by Marty Hayes, J.D.
We have been waiting on pins and needles for the United States Supreme Court to rule in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. Our wait was rewarded by the commonsense opinion authored by Justice Clarence Thomas and agreed to by five additional justices. The question was not a difficult one to grasp, asking whether the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to “keep and bear arms” means that American citizens truly have the right to keep and bear arms.
At issue was the New York concealed pistol licensing scheme, which allowed the State of New York to deny a permit application unless the person could show just cause why he or she needed a permit. That “just cause” condition was the kicker, because the authorities could decide anything either met or did not meet that threshold. Now, the whole country will be operating under a “shall issue” requirement, meaning that every issuing authority must issue a permit if the applicant meets reasonable criteria for application.
This reasonable criterion will of course include a clean criminal history, no history of mental incompetence, and likely some training requirements. The training requirement seems to be the one roadblock the liberal states like to put in the way of honest citizens to slow down the permit process. For people who were never allowed to get a permit to carry, most specifically those in the states of New York, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia, they should now be able to get a license/permit to carry a concealed handgun.
Of course, this will not happen overnight, as the people who denied the permits in the first place are still anti-gun/anti-freedom and will do everything they can to avoid complying, but eventually the permits will have to be issued.
Of concern to me is that newly permitted concealed carry licensees will not understand or take their responsibilities seriously and may screw up their right to carry. For those of you who have influence with someone in one of these states, please take steps to assist our new carry brothers and sisters to get it right. Of course, membership in the Network to provide our member education package would be a great place to start, since the Network is operating in all those states. The only state we are restricted is WA state and we are still fighting that battle.
Network v. OIC
We have filed a notice of appeal regarding Judge James Lawyer’s ruling upholding the Washington Insurance Commissioner’s cease and desist order prohibiting us from enrolling new members who live in Washington. We believe this judge’s ruling was wrong, and as I’ve said before, we will keep fighting this until we run up against a dead end. It might take another year or two, but we have already been at it for two years. We will not stop now.
Welcome to the Advisory Board
Attorney Marie D’Amico and Instructor Karl Rehn have recently been added to the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network Advisory Board. As you likely know, in late 2021, we lost our friend and longtime Advisory Board member James Fleming, and so we had been looking for an attorney to serve in his place. We have an abundance of highly qualified attorneys affiliated with the Network, so the choice was a difficult one, but when we learned that Marie, who has been a Network member for years and whom we have known for even longer, recently retired from her public sector law job and was now a free agent, so to speak, we reached out and she accepted. We will provide a fuller introduction to Marie in an upcoming eJournal, and I am sure you will like her as much as we do.
As I mentioned a few minutes ago, we also asked long-time Network Affiliated Instructor Karl Rehn to join the Advisory Board. In deciding to invite Karl, we considered the ages of our current Advisory Board members and realized that we are all either over 70 years old or quickly approaching that landmark. We need some younger voices! I have known Karl for about 30 years, have taken his classes and he has taken mine, so it seemed like a perfect fit.
Karl was one of the first members of the Network and one of the instructors I asked early on to help promote the Network. Since 2008, Karl and his staff at KR Training in Central Texas have contributed mightily to our success. We will also provide a more in-depth introduction to Karl in a later eJournal. The upcoming editions of this publication promise to be interesting as we introduce you to Marie and Karl and welcome them to our Advisory Board.
Lastly, I had intended to discuss the recent passage of gun-control legislation after 19 students and two adults were shot and killed in the Uvalde, TX elementary school, but to do that would have taken more words than I am allowed here, so we asked our new Director of Legal Services, Art Joslin, J.D. to weigh in on the topic. Please enjoy his commentary on the following pages.
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.