Maryland court refuses to incorporate the 2nd Amendment

November 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Trail Boss News

News story here. The critical parts of the ruling:

“To begin, we note that there is no Maryland corollary of the federal constitutional right codified in the Second Amendment.*fn4 Furthermore, we have held previously that the Second Amendment is not applicable to the states. See Onderdonk v. Handgun Permit Review Board of Dep’t of Public Safety & Correctional Services, 44 Md. App. 132, 135 (1979); see also Scherr v. Handgun Permit Review Bd., 163 Md. App. 417, 443 (2005). This is significant because it means that appellant must hang his musket, so to speak, on Heller’s interpretation of the federal constitutional right. Heller filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to enjoin the city from enforcing the bar on the registration of handguns, the licensing requirement insofar as it prohibited the carrying of a firearm in the home without a license, and the trigger-lock requirement insofar as it prohibited the use of “functional firearms within the home.” Heller, 128 S.Ct. at 2788. The Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment guaranteed the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. Id. at 2797. As a consequence of this interpretation, the Court held that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violated the Second Amendment, as did its prohibition against rendering any firearm operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense, if it is lawfully within the home. Id. at 2822.

Of more immediate concern for the issue before us, and ultimately fatal to appellant’s argument, is the fact that the Heller Court reaffirmed the holding in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875), that “[t]he [S]econd [A]mendment . . . means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress.” Id. at 553. While parenthetically noting the weakness of Cruikshank’s argument regarding non-incorporation of the right, the Court found that its later decisions in Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886), and Miller v. Texas, 153 U.S. 535 (1894), reaffirmed that the Second Amendment applies only to the federal government. Heller, 128 S.Ct. at 2813. Appellant can cite to only one case subsequent to Heller in which a court has held that the right established in Heller applies against state and local governments. In that decision, Nordyke v. King, 563 F.3d 439 (9th Cir. 2009), reh’g granted, 575 F.3d 890 (9th Cir. 2009), a panel of judges in the Ninth Circuit held that the right to bear arms was a fundamental right warranting substantive due process protection through the Fourteenth Amendment. However, an en banc rehearing was granted for this case in July with the express instruction that “[t]he three-judge panel opinion shall not be cited as precedent by or to any court of the Ninth Circuit.” Nordyke, 575 F.3d at 890. After rehearing the case on September 24, 2009, the Court issued an order postponing judgment until the Supreme Court’s disposition of three similar cases which had certiorari petitions pending.
. . . . . . . .
Even if the Second Amendment did apply, it would not invalidate the statute at issue here. CL § 4-203 provides that a person may not “wear, carry, or transport a handgun, whether concealed or open, on or about the person” or “in a vehicle traveling on a road or parking lot generally used by the public, highway, waterway, or airway of the State.” CL § 4-203(a)(i), id. at (a)(ii). This blanket prohibition is modified by subsection b of the statute, which provides eight exceptions to the general rule outlined above. One of these exceptions is for possession of a gun by a person on real estate that the person owns or leases or where the person resides. CL § 4-203(b)(6). Thus, even if the right articulated in Heller, namely the right to keep and bear arms in the home for the purpose of immediate self-defense, were to apply to the citizens of Maryland, this statute does not infringe upon that right.”

Via Dave Hardy

Americans are solidly in-favor of keeping firearms

September 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Trail Boss News

Washington, DC — Data released by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reported 1,074,757 checks in August 2009, a 12.3 percent increase from the 956,872 reported in August 2008.

So far that is roughly 9,076,205 gun bought this year! The total is probably more as NICS background checks may cover the purchase of more than one gun at a time.

This latest jump in background checks show that Americans are solidly in-favor of keeping firearms and clearly shows that proponents claiming the USA wants more gun control are blatantly wrong.

Gun Owners Say No to Gun Control with their Wallets
The increased trend of Americans buying firearms at a record pace was once thought to be a one time fluke caused by fears of the new Obama administration expressed lust for more gun control. But now 10 months in and the wrongly named “fear buying” has now become the norm and keep purchasing  firearms by the millions every month with no sign of slowing down.

The bulk of the buying has been concentrated on the following types of guns or calibers:

• Semi Auto Handguns
• Revolvers
• Ar15s and all variants of the Black Rifle
• .50 Caliber
1.17 Guns for Each Person
Conservative estimates of legally owned guns in the USA put the number at 355,029,250 million guns in the USA. That is 1.17 guns for everyone in the USA.
Crime Rates Falling
There has been no increase in crime, murder rates have fallen across most of the US. This is directly in contrast to what the national media and gun control supporters are reporting.   Gun owners are clearly the majority

Accused Arkansas Military Center Shooter Had Prior Weapons Arrest

June 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Trail Boss News

Accused Arkansas Military Center Shooter Had Prior Weapons Arrest

Thursday, June 04, 2009

CONWAY, Ark. — A Muslim convert accused of fatally shooting an Army private and wounding another had previously been arrested on a weapons charge in Tennessee, but that charge eventually was dropped. Read more

Some Colleges Bar Even Talking About Right to Bear Arms

June 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Trail Boss News

Some Colleges Bar Even Talking About Right to Bear Arms, Gun Advocates Say

Thursday, June 04, 2009
By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

WASHINGTON —  The First Amendment guarantees Americans the right to free speech. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to possess firearms. Now the first two clauses in the Bill of Rights have come together in an ongoing debate over the right of college students to advocate that they be allowed to carry guns on campus.

The bloody massacres at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School, as well as smaller campus shootings across the country in the last decade, have fomented a lively debate over whether citizens should be allowed to carry concealed weapons to defend themselves on campus.

