New York City Guns archive
Category : Politics

Unethical as HELL: How De Blasio ran political campaigns out of City Hall

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Published on: April 24, 2016

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Bill de Blasio and his team brazenly ran political campaigns straight out of City Hall, according to state investigators.

The administration was still reeling Saturday from a state Board of Elections memo that alleged City Hall made “willful and flagrant” violations of campaign finance law by steering unions and deep-pocketed donors to indirectly funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to three upstate Democrats running for the state Senate.

The big-money donors would cut six-digit checks to county Democratic committees, which would then send the money to the campaigns, thus circumventing legal caps on contributions.

“The entire fund-raising and campaign operation was run from City Hall by de Blasio staff,” read the stunning findings by Risa Sugarman, chief enforcement counsel for the state Board of Elections.

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De Blasio used ‘slush fund’ to support faulty pre-K programs

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Published on: April 24, 2016

turrible

Mayor de Blasio’s office arranged for a nonprofit fund to loan $1.36 million to four private pre-kindergarten programs too troubled to get city contracts. Now it wants to use taxpayer money to repay the loans.

Education watchdogs say the mayor side-stepped procedures that guard against waste and abuse by asking the Fund for the City of New York to finance the faulty pre-K vendors.

“It’s like using a slush fund to avoid their own procurement rules,” said Patrick Sullivan, a former member of the Panel for Educational Policy, which votes on Department of Education contracts.

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How the city knew about, and tried to undo, $116M nursing-home flip

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Published on: April 24, 2016

Star Trek Laughter

Mayor de Blasio said on March 28 that he had only recently learned about a controversial deal to turn a Lower East Side nursing home into luxury condos, and only after reading about it in the press.

But a month before he made this statement, panicked officials at the highest levels of his administration were offering millions of dollars to undo the deal — aware that they had made a huge mistake, The Post has learned.

On Feb. 24, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen’s chief of staff frantically offered a $16.1 million refund to The Allure Group, which had paid the fee to get a deed restriction lifted on the property at 45 Rivington St. The deed change allowed Allure to sell the property to a luxury-condo ­developer for $116 million.

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More than 60,000 disgruntled Pennsylvania Democrats switch parties

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Published on: April 24, 2016

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A retired middle school principal was so moved by Donald Trump that he switched his Democratic Party registration so he can vote for him in Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary.

So did the daughter of a steelworker, who twice voted for President Barack Obama but says she is “over” the Democrats’ political correctness.

And a husband-wife team of Trump volunteers — she’s a laid-off airport worker, he’s a laid-off truck driver — were Democrats for 30 years, until recently.

“We always voted Democrat,” said Laurie McGinnis, as her husband Ricky hung a Trump banner outside their South Greensburg home. “But not any more.”

Some of these newly minted Pennsylvania Republicans are formalizing a process that began with Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, when conservative-leaning Democrats began shifting away from the party in the faded industrial state.

Others moved abruptly, inspired by Trump and fed up with a party they say no longer speaks their language.

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Colorado Campus Carry: 12 Years, No Mass Shootings, No Crimes by Permit Holders

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Published on: April 24, 2016

Concealed Carrier Perk

On April 20, The Washington Post ran a column showing that campus carry has been the law of the land in Colorado since 2003, and the results have not been anything like those currently fighting against campus carry claim it should be.

There have been no mass shootings and, apart from one incident in which a gun was accidentally discharged by a Colorado University employee, there have been no crimes by permit holders.

No one was injured in the accidental discharge, and the employee was fired.

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The mayor is going down! (Commie De Blasio Caught Red Handed…)

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Published on: April 24, 2016

De Fagsio

Less than a week ago, Mayor de Blasio was offering aid to Ecuadorians after the earthquake there. Now a political earthquake is rocking City Hall and the mayor is the one who needs help.

The report from the state Board of Elections that accuses him and his team of “willful and flagrant” violations of campaign-finance laws immediately changes everything.

The veneer of business as usual is shredded. Never again can de Blasio wave off questions about the mushrooming investigations of his administration. As revelations pile up day after day, allies will desert him and the Putz will find himself a very lonely man.

There is no way to sugarcoat the facts: de Blasio is in trouble. Maybe very big trouble.

