Duke University’s Arguments Against A Statutory Second Amendment

Herschel Smith · 22 May 2022 · 14 Comments

The Regulatory Review links a paper by Joseph Blocher of Duke University arguing against state preemption laws that prohibit more restrictive gun control statutes by cities and counties than instituted by the state itself.  The paper is entitled "Cities, Preemption, and the Statutory Second Amendment." He argues: As a practical matter, though, nothing has done more to shape contemporary gun regulation than state preemption laws, which fully or partially eliminate cities’ ability to…… [read more]

Constitutional Carry Becomes Law In Alabama

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

News from Alabama.

Today, a conference committee approved House Bill 272, constitutional carry. Then, both the House and Senate voted to adopt the conference report. It will now go to Governor Kay Ivey, who is expected to sign it into law promptly. Alabama is now just one more step away from becoming the 22nd constitutional carry state and the first state to join that group in 2022.

Oh no!  It will be blood running in the streets.

“The Alabama House Public Safety Committee just chose gun extremists over public safety,” Harriette Huggins, a volunteer with the Alabama chapter of Moms Demand Action, said in a statement after the vote.

I think I’m classified as a gun extremist.  I think you are too.  More.

On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey signed House Bill 272, known as the constitutional carry bill, into law. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Shane Stringer, eliminates the permit required for concealed carry and revises certain restrictions related to carrying and possessing a pistol.

“Unlike states who are doing everything in their power to make it harder for law-abiding citizens, Alabama is reaffirming our commitment to defending our Second Amendment rights,” Ivey said. “I have always stood up for the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and I am proud to do that again today.”

The passage of the bill did not come without controversy. Many gun-rights advocates argued people should not have to obtain a permit in order to carry a concealed pistol, but opponents of the bill, including some local law enforcement, argued the permits help fight crime and enhance public safety.

Shortly after Ivey signed the bill into law, Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge tweeted the following statement:

“Alabama law enforcement lost another tool in the tool box to get illegal guns off our streets. Continuing to make officers’ jobs harder. Five of the six officers killed in the line of duty in Alabama in 2019 were killed with a stolen firearm.”

A stolen firearm.  What that has to do with constitutional carry is anybody’s guess.  It sounds like sour grapes to me.

Boss Hogg is not happy tonight.

Now.  South Carolina needs to undo the ridiculous preemption where cities can circumvent open carry the state legislature passed, and move on the constitutional carry.

Alabama will prove to you that blood doesn’t run in the streets, just like Texas did and like the other 20 states did.

Alabama Constitutional Carry in the Senate

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

Ammoland.

The Senate is taking swift action on constitutional carry as they previously promised. On Wednesday, at 1:00 PM, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear House Bill 272. After that, it will receive a final vote on the Senate floor on Thursday. Please contact your state senator and ask them to SUPPORT House Bill 272.

Uh oh.  Boss Hogg (Bobby Timmons) won’t be happy.  The good news is that he may blow a gasket before he tries to repeal the second amendment.

Do the right thing folks.  Don’t strike out.

Prior: Alabama House Passes Permitless Carry Bill

Alabama House Passes Permitless Carry Bill

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago

News from Alabama.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The Alabama House passed a proposal Tuesday to allow people to carry concealed handguns without a state permit.

House Republicans have named the handgun bill as a priority for the year.

The bill would do away with the requirement to get a concealed carry permit to carry a handgun concealed under clothes or in a purse or bag when they go in public.

Good.  That means they didn’t listen to the controller LEOs who are opposed to this, as they will be in every state.

Boss Hogg won’t like this one little bit.  It may be time to kick him to the curb, you think?

Now, Alabama Senate.  You’re up to bat.  Don’t strike out.

Alabama House committee approves permitless pistol carry bill

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 3 weeks ago

News from Alabama.

An Alabama House committee Wednesday approved a bill that would allow the permitless carry of pistols in the state, sending an Alabama House GOP priority bill to that chamber.

The 8 to 5 vote on the bill from Rep. Shane Stringer, R-Citronelle, took place after an hour of contentious debate that crossed party lines.

Stringer argued that the legislation would allow law-abiding citizens to carry weapons without fear of legal retribution, and said permit laws did not deter crime.

“The fact of the matter is criminals don’t adhere to laws,” Stringer said. “They don’t obey the laws we have now. We cannot legislate an evil heart from Montgomery.”

