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Ruling Confirms Problems With "Assault Weapons" Law

Friday, May 4, 2001

After Ten Months, Police Officer is Cleared of Possessing an "Assault Weapon."
Riverside, California. On Monday, April 30, 2001, a Riverside Superior Court Judge dismissed all criminal charges against Steven O`Connor, a Desert Hot Springs Police Officer who had been charged with illegally possessing an unregistered "assault weapon." The "Maadi" rifle was in fact not an unregistered "assault weapon" under California law, but it took ten months and intervention by the California Attorney General`s Office for the District Attorney to realize it. "This case illustrates how complicated California`s `assault weapons` laws are. Even the police and prosecutors don`t understand them," said Chuck Michel, O`Connor`s attorney. "The sole reason this case took ten months and thousands of dollars in attorney`s fees to resolve is that even the police and the District Attorney`s office - the enforcers of the law - could not distinguish a legal firearm from an illegal `assault weapon`." O`Connor, who was featured in a nationally broadcast NRA infomercial about problems with California`s firearms laws, was charged with possession of an unregistered "assault weapon" in June 10, 2000. He was relieved of duty and is still fighting to get his job back. The charge was brought under the 1989 "assault weapon" law, which lists "assault weapons" by make and model, even though O`Connor`s gun was not on the list. Although California`s gun control laws are ostensibly not meant to expose law-abiding citizens to the scrutiny, emotional trauma, and expense that Officer O`Connor has endured over the past ten months, their ill-defined terms invite misapplication and continue to lead to these types of wrongful prosecutions. Dozens of other Californians have also been unjustly accused. Officer O`Connor was not the first, and unfortunately will not be the last. "This is an ideal time to reflect on how `sensible` it is to pass laws that are so ambiguous and complicated that even those charged with the responsibility of enforcing the laws cannot properly interpret how to apply them." Officer O`Connor says. "If this could happen to me, a police officer, it could happen to anyone."
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Monday, November 11, 2019

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Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Tremp In recent weeks, gun owners have been given two prime examples of just how important strong firearms preemption laws are to the vibrant exercise of Second Amendment rights. On October ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Heller: The Supreme Decision

Leaders of the National Rifle Association (NRA) praised the Supreme Court’s historic ruling overturning Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns and on self-defense in the home, in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller.

Wisconsin: Gov. Evers Calls for Firearm Confiscation & Criminalizing Private Transfers

Friday, September 20, 2019

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On September 19th, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, Representative Melissa Sargent (D-48), and Senator Lena Taylor (D-4) held a press conference calling on the Legislature to violate the Second Amendment by: 1) ...

National Hearing Conservation Association Supports Suppressors

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Monday, November 4, 2019

National Hearing Conservation Association Supports Suppressors

Photo Courtesy of Silencer Shop On October 28th, the National Hearing Conservation Association sent its new position paper on firearms suppressors to the American Suppressor Association. The paper, in short, recognizes the important role that ...

NRA Endorses Hyde-Smith for U.S. Senate

News  

Monday, August 13, 2018

NRA Endorses Hyde-Smith for U.S. Senate

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) announced on Monday its endorsement of Cindy Hyde-Smith to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. 

New Hampshire: Firearm Seizure Bill Headed to House Floor

Thursday, October 31, 2019

New Hampshire: Firearm Seizure Bill Headed to House Floor

On October 30th, the New Hampshire state Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee sent House Bill 687 to the House floor for further consideration after a motion to kill the bill failed by a vote ...

NRA Statement on Walmart's Decision to Change Firearms Policy

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

NRA Statement on Walmart's Decision to Change Firearms Policy

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.