Oklahoma State Senate passes bill making it easier to arm teachers

The Oklahoma Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that could make it easier for Oklahoma teachers and school personnel to carry a firearm at school.

The bill by Republican Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, and Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, would change requirements for teachers to be able to be armed at school.

Bullard said the rural school districts in his area want the legislation because it could take a significant amount of time for law enforcement to respond to a mass shooting on campus.

“We have students right now that are vulnerable if someone walks in with a gun,” he said. “It’s a manslaughter and there’s nothing they can do about it.”

Teachers would no longer be required to complete a 240-hour Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training certification course in order to be armed at school. Bullard said the requirement is cost prohibitive and time intensive to a point that it deters teachers from participating.

Instead, under House Bill 2336, school personnel who undergo the eight-hour concealed carry class or the 72 hours of armed security guard training would be eligible to carry on campus at K-12 schools. The personnel also would have to go through “campus-specific active shooter training” as stipulated by local law enforcement agencies.

The campus-specific training would vary based on a school’s size and layout and would be intended for law enforcement to work one-on-one with teachers or school staff who intend to be armed, Bullard said.

Senate Democrats said the legislation could result in teachers having various levels of training depending on which district they teach.

Arizona Senate Panel OKs City Liability for Gun-Free Zones
An Arizona Senate panel has approved a measure that would make government entities that don’t allow guns on their property liable if someone is shot on their premises.

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona Senate panel on Thursday advanced a measure that would make government entities that don’t allow guns on their property liable if people are shot on their premises.

The proposal from Republican Sen. David Gowan would allow anyone to sue if they or loved ones are injured or killed after being barred from carrying weapons for self-defense on government property.

The measure is the latest in a years-long series of pro-gun measures that are routinely approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Arizona is among the most gun-friendly states in the nation, allowing open or concealed carry of guns without a permit in most places. But efforts to allow weapons on property owned by schools, universities and government buildings have failed.

“It’s just a simple bill that says if a government creates gun-free zones which prohibit a law-abiding citizen from defending themselves, then if harm comes to them because of that policy that entity will be held liable for the damages,” Gowan told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “The point is, if you have a policy like this you protect them or allow them to protect themselves or there will be consequences.”

Missouri Senate bills seek to strengthen gun rights
A bill that would allow concealed carry permit holders to bring guns onto college campuses and other places drew opposition from public safety officials from Lincoln University and the University of Central Missouri in a hearing Thursday.

A bill that would allow concealed carry permit holders to bring guns onto college campuses and other places drew opposition from public safety officials from Lincoln University and the University of Central Missouri in a hearing Thursday.

The Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee heard two bills Thursday morning that are intended to strengthen gun rights, both sponsored by Sen. Eric Burlison, R-Battlefield.

One was “anti-commandeering legislation” that bars any law enforcement officer in Missouri from enforcing federal gun laws that infringe on Second Amendment rights.

The other allows people with concealed carry permits to bring guns and other deadly weapons onto college campuses and other places they’re currently restricted. Allowing concealed carry on campus was the most controversial part of that bill, with leaders of campus police of two universities testifying against it.

Virginia’s Model for Both Sides of Gun Debate
As Democrats advance anti-Second Amendment measures, Patriots fight back.

Like all would-be tyrants, as soon as Virginia Democrats took power following the last election, they began an all-out assault on the right to keep and bear arms, unleashing a package of gun-control measures intended to strip Virginians of their right to defend themselves.

The newest proposed measures include a ban on “assault weapons” such as the AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, magazines holding more than 12 rounds, and sound suppressors (“silencers”). That bill passed the House of Delegates yesterday.

As a means of reducing mass shootings, such measures are worthless. According to the FBI, in 2018, just 297 of the 6,603 gun-related murders (4%) nationwide involved a rifle of any kind. In fact, knives (1,604) and fists/kicking (656) were used to kill far more often.

The “progressive” obsession with the AR-15 is rooted in abject ignorance of all things gun related. Though they refer to AR-15s as “assault weapons” and “weapons of war,” they are neither.

“AR” stands for “ArmaLite Rifle,” after the company that designed it. Furthermore, the Department of Defense defines an assault rifle as a “selective fire” rifle that can alternate between semi- (one shot fired per trigger pull) and full-auto (continuous fire). The AR-15 is semiautomatic, firing a .223 (or 5.56) round, which is smaller and less powerful than many hunting rifles. If we ban AR-15s, why not all hunting rifles and handguns? They are functionally equivalent.

Gun grabbers claim the AR-15 is especially “dangerous and unusual,” attempting to get around the Supreme Court ruling in DC v. Heller, which found the Second Amendment protects weapons “in common use by law-abiding citizens.” But the AR-15 is the very definition of “common use” — more than 15 million AR-style rifles are currently in the hands of American citizens, and more than a million more are sold each year. In fact, one in five new firearms sold in the U.S. is an AR-style rifle.

Yet far from America turning into the Wild West, as anti-gun hysterics claim, America has become more peaceful with the proliferation of firearms. Gun crimes fell to historic lows after the expiration of the 1994 ban on “assault weapons.”

In reality, full-auto weapons have been effectively banned for civilian use since the National Firearms Act of 1934, and there have been only two deaths by full-auto weapons in the last 40 years.

But in the grand scheme of things, this is all just semantics and details. The Constitution protects our right to keep and bear arms, period, regardless of arguments and statistics.

Yet Socialist Democrats reject the meaning of “shall not be infringed.” For decades, Democrats have sought to erode or eliminate this most fundamental of human and American rights. They couch their assaults in terms like “public safety” and “commonsense gun control,” insisting that no one needs certain types of weapons for hunting and sport shooting. Untrue, but irrelevant. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting and everything to do with providing a firm check against the rise of tyrannical government.

In 1787, Thomas Jefferson warned of the dangers of conspiring men and asked, “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. … The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Is it any surprise the state seal for Virginia is an image of a robed Virtus (Virtue) standing, spear in hand, over the body of Tyranny? The state motto is “sic semper tyrannis,” meaning “thus always to tyrants.”

