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Category Archives: Second Amendment

SAF Condemns Texas Law Prof's Claim that OH School Shooting is 'Exercise of 2A'

Posted: February 29, 2012 at 4:06 am

To: NATIONAL EDITORS

BELLEVUE, Wash., Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The suggestion by a University of Texas law professor that Monday's deadly school shooting in Ohio was a "typical exercise of the Second Amendment" is an outrage, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

Calvin Johnson teaches law at UT in Austin, and his comments appeared in an e-mail that was exposed by a reporter for the Washington Free Beacon. The story also revealed that Johnson defended the City of Chicago's handgun ban, which SAF successfully challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago. Prof. Johnson has also suggested that it is "quite reasonable" to dismiss James Madison's motivations for including a right to keep and bear arms in the Bill of Rights as "historical trivia."

"To contend that Monday's tragic school shooting is typical behavior for citizens exercising their rights under the Second Amendment is simply outrageous," said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. "What is even more alarming is that this fellow actually teaches law at an American university."

Prof. Johnson reportedly sent a note to the Washington Free Beacon that stated, "The original meaning of the second amendment was to form a better militia. Under original meaning, guns fit into miliitias, [sic] and militias are subject to Presidential orders. Disobey the order and you can be shot. That is the real second amendment. The fake one allows high school adolescents to have easy access to the opportunity to work out their fantasies. That is bad originalism."

"Someone with so little understanding of a major tenet of the Constitution should not be in front of a classroom," Gottlieb observed. "If he can so deliberately distort the historic background of the Second Amendment, what else is he distorting to his students?"

"Evidently," he added, "Prof. Johnson is like so many other gun prohibitionists who habitually politicize and exploit tragedies to further an anti-gun agenda. We are stunned at Johnson's callousness. Killing innocent people is no more an exercise of the Second Amendment than is Prof. Johnson's abuse of his First Amendment right to engage in what amounts to scholarly malpractice. A man with his perspective should no more be teaching basket weaving than legal doctrine."

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

SOURCE Second Amendment Foundation

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Tenn. lawmakers debate parking lot gun bill

Posted: February 24, 2012 at 9:01 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Tennessee lawmakers are about to take aim on another gun bill on Capitol Hill, this time concerning guns in parking lots.

Second amendment advocates say the bill, SB 3002, is about their right of self-defense, but most people can agree it's a conflict of property rights, gun rights and personal safety.

The bill would allow drivers to carry a permitted weapon into employer or public parking lots if the firearm is stored out of sight in a locked vehicle.

The bill received mixed reviews at a Vanderbilt University parking garage Thursday night.

Student Jennifer Hood told Nashville's News 2, "We have had incidents of people being in the garage or girls being assaulted in the garage, so it's a little bit scary to think they may have a weapon or something like that, but at the same time, I have to protect myself."

"My concern that someone would have a woman to attack me," said medical student Monique Simpson, "but I don't have a permit to carry a gun, but if I had one, it might make me feel safer."

John Harris of the Tennessee Firearms Association said some FedEx pilots are pushing for the measure that he calls the "safe commute bill."

Harris said, "They prefer to have the capacity going to and from work, if they run out of gas, get carjacked, to be stopped to be able to defend themselves."

So what are the chances that Tennesseans may be able to carry weapons in parking lots?

Gov. Bill Haslam, said earlier this week, "We felt like it was overly broad in terms that it covered all parking lots whether it was at a school or other things."

That means the parking lot gun bill may get moderated, but firearms advocates are locked and loaded for a fight.

"Your car is an item of property that you have the same property rights in as the guy who owns the real estate," said Harris.

A second gun bill, SB 2992, is a companion to the parking lot measure.

Advocates say it would prevent discrimination against gun permit holders by employers.

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Open carry advocates battle Upland

Posted: February 23, 2012 at 12:20 am

UPLAND - Although it is now illegal to openly carry unloaded handguns in California, two open-carry advocates are fighting the city over a confrontation with Upland police officers.

Christopher Hacopian of Ontario and Scott Gibb of Adelanto filed a complaint last year in federal court in Los Angeles, accusing two officers of violating their First, Second and Fourth Amendment rights. They are also accusing the officers of battery.

Lawyers from the city and for the advocates have been in discussions about the complaint.

Video and audio recordings of the incident show Hacopian and Gibb being detained, ordered to put their hands up and get on their knees. The men were then handcuffed and searched without consent. Both men were eventually let go.

"My guys immediately complied," said Jonathan Birdt, an attorney representing Hacopian and Gibb.

"If they had checked the weapons and uncuffed them, the situation would have been over. You never would have heard another thing, but they didn't. They kept them in handcuffs for 15 minutes and berated them."

