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Charlie T Waite

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Everything posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. By Matthew Larosiere - the Director of Legal Policy at FPC
  2. On October 22nd, the Tacoma City Council will be holding its First Reading on a proposed ordinance to impose a new tax on all purchases of firearms and ammunition. The proposed tax would unnecessarily burden law-abiding gun owners, while doing nothing to reduce crime. This $25 per firearm and $0.05 per cartridge of ammunition tax, proposed by Council Member Ryan Mello, is similar to the 2015 encumbrance the NRA strongly opposed in Seattle. The NRA opposes the Tacoma Proposal for the same reasons: the ordinance would punish law-abiding gun owners and retailers in Tacoma, while doing nothing to hinder criminals or reduce crimes involving firearms. A Department of Justice Survey confirmed the NRA’s position, concluding that only 1.3% of criminals acquired firearms through taxable avenues. The overwhelming majority of offenders obtained firearms through “friends or family” or a “street/illegal source.” Worse still, the threatened tax measure would disproportionately impact lower income residents who nonetheless seek to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Unlike their wealthier counterparts living in the city, citizens of lesser means are often restricted to public transportation and cannot afford to travel to buy cheaper items in faraway places (i.e. beyond the reach of Tacoma’s proposed taxes). These firearm and ammunition taxes never deliver on the politician’s promise of increasing public safety and funding “gun violence programs and research.” After the implementation of the tax in Seattle, shooting crimes did not decrease—in fact, the Seattle Police Department confirmed that shooting crimes actually increased. Nor did the tax generate nearly the amount of revenue that politicians projected. In short: Seattle’s “gun violence tax” was followed by more violent crime and less revenue, a disaster for which you’ll be footing the bill if Tacoma’s politicians repeat it.
  3. Canada’s Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau made no secret of his stance against guns four years ago; now, he is trying his darnedest to push through extreme measures – including some changes that won’t be made public until after the Oct. 21 election – that hammer home his lack of tolerance for individual ownership of firearms in our neighbor to the north. At present, Canada has some 2.2 million people gun licenses, according to media reports. A favorite target, of course, is the AR-15-style rifle, ownership of which would be the first thing to go on the chopping block for a most-public disappearing act. Also disturbing is that Canada wants to grant cities the ability to basically ban handguns – only illegal ones, though – something that, at best, would be difficult to enforce and, at worst, would put anyone traveling with a handgun in a difficult position if they simply drive through one of the more so-called enlightened municipalities. The restrictions are not etched in stone yet, as Canadian law prohibits such laws from taking effect during a campaign season. The firearm debate in Canada has basically split that nation, much as it has done in America. On the left, people assert that guns have no place in a modern society; on the right, they charge that gun control erodes the rights and freedoms of the citizens. When it comes to handguns, the legislators considered going so far as to enact a national ban on them in some cities – a move that the government admits “would not only be inadequate, considering the risks involved, but it would also be inefficient. Reports say that Bill C-71, a piece of legislation introduced in the House of Commons in March 2018, encompasses such things as stricter requirements for buying firearms and more record-keeping when it comes to gun sales. The bill validates a concern that many law-abiding gun owners have – that the people who scream for gun control are never content with just one change. Rather, they keep chipping away at our rights. The NRA’s ILA has written about Canada’s Bill C-71. According to ILA, a recent study by Dr. Gary Mauser of Simon Fraser University appears to confirm that regulatory gun laws overwhelmingly burden ordinary Canadians. He examined the number of criminal charges laid in Canada from 1998 to 2015 for violations of firearm rules related to gun storage and paperwork compliance – charges that could result in fines, imprisonment, and the loss of the violator’s guns. Out of over 3,000 charges a year related to violations of the bureaucratic firearm rules, only 4% were tied to criminal charges for violent crime, even though guns were used against 1,300 victims of violent crimes each year during roughly the same period. Instead of charging criminals with both firearm rule violations and the violent crime offenses, enforcement of the administrative firearm rules was almost exclusively associated with nonviolent offenders. Dr. Mauser concluded that these “findings suggest that law-abiding Canadian gun owners are the target of administrative infractions,” with “firearms laws being used to disarm peaceable firearms owners and not violent criminals who use firearms.” Why aren’t all the restrictions being made public? Because the Canadian Caretaker Convention prohibits it. The theory is that pushing through emotionally charged measures could sway the vote. So Canadians will have to wait until after Oct. 21 to discover the full reach of what the anti-gunners have in store. The results of the Canada’s upcoming election may determine whether these proposals move forward.
