaning; and that carrying arms for self-defense was common and known to the framing generations of 1791 and 1868.

    “State constitutions from 1776 to 1868 demonstrate unequivocally that ‘bear arms’ was used to describe carrying arms for individual self-defense. Whatever the most common use of ‘bear arms’ was in ordinary speech, in constitutional enactments, ‘bear arms’ was universally understood as protecting defensive carry of ordinary arms,” the brief says. “History and tradition confirm this. Nineteenth-century carry restrictions, and the cases adjudicating their constitutionality, reflect an understanding that” governments “must allow ordinary citizens to carry arms for self-defense—bans on both open and concealed carry were largely invalidated.”

    “CNJFO and its members unwaveringly support the petitioners in this case, who seek to enjoin unconstitutional barriers to the free exercise of Second Amendment rights,” said Theresa Inacker, CNJFO Communications Director. “The unconstitutional standard at the heart of this challenge parallels the impossible ‘justifiable need’ hurdle used by the State of New Jersey to prevent law-abiding people from exercising their right to bear arms. Citizens in states like New Jersey, New York and elsewhere have been unjustly denied their fundamental Second Amendment rights at the hands of oppressive state governments for too long, and our relief is past due.”

    “The right to carry is a focus of our organizations because our members see it as essential to their freedom and their right to self-defense,” noted Michael A. Schwartz, executive director of the amicus California County Gun Owners organizations. “We filed this brief because a ruling in our favor will put an end to California’s sheriffs and police chiefs requiring that carry license applicants provide proof of ‘good cause’ and make it possible for millions more law-abiding Californians to exercise their right to bear arms in public, especially in hostile counties like Los Angeles and in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

    “This case will almost certainly lead to a historic decision at a time when some would like to see the Second Amendment diminished to a second-class right and take away one of the most important rights guaranteed by the Constitution,” said Knife Rights Foundation Chairman Doug Ritter. “Self-defense, and having the effective means by which a person defends themselves and their loved ones, is one of the most basic of natural human rights. We must stand strong defending this right.”

    FPC American Victory Fund is a § 527 political committee that works to defend and promote fundamental rights, especially the right to keep and bear arms.

    Coalition of New Jersey Firearms Owners (“CNJFO”) is a nonprofit member organization based in Sewell, New Jersey that was formed to educate the public about the “need” standard, as well as to advocate for lawful, safe, and responsible firearms ownership in New Jersey. CNJFO strives to restore the basic human right of self-defense for the people of New Jersey—a right that, while guaranteed by the Constitution to all citizens, all three branches of New Jersey government have worked to effectively obliterate.

    San Diego County Gun Owners, Orange County Gun Owners, Riverside County Gun Owners, and California County Gun Owners are political membership organizations whose purposes are to protect and advance the Second Amendment rights of residents of California. Their memberships consist of Second Amendment supporters who want to protect and restore the right to keep and bear arms in California.

    Knife Rights Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization that serves its members and the public, focused on protecting the rights of knife owners to keep and carry knives and edged arms, including for self-defense. The purposes of the Knife Rights Foundation include the promotion of education regarding state and federal knife laws, and the defense and protection of the civil rights of knife owners nationwide.

  6. WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 21, 2021) — Today, the Madison Society Foundation (MSF) announced that it has filed an important merits-stage United States Supreme Court brief in the Second Amendment case of NYSRPA v. Bruen, the latest Second Amendment case granted by the Court. The brief can be found at FPCLegal.org.

    The brief, authored by attorney and Firearms Policy Coalition’s Senior Director of Legal Operations, Adam Kraut, provides the Court with key historical resources, arguing that: our nation’s history and traditions should inform the Court’s interpretation of the enumerated right to bear arms; the founding era is the relevant time period for determining the original understanding of the Second Amendment; under a historical analysis consistent with D.C. v. Heller, public places were not understood to be “sensitive places” where arms could not be carried; and because individuals have a fundamental pre-existing right to carry arms in public, the “sensitive places” doctrine cannot swallow the Constitution’s rule.

