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Category Archives: Second Amendment

Letters: Don’t release inmates; Not all are allowed on beach; First Amendment rights at risk – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Posted: April 11, 2020 at 3:53 am

Dont release inmates into our communities

Please do not release any prison inmates into the community.

I do respect the reasons, but in this case, the negative consequences of this action greatly outweigh its benefits. With all that is going on, it is imperative that we protect the safety of the community and not add to the stresses we already face each day. Remember the inmates are there for a reason.

Find an alternative facility to house these inmates, similar to the action of opening up a vacant building to house the infected homeless population. I applaud this action. If we can do it for the homeless, we can do it for the inmates. Dig deep and do it.

It is sad to say this, but the problem of prison overcrowding is not new, and we keep kicking the can down the road. It is so unfortunate that it takes a global pandemic to spur action, either positive or negative.

Ron Iwami

Manoa Valley

Able-bodied allowed on beach, but not others

Mayor Kirk Caldwell allows only able-bodied people to use Ala Moana beach. My blue handicap car pass is not sufficient to get me into the parking lot.

At age 75, I can only swim, and I have for most of my life. My ability to walk long distances is limited. The police cruise the park from time to time. They can monitor illegal parking. My letter to Caldwell was not answered and cars are still blocked from entering Ala Moana parking.

Its almost two months now that I have not been able to swim in our therapeutic salt water.

Carolyn Tsukayama

Palolo

Drive-through testing safer for patient, worker

Im glad to see that most people in our communities are taking the recommended precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Many thanks to Dr. Scott Miscovich of Premier Medical Group Hawaii and all others involved for starting up the drive-through testing sites around the state. Those two little tents outside The Queens Medical Center do not appear capable of handling large numbers of people with suspected infections. These drive-through testing sites are much safer and convenient for both health care personnel and people who may be ill.

On another note, it is disconcerting to see that the state is sending the Hawaii National Guard to assist in screening incoming travelers at the airports when those numbers are at an all-time low (Hawaii National Guard to help with airport screenings as state records 3rd coronavirus death, Star-Advertiser, April 4). It would have seemed more consistent to send them when we had high numbers of travelers coming into Hawaii.

Noella Takai

Makiki

First Amendment rights at risk from pandemic

After reading many stories about the coronavirus pandemic, I glanced at Jacob Sullums column (Will COVID-19 pandemic kill constitutional freedoms?, Star-Advertiser, April 4). This was something different, I thought.

Sullum pointed out how some politicians had already used the fear and anxiety created by COVID-19 to restrict constitutional rights and freedoms. He cited some Second Amendment examples. But they also could be used to restrict First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech and assembly.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

Mark Saxon

Kahului

Stock market investment should be for long term

I am willing to bet any amount of money that a few or many people already have bailed out of their so-called investments in the stock market.

Rule No. 1: If you are going to invest in the stock market, it should be for the long term. The young investors today who are investing in their 401(k) plans should be in seventh heaven right now. They are buying shares that are dirt cheap. Load up, if you can.

The only time you will lose money in the stock market is when you sell. The market goes down, you panic and you sell. Youve lost money and you dont know when you are going to get back in. When the market goes up and down, its all paper gains and paper losses.

The best reference on why you should stay in the market is history. Since 1929, the year the Great Depression began. the market gyrated up and down. But, look at the trend of the stock market. It is always going up.

Albert Miral

Ewa Beach

Require food handlers to wear masks, gloves

As the coronavirus continues to ramp up, local government has called for stay@home and face masks.

Either the governor or the mayors must mandate that all food handlers wear face masks and gloves.

Ive gone to a sub sandwich place, Chinese plate lunch, malasada truck and other take-out businesses, and nobody was wearing a mask. Consider the made-to-order food places: Theyre talking over the food.

Requiring face masks and gloves for food handlers should be common sense.

Jeff Kino

Kaneohe

Working Americans shouldnt just get scraps

The CARES Act is financial crumbs for the American people in an effort to keep us quiet by giving us the bare minimum. Some letters to the editor complained about the country being in debt as a result of the federal government finally doing its job helping the working class (We need to prepare for future saddled by debt, $2 trillion CARES Act looks like socialism, Star-Advertiser, Letters, April 4). I wonder how many times those same people worry about the debt America has assumed by throwing billions toward foreign intervention.

