Tag Archives: Conceal Carry

College professor wears “combat gear” to protest Texas’ campus carry law

professor charles smith

Just a tad melodramatic…

From Fox News: A Texas professor is making waves on social media after protesting the state’s campus carry law by wearing protective combat gear to class.

San Antonio College geography instructor Charles K. Smith went to his class last week sporting a camouflaged bulletproof vest and helmet. He said he wore it because he doesn’t feel safe.

“It definitely makes me feel uneasy that there are more firearms on campus than there should be,” Smith told mySA.com. “[Dressing this way] was just a statement on how I felt.”

Campus Carry, which was signed into state law in 2015 and officially implemented into Texas community colleges on Aug. 1, allows individuals with a conceal license to carry a handgun on college premises. The law went into effect at 4-year institutions in 2016.

A photo of Smith wearing the combat gear was shared on Facebook, which generated a flurry of comments in favor of and against the professor.

“I realize students were carrying guns on campus illegally, but now it’s legal to do so. It increases the chances of something happening,” said Smith, who also acknowledged that no one had pulled a gun on him in his 10 years at the college.

“Used to, when they got mad at me, they had to go home to get the gun and had time to cool off. Now they will have it with them,” he added.

Smith said he’s concerned about an argument breaking out and one of the participants having a gun. “My assumption is that you will have more people carrying guns – that will lead to problems. It always has,” he said. “There is nothing on this planet worth a human life.”

James “Hot Mustard” Velten, who posted the photo on Facebook, told Fox News on Tuesday that response on campus has been mostly positive. “Many professors admire his statement about campus carry,” he said. “Many professors don’t feel safe because of the law.”

Velten also told mySA.com that Smith was a passionate professor. “Around people like that, you tend to listen a bit more,” he said.

Smith said his protest has nothing to do with San Antonio College, as they are following the law. He said he ran his plans by local police and the administration beforehand.

“Some of them were okay and some of them weren’t, but it’s freedom of speech,” he said.

DCG

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Appeals court blocks DC’s conceal-carry law on Second Amendment grounds

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The Constitution prevails.

From Fox News: A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down a District of Columbia gun-control measure that the court said is essentially an outright ban in violation of the Second Amendment.

D.C. requires gun owners to have a “good reason” to obtain a concealed carry permit. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the regulation as too restrictive in a 2-1 decisionThe Washington Post reported.

“The good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on most D.C. residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs,” Judge Thomas B. Griffith (appointed by George W. Bush) wrote, according to the paper.

“Bans on the ability of most citizens to exercise an enumerated right would have to flunk any judicial test.”

Judge Stephen F. Williams (appointed by Ronald Reagan) joined Griffith in the decision.

The decision deals another legal blow to efforts by city officials to rewrite gun regulations since the Supreme Court declared a Second Amendment right to gun ownership in a 2008 D.C. gun case, the paper reported.

John R. Lott, Jr. of the Crime Prevention Research Center called the decision huge.

Right now, there are about 124 concealed handgun permit holders in D.C., Lott told Fox News. “If D.C. were like the 42 right-to-carry states, they would have about 48,000 permits. Right now D.C. prevents the most vulnerable people, particularly poor blacks who live in high crime areas of D.C., from having any hope of getting a permit for protection.”

The lone dissenter, Judge Karen Henderson (appointed by George H.W. Bush), said the district’s regulation “passes muster” because of the city’s unique security challenges as the nation’s capital and because it does not affect the right to keep a firearm at home.

Gun rights groups and Republican attorneys general from more than a dozen states told the court that the District’s system is unconstitutional because the typical law-abiding citizen could not obtain a permit, the paper reported.

City officials could ask all the judges on the circuit to rule on the matter, if they elect to appeal the decision.

DCG

Oregon Passes GOP Senator’s Bill Allowing Gun Seizure Order Without Gun Owner’s Knowledge

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RINO Brian Boquist

Outrageous.

From Breitbart: Oregon lawmakers passed legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) that allows a judge to issue an ex parte ruling for the confiscation of an individual’s firearms.

The bill is SB 719, and it has now passed Oregon’s House and Senate. It creates an Extreme Risk Protection Order, which forces the subject of the order to hand over all firearms, as well as his concealed carry permit if he possesses one.

NRA-ILA reports:

Based on a California law enacted in 2014, SB 719A would create a so-called “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) that could be obtained by a law enforcement officer, family member, or household member in an ex parte hearing to deprive someone of their Second Amendment rights without due process of the law.

