Archive for the 'Second Amendment' Category

Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Maryland Assault Weapon Ban

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 6 hours ago


And here is Mark Smith to explain. But you know, it seems that the conservatives on the court are the only ones that have manners and refuse to consider cases that haven’t been fully decided in the lower courts.

As if that’s a requirement or something. Sotomayor apparently has no problem bossing the lower courts around on her own.

I still think it all comes down to rank cowardice.

Washington State Supreme Court Commissioner on Magazines

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

I took a few minutes to look at his decision. Based on what I read, it sounds like he wasn’t able to spend enough time as a high school freshman writing papers for his civics class and wanted to make up by doing things completely unrelated to the task at hand, which was to follow the law.

“The Second Amendment Doesn’t Exist In This Courtroom”

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago


‘Do not bring the Second Amendment into this courtroom. It doesn’t exist here. So you can’t argue Second Amendment. This is New York.’

Here she is.

She has a “rich cultural heritage.”

Judge Darkeh is a child of an immigrant father and a first-generation American mother. Her father, George Komla Darkeh, was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. “He came to New York in the 1960s to attend Columbia University and to work at the United Nations,” she said. Her mother, Shirley Elise (nee Lowe) Darkeh was born in Brooklyn after her family immigrated from St. Vincent and Barbados. Judge Darkeh’s parents met a party in NYC, at the home of a UN diplomat. Two years later they married, started a family and moved to Long Island. 

“I was born in the United States — Brooklyn, New York, in fact — and I am proud to be an American, but I have always understood that America is a rich and vibrant place because of all of the people, from different places, who settled here and who expressed who they are and where they came from in their everyday lives.

But with no respect for God-given rights to self defense or the liberties of a free man. That sort of cultural heritage.

Now, reddit/Firearms gives us good reason to try her for treason.

Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 94 S. Ct. 1683, 1687 (1974) Note: By law, a judge is a state officer. The judge then acts not as a judge, but as a private individual (in his person). When a judge acts as a trespasser of the law, when a judge does not follow the law, the Judge loses subject-matter jurisdiction and the judges’ orders are not voidable, but VOID, and of no legal force or effect. The U.S. Supreme Court stated that “when a state officer acts under a state law in a manner violative of the Federal Constitution, he comes into conflict with the superior authority of that Constitution, and he is in that case stripped of his official or representative character and is subjected in his person to the consequences of his individual conduct. The State has no power to impart to him any immunity from responsibility to the supreme authority of the United States.”

Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1, 78 S.Ct. 1401 (1958). “No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it.” The constitutional theory is that we the people are the sovereigns, the state and federal officials only our agents.”

Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1, 78 S. Ct. 1401 (1958) Note: Any judge who does not comply with his oath to the Constitution of the United States wars against that Constitution and engages in acts in violation of the supreme law of the land. The judge is engaged in acts of treason. The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that “no state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it”. See also In Re Sawyer, 124 U.S. 200 (188); U.S. v. Will, 449 U.S. 200, 216, 101 S. Ct. 471, 66 L. Ed. 2d 392, 406 (1980); Cohens v. Virginia,19 U.S. (6 Wheat) 264, 404, 5 L. Ed 257 (1821).

28 is U.S. Code § 454. Practice of law by justices and judges

Any justice or judge appointed under the authority of the United States who engages in the practice of law is guilty of a high misdemeanor.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 908.)

The USDC are legislative courts typically proceeding in legislativemode. See American Insurance v. 356 Bales of Cotton, 1 Pet. 511, 7 L.Ed. 242 (1828) (C.J. Marshall’s seminal ruling); Balzac v. Porto Rico, 258 U.S. 298, 312 (1922) (the USDC IS NOT a true United States court established under Article III!); and 28 U.S.C. §§ 88, 91, 132, 152, 171, 251, 458, 461, 1367.

