Ammoland: New Report ‘Crime in Washington 2021’ Damning Proof of Gun Control Failure

New Report ‘Crime in Washington 2021’ Damning Proof of Gun Control Failure is written by Dave Workman at Ammoland News. It reports on the failure of Washington State gun control laws to deter crime.

In the midst of a continuing pattern of rising crime in Washington State, a new report released by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) does two things, one of them completely unintentional.

The report says there were 325 murders last year in the state, “an increase of 5.9 percent since 2020.” It is the highest number of murders recorded since WASPC began collecting data in 1980.

What the data also demonstrates is that restrictive gun control initiatives pushed through by a billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group based in Seattle have failed to make communities safer, essentially putting the lie to any promises or predictions made by their proponents.

Translation: Gun control advocates misled Evergreen State voters. Their forecasts and arguments were wrong, just as Northwest gun rights leaders said they would be.

According to the Crime in Washington 2021 report, “In 2021, Violent Crimes showed an increase of 12.3% with 29,238 offenses reported; compared to 26,036 offenses reported in 2020. There were 325 murders in 2021; this is an increase of 5.9% compared to 307 murders in 2020.”

That’s even more homicides than the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report listed for 2020, the most recent year for which FBI data is available. The Crime Report is released in late September each year. For 2020, the FBI listed 298 homicides, of which 177 were committed with firearms. That was up from the 209 murders, including 141 involving guns, posted in the 2015 Crime Report.

The new WASPC report “compiles data from 232 state, county, municipal and tribal agencies,” according to KOMO News. It “is designed to give residents information on what is happening in their communities. It covers a wide variety of crime, an issue people living in Seattle say is getting out of hand.”

The report came as news from neighboring Oregon confirmed Initiative Petition 17, which seeks to ban so-called “large capacity magazines” and require Oregonians to get a permit before they can purchase a firearm, has qualified to appear on the November ballot.

New Ban Push

A new report from KING5, the Seattle Times, Washington State University’s Murrow College of Communications and the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public says 61 percent of survey respondents would support a ban on so-called “assault weapons.” However, because the Supreme Court granted certiorari to a challenge of the ban in Maryland—in a case brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and others—and then remanded the case back to the lower court for further consideration based on the June decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, such a ban could be held unconstitutional sometime during the next two years as the case is reconsidered.

According to KGW, the WA Poll was conducted by SurveyUSA among 825 participants, which seems a pitifully small number, considering the WASPC report says there are now 7,772,506 Washington residents.

“People living in western Washington were also more likely to support a ban,” KGW reported. “A total of 65% strongly or somewhat support the idea of an assault weapon ban. Meanwhile, 48% of people from eastern Washington opposed a ban, with 35% being strongly opposed.”

Further reinforcing the notion that Democrats have become the party of gun prohibition, the poll found, “Democrats largely supported the idea, with 75% saying they strongly support a ban and 16% saying they somewhat support it. Though there was some support for a ban from Republicans, more than 50% said they were opposed, with 44% being strongly opposed.”

There is no small irony here, because the National Shooting Sports Foundation just released a new estimate on the number of modern semi-auto sporting rifles (MSRs) now in private hands. According to NSSF, the number of MSRs now in circulation is 24,446,000, which is an increase of more than 4.5 million rifles since the organization last made an estimate in 2020.

Almost simultaneously, anti-gun Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairing the House Judiciary Committee, made a startling admission during a hearing on H.R. 1808, the bill to ban so-called “assault weapons.” When Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) asked if the bill is designed to ban “weapons in common use,” Nadler unequivocally answered, “Yes, that is the point of the bill.”

The admission ignited a lively discussion on Twitter.

It was during this hearing that David Hogg, who became a poster boy for gun control after the 2018 high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., was ejected from the hearing room. According to Fox News, Hogg disrupted the hearing by accusing House members of inaction on gun control. As he was escorted out by security officers, Hogg reportedly declared, “You are perpetuating violence…stop these things now.”

The push to pass gun control legislation now may unintentionally signal fear from Democrats that they are likely to lose the majority on Capitol Hill in November, thus stopping efforts to place additional restrictions on gun owners, and derail Joe Biden’s gun control agenda.

Reason: US Dist. Court Issues Temp. Restraining Order against Colorado Gun and Magazine Ban

David Kopel at Reason.com writes about a US District Court Judge issuing a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of Superior, Colorado’s municipal code which banned certain firearms and magazines. Hopefully such rulings will be coming soon to a state near you.

Colorado U.S. District Court issues TRO against magazine and gun ban

Today U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore issued a temporary restraining order against the ban on so-called “assault weapons” recently enacted by the town of Superior, Colorado, in Boulder County. The case is Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Superior.

Lead attorney for the plaintiffs was Barry Arrington, one of Colorado’s top lawyers on education law, and now the victor in a major Second Amendment case. Arrington previously served in the Colorado House of Representatives, and as a trustee of the Independence Institute, where I work.

