Welcome to the monthly roundup of all things gun laws and concealed carry. As the ever-evolving landscape of firearms regulations in the United States is navigated, it’s more important than ever to stay informed and updated. The goal of this monthly digest is to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of the latest changes, debates and trends that are shaping the world of gun laws and concealed carry. There will be deep dives into new firearms legislation, court cases, state-specific updates and much more. Whether a seasoned firearm enthusiast or simply someone interested in staying informed about this critical topic, you will find everything here. So let’s dive in and explore what the past month held in the realm of gun laws and concealed carry.
Biden Administration’s Ghost Gun Rule Unlawful
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday declared “unlawful” the so-called “ghost gun” final rule that went into effect last year. While not actually putting a ban on making or possessing non-serialized, personally made firearms, the rule did redefine important legal terms dealing with guns, including “firearm,” “receiver” and “frame.” In October, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that allowed continued enforcement of the rule while matters were settled in lower courts. The panel determined the ATF had acted outside of its existing limits. Judge Engelhardt wrote, “ATF, in promulgating its Final Rule, attempted to take on the mantle of Congress to ‘do something’ with respect to gun control. But it is not the province of an executive agency to write laws for our nation. That vital duty, for better or for worse, lies solely with the legislature.”
Supreme Court Hears New Case on Guns
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard arguments over whether the government can prevent those subject to domestic violence protective orders from owning a gun. The case before the court involves a Texas man, Zackey Rahimi, who was accused of hitting his girlfriend during an argument in a parking lot and later threatening to shoot her. The federal appeals court in New Orleans struck down the domestic violence law, following the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision in June 2022. Guns were used in 57% of killings of spouses, intimate partners, children or relatives in 2020, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A decision in U.S. v. Rahimi, 22-915, is expected by early summer.
Democrats Organize Roundtable on ‘Nationwide Gun Emergency’
Following the mass shooting in Maine where 18 people were killed, U.S. House Democrats held a roundtable forum on changing U.S. gun laws. The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, invited witnesses to discuss gun violence solutions. Democrats said they opted to organize the roundtable after being turned down in their request for a formal hearing to Republicans who control the chamber. Following the mass shooting in Maine, GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana pushed back on Democrats’ call for gun control measures and argued the appropriate response was prayer.
Supreme Court May Hear Case on Bump Stock Ban
The Trump-era ban on bump stocks following the 2017 Las Vegas shooting has split federal courts. The Supreme Court has relisted it for discussion, not for the first time. At issue in the two cases—Garland v. Cargill and Guedes v. ATF—is what counts as a “machine gun” under federal law. The plaintiffs in these cases are gun owners who possessed bump stocks before 2018, as well as the gun rights groups that support them. They argue that the ATF rule is based on a misreading of the NFA’s definition of a machine gun and therefore must be overturned. Previous challenges to the ATF rule failed to persuade three of the federal appeals courts. Both sides are now urging the Supreme Court to weigh in.
Yellow vs. Red Flag Laws
Following the mass shooting in Maine, questions surrounding gun laws have been raised. Police were warned about the shooter’s mental health issues and access to guns more than once. Due to the extra steps involved in the state’s “yellow flag” law — the only one of its kind in the U.S. — the shooter maintained access to his guns. In states with “red flag” laws, relatives or others close to a gun owner whom they suspect is an immediate violent threat may apply for an emergency court order. Once approved by a judge, it requires the gun owner to surrender his or her gun license and firearms but allows the owner to appeal the order. Maine’s law requires those suspected to be a threat to be reported to law enforcement, who can then take the person into protective custody and order a mental health evaluation from a medical expert. If the doctor and police deem it necessary, a court order can then be applied for to suspend a gun license and remove firearms.
Assault Weapons Ban Upheld
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the State of Illinois regarding the statewide weapons ban. The controversial law, known as the Protect Illinois Communities Act, became the subject of multiple lawsuits almost as soon as it was signed by the governor. The law bans the sale and possession of firearms defined as “assault weapons” as well as assault weapon attachments, .50 caliber rifles, .50 caliber cartridges and high-capacity magazines.
Pistol Brace Ban Blocked
A ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk has granted a motion to stay enforcement of the ATF’s rule banning the possession of effectively all braced guns that weren’t registered earlier this year. He found the ATF exceeded its power when crafting the rule.
Maryland Handgun Qualification Law Unconstitutional
A federal appeals court has ruled that Maryland’s handgun qualification law is unconstitutional. Under the law passed in 2013, a person seeking to own a handgun must apply for a license, submit fingerprints, undergo a background check and complete a 4-hour training course. In its decision, a split three-judge panel ruled that the law unduly burdens Second Amendment rights. If the state opts not to seek a rehearing, the appellate court would issue a mandate to the lower court within seven days. Based on the timeline, the state may stop enforcing the license requirements in mid-December.
Maryland Matters, Maryland
California Allowed to Share Gun Owner’s Personal Information
A state appeals court ruled that California can continue providing personal information of gun owners to researchers to study gun violence, reversing last year’s decision by a lower court judge who said such data sharing violates privacy rights. In 2021, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law allowing the state’s Department of Justice to share identifying information of more than 4 million gun owners in California with qualified research institutions. In response, gun owners and organizations sued the state.
