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  • Gun News Roundup - July 3, 2020

    Jul 3, 2020 | 19:00 pm

    Gun News Roundup - July 3, 2020

  • Independence Day 2020

    Jul 3, 2020 | 11:00 am

    Independence Day 2020

    With the upcoming holiday, let's look at what it might mean to some people…a day off with pay, just a day off, family, friends, cookouts, reunions or just a day to lounge and watch the fireworks. As for me, I think of our Constitution, our founding fathers, our Bill of Rights, our military men and women who are performing their duties to protect our freedom.

    “FREEDOM”. We say it often, exclaiming our rights by the Constitution and Bill of Rights, but is it really free? Daily, there are people who are ready, willing and able to chip away at our most basic freedoms as guaranteed by the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution, and it is these people who we must fight against. The one that is the most often spoken of, is the First Amendment…the right to free speech, the right to choose the way we want to worship, the right of free press, the right of peaceable assembly, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. This freedom in the First Amendment is the main reason that our forefathers came to this country… to get away from a ruler who wouldn’t allow such freedoms. The First Amendment was of the utmost importance to our founding fathers, and that is the reason it is listed first!

    With such freedoms now in place, how will you be able to protect them? It is with the Second Amendment that these freedoms are protected!

    The Second Amendment has been the most debated and dissected Amendment in the Bill of Rights throughout the 20th century. It contains 27 words, 3 commas and a period, and has been interpreted many different ways, been through lower courts, all the way to the Supreme Court, and is still in place today to protect your rights and mine!

    Even before the signing of our constitution, our founding fathers had their ideas of self-preservation, liberty and security. Here are a few examples:

    • "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
    • "A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither" - Thomas Jefferson

    Consider this excerpt from our Declaration of Independence:

    • "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

    The only way this can happen is if the Second Amendment is kept in place until such time that this should have to happen!

    • "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When people fear the government there is tyranny." -Thomas Jefferson

    Please support those who fight against those who wish to take away your Second Amendment rights!

    Here is wishing you a “HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY”!

  • Not Funny: Firearm Prohibitionists Finally Target Elmer Fudd's Gun

    Jul 2, 2020 | 11:00 am

    Not Funny: Firearm Prohibitionists Finally Target Elmer Fudd's Gun

    It was bound to happen. Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam have now been disarmed.

    For some in the pro-gun community, the term “Fudd” denotes a person who owns guns, typically not for self-defense, but considers themselves above the fray of Second Amendment politics. But it is not owning this or that type of gun that makes a person a Fudd. Rather, it’s an attitude of indifference to the besieged plight of gun owners generally. The name derives from Elmer Fudd, the classic Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoon character who single-mindedly pursued ducks and rabbits (Daffy and Bugs in particular) with his trusty assortment of long arms, usually to his own detriment.

    Fudds have always been warned the gun grabbers would eventually get around to their firearms, too. For Elmer itself, that day has come. According to an article in the New York Times, HBO Max is reprising the Looney Tunes line-up of familiar characters in a new series, which supposedly “hearkens back to the franchise’s roots.”  But there is at least one big difference, according to the show’s executive producer: “We’re not doing guns.” 

    The producer gave no explanation for this decision but promised “cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff,” would remain part of the show.

    Indeed, a clip attached to the New York Times piece, entitled Dynamite Dance, features Elmer Fudd haplessly pursuing Bugs Bunny with a Grim Reaper-like scythe.  Bugs retaliates by detonating stick after stick of dynamite in Fudd’s mouth, ears, and pants. Other gags in the clip feature exploding barrels of TNT. There’s even one moment that flirts with violating the “no guns” rule, as Fudd seeks refuge in a hollow log that Bugs fills with explosives and plugs with a large cork. The resulting detonation blasts Fudd out of the front of the log like a projectile from a cannon.

    As in yesteryear, Fudd escapes from these scrapes not too much the worse for wear, with his body covered in soot and his clothes in tatters. That was the similar to the effect gunshots usually had in the prior versions of the show, if they hit anything at all.

    To date, the show’s producers have not explained why guns are beyond the pale, but other instruments of violence and mayhem are not.

    Nor, we trust, does it have anything to do with the fear that impressionable children might try to mimic what they see onscreen. Left-leaning media outlets and academics have mocked suggestions, including by President Trump and the NRA’s own Wayne LaPierre, that screen violence might negatively affect real behavior. 

