Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Easy Way To Comment On ATF's Power Grab

Thanks to reader P.T. we have our own form-letter generator to submit comments to the Office of Management and Budget on the ATF's proposed multiple rifle sale reporting requirement for the Southwest border states. There is a pre-written letter in the generator which you can modify as you wish.

Please forward this to all your friends, family, and others you know who believe in preserving our gun rights and freedoms. This really is an "Army of Davids" approach to use the Instapundit's term. Unlike the Brady Campaign and Mayor Bloomberg's Illegal Mayors, this is a totally grassroots effort done in less than 24 hours. We didn't need a grant from the Joyce Foundation to put this together!

UPDATE: I have taken down the letter generator as the comment period has now closed. I will check with P.T. to find out the final numbers of submissions.

I want to thank everyone who helped with this little project. First, to P.T. for setting up the account and writing the code. Without this, it couldn't have been done. Second, to all the bloggers, forums, and organizations that posted a link or put the code up on their own site. Finally, and most importantly, to everyone who submitted comments. Taking the time to submit a comment is what citizen democracy is all about. This was a true grassroots effort for gun rights.

UPDATE II: The final numbers are in. P.T. reports that we had 3,203 submissions to the Office of Management and Budget. We will have to wait until the ATF releases the public comments to see how this number impacts the final count. That said, it had to help counteract the Brady Campaign's letter generator.

Stephen Camp Passes Away

Stephen A. Camp, probably the Browning Hi-Power expert, has passed away on Friday at the age of 59 from a brain aneurysm. His obituary as published in the Denton Record-Chronicle is below. His website, Hi-Powers and Handguns, was the first place to go to find out anything and everything you wanted to know about the Browning Hi-Power.

For those of us who love the Browning Hi-Power, it is a sad day.

Stephen Allen Camp, 59, of Krum passed away on Friday, May 27, 2011.Steve was born on June 18, 1951, in Fort Worth, TX to Cecil and Taloma Camp. He married Sandy Bailey on August 26, 1999.As a young man Steve became a believer in Jesus Christ at Birdville Baptist Church in Haltom City, Texas.

Steve retired in 1998 from the Denton Police Department after 25 years of loyal and very dedicated service. He left a special legacy at the PD, and many of the people there remember him with love and respect. He left a piece of himself at the Police Department that will remain forever in the hearts of all who knew him. He definitely touched their lives in a very special way.

He had a passion for guns that was legendary. Target practice was a part of his daily life, and he was known as the premier expert on the Browning Hi Power. Many people sought his advice and he was always willing to give of himself to explain anything asked of him, answering emails from perfect strangers on a daily basis. Steve was an accomplished writer who could always express himself very eloquently on paper. After he retired, he started writing manuals about his beloved firearms. He was a self-published author who wrote four gun-related books that were very well received in the gun community. He even wrote one novel that impresses everyone who reads it. He was a very talented man.

Steve lived his life by a strict moral code and expected others to do the same. He could be rigid and uncompromising at times, but he was the most giving, loving, decent man who ever lived. You always knew where you stood with Steve because he would tell you. Everyone who knew him loved him and wanted to be his friend, because Steve was true-blue and always there for those he cared about.

He is survived by his wife, Sandy Camp; mother, Taloma Camp; mother-in-law, Florence Boehnemann; sister, Jan Clifton and husband Tommy; sister-in-law Kathie Boehnemann; niece, Kim Bolton and husband J J; nephew, Clint Jarrett and wife Jinelle; nephew, Stephen Boehnemann and wife Eve; niece, Lauren Hadley and husband Josh; and many other aunts, uncles, cousins and loyal friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Cecil Camp; father-in-law, Delphine Boehnemann; and brother-in-law, Larry Boehnemann.

Visitation will be in Denton at DeBerry Funeral Directors, 2025 W University, on Tuesday, May 31, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Services will be held at 10:30 am on Wednesday, June 1, at the First United Methodist Church of Denton located at 201 S Locust.

Memorials: Denton Police Officers Association, PO Box 5103, Denton, TX, 76205
.

Suppressed KRISS Vector

Thanks to Sean Sorrentino for taking this video and for insisting that I *had* to shoot the Kriss. While the full auto version was down for cleaning, I did get a chance to shoot the suppressed semi-auto version. It was my first time shooting anything that was suppressed.

Suppressed firearms should be encouraged and not saddled with a six-month delay and a $200 tax stamp. I think the first step is to consider suppressors and silencers as AOW's or Any Other Weapons under the NFA is a good one. Even better would be to ditch the archaic attitudes towards sound suppression and remove them from the NFA list altogether.


HB 241 - North Carolina Firearms Freedom Act

The North Carolina State House will hold hearings this week on HB 241 - the North Carolina Firearms Freedom Act. The House Judiciary Subcommittee A will hold hearings on the bill for discussion purposes only on this Wednesday. Grass Roots North Carolina released the following about the bill in response:
HB 241

The Federal government has steadily expanded its misuse of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to the point that States Rights have become next to meaningless. It's time to stop the cancerous growth of Federal Bureaucracy and HB 241, North Carolina Firearms Freedom Act will help begin to do this.

This important new legislation is similar to the Montana Firearms Freedom Act enacted in 2009. It will allow North Carolinians to manufacture and sell firearms and ammunition for use within our State without having to bow to and comply with onerous (and expensive) Federal restrictions.

In addition to representing an important "shot in the arm" to shooting enthusiasts within our State, this law has important implications for redeeming States Rights. This represents an important first step in restoring Federal respect of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution.

This legislation is a win for freedom and needs all the support we can muster!

HB 241 will receive a hearing next week, and so we need to voice support NOW!
The full text of the bill is available here. Section 2 which contains the Declarations of Authority makes for very interesting reading. Rarely does one come across a bill in a state legislature that makes reference to the Federalist Papers!
(6)The Federalist Papers (specifically Madison #46 and Hamilton #29), as well as the entire history of the ratification of the Second Amendment, reveal that the right to bear arms was primarily intended as the sole means of defense and as a hedge against the potential tyranny of an overreaching Federal Government.

(7) According to the natural law of logic, a right intentionally enumerated in both the United States Constitution and within the North Carolina Constitution specifically and directly intended as a hedge against the potential tyranny of an overreaching Federal Government should not and cannot in any way be defined by nor regulated from the very Federal Government being so guarded.
Section 2, (7) does make sense. If the Second Amendment was designed to be a hedge against tyranny from the Federal Government, then logically the Federal Government should have no say in its definition or regulation. Unfortunately, I think it would be hard to find a U.S. Court at any level that would agree with that statement.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Comment Period Ends Tomorrow

The comment period for the ATF's proposed requirement on reporting of multiple sales of certain semi-automatic rifles ends tomorrow. There is still time to submit a comment. I have made it easy for you. To submit a pre-written comment just go here, put in your name, e-mail address, and optionally, your city and state. Hit "Send Email" and away it goes to the OMB.

Through 9pm Saturday evening, the form letter generator had sent 2,142 letters to the Office of Management and Budget opposing ATF's rule making. "P.T." sent the following screen shots of the number of entries received on Friday and on Saturday (through 9pm). The total number in that 48 hours is 2,401 according to his comments.



According to Sitemeter statistics, this blog had 2,556 hits on Friday and 2,440 hits on Saturday. My estimate is that 75% plus of those hits were in response to the letter generator. If you visited and didn't submit a letter, go back and do it!

If you want to submit a longer, more detailed letter, go to my post here and cut and paste it.

As to why you should do it, read Kurt Hofmann's post at the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. The title of his column says it all - "Celebrating those who died for liberty, too lazy to spend 1 minute to defend it?" Kurt notes, you aren't being asked to defend Bastogne against the Nazis like certain veterans from WWII were asked to do - and did. All we are asking you to do is take less than one minute to send a pre-written letter opposing the ATF's power grab.

In addition, read David Codrea's National Gun Rights Examiner column where he asks if gun owner apathy will allow ATF to impose this requirement. While you are at it, read what Chris Knox of The Firearms Coalition had to say about it. He gives you pre-written text that you can use if you don't want to take the easy way.

The tide in the war for gun rights has turned and we have won many battles lately starting with the Heller decision. This is not the time to become apathetic and complacent. It is time to drive home the win and keep the astro-turfing gun prohibitionists in retreat.

