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State Progress on Gun Rights

USAMapI’ve noticed a flurry of state news in the past two days, some of which is significant. First, the Texas Legislature has sent a Right to Hunt amendment to the voters for approval. The number of hunters continues to decline, which translates into a loss of political power. It’s important to get these constitutional protections in place before it becomes a real issue. Animal rights people are far more numerous than anti-gunners, and unlike people who favor gun control, animal rights supporters are very passionate and motivated.

Governor Dayton has signed the budget bill that contained the pro-gun measures he did not like. It doesn’t appear the Governor was willing to pick that fight. This was a bevy of pro-gun measures, the most newsworthy of which was legalizing suppressors. In addition to that measure, it also fixes some reciprocity issues, adds emergency powers protections for gun owners, removes the requirement for notification to carry in the state capitol, and allows the purchase of long guns in other states, rather than just contiguous ones.

Constitutional Carry in vehicles has just passed the Alabama legislature, allowing people to transport firearms, loaded or unloaded, without a permit in vehicles. Not as good as full Constitutional Carry, but I’ll take what I can get when I can get it.

In Florida, you can now carry a firearm without a permit during an emergency evacuation or a declared state of emergency. Governor Scott signed it into law. Again, partial victory for Constitutional Carry, but we’re now a step closer to having one of the big states buy in, which we really need to get other states to go along.

Not all is good news. Oregon is in the process of passing more gun control. When the dam breaks, it’s hard to stop the flood. Apparently some lawmakers in Oregon can’t read or understand, “[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Sadly, a lot of federal judges can’t either.

Also, apparently one Republican lawmaker, the Senate Majority leader, has been holding up campus carry in Nevada. The bill went down to defeat with 6 Republicans voting against. Nevadans have some work to do.

 

New York City Legal AR-15

Ares SCR

This is apparently what a New York City legal AR-15 looks like, now that the City has approved the Ares SCR for residents to own. New York City bans any long gun that can hold more than 5 rounds. As you can see, other than having traditional ergonomics, it is an AR in nearly every other way.

I feel sorry for people who have to live under the mass delusion that banning guns that look scary, and banning superior ergonomics, is somehow saving lives. The rifle comes with a 5 round magazine, but it’ll accept STANAG magazines, which can be easily bought anywhere else in the country, even in New Jersey (though limited to 15 rounds there). The removed features (flash suppressor, bayonet lug, and pistol grip) don’t make the firearm inherently less powerful or deadly.

Surely the anti-gun folks would argue this is why we need to make all semi-automatic firearms illegal, which surely they’d like to do, but they can’t. So they are willing to settle for this ridiculous charade, where they pass something utterly useless that will have no effect on someone intent on harm, so they can tell themselves what enlightened, caring people they are.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 3

Yesterday was mostly a bevy of clients demanding attention, then later in the day, the weather was just too nice not to do some work I’ve been putting off in the backyard. So I didn’t get much in the way of posting done until late yesterday evening. I thought today would be a good day to have the weekly gun news, and hope for more worthy news later in the day.

Hey gun control folks, how’s that campaign using the Waco biker gang shootout to derail open carry in Texas going? The good news is that’s pissing off the right people. The people who are trying to use this to stop open carry should have to explain how open carry would have made a difference, given none of the bikers were open carrying.

Speaking of pissing off the right people, that seems to have happened with our recent court victory in DC.

It’s difficult to stand up for due process when the media can savage you like this. This is not the only article I’ve seen along these lines.

Of course they are: Obama Administration against CMP 1911 sales.

Dave Hardy’s “Of Arms and the Law” is three years ahead of the mainstream media news cycle! Apparently some Dem insiders were worried back in 1994, when Clinton decided to do gun control, that it might lead to Majority Leader Bob Dole. So one of them wrote George Snuffaluffagus, or however you spell it. Well, short of it is, they didn’t listen, and Bob Dole did become majority leader.

Another long time traditional gun blog bites the dust. It’s a rough climate out there for non-professionals. Everyone with a dime to gamble on new media ventures wants in on the gun thing, and who can blame them? Guns are the only “right leaning” issue coming out of the Obama years better off than when it went in. Of course, that’s largely because it’s not really a strictly right leaning issue.

The Supreme Court of the United States is weighing another gun issue in regards to San Francisco’s safe storage laws. Safe storage, of course, meaning it has to be stored in a manner that renders it useless for self-defense.

