The Fallacy of Universal Background Checks.

In the last couple of months it has been a firestorm of proposed legislation at the state and federal levels on many things that pertain to firearms. Everything from the registration of firearms, limitations on the size of the magazine (not a clip), “universal” background checks, to the outright banning of most modern firearms.

The problem that the vast majority of the media have, and those in State and Federal legislative positions also have is that they have no clue about what the current laws are on firearms, and they have zero or very little knowledge of firearms themselves and how they operate and can be used. Shouldn’t a person at least try to learn about the topic they are trying to legislate and restrict others on?

Time and time again I see on the news or read in articles on-line about legislation that proposes something that will make no difference at all in the supposed violence and mass murderers we have recently seen. I have even read about a bill proposing something that is already illegal and part of another law or already prohibited under federal rules or code.

Let’s use the example of the “universal background checks”. I have seen at least 10 legislators on various news outlets say we need to have universal background checks. And when asked about the topic almost every single one of them talks about the “gun show loophole” (which does not exist by the way, kind of like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law”). They say that you do not need a background check to buy a firearm at a gun show. Well that’s a half truth.

Most gun shows I have been to, and that’s a few, and most I know of are by far made up of Federal Firearms Licensed (FFLs) dealers. A very small percentage of those selling at gun shows are private parties selling just a few firearms. So if you buy a firearm from a FFL, no matter if it’s at a gun show or at a firearms store, you MUST complete a Federal background check using NICS (National Instant Background Check System). In fact even those private sellers are required BY FEDERAL LAW not to sell a firearm to a prohibited person. You may ask how do they know if the person they are selling to is prohibited of not unless they have access to NICS. They don’t. But many private sellers will not sell to anyone unless they have a state concealed carry permit. In that case they at least know the person they are selling to at the time they got the concealed carry license was not a prohibited person.

All of the information above is actually kind of pointless when you factor in that less than 1% of felons who used firearms and went to prison got a firearm at a gun show! That according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics survey in 2004 of inmates in federal prison.

Then they almost always bring up the sale of firearms over the internet. I hate to break it to the folks on national news shows and our supposed educated legislators but the vast majority of internet sales are done by licensed FFLs and as such the buyer has to have the firearm shipped to a local FFL and guess what? Yep you got it, they have to go through a background check to receive the firearm. In addition if its a firearm bought from a private party out of state and brought into the state, the person has to have it shipped to a FFL and again they have to go through a NICS check. That’s right private sales from out of state have a background check done on them before delivery.

So you may ask what are they talking about then? Great question! They are talking about the very few sales between two parties at the local level. And those are even governed already by the same federal laws. One person selling to another is prohibited from selling to a prohibited person. So if you’re selling a firearm, you better be real sure that the person you’re selling to is not prohibited from having a firearm.

And last, I would like to point out that several of the mass murderers who used firearms as the weapon of choice passed background checks. So what is the point of “expanding” background checks? In reality nothing. It will not stop one single mass murderer or criminal from getting a firearm if they want, but will make it more expensive and more time consuming than it already is for law abiding citizens to get firearms they want and need for self defense and home protection.

So a challenge to my news media and legislative friends. If you want to propose new legislation on firearms ownership maybe you should research what it is, how it will affect the criminals and law abiding citizens first? Just a suggestion.

BJS cited above – Report on Firearm Violence 1993 – 2011″

Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016

Advertisements

LEGISLATIVE ALERT! OUR RIGHTS NEED YOUR VOICE! BAD BILL ALERT!

Florida HB 197  – Concealed Weapons and Firearms – Prohibits concealed weapon or firearm licensee from openly carrying a handgun or carrying concealed weapon or firearm into any child care facility.

Sometimes it is just as important opposing bad Bills as it is to support the good ones!

HB 197 – has been assigned to committees for hearing and review. Yesterday afternoon (01/16/2017) HB 197 – Referred to Criminal Justice Subcommittee; Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee; Judiciary Committee. While it has not been scheduled for any hearings yet, if you are a firearms rights and Constitutional supporter you should support this Bill. It is time to make your voices heard. This Bill needs to be voted down. It is just one more infringement on your rights!

