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Head of Everytown: Throw the Book at Them

John Feinblatt is Bloomberg’s chosen leader for Everytown. He was a muckety muck in Bloomberg’s Administration as Mayor of New York City, and has been involved in Bloomberg’s gun control efforts since the beginning. He pens an article in the Daily News, which I will address point by point. The gist of the article is that NRA doesn’t really mean it when they say “enforce the laws we already have,” and so Feinblatt offers his own ideas on what that means:

For decades, though, NRA lobbyists have fought to suppress trace data, even using the federal budget to try to limit intelligence-sharing among law enforcement.

You might recall when that data was freely available before, it was used to target high-volume gun shops for lawsuits with the intent of putting them out of business. It is still available to law enforcement for bonafide investigations. It’s just not available to people like Bloomberg and the Brady Campaign, and they are butthurt about that.

To help catch more murderers and gun criminals, it can also advance an investigative tool called microstamping …

Yes, a tool so great even UC Davis had to admit it was bullshit. Additionally, both California and New York have both passed Microstamping laws, but have yet to issue any regulations about it. Why? Because it’s a bullshit issue and even the bureaucrats know it. I’m a bit disappointed in Mr. Feinblatt here. This is the kind of pie in the sky dreaming I’d expect from the Brady Campaign.

Good old-fashioned communication can boost enforcement, too. Felons broke the law and tried to buy a gun more than 40,000 times last year alone — yet they rarely face any consequences, beyond the gun store turning them away.

This is actually one area I disagree with the NRA on, and one area I’m pretty sure they are mostly sincere in wanting stronger enforcement. The reason most of those felons who tried to break the law aren’t prosecuted is that most of them are non-violent felons who are no threat to anyone. It would be a waste of public resources to prosecute and incarcerate them. If the prohibitions on felons was limited to violent felons, and was part of their conviction, I would have little issue with more rigorous enforcement.

We all know the reason prosecution rates for NICS denials are low, but no one wants to admit it: I’m not all that worried about the dude who gets a NICS denial because a decade ago he cheated on his taxes, and no one else is either. Yet any felony, including tax evasion, regulatory crimes like importing a lobster in the wrong bag, possessing a bald eagle feather, and having a bit too much pot on you will earn you a lifetime prohibition.

There’s actually no federal gun trafficking law, and “straw purchasing” a gun for a criminal is nothing more than a paperwork violation.

This is an outright lie, and it’s one repeated often by gun control advocates. Straw purchasing, that is buying a firearm for someone else, anyone else, is a federal felony with a 10 year prison sentence. Many states have analogue crimes with similarly harsh sentences. The exception is if you wanted to buy a gift for your wife or brother. But if someone gives you money to buy a firearm for them, and you do, that’s a straw purchase. It is also unlawful sell guns to people who are residents of another state without being a licensed dealer. Only Federal Firearms Licensees may ship firearms via common carrier (there are exceptions to this, like shipping a gun to an FFL for repair) out of their home state to a non-licensee. So there is a federal trafficking statute, even if it’s not explicitly called that.

The issue they have, when you really analyze their arguments in this area, is that it can sometimes be hard for the state to meet its burden in prosecuting federal gun law violations. Rather than viewing that as a feature, necessary to prevent ordinary people tangled in the web of non-violent federal crimes, gun controllers have always viewed the state’s burden as a bug, and consistently support weakening or eliminating due process when it comes to gun violations.

Levi Strauss Being Anti-Gun is Nothing New

Big news that hit yesterday is that Levi Strauss CEO doesn’t want firearms in their stores. I’ve gotten to the point, after Shannon Watts’ various shakedowns, I couldn’t care less what they say: if they don’t post against it doesn’t mean anything. But Levi Strauss has a history, and it’s a big reason I don’t buy their products, and haven’t for a number of years. I planned today to outline this in detail, but I noticed that Miguel beat me to it, so I don’t have to! That’s good. I’m working against two deadlines until Monday.

I buy my jeans from L.L. Bean. I love their flannel lined Double-L jeans for the winter. L.L. Bean’s owners are libertarians, so there isn’t an issue there. They are also located in Maine, and wouldn’t you rather help the economy of a state that told Bloomberg to go eff himself this past election, rather than help the economy of San Francisco?

