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Posts Tagged ‘civil liberties’

Here’s how a “living constitution” works

Posted by Richard on February 17, 2016

When it comes to protecting the rights of individuals, it doesn’t. Case in point: Great Britain. The British don’t have a written constitution, with fixed language and a Bill of Rights that explicitly denies the government the power to infringe on individual rights. Instead, they have what’s called an “uncodified constitution,” and its primary purpose seems to be to protect the “rights” of the nation’s legislators:

After the Glorious Revolution in 1688, the bedrock of the legislative British constitution has been described as the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, according to which the statutes passed by Parliament are the UK’s supreme and final source of law.[3] It follows that Parliament can change the constitution simply by passing new Acts of Parliament.

This is the American leftists’ wet dream.

The English Bill of Rights of 1689 is merely a statute enacted by Parliament, and its protection of free expression extends only to speech within Parliament. Thus Britons express thoughts that are disapproved of by their government at their peril:

British police have promised not to tolerate any speech that could cause offence on social media regarding Syrian migrants, after arresting a man for Facebook comments made about recent arrivals on his small Scottish Island.

The tiny Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde, which had a total population of just 6,498 in 2011, is expected to take in around 1,000 Syrian migrants, with 12 families already arriving since December last year (picture above).

However, commenting on the comparatively huge and sudden influx of Muslim immigrants online just became a very risky business for local residents.

Police have confirmed they have arrested a 41-year-old local man under the Communications Act, after receiving a report of a supposedly “offensive” comment made on Facebook regarding the migrants.

A police spokesman was unequivocal, that any harsh criticism of the Muslim influx would not be “tolerated”. …

Don’t feel too smugly superior to the Brits. Suppression of free speech is the norm on about half of American college campuses, and has been actively promoted by the Obama administration.

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Protecting the public from entrepreneurial snow-shovelers

Posted by Richard on February 14, 2015

The northeastern US is being pounded with yet another snowstorm this weekend, so it seems appropriate to call out the latest “Nanny of the Week” story at as a cautionary tale for any ambitious young entrepreneurs in that part of the country.

Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf, both 18-year-olds from Bound Brook, N.J., were going door-to-door in their neighborhood Jan. 27, handing out homemade flyers that offered snow-shoveling services. School had already been canceled for the next day, when a winter storm was expected to bury their portion of the Garden State under several inches of cold white powder.

But their offer of a free exchange of services for cash caught the attention of the local police force.

According to local news reports, the cops told the kids they weren’t allowed to solicit business by going door-to-door without a permit from the local government.

To get a permit for door-to-door solicitation in Bound Brook, Molinari and Schnepf would have had to pay the borough $450 (and the government-issued permission slip is only good for 180 days at a time, which is fine if you’re trying to run a snow-shoveling business, but not so great if you’re trying to offer services year-round).

At that cost, they’d have little chance of making any profit — unless the fine folks of Bound Brook are willing to pay $100 to have their driveways and front walks cleared.

A similar incident was reported in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion on Jan. 28 as the snow was falling up and down the east coast. Police reportedly told two men they were not allowed to engage in door-to-door solicitation of snow-shoveling services without permission from local officials.

Supposedly, such door-to-door solicitation rules protect people from scams, “distraction robberies,” and the like. But if that were true, then why not prohibit all door-to-door distribution of flyers (not just charge a permit fee) in order to protect people from dishonest roofers, driveway sealers, lawn aerators, assorted handymen, and fraudulent charities? I’m pretty sure a $450 fee won’t prevent roofing or home repair scams that bilk scores of people out of thousands of dollars each, but it sure puts the kibbosh on teens offering to shovel snow, rake leaves, or mow lawns.

For that matter, why don’t we just prohibit people from walking through their own neighborhoods between 9 AM and 3 PM, when most home burglaries occur? Think of how much safer we’d all be!

SMDH (shaking my damn head).

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Rand Paul at CPAC

Posted by Richard on March 9, 2014

On Friday, Sen. Rand Paul reminded the Conservative Political Action Congress that the 4th Amendment is just as important as the 2nd Amendment. And he took on the GOP establishment as well as the Dems. Well worth 19 minutes of your time.

