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Gun Debate
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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We once confined them so we could treat them and prevent them from doing harm during the course of their illness. We had a commitment process that respected due process: they could come before a judge to challenge the findings in open court, submit evidence on their behalf and face their accuser.

But not under the red flag laws this bill promotes. An anonymous accuser can trigger a secret proceeding against you that you don’t even know is happening until the police bang on your door in the dead of night, ransack your house and strip you of your right to self-defense. The burden then falls on you to try to restore it.
 

6 Takeaways From The Supreme Court Decision Protecting Americans’ Right To Self-Defense
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Yesterday, in a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen that “may issue” gun licensing that allows state officials to deny law-abiding citizens a right to possess a gun for self-defense violate the Second Amendment.

The holding came in the context of a challenge to a New York statute that prohibited individuals from carrying concealed handguns unless they “demonstrate[d] a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.”

Beyond that holding, the Supreme Court opinion authorized by Justice Clarence Thomas proves significant for six reasons. Here are the key takeaways.
 

Big SCOTUS Win For Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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This is huge. Courts often play games with a means-end test whether the standard is harsh (strict scrutiny) or lenient (rational basis). Judges bend the standards like a child’s toy to achieve desired results. In this case, the Court has taken from the judiciary the ability to play games behind the smokescreen of malleable tests. “The Second Amendment,” according to the majority, “‘is the very product of an interest balancing by the people’ and it ‘surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to
use arms’ for self-defense.”
 

We Must Protect the Second Amendment, Due Process, and the Rights of Law-Abiding Gun Owners
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Today, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) issued the following statement regarding his opposition to the gun control bill on the House Floor today:

“On the day after the Supreme Court once again affirmed the right to self-defense provided by the Second Amendment, it is more important than ever that we protect that right from another assault in Congress by Washington Democrats who want to punish responsible gun owners and take away those rights.

“I voted against the gun control bill on the House Floor because it undermines the Second Amendment and infringes on the right of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves at a time when crime is skyrocketing across the country.
 

NY: N.Y., pass the well regulated militia act
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The well regulated militia will meet for muster at 6 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday. It will conduct routine physical fitness training and testing for all members. It will conduct regular firearms training and assessments. It will require members to adhere to personal grooming standards and wear uniforms when conducting official militia activities. It will report to the New York State commander-in-chief — the governor — and respond to all emergency tasking the commander-in-chief requires. Hurricanes, flooding, winter storms and pandemic response are all likely peacetime missions. Remember, this well regulated militia is necessary to the security of our free state. It says it right there in the Second Amendment.
 

No, SCOTUS ruling does not overturn all state restrictions on concealed carry
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“The 43 states that employ objective shall-issue licensing regimes for carrying handguns for self-defense may continue to do so. Likewise, the 6 states including New York potentially affected by today’s decision may continue to require licenses for carrying handguns for self-defense so long as those states employ objective licensing requirements like those used by the 43 shall-issue states.”

In other words, Kavanaugh made it clear that the vast majority of state laws for concealed carry can remain in place following the June 23 decision. However, several states will have to modify their existing laws to comply with the ruling, expanding the ability of millions of people to obtain concealed carry permits.
 

Kavanaugh Gun Case Opinion Could Help Uphold Future Regulations
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s concurring opinion to Thursday’s US Supreme Court decision striking down New York’s conceal carry gun law might provide liberal lower court judges a way to uphold state gun control laws.

How much weight the concurrence, which Chief Justice John Roberts joined, will carry depends on the court that’s hearing future cases.

“I hate painting with too broad a brush, but I would think that the Second Circuit would probably put a lot of weight on that concurrence,” Raffi Melkonian, a partner and appellate lawyer at Wright Close & Barger, said of the New York-based appeals court.
 

NC: Wolverton family reacts to self-defense ruling following deadly shooting
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The family of the late Joshua Lee Wolverton is expressing dismay over the findings of a law enforcement probe that ruled Wolverton’s shooter acted in self-defense.

On the heels of an investigation conducted by the Ahoskie Police Department, assisted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, it was determined that Anthony Bryan Sutton, Jr., 22 of Ahoskie, acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Wolverton, age 20, on May 16, 2021. The shooting occurred in the yard of an Ahoskie residence on Pine Ridge Road where Sutton resided with his father.
 