    “An analysis of the Second Amendment’s text, as it is informed by the nation’s history and tradition, dispositively confirms that the right to ‘bear arms’ extends beyond the confines of one’s home,” the brief says. “Indeed, the modus operandi of founding-era Americans was to carry arms in public as part of daily life.”

    MSF’s brief goes on to request that the Court “restore the scope of the right [to bear arms] to align with its original public meaning and practices where the other branches have exceeded their constitutional limits.”

    “Since our founding, the Madison Society Foundation has worked to promote the fundamental, individual right to bear arms in our legal efforts, education, and training. We believe that this brief is an important element of the Court’s analysis of the Second Amendment and look forward to the Court’s decision in this case,” said the Foundation’s operations director, Doug Welborn.

    “This brief provides the Supreme Court with the historical context necessary to understand the contours of the right to bear arms based on the Second Amendment’s original public meaning,” said Kraut. “As the Court has held for many different constitutional rights, the understanding and practices of the public during the founding era guides the analysis. And a thorough survey of the relevant history confirms that the carrying of arms in public was not just an everyday occurrence, but sometimes required by law. With this in mind, the Court should reverse the Second Circuit’s misguided opinion and uphold the fundamental right to carry in public.”

    Madison Society Foundation (www.madison-society.org) is a 501(c)(3) grassroots nonprofit based in California. It promotes and preserves the purposes of the Constitution of the United States, in particular the right to keep and bear arms. MSF provides the general public and its members with education and training on this important right.

  7. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court decided to hear the NRA-ILA backed case challenging New York’s restrictive concealed-carry-licensing regime. NRA-ILA’s opening brief is located here.

    Today, NRA-ILA applauds Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY-22) and the 175 other Members of the U.S. House of Representatives who filed an amicus brief supporting this case.

    Rep. Tenney and her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives declared their support because they have “sworn an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and have an obligation to defend and uphold the rights recognized in the document, including the right to keep and bear arms.” They urged the Supreme Court of the United States to “restore the Second Amendment to its rightful place as a guarantee for all Americans.”

    NRA-ILA greatly appreciates the tireless work that New York Rep. Tenney and her 175 colleagues invested into this pro-Second Amendment brief that is now before the Supreme Court of the United States. We commend these 176 Members of Congress for their proven dedication to the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms for all citizens.

    To read this brief yourself—and  see if your Representative signed on to it—please click here.

    The case is captioned New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen.

  8. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the NRA-ILA backed case challenging New York’s restrictive concealed-carry-licensing regime. NRA-ILA’s opening brief is located here.

    Today, NRA-ILA applauds the 26 Attorneys General who filed an amicus brief supporting this important case. Led by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Missouri Attorney General Eric S. Schmitt, the brief was joined by Attorneys General Steve Marshall of Alabama, Treg Taylor of Alaska, Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas, Ashley Moody of Florida, Christopher M. Carr of Georgia, Lawrence G. Wasden of Idaho, Theodore E. Rokita of Indiana, Derek Schmidt of Kansas, Daniel Cameron of Kentucky, Jeff Landry of Louisiana, Lynn Fitch of Mississippi, Austin Knudsen of Montana,  Douglas J. Peterson of Nebraska, John Formella of New Hampshire, Wayne Stenehjem of North Dakota, Dave Yost of Ohio, Dawn Cash of Oklahoma, Alan Wilson of South Carolina, Jason R. Ravnsborg of South Dakota, Herbert H. Slatery III of Tennessee, Ken Paxton of Texas, Sean D. Reyes of Utah, Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia, and Bridget Hill of Wyoming.

    These Attorneys General confirmed that their support of the NRA-ILA backed case stems from “a special responsibility to safeguard their citizens’ fundamental rights, including their right to bear arms in self-defense outside the home.” They argued that “[c]itizens should not have to be murdered, raped, or robbed before they can avail themselves of their ‘natural right of resistance and self-preservation’—by then, it is too late.”

    NRA-ILA greatly appreciates the work that these Attorneys General invested into this pro-Second Amendment brief that is now before the Supreme Court of the United States. We commend the dedication these 26 Attorneys General have shown to the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms for all law-abiding citizens across the Nation.

