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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.

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.

The Long Struggle

Speaking of Glenn Beck, today in his announcement that he’s done with the GOP, he offered me an introduction to a series of posts I’ve been wanting to link for a while now. Sarah A. Hoyt posted “A Winter At Valley Forge:”

You know, I read all over the net, mostly in comments (and more on that later) that the GOP had gone spineless and they had funded Obama’s amnesty. So I went and looked at numbers. 1/3 of the GOP flipped. ONE THIRD.

Two thirds held firm. And this on a matter that has emotional appeal to politicians if not to the people on the ground. You see, they are convinced if they vote against it it will drive Latinos away from the GOP. It’s what the media and their corrupted offices tell them. It’s the “smart” opinion, as opposed to all us rubes on the ground.

And two thirds held firm.

You’d think it would be a moment to celebrate. You know, ten years ago half of them or more would have caved. But we’ve been working on taking over the GOP. And it has effects.

It seems to me what we should be doing is celebrating that two thirds held firm, and taking notes of the cavers to primary them.

You’ve seen a similar dynamic in the gun issue. A few decades ago there were Republicans who would reliably line up to screw us on the gun issue. Mike Castle probably would have his own AR-15 ammo ban bill drawn up and ready to go. But where are those people now? Gone, most of them. Sure, there’s still Pete King and a few other squishes, but overall the Republican Party is now far more solid on the gun issue than they were ten years ago. Everyone was worried who we were going to lose after Sandy Hook. Our experience told us that we’d likely lose enough Republicans so that things that weren’t possible before may suddenly become possible. But that didn’t happen. With the exception of Pat Toomey and Mark Kirk, the GOP stood with us, and I have a feeling Toomey isn’t going to be crossing us again on much else between now and his re-election bid. They didn’t do it because they were such nice guys. They did it because we fought a decades long battle create that circumstance.

Sarah Hoyt has two follow on posts here and here. I encouraged you to read the whole articles, if you read nothing else this week. From the first link:

But beyond that – what do you expect to accomplish by saying “I will never vote for a republican again?” or “I’m going third party?”

I know what you think you can accomplish. You think the GOP will fall in line.

WHY WOULD THEY?

What you’re saying is “I’m going to keep the dems in power for the rest of our natural lives.”

You know what the unprincipled (most establishment) GOP hears when you say that? “I’d better cozy up to the left because they’re the future. Let me see what I can concede today. I sure would like to keep my job as the loyal opposition.”

Is that what you want? No? Change your tactics.

It took the gun issue a long time to get rid of most of the anti-gun and squishy Republicans, but we largely succeeded. It’s going to take an equally long time to get rid of the GOP establishment that prefers to chase big donors, and go along to get along, than to embrace any kind of populism. Populism, even conservito-libertarian populism, is scary for elites. There was never going to be a scenario where they were going to roll over and accept it without a fight. But we in the gun issue have shown it can be done successfully, even if the elites are against us. The same is true of the populist movement attempting to wrest control of the GOP, whether you want to call it the Tea Party, or something else.

Beck Walking Back NRA Statements

I’m told that Glenn Beck is walking back his NRA comments from last week on his radio show today, which is good. Grover Norquist announced that he welcomes NRA’s investigation. Like I said, I have mixed feelings about DC insiders on the NRA Board, but I do have to admit that David Keene fits that definition, and I thought during the worst of Sandy Hook he was quite an elegant speaker on behalf of the cause. But what bothered me about Beck’s statement was that it showed a lack of understanding about how NRA picks its board, and showed a willingness to hurt the organization over tangential issues. I should note that distinct from arguing NRA is too soft, etc. That’s a separate argument.

At this point, there is no control NRA can exercise over whether Grover Norquist wins or loses. The only control really is through the nominating committee, and that is largely a board entity. That ship sailed in January. Grover’s future on the NRA board is now exclusively in the hands of voting members. Second it’s over an issue that has no relationship whatsoever to NRA’s mission. Even if the accusation is true, I don’t see how one board member out of 76 is going to help accomplish a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the NRA. I agree with the reader who commented that he didn’t see the Muslim Brotherhood end game here.

There are dozens of people who are on the NRA board I wish weren’t, but it’s never been something I’ve thought worth quitting over. I just don’t vote for those people. If all Glenn Beck did was encourage his audience to not vote for Grover, I’d think that a perfectly productive way to deal with the issue. It’s the threat to quit, and by influence having members of his audience follow that I took issue with.

Here Comes the Democrat Ammunition Bans

After ATF’s capitulation, the Democrats were quick to show their true colors and wave the gun control flag proudly. First out was Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) with H.R. 1358 “To enact into law a framework for deciding whether certain projectiles are primarily intended for sporting purposes for purposes of determining whether the projectiles are armor piercing ammunition.” It looks like we’re going to have another bill later this week, introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA). Unlike Engel’s bill, which we do not have language for yet, Speier has introduced her bill in previous Congresses. Her bill would ban all centerfire rifle ammunition, because it changes the standard to apply to any ammunition capable of penetrating body armor typically worn by police officers, and which is designed to stop handgun rounds, not rifle rounds.

This is all fine by the Democratic Party of Barack Obama. It’s not that there haven’t been reps out there on the anti-gun fringes for a long time, introducing bills like these that they can put on a press release knowing they will die in committee. What’s different now is they are out, proud and loud about how anti-gun they are. Take Steve Israel for example, calling ATF “cowards” for backing down from a clearly unworkable proposal. There was a time when the Democratic Party believed that gun control was an issue that was keeping them out in the wilderness, and started to walk away from it. We have to ensure they stay out in the wilderness, for a while, until it’s become apparent they’ve really learned their lesson.

