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Our Veterans Need Our Help To Ensure Their Second Amendment Rights! It Is Time For Us To Repay Our Debt To Them!

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 240-175, with numerous Democrats voting in support, on H.R. 1181 – Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, which would prevent the Department of Veterans Affairs from stripping a veteran’s right to Keep and Bear Arms in the absence of an order or finding by a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority that such veteran is a danger to himself or herself or others.

Specifically, H.R. 1181 provides:

Notwithstanding any determination made by the Secretary under section 5501A of this title, in any case arising out of the administration by the Secretary of laws and benefits under this title, a person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness shall not be considered adjudicated as a mental defective under subsection (d)(4) or (g)(4) of section 922 of title 18 without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.

It now moves to the Senate for approval, where we need YOUR support. Please contact your U.S. Senators and tell them to SUPPORT H.R. 1181.

As many of you are aware, I recently detailed a client’s putative loss of his Second Amendment rights through the VA, because the VA, sua sponte and in the absence of any form of due process, elected to place him into “supervised direct payment status.”

It is imperative that we protect our veterans and enact H.R. 1181! Please take a few minutes out of your day to contact your Senators and let them know that it is time that we treat our veterans with the respect and dignity they deserve and ensure the protection of their constitutional rights – the rights that they have steadfastly defended of ours. Our veterans are not second-class citizens and our Senators need to know that we’ll defend their rights, just as they’ve been willing to sacrifice everything to preserve our rights.

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2nd Annual FICG/Shooters Gauntlet Next EVOLUTION Machine Gun Shoot!

We are proud to announce that Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG)® (FICG®) and Shooters Gauntlet, LLC will be hosting our 2nd annual Next EVOLUTION machinegun shoot at the Shooters Gauntlet on June 3-4, 2017, in celebration of the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution, and Article 1, Section 21 of the PA Constitution. Last year, with the assistance of our great friends at USA Chemical, we broke the world record with a 600 lbs binary explosion…just wait to see what we have scheduled for this year. (UPDATE – as a teaser, there will be  a 20MM machine gun and two mini rail guns, one shoots a cyclic rate of 2500 RPM, the other 4000 RPM…and we’re just getting started!).

Located deep in the endless mountains of Pennsylvania (directions below), about 4 hours northwest of NYC, 3 hours north of Harrisburg, PA, in the town of Monroeton PA, 18832, our 2nd annual next evolution machinegun shoot will offer shooting experiences that are not available anywhere else! If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so here! The admission cost is drastically reduced for those registering in advance and you’ll receive updates and notices about special events, shooting experiences and local hotel deals.

The shooting experiences available include:

  1. Main machinegun range, approximately 200 yards long and 75-100-125 yards deep!;
  2. Separate, secluded, silencer-only range (where manufacturers such as Liberty, Sig Silencers, SilencerCo, Thunderbeast…etc will be demoing their products);
  3. 1100 yards range and ability to rent a 50. caliber Barrett;
  4. Engage target while traveling down a zip line;
  5. Engage target while hanging upside down from the inversion wall; and
  6. Go off the grid and engage targets during the assault hike!

Additionally, as ATF has already approved the event as a sanctioned event, there will be a gun show section for vendors to sell firearms and parts! All applicable local, state and federal laws apply, including applicable state tax regulations.

As Firearm Industry vendors, representatives and personalities register, we will post a new article specifying all of those who are set to attend! Last year, the vendors included (and we anticipate them attending this year!):

We also anticipate a number of raffles/giveaways like last year and will post about them as we approach the shoot.

As the sponsors of this event are extremely supportive of the youth-shooting experience, we worked tirelessly with NUMEROUS insurance carriers to obtain coverage for minors to be able to attend. Accordingly, minors will be permitted to attend the event, where those 14 years of age and older accompanied by a parent/guardian will be permitted to shoot, except for machine guns and canons. Those under 14 year of age, who are accompanied by a parent/guardian, will only be permitted to observe. Unfortunately, due to the requirements of the insurance carrier, all minors will have to produce a Government document (e.g. birth certificate, passport…etc) stating their date of birth.

Also, there will be food available onsite!

Accommodations: Special hotel accommodations have been negotiated, which you can find here.

Local Directions: The Shooters Gauntlet, LLC is located on Millstone Road, Monroeton, PA 18332. From the Towanda PA area:

At the intersection of route 220 and route 414, take route 414 west (route 414 begins here) for appx. 2.6 miles. Turn left onto Brocktown Rd. (sign here for RODS GARAGE) for  appx 0.2 miles to Weston Rd, turn right. Continue on Weston Rd. for 1.6 miles, and then turn left over bridge onto Millstone Rd. Follow Millstone Rd appx. 2.2 miles to intersection, turn left over bridge remaining on Millstone Rd. You will see the signs and receive direction from there

NOTE: For the Stone Mountain Machine Gun Event, follow signs for parking when on Millstone Road. There will be parking attendants to assist you. As for the events that take place during the Stone Mountain Machine Gun Event that require 4wd, all transportation to and from those events will be provided. Attendees will not be allowed to drive there own vehicles off road due to high traffic and time constraints.

