California lawmaker, gun control groups seek to reject concealed carry reciprocity

California lawmaker, gun control groups seek to reject concealed carry reciprocity

Assembly Majority Whip Miguel Santiago argues pending legislation in Washington skirt common-sense gun control measures California has already established. (Photo: Asm. Santiago)

Assembly Majority Whip Miguel Santiago argues pending legislation in Washington would skirt gun control measures California has already established. (Photo: Asm. Santiago)

A Los Angeles area Democrat wants to limit what he sees as a federal overreach of California’s strong gun control laws.

In a measure introduced last week by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, the California Legislature would call on Congress to reject federal laws seeking expanded recognition of concealed carry permits and licenses nationwide.

“I’m not willing to throw away the progress we have made on gun-safety or put our communities at risk because some backward politician in D.C. thinks they know what’s better for California than we do,” said Santiago, who serves as majority whip in the Assembly. “Our state has a right to create our own laws, within the confines of the U.S. Constitution, and Californians expect that the gun control laws that they have supported and instituted in the name of public health and safety will hold – regardless of who is carrying that gun or where he or she is from.”

The resolution, AJR-24, is supported by Everytown for Gun Safety and seeks to repudiate S. 446 and H.R. 38, a pair of Republican-heavy bills on Capitol Hill that would largely extend mandatory recognition of gun permits across state lines. Of the more than 200 lawmakers supporting the reciprocity bills, 12 are from California.

Wendy Wheatcroft, with Everytown-allied Moms Demand Action, pointed to the fact that 19 states do not require gun safety classes as part of recognizing the right to carry a concealed handgun, while California does.

“Rather than create a national standard for who can carry guns in public across our country, the NRA’s longtime top policy priority would override each state’s standards, and force states like California to accept the concealed carry permitting standards of every other state, no matter how weak, or even nonexistent, another state’s standards may be,” Wheatcroft said. “Put another way, it would make the weakest link the law of the land.”

Gun rights advocates in the state look to national reciprocity as a way to restore equality to the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, with Santiago’s resolution an effort to suppress civil rights.

“This is not the first time the California Legislature has expressed their complete and utter disregard civil rights,” said Craig DeLuz, spokesman for the Firearms Policy Coalition in a statement. “California has a long and tortured history with using gun laws to pick winners and losers instead of supporting equality and civil rights for all.”

AJR-24 has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.

Fact check: Did Kate Brown really sign a gun confiscation bill?

http://exoticclassifieds.com/political/15227/

Second graders went on a field trip — to a gun range, where they posed with firearms

Second graders went on a field trip — to a gun range, where they posed with firearms

A school in Woodstock, Georgia, is facing fierce criticism online after photos emerged of young students handling guns at a firing range during a school-sanctioned trip.

Gun Community Upset by Speaker Ryan’s Call for Gun Control Following Charlottesville Car Attack

NEWS | 

Gun Community Upset by Speaker Ryan’s Call for Gun Control Following Charlottesville Car Attack

During a Town Hall meeting, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) took several questions on Charlottesville, and the general state of our nation.

In the midst of answering those questions, Ryan – when asked about the 2012 Sikh temple shooting – made some comments on gun control that raised more than a few eyebrows on pro-gun activist’s foreheads.

Here’s video of the Town Hall meeting:

The pro-gun community was upset, and caught off-guard by Ryan’s comments, because in this instance, there was no crime committed with a gun. Heather Heyer’s death, while tragic in every sense, was caused by a crazed person with car, not a gun.

The audience member who brought up the Sikh temple attack was a familiar face to Ryan, because the questioner’s father had been killed in the shooting.

After acknowledging their unfortunate history together, Ryan explained:

“We’ve got to do a better job of making sure that criminals don’t get guns or that people who are suspected of terrorism – like domestic terrorism – don’t get guns. Just like we saw. . . Heather Heyer was killed by an act of domestic terrorism. This fits into that category so I think we have to do a better job of making sure that terrorists not get guns.”

You might be thinking to yourself, “well, duh!”

But you should also be wondering, “how can my Second Amendment rights be protected if they can also be stripped away just for being “suspected” of something?

The racist origin of gun control laws

The racist origin of gun control laws

The racist origin of gun control laws
© Getty Images

Guns have historically protected Americans from white supremacists, just as gun control has historically protected white supremacists from the Americans they terrorize.

One month after the Confederate surrender in 1865, Frederick Douglass urged federal action to stop state and local infringement of the right to arms. Until this was accomplished, Douglass argued, “the work of the abolitionists is not finished.”

Indeed, it was not. As the Special Report of the Paris Anti-Slavery Conference of 1867 found, freedmen in some southern states “were forbidden to own or bear firearms, and thus were rendered defenseless against assault.” Thus, white supremacists could continue to control freedmen through threat of violence.

Congress demolished these racist laws. The Freedmen’s Bureau Bill of 1865Civil Rights Act of 1866, and Civil Rights Act of 1870 each guaranteed all persons equal rights of self-defense. Most importantly, the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, made the Second Amendment applicable to the states

Kansas Senator Samuel Pomeroy extolled the three “indispensable” “safeguards of liberty under our form of government,” the sanctity of the home, the right to vote, and “the right to bear arms.” So “if the cabin door of the freedman is broken open and the intruder enter…then should a well-loaded musket be in the hand of the occupant to send the polluted wretch to another world.”

Because of the 14th Amendment, gun control laws now had to be racially neutral. But states quickly learned to draft neutrally-worded laws for discriminatory application. Tennessee and Arkansas prohibited handguns that freedmen could afford, while allowing expensive “Army & Navy” handguns, which ex-Confederate officers already owned.

The South Carolina law against concealed carry put blacks in chain gangs, but whites only paid a small fine, if anything. In the early 20th century, such laws began to spread beyond the ex-Confederacy. An Ohio Supreme Court Justice acknowledged that such statutes reflected “a decisive purpose to entirely disarm the Negro.”

When lynching increased in the 1880s, the vice-president of the National Colored Press Association, John R. Mitchell, Jr., encouraged blacks to buy Winchesters to protect their families from “the two-legged animals … growling around your home in the dead of night.”

Ida B. Wells, the leading journalist opposing lynching, agreed. In the nationally-circulated pamphlet Southern Horrors, Wells documented cases in Kentucky and Florida, “where the men armed themselves” and fended off lynch mobs. “The lesson this teaches,” Wells wrote, “is that a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.”

After the thwarted lynching in Florida, the state legislature enacted a law requiring a license to possess “a pistol, Winchester rifle or other repeating rifle.” A Florida Supreme Court Justice later explained: “the Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers” and “was never intended to apply to the white population and in practice has never been so applied.”

While lynching began to decline in the early twentieth century, race riots increased. According to historian John Dittmer, blacks fought “back successfully when the mobs invaded their neighborhoods” during the Atlanta riots in 1906. When police stood idle as 23 blacks were killed during riots resulting from a black man swimming into “white” water near Chicago, blacks used rifles to kill 15 attackers.

During the Tulsa Race Riot in 1921, whites (with government approval) burned down a square mile of the prosperous district nicknamed “Black Wall Street,” killing 200 blacks. There would have been more devastation had blacks not fought back, killing 50 of their attackers.

Firearms made possible the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Charles Cobb’s excellent book, “This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible” describes how pacifist community organizers from the North learned to accept the armed protection of their black, rural communities.

