wayne lapierre cpac 2017

VIDEO: Wayne LaPierre at CPAC 2017

NRA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre addressed the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. “Have we ever seen such anger in this country,” asked the NRA chief, referring to the enraged leftist movement. He said many of these people hate everything that America stands for and they’re willing to engage in criminal violence to get what they want.

These are dangerous times, warned LaPierre, who declared that we’re also under siege from the national media machine. Everything they do, he pointed out, is intended to purposely and maliciously destroy the Trump presidency.

But when Americans voted last November, the NRA vowed to stand by Donald Trump’s side and LaPierre promised that gun owners across the country will fight the violent left and will not be defeated. “Terror knows no more ferocious foe than freedom in the hands of ‘We the people.’

gun shop ar 15

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Ignores Heller: No Protection for Guns It Deems “Dangerous”

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinions in Heller and McDonald, many of the lower U.S. courts have been making up their own rules when it comes to the Second Amendment. Tuesday’s outrageous opinion by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Kolbe v. Hogan is yet another example of this. In that case, nine of out fourteen judges ruled that America’s most popular types of rifles, banned in the state of Maryland, have no Second Amendment protection.

The Court called the banned firearms – which include AR-15s and most magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles – “exceptionally lethal weapons of war.” It compared them to the M16, which the court claimed made them categorically unprotected by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Heller. The Court called the difference between a machine gun and a semi-automatic “slight”, despite the substantial differences in function and form, so much so that the federal law regulates each in highly dissimilar ways.

And in doing so, the judges joining the majority opinion actually said that they do not consider themselves bound by the Supreme Court’s majority decision in Heller (to say nothing of their sworn oath to uphold the Constitution).

Heller, of course, concerned the most demonstrably lethal and crime-associated of all firearms: the handgun. Handguns are implicated in more deaths, and more firearm-related crimes, than all other types of firearms combined … by a very large margin. This was extensively briefed for the Supreme Court during the Heller proceedings, and no one contested that argument. The NRA, on behalf of a free people, will continue to vindicate the rights of all law-abiding Americans to keep and bear the best firearms available to protect themselves and their loved ones.  As we’ve been there every step of the way in the Kolbe fight, we will continue to press forward, including appealing the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Moreover, the majority opinion in Heller did not shrink from these facts. The opinion’s author, Justice Scalia, put it very plainly: “We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution.” He continued: “But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.”

In other words, the fact that criminals exploit handguns for their own evil purposes could not overcome the fact that responsible, law-abiding Americans also choose them to defend themselves, their families, and their homes.

Heller also counsels against policy-makers picking and choosing among firearm types when enacting prohibitions.  “It is no answer to say, as petitioners do, that it is permissible to ban the possession of handguns so long as the possession of other firearms (i.e., long guns) is allowed,” Scalia wrote. “It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon.”

In the post-Heller era, the same could be said of the detachable magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles of the type banned in Maryland. They’re not just popular guns, they’re the most popular types of rifles on the market today. And the fact that many, many millions reside in the hands of Americans, with such a miniscule percentage used in violent crime, show that they are overwhelmingly kept and used for lawful purposes.

But the Fourth Circuit disregarded all this, and instead chose to follow Justice Breyer’s dissenting opinion in Heller. Breyer insisted that even if the majority was right that Second Amendment protects an individual right grounded in self-defense, “the District’s regulation … represents a permissible legislative response to a serious, indeed life-threatening, problem.”

Of course, virtually every author of every gun control law that has ever been passed or proposed has claimed the measure is a matter of life and death. Never mind that few can show any actual evidence their proposed restrictions will save lives. And even if they could, Heller could not be clearer that this claim does not end the matter when it comes to banning the sorts of arms commonly kept by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes. The majority very specifically rejected Breyer’s attempts to use inapt analogies and “interest-balancing” to preserve D.C.’s handgun ban.

Inapt analogies and interest-balancing, however, are exactly the techniques employed by the Kolbe majority. They counterfactually try to analogize AR-15s to M16s and other “weapons of war,” and then they insist such firearms can be subject to a ban because they’re dangerous.  It’s likely that any ban of any type of firearm – and under any circumstances – would survive this shallow and self-serving rationale.

If, as the Fourth Circuit suggests, a firearm loses Second Amendment protection because it is specifically designed for “killing or disabling the enemy,” then the whole idea of the Second Amendment protecting a defensive purpose (or applying to any well-designed firearm, for that matter) collapses. Handguns, rifles, and shotguns of any type can be equally “dangerous.”   

It’s bad enough that the Fourth Circuit considers the choices actually made by law-abiding people irrelevant when it comes to the Second Amendment, contrary to the clear admonition of Heller.

Yet the court’s reasoning is worse than that. It challenges the very notion of freedom itself and the ability of a free people to govern themselves and make their own choices from available alternatives. It puts the people who vote and pay taxes and follow the law below the government that is supposed to serve them and below the criminals who will use every available means to prey upon them. It empowers the courts to decide, on a case-by-case basis, what firearms are “safe” enough for a free people to be trusted to own.

The NRA, on behalf of a free people, will continue to vindicate the rights of all law-abiding Americans to keep and bear the best firearms available to protect themselves and their loved ones.  As we’ve been there every step of the way in the Kolbe fight, we will continue to press forward, including appealing the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

social security card

Senate Votes to Block Obama Social Security Administration Gun Ban; Legislation Heads to President Trump

On Wednesday morning, the U.S. Senate voted 57-43 in favor of H.J.Res.40, which would block the implementation of an Obama-era rule under which the Social Security Administration (SSA) would report the names of tens of thousands of beneficiaries annually to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in order to prohibit them from purchasing firearms. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress is permitted to overrule a federal regulation, within a 60 day window, using an expedited legislative procedure that is not subject to the Senate’s filibuster rule. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed this measure by a vote of 235-180. This important legislation now heads to President Donald Trump.

At issue is a December 19, 2016 SSA rule, set to be implemented by December 19, 2017, that broadly prohibits many with what SSA considers to be a mental disorder from purchasing firearms. Under the rule, those with a mental health impairment, who meet SSA’s criteria to receive benefits and also have a representative payee designated to receive these benefits, would be reported to the NICS database as “adjudicated as a mental defective,” and thus prohibited from possessing firearms.

Mental health professionals recognize that there is no connection between mental illness and dangerousness, and that those who suffer from mental health disorders are more likely to be the victims than the perpetrators of violent crime. The SSA rule does not require that an individual’s underlying mental health records indicate dangerousness. In fact, an individual who is receiving benefits via a representative payee could be swept into NICS for mental conditions that span the gamut of diagnoses; including intellectual disabilities and eating disorders. The Obama administration estimated that this rule could strip the rights of 75,000 individuals per year.

The fact that this rule has no basis in evidence, would serve to further stigmatize an already vulnerable group, and has inadequate due process protections, has led a wide-ranging coalition of organizations to support its cancelation. In addition to the NRA, the legislation to block the SSA rule is supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and many others.

