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Coming soon: • 2AProud Facebook • U.S. Law Shield of Arkansas Facebook • U.S. Law Shield of Kentucky Facebook • U.S. Law Shield of Maryland Facebook • U.S. Law Shield of New Jersey Facebook • U.S. Law Shield of Ohio Facebook • U.S. Law Shield of South Carolina Facebook •

Restaurants, Guns, and Alcohol in Pennsylvania: A ‘Minority Approach’

You may have watched the Guns in Pennsylvania Bars and Restaurants video and had additional questions about how loosely the state regulates the carry of firearms into establishments that sell alcohol. To learn more on the topic, check out this excerpt from Pennsylvania Gun Law, Armed And Educated:

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Can a LTCF holder carry in a restaurant?

Pennsylvania law does not prohibit an individual from carrying a firearm in a restaurant that sells alcohol or even in a bar. In fact, in Pennsylvania it is not even illegal to drink alcohol while lawfully carrying a firearm. It is important to note the peculiarity of Pennsylvania’s approach, because it is the minority approach. Many states, even those with minimal gun control laws, prohibit carrying firearms in bars, restaurants that serve alcohol, or at the very least, prohibit those who are carrying from drinking alcohol themselves. This is not so in Pennsylvania. It is important to remember that just because something is legal, doesn’t automatically make it a good idea. It is absolutely crucial to exercise extreme caution and be responsible with firearms around alcohol.

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To learn more Pennsylvania gun law, get the authoritative resource: Pennsylvania Gun Law, Armed And Educated. Click here to order. Or attend a Gun Law Seminar. Click here to find a location and time convenient for you.

Dinner Turns Deadly, Part 2: Pennsylvania

 

In Part 1, Member Ambassador Sherry Hale explained how a Member went out to eat at a popular diner and was attacked in the parking lot. In Part 2 below, Independent Program Attorney Justin McShane explains when you can legally defend yourself from an attacker in Pennsylvania. Also, click to find a Seminar where you can learn more about when you can—and can’t—shoot in self-defense.

Just-Filed Federal Lawsuit Challenges Magazine Ban

magpul magazines
A new federal suit challenges a California law that outlaws standard-capacity (30-round) magazines, right. The magazine on the left holds 40 rounds, and the magazine in the middle holds the current legal maximum of 10 rounds.

The California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) has filed an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s ban on the possession of standard-capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

The lawsuit, Duncan v. Becerra, challenges California’s ban on possession of standard capacity magazines as it violates the Second Amendment and the due process clause of the United States Constitution.

Duncan is the second in a series of carefully planned lawsuits challenging the anti-gun laws passed last year, which have collectively become known as “gunmageddon” among gun owners.

The named plaintiffs are Virginia Duncan, Richard Lewis, Patrick Lovette, David Marguglio, Christopher Waddell, and California Rifle & Pistol Association, Incorporated. Xavier Becerra is California’s attorney general.

The suit was filed in federal court in the Southern District.

From the introduction of the lawsuit:

Millions of law-abiding Americans own firearms equipped with magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition. There is nothing unusual or novel about this technology. Indeed, many of the nation’s best-selling handguns and rifles come standard with magazines that can hold more than ten rounds, and firearms equipped with such magazines are safely possessed by law-abiding citizens in the vast majority of states. The reason for the popularity of these magazines is straightforward: In a confrontation with a violent attacker, having enough ammunition can be the difference between life and death.

Although magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds have existed and been in common use for more than a century, California banned their manufacture, sale, import, or transfer effective January 1, 2000. In the state’s view, these standard-issue magazines are actually “large-capacity magazines” that threaten public safety. Last year, the state took the additional and extreme step of banning the mere possession of magazines over ten rounds. Under the revised law, California Penal Code section 32310 (“Section 32310”), owners of such magazines who want to keep the property they lawfully acquired and have used only for lawful purposes may no longer continue to do.

The lawsuit goes on to say Section 32310 violates multiple constitutional provisions, including impermissibly burdening the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights, the Takings Clause, and the Due Process Clause. Click here to download a copy of the suit.

We will continue to report on this as the suit moves throught the legal system.

Illinois House Committee Passes Dealer Licensing Bill

Illinois Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park)

New regulations, new fees, and mountains of red tape could endanger the livelihood of current Illinois firearms dealers, and deter prospective owners from starting new ones to take their place, under Senate Bill 1657, which has now been approved by an Illinois House committee. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), will, among other things, mandate state licensing for all Illinois firearms dealers.

