Boston, MA— A lawsuit challenging Massachusetts’ ban on assault weapons was dismissed by a federal judge on April 5, who asserted in his ruling that military-style rifles and high-capacity magazines, banned by the state in 1998, are “not within the scope of the personal right to ‘bear Arms’ under the Second Amendment.”
“The AR-15 and its analogs, along with large capacity magazines, are simply not weapons within the original meaning of the individual constitutional right to ‘bear arms,’” U.S. District Judge William Young wrote in the decision.
Young said in his ruling that the features of a military-style rifle are “designed and intended to be particularly suitable for combat rather than sporting applications,” and that Massachusetts was within its rights to enact a ban through elected representatives.
“In the absence of federal legislation, Massachusetts is free to ban these weapons and large capacity magazines. Other states are equally free to leave them unregulated and available to their law-abiding citizens,” Young wrote. “These policy matters are simply not of constitutional moment. Americans are not afraid of bumptious, raucous, and robust debate about these matters. We call it democracy.”
The Hill reported that the lawsuit dismissed by Young was filed by the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts, which claimed the ban infringed on Second Amendment rights. The group asserted in its complaint that the term “assault weapons” is non-technical and “entirely fabricated” to politicize the most popular types of guns in the United States.
“Healey unilaterally decreed that thousands of Massachusetts residents are suddenly criminals simply for having exercised their Second Amendment rights,” the complaint said, in reference to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who expanded in 2016 the definition of “copies or duplicates” of AR-15s and other semiautomatic rifles that are prohibited under the state’s 1998 assault-weapon ban.
In a statement, the National Rifle Association (NRA) criticized the decision.
“Like all law-abiding Massachusetts gun owners, the NRA was extremely disappointed that the court upheld Massachusetts’s ban on many of the most popular firearms in America,” the group said.
In his decision, Young, who Bloomberg reports was nominated by former President Ronald Reagan, quoted the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion for the Supreme Court in a critical 2008 decision that overturned Washington’s ban on hand guns, but also warned of potential limitations.
“Weapons that are most useful in military service — M-16 rifles and the like” aren’t protected by the Second Amendment and “may be banned,” Young quoted Scalia as saying, referring to the automatic rifle popular with the military. The AR-15 is similar to an M-16, Young said, equating the military fully automatic firearm with a civilian semi-automatic.
In addition, Young also rejected attempts by the gun-rights group to challenge the ban on the grounds that AR-15s are extremely popular and widely owned within the United States.
“The AR-15’s present day popularity is not constitutionally material,” Young said.
On February 19th, CNN host Chris Cuomo retweeted an article, written by Cody Davis and published by The Tab, which bore the headline “I was able to buy an AR-15 in five minutes.”
In the 2-year-old article, Davis described a visit to a Virginia gun shop. He wrote that he approached an employee for assistance in picking out “something for home protection and target practice.” According to Davis, an employee later let him look at an AR-15 and obliged Davis’ request to take a photo of Davis with the weapon. Davis claimed that the employee didn’t notice that his license was expired and that he’d tried to share his drivers’ license renewal receipt, and was asked to provide his vehicle registration for verification. Later on, according to Davis:
After he walked me through the paperwork, all five pages of it, I told him I changed my mind and wanted to think more before I bought an AR-15. He told me it wasn’t a problem and listed the store hours if I wanted to come back. I then said thank you and walked back to my car.
Seconds. It took seconds for the salesman to take an AR-15 off the shelf and begin selling it to me. If I had stayed for maybe three minutes longer to fill out less paperwork than I did for the hiring process at my school’s bookstore, I would’ve driven home with an AR-15.
No delay. No extensive background check. Just my recently expired driver’s license, my vehicle registration, and filling out some paperwork.
The headline of Davis’ story claims that he was able to purchase an AR-15, but the content within the article itself revealed that he was not actually “able” to do so, due to his admission that he left the store without completing any paperwork that would have triggered a background check.
Days after Cuomo retweeted the article, backlash began to mount.
