Category Archives: Alerts List

The Firearms Coalition Alerts List is a low-volume, high content newsletter devoted to issues affecting your Second Amendment rights.  Subscribe here.

Updateed — SB 249 pulled California on verge of banning most semi-autos


California State Senator Leland Yee’s horrible SB 249, which would have essentially banned possession of thousands, if not millions of common semi-automatic firearms in California, has been removed from the Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing calendar.  The bill is dead for this year.  Great work,, Gun Owners California, NRA, and other California activists.  It’s critical that this kind of bill be slapped down quickly and firmly.  As we all know, every bad idea that comes out of California eventually spreads across the rest of the country.  One great piece of news coming out of this is that there are several hard up-or-down votes to move the bill along.  Here’s hoping that California activists can put a dent in their re-election hopes.

There was some controversy within the gun rights community with Gun Owners California reporting as early as Tuesday afternoon that the bill was dead.  Calguns and other groups tweeted that the news was being reported prematurely and that activists should keep the pressure on.  We’ll refrain from taking sides in a local dispute, but will point out that there is no downside that we can see with the California state senate phone lines being tied up for a few hours longer.  Better the dogs bark too long than be called off too early. 

Altogether a good day’s work for the state of California, and the nation!  Thanks to everyone!

Chris Knox

Our friend Jim Shults (Shults Media Relations, LLC) has forwarded a note calling attention to S.B. 249.  Yes, we checked, and yes, it’s bad.  The bill would essentially outlaw any gun with a removable box magazine and do away with the “bullet button” workaround that California activists were able to enact a couple of years ago.  Not only would S.B. 249 make common guns illegal, it would require a massive gun turn-in.  If the gun turn-in is found legal, it’s a massive violation of the Fifth Amendment as well as the Second.  On the other hand if gun owners were to be compensated for their confiscated property, it would drive the state further into a fiscal crisis. 

What to do
Friends unfortunate enough to live in the People’s Democratic Republic of California should immediately contact their legislators.  A good source of information is and its special page, can also follow their Twitter feed @stopsb249.

It’s the Vote!

Voting is Everything

By Jeff Knox

(August 26, 2009) When football legend Vince Lombardi famously gathered his team to talk about fundamentals, he went to the most basic level:  "Gentlemen," he said, "this is a football."  Like Coach Lombardi, I want to get back to basics.  In politics, just as in football, "winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing."  When it comes to effective political activism that quote needs to be turned around; "Voting isn’t the only thing.  Voting is everything."  While there are many important things that rights organizations and activists do, it all boils down to the one thing: The Vote.  The vote is both the object and the instrument of political power and if we can’t wield it effectively, all of our other efforts are useless.

The ultimate objective of the gun rights movement is to win legislative victories to keep politics and politicians away from our guns.  To achieve this goal, organizations like The Firearms Coalition must do three things: Recruit, Inform, and Activate.  The three are symbiotic, each feeding the other.  In its simplest form it translates to: Build a List of names, Tell them What’s Going On, and Encourage them to…

Continue reading It’s the Vote!

Important Court Cases

The Second Amendment in the Courts

There have been three important Appeals Court decisions on the Second Amendment since the beginning of the year and together they set the stage for another major decision from the Supreme Court.

When the Court decided Heller last June, they did not address the issue of "incorporation," the application of the amendment to state and local governments.  While most of us think it’s just common sense that the rights expressed in the Bill of Rights are fundamental and universal, legal doctrine says otherwise.  Basically, a constitutional right is only recognized by the federal government until it is specifically "incorporated" by the Supreme Court.  In the three Second Amendment cases decided this year by Appeals courts, two rejected incorporation of the amendment while one supported incorporation.  This means that the Federal Appeals Court Circuits are split on this issue and that makes it much more likely that the Supreme Court will agree to review one or more of these cases and make a ruling as to whether the Second Amendment protects your rights from state and local laws and regulations.

Getting this question in front of the Supreme Court was the objective of the many lawsuits filed around the country by NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation in the wake of the Heller decision.  In Heller, the Justices commented on incorporation and the precedents which restrict the Second Amendment’s effect to only the federal government.  Some read those comments as an invitation to the lower courts to send up a case that the Court can use to incorporate the Second Amendment.  Let’s hope that’s really what the Court was saying.

The NRA has already filed a request for Supreme Court review of their Chicago case.  It is expected that the Court will announce their decision on whether to hear the case by early fall and a decision could come down by this time next year.

