Defeating Murphy in New Jersey

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in Legislative | Comments Off on Defeating Murphy in New Jersey

By Scott L. Bach, of ANJRPC-PAC

If there’s one thing that defines New Jersey gun owners, it’s the courage and tenacity to repeatedly face the “David and Goliath” battles and win against impossible odds, when most everyone else would have given up.

The upcoming Governor’s race on November 7 will be the ultimate test of our mettle. Anti-gun Wall Street mega-millionaire Phil Murphy, an unknown who came out of left field, bullied and bought his way to the Democratic nomination. He cleared the field of serious, well-established candidates by creating the illusion that his anointing was inevitable. Democratic party leaders and candidates folded like a house of cards under that hallucination, abandoning years of planning and posturing, and handing Murphy the nomination without a real fight. The illusion became a self-fulfilling prophecy in the primary.

Now Murphy is trying to pull off that same magic trick in the general election – collapse his opposition with the mere illusion that his victory is inevitable and unstoppable. But his election is not inevitable, and he is not unstoppable. There are one million gun owners and sportsmen in New Jersey. If every one of us votes against Murphy, he loses. If every one of us also gets friends and family to vote against Murphy, he loses big.

The upcoming election will hinge on what we as a community do in the face of what looks like an impossible fight. If we swallow the propaganda and it shuts us down from taking the actions necessary to defeat Murphy, then we hand him his self-fulfilling prophecy, and gun owners reap the whirlwind. But if we remain steadfast in the face of overwhelming odds, if we unfailingly take the actions necessary to win despite the predictions of pollsters and pundits, and if we remember that we are fighting for the precious gift of Freedom, which comes from Above, then we surely can and will win.

Right now NRA and ANJRPC are organizing one of the most important grassroots efforts in New Jersey history, with personnel currently on the ground to help get out the vote statewide and in targeted races. But our real strength comes from members and volunteers like you. We are putting out the call for you to stand and fight with us, to help New Jersey gun owners once again stand strong in the face of impossible odds and make the key difference, and to pursue victory like our freedom depends on it – because it does. Answer that call today by contacting NRA-ILA Grassroots Field Coordinator Christian Ragosta at 703-638-8527 or christian@nrailafrontlines.com and find out how you can help.

Please watch for upcoming critical email alerts highlighting key legislative races, candidate ratings & endorsements, and other crucial information leading up to November 7.

Legislative Alert

Posted by on Oct 29, 2017 in Legislative | Comments Off on Legislative Alert

Federal

Under the guise of banning the “bump stocks” used in the Las Vegas shooting, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers, including the local Congressmen Dent, Costello, and Meehan, have introduced a bill that would “any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.” NRA is opposing this bill, as it would ban installing a match grade trigger into a semi-automatic rifle since that technically affects the rate of fire, even if that is not its purpose. It would also potentially ban installing a different bolt carrier or buffer spring, since those parts may also increase the rate of fire incidentally. There are many common modifications that can be done to a semi-automatic rifle that this poorly thought out bill would ban. Our local representative, Brian Fitzpatrick has not signed on as a cosponsor of this bill, which is encouraging. Members are encouraged to call or write Mr. Fitzpatrick and encourage him to oppose H.R.3999.

Middletown Township

At the last meeting of the Middletown Township Board of Supervisors, held on October 2nd, 2017, two members of the five member Board, Mr. Tom Tosti and Ms. Amy Strouse, expressed interest in the Board lobbying our state lawmakers to bring New Jersey and California style gun control laws to Pennsylvania. Both members repeatedly praised the gun laws of both states as a model for us here in Pennsylvania, especially their bans on politically incorrect semi-automatic rifles. Fortunately, the other three members of the Board of Supervisors, Mr. Tom Gallagher, Mr. William Oettinger, and Mr. H. George Leonhauser, voted against the motion, causing it to fail. We have no desire, as a club, to see our local townships involved in the gun control debate. We are asking two things of club members:

  1. Please get out to vote on Tuesday November 7th. If you are a resident of Middletown Township, Supervisor candidate Kevin Glasson has expressed opposition to the Board of Supervisors involving themselves in gun control. It is very important that we do not elect more supervisors like Mr. Tosti and Mr. Strouse.
  2. Please plan to show up to the Middletown Township Board of Supervisor’s meeting on Monday November 20th at 7:30PM for the next Board of Supervisors meeting. The Middletown Township building is located at 3 Municipal Way, Langhorne, PA 19047. If you come, please wear something indicating you’re a club member or NRA member. If you’re a township resident, and you’d like to speak, we’ll get people lined up for the public comment period. But you do not have to speak. Just showing up will make an impression.