Orange Country Register, California
Connecticut Ban on Open Carry Goes Into Effect
On Oct. 1, a Connecticut gun control law that bans the open carrying of firearms and prohibits the sale of more than three handguns within 30 days to any one person, with some exceptions, went into effect.
Federal Judge Rules Pistol Brace Ban Unconstitutional
On Oct. 2, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the ATF’s ban on pistol braces violates the Second Amendment. The injunction only includes the plaintiffs in the case, not every pistol brace owner.
SCOTUS Blocks Sale of Ghost Guns
On Oct. 16, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s order allowing the sale of ghost guns. The decision temporarily halts Texas-based manufacturers Blackhawk Manufacturing and Defense Distributed from selling ghost gun kits.
SCOTUS Won’t End New York Ammo Background Check
On Oct. 10, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request to temporarily halt New York’s provision of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act on background checks for ammunition purchases, allowing the law to remain in effect. The state currently charges $2.50 for a background check each time ammunition is purchased.
Appeals Court Favors California Magazine Ban
On Oct. 9, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez’s Sept. 22 ruling that the state’s ban violented the Second Amendment, keeping California’s ban on high-capacity magazines in place.
DOJ Requests SCOTUS to Consider Non-Violent Offenders’ Gun Rights
The Department of Justice has requested the U.S. Supreme Court to review two cases to decide whether individuals with non-violent felony convictions, including marijuana smokers, can legally own firearms.
New Jersey’s “Assault Weapons” Ban Challenged
On Oct. 6, the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Firearms Policy Coalition and others filed a lawsuit arguing the New Jersey’s “assault weapons” ban violates the Second Amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 NYSRPA v. Bruen decision which affirmed that law-abiding citizens should be permitted to carry firearms for personal protection.
Biden Restores Hunter Safety Programs
On Oct. 6, President Joe Biden signed the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act into law, restoring funding to hunter safety programs in schools, aiming to promote responsible firearms use and safety education among young hunters.
Federal Judge Refuses to Block New Mexico’s Gun Ban
On Oct. 11, U.S. District Judge David Urias rejected a request to block Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s emergency order, which restricts the right to carry a firearm in public parks and playgrounds.
Judge Declares California’s “Assault Weapons” Ban Unconstitutional
On Oct. 19, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez ruled the California ban on AR-15-style rifles is unconstitutional. The state quickly appealed the decision, and the assault weapons ban remains in place for now.
Judge Rules New York Officials Can’t Assess Moral Character
On October 24, U.S. District Judge John P. Cronan ruled that a provision in New York City’s gun restrictions, which allows officials discretion to deny gun permits to people deemed “not of good moral character,” is unconstitutional.
Nebraska Permitless Carry
The Nebraska bill signed into law on April 25 allowing those over 21 to carry concealed without training or a permit took effect this month. Nebraska’s largest cities enacted guidance just before the law was enacted. Omaha and Lincoln are prohibiting firearms on city property.
Nebraska Examiner, Nebraska
Biden Administration Proposes More Gun Laws
The Biden administration is proposing a rule that would require thousands more firearms dealers to run background checks, in an effort to combat rising gun violence nationwide. People who sell firearms online, at gun shows or other places outside brick-and-mortar stores would be required to be licensed and run background checks on the buyers before the sales
New Mexico Governor Being Sued for Emergency Firearms Ban
The National Association for Gun Rights is suing New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, in an effort to block a 30-day emergency order. The order suspends the right to carry guns in public in Bernalillo county, following the deaths of three children in unrelated incidents.
The Guardian, New Mexico
California Makes It More Expensive to Carry
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a first-in-the-nation state excise tax on sales of firearms and ammunition, aimed at raising a projected $160 million annually to prevent gun violence in schools and elsewhere. The California excise tax, due to go into effect in July 2024, will essentially add an 11 percent levy on top of the existing federal excise gun and ammo tax. This measure was only part of a package of “gun safety” bills the governor signed, despite a federal judge striking down California’s ban on high-capacity magazines days before.
White House Creates New Office
The Biden Administration has announced it will be creating the first White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Vice President Kamala Harris will lead the office, which aims to find additional actions President Biden can take to curb violence, as well as implement existing actions, such as the bipartisan gun control law.
The Hill, Washington, D.C.
Supreme Court Restores Ghost Gun Ban
In July, a Texas judge blocked the Biden administration’s “ghost gun” ban nationwide. On August 8, the Supreme Court overturned that decision. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the three liberal judges in the decision.
Illinois Goes After Gun Advertisements
Gov. JB Pritzker signed House Bill 218 into law in Illinois, restricting the way gun dealers and manufacturers can market and sell their products. The “Firearm Industry Responsibility Act” took effect immediately and can subject dealers or manufacturers to civil penalties for violations.
Federal Judge Blocks Colorado Law
Chief U.S. District Judge Phillip A. Brimmer ruled in favor of the gun rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in their lawsuit against Colorado Gov. Jared Polis. The ruling will temporarily block state law SB23-169, which was signed in the spring and prohibited people under age 21 from purchasing a gun.
Fox News, Colorado
Massachusetts ‘Modernizes’ Gun Laws
Rep Michael Day has introduced a bill in the Massachusetts house titled “An Act Modernizing Firearms Laws,” aiming to reform the state’s gun laws. The bill would require law enforcement to conduct interviews with anyone applying for a license to carry. Additionally, it would create a database to track guns used in crimes, as well as those surrendered to or taken by law enforcement.
