TV Ad Execs And Political Consultants Are Saying Hallelujah!

Move over Tom Steyer. There is another narcissist Democrat billionaire who wants to be President.

From a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, said he would join the Democratic presidential race despite facing a tough path to the nomination in a crowded 2020 field.

Mr. Bloomberg’s advisers have been drawing up plans to build his campaign staff, intending to focus on the delegate-rich Super Tuesday states, which vote on March 3.

Many of the Democratic candidates have invested fewer resources in those states than in the first few nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

The primary beneficiaries of Bloomberg’s largess would seem to be advertising executives and political consultants as he plans to spend big.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg plans to spend over $100 million on his campaign.

Ahead of his announcement, Mr. Bloomberg said he would spend $100 million on digital ads against Mr. Trump and another $15 million to $20 million on registering new voters.

He had also begun assembling a big staff for his campaign-in-waiting that was working out of the offices of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which oversees the former mayor’s charitable giving, according to a person familiar with the matter.

While the many media stories on Bloomberg’s presidential run mention his wealth, none so far mention gun control. However, Bloomberg himself does list that as one of the issues he will address in his campaign. It is number three on the list on his campaign website.

With all the money that Bloomberg plans to spread around, perhaps the gaggle of corrupt MAIG mayors will seek some of it in return for campaign support. That way then they can stop indulging in public corruption like the former mayor of Baltimore.

Standing United

The Second Amendment community is like a family. We may squabble amongst ourselves but unite when we are attacked by outsiders. This latest release from the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms illustrates that. It takes aim at attempts by House Democrats to cripple the National Rifle Association through multiple investigations.

BELLEVUE, WA – Reports that the National Rifle Association is being engulfed in what one publication described as “a rapidly expanding tangle of congressional investigations” raise an important question that nobody has been asking: Is this a deliberate effort by anti-gun-rights Congressional Democrats to overwhelm the organization’s leadership and prevent NRA from fulfilling its mission to protect the Second Amendment?

That’s what the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms are wondering as House Democrats are pressing their gun control agenda.

“According to The Trace, which is funded by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, Congress has launched six investigations of the NRA,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “With Democrats in control of the House, promising to push a full slate of gun control measures, that seems just a little curious.”

Gottlieb, who also chairs the CCRKBA, said it is fair to question an avalanche of investigations involving the NRA at a time when its attention should be focused squarely on renewed efforts to erode the Second Amendment.

“Are these investigations legitimate,” Gottlieb wondered, “or are they a deliberately choreographed attempt to distract the NRA’s focus when it needs to be concentrating on the battle now developing on Capitol Hill?

“We’ve been delighted to work with NRA on a number of efforts,” he continued, “including our successful lawsuits against the 2005 post-Katrina gun grab in New Orleans, the San Francisco gun ban, our joint challenge of Seattle’s attempted parks gun ban and our ongoing federal lawsuit against a gun control initiative in Washington State. So, when we see this kind of congressional onslaught at the same time Beltway anti-gunners are trying to ram through an aggressive gun control agenda, let’s just say our radar is up.”

Gottlieb said that if there are legitimate issues, they need to be explained to the nation’s 100 million gun owners.

“Otherwise,” he observed, “all of this may amount to a lot of smoke and mirrors designed to not simply distract NRA but to discredit it in the eyes of its members, supporters and allies when we all should be working together to defend our fundamental rights at a time when they are under unceasing attack.”

I agree with Alan that this is “curious” at a time when more and more gun control bills are being introduced in Congress. Indeed, I read a bill this morning that would put any semi-automatic rifle including Ruger 10/22s capable of accepting a magazine under the purview of the National Firearms Act. 

A Takeaway For Gun Owners From Pelosi’s Campaign For Speaker

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Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will probably be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. I say probably because there are some Democrats that are opposed to her and the aging leadership. She, Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and James Clyburn (D-SC) are all in their 70s. However, while this group of dissidents might prevent Pelosi from getting the requisite number of votes (218), it is doubtful they will win in the end.

In a story in the Washington Examiner about Pelosi’s campaign for Speaker and the battle her allies are waging on her behalf was this:

As the leadership fight escalates, Pelosi’s lined up endorsements from former President Barack Obama — who called Pelosi “one of the most effective legislative leaders” on Tuesday — and key advocacy groups that helped Democrats retake the majority. Progressive groups, gun control organizations, unions, reproductive rights groups like NARAL Pro-Choice and more have thrown their weight behind Pelosi’s speaker bid.


“Do you really want to make enemies out of these groups?” said (Rep. Jan) Schakowsky, adding later, that the fight “is not just inside baseball, this has enormous ramifications for how we successfully move forward to pass an agenda that’s going to help people.”

The Brady Campaign and Shannon Watts have all formally endorsed Pelosi for Speaker. Moreover, Michael Bloomberg who “invested” over $100 million in this election cycle to get Democrats elected has worked closely with Pelosi and shared office space with her super PAC.

What does this mean for gun owners?