In order for the federal government to strip an individual of a constitutionally protected right, the procedure for removing that right must comport with due process of law. Further, the burden of justifying the removal of a right rests on the government. Here, the designation of a representative payee does not involve adequate process for the removal of a person’s Second Amendment rights.

Proponents of the SSA rule have all but acknowledged this fact, often pointing to the procedure under which an individual can appeal their firearms prohibition once it has been imposed. During floor debate, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) contended that those affected by this rule, “have due process to contest the determination,” and that there is the “full ability for the individual or for the family to contest this limitation, which makes it completely constitutional.” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) took to the Senate floor to register a similar contention.

Senators Murphy and Wyden could use a civics lesson. The SSA rule would impermissibly shift government’s burden of proving an individual should not be allowed to exercise their Second Amendment right, to the individual, requiring that they prove that they are capable of safely exercising their constitutional right. Moreover, aside from the fact that this perverts our constitutional structure, one might rightly question how legitimately SSA would administer any appeal of a prior agency determination regarding a representative payee designation, or a relief from disability petition. As a matter of policy, one might also question whether a typical Social Security beneficiary has access to the resources necessary to launch and navigate such an appeal process, particularly if appeals to SSA are unfruitful and a judicial remedy is required.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who introduced a Senate version of H.J.Res.40, challenged proponents of the SSA rule on this point just prior to the vote. During debate, Grassley stated, “If the supporters of this regulation want to take away people’s gun rights then they need to acknowledge the government must carry the burden to actually prove a person is dangerously mentally ill and the government must provide due process in that process.”

Akin to a bully choosing their victim, gun control supporters have repeatedly demonstrated that they are not above attacking the constitutional rights of the most vulnerable among us if it serves their over-arching anti-gun agenda. In fact, at this point it is safe to say that targeting the rights of those who are subject to unwarranted prejudice is part of the anti-gun movement’s comprehensive strategy.

It is important for gun owners to understand that efforts to curtail the due process rights of some in relation to the Second Amendment right, have grave implications for all gun owners. While much of the gun control movement’s recent energy has been used to target groups that portions of the public have shown little sympathy towards, gun owners can be assured that, if successful, gun control advocates will seek to similarly diminish the due process rights of ever wider segments of the population.

H.J.Res.40 protects the due process and Second Amendment rights of Social Security beneficiaries. However, given the amount of misinformation that anti-gun politicians, gun control organizations, and the media have peddled about H.J.Res.40 and the SSA rule, it is also important to understand what this legislation and rule would not do.

H.J.Res.40 Does Not Weaken the National Instant Criminal Background Check System

In materials on his website, Murphy has repeatedly contended that H.J.Res.40 will “weaken” the background check system. This is not true. H.J.Res.40 does not remove the names of any individuals from the NICS database. The notice of the SSA rule in the Federal Register makes clear that “compliance is not required until December 19, 2017.” H.J.Res.40 merely prevents SSA from using an incorrect interpretation of the law to place new individuals into the NICS database going forward.

Further, some media outlets have run misleading headlines that give the impression that Congress has voted to broadly curtail background checks. An Associated Press item carried the headline, “House votes to roll back Obama rule on background checks for gun ownership.” The BBC ran an article that claimed, “The US House of Representatives has voted to scrap regulations that require background checks for gun buyers with mental health issues.”

H.J.Res.40 does not alter the circumstances under which a background check must be conducted pursuant to a firearms transfer. Just as now, a background check would still be required for firearm transfers between federally licensed gun dealers and non-licensees.

The SSA Rule is Not Required to Comply with the NICS Improvement Amendments Act

Contrary to media reports and the contention of the Obama administration, the SSA rule is not required in order for the SSA to properly comply with the NICS Improvement Amendments Act (NIAA). The NIAA requires federal agencies to submit prohibiting records for inclusion in the NICS. The NIAA did not change the underlying categories of persons prohibited from possessing firearms, outlined 18 U.S.C. §922(g).

Under the guise of facilitating compliance with NIAA, the SSA rule is an expansion of a prohibited persons category, those “adjudicated as a mental defective,” to encompass individuals never covered by federal statute. The NIAA requires federal agencies to report relevant records to the NICS, not to invent new categories of relevant records in order to prohibit new segments of the population.

Further, if at any point since the advent of the NICS in 1998 SSA had believed it was in possession of relevant prohibiting information on an individual, it was authorized to forward such information to the FBI for inclusion in the NICS. Up until the Obama administration made the political decision to pervert existing federal law to further scrutinize gun owners, SSA had correctly determined that the records covered by the new rule were not prohibiting.

The SSA Rule Would Not Have Prevented the Tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

Some media outlets have reported that the SSA rule was “inspired” by the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn. The language these outlets use gives the impression that this rule could have helped to prevent that tragedy.

The perpetrator of that attack did suffer from mental illness, however, background checks were irrelevant to the crime. The shooter did not go through a background check to procure the rifle used in the attack, he stole the firearm from his mother after he murdered her.

The Obama administration’s SSA rule is a callous attempt to restrict Second Amendment rights by targeting a vulnerable and misunderstood population, and we look forward to President Trump signing H.J.Res.40.

guns and ammo

ATF Associate Deputy Director Pens ‘White Paper’ on Reducing Needless Firearms Regulations

On Monday, the Washington Post reported on a “white paper” written by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Associate Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer Ronald Turk that outlines several changes that ATF could make to decrease the burdens placed on gun owners and the firearms industry while maintaining public safety. Titled “Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations” and dated January 20, 2017, the document covers a raft of issues that NRA has previously worked to address, and vindicates NRA’s long-held contentions about the dubious efficacy of many firearms regulations. While the white paper does fail to address some of the legitimate concerns of gun owners in certain areas, the majority of document should serve to inform ATF regulatory reform efforts moving forward.

The document correctly concludes that “There are many regulatory changes or modifications that can be made by or through ATF that would have an immediate, positive impact on commerce and industry without significantly hindering ATFs mission or adversely affecting public safety.” And to this end, the paper individually addresses a handful of areas where regulation could be curtailed.

[Click here to read “Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations” by ATF Associate Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer Ronald Turk.]

Sporting Purposes Test

Under 18 U.S.C. § 925(d), “The Attorney General shall authorize a firearm or ammunition to be imported or brought into the United States or any possession thereof if the firearm or ammunition… is generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.”

Infamously known as the “sporting purposes test,” this portion of federal law has been used as justification to prohibit the importation of certain types of firearms to the U.S. In 1989, President George H.W. Bush used the sporting purposes test to bar the importation of 43 types of semi-automatic rifles. Unsatisfied with the breadth of the Bush ban, President Bill Clinton used this provision to ban the importation of 58 additional types of semi-automatic rifles. The abuse of the law was so evident that Clinton White House staffer Jose Cerda remarked, “We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns.”

