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Chicken Little on National Reciprocity

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s editorial board doesn’t like Act 192 very much, or National Reciprocity. The media has been chicken little on this issue since the 1980s, and it’s always been a big nothing burger once it passes and blood fails to run in the streets. I also very much enjoy this meme promulgated by ignorant journalists:

The bill would hold hostage states with stronger gun laws (Pennsylvania, for instance) to those with weaker ones (such as Florida).

What? Despite our opponents best efforts to lie this meme into existence basic research, even ten minutes on Google, would have shown this to be complete nonsense peddled by groups who aren’t afraid to lie to make their case.

All it took to get my PA License to Carry was to go down to the local County Office, fill out a form, get my photo taken, pay $26 dollars, and one week later the license came in the mail after clearing the PICS check. That’s it.

To get a Florida license, I first had to get a training certificate. That wasn’t free. I think the one day course cost about 150 dollars. Next, I had to go down to my local police station and get fingerprinted. They charge ten dollars to do that. I had to get passport photos, so another $15 or so dollars. I had to fill out a form that was much more involved than the one Pennsylvania requires. I had to write out a check for 112 dollars, and send the application packet in. I had it sent back, because they require the LEO contact information to be on the fingerprint card, and I had forgotten that. Then I had to wait while they ran the FBI check. The license came in about 4 weeks.

No one who has ever had to use both systems would argue that Florida has the weaker system.

I’d also point out that no one on the editorial board even bothered to look up that Pennsylvania and Florida already have reciprocity, and that the bill currently in Congress would not allow a state resident to carry in her-or-her own state solely on an out-of-state license. So with regards to their objection about Florida, the bill in Congress would change absolutely nothing.

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.

Fear is All They Have, Because They are Afraid

States United to Prevent Gun Ownership opened a phony gun shop in New York City to sell fear and shame. I agree with people who say this is desperation. Their real fear is that with a few more favorable court rulings, we’ll be opening real gun shops in New York City, selling real and legal guns, to ordinary people who aren’t celebrities or rich bankers as under the current privileged regime.

But to do that, we need another strong Supreme Court ruling from the courts. To get another strong Supreme Court ruling form the courts, we have to win the 2016 Presidential elections so we have a chance of making this a 6-3 or 7-2 Court on a strong Second Amendment. The chances of the entire Heller 5 surviving another Democratic Administration is practically nil. If we lose 2016, we will almost certainly lose the Second Amendment as any real meaningful protection. That’s what’s at stake. That’s why I’m so disappointed seeing people falling into Obama’s trap and tuning out. That’s what he wants you to do. That’s why he hasn’t moved to the center. He’s willing to burn it all down to get what he wants, and it would seem a lot of us are willing to let him.

The New Glock 43

Massad Ayoob takes a look at the new Glock 43. I may be interested in this firearm. I tried the .380 caliber 42 when it came out, and thought it was a bit large for not being a 9mm. This may be something I could carry in summer, I’d have to see. I may have to get one, just to see what can be done. I’ve found Bitter’s SIG 239 to carry easier than my Glock 19, but I’d prefer something like the 43 over a SIG, since I’m used to Glocks.

I carry a Glock 19 in the winter when it’s easy to conceal under a jacket. Once upon a time, when I was younger and thinner, I successfully concealed a Glock 19 in the summer with just an untucked shirt. I’ve found as I’ve gotten rounder, the 19 is hard to conceal without a jacket, since my waist is no longer thinner than my shoulders. Maybe the 43 is small enough as to not print. I usually carry the 19 at 4:00. I used to be able to carry it at 2:00 without much problem, but again, being rounder makes that much less comfortable these days.

