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GUEST COLUMN: 2nd Amendment currently being misinterpreted – The Northwest Florida Daily News

Hugh Taylor | Special to the Daily News

Re: Column, Feb. 14, Why did the Constitution need the Second Amendment?

With guns being as much of a problem as they are, I am interested in learning more about the matter and what can be done about it. The history set forth in the recent column in your paper by Dr. Mark Hopkins is the best that I have read and provides an excellent starting point in understanding the matter.

I personally feel that the Second Amendment only permits gun ownership when a citizen is an active member of an organized (controlled and structured) militia. I think the Second Amendment is currently being misinterpreted.

My training in the USMC taught me that a gun in the hands of an untrained person is nearly worthless as a tool of self-defense and provides only a feeble and false sense of security to the untrained. The present interpretation of this amendment not only provides the public with a false sense of security, but also is causing the loss of freedom and many unnecessary deaths.

People now have to be careful about when and where they go. Laws need to be enacted that protect citizens from the use of guns and the sale of inappropriate weapons (hunting guns excluded). These laws should include search and seizure of weapons that are possessed in the public domain along with stiff fines for violation.

We need a Wyatt Earp. Where is he now? You may remember he required that people check their guns into the sheriffs office when they came to town (Wichita, Kansas) in the late-1800s and that stopped the bloodshed there.

This guest column is from Hugh Taylor, a snowbird from Overland Park, Kansas.

Editors Note

Guest editorials and columns that regularly appear in this space are not intended to reflect a particular stance of the Northwest Florida Daily News but rather share expanded viewpoints from other media outlets and our readers. To be considered for publication, guest editorials and columns from readers cannot be longer than 500 words and must be submitted by email to letters@nwfdailynews.com. Please put Guest Editorial or Guest Column in the subject line.

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GUEST COLUMN: 2nd Amendment currently being misinterpreted – The Northwest Florida Daily News

Florida Supreme Court Rules the Second Amendment Doesn’t Protect Open Carry – Slate Magazine (blog)

Open carry in action.

Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

On Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court upheld a state law prohibiting the open carry of firearms in public, ruling that the Second Amendment does not protect the practice. The decision is yet another legal setback in gun advocates recent struggle to persuade the courts to strike down a wide range of firearms restrictions as unconstitutional. Like many other state and federal courts throughout the country, the Florida Supreme Court concluded that the Second Amendment cannot be read to bar states from regulating the manner in which firearms are kept and used.

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers the law and LGBTQ issues.

As the court noted at the outset, virtually any adult who has no physical impairment or felony record can carry a gun in public in Florida. The weapon, however, must be concealed. After getting arrested and charged for openly carrying a .38 caliber handgun while walking alongside U.S. Highway 1, Dale Lee Norman challenged this concealment requirement, arguing that the Second Amendment protects the right to openly carry firearms. He insisted that the Supreme Courts decisions in D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, which created an individual right to keep a handgun in the home for self-defense, also grant him the right to walk around in public with his firearm in plain view.

To evaluate Normans claim, the court used the analysis deployed by virtually every federal circuit court to consider Second Amendment challenges. First, it asked whether the law burdens conduct protected by the Second Amendment based on a historical understanding of [its] scope, or whether it falls into a historically unprotected category of prohibitions. The court found that the law did not fall into a historically unprotected category and instead implicated the central component of the Second Amendmentthe right to self-defense.

The court then asked whether the open carry ban was so close to the core of this right as to prevent people from defending themselves. (Such laws, it asserted, are unconstitutional under Heller and McDonald.) Because Florida law regulates only how firearms are borne in public and still permits concealed carry as well as home defense, the court held that the open carry ban does not severely burden the right to self-defense.

Thus, the court found that the Florida law was not presumptively constitutional, and instead subjected it to intermediate scrutiny, asking whether it was substantially related to an important governmental objective. From there, the court easily concluded that the law passed constitutional muster. The states interest ensuring public safety by reducing firearm-related crime, the court wrote, is undoubtedly critically important. And the open carry ban substantially relates to this purpose because it helps to prevent deranged persons and criminals from grabbing an openly carried firearm and using it for malign purposes.

To my mind, this analysis is weak, as it overstates the scope of the Second Amendment from the start. The courts answer to the threshold questionwhether the open carry ban burdens historically protected Second Amendment conductis incorrect. There is no deeply rooted history of permissive open carry laws in the United States, and open carry bans should therefore be presumed to be constitutional. The dissenters, who believe open carry laws do have historical support, cite two antebellum state supreme court decisions affirming the right to openly carry in public. But as the majority noted, quoting an influential law review article, [t]he notion of a strong tradition of a right to carry outside of the home rests on a set of historical myths and a highly selective reading of the evidence. The only persuasive evidence for a strong tradition of permissive open carry is limited to the slave South.