[YouTube link]


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First 5,000 concealed carry permits issued in Illinois

Posted by Richard on March 1, 2014

Illinois has issued the first 5,000 concealed carry permits under its new “shall issue” law. Another 45,000+ applications are in the pipeline. The Second Amendment Foundation celebrated the occasion yesterday (emphasis added):

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today offered congratulations to the first 5,000 recipients of Illinois concealed carry licenses, which were mailed out by the State Police.

It was a SAF case – Moore v. Madigan – that forced the Illinois Legislature to adopt a concealed carry law last year over the objections of anti-gun Gov. Pat Quinn and others including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“While politicians had to be dragged kicking and screaming into compliance with the Second Amendment,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “the good citizens are rushing to enjoy their newly-restored firearms freedom. State officials said today they have received more than 50,000 permit applications. Last month, Fox News reported that concealed carry applications had outpaced the number of  applications for Obamacare.

“We’re proud that our case brought about this opportunity for Illinois citizens to join millions of other Americans in the exercise of their fundamental right to keep and especially bear arms,” he continued. “If the Illinois experience has taught us anything, it is that the die-hard anti-gun politicians who opposed this new law are horribly out of touch with their constituents.”

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If Sen. Graham has nothing to hide…

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2013

Blowing off the 4th Amendment, Senator Lindsey Graham (OR-SC) has defended the Obama administration’s increasingly powerful surveillance state and specifically NSA’s Prism program, arguing that if we have nothing to hide, it shouldn’t bother us that our email is being monitored. FreedomWorks is challenging Sen. Graham to “lead by example.” They’re collecting signatures on a petition requesting that the Senator release his email password. Go to right now and sign. It only takes a few seconds. It costs nothing. And haven’t you always wanted to read Lindsey Graham’s email?

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Independence Institute will fight Colorado gun control bills in court

Posted by Richard on March 20, 2013

Today, Gov. Hickenlooper signed three gun control bills into law:

HB1224 – Bans magazines with a capacity greater than fifteen rounds and makes magazines below that limit that have a removable floor plate illegal because you can install a magazine extender to increase their capacity (that means virtually all existing magazines since floor plates are generally removable to facilitate cleaning or spring replacement).
HB1228 – Imposes a “gun tax” for a Colorado Bureau of Investigation background check when purchasing a firearm, even though the FBI will do the background checks for free.
HB1229 – Criminalizes the private transfer of a firearm, so you can’t give a gun to your son or daughter, or loan a gun to your friend or to a neighbor who’s afraid that a former husband or boyfriend might come after her.

Jon Caldara, President of the Independence Institute, wasted no time making it clear that these bills will be challenged in court. Here is the complete text of his email update:

“Over? Did you say it’s ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is. Was it over when the Germans bomber Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain’t over now!” – John Blutarsky

Today Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper confirmed Colorado as a pawn in a national game of gun control. He signed three anti-Second Amendment bills into law, making our previously liberty-loving state into the nation’s Hate State against gun owners.

Independence Institute was the lead voice educating policy makers and the Governor himself of the dangers and sloppiness of these bills. They wouldn’t listen to us. They wouldn’t listen to Coloradans. They instead listened to Mayor Bloomberg and Joe Biden, who called legislators and Hickenlooper personally.

We urged the Governor to veto the bills and send them back to the legislature for re-drafting. Our Second Amendment expert, Dave Kopel, told him that the magazine ban is horribly miswritten, with numerous constitutional problems, even beyond the core Second Amendment issue.

But the national anti-gun interests have more influence in Colorado than we citizens. Now the sale or transfer of nearly every gun magazine in Colorado will be crime, because almost every single magazine is “readily convertible” to hold more than 15 rounds. Watch our video on this here.

