Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gun News

Florida: Orange County Sheriff's Office used secret files to lobby against gun bill

Florida law enforcement officials dipped into secret intelligence files to lobby against legislation that would have allowed holders of concealed weapons permits to carry their guns openly, newly released documents show. Leading the effort last spring was one of Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings' staff lobbyists, who gave lawmakers surveillance and state drivers license photos of eight concealed weapons permit holders, despite a state law that makes the identities of the 800,000 permit holders confidential.

Norris: A singular solution to many problems

Loyal readers know that I have been calling attention to a range of Second Amendment issues in the past week. In last week's column here, I wrote about the scandals and illegitimate regulations emanating from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In another outlet, I documented the threat to our rights that is posed by the United Nations' proposed arms trade treaty.

Read About It: Town Hall

Chris Cox: Your right to self-defense shouldn’t end at state borders

This Labor Day weekend, many families will pack up the car for one last road trip to the beach, lake or park before summer ends. Unfortunately, many of them will have to check their right to self-defense at the state border. Thankfully, there is legislation making its way through Congress that would fix this.
The bill is the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 822) and it would allow any person with a valid, state-issued concealed firearm permit to exercise their right to carry a firearm in any other state that affords that right to its own residents.

Read About It: Daily Caller

Texas Employee/Parking Lot Protection Bill Takes Effect September 1!
NRA-backed Senate Bill 321 takes effect this Thursday, September 1.  This measure, authored by state Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) & state Representative Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington), and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry, prohibits most employers from enacting and enforcing bans on employees transporting and storing firearms in their locked, private motor vehicles while parked at work.  This important new law recognizes that hard-working Texans' right to self-defense does not end when they drive onto their employers property, and it honors the strong sporting culture of the Lone Star State where employees often hunt or visit the local gun club before or after work. 

SB 321 applies to both public and private employers, as well as all lawfully-owned firearms - not just firearms in the possession of Concealed Handgun Licensees.  However, SB 321 does not authorize an employee to possess firearms on any property where such possession is prohibited by state or federal law, and the provisions of the bill do not apply to the following:
  • Vehicles owned or leased by the employer and used by the employee for work purposes;
  • School districts, open enrollment charter schools, and private schools as defined in Section 22.081, Education Code;
  • Property owned or controlled by a person, other than an employer, that is subject to a valid, unexpired oil, gas, or other mineral lease that contains a provision prohibiting the possession of firearms on the property; or
  • Property owned or leased by a chemical manufacturer or oil and gas refiner permitted by TCEQ and on which the primary business conducted is the manufacture, use, storage or transportation of hazardous, combustible, or explosive materials; however, employees at  these facilities who are CHLs may store firearms (including rifles or shotguns) in their private motor vehicles in parking areas located outside of secured and restricted areas which contain the physical plant, are not open to the public and which are constantly monitored by security personnel.
Please contact NRA-ILA's Grassroots Division at 1-800-392-8683 about alleged violations of this act.  We have already received information about companies who are misinterpreting the law or planning on ignoring it altogether.  NRA-ILA will monitor and investigate those situations to ensure that your rights under the new law are protected!