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Veteran psychiatrist calls liberals mentally ill

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Published on: April 24, 2016

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Just when liberals thought it was safe to start identifying themselves as such, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder.

“Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded,” says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, “The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.” “Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave.”

While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to “the vast right-wing conspiracy.”

For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.

Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by both Barack Obama and his Democratic primary opponent Hillary Clinton can only be understood as a psychological disorder.

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New York City: One Law for the Rich, Another for the Average

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Published on: April 24, 2016

Fear

Somewhere, Big Tim Sullivan might be laughing. Over 100 years after the enactment of New York City’s handgun licensing law (commonly referred to as the Sullivan Act), the measure is still working as the political boss intended. That is to say, it is ensuring that New Yorkers who are well-connected, either by status or more nefarious channels, are able to arm themselves with handguns, while average residents remain at the mercy of the criminal element.

It is important to make clear that the description of the corruption case that follows is a summary of allegations contained within a federal complaint, and that at this point none of the individuals alleged to be involved in the corruption case have been convicted.

On Sunday, authorities arrested Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein on bribery and conspiracy charges relating to alleged efforts to bribe an NYPD officer in order to obtain handgun licenses, and previous successful attempts to do the same. The arrest was part of a wide-ranging Federal probe into corruption at the NYPD. New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told the New York Post that the unfolding scandal is the worst for the department since the period surrounding the Knapp Commission in the early 1970s; an era of rampant corruption made famous in the film Serpico.

A complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York outlines Lichtenstein’s alleged license-purchasing scheme. According to the document, starting in 2014, Lichtenstein developed a relationship with a sergeant at the NYPD License Division with the authority to approve gun license applications, listed in the complaint as “Sergeant-1”. From an undetermined point in 2014 to early 2016, Lichtenstein frequented the License Division “on a nearly daily basis.”

The complaint notes that during this time period, Lichtenstein “charged his customers $18,000 per gun license” in exchange for his help in acquiring a handgun license. An officer who worked with Sergeant-1 and conducted investigations for the License Division told a federal investigator that Lichtenstein would provide him and Sergeant-1 with cash bribes he termed “lunch money,” consisting of “a hundred dollars.”

The complaint alleges that at some point in late 2015 or early 2016 the Commanding Officer of the License Division “banished” Lichtenstein from the License Division. Shut out from his connection within the License Division, in early April, Lichtenstein approached an NYPD officer outside the License Division and offered him a bribe for his assistance in acquiring handgun licenses. Rather than comply with Lichtenstein’s request, the officer reported the attempted bribery to the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

Now working with the FBI and IAB, the officer agreed to meet with Lichtenstein while wearing a wire. During their conversation, Lichtenstein allegedly offered the officer $6,000 for each license the officer could help him acquire. Lichtenstein went on to tell the officer that in the last year he had helped individuals obtain 150 licenses and suggested to the officer that if he cooperated he could make $900,000. Lichtenstein also noted that he was engaged in the previous licensing arrangement “for the past year or two or three.”

The process of obtaining a handgun license in New York City is incredibly difficult. The application fee alone is $340.00, with an additional $89.75 charged as a fingerprinting fee. Applicants must submit to a lengthy application process that includes a personal interview. The Rules of the City of New York make clear that applicants can be denied on frivolous or nebulous grounds, including “a poor driving history,” “a lack of candor towards lawful authorities,” and the catch-all “other good cause for the denial of the license.” Another criteria for denial is “a history of one or more incidents of domestic violence.” According to the complaint, Lichtenstein allegedly had little trouble bypassing these criteria, acquiring a handgun license for an individual who had “been involved in four car accidents; been arrested for forgery; received three vehicle-related summonses; received approximately ten moving violations; and had been the subject of at least four domestic violence complaints, including one in which he was accused of threatening to kill someone.”

While the breadth of Lichtenstein and his accomplices’ alleged scheme might shock some, it’s unlikely the nature of the crime will come as a surprise to gun rights supporters. When the government has discretionary power over who may or may not obtain a license or permit to possess or carry a firearm, there is ample opportunity for official misconduct.

