Sunday, November 23, 2014

Incoming Speaker of NC House Is Good On Guns

The Republican majority in the North Carolina House of Representatives elected Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) to replace Senator-elect Thom Tillis as Speaker. Moore, a Kings Mountain attorney, was selected on the first ballot by House Republicans as they met in Asheboro.
Moore won a majority of votes from the 73 GOP lawmakers that met at Randolph Community College. He beat Reps. Justin Burr of Albemarle, Mitchell Setzer of Catawba, John Blust of Greensboro, Leo Daughtry of Smithfield and Bryan Holloway of King.

Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam of Wake County was nominated as speaker pro tem. Rep. Mike Hager of Rutherford County was elected majority leader and John Bell from Wayne County, majority whip.

Huntersville Republican Charles Jeter was unopposed for conference chair, a post in which he’ll oversee campaigns and fundraising.
Moore was ranked second in the NC House in terms of effectiveness by the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research. He had chaired the House Rules Committee.

So what does this mean for gun rights in North Carolina?

Moore was recommended by Grass Roots North Carolina-PVF where he was ranked 4 stars. He was endorsed by the NRA Political Victory Fund and rated as A+.  That's a good start. It does get better as Rep. Moore was one of the speakers at a gun rights rally in 2013 organized by GRNC. Given their reputation as a "no compromise" organization, the fact that Moore would be one of the speakers says volumes about him.

It was through the efforts of Moore as head of the Rules Committee that Durham County's 80 year old gun registry was scrapped.

What about the rest of the Republicans in the House leadership?

Rep. Skip Stam (R-Wake) who will be Speaker Pro Tem is, at best, mediocre. He was rated B- by the NRA-PVF and did not receive an endorsement. Stam was not recommended by GRNC-PVF and was rated a mere 2 stars. He was characterized as a "weasel" by GRNC for his efforts to weaken some of the gun rights laws that passed the General Assembly in the last two sessions.

Rep. Mike Hager (R-Rutherford) who will be the House Majority Leader is much better. He received both a recommendation and 4 stars from the GRNC-PVF while also getting an A and the endorsement from the NRA-PVF. Hager was one of the sponsors of the bill that made the names of NC CHP and pistol permit applicants private.

Rep. John Bell (R-Wayne) is slated to be the House Majority Whip. He was rated as 4 stars by GRNC-PVF and was recommended. The NRA-PVF graded him an "A" and gave him their endorsement. His website points out the fallacy of gun-free zones and says they put innocent lives at risk. He sponsored HB937 which increased the number of places firearms would be permitted.

Rep. Charles Jeter (R-Mecklenburg) is the Republican Conference Chair. He was rated 3 stars by GRNC-PVF but was recommended. The NRA-PVF graded him an "A" and gave him their endorsement. His position on the Second Amendment post-Newtown was not to be reactionary like legislators on New York and Connecticut.

One thing I think should be pointed about this House leadership is their relative youth. Speaker-elect Tim Moore is 44, Conference Chair Charles Jeter is 41, and while I don't have the exact age for Majority Whip John Bell, he appears to be in his late 30s to early 40s. House Majority Leader Mike Hager is a little older at age 52. Speaker Pro Tem Skip Stam is the old guy of the bunch at 64 but, then again, the position traditionally is held by older legislators.

To conclude, with the exception of Skip Stam, the Republican House leadership for the upcoming session is good on guns. This is good news for gun rights bills that will be presented in the new session.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Know What I'd Make!

I saw this tweet this morning from the WaterPik Company which I've embedded below. They are giving away a 3-D printer. They ask, "What would you make with a 3-D printer?"

Need they ask?

Maybe this.

Or this.

Definitely this if it can print in metal!

I don't where the heck I'd put the thing but I'll save that problem for when I win.

Sorry Kamala, No Stay For You

California Attorney General Kamala Harris had sought a stay of Judge Anthony Ishii's decision in Sylvester v. Harris. That was the case that challenged California's 10-day waiting period as it applied to certain individuals. Her argument in a nutshell was "Hey, this is gonna cost us some bucks, we need to hire some folks to comply, I don't see how we can comply within in a year, and you know we really have more important stuff to do."

Telling a judge you have more important stuff to do than to comply with his order really isn't the smartest thing in the world to do as Kamala and her minions found out. Judge Ishii, said in his best judge-speak, "dude, don't give me that sh*@".
The problem is that Defendant believes that other projects are deserving of greater priority. See id. There is no description of what these critical projects are or when the deadlines might be, nor is there an explanation of why outside contractors cannot be utilized for some of those projects, nor is there an explanation of why computer personnel from different departments or agencies cannot be utilized. A bench trial has concluded, and a law that is actively being enforced has been found to be unconstitutional. The Court does not know how Defendant or the BOF prioritizes projects, but dealing with an unconstitutional law should be towards the top of the list.
 The bottom line is that Judge Ishii is not going to stay his decision nor is he going to give the California Department of Justice and its Bureau of Firearms more time than the 6 months he already gave them.

