New York City Guns

Expandmenu Shrunk

  • Category Archives Politics
  • The media plays dishonest numbers game with guns

    A brand new PEW Research Center survey last week shows that gun ownership by households is up to 42 percent — an increase of 5 percentage points in the past four years.

    Yet, few mainstream media outlets announced the increase.

    In fact, the media goes out of its way to find polls claiming that Americans are turning away from guns. In my book, “War on Guns” the impression, the impression given by the media is that gun owners are a small, fringe group.

    Maybe they are hoping that this will have an impact on policy. As General Social Survey director Tom Smith told me, a large drop in gun ownership would “make it easier for politicians to do the right thing on guns.”

    Read More…

  • That’s Shimtarded: Ex-prosecutor indicted in NYPD gun licensing bribery scheme (John Chambers Gets Fingered)

    A former prosecutor facing charges in the NYPD gun licensing bribery scandal has been indicted, according to court papers.

    John Chambers, a lawyer who was a gun license expediter, is charged with bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery, according to a Manhattan Federal Court indictment filed late Thursday.

    Chambers, 62, allegedly plied NYPD Sgt. David Villanueva with goodies such as sports memorabilia and meals to hasten permit approvals, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office said.

    Read More…


    The third report on the House Oversight Committee’s investigation of the Operation Fast and Furious scandal strongly suggests that the Department of Justice under then-Attorney General Eric Holder engaged in obstruction of Congress, the Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

    “We took our time examining the 262-page report,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “and we are appalled. It has taken six years since hearings were held in 2011 on that Obama administration scandal for this report to be released, and what this document shows is a pattern of deliberate stonewalling by an administration that claimed to be the most transparent in history.

    “The report notes how Holder withheld thousands of documents and reached out to President Barack Obama to provide cover with executive privilege,” he continued. “It took two years before a federal judge ordered the DOJ to produce some of those documents, and by then, public interest had waned, almost as if by design.

    “Fast and Furious,” Gottlieb observed, “had all the earmarks of a rogue operation that was best described by one federal agent as ‘the perfect storm of idiocy.’ The most disappointing thing of all is that nobody in any government agency was ever held accountable. While some people retired or resigned their positions or were reassigned, and Holder was held in contempt of Congress, that just doesn’t seem like enough.

    “Information was withheld from Congress,” he added, “and from the family of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The report even acknowledges that officials closest to the operation thwarted efforts to provide complete and accurate responses to congressional inquiries. Who does that unless they have something to hide?

    “If anything,” Gottlieb concluded, “this report is a disturbing look at how government operated under Barack Obama and how the Obama-Holder Justice Department tried to keep Congress and the public in the dark about a scandal of monumental proportions. The Obama administration allowed guns to fall into the hands of criminals, and then the Justice Department lied about it just to further their anti-gun agenda.”

    With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at or by email to .

  • National Reciprocity for Citizens Hits 200 Supporters in the House

    The national reciprocity legislation that Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) put forward in January has now garnered 200 supporters in the House.

    Breitbart News reported on January 3 that Hudson’s bill, Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (CCRA), would make the concealed carry permit of one state valid in the other 49 states. It would also enable residents from permitless carry states to carry a gun for self-defense in the other 49 states if they have proof of residency in a permitless carry state.

    According to Gun Owners of America (GOA), CCRA now has 199 co-sponsors, bringing the number of House supporters to 200 (including Hudson). GOA says the number of supporters represents “an almost unprecedented level of support” for any particular House legislation.

    Read More…

  • Mainstream Media Misrepresents NRA’s Position on Right-to-Carry Permits

    There is an ongoing debate as to the severity of the decline in the modern attention span. However, in a world pervaded by 140 character messages and trivial clickbait articles, few would argue that many are now consuming information more rapidly and in smaller pieces. In this environment, an article’s headline has become increasingly important, taking an outsized role in conveying the information within.

    Therefore, when a headline contains misleading information, whether due to political motivation or simple inaccuracy, it is not without consequence.

