Posts Tagged With: permits

Calif. concealed weapon law tossed by fed appeals court……


SAN FRANCISCO –  A divided federal appeals court on Thursday struck down California’s concealed weapons rules, saying they violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

By a 2-1 vote, the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said California was wrong to require applicants to show good cause to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

“The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority.

Judge Sidney Thomas dissented, writing that the good cause requirement limited the number of people carrying concealed handguns in public to those legitimately in need.

“It limits the risk to public safety by reducing the number of guns in public circulation, but allows those who will most likely need to defend themselves in public to carry a handgun,” Thomas wrote.

Awarding concealed weapon permits is the responsibility of each of California’s 58 counties. Officials are required to follow the state rules requiring applicants to show good cause and moral character.

The San Francisco-based appeals court said those requirements were too strict and ran afoul of a 5-4 landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that struck down a Washington, D.C., handgun ban and said law-abiding citizens are allowed to have handguns in their home for self-defense.

The appeals court on Thursday reinstated a lawsuit filed in 2009 by Edward Peruta, who challenged San Diego County’s denial of a concealed weapons permit.

The ruling on Thursday also disagreed with three other federal appeals courts that have upheld permit rules similar to the one in California.

The U.S. Supreme Court often takes cases when federal appeals courts issue conflicting rulings.

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Police State tactics, coming soon around you….OUT-OF-STATE GUNOWNER PROFILED FOR TRAFFIC STOP


State police in Maryland have launched an internal investigation into an incident where a man reported being stopped by an officer and asked, “Where is your gun?”

But social media isn’t waiting for the results, with countless calls for a lawsuit over the incident that happened over the holiday period as John Filippidis, described in his local newspaper as a “silver-haired family man, business owner, employer and taxpayer,” drove through Maryland returning from family events in New Jersey to his Florida home.

And an expert on the Fourth Amendment’s assurance of protection for Americans’ privacy says in a few years, police won’t even need to ask such questions, since they’ll have drones flying overhead with sensors that will tell them if there is a weapon in a vehicle.

The driver’s version of the story was chronicled by, among others, columnist Tom Jackson in the Tampa Tribune.

Jackson said Filippidis ordinarily carries a gun because of the cash he carries for his work.

But when he went on a family trip, he left it locked in a safe in his home.

Reported Jackson, “So there the Filippidises were on New Year’s Eve, southbound on Interstate 95 – John; wife Kally (his Gulf High sweetheart): the 17-year-old twins Nasia and Yianni; and 13-year-old Gina in their 2012 Ford Expedition – just barely out of the Fort McHenry Tunnel into Maryland, blissfully unarmed and minding their own business when they noticed they were being bird-dogged by an unmarked patrol car. It flanked them a while, then pulled ahead of them, then fell in behind them.” Such maneuvers took maybe 10 or 15 minutes, reports said.

Eventually the lights went on, and Filippidis pulled over.

The officer, from the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, asked about license and registration details, and returned to his vehicle.

Then he came back, ordering Filippidis out of the vehicle, and to hook his thumbs behind his back and spread his feet.

“You own a gun,” said the officer. “Where is it?”

At home, said Filippidis.

The officer then asked Kally Filippides, who said she didn’t know. Then she added, maybe in the glove box, or in the console – she didn’t know.

The result? The Expedition was emptied of all people, possessions and packages. An hour passed, maybe more. Much later, no weapon found, they resumed their trip.

Many of nearly 2,000 comments about the article on the Tampa site encouraged a lawsuit. Some in terms that weren’t so polite.

“I’d sue the cr-p out of them!” wrote one person.

“Contact an attorney,” said another.

“It was just a hot head cop thinking he was gonna catch someone doing something wrong,” another said.

“For what reason did the officer pull him over? Why was he profiled in such a manner. I’d sue …”

Police said there was limited information they could release, since an internal investigation was under way. Formally, they said, “A preliminary review indicates that all proper protocols were followed throughout the Dec. 30, 2013, 55-minute traffic stop of I-95, which was initiated for a speeding violation.”

However, 1st Sgt. Jonathan Green told WND that, generally, officers in his department are trained to look beyond the surface of any traffic stop and question whether anything is wrong.