The bill passed with an amendment that would require gun owners to declare that they were carrying firearms when asked by a police officer. But there was confusion about a second amendment proposed by Rep. Proncey Robertson, R-Mount Hope, that appeared to create separate penalties for bringing firearms in areas where they are currently restricted and led Stringer to call Rep. Mike Jones, R-Andalusia, not a member of the committee, to explain it.

Rep. Allen Farley, R-McCalla, a retired assistant sheriff for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, said getting rid of the permits would amount to “defunding the police” and endanger law enforcement officers.

Uh huh.  Defunding the police and endanger LEOs.  I see.  This is a slight variation on the objection that “They sky is falling, the sky is falling, there will be blood running in the streets.”

That’s what they said about open carry in Texas.  That’s what they said about open carry in South Carolina.  That’s what they said about constitutional carry in Texas.  They said it in Arkansas.  That’s what they say everywhere.

It never happens.  But of course, he’s a retired LEO so he’s going to carry water for LEOs.

Anyway, it’s good that it left committee.  That’s where most bills die.

In Which Tom Knighton (Bearing Arms) And I Disagree

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 2 weeks ago

Tom Knighton writing at Bearing Arms.

However, there are a couple of other bills that, if they pass, will put them squarely at odds with the federal government.

Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 7 would both create the Alabama Second Amendment Preservation Act. This act would prohibit state law enforcement from enforcing any federal law, or other legislation, regarding the regulation of firearms, firearm accessories or ammo.

The bills would also set up penalties for whatever agency violates the proposed bill. The penalty for a first offense is a class C misdemeanor with a fine no less than $500 or more than $5,000. For all other offenses, it is a class B misdemeanor with a fine no less than $1,000 or more than $7,000.

In other words, it’ll be much like Missouri’s law that went into effect earlier this year.

That law hasn’t really been tested in the courts yet, so we don’t know how that will go, so Alabama following suit may or may not be a great move for them.

However, there’s another bill that may cause far more problems.

A different bill, House Bill 13, would prohibit state law enforcement from enforcing any federal bill or other legislation pertaining to the regulation of firearms, firearm accessories or ammo, just like Senate Bill 2. However, this only pertains to those made and sold in Alabama.

Under existing constitution law, Congress is given the authority to regulate interstate commerce. This bill would provide that firearms, ammo and firearm accessories that are made in the state and are only traded within the state are not subject to federal law or regulation.

Now, on the surface, this looks great for Alabama and I happen to agree with the reasoning behind this bill.

That said, Kansas passed a bill like this a while back. There are now people in prison because they figured the law would protect them, but the courts disagreed.

Alabama is free to pass the bill, of course, but if you live there and think that once it does, you can go out and build yourself a machinegun, well, I have some very bad news for you.

It should be noted that the prosecutions in Kansas have been upheld by the courts, so there’s no reason to believe Alabama residents would have any better luck.

Frankly, this is a bill that probably shouldn’t be passed. Yes, it’s pro-gun and yes, I agree with the reasoning and thinking behind it. However, there are people who will think this gives them license to do things that it really can’t. It’ll hurt good, decent people who simply don’t realize they’re doing anything wrong.

That doesn’t benefit anyone, I’m afraid, so it’s probably for the best if this doesn’t actually get passed.

I think Tom gets this wrong on every account, and this certainly isn’t the first or twentieth time I’ve disagreed with the folks at Bearing Arms, and it won’t be the last.

To begin with, yes Alabama should pass both of these bills and they should be signed by the governor.  First and foremost should be the constitutional carry bill, but if they get this far, they should pass the balance of the pro-2A bills as well.

But then Kansas passed such a law and people are in jail because of it, right?  Well, not so fast.  We covered it.  Kansas passed a 2A sanctuary law and I covered it.  It was more of a nullification law, and had the express purpose of allowing the purchase of NFA items without seeking approval of the controllers inside the beltway.  I said at the time that unless the governor was willing to send state and county police to arrest and imprison FedGov agents who attempted to make arrests in Kansas for said actions, it was weak tea and not really a nullification law.  Even the sponsor of the bill said that it mostly symbolic.