In response to National Review editor Charles Cooke, Cuomo claimed that his motivation for retweeting the article was to call attention to the man’s lack of identification and his belief that “the system should be better.”
Cuomo continued to respond to criticisms throughout the day.
I don't think people are fighting better background checks, what they are saying is, for you to quit sensationalizing fake stories or lies to promote your narrative. You, @CNN@ErinBurnett@AC360 need to be more responsible with your reporting and the truth will set you free.
If the kid didn’t fill out the paperwork, he wasn’t sold/didn’t buy a gun. The point of the piece is the willingness to sell him one. The point is we need a system of checks that covers all sales and covers certain types of disqualification, at least temporarily. Trump agrees. https://t.co/PjHoUQqlk9
24-year-old certified firearms instructor and aspiring Los Angeles Police Department officer Sim Sangha of Fremont, Calif. says she feels like she was profiled on the basis of her skin color after she inquired about a possible AR-15 ammo purchase during a shopping trip to a local Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Sangha visited the store on Wednesday of last week. During the shopping trip, she inquired about purchasing 8 boxes of AR-15 ammo but opted against buying them at that time and instead purchased an exercise mask. Police officials say that the employee then notified police about the inquiry, prompting two officers to visit Sangha at her home two days later.
Sangha told NBC Bay Area, “I don’t know if it’s [because of] my skin color or that I’m Indian. I’m not a Muslim, but even if I were, that’s no reason to call police to my home, instantly.”
She added, “I feel like I was racially profiled. I have tons of friends who are both law enforcement officers and normal citizens here, and they purchase ammunition all the time in bulk, before the San Bernardino shooting and after that incident as well, and they’ve never been questioned before. They’ve never had the police show up at their house before.” Sangha says she could have provided the store clerk with a copy of her firearms certification if asked.
This article has a correction. Please click HERE to read.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has released a plan which would reclassify the popular .223 (M855) round as an armor piercing round.
This particular ammo type is most commonly used in all AR-15 style rifles, and if the ammo were to be reclassified, these firearms would be rendered obsolete without the proper ammo.
Reclassification of the .223 round as an armor piercing round would effectively ban sales of the round to all civilians under the Gun Control Act of 1968. The GCA says any ammo “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes,” is the only ammo allowed to be sold to the general public. The ATF defines armor piercing rounds, though, as any ammo which is meant to penetrate body armor and was manufactured for military or police use.
However, the GCA was amended in 1986 to allow exceptions in the original Act. The amended Act, therefore, allows armor piercing rounds to be sold to”government agencies,” as well as “for testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General.”
The NRA Institute for Legislative Action though, is calling the new ban a “continuation of Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.”
The NRA-ILA also said by definition, the .223 (M855) round cannot be classified as armor piercing because the law lists a number of metals, such as tungsten alloy, steel, or even depleted uranium, which are used in the cores of armor piercing rounds. The .223 (M855) round however has a traditional lead core with a steel tip, and “therefore should never be considered ‘armor piercing,'” according to the NRA-ILA.
The ATF has said they will accept comments on the new framework for 30 days, and the comments will be taken into consideration for the final draft of the framework.
This article has a correction. Please click HERE to read.
WASHINGTON, October 10, 2014–Former firearms instructor and decorated Air Force veteran Timothy Arnold stood for sentencing before Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood on October 9, 2014 at the United States District Court of Southern Georgia. Arnold received a sentence of 22 months behind bars and a fine of $168,000 for what many people close to the case believe is the result of a highly unethical investigation without merit.
Advised to not speak in his own defense at the trial, Arnold gave this statement at his Thursday morning sentencing, “I think it is very obvious how much I love this country. During my 20 years in the military, I was given missions and tasks that I did not agree with, but I did them. I do not agree with this guilty verdict, but I believe in this country. I will continue to do the same thing I have always done, and that is live with integrity. Preserving my reputation and my honor means more to me than it probably does to the average person. Now that I have lost my cherished Second Amendment rights, I have also lost the way I make my living. I must focus on protecting and providing for my wife and our little daughter…” Arnold choked up, unable to finish his statement.
