An Open Letter from Howard Schultz, ceo of Starbucks Coffee CompanyDear Fellow Americans,
Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.
From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a “third place” between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community. Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.
We appreciate that there is a highly sensitive balance of rights and responsibilities surrounding America’s gun laws, and we recognize the deep passion for and against the “open carry” laws adopted by many states. (In the United States, “open carry” is the term used for openly carrying a firearm in public.) For years we have listened carefully to input from our customers, partners, community leaders and voices on both sides of this complicated, highly charged issue.
Our company’s longstanding approach to “open carry” has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.
Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called “Starbucks Appreciation Days” that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of “open carry.” To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.
For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where “open carry” is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.
I would like to clarify two points. First, this is a request and not an outright ban. Why? Because we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request—and also because enforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on. Second, we know we cannot satisfy everyone. For those who oppose “open carry,” we believe the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores. For those who champion “open carry,” please respect that Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable. The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.
I am proud of our country and our heritage of civil discourse and debate. It is in this spirit that we make today’s request. Whatever your view, I encourage you to be responsible and respectful of each other as citizens and neighbors.
Colorado Recall Results: Democratic State Senators Defeated In Major Victory For NRAWASHINGTON -- The first recall election in Colorado's history on Tuesday marked a stunning victory for the National Rifle Association and gun rights activists, with the ouster of two Democrats -- Senate President John Morse (Colorado Springs) and state Sen. Angela Giron (Pueblo). The two lawmakers were the target of separate recall fights over their support for stricter gun laws earlier this year.
"The highest rank in a democracy is citizen, not senate president," Morse said in his concession speech, as his supporters solemnly watched, some shedding tears.
What originally began as local political fallout over the Democratic-controlled legislature's comprehensive gun control package quickly escalated into a national referendum on gun policy. Morse and Giron both voted in favor of the legislation, signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) in March, which requires background checks for all firearm purchases and bans ammunition magazines over 15 rounds.
Gun rights activists initially sought to recall four Democrats they perceived as vulnerable, but only collected the required signatures to challenge Morse and Giron.
Language for the "yes" ballots, authored by proponents of the recall, said the lawmakers were guilty of contempt for "the constitutional liberties of the people" and "firearm manufacturers and for the rights of Colorado citizens." Those working against the recall used the "no" ballots to cast their opponents as "extremists" who were willing to make guns available to felons and "spouse abusers."
While voter turnout is typically low in recall elections, Democrats accused pro-recall activists of engaging in voter suppression tactics. A big blow to Morse and Giron was a ruling that prohibited voting by mail in the election, even though Colorado voters have overwhelmingly relied on mail-in ballots in the past. The decision ignored a state law passed earlier this year that guaranteed a ballot by mail to every registered voter in Colorado, including in a recall election.
A get-out-the-vote canvasser for Giron, who requested anonymity out of safety concerns, said gun rights activists also engaged in "extreme voter intimidation" at polling centers in Pueblo on Tuesday.
"We had to call the police on a van of four huge guys staking out our staging location," the canvasser told HuffPost. "Volunteers are being followed, threatened, having their pictures taken and yelled at. We're now being told that it's bad enough to call 911 immediately."
Lawmakers and advocates across the country eagerly awaited Tuesday's results, which many felt carried significant implications for the national debate on gun policy following December's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In April, the United States Senate failed to pass a measure to expand background checks, spurring anti-gun violence groups to mount a campaign to match the intensity of the NRA and to promise political retribution for the senators who voted against stricter gun laws.
This national focus meant outside spending reached unprecedented levels in the Colorado recall, with both sides viewing the election as must-win.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a staunch supporter of stricter gun laws, donated $350,000 to Morse and Giron. Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad gave a separate $250,000 check to help the legislators, while Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) repeatedly issued fundraising calls for Giron in emails to her supporters. The Denver Post reported Monday that those in Morse and Giron's corner had collected nearly $3 million, while proponents of the recall raised about $540,000.
"One thing is clear from the Morse defeat: Mike Bloomberg is political poison," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said in a statement.
The NRA spent heavily on the recall effort, reporting at least $360,000 and funneling unspecified dollars through its nonprofit arm. The billionaire conservative Koch brothers also entered the fray, using their advocacy group Americans For Prosperity to target Morse and Giron. Due to the organization's nonprofit status, AFP also did not have to report its spending to the Federal Elections Commission.
In an interview with HuffPost last month, Giron acknowledged that the recall's outcome could send "reverberating messages to legislatures across the country." But she said the vast amount of money being spent by both sides underscored that the election had developed a much broader focus than gun policy.
"I think it's a lot about Democrats vs. Republicans, and has grown very partisan," she said.
Indeed, the Koch brothers' involvement had little to do with guns, and AFP primarily focused its attacks against Morse on other issues that made him a vulnerable target in his conservative-leaning district. The group distributed fliers and doorhangers likening Morse to Bloomberg on virtually every issue except guns, instead concentrating on issues like taxes and health care.
One coalition of Colorado Springs law enforcement officials even took advantage of the recall effort to go after Morse for touting his experience as a former police officer in his campaign ads. The group endorsed Morse's recall, citing its opposition to his votes on sentencing for convicted criminals and legislation he sponsored to soften prison terms and limit the number of people who could be incarcerated in state prisons.
For Giron, the gun vote was key and made her a primary target of the Pueblo Chieftain, the most influential newspaper in her district. During Colorado's gun debate, the outlet's general manager wrote to Giron expressing his opposition to the gun control measures. He identified himself as a gun owner who was "responsible for the entire newspaper, including the newsroom." As Giron stood by her support for stricter gun laws, the Chieftain published unflattering photos and coverage of her on its front page for more than a week.
Colorado's history on gun rights has long been a source of friction in a state that was home to two of the most deadly mass shootings in U.S. history. A turning point came on July 20, 2012, when a gunman walked into a late-night show at a movie theater in Aurora, killing 12 people and leaving more than 70 injured. A few short months later, the wounds of the Columbine High School massacre of 1999 were reopened as victims watched families in Newtown, Conn., go through an all too familiar struggle.
A Quinnipiac poll released last month found that 82 percent of Colorado voters supported expanded background checks for gun sales. But respondents were split down the middle on the 15-round magazine limit.
Proponents of the recall were defiant in their victory over Morse as results became clear Tuesday night.
"After tonight, no one should underestimate the political potency of the gun control debate," Republican strategist Kurt Bardella, who served as a communications consultant on the recall, said in a statement.
Mark Glaze, a spokesman for Bloomberg's anti-gun violence group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, cautioned against applying too many conclusions from Colorado to the broader gun debate.
"There's an understandable impulse to extrapolate the Colorado results into a national trend. The only trend here is the NRA wasn't able to defeat as many legislators as it went after," Glaze told The Huffington Post in an interview. "A national coalition against gun violence provided counterweight to the NRA in these recalls for the first time. The NRA cherry-picked the most vulnerable legislators in Colorado, including a Senate president who represents one of the most conservative congressional districts in the country."
A statement put out by the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund lauded Morse's defeat as "historic."
Obama to Nix Imports, Require FBI Checks for Firearms Trusts; New Director of BATFE Sworn InMore than a century ago, Congress established the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and authorized it to sell surplus military firearms to Americans interested in improving their marksmanship in support of national defense. "The Board," as it was commonly known among avid rifle shooters for decades, now exists as the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP).
To the everlasting benefit of all of us who are committed to maintaining Americans' marksmanship superiority over the peoples of all other countries on Earth, the CMP has continued to sell M1 Garands, many in outstanding condition. In doing so, the program has given tens of thousands of Americans the chance to develop their rifle skills with one of the most important firearms in our nation's history--which Gen. George S. Patton described as "the single greatest battle implement ever devised"--and to test those skills in its popular John C. Garand Matches, held across the country and during the National Rifle Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. As the legendary Jeff Cooper once observed, "the purpose of shooting is hitting," and the contribution of John C. Garand and the CMP to that worthy goal has been immeasurable.
However, you know how President Obama feels about guns.
On Thursday, Obama's gun expert, Vice-President Joe "Two Blasts" Biden, announced that the president will use his executive authority and provisions of the Arms Export Control Act to deny future applications, by private importers, to import "surplus military weapons" for sale to private citizens. Lest there be any confusion, in this instance "surplus military weapons" means rifles, pistols and shotguns, and excludes fully-automatics, which haven't been legal to import for sale to private citizens since 1968.
The White House says that the new policy is intended to "keep surplus military weapons off our streets." But anti-gunners' worn-out "on the streets" line, always grossly exaggerated, is especially so in this instance. Americans own hundreds of thousands of surplus military firearms, yet the nation's murder rate is half of what it was 20 years ago, and is now at its lowest point since 1963. As Fox News observed, the firearms that Obama has moved to restrict are at least 50 years old and "it is safe to assume that few are used in crimes." Of course, the same firearms are legal to manufacture in the United States, suggesting either (or both) a profound lack of understanding of firearms on the administration's part, or that Obama's policies are driven by little, if anything, more than ideology unfiltered by reality.
How quickly they forget
It remains to be seen how Obama's latest salvo against the right to arms will play out. But when the federal "assault weapon" and "large" magazine bans of 1994 were imposed, Americans responded by buying AR-15s at an even greater rate than before, and by buying a new generation of ultra-compact handguns just barely capable of holding 10 rounds, such as the Glock 26.
So, we won't be surprised if Americans respond to the president's new importation ban by heading straight to the CMP Store for an authentic 8-round, fixed magazine certified U.S.G.I. M1, or to a local gun shop for a 30-round, detachable magazine AR-15, and put on the finishing touch by attending the modern equivalent of the defensive skill-based rifle shooting events that NRA and "The Board" introduced over a century ago--the NRA's new National Defense Match.
Along with moving against firearm importation, Obama intends to require FBI fingerprint-based background checks on the trustees and beneficiaries of corporations and trusts that have firearms. NRA is reviewing the proposed rule on this matter and will withhold comment until the review is complete.
Finally, during the event at which Vice-President Biden announced the president's new gun control initiatives, Todd Jones was sworn in as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Jones, nominated by Obama for the post in January and approved by the Senate in July, formerly served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota.
Guns in schools: Best way to protect students is to arm their teachersBy Steve Siebold
The Arkansas Christian Academy in Bryant, Arkansas, is making national headlines after it announced that some staff members will be armed with guns. It’s about time we have one institution that is finally standing up and protecting our children, and hopefully it won’t be the last. In fact, every school teacher in America should be armed in the classroom.
How many more times are we going to hear about a crazed gunman walking into a school armed and ready to kill? How many more innocent children need to die before we wake up and prepare our teachers to fight back? The only solution is self-responsibility: arm school officials and give them a fighting chance. Besides, a gunman is less likely to target a school that can defend itself and fight back.
Every second counts in a school shooting. Calling 911 and waiting for police to arrive isn’t good enough. Sheriff Chuck Wright of Spartanburg, South Carolina, says, “Don’t be so naïve to believe the police can be everywhere.” Then there was Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. who recently created a national uproar for urging citizens to learn how to handle firearms so they can defend themselves, because he says, “simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option.”
Arming our teachers and training them how to properly use a firearm will translate to less heinous acts taking place. It happened at Columbine; it happened at Sandy Hook; and it almost happened at a Georgia elementary school this week. The one place you can bet it will never happen: Arkansas Christian Academy.
If we look back at Sandy Hook last year, first grade teacher and hero Victoria Soto, who was shot and killed after hiding her kids in a closet and told the gunman the kids were in gym, might still be alive had she been armed and able to defend herself. So could a lot of other children and teachers who tragically died that day.