More Culture Killing Gun Legislation in New Jersey

New Jersey is going to be so screwed when Christie leaves office, it’s not even funny. Dems are looking to impose onerous regulations on shooting ranges in New Jersey with the aim to prevent suicides. This is not about preventing suicides, it’s about destroying the gun culture in New Jersey.

Every gun owner would be required to present NJ firearms credentials to the owner or operator of a range before being allowed to use their own firearms on that range, every time they use the range. What if you’re from out of state?  Sorry.  What if the club doesn’t have staff to check credentials?  Too bad.

I won’t take a firearm into New Jersey, even legally. But I know people who compete over there. This will effectively end that if they don’t have a non-resident FID card (which is really a good idea to have if you’re going to be transporting firearms in New Jersey).

Shooting activity could only occur where staff exists to check credentials.  Unstaffed ranges would lose members (because members wouldn’t be allowed to shoot there), many clubs would be forced to close.

This would essentially close every club in New Jersey. It would make it impossible to bring new shooters into the sports, since they would essentially need to apply for and receive an FID card before they could even try it out. This would destroy the shooting culture in New Jersey, and that’s exactly what it’s intended to do. Suicide prevention is a ruse. Christie has shown a willingness to veto legislation like this, and will probably continue to do so as long as he’s in office, but it’s going to be hell to pay if Christie is replaced with an anti-gun Democrat.

Record Black Friday for Guns

I’m starting to wonder if the gun sales were never really so much panic, but actually representative of a greater cultural shift on the issue. Dave Hardy has been saying that for a while. If we don’t see a significant drop in gun sales with the new Administration, there’s a good chance this is a broader cultural shift.

That would be a good thing, even if it’s people on the left stocking up in panic over Trump. This is a very American thing. It would also be good if that shift is the people who are becoming gun owners are doing more shooting, getting more training, and buying more guns. There are way more opportunities for this than when I first bought a gun 16 years ago. A lot more. My only regret for new shooters is that it’s a lot more expensive now than it was back then. I remember buying my first case of 1000 7.62x39mm non-corrosive for 89 bucks.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 51

Hopefully I have enough actual gun news to make this work. I thought we were going to have our first post-election mass shooting first, but it looks to be a dude plowed into students at Ohio State with a car and then began stabbing them. I am not eager to see Trump tested if we were to have another really awful mass shooting.

Rolling Stone: All-American Killer: How the AR-15 Became Mass Shooters’ Weapon of Choice. Actually, the handgun is the weapon of choice for mass shooters. Could have been written by Bloomberg’s people themselves, from the magazine that bought you rape hoaxes.

Tamara Keel: Building a Handgun Starter Kit.

Where has this guy been for the past two decades? “Not everyone who owns a gun is a fan of the NRA. Not everyone who doesn’t own a gun wants to stop others from having them. Now if we could only find a way to get those special-interest groups together for a nice argument.” We’ve been having that argument. Their side is losing it.

Glenn Reynolds in Florida Law Review: “Permissible Negligence and Campaigns to Suppress Rights.” He compares the PLCAA to New York Times v. Sullivan, a landmark Freedom of the Press case.

Pennsylvania Superior Court has vacated its previous decision on carry on Primary and Secondary School Campuses. The case will be reheard.

I thought Trump was going to do this? Troops in US can now carry.

Suddenly it’s minorities who are interested in purchasing guns. As I saw on the Internet: “Come for the panic. Stay for the freedom.”

Background Check Laws May Actually Interfere With Suicide Prevention Efforts. No kidding? We were saying that before Bloomberg start spending millions to get these passed via the ballot and deceptive advertising, but we were told to fuck off. I am really looking forward to carrying legally in New York City.

Andrew Branca: The Journal of American Medical Association disgraces itself by publishing a fatally flawed study of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law.

More from NRA on that JAMA study.

Surrender by Saul Cornell? Cornell, if you remember, was one of the academics who tried to make the case that the Second Amendment was not an individual right.

This is why I don’t like those state laws nullifying federal gun laws. If lawmakers don’t intend to back up their nullification with the force that would be necessary (like jailing federal agents enforcing federal law), why bother? Some damned fool might actually believe your nonsense.

