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History of Gun Rights – a Timeline of the 2nd Amendment

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Sep 262015
 

After going virtually unchallenged for more than one hundred years, Americans right to own guns was one of the hottest political topics of the second half of the 20th Century. The issue has calmed somewhat in the early days of the 21st Century, but if history is our guide, the debate is going nowhere until an inevitable and definitive ruling is handed down by the nations courts: does the Second Amendment apply to individual citizens?

1791: The Second Amendment is Ratified

The ink had hardly dried on the ratification papers of the Constitution before a political movement was undertaken to amend the framing document to declare gun ownership as a right.

A select committee assembled to review amendments proposed by James Madison authored the language that would become the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

1871: NRA Founded

The National Rifle Association was founded by a pair of Union soldiers in 1871, not as a political lobby but as an effort to promote the shooting of rifles. However, the organization would grow to become the face of America’s pro-gun lobby in the 20th Century.

1822: Bliss v. Commonwealth Brings Individual Right Into Question

The Second Amendments intent for individual Americans first came into question in 1822, in Bliss v. Commonwealth. The court case arose in Kentucky after a man was indicted for carrying a sword concealed in a cane.

He was convicted and fined $100.

Bliss appealed the conviction, citing a provision in the Commonwealths constitution that states: The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state, shall not be questioned.

In a majority vote with just one judge dissenting, the court overturned the conviction against Bliss and ruled the law unconstitutional and void.

1856: Dred Scott v. Sandford Upholds Individual Right

The Second Amendment as an individual right was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in its decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1856. With the rights of slaves in question, the nations highest court opined on the intent of the Second Amendment for the first time, writing that affording slaves full rights of American citizenship would include the right to keep and carry arms wherever they went.

1934: National Firearms Act Brings About First Major Gun Control

The first major effort to eliminate private ownership of firearms came with the National Firearms Act of 1934. A direct response of the rise of gangster violence in general, and the Saint Valentines Day massacre in particular, the National Firearms Act sought to circumvent the Second Amendment by controlling firearms through a tax excise ($200 for each gun sale).

The National Firearms Act targeted fully-automatic weapons, short-barreled shotguns and rifles, pen and cane guns, and other firearms defined as gangster weapons.

1938: Federal Firearms Act Requires License for Dealers

The Federal Firearms Act of 1938 required anyone selling or shipping firearms to be licensed through the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Federal Firearms License (FFL) stipulated that guns could not be sold to persons convicted of certain crimes and required sellers to log the names and addresses of anyone they sold guns to.

1968: Gun Control Act Ushers In New Regulations

Thirty years after Americas first sweeping reform of gun laws, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy helped to usher in new federal legislation with wide-ranging implications. The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibited mail order sales of rifles and shotguns, increased license requirements for sellers and broadened the list of persons prohibited from owning a firearm to include convicted felons, drug users and the mentally incompetent.

1994: Brady Act and Assault Weapons Ban

Two new federal laws passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994 became the hallmark of gun control efforts of the latter 20th Century.

The first, the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act, required a five-day waiting period and background check for the sale of handguns, while also requiring a National Instant Criminal Background Check System to be created. The second, the Assault Weapons Ban (officially entitled the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act) banned a number of rifles defined as assault weapons, including many semi-automatic, military-style rifles such as the AK-47 and SKS.

2004: Assault Weapons Ban Sunsets

A Republican-controlled Congress refused to pass a reauthorization of the Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, allowing the ban to expire. President George W. Bush was criticized by gun control supporters for not actively pressuring Congress to renew the ban, while gun rights supporters criticized him for indicating that he would sign a reauthorization if Congress passed it.

2008: D.C. v. Heller is a Major Setback for Gun Control

Gun rights proponents were thrilled in 2008 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment extends gun ownership rights to individuals. The decision affirmed an earlier decision by a lower appeals court and struck down handgun bans in Washington D.C. as unconstitutional.

The case was lauded as the first Supreme Court case to affirm the right of an individual to keep and bear arms in accordance with the Second Amendment. However, the ruling applied only to federal enclaves, such as the District of Columbia. Justices did not opine on the Second Amendments application to the states.

2010: Gun Owners Score Another Victory in McDonald v. Chicago

Gun rights supporters scored their second major Supreme Court victory in 2010, when the high court affirmed the individual right to own guns in McDonald v. Chicago.