California Legislature Sends Anti-Gun Bill to the Governor
California Legislature Sends Anti-Gun Bill to the Governor
Contact the Governor Today!
Yesterday, Senate Bill 819 passed in the California Assembly by a 50 to 27 vote and will now be sent to the Governor for his consideration. SB 819 passed in the state Senate on June 1 by a 22 to 16 vote
Senate Bill 819 would allow the Department of Justice to use the Dealer Record of Sales (DROS) funds to help pay for enforcement of California firearm possession laws in the Armed & Prohibited Persons Systems program. The DROS fund monies were originally collected from every firearm purchaser to pay for the administrative process for background checks. This bill will divert and drain hundreds of thousands of dollars of DROS fee monies that YOU have paid for background checks. As a result, the DROS fund will certainly run out of money. When it does, they will almost certainly want another increase in the fees YOU pay for firearm background checks.
It is important that you CALL and E-MAIL Governor Jerry Brown TODAY and urge him to VETO SB 819.  California is drowning in red ink and they want to use the surplus funds paid by law-abiding gun owners to pay for unrelated extra expenses.  Contact information for the Governor can be found here.
Please forward this alert to your family, friends and fellow gun owners in California and urge them to also call and e-mail Governor Brown to veto SB 819.
Recently, Attorneys for the NRA, California Rifle & Pistol Association Foundation, Herb Bauer’s Sporting Goods, and individual Fresno residents and gun owners have filed a lawsuit related to similar “fees” that have come about due to legislation like SB 819. The lawsuit, Bauer v. Harris, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (Fresno), alleges that the excessive “fees” being charged by DOJ to purchase a gun create an unconstitutional infringement on the exercise of rights protected under the Second Amendment. A copy of the Complaint is available HERE.
Over the years the fees imposed on firearms purchasers have increased dramatically, despite the fact that technological advances have caused the cost of conducting background checks on gun purchasers to go down. As a result, a multi-million dollar surplus has amassed but rather than reduce these fees, the state has instead sought to continually expand and subsidize the programs that this money can be used for. This lawsuit alleges that the DOJ illegally uses the revenues from these mandatory “fees” for general law enforcement activities that are completely unrelated to the valid regulation of lawful firearm purchases, and that the  DOJ is illegally overcharging gun buyers. In doing so, the DOJ places an unconstitutional precondition on the exercise of fundamental Second Amendment rights in California. Essentially, the state is unconstitutionally funding general police work unrelated to lawful firearm purchases off the backs of law-abiding gun owners. 
This lawsuit also alleges that the DOJ’s imposition of the fees are not really “fees” at all under California law, but are actually disguised taxes that are invalid and unenforceable since they were not adopted by the state Legislature by a two-thirds vote. Plaintiffs are asking that the statutes authorizing these “taxes” be declared void.

BATFE Issues Open Letter to Nevada FFLs Announcing NICS Exemption
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
In a letter dated August 26, 2011, Arthur Herbert, Assistant Director of the Enforcement Programs and Services Division of the BATFE, announced that concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit holders will be exempt from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) provided the permit was issued after July 1, 2011.  According to this letter:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reviewed Nevada’s Concealed Firearm Permit and has determined that the concealed firearm permit qualifies as an alternative to the background check required by the Brady law. Please be advised that only permits issued on or after July 1, 2011 qualify as alternatives to the background check. If an unlicensed person presents a permit issued prior to July 1, 2011, the FFL must conduct a background check prior to transferring the firearm.

The statutory framework for the NICS exemption was included in Assembly Bill 282 and enacted by Governor Sandoval effective July 1, 2011.  However, individuals who hold permits issued before July 1, 2011, must go through the renewal process before enjoying the exemption.  It will be up to each issuing authority to determine if early renewals will be accepted and the NRA will be encouraging Nevada sheriffs to make those allowances.

As reported in previous alerts, it was a private citizen’s correspondence in June of 2011 that prompted the BATFE to examine the most recent amendments to Nevada's CCW statutes.  However, the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs Association (NSCA) claimed that it was the only authorized entity to formally communicate with the BATFE regarding the reinstatement of the exemption.  This recent action taken by the federal agency proves that claim to be incorrect. 

At a July meeting of the NSCA, a motion to send a formal letter to the BATFE requesting the exemption was tabled after both Washoe and Clark County Sheriffs asked to further consider the effects of AB 282 and postpone a vote until their next meeting on September 17.  Once it became clear that the NSCA was dragging its feet in support of the exemption, it drew an overwhelming response from NRA members who were outraged with the NSCA’s stalling.

Nevada: Rule to streamline background checks

A new rule taking effect this week will streamline the background check process for Nevadans buying guns. Sheriffs said Tuesday that people who were issued a concealed carry weapon permit July 1 or later won't have to do additional background checks each time they buy a new firearm.

Read About It: The Associated Press

Florida: Coral Springs forced to change gun laws

A newly passed gun friendly state law has forced Coral Springs to make changes to its code that currently prohibits bringing firearms and ammunition into city parks.

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