Another year has come and gone, and with it so did many important battles in the ongoing fight to defend our Second Amendment rights. Here are some of the top stories of the past year, both good and bad. It is worth remembering them as we proceed into 2023.
- Elon Musk, Twitter and the discourse surrounding our freedom.
It’s no secret that social-media companies have long had a hand in the suppression of certain topics that the moral arbiters at these companies deem unfavorable. Predictably, our right to keep and bear arms is one of those topics that is often suppressed.
With that said, billionaire Elon Musk’s decision to purchase Twitter for $44 billion brought this issue back to the fore. While many of the details surrounding how Twitter was run before Musk purchased the company are still forthcoming, it has nevertheless advanced the discourse about what can (and can’t) be talked about on social media and how these companies should be run.
Much of the future surrounding this is still murky, but A1F.com will keep a close eye for you on how this affects all things Second Amendment.
- Credit card companies moved against gun owners.
Having been hounded by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and other gun-control zealots, the International Organization for Standardization created a new way to categorize transactions that are specific to any business dealing in retail firearm and ammunition sales.
“If fully implemented by the various payment processors, the hope of gun-control groups for this new [code] is that it will create a registry of gun owners that they have long sought,” reported the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA).
As America’s 1st Freedom wrote at the time, “In sum, at best, this is an attempt to harass gun owners and treat them like criminals; at worst, this new code, if actually put into use, could be used to make it difficult for gun dealers to stay in business while creating lists of who is buying things at gun stores in America.”
Time will tell if these companies give in to the whims of anti-gun types like Hochul. One thing we do know is that gun-control proponents will do everything in their power to find new ways to restrict and rescind this freedom, a recurring theme.
- The return of Operation Chokepoint?
Operation Chokepoint, as many will remember, was the attempt of the Obama administration—with Joe Biden as vice president—to use banking regulations to choke off the exercise of the Second Amendment. Specifically, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) listed certain merchant categories as being “high-risk,” including firearms and ammunition sales.
Now, Joe Biden, as president, has reappointed Martin J. Gruenberg to lead the FDIC, as he did during the implementation of this disastrous effort under Obama.
“That Biden now proposes to reappoint the FDIC chairman under whose watch Operation Chokepoint decimated many lawful and creditworthy businesses is a telling and provocative move,” NRA-ILA reported. “Your NRA will ensure that Gruenberg cannot hide his legacy with Operation Chokepoint during his latest nomination.”
- Congress went after firearms manufacturers.
The U.S. House Oversight Committee held a hearing, titled “Examining the Practices and Profits of Gun Manufacturers,” that was clearly designed as an attack on the firearms industry, as America’s 1st Freedom reported at the time.
In attendance were the CEOs of Daniel Defense and Sturm, Ruger & Co., as well as representatives from multiple gun-control groups. The meeting was led by now former Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D), who then chaired the committee at the time—but has since lost her bid for reelection–and used the event to repeat the same anti-Second Amendment talking points she has throughout her career in Congress.
All in all, it was a blatant attack on a lawful industry from a group of partisan lawmakers who employed misleading statistics and semantic gymnastics to push their agenda. You can read the best and worst of what was said during this hearing here.
- (More) proposed bans of lawfully and commonly owned firearms.
A common talking point for anti-gun types is the supposed need to ban “assault weapons.” Of course, this is a politically invented term that is conveniently flexible to mean whatever firearms gun-control activists dislike. As it stands, this encompasses semi-automatic rifles—of which more than 24 million are in circulation, according to recent statistics—as well as certain semi-automatic handguns and shotguns.
With that said, many politicians renewed their calls to ban these firearms, ignoring the fact that they are in common use. So strong was their fervor that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to ban them. Even President Biden reiterated how he’s again “not joking” about enacting such a ban.
- Defensive gun uses, armed citizens and the CDC.