Notably, in addition to allowing for bribery and favoritism, discretionary licensing laws empower those with racial biases to deprive the targets of their bias from acquiring or carrying firearms. In fact, there is evidence that part of the intent of the enactment of the Sullivan Law in 1911, which made it illegal to possess a handgun in one’s own home without a license, was to target disfavored minority groups. Others have suggested that Sullivan intended to wield the new law against his political enemies.

As we previously pointed out in this journal, authors Lee Kennett and James LaVerne explain in their book The Gun in America, part of which uses excerpts from a contemporary New York Tribune Article, the thinking of the time period:

It had long been held that pistols were found “chiefly in the pockets of ignorant and quarrelsome immigrants of lawbreaking propensities.” The Italian populations seemed particularly addicted to criminality (the Tribune’s annual index frequently crosslisted the entries “Crime” and “Italians”). As early as 1903 the authorities had begun to cancel pistol permits in the Italian sections of the city.

The authors later add,

Added to this rising concern was a disturbing and alien element. The public had always been sensitive to the dangers of armed minorities such as blacks and Indians, but this concern took on new dimensions as cities filled with unassimilated masses of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe…

May-issue firearms licensing, as vividly illustrated by New York City’s experience, offers the opportunity to indulge prejudices and engage in unscrupulous dealing. These are some of the reasons why NRA works tirelessly to limit government discretion in firearms licensing. In this field, NRA’s greatest success has come with the Right-to-Carry revolution of the last three decades, which has seen shall-issue concealed carry permitting laws enacted in all but a handful of jurisdictions. NRA will continue to work to reform discretionary licensing procedures, until all law-abiding Americans can confidently and efficiently acquire the means of self-defense.

Hypocrisy on Firearms Enforcement? Congressman Beyer, Heal Thyself!

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Published on: April 24, 2016

Liar

On April 11, U.S. Rep. Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (D-VA) rolled out his so-called ATF Enforcement Act, H.R. 4905 in an opinion piece in the Washington Post. Beyer claimed hypocrisy on the part of NRA and other pro-gun advocates who claim existing laws are not being adequately enforced. “We should call their bluff,” he wrote.

Those are big words coming from the author of a bill he claims would “remove obstacles in [ATF’s] path, while also removing provisions in the law that keep ATF from being abolished.” Either Beyer has not read his own legislation, or his version of “protect[ing] communities from violent criminals” includes registering law-abiding gun purchasers in a national database and other practices Congress has long repudiated because they diverted resources away from serious crime control.

As longtime Second Amendment advocates know, the history of ATF is the history of an agency trying to get its priorities straight. ATF has from its inception suffered from a tendency to focus on technical violations of complex regulations at the expense of individuals or businesses acting in good faith, rather than actually going after dangerous people who misuse firearms for criminal ends.

Scholar Dave Hardy explained how the original Gun Control Act of 1968 “was an invitation—actually, dozens of invitations —for [bureaucratic] abuse” and how ATF “began as a small branch of the IRS, mostly directed at shutting down ‘moonshiners’ in the rural South.” As Hardy put it, “they had been trained to bust moonshiners in the hills, not to make undercover buys in the inner city, which could be quite dangerous. Many turned to making cases against targets that were easier and safer to deal with—namely, gun collectors and dealers.”

Hardy wrote that account in the context of examining 1986’s Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA), which was Congress’ first major reaction to these bureaucratic abuses and misdirection of effort. Since that time, however, Congress has continued to keep ATF on track through defunding agency initiatives that primarily affect law-abiding gun owners and merchants instead of addressing violent crime. In all these situations, the goal (or outcome) has never been to handicap ATF from pursuing violent criminals but, indeed, to encourage the agency and free up its resources to do just that.

Beyer’s bill does absolutely nothing to expand ATF’s capacity to strike at the heart of crime. Rather, it simply revisits a generation worth of appropriations riders that Congress passed to protect law-abiding Americans from allowing the Gun Control Act to be used as a political cudgel against America’s tradition of lawful firearm ownership. Needless to say, this political abuse has only increased under President Obama’s watch, with outrages such as the Fast & Furious scandal and the administration’s attempt to ban, by executive fiat, one of the most popular types of ammunition for America’s most popular rifle.

