Colorado Gun Control on Trial

The case that challenges Colorado’s new gun control laws, including the magazine ban, goes to trial today, and is expected to continue for several weeks. The judge in this case is the Hon. Marcia Krieger, who was put on the bench by George W. Bush, which I would say offers some possibility the Second Amendment will be taken seriously. I think a magazine ban, especially one that sets the limit at 15, is going to be a tough sell to federal judges, but I’m going to hope she’ll see through the state’s smokescreen over public safety and properly declare it unconstitutional, since magazines that hold more than fifteen rounds are in common use for lawful purpose, and are also not restricted for the police.

Constitutional Carry on the Move

Iowa is looking at a Constitutional Carry bill. This has been tried before in Iowa and failed, but it’s good to see it being tried again. Constitutional Carry is also coming up in Maine, where a lot of Democrats seem to be unhappy about it. NRA has more details about the bill, LD222. Maine was one of the states I was worried about post-Sandy Hook, so it’s encouraging to see this. Upper New England would seem to still be pro-gun culturally.

Florida Range Fights Shows Insanity of Anti-Gunners

From the “just so you know what they think about you” department, Florida CSGV is busy trying to fight a gun range even the local residents seem to want:

The Stonehedge residents’ reactions Wednesday were in stark contrast to opinions expressed during a meeting the night before, when a handful of Tarpon residents argued with several range supporters and said the facility might spark violence or destroy the city’s quaint character.

Because people who go target shooting are just a hair’s breath away from sparking violence, eh? Meanwhile, other residents are happy that the range will likely draw more law enforcement presence to the area because the range will do LEO training onsite.

Monday News Links

I’m going to try to avoid banging out novel-length posts this week. My cubital tunnel issue is flaring up again, because I’m stupid and like to rest my head on my elbow when I’m sitting at the desk, and also like to sleep with my arm under the pillow up over my head. It mostly goes away if I baby it and wear a splint at night, but it can take a while. Fortunately it’s not painful or debilitating, but I don’t want it to get to that point either. I have a lot of stuff building up in the tabs, and before Safari chokes, I better do some tab clearing:

Do people feel more or less safe with a gun? Most people feel more safe, except Democrats.

Massad Ayoob: Why we use expanding bullets, Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV

I’ve always kind of believed that if there’s a right to travel, there’s a right interest in being able to drive a car. I’ve never really bought the notion that it’s a privilege doled out by the state. Is it time to treat cars like guns?

The Boston Globe doesn’t get what the big deal is about Vivek Murthy. His views are mainstream, after all, they say. He agrees with the AMA, they say, without noting the AMA is rabidly anti-gun.

The NRA wins again. He notes that the other side overreaches. I think because at the end of the day banning private transfers really doesn’t do it for them. It’s only a small win that they hope to build on.

Trouble with polymer cased ammo? Seems to be an issue with fluted chambers.

John Richardson finds a Leland Yee business card. He’s a super villain! Meanwhile, the media is all “Hey, did you hear that a fatty-fat-fat Republican maybe did and maybe didn’t close a bridge lane a couple months ago?” Another fallout of the Yee arrest is Moms are demanding the memory hole.

Piers Morgan’s farewell statement. Personally, I think he was a great benefit to the gun rights movement.

Why are anti-gunners so violent?

Kevin Williamson makes the case for lesser-of-two-evils voting.

Whining media looking for Georgia Governor to save them from all these improvements in Georgia’s gun laws.

Another ordinary mom demands action.

Thirdpower notes some CSGV approved militias operating in Venezuela.

Feds raise USA Brass. Seems the issue is improperly handling lead residue on used casings.

Possessing hunks of lead if they are in the wrong shape can get you in trouble in DC.

ARMagLock looks like a way to get around the recent AWBs in MD, NY, and CT. It’s no bullet button, but it shows how utterly stupid these laws are.

Bob Owens notes that it’s not yet time to panic about 5.45×39 steel core ammo.

The Surge in Teenaged Shotgunners

It’s not really the biggest deal to say that Minnesota’s fastest growing high school sport is trap shooting. If not many people started shooting it in the first place, it doesn’t take much to make it grow quickly.

However, when they put out there that only 30 students across the state participated in clay shooting as an official high school sport in 2008, and now that number is 6,100, you have to admit that’s one heck of a growth spurt in just 6 years.

With all of those teens using guns, it has also managed to remain Minnesota’s safest high school sport. That’s not something the gun control crowds want to hear about – responsible teens using firearms in a responsible way.

More on that “STEM Shortage”

I seem to have a lot of readers in STEM fields, so when I came across this article from earlier in the year, noting that Electrical Engineering lost 35,000 jobs last year, I thought I’d share it. I think Electrical Engineering job losses are largely because we’re too productive for our own good. Currently I’ve been doing more electrical engineering work, mostly with micro controllers, and I have to say it’s a hell of a lot easier these days than it was years ago. The chips do more, they are faster, and boards can be a lot simpler. Hell, a Raspberry Pi is more powerful than my workstation was in college. I would have believed you then that you could fit a 700MHz RISC computer with 512MB RAM and 32GB of storage in the palm of your hand, and run Linux on it, but it would have then and still kind of stuns me. And the Pi is really just meant to be a teaching tool!

