Bipartisan House Bill Would Protect Veteran’s 2nd Amendment Rights

U.S. Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) introduced legislation last week prohibiting the Veterans Administration from interfering with a veteran’s Second Amendment rights because that vet needs help managing finances.

The Reps. are fighting against a scenario very similar to the one witnessed with Barack Obama’s Social Security gun ban. That ban, which was repealed by President Trump on February 28, 2017, could strip away the Second Amendment rights of Social Security beneficiaries without due process if they were using a third party to help with finances.

The Social Security gun ban was designed in such a way that beneficiaries needing financial help would draw scrutiny, leading to an investigation which could have them reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as prohibited on gun purchases. Veterans face the same scrutiny if it is discovered they need help with their VA benefits, and that scrutiny can lead to being reported to the NICS without due process as well.

Reps. Roe and Peterson are pushing to change this with H.R. 3826.

Roe said:

Every day, servicemen and women fight to defend the rights endowed in our constitution. But, as veterans, those same men and women can be deprived of one of those rights by a government bureaucrat without due process. Even violent criminals are treated better than that. This is a disgrace and the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act would put a stop to it. By prohibiting VA from sending information to the FBI about veterans or their family members without a judicial ruling stating that they are a danger to themselves or others, this bill would ensure that the veterans who fought for our rights are guaranteed their own.

Peterson added, “It is beyond me why bureaucrats are going after veterans’ Second Amendment rights. Just because a veteran has someone manage their VA benefits, shouldn’t disqualify them from owning a firearm. This bill will ensure that veterans’ rights are protected by due process.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at

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Olympic Gold Medalist Seeks Injunction Against California Ammunition Controls

The California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) is seeking a preliminary injunction against California ammunition controls on behalf of Olympic gold medalist Kim Rhode.

Rhode, a multiple gold medal winner in trap and skeet shooting, has long been an outspoken critic of California’s incremental gun control slide, including the recent installment of background checks for ammunition purchases.

The CRPA filed the request for a preliminary injunction against the ammunition background checks, describing the new gun controls as a “scheme” which prevent state residents from acquiring the ammo they need to exercise Second Amendment rights.

The ammunition background checks limit law-abiding residents to purchasing ammunition from state-approved vendors only. Reaching such a state-approved vendor requires over 100 miles of travel for some rural California residents, and they have to pay a fee for their ammunition background check once they reach the vendor.

The burden is then compounded by the high fail rate for those who finally find a such a vendor and attempt to buy bullets for their firearms.

CRPA explains:

While making sure dangerous people do not obtain weapons is a laudable goal for government, California’s scheme goes too far and must be enjoined. California ammunition vendors have reported as high as 60% of people who undergo California’s background check do not pass. And California has placed the additional, absurd requirement that the very identification it issues is insufficient to undergo the background check, resulting in countless other eligible people being unable to exercise their rights.  These two phenomena alone are enough to justify a preliminary injunction to stop the irreparable harm to the public.

CRPA’s attorneys argue that because, “the balance of hardships tips sharply in Plaintiffs’ favor,” regarding efforts to overturn the ammunition controls, period, a preliminary injunction should be granted in the meantime. Thereby preventing law-abiding California gun owners from undergoing a continued burdens in the exercise of their Second Amendment rights.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at

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Judge: 2nd Amendment Does Not Protect Semiautomatic ‘Killing Machines’

U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton, Central District of California, ruled this week the existence of the Second Amendment does not mean semiautomatic “killing machines” must be legal in California.

Staton ruling against “semiautomatic rifles with non-fixed magazines” came in response to a California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) challenge against the state’s “assault weapons” ban.

CRPA sought a summary judgement against the “assault weapons” ban on behalf of Plaintiff Steven Rupp. But Stanton rejected the summary judgement request, characterizing “semiautomatic rifles with non-fixed magazines” as “killing machines” which “are essentially indistinguishable from M-16s.”

Stanton’s point overlooks the fact that M-16s are fully automatic firearms, which can fire a magazine-full of bullets per one trigger depression, while AR-15s are semiautomatic rifles, which fire one round per trigger pull, period.  Her position aligned with that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who argued that “[a]ssault rifles may be banned because they are, like the M-16, ‘weapons that are most useful in military service’; and ‘they are also not “in common use” for lawful purposes like self-defense.’”

Stanton opined that a ban on M-16s can stand under scrutiny of District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), because such guns are “outside the scope of the Second Amendment.” She then turned to a ban on AR-15s, saying, “Thus, if a weapon is essentially the same as the M-16, it is not protected by the Second Amendment merely because gun manufacturers have given it a different model number and dubbed it a ‘civilian rifle.’”