Hacopian and Gibb were both openly carrying unloaded handguns - which was legal at the time - in July at the Colonies Crossroads shopping center. They were passing out pamphlets on the Second Amendment when Officer Maurice Duran and Sgt. Barry Belt approached them to check if their weapons were unloaded.

"These guys are zealous advocates that were passing out

fliers on the Second Amendment. It's a controversial issue, and these officers were idiots," Birdt said.

Carrying an unloaded handgun in plain sight was legal until January, when a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown made open carry of handguns illegal.

It is still legal to openly carry unloaded rifles and shotguns.

The City Council discussed the lawsuit in closed session during a meeting earlier this month. There was no reportable action.

Birdt said he had offered to settle for $100,000, which the city turned down. If the case goes to trial, he said he will ask for up to $250,000 in damages.

"The complaint in this case taken directly from what happened on the video. Whether the plaintiffs acted improperly or not or one of them ran his mouth, he complied with every order he was given," Birdt said.

"The police did not have the power and do not have the power to just have a temper tantrum and cuff somebody for 10 minutes because they feel like it. It's an abuse of power."

City Manager Stephen Dunn said he believes the advocates could have been looking for a loophole in the system.

"Unfortunately, our officers fell into that loophole and now it's looking like it could potentially cost the city some money," he said.

Duran and Belt were responding to a call made by a jewelry store employee stating there were two men with guns near the store.

The jewelry store had been robbed in the past, Dunn said.

"Of course, they were very nervous so they called for service and police responded and I think they reacted like I think you would expect them to react if they saw people with sidearms, only to find out in a sense it was a set-up."

When officers go out on calls reporting men with guns, their approach is different than if they know the men are just openly carrying, Capt. Ken Bonson said.

"I think the best we can do is we train our officers on how to handle the open-carry people when they know that's what they're dealing with and train our officers how to handle these more high-risk situations of possible robbery suspects, man-with-a-gun type of things," Bonson said. "What we hope for (from) this is that at the point where they become aware of this appearing to be an open carry situation that the officer de-escalates."

Bonson said officers were re-trained on the open-carry law immediately after the incident in July.

"The training was a big part of it just reminding everybody that some of these `man-with- a-gun' calls we go on might be open-carry people," Bonson said. "We need to be prepared to address that appropriately."

Often, open-carry advocates inform the Police Department before they pass out fliers or hold a demonstration, but they are not required to do so.

"People involved in open carry know that there's always the potential for members of the public to get scared," Bonson said. "If members of the public call the police, if we're notified ahead of time when we get that call, the officer knows and they're going there with that mindset."

Reach Sandra via email, call her at 909-483-8555, or find her on Twitter @UplandNow .

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Barack Obama, "Greatest Gun Salesman in America"

Posted: February 22, 2012 at 5:25 am

By Joshua Green

Last fall, I wrote about a surprising trend: Gun sales have skyrocketed since Barack Obama became President. During that time, the stock of gunmaker Sturm Ruger has outperformed gold. Analysts aren’t quite sure what’s causing the trend. Many anticipated a boost in sales after Obama’s election from gun owners fearful that he might outlaw assault weapons—the so-called “fear trade.” But they expected a brief spike, no more. Instead, gun sales kept rising and have continued to rise even since last fall. Ruger, which was up 400 percent at the time, is now up more than 500 percent.

Despite the fact that Obama hasn’t made the slightest feint toward regulating guns, firearms enthusiasts have whipped themselves into a paranoid frenzy, convinced that this is all just part of some elaborate conspiracy. Don’t believe me? Here’s how Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association, put it to the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) two weeks ago. “Lip service to gun owners is just part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment during his second term,” he said. “We see the President’s strategy crystal clear: Get re-elected and—with no more elections to worry about—get busy dismantling and destroying our firearms freedom, erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights, and excise it from the U.S. Constitution … When the sun goes down on election day, Barack Obama will have America’s gun owners to thank for his defeat.”

Note the twist: It’s no longer Obama’s election that poses a mortal danger to the liberty of Americans who want to assemble arsenals—it’s Obama’s re-election. I’m no financial analyst, but you’d have to imagine that that line of reasoning isn’t going to do anything to depress gun sales.

One thing I hadn’t appreciated when I wrote my original piece was the breadth of the trend; it’s not just gun sales, but ammunition. All those new firearms have brought the government a lot of revenue in the form of federal excise taxes. The website Ammo.net (what, you don’t have it bookmarked?) has an eye-popping graphic on just why Obama is, as they put it, the “greatest gun salesman in America.”