  4. San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera hit back against the National Rifle Association on Thursday, asking a federal judge to toss out the lawsuit the pro-gun group filed against the city last month that accused the Board of Supervisors of violating its First Amendment rights. The NRA’s lawsuit came less than a week after the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution labeling the group as a “domestic terrorist organization” for its efforts to block gun reform legislation. Supervisor Catherine Stefani brought the legislation to the board two days after the deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. In asking the court to dismiss the suit, Herrera’s office argues that the board’s action — a nonbinding resolution — represents an expression of a policy view and not a mandate to take any action. The NRA claimed in its lawsuit that the resolution would result in a blacklisting of the organization and anyone affiliated with it, potentially chilling their own rights of free expression. The resolution, the NRA claimed, constituted an “implicit censorship regime” by the city. “Criticizing the NRA is not against the law,” said John Coté, a spokesman for Herrera’s office. “The NRA is responsible for blocking common-sense gun safety measures like universal background checks, renewing the assault weapons ban and restricting high-capacity magazines,” Coté said. “For that, it should be publicly condemned. Legislators have the same free speech rights as their critics.” A few weeks ago, Mayor London Breed reminded city staff in a memo that the nonbinding resolution does not limit contracts with groups doing business with the pro-Second Amendment organization. “I knew all along that this was a non-binding resolution,” Stefani said in a statement on Oct. 1 and reiterated Thursday. “We made our point: the NRA is a terrorist organization. I will keep fighting them using every tool at my disposal.” The NRA said Thursday it won't withdraw its lawsuit yet. “The NRA will pursue this case until the City of San Francisco officially withdraws its unconstitutional threat and makes amends for the harm suffered by the NRA, its members, and its supporters,” NRA attorney William Brewer, said in an email. “The memo previously issued by the mayor underscores the merit of the NRA’s claims — but does not adequately address the negative impacts of the city’s unconstitutional resolution.”
  5. The threat of “sweeping restrictions” being proposed to restrict target shooting on private property brought locals crowding into the Board of Supervisors’ normally quiet meeting in Springfield Township, Pa., Sept. 24. Several measures were formally proposed in the meeting, and rumors had suggested even more would be. Most of the proposed items were rejected, but one banning target shooting at night passed. Cal Huntzinger, a local who attended the Board of Supervisors meeting, told America’s 1st Freedom that word of the possible restrictions “got everyone’s dander up.” “We found out about it and we showed up in a heartbeat. I took four of my friends—we rode down in my pickup truck. When I called them, it took about three seconds for them to be like ‘Yeah, we'll be there!’" He said the Board of Supervisors was trying to address complaints mostly from new residents in the area who “get a little perturbed when people are banging away at night,” but longtime residents weren’t having it. “Some people move here from Manhattan and places like that, to restore a farmhouse and such. But it's rural here, with a tradition of hunting, fishing, NRA—you name it. … The people complaining maybe shouldn’t have moved here because it’s like that.” Springfield Township is in rural Bucks County, about an hour north of Philadelphia. It has a population of roughly 5,000 people and spans about 31 miles. Township Manager Michael Brown told America’s 1st Freedom in a phone call that “a bunch of people thought [the restrictions were] about the Second Amendment, but [they were] not.” (He tried to retract this comment, noting it was his opinion, not an official stance.) He said the discussion was more about the distinction of shooting ranges as either primary or secondary uses of land and provided an example of a private landowner inviting 50 people to shoot all weekend: “At what point does it go beyond accessory use to become a primary use as a range?” he said. That question apparently was not resolved in the standing-room-only meeting, though, as none of the measures adopted addressed it. According to the meeting minutes, the five-member Board of Supervisors responded to the public by: Rejecting restrictions for private land on how many people could shoot, what days shooting would be allowed, and the size of the property where shooting could take place. Lowering the minimum acreage required for public shooting ranges from 75 to 25. Extending protection from noise ordinances to landowners’ guests when target shooting on private land (the landowners are already exempt). Restricting target shooting on private land to the hours between 7 a.m. and dusk. Locals continued to raise concerns about the daylight restriction. One person noted that landowners would not be able to zero in telescopic sights at night and another that hunting of coyotes and raccoons at night could be mistaken for target shooting, potentially causing a complaint and thus wasting public resources. The show of strength for the Second Amendment demonstrates how important it is for gun-rights advocates to oppose any attempts to restrict our right to keep and bear arms. The NRA’s network of grassroots volunteers also can use your help to ensure we elect candidates who respect the Second Amendment next November.
