Category Archives: Gun Control

Calif. seeks to adopt nation’s toughest gun laws

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Associated Press/Rich Pedroncelli – Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, glances over to a pair of semi-automatic rifles as he discusses his support for a package of proposed gun control legislation

AP | Feb 7, 2013

By DON THOMPSON

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Weeks after New York enacted the nation’s toughest gun laws, California lawmakers said Thursday they want their state to do even more in response to recent mass shootings, particularly the Connecticut school massacre.

Democrats who control the state Legislature revealed 10 proposals that they said would make California the most restrictive state for possessing firearms.

They were joined at a Capitol news conference by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, along with several police chiefs.

“California has always been a leader on the issue of gun safety,” Villaraigosa said. “New York has stepped up and stepped forward. California needs to answer the call.”

Among the measures is one that would outlaw the future sale of semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines. The restriction would prevent quick reloading by requiring bullets to be loaded one at a time.

Lawmakers also want to make some prohibitions apply to current gun owners, not just to people who buy weapons in the future.

Like New York, California also would require background checks for buying ammunition and would add to the list of prohibited weapons.

Those buying ammunition would have to pay a fee and undergo an initial background check by the state Department of Justice, similar to what is required now before buyers can purchase a weapon. Subsequent background checks would be done instantly by an ammunition seller checking the Justice Department’s records.

The legislation also would ban possession of magazines holding more than 10 bullets, even by those who now own them legally. All weapons would have to be registered.

Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, promised that gun proponents will fight the measures in court if they become law.

“It strikes me as if these folks are playing some sort of game of one-upsmanship with New York at the expense of law-abiding citizens, and that’s just unconscionable,” he said about lawmakers.

Three bills have been introduced, with others to come before this month’s deadline for submitting legislation.

The measures are the most stringent to date among numerous proposals introduced this year to strengthen California’s firearm regulations.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said he is confident Democrats can use their majorities in the Assembly and Senate to send the measures to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown this year.

Brown has declined to comment on weapons legislation before it reaches him.

Steinberg said the measures are designed to close numerous loopholes that gun manufacturers have exploited to get around California’s existing restrictions.

Those measures had been the strongest in the nation until Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed New York’s new law last month.

Other proposed measures in California would ban so-called “bullet buttons” that can be used to quickly detach and reload magazines in semi-automatic rifles, and update the legal definition of shotguns to prohibit a new version that can rapidly fire shotgun shells and .45-caliber ammunition.

The state also would restrict the lending of guns to keep weapons from felons, mentally ill people and others who are prohibited from ownership.

Obama on guns: ‘We’re not going to wait until the next Newtown’

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President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks about his gun violence proposals, Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Special Operations Center in Minneapolis, where he outlined his plan before law enforcement personnel. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Speaking at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Special Operations Center in Minneapolis, President Obama, says, “We don’t have to agree on everything to agree it’s time to do something.”

NBC News | Feb 4, 2013

By Kasie Hunt

Declaring “we’re not going to wait until the next Newtown,” President Barack Obama appealed directly to the American public on Monday to pressure reluctant lawmakers in Congress to move forward with gun control legislation.

Obama flew to Minneapolis, Minn., to urge constituents to contact their representatives and press for a package of new gun laws, including a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, universal background checks for gun buyers and new rules targeting gun traffickers.

“We don’t have to agree on everything to agree it’s time to do something,” Obama said, standing in front of a group of uniformed law enforcement officers.

Obama’s campaign-like strategy is designed to maintain a sense of urgency for gun control measures in the wake of the elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 elementary school children and 6 adults.

But the president conceded Monday that his plans already face steep hurdles in Congress.

“Changing the status quo is never easy,” Obama said. “This will be no exception.”

Obama’s remarks in Minneapolis reflected the political realities on Capitol Hill, where Democratic leadership aides privately say an assault weapons ban has little chance of passing. The fight will instead center on universal background checks and, some Democrats hope, high capacity magazines.

On Monday, Obama labeled universal background checks as “commonsense” and “smart” reforms that would earn bipartisan support.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get that done,” he said.

There’s some evidence of that: While the National Rifle Association says it opposes universal background checks, Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has been working with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and other Democrats to craft background check legislation.

For the politically difficult elements of his proposals – the bans on weapons and magazines – Obama set a more modest goal: “That deserves a vote in Congress,” he said.

