FLORIDA: Court Rules Public Officials Can’t Be Punished for Violating the Law

A Leon County Circuit Court judge has just given rogue, anti-gun public officials a “get-out-of-jail-free card.”

This court has effectively given tacit approval for local government officials to knowingly and willfully violate the state preemption law by striking down the penalty provisions.  The message is:  go ahead and violate the law, the state can’t punish you.

Specifically, in a lawsuit brought by several anti-gun South Florida cities and counties, the court struck down the $5,000 fine and the risk of removal from office for individual public officials, local governments, and government agencies who willfully and knowing violate the state preemption law by adopting local gun control ordinances.

In their opposition brief, the NRA argued “It is a bedrock principle of American constitutional law that local governments have no legal authority to defy the will of their creator: the state.”

This ruling is like a parent telling an underage teenager, you are forbidden to smoke, drink alcohol, or do drugs — but don’t worry, if you disobey me and do it anyhow, I won’t punish you.

The ruling flies in the face of one of the basic fundamentals of the judicial system. Punishment is the deterrent component of the justice system.  Without punishment, not only will offenders will be encouraged to re-offend but others who had feared punishment will be encouraged to join the lawbreaking activities.

There is little doubt that Attorney General Ashley Moody will appeal the ruling on behalf of the state. There is no enforcement capability of laws that have no punishment.


Florida Statutes section 790.33 is the firearms preemption statute, which prevents local governments from violating Second Amendment rights by passing gun control ordinances.  Under the law, only the Legislature can regulate the field of firearms and ammunition, a constitutionally protected area.

The preemption law was passed in 1987 but contained no penalties. No one anticipated or even imagined the disrespect for the law that some local public officials began to demonstrate.  No one foresaw that local public officials (who had sworn to uphold the law) would knowingly and willfully violate state law because there were no penalties.

In 2011, fed up with these willful violations of law, the legislature amended the statute to create civil penalties for knowingly and willfully violating the preemption law by enacting prohibited firearms or ammunition ordinances/regulation.  The penalties were imposed on the offending governmental entity and on individual public officials.

These penalties are not for accidental, unintentional or inadvertent violation of the law.  They are for KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY violating the law.

That any court would condone, and give tacit approval to intentional violations of the law by public officials is not only alarming, it is injurious to the fabric of the deterrent effect of the structure and intent of laws.  It is particularly perilous when it comes to those laws promulgated to shield and protect the public from the actions of imprudent public officials.

“Smart” Guns and Mandatory Storage: Two Bad Policy Ideas Cut from the Same Tattered Cloth

Whenever a tragedy strikes that involves a firearm, no matter how statistically rare the event may actually be, you can count on anti-gun extremists to try to exploit it. The responses from those opposed to the Second Amendment upon hearing that a fatality resulted when a firearm was used by a criminal, or accessed by someone who should not have access, tend to sound fairly similar. If a ban isn’t the response selected from the handful of ideas gun control advocates have been promoting for decades, then added restrictions on law-abiding gun owners is the policy du jour.

Restricting access to guns is a very popular notion among those who feel there should be far less freedom when it comes to responsible gun ownership.

In a misguided and misinformed attempt to limit access to firearms by those who should not have access to them (at least, in the mind of the supporters of gun control), the idea of mandatory storage laws was born. And as firearm technology has advanced (although not nearly as fast as anti-gun advocates think or would like), the little brother of mandatory storage laws, “smart” gun mandates, was conceived.

Methods for securing and storing firearms, as well as “smart” guns, may very well be options that law-abiding gun owners will want to explore to see if either or both satisfy their particular needs. But the operative word here is “options.”

Government mandates on “safe” storage and “smart” guns are not just anathema to those who cherish individual liberty, but are policies ill-conceived, and potentially deadly.

Mandatory storage laws, which the gun-ban community euphemistically refers to as “safe” storage laws, tend to look like they were all spit out of the same gun-control factory, with only small variations. In general, they require all firearms within the home to be locked with a trigger-locking device or kept in a locked container or safe, unless a firearm is in the actual possession of the lawful owner.

What these proposals overlook is the fact that gun safety and storage is a matter of personal responsibility and every person’s situation is different. It is unreasonable for the government to impose a one-size-fits-all solution. More importantly, mandatory storage laws invade people’s homes and forces them to render their firearms useless in a self-defense situation by locking them up.

In addition, those who wish to gain access to a firearm for nefarious purposes are not going to be deterred by a trigger lock or a locked container; both devices having been shown to be easily defeated by determined criminals. And while a safe is certainly far more reliable for securing firearms, their cost is prohibitive for many.

“Smart” gun mandates are similarly problematic, although perhaps even more dangerous.

While the idea of a gun that can only be used by someone authorized to use it is intriguing, the technology simply doesn’t exist. There have certainly been developments in the field, but everything that has been offered or tested has had problems. Either the “smart” aspect of restricting who may use it is easily defeated, or the gun aspect of firing when an authorized user is operating it is unreliable.

Being unable to access a firearm when needed, because it is locked away in a safe or otherwise “secured” is one thing. Trying to use a firearm to defend yourself or your loved ones against a violent criminal, only to find the “smart” technology fails at the most critical time, could be even worse.

In spite of the fact that at least one Democrat Presidential candidate seems convinced “smart” guns are a thing, they simply are not.

In the real world, firearms remain useful and effective tools in the hands of law-abiding citizens as a deterrent to violent crime. But only if the government doesn’t mandate ridiculous and dangerous policies like storage requirements or “smart” guns. And this isn’t just a hypothetical argument, as an incident in San Diego, California recently highlighted.

According to reports, a man broke into a home in the Lake Murray area of San Diego, then attacked and stabbed the homeowner. The violent criminal was only stopped when the victim’s 20-year-old son, according to police, “retrieved a firearm and shot the intruder.”

So, why is this case particularly poignant? Because San Diego recently took the first steps to implementing a mandatory storage law.

The proposal “would require gun owners to store guns in a locked container or disable them with a trigger lock when not in the person’s immediate control or being worn on their person.” Had the law been in effect this week, and had the victims of this violent assault been in compliance, one wonders whether the outcome would have been dramatically, and tragically, different.