It should be obvious – expect gun control to be on the Democrats agenda in the House from day one of the new Congress. Pelosi has a constituency to repay and she will. I fully expect that bills will be introduced that will contain every gun control measure that you can think of and some that we haven’t. Moreover, these bills will get a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee and most will pass in the House. Furthermore, the Hearing Protection Act, national reciprocity, and even provisions for use of Pittman-Robertson funds to construct shooting ranges are dead.

Our only hope for stopping these infringements will be the Senate which remains in Republican hands. Even then, there are some Republicans who might vote for things like red flag laws or bans on bump fire stocks. Fortunately, the filibuster is still alive when it comes to bills passing the Senate and it still will require 60 votes to invoke cloture. Therefore, if you haven’t contacted your two Senators or Senator-elect, you better do it now and put opposition to gun control on their radar.

The Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” will epitomize the next two years when it comes to the fight for gun rights.

Democrat State Party Platforms – Oklahoma To South Carolina

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My series of Democrat state party platforms on gun control continues with Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. As I have found, some state parties merely adopt the national platform as their own and this continues with this series of states.

Oklahoma

There used to be a tradition of Oklahoma Democrats being strong supporters of the Second Amendment and gun rights. Former Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) is on the NRA Board of Directors and his father Sen. David Boren (D-OK) served on the NRA Board of Directors before him. That was then and this is now. The Oklahoma Democratic Party has adopted the DNC platform with its full agenda of gun control as their own.

Given the state party doesn’t have anything specific to say about gun control, it is important to look at the candidates for governor and attorney. Drew Edmondson is the current attorney general of Oklahoma. His website makes no mention of “gun violence” or “gun safety”. However, he is on record elsewhere as saying that the age to purchase modern sporting rifles should be raised to 21.

Running to replace him as attorney general is Mark Myles. He is an attorney in private practice in Oklahoma City. He says he “Support gun safety and responsible gun ownership.” He then goes on to say:

Gun Safety


I support the Second Amendment and common sense regulations that are constitutional, reasonable, and in accord with the holdings of appellate courts. Guns must be stored safely and they must be out of the hands of the mentally ill. Mark strongly values the opinion of law enforcement and their role in keeping Oklahomans safe, and supports responsible gun ownership across the country.

Hmm. “Common sense regulations” that are in accord with the holdings of appellate courts? I wonder how many Oklahomans are aware that the 9th Circuit has said you don’t have a right to carry outside the home or that the 4th Circuit has ruled that certain semi-automatic firearms and their magazines are outside the Second Amendment.

Oregon

 Moving from a state where politicians and the Democratic Party are circumspect about their intentions for gun control to a state where it is more explicit, the Democratic Party of Oregon’s 2018 platform and legislative priorities call for gun bans (among other things).

From the platform, Article Six – Health Care, Basic Needs, and Gun Safety:

We support the 2nd Amendment and believe that hunting, sport shooting, and safe, responsible gun ownership
are traditions worth preserving for future generations. We thus support comprehensive background checks for all
gun sales and believe in measures to reduce firearm-related violence, injury, death, and to promote public safety…



We support a ban on the civilian sale and purchase of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Their legislative priorities go even further:

4. Ban the sale and purchase of military-grade and assault weapons, such as AR-15s, and
equipment used to modify weapons into assault weapons. Limit magazine capacity
to 10 rounds. Raise the minimum age of long gun purchases from 18 to 21. Fund and
implement buy-back programs for those weapons and magazines.



6. Repeal the Dickey Amendment and resume public research into gun violence in the
United States and fund comprehensive research to form evidence-based gun ownership
and use controls.

The Oregon Democrats have a number of caucuses including a Gun Owners Caucus. Reading their mission seems to be a mess of contradictory objectives. While they say they will push for a pro-2A legislative agenda, they then say they will support Democrats in office and those that are nominees. Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR) is a strong proponent of gun control having signed many gun control bills and calling for more. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D-OR) is likewise a strong proponent of gun control. Those in the Gun Owners Caucus really can’t have it both ways. As it is, they seem to function more as a fig leave for the gun prohibitionists than anything else.



Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party doesn’t have a platform on their website and Ballotpedia says they adopt the DNC platform. Their “issues” page does not address anything dealing with firearms, gun control, or even gun safety (sic).

Thus, let’s look at what Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) says he wants on gun control. Like the party, he doesn’t put gun control items on is campaign website. That said, he is where he stands according to the York Daily Record.

Here’s what Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has said and done about gun control and the Second Amendment.


Wolf has supported:

  • expanding background checks to cover private sales of long guns, including shotguns and rifles;
  • banning bump stocks — devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly, mimicking the speed of automatic weapons;
  • increasing gun restrictions for defendants in domestic violence and protection-from-abuse cases.

Likewise, Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-PA) who is not up for re-election is a strong proponent of gun control and was strongly backed by Michael Bloomberg. It should be pointed out that many Philadelphia area Republicans are, at best, neutral on gun control as they fear the influx of Bloomberg’s money. Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned has reported on this for year.s

Rhode Island


According to Uprise RI, the gun prohibitionists were upset that the earlier versions of the party platform of the Rhode Island Democrats didn’t include gun control. The 2018 version adds this to the platform but the prohibitionists are upset it doesn’t include a “assault weapon” (sic) and magazine ban along with language condemning attempts at national carry reciprocity.