The Alabama bill seems a bit different, focusing on whether agents of the state can participate with FedGov agents in making such arrests.  They are taking incremental steps.  Some state is eventually going to have to broach this issue sooner or later, but until a governor is willing to battle FedGov agents, we’re left with what we’ve got.

I see the last sentence of the paragraph … “This bill would provide that firearms, ammo and firearm accessories that are made in the state and are only traded within the state are not subject to federal law or regulation” … is the tricky part.  I wouldn’t test that part of the bill, if indeed it has that proviso.  As for prohibiting agents of the state from aiding the enforcement of any new federal laws, Alabama can certainly do that, and Missouri has thus far been quite successful thus far in preventing cooperation with the FedGov, which is a good thing.  Finally, if this portends to be a weak nullification law, I see it as possibly targeting FedGov control over things like semi-automatics and AR-15s as anything else.

As for the Missouri law not being tested in court, I seriously doubt that the word of a federal court will stand as the law if the governor of the state makes it clear that the state law will be enforced, and that agents of the state who aid the FedGov will indeed lose their ability to work in law enforcement ever again.

That’s the whole point.  There are certain things a state can do regardless of what a federal court says.  This is one of them.

Alabama should pass both bills, but only after focusing first on a constitutional carry bill.

Constitutional Carry In Florida And Alabama

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 3 weeks ago

Florida.

Some top Florida Republican lawmakers have now said they would support constitutional carry legislation in the upcoming session.

The policy would allow all legal gun owners to carry firearms without a concealed weapons license.

The constitutional carry legislation was filed by the Legislature’s most outspoken conservative member, Rep. Anthony Sabatini.

“Our very liberal Republican Speaker Chris Sprowls has gotten tens of thousands of emails from gun groups,” said Sabatini.

The policy is split into two bills.

The first would allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a license.

“You don’t have to go ask the government for permission,” said Sabatini.

The second would allow for open carry.

Please tell me that open carry will pass, and that I don’t have to watch any more idiotic police antics with cops showing their ass to everybody when guys open carry while fishing?  Please?

Alabama.

A southwest Alabama sheriff and a state House member are again jousting over whether the state should abolish permits to carry concealed handguns.

AL.com reports that Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran spoke before the Mobile County Commission last week endorsing a resolution to keep permits. But state Rep. Shane Stringer, a Citronelle Republican who plans to sponsor a bill in next year’s legislative session abolishing the state’s permit requirement, urged commissioners to reject the resolution. A vote on the resolution could come Dec. 28.

Stringer is a former Mobile County sheriff’s captain who was fired by Cochran because the two disagree on gun permits. Stringer argues for “constitutional carry,” the view that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bars states from requiring permits or collecting fees for people to carry guns.

Remember Sheriff Sam Cochran (aka, Boss Hogg) who literally fired Stringer for having different political views?  Yes, that Boss Hogg.

To the folks in Mobile County.  Please tell me you’re going to find a way to get rid of that tyrannical goober you have for Sheriff.  Please?

Law Enforcement In South Carolina And Alabama At War With Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 3 months ago

The Post And Courier:

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen wants to stop the General Assembly from enacting a law that would allow gun owners to carry their guns concealed or openly without having to get a permit, and he’s enlisted area residents to help him get the job done.

[ … ]

Mullen says the law would make it more difficult for law enforcement employees to do their jobs since they wouldn’t be able to question people only for openly carrying their weapons.

“People are going to be calling us and wanting us to intervene, and we’re going to have to tell them because of the law, we’re not able to do that,” he said …

“At least we know when were dealing with a concealed-weapons carrier, they’ve gone through a background check and gone through training,” he said. “And it creates another opportunity for small situations, verbal altercations or minor disagreements, to lead to serious injuries or even death.”

Dramatic, yes?  Altercations, even death!  The problem is that he’s lying.  As a long time resident of a “Gold Star” traditional open carry state, I know that nothing of the sort happens.  And chief Mullen knows all of this too, but like LEOs everywhere, he wants to maintain control and the revenue stream that comes from gun permitting.  Mullen shouldn’t look at it as if he isn’t “able to intervene.”  He should look at it as an opportunity to educate the public on the rights of citizens of South Carolina.  He would rather intervene, since he is an old school collectivist.

Next up, Alabama LEOs.

Treadaway said an example of how the permit requirement is an important tool for law enforcement came last week when Birmingham police stopped a pickup with no headlights on. The officers noticed an AR-15 on the back seat, which was not illegal, Treadaway said. The driver admitted to having a pistol in the truck and did not have a permit for it.

