Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ted Cruz Responds To The 4th Circuit Ruling


CPAC or the Conservative Political Action Conference is going on now in Washington, DC. It is where the leading lights of the conservative movement show up to see and be seen. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is one of those people.

In an interview with radio talk show host and author Mark Levin, Cruz discussed the fallacies of the majority opinion in Kolbe v. Hogan. He eviscerated the logic (or illogic) shown by Judge Robert King in the majority opinion.

Watch and listen:


Comment Of The Day


The comment of the day comes from Jim Shepherd of the Outdoor Wires. He concludes his discussion of the 4th Circuit's majority opinion in Kolbe v. Hogan with this:

But don't forget, that if this silly ruling were to survive, it wouldn't be much of a reach- at least for lawyers and legislators- to extend the withdrawal of protections to everything from bolt action rifles and pump shotguns (trench guns in World Wars I & II and Vietnam) to the venerable cowboy action lever guns carried by the U.S. Army in the 1800s.

Will this one head to the Supreme Court?
Probably.

But with the District of Columbia and Chicago still thumbing their noses at the high court after rulings that should have repealed their oppressive anti-gun regulations, what real difference would it make?

When it comes to protecting the enumerated right defined in the Second Amendment, the United States Supreme Court isn't just divided.

It's toothless.

Why should any state or local official be concerned with the "supreme court" and its rulings if the court itself lacks the conviction to compel compliance?

Unenforced rules aren't rules, they're suggestions.

Jim is absolutely correct. The Supreme Court has had multiple opportunities to reinforce and correct misinterpretations of their rulings in Heller and McDonald. Every time they have blinked and let them go unchallenged.

Erin Palette was correct to call Supreme Court nominations "the Kardashians of politics". By extension and given their reluctance to take another Second Amendment case, I'd call the justices themselves "the Kardashians of politics".

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Hampshire Becomes 12th State With Constitutional Carry


Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH) signed a bill today making New Hampshire the 12th state to have permitless concealed carry. The bill he signed had been vetoed in each of the preceding two years by then-Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

There are a number of other states where constitutional concealed carry bills have been introduced this year including both North Carolina and Texas. My fellow co-host on the Polite Society Podcast, Rachel Malone, is leading the charge in Texas.

From the NRA-ILA on the New Hampshire signing ceremony:
Today, in a private signing ceremony, Governor Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law. Similar legislation had been vetoed by former Governor Maggie Hassan for two years in a row, but thanks to your active involvement, law-abiding gun owners will now be able to carry their firearms without a required permit in the state of New Hampshire! This law goes into effect immediately. Please take the time to thank your state legislators for passing this important legislation and Governor Sununu for signing it into law.

Sponsored by Senator Jeb Bradley (R-3), SB 12 will repeal the license requirement to carry a concealed pistol or revolver, unless a person is otherwise prohibited. For those who choose to obtain licenses, SB 12 will also increase the length of time in which a license is valid from four years to five years.

In New Hampshire, existing state law recognizes the right of any citizen who can legally own and possess a firearm to carry it openly, either loaded or unloaded, anywhere in the state not prohibited by law. However, if a firearm becomes covered by a coat or if a woman prefers to carry a firearm for protection in her purse, he or she would need a concealed carry handgun license. The new law will extend permitless open carry to permitless concealed carry, allowing law-abiding gun owners to protect themselves and their loved ones in the manner that best suits their needs.
Keep your fingers crossed and your calls to legislators coming in that more states will adopt this.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The 4th Circuit Has Gone To Hell In A Handbasket!


The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in its infinite wisdom has decided that the most common rifle in America in not entitled to the protection of the Second Amendment. Thank you President Obama for stacking this Court of Appeals with nitwits and halfwits given that seven of the 15 active judges (non-senior status) were his appointments.

The 4th Circuit issued an en banc decision in Kolbe et al v. Hogan et al which upheld the Maryland law that banned so-called assault weapons (sic) and standard capacity magazines. The case was decided in a 9-4 split with the majority opinion written by Judge Robert B. King, a Clinton appointee, and a native of West Virginia.

Using intermediate scrutiny, Judge King wrote:
Because the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are clearly most useful in military service, we are compelled by Heller to recognize that those weapons and magazines are not constitutionally protected. On that basis, we affirm the district court’s award of summary judgment in favor of the State with respect to the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment claims.
Earlier he wrote:
Thankfully, however, we need not answer all those difficult questions today, because Heller also presents us with a dispositive and relatively easy inquiry: Are the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines “like” “M-16 rifles,” i.e., “weapons that are most useful in military service,” and thus outside the ambit of the Second Amendment? See 554 U.S. at 627. The answer to that dispositive and relatively easy inquiry is plainly in the affirmative.