That said, the platform seems to be as bad as most.

REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE


As Democrats, we
respect the Constitution’s Second Amendment and its guaranteed rights for
law

abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. At
the same time, we recognize that there is a serious
issue with gun violence in our country, and we support
regulations regarding the safe use of
firearms.
We are proud of the thoughtful work that has been done in our state to
ensure the safety
of our children and our communities
and we support
passage of
other common sense measures
aimed at protecting the public from individuals who have demonstrated their inability to possess
a firearm without putting others around them in danger.
We
believe that we must
provide the public with the tools to be proactive partners with law enforcement to reduce gun violence. To
keep our communities safe, Rhode Island Democrats insist that Congress enact legislation to
require
unlicensed gun sellers at gun shows
and private gun dealers to conduct the same instant
background checks that licensed dealers need to conduct
using the National Criminal Instant
Background Check System
.
Additionally, we support laws that protects our children and our
families and will work to support common sense gun violence prevention measures. Finally,
because we view gun violence as a public health issue, we also call on Congress to pass
legislation allowing the Centers for Disease Control to study this issue.

South Carolina

South Carolina Democrats passed a resolution adopting the DNC platform in its entirety as their own platform. To get a better idea of what the Democrats would do if elected, let’s examine the positions of their candidates for governor and attorney general as those two positions would have the greatest impact on firearms legislation.

James Smith is the Democrat nominee for governor facing Gov. Henry McMaster (R-SC). His website has this platform regarding firearms:

Advocating for Common Sense Gun Safety


James believes in a South Carolina that’s stands with our youth and he was proud to stand with them at the March for our Lives rally in Columbia. As Governor, James will sign legislation that:

  • Closes the Charleston loophole
  • Bans bump stocks and trigger cranks
  • Requires universal background checks, including for gun show sales
  • Makes it a crime to threaten use of a weapon on school grounds
  • Restricts retail sales of military-style assault weapons, including AR-15s
  • Introduces individual responsibility measures requiring owners of military-style assault weapons to be responsible for safekeeping and reporting stolen weapons promptly

The Charleston loophole refers to a FFL being allowed to release a firearm to a purchaser after three business days if a delayed response is received during the NICS check.

Constance Anastopoulo is the Democrat nominee to face pro-gun Attorney General Alan Wilson (R-SC). She is the wife of Akim Anastopoulo whose personal injury ambulance chasing ads run daily on South Carolina TV stations. Before becoming a law professor at the Charleston School of Law, she practiced with her husband. She doesn’t have anything on her website dealing with the issues. However, in announcing her intention to run, she said she would work to deny firearms to “domestic abusers”. I know this seems to be a common refrain from the gun control lobby but it would seem to already be covered by the Lautenberg Amendment which makes anyone convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence a prohibited person.

Fortunately, neither Smith nor Anastopoulo have much chance of beating the incumbent Republicans.

Democrat State Party Platforms – New Mexico To Ohio

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I’m pushing to finish this series before early voting starts in most states. In North Carolina, it starts on October 17th. This group of platforms will include those of the Democrat Parties of New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Ohio. It is an interesting mix composed of three top-10 in population states along with two rather small states.

New Mexico

The 2018 platform of the New Mexico Democratic Party is interesting in that it is upfront about the influence that progressive and leftist groups and politicians have had on it. Of the 31 state platforms I’ve examined so far, it is the only one that has something like this in it. In a beginning section called “Representation”, the platform states:

While this 2018 Platform as a whole is new and original, reflecting New Mexico’s uniqueness and a fresh step
forward for the party, it is inspired by language from the 2014 and 2016 New Mexico State Platforms, the 2016
DNC platform, the Santa Fe and Eddy county platforms, Progressive Democrats of America- Central NM
Chapter, the Unity Reform Commission, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Campaign promises, and several
Obama era Executive Orders. The 2018 Platform borrows language that aligns with the priorities of
organizations who are unaffiliated with the Party but who share similar values and goals including: 350.org,
New Energy Economy, Food and Water Watch, Common Cause, Frack Free New Mexico, Taos Pueblo, Public
Citizen, Move to Amend, Sierra Club…

 Given this background, it is not surprising to see a whole litany of gun control proposals in this platform under “Public Safety”.

  • We must expand and strengthen background checks for firearm purchases and close dangerous loopholes in
    our current laws
  • Oppose the sale of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines by reinstating and
    strengthening the assault weapons ban
  • Repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that revokes dangerous legal immunity
    protections for firearm manufacturers and sellers
  • Support the enactment and enforcement of aggressive laws against illegal gun trafficking

As a side-note, this section also has quite a bit about nuclear arms contained within it including challenging the unilateral authority of the President to use nuclear weapons.

New York

New York is home to the NY SAFE Act which was rammed through the legislature in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown murders. Thus, the platform of the New York State Democratic Committee is more of a patting on the back for what they’ve done than a what we intend to do in the future. The state’s gun control laws are already draconian so there is little more that could be added.

In the section of their webpage entitled What We Stand For devoted to firearms they say:

Reducing Gun Violence


When the Sandy Hook tragedy happened, New York Democrats took common-sense action, requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, increasing penalties for people who use illegal guns, setting a penalty of life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and establishing the toughest assault weapons ban in the country.