If the victim’s son was unable to access the firearm he used without first opening a safe or removing a trigger lock, provided he even had the ability to do either, the violent criminal may very well have continued his assault unabated.

Even the local news notes some are questioning the new proposed storage requirements in light of this crime, stating, “The situation is making residents think twice about the new law that, if it were already in effect, could have altered the outcome of this burglary.”

Of course, similar concerns could be raised if San Diego had a “smart” gun mandate in place, but at least the City Council hasn’t taken that approach…yet.

On the other side of the country, however, the Garden State had already decided “smart” gun mandates should remain part of the future of gun control.

In 2002, New Jersey passed a law stating that, once “smart” guns were certified as viable, only handguns incorporating this technology could be sold in the state. This, of course, amounts to nothing more than a ban on traditional handguns. But after almost two decades, “smart” gun technology remained unproven, unreliable, and undesired by America’s gun owners. Without any significant developments or improvements in “smart” gun research that would lead to certification of firearms that satisfy the law passed in 2002, anti-gunners are using a new approach to attempting to force these mythical products into existence.

Last week, rabidly anti-gun New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) signed into law a requirement that every gun dealer in the state offer at least one model of “smart” gun for sale. A commission will be established to determine a list of firearms that qualify as “smart” guns.

Typically, when you have to force businesses to sell a product, that’s a very strong indicator that there is not a market for the product. New Jersey gun shops may be forced to put a “smart” gun on their shelves, but the anti-gun zealots are more likely to see dust collecting rather than actual sales.

And while some might consider this new law an improvement, as it repeals the 2002 law that sought to require only “smart” guns be sold, don’t expect this to be the end of what anti-gun legislators will do to continue their ongoing war against gun owners in New Jersey.

Governor Murphy, after signing the new law, has already stated his desire that only “smart” guns be sold in New Jersey. Once somebody develops one that qualifies under the current law, regardless of how reliable it is, it can be placed on the approved-for-sale list. At that point, reviving the 2002 law would be the obvious next step.

Storage mandates and “smart” gun requirements will continue to be falsely promoted as safety measures in the never-ending war on law-abiding, responsible gun owners. But limiting the use of firearms by those facing assault by violent criminals, either because of storage requirements that delay access or technology that is subject to inopportune failure, is likely to lead to unintended, and sadly tragic, consequences.


Never Enough: New Zealand Government Pushes Even More Gun Control

A Pair of Academics Question Gun Control Orthodoxy

Despite Agency Abuse, Florida Concealed Carry License Holders Number Over 2 Million

The media is reporting that Florida is leading the nation and has now become the first state to have 2 million active concealed carry license holders.  This is despite the irregularities and allegations of unlawful activities in the Commissioner of Agriculture’s office that slow and delay the issuance of licenses.

For the first time, since the “Right-to-Carry” legislation passed, the agency is being run by an anti-gun Commissioner of Agriculture.  Some are accusing the Agency, under the current Commissioner, of unlawfully regulating and suppressing the number of licenses being issued.

The Agency is prohibited, specifically by statute, from adopting regulations or implementing policies to diminish the right of law abiding citizens to get licenses, but the law doesn’t seem to deter the current Commissioner and her anti-gun, anti-self defense, hand picked, upper-level staff.

Mr. Eric Friday, a Jacksonville attorney and General Counsel for Florida Carry, reported today that,

“Despite the claims by the Commissioner there is ample evidence that the process for issuing Concealed Weapon Firearm License is not going as smoothly as she claims.”

“Florida Carry, Inc. has evidence that the Commissioner and her department are engaged in several processes to slow or delay Floridians’ ability to exercise their right to bear arms.  These include using ‘secret’ evidence that the applicants and their lawyers are not allowed to see and refusing to grant formal evidence-based hearings as a matter of routine.”  

“The department is also refusing to approve licenses based on decades old arrests that are not disqualifying and using other states’ (California and New Jersey among others) failure to respond to requests for records as a basis to indefinitely delay the issuance of licenses.”

“I am currently representing two clients regarding actions taken by the Department to deprive them of licenses without due process and based on information the Department knew or should have known was not reliable.”  

When the “Right-to-Carry” law passed, the legislature included a special section in the law to protect the rights of Florida citizens against anti-gun activities by the agency that implements the concealed carry law. The law is apparently being ignored by the Commissioner.

 Florida Statutes 790.06 (2)(15) reads:

(15) The Legislature finds as a matter of public policy and fact that it is necessary to provide statewide uniform standards for issuing licenses to carry concealed weapons and firearms for self-defense and finds it necessary to occupy the field of regulation of the bearing of concealed weapons or firearms for self-defense to ensure that no honest, law-abiding person who qualifies under the provisions of this section is subjectively or arbitrarily denied his or her rights. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall implement and administer the provisions of this section. The Legislature does not delegate to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the authority to regulate or restrict the issuing of licenses provided for in this section, beyond those provisions contained in this section. Subjective or arbitrary actions or rules which encumber the issuing process by placing burdens on the applicant beyond those sworn statements and specified documents detailed in this section or which create restrictions beyond those specified in this section are in conflict with the intent of this section and are prohibited. This section shall be liberally construed to carry out the constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense. This section is supplemental and additional to existing rights to bear arms, and nothing in this section shall impair or diminish such rights.

RELATED ARTICLE: Florida Now Has 2 Million Valid Concealed Weapon Licenses

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Highly Touted Study Tests Non-Existent Policies, Uses Deceptive Data

study published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics this week generated considerable media attention that focused on the purported finding and not the underlying research design:

Gun control tied to fewer child deaths: Study

Who’d A Thunk It? Tougher Gun Laws Mean Fewer U.S. Kids Die, Study Shows

Tougher Gun Laws Do Mean Fewer American Kids Die

Fewer American Kids Die in States with Tougher Gun Laws, According to This New Study

New Study Shows Kids Are 35 Percent Less Likely to Die in States with Strict Gun Laws

Children in States with Strict Gun Laws are Less Likely to Die, According to a New Study

Those are some pretty strong headlines. The study behind these headlines is bogus; it relies on very loose variable definitions and interpretations, seemingly prioritizes convenience over substance, and was likely only published because it found that gun-control is good.

