Sunday, February 17, 2019

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part VIII


Every Picture Tells a Story has been an ongoing series on this blog since 2011. It graphically illustrates the growth in firearm carry rights over time. Going back to 1986, over 90% of Americans lived in states with either no carry permitted or may-issue carry permits. By contrast, approximately two-thirds of all Americans live in a state with either shall-issue permits or constitutional carry.




The area that has shown the most growth in terms of number of states is constitutional or permitless concealed carry. With the recent addition of South Dakota and Oklahoma, there are now 15 states that do not require you to have a permit to carry concealed. This equates to about 11% of the population of the United States.

As the creator of this graphic Rob Vance notes, "While the Supes are figuring out if the word "bear" in the 2nd Amendment actually means something - 15 states have already clarified that simple reading of the English word meaning 'to carry.'"

This number would have jumped even more if the Republican leaders of the North Carolina Senate had not refused to bring up the bill allowing permitless carry in the state. The bill had passed the NC House but Senate Republican were afraid of losing their super-majority if they went on record voting for permitless carry. Ironically, they lost their super-majority anyway.

Friday, February 15, 2019

HB 86 - A Bill To Californicate North Carolina Gun Laws


House Bill 86 - Gun Violence Prevention Act - was introduced into the North Carolina House of Representatives yesterday. The date was chosen to coincide with the Parkland shootings of a year ago. The primary sponsors of the bill are Rep. Christy Clark (D-Mecklenburg), Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), Rep. Marcia Morey (D-Durham), and Rep. Shelly Willingham (D-Edgecombe and Martin).

The bill is a laundry list of gun control wish items. However, having read the bill I see nothing in it that actually would reduce the criminal misuse of a firearm. Instead it impacts the legal ownership of firearms in such a way as to discourage firearms ownership.

The bill would:


  1. Require a permit for the purchase of any pistol, "assault weapon", or long gun. I see no exemptions in the bill other than a NC CHP for receipt of a firearm. In other words, as a Curios and Relics FFL I would still need a permit or my CHP to receive a firearm.
  2. Imposes a 3-day waiting period after purchase "or agreement to give away or transfer, the pistol, assault weapon, or long gun."
  3. Defines an "assault weapon" to include the usual list of ARs, AKs, etc. It does add Saiga 12 shotguns, any semiautomatic centerfire rifle that has one or more of the "evil features" such as a pistol grip or adjustable stock, any semiautomatic pistol that accepts a magazine outside of the pistol grip, semiauto shotguns that can take a detachable magazine, and those shotguns with a revolving cylinder.
  4. Modification of the pistol purchase permit to include "assault weapons" and long guns.
  5. Bans sale, possession, or carrying "assault weapons" by those under the age of 21 with certain exceptions.
  6. Bans bump stocks and trigger cranks including those possessed prior to December 1, 2019.
  7. Requires safe storage of all firearms except when being carried or used by the owner or legally authorized user. Violation is a Class A1 midemeanor and would add punitive damages in civil lawsuits.
  8. Repeal universal concealed handgun permit reciprocity. North Carolina currently accepts any out of state CCW as valid for carry within the state.
  9. Requires the reporting of any stolen firearm within 48 hours. It makes it a Class 3 misdemeanor for the first violation and a Class I felony for the second violation.
  10. Requires liability insurance for all gun owners of not less than $100,000.
  11. Limits magazine size to 15 rounds for pistols and rifles; limits shotgun magazines to 8 shells; limits shotgun tubes to no more than 8 shells. Bans "large capacity" magazines and requires all new magazines made in NC to have date of manufacture imprinted on them. Grandfathers pre-December 1, 2019 magazines so long as continuous ownership is maintained.
  12. Repeals state preemption of local firearm regulations.
  13. Mandates destruction of seized firearms.
  14. Adopts the California Roster of Handguns and adopts their testing requirements. If your handgun is not on the roster, it can only be sold to either a sheriff or a FFL. No mention of microstamping in the bill's language though that is a feature of the California Roster.
The full bill can be read here.

Rep. Christy Clark (D-Mecklenburg), the lead primary sponsor, is a first-term representative who was one of two politicians to get the Everytown for Gun Safety endorsement in North Carolina. She was also a chapter leader for the Demanding Moms. I'm still looking over her contribution list for funding from Everytown. She was cited by the State Board of Elections for failing to properly identify donors who gave more than $50.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Omnibus Gun Reform Bill Introduced In North Carolina


House Bill 61 - Omnibus Gun Changes - was introduced into the North Carolina House of Representatives yesterday. The primary sponsors of the bill are Rep. Larry Pittman (R- Cabarrus and Rowan), Rep. Larry Potts (R- Davidson), and Rep. Keith Kidwell (R- Beaufort and Craven).

