The District of Columbia v. Heller, was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held in a 5-4 decision that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution applies to federal enclaves and protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment’
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?
It has been seven long years since the Supreme Court last heard a case dealing with the Second Amendment. However, with confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, there’s renewed hope that the nation’s high court will once again weigh in on one or more of the many cases having to do with our right to keep and bear arms.
The political party at the top may have changed, but the anti-gun faction is anything but silent. By rehashing old arguments—long since proven to be false—new attacks aimed at the Second Amendment, are still viable threats.
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.
- Obama Seeks to Link Gun Control to Government Benefits
- Congress Weighs in on Linking Benefits to Gun Control—Act Now!
- Social Security Administration Strikes at Second Amendment
- Senate Vote to Repeal Obama’s Social Security Administration Gun Grab!
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.
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.
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.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has introduced the NSSF-supported Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (S.446), a companion to the House of Representatives bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.).
President Trump’s ascension to the White House has sent shock waves rippling through anti-gun groups. The activists that seek to undermine the Second Amendment rights of Americans and put the firearms and ammunition industry out of business, see the new administration as a threat to their goals.
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.
The Shooter’s Log has covered (NRA: Social Security Administration Strikes at Second Amendment; Obama Seeks to Link Gun Control to Government Benefits) the recent actions of the Social Security Administration (SSA) that many believe would threaten, if not completely strip, recipients of their Second Amendment Rights in exchange for benefits.
Reports have shown that the second-highest-ranking official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives recently wrote a proposal to reduce gun regulations—including examining a possible end to the ban on importing assault weapons into the United States.
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.
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.
Will the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court be good for gun owners? The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and National Rifle Association certainly seem to think so.
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?”
Pew Research has released a poll taken in the middle of 2016. Note that the Orlando night club massacre and the massive media hype calling for a ban on “assault weapons” occurred one-third of the way through the survey period for police. The shooting of five police officers in Dallas, with a rifle, occurred half-way through the survey period.
When U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, recently introduced a measure in the U.S. Senate to make it easier for hunters and shooters to purchase suppressors to protect their hearing—and a similar measure was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives—those who understand the topic were appreciative of the effort.
Representative Thomas Massie, (R) KY, has re-introduced a bill to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) of 1990 and its amendments. It was found unconstitutional in 1995 in U.S. v. Lopez. Then it was passed again,