North Carolina

As a lifelong North Carolinian and former Democrat, I’m not surprised by what I’ve read in the North Carolina Democratic Party’s platform. The party that was composed of moderate and conservative Democrats has been fully taken over by the left wing. That trend started in 1972 with the McGovern campaign and went into high gear in the 90s and early 2000s. Some of this was indigenous and a good bit was due to in-migration from the Northeast.

In the section entitled Security and Law Enforcement, it states with regard to firearms:

GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION As Democrats we recognize that there
is a serious issue with gun violence in our country, yet we also
respect the Constitution’s Second Amendment. We believe the
promotion of standards to curtail gun violence is not inconsistent
with the Second Amendment. Among the measures we support are
strengthening background checks, closing loopholes such as the
well-known “gun show loophole,” holding gun manufacturers
accountable through repeal of their special immunity status, and
keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. We believe
that responsible gun owners should not be punished for the
wrongdoing of those who seek to do harm, but that we must also
take proactive measures to slow and eventually eliminate this
epidemic in our country.

Given that the General Assembly no longer really has any pro-gun Democrats, I look at their “respect” for the Second Amendment as a joke. In an earlier section of the platform they state:

We support the fundamental rights to freedom of
speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association and assembly
2016 North Carolina Democratic Party Platform  and the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
due process of law
. We oppose efforts to limit or eliminate these
fundamental constitutional rights.

 They are big on the freedom of speech and assembly parts as evidenced by the “Moral Monday” protests but are paying lipservice to the taking of property without due process of law. The red flag law proposed by Rep. Marcia Morey (D-Durham) provides for ex parte orders taking a person’s firearms. This means a judge issues an order based upon what a family or household member or LEO says without the person whose guns are being taken being involved in the hearing. It is only days later that the person who is the subject of the order gets to have their day in court.

North Dakota

North Dakota Democrats are moving right along with the rest of the national Democrats in their support of gun control including age discrimination, training requirements for a first time purchase, waiting periods, and universal background checks. The NPL in the name of the North Dakota party is the Non Partisan League which merged with the Democrats back in the 1950s.

From their platform adopted March 17. 2018:

Firearm Safety – The Dem-NPL Party supports common sense regulations regarding the safe use of firearms for North Dakotans.

  1. The Dem-NPL supports legislation to close the loophole stating that it’s legal to sell and buy modification kits that can convert semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones.
  2. The Dem-NPL supports requiring North Dakota unlicensed gun sellers at gun shows, and private gun dealers to conduct the same instant background checks that licensed dealers need to conduct, using the National Criminal Instant Background Check System.
  3. The Dem-NPL Supports school Resource Officers who are trained in law enforcement, and in adolescent behavior.
  4. The Dem-NPL supports secure processes for students and adults to anonymously report suspected gun violence behavior, along with organized community forums where groups can share ideas, parents and kids can learn where to turn for help, and training is provided in the community to learn the signs of potential danger, and provides information on how to seek out interventions.
  5. The Dem-NPL supports a mandatory Certified Firearm safety training for any first time purchaser of a firearm.
  6. The Dem-NPL supports increasing the age to purchase a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21, and require a 3-day waiting period to purchase.

I presume that Item 1 refers to bump fire stocks as any other kit or sear would come under the National Firearms Act. Likewise, there is no such thing as a private gun dealer. You either are a licensed dealer or you are a private individual selling or trading your personally owned firearms on occasion but not as a business. This is an indication to me that whoever wrote this was unfamiliar with federal firearms law.

Ohio

The Ohio Democrats have adopted the national DNC platform as their own and have not written a separate Ohio-specific platform. Therefore, to get an idea of what Ohio Democrats will do let’s look at the platforms or issue statements of Richard Cordray who is their candidate for governor and of Steve Dettelbach who is their candidate for attorney general. These seem to me to be the two major offices impacting firearms rights in the Buckeye State.

Cordray says his administration (if elected) would do the following:

  1. Require universal background checks
  2. Ban the sale of “high-capacity” magazines and bump stocks
  3. Raise the age to purchase any firearm to 21
  4. Extreme violence protection orders
  5. Appoint a “gun violence protection czar”
  6. Create “gun violence task forces”

Bear in mind that Cordray was Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s handpicked choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which should show where he aligns politically.

Dettelbach doesn’t mention firearms, gun control, or even “gun safety” on his campaign website. However, in an interview with WOSU Public Media, he says he is for the following:

  • Taking guns away from domestic violence offenders
  • Restricting guns for people who have an established record of serious mental health problems
  • Reinstating the assault-style weapons ban
  • Universal background checks

Moreover, in the state where the FASTER program began, he says he is against arming teachers and administrators regardless of whether they were former military or law enforcement officers. He says, “I think this is a politician’s plan quite frankly I mean it doesn’t protect people in any meaningful way it’s more than a day late and much more than a dollar short.” I guess he is ignorant of the studies that have shown the speed of response is key to saving and protecting students.

Democrat State Party Platforms – Massachusetts To Missouri

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Continuing on with my series of posts detailing the position of the individual state Democratic Parties on firearms, we move on to a quintuplet of “M” states.