My M855 Public Comment

Even though BATFE backed down from its proposed rule change to reclassify M855 as “armor piercing,” I still thought it important to get a comment in if they decided to revive the issue at some point. Since I’m an officer at my local club, I figured I’d make a motion at the members meeting that our club send a public comment, and the motion carried without opposition. Tomorrow is the deadline for comments, so I thought I’d publish my comment here, just in case any of you might want to borrow some language for your own submissions:

March 15, 2015

Denise Brown
Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
99 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20226

Dear Ms. Brown,

I am writing to you on behalf of Falls Township Rifle and Pistol Association, a 1,200 member private shooting club located in Falls Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The members of our club stand in opposition to ATFs proposal to ban commonly used M855 “green tip” ammunition by classifying it as “armor piercing.” While we are pleased that your agency has decided to back down from this proposal for now, we would like to make our opinion known, and considered in the event BAFTE decides to move forward with this proposal in the future. M855 ammunition is not classified as “armor piercing” by our military, and neither do we believe M855 ammunition should be classified as armor piercing under federal law. As you are aware, the Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act of 1986 defined armor piercing ammunition as such:

(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—

(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

(C) The term “armor piercing ammunition” does not include shotgun shot required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, a frangible projectile designed for target shooting, a projectile which the Attorney General finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectile or projectile core which the Attorney General finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes, including a charge used in an oil and gas well perforating device.

As you are also likely aware, M855 ammunition has a core that not “constructed entirely” from the listed substances, but has a core that is made from both lead and steel. It is also not readily apparent that M855 is “larger than .22 caliber” given that its bullet diameter is the same as the popular rimfire cartridge, and nor was M855 “designed and intended for use in a handgun.” M855’s jacket does not comprise “more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.” It is our assertion that M855 does not even fit into the statutory definition of “armor piercing ammunition.”

We further assert that even if M855 was to be classified as armor piercing, it surely fits into the exemption in the subsection C as “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes.” M855 is used by millions of recreational and competitive shooters, including many members of our club, as an inexpensive source of practice ammunition.

BATFE director Jones has expressed concern about M855’s ability to penetrate soft body armor typically worn by police. But as you are certainly aware, soft body armor is only intended to stop handgun bullets. M855 has no greater ability to penetrate soft armor than any other round loaded in .223/5.56x45mm. Indeed, any centerfire rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and target shooting is capable of penetrating soft armor. M855 is therefore not any more amenable to criminal misuse than other rifle ammunition. We believe this should weigh heavily against any decision to remove the sporting purposes exemption for this ammunition which has been in place and working for the past 30 years.

Sincerely,

 

My Real Name, Secretary

Does the Conservative Movement Own NRA’s Soul?

I’ll be frank, I’m not the biggest fan of having Grover Norquist on NRA’s Board, primarily because I want to the NRA to remain dedicated to its members, and not channeling the interests of DC insiders. But I am an even lesser fan of NRA living in terror of a nut job like Glenn Beck:

Beck said in a letter on the NRA political action group’s website that NRA executive director Wayne LaPierre is “taking this very seriously” and is beginning an “open and transparent investigation into these alleged ties.”

Beck’s accusation is that Norquist has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which seems rather fantastic to me, even if I’m not Grover’s biggest fan. But one thing I am definitely not a fan of is letting Glenn Beck dictate terms to the NRA. Yes, he has a large audience. I’ve been present at meetings of a local gun rights group where dozens of “Agenda 21″ whack jobs pummeled a local politician with that nonsense when the guy came to discuss gun rights. I do not think Beck is good for the conservative movement, and I believe NRA would be better off without those kinds of followers. I don’t want one man to have the ability to decide who will and won’t be on NRA’s Board.

The correct thing to do here is to tell Beck to get bent and stop hiring him to do NRA activities. If he quits, he quits. If his followers quit, let them quit. I want an NRA composed of people who support gun rights, and support it to the hilt. If you’re going to quit because you think Norquist might be a secret muslim because he married a Palestinian woman, I don’t need your “help.” If hating on muslims, or anyone who has any contact with them, is more important to you than gun rights, you don’t really believe in gun rights. If you don’t want Grover Norquist on the Board of NRA, then don’t vote for him. If other members still manage to push him over the top, and you quit NRA over it, then pardon me if I don’t question your dedication to the Second Amendment.

ATF Director Badmouthing Rifle Ammunition

ATF B. Todd Jones would seem to indicate he’s not just concerned about M855:

In a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, ATF Director B. Todd Jones said all types of the 5.56 military-style ammo used by shooters pose a threat to police as more people buy the AR-15-style pistols.

“Any 5.56 round” is “a challenge for officer safety,” he said. Jones asked lawmakers to help in a review of a 1986 bill written to protect police from so-called “cop killer” rounds that largely exempted rifle ammo like the 5.56 because it has been used by target shooters, not criminals.

They’ve been trying to use this issue as a backdoor gun ban since I was in elementary school, as a way to ban all rifle ammunition. Here’s my concern: I hadn’t realized Jones was scheduled to appear in a budgetary hearing a few days after announcing he was backing off. What’s to prevent Jones from putting the M855 ban back on the table once he gets his agency’s budget approved? I think we need some protections in there to ensure he’s not just playing games for the sake of his agency’s budget.

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