    Take the following, 

    “The NRA is pushing to eliminate concealed carry permits in NC and across the country” – The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), June 20, 2017.

    “Bill to nix N. Carolina’s concealed-carry permit causes rift” – The Associated Press, June 6, 2017.

    “Bill would drop concealed carry permits” – The Richmond County Daily Journal (Rockingham, N.C.), June 5, 2017.

    “Senate votes to eliminate concealed gun permits” – The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.), April 18, 2017.

    “Legislature debates guns; committee approves proposed bill to eliminate concealed-carry permit” – The Telegraph (Nashua, N.H.), January 11, 2017.

    These headlines give readers the impression that NRA-ILA and state lawmakers are working to abolish Right-to-Carry permits.   

    This is false.

    NRA-ILA supports shall-issue Right-to-Carry permitting. NRA-ILA also supports providing law-abiding individuals with additional options to exercise their Right-to-Carry, including legislation to allow such persons to carry without a permit; often called permitless or constitutional carry.

    These positions are not mutually exclusive. In each state where NRA-ILA has worked with lawmakers to enact permitless/constitutional carry legislation, the Right-to-Carry permitting regime has been kept in place. In states such as Idaho, and Mississippi, in recent years NRA-ILA has helped to strengthen the existing Right-to-Carry permit structures by passing legislation providing for enhanced carry permits that allow the holder to carry in additional locations, and worked to pass legislation that recognizes the Right-to-Carry without a permit.

    The only state with permitless/constitutional carry and no Right-to-Carry permitting regime is Vermont. This arrangement is unique to the Green Mountain State and due to the fact that Vermonters have never imposed a state restriction on the right of a law-abiding individuals to carry for self-defense.

    A major reason NRA-ILA is adamant about preserving existing permitting systems, even in states that have embraced permitless/constitutional carry, is that permit holders enjoy benefits that extend well beyond carrying a concealed firearm within their home state.

    Right-to-Carry Reciprocity

    Increasing Right-to-Carry reciprocity among the states is a vital NRA-ILA policy goal. NRA is currently working to enact National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity legislation that would require a given state to recognize the Right-to-Carry permits issued by all other states. In a recent interview with the National Journal, NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox called National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity NRA-ILA’s “No.1 legislative priority.”

    (We are closer than ever to making national reciprocity a reality, but we need your help to succeed!  Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to cosponsor and support passage of S.446– the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017– in the Senate, and H.R.38 — the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017– in the House. You can contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative by phone at (202) 224-3121, or click here to Take Action.)  

    In the meantime, NRA-ILA is hard at work to facilitate and encourage unilateral and bilateral Right-to-Carry recognition between the states. Moreover, in states like Virginia, NRA has worked to pass legislation providing outright recognition for Right-to-Carry permits from all other jurisdictions.

    Eliminating a state’s Right-to-Carry permitting structure would throw the existing reciprocity framework into disarray, strip current carry permit holders of this important protection, and deprive gun owners in a permitless/constitutional carry state the ability to use a permit in order to carry throughout other portions of the country. Once again, NRA is for expanding options and opportunities for those who seek to exercise their Right-to-Carry, not eliminating them.

    NICS Exempt Permits

    Many state Right-to-Carry permits exempt the holder from having to submit themselves to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) when they purchase a firearm.

    18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(3) provides that a Federal Firearms Licensee (gun dealer) can forego performing a NICS check on a prospective firearms transferee if, 

    (i) such other person has presented to the licensee a permit that—

    (I) allows such other person to possess or acquire a firearm; and

    (II) was issued not more than 5 years earlier by the State in which the transfer is to take place; and

    (ii) the law of the State provides that such a permit is to be issued only after an authorized government official has verified that the information available to such official does not indicate that possession of a firearm by such other person would be in violation of law;

    ATF is tasked with determining whether a state’s Right-to-Carry permit qualifies as NICS exempt, and publishes its decisions in their Permanent Brady Permit Chart. Unfortunately, ATF ambiguously interprets this statutory exemption and adds their own cryptic requirements that a permit must meet in order to qualify.