It might seem odd to speak of defensive gun uses and armed citizens in the same breath as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but as noted earlier, gun-control proponents will use any tools at their disposal to curtail your rights. We know guns are not a disease, but the CDC routinely acquiesces to the whims of gun controllers who attempt to label firearm-related crime as an “epidemic.”
With that said, the CDC was caught red-handed deleting defensive-gun-use statistics from its website. Specifically, it purged data regarding how Americans use firearms for self-defense up to 2.5 million times a year, which was from a criminology study in the early 1990s. Apparently, this figure was making it hard for gun-control advocates to argue that firearms are seldom used for self-defense.
But, guns are often used for self-defense, and even the CDC knows it. As America’s 1st Freedom reported, the organization conducted its own study later in the 1990s, which indicated that there are likely more than a million defensive gun uses every year, but the study was never released. The CDC has denied that it suppressed the study, and instead said it would be released when it is refined, though more than two decades have now passed.
Stories of this are often underreported; such is why the NRA maintains the Armed Citizen column to highlight just how prominent this reality is: armed citizens routinely defend themselves and the statistics bear this out. In one recent example, Elisjsha Dicken halted a mass shooting at an Indiana Mall just seconds after it began. Recently, Dicken was called a “true hero” by Greenwood Police Department Chief Jim Ison, who also said no charges will be filed against Dicken.
- Biden appointed a gun-control zealot to lead the ATF.
Last year, the NRA and its members played a crucial part in defeating one gun-control zealot’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); in fact, the defeat of David Chipman was our top story of 2021.
However, President Biden doubled down by nominating yet another gun controller to lead the organization. His name is Steve Dettelbach and he has since been confirmed. Like the nominee who preceded him, Dettelbach is a proponent of many overly restrictive gun-control measures, and he has a history of repeating anti-Second Amendment messaging.
“In short, it’s unclear what gun control measures Dettelbach doesn’t support,” reported NRA-ILA. His troubling confirmation yet again signals the Biden administration’s open hostility to the Second Amendment.
- Constitutional carry is now in half the nation.
One of the brighter spots of 2022 was the news that 25 states now have some form of constitutional carry on the books. It’s incredible to think that, just a few decades ago, only a single state allowed concealed carry without a permit, but since then, immense progress has been made to get bureaucrats out of the way of exercising our rights.
In 2022, Georgia, along with Alabama, Indiana and Ohio, built upon 2021’s success, which saw five other states join the ranks of constitutional carry. Beyond this good news, several states have also passed constitutional carry in their respective legislatures, only to be vetoed by anti-Second Amendment governors.
In short, constitutional carry is growing, and the statistics show that constitutional carry does save lives, despite the narratives perpetuated by anti-gun groups.
- The midterm election.
As this was an election year, the midterm elections would normally be the top story, but more on that shortly. With that said, there were some changes in Congress.
Perhaps the biggest news to come from the election is that the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives flipped in favor of Republicans, while the U.S. Senate is no longer split evenly and now narrowly favors Democrats.
Some notable gun-control proponents, such as Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams, lost in their gubernatorial bids, while other anti-freedom candidates, like New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D), retained their respective seats.
On the flip side of that, some very pro-freedom candidates won, including Sen. Ted Budd (R), Sen. Ron Johnson (R) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), to name a few.
- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of freedom.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right to bear arms does not stop at a person’s front door in the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.
This NRA-backed lawsuit was a landmark moment in the fight for freedom, and effectively eliminated “may-issue” laws that allow bureaucrats to subjectively determine who can and can’t exercise parts of their Second Amendment rights.
Stephen Halbrook, who has argued Second Amendment cases at the highest level, broke down what this crucial decision means for freedom in a piece for America’s 1st Freedom that can be read here. He also explained the decision further in an interview with America’s 1st Freedom Editor and Chief Frank Miniter.
Unfortunately, this fight is ongoing, as states like New York, New Jersey and others have effectively ignored the Bruen ruling and implemented new strategies to keep you from exercising your rights.