That’s about the extent of what Senate Democratic aides say they can muster. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who earned a “B” grade from the National Rifle Association, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that he plans to allow the Senate Judiciary Committee to start writing a gun bill. If it doesn’t initially include the ban, senators could try to add it later in the process, as an amendment on the Senate floor.

Reid has no plans to introduce his own gun bill, a senior Democratic aide said Monday, instead leaving that process to the Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. Still, aides acknowledged, including a gun ban in the overall package could prevent other, more popular gun regulations from passing Congress.

Democratic aides say Leahy hasn’t yet decided exactly what he’ll include in the bill, though he’s introduced a measure that would crack down on people who illegally buy guns to give or sell to others. Before the committee starts writing a bill, planned for later in February, there will be at least two more hearings – one this week in the Constitution Subcommittee and another full committee hearing after that.

Congress held its first hearings on gun control late last month, where National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre clashed with Democratic senators and emerged in opposition to universal background checks.

Obama referred to lobbyists like LaPierre in his remarks, though he didn’t mention the longtime gun advocate by name. He urged Americans to tell Congress if he didn’t speak for them.

“If we’ve got lobbyists in Washington claiming to speak for gun owners saying something different, we’ve got to go to the source,” Obama said. “We cannot allow those filters to get in the way of common sense… keep the pressure on your member of Congress to do the right thing.”

Arizona Republicans Push Their Own Gun Secession Bill

The bill, known as HB 2291, would, among other things, make it a Class 6 felony for a federal government employee or official to enforce federal laws or regulations of firearms, accessories, and ammunition that are owned or manufactured within state lines and remain within state lines.

The bill would also make any new federal laws restricting semi-automatic firearms and magazines, or requiring any form of firearm registration, unenforceable in Arizona.

Among the bill’s sponsors is state Rep. Carl Seel (R), who previously made headlines as the author of a 2011 birther bill.

According to HB 2291’s primary sponsor, the bill is designed to send a message to the President and Congress.

“Here’s a line in the sand: Thanks, but no thanks. Stay out with your federal regulations you’re going to impose on us,” Rep. Steve Smith (R) told Capitol Media Services.

Arizona’s lawmakers aren’t the first to think of this kind of thing. As TPM reported earlier this month, similar noises have been made by Republicans in Mississippi, Texas, and Tennessee.

Read the full text of HB 2291 here.

Utah Yet Another State Getting In On The Gun Secession Movement

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tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com | Jan 23, 2013

by Eric Lach

For those keeping track at home, add Utah to the list of states where lawmakers and officials are pushing back against even the idea of new gun control measures coming from Washington D.C.

At a rally in front of the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, newly-elected state Rep. Brian Greene drew cheers when, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, he announced that “he would unveil legislation next week giving local sheriffs the power to arrest any federal agent attempting to seize firearms from Utah residents.”

Greene, who is a National Rifle Association “Golden Eagle,” told the crowd to be wary of President Barack Obama’s recent gun control proposals. Last week, the White House announced 23 executive actions Obama plans to take to reduce gun violence in the wake of December’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., as well as other proposals he wants Congress to take up.

“This is all about control,” Greene said. “I saw the president in his press conference the other day with all the children around him and he made this comment — and I want to correct him. He said if this can save just one life we have a duty to do it. No, Mr. President, you have a duty to uphold the Constitution.”

Greene’s bill is known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act. Reached by TPM on Tuesday, Greene said the bill was still being drafted, and public copies were not yet available.

Greene, however, was beaten to the punch by the Utah Sheriff’s Association, which last week, the day after Obama’s executive orders were announced, sent a letter to the President, telling him that “it is imperative this discussion be had in Congress, not silenced unilaterally by executive orders.”

“We respect the Office of the President of the United States of America,” the letter concluded. “But, make no mistake, as the duly-elected sheriffs of our respective counties, we will enforce the rights guaranteed to our citizens by the Constitution. No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights — in particular Amendment II — has given them. We, like you, swore a solemn oat to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.”

According to the Tribune’s report of Saturday’s rally, some of the speakers’ language went further than that.

“If I could tell one thing to these bedwetting, hand-wringing liberals out there, it’s that Thomas Jefferson anticipated you and called you a tyrant,” Clark Aposhian, Chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, told the crowd. “And there’s already a method of taking care of it, if not by the First Amendment, then by the Second.”