CIFTA Treaty

Actual text of the CIFTA treaty posted as a public service of The Firearms Coalition,  The treaty can also be found on the web site of the Organization of American States at 



AWARE of the urgent need to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials, due to the harmful effects of these activities on the security of each state and the region as a whole, endangering the well-being of peoples, their social and economic development, and their right to live in peace; Continue reading CIFTA Treaty

Lawsuit, Parks, and more…

In this Alert: 

1. Court Shoots Down Bloomberg!

2. National Parks Ending Gun Ban?

3. The National Anthem 



            A 3 judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has dismissed a lawsuit by the city of New York attempting to hold firearms manufacturers responsible for the costs of “gun crime” in the city.  The court ruled that the suit should have been dismissed under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed by the congress in 2005.  The 2-1 decision affirmed the constitutionality of that law and criticized Federal Judge Jack Weinstein for failing to abide by the Lawful Commerce Act when it first passed.

           We can doubtless expect Mayor Bloomberg to try to find some other way to blame gunowners, dealers, and manufacturers for New York's crime problems.



The Department of the Interior has released its long awaited regulatory reform proposals for National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges.  The proposed regulations will be open for public comment for the next 60 days.  It is critical that gunowners let their voices be heard on this regulation change.

Continue reading Lawsuit, Parks, and more… Needs Your Help! Needs Your Help

      We don't want to pick your pocket.  We just want to pick your brain.  We have created a new forum site called to serve as a central clearinghouse for information about the fight for gun rights, particularly regarding candidates and elections, but including legislation too.  We need you to register at (it must be .org as the guy who controls .com is demanding $10,000 for rights to the site,) and then post information about what’s going on in your state. 

    Without your input, the site is just an empty shell. 

    With your help it can become the most comprehensive collection of grassroots gun rights information anywhere.

      Please go to, register, and post information.  The information can be an alert from a grassroots group, an article from a newsletter or blog (with permission and proper credit,) or just your own opinion about the situation in your state.  We’d also like to hear from you in the “General Comments/Suggestions” area to let us know what you think of the site, things we could do to make it better, and your thoughts on general topics.

Continue reading Needs Your Help!

Copy Cats

  There was another tragedy at a school yesterday: this time in Illinois.  It might have been preventable.  It might have been stoppable.  An armed citizen might have ended the killing.  But not in Illinois.  The Illinois government doesn’t trust its citizens with guns. 

   After the tragedy at Virginia Tech I wrote the attached piece.  It makes some good points, but there was a major flaw in it.  As mentioned in the article, one of the primary motivators for this kind of senseless crime is the public recognition that the murderers receive.  They post pictures and videos on FaceBook and MySpace that they know will be plastered on the evening news and they write nonsensical diatribes about the unfairness and depravity in the world as if they are some sort of messiah or avenging angel.  The truth is that they are just demented cowards seeking attention.  The flaw in the attached article was that I mentioned the names of some of the murderers.  

Continue reading Copy Cats

Bush Sides with DC!

                In typical "screw your friends and appease your enemies" Republican fashion, the Bush Justice Department has filed an amicus brief defending the DC gun ban in the DC v. Heller case currently before the Supreme Court.  The Solicitor General calls on the Court to acknowledge the Second Amendment as an individual right, but asks that the Circuit Court's decision in the case be reversed and remanded (thrown out and sent back to the lower court) with instructions to determine whether DC's laws unreasonably restrict resident's ability to exercise their rights.  It appears that the "pro-gun" Republican Department of Justice fears that any decision from the Supreme Court which held that banning any class of weapons was an infringement of the Second Amendment, might open the door to challenges against bans on dreaded machineguns. Continue reading Bush Sides with DC!

Congress Passes NICS Bill

On Wednesday, 12, 19, the U.S. Senate voted to pass their version of the NRA supported NICS Improvement Act (H.R.2640).  The bill then went back to the House to resolve differences between the versions passed in the two bodies.  

Later that evening the House concurred with the Senate changes and passed the bill by unanimous consent as the Senate had earlier.

NRA, NSSF, and the Brady Bunch are calling Senate passage a victory, while GOA, many grassroots gun groups, and the more radical gun control organizations like the Violence Policy Center are calling the bill a sell-out. 
When this bill originally passed in the House, it did so on a voice vote with only one Representative speaking against its passage; that one Representative was Dr. Ron Paul of Texas, now running for President.

There will doubtless be much said about this bill over the next few days and it will be interesting to watch.  While some gun rights groups have taken to calling the bill the "Veterans Disarmament Act," anti-gun extremists claim it will open a  flood-gate of mentally challenged people regaining access to firearms.  The truth is that, like so many bills passed in Washington, this one will probably waste a lot of money with little or no actual benefit.

I've not had an opportunity to study the final version of the bill yet (since it was negotiated behind closed doors), but as soon as I do I will post a thorough analysis posted on the web site so be sure to check in at to find out how this version stacks up.


Jeff Knox