The Deacons for Defense and Justice was an armed community defense organization, founded in 1965. With .38 Special revolvers and M1 carbines, they deterred terrorism in the “Klan country” region of Louisiana and Mississippi. When Dr. King led the “Meredith March against Fear” for voter registration in Mississippi, the Deacons provided armed security.

Condoleezza Rice became a self-described “Second Amendment absolutist,” because of her experiences growing up in Birmingham. She recalled the bombings in the summer of 1963, when her father helped guard the streets at night. Had the civil rights workers’ guns been registered, she argued, they could have been confiscated, rendering the community defenseless.

Similarly, when the Klan targeted North Carolina’s Lumbee Indians in 1958 because of their “race mixing,” the Lumbee drove off the Klan in an armed confrontation, the Battle of Hayes Pond. Klan operations ceased in the region.

Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinion in the 2010 McDonald v. Chicagoexplicated the history of gun control as race control. Historically, people of color in the United States have often had to depend on themselves for protection. Sometimes the reason is not overt hostility by the government, but instead the incapability of government to secure public safety, as in Chicago today.

Self-defense is an inherent human right. The 14th Amendment is America’s promise that no law-abiding person will be deprived of that right, regardless of color.

Supreme Court’s next big gun control case? Post-Newtown laws face new scrutiny

Supreme Court’s next big gun control case? Post-Newtown laws face new scrutiny

The state’s 2013 Firearm Safety Act, however, bars the sale of semiautomatic rifles like the popular AR-15 and AK-47, and sets a 10-round limit on magazines. The law could be at the center of the next big precedent-setting gun case if the Supreme Court takes up a challenge from Turner and others.

“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will reverse this egregious decision,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.

The Maryland law is one of a host of gun control measures passed in the wake of the 2012 Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre – and, if taken up, the case could have sweeping implications for like-minded states in the gun control debate.

Jay Porter, an attorney for the plaintiffs, complained about a patchwork of rulings in the wake of the landmark 2008 Heller decision upholding the individual’s right to own a gun. He called on the Supreme Court to clear up the confusion.

CALIF. STRUGGLES TO IMPLEMENT NEW GUN CONTROL MEASURES

“We would like to see a reversal in the trend of the lower courts,” Porter said. “At best, there is a lot of confusion in the lower courts about the Second Amendment. At worst, lower courts are ignoring and resisting the Heller decision because they didn’t like the outcome. That resistance needs to be mediated.”

In response to Newtown, 21 states passed some type of new gun control laws in 2013, according to a joint report by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign. Most didn’t deal directly with buying or owning a firearm, but rather with background checks, record-keeping rules for gun dealers and other factors.

However, four states—California, Connecticut, Maryland and New York—passed or strengthened bans on semiautomatic weapons in 2013. Those same four states, as well as Colorado, passed or strengthened bans on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

They were able to do so, in spite of the Heller decision, because of an interpretation that the 2008 ruling dealt largely with handguns, giving them leeway to restrict what critics call “assault rifles.”

Until a court rules otherwise, this might be the last type of existing legal gun ban.

ETHICS PANEL CLEARS DEM IN GUN SIT-IN

But Turner, of Hyattsville, and lead plaintiff Stephen Kolbe of Towson, Md., along with gun stores and gun-rights groups, are suing to overturn the Maryland law. They are specifically disputing a lower court ruling that said the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to these guns.

“Maryland has banned the most popular semiautomatic rifles and magazines—arms that are indisputably in common use for self-defense—from the homes of its law-abiding citizens,” the plaintiffs’ petition said.

Maryland’s law was upheld in federal district court. Then a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled 2-1 the law wasn’t constitutional.

When Maryland appealed the decision to the full appeals court, a 10-4 majority determined, “[W]e have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage.”

The opinion went on to state, “At the same time, according to the state’s evidence, the FSA-banned assault weapons have been used disproportionately to their ownership in mass shootings and the murders of law enforcement officers.”

In July, the plaintiffs appealed their case to the Supreme Court.

Their petition noted that a 1989 report by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, described semiautomatic rifles as suitable for self-defense.

“Heller struck down a prohibition on the firearms most commonly chosen for self-defense—handguns—even though handguns are arguably more ‘dangerous’ than other firearms, and even though firearms other than handguns remained available for use in self-defense,” the petition continued. “This court recognized and protected the principle at the heart of the interests enshrined by the Second Amendment: The individual – and not the government – retains the right to choose from among common arms those that they believe will best protect their person, family, and home.”

For his part, Kolbe, a small business owner, first bought a semiautomatic handgun after an employee’s boyfriend threatened to kill her at work and police did not respond for 30 minutes, according to court documents.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s office declined to weigh in on whether the Supreme Court would accept the case. “The court has not even decided to take the case at this point and our office does not want to get into speculation on consequences, particularly since this is ongoing litigation,” Frosh spokeswoman Raquel Coombs told Fox News in an email.

After the 4th Circuit upheld the law in February, Frosh heralded the ruling.

“It is unthinkable that these weapons of war, weapons that caused the carnage in Newtown and in other communities across the country, would be protected by the Second Amendment,” Frosh said in a February statement.

Other states are watching the case closely.

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming all filed amicus briefs on behalf of the plaintiffs. Meanwhile, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oregon, New York and the District of Columbia filed briefs on behalf of Maryland.

The NRA also is backing the legal effort.

“Lower courts have been making up their own rules when it comes to the Second Amendment for too long, and the Kolbe decision crossed yet another line,” Cox said in a statement.

Gun-Controlled Chicago: at Least 63 Shot, Eight Killed over Weekend

 

Gun-Controlled Chicago: at Least 63 Shot, Eight Killed over Weekend

 

At least 63 individuals were shot and eight were killed over the weekend in gun-controlled Chicago.

According to the Chicago Tribune, over half the shootings occurred within “13 hours from Saturday to early Sunday.” This was followed by the shooting of 16 people during the day on Sunday, and three of the victims were shot on the same street—South Austin.

The weekend violence brings gun-controlled Chicago’s homicides to 451 for the year, which is only 16 homicides short of where Chicago was this time last year. Chicago ended2016 with nearly 800 homicides and roughly 4,400 total shooting victims.

The weekend violence also makes August 18-20 second only to the Fourth of July weekend for bloodshed and mayhem this year. Breitbart News reported more than 100 people were shot over the Fourth of July weekend and the Chicago Sun-Times reported that 36 of those victims “[were] shot across the city in an 8-hour span of violence between 8 p.m. Tuesday and 4 a.m. Wednesday.” Six of the victims shot during that eight-hour span lost their lives.

To date, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s (D) response to the violence and death has been to push for more gun control and to fight concealed carry for law-abiding citizens. On April 25, 2017, the Washington Times reported that Emanuel was pushing more regulations for Federal Firearm License holders (FFLs). These FFLs are gun store owners or operators who go through a lengthy background check process to acquire a license from the federal government allowing them to sell guns. In turn, they are required to conduct a background check on every gun they sell. By targeting them, Emanuel makes it appear that criminals are walking into brick and mortar gun stores to buy their weapons.

Amid Chicago’s gun crime epidemic, Emanuel is also fighting against national reciprocity for concealed carry. Although national reciprocity would allow law-abiding citizens to be armed for self-defense in more places, Emanuel opposes it because he worries it would erode local gun controls.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

The NRA Wants To Solve Domestic Violence By Arming Victims. It Probably Won’t Work.

The NRA Wants To Solve Domestic Violence By Arming Victims. It Probably Won’t Work.

Adding guns to an already violent situation creates the potential for disaster.

