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Seen Around the Internets: Handheld Flamethrower

Legal in 48 states, but this is bound to cause some hysteria:

I wonder how good it would be at clearing the driveway of snow.

Election Problems Headed into 2016

This bit from Jim Geraghty might shed some light on why so many Republicans are reluctant to alienate hispanic voters:

There are, in some circles, this insistence that “if we Republicans want to win again, we just need to do what Ronald Reagan did” as if 30 years hadn’t passed since Reagan’s last electoral victory. (If you plug Reagan’s winning percentages among various demographics into the 2012 electorate, Reagan loses.)

It might also explain why they want to run Jeb, as his brother managed to peel off a good big of the Hispanic vote from the Dems. Personally, rather than the mindless pandering the establishment GOP seems to like, I think the solution is “libertarian populism,” as it’s being called; basically railing against crony capitalism going after big corporations that buy favors and protection from government reduce competition in the marketplace. You can read more about that in Glenn Reynolds latest USA Today column.

What’s Going on in the States?

In truth, there are so many bills running, I can’t keep track of them all. In Vermont, it looks like a bill is running, S.141 to replace the failed private transfer ban. This looks like a straight up NICS Improvement Amendment Act compliance, but NRA is still saying “S.141 remains a solution in search of a problem,” and asking people to call their State Senators to urge them to vote against it. It would be bad for Bloomberg to be able to declare victory in Vermont. Also in trouble is Oregon, which is looking to pass a transfer ban as well.

Constitutional Carry was doing very well in West Virginia, until it met Governor Tomblin’s veto pen, a bold move in a state that keeps getting redder. Constitutional Carry is still alive in Kansas, and is headed for a floor vote in the House. It has already passed the Senate there. It’s also looking like it might not be so dead in Idaho, as they are looking to pass Montana Carry (no permit required outside of cities). Utah’s Senate passed Constitutional Carry, but it faces an uphill battle in the House, and the Governor has vetoed it before. Tennessee tried to pass permitless open carry, but failed. Tomorrow, there will be a hearing for Constitutional Carry in New Hampshire.

Nebraska has a preemption bill in the works.

Missouri is running three pro-gun bills.

Arkansas is repealing its prohibition on green card holders from obtaining licenses to carry, and also passing a “shall sign” measure.

In Virginia, Governor McAuliffe signed two pro-gun bills into law, but still has another six sitting on his desk.

Iowa is trying to repeal their handgun purchase permit requirement, prompting Mom’s Demand to try one of their lame stroller jams. It didn’t work. The House passed the bill.

Bloomberg has launched a campaign to stop constitutional carry’s momentum, which is evident from all the opposition pieces in the media using their poll showing people don’t want it. If you read how the poll was asked, there is probably a lot of confusion about whether support for the permit system is a pro or anti-gun position. I would argue their poll results are useless for supporting their position.

Campus carry is doing pretty well in Florida and Texas. Marion Hammer, NRA’s lobbyist for Florida, is arguing the opposition is using taxpayer money.

And this is hardly a comprehensive list. Overall, we’re doing pretty well, though we do risk going backwards in Oregon. There are a lot of blue states that are unfortunately probably lost causes over the long term.

Chicken Little on National Reciprocity

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s editorial board doesn’t like Act 192 very much, or National Reciprocity. The media has been chicken little on this issue since the 1980s, and it’s always been a big nothing burger once it passes and blood fails to run in the streets. I also very much enjoy this meme promulgated by ignorant journalists:

The bill would hold hostage states with stronger gun laws (Pennsylvania, for instance) to those with weaker ones (such as Florida).

What? Despite our opponents best efforts to lie this meme into existence basic research, even ten minutes on Google, would have shown this to be complete nonsense peddled by groups who aren’t afraid to lie to make their case.

All it took to get my PA License to Carry was to go down to the local County Office, fill out a form, get my photo taken, pay $26 dollars, and one week later the license came in the mail after clearing the PICS check. That’s it.

