WASHINGTON– As the Biden administration steps up it’s war on guns, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz on Saturday questioned the administration about a recent mass purchase of ammunition.
During an interview with Breitbart Radio Gaetz pointed out that during just a three-month span – March 1 to June 1 – the Internal Revenue Service purchased $700,000 worth of ammo.
“The IRS should be people in cubicles with green [eye] shades and calculators,” the Florida Republican said. “They shouldn’t be people with guns and ammo.”
He added that congressional Republicans want answers.
“There is concern that this is part of a broader effort to have any entity in the federal government buy up ammo to reduce the amount of ammunition that is in supply, while at the same time, making it harder to produce ammo,” Gaetz said.
“You cannot fully exercise the complement of your Second Amendment rights if you are unable to acquire ammunition in your own country because your government has reduced the production of that ammunition, and then on the other hand, tried to soak up the supply,” he added.
When asked about red flag laws, Gaetz said he opposed them on the grounds that not only do such laws restrict Second Amendment rights, but also directly oppose the Constitution’s due-process protections and the judicial system’s “adversarial” set-up.
“It is as wrong as wrong can be,” said Gaetz.
SAN FRANCISCO (KTLA) — As the nation debates gun control following two mass shootings in Colorado and Georgia, a California-based federal appeals court decided Wednesday that states may restrict the open carrying of guns without running afoul of the 2nd Amendment.
In a 7-4 decision, an en banc panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a county law in Hawaii that has severely limited permits for open carrying of guns.
“The government may regulate, and even prohibit, in public places — including government buildings, churches, schools, and markets — the open carrying of small arms capable of being concealed, whether they are carried concealed or openly,” Judge Jay Bybee, appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote for the majority.
The decision is likely to help push the Supreme Court to review the issue. Federal appellate courts have handed down conflicting rulings on gun laws that only the high court can resolve.
The Hawaii decision came as President Biden is calling for stricter laws in the wake of two shootings that have killed at least 18 people. States run by Democrats have generally pushed for stronger gun laws, but Republican-dominated Legislatures in many states are trying to weaken them. Fifteen states already allow people to carry concealed guns without a permit, and nine have bills to either allow or expand the practice.
Bybee, writing for the 9th Circuit, said a review of more than 700 years of American and English law showed that government has long had the power to regulate arms in public places.
“We have never assumed that individuals have an unfettered right to carry weapons in public spaces,” Bybee wrote. “Indeed, we can find no general right to carry arms into the public square for self-defense.”
Bybee was joined by another Bush appointee and five Democratic appointees.
The decision allows the continued enforcement of a law on the big island of Hawaii that limits permits for openly carrying guns, other than for hunting, to persons with an urgent need for arms and “engaged in the protection of life and property.”
A man who sought and was denied a permit for open carry for self-protection challenged the law. Evidence during the legal proceedings revealed that the county’s permits had been limited to security guards.
Wednesday’s decision overturned a 2-1 ruling in the same case a year ago by a 9th Circuit panel.
Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, writing the lead dissent Wednesday, called the majority decision “unprecedented” and “extreme.”
“At its core,” wrote O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee who was joined by other Republican appointees, “the 2nd Amendment protects the ordinary, law-abiding citizen’s right to carry a handgun openly for purposes of self-defense outside the home. Despite an exhaustive historical account, the majority has unearthed nothing to disturb this conclusion.”
A gun control group praised Wednesday’s ruling and noted that the Supreme Court would consider this week whether to review a similar case out of New York.
“Today’s ruling, joined by respected appellate judges across the ideological spectrum, is the latest reminder that arguments against reasonable, life-saving gun laws rarely hold up in the courtroom,” said Eric Tirschwell, managing director for Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety.
“As the court recognized, states and localities have extremely broad power to restrict the carrying of firearms in public spaces.”
The 9th Circuit decided in 2016 that people do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed guns in public, allowing counties to set requirements for permits and decide who gets them.
Alan A. Beck, who represented the Hawaii gun owner, said he was barred from carrying a concealed weapon under the 2016 decision so he asked for a permit to carry a gun openly. Beck said he will ask the Supreme Court to review the Hawaii case.
The 9th Circuit has now decided that there is no constitutional right to carry a gun outside the home for self-protection, placing the court in direct conflict with other circuits and strengthening the chance the Supreme Court will step in and decide the issue, Beck said.
In California, only small towns can issue permits to openly carry guns and they rarely do so, he said. County sheriffs can issue permits for concealed guns upon a showing of “good cause” by the applicant, he said. In rural counties, such permits are often issued, but they are rarely approved in large cities, he said.
“It varies greatly from L.A. and San Francisco, where it is almost impossible to get, versus the rural counties,” he said. “That is just based on the sheriffs’ policies.”
Wednesday’s decision affects the nine Western states that make up the 9th Circuit.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday came out swinging against Beto O’Rourke, blaming the would-be Democratic presidential nominee for the lack of deal being reached with Democrats on gun control legislation.
