Saturday, March 31, 2012

Katie Pavlich On The Latest From Project Gunwalker

Katie Pavlich, a reporter for, has been following Project Gunwalker since the early days. She was interviewed on Thursday by Cam Edwards of NRA News. She discusses the request to the White House by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to have former NSC staffer Kevin O'Reilly testify on Operation Fast and Furious.

Shepard V. Madigan - A Loss In District Court

US District Court Judge William D. Stiehl granted the State of Illinois's Motion to Dismiss yesterday in the NRA-ISRA challenge to Illinois carry laws. The case, Shepard v. Madigan, was brought in US District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Judge Stiehl granted the state's motion to "dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim". At the same time he denied the plaintiffs' motions.

The NRA has indicated that they will appeal the ruling:
"Late today, a federal district court in Illinois wrongly ruled that the Second Amendment does not protect a right to carry firearms for self-protection outside the home. The NRA funded this challenge to Illinois' ban on citizens' ability to carry firearms legally outside their homes and businesses for self-defense, and will also be supporting an immediate appeal to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals--and to the Supreme Court if necessary.

The decision in the case of Shepard v. Madigan misreads the Supreme Court's Second Amendment decisions and will continue to deprive law-abiding Illinoisans of the right to protect themselves effectively against crime on the streets.  It also conflicts with a growing body of case law elsewhere in the country, where courts have increasingly recognized that the right to bear arms for self-defense doesn't end at Americans' front doors.

"The NRA's legal efforts will not end until the right to carry firearms for self-defense is fully recognized throughout our land," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.
Judge Stiehl found that intermediate scrutiny was the appropriate standard of scrutiny in this case. He then pointed to the 4th Circuit's ruling in Masciandaro. However, unlike the judges in Woollard and Bateman, he read it differently, saying:
The defendants assert that the State of Illinois has significant governmental interests in protecting the safety of the public by restricting the availability and use of handguns in public. The Supreme Court has previously recognized that under intermediate scrutiny cases, the government’s interest need not be compelling. Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network, 519 U.S. 357, 376 (1997). As the Fourth Circuit noted in United States v. Masciandaro, 638 F.3d 458, 473 (4th Cir. 2011), “[l]oaded firearms are surely more dangerous than unloaded firearms, as they could fire accidentally or be fired before a potential victim has the opportunity to flee.” The State of Illinois has determined that, for purposes of protection of its residents, a citizen’s interest in carrying a firearm in public should be subject to the governmental interest in safeguarding the welfare of the public at large from the inherent dangers in a loaded firearm. This Court FINDS that the state has, therefore, established a substantial interest in the regulations at issue.
It seems to me that Judge Stiehl was grasping for straws in this decision. It will be interesting to see what the 7th Circuit makes of his logic. 

The full opinion can be found here.

UPDATE: Prof. Eugene Volokh of UCLA Law and the Volokh Conspiracy examined the decision yesterday. He offers the opinion that Judge Stiehl misreads the 7th Circuit's Ezell opinion regarding intermediate scrutiny.
I’m not claiming that Ezell clearly selected “a more rigorous” standard than intermediate scrutiny for law-abiding-citizen Second Amendment claims — it may be that its selection of that standard is limited to restrictions that interfere with gun possession in the home. (The Ezell plaintiffs “claim[ed] that the range ban impermissibly burdens the core Second Amendment right to possess firearms at home for protection because the Ordinance conditions lawful possession on range training but makes it impossible to satisfy this condition anywhere in the city.”) But I am saying that Ezell did not select “intermediate scrutiny” as the general standard for law-abiding citizen Second Amendment claims outside the home, and the district court was mistaken in concluding that Ezell did so. Rather, the district court should have recognized that the issue had not been decided by the Seventh Circuit, and the court should have accepted the responsibility for itself making the choice, rather than asserting that the choice was made for it.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Four Wins In A Month!

Heads must be spinning at the Brady Campaign's headquarters with news that the Second Amendment Foundation just won its fourth Second Amendment case this month. The latest case is from Massachusetts where U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodcock found that the commonwealth's ban on handgun possession by permanent resident aliens contravened the Second Amendment.

From the Second Amendment Foundation's announcement of their win in Fletcher v. Haas:

For Immediate Release: 3/30/2012

BELLEVUE, WA – A Federal District Court Judge in Massachusetts today granted summary judgment in a Second Amendment Foundation case challenging that state’s denial of firearms licenses to permanent resident aliens.

U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodcock concluded that “…the Massachusetts firearms regulatory regime as applied to the individual plaintiffs, contravenes the Second Amendment.”

The case involves two Massachusetts residents, Christopher Fletcher and Eoin Pryal, whose applications for licenses to possess firearms in their homes for immediate self-defense purposes were denied under a state law that does not allow non-citizens to own handguns. SAF was joined in the case by Commonwealth Second Amendment, Inc. and the two individual plaintiffs. The case is Fletcher v. Haas.

“This is our fourth court victory this month in our campaign to win back firearms freedoms one lawsuit at a time,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “It is one more step toward repairing decades of Second Amendment erosion.”

In his 41-page ruling, Judge Woodcock wrote, “The Massachusetts firearms regulatory regime, as applied to Fletcher and Pryal, does not pass constitutional muster regardless of whether intermediate scrutiny or strict scrutiny applies…The possibility that some resident aliens are unsuited to possess a handgun does not justify a wholesale ban.”

“With each strategic victory over a specific statute,” Gottlieb said, “SAF and its fellow plaintiffs are advancing the line a little more. Since our landmark victory in the McDonald case that incorporated the Second Amendment to the states, we’ve been carefully picking laws to challenge, chipping away at years of gun control extremism. So far this month, we have posted victories in Maryland, North Carolina, Washington and now, Massachusetts.

“Our battle is hardly finished,” Gottlieb concluded. “We’ve got to roll back generations of onerous gun laws. It’s going to be a long march, and these wins are just the first small steps.”

Will Bateman Be Appealed?

Yesterday after the ruling in Bateman et al v. Perdue et al was released, I reached out to the public information officers for Gov. Beverly Perdue (D-NC) and the North Carolina Attorney General's Office for their response. Specifically, I asked if they planned to appeal the ruling and if they had any comment on the ruling. I was fortunate to get responses from both offices.

From Noelle Talley, Public Information Officer, NC Department of Justice:
Attorneys with our office are currently reviewing the judge’s ruling. No decision has been made yet on an appeal.

Meanwhile, Mark Johnson of Gov. Perdue's office had this to say:
Governor Perdue’s executive orders already address this issue – and will in the future – by including the following language:

This order is adopted pursuant to my powers under Article 1 of Chapter 166A of the General Statutes and under Article 36A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes. It does not trigger the limitations on weapons in G.S. § 14-288.7 or impose any limitation on the consumption, transportation, sale or purchase of alcoholic beverages.

The legislature would have to make any change in the statute.
If one goes by what the Attorney General's Office says, there remains some possibility of an appeal. However, my reading of the response from Gov. Perdue's office seems to indicate that they don't plan any appeal. My feeling is that it won't be appealed.

