Friday, May 31, 2013
Illinois will have shall-issue concealed carry regardless of whether Gov. Pat Quinn likes it or not. Today, both houses of the Illinois General Assembly passed the compromise bill, HB183, by a greater than a 75% margin.
First, HB183 with the language of Amendments 5, 6, and 7 passed the State Senate by a vote of 45 yea, 12 nay, and 1 present on its Third Reading. The one present vote was by Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago). The yea votes did include State Senate President John Cullerton who is no fan of gun rights.
The bill then went to the House of Representatives for concurrence on Amendments 5, 6, and 7. Amendment 5 which was the major part of the bill passed with an 89 yea to 28 nay vote. Likewise, Amendment 6 and Amendment 7 received concurrence by the same vote margin.
The bill now goes to the governor's desk where Gov. Quinn now has 60 days to either sign or veto the bill. However, the stay from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals expires on June 9th. I would presume that Quinn will need to act sooner than later if he doesn't want the courts to intervene.
Video from the Senate vote is below:
The compromise on concealed carry in Illinois seems to have been reached. There are two amendments to HB183 by Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton) who is one of the strongest pro-gun advocates in the Illinois State Senate.
Given that both the bill and the two amendments are quite lengthy, it will take some time to digest just what will be allowed.
The text of Amendment 5 is here and the text of Amendment 6 is here.
From what I can gather from those who are working through it on the IllinoisCarry.com forum, the amendments provide the following:
- It is shall-issue carry
- Preemption applies to handguns only. Will include both ammunition and magazines. See Sec. 90. Preemption applies to FOID card holders only.
- 16 hours of training required but 8 hours can be waived for prior military service and hunter safety courses.
- Cost of the license will be$150 for residents; $300 for non-residents. Renewal for residents is $150.
- No reciprocity with other states
- Establishes CUI or carrying under the influence. Penalties the same as for DUI. Applies to all including LEO.
- A carry license doesn't exempt the holder from a NICS check on a firearms purchase
- Restaurants that have over 50% of profits from alcohol sales must post premises. Onus is on business owner to post.
- Counties and municipalities have 10 days after bill signing or veto override to have firearms ordinances in place. After that time, there is state preemption on all firearms issues.
- Law states firearm must be concealed or partially concealed.
- Chicago/Cook County gets to keep its AWB and mag restrictions for rifles and shotguns
UPDATE: A reader sent me an email noting the bill also has preemption on carry and preemption on transport.
Sen. Gary Forby is now the official sponsor of the bill in the Senate along with Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-N. Aurora) while Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) is now the official House sponsor. They replace Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skoie) respectively.
Sen. Forby has introduced a 7th Amendment which changes who will appoint the NRA representative of the task force that will study how to consolidate the CCW and the FOID card into a designation on driver's licenses and state ID cards. Currently, the NRA representative would be appointed by the Speaker of the House. The amendment changes this to making the Secretary of State responsible for this.
The Senate is currently debating this bill.
It seems everyone and his brother is making a tactical pen even though TSA says you can't bring them on planes. I know I have a couple including my tactical fountain pen which actually writes fairly smoothly. What we haven't had, for the most part, is any real training on how to effectively use the tactical pen for self-defense. This may be changing with a new video featuring Michael Janich.
From the press release:
PHOENIX, AZ (May 2013) - Tuff-Writer™ Inc., makers of the world's toughest American made pens, have partnered with renowned edged-weapons trainer Mike Janich and Stay Safe Media to produce a groundbreaking new self-defense video. "Focused Impact" is the first real practical course covering the selection, carry, deployment and application of tactical pens in a self-defense situation.