Maybe, just maybe, the working people in this country could get a bailout instead of billion-dollar corporations for once. And maybe, just maybe, the disaffected members of the working class in this country could expect better from their elected officials instead of settling for scraps.

Saundra Ramirez

Aliamanu

KINDNESS GOING VIRAL

Even in these days overshadowed by the coronavirus, bright spots exist. If you see kindness or positivity going on, share it with our readers via a 150-word letter to the editor; email it to letters@staradvertiser.com. Well be running some of these uplifting letters occasionally to help keep spirits up, as we hunker down. We are all in this together.

EXPRESS YOURSELF

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser welcomes all opinions. Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor.

>> Write us: We welcome letters up to 150 words, and guest columns of 500-600 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Include your name, address and daytime phone number.

>> Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210 Honolulu, HI 96813

>> Contact: 529-4831 (phone), 529-4750 (fax), letters@staradvertiser.com, staradvertiser.com/editorial/submit-letter

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Letters: Don't release inmates; Not all are allowed on beach; First Amendment rights at risk - Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Below The Radar: S Res 110 – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

Posted: at 3:53 am

Senator Chris Murphy attempted to tie federal gun control legislation to the Saugus High School shooting in Santa Clarita, California during an interview with MTV. In the background is fellow anti-gunner Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

United States -(AmmoLand.com)-One thing to keep in mind is when you look at what has been introduced in Congress, not all of the items are legislation. Sometimes, attacks on our rights can come in other ways even if they dont actually infringe on our rights, they hold the potential to shift the political landscape against our rights.

One such piece of legislation is S Res 110, introduced by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT). This is a resolution, which would just be voted on by the United States Senate. As such, it would not have the force of law. So why focus on this one? Because this resolution would make it far easier to attack our rights. This is not a huge stretch of the imagination. This is very real, and you can understand why by reading the text of the resolution.

Murphy, who has been very active against our Second Amendment rights, is opposed to allowing those teachers (or other school personnel) who wish to have effective tools to defend the students under their care to receive effective training on how to use those tools. He cant argue against armed securitys potential to stop a potential tragedy after the West Freeway Church of Christ incident.

Armed attendees at that church stopped the potential mass shooting in six seconds. It is generally accepted that it took police about ten minutes to first enter Sandy Hook Elementary School, almost five minutes after the last shot was fired (per the New York Times). Roughly 600 seconds for police to arrive, and roughly 300 for the killer to do his evil (or insane) act.

For years, Murphy and other anti-Second Amendment extremists have used Sandy Hook to beat Second Amendment supporters over the head. It was a horrific event, and any person with a shred of decency or morality wants effective solutions to prevent a recurrence. For Second Amendment supporters, the morally imperative thing to do is also the right strategic move to make.

Murphy, though, has a much easier case to make, usually through the usual emotional manipulation. His argument runs along the lines of, Teachers are there to teach, to nurture kids. How can someone do that while carrying a gun?

Any mother who has a CCW permit can refute that nonsense. So could any teacher who has one that they use of course, not when on school grounds in the course of their lives. Does it make them any less capable of being a nurturing force? Second Amendment supporters know that the answer is no.

The real problem, though, given the media and political landscape, is convincing the American people that the real answer is ending gun-free zones. That is a long-term effort, and it will involve getting through the propaganda that Murphy and others will spread with the help of the media.

In the meantime, Second Amendment supporters should politely urge their Senators to oppose S Res 110. Instead, urge them to support measures like The School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019, which would actually make a difference.

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

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Gun-rights advocates protest closure of shooting ranges in R.I. – The Providence Journal

Posted: March 24, 2020 at 5:13 am

To our readers: We are providing vital coronavirus content for free online as a public service during the outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to The Providence Journal.

Gun stores in Rhode Island are seeing a surge in demand for firearms and ammunition amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gina Raimondos order closing all entertainment and recreation facilities also applies to gun ranges, her office confirmed Monday, sparking concern in an industry thats already primed to push back on government regulations.

Frank Saccoccio, the president of the Rhode Island Second Amendment Coalition, said the order closing gun ranges would deprive new gun owners of one way to learn how to handle their firearms safely. The group was reaching out to the governors office Monday.

Its a public safety disaster, said Saccoccio. You cant have that.

