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Gun Law For Beginners: What Is “Stand Your Ground?”

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One of the biggest problems with the Second Amendment community is widespread confusion about what the law actually says. There are lots of myths out there and unfortunately, people take them as Gospel. That’s a huge problem, because if you ever have to use your weapon in a real-life gunfight, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to have to defend yourself a second time – in a court of law.

Once you get to court, you’re going to be under intense scrutiny. Nearly everything that you’ve ever posted online is going to be picked through with a fine-tooth comb. Your motivations will be called into question and if you’re an active member of the Second Amendment community, there’s a good chance that a DA will try to paint you as some kind of unhinged gun nut, eager to shoot someone down in cold blood. 

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This is especially true if you live in a community that is hostile to Second Amendment rights. You don’t have to live in a so-called “blue state” for this to be the case. If you live in a “blue” enclave within a red state – or even have a gun grabber for a District Attorney – you might find yourself not just on trial, but the centerpiece of a reelection campaign, being made an example of, despite your best intentions.

This is true no matter how closely you follow the law. The main difference is that, the more closely you follow the law and know your legal responsibilities as well as your Constitutional rights, the more likely you are to be found “not guilty” by a jury of your peers. 

One of the most misunderstood concepts in Second Amendment law is “stand your ground” laws. So let’s talk about what this legal principle actually means.

What Is A “Stand Your Ground” State?

“Stand your ground” is a legal concept designed to create a robust Second Amendment culture in certain states. Most states with “stand your ground” have it enshrined in statute by the legislature. Other states simply have “stand your ground” as the prevailing legal interpretation confirmed by the courts. 

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Currently there are 30 states with “stand your ground” via statute, with another eight that have the same legal principle as a matter of judicial interpretation. 

What Is A “Duty To Retreat” State?

The opposite of “stand your ground” sheds some light on what “stand your ground” means is its opposite: “duty to retreat.”

Eleven states have “duty to retreat” as the law of the land, however one (New York) does not require a retreat when faced with sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery or burglary. 

In every “duty to retreat” state, there is a “castle doctrine.” We covered this elsewhere, but the castle doctrine states that there is no duty to retreat when you are in your home. Four states extend this to the workplace, with an additional state extending it to the workplace if you are the owner or operator of the workplace.

What Does “Stand Your Ground” Mean?

Now that we’ve discussed the states that have “stand your ground” and the states that do not, let’s talk about what the law means. As stated above, the concept of “duty to retreat” sheds some light on this.

What “stand your ground” means is that you have a legal right to defend yourself using deadly force any place you are legally allowed to be. Details of what this means will vary quite a bit from state to state, so make sure to check out what it means wherever you live or spend a lot of time. However, there are some general principles that apply in most or all “stand your ground” states. 

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First, the general law of self-defense with deadly force applies. You have to be defending yourself or someone else against an unlawful attack. The unlawful attack has to meet certain guidelines. In most places this means you have to have a reasonable fear of grievous bodily harm, serious and violent sexual assault, or death. 

Another general principle of the law is that you have to be attacked. You can’t go around starting trouble and then “stand your ground” by pulling a gun when you lose the fight. More generally speaking, you can’t be engaged in the commission of a crime – any crime – and fall back on a “stand your ground” law to protect you. 

Do “Stand Your Ground Laws” Allow You To Shoot First?

One of the main reasons why “stand your ground” laws are so controversial is that critics think they’re “shoot first” laws. 

There’s some truth to this. You are allowed to shoot first under “stand your ground” laws. However, there’s a flaw in the logic: The idea behind calling “stand your ground” laws “shoot first” laws is that there is no reason to shoot first in a defensive situation. 

There are a number of defensible reasons to use a handgun preemptively and defensively. We’re not going to get into them, because that’s getting close to giving legal advice, which we’re obviously not allowed to do. But think of it this way: Do you believe that the only reason to use a firearm in defense in a public place is because someone shoots at you first?

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Neither do we. 

“Stand your ground” laws might be controversial and unpopular among gun grabbers, but they’re a way for average Americans, including women, the disabled, the elderly and people who are just not physically strong and imposing to defend themselves against violent predators seeking to do them harm. Without “stand your ground” laws, concealed carry is basically a non sequitur: Why bother carrying in public if you don’t have the opportunity to defend yourself legally?

