SCOPE NY

Briefings

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  • 07/04/2020 12:43 PM | Anonymous
  • 07/02/2020 12:04 AM | Anonymous

    Always remember, give people something to vote for.  Here’s an excellent example from a young mother in Colorado. 

    https://www.westernjournal.com/conservative-mom-famously-confronted-beto-orourke-scores-massive-election-win/

  • 06/30/2020 2:07 AM | Anonymous

    Health care professionals misusing their patients’ trust to push a political agenda of gun control is called an ethical boundary violation

    You may encounter the question in your health plan’s standard health appraisal questionnaire. Even though it may not be of your doctor’s making (your doctor may very likely just be going along with the guidelines of his or her gun-hating medical organization such as the AAP or ACP), it’s still part of your permanent medical record. Or your doctor may have a personal prejudice against gun ownership, shaped by her training in medical school or residency. Either way, it is important for people to know some very important facts:

    Download the DRGO Resource Document “What to Do When Your Doctor Asks About Your Guns” here 

    Dr. Tim Wheeler

    —Timothy Wheeler, MD is the founder and former director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, and a retired head and neck surgeon.

    All DRGO articles by Timothy Wheeler, MD.  


  • 06/27/2020 6:16 PM | Anonymous

    June 26, 2020 |  Cam Edwards  With gun sales soaring, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation reporting that as many as 2-million Americans have purchased their first gun in just the past six months, some folks are starting to think about the impact that these new Second Amendment enthusiasts could have on the November elections. Alan Gottlieb, the executive director of the Second Amendment Foundation, believes that the influx of new gun owners could signal a “sea change” in Second Amendment politics.

    “This new wave of gun owners could become a formidable force during this year’s election,” Gottlieb noted. “From now on, we expect millions of new gun owners to pay closer attention to candidates, and reject those who would trample on their Second Amendment rights. With legions of new gun owners ready to protect these newly-discovered rights, it could be a pretty scrappy election year with lots of surprises.”

    On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, we dig a little deeper into those new gun owners and how the might effect this year’s elections as well as the broader debate over gun ownership in this country.

    As much as I’d love to think that every new gun owner is going to turn into a single issue voter, we know that isn’t going to be the case. There will be plenty of left-leaning new gun owners who cast their votes for anti-gun Democrats in November, even if they now object to a candidate’s position on the Second Amendment. My hope is that these gun owners will not only come to understand the importance of voting to protect their right to keep and bear arms sooner rather than later, but that they’ll push Democrats to undo the damage done by gun control laws.

    As I wrote yesterday, it’s time to decriminalize the 2A as part of criminal justice reform efforts, and left-leaning gun owners may be able to make these arguments to Democrats who would ignore the same thing if it came out of the mouth of a conservative gun owner. One day before long the idea of gun licensing and discretionary carry laws may be just as unpopular on the Left as the national anthem or Abraham Lincoln seem to be at the moment.

    Having said that, Gottlieb is right that some of these new gun owners will be voting to protect their newly exercised right to keep and bear arms. For instance, at the moment there are tens of thousands of Illinois residents who’ve been waiting for months for the state to issue their Firearms Owned ID card so they can legally purchase a firearm. Many of these would-be gun owners may still be so ticked off by the process that they vote in favor of candidates in November who want to scrap the FOID system entirely.

    New gun owners in California who’ve now been exposed to the absurdities of the state’s gun control regime could also have an impact on some races, though Biden will still win the state handily. In swing districts, however, new gun owners could help tilt races for the state Assembly and state Senate. I don’t think California’s legislature is going to flip to being a pro-2A body, but if the gun vote does turn out in large numbers in November we might be able to at least remove the veto-proof anti-gun supermajority in the state.

    In other words, I think the influx of new gun owners could very well play a key role in deciding some elections, but increased political activism by the nearly 100-million Americans who’ve owned firearms for years could have an even bigger impact. Regardless of when you became a gun owner, it’s critically important that you vote like your rights depend on it this fall, because they absolutely do. Increased gun ownership on the Left may help defuse or undo gun control legislation over the long-term, but in the near future, Democrat control of Congress and the White House would lead to a gutting of the right to keep and bear arms for all of us.