Simply put, AR-15-type rifles are “like” M16 rifles under any standard definition of that term. See, e.g., Webster’s New International Dictionary 1431 (2d ed. 1948) (defining “like” as “[h]aving the same, or nearly the same, appearance, qualities, or characteristics; similar”); The New Oxford American Dictionary 982 (2d ed. 2005) (defining “like” as “having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to”). Although an M16 rifle is capable of fully automatic fire and the AR-15 is limited to semiautomatic fire, their rates of fire (two seconds and as little as five seconds, respectively, to empty a thirtyround magazine) are nearly identical. Moreover, in many situations, the semiautomatic fire of an AR-15 is more accurate and lethal than the automatic fire of an M16. Otherwise, the AR-15 shares the military features — the very qualities and characteristics — that make the M16 a devastating and lethal weapon of war.
To quote the philosopher Forrest Gump, "I may not be a smart man" but that is utter bullshit! The opinion, concurrences, and dissents go on for 116 pages. I just can't bring myself to read the whole thing tonight I'm so pissed off.

 The Wall Street Journal opines that this case will go to the Supreme Court. If so, it is time to get Judge Gorsuch on the court as Associate Justice Gorsuch. Moreover, it is time to start using the nomination process to appoint judges who are originalists and not some flim-flam men and women who misinterpret the plain words of Justice Scalia in the Heller decision.

Monday, February 20, 2017

GRNC: HB 69 - Constitutional Carry - Needs Your Help


HB 69 was introduced in the North Carolina House of Representatives earlier this month. It provides for permitless concealed carry just as we have permitless or constitutional open carry in the state. It was introduced by Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus) and has been referred to the Judiciary I Committee. That last part is not good for the bill's chances of success and Grass Roots North Carolina has issued an alert requesting it be moved to the Judiciary II Committee where it will receive a fair hearing.

11 states now have constitutional carry and it looks like New Hampshire will be joining the list if Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH) keeps his promise to sign the bill which has passed both houses of the legislature. That would make the three northern New England states bastions of freedom unlike the southern three.

GIVE HB 69 A FAIR HEARING!


As you know, Representative LARRY PITTMAN (R-Cabarrus)  introduced House Bill 69 (with GRNC's feedback and support) to restore our rights to constitutional (permitless) carry. The primary sponsors of the bill include Reps. MICHAEL SPECIALE (R-Beaufort, Craven, Pamlico), BEVERLY BOSWELL (R-Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Washington),  and JAY ADAMS (R-Catawba).

Since its introduction, HP 69 currently resides in House Judiciary I which is chaired by Representative TED DAVIS, JR.  We have reported his actions in previous GRNC Alerts and feel strongly that HB 69, if it stays in House Judiciary I under Rep. Davis, will be in danger of being stopped.

GRNC feels strongly that the seriousness of this bill deserves a fair hearing and is asking everyone to contact your representatives to urge them to move HB 69 to House Judiciary II, chaired by Representative JOHN M. BLUST.

To recap the details of HB 69 (“Constitutional Carry Act”) and the reasons for GRNC's support:
  • Establishes a new Article 54C, under which handguns may be carried concealed without permits;
  • Removes the need to have a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun in restaurants, public assemblies, parades and funerals, and (with the same limitations as currently in law) onto educational properties;
  • and Retains the current CHP system for purposes of reciprocity with other states.
HB 69 is designed to be a “clean” reciprocity bill (i.e. without other measures) in order to draw fewer objections from potential supporters. GRNC will shepherd the introduction of additional legislative initiatives in other bills.


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • CONTACT SPEAKER TIM MOORE and CHAIRMAN DAVID LEWIS at:
    919-733-3451, Tim.Moore@ncleg.net
    919-715-3015, David.Lewis@ncleg.net
    Tell them to move HB 69 from House Judiciary I to House Judiciary II in order for it to receive the fair hearing it deserves. You can use the copy/paste text below, under 'Deliver This Message,' to send an email message to Speaker Moore and Chairman Lewis.

  • CONTACT CHAIRMAN JOHN M. BLUST at:
    919-733-5781, John.Blust@ncleg.net
    Urge him to work with Speaker Moore to take the HB 69 into his committee and give it the fair hearing it deserves. 
    You can use the copy/paste text below, under 'Deliver This Message,' to send an email message to Representative Blust. 

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


Here are two suggested messages to deliver:

Suggested Subject: "Give HB 69 a fair hearing and move to House Judiciary II"  

Dear [Speaker Moore or Chairman Lewis]:

House Bill 69, sponsored by Reps. Larry Pittman, Michael Speciale, Beverly Boswell, and Jay Adams, has been introduced and currently resides in House Judiciary I, chaired by Rep. Ted David, Jr. I feel that Rep. Davis will not give the bill the fair hearing it deserves and urge you to please move it to House Judiciary II chaired by Rep. John M. Blust.

A powerful trend is sweeping across the United States in which eleven states have now adopted (or previously had) statutes under which lawful citizens could carry firearms for self-protection without obtaining burdensome permits.

The states with permitless concealed carry now include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Indeed, Missouri’s law went into effect on January 1, and West Virginia’s went into effect in May. Additionally, more limited versions of permitless carry exist in Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

It is high time North Carolina joined those enlightened states by relieving lawful North Carolinians from expensive and burdensome permit requirements which discriminate against people with lesser means. Accordingly, I ask you to give a prompt hearing to HB 69 (“Constitutional Carry Act”).