Supreme Court expands gun rights in divided nation
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, a ruling likely to lead to more people being legally armed. The decision came as Congress and states debate gun-control legislation.

About one-quarter of the U.S. population lives in states expected to be affected by the ruling, which struck down a New York gun law. The high court’s first major gun decision in more than a decade split the court 6-3, with the court’s conservatives in the majority and liberals in dissent.
 

NY: NY lawmakers to mull post-Supreme Court gun bills next week
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“Since the decision was released, I have been working around the clock with our partners in the legislature to craft gun safety legislation in response to this ruling that will protect New Yorkers," she said in a prepared statement.

New York officials are considering restrictions on concealed carry in “sensitive locations,” such as government buildings and bars. They're also looking at implementing specific training for permit applicants, among other options.
 

NY: Brown wants county to step up security after SCOTUS gun ruling
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“You have no idea how upset I am,” Brown said after the special budget hearing.

That comment followed her asking the County Counsel’s Office what steps are going to be taken to protect the Board of Supervisors and county employees now that “more guns are going to be on the streets.”

It was not immediately clear how the court ruling affects the state’s law on requiring a concealed weapons permit, and the restrictions that are part of that process.

...

Solano County has issued 2,894 concealed weapons permits, of which 766 were approved in 2022. That latter figure breaks down as 270 initial permit applications, 470 renewals and 96 for permit modifications, the Sheriff’s Office reported.
 

CA: San Francisco sheriff hesitant to quickly issue concealed carry permits
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The San Francisco Sheriff's Office said it already has received more than two dozen requests for concealed carry permits after Thursday's Supreme Court ruling that gives Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, a ruling likely to lead to more people legally armed.

Sheriff Paul Miyamoto has not issued any concealed carry permits in his time in office.

And he said he will continue to follow the protocols in place, which include proof of residency or employment, Department of Justice background checks, firearms safety training and psychological testing before issuing any permits.
 

NY: After Supreme Court gun decision, what’s next?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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ARE NEW YORKERS NOW FREE TO CARRY A GUN IN PUBLIC?

Not exactly. The justices didn’t touch other parts of New York’s gun law, so other requirements to get a license remain. The court made it clear that the state can continue to make people apply for a license to carry a handgun, and can put limitations on who qualifies for a permit and where a weapon can be carried. In the future, however, New Yorkers will no longer be required to give a specific reason why they want to be able to carry a gun in public.
 

Congress passes historic gun violence bill, awaits Biden’s signature
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The bill sets aside $13 billion to:

--Toughen background checks for the youngest gun buyers
--Help states put in place red flag laws that make it easier for authorities to take weapons from people deemed a danger to themselves or others
--Close the “boyfriend loophole” by keeping guns away from non-spouse dating partners convicted of abuse
--Fund local programs for school safety, mental health, and violence prevention

This decision came after a wave of deadly mass shootings.
 

WA: So do those 'weapons of war' come in handy?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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So have those ‘weapons(s) of war’ of yours actually come in handy?

To the editor — I recently thought of some questions that have not been asked regarding mass shootings with the shooter utilizing “weapon(s) of war.”

Since so many people are against a ban on “weapons of war,” here are some questions for these people:
 

Independent Institute Amicus Curiae Brief Cited in Landmark Second Amendment US Supreme Court Case
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The ruling, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, cited the Independent Institute’s brief which argues that gun-free zones must be narrowly confined, stating “the Second Amendment does not leave room for the Government to eviscerate this right through the unbridled declaration of public gun-free zones.”

...

“The decision doesn’t require New York or the other six states with ‘may-issue’ licensing schemes to rewrite their laws—they need only to consider their ‘special need’ requirements to be crossed out and to issue carry licenses to citizens with clean records as they otherwise would,” said Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook, Independent Institute Senior Fellow and Second Amendment historian and legal scholar.
 

NY: 'Should concern us all': NYPD police commissioner voices concerns on Supreme Court ruling
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Supreme Court justices say the previous law conflicted with the Second Amendment.

NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell spoke out against the ruling, saying it "should concern us all."

Some New Yorkers told News 12 that allowing people to carry guns in public in the name of self-defense does not make them feel more safe on these streets, especially in the wake of several recent mass shootings.

