Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Timely Reminder From The Local Gun Prohibitionists


I want to thank North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, a wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg's Everytown, for this timely reminder.

Subject: Easy ASAP To Do: Email ATF on Bump Stocks by June 27 Comment Deadline


Jack --

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (aka ATF)  is again receiving comments on bump stocks. The new comment deadline is Wednesday, June 27. Simply click here to comment. .

Please take a moment to comment today. The other side has been flooding ATF with comments against the proposed regulation and we need to show public support for it.
--Becky
-----------------

On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire from a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel into the 22,000 person crowd at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500. The gunman fired more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition in 11 minutes, using semi-automatic rifles modified with dangerous firearm accessories designed to dramatically accelerate the rate of gunfire, commonly known as “bump fire stocks.” These devices are intended to circumvent the restrictions on possession of fully automatic firearms in the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the National Firearms Act of 1934 by allowing an individual to modify a semiautomatic rifle in such a manner that it operates with a similar rate of fire as a fully automatic rifle, posing a substantial risk to public safety.

In the absence of immediate action by Congress, I urge ATF to finalize its proposed rule clarifying that bump fire stocks, along with other “conversion devices” that enable semiautomatic weapons to mimic automatic fire, qualify as “machine guns” under the National Firearms Act. And then Congress must act as well—to ensure that manufacturers cannot continue to endanger public safety by designing devices that imitate machine guns and subvert the law. The continued presence of these dangerous devices puts all of our communities at risk, and both Congress and ATF must take action quickly to address this threat.



North Carolinians Against Gun Violence

NCGV
http://www.ncgv.org/
While I may think bump fire stocks are a novelty and a good way to waste ammunition, I don't want them banned. My rationale is that banning them is merely a first step towards more regulation of semi-automatic firearms of all sorts. The Department of Justice's legal rationale as published is an exercise in legal sophistry and they know it. 

I would refer readers back to this post from April which features a video by Adam Kraut if you need some suggestions on how to respond to the request for comments. There is more on the comment period from Adam's Prince Law Firm blog. You can also check out this Facebook page, Americans Opposed to ATF 2017R-22, for more ideas.

I'll admit that I'm not an optimist when it comes to stopping this ban. However, getting objections on file is the key to bringing a lawsuit. Take 5-10 minutes and submit a comment. Make sure to include "ATF 2017R-22" in your comment.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

There Are Felons In Possession And Then There Is This!


It is against Federal law and most state laws to be a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. This would include possession of ammunition. Usually when a criminal is charged with being a felon in possession it is because they had used a firearm in the commission of another crime. Then there is Manuel Fernandez of Agua Dulce, California.

Fernandez had been convicted of a felony in February 2017 but was released in August. He had been sentenced to 486 days in jail on unspecified felony charges.

Fast forward to June 14th. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department acted on a tip and raided Fernandez's home outside of Palmdale. The tip said Fernandez had "an arsenal". Normally, in California terms, that meant he had a Marlin Glenfield 60, a Ruger 10/22, and maybe a semi-broken revolver along with a couple of boxes of ammo.

LA County Sheriff's Dept photo

In this case, I will freely admit that Fernandez did indeed have an arsenal by any stretch of the imagination.

LA County Sheriff's Dept photo

The sheriff's raid initially netted 432 firearms. They then got a warrant to search another house of a "female friend" a mile away and got another 30 firearms. However, they were not done. Returning to Fernandez's residence, investigators found another 91 firearms hidden throughout the house and property. This brings the total to 553 firearms. In a quick scan of the photos, I see Mosins, Swiss K-31, Mausers, etc. He was an equal opportunity felon in possession it seems.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is working with the LASD to trace these weapons. Investigators also seized computers, hard drives, and cell phones that they thought might have been used in Fernandez's illegal firearms purchases.

LA County Sheriff's Dept photo

Fernandez has been charged with being " Felon in Possession of Firearms (129800(a)(1) PC), Possession of an Assault Rifle (32625(a) PC, Felon in Possession of Ammunition (30305(a) PC) and Possession of Large Capacity Magazines (32310(a) PC)." Believe it or not but Fernandez was released on bail the next day which I have confirmed through LASD records. Fernandez appears in court on July 9th on these charges.

