Wednesday, March 29, 2017

272 Days


It took the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives a total of 272 days to approve the Form 4 for our new suppressor. I say our because it is in the name of the trust that the Complementary Spouse and I set up for this purpose.




It took a total of 279 day or nine months, six days to be notified that we had been approved.

Regardless of whether it was 279 days or 272 days, it took over three-fourths of a year to be approved to take possession of a product that we had already for paid in full.

Think about that for a minute. Can you think of any other consumer product for the health and safety of both the purchaser and the general public for which you have to ask the government for permission to take possession of it on top of paying $200 for the privilege? I really can't.

For enquiring minds, it is a SilencerCo Omega in .30 caliber with a .22 muzzle break  brake on order. The suppressor was purchased from Tar Heel State Firearms outside of Charlotte. They were very helpful throughout the whole process.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Women Arm Yourselves Safely (WAYS) Program


If you are a woman who wants to learn to shoot a handgun and live in western North Carolina then the Asheville Practical Shooting Association has a program for you. The program is called "WAYS" or "Women Arm Yourselves Safely." Formerly called "Women on Target", the program seeks to introduce women with little or no experience shooting handguns to them in a safe and effective manner.

I met Mike Privette of the APSA this weekend when he assisted with the shooting portion of my NRA Basic Instructor Training class. He and his wife Beth are the coordinators of these classes being held in Brevard. They will be offering four opportunities to take the WAYS class this year. I have posted his flyer below.

For $35 this is a great bargain and a great way to learn more about shooting a handgun.



Women Arm Yourselves Safely (WAYS)
(formerly “Women on Target”)

Are you a woman who has ever been curious about shooting a handgun?

Do you have a handgun at home but don’t really know how to handle it safely and effectively?

If you’re a woman who has never shot a handgun or have very limited experience and want to learn more, then this course is for you!

Asheville Practical Shooting Association (APSA) offers an orientation and training class for women that is structured for those who have very little to no experience with handguns. The course consists of a one-day combination of classroom instruction and handgun firing at the Bear Arms indoor shooting range in Brevard, NC. Course focus is on firearm safety and proper shooting techniques. The staff is made up of highly qualified instructors who provide top notch training in a safe, nurturing environment. The association provides firearms, ammunition, targets, all safety gear, and lunch for only $35.

If you have been thinking about getting a concealed carry permit, want to learn how to safely handle and shoot that gun that you’ve had for a while but don’t know anything about, have just a little experience but want to learn more, or have no experience at all but are just curious about handguns, then contact us for more information or to reserve a spot in one of our four 2017 classes.

Where: Bear Arms, 1653 Rosman Highway, Brevard, NC 28712

When: April 1       June 3        August 5       October 7

How: Contact Mike or Beth Privette, APSA “WAYS” coordinators, 828-966-9611, to sign up or get your questions answered.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part VII


New Hampshire and North Dakota are the 12th and 13th states respectively to have passed constitutional carry. That means fully one-quarter of the US states now have permitless concealed carry. To see what this means in terms of the percentage of the US population now living in constitutional carry states, Rob Vance has updated the graphic we have presented since 2011.




To see how much the world has changed since 2011, see the original post here. I said at the time that shall-issue was the new norm. While shall-issue is still the norm, the number of states adopting constitutional carry may eventually change this statement. I certainly hope so!

Rob had this to say about his statistics in an email he sent me:
As of 3/24/2017

Percent of US population living under class of concealed carry law

No issue = 0.4% HI (de facto no issue)
May issue= 27.0% CA,DC,MD,MA,NJ,NY,RI
Shall issue = 62.9% all other states
Unrestricted = 9.7% AK,AR,AZ,ID,KS,ME,MO,MS,NH,ND,VT,WV,WY

Note MT is near unrestricted in terms of CCW law

Given the behavior of some counties in CA, 75+% of the US population now lives in shall issue or better territory.
My friend and podcasting colleague Rachel Malone has been fighting for constitutional carry in Texas. She has been working with Rep. Jonathan Strickland on his HB 375. It would bring constitutional carry to the Lone Star State. The good news on this is that it is scheduled for a hearing on March 28th before the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee. Moreover, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) has promised to sign constitutional carry if it does pass the Texas Legislature.

North Dakota Is Now Lucky 13


North Dakota became the 13th state to have constitutional concealed carry signed into law. Yesterday, Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) signed House Bill 1169. As the excerpts from the governor's press release below make clear, it only applies to North Dakota residents. Out-of-staters will still need a carry permit if they wish to carry concealed.

From Gov. Burgum's press release:
BISMARCK, N.D. – Governor Doug Burgum today signed legislation allowing law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed handgun if they have possessed a valid North Dakota driver’s license or state ID card for at least a year.

