Alabama Senate votes to ignore federal gun laws that are in 'violation' of Second Amendment
by Kim Chandler
MONTGOMERY, Alabama - The Alabama Senate this morning voted 24-6 for a bill that would declare federal gun control laws to be null and void in Alabama if they were in "violation of the Second Amendment."
Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville, said the law would put the federal government on notice that the state would not enforce "unconstitutional" gun control laws.
"They are not going to use our law enforcement resources to enforce their law that we believe is unconstitutional," Sanford said during the debate.
Sanford said he sponsored the bill after receiving hundreds of emails and calls from constituents concerned about proposed gun control measures in Congress.
"They are not going to use our law enforcement resources to enforce their law that we believe is unconstitutional"
The bill states that "all federal acts in violation of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution" are null and void and won't be enforced in Alabama.
However, the bill also declares that, "All federal acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations regarding firearms are a violation of the Second Amendment."
Asked about that language in the bill, Sanford said it isn't his intent to try to nullify all federal gun laws.
Sanford said he wanted to give the state the option on future measures.
"Rather than immediately go to court, the state would say we are not going to follow that and participate in that," Sanford said.
Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, said the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution states that federal law is superior to state law.
"This bill is null and void on its face," Singleton said.
Sen. Dick Brewbaker, who voted for the bill, noted that nullification has been a losing battle for the states ever since South Carolina tried to undo a tariff during President Andrew Jackson's administration.
"If it's an unconstitutional law than the Supremacy Clause has no standing," Sanford responded.
The bill is similar to a measure recently signed into law in Kansas.
"That doesn't make it right," Singleton said.
"That doesn't mean it's wrong," Sanford responded.
Sanford said there were not any federal gun laws he could immediately think of that he considered in violation of the Second Amendment. However, he said he thought an assault weapons ban might be.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.
SWEATING BULLETS: Are Colorado Democrats Worried About Gun Control Recall Campaigns?
With the frequency of flailing attacks left-wing Colorado Pols has been throwing out lately against the impending recall campaigns of Democratic Senators Hudak and Morse and Representative McLachlan, you might begin to wonder if they doth protest too much.
It makes you wonder if some on the left have polled the issue and are beginning to worry that a low-turnout recall election is more than just a minor annoyance.
Should any of the petition drives succeed, a recall election would likely be very low turnout, which would favor the highly motivated voter — something that gun rights supporters pretty much personify.
Of all the targets worrying about the recall drives, we're betting Senate President John Morse is the one most concerned. There are a couple of reasons for this:
The threshold for signatures is the lowest in his district of all the recalls, as the threshold is 25% of the votes cast in the politician's last election. For Morse, that was the the low turnout, off-year of 2010.
Morse's Colorado Springs district is compact enough that gathering the signatures is considerably easier than, say, the rural Southwest Colorado district of Rep. Mike McLachlan.
As Senate President, Morse has more responsibilities at the Capitol than other targets. That means the drainage of time and treasure that combating a recall campaign takes will do greater damage regardless of whether Morse survives. Should be interesting to see how much per diem Morse claims for the days he's playing politics to defend his seat.
At the outset of the recall campaigns, Colorado Pols and liberals wrote them off as hopeless exercises in futility.
With the amount of ink spilled on the recalls recently, it seems safe to say the left is starting to take the possibility of losing their Senate President before next session starts pretty seriously.
Colorado Losing Outdoor Industry Over Gun Control Law
by Sandy Fitzgerald
Gun makers and other outdoor-related businesses are considering leaving Colorado after state officials passed legislation restricting the sales of high-capacity magazines and requiring background checks for private and online gun sales last month.
Companies such as Magpul Industries, which makes weapons components and gun magazines and HiViz Shooting Systems, a weapons optics maker have already announced plans to leave Colorado, and others may follow, reports ABC News.
"Legislation-wise, the outdoor community has no voice in Washington, D.C., said Atkinson."
Eric Brown, a spokesman for Gov. John Hickenlooper, said the administration expected some companies to relocate and "we respect their decision to do so."
