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‘Missouri Police Chief Resigns Over New 2nd Amendment Bill’

A police chief in a Missouri city has resigned over a new bill in the state that bars officers from enforcing or attempting to enforce federal laws that infringe on Second Amendment rights. Philip Dupuis, police chief of O’Fallon, said in a statement to news outlets that he understood the motivation behind the bill and described himself as a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. “The problem with this statute is the poorly worded language that removes sovereign immunity and appears to allow law enforcement agencies and individual police officers to be sued for even good faith justified seizures of firearms in emergency circumstances,” Dupuis said. “Every police department in the country seizes weapons during arrests for criminal activity or when they feel it is immediately necessary to protect someone who may be suicidal or threatening to harm others. This statute allows that officer to be sued if the individual believes that seizure ‘infringed upon their second amendment rights.’ This vague language will create a flood of weaponized litigation that will chill the legitimate peace keeping duties of police. This will decrease public safety and increase frivolous lawsuits designed to harass and penalize good hard working law enforcement agencies.” The longtime law enforcement member said he wasn’t willing to “risk my family’s financial future on a poorly written piece of legislation that opens me and my fellow officers up to being sued even when they act lawfully and appropriately.” O’Fallon declined to comment while the city’s police department said it was “saddened to hear” of the resignation. “He has helped our department in many ways!” it said in a social media post. The law in question, House Bill 85, or the Second Amendment Preservation Act, was passed by the state legislature before being signed by Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, this month. The law declares, in part, that “it must be the duty of the courts and law enforcement agencies to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms and that no person, including a public officer or state employee of this state or any political subdivision of this state, can have authority to enforce or attempt to enforce any federal laws, orders, or rules infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.” Any person who “knowingly acts under the color of any federal or state law to deprive a Missouri citizen of the rights or privileges ensured by the federal and state constitutions to keep and bear arms” is liable for monetary damages of $50,000 per occurrence, as well as injunctive relief and attorney fees. Parson in a statement after signing the bill said it “draws a line in the sand and demonstrates our commitment to reject any attempt by the federal government to circumvent the fundamental right Missourians have to keep and bear arms to protect themselves and their property.” The Department of Justice told state officials in a letter that the law was outweighed by the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. Parson and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt responded by saying Missouri was “not attempting to nullify federal law” but was “defending its people from federal government overreach by prohibiting state and local law enforcement agencies from being used by the federal government to infringe Missourians’ right to keep and bear arms.”

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California’s ban on assault weapons to stay (for now)

A federal appeals court panel on Monday put an indefinite hold on a San Diego federal judge's ruling that overturned California's three-decade-old ban on assault weapons.The order by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel came in response to a challenge to the ruling filed earlier this month by the state."This leaves our assault weapons laws in effect while appellate proceedings continue,'' state Attorney General Rob Bonta wrote on his Twitter account in response to the action. "We won't stop defending these life-saving laws.''In early June, U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez issued a 94-page ruling striking down the state's assault weapons ban."Like the Swiss Army knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment,'' Benitez wrote in the ruling. "Good for both home and battle, the AR-15 is the kind of versatile gun that lies at the intersection of the kinds of firearms protected under District of Columbia v. Heller and United States v. Miller.''Bonta decried that comparison, saying, "Equating firearms that have been used in many of the deadliest mass shootings in this country with Swiss Army knives has no basis in law or fact. The ban on assault weapons will not put an end to all gun violence, but it is one important tool the state has to protect the safety of Californians while also respecting the rights of law-abiding residents who choose to possess firearms.''The ruling, which stemmed from a lawsuit filed by local gun proponents, marked the third time in recent years that Benitez has blocked state laws related to firearms or ammunition. The judge previously ruled against California's laws that banned high-capacity magazines and required background checks for ammo purchases, finding in each instance that state gun laws have infringed upon the Second Amendment rights of Californians.In the assault weapon ruling, Benitez wrote that "the state's definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states."In a news conference in San Francisco with Bonta announcing the appeal, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued harsh condemnations of Benitez and his history of striking down California gun laws, calling the judge "a wholly owned subsidiary of the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association,'' while criticizing the timing of the ruling, which was issued on National Gun Violence Awareness Day.The Firearms Policy Coalition, which filed the lawsuit that was the basis of Benitez's ruling, has pledged to "aggressively litigate this case on appeal and will take every action to defend the court's legally and historically correct decision up to and at the U.S. Supreme Court."The FPC took issue with Newsom's outrageous and callous personal attacks'' on Benitez, which the group said "shows (Newsom's) deep and continuing disrespect for the rule of law, the judiciary, the Constitution, and the human rights of California citizens."The video in the media player above is from a previous report. Copyright © 2021 by City News Service, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Texas governor signs permitless firearm carry bill

