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Justice Breyer Fires Warning Shot Across Second Amendment’s Bow

Friday, December 17, 2010
On Sunday, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer reminded Americans why it is important to vote for a president whose nominees to the court will likely be faithful to the Constitution, to vote for U.S. senators who will reject nominees who likely will not be faithful, and to vote for federal and state legislators who can check and balance justices like Stephen Breyer who don't believe the Second Amendment protects any meaningful right.

On Sunday, during an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Clinton nominee Breyer, who dissented from the Supreme Court's decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), claimed that the role of the court is to interpret the Constitution flexibly, in light of ever-changing circumstances.  Breyer argues that the court should give consideration not to the Constitution’s “words,” but to the “values” that the Framers had in mind. Fox News’ article on the interview can be viewed here.

The Framers’ “values,” Breyer suggested, would allow a total ban on handguns in Washington, D.C. “It’s not a matter of policy, it’s a matter of what those Framers [of the Bill of Rights] intended,” he said.

What Second Amendment author James Madison intended, Breyer said, was only to prevent Congress from nationalizing state militias. That, of course, is not what Breyer said in his dissent in the Heller case. Then, Breyer said that the amendment was intended to prohibit Congress from disarming state militias.

Regardless of what Breyer was trying to sell on Sunday, Wallace didn’t seem to be buying it. Pointing out the plain language of the amendment’s “keep and bear arms” clause, Wallace asked Breyer whether, in ignoring those words, he was assuming the role of politician or policy-maker, rather than that of a judge. Read Full Article



Legislature Passes Gleason Legislation to Heighten Safety for Michigan Residents and Students

Gleason bills will encourage gun safety education for students, help cleanup contaminated sites in local communities, and strengthen health regulations in tattoo parlors

LANSING—The Michigan Legislature recently voted to pass several bills sponsored by Senator John J. Gleason, including his legislation to increase programs for gun safety in public schools. Under Senate Bill 1402, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is required to develop or adopt a model gun safety program based on the “Eddie Eagle” curriculum developed by the National Rifle Association to promote gun accident prevention. Beginning in the 2011 – 2012 school year public schools across the state will be encouraged to adopt the model program developed by the MDE.

“Eddie the Eagle is a friendly character with a serious lesson who can teach our children how to stay safe when they encounter a firearm,” said Senator Gleason. “This program can save lives by promoting caution, safety and responsibility. The incidents of kids accidentally discharging or firing a gun are an avoidable tragedy, and this program can help prevent those.”

The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program began in 1988 to educate children pre-Kindergarten through Third Grades. Its four step message for children who find a gun is simple, “STOP. Don’t touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.” The program has reached more than 21 million children and was developed with the cooperative efforts of such qualified professionals as clinical psychologists, teachers, and law enforcement personnel. Read the Full Article



BATFE Requests “Emergency”
Authority To Track Semi-Automatic Rifle Sales 

Friday, December 17, 2010
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has proposed that it be given emergency authority for six months, beginning January 5, to require about 8,500 firearms dealers along the border with Mexico “to alert authorities when they sell within five consecutive business days two or more semiautomatic rifles greater than .22 caliber with detachable magazines.”  A Washington Post story reporting on the BATFE proposal described that definition as being applicable to “so-called assault weapons,” but it would also apply to many rifles that have never been labeled with that term. 

The reporting requirement will apparently be imposed under the “authority” the BATFE has used in the past to demand reporting of other types of transactions from certain limited groups of dealers over the past 10 years, but the new proposal is far broader than any previous use of this authority.  Of course, there's no law today that prevents dealers from reporting suspicious transactions (or attempted transactions) to the BATFE, and dealers often do so. The BATFE is also free to inspect dealers' sales records—either for annual compliance inspections or during a criminal investigation.

NRA-ILA’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, denounced the attempt to establish a registry of Americans who purchase semi-automatic rifles that gun control supporters ultimately want to see banned. "This administration does not have the guts to build a wall, but they do have the audacity to blame and register gun owners for Mexico's problems," Cox told the Post. "NRA supports legitimate efforts to stop criminal activity, but we will not stand idle while our Second Amendment is sacrificed for politics."  Read Full Article



Constitutional Carry: What is it and Why

Posted on December 16, 2010 by NAGR Staff

The first of many questions asked on the topic of Constitutional Carry is, simply, what is it?

Sometimes referred to as Vermont Carry, Permit-less Carry, Right-to-Carry; Constitutional Carry is the ability to carry a firearm concealed or openly without applying for a permit through governing bodies.

The term Vermont Carry stems from the fact that, instead of legalizing concealed carry for everyone, the state of Vermont never criminalized the carrying of a firearm. They simply never prohibited concealed carry in any way, thereby ensuring it as a right rather than a privilege.

Currently Alaska and Arizona have similar laws, though theirs are cases where it was once prohibited and now is not.

In essence, Constitutional Carry is the ability to exercise one’s Constitutional right without a permission slip from the government. No other Amendment in the Bill of Rights is viewed as needing permission; the Second Amendment should not be singled out simply because special interest groups scare people into thinking it should.

The next big question regarding Constitutional Carry is: Why have it?

After all, aren’t the laws regarding concealed carry already in place a good thing? We need to answer that question with a few important points:

◦One, no other right contained in the Bill of Rights requires a permission slip.
◦Two, law-abiding citizens should not be forced to “register” with a law enforcement agency simply because they want to exercise their rights.
◦Three, registering creates lists. A government being in possession of lists of certain types of its own citizens has proven very dangerous in the past. A very brief review of 20th century history should explain why. Constitutional Carry eliminates lists and red tape.
◦Four, most importantly, criminals who are intent on using a firearm to cause harm to others do not apply for concealed carry permits. They just do it. Why then should average citizens be punished and charged to do the right thing? Read Complete Article at National Gun Rights


Is New ATF Head Anti-Gun?

Andrew Traver: Is Obama's choice for ATF chief an 'antigun zealot'?

Obama's nomination of Andrew Traver to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reignites concern that the White House wants to whittle away at gun rights. The last time that happened, Americans armed up.

By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer / November 19, 2010

ATF special agent Andrew Traver, who last year let a TV reporter fire an AK-47 from her hip to demonstrate the weapon's lethality, is set to become America's chief firearms inspector. But Mr. Traver, currently the Chicago ATF chief, faces a tough nomination battle as gun-rights groups amass their forces in opposition.

The nomination of the Naperville, Ill., native to be top gun cop is applauded by gun-control activists, who say the 5,000-employee ATF has lost ground in its regulation of the $28 billion US firearms business, having labored under interim directors since 2006.

But the idea of an ATF director who hails from Chicago, a city without gun shops, and who has conflated black market automatic weapons with legal semi-automatic "assault-style" rifles is causing Second Amendment defenders to worry that President Obama intends to blast away at gun rights by force of bureaucracy, if not law. Read the Full Article Now.



The Fifth Amendment - The Right to Remain Silent to Cops

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

~ Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution

The right to remain silent is a fundamental principle of liberty. It gives American citizens better privacy. The burden falls on the accuser to build a case against a person. If the accuser does not meet that burden, the accused is free to go. The accused never, ever, is required to furnish any evidence or testimony against himself. In other words, liberty requires that you have the right to remain silent.

If the accused were forced to produce evidence that they did not commit an act, innocent people would be forced to prove a negative. Proving a negative is usually far more difficult, if not impossible to do. Anyone without an alibi would be convicted. No one could afford to spend even one minute alone in that kind of world. The right to remain silent preserves a functioning system of justice and a functioning society. Read the Article view the Video



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