The State Battle for Gun Rights
If you've been paying attention to firearms news, you are aware that Washington State is on the cusp of prohibiting the sale of any magazines with a capacity of more than ten rounds. The Washington State Senate passed SB 5078 last week, and the bill will be heard in various House subcommittees this week.
Based on Governor Jay Inslee's previous support of gun control legislation and the fact that this mag ban is proposed by his Attorney General Bob Ferguson, there is a very real chance that the bill will go into effect this year, removing even more firearm freedoms from Washington's citizens.
And Washington State is not alone. There are several significant challenges to firearm rights happening in states all across America. For example, Rhode Island also wants a 10 round magazine limit, as well as background checks on all ammunition sales, a broad ban on future sales or transfers of "assault weapons," and the creation of a registry for all existing "assault weapons." Several Democratic governors, like Ned Lamont of Connecticut, are demanding strong action against gun violence but only taking action against legal gun owners.
Clearly, the hottest action on the Second Amendment front is happening at the state level rather than the federal level. But it is not one-sided. There are also significant legislative movements for gun freedom in many states, building on the momentum from past victories.
At the time of this writing, there are pending bills that would recognize constitutional carry as a right in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Nebraska, Indiana, and Ohio. If they are passed, those states will join 21 other states that, over the last 18 years, have already recognized the constitutional carry rights of their citizens.
And that's not all. States that have recently reduced firearm restrictions are preparing to remove even more restrictions this year. There are Arizona bills to lower the concealed carry age to 18 and expand the locations where firearms can be carried and stored. Missouri has bills that will allow citizens to carry firearms on public transit and strengthen the legal presumption of self-defense.
Additionally, in T.REX's own home state of Tennessee, there are a number of bills that we are excited about: A bill that will allow the carry of long guns (currently carry is limited to handguns); a bill that will lower the age of firearm carry to 18; and several bills that will add further freedoms and clean up some of the confusing code that was left behind when Gov. Bill Lee's permitless carry bill was signed into law last year.
So two very distinct trends are clear: States with less freedom have elected representatives working to remove the few freedoms that do exist, and states with more freedoms have elected representatives working to extend the freedoms that their citizens currently enjoy. The distinctions between the left and the right can be hard to see at the federal level, but the division is increasingly evident at the individual state level.
As we move into the midterm election season this year, the divide will continue to widen. In some states, politicians will campaign with promises to increase freedom, and in others, politicians will campaign on demands for increased centralized state control.
This trend is probably not sustainable. As neighboring states pass diametrically opposing laws, it will become impossible for anyone to ignore the effects these laws will have on the lives of their respective citizens.
But for now, the trend continues. The divide widens. 2022 will be a year of significant movement both towards and away from freedom in different jurisdictions. Make the most of your ability to speak to this process. Encourage the people who want to extend your rights, and voice your concerns to those who want to instead extend the State's monopoly on violence.
Buckle your seat belts, folks. It's gonna be a fascinating ride!
Tennessee 2022 Bills
The Tennessee Firearms Association posted its initial review of the 45 gun-related bills filed in the Tennessee Legislature for 2022.
Open Source Defense
Open Source Defense wrote an article on No-Knock Raids, gun culture, and centralization. It's partly a response to the killing of Amir Locke, but it goes much deeper.
The Freedom Convoy continues the Great Honkening in Ottowa. PM Trudeau has threatened criminal action against everyone from the actual truckers, to their families, to their friends, all the way down to the individual donors of the ill-fated GoFundMe campaign. The most recent T.REX Talk podcast has some backstory.
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