The key word here is that the man had a license to carry firearms. Warning shots are never a good idea.

NRA is planning  major voter outreach effort in 2016. Polls show approximately 1/5th to 1/4 of Democratic voters are inclined toward gun rights. If NRA really wants to be able to continue to target wayward politicians, they need to target those voters.

Tam notes that the media discovered there was, brace yourselves here, a cache of gun parts in a gun factory. Scarebleu!

Hey, maybe gun control can do great things for America, like it has for Brazil.

Well, that was mighty nice of them, given that’s what the law says: ATF rules that FFLs can rent handguns and ammunition to 18-20 year olds.

Progress in Minnesota. Unfortunately, it looks like Dayton has found his excuse to veto the whole ball of wax, without having to make it look like it’s all about guns. Omnibus Bills can work both ways when dealing with an intransigent executive.

Ace of Ace of Spades on Dems and gun control: “A religious devotion? An offering to the God of Government? The Democrats’ proposed laws increasingly look like prayers in legislative language.

Pressure mounting to pass National Reciprocity. It would be fun to try to get this done under Obama, by attaching it to some Bill That Can’t Be Vetoed. But he could always throw a hissy fit, like Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota. But if things go well for the GOP in 2016, it would be nice not to leave this as their, “Well, we did this for you, so shut up and keep voting,” issue.

Off Topic:

As someone who, as a kid, watched Letterman in his prime, I have to agree with Ace on this one: “Tonight, Dave Letterman retires. But he quit a long time ago.

Richard Dreyfuss: “Election Coming: Nobody Knows Anything.” I’m not one to pay much attention to celebrities, but I don’t think this is a partisan issue. We don’t teach civics anymore. The generation coming up is woefully uneducated in civic life, civic matters, and history. I don’t think this is just me getting old.

This is a good piece on Elon Musk’s space dream. Oh, if only I had enough money in my 20s to be negotiating with cigar smoking drunk Russians to buy an ICBM. Even better if I could figure out I could build it cheaper myself!

How to take over a small country in 10 easy steps. This was a great laugh reading during a car ride over the weekend. Hat tip to Dave Hardy.

Bad Laws Get Ignored on All Sides

Joe Huffman quotes John Stossel about how people tend to ignore bad laws, and notes that’s probably what’s going to happen with I-594. I would easily bet that Pennsylvania’s ban on the private transfer of handguns is the most often broken gun control law in this commonwealth, if we could have absolute clairvoyance to know that kind of thing. It is most often broken by those who have no criminal intention and by people who are otherwise no threat to society. Often times they are unaware that their property is not like other property, and they can’t just sell it at will. Other times they have no idea that even lending a gun to a friend is illegal if that friend doesn’t have a License to Carry Firearms. I was certainly unaware of this in my early days of gun ownership.

This is why the transfer ban on handguns is almost never enforced, even when broken by very dangerous people who do have criminal intent. You see that in Washington State and Oregon now, where you have a lot of sheriffs who say they will not enforce the new law in their jurisdiction. Even Philadelphia, which is very anti-gun, does very few prosecutions of people for violating the transfer ban, even when the violator was pretty clearly knowingly furnishing a handgun to someone who can’t legally possess one.

All banning private transfers accomplishes is to breed contempt and disrespect for the law, and for we Pennsylvanians, it’s been doing that for so long ignoring it has become part of the landscape on all sides, including the criminal justice system. So why have it? Really, because it’s about the best the other side can hope for.

New Meme: Gun Rights Not for Blacks?

I’m a strong believer that Black Americans often unjustly draw the short straw from our legal system, and the police are often guilty of systemic bias in their enforcement of the law, but I have to agree with Bob Owens in this particular story which highlights a black v. white open carry encounter. I’ve seen some white guys get treated equally poorly, and sometimes worse, depending on jurisdiction, and how familiar the officers are with handling open carriers. I’m open to the hypothesis that Black Americans will, on average, have more negative experiences, but these two encounters are do necessarily represent an example of such bias.

My purpose in bringing this incident up is to note there seems to be a meme going around. I go over a LOT of news in this issue. You only ever see a fraction of it here, because I don’t often decide to write about a topic until I notice new patterns. This has become a new pattern. There seems to be a concerted effort to convince African-Americans that gun rights are for white people, and white people are only interested in preserving this right for themselves, and blacks can never hope to exercise it on an equal basis with whites.