This is the silliest gun product I’ve seen for a while.

Katherine Timpf: “Believing Every Bad Thing About Trump Is as Harmful as Denying Every Bad Thing About Trump

 

Semi Auto Hunting the Law in Pennsylvania

I thought there might be a good chance that Governor Wolf would sign the bill. There are a lot of hunters in Pennsylvania, and this looked like the kind of fight he might not want to pick. I’m sure Pennsylvania going red in the Presidential race may also have played into Wolf’s thinking.

It’s really not any big deal, since Pennsylvania was one of the few states that ever restricted hunting with semi-automatics. I don’t hunt, so it’s not something I’ll personally take advantage of, but I’ve heard a few “you can’t hunt with them” arguments for restricting semi-autos, so it’ll be good to see that put to rest.

But Will Stu Greenleaf Get the Message?

Change the states, and this could easily be Republican State Senator Greenleaf’s political epitaph if he doesn’t quit blocking our bills:

A powerful south Florida state senator who repeatedly sidelined popular gun rights legislation lost his seat Tuesday, opening the door for campus carry and open carry in the Sunshine State.

Florida State Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, chairs the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and in 2015 refused to hold hearings on a bill to allow legal concealed carry on public colleges and universities. Diaz de la Portilla was also a fly in the ointment when it came to derailing an emergency concealed carry bill the year before and in 2016 was key in killing bills on campus carry and open carry, refusing to even meet with advocates.

The Dem replacing him is also rated F, but taking one F and replacing them with a more junior F who doesn’t chair a key committee can be a win overall. Senator Greenleaf, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee, who is the reason enhanced preemption had to be stuck on another bill, should think about that. Like Florida, the Pennsylvania GOP Senate majority could absorb the loss of one seat, and I’d be happy to donate to or volunteer, even for the most Kumbaya singin’, tree huggingist hippie, if they looked like they had a credible chance of getting him out of our way.

You Used to be Able to Expect Better from Reason

Articles like this are why I haven’t been a Reason subscriber or regular reader since Virginia Postrel left as Editor-in-Chief. As it says in the comments of this article, “Did this guy sleep through Sandy Hook?”

Not that NRA doesn’t sensationalize and scaremonger in its fundraising: it certainly does. So does every other advocacy group. What effect a Trump Administration will have on NRA’s ability to maintain membership at high levels and keep enough money coming in is something I wonder about too. But …

But under President Barack Obama, the NRA has occupied itself sowing groundless panic and fighting imaginary villains.

So Obama didn’t spend his second term promoting gun control? Justice Scalia didn’t die? Hillary Clinton didn’t run a campaign where the centerpiece was gun control and defiance of the NRA? Did I imagine all that?

The NRA insisted he planned to ban all handguns, ban “use of firearms for home defense,” increase federal taxes on guns and ammunition by 500 percent, and require a federal license to buy a gun.

That’s because as a Illinois Senator, he voted for these things, and was an outspoken supporter of Chicago’s handgun ban. This wasn’t a figment of Wayne LaPierre’s imagination, and it wasn’t just lip service. He voted this way.

DOJ Smart Gun Specs are Telling

John Richardson notes that we need to be vigilant about last minute gun control from the Obama Administration, and he’s right. But this DOJ spec for what a smart gun would need to look like in order to be acceptable to law enforcement is telling, in that it rejects much of the gun control groups sacred cows about what citizens do and don’t need for self-defense. Let us look deeper:

Pistols shall be semi-automatic, recoil-operated, magazine-fed, and striker-fired.

I thought semi-automatic weapons only belonged on the battle field?

Class I magazines shall hold a minimum of 14 cartridges.
Class II magazines shall hold a minimum of 16 cartridges.

But I thought these dangerous high-capacity magazines were weapons of war only suitable for mowing down school children, and are thoroughly unnecessary for self-defense? Law enforcement isn’t just demanding a maximum of 10, it’s saying their minimum is 14.

The pistol shall fire with the magazine removed and a live round in the chamber.

Pistols shall not have a magazine disconnect which prevents the firearm from firing when the magazine is removed from the pistol.

Why do law enforcement and military leaders hate their own children?