As previously reported on BenSwann.com, Arnold’s charges included conversion (embezzlement,) manufacturing firearms, and illegally dealing firearms. According to multiple affidavits by other agents and witnesses, lead investigator Special Agent Wendell Palmer assembled no true elements of crime but broke multiple Air Force Policy Directives. Most damaging to Arnold’s case were the gross misrepresentations the witnesses say Palmer applied to their unsigned statements used during the trial. Palmer also confiscated personal firearms, records, and other property without providing a receipt. When his superior, Colonel Kristine Blackwell, was asked to intervene, she reportedly turned her back and laughed.
Alarmed by this “less than professional” investigation, many fellow agents and members of law enforcement interviewed by Palmer registered official complaints with the Air Force Inspector General (IG) before Arnold’s case went to trial. This information was not disclosed to the judge or the jury. It is unclear whether or not the IG has responded to the complaints of its OSI agents by opening an investigation of its own. One complaint stated, “I am extremely concerned for what I believe to be a misstatement of facts, improper evidence accounting procedures, and unsubstantiated allegations.”
Palmer declared to multiple witnesses during interviews that he believed Arnold was manufacturing fully automatic and silenced weapons and abusing the government credit card to do so. “I did not feel this information was correct, and felt it was inappropriate for Palmer to make such a statement during an ongoing investigation,” said a fellow agent. Another complainant said, “Upon reading Palmer’s documentation of my interview, I wish I had insisted on doing so (providing a written statement) as he took significant liberty with information I provided and did not account for important details I made sure to convey.” In simple terms, it appears Arnold was framed—but for a crime that didn’t exist.
A Congressional inquiry into this matter was originally requested through Rep. Jack Kingston’s (R-GA) office in 2011, but it was Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) who actually opened one this year.
Arnold has 30 days to report to the Bureau of Prisons and begin his sentence. Congress has 30 days to get something done about it.
WASHINGTON, October 6, 2014–Decorated Air Force veteran and firearms expert Timothy Arnold was convicted in the United States District Court of Southern Georgia on January 21 of manufacturing and dealing in firearms without a license, transporting illegally-acquired firearms to a state in which he did not reside, dealing firearms across state lines without a license, and theft of government property by conversion. The prosecution, led by Assistant United States Attorney Fred Kramer, claimed Arnold was running a “black market operation” while he was a well-known firearms instructor with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, Georgia. FLETC is part of the Department of Homeland Security and trains law enforcement officers for 91 federal agencies, including the U.S. Park Police and U.S. Marshals Service.
Arnold was employed as Chief of Firearms and Tactics for AFOSI while serving the last few years of his twenty-year career in the Air Force. Upon his retirement in 2009, the Air Force requested that he remain in his position in a civilian capacity and continue to perform all of his duties—tactical instruction, course development, equipment purchasing, and an extensive travel schedule. His activities and purchases were overseen and approved by his direct superiors on a monthly basis, as they had been for years. One thing that did change frequently, however, was the identity of his bosses. Turnover was routine and each department head arrived with very different ideas regarding the nature of their position. Arnold was known for having high expectations for his FLETC students and high standards for his training curriculum. Many witnesses in his trial testified that his training certainly saved lives during operations overseas. They said he was one of the best firearms instructors in the Air Force. Arnold prided himself on creating realistic scenes using costumes and props to simulate real-life scenarios that protective services agents might face in the field. His job required him to buy civilian equipment for those classes—and his superiors pressured him at the end of every fiscal year to spend all remaining funds of his operating budget, that sometimes totaled $120,000. This is common practice in federal agencies whose directors fear a surplus will cut their Congressional funding for future years.