In challenging the legitimacy of the current configuration of the sporting purposes test, the paper notes the increasing use of semi-automatic firearms in the modern shooting sports. Turk explains,

Since the sunset of the Assault Weapons ban in 2004, the use of AR-15s, AK-style, and similar rifles now commonly referred to as “modern sporting rifles” has increased exponentially in sport shooting. These firearm types are now standard for hunting activities. ATF could re-examine its almost 20-year-old study to bring it up to date with the sport shooting landscape of today, which is vastly different than what it was years ago. Action shooting sports and organizations such as 3 Gun and the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) have also drastically expanded in recent years. 

This would be a departure from ATF policy, which has historically dismissed the modern shooting sports when making sporting purposes determinations. As recently as July 2012, when ATF released an update to their “Study on the Importability of Certain Shotguns,” the agency rejected arguments by public commenters that practical shooting competitions should come within the definition of sporting purposes. Straining to deny the legitimate sporting uses of many semi-automatic shotguns, ATF compared the number of members of the United States Practical Shooting Association to the obviously much larger total number of licensed hunters in the U.S. The difference, ATF contended, showed that the modern shooting sports should have no bearing on determining whether a firearm is “suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.” Turk’s recognition of this folly is a welcome development.

The paper goes on to explain that the import bans do not advance a public policy goal. Turk notes, “Restriction on imports serves questionable public safety interests, as these rifles are already generally legally available for manufacture and ownership in the United States.”

Suppressors

In recent years, NRA has worked to roll back state laws that restrict the possession or use of suppressors. This, and advances in the industry, have led to something of a renaissance in the production and use of firearm suppressors. The increasing popularity of these devices, and their health benefits for shooters, has led NRA, pro-gun lawmakers, and even Donald Trump Jr., to lead an effort to remove suppressors from the registration and tax burdens imposed by the National Firearms Act.

It appears at least some in ATF acknowledge the benefits of suppressors and support their removal from the NFA. The white paper notes, “In the past several years, opinions about silencers have changed across the United States. Their use to reduce noise at shooting ranges and applications within the sporting and hunting industry are now well recognized.”

The paper goes on to explain the outmoded nature of the current regulation of suppressors and that  removing the devices from the NFA poses little public safety risk, as they are rarely used in crime. Turk notes, 

While DOJ and ATF have historically not supported removal of items from the NFA, the change in public acceptance of silencers arguably indicates that the reason for their inclusion in the NFA is archaic and historical reluctance to removing them from the NFA should be reevaluated. ATF’s experience with the criminal use of silencers also supports reassessing their inclusion in the NFA. On average in the past 10 years, ATF has only recommended 44 defendants a year for prosecution on silencer-related violations; of those, only approximately 6 of the defendants had prior felony convictions. Moreover, consistent with this low number of prosecution referrals, silencers are very rarely used in criminal shootings. Given the lack of criminality associated with silencers, it is reasonable to conclude that they should not be viewed as a threat to public safety necessitating NFA classification, and should be considered for reclassification under the [Gun Control Act]. 

FFL Reform

In 1993, President Bill Clinton directed the Treasury Department to further scrutinize Federal Firearms Licensees and applicants in order to reduce the overall number of firearms dealers. These efforts had the effect of significantly reducing the number of FFLs in the country, eliminating many small dealers who operated out of their homes.

The white paper contemplates efforts to loosen some of the business-related requirements for obtaining an FFL. The paper notes,

The marketplace has changed significantly in recent years, and ATF’s guidance to FFLs on these issues has not kept pace with developments in commerce. Classic “brick and mortar” storefronts with an on-hand inventory and set “front-door” business hours often no longer apply in today’s modern marketplace.

This, Turk explains, “would have no negative impact to public safety” and – in his view – might have salutary effects, as it “would encourage more sales and business through a licensee.”

Further, Turk discusses permitting FFLs to conduct sales at gun shows outside of the state in which they are licensed. Permitting such sales, Turk argues, “would have no detrimental effect on public safety.”

Pistol Stabilizing Braces

In recent years firearm owners have increasingly made use of products like Sig Sauer’s SBX or SB15 pistol stabilizing brace. A boon to disabled shooters, the ATF has approved such items for use on pistols. However, in January 2015, ATF issued an open letter explaining that,

[a]ny person who intends to use a handgun stabilizing brace as a shoulder stock on a pistol (having a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a smooth bore firearm with a barrel under 18 inches in length) must first file an ATF Form 1 and pay the applicable tax because the resulting firearm will be subject to all provisions of the NFA.

According to ATF’s convoluted logic,

“[b]ecause the NFA defines both rifle and shotgun to include any “weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder,” any person who redesigns a stabilizing brace for use as a shoulder stock makes a NFA firearm when attached to a pistol with a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a handgun with a smooth bore under 18 inches in length.”

In challenging this interpretation of the law, the white paper points out, “ATF has not made another NFA determination where a shooter’s use alone was deemed be a ‘redesign’ of the product/firearm resulting in an NFA classification.” Turk also suggests that,

To mitigate this confusion and concern, ATF could amend the determination letter to remove the language indicating that simple use of a product for a purpose other than intended by the manufacturer – without additional proof or redesign – may result in re-classification as an NFA weapon.

Re-importation of Defense Surplus Firearms

Longtime NRA supporters will be familiar with the long-running effort to repatriate tens of thousands of M1 Garand rifles and hundreds of thousands of M1 carbines from South Korea. NRA has repeatedly worked with our friends in Congress to promote a legislative remedy that would allow for these firearms to be brought home for the benefit of American collectors.

In 2010, Hillary Clinton’s State Department blocked the importation of these rifles, citing public safety concerns. At the time, a State Department spokesperson commented that “The transfer of such a large number of weapons — 87,310 M1 Garands and 770,160 M1 Carbines — could potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes.”

Rejecting this rationale, the paper notes,

There is no clear public safety reason why taxpayer-funded US-origin C&R defense articles should be denied re-importation to the American public, while many non-U.S.- origin C&R items are approved. Additionally, these items do not represent any discernable public safety concern, as demand lies with collectors of vintage military firearms.

Turk also points out,

Many M1 Garand rifles have been approved for importation in the past, setting precedence for this to occur. The more recent denials were in part due to perceived potential that they may be used in crimes, for which there is little, if any, evidence for such a concern.

Firearms Registration

As with most government products, the ATF white paper is not perfect. The document is a bit too dismissive of the concerns of gun owners and dealers regarding some firearm transfer recordkeeping requirements.

In 2011, President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice announced a firearm transfer reporting scheme, the purported purpose of which was to combat Mexican drug cartels. The measure requires gun dealers in the Southwest border states to report to ATF information pertaining to the multiple sale of rifles that are larger than .22-caliber and able to accept a detachable magazine that are made to a single individual within a five-day period. Turk appears to approve of this effort, claiming that it has some beneficial use.