To get a Florida license, I first had to get a training certificate. That wasn’t free. I think the one day course cost about 150 dollars. Next, I had to go down to my local police station and get fingerprinted. They charge ten dollars to do that. I had to get passport photos, so another $15 or so dollars. I had to fill out a form that was much more involved than the one Pennsylvania requires. I had to write out a check for 112 dollars, and send the application packet in. I had it sent back, because they require the LEO contact information to be on the fingerprint card, and I had forgotten that. Then I had to wait while they ran the FBI check. The license came in about 4 weeks.

No one who has ever had to use both systems would argue that Florida has the weaker system.

I’d also point out that no one on the editorial board even bothered to look up that Pennsylvania and Florida already have reciprocity, and that the bill currently in Congress would not allow a state resident to carry in her-or-her own state solely on an out-of-state license. So with regards to their objection about Florida, the bill in Congress would change absolutely nothing.

News Links for Friday 03-20-2015

It’s tab clearing time again, folks:

Clayton Cramer will be the featured speaker at the Firearms Policy Coalition 03/29/2015 in Sacramento.

NRA is opposing the confirmation of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General. It’ll be interesting to see who bucks NRA on this vote.

Rape survivor challenging Mom’s Demand Action.

Another case of CSGV being classy. Personally, I think it’s a tacit admission that their side is more motivated to action by cultural condescension and hate than they are by reducing gun violence. Where’s the fun if you can’t hate on people you think are beneath you?

There was a protest held in Bala Cynwyd Park to protest Lower Merion Township’s illegal ordinances regulating firearms. Lower Merion Township is being intransigent about repealing their ordinance, claiming it’s in line with state law and therefore legal. This is nonsense. More from the Inquirer.

An explosion in college shooting teams, including one at MIT. This is the work of the evil gun lobby!

Lawsuits challenging the NFA or 922(o) (the Hughes Amendment), at this point in time, are very poorly considered. At this point all you’re going to do is make bad precedent.

Many conservatives are blowing it on Ferguson, according to Red State. Red State is usually a bit too SoCo for my tastes, but they are absolutely right in pointing this out. Conservatives have to start taking police abuses seriously if they want to have any prayer of splitting black voters away from the Democrats. It’s also the right thing to do.

Caleb looks at why Bullseye is still the most popular pistol shooting sport.

NRA is going after two more illegal ordinances in the City of Lancaster.

The Washington Post is being even more ridiculous than usual.

Gun control groups distance themselves from the M855 ban. The stench of failure here belongs entire to the Obama Administration.

Remember, we need to have a national discussion on gun violence, but at no point should that discussion ever include someone who might disagree with gun control groups.

Massad Ayoob dives into the shark infested waters of the Open Carry debate here, and again here. I am in general agreement with his position on this.

Looks like a former staffer for Eric Cantor will be lobbying for Bloomberg. Like I’ve said, you don’t find many true believers in DC, even among Republicans.

On the other hand, sometimes you can make friends out of former enemies.

Joe Manchin doesn’t like West Virginia’s Constitutional Carry Bill. That’s OK, because I’m not West Virginians much like Joe Manchin. I guess we’ll find out in 2018.

You’ll often hear people say “Die in a fire!” as an insult, but as a gun owner, if you really do die in a fire, there are some on the other side who will be happy about it. Also, they have only the utmost respect for our nation’s veterans.

Bill Haslam not so pro-gun anymore? Well, he was once a member of MAIG.

Family court rules that all guns must be removed from a father’s home until the kid is 18. Without having to reach Second Amendment issues, a higher court reverses only on grounds that the order is ridiculous.

It’s worth mentioning again: It’s a bad idea to take self-defense advice from Joe Biden.

Fear is All They Have, Because They are Afraid

States United to Prevent Gun Ownership opened a phony gun shop in New York City to sell fear and shame. I agree with people who say this is desperation. Their real fear is that with a few more favorable court rulings, we’ll be opening real gun shops in New York City, selling real and legal guns, to ordinary people who aren’t celebrities or rich bankers as under the current privileged regime.

