Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Brady Campaign Sues BATFE And DOJ


With the departure of Dan Gross as President of the Brady Campaign, the new leadership seems to have shifted some of organization's strategy to the courts. First there was the lawsuit against Slide Fire Solutions filed in conjunction with an class-action, personal injury firm in Las Vegas. That suit was filed less the same week as the Las Vegas mass casualty event. There is significant question whether that suit can even proceed given the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

On Monday, the Brady Campaign filed suit in US District Court for the District of Columbia against the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. They are accusing the BATFE of ignoring two Freedom of Information Act requests for documents related to Associate Deputy Director Ron Turk's white paper and for documents related to warning letters or license revocations sent to Federal Firearm Licensees. By ignoring the FOIA requests after acknowledging receipt of them, BATFE provided the Brady Campaign with an opportunity to sue to get the info they seek.

From their press release, in part, on the lawsuit:
"The ATF has a critical role in monitoring the gun industry and keeping America safe from gun violence. We sought information about its work, and it did not respond, even though it is required to do so under federal law. We certainly hope that ATF is doing its job and the public deserves these documents so we can make sure that the ATF is doing everything it can to stop gun trafficking and other crimes," said Avery Gardiner, Co-President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Brady lawyer Mariel Goetz added, "The Brady Center has worked diligently to follow all procedures to obtain this information. Last week, our organization filed a class action suit on behalf of the attendees of the Las Vegas music festival who suffered through the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. Today, we file suit on behalf of all Americans. We all deserve information about our government's efforts to regulate firearms and stop illegal gun trafficking. We need transparency to make sure that the federal government is doing what it should to stop gun violence."
The complaint gives more detail on what they are seeking in their FOIA requests.

On the white paper:
(1) All communications between ATF employees related to the January 20, 2017 White Paper titled “Federal Firearm Regulations - Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations”;

(2) All communications between ATF employees and members of the Presidential Transition Team related to the January 20, 2017 White Paper titled “Federal Firearm Regulations - Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations”;

(3) All communications between ATF employees and nongovernment employees, including but not limited to representatives from gun manufacturers or the National Rifle Association, related to the January 20, 2017 White Paper titled “Federal Firearm Regulations - Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations”; and

(4) All other documents, including drafts, related to the January 20, 2017 White Paper titled “Federal Firearm Regulations - Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations.”
And on the warning letters and revocation notices:
(1) All warning letters, warning conference notices, and the underlying reports of violations and firearms inspection narrative reports, issued to federal firearms licensees from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017;

(2) All notices of revocation of license and the accompanying ATF Form 4500s issued to federal firearms licensees from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017.
As I see it, the FOIA request for any communications between ATF and then President-elect Trump's transitional team as well as any communication related to the White Paper with the NRA and firearms manufacturers is to dig up anything that they or their allies can use for political purposes against Trump, the NRA, and the firearms industry.

Conversely, the second FOIA request is an attempt to have the BATFE give them information that they can use for lawsuits against dealers and distributors. This would be part of their attempt to pierce the PLCAA through their "Bad Apples" project. While FOIA was never meant to substitute for the discovery process in litigation, the courts have ruled that there is no prohibition against it either.

Bearing in mind that I am not an expert on FOIA in the least and that I find it somewhat humorous that I am defending BATFE of all agencies, I think BATFE was correct in not releasing this information to the Brady Campaign. I think BATFE can make a very strong case that releasing warning notices/letters and revocation notices would interfere with potential law enforcement legal proceedings which is an exemption under FOIA. I think a strong argument could also be made that this should be considered commercial information which is a specific exemption as well. Likewise with the FOIA request for info on the white paper, since it was not a final statement of policy and could be considered part of the deliberative process, I think BATFE has grounds for not releasing this information as well.

Where the BATFE screwed up was in not informing the Brady Campaign within 20 days of their request that they could go pound sand. This could be due to bureaucratic laziness on the part of BATFE's FOIA officer. Whatever the reason was it did provide the Brady Campaign the legal go-ahead to file suit. How a judge on the US District Court for DC might rule on this is anybody's guess. I will note that in addition to the Brady Campaign's own lawyers, they have pro bono lawyers from the mega-law firm of Covington and Burling. The marriage of gun controllers with big law is shameful in my opinion but progressives gotta do what progressives do.


Rimfire Challenge To Transition From NSSF To RCSA


Despite what Asheville's Thomas Wolfe once wrote, you can go home again.

The Ruger Rimfire Challenge was originally developed by Ken Jorgenson of Ruger, Michael Bane, and the late Nelson Dymond. In 2014, the responsibility for running the Ruger Rimfire Challenge passed to the National Shooting Sports Foundation and it became known as the NSSF Rimfire Challenge. On January 1, 2018, the Rimfire Challenge will pass to a new non-profit organization run by Jorgenson and Bane called the Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association. Thus, it will have closed the circle and returned home to its founders.

Below is the NSSF's press release, in part, on the transition:
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is proud to announce that the NSSF Rimfire Challenge will be transitioned to a new organization: the Rimfire Challenge Shooting Association. The transition takes place Jan. 1, 2018.

Originally developed by Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s Ken Jorgenson, along with author and TV personality Michael Bane and the late Nelson Dymond, a long-time and well-known shooting match director who held a strong passion for rimfire firearms, the program was first known as the Ruger Rimfire Challenge. NSSF took over the administration of the program in 2014, changing its name to the NSSF Rimfire Challenge. The new organization will be led once again by Ken Jorgensen and Michael Bane.

Designed to introduce new shooters to the shooting sports in an exciting, family-friendly format, Rimfire Challenge matches focus on competition with .22-caliber rifles and pistols. Matches are open to shooters of all ages and shooting experience levels, with events conducted at ranges nationwide and an annual World Championship taking place each October.

“It’s truly a great thing to see this program return home to the people who had this wonderful idea to begin with,” said Tisma Juett, NSSF Manager, Recruitment and Retention. “The NSSF is proud to have been a part of growing a shooting sport that has proven to be such a wonderful activity for mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, neighbors and friends in which to participate. We wish Ken and Michael much success and look forward to many more firearms owners joining the shooting sports with them.”

“I am excited to once again be involved in the day to day operation of the Rimfire Challenge events,” said Jorgenson. “The concept originally created by Nelson and implemented as part of the Ruger Rimfire Challenge is as valid today as it was in the beginning. We will work to continue that vision and grow the rimfire competition opportunities for shooters of all skill levels.”

“I could not be happier to once again be a part of the Rimfire Challenge!” Bane added. “It is a wonderful sport, a way to bring whole families into the competition. Ken and I are committed to bringing the Rimfire Challenge to the next level. It’s going to be fun!”

Michael Bane makes the announcement of the change on the video portion of his weekly podcast. You can see it at this link. As he notes, the first year will be about stability and communication. He doesn't see any major rule changes coming immediately. The existing rulebook along with examples of courses of fire can be found here.