    Nonetheless, NRA-ILA has encouraged ATF to recognize state Right-to-Carry permits that meet 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(3)’s discrete statutory requirements as NICS exempt. Moreover, NRA-ILA has worked with states to navigate ATF’s criteria in order to provide this important benefit to their Right-to-Carry permit holders.

    At present, 27 states have Right-to-Carry permits that qualify under ATF’s criteria as NICS exempt. This total includes eight permitless/constitutional states.

    NICS exemption provides prospective gun purchasers with a more efficient, and in some case vital, means of acquiring firearms. Roughly 11 percent of NICS checks are delayed for additional review, while only about 1.3 percent of the delayed transactions result in a denial. This means that a significant portion of prospective gun purchasers are delayed from acquiring a firearm through no fault of their own.

    Moreover, due to the nature of the NICS, an individual who experiences one delay is likely to experience a delay each time they try to purchase a firearm. For people who experience repeated delays, the FBI operates the Voluntary Appeal File process, through which a gun owner consents to register their personal information with the FBI in order to expedite the NICS check procedure. Some gun owners have reported delays in acquiring firearms even after complying with this onerous scheme.

    Obtaining a NICS exempt Right-to-Carry permit is often a more attractive option for those seeking to extricate themselves from this federal bureaucratic entanglement.

    The record could not be clearer: NRA is not pushing to eliminate Right-to-Carry permits.

    As with all media falsehoods, gun rights supporters should do their best to call out misleading headlines before they can poison the public debate on these important issues.

    It is yet unclear as to whether the offending headlines were motivated by anti-gun bias or were merely the result of ignorance. Such determinations are difficult, as experience has shown the two to be highly correlated and equally prevalent in the mainstream media.


    Urge your US Senators and US Representative to Support Concealed Carry Reciprocity!

    Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to cosponsor and support passage of S.446 — the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017– in the Senate, and H.R.38 — the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017– in the House.


  • Steadfast Czechs Fight on Against EU Gun Control

    The European Union’s new restrictions on firearms ownership were finalized on May 24, when the misguided changes to the European Firearms Directive were published in the political bloc’s Official Journal. Despite this setback, the Czech Republic has made clear that the country will continue its fight for European firearms freedom.

    To quickly recap, following the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, the EU expedited plans to curtail gun ownership across the political union. Of most concern to European gun owners was a new restriction on the ownership of certain types of semi-automatic firearms. However, the legislation also included more stringent requirements for member state-issued firearms licenses, and measures that implicated gun owner privacy. After significant negotiations between the European Parliament and European Council to reform the European Commission’s flawed draft, the final contours of the legislation were agreed to last December. Since the announcement of the European Commission’s draft proposal, the Czech Republic has been among the harshest critics of the gun control legislation. 

    On June 14, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced the country’s intention to challenge the new restrictions in the European Court of Justice. Reporting on the development, Agence France-Presse quoted Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec, who stated, “We cannot allow the EU to interfere in the position of member states and their citizens under the guise of fighting terrorism” adding, “I’m not happy about the complaint but we have no other option.”

    The move came after deliberation by the Czech government, during which some Czech politicians were reluctant to challenge the new controls. However, throughout the process, Chovanec was adamant about the need to confront the new restrictions. On June 8, the Czech News Agency reported that the Interior Minister viewed the EU’s arguments about thwarting terrorism a “mere pretext” to impose the new controls. Expressing his severe disdain for the EU’s gun controls, Chovanec noted “In my opinion, the directive should not be implemented even if it meant that Europe will sanction the country.”

    The Czech Republic has a strong tradition of civilian gun ownership and firearms manufacturing, and in recent years has made significant efforts to protect their proud heritage. In addition to confronting the changes to the European Firearms Directive directly, some Czech politicians have supported a change to the Czech constitution that would guarantee the right to keep and bear arms. Further, in July 2016, Czech President Milos Zeman expressed his support for an armed citizenry to confront terrorist threats.