I'm going to guess that if Fernandez is convicted he will serve more than the 486 days his first felony conviction was supposed to bring him.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Happy (Belated) National Bourbon Day


National Bourbon Day was yesterday. Sad to say my tipoff was an email from Liquor Barn which is a large chain in Kentucky. I apologize for not keeping up with the calendar to alert you to such a momentous day!

To make up for it, here is a good video put out by NBC News. I'm kind of shocked that NBC actually put together a decent story but it was. It talks about craft distilling, sourced whiskey, bourbon marketing, and the half-truths put out regarding the various brands of bourbon.

The key words to keep in mind are "distilled by". If it doesn't say that on the label, it is probably sourced whiskey. "Produced by", "bottled by", "made by", and other words are marketing tools used to confuse the buyer into thinking the people behind the brand name on the label actually distilled the whiskey. It is probably from MGP in Lawrenceburg, Indiana or one of the other major distillers in Kentucky who had some excess production.


Daniel Easterday Talks About Gun Rights In Deerfield


Daniel Easterday, a resident of Deerfield, Illinois and the name plaintiff in the lawsuit against Deerfield, was interviewed by Dana Loesch of NRA-TV. It's a short interview - less than two minutes - but the most interesting part in my opinion is who he first credits. It is my friends from the Firearms Policy Coalition Brandon Combs and Alan Normandy.




The Firearms Policy Coalition is a small gun rights group on the national scene when compared to the NRA, GOA, and SAF. Their size and their background from the fight for gun rights in California has given them an agility that is essential in the fight against the corporate, big money, gun control lobby.  A few bucks sent their way goes a long way.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Good News - A Win In Illinois


Daniel Easterday, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Illinois State Rifle Association scored a win today in Lake County Circuit Court when they were granted a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of Deerfield's assault weapon (sic) and magazine ban. The ban which was scheduled to go into effect tomorrow (June 13th) would have levied an up to $1,000 a day fine plus surrender of the firearm for each day the person violated the ordinance.

Congratulations to Glen Ellyn (IL) attorney David Sigale who served as second chair in the monumental McDonald v. Chicago case.

Both SAF and ISRA issued releases on this win.

First, from SAF:
A circuit court judge in Lake County, Illinois has granted an injunction against the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, blocking the village from enforcing a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” and handing a victory to the Second Amendment Foundation.

SAF was joined in the lawsuit by the Illinois State Rifle Association and Deerfield resident Daniel Easterday, who is a lawful firearms owner. SAF and ISRA had challenged the ban on the grounds that it violates the state’s preemption law that was adopted in 2013. That change amended state statute that declared “the regulation of the possession or ownership of assault weapons are exclusive powers and functions of this State. Any ordinance or regulation, or portion of that ordinance or regulation, that purports to regulate the possession or ownership of assault weapons in a manner that is inconsistent with this Act, shall be invalid…”

There was a short grace period during which municipalities in the state could change or adopt their gun laws, and Deerfield maintained that its ban was merely an amendment to an earlier ordinance that regulated firearms.

“We moved swiftly to challenge this gun ban because it flew in the face of state law,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The village tried to disguise its extremism as an amendment to an existing ordinance. The ordinance bans possession of legally-owned semi-auto firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense.

“Worse, still,” he added, “the ordinance also provided for confiscation and destruction of such firearms and their original capacity magazines. It was outrageous that the ban would levy fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refused to turn in their gun and magazines or move them out of the village. This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that ‘nobody is coming to take your guns.’”

Plaintiffs were represented by Glen Ellyn attorney David Sigale.

And now from ISRA:
The Illinois State Rifle Association is pleased to announce the issuing of a Temporary Restraining Order preventing Deerfield Illinois from enforcing their anti-gun ordinance. We will now seek a permanent injunction.

Was This Intended Or Unintended?


Where you place paragraphs in a story makes a difference and can lead to different interpretations of your argument. Today's Wall Street Journal provides an excellent example of it in a story on the flaws of the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The story is in the Southeast paper edition of the Journal but does not appear online. The only thing online is an infographic on the failures of the system.

Consider this paragraph.
And then there are private sales. Background checks aren't always required when sales are made by private sellers, those people who make only occasional guns sales from private collections.
It was immediately followed by this paragraph.
Several mass-shooters have purchased guns they shouldn't have been able to buy. 
The story by Ashby Jones then goes on to give examples of how both the Virginia Tech mass-murderer and the Sutherland Spring First Baptist mass-murderer were able to obtain their weapons, though prohibited persons, after passing a FBI NICS check. The story does detail how the Virginia court and the US Air Force had failed to submit the records for inclusion in the FBI's databases.