Green is senior national correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek in Washington.

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Barack Obama, "Greatest Gun Salesman in America"

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Sneaky White House Budget Provisions Undermine the Second Amendment – Video

Posted: February 19, 2012 at 4:39 am

17-02-2012 14:36 Cam Edwards talks to Emily Miller from The Washington Times - NRA News - February 16, 2012 - http://www.NRANews.com

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House committee adopts 2nd Amendment language

Posted: February 15, 2012 at 5:02 am

 

DES MOINES — A constitutional amendment protecting Iowans’ right to bear arms was approved by a House committee, but it wasn’t the one supporters hoped for.

Sponsor Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, offered House Joint Resolution 2005 — a constitutional amendment that must be approved by two session of the Legislature and Iowa voters — that would provide Iowans a fundamental right to “acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes.” It would prohibit mandatory licensing, registration and special taxation of firearms.

He told the House Public Safety Committee his amendment would be “precise in protecting” Iowans’ Second Amendment rights.

However, Rep. Rick Olson, D-Des Moines, offered an amendment that substituted the last 14 words of the Second Amendment: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Windschitl called it a dodge that wouldn’t fool backers of Second Amendment rights.

“What we’re trying to do is not uphold the U.S. Constitution (but) trying to get away from taking a politically tough vote,” he said about Olson’s amendment.

However, Public Safety Chairman Clel Baudler, R-Adair, argued that gun- rights supporters have used those words to win U.S. Supreme Court victories when they have challenged restrictive gun ordinances in Washington and Chicago.

“I cannot and will not vote against the U.S. Constitution,” Baudler said.

He was joined by two other Republican committee members, Reps. Dave Tjepkes of Gowrie and Gary Worthan of Storm Lake, in voting with Democrats to approve the amendment 11-10.

Windschitl promised to offer his wording when the bill, HJR 2005, comes to the House floor.

The Senate so far has shown little interest in taking up gun rights bills.

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Breyer's Robbery Illustrates Why RKBA So Important Everywhere

Posted: at 5:02 am

To: LEGAL AFFAIRS AND NATIONAL EDITORS

BELLEVUE, Wash., Feb. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The recent robbery of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer at a vacation home in the West Indies should hopefully cause the learned jurist to re-examine his core beliefs about the individual right to keep and bear arms at places other than their primary residence, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

Breyer has voted with the minority twice in recent years against recognizing that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right to keep and bear arms, in both the Heller and McDonald cases. He was robbed last week, along with his wife and some guests, by an intruder wielding a machete, according to published reports. Justice Breyer was not harmed, but the robber got away with about $1,000 in cash.

"We're delighted that Justice Breyer was not hurt during this incident," said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, "and hopefully this case will give him a new perspective on the right to bear arms for personal safety. Police cannot always be around when you need them, even if you're a Supreme Court justice. One does not leave his right of self-defense at the doorstep of his home when he travels.

"If this demonstrates anything to Justice Breyer," he continued, "it is that crime does not happen just at someone's primary residence, and criminals do not make appointments, giving someone time to unlock and assemble and load a firearm. You must be able to protect yourself, even on vacation outside of your home state, at a moment's notice. That's not just a civil right, but a basic human right.

"When Justice Breyer dissented in the Heller case," Gottlieb recalled, "he expressed concerns about keeping loaded firearms in the home for personal protection. Faced with a machete in the hands of a criminal, one wonders whether Breyer might have quietly wished he had a gun with which he could have defended himself, his wife and their guests. We hope this incident gives him new insight with which to temper his views."

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

SOURCE Second Amendment Foundation

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Gun advocates want ability to bring guns to work parking lots

Posted: at 5:02 am

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

It's an issue that has the business community and Second Amendment advocates at odds. Should permit holders be allowed to bring their guns on their commute to work?

Gun advocates want to be able to keep their guns locked in their cars at their workplace parking lot, and they say this plan needs to happen now, or else lawmakers are breaking promises.

Chris Smith knows a thing or two about gun permit holders. After all, he provides the training in order for them to get the permit.

"We're talking about law-abiding citizens. They want to defend their life, and they go through the proper training," said Smith, of Guns and Leather Inc.

Three years ago, state lawmakers made several changes to where permit holders would be allowed to bring their guns. But Second Amendment advocates say they haven't seen any movement on a plan to allow permit holders to keep their guns locked in their cars in their workplace parking lots.

"They want to feel safe while they are commuting, that they can have their firearms with them," said John Harris, with the Tennessee Firearms Association.

Second Amendment advocates are furious and feel like House leaders have betrayed them.

