Thursday, December 24, 2015

A survey of legislation on Second Amendment issues in 2015

A survey of legislation on Second Amendment issues in 2015

Link to source 

  
What progress has been made on gun law reform in state legislatures this year? Here is a summary of enacted state legislation related to Second Amendment rights.
Constitutional amendments. The most important enactments are those which amend a state’s constitution, as they are the highest expression of the people’s will. During the last half-century, the people of about two dozen states amended their constitutions to add or strengthen protection of the right to keep and bear arms; these amendments showed that the people view the right to arms as important for modern times. Protection of the right to hunt and fish first appeared in the Founding Era, in the Vermont constitution. Today, 18 state constitutions give express protection to the right. In November 2015, the people of Texas will vote on a right to hunt amendment which has been referred to the people the state legislature. The proposed Texas amendment provides:
“(a) The people have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, including by the use of traditional methods, subject to laws or regulations to conserve and manage wildlife and preserve the future of hunting and fishing.
(b) Hunting and fishing are preferred methods of managing and controlling wildlife.
(c) This section does not affect any provision of law relating to trespass, property rights, or eminent domain.
(d) This section does not affect the power of the legislature to authorize a municipality to regulate the discharge of a weapon in a populated area in the interest of public safety.”
In Indiana, the people will vote on a similar referred amendment in the 2016 general election:
“(a) The right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife: (1) is a valued part of Indiana’s heritage; and (2) shall be forever preserved for the public good.
(b) The people have a right, which includes the right to use traditional methods, to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, subject only to the laws prescribed by the General Assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the General Assembly to: (1) promote wildlife conservation and management; and (2) preserve the future of hunting and fishing.
(c) Hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.
(d) This section shall not be construed to limit the application of any provision of law relating to trespass or property rights.”
Right to bear arms. In all but seven states, the right to bear arms is protected by “Shall Issue” legislation for the issuance of concealed handgun carry permits. They provide a fair and mostly objective process for the issuance of a permit to persons who meet the statutory standards, which typically require a fingerprint-based background check, and safety training.  To enact right to carry in the first place, it is usually necessary for proponents to win the votes of moderate legislators by including various extra features in the permitting process, or limitations on where the carry permit is valid. Usually, once the Shall Issue process has been established  for several years and the public has seen how it works, the original restrictions are gradually modified or removed. The pattern continued in 2015.
Michigan: Permitting process simplified and expedited, with elimination of county licensing boards. Permits will now be issued by the Michigan State Police.
Mississippi: Costs reduced, and process simplified.
Kentucky: Expansion of available curriculum which can be used to satisfy the training requirement.
Montana: Renewals streamlined.
Tennessee: lifetime permits now available, any may be used for any handgun the holder legally owns or possesses.
Arkansas: Age for permit issuance was lowered from 21 to 18 for past or present members of the armed forces.
Reciprocity. The reason that your driver’s license issued by your home state is valid in the rest of the United States is because the states have voluntarily entered into reciprocity agreements to recognize each other’s licenses. In general, most states are willing to recognize the carry permits of other states, but there is much variation. As with the permitting process, reciprocity tends to become less restrictive after states have experience with Shall Issue. This year, Minnesota and Nevada broadened their reciprocity recognition.
Where to carry. Again, after legislators and the public become accustomed to the widespread practice of licensed carry, the trend is to remove prohibitions about where licensed carry is allowed.
Tennessee: local option to ban licensed carry in public parks has been removed. Protection of firearms in parking lots was improved.
North Dakota: removed restrictions on carry in public parks, stores that sell liquor, and public highway rest areas.
Arkansas: removed prohibition on handguns in certain public parking lots.
Illinois: various technical improvements, including that when a carry gun is temporarily stored in an automobile trunk, it need not be unloaded. (Unloading and then reloading raise the risk of an accidental discharge, compared to simply putting into the trunk the holster which contains the gun and covers the trigger.)
Texas: public institutions of higher education may not prohibit licensed carry on campus. Governing bodies of those institutions may designate limited portions of a campus as off-limits.