The ex parte aspect of the law means the bill does not require the gun owner to be present for part of the hearing in which the judge decides whether guns should be taken from him.

On April 18, 2017, Breitbart News reported that Boquist was pushing this confiscation bill, and he emailed Breitbart News to suggest the bill simply puts forward a law that is popular in other gun-control states. For example, Boquist informed Breitbart News that a similar law “passed the voters in Washington by 70%.”

Boquist also told Breitbart News that SB 719 “is not confiscation.” However, the language of SB 719 is quite confiscatory. It says:

Requires court to order respondent to surrender deadly weapons and concealed handgun license within 24 hours of service of initial order, and immediately upon service of continued or renewed order. Provides for law enforcement officer serving order to request immediate surrender of deadly weapons and concealed handgun license and authorizes law enforcement officer to take possession of surrendered items.

If a requirement for “immediate surrender” of firearms and concealed carry license upon issue of an ex parte ruling is not confiscation, then what is?

The Times quoted Boquist’s defense of the confiscatory bill on the Senate floor, saying, “Everyone wants to promote this as a gun bill. It’s not.”

DCG

State laws expand concealed gun rights to college campuses, public facilities

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Shannon Watts hardest hit.

From Fox News: Laws allowing concealed guns on college campuses took effect Saturday in several states, including Georgia and Kansas. In Tennessee, concealed guns may now be carried in a broader range of public buildings and bus stations. And in Iowa, permit holders are now able to carry concealed guns in the Capitol.

Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association Institute of Legislative Action, described 2017 as another “successful year for gun rights.”

The new laws continue a pattern of the expansion of gun rights in GOP-controlled states.

The firearms policies are among scores of laws that took effect Saturday, along with the start of the new fiscal year in many states. Some of those laws continue a recent trend of states taking the initiative to fix aging roads and address the drug overdose epidemic.

The gun laws reflect divided public preferences, highlighted by a recent Pew survey that found people nearly evenly split on whether gun control or gun rights were more important.

In Kansas, college students expressed mixed feelings about the new law. “A couple of my friends decided that they were going to go somewhere else, because it kind of freaked them out,” Elena Mendoza, who will start school at Johnson County Community College in the fall, was quoted as telling the Kansas City Star. “Most of us were like, if someone has access to a weapon, they can use it either way.”

Chris Gray, a Johnson County Community College spokesman, said that some students are concerned about the impact of the law. “Generally speaking, people do feel very safe and always have here on campus,” Gray told the Star. “There is that fear of the unknown. What is going to happen?” Gray said.

Johnson County Community College student Nick Serum, 20, believes the law will make the campus more secure. “Does it make me feel safer? I’d say yes,” Serum said to the Star.

Cale Ostby, 27, a Wichita State University student, said that many people in Kansas have concealed guns, and that the concept is nothing new. “It’s insane that I can carry everywhere else except school,” Ostby said.

A voter-approved gun-control initiative prohibiting people from possessing ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 bullets was to go into effect Saturday in California. But it was blocked by a federal judge, who said it would have made criminals out of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens who own the magazines. A similar law passed by the Democratic-dominated Legislature also is subject to the preliminary injunction.

For decades, the National Rifle Association pushed for state laws allowing people to carry concealed guns with permits. Having succeeded nationwide, gun-rights advocates now are gradually expanding where those weapons can be taken. Yet even some of the new laws contain exceptions.

Georgia’s law allows people with concealed handgun permits to take their weapons into classrooms but not dormitories, and college sports fans can pack weapons while tailgating but not inside stadiums.

A Tennessee law allowing guns in many local public buildings, bus stations and parks can be voided if authorities instead opt to install metal detectors staffed by security guards.

Concealed guns are now allowed at college campuses in Kansas as a result of a 2013 law that applies to public buildings lacking heightened security such as metal detectors and guards. A four-year exemption for universities expired Saturday. But in a setback for the NRA, a law that Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is allowing to take effect without his signature will make permanent a similar exemption for public hospitals and mental health centers.

In Iowa, the new law allowing permit holders to carry concealed guns in the Capital prompted the state Supreme Court to ban weapons in all courthouses statewide.

Gun rights advocates lauded the laws expanding the circumstances in which people may carry an arm.

Advocates for greater gun regulations also are pleased with the results. On Thursday, Democratic-led Hawaii became the third state to enact a law requiring notification to law enforcement when people prohibited from owning guns try to obtain them anyway.