Judge Moore formerly was a corporate lawyer (Davis, Graham and Stubbs, Denver), and then head Federal Public Defender for Colo. and Wyoming. He was appointed to the bench by President Obama in 2013, and confirmed unanimously.

Like several other towns in Boulder County, Superior recently outlawed semiautomatic centerfire rifles that have at least one supposedly bad characteristic, such as an adjustable stock; various semiautomatic shotguns; various semiautomatic handguns; and magazines with a capacity of over 10 rounds.

It was obvious that such arms are “commonly used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” which is the Supreme Court’s rule from District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) for which arms are protected by the Second Amendment. First, the Colorado Attorney General and plaintiffs in an earlier case challenging the state of Colorado’s ban on magazines over 15 rounds had so stipulated. Colorado Outfitters Ass’n v. Hickenlooper, 24 F. Supp. 3d 1050, 1068 (D. Colo. 2014), vacated in part on other grounds and remanded, 823 F.3d 537 (10th Cir. 2016). (I represented 55 Colorado Sheriff plaintiffs in the case, which ended up with the 10th Circuit declaring that neither the Sheriffs nor the many other individual and organizational plaintiffs had standing.) Commonality was also found in the undisputed facts set forth in Fourth Circuit Judge Traxler’s dissenting opinion in Kolbe v. Hogan, 849 F.3d 114, 153-55 (4th Cir. 2017). The opinions of many other Circuit Courts provide additional, irrefutable proof of commonality; the banned firearms number in the millions, at least, and the banned magazines comprise over half of all magazines.

Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, courts are supposed to decide Second Amendment cases on text, history, and tradition. Judge may not decide based on their own opinions about good policy, nor should they defer to legislative policy judgements. The policy  balancing was already conducted by the American people when they adopted the Second Amendment.

In Bruen‘s historical approach, the most important periods are the Founding Era and Reconstruction (when the Fourteenth Amendment made the Second Amendment enforceable against state and local governments). English history is relevant to the extent that is shows an unbroken tradition that was adopted in America and continued to the Founding. Colonial history is also relevant. So is 19th century history, and (Reconstruction excepted), the earlier the better. The late 19th century is weaker, and the 20th century is far too late to show a historical tradition that could override the text of the Second Amendment.

Judge Moore wrote: “the Court is unaware of historical precedent that would permit a governmental entity to entirely ban a type of weapon that is commonly used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, whether in an individual’s home or in public.”

To be precise, there are a few precedents pre-1900, but none are valid any longer…(article continues)

RealClear Politics: Why Uvalde Doesn’t Justify Gun Control

Frank Miele, author and former editor of the Daily Inter Lake, writes Why Uvalde Doesn’t Justify Gun Control.

The deaths of 21 people, including 19 children, at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, are a nightmare that I can’t even fathom. It is pure evil.

Yet millions of Americans seem prepared to accept this nightmare as the new normal. They don’t ask what could turn an 18-year-old boy into a monster who could look innocent children in the face and shoot them to death while dozens others were screaming, while blood splattered and puddled in the classrooms, while his own life ticked down to its final meaningless minute. They just assume there are more like him – waiting, planning, marking time, ready to do the unthinkable.

And their proposed solution is to take guns away from law-abiding American citizens on the assumption that evil people will be deterred from doing evil if they can’t obtain (take your pick) either long guns or handguns (or both).

Why do I get the feeling these presumably well-intentioned people don’t know what evil is? Don’t they realize that mass murder is never normal? Perhaps more importantly, why do they think that the government can hinder evil by passing new laws that will restrict gun ownership?

The crisis isn’t that children kill other children with guns; the crisis is that children want to kill other children with guns. And more broadly, there is a moral crisis in our country because we teach children that right and wrong are no longer absolutes, that they are rather subjects for debate. And the more we debate right and wrong, the more that evil gains a foothold in our society.

But it is easier to talk about guns than it is to talk about evil. It is easier to blame guns than it is to blame our sick society for what happens to our children. If you want to prevent mass murder, the answer isn’t to take guns out of classrooms; it is to put God back in classrooms, and to fearlessly teach children about good and evil, about right and wrong, about the basis for our laws and our civilization. A society that is unwilling to acknowledge a higher power is unlikely to have any answers for children who question authority.

Even if we can’t reverse the secularization of America, there are steps that can be taken to improve public safety without restricting gun rights.

If you want to prevent psychotic teenagers from acting out their dreadful fantasies, for instance, try providing mental assistance when they make threats to kill people. Even better, don’t prescribe dangerous psychotropic drugs that can result in hallucinations, paranoid delusions, mood swings, depression, and “abnormal” thoughts. Those are all listed side effects for Adderall, one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for teenagers with behavioral problems.

Instead of taking guns away from people who have never even contemplated committing a crime, how about this? Pass laws that make it a felony to threaten violence against children or to threaten random violence in public places. Then prosecute those crimes and lock up the people who are deemed a threat by a jury of their peers. Don’t do what the California state Senate just did and vote to remove the requirement that police be notified when students make threats against a school official. That is just plumb crazy.