The most salient thing this bill does is to reintroduce permitless concealed carry into North Carolina. As open carry of firearms is a constitutional right in the state, this bill would extend it to concealed carry of firearms. Concealed Handgun Permits would still be available and the bill has language that encourages people to obtain them if they plan to travel out of state or want to facilitate the purchase of a firearm.

The bill would also make it an infraction as opposed to a misdemeanor to carry concealed on posted private property. It would remain a misdemeanor to carry while one has alcohol or a controlled substance in his or her bloodstream. Exceptions are made for controlled substances that have been prescribed and are being taken in therapeutic amounts.

Much of the bill just reiterates where one can or cannot carry a firearm such as courthouses, the grounds of the Legislative Buildings, or the Executive Mansion. It goes on to state that one can carry open or concealed at state rest stops and state parks.

Finally, the bill orders the State Board of Education to develop an elective course on comprehensive firearms safety in consultation with law enforcement agencies and "firearms associations". This course would be an elective to facilitate the learning of STEM principles. The bill also orders the State Board of Election to develop another elective course on wildlife conservation based upon the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Consultation for the course development would be with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the Division of Marine Fisheries, and the Wildlife Management Institute.

The full text of the bill can be found here.

H. 61 is similar to H. 746 which was the last sessions' bill that authorized permitless carry. As you may remember, it passed the House in 2017 but stalled in the State Senate when the spineless Republican leadership failed to even schedule hearings of the bill. Ostensibly the Republicans wanted to preserve their super-majority. Given the 2018 election results, that was a failure on their part as they lost their super-majority anyway.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Blog For The Gun Curious


My friend David Yamane has started a new blog called Gun Curious. It is aimed at those who don't yet have a firearm but are curious about it.

He says:
As someone who had little exposure to and no interest in guns for most of my life, I know what it is like not to understand guns and gun culture. For nearly a decade now, I have burrowed deeper and deeper into American gun culture. I hope to translate what I have learned to the gun curious – those interested in but unsure about guns.

This uncertainty about guns can be coupled with attraction, repulsion, or neutrality. Whatever your orientation, if you are open-minded and hope to learn more about guns and gun culture, you should find something of interest here.
 If you have a friend or colleague that is curious about guns and would like to read more from a non-judgemental perspective, I would highly recommend sending them to David's new blog.

He explains more about why he decided to start a second blog at his GunCulture 2.0 blog

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Where The 1A Meets The 2A


As I mentioned the other day, the website sponsored by a coalition of civil rights groups was threatened by prosecution if they didn't take down certain code files. CodeIsFreeSpeech.com was put up after the anti-gun Attorney General of Washington State and a host of fellow traveler AGs went to court to suppress computer code assembled by Defense Distributed. These groups were not a party to that lawsuit and were not enjoined from distributing them on the Internet.

It turns out that the threat of prosecution came from New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. Grewal had demanded server company Cloudfare delete CodeIsFreeSpeech.com's files or charges would be filed for them being in violation of a NJ state law.

Grewal had been recently successful in getting a lawsuit against him by Defense Distributed filed in the State of Texas dismissed on the grounds that it should have been brought in New Jersey. Mind you, that the dismissal was not on the merits of the case but rather merely whether a US District Court in Texas had jurisdiction.

He should have remembered the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for", as suit has now been filed in US District Court for the District of New Jersey. Now he will not be facing just Defense Distributed but also the Second Amendment Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Firearms Policy Foundation, the Calguns Foundation, and CAL-FFL. The individual plaintiff in the case is Brandon Combs who is executive director of the Calguns Foundation and president of both the Firearms Policy Coalition and the Firearms Policy Foundation. So now Grewal is not facing merely one plaintiff but six institutional plaintiffs and one individual plaintiff.

In a press release sent out yesterday, the groups had this to say about the lawsuit:
TRENTON, N.J. (February 5, 2019) — Today, attorneys for six advocacy organizations and one individual, Firearms Policy Coalition founder Brandon Combs, filed a new lawsuit and a motion seeking a restraining order and preliminary injunction against New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. The case was filed just days after Grewal’s Office of the Attorney General sent a threat of prosecution to Cloudflare, a major Internet services company headquartered in San Francisco, about www.CodeIsFreeSpeech.com. A copy of key court filings can be viewed or downloaded at www.codeisfreespeechlawsuit.com.

According to the complaint, on Saturday, February 3 the CodeIsFreeSpeech.com website’s act of republishing some of Defense Distributed’s digital firearms information “was met with yet another of Grewal’s Orwellian take-down orders,” demanding that Cloudflare “delete all files described within 24 hours or [Grewal’s Office] will be forced to press charges.”

