By Gazette Staff Writer — Monday, May 21st, 2012
Link to original video http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9479342&server=vimeo.com&show_tit...
By Gazette Staff Writer — Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Written By Tim Devaney
The economic impact of the firearms industry is up 66 percent since the beginning of the Great Recession, providing an unexpected shot in the arm for the economy, according to a new study.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation claims that the economic impact of firearm sales — a figure that includes jobs. taxes and sales — hit $31 billion in 2011, up from $19 billion in 2008.
Jobs in the firearms business jumped 30 percent from 2008 to 2011, when the industry employed 98,750.
The industry paid... http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/19/gun-sales-skyrocket-duri...
By Gazette Staff Writer — Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
Council chairman is on-target with new gun rights for District residents
Written By Emily Miller
When one of the District of Columbia’s top political leaders is willing to spend a day at the shooting range with a new gun owner, it’s a sign the capital city may be ready to put aside the past. For 30 years, Washington banned handguns, only to face a Supreme Court rebuke in 2008. Now the city is about to make it easier for law-abiding residents to legally own a firearm.
On Tuesday, the D.C. Council is expected to pass the Firearms Amendment Act of 2012 under expedited procedures so it can take effect this summer. The ordinance will do away with many of the expensive and time-consuming hurdles to registering a gun in the District that were put in place after the court’s decision.
D.C. Council Chairman... http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/16/dcs-newest-shooter/
By Gazette Staff Writer — Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
Anti-gun advocates mislead on Trayvon case to erode right to self-defense
Written By David Kopel
Whatever happened on the night that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, we know one thing for sure: The gun prohibition lobbies and their compliant media friends have been deceiving the public about Florida’s laws. Among the many deceits is the claim that Florida’s “stand your ground” law affects the legality of whatever Mr. Zimmerman did.
The assertion that Florida law allows shooting whenever someone believes it to be necessary is a flat-out lie. The actual law of Florida is that “a person is justified in the use of deadly force” if “(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony” (Florida Statutes, Section 776.012).
The second part... http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/2/debunking-the-stand-your-...
By Gazette Staff Writer — Monday, March 5th, 2012
BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s requirement that residents show a “good and substantial reason” to get a handgun permit is unconstitutional, according to a federal judge’s opinion filed Monday.
States can channel the way their residents exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms, but because Maryland’s goal was to minimize the number of firearms carried outside homes by limiting the privilege to those who could demonstrate “good reason,” it had turned into a rationing system, infringing upon residents’ rights, U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg wrote.
“A citizen may not be required to offer a `good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” he wrote. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”
Plaintiff Raymond Woollard... http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2012/03/05/md-gun-law-found-unconstitution...
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
Back by popular demand, the Los Padres Sierra Club is offering its fourth annual Wilderness Basics Course starting February 29 through April 25, covering the Santa Barbara and Ventura county areas.
The course offers expert guidance to both casual and experienced hikers who want to learn tips or brush up on outdoor skills. Various levels of physical condition are taken into account for all hikes so that no one is left behind.
Over the course of eight classes and four weekend outings, the WBC leaders teach how to select and use outdoor equipment, along with other skills such as navigation, basic wilderness first aid, safety, weather monitoring and trip planning. The text, "Walking Softly in the Wilderness,” is used and is part of the cost.
The training begins with a conditioning hike and car camp and culminates in two backpacking trips. Cost is only $155 single or $279 couples for Sierra Club members; non-members $170 single or $306 couples.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
Written By Jean Cowden Moore
People would no longer have to buy an Adventure Pass to spend a day in areas run by the Forest Service, as long as they don't use amenities such as restrooms or picnic tables, under a recent court decision.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this month that the Forest Service can't charge fees for simply parking, hiking, picnicking along roads or trails, or camping in undeveloped sites.
In its decision, the court cited the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which bans such fees. The decision applies to national forest land in all Western states.
