Newsbits

Monday’s Newsbits:

Politics:

Legislation:

Elections:

In the courts:

Opinion 17-166

As a follow-up to my previous post, the Watertown Daily Times reports, “St. Lawrence County lawmakers cite ethics issues with judges as pistol permit officer in resolution“:

St. Lawrence County lawmakers want the state to grant authority for counties to remove judges as pistol licensing officers. In a resolution passed during the county’s Finance Committee meeting Monday, legislators unanimously passed a resolution urging the county’s state representatives to pass legislation regarding pistol licensure to create uniformity statewide … The resolution states that the legislators have long been concerned with the manner in which the pistol licensing occurs in St. Lawrence County, specifically with respect to the addition of restrictions, and asks state lawmakers, among other things, to grant counties the ability to designate a pistol licensing officer other than a judge … Monday’s resolution came after the Dec. 7 opinion issued by the state Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics that states “a judge who serves as a firearm licensing officer must not initiate licensing revocation/suspension proceedings … nor conduct one without a prosecuting agency.” …”

There is state legislation designating county sheriff’s as the licensing agent A-6912/S-908, but SLC legislators are not specifically endorsing it.

Here are copies of the resolution and advisory committee opinion in PDF format:

Newsbits

Wednesday’s Newsbits:

Politics:

Legislation:

Elections:

Jurisprudence:

At the local level:

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Tuesday’s Newsbits:

Politics:

Legislation:

Elections:

Newsbits

Friday’s Newsbits:

Circus circus:

In the courts:

In the legislature:

Newsbits

Wednesday’s Newsbits:

Public information

Antis are desperate for attention:

“The gun control group led by former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) is suing the Trump administration for failing to turn over documents that could show the National Rifle Association’s influence over President Donald Trump’s gun policies … The gun safety group is accusing ATF of refusing to respond to multiple Freedom of Information Act requests for documents relating to communications between administration officials and the NRA …”

Everyone knows NRA lobbies on gun issues.  It isn’t hard to find out exactly which ones either as the information is public:

 

Good/bad on DC gun law appeal

The District of Columbia will not appeal a ruling striking down “may issue” pistol licensing:

“District of Columbia officials said Thursday they won’t appeal a court ruling striking down a portion of the city’s gun laws … A divided three-judge federal appeals court panel ruled in July that a portion of the city’s gun regulations infringed on residents’ Second Amendment rights. That portion required people to show “good reason to fear injury” or another “proper reason” to carry a handgun …”

This is good news/bad news for gun owners, especially New Yorkers.

The good news is D.C. must think they would lose a SCOTUS appeal.  If that were to happen it would open the door to new legal challenges in places like New York which have similar licensing schemes in place.

The bad news is by not appealing the case, decisions in the circuit court upholding discretionary licensing remain binding in those states including New York.

Long term, this action will likely be beneficial because eventually SCOTUS will have to take up the issue.  How long will we have to wait before that happens is the question.

Trump gets another court pick

President Trump gets the opportunity to to nominate another pro-gun justice, this one in the 7th Circuit:

Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced his retirement Friday afternoon … Posner is one of the most consequential legal figures of recent times, exerting significant influence on the practice and study of law from his perches on the Seventh Circuit and the University of Chicago Law School faculty … The Journal of Legal Studies says he was the most cited legal scholar of the 20th century. Posner subscribes to a method of judging called “pragmatism,” which seeks to balance the equities of each case and conform judicial rulings to the social, political, and economic arrangements of the times …”

Posner was critical of Scalia:

“… Posner was also in the headlines in 2012 when then-Justice Antonin Scalia accused him of lying about the justice’s new book in a review published in The New Republic. In the review, Posner had accused Scalia of deviating from his own strict, text-based approach to interpreting law when he struck down a District of Columbia handgun ban in 2008 by considering the legislative history behind the law. Scalia responded to the review by saying, “To say that I used legislative history is simply, to put it bluntly, a lie.” …”

However, his “pragmatism” did extend to gun rights:

“… Posner’s opinon in the new case Moore v. Madigan … “To confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense described in Heller and McDonald. It is not a property right — a right to kill a houseguest who, in a fit of aesthetic fury, tries to slash your copy of Norman Rockwell’s painting, Santa with Elves.” …”

Religious exemptions

The Post reports:

“… A bill introduced by state Sen. Catharine Young, an upstate Republican, would exempt the Amish, Mennonites and other religious sects from a state regulation requiring that photos be included in applications for weapons permits …”

The bill in question is S-6859. There was an earlier incarnation S-3855 by Sen. Kathy Marchione which had the enacting clause stricken.

The issue first came about during the SAFE Act lawsuit.  Affected Amish declined to get involved in the lawsuit for religious reasons.

Neither of these bills have an Assembly companion and are unlikely to go anywhere.

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