Hunter Education & Safety – Fall 2013
PLEASE, WEAR YOUR SAFETY HARNESS!
Man dies after tree stand fall while hunting in New Jersey
Mount Olive, NJ - A 49-year-old Toms River man who was bow hunting died after falling from a tree stand in Budd Lake, police said. The man, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of the family, was bow hunting in the wooded area adjacent to the King’s Village Apartment Complex.
On Monday, Sept. 16, at 9:21 p.m., the Mount Olive Police Communication Center received a 9-1-1 call about an unresponsive man in the woods. Upon arriving, it was determined that the man had been sitting in the tree stand approximately 25 feet off the ground and fell, police said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene of the fall.
Some of The Following Stories Demonstrate That We Can Do Something to Stop This Lunacy and That At Least Some of the States/Courts Are Listening!
Voting Against 2nd Amendment Rights Cost Two Colorado State Senators Their Jobs!
Colorado voters stunned the nation Tuesday night (9/10/13) by ousting two heavily funded Democratic state legislators in a recall election that was cast as a national referendum on gun control. Senate President John Morse (D) and state Sen. Angela Giron (D) lost their seats in the state’s first-ever legislative recall election, despite the support of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who gave $350,000 to the two Democratic Senators to fight the recall), hundreds of ground troops from groups like Organizing for America, and a 7-to-1 spending advantage.
The results of the double recall shocked state Democrats, who had insisted voters would back the Legislature’s recently passed gun bills. Meanwhile, gun-rights advocates and Republicans were elated, betting that the recalls will discourage other states from pushing forward with gun-control legislation.
The ousted Democrats will be replaced by Republicans who also appeared on the recall ballots. Former Colorado Springs city councilman Bernie Herpin will succeed Mr. Morse, while retired deputy Pueblo police chief George Rivera takes over the Giron seat.
Governor Hickenlooper, who signed the three gun-control bills that triggered the recall drive in March, said in a statement he was “disappointed” by the result. The Democratic governor faces a 2014 reelection campaign in which the firearms bills are likely to become an issue. “Tonight, voters in two Senate districts have spoken. We are certainly disappointed by the outcome of the recall elections,” said Mr. Hickenlooper.
But conservatives saw the election results as a rallying cry. “Starting tonight, Colorado is fighting back against the onerous policies of Colorado Democrats,” said Kelly Maher, Compass Colorado executive director. “Hickenlooper and his allies are one step closer to joining Morse and Giron come next November.”
On Friday, prior to the recall vote, Senate President John Morse dismissed the leader of the Pueblo recall drive, 28-year-old Victor Head, as an “unemployed plumber” in an interview on MSNBC. After the election results were announced Tuesday, Mr. Head, who runs his family’s plumbing business, came back with a response. “And I have a message for John Morse: Who’s unemployed now?”
Some Arkansas Schools Take a Sensible Step to Address Violence in Schools
Thirteen Arkansas school districts can go ahead with a controversial plan to arm teachers and staff members after a ruling Wednesday (September 11, 2013) by a state board.
The decision comes after the board first denied the schools' request following an opinion from the Arkansas attorney general that the law the schools were relying on was meant for private businesses.
Teachers will be allowed to carry firearms in school beginning September 16, 2013. The board said its ruling will stand for two years, while state lawmakers look at the issue.
New Jersey: Governor Christie Vetoes Major Anti-Gun Bills and Gun Owners Secure a Significant and Rare Victory – 8/16/13
Today, Governor Chris Christie (R) vetoed a trio of anti-gun bills after nearly seven months of contentious public debate. Misguided anti-gun state lawmakers introduced more than 80 anti-gun bills at the beginning of the year. By this summer, more than a dozen bills cleared both legislative chambers and were sent to the Governor for his consideration and action. Earlier this month, Governor Christie signed ten of those gun bills into law, but he left three deeply flawed bills for today’s action. Your NRA-ILA was there every step of the way to oppose these onerous and overreaching bills. Of all the legislation introduced, the three bills vetoed today were the most egregious.
S.2723, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-03), was the “centerpiece” bill of the gun control package. This bill received a conditional veto, meaning that the bill is dead unless the state Legislature convenes and readopts this bill in a form that meets the Governor’s approval. The state Legislature can also override this veto with a two-thirds vote. That prospect is very unlikely given the current composition of the state Legislature. The veto message specifically cites sections of this bill which were not acceptable. Specifically, the Governor scratched the portions requiring mandatory training for firearm ownership and the section that would have banned private transactions. Governor Christie also struck a component of this bill which would have encoded permit holder information on a new ID card, such as a driver’s license.
A.3659, sponsored by Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D-18), was vetoed in its entirety. If enacted into law, this bill would have banned .50 caliber firearms. The NRA argued in public testimony that these firearms are used by competitive shooters and collectors, and are not misused in crime. Governor Christie agreed.