That led to his arrest and a search of the truck, which turned up two pipe bombs and illegal drugs, Treadaway said.

“That’s a prime example that if this law passed, the concerns of law enforcement is that tool would be taken away,” Treadaway said.

It all sounds so dramatic, yes?  Except it wasn’t the lack of a permit that tipped the LEOs off to something else in the automobile, it was the willingness of the perpetrator to confess on the spot that he had a pistol in the truck.  Actually, if he had run his headlights, he never would have been stopped to begin with, so none of this has anything to do with permitting or open carry.

You can take it as an article of faith, that when asked about constitutional carry, LEOs everywhere will come up with the most dramatic excuses for why it’s a bad thing and will lead to blood in the streets and difficulty to maintain law and order.

Except that the history of open carry states shows that they’re lying every time.  So why ask them at all?  Ignore the LEOs when considering the rights of citizens.  After all, they aren’t constitutional scholars.

 

Constitutional Carry Update In Alabama, Texas And South Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 3 months ago

Mark Chesnut:

Three states—Alabama, Texas and South Carolina—are currently vying to be the next state in the nation to do away with the requirement for law-abiding gun owners to be licensed by the government to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense.

This expansion of the “permitless,” or constitutional, carry movement represents a continuation of a march toward freedom occurring throughout the country.

On Tuesday, the Alabama Senate passed that state’s version of an NRA-backed permitless carry measure—Senate Bill 24—by a 25-6 vote. The bill now heads to the House, where it will likely be assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Put simply, SB 24 would eliminate the requirement to obtain a permit to lawfully carry in the state.

[ … ]

In Texas, the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety on Tuesday also passed a permitless carry measure. HB 1911, which passed in the committee by a 6-2 vote, eliminates the requirement for obtaining a license to carry for law-abiding citizens who would otherwise meet the eligibility requirements to qualify for that license.

[ … ]

Meanwhile in South Carolina, efforts to pass permitless carry legislation are also moving forward. Like the House version, the Senate bill—SC Constitutional Carry Act of 2017—allows those who are legally permitted to own, carry or purchase a firearm to do so without having to obtain a permit. Open carry, which allows for a person to carry a firearm exposed on their person, also would be permitted.

Since the last time we discussed the status of constitutional (and open) carry in South Carolina, it’s been difficult to get a read on the status of things.  The House has passed a bill, while the senate is currently debating one, it seems.

But Martin requested the panel suspend discussion on his bill, and instead pick up the House bill to increase the proposal’s chances of becoming law by the end of session the first week of May.

“I just want to give people their constitutional rights to carry,” Martin said.

You see where this is headed, don’t you?  The house was able to get something done.  The senate, not so much.  They have their own version, and if they pass something different than the house, it will have to be “worked out in committee,” likely not getting done before they leave.

And it will all have been done by design.  It appears that Shane Martin wants to move things along, but he has run square into the blocking schemes of the collectivists.  Dean Weingarten points to a potential score in our column, though.

There are 27 Republicans in the Senate, and 18 Democrats. Mere numbers are not the entire story when it comes to passing legislation.  In 2016, the Constitutional Carry bill was bottled up and killed in a Senate subcommittee. Senator Katrina Frye Shealy (R) Lexington was one of the primary opponents. She is still on the Judiciary Committee, which is a likely place for the bill to be sent in the senate.

This year she is listed as a sponsor of SC S0449, which is a senate bill quite similar to H. 3930.  If she actually supports Constitutional Carry in 2017, it would be a significant change.

Contact your senators yet again and let them know where you stand.  This is easy, and we all know it.  Use Robert’s Rules of Order, make a motion, second the motion, “call the question” (or stop debate), and vote on the motion.  It’s easy.  I’ve done this many times in church government.  It can be done in two minutes or less.

You know it can be done, state senators, I know it can be done, and my readers all know it can be done.  We’re privy to the games you play, and “we tried ever so hard but couldn’t reconcile the house and senate bills” just won’t do.  That isn’t good enough.  That will never be good enough again.  That excuse has run dry.

So who wants to be the laughingstock?  Who wants to stop constitutional carry, folks?  South Carolina, Alabama or Texas?  Who among the three of you wants to look the most like communist China?  Who wants to prove themselves the most corrupt?  Who wants to paint that target on their backs?  Speak up.  We’re waiting and watching.