Raimondos order goes into effect as of 5 p.m. Monday, and also applies to businesses like salons, tattoo parlors and cinemas.

Raimondo has also given police in the state 30 days, instead of seven, to do a local background check on gun buyers. But many towns are still turning around those background checks in eight to 10 days, Saccoccio said. Others are doing it in 12. Buyers dont have to wait all 30 days to get their guns if the local background check comes in sooner, Saccoccio said.

There is a huge surge in demand for guns, Saccoccio said. Saccoccio said gun shop owners are enforcing rules on keeping people farther away from each other as they wait in ever-increasing lines out the door. Inventory is running low as more shipments come in.

Big Bear Hunting and Fishing in Glocester is only letting two people inside the store at a time, co-owner William Willy Wayz said.

Were being inundated, Wayz said via telephone as he tried to get a handle on inventory. One of the biggest problems that all the gun shops in Rhode Island are having -- hold on one second. How many you got? Five? Thats it? Sorry, its my UPS driver -- were all having problems with supply and demand.

Wayz and other gun shop owners say that people are realizing, amid the coronavirus pandemic, that they have to take their safety into their own hands. Its not just the usual customers who are coming in; in fact, theyve probably all stocked up already, Wayz said.

I have people that pull into my parking lot with Bernie Sanders stickers on their car that never would have bought a gun, Wayz said. I bought all this food and this toilet paper, how am I going to protect myself?

Every day, the line builds up outside the door; many people are wearing face masks and shop workers are wearing gloves, Wayz said. Sales are up about 300%, Wayz said.

Other states have closed all non-essential businesses. New Jersey does not consider gun shops an essential business, and theyve been ordered to close, according to NJ.com.

That has not come to pass in Rhode Island.

There are a lot of people who think this type of store is essential, Wayz said. Survival is essential, self-defense is essential.

Linda Finn, the executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence, said that reports of increasing gun sales were concerning to her group.

I think this sort of idea that society is unraveling and people need to take things into their own hands is a myth the gun lobby likes to keep perpetuating, she said.

In her estimation, bringing a gun into your home under those circumstances is actually endangering your family more than its protecting your family.

bamaral@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7615

On Twitter: bamaral44

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Below the Radar: The Kimberly Vaughan Firearm Safe Storage Act – AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

Posted: at 5:13 am

IDENTILOCK Firearm Trigger Lock

United States -(AmmoLand.com)-Sometimes, when legislation is targeting your Second Amendment rights, it doesnt necessarily come in the form of a ban or licensing and registration. Sometimes, the worst infringements are those that literally make it impossible for people to exercise their Second Amendment rights in one way or another without risking arrest (and worse).

It could be anything from closing land used for hunting. It could be a noise ordinance that shutters the range you went to for years. It could even be something as simple as making it impossible to defend yourself without entering a state of legal jeopardy.

This last item is what HR 4080, the Kimberly Vaughan Firearm Safe Storage Act, that is the third part of a three-bill package introduced by Sheila Jackson Lee (the others are HR 4081 and HR 4082), does to Americans who are exercising their Second Amendment rights. In a very real sense, it makes having your firearm ready for perhaps its most important role personal protection in your home a federal crime.

Loyal AmmoLand News readers can see for themselves in the text of the legislation. Literally the only safe harbor to avoid prosecution for having a firearm in your home be stolen and misused is to have your firearms and ammo secured, unloaded, and separately, in a safe certified by the Attorney General while the firearm itself is locked with a trigger lock certified by the Attorney General.

How viable is that firearm as an option for self-defense? The short answer is that the firearm is NOT viable. But if you dont render the firearm non-viable as an option, you could face 20 years in prison. Felons in possession of firearms only face a maximum of ten years under 18 USC 922 and 18 USC 924. Jackson Lees proposal is worse. If you do get convicted, the Attorney General keeps the firearm and ammo at your expense.

There are no provisions for the return of the firearm and ammo. Eventually, the expenses will just mount until you decide to give it up. Which is part of the idea. The other nasty provision is that one self-defense scenario that has emerged at times can also lead to that 20-year sentence.

Like HR 4081, the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act, this bill is named for a victim of the Santa Fe High School shooting. Again, Sheila Jackson Lee wants to try to deflect criticism from those with legitimate objections to this legislation.