K-12 schools. School shootings usually end as soon as the first armed defender arrives on the scene. Several states took action to increase the possibility that the armed defenders will already be present.
Wisconsin: Carry on public school property is expanded to include off-duty, retired, and out-of-state law enforcement officers.
Arkansas: Statutory ban on carry at private K-12 schools removed; these schools can now set their own policies.
Georgia: Public school districts prevented from imposing their own restrictions on firearms.
Oklahoma: designated K-12 employees who have carry permits and extra training may carry at school functions.
Open carry. During the 19th century, the open carry of handguns, without need for a permit, was the American standard, whereas concealed carry was sometimes viewed with suspicion. The majority of states have never required a permit for open carry. Even though licensed concealed carry is today more common than is open carry, nearly all states allow open carry. Texas had been anomaly, one of the few states to prohibit open carry of a handgun. This year, Texas repealed its unusual restriction; now a person who has been issued a handgun carry permit may carry concealed or openly. Although the image of open carry is someone with an outside-the-belt holster, the much larger group of beneficiaries are persons who will continue to carry concealed, but who now do not have to worry about momentary exposure of their handgun. For example, a person who is carrying concealed in a shoulder holster will not be criminalized just because a strong wind blows her jacket open.
Permitless carry. Given the widespread lawfulness of permitless open carry, some persons ask why a permit should be required for concealed carry. Advocates sometimes call permitless carry “constitutional carry.” This year, concealed carry without need for a permit became lawful (as the long as the adult carrier may lawfully possess a handgun) in Maine and Kansas. In Mississippi, a concealed carry permit is no longer necessary to carry a firearm enclosed in a purse, briefcase, or satchel.
Possession, acquisition and loans
The right to “keep” arms necessarily includes the right to acquire them, and to possess and use them. This year, one state enacted major new restrictions, while several states removed restrictions.
Oregon: so far this year, the only legislative enactment to constrict the rights of law-abiding gun-owners. Now, it is illegal for Oregonians to loan or sell firearms to each other, unless both parties to the transfer travel to a gun store, which must process the transfer as if it were a sale from the dealer’s inventory. There are some limited exceptions, but the new statute is still a significant contraction of traditional rights.
Wisconsin: repealed the 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.
Maryland: repealed the requirement that handgun purchasers must provide the government with a test-fired empty case. “Ballistic imaging” is a forensic process to match a fired case to a particular gun. It is simple for a criminal to defeat; rubbing a file inside the barrel will alter the barrel’s ballistic signature. In the early 21st century, universal collection of test casings from all handgun purchasers was a big issue for the gun control groups; but as I explained in a 2003 monograph, this actually harms forensic work, by creating too many false matches in the system. Computers help with the first round of ballistic imaging, but the final matching must be done visually by an expert, who compares the images from a recovered casing to the potential matches identified by the computer. Collection of ballistic data from law-abiding purchasers never contributed to the solution of a crime, and the expensive, wasteful mandate has been repealed in the few states where it had been imposed.
Alabama: Repealed handgun registration.
Minnesota: now allows purchase of long guns in non-contiguous states. Under the federal Gun Control Act of 1968, handguns may only be purchased in the state of one’s residence. Interstate long purchases were allowed, but only in a state contiguous to one’s state of residence. The long gun limit was removed by the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986. Of course the purchase must still comply with all the laws of one’s home state and the state of purchase.
Nevada: Social workers may not forbid foster parents from possessing firearms or ammunition at home.
Tennessee: Sets up process for relief from disabilities for persons who have recovered from a mental illness.
Virginia: Restoration of rights process improved to recognize restorations in other states. Restoration process may be used by former residents.
Preemption
Except for Hawaii, every state has some law to “preempt” local gun controls. The majority model is complete preemption, while a minority allow for local laws on certain authorized subjects (e.g., firearms discharge), or only preempt certain matters (e.g., requirements for gun purchases; or the statewide validity of carry permits). In 2015, Nevada strengthened its preemption statute to eliminate Clark County’s handgun registration, and to make lawsuits against non-compliant localities easier. Arizona added the “transfer” of firearms to the list of matters on which localities may not legislative.