After the heat that Perdue took over earlier Executive Orders declaring states of emergency, she has started to include the language stated above in her Executive Orders. Unfortunately, until Judge Malcolm Howard found them unconstitutional, any declaration of a state of emergency under Article 36A of Chapter 14 of the NC General Statutes did trigger the firearms prohibitions regardless of what modifying language the governor put in them. While she may have thought she addressed that issue, she did not as there was never a provision to exempt the gun bans on the governor's say-so.

World’s Only Night Time 3 Gun Match

Iain Harrison sent out a notice this afternoon about an event that Crimson Trace will be sponsoring this summer - the Midnight 3 Gun Invitational. What is not to like about this event - full-auto weapons, thermal imaging, and night vision gear. I hope they provide some good video of this event.

From their release:

(Wilsonville, OR) Crimson Trace today announced the most unusual shooting event on the 2012 match calendar – a fast-paced 3-gun match shot entirely at night in the high desert, near Bend, OR. The event will occur after sunset, July 16-18 and the organizers will be providing full-auto firearms, thermal imaging equipment and state of the art night vision gear to all the competitors on several of the eight challenging stages.

Many of the country’s top 3 gun competitors have already signed up for the match, citing the additional challenge of competing in darkness as a big factor. “All the top guys have years of experience running & gunning in daytime conditions, but there are very few who’ve competed at this kind of level at night,” said Iain Harrison, media relations manager for Crimson Trace, and 3-gunner himself. “It’s going to be fascinating to see who comes out on top, and with what equipment.”

The match was scheduled for a week when there will be little to no moonlight, forcing the competitors to rely heavily on whatever weapon-mounted lights and lasers they feel will offer the best advantage, and the match rules have been written to favor innovation and adaptability. “We deliberately didn’t write a restrictive rulebook for this match – if the shooter decides that their rifle would benefit from an aircraft landing light powered by a portable generator, then they can go ahead and bolt one up. Though I suspect they’d be better served with one of our MVF-515™ vertical foregrips,” joked Harrison.

Many of the leading outdoor-related companies based in the area have thrown their weight behind the event. Sponsors include Nike, Leatherman, Danner, PWS, Blade-Tech and Warne, in addition to Crimson Trace, giving the match a distinctly Pacific Northwest flavor. CTC is offering a $3000 check to the eventual winner, doubling that amount if their products are used on all three of the competitor’s guns. With a sizeable media contingent showing up to both shoot in and cover the match, anyone who can’t make it out to central Oregon should be able to follow their favorite athlete’s progress as the event unfolds.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

That Other O'Reilly

Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) want to hear what O'Reilly has to say. Not Bill O'Reilly who has the show called The O'Reilly Factor but White House staffer Kevin O'Reilly. This was the person with whom Bill Newell, former SAC of the ATF's Phoenix Field Division, had back channel communications regarding Operation Fast and Furious. Conveniently enough, Kevin O'Reilly moved to the State Department and is now in Iraq on assignment.

Yesterday Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley sent a letter to Kathryn Ruemmler, Counsel to the President, requesting that Mr. O'Reilly be allowed to testify. They note that Mr. O'Reilly's personal attorney is willing to let him testify if it is allowed by the White House. Moreover, in a break from normal procedures, they are willing to let him testify by phone from Iraq.

What they want Mr. O'Reilly to testify about is the nature of the back channel communications between himself and Bill Newell.
To this day, Newell has failed to disown Fast and Furious or admit the flawed nature of the program. This failure has raised new questions. Was Newell looking for authorization outside of his chain-of-command in order to continue this deadly program? What did O'Reilly know about the objectives and tactics used in Fast and Furious and with whom did he share his knowledge? These answers are gemane to the Committee's investigation. O'Reilly is the only person capable of supply accurate answers to them.
Of course, as Dave Workman points out, the White House is denying that they knew anything about gun walking. Eric Schultz, the Associate Communications Director, had this to say to FoxNews:
"White House Counsel is reviewing the letter and will respond as appropriate. But broadly speaking, while some personnel in the White House were made aware of ATF's efforts to combat gun trafficking along the southwest border, including Operation Fast and Furious, there has been no evidence to suggest that anyone at the White House knew about any decision to allow guns to 'walk' to Mexico."
Schultz is the White House staffer or, as I would call him, the punk, who thought his position gave him the right to berate and curse CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson over her coverage of Project Gunwalker. We have come to find out this is standard operating procedure in the Obama White House when they are seeking to kill a story.

Sen. Grassley was interviewed by Jon Scott of FoxNews about his letter and his efforts to get testimony from Mr. O'Reilly. Sen. Grassley says that they have one side of the story from ATF SAC Bill Newell and they need the other side of the story from Kevin O'Reilly. He also said that they were being stonewalled by the White House and that this continual stonewalling leads one to look guilty of something. He has a point there - if the White House has nothing to hide then they should make Kevin O'Reilly available for telephonic testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. I'm guessing it isn't going to happen.

Grass Roots North Carolina On Their Win In The Bateman Case

Grass Roots North Carolina, the other organizational plaintiff in Bateman et al v. Perdue et al, released a statement this afternoon on the decision. The statement notes that it helps to extend the right to keep and bear arms outside the home. They also note that their attorney Alan Gura has extended his string of victories in Second Amendment cases.
Grass Roots North Carolina & Second Amendment Foundation expand gun rights

Lawyer Alan Gura extends string of Second Amendment wins

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Writing for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Senior U.S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard today added another to the growing list of gun laws struck down on Second Amendment grounds.

State of Emergency Gun Ban

In Bateman et al. v. Perdue et al., at issue was the state's blanket prohibition on carrying firearms outside the home during declared states of emergency. During numerous states of emergency involving hurricanes and other phenomena, lawful North Carolinians have been prevented from protecting themselves outside the home, including an incident in which King, NC posted the entire town against firearms in anticipation of a snowstorm. Plaintiffs for the case were gun rights organizations Grass Roots North Carolina, the Second Amendment Foundation, and citizens Michael Bateman, Virgil Green and Forrest Minges, Jr.

Second Amendment Scholarship

The Bateman decision further extends the right to bear arms outside the home. Extensively cited in the decision were the recent Supreme Court decision affirming an individual right to keep and bear arms in D.C. v. Heller, the "incorporation" of the Second Amendment in Mc Donald v. Chicago, and recent Fourth Circuit decisions in U.S. v. Chester and U.S. v. Masciandaro.

From the decision:

Citing from Masciandaro: "…the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms 'is not strictly limited to the home environment but extends in some form to wherever those activities or needs occur.'"

"It cannot be seriously questioned that the emergency declaration laws at issue here burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment…"

"…the statutes here excessively intrude upon plaintiffs' Second Amendment rights by effectively banning them (and the public at large) from engaging in conduct that is at the very core of the Second Amendment at a time when the need for self-defense may be at its very greatest."

In addition to the Heller and McDonald victories, attorney Alan Gura recently won a victory against Maryland's restrictive handgun permit law in Woollard et al. v. Sheridan et al.