If you haven’t registered, what are you waiting for?!?! Come on out, get your machinegun on and meet FICG® Chief Counsel and your PA Gun Attorney®, Joshua Prince, as well as, our other FICG® attorneys, while enjoying the rich seclusion that Shooters Gauntlet has to offer.

Brought to you by your PA Gun Attorney® and PA Firearms Lawyer®, as well as, the home of Armor Piercing Arguments®.

Be sure to share this event with your family, friends and anyone you know who loves guns!

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Superior Court Holds That Switchblades Are Not Protected By The Second Amendment

Yesterday, in a very short non-precedential opinion, a three judge panel of the Superior Court held in Commonwealth v. William Battle that a switchblade is not protected by the Second Amendment.

As discussed in the decision, there is no dispute that upon entering the Pike County Administrative Building, Mr. Battle emptied his pockets, including a switchbade knife, at the metal detectors and was thereafter arrested. The sole issue that he raised on appeal was: “Whether the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, in prohibiting the possession of automatic knives, violates the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution?” Interestingly, it does not appear that an argument was raised in relation to Article 1, Section 21, although I cannot honestly state that I believe the outcome would have been any different.

In the 5 page decision, for which the U.S. Supreme Court’s most recent Second Amendment holding Caetano v. Massachusetts is not mentioned (and causes me to wonder whether Mr. Battle’s public defender addressed it- UPDATE: Battle’s attorney Jason Ohliger confirmed below in the comments that he did raise it and it was central to his argument), the Superior Court declares that “Appellant’s reliance on Heller is misplaced, as offensive weapons are not covered by the constitutional right to bear arms.”

In what can only be described as a twisted form of logic to support its conclusion, the court states that since switchblades “are not possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” they are considered dangerous and unusual weapons. Thus, by the mere fact that the General Assembly declared them unlawful – thereby preventing individuals from lawfully possessing switchblades – the court contends that switchblades are not possessed by law-abiding individuals. Does that make your head hurt? Cause it does mine.

In essence, if the court’s logic was correct, then D.C.’s ban that was struck down in Heller as unconstitutional, should have been declared constitutional, since it was unlawful for any law-abiding individual to possess an operable firearm in his/her home in D.C. Also lost on the court is the fact that only 15 states ban switchblades, with the remaining finding that they do have a common lawful purpose. Unfortunately, I doubt this was brought to the court’s attention. UPDATE: Contrary to my assumption, Battle’s attorney Jason Ohliger confirmed below in the comments that he reviewed which states permit vs. which states do not permit switchblades.

The only saving grace is that this decision was a non-precedential decision by a three judge panel. Pursuant to the Superior Court’s Internal Operating Procedure 65.37:

An unpublished memorandum decision shall not be relied upon or cited by a Court or a party in any other action or proceeding, except that such a memorandum decision may be relied upon or cited (1) when it is relevant under the doctrine of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel, and (2) when the memorandum is relevant to a criminal action or proceeding because it recites issues raised and reasons for a decision affecting the same defendant in a prior action or proceeding. When an unpublished memorandum is relied upon pursuant to this rule, a copy of the memorandum must be furnished to the other party to the Court.

If you have been charged with carrying a switchblade, contact us today to discuss your legal options.

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Filed under Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law, Uncategorized

Trump Signs Bill Reversing Obama Rule to Report Certain Social Security Recipients to NICS

Late last year, I blogged that the Social Security Administration published a final rule relating to the NICS Improvement Act of 2007.

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The final rule provided that:

An individual will have been “adjudicated as a mental defective” if during SSA’s claim development and adjudication process, or when SSA takes certain post-entitlement or post-eligibility actions, SSA will identify any individual who:

  1. Has filed a claim based on disability;
  2. Has been determined to be disabled based on a finding that the individual’s impairment(s) meets or medically equals the requirements of one of the Mental Disorders Listing of Impairments (section 12.00 of appendix 1 to subpart P of part 404 of this chapter) under the rules in part 404, subpart P, of this chapter, or under the rules in part 416, subpart I, of this chapter;
  3. Has a primary diagnosis code in our records based on a mental impairment;

    Primary diagnosis code
     means the code we use to identify an individual’s primary medical diagnosis in our records. The primary diagnosis refers to the basic condition that renders an individual disabled under the rules in part 404, subpart P, of this chapter, or under the rules in part 416, subpart I, of this chapter.
  4. Has attained age 18, but has not attained full retirement age; and
  5. Requires that his or her benefit payments be made through a representative payee because we have determined, under the rules in part 404, subpart U, of this chapter, or the rules in part 416, subpart F, of this chapter, that he or she is mentally incapable of managing benefit payments.

