“Gov. Chris Christie said he would consider revisiting New Jersey’s strict gun laws if he had a Republican-led legislature,” wsj.com reports. “In response to a question about his support for the Second Amendment [at a town hall meeting], the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate said that New Jersey’s Democrat-led Legislature has sent him only bills that further restrict these rights, many of which he has vetoed.” The WSJ notes that Christie previously vowed to “strictly enforce” all of the Garden State’s gun laws, regardless of their Constitutionality. Here’s his new promise on gun rights . . .
One of the problems with hiring lobbyists to lie for you in a public forum is that eventually, they might slip up and tell the truth instead. Something along those lines appears to have happened recently during a hearing a Vermont Senate committee was holding on a gun control bill. Lobbyist Tyler Wilkinson-Ray, hired by the ironically-named group Gun Sense Vermont, was giving testimony, when he cut loose with the civilian disarmament version of a Kinsley gaffe: it turns out that Gun Sense Vermont needs to get its marching orders — ‘national expertise’ was the euphemism Wilkinson-Ray mumbled — from HQ in New York . . .
NorthWestern Energy, a South-Dakota based energy conglomerate with over one billion dollars in gross annual revenue, likes that it can ban its employees from carrying firearms at work so much so that it’s willing to fight against a law that wouldn’t necessarily impact that ability. By their own admission, this represents the seventh legislative session in which the energy conglomerate has directed its political mercenaries in Helena to stand against legislation aimed at strengthening legal protections for the civil right to keep and bear arms . . .
By Sara Tipton
Despite earlier defeats, gun control advocates are still pushing legislation in Vermont. The restrictive measures against firearms were thought to be dead earlier this year, however, two provisions of the original bill put forward obtained committee support last week. Vermont bill S.31 has been hotly debated among lawmakers and gun rights groups. The bill was introduced by state Senators John Campbell, Phillip Baruth, and Claire D. Ayer. All sponsors of this bill are Democrats . . .
Despite speculation that he’d allow constitutional carry to become law without his signature, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin wasted no time in vetoing Senate Bill 347 when it hit his desk. As wtrf.com reports, in true Manchinesque style, Tomblin wanted everyone in the state to know that’s he’s all for gun rights. Just ask the NRA! “Throughout my career, I have strongly supported the Second Amendment, as demonstrated by my repeated endorsements and high grades from the National Rifle Association.” . . .
By Sara Tipton
Should Florida’s HB 4005 become law, college students in the state of Florida will have the option to carry guns on college campuses. Sponsored by Representative Greg Steube, a republican out of Sarasota, HB 4005 gives college students over the age of 21 who have a concealed carry permit, the right to carry. Even in class. Many student groups objected to the measure, yet it passed a House panel Wednesday anyway . . .
“The Texas Senate voted Wednesday overwhelmingly to allow people with concealed handgun licenses to carry guns on the state’s public college and university campuses. ‘Our CHL holders are the most law-abiding members of our society,’ said Sen. Brian Birdwell of Granbury. ‘The right to self-preservation is what the Second Amendment and Article 1, Section 23 are about.’ The bill passed to the next phase despite heavy opposition.” Prepare for burnt orange blood to flow in the streets of Austin.
The pro-gun rights momentum in the Texas Legislature keeps rolling on. Today the senate approved a bill that would fine local governments for posting “no guns” signs on public building where firearms should be legal. As dallasnews.com reports, “The proposal would impose fines of up to $1,500 for a first offense and $10,000 maximum for repeat violations.” If this keeps up, maybe some day Texas gun laws will be as firearm-friendly as Arizona’s. Or Vermont’s. Or Missouri’s. Some day. Maybe.
On Monday, Representative Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina), introduced H.R. 1365, the Ammunition and Firearms Protection Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is a reaction to the recent kerfuffle over the BATFE’s proposed M855 ammo ban, which would add the exception to 18 U.S.C. sec. 921(a)(17), which defines “armor-piercing ammunition” . . .
On Thursday, a Panel in the Minnesota House of Representatives voted in favor of which would de-criminalize the possession of silencers and prohibit a chief law enforcement officer from refusing to perform NFA sign-offs “based on generalized objection to private presons or entities making, possessing, or receiving firearms or any certain type of firearm, the possession of which is not prohibited by law.” HF1434 also establishes an appeals process for cases where the CLEO refuses to sign off on an NFA application, awarding reasonable attorneys for plaintiffs who are so denied and later prevail in court . . .
The Arizona Legislature is considering several bills expanding protections for the right of Arizonans to carry concealed weapons in public areas as well as limiting the state’s ability to regulate firearms transfers, reports the Associated Press (via KTAR News). “A bill [House Bill 2320] by Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, would allow concealed-carry permit holders to take their weapons into public buildings such as public libraries while excluding bars, hospitals, high schools and universities. “We’re talking about specifically those who are licensed, who’ve had background checks and who’ve been fingerprinted. We know these are not the bad guys,” she said” . . .
Open carry is one step closer to reality for those in the Lone Star State. Late this evening the Senate passed SB17, a bill which would allow people to openly carry a loaded firearm either in a shoulder or belt holster. Opponents of the bill tried to make the legislation into a veritable Christmas tree by trying to hang amendments on it wherever they could, from an amendment delaying its implementation until 2016 to one that would drastically alter the size and shape of the 30.06 / 30.07 “No Guns” signs. However, it looks like only two amendments passed, one of which includes retention training in the required training course for handgun licenses in Texas.