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Democratic Party platform actually has very little in it regarding firearms. My supposition is that it was created in 2017 before red flag laws came into vogue and, perhaps more tellingly, because Massachusetts already so much gun control.

From the platform adopted in 2017:

Preventing gun violence through universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and
high-capacity magazines.

This was from the section entitled, “Public Safety and Crime Prevention”, which deals more with the militarization of the police, community policing and corrections, and the like.

Michigan

The Michigan Democratic Party platform calls for “common sense gun safety” which must be the dog whistle code words meaning more gun control. In a section of the platform that deals much more with prison reform than crime, the Democrats have this to say about guns and gun control:

Enact common sense gun safety measures. Democrats recognize the Constitutional right of Americans to
keep and bear arms under the 2nd Amendment. The vast majority of Michigan gun owners are responsible
citizens and sportsman that value the strong Michigan tradition of hunting and safe use of firearms.
Democrats, along with vast majorities of the American public, support common sense gun safety proposals like closing the gun show loophole and preventing potential terrorists from purchasing
firearms. If an individual is deemed too dangerous to fly, they should be too dangerous to buy a gun.
Democrats also support banning military style weapons, like the AR-15, which has been used in mass
shootings in Sandy Hook, Dallas, Orlando, and across the nation.

The Michigan Democrat’s platform was one of the first I remember seeing advocating using the “no-fly” list to make one a prohibited person.

Minnesota

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party has much less on gun control in their ongoing party platform than I would have expected. Their section on Public Safety and Crime Prevention only had this to say about firearms:

Reasonable firearm policies that promote public safety and crime prevention without infringing on the
rights of hunters and other sports enthusiasts.

Now the question as to what is a reasonable policy is open to discussion. I would call attention to the fact that they don’t want to infringe “on the rights of hunters and other sports enthusiasts”. They say nothing about those who would use a firearm for self-protection and self-defense. This is interesting as this section also calls for mandatory sentences for drug dealer and rapists as well as stiff penalties for child abuse.

The Minnesota DFL webpage does have an endorsement of March for our Lives and condemns the NRA. That might give you a better feel for what the DFL considers “reasonable firearm policies.”

Mississippi

The Mississippi Democratic Party platform was adopted in 2016 and make absolutely no mention of firearms or gun control. It concentrates much more on education and voting rights. Given the history of voting rights in Mississippi in the 1960s, this is understandable.

The Mississippi Democratic Party web presence is a mess. They still have an active website the basically stops in 2008, the one they publicize on Twitter – http://www.mississippidemocrats.org – goes to a suspended webpage, and the one I got the platform from calls itself the classic Mississippi Democratic Party page.

Missouri

The Missouri Democratic Party platform was adopted in August 2018 and calls for reasonable gun control measures. Reasonable is in the eye of the beholder as you can tell below:

Reasonable firearm policies that promote public safety and crime prevention
without infringing on second amendment rights. Mandatory background
checks and 72-hour waiting periods on the purchase of weapons

  • An assault weapons ban
  • Keeping daycares, schools, health care providers, churches, and
    universities as gun-free zones
  • Keeping illegal guns off our streets and out of the hands of kids
  • Preventing domestic abusers from owning guns

Perhaps not surprising given that Ferguson was in Missouri but the platform endorses Black Lives Matter, body cams for cops, eliminating minimum sentences, and training in non-lethal techniques for police. It also calls for full restitution of voting rights and the ability to hold public office after a sentence is served.

Democrat State Party Platforms – Kansas To Maryland

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Now that we have to wait on the FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, it is time to continue my series on party platforms. This post will look at the Democrat Party platforms for Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, and Maryland. When I finish this series on the Democrats, I plan to do a similar one on Republican state party platforms.

Kansas

Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) signed permitless concealed-carry into law in 2015. Last year, campus carry was legalized as of July 1st. Bear this in mind when reading what Democratic Party of Kansas has to say on firearms.

From the addendum to their platform adopted in 2018.

Kansas Democrats believe guns have no place in public schools, in our colleges, universities, public libraries, or other public buildings.

We insist that firearms be carried only by those who have been properly trained and certified in their use, have passed a thorough background check, and have been licensed by the state.

In other words, they object to all the progress on gun rights passed in Kansas over the past few years.

Kentucky

The Democrat Party of Kentucky does not publish a platform on its webpage. According to Ballotpedia, they merely adopt the national Democrat Party’s platform. Some Kentucky Democrats have suggested a platform but I can’t find any evidence of one being adopted. The national platform has this to say about “gun violence” (sic).

With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. To build on the success of the lifesaving Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we will expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws; repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to revoke the dangerous legal immunity protections gun makers and sellers now enjoy; and keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM’s)—off our streets. We will fight back against attempts to make it harder for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to revoke federal licenses from law breaking gun dealers, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, intimate partner abusers, other violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues. There is insufficient research on effective gun prevention policies, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must have the resources it needs to study gun violence as a public health issue.