  6. By BARBARA HARVEY, CALMATTERS | CalMattersPUBLISHED: October 14, 2019 at 7:00 am | UPDATED: October 14, 2019 at 7:07 am
  7. By Jay Chambers There was a time in the United States when owning a gun wasn’t considered an indicator of what sort of person you were. Owning a gun didn’t mean anything more than owning a wrench did. They’re both tools. And they were regarded as such. Unfortunately, legal gun ownership and use carries much more social and political baggage than it used to. People have formed prejudices against legal gun use that can make guns an uncomfortable topic for gun owners. Some of these prejudices are manufactured to push a political agenda. Some have occurred more organically. However, they’re all problematic for the same reason: they’re wrong. And, these prejudices are especially damaging because they not only stigmatize legal gun owners, they scare potential new gun owners away from purchasing firearms—even when they may have a completely legitimate reason for getting a gun, such as personal defense. Unfortunately, the most common prejudices are repeated often on social media, and are even “verified” by certain news outlets. These are the common prejudices that get favorable treatment in a lot of circles. 1) All Gun Owners are Extreme Conservatives First, yes, it’s true that many conservatives own guns. But there are also a lot of liberals who own guns, too. There’s even a Liberal Gun Club. Unfortunately, the politics of gun rights and the Second Amendment have been painted as a partisan issue. Maybe it’s a strategic move to fracture support for the Second Amendment and reduce coordinated resistance to gun control regulation. Either way, the fact remains that nobody can discern who you voted for, or even which party you might affiliate with, just based on whether or not you own a gun. Additionally, owning a gun doesn’t indicate any malice or hatred for the government. Opposing regulation that you don’t agree with isn’t resistance or belligerence. People should have input in the formation of new laws and regulations that affect them. Whether or not you support new regulations isn’t an indicator of a desire to start a rebellion or insurgency. 2) Possessing a Gun Indicates Violent Behavior This opinion gets touted a lot by biased news media. People claim that the only reason to carry a gun is if you’re looking for a fight. Or maybe you’ve had someone ask you why you have a firearm ready for home defense as if you’d be crazy to have a gun in your house. The idea that the only reason you’d have a gun is because you’re actively looking to engage in violence is a fallacy. The mere possession of a tool does is not an adequate indicator of intent. Guns are tools. And, just like other tools, there are multiple uses and various needs, for guns. Simply having a gun does not indicate which of those uses you intend to use the gun for. Furthermore, the total number of firearm homicides in the U.S. each year is far less than one hundredth of one percent of the total population. Even the total number of violent crimes reported in 2017 was only 5.3 million, which would be just under two percent of the population. So the actual data reveals that owning a gun is not a good predictor of violent behavior. Anyone who believes that mere possession of a gun proves a certain intent has made a predetermined decision, without enough information to accurately reach that conclusion. It’s textbook prejudice. 3) Gun Owners Are More Likely to Be Racist than Those Who Do Not Own Guns This one comes and goes in terms of popularity. In 2013, the Huffington Post published an article which cited a study that “showed” this. However, the study used something called “symbolic racism” to evaluate people’s biases, and more recent articles mostly cite anecdotal evidence. So this assertion is another predetermined judgement based on inadequate information. Is it true that racists own guns? Sure. But people who aren’t racists also own guns. Even though the numbers are somewhat tougher to work out on this one, with over 100 million gun owners in the US — about half of all American households — the number of upstanding gun owners far outnumbers the number of racists who happen to own guns. Just addressing this issue requires a lot of assumption and inference, because it’s so hard to get any good information here. That means there’s not enough information to make a dependable judgement as the the racial beliefs and biases of gun owners. So this assumption about gun owners is certainly painting everyone who owns a firearm with a very broad, inaccurate brush. Let the Prejudices Lie Although these prejudices can make things uncomfortable, especially in conversations about guns rights and gun ownership, they’re most deeply held by people who occupy the extremes of the political spectrum. People with their own deeply held prejudices. Chances are that the majority of people don’t buy these ideas wholesale. We gun owners, from various walks of life, can work against these prejudices by clearly articulating why we own guns and how to make gun ownership safe and useful for everyone. We have the facts and the pride to fight these prejudices. We just need to do it.
  8. The Southern District of Ohio’s Eastern Division dismissed with prejudice a case brought by the Primus Group, an entertainment group, against rifle manufacturers Smith & Wesson, Remington Arms, SIG Sauer, Ruger, Colt, and ArmaLite. The charges against the manufacturers included racketeering and intentional misrepresentation. The entertainment group claimed to have brought the suit “on behalf of all citizens, persons, and inhabitants of the United States of America who seek a Declaration of the existence of a “clear and present danger … because of the persistent killing and wounding of countless persons.” Court documents said the entertainment group failed to make a specific claim (one that is not “conjectural or hypothetical”) and had no standing to bring the lawsuit. Regarding the entertainment group’s attempt to speak for all Americans, the court responded that the judicial system should not be “transformed into a ‘vehicle for the vindication of the value of interests of concerned bystanders.’” It emphasized that the appropriate domain for creating firearms policies is the legislature, not the courts. Mark Oliva, NSSF director of public affairs, said that while the NSSF was not a party in the case, he is very glad to see it dismissed with prejudice: “Gun controllers want to try to cherry-pick the courts they think are going to be friendly to them. This dismissal makes it clear that the courtroom is not the place to decide public policy for firearms.” The entertainment group also claimed to have been generally damaged in terms of sales and security expenses by the rifle manufacturers’ production of “assault weapons.” The court responded that the group is no more likely to suffer “imminent criminal firearms violence” than any other business or individual. As for the “assault weapons,” Oliva told America’s 1st Freedom the firearms in question are actually semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s, which fire one bullet for each trigger pull like all firearms made for common civilian use. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimates about 16 million of these rifles are in American households. “Americans own more AR-15s than Ford F-150s,” Oliva said.
