This Week in Gun Rights is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal, legislative and other news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights.
Texas legislator wants to diminish the right to home defense
According to State Representative Terry Meza, Texans shouldn’t have the right to use lethal force when defending their homes. Meza filed HB 196 in anticipation of the Texas Legislature’s next session, dead set on repealing portions of Texas’ castle doctrine law.
As the law currently stands, deadly force is justified when someone reasonably believes that it’s necessary to protect against an unlawful use of deadly force or the imminent commission of a host of violent crimes including aggravated kidnapping, murder, rape, and robbery. The person also has to be lawfully present where the use of force occurs, can’t provoke the use of force, and can’t generally be engaged in unlawful activity.
If Representative Meza has her way, the person using defensive deadly force would be required to retreat if able, and cannot use force to prevent a robbery.
There’s nothing wrong with the way Texas’ castle doctrine is currently written apart from the fact that you shouldn’t have to codify the right to use force to defend yourself, others, or your property so long as you didn’t initiate the altercation. The crimes that Texans can defend themselves against all include an element of force. Yes, robbery requires force too.
Codifications of the Castle Doctrine only became necessary after judicial and political inventions imposed duties to retreat on otherwise lawful instances of self defense. The simple fact is, no innocent person deserves to be punished for defending against an unlawful use of force.
Florida bill would require background checks for ammo purchases
On Monday, State Representative Dan Daley refiled “Jaime’s Law”, a failed bill from the last legislative session that would mandate background checks for ammunition sales in Florida. Daley claims that he is sponsoring the law to close the alleged ammunition loophole.
Under the proposed law, buyers would have to submit forms for a background check for each ammo purchase, paying up to $8 per transaction, and the state can maintain records of these transactions for up to two years.
What Daley won’t talk about is the cost, which is essentially a tax on the right to bear arms, and which disproportionately affects the working-class. Besides, ammunition is essential to the function of a firearm, and restraints on access to it are already covered by federal law.
There’s no need to double up by passing state laws. Daley also failed to consider that if prohibited persons have enough resolve, they’ll consider purchasing and loading their own ammunition. This law will only serve to hurt Floridians, won’t reduce crime, and is constitutionally and morally offensive.
Former Gun Control Proponent Starts LGBTQ Gun Rights Chapter
In Salt Lake City, Utah, Ermiya Fanaeian reopened the Salt Lake Chapter of the Pink Pistols, a pro-gun, pro-LGBTQ group. She’s now 20, but at 17 she co-founded the Utah chapter of March for Our Lives. It seems she’s had a change of heart, though.
“The left’s idea of a ‘gun nut’ typically is white men who are upper class and see this as a hobby that will make their egos bigger, but the reality is this is a form of empowerment for me.” “As far as legislatively trying to do things such as ban assault weapons, or ultimately make it harder for regular everyday folks to access guns only so rich elitist people can access them … I’m completely against those initiatives.”
A pretty woke perspective in contrast to Equality Utah, the state’s “premiere LGBTQ civil rights organization,” whose executive director said “As an organization we support the Second Amendment. We draw the line, however, at military grade weapons in the hands of civilians.”
Why you can’t rely on the police
A Fort Lauderdale man, seventy year old Bill Norkunas, had a man trying to beat down his door. The man stood, on crutches, holding a gun in his trembling hand after calling the police, who, instead of coming to the door to stop the attack, the brave boys of Broward County Sheriff’s office waited 500 yards down the street while Norkunas and his neighbors flooded 911 with calls to help for nearly 15 minutes.
“Bottom line, my life could have ended that night. Or the attacker’s life could have ended, while more than a dozen well-armed deputies did not respond to my house,” Norkunas said.
Although this is from the notoriously inept and deeply corrupt Broward County Sheriff’s office, it’s another example where, even where police are nearby, the last line of defense is one’s own.
Ohio appeals court strikes down Cincinnati’s Bump Stock Ban
Cincinnati banned “trigger activators,” which included stuff like bump stocks, in April of 2018. Now that law has been struck down as unconstitutional by Ohio’s First Appellate Court. On top of that, the city was ordered to pay the attorneys’ fees of the appealing party. Maybe that’ll learn them (but we all know it won’t).
The crux of the case was whether the items would be considered “accessories” or “components,” as it is reflected under Ohio law that local governments cannot restrict firearm components, but is silent on “accessories.” The Court seems to be of the opinion that, since they combine with other parts to make up a firearm, they are thus components under the term’s common meaning.