West Virginia Lost Jobs Due to Joe Manchin

Remind me that the next time I’m at an event with Jeff Reh from Beretta that I just need to go hug him and tell him he’s awesome. Hell, maybe I need to convince Sebastian to treat me to a Beretta firearm as a reward. He’d probably find that less creepy than a hug from someone he doesn’t really know at all well.

Why am I lovin’ on Beretta tonight? Because of this incredibly awesome letter Jeff Reh, Beretta’s general counsel, wrote to West Virginia officials citing the actions of Sen. Joe Manchin as the reason they will not consider any expansion into the state–an expansion that would bring with it more jobs.

In a letter to the Hardy County Rural Development Authority, Reh wrote that Beretta analyzed each state that offered the company a new home to determine its stance on Second Amendment rights.

“As a consequence of that analysis and especially due to Senator Manchin’s recent legislative choices we have decided not to consider your State for our future plans of expansion,” he wrote.

“We know that anti-gun sentiments are not shared by everyone within your State but we are looking first and foremost for a widespread and stable place of political support in any potential location.”

This is a gift to the next challenger to Sen. Manchin, and the headlines it is producing put into direct context the consequences of Manchin’s actions in Washington.

Groupon Responds to Markets

Perhaps in an effort to save their stock value that has been falling almost since they went public, Groupon has decided not to run their business based on politics anymore. They have recently started offering shooting sports & training coupons again in areas where there was strong interest from both consumers and businesses.

The funniest part of the article is from Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Ownership who decried that Groupon didn’t put out a press release in advance of the change. Ladd declares such policy changes without notifying him the media to be “wrong” and “underhand[ed].”

Lost & Stolen Reporting for Us, Not Them

I find it interesting that not a single city in Pennsylvania with officials who claimed “lost & stolen” reporting criminal code was absolutely vital to fighting street gun crimes has ever charged anyone with violating the law. (They largely don’t do it because then it gives standing for us to sue.)

But it looks like any city with one of those laws on the books might want to take a closer look at any U.S. Park Police personnel working armed in their city limits. It turns out that federal government employees have a special talent for losing guns.

According to the report, investigators discovered 1,400 guns that were supposed to have been destroyed. An additional 198 handguns donated to the Park Police by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms that are not reflected in official records are being housed in a building in Southeast D.C. There is no evidence that the wayward guns have found their ways into the hands of criminals, but the report noted that the Park Police might not be aware if they had.

They are so careless that they wouldn’t even know if they lost a gun and it ended up in criminal hands. Though one might not want to call it careless since their entire system of firearms management is apparently described as “conditions that would allow for theft and misuse of firearms, and the ability to conceal the fact if weapons were missing.” The report says that the attitude of not giving a damn where guns end up isn’t just a low-level employee thing, it apparently goes all the way up to the chief.

What Checks & Balances Really Means…

Since when did the concept of a three branch system of government end being defined as “whatever one guy wants to do”? I’m just curious about the understanding of checks and balances in Illinois after reading this article on the status of their concealed carry bill.

Many lawmakers expect Quinn to use the issue to try to help himself politically, taking advantage of his amendatory veto powers to rewrite the bill to make it more stringent. On Thursday, Madigan said she agreed that the governor would rewrite the bill.

The comments came at a luncheon where she encouraged female politicians to use their children as political props to create a “soft” image, but to be careful not to be so blatant about it that voters can actually see that they view their offspring as political tools.

Is That a Gun in Your Pocket Underwear…

It seems that one Pennsylvania police officer may have taken the joke about having a gun in one’s pants a little too seriously and actually confused underpants for a gun.

I’m not even going to attempt to judge the merits of the shooting or the lawsuit by the man who was shot against the city. I’m not sure where you begin when the situation begins with a man was standing in a dark alley holding a pair of black underwear.

Charges Against WV NRA T-Shirt Teen Dropped?

According to a very initial report from WOWK, it seems the criminal charges against the West Virginia teenager who wore an NRA t-shirt to school have been dropped.

As Sebastian said when I informed him of this update, the news of the dropped charges should have come with an apology letter that acknowledges they never should have brought them in the first place. Obviously, that’s unlikely.

I was hearing reports about attempts to organize rallies, and I’m sure we’re not the only ones who highlighted that the judge who banned the media from the courthouse in this case and the district attorney who oversees the two prosecutors who not only brought charges, but then tried to silence the boy and his family, are elected. They can still be sent home during the next election.

Thursday News Links

With the news cycle having gone totally, fabulously, gay with the demise of DOMA, we’re a bit short on stories about Second Amendment topics. But I’ll give it a good college try:

Gun sales are booming in California, which is considering numerous pieces of anti-gun legislation. The war against semi-automatic long guns are the new ban handgun movement, probably because the Courts have had little to say about it.

The antis respond to the SAFE lawsuit.

Another Mayor quits Bloomberg’s coalition. More here.

