Guns

MSM PROMOTING ‘GUN CONFISCATION ORDERS’ AS SOLUTION TO MASS SHOOTINGS

In what many saw coming a mile away in the aftermath of both the Las Vegas Massacre and the Texas Church mass shooting, liberals in the government, with the help of their mainstream media allies, are now pushing what amounts to plans for gun confiscation, outside of normal law, for Americans across the country.

The new push for gun control from the left comes courtesy of ABC News which recently published a piece promoting the use of an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) that many believe is nothing more than a thinly veiled confiscation plan that would allow a judge to “issue an ex parte order” for the direct confiscation of an American citizens firearms.

Unbelievably, the order can actually be issued without the firearm owner even being present, which would in turn end with police at the citizens door demanding he hand over his weapons or face violence from the state.

ABC’s Andy Fies, on the other hand, apparently wants Americans to see the orders differently, painting a more friendly picture of the ERPO’s while quoting two different left-wing gun control groups as seemingly unbiased experts on gun violence.

As of now, only Washington, California, Connecticut and most recently Oregon have ERPO laws (while Indiana and Texas have modified risk warrant statutes). Over the past year, however, spurred by a string of mass shootings beginning with the Pulse Nightclub attack that killed 49 in June 2016, legislatures in 19 states and Washington, D.C., have taken up 32 separate ERPO bills for consideration, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control.

Everytown’s deputy legal director, William Rosen, told ABC News that list will grow. “We expect to see at least as much interest in 2018,” he said.

“There is a growing consensus,” added Lauren Alfred of the gun violence prevention group Sandy Hook Promise, “that this is the first step we should be taking when we are talking about people who are at risk of hurting themselves or others.”

Current laws barring gun ownership are limited. Generally, a person with a long history of mental health issues can still legally buy or possess firearms if they don’t fall into specific statutory categories such as having been adjudicated mentally ill or under a domestic violence restraining order. But, as was the case with Texas church gunman Devin Kelley, even these restrictions may not work if the person’s troubled past is not recorded on a background registry.

With an ERPO, however, if family members or police can show a gun owner to be an imminent danger to themselves or others, they can force the person to surrender their weapon(s).

Keep in mind that Everytown for Gun Safety is a Michael Bloomberg funded, left-wing gun control group that was created as part of a rebranding effort by the billionaire gun grabber after his previous group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, was outed by multiple former members as actually pushing an agenda of full-scale gun confiscation.

The Extreme Risk Protection Orders scheme seems to be nothing more than another attempt at slowly eroding the right of lawful Americans to own firearms.

As AWR Hawkins reported in an April 2017 article about a similar law being pushed in Oregon, “Oregon state Sen. Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) is pushing a confiscation bill that would broaden the number of prohibited gun purchasers as well as require certain individuals to hand over any guns in their possession.”

At the time, gun rights activist and NRA member Keely Hopkins rightfully described the law as an attempt to remove your Second Amendment rights by using a third-party who would need little evidence to declare you unfit to own a firearm. (Imagine a vengeful ex-wife/husband)

“This bill allows for a protective order to remove your Second Amendment rights, not because of a criminal conviction, but based on third-party allegations using an evidentiary standard that falls far below what’s normally required for the removing of fundamental rights.”

It is also important to note that gun control advocates and the mainstream media are using The Las Vegas Massacre, which the authorities are openly lying about (there were at least 7 different shooters) as a pretext to further take away Americans right to bear arms. This is, and has always been, the modus operandi of the power elite.

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Assault Weapons Not Protected by Second Amendment, Federal Appeals Court Rules

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland’s ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons and its 10-round limit on gun magazines were upheld Tuesday by a federal appeals court in a decision that met with a strongly worded dissent.

In a 10-4 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the guns banned under Maryland’s law aren’t protected by the Second Amendment.

“Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war,” Judge Robert King wrote for the court, adding that the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller explicitly excluded such coverage.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who led the push for the law in 2013 as a state senator, said it’s “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.”

Image: AR-15 rifles build by DSA Inc.
AR-15 rifles. Scott Olson / Getty Images

“It’s a very strong opinion, and it has national significance, both because it’s en-banc and for the strength of its decision,” Frosh said, noting that all of the court’s judges participated.