All shooting competitions go through life cycles and I think change like this is important. New management and new ideas along with a fairly low cost of entry should help the Rimfire Challenge continue growing and bringing in new shooters. The more that we can show that the shooting sports are fun, the less likely that the gun prohibitionists will be to convince the general public that guns are "icky".

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Making Gun Control A Cult Of Personality


First there was the National Council to Control Handguns which became Handgun Control, Inc. for the next 20 years. Eventually this morphed into the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. In making this name change in 2000, Handgun Control, Inc. did two things. This helped to soften their image from control to merely prevention. Just as importantly, by deciding to rename the organization after Jim and Sarah Brady, HCI was aiming to make sympathetic figures the face of gun control.

Now that the Bradys have passed away, gun control needs to regain its cult of personality. Mike Bloomberg is not sympathetic nor is home-wrecking, socially and politically ambitious Shannon Watts. However, Gabby Giffords does make a sympathetic figure.

Playing up this cult of personality was the announcement today that Americans for Responsible Solutions will now just be called Giffords. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (sic) which used to be known as the Legal Center Against Violence will now be the Giffords Law Center. Finally, their PAC will be known as Giffords PAC. Giffords is also now subtitled, "Courage to fight gun violence."(sic)

From their press release:
“Addressing a problem that almost took my life will be the cause of my life,” said Congresswoman Gabby Giffords upon the announcement of her namesake gun violence prevention organization. “I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line. But I’ve also seen great courage as we’ve fought to save lives from gun violence. Every day I meet brave Americans who are standing with me in the fight for a safer future—from law enforcement officers and military veterans, to parents, community leaders, and concerned voters. When we stand together, stand up for our children, and use the full power of our voices and votes, I know that we can make change happen.”

When people think of Gabby, they think of courage, determination, and grit—and it’s exactly those characteristics Americans need to channel in order for us to save lives from gun violence and make our communities safer,” said Captain Mark Kelly, co-founder of Giffords. “When Gabby and I began this journey, we knew this wouldn’t be an easy fight. The gun lobby has been selling a message of fear to the American public for years. It’s used its money to scare lawmakers into following its extreme ideology—and it’s made talking about guns culturally divisive, despite the fact that the majority of gun owners support stronger gun laws. A safer America requires changing that dynamic. We need more people to show the courage to stand up for what’s right and we need more elected officials to show the courage to take action.”
It is probably a smart move on the part of these gun prohibitionists to reemphasize Gabby Giffords as the face of their organization. She is a sympathetic (and pathetic) figure who survived an assassination attempt in the prime of her life and seems to have regained some of what she lost from her injuries.

With the renaming of the organization, the image of Gabby Giffords will always be more important than the reality. The image is that of the courageous survivor who fought back and is now leading the fight against "gun violence" (sic). The reality is that we don't really know what level of mental capacity she retains given her servere brain injuries and that she very well could be more of a puppet than an actual leader. As for her husband Mark Kelly, the image he wants the world to see is that of a devoted husband caring for his grievously wounded spouse and seeking to protect others from what happened to her. However, when I look at the reality of today's Mark Kelly, words like "puppet master", "leech", and the male equivalent of "gold digger" come to mind. Obviously, I don't think much of him as he seems to have abandoned the oath he took as an officer to support and defend the Constitution in favor of political and monetary gains.

It will be interesting to how well gun control uses the cult of personality to make political gains. Time will tell.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Why Bump Fire Stocks Were Approved


Rick Vasquez was the Assistant Branch Chief of the Technology Branch of BATFE. He has now retired and owns a firearms firm in Virginia. Before he retired from the BATFE, analysts under his management did the research and technical evaluation of the bump fire stocks submitted for approval. Rick reviewed their results and approved their evaluation. Moreover, he makes no apologies for it as it follows the law as written by Congress.

In the video below, Rick is interviewed for a Vice News/HBO report. While Vice TV often has a leftist slant, they played it straight on this one and let Rick explain things. He also shows the reporter how you can bump fire without a device or special stock.


The 2018 California Senate Race Will Be Interesting


Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), age 84 and the oldest person currently in the US Senate, has announced she plans to run for re-election in 2018. Despite her pro-Obamacare, pro-abortion, pro-climate change, gun-grabbiness nature, she is considered a moderate and "too bipartisan" for California. A number of potential candidates who might have run for the seat if she had announced her retirement have opted out of the race which may cost $50-100 million.

State Senate President Kevin "Ghost Gun" de Leon (D-LA) has announced he plans to challenge her from the Left.
Kevin de León announced Sunday morning that he would challenge veteran US Sen. Dianne Feinstein, saying he'll stand for a wing of the party that feels she no longer represents the progressive makeup of the state's Democratic Party and has not aggressively challenged the policies of President Donald Trump.

The bold move by de León, the State Senate president pro tempore who is termed out next year, set up an internecine battle within the Democratic Party that some fear could draw attention and resources away from the seven competitive House races that could flip control of the US House of Representatives to the Democrats.

But de León represents the younger generation of California Democrats who have been frustrated by Feinstein's mild criticism of Trump and the lack of opportunity for higher office because of the lengthy tenure of figures like Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Jerry Brown and former Sen. Barbara Boxer (who retired and was replaced by Sen. Kamala Harris last year). Feinstein will be 85 at the time of next year's election.

In a video statement released Sunday morning, de León said that in his three years as the State Senate leader he had worked to infuse "progressive California values in important policy efforts like immigration, women's rights, quality education, civil rights, job creation and fighting climate change."

"We now stand at the front lines of a historic struggle for the very soul of America, against a President without one," de León, who is 50, said in his video statement, taking aim at Trump. "Every day, his administration wages war on our people and our progress. He disregards our voices. Demonizes our diversity. Attacks our civil rights, our clean air, our health access and our public safety. We can lead the fight against his administration, but only if we jump into the arena together.
"
Given that California has a modified open primary system, the top two candidates regardless of party will move on to the general election. Thus, it is quite probable that the top two will end up being Feinstein and de Leon. I can imagine the anti-gun rhetoric along with misinformation coming out of their mouths. There will be a lot of eye-rolling going on.

Thus, gun prohibitionists can rejoice. No matter who wins, the rest of free America loses.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Shades Of Henry Bowman


If you have read the novel Unintended Consequences by John Ross, you are familiar with his protagonist Henry Bowman. The book is something of a cult classic in the gun culture. Indeed, the very term gun culture has many of its origins in this book. I believe you can still obtain copies from the Accurate Press.

One of the firearms that Henry and his father bought before the onset of the Gun Control Act of 1968 was a 20mm Solothurn S18-1000. While it is now considered a destructive device, back then you could get it through the mail. Imagine that!

Ian from Forgotten Weapons recently had the change to fire one of these anti-tank rifles at the James Julia auction house in Maine. I'll let him continue the story of the Solothurn.