Thats a critical caveat, because the tradition that supposedly establishes historical precedent for open carry was, in fact, part of the Southern slavery regime. White Southerners openly carried weapons to subdue, threaten, and punish rebellious or insubordinate slaves, and the law protected their right to do so as part of a legal system designed to suppress nonwhites. Obviously, this regime no longer exists; it was abolished by the 13th and 14th amendments. And in 2010s McDonald decision, the Supreme Court explained that the Reconstruction Congress wrote the 14th Amendment with the intent to apply the Second Amendment against the statesin an effort to protect newly freed slaves right to self-defense against violent white Southerners. It thus stands to reason that pre-14th Amendment case law meant to safeguard the subjugation of slaves has no place in the analysis of modern state gun regulations.

Had the Florida Supreme Court simply found, as a threshold matter, that the states open carry ban did not burden historically protected Second Amendment conduct, it couldve ended its inquiry there. Holding as much wouldve spared the majority from having to engage in a rather unconvincing intermediate scrutiny review. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit recently noted, firearm restrictions that fall outside historical protections for the right to bear arms are presumptively constitutional. Open carry has no firm tradition in our legal history, outside of two antebellum decisions designed to perpetuate the slave regime; that should be enough to justify the legality of open carry bans.

Still, in spite of these flaws, Thursdays decision is undoubtedly a major defeat for gun rights activists. It arrives just weeks after a 4th Circuit decision holding that the Second Amendment does not protect assault weapons, and less than a year after the 9th Circuit found that there is no constitutional right to concealed carry, either. (That practice, too, has been widely banned since the nations founding.) Because the Supreme Court clearly has little appetite to expand Heller and McDonald, these decisions will probably stand as the last word on the subject for now. And gun safety advocates can rest easy knowing that whatever few legislative achievements they can eke out in this political environment are unlikely to be toppled by the judiciary.

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Florida Supreme Court Rules the Second Amendment Doesn’t Protect Open Carry – Slate Magazine (blog)

Second Amendment – North Country Now

Second Amendment

Thursday, March 2, 2017 – 6:56 am

I am writing this to all sportsman. We have what I believe to be a once in a lifetime opportunity in our country to protect our Second Amendment right to bear arms and to clarify our Second Amendment to own and carry a handgun legally in all states. Any citizen in possession of a license to carry firearms should be able to enjoy that right in all 50 states as they do in the state of issuance. We need every sportsman, man, woman and child to write your congressman, senators and the president to encourage them to support this bill. I would ask all hunting club presidents to encourage all members to write, all law enforcement officers to encourage all colleagues to write, all sportsman to tell your friends and relatives to write. We have a president that is on our side, along with a congress and Supreme Court. Do not let this opportunity pass us by.

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Second Amendment – North Country Now

Ladies: Stop Posing and Start Advocating For the Second Amendment – Bearing Arms

Okay, Ineedto go off for a minute. You guys knowI dont get fired up often and it really does take a lot to fire me up, but once that fire is lit its all, Burn, baby, BURN!

Well, its burning and heres why:

LADIES: I love that so many of you are embracing your second amendment rights and not only becoming gun owners, but becoming responsibly armed! I cannot tell you how immensely proud I am to know that there are so many more women, daughters, mothers, caretakers, wives, nurses, teachers, homemakers, and female citizens who have joined the ranks of gun owners in America and are ready to defend themselves and protect their loved ones if needed.

That being said, as it iswith every trend, there area few women who have been all too happy to jump on the 2A train for their own advancement. You know who Im talking about. The ladies that post videos of themselves shooting ARs in tank tops, posing with their gun as they aretea cupping, posting pictures with their finger on the trigger you know: showing their assets while announcing their ignorance.

Well Im done.

I have had it with the social acceptance of these pistol princesses. It does nothing to advance our cause and it makes us all look like the gun-licking idiots the gun control advocateskeep saying we are.

If you really are a proficient gun owner and true advocate of our second amendment rights, dont talk about it, show people.

Stop talking about changes and makethem, stop posing with guns and shootthem, stop posting stupid selfies from the gun range and pay attentionwhen youre there, stop talking about things you know nothing about and learnabout them, stop bragging about what youre going to do for 2A and just DO IT, stop it just stop it already, you look RIDICULOUS!!!!

Okay, so in all seriousness 99.4% of women just want to help others, not advance their own popularity through firearms. We look at things like, if you know something that you think other women may not know, why not show that in aselfie? If you have a question about something, why not research the answer and put that into a post or make a Facebook Live video to encourage others to chime in to find their answers? If you take a firearms course, why not share the information and geo-tag your area so others looking for quality training can see your review? If youre volunteering with an NRA grassroots campaign, why not challenge your friends to join you in a smart social media post?

There are so many ways toshow your 2A assets without looking like an ass.Try thinking more of the greater good than focusing your camera on your goodies.