The fact is that there are laws on the books punishing the theft of firearms. There are laws that handle those who willingly hand over firearms to felons and other prohibited persons. HR 4082 simply attacks the right to self-defense. Second Amendment supporters should contact their Representative and Senators and politely urge them to defeat this bill.

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics, and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

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The National Rifle Association is Laying Off Staff, Cutting Salaries and Reducing Hours Amid COVID-19 Outbreak – Newsweek

Posted: at 5:13 am

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is laying off employees and reducing salaries across the board in the largest personnel shake-up since the non-profit organization ousted its president at the annual meeting of members in 2019.

In a note that was distributed via email to the board of directors and executive council Monday afternoon, CEO Wayne LaPierre announced that his organization "faces extraordinary challenges resulting from COVID-19" and must institute several workforce adjustments, including "the elimination of certain positions," imposing a four-day workweek for hourly employees and 20 percent pay reductions across the board "while maintaining current workloads."

The email, relayed to the board by the NRA's general counsel, John Frazer, was obtained by Newsweek.

In response to a request for comment about whether LaPierre himself would be subject to the belt-tightening, the organization's outside counsel, Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, said in a statement that "salary adjustments announced today apply to all levels of the organization."

"In addition, some senior staff members are voluntarily taking deeper cuts," the statement added.

LaPierre's compensation rose by 57 percent in 2018, the most recent year for which tax filings are available, to $2.15 million.

Though LaPierre cited the COVID-19 outbreak as the chief reason for the personnel changes, the announcement comes during an undeniable cash-crunch at the gun-rights group. Tax filings show that in 2018, the NRA's net assets declined by nearly $9 million to $16 million, their lowest levels in six years.

It was not immediately clear how the COVID-19 outbreak would impact the NRA's bottom line. In 2018, contributions, transfers, gifts, grants and member dues comprised around 80 percent of the organization's revenues.

The NRA was recently forced to announce that its annual meeting of members, set to take place in Nashville, Tennessee, in mid-April, would no longer be able to convene.

"We sincerely regret the need for this action," the group said in an earlier statement. "We were ultimately guided by our responsibility to help ensure the safety and well-being of our NRA members, guests, and surrounding community."

On Monday, LaPierre struck a similar tone, acknowledging that his organization had to "address immediate financial challenges and... plan for long-term impacts to ensure the viability of our organization."

"Unfortunately, these changes will necessitate the elimination of certain positions on either a temporary or, in some cases, permanent basis," he added.

The staffing reductions will be effective Sunday and schedules were adjusted to ensure "the maintenance of benefits eligibility" for hourly employees.

"Although we are unable to predict how long these pay-related adjustments will remain in effect, or the long-term financial impacts of COVID-19, they are intended to be temporary," LaPierre's note continued, further encouraging affected employees to "contact any germane state or federal agency to determine eligibility for any additional aid."

Laid off NRA employees will be among the hundreds of thousands of Americans in recent weeks who have suddenly found themselves in one of the worst economic contractions in U.S. history. The Department of Labor reported that in mid-March, unemployment claims spiked to 281,000, the highest level since 2017.

Monday's statement from the Brewer firm noted that the COVID-19 epidemic and its accompanying nationwide lockdown have "caused a major disruption to our fundraising activities."

"Based on state or local restrictions and guidance from public health authorities, we have been forced to cancel all Friends of NRA banquets across the country, other planned events, special programs, gun shows, recruitment stations, and various other streams of expected income," the statement added.

The coronavirus outbreak represents just the latest fiscal crisis for the NRA, whose flagging finances amid an ethics and governance scandal have required the organization to take steps to shore up its balance sheet. The Trace has reported, for example, that free coffee was eliminated at the group's headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.

The NRA and its charitable foundation are currently being investigated by the attorneys general for New York and the District of Columbia over alleged violations of their tax-exempt status, which requires that no insider derive a personal benefit from non-profit assets.

Critics have accused the NRA of engaging in profligate spending, a claim that was bolstered by the organization's former president, Lt. Col. Oliver North, who has fallen out with the NRA, as has its former public relations firm, Ackerman McQueen.

The three have since become entangled in a legal morass spanning multiple states, with accusations of deception and betrayal playing out in various lawsuits. North wrote in a letter during the final days of his tenure as president that invoices from the Brewer firm, the NRA's outside counsel, were "draining NRA cash at mindboggling speed."