    The Czechs have until August 17 to file their formal complaint against the new European Firearms Directive with the European Court of Justice. NRA-ILA will continue to follow the Czechs in their crucial struggle for freedom and apprise U.S. gun owners of any new developments.

  • Nationwide Firearms Turn-in Not Enough for Australia’s Gun Haters

    On July 1, Australia begins National Firearms Amnesty 2017, the country’s fourth federal firearms buyback (more accurately termed turn-in) or amnesty program since 1987. According to the Australian government, officials hope to capture some of the country’s estimated 260,000 unregistered firearms. The Australian government has also cited the threat of terrorism, and in particular the December 2014 siege on the Lindt Café in Sydney, as justification for the new turn-in. The amnesty period runs to September 30.

    Unlike the confiscatory scheme that followed Australia’s 1996 National Firearms Agreement, which banned most ownership of semi-automatic and pump action rifles and shotguns, the 2017 amnesty is not coupled to any new restrictions on the types of firearms an individual may own. Further, under the current amnesty, firearm owners will not receive any compensation for the firearms they relinquish. To participate in the amnesty, gun owners will have to bring their unregistered firearms to a drop-off point designated by state and territorial authorities.

    In an improvement over the 1997 confiscatory turn-in, gun owners in many cases will be able to choose the final disposition of their unregistered firearms. An individual that has an irrational animus towards guns can choose to have their former firearm destroyed. Those turning in firearms eligible to enter the lawful stream of commerce may also be able to sell the firearm to a licensed dealer.

    Firearms license holders who turn over a firearm they are eligible to own will be allowed to register and retain possession of their gun. Of course, given Australian history, some gun owners might prove justifiably reluctant to make the government aware of their unregistered arms, lest they be targeted in some future confiscation effort.

    [To learn more about the details of Australia’s National Firearms Amnesty, including the specific rules for each state and territory, visit]

    In the U.S., researchers and gun rights advocates have long agreed that turn-ins are ineffective policy. This fact is not lost on all Australian politicians. Liberal Democrat Senator from New South Wales David Leyonjelm, recently said of the 2017 amnesty, “It’s purely for appearance purposes. It won’t do anything to address guns on the street, they’ll end up with grandma’s rusty old shotgun or rifle. Which was never going to be used in crime in the first place.”

    However, that the current amnesty provides an avenue for some unwanted and illegally held firearms to re-enter the lawful stream of commerce is a minor beacon of common sense in Australia’s otherwise misguided gun policy. The Australian government did not come to this sensible policy on its own. According to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia lobbied the government for this measure.

    Of course, this minor concession to reason has been attacked by Australia’s anti-gun community.

    In a radio interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Gun Control Australia Vice-President Roland Browne lamented that some illegally held firearms might find their way into the hands of licensed gun owners. The gun control lobby representative told the interviewer, “This amnesty started off as a public safety measure. In fact, in reality, it is appearing now to be a profit-making venture for firearms dealers.” According to Browne, the ability to move illegally held firearms into the hands of law-abiding gun owners undermines “the integrity of the registration system,” and he would rather “take these guns out of circulation.”

    Australia’s experience with gun control continues to provide important lessons for American gun owners. In the end, the gun control movement is not about getting guns out of “the wrong hands,” or banning certain types of firearms. Despite repeated national turn-ins, gun registration, background checks, gun owner licensing, a ban on semi-automatic and pump-action rifles and shotguns, and the abolition of gun ownership for the purpose of self-defense, groups like Gun Control Australia continue to target Australia’s law-abiding gun owners. Gun Control Australia’s response to the 2017 National Firearms Amnesty further proves that as long as there remain firearms in the hands of private citizens, gun control advocates will continue to work towards their goal of total civilian disarmament.


    James Hodgkinson’s assault on Republican members of Congress was the most serious political assassination in decades. And yet at the same time it was wrapped up by the Capitol Police.

    There was really little for the FBI to do here. Hodgkinson’s motives were fairly clear. He had a list of names of targets. His social media was filled with rants against Republicans. A witness describes him studying the area of his future attack. According to Rep. DeSantis, he asked if the players were Republicans or Democrats.