Memorial Day 2011

On the Memorial Day 2011, I'd like to thank all who have served in our armed forces for their dedication, their duty, and, most of all, for the sacrifices they have made for our country and our freedom. May they and their sacrifices never be forgotten.

I just spent three days at the LuckyGunner Blogger Shoot. Among the bloggers participating were a number of veterans. While I know I am missing a few, I had to the pleasure to get to know (and shoot) with Jim Curtis (Old NFO - USN), Rev. Kenn Blanchard (Urban Shooter podcast - USMC), Sean Sorrentino (A NC Gun Blog - USA & USN), Cargosquid (United Conservatives of VA - USN) and Anthony whose last name I missed (The Packet Man - USMC). Lest I forget, our host Mike Mollenhour (MJM's Blog) served as an officer in the Army's 101st Airborne Division.

To all of the above and veterans everywhere, I say thank you for your service.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

M3 Stuart Tank At Blogger Shoot (corrected)

Along with all the bloggers at the LuckyGunner Memorial Day Blogger Shoot, there were a number of WWII reenactors representing both German and American forces. The American forces had a couple of M3 Stuart tanks and a half-track. This video shows them in action against targets filled with Tannerite.

This video is the first that I've ever taken with my iPhone. I'm sure if I knew what the heck I was doing, it would have been a little better.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

LuckyGunner Blogger Shoot - Day 1

It was not a bad day.

I have a sunburned face, came in as the runner-up in the 2011 Best Gun Blog - Law category to the Instapundit, shot a boat load of free ammo, and got to shoot a variety of full auto guns. Yep, not a bad day.

I shot a full auto M-16A1, a Heckler Koch G-3, a Thompson M1 submachine gun, a German MP-40, and a Smith and Wesson M76 (a copy of the Swedish K submachine gun). I almost got to shoot a Browning BAR but it was having feed problems. I missed out on firing some of the crew-served machine guns and the H-K MP-5. My favorites were the Thompson and the Smith and Wesson M76. Both were controllable and have very little felt recoil. As someone commented, imagine what the price of the M76 would be if there were no Hughes Amendment. It was a very simple stamped gun whose production costs would be relatively modest.

I met and spoke with a number of bloggers. There were too many to name individually but I hope we can get a list so we can all keep up with one another.

I think we all had a great time and are very grateful that LuckyGunner.com put on the shoot and provided the ammo. I am excited that tomorrow I'll be taking both a defensive pistol and a shotgun course with Tom Givens of Rangemaster. One of my goals for the year was to take a training course. That I can take classes in both handgun and shotgun makes it even better.

Lenoir City, We Have Arrived

We arrived in Lenoir City, TN last night for the LuckyGunner blogger shoot. Despite being the start of the Memorial Day weekend, traffic moved along smoothly on I-40 even through the middle of Knoxville so we got here in about 2.5 hours.

The first person I ran into was Kenn Blanchard - A Black Man with a Gun - of the Urban Shooter podcast. I had just turned around from the check-in desk at the EconoLodge and there was Kenn! It was good to see him so soon after the NRA Annual Meeting. He rode with us to the pizza place to meet the rest of the bloggers along with Mike Mollenhour of LuckyGunner.

The place was crowded when we arrived. Lots of bloggers, podcasters, and others of our ilk. We shared a table with Old NFO (Jim Curtis), Sean Sorrentino, The Packet Man (Anthony), and Robert of My Tumultuous Adventure blog.  Linoge came in a few minutes later and we were also joined by Rob Reed who is the Detroit Gun Right Examiner. The very attractive Angela of LuckyGunner who did a superb job in organizing the event and the facilities was also with us.

There were a number of bloggers I didn't get to meet but look forward to meeting them this morning.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Status Of Concealed Carry In Illinois

Richard Pearson is the Executive Director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. He is on the front line every day in Illinois dealing with the legislature and fighting for gun rights. He released this yesterday regarding concealed carry and HB 148. Also, see Don Moran's note that ISRA's fight against the Cook County Assault Weapons Ban is continuing.
There has been a great deal of conjecture out there about what we are going to do after placing HB148 on postponed consideration. First let me explain what postponed consideration means.

It simply means the sponsor with drew the bill before the vote could be recorded. The bill is still alive and will be until the second Wednesday in January 2013. This means we can bring the bill back during veto session, next session, or next veto session.

You will not see HB148 brought up again before May 31st ,which is the end of the Spring 2011 session. There is no way to do it and have any better results. Long before the vote it was decided that if the bill did not pass we would sue the State of Illinois over the inability of Illinois citizens to defend themselves outside of their home. Illinois is the only state that does not allow either open carry or concealed carry. We have now begun the legal challenges to the Illinois laws with the NRA. The is another challenge from the Second Amendment Foundation on a similar basis. Illinois is now facing two law suits over the inability of Illinois citizens being able to defend themselves outside their homes. Brandon Phelps the CCW sponsor warned the House of Representatives that they would be in court if the bill was not passed. Within seven days we delivered on that promise. If we get CCW by court order I am happy with that. If it comes by court order the legislature will have to still enact some legislation but they will find their hands are tied. We offered a good bill and they turned it down.

These lawsuits will take time to make their way through the court system. There is a great deal of work that goes into these suits every day before they are heard in court. It is not a simple thing to file a law suit. There is always on going work behind the scenes. Be patient.

We promised that in 2011 we would get a up and down vote on CCW and we did. We had
to probe and find out the other side’s strengths, weakness, and reactions. We have done that. There were a few surprises but not many. We have a lot of work to do in the next few months. This effort has taken a toll on our resources and our energy. We have to develop new strategies and reinforce old ones that work. We are not quitting. Remember we fiercely believe in the Second Amendment and the right to self defense. We will win this battle. As I reminded one of our opponents – “You don’t defeat us- we just fall back reload and attack again.”

Note by Don Moran, ISRA President: This summer will see a lot of activity in relation to HB-148 and all the pending litigation ISRA is involved in, Ezell v Chicago (Chicago range suit), Wilson v Cook County (Cook County Assault Weapon Ban), ISRA v ISP (FOID Privacy), and ISRA v Madigan (Carry suit). It is very important that we are able to contact as many of you and your friends as possible quickly when action is needed. I know you get tired of hearing it, but funding all this
requires constant vigilance as well. We've put on even more lobbyists this year and we are now involved in an incredible amount of litigation on behalf of Illinois firearm owners. When people ask you, who is the ISRA, or what has ISRA done for me lately, let them know all of the above, and then ask them what have they are doing for the fight RIGHT NOW? We need their help as well.

UPDATE: Wilson v Cook County, the ISRA’s suit seeking to overturn the
Cook County Assault Weapon ban, was granted leave to appeal by the Illinois
Supreme Court yesterday, meaning the Court will hear the case.

In New Jersey, Some Justice Is Done

The Second Amendment Foundation sent out the following yesterday afternoon. The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the state of New Jersey, Jeffrey Muller was finally granted a handgun carry permit by Judge David Ironson. Back in March, this same judge had denied it. I'm not sure what changed the judge's mind but it is about damn time.

NJ JUDGE ISSUES PERMIT TO PLAINTIFF IN SAF LAWSUIT


BELLEVUE, WA - A New Jersey judge today announced he will issue a gun permit to one of the plaintiffs in a Second Amendment Foundation lawsuit against several New Jersey officials for deprivation of civil rights under color of law, because applicants cannot show a "justifiable need" for a permit.

SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb said today this "clearly indicates that our lawsuit is proper, and we are encouraged to press our case to its conclusion."

Morris County Superior Court Judge David Ironson announced after a hearing in his courtroom this morning that a permit will be issued to lead plaintiff Jeffrey Muller. His application had languished for six months before Judge Philip Maenza, a defendant in the federal lawsuit, denied the permit without a hearing on the grounds that Muller did not have a "justifiable need." Muller had been kidnapped by members of a motorcycle gang who threatened to kill him, in a case of mistaken identity. Several suspects have been arrested in that case, and Muller's application for a permit had gained support from local and state police.

"Finally," Gottlieb said, "one judge has done the right thing, but it took a federal lawsuit to make it happen. Our other plaintiffs are pushing ahead with the lawsuit so we can put an end to this practice once and for all."