Only half of these articles note that “children” in this study actually includes adults. This is a well-tread deception frequently used by anti-gun organizations, and we are always surprised when respectable researchers indulge in this dishonesty. For several years, we thought researchers had finally acknowledged that 18- and 19-year-old people were not children but this study adds on everyone through the age of 21.

Twenty-one-year-old people are not children. Children cannot buy alcoholic drinks or gamble in a casino. These are adults. You won’t find children enrolled in a medical school but you may find a 21-year-old adult. We suspect that these students would prefer not to be referred to as children, given that they have agency over their decisions and almost certainly have for some time.

But this study includes these adults in their analysis of “pediatric” firearm deaths. In their (only) five-year study period – despite decades of previous data and more recent data all readily available – the researchers identified 21,241 total firearms-related fatalities. The vast majority of these fatalities (69%) were of adults aged 18 to 21. This does not specify by intent; 62% of all fatalities were homicides. More than 43% of all the included fatalities were homicides of 18 to 21-year-old adults. In other words, more than two in five cases included in this analysis were adults.

A better definition of “child” would limit the included ages to those aged 14 and under. These are middle schoolers, kids just about to enter adolescence, and younger.

They’re not adults.

Focusing on actual children would have decreased the number of cases in this study to under ten percent of the number of cases actually used.

The paper begins with the claim that “Of note, ~7 US children die of firearm-related injuries daily.” The citation for this stat is the CDC WISQARS database but the daily average doesn’t line up with the definition of children used in this study. The lowest number of firearms-related fatalities since 1999 when including legal adults through age 21 is much too high to produce that number. Limiting it to children through 18-year-old-adults is close in 2017 – the most recent year of data available, which wasn’t used in the study itself – but not in any other year since 1999. If you look at actual children aged 14 and under, the number is vastly lower than what the authors claim. This begs the question – what definition of child and what year of data did they use to come up with the 7 per day average? If they did use 2017 data for children through 18-year-old-adults, why change the definition for the analysis?

And – perhaps more importantly – why didn’t they use all of the available data in their analysis?

As we noted, the outcome variable for this study of pediatric firearms-related mortality included adults. The rest of the equation – the test and control variables – were just as perplexing. Let’s start with the simpler issue: the control variables.

Research on firearms policy often includes a control variable for violent crime and age cohorts, both of which have been found to be associated with murder rates. Given that 69% of the fatalities here were homicides and the primary exposure variable was a rating of gun laws (designed to reduce crime), incorporating these would make sense. The researchers did control for race, ethnicity, educational attainment, and poverty. They also included a control for gun ownership.

The gun ownership control is based on a 2013 YouGov survey that found Hawaii to have the 10th highest gun ownership rate in the country – higher than Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and well, most other states. There’s a proxy for gun ownership that has been validated by researchers, and that puts the states in a vastly different order than the YouGov survey – which featured self-reported data on gun ownership in February 2013 survey. President Barack Obama and anti-gun politicians were seizing on the tragedy at Sandy Hook to push gun control. That’s the metric this “study” used.

Using the validated proxy based on 2011-2015 data, Hawaii’s gun ownership rate is more than cut in half. New Hampshire’s triples. Many states have double-digit differences between the two metrics. The pediatricians who authored this latest study split the variable in two – high and low gun ownership states. The metric used for the split is important; fourteen states fall on opposite sides of the binary categorization under each metric. This group includes low-crime, high gun ownership states like Vermont and South Dakota.

The primary test variable is the numeric grade assigned to each state by the Brady Campaign, which gave states scores between -39 to 81. The reviewers at the journal Pediatrics couldn’t be bothered to check citations, so the Giffords Law Center is cited even though the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was the actual source of the grades. Supposedly, the Giffords Law Center (an amalgamation of the Legal Community Against Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions) is now the sole provider of state gun law grades, but they use letter grades. The Brady Campaign issued numerical grades, and didn’t hesitate to give some states negative grades.

But the researchers here explain the Brady Campaign’s grading process as gathering “an expert panel to objectively assess and rate state firearm legislation on the basis of a series of 33 different gun policies.” If you can’t trust the organization borne out of a desire to ban all handguns to be objective about gun policy, who can you trust?

There are also more substantive methodological concerns about using a grade for a range of policies rather than focusing on a single policy. Using the grade does not allow for the identification of an effective policy. All policies are seemingly treated the same – the Brady Campaign did not make it clear if certain policies were more heavily weighted than others when determining the grades. Of course, with 31 states receiving negative grades in 2015(after nearly a decade of declining violent crime and murder rates nationwide) how serious can these grades be?

Of course, the outcome variables matter, too, so back to the children and adults being disguised as children for the purposes of gun control. The mortality data for ten states was not available, so the researchers used the mean annual mortality rate over the five-year period as these states’ mortality rates for sensitivity analysis. The data was not available because the number of fatalities fell below the reporting threshold, so the researchers assigned them the mean – the average – of the available data. That artificially inflates the number of fatalities because the mean is calculated without the lowest counts – which were suppressed for the very states for which the mean is substituting. That was just for the sensitivity analysis; in their first model, the researchers found that a 10-point increase in a state’s arbitrary “gun law” score the firearm-related mortality rate among children and teenagers and adults masquerading as children decreased by 8 points. When controlling for race, ethnicity, educational attainment, and the supposed gun ownership metric, they found that a ten-point increase in the anti-gun score is associated with a four-point decrease in the rate. We would wager that controlling for violent crime, age cohorts, alcohol consumption, and other variables commonly used in firearms policy research the effect would further decrease.

These findings are based on the more than twenty-one thousand child, teenage, and adult fatalities the authors studied. What would the result have been if they limited it to actual children?

Let’s take a look at the data for 2011-2015. There were 11,698 firearms-related homicide victims aged 15 to 21 in this limited period. The three counties with the most victims in this age range accounted for more than 13% of all such victims. These counties were Cook County, Illinois (graded 40.5 statewide in 2015 by the Brady Campaign); Los Angeles County, California (76); and Wayne County, Michigan (3, the 18th highest grade). These three counties accounted for just over 5% of the population aged 15-21 in this period. All this shows is that other factors – beyond the sheer number of gun control laws enacted – should be considered when analyzing policy.