    More likely, it’s simply a reflection of the growing intolerance the left has for any idea or expression that doesn’t meet their ever-expanding list of taboo topics and symbols, which recently have included a heroic cartoon police dog, an editorial by a Harvard-educated senator, and even the American flag.

    The irony, of course, is that no one would consider the original portrayals of Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam as particularly sympathetic to gun owners. They were, respectively, clueless and hot-headed. Their guns rarely did them any good, and they were continually outsmarted and outmaneuvered by the other characters. Their main function was to serve as the butt of the jokes.

    But today’s antigun activists are so strident, so myopic, and so easily triggered that it’s somehow less disturbing  and more acceptable to them to suggest that Elmer Fudd would dismember Bugs Bunny with a blade than for him to harmlessly displace Daffy’s bill with the blast of a nonlethal fantasy firearm.

    So it goes in the never-ending effort to marginalize and eradicate not just guns and gun owners but the mere thought or suggestion of a gun.

    Once again, to all the other Fudds out there, don’t say you were never warned. If Elmer’s and Sam’s guns are unacceptable to the firearm prohibitionists, don’t think yours will eventually fare any better.

    © 2020 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.

  • Lessons in the Value of Strong State Firearms Preemption Laws

    Jul 1, 2020 | 11:00 am

    Lessons in the Value of Strong State Firearms Preemption Laws

    Along with the sweeping success of the Right-to-Carry movement, strong state firearms preemption laws have been among the most important developments over the past half-century in the way average Americans own and use firearms. To open a circa 1970 edition of ATF's State Laws and Published Ordinances is to encounter an incomprehensible patchwork of county and city regulations that made it impossible for otherwise law-abiding gun owners to confidently exercise their right to keep and bear arms.

    Understanding how uniform statewide firearms regulation has benefitted gun owners, gun control activists are doing their best to undermine existing state firearms preemption laws. Gun control backers and local officials have determined that they are able to pass stringent gun controls in politically homogenous local jurisdictions that cannot be enacted at the more ideologically diverse state level. Moreover, there are local anti-gun officials that seek to exploit gaps in state firearms preemption laws to attack Second Amendment rights.

    The most visible attack on state firearms preemption in 2020 has occurred in Virginia. As part of a raft of gun control measures pushed by disgraced Gov. Ralph Northam, the state enacted HB 421. The legislation weakened the state firearms preemption statute and Virginians' right to carry by granting local authorities the power to prohibit "firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof" in a host of locations.

    Specifically, the locations are:

    (i) in any building, or part thereof, owned or used by such locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality, for governmental purposes;

    (ii) in any public park owned or operated by the locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality;  

    (iii) in any recreation or community center facility operated by the locality, or by any authority or local governmental entity created or controlled by the locality; or 

    (iv) in any public street, road, alley, or sidewalk or public right-of-way or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public and is being used by or is adjacent to a permitted event or an event that would otherwise require a permit.

    The locations listed in (i)-(iii) empower localities to create a hodgepodge of local gun-free zones that will encumber law-abiding citizens as they move about the state. However, the implications of location (iv) are even worse. Under that change, localities are empowered to create roving gun-free zones that may change by the day or hour. Such authority has the potential to create an indecipherable mishmash of gun-free zones that would ensnare even the most well-meaning and diligent gun owner.

    The change in Virginia’s preemption law goes into effect on July 1, but the fashionable D.C. suburb of Alexandria hasn't waited. In May, the city council drew up legislation to restrict firearms to the full extent allowed under the new legislation. A violation of the city's proposed ordinance would be punishable as a Class 1 Misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.

    ...

    Knowing the importance of strong state firearms preemption laws to the exercise of Second Amendment rights, gun control advocates and anti-gun politicians are working to erode the hard-fought protections gun owners have achieved over the last several decades. Gun rights supporters must work to equal and better their efforts in order to maintain and strengthen these vital laws.​

    © 2020 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.

  • Headline: Convicted felon charged with possessing a loaded firearm at Columbus protest

    Jun 30, 2020 | 11:00 am

    Headline: Convicted felon charged with possessing a loaded firearm at Columbus protest

    WCMH (NBC Columbus) is reporting that Columbus Police and federal authorities accuse a Columbus man of illegally possessing a firearm while attending a Columbus protest.

    From the article:

    Columbus Police say an officer recognized Ronnie Earl Murdock, 31, a convicted felon, during a downtown protest on June 24, and saw Murdock holding a rifle. Federal law states that convicted felons can’t own, operate, or handle firearms.

