Category Archives: Gun Control/2nd Amendment

Shocker, not: Seattle’s gun-sale tax falls way short of projections in first year

burgess

Seattle Council President Tim Burgess, sponsor of the gun tax

Expect the progressives on the Seattle City Council to come up with another tax.

From Seattle Times: Seattle’s tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition raised less than $200,000 during its first year, according to Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess. The city had previously kept the revenue information confidential to protect taxpayers’ privacy, as reported in a recent Seattle Times story.

In an email sent to The Times Tuesday, Burgess wrote:

“City and state laws prohibit the city from releasing specific tax information when such information is likely to identify specific taxpayers. In this context, we can report that there were approximately 15 potential firearm and ammunition taxpayers in the city for 2016. During its first year, the firearms and ammunition tax payments received by the City were less than $200,000.”

The city is using the tax to support gun-violence research at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. But the city isn’t spending the money until a 2015 lawsuit challenging the tax is resolved.

Burgess spearheaded the tax, which was adopted by the council in 2015 and took effect Jan. 1, 2016. When Burgess proposed the tax, he said the city’s budget office had estimated it would raise $300,000 to $500,000 a year.

Though the money from the tax isn’t being used, the research it’s intended to pay for is moving ahead, with $275,000 that the council allocated for 2016 and 2017 coming out of the city’s general fund.

DCG

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More and more states allow concealed handguns without permit

This news is sure to drive the gun control Left up the wall.

At least 11 states have passed laws allowing the concealed carry of guns without a permit, including Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia, and most recently New Hampshire.

In Missouri, lawmakers last year overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D) veto and passed a package of gun legislation that established a “stand your ground” law and allowed people to carry concealed handguns without a permit. Concealed-carry permits were no longer necessary in the state starting Jan. 1. The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R), said: “The basis of this whole bill is that it allows law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families.”

A week ago, on February 22, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed a law that allows anyone who has purchased a licensed pistol or revolver to carry it, loaded or unloaded, on him or herself or in a vehicle. Sununu’s predecessor, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D), twice vetoed the legislation. Jeb Bradley (R), the majority leader of the state Senate, said, “We have historically allowed people to openly carry a pistol. I don’t see why you have to get a second permit if you’re a law-abiding citizen and legally entitled to own a gun.”

The New Hampshire law went into effect immediately. Previously, gun owners had to apply for a concealed-carry permit with the local police chief, who granted or denied the request. Bradley said that numerous people were unfairly denied permits, but police chiefs testified during hearings that few applications were turned down.

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But the permitless concealed carry is opposed by some police chiefs:

  • In New Hampshire, Portsmouth Police Commissioner Joseph Plaia, who is a member of Granite State Coalition for Common Sense — an offshoot of the gun control group Americans for Responsible Solutions founded by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords  — said in a statement: “This bill will eliminate the state’s long-standing permitting system and prevent local law enforcement from making important determinations that help keep guns out of dangerous hands.”
  • In Missouri, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (D) and the city’s police chief Sam Dotson said it would make neighborhoods less safe and make it more difficult for police to do their jobs.

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said the passage of such laws are an “anomaly” and occur in “legislatures that have been doing the NRA’s bidding.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Rifle Association (NRA), 16 states have introduced legislation this year to do the same, including Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky and Texas.

The legislation has been dubbed “permitless carry” or “constitutional carry,” as proponents believe that people have a constitutional right to carry a gun with as few restrictions as possible. Gun rights advocates see the laws as the next frontier in Second Amendment rights. Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said, “That’s kind of the next step in expanding law-abiding gun owners’ constitutional right to self-protection. It’s where a lot of states are moving.”

Nationwide, the legislation has been contentious and has failed in states that are traditional bastions of gun rights, with law enforcement members, politicians and gun proponents arguing that the bills go too far:

  • In Montana, Gov. Steve Bullock (D) vetoed a bill allowing for the carrying of concealed guns without a permit on February 23, saying in a veto letter that the state’s sheriffs may require safety training before granting a concealed-carry permit and can deny permits to people struggling with mental illness. Equating the bill to allowing people to drive cars, fly planes or erect buildings without determining if they are eligible and able to do so, Bullock wrote: “While I will fiercely defend the 2nd Amendment rights of our citizens, I cannot support an absurd concept that threatens the safety of our communities by not providing for the basic fundamentals of gun safety or mental health screening.”
  • In South Dakota, Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), who said he is a lifetime member of the NRA, vowed in an op-ed in the Rapid City Journal that he would veto a bill that would establish permitless carry in the state because it is “bad legislation” that could have many unintended consequences. South Dakota does not require a permit to purchase a gun and a concealed-carry permit costs $10 and requires a background check.

Source: Washington Post

~Eowyn

US appeals court upholds Maryland assault weapons ban

debbie ar15

Me shooting a “weapon of war.” Molṑn Labé.

Next stop: SCOTUS.