And due to the must “maintain continuous possession” clause to grandfather in previously owned mags, I won’t be able to teach my daughter how to shoot my gun – she cannot hold the gun that uses the original magazine. My brother, a volunteer gun range officer will not be able to assist a gun student with a malfunctioning gun. As he says in this op-ed, he will have to choose between keeping the gun range safe or becoming a criminal. A husband cannot lend his gun with an original magazine to his wife. Watch our video on this here.

All 62 County Sheriffs vigorously opposed these bills. Many say that won’t enforce them when they become law because they cannot be enforced.

We have said for years that Colorado is the national test case to turn a freedom-loving western state into a progressive strong hold. Today Colorado citizens learned the hard way that elections have consequences. Today our Governor cemented our path to become California.

But I guarantee you, this fight has just begun. We at Independence love Colorado and love liberty too much to just sit back and watch in dismay.

Today I am proud to announce that the Independence Institute will lead the civil rights lawsuit against the State of Colorado to free us from these unconstitutional laws.

Our lawsuit will be based on the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, among other grounds. The lawsuit will be brought on behalf of a large coalition of local and national law enforcement, including many of the Sheriffs who opposed the bills, disability rights organizations, gun safety organizations, civil rights organizations, and others.

Lead attorney in the lawsuit will be Dave Kopel, who is also a Denver University Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law. Kopel served on the U.S. Supreme Court oral argument team which won the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller. His briefs and scholarship have been cited by Justices Alito, Breyer, and Stevens, and by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, among others.

This will be a long and expensive legal battle. But that is nothing new to us. We are honored to fight for Freedom, to fight for Colorado. We are honored to fight for you.

I’ve just donated $100 on top of my usual annual contributions. If you’re a Colorado resident and either a gun owner or just concerned about our rights and freedoms, please join me in supporting this legal battle. Go to and click the “Click Here to Donate” button.

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A boundless imperial presidency

Posted by Richard on March 6, 2013

I feel like I’ve been transported to an alternate universe. Sen. Rand Paul asked Obama administration officials repeatedly over a period of weeks whether “the President has the power to authorize the use of lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial.” After stonewalling for weeks, they finally responded by saying essentially that they haven’t assassinated anyone yet, they currently have no plans to do so, but they might in the future if an American posed, in the President’s judgment, an “imminent threat.”

AG Eric Holder maintained that “[a]s a policy matter” the administration rejects the use of military force against Americans on US soil when it isn’t necessary, and rejected Sen. Paul’s question as “entirely hypothetical.” In other words, they think the President has the authority to order Hellfire missile strikes on Americans in the United States if he decides it’s necessary.

Sen. Paul is filibustering the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director. He offered to end his filibuster if the Obama administration submitted a clear, concise statement outlining its position regarding the President’s authority and the legal basis for its position. No response. Earlier this evening, he offered to end his filibuster if the Senate by unanimous consent suspended the rules and voted on a “sense of the Senate” resolution declaring that the President may not use drones to assassinate  Americans on US soil who don’t pose an imminent threat. Sen. Dick Durbin (who during a previous administration compared the guards at Gitmo to Nazis, Stalinists, and the Khmer Rouge) objected. Senate Democrats refuse to say that killing Americans on US soil who pose no threat is wrong; in fact, they refuse to go on record one way or the other on the question.

Does that sound like we’re still a free people? Does that sound like we still have the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Does that sound like we’re still a government of laws and not of men?

I fear for my country. The spirit of Hugo Chavez is alive and well in Washington, D.C.

I can only hope that the outrage over this assertion of unlimited Presidential power and the support for Sen. Paul continue to grow and have significant and lasting effects. I #StandWithRand.

And I may have to go ahead and buy an AR-15 now, regardless of price.

UPDATE: As of 11:20 PM (MT), the top trend on Twitter is no longer #StandWithRand (it had been for much of the day). It’s dropped to second — behind Sen. Rand Paul and just ahead of #filibuster.

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A Rubicon moment?