The Second Amendment Foundation On The Bateman Win

The Second Amendment Foundation, an organizational plaintiff in Bateman v. Perdue, released this concerning the win today. There were those who had suggested that we go through the NC General Assembly to get the Emergency Powers ban changed. Many of us in North Carolina as well as Grass Roots NC and the Second Amendment Foundation opposed that move while this case was still active. I think the judgment of SAF, GRNC, and those who felt it was important to wait for this victory was vindicated with Judge Howard's decision.

For Immediate Release: 3/29/2012

BELLEVUE, WA – A federal district court judge in North Carolina has just struck down that state’s emergency power to impose a ban on firearms and ammunition outside the home during a declared emergency, ruling that the provision violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The case, Bateman v. Purdue, was brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, Grass Roots North Carolina FFE and three individual plaintiffs. Defendants in the case were Gov. Beverly Purdue and Reuben F. Young, secretary of the state’s Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, in their official capacities.

In his opinion, Judge Malcolm J. Howard, senior United States district judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, wrote, “…the court finds that the statutes at issue here are subject to strict scrutiny…While the bans imposed pursuant to these statutes may be limited in duration, it cannot be overlooked that the statutes strip peaceable, law abiding citizens of the right to arm themselves in defense of hearth and home, striking at the very core of the Second Amendment.”

“When SAF attorney Alan Gura won the Heller case at the Supreme Court,” noted SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “the gun ban crowd said that we were a ‘one-trick-pony’ and that we would never knock out another gun law. Well, SAF has now knocked out gun laws in Maryland, Illinois and North Carolina.

“We filed this lawsuit on the day we won the McDonald case against Chicago,” he added, “extending the Second Amendment to all 50 states. This was part of our strategy of winning firearms freedoms one lawsuit at a time.”

Gottlieb pointed to language in Judge Howard’s ruling that solidifies the Second Amendment’s reach outside the home. The judge noted that the Supreme Court in Heller noted that the right to keep and bear arms “was valued not only for preserving the militia, but ‘more important(ly) for self-defense and hunting.”

“Therefore,” Judge Malcolm wrote, “the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms ‘is not strictly limited to the home environment but extends in some form to wherever those activities or needs occur."

“Under the laws at issue here, citizens are prohibited from engaging, outside their home, in any activities secured by the Second Amendment,” Judge Malcolm wrote. They may not carry defensive weapons outside the home, hunt or engage in firearm related sporting activities. Additionally, although the statutes do not directly regulate the possession of firearms within the home, they effectively prohibit law abiding citizens from purchasing and transporting to their homes firearms and ammunition needed for self-defense. As such, these laws burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment.”

Bateman Is Another Win For Alan Gura

Bateman et al v. Perdue et al was the first Second Amendment case after the win in McDonald. It challenged North Carolina's Emergency Powers statutues. These statutes when invoked by either the Governor or local government officials banned the off-premises carry of firearms and ammunition during a declared state of emergency.

The case has been in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina since June 2010 and today we have a decision.

From the order by Judge Malcom J. Howard:
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the court GRANTS plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and hereby DECLARES N.C. Gen.Stat §§ 14-288.7. 14-288.12(b), 14-288.13(b), 14-288.14(a) and 14-288.15(d)unconstitutional as applied to plaintiffs. The court DENIES defendants' motion to dismiss or, in the alternative for summary judgment.
In other words, a complete win!

I am in the process of reading Judge Howard's decision and will, of course, have a full summary as soon as possible.

As a North Carolinian, I want to thank Alan Gura and the Second Amendment Foundation for believing in us enough to make this the first post-McDonald case.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Wannabe bad asses?

Wannabe Bobby Rush's?

Wannabe effective?

Your guess is as good as mine what they want to be with their cute little hoodies and their no more NRA sign.

Jeff Quinn On The 10/22 Takedown

Jeff Quinn of has a good review of the new Ruger 10/22 Takedown with many more pictures than are available on the Ruger website. He calls it a nice little "tackdriver."

He has also produced a good video of it.

Ruger Introduces A Take-Down Version Of The 10/22

As I said earlier this morning, Ruger was planning to introduce a new firearm to their line today. It has been announced and it is a take-down version of the Ruger 10/22 rimfire carbine. I don't know if it is intentional or not but I think this will attract a lot of attention from the prepper community for use as a survival rifle. If I had to make the choice between the AR-7 Survival Rifle from Henry or this, I'd be leaning towards the take-down 10/22 especially if weight wasn't the number one criteria.

From the Ruger press release:
A New Take on the Ruger 10/22
March 28, 2012
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to introduce the Ruger 10/22 Takedown™. Readily separated into two subassemblies, the Ruger 10/22 Takedown offers a convenient transport and storage option for the popular Ruger® 10/22®. As reliable and accurate as every 10/22, the Ruger 10/22 Takedown makes it even easier to keep America's favorite rimfire rifle by your side.

The barrel and forend of the Ruger 10/22 Takedown are easily separated from the action and buttstock by pushing a recessed lever, twisting the subassemblies, and pulling them apart. Reassembly is the reverse of takedown, and is quick and easy. The friction fit lockup of the assembly joint is simple to adjust, but will rarely need re-adjustment after the first assembly. The lockup is secure and repeatable, ensuring an accurate return to zero, even when receiver-mounted optics are used.

The Ruger 10/22 Takedown is shipped in a ballistic nylon backpack-style case that features internal sleeves which hold the subassemblies. External pockets with MOLLE webbing provide storage for magazines, ammunition, and other accessories. Multiple attachment points for the padded, single shoulder strap offer different carrying options.

The 4.67-pound Ruger 10/22 Takedown is 37" long when assembled; each subassembly is less than 20 1/4" long when disassembled. Utilizing the standard 10/22 action and ten round rotary magazine (one magazine is provided), the Ruger 10/22 Takedown offers legendary 10/22 reliability in a compact and portable package.

From the Spec Sheet:

Catalog Number: K10/22-TD | Model Number: 11100 | Caliber: .22 LR
Stock:Black SyntheticFinish:Clear Matte
Rear Sight:AdjustableFront Sight:Gold Bead
Barrel Length:18.50"Overall Length:37.00"
Material:Stainless SteelLength of Pull:13.50"
Weight:4.67 lbs.Capacity:10
Grooves:6Twist:1:16" RH
Backpack-Style Bag IncludedSuggested Retail:$389.00

Ruger has a full set of videos showing how the 10/22 Takedown is broken down and reassembled. For more on the features including a rather good line drawing showing how it breaks down go here.

Commonwealth Second Amendment Sues Massachusetts In Federal Court

Commonwealth Second Amendment or Comm2A has filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts challenging the state's use of bonded warehouses for holding confiscated firearms.
Comm2A Sues over Property Forfeiture

For Immediate Release: 3/28/2012

NATICK, MA – Commonwealth Second Amendment, Inc. (Comm2A) has filed suit in federal court in Massachusetts challenging the state’s misuse of bonded warehouses to force the forfeiture of privately owned firearms in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process guarantees.