If youre half the gunny gal you claim to be, youll get twice the attention for being the real deal.

or continue beingjust another flash in the pan, thats fine, too. Those will eventually burn out and are quickly forgotten, although they do make good cautionary tales for the next generation of women.

Author’s Bio: Jenn Jacques

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Ladies: Stop Posing and Start Advocating For the Second Amendment – Bearing Arms

Two New Second Amendment Challenges – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News


AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
Two New Second Amendment Challenges
AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
Healey alleges that electrical weapons are arms in common use and therefore their possession by law-abiding adult citizens is protected by the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The complaint alleges that the constitutional rights of the …

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Two New Second Amendment Challenges – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

Lethal weapons of war – VICE News

A federal appeals court upheld Marylands ban on popular AR-15-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines last week, delivering a significant win to gun-control advocates who argue that the Second Amendment does not apply to military-style weapons.

Marylands ban, enacted in 2013 soon after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, was allowed to stand in a 10-4 decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, that ruled the Second Amendment does not protect what the judges called exceptionally lethal weapons of war.

While the ruling is the fifth to uphold a state ban on assault weapons, according to The Trace, the Virginia federal appeals court is the highest yet to affirm a standard for classifying assault weapons, one gun advocates say will significantly narrow the scope of the Second Amendment. And one of the lawyers who brought the case now has set his sights on the Supreme Court.

It is absurd to hold that the most popular rifle in America is not a protected arm under the Second Amendment, Jennifer Baker, director of public affairs for the National Rifle Association, said in a statement. The Second Amendment protects arms that are in common use at the time for lawful purposes like self-defense.

Like all constitutional rights, the Second Amendment is limited. For instance, civilians cant buy automatic weapons, like machine guns. But now seven states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning military-style automatic weapons like the AR-15, a version of which was used in the Sandy Hook massacre which took the lives of 26 people, mostly children and the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Florida, where 49 were killed and 53 wounded.

In the past, circuit courts have relied on how common a weapon is when determining if its covered by the Second Amendment, according to Hannah Shearer, an attorney with the Law Center for Gun Violence Prevention. But with the 4th Circuit ruling, the judges gave new credence to a second standard: if a weapon could cause military-level destruction.

The AR-15, the Maryland ruling majority opinion reads, is simply the semiautomatic version of the M16 rifle used by our military and around the world. That deadly ancestry, according to the opinion, means that the Supreme Court excludes AR-15-type rifles and firearms like it from the Second Amendment.

Those AR-15-style rifles are some of the most popular firearms among U.S. consumers today.

[Under the ruling,] the Second Amendment doesnt even apply to the most common and popular semiautomatic rifles being sold today, said Jay Porter, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the Maryland case. Its absurd.

But some gun control advocates say the common use standard alone is insufficient.

It would suggest that if the gun industry floods the market with an extremely dangerous destructive weapon, if they can flood the market quick enough before legislatures begin banning this product, then theres nothing a legislature can do about it because all of a [sudden] those products are in common use, said attorney Jon Lowry, director of the Brady Center to Fight Gun Violence Legal Action Project.

The common use test comes out of a 2008 Supreme Court decision, District of Columbia v Heller. If a gun is in common use for law-abiding purposes, the test goes, then its protected by the Second Amendment. But in its Heller ruling, the Supreme Court introduced a second caveat: Weapons that are most useful in military service M-16 rifles and the like may be banned.

Besides outlawing the ownership of a class of assault weapons including semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines and pistol grips the Maryland law also prohibits the sale and transfer of large-capacity magazines, which typically hold more than 10 rounds.

Gun lobby groups, however, have long argued that semiautomatic weapons are constitutionally protected.

But in the majority opinion, the federal appeals court judges reason that the difference between automatic and semiautomatic fire is only a matter of seconds between rounds. Instead, they emphasized high-capacity magazines and assault weapons ability to turn clubs and school into battlegrounds and their use in massacres from San Bernardino, California, to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

While only 11 percent of mass shootings between January 2009 and July 2015 involved high-capacity magazines or assault weapons equipped with them those shootings tended to be much deadlier than those committed with other firearms, according to the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety.

This opinion rested its reasoning on the facts of whats happening when people who shouldnt have them get ahold of weapons that were designed for military use and inflict horror and terror in public spaces, said Shearer. So in that respect, it provides an original blueprint for looking at those social problems and coming up with solutions for commonsense gun laws.

And that focus on military-level lethality, instead of commonality, is what lawyers across the aisle say might be the rulings greatest, or most misguided, legacy. Ultimately though, its anyones guess how many courts will follow the 4th Circuits lead. Or if theyll get the chance.

In the past, lawyers who represented the plaintiffs in state assault weapon cases didnt always send rulings to the Supreme Court for review, but Porter said he will. Basing an entire ruling on one half of a sentence in a Supreme Court case, he said, is not enough to restrict a constitutional right.

