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Charlie T Waite

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Everything posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a federal lawsuit challenging federal law that prevents young adults from purchasing and owning handguns. SAF is joined by the Firearms Policy Coalition and Louisiana Shooting Association and two private citizens, Caleb Reese and Joseph Granich, both in the affected age group. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Raymond M. DiGuiseppe of Southport, NC, Adam Kraut and Joseph Greenlee from Sacramento, CA, and John W. Dillon from Carlsbad, CA, and George J. Armbruster III from Lafayette, LA. Kraut is FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy and Greenlee is the group’s Director of Research. The case is known as Reese v. BATF. Named as defendants are the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Acting Director Regina Lombardo, and Attorney General William Barr, in their official capacities. Neither Reese or Granich have criminal records. Both are over age 18, and thus have reached what is generically called the age of majority, which means adulthood. Yet they are denied full rights under the Second Amendment to purchase and own handguns, according to the lawsuit, which states, “The Handgun Ban prevents (them) from purchasing handguns of the makes and models of (their) choice, with full manufacturer warranty and support…in violation of (their) constitutionally enumerated rights.” “While both of these young men were able to vote in the recent national elections, and they can pursue other activities as legal adults, they are prevented by law from purchasing and using handguns,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “They can join the military and defend the nation, possibly at the risk of losing their lives. They can enter into contracts, start businesses, get married and even run for office. Preventing them from legally purchasing and owning handguns seems rather silly, and we believe their rights as adult citizens are being violated.” “One mission of the Louisiana Shooting Association is to protect Americans’ right to keep and bear arms which necessarily includes their ability to acquire firearms,” said Dan Zelenka, Louisiana Shooting Association’s president. “Handguns are the firearm of choice for self-defense as well as for many types of sport shooting disciplines. Nothing in the Constitution would subject adults under the age of 21 to different rights and protections under the Second Amendment as adults over the age of 21. On behalf of our members who are currently banned under federal law, as well as our younger members who will soon be in that banned age group, the Louisiana Shooting Association is proud to be a part of this effort to stop the federal government from enforcing its unconstitutional ban.” “The right to keep and bear arms is not a second-class right, and the law-abiding legal adults the federal government currently bans from purchasing handguns are not second-class people,” said FPC President and FPF Chairman Brandon Combs. “These adults have the fundamental, individual right to purchase handguns and handgun ammunition for all lawful purposes from the lawful retailer of their choice. If they can be asked to fight and die for our country then they can and must be guaranteed the full protection of the Constitution. FPC is committed to fighting for and protecting the rights of all responsible citizens regardless of their age. FPC will continue to fight forward and restore the Second Amendment throughout the United States in this and other cases.” “People who must bear all the burdens of being an adult should not be denied the benefits of it, especially when those benefits stem from fundamental liberty interests guaranteed by the Bills of Rights,” said attorney DiGuiseppe. “Law-abiding adults who are under 21 years of age shoulder the same essential responsibilities as all other adults, and, in the eyes of the Constitution, they have the same fundamental rights. Yet, the federal government has denied these full-fledged citizens the right to purchase handguns and handgun ammunition, cutting off their ability to acquire the quintessential weapon of self-defense in America. That is unconstitutional. This lawsuit aims to restore the right and ability of these adults to purchase constitutionally protected handguns and ammunition for them in their lawful exercise of their Second Amendment rights.” “Adults over the age of eighteen have the full protection of all rights under the Constitution,” added Kraut. “But the federal government’s ban singles out their Second Amendment rights for especially unfavorable treatment. And our nation’s history and tradition show that adults under the age of 21 not only have the same Second Amendment rights as those over the age of 21, they were often required to keep and bear arms. We look forward to striking down this unconstitutional ban and providing millions of individuals with access to their constitutional rights.” “Throughout the colonial and founding eras, hundreds of laws required 18-to-20-year-olds to own firearms—law applying to both males and females, and laws related and unrelated to militia service,” Greenlee explained. “By comparison, there were no restrictions whatsoever as to adults in this age group. If we look to the original understanding of the Second Amendment, as the Supreme Court requires, it is clear that 18-to-20-year-olds were fully protected by the right to keep and bear arms. We seek to vindicate that right in this case.” “This is the third federal suit SAF has filed so far this month,” Gottlieb noted. “Other suits include our challenge of New York City’s extremist carry law as well as the state of New Jersey’s Draconian carry permit scheme. This is part of SAF’s effort to win firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time. Our ultimate goal is to get these cases reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