Of course, reliance on the police to solve all our problems is also crazy.

That is the logical fallacy at the heart of the argument of would-be do-gooders like Beto O’Rourke who want to grab your guns. Think about it. They are asking us to turn our safety (and our children’s safety) over to the care of law enforcement when it was law enforcement that let us down at Uvalde. From the video and testimonial evidence, it appears that police were called to the scene of the massacre quickly and then waited. Waited while children died. Waited while children were risking their lives by making 911 calls to beg for help. Waited. For more than an hour. Waited. Until finally Border Patrol officers took matters into their own hands and shot the demon.

Do you see the irony? The people of Uvalde trusted the government to protect their children, and children perished. But give one parent a gun at Uvalde and there’s at least a 50/50 chance he or she would have ambushed the shooter and killed him. And the more law-abiding people who have guns, the better off the rest of us will be when crazed shooters decide to go on a killing spree.

Unfortunately, too many people looking for easy solutions want to take guns out of the hands of citizens and put all the power for our protection in the hands of government. That goes against our lived experience, not just at Uvalde but in society overall. In case after case, we the people have been conditioned to believe that the government is incapable of protecting us from criminals.

Consider the summer of 2020 when our cities were burning and mobs were rampaging in state after state. What did the government do to protect us? Nothing. They decided it was safer to let the mobs riot, to let the looters loot, to let the fires burn – perhaps because they were afraid they would be “defunded” if they actually fought to protect citizens from dangerous criminals. Gun owner Kyle Rittenhouse decided to try to protect Kenosha, Wisconsin, and he was arrested and charged with murder for his trouble.

Moreover, in city after city, Democratic prosecutors have decided it is easier to let criminals go than to send them to jail. This crusade against “mass incarceration” is also known as sweeping the dirt under the rug. The problem isn’t that too many people are in jail; the problem is that too many people commit crimes. Left-wing prosecutors like George Gascon in Los Angeles are adding fuel to the fire by releasing criminals back into society without punishment, thus giving them incentive to commit more crimes. Refusing to prosecute gun crimes guarantees that more guns will be used in crimes.

And let’s not forget the most glaring example of the government abdicating its responsibility to protect the public from criminals – Joe Biden’s open border. How many millions of people have to enter our country illegally before you lose confidence in the government to do its job? Well, I’m well past that point. Like millions of other Americans, I don’t trust the government. Can you think of any reason why I should, when the Department of “Homeland Security” not only allows unvetted immigrants into the country illegally but then flies them to their preferred destination? It’s that same government, by the way, which says that people like me (i.e., Republicans) are domestic terrorists and would like nothing better than to lock us up just like King George wanted to lock up those unruly colonists who insisted on something called “liberty.”

Joe Biden wants to suspend the Constitution and deny American citizens the right to bear arms of their choice. Of course he does, because it is the easiest answer to a complicated problem, and because it would consolidate power in the hands of the government. Last week, Biden spoke earnestly and forcefully to a prime-time audience and told us that the shooting at Uvalde was enough, that no more innocent people need die if we just turn over our guns. Coincidentally, an hour before Biden spoke, I was watching an episode of the TV series “Alex Rider,” where these frightening words were spoken:

“From Facebook data to Internet oversight, what we can see is that if your message is strong enough, you can take away people’s liberties, and they will applaud you for doing it.”

Unfortunately, such a message is not just fiction. Consider yourself warned.

For a more amusing argument:

RealClear Politics: When Misinformation Drives Bad Policy

In When Misinformation Drives Bad Policy, John R. Lott, Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, writes about the American public’s badly misinformed perception of violent crime. On average, the American voters believes that 46% of violent crimes involve firearms, when the figure is actually less than 8%. John Lott has made a name for himself with such books as More Guns, Less Crime, The Bias Against Guns, Dumbing Down the Courts, and The War on Guns among others.

To President Biden, public health researchers, and the media, violent crime is all about guns. But a new survey finds that people are badly misinformed about how much violent crime involves guns. The average likely American voter is way off, thinking that over 46% of violent crimes involve guns. In fact, the true figure is less than 8%.

Not surprisingly, those who believe that most violent crime involves guns are more likely to view gun control as the solution.

Biden has given four major speeches on violent crime (hereherehere, and here). Each one of them was focused on enforcement of gun control laws. In the four speeches, he mentioned “gun” or “firearm” 179 times. The term “weapon,” sometimes in connection with “assault weapon,” was used another 31 times.

The words “crime,” “violence,” or “violent” were mentioned about half as often – 94 times. He only mentions the words “murder” and “homicide” seven times in these four presentations, and entirely omits them from his two most recent talks.

