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.

If It Is Gun Deer Season, Expect To See “Men With Guns”

Police in Ohio recently responded to two reports of “men with guns”. The first report resulted in a lockdown of a high school and a middle school while the second had a number of police cruisers converging upon the scene along Interstate 70.

What in the world is going on in Ohio to cause all these reports of “men with guns”?

Deer season. Or more appropriately, deer season mixed with a healthy dose of hoplophobia.

In the first case, Pickerington North High School and Lakeview Junior High were locked down for about 30 minutes when a student reported a man with a rifle near the schools, said Pickerington Superintendent Rob Walker.

Fairfield County deputies determined that the man was a hunter on his own property. The same thing happened seven or eight years ago, Walker said.

Still, he’s glad students are paying attention: “When in doubt, let’s err on the side of safety.”

In the second case, Columbus police cruisers converged on the Near East Side after reports of a man in camouflage with a gun near I-70 and Lilley Avenue.

Officers soon declared it a nonemergency, saying the man was a lost hunter.

As Miss Emily Litella would have said, never mind.

Ohio Preemption Case to be Heard by Ohio Supreme Court Today

From the Buckeye Firearms Association comes this reminder:

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for an important gun rights case, City of Cleveland v. State of Ohio, tomorrow, October 12, 2010.

The case came about after the Ohio General Assembly voted to override Governor Bob Taft’s veto of HB347 – Ohio’s “preemption” law – which codified R.C. 9.68, ensuring that firearms laws would be uniform throughout the state.

The City of Cleveland immediately sued the State of Ohio, and the Supreme Court is now going to be forced to issue a ruling that will decide once and for all whether R.C. 9.68 is valid. If it is valid, than other than ordinances banning the discharge of firearms inside city limits and zoning laws, Ohio cities are, once and for all, out of the gun control business.

I will be anxious to hear the outcome of this case and will post an update when a decision is reached.

UPDATE: Here is what the Ohio Supreme Court lists about the case:

Does State Law Invalidating Local Gun Regulations Violate City’s Constitutional ‘Home Rule’ Powers?
City of Cleveland v. State of Ohio, Case no. 2009-2280
8th District Court of Appeals (Cuyahoga County)

ISSUES:

•Does R.C. 9.68 violate the City of Cleveland’s “home rule” powers under the Ohio Constitution by prohibiting the city from enforcing local ordinances that regulate the sale, possession, ownership and discharge of firearms within the city limits?
•Does R.C. 9.68 violate the separation of powers doctrine of the Ohio Constitution by legislatively mandating that, in cases where municipalities are sued for continuing to enforce local gun ordinances, state courts must order the city to pay the court costs and attorney fees of any litigant who successfully challenges the constitutionality of that ordinance?
BACKGROUND: In December 2006, the General Assembly enacted Sub. House Bill 347. The bill contained specific amendments to the state’s previous statutory scheme regulating the concealed carry of firearms and established new statewide administrative procedures for the issuance of concealed carry licenses and penalties for violations of those licensing requirements.

The other major component of the bill was a new section of state law, R.C. 9.68. That section: 1) stated that it was the legislature’s intention in enacting the section “to provide uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, carrying, sale or other transfer of firearms, their components and their ammunition.” 2) declared that “except as specifically provided by the U.S. Constitution, Ohio Constitution, state law or federal law” gun owners in Ohio may buy, sell, transfer, transport, store or keep any firearm “without further license, permission, restriction, delay or process.” And 3) directed that in any subsequent court case challenging a local gun control ordinance, state courts “shall award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to any person, group or entity that prevails in a challenge to an ordinance, rule or regulation as being in conflict with this section.”

The City of Cleveland filed a declaratory judgment action in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas challenging the constitutionality of R.C. 9.68 under the Home Rule Amendment to the Ohio Constitution. That amendment, contained in Article XVIII, Section 3, provides that municipalities within the state have the inherent authority to exercise all powers of local self-government and to adopt and enforce within their borders local police regulations to protect the safety and health of city residents, so long as such regulations do not conflict with “general laws” of the state. The city argued that R.C. 9.68 violated its home rule authority because the statute had the effect of invalidating multiple Cleveland city ordinances regulating the possession, sale and registration of firearms within the city. The state filed pleadings opposing the city’s petition for declaratory judgment and seeking summary judgment that the challenged statute was constitutional.

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the state, citing the Supreme Court of Ohio’s 2008 decision in Ohioans for Concealed Carry v. Clyde. In that decision, the Court held that a Clyde city ordinance prohibiting the concealed carry of weapons in city parks was void and unenforceable because it was in conflict with the uniform statewide guidelines for concealed carry that had been adopted by the General Assembly as part of Sub. H.B. 347.

The city appealed. On review, the 8th District Court of Appeals held that R.C. 9.68 was unconstitutional because it violated both the home rule amendment and the constitutional separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of state government, and remanded the case to the trial court with a directive to enter summary judgment in favor of Cleveland. In its decision, the court of appeals specifically found that R.C. 9.68 was not a “general law” under a four-part test set forth in the Supreme Court of Ohio’s 2002 decision in Canton v. State. The state sought and was granted Supreme Court review of the 8th District’s decision.

Attorneys for the state assert that the court of appeals erred by considering R.C. 9.68 in isolation from the rest of Sub. H.B. 347 and from the body of pre-existing state and federal laws that collectively make up a “comprehensive legislative scheme” that qualifies as a general law by prescribing uniform rules of permissible conduct by all citizens of the state with regard to the possession, sale or transfer, transportation and concealed carry of firearms.

They also argue that the absence of a specific provision in state law that regulates some aspect of gun possession or use that may be covered by a local ordinance does not alter the established legal principle that the state has the ability to displace local regulation of an area of law by establishing a uniform set of statewide regulations as it has done here. With regard to the separation of powers, they argue that the provision of R.C. 9.68 awarding attorney fees and costs against cities that continue enforcing local gun ordinances after they have been preempted by state law is no different than multiple other legislative enactments that entitle successful litigants to recover attorney fees and costs in various types of legal actions such as suits for wrongful imprisonment, delinquent child support, voter harassment, age discrimination and unreasonably denied public records requests, among others.

Attorneys for Cleveland urge the Court to affirm the 8th District’s findings that neither R.C. 9.68 nor H.B. 347 in its entirety meets the Canton v. State criteria for a “general law” because they leave major aspects of gun ownership and use that are covered by local ordinances − such as possession of firearms by minors, licensing of gun dealers, regulation of assault weapons and registration of handguns − unregulated under state law. They argue that R.C. 9.68 does not “prescribe rules of conduct for citizens generally” as required under the Canton test, but instead simply prohibits enforcement of any and all local gun-control ordinances regardless of whether there is any demonstrable conflict between a specific ordinance and a provision of state law. Finally, they assert that in enacting the legal fee-shifting provision of R.C. 9.68, the legislature infringed on the exclusive jurisdiction of the judicial branch to regulate the imposition of court costs and fees as a way to intimidate municipalities into repealing or not enforcing their local gun-laws.