Posted by Richard on February 22, 2013

Eric Peters believes the left’s overreach on gun control (“Instead of gradually increasing the temperature so that the frog doesn’t notice he’s being boiled alive …, they’ve cranked up the heat suddenly …”) is causing something very good to happen (emphasis in original):

…  Millions of Americans have decided they will not abide by any demand they register their firearms – much less surrender them. And are saying so – openly. More than a few local sheriffs have also publicly stated they will not enforce any such demands. For the first time in living memory, the debate is not fundamentally about which guns – or how many guns. It is about whether the government has any business even knowing whether you’ve got guns at all – much less dictating the type you’re allowed to have.

It’s a Rubicon moment – because this idea involves a great deal more than merely firearms. It is an assertion – though not fully conscious, yet – that trampling the rights of any individual because of the actions of another individual is an ethical outrage. Not just the right to keep a gun.

All rights.

The Beat-era author/philosopher William S. Burroughs once quipped: “After a shooting, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.” He said that decades ago and at long last, people are coming to resent being vilified – and punished – not for anything they did. But because some other person did something.

I hope he’s right. There are increasing signs of pushback. As of Feb. 1, more than 225 county sheriffs (including 28 of Utah’s 29) have pledged not to enforce new federal firearms restrictions and in some cases to protect the citizens they represent from those restrictions. The Tenth Amendment Center’s model legislation, the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act, or some variation thereof is being considered by a growing number of state and local governments. At least 18 62 (see comments) firearms companies are refusing to sell to government agencies what they cannot sell to civilians. Resistance, as Christopher Cook noted, is spreading.

I’ll be at the Day of Resistance rally on Saturday helping to contribute to the pushback. I hope you will, too.

UPDATE: The crowd was much smaller than the one at the January 19 rally — I’d guess about 250-300 — but determined, resolute, and energetic.  Robert Wareham, the highlight of that earlier rally, wasn’t there this time, and none of the speakers approached him in quality. But they said the right things and the crowd cheered. The most notable was probably Columbine shooting survivor Evan Todd, who recently addressed an open letter to the President in opposition to gun control.

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Day of Resistance Rally Saturday

Posted by Richard on February 21, 2013

Saturday, 2/23 (.223 – get it?) is the Day of Resistance. Rallies in support of our Second Amendment rights will be taking place all across the country.

I’ll be at the Denver rally, which is at the State Capitol from 11AM to 1PM. Here are the details from the rally list:

Denver, CO Day of Resistance: Full Rally
Location: Colorado State Capitol
200 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80203
Time: 11am-1pm
Sponsor: America
Contact Information: Rainer Steinbauer –
Dave Green
Facebook Page:

Show your support for the right to self-defense and your opposition to the disarming of honest, peaceful people. If there’s a rally anywhere near you, please attend.

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Are Democrats really concerned with saving lives?

Posted by Richard on February 17, 2013

Friday night, Dem0crats rammed their gun control package through the Colorado House (preliminary approval; another vote is coming next week). They were aided by calls from V.P. Joe Biden to wavering freshman Democrats. The package includes HB13-1224, sponsored by Rep. Rhonda Fields, which bans high-capacity magazines. Fields argued that the only purpose of such magazines is “to kill people as fast as possible” and that they “have no place in our community.”

That bit of nonsense was easily topped by Arapahoe County Coroner Michael Dobersen, who said that “Even one bullet wound is devastating, but those from high-capacity magazines are especially bad.” Who knew that the wound channel created by a bullet varied based on what kind of magazine it was fired from? But hey, he’s the coroner so he must know what he’s talking about, right?

Before H.B. 1224 passed, however, Democrats learned that Magpul, the premier manufacturer of high-capacity magazines for AR-15s and other weapons (as well as many other parts and accessories), is a Colorado company and that it said it would leave the state if the bill passed, taking 600 jobs with it (some other Colorado manufacturers said they’d do likewise).

So House Democrats hurriedly cobbled together and passed an amendment exempting manufacturers from the high-capacity magazine ban as long as they sold those magazines for killing people as fast as possible in other states. Thus saving all those jobs while still affirming that those magazines “have no place in our community.”

I can only think of two possible explanations for this cynical move. Either (a) the Democrats know that banning high-capacity magazines won’t save any lives and have some other motive, or (b) they don’t care if people in other states die because of magazines manufactured in Colorado.

