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This State Becomes the First to Require All Gun Owners Be Entered Into Federal Database

Hawaii became the first state in the nation to enact legislation requiring gun owners to be entered into an FBI database.

The measure, signed into law on Friday by Democratic Gov. David Ige, will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere in the country through what is known as the “Rap Back” system.

Fox News reports that the database is already in place in the FBI and used to keep track of people in “positions of trust” such as schoolteachers or bus drivers. Hawaii becomes the first state to use the system to keep track of all gun owners.

Critics says that gun owners should not have to be entered into a database simply for exercising their constitutional right to bear arms.

The National Rifle Association and the Hawaii Rifle Association opposed the legislation.

“This is an extremely dangerous bill. Exercising a constitutional right is not inherently suspicious,” Amy Hunter of the National Rifle Association said in May. “Hawaii will now be treating firearms as suspect and subject to constant monitoring.”

“I don’t like the idea of us being entered into a database. It basically tells us that they know where the guns are, they can go grab them” Jerry Ilo, a firearm and hunting instructor for the state, told the Associated Press last month. “We get the feeling that Big Brother is watching us.”

The law was one of three gun control measures Ige signed on Friday. State law now also bars those convicted of stalking or sexual assault from gun ownership and gives the police the authority to seize firearms from any deemed disqualified due to mental illness.

State Sen. Will Espero, the Democrat who introduced the FBI database registration requirement for gun owners, hopes it will be a model for other states. (For more from the author of “This State Becomes the First to Require All Gun Owners Be Entered Into Federal Database” please click HERE)

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Senate Takes Test Votes on Gun Bills; One Remains Alive

A bipartisan version of the “no fly, no buy” gun control legislation sought by congressional Democrats survived a procedural vote Thursday, but remains short of enough votes to be adopted.

The bill was proposed by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Her plan would ban people on two federal terror lists from buying guns, but include an appeal process to address Republicans’ concerns that people will be unjustly stripped of their Second Amendment rights if they are wrongly included on a government list. She offered the proposal as an amendment to a spending bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., proposed tabling the measure, which would have pushed it to the sidelines and all but killed it. By a 52-46 vote, the Senate kept the bill alive.

However, because the bill needs 60 votes to pass, its eventual fate remains uncertain.

Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, had called the voting a “test vote to see what it looks like.”

The Collins bill would ban sales to about 109,000 people, including 2,700 Americans, who are on two lists: The no-fly list and a so-called selectee list, which allows individuals to fly but requires extra scrutiny at airports. The bill gives individuals the right to take the federal government to court to appeal a denial. It also notifies authorities if a prospective gun buyer was on broader terrorism watch lists within the past five years.

The measure was one of two voted on by the Senate.

A proposal by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., received only 31 votes in support. Although his goal was similar to that of Collins, his bill put the burden of proof on the government, forcing it to go to court to show why an individual should be blocked from buying a gun.

“We were trying to get something merged between Sen. Collins’ approach and we were unsuccessful in doing that,” Cornyn said. Of the two bills, he said, one “provides for due process, and one … does not. “

Cornyn said he also thought it was time to debate other subjects.

“I think we need to be engaged in something more constructive that would’ve actually stopped the Orlando shooter,” he said. (For more from the author of “Senate Takes Test Votes on Gun Bills; One Remains Alive” please click HERE)

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See How Your Senators Voted on 4 Gun Control Amendments

The Senate shot down a series of gun control measures Monday, all brought up for debate after the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.

The four gun control bills—two proposed by Republicans and two by Democrats—were torpedoed after the sides were unable to come to an agreement.

The votes came less than a week after Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., filibustered for more than 14 hours to support a universal background check system to stop terrorists from acquiring guns.

After learning the FBI had twice investigated Islamist-inspired mass murderer Omar Mateen on suspicion of terrorist sympathies, Democrats and Republicans largely agreed that those under investigation for terrorist activity should be barred from purchasing weapons. Mateen killed 49 persons and wounded 53 more in his June 12 shooting rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

“No one wants terrorists to be able to buy guns or explosives. No one,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

But senators could not come together on specifics to address the problem, with each side accusing the other of using the votes for base political ends.

Senate Republicans rejected two Democratic proposals that would have barred firearm sales to people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list and required every gun purchaser to undergo a background check, arguing that the measures too dramatically expanded the federal government’s power.

“The Democratic alternative would not ensure due process, protect our constitutional rights, or require the government to periodically review its procedures to ensure it’s investigating the right people,” McConnell said.