Jefferson was a native of Virginia, and it seems many of his fellow Virginians still have the fire of Liberty, and resistance to tyranny, burning in their breasts, judging by the 22,000 gun owners protesting at the state capitol recently. Or the fact that 141 counties and cities have declared themselves “gun sanctuaries.”

After the announcement of the proposed gun-control laws, Virginia gun sales nearly doubled, with nearly 70,000 gun background checks in a single month. Gun owners continue to show up at rallies, chanting “We will not comply!”

Gun owners are by nature peaceful and law-abiding. They seek peace, but are prepared to defend themselves and their families, whether from armed intruders or a tyrannical government. That is a fact that Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam and the Democrats in the state legislature would do well to remember.

Yes, 3D Printed Guns Render Gun Control Moot. That’s The Point

However, some are upset by this revelation. They argue that 3D printing completely renders gun control efforts null and void, as if that’s an argument for, well…anything.

3D-printed guns are dangerous because they circumvent existing policies. They are considered “ghost guns,” a term used to describe firearms that do not have an identifying serial number that can be used to match gun purchases to their owner. By law, legal firearms sold in a gun store or by a manufacturer must have a serial number. Printed guns and their parts do not.

All firearms must contain enough metal in the weapon to be able to set off a metal detector. With a 3D-printed firearm, the person printing the weapon must add that metal themselves and there is no way to ensure they have done so. In a licensed gun store, background checks are required to see if the user should be allowed to own a rifle. But with 3D-printed guns, no background checks are done and anyone can buy the blueprints and use a 3D printer to create the weapon.

Yes, that’s kind of been my point. That’s why Cody Wilson worked so hard to develop a viable 3D printed firearm. The very point was to make gun control less than useless. After all, gun control has only ever applied to the law-abiding citizen anyway.

New York Politicians Lied and Their Gun-Control Laws Failed Again

New York politicians said we would be safe. Democrats told us to register our guns so the criminals would be disarmed. New York Democrats said we needed to have fewer cartridges in our guns so the bad guys couldn’t hurt us. Last week, a convicted felon shot police officers in New York City. We were told this couldn’t happen because of New York’s strict gun laws. Clearly, the Democrats lied to us. If it could happen to the police, then it could happen to any of us. It isn’t the tool that does harm, it is the evil person who kills with any tool he wants to use. We were fools to believe the old lies, and we’d be bigger fools to believe the New York politicians now.

New York Democrats passed the SAFE act in 2013. This gun control legislation was passed in the middle of the night because it was “emergency legislation” that we needed desperately to insure public safety. The legislation outlawed many handguns and long guns. The law limited the number of cartridges honest gun owners could carry in their guns. It required a background check before law abiding individuals could transfer a gun or buy ammunition. Provisions in the SAFE act meant honest gun owners could be disarmed if someone questioned their mental health. Democrats said that would keep us safe.

It didn’t work at all. Disarming the good guys doesn’t stop the bad guys. Last week, a convicted felon got a gun. The felon attacked police officers several times. The criminal had a previous conviction in 2002 after he shot and tried to kill a man, carjacked a woman, and then shot at police. He was arrested again in 2018 for driving while intoxicated. The criminal was out on parole when he shot a police officer in the head, another officer in the arm, and then attacked a police station. Criminals don’t obey our laws and the police can’t keep us safe.

In New York City, criminals get guns in a few minutes on the street while honest gun owners need months or years to receive government permission to own a gun. It turns out that criminals don’t care about New York gun laws any more than they are stopped by laws against assault and murder. Criminals use any weapon they want and carry it anywhere they want.

Criminals don’t care who we are. If thugs would attack the cops, then we are not safe. That means we should protect ourselves, but New York’s gun-control laws makes that difficult if not impossible for law abiding citizens. Disarming the good guys puts all of us in greater danger rather than making us safer. That is the opposite of what we were promised.

Is that failure of gun-control an accident, or were these laws designed to fail? Was this failure part of a larger plan?

Democrats in New York condemned honest police officers and released repeat criminals. Democrat politicians made it harder for honest citizens to defend themselves in public. Now, the thugs shoot cops, and crime soars. In the face of this new violence, will Democrat politicians then demand complete gun confiscation from honest citizens to stop the ‘unprecedented levels of public violence’ they created? That is another prescription for failure.. for deadly failure.

That idea sounds crazy to me, but we let New York politicians lie to us before. New York Democrats might get away with their lies again.. if we let them. Our future, like our family’s safety, lie in our hands.

Tell your politicians to repeal these failed laws.

Magazines over 10 rounds were well-known to the Founders
Third Circuit case challenges NJ magazine confiscation statute

Did the Framers of the Second Amendment consider the possibility that Americans might own firearms with a capacity greater than 10 rounds? Certainly yes. Such arms had been invented two centuries before the Second Amendment, and by 1791, repeating arms, including those capable of firing more than 10 rounds, were well-known in the United States. The history is explained in a Third Circuit amicus brief I coauthored last week.

Case background: In 2018, the New Jersey legislature prohibited the possession of magazines holding more than 10 rounds. The details of the statute are explained here by NJ firearms attorneys Scott Bach and Evan Nappen. The day the governor signed the legislation, the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs sued the New Jersey Attorney General, asking for a preliminary injunction. District Court filings are available here. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan denied the preliminary injunction in September 2018. 2018 WL 4688345 (Sept. 28, 2018).

On expedited appeal, a 2-1  panel of the Third Circuit upheld the denial of the preliminary injunction in December 2018. 910 F.3d 106. Circuit Judge Patty Shwartz wrote the opinion, joined by Judge Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr. (Both are Obama appointees. Judge Shwartz’s seat was previously held by President’s Trump’s sister Marion Trump Barry; Judge Greenaway replaced Samuel Alito.) Judge Stephanos Bibas (former U. Penn. prof., appointed 2017 by Trump) dissented, writing “the majority’s version of intermediate scrutiny is too lax. It cannot fairly be called intermediate scrutiny at all. Intermediate scrutiny requires more concrete and specific proof before the government may restrict any constitutional right, period.” 910 F.3d at 133–34.

After remand to the district court, the District Judge ruled that there was nothing more to do, since the Third Circuit majority had disposed of all issues. Plaintiffs disagreed, and the case has now returned to the Third Circuit for briefing.

