Shapiro’s Bloomberg Appeasing 80% Ruling

Attorney General is often a good stepping stone to Governor. So if you have those kinds of ambition, you’ll want an issue that isn’t liable to get a Virginia-sized revolt going, but that will please your party’s paymasters. Shapiro has found his issue. Bloomberg has a huge hard-on for stopping “ghost guns,” so if you ask me, that’s what this is about. It’s a good old fashioned moral panic among the right kind of people, and these days, thanks to social media, we do love ourselves some moral panic.

Granted, this is just about the most useless thing in the world: literally the only person this is going to deter is someone who has no ill intent. The only thing I can think of that’s more useless are “no guns allowed” signs where the sign is basically the security plan. Shapiro has decided that hunks of inert metal need to be regulated. I suppose you could throw it at someone and cause a decent head injury.

Shapiro’s opinion hinges on the definition in the UFA of “may readily be restored.” OK then. How much machining is needed to qualify? Notice he doesn’t say 80% lower. Is a block of aluminum now a firearm? I have literally no idea how to comply with this opinion. It’s essentially nonsense.

Attorney Josh Prince is of the opinion that if taken to court, it would not end well for the commonwealth, and I hope he’s right.

26 thoughts on “Shapiro’s Bloomberg Appeasing 80% Ruling”

  1. “if taken to court, it would not end well for the commonwealth.”

    OK, so who’s taking it to court? Someone has to get busted first, right? Any volunteers?

    But a divergent thought: Maybe this is also a reason to be a little circumspect when bloviating about “states rights.” States don’t always behave the way we want them to.

    1. I’m not sure how much “States Rights” is used by pro-gun people these days to defend gun rights. Most of us primarily defend it as a fundamental right, protected by the 2nd, and incorporated by the 14th.

      It’s the gun-banning side that’s usually crying for “States Rights” when it comes to gun control.

      Come to think of it, though, I think this is yet another example of the “Curley Effect” that Sebastian discussed earlier. “States Rights” are good when they reenforce your side, but are awful when they gore your sacred cow.

      (Having said that, I have mixed feelings about drug legalization — as much as I see the Libertarian sensibility to legalize everything, I nonetheless have reservations I find difficult to shake off — I definitely think it should be a State issue, and not a Federal one….)

      As for “who’s willing to take this to court?”, this has been a pet peeve concerning challenging unConstitutional laws for some time. The mere *desire* to violate a law should be sufficient for giving me standing to challenge the law. After the law has been upheld — sure, I can live with fining people and/or putting people in jail for it, even if I disagree with it — but I don’t see why I should have to risk my freedom just to uphold it.

      1. “I’m not sure how much “States Rights” is used by pro-gun people these days to defend gun rights.”

        You are right, of course, but when I said “bloviating” I was thinking more of the people who appeal to gun owners for support with often bizarre word-salads of allegedly “constitutional” nonsense, that even if it were valid or consistent, would not necessarily apply to gun rights. But I know — having had some experience with it myself — that appealing to “constitutional principles” can get a gun-crowd cheering for whatever you’re selling, whether it’s valid or not.

        The truest thing you wrote was about “goring your sacred cow.” Most people believe what is “constitutional” is what advances their personal preferences, and they will believe anything that promises to do that.

  2. Re-reading the subject princelaw article, I’m reminded that the PSP have been interpreting state law to mean the opposite of what it says for years now, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has said that’s perfectly fine. (Regarding maintenance of a firearms registry.) So there is that, in terms of precedents for our expectations.

    That of course gives me flashbacks, to the extent that it derives from our present state UFA, that was born as Act 17 of 1995. But I’m thinking with regard to my opening comment above, in that anyone challenging the law could lose their right to own firearms federally and forever, if they are not successful with their challenge. That is, if the provision they are challenging is punishable (not punished) by a sentence disqualifying them from firearms ownership under federal law.

    The example I remember from Act 17 of 1995 is, that for a period of about two years after it was enacted, prior to curative legislation, if a hunter had failed to purchase a $0.75 “provisional firearms permit” from their county treasurer, allowing them to carry a handgun while hunting (only), they would have been technically guilty of a felony, barring them from firearms ownership for life. I don’t believe that ever actually happened to anyone, but the letter-of-the-law potential was there.