  • 06/27/2020 1:50 PM | Anonymous

    June 25th, 2020 | CCRKBA  BELLEVUE, WA – The recent gun-buying surge that began with the COVID-19 pandemic panic and continued through the civil unrest and riots following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody has created millions of new gun owners who will now eagerly protect their right to protect themselves and their loved ones, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms predicts.

    “Look at all of the new people who suddenly decided to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms,” observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “We’ve witnessed something that is nothing short of a sea change, and in some cases might approach the level of epiphany, about gun ownership. We’ve heard anecdotal reports from all over the country about people flocking to gun shops who had never before owned a firearm. Now that they are gun owners, we expect them to be very protective of their rights.”

    March, April and May saw record numbers of background checks, according to FBI data and information from industry sources. June data should be out within days, and CCRKBA expects the trend to continue.

    “As we’ve said before,” Gottlieb recalled, “we welcome all of these new gun owners to the firearms community. We know many of them are minorities, especially Black and female citizens from literally all age groups, and they will find gun owners have a big tent with lots of room for newcomers. They can take advantage of training opportunities, meet new friends who share more interests than they might have suspected, and gain a new understanding of our efforts to protect the one fundamental right that actually protects all of the other rights.

    “We’re not surprised to hear about new first-time gun buyers who have discovered how much enjoyment they get out of shooting,” he added. “We’ve seen this with generations of new gun owners who may never have had any previous experience with firearms. Many of them discover a sense of empowerment that allows them, maybe for the first time, to understand they can take care of themselves, and that they are responsible for their own safety.

    “This new wave of gun owners could become a formidable force during this year’s election,” Gottlieb noted. “From now on, we expect millions of new gun owners to pay closer attention to candidates, and reject those who would trample on their Second Amendment rights. With legions of new gun owners ready to protect these newly-discovered rights, it could be a pretty scrappy election year with lots of surprises.”

  • 06/25/2020 10:51 PM | Anonymous

    June 24, 2020 | Cam Edwards  California’s law requiring background checks on every purchase of ammunition has been a gigantic clusterfark since it took effect back in 2018. Since then, tens of thousands of Californians have been denied the ability to purchase ammunition because of problems with the government’s database of gun owners, while others have had to wait through lengthy delays to simply purchase a box or two of ammunition.

    Back in April, a federal judge issued a stay on enforcement of the law, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals quickly overruled the lower court, and the law remains in effect for the time being, though the case (known as Rhode vs. Becerra) is still actively being litigated. On Monday, a coalition of 16 attorneys general, all of them Democrats, filed a friend of the court brief arguing that the California law is constitutional and urged the court to permanently vacate the district court’s injunction.

    If you live in Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, or Washington you should know that your attorney general has given the green light for your state legislature to implement California-style ammunition control if they want.

    First, the amici States object to the district court’s conclusion that the Second Amendment constrained California’s ability to enact the ammunition regulations at issue here. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Second Amendment allows States to address the harmful effects of gun violence through new regulations. And California’s ammunition regulations—which are similar to numerous laws across the country—are an appropriate exercise of that prerogative.

    Second, the amici States disagree with the district court’s apparent view that California’s interests in public safety and crime prevention cannot be substantiated by the types of evidence presented here. On the contrary, it is settled that States may support their interests in public safety and crime prevention with a wide range of evidence, including social science studies and legislative findings.

    First off, there’s no other state in the country that requires background checks on ammunition sales, though the requirement was part of the SAFE Act signed into law in New York in 2013. The New York State Police never figured out how to actually conduct the background checks, however, and in 2015 Gov. Andrew Cuomo suspended the requirement due to the failure of his administration to find a way to implement the law.

    The AG’s brief ignores New York’s failure and tries instead to point to laws in several states that they claim bear a strong resemblance to the law being challenged in California.

    Relevant here, a number of States have also extended background checks or similar requirements to ammunition sales within their jurisdictions. Indeed, four States in addition to California require some form of background check to purchase ammunition. Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey currently require that individuals possess a license or firearms identification card—which requires passing a background check—before purchasing ammunition.