First, regardless of any perceived value the reporting requirement may have, the scheme is a blatant perversion of federal law. Permitting ATF to operate this demand letter scheme allows the agency to circumvent important safeguards in 18 U.S.C. § 923(g) that are meant to protect FFLs from agency harassment. Further, 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(3)(A) requires FFLs to report multiple sales of handguns to a single buyer within five consecutive days. That Congress did not impose this same requirement for multiple rifle sales makes clear that they did not intend to burden rifle transactions in this manner.

Second, for those who have made lawful purchases of this type, the reporting requirement amounts to gun registration. This scheme not only creates significant privacy concerns for gun owners in the Southwest border states, but also circumvents 18 U.S.C. § 926(a), which prohibits the federal government from creating a firearms registry.

Overall, Turk’s ATF white paper is an important contribution to the development of a more intelligent firearms regulation regime, informed by actual experience in administering ATF regulations. Unsurprisingly, gun control groups, who have little knowledge of how firearms regulations work in practice and are unconcerned with the efficacy of a given rule aside from its ability to burden gun owners and the firearms industry, have been vocal in their condemnation of the paper. ATF should ignore such reflexive comments to this well-considered document and move forward with efforts to free gun owners, the firearms industry, and the agency from regulations that serve no public interest.

florida gun league of women voters

League of Women Voters: Florida’s New Gun Ban Organization

The League of Women Voters is not who you think they are. The Florida League of Women Voters is Florida’s newest gun ban organization.

A lobbyist representing the League of Women Voters — Patti Brigham — isn’t registered as a lobbyist with the state, but she shows up in committee to support gun control and oppose Second Amendment rights over and over again.

The League has been working with anti-gun Democrat legislators to write and file gun ban legislation. They work in secret to deny constitutional rights while pretending to be strong constitutionalists in order to solicit memberships and donations from people who have no idea what the League is really doing.

But Patti Brigham isn’t just a gun control lobbyist for the League, she is the League’s first vice president. Brigham is working with Kristen Rand, the Legislative Director of the Violence Policy Center, (a Washington, D.C. based gun control organization) to ban the gun rights of Florida’s law-abiding gun owners.

In fact, we recently received credible information that the bill recently filed to ban so-called “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines” was initiated by the League of Women Voters and their 1st VP, Patti Brigham.

Emails from a public records request were shared with us.  They unearthed a series of emails between the two organizations and a legislator that paint a very disturbing picture of their partnership to undermine the firearms freedom of all Floridians. Those emails strings between Patti Brigham, Kristen Rand, and Rep. Carlos Smith (D) have every appearance of being authentic.   Since Rep. Smith has filed the assault weapons ban bill (HB-167) discussed and planned in these emails, there is no reason to believe otherwise.

In an email, the League’s 1st VP Patti Brigham told Kristen Rand,

“Our coalition has found sponsors to carry an assault weapons/large capacity magazine ban in FL. We are wondering if you/or an attorney with the VPC [Violence Policy Center] could take a look. We are concerned that we may have left off some weapons from the bill, which we modeled on the CT legislation. We are hoping to file the bill in early January.” 

Yes, you read that right. Connecticut-style gun control in Florida. And the sponsors the League of Women Voters found to file the gun ban bills are Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Winter Park) who filed  and Sen. Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) who filed  SB-254.

fake news

Disinformation Campaign on the Hearing Protection Act Continues [Video]

This month the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) with co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) as S.59. Representatives Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and John Carter (R-TX) – together with 42 co-sponsors – introduced a similar bill in the House as H.R. 367.

The bill would remove suppressors from the provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA), which requires buyers to pay a $200 tax and undergo an enhanced background check that can take up to nine months to complete. Suppressors would continue to be regulated like non-NFA firearms, which require a background check when sold by a licensed firearms dealer or across state lines.

Not surprisingly, anti-gun advocates and their media allies are furious that the gun community would dare remove an onerous and unnecessary law that limits their ability to protect against hearing loss while target shooting and hunting.

Washington Post reporter Michael S. Rosenwald announced that “violence prevention advocates are outraged that the industry is trying to ease silencer restrictions by linking the issue to the eardrums of gun owners.” Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times piled on, declaring that the naming of the “Hearing Protection Act” was “so absurdly transparent an effort to deceive that voters may be prompted to ask an obvious question: ‘What are they hiding?’”

Joining the anti-gun tirade, Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center contended that “they want the general public to think it’s about hearing aids or something,” arguing that “when the general public finds out what’s really happening, there will be outrage.” Kristin Brown of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence went so far as to argue “there’s no evidence of a public health issue associated with hearing loss from gunfire.

Let that sink in.  A representative of the Brady Campaign argues that there is no evidence of hearing loss from gunfire.  One is left to wonder if their zealotry blinds them to the truth or if they really are that ill-informed on firearms and their use.

Other anti-gun advocates argue that “silent” guns make it easier to commit crimes, citing YouTube videos and television shows where silencers reduce a gunshot to a faint cough. Professor Robert J. Spitzer, writing in the Washington Post, even argued that deafening noise “is an important safety feature of any firearm” and that “the lifesaving safety benefits of gun noise should weigh far more in the silencer debate.”

Supporters of so-called “common sense gun safety” are willfully blind to the reality that clear, objective scientific evidence demonstrates that suppressors prevent hearing loss. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and tinnitus are high-priority health issues – and the only type of hearing loss that is completely preventable.

The benefits of suppressors are scientifically proven. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have both determined that even a single noise over 140 decibels causes hearing loss. The peak sound pressure of a gunshot ranges from a low of 144 decibels (.22 caliber rifle) to 172 decibels (.357 caliber revolver). A suppressor reduces the sound by approximately 30 decibels. In consequence, even suppressed firearms are loud – about 120-130 decibels – and louder than a car horn three feet away. It is, therefore, both inconsistent and illogical for the government to recommend – and even legally mandate – noise abatement for loud machines like lawn mowers and chainsaws while simultaneously setting large regulatory hurdles that discourage suppressor use with firearms.

Furthermore, suppressed firearms are not the choice of criminals, and the more than 100-year history of suppressors in both the United States and Europe demonstrates that anti-gun fearmongering is unfounded. A study of the criminal use of suppressors between 1995 and 2005 found only 15 used in crimes – and only two instances of being used in a murder. Indeed, as the number of federally-registered suppressors has nearly quadrupled in the last decade (from 150,364 in 2006 to 902,805 in 2016), the Violence Policy Center can identify only a scant handful of crimes committed with them. As Chicago Tribune editorial board member Steve Chapman notes, “any useful technology can be put to villainous ends,” and common sense demonstrates that the existing rule on silencers is “a major hassle for the law-abiding” while being “an irrelevance to criminals.”

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Violence Policy Center are counting on public ignorance and disinformation to derail a legitimate effort to allow gun owners to protect their hearing and the hearing of those around them. Armed with facts and scientific evidence, the National Rifle Association urges its members to contact their lawmakers to support the Hearing Protection Act of 2017.