From Fox News: Maryland’s ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons and its 10-round limit on gun magazines were upheld Tuesday by a federal appeals court in a decision that met with a strongly worded dissent.

In a 10-4 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., said the guns banned under Maryland’s law aren’t protected by the Second Amendment.

“Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war,” Judge Robert King wrote for the court, adding that the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller explicitly excluded such coverage.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who led the push for the law in 2013 as a state senator, said it’s “unthinkable that these weapons of war, weapons that caused the carnage in Newtown and in other communities across the country, would be protected by the Second Amendment.”

“It’s a very strong opinion, and it has national significance, both because it’s en-banc and for the strength of its decision,” Frosh said, noting that all of the court’s judges participated.

Judge William Traxler issued a dissent. By concluding the Second Amendment doesn’t even apply, Traxler wrote, the majority “has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.” He also wrote that the court did not apply a strict enough review on the constitutionality of the law.

“For a law-abiding citizen who, for whatever reason, chooses to protect his home with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a semi-automatic handgun, Maryland’s law clearly imposes a significant burden on the exercise of the right to arm oneself at home, and it should at least be subject to strict scrutiny review before it is allowed to stand,” Traxler wrote.

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said, “It is absurd to hold that the most popular rifle in America is not a protected arm' under the Second Amendment."</strong> She added that the majority opinion "clearly ignores the Supreme Court's guidance from District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects arms that arein common use at the time for lawful purposes like self-defense.”‘

The NRA estimates there are 5 million to 10 million AR-15s — one of the weapons banned under Maryland’s law — in circulation in the United States for lawful purposes. Asked about an appeal, Baker said the NRA is exploring all options.

But Elizabeth Banach, executive director of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, said the decision is “overwhelming proof that reasonable measures to prevent gun violence are constitutional.”

“Maryland’s law needs to become a national model of evidence-based policies that will reduce gun violence,” Banach wrote in a statement.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake upheld the ban in 2015, but a divided three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that she didn’t apply the proper legal standard. The panel sent the case back to Blake and ordered her to apply “strict scrutiny,” a more rigorous test of a law’s constitutionality. The state appealed to the full appeals court.

Maryland passed the sweeping gun-control measure after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that killed 20 children and six educators in Connecticut. King mentioned the massacre at the start of the ruling.

“Both before and after Newtown, similar military-style rifles and detachable magazines have been used to perpetrate mass shootings in places whose names have become synonymous with the slaughters that occurred there,” King wrote. He listed the 2012 shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; the December 2015 shootings in San Bernardino, California; and the shootings last year at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub, where 49 people were killed and 53 injured.

King also noted that enacting the law is “precisely the type of judgment that legislatures are allowed to make without second-guessing by a court.”

“Simply put, the State has shown all that is required: a reasonable, if not perfect, fit between the (Firearms Safety Act) and Maryland’s interest in protecting public safety,” King wrote.

DCG

Washington senator insists insurance bill is not about gun control

maralyn-chase

Maralyn Chase: Fully believes in your Second Amendment rights, HOWEVER…

Attention Ms. Chase:

  1. You have a Constitutional right to own a firearm. A home or car is not a Constitutional right.
  2. You do NOT have to purchase insurance (unless you are financing in which case it is usually required). Sure, you take on higher risks and even fines yet there are plenty of people who opt out of purchasing insurance.

From MyNorthwest.com: The Washington State Legislature is considering a series of gun control measures that includes Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s assault weapon ban and a gun lock safety bill.

One senator has introduced a measure that takes on the issue a different way, requiring liability insurance before someone can buy a gun.

Sen. Maralyn Chase (D-Edmonds) says people have to buy insurance for their homes, their cars, and other items, so having it for guns makes sense to her (of course it does – she’s a democrat).

Chase insists her bill is not about gun control, but rather public and private protections.

“I fully believe in Second Amendment rights, however, with those rights come great responsibilities,” Chase said. “We see the destructive power of guns almost nightly on the news and yet we do not require gun owners to have any type of liability insurance. Requiring liability insurance may cause an irresponsible gun owner to exercise extra care in preventing firearm-related accidents, especially in tragic accidents involving children.”

Dave Workman, senior editor of thegunmag.com, doesn’t believe gun liability insurance will do anything to cut down on crime or gun related accidents. “This is one more hoop that somebody is trying to throw out there to require people to jump through before they can exercise a civil right,” he said. “If they did this, or tried to do this, the howling would be heard all the way from our Washington to Washington D.C.”

Workman says politicians can only go so far with something like this before getting a negative reaction from the public. He doesn’t believe the bill will get much traction in Olympia.

Senator Chase agrees. She admits it will be difficult to get it out of the Senate given the current political makeup. But, she says, it’s important to get the discussion started. For now, her bill sits in the Senate’s Law and Justice Committee, with no hearing scheduled.