Comm2A’s lawsuit on behalf of Russell Jarvis, James Jarvis and Robert Crampton is supported in part by a grant from the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys David Jensen of New York and Patrick M. Groulx of Somerville, Massachusetts. Defendants are Village Vault, Inc. and Mary E. Heffernan, Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Complaint

Massachusetts law allows police departments to turn confiscated firearms over to unregulated bonded warehouses who then charge the firearm owners onerous and prohibitive fees for the storage and ‘administration’ of those firearms. Bonded warehouses are authorized to sell these firearms once accumulated fees are in arrears for 90 days.

Massachusetts has failed to regulate bonded warehouses allowing them to levy fees that quickly exceed the value of the confiscated property and virtually assure that confiscated property is forfeit to the bonded warehouse. In many cases gun owners are not properly notified that their property has been transferred to a bonded warehouse until fees have accumulated to a point where they exceed the value of the seized property making their recovery economically irrational.

Valuable firearms belonging to each of the individual plaintiffs were involuntarily transferred to the bonded warehouse operated by defendant Village Vault. Those firearms were subsequently sold at auction by the defendant. In no instance did the plaintiffs have any meaningful opportunity to challenge the forfeiture of their property in a court or other neutral venue. None of individual plaintiffs have ever been convicted of or charged with any crime or are otherwise disqualified from possessing firearms under state or federal law.


Commonwealth Second Amendment (Comm2A) ( is a Massachusetts based non-profit dedicated to preserving and expanding the rights of gun owners in the northeast. Our activities include educational programs designed to promote a better understanding of Massachusetts and Federal firearms laws and rights as well as legal action programs to defend and protect the civil rights of Massachusetts gun owners.

GunsAmerica Hasn't Broken The Ruger News Embargo...Yet

Jim Shepherd had this announcement today in the Outdoor Wire about a new firearm set to be announced by Ruger.
Ruger Will Announce New Firearm This Morning

Later this morning, Ruger will announce a new firearm to the marketplace. We've shot the new gun-extensively-and have a review prepared for wire readers. Due to the release timing of today's announcement, it does not appear in this morning's editions. We will have the product review and information in tomorrow's editions.
You may remember that GunsAmerica broke the news embargo on the release of the Ruger LCR-22 by announcing it earlier than allowed back in December. You also may remember that the head of GunsAmerica, Paul Helinski, objected to bloggers and other members of New Media being considered "media" at the SHOT Show and having access to Media Day.

I checked GunsAmerica earlier today and I guess they learned their lesson about breaking news embargoes.

If past history is any indication, Ruger's PR staff will announce the new firearm around 11am EDT on their website and by email.

Since Sturm, Ruger is a publicly traded company they have to abide by SEC Rule FD governing the release of material information. The announcement of a new firearm is something that could impact their stock price and advanced knowledge of it would give an unscrupulous investor an advantage. This is why they have rigorous non-disclosure agreements and news embargoes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An ISRA Alert On Senate Bill That Would Establish A Tax Per Handgun Owned

The Illinois State Rifle Association sent out this alert this evening about an attempt to tax each handgun owned. If you live in Illinois, I'd suggest you contact your legislator even if you know that they are anti-gun. That way they can't say they only got pro-gun control mail.

The Chicago Mayor's efforts to punish Illinois gun owners for Chicago's out of control crime problem continue in the Illinois Senate.

SB3625 – This bill would tack a $20.00 tax on every hand gun you own and require you to register like a sex offender.


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and State Sen. Antonio Muñoz (IL-1) are continuing their attacks on firearm ownership in Illinois. Monday, Senator Muñoz amended a bill to turn it into Emanuel's handgun registration scheme, blaming law abiding Illinois handgun owners for his failure to control crime in Chicago. This bill makes it a felony, equivalent to arson, to possess an 'unregistered' handgun in the state and further punishes victims of crime through a 'Lost or Stolen' mandate, in other words, if you have your firearms stolen and don't report it to the police in a 'reasonable' amount of time, YOU will become the criminal. To them, owning a handgun without government permission is the same as burning someone's house down.

The only purpose of this bill is to make firearm ownership more onerous and expensive for Illinois residents during a time of economic hardship. It will have no effect on criminals except to give them peace of mind knowing that fewer people will be able to defend themselves.


1. Contact your State Senator and politely inform him/her that you are a law-abiding firearm owner and that you do not support registering firearm owners like sex offenders. Tell him/her that you expect to see them vote AGAINST SB3625 if this antigun bill comes to the floor. If you do not know who your State Senator is, click this link to go to the Illinois Board of Elections: .

2. Contact the sponsor of the Emanuel/Obama gun tax, State Antonio Muñoz, (217) 782-9415, (773) 869-9050, and tell him that you do not appreciate the idea of being registered like a sex offender and having to pay a tax for exercising your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Question Of The Day

Joe Huffman says there is only one question he wants answered about the Trayvon Martin case. And depending on the answer, that will be all he needs to know about the case.

The one question I have that will probably settle the issue for me is when the authorities said, "Zimmerman then shot Martin once in the chest at very close range"; What was that range? I've probably spent more time and money than most on learning about such things and if the investigators know what they are doing, and I have no reason to believe they don't, then they should be able to determine that range quite accurately. If the range was under 12 inches they can probably determine the range to within a fraction of an inch. And of course the angle can be determine quite closely as well.

If the range is determined to be within six inches and the bullet path matches Zimmerman's story then I have to conclude the two were in a fight at contact distance and Zimmerman was losing badly. If I were on a jury I would insist that Zimmerman was in reasonable fear of imminent permanent physical injury or death and was justified in using deadly force to protect himself.

End of story for me.
This is a very interesting question and one I hope will be answered sooner than later.

Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day comes from Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned. He notes the narrative continues despite all indications from recent reports that the Stand Your Ground law has no real bearing on the Trayvon Martin case anymore.

This stopped being about Trayvon Martin days ago. The media is now in a full court press to blame the laws, despite the current witness testimony that essentially reveal that Martin was on top of Zimmerman before the shooting occurred. Duty to retreat is not at issue here. It can’t be at issue. Zimmerman had no means of retreat. The entire question, as I have said since the beginning, will hinge on whether Zimmerman is faultless.

What Do You Want Covered From The NRA Annual Meeting?

I am making my plans on what to see and what to cover for the NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis. I would like to know what you would like to see me cover. I am open to suggestions.

On my own list so far are the Leadership Forum on Friday and the Members Meeting on Saturday. I also hope to attend Maj. John Plaster's session on the sniper war in Afghanistan.

You can go the Annual Meeting site to see the list of exhibitors and the sessions.

I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Applying Project Gunwalker Standards

If Attorney General Eric Holder applies the same standards to investigating the Trayvon Martin case as he did to Operation Fast and Furious we would end up with something like Chris Muir's Day by Day Cartoon below.