Think of the parent going to pick up their child at a daycare and they are a lawful concealed carry license holder. They must disarm before doing so! Florida Law defines “Child care facility” as: “Child care facility” includes any child care center or child care arrangement which provides childcare for more than five children unrelated to the operator and which receives a payment, fee, or grant for any of the children receiving care, wherever operated, and whether or not operated for profit.” Notice it does not say licensed! A babysitter with more than 5 kids (private home) would be included. This is just one more attempt to limit law abiding citizens from protecting their families and children!

The Chairs of each committee decide what Bills get heard, and they can stop a Bill dead in its tracks by simply ignoring it. If they do not take it up for hearing, it dies a quiet death. We want this Bill to be opposed or voted down and we need to make sure they know it has opposition from the law-abiding firearms owners of Florida.

Please take a few minutes in the next couple of days to email or call the Chair of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Rep. James “J.W.” Grant and Vice Chair Rep. Stan McClain and tell them to OPPOSE the Bill and want it voted down in committee if it’s heard! They have a meeting scheduled Jan 23rd, 2019 but the Bill is not on the agenda yet.

Emails:

James “J.W.” Grant – james.grant@myfloridahouse.gov   Twitter: @JamesGrantFl, Phone: (850) 717-5064

Stan McClain – stan.mcclain@myfloridahouse.gov  Twitter: @RepMcClain, Phone: (850) 717-5023

While many of us feel very strongly about the Gun Free Zone/ Unarmed Victim Zone issues, this Bill would just create more, please be respectful and concise when emailing to them. We want them to be on our side, not against it.

In the Subject line, please include “Please OPPOSE HB 197!” as part of your subject.

If you happen to be on Twitter I also use it at @CmdrCW, but I may not be as tolerant of the anti-rights people there as I am here. 😉  

FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE ALERT! OUR RIGHTS NEED YOUR VOICE!

HB 6007  – Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or Firearms. Removes provision prohibiting concealed carry licensees from openly carrying a handgun or carrying concealed weapon or firearm into college or university facility.

HB 6007 – Sometimes called “Campus Carry”, has been assigned to committees for hearing and review. Yesterday afternoon (01/16/2017) HB 6007 – Referred to Criminal Justice Subcommittee; Higher Education and Career Readiness Subcommittee, and Judiciary Committee. While it has not been scheduled for any hearings yet, if you are a firearms rights and Constitutional supporter you should support this Bill. It is time to make your voices heard. This Bill needs to be scheduled for hearings and a committee vote.

The Chairs of each committee decide what Bills get heard, and they can stop a Bill dead in its tracks by simply ignoring it. If they do not take it up for hearing, it dies a quiet death. We want this Bill to be heard and we need to make sure they know it has support from the law-abiding firearms owners of Florida.

Please take a few minutes in the next couple of days to email or call the Chair of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Rep. James “J.W.” Grant and Vice Chair Rep. Stan McClain and tell them to put the Bill up for hearing and a vote and that you, a law-abiding citizen of Florida support it! They have a meeting scheduled Jan 23rd, 2019 but the Bill is not on the agenda yet. Let’s see if we can get that changed!

Emails: James “J.W.” Grant – james.grant@myfloridahouse.gov   Twitter: @JamesGrantFl

                                Phone: (850) 717-5064

                Stan McClain – stan.mcclain@myfloridahouse.gov  Twitter: @RepMcClain

                                Phone: (850) 717-5023

While many of us feel very strongly about the Gun Free Zone/ Unarmed Victim Zone issues this Bill would fix, please be respectful and concise when emailing to them. We want them to be on our side, not against it.

In the Subject line, please include “Support HB 6007” as part of your subject.

If you happen to be on Twitter I also use it at @CmdrCW, but I may not be as tolerant of the anti-rights people there as I am here. 😉  

Righting a Wrong Created by the Courts and Over Zealous Prosecutors…

“If the state of Florida is going to accuse a citizen of committing a crime, the state of Florida should have the burden of proof at each and every part of the proceedings.”

Yesterday was a huge step in the right direction for Constitutional believers and concealed carry license holders in Florida. The ripple effect could be felt nationwide.