But this “guns first” approach ignores a basic fact – over 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms. Although Biden blames guns for the increase in violent crime, the latest data show that gun crimes fell dramatically.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, in the latest year available (2020), shows that there were 4,558,150 rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults, and the FBI reports 21,570 murders. Of those, 350,460 rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults (see Table 8) and 13,620 murders involved firearms. So, while it’s true that firearms are the weapon of choice in more than half the murders in this country, it’s also true that only 7.9% of violent crimes were committed with guns.

The new McLaughlin & Associates survey of 1,000 likely voters from April 20 to 26 for the Crime Prevention Research Center shows how misinformed people are. People across the country, of all races and incomes, have wildly inaccurate beliefs about how frequently violent crime involves guns.

Even so, there are large differences across groups. The average Democrat estimates that 56.9% of violent crimes involve guns, whereas the typical Republican gave an answer of 37%. Those with the highest incomes (over $250,000 per year) and those who work for the government give the highest numbers – 56.1% and 51% respectively. Women (50%) believe that more violent crimes involve guns than men do (43%). Urban Americans say 48%, whereas rural Americans say 40%. But the biggest difference is between blacks (59%) and Asians (31%).

The McLaughlin survey also gave people three options on the best way to fight crime: Pass more gun control laws, more strictly enforce current laws, or have police concentrate on arresting repeat violent criminals.

Some respondents at least got it right that less than 20% of violent crime involves guns. Just 8% prioritized more gun laws, and 15% focused on stricter enforcement of existing laws. An overwhelming 71% thought the best way of fighting crime was to arrest violent criminals.

Some likely voters thought that more than 80% of the violent crime involved guns. Most supported either more gun control laws (33%) or more strict enforcement of current gun laws (28%). Only 36% of them wanted the focus on arresting violent criminals.

Those who think that most violent crime is committed with guns consistently support more gun control. Those who don’t believe that instead want to focus on arresting violent criminals and keeping them in jail.

Perhaps the gun control debate would be very different if the media had done a better job of informing people about crime. The most newsworthy cases, unfortunately, don’t tend to be typical of violent crime. Focusing on how to solve 8% of violent crime does nothing to solve the other 92%.

WA SB5078 – Standard Capacity Magazine Ban – Comments Close in 24 Hours

Get your comments in on Washington State’s SB 5078, a so-called firearms safety bill which in actuality bans the manufacture, sale, transfer, importation, etc., of magazines that “are capable of holding,” or hold more than, 10 rounds of ammunition On Wednesday, February 16, the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider an amended version of extreme magazine ban legislation, Senate Bill 5078.  Comments close twenty-four hours after the committee meeting.

You can submit your comments by going to the House Committee Sign In page.

Select – Committee: Civil Rights & Judiciary and Meetings: 2/16/22 at 10:00AM
Select Agenda Item: ESSB 5078 Large capacity magazines
Select Type of Testimony: “I would like to submit written testimony” 
Select: “CON”

Then type your comments and submit. You do need to enter your personal info for it to accept your comments.

The Organic Prepper: Biden’s New Executive Orders Could Turn a Whole Lot of Gun Owners Into Felons

Robert Wheeler at The Organic Prepper talks about President Biden’s gun control orders in Biden’s New Executive Orders Could Turn a Whole Lot of Gun Owners Into FELONS

Joe Biden promised to do it and he has finally delivered. Today, the cognitively declining President of the United States signed a number of Executive Orders allegedly designed to “curb gun violence” but actually designed to destroy the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights.

In the process, Biden has turned many Americans into felons with a stroke of his pen.

Details are still emerging as to just what the Executive Orders will mean for gun rights but we are aware of some of the ramifications.

Biden has signed 6 Executive Orders related to guns:

1.)Tightening regulations on “ghost guns.” Ghost guns are of course the labels liberals use to describe homemade firearms (because “we will win by slogans”) that are generally put together from parts assembled and drilled with machine tools. As a result, they often do not have serial numbers so it is harder for the government to be able to trace them. It is legal to build a gun in a home or workshop and there is no federal requirement for a background check. But Biden aims to stop this, saying his administration will “rein in the proliferation of so-called ‘ghost guns.’”

“These are guns that are homemade. Built from a kit that include directions on how to finish the firearm. You can go buy the kit. They have no serial numbers. So, when they show up at a crime scene they can’t be traced. And the buyers aren’t required to pass the background check to buy the kit. To make the gun. Consequently, anyone from a criminal to a terrorist can buy this kit for as little as 30 minutes, put together a weapon,” Biden explained.

Biden wants these guns treated as firearms under the Gun Control Act. He argues that, under the act, key parts of gun-making kits would be required to have numbers for traceability and would also require background checks for people purchasing the kits.

The White House stated:

We are experiencing a growing problem: criminals are buying kits containing nearly all of the components and directions for finishing a firearm within as little as 30 minutes and using these firearms to commit crimes. When these firearms turn up at crime scenes, they often cannot be traced by law enforcement due to the lack of a serial number. The Justice Department will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of these firearms.

