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Friday News Links 04-17-2015

It’s been a long week for work, what with taking a few days off to attend the NRA Annual Meeting. But I have been trying to keep up with the news, and with that my tabs are quite constipated.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board banned firearms in Pennsylvania Casinos, a relic of the fact that it was Ed Rendell who set up that board. The Board just rescinded that regulation. Good. It was never really legal to begin with.

Stirring the pot: 6.8mm Remington SPC not so special after all. I have an AR chambered in this caliber. It was my only flirtation with any of these new boutique cartridges.

Constitutional Carry bill introduced in Ohio, and Maine’s bill draws hundreds to the State House. We just need enough people that want it bad enough.

Jim Geraghty from NRAAM: A yawning cultural gap begets clueless reporting on GOP field.

There’s a recall effort afoot against New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney. Additionally, recall effort have been filed in Oregon. This works for us in Colorado, but it might not everywhere. Still, I don’t see any reason not to keep them afraid. Oregon looks particularly precarious. More here. Once the waters top the levee, it’ll be hard to stop. Once they think you can’t hurt them, it’s all over.

I admire this guy, but he’s lucky he didn’t become the next George Zimmerman. The system doesn’t want you to get involved. They’re designing it so you won’t.

More effort to restrict 3D printing of guns. Can’t stop the signal.

Remember that Bill Haslam was a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, when he was Mayor of Knoxville.

Does Kenya really need a may issue concealed carry regime? Seems they don’t have licenses to carry in Kenya. If you have a license to own it, you have a license to carry it. But the licenses to have it are may-issue.

Obama hasn’t given up on gun control. That has David “Mudcat” Saunders worried about the future. That’s funny, Mudcat wasn’t all that worried after Sandy hook.

Joe Manchin isn’t too happy with NRA. That’s fine, because the feeling is mutual. Let’s see how Joe does in a reddening state come his re-election.

It looks like GOAL of Massachusetts may have won a minor victory against the anti-gun billboard king John Rosenthal. See this release from GOAL.

If this study were true, America would be awash in blood. It’s not. Violent crime has dropped as gun ownership has increased. The problem these people have is that they would like to disbar people from owning guns if they were “angry” people. But owning a gun is a right, and that should, necessarily, take certain policy options off the table.

A lot of people are upset NRA didn’t invite Rand Paul, and fewer that they didn’t invite Chris Christie. Rand shills for a gun organization, NAGR, that opposes federal civil rights legislation to protect the RKBA. Federal Civil Rights legislation is the only way we’re going to free people in anti-gun states. Even though Paul voted for National Reciprocity last time it came up in the Senate, the organization he supports and promotes opposes it.

SayUncle: “So, basically, my butt refuted The New York Times.” More here.

Hey, good on this kid for building a smart gun without formal training. I have no problem with smart guns, if people want to buy them. I have a big problem with the busybodies that want to mandate them.

Miguel takes a look at crime during NRA Annual Meeting. As is usually the case, there was less of it.

One thing Bloomberg and Watts are good at is doubling down on failure.

Thirdpower on Brady: “She’s dead, give us money.” If it wasn’t for Bloomberg’s money, the gun control movement would be finished already.


It’s All About Symbolic Victories

The big push is on for a transfer ban in Oregon, and all the stops from the other side are coming out. But as we’ve seen, these victories for the other side are entirely symbolic, and Oregon is looking like it’s going to go the path of Washington, where massive resistance outside of the lefty-govorned urban areas are rendering the law meaningless and unenforceable. With large parts of the state refusing to comply, any victory here is symbolic and meaningless. The law will be in place, and surely the other side will claim victory, but it’s a pyrrhic one at best.

Whether they like it or not, the effectiveness of these kinds of gun control laws as tools to enhance public safety is completely dependent on the willingness of gun owners to accept them and help enforce them. If our community instead chooses to ignore them, they can never be effective. By this point, anti-gun forces have blown enough goodwill and trust that even casual gun owners no longer trust their intentions, and have no intention of complying with their regulatory schemes.

Then There Were Six: Constitutional Carry Now Law in Kansas

Thanks to Governor Brownback for signing the law. In other states where this has passed with Democratic governors, it’s met with a veto. I am not saying this to cheer the GOP, as I would like gun rights to be an issue that has bipartisan consensus, but it would seem that the Democratic Party, even in red states, is not interested in a truly robust Second Amendment right. West Virginia and Montana have both rejected full constitutional carry due to timid Democratic governors. Of course, let us also not forget about timid Republican governors.