Do you live in a state with “Stand Your Ground” laws? If not, how does this impact how you view self-defense? Leave a comment below.

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Firearms

Biden’s Newest Attempt to Take Your Guns

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The Biden administration finalized a new rule last week, touted by Attorney General Merrick Garland as a “historic step” in combating gun violence. This rule aims to increase background checks on gun sales by broadening the pool of people required to obtain a federal firearms license (FFL). The administration claims this will address the so-called “gun show loophole” and reduce illegal gun sales.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), there’s a “large and growing black market of guns being sold by people without a license.” They argue that this black market is fueling violence because these sellers are not conducting background checks. However, many see this new rule as yet another attempt to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

Understanding the New Rule

To grasp the impact of this new rule, it’s crucial to understand the existing laws governing gun sales. Federal law mandates that all gun dealers conduct background checks via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) before selling a firearm. However, private sales between individuals who are not in the business of selling guns do not require background checks.

Currently, 20 states have implemented their own laws to require background checks for all gun sales, including private transactions. In the remaining 30 states, private sales can occur without a background check as long as the seller is not engaged in the business of selling firearms.

The new rule seeks to limit the number of legal private sales by expanding the definition of who is considered a “gun dealer.” Previously, a person needed an FFL if they were involved in the “repetitive” buying and selling of firearms with the primary objective of “livelihood and profit.” The new rule changes this to require a license if the goal is to “predominantly earn a profit,” regardless of whether the seller relies on this activity for their livelihood.

Debunking Myths and Clarifying Facts

Myth #1: The New Rule Closes the “Gun Show Loophole”

Despite claims from the White House and mainstream media, there has never been a “gun show loophole.” Gun shows operate under the same legal framework as other venues: dealers must conduct background checks, while private sellers are not required to do so. The new rule does not close any loophole; it simply creates more confusion and potentially drives private sellers away from gun shows, where they are easier for law enforcement to monitor.

Myth #2: The New Rule Provides Clarity

The rule is marketed as providing clarity, yet it is anything but clear. The ATF’s 19-page FAQ document only adds to the confusion. It states that to “predominantly earn a profit” means the primary intent of the sale is financial gain, as opposed to personal reasons like upgrading a collection. However, there is no clear threshold for what constitutes “repetitive” sales or what amount of profit triggers the need for an FFL.

The lack of concrete standards means law-abiding citizens are left in a legal gray area. The rule could easily be interpreted in a way that criminalizes ordinary gun owners who occasionally sell firearms.

Myth #3: The New Rule Is a Major Change

Both proponents and critics of the rule suggest it will have significant impacts, but this may be overstated. The ATF has long maintained that even a single transaction can require a license under certain conditions. The real effect of the new rule is to sow uncertainty among private sellers, potentially discouraging lawful sales and undermining the Second Amendment.

The Real Impact on Gun Owners

The Biden administration’s new rule will likely deter lawful gun owners from selling firearms due to fear of legal repercussions. This does little to address the criminal misuse of firearms and instead burdens responsible citizens. The rule could particularly impact hunters and sports shooters who want to sell old guns to upgrade their equipment.

By creating more obstacles for law-abiding gun owners, the administration risks driving gun sales further underground, making it harder for law enforcement to track illegal activities. The people most affected will not be the high-volume sellers the ATF claims to target but ordinary Americans who cherish their Second Amendment rights.

The new rule from the Biden administration is another step towards greater government control over private gun ownership. It doesn’t close any loopholes or provide meaningful clarity. Instead, it creates a chilling effect on lawful gun sales, turning responsible citizens into potential criminals.

As with many gun control measures, this rule places undue burdens on the law-abiding while doing little to address actual crime. It’s a reminder that vigilance is necessary to protect our constitutional rights from overreach by those who seek to undermine the Second Amendment. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to stand firm against any attempts to erode our fundamental freedoms.

What do you think of the Biden Regime’s latest attempt to take your guns? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Did the ATF Just Turn You Into an Unlicensed Gun Dealer?