Then there was the Pearl High School shooting in 1997 when a student killed two classmates and injured seven others at his high school. An assistant principal, who was armed, intervened and held the shooter at gun point until police arrived, and most probably prevented more people from being killed.
Just this week outside Atlanta, Michael Brandon Hill allegedly walked into Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy with an AK-47 and enough ammunition to takeout half the school. Luckily, Antoinette Tuff, who works in the front office of the school, was able to talk Hill down. But what if she wasn’t able to? This had the potential to be one of the worst school massacres in history.
I believe that very shortly, carrying a firearm will become a requirement for all teachers and school administrators. It’s the way it has to be and if teachers aren’t comfortable with that they’re going to have to find a new profession.
In a perfect world we wouldn’t need to take such measures. But until that happens, critical thinking suggests that we all exercise our second amendment rights, arm our teachers and school officials to ensure the safety of our children, voice our support and keep a close eye on anti-gun crusaders who want to make our decisions for us. A school should be a safe haven where children can learn and grow. And right now, arming teachers is the only practical solution.
Steve Siebold is a Second Amendment advocate and author of the book “Sex, Politics and Religion: How Delusional Thinking is Destroying America.”
Gun Industry Begins to Fight BackWritten by Bob Barr
Firearms manufacturers usually find themselves playing defense. Following virtually every highly publicized incident involving a multiple shooting, manufactures often are among the first round of scapegoats flogged by the mainstream media and gun-control politicians. Indeed, were it not for the 2005 law that protects gun manufactures from frivolous lawsuits by victims of gun crimes, many would be out of business.
Thankfully, at least some firearms manufacturers now are going on the offensive; returning fire in New York’s escalating war against Second Amendment rights in the Empire State.
In a post on its Facebook page, for example, Olympic Arms, Inc., a company headquartered in Washington state but which markets its products, including the AR-15 rifle, nationwide, outlined a new sales policy for New York. The company declared: “the State of New York, any Law Enforcement Departments, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders within the State of New York, or any New York State government entity or employee of such an entity -- will no longer be served as customers.” The company has put its customers on notice this new policy will remain in effect until New York repeals its draconian gun regulations passed as a knee-jerk reaction to the December mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Olympic Arms is one of a growing number of gun manufactures responding to increasingly burdensome gun restrictions, by applying the same standards to government customers as governments are applying to private citizens. “If the leaders of the State of New York are willing to limit the right of the free and law abiding citizens of New York to arm themselves as they see fit under the Rights enumerate to all citizens of the United State through the Second Amendment,” writes Olympic Arms, “we feel as though the legislators and government entities within the State of New York should have to abide by the same restrictions.”
This long-overdue “line in the sand” drawn by firearms manufacturers against gun-control advocates in government, rests on the premise that we have reached a pivotal moment in American history for Second Amendment rights. Opponents of the Second Amendment, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and New York City’s Michael Bloomberg, are -- as they have in the past -- taking full political advantage of the latest mass shooting. Sensing they can use the Newtown shooting as a way to regain gun-control ground lost in the past two decades, they and others on their team are laying the groundwork for perhaps the most serious attack on Second Amendment rights ever.
More important than the actual economic impact of moves like Olympic Arms’, however, is the symbolism of the “reverse boycott,” and the message it sends to government officials at the national, state and local levels who believe themselves emboldened to run roughshod over the people’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.
For example, in South Carolina -- the state that led the nullification fight against tyrannical federal tariffs back in 1832 -- State Senator Tom Davis is helping lead a modern “nullification” movement. Davis tells The State newspaper, “[f]or the first time I can remember in recent history ... [states are] actually stepping up (and) challenging the exercise of power by the federal government.”
The backlash against Big Government is an encouraging sign of a growing resistance to the mission creep of federal power. For far too long the American public and business sector have kept their silence as civil liberties have been whittled away by statutory and regulatory measures. Even if private businesses like Olympic Arms, and state officials like Davis, ultimately are not successful in every fight, their actions will at least help to slow down the spread of this toxic mindset that deems the Constitution irrelevant in today’s society.
Their stand may encourage leaders in Washington to begin taking more meaningful action at killing harmful bills before they become laws. Remaining on the sidelines in this battle is no longer an option for freedom loving Americans. The chips are down, and the opponents of the Second Amendment are going all in. For the rest of us, offering encouragement to companies like Olympic Arms that are willing to stand up to the Big Government forces arrayed against them, is a vital service in the never-ending fight to preserve individual liberty against government control.
Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.
Suggestions on how to sell your firearm - Quick guide to navigate some of the possible changes to private gun sales.Suggestions on how to sell your firearm
We all saw the announcements made last week from the current administration. While no new laws have been finalized, it appears the climate for private gun ownership will be changing in the near future. Congress needs to hem and haw for a while before we know exactly what (if there are any) new laws being implemented.
In the meanwhile…..what if you want to sell a firearm as private owner to another private owner? While it’s still legal to simply sell your firearm to someone else with no legal recourse, if you are a concerned citizen and want to leave a paper trail, here is what NFDN recommends:
- Call your local gun dealer to see if they are willing to process a transfer for you.
- Explain to them you just want to do a universal background check on whomever you plan on selling your firearm and are willing to pay the transfer fee.
- Explain to the buyer of the firearm that you can meet them at a local gun dealer so you can process a background check.
- NOTE: Some cities and states have a waiting period do complete the background check. Be sure to ask the dealer if this is the case.
- Meet up with your buyer and pay the transfer fee to the dealer in order to get the universal background check.
- The dealer can then release the firearm once the background check is completed.
- Make sure you provide a detailed bill of sale (Firearm Bill of Sale Template). You will need two copies, one for yourself and one for the buyer.
It is also a good idea to get a copy of the buyers driver’s license to attach to you copy of the bill of sale.
This is the simplest method that provides a paper trail. While the process is not ideal it will keep your firearm “on the books” to ensure you are selling your firearm to someone who can legally purchase a firearm.
It is also recommended to check with all local & state regulations on the sale of a firearm. The above items are suggestions only.
States Aim to Nullify Obama Gun ControlWritten by Alex Newman
Across America, state lawmakers, governors, attorneys general, sheriffs, and other officials are promising to protect the gun rights of citizens in their jurisdictions in the face of the most aggressive assault on the Second Amendment in generations. Indeed, as the Obama administration’s unconstitutional agenda becomes increasingly transparent — backed by some Democrats and much of the establishment media — resistance to further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms is exploding nationwide.
Numerous bills have already been introduced in state legislatures, for example, that would nullify unconstitutional federal gun control and even criminalize enforcement of such lawless restrictions. Texas, Wyoming, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Iowa, and other states are considering nullification legislation in the wake of Obama’s recent push to enact gun control by executive decree and proposals sent to Congress. Other states are expected to join soon, and many have already adopted laws in recent years protecting guns made and kept within their jurisdictions from federal regulations.
In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant sent a letter on Wednesday urging state lawmakers to "immediately pass legislation that would make any unconstitutional order by the President illegal to enforce in Mississippi." Citing widespread concerns over “our sacred rights as Americans,” the governor noted that "several states have introduced similar measures and I believe will be successful in preventing this overreaching and anti-constitutional violation of our rights as American citizens." He also urged citizens to resist any such presidential decrees, according to news reports.
Among the states that have already introduced strong legislation to protect gun rights from lawless federal restrictions is Wyoming, which has one of the most heavily armed populations in America while enjoying some of the lowest crime rates. State lawmakers there are rallying behind a bill, which they expect to pass, that would nullify any and all future infringements on the right to keep and bear arms, including restrictions on semi-automatic weapons or magazines. Federal officials attempting to enforce unconstitutional statutes or executive orders would face felony charges and up to five years in prison.
"We're a sovereign state with our own constitutional form of government," said Republican state Rep. Kendell Kroeker, the chief sponsor of the Firearms Protection Act and a strong believer in both the Wyoming and U.S. constitutions he took an oath to uphold. "We've got a right to make our laws, and if the federal government is going to try to enforce unconstitutional laws on our people and take away the rights of Wyoming citizens, then we as a state are going to step up and make that a crime."
Following Wyoming’s lead, lawmakers in Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, and other states all filed similar nullification legislation designed to put the federal government in its place on the gun rights issue. Legislators say that with the increasingly out-of-control federal government running wild and threatening to restrict the constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens, it is time for states to take action and re-assert their sovereignty.
“It’s our attempt to push back on the federal government’s ever increasing encroachment, not only on our personal liberties but on our state sovereignty, and this is what we’re going to do,” said Tennessee state Rep. Joe Carr during a press conference on his legislation to criminalize enforcement of the Obama administration’s anti-Second Amendment schemes. “We’ve had enough and enough is enough. We’re tired of cheap political antics, cheap props using children as bait to gin up emotional attachment for an issue that, quite honesty, doesn’t solve the problem.”
In Texas, famous for its independent-minded citizens and its relative respect for gun rights, state officials are also stepping up to the plate. State Attorney General Greg Abbott, for example, noted that the proposals being discussed in Washington, D.C., are unconstitutional and should be treated as such. Citing Supreme Court rulings on gun rights, the state’s chief law enforcement officer promised to take the infringements to court and get them thrown out. Gov. Rick Perry, meanwhile, also jumped on the Second Amendment bandwagon, slamming Obama and his allies in the media for exploiting dead children to advance an unconstitutional agenda.
State lawmakers in the Lone Star State are taking concrete action in defense of citizens’ rights, too. “We can no longer depend on the federal government and this administration to uphold a Constitution that they no longer believe in,” said state Rep. Steve Toth, who recently introduced a bill to nullify federal restrictions on gun rights and charge anyone trying to enforce them with a felony. “The liberties of the People of Texas and the sovereignty of our state are too important to just let the federal government take them away. The overreach of the federal administration’s executive orders that are do not align with the Constitution, are not very popular here in Texas.”
One state, however, is standing above even Texas. Analysts say that legislation filed in Missouri by Republican state Rep. Casey Guernsey with over 60 co-sponsors, known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act, appears to be among the strongest bills at this point. If passed, it would nullify any and all federal acts, orders, laws, statutes, rules, or regulations purporting to limit or restrict access to personal firearms, accessories, and ammunition. Any federal official caught attempting to enforce such unconstitutional rules in the state would be charged with a class D felony, facing up to four years in prison upon conviction.
The Tenth Amendment Center, which advocates state nullification of all unconstitutional federal statutes, celebrated the legislation in Missouri and called on other state governments to join the movement. The non-profit organization, citing history and the Constitution, insists that it is the duty of state officials to uphold their oath of office and protect the unalienable rights of citizens — especially with the federal government becoming increasingly lawless and unhinged.
“When you’ve got people like Feinstein talking about major bans and Biden telling us that all they need is an executive order, you know these folks are willing to go all the way. So, it’s good to see these folks in Missouri go all the way as well, all the way in support the 2nd Amendment without any ifs, ands, or buts,” said Mike Maharrey, the Tenth Amendment Center’s national communications director. “The feds have absolutely zero constitutional authority to make any laws over personal firearms. Period.”
The principle of nullifying unconstitutional federal activities goes back to the earliest days of the republic, when Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson invoked it. Throughout American history, though, it has always been around. The state of Wisconsin, for example, nullified a federal statute purporting to require that runaway slaves be returned to their masters.
Numerous constitutional scholars have studied the issue, and in recent years, the concept has exploded into the public consciousness, with even big government-oriented Americans nullifying unconstitutional federal power grabs. Some 18 states have nullified federal drug statutes by legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, for instance. Colorado and Washington State recently legalized the controversial plant even for recreational use — all in open defiance of clear federal dictates.