It was good news for Alasdair Coyne, conservation director of Keep Sespe Wild and one of many outdoor enthusiasts who have been fighting the Adventure Pass fee for years.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Thursday, February 16th, 2012
Written By Jeff Davis
OTTAWA — The Conservative government says its MPs will celebrate after a historic vote to end the long-gun registry Wednesday evening, despite vehement opposition to the move in Quebec and much of urban Canada.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told reporters Wednesday, hours before the vote, that the government’s actions are long overdue.
“It does nothing to... http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02/15/conservatives-and-enthusiasts-ch...
By Gazette Staff Writer — Monday, February 6th, 2012
VENTURA, CA - The Ventura County Bikeways App does everything short of pedal your bike!
The Ventura County Transportation Commission is excited to announce the launch of a new smartphone application that offers cyclists a sleek, convenient way to navigate the county’s 350-plus miles of bike lanes.
Available as a free iPhone and Android download, the Bikeways App displays a scalable map of Ventura County’s designated pedaling paths. The GPS-based program pinpoints the lane nearest your location and guides you to your destination in real-time. It can also provide summary details of your trip, such as length and speed.
Other handy features include safety tips, bike laws, and color-coded path descriptions. For example, a blue path indicates a Class I route, meaning it is segregated from automobile traffic. Yellow (Class II) is an on-street painted bike lane, while red (Class III) is an on-street bike route identified by signage.
Maps.com developed the Bikeway App in conjunction with the county’s newly upgraded Bikeways Map. The topographical map has a fresh design with information on local bike trails, rules of the road, and contact information for transportation services.
“Cycling is a cheap, environmentally friendly way to travel and with the new Bikeways App, finding a new route to work or a scenic bike path just became easier,” said VCTC Executive Director Darren Kettle.
Download the free smartphone application by either scanning the QR code on VCTC’s new Bikeways Map or visiting goventura.org and clicking the link to the iPhone App Store or Android Market. To request your copy of the new map, call (800) 438-1112.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Monday, January 23rd, 2012
Monday, January 23rd marks the seventh week since Governor Brown and Attorney General Harris received a copy of a Federal lawsuit seeking an injunction against California's ban on openly carrying a loaded firearm in public places.
They have until the following Monday to file their answer with the Federal Courts or risk the injunction being issued by default.
This Isn't California's First Handgun Ban. In 1923, the... http://secure.campaigner.com/Campaigner/Public/t.show?Q5HD--BldG-12DFUu9
By Gazette Staff Writer — Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Women need national concealed-carry reciprocity
Some states would like to remove the words “bear arms” from the right to “keep and bear arms,” but the plain fact is that self-defense - and the right to have access to an effective means of self-defense - is protected by the Constitution, and that protection does not end at your front door. The good news is that the House recently passed a bill, H.R. 822, that would require the 49 states that issue concealed-carry permits to honor all state permits. If this bill becomes law, it would be an important step in the right direction and would help women protect themselves against violence while traveling.
What exactly does a concealed-carry permit allow? It merely gives permission to the permit holder to carry a firearm concealed on his person. That’s it. It means that a mom can carry a handgun in her purse when she goes shopping, a family can travel with a firearm in the glove compartment of the car (instead of the trunk, which hinders access in an emergency), and a hiker can wear a handgun under her jacket during a hiking trip.
Though the precise application procedure is different in each state, those states issuing permits generally require at a minimum a background check, review by a judge or law enforcement official and payment of a fee. Many states also require a firearms training course.
Unfortunately, states do not... http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/3/pistol-packin-mamas/
By Gazette Staff Writer — Friday, November 4th, 2011
Millions will defend the Second Amendment on Election Day
The fight for 2012 is a fight for our country, our values and our freedom, and if the National Rifle Association (NRA) has anything to say about it, Barack Obama won’t get a second term. Mark these words - the NRA and America’s gun owners will have plenty to say about it. President Obama doesn’t want to hear that. He doesn’t want gun owners active in the next election. He doesn’t want to tangle with the NRA’s 4 million members, or with the 30 million people who identify themselves with the NRA, or with America’s 90 million gun owners.
Mr. Obama saw what happened in the 1990s. After the Clinton gun ban was shoved down the throats of Americans, gun owners turned out at the polls in record numbers and Democrats lost control of the House.
Mr. Obama watched... http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/3/gun-owners-to-count-at-th...
