The month of May, and now the first week of June, has seen 2A rights take a hit across the country at all levels. In continuing our mission to empower our members with education and legal knowledge here are some of the changes affecting you from this past month.
NJ Gov. Posed to Sign Six Gun Control Bills
On Thursday, June 7, 2018, the NJ Legislature passed and sent to the Governor six bills designed to further restrict the 2A rights of law-abiding gun owners. Gov. Phil Murphy said he would sign the measures “quickly.”
The bills would set out new rules for seizing guns from people deemed to be dangerous, reduce the allowable ammunition magazine size from 15 rounds to 10, require background checks for private gun sales and put a regulation into law putting a strict threshold to be met to receive a gun-carry permit.
In a Twitter release, Gov. Murphy said he would sign the bills into law Wednesday June 13, “establishing some of the toughest gun laws in the nation.”
The package of bills sent to the Governor include:
S.102 – reduces the minimum magazine capacity restriction from 15 to 10 rounds.
S.160/A.1181 – if “health professionals,” including marriage counselors, social workers, and nurses, deem a person to be a threat to themselves or others they are to report that individual to the Attorney General who may suspend gun rights after a hearing.
S.2376/A.2758 – establishes a more strict threshold that would make it harder to meet the justifiable need standard for concealed carry applications in the state, a benchmark that former Gov. Chris Christie tried to lower.
S.2374/A.2757 – requires background checks on all firearm transfers.
S.2259/A.1217 – creates extreme risk protection orders whereby firearms can be seized and constitutional rights suspended with little to no due process.
S.2465 – makes it a crime to possess components to manufacture “untraceable firearms.”
“None of the bills passed today will make anyone safer,” said Scott Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs in a statement. “Lawmakers have squandered an important opportunity to make our schools safer and prevent those with serious mental health issues from obtaining firearms in the first place.”
Bach said his group plans to pursue legal action to have them overturned.
Illinois Town’s Residents Have Until June 13th to Turn In Weapons
Last April, the Village Board of Trustees of the suburban Chicago community of Deerfield unanimously passed an ordinance that makes it unlawful for a person “to carry, keep, bear, transport or possess an assault weapon in the Village,” except if the weapon is “broken down in a non-functioning state,” is “not immediately accessible to any person,” or is “unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person who has been issued a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.”
If residents don’t forfeit or secure weapons that fall under the ban by June 13th, they will be charged from $250 to $1,000 a day as a penalty.
The ordinance defines an assault weapon as “a semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a large capacity magazine, detachable or otherwise.” The term also includes semiautomatic pistols, semiautomatic shotguns, conversion kits and “any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.” The ban also provides an open-ended list of firearm models, including the AR-15, the AK-47, and their variants.
The new law is modeled after one approved by Highland Park IL, in 2013. That ban survived a legal challenge by one of the city’s residents and the Illinois State Rifle Association. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that legislation constitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court let the decision stand when it declined to take up the appeal.
Undeterred, the Illinois State Rifle Association announced that they and the Second Amendment Foundation have jointly filed a lawsuit against the Village of Deerfield, challenging the constitutionality of the ban.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, June 12, a judge blocked enactment of the ban in response to a pair of lawsuits filed against the town of Deerfield. The city issued a statement that it will halt enforcement of the ban temporarily while it explores all its legal options, including appealing the ruling.
NC “Consumer Protection” Bill Really a Gun Ban
On May 31, 2018, State Rep. Verla Insko, (D-Chapel Hill), filed House Bill 1060, entitled “Ensure Safe Handguns.” Under the proposal, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) is to develop a roster of handguns that meet certain design and safety factors and prohibit the sale and possession of guns not included in the roster. The department is supposed to conduct firing and other tests to determine safety issues.
The DPS is to use California’s “Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale” as a model, which has been used to prohibit the sale of hundreds of handguns, affecting popular brands like Beretta, Colt and Smith & Wesson.
Furthermore, in addition to banning the sale and possession of handguns not on the roster, the legislation does not grandfather possession of such weapons already owned. Newly prohibited firearms already in someone’s possession would have to be sold or transferred to either a licensed dealer or the sheriff’s department. Individuals found in violation of the law would be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.
The bill was assigned to the House Rules Committee.
With Republicans holding a slim majority in the House, there is a good chance the measure will die in Committee.
The concern is that this approach to gun control disguised as a “consumer protection” measure will gain ground in other states across the country. Be alert for such attempts against your 2A rights in your state.
We here at U.S. & Texas LawShield will continue to monitor these and other attempts at infringing on our constitutional 2A rights to keep and bear arms. Follow our social media pages and continue to read your member exclusive newsletter for updates.