More on the case from the CalGuns Foundation below:
ROSEVILLE, CA / November 20, 2014 – California’s laws requiring gun purchasers to wait at least ten days before taking possession of their lawfully-acquired firearms are one step closer to being history, reports The Calguns Foundation, a gun rights group headquartered in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville.

In a new order released today, Federal District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii rejected two requests made by California Attorney General Kamala Harris in the dispute, captioned Silvester, et al. v. Harris, that was filed in Fresno nearly three years ago.

“Defendant [Harris] made various arguments to justify the waiting period, but the evidence did not actually support a 10-day waiting period,” today’s order noted. “The [state’s] arguments were more in line with rational basis scrutiny”– a weak form of judicial review that was expressly rejected in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision – “than with intermediate scrutiny,” which forces governments to prove how a law impinging on a constitutional right serves an important purpose.

In the case of the waiting period laws, Attorney General Harris couldn’t.

“The Court notes that Defendant has not identified any error of law or any erroneous factual finding,” Judge Ishii explained in his denial of Harris’ requests. “The Court stands by its analysis and its findings that the waiting period laws violate the Second Amendment” as applied to the three classes of individuals that, plaintiffs successfully argued, shouldn’t be subject to the laws.

Harris had moved for a modification of the original August court order – which gave the state Department of Justice six months to take whatever steps were necessary to bring the agency’s policies in line with civil rights standards – to allow it a year to comply with the ruling, and also to delay the court’s enforcement of the order entirely until the appeals process had concluded. Both motions were denied.

“A bench trial has concluded, and a law that is actively being enforced has been found to be unconstitutional. The Court does not know how Defendant or the BOF prioritizes projects, but dealing with an unconstitutional law should be towards the top of the list.”

“We’re pleased that Judge Ishii saw right through the Attorney General’s acrimonious delay tactics and properly denied her the opportunity to infringe our fundamental Second Amendment rights even more than she already has,” said Brandon Combs, the executive director of The Calguns Foundation and a plaintiff in the case. “Today’s court order bodes well for justice and, especially, for law-abiding gun purchasers.”

Harris, who has already filed a notice with the district court that she intends to take the loss to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, will presumably argue against the court’s holding that “the 10-day waiting period violate[s] the Second Amendment as applied to three classes of individuals,” like those similarly situated to individual plaintiffs Jeff Silvester and Combs.

Notably, the waiting period requirement was first passed in the same 1923 legislative act as California’s “may-issue” concealed carry laws and a ban on the public display of handguns by gun dealers. Both of those regulations are currently being challenged in federal lawsuits backed by The Calguns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation, who are institutional plaintiffs in the Silvester case. The Ninth Circuit is currently considering Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto’s request for rehearing of a decision that found his carry license policies violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Meanwhile, four gun dealers seeking to strike down the ban on commercial speech filed a motion for preliminary injunction in Sacramento’s federal district court on Monday, arguing the handgun display ban violates the First Amendment.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's All Part Of The Plan To Destroy The Gun Culture

Jay Leno was supposed to be the headliner at the NSSF's State of the Industry Dinner at the SHOT Show. Under intense pressure from the gun prohibitionists, he cancelled his appearance. See the statement from the NSSF below:
We are clearly disappointed by Jay Leno's decision not to perform at the 2015 SHOT Show State of the Industry Dinner. He unilaterally cancelled his promised appearance due to pressure from the anti-gun lobby, which included false statements about our industry and its commitment to genuine firearms safety, which we attempted to personally correct with him, but to no avail.

We are not deterred by their publicity seeking nor are we unfamiliar with the bullying political tactics of the gun control groups that seem to have as little respect for the First Amendment as they continually demonstrate with regard to the Second Amendment.

We are proud of the many programs that we run that meaningfully contribute to public safety including our long standing Project ChildSafe and Don't Lie for the Other Guy initiatives in addition to our members everyday work in compliance with comprehensive federal and state laws. We will not allow the lawful commerce in firearms nor our industry to be demonized and we will continue to speak out for the Second Amendment rights of the millions of law-abiding citizens who are our customers.

Despite Mr. Leno's cancellation, we look forward to having our biggest and best State of the Industry Dinner to date with a performer that respects the contributions of our industry and the customers it supports.
I originally was going to title this post, "The Spine of a Jellyfish". In other words, the man has no spine if he can't stand up to the shrill Mommies and the ne'er do wells at CSGV.  Saying it was a mistake to have signed on to do the gig just compounds it in my eyes.

While I still believe that, I also understand this is not about one aging comedian. Rather it is part of a coordinated effort to destroy the gun culture by making it an anathema. That is part of the long game behind so-called universal background checks given how it restricts transfers and not just sales.

How do we counter this?