I’ve been looking for a alternative to the Ruger LCP for pocket carry, even if it’s a little bigger, but these single stack offerings from Glock seem too big for the pocket. My major complaint about the LCP are the front sights are useless. If you buy an LCP or its twin the Kel-Tec P-3AT, you really really need the laser option. I should have gotten the laser, but then Bitter went and got me a lovely Mitch Rosen pocket holster to go with the LCP for Christmas, and it won’t accommodate the laser. I hated for it to go in the dead holster drawer ahead of its time, but to this day, I still can’t find the front sight on the LCP when I draw it, so it’s time for a change sometime in the not so distant future. Whether that’s a laser and a new holster, or another pistol, I don’t know yet. I’ve looked at other options, like the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380, but it’s a bit bulkier, even if I like the feel better than the LCP.

Anyone out there successfully pocket carrying a firearm that isn’t an LCP or P-3AT? Keep in mind I don’t like deep concealment options. Pocket carry is slow enough on the draw as it is.

Constructive Possession in a Family Mental Health Crisis

A lot of people argue constructive possession, citing US v. Turnbough. See more from Josh Prince. I am not a lawyer, so I don’t quite have the paranoia of one. But it seems to be that an interpretation of constructive possession for NFA items that doesn’t allow you to have a normal family life should be problematic. If constructive possession is to be extended to wives or children when the NFA owner leaves the home, unless the item is kept in a safe to which no one else has the combination, then family men really can’t own them if you don’t put them on a trust, with all your family members on the trust. Maybe that’s true, but it would seem to be there are a lot of people out there breaking the law if that’s true.

US v. Turnbough, is an unpublished (non-precedential) 7th circuit order pertaining to a highly unsympathetic defendent. Turnbough was raided for trafficking six 55-gallon drums of marijuana within a school zone (he lived within 1000 feet of a school). The firearm they went after him for was a “handmade .25 caliber handgun,” which I’m assuming (I don’t have the original case) must have been able to fire more than one shot per trigger pull, had a fore grip, or had a stock, because they busted him for a violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(i), which requires the gun in question be an NFA weapon and not an ordinary handgun.

Could a prosecutor come after you for even constructive possession of an NFA owners stuff if that owner’s doctor said they were suicidal, out of their minds on pain meds, and they should have firearms removed by family? Yes. But in truth, if a prosecutor wants to come after you that bad, they can probably find a dozen things, especially if you’re a gun owner already. But will they? Probably not, and I doubt they’d have an easy time gaining a conviction if they did, especially if you can show you made some effort to comply with the law.

If it were my family member, and they were going through a mental health crisis, I honestly wouldn’t give a rat’s ass what the law is. I think rendering the firearms inoperable without physically taking them into your possession is a good compromise. I think most reasonable people would agree. So I’d say don’t worry about what an unpublished decision in the one federal circuit has to say about it. Do what’s right by your family member.

Just remember, I am not a lawyer, and you could still get in a lot of trouble. If it makes you feel any better, if I’m on your jury, I won’t convict you under those circumstances.

Gov. Wolf’s State Police Appointee’s Theft on Video

If you just claim that it’s “for the children,” our new Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner (an import from Maryland) seems to argue that theft is okay – especially if you’re stealing from those who criticize you in your official role as a public servant.

Marcus Brown is facing opposition for appearing in uniform that creates the perception he graduated from the state police academy, which he did not. When a critic had signs printed pointing out that he shouldn’t wear such things that he did not earn and legally placed them on a public area, Brown apparently decided to steal them in the name of “[his] children” since their bus stop is nearby.

Now, stealing someone else’s signs from a public area is a crime. You’d think that means Brown would be apologetic for getting caught on video committing this crime, but he’s standing by his theft proudly – behind the back of the spokesperson for the Pennsylvania State Police.

I’ll be honest, if I lived out there, I’d be very tempted to have signs made up that say “Marcus Brown Stop Stealing Signs,” “Marcus Brown Stop Trying to Silence Critics,” and “Marcus Brown The First Amendment Applies in Pennsylvania, Too” and plaster them all over public areas to the degree allowed by law. There wouldn’t be a corner he could turn where he wouldn’t be reminded that Pennsylvanians value their freedom of speech and ability to speak their mind on what public officials are doing with their office.