Legislative courts are not required to exercise the Article III guarantees required of constitutional courts. See Keller v. Potomac Electric Power Co., 261 U.S. 428 (1923); Federal Trade Commission v. Klesner, 274 U.S. 145 (1927); Swift & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 311 (1928); Ex parte Bakelite Corporation, 279 U.S. 438 (1929); Federal Radio Commission v. General Electric Co., 281 U.S. 464 (1930); Claiborne-Annapolis Ferry Co. v. United States, 285 U.S. 382 (1932); O’Donoghue v. United States, 289 U.S. 516 (1933); Glidden Co. v. Zdanok, 370 U.S. 530 (1962); Northern Pipeline Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 U.S. 50 (1982).

But all of that relies on good men doing righteousness, and that isn’t going to happen in New York. If the SCOTUS had any guts, they would have dealt with this sort of denial of the 2A long, long ago, and would be dealing with it currently with the AWBs in Illinois and Maryland. But they have no guts. They have run scared of this issue for a very long time.

Funny, that. Sotomayor has no problem telling the lower courts off when she wants to. It seems that everyone else on the supreme court is a coward.

It would be good if the SCOTUS had a way of censuring lower courts and judges, and perhaps they do. But they would have to actually exercise that prerogative, and it takes more than cowards to do that.

Finally, this touches fingers with the whole issue of immigrants and immigration, and how they don’t bring the same value system to America. They bring the value system from the country they left. This is especially dangerous when it’s a judge. It will just take more time to work its way through the process with immigrants who vote.

See the point?

Youngkin vetos more than two dozen gun laws passed by Democratic-led legislature

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 4 weeks ago


Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) announced on Tuesday he vetoed 30 bills relating to gun control measures that were passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature earlier this year.

Youngkin vetoed a range of gun control bills, including one measure that would have banned the sale, transfer, or purchase of an “assault firearm” after July 1, and classifying the acts misdemeanor crimes. The Virginia governor expressed concern over the constitutionality of the measure.

“The Constitution precludes the Commonwealth from prohibiting a broad category of firearms widely embraced for lawful purposes, such as self-defense. Despite this, certain members of the General Assembly have pursued legislation banning most contemporary semiautomatic firearms and specific ammunition-feeding devices,” Youngkin said in a veto statement.

Congratulations to the good folks of Virginia for electing Youngkin. He stands between you and tyranny. Sometimes tyrants act in groups, as did the VA legislature.

This is a big win.

GOA Petition to SCOTUS for Writ of Certiorari Against Illinois Categorical Ban on AR-15s

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Here is the brief to the court. I will lift out most of “Reasons” section. I will make no attempt to either copy the footnotes or exclude references to them in the main body of the text.

Perhaps the Seventh Circuit’s most egregious error was its fundamental misunderstanding of the Second Amendment’s historical purpose. Concocting a “civilian” versus “military” distinction between those “Arms” that are constitutionally protected and those that are not, the panel concluded that hundreds of millions of common firearms and magazines may be banned simply for appearing to be more useful to a standing army than a private citizen. App.26. But if the Second Amendment is to have a “spirit and meaning,” Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303, 307 (1879), then this “spirit” is the elimination of firepower disparities between those who govern and those who consent to be governed. The Seventh Circuit has only exacerbated our modern imbalance (see Heller at 627-28), one that our forebears already would have found gravely concerning.

Remarkably, the panel majority asserted that, “in Heller the Supreme Court severed th[e] connection” between the Second Amendment’s prefatory and operative clauses. App.21. No doubt, this would have come as quite a shock to Heller’s author, who said literally the opposite, explaining that “[l]ogic demands that there be a link … [a] logical connection … between the [Second Amendment’s] stated purpose … its prefatory clause … and the command … its operative clause.”5 Id. at 577; see also at 598 (devoting an entire section to the “Relationship Between [the] Prefatory Clause and Operative Clause”).

But not only did Heller not “sever” the prefatory Militia Clause from the right “to keep and bear Arms,” it actually reinforced the Militia Clause’s significance. Heller pointed out that the militia was not separate from “the people” – it was drawn from the people: “[t]he traditional militia was formed from a pool of men bringing arms ‘in common use at the time’ for lawful purposes like self-defense.” Id. at 624. This language does not indicate some dichotomy between military and civilian weapons – rather, they are now as they were at the Founding: “‘one and the same.’” Id. at 625.

