The Right to Hunt Is Now Constitutionally Protected in North Carolina

For results of the most important ballot measures, click here.

North Carolina voters on Tuesday approved an amendment to codify the right to hunt and fish in the state’s constitution.

This type of amendment is not new, though it has rapidly gained steam in the last two decades. More than 20 states have cemented a constitutional right to hunt and fish -- most through the ballot box.

The effort was backed by outdoor sporting groups and the National Rifle Association (NRA) but faced concerns from animal rights groups.

Approved by 57 percent of the vote, this change will limit the state's ability to regulate hunting and establish hunting as the "preferred" means of managing wildlife.

Some opponents view this policy through the lens of gun rights. After all, the NRA testified in support of the amendment in June. But supporters say it's about protecting a rural pastime that in some cases becomes a necessary source of food.

The hunting community believes hunting is in danger "as there is more and more awareness of animal welfare in society," said Stacey Gordon, a law professor with the University of Montana who has written about hunting amendments.

For instance, a federal judge recently blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to remove protections for grizzly bears. The court decision prevented hunts that were set to take place in Idaho and Wyoming. In New Jersey, hunting groups are suing the state after Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy banned bear hunting on state lands.

"Throughout the country, organizations lobby every day to restrict or even prohibit hunting and fishing," said Republican state Sen. Tom McInnis, a cosponsor of North Carolina’s right-to-hunt amendment. This measure, he said, is "about protecting the rights of our children and grandchildren to hunt and fish in North Carolina."

The NRA, which would neither confirm nor deny any financial involvement in the right-to-hunt campaign, echoed that sentiment.

"This is an important piece of legislation designed to safeguard North Carolina’s hunting heritage," said NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide.

But opponents of the amendment, like Democratic North Carolina state Sen. Floyd McKissick, say it is unnecessary and will "clutter" the constitution. He also believes Republicans used fear over hunting to drive the GOP base to the polls.

"You can’t divorce this issue from the other five constitutional amendments [on the November ballot]," said McKissick, pointing to two measures defeated by voters Tuesday that would have transferred power from the Democratic governor’s office to the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

For some animal rights activists, their issue with hunting amendments is the broad language, said Jill Fritz, director of Wildlife Protection for the Humane Society of the United States. Groups like hers oppose what they view as "inhumane" methods, such as "body-gripping" traps, bear baiting and the use of hunting dogs. As it stands, the added section to North Carolina’s constitution will protect the “the right to use traditional methods” of hunting, fishing and wildlife harvest but does not specify what those methods include.

Earlier this year, Democratic state Rep. Pricey Harrison unsuccessfully proposed a change to the amendment that would have restricted Sunday hunting and banned the use of steel jaw traps and poison.

In a 2017 survey, 87 percent of U.S. respondents said that it is acceptable to hunt for food; only 37 percent approve of trophy hunting. Fritz said it is this evolving view that right-to-hunt laws need to reflect.

Ultimately, Harrison said, "the devil will be in the details."

For results of the most important ballot measures, click here.

Ohio: House to Consider Pro-Gun Legislation Tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Ohio House of Representatives is scheduled to consider House Bill 228.  Please immediately contact your state Representative and strongly urge them to SUPPORT House Bill 228.


Current Ohio law requires those who have used deadly force in a self-defense situation to prove that they did so in a lawful manner.  House Bill 228 places the burden of disproving a self-defense claim on the prosecution, similar to how it is in almost every other state.  Further, House Bill 228 would remove the duty to retreat before using force to defend yourself under both civil and criminal law. 

Again, please contact your state Representative and strongly urge them to SUPPORT House Bill 228.

House Democrats plan aggressive gun control effort next year

Several incoming House Democrats plan to introduce gun control measures when their party regains the majority next year.

Gun control proponents are buoyed by the takeover of the House. Democrats ousted at least 15 House Republicans who had an “A” rating with the National Rifle Association with candidates who received an “F” rating, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., told the Journal on Friday that he plans to introduce legislation that will mandate universal background checks. Thompson is chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

Among the incoming Democrats is Lucy McBath, who defeated Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga. She was a former spokeswoman for the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety backed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The group spent $38 million during the 2018 election cycle, compared to the NRA, which spent $20 million.

