By Rob Morse
-Open carry passed in Missouri. The Missouri State House and Senate overturned their governor’s veto to legalized open carry and concealed carry in schools. The new law also prevents local municipalities from passing laws banning open carry. It lowers the permit to carry age from 21 to 19, and allows specially trained school employees to carry guns while on the job. Welcome to 2016.
-Guns ownership is ordinary and growing- We reported increased gun sales in January, just as we did for every month in 2015. January was busier than January 2015, February of this year saw larger sales than February 2015.. And so on. Anti-gun lobbyists said that only a few of us were buying all those millions of guns, and that there in fact were fewer gun owners than ever before.
It turns out that the anti-gun laws passed in anti-gun states showed that claim to be a lie. Anti-rights states like Massachusetts, California and Illinois require that gun owners register every gun single gun they purchase. The number of licenses to own a gun increased in Massachusetts by 66% since 2010. Other states that register gun owners also show strong increases as well. In Illinois with their firearms owners ID card, the number increased about 75%, from a little over 1 million in 2010, to 1.8 million in 2015. Gun ownership is ordinary and growing.
-Gun control cities are violent. The most violent cities in the world, and the most violent cities in the U.S., all embrace gun control. US cities ranked among the 50 most dangerous. St Louis, Baltimore, and Detroit come in at numbers 15, 19, and 28.
Looking at the US cities in more detail, they are each governed by progressive Democrats. And every single one of them has been an enthusiastic member of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Chicago deserves a dis-honorable mention. You can smell the corruption from here.
-A senior State Senator in California was arrested. This wasn’t just any California politician. Democrat Senator Leland Yee had sponsored and supported many anti-rights bill that removed the right of self-defense in California.
Senator Yee’s political career ran from being a member of the San Francisco school board, president of the school board, State Assemblyman, State Senator, and Speaker, pro-tem of the California State Senate. That made him the second most powerful person in the California Senate. Yee was named to the honor roll by the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence.
Yee was arrested in 2014 and convicted in February 2016. Yee was charged with wire fraud, racketeering, and conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and illegally importing firearms for sale. He was sentenced to federal prison.
-West Virginia passed Constitutional Carry.. twice. The voted to allow law abiding adults to carry a firearm in public without a state permit. They passed the bill again to override Democrat Governor Tomblin’s veto. The combined vote was 87 to 44, so it wasn’t close at all.
To their credit, the West Virginia legislators encouraged training while not requiring it by law. The recently passed bill authorizes a $50 tax credit for anyone who took firearms training to get a permit.
-Idaho passed constitutional carry. Unfortunately, the law only applies to state residents. Visitors are still required to have a permit to carry concealed while they visit Idaho.
-The right to bear arms applies to non-firearms. In a unanimous eight to zero decision, the US Supreme Court extended the Heller and McDonald decision to arms that are not firearms. The court told the Massachusetts supreme court that the right to bear arms extends to arms that were not in existence at the time of the founding. That includes knives and stun guns.
-New Jersey legislators don’t like gun owners. New Jersey police often deny applications to get a concealed carry permit. Then, the police refuse to explain why the applications were denied. Pro-rights groups had to sue the state to find out what was required to get a gun permit. A judge both ordered the state of New Jersey to pay a hundred thousand dollars in court costs and legal fees, and to also deliver and make public the state’s Firearm Investigative Manual.
-A federal district judge overturned the last gun ban in the US. The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands lost it’s prohibition of handguns in federal court. The court found their gun laws violated the individual right to possess a handgun or other firearm for self-defense as guaranteed by the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
-A few days later, Mississippi legislators extended their concealed carry bills to effectively grant constitutional carry to anyone concealing a firearm in a holster.
-You can’t hide the truth forever. The Obama Administration’s gun running operation called “Fast and Furious” was exposed. After years of delay, Judge Amy Berman ordered the Department of Justice to produce documents for Congress. The DOJ finally produced 20,000 pages this month. These documents show the corruption we’d always suspected. The documents also reveal how senior Justice Department officials, including former Attorney General Eric Holder, intensely followed and managed an effort to carefully limit and obstruct the information produced to Congress.
-You don’t have to be a corrupt democrat politician to infringe on gun rights, but it helps. Former New York state assembly speaker Sheldon Silver was sentenced to prison for corruption. Senator Silver was one of the authors of the New York SAFE act that infringed the rights of New York gun owners. In addition to the prison term, Silver was ordered to repay 5.2 million in ill gotten gains and pay a 1.75 million dollar fine. Sheldon must report to the prison by July 1st to start serving his 12 year sentence.