While I have no doubt in a country of 300 million, you could find people who believe that gun rights are only for white people, it is not even remotely mainstream opinion even among the most gun nutty of gun nuts. Even at my working-class, aging suburban gun club, we have African-American members, and the guy who ran my qualification test for my membership was an African-American. I won’t say there ain’t a racist among us, it’s a 1200 person club, and you can find plenty of assholes among any 1200 people, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find many people who would agree Second Amendment rights are for whites only.

So why would someone try to float this meme? I think this all started with the recent Pew Poll, showing support for gun rights swinging in our favor among Black Americans. Nick Johnson, who’s written a whole book on the topic, has noted that support of African-Americans in favor of gun control seemed to come more from a desire to coalition with progressive-minded whites than out of any deep cultural or historical inclination from within the black community.

It’s not that I believe there’s any overarching or coordinated conspiracy to put meme out there, but if you can plant the idea with a few sympathetic and influential opinion leaders, and then let other influential people chew on it a bit, you can get a meme to spread. Progressive Democrats are completely dependent on owning the black vote. They can’t let any issue drive a wedge, and this one is now threatening to do that, so they need to bring their base back in line. The real solution for Democrats would be to abandon gun control, return to more traditional liberalism, and leave the progressive mouth foamers hung out to dry. But how many traditional liberals are left these days?

There is Posturing and There’s Outlaw Biker Gangs

It’s not surprising that the gun control community postures over current events, because those events can sometimes help drive their narratives. When a kid steals a gun from a parent and does something untoward with it, it makes their case that all guns should be disassembled into pieces and stored in underground vaults in the backyard. When one of “mom’s little angel” teenagers gets ahold of a gun and shoots a few rivals and some bystanders, it’s not necessarily crazy on the part of our opponents to presume that maybe some kind of vague, “stricter background checks,” might find a sympathetic ear among voters.

But I have no idea what universe you think your average voter lives in to believe that if we only pass a few more background check laws, we can ensure that outlaw biker gangs are unable to get guns. That seems to be the narrative being floated by both Shannon Watts and her lapdogs in the media. Just look at what the LA Times has to say about one of the outlaw gangs involved in the Waco shootout:

Sunday’s confrontation in Waco also appears to have started as a result of a dispute involving the Bandidos, one of the world’s largest motorcycle clubs, with as many as 2,500 members in 14 countries, and one that’s engaged in distribution of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, according to the Justice Department. One of their mottoes: “We’re the people your parents warned you about.”

Yes, I’m sure if we just stop people from privately transferring guns, outlaw biker gangs will be reduced to settling their differences through pillow fights and rock/paper/scissors. It’s certainly not possible that a criminal enterprise, who already traffic in contraband, would have no problem obtaining guns or anything else they need to pursue their black market trade. But I think they really believe this.

Just recently, Everytown released a study showing that most people who shoot police officers are, you’re never going to believe this, prohibited persons. This was in response to a police officer in New York being shot to death. It’s almost like gun control doesn’t stop criminals from obtaining firearms, isn’t it? In the same vein, our favorite Brady Board member, over at her new blog, manages to account all the ways that Norway’s strict gun laws failed against a highly motivated lunatic with criminal intent, and then concludes that gun control laws work!

They don’t live in reality. Outlaw Biker Gangs aren’t going to be disarmed. Motivated lunatics will find ways to get guns. The only people their policies succeed in disarming are the people you didn’t have to worry about in the first place.

New York Times Forgets the Lesson of Smith & Wesson

The New York Times doesn’t think left-wing activists should divest themselves of Remington. Why? Because Remington would be better if it were bullied by SJW shareholders.

It’s easy to see why they would want to be done with the whole episode. Selling removes the reputational stain of owning the top American manufacturer of the deadliest consumer product known to man.

I’m pretty sure automobiles are the deadliest consumer product known to man, but lets not let facts get in the way.

Remington’s earnings volatility is not the only factor behind its low valuation. There’s also the stigma associated with owning a gunsmith after Sandy Hook. Cerberus actually tried to sell the business but found no acceptable offers. The situation is somewhat similar to the way tobacco stocks became an investment industry pariah two decades ago.

I’m pretty sure the reason investors don’t want to touch Remington have more to do with the amount of debt it’s carrying versus its earnings, more than what the New York Times thinks.

