Monday, September 24, 2018

Sharp V. Becerra - Assault Weapon Registration Lawsuit - Moved To Federal Court



In late August, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA)  moved to have the lawsuit against him and the California DOJ over their ineptness implementing the new registration of bullet button weapons moved to Federal court. One would have thought that he'd want to keep a suit against the California Department of Justice in state court.

The case was moved to US District Court for the Eastern District of California and assigned to Judge Morrison England, Jr. 

Today, the plaintiffs which include a number of individuals and a number of civil rights organizations filed an amended complaint. Joining the plaintiffs is the Madison Society Foundation.  The amended complaint also adds a Section 183 claim for deprivation of due process rights.

While I might have been tempted to just say "screw it", all the individual plaintiffs spent hours trying to comply with the law requiring registration of their firearms. Some of the plaintiffs are IT professionals and tech savvy. Nonetheless, the database system was so screwed up, most of them were not able to do so. The response of Cal DOJ was "you procrastinated, so tough". From the complaint:
The following Monday, July 2, 2018, Plaintiff (Terry) Jahraus contacted the DOJ for assistance, but the DOJ official told him, essentially, “it was [his] responsibility to comply with the law [and] that he had all year to do so.” In other words, DOJ blamed him for failing to register, even though its own statutorily-mandated registration system was inaccessible and defective throughout the entire period he had attempted to register it well before the deadline.
The joint release of the Second Amendment Foundation, Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, and the Madison Society Foundation is below:
SACRAMENTO, CA (September 24, 2018) — Attorneys for seven California gun owners and five advocacy organizations announced a new court filing in a now-federal constitutional rights lawsuit over the State of California’s “assault weapon” registration debacle. The case, Sharp, et al. v. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., was originally filed in the County of Shasta Superior Court. But in late August it was removed to federal district court in Sacramento at the request of Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the DOJ defendants. The new court filing is online at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/sharp.

On August 24, the California Attorney General moved the case to federal court on the basis that the plaintiffs’ claims present a federal constitutional question, in addition to their state-based claims. That same day, the lawsuit was assigned to District Court Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. Two years ago, Judge England issued a bench ruling to enjoin a California statute that criminalized the use of Assembly video footage in political advertisements in a case brought by Firearms Policy Coalition and its Proposition 63 ballot initiative political committee, FPC Second Amendment Defense Committee.

“While it’s interesting that Attorney General Becerra doesn’t want his own state’s courts to hear how badly he mis-administered the mandated firearm registration program, we welcome the opportunity to show Judge England how the DOJ violated the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs and others like them,” said George M. Lee, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “General Becerra’s actions and failures affected many gun owners from San Diego to Eureka. These law-abiding gun owners tried to register their weapons as required by law but could not do so because DOJ’s registration system was wholly inadequate to do the job. We are simply asking that those injuries be reasonably remedied so that those citizens are not subject to criminal liability for possessing illegal, unregistered weapons – solely as a result of DOJ’s failures.”

In the latest complaint, submitted last Friday, the plaintiffs added a claim for deprivation of their due process rights under Title 42, Section 1983 of the United States Code. The complaint also adds as an institutional plaintiff the Madison Society Foundation, a nonprofit organization that fights to protect the right to keep and bear arms.

The plaintiffs say that Becerra and the DOJ had a legal and constitutional duty to provide a functional registration system during the registration period, but that they were unable to exercise their own rights and legal duties “due to the Defendants’ actions and failures, including but not limited to the inaccessibility, defects, and/or non-functionality of the DOJ’s CFARS-based registration system.” The plaintiffs alleged that the DOJ’s ‘botched’ “assault weapon” registration scheme – including the error-prone Internet application for registration that often crashed completely – violated both the U.S. Constitution and California Constitution’s guarantees of due process. They also allege that the failed DOJ system violated the plaintiffs’ and other similar gun owners’ statutory rights.

“Even though the lawsuit is now in a federal district court, it’s still just a straight-forward case about how Attorney General Becerra and his DOJ didn’t do the job they were mandated to do,” explained Firearms Policy Coalition President Brandon Combs. “Their actions and failures violated the rights of thousands of California gun owners. It’s just that simple.”

Under California’s voluminous gun control laws, someone merely transporting an unregistered “assault weapon” to the shooting range – even if one believes it was legal and registered under other DOJ systems, like DROS – “is guilty of a felony” and potentially subject to a prison sentence of “four, six, or eight years.” Other crimes can be added on to that, including common separate charges like possession and manufacturing.