  2. It’s looking like gun owners actually had a pretty good night in House races across the country, though anti-gun Democrats are still expected to remain in control of the chamber. In both Colorado and New Mexico, “gunsense” candidates went down to defeat in two races that focused in large part on gun control and Second Amendment issues. Lauren Boebert, the owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, won the 3rd Congressional District seat over Democrat Dianne Mitsch Bush, with the Democrat conceding late Tuesday night. “It is an incredible honor and privilege to win this election and have the opportunity to be the first mom to serve Colorado’s Third Congressional District,” Boebert said in a statement. She thanked supporters in a Facebook Live video. In her own statement, Mitsch Bush said, “The voters have spoken. I did not get enough votes to win.” While CO-3 is a heavily Republican district, Democrats across the country targeted Boebert for defeat, pouring money into the race in an attempt to flip the seat. It looks like Boebert will end up wining by 5-6 points, and she’ll be a strong voice for gun owners in the U.S. House. In New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, Democrat Xochitl Torres Small was unseated by Republican Yvette Herrell in a race in which Torres Small’s supposed support for the Second Amendment became a big issue. The Democrat cut a campaign ad featuring her hunting in the desert, but the fact that she voted for universal background checks while calling herself a champion of the right to keep and bear arms undoubtably hurt her in her re-election bid. Unfortunately, gun control advocates picked up a big seat by winning the Arizona senate seat held by Martha McSally. Mark Kelly, co-founder of the Giffords gun control group along with his wife Gabrielle Giffords, has been declared the winner of the race, which wasn’t exactly unexpected. McSally, in my opinion, was extremely ineffective in how she framed the gun debate, going after the Giffords organization for supporting candidates like Ilhan Omar of Minnesota rather than talking about the anti-gun laws that Kelly and his gun control group supports. Kelly largely ducked the gun control issue on the campaign trail, but my guess is that he’ll quickly become one of the biggest champions of gun control in the U.S. Senate. For now, at least, it looks like he might not be in a position to actually ensure passage of any anti-gun bills if the GOP maintains control of the chamber. If Arizona does end up going for Joe Biden, there are going to be a lot of think pieces written about what caused the state to turn blue, but I think a big component was the lackluster campaign of McSally. Yes, Trump’s disparagement of John McCain cost him the support of at least some Republicans, but McSally gave them little reason to hold their nose and vote for the GOP. In fact, at the moment Trump is running a closer race in Arizona than McSally, which indicates that McSally may have actually hurt Trump more than the president himself. https://bearingarms.com/cam-e/2020/11/04/two-big-2a-house-wins-out-west/
  3. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi handily won re-election in her San Francisco congressional district this week, but she could find it much more of a challenge to hang on to her role as the top Democrat in the House of Representatives. There’s growing discontent from some House Democrats who believe Pelosi’s leadership (or lack thereof) is partly responsible for what is shaping up to be a disastrous election for the Democratic party in the House. As The Hill reports: Stung by their party’s dispiriting showing at the polls Tuesday, two moderate House Democrats say they and other centrists are privately discussing a plan that was unthinkable just 24 hours earlier: throwing their support behind a challenger to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The two Democrats told The Hill on Wednesday that they were reaching out to their colleagues about backing one of Pelosi’s top lieutenants, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), for Speaker in the next Congress. “He’s the only one prepared and positioned” to be Speaker, said one of the Democratic lawmakers. “He bridges moderates and progressives better than anyone. And most importantly, he’s not Nancy Pelosi.” The idea was immediately shot down by Jeffries, who says he’s focused on keeping his current spot. Yet the grumbling reflects a remarkable shift in internal Democratic thinking in the immediate wake of Tuesday’s elections. Heading into the polls, Pelosi enjoyed the overwhelming support of her caucus — facing no threat of a Speakership challenge — and Democratic leaders were eyeing big gains to their majority, with some estimates in the double digits. But the early returns revealed a different reality: Not only did Democrats lose a number of their most vulnerable members, they had not picked off a single Republican incumbent heading into Wednesday evening. So far Republicans have picked up six House seats, and they’re leading in many of the 40 or so races that have yet to be called. It’s highly unlikely that Republicans will regain control of the House, but they could easily end up taking a dozen or more seats from Democrats during what the Left believed was going to be a “blue wave” election. “Pelosi needed to hammer Trump but instead she chose to let him slide,” said one former senior Democratic aide. “Last night should have been a bloodbath for Republicans.” With frustrations bubbling up, Pelosi has become an early target for moderates representing suburban districts worried that their leadership’s strategy hurt such members heading into the polls. “It’s time for Democrats to elevate a new generation of leadership in both the House and the Senate,” one of the Democrats told The Hill. “Americans are clearly afraid of ‘socialism,’ want safe streets and neighborhoods and to vote for people who they believe will help put more money in their pockets. “While Democratic policies can adequately address those issues,” the lawmaker added, “our messaging mechanism clearly cannot.” “Centrist” Democrats are angry at Pelosi for not being moderate enough in her message, while the far-Left wing of the party are angry because they believe the messaging was too moderate, and that Democrats would have had a better night if more candidates had embraced their inner AOC. I suspect that ultimately Pelosi is re-elected by her colleagues as House Speaker, but even if she’s replaced it’s not like Democrats are going to replace her with a pro-gun Democrat. No matter who’s in charge, the House is going to be pushing all kinds of anti-gun bills in the next session of Congress. For gun owners, it doesn’t matter if Pelosi’s the Speaker or not, but we can at least enjoy the infighting over the choice. https://bearingarms.com/cam-e/2020/11/05/democratic-revolt-brewing-the-house/