By Gazette Staff Writer — Friday, November 4th, 2011
On October 9th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law which makes it a criminal offense to openly carry an unloaded handgun. A similar law which passed in 1967 made it a criminal offense to openly carry a loaded firearm although it was not illegal to carry ammunition and load the firearm when one was in “grave, immediate danger.”
By signing Assembly Bill AB 144, Governor Brown has created a mirror image of a law in Washington D.C., which was held to be unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 2008. Two years later the Supreme Court held that the decision applies to all states and local governments as well as all Federal areas.
Contrary to what is widely reported, the District of Columbia firearms ordinance did not technically ban one from having a loaded handgun in his home, the city required a permit to do so; but refused to issue the permits.
California does not even provide for the issuance of licenses to openly carry a loaded firearm in counties with a population of 200,000 or more persons. And even in these rural counties the issuance of the license is left solely to the discretion of the issuing authority; the police chief of the city of which one resides or his county sheriff. One must be a resident of the county in which he applies and the license is valid only in that county; if one is lucky enough to be issued a license in the first place.
For 94.4% of Californians who live in a county with 200,000 or more persons, California law simply does not provide for a license to openly carry a loaded firearm. In this sense, California's laws are more restrictive than the D.C., law which was struck down as unconstitutional.
The decision by the US Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of the individual to openly carry a loaded firearm for the purpose of self-defense so long as one is not a prohibited person; a convicted felon or mentally ill.
The court also stated that this right applies to the home and to public places except for certain locations the court deemed “sensitive” such as schools and government buildings.
Opponents of the Second Amendment claim that this decision applies only to one's home despite the fact that in the 64 page opinion by the court, the words “only” and “home” never appear in the same sentence. It is true that the man who brought the lawsuit, Richard Heller, only asked for a license to keep a handgun in his home. But there was no need for him to ask the court for a license to openly carry a loaded handgun in public; as a special police officer in the District of Columbia he was already licensed to do so.
Regardless, these opponents have made that argument both in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and in two of California's lower Federal District courts. Not only have these arguments been rejected by the courts, this past May the Appellate Court created a legal test to decide what level of judicial scrutiny would be applied to gun laws. If a gun law presented a “substantial burden” to the right of the individual to keep and bear arms then it was subject to heightened scrutiny. If not then it was subject to a lesser scrutiny meaning the law would likely be upheld.
By completely banning openly carried handguns, loaded or unloaded, anyone seeking to overturn California's 1967 ban on openly carrying a loaded firearm no longer has to make the legal argument that an unloaded handgun presents a “substantial burden.” Openly carrying a handgun, loaded or unloaded, is now a criminal offense. The US Supreme Court has already held that in cases such as this, judges need not determine what level of judicial scrutiny is required.
The only question for the Court to decide is whether or not the United States Supreme Court meant what it said in its landmark decision in 2008; either the right to openly carry a weapon for the purpose of self-defense applies outside of the home, except in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or it does not.
On December 15th, the 220th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights, a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit will be filed in the Federal Central District Court for California seeking an injunction against the California law which makes it a crime to openly carry a loaded firearm for the purpose of self-defense; Penal Code section 12031.
The plaintiff in the case is Charles Nichols, President of a California Gun Rights group – California Right to Carry. The lawsuit is being brought by Mr. Nichols as an individual and not by any organization.
Funds for the lawsuit are being raised by Open Carry advocates across the state:
California Right To Carry
Donations are not tax deductible.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Monday, October 24th, 2011
Written by C D Michel
On October 3, 2011, the Azusa City Council voted to pass on first reading a proposed ordinance which would amend various sections of Chapter 88 of the Azusa Municipal Code and place onerous new restrictions on firearm vendors.
If enacted, the proposed ordinance ("Code Amendment 233") would, among other things, amend the City of Azusa’s Development Code to require a special Use Permit for businesses selling retail firearms, and prohibit these businesses from operating in or next to residential zones, or within 500 feet of any school or church.
