This Week in Gun Rights: Feb 14, 2020


Matthew Larosiere is the Director of Legal Policy at Firearms Policy Coalition. You can connect with him on Twitter @MattLaAtLaw.

Mississippi Seeks to Create Second Amendment Sanctuary Bloc, Yes, the Founders Knew About Repeating Arms, Chuck Schumer Says All Gun Parts Should be Considered Guns, Moms Demand to Run Your School Boards, Teachers Say Active Shooter Drills Traumatize Children, Two States Considering Restriction/Elimination of “Gun-Free Zones”, Warren Wants to Increase Ammo Prices and Threatens to Nuke Filibuster for Gun Control, Followup: VA Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Only Gun Rally Arrestee, Can Bloomberg Pay to Cover Up His Racism?

 

Mississippi Seeks to Create Second Amendment Sanctuary Bloc

    This week saw Mississippi introduce HB 753, an interstate compact of nine southern states to establish a multistate 2A sanctuary. The Act seeks to “authorize the state of Mississippi to enter into an interstate compact with southern states” to operate as 2A sanctuary states, establish an interstate commission, exempt certain firearms and accessories from federal regulation, declare certain federal law unconstitutional, and some other provisions.

    While this looks incredibly cool, it probably steps too far away from binding states⁠—which it legally can do—and too far into the realm of federal supremacy. We’ve talked before about the concept of 2A sanctuaries. They are something I believe in, but if it’s going to stick and actually improve the lives of gun owners, it makes more sense for the states to bind themselves—who actually give force to most of these laws—first. Poking federal supremacy straight in the eye in the same law that would bind the hands of state seems to unnecessarily jeopardize the state sanctuary. Where the feds can’t stop you from saying “your laws are unconstitutional and we’ll give them no effect,” the feds, at least for now, can stop you from saying “your laws aren’t real and you can’t come here to enforce them.”

    I wish the fed-blasting, which I find incredibly entertaining and cool, were separated into a separate act. That way if a federal court slaps down that statute as violating federal supremacy, state residents could still take solace that their local beat cop is unlikely to lock them in a cage for owning a gun. This is the kind of treatment that worked to normalize marijuana, it can work for guns too.

Yes, the Founders Knew About Repeating Arms

    We’ve often heard the daft refrain “there is no way the Founding Fathers would have imagined modern day ‘weapons of war.’” Well, in a brief to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, attorneys David Kopel and FPC’s own Joseph Greenlee laid out the history of firearms development, up through the ratification of the Second Amendment. The ever-sharp and handsome lawyers point out that repeating arms have existed since at least the 1490s, with the first iteration capable of consecutively firing 10 rounds. This development was followed by the seven-shot semi-automatic Lorenzoni handgun in the mid-17th century, and by the time of the Constitutional Convention the Girandoni rifle was capable of firing 21 to 22 rounds.
    Despite repeating firearms dating back several centuries, legislators, due to willful ignorance of both American and firearms history, continue to push for magazine limitations and outright bans on these types of weapons. Magazine and assault weapon bans are unconstitutional because they are inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent. Not only are these types of arms in common lawful use today, they have arguably been in common lawful use for centuries. 

 

Chuck Schumer Says All Gun Parts Should be Considered Guns

    Citing incidents like the murder of a child using a “ghost gun” (it wasn’t one), Senator Chuck Schumer wants to change the definition of ‘firearm’ under the Gun Control Act of 1968 to include individual firearms components. So what would be included? Presumably everything, including a race to the bottom in terms of gun regulation at a state level.

This proposal isn’t without a sense of irony. Coming from New York, the former Prohibition capital of the country, Chuck hasn’t considered that by regulating parts to this extent, he’s essentially begging for a rising black market for firearms and firearms components. Prohibition leads to violence, never the other way around. We’ve seen it with alcohol, drugs, and everything in between. Combating the trafficking of these components will prove fruitless, as humans, ever resilient creatures, find a way. See, for example, the development of beautiful homebrewed arms like the FGC-9. A weapon designed to be built without any traditional “firearm” components.