If anyone knows what has become of John Ross, I'd love to know. His old website is long gone. I do know that he left the securities industry in the late 2000s.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

NRA Opposes Both Feinstein's S.1916 And Curbelo's HR 3999


The NRA announced yesterday that it opposed both Sen. Dianne Feinstein's S.1916 and Rep. Carlos Curbelo's HR 3999. These bills would ban any part that could increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic fire.

The opposition was announced via an interview with the Washington Free Beacon's Stephen Gutowski.
"We are opposed to the Feinstein and Curbelo legislation," Jennifer Baker, a spokesperson for the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, told the Washington Free Beacon.
The text for Sen. Feinstein's S.1916 can be found here while the text of  Rep. Curbelo's HR 3999 can be found here. The Trojan Horse in both bills is this language.
any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi- automatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.
As I noted in earlier blog posts on the issue, this could be anything from a replacement trigger reset spring to a Geissele trigger to a lightweight AR bolt carrier to a heavier AR buffer. In other words, the BATFE Technology Division could use this to ban anything and everything related to a semi-automatic rifle short of the gritty mil-spec trigger.

Quote Of The Day


The quote of the day comes from Mike Kim, RPh., who owns a Washington, DC community pharmacy named Grubb's. His pharmacy has the contract to fill all the prescriptions for members of Congress. Grubb's delivers upwards of 100 prescriptions a day to the Office of Attending Physician which serves Congress.

Mike Kim, the reserved pharmacist-turned-owner of the pharmacy, said he has gotten used to knowing the most sensitive details about some of the most famous people in Washington.

“At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Kim said, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

“It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday.'”

 Not only is it scary that you have politicians with Alzheimer's that are still in office but a hack of their patient database would be quite the blackmail tool.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

HR 3999 - The "Bipartisan" Answer To S.1916 Is A Trojan Horse


You knew it was only a matter of time before some spineless Republican - but I repeat myself - introduced a bill that mimicked Sen. Dianne Feinstein's S. 1916 - Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Seth Moulton (R-MA) introduced the bill yesterday and it has 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans as co-sponsors.

Reading the wording of the bill, it is actually worse for the firearms community than avowedly anti-gun Feinstein's bill. Her bill at least makes mention of bump fire stocks and trigger cranks. The operative wording on this bill says:
(a) PROHIBITION.—Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
‘‘(aa) It shall be unlawful for any person—
‘‘(1) in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, to manufacture, possess, or transfer any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun; or
‘‘(2) to manufacture, possess, or transfer any such part or combination of parts that have been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.’’.
I call this bill a Trojan Horse because it can mean anything and everything that the regulators at the BATFE and DOJ want it to mean. Improved triggers, springs, and heavier buffers than stock could all be included under the wording of this bill.

Here are the Republicans that have signed on as co-sponsors. Some are the usual suspects like Peter King; some should know better. I have put their NRA-PVF grade for 2016 after their names. Rep. Curbelo, the bill's sponsor, was rated a B+ by the NRA_PVF.
Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2]* F
Rep. Lance, Leonard [R-NJ-7]* A Endorsed
Rep. Meehan, Patrick [R-PA-7]* B-
Rep. Royce, Edward R. [R-CA-39]* A Endorsed
Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4]* C+
Rep. Paulsen, Erik [R-MN-3]* A Endorsed
Rep. Costello, Ryan A. [R-PA-6]* A Endorsed
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [R-FL-27]* A Endorsed
Rep. Dent, Charles W. [R-PA-15]* A Endorsed
Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21]* A Endorsed
It disgusts me to see that seven out of the 10 Republican co-sponsors were "A Endorsed" candidates in 2016. While the NRA meant for their statement of bump fire stocks to be a delaying device, it has also become cover for these Republicans. The average voter isn't going to go into the exact wording of the NRA's statement. They are just going to say, "The NRA says bump fire stocks should be banned and this is what these Republicans are doing." You know and I know that the NRA called for greater regulation which is much different than a ban.

With regard to the Democrat co-sponsors, they are all rated F with the exception of Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) who got a B-.

This bill needs to be stopped and stopped now. The Republicans supporting this bill need calls from their constituents and donors.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Attorney Adam Kraut On Slide Fire Stocks And The PLCAA


I spoke with attorney Adam Kraut of the Prince Law Firm earlier today. I had asked him a question about the Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act and whether Slide Fire Solutions would be protected by it. He went over the requirements of the law and said he'd be posting on the case this afternoon.

He published The Protection in Lawful Commerce of Arms Act and the Fate of Slide Fire in the Aftermath of Las Vegas this afternoon and it is well worth a read if you want a better understanding of just who is protected by the law.

His conclusion?
Had Slide Fire not been a licensed manufacturer (or dealer or importer) it is likely that they would be an open target to be sued without the PLCAA coming into play.

UPDATE: Adam has a second post on the issue up at RecoilWeb.com that goes into more depth about the lawsuit itself.

Proud Gabby - With Apologies To John Fogarty


I'm reading yet another email asking for money from Americans for Responsible Solutions. They are criticizing the NRA for being respectfully quiet following the Las Vegas mass casualty event. As I continued to read, a jingle started playing in my head to the tune of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Proud Mary. All I could hear was "rollin' in the blood".

This led me to rewrite a bit of the first few stanzas of Proud Mary.

Left a good job in the Congress
Workin' for the Left ev'ry night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleepin'
Worryin' 'bout the way things should have been

Big money keep on commin'
Proud Gabby keep on beggin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin' in the blood

Cleared a lot of checks in the District
Pumped a lot of hands down in Tucson
But I never saw the good side of the city
'Til I hitched a ride as the anti-gun queen

Big money keep on commin'
Proud Gabby keep on beggin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin' in the blood

 This is probably not the most respectful thing to say about a former member of Congress and I am truly sorry that she got shot by a mentally disturbed young man who had passed all background checks. Nonetheless, I get sick and tired of how the gun prohibitionists roll in the blood of the victims before the blood is even dry.

Sharks And Bottom Feeders - Brady Center And Las Vegas Law Firm File Class Action Suit


Sharks are always attracted to blood and bottom feeders exist to scavenge the remains.

Today, little more Friday, less than a week after the Las Vegas mass casualty event, the Brady Center's Legal Action Project in conjunction with Las Vegas class action law firm Eglet Prince plan to file suit in Clark County District Court against Slide Fire Solutions, LP, and other manufacturers and sellers of bump fire stocks. The case is being filed on behalf of everyone who attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert on October 1st. The suit will ask for both compensatory damages for the cost of counseling for emotional distress and for punitive damages.

From the joint press release, in part:
LAS VEGAS – October 10, 2017. A class action lawsuit was filed in the District Court of Clark County Nevada on behalf of victims of the deadliest mass shooting in American history that took place on October 1, at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The suit, filed by Las Vegas law firm Eglet Prince and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, is against Slide Fire Solutions, LP and the sellers, manufacturers and marketers of "bump stock" devices which convert semi-automatic weapons to the functional equivalent of a machine gun.

