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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Judge Gorsuch Avoids Sen. Feinstein's Trap

On Day 2 of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing, U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., attempted to ensnare him by quoting the late Justice Antonin Scalia out of context: 

“Justice Scalia also wrote that, quote, weapons that are most useful in military service, M-16 rifles and the like, may be banned, end quote, without infringing on the Second Amendment. Do you agree with that statement?” 

AWR Hawkins quotes Scalia’s entire statement: “It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause.” Scalia was making the point that one clause of the Second Amendment is not set against another, not opening the door to gun bans. 

Justifiably wary, Gorsuch asked, “Are the statements out of the Heller decision?” Feinstein fudged, “Out of Justice Scalia’s statement.” 

Gorsuch then replied, “Whatever is in Heller is the law, and I follow the law … It’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, Senator, respectfully. It’s a matter of it being the law, and my job is to apply and enforce the law.” 

Well played, Judge Gorsuch.


Arkansas Governor Signs Self-Defense Legislation

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday signed House Bill 1249, an important piece of self-defense legislation, into law.

The measure was originally introduced as a limited campus-carry bill. According to NRA-ILA, after weeks of hearings and negotiations, the legislation evolved to provide significant benefits for law-abiding citizens who choose to upgrade their concealed-carry license. With the enhanced permits, licensees can exercise their right to self-defense if attacked by violent criminals while on campus, out to dinner or visiting state buildings.

“Only criminals can find safety in gun-free zones,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. “By allowing enhanced permit holders to carry in more places, Gov. Hutchinson has made Arkansas a safer place to live.” 

The new enhanced permits will be available early next year.

Seattle Gun Tax Revenue Far Less Than Forecast

We warned last year that Seattle’s ill-advised gun tax—$25 for every firearm and 5¢ per round of ammunition sold in the city—would drive both merchants and customers out of the city, causing a loss of tax revenue. 

Now a report in The Seattle Times indicates we were right, as the new tax brought in less than half of the revenue promoters had predicted. 

According to the Times, firearm and ammo tax payments to the city were less than $200,000, far below the $300,000 to $500,000 promised by those promoting the tax. (Of course, “less than $200,000” could mean a lot less; they don’t say.) At the same time, gun and ammo sellers moved to other locations outside the city where customers could buy their wares without paying the exorbitant tax. 

The low revenue revealed by the Times is even more evidence that gun-hating politicians passed the law not to raise money, but to try to depress firearm and ammo sales.

“Permitless” Carry Bill Passed By North Dakota Legislature

Will North Dakota become the next state to adopt “permitless” carry? House Bill 1169 passed out of the state Senate 34-13 Tuesday and now sits on the desk of Gov. Doug Burgum for consideration. 

Republican state Rep. Rick Becker is the sponsor of the legislation, and he celebrated the vote on his Facebook page: “This is a huge victory for liberty here in North Dakota. The legislature has reaffirmed the true intent of the Second Amendment.” 

The passage of HB 1169 would do away with the permit requirement for law-abiding residents to carry concealed firearms. With Burgum’s signature, North Dakota would join the ranks of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, Wyoming and West Virginia—all of which do not require permits for law-abiding citizens to practice the right of self-defense.

A spokesman for the pro-gun governor says he hasn’t indicated which way he’s leaning on the measure. Mike Nowatzki was quoted in the U.S. News & World Report as saying, “He hasn't seen the bill and won't make a decision until he receives it.”

Armed Louisiana Homeowner Stops Two Repeat Armed Robbers

The doorbell rings, and an unidentified man stands on the porch. Once the homeowner opens the front door, another man appears—holding a gun. What the two robbers didn’t know, however, was that the homeowner was also carrying a firearm. 

Investigators from the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office told WBRZ-TV that the two suspects, 26-year-old Joseph Bruce Broussard and 31-year-old Drewe Christopher Schexnide, attempted the armed burglary Tuesday morning around 3 a.m. However, the homeowner was ready, shooting the robbers when they charged him and leaving both in retreat. 

One of the suspects managed to escape the scene but was quickly apprehended, along with his accomplice. The men were taken to a nearby hospital where both remain in critical condition. Police say the suspects were also wanted for another failed home robbery a few hours earlier in Baton Rouge. That homeowner was shot while wrestling for the suspect’s gun, but authorities report he only suffered superficial injuries.

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