What do you get when the government steps out of line? Read “Constitutional Chaos,” by Judge Andrew Napolitano.

He said a “warning” was issued during the traffic stop, but no ticket that would require a formal response.

Further details were being withheld pending the outcome of the investigation, which was launched after a complaint.

But Fourth Amendment expert John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute said those online commenters probably have it right – there should be a court case.

As the author of “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State,” Whitehouse doesn’t hide his opinion that Americans already are living under a police state – and that needs to change.

An attorney, he’s pursued civil liberties issues for decades, earning the Hungarian Medal of Freedom. Probably one of his highest profile roles came as co-counsel in Paula Jones’ sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton.

He told WND about the current issue that the federal government, through the Department of Homeland Security, had been handing out license plate readers to local police agencies across the country – and those identify drivers, immediately providing to officers details such as driving records and whether a concealed weapons permit exists.

But Whitehead said police still are supposed to have probable cause to do surveillance on an individual, and that’s what monitoring a vehicle in traffic for an extended period amounts to.

That means some evidence of illegal activity, not just a “suspicion,” he said.

“This is only going to get worse,” he also told WND.

Soon, he said, there will be a police drone flying over traffic, scanning vehicles, and telling authorities if there is an weapon in any of the vehicles.

“This new technology completely bypasses all constitutional protections,” he said, allowing government to collect nearly unlimited information on individuals, such as what the National Security Agency has been doing with telephone call monitoring.

“We live in a police state,” he said.

Jackson wrote in his commentary that Filippidis decided to leave his palm-sized Kel-Tec handgun at home specifically because he didn’t want to deal with local rules and regulations about carrying.

“I know the laws and I know the rules,” Filippidis told Jackson. “But I just think it’s a better idea to leave it home.”

But it wasn’t enough, he said, recalling his encounter.

“All that time, he’s humiliating me in front of my family, making me feel like a criminal,” he told Jackson. “I’ve never been to prison, never declared bankruptcy, I pay my taxes, support my 20 employees’ families; I’ve never been in any kind of trouble.

“And he wants to put me in jail. He wants to put me in jail. For no reason. He wants to take my wife and children away and put me in jail. In America, how does such a thing happen? … And after all that, he didn’t even write me a ticket.”

Jackson reported there was an apology from the police agency, but Green said that couldn’t be confirmed, as it would be part of the internal review.

The National Rifle Association, after WND asked for its perspective on the dispute, released a statement late Friday that warned gun owners that even trying to comply with all the laws appears not to be sufficient to avoid trouble in some cases.

The NRA said the account is a “disturbing story of a man who found himself on the receiving end of some aggressive and heavy-handed police tactics, apparently for nothing more than being under suspicion of owning a firearm.”

The organization said the story “appears to be a cautionary tale as to why gun owners should be highly suspect of ‘universal background checks’ and other initiatives that promise to create records of their ownership or involvement with firearms, however innocent or legal. As ideological and political attacks on Second Amendment rights continue, even great caution and compliance with the law will not necessarily spare gun owners grief for exercising their rights.”

 

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New Rules for Meteorite Hunters Unveiled…..yes, you now need a permit


