This Month in 2A News: March 2024

— William LawsonCADRE Dispatch

March of 2024 was a big month for 2A happenings. We’re talking about bills, vetoes, lawsuits, and the Feds this month, so there’s something for everyone. Without further ado, here are our picks for the top 2A storylines for March 2024.

Anti-2A Chicago Mayor Sues Glock

The biggest story right now, and the one with the most potential fallout, is the City of Chicago’s lawsuit against Glock.

We’ve all heard the uproar over so-called “Glock switches.” These small devices are actually auto sears that easily attach to Glock pistols, giving them full-automatic capability. These auto sears are mostly made in China and are apparently available online. Many feature the Glock logo, even though Glock has never manufactured such items. They are becoming more prevalent among criminal gangs, even though they are clearly illegal under the National Firearms Act (NFA).

The city of Chicago, with assistance from Everytown Law, is suing under the new Illinois “Firearms Industry Responsibility Act,” which allows lawsuits against gun manufacturers when criminals misuse their products. I know I’ve written this fifty times, but it’s like suing Ford or Chevy when a drunk driver kills someone while driving one of their cars.

Chicago alleges that Glock engages in fraudulent, unfair, and deceptive business practices by marketing products they know can be easily converted to illegal machine guns. The city also accuses Glock of negligence and creating a public nuisance.

The suit also claims the ATF and others have requested that Glock change their pistol design to make them incompatible with the auto sears and cites the number of auto sears recovered at crime scenes. Chicago’s lawyers say nothing about the ATF failing to stop the already-illegal auto sears.

The city ordinances Glock has supposedly violated are vague and their application is seemingly weak. But Everytown’s involvement indicates that the goal isn’t necessarily to find Glock guilty, but to cost them millions of dollars defending themselves. It’s the gun controllers’ new tactic.

One hopes the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) will block this suit because it is indeed frivolous. But the Chicago suit has sparked something far more sinister…

13 Anti-2A Attorneys General Threaten to Sue Glock

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin has upped the ante on Glock. Citing concerns over the Chicago lawsuit, Platkin sent a letter to Glock, saying that “The City of Chicago’s lawsuit claims that your choices constitute violations of multiple sections of the Municipal Code of Chicago, including through unreasonable sale and marketing of firearms and unfair business practices; the creation of, maintenance of, and contribution to an ongoing public nuisance, and negligence. If the City’s factual allegations are true, your conduct may also involve violations of our State’s laws. We will not hesitate to enforce our laws when they are violated.”

Platkin’s letter was also signed by the Attorneys General of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Note that the letter says nothing about punishing criminals.

The Chicago suit seems weak, but Platkin’s inquiry looks more serious. His letter directs Glock to preserve documents dating from January 1, 1987, that deal with the following:

  1. The conversion of Glock semiautomatic handguns into automatic weapons, through the use of “switches” or similar modifications, including but not limited to documents related to the prevalence, use in crime or violence, or public safety impact of such converted Glock semiautomatic handguns;
  2. The design and development of Glock pistols with respect to their semiautomatic function, including but not limited to documents relating to their receptiveness to being made to function automatically, whether you took or considered action to reduce that receptiveness, or the possibility of design changes or alternatives;
  3. Your knowledge about all state and federal laws relating to Glock switches and converted Glock machine guns, your legal responsibility as a manufacturer of guns that can be converted using Glock switches, and whether or not you complied with such laws and upheld such responsibility;
  4. Financial information relating to Glock pistols, including profit, manufacturing costs, and distribution costs, as well as the costs of developing and/or implementing any alternative design choices that were available or considered; and
  5. Any public-facing marketing or advertising related to Glock pistols, including any representations about their supposed safety, lethality, modularity, semiautomatic function or the speed at which they fire.

The letter does not accuse Glock of breaking any laws, as Chicago does. Rather, it indicates an investigation into the allegations that Glock willfully made questionable or negligent design or policy choices, enabling criminal misuse of Glock pistols. I’m no lawyer, so I don’t know if Platkin can show intent on this. But the letter sounds far more ominous than the Chicago suit.

If Platkin can indeed show negligence or deliberate decisions to ignore the auto sears, the PLCAA may not apply. Glock may then face some unpalatable choices, including altering its industry-leading product line, spending millions of dollars in legal fees, or possibly settling any suit that may be brought. Settling would open other gun makers to similar suits, as did the Remington settlement with the Sandy Hook parents. We’ll keep a close eye on this one.

Zombie (Gun) Apocalypse

You may have heard gun controllers’ heads exploding when the New York Times breathlessly reported how guns acquired in government “buy back” schemes aren’t completely destroyed. It turns out that the local authorities engaged in these nonsensical efforts have to pay for the “destruction,” so they cut costs where they can.

The contractors doing the work offer two payment options. First, the city, county, or whatever can pay a flat fee to have the entire gun destroyed. Or, the companies can only destroy the serialized parts and sell off the rest for parts kits to recoup their operating costs. The localities get that option for free.

Guess which one they all choose?

Well, gun control advocates didn’t like that, even though federal law says the serialized parts are the firearm. Well, Representative Maxwell Frost of Florida has decided to do something about the awful practice of recycling gun parts into what he calls “Zombie Guns.” I wonder what gun control organization’s PR department came up with that one?

Anyway, Frost is pushing a bill to require that these parts be destroyed as a matter of policy so they can’t rise from the dead and (supposedly) kill again. Or something like that. I’m sure we all feel safer already.

Justice Department Creates New National Red Flag Center

I could write an entire article on this, but I don’t have the space. So, here’s the short version. You can look into it yourself if you want.

Red Flag laws were created to take guns from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. These laws allow a wide range of people to report someone they feel meets those criteria, whereupon the police will relieve them of their property until they can get a hearing. They do this under what’s called an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO).

That’s right. The cops seize your guns on the word of a third party, with no proof, completely abrogating the Fourth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. You are literally punished and deprived of your Constitutional rights before you even know what’s happening.

It’s a classic case of being guilty until proven innocent. You have to convince a judge that you aren’t a danger to anyone and that he or she should give you back your already-confiscated property. Oh, and you’ll need to hire your own lawyer for that hearing. Never mind that you haven’t been charged with any crime.

The US Department of Justice has now created a National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center to help states and localities infringe on their citizens’ rights. The program does not implement a national Red Flag law. It does, however, provide money, resources, and information for lower-tier governmental entities to do their dirty work.

Pistol on the burning Constitution and American flag
Red Flag laws violate the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. (Shutterstock)

The new organization also provides your tax money to gun control organizations like the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, which administers the program. If that sounds harmless, you should know that the Johns Hopkins Center was created and is funded by arch gun controller Michael Bloomberg. It’s a gun ban organization. The 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is providing the program’s funding.

Virginia Governor Vetoes 30 Gun Control Bills

Once 2A-friendly Virginia is now a gun control battleground state. Democrats regained control of the General Assembly this year, immediately introducing gun control bills by the dozen. All passed on a partisan vote, while a bill punishing criminals for using a gun in a second felony offense failed on the same partisan vote. More evidence that it’s not about stopping crime or enhancing public safety. They want to ban guns.

Some similar bills were merged, but 36 anti-gun bills landed on Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s desk. Youngkin indicated in his State of the State Address that he would not sign any gun control bills and urged the legislature to focus on punishing criminals.

The Democrat majority did the exact opposite, and Youngkin kept his word. He vetoed 30 bills and altered six others to remove the gun control portions. Gun control efforts in Virginia for this legislative session are now dead. The Democrats don’t have the numbers to override anything.

The usual anti-2A suspects, including Delegate Dan Helmer, a US Army Reserve Lt. Colonel, and State Senator Creigh Deeds, will no doubt try again next year. Both introduced and pushed through draconian “assault weapons” bans. They were so bad that, had they passed, my Henry Homesteader Carbine would have been labeled an “assault weapon.” It’s that ridiculous.

Notable 2A Judicial Decisions

Two decisions bear mentioning this month, but long explanations aren’t necessary. One is somewhat controversial, while one seems like a no-brainer.

Yes, the Second Amendment Applies to 18-20 Year Olds

A trendy gun control tactic has been barring 18–20-year-olds from purchasing firearms, while many states prohibit those folks from owning handguns. Never mind that they’re legal adults who can be sent overseas to fight and die using firearms. They can also vote, which, in my considered opinion, is potentially far more dangerous to society than owning a gun. Not that I think they shouldn’t be able to vote. Just the opposite. They should also be able to purchase and own firearms.

Well, the courts agree. The 18-20-year-old firearms bans are being struck down all over, most recently when the Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied Pennsylvania’s appeal to the contrary. This unconstitutional restriction is gone in Pennsylvania and will soon be gone nationwide.

US Constitution Bill of Rights
Does this only apply to citizens? How about 18-20-year-olds?

Illegal Immigrants Have 2A Rights

A US District Court judge in the Northern District of Illinois has ruled that an illegal immigrant is indeed part of “the People,” and therefore has the right to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment. I won’t go into all the details, but this is a big deal philosophically.

Do we believe that the Second Amendment protects the natural right to self-defense and self-preservation? If so, natural rights are presumed to apply to everyone, regardless of their citizenship status. That means anyone not otherwise prohibited can indeed purchase, own, and carry a firearm for self-defense.

If we don’t believe the Second Amendment protects a natural right, then we must believe it only protects the rights of citizens. That’s a bit of a philosophical slippery slope. If the Second Amendment only protects citizens’ rights, and the government grants and restricts citizenship, then we must agree on some level that the government determines whose rights are protected and whose are not.

Some would argue it’s like that already, and they’re probably right. Look at the felon-in-possession laws, for instance. But those may soon go away too, based on a couple of cases moving through the courts. We’ll certainly be covering those in coming months.

But if we say that the right to self-defense is God-given, as many of us do, can we morally exclude certain classes of people? The judge in this case says “no.” Look for the government to appeal this case. We’ll keep an eye on it.

More to Come

The Heller and Bruen Decisions continue to drive legal challenges across the country. Several major cases are awaiting adjudication. We’ll cover those as appropriate. Gun controllers are also in a full-court press, trying to head off those challenges. Their current tactic aims to bankrupt gun manufacturers by attacking them in court and forcing them to pay millions in legal fees.

The Chicago suit is government-funded. Other government suits will be too. Your tax money pays for them. And few companies can outspend governments who can always spend more tax money.

The close alliance of governmental entities and anti-2A organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety is ominous. Heller and Bruen offer some protection, but the legal fees to get to that point can cripple a private company. That’s the goal. Financially wounding a gun company, while losing the case, is a gun control victory. They know that, so expect more of the same.

We’ll keep an eye on all that stuff and bring you the latest happenings next month.

The Second Amendment

Get the Safariland Newsletter

Get the SITREP on promotions, product news and exclusive offers.

Sign Up

Find a Dealer

Find a dealer near you with Safariland’s dealer locator.