Louisiana

Like Kentucky, the Democrat Party of Louisiana does not publish a platform on its webpage. Again, like Kentucky, it merely adopts the national Democrat Party’s platform. A search of their website for “platform” turns up only elections to the platform committee of the national convention. I’m sure most in Louisiana do not agree with the national party’s platform regarding firearms. That might explain why there is only one Democrat congressman from Louisiana and Gov. John Bel Edwards ran for election on a pro-2A platform.

Maine

Maine used to be a state where the Democrats were pro-gun and most of the state outside of southern Maine is still relatively pro-gun. Voters in Maine did turn down a Bloomberg sponsored and financed referendum calling for universal background checks. Moreover, the state joined New Hampshire and Vermont in approving permitless or constitutional concealed carry. However, the platform of the Democratic Party of Maine does contain calls for more gun control even if they call it gun safety (sic).

Firearms are explicitly mentioned in two sections of the platform. First, under “Health Care”:

d. Support for programs that increase gun safety

And then under “Freedom, Safety, and National Security”:

5. Ensures responsible gun ownership in accordance with the 2nd Amendment of the U.S.
Constitution and works to strengthen background checks for every firearm sale within the
State of Maine and promotes the restoration of gun safety research..

As Democratic state party platforms go, that is relatively weak stuff.

Maryland

Given that Maryland has a plethora of gun control laws including requiring a class in order to purchase a handgun, a mag ban, and a ban on modern sporting rifles, it should be surprising that the Maryland Democrats have come up with even more things they want in the name of “gun safety” (sic). Sadly, it isn’t. The Maryland Democratic Party devotes a full webpage in their Issues section to gun control.

Gun Safety

Democrats support Americans’ Second Amendment guaranteed rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

We also believe the government should pass sensible laws that stem gun crimes, violence that too often destroys families and communities. A staggering 89 percent of unintentional, fatal shootings of children occur in the home.

Guns and domestic abusers are a deadly combination.

Of women killed by men, more than 90 percent are killed by a man they knew personally.

At least 62 percent are killed by an intimate partner. Over the past 25 years, more intimate partner homicides have been carried out with guns than with all other weapons combined.

No law will prevent all gun crimes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t implement sensible gun regulations that strike a balance between liberty and safety.

Currently the law prohibits a convicted domestic abuser from purchasing or possessing a gun, but the law does not provide a timeline for forfeiture or a requirement of proof of forfeiture.

General Assembly Democrats are leading the fight to require abusers to forfeit guns within 48 hours and to give notice of forfeiture within 5 days.

I searched their webpage for any mention of the murder rate in Baltimore, gang violence, or even crime (other than “gun crimes”) and I couldn’t find anything. I guess it is easier to go after domestic abusers who are already banned under Federal law (Lautenberg Amendment) from possessing a firearm than it is to attack criminal gangs and drug-related crime in Baltimore.

Democrat State Party Platforms – Hawaii To Iowa

This is part three of my ten part series on the party platforms of the various Democrat state parties with regard to firearms, gun control, and the Second Amendment. I am publishing these in five state increments. This will probably be the last for this week as I leave in the morning for the Gun Rights Policy Conference as well as AMM-Con.

Hawaii

For a state with very strict gun control laws, the Democrat Party of Hawaii has very little to say about firearms or gun control. And that may be reason as there is little more that they can do without getting even the 9th Circuit to say no. They already require both permits to purchase and the registration of all firearms.

3. MAKE OUR COMMUNITIES SAFER NOW – in schools and on the streets and in our homes (including
advancing gun control measures such as ban on assault weapons and full background checks for all; make
elimination of police corruption a priority; advance restorative justice programs for offenders and oppose
privatization of prisons and provide an effective means of assisting victims of domestic violence).

Idaho

The Democratic Party of Idaho is one of the first states that I’ve researched so far that isn’t calling for a ban on “assault weapons” (sic) or magazine restrictions. They do call for universal background checks. Nonetheless, it is good to see a state that seems to be generally out of step with the gun control lobby.

14. WE SUPPORT THE FULL TEXT OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT: “​A WELL REGULATED MILITIA, BEING NECESSARY TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE STATE, THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

● We demand universal criminal background checks.

● We demand laws that keep guns out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers.

● We support the rights of hunters and sportspersons in Idaho.

● We support scientific research on gun violence.

Illinois

According to Ballotpedia, the Illinois Democratic Party follows and adopts the national Democrats’ platform. The DPI’s website has no platform on it. That said, it is well known that Democrats in Illinois and especially in Chicagoland tend to be very anti-gun. There have been exceptions with Downstate Democrats but even that is changing a bit. Here is what the national platform has to say on “gun violence” (sic).

With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. To build on the success of the lifesaving Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we will expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws; repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to revoke the dangerous legal immunity protections gun makers and sellers now enjoy; and keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM’s)—off our streets. We will fight back against attempts to make it harder for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to revoke federal licenses from law breaking gun dealers, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, intimate partner abusers, other violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues. There is insufficient research on effective gun prevention policies, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must have the resources it needs to study gun violence as a public health issue.

I did learn a new acronym reading this – LCAM – which stands for large capacity ammunition magazines. That’s what you and I would call standard capacity.