Mayor Rahm is proposing a new Assault Weapons Ban for Chicago.

Bloomberg’s credibility suffers an enormous blow.

Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords tour to revive gun control.

Dueling rallies was the theme at the Georgia State Capitol. I dig the dude in a seersucker with the AR.

Slate is rethinking gun control.

Top NH cop going after Bloomberg. But I thought cops were on their side?

The P-90-like shotgun that never was.

The junk science of gun research.

NAGR Steps into Pennsylvania Politics

I’m just going to say “not helping.”

It’s clear that Dudley Brown knows nothing about the political climate here in Pennsylvania. I haven’t seen any PA-specific approval ratings lately that indicate any kind of serious plunge or distrust of Obama, but aside from that issue, their messaging for a blue state is terrible. Brown chooses to focus on questioning whether Pat Toomey is a true conservative. Well, in a state like Pennsylvania, being less than perfectly conservative (or at least perceived as such) is a good thing. It’s clear that Pennsylvania doesn’t want hardcore conservatives.

Fortunately, according to PoliticsPA, the ad buy is small and limited to cable.

Don’t assume that this is a “support Toomey no matter what he does to us” kind of post. I’m really not a fan at the moment, and I’m not going to forget it when the next election comes about. But as a person who actually lives in the suburbs of Philly that make such a huge difference in Pennsylvania elections, I can say that this messaging is off. I’m just glad that it is years out from the election. Hopefully Brown will stay out of Pennsylvania politics again because he clearly doesn’t know how to message to voters here. Portraying Toomey as someone the right expects to be an extreme conservative isn’t the way to win votes of squishy GOP and moderate voters.

Free Magazines!

If you live in Colorado, you may want to get yourself to Infinity Park in Glendale on Saturday for a free magazine giveaway by Magpul.

I love these very public displays of not quite civil disobedience. It really highlights how worthless these laws are. It also sounds like folks in Colorado are prepping for the political fight to come, but they are making it a fun process. I hope it works for them.

What is Going on in Florida?

Apparently Marion Hammer is pushing a bill that would put people who voluntarily submit to mental health treatment to NICS.

The bill, HB 1355, would prohibit the sale of guns to people who voluntarily undergo outpatient mental health treatment after being given an involuntary examination under the Baker Act — but only if certain provisions are met.

The bill passed the state legislature with only one vote against it and now awaits Scott’s signature before it becomes law. It has drawn attention from many, some urging Scott to veto the bill and others urging him to sign it.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Hammer said. “Keeping the guns out of the hands of dangerous people with mental illnesses is what everybody should want to do.”

From what it sounds like, this is roughly akin to pleading guilty in a criminal case. But if involuntary treatment would have been mandated, why not then proceed with the actual adjudication. If they revoke their voluntary status before treatment is completed, why not also go for an actual adjudication. If adjudication is difficult or impossible, I tend to think a better option would be revisiting the procedures.

Before gun ownership is restricted, an examining physician must first have found that the person is a threat to his- or herself or to others. The physician must also verify that if the person had not submitted to voluntary treatment, involuntary treatment would have been mandated.

Additionally, before agreeing to treatment, the person must have received notice that such treatment might restrict future gun ownership. That person must acknowledge receipt of such notice in writing.

Finally, a judge or magistrate must have reviewed the record classifying a person as a danger and ordered that the record be submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

If those four requirements are met, then gun ownership would be limited.

“(The bill) does not cover people who voluntarily go to private counseling for help,” Hammer said.

I’m guessing involuntary examination under the Baker Act is roughly analogous to a 302 commitment in Pennsylvania, which counts for firearms disability for purposes of Pennsylvania law, but is not (as I understand it) considered to have enough due process for federal purposes. I’m concerned that NRA is pushing a law here that could have very bad consequences people’s Second Amendment rights without sufficient due process, but I am not an expert on how adjudications happen in Florida, or how difficult the process is.

Most firearms attorneys here in Pennsylvania will tell you that it’s routine for people in domestic situations to get taken in on a 302, triggering a sudden prohibition on firearms possession. Montco Firearms Attorney Jonathan Goldstein, who debated Ed Rendell on this topic recently, mentioned that it’s fairly common in domestic arguments. It takes no court, panel, or other kind of adjudication to get a 302, just the cops taking you in involuntarily (which is why if this happen, it’s advised that you go voluntarily). What’s being proposed in Florida would have a number of additional protections not available to Pennsylvanians, but I’m just curious why Marion Hammer is actively pushing this bill. It’s one thing to decide to go neutral on a bill, especially when there needs to be a sacrifice on the altar of “Something must be done!,” and you’ve whittled them down to something fairly innocuous. But quite another to be pushing it. I don’t think rights ought to be denied or disparaged without due process, and I’m very wary of setting a precent that voluntary treatment is grounds for a firearms disability. I think this will come back to bite us.