"Frankly, it's a litmus test in do you really believe in the Constitution or are you more beholden to corporate money," Harris said.

House leaders say they feel like they have done a lot to advance Second Amendment issues in the past few years, but they say there are other issues they must tackle.

"We have been focused on what we know what people of Tennessee want us to work on. Our economy needs to be looked at, and we want to make sure it's a job-friendly state," said Rep. Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville.

Gun owners like Smith can see both sides of the argument, but for them, in the end it is about a fundamental right.

"They went through the proper training. They are going to keep that firearm locked up in their vehicle. That's their property, and I think the property owners should respect that," Smith said.

Senate leaders, including Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, have expressed a willingness to pass this bill this year.

However, it was delayed in a Senate committee late Tuesday afternoon.

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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The politics of gunplay

Posted: February 13, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Second Amendment advocates hope to build on recent Iowa successes by ensuring rights

DES MOINES — Matt Windschitl turned a half-swivel in his chair and stuck his right hand out, palm up, stopping National Rifle Association lobbyist Chris Rager from walking out the door.

Windschitl, 28, a member of the House Republican leadership team from Missouri Valley, had just watched his “stand your ground” bill sail through a legislative committee.

“This,” Windschitl said as Rager shook his hand, “is just the start.”

The bill would allow Iowans to respond with deadly force if they feel threatened and would protect them from liability in some cases.

This session Windschitl also has proposed legislation that makes it a crime for local governments to ban firearms from public buildings, lifts the firearm prohibition on the State Fairgrounds and adds wording to the Iowa Constitution that makes it harder to place restrictions on firearm ownership, transportation and use.

Republicans hold a 60-40 majority in the House, but in the Senate, Democrats rule 26-24.

Key senators say that the firearms legislation being pushed now in the House won’t ever make it to a vote in committee in the Senate.

“Our position is we are not doing any of those bills. We don’t think they’re good policy,” said Sen. Robert Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, vice chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Senate Democrats have a consistent, unrelenting focus on jobs, the economy, education and training, and that’s where we’re focused on, and we’re not going to get into a gun-rights sideshow.”

But legislation can be moved to the floor without going through the committee if a majority of senators votes to do so. That’s where Windschitl sees an opening.

Gun issues play reasonably well across party lines in Iowa. Take, for example, the “shall issue” bill that took discretion away from county sheriffs in issuing gun permits in 2010.

The House voted 81-16 and the Senate 44-4 in favor, and they both had Democratic majorities at the time.

Plus, it’s an election year. And because of census redistricting every legislator will have at least some new constituents to which they may want to show their pro-Second Amendment bona fides.

 

“We’ve had some conversations with some pro-Second Amendment Democrats,” Windschitl said. “The Judiciary Committee is one committee.”

The legislation that’s caught a lot of attention this session is the pre-emption bill that says the state has the sole authority to regulate firearms, so ordinances by cities, counties and school districts are illegal.

Critics say pre-emption is an overreach by the state. They say public safety and weapons bans are a local control issue, but proponents say a local ordinance doesn’t trump the Constitution.

“I agree with people’s rights to bear arms with certain restrictions to maintain the safety of our public,” said Iowa City Mayor Pro Tempore Susan Mims, who was in Des Moines last week for a presentation on the economic impact of the state’s largest cities.

Waterloo passed a ban on weapons in city buildings after concealed carry passed, Mayor Buck Clark said. He said there haven’t been any problems with weapons being brought places where they are banned, but, he noted, most people can’t get into the Capitol with a firearm.

Craig Robinson, editor of the influential Iowa Republican website, said moving this wide-reaching legislation in an election year is a shrewd political move.

“The gun lobby in Iowa is very strong,” he said. “There are a lot of Democrats, especially those in rural areas, who want to be seen as pro-gun.”

 

Chris Larimer, an associate professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa, said the gun lobby might not be all it’s cracked up to be in the state.

“If you think about states with powerful gun lobbies, they tend to be those in which the electorate has a strong or has had a strong anti-government bent,” he wrote in an email.

“The political culture of Iowa, at least recently, has never really been anti-government.”

Windschitl, meanwhile, said he’ll continue to push greater access to firearms for law-abiding Iowans against people who are willing to accept less.

“People don’t understand why our founding fathers recognized that the Second Amendment is a fundamental right.

“There are people who are out there that believe the Second Amendment was written to protect our hunting rights or to have a militia,” he said.

“I believe our Second Amendment right was written to protect us from a tyrannical government, to give us the opportunity to protect ourselves and our homes.”

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The politics of gunplay

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Second Amendment University – Video

Posted: February 12, 2012 at 7:07 pm

05-02-2012 17:14

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