Federal District Court Upholds California’s Handgun Roster

The case is Pena v. Lindley, a Calguns Foundation case challenging the constitutionality of California’s handgun roster. A roster that was created specifically for the purpose of banning cheap handguns. Not a right for the poor, I guess. Under California law, handguns that don’t appear on the roster are illegal to sell. Manufacturers have to pay recurring fees to stay on the list. The firearms have to be micro-stamped. They have to be drop tested. Otherwise they may not be sold.

There was no intermediate scrutiny two step. The court ruled that the Second Amendment wasn’t even implicated here, and this was among the kinds of regulations that were “presumptively lawful,” per Heller. The statute survived rational basis review, which is all that the court felt was required. The court believed that as long as you could still buy some handguns, the state was perfectly justified in banning large numbers of them. The judge also wasn’t buying the equal protection arguments in the case, so police can be a special class of citizen as far as the judge is concerned.

This is unfortunately not shocking, that a federal judge would so summarily dismiss a restriction on a fundamental right. We’ve seen it time and time again. Needless to say this will be appealed. It’s worth noting the judge in this case was a Clinton appointee.

Sad Panda Alert: Gun Control Fail in Vermont

At least for now, we seem to have pushed Bloomberg back, so there are gun control supporters in Vermont and New York City now who are very sad pandas. Bloomberg doesn’t have the ballot to use in Vermont, so he had to try for a traditional attack through the legislature. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for him, in this kind of fight it’s our grassroots advantage can trump his pocketbook, because all that is required is direct action. When it comes to a fight that involves buying support from low-information voters, Bloomberg’s money is  more useful. Nonetheless, they say they aren’t going away:

“We have a very long view on this,” Braden said. “Two years ago, there wasn’t any way any gun provision would be debated. This is a long-term campaign to really change the conversation, so we can pass legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands.”

It looks like they might still get a felon-in-possession law in Vermont though.

He said many of his constituents who oppose expanding background checks support the mental health and felon provisions. As for requiring Vermonters who are conducting private gun sales to go to a gun dealer for a background check, Sears said his constituents have been more consistently opposed.

But I thought 92% of gun owners supported Bloomberg proposal?

UPDATE: Think Progress are sad pandas too, but this time because when gun control comes threatening, it strengthens the hand of gun rights groups more than it does gun control groups.

Averting a DHS Shutdown

Off topic, because gun news is a bit thin right now. Instapundit notes that Republicans have agreed to run a clean DHS funding bill, whereas previously they decided to use this to make a point on Obama’s immigration power grab. A 92-2 vote means that even some of the hardest core tea party types voted to drop the immigration issue. Why?

I tried to argue unsuccessfully in Instapundit’s comments that shutdowns almost never work out in favor of the GOP. They nearly always take a hit in the polls, and take the blame. Given the countries current vulnerability to attack, and our ascendent enemies, I can’t really get all that worked up that the GOP didn’t want to get near the cliff, less some jihadist decide to push them off it with an attack during or near the shutdown, for which the GOP will nearly certainly be blamed in the media. I think one of the other commenters had the right idea:

Never take a hostage you’re not prepared to shoot. Attach the amnesty prohibition to EPA funding. Nobody cares if EPA shuts down. Let the greens and la raza fight it out among themselves.

Now that’s just crazy enough to work!

Sometimes You Need to be Reminded Why Social Media Sucks

Somehow my post about FedEx refusing to ship Cody Wilson’s CNC mill has generated far more Facebook drama than I’m used to. I don’t honestly do much to cultivate my Facebook presence, because for the most part I hate Facebook.

First, Facebook’s late policy of charging me money to access the audience I worked to create annoys the ever living hell out of me. I’m not sure how almost every other post of mine ends up “outperforming 95% of your other posts,” and surely you want to give Facebook money so you can access your followers? If you don’t, we’ll be sure to only show your posts to about 1/8th of your audience, so pay up!

Yeah, screw Facebook, even though it’s my number two non-search engine referrer behind SayUncle. Facebook is evil.

Let’s also remember that Facebook is anti-gun owner. You remember Brain Aitken right? He was prosecuted in New Jersey for activity that is legal in nearly any other state (transporting an unloaded firearm), and is only a free man because of being granted clemency by Governor Christie. Facebook is arguing his plight to get custody of his son back violates its policy of advertising firearms.

I do social media, because you just kind of have to these days. That’s not to say I like it. Compared to what blogging was in its heyday, it’s a vast wasteland, much like Cable TV.