Funny enough, the video that captures him stealing the signs in the name of “safety” for his children shows him leaving up non-critical signs in the same spot. It’s pretty clear he’s abusing the right of those who disagree with him and there is no safety issue involved. The video makes it appear that he singled out their message to be silenced based on the content critical of him and he now admits to taking the sign. Perhaps his stationary order got mixed up and he thought that being in charge of the Pennsylvania State Police was being charged with overseeing the Police State of Pennsylvania.

Dealing with NFA Firearms as a Family Member

SayUncle relays a story of a someone who’s run into a situation where doctors have asked that the family remove firearms from the home of a person who was incapacitated in a recent car accident. The problem is he’s an NFA owner, and presumably the family isn’t on a trust. So is taking them even legal?

[UPDATE: See more here.]

The answer is no. It’s absolutely illegal for family to take them for safekeeping while he recovers. But there are alternatives. First, if there are suppressors, they are useless without the guns they attach to. Just leave them and take the guns. Second, if they are firearm NFA items, the receiver is usually the registered part. Take parts that aren’t “firearms,” but in whose absence the gun won’t function. If it’s a short barreled rifle, say an AR, it’s legal for someone to have the short upper provided they don’t have a receiver to go with it. Having a firing pin or a bolt is not usually a problem (though you have to be careful with machine gun parts if you own a non-machine gun that would accept the part). But for people who don’t own guns, or don’t own those guns, taking a firing pin, bolt or non-serialed upper out of a registered machine gun shouldn’t be illegal. It’s the receiver that’s the machine gun. There’s also the option of putting a lock on the gun and keeping the key, changing a safe combination, etc.

Now of course, I’m speaking generally. I can think of specific ways someone who doesn’t know what they are doing could end up violating the law and spending 10 years in federal prison. There are registered machine guns out there where the sear is the NFA serial numbered part. There are some firearms where the upper is the “firearm.” Like I said before, you have to be careful about taking parts where you might have firearms that those parts fit. So be careful. The “safe” bet, for you, as a family member, is to let your loved one take his chances, and hope he or she doesn’t off themselves.  The law does not have compassion, and seldom has common sense. There are always unintended consequences.

The Long Struggle

Speaking of Glenn Beck, today in his announcement that he’s done with the GOP, he offered me an introduction to a series of posts I’ve been wanting to link for a while now. Sarah A. Hoyt posted “A Winter At Valley Forge:”

You know, I read all over the net, mostly in comments (and more on that later) that the GOP had gone spineless and they had funded Obama’s amnesty. So I went and looked at numbers. 1/3 of the GOP flipped. ONE THIRD.

Two thirds held firm. And this on a matter that has emotional appeal to politicians if not to the people on the ground. You see, they are convinced if they vote against it it will drive Latinos away from the GOP. It’s what the media and their corrupted offices tell them. It’s the “smart” opinion, as opposed to all us rubes on the ground.

And two thirds held firm.

You’d think it would be a moment to celebrate. You know, ten years ago half of them or more would have caved. But we’ve been working on taking over the GOP. And it has effects.

It seems to me what we should be doing is celebrating that two thirds held firm, and taking notes of the cavers to primary them.

You’ve seen a similar dynamic in the gun issue. A few decades ago there were Republicans who would reliably line up to screw us on the gun issue. Mike Castle probably would have his own AR-15 ammo ban bill drawn up and ready to go. But where are those people now? Gone, most of them. Sure, there’s still Pete King and a few other squishes, but overall the Republican Party is now far more solid on the gun issue than they were ten years ago. Everyone was worried who we were going to lose after Sandy Hook. Our experience told us that we’d likely lose enough Republicans so that things that weren’t possible before may suddenly become possible. But that didn’t happen. With the exception of Pat Toomey and Mark Kirk, the GOP stood with us, and I have a feeling Toomey isn’t going to be crossing us again on much else between now and his re-election bid. They didn’t do it because they were such nice guys. They did it because we fought a decades long battle create that circumstance.

