ATF Loses Bumpstock Case Today at the 6th Circuit

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the district court’s decision, which had denied GOA’s motion for a preliminary injunction on bump stocks. Gun Owners of America is seeking an injunction to prevent ATF from implementing a final rule incorrectly classifying bump stocks as machineguns under federal law.

This case was brought by Gun Owners of America (GOA), Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), Matt Watkins, Tim Harmsen of the Military Arms Channel, and GOA’s Texas Director, Rachel Malone.

“Today’s court decision is great news and told gun owners what they already knew,” said GOA Senior Vice President Erich Pratt. “We are glad the court applied the statute accurately, and struck down the ATF’s illegal overreach and infringement of gun owners’ rights.”

https://www.gunowners.org/victory-court-rules-a-bump-stock-is-not-a-machine-gun/

This was never about “bumpstocks,” but rather this was about fighting against the tyranny of the executive branch, e.g., the ATF, in enacting legislation outside the legislative process in Congress. This is about any and all firearms and firearms accessories, and preventing bureaucrats from picking and choosing what they decide is legal vs. illegal.

Here’s the opinion:

The GOA (Gun Owners of America) continues to do great work, fighting tyranny in the courts. The fight continues, so please donate to the battle:

One of my favorite parts of the opinion. Boy does this sound familiar:

First, giving one branch the power to both draft and enforce criminal statutes jeopardizes the people’s right to liberty. The concern over the potential abuse of power if the executive can define crimes predates our nation’s founding. See THE FEDERALIST NO. 47, at 251 (James Madison) (quoting Baron de Montesquieu that “[t]here can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates”); 1 WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, COMMENTARIES *146 (1753) (“In all tyrannical governments, the supreme magistracy, or the right of both making and of enforcing the laws, is vested in one and the same man, or one and the same body of men; and wherever these two powers are united together, there can be no public liberty.”); JOHN LOCKE, SECOND TREATISE OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT § 143, pp. 324-25 (T. Hollis ed., 1764) (1690).

NOTE: this doesn’t change the legal status of those states who’s legislatures banned bumpstocks: Delaware, Rhode Island, Washington, Nevada, California, Maryland, NJ, NY, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Vermont, I believe…… It also doesn’t say Congress can’t do so federally. This is just about the ATF doing it on their own.

Ninth Circuit Today: There’s no 2nd Amendment Outside Your Home

Today the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued their opinion in Young v. Hawaii, holding that there’s no Second Amendment right to carry firearms outside of one’s own home, whether concealed or openly. What do you need to know, and what does this mean? Here’s the opinion, with my highlights, which I discussed in the video:

I go through the opinion on YouTube in Episode 51 of Freedom is Scary:

Here’s what happened in oral arguments today in the AR-15 Open Carry case – Walker v. Donahoe

This afternoon, oral arguments were held in the case of Walker v. Donahoe – the AR-15 open carry case out of Putnam County, West Virginia. I’ll discuss what happened in a live debriefing at 6:30 pm, which is in 4 minutes…..

Here’s a link to the actual recording of the arguments, if you missed it live:

Here’s an excerpt of my argument, as taken by my staff:

Here’s the video of the underlying incident, if you haven’t seen it:

If you love FREEDOM, should you be using CRYPTOCURRENCY? I talk with co-Founder of TUSC

If you love life, liberty, property, the Second Amendment, the Fourth Amendment and basically all civil rights, you should understand the potential lifeline of freedom that is made possible due to cryptocurrency. The easiest way to destroy the Second Amendment is to make it impossible for the firearms industry to transact business through corporate suppression of free speech and free enterprise. Even worse, the mainstream corporate financial institutions have a history of partnering with the federal government to share your private data for use in criminal prosecutions and other activities against your consent and constitutional rights.

As suggested by John Crump of the GOA (Gun Owners of America) from FIS Episode No. 45, I’m talking tonight with the co-Founder of TUSC (The Universal Settlement Coin), a decentralized, non-ICO cryptocurrency project that is focused supporting the retail firearms industry with their payments issues. Rob McNealy is a serial entrepreneur, podcaster, cryptocurrency advocate, self-defense activist and recovering corporate MBA.

Join me tonight on Freedom is Scary Live, Episode No. 46. Tonight at 6:30 p.m. Eastern:

TUSC, The Universal Settlement Coin, is an open source, pure payments cryptocurrency project built on a delegated proof of stake (DPOS) blockchain. TUSC is a decentralized, non-ICO, community project with on-chain governance. TUSC was purpose built for retailer adoption using a unique marketing model with an elected and term limited third-party vendor called the Marketing Partner, whose role is to support the onboarding of retailers and to promote TUSC through aggressive marketing and sales strategies to vertical markets and industries with recognized problems with existing payment systems.

