Gun owners permitted to carry concealed weapons in the state of South Carolina are soon likely to join residents in 45 other states who can carry their hand guns openly in public — a proposal that has frustrated gun-control advocates, doctors and top law enforcement leaders but was a resounding win for many Republican lawmakers.
With three days left on the legislative calendar, the Senate voted 28-16 mostly down party lines after a more than 12-hour debate to pass H. 3094, a House-sponsored bill that would allow only concealed weapons permit holders the right to carry their hand gun in the open.
Charleston Sen. Sandy Senn was the lone Republican to vote against the legislation.
The Republican-controlled Senate made a handful of changes to the bill. They ranged from removing the $50 cost of the permit application fee, to limiting the federal government’s intervention and to requiring clerks to report pertinent information to the State Law Enforcement Division within five, not 30, days that would prohibit someone from buying or owning a gun.
But senators also rejected dozens of amendments that included a Republican-pushed attempt to expand the measure by eliminating the law’s existing permit and background check requirement entirely, and also Democrat-led efforts to enhance background checks.
“I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t a little bit disappointed, but I actually, I have absolutely no regrets,” said state Sen. Shane Martin, R-Spartanburg, who pushed but lost 25-21 his effort to remove the permit requirement. “I won’t give up advocating for it. I was so close.”
Obviously, Martin said, “the Senate’s not ready for it yet.”
The bill goes back to the House, likely to reject the changes, triggering a six-member joint panel to hammer out differences.
Congratulations to senators Massey and Martin. Shane Massey was the S.C. senator who successfully got the bill pulled from the SC senate judiciary committee where they intended to stall it until dead this calendar year, aided by turncoat SC senator Luke Rankin.
Actually, the attempt to remove the permitting requirement entirely, i.e., constitutional carry, was opposed by Shane Massey. I don’t know if the opposition was real, or if the attempt to amend the bill to remove permitting would have been a poison pill for the bill, losing S.C. senators who would have otherwise been in favor of open carry. But at least Mr. Massey did his part to strip the bill from the hands of Mr. Rankin, who needs to be primaried and thrown from office.
Also to senator Martin, who led a valiant effort for constitutional carry this term. As you might expect, I approve of his goals and I hope for the best during the next legislative season.
As I observed before, “The ninnies, frightened and the tepid must see for themselves when the state is let out of its cage that the sky doesn’t fall like law enforcement and “The Karens” said it would. They’re like a frightened, psychologically stunted animal who has been caged its entire life, afraid to leave the confines of its own imprisonment.”
When the world doesn’t end and blood doesn’t run in the streets as predicted by law enforcement and “Karens against Everything,” the time will be ripe for this again soon.
I listened to much of the debate today. Most of it was ridiculous. The ninnies tried everything in the book, from stalling tactics to endless yapping, to poison pill amendments. One awful senator, an obvious law enforcement sycophant, worked hard for an amendment that would have had LEOs confiscating weapons in any encounter for the sake of “officer safety.”
So he would have had men handling others’ weapons, a stupid, awful, terrible idea. I’ve discussed this before. Weapons might be modified, the officer may never have seen that particular weapon before, rounds might be chambered, or they might not be, safeties might be engaged, or they might not be, hammers may be cocked, they may not be, striker fired pistols may be half cocked, or they might not be, trigger jobs may have lightened the pull, or maybe not, the pistol might be single action, or it might be SA/DA, guns could drop if they’re handled (causing people to try to catch them), and all manner of NDs can occur. Some holsters are retention, others not, and on and on the variations could go.
It is a profoundly, terribly, incredibly stupid thing to begin handling weapons just because someone likes authority, walks up and demands it. It’s a great thing that amendment was defeated.
Now. It’s important not to let up. First, the little differences between the House and Senate versions must be hammered out, and that, quickly so. Then finally, the governor’s office must be flooded with mail, email and phone calls to ensure he keeps his word and signs the bills into law.
This has been a long slog, but it’s not over just yet.
Then next session we’ll focus on constitutional carry.
God didn’t deliver for President Joe Biden, who recently begged “the Lord” to help him erase the congressionally approved immunity that gun-makers have from lawsuits.
In a little-noticed decision with a major impact on the firearms industry, a federal judge in Arizona has ruled in favor of pistol manufacturer Glock and dismissed a suit brought by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence on behalf of a man who was accidentally shot and paralyzed.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich upheld liability immunity granted in the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed in 2005 to block gun-makers from a potential wave of industry-killing lawsuits.
Brnovich, nominated by former President Donald Trump and the wife of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, dismissed multiple claims in the suit that the act’s protections were illegal, writing, “The statute is constitutional.”
While she made her decision in mid-March, it is just now winning attention as Biden and top congressional Democrats begin a campaign to impose new gun control restrictions and end liability immunity for gun-makers.