The complaint says the plaintiffs “seek an un-extraordinary result, compelled by the basic tenets of due process: That they simply be allowed to register their eligible firearms and comply with the law, and that the Attorney General, the DOJ, and their officers and agents similarly comply with the law by allowing such registrations and ensuring they are properly and timely processed through a functioning online database as they have been required by statute to do.”

“This unjust California government-created problem must be stopped immediately,” Second Amendment Foundation Founder and Executive Vice President, Alan Gottlieb, said in a previous statement. “Gun owners should not be put at risk due to state regulatory incompetence.”

The plaintiffs said that they would soon be asking Judge England for a preliminary injunction to protect affected gun owners’ rights and property while the case goes forward to summary judgement or trial.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys George M. Lee and Douglas Applegate of San Francisco-based Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate LLP, as well as Raymond M. DiGuiseppe, a former California deputy attorney general and prosecutor. Attorneys Bradley Benbrook and Stephen Duvernay of the Sacramento-based Benbrook Law Group, who earlier this month secured a major First Amendment victory in a case that challenged a different California gun control statute that banned truthful, non-misleading speech about handguns, have been added to the legal team.

The lawsuit is backed by The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF), and Madison Society Foundation (MSF), also institutional plaintiffs in the case.

Californians who tried to register their firearms as “assault weapons” before July 1 but were unable to, or who suffered a privacy breach at DOJ, should contact the organizations’ Legal Action Hotline immediately at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline or by telephone at 855-252-4510
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GRPC 2018 - My Talk



The 33rd Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago ended yesterday. I was honored to be on the panel speaking on Using New Media to Advance Gun Rights. I was joined on the panel by Don Irvine of Accuracy in Media, Paul Lathrop of the Polite Society Podcast, and Charlie Cook of Riding Shotgun With Charlie (on YouTube). This was my fourth time to be on the panel and I'm still surprised to be asked each year.

Below is my speech. This year I recognized that we are under attack like never before and need to up our game. I also recognized the diversity of those supporting our civil right to keep and bear arms. I don't care who you sleep with or the color of your skin or even your political beliefs so long as you unreservedly support the right to self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms.
I’m John Richardson.

I blog at No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money and am also a co-host of the Polite Society Podcast.

If anything this year and indeed this past week have shown, it is that we are in a culture war. Everything we hold dear is under attack by an unholy alliance of the well-financed gun ban lobby, tech oligarchs, and the mass media. They have the money, they control the air waves, and are increasingly controlling and censoring our social media. Moreover, they have gotten smarter, savvier, and are actually, unfortunately, gaining a grass roots.

Nothing but our personal destruction will satisfy them. One need only to look at what they are trying to do to Judge Kavanaugh or to the vile, personal, and vicious attacks by former Parkland student David Hogg on those who would oppose his gun control agenda to understand this. In my past talks on using new media to advance gun rights I took a kinder, gentler approach.

No more.

We are all warriors in this culture war or we wouldn’t be in this room this morning.

I look out across this room and I don’t see men or women, young or old, gay or straight, liberal or conservative, white, black, Hispanic, or Asian. I see the Special Forces of the gun rights movement – people who believe in freedom, the right to armed self-defense, and the right to keep and bear arms – and who have the will to fight for it.

We have to be like the Green Beret A Teams sent behind enemy lines to create insurgencies to sap the strength and will of those who would curtail our constitutional rights.

Let me give you an example. When a Federal court in Washington State ignored the First Amendment implications of suppressing computer code and issued a temporary restraining order preventing Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation from putting it online, a group of civil rights groups including the Calguns Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition who were not covered by the order set up a website and put the information online themselves. They knew you couldn’t stop the signal.

I and hundreds of thousands others downloaded it. However, we didn’t stop there. We put the links up on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. When the oligarchs running Facebook and Twitter tried to suppress the links, we went around them and put up pictures of the links or used barcodes. CodeIsFreeSpeech.com is still up and running and it infuriates the anti-gun, anti-civil rights elites.

That is just one example.

Virtually everyone in this room right now has on their person a very effective weapon. I’m not talking about those who the state of Illinois allows to carry concealed but rather all the iPhones and Android cell phones. They allow you to take both pictures and video as well as being connected to the Internet.

What kind of pictures or videos?