Assault Weapons Ban Lacks Democratic Votes to Pass Senate

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Senator Dianne Feinstein speaks next to a display of assault weapons during a news conference on Jan. 24, 2013 on Capitol Hill. Alex Wong/Getty Images

bloomberg.com | Jan 25, 2013

By Heidi Przybyla & Julie Hirschfeld Davis

A proposed ban on sales of assault weapons would be defeated in the U.S. Senate unless some lawmakers changed their current views, based on a Bloomberg review of recent lawmaker statements and interviews.

At least six of the 55 senators in the Democratic caucus have expressed skepticism or outright opposition to a ban, the review found. That means Democrats wouldn’t have a 51-vote majority to pass the measure, let alone the 60 needed to break a Republican filibuster to bring it to a floor vote.

A ban on the military-style weapons is among the legislative goals President Barack Obama outlined in his recommendations to Congress on curbing gun violence after the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School slaughter of 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut. Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday it will take “persuasion and information” to gain the necessary support to enact the White House package.

Related:

“We have an obligation to act — not wait,” Biden told reporters after a more than two-hour roundtable at Virginia Commonwealth University to discuss the administration’s push for new gun-safety measures.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California unveiled on Jan. 24 legislation to outlaw sales of assault-style weapons during a news briefing where shooting survivors, some of them with bullets still lodged in their bodies, urged its passage.

At that event, Feinstein said it’s unclear whether the fight is winnable. “We don’t know, it’s so uphill,” she said. “It depends on the courage of Americans.”

New York Representative Carolyn McCarthy, who lost her husband in a 1993 shooting on a Long Island Rail Road train, said recent events have spurred a fresh start on the issue.

“We’re only at the beginning of our nation’s conversation about gun violence,” McCarthy said by e-mail. “There’s no way to know where the American people’s anger and frustration with” the Connecticut shooting “will ultimately take lawmakers.”

The five Democratic senators from traditionally pro-gun states who have expressed skepticism about the bill are Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Independent Senator Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with Democrats, also said he opposes a ban.

Maine Senator Susan Collins, a Republican who supported similar legislation in 2004, has indicated she is unlikely to back the proposed ban in its current form.

In his comments yesterday, Biden made no mention of an assault weapons ban, and on Jan. 24 he downplayed its importance.

“I’m much less concerned, quite frankly, about what you call an assault weapon ban than I am about magazines and the number of rounds that can be held in a magazine,” Biden said.

The 1994 assault weapons ban, signed by President Bill Clinton, expired in 2004 and, until the shooting in Newtown, there’s been little effort in Congress to restore it.

The new legislation prohibits the sale or transfer of 158 of the most commonly owned military-style assault weapons. It would exempt all such guns legally possessed before passage of the law and exclude more than 2,200 hunting and sporting rifles.

Baucus, in a Jan. 16 statement, said that “before passing new laws, we need a thoughtful debate that respects responsible, law-abiding gun owners in Montana instead of a one-size-fits-all directive from Washington.”

“The answer isn’t simply in limiting guns,” said Andrea Helling, a spokeswoman for Tester. The senator also told a newspaper in Missoula, Montana, that an assault weapons ban wouldn’t have stopped the shootings in Newtown.

Begich said he was “not interested” in a ban, during a Jan. 10 conference call with reporters. “I don’t believe that we need to pile on new laws and suddenly that solves all the problems,” he said.

Manchin told CNN on Jan. 13 that “an assault weapons stand-alone ban on just guns alone will not, in the political reality that we have today, will not go anywhere.”

Heitkamp, referring to the Connecticut shooting, told North Dakota’s KXMB-TV and KXMC-TV on Jan. 15 that “there isn’t any amount of gun regulation or gun executive orders that will solve the problem of identifying people who could potentially do this and making sure they get the help and their families get the help so they don’t do this.”

Scott Ogden, a spokesman for King, said the senator “remains skeptical” about an assault weapons ban, though he was waiting for more details.

Collins is concerned that the proposed legislation is “far broader in the kinds of rifles that would be banned than was the case in the law in effect between 1994 and 2004,” said her spokesman, Kevin Kelley.

Further dimming prospects for the assault weapon ban, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, both Democrats, voted against extending the previous ban in 2004. Neither has made any public statements since Newtown indicating a change in their positions.

Feinstein will be relying on survivor testimonials, along with images of the slain Sandy Hook students, most of them 6- year-olds, to push these Democrats to reconsider their opposition.