During the first quarter of 2019, the firm was being paid nearly $100,000 per day for its legal services. Brewer's defenders have noted that the NRA's voluminous litigation has racked up significant wins, including against the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco for policies targeting gun-rights supporters.

Turnover at the NRA in recent months has jeopardized its ability to remain among the country's most politically influential organizations; and the fact that 2020 is an election year will only amplify the consequences of Monday's announcement. The NRA spent a record $55 million on the 2016 presidential election, $30 million of which went to supporting then-candidate Donald Trump.

Eight directors on the group's board have resigned since last May.

During a period of months in the fall of 2019, after a pair of especially gruesome mass shootings, the NRA was put on the defensive, pressured to demonstrate its continued political leverage during a time when many gun-rights supporters have become disaffected with the group. There appear to have been some moderate successes: The New York Times reported that the group secured concessions from Trump in a private phone call just as talk of new gun controls on Capitol Hill appeared viable for the first time in years.

But questions remain about whether the group can retain its unrivaled political influence in Congress, where a sitting U.S. representative, Don Young (R-AK), also serves on the NRA's board. Top officials at the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), its lobbying arm and connection to Washington D.C., departed last year. One of them, Chris Cox, the division's former top lobbyist, was mentioned in a lawsuit against North, where he was accused of participating in a conspiracy to oust LaPierre.

David Lehman, NRA-ILA's general counsel who had been filling in for Cox amid the staffing deficit, left in August.

"Over the years, we've weathered more tough times than most," LaPierre concluded in his note Monday. "But we will rise from this stronger and well positioned to lead the fight to protect our Second Amendment, the First Amendment, and all our constitutional freedoms during the crucial upcoming elections and for years to come."

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Senate closes week with flurry of action – The Ottawa Herald

Posted: at 5:13 am

It was a busy week with the usual work in the legislature and because of issues arising as a result of the COVID-19 virus.

One example, I had been working with a healthcare provider to get insurance payments for telemedicine and reached out to the Insurance Commissioners office. They helped in solving the problem and the Governors latest Executive Order (EO) also addressed the issue. Together we can and do make a difference.

To mitigate spread of the virus, the Governor has issued seven Executive Orders so far:

EO 20-03 declares a state of disaster, providing availability of additional resources.

EO 20-04 prohibits mass gatherings of 50 people or more and lists exclusions.

EO 20-05 directs and orders Kansas utility and internet providers to not disconnect services for non-payment and lists the types of services included.

EO 20-06 directs and orders all financial institutions to suspend initiating any mortgage foreclosures, evictions or judicial proceedings.

EO 20-07 closes all K-12 public and private schools until 5/29/2020, while continuing meal programs, childcare, online learning opportunities, and other exceptions.

EO 20-08 expands availability of telehealth medical services.

EO 20-09 removes or lessens certain motor carrier rules and regulations if participating in relief or restoration efforts as a result of the virus.

It is not unprecedented for the legislature to pass a resolution extending the Governors authority during a state of emergency while the legislature is not in session. What appears to be unprecedented about House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 5025 was the authority and length of time that was proposed. During senate debate, three amendments were offered and passed. The first was to decrease the length of time turning over legislative authority to the Governor, changing the date from Jan. 25, 2021 to May 1, 2020. The second amendment was to protect the sale of ammunition (firearm sales are protected by statute). I offered the third amendment to protect us from government overreach. It had several provisions including, but not limited to protecting private property and protecting local government funds from being swept. The HCR passed the Senate 37 Yes to 2 No votes with the amendments. I voted yes. After conference committee negotiations, the final product changed the third amendment somewhat but it does help protect our freedoms with oversight by the Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC), a committee made up of legislative leadership and the Governor, reviewing governing actions when the legislature is not in session. The CCR HCR 5025 passed unanimously.

As President Reagan one said, Can we solve the problems confronting us? Well, the answer is an unequivocal and emphatic yes. Yes we can in a constitutional way that protects our freedom - thats why you have me here.

Take ownership of your situation and actions. When growing up, I said a person made me mad. My Mom responded, they didnt make you mad, you chose to be mad. Lets choose to be optimistic and respectful of others. Stay safe.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.

