A Prime Opportunity

There’s good news and bad news out of Colorado. A court is throwing details on how the recall elections will function into disarray once again. At this point, I can’t keep up with understanding exactly how the election – scheduled for less than two weeks from now – will even work in Colorado. It looks like this latest decision impacts how absentee ballots will be distributed and how residency proof will be recognized.

At this point, Colorado gun owners shouldn’t be looking for election details here anyway. NRA is certainly trying to assist in the last minute push by gathering activists for grassroots events on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

I will say this about the headlines about the confusion and bickering, it turns many low information voters off. That means it’s easier for highly dedicated activists to make a difference with their own votes.

At least they have the ballots figured out…finally.

In Order to Have a Discussion, There Has to be Two Sides

Joan Peterson, Brady Campaign Board Member and Minnesota gun control activist, laughably says:

We do need to have a serious discussion about what’s going on in our country concerning guns and gun permit holders.

I’m all for it. Let’s have a discussion. Does this mean she’ll stop censoring dissenting opinion in her blog comments? How can you have a “serious discussion” when you refuse to allow any kind of open discussion on your blog. I mean, I get it’s your sandbox, and you can do what you want, but let’s not pretend you want to have a serious discussion when people who try regularly find themselves silenced when they say things you don’t want to hear. When you are ready to have a serious discussion, we are certainly ready and willing. But that’s going to require everyone to be adults.

We need to talk about the wisdom of letting citizens carry guns around with them wherever they go. We need to talk about why it is dangerous to ramp up fear and paranoia amongst people who have been led to believe in myths and outright lies about our nation’s President.

OK, let’s talk. But we’ll have to do it here because your side won’t allow for open discussion in any forum you control. It’s part and parcel for the gun control movement. I haven’t seen any of the half-dozen or so anti-gun blogs that have existed that didn’t censor dissenting viewpoints, or disallow any kind of discussion outright.

That’s not the marker of a movement that has strong arguments and is self-confident. That’s a movement that knows it has no arguments. We have been having “serious discussion” about these topics. The problem is, you guys aren’t convincing anyone.

The Legalities of the New Executive Order

Mosin-NagantI’m seeing some confusion circulating among people in the blogosphere and on social media as to the effects of Obama’s executive order on reimportation. It should be noted that this would only apply to a small subset of firearms that were sold to foreign countries. Ordinarily, military arms are illegal to import into the United States unless they are determined by the attorney general to be “particularly suitable for sporting purposes,” which the Attorney General has since 1989 (via another executive order) interpreted to mean only suitable for hunting. However, there’s a provision of the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 that made it legal to import any firearm that is a Curio and Relic, regardless of its sporting purpose suitability. This means anything that’s on the C&R list, or anything more than 50 years old is importable by law. This EO won’t do anything to affect the import of surplus military arms that originated overseas, like the Mosin-Nagant, Enfields, or Mauser. Even the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine are C&R, and are therefore blanket importable, regardless of what the Attorney General may want to determine about its sporting purpose.

But by law the State Department gets to have a say when it comes to weapons that have been exported by our government to foreign governments. If those governments wish to dispose of those firearms by selling them to private importers in the United States, they have to have sign-off from the State Department. That’s where this EO comes in. Basically, the Korean government still has a lot of M1 Carbines and M1 Garands sitting in warehouses that they’d like to sell to US collectors or to the Civilian Marksmanship Program. The Obama Administration has been unwilling to sign off of any of these re-importations to date. All this executive order does is make that official policy. In short, it doesn’t actually change much from the status quo. Without the requirement for State Department signoff, those M1s would be legal to import without any permission from the US government.

It’s still a dick move by the Obama Administration, but don’t feel like you need to go scrambling through your sofa cushions for loose change to go panic buy all the Mosin-Nagants you can get your hands on. Those are safe.