Firearms were not just Arnold’s profession, they were also his lifelong hobby. His expertise garnered countless unsolicited requests from co-workers, members of law enforcement, friends, and family to assemble guns for them. Most of the time, he would advise them as to what parts they should order and then Arnold would assemble them into a working firearm—as a favor or for a trade. “The investigators were not able to find a trail of money from me profiting from my supposed firearms business,” Tim Arnold says, “Because I never made any money off of it. I never claimed to be a business or advertise. I did it for fun and as a favor to people in my life.” However, a jury in a civilian court found Arnold guilty of illegally manufacturing and dealing firearms. Of note, the legal definition of manufacturing implies objects are created from raw material. What Arnold did, and what many other gun enthusiasts in this country do, is actually firearms assembly, a legal endeavor. A few months before the AFOSI investigation into Arnold’s activities began, he was busy working on customizing an AR-15 platform rifle to replace the outdated MP-5 sub-machine guns that protective service officers currently use in the field. “Obtaining new parts to service those military weapons is nearly impossible,” Arnold says, “And a weapon with more maneuverability in tight quarters would reduce training time, as well as cost of replacement parts, saving the Air Force money.” Arnold’s prototype made its way to a training in New Jersey where it was mistaken for an illegal weapon. A review of the investigation itself reads like a comedy of errors, which makes Arnold’s conviction all the more surprising. Lead investigator Special Agent Wendell Palmer directly violated countless Air Force Policy Directives, including the interrogation of a subordinate as part of a criminal investigation, which is a conflict of interests; failing to read Arnold his rights during any of the interrogation sessions; ghostwriting statements from Arnold and all other witnesses; and failure to provide receipts for property, firearms, and records seized from Arnold, other witnesses, and even the Sig Sauer Academy in New Hampshire where Arnold worked as an adjunct instructor while on administrative leave.
Sig Sauer Academy Executive Director Adam Painchaud, also an AFOSI Special Agent, initiated a complaint against Palmer to the Air Force Office of Inspector General. Six witnesses signed separate affidavits detailing accounts of Palmer’s unethical conduct, including the Witness Statements riddled with errors, omissions, and misrepresentations that Palmer wrote himself. Several active OSI Agents offered to provide verbal testimony, afraid of the retaliation that a paper trail might bring. During the trial, Painchaud was slated to be the star witness for the defense. “I had the ability based on my firsthand, expert knowledge of the matters involved to dispute the charges against Arnold,” says Painchaud. Instead, he was prevented from testifying and Judge Lisa Godbey Wood threatened to charge him with contempt of court due to allegations from the prosecution that he inappropriately questioned another witness in the hallway outside the courtroom. “My testimony would have been instrumental,” Painchaud says, “The jury never got to hear it because I never got to testify. This is not how our system is supposed to work.” Painchaud was later cleared of the contempt allegations, as well as conduct unbecoming of an agent, after a separate investigation by AFOSI revealed his innocence.
On Saturday, April 19th, Ben Swann hosted a Google hangout to announce the winner of the AR-15. The AR-15 was generously supplied by Sebastian Ammo. To make sure we comply with state and federal laws, Sebastian Ammo will be shipping the AR-15 to a gun shop near the winner.
We are happy to announce that Josiah is the lucky winner of the AR-15!
Ben sent Josiah an email on Saturday letting him know he had won the contest. Josiah responded:
I half didn’t believe this, so I don’t know if I showed my appreciation to its fullest hahah!
I love what ya’ll are doing so much. It’s been such valuable time spent, following your work since your days at Fox. So, to win one of my favorite tools, from the very people I esteem so much, is truly an honoring experience! As someone who was also home schooled, Ben has been such an encouragement!
For those of you who did not win, you will be happy to know we have many more giveaways planned for the future. We will be giving away a handgun, gold, autographed books and many other surprises along the way.
Why give away an AR-15 rifle from Sebastian Ammo? The answer is simple, we believe that media is working very hard to smear law abiding gun owners and make them out to be criminals and violent people. The Truth in Media Project works to counter that propaganda by providing factual coverage of crime, gun ownership and the foundational American belief in the natural right to possess firearms for self defense.
