April 2014

Down Range: April 2014

Lots Happening in the Gun World

Another big-name firearms manufacturer — Colt — is moving at least some of its operations out of an anti-gun-rights northeastern state to a gun-friendly Southern state. In 2011, Florida Gov. Rick Scott offered Hartford, Ct.-based Colt Manufacturing more than $1 million in incentives to open a new plant at a county-owned building in Kissimmee. Colt has not commented about its plans, but the company has confirmed with local officials that it wants to build military weapons at the Osceola County facility. The move has been delayed because of a merger between two companies operating under the Colt name. With the merger resolved, Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC plans to move into its Florida building this year.

Todd Woodard

Ninth Circuit Strikes California’s ‘Good Cause’ Carry Restriction. A ruling out of the California-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the Second Amendment endows the right to carry a gun outside the home. The Ninth Circuit’s three-judge panel in Peruta, et.al v. County of San Diego affirms the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for lawful protection in public. San Diego County had denied lead plaintiff Edward Peruta and others a license to carry concealed, which, according to state law, requires residents to show “good cause” for carrying — personal safety alone did not qualify as good cause in California. The 2-1 opinion written by Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, ruled that Peruta was entitled to summary judgment, because the “good cause” provision violates the Second Amendment.

Immediately following the ruling, Orange County (Calif.) Sheriff Sandra Hutchens decided to loosen requirements for obtaining CCW permits in her county. Days after that, San Diego County (Calif.) Sheriff Bill Gore notified his County Board of Supervisors of his intention not to seek en banc review in Peruta. At that point, it seemed momentum would carry California into a massive opening of the state’s arbitrary CCW laws. But then anti-gun California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris announced she will challenge the ruling. Harris has some obstacles to overcome in seeking review by the entire Ninth Circuit, but the upcoming litigation is sure to delay better CCW rules for months, if not years.

On the other coast, many AR-15 owners in Connecticut didn’t register their rifles with the state when a new law went into effect Dec. 31, 2013. That law banned the sale of AR-15s in Connecticut. It also required owners of existing AR-style firearms to disclose they owned the semi-auto rifles and magazines above a certain size.

How many registration scofflaws are there? The Hartford Courant newspaper reported “the most conservative estimates place the number of unregistered assault weapons [sic] well above 50,000, and perhaps as high as 350,000.”

The state police have said they would go get guns and magazines if ordered to do so. How does that turn out well? GT