A tactical pen is nothing more than a durable, high-quality pen that provides all of the same attributes as a purpose-designed "fist load" weapon like a Kubotan or yawara stick, but in the form of an ordinary-looking pen that can be carried virtually anywhere. But what really makes a tactical pen "tactical" is the user's ability to power it with a sound set of physical skills.In this groundbreaking video, acclaimed self-defense instructor Michael Janich gives you those skills and dispels the many myths that surround the use of pens in self-defense. His step-by-step program includes everything you need to know to actually use a pen as an effective personal-defense weapon, including: considerations for pen selection, proper grip, carry options and draws, striking methods, and pressure-point tactics. More importantly, it teaches you how to integrate the pen into a complete set of combative mechanics, making it a force multiplier that works in concert with empty-hand parries and strikes, elbows, knees, kicks, and foot traps.
According to the Tuff-Writer website, the DVD retails for $29.95 which seems reasonable enough.
Without the skills and confidence to power it, even the finest, best built pen in the world like a Tuff-Writer tactical pen is still just a pen. This video will help you realize its true potential and teach you what you need to know to make it a viable defensive tool.The video is available through Tuff-Writer by visiting their website or wherever Stay Safe Media training videos are sold. It can also be previewed at the 2013 BLADE Show by stopping by the Tuff Writer booth.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Illinois Observer and the Associated Press are both reporting that a compromise has been reached on a concealed carry bill in Illinois. That said, the Illinois Carry forum has generally been more accurate and more timely than the media. At this time (9 pm Eastern), they are saying they have nothing yet on a compromise.
From the Illinois Observer:
A top source tells The Illinois Observer that lawmakers have an agreement that will preempt home rule only on firearms transportation and existing conceal carry laws.The Associated Press is quoting Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) as saying a compromise has been reached. The compromise legislation will be introduced on Friday by Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton)
The legislators, State Senators Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Tim Bivins (R-Dixon), State Reps. Mike Bost (R- Murphysboro), Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein), Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) and Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) meeting House Speaker Michael Madigan’s conference room on Thursday afternoon, have also agreed that all existing assault weapons bans will remain in place.
However, the lawmakers, who excluded the governor’s Illinois State Police representatives from the negotiations, have agreed that any new assault weapon bans must be adopted by home rule communities within 10 days of the law taking effect. In reality, the new conceal carry law will ban any further assault weapons bans.
Additionally, the bill will abolish Chicago’s gun registry.
Raoul told The Associated Press that lawmakers are “still tightening up details” but the package has reached common ground on key issues. Those compromises include preserving local gun ordinances and prohibiting weapons from being carried in places including schools and public parks, and tightening penalties.Until we see the actual bill - if there is actually a bill - we won't know for sure what sort of compromise has been reached. The fact that it is Sen. Raoul being quoted as saying a compromise has been reached makes me just a bit suspicious. If it were Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) who has been one of the leading pro-gun legislators in Illinois, I'd believe it.
Raoul says the bill will preserve elements from two pieces of legislation considered in a Senate committee earlier this week.
UPDATE: Todd Vandermyde, the NRA's lobbyist in Illinois and one of the most plugged-in guys I've ever met, had this to say on the IllinoisCarry.com forum about the compromise.
The senate has adjourned for the night.Frankly, if Todd hasn't seen the language on the compromise, then I can assure you that no one in the media has seen it either.
We are awaiting an amendment on a carry bill. Lots of rumors surrounding what is in and what is out.
Rumor is that the bill will go through the senate first.
With the senate adjourned, the mag ban SB1002 is impossible to pass into law as the bill requires three days in the house,there is only one left.
We may still see a lost or stolen type bill such as SB841 but again it needs 3 days to pass the house on all 3 readings. This assumes they don't tack it onto a houseboll and try to kick them, back on concurance.
Legislative sessions across the country are slowly coming to a close and with it come votes on gun rights issue. There will be important votes today in both Illinois and New Jersey.
The Illinois Senate will be voting on a number of bills that impact gun rights. Perhaps the most important one will be on their version of a concealed carry law. The bill is HB183 Gun Safety and Responsibility Act and is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago). It is opposed by the NRA, ISRA, and Illinois Carry. The bill is much weaker than SB2193 that passed the State House last week and it preserves home-rule on firearms issues.