Sarah Hoyt has two follow on posts here and here. I encouraged you to read the whole articles, if you read nothing else this week. From the first link:

But beyond that – what do you expect to accomplish by saying “I will never vote for a republican again?” or “I’m going third party?”

I know what you think you can accomplish. You think the GOP will fall in line.

WHY WOULD THEY?

What you’re saying is “I’m going to keep the dems in power for the rest of our natural lives.”

You know what the unprincipled (most establishment) GOP hears when you say that? “I’d better cozy up to the left because they’re the future. Let me see what I can concede today. I sure would like to keep my job as the loyal opposition.”

Is that what you want? No? Change your tactics.

It took the gun issue a long time to get rid of most of the anti-gun and squishy Republicans, but we largely succeeded. It’s going to take an equally long time to get rid of the GOP establishment that prefers to chase big donors, and go along to get along, than to embrace any kind of populism. Populism, even conservito-libertarian populism, is scary for elites. There was never going to be a scenario where they were going to roll over and accept it without a fight. But we in the gun issue have shown it can be done successfully, even if the elites are against us. The same is true of the populist movement attempting to wrest control of the GOP, whether you want to call it the Tea Party, or something else.

Beck Walking Back NRA Statements

I’m told that Glenn Beck is walking back his NRA comments from last week on his radio show today, which is good. Grover Norquist announced that he welcomes NRA’s investigation. Like I said, I have mixed feelings about DC insiders on the NRA Board, but I do have to admit that David Keene fits that definition, and I thought during the worst of Sandy Hook he was quite an elegant speaker on behalf of the cause. But what bothered me about Beck’s statement was that it showed a lack of understanding about how NRA picks its board, and showed a willingness to hurt the organization over tangential issues. I should note that distinct from arguing NRA is too soft, etc. That’s a separate argument.

At this point, there is no control NRA can exercise over whether Grover Norquist wins or loses. The only control really is through the nominating committee, and that is largely a board entity. That ship sailed in January. Grover’s future on the NRA board is now exclusively in the hands of voting members. Second it’s over an issue that has no relationship whatsoever to NRA’s mission. Even if the accusation is true, I don’t see how one board member out of 76 is going to help accomplish a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the NRA. I agree with the reader who commented that he didn’t see the Muslim Brotherhood end game here.

There are dozens of people who are on the NRA board I wish weren’t, but it’s never been something I’ve thought worth quitting over. I just don’t vote for those people. If all Glenn Beck did was encourage his audience to not vote for Grover, I’d think that a perfectly productive way to deal with the issue. It’s the threat to quit, and by influence having members of his audience follow that I took issue with.

Peddling Outrage While Leaving Out Key Facts

It seems that Media Matters set their sights on Cam Edwards yesterday, challenging him on biography. See, at one point Cam said he received a resolution from the Oklahoma State House. It turns out it was a citation recognizing from not only the House, but also from the Lt. Governor. Yup, big discrepancy there.

However, their focus is on trying to make him look like he’s a media version of “stolen valor” by claiming an Emmy award. They even got the local executive director to back up the claims, yet Media Matters and the executive director aren’t acknowledging that Cam did actually receive an award giving his name in the honors section for his “significant contribution” on the documentary that won the Emmy. It’s signed by their president and everything.

Now, Cam did take time to update his bio to be more accurate. I mean we don’t want the Media Matters folks to worry their heads about the “Great Oklahoman citation” wording any more. And now it’s clearer that it came from not just the House, but even the Lt. Governor at the time. But more importantly, he did re-word it so it more accurately reflects that his work was part of a team effort that won an Emmy.

As Cam notes, this is part of the effort to keep everyone outraged about everything. Even with evidence presented that raise questions about their accusations (right now, MM is calling the Emmy thing a “lie” on their front page, despite having been provided the evidence that he did receive an honor from them), it’s not about accurately reporting the situation.

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