The real point is that no other court has done anything like this. Not even close, he said. [This is] the type of case that the Supreme Court should take, must take maybe will take.

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Lethal weapons of war – VICE News

2nd Amendment Groups Frustrated with Proposed DFL Firearm Legislation – Alpha News MN

St. Paul, MN Second Amendment advocacy organizations in Minnesota are responding to three firearm bills introduced by the DFL in the Minnesota State Legislature.

During a Thursday press conference DFL lawmakers unveiled three pieces of firearm legislation, fostering concern in several of Minnesotas Second Amendment supporters.

Senator Jeff Hayden (DFL Minneapolis), who lost his younger sister, Taylor, to gun violence last year while she was in Atlanta, introduced the Taylor Hayden Gun Violence Protection Act which would dedicate $200,000 in taxpayer dollars every year to be given to anti-gun groups like Everytown and Protect MN.

Hayden presented alongside law enforcement officers, anti-gun advocates, and his fellow DFL lawmakers, who introduced two additional pieces of anti-gun legislation. One bill would allow Minnesotans to obtain a court order to withhold guns from mentally unstable family members. The other bill would require background checks for Minnesotans who buy or receive guns from another private citizen. Both bills were introduced in previous legislative sessions.

We were sorry to hear of the loss that Senator Haydens family has suffered with the tragic murder of his sister last year. However, what was proposed last week is more of the same tired old gun control strategies of the past brought out from the same groups, with the same messaging, and the same falsehoods said Bryan Strawser, Chairman of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, explaining, Voters across the state rejected their message of gun control soundly in November. Gun control groups spent almost a million dollars in out-of-state funding to win seats in the Minnesota legislature, and succeeded in only two races. Instead, voters sent the strongest pro-Second Amendment majority in recent history to Saint Paul.

Strawser is correct in his assessment of Minnesotans electing a very pro-Second Amendment majority. As Alpha News previously reported, Republicans in the State Legislature introduced bills in January to address permitless-carry and stand-your-ground legislation.

The Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance wrote a Facebook post rejecting the three pieces of DFL gun legislation, stating, The new one (bill) will force the STATE, using your money, to fund anti-gun advocacy groups. These will need to be blocked.

Subscribe to Alpha News as we continue to track this legislation.

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2nd Amendment Groups Frustrated with Proposed DFL Firearm Legislation – Alpha News MN

Chris Cox: The Second Amendment Was Under Attack During the 2016 Elections – Bearing Arms

NRA-ILA Executive Vice President Chris Cox took to the CPAC stage to introduce Vice President Mike Pence. Before Pence came on stage, Cox recapped the last year and what it meant for gun owners across the nation.

Let me ask you a question. How many of you came to CPAC last year? Thats great. Now how many of you remember what happened six days before CPAC started last year. It was February 16th and American freedom suffered a devastating loss when Justice Scalia unexpectedly passed away. That day, the stakes of the 2016 elections fundamentally changed. This was no longer a fight for the next four years. This was going to be a fight for the next 40 years.

As you all remember, the Republican primary was still, lets just say, interesting. But we knew Hillary Clinton was either going to win or steal the Democratic nomination. And we knew exactly what Hillarys Supreme Court would look like. For those of us who support the Second Amendment, we knew our gun rights would be gone. Our right to keep and bear arms survived the Supreme Court by just one vote and he had just passed away. Think about that. The court said we have the right to keep a gun in our homes to protect ourselves if God forbid some criminal breaks in and wants to murder us. Thats it. Thats all they said. But Hillarys view? She said it was a terrible decision, that the Supreme Court was wrong on the Second Amendment.

Watch Chris Coxs full remarks below:

Author’s Bio: Beth Baumann

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Chris Cox: The Second Amendment Was Under Attack During the 2016 Elections – Bearing Arms

My PragerU video on the Second Amendment – Washington Post

My PragerU video on the Second Amendment is now out, available here. Special bonus: YouTube somehow decided that the video shouldnt be visible to users who access YouTube in Restricted Mode so it must be extra racy and exciting! If only I could get it banned in Boston. . . .

If youre interested in a more thorough analysis, you can see my old congressional testimony on the subject or, better yet, review Justice Antonin Scalias opinion in D.C. v. Heller, which I think does an excellent job of showing that the Second Amendment was originally understood as securing an individual right.

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My PragerU video on the Second Amendment – Washington Post

New Hampshire: The 2nd Amendment is Your Concealed Carry Permit – Breitbart News

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In other words, in New Hampshire the Second Amendment is your concealed carry permit.

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The billSenate Bill 12was sponsored by state Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R), who sought to make laws governing concealed carry congruent with laws governing open carry. It was already legal to openly carry a handgun without a permit for self-defense in New Hampshire, and Bradley saw no reason why concealing the handgun should suddenly require a citizen to get a permit from the government.