A free press worthy of the name would be asking each and every legislator who voted for that amendment which explanation justified their vote.

Magpul, meanwhile, is not assuaged by the amendment:

Richard Fitzpatrick, Founder, President, and CEO of Magpul Industries, said that regardless of any amendments that may be worked into the bill, he will no longer be able to continue to do business in Colorado if his core product is made illegal.

“Our company could not, in good conscience, continue to manufacture our products in a state where law-abiding citizens are prohibited from purchasing and owning them. ” Fitzpatrick said. “The passage of this bill will do nothing to enhance public safety, but will force us to immediately begin taking our business to another state.”

Magpul was started over a decade ago by Fitzpatrick, a former U.S. Marine. It has become one of Colorado’s fastest growing businesses, successfully marketing its products to American and allied military forces, police departments, sporting goods stores, and thousands of responsible private citizens. Fitzpatrick says that the rich western culture and strong values of individual freedom and responsibility, traditionally found in Colorado, were one of the reasons the company chose to remain in the state.

“It is heartbreaking to me, my employees, and their families, to think that we will be forced to leave,” Fitzpatrick said. “But if HB13-1224 passes, we will simply have no choice.”

Good for him. If you’re an AR owner, buy something from  Magpul.

If you’re an AK fan instead, Guns For Everyone is responding to this bill by giving away seven 30-round magazines.

I don’t own either an AR or an AK, but I’m thinking of buying one of each. And a bunch of magazines.

UPDATE: By the way, if you’re not knowledgeable about firearms and wondering about how much difference a large-capacity magazine ban might make (for those who would actually adhere to such a limit), check out this video (embed disabled, darn it) comparing how long it takes to hit 14 targets with and without a magazine change.

IMHO, that test actually overstates the difference (1.75 seconds). The gentleman who had to reload was shooting a .45 instead of a 9mm like the guy with the “high-capacity” magazine. The .45 has much more recoil and, all other things being equal, more muzzle-flip and a slower time to reacquire the sights. A fairer comparison would have had the same shooter with the same 9mm gun run the same course with a full magazine and with one containing only 10 rounds. I’m guessing the difference would be even less than 1.75 seconds, probably under a second.

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Denver gun rights rally Saturday, 1/19

Posted by Richard on January 18, 2013

UPDATE (1/19): It was a great rally! I got there a little after 12 and estimate there were about 1500 people in attendance. Many were families with children. The highlight was definitely Robert Wareham, the attorney for James Mapes, the man whom Thornton police falsely arrested and imprisoned for carrying a pistol into a Thornton theater (entirely legally) a week after the Aurora theater shooting. He’s a terrific speaker — engaging, forceful, articulate, and persuasive (not that his audience needed persuading regarding his powerful defense of the Second Amendment and our right of self-defense).

Other fine speakers included: James Mapes himself; a woman whose name I don’t recall (sorry, I didn’t take notes) who provided an at times funny and at times moving account of how she transitioned from hard-core liberal to gun newbie to nationally competitive shooter to staunch defender of the Second Amendment and self-described “Constitutional conservative”; and state Representative Chris Holbert (R-44) from Douglas County, who last year sponsored the “Constitutional Carry” bill (HB1205 making a concealed carry permit optional), which passed the Colorado House with a bipartisan majority, but was killed in a senate committee.

UPDATE 2: Reuters claims “about 500” attended the Denver rally, which is total BS. Even the Denver Post described it as “Almost 1,000,” and they have a long history of low-balling the attendance at tea party and gun rights events. About 1:45, a few minutes after the rally ended with someone singing the 3rd and 4th verses of the national anthem, I was policing the area, picking up what little litter there was. There were at least two people (one with a video cameraman) interviewing attendees — clearly the media. A couple of state troopers on bikes were near me, and one of them pointed to one of the media people and chuckled, “They got here just about the time it was all over.” A civilian standing with them replied, “That way they can downplay how big it was.” The two troopers smiled and nodded.