Amici: The amici on the brief include seven professors who are experts in Second Amendment law: Royce Barondes (Missouri), Robert Cottrol (George Washington),
Nicholas Johnson (Fordham), Joyce Malcolm (George Mason), Joseph Olson (Mitchell Hamline), Glenn Reynolds (Tennessee), and Gregory Wallace (Campbell). Organization amici are the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Madison Society Foundation, California Gun Rights Foundation, and Independence Institute (where I work). The lead attorney on the brief was Joseph Greenlee, joined by me and by Prof. George A. Mocsary (U. Wyo. law school). Some of the material in the brief is covered in more detail in my article The History of Firearms Magazines and of Magazine Prohibition, 78 Albany Law Review 849 (2015).

Earliest repeating arms:  repeater is a firearm that can fire more than one shot without having to be reloaded. The first known repeating firearms date back to between 1490 and 1530, with guns that fired 10 consecutive rounds. A 1580 gun could fire 16 shots. Once the user pressed the trigger, these guns would continue to fire until the ammunition was exhausted.

Seventeenth century: By the 1640s, major improvements in repeating arms had been developed. Now, the user could fire just one shot by pressing the trigger, and then fire more shots by pressing the trigger repeatedly. Danish rifles invented by Peter Kalthoff had ammunition capacities ranging from 6 to 30 rounds. During the seventeenth century, Kalthoff repeaters were copied by gunsmiths from London to Moscow.

At about the same time, the Lorenzoni revolver was invented in Italy, with a typical capacity of 7 shots. Like semiautomatic firearms (invented 1885), the Lorenzoni could self-reload. To fire the next shot, the user did not have to move a lever, bolt, or pump; the Lorenzoni could fire as fast the user could press the trigger–similar to modern revolvers or semiautomatics. The Lorenzoni was manufactured far and wide–including in New England. Famed diarist Samuel Pepys was much impressed with a demonstration he saw in London in 1664.

Early America: The Kalthoffs and Lorenzonis were not the only repeaters made during the century. For example, in the mid-1600s, some American repeaters were manufactured with revolving cylinders to hold the ammunition. Unlike the revolvers perfected by Samuel Colt in the 1830s, these revolvers required the user to rotate the cylinder by hand after each shot.

The French in North America had their own repeaters. For example, in 1690 the Comte de Frontenac “astonished the Iroquois with his three and five shot repeaters.” 1 Charles Winthrop Sawyer, Firearms in American History 29 (1910).

Eighteenth century: Before the industrial revolution, firearms manufacture was artisanal, with guns being made one at a time by gunsmiths. Repeating arms have more parts than single-shot guns, and the parts must fit more closely than in a single-shot. Accordingly, the necessary expertise and labor time to manufacture repeaters meant that repeaters were only affordable for the wealthier minority of the population.

Growing prosperity in the eighteenth century enabled more Americans to buy repeaters. Lorenzoni variants were popular, particularly 9 or 10 shot versions made by London gunsmith John Cookson, and by a New England gunsmith of the same name. In 1722, Boston gunsmith John Pim impressed some local Indians with an 11-shot repeater that he manufactured and sold. “[L]oaded but once,” it “was discharged eleven times following, with bullets, in the space of two minutes, each which went through a double door at fifty yards’ distance.” Samuel Niles, A Summary Historical Narrative of the Wars in New England, in Mass. Hist. Soc. Collections, 4th ser., vol. 5, at 347 (1837).

During the Revolution, inventor Joseph Belton demonstrated a 16 shot long gun. Witnesses, including Gen. Horatio Gates and scientist David Rittenhouse, were impressed, and the Continental Congress negotiated with Belton for a large order, but Belton wanted more money than Congress could afford.

Also during the Revolution, the British introduced their six-shot Ferguson Rifle (which might have made a difference in the war, if the British had manufactured enough of them) and the Nock Valley Gun (which shot seven rounds at once).

Early Republic: By the time the Second Amendment was ratified, the state-of-the-art
repeater was the Girandoni air rifle, which could shoot 21 or 22 rounds in .46 or .49 caliber. Although powered by compressed air, the Girandoni was ballistically equal
to a powder gun, and powerful enough to take an elk with a single shot. Many air guns of the time were equally powerful.

Originally invented for Austrian army sharpshooters, the Girandoni was manufactured in Russia, Germany, Switzerland, England–and Pennsylvania. Meriwether Lewis bought a Pennsylvania model, and carried on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The gun is mentioned 22 times in Clark’s journal–usually in the context of the expedition showing off the gun to Indians, making the implicit point that the expedition could defend itself against a larger group.

Early nineteenth century: The 1820s brought a new type of repeaters: Isaiah Jennings’ 15-20 shot models, which were copied by Reuben Ellis for a military contract later in the decade.

Double-barreled guns (like today’s double-barreled shotguns) had long been popular, but the first repeating arms that could fire several shots and that were broadly affordable to the middle class were the pepperbox handguns of the 1830s. They held the ammunition in rotating barrels, one round per barrel. The most common pepperboxes held 4 to 8 rounds, while some held up to 24. The 12-shot Bennett and Haviland Rifle used a similar system.

Colonel Samuel Colt improved everything with his revolvers. Colt’s handguns only needed one barrel, while the ammunition was stored in a revolving cylinder.

Since the War of 1812, the federal armories at Springfield, Massachusetts, and Harpers Ferry, Virginia, had been working hard at learning how to mass produce firearms with interchangeable parts. The Springfield Armory worked closely with private entrepreneurs, gaining their knowledge and broadly disseminating its own knowledge. The federal armories became the foundation of “the American system of manufacture”–a term that caught on globally when Samuel Colt displayed his revolvers at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London in 1853-54.

The government-led advances in firearms manufacturing helped made firearms, including repeaters, increasingly affordable. The American system of manufacture first spread from firearms to sewing machines and eventually to grain reapers, typewriters, bicycles, and automobiles. The prosperity created by the American system created a virtuous cycle in which Americans got richer and spent more money on manufactured goods, and the growing sales of the manufacturers led to improvements that continually increased quality and reduced price.