 

Moms Demand to Run Your School Boards

    Brady Campaign minions have begun taking over school boards. School districts in several major cities such as Los Angeles and Phoenix have been quietly taken over by gun grabbers. While this situation would be otherwise innocuous, these individuals have been pushing new, invasive standards on parents. For example, the school board in Phoenix unanimously voted to require parents of its 27,000 students to sign a safety form related to gun storage. The same school board has also enabled students to file reports on incidents that occur outside of school property. There’s no way this could be used for nefarious purposes, right?

 

Teachers Say Active Shooter Drills Traumatize Children

    Active shooter drills are like nuclear strike drills from the Cold War; silly, ineffective, and probably psychologically harmful for children. The American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association have joined with Everytown to oppose the use of unscheduled drills and drills which simulate gunfire. All three organizations claim that active shooter drills traumatize students, decreasing their ability to concentrate in class and sleep at night. They aren’t wrong; exposure to events like these can be incredibly traumatic. Now if only these groups would stop fear mongering about the very very rare events these drills are centered around.

 

Two States Considering Restriction/Elimination of “Gun-Free Zones”

    Meanwhile, in Wyoming and Iowa, gun rights supporters have filed bills which would eliminate gun free zones. The concept is simple; criminals don’t follow the law, so the law shouldn’t prevent the lawful from protecting themselves. Every school where a shooting has occurred has been a so-called “gun free zone.” Many of the schools which were assigned armed resource officers, as was the case in Parkland, proved to be wholly ineffective. If the presumption is that lawful carry is OK, soft targets cease to exist.

 

Warren Wants to Increase Ammo Prices and Threatens to Nuke Filibuster for Gun Control

    If anything, Warren is consistently tone deaf. The senator, who lives in a $3 million mansion in Cambridge, Massachusetts is now proposing that, in order to protect minority communities, the government should increase the cost of ammunition. But she insists she speaks for working-class Americans, so how bad could it really be? Well, the truth is this type of policy, especially driving up the cost to buy ammunition, only serves to discourage practice and price disadvantaged Americans—the ones who most badly need an effective means of self-defense—from availing themselves of their Second Amendment rights.

    It’s not terribly surprising to see politicians ignoring the downstream effects of their policies, but this is pretty severe. Increasing price doesn’t discourage violence. It discourages lawful gun ownership, and even moreso, it discourages practice. You know, the thing that turns people into more experienced, safer gun owners. Several state lawmakers have suggested similar plans. What else could we expect from the senator who threatened to nuke the filibuster to enact her precious prohibition?

Followup: VA Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Only Gun Rally Arrestee

It would have been nice to say the rally in VA went without arrest, but there was that one asterisk. The woman who dared to dress for the weather. Well, this week news broke that prosecutors have dropped the felony mask-wearing charge against the protestor because it would have been difficult to prove she “had criminal intent to conceal her identity.” I’m frankly surprised it got this far. I’m glad she can move on with her life, but the young woman now has to deal with the life changing effects of having been fed to the criminal “justice” system. Not ideal.

Can Bloomberg Pay to Cover Up His Racism?

    Bloomberg’s absence from the debate stage this election season isn’t keeping the notorious gun-grabber out of the spotlight, especially after audio from a 2015 speech resurfaced where the former mayor describes how he used the police to intentionally target minority communities. The NYPD’s unconstitutional “Stop and Frisk” policy flourished under Bloomberg. Police went from conducting over 160,000 stops in 2002 to a peak of nearly 686,000 in 2011. And in 2013, his last year as mayor, Bloomberg complained that the police force “disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little”. Bloomberg’s flagrant disregard for the constitutional rights and lives of minorities should be on full blast, especially considering that he is trying to buy his way into the White House.





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