The “constitutional carry” authority provided under House Bill 1169 applies only within North Dakota’s borders. Those wanting concealed carry reciprocity with other states must apply for a Class 1 or Class 2 North Dakota concealed weapon license, for which the requirements remain unchanged.

Current law only requires an applicant for a Class 2 license to complete an open-book test, at a cost of up to $50, and undergo a criminal history records check. Class 1 licenses require firearms training and additional requirements. Both licenses carry a $60 application fee.

Under HB 1169, anyone who is eligible to possess a Class 2 firearm license and has had a valid driver’s license or state ID card for at least a year may carry a concealed firearm. Law enforcement officials recommended the state ID language, as well as the bill’s requirement that anyone carrying a concealed weapon inform law enforcement of the weapon during a traffic stop or other contact.

Someone who has been convicted of a felony or crime of violence will still be precluded from carrying a handgun under this new law. Individuals who initiate the purchase of a handgun from a federally licensed dealer are still required to undergo a federal background check, which runs their name and descriptive information through three national databases.

“North Dakota has a rich heritage of hunting and a culture of deep respect for firearm safety. As a hunter and gun owner myself, I strongly support gun rights for law-abiding citizens,” Burgum said. “House Bill 1169 allows citizens to exercise their Second Amendment right under the U.S. Constitution. It also is consistent with the North Dakota Constitution, which declares in Article I that all individuals have the inalienable right ‘to keep and bear arms for the defense of their person, family, property, and the state, and for lawful hunting, recreational, and other lawful purposes, which shall not be infringed.’ ”

At the same time, Burgum – who has a Class 1 concealed weapons license that requires applicants to demonstrate firearms proficiency – noted that neither the existing Class 2 requirements nor HB 1169 have a firearms training component. He encouraged anyone considering carrying a concealed weapon to enroll in one of North Dakota’s many certified gun safety courses.

“Gun ownership is both a right and a responsibility, and that responsibility begins with individuals and families,”
Burgum said.
House Bill 1169 passed the State House with a vote of 83 yeas to 9 nays and the State Senate by a vote of 34 yeas to 13 nays. No law enforcement organization or group opposed the law when it came before the legislature. The bill itself may be seen here.

According to the Bismarck Tribune, the number of carry permits in the state more than doubled in the past five years to over 48,000 permits.

A similar bill passed the South Dakota legislature but it has been or will be vetoed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R-SD). Unfortunately, it does not appear that the majorities that passed the bill are not high enough to override the governor's veto. Gov. Daugaard has said he thinks the present process is sufficient and that "the inconvenience to the law-abiding citizen is so minimal."

The Only Proper Response To Schumer's Threat


With the confirmation hearings of Judge Neil Gorsuch coming to a close, Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has announced that he will oppose the confirmation and will encourage his fellow Democrats to filibuster the vote.
In announcing his confrontational approach, Schumer said that Gorsuch “was unable to sufficiently convince me that he’d be an independent check” on Trump. Schumer said later that the judge is “not a neutral legal mind but someone with a deep-seated conservative ideology,” hand-picked for Trump by conservative legal groups.

Thomas C. Goldstein, a Supreme Court practitioner and co-founder of SCOTUSblog, said that Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee did not present a compelling case that Gorsuch was either an illegitimate nominee or that he was outside the conservative mainstream.

“None of the Democrats set the table” for a filibuster, Goldstein said. He speculated that one option for some Democrats would be to allow an up-or-down vote, and then to vote against confirmation.

In addition to Schumer, Sens. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced Thursday that they would filibuster Gorsuch. Casey is one of 10 Democratic senators running next year in a state that Trump won.
While I have serious doubts about the spine of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), I think his only proper response to Schumer's threat to filibuster the nomination of a supremely qualified candidate like Judge Gorsuch is this.



"Nuke'em back to the Stone Age!" or at least back to 1917 when cloture of filibusters was first introduced.

While it is a misquotation of Gen. Curtis LeMay, it still has a resonance to it. Those ten Democrats who represent states carried by President Trump may want to heed the warning implied by that threat.

Another threat those Democrats may want to pay attention to came from Chris Cox of the NRA-ILA. Cox sent a letter to McConnell and Schumer  on March 17th saying that Judge Gorsuch has the full backing of the NRA and that they will be scoring the vote on his confirmation. If senators such as Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) or Joe Donnelly (D-IN) don't think the NRA won't go full scorched earth on them if they vote against Judge Gorsuch, then they are living in a Beltway induced dreamworld.

Shockingly, Gov. Hickenlooper Does The Right Thing


I have been very critical of Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) aka John Hickenstupid over the years when it comes to Second Amendment issues. Yesterday, he did something right when it comes to the Second Amendment if you bear in mind that the Second Amendment applies to not just firearms but all arms or weapons (in common use). He signed into law the bill that repealed the Colorado ban on switchblades and gravity knives.

