While there was some speculation earlier today that NY Attorney General Letitia James’ “national announcement” would have to do with President Trump. That was wrong. The original speculation was that it had to do with the NRA was correct.
James has moved to dissolve the NRA in NY Supreme Court for New York County. She has an 18 point, 169 page complaint which includes claims that Wayne LaPierre, Josh Powell, Woody Phillips, and John Frazer have violated their fiduciary duty.
James in her press conference said that she will be forwarding information to the Internal Revenue Service regarding the NRA’s non-profit status. As to freezing assets of both the named individuals and the organization as a whole that is included in the complaint. When asked if she will be seeking criminal charges, James said the investigation is ongoing and any criminal charges will be referred to Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. if necessary. James also denied that bringing this dissolution action has anything to do with her personal views on “gun violence” and is only seeking to enforce New York charity law.
As a result of all the allegations mentioned above, Attorney General James seeks to dissolve the NRA; asks the court to order LaPierre, Phillips, Powell, and Frazer to make full restitution for funds they unlawfully profited and salaries earned while employees; pay penalties; recover illegal and unauthorized payments to the four individuals; remove LaPierre and Frazer from the NRA’s leadership (Phillips and Powell are no longer employed by the NRA); and ensure none of the four individual defendants can ever again serve on the board of a charity in New York.
You can watch the full announcement below. I will be scanning through the court filing in an effort to provide a digest later today.
Rumors started flying late last night after New York Attorney General Letitia James’ press office sent out a notice of a press conference to be held today. As the Tweet below from Stephen Gutowski speculates it might have something to do with her investigation into the National Rifle Association and its finances. I have seen other Tweets from journalists that tend to agree.
James has been investigating the NRA's finances for over a year now. Will this announcement has anything to do what that situation? https://t.co/wJAjn4hDs4
It might have nothing to do with the NRA or everything to do with the NRA. The announcement could be something about President Trump. Heck, it could even be an announcement that she will be Joe Biden’s VP pick given she fits the narrative.
There is a Livestream of the press conference at 11:30am EDT this morning and I plan to watch.
The lawsuit GRNC has brought against Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker has caught the attention of local news stations. CBS 17 News of Raleigh did a report yesterday on Moore v. Baker and interviewed Marc Erickson of GRNC. The lawsuit is over Sheriff Baker dragging his feet in the processing of pistol purchase permits. It is taking over 2 months to process them when state law only allows 14 days. Sheriff Baker is still using the tired excuse of “it’s the pandemic”.
As Marc made clear, a right delayed is a right denied. The pistol purchase permit is superfluous given the NICS System but North Carolina sheriffs claim they know people in their county better. That might be true in eastern NC’s Tyrrell County – population 4,016. It certainly is not true in Wake County population 1,111,761. Wake, by the way, has now officially surpassed Mecklenburg as the largest county by population in North Carolina.
Grass Roots North Carolina is suing Wake County (NC) Sheriff Gerald Baker again for unlawful delays in issuing pistol purchase permits as well as concealed handgun permits. The suit is filed in Wake County Superior Court. GRNC is the institutional plaintiff while Wanda Kaye Moore is the lead plaintiff. The lawsuit seeks an emergency temporary restraining order preventing Sheriff Baker from causing any more delays.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Department is forcing applicants for a pistol purchase permit to make an appointment to submit their mental health release. They refuse to take it by mail or online even though state law mandates application for these permits be online.
[Raleigh] In recent weeks, GRNC’s office has been flooded with complaints from people who want to buy handguns for protection against riots spreading across the country but are unable to do so because Sheriff Gerald Baker refuses to process pistol purchase permits within the 14 days required by law, effectively denying citizens their right to keep and bear arms.
Said Grass Roots North Carolina president Paul Valone:
“In what is now the third lawsuit filed against Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker over his refusal to follow state law regarding issuing handgun permits, Grass Roots North Carolina intends to ensure citizens’ rights are respected. Sheriff Baker seems to think he is above the law. Grass Roots North Carolina intends to prove otherwise. Since Baker doesn’t seem to be getting the message, we will deliver it loud and clear. We are also holding Wake County responsible for its refusal to stop Baker’s continued malfeasance.”
In response to GRNC’s notice of non-compliance, sent to Baker’s counsel on July 15, attorney Nick Ellis claimed that Baker is doing an “excellent” job of processing pistol purchase permit applications, despite the fact that:
Baker is clearly violating G.S. §14-404(f): The statute requires sheriffs to issue or deny NC pistol purchase permits in 14 days, further stipulating that applications may only be denied or statutorily permissible reasons. In truth, applications, if they are being processed at all, are taking nearly two months.
Baker is trying to circumvent state law by arguing that the requisite 14 day issuing period doesn’t start until his office decides to allow a citizen to come in to his office to finish the application begun online, effectively claiming the power to deny citizens’ rights indefinitely.
North Carolinians are being denied their rights: It is unlawful for citizens to buy handguns without either a pistol purchase permit or concealed handgun permit from their county of residence, meaning that Baker’s actions are denying citizens’ rights not only to keep and bear arms, but to protect their families at a time of national crisis when personal safety is very much in question.