The ruling, which was an inevitable follow-up to D.C. v. Heller, marked the first time that the Supreme Court ruled the provisions of the Second Amendment extend to the states. The ruling overturned an earlier decision by a lower court in a legal challenge to Chicagos ordinance banning the possession of handguns by its citizens.

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History of Gun Rights – a Timeline of the 2nd Amendment

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Articles about Second Amendment – latimes

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Sep 262015
 

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

July 2, 2000 | LINDA ASHTON, ASSOCIATED PRESS

They lock the gate to Canada at 5 p.m. But in this woodsy corner of northeastern Washington, no one really seems to mind the wait until it reopens promptly at 9 the next morning. In an emergency, there’s a border crossing open until midnight about 10 miles to the west. “This part of the country is still kind of backward. I like it that way.

NEWS

May 13, 2000 | RICHARD SIMON, TIMES STAFF WRITER

Their counterdemonstration in support of gun rights will be smaller than the Million Mom March. But the gun-owning women who make up the Second Amendment Sisters feel just as passionately about their cause. “The anti-gun factions constantly say that if it saves one life, it’s worth it,” said Debra Collins, who once used a 12-gauge shotgun to defend herself from an attack by her ex-husband at 4 o’clock in the morning. “Well, my firearm saved one life–mine.”

NEWS

July 22, 1999 | MICHAEL HARRIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Like many another old-timer, Leon Uris looks at America and doesn’t like what he sees. Gun manufacturers peddling ever more lethal weaponry under the cover of the Second Amendment. Media grown hysterical and trivial. Racial sores left to fester. The nation’s “social agenda” abandoned in favor of corporate greed. A general falling-off of virtue, so that the heroic Marines of World War II he wrote about in his first novel, “Battle Cry,” are grotesquely parodied by right-wing militiamen.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

May 31, 1994

Your editorial “Fear of Gun Crime: Deeper Than Any Set of Statistics” (May 22) hits very wide of the bull’s-eye. Though criminal usage of firearms is up, so is successful civilian usage in justified self-defense, to over 2 million per annum. Regarding the meaning of the Second Amendment, you’re only half right. The constitutional framers were rightly afraid of a dictatorial central government; however, the Second Amendment does in fact confirm an individual right to own arms.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

May 24, 1994

I was especially intrigued by the last paragraph of “Handgun Crime Soaring in U.S., Report Says,” May 17. I quote, “The survey also found that 38% of the victims who were armed attacked the individuals seeking to harm them. One-fifth of those attempting to protect themselves with a firearm were injured, compared to almost half who used other weapons or had no weapon at all.” I guess it comes as no surprise that the notoriously anti-gun Times would bury this intriguing bit of news at the very end. SAM BRUNSTEIN Glendale By now everyone knows the position of the National Rifle Assn.

NEWS

May 8, 1994

In Paula Poundstone’s piece (“The Good Old Days? Somebody Stole ‘Em,” Laugh Lines, April 25) she makes the false statement regarding the Old West that “they didn’t have the evil NRA then because nobody was against guns to begin with.” In fact, the National Rifle Assn. was incorporated in 1871 during the relatively brief period between the Civil War and the turn of the century that we think of as the “Wild West” period. It was during this era that attempts were made to disenfranchise and leave defenseless newly freed blacks by not allowing them to possess firearms as all other Americans could.

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Second Amendment | United States Constitution | Britannica.com

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Sep 022015
 

Second Amendment,Second AmendmentNARAamendment to the Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, that provided a constitutional check on congressional power under Article I Section 8 to organize, arm, and discipline the federal militia. The Second Amendment reads, A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Referred to in modern times as an individuals right to carry and use arms for self-defense, the Second Amendment was envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, according to College of William and Mary law professor and future U.S. District Court judge St. George Tucker in 1803 in his great work Blackstones Commentaries: With Notes of Reference to the Constitution and Laws of the Federal Government of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as the true palladium of liberty. In addition to checking federal power, the Second Amendment also provided state governments with what Luther Martin (1744/481826) described as the last coup de grace that would enable the states to thwart and oppose the general government. Last, it enshrined the ancient Florentine and Roman constitutional principle of civil and military virtue by making every citizen a soldier and every soldier a citizen. (See also gun control.)

