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Senator Hatch’s Transport Bill is a Nice Thought, But Useless

Senator Orrin Hatch has introduced S.618, which purportedly enhances the FOPA safe travel provision, but this bill suffers from the same flaw that the Manchin-Toomey version did:

(b) In subsection (a), the term ‘transport’—

(1) includes staying in temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, or any other activity incidental to the transport; and

(2) does not include transportation—

(A) with the intent to commit a crime; or

(B) with knowledge, or reasonable cause to believe, that such a crime is to be committed in the course of, or arising from, the transportation.

(c)(1) A person who is transporting a firearm, ammunition, magazine, or feeding device may not be arrested or otherwise detained for violation of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof related solely to the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms, ammunition, magazine, or feeding device unless there is probable cause to believe that the person is doing so in a manner not provided for in subsection (a).

I think they need to make it much clearer that subsection (b)(2)(A) and (B). It is a crime to transport hollow point ammunition through New Jersey. It is a crime to transport a 15 round pistol magazine through New York. It is a crime to possess any firearm in Washington D.C. if you’re not a resident of DC and have not registered it. So when someone transports through these states, they are technically committing a crime in that state. Also, people will tend to have firearms discovered when they got pulled over for a traffic offense, which is technically a crime. Do you lose protections then?

I get what Hatch is trying to accomplish here, but given the resistance of the jurisdictions this will apply to, it needs to be iron clad. If the bill gives hostile local judges the room, they will take it.

Hatch probably doesn’t want to surrender the ol’ law & order that Republican love themselves so much of, but I don’t see a way to save (b)(2) that doesn’t risk nullifying the entire purpose of the law. It needs to be removed or this bill is a waste of everyone’s time.

Fact Checkers: ARS Full of It

When even the biased Fact Checkers say you’re full of crap, you’re full of crap. It looks like Gifford’s ARS backtracked with a “Well, it could still make a gun ‘silent’ in really loud places.”

In the meantime, although the popular name of this accessory is a silencer, foes of the law such as Gillibrand should not use misleading terms such as “quiet” to describe the sound made by a high-powered weapon with a suppressor attached. We wavered between Two and Three Pinocchios, but finally tipped to Three. There is little that’s quiet about a firearm with a silencer, unless one also thinks a jackhammer is quiet.

The facts are on our side. There’s no reason for the GOP not to pass this sucker.

There’s Probably a Window for Passing National Reciprocity

After Obama was elected, you saw a lot of hot air from the right about secession movements. Now with Trump, there’s talk of Calexit and other secessionist movements that are still mostly hot air, but are perhaps a little more serious. I think it’s likely the talk will get a little more serious as the years go on.

I think it’s highly unlikely the United States will crack up, but the world wide trend is away from technocratic edifices like the EU and our own federal system and toward greater decentralization and autonomy. It’s not just here. It’s happening everywhere.

What would be the problem with California independence? The big problem is that California has no means to defend itself unless robot armies start replacing foot soldiers. Would the California Republic get to keep the nukes it has? Would it get to keep the San Diego Naval Base? What about the ships? What about California’s share of the National Debt? You can see the issues.

If you were to take a group of people who didn’t really want to fight a war over these things, and think about what a negotiated partition would look like, it would look an awful lot like the kind of weak federalism enshrined in our Constitution before the reconstruction amendments. That’s probably where we’re going if trends continue. Secession would turn into a sort of disarmament talks… namely disarming the federal government as an instrument of national policy in the name of getting along and preserving a national market and common defense.

I don’t think the 14th Amendment will suddenly get ignored, or end up repealed. People will likely leave in place the functions they are accustomed to: enforcement of civil rights, etc. What does that mean for gun rights? Gun rights being vigorously enforced by the Courts, Congress and Executive branch as part of our understanding of civil rights is not something we’re accustomed to, because it’s largely not happened. The blue states will fight federal action to protect gun rights tooth and nail. If it doesn’t start happening soon, at some point that’s going to become a negotiating point between the Bluexit folks and the Redexit folks, and we’re probably not getting national gun rights policy after that. States like California and New York will remain awful. So in my 30,000 view of where the overall trends are going, we have a window, and that window is going to start closing probably within a decade.

California Legal

Can’t stop the signal:

I the Golden State, the automatic fire would be illegal, as would being able to detach a >10 rd magazine without disassembling the action. But the speed load would be legal, even with a bigger magazine if it were permanently attached.

Constitutional Carry on the Move Again

This time in South Dakota. A bill is now on the Governor’s desk. This would be the 14th state to adopt Constitutional Carry. Meanwhile Senator Cornyn has introduced the Senate Bill S.446, “Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017” This bill also recognizes the rights of citizens from states like Vermont that do not issue permits. I’m glad this is being pushed, because I’ve been of the opinion that our opponents need to get it worse than they would have if they had just conceded to this years ago when the only thing on the table was the recognition of permits.

