2nd Amendment rights collide with law enforcement leaders desire to reduce crime

Police opposition doesn’t stop conservative gun law rollback

Associated Press – Lindsay Whithurst – August 9, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The latest push to loosen gun laws in states across the U.S. has put police officers at odds with Republican lawmakers who usually trumpet support for law enforcement.

In states like Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana, police opposed pushes to drop requirements for people to get background checks and training before carrying handguns in public, plans that came as gun sales continued to shatter records during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We feel it was just another opportunity to get our officers hurt,” said Fabian Blache Jr., executive director of the Louisiana Chiefs of Police Association. “It was a danger to law enforcement.”

There, a last-ditch public plea by dozens of Louisiana law enforcement officers helped narrowly avert a push to override the Democratic governor’s veto of legislation dropping concealed-carry permit requirements. But he expects the proposal to come back next year, and in several other conservative-leaning states police opposition didn’t stop laws dropping permit requirements.

Gun violence is on the rise across the country and law enforcement agencies are struggling with how to manage the spikes, especially in cities. The federal government has stepped in with strike forces and other measures help to stop the sale of illegal weapons. Cops are already working at a disadvantage in many cities over forces winnowed by retirements and difficulty attracting new officers following the massive police protests in 2020, and many see looser gun laws as one more challenge.

Not knowing who might be carrying a gun heightens the potential danger in any encounter, and less required training means more people who don’t know how to properly handle a weapon, Blanche said.

“Police officers are trained around the country, and they make mistakes,” he said. “So why are we going to give opportunity to people who are not trained to be able to carry a firearm and use it at will?”

In Tennessee this year, warnings from police chiefs and sheriffs didn’t stop a push to drop permit requirements in the GOP-controlled state Legislature. That law passed months after another measure cracking down on protesters camping out for police reform, a vote that was framed as a support for law enforcement.

Though several polls have found public support for gun permits, arguments that they undermine Second Amendment rights have gained favor in conservative-leaning state governments in recent years.

“There is something of a disjunction between repeating the political slogan of ‘back the blue’ versus supporting policies that rank-and-file police and leaders of police organizations actually support,” said Robert Spitzer, a professor at The State University of New York-Cortland and author of “The Politics of Gun Control.”

Police opposition hasn’t stopped a push to drop permitting requirements that’s passed in about 20 states, Spitzer said. While their positions carry authority, they don’t have the ad campaigns and lobbyists that overtly political interests often do.

“Their voices and opinions have been known, but they haven’t been a real megaphone in public political terms because that puts them in a real bad spot. They’re public servants and their job is to enforce the law, no matter what the law is,” he said.

And permitless carry has supporters in law enforcement, including sheriffs, many of whom are in elected positions and oversee more rural areas. In Utah and Iowa, police groups were more divided generally stayed out of the debate this year.

Discussions about police reform dominated the conversation in Iowa, as well as how to stem the rise in violent crime, said Sam Hargadine, the Iowa Police Chiefs Association executive director. He doesn’t see the permit question as a big piece of the violent-crime discussion, especially since chiefs already couldn’t deny people permits.

“I think there’s extremes on both sides. But there’s got to be some compromises made, because we’re having far too many shootings,” he said.

Not all police oppose the legislation, and gun-rights advocates don’t see a conflict between combating crime and making it easier for people to carry firearms. They argue that people generally don’t get permits for guns used in violent crimes, so the change will make it easier for those who do follow the law to get a gun and many measures also tougher penalties for some gun crimes.

For Texas Republican James White, his party’s differing with the chiefs of the state’s largest cities on permit-less carry was part of the give-and-take of the legislative process.

“There were some things this session … where we were consistent with where law enforcement would want to be, and there were sometimes that we just had to tell them we have to look a different direction,” said White, an outgoing state lawmaker now running for agriculture commissioner.

He also touted the stronger penalties contained in the law for felons who carry guns illegally. “It was a very strong on crime, tough on crime deal,” he said.

White argued the new law didn’t represent a massive shift in a state where guns were allowed in cars without permits and licenses weren’t required for long guns. Texas became the largest state to drop handgun licensing requirements this year, a move applauded by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates.