Reports indicate the Wake County Sheriff is non-responsive: Email queries on permit applications are reportedly being ignored as phone calls to the department go unanswered. Reports also suggest that Baker has limited the number of hours during which Wake County sheriff’s employees may process applications, as department representatives have become hostile to frustrated applicants.
Baker may be thumbing his nose at the law: Despite a consent decree requiring him to issue handgun permits, Baker appears to be dragging his feet in order to issue the minimum possible number of permits, clearly defying the decree.
Wake County may be liable: Under the Supreme Court decision in Monell v. Department of Soc. Svcs., Wake County may also be liable for its refusal to stop Baker’s malfeasance.
The weekly compilation from the Brady Campaign had an attack on the filibuster. Quoting former President Obama, it was called a “Jim Crow relic”.
This week, President Obama called for the elimination of the filibuster: an arcane rule in the Senate that requires a supermajority of 60 votes, instead of 51, to pass nearly any bill. Our movement knows all too well the dangers of this rule. It’s what stopped Congress from passing lifesaving gun reform legislation following the Sandy Hook massacre.
They were 54 votes in favor and 46 against — clearly a simple majority! But the 60-vote rule stopped Congress from acting even after 26 students and educators were shot and killed.
Enough is enough. Why do we need a 60-vote threshold to pass a bill that will save American lives? Fifty-one is the majority, and 51 is fair.
We’re not asking for a lot. We’re simply calling for a simple majority vote — fair and square — to pass lifesaving, evidence-based policy solutions to end gun violence. There’s no excuse for senseless gun violence, especially when legislative solutions have been sitting before Mitch McConnell and the U.S. Senate for over 500 days!
We need to let every Senator know that #51IsFair and gun violence is a national emergency.
Actually, the filibuster and its use in the US Senate predates both the origin of Jim Crow laws and the Civil War. According to a history of it as published by the Senate, unlimited debate was allowed in both the House and Senate. The growth in the number of representatives saw it discontinued in the House but unlimited debate continued in the Senate. Its use to block bills came to the forefront in the 1840s when unlimited debate was used to block a banking bill. The concept of cloture or the ending of unlimited debate by a vote only came into existence in 1917 at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson.
The history of Jim Crow laws and black codes began in 1865 with the adoption of the 13th Amendment which ended slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States once and for all. The black codes were laws enacted at the state and local level which restricted former slaves as to where, when, and how they could work and also restricted their compensation. It served to put many blacks into indentured servitude.
Jim Crow laws were a follow-on that served to enforce segregation, to ban inter-racial marriage, to keep blacks disenfranchised, and, for the purposes of my discussion here, disarmed.
Let’s talk about two of those Jim Crow relics that I’ve written about in the past. The first from Florida and the second from my home state of North Carolina.
After armed black men using their Winchester repeating rifles prevented a lynching in Jacksonville, Florida, the Florida legislature enacted a law that required a permit for Floridians to carry a handgun or a “Winchester rifle or other repeating rifle.” It was the first law nationwide that treated repeating rifles differently than any other firearm. It was the antecedent to modern day “assault weapons” (sic) bans in states like California and New York (among others).
One need only look to the official proclamations of the Democratic Party and their standard bearer Joe Biden to see that support for such Jim Crow relics as a ban on repeating rifles lives on. In their ideological blindness, neither the Democrats nor the Brady Campaign suffer any cognitive dissonance in pushing Jim Crow originated gun control while attacking the filibuster as a “Jim Crow relic”.
I have written often on this blog about North Carolina’s pistol purchase permit and its role in perpetuating white supremacy in the early 20th century. It was enacted in 1919 soon after a race riot in Winston-Salem. There was a great fear of black veterans returning from World War One. The co-primary sponsor of the bill was Sen. Earle A. Humphreys (D-Goldsboro). Humphrey just happened to be the brother-in-law of US Sen. Furnifold Simmons who was the architect of the Democrat’s white supremacy campaign. The goal was to make it difficult if not impossible for blacks as well as Populists and union organizers to be armed outside the home.
Every time in the last decade a repeal of the pistol purchase permit system in North Carolina is tried, it ultimately fails. Part of that failure is due to recalcitrant sheriffs who don’t want to give up the power or money and the obsequious nature of Republicans towards law enforcement. The other part is due to the unified nature of Democrats and the gun control lobby in opposition. That includes the Brady Campaign. Current Brady Campaign President Kris Brown characterized the repeal effort as rolling back “our decades of a lifesaving policy requiring a background check and a “permit to purchase” for every handgun sale.”
She was wrong. It was an effort to rid the state of the then-98 years of institutionalized racism in the form of a Jim Crow law to keep blacks unarmed and subservient.
It is the height of hypocrisy on the part of the Brady Campaign to rail against the filibuster as a “Jim Crow relic” because it stood in their way of enacting a gun control law. A law that had its very antecedent in a Jim Crow law meant to make it “safer” for racists to lynch innocent blacks.
To be honest, when have politicians or the gun control industry let a little thing like hypocrisy ever get in the way of their pursuit of power.