Each time we have expanded concealed carry – whether into parks, restaurants, educational property or elsewhere – naysayers have predicted gloom and doom. Each time, they have been wrong. In fact, I am aware of no instance in any of the states which have adopted constitutional carry in which it has caused problems.

Again, I urge you to give HB 69 a fair hearing and move it from Rep. Davis and House Judiciary I to House Judiciary II and Rep. Blust. I will be monitoring this issue through Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.

Respectfully,

Suggested Subject: "Please work with Speaker Moore and give HB 69 a fair hearing in House House Judiciary II"

Dear House Chairman Blust:

House Bill 69, sponsored by Reps. Larry Pittman, Michael Speciale, Beverly Boswell, and Jay Adams, has been introduced and currently resides in House Judiciary I, chaired by Rep. Ted David, Jr. I feel that Rep. Davis will not give the bill the fair hearing it deserves and urge you to please work with Speaker Moore to move it to House Judiciary II under your leadership.

As you know, Rep. Blust, a powerful trend is sweeping across the United States in which eleven states have now adopted (or previously had) statutes under which lawful citizens could carry firearms for self-protection without obtaining burdensome permits.

The states with permitless concealed carry now include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Indeed, Missouri’s law went into effect on January 1, and West Virginia’s went into effect in May. Additionally, more limited versions of permitless carry exist in Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

It is high time North Carolina joined those enlightened states by relieving lawful North Carolinians from expensive and burdensome permit requirements which discriminate against people with lesser means.

Each time we have expanded concealed carry – whether into parks, restaurants, educational property or elsewhere – naysayers have predicted gloom and doom. Each time, they have been wrong. In fact, I am aware of no instance in any of the states which have adopted constitutional carry in which it has caused problems.

Again, I urge you to work with Speaker Moore to move HB 69 to your House Judiciary Committee, House Judiciary II, to give it the fair hearing it deserves. I will be monitoring this issue through Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.

Respectfully,


Sincerely,

Sunday, February 19, 2017

"The Kardashians Of Politics"


The headline comes from an analogy made by Erin Palette on Episode 130 of the GunBlog Varietycast regarding nominations to the Supreme Court. Sean Sorrentino and Erin were discussing the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. They also noted that there are currently 117 district and appeals court judgeships waiting to be filled.

Erin said, "Supreme Court nomination are the Kardashians of politics." As with the Kardashian of the day, they get virtually all the attention unlike your neighbor down the street. However, that neighbor down the street will have a far stronger impact on your life than the Kardashians. Likewise, the judges that will fill those empty District Court and Appeals Court slots will probably have a stronger impact on your constitutional rights - and especially your Second Amendment rights - than the justices on the Supreme Court. The reason, of course, is that very few cases ever are accepted for certiorari by the Supreme Court.

You can listen to the discussion between Sean and Erin here starting at the 22:20 mark.

I was struck by Erin's analogy and how apt it was with regard to not only judicial nominations but also politics at the local, state, and national levels. With even local newscasts discussing Trump said this and the Democrats said that, it is hard sometimes to remember that County Commissioner Billy Bob Jones will have a bigger impact on your day to day exercise of your Second Amendment rights. How Commissioner Jones and his colleagues grant variances or pass zoning ordinances will determine where you can buy a firearm and if there is a range where you can practice with it. Moreover, unless you live in a state with statewide firearms law pre-emption, Commissioner Billy Bob and his good friend Councilwoman Maura McGillicuddy will determine where you can carry, the penalties for a firearms discharge in the city even if it is in self-defense, and even what firearms and accessories you are allowed to possess.

I'm not saying either national politics or Supreme Court nominations are irrelevant like the Kardashians. Rather that for every 10 minutes we spend on those, we need to be spending the other 50 minutes of the hour on stuff closer to home.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Jesus Needs A Rear Sight


The Houston Chronicle has published a series of photos of members of the Sinaloa Cartel. They come from the blog El Blog Del Narco. It shows these Mexican drug cartel soldiers getting ready for what is presumably a leadership war now that "El Chapo" is in a US prison.

The one that caught my eye was of a cartel member named Jesus Mendoza. He has a cigarette dangling from his sneering lips, a black chest rig, and an AR15. He's a bad-ass and he wants you to know it.

Photo courtesy of El Blog Del Narco

Jesus would be a more effective bad-ass if he had a rear sight on that AR15 carbine.

Just sayin'.

Comment Of The Day


President Trump held a news conference yesterday and, from what I'm reading, it was pure Trump.
The heads of the media personalities are still exploding and they don't know why.

The best comment came in response to a post by Professor William Jacobson regarding the news conference. VaGentleman had this to say:

I’m reminded of the scene in ‘Patton’ where he is standing on the hill overlooking the battlefield and shouts, “Rommel, you bloody bastard, I read your book!”. Alinskyites, take note.

Charles Heller of Liberty Watch Radio, JPFO, and AzCDL made the nearly the same point when we recorded him for an interview with The Polite Society Podcast. He urged gun rights activists to read the Rules for Radicals and use them.