PA Attorney General Won’t Defend Gun Law

Simply because she doesn’t like it, Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced she’s refusing to defend the preemption law that passed the Pennsylvania General Assembly earlier this year. The law is being challenged with a lawsuit by a senator who didn’t support it.

While Kane’s office pretends that it’s no big deal to kick it over the Governor’s office to defend, she does so knowing that the legal team will change next year. Governor-elect Tom Wolf isn’t willing to say he’ll defend it, merely that his team will review it only after they take office. In other words, don’t expect anything from him.

In regards to both offices, these elections were largely lost because many voters value Penn State football over their gun rights. I guess those voters didn’t learn the first time that elections have consequences, and now we’re all going to suffer for it.

The only possible good news is that it may take a while for this to get any kind of court date. Until it is actually thrown out, it’s still the law. Because of that, as the article notes, attorneys representing municipalities with gun control ordinances on the books are still encouraging them to repeal quickly. Since Pennsylvania doesn’t seem to be much of a priority for the big bucks of gun control these days, maybe the cities won’t bring them back.

Thursday News Link 03-04-14

I-594 is in full force in Washington State now, and is already attracting enterprising scofflaws. The media in Seattle are sad pandas that we aren’t just holding our nose and swallowing their snake oil.

A super soaker shotgun. Crap like that can get innocent people killed.

Bloomberg targeting twelve more states. Money quote from Andrew Arulanandam, “We have $38 billion reasons to take Mike Bloomberg seriously” He’s not even though his 50 million yet. In its history, gun control has never seen this kind of money at its disposal. Also, Washington state groups are preparing for more. Any victory gives them momentum. More gun owners need to be aware of this.

Key data withheld in California lead ammo ban. Turns out that lead levels in Condors haven’t dropped, which would suggest the contamination is from a different source. Of course, rather than apologizing for calling us all science deniers, the response is going to be we just need to spread the ban to other states, and double down on it in California. Colorado fortunately decided not to go down this path (for now).

Like baseball, there should be no crying in policing.

Dave Hardy finds one of the worst arguments against preemption I have ever seen, courtesy of one of the local (to me) cat box liners. He also points to some research in the area of whether people answer gun ownership surveys truthfully. Answer? Many don’t.

Doylestown, Pennsylvania is now also looking at getting rid of it’s illegal gun ordinances, now that our preemption law actually has some teeth.

The 5 most overrated guns of all time.

Miguel notes the media trying to drive a false narrative. This isn’t the only place I’ve seen there. There have been a few cases of the media portraying drivers who get surrounded and then push through the crowd as monsters, even though the police clear them after questioning. Personally, I view blocking busy roads as a form of kidnapping. I think the law should reflect that.

You’d think the police near Ferguson would be pleased that there are shops they don’t have to worry about. Nope! Fortunately, ignoring the police seems to be doing the trick. Charles C.W. Cooke pens a defense of ‘Antigovernment Militias.’

Maryland Governor Elect to Gun Owners: Thanks for all those votes guys, but I got more important things to do than worry about your constitutional rights. Still, it was useful to punish O’Malley’s hand picked successor, and to spoil any presidential ambitions he might have.

Austin Police Chief: Please tell us about gun enthusiasts you might know, so we can ‘vet’ them.

I used to be a hiker, but I hate the hiker culture, mostly because of crap like this. On a related note, can you believe that Ars Technica is doing positive stories about silencers? Not long ago I would have said getting silencers deregulated was a pipe dream. I think it’s getting a lot closer to possible.

USA Today manages to do an article on the AR-15 market going soft without being patently hysterical. Also from the article, Josh Sugarmann is a sad panda, but he really has been for some time now.

I had hoped that Mark Kessler’s 15 minutes were over, but apparently not. Apparently this has disappointed a lot of his supporters. I was disappointed 15 minutes into hearing him talk for the first time.

Stun gun rights in Massachusetts? I don’t see any reason the 2nd Amendment should be limited to firearms. It should apply to any personal weapon useful for self-defense.

Doctors keep prying into people’s gun ownership despite law. And they wonder why we think this law was needed in the first place.

Are the Tories in Canada actually following up on liberalizing some of Canada’s gun laws? I kind of figured they’d pull a “We got rid of the long gun registry for you, which you should be grateful for,” like you’d expect Republicans to do here.

Peruta Goes En Banc

Eugene Volokh reports that one to the judges of the Ninth Circuit has made the request, and Peruta will go to an en banc hearing. How will this turn out? Hard to say. In other federal circuit court, en banc means it gets heard in front of the every judge for the circuit court. The Ninth Circuit is so large that they only do limited en banc hearings, which includes Chief Judge Kozinski (who is friendly to the cause) and ten other judges selected at random. It’s a crapshoot basically. You can see here the list of federal judges by seniority, and who appointed them.

Prof. Volokh notes that this is specifically on the Second Amendment matter. The decision about the State of California and the Brady Campaign intervention is being considered as a separate matter.

UPDATE: I’m told that Judge Alex Kozinski is no longer Chief Judge. As of Dec 1st, that’s now Sidney Thomas, a Clinton appointee.