In my opinion, the best way to do it is the grow the grass-roots and with it the gun culture. We need to make personal outreach efforts to friends and family and take them shooting. We have to stop whispering about our gun ownership. We need to take a page from gay rights activists and their "We're Here - We're Queer - Get Over It" movement. I can't think of something with a nice alliteration right now but you get the idea. We have an enumerated civil right to keep and bear arms and we should never forget that. We also have an enumerated civil right to free speech, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to petition the government to redress grievances. We need to start doing more of all of that and it needs to start today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Russia Is Better Than....

Who would have ever believed that Putin's Russia now provides better gun rights than the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and most of California. Russia, unlike DC and aforementioned states now allows self-defense as a valid reason to be issued a carry permit.

From Russia Today:
In an amendment to its tough gun control laws, the Russian government eases restrictions, allowing citizens to carry licensed weapons for the purposes of ‘self-defense.’

Until now Russian gun enthusiasts were only permitted to carry firearms for hunting or target shooting after obtaining a license through the Interior Ministry. Russian gun licenses are to be renewed every five years, and applicants face strict background checks and are required to take gun safety courses.

The addendum to the law now lists self-defense as a legally acceptable reason for carrying a weapon.
 Permit holders are not allowed to carry in schools, nights clubs that serve alcohol, and mass public gatherings. Carry while under the influence of alcohol is also prohibited. Self-defense weapons allowed include handguns, shotguns, stun guns, and tear gas/OC but not swords or rifles.

I wonder what America's own would-be oligarch Michael Bloomberg thinks of this.

Quote Of The Day

Remington Outdoor Company recently cut more jobs at its plant in Ilion, New York. Part of the reason was declining sales of Remington firearms and part was due to New York's SAFE Act passed in 2013 according to a letter from Remington CEO George Kollitides.

New Yorker Against Gun Violence Executive Director Leah Gunn Barrett says that public safety trumps economics.
Critics love to use the New York SAFE Act as a whipping boy, but let’s face it, that law is keeping New Yorkers safe and keeping New York communities safe and our kids safe and guns out of the wrong hands, to me that’s more important.
And just how many murders, robberies, etc. were committed with an AR-15 in New York, Leah?

We Need #CrowbarSense

Sometimes the tweets from Shannon Watts of Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors cause me to just shake my head. We know she is trying to shake down the Kroger chain of stores because they won't kow-tow to her regarding lawful carry of firearms in their stores. This Kroger policy extends to their subsidiaries such as the Harris Teeter grocery chain here in North Carolina.

As part of Watts' shake down efforts, she sends out tweets like the one below in the hopes that her unthinking minions will uncritically re-tweet it.

Reading the linked story at NBC Charlotte, one finds that a man armed with a firearm and a crowbar robbed a Charlotte Harris Teeter in the pre-dawn hours of Monday. The armed robber forced some employees back into the store at gunpoint. He then forced one employee and a witness to smash a jewelry display and put the jewelry into a bag with the threat of shooting another employee. The robber then escaped with the jewelry.

Under North Carolina criminal law, this is a violation of § 14-87 (Robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons) which is a Class D felony. The robber's actions of forcing the people back into the store meets the state's definition of kidnapping which, since no one was reported injured, is a Class E felony. We don't know if the armed robber was a felon. If he was, he would be in violation of both Federal and NC law concerning being a felon in possession of a firearm. And this is just a start. Looking at sentencing guidelines, the robber is looking at a minimum of five years for the armed robbery and two years for the kidnapping offense if this was his first brush with the law.

Armed robbery is a crime. It has nothing to do with the lawful carry of a firearm in a grocery store to protect oneself and one's family against harm. Posting this Harris Teeter grocery store against legal carry would only add one more charge to the armed robber's long list of crimes and would leave a whole lot of other people defenseless.

Perhaps since the criminal used a crowbar in the commission of his crimes, we now need #Crowbar Sense. It is as logical as #gunsense.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Those Jokers In New Jersey

New Jersey judges have quite the sense of humor. On Monday, the judiciary system raised about 80 of their court fees. The money will be used to pay for bail reform, increase monies going to Legal Services of NJ, and an improved electronic filing system. They expect to raise $42 million in revenue from these increased fees annually.

Included in the increases are these:
Among the increases taking effect: Filing a lawsuit, an appeal or for divorce costs $50 more. Filing a small claim costs $35, up from $15. Permits to carry a handgun cost $50, rather than $20, and it now costs $50 to appeal a denial of a permit to buy a handgun.
The fee for getting a permit to carry a handgun might as well be $1 million given that it takes an act of God to get a New Jersey carry permit and even an act of God might not help. As Frank Fiamingo, President of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, said:
What permits to carry a handgun? New Jersey does not issue permits to carry a handgun to law-abiding civilians. Unless you walk into the court with some thug holding a gun directly to your temple, you will be denied, and then denied upon appeal. The entire system is rigged to keep free people from exercising their natural human right to defend innocent life.