The majority’s novel theory amounts to a wholesale rejection of this Court’s express language to the contrary, and was key to its Second Amendment revisionism, limiting “the right to keep and bear arms” only to what the majority decreed to be “civilian weaponry.”

In addition to flouting Heller, the panel’s proposition is as ahistorical as it is incoherent: that the Founders, who had just cast off the yoke of British oppression and were deeply skeptical of centralized military power, would undertake to deliberately handicap themselves at the starting gate by guaranteeing in writing that they could possess only inferior “arms,” including “weapons that may be reserved for military use.” App.33. Unsurprisingly, the opposite is true – the Founders set about to ensure that the ordinary citizen could access and maintain quintessentially “military” equipment as a last line of defense and failsafe against both foreign threats and domestic tyranny.

This Court repeatedly discussed that motivation in Heller. Noting that a “‘citizens’ militia’ [i]s a safeguard against tyranny” and “necessary to oppose an oppressive military force if the constitutional order broke down,” this Court recognized the Founders’ central concern that “the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to impose rule through a standing army or select militia.” Heller at 600, 599, 598. The district court below echoed that sentiment, noting that this “purpose of securing the ability of the citizenry to oppose an oppressive military, should the need arise, cannot be overlooked.” App.118. It defies logic that, in response to such a concern, the Founders would have endorsed the Seventh Circuit’s neutered conception of the right to keep and bear arms.7 Importantly, the Seventh Circuit’s imagined regime – wherein “the people” are relegated to firearms that are less powerful, useful, or effective8 than the “military” – would entirely undermine one of the militia’s central roles as an “oppos[ition]” force against tyranny.9 Heller at 599.

While acknowledging the importance of the ubiquitous citizen-soldier, this Court observed that “most undoubtedly thought [the Second Amendment] even more important for self-defense and hunting,” and that this effectuation of the right to self-defense constitutes the “central component of the [Second Amendment] right itself.” Heller at 599.10 But that focus on “self-defense” simply incorporates the Founders’ tyranny deterrent in different terms. Uncomfortable to modern proclivities as it may be, the inherent right to self-defense naturally encompasses defense against a rogue government. And it was this concern that predominated at the Founding.

Indeed, there is no shortage of authority on the Second Amendment’s liberty-preserving, tyranny deterrent value. For example, contemporaneous commentaries evince a preoccupation with ensuring the citizenry would be of equal match to the government’s standing army as a failsafe against despotism. American lexicographer and federalist Noah Webster wrote:

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.11

Alexander Hamilton had the same view, that an “army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.”12 To hold otherwise – that the citizen ought to be vulnerable to the professional soldier – would invert the power structure the Founders intended to guarantee.

Disputing this Founding-era objective that the Second Amendment would guarantee parity of armament between the free citizen and the government infantryman, the majority below rejected the notion that “the people” should be “superior to” or “little if at all inferior” to the government they elect. Instead, the majority fashioned a new constitutional regime wherein certain “weapons [] may be reserved for military use.” App.33. But as the dissent noted, “neither Heller nor Bruen draw a military/civilian line for the Second Amendment.” App.89 (Brennan, J., dissenting). Indeed, contrary to the Seventh Circuit’s thoroughly modern “civilian” distinction, the Founders never distinguished between arms “protected for private use” and those “reserved for military use.” App.26. To the Founders, these weapons “‘were one and the same.’” Heller at 625.

They go on to excoriate the seventh circuit for their stolid analysis of the issues.

Friends of The Captain’s Journal Stephen Stamboulieh and Oliver Krawczyk wrote this brief, along with Rob Olson. A better constructed and more direct and honest one you will never find.

I have pointed out many times before that this distinction between military and civilian arms is a stupid distinction. Rocks were used in antiquity. Jesus told His disciples to carry swords in disobedience of the Roman law, making them lawbreakers. They carried the common military tool of combat of the day. Patriots carried the common weapon of war when they fought for independence against Britain, the very same weapons they used for hunting and self defense. The U.S. Marine Corps carried shotguns for warfare in Now Zad, Afghanistan, using the same sort of shells men today use for hunting and self defense. Long guns with rifled barrels are in common use today, and oftentimes civilians have better designed and built weapons than do the military our tax monies support. In fact, the best stress tests are always conducted by civilians before a firearm ever reaches the military field. Civilians don’t hold back in their criticism, and owe nothing to the firearms manufacturers who much of the time have the generals on their payrolls. Civilians are also not always looking for the lowest bidder.

