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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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Iowa: House Passes Bill to Improve Hunting Opportunities

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Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

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NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

NRA applauds the Vermont Superior Court for allowing a lawsuit challenging the State's ban on standard capacity magazines to proceed. 

Activist Court Turns the Law Designed to Protect the Firearm Industry from Frivolous Lawsuits on its Head

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Activist Court Turns the Law Designed to Protect the Firearm Industry from Frivolous Lawsuits on its Head

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Illinois Court Throws Out Deerfield Gun Ban

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Illinois Court Throws Out Deerfield Gun Ban

NRA applauds Illinois court ruling throwing out Village of Deerfield's ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines.

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

The Last Frontier is also one of the last places one expects to find rights-trampling government officials. The state’s strong libertarian streak is one of the reasons a recent report regarding the authoritarian behavior of an official ...

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services

On March 14, pro-gun Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced S. 821 the Freedom Financing Act, a bill to prohibit discrimination against the firearms industry in the provision of financial services.

Legacy Media Push New Zealand Gun Confiscation Using Lies about Australian Ban

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Legacy Media Push New Zealand Gun Confiscation Using Lies about Australian Ban

The ongoing cheerleading effort by the international press in furtherance of the New Zealand government’s gun confiscation plans is enough to make any journalist with even a shred of objectivity blush. Worse, some outlets have ...

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

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The Utah Legislature has adjourned from its 2019 Legislative session.

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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.