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LETTER: N.J. should defend Second Amendment

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LETTER: N.J. should defend Second Amendment

NEW The Second Amendment Show

Press Release

On 10/3/2014, The State of New York Department of State Committee on Open Government issued a four page advisory opinion. The Committee’s opinion goes against Governor Cuomo’s refusal to release NYSAFE Act information requested in FOIL filings

October 4, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Albany, NY The Committee on Open Government dealt a significant blow to Governor Cuomo and the New York State Police through their October 3, 2014 Advisory Opinion that there is no legal basis for the refusal to release aggregate statistical information about the assault weapon registry. This on the same day that three, powerful supporters of the Second Amendment served the Governor and the NYS Police with Petitions to demand production of information in response to earlier demands made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act during the past eight months. The groups filing suit are Gun Owners of America, the Shooters Committee for Political Education (SCOPE), and Bill Robinson (host of the syndicated Second Amendment Radio Show).

The Committee’s Advisory Opinion follows eight months of work by these groups to get responses to this and other requests related to the 2013 SAFE Act. Although as a matter of procedure, it is generally the state agency that sends copies of the agency appeal papers to the Committee, the groups submitted its own copies to make sure that the Committee was informed of the difficulties they were experiencing.

The 4-page Advisory Opinion by the Committee could not be more clear: it is our opinion that disclosure of aggregate data or that which can be derived from the collected records and reported without identification of individual licensees is subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law.

We are thrilled with the Opinion of the Committee on Open Government, said Bill Robinson, whose weekly radio show is heard across New York from WYSL AM1040. The work of the independent Committee on Open Government is particularly vital in a state like New York where the Governor says transparency’ but then hides from basic questions.

Larry Pratt, Executive Director of the national organization Gun Owners of America pointed out, Connecticut and Colorado released their registration information promptly upon deadline. It has been amazing to think that a state like New York has forced us to undertake so much legal work to try to gain such basic information. Gun Owners of America has more than 750,000 members across the U.S. , including in New York .

The FOILs submitted by SCOPE originated with 33 of its members in Monroe County , who wanted to ask a list of questions around the State Police Field Guide and website. Stephen J. Aldstadt, the statewide President of SCOPE, added, The timing of the Opinion of the Committee on Open Government relative to our filing and service of the court cases to enforce our requests could not be more appreciated. It will underscore for the Supreme Court the appropriateness of our requests.

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NEW The Second Amendment Show

Monday-Thursday, 5 PM ET

Ahead of a weekend trip to Iowa, potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson sought to assure supporters Wednesday evening that he’s a strong Second Amendment supporter.

As he inches closer to the prospect of a presidential campaign, Carson used a conference call to try to address questions about his loyalty to gun rights.Skepticsoften point to a statement the neurosurgeon-turned-conservative-activist made in 2013 to conservative talk-show host Glenn Beck, whoasked whether people have the right to own semi-automatic weapons.

It depends on where you live, Carson told Beck. If you live in the midst of a lot of people, and Im afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it.

Sometimes people just hear one little thing and they don’t hear anything else.

Ben Carson

That statement has led some to unfairly label him as tepid on the Second Amendment, Carson said on the call.

There seemed to be group of peopleI don’t know exactly who they arewho seize upon one part of something that I said, Carson said on the call, which Bloomberg Politics was allowed to dial into. Sometimes people just hear one little thing and they don’t hear anything else.

Carson said that he could have been more precise in his answer to Beck.

Perhaps I didnt convey it appropriately, he said. I wanted to convey that, you know, I’ve lived in urban areas. I’ve worked in urban areas. I’ve seen a lot of carnage, and I’d prefer a situation where the kinds of weapons that create that kind of carnage don’t fall to the hands of criminal elements or insane people. But that is secondary to the desire to always defend the Second Amendment.

Carson said that under no circumstances would he allow a bureaucrat to remove any law-abiding citizen’s rights for any kind of weapon that they want to protect themselves.

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Law professor focuses work on Second Amendment

UMKC Law School professor Allen Rostron did not begin his legal career intending to work in the area of Second Amendment rights, or be a full-time law professor. After graduating from Yale Law School, he worked as a tax attorney. He soon found, however, that he did not enjoy the work. At the time of his change of focus, gun control was getting a lot of media attention and when an opportunity presented itself, he took a position at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The decision began a path that he still follows today.

Rostron was recently invited to be part of a planning team on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloombergs gun control group, Everytown for Gun Safety. As part of this group, Rostron focuses on recent decisions about the Second Amendment made by the Supreme Court after many years of the court not having any significant opinions about it.