Well, my favorite ones are of anti-gun politicians and gun control celebs like Mike Bloomberg, Shannon Watts, and David Hogg surrounded by their armed security guards. They don’t want you to be able to protect your family and yourself. However, they insist on their own armed protection. You know there is a word for people like that – hypocrites. If you do get those kinds of pictures, post them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other place you can think of. If you see them posted by someone else, share or retweet them. Make it go viral!

Likewise, if you are going out shopping or taking friends out for dinner and you come across a store or restaurant that is posted against carry, take a picture. Post it to social media. Ask why these establishments want to keep you defenseless and put you at the mercy of those who would harm you or your family. As Massad Ayoob has said many times, gun free zones are nothing but hunting preserves for psychopaths.

Go to events sponsored by the gun control lobby. If they are having a town hall, record it on your phone. Take pictures of the Demanding Moms or the student marchers. Compare the numbers reported in the media with what you see with your own eyes and call them out on inflated numbers. I remember my late friend Bob Owens of BearingArms.com going to an anti-NRA rally held by Shannon Watts in Nashville. He took pictures from all angles and then compared them to their “official” picture. He exposed their lies and showed how they rigged the photo to make it seem like there were a lot more people there than there actually were.

My final thought on using New Media to advance and protect our rights and our culture. We have all the tools we need. We just have to have the will to use them and use them effectively.

Thank you for your time today.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Democrat State Party Platforms - Hawaii To Iowa


This is part three of my ten part series on the party platforms of the various Democrat state parties with regard to firearms, gun control, and the Second Amendment. I am publishing these in five state increments. This will probably be the last for this week as I leave in the morning for the Gun Rights Policy Conference as well as AMM-Con.


Hawaii

For a state with very strict gun control laws, the Democrat Party of Hawaii has very little to say about firearms or gun control. And that may be reason as there is little more that they can do without getting even the 9th Circuit to say no. They already require both permits to purchase and the registration of all firearms.
3. MAKE OUR COMMUNITIES SAFER NOW – in schools and on the streets and in our homes (including advancing gun control measures such as ban on assault weapons and full background checks for all; make elimination of police corruption a priority; advance restorative justice programs for offenders and oppose privatization of prisons and provide an effective means of assisting victims of domestic violence).


Idaho

The Democratic Party of Idaho is one of the first states that I've researched so far that isn't calling for a ban on "assault weapons" (sic) or magazine restrictions. They do call for universal background checks. Nonetheless, it is good to see a state that seems to be generally out of step with the gun control lobby.
14. WE SUPPORT THE FULL TEXT OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT: “​A WELL REGULATED MILITIA, BEING NECESSARY TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE STATE, THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

● We demand universal criminal background checks.
● We demand laws that keep guns out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers.
● We support the rights of hunters and sportspersons in Idaho.
● We support scientific research on gun violence.


Illinois

According to Ballotpedia, the Illinois Democratic Party follows and adopts the national Democrats' platform. The DPI's website has no platform on it. That said, it is well known that Democrats in Illinois and especially in Chicagoland tend to be very anti-gun. There have been exceptions with Downstate Democrats but even that is changing a bit. Here is what the national platform has to say on "gun violence" (sic).
With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. To build on the success of the lifesaving Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we will expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws; repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to revoke the dangerous legal immunity protections gun makers and sellers now enjoy; and keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM's)—off our streets. We will fight back against attempts to make it harder for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to revoke federal licenses from law breaking gun dealers, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, intimate partner abusers, other violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues. There is insufficient research on effective gun prevention policies, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must have the resources it needs to study gun violence as a public health issue.
I did learn a new acronym reading this - LCAM - which stands for large capacity ammunition magazines. That's what you and I would call standard capacity.


Indiana

The Hoosier Democrats take a less restrictive approach to gun control than do their neighbors to the west in Illinois. They make no mention of magazines, "assault weapons" (sic), or even the favorite buzzword of gun banners, commonsense. They do call for universal background checks and closing the non-existent "gun show loophole" among other things.
Close the gun show and terrorist watch-list loophole and ensure every transaction involving the sale of a firearm includes a comprehensive background check. Strengthen child access prevention laws to ensure the safe storage of firearms.