Colorado has joined several other states in passing tougher gun control laws following high-profile shooting sprees, including one in their state, when a gunman killed 12 in an Aurora movie theater. Colorado was also the site of the 1999 Columbine school massacre in which 12 students and a teacher were killed.
"Colorado is a beautiful state with great people, but we cannot in clear conscience support with our taxes a state that has proven through recent legislation a willingness to infringe upon the constitutional rights of our customer base," HiViz CEO and President Phillip Howe said.
The new law isn't just affecting gun makers, but other businesses as well, including outfitting businesses for hunters and the television industry, which films a great deal of outdoor programming in Colorado.
Outdoor Channel host Michael Bane, an independent executive producer of four shows for the network, said he planned to stop production in the state even before the law was signed.
"The message we will take to our viewers and listeners is that these proposed laws are so dangerous to hunters and any other person, be she a fisherman or a skier who brings a handgun into the state for self-defense, that we cannot recommend hunting, fishing or visiting Colorado," he wrote to state Sen. Steve King in March.
According to Bane, moving his production will cost Colorado nearly $1 million this year.Wes Atkinson, owner of Atkinson Expeditions in Fort Collins, said the law is already impacting the Centennial State and his business, and that he's lost at least $30,000 since March because longtime customers no longer want to come to Colorado to hunt.
"They say to me, 'Wes, would love to hunt with you and your operation. Can we hunt in Wyoming or Nebraska, where they still protect the right to bear arms?'"
Atkinson is planning to move 25 percent of his business to Nebraska
"Legislation-wise, the outdoor community has no voice in Washington, D.C., said Atkinson. "We didn't have a voice in our own state, even though we represent 80 percent of the nonresident dollars that comes into this state to purchase licenses for the state of Colorado. There was nothing we could do," he said.
Gunmaker Sturm Ruger Credits Dems Gun Control Efforts With Pushing Sales To Record High
Well done, Democrats.
(Reuters) – Gunmaker Sturm Ruger & Co Inc reported record quarterly sales after fears of new gun controls spurred demand, and the company said it was scouting for a third factory to boost production.
"Strong demand from consumers, coupled with the current political climate, resulted in unprecedented levels of orders from retailers to distributors …"
Shares of the company rose about 8 percent in extended trade.
Sales jumped about 39 percent to $155.9 million in the first quarter from a year earlier. It rose 10 percent from the fourth quarter.
Gun demand has been boosted in part by attempts to ban the sale of certain high capacity rifles and ammunition in the wake of the shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in December.
"Strong demand from consumers, coupled with the current political climate, resulted in unprecedented levels of orders from retailers to distributors …," the company said in a regulatory filing.
Background checks for firearm sales, a measurement commonly used to gauge the firearm industry's performance, rose more than 28 percent year-on-year in March, data from the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System showed. In February, it rose about 33 percent.
While gun owners have been fixated on threats to ban "assault weapons" and virtually every other sort of semi-automatic rifle and pistol, Barack Obama and Regime gun confiscationists have quietly advanced a far more insidious assault on 2nd Amendment rights.
In New York State, the thoroughly unconstitutional SAFE Act is responsible for the confiscation of Pistol Owner ID Cards (one needs a state approved ID Card to own a pistol in the Empire State) along with pistols themselves. And the gun owners currently being honored with this violation of their right to keep and bear arms "…have been discovered to have been prescribed …different types of psychotropic drugs, such as those for Depression or Anxiety."
In short, "…unknown sources have seen fit to take it upon themselves to share confidential medical records with NY State Officials without authorization, a massive HIPPA violation." Lists of users of prescribed medications have been illegally supplied to NY officials, where they are compared with lists of New York's holders of Pistol Owner ID Cards. Anyone on the left still want to suggest that national firearm registration by Big Brother would not really represent a danger to 2nd Amendment rights?
And how will the Regime apply such illegally acquired medical information to the violation of 2nd Amendment rights on the national stage? Last year, voters in Colorado and Washington State decided to ignore federal law by legalizing marijuana use in the 2 states. Did the Obama Department of Justice launch immediate legal action against the two states as they had against Arizona when that state chose to ENFORCE federal immigration law? Uh, no. In fact, attorneys for the Congressional Research Service made it clear that the federal government could exercise great "flexibility" in prosecuting citizens of Washington or Colorado for marijuana use.