Judge William Traxler issued a dissent. By concluding the Second Amendment doesn’t even apply, Traxler wrote, the majority “has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.” He also wrote that the court did not apply a strict enough review on the constitutionality of the law.

“For a law-abiding citizen who, for whatever reason, chooses to protect his home with a semi-automatic rifle instead of a semi-automatic handgun, Maryland’s law clearly imposes a significant burden on the exercise of the right to arm oneself at home, and it should at least be subject to strict scrutiny review before it is allowed to stand,” Traxler wrote.

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said, “It is absurd to hold that the most popular rifle in America is not a protected ‘arm’ under the Second Amendment.” She added that the majority opinion “clearly ignores the Supreme Court’s guidance from District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects arms that are ‘in common use at the time for lawful purposes like self-defense.'”

The NRA estimates there are 5 million to 10 million AR-15s — one of the weapons banned under Maryland’s law — in circulation in the United States for lawful purposes. Asked about an appeal, Baker said the NRA is exploring all options.

 

 

But Elizabeth Banach, executive director of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, said the decision is “overwhelming proof that reasonable measures to prevent gun violence are constitutional.”

“Maryland’s law needs to become a national model of evidence-based policies that will reduce gun violence,” Banach wrote in a statement.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake upheld the ban in 2015, but a divided three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that she didn’t apply the proper legal standard. The panel sent the case back to Blake and ordered her to apply “strict scrutiny,” a more rigorous test of a law’s constitutionality. The state appealed to the full appeals court.

Maryland passed the sweeping gun-control measure after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that killed 20 children and six educators in Connecticut. King mentioned the massacre at the start of the ruling.

“Both before and after Newtown, similar military-style rifles and detachable magazines have been used to perpetrate mass shootings in places whose names have become synonymous with the slaughters that occurred there,” King wrote. He listed the 2012 shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; the December 2015 shootings in San Bernardino, California; and the shootings last year at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub, where 49 people were killed and 53 injured.

King also noted that enacting the law is “precisely the type of judgment that legislatures are allowed to make without second-guessing by a court.”

“Simply put, the State has shown all that is required: a reasonable, if not perfect, fit between the (Firearms Safety Act) and Maryland’s interest in protecting public safety,” King wrote.

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“Offensive” coffee commercial savagely mocks the liberal logic behind gun control

Veteran, comedian, internet star, and entrepreneur Mat Best is back with another great commercial for Black Rifle Coffee.

If you love coffee as much as the 2nd Amendment and don’t mind offending gun control advocates, you’ll love this video.

Evan Hafer, an Army Special Forces veteran and Black Rifle Coffee CEO, started roasting coffee in Colorado as a side job between deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Now he plans to expand his company to bring more jobs to the 2.5 million post-9/11 veterans.

With the help of other veterans like Mat Best, Black Rifle Coffee has been spreading the word about their brand through funny videos like the one below.

WARNING: If you’ve ever needed to use a safe space for a good cry, you’re going to have a bad time.

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Czech government tells its citizens how to fight terrorists: Shoot them yourselves

 

A couple of months ago, Czech President Milos Zeman made an unusual request: He urged citizens to arm themselves against a possible “super-Holocaust” carried out by Muslim terrorists.

Never mind that there are fewer than 4,000 Muslims in this country of 10 million people — gun purchases spiked. One shop owner in East Bohemia, a region in the northern center of the Czech Republic, told a local paper that people were scared of a “wave of Islamists.”

Now the country’s interior ministry is pushing a constitutional change that would let citizens use guns against terrorists. Proponents say this could save lives if an attack occurs and police are delayed or unable to make their way to the scene. To become law, Parliament must approve the proposal; they’ll vote in the coming months.

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The Czech Republic already has some of the most lenient gun policies in Europe. It’s home to about 800,000 registered firearms and 300,000 people with gun licenses. Obtaining a weapon is relatively easy: Residents must be 21, pass a gun knowledge check and have no criminal record. By law, Czechs can use their weapons to protect their property or when in danger, although they need to prove they faced a real threat.