“By issuing a takedown demand against” the entire website, “Grewal sought to compel the complete and total suppression of the political speech at CodeIsFreeSpeech.com, the links to other advocacy websites and their educational and political resources, links to political tee shirts, and even the very text of the United States Constitution itself,” the plaintiffs said in the filing. Attorneys for the plaintiffs also filed a motion seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Grewal. The Attorney General’s threats of prosecution and other civil enforcement actions under New Jersey laws, the plaintiffs say, violate their constitutional rights.

Last November, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a new speech crime into law, in Senate Bill 2465. Among other things, it created a new “third degree crime” for “a person to distribute by any means, including the Internet, to a person in New Jersey” certain kinds of speech, including “digital instructions in the form of computer-aided design files or other code or instructions stored and displayed in electronic format as a digital model that may be used to program a three-dimensional printer…”

CodeIsFreeSpeech.com “is a publicly available website for the publication and republication of truthful, non-misleading, non-commercial political speech and information that is protected under the United States Constitution,” the complaint says. “Its purpose is to allow people to share knowledge and empower them to exercise their fundamental, individual rights. It was created and developed during the week of July 22, 2018—long before the State enacted Senate Bill 2465.”

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Chad Flores, Daniel Hammond, and Hannah Roblyer of Texas-based Beck Redden LLP and Daniel L. Schmutter of New Jersey law firm Hartman & Winnicki.

The CodeIsFreeSpeech.com website can be additionally accessed through URLs GurbirGrewalisaTyrant.com and PhilMurphyisaTyrant.com.

The plaintiffs have filed a suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. Moreover, at the same time they also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. They are asking the court to declare the New Jersey law in violation of the First and Second Amendments, the Commerce Clause, and the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. Moreover, they want the court to declare Federal law preempts the New Jersey law and immunizes the plaintiffs from prosecution.

Monday, February 4, 2019

2019 NRA Board Of Directors Election - A Round-Up Of Endorsements


Voting members of the National Rifle Association - Life or higher members and five-year continuous annual members - should have received their Board of Directors ballot in the February 2019 issue of the NRA magazine that they have chosen. Mine came in my American Rifleman. The ballot this year contains 35 candidates. 33 of these candidates were chosen by the Nominating Committee and two are on the ballot as petition candidates. The Nominating Committee per their usual named a mix of politicians, celebrities, the usual hanger's on, and, believe it or not, actual gun people.

Out of these 35 candidates, you are allowed to vote for up to 27. However, to be very blunt about it, if you vote for 27 people you are an idiot just checking boxes and you really don't give a damn about who is on the board or the direction it takes. I say this because you are giving equal weight to both the best candidates and to the worst candidates out of the 27. If you bullet vote or pick a small number of candidates, then they stand a greater chance of actually being elected to the Board of Directors. In other words, the vote for your favorites isn't diluted.

Lt. Col. Robert Brown of Soldier of Fortune magazine is a long-time NRA Board member who is not afraid of shaking things up. He traditionally publishes a list of his endorsements and this year is no exception. He has endorsed six people for election this year. They are Anthony Colandro, Tom King of the NY State Rifle and Pistol Assn, Adam Kraut, Willes Lee, former NRA President Jim Porter, and Dwight Van Horn. I think it is interesting to note the Lt. Col. Brown has endorsed the two candidates overlooked by the Nominating Committee - Adam Kraut and Anthony Colandro.

The hunting and conservation organization Safari Club International has endorsed Paul Babaz for the Board of Directors. Given he is their current president this is not surprising and should be expected. Babaz was appointed to the Board last year to fill an empty position and is up for election this year.

David Codrea is a journalist and blogger whom I greatly respect. He and the late Mike Vanderboegh were the ones who first brought the BATFE's gun walking to light. Their articles on Project Gunwalker aka Operation Fast and Furious exposed the plan that ultimately led to congressional hearings and a finding of contempt for former Attorney General Eric Holder. David has endorsed only one person for the Board - Anthony Colandro - based upon his answer's to David's hard-hitting questionnaire.

Ammoland.com has been instrumental in collating a number of candidate statements and endorsements. In addition, they have asked that you consider both Anthony Colandro and Adam Kraut for the Board.

Knife Rights traditionally doesn't make endorsements for the NRA Board of Directors. However, this year they are endorsing a few individuals running for the Board who also serve on their Advisory Board. They sent this out in an email on Jan 31st. The people they endorsed are Sandra Froman, Lt Col. Ollie North, Pete Brownell, Anthony Colandro, Esther Schneider, and Paul Babaz.

My friend Amanda Suffecool of Eye on the Target Radio is bullet voting for Willes Lee. On her ballot she also highlighted Ted Nugent, Oliver North, and Allen West as people she would endorse.