SAF is joined in the lawsuit by the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Inc. and several private citizens whose applications for permits to carry have been denied generally on the grounds that they have not shown a "justifiable need." One of the remaining plaintiffs is a part-time sheriff's deputy, a second carries large amounts of cash in his private business and another is a civilian employee of the FBI in New Jersey who is fearful of attack from a radical Islamic fundamentalist group. They are represented by attorney David D. Jensen.

"We're moving forward with this case," Gottlieb stated, "because there are far too many people just like Jeff Muller whose civil rights have been cavalierly denied on the whims of a judge."
Ian Argent has some comments on it here. As Ian lives in New Jersey, I think he has a better perspective than most.

But What Will The Violence Policy Center Say?

Ruger is attempting to become the first firearms manufacturer to sell one million guns in one year. They issued the following release saying what happens if they meet their sales goal.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to announce the "Million Gun Challenge" to benefit the NRA. Ruger pledges to donate $1,000,000 to the NRA if one million new Ruger firearms are sold between the 2011 and 2012 NRA Shows.

"Our goal is to present the NRA with a check for one million dollars during the 141st NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis next April," said Ruger CEO Mike Fifer. "This substantial donation would reflect a record-breaking feat in the firearms industry, as we believe no company has every sold one million firearms in a 12-month period. With the help of our loyal customers, we hope to make history and to share that accomplishment with the NRA."
I'm sure that Josh Sugarman and Kristen Rand at the Violence Policy Center are jumping up and down for joy thinking that they have just been vindicated. They have been saying that the NRA is just a tool for firearms manufacturers and that is why the MidwayUSA's, the Rugers, the Glocks, etc. "subsidize" (i.e., donate money) to the NRA. I wonder what they will do once they realize that this means another million firearms in the hands of freedom-loving, Second Amendment backing Americans?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Legislating A Non-Existent Solution

The New York State Assembly just passed the micro-stamping bill and sent it to the State Senate according to the NRA.
Micro-Stamping Legislation Passes New York Assembly

Thursday, May 26, 2011


On Tuesday, May 24, Assembly Bill 1157 passed in the New York Assembly by a 84 to 55 vote. The bill has been delivered to the state Senate and will be considered in the Senate Codes Committee.

Introduced by state Assemblyman Michelle Schimel (D-16), A1157 would require all current semi-automatic pistols in production and all newly designed semi-automatic pistols delivered to any licensed firearms dealer in New York to mechanically stamp an alpha-numeric or geometric code that would imprint the make, model and serial number onto the cartridge case when the gun is discharged. This bill would vastly increase the cost of these firearms and will likely result in firearms manufacturers not selling new handguns in New York. Of course, that is the ultimate goal of this legislation.

A1157 would also require micro-stamping on all new semi-automatic pistols sold in New York after January 1, 2013 or whenever the State Police receive notification from one or more “micro-stamp job shops” that they can produce micro-stamp structures on two internal surfaces of a semi-automatic pistol for $12 or less, whichever occurs later.

Gun control advocates know that micro-stamping is unproven technology, is easily circumvented, and will be very costly to gun owners. Desperate to pass a bill and create a loophole, this legislation would do nothing to safeguard gun owners from the costly, unproven gimmick we know as micro-stamping. Enemies of the Second Amendment are determined to pass New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's pet project at any cost.

If you live in New York, please contact your state Senator and respectfully urge him or her to OPPOSE A1157. Contact information can be found here. Perhaps they can be the voice of reason.

They're Back

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence had its Twitter privileges restored about an hour ago. They seem to be making up for lost time. Their last Tweet said:
CSGV's promise to victims and survivors of gun violence: We will NEVER stop standing with you, including when you... http://fb.me/W4KQK9WQ
This linked to their Facebook page where they implicitly accuse gun rights activists of harrassing, intimidating, and threatening these poor sheep.



One of the definitions of intimidate is to "to overawe or cow, as through the force of personality or by superior display of wealth, talent, etc." If one uses a superior argument with CSGV and their followers, I guess you would be guilty of intimidation. I can live with that.

Grassley Threatens Hold On Justice Nominees Over Lack Of Answers On Project Gunwalker

Senator Chuck Grassley can be like a bulldog when he is after information on governmental wrongdoing. He was the first member of Congress to push for answers on Project Gunwalker and he isn't stopping.

Both FoxNews and The Hill reported yesterday that Grassley is threatening a "hold" on Justice nominees due to a lack of answers from the Justice Department on Project Gunwalker. As I've noted here many times, Senator Grassley has submitted numerous information requests and has gotten little cooperation from the Justice Department.

Currently, Justice nominess for Solicitor General, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, and the head of the National Security Division have passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. These and others could be held up if Senator Grassley puts a hold on them as is his privilege under Senate rules.

From FoxNews:
A Grassley aide told FoxNews.com on Wednesday that three Justice nominees recently sent to the floor could be the first to get caught up in the dispute.

They are Donald Verrilli, nominee for solicitor general; Virginia Seitz, nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel; and Lisa Monaco, nominee to head the National Security Division.

"Those would be possibilities," Grassley spokeswoman Beth Levine said, adding that her boss could put a hold on virtually anybody in line for a job at Justice over his concerns. The three nominees she named just happened to be voted recently out of committee.

"He's reserving the right to hold up nominees," Levine said.
From The Hill:
Grassley told The Hill that the DOJ officials have not been forthcoming on his requests for documents. If they continue to be unresponsive, Grassley said, he will hold Obama’s judicial nominations hostage.

“We’re just getting stonewalled,” Grassley said in an interview. “The next step is we’re going to hold up nominations until we get their attention.”

Given the dismissive attitude shown by Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich to these matters, it may well take a blunt weapon like putting holds on all nominees to get his and Eric Holder's attention.

Time For Action On ATF Proposal On Multiple Rife Sales Reporting

The comment period for objecting to the proposed ATF requirement that FFL's in the Southwest border states report multiple sales of certain semi-automatic rifles is May 31st. The gun prohibitionists flooded the ATF with comments the first time and are geared up to do it again.

Comments need to be sent by May 31st to oira_submission@omb.eop.gov

I have a couple of examples of letters that can be sent. You just need to cut and past this into your email program, add your name and address, and send it. Feel free to edit the letters as you wish. The keys are to submit it by May 31st, to send it to the address above, and to include the control number - OMB Control Number 1140-New.

If I can find any form letter generators with this info, I will post it.

Long Letter

Re: OMB Control Number 1140-New

I am writing to oppose the Information collection action to register multiple sales of certain rifles with BATFE from the 04/29/2011 Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-04-29/pdf/2011-10355.pdf.

This information collection is both illegal and unnecessary.

* The action proposed is outside the statutory grant of authority to record information about multiple sales of firearms. Title 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(3)(A) specifically grants the authority to collect multiple sale information on handguns and revolvers. Other firearms are excluded and there is no implied authority to extend this reporting requirement to rifles or any other type of firearm.

* Analysis of the number of firearms seized shows that Mexico is being primarily supplied with firearms by South American countries, NOT the United States. In fact, a STRATFOR report indicates that fully 90% of of the firearms traced in Mexico are NOT coming from the United States, contrary to assertions in the mainstream media: http://wwwprod-1756134246.us-west-1.elb.amazonaws.com/index.php?q=weekly/20110209-mexicos-gun-supply-and-90-percent-myth.

Additionally, Wikileaks cables have shown the US Government is at least partially responsible for supplying Mexico from the United States: http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2011/02/pentagon-fingered-source-narco-firepower-mexico. These firearms are NOT from the US commercial market.

* Source documents of the BATFE uncovered by US Senator Grassley and US Representative Issa show that BATFE has been complicit in supplying Mexican Narco-terrorist forces with firearms: http://www.scribd.com/doc/49971654/2011-03-03-CEG-to-DOJ-ATF.

* ”FFL” holders are already required by law to respond to BATFE requests for information on firearms distribution pursuant to criminal investigations: Title 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(7).

* The regulation contains no provision for the destruction of information collected, which establishes a nationwide registry of “certain types of firearms” as proposed. Because of this the regulation, as proposed, is illegal under Title 18 U.S.C. § 926(a). ”No such rule or regulation … may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established.”