-The NRA endorsed presidential candidate Donald Trump during the NRA annual meeting. The meeting set another record with 80 thousand men, women and children attending. 20 thousand armed civilians stood in one room, and didn’t hurt anyone. Crime fell in Louisville, Kentucky while the NRA was in town.
-Republican legislators defeated the “no-fly/no-buy” bill. This bill would have prohibited individuals on the terrorist watch list from legally owning or buying firearms. The false positive error rate for the no-fly list is some 98 percent. The list incorrectly grounded congressmen, senators, journalists and a brigadier general. There is no published way to get off the list except to hire a lawyer and sue the federal government. The no-fly/no-buy bill was sponsored by democrat representative Nita Lowey of New York.
-Donald J Trump was nominated by the Republican party to be their presidential candidate in 2016. The Republican turnout for the primary election exceeded the old turnout record by 38 percent. Trump won the most votes in the primary election, again by a record amount, despite being in a crowded field with 12 other candidates.
-The Texas legislature boldly went where the majority of states have gone long before. Texas allowed licensed concealed carry holders to carry on school grounds at four-year universities. Concealed carry at two-year community colleges will come in 2017.
-Another anti-gun politician was charged and convicted. The Former Pennsylvania Attorney General, Ms Kathleen Kane was convicted of nine criminal charges including perjury. The charges carried a maximum sentence of 28 years. Kane was sentenced to 10 to 23 months in state prison.
While acting as State Attorney General, Mrs. Kane unilaterally canceled concealed carry reciprocity agreements between Pennsylvania and Utah and Idaho. She also refused to defend her state’s firearms preemption law from municipalities that were challenging it in court.
The next Pennsylvania Attorney General was also funded by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
-Concealed carry permits have boomed nationally, with the number exceeding some 15 million. The growth in firearms ownership was particularly strong among women and minorities. The Crime Prevention Research Center examined eight states that collect data on gun owners based on their sex. Since 2012, the number of permits has increased by 161 percent for women and by 85 percent for men. Looking back farther from 2007 through 2015, concealed-carry permits issued by state and local governments increased about 75 percent faster among nonwhites than whites. Welcome to the gun culture.
-Administrators and staff of private schools in Arizona asked the state attorney general if they could go armed at school. The Arizona attorney general issued a ruling that any recognized member of a school safety team would be exempt from state and federal gun free school zones. As now interpreted, firearms are allowed on campus with permission, and that exemption includes arms which are stored on campus.
-The Gallup polling organization asked “Do you think there should a law that bans the possession of handguns..” We said no, and we said it in a big way. By more than a three to one ratio, 23 percent to 76 percent, we rejected the idea of a handgun ban. That is the strongest response the poll has ever recorded.
The poll also asked about modern rifles. Gallup asked, “Are you for or against a law which would make it illegal to manufacture, sell, or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles?” 61 percent of us said they didn’t want an assault weapons ban, while only 36 said they wanted it. The number of people asking for such a ban is again the lowest, and the number against such a ban is again the highest, since the poll has been run.
-This poll from Florida supports that trend as well. The 2016 University of South Florida Sunshine State Survey found that Floridians favor allowing teachers and staff to carry guns on Florida public school campuses. The results were 55 percent for and 45 percent against.
-Given the degree to which the mainstream media lies about gun owners, it is good news when we don’t believe the mainstream media. “Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.”
-Donald J. Trump won the US presidential election. Republicans retained control of the House and Senate. 25 states have a Republican governor and Republican control of both state house and state senate.
-The Pentagon instructed the armed services to permit soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard personnel to carry privately owned firearms on DoD property. Secretary of Defense Robert Work approved the directive.
-The Kansas Board of Regents governs state colleges and universities. The regents approved campus carry policies to allowing guns to be carried on campus for self-defense. These decisions were forced by the campus carry laws that required either TSA style security, or to allow concealed carry for self-defense.
-Ohio recently extended the right to carry a legally concealed firearm. Soon, Ohio schools and daycare parking lots will be protected by more than a plastic sign. So are some public building that lack security screening. Court houses remain prohibited places.
That is my list. What events would you add to 2016?
Rob Morse: Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.