The other bills coming up include SB851 Safety Tech sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), SB1002 Criminal Law Tech sponsored by Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge), and SB1003 Criminal Law Tech sponsored by Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago). Raoul's SB851 includes both universal background checks and a lost or stolen reporting requirement. Kotowski's SB1002 is a magazine ban bill with an exception for movie and TV productions. Finally, Munoz's SB1003 increases penalties for firearms violations - even unintentional. All of these bills are opposed by Illinois Carry and ISRA.
The Illinois Senate is scheduled to go into session at 11am Central.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Senate will be taking up a number of bills that either ban certain firearms or curtail Second Amendment rights. They go into session at 2pm Eastern.
From the Outdoor Wire on S. 2723 and S. 2178:
Senate Bill 2723 -- This omnibus bill sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney includes many different gun control sections which will impact retailers and gun owners throughout the state. It suspends Second Amendment rights if one does not have proof of firearms training, including for all current handgun owners; imposes a seven-day waiting period for handgun purchases; bans all private sales of firearms; effectively creates a registry of ammunition purchases and long gun sales.Other bad bills include S. 2485 which bans anyone who is on the No-Fly list from having either a firearms ID card or a pistol purchase permit and S. 2467 which mandates divestiture in gun companies by the state pension system.
Senate Bill 2178 -- Sponsored by state Senators Raymond Lesniak (D-20) and Barbara Buono (D-18), this bill is a flat-out statewide gun ban on possession of .50 caliber firearms. The current version was amended to make this bill effective immediately upon enactment.
The New Jersey Second Amendment Society issued an alert yesterday on these and other bills. It can be found here and gives contact information.
If you are a resident of either state, I'd urge you to contact your state senators as well as senate leadership to register your opposition to these bills.
UPDATE: In what may come as no surprise, the New Jersey Senate passed all the gun control bills before it. Sebastian has the whole story here. One needs only to see this video to understand the disdain those in power in the Garden State hold both the 1st and 2nd Amendments. If the State Trooper's shirt had been either brown or black, you'd have sworn a time machine had transported you to the era of the Third Reich.
No word yet on any grand compromise from Illinois on concealed carry.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The Illinois General Assembly is playing a game of political chicken over concealed carry with only nine days to go before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals stay on their ruling ends. On one side you have the Illinois State House of Representatives which has passed a shall-issue concealed carry law with limitations but that does mandate state preemption on firearms laws. On the other side you have Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL), State Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D-IL), Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), and others of their gun prohibitionist ilk who want to preserve home rule at all costs even if it means not meeting the Court of Appeals deadline to craft a concealed carry law that was consistent with the court's ruling.
This past Friday the Illinois House of Representatives passed an amended bill by a vote of 85 to 30. It had the support of House Speaker Michael Madigan as well as the pro-gun forces led by Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg). That bill was a compromise. While it provided shall-issue concealed carry and preempted all local firearms laws in Illinois, it also mandated 16 hours of training, a $150 fee, and did not provide for any sort of reciprocity with other states and their CCW licenses. The House had previously failed to pass both a really good shall-issue carry bill sponsored by Rep. Brandon Phelps as well as a draconian may-issue bill sponsored by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago). Gov. Quinn and State Senate President Cullerton started attacking this bill the moment it was passed.
After the Memorial Day Weekend, the Senate Executive Committee (equivalent to a Rules Committee in other legislative bodies) took up the bill that passed the State House as well as one by Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago). It should be noted that the Executive Committee Democrats are reportedly, for the most part, Cullerton loyalists. Given that, it is not surprising that they refused to let the House bill out of committee and sent forth the draconian concealed carry bill.