    I remember that Act 17 of 1995 was supported by the NRA, over many of our protests, but Tom Ridge, the Republican governor who in congress had voted for the Clinton AWB, demanded it and the NRA delivered. Some of the language we are saddled with today predated 1995, but a lot of it is traceable to then, and it will be interesting to analyze how it may apply to this “80 percent” question.

  3. Shapiro is such a little weasel. I bet this will be struck down pretty quick.

    One thing is that courts could declare AR lowers, complete or otherwise, as not firearms at all, and so not able to be regulated. That’s because both federal and state law defines firearms as things that shoot bullets. A lower never can do that. It’s why the BATFE settled in that case out in California, to prevent that exact type of ruling.

  4. So auto parts places and hardware store could now be raided for illegally selling firearms?

    “may readily be restored.”
    Wouldn’t that mean only items that were once firearms and we’re disassembled or demilled?
    As you cannot restore something to what it never was.

  5. You know it’s just another day here when half the posts are authored by “Andy B.”

    Meanwhile we download, print, buy chunks of metal as per usual with or without the tyrant’s favor.

    Seriously dude, start a podcast.

    1. “You know it’s just another day here when half the posts are authored by “Andy B.”

      I don’t want to let you down today. ;-)

      Figure that since the first time I went to court to challenge a gun/hunting issue has been more than 55 years, so I’ve accumulated a lot of thoughts on these subjects over the years, and there’s not much left to do now but revisit them. Folks can take them or leave them, just like they always have.

      No podcasts for me. The most public exposure I want these days is to rant/reminisce on a somewhat obscure blog. Plus, I don’t want to say things while standing on my hind legs, for the same reason I never ran for public office.

    2. And another thing…

      “Seriously dude, start a podcast.”

      (It’s a new day, and again I don’t want to disappoint you.)

      I’ve never been able to get into podcasts myself, except for broadcast radio shows I found so interesting on my car radio, that I wanted to hear the whole show via its podcast.

      Podcasts are almost always too long. For me, anyway. There is always the problem of investing say, a half-hour listening to a podcast, waiting for it to get good, and when it doesn’t, hanging in there because you’ve already wasted so much time on it.

      If I write a 1000+ word screed, people can scan it and if nothing catches their eye, ignore it. On the other hand, if one sentence catches their fancy, they can read and re-read it, without memorizing it.

      Podcasts usually seem to me like the ultimate vanity; thinking that what you have to say is so important people should invest up to hours of their time to hear it.

      15 minutes seems like the maximum acceptable length for a podcast, to me. I have advised some outlets of that, but they persist in broadcasting 1.5 – 2.0 hour shows that usually lose my interest in 10 – 15 minutes.

      The only radio show I could listen to night after night, that was nothing but ~50 minutes of talk by one guy, was the Jean Shepherd Show on WOR-AM, 50+ years ago. He was the guy who narrated “A Christmas Story” and “Radio Days,” both of which were based on his Old Stories on WOR. Maybe that’s where I fell in love with Old Stories, though of course that also comes with age. :-)

      1. “seem to me like the ultimate vanity”

        *notes how many of the posts are around half AndyB, including frequent replies to his own posts.*

        Do tell…

        1. Same theme as above: Having had a lot of thoughts over a lot of years involved with political stuff and “activists”, they all don’t come back to me at the same time. I usually reply to my own comments when I have a thought or Old Story I think is relevant, that comes back to me later.

          Besides, if Sebastian wants me to back off, all he needs to do is ask. Then we could have dead air here, for a week/ten days at a time.

    3. So long as his comments are relevant and interesting, I fail to see what the problem is. His posts wouldn’t be half of what’s authored here if more people commented (which more people did, in times past, when Sebastian had more time to post, and there was more in the news to post about!).

      1. Thanks! I know I’m capable of really stretching things to make what is interesting to me “relevant.”

        But that said, I think annoyance most often occurs when my undercurrents imply things that don’t adhere strictly to people’s dogmas.

    1. I imagine this was done in one of the Federal Courts overseeing PA?

      There all Majority-GOP Appointed, including the 3rd Circuit Court now.