It’s official! A fishing license for the sky.
The Bureau of Land Management, under the U.S. Department of the Interior, has issued Instruction Memorandum No. 2012-182. It establishes policy governing the collection of meteorites found on public lands.
The policy, issued Sept. 10, provides guidance to the BLM’s field office managers for administering the collection of meteorites on public lands in three “use categories,” said Derrick Henry, a public affairs specialist for BLM in Washington, D.C.
They are:
Casual collection of small quantities without a permit
Scientific and educational use by permit under the authority of the Antiquities Act
Commercial collection of meteorites through the issuance of land-use permits
“The policy recognizes that there is interest in collecting meteorites by hobbyists … but it also is recognition that there are science and commercial interests as well,” Henry told SPACE.com.
Henry said the new policy builds upon the guiding authority of the 1976 Federal Lands Policy and Management Act. It is the first time the BLM has formally addressed rules regarding collection of meteorites on public lands, he added. [Video: Hunters Search for Meteorites in Sierra Nevada Mountains]
Casual and commercial collection
As noted in the new policy, the extraterrestrial origin of meteorites, as well as their relative rarity, “has made them highly desirable to casual collectors, commercial collectors and scientific researchers.”
The document goes on to note that “recent media attention has increased … confusion about the legality of and limits to casual and commercial collection. Courts have long established that meteorites belong to the owner of the surface estate. Therefore, meteorites found on public lands are part of the BLM’s surface estate, belong to the federal government, and must be managed as natural resources in accordance with the FLPMA of 1976.”
Henry said the only other option under the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act would be to prohibit meteorite collection on federal land except for scientific inquiry. “This policy ensures that the three listed types of collection on BLM-managed land are allowed, and each of those has guidance under FLPMA,” he said. [Photos: Fireball Drops Meteorites on California]
Fair market value
“We tried to account for every kind of occurrence out there,” said Lucia Kuizon, national paleontologist at the BLM in Washington, D.C. “We felt the policy helps the public understand the issues, as well as for our own resource specialists out in the field when they get inquiries.”
The policy for commercial collecting is new, Kuizon told SPACE.com.
“Prior to the instruction memorandum, we did not allow commercial collection of meteorites,” she said. “The details of how to go about obtaining a permit and what it will cost can only be determined by submitting a proposal to the field office where the activity will take place, and then fees and other costs are calculated.
“Most collectors are probably ‘small businesses,’ and because the activity is more surface collection after a fall, the application fees should be reasonable,” Kuizon added. “The fair market value would be calculated by the appraisers in the state office.”
Mixed feelings
In the world of meteorite collecting, the new rules have sparked a flurry of comment on the Internet and on a special mailing list dedicated to the topic.
“I have mixed feelings about the new BLM guidelines,” said Michael Gilmer of Galactic Stone and Ironworks, in Lutz, Fla. “I think this is all about money. Meteorites flew under the regulatory radar for a long time.”
“I think it is good that BLM is trying to preserve the land, but they are schizophrenic in how they preserve the lands,” Gilmer told SPACE.com. “They want to discourage meteorite hunters, but at the same time they allow large commercial mining interests to lease the land for exploration and exploitation. I think the mining companies do more damage than any meteorite hunter.”
Gilmer said that if the BLM decides to rigorously enforce these guidelines, “then it will negatively impact the recovery rate of all meteorites … old finds and new falls alike.”
The general consensus around the meteorite world of dealers and hunters, Gilmer added, is that the new rules are worrisome. However, “it varies from office to office, and a lot depends on the director of that particular BLM area. Some of them are more lenient than others. So I expect enforcement of the regulations to be spotty and inconsistent,” he said.
What is needed is increased cooperation between private hunters and officially sanctioned hunters, Gilmer emphasized. “Ideally, the BLM should encourage meteorite hunting … but this is what happens when bureaucrats pass down new regulations without having any knowledge of how the meteorite market operates.”
Freshly fallen meteorites
According to Arizona-based meteorite hunter Jim Wooddell, the BLM’s new rules clarify much of what the meteorite hunting community already knew.
“However, I want to point out that local policy for any specific area could be different based on the local land-use plan, which I think is the ultimate policy for a given area,” he told SPACE.com.
Wooddell said two things are imperative: “First, the local authorized officers need to be educated in the collection of meteorites and, of critical importance, the need to recover fresh fallen meteorites as soon as possible.”
Second, based on conversations with BLM representatives, Wooddell said institutions – such as those that study and curate meteorites – can and should proactively file permit applications that cover an entire state. Doing so would allow them, or their volunteers, to collect meteorites immediately after a fall. Still, this is up to the authorized officer for the state, he said.
“The bottom line is that no one has any rights to collect meteorites on federal lands for profit or for science without permission from the BLM in the form of a permit,” Wooddell said. “Science and profit seekers are those affected the most. It was made apparent the BLM knows who many of them are. Time will tell how this works out.”
Check out the BLM memorandum on meteorites at:
http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/regulations/Instruction_Memos_and_Bulletins/national_instruction/2012/IM_2012-182.html

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