    This is about as open and shut as anything gets. All the FBi had to do was go through his laptop and phone to confirm that he hadn’t been coordinating with anyone else.

    Except the FBI instead decided to treat Hodgkinson as if he were a Muslim terrorist. And by that I mean launch into a cover-up of his motives.

    Read More…

  • Leftist Atlantic Mag Admits: ‘Democrats Lost Their Way on Immigration’

    Democrats must win back working-class voters from Donald Trump’s blue-and-white-collar coalition — and mere rhetorical support for national unity should do the trick, claims a new article in the Atlantic magazine about the impact of immigration on American politics.

    “Democrats should put immigrants’ learning English at the center of their immigration agenda,” claims Peter Beinart, author of “How the Democrats Lost Their way on Immigration” in the July/August issue of The Atlantic.

    Read More…

  • NJ Court: State Can’t Criminalize Possession of “Pencils” and Other Lawful Objects for Home Self-defense

    It is refreshing to finally see some common sense coming out of a court in NJ, as the state is notoriously known for its illogical and Draconian gun laws that do little more than make felons out of law-abiding gun owners.

    Last week, the Supreme Court of New Jersey upheld the right to lawfully possess and hold a weapon for self-defense in the home, rejecting arguments advanced by the State that would treat a citizen like a criminal for simply answering an angry knock at his own door while holding an object that was legal to possess.

    The case, Montalvo v. State, arose out of a commonplace neighborhood dispute. Daleckis, downstairs of Montalvo, banged on the ceiling to let Montalvo know he was upset about the noise from upstairs. Montalvo then knocked on the Daleckis front door, and, getting no response, threw a table off their shared porch, which he acknowledged was a “stupid” thing to do. Shortly after, Daleckis went to the Montalvo apartment to confront him over the broken table. Montalvo and his wife claimed Daleckis was not just knocking but angrily kicking and slamming on their door. Uncertain of what to expect, Montalvo took the precaution of picking up a machete – used in his work as a roofer and kept with other tools – before opening the door. In the exchange that followed, Daleckis said Montalvo pointed the machete at him, while Montalvo testified he held the machete down the entire time. Both agreed, though, that Montalvo never stepped outside of his own apartment.

    By the time the police arrived, the quarrel had fizzled out (Daleckis ultimately refused to provide a statement to police). Montalvo was arrested on charges that included two weapon possession offenses. The first count, possession with a purpose to use the weapon unlawfully, requires an intent to use the weapon against another’s person or property. The second was a violation of N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-5(d) (knowingly possessing the machete “under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses as it may have”), which prohibits possession of a weapon other than a firearm where the defendant has not yet formed an intent to use the object as a weapon, but possesses it under circumstances in which it is likely to be so used. This second count became the focus of the litigation.

    Because New Jersey law defines a “weapon” as “anything readily capable of lethal use or inflicting serious bodily injury,” Section 2C:39-5(d) criminalizes possession of ordinarily lawful objects (scissors, razors, kitchen knives) in circumstances where the possession is not “manifestly appropriate” for lawful use, regardless of the actual intent of the possessor. This offense is a fourth degree crime, punishable by between three and five years’ incarceration on conviction.

    At Montalvo’s trial, the model instructions to the jury directed that only three elements were necessary for a Section 2C:39-5(d) conviction: a weapon, possessed “knowingly,” in circumstances where a reasonable person would agree the object was likely to be used as a weapon. In response to the jury’s questions about self-defense, the judge advised that self-defense could not justify possession unless the defendant had armed himself as a “spontaneous” response to repel an immediate and compelling danger – anticipatory self-defense did not qualify. So instructed, the jury found Montalvo guilty of the Section 2C:39-5(d) offense but acquitted him on the first charge, and he was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

    In his appeal, Montalvo argued the jury had been misdirected on self-defense, and that his conviction criminalized the possession of an otherwise legal weapon in his home in violation of the Second Amendment. After an appellate court affirmed his conviction and sentence, Montalvo launched a further appeal to the state’s highest court, the Supreme Court of New Jersey. 