You can contact your member of Congress via our Write Your Reps tool by clicking HERE or use the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

social security cards

Congress Set to Roll Back Social Security Gun Ban

Next week, Congress is expected to begin the review and potential repeal of a host of Obama Administration regulations put in place during the last 60 days of Obama’s tenure under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).  Among the regulations specifically targeted for action is the Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) gun grab, enacted in the waning days of the anti-gun president’s tenure.

As we reported last month, the rule would for the first time in the nation’s history co-opt the SSA into a gun control apparatus by labeling certain Supplemental Security Income and Disability recipients as “mental defectives” and reporting them to the FBI’s gun ban database. Possession of firearms by these individuals would then become a federal felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The rule, as the SSA itself has admitted, has nothing to do with the individuals’ propensity for violence or self-harm. Rather, the affected persons would be mostly law-abiding individuals singled out because they receive benefits for any of a wide-range of mental disorders (e.g., anxiety, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.) and have a representative payee assigned to help them manage their SSA funds. The Obama White House estimated that some 75,000 people would be reported each year under the new guideline.

While the rule would require reported beneficiaries to be notified of their banned status, it would not give them a chance to defend their suitability to exercise their Second Amendment rights until after they had already been prohibited. At that point, they would be required to file a petition, at their own expense, for “relief from disabilities.” The rule requires petitioners to obtain an expensive and time-consuming mental health evaluation and to disprove risks to the public safety and interest the government never established, or even tried to establish, in the first place.

More than 91,000 comments were submitted on the rule, the overwhelming majority of them in opposition to it. Comments submitted by mental health professionals and advocates for the mentally ill pointed out that the proposal was not supported by evidence or science, added to the stigma of mental illness, and created disincentives for mentally ill persons to seek help and benefits to which they are entitled.

Yet the SSA brushed all these concerns aside in rushing the rule to completion before Barack Obama left office. Confronted with evidence that the rule was illegal, unconstitutional, counter-productive, and would do nothing to further public safety, the SSA simply asserted it was necessary to fulfill a bureaucratic imperative urged on the agency by the Obama Department of Justice.

It’s a shame that the already crowded congressional calendar has to be burdened simply with clearing the minefield Barack Obama intentionally laid to stall and hinder his successor. But it’s encouraging that Congress is taking such swift action to do exactly that.

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox praised the move in statements to the press on Wednesday. “Congress’ decision to review the Obama administration’s back-door gun grab is a significant step forward in protecting a fundamental constitutional right for law-abiding gun owners,” he said.

You can help by contacting your Congressional representative and urging him or her to vote “yes” on the joint resolution to overturn the SSA’s gun ban rule under the Congressional Review Act. Use the Write Your Federal Lawmakers feature on the NRA-ILA’s website or call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Steve Schreiner NRA logo

Soldier of Fortune’s Endorsements for the NRA Board of Directors Election 2017

HEAR YE! HEAR YE! SoF’s endorsements for the 2017 election to the National Rifle Association’s Board of Directors. Your ballots will be arriving in the mail in the next few days.

Once again, SoF is endorsing a number of highly qualified, experienced individuals to the NRA BoD. I have worked with all these individuals and consider them the best of the best.  Please seriously consider SoF’s recommendations…and share with your friends. Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown, USAR (Ret.)

Steven C. Schreiner, Englewood, Colorado. A vote for Steve is top priority.

Endowment and Board Member. President and founding member, Firearms Coalition of Colorado, an NRA-affiliated grassroots organization, awarded NRA’s Best Volunteer Organization. Led fight in Colorado against anti-gun forces. Successfully fought for/passage of Concealed Carry, Pre-Emption, Shooting Range Protection. Fought against: Semi-auto, Magazine Bans, Anti-hunting, “Safe Storage bills. Registered volunteer lobbyist. Publicly promotes election/retention of pro-gun candidates from both major parties; educates public on gun issues, legislation, campaigns/candidates, works closely with NRA-ILA leadership on same. Serves on NRA’s Grassroots Development Committee. Former Congressional staffer, Vietnam Veteran, Officer, U.S. Army, Airborne-Ranger. awarded Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Bronze Star (with “V” Device) and Silver Star. Combat: 199th Light Infantry Brigade (Sep.);Adviser to Vietnamese and Thai armies. BA/MA, History.

Endorsements: Firearms Coalition of Colorado, Colorado Gun Collectors Association, .50 Caliber Shooters Association, Golden Gun Club, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, and Gary Marbut, President, Montana Shooting Sports Association.

Schreiner

SoF is also endorsing the following:

  1. Thomas P. Arvas, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  2. John Cushman, Patchogue, New York.
  3. Curtis S. Jenkins, Forsyth, Georgia.
  4. Sean Maloney, Liberty Township, Ohio.
  5. Linda Walker, Newark, Ohio.
  6. Heidi Washington, East Lansing, Michigan.
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Web Scraping: A Means to Push the Anti-Gun Agenda

You may have read recently about a “breaking analysis” that includes numbers derived from a “mass shooting tracker,” which purports to present to the world, real world cases in which mass shootings have occurred.  One problem, this is not actual data nor does it rely upon trusted sources like the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) to report incidents.

Web scraping is a relatively easy way to automatically collect data from the internet for use in any number of applications. Price comparison, travel accommodation research, real estate listings, news and sports feeds, job listings…the list of useful applications of web scraping is bounded only by a user’s creativity. 

These uses are harmless; the biggest risks are missing out on a sale on airline tickets or a house you didn’t know was for sale. The political use of these tools is a threat because it can drive the narrative surrounding an issue. Automated web scraping allows political activists to easily collect data that supports their predetermined conclusion. 

Web scraping tools are ripe for misuse – whether intentional or incidental – when used for political purposes. The results should always be closely examined because these tools are subject to limitations including:

  • User input and biases: activists can easily and even subconsciously taint their findings by using only the common terminology that fits their ideology.
  • Overlooked context: when a web scraper returns a large number of results; the volume of the database is frequently more important than the details.
  • First-report errors: early reports on major issues often include errors and unsubstantiated claims. Breaking news reports on crime are the shining example of this limitation. A lack of follow-up queries also limits the credibility of such automated lists.

Those who want to strictly limit our Second Amendment rights rely on web scrapers to compile material they believe supports their agenda. Gun controllers want to present the biggest number possible. Their bots copy any website that mentions their keywords which are, of course, written in their own preferred language. Program the tool to find any mention of “gun violence” or “victim shot” and you won’t see much on defensive uses of guns or the shooting sports. 

The results should be placed into context, but rarely would an organization compromise its own mission so readily. Instead of talking about gang violence, gun controllers recast the same events as “mass shootings.” Instead of talking about the role of drugs or criminal conflicts, they spin the event into a case of gun violence that needs heightened regulation.

