Archive for the 'Kopelization' Category

Taking on Artsy-Fartsy-Pants

Posted by on Oct 03 2013 | Events, Kopelization, Second Amendment

The International Film Series is Boulder, Colorado’s original “Art Film” outlet founded back in 1941 and it is still going strong today.

The point? Boulder’s been home to pretentious, beret-wearing art snobs since World War II.

Since then we’ve been able to defeat the Nazis, relegate the Evil Empire to the ash heap of history, eradicate polio, kill disco, replace 8-tracks with Walkmans, and replace Walkmans with iPods.

But still we haven’t put an end to smug trust-funders bloviating over grainy, subtitled films that take three hours to explore the existential torment of the futility of love.

That changes Tuesday night at 7:00.

The counter-offensive to make the cinema safe for democracy starts with our own act of subversion.

Using infiltrators posing as French literature grad students earning work study money at the International Film Series, we were able to use the false promise of loose women and cocaine to coerce the program director to sneak a Freedom-loving film into the schedule.

Tuesday we partner with the Film Series to show the Second Amendment documentary Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire. It stars famed action-film celeb David Kopel, who in his spare time serves as research director for the Independence Institute.

From the film’s web page: “Dead Patriot Films presents ‘Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire,’ a documentary that brings audiences to the center of the controversy over the issue that is dividing our nation – gun control. Narrated by Ice-T, a critically acclaimed rapper and actor, the film takes a critical look at current gun laws and the rising movement to restrict the rights guaranteed by our Second Amendment.”

Please join us Tuesday evening on the University of Colorado Boulder Campus for the movie followed by Q and A from the one and only Dave Kopel. (Can you imagine a bunch of, well, us, enjoying a liberty movie in the center of CU? This is gonna’ cause Ward Churchill to buy Ex-Lax by the case.)

Check out the movie and the International Film Series at http://www.internationalfilmseries.com/event_detail.php?event_id=9969

$7 at the door. Seats are limited. Be there.

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First Major Success in Lawsuit Challenging New Gun Control Laws

Posted by on Jul 10 2013 | guns, Kopelization, Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Today the Independence Institute’s federal civil rights lawsuit achieved its first major success, eliminating the problems that were caused by two vague phrases in House Bill 1224, the magazine ban.

The Independence Institute’s David Kopel is representing 55 elected Sheriffs and one retired police officer in lawsuit against the new anti-gun laws signed by Governor Hickenlooper last March.

Tuesday night, on the eve of a federal court hearing, the plaintiffs and the Colorado Attorney General agreed on proposal to fix two problems the magazine ban.

First, the magazine ban applies to magazines which are “designed to be readily converted” to hold more than 15 rounds. This could outlaw some or all magazines which have removable base plates; if a base plate is removed, an extender can be attached to a magazine that will increase the magazine’s capacity.

The Attorney General agreed to issue new guidance to state law enforcement that will remedy this problem. The new language says that magazines with removable base plates are only illegal if they have actually been altered so that they do hold more than 15 rounds. “Unless so altered, they are not prohibited.”

The second problem, which has also been fixed, was that House Bill 1224 required the grandfathered owners of magazines to maintain “continuous possession.” This outlawed many innocent and constitutionally protected activities, such as leaving magazine for a gunsmith for two weeks while it is repaired, or loaning a magazine to a family member.

The Attorney General agreed to fix this problem by issuing additional guidance to law enforcement, stating that: “‘Continuous possession’ is only lost by a voluntary relinquishment of dominion and control.” “Dominion” is a legal term for the highest level of ownership rights. So if you loan your magazine to your daughter for a week, and she does not have the right to sell the magazine, then you still have “dominion.”

The practical result of the new language is that owners of grandfathered magazines can now engage in all lawful activities with those magazines, including loaning them to friends and family. The grandfathered owners simply may not sell the magazines, or give away ownership.

For the Sheriffs, this means that they can now return a stolen magazine to its rightful owner.

The successful resolution of these issues was achieved by voluntary agreement with the Attorney General. However, that agreement never would have happened without the pressure of the preliminary injunction motion which we filed on June 10, as well as our subsequent filings and briefs.