Courtesy of Chris Muir at Day by Day Cartoon

Judge Rules For Bloomberg In Suit Over City's Handgun Permit Fees

US District Court Judge John G. Koeltl ruled today that the City of New York's fees for the issuance of a residential handgun permit are Constitutional. In the case of Kwong et al v. Bloomberg et al, Judge Koeltl denied the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and granted the defendants' cross motion for summary judgment.

The Second Amendment Foundation and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association along with seven individual plaintiffs had sued the City and the Attorney General of New York contending that the $340 fee charged violated the Second Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. With the sole exception of Nassau County on Long Island, the rest of the counties in New York State are only allowed to charge a maximum of $10 for this permit. The case was brought in US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

From the Wall Street Journal:
The judge says there's no evidence the fee has stopped anyone from exercising their rights. He says the city showed the fee helps cover administrative costs.

City Attorney Michael Cardoza says the ruling upholds the city's ability to conduct meaningful checks into applicants' qualifications. A lawyer for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to a message for comment.
I have only had a chance to quickly skim Judge Koeltl's 38-page opinion. I do note that he applies intermediate scrutiny to the plaintiffs' Second Amendment claim while applying only rational basis scrutiny to their Equal Protection claim.

I hope to have a more in-depth review of the opinion in the next day or so.

The opinion can be found here.

"After My Election I Have More Flexibility" - Obama

Jake Tapper of ABC News is reporting on a comment made by President Obama to Russian President Demitri Medvedev today at the end of their 90 minute meeting in Seoul, South Korea. They were discussing issues of mutual concern but especially missile defense.
The exchange:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

While this comment was made in the context of missile defense, I think it is a harbinger of things to come if Obama is re-elected. While he has been somewhat restrained in his gun control efforts so far, I think most rational people would expect Obama to ramp up his efforts once he no longer has to worry about re-election. If you didn't think this presidential election and the concurrent congressional elections were not that important, think again.

A caller to Tom Gresham's GunTalk last week or the week before said he was setting aside money to buy more guns in case it looked like Obama would be re-elected. He called it his Obama Re-election Gun Buying Fund. Tom responded that instead of buying more guns he should invest the money in supporting pro-gun candidates so that he and everyone else would have their Second Amendment rights protected. Given Obama's comment, I think Tom made an eminently sensible suggestion and one that I'd like to second.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Historical Quote Of The Week

I have been remiss in posting these historical quotes of the week and hope this quote will get things back on track. It comes from James Wilson who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence as well as one of the first Justices of the Supreme Court appointed by President George Washington.

"The defence of one's self, justly called the primary law of nature, is not, nor can it be abrogated by any regulation of municipal law. This principle of defence is not confined merely to the person; it extends to the liberty and the property of a man: it is not confined merely to his own person; it extends to the persons of all those, to whom he bears a peculiar relation - of his wife, of his parent, of his child, of his master, of his servant: nay, it extends to the person of every one, who is in danger; perhaps, to the liberty of every one, whose liberty is unjustly and forcibly attacked. It becomes humanity as well as justice."

Wilson, James. "Lectures on Law: Of the Natural Rights of Individuals." The Works of the Honourable James Wilson. Ed. Bird Wilson. Vol. 2. Philadelphia: Lorenzo Press, 1804. 496. Print.

This quote is found on page 65 of Proclaiming Liberty which is available from for $12.95. The Kindle edition is now available for $3.95.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The NRA Annual Meeting App

The NRA has released a free mobile app for the 2012 Annual Meeting. It is available for the iPhone, Androids, and Blackberrys. I have been playing with it for the last week and I like it.
Access exhibitor information and floor plan (including products & specials)

  • Quickly Navigate the Show Floor via Interactive Maps
  • Read Exhibitor Descriptions
  • Save your Favorite Exhibitors to an Expo Plan
  • Search for Seminars, Workshops and Special Presentations that Interest You
  • Save your Favorite Seminars, Workshops and Special Presentations to your Personal Itinerary
  • Receive Updates and Schedule Changes on our "Buzz" Channel
  • Email Exhibitors Directly and Access Their Website
  • Search Exhibitors Using Keywords
  • View Ticketed Events
 The opening screen is shown below and is the gateway to the rest of the features.

The items that I find most useful center around the exhibits and the scheduled events. First, the exhibits. Every exhibitor is listed with their booth number, website info, contact info, and a thumbnail description of what they offer. You can add them to your planner as a vendor you want to visit. It also allows you to find them on a map of the exhibition floor.

The exhibitor listing has the companies listed alphabetically as well as by category. For example, in the screenshot below, you can see 32 ammunition companies listed. These include everything from ammo makers to reloading equipment manufacturers.

The scheduled events on the app include all the ticketed events such as the Leadership Forum, all the book signings and appearances, and all the seminars. They are listed by day and time. If you look at the screenshot below, you will see green plus signs and red minus signs. These are to add or delete an event from your planner.

In My Planner, every session and every exhibitor that you've clicked on will be added to your schedule or personal exhibitor list.

You will need to register on the app if you want to be able to save your selections. It will also let you sync the app and the changes will show up across your various devices such as an iPad and an iPhone. The one warning I'd add here is to make sure you remember your password. The app has no function for reminding you of a forgotten password and you'll have to re-register.

If you are going to the Annual Meeting and have a smart phone, I'd download this app. It will cut down on paper and will keep you current on what is going on. If you aren't able to go to the meeting, I'd still download it for the exhibitor information. Even if there was a nominal charge for this app, I think it would be a good buy. And since it is free, it becomes a great buy.

Alternate Uses For Ammo

When I came out into the kitchen yesterday morning, this is what I saw on the kitchen table.

The Complementary Spouse is a crafter. She was putting patches on a jeans purse that she was repairing for her older daughter. She needed some extra weight to hold the patches in place while the glue cured and boxes of handgun ammo provided just the right amount of weight.

So if your significant other is complaining about how much space your ammo cache is taking up, just show them this picture and suggest that it can be used for many things including arts and crafts.

About Those Big Fish The ATF Was Pursuing...

Ostensibly the purpose of ATF's Operation Fast and Furious was to use the little fish (aka straw purchasers)as a means to reach the big fish of the Mexican drug cartels. After it came out last week that the ATF let Manuel Celis-Acosta, ringleader of the illegal gun buyers, off when they had him in custody at the US-Mexican border, we now learn that the so-called big fish were informants for the FBI.
According to DEA and Congressional reports, the two men were the primary cartel contacts used to finance the illegal gun trafficking ring. Jim Needles, the assistant Agent in Charge of the Phoenix ATF office estimated the brothers spent $250,000 on guns tracked by his agency while conducting Operation Fast and Furious. Needles called it “a disappointment” the FBI didn’t bother to tell his agency of the connection.

“You are getting at the very basis of this investigation,” Senator Charles Grassley said Friday.

“But I have to wait till we have all the information before we bring down the hammer.”

Grassley first revealed in September 2011 the FBI, knew, but failed to tell the ATF, it’s informants were part of the gun trafficking ring. Then in February, Grassley called them “the big fish” ATF had been looking for the entire time.