There is one group that’s in favor of gun liability insurance — insurance companies. Insurance companies sell policies for self-defense use of guns and concealed carry. It’s even NRA-endorsed. As described in a video promoting “Second Call Defense,” the “legal aftermath of a self-defense shooting can sometimes seem worse than what causes you to use lethal force in the first place.” (See the video at the MyNorthwest.com article.)

DCG

High speed wireless devices…

montana-gunsEvery law-abiding citizen should have one, or two, or three, or more!

DCG

Court rules that Florida doctors can ask patients about guns and gun safety

adalberto-jordan

Circuit Court Judge Adalberto Jordan

Guns, what guns?

From Fox News: A federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that Florida doctors can talk to patients about gun safety, declaring a law aimed at restricting such discussions a violation of the First Amendment’s right to free speech.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law does not trespass on patients’ Second Amendment rights to own guns and noted a patient who doesn’t want to be questioned about that can easily find another doctor.

“The Second Amendment right to own and possess firearms does not preclude questions about, commentary on, or criticism for the exercise of that right,” wrote Circuit Judge Adalberto Jordan (appointed by Obama and born in Cuba) in one of two majority opinions covering 90 pages. “There is no actual conflict between the First Amendment rights of doctors and medical professionals and the Second Amendment rights of patients.”

Circuit Judge William Pryor, who was a finalist in President Donald Trump’s search for a Supreme Court nominee, said in a separate concurring opinion that the First Amendment must protect all points of view.

“The promise of free speech is that even when one holds an unpopular point of view, the state cannot stifle it,” he wrote. “The price Americans pay for this freedom is that the rule remains unchanged regardless of who is in the majority.”

The law was passed in 2011 and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott with strong support from the National Rifle Association. It was the only one of its kind in the nation, although similar laws have been considered in other states.

Supporters in the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature insisted it was necessary because doctors were overstepping their bounds and pushing an anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment agenda.

The law was challenged almost immediately by thousands of physicians, medical organizations and other groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union as a violation of free speech in what became known as the “Docs v. Glocks” case. A legal battle has raged in the courts since then, with several conflicting opinions issued.

“We are thrilled that the court has finally put to bed the nonsensical and dangerous idea that a doctor speaking with a patient about gun safety somehow threatens the right to own a gun,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

The 11th Circuit noted that Florida lawmakers appeared to base the law on “six anecdotes” about physicians’ discussions of guns in their examination rooms and little other concrete evidence that there is an actual problem. And doctors who violated the law could face professional discipline, a fine or possibly loss of their medical licenses.

“There was no evidence whatsoever before the Florida Legislature that any doctors or medical professionals have taken away patients’ firearms or otherwise infringed on patients’ Second Amendment rights,” Jordan wrote for the court.

The NRA and Florida attorneys had argued that under the law doctors could ask about firearms if the questions were relevant to a patient’s health or safety, or someone else’s safety, and that the law was aimed at eliminating harassment of gun owners. But the 11th Circuit said there was no evidence of harassment or improper disclosure of gun ownership in health records, as law supporters also claimed.

“There is nothing in the record suggesting that patients who are bothered or offended by such questions are psychologically unable to choose another medical provider, just as they are permitted to do if their doctor asks too many questions about private matters like sexual activity, alcohol consumption, or drug use,” the court ruled.

The ruling did determine that some parts of the law could remain on the books, such as provisions allowing patients to decline to answer questions about guns and prohibiting health insurance companies from denying coverage or increasing premiums for people who lawfully own guns.

The case will return to U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke in Miami for a ruling that follows the 11th Circuit’s direction. The case could, however, also be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

DCG

This is Chiraq: Two girls, ages 11 and 12, shot in the south side over the weekend of violence

blacks protesting black-on-black crimes

Paging the good mayor, those who voted for him and #BLM. “Crickets.”

From MyFoxChicago: An 11-year-old girl was shot in the head Saturday night in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood on the South Side.

The girl was sitting in the rear seat of a vehicle about 7:40 p.m. in the 6500 block of South King Drive when gunfire was heard and she was discovered with a gunshot wound to her head, Chicago Police said. She was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition, police said. No one was in custody as Area Central detectives investigate.

Also Saturday night, a 12-year-old girl was shot and critically wounded in West Englewood. She was playing with friends about 7:15 p.m. outside in the 1900 block of West 57th Street when gunfire erupted and she was shot in the head, according to Chicago Police.

The girl, who was not thought to be the intended target of the shooting, was taken in critical condition to Stroger Hospital. Police initially said the victim was a woman, between 35 and 40 years old. No one was in custody as Area South detectives investigate.

The girls were among 18 shot in Chicago over the weekend, including three fatally. During the second weekend of February 2016, which was Presidents Day weekend, six people were killed and 19 wounded in shootings.

So far in 2017, 313 people have been shot in Chicago, according to Sun-Times records. At least ten of the victims have been children under the age of 14.

DCG