“The dismissal of this case is welcome news and demonstrates the importance of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” said Mark Oliva, the spokesman for the industry trade group National Shooting Sports Foundation.
“These attempts to hold manufacturers responsible for the criminal and negligent misuse of firearms are misguided and are attempts at legislation through litigation. The PLCAA law was passed with a bipartisan majority in both chambers of Congress to keep activists from attempting to bankrupt firearm manufacturers by tying them up in court with unfounded claims. This demonstrates why protecting this legislation against attacks by President Biden and gun control factions in Congress is critical,” he added.
Last month, Biden falsely claimed that the firearms industry is “the only industry in America” that can’t be sued, and he called for divine intervention to end that.
During a Rose Garden event, he said, “This is the only outfit that is exempt from being sued. If I get one thing on my list, (if) the Lord came down and said, ‘Joe, you get one of these,’ give me that one.” He added, “Because I tell you what, there would be a come-to-the-Lord moment these folks would have, real quickly.”
The suit was filed against Glock, an Austrian gun-maker, on behalf of Carlos Travieso Jr., who was in a car with others returning from a church retreat in 2018. Another teenager found the 9 mm pistol in the car and apparently thought it was safe because the magazine holding the bullets was missing. However, there was a bullet in the chamber, and when she pulled the trigger, it hit Travieso, paralyzing him.
The suit charged that Glock, the No. 1 firearms manufacturer in U.S. sales, did not have adequate safety features on the gun warning that a live round was in the chamber. The pistol does have a chamber indicator, but the suit said the gun was defective because it did not include other warnings or safeties.
Glock said it was covered by the immunity act because the shooting was a criminal act.
Oliva told Secrets, “This is an example of lawyers attempting to put the blame for negligent use of a firearm on a manufacturer. The facts of the case are clear. The negligent mishandling of a firearm resulted in tragic effects. There was no defect in the product, design flaw, and as the opinion clearly notes, claims of warning notifications do not make for a claim of product defect.”
Brnovich agreed with Glock in her victory for the Second Amendment. She also noted that even the liberal U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has repeatedly rejected challenges to immunity for gun-makers.
“A fair reading of the PLCAA shows that Congress intended the scope of its preemption to include claims like the plaintiff’s. The PLCAA’s plain text extends preemption to plaintiff’s tort and products liability claims. Its unambiguous terms bar any civil cause of action, regardless of the underlying theory, when a plaintiff’s injury results from ‘the criminal or unlawful misuse’ of the person or a third party, unless a specific exception applies,” she wrote.
The NRA-backed bill would treat concealed carry licenses like driver’s licenses, ensuring permit holders could drive state-to-state and have their concealed permit recognized as valid.
BREAKING NEWS: NRA-Backed National Concealed Carry Reciprocity introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. @JohnCornyn (R-TX).
Cornyn released a statement coinciding with the introduction of the legislation, saying, “This bill focuses on two of our country’s most fundamental constitutional protections — the Second Amendment’s right of citizens to keep and bear arms and the Tenth Amendment’s right of states to make laws best-suited for their residents. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important legislation for law-abiding gun owners nationwide.”
Breitbart News noted Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced national reciprocity legislation in the House on January 4, 2021.
Hudson’s legislation, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (HR38), treats concealed carry licenses like driver’s licenses as well, recognizing the license from one state as valid in the other 49.
Hudson released a statement upon introducing HR38:
Our Second Amendment rights do not disappear when we cross state lines, and H.R. 38 guarantees that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2021 is a common sense solution to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits.
“I am especially proud to have such widespread and bipartisan support for this measure and will work with my colleagues to get this legislation over the finish line,” he concluded.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.
Let’s start with the fact that there are enough guns in this country so that every man, woman and child could have one. Add to that a couple of Supreme Court decisions that enshrine gun ownership alongside freedom of speech and freedom of assembly as constitutionally hallowed rights. On top of that is the fact that even such modest efforts at the state level to limiting access to guns to people deemed dangerous to themselves have proved ineffective. No better example of this is the fact that the Indiana “red flag” law designed to keep guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people only temporarily delayed the killer of eight people in Indianapolis from getting his hands on the weapon used to take their lives. Gun control advocacy stands high in the ranks of lost causes and futile campaigns alongside legitimating polygamy and scrapping the national anthem for something more singable.
The brief flicker of hope that somehow the financial problems of the National Rifle Association, and the profligate spending of members’ dues by one its top executives, might stifle the effectiveness of the opposition to even the most modest efforts to control firearms or reduce their lethality became an iridescent dream — and seemed to prove that the organization itself was never much of a factor in blocking gun-control legislation.
What kills such efforts in Congress, even in the wake of the unspeakable slaughter of the innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, is the recognition in the minds of politicians that there are voters in their states and districts who are Second Amendment absolutists, whether they be the kind of people who shoot at targets for practice or those who might shoot at people because of malice or derangement.