Any gun control legislation that passes the House, however, would face a tough road in the Senate, where the GOP remains in control and 60 votes would be required.

Washington : Gun shop owners expect sales increase after gun control initiative

Updated 5:25 pm CST, Sunday, November 11, 2018

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington gun shop owners expect an increase in sales after state voters approved an initiative that adds restrictions to the purchase of semi-automatic rifles.

Voters last week passed Initiative 1639, which will raise the purchase age for semi-automatic rifles to 21.

Starting next year, buyers will be required to pass an enhanced background check and prove they have taken a firearms-training course. They must wait 10 business days to take possession of the gun, the Seattle Times reported .

"The response to this is always classic," said Wade Gaughran, owner of Wade's Eastside Guns. "People will buy guns to beat the deadline."

The initiative also authorizes the state to require gun sellers to add $25 to sales of semi-automatic rifles to pay for new regulations.

Under a "safe storage" provision, gun owners could face criminal penalties if someone not legally allowed to have the rifles, such as a child or felon, gains access to them and fires the gun or uses it in a crime. The safe storage provision does not apply if the gun was secured with a trigger lock or similar device or if the owner had reported it stolen within five days.

"We will see people speed up their gun purchases," Gaughran said. "(Buyers will say) 'I'll buy the next year or two of my gun budget in the next few months just so I can bypass this law for as long as possible.'"

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility advocated for the initiative. Spokesman Tallman Trask said new regulations can lead to increased sales but the initiative will not lead to "onerous restrictions."

"What it really boils down to is people are a little unsure of how to respond to new regulations and they go out and buy new firearms," Trask said. "It's unfortunate."

Gun dealers want clarity from state regulators on parts of the new law such as the training requirement. Buyers must show they have completed a "recognized firearm safety training program" in the last five years that covers issues such as handling, storage and suicide prevention. The training must be sponsored by a law-enforcement agency, college or university, nationally recognized organization or firearms training school.

Gaughran said his store may develop a "quick test" to administer at the counter or online.

Some parts of the country reported a slump in gun sales following the election of President Donald Trump. Jason Cazes, owner of LowPriceGuns.com in Bellevue, increased his inventory because he anticipated Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton.

"Here's what drives sales in the gun business: the possibility of regulation coming or fear in the world," Cazes said. "This summer was the worst summer I've ever had in sales."

Bruce Smith, manager of Surplus Ammo and Arms in Tacoma, said he's seen a small increase in business and questions since the election but "it hasn't been crazy because it's not federal."

"Everyone knows or is pretty inclined to think that under Trump there is probably not going to be federal legislation, so it's going to be a state-by-state thing," Smith said. "The panic isn't there. The stress isn't there."

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com

Gun owner saves mom of three from violent attack while bystanders do nothing

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The quick actions by a licensed gun owner helped save a woman from a violent attack over the weekend.

Benjamin Seadorf was with his four children on Saturday when he suddenly heard what he described as “blood-curling screams” coming from outside his home near 12th Street and Van Brunt Boulevard.

“She definitely was in fear of her life,” Seadorf said. “She was screaming at the top of her lungs, profusely bawling. She just kept screaming, ‘Help me! Help! Somebody, please help me!’ over and over again."

Security video shows Seadorf running out his front door with his 9-millimeter handgun toward the intersection where a silver car was stopped at a traffic light.

You can’t see much of what happens next because a tree is blocking the car, but a police report details a brutal attack involving Alarick Williams and the mother of his three children.

“I was completely in shock that he started beating on her and forcing her in the car,” Seadorf said.

Williams is accused of violently grabbing the victim, forcefully shoving her back into the car and strangling her until she lost consciousness. He started beating her because she wanted him to drop her off at her cousin's house, according to the report.

This all happened in front of the couple’s three young children who were in the back seat.

