New Connecticut firearm legislation around the corner?

Don’t panic. Although the Connecticut State Legislature is always “discussing” new legislation, to my knowledge no “real” bills are actually in the pipeline. That said, members of the legislature have meetings and discuss ideas, and this year – like every other year – gun laws are being discussed.

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Goodness grief: GOP lawmaker to introduce more gun legislation

Knee-jerk reaction from the anti-Second Amendment crowd. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) will introduce legislation to create a gun-free zone encompassing one-tenth of a mile around federal officeholders and judges as they move from place to place. If you are carrying a firearm, you won’t be able to get within 1000′ of these federal employees.

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New York legislators suggest police shoot criminals in arms or legs only

Unbelievable. Brooklyn Assembly members Annette Robinson (D-Bedford Stuyvesant) and Darryl Towns (D-East New York), have put forth legislation that would require police officers – when a life is threatened – to shoot for arms or legs instead of center of mass. They mistakenly have replaced reality with a Hollywood movie.

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Democracy denied chart – Obama administration Chigago style?

Interesting graphic showing the Obama administration’s willingness to completely bypass the norm – and ignore The Constitution – in efforts to get their way, any way they can.

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True “rights” exist simultaneously between people

Health care is not a right. There, I said it. Our friend Prof. Walter Williams deserves the credit for pushing me to be blunt today, or maybe it’s just the nice San Antonio weather. Either way, a “right” can not be defined as one that diminishes the rights of another.

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Small business not likely to take advantage of “jobs” bill

Yesterday, I wrote about the $80 billion “jobs” ghost of a bill that did not seem to bring any jobs to the table. President Obama – after serious soul-searching – elected to focus his efforts on jobs, jobs and more jobs. The problem … current legislation for the new package provides few opportunities for job seekers.

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Connecticut pistol micro-stamping update

The Connecticut Joint Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing yesterday concerning SB 353, an Act Concerning the Microstamping of Semiautomatic Pistols. Here is an update from the National Rifle Association.

A strong showing of law-abiding gun owners spoke loudly yesterday in Hartford at the hearing on Senate Bill 353, a bill which would ban the sale of all semi-automatic handguns not equipped with so-called “micro-stamping” technology.

Thank you to the hundreds of opponents of this proposal who took time from work and their busy lives to stand up and say “NO” to yet another misguided anti-gun bill.

Members of the Joint Committee on Judiciary must vote on SB353 by Friday, April 3 in order for the bill to advance.

Thank you again to all who have made their voices heard. If you haven’t yet done so, please be sure to contact your lawmakers and urge them to oppose SB353!

Contact information for the members of the [Judiciary] committee can be found here. Also, please contact your State Legislators and respectfully urge them to oppose SB353.

Contact information for your State Representative can be found by clicking here. Please click here to find contact information for your State Senator.

Guarantee incumbent reelection act in Iowa

I thought this may be something from the Onion until I found the text of the bill online at the Iowa General Assembly Web site. A Republican and a Democrat in the House teamed up to put a bill together ensuring campaign literature would not include caricatures of the target candidate.

But that’s not all. Iowa representatives Richard Anderson (R) and Mary Mascher (D) introduced HF 229, an act “prohibiting the distribution of campaign material without the consent of the candidate benefiting from that material, restricting the content of certain types of campaign material, and providing remedies and a penalty”.

In a nutshell, from Section 1…

The general assembly declares that a compelling state interest exists in regulating the generation or distribution of campaign material that has not been approved by the candidate who would benefit from that campaign material, in order to restore the public’s trust and confidence in the electoral process.

What this means is that political action committees or other groups – like the National Rifle Association or the National Education Association – can not release advertising that “attacks” a candidate without prior written authorization from the candidate (or candidates?) who would benefit from such advertising.

Benefit? What are they kidding? What if the public learns something new about a candidate? Here is some additional text from the proposed bill.

  1. A person shall not distribute any campaign material concerning a target candidate with the intent to encourage the recipient of that campaign material to vote against that target candidate, without first … obtaining, in writing, the prior consent of the beneficiary candidate to the distribution of the campaign material.
  2. A person shall not distribute any campaign material that contains a cartoon, caricature, or defacement of the personal likeness of a target candidate.
  3. A person shall not distribute any campaign material that contains photographs or other depictions of human role playing, except of a candidate who has approved the campaign material.
  4. A person shall not distribute any campaign material regarding a vote cast by a target candidate who is a member of a house of the general assembly if a majority of the membership of the house of which the target candidate is a member voted in the same manner as the target candidate and if the majority of those members of that house of the general assembly who are affiliated with the political party which is not the party of the target candidate voted in the same manner as the target candidate.
  5. Campaign material that refers to a prior vote cast by a target candidate on an issue must disclose all of the following:
    a. The total votes cast for and against the issue.
    b. The total votes cast on the issue by members of each political party of the membership of the legislative chamber of which the target candidate is a member.

The penalty – if the attacked candidate complains – would be a civil fine of no more than $2,000.

The bill will not pass Constitutional muster, but why do these representatives spend time putting this crap legislation together? What kind of effort goes into producing a bill that has no chance at all to make it out of a committee?

