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Kansas Passes Constitutional Carry

If you live in, near, or have some relationship to Kansas, be sure to contact Governor Brownback to ensure we get a signature here. Remember, Bloomberg tried pretty hard to stop Constitutional Carry in Kansas, and it would be an awful shame to get this far and fail because the Governor didn’t hear from enough of us. If a signature is forthcoming, Kansas will join Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, and Arkansas to become the sixth state to pass Constitutional Carry.

This is continuing to progress. Maybe not quite as fast as shall-issue licensed carry, but it is continuing.

NAGR Opposing National Reciprocity

See NAGR’s release here.

I was previously wary of National Reciprocity supported solely on the herpes theory of the commerce clause, so I don’t outright scoff at people’s concerns with federal involvement in this area. But with the advent of Heller and McDonald rulings, Congress now has another, more constitutional avenue to legislature in this area, namely Section 5 of the 14th Amendment, which grants Congress the power to enforce its provisions that guarantee rights. This has been used to promote civil rights in many contexts in the post-Civil-War period. National Reciprocity is really a quite appropriate exercise of this power, given that the Heller decision assumed a right to carry a firearm, and the Court applied it to the states in McDonald. In fact, I’ll go farther and argue that Congressional action is likely the only way we’re going to restore the Second Amendment to the few remaining states which disrespect it. So let me take on some of NAGR’s arguments.

NAGR argues that the Second Amendment is the only license you should need. No one steeped in this debate disagrees that there should be no licensing requirement for exercising your Second Amendment rights. But Congressional action here doesn’t necessarily legitimize licensing. Previous Supreme Court rulings make Congressional action on unsettled issues like licensing problematic. Even with National Reciprocity, the other side will certainly argue City of Boerne v. Flores, which circumscribed Congressional power under the 14th Amendment. Congress attacking licensing might spark a turf war with the courts, such as happened in the City of Boerne case. We want to be cautious about reaching too far without more guidance from the Court.

NAGR argues that this bill is a trojan horse that will pave the way for federal control of licensing and carry. That is false. This bill gives no federal agency any regulatory control. It will be a law passed by Congress and enforced by the federal courts against the states. Could Congress pass such regulatory control in the future? Sure. But they can do that whether we pass National Reciprocity or not. Groups like NAGR act like anti-gun folks never thought of passing federal gun control before we gave them the idea. Nonsense!

NAGR uses Obama’s lawlessness as a reason not to do this. But this bill offers Obama no regulatory power to abuse. Could he just mandate something anyway? Sure, but again, he could do that right now. It will come down to what the federal courts let him get away with. That’s true with or without federal reciprocity.

NAGR calls this the “National CCW Registration Act,” despite the fact that there is no registration component to the bill. Nothing changes in regards to federal involvement in carry permitting, and nothing could change. All the law does is demand that states recognize each other’s licenses to carry. No more, no less.

NAGR is simply wrong on this issue, very badly wrong. Some Senators and Congressmen may use Dudley Brown’s opposition as cover to avoid taking a hard vote on this.  I’ve made no secret that I don’t like Brown or his organization, but even I honestly don’t know what’s he’s even thinking here.

I don’t think we ought to stop with National Reciprocity either. Lately I’ve liked Glenn Reynolds idea of mandating that, for someone not prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm, they can’t be sentenced to more than a petty offense, with a fine not to exceed $500 dollars, for any firearm violation not involving the commission of another serious, violent crime. It would be a good next step, and hopefully compatible with City of Boerne. At the least, it represents the kind of remedy we can probably only get from Congressional action under the 14th Amendment.

I would ignore NAGR’s plea to oppose this law, and make sure your friends know it too. NAGR has built up quite a Facebook presence, so Dudley could do serious damage in trying to move this or any other federal civil rights bills forward if more sensible people don’t help educate.

News Links for Tuesday 03-24-2015

News today has been pretty scarce, but I think I might have enough for a news link post:

Following up on progress in the states, the Florida Senate just passed a bill that allows people to carry a firearm without a license during a mandatory evacuation. It still needs a House vote, but it’s at least on the floor. Arizona is having a hearing for a bill, previously vetoed by Jan Brewer, that would allow carry in public venues like stadiums. I had not mentioned these bills in the previous post. Like I said, too many pro-gun bills to track! Good problem to have.