The biggest reason for this gun giveaway to help draw attention to the huge double standard by media and politicians in America. After the deadly shooting of children at Sandy Hook Elementary, media and even the President himself talked about the need to protect children from senseless violence without mentioning that gun bans prevented any type of defense for these children. Additionally, the President has a drone strike policy that is responsible for the death of 11 TIMES the number of children killed at Sandy Hook. According to the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, since 2007 more than 214 children have died as the result of drone strike in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Truth in Media demands that those who claim to want to protect the innocent from violence would no longer remain silent on this brutal policy. Sebastian Ammo can make this gun legal in most states. Even California!
Join our newsletter by entering your valid email address below and you will be entered into the giveaway.
(Even if you are on our newsletter now you must enter your email address to be entered into the giveaway.)
Remember to confirm your email address.
No purchase necessary. The drawing will be held on April 19, 2014.
Before you go, please note that we are raising money for Season Two of the Truth In Media Project through a crowd source effort on Indiegogo. Even a $10 dollar contribution will help us to create truthful media!
Or contribute with Bitcoin: 1BiApUQSP5PxSqjp5T8tkVQioGJLA5gBxu
About the AR-15 Sebastian Ammo can make this gun legal in most states. Even California!
Sig Sauer RM40016BEC M400 Enhanced AR-15 SA 223/5.56 16″ Magpul MOE Blk
The SIGM400 tactical rifle is designed for use in law enforcement, military operations, the sporting field, and competitive shooting. It is a true AR-platform tactical rifle that provides unparalleled accuracy. A 16″ chrome-lined and phosphate-coated barrel provides superior corrosion resistance, and a 7075-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum forged lower receiver adds to the durability and reliability of this rifle. The SIGM400 Enhanced rifle features the direct-impingement gas system, ambidextrous controls, quick-detachable ambi sling mounts, and a flip-up rear sight. This model comes with a Magpul Original Equipment (MOE) forend, grip, PMAG, and collapsible stock.
The “open carry” movement is growing throughout the U.S.
Oklahoma recently passed their open carry law, but states like Texas and South Carolina are still fighting for their citizen’s rights to constitutionally carry firearms openly in public places. Open Carry Texas is a grassroots organization that seeks to educate the public about open carry in order to get public support for the next legislative session.
Open Carry Texas spokeswoman Victoria Montgomery told Fox44 that “An armed society is a polite society.”
This T.X. group is attracting interest by educating the public regarding the 2nd Amendment and their membership is growing.
Montgomery says by wearing her rifle proudly, she’s helping to educate the community about guns, in hopes of erasing fears. So, she and other open carry members travel around town with their guns strapped to their backs.
Montgomery says open carry support has been tremendous, with many people connecting through Facebook and the web.
In the state of Texas, it’s legal to carry a rifle or a shotgun in public but not handguns. Open Carry Texas members hope by peacefully carrying rifles, they can convince lawmakers to allow open carry of pistols during the next legislative session.
“A right not exercised is a right that’s soon to be lost,” said Michael Montgomery.
Open Carry is controversial for the six states that don’t have open carry laws. Earlier this year a woman spoke to a subcommittee hearing in S.C. and voiced her concern that open carry would deter S.C. tourism, but the majority of South Carolinians support open carry. Lee Bright’s constitutional carry bill, S.115, passed the subcommittee but died in full committee. The bill be reintroduced next legislative session.
Recently the Mississippi Supreme Court unanimously upheld the state’s open carry-gun law. Earlier this year, legislators passed and Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill that says adults don’t need a permit to carry a gun that’s not concealed.
Lt. Brian Myers of the Ridgeland Police Department in Miss. said “I personally do not have any reservations about the (open carry) law. We handle the situation no differently whether or not they are openly carrying a weapon … for officers on the scene, knowing what the weapon is, where it is, and who is carrying it, is simply a bonus.”
Officer Myers states that “criminals do tend to target more vulnerable people.”
The simple truth is criminals won’t target their victims in a burger joint with patrons strapped with semi-automatics—it’s one of the safest places in T.X.