UPDATE 3 (1/20): Last night’s 9News report on the rally agreed with the Denver Post — 1000 at the rally. Billll agreed with Reuters (when’s the last time that happened?), and has a picture to back him up. But the picture was taken about 1 PM. When I approached the capitol at noon, the crowd came about half-way down the hill toward Lincoln St., and there were many more people on the sidewalk with signs. I suspect a lot of people left shortly after Robert Wareham’s speech, which had already started when I got there (I’m guessing, because I stayed near the capitol steps listening to the speakers). He was certainly the highlight of the rally, and while I enjoyed several of the subsequent speakers, they certainly weren’t as captivating. I suspect even more left when Rep. Holbert was introduced. I’ve noticed this phenomenon at past tea party and gun rights rallies: when they start bringing politicians to the microphone, no matter who they are, a bunch of people walk away. Based on his CUT rating and affiliation with RMGO, Holbert is one of the good guys. But he’s still a politician, and a significant segment of the pro-freedom movement just doesn’t want to listen to politicians. I suppose that’s a good thing. 🙂


Sorry for the short notice. January 19th has been designated Gun Appreciation Day, so there’s a rally at the State Capitol in Denver (and at other state capitol buildings across the country).

If you can’t make it to a rally near you, visit a shooting range or gun store, buy some ammo or that Springfield XD you’ve had your eye on, …

1/19 Denver gun rights rally poster


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“Shall issue” concealed carry coming to Maryland

Posted by Richard on July 25, 2012

In clear violation of the Constitution and fundamental human rights, the state of Maryland requires a “good and substantial reason” for the issuance of a concealed carry permit. In a case challenging the constitutionality of that restriction, U.S District Judge Benson Everett Legg ordered the state to process permit applications without requiring a reason, but originally issued a stay of his ruling. Now, he’s going to lift the stay in two weeks because it’s “not warranted.” The Second Amendment Foundation, which together with a Baltimore resident filed the suit in 2010, is delighted:

“There is no good reason for the state to continue violating the constitutional rights of its citizens just to maintain this burdensome and arbitrary system,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “As Judge Legg originally observed, the Second Amendment’s protections extend beyond the home.”

While it is possible that the state may file a motion with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to impose a stay of Judge Legg’s order, the trial court precedent is an important one. It established that the Second Amendment right to bear arms does not stop at the door of one’s home.

“No citizen should be required to give a ‘good and substantial’ reason in order to exercise a constitutionally-protected civil right,” Gottlieb observed. “In his order today, Judge Legg noted that the state has pointed to ‘little in the way of truly irreparable injury that is likely to result should their request for a stay be denied’.”

The judge also noted, “If a stay is granted, a sizeable number of people will be precluded from exercising, while the case is argued on appeal, what this Court has recognized as a valid aspect of their Second Amendment right. In the First Amendment context, the Supreme Court has stated that ‘loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury’.”

I’m delighted, too.

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March gladness for SAF

Posted by Richard on March 30, 2012

The Second Amendment Foundation had a great month in March, winning four gun rights victories in court. The latest was in Massachusetts, of all places. The Federal District Court struck down a law barring permanent resident aliens from owning a handgun:

BELLEVUE, WA – A Federal District Court Judge in Massachusetts today granted summary judgment in a Second Amendment Foundation case challenging that state’s denial of firearms licenses to permanent resident aliens.

U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodcock concluded that “…the Massachusetts firearms regulatory regime as applied to the individual plaintiffs, contravenes the Second Amendment.”

The case involves two Massachusetts residents, Christopher Fletcher and Eoin Pryal, whose applications for licenses to possess firearms in their homes for immediate self-defense purposes were denied under a state law that does not allow non-citizens to own handguns. SAF was joined in the case by Commonwealth Second Amendment, Inc. and the two individual plaintiffs. The case is Fletcher v. Haas.

The previous three victories came in North Carolina, Washington state, and Maryland. Read about them here.