Conservatives, meanwhile, are increasingly relying on nullification as well, targeting everything from ObamaCare to the latest round of gun-control scheming. In a recent article for The New American on Missouri’s efforts, liberty-minded attorney Joe Wolverton, an expert on nullification, explained the foundation — both legal and historical — for state actions nullifying unconstitutional federal power grabs.
“Nullification is a concept of constitutional law recognizing the right of each state to nullify, or invalidate, any federal measure that exceeds the few and defined powers allowed the federal government as enumerated in the Constitution,” he explained. “Nullification exists as a right of the states because the sovereign states formed the union, and as creators of the compact, they hold ultimate authority as to the limits of the power of the central government to enact laws that are applicable to the states and the citizens thereof.”
While states pursue nullification, county sheriffs nationwide have also promised not to comply with new gun control, with more than a few chief law enforcement officers pledging to actively prevent the enforcement of such measures in their jurisdictions. At the federal level, of course, lawmakers who take their oath of office seriously are working to stop the administration’s anti-gun rights machinations as well, with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) working to push a bill targeting “King” Obama’s executive orders. Some Republicans in the House have even put impeachment on the table.
Despite the intense efforts to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms being led by the Obama administration and some Democrats in Congress and amplified by their allies in the press, the anti-constitutional push may be backfiring, according to analysts. Aside from renewed interest in nullification, recent polls show two out of three Americans understand that the Second Amendment was added to the Constitution to protect the people from tyranny — not for “hunting” or “sporting” purposes, as citizen-disarmament advocates continue to suggest.
Much of the state-level resistance is currently focused on stopping unconstitutional gun control, but the awakening taking place nationwide is increasingly expanding to other areas as well. As the federal government continues to lawlessly expand its size and scope far beyond constitutional limits — targeting more and more of the people’s rights in the process — activists from all sides of the political spectrum will increasingly rely on nullification. And if the anti-constitutional trends out of Washington, D.C., continue, a showdown between states and the feds will become imminent.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biden meets with gun ‘stakeholders’ as ‘civil’ sell-outs beginJanuary 10, 2013
By: David Codrea
Joe Biden is meeting throughout the day “with advocates for sportsmen and women and wildlife interest groups as part of the Administration’s effort to develop policy proposals in response to the tragedy in Newtown, the Vice President’s schedule announced today. Among groups known in advance to be attending one of today’s meetings are the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Today’s series of meetings include a different set of what the administration calls “stakeholders.” Yesterday, the Vice President and Attorney General Eric Holder met with what they referred to as “gun safety groups” (even though the organizations in question are not qualified and do not teach gun safety, but rather, are committed gun prohibitionists) and “victims and survivors.”
Likewise, today’s meeting will raise concerns about more than terminology. What gun rights activists will find especially troubling is the premise of the meeting, noting the Second Amendment has nothing to do with sports or wildlife, and particularly noting the disturbing origins of the premise that it does. A true meeting of “stakeholders” would include representatives for those who believe in the unbending of the Founders’ intent for the Second Amendment, who know that it is necessary for the security of a free state, that it shall not be infringed, and who won’t stand for being scapegoated or for citizen disarmament edicts imposed by those who would try.
Meetings and attendees for today, including representatives for retailers and the entertainment industry, were conveyed by a White House official through Michael Scherer of TIME, acting on behalf of the press pool, and include:
11:45 AM: Sportsmen and Women and Wildlife Interest Groups:
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Blue Water Strategies
Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance Action Fund
Outdoor Industry Association
Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Wildlife Management Institute
1:45 PM: Gun Owners’ Groups:
Defense Small Arms Advisory Council (DSAAC.)
Firearms Import/Export Roundtable
Independent Firearm Owners Association (IFoA)
National Rifle Association of America
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Association of Arms Shows
6:00 PM: Representatives from the Entertainment Industry:
Directors Guild of America
Film & Television Alliance
Motion Picture Association of America
National Association of Broadcasters
National Association of Theatre Owners
National Cable and Telecommunications Association
Supplied by the Justice Department:
Today, at 3:15 the Attorney General will meet with retailers as part of the ongoing gun violence sessions being held at the White House by Vice President Biden.
Below is a list of the retailers who will be attendance.
Academy Sports + Outdoors
Bass Pro Shops
Big 5 Sporting Goods
Dick's Sporting Goods
National Retail Federation – (awaiting confirmation)
There are many concerns this list raises, including what else a company like Dick’s is willing to preemptively surrender to further alienate customers who don’t go there for the sport of it.
Also of concern: The attendance of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, headed by Richard Feldman, once a lawyer representing the gun industry who spearheaded the last industry surrender to the White House, and went on to author an expose of his former allies. Who and exactly how many they purport to represent is somewhat of a mystery, but we do know they portray themselves as "moderates," include "a number of retired law enforcement officers" on their board, and boast "There are 15 million self-identified liberals that own guns -- that's four times the size of the NRA."
Last night, Gun Rights Examiner obtained a “boycotted” copy of an IFoA press statement, not authorized for release until 1 p.m., that is, exactly as this is being typed. The complete statement has now been posted on the organization’s website. Aside from calling for “a return to public civility,” it includes a series of measures presented as needed to fight crime, with dangerous concessions made on two fronts.
“Let’s agree that we are united in opposition to the misuse of firearms, especially the access of guns to criminals and mentally unstable individuals,” it recommends, making no mention of how due process will be ensured for the “unstable” so that innocence is presumed as opposed to having to be proven. As Gun Rights Examiner pointed out on Monday, “reforms” in this area could create a blanket dragnet for gun rights disabilities.
“Let’s agree to require the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) at gun shows,” the release further advocates. “NRA’s Wayne LaPierre supported this to Congress back in May 1999. Our proposal is called the Gun Show Preservation and Protection Act of 2013.”
In other words, end the practice of allowing private sellers to attend gun shows.
The IFOA does not explain what it believes ending private sales at gun shows will accomplish, and why, if they think it will reduce violent crime, they have not also called for ending private sales everywhere, and if that will be a concession they intend to make at some later point once this beachhead has been secured. Nor do they explain how this “agreement” squares with delegated enumerated powers of either Congress or the Executive branch under the Constitution, nor if either the Second or Tenth Amendments should be consulted before agreeing to anything.
Nor do they indicate how, with anti-gunners snarling for viscera, civilly throwing them a scrap and giving them a taste of flesh will do anything but encourage the ravenous pack to close in for more.
If NRA and NSSF join in with this divide-and-conquer preemptive surrender, and show anything but strength, gun owners will have an internal problem to resolve when they should instead be working together toward the victory it is within their power to achieve.
UPDATE: The following information just came in from the reporting pool immediately after this article was published and is quoted below:
The VP said he would give POTUS recommendations by Tuesday. "I have committed to him that I will have the recommendations to him by Tuesday."
He mentioned several recommendations to deal with guns that he said he had heard repeatedly from stakeholders. This included what he called "universal background checks, not just closing the gumshoe* loophole." He also mentioned a call do deal with high capacity magazines. And he said, "The last area is the whole subject of the ability of any federal agency to do research on gun violence."
He compared the current limits on federal data gathering with the 1970s restrictions on federal research over the cause of traffic fatalities. He said there was a need to gather information on "what kind of weapons are used most to kill people" and "what kind of weapons are trafficked weapons."
He described his own personal relationship with guns as "an owner of shotguns--I'm no great hunter, it's mostly skeet shooting for me."
He said he was still hoping to have a conference call with gun manufacturers. "There has got to be some common ground, to not solve every problem but diminish the probability" of future mass shootings. "That's what this is all about. There are no conclusions I have reached."
He referred to Newtown, saying, "there is nothing that has pricked the consciousness of the American people" as the image of "little six-year-olds riddled ... with bullet holes in their class."
* "Gumshoe loophole" is a perfect example of "Authorized Journalists" acting as subject matter authorities. Maybe Biden really said it, though. A transcript is said to be forthcoming.
UPDATE: Dave Workman says "The ‘fix’ was in; NRA ‘disappointed’ at meeting."
If you're a regular Gun Rights Examiner reader and believe it provides news and perspectives you won't find in the mainstream media, please subscribe to this column and help spread the word by sharing links, promoting it on social media like Facebook (David Codrea) and Twitter (@dcodrea), and telling your like-minded friends about it. And for more commentary, be sure to visit "The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance."
Suggested by the author:
Biden promises anti-gunners 'executive action can be taken' on guns
Mental health ‘reforms’ could cast ‘blanket dragnet’ for gun rights disabilities
Missteps and setbacks impacting gun ban momentum as gun owners start to advance
Repeal the first amendmentRepeal the first amendment
liveapartmentfire.com – 3 hrs ago..
(Yahoo News, Gun Appeal Update)
Want to restrict guns in America? Good luck with that. When the second amendment was ratified as part of the Bill of Rights, it codified America’s gun culture. Hundreds of millions of guns later, it’s a genie that’s so accustomed to being out of the bottle that it won’t get shoved back in without a bloodbath. He’s not even an NRA member. Want to register those hundreds of millions of guns retroactively?
Right. It’s not even an option, unless you’re proposing sending government jackboots into private homes to search every dwelling in America. Want to repeal the second amendment?
Right. Put aside the fact that three-quarters of the states would have to ratify it, it opens a door I don’t want to see opened. Put the second amendment on the table for repeal, and the whole Constitution is up for grabs. The first amendment is probably even less popular in America than the second amendment. On his WSB radio show this month, Erick Erickson pitched repeal of the first amendment. This, from a guy who makes a living on radio, blogs and by masterminding election material. Erickson’s rant was probably mostly facetious, but was based on a legit gripe about the news media’s errors in the initial reporting of the Newtown massacre. The errors were unfortunate. It would be even more unfortunate to have the government restrict free expression and freedom of the press. (I write “freedom of the press” reluctantly. The phrase “freedom of speech, or of the press” appears in the first amendment. In my mind, there’s nothing particularly exceptional about the press. It’s about saying whatever you want without crossing the legal lines of libel or defamation, or yelling “fire” in a movie theater. It doesn't matter whether you’re an individual, a blogger, a TV station or the New York Times. But “the press” gets specific constitutional protection, and I won’t complain about it.) Erick Erickson, WSB-AM Everybody cherishes their own freedom of speech. But they’re tired of “freedom of the press.” They’re tired of the baggage attached to it — the promotion, the competition, the hype, the 24-hour news cycles, the foolishness in deciding what’s important and what isn’t (based on what decision-makers think the audience wants, of course). And they’re annoyed by the mistakes, amplified when a story is of high interest. I suspect Erickson’s rant reflects the sentiment of a lot of Americans. But it beats the alternative, which would likely include government safeguards of “official secrets” and restrictions on political speech and Lord only knows what else. I vote to keep it as it is, and to not tempt fate by tinkering with the Bill of Rights elsewhere. Besides “freedom… of the press,” can you imagine the re-writes elsewhere? Fourth amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, eighth amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment, even a trial by jury — all that stuff would get gutted. And the much-despised freedom of religion / “establishment” clause would get a total re-write. Hello, American theocracy. And three quarters of the states would probably ratify it. But they won’t touch the second amendment.
America's Gun Violence Problem is NOT GunsBy Jeff Siegel | Sunday, December 23rd, 2012
I've been trying to not weigh in on this one. But I don't think I can write about anything else until I get this off my chest...
Although it's been more than a week since we first learned of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I can't seem to get through a single day without thinking about what happened, why it happened, and of course the debate over gun control that is sure to monopolize a lot of lawmakers' time next year.
