Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment’

ConcealedCarry9_5_Galco_IWB_Holster

Should Employers Require Employees to Get a Carry Permit?

For years, the anti gunners have railed against concealed weapon permits putting law-abiding self-defenders on the defensive (no pun intended). Many businesses and business owners have followed suit by posting the places of employment or placing a negative stigma on anyone who carries. This has forced most concealed carriers to hide more than their handgun. But why?

Constitution of the United States

NRA: No Second-Guessing the Second Amendment

In 1776, America’s Founders came together in Philadelphia to draw up a “Declaration of Independence,” ending political ties to Great Britain. Written by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration explains people’s rights and how people create governments:

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.

By Robert Pew

In modern English: We don’t get our rights from the government; we’re born with those rights, and the government should protect them.

Eleven years later, after independence had been won, our Founders assembled once again to draw up a plan for governing the new nation. That plan became the Constitution of the United States of America.

Constitution of the United States

During the debate over the Constitution, many Americans were worried that a strong federal government would trample on the individual rights of citizens, as the British had done. To protect the basic rights of Americans, the Founders added the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. Those amendments are known as the Bill of Rights. They represent the fundamental freedoms that are at the heart of our society, including the First Amendment freedoms of speech and religion, and the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms.

The meaning of the Second Amendment has been debated for decades. Does the Second Amendment protect an individual right for all Americans? Or does it only protect the right to keep and bear arms while participating in an organized force, such as the National Guard? Or does it only protect the “right” of the states to have a National Guard in the first place?

Some people have claimed there was no individual right to keep and bear arms. However, anyone who understands the Declaration of Independence knows that rights-by definition-belong to individuals. And in the Bill of Rights, the freedoms of religion, freedom of speech and the rest all refer to individual liberties.

The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is no different. The first Congress had no doubt about its meaning. Most of the Founders were gun owners and hunters. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson exchanged letters about their gun collections. The Founders had just finished winning their freedoms with guns in their hands, and soon passed a law requiring most male citizens to own at least one gun and 30 rounds of ammunition. They believed citizens should be able to protect themselves and their country against attacks on life and liberty.

So, where did anyone get the idea that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect an individual right? That theory was invented in the 20th century, by people who rejected what seemed like common sense to our Founding Fathers. Instead, they claimed that the Second Amendment only protects the government.

Now, the Supreme Court has thrown out that idea.

In 1975, Washington, D.C. passed some of the most extreme gun laws in the nation. Handguns were banned. All guns had to be stored disassembled and locked, making them useless for self-defense. City leaders claimed it would make the city safer. But Washington’s murder rate soared, and our nation’s capital soon became known as America’s murder capital.

In 2003, a group of Washington residents filed a lawsuit challenging these harsh gun laws. They said that Washington’s gun laws violated the Second Amendment because the laws took away the right to use firearms for self-defense, even in their own homes.

The first court that heard the case said that D.C.’s laws were constitutional. The residents appealed, and the appeals court agreed that the laws violated the right to keep and bear arms, after all.

Now, the city appealed. By 2008, the case, which by then was known as D.C. vs. Heller, had gone to the Supreme Court. To make their decision, the Supreme Court justices studied the words and history of the Second Amendment. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court agreed with the citizens: The Second Amendment protects an individual right, not a “state’s right.” The decision struck down the District’s laws that banned handguns and that kept people from using guns for self-defense in their homes.

No Supreme Court decision ever ends a political debate, though. Now, the NRA and citizens around the country are going to court to challenge states and cities with restrictive gun laws. But the landmark Heller decision provided a key answer to the most important part of the debate: The Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Bob Campbell holding an AR-15

The Truth About a Court Decision ‘Banning’ AR-15s

You might have read some articles or seen headlines about a court upholding a ban on “assault rifles,” including the AR-15. Independent Program Attorneys at the law firm of Walker & Byington, PLLC have received many questions from members concerned that this ruling has made the AR-15 (and similar semi-automatic firearms) illegal “assault weapons” everywhere in the country. Is this the truth of the matter, or a case of media misinformation?

President Donald J. Trump standing at a podium in front of the American flag

NRA: Trump Signs Repeal of Obama-Era SSA Gun Prohibition Rule

Far from the conception of some, the gun control fight is not over. While certain threats have been diminished with the defeat of Hillary Clinton, others are just as real. Fights are taking place within local and state legislatures. Other efforts are not against new threats, but against actions taken by previous administrations. The Shooter’s Log reported on the threat to the Second Amendment rights of individuals applying for, or receiving, Social Security benefits.

President Donald J. Trump standing at a podium in front of the American flag

While we were unsuccessful in blocking the initial implementation at the end of President Obama’s term, President Trump is doing the right thing. Read the full release from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump signed the repeal of an Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) rule that would have resulted in some 75,000 law-abiding beneficiaries losing their Second Amendment rights each year.

The SSA rulemaking was issued in the waning weeks of Obama’s presidency and targeted those receiving disability insurance or Supplementary Security Income based on SSA’s listed mental disorders and who were appointed a “representative payee” to help them manage their benefits. The agency –for the first time in its history– sought to portray these individuals as “mental defectives” who were prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms under federal law. It had planned to notify them of their prohibited status and to report them to NICS.