The Washington Postquoted Bradley saying, We have historically allowed people to openly carry a pistol. I dont see why you have to get a second permit if youre a law-abiding citizen and legally entitled to own a gun.

Governor Sununu pledged to sign the bill if it reached his desk, and after signing it Wednesday he tweeted that he was proud to have fulfilled a commitmentto residents of New Hampshire:

According to Fox News, Sununu described SB 12 as common-sense legislation. He added, This is about making sure that our laws on our books are keeping people safe while remaining true to the live-free-or-die spirit.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

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New Hampshire: The 2nd Amendment is Your Concealed Carry Permit – Breitbart News

4th Circuit Rules Common Rifles not Protected by Second Amendment – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News


AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
4th Circuit Rules Common Rifles not Protected by Second Amendment
AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
Arizona -(Ammoland.com)-On 21 February, 2017, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that common semi-automatic rifles are not protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The ban includes semi-automatic rifles that can take detachable …

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4th Circuit Rules Common Rifles not Protected by Second Amendment – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

Second Amendment does not cover ‘weapons of war,’ US …

February 22, 2017 “Assault weapons” are not covered by the Second Amendment, a federal appeals court has found.

On Tuesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 10-4 to uphold a Maryland law, which bans 45 kinds of guns and places a 10-round limit on gun magazines. The law implemented after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 students and six teachers in Newtown, Conn. is intended to protect against gun violence.

For Judge Robert King and the majority in this ruling, certain kinds of rifles are weapons of war, meaning they are not covered under the Second Amendmentfor the purpose of self-defense. That distinction is explicitly drawn in the 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, Mr. King wrote.

Others on the court sided with gun rights advocates, arguing that the right to bear arms does not depend on the weapon chosen, and noting the popularity of military style rifles.

“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, wrote Judge William Traxlerin a dissent, calling for a stringent review of the decision.

In the wake of shootings like Sandy Hook and Orlando, where so-called military-style “assault” rifles were used, local communities and advocacy groups have pushed for limits on the types of weapons available for sale. After the Orlando shooting, 57 percent of Americans supported a nationwide ban on assault weapons, according to a CBS News poll.

Similar gun control bills have struggled to gain traction in Congress, leaving states to implement their own bans as they see fit. Currently, seven states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning semiautomatic rifles, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun control advocacy group.

Some of these laws have faced legal challenges on Second Amendment grounds. In the case of Maryland, the National Rifle Association is exploring its options for appealing the ruling, NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker told the Associated Press.

“It is absurd to hold that the most popular rifle in America is not a protected ‘arm’ under the Second Amendment, she said, saying the NRA estimates between 5 million and 10 million AR-15s are currently owned legally in the United States. That means, she indicated, that the Maryland ruling goes against a provision inD.C. v. Heller that protects weapons that are in common and lawful use at the time from being banned.

The US Supreme Court has been reluctant to hear such Second Amendment challenges, however. In June, the nations highest court declined to take up cases against similar gun bans in New York and Connecticut.

Legal scholars suggest the Supreme Court typically wont get involved unless lower courts cant reach consensus. In that way, they say, the Supreme Court gives tacit approval to state bans on certain kinds of guns.

The Maryland law, which supporters say backs up the states interest in protecting public safety, is still open to scrutiny at the lower level, and it remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court would consider any Second Amendment challenge.

“Governments are now in the process of testing what restraints the Court will consider to be reasonable and which it will not, John Vile, a constitutional scholar at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, told Henry Gass for The Christian Science Monitor in June.

This report contains material from the Associated Press and Reuters.

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Second Amendment does not cover ‘weapons of war,’ US …

Keith Ellison’s comments on the Second Amendment: For the record – Washington Post

CNNs Dana Bash: Congressman. Gun control. In 2014, you told Bill Maher that you wished the Democratic Party would come out against the Second Amendment. How do you reach out to Americans who support gun rights when you dont support the Second Amendment?

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.): First of all, let me tell you I remember that show very well, and that is not what I said at all. What I talked about is my grandfathers shotgun, the fact that I am a turkey hunter, and I didnt say that. That was not an accurate statement. []

Bash: Congressman, I just want to read you since you said that that wasnt what you said, Ill read you exactly what happened. Bill Maher: Then why doesnt your party come out against the Second Amendment? Its the problem. Your response: I sure wish they would. I sure wish they would.

Ellison: I wish youd play the tape, because if you did youd see that it did not go that way. But the real point is this, this country absolutely, I am for the right to bear arms, but I am not for these massive murders that happen all over this country every day. exchange during CNN debate with candidates for Democratic National Committee leadership, Feb. 22, 2017

During the debate on CNN, Ellison denied making comments about the Second Amendment during a March 2014 interview on Real Time with Bill Maher. We were curious to know exactly what he said during the interview, and whether he was being truthful in his response to Bash.

Since Ellison said to check the clips, we did. We found that the answer is not really clear, so we decided to present the comments in full for our readers.

