by Tanya Metaksa
Latest developments—Federal: H.R. 1181; H.R. 358 & S.618; Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) to head the Interior Department and withdraws Director’s Order No. 219; Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 ((S.446/H.R.38); Gorsuch hearings begin; Judicial: Wisconsin Carry, Inc v. City of Madison; Kolbe v. Maryland; Wollschlaeger v. Governor of the State of Florida; Silvester v. Harris; US v. Robinson; State Legislation: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, , Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming
Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, H.R.1181 passes the House 240-175. Under Pres. Obama the VA automatically reports any veteran using a fiduciary (someone to help him with his financial affairs) as “mentally defective” thereby disqualifying the veteran from owning a firearm. HR1181 requires that a veteran be adjudicated mentally deficient before losing Second Amendment rights.
Right-to-Carry Reciprocity: US Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38) on the first day of the 115th Congress with 63 co-sponsors. On Mar. 1 Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduce the Senate version, Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, S.446, with 30 co-sponsors. The proposed legislation would compel states to recognize concealed carry permits issued from other states that have concealed carry laws within their own borders — much in the same way a driver’s license is recognized. The bill aims to eliminate the confusion of varying state-by-state laws and provide protection for Second Amendment rights for permit holders.
Allowing the Interstate Transport of Firearms: Two bills, H.R. 358 and S.618, guaranteeing the right to transport an unloaded firearm between two locations where possession of such firearm is legal even though state or local laws along the route of travel deny the transport, have been introduced.
H.J.Res 69, revoking the Obama Administration’s seizure of authority to manage fish and wildlife refuges from the state of Alaska, has passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.
US Fish and Wildlife ban on traditional ammunition: Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke’s first order of business was to withdraw Order No. 219. (See last days of Obama administration below regarding Fish & Wildlife)
S.59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017: Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced S.59. In the House Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and Rep. John Carter (R-TX) and 42 cosponsors have introduced the companion piece—H.R. 367.These bills would remove sound suppressors from the current regulation under the National Firearms Act where the purchase of a suppressor is subject to the same background check, the transfer forms and the $200 tax as fully automatic firearms. The introduction of these laws has sent the anti-gun proponents and media into a frenzy with much editorializing that is misleading if not outright fallacious.
DC 2nd Amendment Rights: On Jan. 17 Sen. Rubio introduced S. 162, a bill to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia. It has been referred to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The Trump Administration
President Trump signed H.J. Res.40, repealing the December regulation by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to characterize those persons whose disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income is being managed by a third party as “mentally defective” and thus reported to the National Instant Check System as prohibited from owning or purchasing a firearm. On Friday Feb 24,
After two very contentious floor fights in the US Senate, Sen. Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General and Rep. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services, On Mar. 10 Attorney General Sessions asked the remaining federal prosecutors appointed by Pres. Obama to resign. Two more nominees of concern to gun owners have been confirmed: David Shulkin to head the Veterans Administration and Rep. Ryan Zinke to run Interior Department.
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings will begin on March 21 in the US Senate.
Trump has nominated former GA Gov. Sonny Perdue to head the Department of Agriculture.
US Senate: Luther Strange, the Alabama Attorney General, has been appointed to fill Sen. Sessions’ seat until a Special Election in 2018.
Wisconsin Carry, Inc v. City of Madison: The case was whether the Transit Commission of the City of Madison could prohibit passengers with Right-to-Carry permits from bearing weapons on its buses. The Commission in 2005 prohibited persons from “bringing any items of a dangerous nature onboard buses including: weapons (pistols, rifles..” The petitioners requested that Metro Transit change the rules as a result of the 2011 Act 35, authorizing the carrying of weapons with a required license, and the WI preemption statute §66.0409. Both the Wisconsin Circuit Court and the Court of Appeals affirmed the Transit Commission’s denial of this request, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals saying “In sum, the City may not enforce the Rule against concealed-carry licensees who are in compliance with the Concealed-Carry Statute.”
Sandy Hook victims (Soto v. Bushmaster): Although Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act gave immunity to the firearms industry and dismissed the suit, the plaintiffs have filed an appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court for reinstatement. This lawsuit was filed Dec. 2014 by the families of nine of the victims and a teacher against Remington, the distributor and the gun dealer that sold the AR15 to Adam Lanza’s mother.