There is a grave potential for this regulation to unduly burden citizens who are collectors or must obtain purchase permits at the local or state level to possess firearms. The proposed regulation does not say what the agency intends to do with the information but ostensibly it would be for criminal investigations. Subjecting law abiding gun owners to this type of investigation under the guise of “information collection” is an overt attempt to prevent them from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights to purchase and own firearms.

This regulatory action should not be approved.
Short Letter
Re: OMB Control Number 1140-New

I am writing to oppose the Information collection action to register multiple sales of certain rifles with BATFE from the 04/29/2011 Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-04-29/pdf/2011-10355.pdf

This information collection is both illegal and unnecessary.

Specifically addressing your request for comments on whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility, the collection of this additional data will impede the proper function of ATF field operations.

Even when firearm's dealers in the Southwest voluntarily provided information on multiple semi-automatic rifle sales to the ATF in an effort to prevent straw purchases and illegal sales, the ATF could not keep up with the volume of information. Adding a requirement that ALL dealers submit this information will create information overload. Because of this it would not have practical utility and would impede proper performance of the agency.

This regulatory action should not be approved.

Brady's Prepared For ATF Comments On Multi-Rifle Reporting

The Brady Campaign is prepared for the May 31st deadline for comments on the ATF proposal to require dealers in the Southwest to report multiple sales of semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines in calibers greater than .22. Dennis Hennigan of the Brady Campaign posted this note on their website:
Tell ATF to Fight Assault Rifle Smuggling to Mexico!


Dear Friend,

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has proposed an important new step to curb gun smuggling to Mexico.

ATF wants to hear from you and has asked for the public to weigh in with comments on its new idea.

Please tell ATF that you support its proposal to require reporting of multiple sales of weapons, such as semi-automatic military-style assault rifles, by gun dealers in the Southwest border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

The comment period closes May 31, so please click here to take action today!

America's gun laws are so weak that gun dealers don't even have to inform law enforcement when they sell dozens of these weapons of war in one sale.

The violence fueled by our weak gun laws is killing thousands both here and in Mexico, and gun trafficking to Mexico threatens to cause a major foreign policy crisis for the U.S.

Please make your voice heard and help ATF crack down on gunrunners to Mexico and contribute to security in Mexico and the United States.

After you've taken action, please also forward this message to your family and friends.

Sincerely,
Dennis Henigan, Vice President
Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Within that letter is a link to a form letter generator. Unfortunately, while the message can be personalized a bit, they have frozen the parts saying you support the proposal to require the reporting. Otherwise we could just use their generator to send mass amounts of letters opposing the ATF proposal. Their letter reads:
Support the Proposal to Require Reporting of Multiple Sales of Certain Long Guns (OMB control number 1140NEW)

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to offer my comment in support of the Proposal to Require Reporting of Multiple Sales of Certain Long Guns (OMB control number 1140NEW).

America's weak gun laws have contributed to massive numbers of guns, including military-style assault weapons, being sold by gun dealers to gun traffickers in the U.S. These guns harm Americans and are smuggled to Mexican drug cartels who wreak havoc on citizens, visitors, law enforcement, and government officials in Mexico.

Reporting multiple sales of weapons such as semi-automatic assault rifles will provide ATF with crucial notification of bulk gun sales to traffickers, giving law enforcement an opportunity to promptly investigate and stop a potential trafficker.

Under current law, ATF and other law enforcement agencies have neither the tools nor the resources to adequately stem the flow of trafficked guns from the United States into Mexico. Congress needs to provide law enforcement the tools it needs to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, including requiring background checks for all gun sales, giving ATF increased enforcement authority to crack down on corrupt gun dealers, and restricting the sale of military-style weaponry, such as large capacity ammunition magazines. The proposed reporting requirement is an important first step to stopping gun trafficking.

I urge you to support the Proposal to Require Reporting of Multiple Sales of Certain Long Guns (OMB control number 1140NEW).
Of course, it is utter bullshit. However, it emphasizes the need for our side to get its act together and submit comments. May 31st is only five days away if you count today. I will have a sample letter up with instructions a little later this morning.

If anyone knows of a form letter generator with a message opposing this proposal, please put it in the comments. I will make sure to publicize it.

H/T Josh

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blatant Mistruths From Anti's On NC's HB 650

The anti-gun group, North Carolinians against Gun Violence (NCGV), has issued their "report" on HB 650 which amends various North Carolina gun laws.

Sean at A NC Gun Blog has been reporting on HB 650 and what it would do. He takes apart their attack on the bill bit by bit and shows them for the desparate group that they have become.

While North Carolina specific, it is shows how to dissect and take apart the gun prohibitionists' arguments as well as showing how they will lie to stop reform.

Range Protection Bill Passes NC State Senate

SB 560 - the Sport Shooting Range Protection Act - passed the North Carolina Senate yesterday by a 36-13 vote. According to Grass Roots NC, the rules were suspended which allowed a single vote for both the 2nd and 3rd readings of the bill. It now goes to the NC State House. More importantly, it was passed prior to the crossover deadline of June 9th which means the bill can still be considered for passage anytime between now and next year. It does not have to pass the House before the probable adjournment of this session in July.

The breakdown of the vote is below.
Ayes: Senator(s): Allran; Apodaca; Berger, D.; Berger, P.; Bingham; Blake; Brock; Brown; Brunstetter; Clary; Daniel; Davis; East; Forrester; Garrou; Goolsby; Gunn; Harrington; Hartsell; Hise; Hunt; Jackson; Jenkins; Kinnaird; Meredith; Newton; Pate; Preston; Rabon; Rouzer; Rucho; Soucek; Stevens; Tillman; Tucker; Walters

Noes: Senator(s): Atwater; Clodfelter; Dannelly; Graham; Jones; Mansfield; McKissick; Nesbitt; Purcell; Robinson; Stein; Vaughan; White

Exc. Absence: Senator(s): Blue
Those voting against the bill were all Democrats while the majority in favor was a mixture of both Democrats and Republicans.

The bill as passed was amended in committee to specify that to be considered in continuous operation the range had to relocate within the same county. If it moved to another county, it was now subject to the ordinances in effect when the property was purchases.
SECTION 1. G.S. 14‑409.46 is amended by adding two new subsections to read:

"(f) For the purposes of this Article, a sport shooting range that relocates to another location within the same county due to condemnation, rezoning, annexation, road construction, or development:
(1) Is still considered to be continuously in existence since beginning operation at its previous location; and
(2) Is not considered to have undergone a substantial change in use as the result of the location.
(g) A sport shooting range that is exempted from liability under this Article and that relocates to a new location in a different county shall comply with ordinances in effect at the new location as of the date property is purchased to establish the range at the new location."
Range protection is important. The days of shooting in your backyard so long as you lived outside the city limits are all but over in a lot of places. Even in rural areas in states with strong range protection laws, the establishment of a new range is not an easy task as seen in this story from Missouri. Attacking shooting ranges is a backdoor attack on the Second Amendment as the Ezell case in Chicago makes clear.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Kind Of Gun Shop

I am in Murphy, NC on business and ran across this wonderfully named gun shop. It was closed by the time I got here. With luck, I'll be able to drop in tomorrow. Just peeking in the window, it looks like a good store.

The name of the store is enough to put the gun prohibitionists into an apoplectic rage. Good!











- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


UPDATE: I got a chance to visit the gun shop this afternoon and speak with the owner. The shop has been open about a year and a half. Business is good enough that it supports his family and he can expand little by little which is good to hear. I asked the owner about the name and he said he did it to goad the anti's a bit. I like his sense of humor!

The shop has an interesting selection of older and new guns with more emphasis on the second-hand stuff. I saw an absolutely pristine Smith and Wesson M&P .38 Special revolver from the 1940s. They even have the original box that it came in. It had been put away in a closet and rarely shot.

If you are ever in Murphy, North Carolina stop in at Back Alley Arms. It is located about half a block from the center of town.

Monday, May 23, 2011

An Interesting Take On The Supreme Court Ordering The Release Of Prisoners

Josh Blackman in his blog by the same name has an interesting take on a Supreme Court case decided today. Brown v. Plata effectively orders the release of 46,000 prisoners in the State of California to comply with court-ordered limits on the number of prisoners held in the state's prisons.