2.) Measure the “problem of gun violence” in a “data driven way.” The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking. According to the official White House statement:

In 2000, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) issued a report summarizing information regarding its investigations into firearms trafficking, which is one way firearms are diverted into the illegal market where they can easily end up in the hands of dangerous individuals. Since the report’s publication, states, local, and federal policymakers have relied on its data to better thwart the common channels of firearms trafficking. But there is good reason to believe that firearms trafficking channels have changed since 2000, for example due to the emergence of online sales and proliferation of “ghost guns.” The Justice Department will issue a new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking today.

3.) The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act “The alleged shooter in the Boulder tragedy last month appears to have used a pistol with an arm brace, which can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still being concealable,” the White House says.

4.) The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model “red flag” legislation for states.

From the White House:

Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order temporarily barring people in crisis from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others. The President urges Congress to pass an appropriate national “red flag” law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass “red flag” laws of their own. In the interim, the Justice Department’s published model legislation will make it easier for states that want to adopt red flag laws to do so.

5.) The Administration is investing in evidence-based community violence interventions.

Community violence interventions are proven strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration. Because cities across the country are experiencing a historic spike in homicides, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking a number of steps to prioritize investment in community violence interventions.

  • The American Jobs Plan proposes a $5 billion investment over eight years to support community violence intervention programs. A key part of community violence intervention strategies is to help connect individuals to job training and job opportunities.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is organizing a webinar and toolkit to educate states on how they can use Medicaid to reimburse certain community violence intervention programs, like Hospital-Based Violence Interventions.
  • Five federal agencies are making changes to 26 different programs to direct vital support to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible. These changes mean we can start increasing investments in community violence interventions as we wait on Congress to appropriate additional funds

6.) The President will nominate David Chipman to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

According to the White House:

ATF is the key agency enforcing our gun laws, and it needs a confirmed director in order to do the job to the best of its ability. But ATF has not had a confirmed director since 2015. Chipman served at ATF for 25 years and now works to advance commonsense gun safety laws.

It should be noted that Chipman served an important role in the coverup of the Oklahoma City Bombing and the First World Trade Center bombing and is now serving an even more important role in the war against American citizens.

Biden says no Amendments are absolute.

The President is unconvinced that these orders infringe on the Second Amendment but seems cool with it even if they do.

“Nothing, nothing I am about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment,” the president said, calling arguments suggesting that those constitutional rights are at stake “phony.”

“No amendment, no amendment to the Constitution is absolute,” he said. “You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded movie theater — recall a freedom of speech. From the very beginning, you couldn’t own any weapon you wanted to own. From the very beginning that the Second Amendment existed, certain people weren’t allowed to have weapons.”

He added: “So the idea is just bizarre, to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution.” (source)

This is just the beginning.

Make no mistake, the Biden Administration is declaring war on the rights of the American people and the first act of resistance is non-compliance. But there seems to be more on the horizon both coming from the White House and Congress itself.

Mises Institute: Gun Laws and Decentralization: Lessons from “Constitutional Carry”

José Niño at the Mises Institute writes Gun Laws and Decentralization: Lessons from “Constitutional Carry”.

Few political movements can boast of success like the firearms movement in the United States. Often overlooked is how before the 1980s there was no concept of licensed, let alone unlicensed, concealed carry in the overwhelming majority of the country. The sole exception was Vermont, which through an idiosyncratic state supreme court decision in 1903 has had unlicensed carry for over a century. “Vermont Carry,” the concept of unlicensed concealed carry, would be the Holy Grail for Second Amendment advocates for up to a century.

In the intervening decades, in large part motivated by notable transgressions on the right to bear arms during the 1930s and 1960s, activists took to using gradualist methods in their efforts to relax gun control laws at the state level. Starting in the late 1970s, Georgia kicked off the modern licensed carry movement after it joined states like Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Washington in enacting some form of licensed concealed carry. Soon thereafter, states began adopting licensed carry one by one, and by the twenty-first century, most of the nation had some form of licensed concealed carry. 

At first, the idea of unlicensed carry seemed like a quixotic prospect only odd states like Vermont were capable of adopting. However, the dam broke after Alaska ended America’s century-long unlicensed carry dry spell by signing its own constitutional carry bill into law in 2003. An even more pronounced momentum shift took place in 2010 after then Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1108, Arizona’s constitutional carry bill. From there, a wave of states have followed suit in making constitutional carry the law of the land.

Constitutional carry’s success is not a coincidence. It reflects a concerted effort by many disaffected gun owners who realized the federal government was not responding to their demands to scale back infringements on gun ownership. Rather than engage in the pie-in-the-sky federal campaigns that the average conservative organization would generally be involved in throughout the post–World War II era, many gun owners shifted their political sights toward state legislatures.