Kolbe v. Maryland: Background: During the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shootings in 2013 the Maryland legislature passed a draconian gun law banning so-called “assault weapons” and high capacity magazines. The plaintiffs argued that the law infringed on Second Amendment rights. The US District Court for the District of Maryland ruled in August 2014 in favor of the State of Maryland writing, ““Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes, particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right, and is inclined to find the weapons fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual.” That ruling was appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and oral arguments were held in March 2015. On Feb. 4, 2016: the 4th Circuit Court in a 2-1 decision vacated the district court decision upholding the assault weapon ban and the magazine limitation and ”the district court’s denial of Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claims and remands for the district court to apply strict scrutiny.” An en banc review of this decision was conducted in May 2016 and a decision upholding the Maryland ban and magazine limitation was handed down on Feb. 21. The 9-4 ruling stated that these arms “are not protected by the Second Amendment.” In the past the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has refused to hear previous cases regarding the banning of such firearms.
Wollschlaeger v. Governor of the State of Florida: Commonly known as Docs vs Glocks, this case has been in the courts for over 4 years since the law was passed in 2011. This law states that health care workers cannot ask their patients about gun ownership. After the law was signed the Brady Center, representing a group of physician lobbying organizations took the law to court citing First Amendment concerns. Originally the Miami US District Court blocked enforcement of the law, an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed the Miami decision in 2014, finding “the Act is a valid regulation of professional conduct that has only incidental effect on physicians’ speech.” The plaintiffs then requested an en banc hearing that was denied. In December a rehearing petition was denied by Judge Gerald Tjoflat in an 82-page ruling. On June 21 the full US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit heard arguments again in this case. On Feb. 16, the Court reversed “the record-keeping, inquiry, and anti-harassment provisions” saying these provisions violated the First Amendment rights of the doctors, while affirming the anti-discrimination provisions that protected the patients ability to not answer any question regarding firearms’ ownership.
Silvester v. Harris: In Aug. 2014 The United States District Court Eastern District of California ruled that a person who had already possessed a “CCW” permit and a “COE” permit did not have to wait 10 days before possessing a new firearm saying that this violated the citizen’s Second Amendment rights. The State of CA appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. On Dec. 14, 2016 a three judge panel reversed the District Court’s ruling. On Feb. 13, 2017 attorneys for the plaintiffs, Calguns Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation filed a petition for a full en banc review.
Knutson v. Curry: A lawsuit brought by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) in which a legal resident, but not a US citizen, cannot apply for a Right-to-Carry permit due to current Montana law, has been stayed pending the disposition of Montana HB273. (see below under Montana.)
United States v. Robinson: In 2014 Shaquille Montel Robinson, was arrested as a felon in possession after an anonymous tip of a man with a gun and convicted Robinson “filed a motion to suppress the evidence of the firearm and ammunition seized during the frisk, arguing that the frisk violated his Fourth Amendment rights.” A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled Robinson’s conviction and the government requested a further hearing en banc. The en banc decision found that Robinson’s Fourth Amendment rights were NOT violated. However, in writing a separate brief Judge James A. Wynn wrote, “Individuals who choose to carry firearms are categorically dangerous to the Terry frisk inquiry. Accordingly, the majority decision today necessarily leads to the conclusion that individuals who elect to carry firearms forego other constitutional rights, like the Fourth Amendment right to have law enforcement officers ‘knock-and-announce’ before forcibly entering homes.”
Worman, et al. v. Charles D. Baker, et al: Since Massachusetts has banned so-called “assault weapons” but since 1998 has allowed similar firearms to be sold and transferred thus becoming “Massachusetts Compliant Firearms,” but in 2016 Attorney General Maura Healey redefined the phrase “copies or duplicates” and expanded the “assault weapons” prohibition to include “Massachusetts Compliant Firearms,” and criminalized the transfer of tens of thousands of such firearms. The lawsuit is arguing that the MA law on “assault weapons” violated the Second Amendment and that Healey’s definition denies the plaintiffs due process of law. During the week of Feb. 6 the Attorney General’s office sought and extension on responding to the complaint.