Pistols shall not have a manual external thumb, finger, or grip-actuated safety device.

But I thought this was good and necessary? Several states laws say this is an unsafe design! But here we get to the “smart” part:

4.18 Security devices

4.18.1 Pistols shall have an integrated “lock-out” security device as a permanent part of the pistol that disables the firing mechanism except when in the control of authorized individuals.

4.18.2 The security device shall be understood to include any externally worn items, such as rings, wristbands, or tokens that perform functions associated with the security device

4.18.3 The security device shall include a programmable authorization system that can be set to allow one or more operators to fire the pistol.

4.18.4 The security device shall not inhibit the operator from firing in either hand, one-handed or two-handed, with and without gloves, in any orientation.

4.18.5 The security device shall not alter the normal operation of grasping and firing the pistol as a pistol of the same design that is not equipped with the security device.

4.18.6 The security device shall not increase the time required by the operator to grasp, draw from a holster, and fire the pistol as a pistol of the same design that is not equipped with the security device.

4.18.7 The security device shall not emit audible sounds or visible signals.

4.18.8 If the security device may be susceptible to electromagnetic interference, either intentional or unintentional, the device shall be equipped with countermeasure detection technology that permits the operator to fire the gun when an attempt to block the authorization process is detected.

4.18.9 The security device shall covertly indicate when the pistol is ready to fire.

4.18.10 If the security device uses batteries, the batteries can be rechargeble but shall
be replaceable.

4.18.11 Low power to the security device shall be indicated covertly with sufficient time to safely take action.

4.18.12 If the security device malfunctions, it shall default to a state to allow the pistol to fire.

4.18.13 The security device should be easy for an operator to quickly reset or disengage if there is a malfunction.

They also demand the following in terms of reliability:

5.2 Reliability and durability

5.2.1 Pistols shall exhibit a mean overall malfunction or failure rate of no greater than 1 in 2,000, or shall exhibit a mean rounds between failure of no less than 2,000.

5.2.2 Pistols shall be durable and exhibit no failures due to wear or damage for a total of 10,000 rounds. Parts may be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification for regular preventative maintenance. The replacement of parts per the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule does not constitute a parts failure. This durability specification also applies to the security device on the pistol as well as any periphery devices that may be required to be used with the security device.

Basically, if it’s not very Glock-like, in terms of design, operation and reliability, law enforcement doesn’t want it. Keep this in mind, folks, when the gun control crowd insists that civilians accept far far less than this. The reason they will insist that we accept less is because this specification is not possible to meet with any existing technology.

Impact of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law

Appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (what this has to do with medicine is dubious, unless you subscribe to guns as a public health menace, which I don’t), a study looking at the effect of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law.” Given the AMA’s anti-gun position, it should not surprise you that they found it increases homicide. But the study does admit to a number of limitations, and makes some further admissions that tell me this was cooked up. Take this statement, for instance:

 

A potential limitation of interrupted time series designs is the possibility that other factors that occur simultaneously may distort estimates of intervention effects. Such factors might include national changes in social or economic variables (eg, a recession) or events that have a profound and lasting impact on society (eg, natural disasters). Additional design elements can be added to interrupted time series designs to assess whether such factors are influencing statistical estimates. We employed 2 such design features: analysis of homicide rates in 4 comparison states (New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia), and analysis of control outcomes (suicide and suicide by firearm).

Why pick those states as controls? The demographics of Ohio and Virginia are nothing like Florida. Virginia and New York also follow the common law that when faced with someone committing a forcible felony, you may employ deadly force to stop the commission of said felony, and you have no duty to retreat. This covers the vast majority of circumstances a citizen is going to be legally entitled to use deadly force in self-defense. New York and Virginia are already, via common law, Stand Your Ground states, so they make a very poor comparison to Florida. Also, why study just Florida? Maybe this is why, as the study admits: “Evaluations of Arizona’s and Texas’ stand your ground laws found no statistically significant impact on homicide.”

So keep studying the issue until you get the result you’re looking for? Pick the control states poorly to drive your desired result? Looks like it to me. The studies themselves usually do admit to their limitations, but the media never covers that. Therefore, these studies help drive a certain narrative, which is why Bloomberg spends big money to get them.

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