Mid-nineteenth century: By the 1850s, all sorts of repeating arms were being sold in America, including 21-round pinfire revolvers, 12 shot/6 chamber revolvers, the 15-round Hall rifle, the 38 or 60 shot Porter Rifles, and the 42 shot Ferris Wheel pistol.

But the most successful developments began with a collaboration of Daniel Wesson (later, of Smith & Wesson) and Oliver Winchester. They combined the recently-invented metallic cartridge (which holds the bullet, gunpowder, and primer in a metal cylinder) with the lever action (in which the user reloads the next round of ammunition by pulling a lever up and down). The lever action had been invented centuries before in England, but was not broadly affordable until the American system of manufacture.

The first Wesson and Winchester gun was the 30-shot Volcanic Rifle; introduced in 1859, it had reliability problems. The problems were solved in the successor model, the 16 shot Henry Rifle of 1861, which could fire its full capacity in 11 seconds. By 1862, Union solders were using Henrys in the Civil War.

Then as now, repeaters make self-defense possible for an individual who is attacked by a group. One of he most famous testimonials for the Henry came from Captain James M. Wilson of the 12th Kentucky Cavalry, who used a Henry Rifle to kill seven of his Confederate neighbors who broke into his home and ambushed his family. Wilson praised the rifle’s 16-round capacity: “When attacked alone by seven guerillas I found it to be particularly useful not only in regard to its fatal precision, but also in the number of shots held in reserve for immediate action in case of an overwhelming force.” H.W.S. Cleveland, Hints to Riflemen 181 (1864).

By the time the Fourteenth Amendment was before Congress, the Henry had been improved into the Winchester Model 1866 rifle, which could hold up to 18 rounds, depending on caliber. It was a major commercial success, especially in the West. The Model 1866 was succeeded by the Model 1873, with capacity from 6 to 25. Both Winchesters have deservedly been called “the gun that won the West.” The Model 1892 (15 rounds) was a favorite of Annie Oakley, and, later, of John Wayne.

As an alternative to the lever action, the pump action (the user pushes and pulls a slide underneath the barrel to load the next round) came on the market in the last quarter of the century, most famously with the 15-round Colt Lightning of 1884.

The next year brought the first functional semiautomatic firearm, the Mannlicher Model 1885. Before the end of the century, numerous models of semiautomatic pistols were on the market; some of them had magazines over 10 rounds, such as the Luger M1899, with an optional 32 round magazine.

As always, repeaters were essential for defense against group attacks. That is why anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells and other civil rights activists urged black people to buy repeating rifles for defense against lynch mobs. For the same reason, the Florida legislature in 1893 enacted the first American controls on particular types of firearms, after a repeating rifle was used to deter a lynch mob.

Magazine controls: In the 1920s and early 1930s, alcohol prohibition gave a tremendous boost to organized crime and intergang warfare. Starting in 1927, six states enacted laws regarding ammunition capacity: Rhode Island, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, California, and Virginia. None of these laws banned possession; some required a license or registration, or banned in-state sales, or simply forbade altering a firearm to change its original capacity (while allowing purchase of manufactured firearms with any capacity). A 1932 congressional statute for the District of Columbia banned semiautomatic firearms with a capacity of over 12.

All of the state laws were later repealed. The Heller case suggested that “longstanding” gun control laws have a better chance to be found constitutional than novel laws; to be “longstanding,” a law must be “long” and “standing,” and none of the repealed state laws qualify, since they are no longer standing. 1 Shorter O.E.D. 1625 (1993) (“adj. Of long standing; that has existed a long time, not recent.”). No magazine ban currently in force is older than the 15-round limit enacted by New Jersey in 1990. And three decades is hardly enough to be longstanding, considering that DC’s 1975 handgun had been in effect for 33 years until the 2008 Heller decision.

In sum, guns with ammunition capacity greater than 10 rounds have existed since the sixteenth century, were well-known to the Founders (including the Continental Congress), and were mass market consumer items by the time of the Fourteenth Amendment. Although the Second Amendment’s protection is not limited only to the types of arms that existed in 1791, the Second Amendment does protect the types of arms that did exist in 1791, and those included arms with ammunition capacity greater than 10.

Virginia House passes ‘assault weapon’ ban

Not unexpected, but VA Secretary Moran is a moron.

Virginia’s House of Delegates has passed one of the most controversial bills of the 2020 legislative session.

On Tuesday – known as ‘Crossover Day’ in the General Assembly, the final day for a bill to be passed out of its originating chamber – the House voted 51-48 to pass HB 961, a bill which would would redefine ‘assault firearms’ in Virginia and ban future sales and possession of the weapons in Virginia.

House Bill 961 makes it a Class 6 felony to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport assault weapons or large-capacity firearm magazines, all defined in the bill.”

It specifically bans the possession of magazines that hold more than 12 rounds.

Under the proposed law, any person who already owns a weapon classified as an assault firearm under the new legal definition would be able to retain possession of the weapon, but future sales would be prohibited.

Three Democrat delegates joined their Republican colleagues in voting against the bill.

A similar bill died in committee before ever advancing to the full floor of the Senate, so it’s unclear whether HB 961 will have the votes to pass the Senate, which is more narrowly controlled by Democrats than the House of Delegates.

Moderate Democrats in the Senate have already indicated they are unlikely to support the measure……..

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran said a ban on selling assault weapons and high-capacity magazines is needed to help prevent mass shootings, or at least limit the damage mass shooters can inflict. He cited the fact that the shooter in the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 had a handgun with a high-capacity magazine.

“Assault weapons are not protected by the Second Amendment because they are weapons of war,” Moran said.

Maryland ‘Assault Weapon’ Registration Bill Would Charge Gun Owners Up to $1000 Per Firearm

When you think of heavily gun controlled states, names like New York, California and New Jersey immediately come to mind. But don’t sleep on Maryland. The Eat Crab or Die State has long been at the forefront of Second Amendment rights abrogation and a new bill entered in the state’s House would move the Old Line State way up on the #gunsense hit parade.

HB 1261, authored by House Speaker Adrienne Jones along with Reps. Vanessa Atterbeary and Eric Luedke, was introduced Friday and would ban a range of firearms after October 1. It would also require those already owning assaulty-looking guns to register them.