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday signed a bill that allows for adults to carry a firearm without a permit.The bill, one of seven the governor passed to expand gun laws in the state, allows for any Texan 21 years and older to carry a firearm if they are not barred from doing so. The Texas Department of Public Safety will be required to offer free online gun safety courses.The law also expands on who is barred from carrying a firearm, increases penalties for those carrying illegally, and grants probable cause for police to question people solely for carrying a firearm. Illegal carriers include individuals under 21 years, felons, non-citizens or people who renounce their US citizenship, people under investigation or indictment, individuals convicted of crimes punishable by more than a year in prison (regardless of whether they were ever sentenced or served time in prison), fugitives, unlawful users of controlled substances, individuals committed to a mental institution, individuals subject to a restraining order related to an intimate partner or child, individuals convicted of domestic violence.“Welcome to TEXAS—a state that safeguards the 2nd Amendment,” Abbott tweeted on Friday. “The seven laws I signed yesterday protect the rights of law-abiding citizens and ensure that Texas remains a bastion of freedom.”In most states, people 21 years and older may carry a firearm without a permit if the firearm is clearly visible on the outside of all clothing. A person may only carry a firearm concealed (e.g. under clothing or in reach of the driver of a vehicle) if the individual acquires a conceal carry permit from their local sheriff’s office. However, purchasing and possessing a firearm is allowed in all states under the Second Amendment of the Constitution.In all states, adults 18 years and older may purchase a rifle or shotgun from a dealer, but only adults 21 years and older may purchase handguns. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Guidance explains that it is illegal for anyone under 21 years to buy a firearm from a federally licensed dealer, under the Gun Control Act of 1968.However, the ATF explains that an individual between the ages of 18 and 21 may acquire a handgun from an unlicensed individual who resides in the same state (e.g. a parent gives or wills a firearm to their child aged 18-21, an individual purchases a firearm through their state’s gun show exception, etc.).The law is set to go into effect on September 1. Texas will join 20 other states with similar concealed carry laws.

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St. Louis gun-waving couple plead guilty to misdemeanors, fined.

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis couple who gained notoriety for pointing guns at social justice demonstrators pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges, but the man left the courthouse defiantly pledging to “do it again” if faced with the same circumstances.Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000. Her husband, Mark, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750. They also agreed to give up the weapons they used during the confrontation.When several hundred demonstrators marched past their home in June 2020, the couple waved weapons at them. They claimed that the protesters were trespassing and that they feared for their safety. The McCloskeys, both of them lawyers in their 60s, wore blue blazers and spoke calmly in answering questions from Judge David Mason during Thursday’s hearing. Mason asked Mark McCloskey if he acknowledged that his actions put people at risk of personal injury. He replied, “I sure did, your honor.” Mark McCloskey, who announced in May that he was running for a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri, was unapologetic after the hearing.“I’d do it again,” he said from the courthouse steps in downtown St. Louis. “Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”The McCloskeys’ defense lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said after the hearing the couple had hoped to raise money by donating Mark’s rifle to charity, but acknowledged that it was an unusual request.Because the charges are misdemeanors, the McCloskeys do not face the possibility of losing their law licenses and can continue to own firearms. On the courthouse steps after the hearing, special prosecutor Richard Callahan said the misdemeanor plea was reasonable, noting the McCloskeys called the police, no shots were fired and no one was hurt. “But I think that their conduct was a little unreasonable in the end,” he said. “I don’t think people should view this case as some type of betrayal or assault on the 2nd Amendment. We still have the 2nd Amendment rights. It’s just that the 2nd Amendment does not permit unreasonable conduct.”The June 28, 2020, protests came weeks after George Floyd’s death under a Minneapolis police officer’s knee. Mark McCloskey emerged with an AR-15-style rifle, and Patricia McCloskey waved a semiautomatic pistol, according to the indictment. Cellphone video captured the confrontation. The McCloskeys were indicted by a grand jury in October on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. Callahan later amended the charges to give jurors the alternative of convictions of misdemeanor harassment instead of the weapons charge. Under that alternative, the evidence tampering count would be dropped. An investigation by St. Louis Circuit Atty. Kim Gardner’s office led to the initial indictments — and harsh backlash from several Republican leaders. Then-President Trump spoke out in defense of the couple, whose newfound celebrity earned them an appearance via video at the Republican National Convention. Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has said that if the McCloskeys are convicted, he’d pardon them. A spokeswoman for Parson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment after the hearing.Callahan, a longtime judge and former U.S. attorney, was appointed special prosecutor after a judge in December ruled that Gardner created an appearance of impropriety by mentioning the McCloskey case in fundraising emails before the August Democratic primary. Gardner went on to win reelection.