Alan Gottlieb with the Second Amendment Foundation argued that policing is already inherently dangerous and dropping permits won’t make a big dent but will enhance gun rights. “I shouldn’t need a permit to exercise my constitutional rights,” he said.

Police opposition had helped keep the idea from gaining traction even in firearm-friendly Texas, but with a change in legislative leadership support swelled over the span of a few weeks this year. It passed over objections from survivors of the mass shooting that killed 23 people at an El Paso Walmart two years ago.

“One thing I’ve learned in my many years of working with police is, you can rely on them to tell you what’s going to put the public at danger,” said Everytown For Gun Safety President John Feinblatt. “I think that what police know is that crime is rising around the country and this is the worst possible moment to pass laws like this.”

Federal Appellate Court Rules: Age Ban On Purchasing Handguns “Unconstitutional”

Judges say they won’t relegate ‘the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status’

By Todd Ruger – July 13, 2021

https://www.rollcall.com/2021/07/13/appeals-court-finds-aged-based-handgun-purchase-ban-unconstitutional/

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the long-standing federal ban on sales of handguns from licensed dealers to 18- to 20-year-olds is unconstitutional, because Congress in the 1960s did not demonstrate a good enough reason for the law.

In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, Va., found that the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is no different from other constitutional rights that start at age 18, so the government must have a justification to restrict that right.

“Despite the weighty interest in reducing crime and violence, we refuse to relegate either the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status,” Judge Julius Richardson wrote for the majority.

Richardson, a President Donald Trump appointee, was joined in the majority opinion by Judge G. Stephen Agee, a President George W. Bush appointee.

Judge James Wynn Jr., a President Barack Obama appointee, wrote a dissent that said the panel had overstepped its role as a court, and that “the majority’s decision to grant the gun lobby a victory in a fight it lost on Capitol Hill more than 50 years ago is not compelled by law.”

The Justice Department will almost certainly appeal the decision, which comes during an incendiary national debate over gun control laws prompted by everyday shootings as well as a series of mass shootings over the years at concerts, schools and other public spaces.

The Supreme Court, with a newly expanded 6-3 conservative majority, has teed up a major case about state concealed carry laws for the term that starts in October that will be a test of how far the justices might extend constitutional gun rights outside the home.

Meanwhile, Congress stands at a partisan deadlock over numerous gun control proposals backed mostly by Democrats, and President Joe Biden has issued executive orders and taken other actions to combat what he calls an “epidemic” of gun violence.

The decision recounts how in 1964, Congress, concerned about increasing gun violence, began a “field investigation and public hearings” and concluded among other things that juveniles getting handguns without consent of parents “is a significant factor in the prevalence of lawlessness and violent crime in the United States.”

In 1968, Congress passed the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, which prohibited licensed dealers from selling handguns to anyone under age 21 but permitted the sale of shotguns and rifles to those individuals, the decision states.

Later that year, Congress changed that law through the Gun Control Act of 1968, which prohibited licensed dealers from selling any firearm to those under 18 and maintained the ban on the sale of handguns for 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds

The 4th Circuit majority found that Congress, when banning the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition to that age group, used “disproportionate crime rates to craft over-inclusive laws that restrict the rights of overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens.”

“And in doing so, Congress focused on purchases from licensed dealers without establishing those dealers as the source of the guns 18- to 20-year-olds use to commit crimes,” Richardson wrote for the majority.

The law restricts the rights of more than 99 percent of that age group because “a fraction of 1% commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime,” the majority wrote, and it is already illegal for felons, fugitives, drug users and immigrants who entered the country illegally to buy firearms from licensed dealers.

“So the laws at issue by their nature prevent a more law-abiding, less dangerous subset of 18- to 20-year-olds from purchasing from a more regulated market,” the majority wrote.

“The irony does not escape us that, under the government’s reasoning, the same 18- to 20-year-old men and women we depend on to protect us in the armed forces and who have since our Founding been trusted with the most sophisticated weaponry should nonetheless be prevented from purchasing a handgun from a federally licensed dealer for their own protection at home,” the majority wrote.

There is no ban against 18- to 20-year-olds owning, possessing or using a gun, the opinion states. Dealers can sell guns to parents or guardians who can gift them to minor children, but not when the children provide the money.