Reading about the victims and the victims' families has nearly brought me to tears so many times over the past week.
And reading the opinion pieces about gun control and the lack of mental health support in this country has been beyond frustrating.
If you're a regular reader of these pages, you know my thoughts on the Second Amendment and the responsibility of Americans to defend that Amendment.
But with this tragedy still so fresh in our minds, I don't want to spend the next few minutes writing a diatribe about the Second Amendment. And I don't think I need to. You know where I stand.
Instead, what I want to talk about is the bigger picture that few in the mainstream media have been willing to address...
It's an issue I believe is at the heart of America's gun violence problem.
The Bigger Picture;
In 2011 there were 8,583 gun-related murders in the United States. More than 8,000 are expected for 2012.
And that doesn't include those gun-related homicides that don't get included in year-end totals.
There are likely thousands more that go unreported every year — some of which are intentionally omitted by unethical government employees looking to cook the books in an effort to create the illusion of a “safer” city or state.
Of course, even one gun-related murder — really any kind of murder, for that matter — is a tragedy.
But what's most frustrating is the way we deal with this gun-related violence reality as a nation.
There is no doubt that we live in a violent society. But it seems like we only pay attention after we witness a mass shooting. These are horrible events that absolutely highlight a problem we have as a nation and as a society.
However, there's a bigger picture here that few are willing to address.
And this bigger picture is the source for nearly all of the gun-related violence in this country.
In 2012 there have been sixteen mass shootings, leaving 88 people dead.
88 sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, cousins, co-workers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents stolen from the ones they loved and who loved them.
These mass shootings have been defined as multi-victim shootings where those killed were chosen indiscriminately, and have taken place in movie theaters, spas, courthouses, churches, elementary schools, and at sporting events.
So it's not even remotely unexpected that with each mass shooting tragedy, many folks will question the availability of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
But here's something that we, as a nation, should be questioning...
If 88 innocent lives have been taken because of mass shootings, that means more than 8,000 other people were killed as a result of gun violence — but in different, non-mass shooting situations.
Let me explain...
Guns Aren't Illiterate, Unemployed, and Strung Out;
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know where the majority of these gun-related deaths occur. Most are not in our suburban schools, movie theaters, and high-rise office suites...
No, most are in the streets of our most violent cities and in areas where there are specific commonalities, no matter where you go in this country.
What are those commonalities?
The districts and neighborhoods where most of the nation's murders happen are plagued by broken homes, third- and fourth-generation welfare families, high unemployment, low literacy rates, rampant drug abuse, and limited opportunities for kids to spend their time constructively.
These are the ingredients for a violent society. Yet it's this part of society that most of us never see or hear about.
All we see are the numbers at the end of the year...
Here's a list of some of the nation's most violent cities:
City Total Homicides (2011)
St. Louis 113
New Orleans 199
Washington, D.C. 109
Los Angeles 298
In these ten cities alone, 2,276 Americans were tragically killed last year.
These aren't just numbers, my friend... These are real people with real families. And their lives are no less important than the lives of those lost in mass shootings that the mainstream media rushes to cover — and that gun control advocates use to further their goal of restricting gun rights of responsible gun owners.
But rest assured, the majority of those 2,276 people that have been the victims of gun violence in our most dangerous cities were not murdered by those carrying legally-obtained firearms.
Now, I don't know how this is going to play out in Washington next year, but I do know there are a lot of folks who have now decided that nearly 10,000 gun-related deaths in the United States is not something we can brush aside any longer.
And I agree.
My hope, however, is that we are honest about what the real problem is and how we can fix it.
I hope we are honest about where most of these gun-related homicides are happening — and more important, why they continue to happen — and how we can help create environments where continued gun-related violence cannot continue to breed.
And my hope is we can do so without infringing upon the rights of responsible gun owners.
As far as whether or not assault weapons and high-capacity magazines should be available for legal gun owners, well, let me know what you think.
After all, here at Wealth Daily, we consider are readers — YOU — a part of our community. And your voice is just as important as the one that puts these thoughts in front of you every week.
Live honorably, live free...
for Freedom Watch
P.S. Worth noting: Detroit has a 9.3% jobless rate and a 47% illiteracy rate. Homicides this year have exceeded 2011 numbers, and the number of rapes, robberies, and assaults are 5x the national average. There is a much stronger correlation between violent crime and societal shortcomings than there is between violent crime and the ability for responsible, law-abiding gun owners to legally purchase firearms.
NRA PRESS CONFERENCE - Wayne LaPierre12/21/2012
"The Voice of Reason for many Americans"
The National Rifle Association's 4 million mothers, fathers, sons and daughters join the nation in horror, outrage, grief and earnest prayer for the families of Newtown, Connecticut ... who suffered such incomprehensible loss as a result of this unspeakable crime.
Out of respect for those grieving families, and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment. While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectfully silent.
Now, we must speak ... for the safety of our nation's children. Because for all the noise and anger directed at us over the past week, no one — nobody — has addressed the most important, pressing and immediate question we face: How do we protect our children right now, starting today, in a way that we know works?
The only way to answer that question is to face up to the truth. Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them.
And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.
How have our nation's priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. We care about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses — even sports stadiums — are all protected by armed security.
We care about the President, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by armed Capitol Police officers.
Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we as a society leave them utterly defenseless, and the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it. That must change now!
The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every day. And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment?
How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame — from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave — while provoking others to try to make their mark?
A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?
And the fact is, that wouldn't even begin to address the much larger and more lethal criminal class: Killers, robbers, rapists and drug gang members who have spread like cancer in every community in this country. Meanwhile, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40% — to the lowest levels in a decade.
So now, due to a declining willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years! Add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other natural or man-made disaster, and you've got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization.
And here's another dirty little truth that the media try their best to conceal: There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.
Through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse. And here's one: it's called Kindergarten Killers. It's been online for 10 years. How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn't or didn't want anyone to know you had found it?
Then there's the blood-soaked slasher films like "American Psycho" and "Natural Born Killers" that are aired like propaganda loops on "Splatterdays" and every day, and a thousand music videos that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life. And then they have the nerve to call it "entertainment."
But is that what it really is? Isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?
In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing an ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes — every minute of every day of every month of every year.
A child growing up in America witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18.
And throughout it all, too many in our national media ... their corporate owners ... and their stockholders ... act as silent enablers, if not complicit co-conspirators. Rather than face their own moral failings, the media demonize lawful gun owners, amplify their cries for more laws and fill the national debate with misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next atrocity is only a news cycle away.
The media call semi-automatic firearms "machine guns" — they claim these civilian semi-automatic firearms are used by the military, and they tell us that the .223 round is one of the most powerful rifle calibers ... when all of these claims are factually untrue. They don't know what they're talking about!
Worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban — or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people — will protect us where 20,000 others have failed!
As brave, heroic and self-sacrificing as those teachers were in those classrooms, and as prompt, professional and well-trained as those police were when they responded, they were unable — through no fault of their own — to stop it.
As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. It is now time for us to assume responsibility for their safety at school. The only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away ... or a minute away?
Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you'll print tomorrow morning: "More guns," you'll claim, "are the NRA's answer to everything!" Your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools. But since when did the word "gun" automatically become a bad word?
A gun in the hands of a Secret Service agent protecting the President isn't a bad word. A gun in the hands of a soldier protecting the United States isn't a bad word. And when you hear the glass breaking in your living room at 3 a.m. and call 911, you won't be able to pray hard enough for a gun in the hands of a good guy to get there fast enough to protect you.
So why is the idea of a gun good when it's used to protect our President or our country or our police, but bad when it's used to protect our children in their schools?
They're our kids. They're our responsibility. And it's not just our duty to protect them — it's our right to protect them.
You know, five years ago, after the Virginia Tech tragedy, when I said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy. But what if, when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he had been confronted by qualified, armed security?
Will you at least admit it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared? Is that so abhorrent to you that you would rather continue to risk the alternative?
Is the press and political class here in Washington so consumed by fear and hatred of the NRA and America's gun owners that you're willing to accept a world where real resistance to evil monsters is a lone, unarmed school principal left to surrender her life to shield the children in her care? No one — regardless of personal political prejudice — has the right to impose that sacrifice.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is no national, one-size-fits-all solution to protecting our children. But do know this President zeroed out school emergency planning grants in last year's budget, and scrapped "Secure Our Schools" policing grants in next year's budget.
With all the foreign aid, with all the money in the federal budget, we can't afford to put a police officer in every school? Even if they did that, politicians have no business — and no authority — denying us the right, the ability, or the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.
Now, the National Rifle Association knows that there are millions of qualified active and retired police; active, reserve and retired military; security professionals; certified firefighters and rescue personnel; and an extraordinary corps of patriotic, trained qualified citizens to join with local school officials and police in devising a protection plan for every school. We can deploy them to protect our kids now. We can immediately make America's schools safer — relying on the brave men and women of America's police force.
The budget of our local police departments are strained and resources are limited, but their dedication and courage are second to none and they can be deployed right now.
I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.
Before Congress reconvenes, before we engage in any lengthy debate over legislation, regulation or anything else, as soon as our kids return to school after the holiday break, we need to have every single school in America immediately deploy a protection program proven to work — and by that I mean armed security.
Right now, today, every school in the United States should plan meetings with parents, school administrators, teachers and local authorities — and draw upon every resource available — to erect a cordon of protection around our kids right now. Every school will have a different solution based on its own unique situation.
Every school in America needs to immediately identify, dedicate and deploy the resources necessary to put these security forces in place right now. And the National Rifle Association, as America's preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years, is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to help.
Our training programs are the most advanced in the world. That expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and our children now. We did it for the nation's defense industries and military installations during World War II, and we'll do it for our schools today.
The NRA is going to bring all of its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model National School Shield Emergency Response Program for every school that wants it. From armed security to building design and access control to information technology to student and teacher training, this multi-faceted program will be developed by the very best experts in their fields.
Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson will lead this effort as National Director of the National School Shield Program, with a budget provided by the NRA of whatever scope the task requires. His experience as a U.S. Attorney, Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency and Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security will give him the knowledge and expertise to hire the most knowledgeable and credentialed experts available anywhere, to get this program up and running from the first day forward.
If we truly cherish our kids more than our money or our celebrities, we must give them the greatest level of protection possible and the security that is only available with a properly trained — armed — good guy.
Under Asa's leadership, our team of security experts will make this the best program in the world for protecting our children at school, and we will make that program available to every school in America free of charge.
That's a plan of action that can, and will, make a real, positive and indisputable difference in the safety of our children — starting right now.
There'll be time for talk and debate later. This is the time, this is the day for decisive action.
We can't wait for the next unspeakable crime to happen before we act. We can't lose precious time debating legislation that won't work. We mustn't allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us. We must act now.
For the sake of the safety of every child in America, I call on every parent, every teacher, every school administrator and every law enforcement officer in this country to join us in the National School Shield Program and protect our children with the only line of positive defense that's tested and proven to work.
President Obama’s Speech on Gun Control and ReformYesterday at 1:12 pm
by Sam Dwyer Posted in News,
Politics, President Obama
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good morning everybody.
OBAMA: It’s now been five days since the heartbreaking tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut; three days since we gathered as a nation to pray for the victims, and today a few more of the 20 small children and six educators who were taken from us will be laid to rest. We may never know all the reasons why this tragedy happened. We do know that every day since, more Americans have died of gun violence. We know such violence has terrible consequences for our society. And if there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try.
