Blog 10/11/23

Weekly Spotlight 10/6/23 – 10/12/23

“Gun Free Zones” Take Another Judicial Hit

We’ve written extensively on the issue of “gun-free zones” and why they’re one of the most ineffective gun control measures in existence.  First and foremost, criminals do not follow the law, meaning someone intending to do harm with a firearm is not going to turn around or change their mind once they see a “gun-free zone” sign posted on a doorway.  Secondly, they often have the opposite of their intended effect, creating vulnerable, unprotected areas that criminals choose to target knowing they won’t face armed opposition.  

There is a growing trend for adding more and more public places to the “gun-free zone” list in states where pro-gun control politicians hold power – public parks, beaches, protests, movie theaters, and many more.  What they’re essentially doing is trying to squeeze out law-abiding gun owners from being able to defend themselves anywhere in public where they’ll commonly find themselves.  They’re also making it so the only people who have guns in public are criminals possessing them illegally, which is a recipe for disaster.

Fortunately, many federal judges have shot down recently passed state laws that have created more gun-free zones in public spaces, including in New York, New Jersey, Hawaii and now Maryland.  Late last month, United States District Judge George L. Russell, who was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama, blocked Maryland from banning lawfully permitted gun owners from carrying their firearms in many public places, including at public demonstrations and locations selling alcohol.  It never made sense to ban guns from these locations, given that they are often targets of violent crime. 

Unfortunately, Judge Russell kept in place the ban on carrying at schools, government buildings, and entertainment venues like stadiums and amusement parks.  How these spaces can be exceptions is not fully clear, as law-abiding citizens should have the right to defend themselves and their community no matter where they are.  Arbitrary declarations of “gun-free zones” will not protect innocent lives or thwart criminals.  

Regardless, this ruling is still a clear victory for concealed carry permit holders in Maryland.  There is a domino effect happening among all of these states that have reactively passed burdensome gun control laws in the wake of last year’s Bruen decision in the U.S. Supreme Court.  The tide is turning in favor of law-abiding gun owners and their right to defend themselves anywhere, anytime.  That’s why it’s so important for responsible gun owners to remain educated and engaged on the most pressing issues at the state and federal levels.  The USCCA-FSL Action Fund is here to equip you to be your own strongest advocate. 

Visit the USCCA-FSL Action Fund’s Advocacy Page to See Our Legislative Priorities! 


The nation’s largest concealed-carry group is getting more involved in the political realm. The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) launched a new non-profit arm last week. The U.S. Concealed Carry For Saving Lives Action Fund (USCCA-FSL Action Fund) plans to advocate against gun control at all levels of government across the country. It is a 501(C)(4) headed by Katie Pointer Baney, which she said would focus primarily on training gun owners in how to improve their political activism. “At USCCA, we always tell our members that it’s their personal responsibility to be trained, that being a gun owner is a huge responsibility. I think the same applies to being an American citizen,” Baney told The Reload in an exclusive interview. “We’re blessed to live in this country, but there are individual civic responsibilities that we need gun owners to step up and take hold of.”

The Supreme Court kicks off a nine-month term Monday that will thrust the justices into partisan quagmires over guns, social media and the Biden administration’s power to make decisions without Congress. But as the justices step into the ornate courtroom to hear oral arguments for the first time in months, they’ll be confronting more than the usual docket full of controversies: They’ll also be wrestling with persistent questions about ethics and foreign travel that polls show have undermined Americans’ faith in the institution.

An Oklahoma man reportedly stepped in when his girlfriend’s estranged husband allegedly broke into their home, leading to one neighbor praising the state’s gun laws. “People just be breaking into other people’s houses over here and… I guess that’s what’s going on. And I’m just glad that it’s open carry in this state because people need to be able to protect [themselves],” Midwest City, Oklahoma, resident only identified as Gabrielle told OKC Fox. Oklahoma is a permitless carry state, meaning law-abiding residents 21 years old or older are permitted to open or concealed carry firearms without a license.

Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) introduced H.R. 5767, the No Gun Rights Infringement Sham Act, or No GRISHAM Act, to prohibit states or local governments that suspend concealed or open firearm carry permits from receiving any federal financial assistance. Nine House Republicans signed onto the bill as original cosponsors: Reps. Andy Biggs, Lauren Boebert, Paul Gosar, Carol Miller, Mary Miller, Barry Moore, Ralph Norman, Andy Ogles, and Claudia Tenney.