"A law repugnant to the Constitution is void."
However, these Regime attorneys were QUITE certain "…that federal firearms regulators will be aggressive about banning anyone who uses marijuana from buying – or possessing – a weapon." Rest assured that the names of marijuana users will be collected by both states and turned over to the FBI, where they will be included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), making it impossible for these individuals to purchase a firearm.
And will Americans insured under ObamaCare also have their personal information on drug use become part of a national database? Will the use of marijuana in 1994, recently confessed to an ObamaCare physician, eliminate an individual from consideration for the purchase of a firearm?
Make no mistake: the Obama Regime will use any means (and any excuse) to prevent American citizens from owning a gun. The criminal misuse of medical records will become a standard method of banning gun ownership.
The left realize that banning guns is far too dangerous a tack at the present time. So Regime minions have decided to aggressively ban owners.
Photo credit: SS&SS (Creative Commons)
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California teachers sue NEA over forced $1,000 union dues
by Paul Bedard
Ten California schoolteachers on Tuesday sued the National Education Association and California Teachers Association to escape mandatory union fees in a case that piggybacks on a 2012 Supreme Court ruling against forced union dues.
The teachers, represented by the Los Angeles-based Center for Individual Rights, claim that California's so-called "agency shop" law violates their free speech and free assembly rights and forces them to cough up $1,000 to pay for the union's mostly Democratic political activities.
The law, also known as the "fair share" rule to get nonunion members to pay for union expenses, has long been under fire. But a 2012 Supreme Court ruling in Knox v. Service Employees International Union, which restricts how public unions can get money from nonmembers for political uses, appears to open the door to striking down the agency shop rule.
"The government may not compel teachers to provide financial support to policies with which they fundamentally disagree."
"Forcing educators to financially support causes that run contrary to their political and policy beliefs violates their First Amendment rights to free expression and association and cannot withstand First Amendment scrutiny," said Michael Carvin, partner with Jones Day and lead counsel for the 10 teachers. "The Supreme Court questioned the continued constitutionality of 'agency shop' laws last year in the Knox decision."
In Knox, Justice Samuel Alito warned: "Because a public-sector union takes many positions during collective bargaining that have powerful political and civic consequences, the compulsory fees constitute a form of compelled speech and association that imposes a significant impingement on First Amendment rights."
The teachers are teamed with the Christian Educators Association International.
"Individual teachers have a constitutional right to decide for themselves whether to join a union and financially support its efforts," said Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights.
"The government may not compel teachers to provide financial support to policies with which they fundamentally disagree."
According to CIR, teachers can opt out of the agency shop, but the process is cumbersome and few do. The suit claims that NEA and CTA dues fund a Democratic political agenda, not just collective bargaining.
Breaking Report: Israel Jets Bomb Syrian Weapons Compound – Israeli Soldiers Hold Border Training Exercises
by Jim Hoft
Israeli Defense Forces held surprise military drills today near the Lebanon border with over 2,000 soldiers.Israel Hatzolah posted a photo from the control room.
Israeli Jets reportedly entered Syrian airspace and bombed a chemical weapons compound near Damascus this morning. The UPI reported:
The Free Syrian Army says Israeli air force jets flew over President Bashar Assad's palace and bombed a chemical weapons site near Damascus, Maariv reported.
The report said Israeli jets entered Syrian airspace close to 6 a.m Saturday and flew over Assad's palace in Damascus and other security facilities before striking a chemical weapons compound near the city.
The Hebrew language daily said a Syrian army air defense battery positioned in the city fired at the Israeli jets, but the aircraft left Syrian airspace unscathed. FSA rebels posted a video showing smoke rising from the headquarters for chemical weapons.
There were no reports of the extent of damage or casualties.
Neither Damascus nor Jerusalem responded to the report.