Because the Attorney General did, ultimately, voluntarily agree to put these changes into Technical Guidance which is binding on the executive branch of the state government, U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger decided that it would be unnecessary for her to issue an injunction.

With these two issues now resolved, we are beginning preparation for a full trial on the merits. The trial will be our challenge to the entirety of the unconstitutional anti-gun laws:

  • House Bill 1224 bans the sale of magazines holding more than 15 rounds. We will argue and present evidence that this violates the Second Amendment, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller. The Heller decision forbids bans on arms which are “Typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.” We will show magazines of up to 20 rounds for handguns, and up to 30 rounds for rifles, are standard for many popular firearms, and thus protected under Heller.
  • House Bill 1229 imposes paperwork, fee, and background check requirements on many ordinary uses of guns–such as loaning a gun to a friend for a week when he goes on a hunting trip. We will argue and present evidence that it is unconstitutional to treat temporary firearms loans as if they were firearms sales made by a gun store.

Today’s success shows that our legal strategy is working. We have removed the problems of two badly misdrafted provisions in the magazine ban. If we have the proper resources to take the rest of the case to a full trial on the merits, we are hopeful that we can liberate Colorado entirely from House Bills 1224 and 1229, which are unconstitutional and harmful to public safety.


(Click image to donate)

This is just the first victory in a looooong fight. We need your help. Please donate to help us fight this battle HERE. Thank you all so much.

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Taking the Gun Show on the Road

Posted by on Jun 03 2013 | Events, guns, Kopelization, Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Our Second Amendment event last week in Colorado Springs was a HUGE success. We were surprised how enthusiastic the crowd was to hear Dave Kopel and company (sheriffs) discuss gun rights in Colorado and why we’re suing the state. We had such big turnouts at both our Denver and Colorado Springs events, we decided to take the show on the road. After all, our lawsuit addresses the anti-gun bills that hold firearms and magazines hostage throughout the entire state. It’s only appropriate that we hear from folks outside the Denver and front range area.

ROAD TRIP!

First up, next Wednesday, June 12th we will be in Glenwood Springs to hear from the good folks in Garfield County (flyer here for details). This night out will feature Dave Kopel and three county sheriffs – Garfield’s Lou Vallario, Weld’s John Cooke, and Larimer’s Justin Smith – presenting on the Second Amendment in Colorado and our fight against the new anti-gun bills. It’s only $5 to attend and you can sign up online or by calling us at 303-279-6536.

After Glenwood Springs, we’ll be heading to Delta County the next day in an event featuring Kopel and Larimer Sheriff Justin Smith, plus a couple new faces – Delta Sheriff Fred McKee and Montrose Sheriff Rick Dunlap. That’s Thursday, June 13th at the Delta County Center for Performing Arts and Education. For details, see the flyer here. You can purchase tickets and RSVP online here or give us a call at 303-279-6536.

That’s Glenwood Springs on Wednesday, June 12th and Delta on Thursday the 13th. Don’t miss these events!

I wouldn’t wait too long to purchase tickets. There are many more people interested than are seats available. RSVP today!

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54 Colorado Sheriffs file lawsuit against anti-gun bills

Posted by on May 17 2013 | guns, Kopelization, Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution

We filed suit against the unconstitutional gun laws today.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

A couple of hours ago the lobby of our Independence Institute building, affectionately known as the Freedom Embassy, was overflowing with microphones, cameras, and news reporters for the announcement that our lawsuit has been filed against the unconstitutional new gun bills. Quite literally, reporters were spilling out of our front door.

Sheriffs, representing the 54 elected sheriffs across Colorado, disabled gun owners, women for concealed carry, and the Colorado Farm Bureau all spoke on why they are plaintiffs in this landmark case.

You can see the press conference in its entirety below. Please take at least a few minutes to witness the passion behind our plaintiffs and listen to their reasons for challenging the State of Colorado. These are the people that make me so very proud to be a Coloradan. They are the spirit of Colorado.

We are honored and humbled to spearhead this effort to overturn these dangerous laws. Here is the full video of the press conference. Here is the official complaint.

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The Truth About Gun Control

Posted by on Apr 26 2013 | Constitutional History, Constitutional Law, guns, Kopelization, Second Amendment, The Founders, U.S. Constitution

Wouldn’t it be great if someone wrote a short essay about the right to keep and bear arms and its opposition in America? Perhaps something of similar length and persuasion as Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” or the Federalist Papers?