Until 2008 the Supreme Court of the United States had never seriously considered the constitutional scope of the Second Amendment. In its first hearing on the subject, in Presser v. Illinois (1886), the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment prevented the states from prohibit[ing] the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security. More than four decades later, in United States v. Schwimmer (1929), the Supreme Court cited the Second Amendment as enshrining that the duty of individuals to defend our government against all enemies whenever necessity arises is a fundamental principle of the Constitution and holding that the common defense was one of the purposes for which the people ordained and established the Constitution. Meanwhile, in United States v. Miller (1939), in a prosecution under the National Firearms Act (1934), the Supreme Court avoided addressing the constitutional scope of the Second Amendment by merely holding that the possession or use of a shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length was not any part of the ordinary military equipment protected by the Second Amendment.

For more than seven decades after the United States v. Miller decision, what right to bear arms that the Second Amendment protected remained uncertain. This uncertainty was ended, however, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), in which the Supreme Court examined the Second Amendment in exacting detail. In a narrow 54 majority, delivered by Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court held that self-defense was the central component of the amendment and that the District of Columbias prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court also affirmed previous rulings that the Second Amendment ensured the right of individuals to take part in the defending of their liberties by taking up arms in an organized militia. However, the court was clear to emphasize that an individuals right to an organized militia is not the sole institutional beneficiary of the Second Amendments guarantee.

Because the Heller ruling constrained only federal regulations against the right of armed self-defense in the home, it was unclear whether the court would hold that the Second Amendment guarantees established in Heller were equally applicable to the states. The Supreme Court answered this question in 2010, with its ruling on McDonald v. Chicago. In a plurality opinion, a 54 majority held that the Heller right to possess a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense is applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendments due process clause.

However, despite the use of person in the Fourteenth Amendments due process clause, the McDonald plurality opinion did not extend to noncitizens. Clarence Thomass fifth and decisive vote only extended the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller to citizens. Thomas wrote, Because this case does not involve a claim brought by a noncitizen, I express no view on the difference, if any, between my conclusion and the plurality with respect to the extent to which States may regulate firearm possession by noncitizens. Thomas further came to this conclusion because he thought the Second Amendment should be incorporated through the Fourteenth Amendments privileges or immunities clause, which only recognizes the rights of citizens.

The relatively narrow holdings in the McDonald and Heller decisions left many Second Amendment legal issues unsettled, including the constitutionality of many federal gun-control regulations, whether the right to carry or conceal a weapon in public was protected, and whether noncitizens are protected through the equal protection clause.

The origins of the Second Amendment can be traced to ancient Roman and Florentine times, but its English origins developed in the late 16th century when Queen Elizabeth I instituted a national militia where individuals of all classes were required by law to take part in defending the realm. Although Elizabeths attempt to establish a national militia failed miserably, the ideology of the militia would be used as a political tool up to the mid-18th century. The political debate over the establishment and control of the militia was a contributing factor in both the English Civil Wars (164251) and the Glorious Revolution (168889).

Despite recognition in the early 21st century by the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment protected armed individual self-defense in the home, many constitutional historians disagreed with the court that the Second Amendment protected anything but the right to participate in a militia force as the means of defending their liberties. For over two centuries there was a consensus that the Second Amendment protected only the right of individuals to keep and bear Arms in order to take part in defending their liberties as a militia force. However, by the late 20th century the popular consensus had shifted, many believing that the Second Amendment was framed to protect armed self-defense in the home.

In England, following the Glorious Revolution, the Second Amendments predecessor was codified in the British Bill of Rights in 1689, under its Article VII, which proclaimed that the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law. Often misinterpreted as a right to defend ones person, home, or property, the allowance to have arms ensured that Parliament could exercise its sovereign right of self-preservation against a tyrannical crown by arming qualified Protestants as a militia.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution undoubtedly had in mind the English allowance to have arms when drafting the Second Amendment. The constitutional significance of a well regulated Militia is well documented in English and American history from the late 17th century through the American Revolution; it was included in the Articles of Confederation (1781), the countrys first constitution, and was even noted at the Constitutional Convention that drafted the new U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia in 1787. The right to keep and bear Arms was thus included as a means to accomplish the objective of a well regulated Militiato provide for the defense of the nation, to provide a well-trained and disciplined force to check federal tyranny, and to bring constitutional balance by distributing the power of the sword equally among the people, the states, and the federal government.