This puts the country at odds with much of Europe, which has long supported much more stringent gun-control measures.  In the wake of the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, France pushed the European Union to enact even tougher policies. The European Commission’s initial proposal called for a complete ban on the sale of weapons like Kalashnikovs or AR-15s that are intended primarily for military use. Ammunition magazines would be limited to 20 rounds or less.

The Czech Republic came out hard against the directive. Officials warned — somewhat ominously — that the measure would limit the country’s ability to build “an internal security system” and make it nearly impossible to train army reservists. And a total ban on military-style rifles that can fire large numbers of rounds would make illegal thousands of weapons already owned by Czech citizens, potentially creating a black market for terrorists to exploit. Finland and Germany offered their own reservations; Europe’s pro-gun groups also mobilised against the bill with the support of politicians on the extreme right.

After months of contentious negotiations, the EU passed a compromise last month; the Council of Ministers will confirm the measure this spring. All member states will have 15 months to comply with the new gun restrictions. The final measure bans the sale of most military-style rifles and requires all potential buyers to go through a psychological check before they can buy a weapon. If someone fails a check in one E.U. state, that information will be shared in an international database so that the person can’t procure a gun somewhere else. Online sales are also severely curtailed. The Czech Republic was the only country to oppose the directive for being too strict. Luxembourg also voted against the measure, but on the grounds that it was too weak.

That means that regardless of how the Czech parliament votes on the terrorist-hunting measure, gun laws in the Czech Republic are going to get stricter. All gun purchasers will be required to pass the psychological checks, though it’s not yet clear if gun owners will have to turn in newly illegal weapons. That ambiguity has led one Czech newspaper to suggest that the Interior Ministry’s latest move is much more about political safety than safety from terrorism.

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Court reverses conviction of felon who was hunting with replica antique

The Florida Supreme Court in a 5-2 ruling overturned the conviction of a man for being a felon in possession of a firearm because the gun he was using wasn’t considered modern under state law. The case involves Christopher Weeks who was charged for being a felon in possession of a firearm on Feb. 4, 2012, after a Florida Fish and Game Wildlife officer stopped him on state land during primitive weapon season for deer hunting. Weeks had been hunting with a Traditions .50-caliber muzzleloader equipped with a scope, a gun he received as a Christmas present after researching guns a felon could possess.

State law defines an antique firearm as any gun that used a “matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar early type of ignition system or replica thereof” or was made before 1918. Yet, authorities argued the scope modernized the gun.

Facing a jury trial, Weeks pleaded no contest and received three years probation. However, a 2013 District Court reversed that ruling on appeal, citing state law was unconstitutionally vague and, even though Weeks had added a scope to the muzzleloader, the addition was not enough to make the black powder percussion gun a modern firearm. State prosecutors took the position that Weeks’ firearm was not an exact copy of a weapon manufactured before 1918 — due to the scope — and his conviction should stand.

This week, the Supreme Court in a 5-2 split agreed with Weeks’ argument and held state law emphasizes the ignition system as the distinctive feature of an “antique firearm,” and that the hunter’s replica “used a type of firing system specifically mentioned” as exempt in the law’s language in an opinion written by Justice Barbara Pariente. Justices James E.C. Perry, Jorge Labarga and Ricky Polston concurred.

Justice Charles Canady, in a separate concurrence, blasted the State’s line of reasoning that adding a scope to Weeks’ replica made it a modern firearm, arguing that in the same logic “an antique replica with any modern accessory attached, such as camouflage tape, a rubber recoil pad, or a nylon rifle sling, would—unlike a similarly configured actual antique—fall outside the definition of an ‘antique firearm’ whether the accessory is permanently secured or temporarily affixed.”

Justice R. Fred Lewis broke with the majority and joined with Justice Peggy Quince in a dissent based on the technology involved.

“Although the firearm may have relied upon an ignition mechanism used by similar firearms before 1918, it also featured a scope that was not found on weapons that were available in 1918,” wrote Lewis. “In my view, such a firearm cannot constitute an antique firearm as defined by Florida law.”

Lewis, however, was factually incorrect in his assertion. Brass-tubed telescopic rifle sights from Morgan James and others were available prior to the Civil War while both Stevens Arms and Winchester introduced commercial lines of rifle scopes in 1902 and 1909, respectively, and sold them via mail order — meaning either could have been in common use in Florida well before 1918.