    The District of Columbia also imposes restrictions on ammunition sales; District residents may only purchase ammunition if they are listed as a registered owner of a firearm of the same caliber or gauge as the ammunition they seek to purchase. D.C. Code Ann. §§ 7-2505.02(d), 7-2506.01. Nonresidents seeking to purchase ammunition must demonstrate that they lawfully possess a firearm of the same caliber or gauge. Id. § 7-2505.02(d). And like California, the District also requires all ammunition sales to be conducted in-person.

    None of the states mentioned by the AG’s require background checks to be performed before every ammunition purchase, and none of them prohibit ammunition purchased out-of-state from being brought back home by legal gun owners. In fact, if that’s the law in Washington, D.C., no gun owner in the city would be able to purchase ammunition, because there are zero gun stores in the District. It’s laughable that the anti-gun attorneys general are citing a law that is utterly unenforceable in their quest to have California’s ammunition background check law declared constitutional.

    If you’re a Second Amendment legal nerd, be sure to read the entire brief. And if you live in one of these 16 states with AG’s backing California’s asinine infringement on the right to keep and bear arms, you better contact your lawmakers now and urge them to reject any attempt to impose California-style ammunition purchase restrictions, even if your attorney general has given the go-ahead.

  • 06/25/2020 10:32 PM | Anonymous

    Jun 25, 2020 | Vernon Freeman Jr.  GOOCHLAND, Va. -- A Goochland Circuit Court judge denied a challenge from gun rights groups Thursday to block the one-handgun-a-month law from going into effect on July 1.

    The group challenged the constitutionality of the newly reinstated law arguing it violates Virginians' right to “keep and bear arms.”

    Judge Timothy K. Sanner found that the gun lobby was unlikely to succeed in convincing the court that the law was unconstitutional.

    The lawsuit was filed by Gun Owners of America, Inc. (GOA), Gun Owners Foundation, Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), Brothers N Arms, Inc., and citizen Valerie Trojan.

    “I am really pleased that the judge agreed with me today and rejected the gun lobby’s attempt to block the one-handgun-a-month law. Currently, Virginia is one of the easiest states in the country for gun traffickers to purchase large numbers of firearms to resell on the street, and we can’t allow that to continue,” said Attorney General Herring. “Virginia had a one-handgun-a-month law in effect for nearly twenty years that was extremely successful in keeping firearms out of our communities and out of the hands of dangerous individuals.

    A one-handgun-a-month law was first implemented in Virginia in 1993, before being repealed in 2012.

    The new law was one of several gun bills that passed the Democratic-controlled General Assembly this winter.

    The new one-handgun-a-month law is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2020.

  • 06/22/2020 7:07 PM | Anonymous

    June 21, 2020 |  Cam Edwards  At least 22 people have been shot in New York City this weekend, including a man who was gunned down at point blank range as he was washing his car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon, and the rapid rise in violent crime isn’t limited only to the state’s biggest city. In Syracuse, 9 people were shot on Saturday evening at what’s being described as a “celebration” in the city.

    The party in a parking lot behind WCNY Studios near the intersection of Wyoming Street and Marcellus was attended by hundreds according to Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner.

    All nine victims were sent to the hospital with various injuries although the most seriously hurt was also the youngest: a 17-year-old male.

    Syracuse Police report, when officers arrived, that people were running away and yelling.

    Buckner said the incident was first called in as a stolen car complaint, and when officers arrived people said there was a person shooting. Buckner said his officers did not hear gunfire while they were at the scene.

    In the state capitol of Albany, Chief Eric Hawkins and Mayor Kathy Sheehan held a press conference on Friday to implore the public to cooperate with law enforcement as they try to cope with a staggering increase in violent crime.

    According to Hawkins, they have seen three times as many shots-fired incidents in 2020 than they did at this point in 2019.

    Hawkins said the pandemic lead to a decrease in community policing and restricted the department’s ability to address issues that arose. Now with the area opening back up, Hawkins is seeking help from the community to stifle the violence.

    “We are working together in a united front to address this issue,” Hawkins said. “We are arresting people, we are taking guns off the street, but yet this problem is persisting. We need more. We need more than just innovatice police strategies, we need more than just more cops. We need our community to help.”

