President Obama’s federal background checks and high-capacity magazine ban may have failed, but three states recently passed new gun control laws. While the mainstream media and Fox News devoted countless hours of airtime to the George Zimmerman trial hype and “Royal Baby Watch,” the Second Amendment infringing bills became law. Americans who value the right to bear arms must remain diligent in the fight to protect constitutional rights, even when information about restricting laws may be difficult to find.
New York City Gun Licensing
A Second Circuit three-judge panel affirmed the constitutionality of New York City’s ridiculously excessive handgun licensing fee. The unanimous decision to approve the high price tag means that residents of the Big Apple will have to pay $340 for a three-year license. Despite the logical arguments made by gun rights activists, the New York court decided that such a steep fee was necessary for the municipality to recoup application processing costs. If it truly costs $340 to process a piece of paper, the public employees in NYC are snagging far too big of a bite from the taxpayers. Gun rights activists stated that the excessive New York City handgun licensing fee would inhibit the Second Amendment rights of low and even moderate income residents. Handgun licensing fees elsewhere in New York State are in the $3 to $10 range. While things may cost more in the city which often feels it is the center of the universe, such an incredible price increase is not warranted.
An excerpt from the NYC handgun licensing fee case reads:
“New York State Penal Law permits New York City and Nassau County to set and collect a residential handgun licensing fee that exceeds the maximum fee allowable under state law in other parts of New York State. We hold that both statutes survive constitutional scrutiny, and therefore affirm the March 26, 2012 Opinion and Order of the District court, which granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and dismissed the complaint.”
Texas Gun Control
A Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Texas denied a lawsuit from a gun store owner last week. The man was attempting to challenge the right of the ATF to require special federal notification when multiple semi-automatic weapons were sold along border states. The federal requirement surely was the result of yet more misguided liberal thinking. It is pure hubris for the ATF to restrict the rights of business owners and placing Second Amendment obstacles in front of American citizens simply because of their address. The federal agency allowed copious amounts of semi-automatic weapons to walk across the border and into the hands of drug dealers during the Fast and Furious fiasco.
The common-sense-defying statute allegedly designed to prevent Mexican drug dealers from getting their hands on semi-automatic weapons is merely another attempt to thwart the ability of law-abiding citizens to buy and sell semi-automatic weapons. The law and flawed court ruling does nothing to prevent an individual from buying one semi-automatic weapon each day, or multiples on the same day from different gun stores. The law reminds me of the one keg rule passed in my college town to prevent huge parties on or near campus. Yep, you guessed it—multiple students purchased kegs from the three local suppliers and the late night festivities continued.
“We disagree with the court’s decision and will be considering all of our options, legal and legislative, moving forward.”
An excerpt from the semi-automatic weapons lawsuit reads:
“In July 2011, as part of an effort to combat the illegal trafficking of firearms from the United States to Mexico, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive issued a demand letter to each federal firearms licensee classified as a dealer or pawnbroker located in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. The July 2011 demand letter required its recipients to report to ATF whenever at one time or during any five consecutive business days, they sell or otherwise dispose of two or more semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting a detachable magazine and with a caliber greater than .22 to an unlicensed person.”
Colorado Gun Control
A Colorado US District Court judge opted against issuing an injunction to prohibit the state’s new gun magazine ban. While the case may sound like a gun rights victory at first glance, some type of a ban will go forward after both sides contemplate an enforcement strategy. The Colorado gun ban relates to magazines which have the capacity to hold at least 15 rounds of ammunition. As previously reported by Off The Grid News, a viral gun magazine video created by a county sheriff illustrates how quickly even a novice shooter could empty and reload small to high capacity magazines in mere seconds.
Banning high capacity magazines will not, unfortunately, put an end to mass shootings. The average shooter can empty small capacity magazines so quickly, even a trained bystander would not likely be able to tackle and subdue the individual bent on inflicting death before a new magazine was pushed into place. The sheriff also depicted such a scenario is his viral gun control video. The trained bystander could not reach the moderate-level shooter during a magazine exchange.
A group of 55 county sheriffs and gun rights activists sued Colorado John Hickenlooper over a package of gun sale, background checks, and magazine ban laws. The lawsuit was just one of the many instigating factors which led northern and northeastern region Colorado residents to push for the formation of North Colorado as the 51st state. Folks in multiple counties have stated that their beliefs and rights are not being acknowledged and respected by Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado General Assembly.
The gun rights advocates told the Colorado court that the high capacity magazine ban violated their Second Amendment rights and was so vague that nearly all sizes of magazines could fall under the dictate. Those opposed to the enhanced restrictions also noted that the way the law was worded, it would be illegal for gun owners to allow anyone else to touch their weapons—including gunsmiths.
Late night discussions between the parties in the case led to an agreement to request the judge to issue an injunction to prevent the implementation of the law from leading to overzealous enforcement of the gun ban, but the judge refused to agree to sign off on the temporary compromise. The judge stated that if the law is worded in a manner that Governor Hickenlooper wants enforced, she did not see the point of issuing an injunction. Apparently the judge does not see the value of the division of powers between the branches of government. It is not the courts job to adhere to a governor’s wishes. When faced with opposition on the gun ban injunction ruling, the judge said, “Sounds like you don’t trust the governor,” and reaffirmed her decision to move forward.
Despite the Colorado judge’s refusal to approve a mutually agreed upon injunction, both sides deemed their late night modification agreements as a step in the right direction as the case moves on and Second Amendment issues are debated.
What do you think about the latest round of gun control laws?