It’s refreshing to know that the justices themselves and their clerks will hear the real reason for the second amendment, regardless of how it makes them feel.

Finally, Dr. Joyce Malcolm gives us a very good primer on the cultural milieu, history and tradition in which the founders were raised. After hearing her words, is there any doubt why the founders wanted a bulwark against tyranny?

The New York Times On Using Bad Cases To Infringe On The Rights Of Good Men

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago


It was 2:30 a.m. on Valentine’s Day last year when a detective watching a live camera feed from a major Queens thoroughfare spotted a man in a minivan who appeared to be holding a gun.

The police said they had quickly arrested the man, Robert Homer, and found a loaded Glock pistol in his pocket. When they checked his criminal record, they saw that he had a sex trafficking conviction. That made him ineligible for a gun license under federal law. He was indicted and pleaded not guilty to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The case is now in jeopardy after a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled on Feb. 5 that the police did not have probable cause to stop Mr. Homer. In the ruling, the judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, cited a 2022 Supreme Court decision that found U.S. citizens have a broad right to carry concealed firearms, overturning longstanding New York regulations. The case involving Mr. Homer is the latest test of gun laws in the state, where officials continue to grapple with how to square a legacy of strong gun control with the 2022 ruling.

Just nine days after Judge Garaufis’s decision in Mr. Homer’s case, a defense lawyer in a different gun case cited the ruling in state court in Manhattan, saying he understood it to mean that having a gun did not provide probable cause for a stop. The judge in the state case, Abraham Clott, said he disagreed with the federal judge’s conclusion.

The Supreme Court decision — in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen — “has really upended America’s laws,” said Adam Winkler, a professor at U.C.L.A. Law. That it has come up in connection with Fourth Amendment questions about probable cause in the Homer case “just shows the profound impact that Bruen is having,” he added.

Mr. Homer’s lawyer cited the Bruen decision in July when she moved to suppress evidence in the case. The lawyer, Marissa Sherman of the Federal Defenders of New York, argued that the police had not had probable cause to believe a crime was being committed when they searched Mr. Homer and found the gun.

If carrying a gun is not presumed to be illegal — as it might have been in New York before the Bruen decision, given the state’s tight regulations — then the simple sight of a gun would not be reasonable cause to stop someone, she argued.

Judge Garaufis agreed. The question after Bruen, he wrote, was whether a police officer who sees an unidentified person with a gun “has an objectively reasonable ground to believe that person is guilty of a crime.”

In Mr. Homer’s case, the judge concluded, the answer was no.

You see what the author of the article has done right out of the gate, yes? She has appealed to emotion and connected so-called “stop and identify” statutes with the only tangentially related Bruen decision. Let’s explore a bit more what I’m saying.

As I have said, I have about as much use for the Fourth Circuit as I do the toe-jam on my feet, but occasionally even they get things right. One of the few times in recent memory has to do with U.S. versus Nathanial Black. Very briefly, Black was observed carrying a firearm, and for that, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police stopped him, found out he was a convicted felon, and charged him for that (the story is actually a bit more complicated, in that Black was part of a group who had been stopped for open carry). Here is the problem: open carry is entirely legal in North Carolina. As stated in the ruling, “Being a felon in possession of a firearm is not the default status. More importantly, where a state permits individuals to openly carry firearms, the exercise of this right, without more, cannot justify an investigatory detention.”

Black’s case was thrown out. For the case in New York, the individual would never have been suspected of a crime had the state not fought Heller and Bruen so viciously. Another way of saying it is that this case seems to me similar to Black, in that the real issue in the New York case isn’t that he allegedly shouldn’t have been in possession of a firearm, but that there was no right to an investigatory detention (New York laws should long ago have been amended to reflect Bruen).