Iowa

Iowa Democrats have adopted a whole laundry list of gun control items including a return to may-issue concealed carry, mandatory training, and a ban on open carry along with the usual things. They also want the Dickey Amendment which restricts the CDC from using funds to advocate for gun control repealed. Iowa Democrats also want to ban the private transfer of post-1968 firearms that that don't have serial numbers. I'm not sure where that came from but I think it is aimed at 3-D printed guns and the like. They also oppose national concealed carry reciprocity (NCCR).
Gun Safety

We support:
340. guardian accountability for minor negligent-gun-access
341. public/private property gun-free zones
342. updated version of the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, restricting:

a. silencers/suppressors b. bump-stocks c. high-capacity-magazines d. fragmentary-rounds
343. mandatory safety/proficiency training
344. expanding NICS
345. firearm transfer universal background checks
346. registration
347. waiting periods
348. just-cause Sheriff discretion issuing Concealed-Carry
349. mandatory liability insurance for gun/ammunition owners/sellers/manufacturers
350. GVROA(2017)
351. mandatory reporting lost/stolen firearms
352. reasonable gun-regulation/responsible gun-ownership
353. gun buybacks

We oppose:
354. open-carry
355. Dickey Amendment
356. NCCR
357. private post-1968 firearms transfers without serial numbers

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Democrat State Party Platforms - Colorado To Georgia


This is a  continuation of my series of posts pointing out the political platforms of the individual state Democrat parties on firearms, gun control, and the Second Amendment. Remember, this is the official position of the Democratic Party in each state and you can expect Democrats to work to enact laws along these lines.

Colorado

Colorado Democrats have an explicit gun control agenda in their platform. Moreover, firearm restrictions come up in other areas such as schools and National Parks and Forests.
Firearms and Gun Safety
We agree with individual ownership of firearms for hunting and personal safety, but also believe that firearms should be regulated as follows:

1. Ban assault weapons, bump stocks, and high capacity magazines.
2. Enact universal background checks federally.
3. Enact restrictions: Must be 21 and must demonstrate competency with firearms to purchase a firearm.
4. Prohibit the possession and purchase of firearms by people with violent criminal offenses or on terrorist watch list.
5. Except for security personnel, ban firearms on K-12 schools, college campuses and allow cultural institutions to ban firearms on their premises.
6. Enact Extreme Risk Protection Order law, which would allow families and law enforcement to seek a court order to temporarily disarm a person who is dangerous to themselves or others.
7. Enact criminal penalties when adults fail to properly store firearms and minors gain access and harm themselves or others.
8. Restrict firearms use in National Forest to designated areas, except during hunting season.
9. Allow the CDC and other government agencies to conduct gun violence research, and properly fund.
With regard to making schools gun-free zones, the Colorado Democrats say:
We oppose guns in school, more guns would make our schools less safe and but all (sic) students and staff at increased risk of becoming a victim of gun violence.
Finally, with regard to public lands and wildlife, it says, "We support the restriction of shooting in National Forests and Parks."


Connecticut

As you might expect, Connecticut Democrats support gun control and make great claims for it. They don't go into great detail so they must assume all the post-Newtown restrictions have been accepted.
Guns

Connecticut Democrats are proud to stand behind common sense gun violence prevention measures. As a result, Connecticut has one of the lowest gun death rates in the country.

Gun violence in our urban centers needs to be addressed. This can be supported through incentivized proactive measures such as buybacks, and reinforcing “no questions asked” protections where appropriate in order to get guns off the streets.

Connecticut can do more. There is progress to be made in the areas of Domestic Violence and Extreme Risk protections as these scenarios are a source of mass shooting violence and gun suicide.


Delaware

 The Delaware Democrats' platform adopts the usual buzzwords such as "common sense" and "weapons of war" without going into too much detail.
Preventing Gun Violence: Gun violence is taking far too many lives in Delaware. Delaware Democrats support common sense gun safety measures while respecting responsible gun ownership. We will build on successful efforts at the state level and proposed efforts at the federal level to get weapons of war away from criminals and off our streets, while preserving the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.

Florida

 The Florida Democrats have a list of their "values" on their website instead of a platform. In addition to a statement on guns, they also have a separate "gun violence prevention" fact (sic) sheet.
Preventing Gun Violence

"Proud NRA sellout" Adam Putnam and his Republican party would rather give guns to people who shouldn't have them than enact comprehensive gun control policies. The Republican Party's dependence on the NRA for money is why they refuse to enact policies that a majority of Floridians support. Unlike Republicans, Democrats support banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, and a 3-day waiting period for gun sales. Democrats realize that this isn't about taking away the rights of responsible, law abiding gun-owners. This is about making our state safer so that there isn't another shooting in Parkland, Pulse, or anywhere else in Florida. Florida has endured 4 mass shootings in 18 months because of Republicans' refusal to implement common sense gun reform. Let's make sure there isn't a 5th.