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Senate closes week with flurry of action - The Ottawa Herald

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NRA goes on the offensive after Senate Democrat attacks its latest ad featuring a cancer survivor as sickening – TheBlaze

Posted: at 5:13 am

The National Rifle Association hit back at criticism of its latest Second Amendment rights advertisement after a top Senate Democrat called the ad "sickening."

Over the weekend, the NRA published a video featuring cancer survivor Carletta Whiting.

In the video, Whiting who says she has a fibromyalgia disability highlighted the importance of gun ownership during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the video, Whiting said, "What's in my control is how I defend myself if things go from bad to worse. I know from history how quickly society breaks down during a crisis, and we've never faced anything like this before, and never is the Second Amendment more important than during public unrest."

She also added that California liberals are even "lining up because they know the government will not be able to protect them."

Whiting can be seen firing off rounds from her AR-9 rifle.

The pro-2A organization captioned the video, "Americans are flocking to gun stores because they know the only reliable self-defense during a crisis is the #2A. Carletta Whiting, who's disabled & vulnerable to #coronavirus, asks Dems trying to exploit the pandemic: Why do you want to leave people like me defenseless?"

At the time of this writing, the video has received more than 919,000 views.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) issued a scathing tweet directed at the NRA and its latest advertisement.

He wrote, "Mainstream gun owners have left the NRA, so now they're reducing to telling people to stockpile assault weapons, instead of food, to get ready for the coming Coronavirus civil war. So sickening."

In a statement, Amy Hunter the organization's director of media relations told Fox News that Murphy is simply trying to push an anti-gun agenda.

"Sen. Murphy is either being intentionally disingenuous or is obtuse," Hunter said. "Carletta Whiting is one of millions of Americans who feel vulnerable and who know that when crime happens, the police are minutes away despite their best intentions."

"Right now," she continued, "anti-gun politicians are using the pandemic to try and strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights. Meanwhile, gun sales are increasing because good people are worried their government won't be able to protect them. This is when Americans rely on their Second Amendment rights the most."

According to Fox News, interviews conducted in recent days with gun store owners and sellers indicated that sales this month, on average, have spiked anywhere between 30% and 400%, compared with a "normal" time period.

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Gun dealers are not considered an essential business, and theyre not happy about it – NJ.com

Posted: at 5:13 am

Gov. Phil Murphys executive order to close all non-essential retail business has forced gun dealers, who were experiencing a spike in sales amid the anxiety surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, to shut down.

On Saturday, the online service used to process background checks for firearm dealers, the New Jersey National Instant Criminal Background Check System, told stores they can no longer process requests.

Per Executive Order 107, (Murphy) is ordering the residents of New Jersey to stay home, directing all non-essential retail businesses closed to the public, a notice on the online system states. At this time, the order includes New Jersey Firearms State Licensed Dealers.

The order does not specifically name gun dealers as a non-essential business. However, it also doesnt list them among those deemed essential, such as liquor stores, office supply shops and grocery stores.

In Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker in his executive order considered firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers an essential business for purposes of safety and security.

New Jersey gun owners and Second Amendment advocates take issue with Murphys position on firearm dealers.

Gov. Murphy surrounds himself with armed guards, said Alexander Roubian, president of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society. Clearly he understands the benefit of the Second Amendment. Why is his life more valuable?

Roubian pointed to the spike in gun sales in recent weeks as proof why these businesses should be considered essential.

When the police have no legal obligation to protect citizens, which was upheld by the United States Supreme Court, yes, any person would believe gun stores that sell many tools for self-defense is extremely essential, he said.

NJ Advance Media reported Thursday that gun shop owners were working long hours to keep up with demand.

It has been relentless, said Joe Hawk, the owner of Guns & Roses in Toms River.

Hawk said he was fielding calls from desperate customers asking what he had in stock.

Theyre not even asking the price, he said.

Kyle Sherman, a co-owner of Shore Shot Pistol Range in Lakewood, reported last week having his busiest day in years. On Sunday, he said he can live without selling guns, but would still like to provide ammo.

I consider us essential business because we not only supply everyday citizens with ammunition and firearms, he said, but also local retired and active police officers.

Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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Taking time to think | News, Sports, Jobs – Marquette Mining Journal

Posted: at 5:13 am

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining GazetteHoughton County resident Matthew Wright speaks in support of a resolution to declare Houghton County a Second Amendment sanctuary county. The county board voted the resolution down 3-2 Wednesday night.