Hat tip to Eugene at Vololkh Conspiracy, and his hat tip went to Rick Hasen at Election Law Blog.

NRA legislation update – national carry and firearm licensing

On Sound Off Connecticut today, current legislation in the U.S. House concerning firearm licensing was mentioned and we have an update for you. The NRA is tracking legislation and provides us with the proposal details.

If you are a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), one of the services is e-mail notification concerning proposed legislation in your state and at the federal level.

First, positive legislation that you should support. H.R. 197 is the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009. In part, it states that if you go through the required background check and fulfill state requirements to have a pistol permit, that state issued permit should be accepted without question in other states. I guess you can compare this to a drivers license that is accepted in other states.

Many argue that nobody should be required to even have a permit to carry a self defense weapon after the normal background check. If they “grant” permission to you, you accept the fact that rights are given to you by the government. I understand that position since rights described in The Constitution are unalienable, not granted by the government.

There would also be issues around Vermont residents who are not required to have a permit to carry a pistol; anyone can buy a pistol and carry after the standard background check.

I wonder why there are no “wild west shootouts” in Vermont? Anyway, here’s the text of H.R. 197.

H. R. 197 (111th Congress, 1st Session)
To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.

January 6, 2009

Mr. STEARNS (for himself and Mr. BOUCHER) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

This Act may be cited as the `National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009′.

(a) In General- Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 926C the following:

Sec. 926D. National standard for the carrying of certain concealed firearms by nonresidents

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm and is carrying a valid license or permit which is issued by a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm (other than a machinegun or destructive device) may carry in another State a concealed firearm (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, subject to subsection (b).

(b)(1) If such other State issues licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms, the person may carry a concealed firearm in the State under the same restrictions which apply to the carrying of a concealed firearm by a person to whom the State has issued such a license or permit.

(2) If such other State does not issue licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms, the person may not, in the State, carry a concealed firearm in a police station, in a public detention facility, in a courthouse, in a public polling place, at a meeting of a State, county, or municipal governing body, in a school, at a professional or school athletic event not related to firearms, in a portion of an establishment licensed by the State to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, or inside the sterile or passenger area of an airport, except to the extent expressly permitted by State law.’.

(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 926C the following:

926D. National standard for the carrying of certain concealed firearms by nonresidents.

On to H.R. 45 – Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act. I’ve made the full PDF of the legislation available here, but here is the recap from the NRA.

The measure calls for all handgun owners to submit to the federal government an application that shall include, among many other things:  a photo; an address; a thumbprint; a completed, written firearm safety test; private mental health records; and a fee. …

The bill would further require the attorney general to establish a database of every handgun sale, transfer, and owner’s address in America.  Moreover, the bill would make it illegal to own or possess a “qualifying firearm” — defined as “any handgun; or any semiautomatic firearm that can accept any detachable ammunition feeding device…” without one of the proposed licenses.

Additionally, the bill would make it illegal to transfer ownership of a “qualifying firearm” to anyone who is not a licensed gun dealer or collector (with very few exceptions), and would require “qualifying firearm” owners to report all transfers to the attorney general’s database. It would also be illegal for a licensed gun owner to fail to record a gun loss or theft within 72 hours, or fail to report a change of address within 60 days. Further, if a minor obtains a firearm and injures someone with it, the owner of the firearm may face a multiple-year jail sentence.

The NRA also tracks legislation at the state level. Our readers and listeners are from all over the country, but here is the information on proposed legislation for the State of Connecticut. Here is the link to find information concerning legislation in your state and how you can help.

Anti-gun legislation, Senate Bill 554, introduced by State Senator Leonard Fasano (R-34), would ban the private sale of long guns and subject them to the same licensing requirements as handguns.  SB554 has been referred to Public Safety and Security Committee.

Please contact members of the Public Safety and Security Committee today and respectfully urge them to vote “NO” on Senate Bill 554.  Click here for a list of the members of the Public Safety Committee.

On a positive note, several pieces of NRA-supported legislation were introduced.  Senate Bill 729, sponsored by State Senator Dan Debicella (R-21), Senate Bill 727, sponsored by State Senator Sam Caligiuri (R-16), and House Bill 6165, sponsored by State Representative Penny Bacchiochi (R-52), all clarify and improve upon current law as it relates to the justifiable use of deadly force in self-defense.  These bills have all been referred to the Joint Committee on Judiciary.

Two very important pro-hunting bills were also introduced and referred to the Joint Committee on Environment.  House Bill 5209, sponsored by State Representative Craig Miner (R-66), would maintain the amount of state land where hunting is permitted should land be taken away.  House Bill 5281, sponsored by State Representative Bryan Hurlburt (D-53), would allow deer hunters to take two additional deer provided the meat is donated to a nonprofit entity serving the needy.

Please contact the members of the Joint Committee on Judiciary today in support of Senate Bill 729, Senate Bill 727, and House Bill 6165.  Click here for a list of the members of the Joint Committee on Judiciary.

Please contact the members of the Joint Committee on Environment today in support of House Bill 5209 and House Bill 5281.  Click here for a list of the members of the Joint Committee on Environment.