OBAMA: Over these past five days, the discussion has re-emerged as to what we might do not only to deter mass shootings in the future, but to reduce the epidemic of gun violence that plagues this country every single day. And it’s encouraging that people of all different backgrounds and beliefs and political persuasions have been willing to challenge some old assumptions and change some long-standing positions.
That conversation has to continue, but this time the words need to lead to action. We know this is a complex issue that stirs deeply held (ph) passions and political divides. And as I said on Sunday night, there’s no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.
We’re going to need on making access to mental health at least as easy as access to a gun. We’re going to need to look more closely at a culture that, all too often, glorifies guns and violence. And any actions we must take must begin inside the home and inside our hearts.
But the fact that this problem is complex, can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence, doesn’t mean that we can’t steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence. That’s why I asked the vice president to lead an effort to include members of my Cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than January, proposals that I then intend to push without delay.
This is not some Washington commission. This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside.
This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now.
I asked Joe to lead this effort in part because he wrote the 1994 crime bill that helped law enforcement bring down the rate of violent crime in this country. That plan — that bill also included the assault weapons ban that was publicly supported at the time by former presidents, including Ronald Reagan.
The good news is there’s already a growing consensus for us to build from. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all.
I urge the new Congress to hold votes on these measures next year in a timely manner.
And considering Congress hasn’t confirmed a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in six years — the agency that works most closely with state and local law enforcement to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals — I’d suggest that they make this a priority early in the year.
Look, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual a right to bear arms. This country has a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s been handed down from generation to generation.
Obviously, across the country there are regional differences. There are differences between how people feel in urban areas and rural areas. And the fact is, the vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible. They buy their guns legally and they use them safely, whether for hunting or sports shooting, collection or protection.
OBAMA: But you know what? I am also betting that the majority — the vast majority of responsible law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war.
I’m willing to bet that they don’t think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas; that an unbalanced man shouldn’t be able it to get his hands on a military-style assault rifle so easily; that in this age of technology we should be able to check someone’s criminal records before he or she can check out at a gun show.
That if he we work harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people there would be fewer atrocities like the ones in Newtown or any of the lesser known tragedies that visit (ph) small towns and big cities all across America every day.
Since Friday morning, a police officer was gunned down in Memphis, leaving four children without their mother. Two officers were killed outside a grocery store in Topeka. A woman was shot and killed inside a Las Vegas casino. Three people were shot inside an Alabama hospital. A four-year-old was caught in a drive-by in Missouri and taken off life support just yesterday.
Each one of these Americans was a victim of the everyday gun violence that takes the lives of more than 10,000 Americans every year — violence that we cannot accept as routine.
So I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed the at preventing more tragedies like this. We won’t prevent them all, but that can’t be an excuse not to try. It won’t be easy, but that can’t be an excuse not to try.
And I’m not going to be able to do it by myself. Ultimately, if this effort is to succeed, it’s going to require the help of the American people. It’s gonna require all of you. If we’re going to change things, it’s going to take a wave of Americans — mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, pastors, law enforcement, mental health professionals, and, yes, gun owners — standing up and saying, enough on behalf of our kids.
It will take commitment and compromise, and most of all it will take courage.
OBAMA: But if those of us who were sent here to serve the public trust can summon even one tiny iota of the courage of those teachers, that principal in Newtown summoned on Friday, if cooperation and common sense prevail, then I’m convinced we can make a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place for our children to learn and to grow.
Gun Owner Loses 2nd Amendment CaseGun Owner Loses 2nd Amendment Case
By NICK MCCANN
(CN) - A woman who challenged San Francisco's gun laws as unconstitutional failed to persuade a federal judge that the rules burdened her ability to protect herself and her family.
Therese Marie Pizzo sued The City and County of San Francisco, Mayor Edwin Lee, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, Police Chief Greg Suhr, and California Attorney General Kamala Harris, challenging a variety of local and state gun laws.
Pizzo, a lesbian, said in her complaint that she has suffered harassment for her sexual orientation, and gun laws in San Francisco and California prevent her from having a gun to protect herself and her family.
Pizzo claimed in her 2009 lawsuit that she feared threats and assaults in "more rural areas of California and in rural areas out-of-state" and that she has "no way to adequately defend or protect [herself]."
Pizzo challenged state laws that prohibit carrying weapons in public, and San Francisco ordinances making it illegal to discharge firearms in public.
Those discharge ordinances were amended in 2011 to remove references to firearms, and now prohibit only fireworks.
Pizzo also challenged state and county procedural requirements for applying for a concealed-carry weapon, and a county ordinance requiring handguns to be locked in an approved gun safe.
Pizzo said she wants to have a "readily accessible operable handgun ready for immediate use, loaded with proper ammunition, within my home for self-defense, on my person, and in my vehicle," but cannot do so without a concealed-carry permit.
"I will no longer go camping. I will no longer visit Texas unless I am issued a CCW permit," Pizzo said in her declaration.
She also wanted to be able to "use semi-jacketed hollow point ammunition that expands and fragments upon impact." She calls that ammunition better than "full metal jacket" ammo, which is more likely to ricochet and hurt innocent people.
The National Rifle Association filed an amicus brief in support of Pizzo's motion for summary judgment.
The Legal Community Against Violence filed a brief in support of the defendants' cross-motions.
Both the defendants and the NRA claimed that Pizzo did not have standing to challenge the storage and ammunition ordinances. The NRA, however, disputed the legal standard used by the defendants.
In her Dec. 3 order, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken found the storage ordinance does not prohibit Pizzo from having a gun in her vehicle or on her person in her home.
Wilken rejected Pizzo's argument that the ordinance prevents her from making her own decision about whether she can store her gun outside of her gun locker.
"Plaintiff offers no authority to support her argument that this deprivation can support standing, where she has expressed no intention to actually engage in any conduct that may be prohibited by the statute," the judge wrote in a 35-page order.
"Under these circumstances, the Court concludes that there is no material dispute of fact that plaintiff does not have an intention to engage in a course of conduct prohibited by the statute that is not 'vague and unspecified.'"
Wilken agreed with the San Francisco defendants that Pizzo lacked standing to challenge the ammunition ordinance.
"Plaintiff has not offered evidence that she intends to purchase the prohibited ammunition anywhere, including within San Francisco, and thus has not established that the ordinance has caused her an injury-in-fact," the judge wrote.
Finding Pizzo's argument speculative, Wilken granted the defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment.
The City of San Francisco and the state attorney general also argued that Pizzo lacked standing to challenge the concealed-carry permit process because she did not submit proper applications to the police chief or sheriff.
The court agreed that she lacked standing, finding that she did not provide the city with contact information, and that she did not pay the required application fee.
Finally, because the San Francisco ordinance banning the discharge of firearms was repealed in 2011, Wilken found that part of Pizzo's challenge moot.
In November, another San Francisco federal judge shot down a challenge to gun ordinances brought by gun owners and the NRA.
In that action, the plaintiffs claimed the ordinances requiring a trigger lock on handguns and banning certain ammunition was unconstitutional.
The case centered on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, which struck down a similar trigger lock ordinance.
In denying the plaintiffs' motion for an injunction, Judge Richard Seeborg found that "Heller left too much unsettled for it to dictate a particular result" in the case.
"Against the backdrop of evolving law, and in the absence of controlling precedent, the conclusion emerges that plaintiffs have failed to show a probability of success on the merits of their claims that the challenged ordinances are constitutionally infirm," Judge Seeborg wrote.
Seeborg noted that "law in this arena undoubtedly will continue to develop" with more precise analytical standards for Second Amendment challenges.
Proper Ear Protection for HuntingDid you know that hunting can damage your ears? Every hunter typically focuses on new guns but rarely focuses on buying hearing protection. With so many people suffering from hearing loss, there is a desperate need for ear protection. People who hunt without hearing protection run the risk of having permanent hearing loss and wearing hearing aids. The hearing aids will amplify sounds and improve the hearing levels.
How to Protect Hearing While Hunting
Hunters should take every effort to protect their hearing with protective ear wear. There are several types of ear wear that are available and consist of earplugs, earmuffs or electronic earmuffs. If protective ear wear is not worn, the sounds of hunting can be damaging to the ears. Earplugs are often used in conjunction with earmuffs to block noise during hunting.
Noise cancelling earmuffs are recommended for hunters. These earmuffs allow hunters to hear noises below 80 decibels (dB). Since normal voices are typically between 60 dB and 65 dB, most voices can be heard through electronic earmuffs. When you are shooting, the sounds will typically exceed 140 dB. The noise canceling earmuffs will block all noises to avoid damage to the ears.
My father who loves hunting and was a hunter for many years, often did not choose to pay much attention to his hearing protection while out on a hunt or at the range practicing. Now many years later he is paying the price for his actions and is severely affected by hearing loss. In order to help amplify sounds around him and to increase his hearing levels, my father now wears hearing aids. Hearing loss is very preventable especially in the case of hunting. Had my father taken the right precaution in the past he would probably have much better hearing these days.
Causes of Hearing Loss While Hunting
Hearing loss can be caused by sounds over 80 dB. Hunting without hearing protection can be dangerous. With more people losing their hearing due to poor nutrition and excessive noises, it is more important to be cognizant about hearing loss. Firing a firearm at close range without hearing protection can be a cause of hearing loss. Every hunter should make an extra effort to practice their shooting in an outdoor environment. Shooting practice outside is preferred over practice indoors because it is easier on the ears.
Why You Should Protect Your Hearing While Hunting
Every hunter should take the proper steps in protecting their hearing. Hearing ia very valuable and many people do not realize its work until it is gone. Decreased hearing levels can make life a lot harder, not only while hunting but while home with the kids, on the phone with a friend or even in meetings at work. Every part of your life becomes a little more difficult when you hearing levels are not up to par.
Earmuffs, earplugs and electronic earmuffs as mentioned above are all recommended while hunting. With protection, you can ensure that you will have healthy hearing levels for quite some time. Consider your hearing protection before the next time you go practicing at a shooting range or before hunting.
Hi my name is John O'Connor, I am a father, outdoorsman and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. Over the past few years I have become more and more interested in hearing loss. My father and grandfathers, who are and were all hunters, are affected by hearing loss. I feel that there is a general lack of understanding around the issue and it is our job to spread awareness where we can. Check out my new blog at bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com!
Gun ControlBy CHARLES M. BLOW
New York Times
For three decades, the story of gun control was one of notorious crimes and laws passed in response, beginning with the federal law that followed the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. But after a Democratic-controlled Congress in 1994 passed bills proposed by President Clinton to restrict certain kinds of assault weapons and to create a national system of background checks for gun purchases, the political pendulum began to swing the other way. President Bush’s defeat of Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election was attributed in part to the perception among gun owners that Mr. Gore was “anti-gun.”
Supporters of gun control regularly point to the power of the National Rifle Association, whose 4.3 million members make it one of the most effective advocacy groups in Washington.
In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that the Bill of Rights included a guarantee of the personal right to own a gun. The decision was both a measure of how far the pro-gun debate had moved, and a blow to many of the stricter gun control laws adopted by cities like Washington and Chicago.
In recent years, there have been calls for a renewed debate over gun violence after a series of horrific shootings. In November 2009, an Army psychiatrist at Fort Hood, Tex., was accused of shooting and killing 13 people and wounding 30 people. In January 2011, a gunman in Tucson, Ariz., armed with a Glock semiautomatic, shot and killed six people and wounded 14 others, including former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona.
In the wake of the Tucson shootings, gun control advocates said they believed the shock of the attack would alter the political atmosphere, in no small part because one of the victims was a member of Congress. But the bills that were introduced — including ones to restrict sales of 100-bullet magazines or to tighten background checks — went nowhere.