IPOPBA VIA GETTY IMAGES
Organizations working with victims of domestic violence warn that these laws could endanger women and children. 

Controversial gun laws that went into effect in two states earlier this month purport to protect domestic violence victims by arming them against their abusers.

In Indiana, victims of domestic violence can now carry a handgun without a license for 60 days if they have a protective order against their alleged abusers. A similar law in Tennessee allows a person who is granted an order of protection to carry a handgun for 21 days without a permit.

The National Rifle Association, which pushed for the passage of both bills, says this type of legislation empowers victims while they are waiting for permit applications to be approved, a process that can take months in some states. “Victims of domestic abuse don’t always have time on their side ― they need immediate protection beyond a court issued piece of paper,” said Catherine Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the NRA.

But opponents argue that introducing firearms into already volatile situations will make things worse, not better.

Firearms are the most commonly used weapons in domestic homicides. In the U.S., a woman is killed by an intimate partner wielding a gun every 16 hours. Critics of the NRA say arming an abused women at a time of distress will only make it more likely that someone will die or be seriously injured ― whether it’s the victim, her children or her abuser. And if she does use a gun, they warn, she may end up in prison for the crime.

The NRA-backed laws have come at a time of success for advocates working to restrict gun ownership for individuals who’ve committed domestic violence. Since 2014, 23 states, including six states this year, have enacted laws to make it harder for abusers to buy guns, and to remove guns from those who are prohibited from having them.

The research on the connection between domestic violence and guns is unambiguous: Firearms make domestic violence situations more deadly.

William Rosen, deputy legal director of the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, called the laws in Indiana and Tennessee “fake solutions” that distract from the real issue. “We know that the single most effective way to protect victims of domestic abuse from gun violence is to keep their abusers from getting guns in the first place,” Rosen told HuffPost.

Most states require a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. But in Indiana and Tennessee, victims with a protective order can arm themselves before their permits are approved. That’s a problem, Rosen said, since the permit process is designed “to maintain certain core public safety standards, such as ensuring that before a person carries a loaded, concealed gun in the community, he or she has undergone safety training and does not have a violent history.”

The idea of making it easier for women to arm themselves in the name of self-defense is not without precedent. Similar bills have cropped up in state legislatures in recent years, but few have been signed into law. In March, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) vetoed a bill to allow a person with a protective order to carry a concealed weapon for 45 days without a permit. McAuliffe said he wouldn’t perpetuate “the dangerous fiction” that victims of domestic violence are safer with a gun. He vetoed an identical bill in 2016.

“If you put a firearm into the hands of somebody who is untrained and afraid, everything we know about this says it is much more likely to be used against that person,” said Kerry Bennett, legal counsel for the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which argued against the proposed law in that state and lobbied Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) to veto it. Between 2011 and 2012, 100 people were killed in domestic violence incidents in Indiana. Sixty-two of them were killed with a firearm.

If women do fire at their abusers in self-defense, there’s no guarantee they won’t end up in prison. In Indiana, there are currently 30 women incarcerated for shooting their abusers, according to Laura Berry, ICADV’s executive director.

Berry’s organization supported a different bill, HB 1534, that would have removed guns from alleged abusers who were subject to an order of protection. Under current Indiana law, judges can order an individual subject to a protective order to surrender their guns, but Berry said it does not happen often.

Davisha Fredericks, 40, a domestic violence survivor in Indianapolis, said she was planning to testify in support of HB 1534, but it did not get a hearing. She expressed disappointment with the legislature’s decision to pass a law that would add guns to an abusive relationship instead of removing them.

“I feel like it puts victims in a very risky situation. And in a very fearful situation,” she said. “There are so many things that could go wrong.”

Robert Spitzer, a State University of New York professor who has written multiple books on gun control, said the NRA’s motivation is simple: to get guns in the hands of more women, a demographic that the NRA has tried to capture for years without success. Gun ownership is overwhelmingly male; the rate of gun ownership among women has hovered between 9 and 14 percent since 1980.

It’s not new for the NRA to try to appeal to women’s fears of violence to promote guns. In the 1980s, the group’s message was blunt and simplistic, explained Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center. It usually employed this logic, he said: “You’re a woman, someone’s going to rape you, you better buy a handgun.”

The NRA’s tactics have become slightly more sophisticated over time, as the group has attempted to frame gun ownership as a form of feminism and empowerment. In a video released by the NRA last year, the popular gun rights pundit Dana Loesch issued a warning to every “rapist, domestic abuser, violent criminal thug, and every other monster who preys upon women” that American ladies are willing to take a life.

“The NRA and gun industry’s efforts to exploit domestic violence and fear of crime involving women is one of the most cynical long-term campaigns that I have ever seen in the gun issue,” Sugarmann said. “It is never-ending, and they can’t let it go because of the potential that these increased sales represent to the industry, and the potential political power it could represent to the NRA itself.”

The research on the connection between domestic violence and guns is unambiguous: Firearms make domestic violence situations more deadly. Experts say that if an abuser has access to a gun, victims are five times more likely to be killed. And guns aren’t only used to maim and kill women ― they can also be wielded as a powerful tool of intimidation and control.

“There is no evidence to suggest that abused women arming themselves makes them safer,” said Susan Sorenson, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Evelyn Jacobs Ortner Center on Family Violence. “There is evidence that women who, regardless of abuse status, arm themselves are at higher risk of becoming a victim of homicide as well as suicide.”

Domestic violence victims are in the most danger when they are trying to leave an abusive situation ― which is often the time when protective orders are filed. As abusers sense they are losing control of the situation, violence may ratchet up.

A study by April Zeoli, an associate professor at the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University, found that states that restrict access to firearms for people under domestic violence protective orders had a 25 percent reduction in intimate partner gun homicides. That figure represents potentially hundreds of lives.

In an email to HuffPost, Zeoli said a better way to improve the safety of victims would be to remove guns from domestic violence offenders who are under protective orders. There is no evidence, she said, “to suggest that victims who have firearms are safer than those who do not.”

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

New Texas gun control law allows concealed guns on campus

New Texas gun control law allows concealed guns on campus

People stand at a monument bearing the names of those killed in the 1 August 1966 University of Texas tower shooting that left 16 people dead, during a memorial in Austin, Texas (01 August 2016)
Image captionThe new law comes into effect on the 50th anniversary of a University of Texas mass shooting which claimed 14 lives.

A new law has come into effect in the US state of Texas that allows students to carry concealed guns on campuses.

Students aged 21 or over who have a concealed handgun permit may take guns into classrooms, under the new law.

Texas has now become one of eight US states that allows students to carry guns into college buildings.

Many higher education officials and students are concerned the law may discourage students from attending universities in the state.

But supporters of the law argue it is “critical” to self-defence and upholding constitutional rights.

Texan Republicans say the “campus carry” law could prevent another mass shooting,

They argue that deranged gunmen often target “gun-free zones” such as university campuses and cinemas because they do not meet resistance when they commit their crimes.

Image captionSome student groups have rallied against the law since the legislation was passed last year

But critics of the new law – which came into effect on the 50th anniversary of a University of Texas mass shooting which claimed 14 lives – is an ill-conceived solution that could serve to trigger yet more violence.

The 1966 killings were carried out by former Marine Charles Whitman, 25, who brought a cache of weapons to the university’s main tower in Austin to shoot more than 40 people.

The shootings were one of the defining events of the time and were considered to be the first US mass shootings to be seen live on national TV. Whitman was killed by police after a 90-minute stand-off.