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Gun Carry Laws Can Complicate Police Interactions

The recent targeted attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge have law enforcement on edge. Some departments are telling officers to patrol in pairs when possible, and to be extra vigilant about possible ambush. Complicating matters is the question of how to interpret and react to the presence of a gun. With more Americans now exercising their legal right to carry firearms, police find themselves having to make rapid judgments about whether an armed citizen is a threat.

While police are more sensitive to the presence of legal guns now, the dilemma isn’t a new one. Gun rights groups started a push for more permissive laws in the 1990s, and most states now allow concealed carry, open carry or both.

And police are divided: Chiefs tend to favor more gun control, while the younger rank and file tend to support gun rights.

But even many rank-and-file cops want some limits. Steve Loomis is head of the biggest police union in Cleveland — he calls himself a “Second Amendment guy,” but on Sunday he asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich to limit the state’s open-carry law during this week’s Republican convention.

Loomis, talking to a reporter from The Plain Dealer, said there are certain practical problems in having people walk around downtown carrying semiautomatic rifles.

“Somebody’s going to be watching, there’s going to be multiple police officers watching that person with that AR-15, when they should be over here watching for the guy that’s not on his meds that has a couple of handguns,” Loomis said.

That’s one of the challenges for police: Even in states with open carry, when people see someone with a gun, they tend to call the cops — and then the police get the thankless job of challenging someone who may or may not be a threat. One high-ranking officer in Texas calls it a “headache.”

“When you have all these people running around with guns and rifles, you don’t know who the bad guy is,” he says.

Another potential headache is concealed-carry permits, and the people who like to keep their guns secret, like Joseph Olson of Minnesota.

“Unless it’s an essential part of what I’m doing, like defending myself, whether or not I’m carrying it at any given time is something I never say,” says Olson, a retired law professor who led the campaign to make his state a concealed-carry state in 2003.

Legal guns used to be a rarity in the Twin Cities, but in recent years the number of permits has jumped, and armed citizens are a routine factor for the police.

Olson says he thought Minnesota police had adapted to the reality of legal guns — until he was pulled over by an especially nervous-seeming cop.

“His voice had a tremor in it and I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh, my God.’ I decided when I heard his voice that I was not going to introduce another element into the transaction,” Olson says. He decided not to mention his gun.

Minnesota law doesn’t require people to tell police they have a gun unless asked. Instructors give conflicting advice on this — but cops say they appreciate being told as soon as possible. Most of them have stories about close calls, when a legal gun appeared in the wrong way.

One officer recalls telling a gun owner, “Do you realize you almost died tonight?” The officer, whom we’re not identifying because he doesn’t have permission from work to talk about this, says he’d pulled the man over for a routine traffic stop.

“So I said, ‘I see you have a permit to carry. Do you have a firearm in the vehicle?’ ”

“And … [he said] ‘Yeah, it’s right here,’ and he reaches over to his passenger seat, and I’m going, ‘Stop. Don’t move,’ and he grabs this shirt,” the officer recalls. “And I can then see a gun in it, and he’s grabbing it.”

The officer says he managed to grab the man’s arm before being forced to pull his own gun, but police have shot motorists for a lot less than that.

Minnesota is an example of a state that’s still adjusting to its new gun culture, and the state hasn’t introduced any specific training for officers on how best to handle legally armed citizens. Some wonder if that played a role in the death of Philando Castile earlier this month. He’s the black man who was shot during a traffic stop; his girlfriend, who was in the car with him, has said he was trying to tell the officer about his permitted gun.

Scott Dibble, a state senator from Minneapolis, says he’s surprised officers haven’t been given specific training for these situations, and he’s also concerned that members of the public aren’t being given clear, consistent instructions on how to inform officers that they’re armed.

Dibble favors maximum transparency: “Seems like the right thing to do is to say, ‘Officer, I’m a concealed-carry permit holder, I have a firearm, I don’t want you to be surprised should you see it.’ ”

Then again, Dibble says, that’s apparently what Philando Castile was trying to do when he got shot by a police officer.

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Family Plans to Destroy Stockpile of Inherited Guns and Ammo Worth Millions, Lawyer Says

Family members set to inherit a stockpile of guns and ammunition, worth millions of dollars, plan to destroy the weapons “to send a message,” their attorney Daniel Brookman told ABC News today. “They want these instruments of death to be destroyed,” Brookman said. “They don’t want these weapons out on the street.”

Jeffrey A. Lash, of Pacific Palisades, California, died last summer of natural causes, but left behind a stockpile of more than 1,500 guns, 6.5 tons of ammunition and nearly $250,000 in cash, according to local ABC-owned station KABC-TV. All of the purchases were legally made, KABC reported.

The reason Lash amassed such a collection remains a complete mystery.

Lash did not leave behind a will, so his first cousins and closest relatives are set to inherit the stockpile, according to Brookman, although the inheritance is still in litigation.

The family members are taking a firm stand in deciding that they want nothing to do with the weapons, or the millions of dollars they could earn from selling them, Brookman explained.

“They don’t want them to contribute to the carnage,” he said. “Especially in light of San Bernardino and Orlando, as ordinary citizens they feel like a stand should be taken.”

He added: “The relatives are wanting to send a message not just to the nation at large, but also to our elected leaders.”

The family’s stance comes as Congress has been debating gun control measures over the past week.

On Monday, the Senate rejected four gun safety measures that came to the floor for voting. Today, Democrats organized a “sit-in” on the House floor to protest Republican inaction over gun violence.

Guns

That Time Mob Violence Inspired Gun Control in America

Consider the situation: Gun crimes are on the rise, and the guns that criminals use are military-style weapons, capable of firing rounds with unprecedented speed and ferocity. Cities—where more people live than ever before—are becoming unsafe. The United States leads other industrialized countries in gun-related deaths. And scores of citizens, including the liberal president, are calling for action.

But this isn’t 2016. It’s 1934—a year in which the United States faced unprecedented challenges from a new kind of gun and a new kind of criminal, and the country responded with new laws.

The weapon in question was the tommy gun. Named for its inventor, John T. Thompson, the tommy gun is the kind of short machine gun you see in old-timey mob movies, usually with a cylindrical drum of bullets hanging from the barrel. And the tommy gun really was the weapon of choice for mobsters and bandits, who were a major part of the American consciousness during Prohibition and the Depression.

“By the late 1920s, through popular culture, through news reports, through movies, you have this rising crime rate where criminals are using weapons like the tommy gun, like the sawed-off shotgun,” says Robert Spitzer, a professor of political science at SUNY Cortland and the author of several books on the history of gun control.

“A cry arose in the country to regulate these weapons,” he says.

And that cry sounds a lot like the arguments we hear today.

“Why should desperadoes, brazen outlaws of the period, be permitted to purchase these weapons of destruction?” wrote the editors of the Waco News-Tribune in 1933 after the Texas—yes, Texas—statehouse passed a ban on fully automatic weapons.

When New York state banned submachine guns, the Ironwood Daily Globe in Ironwood, Michigan, called it a “a very excellent law” and went on to say, “It is hard to think of any good reason why every other state in the union should not copy it at once.”

That was also in 1933, the same year that New York’s previous governor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, became president of the United States. Roosevelt favored a registration law for machine guns. And he also favored a new approach to how the federal government interacted in Americans’ everyday lives.

Along with New Deal legislation that gave the federal government a larger role in economic development, Roosevelt—and J. Edgar Hoover’s fairly new Federal Bureau of Investigation—championed an expansion of Washington’s law enforcement powers. These expansions targeted crimes that were very much in the public consciousness. After Charles Lindbergh’s baby was kidnapped, kidnapping was made a federal crime. In the days of John Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde, robbing any federally insured bank became also became a federal crime. And with tommy gun-toting gangsters on movie screens and in real-life back alleys, the White House’s focus turned to machine guns and short or sawed-off shotguns.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 required registration and a tax of $200 (almost $3,600 in today’s dollars) on all so-called gangster weapons, a category that included the tommy gun and sawed-off shotguns. While gangsters might’ve been able to pay the fine, they weren’t keen to be registered, which meant getting fingerprinted and photographed. This created a new legal loophole for the Feds to bust mobsters on whom pinning charges would’ve been otherwise difficult; simply having an unregistered gun was enough to prompt an arrest.

