Tag Archives: Louisiana

Louisiana’s New Law Allowing Churchgoers to Pack Heat

One Man’s Thoughts Has Moved To

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You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2010/07/09/louisianas-new-law-allowing-churchgoers-to-pack-heat/

Thank You, Vytautas

Rebellion In America Heats Up As 5th State Exempts Guns

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You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2010/03/25/rebellion-in-america-heats-up-as-5th-state-exempts-guns/

Thank You, Vytautas

Wyoming Governor Signs Sovereignty Resolution

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You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2010/03/19/wyoming-governor-signs-sovereignty-resolution/

Thank You, Vytautas

Bossier Sheriff Launches ‘Operation Exodus’

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You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2010/03/11/bossier-sheriff-launches-operation-exodus/

Thank You, Vytautas

The Impudent Tyranny Of Sen. Harry Reid

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You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2010/03/10/the-impudent-tyranny-of-sen-harry-reid/

Thank You, Vytautas

Supreme Court Scrutinizes State, Local Gun Control

The justices will be deciding whether the right to possess guns guaranteed by the Second Amendment — like much of the rest of the Bill of Rights — applies to states as well as the federal government. It’s widely believed they will say it does.

By some estimates, about 90 million people in the U.S. own a total of some 200 million guns.

The new lawsuits were begun almost immediately after the court’s blockbuster ruling in 2008 that struck down the District of Columbia’s handgun ban. In that case, the court ruled for the first time that individuals have a right keep guns for self-defense and other purposes. Because the nation’s capital is a federal enclave, that ruling applied only to federal laws.

The challenges to the Chicago area laws, which are strikingly similar to the Washington law, are part of an aggressive push by gun rights proponents in the courts and state legislatures.

Courts are considering many gun laws following the justice’s 2008 decision. Massachusetts’ highest state court is examining the validity of a state law requiring gun owners to lock weapons in their homes.

Two federal appeals courts have raised questions about gun possession convictions of people who previously had been convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors. A suit in Washington challenges the capital’s ban on carrying loaded guns on public streets.

Lawmakers in several states are pushing for proposals favored by the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups. The Virginia Legislature is considering repealing a law that limits handgun purchases to one a month. That law was enacted in 1993 because Virginia was the No. 1 supplier of guns used in crimes in other states. A separate proposal in Virginia would allow people with a concealed-weapon permit to take hidden guns into restaurants that sell alcohol, as long as those patrons don’t drink.

76-year-old Otis McDonald said he joined the suit in Chicago because he wants a handgun at home to protect himself from gangs.

The thrust of the legal arguments in the case is over how the Supreme Court might apply the Second Amendment to states and cities.

In earlier cases applying parts of the Bill of Rights to the states, the court has done so by using the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, passed in the wake of the Civil War to ensure the rights of newly freed slaves.

The court also has relied on that same clause — “no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law” — in cases that established a woman’s right to an abortion and knocked down state laws against interracial marriage and gay sex.

This is the approach the NRA favors.

But many conservative and legal scholars — as well as the Chicago challengers — want the court to employ another part of the 14th amendment, forbidding a state to make or enforce any law “which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

They argue this clause was intended as a broad guarantee of the civil rights of the former slaves, but that a Supreme Court decision in 1873 effectively blocked its use.

Breathing new life into the “privileges or immunities” clause might allow for new arguments to shore up other rights, including abortion and property rights, these scholars say.

This approach might enable challenges to arcane state laws that limit economic competition, said Clark M. Neily III of the public interest law firm Institute for Justice. He pointed to a Louisiana law that protects existing florists by requiring a license before someone can arrange or sell flowers. The licensing exam is graded by florists, he noted.

“No reasonable person thinks that law has a legitimate purpose,” Neily said. But he said, “Right now, once you get a law like this on the books, it’s almost impossible to get rid of.”