Houghton Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON By a 3-2 vote, the Houghton County Board of Commissioners recently voted down a revised resolution on becoming a Second Amendment sanctuary county, a month after tabling the original proposal.

Commissioners Glenn Anderson, Roy Britz and Gretchen Janssen voted against the resolution. Chairman Al Koskela and Vice Chairman Tom Tikkanen supported it.

Tikkanen opted for a resolution declaring Houghton County a sanctuary county over others based on resolutions passed in other counties. They stopped short of a sanctuary declaration, but passed resolutions supporting Constitutional rights.

Tikkanen said while the resolution is symbolic, it sends an important message to Lansing about the value Houghton County puts on gun rights.

There are limitations constantly being placed on individual ownership Its a slow cumulative effect that eventually many fear are going to result in our Second Amendment rights being virtually nonexistent, he said.

In an interview Thursday, Britz said he was put off by the usage of sanctuary. Despite it being a non-binding resolution, he said, people could take the resolution as a sign that the county will be a refuge from gun laws.

The word sanctuary may give the thought to certain persons that its a place to come and bring some of their problems with them, he said Thursday. I dont believe in that.

Britz said he would gladly have voted for another resolution given to commissioners modeled on one passed in Huron County. That one asked state and federal legislators to maintain the Constitution as is.

I would absolutely have supported that one, he said Thursday. It didnt say anything about sanctuary. The word sanctuary just didnt fit with me.

The revised resolution removed several provisions commissioners had objected to at the previous meeting. In a list of means the commission would take to protect the right to bear arms, the board removed the power to direct the law enforcement and employees of Houghton County to not enforce any unconstitutional law.

Britz approved of the change, but said a clause directing the county not to use county resources or funds towards laws judged to violate the Second Amendment was effectively a backdoor to accomplish the same thing.

I believe its the responsibility of people to vote into office at the state and federal level people we trust that will support the Constitution and not try to change the amendments, he said. We have other avenues rather than to start doing county-level resolutions that mean nothing.

Three other paragraphs were removed from the resolution introduced in February. Two affirmed the boards support for constitutional carry legislation, which would allow people to carry a gun without a license, and stated no citizens should be arrested or prosecuted for exercising those rights. The other stated the rights in the Second Amendment and Article 1, Section 6 of the Michigan Constitution apply to all arms, including modern sporting rifle.

The meeting drew about 60 people, down from the 100 or so who attended Februarys meeting. Most who spoke during public comment supported the resolution.

Houghton County Prosecutor Brittany Bulleit did not speak for or against the resolution, calling it more of a political issue than a legal issue. She did give the board some relevant case law and other legal issues. Under state law, the county board cannot pass ordinances that contravene state laws, she said.

While I understand the proposed document is a resolution, and not an ordinance, I think it is still important to note this distinction because it sets forth a legal limitation in powers, she said. Further, many requests included in the resolution are not included in the powers given in the statute. That idea should be considered in deciding what portions of the resolution, if any, to pass.

Bulleit also referenced MCL 123.1102, which says local units of government shall not impose special taxation on, enact or enforce any ordinance or regulations on guns except as provided by state or federal law.

Thus, many requests in the resolution could potentially go against the above statute and would have no legal backing, unless the state or federal government passed their own laws, Bulleit said.

The longterm legal repercussions of a declaration as a sanctuary county are unknowable, Bulleit said.

In a statement on the amendment introduced in February, the Michigan Attorney Generals office said it views Houghton County and others resolutions as a policy issue. Because the board still has to follow Michigans firearms laws, the resolution would have no actual effect.

We would view Houghtons proposed resolution as a policy/political statement by the Houghton County Board of Commissioners, which we respect as their right to engage in free speech always with the reminder that of course Houghton County remains subject to all enacted firearms legislation, the statement said.

After the vote, Hancock resident Justin Kasieta, who brought the Second Amendment resolution to the board, said he was disappointed.

I think that the community supports this resolution and were going to keep pushing for it, he said. Commissioners may see a response to what they voted for in November.

By Houghton DailyMining GazetteONTONAGON The Village Council held their annual public hearing on the ...