Gov. Scott (R) of Florida signed SB-128 into law, correcting what many, especially the legislators in Florida who wrote the original “Justifiable Use of Force”, thought was a travesty of the courts.

What many people who are unfamiliar with self-defense laws do not know is that in Florida if you used a firearm or any other weapon in self-defense, before this Bill was signed into law, you had to have a hearing before a Judge and the prosecution to prove you used it in self-defense. This was the only way to be able to claim self-defense immunity. Yes, you read that correctly, you had to prove in a court of law that you were innocent.

 

Read the rest of the story here…

Florida Officers are NOT Taught Firearms Law in the Police Academy.

I can only speak for my state, Florida, but I have found something that is very eye opening and needs to be addressed by the State of Florida.

I found that in the Basic Law Enforcement Officers Training Curriculum there is no mention anywhere of the laws and procedures relating to firearms and Concealed Carry License holders and laws, and it is vital that it be addressed immediately as it could result in the serious consequences for both my fellow law enforcement officers, and the law abiding citizens of Florida!

I have been teaching and training law enforcement and corrections officers in Florida for more than 34 years. I currently am the Law Enforcement/ Corrections Training Coordinator at Santa Fe College, Institute of Public Safety in Gainesville, and have been there for going on 20 years now. I have been very active in the past in writing and developing the FDLE/CJSTC Curriculum that we use to teach in our basic courses, acting as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) for FDLE on several subjects.

As part of my duties as coordinator, it is important that I review the current curriculums and make sure that we are teaching all of the needed information to make our officers/ deputies the very best informed and trained LEO’s we can. In addition, the more knowledgeable our LEO’s are the better they are equipped to handle situations that arise during their careers, and also helps to keep them from being liable for any misdeeds due to the lack of knowledge or training. It was while reviewing last years and this year’s Basic LEO curriculum that I found a serious omission in the text and materials.

I am sure that if I asked you how much time we spend on the firearms laws in the State of Florida in the Basic Academy you would probably say at least several hours, right? I mean with over 1.7 million concealed weapons license holders, you would think that we would address these laws and the proper way of dealing with this group of law abiding citizens correct? Well, we do not. There is actually 0 (zero) time or lessons dedicated to the instruction of the Firearms laws in the state of Florida. Even though Officers are expected to know and deal with these laws almost on a daily basis. In fact, we do not cover the laws concerning the CWL holders of Florida and what is legal and what is not as it pertains to citizens possessing firearms.

There are even only a few very brief, very short mentions of the Florida Chapter 790 in the entire training text. One of which simply mentions that it is one of the warrantless arrest exceptions for “Carrying a Firearm in Violation of an Injunction (s. 790.233, F.S.)” and “Carrying a Concealed Weapon (s. 790.02, F.S.)”[1] in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 mentions it as one of the crimes in Chapter 2, Unit 3, Lesson 2, Elements of crimes where it covers “carrying a Concealed Weapon (without a license), s. 790.01, Misdemeanor/ Felony”[2]. That is it! That is the entire law enforcement curriculum on dealing with firearms laws.

It is understood that we cannot cover every law and every situation in the Basic Law Enforcement Academies. I know this better than most people. But I also know that with the increase in Concealed Weapons License’s in the State of Florida (now over 1.7 million!) officers are encountering the law abiding citizen that is legally armed more and more. And with several current cases and lawsuits against officers and departments for unlawful arrests[3], or otherwise unknowingly violating a law-abiding, licensed citizens’ rights and getting complaints filed against them, we need to do something to better protect our officers, departments and the law abiding citizens of Florida.

I first discovered this lack of information when working on an in-service training curriculum with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Training Unit. They were getting complaints about officers disarming CWL holders during routine traffic stops and were investigating the legality of this issue and trying to better educate their Deputies. I assisted with the curriculum due to my involvement in this subject matter for a number of years.  We developed and used a very good curriculum and taught their deputies during in-service about the current state laws concerning the carrying of firearms by citizens. Both lawful and unlawful, and the training was well received.