Senate Democrats Tuesday blocked legislation backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan to permit Illinois gun owners to carry their weapons in public areas and gut local gun laws, opting instead for a stricter measure favored by gun-control advocates.Senate President Cullerton's aim is to preserve home rule on firearms laws. His strategy seems to be to use the Raoul bill as his bargaining chip. In other words, he'll be willing to trade off the worst parts of the Raoul bill in exchange for the ability of Chicago and its suburbs to still have their local gun control laws. As he said in the Chicago Tribune's Clout Street:
The votes by the Senate Executive Committee further muddied the prospects of the House and Senate agreeing on a single plan to meet a court-imposed June 9th deadline to pass concealed-carry legislation and end Illinois' last-in-the-nation status barring gun owners from carrying their weapons with them.
Opposed by Gov. Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the speaker's concealed-carry bill that would undo more than 100 communities' gun-control laws died in the Senate committee on a 6-8 vote.
An alternative carried by Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) that would spare those local gun ordinances advanced on a 10-4 vote, with one member voting present.
With Friday's adjournment deadline getting closer, Cullerton suggested a compromise bill could take shape through further negotiations. "If we get over this super pre-emption that wipes out all these ordinances, we then have a concealed carry bill," Cullerton said.Other commentators such as Eric Zorn of Chicago Tribune and Rich Miller of the Capital Facts column have both noted that Cullerton is quite willing to have concealed carry laws determined by each and every one of the 208 local home-rule units in Illinois.
From Miller's Capital Facts column:
"In the case of concealed carry, some say we have to pass a bill," Cullerton told Chicago reporters.Zorn warns of the chaos that would ensue if the General Assembly fails to pass a concealed carry law and it falls to the 208 local home-rule units to pass their own laws on the issue.
"The fact of the matter is, if we don't pass a bill in Springfield, the city of Chicago, county of Cook, 208 home rule units can pass their own legislation.
"So, while we should pass a sensible bill to regulate it statewide, if we don't it's not the end of the world."
It was the clearest statement yet from Cullerton that not passing a concealed carry bill might be the best way to go.
As you already know, a federal appellate court has given Illinois until June 9 to pass a new public carry law. If not, all of Illinois' current carry laws will be struck down as unconstitutional on that date.
At first, liberals were being stampeded into passing new legislation. But Chicago's mayor and his legislative allies have lately made it quietly known that not passing a bill might not be so bad. Chicago could pass a much stricter proposal than anything that could ever receive the General Assembly's imprimatur, for instance.
Imagine officials of more than 200 local home-rule units of government in Illinois — trustees, aldermen, councilors, commissioners, most of them part-timers — suddenly and urgently attempting to craft and pass a new ordinance to allow their constituents to carry concealed weapons in public.Zorn warns the gun control forces that they may not like the result given the "notable and persistent enthusiasm gap" between gun rights supporters and gun control advocates.
Who is entitled to a permit? What training will it take to get a permit and who will provide and authorize it? Will permit-holders be able to carry their weapons on buses and trains? In taverns? In parks? In hospitals?
And so on. More than 200 political brush fires on one of our most divisive, contentious public policy issues breaking out all over the state nearly all at once. To be followed, inevitably, by nearly as many lawsuits filed by those who feel that the new laws continue to violate the Second Amendment's guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms.
Is that what we want? Because that's what many observers think we're going to get if the bickering Illinois General Assembly fails to agree on a concealed carry law by the June 9 deadline imposed late last year by a federal court.
So the passage of a concealed carry law comes down to this: a game of political chicken being played out amongst the Chicago power brokers. Madigan, Cullerton, Quinn, Emanuel, and Madigan's daughter Lisa the AG are all Chicago politicians. It will come down to who is the most powerful. My bet right now is on Mike Madigan as he has served longer as Speaker than anyone, he is chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, and he is a ward committeeman in Chicago. None of the others can match that. In the meantime, the good people of Illinois remain at the mercy of the thugs.