Some academics have argued that the law which took effect on Monday will also lead to a curtailment of free speech because students with guns could create an intimidating atmosphere which might suppress the open exchange of ideas.

The law allows students who have gun licences to take concealed weapons into college facilities, although some areas – including sports arenas and chemical labs – are off-limits.

Texan private schools and two-year community colleges are excluded from the new laws until next year.

Gun control groups blame NRA, Trump for Charlottesville violence

Gun control groups blame NRA, Trump for Charlottesville violence

The weekend clash left one dead and over 40 injured, mostly from a vehicular ramming (Photo: AP)

The weekend clash left one dead and over 40 injured, mostly from a vehicular ramming (Photo: AP)

Gun control advocates laid the blame for the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend on the nation’s largest gun rights group, citing the National Rifle Association’s provocative rhetoric against liberal demonstrators and support for open carry.

The violence, including a vehicular assault that killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured 19 others, came as part of a standoff between protesters and counter-protesters gathered at Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park in anticipation of a rally by far-right groups over the removal of Confederate monuments from the park. Though the suspect in the ramming was taken into custody and charged with murder among a host of other crimes, gun control groups placed the blame on the NRA and the White House.

“The violence we saw today in Charlottesville is the result of the dangerous rhetoric and hate speech that the NRA and Trump have promoted,” said Lori Haas, a spokeswoman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, in a statement. “The symbiotic relationship between the NRA, Trump, and America’s far right hate groups cannot be ignored.”

While there was no gun violence reported, the group noted that the white nationalists protesting were legally carrying rifles. “This alone indicates their willingness to use intimidation and deadly force to advance their hateful agenda,” Haas said.

The condemnation was echoed by Moms Demand Action with founder Shannon Watts posting on Twitter, “You built this, America, by allowing @NRA lobbyists to write our nation’s gun laws. Open carry is legal in 45 states with little regulation.”

Virginia Gov. McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency to aid state response to the violence in Charlottesville, which included the deployment of state troopers, as well as the Virginia National Guard.

“I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours,” McAuliffe said. “The actions I have taken are intended to assist local government and restore public safety.”

In a statement after news of the incident broke, Trump stressed the importance of “swift restoration of law and order,” but it was his blame of “many sides” that was widely panned on both sides of the political aisle as he failed to condemn, specifically, the white nationalists at the center of the incident.

California struggles to implement new gun-control measures

California struggles to implement new gun-control measures

After passing laws that expand the definition of “assault weapon” and make it illegal to possess gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, the state is facing myriad problems in trying to enforce the new laws. The first trouble came when the California Department of Justice (DOJ) attempted to draft their plan to register all of the rifles in California which have “bullet button” reloading devices and other rifles that would fall under the state’s expanded assault weapons ban. On June 26, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) determined that the DOJ had improperly sought to avoid the public comment period on the plan. That caused the deadline for registration to be pushed back six months.

Then, on June 29, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of the state’s gun magazine confiscation plan.

“The regulation is neither presumptively legal nor longstanding,” U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez said in his ruling. “The statute hits close to the core of the Second Amendment and is more than a slight burden. When the simple test of Heller is applied, a test that persons of common intelligence can understand, the statute is adjudged an unconstitutional abridgment.”

Another troubled part of California’s new gun-control regime is a plan to require all ammunition sales be done through specially licensed dealers. By July 1 those who wanted to apply for the license to sell ammunition were supposed to be able to apply online, and the DOJ was supposed to have an online database of licensed dealers up and running. Neither the online license application portal nor the seller database were up and the regulations governing the licensing process were just made public on Monday. That means the process will likely take several more months to complete despite the fact that it will be illegal to purchase ammunition from anyone without the currently nonexistent ammunition dealer license on January 1, 2018.

How a gun-control group got the owner of Lock N Load to quit the business

How a gun-control group got the owner of Lock N Load to quit the business


A gun store in Aurora, Colo., in 2013 (Ed Andrieski/AP)

The first time Benjamin Bishop walked into Lock N Load and tried to buy a gun, employees at the Florida gun store turned him away — and rightly so.

Bishop had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and claimed he was attacked by assailants — who existed only in his imagination, court records say. He abused bath salts, which intensified the hallucinations, and he punched holes in walls with a hammer and claimed he was Osama bin Laden, the documents say. After his mother had him involuntarily committed, he tried to strangle her.

State and federal laws were designed to keep guns out of the hands of people like Bishop, but he wanted one anyway.

So the second time he went to Lock N Load in Oldsmar, Fla., he brought a neighborhood acquaintance. As Bishop stood nearby, the 18-year-old acquaintance bought a 12-gauge shotgun for $279 in cash, court documents say.

The transaction was a straw purchase, in which someone buys a gun for a person who is legally prohibited from possessing one. Straw purchases are illegal for both the buyer and the seller, though the Tampa Bay Times reported that the teen who bought the shotgun later cooperated with authorities and wasn’t charged with a crime.

Outside the store, the neighbor turned the 12-gauge over to Bishop, who said he wanted to use it to protect himself from gang members.

NoneBenjamin Bishop in 2014. (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

But Bishop used the weapon on his mother instead: In 2012, he shot Imari Shibata and her boyfriend as they slept in their home in Pinellas County. She’d told him that he needed to get a job and that he had to take his schizophrenia medication. Bishop was furious.

“I was, like, in a rage,” he later told the Tampa Bay Times. “I was throwing doors down and stuff. I was cussing out my mom’s boyfriend. I was mad at my mom because she was forcing me on medication. She said either that or I was going to get kicked out of the house.”

He fired eight rounds at the couple, then called 911 to confess. Bishop’s mom and her boyfriend, Kelley Allen, were found dead at the scene.

Bishop, now in his early 20s, is serving two consecutive life sentences in prison. With the gunman off the streets, the families of the victims and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence focused their attention on Lock N Load, the store where Bishop got his gun.

A lawsuit filed in 2014 in a Florida circuit court by the families and the Brady Center claimed that the store’s owner, Gerald Tanso, didn’t do enough to keep a dangerous weapon out of the hands of a mentally ill man with a criminal record.

The parties settled. Most of the details of the settlement are confidential, but one part was made public: Tanso agreed to sell his gun store and never sell a firearm again.

Tanso has never been charged with a crime in Bishop’s case, nor were any of Lock N Load’s employees.

But if anyone “was personally and acutely aware of the risk associated with supplying firearms to mentally unstable individuals,” the lawsuit says, it should have been Tanso.

In 2011, his store sold a .38-caliber pistol to Julie Schenecker, who cleared all the appropriate checks, then used the gun to kill her two children. She’s serving two concurrent life sentences in prison.

Tanso initially called the legal action a “bogus lawsuit” filed by people who “are looking for money,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

But on Friday, as part of a settlement, he released a statement via the Brady Center that encouraged gun owners to be cautious about whom they sell to.

“I have sold my gun shop and will no longer engage in the business of selling firearms,” Tanso said in the statement. “Our Second Amendment protects the rights of law abiding citizens and we must protect those rights. At the same time, we must exercise great caution and due diligence with great responsibility in preventing firearms from getting in the wrong hands of people who seek to harm us all.

“I support laws that protect our Second Amendment and the laws that protect our society from criminal elements who would abuse that right to the detriment of others. I encourage all gun dealers, including the new owner of my gun shop, to implement such measures.”

The statement listed several measures that go beyond what the law requires, including asking questions to ensure gun buyers aren’t purchasing them for prohibited people and maintaining and reviewing records of trace requests.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs told The Washington Post that other conditions of the settlement were confidential.

