Washington State Firearm Confiscation Law Found Unconstitutional

Earlier this year, in a ruling of first impression in Washington State, the Kitsap County District Court decided that the state’s compulsory “firearm surrender” laws violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments and the analogous provisions in the state constitution. “In our constitutional system of government, individuals have rights that the government and its agents (including courts) must respect.

Rogue, Secret ATF Interpretations of Pistols Seek to Undermine President Trump and Criminalize Gun Owners

Springfield, VA – In an apparent reversal of a longstanding interpretation of the statutory and regulatory definition of “handguns” under the Gun Control Act (GCA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) appears to have determined that certain handguns which fire ammunition that is traditionally used in rifles – or handguns made from receivers that have also been used to produce rifles (including many of the AR or AK variant) – are not eligible for importation.

The agency appears to have determined this by using novel and restrictive standards in a revised importation test, which is arbitrarily used to evaluate whether a weapon meets the statutory “sporting purposes” requirement. Congress has never defined what “sporting purposes” means.

The Selective Prosecution of Julian Assange

As the extradition hearing for Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange unfolds, it is increasingly clear that the prosecution of Assange fits into a pattern of governments selectively enforcing laws in order to punish those who provoke their ire. As we see in Assange’s case and in many others before this, computer crime laws are especially ripe for this form of politicization.

'Grossly disproportionate force' precludes qualified immunity

Robert Earl Lawrence found a dog wandering in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Lawrence picked up the dog and took it to the county animal shelter. The shelter attendant asked Lawrence to complete a form and provide identification. He declined, citing his desire for privacy. When the attendant told him the shelter would not accept the dog without completion of the form, Lawrence said he would just leave the dog at the gate.

Sergeant Woodruff overheard Lawrence and followed him out to the parking lot, noting his license plate. She asked for his driver license once he was seated in the car. Lawrence declined to provide a driver license and they argued for several minutes. Lawrence’s girlfriend recorded the encounter. After further argument, Lawrence gave Sergeant Woodruff his “Affidavit of Identity” that declared him to be “Flesh and blood of living Man.”

Sergeant Woodruff called for backup. She asked Lawrence, “Do you know how foolish you sound?” Sergeant Woodruff made fun of Lawrence’s teeth, saying, “You’re so smart, you got half your teeth in your mouth.” The court, having heard the recording of the encounter, observed that the event was one in which “you can see the bad luck tumbling, as if the devil himself had shaved the dice.” Lawrence got out of the car. (more)

Massachusetts Woman Jailed for 17 Years is Freed After Prosecutors’ Racist Emails Emerge

Frances Choy, a 34-year-old woman from Brockton, Massachusetts who was wrongfully convicted and spent 17 years in jail for the death of her parents, has been freed after the recent discovery of racist emails between prosecutors in her case.

Judge Upends Vallejo’s Use of a Stingray

Cops in Vallejo have put their controversial cell-phone surveillance tool back in the box, after a judge released a tentative ruling (which the judge might or might not later finalize or amend) that they'd acquired it in violation of state law. The case was brought by Oakland Privacy, the EFF Pioneer Award Winning organization and Electronic Frontiers Alliance member.

Sheriff Maketa talks at anti-gun law rally

(Although this is from seven years ago, every single bit of it is still true. -Ed.)

Government Misconduct and Convicting the Innocent

From a recently-released report:

"The Report is limited to misconduct by government officials that contributed to the false convictions of defendants who were later exonerated—misconduct that distorts the evidence used to determine guilt or innocence. Concretely, that means misconduct that produces unreliable, misleading or false evidence of guilt, or that conceals, distorts or undercuts true evidence of innocence. (more)

How Police Fund Surveillance Technology is Part of the Problem

Law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local level are spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on surveillance technology in order to track, locate, watch, and listen to people in the United States, often targeting dissidents, immigrants, and people of color. EFF has written tirelessly about the harm surveillance causes communities and its effect is well documented. What is less talked about, but no less disturbing, are the myriad ways agencies fund the hoarding of these technologies.

Gun Rights are for Everyone

I don’t fit the “old white guy” mold, and I’ve noticed it throws people off.

A few years back, I lined up at the mic during a meeting on campus carry. The middle-aged woman in front of me, sporting a Bloomberg-funded organization sticker, told me to take her place because “they need to hear from people like you.” I thanked her and made my comments at the mic—and proceeded to blow her mind when I, as a young female, revealed that I wasn’t supporting her cause.

It obviously hadn’t occurred to her that I might actually be in favor of protecting my right to keep and bear arms.


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