UPDATE: WGN-TV out of Chicago had this on the concealed carry bill negotiations this evening:
A lot of what happened today happened behind closed doors in the office of House Speaker Mike Madigan in an effort to reach a compromise on concealed carry legislation.In negotiations like this, it is always going to be the weaker party that makes the trek to the stronger party's office.
Lawmakers want that done. They’re facing a court-imposed June 9th deadline. They’re close on that, and nearing a deal on expanding gambling.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
The Illinois State Rifle Association just issued an urgent alert regarding attempts by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) to hijack the compromise concealed carry bill, S 2193, that was passed overwhelmingly in the Illinois House. Cullerton went on record immediately after the bill passed the House condemning it because it removed home-rule exceptions in Illinois firearms laws.
SENATE PRESIDENT CULLERTON AND SENATOR KOTOWSKI SCHEMING TO DERAIL CONCEALED CARRY
Senate gun grabbers John Cullerton, Dan Kotowski and Kwame Raoul were busy this holiday weekend constructing a plan to derail the passage of concealed carry legislation.
As most of you know, House Speaker Madigan and Rep. Phelps last week hammered out a concealed carry bill (SB2193) that passed the House with 85 votes. Although the bill was not 100% of what law-abiding Illinois gun owners were hoping for, SB2193 serves as a good baseline for the institution of state-wide personal protection measures.
As expected, anti-gun extremists in the Illinois Senate went to work immediately with a plan to shut down SB2193 when it came over from the House. Based on what the ISRA has learned, Cullerton-Kotowski-Raoul have come up with a bill of their own that would have so many exemptions that concealed carry permits would be impossible to get. Furthermore, there are reportedly so many restrictions in their proposal that, even if you were fortunate enough to be granted a carry permit, there would be very few areas where you would be able to carry legally. Of course, the places where concealed carry would be the most necessary are exempted in the Cullerton-Kotowski-Raoul "no carry" plan.
One thing is for certain, Senate President John Cullerton has refused to allow Sen. Forby to call SB2193 for a vote in the Senate - effectively killing the bill.
We are not 100% sure as of yet what the Cullerton-Kotowski-Raoul bill number will be. We think it will come as an amendment to HB0183.
HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO STOP CULLERTON FROM HIJACKING CONCEALED CARRY:
1. Immediately call your Illinois Senator and politely tell the person on the phone that you are a law-abiding Illinois gun owner and that you oppose Senate President Cullerton's attempts to hijack concealed carry. Politely tell the person that you expect the Senator to vote against any concealed carry proposal Cullerton tries to advance. If you do not know who your Illinois Senator is, click this link:
Illinois State Board of Elections
2. Please pass this alert on to your family and friends, ask them to make calls as well.
3. Please post this alert to any and all Internet bulletin boards or blogs to which you belong.
REMEMBER: The fate of concealed carry is in your hands!
UPDATE: More on the behind the scenes machinations of the gun prohibitionists in the Illinois State Senate from the Facebook page of IL-Gunlobby.
..Call your senator today and tell them to oppose HB183 amend 4
The senate dems met for a 2 hour caucus that devolved into a a shouting match amoung senators.
The President is refusing to allow Senator Forby to call the house carry bill. Instead they are going to offer an amendment to their bill that takes most of the parts of the House bill but then strips out the safe harbor provisions, any private property can ban firearms on their property all they want. .
They will remove restaurant carry and increase penalties for carrying while intoxicated to a class A misdemeanor.
They will also whittle down the preemption to only apply to carrying. But unclear if that applies to mags, ammunition and other things or not.
We could see an amendment late tonight with a committee hearing in the AM but unsure as these clowns don't seem to be very organized
More as we get it
Monday, May 27, 2013
The Harrisburg, PA newsite Pennlive.com reports on an Obama-backing super PAC that plans to push gun control in meetings tomorrow with NAACP leaders from Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York.
The name of this PAC is 1911 United. I have absolutely no clue where the 1911 in their name comes from but it seems strange to hear 1911 connected with a push for gun control.