National Shooting Sports Foundation, et al v. State of California: On Dec. 1, 2016 the Court of Appeal of the State of California Fifth Appellate District overturned a lower court decision that had dismissed NSSF’s challenge to California’s arbitrary and irrational requirement that all new semi-automatic handguns be equipped with so-called “microstamping” technology. As a result of this law not a single new semi-automatic handgun has been sold in the state since 2014. The Appellate Court agreed “microstamping” technology as mandated by the law is impossible and has remanded the case to the lower court to re-decide the challenge to “microstamping.”
Shooting at the Olympics
The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) made recommendations to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to achieve gender equality in the Olympic Shooting Sports. They recommended “replacing the Double Trap Men event with a Trap Mixed Gender Team event, the 50mm Rifle Prone Men event with a 10mm Air Rifle Mixed Gender Team event and the 50mm Pistol Men event with a 10mm Air Pistol Mixed Gender Team event. This proposal was developed to preserve discipline parity and retain 15 Olympic shooting events – 5 Rifle, 5 Pistol, 5 Shotgun.” For a full explanation please see this website: http://www.issf-sports.org/news.ashx?newsid=2731
In 2017 Republicans will continue to control over 2/3 of the 99 legislative houses. Additionally 25 of the states not only have a Republican legislature, but a Republican governor as well. Only the states of HI, CA, OR, CT, and RI have a Democratic governor and Democratic controlled legislature. Virginia, Utah and New Mexico have adjourned as of March 20, 2017.
SB24, a bill allowing permitless concealed carry, has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 6-3 and now will be considered on the Senate floor. HB414, the companion bills to SB24 was introduced. SB2, a clarification of Alabama’s preemption law, has been introduced.
SB1243, expanding where Right-to-Carry permittees can carry concealed, lost in the Senate. HB2287, revising the mental state of a person who unlawfully discharged a firearm to “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly,” has passed both the House and the Senate Government Committee.
HB1249, allowing employees with Right-to-Carry permits to keep their firearms and ammunition in their locked vehicles when parked on the employer’s or state-owned property, has passed the House, a new amendment in the Senate added that anyone with a Right-to-Carry permit who wanted to take a firearm on a college campus needed an additional 8 hours of active shooter training. The bill goes back to the House for concurrence. HB1265, has been deferred. Two pro-gun Senate bills have been introduced—SB37, creating a Second Amendment Appreciation Weekend in Sept as a tax holiday on firearms sales , and SB126, creating a Tax Holiday for firearms purchases.
Assembly Public Safety Committee action: AB424, removing the authority of school superintendents to allow concealed weapons in schools, passed the on a 5-2 party line vote, and AB7, banning open carry, is scheduled for Mar. 21. SB464, mandating gun stores to lock firearms in a secure facility during non-business hours, is scheduled for a Mar.20 hearing before the Senate Public Safety Committee. AB1544, allowing a suspension of the current ban on traditional ammunition if non-lead ammunition is unavailable, has been introduced. The CA Department of Justice (DOJ) withdrew the regulations it had submitted regarding newly classified “assault weapons” on Feb.10. Both the NRA and the CRPA had written a letter objecting to the regulations.
In 2013 the legislature met and passed a magazine capacity limitation law. Every year since a bill has been introduced to repeal that law—this year the bill is SB7 and it passed the Senate 21-13. A similar bill, HB1097, was defeated on a party-line vote in the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee.
Gov. Dannel Malloy, who has a history of being anti-Second Amendment, has proposed increasing the state fee from $70 to $300 for Right-to-Carry permits in his budget proposals. That bill, SB787, was before the Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Bonding on Mar. 9. According to US News, “Gun rights supporters turn out to oppose fees.” In addition to opposition at the hearing over 98% of comments sent to the Committee were in opposition to the increase in permit fees. A study by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) found that the anti-gun climate in the state has cost tax revenues from firearms businesses to fall from $134 million in 2013 to $85 million in 2016. They named it “the Malloy economy.” Two bills, Proposed Bill 6001 and Proposed Bill 6200, requiring persons who openly carry firearms to display their permit immediately to law-enforcement, and have been introduced and PB6200 is scheduled for Mar. 15 before the Joint Judiciary Committee, Three hunting bills will be before the Connecticut Joint Committee on Environment Mar. 6: HB5499, allowing hunting on Sundays; SB522, institute a bear hunting season; and SB942, ban legally acquired hunting trophies of African “Big Five” game.
