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IL: ISRA Thursday Bulletin
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Years ago, the City of Chicago ran legitimate firearm dealers and shooting ranges out of town. For a long time, the Second Amendment hung on by a thread in the City of Chicago.

The question the Illinois State Rifle Association struggled with was how to change the situation. The City of Chicago is the “800pound gorilla in the room” as far as the State of Illinois goes. This made changes through the Illinois State Legislature impossible.
 

Gorsuch's Gun Lobby Gesture
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Throughout the hearings on his nomination to the Supreme Court, 10th Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch has steadfastly avoided giving meaningful answers on a wide range of questions. On the contentious subjects of abortion rights and the Second Amendment, Gorsuch's strategy for stonewalling was simply to repeat that the leading Supreme Court cases on the subject – Roe v. Wade and District of Columbia v. Heller, respectively – were "the law of the land."
 

MN: Don’t approve proposals that weaken gun control rules
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Minnesota lawmakers should not approve proposals that would weaken gun control rules

Once again, the fewer-gun-rules-the-better crowd proposes diluting Minnesota firearms regulations. And once again, that effort should be stopped.

Some GOP lawmakers resurrected various proposals this year thinking that their new legislative majority will help them pass. They introduced plans to eliminate carry permit requirements altogether and to broaden immunity for shooters who claim they were acting in self-defense. Similar bills have been offered in the past, but either never made it out of committee or were vetoed.
 

AL: Bill may end pistol permits
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The Alabama Senate is considering a bill that would remove the requirement for citizens to purchase a concealed carry permit from their local sheriff’s office.

Supporters say the bill removes a barrier to a Constitutional right while opponents say it could endanger law enforcement officers and take revenue from sheriff’s departments.

Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said he can see both sides of the argument, but said his department puts public safety first.
 

CA: San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office Approves Honor Defense Honor Guard
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The San Bernardino County Sheriff's office, which protects citizens in one of the most populated counties in the country, has approved the Honor Defense Honor Guard for use by its deputies as back-up and off-duty handguns.

“We are very proud that San Bernardino County has approved Honor Defense pistols,” said Gary Ramey, president of Honor Defense. “San Bernardino County is the largest county in terms of area in the USA, and one of the top 15 in terms of population. Having an agency of this size approve Honor Defense is a privilege and a testament to the reliability of our firearms.”
 

NY: Hawley Defends 2nd Amendment, Hunters at Sportsmen's Day
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) spoke with pro-Second Amendment groups as well as a number of hunters, sportsmen, wildlife and fishing advocates from around the state on Wednesday at Albany’s annual Sportsmen’s Day. Among the groups in attendance were the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA), the New York State Crossbow Coalition, New York State Conservation Council, Inc. and Sportsmen’s Association for Firearms Education (SAFE).
 

WY: Kaysen: Wyoming Group Is Not A ‘Left Wing Organization’
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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WAM recently opposed House Bill 137, which would have allowed the concealed carrying of firearms into government meetings.

Kaysen says WAM supports that issue being decided at the local level. He says the organization is a strong backer of the Second Amendment.

Bouchard, one of the primary backers of the bill in the legislature, argues the Second Amendment and the Wyoming Constitution both give people the right to carry firearms into such venues.
 

NY: Sound Shore towns consider gun store regulations
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Municipalities along the Sound Shore are exploring new legislation that would limit the location and operation of firearm stores — and wading into a contentious debate — after a gun shop opened in downtown Harrison.

L&L Sports, a full-service shooting sports retailer, opened in October at the rear of Harrison Mall at 261 Halstead Ave. The store, 850 feet from Parsons Memorial Elementary School, was met with a burst of public opposition that quickly spread beyond Harrison's borders. As the town of 27,000 navigates between community concerns and Second Amendment rights, its neighbors are paying close attention.
 

House Passes Bill to Roll Back Obama-Era VA Gun Regulations
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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The House of Representatives passed a bill last Thursday to amend the process used to determine whether a veteran receiving benefits from the Veterans Administration should be denied their gun rights.

The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act would change the process the VA uses to determine which of its beneficiaries are mentally incompetent in a way that disqualifies them from owning firearms. The bill would require a finding by a judge or other judicial authority that the veteran is a danger to himself or others before stripping his gun rights.
 

SD: Supporters press South Dakota lawmakers to overturn gun bill veto
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Gun rights supporters are urging state lawmakers to overturn Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s veto of a bill to allow people who can legally carry a concealed handgun in South Dakota to do so without a permit.

The Republican-held Legislature is to gather Monday for the final day of the 2017 session to accept or override vetoes from the GOP governor. Lawmakers are hearing “loud and clear” from gun owners in their districts that the veto should be overridden, said Zach Lautenschlager, a vice president at the National Association for Gun Rights.
 

NE: Nebraska lawmakers hear testimony on proposal to allow concealed carry without a permit
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Charles Cox said Nebraska doesn’t charge him to exercise his constitutional right to free speech.

Nor does he have to pay a poll tax to cast a ballot.

But he said if he wants to carry a concealed handgun — a right he says he’s afforded under the Second Amendment — he must spend $100 for a special permit issued by the Nebraska State Patrol.

“A right does not exist if you have to be permitted to exercise it,” said Cox, director of a group called Nebraska Gun Owners.
 

SC: Judge won't dismiss federal lawsuit over Dylann Roof's background check
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Whether the background check examiner should have acted differently is a disputed fact, as is the lawsuit’s challenge over the FBI’s failure to maintain its database, Gergel ruled in allowing the case to move forward.