Knives
Politically, the Second Amendment debate has been mainly about firearms, but the Amendment protects “arms,” not solely firearms. In the past five years, legislatures have been enacting two types of knife law reforms.
Preemption. These statutes follow the model of firearms law preemption. Nine states now have knife preemption, with Texas and Oklahoma passing preemption laws this year. The Texas statute is particularly significant, since two Texas cities (San Antonio and Corpus Christi) were among the top-10 most repressive nationally.
Prohibitions. Some states have laws against switchblades, which are “automatic” folding knives. When the operator pushes a button or moves a lever, a spring automatically pushes the blade into the open position. Another category of prohibited knives has been “dirks, daggers, and stilletos.” The switchblade ban is a relic of 1957 musical “West Side Story,” in which gangs of juvenile delinquents fought each other with switchblades. Since 2010, ten states have repealed statutes on prohibited knives, with Maine, Nevada, and Oklahoma acting this year. Switchblades are now legal without restrictions in 27 states, and legal with some restrictions in a dozen more. In Knives and the Second Amendment (U. Mich. J.L. Reform), I argued that it is unconstitutional to prohibit any modern knife, or to regulate them more severely than handguns, which are, obviously, much more potentially dangerous than any type of knife.
Air guns
Nobody would claim that modern air guns are the best defensive arm, but they are useful for target practice and building proficiency and accuracy indoors or outdoors (with appropriate backstops). In contrast, only a minority of people own enough land to create a safe target range for firearms. Air guns are also usable for small game hunting. A few jurisdictions regulate them as if they were firearms. New York City bans them entirely. In 2015, Michigan repealed its laws which treated air guns like firearms.
National Firearms Act
The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) imposed a federal tax and registration system on certain arms: short rifles, short shotguns, machine guns, and suppressors. (Plus some other miscellaneous items.) NFA arms are legal in the large majority of states, providing of course that the owner is in compliance with the NFA. The modern trend has been the removal of additional restrictions in the minority of states which prohibited or limited lawful use of NFA arms.
Suppressors. For the typical gun owner, the most relevant item covered by the NFA is the suppressor. Suppressors are cylinders which are attached by screw threads to the muzzle of a firearm. They reduce the sound level of a gunshot by about 15-30 decibels. Although suppressors are sometimes called “silencers,” this is a misnomer. Reducing a 165db shotgun blast to 145db still makes it louder than a jet engine from 100 feet away (140db) or a loud rock concert (115db). Only in secret agent movies does a suppressor actually function as a “silencer.” Suppressors are an anomaly in American arms control law, in that they are the only item for which U.S. controls are much more restrictive than the laws in Europe. There, suppressors are widely used for hunting, since they reduce noise pollution, and hence the annoyance of persons who live near hunting areas. Firearms instructors often prefer them, not only for general noise reduction, but also because they reduce the noise-related flinch of some beginning shooters. This year, Minnesota re-legalized suppressors, thus reducing to 9 the number of states with a suppressor ban. Possession of suppressors was already legal in Vermont and Montana, but those states now fully allow hunting with suppressors. There are four states where suppressors are legal, but not allowed for hunting.
Short shotguns and rifles. The NFA applies to rifles or shotguns whose total length is under 26 inches, or whose barrel is under 18 inches (shotguns) or 16 inches (rifles). This year, they were relegalized in Indiana, as long as their ownership complies with the NFA. North Dakota legalized use of short rifles for hunting.
Shall Certify. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives will not process an application to acquire or manufacture a NFA arm unless the applicant has a signed “ATF Form 4.” In this form, a state or local Chief Law Enforcement Officer certifies that he has no reason to believe that the applicant intends to use the arm unlawfully, or that her possession would be unlawful. In some jurisdictions, some CLEOs have refused to process any Form 4, and therefore have imposed de facto prohibition on NFA arms. To prevent such abuses, states are enacting “Shall Certify” legislation, to require that a CLEO certify a Form 4 within a specific time period, unless the CLEO has a specific reason to reject the applicant (e.g., failing a background check). In 2015, Shall Certify was enacted in Arkansas, Maine, North Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia–and also in Louisiana for persons who have a concealed carry permit. This brings the number of Shall Certify states to 13–rapid progress for one of the newest issues for gun law reform advocates.
Statutory revision. Tennessee and Texas revised their state laws so that compliance with the NFA is now an exception to the statutory ban on possession, rather than an affirmative defense.