More about Rob McNealy and TUSC: Rob McNealy: Podcast Website: https://robmcnealy.com​ Twitter: https://twitter.com/robmcnealy​ (365,000+ followers) IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm11393442​ LBRY: https://lbry.tv/$/invite/@robmcnealy:e​ Minds: https://www.minds.com/robmcnealy​ Rarible:https://app.rarible.com/robmcnealy​ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robmcnealy​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/robmcnealya…​ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/robmcnealy​ Everipedia: https://everipedia.org/wiki/lang_en/r…​ Parler: https://parler.com/robmcnealy​ Medium: https://robmcnealy.medium.com​ TUSC: Twitter: https://twitter.com/tuscnetwork​ TUSC Website: https://tusc.network​ TUSC Marketing Partner Website: https://tuscmp.one​ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/tusc…​ LBRY: https://lbry.tv/$/invite/@TUSC:a​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tuscnetwork​ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/tusc…​ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/tuscnetwork​ Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/23371…​ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TUSCNetwork​ Recent media: https://freebeacon.com/guns/cryptocur…https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/gun…

Update on the Battle for the Second Amendment – as of February of 2021

Here’s a live video I did last night on Youtube with John Crump, from the gun rights advocacy organization, Gun Owners of America.

The big danger right now is our very own Senator Manchin siding with the anti-gun lobby in ending the filibuster. If that happens, there’s nothing stopping Biden and the Democrat Congress from doing what John Crump believes they will pass by federal legislation:

  1. An outright ban on AR-15 style rifles; and
  2. A federal NFA registry of all existing AR-15 style rifles (even where legal in any particular state).

Check out all of the recent articles by John Crump at Ammoland News, some of which we discussed.

Check out all of the recent articles regarding gun rights at Ammoland News.

Here’s the payment host discussed by John in the video (TUSC) which offers a method of buying and selling firearms and firearms accessories, ammunition, etc., in the era of Big Tech censorship and suppression:

Information on Caniglia v. Strom, currently pending at the SCOTUS, where the Court will be deciding whether law enforcement can enter and search your home without a warrant based on the so-called “community caretaking exception”:

Gun Owners of America:

The Walker Open Carry AR case is accepted for Oral Argument at the Fourth Circuit

Breaking news just this afternoon: the Walker case has been accepted for oral argument by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, tentatively set for March 8 through March 12, 2021. This is the case with the video showing my client, Michael Walker, walking down the side of a public roadway in Putnam County, West Virginia, on his way coyote hunting. The video is at the link.

This is good news, being that we’re the ones appealing. Most appeals are decided with a written order and no oral argument. The ones with a good likelihood of success, or which are important issues of law, are generally set for oral argument.

ATF Raids Polymer80 in Nevada and Obtains Customer Information

Last Thursday, the ATF raided Polymer80 in Nevada, a seller of so-called “Ghost Gun” 80% kits for the home-manufacture of polymer pistols for personal use. The word on the street is, that they’ve been contacting customers. So what rights do you have if you’re a customer and the ATF comes knocking?

National Gun Control Group’s Challenge to WV’s Parking Lot Bill Passes the AG’s Motion to Dismiss

In 2018, West Virginia passed a wonderful pro-2nd Amendment piece of legislation, titled HB 4187, a.k.a. the “Parking Lot Bill,” which took effect on June 8, 2018. The bill prohibited businesses from banning firearms from vehicles in their parking lots. It also prohibited the hiring and firing of employees based on their possession of firearms.

About a year later, a national gun control group, which is really “Everytown for Gun Safety,” financed by Michael Bloomberg, using the b.s. name, “Coalition Against Domestic Violence.” Ironically, this group would forcibly disarm the very group they’re supposed to be advocating for. Victims of domestic violence would not have the option of defending themselves with firearms, from their would-be attackers, because they would have their employers enact policies (which corporations generally do) requiring that no firearms can be kept, even in their employees’ parked cars. Here’s the original lawsuit, in its entirety:

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey is the named defendant in the suit. His lawyers filed a motion to dismiss.

Last week, U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver denied the motion. I had to read it for myself, since many were instantly outraged. Judge Copenhaver is as good as it gets. He was first appointed by President Ford, and is a workaholic, even in his 90s. I had the honor of trying a jury trial in front of him a few years back. Here is his ruling:

Keep in mind, that this is a ruling in a motion to dismiss – not a ruling on the merits of the challenge. It’s an easy standard for plaintiffs to pass in most cases. So, what were the grounds for allowing the lawsuit to proceed? Even though the gun control group is advocating for the restriction of the individual rights of West Virginia citizens, they’ve disguised their claims as seeking constitutional protections for a collection of domestic violence advocacy groups who are apparently horrified of armed attackers hiding guns in parking lots.

The motion was actually only seeking dismissal on grounds of “standing” and “ripeness,” which are both technical arguments not quite reaching the constitutionality issues. The Court rightly held that groups should be able to challenge the constitutionality of state statutes in federal court, and that they should be able to do so prior to any enforcement actions – not just afterwards. So this is a bit of a nothing-burger. At some point there will need to be a ruling on the constitutional issues.