In a news conference following the bill’s passage in the Illinois Senate, Sen. Harmon also announced the formation of a new statewide effort dubbed the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition. He said that licensed gun dealers are an important link between manufacturers and the public, and added that while he believed most Illinois gun dealers to be responsible, others are negligent, and even engage in practices that fuel illegal gun trafficking.

“Yes, many guns are being trafficked into our communities from outside of the state. But consider this: 40 percent of guns used in crimes in Chicago between 2009 and 2014 came from Illinois,” said Harmon as reported on his official website. “And the state of Illinois doesn’t have the tools and authority it needs to combat illegal or negligent business practices that threaten Illinois families.”

SB 1657 includes several changes to Illinois law, including requiring:

  • new criminal background checks for gun-dealer employees with access to large inventories of firearms;
  • added training and education for gun-dealer employees so that the background system “can work better;” and
  • additional accountability from gun dealers by enabling state and law-enforcement officials to inspect inventories of licensed gun dealers for missing firearms.

“This type of effort is long overdue in Illinois,” added Harmon. “We’ve been working on these issues for a long time, and we’ve learned a lot.”

This bill has been especially controversial as the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA) received an exemption, and in turn did not oppose the bill.

Two notable Illinois firearms manufacturers – Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms – both associated with IFMA, have been accused of selling out the gun rights community, but each has denied acting in concert with IFMA. And both companies have expressed strong opposition to SB 1657.

“At the time of my initial statement to the media, I was ill-informed of the ramifications of this bill and its detrimental effects to the Second Amendment, which I have personally fought to protect my entire life,” said Dennis Reese, chief executive officer, Springfield Armory, in a statement on the company’s official blog. “I can tell you now, we at Springfield Armory are unequivocally 100 percent against this bill and will continue to work with the NRA and others to ensure that it is defeated.”

The Springfield Armory statement added that it has fought and defeated legislation in Illinois for the past 15 years.
Chuck Larson, president/owner of Rock River Arms, Inc. also issued a statement.

“In 2009, we partnered with other manufacturers to form an organization geared
towards representing our interests — The Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA),” he said. “Historically, that organization has done well in representing us in Springfield, Illinois. We had no reason to believe that it was doing anything beyond representing the firearms community’s (Illinois firearms manufacturers, dealers and gun owners) best interests, keeping us well-informed on relevant legislation and issues, acting on our behalf. In the case of SB 1657, there was a disconnect and that representation was misguided.”

SB 1657 is on its way to the Illinois House floor for final consideration.

 

 

Michigan Bill Would Make Handgun Registration Optional

A proposed bill in Michigan would eliminate the state’s license to purchase or acquire a handgun. Under current law, Michiganders cannot purchase, carry, possess or transport a pistol or other handgun without first having obtained a license for it. This includes acquisitions by purchase, gift or inheritance.

A License to Purchase is not needed for individuals with a valid Michigan Concealed Pistol License, firearms dealers purchasing from wholesalers, or for relics, curios and antiques not made for modern ammunition. Those with a valid Michigan Concealed Pistol License still must complete a Pistol Sales Record when acquiring a pistol, however.

Michigan House Speaker Pro-Tem Lee Chatfield

Republican House Speaker Pro-Tem Lee Chatfield introduced House Bill 4554, which would amend state law on pistol registrations. Speaker Chatfield said that there is no need for the state’s government to maintain a list of those who have legally purchased handguns.

“Michigan is one of just six states in the country that still require handguns to be registered,” Chatfield said in a statement. “Criminals don’t register handguns they misuse for wrong, so what we end up with is a list that intrudes on the civil liberties of honest gun owners exercising their constitutional right to defend their families.”

HB 4554 had 17 co-sponsors when it was introduced to the Michigan House on May 2.

It would end the registration practice and lift the $250 penalty for those who fail to comply. It would allow also those who already have their information on file to have it removed.

According to the group Michigan Open Carry, the state was the first in the country to mandate a required license to purchase a handgun, with efforts to institute such a registration dating back to 1913.

NRA spokesperson Amy Hunter told NPR station WKAR that “there’s no public safety value to it, it doesn’t enable police to keep track of firearms any better, it doesn’t quicken the time in which firearms are traced for the most part.”