Of course, it is also important to consider the specific policies themselves. This study only looks at three policies outside of the nonsensical grades: universal background checks for firearm purchases, universal background checks for ammunition purchases, and microstamping/ballistic fingerprinting. The pediatricians only found a statistically significant association between universal background checks and firearms-related fatalities among children, teenagers, and adults. This conflicts with another study led by well-known anti-gun researchers at UC Davis and the Bloomberg School of Public Health that found universal background checks had no effect. It also contradicts the acknowledgements of Bloomberg School professors that so-called universal background checks just aren’t effective.

But what about the other two policies – universal background checks on ammunition purchases and firearm identification (ballistic fingerprint – databases of shell casings – or microstamping). Well, the authors contend that three states had universal background checks on ammunition – Massachusetts, Illinois, and Connecticut. In each of these three states, you must have a firearms license or permit to purchase ammunition. No background check is done at the point of sale. New York and Maryland both abandoned their ballistic identification databases because they were extraordinarily expensive and predictably ineffective. California’s microstamping law is really a ban on new handguns, as the technology as required by the law does not actually exist.

Neither of these non-existent-in-practice policies was found to have a significant association with the firearms mortality rate of children, adolescents, teenagers, and fully-grown men and women through age twenty-one.

The authors acknowledge that their study did not establish causality, and that they had no metric to measure enforcement of any policy. This is a common weakness in firearms policy research, as measuring enforcement is difficult. However, the mere presence of a law absent of any enforcement is unlikely to have a chilling effect on criminals. We already know that criminals don’t get their guns legally. The Rand Corporation noted in their 2018 review of relevant research that background checks that private-seller background checks (the only sales that do not currently require a background check under federal law) have an uncertain effect on firearm homicides.

This study would not have met Rand’s criteria for inclusion in that review. The research design would not have met the qualifications as it was not designed to identify a causal effect and it utilized an aggregate state score instead of testing a specific policy. The test of so-called universal background checks, while not a test of an aggregate score, would still not have met the other requirements. We’re not sure how Rand would have handled the tests of non-existent policies, but we can make a pretty good guess.

Contrary to their claims, this study does not add anything to the body of research on firearms policy. The sloppy citation, seemingly absent peer review, intentionally limited data, and poor choice of variables should make readers wary of trusting “published” research, but the anti-gun media sees what the anti-gun media wants to see. Questions, critiques, and giant flashing neon signs calling a study unreliable at best are all ignored in the name of the cause.

No death – especially a child’s death – should be trivialized. But this study took too many liberties to be reliable and yet it is being held up as an indication that more gun control laws reduce deaths.

In the worst-case scenario, studies like this will be used to pass laws that will do nothing to stop criminals, help those facing their darkest hours, or prevent accidents. Instead, studies like this will be used to inch closer to what the Brady Campaign, Giffords, and other anti-gun organizations really want: overarching gun control.

RELATED ARTICLE: NYC Makes Second Bid to Shake Off Supreme Court Scrutiny

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

New Zealand Experience Further Proves Registration Facilitates Confiscations

Firearms registration facilitates firearms confiscation. This fact has been demonstrated in recent weeks, as the New Zealand authorities have lamented that the country does not have a firearms registry to assist them in their gun confiscation efforts.

Following a high-profile shooting in Christchurch, the New Zealand government enacted the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Act 2019. The legislation prohibited the sale and civilian possession of all centerfire semi-automatic rifles. Further, the bill banned semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns “that are capable of holding more than 5 cartridges commensurate with that firearm’s chamber size” or capable of accepting a detachable magazine. All detachable centerfire rifle magazines were also prohibited.

Otherwise law-abiding individuals found in unlawful possession of a newly-prohibited firearm face up to five years in prison. Those found in possession of a newly-prohibited magazine face up to two years imprisonment.

In order to enforce the new firearms prohibitions, New Zealand has undertaken an Australian-style confiscatory “buy-back” program that will run from June 20 through December 20. The use of the term “buy-back” is improper, as the government never owned the firearms is seeks to confiscate.

During the amnesty, owners will be forced to turn over their firearms to the government for fixed compensation. New Zealand police have announced a calendar of “local collection events” where gun owners can relinquish their property. Further, police have asked previously law abiding gun owners to use an online portal to notify law enforcement of their prohibited firearms. The government has published a confiscation price list based on make/model and condition of the firearm. Curious U.S. gun owners should note that as of July 3, 2019 the New Zealand dollar was worth approximately $0.67.

In order to possess most rifles and shotguns in New Zealand an individual is required to obtain a firearms license. However, the country does not require all rifles and shotguns to be registered. Pistols and firearms categorized as “military-style semiautomatics” (MSSAs) are subject to registration.

[For more information on New Zealand firearms law, readers are encouraged to visit the Library of Congress website]

This has created a policy dilemma for New Zealand’s gun control advocates. Without knowing how many newly-prohibited firearms are in the country or who owns them, there is no effective way for the anti-gun officials to enforce their ham-handed edicts.

Complaining that the lack of a registry would hamper enforcement, New Zealand Police Association President Chris Cahill told the press in May, “We really have no idea how many of these firearms are out there in New Zealand… Which really points to how bad our firearms legislation has been, that we have let this get out of control.”

Gun Control NZ co-founder Philippa Yasbek admitted that the lack of a registry will make the firearms confiscation plan she supports difficult. Yasbek was quoted by the Washington Post as stating, “These weapons are unlikely to be confiscated by police because they don’t know of their existence… These will become black-market weapons if their owners choose not to comply with the law and become criminals instead.” However, Yasbek and her anti-gun cohorts don’t plan to make this mistake again. At present. Gun Control NZ is advocating for a registry of all firearms and ammunition sales.

Without knowing how many firearms they might need to forcibly purchase, the New Zealand government has allocated NZ$208 million ($139.5 million) to the confiscation scheme. Some pro-gun advocates have placed the necessary funding at closer to NZ$500 million ($335 million).