The proposal was scheduled to come before the Azusa City Council again for final enactment on October 17, 2011. On Thursday, October 13, 2011, after being made aware of the issue, attorneys from Michel & Associates, P.C. submitted a letter to the City of Azusa on behalf of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) opposing the proposed ordinance. A copy of the letter is available HERE.
The letter detailed the... http://www.calgunlaws.com/index.php/california-law/42-california-statute...
By Gazette Staff Writer — Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
On Sunday, California gun owners and sportsmen were dealt another blow when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law three anti-gun bills (AB 809, SB 819 and AB 144) and vetoed a fourth (SB 427) only because there is a pending lawsuit, according to his veto message on the bill. The Governor did sign one pro-gun bill (SB 610) into law.
Below is a description of each of the bills Governor Brown signed into law. AB 144 and SB 819 will take effect on January 1, 2012. AB 809 will take effect on January 1, 2014.
Assembly Bill 809 will require the registration of any newly purchased long guns. Not only does AB 809 violate Second Amendment rights by expanding California’s gun registry to include rifles and shotguns, it is also a huge waste of taxpayer money at a time when California is drowning in debt. Gun control advocates estimate the cost of this registration at $400,000, a number that is almost certainly far less than it will actually cost to implement and enforce this registry if enacted. The only value of registration is to help governments confiscate firearms in the future. To view Governor Brown’s signing message click here.
Senate Bill 819 allows the Department of Justice to use the Dealer Record of Sales (DROS) funds to help pay for enforcement of California firearm possession laws in the Armed & Prohibited Persons Systems program. The DROS fund monies were originally collected from every firearm purchaser to pay for the administrative process for background checks. This new law will divert hundreds of thousands of dollars of DROS fee monies that YOU have paid for background checks. As a result, the DROS fund will run out of money and when it does, they will want another increase in the fees YOU PAY for FIREARM background checks in California.
Assembly Bill 144 bans the open carrying of an unloaded handgun. In reality, the open carrying of firearms by law-abiding citizens is caused by California’s unfair concealed carry laws, which allow citizens from one county to apply for and receive a permit while neighbors in the next county are denied that basic right in an arbitrary manner.
Senate Bill 427 was vetoed by the Governor. Unfortunately, the only reason he vetoed this bill was because of the pending lawsuit against its predecessor, AB 962. Not once did the Governor mention how this bill will negatively affect California gun owners, sportsmen or retailers.
This bill would have granted authority to law enforcement to collect sales records from ammunition retailers, required ammunition vendors to notify local law enforcement of their intention to engage in the business of selling ammunition AND includes a list of calibers which would have to be registered to purchasers at the point-of-purchase. This list contains ammunition popular among hunters and collectors. This point-of-sale registration of all ammunition purchases in the state would be available for inspection by the California Department of Justice at any time. To view Governor Brown’s veto message click here.
As noted above, Governor Brown did sign one pro-gun bill (SB 610) into law.
Senate Bill 610 standardizes the application process for a permit to carry a concealed handgun and removes the requirement that a CCW applicant obtain liability insurance as a condition of obtaining a CCW permit.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week October 15th at the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in celebrating National Wildlife Refuge Week (October 9-15, 2011), with a hike on Saturday, October 15. The guided nature hike is a rare opportunity to see California condors and other wildlife on the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, a refuge normally closed to public use.
Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located along Cerro Noroeste Road, between the towns of Maricopa and Frazier Park. The hike will be from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Space is limited, so interested parties should e-mail email@example.com to reserve a spot and receive further information, including detailed directions.
The Refuge belongs to a nationwide network of federal lands–the National Wildlife Refuge System–dedicated to the protection of wildlife habitat and wildlife species. The nation’s 553 national wildlife refuges and 38 Wetland Management Districts not only protect the nation’s natural resources, but also offer a range of wildlife-dependent recreation.
National wildlife refuges play a critical role in preserving America’s rich wildlife legacy. Without the important conservation work taking place on national wildlife refuges, the country would lose many species of plants and animals that help clean the air, filter the water, pollinate crops and help people understand their place in the natural world.
