Friday, April 24, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

Articles, news stories, and op-eds of interest to gun owners:

From Gunowners of America, on Obama's support for a U.N. gun control treaty:
Remember CANDIDATE Barack Obama? The guy who “wasn’t going to take away our guns”?

Well, guess what?

Less than 100 days into his administration, he’s never met a gun he didn’t hate.

A week ago, Obama went to Mexico, whined about the United States, and bemoaned (before the whole world) the fact that he didn’t have the political power to take away our semi-automatics. Nevertheless, that didn’t keep him from pushing additional restrictions on American gun owners.

It’s called the Inter-American Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials. To be sure, this imponderable title masks a really nasty piece of work.

First of all, when the treaty purports to ban the “illicit” manufacture of firearms, what does that mean?

1. “Illicit manufacturing” of firearms is defined as “assembly of firearms [or] ammunition ... without a license....”

Hence, reloading ammunition -- or putting together a lawful firearm from a kit -- is clearly “illicit manufacturing.” ...

Comment: Gunowners of America has a link to send a message to the Senate regarding opposition to ratification of this treaty here.

New Jersey Senator Lautenberg pushing to close gun show "loophole":
Several high-ranking senators led by Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) on Tuesday relaunched their push to require gun sellers to conduct background checks on purchases of all types of guns at state gun shows.

On the heels of the 10-year anniversary of the Columbine shootings the lawmakers pushed to close the gun show “loophole” that exists in more than 30 states.

These states do not require personal gun sellers, who are authorized to hawk their own firearms at gun shows, to conduct a background check on buyers of the guns. This allows people with criminal histories to easily obtain weapons like those used in the Columbine killings, according to lawmakers.

Measures similar to Lautenberg’s bill have passed the Senate twice before but have failed to pass the House because of pressure from gun lobbying organizations like the National Rifle Association, said Lautenberg, who was joined Tuesday by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.). ...

Dave Workman discusses the Nordkye decision:
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday handed down a long-awaited ruling in the epic case of Nordyke v. King, which started as a lawsuit by gun show operators Russell and Sallie Nordyke against California’s Alameda County, and became something considerably larger.

The court panel, with Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain writing the opinion and Judge Ronald M. Gould offering a concurring opinion, rule that the Second Amendment is incorporated to the states; that is, the right to keep and bear arms that is affirmed by the Amendment now becomes a limit on state and local governments, same as it is a limit on the federal government. ...

Another article on Nordyke:
As my colleague, David Codrea, has already reported, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that state and local governments are bound by the Second Amendment. Since the advent of the Fourteenth Amendment, most provisions of the Bill of Rights have gained power over not only the federal government, as originally intended, but over state and local governments, as well. The Second Amendment was one of the few exceptions--and that has never made sense (and was clearly not intended by the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment).

In Nordyke v. King, however we may very well be seeing the beginning of the end of that very unsatisfactory set of circumstances, wherein state and local governments need not so much as pay lip service to the Second Amendment. In the 9th Circuit, in fact, that end has indeed arrived. Granted, the 9th is but one circuit court, and unless and until the Supreme Court rules similarly, the other federal circuit courts are free to ignore the Nordyke ruling. Still, this development is very significant, because the 9th is the largest, and thus one of the most important, federal circuit courts. It is also considered the most "liberal," and thus perhaps the most resistant to protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

That perception, actually, was borne out to some degree by the decision, which despite ruling that the Second Amendment applied to state and local governments, also ruled that such governments could ban gun shows on public property. The judges of the 9th Circuit, apparently, attach a different meaning to shall not be infringed than one might expect, based on the . . . actual meaning of those words. In that, the decision resembles some of the more regrettable aspects of the Heller decision. ...

Howard Nemerov on New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand turn towards the Dark Side:
Once again, anti-rights forces in Congress are attacking the Tiahrt Amendment as restricting law enforcement from doing its job, using their pretty new face: Kirsten Gillibrand. But examination of Gillibrand’s campaign finance, and comparing rhetoric to reality, are in order before trusting her as a disinterested public servant trying to protect us.
NBC New York reports:
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for the repeal of a federal policy on record keeping for gun background checks, a law she originally co-sponsored in Congress.

Sen. Gillibrand and fellow New York Senator Chuck Schumer want to change the Tiahrt Amendment, which requires records of gun background checks be destroyed after 24 hours. The amendment restricts cities, state and members of law enforcement from using so-called "trace data" to track how guns are trafficked across state lines.

Gillibrand, a supporter of the National Rifle Association, had originally co-sponsored the bill, which was added on to a appropriations bill, as an upstate Congresswoman. [Emphasis added]

Maintaining background check records creates a registration database, a key goal for gun banners because it enables them to know what guns you own and sets the stage for confiscation. ...

[West Virginia] Win some, lose some: Permit privacy bill loses, reciprocity provision wins:
CHARLESTON — When the smoke cleared away on the final night of the legislative session, the West Virginia Press Association held the winning hand in a duel over guns and the public’s right to know who is toting concealed firearms.

For two years, the battle has raged between the press association and the National Rifle Association in a bill initially offered to allow West Virginia to enter into and honor reciprocal pacts so that states recognized each other’s concealed weapon permits.

But the NRA amended the measure so that no citizen could access permits under the Freedom of Information Act, a move the press association viewed as poor policy in regard to the public’s right to know and scrutinize government records.

“The logic behind it was contrived,” Phil Reale, a Charleston attorney and lobbyist for the press association, said of the NRA’s opposition to public access on grounds it might expose someone in a domestic rift to danger if his or her concealed weapon permit were publicized.

The NRA did score on getting the reciprocal agreements approved.

“They got something out of it, which we didn’t object to,” Reale said. ...

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