Democrats, in turn, shot down Republican alternatives that would have required the government to prove probable cause within three days to block a gun sale to a suspected terrorist and increase funding for background checks. They argued the proposals were insufficient half measures only intended to help Republicans who receive donations from gun groups to save face.

“It doesn’t matter how sensible the legislation or how terrible the tragedy,” said Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., “Republicans are beholden to the National Rifle Association, the NRA, and not the people that elect them to come here and represent them.”

The votes of 60 senators were needed to end debate and proceed to a final vote on each measure.

The Republican proposals each received 53 votes. A total of 47 senators voted for the terrorist watch list amendment proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and 44 voted for the expanded background checks proposed by Murphy.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., was the only Republican to vote for both Democratic proposals. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., voted against one or both.

Some hope for a compromise amendment remained.

Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, said they would present a measure that, while similar to Feinstein’s bill, would restrict gun purchases to a smaller group than the FBI’s far-reaching terrorist watch list.

“There is a solution here, and I’m committed to finding it. But to find that solution, we have to come together instead of having competing proposals that have already mostly failed in this chamber when we took these votes back in December,” Ayotte said. “Let’s put aside the gamesmanship and come together to get a proposal that will be effective and get a result for the American people.”

Here’s how the Senate voted on the first Republican-sponsored gun control measure:

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Here’s how the Senate voted on the second Republican-sponsored gun control amendment:

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Here’s how the Senate voted on the first Democrat-sponsored gun control measure:

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Here’s how the Senate voted on the second Democrat-sponsored gun control amendment:

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(For more from the author of “See How Your Senators Voted on 4 Gun Control Amendments” please click HERE)

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SCOTUS Once Again Chips Away at Gun Rights

While everyone is waiting with bated breath for the super legislature — aka the Supreme Court — to issue its opinions on cases involving abortion, affirmative action, and immigration, the big news from today is what it declined to consider. Following a disturbing pattern of allowing lower court decisions chipping away at the landmark Heller decision to stand, the high court declined to grant cert to petitioners in the case involving the sweeping gun and magazine bans in New York and Connecticut (New York State Rifle and Pistol Association el al. v. Cuomo).

Following the Sandy Hook shooting, states like New York and Connecticut banned a bunch of semi-automatic rifles containing cosmetic features that make them look scary. They also require forced registration of those firearms already owned by private citizens. Additionally, they banned magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and in the case of New York, mandated that they not be loaded with more than seven rounds. Initially, New York banned all magazines that hold more than seven rounds, but had to modify the law because most manufacturers don’t even make such small magazines except for sub-compact carry pistols.

While almost every circuit court found a constitutional right to gay marriage, none of them thus far have found a constitutional right to own common guns and ubiquitous magazines, thereby upholding the laws in the blue states. The Second Circuit upheld all the provisions of the New York and Connecticut laws except for the seven round load rule. Despite the Heller decision’s clear constitutional finding that individuals have a right to own and bear common self-defense weapons, the Second Circuit felt that a scary looking pistol grip on a commonly used weapon deems it a substantial governmental interest — enough to limit the individual right to own such a weapon. On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the Second Circuit’s decision.

Typically, one cannot read too much into the Supreme Court’s decision not to grant cert to those seeking to overturn a lower court’s decision. After all, justices have limited time and resources and cannot hear every appeal. Moreover, they often like to wait for a circuit split before rendering a final decision. But following the Heller decision affirming the plain meaning of the most sacred of inviolable rights, how can they continuously allow circuit after circuit to chip away at Heller — both by banning common guns and magazines and by categorically upholding plenary bans on right to carry? They have already refused to consider two other appeals on cases banning gun ownership and have not granted cert to any case where a circuit court has upheld bans on carrying outside one’s home. The Second, Third, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuit Courts have all ruled there is no right to self-defense outside the home — in contravention of the plain language of the Heller decision.

Indeed, in the case of lower courts upholding sweeping gun bans, the silence of more than three justices willing to grant cert (it takes four) is deafening. As Justice Thomas has noted in his dissent on the denial of cert on the two previous assault weapons bans, the other justices (presumably Roberts and Kennedy included) are clearly allowing the Second Amendment to become a second-class right. [1] How can Kennedy and Roberts decline to join in the vote to hear the appeal when the lower courts are vitiating the plain implications of Heller? In Heller, the Supreme Court made it clear that governmental interest cannot be factored in to mitigate an individual right to own or bear firearms because the Second Amendment “is the very product of an interest-balancing by the people,” and “[t]he very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government… the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon.” [2] How then can they allow the lower courts to uphold sweeping gun bans on the basis of a government interest for public safety, especially in the case of the Seventh Circuit which upheld the Illinois assault weapons ban simply on the basis that it “may increase the public’s sense of safety.” [3] Those pistol grips and picatinny rails on the rifle are sure scary. If looks could kill! Maybe we should limit the First Amendment’s right to assemble in large numbers because large crowds scare people.