Right to Possess in Mississippi
A federal appeals court has declared the long-standing ban on drug users owning guns to be unconstitutional and in violation of the Second Amendment. This ruling was in the case of Patrick Daniels, who was found with a handgun, rifle and marijuana cigarette butts in his vehicle during a traffic stop. Daniels was given a four-year sentence; however, three judges in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined the federal law against marijuana users violated a Mississippi man’s right to possess and carry firearms.
Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Assault Weapons Ban
The Illinois bill Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law in January bans the sale of “assault weapons” and limits magazines for long guns to 10 round, while capping magazines for handguns at 15. Several lawsuits have been filed against the law. The state Supreme Court upheld the legislation with a 4-3 ruling.
In July, a law in Hawaii banning firearms at parks, beaches, banks and places that serve alcohol went into effect. This month, a federal judge ruled Hawaii can’t legally ban guns on its beaches or other high-traffic areas.
The Messenger, Hawaii
St. Louis Attempts to Restrict Open Carry
While a permit to carry concealed is not required in Missouri under state law, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones has approved a bill that would require gun owners to obtain a permit to “display” or open carry their firearms. Board Bill 29 would be difficult to enforce as it’s in direct conflict with Missouri Statute 21.750 Section 3 (2)(b)(c), stating police can’t approach someone openly carrying unless he or she is suspected of a crime. And a firearm can’t be taken away unless that person is under arrest.
St. Louis Record, Missouri
Ohio Reinstates Preemption
A three-judge panel of Ohio’s Tenth District Court of Appeals has ruled the state can enforce its law intended to ensure uniform firearms regulations. The ruling puts the state’s preemption law back into effect, meaning citizens of Columbus and other more restrictive cities can file suits against localities that try to institute their own gun laws.
The Reload, Ohio
New Jersey Court Dismisses NSSF Lawsuit
A federal appellate court has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a New Jersey law that allows the state attorney general to bring “public nuisance” claims against gun manufacturers and others who market firearms. The National Shooting Sports Foundation promises to refile its complaint should the attorney general attempt to enforce the law, though.
AP News, New Jersey
Rights Don’t End at State Lines
Earlier this month, Lowell District Court Justice John F. Coffey dismissed a criminal case against a New Hampshire man charged with carrying a firearm without a license in Massachusetts. He found the state’s requirement that non-residents obtain a temporary license to carry in Massachusetts violates the Second Amendment.
The Reload, Massachusetts
Oregon Keeps Its Gun Law
A U.S. District Court judge ruled Oregon’s Ballot Measure 114 was not unconstitutional. This allows the restrictions on magazines holding more than 10 rounds to stand. Justice Karin Immergut’s ruling said the large-capacity magazines are “not commonly used for self-defense, and are therefore not protected by the Second Amendment.” It continued, “BM 114’s restrictions are consistent with this Nation’s history and tradition of regulating uniquely dangerous features of weapons and firearms to protect public safety.” The law also strengthens background checks and closes the “Charleston Loophole” that allows gun purchases to move forward by default after three days.
Suit Against Online Arms Dealer Tossed
A three-judge panel for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s ruling that online firearms dealer Armslist cannot be found liable for negligence under Wisconsin law. The lawsuit was brought by family members of two shooting victims. The shooters in both homicides were prohibited possessors but were able to purchase guns from the online marketplace. Unlike most firearms businesses, however, Armslist acts as a digital classified ad platform. Therefore, the online marketplace cannot be held to the same liability standards as firearms dealers.
The Reload, Wisconsin
Five bills restricting gun rights were passed in Colorado’s last legislative session, and one has gun owners and FFLs stumped on how to proceed. Senate Bill 23-279, “Unserialized Firearms and Firearm Components,” is difficult for those in the industry to understand and comply with. SB 279 bans the sale, possession, transfer, or manufacturing of homemade or hobbyist firearms that do not include a serial number. However, a section of the bill allows gun owners to get their firearms serialized before January 1, 2024. Problems with the new law include no designated authority over the serialization techniques and processes and a second law could hold FFLs liable for crimes committed with any guns they serialize.
Complete Colorado, Colorado
Lifetime Gun Bans Thrown Out
A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday that nonviolent offenders should not be subject to lifetime gun bans. In a footnote to his majority ruling, Circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman pointed out that even rebels who took part in the 1787 tax uprising in Massachusetts could get their weapons back after three years. Following the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, several courts have overturned gun bans applied to marijuana users, felony defendants and even domestic abusers. Legal experts expect the conflicting opinions that have ensured to lead the high court to revisit the issue in the future.
Associated Press, Pennsylvania
Washington’s Ban Stands
Following Gov. Jay Inslee’s April signing of a law banning 61 specific firearms, several cases have been brought to courts. The latest attempt at a restraining order, brought by Guardian Arms, failed, and the ban on the sale, distribution and importation of “assault” weapons stands. House Bill 1240 does not outlaw the possession of the weapons, though.
Kitsap Sun, Washington
Senate vs. House
The U.S. Senate voted to reject a resolution passed by the House that would have overturned the Biden administrations ban on the use of stabilizing braces. The resolution failed on party lines, with a vote of 49 to 50. Under the Biden administration rule passed in January, gun owners who have a pistol with a stabilizing brace can either add a longer barrel to the firearm, remove the brace, turn the firearm in to a local ATF office or register it as a short-barreled rifle with federal authorities.