More Fallout from I-594

WDFWJoe Huffman shows how the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is interpreting I-594:

WDFW is the “State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife”. The volunteer instructors to WDFW are considered “law enforcement” or else they would not receive the the exemption described above. And notice that students are not allowed to transfer the guns between themselves. They must transfer the gun to an instructor who then transfers it to another student.

Private instructors, such as myself, would not have an exemption unless we were at an “authorized range” (“authorized” is undefined). We cannot do classroom work than involves gun handling at any other location than an “authorized” range. Even then it is in doubt unless we are using the guns that are “kept at all times” at the range.

When you make a bunch of narrow exemptions, it essentially implies the prohibition against “transfer” is a general one. Bloomberg’s lackeys know damned well how to write legislation. It would have been trivially easy to write a bill that only covered change of title or exempted temporary transfers for a period of time (for instance the 30 days California’s law allows), or exempting transfers between permit holders, as our law allows.

What they did instead was slip in a provision that would help make it difficult and risky to spread the gun culture, under a guise they believed people would ignorantly support. They knew exactly what they were doing. This was not bad drafting.

Our similar law for handguns here in PA is not generally enforced. It’s not even really enforced against criminals, let alone otherwise law abiding people. These laws are put in place to make people feel good. They don’t serve much other useful purpose. There’s likely to be very little risk for a Washingtonian to carry on as you would have before I-594.

The Pushback Begins in Nevada

A local gun rights group in Nevada is moving to get signatures invalidated. This is a great effort, but Bloomberg hired people to gather nearly 3x more than the state requires to get an initiative on the ballot. This is an uphill climb of Sisyphean proportions, but I’m glad someone is looking into it.

Never give the enemy a freebee. If you can make them pay for every signature, do it. I would imagine that in Nevada, Clark County is probably the primary source of signatures for Bloomberg’s petition. But how many of those people may not have been residents? Lots of people you run into in Las Vegas don’t live there.

Huffpo: Bloomberg Winning

Remember, they don’t hate money in politics, they just hate your money in politics. The number of lefties who cheer on Bloomberg and Watts four outspending NRA this election cycle astounds me. This is only one example; I’ve seen dozens of stories like this. Of course, the article starts out attempting to play down NRA’s real membership, but the fact is that the “gun lobby” raises money in small increments by begging from millions of its members. Bloomberg and Watts outspent NRA by lining up a few rich billionaires. This is everything the left claims is wrong in politics.

I feel bad because my giving is way down because making ends meet is getting tougher. The left claims they are all about looking after people like me. They lie.

Brady Campaign Loses Bid to Trigger NJ Smart Gun Law

There’s going to be some Sad Pandas at the Brady Campaign today. The NJ Attorney General has ruled: the Armatix iP1 smart gun just isn’t smart enough:






After careful consideration of the iP1’s design, we have determined that it does not satisfy the statutory definition because, as a matter of design, the pistol may be fired by a person who is not an authorized or recognized user. That is, as long as the pistol is situated within 10 inches of the enabling wristwatch, it may be fired by anyone – the authorized user or any other person who is able to pull the trigger. While the system does incorporate a PIN code or a timer to disable the handgun, when the weapon is enabled, there is nothing in the technology which automatically limits its operational use so that it may only be fired by an authorized or recognized user (so long as the pistol is within a 10-inch proximity to the wristwatch component).

Situations may readily be envisioned in which an unauthorized individual gains access to the pistol in close enough proximity to the wristwatch component (by either maintaining possession of the pistol within 10 inches of the authorized user’s wrist on which he or she is wearing the watch, or by forcibly taking possession of the wristwatch), and therefore would be able to fire the weapon, despite the limiting technology. Accordingly, we are unable to conclude that the iP1 design meets all the elements of New Jersey’s statutory definition of a personalized handgun under N.J.S.2C:39-1(dd), and therefore its availability for retail sales purposes will not trigger the operation of N.J.S.2C:58-2.4 (requiring the promulgation of a list of personalized handguns) and N.J.S.2C:58-2.5 (prohibiting the sale of non-personalized handguns).

Some might smell a rat, and perhaps a rat was intended, but this seriously raises the bar on triggering the NJ smart gun law, and is probably a good thing for gun owners behind enemy lines. Complying with this standard will be exceedingly difficult for those who wish to impose smart guns on us, whether we want them or not.

I’ve always been of the opinion that Smart Gun technology should rise or fail depending on what the market wants, but our opponents would never allow that. As soon as the technology becomes available (In the case of New Jersey, even before!), they will do their level best to mandate it, as the Bradys have attempted here. This ruling doesn’t mean we should stop fighting Armatix. Because the antis have shown their hand, no good can come of allowing this to come to market.

Florida SYG Law Up Before Courts Again

One reason it’s getting difficult to write about gun law lately is that the body of law is getting difficult for a part-time layperson to keep up with. That’s certainly the situation with this latest case going before the Florida Supreme Court. The media almost never gets the issues right in these cases, so I went and looked up the Appeals Court decision:




On December 29, 2011, the Bretherick family was on vacation in Central Florida, driving toward Downtown Disney, on a heavily travelled, six-lane divided road in Osceola County. Ronald Bretherick, the father, was driving in the middle lane westbound when, in his rearview mirror, he saw a blue truck rapidly approaching them. The truck almost side-swiped them as it passed in the right lane. As the truck passed the Brethericks, the driver, Derek Dunning, “stared at them in a threatening manner,” but made no statements or gestures.