    The case is captioned New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen.

  9. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court decided to hear the NRA-ILA backed case challenging New York’s restrictive concealed-carry-licensing regime. NRA-ILA’s opening brief is located here.

    NRA-ILA applauds Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and the 24 other Senators who filed an amicus brief supporting the individual, fundamental right of self-defense outside the home.

    As detailed in the brief, the Senators explain their support to the Justices in direct terms: because they have “sworn to ‘support and defend the Constitution,’” and support the “Second Amendment against depredations by any or all of the Legislative, Executive, or Judicial branches of the federal or state governments.” Further, they reaffirmed their belief that “[t]he Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms cannot be second-guessed by legislators across the country who simply disagree with the choice the Framers made.”

    To read this brief yourself, please click here.

    The case is captioned New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen.

  10. Yesterday, SB 118, Constitutional Carry, was defeated due to several Senators reversing their initial vote of support on the bill.  Two of the Senators who flip-flopped were Senators Patrick Connick (SD-8) and Louie Bernard (SD-31).  These two actually had the nerve to speak on the Senate floor to try to explain their reason for betraying the Second Amendment.  They admitted they did not do their “research” when they voted the first time in support of your right to carry.  Apparently, this “research” entailed meeting with rogue, anti-gun sheriffs in their districts and succumbing to their pressure. 

    The other two who don't support expanding your self-defense options were Republican Senator Franklin Foil (SD-16) and Democrat Senator Gary Smith (SD-19). 

    Our freedom is dependent on preserving our Constitution and we now know these four Senators cannot be trusted.  We cannot, and will not, let others pick and choose which parts of the Bill of Rights they would like to follow, and we will continue our fight next legislative session to ensure we keep that freedom.

    Thank you to the bill sponsor, Senator Jay Morris (SD-35), for his hard work, and to those Senators who stood up to the bullying and were resolute in their support of the right to self-defense.  Thank you, also, to those members and Second Amendment supporters who called, emailed, and attended the rally. Without you we could not have gotten this far. 


  11. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court decided to hear the NRA-ILA backed case challenging New York’s restrictive concealed-carry-licensing regime. And just last week, NRA-ILA filed the opening brief in this crucial case, which is located here.

    Today, NRA-ILA applauds the 43 amicus briefs filed supporting this case. Among these groups, NRA-ILA is heartened to see support from numerous elected officials including 176 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives led by Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY-22), 25 U.S. Senators led by Sen. Ted Cruz (TX), 26 Attorneys General led by Mark Brnovich (AZ) and Eric S. Schmitt (MO), and Governor Greg Abbott (TX).

    NRA-ILA greatly appreciates this outpouring of support. These amicus briefs come from all types of groups and individuals interested in protecting the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. This support demonstrates the deeply held belief in this country that the Second Amendment is for all law-abiding citizens, not just the select few who are deemed worthy by the state, and does not stop at your front door.

    To view the full list of amicus briefs that have been filed in this case, please click here.

    The case is captioned New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen.

  12. President Joe Biden (D) might have just let the proverbial cat out of the bag. Speaking at a recent town hall event, Biden listed everything he wishes to ban and the list goes further than what he has previously stated.

    “The idea you need a weapon that can heave the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon, whether it’s a 9 mm pistol or whether it’s a rifle, is ridiculous. I’m continuing to push the elimination of a sale of those things,” said Biden.

    That’s right, now it sounds like Biden wants to also ban handguns, as 9 mm is a very common pistol caliber.

    Previously, his argument to ban “large-capacity magazines” (which are actually standard-capacity magazines) was couched in the notion that you don’t need that many rounds because deer don’t wear Kevlar vests—an odd line he’s trotted out on multiple occasions.

    Now, Biden has laid his plans out in the open. Not only does he want to ban these standard-capacity magazines, he’s likely going after very commonly owned handguns, too.

    “President Biden says he wants to ban handguns. House Republicans will NEVER allow this to happen the #SecondAmendment is a RIGHT,” tweeted House Republicans.

