AP Touts Spread of “Red Flag” Laws, Confiscations: ...Supporters say these "red flag" laws are among the most promising tools to reduce the nearly 40,000 suicides and homicides by firearm each year in the U.S. Gun advocates, though, say such measures undermine their constitutional rights and can result in people being stripped of their weapons on false or vindictive accusations. Nine states have passed laws over the past year allowing police or household members to seek court orders requiring people deemed threatening to temporarily surrender their guns, bringing the total to 14. Several more are likely to follow in the months ahead. More than 1,700 orders allowing guns to be seized for weeks, months or up to a year were issued in 2018 by the courts after they determined the individuals were a threat to themselves or others, according to data from several states obtained by The Associated Press. The actual number is probably much higher since the data was incomplete and didn't include California... (In addition to examples in the text of this article, AP separately posted specific reports on the numbers of confiscations for Connecticut, Florida, Oregon, Vermont and Washington since each of those states enacted it “red flag” law.)



Welcome News from NAAGA: I []Philip Smith] respect African American women but when I first started NAAGA as an Organization I just assumed that our membership would be dominated by African American men and I thought just a few of our women would actively participate. Wow have I been pleasantly surprised. African American women are making their presence felt and are not only joining NAAGA, but are leading several of our Chapters as leaders. Currently NAAGA is about 60% African American Women! ...Women are now learning how to shoot, bringing other women to join them and in some cases becoming certified instructors . This has been the most surprising aspect of the development of the National African American Gun Association. African American women just like in our community are becoming the backbone of this organization. When learning about firearms women don't have a lot of the "Macho" issues that men have and are more open to learning. Also women are typically better listeners, more detailed, and most women have the disposable income to purchase a gun ( $$$$ ). I don't want to touch the question are women better shooters than men at this time because my "Inbox" would be full within minutes from both genders. It is beautiful to see when a woman join NAAGA with no previous contact with firearms and a year later is shooting with precision and telling all her friends to join because she is having fun... (The above is excerpted from a newsletter, forwarded to me by a list member. I have had NAAGA linked under the Organizations section of the Useful Links page on my own website for some time. If you visit their site, you will see a big emphasis on training. Welcome as this news is, I can't help wondering how many of those female members voted for anti-RKBA candidates such as Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum.)



Betrayal in Arizona: One of the pro-rights bills filed this session is HB 2257, sponsored by Representative Bob Thorpe (R-LD6). HB 2257 would enforce the duty to protect those entering a facility that allows public access but bans firearms. It would also establish a civil liability if a person is harmed because they were disarmed. Republican Speaker of the House Russell Bowers’ office recently informed AzCDL that not only will HB 2257 never be assigned to a committee for a hearing, the bill will not even receive the perfunctory First and Second Reads that most other bills receive. Meanwhile, Speaker Bowers has assigned anti-rights bills like HB 2577, which would weaken state firearms preemption, to committees for review. Doing nothing is the same as surrendering. We ask that you join us in letting not only Speaker Bowers, but the entire House Majority Leadership, know that HB 2257 needs to be given the opportunity for a committee hearing... (This link will allow you to email a pre-written message to the four majority leaders.)



A Stumble In Arkansas: An attempt to seek clarity on the legality of carrying firearms without a permit in Arkansas ended with confusion and no action in a House committee Thursday morning. Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee attempted to adopt a resolution that Arkansas is a "constitutional carry" state where citizens can carry firearms, either concealed or in the open, without any permit. The debate over constitutional – or permitless – carry in Arkansas has led to divided opinions among prosecutors, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Rutledge and Hutchinson, both attorneys, have said they believe gun owners are allowed to carry their weapons without permits. The resolution considered Wednesday would not carry any legal weight, a point Democrats quickly jumped on. "We are not judges," said House Minority Leader Charles Blake, D-Little Rock. "We are sent here to make law, to pass law, to put up ideas that can go forward to be laws. "If you want to run a constitutional carry bill, you should run a bill," Blake said... In December 2017, Hutchinson issued a letter to the Arkansas State Police stating that it was his belief that Act 746 of 2013 allows for the open carry of handguns. The state police director, Col. Bill Bryant, then issued a memo telling officers that openly carrying a weapon, by itself, is not probable cause for an arrest... Last fall, the Arkansas Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of a Montgomery County man on drug charges because police in that instance stopped the man only because he was carrying a weapon. The Supreme Court of Arkansas, however, has yet to consider such a case... (My understanding has been that the 2013 law was a constitutional-carry bill but that the AG opined that it only waived the permit requirement for open carry. Others have taken last fall's appellate ruling to extend the permit waiver to discreet carry.)



Suspense in Virginia: A week ago, the future of Virginia’s governor’s mansion seemed fairly obvious: Gov. Ralph Northam (D) would resign in the wake of the emergence of a racist photo from his medical school yearbook, and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) would take over. But it’s been a long week. Now it seems more likely that Fairfax will resign, following multiple allegations of sexual assault against him. Northam seems to be prepared to dig in, perhaps frustrating no one more than Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D), who, as second in line to the governor’s seat, would have seemed to be well positioned if both Northam and Fairfax stumbled. Of course, his own history of appearing in blackface also put Herring on the rocks, leaving third-in-line Speaker of the House Kirk Cox (R) in a suddenly advantageous position... (I had considered it a foregone conclusion that any pro-RKBA bills clearing this year's legislative session would be vetoed. There appears to be a glimmer of hope that I was mistaken.)



Oops, Wrong Apartment: One mother said her quick thinking and nearby pistol helped protect herself and her kids during a home invasion. The situation ended with an injured police K-9, two hurt Tempe [AZ] police officers and a mother who forced the suspect out of her apartment at gunpoint... Anthony Chambers is now charged with two counts of aggravated assault on an officer, three counts of kidnapping, harming a service animal, and five other felonies. The police report says it all began around 7 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday. A woman returned to her home in the 500 block of South Roosevelt Street and "Discovered a pair of shoes inside that were not there before." Police say as the woman walked outside to call the police, "Chambers approached her...and advised [her] not to call the police." As officers were responding Chambers took off running barefoot. He hopped a nearby wall, according to witnesses and ended up in The Standard Apartment Homes. He rushed into one woman's door. The mother told ABC15 her boyfriend had just left the home, and she was at the door locking it when Chambers burst in. "A guy walks in and is telling me to be quiet, be quiet. He says pretend I’m your boyfriend," said the mother, who asked not to be identified. The mother had different ideas. "I asked him to wait in the living room because my first instinct was to go grab my gun because I just need to protect everyone else. I hid it behind my pants," she recalled. The mother said her dad had taught her to use a firearm, but before she pulled the weapon, she tried to de-escalate the situation... Chambers asked for a knife; however, and said he was being chased. "I refused to give him a knife because I’m like that could just lead to a totally terrible situation," she said. "Eventually I got my phone and...I dial the police up. He snatches the phone out of my hand, and that’s when I decide, I can’t do this, and I pull my gun out. I have it aimed at him, and I make sure he standing towards the door, yelling at him, 'You need to get out!'" The mother was able to get her phone back and call Tempe police, who were already in the complex looking for Chambers. The 27-year-old suspect eventually walked out of the apartment at gunpoint, where police were waiting...