Members of 1911 United plan to engage community leaders in a conversation about how gun violence has impacted their communities. The work is part of research the group is conducting as it prepares to to lobby Congress to pass gun control legislation.The comments on this story are not exactly complimentary to this group. That said, I was amused by the one that suggested the group should have been called the "Colt 1911 United Plan".
Representatives of 1911 United plan to meet with NAACP leaders from Harrisburg, York and Lancaster as they make their way to Chicago, which has one of the worst homicide rates in the nation.
The super PAC is comprised of members of Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternities, although they will be acting as individuals, according to a press release.
Local tour organizers Jesse Rawls, Sr. and Homer C. Floyd will hold a press conference at 11 a.m., Tuesday at the Martin Luther King Jr. City Government Center in Harrisburg. Floyd retired last year as longtime executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
The NAACP has launched a nationwide campaign calling for tougher anti-gun laws and increased programs to fight gun violence.
The 1911 United campaign will make its way to Chicago, where it plans to spend 30 days working in communities there hard hit by gun violence.
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet (and Ancestry.com), I found the draft cards of both of my grandfathers as well as that of my Dad.
Neither grandfather served in the military nor was drafted for World War I. I think a lot of this had to do with their ages. While both were over 21 in 1917, they were both towards the upper range of the age group considered. My Grandpa Richardson was 32 and had 3-4 dependent children by that time. Meanwhile, my Grandpa Sheridan was 28 and single but had poor vision. My mother said he always regretted that this prevented him from serving during WWI.
|William Thomas Richardson, 1918|
|John Francis Sheridan, 1917|
My Dad was drafted in 1940 and swore his enlistment oath on Dec. 10, 1940 at Fort Bragg, NC. He was originally drafted for the "Hawaiian Department" but ended up serving most of the war in the Caribbean Defense Command.
|Paul Thomas Richardson, 1940|
This could be one of those family legend stories but my Dad was reputed to be the first man drafted and actually inducted from Randolph County, North Carolina. What I do know is that he served in the Army from 1940 until 1945 and then again from 1953 until 1972 when he was medically retired as a First Sergeant.
Interestingly enough, I also found my Grandpa Sheridan's draft card from WWII when he was in his early 50s. By this time, he was the Tax Assessor for the County and Borough of Richmond, New York. I haven't been able to find my Grandpa Richardson's even though all men between 18 and 65 were required to register after we actually entered the war.
|John F. Sheridan, 1942|
On this Memorial Day, let us remember all that served and, more importantly, those who gave their lives in the defense of this nation and its liberties.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Majority Whip and the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate Leadership, was a guest on Fox News Sunday along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Part of the discussion surrounded having Attorney General Eric Holder investigate Holder's own role in the DOJ's targeting of journalists. Graham said there should be a Special Counsel appointed to investigate the matter. Durbin disagreed.
From the transcript of Durbin's remarks:
But here is the bottom line: the media shield law, which I am prepared to support, and I know Senator Graham supports, still leaves an unanswered question which I have raised many times, what is a journalist today, 2013?It is obvious to me that Sen. Durbin has about as much respect for my First Amendment rights as he does for my Second Amendment rights. It really isn't that surprising coming from a statist such as Durbin.
We know it's someone who works for Fox or A.P., but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who's tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection?
My response while I'm still entitled to any measure of First Amendment rights is that Dick Durbin can go straight to hell and take the rest of his ilk with him.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
|From Google Map's Street View|
To read more about the owner of this house and why she is being sued, go here. To read the plaintiff's complaint, go here.
The Instapundit has more on the suit here and here. Even Peggy Noonan gets into the act.
The house, by the way, is 6,500 square feet, has 6 bedrooms, 7 baths, and an in-ground pool in the back. The tax assessment is approximately $2.5 million.
From Ann Althouse's blog in a discussion of the woman who knelt by the body of the British soldier who had just been murdered by two radical Muslims. The discussion also asked where were the men.