“The message to Democrats is, ‘See what your silence does?’” Feinstein told reporters. “There will be more of these. These won’t end.”

“If just reading the list of beautiful names and looking into the eyes of some of the pictures of the children slain doesn’t do something to the conscience of America, nothing I can say or do will,” she said.

The vote shortage for a ban may prompt Democrats to focus on another major goal that is also part of the Feinstein bill: banning high-capacity magazines that have been used in many of the U.S. shootings over the past decade to fire off numerous bullets in a matter of seconds from autoloading guns.

Senator Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, introduced separate legislation on Jan. 22 to ban the manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

In the Tucson, Arizona, shooting two years ago that severely injured former Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, Jared Lee Loughner fired 31 bullets in 15 seconds from a Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol. He was tackled while reloading. An assault rifle with a 100-round magazine was among the weapons alleged gunman James Holmes used to kill 12 and wound 58 in July 2012 at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater.

Mark Kelly, Giffords’s husband and a gun-control advocate, will testify at a Jan. 30 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, the panel’s chairman, announced yesterday. Kelly will be joined by witnesses including Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association, which opposes new restrictions.

Some of the lawmakers skeptical of the assault-weapons ban did express support for a prohibition on high-capacity magazines that can hold more than 10 bullets, as well increased background checks for firearm purchases.

“Congress must act to implement magazine capacity restrictions,” King spokesman Ogden said in a statement.

King is also “generally supportive of expanded background checks,” Ogden said.

Collins “supports a reasonable limitation on the number of rounds of ammunition in a magazine,” spokesman Kelley said.

Biden, who Obama tapped to develop recommendations for action after the Connecticut shooting, said there would be more trips outside of Washington to discuss the issue. Yesterday, he called the Newtown massacre “a national tragedy and a window into a vulnerability people feel about their safety and the safety of their children.”

The White House’s campaign-style effort is designed to build political pressure on Congress to take action.

“I have no illusions about what needs to be done and how difficult it will be,” Biden said in an e-mail sent yesterday to Obama supporters. “Each one of us needs to speak up and demand action,” he wrote, concluding: “Let’s get this done.”

The private roundtable Biden conducted in Virginia included cabinet officials, Democratic lawmakers, and members of the state-appointed review board that investigated the 2007 shooting that killed 33 people at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known as Virginia Tech, in the deadliest gun massacre in U.S. history.

That incident prompted passage of a 2008 law improving state reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, aimed at barring criminals or mentally ill individuals from obtaining guns.

Biden said the group discussed the need for strengthening that system and implementing universal background checks with better and timelier information from states. He said they also talked about the “woefully inadequate” number of trained mental-health professionals available around the country.

Manchin told a West Virginia radio interviewer Jan. 24 that he is working with senators of both parties to require most gun purchasers, including those at weapons shows, to undergo checks.

“If you’re going to be a gun owner, you should have a background check and be able to pass a background check,” he said. Exceptions should be made in cases where a gun is transferred from one family member to another, and when a weapon is being obtained for use at a sporting event.

Manchin said private sellers at gun shows have an “unfair advantage” because they don’t have to perform background checks while a licensed dealer does.

Newtown residents join gun control march in Washington

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People walk from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, during a march on Washington for gun control. Susan Walsh / AP

NBC News | Jan 26, 2013

By Becky Bratu

Residents of Newtown, Conn., the scene of a school massacre in which 20 children and six adults were killed last month, joined thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington on Saturday for a march supporting gun control.

Similar organized demonstrations were planned in support of gun control in about a dozen other places across the United States, according to organizers.

In addition to the 100 people who traveled together from Newtown, organizers told The Associated Press participants from New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia would join the demonstration.

Alongside Mayor Vincent Gray, a crowd that stretched for about two blocks marched down Constitution Avenue toward the Washington Monument, where speakers called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition. Some of the demonstrators held signs that read “We Are Sandy Hook.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan addressed the crowd, saying he and President Barack Obama would work to enact gun control policies, the AP reported.

“This is about trying to create a climate in which our children can grow up free of fear,” he said, according to the AP.

“We must act, we must act, we must act,” Duncan said.

According to the AP, demonstrators held signs that read “Ban Assault Weapons Now,” “Stop NRA” and “Gun Control Now.” Other signs carried the names of victims of gun violence.