The Hill, Washington D.C.
ATF Rule Struck Down
District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled in favor of plaintiffs challenging a rule by the Biden administration that regulated home-build firearms kits. With the rule in place, gun hobbyists would have to route all firearms parts purchases through a licensed dealer. O’Connor concluded the rule attempting to regulate firearm parts kits lacks statutory authority and issued an order vacating the rule.
The Texan, Texas
Attorneys General Challenge Delaware Bans
A coalition of 20 Republican attorneys general requested the U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a Delaware district court decision upholding bans on “assault weapons” and large capacity magazines. The filed amicus brief supports the Delaware State Sportmen’s Association (DSSA), which argues two of the state’s bills violate the Second Amendment. The bills ban more than 40 semi-automatic long guns, 19 semi-automatic “assault pistols,” copycat weapons and magazines capable of holding more than 17 rounds of ammunition.
The Reload, Delaware
A Renewed Focus on Background Checks
Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Jimmy Panetta introduced legislation requiring the FBI to complete all gun-purchase background checks. The bill, title the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Data Integrity Act, would eliminate an 88-day requirement to finish background checks. Currently, after those 88 days are up, the FBI is required to purge all records related to a background check from its system. The bills would also require the FBI search specific databases. There is currently no set process for which databases are searched during a background check.
Stabilizing Braces Ban Blocked Again
A second federal judge, Judge Jane L. Boyle of the Northern District of Texas, has blocked President Biden’s attempt to ban pistol braces. Boyle cited similar concerns over administrative procedure and Second Amendment rights as the three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The lawsuits stem from President Joe Biden’s decision to try and reclassify guns equipped with pistol braces, which are designed to strap to a shooter’s forearm rather than be pressed against their shoulder, as short-barrel rifles or shotguns. The reclassification would put them under the jurisdiction of the National Firearms Act, which requires the guns to be taxed and registered with the ATF. The agency set June 1st as the deadline to submit tax-free registration. Anyone who owns a pistol-brace-equipped gun that falls under the rule and doesn’t register it could be charged with a federal felony.
Delaware Gun Owners Can Keep ARs … But
The sale and possession of AR-15 rifles and other “assault-style” weapons was banned in Delaware after June 30, 2022. However, gun owners who previously owned such firearms could keep them … if they apply for a “voluntary certificate of possession.” The certificate, which isn’t mandatory but provides “conclusive evidence” the firearm was purchased before the ban, requires owners to be fingerprinted at a state police facility.
The Philadelphia Tribune, Delaware
Marijuana in Minnesota
A new state law in Minnesota has legalized the recreational use of marijuana, but the ATF sent an advisory reminding Minnesotans that those who use marijuana cannot legally own firearms. Federally, they remain an “unlawful user of a controlled substance.” Jason Tarasek, a cannabis attorney for Vicente LLP, said the federal government has generally turned a blind eye and has “left states alone” that have legalized marijuana. But he acknowledged the challenge for gun owners. “It’s an interesting song and dance we’re going through with the federal government,” he said.
CBS News, Minnesota
Carrying on Campuses Remains Legal in Georgia
In 2017, Georgia then-Gov. Nathan Deal signed a law allowing people to carry firearms on Georgia college campuses. In 2022, it also became legal to carry without a license, which also applies to college campuses. Five professors sued the state, but the Georgia Supreme Court upheld the ruling of a lower court that the law was constitutional.
Restraining Order Against Assault Weapons Ban Denied
In 2013, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Connecticut updated its assault weapons ban. Second Amendment advocates recently challenged the laws prohibiting dealers or others from selling or possessing semi-automatic, automatic or burst-fire weapons. After the ATF reclassified some firearms in February, the group filed a motion for a temporary restraining order. However, the restraining order was denied as people who owned the guns reclassified by the ATF would not be prosecuted under Connecticut’s assault weapons ban.
CT Insider, Connecticut
Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban
The National Association for Gun Rights has asked a federal judge to immediately halt Massachusetts’ ban on “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines. First Circuit U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV heard arguments early in June to overturn the ban that was made permanent law in 2004. The lawsuit comes following the Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v Bruen that determined states must fashion gun laws in keeping with the history and tradition of the Second Amendment.
Hastings Tribune, Massachusetts
Vermont Expands ‘Gun Safety’
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott allowed a gun violence prevention bill to become state law without his signature. Set to take effect July 1, the law will require a 72-hour waiting period to purchase a firearm, expands the use of red flag laws and necessitates safe home storage of guns. Scott says he has concerns the waiting period is unconstitutional but that the issue will likely be settled in federal court.
Maine Public.org, Vermont
Colorado Makes Historic Changes
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed four bills into law in late April, an historic tightening of gun regulations for the state. The bills expand the state’s red flag law, raise the minimum age to purchase all guns to 21, impose a three-day waiting period on firearm purchases and make it easier for people to sue the gun industry.
Colorado Sun, Colorado
South Carolina Considers Permitless Carry
With the legislative session coming to an end, the South Carolina Senate advanced a bill to allow permitless carry in the state. South Carolina would continue to issue permits to those who want them, however open and concealed carry would be allowed without one.
