Those Jokers In New Jersey

New Jersey judges have quite the sense of humor. On Monday, the judiciary system raised about 80 of their court fees. The money will be used to pay for bail reform, increase monies going to Legal Services of NJ, and an improved electronic filing system. They expect to raise $42 million in revenue from these increased fees annually.

Included in the increases are these:

Among the increases taking effect: Filing a lawsuit, an appeal or for divorce costs $50 more. Filing a small claim costs $35, up from $15. Permits to carry a handgun cost $50, rather than $20, and it now costs $50 to appeal a denial of a permit to buy a handgun.

The fee for getting a permit to carry a handgun might as well be $1 million given that it takes an act of God to get a New Jersey carry permit and even an act of God might not help. As Frank Fiamingo, President of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, said:

What permits to carry a handgun? New Jersey does not issue permits to carry a handgun to law-abiding civilians. Unless you walk into the court with some thug holding a gun directly to your temple, you will be denied, and then denied upon appeal. The entire system is rigged to keep free people from exercising their natural human right to defend innocent life.

“The Second Amendment Was For When The British Were Coming”

If I were a book publisher, I’d be offering Emily Miller a book contract right now. That’s because you know she has another one in the offing with the way she is being treated by the DC Police as she tries to get a DC carry permit.

The headline comes from what a DC police employee said to Ms. Miller regarding the Second Amendment. He said it really doesn’t apply to the District because it “was for when the British were coming.” You can’t make this stuff up.

Katie Pavlich gives her take on Ms. Miller’s travails here.

DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

GRNC Seeks Injunction Against Posting Of NC State Fair

North Carolina’s Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler (R-NC) is the official in charge of the State Fair held in Raleigh. This year, for some reason, he held a press conference announcing that it would be policy to post the State Fair against concealed carry by properly permitted CHP holders. His argument is that this is just a continuation of how things have always been.

The Criminal Law blog of the UNC School of Government has looked at this issue and it appears that Commissioner Troxler is on very shaky ground. The State Fair isn’t a private business nor is it a unit of local government which might allow him to do it. As it is, the law is very specific that CHP holders are allowed to carry at assemblies where a fee is charged. Moreover, state law specifies which state government buildings that are posted including such places as the Executive Mansion and the State Capitol Building. The State Fair is not one of the buildings mention.

Given that state laws regarding firearms and where they may be carried legally has changed considerably in the last few years, this is an odd move on the part of Troxler. In response, Grass Roots North Carolina is going to court seeking an injunction to stop Troxler from posting the State Fair. The State Fair runs from October 16th through the 26th so time is of the essence.

Gun group to file injunction against state fair posting today
Due to an impasse in negotiations with North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, Grass Roots North Carolina will today file  for a temporary restraining order in Wake County Superior Court with the intention of preventing the Department of Agriculture from posting the state fair against lawful concealed carry.

BACKGROUND
At the request of North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, GRNC representatives met with the commissioner and his legal counsel after his police chief for the state fairgrounds, Joel Keith, began telling people the North Carolina State Fair would be posted against all firearms, including lawful concealed carry. Although Troxler is not particularly anti-gun, he seems unwilling to take responsibility for doing the right thing, saying instead that as a member of the executive branch, he cannot interpret statutes and must follow the interpretations given to him (more on that shortly). 

Consequently, the commissioner and GRNC were unable to achieve a satisfactory resolution of the problem. GRNC is now preparing a filing for a temporary restraining order, through its sister non-profit, Rights Watch International, to prevent the fair, which starts next week, from being posted.

ORIGINS OF THE PROBLEM

Before passage of House Bill 937, which became effective on October 1, 2013, guns were prohibited at “assemblies of people for which admission is charged.” Since that section of NCGS 14-269.3 was changed to permit carry by those with concealed handgun permits, however, only private property owners hosting such assemblies may prohibit concealed carry. The state fairgrounds, of course, are not private property.