On Faux Libertarians

Something I had read recently took me back to and old quote from David Bernstein at the Volokh Conspiracy that I think is as true today as it was six years ago:

The consensus is, basically, that libertarianism needs to more aggressively disassociate itself from right-wing fringe loonies who use libertarianism as a mask to disguise other agendas, or who support libertarianism only because they adhere to some bizarre conspiracy theory or other involving the federal government. Those of us who long ago (as I did) made a decision not to associate with the creepy-paleocons-disguising themselves-as-libertarians in the Lew Rockwell circle–Rockwell being, among other things, the primary suspect as the author of the offensive passages in Ron Paul’s newsletters, though he denied it to the New Republic’s James Kirchik–need to exert peer pressure on our libertarian friends to follow suit.

A big question for me is who Rand Paul really is. On the surface, he seems to “get it,” in that he’s decided to embrace some of the more mainstream elements of his father’s platform, but left the really kookier elements behind. He’s placing himself in his father’s place without all his father’s baggage. We have a long tradition in this country of eschewing corruption of blood, and I certainly don’t agree with my father on everything. So I’m tempted to take Rand for who he is and not hold his pop against him, but there’s always this in the back of my mind.

HB1243 and Implementing the Relief Provisions of NIAA

We’re currently engaged in a struggle in Pennsylvania to get a preemption enhancement bill through our generally sluggish legislature. Despite what at least one FOAC board member and some mouth foamers have accused me of, I have not yet made up my mind on this bill. The reason is because HB1243 is not so cut and dry, and there’s a lot of context in which the bill needs to be placed in order to understand it.

I’ve seen dozens of NIAA implementations pass in other states without too much controversy. I know FOAC has come out against HB1243, and I’m open to the idea that Pennsylvania is different, or there’s something irregular about the law, but if there are specific concerns, they have not been articulated as far as I can tell. As soon as I started questioning, I was immediately lumped in with CeaseFirePA, who are supporting the bill on the stipulation that the Santarsiero Amendment be added, which would end private transfers of long guns. I do not support this amendment, nor would I support HR1243 with such an amendment attached under any circumstance.

To put the unamended HB1243 in context, we first we need to back up seven years to the Virginia Tech aftermath in Congress when HR2640, which would later become the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, came onto the scene. This was originally a bad bill by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy that was gutted and replaced by a bill that was nominally a fair compromise, given that in exchange for states being encouraged to report records to NICS, we got a mechanism to relief from firearms disabilities due to mental health. Previously, such a firearm disability was lifelong with no recourse. There were groups opposing it at the time, and my disagreement then earned me quite a bit of enmity from folks who opposed the bill at the time. Now it seems old arguments are cropping up again with HB1243.

Now, back to today’s fight in Pennsylvania: at a first glance, HB1243 looks like run-of-the-mill NIAA implementation, complete with a defined process for relief from both federal and state disability. These have passed in dozens of states with little controversy, but for Pennsylvania, things can get a bit more complicated. The reason is our Mental Health Procedures Act, which is can be severe when it comes to imposing state firearm disabilities.

We have several kinds of involuntary commitment procedures in Pennsylvania — an involuntary observational commitment under Section 302 and an extended involuntary commitment under Sections 303, 304, and 305. ATF has traditionally not considered Section 302 commitments to have sufficient due process to count for federal firearm disability. There is almost zero due process protections for a 302 commitment. Section 302 commitments will get you a firearms disability for Pennsylvania, but if someone with a 302 on their record moved out of state, absent state law to the contrary in the new state, they’d be able to possess firearms again. That looked like it might change when the Pennsylvania State Police decided up bulk upload a bunch of records unilaterally after the Sandy Hook massacre, which caused ATF to waver on the position over whether 302 commitments counted or not for a federal disability. I have not heard whether this has been resolved one way or another, but with or without HB1243, this is potential trouble. Actually if the feds decide to count 302s, we really need a mechanism that’s clear, defined, and predictable, that can offer relief from that disability that the feds will recognize. Currently, we have a process for state relief under 18 Pa.C.S. 6105(f), but it’s entirely discretionary on the part of the judge, and there’s no clearly defined process.

My understanding is that Pennsylvania has yet to implement the NIAA requirements in order for relief from disability under 18 Pa. C.S. 6105(f) to apply federally. HB1243 would implement those requirements, so people petitioning under 18 Pa. C.S. 6105(f) would also get federal relief.

The big question I have over HB1243 is whether the prescribed procedure for rights restoration is consistent with current practices. That’s not something someone who isn’t a practicing attorney in this field of law could tell you, and that person isn’t me. I’m open to the idea that the procedures could use some improvement, but I’m not against the principle of implementing NIAA requirements so there can be federal relief for mental health firearms disability. That’s going to be especially true if the feds change their longstanding policy on 302 commitments.

I don’t blame folks for thinking much of this is tremendously overcomplicated and fundamentally unfair. I don’t think a 302 commitment in and of itself should be sufficient to remove someone’s gun rights, but that’s an issue we’ll need to address separately, and is not all that related HB1243. I’m willing to listen to arguments that there are some material defects in the bill that make it unworkable from our point of view, but I think it would be nice if those arguments could be made on the merits, rather than trying to impugn those who dare to question.

Why Range Protection Laws Matter

A Chattanooga-area club that has been around since 1905 is facing complaints from new residents who are angry about the noise now that they have moved in, so they filed a $1.25 million lawsuit since they can’t get the shooting range shut down through other legal channels.

I learned about this case via a source involved with the Law Seminar I mentioned the other day, and she added that they have seen an increase in these kinds of cases over the years. It’s one reason they offer a range protection section of the seminar every year. These are the kinds of cases that make up the vast majority of firearms-related litigation, not the big constitutional questions that make it to the SCOTUS or other appeals courts.

(The range is not in the photo, but it is a photo of a Tennessee gun range that Sebastian took a few years ago.)