The repeal of this ban was supported by not only groups like Knife Rights but the ACLU, the ACLU of Colorado, and the County Sheriffs of Colorado.

As the note from Knife Rights below makes clear, the effective date of the ban repeal will be on or about August 9, 2017. Up until that time, switchblades and gravity knives will still be illegal in the state of Colorado.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Thursday signed SB 17-008, the bill to repeal Colorado's switchblade and gravity knife ban. Congratulations to sponsors Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. Steve Lebsock for their effective leadership in moving this bipartisan bill thorough the legislature with overwhelming votes in both houses. Thanks to everyone who called or emailed the Governor urging him to sign the bill.

Knife Rights was pleased to be able to assist the sponsors in moving this bill through the legislature. Knife Rights' Director of Legislative Affairs, Todd Rathner, traveled to Denver to lobby the bill at the invitation of the sponsors, overcoming objections raised by some legislators. We'd also like to thank Sen. Hill's constituent, retired Air Force Master Sgt. John Bloodgood, whose request was the inspiration for this bill and who did a great job supporting the bill in testimony at the hearings.

We'd also like to thank the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Colorado and County Sheriffs of Colorado for supporting this important criminal justice reform bill.

Note that the repeal does not become effective until 90 days after the current legislative session ends. That would make enactment approximately August 9, 2017. We will let you know the actual enactment date once the session ends. Until enactment, possession of automatic and gravity knives remains illegal in Colorado. Also worth noting is that once enacted and the ban is repealed, automatic knives will be subject to Colorado's concealed carry blade length limitation of 3.5 inches or less.

Colorado is the twelfth switchblade ban repeal passed since Knife Rights passed the nation's first repeal of a switchblade (automatic) knife ban in 2010 in New Hampshire. Since then we have passed repeals of switchblade bans and repealed other knife restrictions in Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and now Colorado's ban is repealed as well.
Now if only Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) would show similar intelligence when such a bill is presented to him again repealing New York's ban on gravity knives. He vetoed the first attempt even though groups such as the NAACP and the ACLU were in full support of the bill.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Good Move On NRA Training's Part


I will be taking the NRA's Basic Pistol Training Instructor course this weekend. As part of the prerequisites for the instructor course, you have to take the NRA's Basics of Pistol Shooting online class portion. I will say it is comprehensive but like anything online it has its flaws. The most obvious one I can see is that program regularly hangs up or freezes. The other flaw is that you can't ask questions of the instructor as you go along.

It was with interest that I saw this announcement this morning from NRA Training:
FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association is introducing an improved Basics of Pistol Shooting Program, engineered to meet the demands of NRA Certified Instructors and students alike. 

The improved Basics of Pistol Shooting Program places NRA Certified Instructors in the driver's seat. Based on valuable feedback from our corps of dedicated instructors and training counselors nationwide, the NRA has introduced an Instructor Led Training (ILT) edition of the program, and will continue to offer the existing Blended Learning version. Most importantly, both versions of the course will be conducted entirely under the direct supervision of an NRA Certified Instructor.

These updates to the program, which become effective on April 4, 2017, give NRA Instructors the ability to administer both versions of the course in their entirety, as well as the freedom to choose the method best suited for each student based on their needs. This instructor-focused approach puts Certified Instructors at the forefront of the training experience for students, while maintaining the ease of access, use and learning for those seeking the benefits of our proven training courses. 

NRA Instructors will evaluate each student and determine their individual aptitude and ability. They are the best representation of the NRA to our members, and their years of expertise in firearms training is one of our most valuable assets.

For more information about the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Program, as well as all of NRA's legendary training courses and offerings and information on how to become an NRA Certified Instructor, visit http://www.nrainstructors.org.
As anyone who has had to take any training on-line for work will tell you, it can be boring. This is part of the problem I'm having with the Basics of Pistol Shooting online version. I know the parts of a cartridge and how they come together to work. Nonetheless, I can't skip ahead. Interacting with a live instructor would alleviate some of the boring aspects in my opinion - or so I would hope.

I think giving student that option of the Blended Learning version or the Instructor Led version is a smart move on the part of NRA Training and a testament to their willingness to listen to their students and instructors.



H/T Outdoor Wires

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Judge Gorsuch On Heller


Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ardent gun prohibitionist, got her chance to question Judge Neil Gorsuch on the Heller decision. She tried to corner him on it. She lost.

As Judge Gorsuch says in his testimony below, Heller is the law of the land.




I do have to disagree with Judge Gorsuch on one thing. I don't think Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson is a very fine judge nor do I think Judge Wilkinson respects the Supreme Court's ruling in the Heller decision. Wilkinson is a member of the Virginia gentry, who I suspect, thinks that the problem with the Second Amendment is that it allows the riff-raff to own guns. That riff-raff is you and me, the non-prep school, non-Yalie, non-son of a banker sorts who actually have the temerity to believe that the Second Amendment means what it says.