When the Supreme Court decides something and you think well, that answers the question, it raises just as many questions, Rostron said.

That leaves lower courts around the country trying to figure out which laws are fine as they are written and which laws need some adjustment or even to be struck down. Groups on both sides of the issue gather to strategize to influence those decisions.

According to its website, Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Their voices of the movement are moms, mayors and survivors.

There are groups that oppose gun control because they see it as an infringement upon the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Rostron said that in the recent Supreme Court decisions, the court has said that there needs to be a historical point of view taken. If a gun law is being decided on, a modern public policy perspective should not be the only perspective. The Supreme Court says that these decisions should begin by looking at what the right to keep and bear arms traditionally meant.

That creates a real need to know the history, Rostron said. There is a real need for historians to delve back into what was the situation with guns 200 years ago or more. What kind of laws did they have and what did they think you had a right to do and what did the right not cover. Its a very rich, interesting, historical exploration.

The courses Rostron teaches at UMKC have a healthy amount of discussion. He teaches a Seminar on Gun Law & Safety, but all of his courses have some amount of discussion about rights that citizens hold.

Students are willing to debate the gun control issue because its not as personal as more hot-button issues like abortion or affirmative action.

I have found guns to be in the category of some other things like maybe religion very controversial and people have very strong views about it, but theyre not afraid to get into it a little bit with other students or with the teacher, Rostron said.

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Law professor focuses work on Second Amendment

California Towns Unusual Gun Law to Get Federal Appeals Court Ruling

On Monday, the long-running debate over gun laws is moving to center stage, out in San Francisco.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments concerning whether an unusual gun law passed by voters in Sunnyvale, Calif., late last year is constitutional.

A coalition of gun-rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, claims the law, which bans anyone from owning gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, violates the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Sunnyvale, on the other hand, claims the law does not impinge on Sunnyvale residents Second Amendment rights to own a firearm within the home for self-defense because such large-capacity magazines are neither necessary nor even useful for self-defense because defenders seldom fire more than two shots. Restricting such magazines makes sense, Sunnyvale argues, because theyre frequently used in mass shootings, including the massacre at Newtown, Conn., at the end of 2012.

So who is right?

A U.S. District Judge in San Jose, Calif., in March upheld the law, finding that while the Sunnyvale law implicated the Second Amendment, the burden placed by the law on a Sunnyvale residents Second Amendment rights is relatively light.

Wrote Judge Ronald M. Whyte:

The Sunnyvale law passes intermediate scrutiny, as the courtwithout making a determination as to the laws likely efficacycredits Sunnyvales voluminous evidence that the ordinance is substantially tailored to the compelling government interest of public safety.

Still, the caselaw concerning firearm restrictions has been developing for a relatively short period of time. In June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a landmark case called District of Columbia v. Heller, ruled that the Second Amendment protects ones right to own a firearm in ones own home.

But the court left for another day (and, until then, lower courts) a variety of issues, including whether and to what degree firearms can be carried outside the home, and the degree to which semi-automatic weapons can be regulated as well. The law on these issues is not well settled, meaning the judges of the Ninth Circuit have leeway in the Sunnyvale case to chart their own path.

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California Towns Unusual Gun Law to Get Federal Appeals Court Ruling

Gun Lobby Organizes & Open Carry March In St Louis Smith & Wesson And Bushmaster – Video


Gun Lobby Organizes Open Carry March In St Louis Smith Wesson And Bushmaster
Gun Lobbyist explains gun owners don't have the same rights as the elderly or the disabled because they are singled out in spite of their Second Amendment Rights To Bare Arms. Lobbyist states…

By: IBWC KC

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Gun Lobby Organizes & Open Carry March In St Louis Smith & Wesson And Bushmaster – Video

Reader View: Lets revisit the Second Amendment

The National Rifle Association and its fellow gun enthusiasts continue to misconstrue the founders original intent in creating the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A recently published NRA comment stated that, Guns save lives, stop crime and protect you. This is why we arm police, why people arm themselves and why the founders put the Second Amendment in the Constitution.

The Second Amendment reads as follows: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. A total of 27 words.

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Reader View: Lets revisit the Second Amendment

2ND AMENDMENT FIGHT Buffalo to seize guns days after owners' deaths

FILE 2012: Buffalo police confiscated nine illegal handguns in connection with a gun trafficking operation that stretched from the Decatur, Georgia area to Buffalo. The city has been focused on reducing the number of illegal guns on the street.(Buffalo Police Department)

A plan by police in Buffalo, N.Y., to begin confiscating the firearms of legal gun owners within days of their deaths is drawing fire from Second Amendment advocates.