Tenth Amendment Center, South Carolina
Gun Control Moves Forward in Texas
The Monday after a shooting at a mall in Allen, Texas, May 6, state lawmakers moved forward with a bill to raise the legal age to buy an “assault weapon” to 21. The bill also restricts gun sales to those who are intoxicated or who have protective orders against them. It passed a committee vote at 8-5; however, it likely lacks the support necessary to pass on the House floor.
CBS News, Texas
California Ban Stands
A California appeals court has upheld a ban on “assault weapons,” such as the AR-15s. It is the first decision made since the Supreme Court limited California’s ability to regulate firearms. Well the court ruled states could not take away the right to concealed carry, the question in California was does that apply to every firearm. The California court ruled that it did not.
Fox News, California
Ohio Preemptively Defends Second Amendment
After the city of San Jose in California and the state of New Jersey required gun owners to obtain liability insurance, Ohio’s Senate drafted a bill to prevent the same from happening. Senate Bill 58 would stop communities from requiring liability insurance or instituting an annual fee to possess firearms and knives. There is not currently any legislation aimed at those requirements.
Mount Vernon News, Ohio
Michigan Bans Backpacks
Grand Rapids Public School District has banned backpacks in all schools after two occurrences of firearms being brought to a school in two weeks. It was the fourth time the district had confiscated guns from students this academic year. Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom called on parents to ensure the city avoids a tragedy. Charges will be brought against the parents in two of the four incidents.
ABC News, Michigan
Michigan Red Flag Laws
A month after the legislature passed bills to establish extreme risk protection orders (ERPO), also known as red flag laws, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan has signed the bills. It will allow courts to issue an ERPO if they believe someone to, in the near future, cause injury to the person or others, intentionally or unintentionally. The person under the order will have two chances during a year’s span to show he or she is not a threat.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily blocked the Biden Administration’s tighter regulations on stabilizing braces. According to the ATF, approximately 3 million guns with stabilizing braces are in circulation in the U.S. Gun-control groups argue pistol braces make firearms more deadly. However, gun rights groups have contended, a decade ago, the ATF found braces did not make pistols like short-barreled rifles and therefore do not need to be regulated as such.
Permitless Carry Moves Forward in Louisiana
The Louisiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 131, sponsored by Rep. Danny McCormick (R, Oil City). The bill, if passed into law, would allow adults to carry a concealed gun without a permit. It is the fourth time McCormick has offered the proposal. The house rejected an amendment by Rep. Debbie Villio (R, Kenner) that would have raised the age to carry concealed from 18 to 21.
Louisiana Illuminator, Louisiana
Gun Control Coming to Tennessee in 2024
The Memphis City Council hopes to address mass shooting incidents with a four-part voter referendum for the 2024 elections. The measure’s current goal is to ban the future sales of assault weapons and restrict the use of those already owned. The measure would also challenge the state’s open carry law, as well as require permits for open and concealed carry. Lastly, it would create a red flag law. The measure has not yet passed to be put on the ballot, where voters would decide.
Maryland Tightens Gun Laws
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed gun-control measures into law on Tuesday. The recently approved law was sent through the state’s legislature as a response to the Supreme Court ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen that ended the requirement to show a particular need to carry concealed. While one of the measures signed into law removed the language calling for a “good and substantial reason,” it also tightened laws to prevent gun owners from carrying in specific locations.
Florida Passes Permitless Carry
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 543, allowing residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit. The law will go into effect on July 1. It does not apply to the open carry of firearms, drawing criticism from some Second Amendment groups.
Nebraska Permitless Carry
Gov. Jim Pillen signed Legislative Bill 77 into law, allowing residents who are 21 or older to carry concealed guns without a permit. The law will take effect 90 days after the session ends, likely near the end of August.
Omaha World Herald, Nebraska
Hawaii Further Restricts Concealed Carry
Oahu residents will no longer be allowed to carry concealed at “sensitive” places. Honolulu mayor signed Bill 57, which prohibits carry at 13 locations, including city buildings and public transit. Private businesses also have the authority to allow or not allow guns but must have signs posted.
Minnesota Broadens Concealed Carry Permit Laws
A federal judge struck down a Minnesota law prohibiting 18- to 20-year-olds from obtaining concealed carry permits. Based on the Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen, Judge Kathleen Menendez determined the state’s law was unconstitutional and blocked its enforcement.
Fox News, Minnesota
Medical Marijuana Not a Reason to Deny Permits
Though Arkansas voters defeated a November ballot initiative to more broadly legalize marijuana, the state’s Senate approved a bill clarifying that medical marijuana patients can obtain licenses to carry firearms. The legislation moved quickly through both the House and the Senate, but Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has yet to do anything with the proposal. “No other prescription medication, including opioids, disqualifies anyone from having a [concealed carry] license. Medical marijuana patients should not be an exception,” Sen. Clint Penzo (R) said on the floor.
Marijuana Moment, Arizona
Permits No Longer Required for Purchase
North Carolina’s legislature overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of new gun laws, changing how people can buy a gun, where a gun can be taken, and how guns can be stored. Taking effect immediately, a permit is no longer needed to buy a handgun. And while a background check is still necessary when purchasing through a gun dealer, it will not be if purchasing from a private seller. Where guns can be carried takes effect in the coming months. The biggest change is the allowance of gun at churches that share property with a school building. However, it must be outside of school hours and when the building is not being used for extracurriculars involving minors. The new law also addresses gun safety, requiring the Department of Public Safety to work with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Wildlife Resource Commission to launch a safe gun storage initiative.