This is a very difficult issue to move. The Democrats don’t want it because they like control, and don’t like the idea of the everyman being armed. The Republican “law and order” cohort likewise feels a lot more comfortable with licensed carry than they do with it actually being treated like a fundamental right. Shall-issue licensing was easier to move, because while it liberalized the licensed carry regime, one could argue it promoted “law and order,” which appeased that GOP cohort.

Constitutional Carry is essentially getting the law out of the way of a fundamental right, altogether. There are factions in both parties who are uncomfortable with that idea. Grassroots action is the only thing that’s going to move this needle.

But the fact remains, the shall-issue movement is over, because we’ve largely won. We’ve gotten all the states we’re going to get through the legislative process. The rest is in the hands of the federal courts. Constitutional Carry is the new frontier.

News Links for Wednesday 04-01-2015

Lots to do. NRA Annual meeting is coming up, and I have a project I mean to finish before that event swing around next week. But there is some time for a news links post, and maybe some more. Depends on what kind of news comes.

Everytown has been running poll numbers in Florida showing 61% opposed to Florida’s law allowing campus carry. Given their polls for I-594 were running 80-90% and they got 60%, I’d suggest you probably actually have a pretty good majority for campus carry!

Speaking of Everytown, how much you want to bet Bloomberg is behind this propaganda effort?

I’ve seen a few outfits try to make hay out of NRA, you know, complying with state ethics laws on gifts. The scoundrels!

How many times is Kroger going to have to tell MDA to go to hell?

Gun control in Oregon. I feel bad for Oregon gun owners, because I don’t thing it will stay easy from here. Californication is a powerful thing.

FBI is fudging the numbers on school shootings.

CSGV tries to claim a straw buy was a private transfer. Of course, because none of their foaming at the mouth followers have any idea how federal and state law operate.

Rubio backing important civil rights legislation to fix D.C.’s gun laws, and preempt City Government from regulating firearms. I know this will come as a surprise, but I think he means to run for President.

The Tampa Bay Times all but predicts blood in the streets. How many times do they have to be proved wrong?

Another case of the media not having the barest understanding of what they are talking about: “We don’t understand why any armor-piercing bullet, even one capable of being fired only from a rifle, would have been exempted in the first place.” Ten minutes of Googling would have been all the research needed to understand.

NBC is getting sued over the whole Tannerite scare. Good.

Media Matters is sliming Cam Edwards with lies.

Vermont Democrats are busy trying creating a laws that mirror federal law on prohibited persons. Vermont essentially has no crime to speak of. It’s like Switzerland. Looks like there’s some skepticism of Bloomberg’s astroturfing front group in the state.

Constitutional Carry in Maine? Worth trying! Upper New England unfortunately has their own version of Californication in the west.

Jim Geraghty: too much for Everytown to handle. Welcome to the club. Remember, they just want a “national conversation.”

Keep an eye on your kids’ textbooks: “The Second Amendment appears in the book this way: ‘A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms [i.e., for military purposes] shall not be infringed.‘”

How many Democratic candidates do you think will be lining up to kiss Everytown’s ring? Oh yeah, they don’t have a convention. It’ll all be done behind closed doors, because their movement can handle things that way.

Oral arguments were held in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case challenging Maryland’s sweeping post-Sandy Hook gun control laws.

Christie: I’d respect gun rights more with a pro-gun legislature. Keep in mind he did sign a law that allowed people to be denied Second Amendment rights because their name was on a secret government list.

Democratic Governor of Montana vetoes Constitutional Carry.

I’ve often wondered how many members NRA loses because of their fundraising. In truth, NRA are no worse than other groups I’ve been a member of, but for a lot of people, NRA is their only form of engagement. Those are the people NRA needs, because they are potential single-issue voters. My big worry is that NRA is too dependent on mass targeting rather than learning how to micro target members. There’s systems that can do that.

Lots of budget maneuvers over gun rights. NRA has gotten very good at playing this game, and bureaucrats worry about interests with the power to affect their budgets. This is a good thing in this case.

Off topic:

The party of smaller government.” A smattering of bones thrown to the SoCos and “law and order” branches of the coalition.

Glenn Reynolds: You’re probably breaking the law right now.

Why the Dems are desperate for Hillary.

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.



My Real Name, Secretary

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