“As I get close to the vehicle, I noticed her top's ripped off,” Seadorf said. “No shirt on. Her bras halfway off, and her pants were halfway off because he kept grabbing her.”

Seadorf approached the car with his gun pointed at Williams then told him to get out and down on the ground.

“He put the car in park, and I knew he was going to start to comply, and I wouldn’t have to go any further,” Seadorf said.

Police arrested Williams a short time later. Seadorf said he was shocked no one else in the area tried to intervene.

“I really feel that if she had left here, something worse would’ve happened, and not one single person in that intersection tried to help,” Seadorf said.

Scott Mason with Rose Brooks, a center that offers shelter and services for domestic violence victims, applauded Seadorf’s actions but said bystanders don’t always need to physically get involved to help.

“Intervening also means calling 911 and telling them what the situation is,” Mason explained. “Intervening also means recording information with your cellphone so you can turn it into police. I think for each individual it’s different.”

Seadorf believes bystanders’ lack of action reflects where we are as a society.

“Society doesn’t want to get involved now days, and it’s sad,” Seadorf said. “We need to help each other more.”

Williams faces two counts of domestic assault.

Seadorf said officers thanked him for stopping the attack.

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Parkland Activists Took On the N.R.A. Here’s How It Turned Out

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — After the shooting massacre at a high school in Parkland, Fla., survivors found themselves taking on the National Rifle Association as they crisscrossed the country rallying young adults to register and vote against candidates opposed to gun control.

On Tuesday, the Parkland students got a dose of political reality.

While their registration drives enrolled thousands of younger votes, the students were unable to turn key races in their home state. Ron DeSantis was elected governor and Rick Scott was leading the vote for United States senator. Both Republicans were endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

“Things didn’t necessarily go our way but we know that this is the start, that it’s going to be a long road,” one of the most vocal students, David Hogg, said on Wednesday. “The Florida elections were very close, which is encouraging. For us, the loss in Florida is a call to action.”

In midterm elections dominated by health care and immigration, the results on Tuesday also showed that Americans are still wrestling with who should be allowed to purchase guns, how they should be regulated and what defines responsible gun ownership.

The outcomes let both sides claim some margin of victory. Two dozen N.R.A.-backed candidates and longtime gun lobby supporters were defeated in House contests, according to Giffords, the gun safety group. And 88 of 129 candidates backed by the group won their races.

But groups that oppose gun control also claimed victory. Along with Mr. Scott and Mr. DeSantis, Senate candidates endorsed by the N.R.A., like the Republicans Mike Braun in Indiana and Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee, defeated their Democratic opponents.

The director of public affairs for the N.R.A., Jennifer Baker, said on Wednesday that “the gun control lobby suffered big losses to pro-Second Amendment candidates in their most high profile races.”

A Republican-controlled Senate, Ms. Baker added, would “continue to confirm pro-Second Amendment judges to the lower courts all the way to the Supreme Court.”

Voters between the ages of 18 and 29 went to the ballot boxes in greater numbers in House and Senate in races across the country, according to an analysis released on Wednesday by the Institute of Politics at Harvard.

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For months, Parkland students worked to chip away at the bloc of unregistered youth voters and pushed for stronger gun laws.CreditSaul Martinez for The New York Times

Young voters, according to an analysis of exit polls, also helped Jacky Rosen, a Democrat, win the Senate seat in Nevada, and contributed to Beto O’Rouke’s strong showing against Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate race. In Florida, the Harvard research showed, young voters chose the Democratic candidate for governor, Andrew Gillum, over Mr. DeSantis, 62 percent to 36 percent, though Mr. Gillum ultimately lost.

John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Institute of Politics, said that politics had become more tangible for younger adults in recent years.

The attitudes of youth started to shift after the 2016 election, from fear to hope for the future, he said. Then came Parkland on Feb. 14. A “traumatized generation” became an “energized generation,” which Mr. Volpe expected would help shape a more progressive domestic agenda and demand gun control legislation.

“Parkland turbocharged a movement that was going to happen anyway; the tragedy gave them some momentum,” he said. The Parkland students helped the movement, he added, by giving “youth very specific ways to engage: register to vote, sign a petition, call a lawmaker.”