By placing the second paragraph immediately after the paragraph on private sales, the reader is at first led to believe that the mass-murderers obtained their firearms from a private seller which we know was not the case.

If that second paragraph had added "due to the failure to submit disqualifying records to the NICS database" or "even though they passed background checks", then it would be understood that the killers obtained their firearms due to a failure of the system and not due to the negligence or greed of a private seller.

Is this a case of unintended juxtaposition? Is it a case of tight editing for brevity in the second paragraph? Or is it, more problematically, a case of using the structure of the story to convey an argument for so-called universal background checks.

I don't know but I do know that the wrong impression is initially given by the structure of the story.

If this came from the New York Times or the Washington Post I would say it was intended to mislead. Since the Wall Street Journal tends to be more neutral on firearms issues, I could go either way. Nonetheless, this is a case of the mainstream media, intentionally or unintentionally, pushing the narrative for universal background checks which is wrong.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Not Smart Business (Corrected)


The Illinois State Rifle Association issued the following urgent correction this afternoon regarding the benefit car wash:

URGENT ALERT: CORRECTION TO EARLIER ALERT

On June 5, 2018, the Chicago Tribune’s Naperville Sun ran a story in which the leader of a west suburban gun control organization reported that she was holding a car wash to benefit gun control behind the Bill Kay Chevrolet auto dealership. Naturally, the wording of the article would lead readers to believe that Bill Kay was affiliated with the benefit car wash.

Bill Kay Chevrolet has since contacted the ISRA to report that the dealership is not affiliated with the car wash. Likewise, the Tribune has, on June 11, re-released their story with clarifying language that accurately identifies the location of the benefit car wash.

Now that the Tribune has corrected its article, the ISRA is advising its members that the Bill Kay Auto group is no way involved in the car wash and that gun owners should feel free to keep Bill Kay in mind when shopping for a new or used vehicle.
Bill Kay Auto Group is not so dumb after all. They will NOT be the sponsor of the car wash and is not involved in any way.

Nonetheless, the neo-Red Guard aka Hogg and Co. is coming to Illinois.

Original post below

If you were a gun owner in the Chicagoland area would you really want to support a chain of car dealers that is sponsoring a benefit for anti-gun group? I didn't think so.


The Illinois State Rifle Association sent out an alert about a benefit car wash being held by Bill Kay Chevrolet for Friends Who March of Naperville, Illinois. The dealership is part of the Bill Kay Auto Group which has a number of dealerships around the Chicago area.

From ISRA:
A west suburban auto dealership will be holding a benefit “car wash” to support gun control legislation that, if passed, promises to empty your gun safe. Bill Kay Chevrolet, located on Ogden Avenue in Lisle, will be the site of the June 16th car wash. The event will reportedly kick off at Noon and end around 3:00 PM.

The beneficiary of the Bill Kay event is a cell of extremist gun controllers based in Naperville, IL. The radical group is known for organizing harassment activities against attendees of the DuPage Gun Show and for inciting near-riot conditions during a raucous anti-constitution, anti-freedom demonstration in Downers Grove last March. The gun control group has, as its objective, the banning and confiscation of your lawfully-acquired firearms.

As law-abiding gun owners, we shouldn’t be supporting businesses or other organizations that support and sustain attacks on our 2nd Amendment rights. The Bill Kay Auto Group has chosen to align itself with the gun controllers in their war against your rights as an American citizen. Bill Kay Auto Group’s overt support for gun control should carry consequences.

The Bill Kay Auto Group operates a number of dealerships throughout the Chicagoland area. Those dealerships represent a variety of brands – not just Chevrolet. So, the next time you go shopping for a vehicle, or when booking auto maintenance, remember that Bill Kay is not your friend. Vote with your feet – shop elsewhere.
The Chicago Tribune has more on the event and the featured guests of Friends Who March:
The Naperville town hall is one of the 50 stops on the 20-state Road to Change tour being conducted by David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin and about two dozen other students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who experienced the mass shooting at their school in which 17 people were killed in February.

The students reached out to Jax West, president of Friends Who March, to organize a town hall event in the western suburbs because she helped host a March For Our Lives event in Downers Grove...