    The Attorney General of New Jersey took the unusual step of filing a “friend of the court” brief in the appeal, arguing that, while citizens are entitled to possess lawful weapons in the home for self-defense, the State is concurrently authorized to regulate the manner in which these weapons are possessed. “Everyday objects, which are entirely lawful to possess in their own right, even a pencil, can be used as weapons. The Legislature did not issue a wholesale prohibition on such lawful objects, but rather sought to regulate only the circumstances under which such objects may be possessed.” (Emphasis added.) This brief, consistent with the submissions by the prosecution, claimed the Second Amendment could not apply because Montalvo’s “disproportionate” response, arming himself where there was no “actual threat,” exceeded the boundaries of the right of self-defense in the home. In furtherance of this extremely narrow interpretation, the Attorney General’s brief asked that the court modify the model jury instructions for use in future cases to clarify that weapons for active self-defense in the home could be used only if the person armed himself spontaneously to repel an immediate danger.

    A unanimous Supreme Court of New Jersey rejected this outlandish approach as both unworkable and unsupported by U.S. Supreme Court decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago(extending to “all instruments that constitute bearable arms”).

    Justice Fernandez-Vina, writing for the court, noted at the onset that the case did not demand “an extensive Second Amendment analysis. We need only observe that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to possess weapons, including machetes, in the home for self-defense purposes.” Montalvo’s possession of the machete was lawful and it made no difference “whether his possession was for roofing or for self-defense because either would qualify as a lawful purpose.”

    The interpretation of the law promoted by the State and the Attorney General was inconsistent with the very core of this fundamental right. The right to possess a weapon in the home for self-defense would be almost useless “if one were required to keep the weapon out-of-hand, picking it up only ‘spontaneously’” when and if the circumstances made clear an immediate danger existed. Calibrating the right so exactly to the presence of an immediate danger made it impossible to hold a weapon in anticipation of such potential, but not yet imminent, threats. This did not mean Montalvo could threaten the use of a machete merely for the purpose of inciting fear in another, but it did mean he could answer his door simply holding a weapon.

    The court reversed the judgment below confirming the conviction and remanded the case; at the same time, the court directed a review and revision of the jury charge for Section 2C:39-5(d) offenses. The revision language, as suggested by the court, would clarify that possession of a lawful weapon in one’s home could not form the basis of a conviction under Section 2C:39-5(d); that a person may possess, in the home, objects that serve multiple lawful purposes, including the purpose of anticipatory self-defense; and that a person who responds to the door of his home with a concealed weapon that threatens no one acts within the bounds of the law.

    Although we welcome this common sense ruling by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, this case affords yet another illustration of the importance of the courts and how dependent, in practice, the exercise of Second Amendment rights is on what any particular court considers to be the boundaries of the law. Since the Supreme Court’s rulings in Heller and McDonald, there have been all too many judges that have concluded the right to keep and bear arms is some kind of second-class constitutional right.

  • UK: Police Commissioner Suggests Value of Armed Citizenry, is Quickly Rebuffed

    Every once in a great while, an independent-minded United Kingdom official is overcome with a bout of common sense on firearms. However, such outbursts of reason are typically short-lived, as the gun control apostate becomes the immediate target of the country’s anti-gun establishment politicians and media. Such was the case in 2014, when former Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party and Member of the European Parliament Nigel Farage had the temerity to point out that the UK’s handgun ban is “ludicrous” and call for its repeal.

    Following the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London, Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez was taken by a similar case of logic. During a June 12 appearance on BBC Radio Cornwall, Hernandez suggested that armed citizens could provide an important response to a terrorist violence.

    According to an account and audio of Hernandez’s BBC appearance made available by the Guardian, a caller – who is a firearms dealer — to the radio show asked the police commissioner, “If there should ever be a terrorist attack, what happens if I and other people try to defend themselves using those guns? What would be the repercussions?” After lauding the caller’s question, Hernandez responded that such an armed response “might be some of our solution to our issues.”