SB128, restoring the presumption of innocence in self-defense cases, has passed the Senate. According to USF’s Executive Director, Marion Hammer, this bill fixes the problem when someone who defended his/her self is NOT presumed innocent, but rather must run away before fighting against a criminal attack. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB616, allowing a Right-to-Carry permittee to surrender a weapon when going into a courthouse; while temporarily postponing SB646, allowing Right-to-Carry permittees to temporarily display their concealed weapon; SB912, exempting law enforcement from 3-day waiting period, and SB620, allowing Right-to-Carry permittees to carry into a meeting of the Legislature. HB245, restoring the original intent of the self-defense immunity law—presumption of innocence, passed the House Criminal Justice Committee 9-4. SB140, a bill to allow campus carry, open carry and carrying in public areas of airports introduced by Sen Steube has now been split into several individual bills: SB610, requiring businesses who prohibit Right-to-Carry permittees to assume responsibility for their safety, SB618, allowing Right-to-Carry permittees to carry firearms into an airport with the exception of a sterile area; SB626, allowing Right-to-Carry permittees to carry into a meeting of the local governing bodies; SB644, allowing Right-to-Carry permittees to carry into a meeting of the legislature and HB6005, is a campus carry bill. Several anti-gun measures have been pre-filed.
SB99, allowing those who have been involuntarily committed to regain their Second Amendment rights through a hearing process rather than waiting the current Georgia requirement of 5 years, has passed the Senate 52-1.HB280, expanding campus carry; HB406, extending Right-to-Carry reciprocity with VA; and HB292, dealing with reciprocal agreements on Right-to-Carry permits and other safeguards, are headed to the full Senate for a vote. HB232, adding a new requirement for basic firearm training for first-time applicants for a Right-to-Carry permit, and HB156, a constitutional carry bill, have been introduced.
SB898, permanently stripping a person of Second Amendment rights due to an ex-parte warrant application based on probable cause, and SB1036, allowing firearm owners who were unable to register their firearms within the 5 day time period to do so without penalty, have passed the Senate. HB1589, allowing the ownership and use of firearm sound suppressors while hunting, has died. SB280, prohibiting gun ownership to persons placed on the “Terrorist Watchlist” was deferred.
HB93, allowing active military members from states other than Idaho to carry without a permit within city limits, has passed the House State Affairs Committee and now goes to the House floor. HB240, encouraging school districts to off a firearms safety course, has been introduced was defeated in the House Education Committee.
SB1985, a lead ammunition ban, passed the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee. SB1291, allowing family members to petition the court for an ex parte restraining order without any input from the person who is the target of the order, is before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Mar. 7. Senate Amendment 2 to SB9 would impose a 5% tax on membership or access fees for gun clubs, shooting ranges, training classes, etc. In addition it would require that any of those venues pay a state fee of $75. A reintroduction of a 2016 bill to legalize the possession and use of suppressors (SB50) has been introduced. A hearing on this bill was cancelled.
HB1071, allowing those petitioning for a civil protective order to carry a handgun without a permit, has passed the House 72-26 and is awaiting Senate action. HB1095, changing Indiana’s definition of “armor piercing ammunition” to mirror federal law has passed the Senate with amendments and needs House concurrence. All other pro-gun bills have not been considered and are dead for the session.
HF517 has passed the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee includes such important legislative reforms as: Stand Your Ground, allowing the lawful possession of a concealed firearm on capitol property, prohibiting any state agency during a declared state of emergency from restricting the lawful use or firearms or their confiscation, and keep information concerning concealed carry applicants and permittees confidential. Senate Joint Resolution 2, a constitutional amendment to the Iowa Constitution that would add a Right to Keep and Bear Arms, has been introduced with by 29 of the 50 Senators. HF145, expanding background checks to all firearms transfers, and HF157, prohibiting so-called “assault weapons,” have been introduced.
Several bills to repeal Kansas Right-to-Carry laws have been introduced: HB2113 and SB51, to block a 2013 law to enable Right-to-Carry permittees to carry in public universities beginning in July 2017. On Jan. 31 the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee defeated SB53, repealing the right to carry on college campus and on Feb. 15 the House Federal and State Affairs Committee defeated HB2150, banning the carrying of a firearm into the Kansas University Hospital.