Indeed, there is something to be said about Barack Obama’s occupancy of the White House serving as a lightning rod for gun owners at the state level. At the time, many gun owners were thoroughly spooked by Obama’s campaign promises to enact gun control legislation. Their fears became more pronounced when the Obama administration pushed for a far-reaching gun control package in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

Although Obama’s gun control desires never came to pass, gun owners became sufficiently motivated to not only take action against his gun control attempt at the federal level but to shift their attention toward the state level. Several creative Second Amendment organizations picked up on the grassroots dissatisfaction of the Tea Party and leveraged that energy for state-level projects such as constitutional carry. By the time Obama left office in 2016, there were eleven states with constitutional carry as law.

Constitutional carry’s momentum maintained its course in the Trump era. Five states—New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Kentucky—passed constitutional carry legislation of their own when Donald Trump was in office, thus showing signs of a movement that has a life of its own and a willingness to press forward regardless of the partisan winds blowing in DC.

Presently, there are eighteen constitutional carry states, following Utah and Montana deciding to quickly pass said legislation in the opening weeks of the Biden administration. Furthermore, states such as Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas are seeking to jump on the legislative bandwagon. From the looks of it, the concept of lawful individuals carrying firearms without a license is not going away any time soon.

Undoubtedly, the level of polarization present in the US can be leveraged in a positive direction. Large swathes of red states are filled with “deplorables” who have no love lost for both Democrats and Republicans in DC. One way they could poke DC in the eye is by passing legislation such as constitutional carry.

Contrary to what the promoters of traditional politics say, political confrontation can yield positive results. When states start taking matters into their own hands and buck prevailing trends emanating from DC, Americans can carve out their own “freedom domains,” if you will, where they can enjoy particular freedoms other states and the federal government would generally deprive them of.

In turn, when enough states adopt niche policies like constitutional carry, lagging states and the federal government alike will get the message that they are out of touch with the policy wants of large portions of America. At the same time, America is witnessing an ever-expanding Second Amendment sanctuary movement, with similar actors using local means to push back against gun control. Dissatisfaction is high and people are beginning to express it in a concrete, political form. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and sufficient pressure from below could be the wake-up call federal lawmakers need in order to act on their constituents’ demands.

Pulling a “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” likely won’t bring about any meaningful political change in a gridlocked Congress. Perhaps real political reforms will be the product of frequent visits to one’s respective state legislatures instead. Getting acquainted with state politics—something many politically active Americans have neglected to do in our federally obsessed political culture—is the first step in casting aside the ossified strategies of yesteryear.

Meaningful reforms will not come from DC but rather state legislatures and lower levels of government that are more prone to yield to grassroots pressure.

Ammoland: ATF Ponders Changing Definition of What Is a Firearm To Target Growing Gun Diversity

Ammoland reports: ATF Ponders Changing Definition of What Is a Firearm To Target Growing Gun Diversity

Several large type-7 Federal Firearms Licensed manufacturers, The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and Polymer80 met with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) today.

Although the detailed discussions of the meeting are unknown at this time, AmmoLand News received leaked emails from our sources that show that the ATF is seeking a new definition of a firearm. Joe Biden has targeted so-called “ghost guns” and semi-automatic rifles and recent days. Sources say he is pushing to accelerate those changes by using the ATF as a stop-gap for stalled federal legislation.

The email states: “As you know, under current regulation 27 C.F.R. 478.11, the definition of firearm frame/receiver states that it is that part of a firearm which provides housing for “the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.”

The email goes on to state that many frames/receivers do not meet this definition. The meeting was to solicit input and feedback on the new definition to include all current firearm frames/receivers on the market.

The Wallstreet Journal incorrectly reported that the meeting was to be about targeting unfinished (80%) frames. Actual emails received indicate the “listening session” with ATF was more about the growing diversity of new gun styles and how to serialize more gun parts. Including Rifle Chassis Systems but also the long unchanging history of the firearms’ receiver definition and the need for updates to reflect “changes in technology”.

An AR-15 lower receiver houses the hammer and firing mechanism while the upper receiver houses the bolt. In a FAL, the upper receiver is the serialized firearms. The meeting seems to be stepping in the direction to change the discrepancies between different guns.

Recently there have been multiple cases where the ATF has arrested someone for selling an AR-15 lower receiver. The defendant challenges the ATF because an AR-15 lower receiver doesn’t meet the definition of a firearm. The ATF quietly dropped the cases without comment.

One case that stands out is the ATF arrest of Joseph Roh for illegally manufacturing AR-15-style rifles in Los Angeles. He challenged the ATF’s classification of an AR15 lower receiver as a firearm. Instead of fighting the case, the ATF quietly dropped it. Most believe that the ATF was worried a judge would decide in Roh’s favor unending gun control efforts.

The 60 plus person video meeting included multiple firearms industry manufacturers and industry representatives including Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) who commented:

“As the firearm industry’s trade association, NSSF is always willing to engage with ATF in a dialogue concerning regulatory matters that impact our industry members businesses so that we can protect their legal and business interests.”

