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.
2019’s NICS background check record
On Monday the FBI announced that in 2019 it conducted 28,369,750 background checks via NICS for firearms purchases and carry permits; that’s almost a million more than the previous record set in 2016 (I wonder what might have caused that…).
In December alone there were nearly three million checks done. Who knows what the purchase boom is attributable to? Could it be the great deals? Threats of draconian regulation? Or simply more and more people seeing the value of an effective means for self defense?
Whatever the reasons, one thing is clear: the people are taking their right to keep and bear arms seriously. That said, we have to remember that NICS checks aren’t the same as gun sales. People lawfully acquire firearms without NICS checks every day, and some NICS checks involve firearms going back to its original owner. An interesting statistic, nonetheless.
Guns now banned at Virginia state capitol
Kicking off our Virginia update, state lawmakers voted Friday to ban firearms at the state capitol. “Our focus here is to keep everybody safe,” said House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn of the new rule. “These are policies and rules that should have passed a long, long time ago.”
The new policy is obviously in response to the massive public outcry and negative response that has attended the state government’s threats to bring down the hammer on gun control. No matter how you slice it, this doesn’t look like an olive branch to the people of Virginia.
Virginia is for…ammo free school zones?
Delegate Kaye Kory (D – 38th District) has filed Virginia House Bill 318, which will make it a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly bring ammunition onto school grounds, potentially even if it’s in your vehicle. The bill modifies the language of an existing statute, § 18.2-308.1, which made it illegal to carry certain weapons on school grounds.
Virginia Sheriff may deputize “thousands” to shield them from gun control
Scott Jenkins, Sheriff of Culpeper County, VirginiaA, has announced that he would be willing to deputize “thousands” of law-abiding gun owners if necessary to shelter them from the sweeping gun legislation being pushed at the state house this session. Of course this deputization process would not be available to all applicants – individuals would have to pass the same background checks and psychological testing as full-time deputies.
If deputized, individuals would be required to serve 8 hours per month, which we presume is intended to qualify the new deputies for law enforcement exemptions written into the bills being pushed by Virginia Democrats.
Virginia delegate seeks to allow guns in church
In a bit of good news for Virginia, Delegate Wendell Walker (R – 23rd District) has introduced a bill which would repeal a current Virginia law that restricts the right to carry in houses of worship. As the law stands, carrying “without good and sufficient reason,” which is of course, subjective, is a Class 4 misdemeanor.
Given the current climate in Virginia, it is uncertain whether this bill will even reach the floor for a vote.
Rhode Island, scared of ghosts, wants more gun control
Ghost hysteria has struck Rhode Island, where State Assembly Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D – District 15), has expressed an interest in pursuing legislation which will ban “3D-printed guns and ghost guns” after police recovered “what appeared to be” a printed gun from a suspect.
In response to a recent shooting, Mattiello gave the classic “While I strongly support Second Amendment rights, we need to get guns out of the hands of those with mental illness, as well as those who do not follow the laws.”
His plan included requiring the police chief of a resident’s jurisdiction to evaluate firearms background check forms instead of the chief of the jurisdiction where the individual would otherwise purchase a firearm, which presumably complicates the firearms purchase process.
Rhode Island already has a red flag law on the books which is utterly ineffective at stopping violence perpetrated by dangerous people, while being highly effective at inverting the rights of Rhode Islanders. What is most concerning about these proposals is that the legislators justify them as a solution to isolated incidents involving individuals who knew each other, while either unintentionally or willfully ignorant of the fact that these laws unreasonably burden normal people. If we’re being cynical it seems, these incidents are being used as a pretext for driving up the cost of gun ownership, keeping lawful arms out of the hands of people who might need them most.
Ohio AG proposes online stolen firearms database
Ohio Attorney General David Yost has announced that he is building a public database for private citizens and gun shop owners to check to see if the gun they are interested in purchasing has been reported stolen. Yost expressed hope that law enforcement will assist him with the database because the state doesn’t have a system of this kind.
I wonder if he bothered to check into whether anyone else had already provided a solution for this problem. A quick Google search turned up several.