But to do that, we need another strong Supreme Court ruling from the courts. To get another strong Supreme Court ruling form the courts, we have to win the 2016 Presidential elections so we have a chance of making this a 6-3 or 7-2 Court on a strong Second Amendment. The chances of the entire Heller 5 surviving another Democratic Administration is practically nil. If we lose 2016, we will almost certainly lose the Second Amendment as any real meaningful protection. That’s what’s at stake. That’s why I’m so disappointed seeing people falling into Obama’s trap and tuning out. That’s what he wants you to do. That’s why he hasn’t moved to the center. He’s willing to burn it all down to get what he wants, and it would seem a lot of us are willing to let him.

The New Glock 43

Massad Ayoob takes a look at the new Glock 43. I may be interested in this firearm. I tried the .380 caliber 42 when it came out, and thought it was a bit large for not being a 9mm. This may be something I could carry in summer, I’d have to see. I may have to get one, just to see what can be done. I’ve found Bitter’s SIG 239 to carry easier than my Glock 19, but I’d prefer something like the 43 over a SIG, since I’m used to Glocks.

I carry a Glock 19 in the winter when it’s easy to conceal under a jacket. Once upon a time, when I was younger and thinner, I successfully concealed a Glock 19 in the summer with just an untucked shirt. I’ve found as I’ve gotten rounder, the 19 is hard to conceal without a jacket, since my waist is no longer thinner than my shoulders. Maybe the 43 is small enough as to not print. I usually carry the 19 at 4:00. I used to be able to carry it at 2:00 without much problem, but again, being rounder makes that much less comfortable these days.

I’ve been looking for a alternative to the Ruger LCP for pocket carry, even if it’s a little bigger, but these single stack offerings from Glock seem too big for the pocket. My major complaint about the LCP are the front sights are useless. If you buy an LCP or its twin the Kel-Tec P-3AT, you really really need the laser option. I should have gotten the laser, but then Bitter went and got me a lovely Mitch Rosen pocket holster to go with the LCP for Christmas, and it won’t accommodate the laser. I hated for it to go in the dead holster drawer ahead of its time, but to this day, I still can’t find the front sight on the LCP when I draw it, so it’s time for a change sometime in the not so distant future. Whether that’s a laser and a new holster, or another pistol, I don’t know yet. I’ve looked at other options, like the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380, but it’s a bit bulkier, even if I like the feel better than the LCP.

Anyone out there successfully pocket carrying a firearm that isn’t an LCP or P-3AT? Keep in mind I don’t like deep concealment options. Pocket carry is slow enough on the draw as it is.

Constructive Possession in a Family Mental Health Crisis

A lot of people argue constructive possession, citing US v. Turnbough. See more from Josh Prince. I am not a lawyer, so I don’t quite have the paranoia of one. But it seems to be that an interpretation of constructive possession for NFA items that doesn’t allow you to have a normal family life should be problematic. If constructive possession is to be extended to wives or children when the NFA owner leaves the home, unless the item is kept in a safe to which no one else has the combination, then family men really can’t own them if you don’t put them on a trust, with all your family members on the trust. Maybe that’s true, but it would seem to be there are a lot of people out there breaking the law if that’s true.

US v. Turnbough, is an unpublished (non-precedential) 7th circuit order pertaining to a highly unsympathetic defendent. Turnbough was raided for trafficking six 55-gallon drums of marijuana within a school zone (he lived within 1000 feet of a school). The firearm they went after him for was a “handmade .25 caliber handgun,” which I’m assuming (I don’t have the original case) must have been able to fire more than one shot per trigger pull, had a fore grip, or had a stock, because they busted him for a violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(i), which requires the gun in question be an NFA weapon and not an ordinary handgun.

Could a prosecutor come after you for even constructive possession of an NFA owners stuff if that owner’s doctor said they were suicidal, out of their minds on pain meds, and they should have firearms removed by family? Yes. But in truth, if a prosecutor wants to come after you that bad, they can probably find a dozen things, especially if you’re a gun owner already. But will they? Probably not, and I doubt they’d have an easy time gaining a conviction if they did, especially if you can show you made some effort to comply with the law.