SB7 and HB316, constitutional carry bills have been introduced.
LD31, a constitutional amendment to make the “Citizen Initiative” process more equitable, is before the Committee on Veteran and Legal Affairs Committee. On Mar. 17 the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety is holding hearings on the following bills: Pro-gun—LD9, prohibiting gun registration; LD44, lowering the age for Right-to-Carry permits to 18; LD350, repeal state law requiring an FFL to make copies of federal forms; LD574, eliminate the present requirement for a Right-to-Carry permittee to inform a police officer that the person has a firearm; LD595, prohibit firearms’ seizures by law enforcement unless a Class A,B, or C Crime had been committed; and eliminate the present requirement for a Right-to-Carry permittee to inform a police officer that the person has a firearm;, eliminate the present requirement for person carrying a firearm without a permit to inform a police officer that the person has a firearm when stopped by a police officer. Anti-gun—LD352, requiring a gun lock to be sold with every firearm sold; LD443, allowing municipally funded hospital to restrict firearms; LD501, require proof of completion of firearms training by a purchaser of a firearm; and LD351, allow municipalities to restrict carrying of firearms in municipal public proceeding and polling places.
SB1180, a bill to abolish the Handgun Review Board, has been introduced. The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on firearms bills on March 8 and the House Judiciary Committee held similar hearings on March 14. HB159, banning the possession or carrying of firearms on college campuses, was approved by the House on Feb. 10 and a companion bill, SB946, is scheduled before the Senate on Mar. 20. Other bills to be heard include: HB294/SB224, prohibiting firearms ownership for those with a domestically related 2nd degree assault charge; three bills dealing with antique firearms—SB467/HB318; and SB948/HB1448, criminalize the private transfer of a firearm. Two pro-gun bills have been introduced: HB59 , allowing gun owners to replace any lost, stolen or broken firearm, and HB1036, allowing preliminary approval for a Right-to-Carry permit.
SD1884, calls for a new 4.75% tax on firearm and ammunition, personalization technology in firearms, and a restriction on all private sales. The sponsor of the bill was quoted as saying, “I want to make it harder and harder to get guns in and get guns into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” Obviously, she thinks no one should have guns—especially those who pay taxes.
The House Committee on Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance will meet on Mar. 8 to consider HF188, a constitutional carry bill, and HF238, a stand your ground bill. SF650 is the Senate companion to HF188. These bills do not eliminate the current carry permitting system which allows persons to get a permit if they so desire. Companion bills SF1263 and HF1678, appropriating $200,000 from MN taxpayers for providing grants to anti-gun organizations, have been introduced. HF1356, banning the use of lead ammunition for deer hunting, has been introduced.
HB458, a bill allowing lawful owners of firearms to transport or store firearm in locked, privately owned vehicles without fear of civil or criminal liability or employer retribution; HB853, allowing a tax deduction for firearm training/safety courses; and HJR4, a constitutional amendment to guarantee the Right to Hunt and Fish, have been introduced. Anti-gun bills that have been introduced are: SB318/HB766 that would add misdemeanor convictions as prohibiting Second Amendment rights; HB185/SB181, requiring lawful gun owners to report firearms’ theft or loss within a short period of time or else face penalties; HB363, making all private firearms transfers without a background check illegal; HB365, establish gun seizure warrants without due process as a result of protection orders; and HB929, repealing certain self-defense laws.
HB262, a permitless carry bill, has passed both Houses and is on its way to Gov. Steve Bullock’s desk.HB273, allowing permanent lawful residents (not citizens) to apply for a Right-to-Carry permit, passed the House 98-2 and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee (see Knutson v. Curry in Judicial). HB494, allowing Right-to-Carry permittees to carry in restaurants, has passed the House 62-37.
LB68, creating a preemption law that ensures that firearm and ammunition laws are set by state statute passed the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on March 17. LB637, keeping information concerning concealed carry applicants and permittees confidential, was before the Judiciary Committee on Mar. 8 but no action has been taken.
SB115, banning the carrying of guns in public library and other places, passed the Judiciary Committee 4-3. SB102, allowing gun owners with Right-to-Carry permits to carry or store their firearms in their vehicles on school property, still has not yet had a hearing. A bill to allow members of the military between 18 and 20 years of age to obtain a Right-to-Carry permit, AB118, was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Mar. 15.
