This is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal and legislative news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights. For a deeper dive into the topics discussed here, check out this week in gun rights at FPC.
Injunction WON in Suit Over Pennsylvania’s “Ghost Gun” Ban
This week, Judge P. Kevin Brobson of Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court issued a 17-page opinion and order enjoining Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick and his agents, servants, and officers “from implementing or enforcing PSP’s new policy addressed to partially manufactured receivers,” AKA Pennsyvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s unlawful “ghost gun” ban.
The PSP issued and enforced the now-blocked policy after being directed to do so by AG Shapiro in an opinion issued last month. The Court’s opinion and order are available at FPC’s website.
Mere days after Shapiro’s ‘legal opinion’ was published, FPC filed a lawsuit seeking an emergency injunction to stop the PSP from enforcing the extralegal policy. That injunction was granted, and upon completion of a formality on Monday, will be in effect.
According to the court, the “indefiniteness of PSP’s new enforcement policy on what constitutes a firearm in this Commonwealth creates the potential for arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement… The public policy of this Commonwealth does not favor such vague laws.”
The Court wrote that while there “are many ills that our society faces, and government can be an effective force in combatting them,” the “laudable intentions and policy goals of a government agency, however, cannot override limits on governmental power. Simply put, the ends cannot justify the means.”
This is but one step in the battle and Shapiro has already indicated that he will keep up his crusade against the Constitution and the rights of the people of Pennsylvania. Still, in our field, we’re happy to break out the champagne whenever possible.
Bloomberg to Run Anti-Gun Ad During the Super Bowl
Mike Bloomberg, a man who doesn’t understand dog handshakes, announced this week his intention to run a roughly $10 million Super Bowl ad.
The ad — which avoids or misrepresents a number of facts — is said to follow the story of Calandrian Simpson Kemp, whose son was shot to death in Texas in 2013. The ad will feature Kemp heaping praise on the billionaire, saying that she now feels she has a “dog in the fight” (you can’t make that crap up).
Texas Church Hero Rebuffed by Bloomberg Lackey
Grabbing dogs by the head and shaking them. Very relatable, Mike! pic.twitter.com/6uye5iwgkm
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) January 29, 2020
Jack Wilson, the man who stopped a shooter in a Texas church this past December, expressed criticism of Mike Bloomberg’s comprehensive gun restriction plan earlier this week. Mr. Wilson pointed out that if his church had been subject to Bloomberg’s gun restrictions, they would have been wanting in their time of need.
In response, one of Bloomberg’s spokeswomen (I assume he was indisposed, muzzle-throttling another helpless pooch) responded that civilians shouldn’t be permitted to have firearms in crowded spaces and that, under a Bloomberg administration, the shooter wouldn’t have been armed in the first place.
“It may be true that someone in the congregation had his own gun and killed the person who murdered two other people, but it’s the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot,” the former mayor said at the time, adding, “You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place.”
Virginia House Democrats Vote to Table Law Protecting Victims
“But think of the children!” shouted none of the Democrats sitting on the Virginia House Public Safety Committee as they voted 6 – 2 last week to table a bill that would allow people to sue the government for gunshot injuries resulting from disarming in “gun free zones.”
This session, several bills were authored by Virginia Republicans which would have waived state immunity from lawsuits and would have required government institutions to carry insurance to compensate victims of shootings in areas the government prohibits self-defense. None of them have made it off the launch pad.
On the other hand . . .
Virginia House of Delegates Passes Several Anti-2A Bills
This Thursday the Virginia House of Delegates voted to pass the following pro-gun control bills along mostly partisan lines. Here’s a brief summary:
House Bill 2, which passed 54 – 46, regulates private transfer of firearms between family members and friends, basically setting up a universal background check.
House Bill 9, which passed 55-45, requires gun owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm within 24 hours. This law unnecessarily criminalizes delayed reporting; in a scenario such as a home fire or flood, when whether a firearm is lost cannot be determined, owners may be unfairly prosecuted. Further, laws of this nature haven’t been shown to affect most, if any, violent crime.
House Bill 421, which passed 50-48, permits local governments to surpass the sort of draconian gun control laws Virginia Democrats are currently pushing at a state level. And because this legislation only allows towns and cities to increase regulation and not to relax it, it can only work to harm the rights of Virginians living in these locations. This is exactly the kind of outcome we fought Pittsburgh to prevent.
House Bill 674, which passed 52 – 46, is the bill authored by the Gentleman Democrat from District 12 who enjoys buzzed driving. This bill is a red flag law that allows a secret court to issue an order to seize your firearms without due process based solely on claims from law enforcement and other individuals who may (read: probably don’t) have your best interest at heart. Laws like these are blatantly unconstitutional and they are frequently abused. To read more about why we oppose laws like these, click here.