The silent march is organized by Molly Smith, artistic director of Washington’s Arena Stage, and her partner.

“With the drum roll, the consistency of the mass murders and the shock of it, it is always something that is moving and devastating to me. And then, it’s as if I move on,” Smith told the AP. “And in this moment, I can’t move on. I can’t move on.

“I think it’s because it was children, babies,” she told the AP. “I was horrified by it.”

The event is co-sponsored by One Million Moms for Gun Control, an independent organization that is also responsible for similar demonstrations in cities such as San Francisco, Chicago and Austin, Texas.

The Newtown massacre has reignited the debate over firearms in the United States, and last week Obama laid out a series of measures intended to curb gun violence, most significantly proposals to limit the size of ammunition magazines, ban assault weapons and require universal background checks on firearm purchases. That plan won little praise from Republicans.

Earlier this month, New York lawmakers approved the toughest gun control law in the nation, expanding the state’s existing assault weapons ban and addressing gun ownership by those with mental illnesses.

Feinstein calls for banning more than 150 types of firearms during dramatic press conference

dailycaller.com | Jan 24, 2013

by Alex Pappas

Sen-Feinstein-America-Has-To-Bite-The-Bullet-On-Gun-ControlWASHINGTON — California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein staged a dramatic press conference Thursday on Capitol Hill with 10 weapons at her side and unveiled legislation instituting a government ban on more than 150 types of firearms, including rifles, pistols and shotguns.

Flanked by other anti-gun liberal lawmakers, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Feinstein announced the introduction of the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013.”

The legislation being pushed by Feinstein — who has long history of calling for gun bans — would prohibit the sale, transfer, importation and manufacture of certain firearms.

Click to expand full list of guns Feinstein wants banned:

During the press event at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the Democrats described these firearms as “dangerous military-style assault weapons.” The bill would also ban high-capacity ammunition feeding devices that can hold more than 10 rounds.

Feinstein said the country’s “weak” gun laws allow massacres like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occur.

“Getting this bill signed into law will be an uphill battle, and I recognize that — but it’s a battle worth having,” Feinstein said in literature handed to reporters at the Thursday event.

Others who joined the Democrats for the press conference included Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Washington National Cathedral dean Gary R. Hall. (RELATED: Episcopal dean of National Cathedral teams up with Democrats on guns)

This sort of stunt from Feinstein — displaying weapons for dramatic effect while discussing new gun laws — is hardly new. Joe Morrissey, a Democratic delegate in Virginia, caught some colleagues by surprise last week by bringing an AK-47 onto the floor of the House of Delegates while calling for gun control.

And David Gregory, the moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” found himself in hot water for displaying a high-capacity gun magazine during an interview with a leader of the National Rifle Association in December. NBC studios are in Washington D.C., where having possession of such magazines is illegal. While DC police investigated the incident, no charges were filed.

Sandy Hook: Obama’s latest exploitation

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wnd.com | Jan 17, 2013

by David Limbaugh

Liberals have an uncanny knack for designing solutions that do not address the problem at hand, and they’re doing it again in their current effort to use the Sandy Hook shootings as fodder for promoting stringent gun-control measures.

It’s as if President Obama and his fellow travelers lie in wait for the unfolding of big events they can use to incite the public’s passions and thereby gain popular support for otherwise unpopular government action.

Liberals aren’t just exploiting Sandy Hook to promote their unpopular gun agenda; some are now invoking false charges of racism to aid their cause, as well. Rep. Hank Johnson asserted that the National Rifle Association opposes Obama’s gun-control policies because it “still cannot get over” the fact that the president is “black.” Rep. Charles Rangel was a smidgeon more subtle, suggesting that while his state of New York is more progressive than other states (and has thus enacted strict gun control measures), some of the “Southern areas have cultures that we have to overcome.”

Whether these pernicious allegations proceed from malice or ignorance, one thing is undeniable: Democrats often seek to inflame our emotions to impede an honest, good-faith discussion on the merits of various issues.

Obama demonstrated this in his news conference when he trotted out his 23 executive orders designed to address mass shootings. By using the parents of shooting victims and children as props, he intended to imply that unless you support his measures, you oppose protecting children. He did more than imply that in his remarks when he expressed incredulity that anyone who cares about these shootings could possibly oppose his policies.