The exchange in question begins around the four-minute mark in the video below. (A higher-quality video is here.)

Earlier in the clip, Ellison talks about family members who own guns and go hunting, and says that he is for gun control, but I dont think you have got to eliminate ownership of all guns in order to get some common-sense gun rules.

Later, Maher asks: Then why doesnt your party come out against the Second Amendment? Its the problem.

The crowd laughs, and then Sheila Bair, former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., interjects. She seems to say: Fifty-one votes, thats all it takes. The crowd, Bair and Ellison all laugh. Ellison then says: I sure wish they would, I sure wish they would.

Ellisons campaign staff says his answer was a reference to Bairs comment, and not an answer to Mahers question.

Bair, through a spokesman, said the vote she was referring to was the nomination of former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. At the time of this interview, Murthy had been waiting for confirmation for 16 months and could not get the 51 votes in the Senate to get confirmed. She thinks that nomination started the conversation [about gun control]. But it was a long time ago, her spokesman said.

Murthys nomination had been in limbo, partly because of opposition from the gun lobby. The National Rifle Association had called him a serious threat to the rights of gun owners because Murthy supported stricter gun control laws:

Even moderate Senate Democrats from states with strong gun cultures opposed Murthy. At the time of the Maher interview, the White House was considering withdrawing Murthys troubled nomination, after it became clear moderate Democrats up for reelection would not support Murthy because of his stance on gun control.

Heres a transcript:

Sheila Bair: Im a Republican and Im for gun control. I just want to be its not monolithic. Keith Ellison: Well, Im for gun control, too. Let me just say, Im for gun control but I dont think you have got to eliminate ownership of all guns in order to get some common-sense gun rules. Bair: No, you dont. Ellison: I mean, 27 children were mowed down. Isnt that enough for us? One of our colleagues, [former congresswoman] Gabby Giffords, shot in the face. Maher: Then why doesnt your party come out against the Second Amendment? Its the problem. [Crosstalk] Ellison: Bill Bair: Fifty-one votes, thats all it takes. [Laughter] Ellison: I sure wish they would. I sure wish they would. Maher: Really? Ellison: Yeah. Maher: Because I never hear anybody in the Democratic Party say that. But they say, I am also a strong supporter. Ellison: You have got to check out the progressive caucus. We have come out very strong for common-sense gun safety rules.

After some back-and-forth with Maher, Ellison later says: You cant solve the problem with just one little thing. Youve got to make sure that the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] can issue reports on gun killings and handgun violence. Youve got to make sure that we can get rid of assault weapons. Youve got to close the loophole at gun shows. Youve got to do a whole range of things to get us into a sane place. Weve got 12,000 handgun murders a year. Its got to stop.

Its not entirely clear whether Ellison really was talking about Murthys nomination, the Second Amendment or votes on gun-control measures in general. But it is clear throughout the interview that Ellison says he supports both gun-control measures and the rights of gun owners. At one point, he says he is for gun control, but I dont think you have got to eliminate ownership of all guns in order to get some common-sense gun rules.

Of course, supporters of gun rights likely would consider the measures Ellison proposes as effectively gutting Second Amendment rights. Still, there seems to be more going on in the conversation that is not immediately clear in the transcripts that Dana Bash read during the debate. A constitutional amendment that would have nullified the Second Amendment would requirea two-thirds vote by the House and Senate, and then ratification by three-fourths of the states. So Bairs interjection of 51 votes makes it likely that theexchange was alluding to Murthys confirmation, rather than a constitutional amendment.

Given the murky information at hand, we will not rate this claim. We welcome readers to reach their own conclusions.

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Keith Ellison’s comments on the Second Amendment: For the record – Washington Post

Georgia Rep. Lumsden: The Second Amendment is a Right, NOT a Privilege – Bearing Arms

On Monday, February 20, the Georgia House Public Safety and Homeland SecurityCommittees were scheduled tobegin to review a number of important gun bills.

Georgia StateRepresentativeEddie Lumsden, R-Rome, a retired State Trooper who sits on these committees, said:These are somemodified bills, after having conversations with the governor.

In their current state, he expects them to be more acceptable.

HB 280would allow people with their Georgia Weapons License (GWL) to carry concealed on all property owned or leased by a public institution of post-secondary education. There are minimal exemptions, sports facilities, student housing including sororities and frat houses, and campus preschools. Rep. Lumsden, who is in favor of this bill, points to the Second Amendment in part, for his support of the right to carry on college campuses.

HB 292 would impact Georgia gun laws in several positive and important ways, including:

HB 406aims totarget reciprocity between states and will affect Virginia reciprocity directly throughits code changes.

Most conservatives dont believe its wise of government to require training because this is a right, not a privilege, said Representative Eddie Lumsden. We all believe it would be a good thing, if youre going to carry a weapon, you be trained in its use. But this gets into constitutional questions.