Even with the massive sum allocated to the confiscation effort, it appears that the fixed compensation prices will not entice many gun owners. Council of Licenced Firearms Owners spokeswoman Nicole McKee told the New Zealand Herald that “Some of the offered prices for higher-end firearms are well out of kilter. We’re talking thousands of dollars.” Mckee went on to add, “The Government kept saying they weren’t going to rip us off. They said they would pay full value. They’re not, and 250,000 [firearms licence holders] are starting to feel ripped off.” Gun store owner David Tipple was quoted by the paper as calling some of the offered prices “horrible robbery.” New Zealand MP Christopher Bishop was quoted by Radio New Zealand as stating, “Because we’re asking thousands of people to turn up to these mass collection events and hand over their firearms to the police and if they don’t believe they’re getting a fair price people simply won’t do it… That will undermine the whole intent of the buyback scheme itself.”


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Vox Wants to Take Your Guns

Recent Poll Shows Gun Control Not as Popular as Some Would Like to Believe

EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

11 Interesting Facts about Biometric Guns

The evolution of technology has given us more ways to implement it. Moreover, it has improved many of the things we know and use, which is the case with biometric guns. These smart guns have been specially created to make sure a household with a gun is safer to live in – past experiences have shown that accidents can occur if the gun is left unprotected. Moreover, there have been a lot of mass shootings in the US, so many people are suspicious to whatever involves guns.

Biometric guns have come as a way to prevent these incidents from happening, or at least decrease their number. That being said, here are some interesting facts about biometric guns that you may want to know.

  1. They’re Unlocked with Fingerprints

The main goal of biometric guns is to make sure that only the rightful owner can gain access to the gun. Each person has a unique fingerprint, so those who have started working on improving gun safety have taken this into consideration. As a result, biometric technology has been implemented in these guns to ensure the weapon unlocks only when your fingerprint is detected.

  1. They’ve Had Pushback

Debates about guns are nothing new, particularly in today’s world. After seeing the many tragedies that involved the use of guns, citizens are afraid of weapons, and would rather see them all gone.

But once smart guns have become a thing, gun control supporters were pushing the idea that smart guns should be the only ones sold on the market. That means any other traditional gun without smart technology should be eliminated.

However, the NRA opposed the law that prohibited American residents from purchasing guns without biometric mechanisms.

  1. They’re Much Safer in a Household

The coolest thing about biometric guns is how they can provide safety on a whole new level. Not only that they provide you with a way to protect yourself in case of a threat such as a burglary, but they don’t allow anyone except the owner to use the gun. With fingerprint technology, these weapons only recognize the owner’s unique fingerprint – this means that nobody else would be able to unlock the gun. Pretty amazing, right?

You can also come up with multiple protection mechanisms, such as gun safes, even if you’re on a tight budget. You can find safes under 500 – these represent a great way to keep your biometric gun away from outside danger. So, you don’t have to break the bank for some additional security.

  1. Reliability Is an Issue

Many people worry about the reliability of this technology. While improvements have been made over the years, it always comes in question whether the fingerprint always works or not. Of course, the fingerprints have issues if your hand is wet or dirty. Thankfully, improvements are made all the time.

  1. They Can Protect Police Officers

We’ve seen many cases when police officers were dealing with a criminal, and their gun got taken away and used against them? This won’t be happening anymore as long as biometric guns are in their possession. Criminals may be able to snatch them but using them won’t be possible.

  1. They May Not Always Be Good for Self Defense

Of course, self-defense is the main purpose of these guns, but in certain situations, they may be ineffective. If they are affected by temperature or moisture, they might not work properly. The same can be said if the battery is dead – in this case, you won’t be able to use the firearm. This could only endanger one’s life. It’s always important to take precautions and ensure nothing affects the gun’s performance.

  1. Gun Control Advocates Support Them

As expected, those who value gun control are very happy with these inventions. Since traditional guns can lead to so many tragedies, smart guns are safer as they prevent an unauthorized person from gaining access to them. Some people who were affected by the Sandy Hook massacre have grouped with Silicon Valley technology members in order to launch a special campaign. This would offer prizes to those who work to improve guns’ safety.

  1. Some Gun Rights Activists Oppose Them

If you thought nobody would be against them, you’d be surprised to know that there are, in fact, some gun rights activists that don’t like them. For example, the NRA said in the past that these items were not proven to increase safety. Moreover, they went to say that the fingerprint-reading features and many others are unreliable.

  1. They May or May Not Be Hacked

People are unaware whether these systems can be hacked or not. Apparently, a glue-mold hack was used to show that the Galaxy S5 technology can be hacked, which means biometrics could also be unsafe too. This is not certain, though, considering it wasn’t tested.

  1. They Are Not Really for Sale

It’s hard to think that after almost two decades, smart gun technology is not yet fully accessible to the public. Many US residents are interested in this safe gun ownership method, but apparently, the political pressure from gun rights activists, as well as the lack of investment in development, prevented these guns from being widely available. Moreover, some are still only in prototype form.

  1. Former President Obama Encouraged Their Use

The former president of the US has pushed law enforcement agencies to adopt biometric guns, as a way to give people a secure method of using weapons for self-defense. To Barack Obama, it seemed very surprising that gun manufacturers weren’t focusing more on the idea of biometrics for gun safety. Although he is no longer leading the US, manufacturers may still try to consider his guidelines.

Final Thoughts

Biometric guns may help the US with mass shootings situations and can prevent accidents from happening. With fingerprint protection, it’s unlikely that someone else will be able to unlock your firearm. Hopefully, they will make their way on the market soon enough.

BOTTOM LINE: Biometric guns are something that the market should determine, not politicians.

Living in La-La Land: Joe Biden’s Alternative Reality

Anti-gun folks typically characterize their gun control restrictions as “common sense” and “responsible,” regardless of how poorly grounded in reality these “solutions” tend to be, or how little their proponents understand what these measures will do (like the gun control supporters at one event who, when asked, were unable to explain what an AR-15 or a bumpstock is).

A related, recurring theme is their claim that the gun community opposes these incredible “gun safety” measures due to blind, reflexive obstructionism, rather than because of any actual concerns about the merits.