FedEx Refusing to Ship Defense Distributed’s CNC Mill

Their argument boils down to uncertain legality, which is a completely bogus argument. There’s absolutely nothing illegal about shipping a CNC machine to anyone, in any state.

But now FedEx tells WIRED it’s too wary of the legal issues around homemade gunsmithing to ship the machine to customers. “This device is capable of manufacturing firearms, and potentially by private individuals,” FedEx spokesperson Scott Fiedler wrote in a statement. “We are uncertain at this time whether this device is a regulated commodity by local, state or federal governments. As such, to ensure we comply with the applicable law and regulations, FedEx declined to ship this device until we know more about how it will be regulated.”

I don’t think it would be crazy tin-foil-hat speculation that it’s quite possible they are getting threats from the Administration in other areas they regulate that could hurt FedEx, if FedEx doesn’t bend to their will on the gun issue. It’s not like we haven’t seen that before.

Of course, if that’s the case, they should blow the whistle. At best, this is cowardice on the part of FedEx, and I won’t do business with them until they grow a pair and start shipping his product like they would any other CNC machine.

News Links for Tuesday 02-24-2015

I meant to get up a news links post yesterday, but tasks conspired against it, which seems to be happening a lot lately. At work, we had a window blow open and freeze all the pipes, which caused quite a disaster. Last week I couldn’t open my back door. Fearing the header might have failed, causing the weight from the house to fall onto the door, I went into the drywall to check. The header was fine. I think the severe dry, cold air just made the wood contract enough to jam the door. I managed to pull hard enough to get the door open, but it took a hammer to close it again. That door has always been tight, and the seal on the double pane failed years ago. It is time to replace it, which is money I wasn’t expecting to spend. Such are distractions of life, like the news:

Joe Huffman collects bigotry from the other side, something for which there is no shortage.

Gun control works! No, really, it does.

Shannon Watts is a propagandist, not an activist. She’s honestly not very good, and prone to making gaffes and mistake. If it wasn’t for Bloomberg’s money, I wouldn’t be too worried about her.

Apparently Governor Wolf’s pick to run the Pennsylvania State Police is already generating controversy. It’s worth noting that this office has, in the past with hostile Democratic administrations, been used to screw with gun owners.

What’s that? Associating with Bloomberg is bad for a Democrat’s political aspirations? Who would have guessed.

Bring handguns back to Britain!

Turning out for Constitutional Carry in Idaho.

Shocking: Some lawmakers who are friendly to the Second Amendment are (gasp!) active NRA members.

SCOTUSBlog takes a look at Henderson v. United States. A gun case, but not a Second Amendment case, at least not directly.

John Richardson has more on the M855 ban.

Tam: “It was within my lifetime (albeit barely) that you could order an actual 20mm anti-tank rifle in the mail with less drama than buying a packet of Sudafed today.” Also, “Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.”

Yes! Next question.

Eugene Volokh: Open Carry v. Announced Carry. I’ve also thought there might be stronger First Amendment protection for open carry than Second, given that the courts take the former more seriously than the latter.

Off Topic:

Bombshell Interview: Cop Reveals That “Planting Evidence And Lying” Are Just “Part Of The Game”

What ISIS Really Wants. A very excellent piece of journalism from The Atlantic. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.

More Danger in Washington State

Another gun control bill has passed out of committee in the Washington Legislature. If I were a gun owner in Washington, I’d print out this bill and roll it up. Go find yourself a gun owner who voted for I-594 because it sounded “reasonable,” and hit them on the nose with this bill and firmly say, “No!”

Any victory will embolden and strengthen the other side. Once the dam starts to crack, it’s very difficult to prevent it from breaking. This is especially true in blue states that have managed to keep their gun rights, despite years of Democratic control. Once they figure out they can hurt you, and you can’t boot them from power, they’ll just keep hurting you. Colorado was saved from this fate because they figuratively broke the noses of the people who hurt them with those recall elections

If you’re in a blue state that’s kept its gun rights despite a history of Democratic control, you’re probably lucky, and probably are retaining your gun rights on borrowed time. Once the powers that be learn they can hurt you, and you can’t hurt them back, your cause is doomed.