There exist public databases of stolen firearms, where one can check the serial number to see if the weapon is “hot,” as well as some manufacturers’ websites. It seems resources may have been better spent collaborating with existing participants in this area, than trying to reinvent the wheel. But hey, it’s not my tax money. Enjoy, Ohioans!
Colorado cops test out day-old red flag law
One day after Colorado’s red flag law went into effect, the police took advantage of it to seize an individual’s guns. The details of the underlying case aren’t clear, but it seems often the case that when a red flag bills become law, they are turned to by authorities almost immediately. The state need only make mere accusations against an individual, forcing them into an uphill battle to have their constitutional rights respected without having first had their day in court.
Indiana Republicans pitching gun control
The Republican-controlled Indiana Legislature is pushing Senate Bill 16, which punishes former juvenile delinquents for violations they committed in their youth by preventing them from accessing firearms well into their adulthood, specifically until the age of 26 or 28 depending on the severity of the offense.
Senate Bill 16 would prohibit any person deemed a juvenile delinquent for using a gun in an act that would be classified as a serious violent felony if committed by an adult from possessing a gun until reaching age 26 or 28, depending on the severity of the act. This bill necessarily raises a few questions.
First, if the violation for which the affected person was so severe, why was that individual not tried as an adult instead? How did the legislators conclude that the ages of 26 and 28 were the magic numbers for restoring constitutional rights. And if the bill requires the state to forward any declaration of delinquency status to NICS, have they considered how difficult it will be for the affected individual to have their rights restored by the federal government, or do they just not care?
Given the swiftness with which the bill has passed the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law – roughly one week – we doubt that the legislature is concerned about the bill’s impact on the state’s future adults. There is also the concern that juvenile defendants are given unserious consideration by the state, given the general presumption of a fresh start after adulthood. The problems inherent in our juvenile justice system are only compounded when they follow an individual to adulthood.
Kansas City Sues Gun Manufacturer
In a rather odd case, the city of Kansas City, Missouri has brought a suit against gun manufacturer Jimenez Arms, alleging the company’s involvement in a local gun trafficking operation. The city claims that Jimenez Arms, based in Henderson, Nevada, knowingly sold firearms to an unlicensed dealer and that the same dealer intended to resell the firearms to felons.
The suit relates back to a City fire captain who was allegedly selling firearms illegally, basically listing every outfit he had contact with as defendants. This is a very sticky situation, one we’ll certainly be keeping our eyes on.
The best part of TTAG is reading the comments. Where is everybody?
At work? I’m only here because I decided to eat lunch where I was instead of hiking back to the office just to make small talk in the break room.
On another thread where this website was trying to sell a $2500 .22 rifle as “especially accurate,” they were editing out comments that went against their paid advertisement. So of course they are slowly losing readership as they seek to protect their salesmanship. Fakers.
Ok Virginia democraps…vent. Ignore what Virginians are plainly telling you. Rage and submit your over-the-top, vindictive, unbelievably petty bills submitted for your own personal power trips…er… the public good. Then rush to pass these unconstitutional laws.
You started this. We didn’t come after you. You are the callous, uncaring, liberty hating, tyrant emblazoned on our state seal… We are the warrior standing tall over you and your chains and whip.
We will not comply.
We will not submit.
Response to Baldwin …..
And We the People said ….. Amen!
Is there a reference to Texas in the “Walker” and “Ranger” shirt photo? It’s like Chuck is trying to tell us something subliminally.
At home, on a day off, temporarily passed out at the kitchen table (asleep)….In front of my laptop, in a large pile of drool…After a long week on the nightshift 🌙…..
TTAG Articles on the rise of authoritarianism in the USA…
I did my bit last year buying my rifle. I look forward to adding to the NICS #’s this year. I don’t have an opinion on Republican “gun control” in nearby Indiana. I DO have an opinion on teenage punks committing “adult” crimes. Do the crime-do the time. Or why Chiraq is so effed up! Sorry if that offends you 2A absolutist’s😏
No problem at all with “juveniles” getting charged as adults and having the felony follow them for murder, arson, rape, aggravated assault and similar serious felonies. With that said there really should be a mechanism for the few felons that do turn their life around to get their rights restored.