After several years of former Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoing a constitutional carry bill, SB12 was signed by Gov. Chris Sununu. HB201, a universal background check bill, and HB350, prohibiting carrying a firearm while voting, may be before the House soon.
On Mar. 6 Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced new police rules that would allow the State Police to include justifiable need when issuing handgun carrying permits. The next day according to US News, “Democrats vowed Tuesday to fight Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to loosen restrictions on citizens seeking gun carry permits.” Since the legislature is controlled by the Democrats SCR149 was introduced without language or a hearing and approved 21-16. The resolution allows the legislature to institute legal action against Christie’s new rules for the State Police issuing carrying permits. In addition a resolution does not require the governor’s signature.
The New Mexico legislature has adjourned and no anti-gun proposals were enacted.
A2260, a person would continue to be classified as the liable owner of a firearm—requiring the gun owner to have $250,000 of liability insurance—until the lost or stolen gun is reported to the proper law enforcement authorities, has been introduced.
H3240, recognizing all valid Right-to-Carry permits from other states, has been passed by the House Judiciary Committee. HB251/S204, allowing employees and students with Right to Carry permits to carry firearms and ammunition while on campus, is awaiting action in the Committee on the Judiciary IV.
HB1169, a bill allowing permitless concealed carry, and HB1310, allowing Right-to-Carry permittees to carry on school property, have passed the House. HB1200, an anti-First Amendment bill to force grass roots groups to disclose lists of their contributors in order to communicate with them, has been introduced.
The legislature convened on Feb. 6 and SB386/HB1803, prohibiting the use of public monies for lobbying for gun control legislation, are under consideration. SB386 is before the Public Safety Committee in the Senate, while HB1803 is awaiting floor consideration. Three bills—SB275, reforming preemption laws; SB397, removing prohibition against carrying on public buses for Right-to-Carry permittees; and HB 2323, allow carrying of a handgun in a vehicle for persons over 21 years of age without a Right-to-Carry permit—are also awaiting floor votes in their respective chambers.
HB2566, instituting a youth hunter mentoring program for children between the ages of 9 and 17, is before the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. SB797/HB2237, requiring firearms transfers be delayed if the Oregon State Police cannot verify eligibility of the purchaser, is being promoted by Gov. Brown and leaders in the legislature. Other anti-gun bills: SB232, requiring courts to ask a petitioner at an ex parte hearing for temporary restraining order whether respondent possesses firearms and then adopting protocols to surrender or seize such firearms without the respondent defending themselves; HB2130, mandatory gun storage; and SB868, creating an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) obtained by law enforcement, family member or household member to deny a person of his/her Second Amendment right without due process of law.
HB763 and SB224, eliminating the duplicative PA Instant Check System, have been introduced. SB5 and HB671, strengthening PA’s firearms preemption statute, have been introduced. The Game Commission unanimously passed rule making for the semi-auto hunting law at its Jan. 31 meeting. Final approval will be at the next meeting Mar. 27-28. HB248, an ivory ban that would make any currently owned ivory product illegal, has been introduced by Rep. Madeleine Dean.
Among the anti-gun bills introduced are: SB223, banning so-called “high capacity” magazines, S187, prohibiting the carrying of a handgun by anyone on a school ground, S223, banning magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds; H5067, prohibiting possession of firearms by those convicted of misdemeanor offenses; and H5262 & H5263, restricting possession of firearms by youths.
HB3240, allowing the recognition of all valid state Right-to-Carry permits, is awaiting action on the House floor, while HB3429, amending the state’s bankruptcy laws to allow the retention of firearms up to a value of $10,000 during a bankruptcy, was passed by the House overwhelmingly. HB3920, a bill allowing permitless concealed carry, was approved by the Constitutional Laws Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on Mar. 9.
HB1072, a bill allowing permitless concealed carry, has passed the House 37-30 and the Senate 23-11, but Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) has threatened to veto any bill that includes permitless carry. A hunting and fishing amendment to the South Dakota Constitution, HJR1001, has been introduced. HB1091, clarifying the process for renewing Right-to-Carry permits, has passed the House 66-1. HB1200, a bill to require groups to disclose membership lists when communicating on ballot questions, has passed the House Judiciary Committee.