TROXLER’S DODGE

Although NCGS 14-269.3 specifically opens carry to permit-holders, Troxler claims “vague” language in the statutes enables the state to post under NCGS 14-269(a2), which says the state’s general prohibition on concealed weapons, “does not apply to a person who has a concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of this Chapter, has a concealed handgun permit considered valid under G.S. 14-415.24, or is exempt from obtaining a permit pursuant to G.S. 14-415.25, provided the weapon is a handgun, is in a closed compartment or container within the person’s locked vehicle, and the vehicle is in a parking area that is owned or leased by State government.”
THE TRUTH
  1. The section above merely enables permit-holders to keep guns in closed compartments of locked motor vehicles in state properties where guns are prohibited. It does not create a prohibition in itself.
  1. In fact, NCGS 14-269.4 lists the specific state properties – such as the State Capitol, Governor’s Executive Mansion” and courthouses – where guns are prohibited. That section does not include the state fairgrounds.
  1. Even in the exceedingly unlikely event a court agreed that Troxler is allowedto post the fair, nothing requires him to do so. In short, his rationalization that he is just following what he has to do is false. Troxler is choosing to prohibit lawful concealed handgun permit-holders from protecting their families not only at the fair, but also in the parking lots outside the fair.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
As we’ve seen time and again, gun-free zones are dangerous places for law-abiding citizens. No family should be rendered entirely helpless should an event occur such as what happened at the Wisconsin State Fair in 2011. Dozens of teenagers and young adults attacked peaceful fairgoers as they left the fair. Eleven people were injured and thirty-one arrests were made. Criminals are always empowered when they know that their intended victims are disarmed.

I will keep on top of this to report on what the court’s decide. It should be interesting.

Some Good Advice For Women Who Carry

Let’s face it – men have it easier when it comes to concealed carry. Our clothing is usually made of heavier fabrics which print less, we can wear sturdier belts even when “dressed up”, and our shoes rarely (never) have 3 inch or higher heels. Women, by contrast, have it harder especially when it comes to on-body carry which is the preferred way to do it.

That’s why I found this tips and tricks video from the NRA so good. It addresses the difficulties that women have with on-body carry and suggests some good solutions. Tatiana Whitlock makes a lot of sensible suggestions with regard to practice. I don’t have to think about shooting in heels in a confrontation but some women might.

Update On Carry In DC (Updated)

Emily Miller had a post a few minutes ago on Facebook regarding enforcement of the now nullified carry prohibitions in the District of Columbia.


Per DC Police Chief Lanier, the only gun arrests allowed now are DC residents with unregistered guns and non-residents who are prohibited under federal laws from possessing firearms. Everyone else is in the clear.

This sounds like good news to those in metro DC.

You know, if you think about it, for the time being, Maryland residents have greater firearm freedoms in the District than they have in the so-called Free State.

UPDATE: Dave Kopel has an excellent post up at the Volokh Conspiracy on this along with some warnings about carry in DC. He suggests caution until an official pronouncement is made.

His long post also delves into the meaning of the win in Palmer. Tom Palmer, by the way, was one of the original plaintiffs in the case that became DC v. Heller when it reached the Supreme Court. He was dropped along the way due to standing issues by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Impressions On The Win In Palmer v. District Of Columbia

By now, many of you are aware that attorney Alan Gura got another big win for the Second Amendment with his win in Palmer v. District of Columbia. US District Court Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. ruled that DC’s ban on any sort of carry outside the home was unconstitutional under any level of scrutiny. The decision has been reported in most of the big papers ranging from the Washington Post to the Chicago Tribune to the New York Times (which they buried on page A16).

Congratulations must go to attorney Alan Gura, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the four individual plaintiffs led by Tom Palmer for bringing the fight to the District of Columbia and DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier. Without their efforts, there would be no win for carry in DC and, potentially, for carry in other areas.

Having read the Memorandum-Decision and Order from Judge Scullin, I was struck by a number of things. First, and most important, was the importance to this win of prior cases ranging from Heller and McDonald to Peruta, Ezell, and Moore v. Madigan. Alan Gura has stressed many times in public appearances and in private conversations that the expansion of Second Amendment rights is a building process. Just like the strategic civil rights litigation of Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund didn’t end segregation overnight, neither will the Second Amendment Foundation, the NRA, and others involved in the legal battle to advance our Second Amendment rights win back what we lost overnight.