Both the FBI and DEA know the Miramontes brothers’ role and identity, but declined to tell the ATF during a “deconfliction” meeting Dec. 15, 2009. Nor did either agency speak up at any of the joint meetings all three agencies attended of the Southwest Border Initiative. The DEA and ATF’s Group 7 shared the same floor of the same building and the same ‘wire room’ to listen to wiretaps of suspects.

Eventually and under pressure, the FBI invited top ATF officials to a classified briefing in El Paso in the late summer of 2010 and described the Eduardo and Jesus Miramontes as "a national security assets". The two men were "off limits, untouchable and indictable" said a source familiar with the briefing.

Mike Vanderboegh offers this analysis of the news:
Is it becoming clearer? Black operations are compartmentalized. The only thing that is required is the ability to deflect interest from other agencies and supervisors within a given agency who might be meddlesome. "National security" goes a long way. What is also required are back-channel means of communication and control. Can you say from "old friends" like the State Department's Kevin O'Reilly serving on the National Security Council and "Gunwalker Bill" Newell in Phoenix? I knew you could. And remember the one thing in Phoenix which would be required would be someone in control who could issue the proper orders and put them in a nice legal-looking frame -- Janet Napolitano's lickspittle, anti-gun zealot Dennis K. Burke. Personnel is policy.
Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich is leading a counter-attack by accusing Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and their investigators of "impeding the Department's efforts to hold individuals accountable for their illegal acts." Moreover, as David Codrea notes, Weich's objections center around the fact that ATF knew Manuel Celis-Acosta was trafficking in firearms and still let him go despite that knowledge. His attempt at deflection on the leaks coming from the Department of Justice is a day late and a dollar short given what we now know.

Quote Of The Day

When multi-millionaire NBA stars are joining "million hoodie marches" and when you are shocked that the name "Trayvon" was not uttered in the news round-up on CBS Sunday Morning, you know the whole Zimmerman-Martin affair has jumped the shark.

Thrown into this media circus is a sage, yet snarky, comment from Tam:

I wish the media would find another ball to chase soon. I have never hoped for some random celebrity to choke on their last cookie so hard in my life. Elton John would probably do. He'd wipe the whole Zimmerman/Martin thing right off the front page, and he's kinda past his Sell-By date, anyway. I mean, all he's done in the last twenty years is release more re-recordings of songs about dead blondes, right? Come on, Elton, how about leaning in over the plate and taking one for the team?

I can see the epitaph now - "He was just walking down a yellow brick road listening to some crocodile rock and dreaming of being a rocket man when he was beaten by a deaf dumb and blind kid (who) sure plays a mean pinball."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

When Editorials Read Like A MAIG Press Release

The Stamford Advocate ran an editorial yesterday that could have been a press release from Mayor Bloomberg's Illegal Mayors. For all I know, it was.

The editorial entitled "More guns arrive and the bullets fly" seems to be in response to the news that firearms manufacturers lead by Connecticut's Sturm, Ruger were having record sales.
It is the incredibly permissive gun laws in this country that allow millions of new guns to be purchased in the United States each year. And it is the incredibly permissive gun laws in this country that abet the illegal flow of many of those guns into American cities that do not want them, that are trying to keep them out.
While they acknowledge the Second Amendment exists, they still cling to the collective-right interpretation despite the Supreme Court's rulings in D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago which affirmed that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.
In the years since that was passed, courts have made many precedent-setting decisions that have expanded gun rights. But how did "A well regulated militia" come to mean "everyone can build a private arsenal big enough to invade a mid-sized nation"?
They then move on to suggest that there should be restrictions on how many firearms a person should be allowed to own. Of course, they call it coming to "our senses" and "reasonable limits" which they never define. This, they say, would prevent criminals and street gangs from obtaining weapons with which to kill cops and kids or something like that.

They conclude their press release editorial by stating:
It is the legal gun trade that supplies the illegal gun trade. Until we place some sensible limits on the first, ones in keeping with the spirit of a "well regulated militia," we will never begin to get a handle on the second. And law-abiding citizens' best defense against bullets flying into their homes and into their bodies will continue to be sheer luck.
Of course this is a ludicrous claim and one for which the editorial board of the Stamford Advocate should be ashamed. However, in the rarefied and elite world of Stamford, shame is an antiquated concept suitable only for the little people.

Quote Of The Day

James Taranto writes the Best of the Web column for the Wall Street Journal. He has the ability to drill down to the essence of a situation with just a very few words.

A case in point which is the quote of the day.

Shouldn't That Read 'Because of . . .'?
"Despite calls for stricter guns laws in response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, firearm stocks are soaring as gun companies struggle to keep up with high demand."--Washington Free Beacon, March 22

Friday, March 23, 2012

Obama: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon"

The only surprise here is that it took President Obama so long to jump on the Trayvon bandwagon despite this not being a Federal issue. I know the Justice Department is getting involved but, at the heart of this, the shooting of Trayvon Martin should be a local matter with some State of Florida involvement. The police powers - laws dealing with health, safety, and welfare - have traditionally been reserved to the states.

Obama said in part: is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local, to figure out how this tragedy happened."

Mr. Obama said he is glad the Justice Department is investigating the shooting and that Florida Gov. Rick Scott formed a task force in response to the incident as well. The president suggested he was sympathetic to suspicion that the shooting may have been racially motivated.

"You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," Mr. Obama said.

"All of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen," he continued. "And that means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened as well as the specifics of the incident."
As SayUncle noted earlier today, the most stuff comes out about this case, the less clear things are. Add in the original police report that Weer'd Beard has put up and it becomes more and more murky. Unfortunately, that has never stopped Obama from commenting before and it obviously didn't stop him this time either.

I have refrained from covering this for the most part because others like Sebastian, Miguel, and Robb have more info and have done a great job of it. In this case, I just couldn't help myself as Obama's narcissism to me is like a red cape to a bull.

Sign Of The Times

My sister-in-law saw this flyer posted just inside the doorway of Crown Candy in St. Louis yesterday. Cindy, who will be a special correspondent for the blog at the upcoming NRA Annual Meeting, knew I'd be interested. She also said she saw her first billboard for the Annual Meeting.

If you have ever watched that quintessentially American show, Man Versus Food, then you may have heard of Crown Candy. In their Five Milkshake Challenge, you have 30 minutes to drink all five milkshakes. On this challenge, Adam failed.

I take it as great sign that you see flyers like this in a place like Crown Candy which usually has a line outside waiting to get in.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Alan Gottlieb Takes On Chris Matthews Over Florida's Stand Your Ground Law

I don't think MSNBC's Chris Matthews felt any tingles up his leg in his exchanges with Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation today. Gottlieb and anti-gun Florida State Sen. Chris Smith (D-Broward/Palm Beach County) were guests today on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews. The topic of discussion as one might expect was the State of Florida's Stand Your Ground law.

Gottlieb made a very good point early on when he said "indict the person, not the law". He went to say that it didn't appear to him that the law applied here as, in his opinion, Zimmerman didn't stand his ground. Rather he pursued Trayvon Martin. This is the same point that Sebastian and others have made repeatedly.