    The audibly dumbfounded BBC host, called the caller’s proposal “vigilantism,” going on to question the caller’s ability to properly handle and use firearms. Even after the host’s initial derisive comments, Hernandez defended her position stating, “I’m just saying, let’s officially have a look at that and see what would be the implications of it…. We work with businesses to keep our communities safe. I’d really be interested in exploring that with the chief constable.”

    Unfortunately, Hernandez’s rational position was lost on Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer and Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton. The same day as Hernandez’s interview, Netherton issued a response to the police commissioner’s comments that appears to foreclose even a discussion about the use of private firearms to stop a terrorist threat.

    In the release, Netherton noted that during an attack, “highly trained police firearms officers and Special Forces will be deployed to protect our communities,” and that “Under no circumstances would we want members of the public to arm themselves with firearms, not least because officers responding would not know who the offenders were, and quite obviously they would not have the time to ask.”

    Netherton also reiterated official UK response policy, stating, “Our message to the public is a simple one: to run, to hide and to tell.” This charge is a noticeably neutered version of the United States Department of Homeland Security’s “Run, Hide, Fight.”

    Just as disturbing as the UK’s disrespect of the fundamental right to self-defense is the ongoing effort by the UK’s political and media establishment to preclude any debate on the topic. Nigel Farage’s comments on the handgun ban were met with “fury,” with one opposing lawmaker dismissing Farage’s Ukip party as “extremely dangerous.” The BBC host dismissed Hernandez’s comments and the caller’s question out of hand. Likewise, Netherton released a statement refuting Hernandez’s position without exploration or discussion. Far from radical, Hernandez’s thoughts on fighting terrorism are shared by former Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

    Such foreclosure of discourse is unbecoming a so-called liberal democracy. Today’s UK would do well to rediscover the great English classical liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill, as his work on the merits of free thought and vigorous discourse appears to be foreign to most of its subjects.

  • Rotary Turns 180 Degrees on Restrictive Firearm Policies

    In March, we reported on a series of restrictive policies governing firearms that had been approved by the governing body of the well-known networking and service club, Rotary International. This week came a welcome turn of events, as the club’s board of directors announced that the rules, which had been set to take effect July 1, have undergone substantial “clarification.”

    The policies as originally announced in January had banned any Rotary entity – including clubs and districts – from selling, raffling, or transferring firearms. It also banned these entities from participating in activities where any sort of firearm raffle or other transfer occurs, whether or not Rotary is the owner of the items. Rotary entities were additionally prohibited from sponsoring or conducting gun shows or other exhibitions involving guns and even from “accept[ing] sponsorship from any entity whose primary business is the sale or manufacturer of guns, weapons or other armaments.

    Rotary’s board of directors had cited “financial and reputational risk” as justification for the rules.  

    A number of Rotary’s American members, however, spoke out in opposition to the new rules. Fortunately, their voices were heard, and Rotary announced changes to the rules this week.

    Under the revised guidelines, Rotary entities are expressly authorized to “participate in activities involving the sale, give-away or transfer, including raffles, of guns, weapons or other armaments ….” The entity, however, must not “take ownership of the item(s)” and any transfer of ownership of a firearm must be “handled by a licensed third party in compliance with all applicable laws.” 

    Entities engaging in activities that involve firearms, including sport shooting activities, are further required “to consult with legal and/or insurance professionals to ensure that they are adequately protected.”

    The ban on sponsorship of Rotary activities by firearm-related companies was also lifted.

    An email announcing the changes said they were made “in response to comments from our members ….”

    The NRA is very pleased that Rotary has reconsidered its position and will continue to allow its entities to conduct these popular events. It speaks well of the club that it was willing to chart a more moderate path in response to member concerns.

  • Goodyear Fires Australian Competitive Shooter over Simple Miscommunication

    In the United States there have been a handful of high-profile incidents in which an employer has terminated an employee following the employee’s use of a gun in self-defense while at the workplace. In recent years, NRA has worked with state lawmakers to pass worker protection – or parking lot –  legislation that ensures employees are able to carry a firearm to and from the workplace and store a firearm in their vehicle while at work even if the vehicle is parked on company property.

