Another year has come and gone…out with the old, in with the new. 2016 is here now and 2015 is but a memory. We here at USA Firearm Training, if we haven’t already, would like to wish each of you a Happy New Year, and we hope this is a great year filled with much success especially concerning our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.
2015 was an interesting year in politics for gun rights. As left wing gun control advocates like Michael Bloomberg keep pressing forward with their extreme agenda to achieve so-called “common sense gun reform,” we, too, must remain diligently involved in protecting these God-given rights. Without further ado, here we go.
Top 3 Gun Rights Losses in 2015:
#3 – We go first to California where the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in early 2015 ruled that the City of Sunnyvale’s ban and restriction on magazine capacities greater than 10 rounds that includes even the possession of grandfathered magazines is not a significant infringement of the right to own or possess handguns for self-defense in their home. This is an important distinction because California’s already existing 10-round mag limit doesn’t necessarily extend to the home but instead limits the manufacture, sale, or transfer only of the magazines. The National Rifle Association backed much of the effort to overturn the city’s municipal code, but their arguments and the voices of citizens went unheard before the 9th Circuit’s body of three judges. Currently the NRA is working on taking this case to the U.S. Supreme Court where it will likely have a similar result to #2 on this list with the Supreme Court refusing to rule on the matter. This case landed at #3 on our list because of the 9th Circuit's reach in the nine western states where it has jurisdiction and the impact that could also have on those other states.
#2 – Friedman v. City of Highland Park is a case that originated basically as a result of the now infamous District of Columbia v. Heller ruling. Heller established a precedent that, while landmark in its establishing of the individual’s right to self-defense, was still quite broad and vague where it comes to specifically regulating certain types or styles of firearms. The City of Highland Park passed an ordinance banning several types of semi-automatic firearms, and so the argument against the ordinance was that it was unconstitutional and went against Heller in its limiting of a citizen’s right to defend themselves using some of these semi-automatic weapons. Why is it counted amongst the “losses?” Well, after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals failed to overturn the law, the U.S. Supreme Court declined the appeal seeming not to care to define the issue any further.
#1 – The fact that according to UK’s Police National Legal Database there is no “fully legal self defence product at the moment” EXCEPT for a “rape alarm.” That’s right, you read correctly. There is nothing apparently you can use in the United Kingdom to defend yourself against a violent criminal if it has the potential “to cause a person injury.” With the left-wingers constantly pushing us to become more like our European brothers and sisters, if this is the attitude of the people on the other side of the Atlantic, then it can only be considered a “loss” since that thinking is truly sad!
Now for the Top 3 Gun Rights Wins of 2015:
#3 – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) signed into law permitless concealed carry—often referred to as “constitutional carry”—for residents of Kansas. Kansas will continue to issue permits as well for the purpose of reciprocity, but any law-abiding resident of Kansas can carry concealed in their home state regardless of permit or training. We applaud this expansion of gun rights in any state!
Kansas now joins Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming as states with constitutional carry.
#2 – Is actually for the defeat of two separate amendments to H.R. 3762, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act” in Congress. The first which was introduced by (surprise!) Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and would have denied the sale of a gun to anyone “appropriately suspected” of having some sort of ties to “terrorism.” The right to due process under the law could have been severely hampered had this amendment passed. It failed on a 45-54 vote.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) who succeeded several years ago in his election to the Senate by proclaiming in a catchy video about how pro-gun he was, introduced an amendment that could have resulted in families not being able to transfer firearms between family members without a background check. This measure was also defeated by a vote of 47-50.
And now the #1 Top Gun Rights Win for 2015…
#1 – Early in 2015 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) suddenly and without warning declared that they were going to ban citizens from being able to purchase or own common M855 ball ammunition deciding to classify it as “armor piercing.” Less than a month later after receiving considerable pressure from both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate as well as gun owners in general, the BATFE caved on the issue.
Ironically enough, just three days later U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) decided to introduce legislation proposing to essentially regulate the very same thing…the legislation went nowhere and was killed in committee.
This story is a great example of how actively defending and speaking up for our rights can have a positive impact.
2016 being an election year is sure to have some fireworks surrounding the issue of gun rights and gun control. Already things that are being talked about in liberal gun control circles are:
- Taxation (beyond sales tax) on firearm sales
- Taxation (beyond sales tax) on ammunition sales
- Limiting the amount of ammunition an individual can purchase at one time or have in their possession at any given time
- Tracking the sale of ammunition
- “Assault weapons” bans
- Semi-automatic weapons bans
- Banning the sale and manufacture of lead-containing bullets and/or hollow-point bullets
- And many other things…
Clearly we have our work cut out for us, so here’s to a great year fighting for our rights and in getting elected to office like-minded leaders!