Josh tries to reconcile the votes of Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor in Brown v. Plata with their votes on McDonald v. Chicago. He ends up with this:
Let’s walk through this. The Court today orders 46,000 dangerous prisoners be released into society. Let’s assume this results in an increase in violent crimes, as Justice Alito suggests (I think his causation/correlation analysis is flawed, but let’s put that aside for now). Society becomes more danger, with all these violent criminals running amok. Prisons, unable to house new prisoners, decrease the feasible number of prosecutions. Statistics are generated that show a steep increase in crime. Based on these findings, the state enacts new restrictive gun control laws to reduce violence.
You really must wonder if something this Machiavellian went through the liberal Justices' minds when deciding this case. If it did, we are in big trouble as a republic and the presidential election of 2012 becomes even more critical.

Why One Should Not Depend On Aging Rock Stars For The Facts

The Irish rock group U2 played a series of concerts last week in Mexico City. The band's leader Bono made news when he said that most murders in Mexico are committed with automatic firearms smuggled in from the United States. From the band's website:
'I want you to send a message of love along the border to the good and the great people of the United States of America.' announced Bono, during 'Pride' at the third show in Mexico tonight. ' I want you to send a message to people of conscience.

'Ask them to answer the question. Why is it that all we hear on the news is how drugs are smuggled through Mexico to the United States ?

'And we don't hear about all the automatic weapons that are being smuggled into Mexico from the United States. Nine thousand registered arms dealers on the other side of the border. Nine thousand.

'Most of the murders committed here are from weapons sold in the United States of America.
In the video embedded below (which I have also posted on YouTube), you can listen to the comments made by Bono and the change in lyrics he made to their song Pride (In the Name of Love).




Arthur Chrenkoff writing for Pajamas Media says Bono makes good music but uses bad numbers.
I can’t exactly blame you. You have probably heard the “statistic” that 90 percent of guns used to commit crimes in Mexico come from the United States from Hillary Clinton herself. Or Senator Dianne Feinstein. Or maybe even from William Hoover, assistant director for field operations at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. After all, if anyone knows, the ATF should, right?

The problem is, as with many other factoids which gain a life of their own and enter the general circulation through media and internet, this is simply not true.
Thanks to the NSSF, we have this graphic showing that for 2008 - the latest year for which figures are available - only 12% of firearms seized in Mexico came from the United States. Of course, with all the firearms that went to Mexico due to Project Gunwalker, the numbers could be higher in later years.


The bottom line is that we'd be a lot better off if rock stars, actors, and other assorted glitterati stuck to music or acting or just looking pretty and save us from having to hear their pronouncements about matters on which they know nothing.

VPC Dances Over Tragedy

VPCinfo Violence Policy Cent
PA: Family annihilator shoots and kills wife, two daughters, self with .357 handgun. http://fb.me/ZT2NLwEV
The Violence Policy Center posted the above Tweet about 15 minutes ago. It would appear that Josh Sugarman, Kristen Rand, and their crew are trying to make up for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence's suspension from Twitter by dancing in the blood of a family tragedy.

It involves a murder-suicide that happened sometime on Sunday in the Pittsburgh area. A man killed his wife and two young daughters and then himself. The family had recently moved to the rented house in Shaler Township 3-4 weeks ago.

Shaler Township Police Chief Jeff Gally said, "We have no indication as to what caused this tragedy."

As Chief Gally says further in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the only people who know for sure are gone.

This is most certainly a tragedy. Why it happened we probably will never know for sure. The tool was a .357 revolver but it just as easily could have been a baseball bat, a kitchen knife, or even the bathtub in the master bedroom. However, if it had been any one of the later items, VPC would not have seen fit to Tweet about it. They are selective on the violence they wish to publicize. They certainly are not reticent in using inflammatory language when they refer to the murderer as the "family annihilator".



H/T J. D. Berger

SAF And CalGuns Sue California Over "Assault Weapons" Arrest

This was just released by the Second Amendment Foundation and the CalGuns Foundations:
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in California, seeking to have the state’s definition of so-called “assault weapons” declared unconstitutionally vague.

Joining SAF and Calguns in the lawsuit is Brendan John Richards, an Iraq combat veteran who served as a U.S. Marine, and whose arrest and six-day incarceration in the Sonoma County jail – and subsequent dismissal of all charges – was the catalyst for this legal action. Named as defendants are California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the California Department of Justice, the City of Rohnert Park and police officer Dean Becker.

Richards was jailed in May 2010 after Officer Becker, investigating a disturbance at a motel where Richards was staying, learned that Richards had two pistols and a rifle, all unloaded, in the trunk of his car. Becker, arrested Richards for unlawful possession of an assault weapon. However, in September of last year, the charges were dismissed by the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office, based on a report from the state Department of Justice that showed none of the guns met the state’s definition of an assault weapon.

“California’s law allows possession of a variety of firearms that do not meet the state’s assault weapons definition, which we believe is unconstitutionally vague,” noted SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “Mr. Richards was jailed for almost a week, when he had broken no law because a police officer had a conflicting view and the District Attorney’s office believed him.”

“California attempts to make a distinction among firearms where no natural one exists,” noted Calguns Executive Director Gene Hoffman. “The generic definition of so-called ‘assault weapons’ was simply an attempt to prohibit possession of guns that look scary.”

Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Don Kilmer of San Jose and Jason A. Davis of Mission Viejo. Kilmer said the case is indicative of the way things have become in California.

“Now that the right to keep arms has correctly been recognized as fundamental and applicable to California,” Kilmer said, “gun owners can’t be faced with the practice of ‘arrest them first and let the courts sort it out’ for exercising constitutional rights. That is just how things are done in our country.”

Sheriff Jim's Tip - Look And Assess

I really like Sheriff Jim Wilson. He presents a lot of good, common-sense tips on self-defense.

Another Update On NC Range Protection Bill

The NC Senate Judiciary II Committee held hearings on SB 560 - the Sport Shooting Range Protection bill this past Thursday. Grass Roots North Carolina reports on a weakening amendment that was proposed at the committee hearing.
On Thursday, SB 560, "Sport Shooting Range Protection" passed out of the Senate Judiciary II Committee thanks largely to the efforts of sponsor Sen. Andrew Brock (R- Davie, Rowan, GRNC ****) and committee chairman Sen. Buck Newton (R- Nash, Wilson, ****), both of whom deserve an immediate e-mail of thanks.

SB 560 is intended to close loopholes in our existing range protection law by extending the existing "grandfather" protection against noise and environmental complaints to ranges forced to relocate due to rezoning, annexation, condemnation or development.

A SMALL DARK CLOUD

After complaints that a range relocating to a different county might supersede existing ordinances, committee members of both parties, unfortunately, offered an amendment under which ranges which relocate to different counties may only do so if they meet the requirements of the new county. GRNC will work to remove the restriction. It should be noted that Sen. Newton argued vehemently against the amendment as just another anti-gun action.
The problem with this amendment is that many of the ranges that are feeling the impact from urban encroachment are in the larger urban counties of North Carolina. Twenty years ago, it would have been easy to drive 10 miles from city center within the same county and be surrounded by rural land suitable for a shooting range. Those days are gone. Now if a range is in a Mecklenburg (Charlotte) or a Wake County (Raleigh), the only way to escape suburbia is to move to a Union or Johnston County respectively. Even now, those counties are becoming the home of commuters seeking lower costs who are bringing with them the restrictions and regulations of the city.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Overshadowed By Events

The Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives issued a press release on Thursday which detailed what they termed as their "mid-year significant adjudications".
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Chicago Field Division Special Agent in Charge Andrew Traver released a list of the top investigations undertaken during the first half of fiscal year 2011. The Chicago Field Division encompasses the entire State of Illinois.