Beto, who once claimed to be a “staunch defender” of the Second Amendment, has raised eyebrows in recent weeks after vowing to confiscate all AR-15’s and AK-47’s in the country should he become president.
“Dummy Beto made it much harder to make a deal,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Convinced many that Dems just want to take your guns away. Will continue forward!”
Trump’s comments referenced O’Rourke’s remarks in Houston during last week’s Democratic debate where Beto called for a mandatory federal buyback of assault weapons. “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore,” O’Rourke proclaimed.
O’Rourke quickly fired back on Twitter by calling Trump a coward for refusing to take a tougher stance on gun control.
“The only thing stopping us from ending this epidemic (of gun violence) is you,” O’Rourke tweeted.
“To be clear: We will buy back every single assault weapon. We‘ll also license every gun & do a background check on every buyer. That’s what the American people want—and deserve,” O’Rourke wrote. “The only thing stopping us from ending this epidemic is you & your cowardice. Do the right thing.”
“Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to allow a vote on a bill that would mandate universal background checks for gun-buyers. A proposed version of the bill passed the House of Representatives late last year.
A bipartisan group of senators have been pushing for a compromise bill that covers most gun purchases but negotiations on that bill have stalled.
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s Republican governor bucked his party to call for expanded gun laws Tuesday and some Democrats in Texas told President Donald Trump to stay away as both states reeled from a pair of shootings that killed 31 .
A racist screed remained the focus of police investigating the massacre at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, as further details trickled out on the shooter at a popular nightlife strip in Dayton, Ohio, who was described as fascinated with mass murder.
PUSH FOR LEGISLATION IN OHIO
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine urged the GOP-led state Legislature to pass laws requiring background checks for nearly all gun sales and allowing courts to restrict firearms access for people perceived as threats.
Persuading the Legislature to pass such proposals could be an uphill battle. It has given little consideration this session to those and other gun-safety measures already introduced by Democrats and DeWine’s Republican predecessor, John Kasich, also unsuccessfully pushed for a so-called red flag law on restricting firearms for people considered threats.
“We can come together to do these things to save lives,” DeWine said.
EX: OHIO SHOOTER SHARED DARK THOUGHTS
An ex-girlfriend of the Ohio gunman, 24-year-old Connor Betts, said he suffered from bipolar disorder, joked about his dark thoughts and exhibited a fascination with mass shootings.
The woman, Adelia Johnson, said in an online essay that Betts showed her a video of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on their first date.
She said Betts expressed “uncontrollable urges” that she called “red flags,” which eventually led her to call things off in May.
EL PASO DEMOCRATS SHUN TRUMP VISIT
President Donald Trump was planning visits to both cities Wednesday, an announcement that stirred some resistance in El Paso.
Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar of El Paso made clear that the president was not welcome in her hometown as it mourned. Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who was an El Paso congressman for six years, also said Trump should stay away.
Escobar said Tuesday that victims’ families were already using the city’s newly opened resource center where various government and mental health services have set up booths.
“We’ve got to make sure that folks have access to mental health care. There’s going to be a lot of trauma in our community, a lot of children saw things that no human being should see,” Escobar said.
GUN CONTROL AND IMMIGRATION
On Monday, Trump made a vague expression of openness to new gun laws , suggesting a bill to expand gun background checks could be combined with his long-sought effort to toughen the nation’s immigration system but gave no rationale for the pairing.
Studies have repeatedly shown that immigrants have a lower level of criminality than those born in the U.S., both shooting suspects were citizens, and federal officials are investigating anti-immigrant bias as a potential motive in the Texas massacre.
In both El Paso and Dayton, a young white male was identified as the lone suspect. The suspect in the Texas shooting, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, was booked on murder charges. Betts was killed as police quickly swooped in to end his ambush.
Associated Press writers Julie Carr Smyth, Kantele Franko, Cedar Attanasio, Astrid Galvan, Morgan Lee, Paul J. Weber, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire contributed to the contents of this report.
WASHINGTON — Stock shares of U.S. gunmakers rose Monday amid renewed calls for gun control measures following last weekend’s mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.
According to a report published by Newsmax, American Outdoor Brands Corp. (AOBC), which makes Smith & Wesson firearms, rose as much as 7.5%, while Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc. (RGR) rose 3.8%. Ammunition maker Vista Outdoor Inc. (VSTO) gained as much as 2% while the S&P 500 Index fell 2.3% on rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
The jump follows two separate mass shootings that occurred over the weekend, which were followed by immediate calls from Democrats to enact stricter gun laws and tougher background checks.
Authorities say a gunman opened fire in an El Paso, Texas Wal-mart Saturday, killing 22 people and injuring dozens more. Less than 24 hours later, a man in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people and wounded several others.
Gun stocks typically rise after mass shootings as renewed calls for tougher firearms laws increase speculation that Americans will want to purchase more weapons before new regulations take effect.
President Trump on Monday commented on the weekend tragedies, calling for “bipartisan solutions” to combat gun violence. The president blamed video games, mental illness, and racism for the shootings, but stopped short of calling for federal universal background checks, a gun-control measure popular with Democrats.