Last, but not least, we have House Bill 812 (passed 53 – 47), which limits handgun purchases to one per month, and House Bill 1083 (passed 54 – 46), which prevents parents from leaving firearms accessible for dependents under the age of 18 while they are unsupervised.
HB 812 is clearly a “do something” measure – it has no practical purpose aside from punishing collectors (we’re pretty sure you only have two hands, so we don’t know why they felt the need to limit the number of handguns you can buy), but it gives hoplophobes a “warm and fuzzy” feeling.
HB 1083 on the other hand, over-broadly criminalizes choices made by parents. One can imagine a parent, after training and teaching their child about gun safety and handling, feeling their teenager is of sufficient maturity to be trusted with access to a gun. Time and time again it’s been shown that such access saves lives. While it may not be appropriate for all families, a blanket prohibition is senseless.
Virginia Democrats Propose Law Restricting the First Amendment
James Madison said “our First Amendment freedoms give us the right to think what we like and say what we please. And if we the people are to govern ourselves, we must have these rights, even if they are misused by a minority.”
A recent proposal, HB 1627, modifies a current law to make threats, insults, or the use of “lascivious” language a crime if used to harass the governor, lieutenant governor, employees or members of the state legislature, or judges. Not only would it be illegal to make these expressions in person, but lawmakers want to criminalize them even if they are made online.
Why? Because they don’t want to defend their policies or face any sort of damning criticism, that’s why.
HB 1627 is unconstitutional on its face because it severely curtails the right of citizens to criticize their government, a practice particularly intended when the Founders drafted the First Amendment. After all, Jefferson, another son of Virginia, wouldn’t have discussed refreshing the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants if he were opposed to simple prodding of public officials in the public square.
Maybe my optimism is misplaced (it probably is), but I hope that Delegate Jeffrey M. Bourne (D – House District 71), will have enough sense to withdraw such a ridiculous bill.
Nearly 200 People in New Jersey Have Had Their Firearms Seized Under Red Flag Law
From September 1, 2019 to January 22 of this year, 186 Extreme Risk Protection Orders have been issued. That’s 186 seizures over 143 days, or an average of 1.3 seizures per day.
Under the New Jersey statute, ERPO orders can be sought by police, family members, or cohabitants, and to obtain one, a judge merely has to find “good cause.” Over this time period, only 25 requests were denied, which leads me to wonder whether judges have substituted “due process” with “better safe than sorry.”
Oklahoma Lawmaker Introduces Bill Permitting Carry on Campus
For some decent news, state Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow), in conjunction with Oklahoma’s Second Amendment Association, has authored a bill which would permit concealed carry of handguns on campus in The Sooner State. In order to do so, individuals would first need to complete some training and obtain a carry license.
This bill would supersede current law, which affords discretion to school administrations to determine who is worthy of the right to carry arms on campus.
Matthew Larosiere is the Director of Legal Policy at the Firearms Policy Coalition.
God help us all here in VA
God have us the rights. He leaves it to us to enforce them. The ballot box failed because we failed. The soap box failed on January 20th. That leaves one box left.
The ballot box failed because less than 50% of eligible voters actually voted. If you don’t vote, don’t complain about the result.
How naive that you actually believe OUR votes matter.
Hey they got Trump elected
2 boxes left.
God won’t help you, You have allowed the state to become your God.
Do all anti-gun politicians/activists look like they’re part of a mafia or am I just seeing things?
One gun a month, universal BCs and the registry that inevitably comes with it… So I loan a gun to a friend and I have to wait 30 days to legally get it back. Aight then
I swear, they’re setting themselves up for a paper war…
Lance they not only look like mafioso, they act like them. Think about it , the mob rule , the Gov’s in question are trying their best to rule over us mere underlings . If you dont do as the mob say , you are punished. We are being punished by these crooked politicians as if we are actually guilty of something. The Bosses always have armed guards , we aren’t allowed near them with any , think VA house on lobby day . I could go on all afternoon but you get the point , we are in times of tyrants, Coumo , Northam , Murphy , Newsome, all the wanna be Bosses that feel it’s just fine to play God , to play with Rights our founding fathers bled for . Any vote for a Democrat , gets us another ruler . Not for the people rather for our own good because they are so much smarter than we are. We their mere underlings , they our overlords. Trump is our only chance to keep some Rights & dignity.
I guarantee you other states will quickly follow these laws. Bite by bite we’ll lose our 2A rights with these Liberal politicians in control.
Vote people!! Educate your friends and family so they understand how unjust these laws are.
Yes also mail and email your local representatives.
Robster you are right VOTE people . We can’t sit this one out , Trump has done a few questionable things in regard to 2A but he’s also placed judges on our high courts that will prove helpful in this battle to keep rights that the dem’s would immediately take from us. They dont want us armed , they want us complacent & docile . Why do you think weed is being made legal ! To dumb us down. VA shows me the start of a downward path for patriot’s & our right to keep tyranny at bay.