The appropriations riders that Beyer’s bill would repeal include those that:

  • Prohibit using the records of federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) — including records concerning which customers legally bought which firearms — from being centralized into a searchable, electronic federal registry;
  • Require personally-identifying records of lawful firearm sales, generated via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to be deleted within 24 hours (sales that are denied by NICS may already be retained);
  • Prohibit exactly the scenario we warned of in January, in which casual private sellers are pressured into becoming federal licensees, only to have their licenses revoked for low “business” volume;
  • Prohibit nosy media outlets and antigun activists from filing Freedom of Information Requests on mandatory FFL reports regarding customers who buy multiple handguns (these reports are filed with and available to law enforcement agencies already);
  • Prohibit the release of firearm trace information to antigun groups and trial lawyers so it can be misrepresented to the public (again, this information remains available to law enforcement agencies for legitimate enforcement efforts);
  • Require ATF to remind those who do obtain trace information of its limits in extrapolating broad conclusions about the entire universe or sources of “crime guns;”
  • Ban the importation of various collectible and popular firearms that already exist in large numbers in America (and have been previously imported lawfully) through increasingly restrictive interpretations of the law; and
  • Prohibit ATF’s functions or activities from being reassigned to other agencies.

Nothing in these riders prevents ATF from using traditional law enforcement investigative techniques and strategies to make cases against violent criminals who are using firearms to perpetrate their offenses or those who are intentionally supplying criminals with firearms. Indeed, law enforcement professionals (including ATF itself) have opposed the sort of release of firearm trace data that Beyer’s bill would allow.

Beyer’s Bill would also remove the Senate from the process of appointing ATF’s director. Why this should be a concern to a gun control advocate like Beyer is unclear. The U.S. Senate confirmed B. Todd Jones, President Obama’s nominee to head the agency, in 2013. They certainly can’t be blamed for Jones’s lackluster tenure or his decision to resign less than two years after his appointment.

Substance, however, is not the point of Beyer’s Act. Rather, it is a silly and ham-handed attempt to “send a message” that anybody familiar with federal firearms law will immediately recognize as nothing more than election year political grandstanding that would have no real impact on violent crime if passed.

Professor: “How can I say I don’t want to support students who are gun enthusiasts…”

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Published on: April 24, 2016

More evidence that America’s institutions of higher education have given up any pretense of providing a bastion for the free exchange of ideas came this week in the form of a commentary published in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The piece, authored by an anonymous college professor, explains the author’s reluctance to write a recommendation for a former student after promising to do so. The student’s sin? She exercises her Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

It’s no secret that the faculty at America’s colleges and universities have an overarching political bent. Newspapers and online resources are replete with accounts of students facing ridicule or worse for sharing conflicting political opinions; and some researchers have done testing and surveying to expose the biases in academia. While sizeable portions of the U.S. population ranging across the political spectrum enjoy firearm ownership and respect our Second Amendment rights, the left-wing orthodoxy prevalent at many schools is decidedly anti-gun. However, even in this hostile environment, the piece in the Chronicle stands out as particularly bigoted.

In a practice that has become cliché, the author starts the piece by explaining that she grew up in a house with firearms; which, of course, grants her the authority to pass judgement on all of America’s 100 million gun owners. The professor then introduces us to her gun-owning student, making sure to politely denigrate her academic prowess, writing, “Her academic abilities were not strong but she had great energy and was a class leader. Definitely a process, and not a content, type of gal.” This is followed by a similarly condescending portrayal of the largely pro-gun community surrounding the school.

The author goes on to explain that at some point in the last year the student asked her for a recommendation for the student’s application to a teacher-credential program. The professor agreed to write the recommendation, but following a high-profile shooting and recalling the student’s gun ownership, she is having second thoughts.

To justify her intolerance of the student’s choice to exercise her rights, the author projects her own father’s struggles with mental illness onto the student. The piece cites no evidence of erratic behavior or a propensity for violence on the part of the student. The professor only learned that the student enjoyed firearms after the student shared and account of a range trip with her class, and when the professor overheard the student telling a classmate about acquiring a Right-to-Carry permit. Despite this, the author writes, “I don’t know if [the student] understands emotions, or what rage feels like. It seems to me no person who has truly experienced the full impact of their own emotions would ever go near a gun.”