Georgia

Georgia Democrats don't seem to have adopted a party platform since 2011. It is probably for this reason that their platform makes no reference to firearms or "gun violence" (sic).  The only real item I could find is a 2013 press release supporting then President Obama's efforts at gun control post-Newtown including magazines bans and assault weapon (sic) bans.

I will have to assume that they will support the gun control platform of Stacey Abrams who is their nominee for governor.
As Governor, Stacey will:

  1. Fight for common-sense gun reforms including universal background checks, repeal of campus carry, and extreme-risk protection orders
  2. Support protections and services for victims of domestic violence
  3. Invest in mental health services
  4. Support community and hospital programs to stop the cycle of gun violence

Stacey’s Record:

  1. Opposed legislation which required that guns confiscated in crimes be returned to the street
  2. Opposed campus carry
  3. Received only Ds and Fs from the National Rifle Association
  4. Endorsed by Moms Demand Action and Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence

Agenda Released For 2018 Gun Rights Policy Conference


The Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms have released the tentative agenda for the 2018 Gun Rights Policy Conference. The conference is being held starting this Friday evening in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency - O'Hare Airport. While pre-registration is now closed you can register at the door.

You can find the agenda here.

There will be plenty of gun rights leaders from around the country with whom you can mix and mingle. There will also be these guys.

11:15 a.m. Using New Media to Advance Gun Rights
Charlie Cook, YouTube host, Riding Shotgun with Charlie
Don Irvine, chair, Accuracy in Media
Paul Lathrop, Polite Society Podcast
John Richardson, blogger, Only Guns and Money Blog

If you can't make it, the Polite Society Podcast will again be livestreaming the entire conference. That can be found on the Second Amendment Foundation's Facebook page and will be broadcast in 2 hour segments.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Grassley Statement On Kavanaugh's Accuser (Updated)


Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a statement today regarding Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and her allegations of an attack by Judge Brett Kavanaugh while they were teenagers. The statement below does a good job at being respectful to Ford, calling out Dianne Feinstein and the Democrats, and nailing those in the media who leaked Ford's name. Grassley has always championed whistle blowers and he brings that credibility to this statement.

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

“Anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has deserves to be heard, so I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner.

“The standard procedure for updates to any nominee’s background investigation file is to conduct separate follow-up calls with relevant parties. In this case, that would entail phone calls with at least Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford. Consistent with that practice, I asked Senator Feinstein’s office yesterday to join me in scheduling these follow-ups. Thus far, they have refused. But as a necessary step in evaluating these claims, I’ll continue working to set them up.

“Unfortunately, committee Republicans have only known this person's identity from news reports for less than 24 hours and known about her allegations for less than a week. Senator Feinstein, on the other hand, has had this information for many weeks and deprived her colleagues of the information necessary to do our jobs. The Minority withheld even the anonymous allegations for six weeks, only to later decide that they were serious enough to investigate on the eve of the committee vote, after the vetting process had been completed.

“It’s deeply disturbing that the existence of these allegations were leaked in a way that seemed to preclude Dr. Ford’s confidentiality.

“Over my nearly four decades in the Senate I have worked diligently to protect whistleblowers and get to the bottom of any issue. Dr. Ford’s attorney could have approached my office, while keeping her client confidential and anonymous, so that these allegations could be thoroughly investigated. Nevertheless, we are working diligently to get to the bottom of these claims.”

UPDATE: A special meeting is scheduled for Monday and both Ford and Kavanaugh will appear.

Judiciary Committee to Hear from Kavanaugh, Ford in Public Hearing

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today announced that the Committee will hold a public hearing with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

“As I said earlier, anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has done deserves to be heard. My staff has reached out to Dr. Ford to hear her account, and they held a follow-up call with Judge Kavanaugh this afternoon. Unfortunately, committee Democrats have refused to join us in this effort. However, to provide ample transparency, we will hold a public hearing Monday to give these recent allegations a full airing,” Grassley said.

Below is the official notice for Monday’s hearing.