     The Columbus SWAT team says when they arrested Murdock, he had a semiautomatic 2.23 caliber rifle with live rounds of ammunition.

    “Peaceful protests can turn into tragedies if illegal possession of firearms becomes part of the mix,” said David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.

    According to WCMH, police records state Murdock pleaded guilty in Frank County Common Pleas Court in October 2007 to attempted burglary and to robbery in October 2016. Both were felonies.

    Additional details were made available in separate coverage by WSYX (ABC Columbus):

    According to the complaint provided by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio's office, a Columbus Police officer was monitoring protests near Broad Street and Front Street on June 24 when he claims he witnessed "on camera" a man, Ronnie Murdock Jr., 31, as a previously convicted felon holding a rifle. The officer stated Murdoch was known to him.

    ...

    The officer stated in an affidavit that he witnessed Murdock and another man identified as Coleman pass a rifle back and forth several times. Later that night, Columbus SWAT officers located Murdock and Coleman together at 9:30 p.m. on West Broad Street and Front Street and arrested Murdoch "without incident." The rifle the officer allegedly witnessed Murdoch with was recovered from Coleman, not Murdock, at the time of the arrest.

    Documents state that the rifle is a semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle with 31 live rounds. Officers said the gun "was found loaded."

    ...

    Investigators found a gun lock in Murdoch's possession, which he claims he was holding for a woman. Investigators also found social media video where Murdock allegedly alludes to having a gun, but later indicates he can't bring his "AR" out because "they" will be on him.

    Unlike so many other times, it appears the City of Columbus intends to enforce the law in this case. So Murdock, who claims the gun he was photographed with was a paintball look-alike, will have his day in court.

    Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is punishable by up to ten years in prison. 

    Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

  • The Second Amendment, Firearm Industry Exists to Protect During Crises

    Jun 29, 2020 | 11:00 am

    The Second Amendment, Firearm Industry Exists to Protect During Crises

    The Second Amendment is inalienable and there is a perfect storm right now demonstrating its vital importance.

    There is a constant barrage of attacks on the Second Amendment in “normal” times. These days are hardly normal, given the coronavirus pandemic, near economic standstill of stay-at-home orders and business closures and now rioting. Local law enforcement was already stretched thin when governors and mayors announced they were releasing criminals and prosecutors said they wouldn’t prosecute criminals. It’s no surprise firearm purchases soared. Millions of these buyers did so for the first time. Some were formerly in favor of strict gun control but were surprised by the obstacles encountered when they jumped off the fence and approached the gun counter for themselves.

    The destruction and violence caused by rioters and looters, stumping on the message of peaceful protests, has thrown gasoline on the fire. Innocent bystanders are attacked, businesses built up over a lifetime were burned to the ground and now the calls to defund police departments are being shouted across the country.

    America is waking up to the notion that rights aren’t the only thing reserved for individuals. Responsibility to exercise those rights is shouldered by individuals as well. More than six million background checks were conducted in three months for the sale of a firearm. NSSF retailer surveys discovered nearly 2.5 million people became a first-time gun owner during that time.

    That starts at the gun counter. The ability to exercise the right to keep and bear arms starts when law-abiding citizens are free to purchase the firearm they choose to defend themselves and their loved ones. Government interference with that constitutionally-protected right is nothing short of infringement. Deny the right to legally purchase a gun and it’s a violation of a constitutional right, just as it would be for a government to illegally search and seize property or illegally silence free speech. 

    Click here to read the entire article at NSSF.org.

  • Gun News Roundup - June 26, 2020

    Jun 26, 2020 | 19:00 pm

    Gun News Roundup - June 26, 2020

  • A Viable Choice for Home Defense: The Marvelous MSR

    Jun 26, 2020 | 11:00 am

    A Viable Choice for Home Defense: The Marvelous MSR

    Handguns are typically the tool of choice for defense in the home. Depending on your home design — single-family, apartment/condo, duplex/townhouse, etc. — shotguns can also be deployed. Some will choose carbine rifles or even lever rifles chambered in pistol rounds (9mm, .44 Mag., .45 ACP), but few opt for rifles chambered for rifle rounds, the prevailing concern being overpenetration.

    Reducing the Risks to Others

    Over-penetration is something everyone using a firearm in self-defense must consider. What happens if you miss — and sometimes even when you don’t? Where does that projectile go? Just as you have to be conscious of bystanders in a self-defense scenario that takes place outdoors, that same concern translates to the home, where there are possibly loved ones, pets and neighbors on the other side of a wall.