Hunting
As Justice Alito explained in McDonald v. Chicago, “the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home.” Thus, the Second Amendment right encompasses lawful purposes other than self-defense. Of these, hunting would be the most notable; unlike in the Old World, hunting in America was always open to everyone, from the first days of human settlement. As the proposed constitutional amendments (above) recognize, the American tradition accepts a degree of regulation for hunting more extensive than the regulations which have traditionally been accepted for defensive gun ownership.
Apprentice hunting. These programs allow a minor who does not have a full hunting license to hunt under the supervision of an adult hunter who does have a license. Forty states now have apprentice hunting programs, including Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Montana, and New Jersey this year. In Tennessee, the existing apprentice hunting program was expanded.
Sunday hunting. As a relic of the Blue Laws against activity on the day of the Christian Sabbath, some states on the eastern seaboard prohibit or have special limits on Sunday hunting. In 2015, North Carolina legalized Sunday hunting on private property, if the owner consents.
Illinois: Bobcat hunting is now allowed.
Nevada: Concealed handgun carry now allowed while a person is engaged in bow hunting. The handgun is not for taking a game animal, but rather for protection from human or animal predators.
Virginia: Members of the armed forces who are stationed in Virginia may obtain a state resident hunting license.
Emergencies
After Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005, police in New Orleans and St. Tammany Parish illegally confiscated firearms from victims who were evacuating, or who were sheltering in place. As a result, many states enacted legislation to expressly declare gun confiscation during emergencies to be illegal. Minnesota is the most recent state to do so, outlawing confiscation, and also stating that the government may not impose special restrictions on firearms carrying, use, possession, or acquisition during emergencies. Florida enacted a statute specifically protecting the transportation of firearms during emergency evacuations.
Lawsuits
Indiana: a new statute strengthens the state’s ban on lawsuits which blame lawful firearms manufacturers for criminal use of guns. The statute spells the end of the City of Gary’s lawsuit, the last hanger-on of a wave of municipal lawsuits which were orchestrated in the late 1990s by the group now known as the “Brady Center.” Most such lawsuits had been dismissed following the enactment of the 2005 federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or one of its many state analogues.
Arkansas, Nevada: strengthened civil immunity for persons who lawfully use deadly force in defense of self or defense of another.
Privacy
Tennessee: Schools may not require students or parents to provide information on firearms ownership. Law Enforcement Agencies may not require employees to disclose ownership of non-duty firearms.
Privacy of carry permitees. In Ohio, lists of permitees are no longer available to media. (Formerly, there had been a media exception to the privacy statute.) In West Virginia, carry permit applications are now confidential. In Illinois, there are new limitations on the privacy waivers which are mandatory for carry permit applicants.
Federalism
Tennessee: state personnel and financial resources may not be used to enforce federal gun control laws.
First Amendment
Nevada: schools may not discipline students for wearing clothing that depicts arms, nor may they punish students for “simulating” firearms, as with a “finger gun.”
Equal Protection
Legal resident aliens. State gun control laws of the early 20th century were often xenophobic–in part a reaction against the very high immigration rates from Southern and Eastern Europe until the Immigration Act of 1924. Some states banned handgun possession (or all guns) by persons who had not yet been naturalized. Under modern Equal Protection doctrine, such state-level discrimination against legal resident aliens is plainly unconstitutional, and all the court challenges to such laws so far have succeeded. Some states have been proactively removing statutes which target legal immigrants. This year, Arkansas changed its laws to allow permanent U.S. residents who are not citizens to obtain a concealed carry permit.
In this article, I have not covered technical reforms to improve reporting of information for background checks, state statutes to parallel federal statutes on prohibited persons (e.g., convicted domestic violence misdemeanants), expansions in state laws regarding use of deadly force (e.g., “Castle Doctrine”), or laws for pro-Second Amendment license plates.
So far this year, 28 states have enacted legislation which expands protections of Second Amendment rights, and one state has enacted legislation to reduce those rights.
David Kopel is Research Director, Independence Institute, Denver; Associate Policy Analyst, Cato Institute, D.C; and Adjunct professor, Denver University, Sturm College of Law. He is author of 17 books and 100 scholarly journal articles. Kopel is an NRA-certified safety instructor. The Independence Institute has received NRA contributions.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Statistics