Second, dissents in past cases are often as important as majority opinions. For example, Judge Scullin quotes from the dissent in the New Jersey carry case of Drake v. Filko (originally Muller v. Maenza) by Judge Hardiman of the 3rd Circuit.

To speak of ‘bearing’ arms solely within one’s
home not only would conflate ‘bearing’ with ‘keeping,’ in derogation of the Court’s holding that
the verbs codified distinct rights, but also would be awkward usage given the meaning assigned
the terms by the Supreme Court.

Perhaps a more important dissent quoted in the case was by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg from Muscarello v. United States regarding the “natural meaning of ‘bear arms'”. Justice Ginsberg said in her dissent that to bear arms means to “wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with
another person.” While some may question quoting Justice Ginsberg, I think it was a masterful move by Judge Scullin.

Third, even losses in Second Amendment cases can be important for future wins. For example, even though cases such as Kachalsky from New York, Drake from New Jersey, and Woollard from Maryland failed to overturn their respective states’ rationales for granting their may-issue carry permits, they still helped Judge Scullin reach the conclusion that the Second Amendment guarantees a right to bear arms outside the home.

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which
this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of readyto-
use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the
Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is
unconstitutional.

 Fourth, it is significant that this decision applies to both residents and non-residents of the District of Columbia. This means that, as of now, the District of Columbia and its entire bureaucracy including the Metropolitan Police Department are enjoined from enforcing the laws forbidding carry outside the home against both groups. While Judge Scullin found the equal protection and right to travel challenges to residency requirements were not ripe, they may come up again in the future after the District develops a concealed carry permit law.

As I said last night on The Polite Society Podcast, I fully expect this decision to be appealed. The Washington Post reported earlier this evening that DC’s Attorney General plans to seek a stay in Judge Scullin’s order while they decide whether to appeal the loss.


I’ll let Alan Gura have the final say on the implications of this case:

“The decision is in effect, unless and until the court stays its decision,” Gura said Sunday. “This is now a decision that the city is required to follow — the idea that the city can prohibit absolutely the exercise of a constitutional right for all people at all times, that was struck down. That’s just not going to fly.”

Gura said allowing citizens to carry handguns for self-defense will cut crime. “This is a fantastic improvement in public safety,” he said. “Yes, we have a problem in America with gun violence. But no, that problem is not the result of law-abiding people carrying guns.”

For Chicago-Area Gun Right Activists

The Illinois State Rifle Association has released an urgent alert regarding a public meeting held by the anti-concealed carry forces including the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (sic) and anti-gun State Rep. Elaine Nekritz. They are trying to build support for more restrictions on concealed carry in Illinois. After fighting so hard for so many years, it would suck to see all that hard work go to waste through overbearing regulations.

From ISRA:

URGENT ALERT – YOUR IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

GUN GRABBERS PLAN ANTI-CONCEALED CARRY MEETING

The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence along with Anti-Gun State Representative Elaine Nekritz are planning a public meeting to build support for legislative restrictions on Illinois new concealed carry law.

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT LAW-ABIDING GUN OWNERS SHOW UP FOR THIS MEETING!

Anti-gun forces in the Illinois House are attempting to pass legislation that would make it nearly impossible for law-abiding citizens to get concealed carry permits. They even want to force the removal of firearms from American Legion and VFW halls. Imagine that. Our vets serve their country with honor and the gun grabbers want to thank them by denying them their Second Amendment Rights.

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN STOP THIS NONSENSE!

1. IMMEDIATELY call (847) 229-5499 and politely tell the person that you would like to RSVP for the April 16th public meeting. Call and RSVP even if you cannot make it to the meeting. DO NOT say anything to the person on the phone about your position on guns. If asked, just say that you are interested in learning about the impact of the concealed carry law on you and your family. Again, DO NOT say anything to the person about being pro-gun…they do not need to know where you stand…they only need to know that you are RSVPing for the public meeting. It’s important that you make their phones ring off the hook! Keep them busy!