This case is on behalf of all the festival goers who suffered emotional distress as a result of the shooting. The lawsuit asks the defendants to pay for the costs associated with counseling and other treatment for emotional distress. The lawsuit also asks the court to award punitive damages. The lawsuit alleges that such damages are appropriate for defendants who provided a product that turned a semi-automatic gun into the functional equivalent of a machine gun, thereby evading longstanding federal law.

The lawsuit asserts that Slide Fire Solutions, LP was negligent in developing and marketing "bump stocks" to the general public without any reasonable restrictions, thereby subverting federal law that has highly regulated machine guns for over 80 years. According to the Complaint, "this horrific assault would not and could not have occurred, with a conventional handgun, rifle, or shotgun, of the sort used by law-abiding responsible gun owners for hunting or self-defense." The complaint goes on to allege that the damage caused to the plaintiffs, "resulted from the military-style arsenal that the defendants manufactured, marketed, and sold to the public, without any reasonable measures or safeguards."

Representing the Plaintiffs are Robert Eglet, Robert Adams, Aaron Ford, and Erica Entsminger of the Eglet Prince law firm, and Jonathan Lowy, of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Brady Campaign & Center Co-Presidents, Kristin Brown and Avery Gardiner, released a statement regarding the impact of this case:

The people who attended the concert have suffered so much already. The physical injuries are staggering, and we know the emotional injuries can be equally severe and long term. Brady has decades of experience supporting the victims of gun violence and has been the only organization in the nation focused on seeking justice for them in the courts.

The announcement was made at a press conference on Tuesday, October 10th at 10:30 am PST by Robert T. Eglet of Eglet Prince and Jonathan Lowy, Vice President, Litigation of the Brady Center. The event was held at the law offices of Eglet Prince 400 South Seventh Street, Suite 400 in Las Vegas.
Beyond the obvious gun control political overtones of this case, Eglet Prince attorney Aaron Ford is also the Majority Leader of the Nevada State Senate. His campaign finance reports don't indicate any direct contribution from either Michael Bloomberg or Everytown. However, Everytown and their PAC did contribute over $600,000 to the Nevada Democratic Party. The Eglet Prince law firm itself is a big donor to both Democrats and to the trial lawyers' PAC "Citizens for Justice".

The question is whether this case can go forward given the Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act. The Firearm Blog covered this in relationship to Gunbroker.com's decision to not allow any further sales of bump fire stocks on their website. Gunbroker.com asserts that the PLCAA doesn't cover the stocks. However, James Reeves who is an attorney and who writes for The Firearm Blog asserts the PLCAA does cover bump fire stocks but it is very questionable whether private sellers would be protected.

Is a bump fire stock a firearm product? While the courts will have to make the final determination, I'm going to side with those who hold that it is covered by the PLCAA.

If bump fire stocks are found to be covered by the PLCAA, then this case should either be moved immediately to US District Court or dismissed immediately. One would hope that the US Justice Department would file a motion in Clark County District Court asking that the case be moved to US District Court. Given the infestation of DOJ by the "deep state", I'm taking a wait and see attitude on that. In the meantime, we need to keep a watch on this and similar lawsuits.

The full 30-page complaint can be found here.

UPDATE: According to stories in both the Las Vegas Sun and the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the class action lawsuit was actually filed on Friday, October 7th.

Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign, was quoted saying she does not think the PLCAA applies.
Avery W. Gardiner, co-president of the Brady center and the gun control group’s former chief legal officer, said she doesn’t believe PLCAA will protect bump stock manufacturers. “PLCAA covers firearms and ammunition,” she said. “A bump stock is not a firearm and it is not ammunition. It does not qualify for immunity. I would be surprised if the defendants didn’t try to make a PLCAA argument, but they will not win.” Gardiner cited the 2010 letter sent by the ATF, which specifically states that the bump stock “is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm.”
That is an argument that is being made in the press who don't know the law but I doubt will be made in court. Under 15 U.S. Code § 7903 (4), a qualified product under the PLCAA includes "a component part of a firearm or ammunition." It can be reasonably argued that a stock - even a bump fire stock - is a component part of a rifle or carbine. Furthermore, Slide Fire Solutions LP and its founder, Jim Cottle, would qualify as a manufacturer and dealer respectively. Slide Fire Solutions LP holds a 07 manufacturer's FFL and Mr. Cottle a 01 dealer FFL. Both are protected classes under the PLCAA.

Monday, October 9, 2017

NSSF/SAAMI Joint Statement On Las Vegas Tragedy (And Bump Fire Stocks)


The National Shooting Sports Federation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute seem to be taking the same approach as the NRA on bump fire stocks: have the BATFE evaluate them under the existing law. All three groups are intent on keeping Congress out of this fight for the time being. They would prefer to have an agency regulation on the stocks than to have new legislation which would most likely go much further. Feinstein's S.1916 would certainly do that.

The joint statement is below:
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and loved ones of all those killed and injured in the criminal attack in Las Vegas. The manufacture, distribution and sale of automatic firearms and their components has been stringently regulated by federal laws since 1934. We believe the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) should interpret and enforce existing laws and regulations. We call upon ATF to conduct a prompt review and evaluation of aftermarket trigger activation devices such as bump stocks to determine whether they are lawful to install and use on a firearm under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), or whether, if they have no function or purpose other than to convert a conventional firearm into an automatic firearm, they are regulated items under the NFA. We urge Congress to allow ATF to complete its review before considering any legislation so that any policy decisions can be informed by the facts and ATF’s analysis.

GRNC Urges NC Gun Owners To Contact Burr, Tillis, and McConnell


I spent part of Saturday morning working the Grass Roots North Carolina booth at the Asheville Gun and Knife Show. Paul Valone, President of GRNC, was also helping out at the booth and we had a chance to chat. He told me we needed to put pressure on Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) over Sen. Dianne Feinstein's moves to outlaw bump fire stocks. Paul said it was only a first step for Feinstein and having read her bill I agree. The bill itself contains what I consider a Trojan Horse as it would outlaw anything that accelerated a semi-automatic rifle.

The alert that Paul alluded to in our conversation was released late this afternoon. It asks gun rights supporters to call and email Senators Burr and Tillis as well as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell regarding Feinstein's ban bill.

The alert is below:

Do you want Washington deciding what should or shouldn't be your next gun accessory?


While our nation continues to mourn the senseless tragedy in Las Vegas, lawmakers in Washington are rushing to fix (i.e. exploit) an issue they barely understand. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) is reportedly proposing legislation that will eliminate all after-market devices which increase the firing rate of legal guns. Of course, this would ban the now infamous "bump stocks". But, it would also make illegal many other accessories, such as systems that enthusiasts use to make semi-automatic versions of belt-fed machine guns.

Even more troubling, this proposal would NOT grandfather any of these devices. This would potentially have the chilling effect of making tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens, criminals overnight -- just for owning the "wrong" accessory.