Last week, former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden provided a stunning example of this kind of irresponsible rhetoric. According to a newspaper source, Biden outlined his proposals for gun control – should he be elected as president of the United States – to a select group of donors at a posh Upper East Side penthouse in New York City. “[I]f that happens,” he said, “guns, we have the capacity now in a James Bond-style to make sure no one can pull a trigger unless their DNA and fingerprint is on it…We have that capacity to do it now. You know it.” He added, further, that “the gun manufacturers” had pulled the plug on this technology as soon as “two folks started to sell some of those guns to two dealerships,” apparently because of some misplaced apprehension over the Second Amendment.

During Thursday’s debate between the Democratic Party presidential candidates, Biden went even further, claiming that he would impose a ban on the sale of any firearm that wasn’t a so-called smart gun: “No gun should be able to be sold unless your biometric measure could pull that trigger. It’s within our right to do that.”

As we’ve pointed out many times before, the “James Bond-style” technology that Biden enthuses over does not actually exist.

There is no gun that incorporates both DNA and fingerprint verification technology. No firearm technology requires a “DNA match” before the gun can fire, and this isn’t a feasible option in any event. DNA extraction and analysis is currently a complex and time-consuming process involving specialized equipment, which means it is completely unworkable as the basis of any design intended to allow immediate access to and use of a gun. A handgun using a biometric fingerprint sensor is reportedly in development, but has some significant flaws (it depends on a rechargeable battery, the sensor can’t recognize a dirty fingerprint or someone wearing gloves, and the prototype only works for right-handed shooters). Like the teleportation transporter in Star Trek, the magic wands in Harry Potter, or the Iron Man’s bodysuit, we do not “have the capacity now.”

It’s no wonder that America’s gun owners continue to reject Biden’s make-believe ideas on gun control.

So, while Joe Biden may be raking in donations from the elites of Tinseltown, it doesn’t mean he should likewise accept whatever “James Bond-style” fantasies Hollywood puts on the big screen as the gospel truth.


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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Dianne Feinstein Is Trying (Again) To Ban the Most Popular Firearm in America

After all these years, Dianne Feinstein is still clueless about guns.

“Dianne Feinstein, the anti-gun senator from California, took to Twitter to show just how clueless she really is on guns. She went down the road that every anti-gunner does and went after the always vilified AR-15.” —Grant


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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-TV video is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

A Tale of Two Rallies

The 2020 presidential contest is now underway in earnest. On Tuesday, President Trump officially kicked off his reelection campaign to a packed house at the 20,000 seat Amway Center in Orlando, FL. Earlier that day, one of the two dozen or so contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination tried to have a rally of his own to draw attention to his signature issue of gun control. The difference between the two events speaks volumes about the role the Second Amendment plays in American politics.

At about 1:30 in the afternoon, a little-known U.S. Congressman from California’s 15th District held an event on the sidewalk across from NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, VA. There doesn’t seem to be much point in mentioning his name, as he is polling at a pathetic 1% in his party’s primary race and just barely qualified to attend the first Democrat debate.

The location of the “event” (if that’s not too strong a word) was meant to be symbolic. Speaking to The Hill last week, the candidate boasted: “I’m taking the battle to the NRA’s doorstep with a new, broader package of commonsense reforms to end gun violence.” The Hill article noted that “gun control” is the “centerpiece” of this individual’s “long-shot Democratic presidential bid.” Indeed, at his campaign launch in April, he told his audience that “this issue [i.e., gun control] comes first.”

It can only be assumed, then, that this “confrontation” with the NRA was a key moment in his effort to gain some national attention and raise his profile in a crowded field.

Instead, the gathering was an embarrassingly lame example of either extremely poor planning or rank disinterest in anything the individual had to say. With sun breaking through the clouds, accompanied by typical Northern Virginia heat and humidity, the crowd topped out at 18 individuals during the height of the event. This does not include the individual himself or a small contingent of reporters, but it does include his own staff and others who actually accompanied him to the site.

Adding to the humorous nature of the scene was the backdrop of a giant black tour bus that looked as if it could have held many dozens of occupants. Like a reverse clown car, it disgorged a “crowd” completely disproportionate to its size.

There’s nothing funny, however, about what this pretender would do to your Second Amendment rights in the far-fetched event he actually wielded power from the Oval Office.

The individual’s plan – which he misleadingly calls “A National Framework to End Gun Violence” – is basically a compendium of the worst thinking on gun control from the last 40 years.

Needless to say, the centerpiece of the “Framework” is a massive gun ban, in this case on what he calls “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons.” This likely refers to magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, which not incidentally is America’s most popular centerfire rifle platform.

Unlike other recent proposals, his plan calls for forcing those who previously obtained the newly-banned guns lawfully to surrender them to the government for whatever compensation D.C. bureaucrats decided to offer. He calls this the option for the person “who chooses to follow the law.”

Any person “caught defying the law” by refusing to relinquish their lawfully-obtained and constitutionally-protected property, meanwhile, could expect to be criminally prosecuted under the plan.

Of course, the true threats to public peace and order do not “choose[] to follow the law,” and the types of firearms he proposes to ban are actually under-represented in violent crime in the U.S. And even considering the far more infrequent phenomena of mass shootings, semi-automatic rifles are under-represented in those crimes as well.

The rest of the individual’s proposed agenda is too lengthy to fully enumerate, but lowlights include:

  • a mandatory 48-hour waiting period to take possession of a purchased gun (including, apparently, for those who already own guns);
  • a ban on the private sale of firearms;
  • federal licensing and mandatory training to obtain a firearm;
  • a nationwide registry of every firearm, firearm owner, and firearm transaction in America;
  • rationing of the purchase of handguns and ammunition; and
  • a cap on the amount of ammunition that individuals may possess at any one time to 200 rounds per caliber or gauge.

The full list is considerably longer, but the obvious intent is to discourage gun ownership by making it as expensive, burdensome, bureaucratic, legally perilous, and socially unacceptable as possible. Indeed, if he accomplished every item he proposes, American citizens would be worse off in terms of access to firearms than residents of many Western European countries that have no pretense of a “right” to arms and instead treat gun ownership as a tightly-restricted privilege.

Yet even as this plan was being unveiled to an audience that could barely fill a spacious utility closet, another, significantly larger audience was massing well ahead of President Trump’s official campaign kick-off later that night. That event packed the 20,000 seats of the arena, with an overflow crowd cheering the President on from outside of the venue as well.