So this is a case about the (il)legality of stop and identify laws and their violation of the fourth amendment, not firearms. The writer has made this case about firearms. If that awful Bruen decision hadn’t been made, she’s implying, this would never have occurred. It’s hamstringing the police.

Let’s continue.

On the night of Mr. Homer’s arrest, Detective Nicholas Conte of the 113th Precinct was watching a video feed from the Argus surveillance system, which the police use in high-crime areas. Detective Conte testified last year at a hearing before Judge Garaufis that after a homicide, he had been assigned to a long-term investigation into a criminal gang whose members hung out on the stretch of Guy R. Brewer Boulevard where he saw Mr. Homer.

Raffaela S. Belizaire, a prosecutor, wrote in a court filing that Detective Conte saw Mr. Homer shoving a firearm into his pants pocket as Mr. Homer sat in the driver’s seat of a parked van with two passengers inside. The detective testified that he had recognized the van as one used by the gang’s members but that he could not see the license plate number.

Ms. Belizaire wrote in the filing that officers had gotten to the van within minutes of Detective Conte’s spotting the gun and had pulled Mr. Homer out, and that the episode had been captured on the officers’ body-worn cameras.

Judge Garaufis, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton, said in his ruling that although the detective had determined Mr. Homer had no “firearm discipline” given the way he put the gun in his pocket, he had not observed other suspicious behavior. Mr. Homer “could have plausibly been licensed to carry the firearm,” the judge wrote.

New York City’s history of strong gun control includes the issuing of few so-called concealed-carry licenses: just 7,384, a number equal to only 0.1 percent of the city’s adult residents, were active the day the Bruen case was decided, according to an affidavit filed by Sgt. David Blaize of the Police Department’s License Division along with a recent prosecutors’ motion. Applicants used to have to show that they faced “extraordinary personal danger” to obtain such a license, Judge Garaufis noted in his ruling.

After the Bruen decision, New York lawmakers passed new laws that directed officials to issue licenses to applicants who completed safety training, passed a firearms test and provided references to attest to their “good moral character.” Even so, the judge wrote, the state’s revised post-Bruen law was “broad enough that even alleged gang membership would not necessarily preclude the licensing officer from granting a firearm license.”

Felons still cannot possess guns in New York, and state law prohibits guns in sensitive areas, including on the subway, in Times Square and around schools. On the day Mr. Homer was arrested, eight months after the Bruen decision, the number of concealed-carry licenses had increased by just 237, according to the affidavit.

Judge Garaufis said in his ruling that the police could have stopped Mr. Homer, frisked him and run a license check to see whether there was probable cause to arrest him, but they arrested him immediately instead.

No, they could not have taken that approach. The judge is wrong. That relies on stop and identify statutes which are unconstitutional, and had I been his defense attorney that’s the defense I would have built.

Further, the judge wrote, a “reasonably cautious police officer” would not assume that an “unidentified alleged gang member was a felon.” He also found that the link between the van and the gang was “tenuous at best.”

Michael Alcazar, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and retired New York City police detective, said the decision was at odds with the real-time assessments officers must make.

If an officer “believes this person is gang-affiliated and he has a gun, most police officers, most detectives, are not going to stop — their main goal is to protect the public and to protect themselves from a potentially deadly situation,” Professor Alcazar said.

No, the professor is wrong, and supremely so. Police are concerned about their own health and safety, even to the exclusion of those around them. He [should] know better than to think that it’s the role or duty of the police to protect the public. Courts have said not.

Castle Rock v. Gonzalez

Warren v. District of Columbia

DeShaney v. Winnebago County

A law or criminal justice professor should know these things. Let’s finish with this silly article.

In a March 1 motion asking Judge Garaufis to reconsider, prosecutors argued that his decision was “unworkable,” would create practical difficulties for the police and would put them and the public in danger.

The judge, they argued, had created “a new legal standard for probable cause” for New York gun arrests that would require officers to release people if they could not determine immediately whether they had a gun license. That would be particularly problematic in crowded places or with people who do not identify themselves, the prosecutors wrote.

[ … ]

Eric Ruben, a professor at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at N.Y.U. Law, cautioned that it would take a long time to resolve the swirl of legal questions related to gun possession in light of the Bruen decision.