This doesn’t mean the 1930s were a time when any gun control laws could pass. “There was profound opposition,” says UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. The National Rifle Association (NRA) was instrumental in removing provisions from the 1934 law that would’ve required the licensing of handguns. And while the Second Amendment wasn’t often evoked in the debate over the law, Attorney General Homer Cummings was up front about the fact that, in an effort to stay in line with the Constitution and prevailing thoughts on the federal role in policing the public, the legislation only taxed and regulated guns and did not ban them.

Despite the opposition, the legislation passed.

“It was very effective,” Spitzer says of the National Firearms Act. “When people shrug their shoulders and say gun laws don’t work, all you have to do is point to the 1934 law.”

State laws went even further in this time. Spitzer has chronicled how many states banned gangster weapons outright. And a handful of states even banned semiautomatic firearms, which, unlike the tommy gun, require a shooter to pull the trigger for every round fired. The military-style rifle used in many modern mass shootings, the AR-15, is a semiautomatic gun.

The mainstream debate about gun control occasionally came to the fore over the following decades, but Spitzer and Winkler say it wasn’t until the late 1970s that it took on the energy we still see today. That’s when the NRA became more politically powerful. State laws were loosened or repealed. Gun technology advanced and American politics shifted. In 1939, the Supreme Court had upheld the National Firearms Act. In 2008, the court struck down Washington, D.C.’s gun regulations.

But for both sides of the gun control debate, Winkler says there are lessons from the ’30s that apply today.

“One lesson is that even from the earliest days, broad gun proposals were fought by gun advocates and successfully defeated,” Winkler says. Second, as calls for increased gun regulation continue, he says the past shows us that “the types of gun laws that do pass are the ones that target criminals and people who are untrustworthy with firearms.”

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Second Amendment Foundation Sues Seattle Over Public Records Act Request

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) on Wednesday sued the City of Seattle, alleging a violation of the state Public Records Act for refusing to disclose revenue data related to the city’s controversial “gun violence tax” that was adopted last year.

The complaint stems from a PRA request earlier this year by the senior editor ofTheGunMag.com (TGM), a print and online monthly magazine owned and operated by the foundation. He is also a plaintiff in the case.

In April, TGM filed a public records request, seeking information about the first-quarter revenue from the gun tax. That tax is being challenged in court by SAF, the National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation, along with two local retail gun shops. They contend that the gun tax is really a gun control effort disguised as a tax in order to skirt Washington State’s 33-year-old state preemption law.

“When Seattle hastily adopted this tax last year,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “then-Council President Tim Burgess sold it as a means of raking in between $300,000 and $500,000 annually by taxing the sale of firearms and ammunition. But now the city is refusing to turn over revenue information on the flimsy grounds that it may violate the privacy of retail gun dealers in the city.”

Gottlieb also serves as TGM publisher. The magazine covers a variety of firearms-related news ranging from politics to firearms and equipment reviews. It is based in Buffalo, N.Y. with a Western Bureau at SAF’s headquarters in Bellevue, a city located on the east shore of Lake Washington opposite from Seattle.

The gun violence tax was set up to charge $25 on the sale of each firearm, plus five cents per round of centerfire ammunition and two cents per round of rimfire ammunition. It is very similar to a tax created in Cook County, Illinois with similar goals: to provide funding for intervention and gun violence education efforts.

When the city refused to divulge its first-quarter gun tax revenue, citing individual taxpayer confidentiality concerns, Senior Editor Dave Workman modified his request “to accommodate the city’s concerns about taxpayer privacy,” according to a Thursday morning SAF news release.

Julie Moore, communications director for the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services, responded in a July 14 e-mail to Workman that she had been “communicating with reporters on this same topic.”

The Seattle Times had earlier reported that the Outdoor Emporium, one of the two retailers involved in the gun tax lawsuit, had “paid about $21,000 in first-quarter gun and ammo taxes according to owner Mike Coombs.

In that e-mail to Workman, Moore explained, “The City’s position is we will not release any information about taxes collected/reported for the firearms and ammunition tax at this time due to the limited amount of information received to date and legal requirements for protecting taxpayer confidentiality.”

She also asserted that “Taxpayer information is exempt from public inspection” under the state law.