    Several years ago, while filming an episode for a TV show on personal defense, I was enlightened to the benefits of the modern sporting rifle (MSR) as a home-defense tool. We were at Gunsite Academy, one of the most well-regarded firearms training schools in the country, and instructor Ed Head had constructed a series of panels that replicated the walls one finds in a typical home or apartment. Some walls were sheetrock and 2x4s as you’d find in interior walls, while others had sheetrock, insulation and various exterior treatments such as clapboard simulated exterior walls.

    ...

    We fired on those walls (with and without the water jugs) and with various defensive loads including 9mm and 45 ACP from handguns, birdshot, buckshot and slugs from a short-barreled 12-gauge and both 55-grain full metal jacketed and soft-point 5.56mm loads from an MSR.

    ...

    The unexpected results came from the handguns and MSRs. A handgun round miss typically penetrated several interior walls — but the 5.56 rounds did not. In fact, the 55-grain soft point rarely exited the second wall. (Buckshot was less consistent.).

    There was much to consider with these discoveries. Given the fact we were looking for a defensive solution that had reliable stopping power while also reducing the risks to others, the modern sporting rifle with soft-point ammunition was a front-runner, a sound choice ballistically. From the functional, ergonomic and tactical perspectives, though, MSRs also have a lot going for them when it comes to home defense.

    Click here to read the entire article at LetsGoShooting.org.

  • Legal Reckoning for Jackson, MS Mayor’s Foolish Carry Ban

    Jun 25, 2020 | 11:00 am

    Legal Reckoning for Jackson, MS Mayor’s Foolish Carry Ban

    As we reported earlier, Chokwe Lumumba, the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, announced an executive order on April 24 as part of his response to the COVID-19 civil emergency. The order prohibited the “carrying of an unconcealed loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver or any other firearm, carried upon the person or in a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster or in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case, with such pistol, revolver, or firearm being wholly or partially visible.”

    Almost immediately, the Mississippi Justice Institute filed a federal lawsuit against the mayor and the city on behalf of State Rep. Dana Criswell, alleging that the mayor’s open carry ban was an illegal and unconstitutional attack on firearm rights.

    Lynn Fitch, Mississippi’s Attorney General and the chief legal officer for the state, filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff. The brief notes that not only did Mayor Lumumba attempt to override state and federal laws, he failed to connect the need for the order to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the reason for enacting the civil emergency in the first place.” “Given the Mayor’s long-standing and well-documented opposition to Mississippians’ right to open carry, it is abundantly clear that the Order serves as pretext to achieve a goal he has sought for years, to extinguish the constitutional right to open carry.”

    The litigation came to an exceptionally speedy halt on June 12, with the entry of an order and consent decree by Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan, III that spelled out the terms of the settlement between the parties. Although the order means the underlying action is dismissed, the court retains the authority to enforce the order “in perpetuity.”

    The consent decree includes the parties’ express recognition of “the importance of the rights” protected by the Second Amendment and the “right to keep and bear arms” provision of the Mississippi Constitution. The City of Jackson, the mayor and city council, and all other city agents or employees, are prohibited from adopting:

    any orders, resolutions, ordinances, policies, or practices which have the purpose or effect of directly or indirectly prohibiting, restricting, or inhibiting the open carry of firearms, unless a statute or law of the State of Mississippi is adopted or amended to specifically prohibit, restrict, or inhibit the open carry of firearms in Mississippi, or to specifically authorize municipalities to do so, and such statute or law is not held violative of the United States Constitution or the Mississippi Constitution by a court of competent jurisdiction.

    The mayor’s colleagues on the Jackson City Council had already made it clear they did not support the mayor’s actions, going so far as to pass a unanimous resolution on April 28 condemning his executive order. (Mayor Lumumba later dismissively referred to opponents of his order as “outside agitators,” which apparently included these local councillors.) Unsurprisingly, the consent decree contains a specific reference stressing that “the City Council disapproves of Mayor Lumumba’s executive order.”

    That sentiment isn’t restricted to the city council. An online petition launched by Mayor Lumumba in April refers to his executive order and seeks to repeal open carry in Mississippi. As of mid-June, not only had the petition failed to reach the very modest target of 200 signatures, it was actually being used by many to express their support for open carry and their constitutional rights.