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Amidst the world of firearms and gun ownership, scenarios arise where individuals find themselves downsizing their collections or navigating the complexities of buying and selling firearms. For some, it may involve parting ways with budget guns to fund the acquisition of their dream firearm, while for others, it could entail managing the estate of a deceased family member who left behind a substantial gun collection.

However, recent regulatory changes by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) have introduced new considerations and challenges. With the implementation of ATF Rule 2022R-17, the definition of who qualifies as a firearm dealer has been broadened, potentially impacting individuals engaged in occasional sales or private transactions.

Under the revised regulations, the criteria for determining whether someone is “engaged in the business” as a dealer in firearms have been expanded. This includes factors such as the intention to “predominantly earn a profit” from firearm sales, regardless of the medium or method used for transactions. Additionally, the definition of “dealer” now encompasses individuals conducting firearm transactions through various channels, including online platforms and gun shows.

Despite these changes, the regulations provide clarity on exemptions for individuals selling firearms as part of a personal collection or hobby, as long as sales remain occasional and not primarily for profit. However, navigating these distinctions requires careful attention to detail and adherence to legal requirements to avoid unintentionally falling afoul of the law.

The implications of ATF Rule 2022R-17 extend beyond mere technicalities, potentially impacting the everyday activities of gun owners and enthusiasts. From selling off surplus firearms to acquiring new additions to their collections, individuals must now navigate a regulatory landscape that demands heightened awareness and compliance.

Moreover, the rule underscores broader concerns about government overreach and the erosion of Second Amendment rights. By redefining existing regulations without legislative scrutiny, the ATF’s actions raise questions about transparency and accountability in firearms policy-making.

In light of these developments, individuals involved in firearm transactions must stay informed and adapt to evolving regulatory frameworks. Whether buying, selling, or transferring firearms, adherence to legal requirements and diligent record-keeping is paramount to avoid unintended legal consequences.

Ultimately, as gun owners and enthusiasts navigate the changing landscape of firearms regulation, vigilance and advocacy for Second Amendment rights remain crucial. By staying informed, engaging in responsible firearm ownership practices, and advocating for sensible policy reforms, individuals can uphold their rights while ensuring compliance with legal requirements.

Are you concerned about being on the wrong side of the ATF? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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What’s the Difference Between 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington

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For novice gun owners and seasoned enthusiasts alike, understanding the nuances between various ammunition types is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and safety of firearms. One common area of confusion arises when comparing the 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington cartridges, as their differences, though seemingly small, can have a significant impact on weapon function and safety.

The primary difference between the two cartridges lies in their pressure levels. The 5.56 NATO cartridge operates at approximately 58,000 pounds per square inch (psi), whereas the .223 Remington is loaded to around 55,000 psi. While this disparity may appear minor, it plays a critical role in the overall performance of the ammunition.

However, the most important distinction between the two cartridges lies in the chamber dimensions. A 5.56 NATO chamber features a .125-inch longer throat compared to a .223 Remington chamber. This additional space allows for the loading of approximately one more grain of powder in the 5.56 NATO cartridge, resulting in higher performance levels compared to its .223 Remington counterpart.

The potential danger arises when firing a 5.56 NATO cartridge in a rifle chambered for .223 Remington. Due to the longer throat of the NATO chamber, this combination can lead to significantly increased pressure levels, reaching upwards of 65,000 psi or more. Such high pressures pose a severe risk to both the operator and the firearm, potentially causing primers to back out or even resulting in catastrophic failure.

Conversely, firing a .223 Remington cartridge in a 5.56 NATO chambered rifle may lead to suboptimal performance. The lower pressure generated by the .223 Remington cartridge, coupled with the dimensions of the NATO chamber, can result in improper cycling of the firearm, particularly in rifles with barrels shorter than 14.5 inches. While rifles with longer barrels may mitigate some of these issues, it is essential for gun owners to exercise caution when selecting ammunition for their firearms.

In conclusion, while the differences between the 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington cartridges may seem subtle, they can have profound implications for weapon function, safety, and performance. Gun owners must educate themselves on these distinctions to make informed decisions when selecting ammunition and avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Do you want to weigh in on this debate? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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