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Gun rights wins in Colorado and Maryland

Posted by Richard on March 5, 2012

The Colorado Supreme Court killed the University of Colorado’s ban on campus concealed carry today. From Rocky Mountain Gun Owners:

This ruling supported the decision of a court of appeals from April 2010, and reversed a position paper by then-Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar (an opinion which the current Attorney General, John Suthers, refused to change).

The crux of today’s ruling states that the Colorado General Assembly did, in fact, intend on concealed carry permit holders to be able to carry on all campuses, statewide.

“First CSU and the Community Colleges, and now all the CU Campuses; finally, the administrators for Colorado’s public colleges have been told they don’t have dictatorial powers,” said Dudley Brown, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), and a lobbyist for the entire 9-year battle for Colorado’s Concealed Carry Act.

“The creation of this criminal safezone, where only criminals are armed, was ill-advised and dangerous to anyone who finds themselves on a college campus,” Brown said.

“Now, RMGO will move on to force more publicly owned facilities to live by the law.”

Meanwhile in Maryland, a federal court has ruled that the right to bear arms doesn’t end at your front door. The Second Amendment Foundation called it a “huge victory”:

Ruling in the case of Woollard v. Sheridan – a case brought by SAF in July 2010 on behalf of Maryland resident Raymond Woollard, who was denied his carry permit renewal – the U.S. District Court for Maryland ruled that “The Court finds that the right to bear arms is not limited to the home.”

U.S. District Court Judge Benson Everett Legg noted, “In addition to self-defense, the (Second Amendment) right was also understood to allow for militia membership and hunting. To secure these rights, the Second Amendment‘s protections must extend beyond the home: neither hunting nor militia training is a household activity, and ‘self-defense has to take place wherever [a] person happens to be’.”

“This is a monumentally important decision,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The federal district court has carefully spelled out the obvious, that the Second Amendment does not stop at one’s doorstep, but protects us wherever we have a right to be. Once again, SAF’s attorney in this case, Alan Gura, has won an important legal victory. He was the attorney who argued the landmark Heller case, and he represented SAF in our Supreme Court victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago.

“Equally important in Judge Legg’s ruling,” he added, “is that concealed carry statutes that are so discretionary in nature as to be arbitrary do not pass constitutional muster.”

“A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” Judge Legg wrote. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”

A very good day for self-defense rights.

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Concealed carry comes to Wisconsin

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2011

And then there was one:

Wisconsin stands on the verge of becoming the 49th state in the country to allow citizens to carry concealed guns, after the state Assembly made a bipartisan vote to legalize that practice Tuesday.

The measure passed 68-27, with 11 Democrats voting in favor of the bill along with the body's lone independent and all Republicans except Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Hartford), who had wanted stronger legislation. Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) said his vote was mistakenly not counted and he would seek to correct that.

The approval of the bill marks one more piece of long-blocked legislation that Republicans have been able to pass now that they control all of state government. The bill to allow the concealed carry of guns and other weapons such as Tasers passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote last week, so approval in the Assembly sends the bill to Gov. Scott Walker, who supports the measure.

Once the measure is signed by Gov. Walker, Illinois will be the only remaining state in the nation that completely bans concealed carry. Nine states issue concealed carry permits, but give the issuing law enforcement agent (usually sheriff or police chief) some discretion on who to approve. The other 40 are "shall issue" states — anyone who meets the statutory requirements (generally some training and no felony conviction or adjudicated mental health problem) must be issued a permit — or "no stinkin' permit required" states (Vermont and Alaska). 

And as a result, our streets are running red with blood as crazed gun nuts shoot it out over parking spaces, cutting in line at the express lane, etc. Oh, wait … they're not. Violent crime continues to decrease as gun sales and carry permits increase.

In fact, it seems almost like violent crime rates are inversely related to rates of gun ownership and carry. Just what you'd expect if (1) the vast majority of people are peaceful and non-violent; (2) violent crimes are almost exclusively committed by a very small percentage of the population who have no moral compass or impulse control and aren't deterred by laws alone; and (3) that small violent minority can be deterred to some extent (and if necessary, stopped) by members of the peaceful majority who are prepared to defend themselves and others.

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