    Other city leaders at the Friday press conference said the community knows who the shooters are, and pleaded with people not to wait until they are personally impacted by gun violence.

    Keep in mind that New York has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, thanks in large part to the SAFE Act signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2013. So-called assault weapons are banned, ammunition magazines with more than seven rounds of ammunition are illegal, and possession of a firearm without a license is a felony crime. Cuomo has claimed that the law “stops criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from buying a gun,” but clearly criminals are paying as much attention to the state’s gun control laws as they are the laws on the books prohibiting aggravated assault and homicide.

    In New York City, officials are still doubling down on the idea that more gun control and fewer police officers on the streets will lead to less shootings.

    “We are going to put more and more resources into the Cure Violence movement and the Crisis Management System, which has proven to be extraordinarily effective in stopping gun violence before it happens and mediating conflicts,” Mayor Bill de Blasio has said.

    The mayor has increased the Cure Violence budget by $10 million for more staff and sites, especially those with high gun violence in areas including Jamaica, Canarsie, and Crown Heights.

    “During the month of May, we are seeing an increase of 25 percent in homicides in the last few days, so it is concerning – we are deploying our Cure Violence particularly in retaliation shootings,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

    While the City Council is proposing $1 billion in cuts to the police department, Adams is backing that decision.

    “If we put money on the front end, we won’t be dealing with the crisis on the back end, that is how we have been policing in the city,” he said.

    According to the city’s website, the Cure Violence program:

    “employs ‘violence interrupters’ and outreach workers from the community who have themselves experienced violence and also have strong relationships with young adults, community leaders, and service providers. Violence interrupters stop conflicts before they happen, and outreach workers re-direct the highest-risk youth away from life on the streets. Outreach workers implement a detailed risk reduction plan that links youth with needed services. These connections result in the cooling of violence hot spots, in addition to positive outcomes for those who participate in the intervention.”

    I don’t have a problem with Cure Violence’s strategy in theory, as long as it’s working. Unfortunately, at the moment, the “violence interruptors” don’t seem to be actually interrupting the violence at all.

    During the month of May, overall crime decreased compared to the same period last year.

    But the NYPD says murders in the city increase by 79%.

    Shootings went up 64%, while burglaries rose 34%.

    While anti-gun politicians like Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo wring their hands and twiddle their thumbs, New York’s violent criminals are having a field day, and law-abiding New Yorkers should be asking themselves this simple question: who exactly is safer thanks to the SAFE Act and the state’s gun control regime?


  • 06/20/2020 9:32 AM | Anonymous

    The most likely explanation is that neither of the Court?s ideological factions was confident enough of Roberts?s support to risk grantingÿcertiorari.

    On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to review all ten of the Second Amendment cases it had pending on its docket. Though the cases presented different fact patterns and procedural postures, the Court simply refused to weigh in on any of them. There seems to be one likely reason: Chief Justice Roberts does not want the Court to take a stance on the Second Amendment. We know because it only takes four justices to agree to hear a case but five to reach a decision once a case is heard ? and there are four justices on record as being in favor of the Court?s reviewing Second Amendment issues.

    Justice Thomas has been dissenting from the Court?s refusal to review those issues for years, and he did so again on Monday, writing to protest the Court?s decision to pass onÿRogers v. Grewal, a case addressing New Jersey?s unconstitutional handgun-carry-permit laws:

    This case gives us the opportunity to provide guidance on the proper approach for evaluating Second Amendment claims; acknowledge that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry in public; and resolve a square Circuit split on the constitutionality of justifiable need restrictions on that right. I would grant the petition for a writ of certiorari.

    Justice Alito authored the landmark 2010ÿMcDonald v. Chicagoÿopinion, which incorporated Second Amendment rights to cover the states, and recently filed a scathing dissent to the Court?s decision inÿNew York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York:

    Twelve years ago inÿDistrict of Columbia v. Hellerÿ. . . we held that the Second Amendment protects the right of ordinary Americans to keep and bear arms. Two years later, our decision inÿMcDonald v. Chicagoÿ. . . established that this right is fully applicable to the States. Since then, the lower courts have decided numerous cases involving Second Amendment challenges to a variety of federal, state, and local laws. Most have failed. We have been asked to review many of these decisions, but until this case, we denied all such requests.