Making matters worse, the beneficiaries would have had no ability to argue about their suitability to possess firearms before their rights were lost. Instead, they would have been reduced to filing a petition for “restoration” of their rights—an expensive and bureaucratic process that would have required them to pay for a mental health evaluation and to prove they were not dangerous. A premise the government never established in the first place.

The plan drew fire not just from the NRA, but also from the ACLU and a wide range of mental health advocacy and treatment groups from across the political spectrum. Also opposing the plan was the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. The NCD issued a statement explaining:

Since the action was first proposed in 2013, NCD has consistently taken the position that equating the need for assistance in managing one’s finances with a false presumption of incapacity in other areas of life, including possession of a firearm, unnecessarily and unreasonably deprives individuals with disabilities of a constitutional right and increases the stigma that [affects] those who may need a representative payee. The overly broad classification of “mental disorder,” includes a wide range of limitations and a shifting set of criteria relevant to whether or not one can engage in substantial gainful activity. NCD remains steadfast in our position that this classification remains irrelevant to the question of whether one can be a responsible gun owner.

The SSA received tens of thousands of comments in opposition to the rule. The NRA-ILA’s submission explained in detail how the rule was contrary to the underlying statute, to the U.S. Constitution and would function mainly to stigmatize the SSA beneficiaries and discourage others from seeking treatment and benefits to which they were entitled. It also argued that there was no empirical support for the notion that the rule would promote public safety.

Upper left corner of a social security card

The SSA, however, ignored the comments and issued the rule essentially as proposed.

It also brazenly brushed aside proffered evidence that the targeted beneficiaries were not at any increased risk for committing violence with firearms. “We are not attempting to imply a connection between mental illness and a propensity for violence, particularly gun violence,” the SSA wrote. “Rather, we are complying with our obligations under the NIAA, which require us to provide information from our records when an individual falls within one of the categories identified in 18 U.S.C. 922(g).”

Fortunately, pro-gun majorities in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate acted quickly to disapprove the rule under the Congressional Review Act, a federal statute that allows Congress to use an expedited legislative process to overrule administrative actions passed in the waning days of an outgoing administration.

The efforts to roll back this unjustified and legally unauthorized rule were predictably met with a withering barrage of negative and fake reporting from the anti-gun media, with supposed “news” outlets issuing such ludicrous headlines as “Senate, House hand guns to seriously mentally ill.” All these reports completely ignored the fact that existing restrictions on persons who had been involuntarily committed or adjudicated mentally incompetent remained fully intact. By acting to block the rule, Congress simply disapproved the Obama administration’s attempt to create a new class of prohibited persons by “reinterpreting” a federal gun control statute passed in 1968.

President Trump’s signing of the measure not only served to help repair the damage to the Second Amendment wrought by the Obama administration, it ushered in what many hope will be a new era of respect for the right to keep and bear arms. Just over a month into his presidency, Trump signed a freestanding pro-gun bill into law.

The NRA, of course, was among the earliest and staunchest supporters of Trump’s presidential bid. We thank him for his quick action on this measure and look forward to working with him and the pro-gun majorities in Congress to protect Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

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What issue should the NRA-ILA focus on next? Which law would you most like to see President Trump repeal next? Share your answers in the comment section.

Calguns Foundation

CGF Seeks Review by Full 9th Circuit Court in Waiting Period Case

It sounds like the punchline to bad joke, “So, a guy is concealed carrying a handgun while filling out paperwork to buy another handgun, but he is in California, so he has to wait 10 days to pick it up—to give him time to “cool off” (guard against impulsive acts of violence). Unfortunately, that is not a joke. It is the logic of the gun control crowd… and a recent court ruling.
Senior BATFE Offers Gun-Deregulation Ideas video cover

U.S. Law Shield Update: Senior BATFE Offers Gun-Deregulation Ideas

In an 11-page white paper labeled “not for public distribution,” but which has been obtained by The Shooter’s Log and Texas & U.S. Law Shield, Ronald B. Turk associate deputy director and chief operating officer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, outlines several steps the agency could take to remove many restrictions on gun regulations in the United States.

Texas Law Shield mascot of a bear showing its arm

Video: U.S. Law Shield News Update — Judge Gorsuch Nomination

Texas Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Michele Byington talks about the pros and cons of Judge Neal Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Will he likely be a friend of the Second Amendment, or not? Click to watch the more-in-depth interview to find out.

If a one is a Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a 10 would be Scalia, where would you rate Neil Gorsuch? Give us your answer in the comment section.

What Should We do About Guns video cover

Video: Academia Asks, “What Should We do About Guns?”

Many have challenged (rightly or wrongly) that academia, professors and teachers from kindergarten through doctoral programs at Ivy League schools, are overrun with liberal thought. That is an argument for another day and in another place. However, when academia takes on gun ownership or the Second Amendment, that is something worthy of discussion on The Shooter’s Log.

Gavel in front of a blurred out American flag

NRA: Federal Appeals Court’s Shocking Pronouncement on Your Rights

Lawful Gun Carriers Must Forfeit Other Rights

If you thought your Second Amendment rights were safe with the election of a new President, you may have to rethink your position. Rulings such as this, especially given the first decision and the Justice Department’s sending the case back to be reconsidered which resulted in the weapon being blamed in the second decision… should give each of us pause to ask ourselves, “How safe is the Second Amendment in the eyes of the courts and how important will the fight be for the next Supreme Court Justice?