States’ gun laws
So strong is the constituency for firearms ownership in Congress that a law is on the books immunizing gun manufacturers and sellers from lawsuits arising out of the use of their products for mass shootings and mayhem on smaller scale. It is the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that became effective in 2005.
The response of the gun industry has been, from a business standpoint, quite rational: Sellers give the consumers what they demand. The only limit is that they cannot manufacture or sell fully automatic machine guns.
As we have seen in the case of Indiana’s modest efforts to keep firearms out of the hands of potentially dangerous people, enforcement is easily circumvented, and even the strictest state laws are at the mercy of the lax or nonexistent limits on gun ownership in adjacent states.
My own state of New Jersey with some of the strictest gun ownership laws in the nation is located adjacent to Pennsylvania, a state with few limits on who can get access to a gun. Worse, perhaps, is the fact that Interstate 95 runs up the spine of the state and has been referred to as “the iron highway” for the brisk traffic in guns being brought into New Jersey from states to the south.
Mother to mother: A woman who lost her child to gun violence makes a plea to Kamala Harris
The once plausible argument that gun ownership was somehow connected to membership in state militias was cast aside by a Supreme Court dominated by “originalists” who developed historical amnesia about the Founding Fathers’ dread of standing armies and preference for “a well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” and declared that the only operative phrase in the Second Amendment was “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.
No way to stop it
This interpretation of the amendment might, to some extent, be influencing the longest shot of all: the enlargement of the Supreme Court to redress the imbalance in the number of justices that endows conservatives with a solid voting majority. Congress can indeed enlarge the court, but that would take a statute that would require a supermajority of 60 votes, which is not currently available. It is doubtful, moreover, that even all 50 Democratic and independent senators would approve the enlargement.
And this is where things stand: Daily, weekly, monthly massacres of sizable numbers of victims enabled by a patchwork of ineffective, indifferently enforced state laws, and the awesomely destructive firepower of many of the weapons used in these assaults.
Unbalanced, vengeful or politically motivated assailants armed, in many cases, with charismatic weapons patterned on those used by the military will continue to inflict death and grievous injury on innocent people. There is, effectively, no way to stop it.
Ross K. Baker is a distinguished professor of political science at Rutgers University and a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors. Follow him on Twitter: @Rosbake1
You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to email@example.com.
Democrats Still Can’t Make Gun Laws More Popular
The anti-gun lobby is loud, well-funded, and a darling of the mainstream media. If someone were to awaken from a long coma and begin paying attention to the gun conversation in the American MSM, he or she would undoubtedly believe that most Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of much stricter gun laws or even abolishing the Second Amendment altogether.
That’s not really what is going on in the real world, which is a place that the MSM doesn’t travel to very often.
The anti-gun lobby is just one of the many puppet masters pulling the strings of the empty vessel occupying the Oval Office. They made their intentions known quite early and leaned on Biden to do something quickly. He obeyed his masters via executive action earlier this month. He had to do it that way because federal gun control legislation rarely gets passed (more on that in a moment).
Despite the overwhelming rhetoric machine that the anti-2A people have, a new poll shows that the American public’s taste for new and stricter laws has dropped a bit.
Support for stricter gun laws fell seven points in the new Pew Research poll. Agreement with the idea that gun laws are about right or too strict rose by the same amount. Overall, Americans are split nearly down the middle with 53 percent supporting stricter gun laws and 46 percent opposing them.
Support for stricter gun laws is down from 2019 and 2018, settling near the levels it was at in 2017. The five specific gun-control proposals included in the poll all saw a drop in support.
The deep division in American’s opinions on guns combined with the relative stability of that divide poses a problem for efforts by Senate Democrats and President Joe Biden to pass new gun-control legislation. Despite the return of mass shootings after a pandemic-induced pause and repeated calls from Democrats and gun-control advocates, Americans are less likely to support tightening gun laws than they were before the pandemic began. With Democrats’ gun-control proposals already facing an uphill battle on Capitol Hill, falling support for further restricting gun ownership is likely to add to the difficulty.
The reason that federal gun control legislation isn’t popular is because a lot of Democrats in flyover country are gun owners. That’s a dirty little secret to the MSM but fairly well known to us rubes in the hinterlands. Here in Arizona’s Wild West, most of my liberal friends and relatives not only own several firearms but they shoot them well too.
Another reason is that Americans want more personal protection as they watch the fabric of society unravel under President Puppet. The Democrats think that civil unrest will make people more amenable to gun control rhetoric when it actually has the opposite effect.
Michael Bloomberg may be able to buy some more executive actions from Joe Biden but that won’t change the fact that his lies don’t resonate with as much of the public as he and the rest of the Big Gun-Grab lobby would like to believe.