Take a quick spin through shootingtracker.com and you’ll see how most of the events described are not what are traditionally considered public mass shootings, at all.  This is agenda-pushing propaganda at its worst.  

Moreover, automated web queries and bots pull reports based on keywords, with no ability to discern fact from fiction. Late-night crime and breaking news reports are well-known to be riddled with errors, but a bot doesn’t distinguish between initial reports and completed investigations. When the web scraper returns an article or posting that says someone was shot, gun controllers chalk that up in their tally. When later investigations find that there is no evidence of shots fired, the perpetrator was a known violent felon, or the victim is a willing participant in the crime itself (as in a gang conflict), the tally may not be adjusted.

When the goal is to get a big number, web scraping gives gun controllers the ability to find the keywords they want and ignore the incidents and context that conflict with their position.  This is precisely what anti-gun advocates are looking for in pushing their narrative.

jeff sessions confirmation hearing

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

On January 10 and 11, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held the confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Throughout his distinguished career in public service, which includes 12 years as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, Sessions has exhibited the utmost respect for our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and has worked tirelessly to prosecute those who use guns in the commission of a crime. Despite the best efforts of some to disrupt the hearing and promote scurrilous allegations, an image of the real Sessions came through during the hearing – that of a principled statesman devoted to our Constitution.

Since his days as a U.S. Attorney, Sessions has pursued the vigorous prosecution of those who misuse firearms to prey on the public. During his opening remarks, Sessions made clear that he will make the prosecution of armed criminals a priority, noting, “If I am confirmed, we will systematically prosecute criminals who use guns in committing crimes. As United States Attorney, my office was a national leader in gun prosecutions every year.”

Later in his opening remarks, Sessions spoke of the importance of the Constitution, stating, “The Justice Department must remain ever faithful to the Constitution’s promise that our government is one of laws, not of men. It will be my unyielding commitment, if I am confirmed, to see that the laws are enforced faithfully, effectively, and impartially.” Given the prior administration’s propensity to stretch federal statute beyond its plain or intended meaning, gun owners should find such devotion to the rule of law a refreshing change.

From the outset, many of Sessions’ Senate colleagues were effusive in their praise of the nominee. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) noted that Sessions “is a man of honor and integrity, dedicated to the faithful and fair enforcement of the law who knows well and deeply respects the Department of Justice and its constitutional role.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) stated, “I can vouch confidently for the fact that Jeff Sessions is a person of integrity, a principled leader, and a dedicated public servant.” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told Sessions, “You’re a good and decent and honorable man. You’ve got an outstanding record that you should be proud of, and I know you are and you should be.”

Pointing to NRA-supported Project Exile, Cornyn went on to ask Sessions, “Can you assure us that you will make prosecuting those people who cannot legally possess or use firearms a priority again in the Department of Justice?” Sessions responded “I can,” adding that Project Exile “highlighted the progress that was being made by prosecuting criminals who use guns to carry out their crimes.” Sessions further noted that as a result of the strict enforcement of federal gun laws against armed criminals “Fewer people get killed,” and that “we need to step that up. It’s a compassionate thing.”

During his time, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pointed out some of the dangerous and partisan actions taken by the DOJ under Barack Obama – including Operation Fast and Furious and Operation Chokepoint – and asked whether Republicans, having taken control of the executive branch, should respond in kind by using the DOJ to “advance political preferences favored by the Republican party.” Sessions replied “No,” and explained that such partisan actions have “a corrosive effect on public confidence in the constitutional republic of which we are sworn to uphold.”

Anti-gun Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) questioned Sessions on the topic of gun control, asking, “Will you rigorously enforce statues that prohibit purchase of guns by felons or domestic abusers or drug addicts and use the statues that exist right now on the books to ban those individuals from purchasing guns?” Sessions responded adeptly, explaining, “Congress has passed those laws, they remain the bread and butter enforcement mechanisms throughout our country today to enforce guns laws. The first and foremost goal I think of law enforcement would be to identify persons who are dangerous, who have a tendency or have been proven to be law breakers and been convicted and those who are caught carrying guns during the commission of a crime.”

Despite the fact that, if confirmed, Sessions would be moving from a law-making capacity to enforcing the laws created by Congress, Blumenthal went on to ask Sessions if he supported so-called “universal” background check legislation for firearm transfers. Sessions dismissed the notion as impractical in many circumstances.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) used his time to ask Sessions to share his thoughts on the Second Amendment. Sessions responded with a staunch defense of the right to keep and bear arms, stating, “I do believe the Second Amendment is a personal right. It’s an historic right of the American people, and the Constitution protects that and explicitly states that. It’s just as much a part of the Constitution as any of the other great rights and liberties that we value.”

As befitting his character, Sessions was not fazed by repeated attempts to disrupt his confirmation hearing. Some of the professional agitators that could be seen in the crowd have previously protested and attempted to disrupt NRA events and business. During the Sessions hearing, one such provocateur from Code Pink was removed from the hearing while carrying a sign that in part read, “Support Civil Rights.” The scene will strike many gun rights supporters as bizarre, given that the protestor’s group has a history of opposing the natural right to self-defense and the corresponding right to keep and bear arms.

In closing the first day of the committee hearing, Grassley told Sessions, “You’re imminently qualified to serve as attorney general and I have every confidence that you’re going to do a superb job.” Grassley is right. However, whether due to petty partisan politics, or attempts at personal political profit, there are still some who seek to derail Sessions’ confirmation.

That is why it is vital that gun owners take the time to urge their Senators to confirm Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. NRA has made it easier than ever for gun rights supporters to contact their elected officials. To help ensure Sessions is the next U.S. Attorney General please use the following link to register your support: https://www.nraila.org/articles/20170105/urge-your-senators-to-confirm-jeff-sessions. You can also call your U.S. Senators via the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

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Gun Rights Organization: ‘Call Your Senators To Confirm Sessions as U.S. Attorney General’

BELLEVUE, Wash. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is today encouraging its members and supporters to contact their U.S. Senators and urge them to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next United States Attorney General.

Jeff Sessions is a man who clearly understands the Second Amendment as well as the rest of the Bill of Rights,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “He doesn’t merely ‘support’ the Second Amendment with lip service, he has defended it against erosion by anti-gunners during his Capitol Hill career.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up Sessions’ nomination Tuesday morning.

“Senate confirmation of Jeff Sessions as our next Attorney General will bring about much-needed change at the Department of Justice,” Gottlieb continued. “Instead of promoting or defending schemes that impact law-abiding Americans, his track record shows that he will go after genuine criminals.

“Senator Sessions has fought proposals that sought to ban firearms,” he added, “and he also opposed the nominations of both Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court because of their anti-Second Amendment records.”

Gottlieb recently suggested that the next Attorney General appoint an assistant whose job will be to seek out and challenge state and local gun laws that infringe on the Second Amendment.

“The nation is in serious need of an attorney general who knows the difference between civil rights and criminal wrongs,” Gottlieb concluded.