He instead called for a collaboration between state and federal agencies to “develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike.”
AUSTIN, Tx. — Alex Jones now says a form of “psychosis” caused him to previously doubt the events at Sandy Hook took place and that he now believes there was no conspiracy involved.
Jones, who is the subject of eight lawsuits by some of the Sandy Hook families, was questioned for more than three hours last week by the Texas law firm Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball, LLP.
He had previously promoted the theory on this wildly popular radio show “Infowars” that the reported school shooting, in which twenty children and six adults were killed in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012, was a staged event by the Obama administration to justify stricter gun control.
“We’ve clearly got people where it’s actors playing different parts of different people,” one suit quotes Jones as saying in March 2014. “I’ve looked at it and undoubtedly there’s a cover-up, there’s actors, they’re manipulating, they’ve been caught lying and they were pre-planning before it and rolled out with it.”
“I, myself, have almost had like a form of psychosis back in the past where I basically thought everything was staged, even though I’ve now learned a lot of times things aren’t staged,” Jones told attorneys during the deposition. “So I think as a pundit, someone giving an opinion, that, you know, my opinions have been wrong, but they were never wrong consciously to hurt people.”
Jones also blamed the “trauma of the media and the corporations lying so much” for causing him to question the government’s motives. “Kind of like a child whose parents lie to them over and over again,” he said.
“So long before these lawsuits, I said that in the past I thought everything was a conspiracy and I would kind of get into that mass groupthink of the communities that were out saying that,” Jones added. “And so now I see that it’s more in the middle. … So that’s where I stand.”
“The public doesn’t believe what they’re told anymore,” he said.
Jones, who has famously said the terror attacks that took place on Sept. 11 were an “inside job” and that bombings in Oklahoma City and at the Boston Marathon were “false flags” staged by crisis actors on behalf of the government, was thrown off most major social media platforms in 2018 as a result of his conspiracy claims.
Jones now claims that his comments were taken “all out of context” and that the quotes attributed to him aren’t “even what I said or my intent.”
Corapolis, Pa (National Review) — A number of prominent gun manufacturers have announced that they will no longer do business with Dick’s Sporting Goods in response to the retailer’s support for stricter gun-control legislation.
After banning the sale of assault-style weapons and raising the minimum age for purchasing a gun to 21 in the wake of February’s Parkland, Fla. school shooting, Dick’s hired three Washington, D.C. lobbyists to fight for gun control on Capitol Hill, according to federal documents obtained by the Federalist. In response, the parent company of Mossberg guns, O.F. Mossberg & Sons Inc., announced Wednesday that it would no longer sell guns to Dick’s.
“It has come to our attention that Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired lobbyists on Capitol Hill to promote additional gun control,” CEO Iver Mossberg wrote in a press release. “Make no mistake, Mossberg is a staunch supporter of the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and we fully disagree with Dick’s Sporting Goods’ recent anti-Second Amendment actions.” Mossberg went on to encourage customers to “visit one of the thousands of pro-Second Amendment firearm retailers” instead of Dick’s.
That announcement came one day after MKS Supply, which manufactures Hi-Point firearms, cut ties with Dick’s.
“We believe that refusing to sell long guns to adults under age 21, while many young adults in our military are not similarly restricted, is wrong. We believe that villainizing modern sporting rifles in response to pressure from uninformed, anti-gun voices is wrong,” MKS Supply president Charles Brown wrote in the Tuesday statement. “We believe that hiring lobbyists to oppose American citizens’ freedoms secured by the Second Amendment is wrong. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Field & Stream, in purportedly doing all of these things, have demonstrated that they do not share our values. [We’re] standing by the American people by refusing any further sales to Dick’s Sporting Goods & Field & Stream.”
A third manufacturer, Springfield Armory, discontinued its relationship with Dick’s last week.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a statement posted to its website, the National Rifle Association, the nation’s most powerful gun-rights group, responded Tuesday to Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ New York Times op-ed that “the time has come to overturn the Second Amendment”.
“The 97-year-old retired justice has long held the opinion that American citizens do not have the individual right to own a firearm for self-protection,” the Second-Amendment rights group wrote.
“Emboldened by the mainstream media, the gun-control lobby is no longer distancing themselves from the radical idea of repealing the Second Amendment and banning all firearms. The protestors in last week’s march told us with their words and placards that the current debate is not about fake terms like “common sense” gun regulation. It’s about banning all guns,” the statement continued.
“The men and women of the National Rifle Association, along with the majority of the American people and the Supreme Court, believe in the Second Amendment right to self-protection and we will unapologetically continue to fight to protect this fundamental freedom,” the statement concluded.
The organization has come under increased fire since a February 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida in which 17 victims were killed.
The shooting sparked a movement from anti-gun groups to ban the use of certain weapons and called for stricter background checks nationwide.
Despite the backlash, the NRA says it will continue to fight for the right to bear arms, which is protected by tbe Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.