Pennsylvania will not be a leader in the Constitutional Carry movement. Unfortunately, the only state, so far, that has passed Constitutional Carry which has a major urban center is Arizona. I don’t notice that sky is falling in Phoenix, but it will probably take another populous state like Florida or Texas before our politicians run out of excuses for not supporting it.

Reddit Ask Me Anything

Joe Huffman will be appearing on a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread tomorrow at 11AM alongside Maj Toure of Black Guns Matter. We’ve long needed an urbanized gun rights movement, so I think this should prove to be an interesting forum. The WaPo reported this weekend, “But that overall decline [in gun sales] has been accompanied by some unusual growth: Gun clubs and shops that cater to black and LGBT clients say there has been an uptick in interest in firearms since November among those who fear that racial and gender-based violence could increase during Donald Trump’s presidency.

Arming up in the face of uncertainly is very deeply engrained in the American experience, much to the chagrin of people who wish it wasn’t so.

Bellwethers to Watch for in the States

There’s a lot of gun stuff happening in the states, but much of it is friendly states getting more friendly, and the bad states getting worse. But there are some states to keep an eye on, and sadly we probably have more states going from friendly to hostile than we do the other way around.

Illinois is considering legalizing suppressors. Illinois has been one gun unfriendly state that’s been improving. We can thank the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for a lot of that, and we can also thank the people who have been working hard to press those advantages in the legislature.

Nevada is considering banning guns in public libraries. Nevada is a bluing state, where Democrats are increasingly asserting control. Along with Washington and Oregon, Nevada is a state to keep an eye on. It is at risk of falling into Bloomberg’s orbit. The same is true of New Mexico. At this point, any state controlled by Democrats is in serious danger of entering Bloomberg’s orbit and never coming back.

People look around and see a world full of win for gun rights. I see a real risk that another half-dozen states start moving more toward California-style gun control. What’s going to happen when blue model failed states start driving more and more people to leave? What happens when they come to your state? You can see why I believe we need some base protections for gun rights that apply everywhere.

“Guns in America” Forum

Tomorrow at Central Penn College in Summerdale, PA there will be a forum featuring David Keene, former NRA President, and Shira Goodman, Executive Director of CeaseFire PA. It runs from 7-8PM.

Keene has generally been a great spokesman for the issue. If anyone in the area wishes to attend, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It’s a bit of a hike for me.

Are They Going to be Real Volunteers This Time?

Moms Demand Action and Everytown (which is to say Bloomberg) are planning on flooding legislative sessions with activists. One wonders whether their “more than 100 volunteers” will once again be paid protesters, or whether they’ve found some real moms who care enough about the issue to give up a weekday. Florida has a very active session planned:

  • Bill to legalize open carry in Florida. Open carry isn’t my thing, but I don’t see why it ought to be criminalized.
  • Legalize carrying of firearms in non-sterile parts of Airports. If someone is intent on shooting up the place, they aren’t going to be deterred by a sign or a law on the books somewhere.
  • Allow firearms to be carried on college campuses. College students are adults. I don’t think it’s ever made any sense to restrict permit holders from carrying on college campuses.
  • Allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns at any legislative meeting, committee meeting, county or local government meeting. Local government meetings are a magnet for kooks and crazies, which is why I’d like to carry a gun if I go to one. Again, not going to deter anyone intending to shoot up the place.
  • Legalize carrying firearms by permit holders in career centers? What the hell is a career center? This is a prohibition I’ve never heard of in any other state.
  • Require that courthouses provide temporary storage for permit holders. This is already the law in Pennsylvania, so I don’t see why Florida shouldn’t join the fun.
  • Expansion of stand-your-ground to place the burden on prosecutors to prove that there is no viable self-defense claim. This is what they’ll fight tooth and nail.
  • Ballot measure on eliminating the 72-hour waiting period for LEOs to buy personal handguns. I’d vote “no” on this. I don’t see why they shouldn’t have to follow the same rules as the peasantry.

That’s pretty ambitious, but Marion Hammer is a force of nature, unlike Shannon Watts, and the Demanding Moms, who are a force of Bloomberg. I know which one I’d be more scared of if I were a Florida legislator.

The Senate Votes to Repeal Social Security Gun Ban

Passed by 57 Yeas to 43 Nays. Fortunately there’s no filibuster for this kind of action, so a bare majority is all that was required. It’s worth looking at the no votes, and seeing what that may portend for National Reciprocity or the Hearing Protection Act, should it come before the Senate. The following Senators voted “no” from states that Trump won:

  • Robert Casey (PA)
  • Tammy Baldwin (WI)
  • Claire McCaskill (MO)
  • Gary Peters (MI)
  • Debbie Stabenow (MI)
  • Sherrod Brown (OH)
  • Bill Nelson (FL)

Most of these folks are up in 2018. If we can avoid any “I am not a witch!” moments this election cycle, and not vote for the person Claire McCaskill spends $2 million campaigning for in the Missouri GOP primary, we might have a shot at flipping some of these.

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