Thursday, March 6, 2014
I attended the Tennessee Law Review's symposium entitled New Frontiers in the Second Amendment held this past Saturday. I plan to have a series of posts about the material posted in the various panels with links to the papers where possible.
It was a great way to spend part of a Saturday and my only disappointment about it is that the attendance wasn't greater. I guesstimate that there were 35-40 people there in the morning and about 30-35 there in the afternoon. Most of the attendees were law students at the University of Tennessee.
In the meantime, the Tennessee Law Review has posted video of both the morning and afternoon sessions online. They can be found here.
The upcoming symposium issue can be ordered from the Tennessee Law Review. The cost will be $10 plus shipping (approximately $3) when published. Contact the TLR Business Manager Micki Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 865-974-4464. She'll be happy to help you out.
Aaron at the Weapon-Blog has released his list of gun contests for March and it is loaded.
In the pistol category, there is everything from a Remington 51 to a Glock Gen 4 22 and everything in between. As of today, there are 18 links to contests where you could win a handgun.
The rifle category is likewise filled to the brim. I count 27 rifles that are available with enough ARs to outfit a reinforced Marine squad. There is also a Savage in .338 Lapua to take care of the sniping needs along with a few .22 rifles to handle the training. Now if we could only get .22LR ammo!
The shotgun category is sparse this month but the accessories make up for it.
If you do enter any of the contests, leave Aaron a note thanking him for this valuable monthly service. I'm sure he would appreciate it.
Sometime last year (or maybe the year before), Breda of Breda Fallacy fame made the statement that blogs are dead. While I disagree with this statement, it did get me to thinking of other ways to help influence the gun rights debate through the use of "new media".
Noticing how much time the Complementary Spouse and her friends were spending on Pinterest, I set up my own Pinterest account. I set up boards for other interests like fountain pens, fly fishing, knives, bushcrafting, prepping, cool watches, and cabins as well as boards for pictures of firearms, gun rights, reloading benches, and camo painted guns. While I haven't quite quantified it, the most popular boards in terms of follows and repins seem to be the pictures of firearms and the painted guns. This is OK because it still helps get the word out that firearms are OK. You can see my page and all of my various boards here.
Likewise I came across Tumblr and set up a page there. I am also using it to promote gun rights. When I see a story or video that seems appropriate, I'll post it there. I know others use Tumblr more than I do but I'm still learning it. I'm not as active on Tumblr as on Pinterest but it is still an outlet. You can find my Tumblr page or blog here.
Finally, and most importantly, I am now officially a co-host on the Polite Society Podcast. This is the podcast formerly known as the Politics and Guns Podcast with Paul Lathrop. It records on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. The podcasts are available at the show's page (above) or on iTunes (look under the old name, Politics and Guns Podcast). They also are available on YouTube on the pocast's channel. The podcast also has a Facebook page where news reports and examples of defensive gun uses (DGUs) are posted.
Podcasting is new to me. It always feels weird to hear my own voice because it sounds different from the way I hear myself but I'll get used to it. I am still learning quite a bit on how it all comes together. I know there is a way to listen to the show live but I don't have the details yet. When I find that out, I'll post it here. In the meantime, if you have a news item that you think would be appropriate for the podcast, feel free to share it with me or to post it on the podcast's Facebook page. I know I'll have an "official" podcast email address but I'm not sure what it will be. When I do, I'll post it.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
You may remember that the oral arguments for Richards v. Prieto and Baker v. Kealoha were heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals at the same time as they heard Peruta v. San Diego. We have been waiting to hear their decision in both of these other cases. Today the 9th Circuit released their decision in Richards and it was a win for carry in California.
In light of our disposition of the same issue in Peruta v. County of San Diego, No. 10-56971, — F.3d — (Feb. 13, 2014), we conclude that the district court in this case erred in denying Richard’s motion for summary judgment because the Yolo County policy impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.Judge Sidney Thomas, a Clinton appointee who keeps his chambers in Billings, Montana, concurred with the decision given Peruta. However, he made it clear that without the Peruta decision, he would have held that California's "good cause" requirement would be upheld one way or another.