Those who are against the ruling plan to rally outside of every federal courthouse nationwide, including at the New York Supreme Court.
 

Expert: Supreme Court Ruling Expands Range of Gun Rights, Alters Reading of the Constitution
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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“...made it clear that the new majority sees gun rights as the same as all other fundamental rights. Their inherently dangerous nature does not mean that they can be treated differently. This is a major shift from the earlier view that believes gun rights must be balanced against the risks they pose,” said Morgan Marietta, a constitutional scholar and authority on the high court. “Today’s ruling reflects a much bigger shift in how the Court reads the Constitution, from a living to an original document. The new majority sees the Constitution and Bill of Rights in a more uncompromising light that will alter American law in the coming years far beyond guns – to abortion, religion, criminal justice, and regulation of the environment.”
 

Ron Perlman slammed for saying SCOTUS gun decision 'for whites only'
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Perlman, who has acted in movies such as "ALIENS" and "Hellboy," tweeted his thoughts on the matter around noon on Thursday.

The latest Supreme Court decision on firearms neglects to say the one thing that they actually meant to say; for whites only," Perlman says in his now-deleted tweet.

About half an hour after the tweet's posting, Perlman apparently deleted it.

However, Perlman has since engaged with and quote-tweeted Twitter users who have screenshotted the post.
 

Merrick Garland’s Department Of Justice Is A Threat To The Republic
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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But neither the law in question nor the Supreme Court’s decision implicates federal gun laws in any way. There is no reason for the DOJ to weigh in on the matter or express any opinion whatsoever on the ruling. Only an utterly politicized Justice Department hoping to undermine the Supreme Court’s constitutional authority and sow the seeds of nullification would issue such a statement.
 

WY: Cheney Votes For Gun Control Bill; Gets Immediately Blasted By Hageman
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Cheney’s vote was criticized immediately by Harriet Hageman, one of her opponents in the GOP primary for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat.

“Whatever Liz Cheney is doing with our only House seat, she certainly isn’t using it to represent the views and values of the people of Wyoming,” Hageman said in a press release.

“The lawful possession of firearms for hunting and self-defense is an integral part of our DNA in this state, and we don’t want our constitutional rights negotiated away. We all agree that mental health is an important issue that needs to be addressed, but we should not limit the rights of law-abiding citizens,” Hageman said.
 

RI: Rhode Island gun shop, gun owners sue over new state law banning large-capacity magazines
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A Glocester gun shop and four Rhode Island gun owners filed a lawsuit Thursday in US District Court to challenge Rhode Island’s days-old law banning gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

Big Bear Hunting and Fishing store and four Rhode Islanders — Jonathan Hirons of Warwick, chairman of Rhode Island Friends of NRA; Mary Brimer, a town council member in North Kingstown; Jeffrey Goyette of Florida, who has a home in Portsmouth; and James Robert Grundy of North Kingstown — are arguing that the ban violates their constitutional rights.
 

Appeals court revives challenge to bump stock ban
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A legal challenge to the Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks — devices attached to semiautomatic firearms so that a shooter can fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull — was revived Thursday by a federal appeals court.

A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans had upheld the ban in December, affirming a ruling by a Texas-based federal judge. But an order issued Thursday stated that a majority of the 17-member court had voted to rehear the case. The challenge was brought by a Texas gun owner and is backed by gun rights groups including the National Rifle Association.
 

Right-Wing Supreme Court Continues Its “Great Fraud” About the Second Amendment
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Twenty-four hours before the Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion on Friday, it significantly expanded gun rights with its decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. In the Thursday ruling, the same six conservative justices who struck down Roe v. Wade voided an 111-year-old New York law that required applicants for a concealed carry permit to demonstrate that they had a special, specific need for self-defense.

This in turn will require other states with significant gun regulations — California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Hawaii — to change their laws. Other restrictions on guns will likely fall to lawsuits.
 

At the Supreme Court, a victory for the Second Amendment and the Constitution
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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As a brief aside, and because it’s apparently necessary to explain, the ruling does not establish a right to concealed carry, as many fanatic, wild-eyed media commentators have claimed since the decision was announced. Rather, the court merely recognized such a right has always existed and that the states that infringed upon this right by requiring a showing of just cause got it wrong.

Thomas adds, “New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms in public.”
 

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