The case is McDonald v. Chicago, 08-1521

Gun Laws Are Getting Looser Across Much Of The United States

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You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2009/12/13/gun-laws-are-getting-looser-across-much-of-the-united-states/

Thank You, Vytautas

South Carolina Offering Shoppers Tax-Free Weekend On Guns

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You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2009/11/22/south-carolina-offering-shoppers-tax-free-weekend-on-guns/

Thank You, Vytautas

Federal Judge Rules Police Cannot Detain People For Openly Carrying Guns

On September 8, 2009, United States District Judge Bruce D. Black of the United States District Court for New Mexico entered summary judgment in a civil case for damages against Alamogordo, NM police officers.  The Judge’s straight shootin’ message to police:  Leave open carriers alone unless you have “reason to believe that a crime [is] afoot.”

The facts of the case are pretty simple.  Matthew St. John entered an Alamogordo movie theater as a paying customer and sat down to enjoy the movie.  He was openly carrying a holstered handgun, conduct which is legal in 42 states, and requires no license in New Mexico and twenty-five other states.  Learn more here.

In response to a call from theater manager Robert Zigmond, the police entered the movie theater, physically seized Mr. St. John from his seat, took him outside, disarmed him, searched him, obtained personally identifiable information from his wallet, and only allowed him to re-enter the theater after St. John agreed to secure his gun in his vehicle.  Mr. St. John was never suspected of any crime nor issued a summons for violating any law.

Importantly, no theater employee ever ordered Mr. St. John to leave.  The police apparently simply decided to act as agents of the movie theater to enforce a private rule of conduct and not to enforce any rule of law.

On these facts, Judge Black concluded as a matter of law that the police violated Matthew St. John’s constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment because they seized and disarmed him even though there was not “any reason to believe that a crime was afoot.”  Judge Black’s opinion is consistent with numerous high state and federal appellate courts, e.g., the United States Supreme Court in Florida v. J.L. (2000) (detaining man on mere report that he has a gun violates the Fourth Amendment) and the Washington Appeals Court in State v. Casad (2004) (detaining man observed by police as openly carrying rifles on a public street violates the Fourth Amendment).

Mr. St. John’s attorney, Miguel Garcia, of Alamogordo, NM was pleased with the ruling and look forward to the next phase of the litigation which is a jury trial to establish the amount of damages, and possibly punitive damages.  Garcia said that

“[i]t was great to see the Court carefully consider the issues presented by both sides and conclude that the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from detaining and searching individuals solely for exercising their rights to possess a firearm as guaranteed by our state and federal constitutions.”

Notably, Judge Black denied the police officers’ requested “qualified immunity,” a judicially created doctrine allowing government officials acting in good faith to avoid liability for violating the law where the law was not “clearly established.”  In this case, Judge Black concluded that

“[r]elying on well-defined Supreme Court precedent, the Tenth Circuit and its sister courts have consistently held that officers may not seize or search an individual without a specific, legitimate reason. . . . The applicable law was equally clear in this case. Nothing in New Mexico law prohibited Mr. St. John from openly carrying a firearm in the Theater.  Accordingly, Mr. St. John’s motion for summary judgment is granted with regard to his Fourth Amendment and New Mexico constitutional claims. Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is denied with regard to the same and with regard to qualified immunity.”

Judge Black’s opinion and order is welcome news for the growing number of open carriers across the United States.  Though police harassment of open carriers is rare, it’s not yet as rare as it should be – over the last several years open carriers detained without cause by police have sued and obtained cash settlements in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Virginia (see additional settlement here), and Georgia.  More cases are still pending in Ohio, WisconsinMichigan, and Pennsylvania.

Judge Black’s opinion and order can be read here.

http://www.examiner.com/x-2782-DC-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m9d9-Federal-judge-rules-police-cannot-detain-people-for-openly-carrying-guns?cid=exrss-DC-Gun-Rights-Examiner

Washington Drops Hammer On State Gun Plan

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You can read this article at:

http://www.patriotthoughts.com/2009/08/04/washington-drops-hammer-on-state-gun-plan/

Thank You, Vytautas