    It is unclear what the mayor thinks of this court-ordered rebuke but it seems he’s practicing a bit of social distancing from the whole sorry affair. Although the City admitted the truth of the allegations made in the lawsuit as part of the consent decree – that the executive order violated the plaintiff’s rights under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, Article 3, Section 12 of the Mississippi Constitution, and Mississippi statutory law – the decree adds that Mayor Lumumba himself had “not filed responsive pleadings” in the litigation but nonetheless “denies Plaintiff’s allegations.”

    © 2020 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.

  • Police search 11 year-old Scout's bedroom after school Google Meet call

    Jun 25, 2020 | 11:00 am

    Police search 11 year-old Scout's bedroom after school Google Meet call

    WBFF (Fox Baltimore) is reporting that a Baltimore County family is warning other parents after they say police were called to their house over something that happened during a virtual school lesson. The incident is raising concerns over privacy and safety in the era of online learning.

    From the article:

    As a Navy veteran with four years of active duty, Courtney Lancaster has extensive knowledge of guns, how to use them and how to store them.

    Her 11-year-old son, who owns BB guns, is a boy scout in fifth grade at Seneca Elementary School.

    “He's just a very intellectual child, but he's all boy as well. He loves to be outside and play and ride his bikes and that sort of thing,” Courtney told Project Baltimore.

    In his pursuit of becoming an Eagle Scout, Courtney says her son has learned how to shoot a BB gun and an airsoft gun. He’s also taken three levels of archery lessons. His mother says he stores his bow and guns on this wall in his bedroom. It’s never been a problem until June 1, when police pulled up outside her house.

    “I had no idea what to think. I've never been in any legal trouble whatsoever. I've never had any negative encounter with law enforcement,” said Courtney. “I had no idea. I really didn't know what to think.”

    Courtney told WBFF that when police arrived she was home with her son who’s been doing virtual learning since schools shut down in March.

    “So, I answered the door. The police officer was, he was very nice. He explained to me that he was coming to address an issue with my son's school,” Courtney told Project Baltimore. “And then explained to me that he was here to search for weapons, in my home. And I consented to let him in. And then I, unfortunately, stood there and watched police officers enter my 11-year-old son's bedroom.”

    Courtney was told someone had seen the guns in her son’s bedroom during a Google Meet class on his laptop.

    According to emails Courtney later exchanged with a school administrator, a screenshot was taken during the online class. The principal of Seneca Elementary was notified. Courtney says she was told the school safety officer then called police.

    “I felt violated as a parent, for my child, who's standing there with police officers in his room, just to see the fear on his face,” she said.

    Courtney is quoted as saying the police officers were in her home for about 20 minutes and found no violations. No laws were broken and no dangers present. They left without any further action, but Courtney wasn’t done.

    Since that day, she has written school administrators, the superintendent and the school board, demanding answers. She says the principal initially compared bringing a weapon to a virtual class to bringing a gun to school.

    She was also told she could not see the screenshot of her son’s bedroom, because it’s not part of his student record.

    “It's absolutely scary to think about,” Courtney said. “Who are on these calls? Who do we have viewing your children and subsequently taking these screenshots that can be sent anywhere or used for any purpose?”

    The Navy veteran told WBFF she worries about the future of virtual learning without clear policies in place.

    “So, what are the parameters? Where are the lines drawn? If my son is sitting at the kitchen island next to a butcher block, does that constitute a weapon? It's not allowed at school, right? So, would my home then be searched because he's sitting next to a butcher block,” Courtney is quoted as saying. “I feel like parents need to be made aware of what the implications are, what the expectations are.”

    This isn't the first time an online learning situation led to a visit form the police. In May, during a school-related Zoom call with his classmates and teacher at the Cumberland Valley School District in Pennsylvania, Sheila Perez Smith told radio host Toss Starnes her year-old first-grader was seated with a toy gun next to him. He was not, however, interacting with it in any way.

    Perez Smith received an email from her child’s teacher “basically saying that another parent of another classmate had been very uncomfortable by the fact that the gun had been in view of the Zoom call.”

    Within a couple of hours, Perez Smith said an officer from the Hampden Township Police Department came to their home and asked the family to step outside so he could question them about a complaint involving a child and a gun.

    The boy’s parents explained that it was only a toy gun and showed it to the officer. Perez Smith said the police officer made a point of continuing to lecture the family about the necessity of keeping children away from any sort of guns, even once he understood there was no danger to the kids.

    It is clear from these incidents that persons participating in online learning should be VERY mindful about what can be seen on camera.

    Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

 

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