"Chicago ATF has been very successful in obtaining significant judicial outcomes so far this year for a range of criminal defendants that represent the results of using the full spectrum of ATF’s arsenal of investigative techniques from the basic felon in possession of a firearm case to the very sophisticated RICO conspiracy gang prosecution," said Traver. "Of course, the majority of these outstanding criminal prosecutions were only made possible through the dedicated cooperative efforts of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, and we’re only getting started."
Another way of looking at this release is that it is Andrew Traver's way of saying "I'm still here guys!" given how he and his nomination to be head of ATF have been overshadowed by the unfolding revelations of Project Gunwalker. As to the events described in the release being significant, let's just say that a full third of the "significant adjudications" involved a felon in possession of a firearm.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May Is Zombie Awareness Month

Where have I been? I didn't even know that it was Zombie Awareness Month. The things you find out on the Interwebs!

I know the CDC just issued an advisory on how to handle a zombie apocalypse but they never mentioned anything about firearms. Must be why I missed the announcement of the Zombie Awareness Month.

So in honor of Zombie Awareness Month, I present Pitbull Daycare and their cover of REM's "The End of the World As We Know It".

In Honor Of The Rapture Non-Event

6 a.m. came and went and we are all still here. I didn't feel the Earth move. Oh, well.

However, the Rapture non-event needs something to celebrate it. I saw this on Facebook and thought it would do just fine - even if it is from 30 years ago. The lyrics of the first stanza are:
Toe to toe
Dancing very close
Barely breathing
Almost comatose
Wall to wall
People hypnotised
And they're stepping lightly
Hang each night in Rapture

And here is Debbie Harry of Blondie singing Rapture.



H/T Andy Langlois

Credit Cards Versus Debit Cards

Having been the victim of identity theft in the past, some of the tips this video gives make sense to me. I really like the part about using a debit card as a credit card with a signature. By doing this, you aren't creating more debt but still are preventing scammers from getting your PIN number.

Regarding PIN numbers, do not use your birthdate! That should be obvious but bears repeating. Pick a number that is non sequential that you will remember. My favorite for married men is your wedding anniversary. It is a safer number plus it helps you remember your wedding anniversary so you don't get caught forgetting it by She Who Must Be Obeyed.

Happy Armed Forces Day

Friday, May 20, 2011

3-Gun Nation's Video Response To ATF's Definition Of Sporting

Hissy Fit Warning

A certain director of communications for a certain group of gun prohibitionists is about to have a hissy fit. He just doesn't know it yet.

According to a summary of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."

Thanks to a friend of Thirdpower at Days of our Trailers, we have a powerful parody of a poster put out by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Go here to view it.  I must admit I had a little hand in this project but credit must go to Thirdpower and his graphics artist friend for taking some ideas and creating a masterpiece.

Those guys rock!

Saying No To Self-Protection

Saying no to self-protection seems to the modus operandi within corporate America. I put this down to risk managers making the calculation that it is cheaper to pay a death claim on a murdered employee than it to defend a lawsuit filed by a personal injury lawyer on behalf of a criminal.

The latest case involves the Walgreen's chain of pharmacies.

Jeremy Hoven was the night shift pharmacist at the Benton Township, Michigan Walgreens. I say "was" because he was fired by Walgreens after he stopped an armed robbery by firing his 3-4 shots from his revolver at the criminals. Mr. Hoven holds a Michigan concealed carry permit and was one of four employees in the store when the attempted robbery took place. According to his interview with the Herald-Palladium of Southwest Michigan,
Hoven said his first hint something was wrong was seeing a manager run into a storeroom on the building's west side. Seconds later he saw a man brandishing a handgun, guiding the second manager around the shelf at the northeast corner.

"The first thing I tried to do was dial 911 but I couldn't get it done," Hoven said. "Within seconds he was over the counter. And I'm looking at the wrong end of a 9-millimeter (gun). He was holding it gangster-style" - sideways.

The robber had jumped over the counter, leaving the manager in the aisle. The robber came within a few feet of Hoven.

Hoven said the only thing behind the attacker was a cinder block wall. Thus he pulled his gun and fired three or four shots.

"I was creating a safe zone for myself," he said.

The attacker tried to fire back, but his gun either malfunctioned or the safety had been left on, Hoven said.
Mr. Hoven says he would do it again because he knows he did the right thing in protecting himself and his fellow employees.

As to Walgreens, on this past Monday they informed him by e-mail that he was fired. Frankly, I do not plan to give my patronage to a store that (a) cares so little about their employees' safety and (b) has so little class that they fire the guy by e-mail.

H/T Brian

Moore v. Madigan - More Plaintiffs Added To Complaint

The Second Amendment Foundation's case challenging the state of Illinois' complete prohibition on the carrying of a handgun for self-defense just added one organization plaintiff, IllinoisCarry, and two individual plaintiffs, Peggy Fechter of Carmi and Jon Maier of Bloomington.

Below is their release on the amended complaint. I am working on a post comparing the SAF and NRA lawsuits against Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the state of Illinois. I hope to have it up sometime this weekend.

SAF ADDS PLAINTIFFS IN ILLINOIS FIREARMS LAW CHALLENGE
For Immediate Release: 5/20/2011
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation announced this morning that it has filed an amended complaint in federal district court in Illinois, challenging the state’s statutory prohibitions on the carrying of handguns for personal protection.

Joining SAF in this amended complaint are Illinois Carry, a volunteer organization founded to educate the public about Illinois gun laws, and two more private citizens, Peggy Fechter of Carmi, and Jon Maier, a resident of Bloomington. Michael Moore of Champaign and Charles Hooks of Percy remain active plaintiffs.

Defendants in the lawsuit are Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and State Police Superintendent Hiram Grau. SAF is represented by attorneys David Jensen of New York and David Sigale of Glen Ellyn. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in Springfield.

The lawsuit alleges that Illinois statutes that completely ban the carrying of handguns for self-defense deprive the plaintiffs of civil rights under color of law, making them “inconsistent with the Second Amendment.”

SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb welcomed the additional plaintiffs, noting, “After the lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, we were overwhelmed by requests to participate. We want to assure everyone who contacted us that they do not need to be actual plaintiffs in order to benefit from a victory.

“SAF truly appreciates the wave of enthusiasm and support from gun owners all over Illinois,” he continued. “But right now we need to move forward and if people would like to support our lawsuit with a tax-exempt contribution to SAF, we would welcome that. We simply cannot take on more plaintiffs at this point and further delay the process.”

Airline Merger News For Gunnies

The Wall Street Journal had a story yesterday on the issues that United Airlines and Continental Airlines are dealing with as they complete their merger. Important issues such as the color of baggage tags and how many bowling balls that may be checked are part of the discussion.

However, for gunnies who travel with guns or trophy hunters with an elk/moose/caribou rack, there was some important news.
Hunters' trophy antlers now will face United's size restrictions of 120 linear inches for cargo carriage. Continental had no limits. And passengers can check five guns—Continental's rule—instead of United's two-gun maximum. The company says there is no industry standard or compelling reason to justify United's limit.
Given Michael Bane's rant in his latest podcast about United Airlines and the way their Phoenix counter handles those traveling with firearms, I'm sure that he'll welcome the news that he now can have five guns when he travels. Whether or not it will cure the problems with the anti-gun sentiment at the United counter in Phoenix remains to be seen.

NSSF Reports In-Fighting Between Lead Ammo Foes

The NSSF Blog had this report this morning about in-fighting between the Center for Biological Diversity and the American Bird Conservancy. Both of these groups have tried to get the EPA to outlaw lead-based ammunition as well as the use of lead in fishing tackle.

Infighting Begins Amongst Traditional Ammunition Foes
May 20, 2011 By Larry Keane View Comments
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A recent article in Audubon Magazine (“Bad Shot”) notes a budding feud between the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) concerning the issue of traditional ammunition. In the article, Michael Fry, director of conservation advocacy at ABC, derides the CBD for petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the manufacture and sale of traditional ammunition, shot and fishing tackle. Fry, concerned that the CBD was going too far in trying to ban all traditional ammunition, noted “It was not helpful to have the center involved.”

This infighting, demonstrating that the CBD is considered extremist even amongst its allied groups, could not have come at a worse time for anti-ammunition special interests. Last week, 35 members of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP), a coalition of the nation’s leading conservation groups, joined with NSSF in encouraging federal lawmakers to become co-sponsors of the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act, legislation that will clarify that Congress has not given the EPA authority to regulate ammunition and its components under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The CBD has yet to respond to the ABC attack.