HB752/SB983, to allow persons granted a protection order to carry a firearm for 60 days, has passed the House Civil Justice Committee and will be before the Calendar & Rules Committee on Mar. 20.HB508/SB445, allowing persons to sue local governments that defy state firearms preemption law, and HB1006/SB861, giving civil immunity to person who uses firearm in a defensive manner, have been rescheduled for a hearing before the House Civil Justice Committee for Mar.22 HB27/SB24, exempting military and veterans and exempting them from Right-to-Carry permit firing range requirements; and HB561/SB933, ending discrimination against firearms businesses in obtaining credit, are awaiting committee action. Additionally anti-gun bills are under consideration: HB961/SB670, allowing a temporary restraining order to lead to a person’s Second Amendment rights to be violated; HB962/SB671, creating a voluntary “do not sell” firearm registry; and HB1319/SB1097, criminalizing the private transfer of a firearm.
Two anti-gun bills—HB866, allowing family or law enforcement to petition a court to take away a person’s gun without due process, will be before the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on Mar. 20 and SB221, making persons on a “terror watch” list prohibited from owning firearms and denying such persons due process, will be heard by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Mar. 21. SB 16, reducing Right-to-Carry fees that will allow honest citizens at all income levels to have equal access to this vital personal protection option, is a high priority item for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and will be before the Senate State Affairs Committee on Mar.20. The companion bill, HB300, will be before the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee on Mar. 21.
The Utah legislature has adjourned. HB198, a bill allowing persons 18-20 years of age to acquire a provisional Right-to-Carry permit, has passed both Houses and has been transmitted to Gov. Gary Herbert,
The Virginia legislature has adjourned. HB1582, allowing persons on active duty between the ages of 18-21 to apply for a Right-to-Carry permit, was vetoed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. The following bills have passed both Houses and are awaiting Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s consideration: SB1299, allowing any person 21 years of age or older covered by a protective order to carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after the issuance of the protective order; SB1300, providing funding for training for persons covered under SB1299; and SB1023, prohibiting the sharing of information on Right-to-Carry permits with states that do not honor Virginia permits. Vermont: H422, allowing the confiscation of firearms if a person is accused of domestic assault without due process, has passed the House Judiciary Committee. SB6, a “universal” background check law has been introduced and in Feb. A companion bill, H151 was also introduced. Additionally H220, banning the import, sale and possession of ivory products, has been introduced.
HB1387, requiring owners of so-called “assault weapons” to get licenses and complete a gun safety course, has died in committee. A substitute for HB1122, requiring gun owners to keep their firearms locked up, has passed the House Judiciary Committee, but did not get a vote in the House before the deadline—it too is dead. Also dead are HB1483, allowing for the destruction of all firearms confiscated or forfeited to the State Patrol, and HB1384, a bill to add a new permanent “Sexual Assault Protection Order” that had no expiration date, ensuring that the recipient of the order would lose Second Amendment Rights permanently. HB1134 and SB5050, banning the private possession of so-called “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines” bills, promoted by Attorney General Bob Ferguson have failed in committee.
A range protection bill, SB575, passed the Senate on Mar.16. Another priority for pro-gun citizens in the state is expanding Sunday hunting on public and private lands in the state and two bills have been introduced: SB345 has passed in the Senate 26-5. The companion bill is HB2642. Several pro-gun bills have been introduced: SB388, allow Right-to-Carry permittees to have a firearm in the car when taking children to and from school; HB2562, allowing employees to keep their firearms and ammunition in their locked vehicles when parked on the employer’s or state-owned property; and HB2679, allow the carrying of a firearm in parks and recreation areas.
AB28, revising current Right-to-Carry laws to extend permits for five years upon renewal from date of original issuance, passed in the Assembly with 2 dissenting votes. The companion bill, SB7, passed the Senate Judiciary and Public Affairs Committee unanimously. AB65 and SB34, making all private firearms transfers without a background check illegal, and AB74, reinstating the 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchase, have been introduced.
Gov. Matt Mead vetoed HB137, allowing an individual to carry a concealed weapon to any government meeting, but signed both HB194, a bill giving school employees the authority to carry a concealed firearm on school property, and HB235, expanding mentored hunting. HB136, allowing persons with a WY Right-to-Carry permit to carry concealed on the campus of a public institution of higher learning, failed in the Senate,