WFMY, North Carolina
Washington Assault Weapons Ban
House Bill 1240 was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee, banning the sale and import of “assault weapons.” The law went into effect immediately, though those who currently own one of the more than 50 models the law covers may keep them. Gov. Inslee also signed Senate Bill 5078, which requires firearms manufacturers and retailers to enforce existing laws, track inventories and prevent straw purchases. The law has already had lawsuits filed against it.
New York Ban Stands
Earlier this month, a U.S. District judge ruled the gun-free zone covering several blocks in Manhattan does not violate the Second Amendment. Citing two founding-era bans on taking guns to fairs or markets and several late 19th-century laws, the judge determined there was a historical tradition in line with the standard set by Supreme Court’s Buren ruling. New York’s prohibition against carrying in the subway system was similarly defended.
The Reload, New York
New Mexico to Require Safe Storage
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 9 into law on March 14. Also known as “Bennie’s Bill” for Bennie Hargrove, a middle school student killed by another student who had taken his father’s firearm, makes it a crime to negligently store a firearm and allow a child to misuse it.
New Mexico Political Report, New Mexico
President Biden’s Executive Order
During a visit to Monterey Park, where 11 people were killed at a Lunar New Year gathering this year, President Biden signed an executive order designed to increase background checks. The executive order does not change government policy or create new laws. It is directing federal agencies to ensure compliance with existing laws. Biden said the order is aimed at strengthening background checks and promoting more secure firearm storage. The order directs Attorney General Merrick Garland to clarify the definition of who is “engaged in the business” of selling firearms. It also directs the Cabinet to complete a plan to better structure the government to support communities suffering from gun violence.
Montana Constitutional Carry
Since February 2021, permitless concealed carry has been allowed in the state of Montana by House Bill 102. And earlier this month, the house judiciary held a hearing on House Bill 551, which is meant to implement constitutional carry into the state constitution. Opponents claim the bill is unnecessary and worry it will put guns into the hands of the wrong people. Supporters, however, say it is a necessary step to prevent anti-gun politicians from repealing HB 102.
Michigan Expands Gun Control
Following last month’s shooting at Michigan State University, the Michigan Senate approved an 11-bill package with several gun safety measures. The package includes bills that would expand background check requirements for firearms purchases, allow for extreme risk protection orders and require guns to be secured if kept in homes with children. The Michigan House approved similar bills earlier in the month. The chambers now have to agree on which versions of legislation to send to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Detroit News, Michigan
Teaching Firearms Safety in School
Rep. Selina Bliss (R-Prescott) sponsored Arizona House Bill 2332, requiring students in public middle and high schools to learn about firearms. The bill would mandate schools offer a 30- to 60-minute one-time session for children. Opponents of the bill worry this training will take away from already limited school resources, but supporters argue this valuable training could prevent accidental deaths.
KTAR News, Arizona
Carry on Campus Allowed in West Virginia
On March 1, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill allowing concealed carry permit holders to carry firearms onto public college and university campuses. Presidents of West Virginia’s largest institutions opposed the bill as it moved through the legislature, arguing the decision to allow guns on campuses should be left to the schools. The law will take effect in July 2024.
ABC News, West Virginia
California Permits Cost Big Money
The police department of Los Angeles County suburb La Verne announced this month that it would open an application process for city residents. However, that process is lengthy and includes a department-approved psychological screening as well as a series of fees totaling more than $1,000. And renewals will cost nearly $650 every two years. California Rifle & Pistol Association has already sent a letter to the city asking it to reduce its fees or face CRPA in court.
The Reload, California
Illinois Counties Oppose Assault Weapons Ban
On Feb. 21, the McHenry County Board, in an 11-6 vote, passed a resolution opposing the assault weapons ban. The board members called for the law to be repealed and the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office to take legal action.
Two days later, the Knox County Board, in a 9-5 vote, approved a resolution that opposed the assault weapons ban in Illinois and designated the county a “sanctuary county.” The board members requested that the Illinois General Assembly stop any actions that would restrict the right of the people to keep and bear arms or actions that would require the surrender of previously authorized firearms and firearms paraphernalia. It also asked Gov. JB Pritzker (D) to veto any legislation that restricts gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.
Illinois Assault Weapons Ban in Court
There are several ongoing federal and state court cases challenging the Illinois assault weapons ban.
On Feb. 14, a federal judge ruled that a city ordinance banning the sale of assault weapons in Naperville can be enforced by law enforcement.
Ten days later, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois consolidated four court cases challenging the assault weapons ban. One of the cases was transferred from state court to federal court. Oral arguments have been scheduled for April 12.
On March 2, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly filed a 72-page brief in the Southern District of Illinois in response to the four federal lawsuits that were consolidated.
A day later, a Macon County judge declared the ban unconstitutional, setting up a direct appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. Attorney General Raoul immediately appealed the ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court. The Supreme Court agreed to fast-track the state’s appeal. Oral arguments have been scheduled for May.
On March 7, in response to the federal judge’s ruling in Naperville in February, attorneys filed a motion with the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals asking it to issue an injunction, forbidding any police or other government agency in Illinois from enforcing the ban.