Later on, the professor is more frank, finally admitting, “How can I say I don’t want to support students who are gun enthusiasts without getting put on some sort of list?”

This episode comes on the heels of other high-profile instances of anti-gun college faculty revealing the severe extent of their bias. In a 2015 Newsweek piece titled “Will Guns on Campus Lead to Grade Inflation,” Texas Woman’s University Professor of Sociology Jessica Smart Gullion declared her opposition to the Right-to-Carry on campus by posing to readers, “Will we soon see a new sort of grade inflation, with students earning a 4.0 GPA with their firepower rather than brainpower?” More recently, University of North Dakota Professor Heidi Czerwiec penned a letter to the Grand Forks Herald regarding her intention to call 911 every time the ROTC program drills with firearms on campus. Czerwiec contended that the ROTC program’s use of firearms during on campus exercises was “highly inappropriate” and “irresponsible.”

As ridiculous as these instances are, it is safe to say the author of the Chronicle item broke fresh ground in academic intolerance of gun owners and gun rights supporters by openly admitting that she allows her prejudices to govern academic decisions. While this screed will certainly live in infamy, we have no doubt that another narrow-minded professor will eventually come along to set a new low.

Hillary Blames Guns, Not Criminals

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Published on: April 24, 2016

Hillary - I Am Not a Crook

Despite a litany of rebukes from news outlets and organizations that normally provide her with a steady stream of fawning coverage, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton refuses to abandon her misleading statements blaming Vermont’s gun laws for New York’s crime problems. Moreover, her continued defense of the deceptive talking point has provided a disturbing glimpse into the depths of her distorted views on firearms.

During the April 14 Democratic debate in Brooklyn, New York, CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer pressed Clinton about her attacks on Vermont. Blitzer asked Clinton, “why did you put out that statement blaming Vermont and its gun policy for some of the death of — by guns in New York?” In part of her response, Clinton stated, “Well, the facts are that most of the guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from out of state.”

“the guns that end up committing crimes”

First, Clinton’s misleading claim relies on the use of ATF firearms trace data. The fact that a firearm was traced does not mean it was used in a crime. The following disclaimer accompanies publications of ATF trace data to make this fact clear:


Firearm traces are designed to assist law enforcement authorities in conducting investigations by tracking the sale and possession of specific firearms. Law enforcement agencies may request firearms traces for any reason, and those reasons are not necessarily reported to the federal government. Not all firearms used in crime are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime. Firearms selected for tracing are not chosen for purposes of determining which types, makes or models of firearms are used for illicit purposes. The firearms selected do not constitute a random sample and should not be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms used by criminals, or any subset of that universe. Firearms are normally traced to the first retail seller, and sources reported for firearms traced do not necessarily represent the sources or methods by which firearms in general are acquired for use in crime.


The more disturbing issue is that Clinton’s statement suggests that she believes firearms are somehow responsible for committing crimes, rather than the individuals who misuse firearms. Gun rights supporters have long noted that gun control activists have misplaced their focus on the tool used by a criminal perpetrator rather than the perpetrator themselves. The simple, yet undeniable, pro-gun response to these gun controllers is the oft-repeated “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

However, Clinton’s recent comments stand out as maybe the most vivid illustration of the gun control movement’s perverse logic. While many gun control supporters may casually utter some version of “guns kill people,” few would anthropomorphize firearms to the extent that they would claim guns commit crimes.

In criminal law, in order to be convicted of a crime such as murder or armed robbery, the prosecution must prove that the perpetrator had the necessary guilty mindset, or mens rea, as an element of the offense. When Clinton contends that guns commit crimes, she is imparting a morally blameworthy mindset onto a piece of steel. Perhaps Clinton would allow prosecutors to charge the individual misusing the firearm as an accomplice.

Rep. Tom Emmer Introduces Firearm Due Process Protection Act

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Published on: April 24, 2016

On Tuesday, Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN) introduced H.R. 4980, the Firearm Due Process Protection Act. This legislation is meant to ensure that eligible firearms purchasers are not arbitrarily denied their right to obtain firearms. The Act would afford those who are denied a firearm purchase by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) an effective and expeditious means of correcting any misinformation that would erroneously cause such a result.