Text Of Thune-Vitter National Reciprocity Bill

The full text of S. 2213, the Respecting States' Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012, as introduced by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and David Vitter (R-LA) is now available. This bill currently has a total of 29 co-sponsors in the Senate. It seems to be more expansive that a similar bill, S. 845,  introduced in the 111th Congress by these two senators. It does take into account Constitutional Carry as practiced in Arizona, Vermont, Alaska, and Wyoming.


To allow reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms.

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 `Respecting States' Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012'.


(a) In General- Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 926C the following:

`Sec. 926D. Reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms

`(a) In General- Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof to the contrary--

`(1) an individual 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 individual to carry a concealed firearm, may possess or 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 individual that--

`(A) has a statue that allows residents of the State to obtain licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms; or

`(B) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes; and

`(2) an individual 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 is entitled and not prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm in the State in which the individual resides otherwise than as described in paragraph (1), may possess or 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 individual that--

`(A) has a statute that allows residents of the State to obtain licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms; or

`(B) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes.

`(b) Conditions and Limitations- The possession or carrying of a concealed handgun in a State under this section shall be subject to the same conditions and limitations, except as to eligibility to possess or carry, imposed by or under Federal or State law or the law of a political subdivision of a State, that apply to the possession or carrying of a concealed handgun by residents of the State or political subdivision who are licensed by the State or political subdivision to do so, or not prohibited by the State from doing so.

`(c) Unrestricted License or Permit- 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, an individual carrying a concealed handgun under this section shall be permitted to carry a concealed handgun according to the same terms authorized by an unrestricted license of or permit issued to a resident of the State.

`(d) Rule of Construction- 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 chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, 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 enactment of this Act.

The Stock Market Is Down Today

The headline from the Wall Street Journal at midday is "U.S. Stocks on Track for Third Decline."
U.S. stocks fell after weak economic signals from the euro zone and China raised fresh concerns about slowing global growth.

After rising to multi-year highs in recent days, major benchmarks extended their retreat into a third session on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 65 points, or 0.5%, to 13060 in midday trade.

Standard & Poor's 500-stock index shed 9.4 points, or 0.7%, to 1393. FedEx FDX -4.29%was among the biggest decliners, after delivering a disappointing earnings outlook and cutting its economic growth forecast. The Nasdaq Composite slid 13 points, or 0.4%, to 3062.
However, you would never know that the stock market was down if you were following firearms manufacturers Ruger and Smith & Wesson.

From on Ruger today:
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE:RGR) is up 8% today at $45.68. RGR has traded 428 thousand shares this morning, about double its average volume. RGR shares are up this morning after the company announced it was not taking any new orders at this time due to overwhelming demand. The company added that it will begin taking new orders again sometime in May. The company has a market cap of 873.65 million.
And this on Smith and Wesson Holding Corporation from Active- under the headline "Market Down Despite Jobless Claims at Four-Year Low, NASDAQ Stocks to Watch":
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ:SWHC) is up 10.85% this morning at $7.65. SWHC is up on heavy volume today with 2 million shares traded so far, well above its daily average of 931 thousand shares. Smith & Wesson shares are rallying alongside its rivals today after Sturm, Ruger & Co. announced it has stopped taking new orders due to overwhelming demand. The company has a market cap of 503.52 million.
Investors seem to be pushing up RGR and SWHC while ignoring CSGV and VPC. Go figure.

More Confirmation Of The Vitality Of The Firearms Industry

Sturm, Ruger announced today that they were suspending the acceptance of new orders because they had already had orders for the first quarter of over 1 million units. If one needed more confirmation that gun sales are strong and that gun ownership is expanding, this is it. While there is no breakdown of the orders, sales of Ruger's pistols for the concealed carry market such as the LCP, LCR, and LC-9 have been strong. As Michael Bane has noted many times, these pistols are very popular with Gun Culture v. 2.0 who want a pistol for personal protection.
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. Reports Strong First Quarter Bookings

March 21, 2012

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR), announced today that for the first quarter 2012, the Company has received orders for more than one million units. Therefore, the Company has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders.

Chief Executive Officer Michael O. Fifer made the following comments:

The Company's Retailer Programs that were offered from January 1, 2012 through February 29, 2012 were very successful and generated significant orders from retailers to independent wholesale distributors for Ruger firearms.

* Year-to-date, the independent wholesale distributors placed orders with the Company for more than one million Ruger firearms.

*Despite the Company's continuing successful efforts to increase production rates, the incoming order rate exceeds our capacity to rapidly fulfill these orders. Consequently, the Company has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders.

*The Company expects to resume the normal acceptance of orders by the end of May 2012.

The Company will announce its results and file its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2012 on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, after the close of the stock market.
I know it borders on rudeness to keep poking the gun prohibitionists in the eye with the truth but I hope Josh Horwitz chokes on this press release.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I am a very happy shareholder in Sturm, Ruger and Company)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

You'd Think They Would At Least Get One Thing Right

You'd have to be deaf and blind not to know that the Trayvon Martin shooting has gone big time in the media. As such, it is playing everywhere including a site called The Root. I wasn't familiar with The Root so I checked its "About Us" page.
The Root is the leading online source of news and commentary from an African-American perspective. Founded in 2008 under the leadership of Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University, The Root offers a unique take on breaking news, provides solid analysis and presents dynamic multimedia content. The Root raises the profile of black voices in mainstream media and engages anyone interested in black culture around the world. The Root is owned by the Washington Post Company.
Prof. Gates you may remember was part of the Rose Garden Beer Summit involving Gates, President Obama, and the Cambridge policeman who had arrested Gates. Nonetheless, given the The Root is owned by the Washington Post Company you would expect that they would employ a fact checker or two. Alas, it is not to be.

In an op-ed by Steven Gray which combined discussion of the Trayvon Martin affair with a call for a discussion of gun policy in the United States, there was this tidbit. It is referring to S. 2188 - the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012.
Here's some contrast: On March 13 a trio of Republican senators, led by Alaska's Mark Begich, introduced a measure to allow people to carry concealed weapons across state lines -- even into states like New York and New Jersey, which don't recognize out-of-state permits.
It gives the impression that those evil Republicans are cramming concealed carry down America's throat right after a black teenager was shot by a concealed carry holder. But wait you say, isn't Alaska's Mark Begich the Democrat who beat Republican Ted Stevens? And you would be correct. Moreover, that trio of Republican senators is actually one Republican, Sen.Mike Crapo (R-ID), who is no longer a sponsor of the bill. The real sponsors of the bill are actually Democrats Joe Manchin (D-WV), Max Baucus (D-MT), and Jon Tester (D-MT) along with the aforementioned Mark Begich.

If Steven Gray is going to attack gun rights in the United States and is calling upon President Obama to veto S. 2188 if it ever gets to his desk, as a journalist he has the ethical responsibility to get his facts right. The party affiliation of Begich, Manchin, Baucus, and Tester is a fact and not an opinion. Mr. Gray can have whatever misguided opinions he wants and that is his right. However, he has no right to mislead on the facts.