The U.S. Capitol Switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. To reach your senator via e-mail, log onto http://www.senate.gov/general/contacting.htm

ABOUT THE CITIZENS COMMITTEE FOR THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (www.ccrkba.org) is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Black Leaders Who Support Jeff Sessions: ‘He Is a Good Man, Let That Be Heard’

The Real Reason for the Left’s All-Out Assault on Jeff Sessions

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Readers respond to the Ft. Lauderdale attack and Guns: Here are Your Answers

We asked our US readers: Is there a way to ensure terrorists can’t carry out attacks in airports while allowing legal weapons into airports?

Clarion Project asked our American readers the following question:

Is there a way in future to ensure terrorists can’t carry out attacks in airports, while allowing citizens to legally bring weapons into airports?

Here are some of the 80 answers we received.

We urge our readers to get involved in educating the public and taking political action against radical Islam. Clarion’s full-length documentaries are all available to be screened – privately, for a group in your house or at a community function.

Get involved! For more information, please contact info@clarionproject.org.

My opinion is we can’t over react to every event.  Yes, analyze if we can improve, but not at the expense of freedoms. You can’t make every pubic place risk free.

M

At the end of the day, the non-secure section(s) of an airport are no different than any other public space, such as a mall. I am not sure that protecting people in these public spaces is more important than any other.  Are travelers more important and/or more vulnerable than shoppers at malls or fans at a sporting event?

RP

Terrorists will use something else to kill if guns are banned.  

JM

Since criminals don’t obey laws, the solution is to stop the idea of these areas of the airports from being gun-free zones.

RK

One thing that would help is to allow law-abiding citizens to conceal carry handguns in such places. Had there been one or more such person when this criminal began to act, there would have been hope he would have been stopped! But, when guns are banned, criminals rule!

RK

I’m sorry but gun control is not needed, what is needed is to remove all gun-free zones. Our people can take care of themselves. When flying with checked firearms, the owner should have to pick up that firearm at an authorized location outside of baggage claim. A waiting time maybe warranted to pick up the fire arm.

JP

Good thing this didn’t happen in Dallas/Ft. Worth or anywhere in Texas where everyone in the state can carry a gun or dead would be tripled!!

CB

I’m all for our 2nd Amendment Rights, but there should be other measures put into place such as turning guns and ammo over to security. Security then places them in some secured box in the planes holding compartments. Once the individual gets to his destination, security retrieves the gun and ammo, escorts the individual out of the terminal before turning over the gun ammo. Maybe not 100% fool proof but pretty close.

MW

We are an unprotected population. The police show up after they are called to an event. I spent time in France this summer, and I saw groups of three armed guards everywhere I went. They wore camouflage uniforms and held machine guns in their hands. I felt safer there because of their presence.

CR

Ohio just enacted legal concealed carry in non-secure airport areas.   You can’t make all areas perfectly secure.   Best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

KK

Place officers both uniformed and plain clothes in public non-secure areas. Also, someone picking up a checked weapon should be required to leave the premises immediately under the supervision of an officer. Another solution is that all weapons should not be shipped with ammunition except those for authorized law enforcement personnel. No loaded clips, boxes etc. The airlines would love this — they could charge them more.

CS

I think it would be ok if people pick up the weapons in a secure and more controlled environment.  Maybe need to restrict the ammo.

RH

Aren’t guns brought into airports by travelers supposed to be unloaded?  And, what is the difference between a shooting at an aiport vs. a shooting at a mall? People are injured in both situations. The difference is the location.  

C

All guns and ammunition should be checked, catalogued and stored separately from other luggage. They should then be delivered to a specifically designed, security-controlled area outside the perimeter of the airport for collection by the owners.

AB

Checking guns in for travel isn’t the problem. If someone wants to shoot and terrorize at an airport, or anywhere for that matter, all they have to do is walk in the front doors and begin shooting. Criminals don’t obey regulations and certainly do not read signs prohibiting such activities. Allowing all people to carry concealed weapons in any public area would most likely have stopped such a mass shooting. shortly after the first bullet had been fired.

SF

Ft. Lauderdale baggage area is totally unprotected, totally lax. Anyone can enter from outside. Guards should be posted at all entrances. Luggage should be sealed with tape at trip outset, and the tape only allowed to be removed outside the airport, or under supervision of armed security. If the luggage contains firearms, it should be so labelled.

RA

Why not fear for shopping malls, football games, beaches, all dance halls and music venues, the grocery stores, parades, schools, starbucks and coffee bean, etc. The problem isn’t the location — it’s the people. Profile or lose America and world freedom to the ambitions of the globalist socialists who adamantly refuse to see truth because it conflicts with their ambitions.  The paranoia at airports relates to bringing down planes. But that doesn’t apply here

RX

I’d opt for not allowing weapons to be checked baggage and have people ship them to their destination in advance via Fed Ex or other common carrier.

DV

This is a no-brainer. Citizens with guns do not belong in airports, and if they want to transport firearms they can find a different, more suitable way. We need sensible and better gun control or we will continue to see these attacks.

AS

I suppose you will get many letters saying “take away all guns” and “guns kill people.” Well, Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country and the most murders. Guns kill people.  Yes, and cars kill people.  And trucks kill people.  So… take away all cars?  Or trucks? We need an entirely new approach. What we have now is not working. 

LT

Law abiding citizens with lawfully owned firearms are guardians of the peace. You have never heard about a mass shooting at a gun show have you? These attacks always happen in “gun-free” ones only. If guns were the problem, the number of shootings in Wyoming would far surpass Chicago — as every vehicle in Wyoming has at least one firearm in it.

KS

This is an easy fix.  When my children were under age and flew alone, I paid $100 or so extra to check them in with an airline escort.  Weapons could be the same way.  Arrange beforehand to take a weapon.  Contact a contractor outside the airport.  Pay the fee and the certified contractor brings the weapon to the correct flight.  On pick up, it would be the same.  Get your weapons outside from the contractor. A little inconvenient but very secure.  Make it so that people enter the physical building after passing security.

GA

Perhaps all guns should be mailed separately.

M

I have a solution to stop any more terrorist attacks like the Ft. Lauderdale terror attack. Do not allow ammo to be checked in or transported while flying. Allow weapons only! No ammo allowed in  airports period.

JH

Banning the ability for passengers to carry firearms in checked luggage will not eliminate airport shootings.  The killer could just as easily have shot up the airport in Anchorage where he lived, or driven south with the loaded gun and shot up any other airport or public place.

B

The answer is simple, allow and especially train folks to carry in those areas. Totally eliminate “gun-free” zones, for they are magnets for those who would do us harm.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a young woman running behind a police officer as they seek cover outside the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport after a shooting took place near the baggage claim on January 6, 2017. (Photo: © Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Sen. Jeff Sessions will fight for the Second Amendment

For the last eight years, Americans who care about the Second Amendment and our right to self-defense have faced an administration intent on dismantling those freedoms. The gun control lobby, funded by billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, tried to turn the 2016 election into a referendum on the Second Amendment — and they lost. Now, due in no small part to the efforts of the National Rifle Association and our members, law-abiding gun owners can look forward to a president who respects our rights. In that regard, we should all be happy about President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general.

Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch’s politicization of the Department of Justice over the last eight years will not be reversed overnight. But in Jeff Sessions, we can look forward to an attorney general who will focus the Department’s attention on prosecuting violent criminals and getting them off our streets. He will make our cities and communities safer.

Unlike his predecessors, Sessions knows that law-abiding gun owners are not the problem. He strongly supports our Second Amendment freedoms and will work tirelessly to protect them. This is in marked contrast to Holder and Lynch, who constantly attacked America’s gun owners. Operation Choke Point, for example, was an organized effort to suffocate legitimate firearms retailers by denying them banking services. And who can forget Operation Fast and Furious, the gunrunning probe that allowed thousands of weapons to flow across the border into Mexico and end up in the hands of drug cartels?

The office of attorney general is of the utmost importance. This position is head of both the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the agencies tasked with enforcing federal gun laws. Over the last 10 years, America saw a dramatic decline in the number of federal firearms convictions – by nearly 35%. What’s more, President Obama pardoned criminals imprisoned for gun crimes.

Sessions has repeatedly called out anti-gun lawmakers for this hypocrisy. For decades, he has focused on the need to enforce existing laws, rather than pushing for new regulations that only affect the law-abiding. He is a constitutional lawyer with a deep understanding of the law, who believes in a justice system that is fair and equitable to all Americans.

Throughout his time in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Sessions has been a strong leader for our rights. In 2005, for example, Sessions argued on the Senate floor for passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce of Arms Act, to protect firearms manufacturers from predatory lawsuits. In addition, he led the charge against the U.S. Supreme Courtnominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, both of whom had anti-Second Amendment records.

Sessions has voted to prohibit firearms confiscation during a declared state of emergency, and has opposed bans on America’s most popular firearms, calling them “the essence of gun ownership today.” He has also voted in favor of a national right-to-carry amendment, which would remove the confusing patchwork of state gun laws that often ensnare law abiding gun owners when they travel from state to state.

Finally, and importantly, Sessions supports programs such as Project Exile, which ensure that violent criminals who misuse firearms are sent to federal prison. When implemented in Richmond, Virginia back in the 1990’s, Project Exile caused the crime rate in that city to fall dramatically. Sessions knows what he is talking about. As a U.S. Attorney, Sessions prosecuted criminals who used guns.

Sessions’ strong record in support of Second Amendment rights and his focus on prosecuting violent criminals make him the right person to serve as our next attorney general. All Americans should support his nomination, and encourage their U.S. senators to do likewise.

EDITORS NOTE: This op-ed column by Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, originally appeared in USA Today. The featured image of Senator Jeff Sessions is by Gage Skidmore. To learn more about Senator Sessions click here.

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Miss Sloane: America Votes ‘NO’ Once Again

“You can’t win them all,” as the old saying goes, but when it comes to the Second Amendment, gun control advocates can’t even come close. Such is clearly the case with Miss Sloane, the latest of Hollywood’s repeated attempts to push a gun control narrative on the American people.  Of course, they didn’t see this coming, any more than they saw a Donald Trump victory coming.  But that’s because they refuse to acknowledge the basic simple truth about the American people when it comes to our firearms freedom.  Well, we’ll say it again, the American people aren’t buying your anti-gun narrative.  

Miss Sloane features Jessica Chastain as a Washington lobbyist who takes on “the establishment” to push for passage of gun control in the U.S. Congress.  As reported by Stephen Gutowski at freebeacon.com, the “political thriller” opened last weekend to much buzz and fanfare among gun control groups, but tanked completely at the box office, making one industry list of the worst openings of the past 35 years for a movie with a national release.

Incredibly, Gutowski reports that a representative of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence actually said, “… I can tell you that its production alone, with our input, is the success.”  In other words, it is of little consequence that nobody wants to see a movie that pushes for gun control, its mere existence is what matters. 

This very telling admission provides great insight into the base motive and method of those in the gun control movement and their view of policy-making in the United States.  What the American people want is irrelevant, gun control elites know better, and they will continue to push their message through all available means.  They certainly have willing accomplices in the media and entertainment industry.

But we will warn those in the gun control movement not to take box-office losses lightly.  Because Hollywood does not.  Lest anyone forget, it is middle-America that provides the means which afford so many in the entertainment industry extraordinary wealth and lavish lifestyles.  

While Hollywood elites may joke about “flyover country” at haughty cocktail parties, they do understand that the proverbial golden goose, in their case, are those whose lifestyle and culture they often openly disdain.  Or, at least those who hold the purse-strings understand.

Yet evidence from this week appears to suggest that the continued tantrum over Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election is unlikely to abate any time soon.  A group of actors, led by Martin Sheen, produced a video which attempts to convince members of the Electoral College to reverse the results of the election when they meet next week. 

This brazen attempt to undermine the results of the presidential election is without a parallel in modern history.  Moreover, the appeal includes references to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in establishing the Electoral College as a means to protect the American people.  Can anyone say hypocritical and Hollywood in the same sentence?  Remember, Hollywood and media elites routinely attack many of the protections of the U.S. Constitution, or at least the Second Amendment, as “the dead hand of the past,” and promote the idea that the Constitution should be a “living, breathing” document that should be interpreted through a present-day lens.  It is remarkable they would so cynically turn to what the Founders intended when it serves them to do so.

Whether Hollywood ever gets it remains to be seen. In the meantime, those who cherish freedom can and should continue to exercise sound judgement in deciding how to spend their hard-earned dollars when it comes to entertainment and leisure. For Hollywood, that message will eventually be heard loud and clear.

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Ohio Concealed Carry Bill Passes Assembly with Impressive Majority

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauds the Ohio General Assembly for its overwhelming support of legislation that expands the rights of concealed carry permit holders in the Buckeye state.

“Crimes can happen anywhere, at any time. Gun free zones don’t deter criminals, they create victims,” said Amy Hunter, Ohio spokesperson, NRA-ILA. “This important piece of legislation will make people safer. If enacted, concealed carry permit holders will be able to exercise their rights in places where they are currently left defenseless. Additionally, this bill awards military members – who are already among America’s most trusted citizens – more freedom to employ their Second Amendment freedoms.”

If signed by Gov. John Kasich, Senate Bill 199 will expand the list of places a concealed carry permit holder can have their firearm. For example, SB 199 would allow permit holders to store their firearms in their vehicles when parked at work. Additionally, SB 199 will allow members of the military to carry concealed without a permit.

The bill overwhelmingly passed the General Assembly early Friday and now heads to the governor’s desk to await his signature.

“This legislation would make Ohio a safer place. It’s as simple as that,” concluded Hunter.