We had a very successful showing when a few Lower Makefield supervisors started talking gun control a few years back. Our presence helped convince then to table their resolution, so hopefully we can also have a good turnout here.

SHARE Act Up for Vote As Early as This Week

Posted by on Sep 25, 2017 in Legislative | Comments Off on SHARE Act Up for Vote As Early as This Week

Attention members:

A vote on H.R. 3668, the Share Act, which we discussed in our June legislative report, could happen as early as this week.

I would strongly encourage members to contact Representative Brian Fitzpatrick or whoever your local representative may be and ask that he support the SHARE Act.

June 2017 Legislative Report

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017 in Legislative | Comments Off on June 2017 Legislative Report

National

The SHARE Act

 The Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), a sportsman’s omnibus bill, has been introduced into Congress, and is expected to move. The SHARE Act has absorbed many provisions from previous versions of the bill

  • Eliminates the “sporting purposes” language from the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the law on armor piercing ammunition. Hostile Administrations have used this language to limit importation of firearms and also to erroneously reclassify common ammunition as “armor piercing” and thus “not suited for sporting purposes” and restricted from importation and sale.
  • Creates a blanket exception in the law for shotguns to prevent arbitrary reclassification as destructive devices. Shotguns are only classified as ordinary firearms because of long-standing policy by the Attorney General of exempting them from classification as destructive devices. Hostile administrations in the past have altered or threatened to alter this exception to ban certain semi-automatic shotguns.
  • Moves silencers/suppressors from Title II to Title I, which removes them from classification as an NFA items and instead regulates them the same as ordinary firearms.
  • Limited preemption on states against regulating suppressors.
  • Stops regulation of traditional lead ammunition and fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
  • Enhances the FOPA language to include travel by means other than vehicles.
  • Creates remedies against states that violate the safe travel provisions, including a cause of action and attorney’s fees.
  • Numerous provisions to preserve hunting and fishing for future generations.

This is a pretty substantial bill, and contains a number of provision gun rights proponents have spent years fighting for. Please call your federal lawmakers and urge them to support the SHARE Act.

June 2016 Legislative Report

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Legislative | Comments Off on June 2016 Legislative Report

 

National

Senator Durbin (D-IL) Blocks Bill to Restore Rights to Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has reported hundreds of thousands of veterans to NICS and prohibited them from possessing firearms if they had an appointed “fiduciary” to manage their benefits. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced an amendment to a Veterans Affairs Appropriation Bill that would have prevented the VA from reporting veterans without an adjudication that included a finding of dangerousness. Unfortunately, that amendment was blocked from being considered by Senator Durbin.

Social Security Rule Finalized

After President Obama issued executive orders on gun control, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began investigating the Department of Veterans Affairs program of NICS reporting as a potential model for the SSA. If implemented, anyone collecting Social Security using “designated payee” to manage that person’s finances would be put in the NICS system and prohibited from possessing firearms. The SSA has issued the final rule, and we’re fortunate it is not as bad as what was first proposed (but still bad). Under the final rule, the following all of the things below would have to be true before a person would be entered into NICS and prohibited from possessing firearms:

  • Has a designated payee who manages his or her finances.
  • Is a beneficiary disability payments, and not a retiree.
  • Filed for Social Security Disability under a mental health code.
  • Has attained the age of 18 (children automatically have a designated payee).

NRA has concerns because many mental health codes used by SSA don’t necessarily include a finding of dangerousness. Examples they used were “Sleep or Appetite Disturbance,” “Decreased Energy,” and “Inflated Self-Esteem.” There are other due process concerns as well, and whether this whole program is even legal, but the courts work slowly.

Pennsylvania

Sunday Hunting

Senate Bill 1080 and House Bill 1374 are still making progress in the Pennsylvania legislature. The bill would allow the PA Game Commission to permit hunting on Sundays. Delaware’s legislature just passed a similar bill which is now before the Governor. Right now our bill is still in the Game and Fisheries Committee.

PICS Repeal

Pennsylvania maintains its own background check system that is separate from the federal system. HB 921, which is coming up for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee, would eliminate PICS, allowing firearms dealers to use the federal NICS system in its place. PICS costs the state a considerable amount of money to run, and is considerably less reliable than the federal system.