A man who answered the phone at a home phone number listed for Tanso said the former gun store owner was on vacation. Tanso did not return a message.

Jonathan Lowy, a Brady Center attorney involved in the case, said the organization has been going after the small percentage of gun stores that, he said, are responsible for 90 percent of the guns used in crimes.

“Most gun dealers are responsible business people who do what they can to prevent dangerous people from getting guns, but unfortunately there are some that don’t,” Lowy told The Post.

“For those gun dealers who just care about the bottom line and just care about the money they make from the next gun sale … lawsuits like this mean it’s no longer profitable. … We’re hoping we can change the calculus for those gun dealers.”

Last year, the Brady Center, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control and against gun violence, settled a $2.2 million wrongful-death lawsuit with a Missouri gun dealer who sold a gun to a mentally ill woman who then killed her father, according to the Kansas City Star.

Gun-control advocates had a number of other successes recently, according to The Post’s Amber Phillips: Twenty state legislatures rejected bills to allow guns in public without a permit. Seventeen states rejected bills to allow guns in schools. And Hawaii and Washington passed laws requiring that police be notified when a felon or domestic abuser tries to buy a gun and fails a background check.

But 60 bills supported by the National Rifle Association also became law this year, Phillips reported, and West Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas reduced gun-free zones in public buildings and parks.

Marion Hammer, a former president of the NRA who is now a lobbyist for the organization, said it doesn’t comment specifically on lawsuits it is not involved in, but she criticized the Brady Center’s tactics in general.

The Brady Center “is determined to find any way it can to destroy Second Amendment rights of citizens,” she said, adding: “There don’t appear to be individuals they target — it’s a cause. And if they get an individual gun shop owner in their sights, they’re going to spend whatever it takes unless the courts step in and put a stop to this malicious behavior.”

The Brady Center was founded as the National Council to Control Handguns in 1974. In 1981, it was renamed after James Brady, President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, who was permanently disabled during the 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan. Brady and his wife became strong voices for gun control, fighting for legislation that would require background checks to buy a gun from licensed firearms dealers. Brady died in 2014.

Despite the Brady Center’s victories in Florida and Kansas City, Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said courts have been throwing out similar cases for years.

“It’s wrong to punish the seller of a legal product for doing what’s constitutionally protected,” he said in an interview. “The bad guy in this case is the murderer. You don’t go after Chrysler because a car that was sold by a dealer is used to run somebody over.”

But Lowy said the Brady Center goes after “bad-apple gun dealers” who skirt laws enacted to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

Lock N Load still exists, but it has a new owner: Dominic Zingale, a federally licensed firearms dealer, who said in a written statement to the Tampa Bay Times that he “will continue to follow all of the applicable ATF, Florida, and local guns laws and procedures set forth by them to the letter.” He added that he has “no operational ties to the former owner nor have I worked with him when he was in the firearms business.”

“Honestly, I don’t think they should,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “Guns are pretty fun to shoot.”

But the Times said Bishop also referenced the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn., in which Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“I don’t know,” he said in 2013. “Just don’t give to somebody who’s going to end up killing a bunch of innocent 6-year-olds.”

The Senate voted on 4 popular gun control proposals Monday. Here’s why none of them passed.

The Senate voted on 4 popular gun control proposals Monday. Here’s why none of them passed.

Senate votes down gun measures
The Senate voted down four measures Monday evening relating to gun measures after hearing debate from both Republican and Democratic senators. The vote comes one week after a gunman opened fire in an Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people before being killed by police. (Reuters)

Update No. 2: All four measures, as expected, failed

Update: A new poll from CNN shows 92 percent of Americans support expanded background checks and 85 percent support preventing those on terror watch lists from buying guns. As we’ll explain in the post below, though, none of the below proposals aimed at these things are likely to pass.

One filibuster, two gun control proposals, four party-line votes, zero compromises, lots of finger pointing.

That’s what we can expect Monday evening as the U.S. Senate votes on four different gun control amendments — two offered by Republicans, two by Democrats — a week after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

We can confidently predict all four of these votes will go nowhere because the Senate took almost the exact same votes in December after the San Bernardino, Calif., attacks. Those votes largely fell — and failed — along party lines, with Republicans supporting looser versions of gun control proposals and Democrats supporting stricter versions.

We have no reason to expect different results Monday. Still, all is not lost: Both sides can and probably will use the results of Monday’s votes to rally their bases for November and try and apply pressure to the other side over the next few weeks and months.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on what Monday’s gun control votes mean and how to follow along.

The ground rules: The votes are expected to start at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, and they’ll be proposed as amendments to a larger spending bill for the Commerce and Justice departments.

All four amendments will need 60 votes to be included in the package, which will also need to gain final approval. But given the partisan makeup of the Senate (54 Republican, 46 Democrat), and how the gun debate tends to fall neatly along partisan lines, we don’t expect any of the proposals to advance.

No. 1: Tighten up our background check system (Republican amendment)


(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

What it proposes: Tries to open the lines of communication between the background check agency that Congress set up in the 1990s, the federal courts, the states and Congress to better carry out background checks. More specifically, defines what it means to be found “mentally incompetent” to buy a gun. Also requires the attorney general to conduct a study on “various sources and causes of mass shootings, including psychological factors, the impact of violent video games, and other factors.”

Sponsor: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Judiciary Committee

Amendment name to follow along on C-SPANS. Amdt 4751

How this fared in previous votes: Not well. A version of this that Grassley introduced in December failed to clear the 60-vote hurdle, 53-46.

Our prediction: It will fail this time too. Democrats don’t think it does enough to expand background checks because, well, it doesn’t expand background checks. It simply tries to improve the system we have now.

No. 2: Expand background checks (Democratic amendment)

Will Sen. Chris Murphy’s gun control filibuster change anything?
The Fix’s Amber Phillips breaks down why Congress is unlikely to pass major gun control legislation, despite Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) filibustering for 15 hours on June 15. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

What it does: Requires that a federal background check be conducted before every gun sale in the U.S., period. (The background check system Congress set up in the ’90s only requires background checks by federally licensed firearm dealers, which means you can usually skip it if you try to buy a gun online from a private dealer, at a gun show or from your friend.)

SponsorSen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the senator who talked on the floor for nearly 15 hours Wednesdayto demand these votes. (For what it’s worth, Senate Republicans say that even before Murphy seized the Senate floor, they expected Democrats to force votes on gun control amendments.)

Amendment name to follow along on C-SPANS. Amdt 4750

How this fared in previous votes: Not well, although it got some bipartisan support. It failed to get the 60 needed to move on, 48-50, although four Republicans voted for it: Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Our prediction: It will fail again. Most Republicans don’t support expanding background checks to gun shows and other purchases — or simply fear any additional gun laws are a slippery slope.

No. 3: Prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns (Republican version)

The FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist, explained
The FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist reportedly had over 800,000 names on it in 2014. Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub June 12, was once one of those names. Here’s what you need to know about the Watchlist. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

What it does: Right now, anyone on the FBI’s various terrorist watch lists — including the no-fly list that prevents you from getting on a plane — can legally buy a gun. Under this bill, if you’re on that list and try to buy a gun, you’d have to wait 72 hours. The idea is to give federal officials time to convince a judge there’s probable cause you have ties to terrorism while still protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of anyone who is mistakenly on a terrorist watch list — like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) once was.