In addition to the town hall, West is planning a voter drive during a car wash Downers Grove North High School students are hosting with the Parkland students from noon to 3 p.m. June 16 behind the Bill Kay Chevrolet, near Ogden Avenue and Interstate 355 in Lisle.

The League of Women Voters of Downers Grove, Lisle and Woodridge will register people to vote at the event.

The Road to Change tour officially kicks off June 15 in Chicago, where Parkland students be joining a Peace March led by students from St. Sabina Academy.
There is no word if Father Pfleger of St. Sabina's and his armed guard will attend the car wash or "Peace March". Also there is no word whether David Hogg and his neo-Red Guard minions will make a pilgrimage to the grave of Saul Alinsky while in the Chicago area.

People v Berrezueta - More Knife Law Lunacy From New York


The New York Court of Appeals is the highest appellate court in the state of New York. They decided a case last week that is very problematic to everyone who owns an assisted-opening knife in the state. In the case of People v. Berrezueta they declared in a 6-1 decision that a spring-assisted opening knife is a switchblade within the definition of the New York's penal code. The dissent by Judge Jenny Rivera disagreed strongly and pointed out the deficiencies in the majority's argument.

Doug Ritter has more in an alert he sent out this morning:
URGENT New York State WARNING
Are Assisted-Openers Now Illegal Switchblades ?

As if New York wasn't already a confusing legal and regulatory nightmare for honest, law-abiding knife owners, the highest court in the state just upheld, in a one paragraph opinion, the conviction of a person in possession of an assisted opening (spring-assisted) folding knife under the theory that it was an illegal switchblade knife under New York law.

The decision was overwhelming, 6 to 1, but it's worth noting the excellent dissent by Judge Jenny Rivera which is detailed, analytical, logical and very well-reasoned.

Click here to read the decision including her brilliant dissent.

Assisted opening folding knives are widely and routinely carried by millions of law abiding individuals, and given the momentous nature of this decision, certainly affecting hundreds of thousands of pocket knife owners in New York State, a review of the briefs suggests that the seriousness of the issues at stake was not presented to the court. The prosecution fundamentally mischaracterized the nature of the knife as being a switchblade. The significant and fundamental differences between a switchblade and the assisted-opening folder the defendant was carrying were not before the Court.

In addition to completely redefining what a knife's handle is, essentially eliminating the difference between the handle and the blade, the Court disregarded the fundamental difference in how the two types of knives operate - switchblades being automatic (an essential element of the definition) while assisted-openers are not.

Given that this confusion goes against clear historical precedent and that nobody in the real world is likely to interpret that statute in that manner, it creates a trap for all knife owners who would rationally never consider an assisted-opening folder to be a switchblade, especially if they were intimately familiar with plain wording of New York's switchblade statue.

265.00 Weapons Crimes - Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons Definitions
...
4. "Switchblade Knife" means any knife which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in the handle of the knife. (emphasis ours)
Regardless of whether we win our current civil rights case against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. over their unconstitutionally vague gravity knife prosecutions of those carrying common folding knives, the hundreds of thousands of knife owners who possess an assisted-opening folding knife anywhere in New York state could now be liable to being prosecuted for simply possessing a per se (inherently) illegal switchblade under §265.01, which is a serious crime, a fourth degree misdemeanor with a potential penalty of a year in jail. And, as we have seen far too often in our Federal gravity knife case, anyone who has had a prior conviction, even decades ago, is likely to have the charge against them upgraded to a felony with potentially years of jail time and loss of civil rights.

Actually carrying an assisted-opener will certainly raise the likelihood of arrest and prosecution.

At this juncture we must warn anyone living in New York State, or who visits or travels through New York State, that you risk arrest and jail if you carry an assisted-opening folding knife. Retailers within New York State may want to consider their potential criminal liability in continuing to sell assisted-opening knives.

We'll certainly be looking to find a solution to this problematic decision, but for now, discretion is the better part of valor with regards to assisted-opening folders in New York State.

And, just to be clear, this assisted-opener issue that covers the entire state of New York is entirely separate from New York City's gravity knife arrests and prosecutions; as well as New York City's administrative code prohibiting open carry of a knife (including being clipped to a pocket or "printing") and its under 4-inch blade length limit. Details at: https://kniferights.org/legislative-update/new-york-city-administrative-code-knives/