    Given the problems American employees have faced in exercising their right to self-defense, and the lengths NRA has gone in order to help protect workers’ Right-to-Carry, one can imagine the severe challenges that face gun-owning employees in a hysterical anti-gun society like Australia.

    In October 2008, David Waters became the first Australian to earn the Distinguished Rifleman Badge for excellence in High Power Rifle shooting. The achievement was the culmination of a lifetime of dedication to the shooting sports. At the time, Waters told the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s online magazine that “it took over 170,000 kilometers (105,570 miles) in travel; $45,000, 6,000 rounds of ammunition and 50 actual shooting days to accomplish [the] feat.” A well-rounded competitor, Waters has also competed in shotgun and pistol disciplines. 

    Waters’ shooting sports prowess is without question. However, despite this lifelong display of responsible gun ownership, Waters’ pursuit of his passion would end up costing him his job. 

    In 2015, Waters worked for tiremaker Goodyear in Parramatta, New South Wales. In July of that year, Waters was contacted by another sports shooter who sought his advice concerning an accessory for a target rifle. Unable to meet the person that weekend due to an international trip, Waters agreed to meet him in the Goodyear parking lot during Waters’ lunch break.

    Waters had anticipated that the individual would bring only the rifle accessory to the meeting. However, in a simple case of miscommunication, he brought both the accessory and the corresponding target rifle.

    The parking lot was visible to the public, and somehow police were alerted to the presence of the rifle. Being Australia, sixteen police officers responded to the scene. In the course of a brief police investigation, officers accompanied Waters into his workplace in order to retrieve his identification. Waters was not charged with any wrongdoing.

    Immediately following the incident, Goodyear suspended Waters without pay. Following a perfunctory hearing, Waters was fired for jeopardizing the safety and security of his fellow employees and Goodyear assets. The fact that Waters did not bring the firearm onto the company’s property, had no knowledge that his fellow shooter would bring the rifle, and that the rifle was never handled in a manner that would pose a danger to any person or property was of little concern to Goodyear.

    After his termination, Waters filed a complaint with Australia’s Fair Work Commission. Following a hearing, Waters was awarded $8,600 due to Goodyear’s hasty conduct in the matter. However, the commission failed to reinstate Waters to his former position.

    In an effort to help Waters and prevent such an injustice from happening to other members of the shooting community, Liberal Democrat Senator for New South Wales David Leyonhjelm has taken up Water’s cause. In a series of floor speeches in the Australian Parliament, Leyonhjelm criticized Goodyear and the Fair Work Commission and defended Waters and Australia’s shooters. In one of the speeches, Leyonhjelm remarked, “We Australians are rightly proud of our Olympic, Commonwealth Games, and world championship shooters and the medals they regularly bring home. Unfortunately, it seems the rest of the time they are treated as presumptive criminals. It has to stop.”

                    Sen. David Leyonhjelm’s speeches on this topic can be viewed here and here. 

    NRA-ILA Grassroots Alert readers and other astute gun rights supporters might recognize Leyonhjelm for his tireless work advocating on behalf of Australia’s gun owners. In 2016, Leyonhjelm used his unique position in Australia’s parliament to cut a deal to provide Australian shooters with better access to the Adler Arms A-110 lever-action shotgun (Australia has a ban on semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns). In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Western democracies, Leyonhjelm has advocated that Australians should be permitted access to non-lethal and lethal means of self-defense.

    While Goodyear’s treatment of Waters was even more egregious than many of the cases that have led to gun owner firings here in the U.S., this incident is instructive. Given the fanaticism of many gun control supporters, as well as certain corporations’ aspirations to be perceived as politically correct, it is not difficult to imagine a similar scenario resulting in the termination of an American worker. That is why gun rights supporters must work together to bring attention to such injustices when they arise and support legislation that protects workers’ Second Amendment rights.