Here's another photo from the IDF drills near the Lebanon border today.Hat Tip Ed
BREAKING: New Law – Guns Bought in Arizona Buybacks CANNOT Be Destroyed, Will be Sold to Public
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law yesterday a bill that would make the destruction of guns bought through government organizaed buybacks illegal.
The wording of the new law requires that whenever a government sponsored gun buyback takes place the guns acquired must be publicly auctioned off, just like every other piece of non-evidence property.
"This action by the governor is not only outrageous, but it is insensitive for us now to be putting these guns back on the streets"
Proponents of the NRA backed law say that the buybacks were costing taxpayers a large sum of money by using government funds to purchase and destroy weapons.
According to the AZDailySun.com, the law is not meant to completely remove the ability to destroy a gun in the state, but only to limit the use of government resources to do so.
Proponents of the legislation said none of this keeps the owner of a firearm from having it destroyed. The only difference, they said, is that this would have to be done privately, without involvement of municipal employees.
Any guns bought will be sold at public auction, but only federally licensed firearms dealers will be permitted to purchase the firearms. Those dealers can then sell the firearms to the general public following the same laws and regulations for normal gun sales.
Obviously, anti gun Democrats were not happy about the measure.
"This action by the governor is not only outrageous, but it is insensitive for us now to be putting these guns back on the streets," said state Senator Steve Gallardo, a Democrat and a leading opponent of the measure. "That's just plain wrong."
The bill was passed by the state House back in March, the Senate earlier this month, and was signed by Brewer yesterday.
CNN Covers Gay NBA Player Nine Times More In a Day Than It Did Gosnell In One Week
by Matt Hadro
In just 24 hours, CNN spent over 76 minutes of air time on NBA player Jason Collins's announcement that he was gay. That was over nine times more coverage the network gave the Gosnell trial in one week.
CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz admitted on Sunday that the media champion some stories more than others that also merit attention, and this was painfully evident in the amount of time network gave the two stories. Once Collins announced he was gay, the network breathlessly touted the news as "historic," "a big moment for our country," and "courageous." CNN's jubilation over Collins is no surprise given its support for same-sex marriage, but it couldn't muster even half of that air time to report the alleged horrors of Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic.
"But the fact is that this is the moment where we are in our country, and it is a big moment for our country"
CNN gave the trial a pittance of coverage, just over eight minutes in one week. Ironically, CNN anchors like Chris Cuomo admitted to the seriousness of the story even as the network barely covered it.
"And remember, this is one of those cases that will raise a larger question about when does life begin? And there is a lot of controversy surrounding it. Important case to watch," Cuomo reported on Monday morning.
However, CNN was much more enthralled with the coming out tale of Jason Collins. "But the fact is that this is the moment where we are in our country, and it is a big moment for our country," hyped correspondent Lisa Sylvester on Monday's The Situation Room.
"A lot of people using the words 'courageous.' I think that probably sums it up," Sylvester noted. Host Wolf Blitzer agreed: "In the four major sports, he's the first one, the first one as an active player. Not after retirement but as an active player to acknowledge he's gay. So it is a courageous step."
Host Piers Morgan, speaking to former tennis champion Martina Navratilova who came out as a lesbian in 1981, praised both her and Collins: "And that, just as you were, Martina, in 1981, is an act of real courage. Because it takes guts to do that."
Openly-gay host Anderson Cooper hailed Collins as "a true pioneer" who made a "historic decision." Early Start co-host Zoraida Sambolin called it "A huge barrier broken in big league sports," on Tuesday morning.
"FNS understands that mixed status households may be particularly vulnerable. Many of these households contain a non-citizen parent and a citizen child."
There has been much controversy over the government's efforts to advertise welfare programs, particularly the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as the "food stamp" program. Only they're not "stamps" any more. The dependent masses of Food Stamp Nation get a little credit card, called an EBT Card, which they can use in the checkout lines, just like people who pay for their own food.
In theory, this electronic processing of food stamp benefits should have provided a data-processing defense against abuse. In practice, tales of outrageous abuse have only grown more common, as EBT cards are used to purchase everything from unhealthy groceries the Nanny State otherwise discourages – such as sugary carbonated beverages – to luxury foods, and even more creative uses like posting bail or tipping exotic dancers. The latter incidents are among the many bizarre abuses that arise from the ability of EBT card holders to withdraw cash from ATM machines, at which point all public accountability for the money is lost.