Rock Island Auctions is endorsing their president Kevin Hogan for the Board of Directors. The endorsement points out that in addition to being a collector, he has raised $2.1 million for NRA-ILA.

Lt. Col. Willes Lee has too many endorsements to count. Included in his list of endorsements are Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation, Maj Toure of Black Guns Matter, Kenn Blanchard, the Virginia Shooting Sports Association, and many others. You can find all of them on his Facebook photo page.

Of all the people issuing endorsements and recommendations, the one I examine most closely is that from Jeff Knox and the Firearms Coalition. I say this because I trust Jeff's judgment, I recognize his unparalleled institutional memory regarding the NRA, NRA-ILA, and the Cincinnati Revolt, and because I think he truly loves both the NRA and the Second Amendment and he is willing to fight for both. Jeff has endorsed both Adam Kraut and Anthony Colandro for the Board. He goes on to say that he would give consideration to Mark Vaughan, Mark Geist, and Mark Robinson.

I think all of these guys would probably be good additions to the Board, but it is very unlikely that all 5 can win seats, and every vote for one of them, reduces the likelihood of the others winning. It's something of a conundrum, and there's no simple solution.

Personally, I am going to cast a Bullet Vote with only Adam Kraut's name marked.
As for myself, I'll start by saying that I've long held that 90% of life is just showing up. Ted Nugent, Karl Malone, and Marion Hammer have not attended one BOD meeting to the best of my knowledge since winning election to the Board. I find that reprehensible. You either serve and show up or you resign. I don't care if the reason for not showing up is due to a health issue, a family issue, or a prior commitment. Running for the NRA Board was a promise that you would serve and these people failed.

I've never been keen on the celebrities on the Board with the exception of R. Lee Ermey who took the role of serving on the Board seriously. The same goes for former politicians. I'd make allowances for Rep. Don Young (R-AK) as he is still in Congress and still carries weight.

People whom I consider worthy of your vote include Sandy Froman, Pete Brownell, Willes Lee (whom I consider a personal friend), and Adam Kraut (whom I also consider a personal friend). Mark Robinson of my hometown of Greensboro would also be worth your consideration. My fear with Mark is that he is a newbie to the defense of the Second Amendment and was nominated due to "optics". However, I don't doubt his sincerity in the least.

I think Sandy Froman, Pete Brownell, and Willes Lee have enough backing to get re-elected without my vote. I fear the same cannot be said of Adam Kraut and for that reason I will be bullet voting for him. I hope my friend Willes will understand.



Change needs to come to the NRA or we will have lost all we have won in the last few decades. I see the gun prohibitionists getting stronger, better organized, and certainly better funded. Their misleading messages are repeated daily by the mass media. In an era of changing demographics, they are doing a better job of targeting women and suburban voters as well as the younger voters. If the NRA doesn't return to its Second Amendment roots and leave the broader social conservative commentary to other organizations, we will lose.

I think Adam is the change that the organization needs.

Threat Of Prosecution?


I got a cryptic text from a friend this morning sending me to www.codeisfreespeech.com. That is the website which has established after the Attorney General of Washington State challenged Defense Distributed's settlement with the Department of Justice regarding ITAR. The District Court granted an injunction against Defense Distributed's ability to put its files on the Internet. Note that it only enjoined Defense Distributed and a couple of others. It didn't enjoin the any of the coalition of civil rights groups that set up www.codeisfreespeech.com.

Here is what I found when I went to the website.



It says that file access was being restricted due to a threat of prosecution. I don't know which government entity is threatening them and infringing on the right of free speech but I'm sure we will find in the near future.

As an aside,  I sat next to two guys from Defense Distributed on part of my trip home from the SHOT Show. They told me that the Ghost Gunner 2 mini-CNC machine would now be able to finish the Polymer 80 Glock-ish 80% lower as they had released the code to do it.

Friday, February 1, 2019

I Thought SHOT Show Crud Was A Myth


I have attended the NSSF's SHOT Show for four years out of the last five. I had prided myself on not getting the supposed "SHOT Show crud" and thought it a bit of a myth.

I was wrong. It is not a myth. It is a real thing.



I was fine while in Las Vegas and on the extended plane trip home. However, on Monday I started getting a bit of a raspy throat and a tickle which led to a cough. Wednesday I started sneezing. If the "SHOT Show Crud" includes a typical winter cold, then I have the SHOT Show Crud.




My roommate for the SHOT Show was David Yamane of the GunCulture 2.0 blog. He took Airborne every morning and every evening. I should have done the same!

I was meticulous about hand washing and trying to stay hydrated as well as getting enough sleep. These are some of the preventives usually mentioned.




I just wish the pharmaceutical companies could come up with something like this for humans. If you can inoculate your dogs against the canine version of a cold, why not humans?