The major issue at hand is the practice of officers “disarming” lawfully carrying citizens on the side of the street without any further reason than they are armed. Any handling of a firearm (which the LEO may not be familiar with) on the side of the road or elsewhere is potentially dangerous. It has been discussed and there is case law to support the view that officers, while being able to use Stop and Frisk (F.S.S. 901.151) when someone is under investigation for a criminal act, and when finding that the person may be armed AND is a danger to the officer, the officer may frisk for weapons, it does not cover frisking or disarming a law abiding citizen, who is not breaking any laws other than a possible civil infraction of traffic law. Officers can and do ask motorist and passengers if they are armed, and rightly can do so. But by Florida law it is not covered that they can then, upon learning they are a licensed, lawfully carrying citizen, disarm that person and deprive them of their property. In fact, the courts have held otherwise. In fact case law states that it is not permitted.[4] In fact, Florida law does not require a citizen to notify an officer they are lawfully armed unless the officer directly asks the person if they are armed (790.06).

In order to prevent citizen complaints and lawsuits for violation of citizens’ rights, do away with the unnecessary handling of firearms on the side of the street, and to increase the trust of the citizens with our police officers statewide (which is vital right now considering current events) I respectfully request that the CJSTC consider adding a lesson on Chapter 790, Firearms Laws and include as part of that, “Law Enforcement interactions with Concealed Weapons License Holders”.

This training is vital to our current situation and may help prevent unnecessary litigation and even possible injury or worse happening to one of our LEO’s or a law abiding citizen. And it is important to remind everyone involved that there are multiple cases now of lawfully armed citizens saving the lives of Police Officers across the nation! Lawful gun owners are not the problem or the enemy!

 

Refs:

1 Florida Basic Recruit Training Program, Text Book 1, Version 2016.07, Page 52 & 53.

2 Florida Basic Recruit Training Program, Text Book 1, Version 2016.07, Page 74.

3 Freeman & Florida Carry v. City of Tampa, et al./ Norman vs. State of Florida (currently under review by the Florida Supreme Court) / Florida Carry v. City of Daytona Beach

4 741 So.2d 1268 (1999), Bruce WELCH, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee. No. 98-2615. District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fifth District.

[1] Florida Basic Recruit Training Program, Text Book 1, Version 2016.07, Page 52 & 53.

[2] Florida Basic Recruit Training Program, Text Book 1, Version 2016.07, Page 74.

[3] Freeman & Florida Carry v. City of Tampa, et al./ Norman vs. State of Florida (currently under review by the Florida Supreme Court) / Florida Carry v. City of Daytona Beach

[4] 741 So.2d 1268 (1999), Bruce WELCH, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee. No. 98-2615. District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fifth District.

 

Mandating Self-Defense Insurance for those that Carry Firearms – good or bad idea?

“The cost of using your firearm in self-defense can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if you have to hire a lawyer, get yourself bailed out of jail, and fight for yourself in court.”

There has been some back and forth in various media and groups on the internet about possible gun control laws that would require a person who carries a firearm for self-defense to have insurance in case the firearm is used in any incident. And some legislators thought about making it mandatory to get a concealed carry permit. I don’t think I need to tell you this is a bad idea on many levels, but just in case, let me try.

First, you should NEVER have to pay to exercise a right guaranteed by the Constitution. But even that is still not a reason good enough for some. Second, by requiring insurance to be allowed to carry a concealed or open carry firearm, you are limiting the exercise of a right to only those who can afford to purchase the insurance. That is basically “disenfranchising” to those with a lower socio-economic status. Third, the market is very limited in the choices of insurance carriers, and there is no “standard” that one can look for in a company.

Read the rest of the story here…

Anti-Gun Activists are Using Gun Phobia, the Education System and the Liberal Media to Slowly Take Away Second Amendment Rights!

By Joshua Gant, Opslens contributer, and LEO!

“The concept that you can stop crime by increasing gun legislation is so off base that it is dangerous to the safety and security of each and every citizen of the United States.”

As I sit back and watch headline after headline tick across my screen, it’s disgusting to me to witness the assault being waged on our right to keep and bear arms. For the people who seem to have forgotten, those rights are guaranteed by a document that liberals like to side step from time to time called the Constitution of the United States.

Read the rest here.