REVERSED and REMANDED.
Absent Peruta, I would hold that the Yolo County’s “good cause” requirement is constitutional because carrying concealed weapons in public is not conduct protected by the Second Amendment. See United States v. Chester, 628 F.3d 673, 680 (4th Cir. 2010). I also would have held, in the alternative, that even if the good cause requirement implicated the Second Amendment, the policy survives intermediate scrutiny.I find his reasoning hard to believe of someone who is not only a Montana native but who also attended both college and law school in that state. I know there are plenty of both Democrats and liberals in Montana but even they tend to be pro-gun.
The CalGuns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation are both pretty happy about this turn of events.
BELLEVUE, WA, and ROSEVILLE, CA – The Second Amendment Foundation and The Calguns Foundation earned a significant victory today when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case of Richards v. Prieto, challenging the handgun carry license issuing policy of Yolo County, California, Sheriff Ed Prieto.
“Today’s ruling reinforces the Second Amendment’s application to state and local governments, and will help clear the way for more California citizens to exercise their right to bear arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “California officials have been put on notice that they can no longer treat the Second Amendment as a heavily-regulated government privilege.”
The case was originally filed in 2009 as Sykes v. McGinness, and challenged not only Yolo County’s policies, but Sacramento County’s then-restrictive practices as well. SAF, Calguns and two private citizens, Adam Richards and Brett Stewart, continued pursuing the case against Yolo County after Sacramento County agreed to relax its policy. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Alan Gura and Don Kilmer.
“We are confident that the win today will stand the test of time,” said Calguns Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman.
The Richards case was argued at the same time, and to the same panel, that earlier decided Peruta v. County of San Diego, a similar case challenging overly-restrictive carry license policies. Yolo County and Sheriff Prieto argued that their policies were distinguishable from those struck down in Peruta, but apparently, the three-judge panel unanimously disagreed.
“The Ninth Circuit’s decision moves our Carry License Compliance Initiative forward,” explained CGF Executive Director Brandon Combs. “We’re already preparing the next phase of litigation to ensure that all law-abiding Californians can exercise their right to bear arms.”
Gottlieb noted that the battle over right-to-carry laws is far from over, but today’s Ninth Circuit decision reaffirms that court’s earlier ruling in the Peruta case and “moves the ball another step forward.”
“We will pursue Second Amendment affirmation wherever and whenever such cases are possible as SAF fights to win back gun rights one lawsuit at a time,” Gottlieb stated.
California carry license applicants can download state-standard application forms, legal information, and report unconstitutional policies or process issues at https://www.calgunsfoundation.org/carry.
Moms Demand Action aka the Demanding Mommies are trying to get Facebook to shut down firearm-related Facebook pages. And according to this article by VentureBeat, they might just succeed. That is, if we let them.
The Firearms Policy Coalition has started a counter-petition on Change.org. Their petition has broken the 9,000 signature mark as of this morning. As I understand it, the goal is to get 100,000 signatures by next week. Given that the NRA page has over 3 million likes and the Demanding Mommies page has less than 150,000, I think this is doable.
The FPC notes that Facebook considers even a "like" to be be Constitutionally-protected free speech. Let's make sure that it is free speech for all and not just a select noisy few.
In Bland v. Roberts, Facebook submitted an amicus brief to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that Facebook speech, even a page "like," is Constitutionally-protected speech. The brief said that “Facebook strives to create an online environment that facilitates communication, social connection, and the sharing of ideas, and in which Users can engage in debate and advocate for the political ideas, parties, and candidates of their choice....Facebook, for itself and its Users, has a vital interest in ensuring that speech on Facebook and in other online communities is afforded the same constitutional protection as speech in newspapers, on television, and in the town square.”