Learn more about the fight to protect traditional ammunition here: http://www.nssf.org/factsheets/PDF/TraditionalAmmo.pdf
The National Shooting Sports Foundation also has a letter generator that will send either an email or paper letter to your Senators and local Congressman urging their support of the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act. As we saw with the ATF and the multi-rifle reporting requirement, numbers - not quality - count. You can access the letter generator here. It also allows you to modify the message if you so wish which is what I did.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Understand Mindset

An interview with Charlie McNeese, Rangemaster at Gunsite.



Report On NC Hearings On Omnibus Bill Amending Gun Laws

The North Carolina House Judiciary C Committee held hearings yesterday on HB 640 - Amend Gun Laws. This is an omnibus bill that amends a number of existing gun laws in North Carolina and improves gun rights. You can read more about the details of the bill at Sean's blog here.

Grass Roots North Carolina released this summation of the hearings by e-mail tonight. I'd say they were pleased with how they went. GRNC President Paul Valone was one of those who testified on the bill at the hearings.
HB 650
On Wednesday, the NC House Judiciary C Committee took on House Bill 650, "Amend Various Gun Laws." Thanks to the efforts of Sponsors Mark Hilton (R-Catawba, GRNC ****), Steven LaRoque (R-Greene, Lenoir, Wayne, ****), George Cleveland (R-Onslow, ****) and Kelly Hastings (R- Cleveland, Gaston, ****), plus the leadership of Rules Chairman Tim Moore (R- Cleveland, ****) and Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Meckleburg, ****), the bill is likely to receive a committee vote next Wednesday. Gun rights supporters should immediately e-mail these courageous legislators with thanks.

HB 650 is a huge and aggressive bill, meaning it will be difficult to pass. But if passed, it will go far toward reversing the creeping encroachment on gun owners' rights perpetuated in previous sessions of the legislature, including (but not limited to):

  • Castle Doctrine (yet another vehicle for popular Castle Doctrine is now moving);
  • Reducing penalties for carrying firearms on "educational property," including a protection against accidentally becoming a criminal by requiring that offenders "knowingly" brought the gun onto educational property;
  • Enabling concealed carry at events for which admission is charged;
  • Reducing penalties for a host of minor (often inadvertent) gun violations;
  • Adding protections for gun owners whose guns are confiscated pursuant to domestic protective orders;
  • Improves concealed handgun reciprocity to straight recognition of out-of-state permits;
  • Removes provisions for concealed handgun applicants under which sheriffs are conducting intrusive investigations of medical history; and
  • Enabling employees to keep guns in locked vehicles at places of employment.

One Year Later

This blog started one year ago today. That was one-thousand eighty posts ago.

Alan Gura hadn't yet won the McDonald case. All the other follow-on cases were still in the conceptual stage waiting for the Supreme Court to incorporate the Second Amendment to the states.

The Republicans didn't control the House of Representatives and Nancy Pelosi was still Speaker of the House. Gun control legislation was on the drawing boards but wasn't moving. Neither, however, was gun rights legislation. The one bright spot was that concealed carry in National Parks had been passed and had just gone into effect in February

Likewise in North Carolina, the Republicans were the minority party in both houses of the General Assembly. Governor Beverly Perdue wasn't thinking twice about using Chapter 36A of the North Carolina General Statutes when she declared states of emergency and in the process imposed a temporary prohibition on the possession of firearms and ammunition off one's own premises.

Andrew Traver hadn't yet been nominated to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Project Gunwalker in its many manifestations was in operation but we didn't yet know about it.

So much has happened since last May.

Alan Gura won McDonald et al v. Chicago et al. Numerous follow-on cases have been filed in courts across the country.

John Boehner is the Speaker of the House and the Democrats no longer have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. Gun control legislation is stalled and gun rights legislation - especially national right-to-carry reciprocity - seems to be moving ahead.

In North Carolina, the Republicans now control both houses of the General Assembly. This is the first time this has happened since 1870 and Civil War Reconstruction. Gun rights bills are moving forward and the nonsensical requirement for a permit to buy a crossbow is now a thing of the past. Governor Perdue now uses Chapter 166A of the General Statues when she declares a state of emergency as it doesn't trigger the the prohibition on firearms for which she has been roundly criticized.

Thanks to the efforts of Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea along with CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson we now know about Operation Fast and Furious. It is being investigated in both the House and Senate. The leadership of the Phoenix Field Division of ATF has been replaced as of this week.

Andrew Traver's nomination to head ATF is in limbo as a result of the exposure of  his ties with gun control groups and because of the controversy over Project Gunwalker.

It has been a very interesting year. I have learned a lot, met a lot of great people both online and in person, and seen this blog grow exponentially.

In the entire month of May 2010, I had 93 visitors to this blog. To put that into perspective, so far today I have had 991 visitors. I still have a very hard time comprehending that. I have an even harder time comprehending that this blog has been nominated for the LuckyGunner Gunnie Awards in both the Best Blog - Politics and Best Blog - Law categories.

I am so very grateful for each and every visitor to this blog.

There have been many people who have helped me along by posting links to this blog, by sending me links to information of interest, by giving me heads-up on cases, by willing to be interviewed, etc. I am thankful for your support. However, the one person who must be recognized above all others is the Complementary Spouse. Without her love, support, and encouragement (as well as proof-reading skills), this blog would not be what it is today. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank her.

Not Above The Rules

If you go the the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence's website today, you will see a blue hole where their Twitter feed used to be. The reason is that their Twitter account has been suspended due to a violation of the terms of service. In other words, by using Twitter to "out" bloggers and, more importantly, reveal their personal information including home addresses, Ladd Everitt and CSGV broke the rules and are now paying for it.


Photobucket


The @CSGV Twitter account was suspended because Linoge of Walls of the City blog requested that three of CSGV's posts be removed because they constituted harassment. As one might expect from those of their ilk, Ladd Everitt and CSGV are playing the victim and claiming it was removed due to a false report.

Sebastian at Snow Flakes in Hell who has also been a target of their "outing" campaign and harassment posted this regarding their Facebook page and missing posts. It is easy to play the victim to your adoring synchophants when you remove all contradictory information. As it is, Sebastian refused to play their little game of releasing personal information on Ladd Everitt.

I think Linoge's post, The Dustbin of History, really sums up the desperation shown by CSGV and the other gun prohibitionist groups. The "outing" campaign was just one manifestation of that desperation. It is definitely worth a read including following the embedded links.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Senator Grassley Continues To Prod Holder For Answers

Senator Chuck Grassley sent another letter on Monday to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 4th. His office released it to the public today. Grassley noted that the Justice Department normally takes up to eight months to respond to Questions for the Record.
“I’ll keep pressing for answers from the Attorney General. The oversight work we’re doing on the ATF’s policy to let guns walk is incredibly important, and these questions should be answered in a timely manner, not the night before the Attorney General comes before the Judiciary Committee the next time,” Grassley said.
 The full text of his letter is below. The letter plus attachments is 14 pages long so I won't include all of it here. However, go to this link to read what Senator Grassley sent to Holder today.
May 16, 2011


VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION


The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530


Dear Attorney General Holder:

Last week I submitted Questions for the Record (QFRs) following the Judiciary Committee hearing on Oversight of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Historically, the Justice Department generally takes five to eight months to respond to QFRs. However, because of my ongoing investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), I would appreciate receiving responses to questions on this topic much sooner. Attached is a copy of those questions. Please provide responses as soon as possible.

Additionally, I would like to reiterate the requests that have remained unanswered from my previous letters on this matter.


a) In my letter of February 16, 2011, I requested that you provide:

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.


I requested that these documents be provided on a rolling basis as they are identified and located.

I also requested that you please prioritize your search for documents and produce them in the following order: (1) documents in response to requests one through three, (2) documents in response to request four dated between December 13, 2010 and January 31, 2011, and (3) documents in response to request four dated between November 1, 2009 and December 13, 2010.

b) After ICE Agent Jaime Zapata was brutally murdered in Mexico on February 15, I was shocked to learn that, like Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Agent Zapata had been killed with a weapon traced to an individual in the U.S. that the ATF had been aware was trafficking firearms. Accordingly, in my March 4, 2011 letter, I requested answers to the following questions:

(1) Although the gun used in the assault on Agent Zapata that has been traced back to the U.S. was purchased on October 10, 2010, how can we know that it did not make its way down to Mexico after the November investigation, when the arrest of these three criminals might have prevented the gun from being trafficked and later used to murder Agent Zapata?