SAGOLA An accidental death occurred at the Louisiana Pacific Plant along M-95 in Dickinson County on Friday, ...

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Taking time to think | News, Sports, Jobs - Marquette Mining Journal

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A new Super PAC wants to raise $1 million to re-elect Rep. Collin Peterson. It’s already halfway there – MinnPost

Posted: at 5:13 am

The Committee for Stronger Rural Communities (CSRC), a Super PAC founded to support Rep. Collin Petersons re-election bid, aims to raise $1,000,000 this cycle and is already half-way there.

Organized late last year by representatives of American Crystal Sugar Co., a farmer-owned cooperative based in Moorhead, the Super PAC aims to keep the Seventh District representative competitive in what could be one of the most expensive House races in 2020.

The Committee fundraising target is $1 million for the cycle, dedicated to Rep. Petersons race, said a representative for the Super PAC. To date weve raised more than $500,000.

Super PACs cannot coordinate directly with campaigns, meaning no conversations about messaging or events, but there is no limit on the amount of money they can spend on the race. As to why theyre supporting Peterson: It is a large rural district. As far as emphasis on sugar, Collin Peterson has always been a supporter of sugar, Kelly Erickson of Hallock, a board member for American Crystal Sugar and the Chair of the Super PAC, told AgWeek last year.

Minnesota is the largest producer of sugar beets in the U.S. And American Crystal Sugar is one of the most powerful organizations in Minnesota when it comes to campaign contributions. According to year-end campaign finance filings for 2019, CSRC received $150,000 from American Crystal Sugar Company and $25,000 from Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, both large sugar beet presences in the Seventh District. But it also received money from sugar companies around the country: $50,000 from United States Sugar Corp and $25,000 from Florida Crystals Corp, two large producers of sugarcane based in Florida; and $10,000 from Michigan Sugar Company Growers PAC. (Peterson is a strong supporter of the U.S. sugar program, a complex web of available loans, tariffs, export programs, and other trade measures that benefit U.S. grown and processed sugar.)

Until this month, it was unclear if Peterson would run for re-election. For years, there has been speculation by Republicans that Peterson would retire: so much so that, in 2014, Peterson said he would run until 2020 because Republicans made him mad by continually bringing it up.

This month, he confirmed that he is running again.

There arent many like me left in Congress, he said in a statement announcing his re-election. Rural Democrats are few and far between, and Im concerned that rural America is getting left behind.

In that same statement, Peterson quoted supporters of his run, including Curt Knutson, a sugar beet farmer and American Crystal Sugar board member.

Theres no better news for farmers and agriculture than to hear that our Chairman Collin Peterson is running again, said Knutson. Ive said many times that I hope he lives to be 100 years old and that I die with him as my Congressman.

In 2014, conservative groups and Republicans spent over $3.5 million in an attempt to elect former state Sen. Torrey Westrom to Petersons seat. The race this year could very well be more expensive.

This cycle, Peterson has a few potential Republican opponents: former Lt. Governor Michelle Fischbach has raised the most money and is the clear favorite among Washington Republicans, while Dave Hughes, who was the endorsed Republican candidate last cycle, is running again. Others are running too: Jayesun Sherman of Windom, Army veteran Joel Novak of Alexandria, and Dr. Noel Collis, a gastroenterologist from Albany.

CSRC started running radio advertisements in October, emphasizing Petersons independence in Congress and their belief in his support for rural communities. The Super PACs website describes four other issue areas as reasons to support Peterson: his stances on the Second Amendment, health care, agriculture and veterans.

On the Second Amendment, they say that Peterson has consistently defended Americans right to bear arms and has an A rating from the National Rifle Association. On health care, they said that he looks for bipartisan solutions. And on agriculture and veterans issues, they emphasize his experience: Peterson is the Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture and he serves on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and in the Congressional Rural Veterans Caucus.

Peterson is very much aware that the sugarbeet industry wants him to stay in the race.

Theres work to do, and I can do the work. I think I know the job, I know how to do it. The sugar beet guys especially were freaked out that I wasnt going to run we just got them another $285M disaster deal thats going to bail them out of what happened last fall, Peterson told Prairie Public Broadcasting earlier this month.

I just figured, what the heck? Two more years.

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A new Super PAC wants to raise $1 million to re-elect Rep. Collin Peterson. It's already halfway there - MinnPost

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