March 16, 2020

Matthew Larosiere is the Director of Legal Policy at Firearms Policy Coalition. You can connect with him on Twitter @MattLaAtLaw.

LA Times Aggressively Misleads on Mass Shootings, New “Red Flag” Law Signed in New Mexico, Kentucky Now Requires Armed School Resource Officers, Armed Young Girl Advocates for Right to Carry, Biden Forgets He is Supposed to be the Moderate Candidate

LA Times Aggressively Misleads on Mass Shootings

Spurred by the murders at the Coors facility in MIlwaukee, The LA Times’ Rahul Mukherjee penned “How many mass shootings might have been prevented by stronger gun laws?” In the piece, he retroactively applied the policies of straw purchase bans, safe storage requirements, assault weapons bans, universal background checks, and red flag laws to 167 incidences of mass shootings. This resulted in some pretty interesting looking infographics. The problem, though, is that the article heavily suggests that laws have perfect application and no external effects.

The article does briefly state that “there is no guarantee that these laws would be effective in stopping motivated killers from ultimately achieving their goal,” but goes on to ask the audience to “see what might have happened” had the laws it touts been in effect since 1966.

For one, it’s inane to suggest that any type of law is anywhere near 100% effective, especially in the criminal context. Hell, even a 10% reduction would be shockingly effective. We haven’t experienced that though. This is especially poignant when the article refers to 6 separate incidences that an “assault weapon” ban might have stopped… which happen to coincide with the federal assault weapon ban.

All that aside, the real takeaway is this: people pushing new laws are like any other salesmen. They’re going to sing praises and ignore costs. Keep your eyes open, else those costs will be yours to bear.

New “Red Flag” Law Signed in New Mexico

We’ve discussed this law in the preceding weeks, but this week saw Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sign Senate Bill 5 into law, the “Extreme Risk Firearm Order Protection Act,” a red flag law which lets law enforcement officers to request courts to remove the firearms of an individual. It is worth noting the law, as enacted, requires that law enforcement make any seized firearms available within thirty days of receiving a request from an individual who has had their order expire or otherwise removed and is then eligible to own and possess a firearm. Time will tell whether that is followed.

Kentucky Now Requires Armed School Resource Officers

 Last week, the Governor of Kentucky signed a new law which will require that Kentucky’s school resource officers, previously unarmed, will now carry firearms. Several progressive civil rights organizations opposed the legislation, citing disparate treatment of minority students, expressing concern that this may result in more violence against them. Governor Beshear, a Democrat, acknowledged the concern but said that he “simply cannot ask a school resource officer to stop an armed gunman entering a school without them having the ability to not only achieve this mission, but also to protect themselves”.

 The Governor’s point is interesting because he’s essentially acknowledging that schools are a soft target due to them otherwise being “gun-free zones.” Still, the bill isn’t likely to have a significant effect. Not only because mass shootings are incredibly rare, but because, as Parkland showed, a single armed resource officer isn’t always enough. Still, one is better than none, I guess.

Armed Young Girl Advocates for Right to Carry

 This Tuesday an 11-year old girl accompanied her grandfather to the Idaho statehouse to advocate for legislation which would recognize the right of out-of-state individuals to concealed carry while visiting Idaho. She happened to be carrying an AR-pattern rifle, to the astonishment of some. I’d prefer to see an Ak74, but hey. 

Biden Forgets He is Supposed to be the Moderate Candidate

 Joe is at it again, this time threatening gun manufacturers. This was, of course, sandwiched between a number of silly assertions, such as “no one should have “50 clips in a weapon” (I’m inclined to agree with this one. Fifty clips sounds impractical and downright heavy. Anyone who’s handled a Type 11 will tell you six clips is enough to wrestle with.) He also tried to claim that 150 million (roughly half the United States population of about 330 million) have died from “gun violence” since the PLCAA was authorized. For the record, this is an insane claim, unless there is some sort of Thanos-level event that we’ve missed.