A bit dated from last summer...
Statistics can be like nailing jello to the wall in that the interpretation of Statistics, and quoted out of context Statistics leads to erroneous results.

We have all heard that if you have a gun in the home you are more-than-likely to be killed by a gun in the house ( sometime quoted, by that gun). This was based on reports from statistical data, but wait that is not all, there are questions to be asked. Is the murder rate of a home invasion higher for gun owners versus non gun owners. The environment where the gun owner lives...was home invasion murder with a gun in a higher risk than those who were not. What is the ratio of home invasion murders with a gun between gun owners and non gun owners in those same high risk areas...was there a member of in home involved with gang violence.

Back to the quote you heard often, if you have a gun in the house you are more likely to be killed by the gun is false. The data was isolating gun owners and leaving out an important fact, according to John Lott, that the guns are being brought into the home, it was not the gun owner's personal weapon gun that was involved in their home invasion murder.
Statistics can be like nailing jello to the wall in that the interpretation of Statistics, and quoted out of context Statistics leads to erroneous results.

You have to be careful evaluating reports from all sources. The integrity of reporting data was lost along time ago. One has to consider who is sponsoring the research and what are they mining for. Then how was the data collected and who sponsored the data collection, and what are the controls pertaining to the data collection. Of course, there are no endless funds for wholesome research, so you need to make the most of what you have without bias, and you do this with a critical analysis...still knowing what you are working with is less than perfect--who is going to do that? Many times that is left to us.

Anyway, I do not totally agree with everything that John Lott reports, but he is one of the few that pushes back and says, hey, let's take a look at that data, how did you come up with those results, and is there another way to interpret that data. I ran across this letter to the editor conversation below.

==========

First, Stephen DunLop, MD is the president of Hoosier Concerned about Gun Violence and he recently wrote an article in the "IndyStar" in Indianapolis which was refuted by John Lott with a letter to the Editor, quoted below:

"Stephen Dunlop, with Hoosiers Concerned about Gun Violence, makes a number of mistakes in his Aug. 15 letter, “Gun violence remains a public health issue.” In talking about the risks of guns in the home, Dunlop ignored that the research he cited assumes that if a person was killed and a gun was owned in the home, it was the gun in the home that was responsible for the death. In fact, virtually all of those deaths were due to guns being brought in by criminals getting into the home. For one of the papers in the meta-analysis, in only eight of the 444 homicide cases was a “gun involved (that) had been kept in the home.” Nor do the studies separate homes of gang members from those of law-abiding citizens.

As to Dunlop’s claim that my research is “discredited,” if he had looked at the literature, he would have discovered that about two-thirds of peer-reviewed research by economists and criminologists find that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime. And no one finds higher murder, rape or robbery from concealed handgun laws.

John R. Lott Jr.

President
Crime Prevention Research Center"

Saturday, March 08, 2014

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

Going to make some comments about The Brady Campaign, limiting the scope to just background checks. There is a recent published report that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has “stopped more than 2.1 million would-be gun purchases” sure sounds impressive, but that is mis-leading. 


The vast majority of the 2.1 million people flagged by NICS were legitimate purchasers who were snagged by mistake along with criminals who were basically turned loose to obtain firearms elsewhere without prosecution.

As an example, in 2010 only 62 out of 72,659 NICS denials led to prosecutions by the federal government – and only 13 of those prosecutions resulted in a conviction. That’s only .0001 percent...

According to Vice-President Joe Biden, the reason for the Administration’s lack of enforcement is that “we simply don’t have the time or the manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.” OK, then what’s the noise about background checks and what's the point if only 62 out of 72,659 are getting prosecuted?

A recent Department of Justice survey of 1,402 convicted criminals found that nearly 90 percent of them got their guns from sources that would have not been blocked by NICS.

You would think that if the Brady Campaign's goal was to keep guns out of the wrong hands, it would challenge Biden and the Obama administration on their admitted refusal to prosecute those they know may be attempting to purchase a firearm illegally, right?

So could it be that what the Brady Campaign really wants is to register all guns and it really has little to do with anything other than control?

Just my thoughts...

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm Related Violence

As part of President Obama orders directing federal agencies to improve the knowledge of the causes of firearm violence, the Administration lifted the CDC ban on investigating gun violence;  what does that first major gun research in 17 years spending about 10 million dollars of your tax payer dollars reveal? 

The finding within this report is probably was is not what was expected by many...