Registering with the Department of State Police before January 1, 2021 costs Marylanders nothing. But then complying with the law would require emptying your wallet.

Here’s the bill’s escalating penalty fee schedule:




What happens if you fail to register your gun at all before May 1, 2023? Prosecution, of course!



“Assault long guns” has already been defined in Maryland law here. HB 1261 lists a range of “assault pistols” that would be banned, guns like the TEC-9, the Czech Skorpion, Uzis and the like.

Oh, and “copycat weapons” under the bill means any gun that has one of those really disturbing features like thumbhole stocks, forward grips, barrel shrouds, yadda, yadda, and:





D. .50 BMG;



No ambiguity there, huh?

There’s much more that’s equally egregious, but you get the idea. Again, you can read the bill here.

Will Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan sign such a bill if it gets to his desk? Don’t bet against it.


Washington: Committee Deadline And Anti-Gun Bills

February 7th marked the deadline for all policy bills to pass out of committee in their chamber of origin. Numerous gun control bills have passed out of committee and remain active, including two of the most egregious bills that are awaiting a floor vote in both chambers. Please contact your lawmakers and ask them to OPPOSE 2240/6077 and 1315/6294.

House Bill 2240 and Senate Bill 6077 ban the manufacture, possession, sale, transfer, etc. of magazines that hold more than fifteen and ten rounds of ammunition respectively. These limitations are strongly supported by the Governor and the Attorney General. These so called “high capacity” magazines are in fact standard equipment for commonly-owned firearms that many Americans legally and effectively use for an entire range of legitimate purposes, such as self-defense or competition. Those who own non-compliant magazines prior to the ban are only allowed to possess them on their own property and in other limited instances such as at licensed shooting ranges or while hunting. Restricted magazines have to be transported unloaded and locked separately from firearms and stored at home locked, making them unavailable for self-defense. HB 2240 has been pulled from the Rules Committee and is now eligible to receive a floor vote at any time!

House Bill 1315 and Senate Bill 6294 requires onerous government red tape and further training to obtain a Concealed Pistol License. Mandatory training requirements are yet another cost prohibitive measure intended to ensure that lower income Americans are barred from defending themselves.

VA State Police Refuse to Rule out Door-to-Door Enforcement of Suppressor Ban

Just as an aside. The interstate movement of a suppressor doesn’t need prior approval from the ATF like other NFA items do. So, there’s nothing to keep someone from taking any suppressors they own and storing them in a bank safety deposit box that just happens to be right across the border in another state. That is, if the Virginia Senate is as stupid as the House of Delegates is and also passes this crap-for-brains bill.

During a Monday morning phone conversation, the Virginia State Police public relations department did not rule out knocking doors to enforce a suppressor ban.

Breitbart News called the Virginia State Police and noted Democrats are passing legislation to ban various firearm accessories. We specifically mentioned the suppressor ban which is currently moving through the state legislature and asked if, “Virginia State Police will go door-to-door to get those.”

The public relations official did not respond with a direct answer “yes” or “no” on going door-to-door. Rather, she said, “[No laws] have gone into effect, no laws have been formalized or finalized.”

She said they do not, “do the speculation because nothing’s been passed into formal law,” but made clear that their job is to “enforce and comply with the laws” once they are on the books.

On February 9, 2020, Breitbart News reported the legislation banning suppressors was passed by Democrats in the House of Delegates Public Safety Committee. The Washington Examiner reported the ban is expected to pass in the full House, and from there it moves to the Virginia Senate.

The legislation which bans suppressors also bans “high capacity” magazines. Breitbart News did not ask the Virginia State Police about going door-to-door to collect magazines.

More Arizona counties approve ‘sanctuary’ resolutions on gun rights

I’m Bad….I’m Nationwide.

Two more rural Arizona counties have declared themselves to be “Second Amendment sanctuary counties,” taking stances in favor of gun rights even as some supporters of the measures acknowledge they’ll have no or little real legal effect.

The unanimous votes by the boards of supervisors of La Paz County on Monday and Yavapai County on Wednesday follow a similar declaration by Mohave County supervisors on Nov. 4.

The Yavapai County board approved its resolution after previously hearing hours of testimony in December and January. About 120 people packed the meeting room and dozens more filled the lobby Wednesday as 25 people spoke in favor and three against, The Daily Courier reported.

Under the measures, the supervisors vowed to defend state and federal constitutional rights, including the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.

The measure also said the supervisors won’t spend public money or use other government resources to enforce laws that unconstitutionally infringe on gun rights.

Many of those who addressed the Yavapai County board urged the supervisors to take a stand, arguing that laws in other states infringed on gun owners’ rights.

“We see this type of total disregard for our Second Amendment rights under attack. This is about our rights, protecting our freedoms and liberty,” Prescott resident Sherrie Hanna said.


How Venezuela’s Good Citizens Were Disarmed is a Lesson For Us

When I was a little girl in the early 1990s, my father worked in the energy industry and often flitted off to South America. He brought us back postcards and chucherías from this faraway land of Venezuela, describing it as the most picturesque nation in Latin America. The nation was then awash in oil wealth, the highest growth rate in the region, boundless education opportunities, fine foods and world-class beaches.

It seemed a mystical paradise where nothing could go wrong. Until it did.

When I stepped foot into the embattled nation a year ago to cover the burgeoning humanitarian crisis, none of my experience in war zones prepared me for the calamity that seemed to get worse with every step across the Colombian border. Venezuela had sunk into a violent humanitarian crisis. There was next to no rule of law…….

Cúcuta, a city straddling the Colombian and Venezuelan border, had become the stuff of nightmares: a microcosm of the conflict burning Venezuela alive. Its citizens had become unable to defend themselves or their families from danger and economic ruin.

And the Venezuelans are the first to tell you that so many of them willfully surrendered their right to bear arms in the lead-up to the 2014 crackdown. They told me this as clear words of warning.

“Venezuela is paying the price for the gun ban. The civilians are unable to defend themselves from criminal actors and from this Maduro regime’s abuses,” activist and university teacher, Miguel Mandrade, 34, said from the fog-laden, barren city of San Cristobal. “The uprising would have taken a different path and a different result if civilians had the right to defend themselves with the firearms they once owned.”……..