If this dangerous proposal were to become law, nobody knows how far the government would go to make sure millions of gun owners have only the “politically correct” accessories. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has even said that she "certainly hopes" this is will be a slippery slope to more gun control. This is so much more than a Second Amendment issue -- this is an attack on our right to own private property, a freedom enshrined in the Fifth Amendment.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • Call AND email North Carolina Senators Tillis and Burr, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office: Let them know that as a well-informed voting citizen you refuse to stand idly by while Congress debates how to strip millions of law-abiding Americans of their private property rights.
  • Contact the NRA: Call them (at 800-672-3888) and email them and tell them to grow a spine. Make it clear you will not hesitate to resign your membership unless they ramp up the fight to protect our fundamental freedoms.
  • Donate to GRNC: As an all-volunteer grassroots organization, we work hard to protect our American liberties. It takes a lot of resources to fight this rising tide of hysteria and disinformation, and every little bit helps to keep the torch of liberty burning. Please click here or go to https://www.grnc.org/join-grnc/contribute.

CONTACT INFO

Senator Richard Burr: email link, 202-224-3154
Senator Thom Tillis: email link, 202-224-6342
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: 202-224-2541

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


Suggested Subject: "Oppose the Feinstein Gun Ban"  


Dear Senator:

I understand that California Senator Dianne Feinstein is currently proposing legislation that would ban all devices that increase the firing rate of legally owned firearms. This would have the chilling effect of turning tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals. It would also strip them of their private property rights, a right enshrined in the Fifth Amendment.

Have the courage to stand up to Senator Feinstein and anyone else in Congress who believes it is their place to decide for millions of Americans the “correct” type of accessories they can own.

Please advise me of your position on this proposal. I will be monitoring your actions via Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.

Respectfully,

AzCDL Makes It Easy To Write Congress About Gun Control


The Arizona Citizens Defense League has set up a letter generator that makes it easy to send a letter opposing new Federal gun control measures to both your senators and to your congressional representative. The beauty of their letter generator is that it works no matter where you live in the United States.

From AzCDL:
A madman opened fire on a crowded Las Vegas concert. Politicians are blaming you and the guns you own for his actions. It's far past time to stop giving up ground.

Senator Feinstein has filed a bill to ban "bump fire stocks" simply because the shooter installed them on some of his firearms. Don't fall for this misdirection.

Complete the information below and click the "Submit" button to be taken to the pre-written letter to your Senators and Representative telling them to stand up for your Second Amendment rights. You may send it as is or edit as you see fit. It only takes a few mouse clicks to make a difference. Don't wait, contact them right away! Those that want to disarm you are not hesitating.
It takes time to compose a letter - or at least it does for me. It is much easier to edit a pre-written letter than to write one yourself. The key thing here is volume. Congress needs to be inundated with letters, faxes, and emails from our side. If you don't think the gun prohibitionists aren't doing it, then it is time for you to emerge from under that rock.

Here is the link:  AzCDL Letter Generator

I don't care if you've already sent letters or called your Senator's office. I've done that and I've also used the AzCDL letter generator. Now just do it.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Feinstein's S.1916 - Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act


This past Wednesday, October 4th, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S.1916 - Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act - in response to the Las Vegas mass casualty event. As of today, the bill has 38 co-sponsors. All the co-sponsors are Democrats with the exception of Bernie Sanders who is still listed as an Independent.

The operative part of the bill reads:
(v)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), on and after the date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, it shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a trigger crank, a bump-fire device, or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi- automatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.
The prohibition would not apply to any agency or department of the United States or to those of any state or local government. The full text of the bill is here.

As I've said many a time when it comes to legislation, the devil is in the details. More importantly, it will be in how the courts and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives choose to interpret any part, etc. that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-auto rifle.

I foresee that items like the Franklin Armory binary trigger systems would be banned under this bill even though not explicitly named. Where I think it will get dicey is with springs and drop-in triggers. Will a stronger trigger return spring or a lighter hammer spring be considered items that function to accelerate the rate of fire? Would anything that makes for a smoother and/or lighter trigger pull fall under the rubric of this bill?

Indeed, would using a rubber band from an office supply store (or that your mail is banded with by the USPS) be prohibited by this bill? SayUncle has a number of examples of bump firing without using any of the explicitly banned items.

I attended the local gun show yesterday. In my 3 hours there, I saw only one person with a Slide-Fire stock. I don't know if he had just bought it or had it with him to sell.

Bump fire stocks are novelty items in my opinion. I don't have a need for one nor do I intend to buy one. That said, I think this bill needs to be killed. No bill introduced within days of a serious tragedy is meant to address the problems behind the tragedy. They are strictly to make political hay. This bill in particular is meant to stick it to the gun culture. The all encompassing weasel words after trigger crank and bump-fire device are so open for interpretation that you won't know what is legal and what is not. That is just not good legislation.


H/T Tiffany Johnson for the link to the bill's text.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

And They'll Respect Us In The Morning


There are those great lies we all know. Things like "the check is in the mail", "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you", and "I'll respect you in the morning." I'd to add another that is quickly becoming all too obvious in the post-Las Vegas mass casualty event hysteria: "I'm a Republican, I respect the Second Amendment, and if you vote for me, you can be assured I'll never vote for a gun control bill."

Consider these comments from North Carolina Republican congressmen. All of these comments were published in the Raleigh News and Observer yesterday.

Rep. George Holding (R-NC-2)
“This is a way to circumvent the law, existing law, by sloppily converting a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon. I think we ought to look at getting rid of those,” Holding said Thursday. “You’re purposely trying to circumvent the law.”
Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC-6).
If somebody, just like any other avenue, is circumventing that law, then I think it’s something we should take a look at it. My first impulse is that could be a problem,” said Rep. Mark Walker of Greensboro, who is chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

“At the same time, we don’t want to get to a place where any law we pass out of this House ... targets more the law-abiding citizen then the criminal. We want to make sure that we’re protecting our society.”
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11). Meadows is also chair of the House Freedom Caucus which makes this doubly disturbing. (I met Mark for the first time at a gun show. He needed gun owners then to win in the primary runoff.)
Meadows said ATF may be able to change a rule or regulation that could solve the problem. The federal government allowed the sale of “bump stocks” in 2010.

“What enforcement capabilities are already in statute as it would relate to this? Is there a need for additional legislation?” he said.
Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC-3)
Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican who represents much of eastern North Carolina, said he hasn’t had much time to study the “bump stock” issue. He planned to look into it this weekend.

“I have a very great concern about all the shootings and the killings of the American people,” Jones said. “I am concerned, deeply concerned, but I don’t know what the next step should be.”
The statement by the NRA on bump fire stocks will be used by Republicans to give themselves cover. My problem with their statement is that it looks like pre-emptive surrender on a firearm accessory that has been already approved by the BATFE.