Mixed Views Found on Stricter Laws for Guns
Most voters in Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin are not clamoring for stricter state laws covering the sale of guns, with majorities in each state saying more restrictions would not prevent violent attacks like the killings in Aurora, Colo.
Still, roughly 4 in 10 likely voters say gun laws in their individual states should be made more strict, according to Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News polls conducted from July 31 to Aug. 6, 2012.
But as many voters in Virginia say the laws should stay the way they are, as do about half of voters in Colorado and Wisconsin. (Most interviews in Wisconsin were conducted before the shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis.) The polls found that 6 percent in Wisconsin, 8 percent in Colorado and 9 percent in Virginia want their gun laws made less strict.
Many voters seem to lack confidence in the effectiveness of more stringent laws. About 6 in 10 voters in Virginia and Wisconsin and two-thirds in Colorado say stricter laws would not deter gunmen intent on mass shootings.
Few voters in the polls are satisfied with how much time the presidential candidates have spent on gun laws. More than 4 in 10 in Virginia and Wisconsin say too little time has been spent on the issue, while nearly 3 in 10 say it has been the right amount; Colorado voters are more divided. About 2 in 10 in each state say they have spent too much time discussing the issue.
About half of voters in each state say they or someone in their household owns a gun.
The polls found majority support in each state for a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines, ranging from 52 percent in favor in Virginia, where 32 people were killed by a gunman in 2007 at Virginia Tech, to 57 percent in Wisconsin and 58 percent in Colorado.
Partisanship is a factor fueling views of gun control, with Democratic voters largely in support of stricter laws and Republicans in support of keeping the laws as they are.
Independents in each state are more apt to favor keeping the laws, rather than making them tougher.
The telephone polls were conducted among 1,463 likely voters in Colorado, 1,412 likely voters in Virginia and 1,428 likely voters in Wisconsin. The results in each state have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 points.
A Push for Tougher Gun Laws in New York State
In the wake of mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin and an uptick in gun violence in New York City, lawmakers are planning a new push to win approval of tighter gun laws in New York State.
One measure introduced in early August would require background checks of anyone buying ammunition. Another, still being drafted, would limit the purchase of firearms to one per person per month.
Supporters of the measures said they would fill several gaps in New York’s gun laws, which are already among the toughest in the country, and make them more complete than any other state’s in discouraging gun crime.
Opponents, including the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, said lawmakers were trying to capitalize on the mass shootings to push their own agendas and prevent responsible people from owning guns.
In recent years, many gun control measures have passed the Assembly, where Democrats are in the majority, only to stall in the Republican-controlled Senate. For example, in 2012 the Senate blocked a measure to require micro-stamping, a form of ballistics identification.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, supported tougher gun control measures during his campaign in 2010, but, facing a divided Legislature, he has not made it one of the central elements of his legislative agenda.
In addition to the mass shootings nationally, there has been a steady stream of gun crimes in New York City. As of Aug. 5, there had been 1,058 shooting victims in New York City in 2012, up from 977 in the same period the previous year.
A number of lawmakers have offered proposals to address gun violence. State Senator José R. Peralta, Democrat of Queens, would limit ammunition sales to 500 rounds per customer each month.
Mr. Peralta is also seeking to require courts to strip people of their guns or gun permits if they are committed to psychiatric hospitals, and to require that all handgun licenses across the state be renewed at least once every five years. He is also the sponsor of the measure to require background checks of people buying ammunition.
State Senator Michael N. Gianaris, Democrat of Queens, is the lawmaker seeking to limit firearm purchases to one per month. He said the measure would cut down on gun trafficking, in which a person buys a large cache of guns legally and then resells them.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg expressed ambivalence about Mr. Gianaris’s proposal because, he said, most guns used in murders in New York City come from out of state.
Court Battles Over the Second Amendment
Recent battles have taken place in the courts, revolving around fundamentally differing interpretations of the oddly punctuated, often-debated Second Amendment, which reads: “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.”
The Supreme Court in 2008 embraced the view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a gun for personal use, ruling 5 to 4 that there is a constitutional right to keep a loaded handgun at home for self-defense.
But the landmark ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller addressed only federal laws; it left open the question of whether Second Amendment rights protect gun owners from overreaching by state and local governments.
In June 2010, the court ruled in another 5-4 decision that the Second Amendment restrains government’s ability to significantly limit “the right to keep and bear arms.” The case involved a challenge to Chicago’s gun control law, regarded as among the strictest in the nation.
Writing for the court, Justice Samuel Alito said that the Second Amendment right “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”
The McDonald v. Chicago ruling is an enormous symbolic victory for supporters of gun rights, but its short-term practical impact is unclear. As in the Heller decision, the justices left for another day the question of just what kinds of gun control laws can be reconciled with Second Amendment protection.
A 1939 decision by the Supreme Court suggested, without explicitly deciding, that the Second Amendment right should be understood in connection with service in a militia. The “collective rights’' interpretation of the amendment became the dominant one, and formed the basis for the many laws restricting firearm ownership passed in the decades since. But many conservatives, and in recent years even some liberal legal scholars, have argued in favor of an “individual rights’' interpretation that would severely limit government’s ability to regulate gun ownership.
In May 2009, President Obama signed into law a provision allowing visitors to national parks and refuges to carry loaded and concealed weapons. The provision represented a Congressional victory that eluded gun rights advocates under a Republican president.
But in July 2009, the Senate turned aside the latest attempt by gun advocates to expand the rights of gun owners, narrowly voting down a provision that would have allowed gun owners with valid permits from one state to carry concealed weapons in other states.
Should doctors be able to ask their patients about guns in the home?By Michelle Andrews, Published: November 26
Should doctors be able to ask their patients or patients’ parents whether they own a gun? What about health insurers, employers or health-care officials implementing the Affordable Care Act?
The issue is playing out in Florida, where a federal judge in July issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of a law that would have prohibited doctors from asking patients about gun ownership in many instances, saying the prohibition impinged on doctors’ First Amendment right to speak with their patients about gun safety.
The law would have allowed physicians to ask about guns if it seemed relevant to a patient’s medical care or safety — for example, if a patient was severely depressed or experiencing violence in the home. Florida is appealing the judge’s ruling.
Six other states — Alabama, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia — have considered similar legislation in recent years, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, though none of them has approved such a law.
The Affordable Care Act doesn’t prevent doctors from asking patients about guns, but it does prohibit insurers, employers and Department of Health and Human Services officials from asking about gun ownership in many instances, and it prohibits HHS from collecting such data.
Employer-sponsored wellness programs, for example, are prohibited from asking people about gun use or storage. Such questions might be posed as part of a questionnaire that asks about risky health behavior such as smoking and inadequate exercise. Likewise, health insurers can’t use gun ownership, use or storage as criteria for setting premiums or denying coverage.
Even without the new restrictions, such questions are rarely asked or acted on, say experts. “We don’t have any data or industry information on [this subject], but it isn’t something that we’ve heard about or seen companies do,” says Susan Pisano, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group.
Physicians say that asking whether there are guns in the home and how they’re stored should be part of routine discussions doctors have about hazards in the home, just as they ask about poisonous cleaning materials or fencing around outdoor pools. In most instances, those conversations take place between pediatricians and parents of young children
In 2009, one in five deaths caused by injuries to people younger than 20 were related to firearms, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ revised policy statement on gun-related injuries released in October.
“It’s inconceivable to me that I wouldn’t be able to have a conversation about something that might harm the child,” says Robert Sege, director of the division of family and child advocacy at Boston Medical Center. Sometimes parents have declined to answer when he asks if they have guns at home, he says, and in those cases he doesn’t push for answers but does provide gun-safety pointers.
But gun-rights advocates say information about gun ownership is no one’s business but their own. They say it’s up to the individual to abide by laws related to gun ownership and safe storage.
“We take our children to the doctor because they’re sick or need health care,” says Marion Hammer, a former National Rifle Association president who is the executive director of United Sportsmen of Florida, the NRA’s legislative affiliate for the state. “We don’t take them there for political dialogue or for pediatricians to ask us not to exercise a constitutional right.”
This column is produced through a collaboration between The Post and Kaiser Health News. KHN, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-care-policy organization that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. E-mail: email@example.com.
"Campus Carry"Texas State Representative John Frullo Says Campus Carry May Not Come up in Legislative Session, but It Still an Important Issue
By Ariel Walden4 days ago
On the Monday edition of the Chad Hasty Show, state representative John Frullo joined guest host Paul R. Beane in studio to discuss the upcoming Texas legislative session.
Frullo said that there are a large number of issues the legislature needs to bring up in this session. Redistricting and the budget will be discusses again, as well as the Voting Rights Act. One issue that might not come up, but is still a concern for many people is the question of allowing concealed carry on campuses in Texas. Frullo is a big supporter of campus carry, and concealed carry in general. He said that people should be able to protect themselves no matter where they are.
“One of the things with concealed carry is the element of surprise. And I think that’s very important when you come to protect yourself. The main thing, as far as I’m concerned, is being able to protect yourself, your family and your property. I think that’s paramount to everything else. And Texas has some great laws as far as that goes.”
Frullo also discussed the manufacturing committee, of which he is a member, and how Texas can bring more manufacturing businesses to the state. He also took questions concerning the 10th Amendment, and whether or not Texas should be an open carry state. The 2013 Texas legislative session begins on January 8th.
Residential "Gun Sales Hot Topic" in Pleasant Hill, CA.By Lisa P. White Contra Costa Timescontracostatimes.com
Posted: 11/16/2012 03:03:19 PM PST
PLEASANT HILL -- During the usual arguments from gun control advocates and gun enthusiasts at a workshop on residential gun sales Thursday, one new piece of information emerged -- the online firearms business that prompted the meeting is up and running, police confirmed.
In October 2011, Rico Tedjakusuma received a home occupation permit for an office for LNC Arms. But for months it was unclear if he was selling guns since the LNC Arms website remains under construction.
At the workshop, Councilman Jack Weir said Tedjakusuma is selling guns and that most of his customers find him through online chat rooms where federally licensed gun dealers solicit business.
Tedjakusuma also told police he operates by purchasing a gun from a vendor and shipping the firearm to a federally licensed dealer, who completes the transaction with the buyer, according to Lt. Dan Connelly. Furthermore, the staff report notes that Tedjakusuma has told the city that "firearms are not typically shipped to or stored at the residence."
Whether Tedjakusuma keeps inventory at home is a major concern of residents who believe residential gun sales threaten public safety. The U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics recently reported that from 2005 to 2010, an estimated 172,000 guns per year were stolen during residential burglaries.
Tedjakusuma is a federally licensed firearms dealer and has passed criminal background checks by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the state Department of Justice, according to Pleasant Hill police. He listed a condominium on Scottsdale Road in the Tres Lagos North development as the business address on his permit application. The business hasn't caused any problems, police said.
The city held Thursday's workshop to discuss the sale of guns and ammunition in residential neighborhoods. Although the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence's Contra Costa chapter seeks a ban on home gun dealers in Pleasant Hill, the council has no plans to take action on the issue.
Several people who argued against restricting home gun sales cited the Second Amendment's guarantee of the right to bear arms. However, the courts have ruled that the Second Amendment doesn't prohibit government regulation of firearms dealers. More than 32 California counties and cities -- including Antioch and Lafayette -- require a police permit or land use permit, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a national advocacy group.
Barbara Wagner, who lives in the Tres Lagos condominium development, believes the city shouldn't have approved Tedjakusuma's home occupation permit.
"If he wants to do this he should have a store," Wagner wrote in an email to the council. "(A) home gun business is a threat to public safety because firearms can be stolen, and who knows what kind of clients he has who are angry at him and show up at his house, which is across from where I live."