 

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary. It would need to pass the full House, full Senate and be approved by Gov. Rick Snyder to become law. — by Texas & U.S. Law Shield blog contributor Peter Suciu

 

Gun-Violence Victims Can’t Receive Monetary Damages From Indiana Gun Stores

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled last month that victims of gun violence cannot get monetary damages from a gun retailer, even if that store sold the firearms illegally.

This decision follows former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer Dwayne Runnels suit against KS&E Sports in Indianapolis claiming the business illegally sold the weapon used to wound him.

Runnel was shot with a weapon purchased by Tarus E. Blackburn in December 2011. Blackburn, who acted as a straw purchaser, bought a Smith & Wesson .40 S&W handgun and sold it to Demetrious Martin for $50, a convicted felon who could not legally purchase or possess a firearm.

Martin later shot and wounded Runnels. Martin was subsequently killed.

Indiana law states that gun sellers can’t be sued for monetary damages, and in a 3-2 decision the state’s Supreme Court agreed, and largely upheld lower-court opinions. The court dismissed the bulk of Officer Runnel’s lawsuit.

Indiana Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey G. Slaughter

Justice Geoffrey Slaughter, a Crown Point native, in writing for the court, said that the state statute is “clear” and “unambiguous.” Moreover, the court found that the legislature in the Hoosier State did not limit a gun seller’s immunity from monetary claims only to lawful sales.

“On its face, this provision forecloses damages claims when a third party’s misuse of a firearm injures the plaintiff,” Slaughter said as reported by NWI Times. “Nothing in the statute limits its application to situations where a third party obtained the firearm, directly or indirectly, from a lawful sale.”

Slaughter further noted that the federal government, as well as other states including Colorado, deny gun sellers immunity from financial damages when the retailer in question knowingly sells a firearm in violation of federal or state law. This could include though such actions as the use of a straw buyer.

Those passages, which reflect a clear legislative judgment that subject firearms sellers who violate the law to tort liability are notably absent from Indiana’s statue, Slaughter added.

Justice Robert Pucker, a Gary native, dissented from the court’s decision and was joined in the opinion of Chief Justice Loretta Rush. Rucker said that the lawmakers did not intend to immunize gun retailers under all possible circumstances — notably such as if a purchaser were to suggest that a weapon might be used in a shooting spree and then goes onto to commit such a violent act.

“It appears to me the statute was designed to protect innocent and unknowing gun sellers from the acts of third parties,” Rucker said as also reported by the NWI Times. “The legislature could not have intended to protect gun sellers from their own illegal acts.”

One part of Runnels’ case did survive — the part that seeks what is called “equitable relief,” or a solution that doesn’t involve monetary claims. Runnel claimed the gun shop is a public nuisance and seeks a judicial remedy to prevent it from selling firearms until it can retrain employees to minimize the risk of illegal sales.

— By Peter Suciu, Texas & U.S. Law Shield blog contributor

Restaurants, Guns, and Alcohol in Virginia: Stiff Penalties for Getting it Wrong

You may have watched the Guns in Virginia Bars and Restaurants video and had additional questions about how the state regulates the carry of firearms into establishments that sell alcohol. To learn more on the topic so you can stay legal while you carry, check out this excerpt from our brand-new book, Virginia Gun Law, Armed And Educated:

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Private property

Any private party can ban the open carry of firearms on its property. A private party can also ban the carrying of a concealed handgun with a CHP. See Va. Code § 18.2-308.01 (C). The Second Amendment acts as a restraint on government, not private parties.

Can I carry my gun into a nightclub or bar? 

It depends. An owner of private property may ban firearms from its property. If there is no private property weapons ban, then an individual may open carry a firearm. If a handgun is lawfully being carried concealed by a CHP holder, and there is no private property weapons ban, then the handgun may be lawfully carried while concealed as long as CHP holder does not consume alcohol. It is important to note that guns and alcohol don’t mix.

§ 18.2-308.012. Prohibited conduct. 

A. Any person permitted to carry a concealed handgun who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such handgun in a public place is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Conviction of any of the following offenses shall be prima facie evidence, subject to rebuttal, that the person is “under the influence” for purposes of this section: manslaughter in violation of § 18.2-36.1, maiming in violation of § 18.2-51.4, driving while intoxicated in violation of § 18.2-266, public intoxication in violation of § 18.2-388, or driving while intoxicated in violation of § 46.2-341.24. Upon such conviction that court shall revoke the person’s permit for a concealed handgun and promptly notify the issuing circuit court. A person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be ineligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit for a period of five years.

(Effective until July 1, 2018) No person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of any restaurant or club as defined in § 4.1-100 for which a license to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption has been granted by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board under Title 4.1 may consume an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. A person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of such a restaurant or club and consumes alcoholic beverages is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, nothing in this subsection shall apply to a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer.

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To learn more Virginia gun law, get the authoritative resource: Virginia Gun Law, Armed And Educated. Click here to order. Or attend a Gun Law Seminar. Click here to find a location and time convenient for you.

Dinner Turns Deadly, Part 2: Virginia

In Part 1, Member Ambassador Sherry Hale explained how a Member went out to eat at a popular diner and was attacked in the parking lot. In Part 2 below, Ed Riley, Independent Program Attorney for U.S. Law Shield of Virginia, explains when you can legally defend yourself from an attacker. Also, click to find a Seminar where you can learn more about when you can—and can’t—shoot in self-defense.

Restaurants, Guns, and Alcohol in Georgia: Take Your Money Where You Can Protect Yourself

You may have watched the Guns in Georgia Bars and Restaurants video and had additional questions about how the state regulates the carry of firearms into establishments that sell alcohol. To learn more on the topic so you can stay legal while you carry, check out this excerpt from Georgia Gun Law, Armed And Educated:

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What is the rule on carry on private property?

As we know, a WCL holder or individual granted reciprocity is authorized to carry “in every location in this state” so long as carry is not specifically prohibited through state or federal law. This is how Georgia chooses to recognize and honor the Second Amendment rights of its citizens, and this recognition extends to private property: with a Weapons Carry License, an individual may lawfully carry either openly or concealed on the private property of another person.

The General Assembly must, however, balance the Second Amendment rights of an individual lawfully carrying a firearm with the rights of a property owner to freely associate with whom they wish, and also to restrict access to their property in a manner of their choosing. Accordingly, Georgia legislators have struck a balance between the rights of an individual carrying a firearm onto private property and the rights of the property owner: while a WCL holder or individual granted reciprocity may carry onto private property, private property owners or persons in legal control of private property through a lease, rental agreement, licensing agreement, contract, or any other agreement to control access to such private property shall have the right to exclude or eject a person who is in possession of a weapon or long gun on their private property…. O.C.G.A. §16-11-127(c)

This means the owner of the property; the lessee; the manager (of a restaurant, for instance); or security hired by the owner or management can restrict a lawful WCL holder from entering the owner’s property with a weapon (“exclude”), or can remove a WCL holder carrying a weapon from the property (“eject”).

Is a “No Weapons” sign enough to keep me out of a business?

The legal issues created with the notice requirement in Georgia law lead to interesting factual questions, usually centered around signs: is it enough for a business to post a sign that simply says “No Weapons Allowed”? Can that keep a WCL holder out of the business with a firearm? As is the case with most questions in the law, two lawyers may give two completely different answers, but it is the authors’ opinion that signage is not enough to restrict a WCL holder from entering a building with a weapon.

This opinion is based on the statute itself: the Code section authorizing private property owners to exclude Weapons Carry License holders only allows them to do so in accordance with the procedures found in O.C.G.A. 16-7-21(b)(3), the criminal trespass statute. The statute makes it a crime when an individual “knowingly and without authority… [r]emains upon the land or premises of another person… after receiving notice from the owner, rightful occupant, or, upon proper identification, an authorized representative of the owner or rightful occupant to depart.” O.C.G.A. §16-7-21(b)(3). The criminal trespass statute requires the notice actually be given by the owner, rightful occupant, or authorized representative, to the individual. There is nothing in the statute or case law that contemplates a posted sign to be sufficient notice from the proper party that entry to any specific individual is prohibited; on the contrary, cases in Georgia have specifically found notice to be an essential element of the crime of criminal trespass, and that the notice not to enter the premises must be given to the accused by the owner, rightful occupant, or by an authorized representative of the owner or rightful occupant. Sheehan v. State, 314 Ga. App. 325 (2012)(see also Jackson v. State, 242 Ga. App. 113 (2000)).

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To learn more Georgia gun law, get the authoritative resource: Georgia Gun Law, Armed And Educated. Click here to order. Or attend a Gun Law Seminar. Click here to find a location and time convenient for you