While that statement may just be a delaying tactic as Sebastian contends, I still think the optics of it are bad. Few people will actually parse the statement to see what the NRA actually said and will assume incorrectly that they are for a ban on bump fire stocks. As I wrote on Thursday, "However, if bump fire stocks are banned now what is to say that other gun parts such as adjustable stocks or standard capacity magazines won't be banned later. If you open the door to the ban on one thing, don't you open the door to the ban of anything firearm related?"

It is a slippery slope. Our opponents recognize this and it is a feature to them. As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told a reporter, ""They’re going to say, 'You give them bump stock, it's going to be a slippery slope.' I certainly hope so."

In the meantime, call, write, and fax your senators and representatives. They need to hear from you now in very clear and unambiguous terms. Links for the four Republicans quoted are above. You can find your representative by putting in your zip code here.

Friday, October 6, 2017

FPC Repudiates Proposed Bans Semi-Auto Firearms And Accessories


The Firearms Policy Coalition, unlike the NRA, is refusing the cave to those who call for a ban on bump fire stocks. The FPC is a coalition of state level gun rights groups that is a 501(c)4 grassroots, non-partisan, public benefit organization. Being as they are based in California, they have seen first hand the various incremental attacks by the gun prohibitionists.

From the FPC:

Firearms Policy Coalition Statement Repudiating Proposed Bans on Semi-Automatic Firearms and Accessories, Including “Bump Fire” Stocks

SACRAMENTO, CA (October 6, 2017) — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) has issued the following statement concerning calls for new bans and regulations on firearms and firearm accessories:

In depraved acts of self-centered posturing, politicians who do not respect our Constitution are leveraging the recent tragedy in Las Vegas to push for more unconstitutional bans and restrictions on common, semi-automatic firearms and their accessories. These important Second Amendment-protected instruments are purchased, possessed, and responsibly used for lawful purposes by millions of Americans across our great nation.

Just as blogs and websites are protected by the First Amendment, and the Fourth Amendment’s shield against unreasonable searches and seizures applies to advanced devices like an iPhone, so too are modern semi-automatic firearms like AR-15s and their appurtenances protected by the Second Amendment.

History shows that gun control is a one-way ratchet, with so-called “compromises” resulting only in more laws that affect law-abiding people and fewer ways to exercise Second Amendment rights. And there is no textual, circumstantial, or emotional exception to the Constitution’s guarantee that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Law-abiding gun owners will not be bullied by killers or politicians, nor will we give up fundamental individual liberties at the shrill cries of Marxist Democrats or unprincipled Republicans, wealthy Hollywood elitists, the alt-left news media, or billionaire-backed Astroturf groups.

All unconstitutional laws are unjust, illegitimate, and offensive to the rule of law—even if they are enacted in response to a very real tragedy. FPC opposes all restrictions on the acquisition, possession, carry, and use of common, semi-automatic firearms, ammunition, and accessories by law-abiding people.

Whatever the conversation our country might wish to have about the evils found in human nature, and whatever questions we as a society might have about how to better address those moral and cultural deficiencies, no legitimate answers will be found in additional emotion-driven gun control laws that undermine our American system of ordered liberty.

FPC calls on House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and every member of Congress to pass important legislation to protect and advance the Second Amendment rights of law abiding people without further obstruction or delay. That is the job they were elected to do. /i>

He Had Me At Mil-Spec Butter Knife


This is something to share with all your gun-hating friends who know nothing about firearms. Tell them they need to share far and wide to show the world just how easy it is to make any firearm full auto. In this case, the guy shows how to make a Sig run at 2,000 rounds a minute and an AR run at 70,000 rounds a minute.




Of course this is a satirical video but do Shannon Watts and her coterie of "I support the Second Amendment but..." friends know this? Probably not which makes it even more imperative that we encourage them to share it. As that great Southern philosopher Forrest Gump once said, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Is The NRA Making A Grand Trade Or Merely Punting?


Bump fire stocks have come under increased scrutiny since the mass casualty even in Las Vegas where it appears the killer used them in his violent rampage. There have been bills introduced as well as increasing calls for them to be banned. They were originally approved by BATFE during the Obama Administration when it was concluded that they did not convert a semi-auto firearm into a full-auto firearm.

This afternoon the NRA released a joint statement from Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox which called upon BATFE to re-review bump fire stocks and to subject them to additional regulations.
(FAIRFAX, VA) - The National Rifle Association today issued the following statement:

"In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented. Unfortunately, the first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control. Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks. This is a fact that has been proven time and again in countries across the world. In Las Vegas, reports indicate that certain devices were used to modify the firearms involved. Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations. In an increasingly dangerous world, the NRA remains focused on our mission: strengthening Americans' Second Amendment freedom to defend themselves, their families and their communities. To that end, on behalf of our five million members across the country, we urge Congress to pass National Right-to-Carry reciprocity, which will allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families from acts of violence."
This statement leads to the question of the day: is the NRA trading a bump fire stock ban for national right-to-carry reciprocity or are they merely punting in the face of opposition to them from even some in the GOP who had been supportive of gun rights?

The NRA has always engaged in realpolitik in recent years. This may be a case of appearing to be willing to deal on the regulation of one gun-related item in exchange for loosening another. If so, they are trading a novelty item for something rather substantial. My only fear is that they could get out-maneuvered by trying to placate the gun prohibitionists on this one item.

I don't care about bump fire stocks. I'm never going to buy one or put one on my AR.  However, if bump fire stocks are banned now what is to say that other gun parts such as adjustable stocks or standard capacity magazines won't be banned later. If you open the door to the ban on one thing, don't you open the door to the ban of anything firearm related?

UPDATE: Chris Cox of the NRA-ILA went on Fox's Tucker Carlson Tonight to explain the NRA's position and to call for national carry reciprocity. I'll let you make the call whether it is a good idea or not.


Official Statement On Decision Not To Appeal Wrenn Case


As reported earlier today, Karl Racine, District of Columbia Attorney General, has decided not to appeal the Court of Appeals decision in Wrenn v. DC. His official statement is below:

WASHINGTON, D. C. – Below is a statement from Attorney General Karl A. Racine regarding his decision, in consultation with other District leaders, not to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for a writ of certiorari to review the decision in Wrenn v. District of Columbia and Grace v. District of Columbia by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit:

“Public safety is, and has always been, my paramount concern. I continue to believe the District’s ‘good reason’ requirement is a common-sense, and constitutional, gun regulation. However, we must reckon with the fact that an adverse decision by the Supreme Court could have wide-ranging negative effects not just on District residents, but on the country as a whole.

“In consultation with Mayor Bowser, Chairman Mendelson, Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Allen and multiple stakeholders, and after careful consideration, we reached consensus that abiding by the D.C. Circuit’s ruling was the wisest course of action to protect public safety in the District and nationwide. Therefore, I have decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court.”

Background
A loss in the Supreme Court could affect similar gun regulations in other jurisdictions – including in nearby states like Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. The proliferation of guns in those places can have spillover effects for the safety of District residents.

