This Week in Gun Rights is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal, legislative and other news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights.
Is it possible Shannon Watts isn’t telling the truth?
On Monday, a team of professors from four universities published a study on whether mothers are more likely than their childless peers to support gun restrictions. Using Pew Research data from 2017, the team examined factors including gender, parenthood, and race.
The short answer to their question is: no. Being a mother does not make you more likely than someone who doesn’t have children to support gun control laws. The gap in support for gun control actually appears to be along the gender line.
Women are more likely to support gun control than men. In other words, despite what “Moms” like Shannon Watts would have you believe, their parenting peers are actually no more likely to support anti-Second Amendment laws than any other women.
What’s actually the case is that Moms Demand Action is simply exploiting the misperception that all mothers support their gun control positions, a misrepresentation intended to advance their anti-liberty agenda.
Canuck Feds partner with IBM to design Canadian “gun buyback” program
According to CTV News, Canada’s anti-gun Trudeau administration has awarded a contract to IBM Canada worth approximately CA$ 1.2 million “to support the development, design, and implementation of a buyback program for recently prohibited firearms.” Of course, the firearms in question are those that were banned by executive fiat last spring following a single spree shooting incident which lasted twelve hours and could likely have been stopped by the RCMP.
Considerations for the buyback plan will include types and amounts of compensation, a risk-benefit assessment, and the identification of “other considerations” affecting the feasibility of the plan. This all comes on the back of support from Canadian anti-gun groups and an announcement from Canada’s Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, who said that the government intends to introduce legislation that would help to entrench the weapons ban and ensure that “only those weapons which are safe for use in this country will be available to Canadians.”
Confusion on appropriations bill regarding firearm imports
The Covid stimulus bill signed by President Trump is a whopper, coming in at 5,593 pages, but there’s been some confusion by the gun crowd about 10 lines of the bill. Section 538 says:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States receiving appropriated funds under this Act or any other Act shall obligate or expend in any way such funds to pay administrative expenses or the compensation of any officer or employee of the United States to deny any application submitted pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 2778(b)(1)(B) and qualified pursuant to 27 CFR section 478.112 or .113, for a permit to import United States origin ‘‘curios or relics’’ firearms, parts, or ammunition.
To simplify, that means that whenever an authorized importer submits an application to import a U.S.-origin curio or relic firearm, part, or ammunition, the government (read: the ATF) can’t deny the application.
Some have thought this might finally make Korean M1 carbines available, which were banned under the Obama Administration. Unfortunately, though, this same language has been in appropriations bills for approximately fifteen years, and doesn’t cut the red tape hung up by Obama.
Man arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm says he’s been shot 15 times
On December 26, Youngstown, Ohio police arrested and charged a man for unlawful possession of a firearm as a result of a felony drug conviction from 2007. The officers who arrested him were “working a gun reduction detail” and pulled the man over for having excessive window tinting.
When the man’s vehicle was searched, the police “detected the odor of marijuana” (however there is no indication as to whether there were actually any drugs in the vehicle). Using this as justification for searching the vehicle, they discovered a handgun. When asked why the man had a handgun, he told the police that he needed it for protection because he had been shot fifteen times in the past.
There are multiple issues here. The first is, of course, the fact that these “gun reduction details” are being conducted almost exclusively in the the city’s South Side neighborhood, which is predominantly black. The second is why police tasked with “gun reduction” would be conducting a vehicle stop for a non-moving violation. Some might call that a pretext for a stop.
Then, of course, comes the issue of searching the vehicle because officers allegedly “detected the odor of marijuana,” something which is often used as pretext for conducting vehicle searches. Note that in Ohio, medical marijuana is legal, while recreational marijuana is not. Given the aforementioned, I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusion as to whether the police were engaging in racial profiling and conducting unconstitutional searches and seizures.
As for the Second Amendment, the fact that non-violent felonies almost universally result in a loss of gun rights is something that Congress and the courts need to reconsider.
The Founders’ ethical position on prohibiting individuals from bearing arms due to prior violent acts or known violent mental state is permissible. But the barring of individuals based on their prior felony status, even if they’ve committed a nonviolent crime, harkens back to the unethical practice of the Founders – the prohibition of possession based on race. Besides, if the man who was arrested in this incident really had been shot fifteen times, it doesn’t seem like laws such as the Gun Control Act of 1968, laws that have been on the books for over fifty years, are particularly effective in the first place.
Philadelphia DA upset he can’t get enough gun possession convictions
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is mad. Big mad. Why? Because he can’t get the kinds of conviction numbers that he supposedly wants for illegal gun possession. According to an assessment run by Krasner’s staffers, of the 400 gun possession cases studied, nearly half were thrown out because witnesses failed to show up to testify, while about a quarter were dropped for allegedly “weak evidence.”
While I’m sure that some might say that people are refusing to testify due to fear, maybe they don’t want to testify because they don’t believe in the moral legitimacy of prosecuting people for possessing a tool, or alternatively, that they don’t want to testify because they’re afraid that they might get hemmed up by the same government that’s trying to prosecute people for these crimes as a means to circumvent the fact that they can’t convict them on actual crimes like assault and murder.
If the Philadelphia Police Department and the city’s district attorney can’t get convictions without testimony, maybe they shouldn’t be bringing these cases in the first place.