Amazingly enough, there isn't any serious effort currently being made to process data from EBT card transactions, although Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) has been trying to change that with a bill called the SNAP Transparency Act. The Washington Timesdescribes the goal of this bill as the creation of "an online, searchable database that uses bar codes to break down how many taxpayer dollars in food stamps are spent on individual products, from Kit Kat bars to whole milk."
Marino described it as "downright irresponsible" that an $80 billion program "is subject to virtually no oversight." All of the government's efforts are currently invested in recruiting new dependents to the SNAP program, not monitoring what existing beneficiaries are doing with the largess of the taxpayers. Those recruiting efforts know no boundaries… or borders, as watchdog group Judicial Watch just discovered.
It has long been known that the USDA was producing Spanish-language advertisements for the food stamp program. Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request to determine how closely this effort was coordinated with the Mexican government:
The documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that USDA officials are working closely with their counterparts at the Mexican Embassy to widely broaden the SNAP program in the Mexican immigrant community, with no effort to restrict aid to, identify, or apprehend illegal immigrants who may be on the food stamp rolls. In an email to Borjon Lopez-Coterilla and Jose Vincente of the Mexican Embassy, dated January 26, 2012, Yibo Wood of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) sympathized with the plight of illegal aliens applying for food stamps, saying, "FNS understands that mixed status households may be particularly vulnerable. Many of these households contain a non-citizen parent and a citizen child."
The email from Wood to Lopez-Coterilla and Vincente came in response to a request from the Mexican Embassy that the USDA FNS step in to prevent the state of Kansas from changing its food stamp policy to restrict the amount of financial assistance provided to illegal aliens. In a January 22, 2012, article, the Kansas City Star had revealed that the state would no longer include illegal aliens in its calculations of the amount of assistance to be provided low-income Hispanic families in order to prevent discrimination against legal recipients.
Flyers provided to the Mexican embassy by the USDA include a statement – almost comically emphasized with both boldface and underlining – informing prospective SNAP beneficiaries, "You need not divulge information regarding your immigration status in seeking this benefit for your children."
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton tied this revelation into the comprehensive immigration reform debate: "These disclosures further confirm the fact that the Obama Administration cannot be trusted to protect our borders or enforce our immigration laws. And the coordination with a foreign government to attack the policies of an American state is contemptible." The latter is a reference to the state of Kansas, which was seeking to change its food stamp policies to restrict financial assistance to illegal aliens. The Mexican embassy asked the USDA to intervene against this plan.
It's true that potential beneficiaries must be made aware of government programs – there's not much point in having programs that nobody knows about. But the degree of emphasis put behind these efforts can take them far beyond public information, and into the realm of active recruiting. There's no other way to describe this level of coordination between the Agriculture Department and Mexico.
And the program doing all this aggressive recruiting is already generating a tsunami of abuse, while vigorously protecting itself from reform. Would it really be so difficult to use Information Age technology to swiftly hunt down food stamp abusers, while making certain EBT cards are used only for the purchase of affordable, healthy foods? Instead, the Washington Times notes the USDA "refuses to release information on how much business individual stores do in food stamps – going so far as threatening jail time for those who reveal it – even though it acknowledges that 8 percent of food stamp dollars taken to inner-city corner stores are illegally converted to cash, which such data could help illuminate."
This has gone far beyond an effort to ensure the poor, and their children, receive proper nutrition. The food stamp program has, arguably, abandoned all efforts to verify the progress of that mission. It has become a mighty engine for the manufacture of dependency, and it's looking to import new clients. Why should we trust the people who created such a system to faithfully adhere to the stern promises of accountability and security in a "comprehensive immigration reform" bill?
Much of the business of government boils down to data processing, which in the year 2013 should be completed with dispassionate efficiency – we have incredible technological resources for accumulating and mining information. When you see a data processing system as inefficient and corrupt as the food stamp program, you're looking at deliberate sabotage.