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Friday, April 3, 2015

D.C.: Old Laws, New Tricks?

Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced Wednesday that he plans to drop the District’s pending appeal of a federal court ruling that overturned the city’s ban on carrying concealed guns. “We need to focus our energies not on litigating old laws, but defending new ones,” he said.

While it’s certainly a victory for Second Amendment supporters, Racine makes no bones about future intent: “The Council enacted a law that sets a process by which individuals may apply for gun licenses, which has superseded the law at issue in Palmer v. District of Columbia. Going forward, our energies are best spent focusing on defending the current law.” In other words, it’s gun-control business as usual in D.C.


N.J.: Gov. Christie Pardons Shaneen Allen

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has pardoned Shaneen Allen, the single mother who accidentally transported the handgun she was licensed to carry in Pennsylvania into New Jersey and became the rallying cry for gun reform in that state. Allen had faced a lengthy prison term for the felony charge, until public furor over the injustice led Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain to allow her to enter the state’s Pretrial Intervention Program.

NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre believes justice has now been served. “This ends a vulgar chapter in an endless series of shameful episodes where political opportunists seek nothing but their own advantage,” LaPierre said. “I compliment Gov. Christie for doing the right thing.”


Kansas Concealed Carry

Kansas has become the first state this legislative session to approve a “permitless” carry law—sometimes referred to as constitutional carry. Gov. Sam Brownback signed the legislation on Thursday, which allows Kansas adults eligible to own a firearm under state and federal law to carry concealed firearms without obtaining a license.

The measure does away with the training and licensing mandate for Kansans granted permission to carry concealed firearms for self-defense, but the licensing system will remain in place for those wishing to obtain a carry permit. The new law will take effect July 1.


A Win For Texas Sportsmen

The Texas State Senate has passed Senate Joint Resolution 22, also known as the Right to Hunt and Fish Act, by an overwhelming 27-3 vote. According to sponsor Sen. Brandon Creighton, the act seeks to “preserve the heritage and future of hunting and fishing” by codifying these rights in the state’s constitution.

The Act, which is similar to measures passed in 18 other states, is intended to pre-empt the sort of lawsuits and legislation that have curtailed the rights of sportsmen in other states. Texas’ strong hunting heritage, coupled with the fact that this proposed amendment will not affect current laws, helped it win strong bipartisan support. If passed by the House, the proposal could go before voters in November.


A Seismic Change In African-American Attitude Toward Guns

For the first time in more than two decades, a majority of Americans say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than to control gun ownership, by a margin of 52 percent to 46 percent.

Also included in a new Pew Research poll report is a jaw-dropping statistic: 54 percent of African-Americans now say gun ownership does more to protect people than endanger personal safety. That is up drastically from 29 percent in December 2012—a 186-percent increase in only two years.

A majority of African-Americans now support gun rights. Detroit Police Chief James Craig spoke for the growing number of his legally armed constituents in a May 2014 1st Freedom interview: “We’re not advocating violence. We’re advocates of not being victims. We’re advocates of self-protection. We want people to be safe.” Read Chief Craig’s A1F feature here.


Texas Campus Concealed Carry Advances

Licensed right-to-carry permit holders in the Lone Star State will be a step closer to carrying firearms on college campuses if State Rep. Allen Fletcher’s HB 937 passes the full House. The bill is similar to a Senate measure already approved in mid-March.

While heads of many state colleges and universities continue to make the same tired arguments about the danger of guns on campuses, Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp understands that the bill only applies to law-abiding adults who already hold carry permits and who already carry firearms when not on campus. “(We trust) teachers and students to live and work responsibly under the same laws at the university as they do at home.” Well said. The overwhelmingly positive record of right-to-carry permit holders over several decades proves his point.


Oklahoma Senior Uses Firearm To End Robbery

84-year-old Doug Jandebeur of Tulsa, Okla., was getting into his truck when an unidentified man punched him in the head and took his wallet. When Jandebeur saw the robber heading toward the door of the shop where his wife was, he pulled his concealed pistol, causing the much younger and much larger assailant to flee at a dead run. Police did not apprehend the suspect at the scene, but his face was caught on a nearby surveillance camera. The senior citizen later explained, “Anybody who doesn't arm themselves is asking for trouble.”


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