Friday, April 28, 2017

20th Annual Firearms Law Seminar - Christopher Zeeland on Firearms Legislation

Always a great speaker (and nice guy as well) Chris Zeeland presented on new federal and state laws.

Now with a new administration and a new outlook there's some new bills making their way through Congress and its certainly a brighter day than under the Obama administration for gun owners.

A repeal of Obama-era Social Security Gun Ban - He went over how we got to Obama's Social Security gun ban based on ATF broadly construing what it means for someone being adjudicated as mentally defective and its reversal. Prior to Obama the Social Security Administration had never reported to NICS and added new categories of persons to be reported as prohibited persons even those not found to be dangers to themselves or others and those sent would list such impairments that included such impairments as memory loss or decreased energy or even inflated feelings of self-esteem. Combine that with a lack of due process and it was a rather ugly ban. Especially so when they admitted 75,000 people per year would be reported and lose their Second Amendment rights who were not a danger to themselves or others. In short it would be a case of receive SDI and lose your Second Amendment rights. Congress can reject an agency rule by a resolution and House Resolution 40 became law on February 2017 and ended this ban.

He also covered the VA's competency determinations,

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act HR38 - 11 states do not recognize permits from other states and generally are May-Issue states that are restrictive on exercising Second Amendment rights.

Both proposed bills only apply to non-federally prohibited persons, have valid photo id and licensed or otherwise lawfully entitled to carry a concealed handgun, which covers constitutional carry states and Vermont, allows for non-resident carry permits and can carry under that state's laws and comply with that states restrictions on locations and prohibited places.

The bill cites Second Amendment and uses the Commerce Clause as jurisdictional hooks, the same jurisdictional hook underlying most of federal gun control laws which is a rather elegant approach.

Smartly the law provides enforcement mechanisms and protections for out of state carriers from unfriendly locals and it is not an affirmative defense but a direct defense which is a very good thing from a legal standpoint.

Hearing Protection Act of 2017 - Would remove suppressors from NFA and treat them as regular firearms under the Gun Control Act including NICS check and prohibited persons would still be banned from using them.Also proposed is a tax refund for purchases after a certain date to prevent purchases form being frozen until we see if the law passes or not.

He did state there are some definite roadblocks to passage such as the filibuster, competing interest groups, as well as a hardening of partisan attitudes about guns and of course fake news from both the Left and Right. In short, the situation is not dire, but its not a walkover either.

I'd say keep he pressure on your reps, Senators and President Trump to get these passed.

No comments: