2016 and Your Gun Rights - The Year in Review

While there is far too much to cover in a single article, we reflect on some of the important events of 2016.

January:

The year begins with yet another round of executive actions by President Obama to attempt to enact gun control against the will of the people and their elected representatives. Using the "opportunity" of yet another domestic terror attack under his watch, Obama issues four directives. Not one of them would have changed the outcome of the last terror attack. Or the one before that. Or the one before that. Or the one before that. Or...well, you get the picture.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joins Democrats seeking to suspend the Constitutional right to bear arms on the basis of suspicion alone. Brown supports legislation which would prohibit people listed on the government’s secret terrorist watchlist and its secret subsidiary, the federal no-fly list, from buying guns, all without due process.

Former Ohio governor Ted Strickland (D) makes the first in a series of anti-gun moves that will eventually prove to torpedo his campaign for U.S. Senate, joining the call for gun control in the wake of the terrorist attack in San Bernadino, CA.

Buckeye Firearms Association breaks the news that a third Ohio sheriff had joined those encouraging citizens to obtain concealed handgun licenses in the wake of several domestic terrorist attacks.

Americans respond to the late-2015 terror attack in their own way - by purchasing firearms in massive quantities, and by telling pollsters they oppose proposals to ban so-called "assault weapons" by increasing margins.

The Portgage County (OH) Court of Common Pleas reverses the decision of Sheriff David Doak to deny a concealed handgun license (CHL) application because the applicant is disabled by being visually impared. 

Gun ban extremists groups such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions, joined by former Attorney General Eric Holder, endorse Hillary Clinton for President.

Ohio House Bill 48, which was passed in the House in late 2015 by a 68 - 29 vote, receives sponsor testimony in a Senate committee.

Cincinnati councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, a Democrat seeking his party's nomination to the ticket for U.S. Senate, stages a last-ditch effort to gain publicity for his underdog campaign by calling for a constitutional amendment to repeal Ohio's preemption law which prohibits cities from enacting laws that are more strict than state law.

The Commonwealth of Virginia notifies the Ohio Attorney General's office that it has extended the time before revoking concealed handgun license reciprocity Ohio and many other states to March 1, signaling the possibility that a compromise is in the works. In late 2015, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) had announced that the commonwealth would will no longer recognize concealed carry permits issued in dozens of other states. Soon thereafter, a state legislator introduced a bill seeking to defund the governor's protective detail, saying "If he is so afraid of guns, then I am not going to surround him with armed policemen."

February:

Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board Member Gerard Valentino appears on the panel show "The State of Ohio" to discuss Cincinnati councilman P.G. Sittenfeld's proposal for a ballot initiative seeking to enact a constitutional amendment to repeal Ohio's preemption law which prohibits cities from enacting laws that are more strict than state law.

90 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives sign a letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to use his executive authority to tighten restrictions on the importation of detachable-magazine, semi-automatic rifles.  

Buckeye Firearms Foundation announces that over 400 teachers and administrators from 152 school districts in 63 of Ohio's 88 counties have been reached by the organization's FASTER Saves Lives program.

Buckeye Firearms Association announces the endorsement of BFA Legal Counsel Sean Maloney in his campaign for re-election to the NRA Board of Directors. 

A Michigan jihadist tells undercover FBI agents that he intended to target a church because “It's easy, and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church."

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of the majority 5-4 opinion in the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller case which recognized that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms, dies at the age of 79. The sudden vacancy on the court sends shockwaves through the presidential race.

The Buckeye Firearms Association Political Action Committee (BFA-PAC) announces endorsements for 2016 primary races throughout Ohio.

The U.S. Air Force announces a program that enables commanders at every level to work with security forces to train Air Force members and allow them to open carry their Beretta M9 service pistol at their duty location.

The Commonwealth of Virginia announces that legislators have reached a deal with Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) to prevent the loss of millions of licenseholders' right to carry in the Old Dominion State.

March:

The Ohio Attorney General's office releases statistics indicating that 2015 was the second-busiest year on record for the Ohio concealed handgun license program. A record 491,000 Ohioans were licensed to discretely carry firearms at the end of 2015.

Less than 24 hours after shots rang out in the cafeteria of Madison Jr./Sr. High School, Butler County (OH) Sheriff Richard Jones took to the airwaves and called upon parents and teachers to demand armed school resource officers or teachers.

President Barak Obama (D) endorses former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (D) for U.S. Senate.

Buckeye Firearms Association PAC endorsees have a strong performance in the primary. On the Republican side, BFA PAC endorsed in six contested Ohio Senate races, and endorsees win five. BFA PAC endorsed in 12 Ohio House races and endorsees win nine. In races where BFA PAC graded but did not endorse, A or Aq-rated candidates win in 2 contested Senate contests, and 5 contested House races. On the Democratic side, BFA-PAC endorsed in 1 contested Ohio House race and the endorsee is victorious.

President Obama nominates Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. The conservative Judicial Crisis Network says the nominee “has a very liberal view of gun rights,” and the NRA calls for senators to refuse to have hearings on the nominee. When asked if he thinks the Senate should meet with and hold a hearing on Obama's nomination during the presidential election year, Ohio Governor and then-presidential candidate John Kasich says he’d not only consider meeting with Garland — he’d consider nominating the judge himself if he were elected president. Kasich later "walks back" from his earlier remarks, calling them an attempt at being "polite."

A gun "buy back" program in Cincinnati, organized by Deer Park City Councilperson Charles Tassell, who is pro-gun and holds a concealed handgun license, is designed to take turned-in guns that are safe to be sold again to licensed federal firearms dealers, who then resell them to law-abiding citizens who have completed a background check.

Hocking County (OH) Sheriff Lanny North credits a gun store owner in Logan for stopping the sale of a gun to a man the sheriff believes was preparing to commit a mass shooting at Ohio University.

April:

Buckeye Firearms Foundation announces first-ever law enforcement-only FASTER class, offering "active killer" training at no cost to any law enforcement officer, school resource officer, sheriff or other first responder who wants to attend.

CNNMoney reports that the firearms industry has seen jobs increase 73%, and overall economic impact up 158%, since Obama took office.

At the 2016 Buckeye Bash, Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson is recognized for his many years of service to protect and defend the Second Amendment with the BFA-PAC's Second Amendment Legendary Award.

May:

In stump speeches, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D) goes "all in" as the gun control candidate, praising the Connecticut Gun Ban as a national model, blaming blaming Vermont’s gun laws for New York’s crime problems, and promising that her efforts to enact gun control would start her “very first day” as president.

Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) writes a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, noting that the president's executive clemency program is putting firearms offenders back on the streets. Of more than 200 federal inmates granted release under the president’s initiative, “33 were convicted of firearm-related offenses.”

Senate Bill 199 (Active Duty Armed Forces Concealed Carry/ Handgun Transfer) is passed unanimously (32-0) by the Senate and hearings begin in the House of Representatives.

Failed Democrat Senate candidate P.G. Sittenfeld's proposed ballot initiative in support of a constitutional amendment that would repeal Ohio's preemption law which prohibits cities from enacting laws that are more strict than state law is exposed to have been nothing more than a campaign PR stunt. Nearly four months after his proposal, Sittenfeld and his group of gun-control advocates still haven't submitted the 1,000 signatures needed to even start Ohio's long, expensive road to the November ballot.

Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) announces that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has certified the Ohio Concealed Handgun License (CHL) as a valid NICS-compliant background check for firearm purchases.

Katie Couric is outed for having deceptively edited an interview between herself and a group of gun rights activists in an apparent attempt to embarrass the activists. Couric later "take[s] responsibility," but never apologizes.

At the 2016 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits, Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson is recognized for his many years of service to protect and defend the Second Amendment with the NRA-ILA Defender of Justice Lifetime Achievement Award.

June:

Sen. Charles "Chuck" Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduces S.2934 after temper-tantrum by Brady Campaign President Dan Gross. The bill would criminalize nearly all private transfers of guns by requiring that individuals seek government permission, in the form of a National Instant Criminal Background Check System background check, in order to buy, sell, or trade a firearm. Even gun sales between longtime friends and family members are forbidden. 

An Islamic terrorist carries out a pre-planned attack on a night club in Orlando to is popular among the gay community, killing 49 and wounding 53 more. Democrat Senate candidate and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland joins Democrats who try to capitalize on the attack. Democrats offer several anti-gun bills and amendments, including an attempt to reinstate the failed federal ban on semi-automatic firearm, and Senators stage a filibuster. Senator Rob Portman (R) joins a majority of his fellow U.S. senators in voting AGAINST an amendment proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that would have given the U.S. Attorney General what amounted to a discretionary veto on gun sales to anyone “appropriately suspected” of having some connection to “terrorism.”

In response to the Orlando, FL terrorist attack, many in the gay commnity decide enough is enough, and seek out firearms lessons and concealed carry licenses. Buckeye Firearms Association (BFA) announces that they will conduct a free self-defense class for residents of Central Ohio, and that the class will be open to everyone, including the LGBT community.

The Ohio Attorney General's office announces that the first quarter of 2016 set a record for the most-ever initial licenses issued in a single quarter, at 36,118. There are now over a half-million valid Ohio concealed handgun licensees.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton describes the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller case which recognized that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms as “a terrible decision” and divuldges that she has "already discussed gun control with Chuck Schumer, who will likely be leading the Senate Democrats in 2017.”

July:

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) celebrates its 20th Anniversary at the 2016 National Trophy Rifle and Pistol Matches at historic Camp Perry, Ohio.

Buckeye Firearms Association's Sean Maloney is re-elected to a one-year term on the NRA Board of Directors.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is quoted as saying “due process is killing us right now,” during remarks on why he believes the 5th Amendment rights of citizens should be violated in response to the latest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Reports say Southern State Community College (SSCC) faculty member James Pearce is being investigated following a Facebook post calling for the murders of NRA officials and pro-gun rights lobbyists. Meanwhile, pro-Clinton law professor David S. Cohen publicly calls for repeal of the Second Amendment.

Steve Loomis, the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, calls for Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) to suspend the state's open carry laws during the Republican National Convention. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) expresses his support for the unconstitutional proposal, and State Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) announces he will introduce legislation to allow municipalities to restrict open or concealed carry of firearms during events of regional or national significance. Gov. Kasich quickly issues a statement saying he will not entertain Loomis' request. 

Senator Rob Portman (R) surges ahead of challenger Ted Strickland (D) in polls after the former governor spends several months reversing his long-standing record of support for gun rights as a campaign tactic.

Ohio concealed handgun license-holder Dylan DeBoard is honored for his action in saving Mt. Vernon Police Department Cpl. Michael Wheeler's life last year. 

August:

Levi Baus, a Boy Scout from northwest Ohio, announces that he is seeking to provide FASTER trauma kits and medical training to his local school as an Eagle project, providing one more step towards Buckeye Firearms Foundation's initiative, announced in 2014, to put a trauma kit in every school building in Ohio.

The Mad River Local Schools, located in the Dayton suburb of Riverside, joins school districts in a total of 63 counties across the state by implementing a comprehensive safety that includes an armed response team inside the school.

During her first Olympic showing, American Ginny Thrasher, shooting member of Team USA currently in Rio for the Olympics, becomes the first gold medal winner for the United States and the first medal winner of the 2016 Games after firing an unbeatable score in the Women’s 10-meter Air Rifle event. Her unbelievable performance, which included a 10.9 in the qualifying round, also names her the youngest female to ever win the first gold medal and set a new Olympic record with a finals score of 208.0. The mainstream media largely ignore this important victory for Team USA.

An audio recording of democrat Senate candidate and former Ohio governor Ted Strickland saying that the death of United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia - author of the Heller decision affirming the individual Constitutional right to bear arms - "came at a good time," all to the applause and laughter of his audience, is released on YouTube. Strickland's insensitive remarks come on the heels of yet another video, which reveal Strickland saying that his work as president of the anti-gun rights group Center for American Progress (CAP) was his "dream job" that "paid me more money than I've ever made in my life."

BFA-PAC announces the first round of endorsements for the 2016 general election.

The Ohio Attorney General's office announces that the second quarter of 2016 set a record for the most-ever initial licenses issued in a second quarter at 32,259. There are now over 550,000 valid Ohio CHL’s.

The Obama administration announces new regulatory guidelines that will drive thousands of small gunsmiths out of business. The new guidelines mandate a reinterpretation of existing regulations lowers the bar for what constitutes “manufacturing” of firearms and will require that any gunsmith who performs any service more involved than simply cleaning or replacing old parts with functionally identical new parts register as a firearm manufacturer and pay a $2,250 annual registration fee.

Common Pleas Judge Shirley Strickland-Saffold "axes" several of Cleveland’s expansive gun ordinances adopted last year, while upholding others.

In response to an online poll by Buckeye Firearms Association, more than 85% of Ohio gun owners indicate Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, as their choice for President.