No, the professor is wrong. This isn’t a gun case. This is a stop and identify case. And Bruen was as clear as Heller was, as McDonald was, as Caetano was, and Staples was. There is nothing unclear about it – they just don’t like it, any more than Judge Frank Easterbrook on the seventh circuit will ever abide by those supreme court precedents.

So to sum up, the author has written an article based on appeal to emotion, the professors have turned this from a stop and identify case to a gun case, they’ve asserted that Bruen in unclear, All of that is wrong.

In order to provide at least a little bit of clarity, Heller was about a gun ban case (the seventh circuit seems to be relying on Bruen, when Heller is the relevant decision). If a law touches fingers with the second amendment, the burden shifts to the government to (a) come forward with historical analogue laws that show a history of bans, and (b) shows that the arms in question are NOT in common use (since an arm in common use cannot be both dangerous and unusual). Since there are no historical analogues, and since the arms in use today, including AR-15s, are commonly owned for lawful purposes, the government loses. The end.

Bruen was about the bearing and carry of those arms. Bruen didn’t revisit Heller. It relied on Heller (and Staples, and Caetano, and McDonald). Here is a great submittal to the SCOTUS by friend of The Captain’s Journal Stephen Stamboulieh. A better brief to the court you will never read. I will write more on this tomorrow.

Here is a good video by Mark Smith explaining all of this.

Here’s a note to the NYT. This is why people hate you. This is why the legacy media is going bankrupt.

Here’s a note to the attorneys to whom the author reached out. This is why you need to do more reading and study. You don’t get out enough. You are cloistered in your own little circles and refuse to hear opinions with which you disagree.

This is why America hates you.

Brady Sets Its Sights on NSSF

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Epoch Times.

“Luckily, we at Brady know how to fight the NSSF because we’ve been fighting the NRA for years, and we’re seeing the disgraceful end of their organization play out because of our dedicated work,“ the email, written under the name Kris Brown, president of Brady, reads. ”We may know their tricks, but we’re going to need all the support we can get if we’re going to overcome another extremist gun lobby group, and that’s why I’m reaching out today.”

The email doesn’t specify how Brady assisted New York Attorney General Letitia James. But it does provide a list of its complaints against the NSSF.

According to the email, the NSSF spends millions of dollars lobbying on behalf of the gun industry. The email says the NSSF opposes universal background checks and state laws to allow lawsuits against gunmakers whose products are used in the commission of a crime and has branded President Joe Biden as “waging war on the Second Amendment.”

Mr. Oliva said the email contains tiny bits of truth while leaving out significant facts.

When it comes to background checks, he said groups such as Brady are late to the party.

“I think it’s important for everyone to understand that the firearms industry was actually the progenitor. We came up with the point-of-sale background check system,” Mr. Oliva said.

According to Mr. Oliva, this resulted in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

He added that NSSF came up with the Fix-NICS plan after it was clear that not all states were sending relevant records to the FBI for NICS. This resulted in federal legislation to make the background check system truly keep guns out of the wrong hands, he said.

“Brady had nothing to do with that,” Mr. Oliva said.

Yeah, I’d rather NSSF focus their efforts on ending the background check at all rather than make it better or help codify it.

NSSF is an industry advocacy group, not a gun owners advocacy group. To the extent we can cooperate with them on important things, I’m okay with that. But we may find ourselves in different ends of the spectrum on certain issues, and when we do, I will see them as my enemy.

As long as Brady focuses on NSSF, they ignore GOA and FPC. That’s fine with me. GOA and FPC is where the action is.

S.C. Law Enforcement on the New Constitutional Carry Law

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – Some law enforcement agencies are weighing in on Gov. Henry McMaster’s decision to sign a constitutional carry ― or permitless carry ― bill into law.

McMaster signed the constitutional carry into law on Thursday just a day after the South Carolina Senate passed a compromise.

It would allow a person 18 or older who can legally own a gun to openly carry their weapons without a permit or training.

Last year, several law enforcement agencies from across the state testified before legislators on why the legislature should not pass a bill like this.

But of course they did, just like in every other state (who considered constitutional carry) where they said there would be blood in the streets, and the wild, wild west, and that cops are “the only ones.”