That was a Brit thing. She could not act any better than she was trained to act. But she will courageously take flowers to the funeral.
An American mother would have grabbed a gun and shot the attacker with a high capacity magazine until it was empty.
The British cops also just stood around waiting for their firearms unit to arrive. Perhaps, just perhaps, if someone had come to the aid of the soldier when he was getting stabbed and before he was beheaded, he might be "in hospital" recovering from his wounds.
Friday, May 24, 2013
The Illinois State House of Representatives passed the compromise concealed carry bill today by a vote of 85 yea, 30 nays, and 1 present. SB 2193 now goes back to the State Senate for their concurrence.
MyStateline.com reports that Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL) is opposed to the bill and will work to defeat it. The sticking point for Quinn is state preemption of all firearm laws which negates home-rule for places like Chicago and Cook County.
The margin in the House would override a Governor's veto, but Governor Quinn pledged in a statement to do whatever he could to defeat it, calling it "a massive overreach on the concealed carry issue that would automatically repeal local public safety ordinances including Chicago's assault weapons ban. ... The principle of home rule is an important one. As written, this legislation is a massive overreach that would repeal critical gun safety ordinances in Chicago, Cook County, and across Illinois."Examining the 30 nay votes on SB 2193 finds that they are all Democrats and, with one exception, are all from Chicago, Cook County, or an adjoining county. The one exception was Rep. Charles Jefferson (D-Rockford).
The roll call of the votes is found here.
The Second Amendment documentary Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire has its theatrical debut on June 20th. They have just released the theatrical trailer for the film which is below.
The executive producer Kris Koenig was interviewed by FoxNews about the film yesterday.
“'Assaulted’ turns the gun debate around. It is a civil rights issue, and we take a look at the history of the Second Amendment. It’s a right that has been abused over the years and one that gets overlooked the most,” the film’s executive producer, writer and director, Kris Koenig, told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “It’s a self-defense right that gets distorted into self-offense. Our civil rights are very precious to us. The reason our country exists is to balance individual rights against the whole. It has kept our country safe.”The Fox article also quotes one of our favorite "historians" and gun prohibitionists Ladd Everitt.
Narrated by Ice-T, the film features myriad voices on the topic. Nugent appears along with Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence,as well as UCLA professor and author Adam Winkler. The movie aims to take a critical look at our current gun laws, Koenig explained, and how the concept of people rising up against the government in the U.S. may not be so farfetched.
“When you look at what is happening with the IRS targeting certain groups, or the FBI looking into media phone records, you realize it doesn’t take a lot to push a government into tyranny. I’m not suggesting we are anywhere near that point now, but governments do break down,” Koenig cautioned. “Look at what happened after Hurricane Katrina, or the L.A riots. The government wasn’t there to protect the people, and Koreatown was left as something of a battleground. We see small incidences like this where the government does fail us.”
“Our chief concern with ‘Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire’ is its advocacy for ‘Second Amendment remedies’ – the perverted and treasonous idea that there is an individual right under the Second Amendment to threaten and/or initiate violence against government officials when one senses ‘tyranny,’ said Ladd Everitt, director of communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “The film glorifies those who have employed political violence in the past and makes fraudulent historical claims.”That should be enough to get most of us to go to the theater and I have not been in a movie theater since the year 2000!
I'm posting this just because it entertained me. I love Greg Hickok aka Hickok45's YouTube videos and this one is no exception. Who among us wouldn't want to shoot a Sten submachine gun? I know ammo is in short supply but I'd scrounge the "ammo bunker" to find enough 9mm to go shooting for an afternoon with the Sten.
While you can't legally make and register a new Sten under the NFA with the ATF thanks to the Hughes Amendment, full blueprints are available. If we ever enter a TEOTWAWKI (or the new acronym, WROL) period, I have no doubt that a competent machinist with a decent workshop including a milling machine could make one.