The ongoing debate over gun rights in the courts demonstrates once again that even as the courts create new super rights for favored classes or for foreign nationals, they can’t be relied upon to protect the most basic rights of Americans. It also demonstrates that even if we succeed in filling the current Supreme Court vacancy, given that the lower courts are unanimously against gun rights, we can’t even count on five justices willing to overturn them. The judiciary is a dead end for those seeking preservation of constitutional rights in the long run. (For more from the author of “SCOTUS Once Again Chips Away at Gun Rights” please click HERE)

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Senate Republicans Cave to Democrats, Agree to Vote on Gun Control Bills

After waging a nearly 15-hour-long filibuster, Senate Democrats succeeding in persuading Republican lawmakers to vote on gun control proposals this coming Monday, The Hill reported.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled the four proposals to be heard, two from Republicans and two from Democrats, which could potentially amend the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill.

Democrats have rallied behind a bill sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that would give the attorney general discretion to block the sale of firearms in cases where “reasonable suspicion” exists that an individual has or will commit a terrorist attack.

Critics of Feinstein’s proposal argue authority granted under the bill would be too broad and could impact innocent Americans.

Instead, Republicans have opted to support a proposal from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) that would allow the attorney general to temporarily suspend the purchase of a firearm, up to 72 hours, with a court order required for anything longer.

Furthermore, a suspension could be approved for individuals who have been the subject of a terror investigation within a five-year period.

Cornyn put forward a similar proposal last year, but it was shot down because of an attached amendment that would have placed penalties on sanctuary cities.

In addition, the Senate will hold votes for expanded background check proposals, including one by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that would authorize and fund the National Instant Background Check System and provide incentives to share mental health records and federal record sharing.

Democrats have put forward their own proposal that would expand background checks across the board for the sale or transfer of any firearm, as well as impose penalties on states that do not cooperate. (For more from the author of “Senate Republicans Cave to Democrats, Agree to Vote on Gun Control Bills” please click HERE)

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In the Wake of Orlando, New Gun Control Legislation May Be on the Horizon

CNN is reporting a possible new deal on gun control legislation may be in the works between members of GOP leadership and Democrats.

Specifically, Senators Dianne Feinstein and John Cornyn may be the driving force behind the legislation, which would seek to suspend Second Amendment rights for those on government watch lists.

“According to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the legislation would allow the attorney general to block individuals suspected of having terrorist ties from buying a gun. The legislation also includes an appeals process for those individuals who may argue they were wrongly targeted,” read a report from Talking Points Memo.

“Our priority this week should be this terrorist gap measure because it is linked so directly to the issue of terrorism and extremist violence in this nation and abroad,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

The renewed call to suspend the rights of those on government watch lists comes after it was revealed that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, who carried out the deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11, was on such a list.

Ironically, Mateen was interviewed twice by the FBI and subsequently removed from the list after he was cleared of suspicion.

Opponents of this sort of legislation point out it would be a violation of the Constitution to suspend rights without due process and a fair trail, adding that the real issue is a politically correct culture, which prevents intelligence officers from doing their jobs properly.

Furthermore, there are concerns that such lists could be used to target and punish political rivals, specifically veterans and conservatives, as the administration has expressed contempt for these groups in the past.

According to a widely criticized security assessment by the Department of Homeland Security, conservatives, and even returning veterans, are susceptible to extremism and therefore should be watched.

“Let me be very clear — we monitor the risks of violent extremism taking root here in the United States,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. “We don’t have the luxury of focusing our efforts on one group; we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown, and regardless of the ideology that motivates its violence.” (For more from the author of “In the Wake of Orlando, New Gun Control Legislation May Be on the Horizon” please click HERE)

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Here’s the Left’s ‘Official Lie’ About the Orlando Terrorist Attack

Reacting Monday to the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in Orlando, Mark Steyn—filling in for Rush Limbaugh—said that the “official lie” of the Left is that gun-toting “right” wing extremists are responsible for the shooting and radical Islamic terrorism is not.

The fact, Steyn said, is a radical Muslim killed 49 in a terror attack and the Left doesn’t know how to cope with the “internal contradictions of the rainbow coalition.”