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING CONTINUATION

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing on the nomination of the Honorable Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States will continue Monday, September 24, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building. By order of the Chairman.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

"Book Review: Collector's Guide To The Savage 99 Rifle"


Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons has a fine review of David Royal's A Collector's Guide to the Savage 99 Rifle. I know some people think that Winchester or even Marlin lever actions are the be all and end all of lever guns but my heart belongs to the Savage of which I have two. Both of mine are in .300 Savage.




Royal's book was published in 2016 and is available on Amazon in the $40-43 range. There are 52 reviews of the book there and 92% of them are 5 star! I plan to get a copy and suggest other Savage 99 lovers may want to as well.

Democrat State Party Platforms - Alabama To California


My earlier post explains that I was intrigued to see what the individual state Democrat parties would have to say about the Second Amendment, gun control, and an individual's right to self-defense. I want to get this information out to my readers so that when it comes to midterm elections, they will know exactly where the Democrats officially stand on these issues.

Alabama

The Alabama Democratic Party doesn't as much have a platform as a list of guiding principles. These principles talks about things like progressive taxes, collective bargaining, public education, and the like. The closest it comes to talking about the Second Amendment is this bit on the law and crime:
That the government is of laws and not of men. We condemn any resolution of men's conflicts save through the legal processes. The Democratic Party stands for law and order and for a total and increasing war against crime, for the strengthening of our law enforcement agencies, and for justice under the law.
As I read it, they are for the rule of law and pro-law enforcement with nothing said about gun control.


Alaska

 You might think that Democrats in the 49th State might be more like those in Alabama and less like the national Democrats. You would be wrong as their 2018 Party Platform makes abundantly clear.
Firearms. We support the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms. We support responsible gun ownership, and policies and programs to reduce gun violence and accidental gun deaths. This policy should include completed background checks for all gun sales, and education on hunting and weapons safety. We support a rational and safe policy for gun free zones. We support legislative action that would ban the sale to the general public of military assault-style weapons. We support legislation that requires the CDC to collect data on gun related injuries and fatalities. We also support government funded research into gun safety.
Alaska Democrats also think people that are serving time in prison should be allowed to vote. I'm shaking my head over that one except to think they must think prisoners will tend to vote for Democrats.


Arizona

It is not surprising that the Arizona Democrat Party endorses gun control in their latest (2015-2016) party platform. It is after all the party of Gabby Giffords and the influence of her organization is shown in what the platform says about firearms.
Firearms Arizona Democrats believe in effective enforcement of existing laws, strengthening background check systems, and working together to enact commonsense gun safety improvements. Arizona Democrats support gun control legislation that includes registration/background checks for every person who purchases a firearm in any venue. We support a ban on assault weapons and denial of gun purchases to those with a history of mental illness, domestic violence, or criminal acts.
As an aside, their featured speaker at the Hall of Fame Dinner will be Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) which tells me everything I need to know.


Arkansas

The platform of the Democratic Party of Arkansas makes no mention of firearms, the Second Amendment, background checks, or anything else firearm related. I find that refreshing and I even agree with them that the "War of Drugs" has been a failure.


California

It should surprise no one that the proposed platform for the California Democrat Party has a bulleted (no pun intended) list of gun control items. They include this under their "National Security" section of the platform which is less about national security than about diminishing the military.

  • Support a common-sense ban on deadly assault weapons and devices used to turn rifles into automatic weapons such as bump-stocks;
  • Support the expansion of universal background checks;
  • Support keeping firearms out of dangerous hands by expanding firearm prohibitions to those who, based on past behavior or condition, are deemed at risk of acts of violence; and promote policies and programs to limit access to firearms by children, suicidal persons, and those in crisis;
  • Work to deter gun trafficking, “straw purchasing,” and illegal guns by identifying, reforming, or shutting down "bad apple" gun dealers in California;
  • Support California’s strong gun laws by providing the necessary resources and funding for implementation, training, and enforcement of those laws, including the Armed Prohibited Persons System Program, the Gun Violence Restraining Order, the tracing of all crime guns, and the investigation of all denied firearm purchasers;
  • Protect California’s strong gun laws from court challenges and federal intrusion, including defeating forced concealed carry reciprocity and any removal of silencers from current regulations;
I found it amusing that they spoke of the "fundamental human right of free speech" in their communications section while promoting the enforcement of the state's gun laws that actually suppressed speech. That suppression of speech involving gun shop advertising of handguns was found unconstitutional earlier this month in the case of Tracy Rifle and Pistol v. Becerra.

I will publish the next five states, Colorado through Georgia, tomorrow.