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Second Amendment | United States Constitution | Britannica.com

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Ben Carson Speaks on Second Amendment at NRA Leadership Forum – Video

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Apr 122015
 



Ben Carson Speaks on Second Amendment at NRA Leadership Forum
Ben Carson addresses the 144th annual NRA Annual Leadership Meeting. The potential GOP presidential candidate used his time to clarify his stance on the Second Amendment. “For the record let…

By: Lord Rothschild

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Ben Carson Speaks on Second Amendment at NRA Leadership Forum – Video

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Some Conservative Lawmakers Working To Roll Back Gun Restrictions – Second Amendment – Video

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Apr 112015
 



Some Conservative Lawmakers Working To Roll Back Gun Restrictions – Second Amendment
Some Conservative Lawmakers Working To Roll Back Gun Restrictions – Second Amendment – America's newsroom =========================================== **Please Click Below to …

By: Mass Tea Party

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Some Conservative Lawmakers Working To Roll Back Gun Restrictions – Second Amendment – Video

Some Conservative Lawmakers Working To Roll Back Gun Restrictions Second Amendment America’s new – Video

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Apr 112015
 



Some Conservative Lawmakers Working To Roll Back Gun Restrictions Second Amendment America's new
Some Conservative Lawmakers Working To Roll Back Gun Restrictions Second Amendment America's new.

By: Bill O'Reilly

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Some Conservative Lawmakers Working To Roll Back Gun Restrictions Second Amendment America’s new – Video

Tiananmen square activist turned American citizen demonstrates for the second amendment – Video

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Apr 112015
 



Tiananmen square activist turned American citizen demonstrates for the second amendment
The debate around the 2nd Amendment has returned to the City of Harlingen. Police officers arrested a gun rights activist at a demonstration back in December. But on Saturday afternoon, dozens……

By: Tamekia Cora

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Tiananmen square activist turned American citizen demonstrates for the second amendment – Video

Teaching the Bill of Rights: The Second Amendment – Part One – Video

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Apr 112015
 



Teaching the Bill of Rights: The Second Amendment – Part One
Teaching the Second Amendment is an important yet often controversial classroom experience. Click HERE for the lesson plans that accompany this video: http://bit.ly/BoRSecondAmendment…

By: Bill of Rights Institute

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Teaching the Bill of Rights: The Second Amendment – Part One – Video

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As Scott Walker addresses NRA, concealed carry vote criticized

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Apr 112015
 

Gov. Scott Walkers vote against a concealed carry bill in 2002 resurfaced Friday as the likely presidential candidate addressed an annual convention of the National Rifle Association.

Democrats highlighted the vote which clashes with his otherwise lengthy record of supporting Second Amendment rights as yet another example of Walker shifting his position for political gain. The 2002 vote came just before Walker mounted a successful campaign for Milwaukee County executive.

But Walker spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski countered that the reason Walker voted against the bill was because it came up after a lengthy late-night session and didnt follow the normal legislative process.

Gov. Walker was protecting the voters through transparency, Kukowski said. This is why the NRA has and continues to believe Gov. Walker stands up for Second Amendment rights, continually giving him good ratings year after year.

Walker didnt address his 2002 vote in his speech Friday, but highlighted how he has an A+ rating from the NRA as governor and had an A rating as a state legislator.

Im proud of that even though some on the left may say its a scarlet letter, Walker said in the speech. I say its a badge of honor.

The likely 2016 presidential contender has come under fire for shifting his position on various issues, including immigration, right-to-work, abortion, ethanol mandates and the Common Core education standards.

Add concealed carry to the list of issues Walker has changed his position on just to benefit himself, said Jason Pitt, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee. If weve learned anything from Scott Walker over the past few months its that his constant pandering on issues has defined him as one of the least trustworthy candidates among the 2016 GOP field.

Kukowski said Walkers record of supporting the Second Amendment included:

Co-sponsoring a constitutional amendment in the late 1990s that added the right to keep and bear arms;

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As Scott Walker addresses NRA, concealed carry vote criticized

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The truth about the NRA's snub of Rand Paul

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Apr 112015
 

The National Rifle Association says the only reason Sen. Rand Paul didnt get an invitation to its annual convention in Nashville this weekend was its inability to accommodate all the 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls.

But Republican insiders know that Paul is persona non grata with the countrys largest Second Amendment advocacy group because of his affiliation with another, more militant gun rights organization, its brash executive director, and his vast direct-mail network focused on hard-core conservative issues.

Story Continued Below

Nine Republican presidential contenders are set to address the NRAs annual convention, which is seen as a signature event for the GOPs base.

While Paul didnt make the cut, the NRA is not writing him off for good. He maintains an A rating with the group, which acknowledges Paul is good on Second Amendment issues. According to the NRA, he might have been offered a speaking slot, too, had he reached out. The explanation from Pauls camp is that hes busy with events on the trail following the official launch of his campaign on Tuesday in Kentucky.