If you live in Georgia, contact yourlegislatorson both committees and let them know how you feel about these bills.

Author’s Bio: Pamela Jablonski

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Georgia Rep. Lumsden: The Second Amendment is a Right, NOT a Privilege – Bearing Arms

Trump: ‘By The Way, We’re Going To Protect The Second Amendment’ [VIDEO] – Daily Caller

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Donald Trumps promise to protect the SecondAmendment during his Friday speech at CPAC drew thunderous applausefrom the crowd.

WATCH:

By the way, were going to protect the SecondAmendment, POTUS told the ecstatic crowd.

You know, Wayneand Chrisare here from the NRA, and they didnt have that on the list, he joked. Its lucky I thought about it, but we will indeed. (VIDEO: CrowdChants USA! USA! USA! At Trumps CPAC Speech)

Theyre great people, and, by the way, they love our country, Trump continued. They love our country. The NRA has been agreat supporter.

They love our country.

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Trump: ‘By The Way, We’re Going To Protect The Second Amendment’ [VIDEO] – Daily Caller

Tyler Morning Telegraph – Editorial: Second Amendment rights aren … – Tyler Morning Telegraph

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is going to war with the U.S. Supreme Courts Heller decision, and its reasoning is both troubling and erroneous. Essentially, the court says Americans have no inherent right to own vaguely defined assault weapons.

That ruling, if later upheld by a post-Scalia Supreme Court, would gut the Second Amendment – which was never about hunting.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the Second Amendment doesnt protect assault weapons – an extraordinary decision keenly attuned to the brutal havoc these firearms can wreak, writes Slate magazine. Issued by the court sitting en banc, Tuesdays decision reversed a previous ruling in which a panel of judges had struck down Marylands ban on assault weapons and detachable large capacity magazines.

The majority opinion begins with an appeal to emotion, by citing a list of recent shootings. It then goes on to invent an entirely new test for Second Amendment policy – whether guns or devices have a military purpose.

Whatever their other potential, the court wrote, such weapons are unquestionably most useful in military service. That is, the banned assault weapons are designed to kill or disable the enemy on the battlefield.

These military combat features have a capability for lethality – more wounds, more serious, in more victims – far beyond that of other firearms in general, including other semiautomatic guns.

As Slate sums up, the AR-15 is a weapon of war, not the tool of self-defense envisioned by the Heller court, and therefore can and should be regulated.

Thats flawed reasoning, says Daniel Horowitz in the Conservative Review.

The notion that any common weapon can be banned violates the inalienable right to self-defense, which predated the Second Amendment, he writes. It is a natural right. Yet, given that we live in a world where rights come from the Supreme Court, we should at least ensure that lower courts properly read the text of the Heller decision.

He quotes Justice Scalia, who wrote that majority opinion: A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad.

The Fourth Circuit says its balancing interests – the right of self-defense versus public safety. That, too, is flawed, Horowitz contends.

There is no government interest balancing for perceived benefits of public safety that can justify the infringement upon the right to self-defense for any commonly held weapon used for lawful purposes, he writes.

And thats clearly laid out in Heller.

We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution, that decision reads. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.

The Fourth Circuit was wrong in its reasoning and in its ruling.

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Tyler Morning Telegraph – Editorial: Second Amendment rights aren … – Tyler Morning Telegraph

NRATV: Ted Cruz Defends The Second Amendment Live At CPAC – America’s 1st Freedom (press release) (blog)

During NRATVs live CPAC coverage, Texas Senator and constitutionalist Ted Cruz fired up the crowd by pointing out the absurdity of the fourth circuit courts Second Amendment test, which claims that the Second Amendment doesnt protect a weapon if it would be useful in a military context. This test isnt just sort of questionable. It is nuts! said Cruz.

Cruz went on, The second amendment was designed explicitly to protect weapons that would be useful in a military context. Do you want to know the first gun control law in America? The first congress passed a law mandating that all able-bodied men must own a musket.

Thats an individual mandate we could live with, said interviewer Mark Levin.

Stay tuned with NRATV for continuing coverage of CPAC.

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NRATV: Ted Cruz Defends The Second Amendment Live At CPAC – America’s 1st Freedom (press release) (blog)

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decides the Second Amendment is … – Canada Free Press

Liberal politicians who run states and cities have certain habits they come back to again and again. One is the passage of gun bans they know perfectly well are clear violations of the Second Amendment. Why do the do this? Partly because ideologically they cant help themselves. But also: They hope to create test cases in the courts that, they hope, will produce favorable rulings and thus establish case law that renders the entire Second Amendment null and void.

Toward that end, the State of Maryland scored a very big victory today, as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an assault weapons ban that cant possibly be defended as constitutional. So why did it survive? Because there are many in the federal judiciary who share the goal of repealing the Second Amendment, and hope to be the judges assigned to these test cases. The Fourth Circuit really outdid itself with this one.