Sponsor: Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Senate Republicans’ No. 2 leader

Amendment name to follow along on C-SPANS. Amdt 4749

How this fared in previous votes: Not well. (Sensing a trend here?) A similar version failed in December on a 55-44 vote. Democrats — and Attorney General Loretta Lynch — say it’s impossible to put together a case that a potential gun purchaser is a suspected terrorist in just three days, so they argue this bill would essentially allow anyone on the watch list to still be able to buy a gun.

Our prediction: It will fail again, for the reasons described above.

No. 4: Prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns (Democratic version)


Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

What it does: Lets the attorney general ban anyone on FBI’s various terrorist watch lists from being able to buy guns. If you feel like you’re mistakenly on the list and you get denied a gun, you can challenge the FBI’s decision in court.

Sponsor: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

Amendment name to follow along on C-SPANS. Amdt. 4720

How this fared in previous votes: Not well, although it got some bipartisan support. A similar version of this failed in December, 45-54, with two senators voting on the other side: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) voted with Republicans against this bill, and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) voted with Democrats for this bill.

Our prediction: It will fail again. Republicans think this bill takes away people’s constitutional rights for due process because it bans them from buying a gun first, then allows them to challenge it in court later. And even as some Republicans have expressed a willingness to look at the no-fly list proposal — up to and including Donald Trump — they are more likely to favor the GOP proposal over this one.

Some potential areas of compromise

Believe it or not, there are some opportunities — however small — for Congress to move forward on gun control legislation in the wake of Orlando.

For example, here’s one new idea that almost all of the four proposals above, have added: If a person who has been on one of the FBI’s terrorist watch lists at any point in the past five years tries to buy a gun, the federal government must immediately notify law enforcement about it. The Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, had been on and off the FBI’s watch list before he bought his weapons.

And there are negotiations going on behind the scenes to try to merge Democrats’ and Republicans’ terrorist watch list proposals. As The Washington Post’s Karoun Demirjian reports, Collins (R-Maine) is working on something that Democrats haven’t dismissed outright.

She wants to prevent people on two of the FBI’s terrorist watch lists (it’s unclear exactly many lists there are for perhaps obvious reasons) from buying guns: the no-fly list and the selectee list.

Both lists deal with a person’s rights at the airport. If you’re on the no-fly list, you can’t board an airplane. If you’re on the selectee list, you get extra security screening when you try to board a plane. Mateen was on the selectee list for a time. And under Collins’s proposal, if you are on these lists and are denied your right to buy a gun, you can challenge it, and if you win, the government has to pay your legal costs.

Again, her proposals are not exactly what Democrats want (they don’t like the idea of working with just these two terrorist watch lists) or what Republicans want (they don’t like the idea of banning a person from buying a gun first, then offering legal recourse later). But that’s the essence of a compromise, and right now it looks like the only one the Senate’s got.

Tellingly, Collins’s proposal isn’t up for a vote Monday, suggesting it might not yet have backing from Republican leaders.

Tucker Carlson uses facts to brutally shut down gun control advocate who favors gun confiscation

Tucker Carlson uses facts to brutally shut down gun control advocate who favors gun confiscation

Tucker Carlson uses facts to brutally shut down gun control advocate who favors gun confiscation

Tucker Carlson argues gun control with gun control advocate in light of Seattle’s gun tax backfiring. (Image source: YouTube)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson took on a gun control advocate on his show Friday over Seattle’s recent gun tax and its apparent failure to quell gun violence, and instead, backfire completely.

In 2015, Seattle implemented a “gun violence tax,” which aimed to reduce the amount of gun violence in its city limits. The tax imposed a $25 tax for every firearm purchased and a $.05 tax for every round of ammunition bought within the city limits. The tax has hurt small business owners in the city that own gun stores and has even forced many of them to lay off workers, move to the suburbs or completely shutdown altogether.

But new reports indicate the law hasn’t worked the way it was intended to. In fact, violence has increased in Seattle and murders have doubled this year. Carlson said it proves the law has backfired. Gun control advocate Mark Glaze disagreed.

Glaze said the purpose of the law was to help fund studies of gun control and not to end gun violence like Carlson allegedly claimed. However, Carlson said that isn’t what he claims.

“I’m merely noting the obvious, which is the gun tax didn’t make the city any safer,” Carlson said. “What’s the point of any of this…if it doesn’t make the city any safer? That’s the whole point. Right?”

Glaze responded by accusing the “gun lobby” of preventing the federal government from allocating funds to study gun violence, so Seattle created their tax in order to do it themselves. But Carlson wanted Glaze to address the real facts of the matter.

“Again, the whole point of all of this…is to reduce gun violence — and it doubled [in Seattle],” Carlson said. “So it’s hard to take you or people like you seriously if you don’t let the data drive your conclusions. And the date here are really clear, crystal clear. This didn’t work, so why would you still support it?”

Glaze again reiterated his claim that no person in Seattle thought the gun tax would drive down gun violence, but Carlson quickly called out him out.

“That’s not true,” the Fox host interrupted. “They didn’t say ‘we’re gonna end all gun violence,’ but they said it would make it a safer city — and the city got more dangerous.”

Glaze then tried to move the conversation along to discuss control measures that he alleged the public “wants.” He said that instead of a gun tax, Seattle should implement a ban on “semi-automatic” rifles with “high capacity” magazines, alleging that gang members “most often” use them to commit acts of gun violence while drawing a connection to the weapon used to nearly assassinate House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) earlier this month.

But once again, Carlson was quick to throw a time-out on the field.

“But your numbers are just wrong,” Carlson replied. “Actually, a relatively small percentage of murders in this country are committed with rifles of any kind. They’re almost all committed with handguns.”

“So I know these guns may look scary, and they send you guys into a frenzy because they’re terrified-looking, but they don’t actually drive the problems. So again, you’re wrong,” he explained.

Given the number of firearms in America — which is believable to be several hundred million — Carlson said the “truth” of the matter is the only way gun control advocates will get what they want is through gun confiscation.

Glaze suggested the federal government buyback Americans’ guns in order to dramatically reduce the number of firearms in the country similar to what Australia did. But Carlson noted that Australia’s gun “buyback” wasn’t voluntary and was actually gun confiscation.

“That’s not true, that’s not true,” Carlson said. “They didn’t buy them back. They confiscated them by force. You had no option. It wasn’t voluntary. If you tried that in this country, you would have a civil war in about 10 minutes.”

“Is that the plan? To take people’s guns by force?” Carlson questioned.

Glaze responded by alleging two-third of American gun owners would willingly give up their firearms in a government buyback.

“Good luck with that, Mark,” Carlson quipped.

Hunter Suing Glock After Pistol Exploded in His Hand

Hunter Suing Glock After Pistol Exploded in His Hand

A Massachusetts man is going after firearms manufacturer Glock Inc., among other companies, in federal court after he says a pistol exploded in his hands. He is now suing for $1 million.

Mass Live reports plaintiff Rodney MacDonald, back in 2012, was on a hunting trip when he fired the gun and it blew apart, sending shrapnel flying into his face and body.

“The Plaintiff fired two shots from the gun without incident. On the third shot, the gun exploded/blew apart while the Plaintiff was holding the gun and firing it,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit was filed in 2015, but a handful of delays plus an already slow court system caused this case to slip through without one single hearing until just recently.

However, the fact that this incident occurred back in 2012, and Mr. MacDonald is just now taking legal action, smells awfully funny.