Dunning’s truck cut in front of the Bretherick vehicle in the middle lane, slammed on the brakes, and came to a complete stop. There was no traffic or other impediment that required this action. Ronald Bretherick also stopped his vehicle, one to two car lengths behind Dunning’s truck. Dunning got out of his truck and walked toward the Bretherick vehicle. He was unarmed. Without exiting, Ronald Bretherick held up a holstered handgun, and Dunning returned to his truck without uttering a word.

After Dunning got back into his truck, the Defendant, Ronald’s adult son, got out of the rear passenger’s seat. He approached the driver’s side of Dunning’s truck within a few feet of the driver, while pointing the handgun at Dunning. The Defendant told Dunning to move his truck or he would be shot. Dunning misunderstood, and believed that the Defendant told him that if he moved, he would be shot. This slight but critical misunderstanding explains everyone’s subsequent actions.

The Defendant returned to his own vehicle and took up various positions, continuing to point the gun at Dunning. The Brethericks, Dunning, and several passersby all called 911. The Defendant’s mother and sister exited their vehicle and took refuge in a ditch on the north side of the road. The Defendant told his family that Dunning said he had a gun, but no one saw Dunning with a weapon, and the trial court found this not to be credible. At some point, Dunning’s truck rolled back twelve to eighteen inches toward the Brethericks’ vehicle. The police arrived and diffused the volatile encounter.

It’s difficult for me to see in this situation where the reasonable fear of grave bodily injury or harm was in order for Bretherick to be entitled to a self-defense claim. Again, this has nothing to do with a duty to retreat, the reasonable fear just wasn’t there by the facts presented. But the appeal that is proceeding to the Florida Supreme Court is based on the following question:


NRA’s Amicus can be found here. I agree with NRA that the burden of proof should be on the state, but it’s difficult for me to see how in this case the state could not meet its burden even if that were the case. The Florida Supreme Court decision in Dennis v. State already started to outline the situation where pre-trial immunity can be claimed, by adopting this rule from a lower court:

Likewise, we hold that a defendant may raise the question of statutory immunity pretrial and, when such a claim is raised, the trial court must determine whether the defendant has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the immunity attaches.

NRA challenges the assertion that the burden is on the defendant to prove they are entitled to immunity, rather than the state proving they are not entitled to it. NRA argues the lower court’s decision was based on a Colorado law that is dissimilar to Florida’s, and goes on to argue that the state should have to disprove immunity beyond a reasonable doubt.

It’s difficult for me to understand how that doesn’t turn the immunity hearing into a trial in and of itself, with all the expense that would ordinarily accompany a trial. The advantage would be a chance to have a trial that at worst only results in another trial. It’s a bit of double jeopardy for the state.

Good News: Black Friday Record on Gun Sales

I haven’t heard whether it will be an official record or not, but it’s looking that way. Gun sales on Black Friday were brisk, to say the least. Anecdotally, I heard that PICS was down for a good part of the weekend due to volume (Things like this could form the basis of a suit challenging background check requirements. We’d never accept something like this in the context of another right.)

The good thing about this is that it portends a serious cultural change in our favor. Guns are now seen as something to get people for Christmas. In a lot of cases, this is probably going to be gifts between spouses. That means men are buying guns for women and women are buying guns for men. It doesn’t get much more positive than that, because either way it goes it shows some level of engagement with the issue.

Also good news: rich billionaires, like Bloomberg, want to make gifting guns largely illegal, with few exceptions, and this could be the basis of forming a constituency against his plans.

New York Church Wins Gun Related Suit in District Court

Walmart has been under pressure for some time by busybodies because they sell icky guns. That’s not new. After Sandy Hook, Trinity Church Wall Street filed a petition with Walmart to put on a shareholder proxy ballot to force the Board to reconsider whether Walmart should continue to sell icky guns and loud music in the same manner as they have been.

It’s worth noting here that Walmart already caved to Bloomberg in accepting his terms and conditions, and we can see how well that has stopped the busybodies from trying to take this a step further. This is surprising to no one even reasonably engaged in this issue, since it’s clear to all of us that until Walmart just stops selling guns, period, these people will not be happy. This is part of the continuing effort to “other” the shooting culture and make us pariahs.

Walmart moved to have the proxy measure stricken, arguing it was shareholder micromanagement of day-to-day affairs of the company. The SEC agreed, arguing it had no power to force the matter, and that the church would have to sue in Federal Court. The church did. This weekend, it was announced that the church had won. Walmart is planning to appeal.

At the end of the day I don’t expect this to be very consequential, but it’s a reminder of the fact that we’re being attacked left and right in very subtle ways most people aren’t aware of. We’re in a lot more danger as a movement than most people realize.

Also, remember, they aren’t against religion in politics, they are only against your religion in politics.