Workman maintains that “the citizens of Seattle and every gun owner in the state deserve to know whether the city’s revenue prediction was even remotely accurate, or way off base.” He said the case is “clearly a First Amendment issue.”

“The city simply cannot be allowed to adopt a tax on the exercise of a constitutional right and then stonewall the public and the press about that,” Gottlieb said.

The initial gun tax lawsuit was rejected in King County Superior Court, but SAF, NRA and NSSF appealed. Arguments in that case were originally scheduled later this month in Division I of the State Court of Appeals, but were moved back to November.

SAF is represented by Seattle attorneys Steven Fogg and David Edwards with Corr, Cronin, Michelson, Baumgardner, Fogg & Moore. Fogg and Edwards also represent SAF, NRA and NSSF in their challenge of the Seattle gun tax. The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court.

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In America, gun rights are for whites onlyIn America, gun rights are for whites only

In reaching that conclusion I am accepting, for the sake of argument, the account given by the Charlotte police of how they came to fatally shoot Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday. Scott’s killing prompted two nights of violent protests that led North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to declare a state of emergency. Last Friday, police in Tulsa shot and killed Terence Crutcher — an unarmed black man — and the two incidents gave tragic new impetus to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Scott’s relatives claim he was unarmed as well. But let’s assume that police are telling the truth and he had a handgun. What reason was there for officers to confront him?North Carolina, after all, is an open-carry state. A citizen has the right to walk around armed if he or she chooses to do so. The mere fact that someone has a firearm is no reason for police to take action.

This is crazy, in my humble opinion. I believe that we should try to save some of the 30,000-plus lives lost each year to gun violence by enacting sensible firearms restrictions — and that the more people who walk around packing heat like Wild West desperados, the more deaths we will inevitably have to mourn. In its wisdom, however, the state of North Carolina disagrees.

Protesters flooded out to surround police cars and officers in Charlotte on Sept. 20, after a cop shot and killed 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott. Looting broke out on a nearby highway and officers in riot gear shot tear gas into the crowds. Authorities reported that 12 officers were injured. (Jenny Starrs, Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

We should continue to lobby for tighter gun laws and hope that someday the voices of reason are heard. But at the same time, we should demand that current laws be enforced fairly even if we don’t like them. Scott’s death is the second recent police slaying to suggest that laws permitting people to carry handguns apparently do not apply to African Americans.

In July, police killed a black man named Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., after pulling him over for a traffic stop. When officers approached the car, Castile told them he was licensed to carry a handgun. I can only assume that Castile made this declaration so that the officers would not be surprised upon seeing the gun. But rather than assure them that he was a law-abiding citizen exercising his constitutional right, Castile’s announcement had the opposite effect.

The horror that ensued was live-streamed on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend,Diamond Reynolds. Her cellphone video and calm, composed narration were chilling, especially to those of us who frequently commit the offense of driving while black. One of the officers shot Castile several times, and Reynolds watched as Castile slumped next to her, his life bleeding away.

Did Castile reach for the gun? Reynolds maintains he was merely reaching for his wallet to get his driver’s license, as the officer had ordered. But we have seen many times, including in the recent Crutcher case, that any perceived sudden movement by a black man under arrest, even if he is not known to have a weapon, can be seen by police as a deadly threat. Disclosure of the gun, meant to avert potential tragedy, seems to have invited it.

Afterward, it was confirmed that Castile did indeed have a legal permit to carry a gun. He was not guilty of any crime. He was just 32 — and, incredibly, had in his brief life been stopped a total of 52 times for nickel-and-dime traffic violations.

That qualifies as harassment. I know many black men who have been pulled over for some trumped-up excuse and felt threatened by police. This has happened to me.

In the Scott case, according to a Charlotte police department statement, officers said they went to a neighborhood looking for someone else and saw Scott “inside a vehicle in the apartment complex. The subject exited the vehicle armed with a handgun. Officers observed the subject get back into the vehicle at which time they began to approach the subject.”

If all they saw was a man with a gun who got out of a car and back in, what illegal activity did they observe? Why did they “approach the subject” instead of going about their business? Did they have any reason to suspect it was an illegal gun? Are all men carrying guns believed to be carrying guns illegally, or just black men?

Our gun laws should be changed. Until then, however, they must be enforced equally. Does the NRA disagree?

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