If it were my family member, and they were going through a mental health crisis, I honestly wouldn’t give a rat’s ass what the law is. I think rendering the firearms inoperable without physically taking them into your possession is a good compromise. I think most reasonable people would agree. So I’d say don’t worry about what an unpublished decision in the one federal circuit has to say about it. Do what’s right by your family member.

Just remember, I am not a lawyer, and you could still get in a lot of trouble. If it makes you feel any better, if I’m on your jury, I won’t convict you under those circumstances.

Gov. Wolf’s State Police Appointee’s Theft on Video

If you just claim that it’s “for the children,” our new Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner (an import from Maryland) seems to argue that theft is okay – especially if you’re stealing from those who criticize you in your official role as a public servant.

Marcus Brown is facing opposition for appearing in uniform that creates the perception he graduated from the state police academy, which he did not. When a critic had signs printed pointing out that he shouldn’t wear such things that he did not earn and legally placed them on a public area, Brown apparently decided to steal them in the name of “[his] children” since their bus stop is nearby.

Now, stealing someone else’s signs from a public area is a crime. You’d think that means Brown would be apologetic for getting caught on video committing this crime, but he’s standing by his theft proudly – behind the back of the spokesperson for the Pennsylvania State Police.

I’ll be honest, if I lived out there, I’d be very tempted to have signs made up that say “Marcus Brown Stop Stealing Signs,” “Marcus Brown Stop Trying to Silence Critics,” and “Marcus Brown The First Amendment Applies in Pennsylvania, Too” and plaster them all over public areas to the degree allowed by law. There wouldn’t be a corner he could turn where he wouldn’t be reminded that Pennsylvanians value their freedom of speech and ability to speak their mind on what public officials are doing with their office.

Funny enough, the video that captures him stealing the signs in the name of “safety” for his children shows him leaving up non-critical signs in the same spot. It’s pretty clear he’s abusing the right of those who disagree with him and there is no safety issue involved. The video makes it appear that he singled out their message to be silenced based on the content critical of him and he now admits to taking the sign. Perhaps his stationary order got mixed up and he thought that being in charge of the Pennsylvania State Police was being charged with overseeing the Police State of Pennsylvania.

Dealing with NFA Firearms as a Family Member

SayUncle relays a story of a someone who’s run into a situation where doctors have asked that the family remove firearms from the home of a person who was incapacitated in a recent car accident. The problem is he’s an NFA owner, and presumably the family isn’t on a trust. So is taking them even legal?

[UPDATE: See more here.]

The answer is no. It’s absolutely illegal for family to take them for safekeeping while he recovers. But there are alternatives. First, if there are suppressors, they are useless without the guns they attach to. Just leave them and take the guns. Second, if they are firearm NFA items, the receiver is usually the registered part. Take parts that aren’t “firearms,” but in whose absence the gun won’t function. If it’s a short barreled rifle, say an AR, it’s legal for someone to have the short upper provided they don’t have a receiver to go with it. Having a firing pin or a bolt is not usually a problem (though you have to be careful with machine gun parts if you own a non-machine gun that would accept the part). But for people who don’t own guns, or don’t own those guns, taking a firing pin, bolt or non-serialed upper out of a registered machine gun shouldn’t be illegal. It’s the receiver that’s the machine gun. There’s also the option of putting a lock on the gun and keeping the key, changing a safe combination, etc.

Now of course, I’m speaking generally. I can think of specific ways someone who doesn’t know what they are doing could end up violating the law and spending 10 years in federal prison. There are registered machine guns out there where the sear is the NFA serial numbered part. There are some firearms where the upper is the “firearm.” Like I said before, you have to be careful about taking parts where you might have firearms that those parts fit. So be careful. The “safe” bet, for you, as a family member, is to let your loved one take his chances, and hope he or she doesn’t off themselves.  The law does not have compassion, and seldom has common sense. There are always unintended consequences.

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