On July 11, 2019, Breitbart News reported a Florida homeowner used an AR-15 to stop four alleged intruders. He killed two and was shot and wounded by gunfire from the alleged invaders as well. On March 28, 2017, NBC News reported that a homeowner’s son used an AR-15 to fend off three alleged intruders and on May 13, 2014, Breitbart News reported that North Carolina homeowner used a AR-15 to defend himself against a suspect who kicked in the door of his house.  Over nine million AR-style rifles were manufactured for U.S. sales during the Obama administration and ATF Associate Deputy Director Ronald Turk used a 2017 “White Paper” to explain that AR-15s are now the go-to gun for hunting, sport shooting, and other interests.

The Washington Post quoted Turk, saying, “The use of AR-15s, AK-style, and similar rifles now commonly referred to as ‘modern sporting rifles’ has increased exponentially in sport shooting. These firearm types are now standard for hunting activities. ATF could re-examine its 20-year-old study to bring it up to date with the sport shooting landscape of today, which is vastly different than it was years ago.”

The case is Rupp v. Becerra, No. 8:17-cv-00746  in the U.S. District Court for Central California.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at

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Feds: We’re investigating other “uncharged individuals” in Epstein case

That sound you hear is dozens if not hundreds of high-powered elites frantically dialing their attorneys’ offices. In a court filing yesterday, federal prosecutors revealed that Jeffrey Epstein may not be the only one facing charges in a sex-trafficking probe. That revelation came along with a prosecution motion to impose a gag order on both sides:

Federal prosecutors in New York who have lodged child sex trafficking charges against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein are investigating other “uncharged individuals,” a new court filing says.

Prosecutors made that disclosure as part of a request to the judge in Epstein’s case to order all parties in the case, including Epstein and his defense team, to not publicly disclose any information turned over by prosecutors to the defense as the case heads to trial. …

Judge Richard Berman approved the prosecution’s request, which was not opposed by Epstein’s lawyers, shortly after it was filed.

Berman also imposed a series of restrictions on the defense and Epstein’s review of “images of nude or partially-nude individuals,” which is designated “highly confidential information.”

In addition to barring the defense from transmitting or copying those images, Berman said they can only “be reviewed by the Defendant solely in the presence of Defense Counsel,” and “Shall not be possessed outside the presence of Defense Counel, or maintained, by the Defendant.”

Who might the “uncharged individuals” be? At first, prosecutors and investigators will work from the inside of the Epstein circle out. That means a focus on those who enabled Epstein’s sexual predations and trafficking, especially via the so-called “Lolita Express.” And that means going after Epstein’s staff — on-site personnel, recruiters, and the pilots.

Guess who already got subpoenaed?

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have subpoenaed Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime personal pilots, according to people familiar with the matter, as investigators seek to question the financier’s employees in the wake of his indictment on sex-trafficking charges.

The grand jury subpoenas were served on the pilots earlier this month after Mr. Epstein’s arrest on July 6, some of the people said. Mr. Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after he had returned from Paris on a private jet. …

Testimony from the pilots could be used by federal investigators in their efforts to corroborate accounts from Mr. Epstein’s accusers. They could also provide detail on Mr. Epstein’s travels and his associates. Some of the pilots were responsible for keeping flight logs of passengers who flew on Mr. Epstein’s private jet, according to court filings.

Flight logs? Did they say … flight logs? The pilots could be charged in a conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, but prosecutors would probably prefer bigger fish in the Epstein morass. The subpoenas rather than arrest warrants point in that direction too, but the underlying threat will be crystal clear. If the pilots want to cut a deal, they’ll need to corroborate who flew on the Lolita Express, when, and with whom. The victims will no doubt be able to identify some of the men who participated with Epstein in orgies with underage girls, but having the logs and the pilots to nail it down will make denials very, very difficult to manage.

In order to go after the really big fish, that’s the steps that need to be taken. That, of course, prompts the question again: why didn’t the Department of Justice do this the first time around? Alex Acosta likes to claim that the evidence wasn’t available back in 2007, but it seems much more accurate to say that prosecutors weren’t looking too hard for it, and not doing much with the evidence they did have.

Something’s changed now, and it looks like Epstein’s political cover is failing him. Even those Epstein associates who don’t get caught up in a prosecution are going to come out of this looking pretty awful. For instance, no one’s quite sure what Epstein was doing for Victoria’s Secret exec Leslie Wexner, but the link did allow Epstein to create a cover for his predatory behavior, the New York Times reports, without any apparent action from Wexner to distance himself from Epstein:

In May 1997, Alicia Arden, a model in California, was introduced to a man who identified himself as a talent scout for Victoria’s Secret. He invited her to his Santa Monica hotel room to audition for the brand’s catalog. When she arrived, Ms. Arden said, the man grabbed her, tried to undress her and said he wanted to “manhandle” her. Ms. Arden, then 27, fled in tears.