While the rule would not have affected anyone until December of this year, it will now no longer affect anyone.

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On February 28, 2017, President Trump quietly signed a bill that was passed in both chambers of Congress which reversed the implementation of this rule. As a result, the Social Security Administration’s regulation is now no longer a threat to about 75,000 Americans.

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Of course, those who oppose individuals owning firearms, are attempting to sway public opinion by using a narrative that President Trump signed a bill which reversed Obama’s rule to ban gun purchases by the mentally ill. Given that many individuals did not know or understand what the rule actually did, it is not surprising this narrative is being utilized to delegitimize what is a good decision for Americans.

 

Did you find this blog helpful or informative? Be sure to share it with your friends by clicking the buttons below. Don’t forget to like Firearms Industry Consulting Group and Prince Law Offices, P.C. on Facebook by using the “Like” button to the right

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4th Circuit Issues Devastating Opinion Regarding “Assault Rifles”

Today the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sitting En Banc issued a devastating opinion regarding “assault rifles” in Kolbe v. Hogan. The Fourth Circuit covers Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Kolbe challenged Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (“FSA”), which bans AR-15s and other military-style rifles and shotguns as well as detachable large capacity magazines, by contesting the constitutionality of the law under the Second Amendment, as well as bringing a Fourteenth Amendment Due Process and Equal Protection claim. (Quick note to the readers, the use of the terms “assault rifles”, “military-style rifles and shotguns” and “large capacity magazines” are being used in reference to the Court opinion and not the author’s belief that these firearms and magazines should be referred to as such).

At the District Court level, the judge ruled that the FSA was constitutional. While analyzing the Second Amendment claims, the Court expressed doubt that “assault weapons” and “large capacity magazines” were protected by the Second Amendment. As a result the Court employed an intermediate scrutiny analysis.

As the case trickled up the Court system, the 4th Circuit issued an opinion from a divided three judge panel which found “that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are indeed protected by the Second Amendment, and that the FSA substantially burdens the core Second Amendment right to use arms for self-defense in the home.” More importantly, the Court became the first Court in the country to require a strict scrutiny analysis in regard to the Second Amendment claims.

Unfortunately, the Court sitting En Banc had a different idea. It was happy to affirm the District Court’s opinion, “in a large part adopting the Opinion’s cogent reasoning as to why the FSA contravenes neither the Second Amendment nor the Fourteenth.” However, the Court did make an explicit statement that the District Court did not. The Court stated

[w]e conclude — contrary to the now-vacated decision of our prior panel — that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment. That is, we are convinced that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are among those arms that are “like” “M-16 rifles” — “weapons that are most useful in military service” — which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment’s reach…Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage.

The Court explicitly adopted that intermediate scrutiny was the correct analysis to utilize. “[I]ntermediate scrutiny is the appropriate standard because the FSA does not severely burden the core protection of the Second Amendment, i.e., the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms for self-defense in the home.”

In its analysis the Court found that “[t]he FSA bans only certain military-style weapons and detachable magazines, leaving citizens free to protect themselves with a plethora of other firearms and ammunition. Those include magazines holding ten or fewer rounds, nonautomatic and some semiautomatic long guns, and — most importantly — handguns.”

Applying the intermediate scrutiny standard the Court found “the FSA survives such review because its prohibitions against assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are — as they must be — ‘reasonably adapted to a substantial governmental interest.’” The Court stated that “Maryland’s interest in the protection of its citizenry and the public safety is not only substantial, but compelling.”

Unfortunately, this means that yet another Court has refused to require a strict scrutiny analysis to a fundamental constitutional right. Perhaps the most troubling aspect is the Fourth Circuit believes that firearms like the AR-15 are not protected by the Second Amendment, opening the door for more restrictive legislation to be put in place and making it more difficult to challenge.

 

Did you find this blog article interesting or useful? Be sure to pass it along to a friend who may benefit from the information by using the buttons below. Don’t forget to like Firearms Industry Consulting Group on Facebook by clicking the “Like” button on the right.

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Don’t forget, ballots for the NRA Board of Directors have been arriving. If you have not already voted, please consider voting for me. Voting members are those that are Life members or those who have been annual members for the past 5 consecutive years. If you have not yet received a ballot and you are a qualified member, you may contact membership services to acquire one.

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Delaware Backpedals on Concealed Carry Changes

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The Delaware Attorney General’s Office has changed the information which appears on its website in relation to the reciprocity agreements of concealed carry permits with other states. Earlier this week I wrote that Delaware had changed its reciprocity agreements. At the time, the verbiage on the website was very clear (that being all non-resident permits from the states Delaware had agreements with would not be recognized after September 23, 2017).