While the good-reason requirement will sunset upon the D.C. Circuit’s issuance of its mandate effectuating its ruling, the rest of the District’s reasonable regulations on who may obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm and the circumstances in which one may carry in public remain in place.

The Office of Attorney General has issued a FAQ regarding eligibility for obtaining a DC concealed carry permit. They are still going to make it as hard as possible to obtain but if you have a clean record and no mental health issues then you should qualify.

DC Won't Appeal In Wrenn Case


It is being reported by District of Columbia new station WTOP that the Attorney General of DC has decided not to appeal the Court of Appeal's decision in Wrenn v. DC. The decision overturned the District's "good reason" requirement to obtain a carry permit. The last time the District of Columbia lost in a major Second Amendment case they appealed. That case was DC v. Heller.

From WTOP:
After days of consulting with the mayor’s office and city council members, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has reportedly decided not to fight a ruling that effectively strikes down the District’s strict law that makes it difficult for gun owners to get concealed carry permits.

Sources told WTOP’s broadcast news partner NBC Washington that Racine made the decision not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and will formally make an announcement later on Thursday.
This cements the win for carry in DC. Conversely, an appeal to the Supreme Court might have provided the opportunity to overturn negative decisions on carry such Peruta in the 9th Circuit and Kalchalsky in the 2nd Circuit. Whether or not the Supreme Court will ever take up a carry case still remains to be seen.


H/T Sebastian

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Firearms Policy Coalition Statement On Las Vegas Shooting


The Firearms Policy Coalition released the statement below yesterday. I think it makes some very pertinent points about civil liberties, civic virtue, trust in government, and opportunistic politicians.

It is not a short statement meant to be a sound bite. It is a serious response that needs to be read and digested and then read again.

FPC-Logo-black-OL.png

Our hearts break for the victims of the heinous mass murder in Las Vegas and our prayers are with them, their families, and everyone affected by this incomprehensible act of evil. While it is impossible to measure the loss suffered in Sunday’s tragedy, the sting from this senseless violence will doubtless be felt for years to come. 
We are deeply grateful for the law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, doctors, blood donors, and countless volunteers who stood tall and delivered aid to the innocent in a time of great need, as Americans do. 
Sadly, opportunistic politicians who prey on tragedies like this one have already begun to suggest that our response should be to abandon our constitutional principles in favor of policies that would ban more guns, disarm more victims, and further expand “gun free zones” — spaces shielded by nothing more than invisible lines and wishful thinking. 
Such policies are not only irrational, but outright dangerous. As every attack in what was purported to be a ‘gun-free’, ‘bomb-free’, or ‘vehicle-free’ zone proves, there is no set of laws that will prevent evil people from monstrously plotting an effective means to harm others. 
In a cruel and potentially dangerous irony, many—if not most—of the same people who assert that we cannot possibly trust the government under someone like President Donald Trump also claim that it is only the government that we should trust to safely and responsibly possess weapons like the most common semi-automatic rifle in America, the AR-15. 
We know that the privileged and wealthy elite will purchase paramilitary protective teams armed with the very firearms they so desperately wish to put out of the reach of the common man, but the rest of us would be left to hope and pray. 
That is why the Second Amendment’s guarantees are not a matter of convenience, nor of need, nor even of want. The basic human right to armed self-defense against unjust force is precisely why our Founders enshrined it into our Constitution—to protect it against the capricious nature of popular opinion, the momentum of the mob, and those who would seek to limit it to a watered-down, second-class privilege for some. 
Thankfully, as the Supreme Court correctly noted in the landmark Heller decision, the “very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worthinsisting upon.” 
Nearly 15 years ago, the Ninth Circuit’s then-Chief Judge Alex Kozinski aptly wrote that the “prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.” 
Every day, evil people and governments around the world employ tools ranging from clenched fists to combat aircraft to perpetrate unspeakable and unjustified crimes upon others. But objectivity and reason compels us to recognize that those instruments are but the means to the end, and not the end itself. Indeed, the span of human history shows that such arms are also used to liberate the oppressed, establish order and justice from anarchy, and defend innocent life from cruel despots. 
The American people will not be bullied by killers or politicians and neither will we cower against attacks on our most important civil rights. We reject the notion that good, peaceable people and our basic rights must suffer for the crimes of the wicked.
There is no more pure a victory for evil than for our society to assault or eliminate the rights of good people in response to things we did not do. And so a just world must hold accountable the writers of history for their deeds, not the mere quills through which it is written. 
We law-abiding people of America do not accept responsibility for the evil, cowardly acts of the deranged and hateful among us, nor do we accept blame for their unconscionable and cowardly uses of instruments that can and do serve as instruments of self-defense and justice. 
A great champion of individual liberties once said that if civic virtue does not reside in the people, no constitution, no bill of rights, no legislative body, and no court will be able to preserve our liberties. 
That is why, in troubled and troubling times like these, we are honor-bound to stand united in defense of fundamental, individual liberties, in all cases, and in spite of the incalculable grief we feel for the victims of Las Vegas as fellow human beings. 
Firearms Policy Coalition takes seriously our chartered duty to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms 
FPC and our allies will continue fighting to defend and advance our Constitution’s protection of fundamental human rights.



Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Picture Meme Of The Day


I found this on the Arms Room Radio Instagram feed. It epitomizes the efficacy of gun control in a picture.



From Instagram by Arms Room Radio

Time For Letters And Faxes To Congress


I wasn't sure if I should post this to the blog or not. It is a copy of a letter that I wrote yesterday to Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) who is my congressman. McHenry is also the Chief Deputy Majority Whip so he is also part of the Republican leadership in the House.

My friend Rob Morse also wrote his congressman along with Paul Ryan and posted his letter on his SlowFacts blog. His is a little shorter and more to the point.

I am putting a link to my letter in Google Docs as well so that anyone can use it as the basis for their own letter or fax. McHenry has three offices in the district in addition to his one in DC. I faxed each and every one that had a published fax number.

Hon. Patrick McHenry
Member of Congress
By Fax

Dear Rep. McHenry:

I have written to you in the past urging passage of the Hearing Protection Act. It has now been incorporated into HR 3668 – the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2017 – as Title XV of the SHARE Act.

Hearing is one sense that once lost can never be regained. I know as I suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus. To those who say just use ear plugs or shooting muffs, neither deals adequately with the concussive wave of the exploding gases of the gun shot. I have attached the executive summary from a position paper in favor of suppressors by Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership. As they note, restricting suppressors is an obstacle to hearing safety.

A suppressor on a firearm is like a muffler on a lawn mower. It doesn’t make it silent; it merely reduces the noise level to a safer decibel level. To say as Hillary Clinton did the other day that it would have made the tragedy in Las Vegas even worse is to merely to show ignorance. Police, the average citizen, and “shot spotter” software could all have detected the gunfire by sound as well as its location.