(2) When did law enforcement first become aware that Morrison purchased the gun?


(3) Given that the likely recipients of any trafficked guns were so close to the border, did any ATF personnel raise concerns about the possibility of those guns being used against U.S. law enforcement? If so, how did the ATF address those concerns?


(4) Did any ATF personnel raise concerns about the wisdom of allowing individuals like the Osorio brothers or Morrison to continue their activities after the November weapons transfer?

If so, how did the ATF address those concerns?


In addition to answering those questions, I also requested all records relating to:


(5) When law enforcement officials first became aware of the trafficking activities of Otilio and Ranferi Osorio and Kelvin Morrison;


(6) Surveillance that may have been conducted on the Osorio brothers or Morrison prior to the November transfer of weapons between the ATF’s confidential informant and the Osorio brothers and Morrison;


(7) The November transfer; and


(8) Any surveillance that law enforcement continued to conduct on the Osorio brothers or Morrison after the November transfer.


Finally, I requested a briefing on the Zapata matter. I reiterated these requests in my letter of March 28, 2011, and am still awaiting both a response and a briefing.

c) In my letter of April 8, 2011, I requested written answers to three questions. The third read:

(3) What steps have you taken or do you plan to take to ensure that employees are aware of their right to communicate directly with Congress if they so choose?

In response, you provided me with information about the ATF providing its agents with information about the Whistleblower Protection Act in order to prevent retaliation against whistleblowers. While that is appreciated, it does not respond to my question. I asked about making employees aware of the appropriations provision that protects their right to communicate directly with Congress. As I outlined in that letter:


[A]ttempts to prevent direct communications with Congress are not a lawfully authorized activity of any officer or employee of the United States whose salary is paid with appropriated funds. Specifically, no officer or employee may attempt to prohibit or prevent “any other officer or employee of the Federal Government from having direct oral or written communication or contact with any Member, committee, or subcommittee of the Congress” about a matter related to his employment or the agency “in any way, irrespective of whether such communication or contact is at the initiative” of the employee or Congress (emphasis added).


I wrote to you on January 31 to ensure you were aware of these provisions and to express concerns that without proper guidance, managers might inappropriately intimidate employees to discourage them from speaking with Congress and thus unlawfully interfere with a Congressional inquiry. In order for Congress to exercise its oversight authority and act as a check on Executive power, it is crucial that agency employees are free to communicate directly with Members and Committee staff. Direct contact means contacts that do not necessarily involve Congressional liaison or agency management. Without such direct, unfiltered communications, Congress would still be unaware of, and unable to inquire about, the serious allegations involving the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the sales of weapons to known and suspected gun traffickers.


Accordingly, please provide responses to the questions attached, as well as those outlined above, by May 30, 2011. If you have any questions regarding this letter, please have your staff contact (202) 224-5225. Thank you for your prompt attention these important issues.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley
Ranking Member


Attachment

Joe Lieberman Reminded He Has The Wrong Target

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter yesterday to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing his support for the multiple-rifle reporting requirement in the Southwest border states. In the letter Lieberman said:
I strongly support implementation of ATF's proposal to enhance the Bureau's investigative capabilities in its efforts to dismantle firearms smuggling rings.
David Codrea in his National Gun Rights Examiner column asks why Senator Lieberman hasn't been doing more to push the investigation into Project Gunwalker if he is concerned with semi-auto rifles crossing the border. It is a fair question. David also details some letters sent to Lieberman from a constituent in which Project Gunwalker was discussed.

Alan Gottlieb and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms are calling on Lieberman to support Senator Chuck Grassley in his efforts to investigate Operation Fast and Furious and get to the bottom of this scandal. While I do like Joe Lieberman on some things, it seems like he has always aided and abetted the gun controllers. Given that he represents a major firearms manufacturing state, I find this a bit strange.
CCRKBA TELLS LIEBERMAN: ‘INVESTIGATE ATF’

BELLEVUE, WA – After Senator Joseph Lieberman released contents of his letter to Attorney General Eric Holder supporting a proposed long gun sales reporting requirement in southwest states, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today urged Lieberman to instead support an on-going investigation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ botched Project Gunrunner.

In a letter to Sen. Lieberman, CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb reminded him that press reports and documents relating to Gunrunner indicate that the ATF “abetted the movement of firearms into the illicit gun market, and ultimately to drug cartels in Mexico.” Gottlieb also expressed his surprise that Lieberman’s letter to Holder did not mention either Gunrunner or Operation Fast-and-Furious, a project handled by the Phoenix ATF field office. Both of those efforts are believed to have let thousands of guns to be “walked” into the hands of Mexican criminals.

“I am astonished that you now support a strategy that places firearms dealers and their customers under additional scrutiny of an agency that may very well be largely responsible for creating a problem you now expect it to resolve,” Gottlieb wrote. “The agency to which you now advocate giving more power over firearms transactions in southwest states was responsible for allowing criminal suspects to complete multiple purchases of so-called ‘assault rifles,’ despite the concerns of those licensed dealers you would have ATF micro-manage, and over the objections of its own field agents.”

Gottlieb reminds the senator that ATF has recently shuffled its entire Phoenix management team, moving the two top agents who oversaw Fast-and-Furious to ATF headquarters in Washington, D.C., where one is now cooperating with investigations launched by Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa.

“It is not the southwest firearms dealers who need investigating, Senator, but the ATF,” he said. “It is not those gun dealers who should be held accountable for the flood of illicit firearms into Mexico, but the ATF officials who not only allowed it to happen, but encouraged it.

“Instead of supporting this new reporting strategy, I urge you to instead exercise your considerable influence to support Senator Grassley’s investigation of the Gunrunner controversy,” Gottlieb concluded.

Quote Of The Day

Kurt Hofmann writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. As such, he has been targeted by Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. Kurt's response is wonderful.
If, as I fervently believe, there is as much nobility in being despised by the despicable as there is in being admired by the admirable, CSGV has honored me indeed.
Let's face it, if Kurt wasn't effective he would not have been targeted. I congratulate Kurt on this honor. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a certificate suitable for framing but the Complementary Spouse could whip something up if Kurt really wants one.

NC Senate Holds Hearings On Shooting Range Bill Tomorrow (Updated)

The NC Senate Judiciary II Committee will hold hearings tomorrow at 10am on SB 560 - Sport Shooting Range Protection. This bill would make the legal presumption that shooting ranges that relocated due to urban and residential encroachment is still considered to be in continuous use and is not considered to have undergone a substantial change in use.

This bill has already had a favorable report from the Senate Committee on State and Local Government.

To read the bill and see the impact of residential encroachment, go to this post.

If you are a North Carolina resident, I'd suggest contacting the members of the Judiciary II Committee to express your support for this bill.

North Carolina is urbanizing at a fast rate. The state was one of the fastest growing in population in the Southeast over the last 10 years according to census statistics. This will be putting more pressure on ranges located near towns and cities to possibly relocate. This bill would help protect those ranges and our shooting opportunities.

UPDATE: From GRNC on the hearings:
GRNC Range Protection Bill Advances

SB 560, "Sporting Shooting Range Protection," received its second committee hearing today, this time before the Senate Judiciary II Committee, and came within a hair of getting a favorable report, which would send it to the Senate floor. SB 560 is GRNC's bill for closing loopholes in the existing range protection law by offering "grandfather" protection against noise and environmental complaints for any range forced to relocate due to rezoning, annexation or development.

Bill sponsor Sen. Andrew Brock (R-Davie, Rowan, GRNC ****) did an outstanding job of presenting the bill; committee chairman Buck Newton (R-Nash, Wilson, GRNC ****) did an exemplary job of trying to move the bill despite a busy calendar; and Sen. Austin Allran (R-Catawba, GRNC ****) offered a prompt motion for favorable report.

Unfortunately, limited time and persistent questioning by anti-gun committee members Charley Dannelly (D-Mecklenburg, GRNC 0-star) and Floyd McKissick (D-Durham, GRNC *) forced Chairman Newton to defer a vote on the bill until Thursday.