New Jersey

Blocking Governor Christie’s Rule Changes to Make it Easier to Get a Permit to Carry

As those of you from New Jersey may know, Governor Christie signed a series of executive orders to redefine how New Jersey gun laws are interpreted, including easing laws that include transporting firearms and easing the requirement to justify being issued a License to Carry a firearm. Unfortunately, this made the Democratic-controlled legislature angry, and they’ve introduced bills to stop this, namely ACR 175 and SCR 101, and also AB 3689.

New Hampshire Licenses Again Available to New Jersey Residents

New Hampshire Licenses to Carry were available to New Jersey residents up until the N.H. Department of Safety ended up changing its rule and required non-resident applicants to have a permit from their home state before being able to apply. However, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled last week in Bach v. N.H. Department of Safety that the requirement went beyond the department’s powers. New Hampshire licenses will again be available to New Jersey residents for those who want to carry in states that recognize the New Hampshire licenses.

January 2016 Legislative Report

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Legislative | Comments Off on January 2016 Legislative Report

National

Obama’s Executive Orders on Guns

 We’ve known that the White House was preparing executive orders on guns for a while now, but last week the shoe finally dropped. I was expecting something more bold from the Administration than what we got, which was essentially just a restatement of current law, and a statement asking Congress for more funds to fund key programs like the National Instant Check System and ATF inspectors.

It had been rumored that the Obama Administration may have been planning to rework federal regulations to define a person “engaged in the business” of selling firearms (and thus requiring a dealer’s license) as someone who sells more than 50 guns in a year. That did not end up happening. The Department of Justice issued a guidance statement (which has no legal effect) essentially reminding people that there have been successful prosecutions for individuals selling as few as two guns, depending on the totality of circumstances.

The other issue was restructuring federal regulation to require “responsible persons” for corporations or trusts who acquire NFA firearms (machine guns, short barreled rifles and shotguns, silencers, or AOWs) to submit fingerprints and go through the same FBI background check as individuals. It was rumored that the Administration was also planning to require signoff from chief-law-enforcement officers (CLEO) for corporations and trusts, as well as individuals. It turns out that CLEO signoff requirement will be eliminated and replaced with a CLEO notification requirement. These regulation changes have not been published in the Federal Register, so are not yet finalized. ATF has been working on this for years, and due to complexities involved with these changes, it’s not sure when they will ever be finalized.

In short, Obama’s executive orders were essentially a lot of hot air.

Pennsylvania

You may have heard the news that the Mayor of the bankrupt City of Harrisburg was trying to extort money out of the National Rifle Association to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars if they wanted to have use of the city’s police officers for the Great American Outdoor show hosted at the Farm Show Complex February 6-14 this year. NRA’s bylaws essentially prevent it from approving extortion money, so they balked, causing the Mayor to take the fight to the media. Fortunately, police officers from areas surrounding Harrisburg offered to step up for NRA. As a condition of hosting the show, NRA agreed to allocate grants for the local region. Apparently Mayor Papenfuse believed that meant Harrisburg should get all the money, and threw a fit when he discovered other towns in the area would be getting grants instead.

New Jersey

The smart gun law is back. Several years ago, anti-gun legislators in the Garden State passed a law which stipulated that on the call of the Attorney General, once a smart gun was available on the market, they would be the only types of guns allowed to be sold in New Jersey. Realizing that this was causing resistance to the idea of anyone developing the technology, those same legislators have floated a bill, S. 3249 / A. 4717, which would repeal the mandate, and replace it with a new mandate that would require gun dealers to stock smart guns once they become available, whether they sold or not. ANJRPC is standing firm that only full repeal of the smart gun mandate will be sufficient to drop opposition, and is asking people to contact their lawmakers to oppose S. 3249 / A. 4717.

Don’t Forget to Vote Tuesday November 3rd!

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Legislative | Comments Off on Don’t Forget to Vote Tuesday November 3rd!

NRA has endorsed candidates in the off-year elections tomorrow, November 3rd. It is very important for every gun voter to show up this year. PVF’s web site looks like it’s finally correct, and has all the endorsed candidates. FOAC also has their slate of candidates up, with some further local races you might want to pay attention to. We elect our judges in Pennsylvania, and that’s mostly what this election is about. The important statewide candidates:

Supreme Court

  • Anne Covey (R)
  • Michael George (R)
  • Judith Olson (R)

Superior Court

  • Emil Giordano (R)

Commonwealth Court

  • Paul Lalley (R)

Volunteers Need for This Saturday’s Work Party

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Events | Comments Off on Volunteers Need for This Saturday’s Work Party

Namely, we’re looking for intrepid volunteers to help with the following tasks that need to be done.

  • Painting the backstop on the indoor range black so that it will contrasts more distinctly with targets.
  • Building new target frames.
  • Cleaning the clubhouse.