Changing The Definition of What Is A Firearm

Sources inside the ATF tell us that the agency is considering changing a firearm’s definition to encompass the upper instead of the frame. The ATF reasons that anyone can finish an 80% frame or even 3D print one, but most of the general public do not possess the tools to complete a slide.

Safety Harbor Firearms produces a .50 caliber magazine-fed upper for the AR-15 called the SHTF 50. The ATF stepped in and insisted that the upper was a firearm and forced the company to serialize it. This decision made both the upper receiver and lower receiver a gun. The ATF reasoned that the company made the upper too much like a bolt action rifle.

Safety Harbor Firearms SHTF 50 Mag Fed Upper
Safety Harbor Firearms SHTF 50 Mag Fed Upper

The proposed changes have made their way into the hands of Everytown for Gun Safety even though it is not currently public. The gun-control group seems to be happy with the proposed changes. It isn’t clear how they managed to get the documents.

Washington Times: Americans have ‘no right’ to carry guns in public, 9th Circuit Court rules

Contrary to the US Constitution’s (and numerous individual state constitutions’) statement that there is a right to “bear arms,” the 9th Circuit Court has ruled that Americans have no such right to carry guns in public. This was decided in spite of the US Supreme Court’s District of Columbia v Heller decision which said of bearing arms that it is “unambiguously used to refer to the carrying of weapons outside of an organized militia.” However, the 9th Circuit appears to be hoping that because the Heller decision was narrowly decided upon a law that made bearing arms illegal in the home, that their decision against public carry is somehow valid.

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that there is no right to carry a gun in public.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to Hawaii’s requirement that residents must pass an application to have weapons outside the home.

“There is no right to carry arms openly in public; nor is any such right within the scope of the Second Amendment,” the court ruled in an “en banc” decision that involved all the panel’s judges.

“We can find no general right to carry arms into the public square for self-defense,” the majority wrote, claiming that the Second Amendment applies to the “defense of hearth and home.”

“The power of the government to regulate carrying arms in the public square does not infringe in any way on the right of an individual to defend his home or business,” the judges wrote.

The court noted that “we have previously held that individuals do not have a Second Amendment right to carry concealed weapons in public” which means people in the West Coast states it covers have no right to carry a firearm in any capacity in public.

The National Rifle Association noted the impact of the decision and said it would not stand.

“The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit just ruled that THERE IS NO RIGHT TO CARRY – either openly or concealed in public. This ruling impacts RTC laws in AK, HI, CA, AZ, OR, WA, & MT. This was not an NRA case but we are exploring all options to rectify this,” the gun-rights group wrote on Twitter.

Colion Noir: S.736 Feinstein Introduces Bill To Ban All Commonly Owned AR-15s & Magazines Over 10 Rounds

We posted on this a few days ago, before the bill had been given a number. Here’s Colion Noir talking about S. 736, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021, or officially “A bill to regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.” They just want to save you from your rights; that’s all.

Colion Noir on Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 HR 1446

 

Link to HR1446 at Congress.

RocketFFL summarizes the bill:

…Currently, a Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL) must satisfy background check requirements prior to transferring a firearm to a non-FFL. In most cases, this involves running a background check on the individual purchasing the firearm.

Usually, a response to the background check is received by the FFL within a few minutes. However, sometimes there is a delay of the response for myriad reasons: slow system response, anomaly in the person’s background, or multiple people with the same name.

Thankfully, as to not violate the Constitutional rights of law abiding Americans, if a denial is not received within 3 days, the FFL may transfer the firearm to the customer. This prevents the government effectively banning guns by delaying a background check response.

Anti-gunners refer to this check on the government’s power as a “loophole” and they are trying to end it…

American Thinker: The Left’s Campaign Against Self-Defense

From American Thinker come the article The Left’s Campaign Against Self-Defense

Last week, federal prosecutors offered an undisclosed plea deal to two lawyers who firebombed an NYPD van and drove around passing out Molotov cocktails to protesters at a violent May 2020 Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest in Brooklyn. Urooj Rahman, 31, and Colinford Mattis, 32, who was driving the car used in the crime, had been indicted in June for arson, conspiracy, and the use of explosives. They faced life imprisonment.

In the name of social justice,” politicians and the judiciary in many cities and states are bestowing moral rights on violent left-wing and anarchist groups. District attorney Mike Schmidt, for instance, announced in August that he wont prosecute most of the 550 people arrested during the 75 days of mayhem in Portland last spring. He said the leniency was an attempt to create a forum” to express collective grief, anger, and frustration” at the death of George Floyd and the history of abuses endured by people of color. Worse, he said using the criminal justice system against them would undermine public safety” for those demanding to be heard.” Schmidt, his Democrat cohort, and leftist sympathizers in journalism, law, and academia willfully ignore the fact that such misplaced clemency condones and encourages militant groups’ violence, their disrespect for the law, and their anti-American agenda.

In stark contrast, prosecutors are bearing down heavily on gun owners who defended themselves at protests by militant leftist groups like Antifa and BLM. Under threat are the Second Amendment right to bear arms and the legal justification to act in self-defense.