In January, we reported on the alarming news that the FBI had “temporarily” suspended work on processing appeals of denials issued by NICS. The backlog of pending appeals at the time stood at 7,100. As we noted in that article, FBI data from 2014 showed that some 5% of the denials rendered by NICS that year were later overturned on appeal, meaning 4,411 people who had initially been erroneously denied were later able to vindicate their rights.

Of course not every person who is wrongfully denied will necessarily wade through the considerable bureaucracy necessary to challenge that decision. And the FBI’s figures account only for NICS checks processed directly by the FBI and not by the 21 states that handle some or all of the firearm purchase background checks for their jurisdictions. Thus, the actual number of wrongful denials is undoubtedly much higher.

Current law does provide for an appeal process, but it does not establish deadlines for action on appeals or provide consequences for the FBI’s failure to act on them. Even before the FBI stopped processing NICS appeals altogether, the turnaround time for a decision could stretch from several months to more than a year.

Rep. Emmers bill would address these problems in several ways. First, it would require the government to make a final determination on an appeal within 60 days after it received information in support of the claim. If the matter was not resolved within this timeframe, the individual would have the right to bring an action in federal court for a declaratory judgment on the person’s eligibility to receive and possess a firearm; a hearing would have to be held within 30 days after the action is brought.

If the government cannot establish the individual’s ineligibility at the hearing, the court would be required to issue an order for the government to correct or remove the erroneous records of NICS within five business days and to award the individual attorney’s fees and costs for the action.

Due process is a fundamental pillar of the American constitutional system. The purpose of Rep. Emmer’s bill is not to weaken NICS but to ensure that it functions as intended, blocking only legally prohibited individuals and not those who are misidentified or the victim of other bureaucratic mistakes.

As Rep. Emmer stated in introducing the bill, “Two months is a reasonable amount of time to run a background check and correct false information. Above all, citizens must always have recourse when denied a fundamental right.”

The NRA commends Rep. Emmer’s leadership in this important effort and urges swift consideration of the bill by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Clinton Panders to Party’s Base, Praises Connecticut Gun Ban as a National Model

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Published on: April 24, 2016

Hillary Clinton – growing increasingly frayed over the stubborn persistence of her opponent in the Democratic Party primary – took to Connecticut this week to push her gun control message to what she hoped would be willing ears. No surprise, she combined her dual instincts for bad policy and pandering by embracing a 140-page gun control law the state passed in 2013 as a model for national legislation. Her comments echoed those of Barack Obama, who at the time also pushed for similar federal action, claiming, “Connecticut has shown the way . . .”

In a revealing comment, Clinton told her audience, “I am here to tell you I will use every single minute of every single day if I’m so fortunate enough to be your president looking for ways that we can save lives, that we can change the gun culture.” This was a rare moment of honesty from the would-be president, an admission that she would relentlessly use the power of that office to attack a “culture” that she detests.

And that was exactly what the Connecticut law sought to do – not to reduce crime, not to punish violent behavior, not to target ways criminals actually obtain firearms– but to add needless expense and red tape to discourage ownership of firearms by ordinary, law-abiding people. Falsely styled “An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety,” the bill delivered neither, while outlawing the possession of firearms and magazines that had been legally obtained and throwing roadblocks in the way of lawfully acquiring firearms and ammunition.

The centerpiece of the bill was an expanded ban on AR-15s and other semiautomatic firearms, which, though rarely used in crime, remain among the most popular, fastest selling guns in America today. Also banned were so-called “large capacity magazines,” defined as any magazine that has the capacity to accept, or “can be readily restored or converted to accept,” more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Limited exceptions to these prohibitions applied to people who obtained the items lawfully before the act took effect and who registered them with authorities.

Besides chilling images of Americans queuing up to report themselves to the government simply for having exercised their rights, the registration requirements also produced widespread confusion and non-compliance. Shortly after the law took effect, copies of a letter from the Connecticut State Police surfaced online that had been sent to gun owners who tried to register but had missed the deadline. The letters (supposedly sent as a “public service”) outlined ways for the recipients to permanently dispose of their newly-illegal firearms before they were arrested for possessing them.

