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Friday, December 19, 2014

US Appeals Court Deems Gun Law Unconstitutional

Finally... One for our side!!!

US Appeals Court Deems Gun Law Unconstitutional

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati deemed a law unconstitutional that kept a Michigan man who was committed to a mental institution from owning a gun.

The three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that a federal ban on gun ownership for those who have been committed to a mental institution violated the Second Amendment rights of 73-year-old Clifford Charles Tyler.
Tyler attempted to buy a gun and was denied on the grounds that he had been committed to a mental institution in 1986 after suffering emotional problems stemming from a divorce. He was only in there for a month.

Tyler’s lawyer, Lucas McCarthy, hopes that the ruling would have a “significant impact on the jurisprudence in the area of gun rights.”
The decision is the first by a federal appeals court to rule a federal gun law is unconstitutional since 2008. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in D.C. vs. Heller struck down the Washington, D.C. ban on firearms ownership.

Federal law bans gun ownership for convicted felons, people under 18, illegal immigrants, drug addicts and those ordered by a court to a mental institution. The law also says that people must have a chance to prove that their disqualifying disabilities have ended in order to possess a firearm legally.

Since 2008, states have been able to get federal grants to set up “relief from disabilities program,” which was defunded in 1992.

Michigan has not set one up, which left Tyler without a way to prove that his so-called “disability” should no longer apply.

“The government’s interest in keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill is not sufficiently related to depriving the mentally healthy, who had a distant episode of commitment, of their constitutional rights,” wrote Judge Danny Boggs, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, for the panel.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Hoosiers arming themselves, but do they know their Indiana gun rights?

Since I'm currently living in Indiana, I thought this article from FOX 59 hit the nail on the head, so to speak...

More Hoosiers arming themselves, but do they know their Indiana gun rights?

Hoosiers are arming themselves in record numbers.
Some fear for their safety or worry that gun laws will someday change.  Whatever the reason, tens of thousands of people in Indiana learn how to fire a weapon every year.

But even gun rights advocates fear that as gun owners get handy with a weapon, few know the law about where and how they can use it or carry it in Indiana.

“We’re blessed in the United States and the State of Indiana that we can own guns, we can carry guns to protect ourselves and our family, but it is incumbent on us to be responsible owners of those guns,” said Boone County Sheriff Ken Campbell.

Ben Magenheimer knows all about Indiana gun law firsthand. The Evansville man works in the security business and legally carries a weapon openly every day for his protection and as a symbol of his gun rights.

Magenheimer “open carries” everywhere he goes, including on a trip to the Evansville zoo with his family a few years ago. Zoo officials called police when they saw his gun in his holster. He was thrown out, even though he wasn’t breaking Indiana law by carrying a weapon into a city zoo.

“They confronted me like I was doing something wrong and knew it,” said Magenheimer.

Guy Relford is one of the leading gun rights attorneys in Indiana. He says police, government officials and even gun owners themselves often don’t know Indiana law like they should.

“We’ve had situations where people are thrown out of public places,” said Relford. “We’ve had people ordered to conceal their gun or face arrest. I’ve had clients who say they were going to seize his gun and seize his license to carry.”

In fact, it’s not hard to get confused about Indiana gun law.  For example, Indiana does not require a permit to own a gun. Instead it gives a “license to carry.”

Additionally, there’s no such thing as a concealed weapon permit in Indiana, which means any licensed gun owner could be carrying a weapon and you’d never know it.

“You can’t legislate safety.  You can try.  You can try to steer safety in that direction, but it finally comes down to the person,” said Campbell.

Many gun rights supporters say Indiana has taken a common sense approach to gun law–one that relies heavily on personal responsibility when it comes to carrying a firearm.

In fact, with few exceptions, it’s perfectly legal to carry a weapon in virtually any public place in Indiana, like a restaurant or a bar.  Gun owners can even enjoy a beer while carrying a gun as long as they don’t get drunk.

“Obviously, it’s not responsible gun ownership to drink to the point of intoxication while in the possession of a gun.  It’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for those around you,” said Relford. “But we don’t need big brother to tell us that in Indiana, that’s a matter of personal responsibility.”

Supporters of Indiana gun laws say regardless of whether you find the law confusing or even lax, it’s important to remember the constitutional rights those laws are designed to protect.

“I think it’s very fortunate that our legislators have taken this common sense approach and listened to the citizens in Indiana in what they want an how they want the laws, ” said Campbell.

When I received my Gun License, the first place I stopped was  to visit my local Chief of Police and asked him how would he prefer I carry my pistol.  He was amazed that I even asked!  He said, "Please carry it concealed... We don't need to scare the 'sheeple' any more than they already are!"

My kind of guy...