Washington State Aims to Ban All Guns
Gun Owners of America has warned that House Bill 1240 in Washington State would ban the sale of 90 percent of firearms. The bill’s purpose is to create a definition of “assault weapon.” It lists 62 rifles by name as well as applying to any semi-automatic rifle with an overall length of less than 30 inches.
Firearms Banned in ‘Sensitive Places’ Around Palo Alto
The Palo Alto City Council passed an emergency and standard ordinance banning concealed firearms on all city-owned property, active polling places and schools — public or private. The emergency ordinance will take effect immediately, while the standard ordinance is open for amendments and public comment.
Colorado Restricts Firearms to 21 or Older
Democratic members of the Colorado Senate are introducing legislation to limit firearms purchases and possession to people 21 or older. The bill will include some exemptions, such as for hunters using single-shot rifles, military members, sport shooters and shooters under supervised possession. Currently, only six states and Washington D.C. restrict rifle ownership.
The Denver Post, Colorado
Fifth Circuit Allows Alleged Abusers Access to Firearms
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, has ruled that a federal law barring people under domestic violence restraining orders from possessing guns is unconstitutional. According to research from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, risk of homicide in a domestic violence situation increases by 500 percent if a gun is present. The 5th Circuit determined the law was unconstitutional because it lacked an adequate parallel to firearms regulations at the time of the Constitution’s framing, a historical test laid out by the Supreme Court’s opinion in NYSRPA v. Bruen.
Senate Republicans Take On Big Banks
Sen. Kevin Cramer introduced the Fair Access to Banking Act, S.293, this month. If passed, it would work to end discriminatory lending practices of major banking institutions. The Fair Access to Banking Act would require banks to provide access to services, capital and cred based solely on objective risk assessment of individual customers rather than subjective decisions affecting whole categories of customers.
U.S. Senators Introduce ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban
Twenty-eight senators introduced legislation to ban “high-capacity” magazines. The bill, known as the Keep Americans Safe Act, aims to restrict the importation, sale, manufacturing, transfer or possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. If passed, it would also authorize a buyback program and grandfather in magazines purchased before the law takes effect.
Oregon’s Tighter Gun Laws Blocked
In the November election, Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 114, meant to “tighten” gun laws in the state. If courts allow the measure to pass, it would require a permit to purchase a firearm, ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and close what’s known as the Charleston Loophole, which allows a firearm sale or transfer to be completed if a background check isn’t complete after three days. The Oregon Supreme Court denied a petition to overturn a lower court’s ruling to block the new gun laws. Ballot Measure 114’s provisions remain blocked pending a hearing on its constitutionality.
Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregon
San Francisco Issues Concealed Carry Permit (It’s a Big Deal)
Seven months after the NYSRPA v. Bruen Supreme Court ruling, San Francisco issued its first concealed carry permit. Following the June ruling, the sheriff’s office received dozens of applications. San Francisco has a history of granting minimal permits due to strict requirements. In 1995, the city issued only 13 permits.
Washington Examiner, California
New Jersey Concealed Carry Restrictions Blocked
A federal judge ruled New Jersey cannot enforce its new concealed carry restrictions at parks, beaches, recreation facilities and casinos. The ruling by Judge Renee Marie Bumb is only temporary. Bumb said the new law “essentially renders the entire state of New Jersey a ‘sensitive place’ where firearms are prohibited.”
North Jersey, New Jersey
Florida Discusses Constitutional Carry
Florida House Speaker Paul Renner and other lawmakers announced House Bill 543 to allow permitless concealed carry. If passed, Florida would become the 26th state with constitutional carry. Gov. Ron DeSantis said if the bill passes, he would sign the legislation.
Legal Marijuana Users May Be Allowed Firearms
A federal judge in Oklahoma concluded the federal law prohibiting marijuana users from possessing firearms is unconstitutional. Judge Patrick Wyrick dismissed an indictment against a man charged in August with violating the ban on marijuana users. Wyrick cited last year’s NYSRPA vs. Bruen ruling, which significantly expanded gun rights.
Guns in School Zones Debated in Kentucky
Passed in 1990, the Gun Free School Zone Act is a federal law that prohibits possession of a firearm within a school zone and its 1,000-foot surrounding area. The Kentucky Concealed Carry Coalition Inc. sued the city of Pikeville after the Appalachian Wireless Arena posted notices that permitted concealed carriers could be subject to criminal penalties under federal law for carrying their firearms.
The notices were posted due to the arena’s frequent hosting of various high school athletic events. The appeals court determined the city’s posting of notices “went far beyond a simple notification of the statutory language,” acting as a “blanket prohibition.” The city, however, appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court. The court has not set a timetable for its decision.
Courthouse News, Kentucky
California Passes More Gun Control
Following the mass shooting in Monterey Park, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a series of gun-control measures. Of the approximately half a dozen measures passed in the package, two are expected to soon take effect: a prohibition on the sale of .50 caliber handguns and a measure prohibiting the carry of firearms on county property, including beaches, parks and buildings.
Illinois Weapons Ban Still Blocked
The gun-control bill Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed on January 10 that bans the sale and distribution of ‘assault weapons’ and ‘high-capacity’ magazines remains on its temporary restraining order. The state lost an appeal on Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison’s ruling.