Academy Director Jackie Swindler said he believes this new law will have an impact on the dynamic between law enforcement and the community.

“The potential is there for a lot of things to happen,” Swindler said.

Because of that, Swindler said officers and deputies may approach situations differently than they would before the constitutional carry bill was signed into law.

“People seem to have lost patience, people seem to have different temperaments,” he said.

“Now with the readily available of anyone having a gun or carrying a gun, that certainly does have the potential for different interactions between people. It certainly changes the dynamic of police answering calls and stopping cars,” he continued.

Newbery County Sheriff Lee Foster said, “I think the training should be mandatory, because I think a lot of people with good intentions, may get into trouble because they don’t know what the laws are.”

Let’s examine his objections so far: the nature of mankind has changed, it changes dynamics, people may get into trouble. Well, the nature of mankind hasn’t changed in millennia, cops should have always assumed that good and bad men carry weapons because that’s the way it’s always been, and criminals don’t care about the law.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division sent this guidance to law enforcement immediately after the governor signed constitutional carry into law.

Some of the points included in the guidance were possession of a firearm alone is not a reason to stop an individual, a person carrying a weapon does not have to notify law enforcement, and there are no restrictions on having a gun inside of your vehicle.

Well, at least the SLED, led by a corrupt leader, got that part right. S.C. isn’t a stop and identify state, and that would be unconstitutional even if it was.

We also reached out to Sheriff Leon Lott for a response to this law. He sent this statement which reads in part:

“I said a prayer last night that Richland County does not turn into the wild wild west,” he said. “This is a win for the criminals, who can now walk around with a gun and law enforcement cannot do anything about it.”

“I support the right to carry and it was already in place with conceal weapons permit and the proper training, but this does nothing to make our communities safer; instead of getting guns off the street we just put more guns on the street,” the statement continues.

The wild, wild west. Like every cop everywhere has said in every state so far. It never happens. Oh, and you left out the part about “blood running in the streets.” As for putting more guns on the streets, you don’t know that. You just made that part up.

Oh my, such emotion, such drama. But if this law does one thing good – causing cops to become more respectful of the folks they’re interacting with and less tyrannical – it will have been worth it.

Permittless Carry Now The Law In South Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

As I had said earlier, I was skeptical about the chances for success, especially given the gamesmanship in the senate. The previous attempt “codified the right to carry without a permit as long as you had a permit. No, I’m not kidding.”

But it looks like it has happened, adding to the list of constitutional carry states. But there are caveats I want to call out.

Greenville News.

Permitless firearm carry is now legal in South Carolina. Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday afternoon signed the bill, which was prefiled in the state House of Representatives in December 2022. The legislation was heavily debated by members of the state’s House and Senate.

After a joint committee with members of both chambers met Tuesday, that committee’s report was approved by the House later the same day and by the Senate on Wednesday.

Rep. Bobby Cox, R-Greenville, told the Greenville News Wednesday afternoon that McMaster signed the bill into law at a private 2 p.m. ceremony. South Carolina becomes the 29th state with permitless carry after Louisiana enacted a similar measure last week.

The new law enables individuals 18 and older who are legally allowed to own firearms to carry them, openly or concealed, without requiring training or registration for a permit.

Previously, the 2021 Open Carry law allowed a concealed weapons permit (CWP) holder to open carry handguns. With House Bill 3594 – dubbed “constitutional carry” by some – signed into law, it negates the legal need for CWPs in South Carolina.

“(People) can open or concealed carry if they can legally own guns,” Cox told the News. “If you’re prohibited from owning guns, you’re breaking the law.”

Cox, the Vice President for Government Affairs at Sig Sauer, a firearms company, was the lead sponsor of the bill, which originated in the House, and was one of six legislators on the joint legislative conference committee that convened Tuesday.

There are restrictions of where an individual may carry a gun, such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, churches, many government buildings, schools, polling places, detention facilities, post offices, or personal residences without permission.

However, some places, such as churches and doctor’s offices, may choose to allow individuals to carry weapons onto the premises.

Businesses have the right to label themselves as a gun-free zone.