As a number of readers and commenters on Facebook seemed to be confused as to the applicability of the language, I called the Attorney General’s Office to seek clarification. I was transferred to the individual who would have knowledge of the matter only to receive his voicemail. I followed up the following day only to be transferred back into voicemail. To date, I have not received a call back (which at this point is rather moot). Some time after the original blog article was posted, the website was updated to remove the language that was causing disdain amongst the firearms community.

The new language states that “[t]he list of states with reciprocal privileges is published on January 15 each year. Any additional reciprocal states would be posted on January 15 and be effective immediately. The removal of reciprocal privileges from any state would be posted by January 15 to take effect one year later.”

It goes on to state that the AG’s Office is currently reviewing the approval procedures for individuals in other states to acquire concealed carry permits to see if they meet the requirements of the Delaware Code to be recognized in Delaware. If the AG’s Office determines that they do not meet the requirements, notice will be published January 15, 2018 and the official change in recognition will occur the following year (January 15, 2019).

The AG’s Office does issue an apology for the confusion of the language that was posted from February 10-15th.

As always, we strive to give our readers the best and correct information. If you read the original article and shared it via Facebook, email, or some other method, I hope that you will forward along the updated information so that those around you can be in the know.

 

Do you have a non-resident concealed carry permit and find this article helpful? Be sure to pass it along to a friend who may benefit from the information by using the buttons below. Don’t forget to like Firearms Industry Consulting Group on Facebook by clicking the “Like” button on the right.

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Don’t forget, ballots for the NRA Board of Directors have been arriving. If you have not already voted, please consider voting for me. Voting members are those that are Life members or those who have been annual members for the past 5 consecutive years. If you have not yet received a ballot and you are a qualified member, you may contact membership services to acquire one.

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Delaware Changes Concealed Weapons Agreements (Not for the Better)

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UPDATE (2/17/17 8:42 AM): New Blog with current information related to the change in position from the Attorney General’s Office can be found here.

UPDATE (2/15/17 8:40 PM): After publication of the below article, it appears the language on the Delaware Attorney General’s page was changed to remove the information indicating that Delaware would no longer recognize non-resident permits. I already have a call in to the Attorney General’s Office requesting clarification and will post an update once I receive a response.

 

Delaware’s Attorney General recently updated their website to reflect the changes in their Reciprocity Agreements.

Previously, the website had listed reciprocity agreements with:

ALASKA

ARIZONA

ARKANSAS

COLORADO

FLORIDA

IDAHO
(Enhanced Permits Only)

KENTUCKY

MAINE

MICHIGAN

MISSOURI

NEW MEXICO

NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH DAKOTA

OHIO

OKLAHOMA

SOUTH DAKOTA
(Enhanced Permits Only)

TENNESSEE

TEXAS

UTAH

VIRGINIA
(Reciprocity with VA will be revoked as of 3/1/2016)

WEST VIRGINIA

Now, the website reflects the following changes:

ALASKA

ARIZONA

ARKANSAS

COLORADO

FLORIDA

IDAHO
(Enhanced Permits Only)

KENTUCKY

MAINE

MICHIGAN

MISSOURI

NEW MEXICO

NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH DAKOTA
(Class 1 permits only)

OHIO

OKLAHOMA

SOUTH DAKOTA
(Enhanced Permits Only)

TENNESSEE

TEXAS

UTAH

WEST VIRGINIA

Further, Delaware will no longer recognize non-resident permits issued by any state beginning on September 23, 2017.

As a number of Pennsylvanians have acquired either Florida or Utah non-resident permits in order to be able to carry a firearm in Delaware, it is important they be aware of this impending change as to not unlawfully carry a firearm in Delaware after the change becomes effective. While it is possible for the Attorney General of Pennsylvania (or the state in which you reside) to enter into negotiations with Delaware to secure a reciprocity agreement, it is likely that unless the state has a training requirement to obtain a license, Delaware will not enter into an agreement.

Perhaps the solution to the problem lies in the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill that is currently in committee in the House. I’d encourage you to contact your Representatives and ask them to support the bill.

Do you have a non-resident concealed carry permit and find this article helpful? Be sure to pass it along to a friend who may benefit from the information by using the buttons below. Don’t forget to like Firearms Industry Consulting Group on Facebook by clicking the “Like” button on the right.

 

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Don’t forget, ballots for the NRA Board of Directors have been arriving. If you have not already voted, please consider voting for me. Voting members are those that are Life members or those who have been annual members for the past 5 consecutive years. If you have not yet received a ballot and you are a qualified member, you may contact membership services to acquire one.

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