At least one person associated with Parkland saw the Florida midterms as a victory.

Hunter Pollack, 21, is the brother of Meadow Pollack, 18, who died in the shooting. Mr. Pollack’s father appeared in a political ad for Mr. DeSantis.

“The F.B.I. failed my sister. The Broward Sheriff failed my sister. The Broward School Board failed my sister, and Andrew Gillum was a candidate who aligned himself with those failed politicians,” Hunter Pollack said.

“If he were elected, I’m positive shootings would continue to happen in schools,” Mr. Pollack said. “He would not take school security seriously. He’s a guy who doesn’t even believe in police officers in schools.”

Mr. DeSantis, he said, vowed to get justice for the 17 victims and hold all parties “accountable.”

A Parkland shooting survivor, Jaclyn Corin, who is a founder of March for Our Lives, the student-led gun control movement, said she had woken up on Wednesday ready to continue building.

“It felt like Feb. 15 in that we know we have to make a change. We have to,” said Ms. Corin, 18, who voted for the first time this election. “We were not successful in this race, but we understand even more work needs to be done.”

“Young people are sick and tired of going to funerals of their friends,” she said. “They are sick and tired of seeing kids their age shot at schools, in theaters, at concerts.”

8 of 10 Oregon counties approve measure to boost gun rights

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Voters in eight Oregon counties have approved ordinances to bolster residents’ gun rights that were championed by militia groups.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Wednesday that the ordinances say that residents of those counties now have the right to own semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, regardless of state or federal law.

They also empower sheriffs to determine if state and federal gun laws are constitutional and prohibit the use of county funds to enforce them.

But the ordinances are likely to be challenged in court and are seen as mostly symbolic.

The measure appeared in Baker, Columbia, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Lincoln, Linn, Umatilla and Union counties.

It passed in all but Jackson and Lincoln counties.

Two militia groups, the Three Percenters and Oath Keepers, campaigned for the ordinance across the state.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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Washington: Gun shops brace for gun control law

by Tammy Mutasa / KOMO News

Gun shops brace for voter-approved gun safety law

KING COUNTY - Gun stores and gun owners are already starting to prepare for some of the toughest new regulations in the country.

Initiative 1639 was approved by Washington voters with 60 percent support.

The owner of Wade’s Eastside Guns, Wade Gaughran, said the new gun restrictions under Initiative 1639 punish people who follow the rules and bump up the cost of doing business.

"Now we've got a law that's going to cause problems for us and it's going to cause problems for consumers and the impact on crime is going to be zero,” said Gaughran.

Among the changes, the new law raises the buying age for semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.

To buy the weapons, people have to pass a more thorough background check, take a training course and wait 10 days.

"Now we're taking that away retroactively, which doesn't feel like America to me,” said Gaughran.

Gaughran believes there will be a rush to buy guns before the new rules go into effect, but long-term, it will hurt business.

"So there's going to be a rush for people buying guns and beat the law to the punch but I think ultimately though it will have a negative effect for a while on gun sales,” said Gaughran.

Under the new law, store owners have to offer to sell gun buyers secure gun storage devices like trigger locks. Wade recommends a safe.

Gun shops will also have to post warning signs about the consequences of not having safe storage.

"We want people thinking that, we push that really hard, we police ourselves really well,” said Gaughran.

The age requirement goes into effect January 1, 2019.

The rest of the law will be implemented next July 1, 2019.

The initiative's sponsors say the new law will prevent shootings, save lives and reduce gun violence.

Local police agencies said they're still working out how they're going to enforce the law.

New York: Cuomo vows to pass quick reforms blocked by Republicans

With Democrats taking control of the state Senate next year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed Wednesday to move quickly to pass reforms blocked by Republicans: tighter ethics laws, early voting, the Dream Act, gun safety legislation and strengthening the state’s abortion law.

“We need ethics reform and there’s no reason not to pass it,” Cuomo said on Westchester radio station WVOX, his first interview since the election that gave him a third term.

He threw down the gauntlet to state lawmakers.