2. Attend the public meeting – even if organizers tell you that there is no space available:

a. Indian Trails Library, 355 Schoenbeck Road, Wheeling, IL

b. The meeting will be held Wednesday, April 16, 2014 and begins at 6:00 PM. Be sure to show up by 5:15 or so to be sure that you get a seat. This meeting will be very crowded so plan ahead and get their early.

c. The antigunners who will be there will certainly attack your right to keep and bear arms and your right to defend yourself and your family from dangerous criminals. Be prepared to vigorously defend your rights! Do not let these people trample on the rights that so many brave Americans fought and died for.

d. If you see members of the media there, approach them. Tell them that you are a law abiding citizen and that you do not appreciate having your rights challenged. Tell the media that you fully support the right to self defense that you will not allow your right to defend yourself to be diminished.

Remember – only you can preserve and protect your rights. If you leave that job up to the “other guy,” you will see your rights evaporate.

DO NOT FORGET TO RSVP (847) 229-5499 WHETHER YOU PLAN TO ATTEND OR NOT!

CALL NOW!

California Carry Licenses Could Reach 1.4 Million In First Year

The CalGuns Foundation has calculated that the number of carry licenses in California could reach as high as 1.4 million if the Peruta decision stands and California goes “shall issue”.

Following the Ninth Circuit decision holding “good cause” requirements unconstitutional, The Calguns Foundation projects that the number of California carry licensees will skyrocket during the first year of effective “shall-issue” licensing.

According to data sent to The Calguns Foundation by the California Department of Justice, the number of California CCW licensees in 2013 totaled about 56,000. However, in applying projections to state and county population figures from the state’s Department of Finance, Calguns believes that the number of licensees in California might reach as high as 1.4 million in the Golden State during the first year of a “shall issue” system.

 They have calculated the growth of carry licenses on a county-by-county basis which can be seen here.  Their table provides estimates for a range from one to five percent of a county’s population with the expectation that two percent will be the most likely. CalGuns has used available census statistics, California Department of Justice statistics on both carry licenses and firearms purchases, and the experience of other states to make this projections.

Looking this over, it is is interesting to look at the table to see what might transpire in some of the more anti-gun counties. For instance, San Franciso County might grow from two carry permits to an estimated 12,707 at the 2% level. While San Francisco is the most extreme example, many other counties could see multiple 1,000% increases such as LA which could see an 88,000% increase in carry permits at the 2% level.

You have to wonder if the state’s anti-gun politicians might moderate their extremism if they suddenly found a good number of their constituents had carry licenses. It is easy to demonize a group of people when you only have a few examples like the two who have carry licenses in San Francisco County. It is much harder to do if you have substantial numbers and everyone knows someone with a carry license.

A Survey On Concealed Carry

Ron Larimer at When the Balloon Goes Up is a doing a survey on concealed carry. The survey includes questions on how often you carry, what you carry, and where on your body you carry your firearm.

Why is is running this survey? I’ll let him answer that.

One of the biggest challenges to the new concealed carrier is selecting a pistol and I think we can help.

I would like to create a free concealed carry gun guide that answers many of the new carriers questions about what is the right gun for them by polling actual concealed carriers.

Once the results are in I will compile the specifications on the guns, the popularity, price, ratings, demographics and infer the relative importance of multiple attributes and develop a free downloadable report.

I think this is a great idea. However, it will only be as good as the quality and quantity of the answers he receives. In other words, if you carry concealed, you need to participate.

You can find the very short survey here. Answering the survey won’t take more than a minute or two so head on over there now.

The Outdoor Wire’s Concealed Carry Special Edition

The Outdoor Wire network of newsletters released their annual Concealed Carry Special Edition this morning. It features articles on training for concealed carry from Mike Seeklander, Michael Bane, Claude Werner, Tiger McKee, Rich Grassi, and Paul Erhardt. 

Dave Spaulding, whom I consider one of the best trainers out there, said it contains “good, useable information” on his Facebook page.

If you have a concealed carry permit or are thinking of finally getting one, I’d highly recommend this. We can all use more training.

You can open it from this link.