Thursday News

Let’s see what I have here in the tabs:

Embattled police chief Mark Kessler releases a new video that could be charitably described as intimidating, less charitably as a bona fide threat. The fun part it’s looking like he’s going to spill the dirt on the local politicians. I’m told the reason most of these small coal towns have police chiefs is to keep the state police from looking around too much, and asking too many questions.

Toomey is feeling the heat. Good. At best Toomey was hoodwinked by Schumer and Manchin. At worst he was part and parcel to the deception that the turd sandwich of a deal was actually good for gun owners. Neither speaks well.

Clayton has a bleg out looking at some of the history of mental health prohibitions. More here.

Bloomberg dumped 350 large into the Colorado recall elections. The least we can do is making buying New York style gun control in Colorado more expensive for Bloomberg.

More on that “Sickness in our Souls” Colorado Senate President John Morse was speaking about.

Ignorance and hubris makes for a humorous combination.

Down Range TV has an excellent article about guns in the home with children.

The bright side of the new executive orders.

There are No New Gun Owners!

Remember this little factoid the next time you hear the anti-gun groups claim that the only people driving gun sales are established gun owners just adding to their collections:

The report shows that one-fifth of target shooters in America first started participating in the shooting sports between 2008 and 2012. That means 20 percent of all target shooters began participating in the past five years.

The data from the survey also shows that newer shooters are more likely to be young (under 35), female, and urban dwellers.

It’s Never Been About Crime

A Harvard study look at the gun issue and doesn’t find any correlation between gun control and crime or suicide rates. This will do nothing to dampen the enthusiasm for gun control because gun control has never been about controlling crime, it’s been about controlling culture, namely our culture, rather than the criminal one. It’s not that many who support gun control want to live in a world without criminals having guns, they want to live in a world without people like you and me.

Obama Issues Executive Orders to Screw Us

Well, Obama promises, and Obama delivers on when it comes to screwing gun owners. We have two new executive orders on guns. First:

Closing a Loophole to Keep Some of the Most Dangerous Guns Out of the Wrong Hands

Current law places special restrictions on many of the most dangerous weapons, such as machine guns and short-barreled shotguns.  These weapons must be registered, and in order to lawfully possess them, a prospective buyer must undergo a fingerprint-based background check.

However, felons, domestic abusers, and others prohibited from having guns can easily evade the required background check and gain access to machine guns or other particularly dangerous weapons by registering the weapon to a trust or corporation.  At present, when the weapon is registered to a trust or corporation, no background check is run.  ATF reports that last year alone, it received more than 39,000 requests for transfers of these restricted firearms to trusts or corporations.

Today, ATF is issuing a new proposed regulation to close this loophole.  The proposed rule requires individuals associated with trusts or corporations that acquire these types of weapons to undergo background checks, just as these individuals would if the weapons were registered to them individually.  By closing this loophole, the regulation will ensure that machine guns and other particularly dangerous weapons do not end up in the wrong hands.

The idea that criminals and other prohibited persons are using NFA trusts as a construct to skirt background checks is laughable. This is a middle finger extended in our direction, and not much more than that. How is this going to work? There are some corporations that legitimately own NFA firearms, such as museums. Does everyone in the corporation have to go through the FBI fingerprint check? Does each person in the corporation or trust have to undergo LEO signoff? There’s a lot of devil that will be in the details here. But that’s not all:

Keeping Surplus Military Weapons Off Our Streets

When the United States provides military firearms to its allies, either as direct commercial sales or through the foreign military sales or military assistance programs, those firearms may not be imported back into the United States without U.S. government approval.  Since 2005, the U.S. Government has authorized requests to reimport more than 250,000 of these firearms.

Today, the Administration is announcing a new policy of denying requests to bring military-grade firearms back into the United States to private entities, with only a few exceptions such as for museums.  This new policy will help keep military-grade firearms off our streets.

Yeah, surplus military weapons sold after the era of the M1 are going to be machine guns are aren’t re-importable already by statute. What Obama is keeping out here are historical pieces like the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine. This is also just a way to put the screws to us.