“This was an excellent year for killing bad gun-lobby bills,” said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The bills that the gun lobby did get through, in many cases, we helped to water those down.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Second Amendment case Peruta vs. California may be heading to Supreme Court

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Dean Erwin Chemerinsky: No right to have concealed weapons

If this does make it to the Supreme Court, I’m certainly hoping for an outcome which favors legal firearm owners.

From Fox News: The Second Amendment is only 27 words, but Americans have used millions of words arguing over what it means. It guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” But which people, what arms, and under what circumstances?

Two milestone cases involving the Second Amendment that reached the Supreme Court are District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), declaring an individual has a right to own a firearm, and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010), affirming the Second Amendment applies to state law.

Now, if the Supreme Court decides to hear it, there may be a third major case in a decade: Peruta v. California.

At issue is the right to keep and bear arms outside the home. The Heller case specifically applies to situations within the home. Those who have petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case are hoping the justices will see it as a logical extension of their earlier opinions.

The case arose when Edward Peruta and other gun owners who lived in or near San Diego, Calif., couldn’t get concealed-carry permits in their county. The Sheriff’s Department handles permit requests and requires “good cause” to carry a gun outside of the home. This does not mean a generalized concern for safety, but something specific, such as fear of domestic violence or a regular need to move large amounts of money.

There were two separate lawsuits challenging the interpretation of “good cause,” but the district courts found no violation of the Second Amendment.

Then, in 2014, a three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the policy did indeed violate the right to bear arms for self-defense. The state, however, got a new hearing in front of 11 9th Circuit judges, who decided 7-4, the restrictions for concealed-carry permits were allowable.

The case has now been appealed to the Supreme Court and though the Justices have rescheduled its consideration several times, some experts feel the court is finally ready to hear Peruta.

“I suspect they’re going to grant it,” said John Eastman, former law dean at Chapman University and the director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence. Eastman told Fox News, “it’s percolating all across the country.”

He also feels the justices may have put it off while waiting for a full complement on the court, which they got when Neil Gorsuch was confirmed last month. Gorsuch, in fact, may be the justice to tip the opinion in one direction or the other, as previous Second Amendment cases were determined in a 5-4 ruling.

According to Eugene Volokh, professor of law at University of California at Los Angeles, this case is primed for the Supreme Court, as it deals with a basic constitutional right and “the lower courts are split on the issue.”

It would be a good time for the highest court to step in and settle the controversy. He also feels that while no one is sure how Gorsuch will vote, there is a “sense that he’s sympathetic to a broader view” of the Second Amendment.

The case may turn on how the court frames the issue. To Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California Irvine School of Law, the legal question to be settled is whether a state like California may determine its own rules on concealed-carry permits.

“The Second Amendment isn’t an absolute right,” Chemerinsky notes. Throughout British and American history, “there’s never been a right to have concealed weapons.”

But Eugene Volokh believes there’s a bigger issue at stake. If the state of California, which essentially bans open carry of a gun, makes it next to impossible for a typical citizen to get a concealed-carry permit, this is “tantamount to banning” the right to bear arms “except for a few favored people.”

Experts agree on one point. As Chemerinsky puts it, if Peruta is taken up, “no matter what the Supreme Court says, it will be a landmark decision.”

DCG

AG Bob Ferguson unveils assault-weapons ban for Washington — and a backup plan

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AG Ferguson working hard to protect your Second Amendment rights…

I’m so glad I now reside in Oklahoma instead of Washington state!

From Seattle Times: Attorney General Bob Ferguson proposed legislation on Monday that would ban the sale of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines in Washington.

Recognizing the political difficulty of such a bill, Ferguson, who announced in September that he would seek an assault-weapons ban, also released an alternative on Monday: a bill that would keep assault-style weapons legal, but would make them more difficult to buy, by raising the minimum age to legally own such a firearm and requiring them to be licensed, similar to a concealed-weapons license.

The draft bill Ferguson released Monday, the first day of the 2017 Legislature, would ban semi-automatic rifles that have a detachable magazine and a pistol grip beneath the barrel. It would also ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and semi-automatic pistols with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Ferguson, a Democrat who easily won re-election in November, said the definitions of “assault weapon” used in his bill are similar to those used in laws in New York and Connecticut that withstood legal challenges. The ban would apply only to sales of such weapons, grandfathering in currently owned guns.