Moms Demand Action’s war on women: Against allowing expedited permit processing for women under active threat from a stalker or in an abusive relationship.

Boomberg has been smearing Scott Walker by pointing out he once supported a gun control bill. You know things are bad for the other side when they try to cause problems for politicians for supporting their bills!

Good guy with a gun saves lives in a Philadelphia barber shop.

New Jersey claims yet another innocent victim with their gun laws. This keeps happening because New Jersey’s gun laws entrap innocent people by design. It’s a way of rigging the law so easy and routine mistakes are felonies, and they can still look down on you smugly for thinking they are after your guns.

NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show generated $73 million for PA’s Harrisburg-Hershey region. How much money did CeaseFire PA’s Everytown Gunsense Show generate? Oh wait….

CSGV will soon deliver their petition to Fox’s Washington affiliate, WTTG, to have Emily Miller fired. Oppose them, and they’ll ruin your life. But remember, they’re all about peace and love.

Fresh off their defeat on ammunition, the Administration is now trying to make it harder for people to travel internationally with firearms.

Sued: Lower Merion Township gets sued for their illegal gun ordinances by FOAC and Josh Prince. We gave them a chance to comply with the law, and they gave us the finger. Now they can cut us a check for our trouble and have their ordinances struck by a judge.

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.

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.

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

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.

Excellent Graphic for Suppressors

There is currently an effort in Minnesota to get suppressors legalized. Minnesota is one of only of eleven states where they are illegal, and Minnesota Gun Owners PAC is working to change that. I really like the fact sheet they made up on the issue. This is excellent:

SupressorFacts

 

This gets the message across in a very clear way. If you look at the growth in this issue, I think we may have a decent shot of getting suppressors out from under the National Firearms Act if we can keep the trend going.

Tuesday News Links 03-10-2015

Time to clear the tabs again:

Clayton Cramer: Gun control laws don’t create safety, only illusions. The fight for Constitutional Carry in Idaho is still hot.

They see me trollin’, they hatin’. Never occurs to them that the reason people do this is because it baits people on the other side into revealing what petty hand wringers and rabid busybodies they are for all to see. Plus, look at all the sickos who think the picture is sexual? And they think we’re disturbed?

Josh Prince: Did AG Kane fail in her statutory duties regarding reciprocity? She’s not going to prosecute herself, though.

Is your Congress critter on the list of reps who signed the M855 letter to ATF? Mine isn’t. The only member of the PA Republican congressional delegation to not sign on. That’s because he’s not running again in 2016, and he’s never really been with us. Even Pat Meehan signed it!

USA Today: “Giffords draws crowd at D.C. event to support gun control” Pictures or it didn’t happen.

Google has already done a lot to destroy blogging, but this may actually kill it off for good.

From the land of Brady Board member Joan Peterson: “More Minnesotans have handgun carrying permits than ever before.” Minnesota’s murder rate is typically at European levels.

The Fourth Amendment is dead. Hey, it’s fine as long as “they’ve been regulated for centuries.”

Walker supports ending Wisconsin’s waiting period. Worth remembering that our last Republican President won office saying he supported banning assault weapons. This is a welcome change.

Joe Huffman takes a look at polling on guns in the home.

Remember, gun control people tell us that it’s very important for gun owners to be well-trained, and then turn around and mock and oppose training.

Florida Carry countering Bloomberg’s astroturfing.

Mance v. Holder stay denied by judge.

Iowa considering legalizing suppressors.

Pat Toomey makes the list of most vulnerable Senators in 2016. How’s that gun control working out for ya Pat?

I’m happy to see Justice Thomas embracing non-delegation doctrine reform. I think this has been a much greater problem for traditional American liberty than the expansion of the commerce power.

And so it begins: handwringing and hysterics from the media over national reciprocity.

 

ATF Waves the White Flag (For Now)

NRA-ILA is announcing ATF is waving the white flag of surrender, for the time being.

The announcement that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) will suspend its proposed framework to ban M855 ammunition validates the NRA’s assertion that this effort was nothing more than a political maneuver to bypass Congress and impose gun control on the American people.

I think we can all pat ourselves on the back here. Gun owners seem to be more effective at standing up to the Obama Administration than the GOP. Punch back twice as hard.

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