Bruce Lesser, who also lives in Pleasant Hill, slammed the Brady Campaign and dismissed the group's concerns as a "fabricated issue."
"There's no problem," said Lesser, who exhorted the council members to uphold the Constitution. "Where this all started was with a radical, left-wing group."
Pleasant Hill's zoning code does not require public notice or a public hearing for a "home occupation" use as an office, so Tedjakusuma's neighbors weren't notified about his intention to sell firearms, nor did the council review his proposal.
Pleasant Hill resident Bruce Weissenberger acknowledged the possibility that the exposure from a hearing could make a home occupation gun dealer a target for thieves. But he argued that the public process often leads to better conditions on a use permit, and he urged the council to err on the side of greater disclosure.
"I want to know what's going on beside me in my neighborhood."
The Biggest Threat in an Obama Second TermWorth another look!
Posted by NRA on October 19, 2012
There are many ways a second term for President Barack Obama threatens the rights of gun owners. He wants to bring back the 1994 semi-auto ban; his administration has already imposed an illegal registration scheme on certain rifle sales; and there is no way to know how far he would go to use his executive powers to curb our rights if he didn't have to face reelection.
But without a doubt, the biggest threat would be his potential appointments to the Supreme Court, as highlighted in a new advertisement unveiled this week by the NRA Political Victory Fund.
We already know the kind of jurists Obama will appoint. Even before joining the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor proved their opposition to the most basic rights protected by the Second Amendment.
But this past week, we had the opportunity to get a peek into the legal mind of another Supreme Court justice who recently opposed our rights, and his comments tell us a great deal about what would happen if the majority of the court shared those views.
On Oct. 15, the Brady Center hosted a legal symposium, with retired justice John Paul Stevens as the featured speaker. Current justices do not often discuss issues that come before the court, but Justice Stevens is now free to speak his mind, and his opinions should be of concern to anyone who values the right to keep and bear arms.
In his remarks, Stevens bemoaned the Heller and McDonald decisions striking down city gun bans, while at the same time claiming the decisions' impact should be strictly limited to the right to have a firearm in the home--a theory the NRA is currently battling in courtrooms around the country.
He also claimed an "assault weapons" ban would be constitutional because "automatic" weapons are not commonly owned. Of course, these bans have nothing to do with "automatic" firearms, and the guns they do ban are owned by millions of law-abiding Americans, which should make them "common" by anyone's definition. With Obama being reelected, will he appoint more justices who believe such misinformation? The likelihood of this is true, gun owners would have much to fear.
Since the election guns sales have soared, get in on the action and protect your second amendment right to bear arms! (NFDN)
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Only a .50 Caliber Ban? Don't You Believe It!The .50 caliber is being dishonestly branded as a "terrorist" weapon, supposedly because it's a hair's breadth larger than other rifles. The anti-gunners' language reveals their true strategy: to ultimately ban all rifles, no matter their size.
BY JAMES O.E. NORELL
The only difference between .50-caliber targets of opportunity and any other rifle is a matter of a mere fraction of an inch. If such a restriction becomes law, that will be the beginning of gun ownership "reduction" based on bore size. This .458 Lott is a mere four-one-hundredths of an inch smaller in bore diameter than a .50.
With the stage set and direction provided by the radical Violence Policy Center (VPC), CBS's "60 Minutes" used its Jan. 9, 2005, show to vilify .50-caliber rifles. The CBS/VPC story line was that these guns are "too dangerous to be in the hands of private citizens." Right on cue, anti-gun zealot Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) introduced the "50 Caliber Sniper Rifle Reduction Act" in Congress.
Moran's bill, H.R. 654, is a prime example of how the gun-ban crowd seeks legislation that outlaws many guns in addition to those they target directly. A ban on rifles with a bore of .5 of an inch also would include many antique and blackpowder rifles and a number of big-bore rifles owned by hunters of dangerous game. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
In addition to a freeze on possession and transfer of all center-fire .50-caliber rifles, H.R. 654 requires guns now legally owned be placed under Title II of the Gun Control Act, and be treated like fully automatics--for starters, owners would have to register their firearms and themselves; submit to photographs and fingerprints and undergo a rigorous FBI clearance process that could last up to six months. Moran's ban would prohibit any legally registered rifle from being bought, sold, given, traded or willed. "Reduction" is accomplished with the death of the registered owner, at which time the once-private property becomes the presumed property of the U.S. government.
This far-reaching attack targets law-abiding citizens, while being disguised in ugly hype about "heavy sniper rifles" and threats of "terrorism." The propaganda war is calculated to frighten the unknowing public and fool and divide gun owners.
The centerpiece of the "60 Minutes" broadcast--as with the core of the entire VPC anti-rifle campaign--is manipulating the fear that a terrorist could use a .50-caliber rifle on U.S. soil. But one phrase hidden in the VPC's phony terrorism hype should prove to America's gun owners that they need to be personally concerned about the ".50-caliber issue." The phrase is "intermediate sniper rifle," and it is the future of the gun-ban movement.
For a practical definition, look no further than your own gun cabinet or safe. If you own a Remington 700 or a Winchester Model 70, a Ruger 77, a Weatherby Mark V or a Savage 110 variant, or any number of common bolt guns, especially in a magnum caliber, you own what the VPC would ultimately have the government treat in the same category as a "machine gun"--or ban outright.
A VPC propaganda sheet titled "Voting From the Rooftops," that supposedly targets .50 BMG rifles, shrieks about "the severe and immediate threat that heavy and intermediate civilian sniper rifles pose to public safety and national security." Read that again, dropping the "heavy" part, and you'll see what the future holds for your tack-driving magnum big-game guns, varmint rifles and target guns.
The VPC demands that these guns--your guns--be brought under the control of the National Firearms Act. Failure to register your guns--semi-autos, bolt actions, falling blocks, Trapdoors, you name it--would become a federal felony. Needless to say, an unregistered "heavy or intermediate sniper rifle" would be contraband. And under Title II of the Gun Control Act, any infraction, no matter how innocent--say, transporting a registered firearm across a state line without explicit written permission of federal authorities--could bring a 10-year prison term and large fines.
Don't believe that this "reduction" of firearms ownership by caliber will reach the smaller bores under the phony targeting of "sniper rifles?" Read what Rebecca Peters, head of the U.N.'s global gun-ban group, International Action Network on Small Arms, said about the .223 rifle used by the "Beltway sniper." In an Oct. 23, 2002, appearance on "CNN International Interview," she firmly set the parameters for her notion of an international "sniper rifle ban." In response to questions about the Washington, D.C., "sniper," Peters said: "[W];;e need to have fewer guns, but the guns that are in societies need to be under better control. And that means that civilians should not have sniper rifles, or rifles that they can kill someone at 100 meters distance, for example."
Clearly, Peters is demanding a ban on every hunting and target rifle. At the same time, Jim Moran, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Chuck Schumer, Ted Kennedy--you know the list--claim that the big .50 BMG is the favorite of terrorists and assassins.
"Sniper rifle," like "assault weapon," is an utterly elastic, all-encompassing term. The word these gun-banners are really focusing on is "rifle." The gun control dragon always has a need for steel and wood, but it has an even more voracious appetite for Freedom.This time, it culminates with what the gun control crowd always promised it would never go after--hunting rifles. The only difference between those .50-caliber targets of opportunity and any other rifle in private hands is a matter of a mere fraction of a millimeter or a fraction of an inch in the bore. If such a restriction becomes law, that will be the beginning of gun ownership "reduction" based on bore size.
If you think this is a stretch, remember England's handgun ban. In the beginning, when licensed gun owners fought to stop confiscation of their registered handguns, the government threw them a bone--it only banned guns of a bore size larger than .22. Honest British licensed gun owners turned in their "large bore" handguns for destruction. They were told they could keep their .22s in government-approved lockups at government-certified gun clubs.
Yet, that "bore reduction" gun control had barely been in place when British handgun owners were told the government was going to collect their registered private property from the approved armory sites--.22s suddenly had become "too big." The rest, as they say, is history.
That's "firearms reduction" by caliber. That's history. That's reality. That's where all this is headed--under the smokescreen of protecting Americans from terrorists with big-bore rifles.
MILLER: Lead bullets under fire - Senate bill would protect ammunition from EPA graspShould President Obama win in November, it’s a certainty he’ll try once again to ban lead ammunition. Just two months after he moved into the White House, the National Park Service suddenly announced it was banning lead bullets from its parks. The blowback from sportsmen was intense, so the agency backed down. Mr. Obama surely will exert “more flexibility” in a second term to accomplish this backdoor assault on the Second Amendment.
Sen. Jon Tester, Montana Democrat, introduced a bill to make sure that can’t happen. Just before the Senate adjourned Saturday to go campaigning, the body voted 84-7 to take up the Sportsmen Act during the Nov. 13 lame-duck session. It’s a priority for a number of pro-hunting groups, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
“The threat to ban use of traditional ammunition without sound science is the most significant threat facing the firearms and ammunitions industries today,” NSSF senior vice president Larry Keane told The Washington Times. “If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were to ban traditional ammunition using the Toxic Substances Control Act, it would destroy the ammunition industry in the U.S., crater conservation funding and create massive supply shortages for consumers.”
The ban is a priority for liberal groups like PETA, the Humane Society and the radical Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) that want legislation to prohibit anything but “nontoxic bullets.” This is mostly an excuse to sue ammo manufacturers out of business. In June, CBD filed suit against the EPA for not addressing the “toxic lead in hunting ammunition that frequently poisons our wildlife.”
Opponents are ridiculing CBD’s “Get the Lead Out” campaign. “The notion that you can get lead out of the environment showed these people should not have passed their high-school chemistry test,” said Mr. Keane. “Lead is in the periodical table. There is no more lead in the environment than there was 100 years ago.”
Don Saba, a research scientist and National Rifle Association board member, said that these groups are deliberately attempting to confuse the public into thinking the lead in bullets is the same as lead paint that is harmful to children.
“The lead that is used in ammunition is metallic lead and is a very inert material that does not dissolve in water and it is not absorbed by plants or animals,” Dr. Saba explained. “There is a tremendous toxicity difference between the highly inert metallic lead used in ammunition and the highly toxic lead compounds used in legacy leaded paints.”
The ammunition demonized by the self-styled environmentalists happens to fund highly successful animal-conservation efforts. The Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 set up an excise tax, now 11 percent, on ammunition and long guns and 10 percent for handguns. The resulting $7 billion in revenue over the years has gone toward restoring habitats for wild turkey, bald eagle, duck, elk and antelope populations.
America’s ammunition industry works on high volume and thin margins, manufacturing 9 billion cartridges a year, 95 percent of which have lead components. Lead is used in bullets because it is the perfect material — dense, heavy, soft and inexpensive. Asked for an alternative, Winchester Ammunition engineer Mike Stock replied, “We’d use gold if it was cheap enough to make bullets.”
The NSSF estimates a lead ban would result in tens of thousands of jobs lost as prices would necessarily rise 190 percent. Mr. Obama has killed enough jobs in his first term. The last thing our economy needs is another assault on successful businesses.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
Read more: MILLER: Lead bullets under fire - Washington Times http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/27/lead-bullets-under-fire/?goback=%2Egde_3675333_member_169560559#ixzz27m5szwtV
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November 6: A historic opportunity for Louisiana voters to protect their gun rightsBy Chris W. Cox
With just one vote on November 6th, you can build an iron wall around your Second Amendment freedoms and protect them from anti-gun, activist judges.