We’d love to get more members out to help with the work parties. It’s a good opportunity to get out of the house and interact with other club members. This work party will be this Saturday starting at 8:00AM and going until 12:00PM.

August 2015 Legislative Report

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Legislative | Comments Off on August 2015 Legislative Report

Federal

Social Security Administration Proposes Stripping Gun
Rights for 4.5 Million Recipients

In response to President Obama’s executive orders directing agencies to look for ways they could implement “gun safety measures,” the Social Security Administration proposed a plan that would classify approximately 4.5 million recipients as unable to possess or purchase firearms. Under their proposal, any Social Security recipient who received his or her benefit through a “representative payee,” (meaning that someone else was managing their finances) would be classified as “mentally defective” and added to the National Instant Check System. The Veterans Administration has already been running a similar program, which declares veterans who do not manage their own finances as “mentally defective” under the Gun Control Act, and adding them to NICS.

A few days ago, Senator John Cornyn introduced a bill, S.2002 that would essentially rewrite the mental health provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968 to both prevent the Social Security Administration from implementing this proposal, and also stop the Veterans Administration program. It would force the Attorney General to send all veterans placed in the system a letter informing them of their status, their rights, and their ability to challenge their classification. The Attorney General would be required to remove veterans from the system where it is shown there were insufficient due process considerations.

Going forward, S.2002 would require that before anyone is “adjudicated mentally incompetent,” that they receive actual notice of a hearing where the individual would have a right to participate and have representation by counsel. It would require a finding that the person is dangerous to themselves or others. S.2002 would also end the practice of using observational (in Pennsylvania, a “302” commitment) or voluntary commitments as grounds for declaring someone mentally incompetent for federal purposes.

Please write to Senators Casey and Toomey, or for New Jersey folks, Senators Booker and Menendez, and ask them to co-sponsor S.2002

June 2015 Legislative Report

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Legislative | Comments Off on June 2015 Legislative Report

Federal

State Department Proposes Sweeping Ban on Firearms Speech

The State Department has long promulgated regulations under the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which are very familiar to people who work in the defense industry. However, it has generally not applied to ordinary speech about firearms because the law made exception for the publication of technical data that is in the public domain. The State Department published notice 9149 in the Federal Register last Wednesday proposing that the regulation be amended to remove the exception for information in the public domain, and also to consider the posting of any technical information in a public forum to constitute an export under ITAR, requiring State Department pre-clearance, and a $2000 license from the federal government.

This should essentially make it illegal to discuss in a public forum, including on the Internet, any technical data about the manufacture, repair, modification, or other technical data about any firearm, ammunition, or accessory. It believed that the State Department undertook this measure to shut down the 3D printing and CNC milling of firearms and firearms parts by home do-it-yourselfers, but the regulation sweeps even more broadly than that. Even talking about reloading data would be a crime.

In the 1990s, the State Department declared encryption technology “munitions” under ITAR and began to crack down on sharing of encryption information and source code on the Internet. They were taken to court and lost both times on First Amendment grounds, but the Clinton Administration backed down before the Supreme Court managed to hear the case.

Such a rule is almost certainly unconstitutional, but in if implemented, gun owners who exercise their right to free speech could face a 20 year prison sentence and fines reaching upwards to a million dollars for violating ITAR’s regulations until the Federal Courts sorted everything out.

Biggest Reform to the Gun Control Act of 1968 Introduced in House Since the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986

Just today, Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced a bill that would significantly reform the Gun Control Act of 1968. According to the NRA, the major steps this bill would take are:

  • Eliminate ATF’s authority to reclassify popular rifle ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The federal law governing armor piercing ammunition was passed by Congress to target handgun projectiles, but BATFE has used the law to ban common and popular rifle ammunition, as it recently attempted with M855/SS109 5.56×45 ammunition.
  • Provide for the lawful importation of any non-NFA firearm or ammunition that may otherwise be lawfully possessed and sold within the United States. BATFE has used the current discretionary “sporting purposes” standard to deny the importation of firearms that would be perfectly legal to manufacture, sell, and possess in the United States.
  • Protect shotguns, shotgun shells, and certain rifles from arbitrary classification as “destructive devices.” Classification as a destructive device subjects a firearm to the registration and taxation provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA) and creates a ban on possession of such firearms in some states.
  • Broaden the temporary interstate transfer provision to allow temporary transfers for all lawful purposes rather than just for “sporting purposes.”

Please write Rep. Fitzpatrick and ask him to support this bill.