  4. LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA (November 6, 2020) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and the Louisiana Shooting Association (LSA) announced the filing of a new federal Second and Fifth Amendment lawsuit challenging the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition by federal firearm licensees (FFL) to adults under 21 years of age. The case, Reese, et al. v. BATFE, et al., can be viewed at FPCLegal.org. In Heller, the Supreme Court held that handguns are the “quintessential self-defense weapon.” But federal statutes and regulations make it a crime for a federally licensed retailer (FFL) to transfer a handgun to adults who have not yet reached the age of twenty-one. As a result, these adults are prevented from exercising their right to keep and bear arms through the purchase of handguns and handgun ammunition for lawful purposes, including self-defense. “People who must bear all the burdens of being an adult should not be denied the benefits of it, especially when those benefits stem from fundamental liberty interests guaranteed by the Bills of Rights,” said Ray DiGuiseppe, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs. “Law-abiding adults who are under 21 years of age shoulder the same essential responsibilities as all other adults, and, in the eyes of the Constitution, they have the same fundamental rights. Yet, the federal government has denied these full-fledged citizens the right to purchase handguns and handgun ammunition, cutting off their ability to acquire the quintessential weapon of self-defense in America. That is unconstitutional. This lawsuit aims to restore the right and ability of these adults to purchase constitutionally protected handguns and ammunition for them in their lawful exercise of their Second Amendment rights.” “Adults over the age of eighteen have the full protection of all rights under the Constitution,” said attorney Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “But the federal government’s ban singles out their Second Amendment rights for especially unfavorable treatment. And our nation’s history and tradition show that adults under the age of 21 not only have the same Second Amendment rights as those over the age of 21, they were often required to keep and bear arms. We look forward to striking down this unconstitutional ban and providing millions of individuals with access to their constitutional rights.” “Throughout the colonial and founding eras, hundreds of laws required 18-to-20-year-olds to own firearms—law applying to both males and females, and laws related and unrelated to militia service,” explained Joseph Greenlee, FPC’s Director of Research. “By comparison, there were no restrictions whatsoever as to adults in this age group. If we look to the original understanding of the Second Amendment, as the Supreme Court requires, it is clear that 18-to-20-year-olds were fully protected by the right to keep and bear arms. We seek to vindicate that right in this case.” “While both of these young men were able to vote in the recent national elections, and they can pursue other activities as legal adults, they are prevented by law from purchasing and using handguns,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “They can join the military and defend the nation, possibly at the risk of losing their lives. They can enter into contracts, start businesses, get married and even run for office. Preventing them from legally purchasing and owning handguns seems rather silly, and we believe their rights as adult citizens are being violated.” “One mission of the Louisiana Shooting Association is to protect Americans’ right to keep and bear arms which necessarily includes their ability to acquire firearms,” said Dan Zelenka, Louisiana Shooting Association’s president. “Handguns are the firearm of choice for self-defense as well as for many types of sport shooting disciplines. Nothing in the Constitution would subject adults under the age of 21 to different rights and protections under the Second Amendment as adults over the age of 21. On behalf of our members who are currently banned under federal law, as well as our younger members who will soon be in that banned age group, the Louisiana Shooting Association is proud to be a part of this effort to stop the federal government from enforcing its unconstitutional ban.” “The right to keep and bear arms is not a second-class right, and the law-abiding legal adults the federal government currently bans from purchasing handguns are not second-class people,” said FPC President and FPF Chairman Brandon Combs. “These adults have the fundamental, individual right to purchase handguns and handgun ammunition for all lawful purposes from the lawful retailer of their choice. If they can be asked to fight and die for our country then they can and must be guaranteed the full protection of the Constitution. FPC is committed to fighting for and protecting the rights of all responsible citizens regardless of their age. FPC will continue to fight forward and restore the Second Amendment throughout the United States in this and other cases.” The plaintiffs, including two individuals, FPC, SAF, and LSA are represented by attorneys George J. Armbruster III, Raymond DiGuiseppe, Adam Kraut, Joseph Greenlee, and John Dillon, who is also lead counsel in a related FPC and SAF case, Jones v. Becerra, challenging the State of California’s age-based firearm ban. The Reese case is another important lawsuit filed as part of FPC’s comprehensive strategy to defend freedom, advance individual liberty, and restore the Constitution and its guarantees for individuals throughout the United States. Individuals who wish to support the lawsuit can do so at JoinFPC.org and www.firearmspolicy.org/reese. NOTICE -- POTENTIAL PLAINTIFFS NEEDED! FPC is urgently seeking individual and FFL plaintiffs for a number of lawsuits that are being prepared to challenge laws and policies that infringe on fundamental rights, including (but not limited to): Laws and policies that prevent individuals from purchasing and/or possessing so-called “assault weapons” (semi-automatic firearms with standard characteristics) and “high-capacity” magazines (standard magazines that hold more than 10 rounds) Laws and policies that prevent 18-20-year-old young adults (under age 21) from obtaining handguns from FFLs and carry loaded, operable arms in public for self-defense Laws and policies that prevent individual adults (over the age of 18) from carrying loaded handguns and other arms outside of their home Laws and policies that prevent individuals from acquiring and/or possessing handguns and other arms without first acquiring a “purchase permit” Laws and policies that prevent individuals from acquiring or possessing firearms due to a conviction for a non-violent crime, or mental health adjudication that did not involve an involuntary commitment Laws that prevent honorably discharged veterans from acquiring or possessing firearms because they have been classified as “a mental defective” due to the agency’s determination that they “lack the mental capacity to contract or manage his or her own affairs” because they need assistance managing VA benefits and have a fiduciary If someone you know meets the criteria above, or if you would be interested in participating in litigation as a supporting FFL, please contact us: On the web at www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline By email at potentialplaintiffs[at]fpchq.org By phone at (855) 252-4510 (FPC Legal Action Hotline available 24/7/365) If you would like to support FPC’s Reese case and many other pro-Second Amendment lawsuits, legal action, and research, please chip in $5, $10, $25, or whatever you can at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/donate or Join the FPC Grassroots Army at JoinFPC.org. Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom through litigation and legal action, legislative and regulatory action, education, outreach, grassroots activism, other programs. FPC Law is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on Second Amendment and adjacent fundamental rights including freedom of speech and due process, conducting litigation, research, scholarly publications, and amicus briefing, among other efforts. Firearms Policy Foundation (firearmsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPF’s mission is to defend the Constitution of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges, and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms, through research, education, legal action, and other charitable programs.
  5. Today, November 5th, LR-130 passed to ensure that your free exercise of the right to self-defense is protected equally across the whole state. For too long, local anti-gun bureaucrats have refused to recognize your freedom by instituting concealed carry restrictions beyond state law. Time and again, they usurp your rights in their quest to diminish your freedoms. LR-130 was put to the voters to end these constant obstructions. The opposition, with backing from out-of-state interests, launched a campaign of misinformation. Montanans saw through their rhetoric and rightfully sided in favor of the Second Amendment when they went to the polls. Congratulations to all the Montanan voters who want consistency in their gun laws whether they are in Billings, Kalispell, Missoula, or anywhere else.
  6. BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition today filed a federal lawsuit against New York City regulations that essentially combine to ban average law-abiding citizens from carrying loaded handguns outside the home for personal protection. The case is known as Greco v. City of New York. SAF and FPC are joined by George Greco, a private citizen in New York. Named as defendants are the City of New York and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, in his official capacity. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs are represented by attorney David Jensen. The lawsuit challenges the inability of ordinary law-abiding citizens to obtain licenses to carry handguns in New York City. While honest citizens have a fundamental right to bear arms for self-protection, the complaint explains, the New York Police Department requires applicants to provide a “proper cause,” which amounts to demonstrating a special or heightened need. As arbitrarily enforced, this requirement prevents average citizens from obtaining a carry permit, which violates their fundamental right to bear arms outside the home. “The right to bear arms must be available to all citizens in New York, not just wealthy people and celebrities,” said SAF Founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “Like other rights protected by the Constitution, that right is not limited to the confines of one’s home. Ever since the SAF Supreme Court victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago ten years ago, the Second Amendment absolutely applies in New York.” “People in New York have a right to carry a loaded handgun in public for self-defense, and contrary to what Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio think, the Constitution fully applies in the City and State of New York,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “The Supreme Court in Heller was clear that to ‘bear’ arms means to ‘carry’ them on the person in case of confrontation.’ Anything that denies a law-abiding citizen the ability to exercise that right is unconstitutional, period.” “Like the lawsuit against New Jersey’s carry ban we filed earlier this week, we are suing New York City over their unconstitutional ban that prevents typical, law-abiding people from carry loaded, operable handguns on their person in public places,” explained attorney Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “The State of New York and New York City have enacted broad criminal laws to prohibit the carry of handguns, and then set up an unconstitutional requirement for the issuance of a license to carry, thus completely foreclosing the right. This case seeks to strike down these laws and allow New Yorkers and visitors to exercise the right to bear arms as they are entitled to.”