Well, our resident Second Amendment scholar, historian, and law professor Dave Kopel did just that for Encounter Books. In his latest book appropriately titled, “The Truth About Gun Control,” Dave gives the reader a foundation for why the right to keep and bear arms is important, who fought this inherent right and why, and what’s at stake today from the likes of Mayor Bloomberg and President Obama. As Dave says, the book is meant to be read in one sitting. Or as I like to say, the book can be read to me in one sitting.

If you’d like to hear more about the book, check out this iVoices.org podcast. He and Justin go into more detail about the book and why it’s an important piece in today’s fight against the gun control machine.

If reading the book and listening to the podcast don’t entirely whet your appetite, I may have just the thing for you. On Tuesday, May 14th, we are holding a book signing and presentation with Dave here at the Freedom Embassy. Admission is FREE, but you must RSVP online or by phone at 303-279-6536. For more information, visit our Facebook page here.

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Another Second Amendment Success

Posted by on Apr 19 2013 | Constitutional Law, Gun shows, guns, Kopelization, Politics, PPC, Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution

The media correctly portrayed Wednesday’s Senate vote against broad background checks as an enormous defeat for the anti-gun movement, and for President Obama, as he put so much of his political capital into it. His decisive defeat significantly weakens him on every other issue.

What might not be as well known is that the Independence Institute was a key player in this success.

We were the only organization to put out a detailed explanation of how Senator Schumer’s background check bill would’ve turned almost every American gun owner into a felon, because it applies not only to gun sales, but also temporary transfers, like lending your shotgun to a friend or family member.

When the gun control lobby realized they couldn’t pass Schumer’s background check, they then proposed the Manchin-Toomey substitute. It was drafted secretly and hastily, and the plan was to rush it through the Senate. Our Second Amendment scholar, David Kopel, spent long & late nights writing articles on Volokh.com and National Review Online explaining how poorly written it was, making it full of unintended consequences. For example, it supposedly outlawed federal gun registration, but when you look carefully at the statutory language, it actually legalized one form of federal gun registration which is currently illegal.

Kopel’s work helped the Senate see that these bills, which were supposedly just about background checks on sales, were actually laden with many other anti gun provisions.

We were there from the very beginning of this fight. According to Senate aides, Kopel’s testimony before the Judicial Committee on January 30 was crucial in stopping a federal ban on so-called “assault weapons.” And from the very moment President Obama began using the horrible murders in Newtown as pretext to crack down on law abiding gun owners, Kopel was in the national media providing the facts and promoting genuine reforms which would actually help public safety.

Joe Biden lobbied hard here in Colorado to pass a litany of anti gun bills on the state level, which were intended to set the stage for a national ban. Kopel’s expert testimony in the state legislature, along with our broad outreach in social media and on YouTube, helped lead to the defeat of two of the worst bills: the ban on licensed carry on college campuses and the bill allowing lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Our work also helped make the bills that did pass significantly less bad than they were to start with.

For the anti-gun movement, Colorado was supposed to be an easy victory leading them to victories elsewhere. Instead they paid a HUGE price for their limited victories in Colorado, and that price will escalate significantly as we provide pro bono representation to Colorado Sheriffs as we lead the legal fight to declare these bills unconstitutional.

Join us for a book signing with our Second Amendment scholar Dave Kopel on Tuesday, May 14th. He will be giving a presentation on his new book, “The Truth About Gun Control,” and signing copies following the Q and A. For more details and to RSVP, please go here.

We fight for Freedom with a long-term battle plan that works. These victories are even more proof. Thank you for being a part of it.

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Want to Help Secure Colorado’s Gun Rights? Donate to Our Legal Effort!

Posted by on Mar 21 2013 | Fourteenth Amendment, guns, Kopelization, PPC, Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution

As many of you have heard, we are mounting a legal challenge to the new gun controls signed into law yesterday. Our lawsuit will be based on the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, among other grounds. The lawsuit will be brought on behalf of a large coalition of local and national law enforcement, including many of the Sheriffs who opposed the bills, disability rights organizations, gun safety organizations, civil rights organizations, and others. As always, spearheading this effort is our Second Amendment Scholar Dave Kopel.