The plan is legal under a longstanding, but rarely enforced state law, but gun rights advocates say, with apologies to onetime NRA spokesman Charlton Heston, it is tantamount to prying firearms – some of which may have substantial monetary or sentimental value – from the cold, dead hands of law-abiding citizens.

“They’re quick to say they’re going to take the guns,” said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. “But they don’t tell you the law doesn’t apply to long guns, or that these families can sell [their loved one’s] pistol or apply to keep it.”

King said enforcing the state law is the latest example of authorities targeting law-abiding gun owners, while doing little to secure the streets.

– Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association

Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda said at a press conference last week that the department will be sending people to collect guns that belong to pistol permit holders who had died so “they don’t end up in the wrong hands.” The department will cross reference pistol permit holders with death records and the guns will be collected when possible, he said.

Derrenda said guns pose a threat if their owner is no longer alive to safeguard them, especially if a recently-deceased gun owner’s home is burglarized.

“At times they lay out there and the family is not aware of them and they end up just out on the street,” he said, according to WGRZ.com.

The state law says that if the permit holder dies, the estate has 15 days to dispose of the guns or turn them in to authorities, who can hold the weapons up to two years. LoHud.com reported that violation of the law by survivors is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine.

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2ND AMENDMENT FIGHT Buffalo to seize guns days after owners' deaths

Buffalo to seize guns days after owners' deaths

FILE 2012: Buffalo police confiscated nine illegal handguns in connection with a gun trafficking operation that stretched from the Decatur, Georgia area to Buffalo. The city has been focused on reducing the number of illegal guns on the street.(Buffalo Police Department)

A plan by police in Buffalo, N.Y., to begin confiscating the firearms of legal gun owners within days of their deaths is drawing fire from Second Amendment advocates.

The plan is legal under a longstanding, but rarely enforced state law, but gun rights advocates say, with apologies to onetime NRA spokesman Charlton Heston, it is tantamount to prying firearms – some of which may have substantial monetary or sentimental value – from the cold, dead hands of law-abiding citizens.

“They’re quick to say they’re going to take the guns,” said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. “But they don’t tell you the law doesn’t apply to long guns, or that these families can sell [their loved one’s] pistol or apply to keep it.”

King said enforcing the state law is the latest example of authorities targeting law-abiding gun owners, while doing little to secure the streets.

– Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association

Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda said at a press conference last week that the department will be sending people to collect guns that belong to pistol permit holders who had died so “they don’t end up in the wrong hands.” The department will cross reference pistol permit holders with death records and the guns will be collected when possible, he said.

Derrenda said guns pose a threat if their owner is no longer alive to safeguard them, especially if a recently-deceased gun owner’s home is burglarized.

“At times they lay out there and the family is not aware of them and they end up just out on the street,” he said, according to WGRZ.com.

The state law says that if the permit holder dies, the estate has 15 days to dispose of the guns or turn them in to authorities, who can hold the weapons up to two years. LoHud.com reported that violation of the law by survivors is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine.

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Buffalo to seize guns days after owners' deaths

Calif. court puts conceal-carry restrictions on brink – VIDEO: 'Impossible' to get permit in DC?

Published November 12, 2014

A procedural decision in a landmark Second Amendment case could spell the end for California laws restricting the issuance of permits to carry concealed handguns.

The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would bar other law enforcement officials, including state Attorney General Kamala Harris, from gaining “intervener status” to join in further challenges of its ruling in a case originally brought by an independent journalist who sued the San Diego County Sheriffs Department over its policy of requiring a specific reason for being allowed to carry a concealed weapon in public.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has said he will not fight the ruling, meaning there is no one with standing left to challenge the decision made in February.

Since becoming Sheriff, I have always maintained that it is the legislatures responsibility to make the laws, and the judiciarys responsibility to interpret them and their constitutionality, Gore wrote in a letter to the county board of supervisors earlier this year, in which he said the courts decision gave him clarity on the issuance of licenses. Law enforcements role is to uphold and enforce the law.

Edward Peruta sued Gores department over its policy of requiring a specific reason for being allowed to carry a concealed weapon in public, restrictions other counties around the state also had in place.