  7. It’s that time in the election cycle when we all point fingers at each other for the lack of electoral success. For Democrats, that means complaining that Nancy Pelosi either wasn’t moderate enough or was too moderate for voters in her messaging. For Republicans, it means complaining that third-party voters wasted their votes on independent candidates or the Libertarian Party. On Thursday, Fox News ran a piece criticizing swing state voters who ended up choosing Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen, arguing that their votes may end up costing Donald Trump the election. “In this election, Libertarian voters could have swung the Electoral College by at least 22 votes by supporting Trump in battleground states Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada. By throwing away their votes, they’ve likely become spoilers for the Trump reelection effort,” political strategist Ryan Cassin, CEO of Beast Digital, told Fox News. As of late Wednesday, former Vice President Biden was projected to have secured Wisconsin with 49.6% over Trump’s 49%, and Jorgensen came in third at just under 1%. In Michigan, Biden stood at 49.8%, over Trump’s 48.7% and Jorgenson again at 1%. Similarly, in hotly contested Nevada, Biden garnered 49.2% over Trump’s 48.6%, with the Libertarian Party (LP) coming in at 1.4%. “In the tightest race of Wisconsin, Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen garnered 38,414 votes, around the normal 1% of the vote they normally do. This number is larger than to 21,000 votes that Democrat Joe Biden won this race by,” noted global risk analyst Dennis Santiago. “Wisconsin was crucial for Republican Donald Trump to win reelection. In the 2020 races where the painful artifacts of a deeply divided nation split the major-party vote so tightly, the Libertarian vote does determine a win or lose.” Let’s get this out of the way up front: I voted for Donald Trump, though Jorgensen would have been my second choice. I don’t agree with Cassin’s premise that those Libertarian voters ended up “throwing away their votes,” however. Your vote is your choice, and it’s only wasted if you don’t vote at all. I know several gun owners and Second Amendment supporters who cast a ballot for Jorgensen, and while I wish they would have decided differently, these aren’t folks who took their decision lightly. It’s true that the Libertarian Party will end up playing the spoiler in swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Nevada, but the argument that Jorgensen’s supporters threw away their votes doesn’t fly with me. Presumably, these voters had their own reasons for not supporting either Trump or Biden, and I doubt they consider their votes wasted. It also has to be noted that the Libertarian Party itself isn’t exactly unified. In fact, it’s so fractured that there are people who identify as Libertarian Socialists, as oxymoronic as that is. Even if the Libertarian Party wasn’t on the ballot in these swing states, not all self-identified libertarians would have ended up voting for Trump. Some would have voted for Biden, some would have voted for Trump, and I suspect that a good number of them wouldn’t have voted at all. Some people vote their conscience on Election Day, backing the candidate they most agree with regardless of their potential to win. Others may vote more pragmatically, picking the major party candidate they’re most closely aligned with even if there’s a third-party choice that personally suits them better. Ultimately, it’s up to the parties to woo these voters, not the other way around. Do I wish that these Libertarian voters had gone with Trump over Jorgensen? Sure. It certainly would make life easier over the next four years (not to mention the next few weeks, as court challenges over the election take place), but I’m not going to blame someone for casting their vote for the candidate that they actually thought was the best on the ballot, even if they had no chance of winning. While I’m personally a pragmatic voter, I don’t begrudge anyone their idealism. If Republicans want the votes of the 1% of the population that voted for Jo Jorgensen, they need to compete for those votes. We saw big swings towards the GOP among non-white and women voters this election cycle after efforts were made to court members of those voting blocs, and there’s no reason why the GOP can’t improve its standing among those who identify as Libertarian as well. https://bearingarms.com/cam-e/2020/11/05/libertarian-gun-owners-votes/
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