On Tuesday, March 4, the Obama administration released its budget proposal for fiscal year 2015, and one portion of the proposal immediately raised the ire of many gun owners. The Department of Justice released a fact sheet detailing the department's request for "gun safety" spending to the tune of an eye-popping $1.1 billion, some of which is touted as supporting Obama's "Now is the Time" gun control initiative.
The 17th Annual Firearms Law Seminar will be held on Friday, April 25, 2014, as part of the NRA Annual Meetings.
In last week's Grassroots Alert we addressed the administration's proposal to ban the trade and sale of legally owned ivory within the United States. The NRA supports efforts to stop poaching and to stop the illegal trade of ivory, but this proposed ban on legally owned ivory sold domestically will have no impact on the poaching of elephants and the illegal ivory trade. On the contrary, this ban will only affect honest, law-abiding Americans by making their possessions valueless.
In recent months, anti-gun groups such as Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), the Brady Campaign and others have been putting increasing pressure on Facebook (and its associated platform, Instagram) to prohibit any online content that references the private sale of firearms.
As we reported last week, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee recently voted to confirm President Obama's anti-gun nominee--36-year-old Dr. Vivek Murthy--as United States Surgeon General, clearing the way for Murthy's consideration by the full Senate.
The Brady Campaign's recent report that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has "stopped more than 2.1 million would-be gun purchases" sure sounds impressive--but it isn't true.
On April 4, 2013, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy (D) signed Senate Bill 1160 into law, unleashing one of the most draconian gun control laws in the nation on his constituents. Among other things, the 140-page law bans large classes of firearms and magazines that had been obtained lawfully by tens of thousands of Connecticut residents. Limited grandfather provisions apply to those who registered otherwise banned items before January 1, 2014. Others in possession could face felony penalties for violations. President Obama himself was in Connecticut four days after this bill became law, praising it as a model for the nation.
Thank you for your help this week. Not only was it the first week of the Legislative Session, it was an incredibly busy week of Committee hearings for us. It was one of the busiest weeks we've ever had and was a logistical challenge that we met with unqualified success. If you would like to review the most current version of each of the bills, click on the blue underlined bill numbers. A new version is prepared every time a bill is amended (changed) in committee.
Last week, on the heels of powerful grassroots support, the Iowa House of Representatives passed House File 2381, legislation to legalize suppressor ownership and use with overwhelming bipartisan support. Despite this action, HF 2381 is in jeopardy of not receiving a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by state Senator Robert Hogg (D-33), as reported earlier this week.
With only two days left in the 2014 regular legislative session, Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) has made his first attempt to limit the legal use of firearms in Virginia by returning an amendment to House Bill 962 that would further restrict how handguns may be stored in vehicles. Sponsored by Delegate Ben Cline (R-24), HB 962 would codify an Attorney General opinion from 2012 (see here), and a decision of the Virginia Court of Appeals from last year, Doulgerakis v. Com., 737 S.E.2d 40 (Va. Ct. App. 2013). House Bill 962 has passed in the House of Delegates by a 70 to 27 vote as well as in the Senate by a 27 to 13 vote.
Yesterday, Senate Bill 317 passed in the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee by a voice vote. SB 317, sponsored by state Senator John Unger (D-16), is a statewide firearms preemption bill which would bring Charleston and three other cities that currently have and enforce local gun control ordinances into uniformity with the rest of the state.
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre delivered a blistering campaign-style speech Thursday, blaming the media and gun-controlproponents for a decline in American economic standing and for threatening "God-given" gun rights. "You feel it in your heart, you know it in your gut: Something has gone wrong" in America, LaPierre told a packed audience at theConservative Political Action Conference. "Neighborhood streets once filled with skateboards ... and laughter in the air are now filled with silence." LaPierre, who received the loudest applause of any speakers so far at the conference, put the blame squarely on the media and "political elites," saying that Americans feel their freedoms "slipping away."
Tomorrow, House Bill 276 is scheduled to be heard in the state House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee at 8:00 a.m. in Room 25 of the House Building. Sponsored by state Representative Curt Oda (R-14), HB 276 would provide that the mere carrying or possession of a holstered or encased firearm does not constitute a violation of the Disorderly Conduct statute.
Yesterday, the House Civil Justice Subcommittee passed House Bill 1407 and House Bill 1483 by a voice vote. Both bills have already been scheduled for next week’s House Civil Justice Committee agenda. This committee hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 12, at 12:00 noon in House Hearing Room 30 (HHR30) of the state Capitol.
Today, the Idaho House of Representatives is expected to consider and vote on Senate Bill 1254. This NRA-backed self-defense bill, sponsored by state Senator Curt McKenzie (R-13), would permit qualified retired law enforcement officers and law-abiding adults who have obtained an Idaho “enhanced” concealed carry license to possess a firearm on public college or university campuses.
Today, the South Dakota Senate passed House Bill 1229 by a 26 to 9 vote. HB 1229, introduced by state Representative Timothy Johns (R-31), would ensure that South Dakota state law meets the requirements set forth in the federal NICS Improvement Amendments Act (NIAA) of 2007 and would ensure a strong restoration of rights provision for South Dakotans.
The number of residents holding gun licenses in Massachusetts communities north of Boston climbed last year, continuing a long- term trend, as the state considers stricter laws that would give police chiefs more power to deny licenses to people.
A federal judge on Wednesday allowed Sunnyvale to enforce a voter-approved ban on large-capacity gun magazines, saying it would have little impact on the constitutional right to possess firearms for self-defense. The ruling comes two weeks after another judge rejected gun advocates' attempt to block a similar law in San Francisco.
Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens received $1.5 million from the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to help process a flood of applications for concealed-weapons permits, though she said she doesn't believe it will be a regular annual request.
A bill aimed at creating an online application for Kentuckians wanting licenses to carry concealed weapons has been passed by the state Senate.