If that's true, then Facebook will do the right thing and keep its rules fairly applied and content-neutral. Help us make sure OUR speech isn't banned -- SIGN OUR COUNTER-PETITION RIGHT NOW!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
There are times you want to just bang your head against the wall just because of the stupidity of the speaker. This is one of those times. Don't do it. Just consider the source.
The video below features Jackie Kuhls explaining assault weapons (sic). Ms. Kuhls, at the time of this video, was the executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (sic). I know this video has made the rounds but it is instructional in the "know your enemy" sense.
I came across this video thanks to today's Failure to Fire cartoon which did an excellent job of fisking it in a mere four panels. It is one of my daily reads. Definitely take a look at today's strip.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Late Friday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed its mandate in Peruta v. San Diego at the request of the Brady Campaign and Kamala Harris. They had requested an extension of time to file an appeal, intervenor status, and a stay of the mandate. They were given the extension of time and the stay but not the intervenor status. While they may get it later, it was not granted at this time.
From the court's order:
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence’s Motion to Extend Time for Filing a Petition for Rehearing En Banc and Stay the Issuance of the Mandate, and Proposed Intervenor State of California’s Motion to Extend Time to File a Petition for Rehearing En Banc and Stay Issuance of the Mandate, both filed with this Court on February 27, 2014, are GRANTED. Any proposed petitions for rehearing filed with this Court by February 27, 2014 will be considered timely if this Court grants the petitioners’ concurrently filed motions to intervene. This order does not extend the time for filing petitions for rehearing for any petitioner who did not move to intervene by February 27, 2014.I don't know if the plaintiffs are allowed to file an objection to the motions to intervene but would certainly expect it if allowed. There remains the question of what standing either the Brady Campaign or Kamala Harris have to intervene and to appeal. Harris, you may recall, declined to be a part of a similar case.
Submission with respect to the pending motions to intervene is deferred pending further order of the Court. Issuance of the mandate is stayed pending further order of the Court.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Attorney Chuck Michel is the West Coast attorney for the National Rifle Association and was the trial counsel in Peruta v. County of San Diego. He issued an interesting statement on Friday regarding the attempt by California Attorney General Kamala Harris to intervene and appeal the case.
Michel notes that when the Attorney General was named in other suits regarding carry, she successfully argued that the power to administer carry licenses lay with the sheriffs and not her. In the statement below, he uses her own language in official filings to impeach her efforts to intervene in the Peruta case.
From the statement:
The Attorney General’s office was repeatedly invited to participate in this case both by Sheriff Gore’s attorney, and by the plaintiffs. The Attorney General declined to participate in the case, just as she has refused to get involved in similar cases challenging policies in other cities and counties that refused to accept self-defense as justification to get a license to carry a firearm in public to defend yourself and your family.
In fact, when the Attorney General’s office was named as a defendant in some of those cases, it has successfully moved to be dismissed from the cases because the court has accepted the Attorney General’s argument that she is not the official vested with the authority of the state when it comes to administering these licenses – the Sheriff is.
Excerpts from Mehl:
1) “Since only sheriffs and chiefs of police have authority under the CCW statutes to grant, deny or revoke licenses, Applicants cannot establish Article III jurisdiction over the Attorney General with regard to their facial challenges to the validity of the statutes or for review of the Sheriff’s refusal to grant their CCW licenses.”
2) “Only sheriffs and chiefs of police are authorized to perform these functions. . . . Contrary to Applicants’ implication, the Attorney General is not authorized by the CCW statutes to review the decisions of the sheriffs and chiefs of police. Because Applicants’ alleged injury can occur only through the actions of the Sheriff, independent of the authority of the Attorney General, any ostensible harm cannot be traced to the Attorney General.” Mehl v. Blanas.
It is ironic that the Attorney General does not recognize that the arguments she made about her authority to abandon the defense of the gay marriage ban apply equally here. The Sheriff has the ultimate authority to decide whether to continue to fight this case, and he has made his decision to refrain from doing so. But now that it suits her political agenda, Kamala Harris wants the court to impose a double standard.