Monday, February 28, 2011

S. 34 - The Castle Doctrine - Passes NC Senate

The Castle Doctrine bill, S. 34, passed its Third Reading tonight by a vote of 35 ayes, 13 nays. The legislature's website doesn't have the full vote details yet but I will put it up as soon as it is available.

S. 34 passed its Third Reading with no new amendments which is good.

The bill now goes to the State House where its companion bill, H.52, has three primary sponsors and 26 co-sponsors. On a side note, the three primary sponsors are Democrats which shows that party label is not the key ingredient in support for gun rights - at least in North Carolina.

UPDATE: Here are the voting results with the roll call on S. 34.
Legislative Session Day 19 (02-28-2011)

Third Reading Outcome: PASSED
Time: Feb 28 2011 7:15PM
Total Votes: 48 Ayes: 35 Noes: 13 Not: 0 Exc. Absent: 2 Exc. Vote: 0



Exc. Absence: Senator(s): BINGHAM; SOUCEK

Common-sense Measures - Depends On Who You Ask

The Brady Campaign put out a press release today commemorating the 17th anniversary of the effective date of the Brady Law. They claim almost 1.8 million supposed criminals, wife beaters, and mentally-ill persons were stopped by the Brady Law from purchasing firearms from FFL's over this 17 year time period.

To commemorate the 17th anniversay, Paul Helmke has released a list of 17 "common-sense" gun control measures that he would like to see passed. They all can be "easily and quickly can be put in place to reduce gun violence."

The List:
•Close the" Gun Show" Loophole: Extend Brady Background Checks to All Gun Purchases
•Close the Terror Gap: Prohibit Gun Sales to Suspected Terrorists
•Stop the Sale of Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines (aka Big Bullet-Blasting Boxes)
•Restore Justice to Gun Violence Victims: Repeal the Gun Industry Legal Protection Act
•Repeal Tiahrt Restrictions on Disclosure of Crime Gun Data
•Require Licensing of Gun Owners and Registration of Gun Purchases
•Strengthen ATF Authority to Regulate Gun Dealers and Crack Down on Corrupt Dealers
•Require Gun Owners to Report Lost or Stolen Guns
•Improve the National Violent Death Reporting System Date, and restore firearms research funding for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
•Restrict Large-Volume Gun Sales
•Require Licensed Dealers to Adopt Safeguards to Prevent Gun Thefts
•Require Licensed Dealers to Perform Background Checks on Employees
•Prohibit The Transfer of Gun Inventory Without Background Checks After a Dealer's License Has Been Revoked
•Prohibit Gun Possession by People Convicted of Violent Misdemeanors
•Prohibit Gun Possession by Persons Convicted of Violent Acts as Juveniles
•Repeal the 24-hour Brady Record Destruction Requirement
•Support new technologies to help law enforcement more effectively trace crime guns and supporting development of safety features to childproof guns
Just reading through the list I learned new words. For example, I didn't know that my standard capacity AR-15 magazines were actually Big Bullet-Blasting Boxes. Somehow I doubt the MidwayUSA catalog will have a category for Big Bullet-Blasting Boxes.

Moreover, I was somewhat surprised to learn that the Brady Campaign has taken upon itself to speak for NRA members. At least that is what the Brady Campaign claims:
Most Americans, law enforcement officials and a majority of NRA members agree with the Brady Campaign's goal to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, the dangerously mentally-ill and others who should not have them. None of these 17 recommendations would prevent or impede law-abiding citizens from owning firearms.
What the Brady Campaign forgot to report was how many battered spouses were killed by their abusers in the pre-NICS era of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act due to the five-day waiting period. I guess inconvenient details such as that don't make for good PR.

Weird Coincidences

I was just reading a release from the Brady Campaign trumpeting the 17th anniversary of the effective date of the Brady Law which is today. The Brady Law went into effect on February 28, 1994.

Another anniversary happens on February 28th as well. On February 28, 1993, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (as it was then called) stormed the Branch Davidian compound outside of Waco, Texas beginning what would become a 50-day siege. Ultimately, four ATF special agents were killed and 78 members of the Branch Davidians died from either the raid or the fire that ended the siege.

I am not saying that there is any relationship between the two events but just that it is odd that both took place on February 28th.

NC Castle Doctrine Bill Scheduled For Final Vote Tonight

The North Carolina State Senate has put the Third Reading or final vote for S. 34 - The Castle Doctrine - on the Senate calendar for this evening's session. It passed its Second Reading with a 37-13 vote. Normally, it would have had the Third Reading then but for an objection from one of the anti-gun senators.

In something of an anomoly, one of the senators voting against the bill in the Second Reading was St. Sen. Ed Jones from eastern NC. Senator Jones is one of the co-sponsors of S. 34 and is still listed as a co-sponsor.

S. 34 as passed out of committee is a strong bill with support from both the NRA and Grass Roots NC. The fear is that the anti-gun legislators will attempt to add amendments which will weaken the bill. GRNC sent out an alert last evening telling members to ask their state senator to pass the bill as it is currently written.

Recovery From Slide Lock

Sheriff Jim Wilson has some good instruction on how to recover from slide lock if you haven't been counting your rounds. I have to admit I'm bad for this and plan to add this to my training.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Real Military Surplus Stores

When I was a kid, Army-Navy stores were common and they were filled with surplus items from WWII and Korea. Since it was before the Gun Control Act of 1968 you even found racks of old Mausers and Springfields full of cosmoline. If you wanted to play Army (how un-PC is that!), they had all the stuff you needed.

Today it is rare to find a real military surplus stores that has actual surplus items and not crap made in China. Usually the closest they come to surplus is selling ribbons, medals, and insignia for wannabe SEALS and other "SpecOps Operators."

I am fortunate that I have a real military surplus store little more than 5 miles from my house. The Old Grouch's Military Surplus sells the real thing whether it is surplus USMC motorcycles, wooden practice shells for a 3" naval gun, or an Alice pack. You keep going back because you just never know what they will somehow lay their hands on. They are located in beautiful downtown Clyde, NC, population 1,324. The store is right across from an old naval gun that is the town's war memorial as you can see in the picture below.

Thanks to the second generation in the business, the Old Grouch's son Tim, they now have both a blog and an online presence. They even have a Facebook page! If you are some of the more unusual surplus items along with the common stuff, I suggest giving them a try. If you are ever visiting western North Carolina, drop in to see what a real military surplus store looks like.

Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast just put out a video review of surplus Italian Army alpine rucksacks sold by Old Grouch's. I have one of the bunch that they sold earlier minus the assault pack. I concur with Jack that they are well made.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Microstamping Bill Introduced In Massachusetts

Rep. David Paul Linsky (D-Middlesex) has introduced House Bill 1561 in the Massachusetts State House. The bill would mandate all semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and pistols sold or manufactured in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts be capable of imprinting a "microstamp" on the face of a cartridge effective January 1, 2012.

The text of the bill reads:
SECTION 1. Chapter 269 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2004 Official Edition, is hereby amended by deleting Section 11E and inserting the following new section:-

Chapter 269: Section 11E. Serial identification numbers on firearms.

Section 11E.

(A) All firearms, rifles and shotguns of new manufacture, manufactured or delivered to any licensed dealer within the commonwealth shall bear serial numbers permanently inscribed on a visible metal area of said firearm, rifle or shotgun, and the manufacturer of said firearm, rifle or shotgun shall keep records of said serial numbers and the dealer, distributor or person to whom the firearm, rifle or shotgun was sold or delivered.

No licensed dealer shall order for delivery, cause to be delivered, offer for sale or sell within the commonwealth any newly manufactured firearm, rifle or shotgun received directly from a manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor not so inscribed with a serial number nor shall any licensed manufacturer or distributor of firearms, rifles or shotguns deliver or cause to be delivered within the commonwealth any firearm, rifle or shotgun not complying with this section.

No licensed manufacturer within the commonwealth shall produce for sale within the United States, its territories or possessions any firearm, rifle or shotgun not complying with paragraph one of this section. Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine of five hundred dollars. Each such violation shall constitute a separate offense.

(B) All semiautomatic firearms as defined in Chapter 140 Section 21 manufactured or delivered to any licensed dealer within the commonwealth shall be capable of microstamping ammunition.

(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B), a firearm is capable of microstamping ammunition if –
(i) a microscopic array of characters that identify the make, model, and serial number of the of the firearm is etched into the breech face and firing pin of the firearm; and
(ii) when ammunition is fired from the firearm, the characters are copied from the breech face and firing pin onto the cartridge case of the ammunition.

(D) Subparagraph (B) shall apply only to semiautomatic firearms which –
(i) are manufactured, or imported into the Commonwealth on or after the effective date of this subsection;
(ii) have not been transferred to a person not licensed under Chapter 140 of the general laws.

(D) Whoever violates paragraph (B) shall be fined an amount equal to –
(i) in the case of a first such violation by the violator, $1,000 multiplied by the number of firearms involved in the violation;
(ii) in the case of a second violation by the violator, $2,000 multiplied by the number of firearms involved in the violation;
(iii) in the case of a third such violation by the violator, $3,000 multiplied by the number of firearms involved in the violation.

(E) The effective date of this act shall be January 1, 2012.
The NRA-ILA had this to say, in part, about the bill:
If passed, the availability of semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and handguns in Massachusetts could be in jeopardy, as manufacturers simply may choose not to build or sell firearms for purchase in the state. In fact, this bill would likely create a de facto ban on new semi-automatic firearms.
Unless I am misunderstanding the language of this bill, both Smith & Wesson and Savage would be impacted by this bill as they both have manufacturing operations in the state and both make semi-automatic firearms.

Smith & Wesson would feel the heavier impact as they manufacture more semi-autos. Given that they were given a grant by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to expand operations in Springfield while at the same time closing their Thompson-Center plant in New Hampshire just a couple of months ago, one must wonder if they are having second thoughts.

As it is, microstamping is an unproven, untested, and unreliable technology that can be defeated with a common nail file. If the true intent of Rep. Linsky and his fellow compatriots was to drive the gun makers out of the Commonwealth and kill job creation in Massachusetts, then they just might succeed if this bill passes.

New York TV Station Actually Airs Positive Segment On Firearms

A reporter for WPIX Channel 11 in New York City, Lisa Mateo, took a woman's only class with Rob Pincus of I.C.E. Training. The result was an actually positive look at women and firearms.

The Shooting Wire On Project Gunwalker

Jim Shepherd, the publisher of The Shooting Wire, had an excellent editorial today on Project Gunwalker. He also has some updates in the Sabre Defence story. Jim brings the administration to task over the failings of ATF in the Southwest much better than I could.

If you aren't a regular subscriber to the Outdoor Wire, the Shooting Wire, and the Tactical Wire, you should be!
Investigations and Findings

Two weeks ago, we told you that a Valentine's Day auction was set to sell the Nashville, Tennessee company formerly known as Sabre Defence Holdings. The sale by Cadence Bank, was organized under a UCC filing after the bank called the company's line of credit.

Only days later, the story took another nasty turn as federal officials arrested Sabre's senior corporate officers, charging them with a litany of charges related to "years" of illegal international arms trafficking. At that point, Cadence saw their hoped-for cashout on Sabre drop to a best bid of only $2.3 million from Alabama's Manroy USA.

This one just keeps getting more convoluted.

Last week, Sabre filed for bankruptcy, hoping to stop the sale. Now, the Office of the U.S. Trustee for the bankruptcy has appointed Nashville attorney Michael Collins as a third-party trustee to oversee Sabre's assets.

Next week, Cadence Bank will have another day in court as they have petitioned for relief- an end to the bankruptcy. At that point, the Manroy USA sale is expected to proceed.

Yesterday, we spoke with one of the industry insiders involved with the now-aborted liquidation. What we've learned is that this story is far from over- and the ripples from Sabre's conduct over the past few years may spread "from the U.S. State Department to the British Home Office".

It has all the ingredients of a great mystery: international arms deals, shaky business conduct, an arrogant owner who thumbed his nose at government regulations, and, lest we forget, a company with a reputation for solid products that seems to have effectively been destroyed by shaky business products.

Watch this space -the Sabre Defence Holdings story is far from over.

To whom do you turn when the chief law enforcement officer of the land ignores you? That's the question being asked across the firearms industry as Attorney General Eric Holder continues to turn a blind eye to BATFE disaster increasingly being referred to as "Project Gunwalker".

As facts emerge, it appears that ATF agents actually let firearms "walk" into Mexico as part of some screwball operation designed to see where the guns turned up. The idea they would let this number of guns (some are now saying up to 2,500) "walk" into what is basically a combat zone (Mexico), is screwball enough; the truly crazy thing now the Justice Department continuing to call for crackdowns on legal gun dealers while ignoring a half-baked scheme to go investigated.

Increasingly, evidence says that murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed by one of those walking firearms. And the Justice Department refuses to comment.

Fortunately, National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea and blogger Mike Vanderboegh got onto the story early and refused to let it die - or be swept under the bureaucratic carpet.

Now, it's getting major national attention. In fact, CBS News has called it a story bigger than Ruby Ridge or Waco - not what an administration that wants to crackdown on private firearms rights wants to hear.

Now, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa-who just so happens to be ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee - is calling for a full investigation of the ATF and Justice Department actions.

ATF and Justice have stonewalled to this point, but organizations like the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) have started calling for more than an investigation- they want the immediate firing of acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson, a new director from outside the agency, and a full and open investigation of the whole sorry mess.

And CCRKBA head Alan Gottlieb has said that, should Attorney General Holder remain reluctant to investigate ATF and "gunwalker" he, too, should be shown the door.

After roiling across the internet via discussion boards, forums and all the social media much the same way democracy has shaken up the middle east and given Colonel Khadafy and other despots fits, it looks like mainstream media -or at least CBS News - has found a hot story to ride.

Here, in the crucible where the idea of democracy was formed, it remains to be seen if our current leadership is even paying attention.

Unfortunately, the administration's idea of policing firearms is much like the old saw about the NCAA's unwillingness to punish marquee schools. "The NCAA's so angry at Kentucky," the old saw used to go, "that they've given Slippery Rock three more years of probation."

In this sad scenario, anyone who is a law-abiding gun owner is being cast as Slippery Rock.

Hopefully, Senator Grassley will stick to his proverbial guns and get to the bottom of "gunwalker" - no matter how distasteful the findings.

Should the administration not toss the old cloak of "national security" over the whole thing, we'll likely find that once again, we've set our lowered expectations not nearly low enough.

The Justice Department has already started their crab-walk away from the whole affair, saying ATF - an agency under their ultimate responsibility- would never "knowingly" allow such a thing to happen.

Unfortunately, we've become so numbed to poor conduct from our government that it's not going to be hard to predict the way the administration would like to see this play out.

If- the Senate gets its investigation, top officials will disavow any knowledge of the event - or be unable to determine who gave the ultimate permission for it to happen. A few lower-level administrators will be ceremonially tossed to the wolves in a bit of misdirection that would make a Las Vegas magician proud.

I realize that's cynical; but it has been allowed to happen innumerable times before. This time, we need to let our "elite leadership" know they're neither following nor above the law.

A housecleaning is still essential to clean up the mess, even if there is an honest investigation.

--Jim Shepherd

Reprinted with permission. Here is a link to today's Shooting Wire with the editorial.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Holder - Investigate and Fire, Or Resign

CCRKBA issued a blistering press release this afternoon calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Project Gunwalker and to fire those responsible. It goes on to say that if he isn't willing to investigate it, he should resign himself.

BELLEVUE, WA- Following new revelations regarding the growing scandal over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Project Gunrunner- the most recent on Wednesday's CBS Evening News - the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today is calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the allegations and remove ATF officials responsible, or hand in his resignation.

"Instead of cracking down on American gun owners, it is time to crack down on the ATF," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, who earlier this week urged gun owners to pressure Congress to cut ATF's budget.

The Gunrunner scandal was originally uncovered by National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea and independent blogger Mike Vanderboegh. The case now has the attention of U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. CCRKBA believes the committee should launch a full-scale investigation of ATF and that Grassley should not stand alone in his pursuit of the truth.

"Two weeks ago," Gottlieb noted, "Sen. Grassley called on Holder to 'come clean' about this scandal, and the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. He was greeted with silence. Agent Terry was likely killed with a gun that ATF allowed one of the Gunrunner suspects to purchase more than a year ago. We have seen documents that show the gun was recovered at the Terry crime scene.

"Almost immediately after he took office," he continued, "Holder joined other members of the Obama administration in calls for new gun laws to crack down on American gun dealers and gun owners. He wanted to renew the ban on so-called 'assault weapons'." Now, thanks to independent Internet reporters and CBS News, it appears hundreds, if not thousands of U.S.-origin guns that made their way to Mexican criminals were allowed to cross the border by an inept ATF operation that was even criticized by ATF agents.

"Senator Grassley's inquiry has been met with stonewalling," he said, "but with these new revelations, the time for silence has passed. ATF officials in Phoenix who allowed this travesty to continue, over objections from field agents who knew better, should be fired. Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson should go immediately, and a new director, from outside of the agency, should be appointed to clean up this mess. If Eric Holder is not willing to hold ATF officials accountable, he should resign."

HB 74 - The Second NC Castle Doctrine Bill - Opposition From Surprising Corner

Grass Roots North Carolina sent out this message a couple of hours ago regarding HB 74, the second - and originally stronger - castle doctrine bill. The amazing thing to me is that the person attacking the bill is Republican House Majority Leader Paul Stam. Without pro-gun voters there wouldn't be a Republican majority in the NC General Assembly. The former House Majority Leader went down to defeat over this very issue.
* Republican House Majority Leader attacks HB 74, portending battles to come
* Senate version passes 2nd Reading: 3rd Reading Monday

Two Castle Doctrine bills are working their way through the NC legislature. Which bill might ultimately be enacted into law remains to be seen.

SB 34 has been much improved from its original weak version and today passed its 2nd Reading Senate by a vote of 33-17. Vote details for particular Senators will be published when they become available. Generally (although not always), 3rd Reading is a formality. Both may be accomplished in a single day provided no member of the body objects. Apparently, one of the perennial anti-gun members objected, delaying 3rd Reading until Monday.


HB 74, originally the stronger Castle Doctrine bill, met far tougher resistance in a House Judiciary subcommittee, however, as it was repeatedly attacked not only by anti-gun Democrats, but also by Republican House Majority Leader Paul "Skip" Stam (R-Wake, formerly GRNC ****).

In relentless questioning apparently intended to tie up the bill, painted scenarios of drug dealers shooting it out and using Castle Doctrine as a legal defense (this was rebutted by committee counsel), likening the bill to "expedited execution." Using phrases like "dead people on the floor" and "shoot first and ask questions later," Stam eventually produced handwritten language he claimed would accomplish "95%" of what bill supporters want, but which actually offered crime victims few protections beyond current law.

Equally obstructionist were Reps. Darren Jackson (D-Wake, 0-star), and Grier Martin (D-Wake, GRNC 0-star), both of whom repeatedly demanded impossible statistics on home invasions until both GRNC president Paul Valone and representatives of the Administrative Office of the Courts pointed out that such statistics are not kept.

Advocating passage of the bill were subcommittee chair Mark Hilton (R-Catawba, ****), stalwart George Cleveland (R-Onslow, ****), freshman Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe, ****) and Shirley Randleman (R-Wilkes, ****). Hilton, Cleveland and Randleman are primary sponsors for HB 74.

The bill eventually passed in a 5-3 vote with Reps. Cleveland, Jordan, Hugh Blackwell (R-Burke, ****), Rayne Brown (R-Davidson, ****) and Ric Killian (R-Mecklenburg, ****) voting for it, and Stam, Jackson and Martin voting against it.

HB 74 now heads for the full Judiciary Committee, where it will undoubtedly meet resistance not only from the same individuals but other anti-gun Democrats including Deborah Ross (D-Wake, 0-star), who chaired the committee which in the last session killed Castle Doctrine by denying it a hearing. Moreover, when the senate bill, SB 34, crosses to the House, it will also be referred to the same committee, portending tough battles for both bills.

* CALL AND E-MAIL MAJORITY LEADER SKIP STAM: Remind him that gun owners helped replace previous leadership over precisely this issue. Reach him at: and 919-733-2962. Note: If his office complains about the subcommittee hearing giving "no public notice," remind them that ad hoc committees are not required to and rarely do. If he says his proposal is "better," remind them that HB 74 mirrors every other state which has adopted Castle Doctrine.
* E-MAIL SPEAKER THOM TILLIS: Pro-gun Speaker Tillis (R-Mecklenburg, ****) supports Castle Doctrine, but needs POLITE AND CONSTRUCTIVE input to rein in Majority Leader Stam. At this point, gun owners from outside his district should e-mail only. Constituents should call. Reach Tillis at:

Brady Campaign Outraged, Outraged I Say!

It is obvious that the Brady Campaign is upset over the House vote to cut funding for implementation of the "emergency" reporting requirement of semi-auto rifles in a caliber larger than .22 with a detachable magazine.

You know that are upset because they say they are outraged! Oh, my.
Brady Campaign Outraged Over House Vote To Kill Funds To Curb Illegal Gun Trafficking

Helmke testifies before House Forum

Feb 24, 2011

Washington, D.C.- Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke today expressed outrage over the U. S. House of Representatives' vote last Friday to stop any funds from being used for an Obama Administration proposal to curb gun-trafficking, focused particularly on semi-automatic rifles, from the U.S. to Mexico.

Helmke spoke this morning at the forum on the Impact of Budget Proposals on Justice, Job Creation, Public Safety and Civil Liberties, held in Room 2237 of the Rayburn Building and chaired by Congressman John Conyers, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Helmke was seated at a roundtable with Rep. Conyers and the leaders of 15 other groups affected by HR1, the funding resolution voted on by the House last Friday and Saturday. Helmke began by noting that others present might wonder what reducing gun violence had to do with the budget process. He explained that the amendment by Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, which passed on by a vote of 277-149, would prevent the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) from getting reports on multiple sales of semi-automatic rifles from the four states bordering Mexico.

This amendment was attached to the budget at the behest of the NRA and House agreed to limit the Obama administration's authority after only 10 minutes of debate. Even though the Department of Justice had been going through a formal rule-making process, the House decided to derail that process just three days after the period for comments on the rules had closed.

"Not only are we ignoring gun violence in our country, we are contributing to the disintegration of the nation directly on our southern border," Helmke said. "The ATF is already woefully under-funded, understaffed, and leaderless. Making the work of these agents harder will do nothing to decrease the violence we have seen from the drug cartels, which is taking more lives on both sides of the border."

Under the Obama Administration proposal, 8,500 gun dealers near the U.S.-Mexico border would be required to alert authorities when they sell two or more semiautomatic rifles greater than .22-caliber with detachable magazines to the same person within five consecutive business days.

"Our weak gun laws have enabled ruthless Mexican drug cartels to arm themselves with vast military arsenals from American gun dealers, who sell traffickers countless AK-47s and AR-15s in bulk," added Helmke. "Our leaders in Congress need to explain why they want to shield these sales from law enforcement."

On February 15, the Brady Center filed comments in support of the Obama Administration proposal to require gun dealers in Southwest border states to provide notice of bulk sales of semi-automatic long guns to the ATF. The proposal would assist law enforcement with investigating and curbing the rampant trafficking of AK-47s and other guns from U.S. gun stores to Mexican drug cartels. Current law requires that ATF be notified of multiple sales of handguns only.
What makes Paul Helmke think that this "emergency" regulation would make a dent in the violence in Mexico when the ATF knowingly allowed suspicious sales to go through and then lost track of an estimated 2,500 firearms? The man is in denial.

Castle Doctrine Passes Second Reading In NC Senate

S. 34, The Castle Doctrine, passed its Second Reading in the North Carolina State Senate today. It passed this reading with only one minor amendment that merely clarified the language. It will now go to its Third (and final) Reading.

As mentioned on Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary II Committee approved substitute language which strengthened the bill. Moreover, both the NRA and Grass Roots NC have endorsed the updated bill.

The legislative calendar does not state when the final vote in the State Senate will be held on S. 34. After it passes the Senate, it still must be approved in the State House. As soon as I have more updates, I will post them.

As a sidebar, I was at a training meeting the last two days with limited access to a computer. I love my new iPhone but it is hell to try to do a blog post on it. My thumbs must be too fat!

UPDATE: According to GRNC, the objection of one anti-gun NC State Senator is what held up the 3rd Reading and final vote on S. 34. It will be held on Monday.

UPDATE II: WRAL published a video of the actual debate on the bill in the NC Senate. It is an hour long video so you may only want to skip through it to listen to highlights.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

CBS News Covers Project Gunwalker

It looks Sharyl Attkisson will come through on Project Gunwalker. It will be on the news tonight on Katie Couric.

I'm in meetings today so this just a heads up.

Update: It was not a puff piece. Attkisson came through. ATF bigwigs must be pissed!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Castle Doctrine In North Carolina Is Out Of Committee

SB 34, the first castle doctrine bill filed, has been reported out of the NC Senate Judiciary II committee. It will come to the floor of the State Senate as early as tomorrow.

As I discussed earlier, this bill had been criticized as not going far enough as it did not cover people in their vehicles nor did it have a "stand your ground" provision. These defects have been remedied as the Judiciary II committee adopted substitute language to strengthen the bill. It now adds both of these provisions.

Both the NRA and Grass Roots North Carolina have indicated their support and approval of the strengthened bill. The NRA released this tonight:
Earlier today, NRA-supported “Castle Doctrine” self-defense legislation was favorably amended and reported by the Senate Judiciary II Committee. The full Senate will now consider this important legislation, which could take place as early as tomorrow.

Introduced by state Senators Andrew Brock (R-34), Doug Berger (D-7) and Kathy Harrington (R-43), Senate Bill 34 would codify the “Castle Doctrine” in the home, as well as establish immunity from civil lawsuits for those who use lethal force to defend themselves or their loved ones while in their home. The bill was amended to add automobiles to the Castle Doctrine protections, as well as "Stand Your Ground" language. This greatly expands the legislation to offer more protections for law-abiding citizens who use their firearms for personal protection.

Please contact your state Senator TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to support your right to self-defense and pass Senate Bill 34 when it comes up for a vote.
From an alert sent out by Grass Roots North Carolina this evening to its members:
Under guidance from Grass Roots North Carolina, the Senate Judiciary II Committee today passed SB 34: "Castle Doctrine" in a stronger version which could ultimately create the most comprehensive such law in the country.

Thanks to the efforts of Sens. Buck Newton (R-, GRNC ****) and Andrew Brock (R-Davie/Rowan, ****), an amendment was made to the bill to incorporate most of the desirable features of HB 74, plus an added protection against crime in the workplace.

GRNC Legislative Action Team members were heavily involved in improving the language of the bill, drafting and reviewing sections, and providing information to sponsors and committee members.

Speaking on behalf of the bill were Sens. Berger, Clary, Daniel, Newton, and Tucker. Raising questions about the bill were Sens. Dannelly and McKissick. Sen. Berger initially offered an amendment to remove workplaces, but later withdrew the amendment and voted for the bill. SB 34 passed unanimously.

Improvements made to SB 34 include:
* Presumption of reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily injury when an attacker makes an unlawful and forcible entry not only of a home, but also a motor vehicle and a workplace. Beyond including the carjacking protection long-sought by GRNC, this may be the first law in the country to include the workplace among protected areas
* "No duty to retreat" before using deadly force in anyplace the victim has a lawful right to be.
* Protection against malicious prosecution: Police may not arrest a victim forced to use deadly force unless they have probable cause to believe the use of force was unjustified.

FoxNews Covers Project Gunwalker

David Codrea has more on the story here.

Larry Pratt was interviewed by Megyn Kelly on America Live about Andrew Traver. Pratt also outlined the allegations regarding Project Gunwalker. No video is available on this yet.

To understand the full background of this story, David has prepared what he calls A Journalist's Guide to Project Gunwalker. The story and timeline gets longer and longer every day.

UPDATE: The video of Larry Pratt's interview with Megyn Kelly is now available.

Daily Star Or Red Star?

The Arizona Daily Star of Tucson has an editorial today calling for a reinstatement of the ban on "military-style assault weapons".
Banning semiautomatic assault weapons designed to kill lots of people quickly isn't quite as simple at it may appear on the surface. That must not keep us from trying.

In fact, even given myriad defects in the now-expired federal assault-weapons ban, we could do a lot worse than essentially reinstating it as originally written. Flawed though it was, it reduced the flow of such weapons.

Even better, Congress should consider emulating California's assault-weapons ban.
According to the Daily Star, the California law has a one military feature and its banned. Frankly, I don't know if they are correct or not as I haven't had to deal with the California law. I do know that the good folks at can tell you all about "bullet buttons" and other ways around the California law.

What the editorial board of the Arizona Daily Star fails to mention is that the overall crime rate has gone down since the AWB sunsetted in 2004. I guess that doesn't fit the narrative.

UPDATE: Charles Heller of the AZ Citizens Defense League was given an opportunity to write an op-ed responding to the Daily Star. It is entitled Gun Control: Punishing the Innocent.

HR 822: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill Introduced (Updated)

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) introduced HR 822 on Friday. It is:
To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.
The full text of the bill is not yet available and he hasn't issued a press release describing the bill.

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) - my Congressman - is the first co-sponsor of the bill. Whatever else I might say about Heath, he is good on the Second Amendment. You also may remember that he came out in the aftermath of the Tucson shootings saying he had a CCW permit and did carry. He also encouraged his staff to obtain a CCW permit.

I will call Shuler's office tomorrow to see if I can get a copy of the text of the bill as it may be a few days before the Government Printing Office has it available.

UPDATE: Thanks to Paul Flusche of Congressman Cliff Stearn's office we have the text of the bill. After a quick reading of the bill, I'd see this is a pretty good bill. If a state issues a concealed carry permit, then your CCW is good there subject to the rules for an unrestricted CCW. For example, if your home state allows you to carry in a place that serves alcohol but you are in North Carolina which doesn't, you have to abide by the NC CHP regulations.

Here is the full text of the bill:
To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.


Mr. STEARNS (for himself and Mr. SHULER) introduced the following bill;
which was referred to the Committee on (blank)


To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011’’.

The Congress finds the following:
(1) The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects the fundamental right of an individual to keep and bear arms, including for purposes of individual self-defense.
(2) The Supreme Court of the United States has recognized this right in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, and in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, has recognized that the right is protected against State infringement by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(3) The Congress has the power to pass legislation to protect against infringement of all rights protected under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(4) The right to bear arms includes the right to carry arms for self-defense and the defense of others.
(5) The Congress has enacted legislation of national scope authorizing the carrying of concealed firearms by qualified active and retired law enforcement officers.
(6) Forty-eight States provide by statute for the issuance to individuals of permits to carry concealed firearms, or allow the carrying of concealed
firearms for lawful purposes without the need for a permit.
(7) The overwhelming majority of individuals who exercise the right to carry firearms in their own States and other States have proven to be law-abiding, and such carrying has been demonstrated to provide crime prevention or crime resistance benefits for the licensees and for others.
(8) The Congress finds that preventing the lawful carrying of firearms by individuals who are traveling outside their home State interferes with the constitutional right of interstate travel, and harms interstate commerce.
(9) Among the purposes of this Act is the protection of the rights, privileges, and immunities guaranteed to a citizen of the United States by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(10) The Congress, therefore, should provide for national recognition, in States that issue to their own citizens licenses or permits to carry concealed handguns, of other State permits or licenses to carry concealed handguns.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 926C the following:
‘‘§ 926D. Reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms‘‘
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, related to the carrying or transportation of firearms, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, and who is carrying a government-issued photographic identification document and a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm, may carry a concealed handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, in any State, other than the State of residence of the person, that—
‘‘(1) has a statute that allows residents of the State to obtain licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms; or
‘‘(2) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes.
‘‘(b) A person carrying a concealed handgun under this section shall be permitted to carry a handgun subject to the same conditions or limitations that apply to residents of the State who have permits issued by the State or are otherwise lawfully allowed to do so by the State.
‘‘(c) In a State that allows the issuing authority for licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms to impose restrictions on the carrying of firearms by individual holders of such licenses or permits, a firearm shall be carried according to the same terms authorized by an unrestricted
license or permit issued to a resident of the State.
‘‘(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preempt any provision of State law with respect to the issuance of licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms.’’.

(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of sections for such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 926C the following:
‘‘926D. Reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms.’’.

(c) SEVERABILITY.—Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, if any provision of this section, or any amendment made by this section, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, this section and amendments made by this section and the application of such provision or amendment to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

(d) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by this section shall take effect 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

Hank Rearden Comes Home

Atlas Shrugged The Movie hits theaters on April 15th appropriately enough. This is a just released clip from the movie showing Hank Rearden returning home with a gift for his wife.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sen. Jon Tester On His Bill To Allow Curios And Relics To Be Imported

That's Hot!

Paris Hilton (seen above with her boyfriend Cy Waits) revealed that Waits stopped an armed burglar from getting into her home last August by pulling a gun on the intruder. Waits held the burglar at gunpoint for a half hour while they waited for police to arrive according to the story. The burglar was armed with "two large knives".

It is not known whether Waits, a nightclub "mogul", had one of those rare LA County concealed carry permits or just kept the pistol at Hilton's house. The discussion about this incident on the forum seems to indicate that even though Waits was not at his own residence, it was lawful for him to use a firearm to stop the armed intruder.

Neither Hilton or Waits are someone the NRA would want as a spokesperson due to run-ins with the law but I'm glad that a firearm was available for use in stopping an knife-wielding intruder. I am surprised that the LAPD took 30 minutes to get to Paris Hilton's house given that she is a celebrity.

Time To Pass CCW In Wisconsin Is Now

I thought you needed 20 Senators to make a quorum in the Wisconsin State Senate. You do but only for fiscal bills. According to the National Review Online, a simple majority is all that is needed for other bills.
Bringing up hot-button legislation while the Democrats are gone is another arrow in Walker’s quiver. Though the Wisconsin constitution requires three-fifths of the senate to be present to pass fiscal legislation, a simple majority of 17 members constitutes a quorum for other bills in the 33-seat state senate. So the 19 GOP senators who remain in Madison can pass any number of bills while their Democratic colleagues are on the lam, and Republicans are a majority in the assembly, too. “They can hold off, but there is a whole legislative agenda that Republicans in the senate and assembly can start acting on that only requires simple majorities,” Walker warns.“If they want to do their jobs, and have a say, they better show up.”

Non-spending bills and government appointments could see action early Tuesday. Walker says he will not yield as the standoff unfolds, especially since Wisconsin is facing a projected $3.6 billion budget shortfall over the next two years.
Gov. Scott Walker indicated during his campaign for Governor that he would sign a concealed carry bill if it were presented to him.

If you are a gun rights supporter who lives in Wisconsin, call your legislators and urge them to get to work on CCW. I doubt you could get constitutional carry to pass but you just never know. At the very least, make Wisconsin a "shall-issue" state.

Ruger SP101 As A Newbie Handgun

The Truth About Guns blog has a review today of the Ruger SP101 3" .357 Magnum. They are looking for a revolver that can be concealed that would be ideal for the new shooter.

As the Complementary Spouse and I were thinking of this same revolver as her "first" gun, I found this review very helpful. I really can't find anything that I really disagree with in the review. While a semi-auto may in fact be the better beginner gun, Robert makes some good points about why a revolver instead of a semi-auto pistol.
There’s too much that can go wrong: loading the magazine, loading the magazine into the gun, racking the slide, remembering to rack the slide, remembering if you’ve racked the slide, remembering to deactivate a safety (where applicable), knowing when the gun is empty and knowing how to release the magazine.

And knowing how to clear the chamber, remembering to clear the chamber, keeping track of the muzzle while you reload a new magazine, remembering to reactivate the safety (where applicable), etc. Not to mention limp wristing.
The one thing I'd add to this list is that some women have a hard time racking the slide.

Now if Ruger would just do something about the rear sights... You can get rear sights installed as part of the Perfected SP101 package from revolver-smith Hamiltion Bowen. It will cost you $495 which is about what you'd pay, give or take, for the SP101.

The Battle For Concealed Carry In Illinois Heats Up

The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) posted this message earlier this morning on Facebook:
It’s been a busy week at the capitol. There have been a lot of bills filed and the gun hating antis seem to be distracted as to which way to go.

The week led off with published reports that there is major movement in the senate with the Senate President realizing the votes exists to pass RTC. Almost immediately the gun hating crowd went into a tizzy. For some time the anti-gunners have claimed very low support for RTC regardless of the fact that it failed by only two votes.

Now things are taking shape. The fact that we are just one of two states that have no opportunity for average citizens to exercise the right to self defense in public is sinking in. The fact that if nothing is done, we will be the only one, is sinking in.

The other political calculus is that downstate democrats are feeling a lot of heat over several issues and they think the only way to get a chance at re-election is to bring home RTC. This is causing them to apply pressure to their leadership. Their feeling is that many of the conservative democrats that are their base are bent out of shape and they will lose the edge if they can’t deliver Right To Carry. Those pleas are being noticed by leadership such as Senate President Cullerton.

While we fight the right to carry battle, we have introduced a number of other bills to strengthen the right to keep and bear arms and protect it further. At the same time, the City of Chicago and the gun hating crowd have re-introduced their stale package of bills to ban semi-autos, stop private sales of firearms, ban standard magazines, limit you to one gun per month, tax your ammunition and run gun dealers out of business. Mind you, some of these could pose real threats. Ending private sales, banning standard magazines and modern semi-autos are at the top of their wish list.

With the shooting in Arizona still fresh in people’s mind, they are once again trying to dance in the blood of the victims to try and move their political agenda. The problem they are having is that not many politicians are paying attention to them, and the Supreme Court has placed handcuffs on what they want to do.

Three things showed us this week what kind of a panic the other side is in;

1. A Board member for the Brady campaign barged into a conversation to make unfounded aspersions and tell us that the coming debate would be about dead children. They are just seething to have a verbal assault because the rest of their little tantrum is falling on deaf ears. So they lash out at us personally.

2. Another anti-gun Brady supporter activist came up and stated a willingness to trade away a may issue RTC for a proposal they want. Why would they offer to trade away RTC? They reached too far and are now losing their last stronghold. The fact that they are willing to deal, shows that even they see the writing on the wall -- they are losing Illinois.

3. Anti-gun groups are trying to rally the troops and are bringing in outside help. The nationals are banging the gong with the revelations about Illinois. If their last hope for anti-gun-topia, the Kalifornia of the Midwest is going down like the Titanic, what do they have left?

Their future is bleak! How can they sell their gun hating ideas around the country if they lose Illinois?

What to expect;

Look for the national anti-gun groups to circle the wagons around Illinois. Look for more national figures or representatives from their groups to show up here over the next few weeks, and look for them to say or do almost anything to save face.

So what can you do?

1. Start calling your legislators and politely tell them, you oppose the Chicago gun control plan to punish law abiding citizens. A list of those bills can be found on the ISRA website

( ) or the Illinois Carry website ( in their forums section.

2. Tell your legislators that you support Right To Carry and other pro-2A reforms proposed by ISRA, and NRA.

3. Attend IGOLD on March 10th so you can tell your legislators in person and those legislative leaders that it’s time to pass Right To Carry, 48 and soon to be 49 states can’t be wrong.

This will be a marathon fight this year, but one with great potential for protecting and expanding the codification of those rights that Dick Heller and Otis McDonald fought so hard for. Please do your part, call, write, and show up to be counted.

If Illinois adopts concealed carry - even a may-issue concealed carry - it would be a huge step towards re-normalizing guns in America.

I fully expect Wisconsin to pass a concealed carry law if they can ever find their missing Democrat State Senators reputed to be hiding in Illinois. As an aside, I wonder if we could commission Dog the Bounty Hunter to drag at least one of them back so they can have a quorum in the Wisconsin Senate.

Back to Illinois, one must wonder how much the end of the "reign" of Mayor Daley plays into all of this. With Daley gone or soon to be gone, how much power does he continue to wield over the Illinois General Assembly? Would we even be talking about concealed carry passing with a veto-proof majority if Daley wasn't a lame duck? I don't think so..

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ninja AK-47

H/T Andy Langlois

Senate Judiciary Committee Posts Material On Andrew Traver

The Senate Judiciary Committee has posted the material they have received in support of Andrew Traver's nomination to be the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The materials include answers to the Committee Questionnaire, press releases involving Traver, speeches and appearances made by Traver, and finally interviews with the press by Traver while he has been serving as SAC of the Chicago Field Division.

Included are the official letters of support on the nomination from the following law enforcement groups:
* February 8, 2011 - Major Cities Chiefs Association
* January 24, 2011 - Major County Sheriffs' Association
* January 18, 2011 - National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
* January 12, 2011 - National Sheriffs' Association
* December 9, 2010 - National Narcotic Officers' Associations' Coalition
* December 9, 2010 - International Association of Chiefs of Police
* December 7, 2010 - Women in Federal Law Enforcement
Most of the law enforcement groups have a record of being anti-gun rights. For example, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) passed a resolution in support of the Brady Campaign. The IACP, Major Cities Chiefs Association, and the National Sheriffs Association all are on record as opposing the Tiarht Amendment.

There are no major surprises in the material submitted. One does get a sense of Traver's willingness to demonize certain firearms as seen in this from a 2006 press conference announcing prosecutions of gang members:
The same could have been said about a Winchester Model 94 lever action carbine in .30-30. The average bulletproof vests worn by law enforcement are rarely capable of stopping any centerfire rifle bullet.

I did get one question answered. I had wondered in the past why Traver's Navy career appeared to be so short. According to the answers he submitted to the Committee's Questionnaire, Traver received a hardship discharge/resignation and left the Navy as an Ensign (O-1) in May 1987. He had only been assigned to his first duty assignment, USS Benjamin Stoddart, for approximately 9 months. The next month he started working in law enforcement for the Crystal Lake, IL Police Department and for ATF a few months later. I don't know enough about Navy Bureau of Personnel (BUPERS) operations to know whether his hardship discharge was unusual or not. (If anyone does know about BUPERS hardship discharges for officers, I'd be interested.)

There is no hearing date set for Traver. There is some speculation that the delay is due to Project Gunwalker and the fear of the questions that Sen. Charles Grassley would ask of Traver. As David Codrea notes in his Gun Rights Examiner column:
The only question seems to be is the decision to hold off on what the anti-gun choice lobby deems a “crucial position” was initiated by Chairman Leahy, by the nominee himself, or by his Justice Department handlers.
The answer to David's question would be interesting.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Frankly, this isn't new financial advice. James Wesley, Rawles, author of Patriots who blogs at, has been urging people to accumulate nickels for years. There are two reasons behind it. First, the raw metals that make up a nickel - copper and nickel - are worth 7.3 cents as of the close of business on February 18th. So for 5 cents you get something worth more if it is melted down. If commodity prices decline to zero, the coin will still return 5 cents. In other words, it is an investment that only has an upside.

Second, Gresham's Law says good money drives out bad. In other words, money who's nominal value and commodity value are close will be worth more than those where the commodity value is virtually nil when compared to the nominal value. To put this in perspective, a dime whose nominal value is 10 cents has a commodity value of 2.6 cents. An even greater disparity is found in the golden Presidential Dollar coins. Their face value is $1 but their melt value is only 7.7 cents.

Update On Castle Doctrine Hearings In North Carolina

Grass Roots North Carolina released this alert today on the Castle Doctrine bill hearing in the State Senate:
Senate Bill 34: "Castle Doctrine" received its first hearing in the NC Senate Judiciary II Committee yesterday, and thanks to your input and the efforts of two pro-gun Senators, it is likely to be passed out of the committee far stronger than it its original version.

In the days leading up to the meeting, members of the GRNC Legislative Team worked the committee, handing out comparisons between current NC law, the three Castle Doctrine bills thus far introduced, and other states which have adopted similar laws. Chaired by longtime GRNC supporter Sen. Austin Allran (R-Catawba, GRNC ****), the first meeting was intended to give all parties their say on the bill.

Although SB 34 is presently a weak bill based on a compromise made in the previous legislative session, Judiciary II co-chair Buck Newton (R-Nash/Wilson, ****) and SB 34 sponsor Andrew Brock (R-Davie/Rowan) are preparing amendment language to address weaknesses in the bill, potentially bringing it to a version similar to GRNC's preferred version, HB 74.

Bushcraft And Survival

The Rich And Famous

Fitzgerald: The rich are different than you and me.

Hemingway: Yes, they have more money.

While this is actually a misquotation of a conversation between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, when applied to New York City's pistol permits system, the rich (and famous) are different than you and me. They can get their pistol permit applications approved.

In an article published today entitled The Rich, the Famous, the Armed, the New York Times examined New York City public records to see who had a pistol permit. In a city of 8.3 million residents, only 37,000 people have pistol permits.
Among the more than 37,000 people licensed to have a handgun in the city are dozens of boldface names and public figures: prominent business leaders, elected officials, celebrities, journalists, judges and lawyers.

Some expressed pride in their gun ownership, like the renowned divorce lawyer Raoul Felder, who readily posed with his .38-caliber Smith & Wesson. Others, including David Breitbart, Yetta Kurland and Walter Mack, all well-known lawyers, were irked to learn they would be included in an article based on the public records. And there were a few conflicted souls, like Alexis Stewart, co-host of “Whatever With Alexis and Jennifer” on SiriusXM radio and the Hallmark Channel.

“I don’t believe people should be allowed to have guns in America,” Ms. Stewart, daughter of Martha, said in an interview, explaining that she bought a .357 Magnum after 9/11 — but would be happy to give it up if handguns were banned. “Having a swimming pool is way more dangerous than having a gun,” she added.
While I would agree with Alexis Stewart that a swimming pool is more dangerous than a firearm in the house, her hypocrisy irks me. Because she is part of NYC's privileged class, she can get a pistol permit and did. However, she doesn't believe that people (other than her) should have guns in America. She, of course, would "give it up if handguns were banned". Of course she would - because she'd would then just hire a bodyguard to protect her from the riff-raff.

Debit-Card Fraud

This is a good video about banks and your protection against debit-card fraud. Given that only 44% of banks will make you whole on your losses, it is a good idea to check with your bank to see if they are part of that 44%.

Since I have been the target of identity theft in the past, one tip I would suggest is to make use of your bank's email notification services. For example, I get an email every morning from my bank telling me what my balance is from the previous day. When I was responsible for my late mother's accounts, I had it set up so that I got a low balance notification and a notification for any transaction over a certain dollar amount. This last one would be very useful in providing alerts of unauthorized transactions.

House Says No To Money For Multi-Rifle Reporting

Yesterday evening, the House of Representatives voted in favor of an amendment offered by Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) to HR. 1, Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 . The amendment read:
An amendment numbered 566 printed in the Congressional Record to prohibit the use of funds to be used to require a person licensed under section 923 of title 18, United States Code, to report information to the Department of Justice regarding the sale of multiple rifles or shotguns to the same person.
A person licensed under 18 USC 923 is a FFL. The vote to adopt the above amendment originally passed on a voice vote. However, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) requested a recorded vote so as to put people on record about this issue. I am happy to see that Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC11) voted for the amendment as did the other NRA endorsed Democrats from North Carolina - Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell.

As discussed elsewhere, the ATF's move to require reporting of the multiple sales of semi-auto rifles in a caliber larger than .22 with a detachable magazine has stirred quite a bit of controversy. Using a broad-based demand letter approach is an overt attempt to skirt the provisions and intent of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Here is the NRA's release on the subject:
U.S. House Votes to Block Unauthorized Record Keeping on Gun Owners

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fairfax, Va. – The U.S. House has voted for an amendment to H.R. 1 offered by Reps. Denny Rehberg and Dan Boren that prohibits the use of federal funds for a new and unauthorized multiple sales reporting scheme proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The measure passed the chamber (277-149) with broad bipartisan support.

“The reluctance of the Calderon and Obama administrations to face reality and pursue real solutions is costing the lives of law enforcement and civilians on both sides of the border,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director for the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “NRA has always and will continue to support any law enforcement initiative that targets criminals. Any proposal that only burdens law-aiding gun owners and retailers – as this proposal does – is a non-starter with the NRA. To put it very simply, if someone is breaking the law, go after them full bore. If they aren't, leave them alone.”

The BATFE is demanding the authority to require all of the 8,500 firearm dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report all sales of two or more semiautomatic rifles within five consecutive business days, if the rifles are larger than .22 caliber and use detachable magazines. Yet, under existing law, the bureau has full access to every record of every firearm transaction by every licensed dealer, whether during a bona fide criminal investigation or simply to enforce compliance with record keeping requirements. This reporting scheme would create a registry of owners of many of today’s most popular rifles – firearms owned by millions of Americans for self-defense, hunting and other lawful purposes.

“On behalf of the tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners in America, I would like to thank Reps. Rehberg and Boren for their leadership on this important issue,” concluded Cox. “Every congressman who voted for this measure seeks real solutions to this tragic and violent problem that continues to escalate. In these trying times, limited resources should not be squandered on programs that will do nothing to address the heinous crimes occurring along our border.”

Friday, February 18, 2011

Investigative Journalism Or Puff Piece?

Sharyl Attkisson, an investigative correspondent for CBS News, posted this yesterday on
CBS News is working on a report to get at the truth of the assault rifle sales to suspected straw purchasers. We are in need of firsthand information from people who have it. Our deadline is ASAP. We have a lot of information that's been circulating, but we need to talk to sources directly. You do NOT have to appear on television or be quoted on TV by name (although it would be extremely helpful to have those types of sources too). We can just start with a phone conversation. We are very experienced in dealing with whistleblowers and covert sources.

Please contact soonest and pass along our contact info if you know others who might be willing to talk to us:

Sharyl Attkisson


Picture was included with Attkisson's post.
Given the so-far fruitless efforts by David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh to get the mainstream press to report on the story, I am wondering if this is the break they were hoping for. As David has commented many times, the reporters he has spoken with want his list of contacts including the whistle-blowers. As he rightly notes, talking to a reporter gives a whistle-blower no legal protection; talking to a sitting U.S. Senator and his staff under the provisions of Federal law does provide some legal protection to the whistle-blower.

If Attkisson is serious about doing an in-depth story on Project Gunwalker, I wish her luck and success. If it is just a puff piece, well.....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

South Carolina Considers Constitutional Carry

Rep. Mike Pitts of Laurens, a former Greenville police officer, has introduced House Bill 3292 which would make South Carolina the newest state to authorize constitutional carry.

In addition to Rep. Pitts, the bill has 37 co-sponsors. The SC House Judiciary Committee held hearings on the bill today. According to an article in The State, the bill has been delayed due to amendments meant to improve the law.
"It's unfortunate that that there's so much in this bill that needs to be fixed," said Robert Butler, a lobbyist for South Carolina GrassRoots GunRights, which asked for more than a dozen amendments.

But state Rep. Thad Viers, a Myrtle Beach Republican, said many amendments would doom the bill to reduce the need to get a concealed weapons permit.

"It gives us time to make corrections - necessary corrections," said state Rep. Mike Pitts, a Laurens Republican. "I have no problem with us taking the time to make sure we get it right."
Just like when Arizona was passing constitutional carry, a concealed carry instructor who feels his livelihood is in danger has come out against the change. Ted Landreth of Shooterszone Tactical makes the usual - but erroneous - comparison to getting a driver's license and the need for training. The difference is that driving is not an enumerated constitutional right. I would wager that those instructors in Arizona who supported constitutional carry have all the business they can handle.

UPDATE: House Bill 3292 was approved unanimously by the SC State House Judiciary General Laws subcommittee on Feb. 24th. It now goes to the full Judiciary Committee. Three more members also requested to added to the list of co-sponsors for the bill.

Richard Pearson Of ISRA On Concealed Carry In Illinois

As I noted a couple of days ago, there are at least two concealed carry bills that have been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly. Richard Pearson, the Executive Director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, discusses the cases with Cam.

As a reminder, ISRA was part of McDonald v. Chicago and is an organization plaintiff in Ezell v. Chicago.

The Gerald Ung Case - Sebastian On Cam & Company

This is an interesting case with a fortunate outcome. It is instructive for anyone who carries concealed as to what can happen.

Sebastian has done really good work following the case. Go to Snowflakes In Hell for more info on the case.

With Verizon Getting The iPhone 4... (Updated with review)

Verizon and Apple announced on Tuesday that the iPhone4 (or maybe 4.5) will be available to Verizon Wireless customers starting on February 3rd for existing customers and February 10th for new customers. This announcement made a big splash in the media even making all the nightly news shows.

OK, you say, so how does this relate to guns? Money, sure, it is a somewhat big deal as it involves the battle of Apple to stave off the challenges from the Android phones among other things.

It relates to guns because one of our favorite makers of magazines, AR accessories, and training videos - Magpul- is now shipping their own protective case for both the iPhone 3 and iPhone 4 according to a post on the SoldierSystems blog.

Magpul is selling the protective case for only $9.95. It is made from the same semi-rigid thermoplastic as the original Magpul loop. The specs on it according to Magpul are:

* Compatible with all iPhone 4 models (16 and 32GB)
* Compact, slimline design adds minimal bulk to the phone
* Textured surface and PMAG-style ribs on the ends for added grip
* Charging cable port, head phone jack, and ringer/silent switch are accessible with case installed
One other feature - made in America.

You can tell the world you are a Magpul fanboy with your iPhone case and only those in the gun culture will get it. Think of it as the secret handshake that the Brady Campaign in their fevered imagination swears exists among gun owners.

UPDATE:  My Magpul case for the iPhone 4 for Verizon arrived yesterday. One of the concerns was whether with the side buttons being in a slightly different location on the Verizon phone versus the AT&T phone would it work. It does. The molded in button for the on-off switch and for the volume works just fine. The cut-out for the switch to turn off the ringer is off a little but still usable. You just have to use your fingernail to flip it up or down.

I found the case to be solid and it fits well (see comments above). The ribs on the side allow you to grasp the phone easier. As to price, it seems to be about half as much as the silicone ones I was seeing at WalMart.

I am happy I got it and would recommend to anyone with an iPhone 4.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Memo To ATF - Grassley Not Impressed With Your Dog And Pony Show

Senator Chuck Grassley is like a dog after a bone when it comes to investigations. It is a point of pride for the Senator. He even puts this on his website when describing himself:
As Iowa's hired hand in Washington, Grassley immerses himself in the nitty-gritty work of rigorous government oversight. Grassley is a leader when it comes to shedding light on the federal bureaucracy and bringing transparency to the people's business.

In fact, Grassley's whistleblower laws have become the federal government's #1 anti-fraud tool. Thanks to his ongoing legislative victories to protect whistleblowers, taxpayers have gotten back more than $22 billion that would otherwise have been lost to fraud .
So when the ATF sent Asst. Director McDormand and a delegation of ATF heavies to brief Sen. Grassley on Operation Gunrunner, I'm guessing they thought they could blow smoke and he'd buy it. According to an internal report presented at a meeting of Special Agents in Charge, they thought it went well.
ATF briefed Senator Grassley’s office relative to memo written to ATF and recent whistleblower allegations concerning Southwest Border. AD McDermond thought meeting went well and that ATF delegation provided full debriefing of Project Gunrunner and ATF’s Firearms Trafficking strategy overall.
It didn't. Sen. Grassley sent a new letter to Attorney General Eric Holder describing the meeting saying:
I appreciate the staff briefing that Department of Justice (DOJ) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) officials provided on February 10, 2011. However, the briefers focused on general issues related to challenges in successfully prosecuting gun trafficking cases. They refused to answer specific questions about the facts and circumstances that led me to request the briefing.

Specifically, they refused to say whether the approximately 103 weapons seized according to the Jaime Avila indictment were the only seizures related to the nearly 770 weapons mentioned in the indictment. They refused to say whether the third assault rifle purchased by Avila in January 2010—the one not found at the scene of CBP Agent Brian Terry’s shooting—has been recovered elsewhere. When asked whether ATF had encouraged any gun dealer to proceed with sales to known or suspected traffickers such as Avila, the briefers said only that they did not have any “personal knowledge” of that.
So now as a result of a dog and pony show gone bad, Sen. Grassley is now asking for very detailed documents. His document request is so specific that it indicates for all the world to see that he has inside information from whistle-blowers and he won't be put off with a meaningless data dump. Here is what he requested:
Therefore, please provide the following documents to the Committee:

1) All records relating to communications between the ATF and the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) who sold the weapons to Avila, including any Report of Investigation (ROI) or other records relating to the December 17, 2009 meeting “to discuss his role as an FFL during this investigation.”

2) All records relating to communications between ATF headquarters and Phoenix Special Agent in Charge (SAC) William Newell from December 1, 2010 to the present, including a memorandum, approximately 30 pages long, from SAC Newell to ATF headquarters following the arrest of Jaime Avila and the death of CBP Agent Brian Terry.

3) A copy of the presentation, approximately 200 pages long, that the Group 7 Supervisor made to officials at ATF Headquarters in the Spring of 2010.

4) Copies of all e-mails related to Operation Fast and Furious, the Jaime Avila case, or the death of CBP Agent Brian Terry sent to or from SAC Newell, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) George Gillette, Group 7 Supervisor, or the Case Agent between November 1, 2009 and January 31, 2011.
Grassley set a deadline of February 23rd for receipt of the first batch of documents.

David Codrea sent a Freedom of Information Act request today requesting "any memorandum, report, summary or other communication that describes what happened at the meeting (with Grassley), including a description of any oral briefing and what was said by both sides, and include copies of any such documents filed or stored, or designated for filing and storage, at the Office of Public and Government Affairs." It will remain to be seen what David gets back and how redacted any documents will be.

As an aside, SAC William Newell has been transferred to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City as the new ATF Attache. This and the thought that ASAC George Gillette could be promoted to head the Phoenix Division has caused much discussion on

I think Sen. Grassley's request for specific documents has just upped the ante exponentially. The question then is when the mainstream media will deem it important enough to cover. We are still waiting for most of them to even acknowledge that a weapon sold in the U.S. could have killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

UPDATE: The forum at is buzzing with reactions to Grassley's latest letter. Start with the post by "Zorro" and read up.

The Case Of The Duck-Hunting High School Student

From the California Rifle & Pistol Association and attorney Chuck Michel:

Last year the NRA and the CRPA Foundation joined forces under their California Legal Action Project (LAP) to provide legal assistance for high school student Gary Tudesko in his fight to be readmitted to Willows High School in Glenn County, California. NRA News, in cooperation with the CRPA Foundation, has now released a video chronicling the events and the ultimate victory. It is posted at The Tudesko's will be guests of honor at the upcoming CRPA banquet to be held on February 26, 2011.

Sixteen-year-old Tudesko was expelled on November 19, 2009 for having unloaded shotguns in his pick-up truck that he legally parked on an off-campus, public street near the Willows High School campus. The high school is located in a small rural community near Sacramento, and the unloaded shotguns were in his truck because he had gone duck hunting in the pre-dawn hours before school. The case garnered significant national media coverage as an example of zero-tolerance policies run amuck.

Tudesko's shotguns were discovered in the pick up truck by scent-sniffing dogs during a questionable school search. Police ran the license plates, determined Tudesko was the owner, and then called him out of class. Tudesko cooperated and readily told the Principal about the shotguns and his early morning hunting trip.The school first suspended Tudesko for five days, then extended the suspension indefinitely until an expulsion hearing was held. Tudesko's mother, Susan Parisio defended her son during the November 19th public hearing on his expulsion. She challenged the school district's legal jurisdiction to enforce the Education Code's prohibition of guns on campus against her son for having unloaded shotguns locked in an off-campus vehicle parked on a public street. (See Hearing Minutes) High Principal Mort Geivett told the local School Board that, as a matter of law, it had no choice but to expel Tudesko, and the Board did just that.

Tudesko appealed the local school district's expulsion order to the Glenn County Board of Education. The appeal hearing was held on January 19, 2010. Tudesko was defended by civil rights lawyers Chuck Michel and Hillary Green of the Long Beach-based law firm of Michel & Associates, P.C. ( (Read the Brief in Support of Appeal filed by Michel & Associates, P.C.)

In a dramatic victory, the Glenn County Board of Education unanimously reversed the decision of the Willows Unified School District and Principal Mort Geivett reinstated Gary Tudesko at Willows High School!

This was a great victory for law-abiding gun-owners - particularly young adults who wish to enjoy their rights - over nonsensical "zero-tolerance" policies.

Disturbingly, Geivett claimed the school had jurisdiction over students traveling to and from school, as well as students off-campus during lunch, and that the school had jurisdiction over off-campus vehicles because students could not possess firearms within 1,000 feet of campus. But Geivett confused the Penal Code with the Education Code. With a number of exceptions, it is a potential criminal violation of the Penal Code, specifically the Gun Free School Zone law, to knowingly possess a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. But that law has nothing to do with the sections of the Education Code generally prohibiting possession of firearms on school grounds Tudesko was charged with violating. (See Education Code sections Tuedesko allegedly violated.)

Tudesko's truck was parked off school grounds, and Gary was not traveling to or from school at the time of the search of the off-campus truck. He was in class. Moreover, schools do not enforce criminal/penal statutes like the Gun Free School Zone law, the District Attorney does. And, the District Attorney and Willows Chief of Police had already stated there would be no charges filed against Tudesko, likely because there was no intent to violate the law.

Legal issues aside, Tudesko was in this position because of a short-sighted bureaucratic approach to enforcing the school's "zero tolerance" policy toward firearms, which is in many cases misapplied. Time and again these policies have resulted in a triumph of irrational political correctness over common sense and justice. Given that Tudesko had gone duck hunting that same morning with friends (hence the two shotguns), had bird-shot loads as ammunition, had both firearms unloaded, had intentionally parked off-campus to avoid any issues, and had several people who corroborated his story, school administrators should have acknowledged that the circumstances did not warrant expulsion.

Changes In NRA Lawsuits In Texas

In the lawsuit the NRA brought against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, D'Cruz et al v. BATFE et al, James D'Cruz is being replaced as the lead plaintiff. According to the court filing, his parents have moved from Lubbock, TX to Titusville, FL and Mr. D'Cruz has chosen to move with them. He was given permission by the court to withdraw from the case as the lead plaintiff.

Plaintiff's attorneys were given permission to file a Second Amended Complaint. The amended complaint was filed on February 11th. Rebekah Jennings and Brennan Harmon will be joining Andrew Payne as the individual plaintiffs in the case.

Rebekah Jennings is a resident of Boerne, TX. She has been a member of the U.S. Olympic Development Team for pistol shooting and is a member of the Texas State Rifle Association's Junior National Team. Ms. Jennings not only shot for the TSRA Junior National Team, she was the high junior at Camp Perry this year in pistol shooting. Her score of 285x15 was not only good enough to win the Junior National Trophy Match but to shatter the old record. Ms. Jennings also made the President's 100 for pistol shooting. The picture below is of her accepting her trophy at Camp Perry.

Ms. Jennings paired with another Texas junior shooter, Zach Hedrick, to win the Junior National Trophy Team match. You can see the picture of them below accepting that trophy.

The other new plaintiff is Brennan Harmon of San Antonio, TX. While Ms. Harmon currently owns both a rifle and a shotgun, she would like to purchase a pistol for self-defense according to the amended complaint. Of course, she and Ms. Jennings are both precluded from purchasing pistols due to current Federal law and regulations.

In a move that will greatly disappoint Paul Helmke and Josh Horwitz, Facebook pages for both Ms. Jennings and Ms. Harmon feature no pictures except for a profile picture. I am guessing that the NRA attorneys "sanitized" their Facebook pages to prevent having them dragged through the mud like Helmke and Horwitz attempted to do to James D'Cruz. Still I would put nothing past either Helmke or Horwitz in pursuit of their goal of gun prohibition.

James D'Cruz is still listed as the lead plaintiff in D'Cruz et al v. McCraw et al. This case is the challenge to the age 21 requirement to obtain a Texas CHL. I would not be surprised to see this change as well with Mr. D'Cruz's move to Titusville, FL to live with his parents. If this does change, I will have an update.

H/T Sebastian

UPDATE: Ian asked a queston on whether the State of Texas issues non-resident concealed handgun licenses. They do but require the education component to be taught in Texas. As James D'Cruz has taken the education component while still residing in Texas, I don't think this will be an issue.

Is Texas the proper venue for a non-resident to sue? I don't know for sure but would guess it would be.

Below is the Texas requirements for a non-resident license as taken from their CHL Handbook.
GC §411.173. NONRESIDENT LICENSE. (a) The department by
rule shall establish a procedure for a person who meets the eligibility
requirements of this subchapter other than the residency requirement
established by Section 411.172(a)(1) to obtain a license under this
subchapter if the person is a legal resident of a state another state
or if the person relocates to this state with the intent to establish residency
in this state. The procedure must include payment of a fee in an
amount sufficient to recover the average cost to the department of
obtaining a criminal history record check and investigation on a
nonresident applicant. A license issued in accordance with the procedure
established under this subsection:
(1) remains in effect until the license expires under Section
411.183; and
(2) may be renewed under Section 411.185.
(a-1)*[repealed by Act effective September 1, 2005, 79th Leg., R.S., H.B. 225, §4.]
(b) The governor shall negotiate an agreement with any other state
that provides for the issuance of a license to carry a concealed
handgun under which a license issued by the other state is recognized
in this state or shall issue a proclamation that a license issued by the
other state is recognized in this state if the attorney general of the
State of Texas determines that a background check of each applicant
for a license issued by that state is initiated by state or local authorities
or an agent of the state or local authorities before the license is issued.
For purposes of this subsection, "background check" means a search
of the National Crime Information Center database and the Interstate
Identification Index maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
(c) The attorney general of the State of Texas shall annually:
(1) submit a report to the governor, lieutenant governor, and
speaker of the house of representatives listing the states the attorney
general has determined qualify for recognition under Subsection (b);
(2) review the statutes of states that the attorney general has
determined do not qualify for recognition under Subsection (b) to
determine the changes to their statutes that are necessary to qualify
for recognition under that subsection.
(d) The attorney general of the State of Texas shall submit the report
required by Subsection (c)(1) not later than January 1 of each calendar