Until the 14 th.amendment is brought into the picture, that or the Boogaloo.
Hmmm….and in another article, it was claimed that the Virginia Pro-Gun Rally was a “massive success.” Mere days post rally, VA legislatures passed multiple anti-2A bills. I would have hated to see if it were a failure. They would already be confiscating guns in that instance. VA politicians still believe pro-2Aers are just all talk. Gov Blackface successfully blocked about 6000 attendees’ 2A rights inside a fence…..a successful test run by Blackface.
But what would the vote look like if no rally was held? Maybe more 60-40, instead of 55-45. Hard to say, but I don’t think there was any chance that these weren’t going to pass no matter how many rallies were held.
In the Virginia House piece it read
“This Thursday the Virginia House of Delegates voted to pass the following pro-gun control bills along mostly partisan lines. Here’s a brief summary:” I think you meant “anti-gun”, didn’t you?
Nothing wrong with the dog shake. Not that I like Bloombag one little bit but the dog was greeting him and making eye contact and Mike the douche greeted the dog back with eye contact and a touch. Dog was happy with any of it. That said, Bloomberg can f**k himself.
The dog was OK with it because it was a mellow dog who likes people. No way the dog actually ENJOYED having his head shook, anymore than a person would. This was the move of a person who doesn’t really “get” dogs at all and probably rarely engages with one. He just knows a lot of people love dogs and wants their vote, trying to look like a regular guy. He isn’t.
Isn’t it called “tyranny” when Attornies General begin making laws rather just enforcing them? This guy has too high an opinion of himself. I live in PA so I heard more about and from him than most of you do. To me, he has even unsuccessfully intruded into the governor’s bailiwick a couple of times.
Where will freedom loving Virginians move to? West Virginia?
China does the same thing when you criticize the government you disappear. There is so much obvious proof that Democrats want a Socialism Dictatorship it is not funny. Each state needs to form a very strong militia and prepare them to defend our country, our states and our very precious Constitution. The militia need administrative articles to state that their members are to required they carry their firearms at all times and have firearms with large capacity magazines to support them in the defense of the above.
Journalists will have to either tow the party line or suddenly disappear for reeducation.
VA, PA , NJ and do not forget NY may be run by a bunch of wanna-be dictatorial mafioso, socialist, progressives, but they are sure playing havoc with the wild reading and interpretation of the Constitution. Where are the citizens of those States? why aren’t they raising hell with their Mayor’s, Councilman, State Reps and the Governor; those people voted for exactly hat they have gotten; Politicians, socialist and dictatorial in nature and following in the footsteps and thinking of Bloomberg, Sanders, AOC, and others who wish
to dictate Policy and Law to ‘you’ because they know better than you what you need.
Down with the communist left
Just saw a local online news article about the Superbowl ads. Bloomberg’s ad must have such an impact it wasn’t even mentioned. Was it actually shown?
it was….and I suspect,..largely ignored by the bulk of those watching…same old tired message that basically said the only way I can feel “safe” is to take your guns away…
I wonder who voted for these people in VA. now they see what happens when these commies get their way. now maybe on the next vote they will be more careful.
” modifies a current law to make threats, insults, or the use of “lascivious” language a crime if used to harass the governor, lieutenant governor, employees or members of the state legislature, or judges ”
This doesn’t say anything about Liberals throwing insults around, something that they’ve raised to a high art. The next time a Democrat calls a Republican a murderer, a fascist, a racist, a sexist, etc etc, well, those can all be taken as insults. I’m expecting to see some very selective enforcement on this one. While it lasts, anyway. If this passes it’s headed straight to the courts on the fast track.
Bloomberg hates the 2nd Amendment and hates the public being able to refuse pharmaceuticals. Good luck.
That’s why it’s necessary to summarily execute those who refuse to keep disease from spreading… 🙂
More than a few neighbors and I had planned to vote out our local (demoncrat) mayor in the last election after he did a few things to harm the electorate vs his pocketbook and then had the audacity to try to give himself a 700% raise and remove term limits. Well, when the 17% of us eligible voters showed up, we could not vote against the mayor because the two only potential candidates against him were disqualified by the city commission headed by said mayor. And why would anyone wonder why only 17% of eligible voters voted. It is also funny that the city commissioners are officially “nonpartisan” so their party affiliations are not revealed unless they previously held other office.
This is why in my part of the world elections are run by state and federal electoral commissions.
someone please explain to me why I can no longer have non-firing replica guns shipped to me in PA????????
this guy (in PA) is getting a little too full of himself….which led to the downfall of his predecessor….somebody better reign him in before he gets indicted too,,,