    Alito?s dissent goes on to review the underlying merits of the case and argue that the New York City gun-control law at issue is certainly unconstitutional.

    Justice Kavanaugh is also in favor of the Court?s weighing in on Second Amendment issues. He wrote a well-knownÿdissent inÿHeller II, a follow-up case stemming from theÿHellerÿdecision Alito references, in which he chastised the D.C. Circuit?s reasoning and directly applied the Supreme Court test that was established inÿHeller. More recently, he joined Thomas?s dissent against the Court?s refusal to hearÿRogers, and wrote, in a concurrence to theÿNew York State Rifleÿdecision:

    I share Justice Alito?s concern that some federal and state courts may not be properly applyingÿHellerÿandÿMcDonald. The Court should address that issue soon, perhaps in one of the several Second Amendment cases with petitions for certiorari now pending before the Court.

    Finally, Justice Gorsuch, while being quieter on the subject, has voiced his support for a review of Second Amendment issues as well: He has joined a couple of dissents penned by Justices Thomas and Alito, inÿPeruta v. CaliforniaÿandÿNew York State Rifle, respectively.

    If you?re counting along at home, that?s four Justices ? Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh ? in favor of the Court?s reviewing Second Amendment issues. Those four together can grantÿcertiorariÿin any case they wish. One presumes that the only reason they didn?t do so in one of the ten Second Amendment cases the Court passed on Monday is that they were unsure how Chief Justice Roberts would vote once the cases were heard.

    To be clear, the Court wasn?t in want of choice. The ten cases pending before it covered issues ranging from New Jersey?s handgun-carry regulations (Rogers) to California?s presumptively unsafe handgun law (Pena v. Horan) and Massachusetts? ?assault weapon? and ?high-capacity magazine? bans (Worman v. Healey).

    Some of the ten also showed a clear circuit split ? a conflict between two or more courts of appeals in the nation as to how to decide a similar or identical issue ? which tends to make the Court far more likely to hear a case. In this instance, there was and is a clear split between circuits on the applicability of the Second Amendment outside the home.

    So, ruling out votes and issues, the remaining roadblock would seem to be Chief Justice Roberts. What is unclear is why.

    Some have speculated that Roberts wants to avoid risking the Court?s reputation on a controversial case during a tense political cycle. But, if the Court had grantedÿcertiorariÿin one of these cases today, the case would have been briefed over the summer, argued in late 2020 or early 2021, and decided in early or mid 2021, well after the next president had been elected.

    Does Roberts actually align with the four progressive-leaning justices on the Court when it comes to the Second Amendment? Not likely. Remember, the four progressive-leaning justices can grant review of a case just as the four conservative-leaning justices can. Given that they didn?t on Monday, they likely don?t believe Chief Justice Roberts is on their ?side? of the issue.

    The conclusion we?re left with is that Chief Justice Roberts doesn?t want the Court to weigh in on the Second Amendment right now, and neither the four conservative justices nor the four progressive justices were confident enough of his siding with them on the issue to risk grantingÿcertiorariÿin any of the ten cases.

    Keep in mind, when the chief justice is in the majority on a decision, he gets to pick who writes the opinion.If Chief Justice Roberts is the swing vote in a case, he?ll be in the majority however he decides, and could easily assign himself the opinion. Given that the rest of the Court is evenly split, no matter how he drafted it, the justices who agreed with the outcome of the opinion would almost have to sign on, regardless of its reasoning, and that could spell trouble.

    For now, we will have to rely on the decisions of the circuit courts in gun-rights cases. But while it?s unclear what the impact of this week will be on the future of Second Amendment jurisprudence, those of us committed to defending Second Amendment-protected rights will not give up the fight.

    Cody J. Wisnieisniewski is an attorney with Mountain States Legal Foundation. He primarily focuses on Second Amendment issues, and is the co-author ofÿAmicus Curiaeÿbriefs inÿNew York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New YorkÿandÿPena v. Horan

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