But make no mistake: the NRAs snub of Paul is but the latest flashpoint in a long power struggle between the group and its rival, the National Association for Gun Rights.

Its also a reminder of the candidates deep anti-establishment roots, which some supporters fear could harm his presidential campaign, especially when they are tied to entities that could compromise the message of inclusion that Paul is shaping.

Dudley Brown, a pugnacious Coloradan, started the NAGR 15 years ago as a national companion organization to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. He brands both organizations as the no compromises gun lobby, a less-than-subtle knock on the NRA for being too Washington-focused and less absolutist on Second Amendment issues.

The disdain is mutual the NRA once dismissed Brown as the Al Sharpton of the gun movement.

But Browns organizations are about far more than gun rights. Theyre closely connected to libertarian direct mail operations rooted in the National Right to Work movement and aimed at advancing a number of conservative causes, including sharp opposition to gay marriage and abortion rights.

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The truth about the NRA's snub of Rand Paul

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Dr. Rand Paul on the Second Amendment – Video

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Apr 082015
 



Dr. Rand Paul on the Second Amendment
There are too many in Washington who give lip service to the Second Amendment, but vote to restrict gun ownership. I do not support any proposed gun control which would limit the right to gun…

By: Rand Paul

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Dr. Rand Paul on the Second Amendment – Video

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Colt Commander Pistol for Sale – Video

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Apr 032015
 



Colt Commander Pistol for Sale
Second Amendment Auction A brief film showcasing one of our latest and greatest firearms up for auction. She's a Colt 1911 Commander pistol in a .38 super caliber combination with an unbelievable…

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Colt Commander Pistol for Sale – Video

SCLC president suspended after comments regarding 2nd Amendment

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Apr 022015
 

ATLANTA (CBS46) –

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has suspended Georgia President Rev. Sam Mosteller over comments he made at a news conference on Tuesday.

Mosteller said it’s time for African-Americans to change how they deal with police.

I am going to advocate at this point that all African-Americans advocate their Second Amendment rights, Mosteller said.

The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Despite his statement about the Second Amendment, Mosteller said he’s not encouraging African-Americans to arm themselves.

I said the Second Amendment right. I didn’t say pack weapons, Mosteller said.

Mosteller said the fatal police shooting of Anthony Hill in DeKalb County and Nick Thomas in Cobb County, both of whom were unarmed, is a wake up call.

“When one is killed senselessly, that one is too many,” Mostellar said. “These killings are reminiscent of the days of old when African-Americans did not have to provoke an officer to become harmed and be endangered species. Black men — no matter the age — are indeed endangered species today, and we must come together with the police community to determine what can be done to stop their violence!”

National SCLC president, Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., issued the following statement. It reads in part:

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SCLC president suspended after comments regarding 2nd Amendment

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SCLC suspends Georgia Chapter President for call to bear arms

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Apr 012015
 

ATLANTA – The Southern Christian Leadership Conference Wednesday suspended the president of its Georgia chapter, the day after he urged blacks to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms in response to recent police shootings of unarmed blacks.

SCLC National President and CEO Dr. Charles Steele made the announcement at a news conference.

The action comes after Georgia SCLC President Sam Mosteller Tuesday called on all African-Americans to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

In a statement, Dr. Steele said, We have found that his (Reverend Mosteller’s) comments do not represent, not reflect the principles and position of this organization.

As a result, the national organization announced the indefinite suspension of Rev. Mosteller, ordered an internal investigation, and ordered him to undergo an internal training program.

Tuesday, Rev. Mosteller told reporters he is tired of talking and marching and of inaction at the local and federal level.

He said police and the justice system have failed blacks in cities nationwide.

Reverend Mosteller stated, “We going to have to do something in our community to let the rest of America know that we are not going to be victimized by just anybody whether it be police or folks that decide that black people are thugs and we need to control that black community. We [are] not going to allow that anymore.”

But when asked if he was suggesting blacks pack weapons the reverend insisted he was being misquoted saying, “Listen, listen I didn’t say that. I said the Second Amendment right? I didn’t say pack weapons, I said Second Amendment. Please don’t put words in my mouth, please don’t do that… Do you have to carry a weapon to avail yourself of the Second Amendment the answer is no, you don’t have to okay?”

In his statement, Dr. Steele said the SCLC was founded and maintains its position against violence of ANY type.

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SCLC suspends Georgia Chapter President for call to bear arms




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