Two More Favorable Court Rulings

Looks like we’ve had a few more favorable court rulings in the past few days. The first comes from the Middle District of Pennsylvania, in the case of Suarez v. Holder, holding that a past non-violent felony conviction was not sufficient to strip him of his right to keep and bear arms. This is an “as applied” challenge, meaning it did not challenge the felon-in-possession statute (18 USC 922(g)) on its face, but challenged it as applied to the plaintiff in this case. He was convicted in 1990 of carrying a firearm without a license in Maryland, a misdemeanor in Maryland, but one that can carry a penalty of up to three years in prison (and thus prohibiting under federal law). The more cases like this we get, the more cause we have to seek further redress through Congress, since these suits cost the federal courts time and money (both of which are in short supply). You can read more about the case here. Hat tip to Joe Huffman for the tipoff.

The other case is from the Florida Court of Appeal, Norman v. State. This court upheld the Florida restriction on open carry, but it’s a win because they adopted the reasoning that we’ve been pushing the courts toward. The court recognized there was a right to carry a firearm outside the home, but that the state may regulate the manner in which firearms are carried.

The Legislature “has a right to prescribe a particular manner of carry, provided that it does not ‘cut[] off the exercise of the right of the citizen altogether to bear arms, or, under the color of prescribing the mode, render[] the right itself useless.’” The Legislature is permitted to regulate the manner in which arms are borne for the purpose of maintaining public peace and safety, so long as any such regulation leaves available a viable carry mode.

The reason our legal advocates have been pushing for this interpretation is because it squares with a long, unfortunate tradition in some parts of the country of making concealed carry unlawful, while allowing open carry, and courts upholding them under the Second Amendment and state Second Amendment analogues. This ruling does beg the question of whether, say, New Jersey, for instance, could get around being forced to comply with federal law by legalizing open carry, but still requiring a relatively non-obtainable license for concealed carry. That doesn’t do anything to destroy the right de jure, but given that open carry is not socially acceptable in the Garden State, does it amount to a de facto destruction of the right? That’s probably why anti-evasion doctrine is going to become very important going forward.

Kleck: Defensive Gun Use is Not a Myth

It’s very good to see Politico willing to publish a retort by Gary Kleck against an article recently published in the same by the trolls over at Armed with Reason. Be sure to read the whole article, but I will quote from, and comment on a bit here:

But what DeFillipis and Hughes carefully withheld from readers is the fact that I and my colleague have refuted every one of Hemenway’s dubious claims, and those by other critics of the NSDS, first in 1997, and again, even more extensively, in 1998 and 2001.

I’m shocked (shocked!) to discover pro-gun control folks not presenting all the facts, and misleading people into believing their conclusion. This is standard operating procedure for our opponents. Dr. Kleck pulls no punches:

The authors, a couple of Oklahoma investment counselors with no graduate degrees, do not claim to have had any training in survey research methods. Like Hemenway (who is also untrained in survey methods), they believe that it’s perfectly plausible that surveys generate enormous over-estimates of crime-related experiences, as if this were the most commonplace thing in the world.

In other words, the people criticizing his studies have no credentials. I’m not one to argue that un-credentialed people can’t produce good science, because they can. But DeFillipis’ and Hughes’ operation looks more like slick marketing rather than science. It would seem Dr. Kleck agrees:

Left unmentioned will be one simple fact: in all of H’s commentary, he does not once cite the one thing that could legitimately cast doubt on our estimates—better empirical evidence.

That’s because they can’t produce it. Even very conservatives studies, like the National Crime Victimization Survey, put the number at 80,000 events a year, and that was also done in the early 1990s, before concealed carry was broadly legal. Even anecdotally, I know two people who did quite legitimately defend themselves with a firearm. In both cases, there were no shots fired; the attacker(s) fled.

Is it Unlawful to Donate to a City’s Defense Fund for Illegal Gun Ordinances?

[UPDATE: Link fixed] Pro-gun attorney Josh Prince makes a good case for it. The criminal penalty for violating preemption is not part of the new Act 192, but was an original feature of the 1974 preemption law. The problem, however, is that it would require the county district attorney to bring charges, which they’ve never been willing to do. In this case, I doubt they would. Anyone charged would likely have a decent First Amendment claim that their donation was a form of protected speech. So from the beginning there was never any enforcement mechanism for preemption, so many towns and cities through Pennsylvania just ignored it, and passed their own gun control laws anyway. While rarely enforced, if you were one of the unlucky few, it was on you to hire an attorney at your own expense, to defend against the charge and challenge ordinance in court. While this almost always resulted in victory under Pennsylvania’s preemption statute, you were out the money for court costs and attorneys fees. The legislature set out to fix this with Act 192, and at least Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg don’t appreciate being held to account for their own illegal behavior.

Sorry fellas, you’ve been flouting the law for 40 years now. Time to pay up.

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