They could, for instance, insist that Remington ensure all its guns are sold through distributors who conduct more rigorous background checks, or that the company ramps up investments in developing weapons that won’t go off when a child finds them in a negligent parent’s night stand. They might even demand Remington stop supporting the National Rifle Association.

And if they do that, as a community, we will kill Remington. If they don’t believe we can do it, ask the former British owners of Smith & Wesson, F. H. Tomkins P.L.C., after they cut a similar deal with the Clinton Administration. They acquired the brand for 112.5 million dollars. In 2001, Smith & Wesson was sold to Saf-T-Hammer Corporation for $15 million dollars after gun owners boycotted the company.

It’s easy for Social Justice Warriors to delude themselves into thinking people can’t fight back against their bullshit. We can and will, and we’ll bankrupt your investment in the process. They would be wise to divest Remington. Personally, I’m not sure the issue has been done any favors by putting so many gun companies and brands in the hands of New York bankers.

Civil Rights Victory in DC Circuit

The Judge in the D.C. District Court has smacked down at least one aspect of DC’s attempt at evading the Second Amendment in Wrenn v. D.C. The Court in this case did not buy D.C.’s assertion that the good cause requirement was related to the city’s interest in preventing crime:

While, as stated, Defendants argue that the District of Columbia’s “good reason”/”proper reason” requirement relates reasonably to its interest in preventing crime and protecting public safety, they have not established that relationship.

The fact that an individual may be able to demonstrate a greater need for self-protection, and therefore meets the “good reason”/”proper reason” requirement, does not indicate, in any way, whether that person is less likely to misuse handguns or may be less dangerous.

The Court also rejected D.C.’s assertion that they had a legitimate interest in reducing the number of handguns in public places:

Furthermore, even if the Court were to accept the proposition that handguns are used disproportionately in the commission of violent crimes, how is that use related to whether or not a person has a greater need for self-protection? Moreover, isn’t it possible that even persons who cannot manifest a present need for self-protection are just as likely to be victims of a violent crime. Simply put, the District of Columbia’s “good reason”/”proper reason” requirement will neither make  it less likely that those who meet this requirement will present a risk to other members of the public or commit violent crimes than those who cannot meet this requirement. Therefore, after reviewing the record in this case, the Court finds that Defendants have failed to demonstrate that there is any relationship, let alone a tight fit, between reducing the risk to other members of the public and/or violent crime and the District of Columbia’s “good reason”/”proper reason” requirement.

This is very good news. SAF only chose to file for a preliminary injunction on the “good cause” requirement, and they got it. D.C. is now not permitted to enforce this requirement. Good show!

A Harbinger of Federal Action on Suppressors?

It’s a good omen when Chris Cox is bringing the Josh Waldron, President of SilencerCo, out to the annual Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation Congressional Shoot-Out:

This would be an indicator that NRA is doing the necessary ground work to push for having suppressors removed from the National Firearms Act at some point in the future. If we have a favorable outcome in 2016, something like that might make a good second term project for a Second Amendment friendly Administration. Though, maybe I’m being wildly optimistic. I’m probably being wildly optimistic.

Victory for Henderson in Henderson v. United States

The unanimous opinion written by Justice Kagan can be found here. In this case, Tony Henderson was convicted of drug offenses and became a prohibited person under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). He petitioned the FBI to turn his firearms over to a third party of his choosing. The FBI refused, arguing that he would remain in constructive possession. The FBI took the position that the guns could only be transferred to a Federal Firearms Licensee that would then sell them on the open market. Fortunately for Henderson, the Supreme Court was not persuaded by the government’s arguments. The Court holds:

Accordingly, a court may approve the transfer of a felon’s guns con- sistently with §922(g) if, but only if, the recipient will not grant the felon control over those weapons. One way to ensure that result is to order that the guns be turned over to a firearms dealer, himself inde- pendent of the felon’s control, for subsequent sale on the open mar- ket. But that is not the only option; a court, with proper assurances from the recipient, may also grant a felon’s request to transfer his guns to a person who expects to maintain custody of them. Either way, once a court is satisfied that the transferee will not allow the felon to exert any influence over the firearms, the court has equitable power to accommodate the felon’s transfer request. Pp. 3–8.

So provided the third party assures the court that he will not allow the prohibited person to exercise possession or control over the firearms, a prohibited person may delegate a third party.

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