State Sen. Gerald Malloy, a Democrat from Darlington who represents the family of Emanuel AME's slain pastor, has filed legislation in the General Assembly to extend the waiting period for background checks from three days to 28. Another bill would extend the wait from three days to five.
 

ND: The 2nd Amendment Is Your Concealed Carry Permit
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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On Thursday Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed legislation allowing North Dakota residents to carry a handgun concealed for self-defense without a permit.
The legislation–House Bill 1169–passed the House on February 21 by a vote of 83-9. It passed the Senate on March 21 by a vote of 34-13.

USNews reports that the permitless carry law allows law-abiding citizens 18 and over to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense as long as they “have a valid ID and notify law enforcement of the weapon during instances such as a traffic stop.”
 

FL: The Stand Your Ground bill inherently flawed
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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I spent a significant portion of my career in the Florida Senate fighting to correct our state’s “stand-your-ground” law.

SYG was meant to improve public safety, but it’s been over a decade and we haven’t seen any indication that it’s done that. Instead we’ve empowered Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid to use our state for target practice.

In 2012, I assembled a task force where police chiefs, state attorneys, public defenders, judges, and law professors critically examined SYG. We found overwhelming evidence of abuse by criminals – SYG was not protecting law-abiding citizens, instead it was offering cover for those engaged in unlawful activity, those with extensive criminal records, and those who were quick to resort to violence.
 

NY: Woodstock law requiring all firearms to be locked away and secured draws standing-room-only crowd
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A proposed firearm storage law drew a standing-room-only crowd of mostly gun owners to the Woodstock Town Board meeting March 21 as council members attempt to balance safety with the right to self defense. The law, as proposed by Councilman Jay Wenk, would require firearms to be secured in a cabinet or with a trigger lock when not in the owner’s immediate possession.

“All firearms in the town of Woodstock, whether handguns or long rifles and shotguns and all air guns will be secured, unloaded in locked cabinets and/or protected with trigger locks whenever the firearm or air gun is out of the owner’s or custodian’s immediate possession or control,” the resolution states.
 

AR: Arkansas reconsiders concealed guns in stadiums
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A sponsor of the expanded gun rights law opposed the move, saying it would undermine the measure.

The NRA released the following statement Thursday in response to the vote: "The NRA supports the original legislation as signed into law less than 24 hours ago. People have the constitutional right to self-defense wherever they are legally allowed to be. We adamantly opposes SB 724 and will work to stop it in the House Judiciary Committee."
 

UT: Governor signs concealed carry bill for young adults
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday signed a bill that allows young adults to carry a concealed firearm.

The measure, HB198 by Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Syracuse, was pushed as a self-defense bill for young women on college campuses to protected themselves from sexual assault.

Supporters also said other states that honor Utah's concealed carry law through reciprocity agreements allow young adults 18 and older to conceal a firearm.
 

FL: Stand Your Ground Changes, Gun Bills Head To House Floor
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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A number of NRA-backed bills are now headed to the House floor. That includes a bill making changes to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and another allowing guns on private school property.

Under current state law, guns on school campuses are not allowed. That also applies to religious institutions that have a private school attached. Law enforcement officers are the only exception to the no-guns law.

And, Rep. Neil Combee (R-Polk City) has a bill to change that for places of worship.
 

FL: Showdown on gull bills?
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Controversial pro-gun bills might continue to face death in a divided Senate Judiciary Committee, but the chairman doesn't intend to let them go quietly.

Judiciary Chairman Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican who has been among the leading proponents of Second Amendment rights since joining the Legislature in 2010, said he will eventually take up a major gun bill in his committee.

That could be a proposal (SB 644) that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry firearms; a proposal (SB 622) that would allow them to carry weapons on college or university campuses; or an even more wide-ranging measure by Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala.
 

NH: New Hampshire Democrats Moving Further to the Fringe
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Rep. Ellison is openly hostile to the rights of gun owners. In Congress, he has proposed legislation to severely limit the amount of ammunition sold and called for a so-called assault weapons ban.

When asked by Bill Maher in a 2014 interview why the Democratic Party didn’t “come out against the Second Amendment,” Ellison responded, “I sure wish they would. I sure wish they would.” Understand Ellison here isn’t calling for gun control – he’s calling for the full repeal of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

What is the New Hampshire Democratic Party saying about itself by showcasing Rep. Ellison?
 

KS: Senate committee places concealed firearm bill in sights
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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Operators of Kansas public hospitals and health centers resumed pointed debate Thursday at the Capitol with right-to-bear-arms lobbying organizations on a bill on extension of exemptions to the state’s concealed carry law adopted four years ago.

Reasonable application of a 2013 law broadening freedom of people to carry concealed firearms in public has drawn renewed scrutiny in the 2017 legislative session because state psychiatric hospitals, public hospitals, community mental health centers and state universities are scheduled to lose exemptions July 1. Senate Bill 234 would extend exemptions for medical facilities, but not universities.
 

IN: South Bend council should pass gun safety resolution
Submitted by: Mark A. Taff
Website: http://www.marktaff.com

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On Monday, the South Bend Common Council will vote on a gun safety resolution that urges our state and federal legislators to enact common-sense gun laws, while protecting Second Amendment rights.

This resolution specifically addresses the issue of background checks, done in a matter of minutes through an FBI database.
 

 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it. — DANIEL WEBSTER (1834)

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