A.3797, sponsored by Assemblymen Charles Mainor (D-31) and Tim Eustace (D-38), received a conditional veto. If enacted, this bill would have required the State Police to issue reports on gun trace data, which is clearly a violation of federal law.
Please contact Governor Chris Christie and thank him for striking down these three gun control bills. You can contact the Governor at 609-292-6000, or leave him an email at the NJ State Website - http://nj.gov/governor/contact/.
Illinois Supreme Court Declares State's Ban on Carrying Firearms Unconstitutional
(Can you believe it? – Chicago-Land?
On September 13, 2013 in an unusually forceful and straightforward opinion in the case of People v. Aguilar, the Supreme Court of Illinois unanimously held that the state's "comprehensive ban" on the "use of an operable firearm for self-defense outside the home" is invalid on its face under the Second Amendment. The NRA had participated in the case with an amicus brief.
The court surveyed the Supreme Court's recent Second Amendment decisions, as well as state and federal precedents from courts in Illinois. Regarding the significance of the Supreme Court's opinions, it declared: "neither Heller nor McDonald expressly limits the second amendment's protections to the home. On the contrary, both decisions contain language strongly suggesting if not outright confirming that the second amendment right to keep and bear arms extends beyond the home." It also characterized the Illinois law as "a wholesale statutory ban on the exercise of a personal right that is specifically named in and guaranteed by the United States Constitution…." According to the court, "In no other context would we permit this, and we will not permit it here either."
While the court noted that "we are in no way saying that such a right is unlimited or is not subject to meaningful regulation," it did not condition its holding on any further action by the legislature. It noted Illinois' recently-enacted Firearm Concealed Carry Act only in passing, stating that it was not "at issue in this case."
Invoking precedents from two federal appellate courts, the Illinois Supreme Court also held that the state's general ban on the possession of concealable firearms by minors does not run afoul of the Second Amendment. Notably, one of the cases upon which the court relied for this portion of the opinion was National Rifle Ass'n of America, Inc. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms [&] Explosives, which upheld a federal prohibition on the sale of handguns by federally licensed dealers to adults aged 18 to 20. The NRA has recently filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review that decision. Twenty-two state attorneys general also filed a brief in support of NRA's efforts in that case.
New York Times: Burden More Gun Buyers with "Woefully Flawed" FBI Checks
In a scathing editorial published August 18, titled, A Flawed Background-Check System, the New York Times takes to task the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the detrimental effect the agency’s inability to conduct accurate checks has had on ‘job seekers’. The Times notes that “F.B.I. background checks are widely viewed as the gold standards but are in fact woefully flawed, often based on fallible and incomplete data.” Of particular concern to the editorial board are inaccurate or incomplete records of those who were arrested, but not convicted, or those who had their cases dismissed or expunged. The Times cites “examples of workers who were either turned away from jobs or fired based on faulty F.B.I. background information,” and contends that the system has caused some to be “unfairly locked out of the job market.”
The Times is right to be critical of the FBI’s apparent inability to conduct accurate or complete background checks, and to defend the civil liberties of those damaged by these inadequacies. However, the Times editorial board had no such qualms about the efficacy of the FBI’s system earlier this year when it lent its full-throated support to legislation that would have expanded background checks for ‘firearm purchasers’, further burdening the FBI’s operations.
Many gun purchasers are acutely aware of the problems posed by the FBI’s flawed background checks. In a 2011 report on the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the agency admitted, “Some records used to determine if an individual is eligible to possess or receive a firearm are not complete or up-to-date. As a result, eligible firearm transferees may be subject to lengthy delays or receive erroneous denials even after the completion of a successful appeal.” A 2012 NICS operations report showed that 8.5 percent of all FBI NICS checks were delayed for additional review, burdening roughly 1.6 million gun purchasers, only a fraction of whom were later found ineligible. The report also noted that in 2012, over 4,000 wrongful denials were overturned.
Incorrect FBI checks are so cumbersome to some gun buyers that it has led to the creation of the Voluntary Appeal File. Under this program, eligible gun buyers who repeatedly find themselves the subject of NICS delays based on non-disqualifying records can place their names on file, in order to expedite future checks. According to the 2012 report, there are nearly 25,000 individuals so burdened.
The recent editorial’s emphasis on protecting the rights of those simply arrested for, but not convicted of, crimes might also lead one to believe that the Times is a staunch defender of due process. However, in June, a Times editorial argued that those placed on the “terror watch-list” by the same government agency the Times accuses of being unable to conduct a proper background check should be summarily barred from owning guns. Those on the watch list have not necessarily even met the level of scrutiny required for an arrest.
With the Times recognizing the FBI’s background-check system as “woefully flawed,” it is ironic that the paper would advocate for millions more people to be burdened by it. This latest episode illustrates that the Times is singling out which civil liberties it deems legitimate, and that despite a body of historical evidence and the opinion of the Supreme Court in Heller and McDonald, the individual right to armed self-defense protected by the Second Amendment isn’t one of them. Source: NRA