I am an incrementalist (something I’ve learned from the controllers) and believe in taking chunks where we can get them. This is a big chunk, but there is still more to go.

We had a difficult fight with open carry, but a permit was still required. At the time I said that police would have a difficult time enforcing that because if open carry was legal, then it wouldn’t be a so-called “Terry Stop” if police stopped you and demanded to see your permit. Additionally, the S.C. legislature didn’t do anything in the open carry law to make S.C. a stop and identify state (which would have been unconstitutional anyway). If they had wanted to enable police to stop folks, they would have had to make that change to S.C. law. They didn’t do that when they passed the open carry bill.

But there was still that nagging issue of the fact that a permit was required to exercise a God-given right. Now that permit has vanished, but churches are exempt from carry unless specifically posting that firearms are allowed.

So this is the same trap into which New York fell in essentially making everywhere a gun-free zone without specific posting by the establishment, and that feature of the NY law has been struck down (and furthermore doesn’t comport with the Bruen decision). I say trap, but of course anything the controllers can do in NY to infringe upon rights isn’t so much a trap as it is a reward for reflexive behavior.

Churches shouldn’t have to specifically post that firearms are allowed. Rather, like every other establishment, they should have to post if firearms are not allowed. Gun rights advocates are also property rights advocates, and if an establishment doesn’t want firearms, then they have that right (just as I have a right not to patronize that establishment).

This chunk of liberty should be the focus of effort going forward. Remove the exemption for churches in the current law. This is another increment of freedom for future work by our community.

Did Constitutional Carry Just Get A Second Life In South Carolina?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – Within a matter of days, South Carolina could become the 29th state in the country to allow adults to carry guns with no permit or training.

On Tuesday, a group of legislative negotiators struck a compromise after weeks of discussion on the bill known as “permitless carry” or “constitutional carry.”

“The dialogue we’ve been having with the Senate, the House, and the governor’s office is that they want this to immediately become law,” Rep. Bobby Cox, R – Greenville and the bill’s lead sponsor, told reporters following the conference committee’s meeting Tuesday morning.

The Senate and House had already passed this permitless carry gun bill, but their versions of it were different.

Yeah, the gamesmanship in the S.C. senate codified the right to carry without a permit as long as you had a permit. No, I’m not kidding.

The compromise they reached Tuesday now allows the bill to move closer to the governor’s desk.

In their agreement, the bill would allow adults 18 and older to carry loaded handguns openly with no permit or training.

Guns would still be banned in the same places they are now, including schools, courthouses, and the State House, and people could still obtain a concealed weapons permit if they wanted.

It would also tack on the governor’s top request, increased penalties for people who illegally carry, like felons who possess guns despite being legally barred from doing so.

The negotiation committee adopted most of the Senate’s changes, including optional, free training offered twice a month in every county and tougher penalties for people who do not have a permit and are caught carrying where it is prohibited.

“Is it really fair to, I guess, punish those particular folks more severely than the ones who choose to get a CWP when the state doesn’t require it anymore?” Rep. Justin Bamberg, D – Bamberg, asked.

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, who advocated for those enhanced penalties during the Senate’s debate on the bill earlier this year, pointed out they would only apply to people already convicted of certain gun crimes.

“Y’all, we’re talking about criminals now,” Massey said. “We’re talking about shooting into a dwelling, we’re talking about sneaking a gun into a school, we’re talking about pointing a weapon at somebody.”

But they nixed a Senate provision that would allow state lawmakers to carry guns in places where the general public cannot, an exemption that judges and prosecutors currently have.

“We’re not special. We’re servant leaders, and what’s good for our constituents is good for us,” Cox said.

They also omitted a House section that could have, unintentionally, allowed local school boards to vote to override the ban on guns in schools.

Well, congratulations, maybe, for the win for civil liberties. I want to see the bill first. This has been a long, hard-fought battle to get open carry first (with a permit), and then constitutional carry next (because of law enforcement opposition – as always, of course, you know, because of the “blood running in the streets” and all of that). I have always advised incrementalism, and the gains have been nothing if not incremental.

I will try to find out the gesticulations of the committee and get the final bill and share as I can.

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