It’s also worth noting here, the list of companies that were originally stated in the complaint: in no particular order, Georgia-based Glock, Inc., which manufactured the 10 mm firearm referenced in this case; Guns and Gear, a firearm retailer in Agawam, where the pistol was purchased; Buffalo Bore Ammunition, Inc., manufacturer of the ammunition used in the gun at the time of the incident; and Cabela’s Wholesale Inc., which sold the ammo, according to court documents.

Guns and Gear was later axed from the lawsuit, according to court filings.

These claims are no stranger to Glock though, and they intend to defend the case in front of a federal court judge.

Cuomo promises battle against federal push to counter SAFE Act gun regulations

Cuomo promises battle against federal push to counter SAFE Act gun regulations

    The 2013 SAFE Act tightened assault weapon regulations and banned high-capacity magazines in the state.

    The 2013 SAFE Act tightened assault weapon regulations and banned high-capacity magazines in the state.

    ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo vowed Tuesday to fight any attempt by Congress to negate the gun control law New York lawmakers adopted after the Sandy Hook massacre.

    Cuomo, during a stop in upstate Hudson, N.Y., blasted Rep. Chris Collins (R-Erie County) for introducing The Second Amendment Guarantee Act, which would limit the authority of states to regulate rifles and shotguns.

    “If they try to overrule the State of New York we will sue because this state has rights too,” Cuomo said. “And especially with this federal government, it is very important that states represent their rights and assert their rights and I will assert my rights to the fullest extent of the law.”

    A spokeswoman for Collins defended the proposed legislation, saying it would remove restrictions “unfairly placed on New Yorkers” by the governor.

    Upstate Democrat Terry Gipson mulls 2018 run against Cuomo

    “Governor buy metronidazole antibiotic Cuomo took away the Constitutional rights of Americans when he signed the so-called SAFE Act into law,” said Collins spokeswoman Sarah Minkel.

    “If Governor Cuomo wants to criticize Congressman Collins for sticking up for his constituents by protecting their Second Amendment rights, or for working to reduce their property taxes, he can answer to them in 2018,” Minkel added.

    Erie County Rep. Chris Collins’ bill would undercut firearm restrictions put in place by New York’s SAFE Act.

    Erie County Rep. Chris Collins’ bill would undercut firearm restrictions put in place by New York’s SAFE Act.

    Known as the SAFE Act, the gun control measure adopted by Cuomo and the state Legislature in early 2013 banned high-capacity magazines and tightened the state’s existing ban on assault weapons. It also implemented new safeguards to prevent the dangerously mentally ill from possessing guns.

     Collins’ proposed bill would block states from imposing gun regulations that are stricter than federal law.

    Lawmaker uses Scalise shooting to tout anti-gun control stance

    Cuomo on Tuesday said Collins and fellow upstate Republican Rep. John Faso had “pledged allegiance to that ultra-conservative orthodoxy” that has taken over Washington.

    During the recent health care debate, Collins and Faso sponsored an amendment that would have shifted the local costs of Medicaid outside of New York City to the state.

    Cuomo blasted the amendment, warning it would cost the state $2.3 billion a year.

    Senator Joe Manchin Took ‘$87,000’ from Pro-Gun Control Law Firm

    Senator Joe Manchin Took ‘$87,000’ from Pro-Gun Control Law Firm

    Quarterly campaign filings indicate that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) took “$87,000” from individuals tied to gun control law firm Paul, Weiss.

    This news comes less than a month after Breitbart News reported that Manchin told The Young Turks‘ Cenk Uygur that he has no idea who gives him money.

    Uygur pointed out that Manchin supported removing a “stream protection rule,” then explained that Manchin’s No. 1 donor, First Energy, had previously gotten into “in some degree of trouble for putting arsenic in a pond.”

    Manchin responded, “I know it’s hard to believe and I know it’s hard for people too, [but] I don’t have any idea who gives me money. I don’t solicit from the standpoint of, ‘If you do this for me,’ quid quo pro, that’s never been me. That’s not my political mantra at all.”

    The same Sen. Manchin who said these things when asked about First Energy may want to explain the donations tied to Paul, Weiss. After all, Manchin was Barack Obama’s go-to-guy for gun control in the Senate–Manchin spearheaded the failed, post-Sandy Hook gun control push–and he pushed gun control again and again after high profile attacks since Sandy Hook.

    Now, the Washington Times reports that “Manchin received donations from [a] law firm pushing for gun control.”

    The Times reports that donations came from Martin Flumenbaum, an attorney at Paul, Weiss who “was once banned from Guantanamo after someone on his team was caught distributing anti-American propaganda to detainees back in 2006.”

    Paul, Weiss also “has longstanding connections” to Bill & Hillary Clinton and held a political fundraiser for Hillary when she was running on the pro-gun control presidential ticket.

    AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

    Michael Bloomberg talks gun control, empowering cities and Trump: ‘I was a manager; he was not’

    Q&A 

    Michael Bloomberg talks gun control, empowering cities and Trump: ‘I was a manager; he was not’

     To former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the key to good governing is experience as a manager.

    One key to being a good manager, he says, is assembling a solid team. Another is knowing that running for office and governing require different skills.

    The billionaire businessman turned politician, who left office in 2013 after three terms, has a new lofty goal: Help cities nationwide run more efficiently.

    Last month, his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, launched the $200-million American Cities Initiative, which aims to empower city governments and mayors to innovate and solve problems, such as gun violence, climate change and addiction.

    Bloomberg, 75, recently spoke with The Times about the effort, the differences between businesses and governments, and, of course, President Trump. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.


    Let’s talk about your work on gun control. You’ve been a vocal proponent of stricter gun control laws for much of the past decade. This is an area where we haven’t seen movement from Congress. What does it take to get Congress to pass something like expanded background checks?

    We’ve tried to work to get background checks in at the state level because it seems not likely at the federal level at the moment — although, you never know.

    I would have told you gay marriage would have been a really tough thing to do and it turned out, in the end, it really wasn’t once enough people thought it was the right thing to do. …I think it is fair to say at a federal level, we don’t seem to be making progress and at the state level it’s a few [gun control laws] each year and, you know, that’s OK — we’re saving a lot of lives.

    This year there will be 31,000 people killed with illegal handguns, 12,000 murdered, 19,000 [will] commit suicide. And there have been more people killed with illegal handguns than soldiers that have died since the Revolutionary War through today in defense of our country.

    You’re a former mayor — you talk to a lot of mayors. So with this new initiative, what are two major problems you’re hearing from mayors at this moment?

    First thing is — president, governor and mayor — those three jobs are management jobs. They’re not policy jobs.

    You can’t have a policy on everything yourself, so you have to bring in policy people for some things, and if you brought in policy people for every one of them, that’s fine. I would want you — if you were my mayor, governor or president — to get other views before you implement policy.

    But management — “running the railroad,” the way I describe it — is the real job. And the skills to get elected are different from the skills to govern and you have a lot of smart people, honest people, who are elected to office, but they don’t have the experience and the skills and know where to go to get help.

    So if we can give them some basic management skills, but also build a network where they have people they can call and say, “Hey this is what I’m gonna do, just tell me, am I off base here? Do you think I’m doing it right and where else can I go to get help?” Those kinds of things — I think that more than anything else — are what mayors want, and there’s an enormous demand.

    The skills to get elected are different from the skills to govern

    — Michael R. Bloomberg

    What are some major issues you’re hearing from people — those mayors?

    Well, No. 1, I think it’s fair to say jobs. I would argue that the three biggest problems the world has are climate change, because it can kill everybody. Nuclear war, because it can kill an awful lot of people, and it’s become something to worry about with North Korea and Pakistan. And the third thing is the destruction of jobs.