So Riddle Me This, Josh Horwitz

Josh Horwitz, the head of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic), is on this campaign to have you believe that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, gun ownership is declining.
The gun lobby is desperate to perpetuate its image as The Lobby That Cannot Be Crossed by Politicians in the face of a very harsh reality: Declining gun ownership in the United States.
As The Riddler used to say in the old Batman shows, "So riddle me this". I think we can all agree that the economy is in recession. Moreover, small businesses are closing right and left due to the poor economy. So given that, why have the number of Federal Firearms Licensees been on the increase since January 2010?

According to data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the number of 01 FFLs - dealers in firearms - has increased from 47,411 in January 2010 to 48,987 in February 2012. This is an increase of 1,576 dealers or a 3.3% increase during that time period. The days of the kitchen table FFL are, for the most part, long over due to the Clinton Administration. Thus, this means that 1,576 people thought the growth in the market for firearms was strong enough to invest their time and money into a storefront business.

You can see this in graphic form below.

So riddle me this Mr. Horwitz, if as you claim the number of gun owners is declining and that the new sales are only going to existing gun owners, why would anyone in their right mind open a new gun shop in a bad economy? The answer is that they wouldn't. So either those 1,576 people getting new dealer licenses are delusional pawns of the gun industry or you are deliberately trying to minimize the real growth in the number of gun owners to mask the ineffectiveness of your arguments.

I vote for the latter.

Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters Open April 7th In North Carolina

I know this has nothing to do with guns or money but I was the President of the Land O' Sky Chapter of Trout Unlimited for a couple of years and love fly fishing. It reminds me I need to renew my license and do some more fishing this year. Given that a nice trout stream runs through the middle of The Town (My The Town), I really have no excuse other than the town father's might consider it an athletic facility.

From the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission announcing the opening of trout season on hatchery-supported streams:
RALEIGH, N.C. (March 20, 2012) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open approximately 1,100 miles of hatchery-supported trout waters in 25 western counties at 7 a.m. on April 7. The season will run until March 1, 2013.

While fishing on hatchery-supported trout waters, anglers can harvest a maximum of seven trout per day, with no minimum size limits or bait restrictions.

Hatchery-supported trout waters, marked by green-and-white signs, are stocked from March until August every year, depending on the individual stream. A list of numbers and species stocked by month and county can be found on the Commission’s website. Many of these waters are stocked monthly, although some heavily fished waters are stocked more frequently.

Balsam Lake, which was drained by the U.S. Forest Service to repair a leak in the spillway, remains closed and will not receive stockings this year.

Commission personnel will stock nearly 877,000 trout, with 96 percent of the stocked fish averaging 10 inches in length and the other fish exceeding 14 inches.

Stocked trout are primarily produced in two Mountain region fish hatcheries operated by the Commission and are distributed along hatchery-supported streams where public access for fishing is available. While hatchery-supported waters are open to public fishing, many of those miles are privately owned.

“Opportunities to fish on many of these hatchery-supported trout streams are only available through the support and generosity of landowners,” said David Deaton, fish production supervisor for the Wildlife Commission. “It’s important for anglers to respect the property that they’re fishing on and remember that landowners can take away access if they feel their property is being misused.”

Deaton said that anglers can help prevent the loss of public access to fishing by:

• Respecting private property and landowners at all times;

• Removing all trash and litter from fishing and parking areas;

• Parking only in designated areas and leaving driveways open for pass-through traffic;

• Closing and/or locking gates after use;

• Reporting wildlife violations by calling 1-800-662-7137.

For a detailed list of all hatchery-supported trout waters and regulation information, as well as trout maps and weekly stocking summaries on hatchery-supported trout waters, visit the Commission’s website, Weekly stocking information appears online for seven days, and updates are posted on Fridays after fish are stocked.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Senators Thune And Vitter Introduce Another Reciprocity Bill

It looks like Senators John Thune (R-SD) and David Vitter (R-LA) have made good on their intention to introduce a national right-to-carry reciprocity bill. They have introduced S. 2213 today. The title of the bill is the Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012.

From their joint press release:
Mar 20 2012

Thune, Vitter Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill Would Balance Rights of States, Individual Gun Owners

Bill would allow concealed carry in-line with state law without requiring new federal permit

Washington, D.C. -

U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and David Vitter (R-La.) today introduced their Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would guarantee the rights of gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines in accordance with the laws of individual states. The bill balances the constitutional rights protected by the Second Amendment with the rights of each state to enforce its own laws regarding concealed firearms.

“I am pleased to introduce legislation that strikes a balance between state’s rights and individual’s Second Amendment rights outlined by the Constitution,” said Thune. “Rather than establish a national standard, our bill will ensure that law-abiding citizens are able to carry concealed firearms while at the same time respecting the laws of the respective states they visit.”

“I think we’ve succeeded in striking an effective balance here with a bill that expands our right to bear arms but doesn’t institute a heavy-handed federal permitting system,” said Vitter. “Instead, we’re returning power to individuals and to the states by allowing Americans to carry concealed firearms in accordance with local laws. This doesn’t force states to change their laws and it doesn’t force individuals to go through yet another permitting process – the best solution to streamline a complicated problem.”

The Thune-Vitter bill would guarantee that persons who are legally permitted to have a concealed firearm according to the laws of their home state may carry such a firearm in any other state that allows concealed carry. The bill would not force Illinois and the District of Columbia, which currently prohibit concealed carry, to change their laws. The bill would also respect individual state laws regarding specific locations where firearms are prohibited.

The bill does not establish national standards for concealed carry, and it does not provide for a national carry permit, nor does it allow individual gun owners to circumvent the laws of their home states.

In July 2009, a similar version of the Thune-Vitter bill received 58 votes – two shy of passage. The current version of the bill has attracted 29 original co-sponsors in the Senate, including: Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Ms.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orin Hatch (R-Utah), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) Rand Paul (R-Kent.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Roger Wicker (R-Ms.).

The bill is supported by numerous groups including the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Passenger-Cargo Security Group, and Women Against Gun Control.
 The text of the bill is not up yet but I imagine it will be nearly identical to the bill introduced in 2009 that almost passed the Senate. The text of S. 845 from the 111th Congress can be found here.

 In the original release regarding the competing bill, S. 2188, it listed the sponsors as Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Mike Crapo (R-ID). You will notice that in the list of co-sponsors above - all Republicans - that Mike Crapo is listed as a co-sponsor. When I checked the Library of Congress's Thomas legislative information site, the only sponsors and co-sponsors of S. 2188 are Begich and Manchin as well as the two pro-gun Democrats from Montana, Tester and Baucus. Mike Crapo's name does not appear as a co-sponsor.

This is just speculation on my part but I imagine Crapo's arm was twisted in the name of party solidarity. If a bill such as this is going to pass - and I'm not sure it will get through the Senate - it will need to have support from both Democrats and Republicans. It will also need some support from the Senate leadership to get out of the Judiciary Committee and to the floor of the Senate. That is also iffy.