That’s because on your ballot this year is an amendment to Louisiana’s state constitution that would provide the most rock-solid state-level legal protection for the right to keep and bear arms in the nation. The language of the amendment reads:
The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny. (emphasis mine)
The key words here are “strict scrutiny.” This is a legal term that guarantees the highest level of protection to a constitutional right. It’s reserved exclusively for those rights that are deemed “fundamental” – like the right to free speech or the right to vote.
For decades, anti-gun judges and lawyers have fought against the application of “strict scrutiny” to your fundamental Second Amendment rights. That’s because they know that without this gold standard of legal protection, gun-ban politicians are virtually unbound to pass any freedom-killing laws that infringe on your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
And in 1977, the anti-gun lobby in Louisiana got its way.
That year, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that your Second Amendment freedoms can be restricted for virtually any reason. As a result, there is nothing in the Louisiana Constitution that would stop state politicians from passing even the most draconian anti-gun laws – including a ban on your right to carry a concealed firearm for protection… even if you’re in your own home!
As Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, I get to see firsthand the sinister ways state and local governments seek to destroy their citizens’ gun rights. The NRA is currently spending nearly $400,000 a month fighting to defeat numerous anti-gun laws in state and federal courtrooms across America.
The simple truth is without this vital constitutional amendment, your gun rights as a Louisiana citizen are ripe for the picking.
That’s why the NRA worked closely this past year with Governor Bobby Jindal, State Senator Neil Riser, State Representative Chris Broadwater and other pro-gun champions in the Louisiana legislature to overwhelmingly pass this constitutional amendment and get it on the ballot.
But now it’s up to you! On Election Day, every gun owner and freedom-loving voter who believes the right to own, carry and use a firearm is anindividual and fundamental right — that no government can infringe upon — needs to get to the polls and “Vote Yes on 2!”
By doing so, you’ll send a clear message to all of America that Louisiana is at the forefront of the battle to protect our Second Amendment liberty!
Jim Irvine Earns the Jay M. Littlefield Memorial NRA-ILA Volunteer of the Year AwardFairfax, Va. – Jim Irvine of Strongsville, Ohio, is a recipient of the 2011 Jay M. Littlefield Memorial NRA-ILA Volunteer of the Year Award. This award recognizes an individual NRA member for his or her meritorious defense of the Second Amendment.
“Jim Irvine has worked tirelessly to help preserve the Second Amendment by helping elect pro-freedom candidates in Ohio,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director for NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “He has answered freedom’s call every time he was needed and diligently assisted our efforts in Ohio. Jim’s outstanding efforts are an inspiration to NRA members all over this country who share our common goal of electing pro-gun candidates.”
As the current chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Coalition and NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC) for Ohio’s 16th Congressional District, Jim Irvine was instrumental in guiding the passage of restaurant carry and restoration of rights legislation in Ohio in 2011. As a dedicated citizen and EVC, Mr. Irvine has been instrumental in turning out volunteers for numerous campaigns to ensure that pro-gun candidates are elected. The passion and drive that Mr. Irvine has shown over the years to advance gun rights and his desire to defend, preserve, and restore the Second Amendment are second to none.
Prepared store owner foils robbery, WYMT, Hazard, Ky.A pair of armed robbers entered the Meta Mart convenience store in Pike County, Ky. and headed towards the counter. Upon spotting the men, the clerk on duty called out to store owner Garry Thornsberry, who was in a back office. After glancing up at a security monitor, Thornsberry recognized the threat, retrieved a gun and fired at the two criminals, causing them to flee.
Thornsberry told local media that he had mentally prepared himself for a violent confrontation following robberies at other stores in the area, stating, “You have to prepare. It’s too late when it happens to start thinking ‘what am I going to do.’” Thornsberry went on to comment, “Until we get some of these people off the streets we’re going to have to live in fear of going to work.” (WYMT, Hazard, Ky. 09/18/12)
Nebraska: North Platte Repeals Firearm Ban in City ParksOn September 18, the North Platte City Council approved Ordinance Number 3852, repealing the ban on firearms in North Platte city parks. This repeal passed in the city council by a 5-2 vote in front of a full house of concerned gun owners.
We thank the North Platte City Council and Mayor for approving this pro-gun reform, and we look forward to opportunities in the upcoming state legislative session to further ensure firearm and ammunition laws are uniform throughout the state.
Feinstein, Democratic Party Get Head Start on Gun Ban AnniversaryA week from today marks the eight-year anniversary of the expiration of the federal "assault weapon" and "large" ammunition magazine ban of 1994-2004. While gun owners have been preparing to celebrate by going to three-gun competitions, doing some recreational target practice, taking carbine classes, or zeroing their ARs to get ready for hunting season, their detractors have been busy too.
At its national convention this week, the Democratic Party adopted a platform calling for renewal of the ban, as it has every four years since the ban expired. Meanwhile, the author of the 1994 ban, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), promised to introduce the legislation next year. How such legislation would fare in Washington will depend, of course, on who wins the presidential election. Gov. Mitt Romney unequivocally opposes the ban; President Obama not only supports it now, but voted for even more restrictive legislation as an Illinois state senator.
In remaining committed to the ban, Obama and Feinstein prove themselves to be ideologues in the severest sense, blind to the truth and filled with disdain for Americans whose values they don't share.
If they were to think rationally, they would face the fact that, as the congressionally-mandated studyof the ban verified, the ban affected firearms and magazines used only rarely in crime. They would face the fact that the ban made it a crime to install things like flash suppressors and bayonet mounts on various semi-automatic firearms--things of no concern to a criminal. They would realize that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment protects the right to own handguns and other commonly-owned firearms, and that semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, and handguns that use magazines that hold more than 10 rounds are about as common as you get.
They would also realize that imposing the ban only made things worse for gun control supporters. Along with the Brady bill, the ban so displeased gun owning voters that they turned out heavily on Election Day 1994, defeating dozens of gun control supporters in Congress. They would also realize the ban's prohibition on manufacturing magazines holding more than 10 rounds (for any firearm) inspired the invention of subcompact handguns just large enough to hold 10 rounds--the very type of firearm that gun control supporters have always tried to ban as so-called "Saturday Night Specials."
To top it off, the ban caused purchases of the affected guns and magazines to skyrocket. Today, there are more than 3 million AR-15s alone, sales of new semi-automatic handguns (most of which use magazines that hold more than 10 rounds) have soared, and the number of such magazines privately owned is surely in the hundreds of millions.
We don't know what gun ban supporters like Sen. Feinstein expect to gain by clamoring for a new ban with the election just around the corner. But if they want motivate more Americans to vote for Gov. Romney and other candidates who support the right to keep and bear arms, we say "have at it."
For more information on the "assault weapon" and "large" magazine issue, visit www.gunbanfacts.com.
Rise in Female Gun Ownership May be Good for AmericaThe tapestry of the American West is woven with the stories of amazing women sharpshooters from Annie Oakley to Calamity Jane. Each cut a trail across the parched landscape with guns-a-blazin’ adding to the richness of American history.
So the news of a sharp rise in female gun ownership in the last few years comes as no surprise.
The rise in female firearm ownership is not only for self-protection, but also for sport –- sometimes fiercely competitive sport!
More legal guns mean less violent crime, U.S. figures showBY BRYN WEESE , SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Toronto's lefty city councillors looking to ban guns and bullets as a panacea for violent crime should pedal their bikes south of the border.
Here, as gun sales continue to skyrocket the violent crime rate keeps dropping.
According to the 2011 Federal Bureau of Investigation's crime report released last week, violent crimes -- murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault -- dropped 4% from 2010 as gun sales rose 14% over the same period.
In fact, gun sales in the U.S. last year hit a record high at 16.5 million, up a whopping 65% from 2006. During that same time, the violent-crime rate dropped 23% nationwide.
But the good news story unfolding nationwide is not the case in Chicago, where 5,000 people have been shot to death since 2001. For much of that time, there was a complete handgun ban in effect.
Owning a handgun in Chicago has actually been banned outright for the past 28 years, but the murder rate continued to climb, reaching a peak in the 1990s when 900 people were being killed every year.
And while parts of the ban have recently been ruled unconstitutional, strict handgun laws remain in effect, and so far this year Chicago has seen a 50% jump in gun-related homicides -- already at more than 200 -- compared to the same time period last year.
Coalition of Attorneys General Want National Right-to-Carry ReciprocityCharlotte, NC | May 21, 2012
(Ammoland) As reported last November, the ongoing effort to fully vindicate the fundamental, individual right to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense took a major step forward with House passage of H.R. 822, the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011.”
The bill, sponsored by Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), has 245 cosponsors and was approved in the U.S. House of Representatives by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 272-154.
After passage in the House, the bill was sent to the Senate, where it remains. Since November, the Senate has failed to take any significant action on the bill.
Read more at Ammoland.com
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Most Americans back gun lobby, right to use deadly forceBy Deborah Charles
WASHINGTON | Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:18pm EDT
(Reuters) - Most Americans support the right to use deadly force to protect themselves - even in public places - and have a favorable view of the National Rifle Association, the main gun-lobby group, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.
However, there was also strong support from respondents for background checks as well as limiting the sale of automatic weapons and keeping guns out of churches, stores and workplaces.
The online survey showed that 68 percent, or two out of three respondents, had a favorable opinion of the NRA, which starts its annual convention in St. Louis, Missouri, on Friday.
Eighty-two percent of Republicans saw the gun lobbying group in a positive light as well as 55 percent of Democrats, findings that run counter to the perception of Democrats as anti-NRA.
Most of the 1,922 people surveyed nationwide from April Monday through Thursday said they supported laws that allow Americans to use deadly force to protect themselves from danger in their own home or in a public place.
"Americans do hold to this idea that people should be allowed to defend themselves and using deadly force is fine, in those circumstances," said pollster Chris Jackson. "In the theoretical ... there's a certain tolerance of vigilantism."
The poll was conducted amid a nationwide debate over gun rights and race after the Florida shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood crime watch volunteer who is white and Hispanic.
The poll results were welcomed by the NRA, which is one of the most powerful lobby groups in the country and regularly clashes with anti-gun groups and often with Democrats as it seeks to protect and expand gun rights across the United States.
"Regardless of how others try to distort our position, the general public knows where we stand," said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. "It shows the failure of the continuing efforts of many to try and discredit the National Rifle Association."
Gun owners seek end to state barriers to concealed weaponsBy Marilyn W. Thompson and Donna Smith
WASHINGTON | Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:51pm EDT
(Reuters) - Ryan Jerome took his .45-caliber Ruger with him to Manhattan last September and thought he understood the city's weapons laws when he carried his loaded handgun on a side trip to the Empire State Building.
But Jerome, who is from Indiana, soon found himself in a legal tangle that he said illustrates the confusing array of gun laws in the U.S. and the need for uniformity.
"How can the city of New York override your rights under the second amendment of the Constitution?" said Jerome, 29, who pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor weapons possession charge as part of a plea deal with the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
Jerome's case is one of several widely publicized gun arrests that have prompted a new push for federal legislation requiring states to honor one another's concealed weapons permits. Jerome's lifetime concealed weapons permit in Indiana carried no weight in New York, which does not recognize other states' licenses.
A similar Manhattan case involved a Tennessee woman who was arrested for carrying a gun near the World Trade Center memorial. Both she and Jerome were originally charged with felony gun offenses carrying prison terms of three and a half years.
Proposals for reciprocal arrangements among states, which are now percolating in Congress, would address a common complaint of gun advocates and their chief lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, which holds its annual conference in St Louis, Missouri, this week.
But they are sharply opposed by proponents of stricter gun laws.