    Now, maybe you want to add opioids and heroin to that. But that’s just growing at the beginning, it’s nowhere near as take-over-the-world the way the other three are. But for the cities point of view — jobs, climate change, drug addiction.

    Now that President Trump is in office, are there heightened concerns from mayors? … What about yourself?

    I think it’s fair to say there are heightened concerns, because cities depend on money from the federal government. Cities are where people can express themselves to government.

    You got to remember a mayor and the local city council are much closer to the public than the governor and the state legislature, or the president and the federal legislature. So if the public is in favor of something, the local officials know it and they get held responsible even if it really isn’t fair to hold them responsible.…

    When it comes to climate change, the public is in favor of doing something. They think there’s something going on. They think it’s man-made. They think we should do something about it, and they want their mayors to do it because they can’t get to their governor, or they can’t get to their president.

    You were critical of Trump during last year’s election, how would you evaluate his first six-months or so?

    [LAUGHTER] I’m shocked that you would say so. [LAUGHTER] … I was asked that at the 100 days, because I remember having that 100-day question back in 2002. I guess it would be April of 2002. I’d been in office 100 days and what I said to the press was, “I built a team.” … And the truth of the matter is, it was the best thing I could ever do.

    What Trump has not done, and I told him — the one conversation I’ve had with him — I think and I still think it’s the most important thing: he’s got to put together a team. And every day he doesn’t, it gets harder to do, because people say, “Well, he’s going to be in office less time. Every day he uses up is one less day towards four or eight years, and you know he gets more and more in trouble with some of the tweets and that sort of stuff, so it’s harder to attract people.”

    But it’s building a team, because he can’t run every agency. He doesn’t know anything about most of those agencies, and he doesn’t have to know. His job is to get the people and get them to work together and get the right people and to authorize them to do things — to give them authority, responsibility, which is very tough to get people to do in business and very tough to get people to do in government.

    You and Trump are both New Yorkers, billionaires and businessmen. You, like Trump, were elected with no prior political experience. What advice do you have for Trump about governing?

    I don’t think the comparison is accurate. … I was a manager. I started out working in business, and I managed a few people after a few years and I built up to managing 5,000 people when I ran for city hall.

    Today, my experience is having managed 300,000 people and today 20,000 people at my company. I don’t think Donald has had that management experience. His company — at best he maybe managed a 100 people — and I don’t even think that. So we came from very different backgrounds with very different experiences, and what I had said to him is there is nothing wrong with being elected and not having that experience. …

    I was a manager, he was not. We’re both New Yorkers, both wealthy. …I had a lot of experience in philanthropy, I don’t think he did. So when you say both businessmen, that’s not really quite fair. We’re different kinds of people.

    Chaos Erupts At City Hall Hearing For Proposed Gun Bill

    Chaos Erupts At City Hall Hearing For Proposed Gun Bill

    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Chaos erupted Tuesday at a Baltimore City Hall hearing for a proposed mandatory one-year sentence for possession of an illegal handgun.

    It took just minutes for rising tensions to overflow.

    Council members had issued several warnings to unruly attendees, but police were called to move in as activists clashed with council members, and people pushed back.

    It ended with two arrests and a lot of upset people.

    The Baltimore Police Department says a 29-year-old and a 27-year-old were arrested and will face charges.

    At least one person was injured as police pulled people from the room, and an ambulance was called to the scene. Police say the 27-year-old who was arrested complained of chest pains after being arrested. He has been transported to a local hospital for treatment.

    After all of Tuesday’s events, council members voted through an amended gun bill by a 5-2 vote, moving it to the next round.

    City officials say they’re trying to end the slow motion massacre on the streets of Baltimore by putting a gun law back on the books that says those found guilty of carrying an illegal gun will be given a mandatory year-long sentence.

    “To say this is going to make a difference, I hope so,” says councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke. “I hope it will, because we have the votes here.”

    Council member Brandon Scott, of the 2nd district, says he’s against the bill in any form.

    “The amendments make the bill easier to stomach, it still doesn’t change the fact that I disagree with the bill in its entirety and its principles of mandatory minimums,” he says.

    One of the staunchest supporters of the bill says he’s not a fan of the amendments, but he was willing to compromise in order to get closer to the goal.

    “I have dozens and dozens of constituents who have reached out about this, and they are frankly sick and tired of people illegally carrying guns on the street and wreaking havoc on out communities,” says Eric Costello of the 11th district.

    Under the amended version of the bill, a mandatory minimum sentence would only apply to second offenses, except for first time offenders whose gun violation was committed along with another crime.

    The mayor did not specifically comment on Tuesday’s amendments, but she still strongly supports the bill she hopes will get illegal guns off Baltimore streets.

    “Over 600 shootings in less than a year in our city and something has to give,” Catherine Pugh says. “And so we are trying to protect the citizens of our city and make sure that we curb the violence in our city.”

    The city council will re-visit the bill in about three weeks.

     

    Alabama Republican uses Scalise shooting to tout anti-gun control stance

    Alabama Republican uses Scalise shooting to tout anti-gun control stance

     

    Rep. Mo Brooks used a clip of him responding to the Alexandria shooting in his Senate campaign ad.

    Rep. Mo Brooks used a clip of him responding to the Alexandria shooting in his Senate campaign ad.

    An Alabama Republican has invoked the memory of the congressional baseball shooting to tout his opposition to gun control.

    Rep. Mo Brooks, who represents for the northern part of his state, was in Alexandria, Va., last month when gunman James Hodgkinson opened fire and wounded five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

    “June 14: A Bernie Sanders supporter fires on Republican Congressman,” begins a Brooks ad for his current Senate run.

    The spot notes that Brooks, 63, gave his belt to be used as a tourniquet before faulting the “liberal media” for asking about gun control after yet another American rampage shooting.

    Caitlyn Jenner mulling over Senate run: ‘I have considered it’

    “The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to help ensure that we always have a republic,” the conservative said in a TV clip from after the shooting that he repurposed for his campaign.

    “So no, I’m not changing my opinion on any of the rights that we enjoy as Americans.”

    Internal polling reported by AL.com shows that though Brooks has gotten a boost from his presence at the failed assassination, he still is polling third among Republicans in the race for the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    Ahead of him are Luther Strange, appointed to the seat after Sessions’s departure, and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who resigned to run for Senate after being suspended earlier this year for failing to follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling.

    Rep. Steve Scalise out of ICU, still in serious condition

    Investigators gather at Eugene Simpson Field, the site where a gunman opened fire on June 14.

    Investigators gather at Eugene Simpson Field, the site where a gunman opened fire on June 14.

    The primary is set to be held on August 15.

    Brooks has made guns a focus of his campaign after the shooting, sponsoring a “Congressional Self-Defense Act” that would allow federal lawmakers to carry guns in the U.S. Capitol.

    Scalise, a fellow Republican from Louisiana, was the most seriously wounded in the June 14 attack on a practice for the annual Congressional baseball game, and is still in the hospital after suffering a deep tissue infection.

    Asked about Brooks’s ad, a spokesman for the wounded congressman said “some people have different ideas about what’s appropriate.”

    “The day of the shooting, while waiting at the hospital, I avoided the news/audio/video as much as possible. This makes my stomach turn,” Scalise’s chief of staff Brett Horton said on Twitter.

    Also wounded in the shooting were congressional staffer Zack Barth, lobbyist Matt Mika, and Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey.