Friday, April 28, 2017

SAF, CalGuns, Firearms Policy Coalition, And Others Sue California Over Mag Ban


News of this was released this afternoon while I was in the Annual National Firearms Law Seminar and didn't have my computer handy. A coalition of groups including the Second Amendment Foundation, the CalGuns Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and the Firearms Policy Foundation plus seven individuals filed suit challenging the state's ban on standard capacity magazines. The suit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California.

From the news release sent out by the CalGuns Foundation:
FRESNO, CA (April 28, 2017) — Today, attorneys for 7 individual gun owners and 4 civil rights advocacy organizations have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the State of California’s ban on so-called “large-capacity” firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds “on their own behalves, and as representatives on behalf of the class of individuals who are or would be affected by the Large-Capacity Magazine Ban.”
The civil rights case, captioned as William Wiese, et al. v. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Fresno Division, and is supported by civil rights groups The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF)
A copy of the lawsuit’s complaint and its exhibits can be viewed or downloaded here.
Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1446 (SB 1446), which changed state statutes to completely ban law-abiding people from possessing all “large-capacity” firearm magazines as of July 1, 2017. Following that, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s Proposition 63 (Prop 63) “Safety For All Act” gun control initiative—which also contained language banning “large-capacity” magazines—was passed by voters in the November general election.
Prior to Proposition 63 and SB 1446, thousands of law-abiding Californians could possess legally-owned (“grandfathered”) large-capacity magazines, but now must remove them from their possession or ownership in the State by July 1 at their own expense or face criminal liability and fines.
The plaintiffs believe that the State’s ban violates their constitutional rights, including their fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms protected under the Second Amendment, because magazines are “an intrinsic part of all semi-automatic firearms” and “are not merely individual pieces of personal property, but rather, are intrinsic and inherent constitutionally-protected parts of constitutionally-protected firearms.”
In a “Finding of Emergency” for related firearm magazine regulations it had sought to issue in December (attached to the complaint as Exhibit A), the California Department of Justice admitted that “[t]here are likely hundreds of thousands of large-capacity magazines in California at this time” and that the “Department therefore expects many gun owners to be affected by the new ban.”
In addition to its Second Amendment claims, the lawsuit “further challenges the Large-Capacity Magazine Ban statutory scheme which would…. subject thousands of law-abiding gun owners to criminal liability and sanctions, and subjecting their lawfully-possessed personal property to forfeiture, seizure and permanent confiscation, without due process or compensation.”
The case also includes vagueness challenges, one of which centers on the confusion surrounding the State’s two active—but very different—chaptered versions of Penal Code § 32406. A number of exemptions to the ban are found in the active Section 32406 that was enacted under SB 1446, but the active version of Section 32406 enacted by California voters under Prop 63 contains far fewer exemptions.
“California’s magazine ban laws violate the constitutional rights of law-abiding people in many ways,” said attorney George M. Lee, a partner of the plaintiffs’ San Francisco law firm Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate LLP. “Not only does the ban infringe on Second Amendment rights, but it is clearly now a taking of private property. In fact, as we contend in the complaint, it amounts to a de facto confiscation.”
Lee also takes issue with the way the new magazine ban affects people who have lawfully possessed “grandfathered” magazines since before the original ban on importation in 2000. “As a part of the legislative compromise associated with that original ban, owners of those grandfathered magazines were specifically exempt from the law,” he said. “The Legislature is basically reneging on that deal made many years ago.”
“The State of California’s ban scheme stands for the proposition that most any personal property can simply be taken away from you or forced out of your possession without due process or just compensation by legislative fiat,” commented CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman. “Today it’s firearm magazines, but tomorrow it will most certainly be some other constitutionally-protected private property.”
“Enforcement of this ban,” explained SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “would immediately place thousands of law-abiding California gun owners in jeopardy of criminal liability and subjects their personal property to forfeiture, seizure and permanent confiscation, which is government taking, without due process or compensation. We cannot allow that to go unchallenged.”
“California’s magazine laws will turn many thousands of good, law-abiding people into criminals,” said Brandon Combs, president of FPC and chairman of FPF, “but do nothing to advance public safety.
“While California’s political leadership might prefer some kind of police state without any Second Amendment or property rights, we believe that the Constitution takes their policy preferences off the table. This lawsuit is one of many that we hope will help restore fundamental freedoms in the Golden State and across the nation.”
Douglas A. Applegate, also of Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate LLP, joins Lee on the case as co-counsel.
This plus the NRA lawsuit is a good start.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Way To Diminish Women, Brady Center


I received the Brady Center's email announcing their Los Angeles fund raiser. The host for it will be Viveca Paulin-Ferrell. According to Wikipedia, it notes that she is a trustee of the LA County Museum of Art and had been an auctioneer for high-end auction houses such Bonhams and Butterfield & Butterfield. Given this, you might think she would be the person pictured in the email.

You would be wrong.

Dear XXXXX
SOLD!
I am thrilled to announce Viveca Paulin-Ferrell to host our Los Angeles Gala Auction again this year!
You may know Viveca from her entertainment career and advocacy work, but you may not know that she is also a talented auctioneer who helps pull in the necessary resources to help us fight gun violence.
Please join Viveca at this year’s LA Gala on June 7th. This fundraiser comes at a critical time in our fight for gun violence prevention. Viveca and all who attend or contribute to the fundraiser are part of a growing group of people standing up to protect Americans from gun violence. You can join us in person and perhaps bid alongside Viveca’s husband Will (as pictured here), or send in your special donation today.
Thank you for adding your support to this important event, and for ensuring we have the resources to arm all Americans with the truth about guns.
I hope to see you there,
Dan
Join us in LA!
It is kind of sad. While Ms. Paulin-Ferrell seems to have had successful career on her own, the only reason the Brady Center wants her is for the famous father of her children.

Is The Republican Majority In NC Using Democrat Roy Cooper For Cover On Gun Rights?


As the alert from Grass Roots North Carolina states below, the Republicans have held a veto-proof majority in both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly for the last three sessions. It seems that they are more interested in who can use a public restroom than in protecting an enumerated Constitutional right that is found in both the US and North Carolina Constitutions. It is time to say, "Get real!" and remind them that the reason many North Carolinians put them in office was to protect and enhance our fundamental right to self-protection which includes getting rid of the racially-inspired pistol purchase permit system.

From GRNC's alert:

REPUBLICANS SURRENDER,
GOV. COOPER CALLS THE SHOTS

NC Republicans are failing to support the Second Amendment, and you’ll never believe their excuse …

Since voters have given the GOP a veto-proof majority, three elections in a row, you might expect the Republicans to use the power we’ve vested in them to push the principles of a free republic; to fight for the recognition and protection of long-eroding gun rights, for example. Unfortunately, if you expected this you would be disappointed. Republicans have gone squishy on gun rights, and you’ll probably be perplexed by their excuse.

Anti-gun Governor is Calling the Shots for Republicans
Republicans have cited a likely “veto from Governor Cooper” as a reason to sell out gun owners. They think they don’t have the votes to override a veto. So, like true RINOs, the legislative actions the House majority are willing to take are predicated on one thought: “what would Governor Cooper do?”

Entire GOP Caucus Running Cover for RINOs
There is no reason that House leaders and committee chairs can’t see these bills to the House floor for a recorded vote and simply let the votes fall where they may. Then why won’t they? It’s simple. If they were unable to pass a particular pro-gun bill, or were unable to override Gov. Cooper’s veto, the squishy, anti-gun RINOs who caused the failure would be exposed for what they are—Pro-gun in Name Only. To keep these softer Republicans from being exposed, the entire caucus is covering for them by hoisting the white flag without a fight. This of course makes all of them complicit in the anti-gun charade.

A Ray of Hope
Although it is thin gruel, Rep. Chris Millis (R-Onslow, Pender) did indeed attach a fiscal note to pro-gun legislation. The fiscal note means that a bill isn't required to meet the fast approaching crossover deadline in order to remain viable. That gives gun rights supporters more time to contact Republican representatives to ask them why Governor Cooper is running the Republican Party, and insist Republicans get in gear and push through these important pro-Second Amendment bills.

Email and Call – Every Day
Please email and phone the Republican sellouts every day. Below, under ‘Immediate Action Required’ and ‘Deliver This Message,’ see how you can easily do this. Republican politicians have banded together to sell you out, and they’re on the cusp of making it official. The Republicans need to know that you are aware of this, and you’re not going to stand for it. They also need to know that you expect them to revive the gun legislation they’re trying to kill and get it to the floor for a vote. This message, from gun owners like you, who gave them their House seats, must be hammered home—daily.

If House Republicans are going to stand as a group against gun owners, they will be held accountable as a group.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • EVERY DAY, PLEASE PHONE YOUR NC REPRESENTATIVE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. Use the Speaker’s phone number provided below, and the link provided to find your representative.
    Speaker Moore:  919-733-3451

    Click here to find your representative and get his or her phone number (or go to: http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx)

    Ask them why, as the super-majority party, they are basing legislative decisions on our anti-gun governor’s platform, and why they've ceded power to him without a fight. Gov. Cooper should not be running the Republican Party.

    Tell them you are aware that pro-gun legislation is still alive, and insist that they get it to the floor for a vote. If the Republican Caucus is going to stand as a group with Governor Cooper, then gun owners will hold them accountable as a group.

  • PLEASE EMAIL THE NC REPUBLICAN CAUCUS EVERY DAY. Use the copy paste email lists(s) and the copy/paste email text provided below under ‘Deliver This Message.’
CONTACT INFO 
House Republican Caucus copy/paste email *list(s):
Jay.Adams@ncleg.net; Dean.Arp@ncleg.net; John.Bell@ncleg.net; Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net; John.Blust@ncleg.net; Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net; John.Bradford@ncleg.net; Bill.Brawley@ncleg.net; Mark.Brody@ncleg.net; Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.net; Justin.Burr@ncleg.net; Mike.Clampitt@ncleg.net; George.Cleveland@ncleg.net; Jeff.Collins@ncleg.net; Debra.Conrad@ncleg.net; Kevin.Corbin@ncleg.net; Ted.Davis@ncleg.net; Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net; Josh.Dobson@ncleg.net; Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net; Andy.Dulin@ncleg.net; Jeffrey.Elmore@ncleg.net; John.Faircloth@ncleg.net; Carl.Ford@ncleg.net; John.Fraley@ncleg.net; Larry.Pittman@ncleg.net;

Michael.Speciale@ncleg.net; Beverly.Boswell@ncleg.net; Holly.Grange@ncleg.net; Destin.Hall@ncleg.net; Kyle.Hall@ncleg.net; Jon.Hardister@ncleg.net; Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net; Cody.Henson@ncleg.net; Craig.Horn@ncleg.net; Julia.Howard@ncleg.net; Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net; Frank.Iler@ncleg.net; Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.net; Bert.Jones@ncleg.net; Brenden.Jones@ncleg.net; Jonathan.Jordan@ncleg.net; Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.net; David.Lewis@ncleg.net; Chris.Malone@ncleg.net; Susan.Martin@ncleg.net; Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net; Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net; Allen.McNeill@ncleg.net; Tim.Moore@ncleg.net; Gregory.Murphy@ncleg.net;

Chris.Millis@ncleg.net; Larry.Potts@ncleg.net; Michele.Presnell@ncleg.net; Dennis.Riddell@ncleg.net; David.Rogers@ncleg.net; Stephen.Ross@ncleg.net; Jason.Saine@ncleg.net; John.Sauls@ncleg.net; Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net; Phil.Shepard@ncleg.net; Bob.Steinburg@ncleg.net; Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net; Scott.Stone@ncleg.net; Larry.Strickland@ncleg.net; John.Szoka@ncleg.net; John.Torbett@ncleg.net; Rena.Turner@ncleg.net; Harry.Warren@ncleg.net; Sam.Watford@ncleg.net; Donna.White@ncleg.net; Linda.Williams@ncleg.net; Larry.Yarborough@ncleg.net; Lee.Zachary@ncleg.net;

*Spam filters or email program limitations may cause the need to send more than one email, to cover the entire list of representatives. If so, the list above is split into pieces, for your convenience.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Warning Shots Are Now OK For Police? Huh?


We as armed civilians are always told that we are responsible for every bullet that leaves our gun. Sometimes this is characterized as every bullet carries a lawyer with it. We are also told that warning shots are never a good idea. If you are in a deadly encounter and you are forced to fire your firearm, then firing a warning shot contradicts the fact that this is a deadly encounter.

What got my attention on this was the newsletter from the Force Science Institute. They were asking for feedback on the "National Consensus Policy on Use of Force" which was published this year by a group of police associations including the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. As part of the section on the use of deadly force, the consensus was that warning shots should be considered by police when they are in a situation warranting the use of deadly force.

From the Force Science Institute:
In a section devoted to deadly force, the Consensus acknowledges that warning shots are “inherently dangerous.” But the guidelines suggest that they be permitted when:

“1. the use of deadly force is justified;

“2. the warning shot will not pose a substantial risk of injury or death to the officer or others; and

3. “the officer reasonably believes that the warning shot will reduce the possibility that deadly force will have to be used.”

In a recent radio interview, the IACP’s deputy executive director, Terrence Cunningham, said “a lot of discussion” preceded this recommendation and that the intent is to give officers more leeway when faced with a threat. He referenced “this new environment in use of force where everybody is trying to learn how to better de-escalate.”

And he asked, “Why not give officers more tools? I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Some trainers, however, have expressed concern that adopting this policy will create a public expectation that warning shots should be fired before every use of force—or that this will open the door to officially urging officers to shoot to wound as the next logical step.
So these cops now think a "McClatchy" (or warning shot named after the co-host of Slam Fire Radio, a Canadian gun podcast) is OK.  Frankly, I think it is a stupid idea.

I'm not sure how I missed it but this was covered by NPR in late March. Massad Ayoob was the first trainer interviewed in the report. He thinks it "opens a can of worms".

Mas had a couple of blog posts on this at Backwoods Home asking for comments. You can read them here and here.

For an extended discussion of warning shots on Liberty Watch Radio between Charles Heller and Mas, go here. It is a great discussion.

While the consensus of these police organizations is that a warning shot has its place, I think I'll defer to more conventional wisdom and especially that of Massad Ayoob and avoid their use. I think they have just too much liability attached them to even consider their use. Besides, as my Dad taught me ages ago, "if you pull a gun on a man you better be ready to use it. If not, he'll shove it up your ass."

Monday, April 24, 2017

Tweet Of The Day


Reflecting on the results of the presidential election in France wherein Emmanuel Macron will face Marine Le Pen in a run-off, David Burge - IowaHawk - tweeted this.



I don't know how he comes up with this stuff but damn that was good.

NRA And CRPA Sue California Over Assault Weapons Control Act


I have not seen the complaint yet but the NRA and the California Rifle and Pistol Association are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the State of California that seeks to have the Assault Weapons Control Act declared unconstitutional. Attorney Chuck Michel said the complaint would be up soon.

I think this is just the beginning of the lawsuits to come against the new gun control laws enacted in 2016 plus by Prop 63.

From the NRA-ILA on the lawsuit:
Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced it is supporting, along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s newly expanded Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA).

The suit, Rupp v. Becerra, seeks to have the courts declare the AWCA unconstitutional because the ill-conceived law will do nothing to stop terrorists or violent criminals, and infringes on the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

The AWCA makes it illegal to manufacture, sell, transport, import or transfer hundreds of popular and commonly owned semi-automatic firearms the law inappropriately demonizes and condemns as “assault weapons.” This means it is illegal for owners to transfer or sell these firearms to anyone in California, including to their own children or heirs upon death. And owners themselves will be violating the law by continuing to possess their firearms unless they register them as “assault weapons” with the state.

The Rupp case was filed in direct response to a number of anti-gun-owner laws, including the expanded “assault weapon” statute, which were signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in July 2016. Collectively, those new gun bans have become known as “gunmageddon” among California’s roughly 10 million gun owners. The Rupp case challenges those restrictions, as well as California’s broader statutory scheme, which arbitrarily and unconstitutionally restricts the use and possession of the most commonly owned firearms in the United States.

Multiple lawsuits challenging other aspects of the unconstitutional laws passed last year are also in the works and will be filed in the coming weeks. Rupp is the first of a number of NRA/CRPA sponsored lawsuits soon to be filed that will challenge the “gunmageddon” bills, as well as the new laws enacted by Proposition 63 -- which was overwhelmingly opposed by law enforcement.

101 Years Ago Today


Since we are on the topic of countries declaring their independence, 101 years ago today, on Easter Monday 1916, the Irish Republican Brotherhood joined by the Irish Citizens Army and the Irish Volunteers declared independence from Great Britain. They were joined by a women's paramilitary group Cumann na mBan.




As I made clear in a post from a few years ago, the Easter Rising was quickly crushed by British forces. It would take another six years before an independent Ireland, the Irish Free State, was created under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

Given my Irish ancestry, I've always felt fortunate to be born on April 24th.

UPDATE: For an interesting article on how families were divided with nationalists on one side and serving members of the British Army on the other, the Irish Times has a great article on Eamonn Ceannt (Kent) and his brother William Kent who was killed in France a year later. Eamonn was a signatory to the proclamation of Irish Republic and was executed by the British in 1916.

A Nice Way To Honor 100 Years Of Finnish Independence


2017 marks the 100th year of Finnish independence. They had been a part of the Kingdom of Sweden until 1809 when they were ceded to Russia as the Grand Duchy of Finland. With the October Revolution and the overthrow of the Czar, the Finns declared their independence.

Now a musical interlude to set the mood and what would be more appropriate than Jean Sibelius' Finlandia.





To commemorate this momentous event, the Finnish firearms company Sako is releasing a limited edition of their TRG 22 sniper rifle in white snow camo.




A special commemorative knife will come with the rifle as well as extra magazines, a bipod, and a case.


I'm sure some people, though not my readers, would be aghast that a company would release a firearm to commemorate 100 years of a free Finland. To those people I would say remember the Winter War and the role that snipers played in keeping the Red Army at bay. Indeed, one sniper, Simo Häyhä, is credited with over 500 kills in a 100 day period using a Mosin-Nagant with iron sights.

Sako was founded a few short years after independence and has played a significant role in the indigenous firearms industry in Finland. They are now part of the Beretta Group.

This press release announcing the TRG-22 "Finland 100" gives more details:
A RARE COLLECTOR’S ITEM FROM SAKO INSPIRED BY FINLAND’S 100-YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Sako is manufacturing a limited edition of numbered Sako TRG 22 “Finland 100” sniper rifles with white camouflage, designed in the spirit of Finnish persistence to celebrate fFnland’s 100 years of independence. This jubilee model will become a collector’s item.

SAKO, which started as a gunsmith’s shop for the White Guard's joint chiefs of staff and has evolved into a globally renowned manufacturer of rifles and ammunition, has been an important element of the history of independent Finland. Now SAKO wants to pay homage to its traditions and above all to its 100-year old homeland by manufacturing a numbered series of 100 Sako TRG 22 “Finland 100” sniper rifles.

The TRG 22 “Finland 100” jubilee model is offered in .308 Win caliber. The white snow camouflage colouring of the stock and barrelled action of this real collector’s item reflects the severity of the Finnish winter, and, also pays homage to the heroes of the Winter War who saved Finland’s independence in demanding conditions – and relied on Sako products even then.

The Sako TRG 22 “Finland 100” sniper rifle has the text “Finland 100”, and the gun’s serial number is laser-engraved on its frame. The rifle is packaged in a carry case with a jubilee knife with the same engravings as the rifle itself. The jubilee model also comes with two magazines, bipod, muzzle brake and removable open sights.

Sako is retaining part of the series for its own use, for example to be sold in charity auctions. However, part of the series of 100 guns will also be available for sale. Those interested in the Sako TRG 22 “Finland 100” collector's item should enquire from the importers of Sako products in their respective countries.
I was fortunate enough to visit Finland in 1978 while in college. I regret that I've never had a chance to return as it was a beautiful country. I still have my Leuko reindeer knife as a reminder.