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Indiana

The Hoosier Democrats take a less restrictive approach to gun control than do their neighbors to the west in Illinois. They make no mention of magazines, “assault weapons” (sic), or even the favorite buzzword of gun banners, commonsense. They do call for universal background checks and closing the non-existent “gun show loophole” among other things.

Close the gun show and terrorist watch-list loophole and ensure every transaction involving the sale
of a firearm includes a comprehensive background check. Strengthen child access prevention laws to
ensure the safe storage of firearms.

Iowa

Iowa Democrats have adopted a whole laundry list of gun control items including a return to may-issue concealed carry, mandatory training, and a ban on open carry along with the usual things. They also want the Dickey Amendment which restricts the CDC from using funds to advocate for gun control repealed. Iowa Democrats also want to ban the private transfer of post-1968 firearms that that don’t have serial numbers. I’m not sure where that came from but I think it is aimed at 3-D printed guns and the like. They also oppose national concealed carry reciprocity (NCCR).

Gun Safety

We support:
340. guardian accountability for minor negligent-gun-access
341. public/private property gun-free zones
342. updated version of the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, restricting:


a. silencers/suppressors

b. bump-stocks

c. high-capacity-magazines

d. fragmentary-rounds


343. mandatory safety/proficiency training
344. expanding NICS
345. firearm transfer universal background checks
346. registration
347. waiting periods
348. just-cause Sheriff discretion issuing Concealed-Carry
349. mandatory liability insurance for gun/ammunition
owners/sellers/manufacturers
350. GVROA(2017)
351. mandatory reporting lost/stolen firearms
352. reasonable gun-regulation/responsible gun-ownership
353. gun buybacks

We oppose:
354. open-carry
355. Dickey Amendment
356. NCCR
357. private post-1968 firearms transfers without serial numbers

Democrat State Party Platforms – Colorado To Georgia

This is a  continuation of my series of posts pointing out the political platforms of the individual state Democrat parties on firearms, gun control, and the Second Amendment. Remember, this is the official position of the Democratic Party in each state and you can expect Democrats to work to enact laws along these lines.

Colorado

Colorado Democrats have an explicit gun control agenda in their platform. Moreover, firearm restrictions come up in other areas such as schools and National Parks and Forests.

Firearms and Gun Safety
We agree with individual ownership of firearms for hunting and personal safety, but also believe that firearms should be
regulated as follows:

1. Ban assault weapons, bump stocks, and high capacity magazines.
2. Enact universal background checks federally.
3. Enact restrictions: Must be 21 and must demonstrate competency with firearms to purchase a firearm.
4. Prohibit the possession and purchase of firearms by people with violent criminal offenses or on terrorist watch list.
5. Except for security personnel, ban firearms on K-12 schools, college campuses and allow cultural institutions to ban
firearms on their premises.
6. Enact Extreme Risk Protection Order law, which would allow families and law enforcement to seek a court order to
temporarily disarm a person who is dangerous to themselves or others.
7. Enact criminal penalties when adults fail to properly store firearms and minors gain access and harm themselves or
others.
8. Restrict firearms use in National Forest to designated areas, except during hunting season.
9. Allow the CDC and other government agencies to conduct gun violence research, and properly fund.

With regard to making schools gun-free zones, the Colorado Democrats say:

We oppose guns in school, more guns would make our schools less safe and but all (sic) students and staff at increased
risk of becoming a victim of gun violence.

Finally, with regard to public lands and wildlife, it says, “We support the restriction of shooting in National Forests and Parks.”

Connecticut

As you might expect, Connecticut Democrats support gun control and make great claims for it. They don’t go into great detail so they must assume all the post-Newtown restrictions have been accepted.

Guns

Connecticut Democrats are proud to stand behind common sense gun violence prevention measures. As a result, Connecticut has one of the lowest gun death rates in the country.

Gun violence in our urban centers needs to be addressed. This can be supported through incentivized proactive measures such as buybacks, and reinforcing “no questions asked” protections where appropriate in order to get guns off the streets.

Connecticut can do more. There is progress to be made in the areas of Domestic Violence and Extreme Risk protections as these scenarios are a source of mass shooting violence and gun suicide.

Delaware

 The Delaware Democrats’ platform adopts the usual buzzwords such as “common sense” and “weapons of war” without going into too much detail.

Preventing Gun Violence: Gun violence is taking far too many lives in Delaware.
Delaware Democrats support common sense gun safety measures while
respecting responsible gun ownership. We will build on successful efforts at the
state level and proposed efforts at the federal level to get weapons of war away
from criminals and off our streets, while preserving the Second Amendment rights
of law-abiding gun owners.

Florida

 The Florida Democrats have a list of their “values” on their website instead of a platform. In addition to a statement on guns, they also have a separate “gun violence prevention” fact (sic) sheet.

Preventing Gun Violence

“Proud NRA sellout” Adam Putnam and his Republican party would rather give guns to people who shouldn’t have them than enact comprehensive gun control policies. The Republican Party’s dependence on the NRA for money is why they refuse to enact policies that a majority of Floridians support. Unlike Republicans, Democrats support banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, and a 3-day waiting period for gun sales. Democrats realize that this isn’t about taking away the rights of responsible, law abiding gun-owners. This is about making our state safer so that there isn’t another shooting in Parkland, Pulse, or anywhere else in Florida. Florida has endured 4 mass shootings in 18 months because of Republicans’ refusal to implement common sense gun reform. Let’s make sure there isn’t a 5th.