Many have called, emailed, and written us wondering how they can help with our legal campaign. This help is sorely needed. As you might imagine, we have a long and expensive legal battle ahead of us. Your contribution will help with these expenses.

The easiest way to make a contribution directly to this effort is by clicking on this link to donate: https://secure.i2i.org/2al.php

However, if you prefer to send a check, you may mail it to:

Independence Institute
727 E. 16th Avenue
Denver, CO 80203

In the memo line, simply put SAP lawsuit, so we apply your gift to the our efforts to fight these over-reaching gun laws.

Again, thank you for your support!

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Statement on the Allegations Against David Kopel

Posted by on Mar 12 2013 | Capitol Crazies, guns, Kopelization, PPC, Second Amendment

The controversy surrounding my Research Director, David Kopel, has grown to the point where I feel I must comment officially.

Before I get to the allegations, let me say that I have known Dave for over two decades. I believe him to be a good man. Like all of us, he is not perfect. And like all of us, he has certainly made some decisions that, with the fullness of time, he might come to regret. Nevertheless, I am proud to call him a good friend and proud to stand with him during this time.

As you are aware, our Second Amendment rights are under assault not only on the national level but also here in Colorado. Dave Kopel is arguably the nation’s leading scholar on the right to keep and bear arms and he has been in high demand. He has never been more productive.

He has been all over the media setting the record straight and putting out the emotional fires of the anti-gun panic. You’ve seen him on CNN, FOX, BBC, PBS’s News Hour, MSNBC and more. You’ve read his work in publications ranging from the Denver Post to the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal.

More importantly, he has been hip-deep in the fight in the Colorado Legislature, meeting with lawmakers, testifying, and rewriting legislation. Senator Greg Brophy thanked him from the Senate floor for rewording part of the hideous magazine ban bill so at least it wouldn’t outlaw almost every shotgun in the state. On Friday, he spent the entire day and most of the night in the Senate Chambers advising lawmakers during their marathon debate.

So, it is little wonder that the ugly allegations against Dave have surfaced. How could David Kopel produce so much quality and impactful work over the last two months if he weren’t using performance enhancing drugs?

Let me make clear, it is not the policy of the Independence Institute, nor has it ever been, to condone juicing by any of its scholars.

Dave has been steadfast in his denials of using steroids, yet, as you have read in the papers, he refuses to submit to the same urine analysis that his other team members do. Curiously, for some reason, our investigative reporter Todd Shepherd submits urine samples hourly.

As for the observations that David’s cranium has expanded to the point of being bulbous, Dave insists that it is an illusion caused by his receding hairline.

All I can say for certain is that I stand by my friend and colleague. If he says his outstanding and wildly effective work has not been aided by performance enhancing drugs, then I for one believe him. And to him I say – Dave we love you whether you have or haven’t, and there is no shame to admit weakness.

There will never be an asterisk by your name in my book.

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All Kopel, All the Time

Posted by on Feb 13 2013 | Constitutional History, Constitutional Law, Kopelization, Law schools, Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution

I’m sure like me, you feel like there is just not enough Dave Kopel in the world to satiate your unquenchable thirst for the Second Amendment, law, history, and everything else Dave knows everything about. We’ll never get enough Kopel, but we can get close. I’ve been visiting Dave’s YouTube channel over the past few weeks and it’s a great way to keep up with everything he’s doing on air. It’s updated regularly so make sure you subscribe to it.

Below you’ll find the latest Dave video – a debate on international gun control held yesterday at DU. It’s basically an hour of Dave dropping knowledge on the panel and the room. Truly remarkable.

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Kopel Goes to Washington

Posted by on Jan 30 2013 | Gun shows, guns, Kopelization, Michael Bloomberg, Politics, PPC, Right to carry, Second Amendment, Self-Defense, U.S. Constitution

Our resident genius and Second Amendment scholar Dave Kopel was in Washington DC this morning to testify on gun violence, public safety, and the right to arms. He was on a panel of five experts who each gave a 5 minute prepared statement and then fielded questions from the US Senate Judiciary Committee.

Here is a PDF of Kopel’s prepared remarks.

Here is the video of Kopel’s testimony and all the questions he fielded from the Senators.

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