Illinois Sheriff Will Enforce Weapons Ban (If Upheld in Court)
After calling the Illinois “assault weapons” ban unconstitutional, DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick has said he will enforce it should the law be implemented. Mendrick pointed out deputies would not be “out proactively to take your lawfully owned guns.” Instead, penalties would be enhanced for using banned guns in the commission of crimes.
Fox News, Illinois
Alabama Punishes Concealed Carriers
Permitless carry was signed into law in Alabama in March of 2022 and went into effect January 1. Through several amendments, the law created an obligation for concealed carriers to inform law enforcement of the presence of a firearm. Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) has now pre-filed a bill to create criminal punishments for failing to declare. HB-12 would make failing to declare a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a potential punishment of one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000.
1819 News, Alabama
Illinois Bans ‘Assault Weapons’ and Accessories
Gov. JB Pritzker of Illinois signed the state’s assault weapons ban hours after it was approved by the House on January 10. Illinois is the ninth state to outlaw so-called “assault weapons.” The law takes effect immediately and bans the sale of high-capacity magazines — more than 10 rounds for long guns and more than 15 rounds for handguns — and rapid-fire devices.
Three lawsuits, at least, have been filed to stop the law from being enforced. Two have been filed in state court, and the latest has been filed in federal court by the Illinois State Rifle Association. In Effingham County, Tom DeVore filed the suit on behalf of hundreds of plaintiffs and is seeking an immediate temporary restraining order. The suit says the way the law was adopted is unconstitutional. An emergency hearing was held January 18. As well, several county sheriffs have publicly vowed not to enforce the new law.
On January 20, a judge granted a temporary restraining order, stating, “The defendants in this case did not follow the procedural requirements…”. The attorney general’s office has filed a notice of appeal.
Wells Fargo Cuts Ties With Gun Dealers
After 25 years with a personal account and 14 with a business account, Brandon Wexler, owner of Wex Gunworks in Florida, had his Wells Fargo bank accounts canceled. The bank sent letters stating, “Banking guidelines excludes lending to certain types of businesses,” but no further explanation. Wells Fargo denied the decision being based on Wexler’s industry. However, the nation’s largest banks have been actively cutting ties with gun makers and dealers for years.
The Reload, Florida
Supreme Court Refuses to Block New York Gun Law
The Supreme Court has denied two emergency petitions in New York. Without explanation, the Court decided not to act on blocking the implementation of New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act upon request of gun dealers from the state. Upon refusing to act in Antonyuk v. Nigrelli, which challenged carry restrictions, Justices Alito and Thomas cited their faith in lower court to handle the matter first but did say the latest laws present “novel and serious questions.”
National Review, New York
Alec Baldwin Charged with Manslaughter
Both Alec Baldwin and the weapons specialist on set of Rust will be charged with involuntary manslaughter. Assistant director David Halls, who handed Baldwin the gun, signed an agreement to plead guilty to negligent use of a deadly weapon.
AP News, New Mexico
Appeals Court Strikes Down Bump Stock Ban
On January 6, a federal appeals court in New Orleans struck down a Trump administration ban on bump stocks. The case did not invoke the Second Amendment, but instead the interpretation of federal statutes. Opponents of the ban argued bump stocks do not fall under the definition of illegal machine guns in federal law. This decision does not have an immediate effect as it will move back to the lower courts to decide on how to proceed. The issue is likely to be decided by the Supreme Court after several challenges in lower courts.
Gun Policies of Less Interest in 2023
A pull by the Associate Press shows the desire for government action on guns has dropped 11 points since June 2022. Only 19 percent of Americans said they want the government to work on gun issues in the coming year. Concerns over crime and violence are also decreasing in America, correlating with the drop in gun policy interest. Economic issues were top priorities in both June and the most recent poll.
Judge Blocks Portion of New Jersey’s Restrictive Gun Law
In early January, a federal judge temporarily blocked part of a New Jersey law prohibiting the carry of guns in certain parts of the state. The temporary restraining order was specifically for a section of the law that bans guns from being carried in public libraries or museums, bars or restaurants that serve alcohol, and entertainment facilities. Another section that prohibits guns from being carried in vehicles unless they are unloaded and stored in a closed area was also blocked. The portions of the law that overhauled the process for obtaining a concealed carry permit and mandated liability insurance are unaffected.
Politico, New Jersey
Tennessee Allows 18- to 20-Year-Olds to Carry Without a Permit
In April 2021, the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) sued the state of Tennessee for prohibiting 18- to 20-year-olds from carrying a concealed firearm in public or from obtaining a permit, stating that these restrictions were unconstitutional. On Jan. 23, 2023, attorneys for the state of Tennessee entered into an agreed order in federal court with the FPC. The order stipulates that the state’s restrictions were unconstitutional and that they will no longer be enforced. The order immediately went into effect.
Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tennessee
ATF Will Allow Imported Braced Guns To Be Registered
The ATF clarified that it plans to officially publish its new rule on guns equipped with pistol braces on Tuesday, January 31. The agency also said that owners of imported guns equipped with pistol braces can register or dismantle them instead of destroying or turning them in. ATF Director Steve Dettelbach emphasized that registering a braced gun with the ATF under the National Firearms Act (NFA) would not require the usual $200 tax stamp during the 120-day amnesty period.