If it stands, the decision would mean 18- to 20-year-olds could buy a handgun from a licensed dealer but not cigarettes or alcohol.

The majority also wrote that it’s unclear whether the ban has been effective, something Wynn cautioned against in the dissent.

Wynn wrote that “doing so will place the nation and its lawmakers in a formidable catch-22: pass too onerous a regulation and see it struck down for violating the Second Amendment; pass too permissive a measure and suffer the same result.”

“This heads-I-win, tails-you-lose approach is a recipe for national inaction on gun violence,” Wynn wrote.

The plaintiff in the case is a 19-year-old woman who got a protective order against her abusive ex-boyfriend who, after that order, had been arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm and controlled substances, the decision states.

She also works as an equestrian trainer and often finds herself in remote rural areas where she interacts with unfamiliar people, and she considers a handgun as the most effective tool for protection from those risks, the decision states.

NRA Adding Members At A Rate Of 1K Per Day

By Eric Mack -Tuesday, 30 March 2021

The National Rifle Association has faced some challenges with bankruptcy proceedings and a move to Texas after New York Democrats sought to engage in politically motivated investigations, but its membership growth is strengthening.

The NRA has seen 150,000 new members this year alone, averaging about 1,000 new members a day, NRA Director of Media Relations Amy Hunter told The Epoch Times.

Mass murder events and President Joe Biden’s administration’s talk of gun-control measures have also led defenders of the Second Amendment to join the nation’s top gun lobby.

“We’ve had two federal bills that have been passed in the House, and they’re going to be heard in the Senate soon,” Hunter told the Times. “You have Biden talking about executive action that he’s going to take, and it’s been pretty steady throughout history that when you have an anti-gun president in office, and he’s passing laws, signing executive action, that usually causes a surge in NRA interest in membership.”

The NRA now boasts 5 million members after a summer surge, she added.

“There was a real surge during COVID,” she continued to the Times. “People were looking around at what was going on, they’re scared, all of the services, everything’s being shut down and being told to stay in their home. The only outlet they have is to watch TV and on TV they’re seeing riots and unrest happening across the country; they’re seeing that their politicians are closing gun stores, using emergency powers to sort of shutdown the Second Amendment.

“I just think people react as they always do when there’s periods of uncertainty. They want to make sure that they can keep their families safe. We’re also seeing headlines about police furloughs and calls to defund the police. Law-abiding people feel like, ‘well, worst-case scenario, I better make sure I can protect my own family.’ So we have seen a surge throughout COVID and it’s continued through this year and it continues into the Biden administration.”

President Biden has vowed to pass more gun laws after the supermarket shooting in Colorado, despite Republicans and gun-rights advocates noting mass murders ignore laws.

“I’m the only one who has ever got them passed, man,” Biden told reporters Monday about a 10-year ban on semi-automatic weapons in 1994.

The tough talk to take away gun rights of law-abiding American citizens has new members signing up for the NRA.

“We’re able to change things, we’re able to get laws changed, we’re able to prevent bad laws from going into action,” Hunter told the Times.

“We have a better membership, we have a stronger base, we have people who really believe in liberty and freedom and the Constitution, but we never underestimate our opponents.”

A gun-collecting Kansas judge is leading a new crusade to save the NRA from two existential threats: New York’s attorney general and the executives who currently run the organization.

Phillip Journey, a family court judge in Wichita and member of the NRA’s board, inserted himself into the group’s bankruptcy to try and block New York’s top law enforcement official from dissolving the 150-year-old group and distributing its $200 million in assets to other, less controversial gun-rights organizations. To do so, he says he must take on a culture of subservience and alleged financial misdeeds that has sprung up around the group’s top executive, Wayne LaPierre.

“A lot of times, bankruptcy looks like a dog pile,” Journey, who sold about 100 weapons from his personal collection to fund his successful campaign for the NRA board last year, said in an interview. “All I want is to open the door, let in an examiner and see where to go. Restore corporate governance and let the NRA operate like it’s supposed to.”

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Open Letter To NRA Members – From Wayne LaPierre

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s largest and oldest civil rights organization.

Regarding the NRA’s reorganization and move to Texas.

Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

Dear NRA Members & Supporters:

Today, the NRA announced a restructuring plan that positions us for the long-term and ensures our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New York.

The plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas.

To facilitate the strategic plan and restructuring, the NRA and one of its subsidiaries have filed voluntary chapter 11 petitions in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. As you may know, chapter 11 proceedings are often utilized by businesses, nonprofits and organizations of all kinds to streamline legal and financial affairs.

Under the plan, the NRA will continue what we’ve always done – confronting anti-gun, anti-self-defense and anti-hunting activities and promoting constitutional advocacy that helps law-abiding Americans. Our work will continue as it always has. No major changes are expected to the NRA’s operations or workforce.

Importantly, our plans do not impact your membership at any level.

NRA supporters will continue to enjoy all their full member benefits – from new members to Life Members to Benefactor Members. We will continue to publish and deliver your magazines. We will continue to train Americans and teach them firearm safety. We will continue to teach hunter safety. But most importantly, we will continue to fight for your freedom and the freedom of all Americans – as we have for all these years. In fact, we are expanding our national platform.

The plan aims to streamline costs and expenses, proceed with pending litigation in a coordinated and structured manner, and realize many financial and strategic advantages.

You know that our opponents will try to seize upon this news and distort the truth. Don’t believe what you read from our enemies. The NRA is not “bankrupt” or “going out of business.” The NRA is not insolvent. We are as financially strong as we have been in years.

But they know today’s announcement makes us bigger, stronger and more prepared for the fight for freedom.

We are leaving the state of an attorney general who, just a few months ago, vowed to put us out of business through an abuse of legal and regulatory power. In fact, the gross overreach of the New York Attorney General and New York Governor has been resoundingly criticized by powerful national groups like the ACLU and a host of prominent legal scholars.

Subject to court approval, the NRA is pursuing plans to reincorporate in the State of Texas. The Lone Star State is home to more than 400,000 NRA Members and the site of our 2021 Annual Meeting being held in Houston.

Texas values the contributions of the NRA, celebrates our law-abiding members, and joins us as a partner in upholding constitutional freedom.

Under this plan, we seek protection from New York officials who illegally abused and weaponized the powers they wield against the NRA and its members. You can be assured the Association will continue the fight to protect your interests in New York – and all forums where the NRA is unlawfully singled out for its Second Amendment advocacy.

This plan represents a pathway to opportunity, growth and progress.

This is the most transformational moment in the history of the NRA. And it involves all of you.

The NRA will continue to promote its Second Amendment advocacy, sponsor firearms training, and work with its network of instructors and volunteers in furtherance of its mission. This plan actually streamlines all of the NRA’s activities and improves our operational processes.

I know we have welcomed many of you to our headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. We have no immediate plans to relocate, but we are forming a special committee to explore our strategic options in this regard. We want to determine if there are advantages to relocating our HQ operations to another state. I have asked our leadership team to explore all options that benefit the NRA and its members.

What’s most important is leading the fight for Second Amendment freedom and serving our members. We will do that from anywhere that works best for you and for our cause.

All membership dues and financial donations will be fully dedicated to supporting our operations and public advocacy. This plan actually improves our business. It protects us from costly, distracting and unprincipled attacks from anti-2A politicians aimed at attacking the NRA because we are a potent political force. We know that the gun ban lobby will never stop – fueled by a hatred of your freedoms and by wealthy benefactors. Our plan is the best way to confront them.

We are now prepared for a better future. In fact, to me, it feels like the dawn of a new day.

We are revitalized, well-positioned, and steadfast in our commitment to fight for you. To learn more, please visit http://www.nra.org/forward.

Thank you for your unwavering spirit and being part of the NRA’s future. Both hold incredible promise for our country – and the freedoms in which it believes.

Wayne LaPierre
Wayne LaPierre

There maybe other gun organizations, but there is only one organization that defends your Second Amendment right both locally and nationally.