    Biden also noted his desire to ban what he misleadingly labels as “assault weapons” and made sure to tout how he helped pass the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, which sunset in 2004. “I’m the only guy that ever got—passed legislation when I was a senator to make sure we eliminated assault weapons,” said Biden.

    Subsequent research has shown that the ban had minimal to no effect at best, not that this matters to Biden and other proponents of gun control.

  13. The Reload Logo


    Things are moving fast here at The Reload. Our podcast is less than a month old, but it has already cracked the top 100 politics podcasts on Apple Podcasts. That's very exciting!

    If you haven't subscribed yet, go ahead and check it out below or find it on your favorite podcast app. This week's episode features Duke University's Jake Charles talking about the ruling against California's assault-weapons ban.

    Once you've subscribed to the podcast (and given it a review!), make sure you read the deep dive I just wrote on the first-ever Gun Makers Match. Then you can read about how Heller has wiped out a surprising subset of gun-control laws, and also about the setback faced by permitless-carry advocates this week.

    Plus, read the Supreme Court brief filed by the country's biggest black gun-owners group that talks about the racist roots of New York's gun-carry law.


    A spectator watches the first Gun Makers Match in St. Augustine, Florida on June 19, 2021
    A spectator watches the first Gun Makers Match in St. Augustine, Florida on June 19, 2021 / Stephen Gutowski

    Halloween in June: Ghost Gunners Gather in Florida for First Competition

    PLA plastic starts to melt at about 260 degrees Fahrenheit. When dozens of garage gunsmiths gathered in St. Augustine at the end of June, the humidity made the Florida heat feel as though it may actually reach that point and ruin the first-ever Gun Makers Match.

    Luckily for the participants, guns made from 3D-printed parts are more durable than most might expect. And the technology has come a lot farther over the last few years than most might realize.

    So have the people involved. What started as the passion project of a small group of committed internet activists has broadened into a vibrant and growing community. And that boiling hot Saturday at Ancient City Shooting Range marked the first time a bunch of them gathered in one place to commiserate and test out their creations.

    People came from all across the country to join in. They traveled from as far away as Washington state, California, Pennsylvania, and New York to put faces to screen names and flesh out, in a rather literal sense, their online personas. About a hundred people crowded into Ancient City Shooting Range to meet and compete alongside media from outlets big and small.

    Click here to read the entire article.


    Podcast: Duke’s Jake Charles on the California Assault Weapons Ban Ruling and Exclusives on Republican Efforts to Block Biden’s Gun Actions

    This week I cover the stories I broke about Republicans' efforts to stop President Joe Biden's gun agenda and ATF nominee. Then I talk with one of the top gun law researchers in the academic world.

    Jake Charles, executive director of the Center for Firearms Law at Duke University, joins me to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the recent California "assault weapons" ban ruling. While he agrees the opinion was written in a way that makes it accessible to ordinary people, he argues it doesn't do much to convince anyone who isn't already on the gun-rights side of the fence.

    We go back and forth on the metaphors used by Judge Roger Benitez as well as the backlash to them. And we talk about how influential his ruling might end up being in the long run. Plus, we dive into the different legal standards Benitez employs in his ruling, especially his "Heller test."

    Jake brings his years of experience studying Second Amendment litigation and historical gun laws to the conversation, which helps him provide a level of insight you just can't find elsewhere. That's why I often quote him in my stories and why I wanted to have him on when I saw his take on the California ruling was different from much of what I'd seen in the gun community.

    I think the conversation was fruitful and something you simply won't find anywhere else. When I say I want to bring on people who are both knowledgeable and have a different point of view, Jake is exactly the kind of person I'm talking about.

    You can listen to the full episode by clicking here or on your favorite podcasting app.


    The Supreme Court of the United States
    The Supreme Court of the United States / Stephen Gutowski

    Analysis: The End of Stun-Gun Bans Is Heller’s Biggest Direct Impact [Member Exclusive]

    The Supreme Court’s 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision has led to a wave of laws being tossed as incompatible with the Second Amendment but, perhaps, not the ones people expect.

    While Heller was specifically about whether or not Washington, D.C., could completely ban the ownership of handguns, it was also the first time the Supreme Court said the Second Amendment secured an individual right. Many people on both sides of the gun debate believed it would lead to a slew of gun-control laws being tossed. When the Court incorporated the Second Amendment to the states two years later by striking down Chicago’s handgun ban in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the excitement among gun-rights advocates built.

    But there were few outright bans on handguns left to go once Chicago’s was gone.

    And the Court has remained almost entirely silent on restrictions beyond handgun bans since that time. It has not decided any significant Second Amendment case on the merits since Heller. The reckoning for gun-control laws has been delayed on almost every front. Except one: stun guns.

    If you're already a member, click here to read the full piece. If not, join today!


    A holstered Sig Sauer P365
    A holstered Sig Sauer P365 / Stephen Gutowski

    Louisiana Rejects Permitless Carry as Senators Flip Sides in Veto Override Attempt

    Gun-rights supporters in Louisiana were dealt a surprising setback on Tuesday.

    Multiple senators who voted to pass a permitless concealed carry bill flipped their votes during a first-of-its-kind veto override session. Republicans Patrick Connick, Louie Bernard, Franklin Foil, and Democrat Gary Smith switched sides on the vote in order to block the override. A fourth Republican who voted for the initial bill, Ronnie Johns, was also absent for the override vote due to surgery.

    “At the end of the day, the legislature got it right,” Governor John Bel Edwards (D.) told WAFB after the override session ended on Wednesday.

    The failed override means Louisianans will still need to obtain a permit from the state to carry a concealed firearm legally. It also marks the first major defeat for permitless-carry advocates this year. It signals the difficulty those advocates face as they attempt to expand the adoption of permitless carry beyond states where Republicans control all levers of the lawmaking process.

    Click here to read the full story.


    An NAAGA member shoots an AR-15
    An NAAGA member shoots an AR-15 / NAAGA Website

    Black Gun-Owner Group Decries Racist Origins of Strict Carry Laws in Supreme Court Brief

    The New York gun-carry law facing a Supreme Court challenge has racist roots, a leading black gun-owner group says.

    The National African American Gun Association (NAAGA) filed a brief against the law on Monday. The group argued New York’s provision that allows government officials to deny full gun-carry permits based on their subjective judgment of whether the applicant has a “good reason” for one is rooted in past American law. However, it said, those laws were explicitly adopted to deprive black Americans of their gun rights.

    “During the colonial, founding, and early republic periods, slaves and even free blacks, particularly in the southern states, were either barred from carrying a firearm at all or were required to obtain a license to do so, which was subject to the discretion of a government official,” the group said in the brief. “African Americans were not considered as among ‘the people’ with the ‘right’ to ‘bear arms.'”

    Click here to read more.


    David Chipman
    David Chipman at the May 26th Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing / Screenshot

    Analysis: The Longer Chipman is in Limbo, the Worse His Odds [Member Exclusive]

    David Chipman’s chances of becoming the next director of the ATF diminished this week.

    We reported on Tuesday that several Democratic senators remain on the fence about his nomination. Several other outlets confirmed as much. It seems more moderate members like Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), Angus King (I., Maine), and Jon Tester (D., Mont.) remain undecided.

    Their public fence-sitting turned out to be more than just posturing, since Chipman didn’t get a vote this week. That’s important because Chipman passed the hurdle of the Senate Judiciary Committee just before Congress went to recess. This was the first week back, and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) could have put him to a full vote, but he didn’t.

    That’s almost certainly because he doesn’t think he has the votes—at least, not yet.

    If you're already a member, click here to read the full piece. If not, join today!

    Outside The Reload

    David Chipman Is Unfit to Lead the ATF | National Review | By The Editors

    Biden’s Pistol Brace Rule Would Put Pressure on an Already Strained ATF Division | The Trace | By Jennifer Mascia and Alain Stephens

    Texas Dad Draws Down On Man Peeping In Daughter's Window | Bearing Arms | By Cam Edwards

    That’s it for this week in guns.

    If you want to hear my analysis of these stories and more, make sure you buy a Reload membership to get the exclusive analysis newsletter every Sunday!

    I’ll see you all next week.

    Stephen Gutowski
    The Reload

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