It was the type of crisis that should not have come as a complete surprise to leaders at L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret.

In the mid-1990s, two senior executives had discovered that the same man, a close adviser to the company’s chief executive, Leslie H. Wexner, was trying to pitch himself as a recruiter for Victoria’s Secret models. Mr. Wexner was alerted, according to the two executives.

It had happened at least once before, and Wexner had pledged to stop it:

In the summer of 1996, Maria Farmer was working on an art project for Mr. Epstein in Mr. Wexner’s Ohio mansion. While she was there, Mr. Epstein sexually assaulted her, according to an affidavit Ms. Farmer filed earlier this year in federal court in Manhattan. She said that she fled the room and called the police, but that Mr. Wexner’s security staff refused to let her leave for 12 hours. …

When Mr. Wexner was informed about what Mr. Epstein was doing, he promised to take care of the issue, the two executives said.

Less than a year after the alleged assault of Ms. Farmer, Ms. Arden visited Mr. Epstein in his Santa Monica hotel room, expecting to discuss appearing in the Victoria’s Secret catalog. “His weapons were his hands,” Ms. Arden said.

She said she went to the police the day after Mr. Epstein attacked her, worried that he could be using his connection to Victoria’s Secret to hurt other women. A week later, when she could not stop thinking about what had happened, she returned to the police station to put her report on the record.

Somehow, that complaint seems to have died on the vine. Don’t be surprised when more of these kinds of stories finally come to light — and Epstein’s enablers have to account for them.

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TRUMP Talks About Going After Obama: Let’s Subpoena Obama Records, Hillary Clinton Records, Clinton Foundation Records, Obama’s Book Deal,

On Friday President Trump called reporters to the White House to announce he has completed a “safe third country” asylum agreement with Guatemala.
This is a game-changer if it pans out and will significantly diminish the flood of illegal aliens crossing the US southern border.

This is also more than the open border Democrats have done to the secure thee border since President Trump came into office.

President Trump then went after the radical Democrats in the US House who using their office to harass the president, his family and his associates.

Trump suggested maybe he should go after Hillary Clinton and Obama.

President Trump, speaking in the Oval Office during a gathering to announce an agreement with Guatemala, called for a probe into former President Obama’s book deal and to subpoena “all of the records having to do with Hillary Clinton

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NGO: Over 7,000 Venezuelans Have Died in Prison Under Socialist Regime

Over 7,000 people have died in Venezuelan prisons since the socialist regime seized power in 1999, according to a study published Thursday by the Venezuelan Prison Observatory (OVP).

According to figures obtained by the OVP, 7,329 have died in prisons since Hugo Chávez took power 20 years ago, roughly equivalent to one person a day. In 2011, the regime created a Ministry of Penitentiary Affairs aimed at reducing prison violence. There have been 2,832 recorded deaths since then, comprising roughly 38.51 percent of the total deaths.

The OVP’s General Director Humberto Prado blames current Minister of Popular Power for the Prison Service Iris Valera for the dreadful state of the country’s prisons. He accused her of “lying to the country and the international community over the past eight years, as she has been unable to end the issues of overcrowding, procedural delay, lack of leisure activities, corruption, violence, health problems, drug trafficking, and the use of weapons.”

Despite describing the problems listed above as the “seven capital sins,” Prado also pointed to the lack of medical attention and the appalling quality and quantity of food provided to inmates.

Around 40 percent of the nation’s 46,775 inmates are 18 to 30 years old. Around 65 percent of inmates were convicted of robbery, 20 percent on drug charges, ten percent of homicide, and five percent of rape. A total of 59 prisoners died in the first six months of 2019, with the most common causes of death being untreated tuberculosis and internal violence.

In May, 29 inmates were killed during a prison riot at a police station jail in the town of Acarigua, Portuguesa state, while in March last year, 68 people died in a fire at a jail in the northern city of Valencia. Similarly, in August 2017, a riot at a facility in the southern Amazonas state also left 37 prisoners dead. There have also been multiple reports of various gruesome activities, such as inmates eating rats, pigeons, and turning to cannibalism to stave off their hunger.

Some of the harshest conditions and human rights abuses are reserved for political prisoners, whose numbers have skyrocketed in recent years as the Maduro regime steps up its repression of opposition activists and politicians. Numerous witnesses have testified to the widespread use of torture and humiliation against them.