There ARE mechanism’s to get your right’s back. One of my son’s has a felony for entering a domicile while in a psychotic daze. He could petition the court but has no interest in living a productive life. Yeah I’m sad but he’s 42 years old. Not some dumbazz teen.
I heard the ban on firearms in the capital buildings was passed via a resolution. The police were consulted on how to enforce the ban.
Funny how that works.
When the government passes a resolution it is now law because they have men with guns that will enforce their new rules. When the people call for a resolution the police refuse to follow their will and enforce that new rule on the politicians.
People who would truly resist tyrants will break the rules and risk punishment. Civil disobedience. It’s not a law, it’s a rule. Obviously the government will enforce and punish as if it’s a law. You will end up in jail and arguing your case in a court of law about a rule/policy.
Ultimately, gun owners will follow the rules made by their rulers because they respect their enforcers and rather not sacrifice. It’s an opportunity to resist tyranny that will go unused. No rule abiding gun owner wants to go to jail and risk losing their rights or life. Yet they claim they will kill or be killed when the time comes. Mmmkay…
It was by rule through the rule committee. You know, the one that was originally secret – https://twitter.com/NickForVA/status/1215338666639462406 … But they’re still figuring out what the rules are as they go along. They don’t even know how they’re conducting business so they’re stumbling over themselves.
The question is, how will any of us know when the time comes? And does it come for us, or do we have to come for it?
Whichever the answer is, I’m pretty sure you won’t be coming with us when we find out.
I won’t be going with you because I have been there waiting for you guys to show up since 2001.
Well, there’s your mistake. You should’ve spent more time educating the rest of us.
I did my part. I added a new Benelli a couple of days ago.
My wife is weighing the options between Benelli and FN on the semiauto bird gun front.
I’m waiting on the Form 1 to come back on my Benelli M2 Entry shotgun. It sucks having to deal with the NFA on the kit, but it will be interesting to see how the 14″ barrel works.
If they were legal in CA I would buy a mossberg shockwave for a dedicated house gun. And range toy. The Benelli is to replace my 500 as a hunting gun. It will wear just the 28 inch barrel it came with.
Well we might as well be in Iran, because we already know our government has no problem shooting unarmed civilians, so what the Hell do you think these Democrat’s are going to do with armed Civilians? God Bless the Gun Toting People of Virginia. You need to figure out how to get COONMAN Northam out of office!
‘In response to a recent shooting, Mattiello gave the classic “While I strongly support Second Amendment rights, we need to get guns out of the hands of those with mental illness, as well as those who do not follow the laws.”’
SMH, how does Mattiello expect any new law to “get guns out of the hands of…those who do not follow the laws”? By definition, “those who do not follow laws” do not follow laws! This isn’t rocket science.
Keep in mind a Class 1 Misdemeanor is up to 12 months/$2,500 – https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter1/section18.2-11/ . IIRC, the threshold is to have your 2A revoked is convicted of a crime having a punishment of a year – not that you were given the punishment, just that the law allows for it. If I’m wrong about that, someone please correct me. It’s a long day.
Pretty soon, an overdue library book will do it.
My understanding is that federal law declares you a prohibited person who cannot legally purchase or possess firearms if a court convicts you of a crime that COULD have a jail/prison sentence of 366 days or longer, even if the court only sentences you to 90 days probation.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. The above is not legal advice.
“individuals would have to pass the same background checks and psychological testing as full-time deputies…”
Who bears the cost for that? If they conduct an actual background investigation (not a “check”) on thousands the way they SHOULD be doing on deputies the costs would be enormous.
As always, I contend that any officer who would enforce a red flag law should be stripped of his badge, pension, and get 2 years in prison for civil rights violations.
His supervisor should get 5.
The whole gun band/restriction thing really will do absolutely nothing to stop or prevent crimes from taking place. If a criminal sees you as an easy target you will be victimized. Politicians need to get with the program or get out of office. Lame duck weak individuals.