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Anti-gun Advocates Refuse to Post Lawn Signs saying “THIS HOME IS PROUDLY GUN FREE”

Posing as “Citizens Against Senseless Violence,” we visit the homes of journalists working for Westchester Journal News, MSNBC, and the Star-Ledger. We also visited the home of Eric Holder. None will take our signs that say “THIS HOME IS PROUDLY GUN FREE.”

Since these reporters and editors did not consider it a violation of the privacy and safety of others to reveal which homes have guns and which homes don’t, we went to see which of them would be willing to put a sign up publicly declaring their homes to be gun-free zones. While we didn’t find any members of the media with the strength of their convictions, we did find quite a few guns, and some good explanations for why they might be necessary….. Guns for Me, but not for Thee.

Kentucky sheriff announces resistance to federal gun grabs

naturalnews.com | Jan 17, 2013

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) During America’s Civil War, the state of Kentucky remained a “border state,” one geographically situated between the North and South and which remained officially neutral in the conflict. Now; however, a Kentucky sheriff is choosing sides over the Second Amendment, stating plainly that he has no intention of bowing to any federal demand or effort to seize lawfully owned firearms.

In an impassioned town hall-style speech to local residents, Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman sought to reassure constituents who helped put him in office that as long as he remained there, any federal laws requiring the confiscation of firearms would be ignored in his jurisdiction.

‘I couldn’t justify’ confiscating guns

“You’ll understand me very well when you leave here today, and why we’re all still going to have our guns here in Jackson,” he said during opening comments.

“I am responsible for the people inside this county… I couldn’t justify, if [President] Obama passes this, it doesn’t matter what he passes, the sheriff has more power than the federal people,” Peyman said, in conveying what many federal and state authorities know to be an inconvenient truth.

“They need to go back and study that. We are a commonwealth. I can ask federal people to leave, they have to leave. I can ask state people to leave, they have to leave,” he said, drawing on constitutional and legal principles and precedent that county sheriffs are the ultimate law of the land in their counties.

“I am the highest elected official in this county, and this is the only opportunity the people have to speak for themselves and say, ‘This is what we want,'” he told his audience.

Elitists in Washington, in academia and in the press will dispute Peyman’s claims. But hundreds of years of legal precedent prove him correct.

Former Sheriff Richard Mack, a noted expert on this legal principle writes:

The office of sheriff has a long and noble history. It dates back over a thousand years and originated in England. The sheriff is the only elected law enforcement official in America. He is the last line of defense for his citizens. He is the people’s protector. He is the keeper of the peace, he is the guardian of liberty and the protector of rights. A vast majority of sheriffs will agree with all of this until they are asked to apply these principles of protection to federal criminals … The truth and stark reality is…the sheriff has ultimate authority and law enforcement power within his jurisdiction.

Peyman, referring to an interview he recently conducted, added, “They asked, ‘How are you going to pull these guns?’ and I said, ‘You are never going to pull a gun from Jackson County.”

In a separate interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader, a local paper, he said of his duty, “I consider this a moral obligation… My office will not comply with any federal actions which violate the United States Constitution or the Kentucky Constitution which I swore to uphold.”

‘Will I’ uphold my oath of office?

In yet another interview with WKYT, Peyman talked about what could happen if federal officials tried to disarm the people of his county.

“We’ll see when push comes to shove. It’s going to have to go into the courtrooms,” he said. “It’s not going to be, I mean we don’t want a bloodbath in our community when they come in to take guns. It’s going to have to be taken care of in a court room before it gets to that point.”

He also said that “the only thing I’ve ever told people if someone is kicking or coming in their front door, is I only have to listen to one side of the story.”

Local law enforcement officials – county sheriffs, chiefs of police – will not necessarily be asked to help confiscate weapons, if it comes to that. But they may be asked by the people they swore to protect to stand in defiance with them.

“Will I?” is a question these individuals should be asking themselves now. More importantly, as some have suggested, it’s a question the people should be asking them.

Peyman should be commended, but in many circles he will be condemned.

“In Jackson county, as long as I am sheriff here, I got children, I got family, I got friends, I got everybody here, and I feel a whole lot better coming into a room if I know everybody is packing, than if I’m the only one, because if they take me out first, then they take everybody else out too,” he said at his town hall meeting.

Sources:

http://www.infowars.com

http://constitutionallawenforcementassoc.blogspot.com/

http://www.kentucky.com