One of the claims which will need to be decided, isn that the Parking Lot Bill violates the First Amendment – that there’s a free speech component to the being able to prohibit firearms on your business or organization property, if you don’t like guns. It will be interesting to see what happens with that, because it’s not all that different fro the claim we made in the same federal court last week in our challenge of the Governor’s mask mandate. Many laughed when I argued that compliance (or noncompliance) with a mask mandate was protected free speech. So let’s see if this similar argument gets any traction.

Red Flag Laws and the Injustice to our Veterans

Recently, the 2nd Amendment advocacy organization, Gun Owners of America (GOA) submitted a petition to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, on behalf of “over a quarter of a million veterans” who have had, possibly unbeknownst to them, their gun rights stolen from them:

“For years, GOA has fought against VA’s practice of submitting names of veterans who need a fiduciary to the National Instant Check System (NICS), effectively banning these veterans from owning guns,” Aidan Johnston, Director of Federal Affairs for GOA, said. “It’s a disgrace to infringe the rights of those who have taken up arms for our country abroad, only to have that right taken away when they return home.”

Basically, since the Clinton Administration, the VA has been engaging in a policy of proactively causing the loss of gun rights for military veterans who require assistance with the management of their financial affairs, and appoint a fiduciary, such as is common with temporary bouts of PTSD for returning combat veterans. The GOA has been killing it lately in their efforts at protecting the 2nd Amendment. They’re trying to fix this injustice.

Here’s the filing in its entirety:

The proposed rule would prohibit the VA from transmitting information about a VA beneficiary to law enforcement agencies, and specifically the National Instant Background Check System (“NICS”) run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, solely and simply due to an appointment of a fiduciary to manage the finances of a beneficiary, without a judicial order in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4).

Federal law prohibits the receipt or possession of a firearm or ammunition by anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution.” 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4). Federal law prohibits the receipt or possession of firearms or ammunition by anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution” in 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4). In 19976 and later in 2014,7 the BATFE expanded the definition of “adjudicated as a mental defective” to also include:

“[a] determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease: (1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or (2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.”

The problem is, that the VA is triggering this definition via their internal fiduciary determination process, which is occurring wholly without due process or judicial involvement or review.

This low standard, based upon a bureaucratic determination, is not commensurate with the BATFE’s higher standard of a determination by an authority such as a court that a person is for example of subnormal intelligence or a danger to others. The VA’s seriously flawed interpretive guidance sweeps up for reporting to NICS a host of persons who Congress never intended to disarm. Commitments and adjudications are done by the judicial system, not by VA bureaucrats. And the terms “mental defective” and “committed” apply to persons who, as a result of a marked subnormal intelligence or capacity, are permanently unable to function in society and historically were often institutionalized.

So what’s happening is this: a combat veteran returns from deployment and temporarily suffers from mild post-traumatic stress – even temporarily – and even if they rely on a family member to assist them with their finances, or balancing their checkbook, they are coming within the broad Department of Veteran Affairs definition, which is in turn coming within the definition of federal and state criminal statutes prohibiting the possession of firearms on mental health grounds.

This has been happening because, since 1998, the Clinton Administration DOJ began reporting to the FBI, for addition in the NICS index those beneficiaries who require a fiduciary to manage their VA benefits under VA regulations. In 2016, Congress provided for some due process protections in that bureaucratic framework in the “21st Century Cares Act” requiring notice and a hearing, and an opportunity to present a defense. However, the case remains that we are unnecessarily subjecting our veterans to a loss of their gun rights with a lower standards than the rest of the American population.

In contrast to Section 922, which pertains to disarming those “adjudicated as a mental defective or who ha[ve] been committed to a mental institution, 38 C.F.R. § 3.353’s determinations of incompetency pertain to the capacity of a veteran “to contract or to manage his or her own affairs, including disbursement of funds without limitation,”10 for the specific purposes of insurance and disbursement of benefits, and are made according to “the beneficiary’s social, economic and industrial adjustment.” 11 Not only the standard, but the intention and scope of the criminal statute, used to justify reporting veterans in the fiduciary program to the NICS database, differ from those of the VA regulation so substantially as to make clear the inapplicability of the VA fiduciary process as a reasonable determination of “mentally defective” requiring reporting to the NICS database.

The GOA’s proposed change in VA rules would prevent this from happening, and would protect the 2nd Amendment rights of veterans – or at least make them equal to the rest of us. They could still be adjudicated mentally defective, as with anyone else. But there would be no systematic deprivation of rights, such as has existed since 1998.

Then, on top of this, some states have enacted, or attempted to enact, so-called “Red Flag Laws,” such as the one enacted in Virginia, which allows “authorities to convince a judge that a person would be a danger to themselves or others….” and does so in the absence of due process, but rather based on the word of some other individual. What follows, is law enforcement being sent to the individual’s home to confiscate guns. There have already been innocent people killed as a result of these laws, such as occurred in Maryland. The fact is, there are over 1.6 million disabled veterans with service-connected adjudication by the VA of “mental illness,” including one million vets with PTSD. These determinations, if and when made, should be made on a case-by-case basis, and should not be systematic, nor made by bureaucrats at the VA, or elsewhere.