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Report Absolving Trump Over DC Anti-Riot Actions, CNN ‘Disagrees’

CNN journalists are so bitten by Trump Derangement Syndrome that the release of an inspector general's report disproving the liberal media's anti-Trump narrative on the clearing of Lafayette Park has had them struggling to salvage their anti-Trump theories.After last week's report by the U.S. Department of the Interior found that President Donald Trump did not order that protesters be forcibly removed so he could stage a photo-op last June, CNN's Jim Acosta joined Thursday's New Day to react with skepticism, with Acosta suggesting that the inspector general was trying to get a job working for Trump. Additionally, CNNers tried to blame Trump for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department using teargas near Lafayette Park even though the MPD was under the control of the local Democratic-controlled D.C. government. Last year, the same CNN show had likened the operation to the Tiananmen Square massacre. When co-host Brianna Keilar brought up the topic, she asked if the report "raises more questions than it answers," leading Acosta to respond: Well, I certainly think it raises more questions than it answers. I mean, you know, the IG report is saying that the Park Police cleared the park with the purpose of setting up this fence because obviously the protesters needed to be moved back from this area where they were defacing statues and potentially pulling down the Andrew Jackson statue and so on. Acosta did not mention that a large number of officers were injured in the Lafayette Park area in the first week of protests, which was more than the number injured in the January 6 Capitol riots. The liberal CNN journalist soon added: "They were violently pummeling protesters, tear gassing protesters. Remember, at the time, the White House was telling us, 'we didn't use teargas.' The D.C. Police were using teargas.'" The report concluded that Federal officers did not use teargas because they were ordered not to do so, but the D.C. Police -- which was still under local control -- used CS gas relatively nearby when some protesters violently attacked officers. Acosta then clung to the idea that there must still be a Trump scandal in there somewhere that's still being covered up: The other thing that is not clear about all of this is, you know, "What did the White House team know at this time?" According to the inspector general's report, they did not speak to senior White House officials -- they did not speak to the Secret Service. So this certainly raises more questions. And I have to say, you know, as I read through this report, it sounded as if this inspector general was auditioning to become the inspector general at Mar-a-Lago because, I mean, this is almost a whitewash of what occurred on June 1st. Again, not acknowledging that there had been a lot of violence by protesters violating curfew in the first few nights, and that the crowds were reportedly getting larger instead of smaller as the 7 p.m. curfew approached, Acosta described the protesters as peaceful as he complained: These protesters were largely demonstrating peacefully and were violently cleared from that park. It was just a huge blow to the First Amendment, I think, in this country. You can't have protesters pummeled by police officers when they're trying to make a statement about racial justice in this country. Co-host John Berman then jumped in to suggest other scandalous information is being covered up. By contrast, CNN law enforcement correspondent Whitney Wild was more of a straight journalist in reporting the facts when the story broke on Wednesday afternoon, and again which she appeared on CNN Tonight. And just a week earlier, after the D.C. Metro Police admitted that it had used teargas on that evening, Keilar gave a commentary on New Day in which she tried to blame Trump for the activities of the agency even though it was operating under the local control of D.C.'s Democratic mayor and city council. Thursday's New Day show was sponsored in part by Lexus. Their contact information is linked. Transcripts follow: CNN's New DayJune 10. 20217:13 a.m. Eastern BRIANNA KEILAR: I want to turn now and talk to you a little bit about this IG report, this inspector general's report about a very key day, which was when Lafayette Square was cleared, and then we saw President Trump with his photo op in front of the church there. Tell us what we're learning, and tell us what this means. Tell us if this raises more questions than it answers. What do you think? JIM ACOSTA: Well, I certainly think it raises more questions than it answers. I mean, you know, the IG report is saying that the Park Police cleared the park with the purpose of setting up this fence because obviously the protesters needed to be moved back from this area where they were defacing statues and potentially pulling down the Andrew Jackson statue and so on. I was in the Rose Garden that day when Trump gave that speech and said, "I'm going to this special place," talking about the church, and you could hear the Park Police and other federal forces, D.C. Police, clearing the park. They were violently pummeling protesters, tear gassing protesters. Remember, at the time, the White House was telling us, "We didn't use teargas." The D.C. Police were using teargas.  