Some 4 million have fled the profoundly impoverished nation that, as this was being written, was still led by socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro. Meanwhile, the millions left languishing inside Venezuela’s borders are starving and without critical services and medical care. Homicide and crime rates are escalating as the inflation rate soars. The government has unleashed its forces and proxy militias to wage war on a troubled and defenseless population.

But the trigger of gun prohibition wasn’t pulled in an instant. Over several years, Venezuelan authorities chipped away at individual gun rights.As they did so, crime rates crept higher and higher.

How They Lost Their Freedom
In 2002, Caracas enacted its first effort to restrict gun ownership, placing the National Armed Forces as the body to oversee the regulation of all firearms. In 2011, then-President Hugo Chávez launched a public disarmament campaign as part of his Presidential Commission on Disarmament, which was supposedly aimed at reducing gun violence. Resolutions were cemented to prohibit possessing guns during cultural and sporting events, as well as on public transportation and construction sites. A 12-month moratorium was also put in place with regard to issuing gun permits.

The following year, Caracas banned the commercial sales of guns and shuttered the doors of firearms stores across the country. It was mandated that only military, police and security forces could legally own and buy guns.

Then, in 2012, Maduro signed into law the Disarmament and Arms Munitions Control, which carried the explicit objective to “disarm all citizens.” Chávez initially ran a months-long amnesty program urging Venezuelans to swap their arms for electrical goods; however, only 37 surrenders were recorded, while more than 12,500 guns were seized by force.

The government held grandiose decimation displays in the streets by bulldozing firearms en masse in front of large crowds in a bid to demonstrate their commitment to supposedly end gun violence.

In 2014, a further 26,000 firearms were confiscated or crushed—coincidentally, Venezuela clocked in as having the world’s second-highest homicide rate that very same year. Each year that the gun-control reins were pulled tighter, murder rates increased.

In 2001, according to gunpolicy.org, 6,568 homicides were recorded in Venezuela. By 2014, that number had jumped to 19,030.

Not-so-coincidentally, the black market in weapons also began to boom, with an estimated 6 million illegal guns in the country.

“The market works through international borders, in maritime and land areas, and the government itself has been a gun provider,” said Walter Márquez, a Venezuelan historian and former National Assembly Representative. “The government took legal weapons away from private people, disarming all those who could oppose it.”……

Venezuela is a Lesson Americans Must Understand

Venezuela serves as a reminder that gun control can serve as a gateway to despotism. Some contend that not only is Venezuela suffering the consequences of failing to fight the ever-inching gun-control measures, but also of failing to create a culture that understood the importance of having a right to keep and bear arms.

“The Venezuelan population trusted the government at all times that it would always use its authority within certain boundaries, and whenever it got out, we thought it would be solved by democratic or legal mechanisms. Our political and public behavior confirmed our cultural naivety in this sense,” said Javier Vanegas, 29, a Venezuelan teacher. “We are paying the price of not having had a strong gun culture.”

Before the 2012 changes, there were only eight registered gun stores scattered across the nation of 31 million people. The process for law-abiding citizens even to obtain a legal gun permit and a firearm was a months-long ordeal hamstrung by protracted wait lines, high costs and demands for bribes. Only one department, which operated under the Ministry of Defense, had the authority to issue civilian permits.

The collectives ruthlessly oppress opposition groups, giving Maduro a cosmetic cover. When we saw them, we ran for cover.

In late 2017, when Venezuela was in the clutches of its spiraling economic catastrophe, Maduro announced he would distribute some 400,000 arms to his patriots—claiming a U.S.-led coup was coming—and the civilian population was left as sitting ducks. Since April of that year, hundreds of Venezuelans protesting the government, armed with little more than stones and paper signs, have been shot or have disappeared in retaliation.

“If citizens had access to guns, and if they had been armed since before the arrival of Chavez, it would have been, at least, a powerful obstacle to the socialist agenda,” said Vanegas. “Socialism thrives in chaos. The perfect tool for chaos in most of Latin-America is criminality. If the people had had the tool to defend themselves, instead of resorting to more state power to end the criminality (an end the government never intended to give), then, of course, it would have made a huge difference.”

In recent years, he said, the daily life of the unarmed Venezuelan has been shaped by crime.

“People have stopped going out. Businesses and businessmen and women went broke or closed shop and left. The youth began to be fearful of spending time out in the city,” Vanegas said. “I personally had one family member and two friends kidnapped for ransom.”

The stuff of nightmares quickly became normal to the likes of Vanegas, who reflected that his complacency has been shattered as his beloved country has fallen apart. Scores of ailing Venezuelans told me that even before the protests sparked five years ago, calling the police to report a crime entailed long wait times and pressure to bribe officers not only to come, but to process the case per the book. Now, even making such a call is basically useless.

One person I met on my travels in the region whispered in hushed tones that those who dare keep an old gun beneath their bed—or those who have the finances to find one on the black market—risk the punishment of 20 years behind bars. This person confessed that he kept an old revolver that once belonged to his grandfather. He worried that if he used it to save his own life, the Maduro regime would then come to take him away to prison.

Thailand Mall Shooter Broke Every Law Democrats Say We Need in U.S.

Thai Gunman Who killed 26 in Rampage Shot Dead in Mall,” the Associated Press reported Saturday. Another 57 people were wounded in a standoff at Terminal 21 Korat initiated by a soldier said to be “angry over a financial dispute,” who reportedly killed two people on a military base before driving to the mall. It took police sharpshooters 16 hours to put the killer down as terrified, unarmed shoppers fled, ducked for cover and “ran to hide in toilets.”

Television footage showed the attacker carrying “what appeared to be an assault rifle.” And it was the second “high profile mall shooting” in a month, the prior one committed by a masked  school director “carrying a handgun with a silencer [who] killed three people, including a 2-year-old boy, and wounded four others as he robbed a jewelry store.”

As the anti-gunners say here when such atrocities are committed, “something must be done.”

In the cases of the Thai mall shooters, something has been done, including everything Democrat politicians and gun-grab groups have been loudly demanding to be imposed on a state and national level here. Thailand’s got it all.