Keep it up Mr. President. We’ll keep defeating you, boxing you into a corner, and otherwise destroying your agenda. You can lash out at us in a childish tantrum all you want. In the end we will prevail over you.

UPDATE: Looks like the AP is already helping the Administration spin this as the greatest thing since sliced bread rather than the load of horse shit it really is.

UPDATE: John Lott takes the AP to task.

A Non-Gun Owner Reviews Top Shot

This piece in Slate from a non-gun owner who claims he doesn’t know many gun owners is an extremely positive review of Top Shot. He highlights what’s great about the show, mainly that they focus on true competition judged solely by documented performance rather than some arbitrary opinion or rating from a so-called expert.

But, he really emphasizes the importance of shows like this post-Newtown.

For people like me, who neither own a gun nor know very many people who do, the show helps counteract some of the most extreme, uninformed stereotypes that many liberals and urbanites have about “gun guys.” The show clearly demonstrates something that often gets lost in the heat of the gun control debate: that gun owners aren’t all crazy survivalists or slavering right-wing fanatics. A lot of them are just reasonable, responsible sportsmen who enjoy shooting guns because shooting guns can be a lot of fun.

You really should go read the whole article, even if you’re not that into the show. It’s a very eye-opening piece on many levels of the gun debate.

It almost makes me regret not having cable since it means we can’t easily tune in.

Guns Offer No Protection

An anti-gun gun group wants everyone to know that guns don’t really protect you from criminal assault. Really. Miguel says that this new incredible tip from the anti-gun groups must be spread far and wide, and he’s going to start helping them out:

I am sending this to every law enforcement department in the nation and to the Defense Department too. We’ve been doing it wrong all this time!

In a month’s time, every cop in the nation will be carrying a rubber ducky instead of a sidearm. “Stop or I’ll squeak!” will be the new call to arms…wait, not arms… oh hell, never mind.

Maryland Training Requirements Released

It would appear that Maryland gun owners may no longer casually introduce friends to shooting and firearms safety. From the Maryland State Police:

Unless otherwise exempted, a person may not purchase, rent, or receive a handgun unless they possess a valid Handgun Qualification License (H.Q.L.) issued by the Maryland Department of State Police. Unless otherwise exempted, prior to submitting an application for an H.Q.L. or Handgun Wear/Carry Permit, applicants must complete a firearm’s safety training course by an approved and registered Qualified Handgun Instructor.

The Firearm’s Safety Training Course, for the Handgun Qualification License, shall consist of a minimum of four (4) hours of instruction and affirms the applicant’s safe operation of the firearm which requires firing at least one round of ammunition.

I’m not sure what all the exemptions are, but one would assume that at least one is this formal class since firing a round would require “receiv[ing]” a gun. Otherwise, it would be impossible to meet the training requirements.

Though NRA-certified instructors are eligible to become Qualified Handgun Instructors, they are now required to develop a brand new course curriculum rather than strictly use NRA’s curriculum. NRA’s training division highlights at least one concern on this front since the new curriculum requirements involve teaching legal issues in firearms ownership. This comes from an email sent to certified instructors:

…there is a requirement that instruction must be given on Maryland state law pertaining to firearms and self-defense. Rendering legal advice or interpretation is a task for attorneys, and instructors who are not licensed to practice law may wish to seek legal advice regarding the limits of what they can do in this regard.

So now instructors, in addition to registering with the state for new qualifications and developing a brand new curriculum, must now also consult with an attorney to help them write up their new class contents. That will drive up their costs, and that will likely be passed on to students. Now Maryland has successfully made basic safety training more expensive and harder to teach.

One of the interesting aspects of their requirement to develop a new curriculum is that NRA requires that you not call something an NRA class if you’re not following the NRA curriculum. (That was part of the instructor class when I took it years ago.) That effectively means that people just coming into the shooting sports will no longer associate the NRA brand with teaching firearms safety courses.

If you really want to look at an ultra-creepy perspective, this training database means that Maryland will not only have information on gun owners in the state, but they will also be keeping a list of everyone who even learns how to fire a gun.