The other thing that is not clear about all of this is, you know, what did the White House team know at this time? According to the inspector general's report, they did not speak to senior White House officials, they did not speak to the Secret Service. So this certainly raises more questions. And I have to say, you know, as I read through this report, it sounded as if this inspector general was auditioning to become the inspector general at Mar-a-Lago because, I mean, this is almost a whitewash of what occurred on June 1st. These protesters were largely demonstrating peacefully and were violently cleared from that park. It was just a huge blow to the First Amendment, I think, in this country. You can't have protesters pummeled by police officers when they're trying to make a statement about racial justice in this country. BERMAN: The IG report didn't so, though, that it didn't happen. What it really specifically said was that the Park Police and only the Park Police -- not necessarily the Secret Service or other law enforcement agencies -- but the Park Police didn't clear those protesters so that the President could go hold up the Bible. That's a very specific narrow finding. ACOSTA: And -- but what we don't know is what the White House was plotting at the same time. Remember -- if you look at this inspector general's report -- there's one part where a Park Police commander talks to the Attorney General, and the Attorney General says -- this is in the IG report -- "are these protesters still going to be here when the President comes out?" So, clearly, they had this intent to use the clearing of the park to stage this photo opportunity even if that was not the original intent of the Park Police. And so, you know, I think that there are other investigations going on up on Capitol Hill, inside the Interior Department, over at the Justice Department. We need more answers than this. This doesn't go nearly far enough to explain what happened that day. KEILAR: Yeah, what did -- we don't know what the AG said. We also didn't hear from a lot of folks who would have known that as well -- ACOSTA: Yeah. KEILAR: -- in this report. -------------------------------------------------- CNN Newsroom with Ana CabreraJune 9, 20211:35 p.m. Eastern ANA CABRERA: We have this breaking news. A brand new government report is just out on this controversial moment involving former President Trump last June where police teargassed a crowd of protesters in Lafayette Square before Trump walked to this nearby church for a photo op with a Bible. CNN law enforcement correspondent Whitney Wild joins us now with what this report says. Whitney, what can you tell us? WHITNEY WILD: Well, Ana, this report, dropping just a few minutes ago, says that U.S. Park Police did have the authority to clear Lafayette Park when they did. There was a big question about whether or not they should have waited until the D.C. curfew went into effect -- that was at 7:00 because we know Park Police began clearing that area around Lafayette Park around 6:00. So here's what the report says. They did have the authority to clear it when they did. They did not need to wait for the curfew. There were also questions about chemical irritants that were deployed -- was it teargas? Was it not teargas? What we've learned from this report, Ana, is that Park Police did not deploy teargas. Instead, they did deploy this white chemical irritant, this white -- I'm sorry, a white smoke non-irritant white smoke. That's an important distinction because they felt like their operational plan did not specify that they should be using teargas. So Park Police decided early on they were not going to use teargas -- they did not. The report says that it was the Metropolitan Police Department that later on in another location used teargas. So the white sort of smoke that you see deployed by Park Police and its law enforcement partners, that is a nonirritant white smoke. So an important distinction there.  This was also not cleared for the President's visit to this church. It was actually sort of a -- I -- I wouldn't use the term "happenstance" -- but it's not clear why -- well, let me back up -- let me explain the whole process here because it was a -- it was sort of a day-long thing that led up to this confrontation. Park Police earlier on in the day had decided that they were going to clear the area outside Lafayette Park because, by June 1st, after days of civil unrest in D.C., they needed a contractor to come in and put up a fence around the White House. It was at the contractor's request that this happen under two conditions -- one, during daylight hours; and two, with a police presence. So Park Police had decided to create this operational plan -- they always planned to clear the area for the purpose of getting the fence up safely -- not for the purpose of allowing the President to go to the church. That decision was made -- the report doesn't opine on why the decision was made, but the timing here -- although it looks, you know, at first blush, perhaps looked like that was the reason. The report says that explicitly was not the reason, Ana.

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“An assault rifle is not a Swiss Army knife”

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