And it wasn’t just the numbers that told the tale. There was an enthusiasm and electricity to the crowd in Orlando that is simply unmatched in American politics today.

For Second Amendment supporters, the president has been a steadfast ally, refusing to bend to the will of anti-gun forces within the Democrat party, the legacy media, and increasingly in a business climate that appears to embrace virtue signaling even over company mission or shareholder value. His years in office have seen some of the harshest, most sustained attacks against the Second Amendment in our nation’s history, and he has held firm to his promise to be friend to the law-abiding gun owner. None of the many gun control bills introduced into Congress have succeeded during his watch.

Not only that, he has appointed two justices to the U.S. Supreme Court committed to the original understanding of the U.S. Constitution. The Second Amendment will again be before the court this year, and thanks to President Trump, it will be given the respectful consideration it deserves. That would not have happened if Hillary Clinton had succeeded in her bid for the White House.

President Trump mentioned the Second Amendment three times in Orlando, and the crowd responded each time with raucous cheering and applause.

Like his would-be opponent from California, the President has situated the Second Amendment squarely at the center of his campaign. President Trump, however, understands the fundamental place the right to keep and bear arms holds in American life. “We will protect our Second Amendment,” he promised once again.

Fortunately, President Trump will almost certainly not be facing the Congressman from California’s 15th District in the race for the White House. And while the president’s eventual opponent is likely to take a more “moderate” stance on firearms in the general election, there’s little doubt the gun control wish list unveiled last Tuesday was as much as anything a roadmap anti-gun forces hope will lead to the eventual destruction of the Second Amendment. Bit by bit, they are hoping to change the terms of the debate and move the window on what is considered possible in infringing your rights.

Two views of the Second Amendment emerged on Tuesday, and it was clear which one was more widely embraced.

But make no mistake, there is still much work to be done to ensure that view also prevails in 2020. The media’s knives were out before the president even finished his speech, spinning familiar tales about the doom that surely await his electoral ambitions.

So we must do all we can to protect our freedoms in the 2020 elections.


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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Pratt: Virginia Beach Demonstrates the Failure of Gun Control

The calls for more gun control are in full swing.

Following the Virginia Beach mass shooting last Friday, Democrat presidential hopefuls are lining up to restrict the rights of honest Americans and to shred the Second Amendment.

The comments from socialist Bernie Sanders are typical. In the aftermath of the shooting, he blasted the gun lobby for “controlling Congress” and called for more “gun safety legislation” as the panacea for every societal ill. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam followed with his own calls for specific gun restrictions.

But in the midst of all the hyperbole, there was one inadvertent admission. The chief of police in Virginia Beach — a gun control advocate himself — admitted that additional gun control would not have made a difference.

Here’s why Chief James Cervera is right on this point.

1) Gun-free zones are a failure. A key premise to the gun control view is that Americans would be safer if guns were banned at various locations. Hence, we see gun-free zones have been imposed at every school in the country, in government buildings, at sporting events, etc.

But this won’t make Americans safe. Case in point: the Virginia Beach shooting effectively occurred in a gun-free zone. City employees are prohibited from carrying firearms, so they were sitting ducks when the killer chose them as the targets. This shooting is not an isolated incident, as almost 98 percent of the mass shootings that occur in this country occur in gun-free zones.

2) Universal Background Checks proven totally ineffective. The anti-gun left incessantly argues for running every gun purchase through a background check. But they ignore the fact that 95 percent of initial denials are false positives, stopping people who are not really criminals.

Plus, they ignore the fact that virtually every mass shooter in recent memory has passed a background check. This killer was no different — he passed background checks in purchasing his firearms. So how would imposing even MORE background checks make us any safer?

3) Banning AR-15 style firearms misses the mark. Those who hold an irrational fear of firearms are relentless in their calls for banning commonly-owned firearms like the AR-15. But here again, a ban on these guns would have done no good. The Virginia Beach killer used two handguns, which by the way, is the weapon-of-choice for mass shooters — not the AR-15.

4) Suppressors don’t allow “stealth” killing. Anti-gun zealots have seized on the fact that the killer used a suppressor, as justification for banning these items. Yet suppressors are simply a safety device to protect people’s hearing. They are more like a car muffler, rather than the Hollywood notion of a “silencer.”

Suppressors don’t reduce the sound to a whisper as so deceptively portrayed in so many movies. Not surprisingly, witnesses in Virginia Beach reported that they “heard” the gunshots, which is a clear indication that the myth of the silencer is just that — a myth.

5) Limiting magazine capacity becomes harmful to the innocent. Finally, the left would have us believe that if standard-to-large capacity magazines were banned, this killer would have been unable to find magazines larger than five or 10 rounds.

But to believe that, one would have to believe that Prohibition effectively kept people from drinking booze and that the War on Drugs was equally successful.

The truth is that limiting magazine capacity will endanger law-abiding Americans. Consider recent examples of self-defense where Americans needed weapons with so-called “hi-capacity” magazines to protect themselves.

  • A Houston man fired several rounds while fighting off five home invaders this year, utilizing his AK-47 as his primary means of defense;
  • A Florida man used his AR-15 to fire 30 rounds while fighting off seven intruders in the early hours of an April Sunday morning in 2018; and,
  • Then there’s the Texas woman who wished she could have had an AR-15 or AK-47. She used a revolver in defense of two attackers in her home, firing all her rounds and severely wounding one intruder in the stomach. But she completely missed the second assailant.

When he heard the clicking sound, he turned and savagely beat her. The homeowner survived, but she has promised to buy a new gun — one with a good-sized magazine. Good thing, because she needs it.

To hear anti-gunners like Sanders and Northam speak, one would think that the United States is the world leader when it comes to mass shootings. The truth is that our country is near the bottom of the list — placing 64th (in per capita frequency) in a list of 97 countries that have had mass shootings.

And what about the worst 63 nations? They all have stricter gun control than the United States, which just goes to show that gun control is a huge failure — not just here, but around the globe, as well.