“The regulation of guns in Thailand is categorized as restrictive,” GunPolicy.org, a project of the Sydney School of Public Health advises. We need to stipulate up front that this effort is being bankrolled by globalist citizen disarmament interests, including the United Nations, but that doesn’t invalidate the reporting of restrictions, all backed with extensive source citations. Instead, it makes using the documentation “bullet-proof” from challenges by the antis, since we’re using their data.

So we find that “In Thailand, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law.” We find “In Thailand, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic and semi-automatic rifles,” that is, weapons the mall killer, being part of the government, reportedly had no problem getting his hands on.

If you want a handgun, a rifle or a shotgun, citizens have to overcome several prior restraints, including satisfying the government that they have a “genuine reason” for the license need to obtain a firearm and its ammunition (one license per gun). They need to pass a “universal background check” that includes “income” among its considerations (like “gun control” here, poorer citizens are most affected). And there are “red flag” disqualifiers like “domestic violence … Where a past history or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Thailand stipulates that a gun license should be denied or revoked.”

“In Thailand, the law requires that a record of the acquisition, possession, and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register,” GunPolicy.org continues. We also find that in Thailand they have storage laws and transit laws. Open carry is banned, and if a citizen wants to carry concealed, they must “apply for permission to carry a firearm … to the officials who are competent to issue such license.”

Think of it as “Santa Clara carry.”

So leave it to the media to present Thailand as “awash with easily obtainable firearms, featuring one of the highest gun homicide rates in Asia.” To back it up they cite “the US State Department’s Bureau for Diplomatic Security wrote in its 2013 safety report for overseas staff: ‘Thailand has a fervent gun culture on par with the United States and has become a world leader in firearms-related homicides.’”

Who headed State back then?

With the headline and the lede having established that murder with guns is comparatively high, we have to venture deeper into the report to find that the violence is being perpetrated by those who ignore all those “restrictive” laws. Millions have said the hell with approvals and licensing and registration and permits. GunPolicy.org estimates there are over four million “illegal” guns in Thailand but admits it really doesn’t know for sure. Plus there’s a Malay-Muslim insurgency with armed rebels, “as well as the mafia syndicates across the country.”

And then there’s the proliferation “along the Thai-Myanmar and Thai-Cambodian border,” as well as the claim by “experts” that “military, police and paramilitary officials not only have easy access to such weapons but have also been known to sell these to non-state officials.”

In other words, “gun control” doesn’t and can’t work, because the bad guys will always find whatever workarounds they want. And it’s not hard to see the parallels here, especially with the way the Democrats, in addition to demanding disarmament, also ensure our borders remain porous and that foreign populations with priorities inimical to founding principle established in the Constitution are being brought in and embedded into communities throughout the Republic.

Just like our Democrats, Thai officials point to more measures that will have no effect on those causing the problems. They’re calling for more registration and “introducing so-called ballistic gun data.” When those don’t work, and they won’t, they’ll be back demanding more.


“No civilian needs…”

A common statement from the fans of government monopoly on force is: “no civilian needs such weapons”, with “such weapons” being whatever they are trying to ban. Let’s look at this statement more closely.

The Secret Service staff are civilians. Police officers are civilians. All government organizations other than the five branches of the military are civilians. Secret Service agents have access to submachine guns like the P90 above, as well as much more powerful weapons. Why? Such arms are useful in protecting lives of the people they are trying to keep alive. Quite a few regular Americans — such as stalking victims — face daily risks at least as severe as those faced by the political elite.

The same is true of Trump’s family members.

So we have plenty of examples of civilian government employees using modern guns unavailable to the rest of the population to protect themselves. In addition to government employees, corporations (“special occupational taxpayers”) can own guns denied to the general public.

These corporations are definitely civilian structures, yet they own all kinds of high-tech weaponry far exceeding mere small arms in scope. Apparently, lots of civilians have a use for modern guns. Why shouldn’t lawful individuals be able to exercise their rights the same way?

History prof: Founders’ intent of 2nd Amendment not to guarantee private gun ownership

What passes for ‘intelligence’ these days in America’s universities.

Famous Quotes From The Founding Fathers On Our Right To Bear Arms

Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia:
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” — Jefferson`s “Commonplace Book,” 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764

George Mason, of Virginia:
“[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually.”. . . I ask, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.” — Virginia`s U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788

“That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well regulated Militia, composed of the Body of the People, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe Defence of a free state.” — Within Mason`s declaration of “the essential and unalienable Rights of the People,” — later adopted by the Virginia ratification convention, 1788

Samuel Adams, of Massachusetts:
“The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” — Massachusetts` U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788

William Grayson, of Virginia:
“[A] string of amendments were presented to the lower House; these altogether respected personal liberty.” — Letter to Patrick Henry, June 12, 1789, referring to the introduction of what became the Bill of Rights

Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia:
RELATED: Congressman Mo Brooks Sticks To His Guns After Alexandria Shooting

“A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves . . . and include all men capable of bearing arms. . . To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms… The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle.” — Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer, 1788

James Madison, of Virginia:
The Constitution preserves “the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” — The Federalist, No. 46

Tench Coxe, of Pennsylvania:
“The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them.” — An American Citizen, Oct. 21, 1787

“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American . . . . The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” — The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788

“As the military forces which must occasionally be raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article (of amendment) in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” — Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789

Noah Webster, of Pennsylvania:
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power.” — An Examination of The Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Philadelphia, 1787

Alexander Hamilton, of New York:
“[I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens.” — The Federalist, No. 29

Thomas Paine, of Pennsylvania:
“[A]rms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.” — Thoughts On Defensive War, 1775

Fisher Ames, of Massachusetts:
“The rights of conscience, of bearing arms, of changing the government, are declared to be inherent in the people.” — Letter to F.R. Minoe, June 12, 1789

Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts:
“What, sir, is the use of militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. . . Whenever Government means to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise a standing army upon its ruins.” — Debate, U.S. House of Representatives, August 17, 1789


Patrick Henry, of Virginia:
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.” — Virginia`s U.S. Constitution ratification convention


  • An American University professor recently published a book in which he advocates to “repeal the Second Amendment.”
  • Allan Lichtman compares the constitutional right to prohibition and says the NRA “hijacked” the Second Amendment.