Contact In-Gauge of Polk County directly for CLUB membership information and benefits at: ingaugeofpolkcounty@gmail.com

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Joe Biden Doubles Down, Pledges to ‘Defeat the NRA’

By now you may have heard that Joe Biden has pledged to “Defeat the NRA.”   There is plenty of documentation to confirm this – some of which is below. 
 Stories:

  • Joe Biden Doubles Down, Pledges to ‘Defeat the NRA’ (Breitbart)
  • Joe Biden Vows to ‘Defeat the NRA’ (Newsmax)
  • Biden declares that he’ll ‘defeat the NRA’ under his term in office (BizPac Review)
  • Joe Biden Vows to ‘Defeat the NRA’ (KOH AM 780 Reno)

Joe Biden Doubles Down, Pledges to ‘Defeat the NRA’  By AWR HAWKINS  Breitbart  January 10, 2021  https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/01/10/joe-biden-doubles-down-pledges-defeat-nra/   In a January 8, 2021, statement recognizing the tenth anniversary of the shooting that wounded Gabby Giffords, President-elect Joe Biden pledged to “defeat the NRA.”  Biden’s full statement recounted the January 8, 2011, attack, which killed six and left Giffords and others wounded, then transitioned to praising Giffords for the gun control work she undertook after the incident.  The statement concluded: “As President, I pledge to continue to work together with Congresswoman Giffords, and with survivors, families, and advocates across the country, to defeat the NRA and end the epidemic of gun violence in America.”  Biden campaigned for the presidency on a platform of defeating the NRA. In fact, when he released an overview of his gun control proposals, they included a reference to his opposition to the NRA…  

Joe Biden Vows to ‘Defeat the NRA’  

By Eric Mack  Newsmax  January 10, 2021 | 9:33 pm  https://www.newsmax.com/politics/nra-gabby-giffords-lobbyist-second-amendment/2021/01/10/id/1005017/   Joe Biden will set his sights on destroying one of the most staunch Republican lobbyist organizations, the National Rifle Association.  Joe Biden’s Twitter account tweeted Friday:  “.@GabbyGiffords — Your perseverance and immeasurable courage continue to inspire me and millions of others. I pledge to continue to work with you — and with survivors, families, and advocates across the country — to defeat the NRA and end our epidemic of gun violence.”  Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was a victim of a mass shooting, sending out a tweet Biden’s account was responding, too.  “Ten years ago, my life and my community changed forever. I was shot in the head, six people were killed, 12 others injured. But the attack did not break me—or the people I represented in Congress. We came together, turned pain into purpose, and found hope in each other.”…  

Biden declares that he’ll ‘defeat the NRA’ under his term in office  

By Jon Dougherty   BizPac Review  January 10, 2021   https://www.bizpacreview.com/2021/01/10/biden-declares-that-hell-defeat-the-nra-under-his-term-in-office-1014702/  
In a declaration that is certain to upset throngs of gun owners, President-elect Joe Biden has declared that he’ll “defeat” the National Rifle Association during his term.  In response to a tweet from former Rep. Gabby Gifford (D-Ariz.), who was one of 14 people shot in January 2011 during an event in Tucson and whose husband, Democrat Mark Kelly, just won a U.S. Senate seat, Biden’s official account pledged to “defeat the NRA.”  “Ten years ago, my life and my community changed forever. I was shot in the head, six people were killed, 12 others injured. But the attack did not break me—or the people I represented in Congress. We came together, turned pain into purpose, and found hope in each other,” Giffords wrote on the anniversary of the attack by shooter Jared Lee Loughner…  

Joe Biden Vows to ‘Defeat the NRA’  

KOH AM 780 Reno  January 10, 2021  https://www.kkoh.com/news/joe-biden-vows-to-defeat-the-nra/   Joe Biden will set his sights on destroying one of the most staunch Republican lobbyist organizations, the National Rifle Association.  Joe Biden’s Twitter account tweeted Friday:  “.@GabbyGiffords — Your perseverance and immeasurable courage continue to inspire me and millions of others. I pledge to continue to work with you — and with survivors, families, and advocates across the country — to defeat the NRA and end our epidemic of gun violence.”  Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was a victim of a mass shooting, sending out a tweet Biden’s account was responding, too.  

“Ten years ago, my life and my community changed forever. I was shot in the head, six people were killed, 12 others injured. But the attack did not break me—or the people I represented in Congress. We came together, turned pain into purpose, and found hope in each other.” 

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