“Legislative jobs should be full time … with restrictions on outside income,” he said.

Cuomo didn’t mention it, but the first pay hike for legislators in 20 years could be his leverage to get the income restriction.

The governor also indicated and the new Democratic majority in the Senate and the Assembly will move to curb pay-to-play politics.

“We need to close the financial loophole, what they call the LLC loophole,” he said.

The loophole allows real estate interests and other bigwigs to steer massive contributions to elected officials through limited liability companies or shell companies. Cuomo has been the biggest recipient — receiving millions in LLC donations over his first two terms.

Cuomo also promised to pass the Dream Act, which would provide tuition assistance for undocumented college students brought here illegally as kids — a law long sought by immigration advocates.

That could be a tough vote for upstate and suburban Democrats. When they were in charge, Republicans blocked the measure, arguing it rewards illegal behavior and would come at the expense of students who are citizens.

Cuomo countered that it was a moral issue.

“The Dream Act, which is giving young people more access to higher education. Why wouldn’t you want to do that?” he asked.

Cuomo also promised Democrats would move to strengthen New York’s abortion law, which Republicans argued was unnecessary.

He also said Albany will finally pass reforms to make it easier for New Yorkers to vote, through early voting and other measures.

“It’s so hard to vote in this state. It is a joke. Let people vote,” said Cuomo.

Cuomo said he also wants to make gun safety one of his legacies. He supports passage of the so-called Flag bill, which would allow a teacher or a family member to petition the court to have weapons confiscated from a person who may be dangerous or emotionally disturbed. He passed a sweeping controversial gun control law — the SAFE Act — during his first term.

“None of these things could get done with the Republican Senate. We can now get it done in a Democratic Senate,” he said.

Cuomo said he believes the new crop of Senate Democrats — including soon-to-be-Senate Democratic Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins of Westchester, the first women to hold the leadership post, will act responsibly and reasonably to maintain the majority in 2020.

He noted Democrats briefly held the majority in 2009-2010 only to lose it to the Republicans two years later.

“She gets the complexity of the politics of New York. This is not a one-dimensional state politically,” he said, noting the diverse state has regions that are conservative and liberal.

“Her conference . . . now represents the politics of the entire state. These are very smart candidates, sophisticated candidates. They understand they have to represents their districts. They also understand the conference has to represent the body politic statewide.”

He said last night’s Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives is a warning to lawmakers who become too recklessly right wing or left wing.

“That pendulum can come back swinging back very quickly,” he said.

California: City of Saratoga Again Trying to Pass an Anti-Gun Firearm Ordinance

This evening, November 7, 2018, the Saratoga City Council will once again try to pass an ordinance that seeks to force law abiding citizens to lock up their firearms in their homes.  This is not the first time the City has attempted this, although thanks to support from volunteers and NRA/CRPA members in the area, a vote on the ordinance was postponed. 

WE NEED YOUR HELP! 

If you live in the area and can attend the Saratoga City Council Meeting on November 7, 2018 at 6:00 P.M., in the Linda Callon Conference Room, City Hall, 13777 Fruitvale Ave., Saratoga, CA 95070, we need you there to make a comment in opposition to this arbitrary ordinance that will do nothing but place people in a position where they are unable to adequately protect themselves.  

Just last week at the City of Arcata Board meeting a Board member came out and said that these types of ordinances are meant to help stop the future ownership of firearms in their city!  Unfortunately, all of these cities are operating from the same playbook. 

They know that it will not make the city safer. They know that there are already State laws that address penalties for a gun owner that allows their firearm to fall into the wrong hands. They only care about restricting constitutional rights.  Please consider attending the meeting and make comments in opposition to the ordinance. 

If you cannot attend, please submit a comment OPPOSING this anti-gun ordinance through the Council website at 

https://www.saratoga.ca.us/FormCenter/City-Council-8/Council-Comments-Form-47 

Or you can email the Council Members at: 

Saratoga_cc@saratoga.ca.us 

Continue to check your inbox and the California Stand and Fight web page for updates on issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage in California.

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