Many of these allegations were recently corroborated by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, who charged the regime with “grave human rights violations” that included “arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment, and torture” of anti-government activists. She also noted that allegations of extrajudicial killings were “shockingly high.”

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at

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Trump throws down with Apple, Google: Your China connections are disturbing

Just more presidential venting at Big Tech? Not exactly. Donald Trump took swipes at both Apple and Google over their work in China, and not just rhetorically. Google, a favorite target for populists on both sides of the political aisle, has long been criticized for their work in enabling oppression of speech in China, but Trump amplified a recent allegation that Google presents a national-security threat beyond that. Is it true? Trump leaves that question open, but says he’ll get an answer shortly

Trump had already agreed to look into an allegation that Google was acting in a “treasonous” manner, a charge made by Silicon Valley and political heavyweight Peter Thiel. Last week at the National Conservatism Conference, Thiel posed three questions to get asked about the Internet giant:

“Number one, how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?

“Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?

“Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the US military… because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn’t go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?”

He also added that those questions “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA, and I’m not sure quite how to put this, I would like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.”

At that time, Trump tweeted out that “the Trump administration will take a look.” Since then, the Department of Justice announced that it would open a review of anti-trust enforcement and the Big Tech companies, Google included, but that didn’t involve nat-sec issues. This is a pointed reminder that Trump’s still thinking about Google in other ways, and that Thiel’s allegations are being taken seriously … at least for public consumption.

That’s worrisome for Google, but at least Trump hasn’t hit them in the wallet. Apple didn’t fare as well today, with Trump announcing that the tech giant won’t get tariff waivers for which they applied recently. If they don’t want to have tariffs applied on their goods, Trump tweeted, they can build in the US instead:

The costs won’t get started immediately, the Wall Street Journal reports, because those specific tariffs have not yet come into effect. When they do, however, Apple customers will have to pay even more for the high-end-priced Mac Pros. Larry Kudlow had a suggestion for Apple:

Earlier this year, Apple shifted Mac Pro production to China—its only major device that was being assembled in the U.S.—as trade tensions escalated between the Trump administration and Beijing, The Wall Street Journal reported last month. This week, the company filed a series of requests with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, asking that the government exempt specific products from a proposed 25% tariff on goods imported from China.

While those tariffs haven’t yet been implemented, they would include electronics, which could severely impact Apple’s bottom line. …

Asked if Mr. Trump was denying Apple’s request for a waiver, Mr. Trump’s economic adviser Lawrence Kudlow told reporters, “He said what he said. That’s the president speaking. He is the decision-maker.”

“There’s some talk that they would be moving some of their production facilities to Texas,” Mr. Kudlow added, referring to Apple. “If they do that, that’d be a very good thing.”

All of this is good politics for Trump. Attacks on big tech play well with his populist base, as does hammering outsourcing by a major manufacturer — even if it will drive up costs in the short- and long-term. Trump’s squeezing Silicon Valley to force them into a tougher negotiating position on their political agendas as well as their practices when it comes to policing speech. It helps that neither of these tweets actually go so far as to have an immediate impact, which keeps the president from dealing with much backfire. It’s inexpensive, politically speaking.

It does raise one question, however. What happens if and when Trump reaches a trade deal with China? After all, his tariff war is not cost free, as we saw in today’s Q2 GDP report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. At some point, Trump will want to declare victory, perhaps just in time for it to impact his general-election chances. If the China trade war ends, though, Trump loses a significant amount of his leverage over the Big Tech bêtes noires. That sets up an incentive to never quite get the agreement, although it’s possible that Trump will prioritize the economic gain over the political leverage. It just … bears watching, especially for skeptics of executive power.

Addendum: Of course, this is also an indirect attack on China. Trump decided to add another more directly:

It’s not clear what the USTR can do about this situation except pressure the WTO into tougher enforcement. They’re already under pressure in the US-China dispute, since our allies want it resolved in the WTO. It sounds more like a threat to make them completely irrelevant. That would light a bigger fire under them too.

Update: As our friend Justin from Texas reminds me, it’s the Mac Pros that are at issue in these tariffs, not the Macbooks. I’ve corrected it above. While writing on … my Mac Pro. *sigh*

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A Look Inside ICE ‘Concentration Camps’: Xbox, Artificial Turf Fields, Law Library

For months, Democrats including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have given the impression that U.S. immigration detention centers are tantamount to Holocaust concentration camps. The freshman congresswoman led the litany of allegations against ICE facilities, as she asserted via Twitter that law enforcement officials were treating illegal immigrants as if they’re sub-humans. Now I’m on…

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