Listen:

Steyn read the American headlines reporting the event which showed a stark contrast with international headlines by reporting a deadly “mass shooting” instead of an ISIS-inspired “terror attack.”

While the Left is clamoring for more gun control and screaming at the NRA, it is ignoring that radical Islam is responsible for the attack and only wants to destroy what the Left believes in. “The arithmetic isn’t complicated,” Steyn explained, “the more Islam, the fewer gays.” (For more from the author of “Here’s the Left’s ‘Official Lie’ About the Orlando Terrorist Attack” please click HERE)

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Right Before Orlando Slaughter, Ex-CIA Head Gen. Petraeus and Astronaut Mark Kelly Launch Gun Control Group

Retired U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, who has long resisted calls to run for political office, is teaming up with retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly to create a new group urging greater gun control.

The two announced on Friday that they were launching Veterans Coalition for Common Sense to encourage elected leaders to “do more to prevent gun tragedies.” The group will feature veterans from every branch of the military who are urging lawmakers to toughen gun laws, the organization said in a news release.

“As service members, each of us swore an oath to protect our Constitution and the homeland. Now we’re asking our leaders to do more to protect our rights and save lives,” said Kelly, the husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a group that advocates for tougher gun laws. (Read more from “Right Before Orlando Slaughter, Ex-CIA Head Gen. Petraeus and Astronaut Mark Kelly Launch Gun Control Group” HERE)

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Federal Court Rules Against Right to Conceal Carry

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that people do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public.

The 7-4 decision by an en banc panel of Ninth Circuit judges overruled a previous 2-1 decision by the court in 2014, finding the Second Amendment encompassed the right to conceal carry.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris appealed the 2014 ruling, which struck down a San Diego law requiring residents to show “good cause” in order to obtain a conceal carry permit.

“We hold that the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public,” wrote Judge William A. Fletcher, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, for the seven-judge majority.

Judge Consuelo M. Callahan, in a dissent wrote, “In the context of present-day California law, the Defendant counties’ limited licensing of the right to carry concealed firearms is tantamount to a total ban on the right of an ordinary citizen to carry a firearm in public for self-defense,” Callahan wrote.

“Because the majority eviscerates the Second Amendment right of individuals to keep and bear arms as defined by Heller and reaffirmed in McDonald, I respectfully dissent,” Callahan said.

The Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

The Supreme Court has yet to take up the issue of whether the Constitution’s right to self-defense includes the right to conceal-carry in public.

The court, in the District of Columbia v. Heller case (2008) authored by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, affirmed the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. (For more from the author of “Federal Court Rules Against Right to Conceal Carry” please click HERE)

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UCLA PROVES ONCE AGAIN: Gun-Free Zones Are Magnets for Murderers

You say someone violated a newly defined “gun-free zone” to shoot innocents at UCLA?

Impossible! Preposterous! Outrageous!

Economist-slash-statisticians Tim Groseclose and John Lott, Jr. explain (more patiently than I could) for the mentally defective and the Left, but I repeat myself.

The fatal shooting at UCLA wasn’t supposed to happen. Late last year, California passed a ban on people being able to carry a permitted concealed handgun on college campuses. California instituted the ban despite the previous rule being in effect for over 100 years without a single example of any problem.

Both of the authors here have taught at UCLA, and we don’t take these arguments lightly… The shooting last week at the campus engineering building took place only about 400 yards from the UCLA police station. But despite police being so important in stopping crime, this case again illustrated a simple fact: Police virtually always arrive on a crime scene after the crime occurs.

…Since at least 1950, all but three public mass shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are [unconstitutionally] banned from carrying guns. In Europe, there have been no exceptions. Every mass public shooting has occurred in places where general citizens are not allowed to have guns. And Europe is no stranger to mass shootings, with a fatality rate virtually the same as that in the U.S…

…Those advocating gun-free zones argue that permit holders will accidentally shoot bystanders. Or that arriving police will shoot anyone with a gun, including the permit holders. At colleges, fears are raised that students will get drunk and misuse guns.

Out of the dozens of cases where concealed-carry holders have stopped shootings in malls, churches, schools, universities and busy downtowns, no permit holder has ever shot a bystander. Nor in these cases have the police ever accidentally shot a permit holder.

Gun-free zones are a magnet for murderers. Even the most ardent gun control advocate would never put “Gun-Free Zone” signs on their home. Let’s finally stop putting them elsewhere.

(For more from the author of “UCLA PROVES ONCE AGAIN: Gun-Free Zones Are Magnets for Murderers” please click HERE)

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