Constitutional Carry Passes Alabama Senate, Setting Example For The South Carolina Senate

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 3 months ago

AL.com:

The Alabama Senate, divided sharply along party lines, has passed a bill eliminating the requirement for a permit from a county sheriff to carry a concealed handgun.

The Senate passed the bill by Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, after voting to cut off debate.

Democrats in the Senate opposed the bill and sought to amend it.

The bill passed by a vote of 25-8, with all eight Democrats in the Senate voting against it. It moves to the House of Representatives.

Allen said people should not have to buy a pistol permit to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

“It’s unthinkable that you have to pay a fee for a constitutional right. That’s really the heart of the whole issue,” Allen said.

Some law enforcement officials had argued against the bill in committee, saying it would take away an important enforcement tool.

People would still have the option of buying pistol permits, Allen noted, which he said would be important for those who want to carry in other states that recognize Alabama’s concealed carry law.

Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, said the bill would not promote public safety but would turn the state into the “wild, wild West.”

The bill was one of a set of controversial bills on the Senate calendar today that Democrats generally opposed.

Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, said Republicans were trying to polish their public image after the resignation of Gov. Robert Bentley, suspension of Chief Justice Roy Moore and ethics conviction of House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

“This is called rebuilding a brand day,” Ross said.

No, this is called a change to state law, and what Sen. Rodger Smitherman said is called a lie.  That’s when something is untrue, in case you needed help understanding what I just said.  “The Wild, Wild West” is make-believe.  Smitherman apparently watched too much television when he was a kid.

I like how they did this.  There was no protracted and useless debate over a bill about which nobody’s mind was going to change.  Take note, South Carolina state senate.  The S.C. House cut off debate and did constitutional carry, the Alabama senate cut off debate and did constitutional carry.  Apparently they didn’t want to see Alabama Sheriffs Association Executive Director Bobby Timmons get away with his lies to the public.

As for the S.C. senate, don’t be such weaklings and pussies, boys.  Get it done.  They showed you how, they showed you it can be done, and no one really believes this thing has to die in committee.  We all know better than that.

Sheriff Blake Dorning On Handgun Permits: It’s Not Just About The Money

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 5 months ago

AL.com:

Pistol permits are a financial boon to the Madison County sheriff’s department but that’s not why Sheriff Blake Dorning opposes a Senate bill that would eliminate them.

“We hear it’s just a money thing,” Dorning said Wednesday.

I wonder where he’s hearing that?

“No, it’s not. It’s a life and death safety issue for our men and women because the equipment we’re able to provide them with drastically makes them more efficient and more able to address the situations that they come into every day.”

Dorning and other top department officials held a press conference Wednesday to follow up on the open letter the sheriff posted online over the weekend.

Capt. Michael Salomonsky outlined a handful of cases where law enforcement tracked down criminals through their pistol permits as evidence for the need to oppose the bill introduced by Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa.

The bill would repeal the requirement to have a permit to conceal carry a pistol. It would also allow conceal carry at events such as demonstrations and protest rallies. Without the criminal background checks required for a permit, applicants with a violent criminal past would be able to conceal carry, Dorning said.

Officials also met head-on the issue of money associated with the permit fees, saying that the permits yield about $700,000 annually to the department.

[ … ]

“Without technology, you’re almost going back 20 years to a deputy who just has the basics,” Jernigan said. “I really feel this community wants a professionally trained and a professionally equipped law enforcement agency to go out and protect the public.”

Jernigan said pistol permit fees are not an infringement on the Second Amendment, which provides for the right to bear arms. Jernigan it’s no different than paying a fee for a drivers license, marriage license, hunting license or car registration.

Thanks for self-identifying as a liar.  Driving a car is not mentioned in the constitution.  And if you really feel that the community wants the things you say you think you need, then why not make that case straight to the community and let them decide whether they want to fund them or not?

Oh, it’s because you have people who want to defend their lives over a barrel.  This is a forced tax of a targeted set of people for exercising what God and the founders consider an inalienable right.  You know it’s true.

In telling me it’s not all about the money, and then spending so much effort try to tell us what you need the money for, you’ve told us it’s all about the money.  So we’re back where we started, and you have no case.


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