At American University in Washington DC, a history professor recently wrote a book in which he advocates to “repeal the Second Amendment.”

Professor Allan J. Lichtman published his book, Repeal the Second Amendment: The Case for a Safer America,  in January. It focuses on the perceived need to abolish the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Lichtman’s book acknowledges gun violence in America and asserts that “the real problem is that which gun control advocates fear to name: the Second Amendment.”

“Repeal will take a concerted effort from Americans who are well briefed on the true history of the Second Amendment”

In an excerpt of the book published by MSNBC, the professor writes, “Repeal of the Second Amendment is not only right, but realistic.” He argues that the gun control movement would have an easier path were the Second Amendment repealed.

[RELATED: UCLA prof: ‘I don’t see the Second Amendment as absolute, just like I don’t see the First Amendment as absolute’]

Lichtman’s also claims that America’s founders did not intend through the Second Amendment to guarantee gun ownership rights to individual Americans.  Instead, Lichtman argues that “the NRA hijacked the Second Amendment.”

He claims that the National Rifle Association redefined the interpretation of the Second Amendment a few decades ago in order to gain profit from gun sales. Before this, Lichtman argues that the general intent of the Second Amendment was to cultivate a militia.

Lichtman includes a call to action, stating that “Americans who care about gun safety must now take it back [the Second Amendment].” He compares the potential to repeal the Second Amendment with the past repeal of prohibition.

“Repeal will take a concerted effort from Americans who are well briefed on the true history of the Second Amendment,” he writes.

Lichtman has been named a Distinguished Professor of History by American University and has published other books, including The Case for Impeachment in 2017, which laid out Lichtman’s various arguments for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

He was also a consultant for Sen. Ted Kennedy and presidential candidate Al Gore.

Campus Reform reached out to Lichtman for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Virginia’s Unconstitutional Attack on Gun Owners
Simply because a small number of psychopaths happen to like the aesthetics of a popular gun doesn’t magically transform that firearm something distinctively menacing to American society.

And not just the U.S., but also the Virginia Constitution

Today Virginia Democrats continue their multi-front offensive against the Second Amendment, taking up Governor Ralph Northam’s “assault weapons” ban, magazine limits, and suppressor-confiscation bills in the state house’s Public Safety Committee. That makes it as good time as any to remind people again that “assault weapons” bans are unconstitutional. The quicker an “assault weapon” ban case can be put in front of the Supreme Court — which, granted, has been reluctant to take on new gun cases — the better.

District of Columbia v. Heller found that the Second Amendment protected weapons “in common use by law-abiding citizens.” AR-15-style weapons, the most popular rifle in America, with over a million sold every year, clearly meet this criterion. Everything about the gun, from its mechanisms to its purpose, is common. Notwithstanding the rhetoric you hear from Virginia lawmakers, some appellate-court judges, and gun-control lobby mouthpieces, the AR-15 is not, nor has it ever been, a “weapon of war.” To say so is historically and functionally incorrect. Eugene Stoner, chief engineer of ArmaLite and its parent company, Colt, designed and marketed the AR specifically for civilians in the early 1960s, years before any military version was adopted. The AR-15 is less a “weapon of war” than a 1911 handgun, which the U.S. military adopted from that year to 1986.

Not that we should have any problems with weapons of war being in civilian hands per se. Muskets and flintlock rifles, the predominant guns of the revolutionary era, were also weapons of war. The Founders wanted civilians to own lethal weapons. Sorry, John Kerry, but the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting or recreation, or even predominately about personal home protection. So, yes, ARs are indeed dangerous. That’s the point. But the concerted effort to depict ARs as especially “dangerous and unusual” is only meant to place them outside the protections of Heller.

Indeed, there is no evidence that AR-15s pose a unique threat. Simply because a small number of psychopaths happen to like the aesthetics of a popular gun doesn’t magically transform that firearm something distinctively menacing to American society. Even if one conceded for the sake of argument that the presence of criminality was a sound rationale for restricting constitutional rights — an increasingly popular argument for ignoring the First Amendment, as well — the argument to ban AR-15s would become weaker.

Gun crimes fell precipitously, hitting historic lows, after the federal assault-weapon ban instituted in 1994 expired. In 2018, the last year of FBI data, there were 6,603 Americans murdered by handguns, 297 by rifles (most of them not AR-15s), and 236 by shotguns. (Gun types used in crimes aren’t reported by all police departments, but the trend is almost surely the same.) To put it in perspective, there were 1,604 knife homicides during that same span, and 656 people killed by fists and kicking. ARs are rarely used in crimes.

More important, if the state can ban one type of semi-automatic weapon simply because it looks a certain way or because one type of criminal favors it, what principle would constrain it from banning every semi-automatic weapon? The worst mass shooter in Virginia history did not use an AR but .22-caliber and 9mm handguns. If Northam can ban ARs, what stops him from banning a 9mm? Surely the cheering crowd at a CNN “townhall,” or the average Democratic presidential candidate, would answer, nothing.

Virginia lawmakers are also debating legislation that would make it a felony to possess a magazine that holds more than twelve rounds after January 1st, 2021, which, as Cam Edwards points out, would turn most Virginia gun owners into felons. Another bill would make it illegal to own a silencer. Right now, Americans own over a million silencers for all kinds of reasons — to avoid damaging their hearing or bothering their neighbors — but almost none of them own a silencer for criminal reasons. The ATF reports that there are around 44 silencer-related crimes per year over the past decade — or as Stephen Gutowski noted, something like .003 percent of silencers are used in crimes each year.

For now, most of the bills seem likely to fail. A more draconian state-senate bill that would have authorized the confiscation of assault-style weapons was already discarded. “This is a compromise that takes into account folks’ concerns and is still a good bill that will help reduce mass murders in the commonwealth,” Delegate Mark Levine, the Democrat sponsoring the legislation, told the Associated Press. There’s no evidence that any of these initiatives would make Virginians any safer, nor, as a matter of principle, is preemptively banning Americans from owning a firearm objectively different from confiscating the one they already own. Both are means to stop citizens from owning the gun. Both should be discarded as unconstitutional.