Erich Pratt

Erich Pratt is the executive director of Gun Owners of America, a gun rights organization representing more than two million gun owners.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

If the 2020 Democrat presidential primary is any indication, that party’s base and donor class will accept nothing less from their nominee than commitments to sweeping gun control. And the contenders appear happy to accommodate them.

No one doubts that the political hard left is unified around the idea of gun control in principle. But some in that camp are expressing concern that the pathway to the presidency may not lie in promising to criminalize otherwise law-abiding gun owners and to seize firearms that were obtained lawfully and never misused by their owners.

Honesty, in other words, is not the best policy when it comes to infringements of the right to keep and bear arms.

Leftist political pundit and talk show host Bill Maher claims to be a reluctant firearm owner, but no one would mistake him for a Second Amendment advocate. “[T]he Second Amendment,” he has repeatedly said, “is bull-[expletive deleted].”

Nevertheless, he is among the seemingly dwindling number of those on the far left who still maintain some awareness that America is a big country and that its politics are not necessarily defined by its most “progressive” coastal enclaves.

Last Friday, Maher used a panel discussion on his cable show “Real Time” to caution fellow opponents of Donald Trump that many Americans like guns. “Lots of people do,” he said, “and their view is, ‘Yes, there is a violence problem with guns, but not me. And you’re going after me.’”

Referring to the Democrats’ gun control proposals, Maher continued: “And I’m just saying, some of their solutions, all of the solutions, I don’t know if it would solve the gun problem.”

Maher went on to remind his guests that “we’ve lost elections before on this issue, which is not a winning issue for Democrats.” He also said that “liberals should learn more about guns” and noted that primary contender Cory Booker – who recently invoked the Virginia Beach murders to argue for gun control – did not answer the questions of CNN’s Jake Tapper about how his own proposals would have prevented those crimes.

Maher’s advice, unsurprisingly, was not well received by his guests. Charles Blow, a writer for the New York Times, insisted that “journalists have to stop asking that horrible question.” Blow indicated that picking out one incident to focus on is unfair, given the broader scope of firearm-related deaths in America. “The framing of the question is wrong,” Blow lectured.

Blow might have had a valid point, but for the fact that Booker and his fellow candidates essentially demand these inquiries by constantly bringing up rare but infamous and highly-publicized mass murders that account for a tiny fraction of firearm-related deaths, most of which are suicides.

Commonplace firearm-related homicides, meanwhile, very often occur in cities with strict gun control and involve repeat offenders who ignore the laws already on the books and undoubtedly would do the same to any additional laws that were imposed.

To his credit, Maher himself seems to recognize this. “You really don’t think it’s that simple?” he asked Blow. “It’s complicated. If you did everything that the Democrats wanted – and I support all of that – I still think you would have this problem, because it’s much more complicated than just the guns … or the type of guns.”

Later, Jake Tapper would find himself fending off a social media mob incensed that he would ask an embarrassing, if obvious, question of a left-leaning politician who favors gun control. “Booker changed his speech in CA to talk about the Virginia Beach shootings and need for more gun laws,” Tapper tweeted the Sunday after the Maher piece aired. “Asking what laws would have prevented/mitigated the specific tragedy he wanted to discuss was a natural question and a sincere one too.”

Maher and Tapper are hardly the first on the left to recognize the conundrum of gun control advocates who exploit the victims of mass murders to promote their agenda without actually offering any responsive proposals.

Mark Glaze was a founding figure and executive director of Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun empire, Everytown for Gun Safety. Glaze stepped down from that position in 2014, telling the Wall Street Journal at the time: “Is it a messaging problem when a mass shooting happens and nothing that we have to offer would have stopped that mass shooting? Sure it’s a challenge in this issue.”

Later, Glaze would become an advisor to another gun control group, Guns Down America, which aims to “take down the NRA, ” “reduc[e] the number of guns in circulation,” and “[m]ake guns significantly harder to get … .”

Glaze, in other words, can at least take satisfaction in now being more honest about his intentions. It’s not a question of preventing unpreventable crimes. It’s simply a question of doing everything possible to get rid of guns and to silence those who advocate for the right to keep and bear arms.

The real problem for anti-gun Democrats and gun control advocates, however, isn’t how they package their message.

It’s that they want to take away the hard-won freedoms of a freedom-loving people.

And while their occasional moments of self-reflection may not be making much of a dent in the fanaticism the hard left has for gun control, voters who support the Second Amendment should pay close attention.

Because when the oversharing of the primary ends and the real presidential campaign begins, the eventual nominee may well heed Maher’s advice and take a much more moderate (and misleading) tone on guns.

Yet the Democrat hopefuls have by now expressed all that needs to be said to betray their true designs on your Second Amendment rights.


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EDITORS NOTE: This NRA-ILA column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

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Jordan McGillis is a Policy Analyst at the Institute for Energy Research. In his role, McGillis writes on energy policy and contributes to IER’s communications initiatives.
McGillis graduated with a B.A. from the University of South Florida and an M.A. from Seton Hall University, both in International Affairs. Areas of focus: Federal Lands (permitting, drilling rights,ect.), Carbon Tax & Climate Change, Free Market Theory.

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Good – Short Video on Red Flag Laws

Watch and listen to this short Gun Owners of America video on Red Flag Laws which we now have in Florida codified in the Marjory Stoneman HS Protection Act (SB 7026) as “Risk Protection Orders”.

These laws ignore our 5th and 14th Amendment rights of Due Process and I predict will result in consequences for legal, law abiding gun owners over time. I’m personally not convinced that these are “unintended” consequences either but rather another intentional chipping away of our 2nd Amendment and Due Process Rights.

Gun Owners of America have been outspoken on this subject and I recommend you consider joining GOA as I did several years ago.

I am hopeful an iron-clad lawsuit will be filed before much longer to challenge FL’s Risk Protection Order and; if not eliminating it, as a minimum require holding a hearing before seizure and not exparte except in exceptional cases where there is overwhelming evidence/probable cause of potential harm by the gun owner. As the language is currently written, it is too open to interpretation resulting in differing procedures by different court jurisdictions and potential to be used as a political weapon by liberal gun control enthusiasts.

I am a Life Member of the NRA and want to know where is the NRA-ILA on this issue? So far – Crickets – chirp – chirp.


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