National Wildlife Refuges across the country will be holding events for National Wildlife Refuge Week. If you are traveling during Refuge Week, you can find an event near your destination by going to the Refuge System events calendar online: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/SpecialEvents/FWS_SpecialEvents_Search.cfm
Each year, more than 44 million Americans discover the wonders of nature by visiting a wildlife refuge. There is at least one wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour’s drive of most major cities. For more information about national wildlife refuges, to go: www.fws.gov/refuges.
More information about the California Condor Recovery Program is available by contacting the Hopper Mountain NWR Complex, at (805) 644-5185 or visiting the Refuge Complex website at: www.fws.gov/hoppermountain.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/cno. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfwspacificsouthwest, follow our tweets at twitter.com/USFWSPacSWest, watch our YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw/
By Gazette Staff Writer — Monday, September 12th, 2011
Attorneys with Michel & Associates, P.C. have been defending the San Gabriel Valley Gun Club since 2006 in an environmental case brought against the Club by its former landlord, Vulcan Mining Company (one of the largest miners of stone, sand, and gravel in quarries throughout the United States.) Over the last five years,Vulcan had taken an extremely aggressive "no holds barred" approach to the litigation. Now, thanks to the efforts of the MAPC legal team, and particularly MAPC attorney Scott Franklin, Vulcan's lawsuit has been thrown out of court.
Vulcan terminated the Club's shooting range lease in 2005, in part to draw attention away from environmental risks created by Vulcan's own mining operation around the shooting range, and in part to placate Azuza politicians who were attempting to zone the range out of existence. After Vulcan terminated the lease, Vulcan relentlessly threatened the Club with litigation regarding the lead bullets left behind on the range. This, notwithstanding that Vulcan (and its predecessors) knowingly and repeatedly leased the property over the years as a shooting range-for the express purpose of operating a place to "deposit" lead bullets. But when the Club made a good faith effort in 2007 to start a lead removal project, Vulcan threw the contractor off the site and prevented the clean-up project from going forward. Vulcan then filed a federal lawsuit in 2008, even though Vulcan had not even gone to the applicable government regulator to determine what, if any, environmental cleanup was needed at the range (and has not to this day).
Vulcan's lawsuit was, in many ways, a typical CERCLA lawsuit. The case included multiple discovery disputes (at least three of which were resolved in the Club’s favor based on "meet and confer" letters drafted by MAPC), approximately 25 depositions, numerous motions, detailed summary judgment briefing, and fact-intensive oral arguments at the hearing on the parties' cross-motions for summary/partial judgment.
Because of MAPC’s work, the Club won a ruling dismissing Vulcan's entire lawsuit on ripeness grounds. This ruling is not only important to the Club and its past members, but it is also likely to help solidify the developing body of case law that prevents a landowner from obtaining speculative relief in CERCLA cases, particularly when those cases are brought against shooting ranges.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
Legally buying a handgun in Boston is already impossible for most citizens, but soon it may become much harder to purchase even a pocketknife in Beantown.
Yes, some Boston politicians believe that if you make it harder to buy something with a sharp edge, there will be fewer stabbings. Apparently, Boston has had 1300 such attacks over the past two years.
The Boston City Council will... http://www.theblaze.com/stories/boston-set-to-restrict-knife-sales/
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
A Philadelphia college student put his firearm carry permit to good use Monday, as he shot it out with a would-be robber, hitting him twice.
Robert Eells, 21-year-old Temple University student, was in front of his off-campus house smoking a cigarette at 1:30Am Monday when a group of teenagers approached him and asked for money. The main suspect- who is 15-years old- allegedly then attempted to rob Eells, who refused the demand for cash.
At that point, police say the suspect... http://www.theblaze.com/stories/philadelphia-student-carrying-legal-fire...
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
Today, the California Rifle and Pistol Foundation (“CRPA Foundation”) and the National Rifle Association filed amicus briefs in support of appellants in Richards v. Prieto, who have challenged California’s regulatory scheme governing the issuance of permits to carry concealed firearms (“CCW permits”) and Yolo County policies for its (non)-issuance of permits to residents seeking to exercise their right to carry a loaded firearm in public.
At issue in Richards is... http://www.calgunlaws.com/index.php/current-litigation/89-briefs/974-crp...