The news media is awash with news that monies originally intended to influence what some expected to be a very close Senate race are being pulled from Ohio, as turncoat Ted Strickland's anti-gun campaign continues to implode.

September:

BFA-PAC announces the second round of endorsements for the 2016 general election.

Buckeye Firearms Association's Larry Moore interviews Eric Trump, son of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, at the Sportsmen's Alliance Rally.

Hillary Clinton labels Americans “deplorable” and “irredeemable.”

U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland, desperately behind in the polls, doubles down on his ne3wfound devotion to gun control, releasing a new ad attacking Sen. Rob Portman for his opposition to Democrats' gun control measures.

Buckeye Firearms Association President Jim Irvine and Vice President Linda Walker address Gun Rights Policy Conference.

News reports say three Coshocton County school districts will soon arm staff members with guns to preemptively protect students in the event of an active shooter situation. 

October:

BFA-PAC announces Ohio General Assembly endorsements for the 2016 general election. The organization also launches a new Gun Voter App that allows voters to create a gun voter guide customized for the ballot in their district.

Opinion polls show Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) with what the Columbus Dispatch calls "a nearly insurmountable lead" over Democrat turncoat Ted Strickland.

Leaked emails of Clinton campaign staffers published by WikiLeaks show that the candidate plans to bypass Congress to enact gun control by executive order. 

Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton open the third and final debate of the 2016 campaign season with a discussion about their views on the Supreme Court of the United States and the future of the Second Amendment.

A Connecticut Superior Court judge decides in favor of the Remington Outdoor companies, Camfour Holding and Riverview Sales and struck the amended case brought by some families of the victims in the Sandy Hook School tragedy based on allegations of negligent entrustment. In the decision, the judge said that the plaintiffs' allegations did not meet the narrow exception for "negligent entrustment" allowed in the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) nor did it meet this standard under Connecticut law.

November:

Buckeye Firearms Association PAC endorsees are overwhelmingly successful on Election Day 2016. Every BFA PAC statewide endorsee sails to victory. Pro-gun rights candidates are also victorious in many national races for U.S. House and Senate, as voters sought to repudiate President Obama and Hillary Clinton (the person he endorsed to carry on his agenda). Americans vote to keep Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate, and to elect NRA-endorsed Republican Donald Trump as U.S. President. Ohio's U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R) defeats former Governor Ted Strickland (D) by a whopping 22% margin. All three BFA PAC endorsees for Ohio Supreme Court - Maureen O'Conner, Pat DeWine and Pat Fischer - are victorious. BFA PAC endorsees will also pack the Statehouse for the next General Assembly. Endorsees win 13 of 15 races (86%) in the Ohio Senate, and 64 of 73 races (87%) in the Ohio House. Republicans increase their super-majority in the Ohio House, and increase their majority in the Ohio Senate.

Hearings on SB 199 begin in the House, and on HB 48 in the Senate

Buckeye Firearms Association endorsees are elected by House and Senate Republicans to a majority of leadership positions for the 132nd General Assembly, which convenes in January.

The NRA announces that, "in an effort to keep the National High Power Rifle Championships up to the high standards that competitors have enjoyed for over one-hundred years," the organization will move the Championship from its historic home at Camp Perry, OH, to Camp Atterbury, IN. 

Gun ban extremists are so eager to pin another violent attack on your right to bear arms that they get caught blaming Ohio gun laws for what turned out to be a violent terrorist attack on The Ohio State University by an islamic extremist armed with a car and sharp-edged tool.

December:

Experts say more than 175 school districts in Ohio now have armed staff members.

Lively testimony on HB 48 (Eliminate many 'no-guns' victim zones) follows terrorist attack at OSU. Buckeye Firearms Association's Jim Irvine testifies in support of the legislation.

The Ohio Senate passes HB 48, with several improvements including language from SB 180 (Protect Workers' Constitutional Rights), by a 23-9 vote. The Ohio House adopts some of the changes, modifies others, and amends them into Senate Bill 199, which was then passed in the House by a 68-25 vote, and in the Senate by a 22-8 margin. Ohio Governor John Kasich signs the Act in law 10 days later. 

The Ohio Attorney General's office announces that the third quarter of 2016 set a record for the most-ever initial licenses issued in a third quarter at 25,474. There are now over 574,000 valid Ohio CHL’s. An Ohio gun ban extremist group credits BFA for the historic rise in Ohio concealed handgun licenses.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

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