In its bombshell ruling earlier this year, the 9th Circuit found those policies to be unconstitutional and held that law-abiding citizens have a right to bear arms under the Constitutions Second Amendment and could not be required to justify their reasons for carrying concealed weapons. The panel simultaneously ruled on a similar case brought in Yolo County, and that county’s sheriff, Edward Prieto, has not indicated he will drop further appeals, which could be heard en banc by all of the 9th Circuit judges or by the U.S. Supreme Court. Harris could try to join Prieto’s case, although Wednesday’s ruling appears to make it unlikely she would be allowed.

California counties have differed on policy in the wake of the February decision, with Orange County issuing the permits on request and others waiting for a resolution in the case.

One judge on the panel disagreed with Wednesdays ruling, saying the state should be able to intervene in the case to present an argument on an important constitutional question affecting millions of citizens.

The law would still not allow felons or the mentally ill to possess firearms, and would still prohibit the carrying of them in places such as schools and government buildings.

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Calif. court puts conceal-carry restrictions on brink – VIDEO: 'Impossible' to get permit in DC?

I was wrong about the Second Amendment: Why my view of guns totally changed

Noah Pozner did nothing to change my mind, except die. Before he died, I believed a few sensible gun laws could save children like Noah Pozner. After he died, after he and his Sandy Hook classmates were mowed down by a man with a gun, I changed my mind.

After he died, I realized an old custom had to die with him, so a nobler one could take its place. Before Noah Pozner died, I thought there was nothing wrong with the Second Amendment a little common sense couldnt fix. After he died, Ive come to believe the right of the people to keep and bear Arms no longer promotes our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but daily threatens them. How free are we when more people are shot and killed each year in America than populate the towns in which many of us live? How free are we when a backpack that unfolds into a bulletproof covering is a must-have item for schoolchildren?

A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

While I concede that a well-regulated militia might be necessary to the security of a free state, that role is now ably served by our military, professionally trained and highly disciplined, drawn from the ranks of our families and friends, from whom we have nothing to fear. We no longer need Minutemen. The British have not surrounded Concord. This is not Independence Dayand were not under alien attack. I cannot imagine any circumstance in which our government would urge us to arm ourselves in defense of our country. Our nation has outgrown its need for an armed citizenry. The disadvantages of widespread gun ownership far outweigh any perceived advantage. Ask the parents of Noah Pozner. Ask African-American residents of Ferguson, Missouri. Ask what Americas love affair with guns has meant to them.

The merit of a position can be gauged by the temperament of its supporters, and these days the NRA reminds me of the folks who packed the courtroom of the Scopes monkey trial, fighting to preserve a worldview no thoughtful person espoused. This worship of guns grows more ridiculous, more difficult to sustain, and they know it, hence their theatrics, their parading through Home Depot and Target, rifles slung over shoulders. Defending themselves, they say. From what, from whom? I have whiled away many an hour at Home Depots and Targets and never once come under attack.

They remind me of the Confederates who fought to defend the indefensible, sacrificing the lives of others in order to preserve some dubious right they alone valued. They would rather die, armed to the teeth, than live in a nation free of guns and their bitter harvest. You can have my gun when you pry it from around my cold, dead fingers, their bumper stickers read. How empty their lives must be if life without a gun is not worth living.

The first thing Hitler did was confiscate guns,the gun lovers warn, a bald lie if ever there was one. But lets suspend reality and imagine it was true. Where is the Hitler in Canada, in England, in Sweden, in every other civilized nation whose citizens have resolved to live without guns? Let the NRA trot out its tired canard about the housewife whose husband thoughtfully armed her, who shot the intruder and saved her family. I will tell you about the father who mistook his son for a burglar and shot him dead, about the man who rigged a shotgun in his barn to discourage thievery and accidentally slew his precious little girl when she entered the barn to play with her kittens.

What drives this fanaticism? Can I venture a guess? Have you noticed the simultaneous increase in gun sales and the decline of the white majority? After the 2010 census, when social scientists predicted a white minority in America by the year 2043, we began to hear talk of taking back our country. Gun shops popped up like mushrooms, mostly in the white enclaves of Americas suburbs and small towns. One cant help wondering if the zeal for weaponry has been fueled by the same dismal racism that has propelled so many social ills.

When I was growing up, our schools and colleges were unmatched, our medical care unrivaled, our infrastructure state-of-the-art, our opportunities unlimited. America set the gold standard. We can be great again, but not without addressing the fear and ignorance that feed our gun culture, for no nation can ascend until it cures the virus of violence. We cannot let the most fearful among us set our nations tone, lest we descend to that sorry state we labored centuries to rise above. It is time for America to grow up, to become adults, so that children like Noah Pozner have a fighting chance to do the same.

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I was wrong about the Second Amendment: Why my view of guns totally changed


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