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The Long Game With Bloomberg

KeepCalmIgnoreI decided not to include John Richardson’s excellent piece on the I-594 aftermath in the news links, because it is good enough to warrant extra attention. You can read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. John thinks he’s figured out Bloomberg’s formula for which states to target, which I think is pretty good. One thing I would add is that in some states, like Oklahoma, the Attorney General can alter the title of an initiative if they believe it is misleading or inaccurate. So that’s another factor that Bloomberg may have to consider when evaluating whether to target a state.

Joe Huffman notes that he’s been busy recalling guns:

I understand the strong emotions I’m picking up from a bunch of people. I have a lot of them myself. Just last week I retrieved the last of the guns I had loaned out*. That transfer wouldn’t have been legal had I waited until I-594 went into effect. A lot of the innocent, everyday type of things we do with guns will soon be illegal. The Second Amendment is no different than the First Amendment. If there isn’t an victim then there cannot be a crime to exercise that freedom in that way. But we have vile enemies who want to destroy our freedoms. We must stand up to them.

[…]

*This gun was to a friend that had someone try to get in her apartment late at night. She lived alone, was unemployed, broke, and couldn’t even pay her rent at the time. I took her to the range, did a bunch of training, then loaned her a gun until she could afford her own. The transfer to her would not have been legal without a background check and fees under I-594. As this gun was rather old, I had purchased it second hand, I didn’t want it being in a registry, and I didn’t want to pay money to get my own gun back so I retrieved it.

This ties into what John mentioned about the Bloomberg strategy being to attack the basis on which the gun culture is spread and passed on. That he’s able to hide this under the popular notion of universal background checks is so innovative, if it wasn’t so evil I’d have to admire its ingenuity. Unlike other foes we’ve encountered, John is right, Bloomberg is not a moron.

We’ve had to live under a similar regime in Pennsylvania for a very long time, but in Joe’s scenario, I would have at least two options here. One is to loan her a shotgun, since our law only applies to handguns (though, the anti-gun folks are trying to change that). The other would be to have her apply for a License to Carry Firearms, since it’s been legal to loan a handgun to an LTC holder. But mostly, we deal with the law by ignoring it. Most people in Pennsylvania have no idea it’s technically illegal to handle someone else’s handgun if they don’t have a License to Carry, and it’s probably the most frequently broken gun law in this Commonwealth, but for the most part, people get away with it. I suspect that Washingtonians will turn massive non-compliance into a similar sort of situation that we live with here.

5 Responses to “The Long Game With Bloomberg”

  1. alfip says:

    “Most people in Pennsylvania have no idea it’s technically illegal to handle someone else’s handgun if they don’t have a License to Carry”

    Wait, what?

    • Sebastian says:

      See Title 18, Section 6115 of the PA consolidated statutes. It’s similar language to what Bloomberg is proposing. Most of those exceptions are later additions, dating back to 1995 and 2005.

      As far as I know, there has never been a court case where the state has argued that “lending” or “giving” applied to a transfer where you hand a pistol to someone else and it stays under your supervision, is applicable. I’m not sure there’s even been a prosecution for that to come up. But the language could allow for someone to be busted for letting someone shoot your handgun at a range.

      Our language is a good bit better than Washington’s, because their language covers any transfer pretty unambiguously, and strongly implies even handing a gun to someone else is illegal. Ours only prohibits “giving” and “loans” and the exceptions say “Nothing in this chapter shall,” rather than laying out a list of exceptions to a general rule that imply the prohibition is broad. So there’s a lot of room to argue that a transfer in your presence isn’t actually a “giving” or “loaning”, since you still retain dominion and control over the handgun even if someone else is being allowed to shoot it. That’s generally how it’s been treated in practice here in Pennsylvania, even if the language offers a plausible theory of prosecution.

      But lending or giving a handgun, where you relinquish dominion and control of it, is pretty clearly illegal in Pennsylvania if that person does not have a License to Carry Firearms. In Washington, it says:

      (25) “Transfer” means the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment including, but not limited to, gifts and loans.
      (26) “Unlicensed person” means any person who is not a licensed dealer under this chapter.

      So I didn’t really mean to alarm. Keep calm and ignore, and all. But PA’s language does offer a plausible theory of prosecution for letting your buddy shoot your handgun at a range if he doesn’t have an LTC.

  2. Jacob says:

    I think you are over-analyzing this. The goal of all gun control schemes is to kill the gun culture so there is nothing new about that. Background checks sounds all warm and fuzzy and putting it into a ballot initiative which almost nobody reads makes it harder to defeat.

    I do not believe Bloomberg is a fool, but I do not believe he is a great thinker either. His tenure in NYC/NYS politics was marked largely by simply throwing a lot of money around. If you do enough of that with enough money you will win some of the time. He’s doing the same thing at the national level.

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      Yes. Bloomberg is nothing but another nanny state politician who can pile money into pet causes. Guns is merely one of them. He is disastrous on many other issues including immigration and abortion (perhaps the only two selective issues a power hungry statist like him agrees the state should not involve itself in restricting). He and Bill Gates also tag team on stuff. They want to single handedly shift policy issues toward their liking using their shadow organizations. Take “education reform” for instance…

      Come on… the guy pushes for bans on salt, prescription drugs, big sodas and has a hard on for tobacco. Is there anyone who actually thinks he was ever going to be strong on civil liberties? Guns are the scariest of all of those things in his mind, so they already need to go.

  3. Joe_in_Pitt says:

    In NY it’s illegal to even touch someone’s handgun without the may-issue handgun permit, which doesn’t even afford you carry privileges but just the privilege to own one.

    The antis have been trying to sneak a ban on private long gun transfers in bills here in PA, but are getting shot down pretty handily each time thanks to a coalition of Rs and conservative-leaning Ds. Given the makeup of the state I don’t see this line of defense cracking anytime soon but we need to stay vigilant.

    Even PICS is a joke when you consider the registry only applies to purchases in-state. How many legal handguns that came from out-of-state now reside in the commonwealth? With a registry so shoddy it’s essentially useless.

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