The Connecticut law also established new “eligibility certificates” to acquire long guns, including requirements for training, photographs, fingerprints, or any other “method of positive identification required by the State Police.” Ammunition purchases likewise became forbidden without an “ammunition certificate” or one of the state’s other firearm-related licenses or certificates. Each certificate requires the payment of processing fees, in addition to the expense of any required training.

On top of the eligibility certificates for long gun sales, Connecticut added a redundant requirement for a separate background check in the case of a retail sale or private transfer, with additional fees. Needless to say, failure to comply with the transfer formalities would also be a felony.

And that is merely a sampling. The full list of additional restriction and bureaucracy in Connecticut’s 2013 law is considerably longer.

Clinton, like Barack Obama before her, hopes her embrace of gun control will lead to a similar “national movement.” Whether that will ever happen remains to be seen, but in the meantime, the main movement Americans are making on guns is to buy them in unprecedented numbers.

For months, we have reported on Hillary Clinton’s open endorsement of Australian-style confiscatory gun control. While Connecticut hasn’t yet gone that far, her fawning praise for the state’s restrictive laws ahead of its upcoming primary has nothing to do with moderating her position. “[W]e have just too many guns,” Clinton told supporters in Philadelphia early in the week, “On the streets, in our homes, in our neighborhoods.”

Hillary doesn’t just want to stop you from getting a gun. She’s worried about the ones you already have in your homes and the “culture” that recognizes your right to have them. And we have no doubt, should America allow her to ascend to the White House, that she’ll make good on her promise to obsessively pursue every opportunity to make both those guns and America’s Second Amendment heritage disappear.

Former president Bill Clinton was right to stand up to Black Lives Matter, though he’s put his campaigning wife in a tough spot

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Published on: April 24, 2016

Bill Clinton injected a disruptive element into the Democratic presidential campaign yesterday: truth. The question now is: How will his wife recover from this alien intrusion?

The former president was stumping for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia when protesters targeted the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that he had signed into law. The bill lengthened federal sentences for repeat felony offenders and provided federal funding for more state prison construction, among other provisions. Signs bobbing in the audience read: CLINTON CRIME BILL DESTROYED OUR COMMUNITIES and HILLARY IS A MURDERER. A heckler shouted out that Bill Clinton should be charged with crimes against humanity.

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Violent crime has shot up due to the nonstop war on cops waged by Shaun King, Black Lives Matter, and the ACLU

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Published on: April 24, 2016

riot02

Will the anti-cop Left please figure out what it wants? For more than a decade, activists have demanded the end of proactive policing, claiming that it was racist. Pedestrian stops—otherwise known as stop, question, and frisk—were attacked as a bigoted oppression of minority communities. In March 2015, for example, the ACLU of Illinois accused the Chicago Police Department of “targeting” minorities because stops are “disproportionately concentrated in the black community.”

Equally vilified was Broken Windows policing, which responds to low-level offenses such as graffiti, disorderly conduct, and turnstile jumping. Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King launched a petition after the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder “meet with local black and brown youth across the country who are dealing with ‘Zero Tolerance’ and ‘Broken Windows’ policing.”

Well, the police got the message. In response to the incessant accusations of racism and the heightened hostility in the streets that has followed the Michael Brown shooting, officers have pulled back from making investigatory stops and enforcing low-level offenses in many urban areas. As a result, violent crime in cities with large black populations has shot up—homicides in the largest 50 cities rose nearly 17 percent in 2015. And the Left is once again denouncing the police—this time for not doing enough policing. King now accuses police in Chicago of not “doing their job,” as a result of which “people are dying.” Stops in Chicago are down nearly 90 percent this year through the end of March, compared with the same period in 2015; shootings were up 78 percent and homicides up 62 percent through April 10. Over 100 people were shot in the first ten days of 2016. King scoffs at the suggestion that a new 70-question street-stop form imposed on the CPD by the ACLU is partly responsible for the drop-off in engagement. If American police “refuse to do their jobs [i.e., make stops] when more paperwork is required,” he retorts, “it’s symptomatic of an entirely broken system in need of an overhaul.” This is the same King who as recently as October fumed that “nothing happening in this country appears to be slowing [the police] down.”

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