HR 3668 has passed out of all committees and is now on the Union Calendar of the House as number 224. There are reports that Speaker Ryan is now determined to sit on the bill and not let it come up for a vote. As you are a member of House leadership in your role as Chief Deputy Majority Whip, let me make one thing perfectly clear to you and to the rest of the GOP.

THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

Republicans would not hold a majority of both houses of Congress, Donald Trump would not be President, and there would not be a Republican supermajority of the North Carolina General Assembly if it were not for us in the firearms community. We have been given too many promises over too many years that Republicans are our allies in the fight for gun rights. We have given our votes and we have been continually disappointed. It is always there are more important things to handle and we’ll get to it “next year”. We are treated like Lucy treats Charlie Brown.

No more! While I can’t speak for everyone in the gun rights community, my vote will not be forthcoming unless I see good bills like HR 3668 and Rep. Hudson’s HR 38 brought up for recorded votes and passed in the House.

I attended and spoke at the 2017 Gun Rights Policy Conference held this past weekend in Dallas, Texas. Both the SHARE Act and HR 38 were discussed. A resolution was adopted on Sunday that demanded a recorded vote on both of these bills. Collectively, we have made the decision to stop playing “Charlie Brown” to the GOP’s “Lucy”.

I remain,

Sincerely yours,

John P. Richardson

Attachment: Executive Summary: Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership Position Paper in Favor of Firearm Suppressors to Prevent Hearing Loss

You can get the executive summary of DRGO's position paper here. I would suggest including it with your fax or letter.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

"Be Like Kim Kardashian" - My Presentation At 2017 Gun Rights Policy Conference


I teased people before my presentation on the Using New Media To Advance Gun Rights panel at the 2017 GRPC that I would be talking about Kim Kardashian.

And I did.

You can read and see my whole presentation below. I do think it is important that we adopt all forms of social media to inform and persuade the Millennials and iGeneration about freedom and the Second Amendment.

Hi. I'm John Richardson.

I have the gun blog No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money and I’m a co-host of the Polite Society Podcast.

In past years I’ve spoken about how bloggers have worked to advance gun rights, how they’ve exposed gun walking in the Obama Administration, and also how we can use new media as a tool to fight the enemies of freedom ranging from the Mainstream Media to the well-funded gun control lobby.

This year when I was putting together my notes for this talk I thought about things like fake news, the bias of the mainstream media, how balanced in their lexicon means always quoting a gun banner in reference to crime, and how ridiculous it is that the media takes anything Gabby Giffords says seriously.

However, last Saturday morning while I was sitting in bed drinking my coffee I watched a report on CBS Saturday which encapsulated what we in the gun rights community need to do: we need to become Social Media Influencers.

Put another way, we need to become like Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian. I know you are probably saying right now that you can maybe understand Trump but a Kardashian? Really?

Think about this – you have a young woman with virtually no discernible talents, with no education past high school, and no employment history to speak of who got upwards of $1 million for merely attending a party due to the attention she draws.

That is social media influence. We may think it is absurd but it is the new reality.

Big business understands this. They have made it a $1 billion annual industry because it conveys authenticity and because it goes around the gatekeepers to put their message directly into the pockets of Millennials and Gen. Z aka the iGeneration.

The reason I care and you should care about reaching the Millennials and the iGeneration is that we are in the long war. If we don’t reach them with the message that gun rights are important, that the shooting sports are fun, and that our opponents are the enemies of freedom, then the Second Amendment will be effectively dead within our lifetimes.

The Millennials and the iGeneration don’t read newspapers. They don’t watch network news. Half the time they’ve replaced cable with Netflix and Amazon Prime. They don’t have landlines and their cell phones are more often used to text than to talk to friends. More importantly, they don’t trust traditional media and they value authenticity. This means they give greater weight to user-generated social media than virtually anything else.

The other thing to understand is that there is New Social Media and Old Social Media. The latter would include things like blogs, podcasts, Facebook, and, to some extent, Twitter. New Social Media is centered on things like Instagram, SnapChat, and Periscope with YouTube somewhere in between the two. To give you an idea of the reach of Instagram as a means of social influence, the Kardashian-Jenner daughters have 410 MILLION followers combined.

So how do you use it?

Number one – download the app to your smart phone and register an account.

Number two – start posting pictures when you take a new shooter to the range. Or alternatively, post pictures from GRPC. Just make sure to put hashtags with them. You know – those little cross-hatched number signs with a word or two after them. Stuff like “#newshooter” or “#grpc2017”.

Number three – if you feel this is beyond what you can do, enlist your kids and grandkids. Take them shooting and have THEM post the pictures to their accounts.

Finally, keep it fun and keep it light. If we need serious, we have people like Alan Gura for the legal stuff, Dr. John Lott to challenge the anti’s statistics, and my friend sociologist David Yamane for studies on GunCulture 2.0.

We can win at this because we are the real grassroots. Social media influence comes from below and not from above. But we need to start doing it NOW.






I will be posting my notes and associated video from the 2017 Gun Rights Policy Conference throughout the week.

Outside His Area Of Expertise


Former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker was interviewed on CNBC on Monday regarding the mass casualty event in Las Vegas. Swecker was the former number three person in the FBI and was probably called upon by CNBC's John Harwood because of that.

Listen to what he has to say about suppressors and semiautomatic rifles with ugly cosmetics.




Swecker said that civilians - that's you and me in his LEO-speak - have no need to own suppressors. He also said fully automatic weapons are illegal and that AR-15s are way too easy to convert to full auto. He wondered "what rational purpose is there for 10 different 'assault weapons' (sic) in the hands of one person."

One must wonder how someone with this level of ignorance rises to the level he did at the FBI. Fully automatic weapons are legal if made before the May 19, 1986 (Hughes Amendment) so long as they are registered under the NFA and the owner paid the tax and underwent the requisite background checks. Furthermore, ARs are not easy to convert to full auto unless you have a machine shop and the proper parts. Bumpfire is still not full auto no matter how fast you can dump a mag.

You also have to wonder where his law enforcement expertise lies. Was he a street guy infiltrating motorcycle gangs and fighting violent crime on the streets?

If his LinkedIn page is any indication, his law enforcement expertise lay in white collar crimes and especially financial and cyber crime. From his LinkedIn page where he lays out his expertise both in the FBI and in his subsequent career.

Experience


 In my field it is unethical to practice outside the area of your competence. Given his entire career is and was devoted to white collar crime, financial irregularities, fraud, and the like, Swecker is outside the area of his competence when talking about firearms and violent crime. If he dealt with terrorism, it was regarding the funding of terrorism and not how to rescue someone being held hostage.

If I were to guess why CNBC called upon Chris Swecker to talk about the events in Las Vegas, it is because they knew of him from his role in investigating and prosecuting financial irregularities and thought they could parlay his old position as No. 3 at the FBI into something newsworthy.  In my opinion, they failed.