  9. The Declaration of Independence — and What It Really Claimed Long but worth the read & the source might surprise you. Charlie
  10. The New York Times has done what may be an unintentional favor for Second Amendment activists by detailing the gun control positions of Democrat candidates now running to become the next president, and it might serve as a proverbial wake-up call to lethargic gun owners as the 2020 campaign season looms large on the horizon.
  11. The Nov. 5th election may be the most consequential ever for our Second Amendment rights in the Commonwealth. That’s because every seat in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate is up for grabs and gun control advocates, bankrolled by an out of state New York billionaire, are trying to buy the election. In contrast, the NRA is focused on our tried and true grassroots model of educating our supporters on candidates’ positions on the Second Amendment, and working to ensure they turn out to vote on Election Day. For a behind-the-scenes look at how the NRA is fighting for you in Virginia, we sat down with Glen Caroline, head of NRA’s Grassroots Programs and Campaign Field Operations Division. Q. How does our Virginia grassroots operation compare with what we’ve seen in the past from the NRA? A. Without a doubt, this has been among our most robust campaign efforts ever. We have made tens of thousands of targeted contacts to our supporters using phones, texting, at events, and showing up on their doorsteps. Our Campaign Field Representatives (CFRs) have been working tirelessly to ramp up their efforts as we prepare for a massive Get Out The Vote operation in the closing weeks of the election cycle. Q. What are we up against from our opponents this year? A. We are facing the most well-organized and well-funded gun control lobby in our country’s history. It really is unprecedented. The various Bloomberg-backed gun control groups have committed to spending $5 million dollars to win this election, apparently focusing primarily on expensive and misleading television ads and digital efforts. Q. What do you take from that? A. We fully expect to be outspent by the control groups, but they will never outwork us. No organization in the country has members as informed and as passionate as the NRA. They are the reason we win elections. I’ve been at this for nearly 30 years, and throughout my entire career beginning in the early 90's, I’ve seen time and again our voters can swing key elections. I am aware of all the money our opponents are spending, but I’m not intimidated. As we often say in Grassroots, dollar bills don’t vote, but NRA members do! Q. What’s the message to voters? A. If Bloomberg’s gun control politicians win in November, it’s goodbye to our gun rights in Virginia! It’s really that simple. These anti-gun politicians want to ban our rifles, criminalize virtually all private firearm transfers, reinstate the failed one-gun-a-month law, and expand gun-free zones. We don’t have to guess what will happen, as they tipped their hand earlier this year by pushing this aggressive gun control agenda in a special legislative session. Q. How can our members get involved? A. First, you must vote on Election Day. Your vote is your voice, and if you don’t exercise your right to vote, you will lose your right to keep and bear arms. Second, get actively involved with our on-the-ground CFR efforts or contact the NRA-PVF endorsed campaign in your area to volunteer to help. You can amplify your voice by educating other pro-Second Amendment voters in Virginia as to what’s at stake, and making sure they turn out to vote. If a few hours of your time between now and Election Day aren’t worth preserving your freedom, what is? For more information on NRA’s grassroots efforts in Virginia and how you can help, call (800) 392-VOTE (8683). If you are unable to personally volunteer with our grassroots efforts, but wish to help support them, please click here.
  12. Prior to the October 13 deadline, Governor Newsom signed the final anti-gun and anti-hunting bills, AB 1254 and SB 172 into law. These two bills, combined with the seven anti-gun bills signed into law on Friday, made it a tough year for gun owners and sportsmen in the Golden State as our Second Amendment Rights and Hunting Heritage were under an all out assault. Your NRA will not back down and will continue to explore further action on these new laws. Assembly Bill 1254, sponsored by Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-54) would prohibit the ability to hunt, trap or otherwise take a bobcat except in specified circumstances including depredation permits. Senate Bill 172, sponsored by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-25), would expand California's existing storage laws and includes harsh penalties, such as a 10 year ban on firearm ownership. Continue to check your inbox and the California Stand and Fight webpage for updates on issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage.
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