A second bill from Ferguson would not ban such weapons but would require them to be licensed. To get a license, a person would have to be at least 21 (rather than 18), would have to complete a gun-safety class and could not have been convicted of a felony. To buy an assault weapon, a person would need a license, an additional in-depth background check and be subject to a 10-day waiting period.

“I believe a ban on the sale of assault weapons is the right policy for Washington, and I will keep fighting for that,” Ferguson said in a prepared statement. “I’ve said from the beginning that it would be an uphill battle. My alternative represents meaningful reform that will enhance public safety now.”

Both bills will be sponsored by Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, among others. Frockt was one of dozens of solely Democratic lawmakers and officials at a September news conference, in which Ferguson said he’d been spurred by the July killings of three teenagers in Mukilteo.

Allen Ivanov, the shooter in the Mukilteo killings, pleaded guilty in December. Ivanov, then 19, had, according to police, legally purchased an AR-15 — a common assault-style weapon that would be banned by Ferguson’s bill — just days before the killings. Similar weapons were used in high-profile mass shootings in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo.; San Bernardino, Calif., Dallas and Orlando, among others.

Among the supporters standing with Ferguson in September were the parents of Will Kramer, who was wounded in the Mukilteo shooting. Kramer’s parents spoke in support of an assault-weapons ban then, and his father did so again Monday. “If our current political leadership doesn’t have the will to pass a ban on the sale of assault weapons, I would support the assault weapons enhanced background check bill as an incremental step towards increasing public safety and reducing gun violence,” Paul Kramer said in a statement.

Gun-safety measures have had far more success in recent years as ballot initiatives than in the Legislature, where Republicans control the state Senate and generally oppose new restrictions on guns.

A push for universal background checks passed on the ballot in 2014 after failing in the Legislature in 2013. A process to keep guns away from people deemed dangerous — following a court order — passed on the ballot in November after previous legislative failures.

DCG

UT Professors who ban guns in their classrooms will be punished, university lawyer says

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From Sacramento Bee: (Austin, TX) Three professors duking it out in court for the right to ban guns in their classrooms were told Monday they will be punished if they do, according to the latest legal back-and-forth prompted by Texas’ new campus carry law.

“Faculty members are aware that state law provides that guns can be carried on campus, and that the president has not made a rule excluding them from classrooms,” attorneys representing the University of Texas at Austin and Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote in a legal brief filed Monday. “As a result, any individual professor who attempts to establish such prohibition is subject to discipline.”

Professors Carter, Glass and Moore,

Professors Carter, Glass and Moore,

The warning was meant as a clear message to UT professors Mia Carter, Jennifer Glass and Lisa Moore, who sued the university and state in federal court last month to temporarily block the implementation of campus carry. The new law, which went into effect just last week, allows licensed gun owners to carry concealed handguns into most buildings on college campuses, where they were previously allowed just in common areas like quads and sidewalks.

The state’s lawyers, in their Monday filing, asked Judge Lee Yeakel to throw out the professors’ lawsuit. The educators fired back in their own brief, calling again for Yeakel to halt the law for one semester so they can hold a public trial on whether campus carry violates their constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection.

The professors’ lawyers say the law and UT’s own campus carry rules are too vague for his clients to know if and how they might be punished if they tried to keep gun owners out of their classrooms.

“No person of common intelligence – and one would think that the tenured plaintiffs rise at least to that level – can figure out what governs them on this issue under Texas law and UT policies,” the professors’ attorneys wrote.

Dog eyeroll

They go on to say there is nothing in state law or UT policy that explicitly forbids professors to ban guns in classrooms, so, then, the question is “whether there is any policy at all that would bar plaintiffs from doing what they want to do or that would punish them in some way if they did so.”

In the state’s brief, attorneys from Paxton’s agency say the law is clear. It gives campus presidents the ability to designate each school’s limited “gun-free zones,” they say, and if classrooms are not expressly included in campus policy as off-limits to firearms, then guns must be allowed there. “The president is the sole individual authorized to establish gun exclusion zones on UT Austin’s campus. He has not designated classrooms as gun exclusion zones,” they wrote.

Yeakel could decide by week’s end whether to grant the professors’ request to temporarily block the law. While their attorney said it would apply only to them and the students they will teach in the fall, Yeakel acknowledged granting their request would be a slippery slope that would allow other professors at UT, and every other public university in Texas, an excuse to ban guns in their classrooms.

DCG