Georgia

Georgia Democrats don’t seem to have adopted a party platform since 2011. It is probably for this reason that their platform makes no reference to firearms or “gun violence” (sic).  The only real item I could find is a 2013 press release supporting then President Obama’s efforts at gun control post-Newtown including magazines bans and assault weapon (sic) bans.

I will have to assume that they will support the gun control platform of Stacey Abrams who is their nominee for governor.

As Governor, Stacey will:

  1. Fight for common-sense gun reforms including universal background checks, repeal of campus carry, and extreme-risk protection orders
  2. Support protections and services for victims of domestic violence
  3. Invest in mental health services
  4. Support community and hospital programs to stop the cycle of gun violence



Stacey’s Record:

  1. Opposed legislation which required that guns confiscated in crimes be returned to the street
  2. Opposed campus carry
  3. Received only Ds and Fs from the National Rifle Association
  4. Endorsed by Moms Demand Action and Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence

Democrat State Party Platforms – Alabama To California

My earlier post explains that I was intrigued to see what the individual state Democrat parties would have to say about the Second Amendment, gun control, and an individual’s right to self-defense. I want to get this information out to my readers so that when it comes to midterm elections, they will know exactly where the Democrats officially stand on these issues.

Alabama

The Alabama Democratic Party doesn’t as much have a platform as a list of guiding principles. These principles talks about things like progressive taxes, collective bargaining, public education, and the like. The closest it comes to talking about the Second Amendment is this bit on the law and crime:

That the government is of laws and not of men. We condemn any resolution of men’s conflicts save through the legal processes. The Democratic Party stands for law and order and for a total and increasing war against crime, for the strengthening of our law enforcement agencies, and for justice under the law.

As I read it, they are for the rule of law and pro-law enforcement with nothing said about gun control.

Alaska

 You might think that Democrats in the 49th State might be more like those in Alabama and less like the national Democrats. You would be wrong as their 2018 Party Platform makes abundantly clear.

Firearms. We support the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which guarantees the
right of the people to keep and bear arms. We support responsible gun ownership, and policies
and programs to reduce gun violence and accidental gun deaths. This policy should include
completed background checks for all gun sales, and education on hunting and weapons safety.
We support a rational and safe policy for gun free zones. We support legislative action that
would ban the sale to the general public of military assault-style weapons. We support
legislation that requires the CDC to collect data on gun related injuries and fatalities. We also
support government funded research into gun safety.

Alaska Democrats also think people that are serving time in prison should be allowed to vote. I’m shaking my head over that one except to think they must think prisoners will tend to vote for Democrats.

Arizona


It is not surprising that the Arizona Democrat Party endorses gun control in their latest (2015-2016) party platform. It is after all the party of Gabby Giffords and the influence of her organization is shown in what the platform says about firearms.

Firearms
Arizona Democrats believe in effective enforcement of existing laws, strengthening background
check systems, and working together to enact commonsense gun safety improvements. Arizona
Democrats support gun control legislation that includes registration/background checks for every
person who purchases a firearm in any venue. We support a ban on assault weapons and denial of
gun purchases to those with a history of mental illness, domestic violence, or criminal acts.

As an aside, their featured speaker at the Hall of Fame Dinner will be Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) which tells me everything I need to know.

Arkansas

The platform of the Democratic Party of Arkansas makes no mention of firearms, the Second Amendment, background checks, or anything else firearm related. I find that refreshing and I even agree with them that the “War of Drugs” has been a failure.

California

It should surprise no one that the proposed platform for the California Democrat Party has a bulleted (no pun intended) list of gun control items. They include this under their “National Security” section of the platform which is less about national security than about diminishing the military.

  • Support a common-sense ban on deadly assault weapons and devices used to turn rifles into automatic weapons such as bump-stocks;
  • Support the expansion of universal background checks;
  • Support keeping firearms out of dangerous hands by expanding firearm prohibitions to those who, based on past behavior or condition, are deemed at risk of acts of violence; and promote policies and programs to limit access to firearms by children, suicidal persons, and those in crisis;
  • Work to deter gun trafficking, “straw purchasing,” and illegal guns by identifying, reforming, or shutting down “bad apple” gun dealers in California;
  • Support California’s strong gun laws by providing the necessary resources and funding for implementation, training, and enforcement of those laws, including the Armed Prohibited Persons System Program, the Gun Violence Restraining Order, the tracing of all crime guns, and the investigation of all denied firearm purchasers;
  • Protect California’s strong gun laws from court challenges and federal intrusion, including defeating forced concealed carry reciprocity and any removal of silencers from current regulations;

I found it amusing that they spoke of the “fundamental human right of free speech” in their communications section while promoting the enforcement of the state’s gun laws that actually suppressed speech. That suppression of speech involving gun shop advertising of handguns was found unconstitutional earlier this month in the case of Tracy Rifle and Pistol v. Becerra.

I will publish the next five states, Colorado through Georgia, tomorrow.