The protests and rioting in over 200 cities by leftist groups in 2020 has led to a skyrocketing of gun sales. This is driven by worries that, in response to the groups’ anarchist demands, Democrat-run municipalities and administrations are reducing funds for policing and law enforcement. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimates that last year, nearly five million Americans purchased a firearm for the first time. It’s noteworthy that the largest increase in sales of any demographic group was among blacks, who accounted for 58% of the sales. Theres even a black gun advocacy group called Black Guns Matter, founded and led by Maj Toure, a rapper and self-styled social activist.

The Second Amendment grants arms-bearing rights regardless of skin color, and this must no doubt be upheld. But the way biased prosecutors have responded to self-defense cases — all involving people menaced or attacked by Antifa-BLM protestors — is really a cause for worry. For the outcomes in these cases depart from the clement posture prosecutors have taken in cases related to the violence and bedlam perpetuated by the Antifa and the BLM. Three cases of self-defense stand out in particular: the Michael Strickland case, the Mark and Patricia McCloskey case, and the Kyle Rittenhouse case.

The case of journalist Michael Strickland is emblematic: he was found guilty by an Oregon court for defending himself by pulling out and pointing a gun for which he had a concealed carry permit. Covering an Antifa-BLM protest in Portland in 2016, he was surrounded and attacked. Fearing for his life, he pulled out his handgun — and with finger off the trigger — got the mob to back off so that he could escape. He was arrested, accumulated 21 charges, ten of which were felonies, found guilty by a stacked jury, and ordered to jail. The prosecuting attorney launched a media smear campaign against Strickland and the presiding judge, who ended up denying that the case met the reasonable person” standard, refused to allow exculpatory evidence. Strickland served 40 days, received five yearsprobation, and was stripped of his Second Amendment rights. He is no longer allowed to practice journalism and cover leftist mobs.

Top lawyer Robert Barnes, who has taken up Stricklands case in the Supreme Court of the United States, has cited the assault on his client as adequate grounds for self-defense. He reviles the Oregon Department of Justice for describing Antifa as a legitimate part of Portlands protest community” and his client as a polarizing” reporter not fit to cover public events because of his views. Clearly, the felony charges for showing he was armed for protection are unjust, especially in the light of Antifa-BLM being free to perpetuate violence. And clearly, the anarchists are well-protected by the media, politicians, and law enforcement, while those who dare defend themselves are prosecuted.

In another clear case of self-defense, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, both lawyers, stand charged with a felony for defending themselves by openly exhibiting their weapons against a premeditated assault. The protestors had broken into Portland Place, a gated neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri, in June 2020, and threatened to harm them and destroy their property. The police and private security had failed to respond.

Ironically, circuit attorney Kim Gardner released dozens of rioters held for looting, arson, and destruction in St Louis. Two trial court judges had disqualified Gardner for prosecuting the McCloskey case because she inappropriately used it in fundraising emails before the Democratic primary. She recently requested that the Missouri Supreme Court restore her authority to prosecute the case. The McCloskey’s ordeal isnt over. As Mark McCloskey astutely observed, The circuit attorney has apparently decided her job as a prosecutor isnt to keep us safe from criminals but to keep the criminals safe from us.”

The third case is of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, an Antioch, Illinois, a resident who volunteered to guard businesses in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when riots broke out in September over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse is a lifeguard, an emergency medical technician, and founder of Humanizing the Badge, an organization to forge stronger relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.” He was legally armed.

While trying to put out a fire, Rittenhouse was chased by a rioter, Joseph Rosenbaum, a registered sex offender convicted by an Arizona court in 2002 for sexual contact with a minor. A random shot rang out, and Rittenhouse found himself surrounded by a mob with bats and other weapons. The teen fired four shots in self-defense, tried to flee, and even tried calling 911 to turn himself in. As he ran, he was assaulted with a skateboard and suffered an attempt to seize his rifle. In the end, Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, were killed, and Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, was injured.

Although he acted in self-defense, Rittenhouse was charged with two counts of homicide and released on a $2 million bond. His family, facing death threats, has moved to a safe house. Remarking on the case, President Trump said, I guess he was in very big trouble.  He probably would have been killed.”

In all three cases, there seem to be clear-cut arguments for self-defense in the face of imminent danger. So the prosecution of Strickland, the McCloskeys, and Rittenhouse looks like a witch hunt meant to bolster calls for radical gun-control legislation. The exoneration or light sentencing of rioters responsible for destroying communities and hundreds of assaults underlines that suspicion. The Biden administration is pushing to gut the Second Amendment, and gun confiscation may be on the horizon. This leads to the logical conclusion that the outcome for Strickland, the McCloskeys, and Rittenhouse is anything but certain.

The final rulings on these cases will be a weathervane for the future of self-defense in the U.S.  Americans could very well be in danger of losing their right to own firearms and use them for their protection.