Newsletter: The End of Stun-Gun Bans and the Future of the Second Amendment

The end of stun-gun bans was cemented as Heller‘s greatest practical legacy to date this week with the demise of the last statewide prohibition in the country. This little-noticed legal fight is the only systemic dismantling of a policy that spanned many states based on Second Amendment protections articulated by the Supreme Court. How that fight played out presents a number of lessons for anyone interested in how the Court and gun-rights advocates might push forward with other Second Amendment cases.

That wasn’t the only news, of course. Ohio became the 23rd state to adopt permitless gun-carry, and more could soon be on the way. The Canadian government provided a temporary reprieve for AR-15 owners by pushing back the deadline to turn them in. A new lawsuit from an unlikely source was also filed against San Jose’s gun-ownership tax and insurance ordinance.

Plus, I examine an odd New York Times attack on the acting ATF director, and Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman joins me on the podcast to answer a host of questions for Reload members!

A shooter wears a taser at a competition
A shooter wears a taser at a competition / Stephen Gutowski

Federal Judge Strikes Down America’s Last Stun-Gun Ban
By Jake Fogleman

The country’s final statewide ban on stun guns and tasers is no more.

U.S. District Court Judge William Smith struck down the state of Rhode Island’s prohibition against stun guns on Tuesday. In his ruling, Judge Smith found that the state provided “no evidence” that the ban improves public safety and thus it cannot overcome the burden it places on the constitutional rights of Rhode Island residents.

“The prohibition against the possession and use of stun guns set forth in [the stun-gun law] is an unconstitutional restriction of the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment in light of Heller,” the opinion reads. “Defendants are permanently enjoined from enforcing [state law] as related to stun guns.”

Click here to continue reading.

The Authority of Law statue and the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
The Authority of Law statue and the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: Disappearing Stun-Gun Bans Show the Effect of Post-Heller Supreme Court Diligence [Member Exclusive]
By Stephen Gutowski

This week saw the last statewide ban on stun guns and tasers struck from the books, which cemented the end of prohibitions on the less-than-lethal weapons as the top practical legacy of the Supreme Court’s Heller decision. It’s also an example of how the Court can defend its Second Amendment decisions.

Rhode Island was forced to give up its ban on Tuesday.

The ruling came after Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey, Michigan, and Wisconsin had their total bans invalidated or repealed. Bans in cities such as Philadelphia, New Orleans, Tacoma, Baltimore, and Annapolis have faced the same fate.

This is, somewhat surprisingly, the result of the work of a single lawyer with a $10,000 budget.

If you’re already a Reload member, click here to read full analysis. If not, make sure you pick up a membership today! Your purchase will help fund our pursuit of sober, serious firearms reporting and analysis. It’ll also get you exclusive access to dozens of pieces like this one.

A holstered handgun
A holstered handgun / Stephen Gutowski

Ohio Adopts Permitless Gun-Carry
By Stephen Gutowski

The movement to remove permit requirements for the concealed carry of a gun has chalked up another win.

“The job of the governor is to make tough decisions,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine told reporters after a permitless gun-carry bill was sent to his desk. “And I have a decision to make.”

On Monday, he made his decision. Permitless carry is now officially state law. That makes Ohio the second state this year and the 23rd state overall to adopt the policy.

Click here to read more.

AR-15s on display at a booth during the 2022 NRA Great American Outdoor Show
AR-15s on display at a booth during the 2022 NRA Great American Outdoor Show / Stephen Gutowski

Canadian Government Pushes Back Deadline for AR-15 Confiscation Effort
By Jake Fogleman

AR-15 owners in Canada have at least eighteen more months to consider their options.

That’s because the Canadian government extended the amnesty period to relinquish or destroy newly banned weapons on Wednesday. Though the original deadline was next month, affected gun owners will now enjoy amnesty until October 30th of next year.

“This will allow time to ensure that officials can finalize and fully implement a robust mandatory buyback program and allow firearms owners and businesses to take all reasonable steps to come into compliance with the law,” Public Safety Canada, the government division in charge of administering the ban and buyback program, said in a press release.

Click here to read the full piece.

Podcast: Reload Members Q&A
By Stephen Gutowski

We’re doing something different this week.

Instead of interviewing an expert on a single topic, we’re letting Reload members interview us on a bunch of different topics. It’s our first Q&A episode!

Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I answer questions on a wide range of stories. What is going on with gun laws and armed civilians in Ukraine? How could it affect American gun politics?

How much control does Wayne LaPierre have over the NRA board?

What’s happening with President Biden’s pistol brace ban proposal? How does grandfathering play into his plan?

What would it take to get a national reciprocity bill? When could gun owners see carry bans or AR-15 bans come to an end? What effect could the Supreme Court’s gun-carry case have on that timeline? How might that same Supreme Court ruling affect demand for guns in deep blue states?

Plus, what’s the best way to improve media coverage of gun issues throughout the country?

You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here.

You can also watch the video podcast on our YouTube channel.

Looking up from 8th Avenue Manhattan
The New York Times headquarters / Photo by David Smooke on Unsplash

Analysis: The Odd New York Times Attack on the Acting ATF Director [Member Exclusive]
By Stephen Gutowski

The current director of the ATF is too favorable towards the gun industry.

At least, that’s what The New York Times seems to think. In a recent story by reporter Glenn Thrush, acting director Marvin Richardson is painted as at odds with President Joe Biden’s agenda. Thrush described him as “an industry-friendly subordinate pumping the brakes” on the President’s aggressive gun-control message.

So, what makes Richardson so friendly towards the industry he regulates? Well, he went to the industry’s trade show. And he announced new rules restricting guns with pistol braces and expanding the ATF’s power to determine what constitutes a firearm would be finalized by this summer.

These are odd complaints.

If you’re already a Reload member, click here to read full analysis. If not, make sure you pick up a membership today! Your purchase will help fund our pursuit of sober, serious firearms reporting and analysis. It’ll also get you exclusive access to dozens of pieces like this one.

A rack of handguns
A rack of handguns / Stephen Gutowski

Tax Groups Challenge San Jose Gun-Control Ordinance
By Jake Fogleman

Gun owners aren’t the only constituency unhappy with San Jose’s new gun control ordinances.

A group of taxpayer advocacy groups launched a legal challenge against San Jose’s annual firearms tax and insurance mandate on Wednesday. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the Silicon Valley Public Accountability Foundation, the Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association, and two individual residents are targeting the annual fee requirement for gun owners. They argue the tax is unconstitutional.

Click here for the full story.

Outside The Reload

Gun ammo salesman confirmed to Tennessee education board | AP News | By Jonathan Mattise

License-to-Carry Applications Have Skyrocketed In Philly | Philadelphia Magazine | By Victor Fiorillo

Columbia, SC poised to roll back gun-control measures to avoid threat of state funding fight | The Post and Courier | By Stephen Fastenau

Brownells announces “Mag Dump for Washington” | Bearing Arms | By Cam Edwards

The Biden Administration’s Inconsistency on Gun Liability | The Trace | By Chip Brownlee

That’s it for this week in guns.

If you want to hear my analysis of these stories and more, make sure you grab a Reload membership to get the exclusive analysis newsletter every Sunday!

I’ll see you all next week.

Stephen Gutowski
The Reload

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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