Here are some key findings that refute some of the anti-gun movement’s deepest conviction within this CDC report:

1. Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker: 
“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.” (Page 16)

2. Defensive uses of guns are common:
“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year…in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.” (Page 26)

3. Mass shootings and accidental firearm deaths account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are declining:
“The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths. Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.” The report also notes, “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century. The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.” (Page 24)

4. “Interventions” (i.e, gun control) such as background checks, so-called assault rifle bans and gun-free zones produce “mixed” results:
“Whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue.” The report could not conclude whether “passage of right-to-carry laws decrease or increase violence crime.” (Page 44)

5. Gun buyback/turn-in programs are “ineffective” in reducing crime:
“There is empirical evidence that gun turn in programs are ineffective, as noted in the 2005 NRC study Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. For example, in 2009, an estimated 310 million guns were available to civilians in the United States (Krouse, 2012), but gun buy-back programs typically recover less than 1,000 guns (NRC, 2005). On the local level, buy-backs may increase awareness of firearm violence. However, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, guns recovered in the buy-back were not the same guns as those most often used in homicides and suicides (Kuhn et al., 2002).” (Page 55)

6. Stolen guns and retail/gun show purchases account for very little crime:
“More recent prisoner surveys suggest that stolen guns account for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals. … According to a 1997 survey of inmates, approximately 70 percent of the guns used or possess by criminals at the time of their arrest came from family or friends, drug dealers, street purchases, or the underground market.” (Page 43)

7. The vast majority of gun-related deaths are not homicides, but suicides:

“Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.” (Page 13)

For transparency promised but rarely practiced, why all the silence, we need to pay attention...Read for yourself:
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=18319&page=R1

Monday, October 10, 2011

Support Republicans if Democrats Don't Support the Right to Bear Arms

by C. Michael Arnold, Eugene, Oregon Attorney

Our elected officials at the Oregon State Legislature determined some time ago that only they could regulate guns in Oregon. ORS 166.170 clearly states that “the authority to regulate [firearms] in any matter whatsoever…is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.” Even ignoring the constitutional implications, it is quite terrifying that the unelected bureaucrats at the State Board of Higher Education would ignore this Oregon law. The Oregon Court of Appeals recently stated the obvious: This statute leaves the authority to regulate firearms with the Oregon Legislature. (Read the opinion for yourself here).

Now there is talk by many Democrats in the legislature that there is a need to “fix the campus gun loophole,” as if there can be a loophole that allows us to exercise our rights. If any Democratic legislator attempts to overturn this case by amending ORS 166.170, I and others will actively financially support their Republican opponents. That is my promise and the promise of countless others.

Hopefully, Democrats such as my senator Floyd Prozanski will get this message and use their time in the legislature to protect our constitutional rights and not restrict them. This issue is an absolute deal breaker. I support all of our constitutional rights, and I expect our legislators not to pick and choose among them as if there is a salad bar of rights.

It will be a scary time when we have to support Democrats to keep the Republicans from fleecing jobs and support Republicans to keep Democrats from fleecing rights. Let’s keep our party in check now to avoid problems come election time. Ask your legislators now if they support CHL permit holders right to carry on campuses.

* Mike Arnold is a Eugene trial lawyer who gets to talk to juries regularly all over the statute about our constititonal rights. He farms in his spare time and is married to a record-setting Missouri whitetail deer hunter. His views are his own and don't necessarily reflect the views of this "big tent" caucus.  Mike last wrote about this topic in 2007 regarding UW's policy of no guns on campus that didn't prevent a gun death on campus.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sen. Prozanski and the Gun Owners Caucus

In light of a recent email that was sent out by Sen. Prozanski, we felt compelled to offer a statement:

The Gun Owners Caucus of the Democratic Party of Oregon is a big-tent Caucus and we do not limit our membership save that our members be registered Democrats and 2nd Amendment supporters. Any pro-2nd Amendment Democrat is welcome to join the GOC and add to our diversity. Some of our membership may agree with Sen. Prozanski's positions and behavior in the Senate Judiciary Committee last session and many do not. While Sen Prozansky does not speak for all of us, his is an example of the diversity of opinions which we cherish and encourage, albeit, do not promulgate as official caucus positions.


Monday, August 01, 2011

Good-bye

To my friends from the GOC I'd like to say good-bye and thanks. I am ceasing all political activity.

Chuck