How bad was the ruling? Take it away, David French:

How can it reach such a conclusion? Remember the formula: contempt, willful ignorance, and fear.

First, lets look at the courts breathtaking contempt for individual rights. Rather than read the Supreme Courts controlling opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller according to its plain language, it deliberately distorts Justice Antonin Scalias majority opinion. In Heller, Scalia clearly stated that the sorts of weapons the Second Amendment protects are those that are in common use at the time, with exceptions that apply to those weapons that are dangerous and unusual.

Why the addition of and unusual? Because every single working gun ever made is dangerous. To illustrate his point, Scalia then provides examples of specific types of dangerous and unusual guns M-16 rifles and the like. Heres a news flash: The M-16 isnt the same as a civilian assault weapon like the AR-15. The M-16 variants in use in the United States military are capable of being fired in both semi-automatic and fully automatic (three-round burst) modes. If you think that the M-16 and AR-15 are alike, then walk to your local gun store and try to buy an M-16.

Go ahead. Ill wait.

Are you back yet? Do you have an M-16? No? Thats because its an entirely different category of weapon, governed by different federal statutes. The Fourth Circuit, however, deliberately conflated semi-automatic weapons and automatic weapons. And it went to absurd lengths to do so.

There is much more to Frenchs excellent analysis than I can fairly excerpt here, so please click through and read the whole thing.

Its very instructive to see that the Fourth Circuit so badly mangled Scalias argument in Heller to reach the conclusion it did. It speaks to a group of judges looking for a legal rationale for a ruling they were already bound and determined to issue, rather than following the law wherever it leads you, which is what judges are supposed to do.

Heres whats ironic, though, about the dreck that is this ruling and Frenchs solid analysis of what makes it so bad. Having lost the presidency, Congress, and the vast majority of governorships and state legislatures, the only thing the left still has to thwart conservative policy initiatives is the prospect of help from liberal judges. In this case, they upheld an unconstitutional law passed by a Democrat governor and legislature in a blue state. But elsewhere, as in Texas today, judges are striking down duly passed laws that by any reasonable standard pass constitutional muster.

The Supreme Court may yet save the Second Amendment, and maybe a judge that understands the separation of powers will restore the right of Texas lawmakers to decide who gets taxpayer money. But the reason this is so ironic is that David French was one of the leading voices arguing during the presidential campaign that the Supreme Court was not sufficient reason to support Donald Trump in the general election over Hillary Clinton.

I think French is a terrific writer and thinker on all kinds of issues, but he was #NeverTrump to the core and believed a Trump presidency would be so injurious to the conservative movement that even the prospect of a liberal court majority for the next generation wasnt enough reason to back Trump.

I wonder how happy French is today that Trump was elected, and that Neil Gorsuch stands a very good chance of being the deciding vote in a ruling that overturns the Fourth Circuit and restores the Second Amendment. The federal judiciary is out of control, and that is a much bigger problem that Donald Trumps communication style or anything else you dont like about him.

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Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decides the Second Amendment is … – Canada Free Press

Second Amendment | NorthCountryNow – North Country Now

Second Amendment

Thursday, February 23, 2017 – 12:27 pm

I am writing this to all sportsman. We have what I believe to be a once in a lifetime opportunity in our country to protect our Second Amendment right to bear arms and to clarify our Second Amendment to own and carry a handgun legally in all states. Any citizen in possession of a license to carry firearms should be able to enjoy that right in all 50 states as they do in the state of issuance. We need every sportsman, man, woman and child to write your congressman, senators and the president to encourage them to support this bill. I would ask all hunting club presidents to encourage all members to write, all law enforcement officers to encourage all colleagues to write, all sportsman to tell your friends and relatives to write. We have a president that is on our side, along with a congress and Supreme Court. Do not let this opportunity pass us by.

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Second Amendment | NorthCountryNow – North Country Now

Ellison: ‘I did not say’ Democrats should come out against 2nd amendment – Washington Times

Rep. Keith Ellison denied Thursday that he previously said the Democratic Party should come out against the Second Amendment right of individuals to keep and bear arms.

That is not what I said at all, Mr. Ellison said during a CNN debate between the candidates seeking to lead the Democratic National Committee, after he was asked about a 2012 appearance he made on Real Time with Bill Maher.

In the episode, Mr. Ellison told the HBO host that he supported common-sense gun rules.

When Mr. Maher countered that the party should come out against the Second Amendment, Mr. Ellison said, I sure wish they would. I sure wish they would.

In the CNN debate, Mr. Ellison said his comments are being taken out of context.

I did not say that, he said. That was not an accurate statement.

The Minnesota Democrat then said he hunts with a conservative Democrat in rural Minnesota and said that he supports stricter background checks for guns.

Continued here:

Ellison: ‘I did not say’ Democrats should come out against 2nd amendment – Washington Times


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