But that debate has hit a wall of resistance from school officials in some places, bringing into focus the dual issues of gun rights and free speech.

Many gun-rights advocates are arguing that college campuses, which are supposed to be open to diversity of thought, provocative dialogue, politics and protest, are hardly bastions of free speech when it comes to discussing firearms.

“The fact is, the topic is so explosive,” said Robert Shibley, spokesman for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which tracks discriminatory practices against students involved in conservative issues on campus. They’ve been dealing with “more and more” complaints about efforts to “squelch gun speech,” he said.

The latest flareup involves Christine Brashier, who says officials at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) violated her First Amendment right to free speech when they stopped her from posting and distributing fliers advocating for concealed carry on campus, and for a new chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC) at the college. The group has about a dozen chapters on other Pennsylvania campuses, Shibley said.

“I genuinely wanted to start discussion on the topic,” Brasier told this week. ” I am not such an avid gun owner as much of the news has made me out to be — I simply believe in liberty and that college is the place for a debate about important issues such as this one.”

Brashier, 24, who is a freshman at the school, said she worked for the last three years in a law office, and before that, as an assistant manager at a convenience store, which was robbed at gunpoint twice while she worked there.

She is licensed to carry a concealed weapon in Pennsylvania, but school policy prevents her from carrying it on campus. Most states allow schools to set their own policy on concealed carry laws.

Brashier maintains she was hauled into a meeting with the dean, who told her “that the club would never be approved, that the school did not wish to discuss the topic, and to cease speaking about it as well as destroy the literature.”

The school acknowledged Monday that it told Brashier to stop leafletting — not because it didn’t like what she had to say, but because school policy requires that any “mass distribution” of materials must get clearance from school officials ahead of time. In addition, officials said, her pamphlets implied that Students for Concealed Carry was already a sanctioned student organization on campus.

“Review of posted materials on campus is required precisely to avoid this situation and similar liability concerns, and flyers from other groups have been revised to address these matters before being approved without incident,” the official statement read. David Hoovler, a school spokesman, told that Brashier was a good student and that the incident had nothing to do with the issue of firearms on campus.

“She is welcome to follow the proper procedures, to form the organization and hold their activities,” Hoovler said. Regarding Brashier’s charges that she was told the SCCC chapter would never be accepted by the school, Hoovler said he could not say with any authority what exactly was said in the meeting, but that Brashier is certainly welcome to form the chapter “if she follows all the proper steps.” The student government has the authority for approving campus organizations, he said, and it’s all about procedure.

But gun rights advocates are wary. Since the Virginia Tech murders in 2007, in which 32 people were gunned down by a student with a history of mental illness, a line has been drawn between those who feel that licensed gun owners should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus, and those who believe prevention and tougher gun laws are the best response to a campus gunman.

Shibley says both sides deserve to have their say.

“Ever since Virginia Tech … colleges have become skittish about even talking about guns on campus out of presumably some fear that it would somehow lead to violence,” he said.

“That’s an unreasonable stand to take. When the issue is whether or not people should carry concealed weapons on campus, there is no more appropriate place to discuss it than on campus.”

In March, Central Connecticut State University student John Wahlberg and two classmates gave a presentation for their communications class on whether the death toll at Virginia Tech might have been smaller if faculty and students had been allowed to carry guns. That night, Wahlberg says, he was called into the campus police department, which already had a list of his registered guns, which were locked away off-campus.

Wahlberg’s professor had reported him to security out of “safety” concerns, according to The Recorder, the campus newspaper.

The incident has seemingly given the issue a boost, as CCSU students advocating concealed carry were protesting on campus in April, carrying around empty holsters to make their point.

But just a year earlier, students planning a similar protest at Tarrant County College in Texas were told to leave their empty holsters at home and were restricted to demonstrating in a “free speech zone” on campus.

“When university bureaucrats and professors censor student speech or punish students for their ideas, the censors are admitting, in effect, their own inability to address the pros and cons of that idea, and they are attacking everything the university stands for,” said Dave Kopel, a policy expert on the Second Amendment for the Independence Institute in Colorado.

But Kopel said the majority of colleges and universities “have handled the debate properly, by not doing anything at all,” when a concealed carry movement sparks up on campus. “It’s only a minority of abhorrent people who not only have open hostility to the Second Amendment, but to the First Amendment too.”

Opponents of concealed carry say there are relatively few students who are behind the movement. “What we’re hearing is that they do not want guns on campus,” said Chad Ramsey, spokesman for the Brady Campaign, a gun control advocate in Washington. “There is a smattering of Second Amendment activists out there. But I don’t think there is a major grassroots effort among students — I think most students have been advocating the other side of the fence.”

Certainly, campus officials and campus law enforcement are against the idea of more guns in private citizens’ hands at school. Lisa Sprague, president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, said the group put out a position statement after the Virginia Tech incident against concealed carry on campus. They say there is “no credible evidence to suggest that the presence of students carrying concealed weapons would reduce violence on our college campuses,” and could even serve to create more dangerous situations.

“Actually, what I’ve found is just a pocket of interest for this across the United States,” Sprague told

Kopel responded that it was no surprise that campus police would underplay the importance of the debate and come out strongly against concealed carry. “As far as they’re concerned, nobody is ever capable of owning a gun for self-defense unless they’re an employee for a security operation,” he said.

There has been a flurry of bills at the state level since 2007 advocating that people who are licensed to carry concealed firearms be permitted to carry their weapons on state campuses, but so far no major legislation has been signed into law. A bill passed the Texas state senate in May, but it died when the legislative session expired for the year on Monday. There are bills pending in seven other states, according to the SCCC website.

“This is an issue,” said Kopel, pointing out that SCCC has chapters all over the country. “This is not going away.”