      Hoping this gets struck down fast. Looking at Bloomberg-Pooch-Boy Shapiro’s ruling, buying spare-parts for a firearm could be ruled as a “Firearm”.

      Just sick of these Scumbag Leftist Pigs making up “Laws” as they go along.

  6. I am supposed to participate in a town hall event about guns being put together by our local PBS station in the next few weeks. I expect the 80% issue to be raised, so I am taking a 0% AR-15 receiver with me: yes a block of 6061 aluminum from which I could eventually machine an AR-15 lower.

    1. That is going to make a big hit with gun owners, but what will grow out of it is the argument “in that case, let’s just make it illegal to manufacture AR-15 lowers out of anything, and while we are at it, let’s just make AR-15s illegal.” It’s great for making the point that the 80% bans are constitutionally vague, but does nothing for our fundamental problem.

      1. But how do you enforce a ban on manufacturing AR-15 lowers? That same block of aluminum can be made into anything . In the case of Clayton Cramer, rollers for telescope tripods.

        And it’s not just aluminum. People have made AK-47s out of shovels, and AR-15 lowers out of 2x4s.

        Furthermore, what evidence is there that this is a problem? How many criminals are there, who are using these “ghost guns” to commit crimes? If anything we should note that (1) the ability to create a gun is easy, yet (2) criminals don’t use these guns. Thus, what’s the point of such a ban anyway?

        Similarly, it’s possible to get two lever-action rifles, where the only difference is a serial number, yet one is regulated as a firearm, and thus requires a background check to be sold, and cannot be sold across State lines or sent through the mail — while the other one is not considered a firearm, and can thus be sold to anyone, felon or otherwise, without a background check, and sent via the mail — yet there isn’t a thriving market among criminals for such rifles.

        At what point are we going to conclude that background checks, for rifles at least, are stupid and more than useless, precisely because criminals don’t use these guns?

        1. I think a mistake we are all making is thinking our opponents are actually stupid, and don’t already understand all these factors you are pointing out. So, they must have other motives for what seems like pointless legislation.

          I suspect sometimes (as in our example of “constitutionally vague” 80 percent bans) it is so anti-gun folks who really are ignorant, will be frustrated by the legal setbacks they will experience in court, at the same time legislators give the impression they actually tried to “do something.” Frustration feeds motivation, in some cases garners more public attention, and can speed progress toward an outright gun ban.

          It also can be useful for fundraising, but that works for both camps. Another possibility is they are probing for our best arguments and perhaps some hints of future legal or legislative strategies.

          I’m just suggesting a few things here. But stopping short of an Old Story, one of the things I have seen more than once is, duplicitous legislators win support from gun rights advocates who allow themselves to be flattered into believing they have taught the legislator something he/she already knew; a common example at one time being “the difference between an automatic and semiautomatic firearm.”

  7. NICS can only be used for firearms purchases and transfers. That’s why communist states have had such a hard time with ammo background checks. If PA is trying use NICS ( the basis for PICS) to perform background checks for anything else, including a hunk of metal the feds don’t consider a firearm, they are in violation of federal rules.

  8. “If PA is trying use NICS ( the basis for PICS) to perform background checks for anything else, including a hunk of metal the feds don’t consider a firearm, they are in violation of federal rules.”

    First stipulating that I hope you are right, it is not clear to me that “NICS is the basis for PICS”, as it is generally stated that “PICS operates in parallel with NICS.” I’m also not sure that using some parts of the federal database is equivalent to “using NICS” in any legal sense.

    To continue to be argumentative (a result of my natural pessimism and experience with weasel-words in law) I observe that PICS can be used for background checks on long gun sales, which suggests a conflict between the federal and state definitions of what a “firearm” is. My point being that if “NICS is the basis for PICS” then long gun checks should be a violation, too. Or, perhaps the issue has just never been raised in any legal sense?

    I don’t want my questions to sound like criticism of your opinion, I’m just stating they are questions I would pursue for my own satisfaction. You will find I do not have high regard or trust for “law.”

    1. Oops, just saw my own mistake. I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I bought a gun from a licensed dealer. I never was big on paper.

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