Below is an animation of the Sten firing. You can see that it is an open bolt, blowback operated, firing mechanism.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released another of its pistol training videos featuring champion shooter Doug Koenig. In this video, Koenig discusses how he approaches shooting a five-plate set-up. He also discusses alternatives to his way of shooting including one that is used successively by Max Michel. As Koenig makes clear, you need to take the approach that you feel most comfortable with shooting.
The US District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Center for Biodiversity and other groups to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ban lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation was granted permission to be an intervenor. It was their motion to dismiss the case that was granted. They have more on the case and the dismissal below:
U.S. District Court Dismisses Lawsuit to Ban Traditional Ammunition
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today dismissed a lawsuit brought by the radical anti-hunting Center for Biological Diversity and six other groups demanding the Environmental Protection Agency ban traditional ammunition containing lead components.
Traditional ammunition represents 95 percent of the U.S. market and is the staple ammunition for target shooters, hunters and law enforcement, with more than 10 billion rounds sold annually.
NSSF filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit last August. The court today agreed with NSSF that EPA does not have the authority to regulate traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
EPA had already twice denied attempts by CBD to have the agency ban traditional ammunition, and the court had dismissed an earlier case brought by CBD seeking the same relief.
“We are gratified that the court has found this second frivolous lawsuit, which is essentially the same as the one dismissed last year, was equally without merit,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. “This was a waste of taxpayers' dollars and EPA resources spent in having to defend a baseless lawsuit.”
CBD's serial petitioning of EPA and its repeated lawsuits were designed to cripple the shooting sports in America by banning the ammunition that millions of hunters and target shooters choose to use safely and responsibly.
"There is quite simply no sound science that shows the use of traditional ammunition has harmed wildlife populations or that it presents a health risk to humans who consume game taken with such ammunition," said Keane. "Banning traditional ammunition would cost tens of thousands of jobs in America and destroy wildlife conservation that is funded in part by an 11 percent excise tax on the sale of ammunition. The protection and management of wildlife is properly handled by the professional biologists in the state fish and game agencies, as it has been for over a hundred years.
In addition to NSSF, the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International and the Association of Battery Recyclers intervened in the case.
Organizations that joined CBD in its lawsuit were the Cascades Raptor Center of Oregon, the Loon Lake Loon Association of Washington, Preserve Our Wildlife of Florida, Tennessee Ornithological Society, Trumpeter Swan Society and Western Nebraska Resources Council.
NSSF was represented by Roger Martella and Christopher Bell from Sidley Austin.
Facing a June 9th deadline, it looks like the Illinois State House might be able to pass a compromise bill. They have already shot down Rep. Brandon Phelps' (D-Harrisburg) shall-issue bill as well as a may-issue bill. The compromise bill is just that - it doesn't really satisfy either side but it may be the best one can get given the bifurcated nature of Illinois politics.
The Illinois State Rifle Association released the following alert this afternoon. It is important to note that they are neutral on the bill.
CCW BILL ALERT - SB 2193 - VIABLE PROPOSAL ON THE TABLE After many years of working to advance a Right to Carry bill, there is a viable proposal on the table. This bill, SB 2193, sponsored by Representative Brandon Phelps, is not a perfect bill but it does have several good points, for example:The actual bill is being offered as an amendment to SB 2193. The language of the amendment can be found here.
However, the bill does call for:
- Shall issue
- Statewide pre-emption of all gun laws
- Commercially available training
- Vehicles will be a safe haven
This bill, if passed, will bring Right to Carry to Illinois, but due to the restrictions in the bill we are neutral on the bill.
- 16 hours of training, although some previous training will count toward those hours
- $150.00 license fee, for five years
- Carry on mass transportation prohibited
While many people have been involved in this effort, Representative Brandon Phelps has demonstrated superior leadership and should be commended for his resolve.
According to the Rockford Register Star, the National Rifle Association has not taken a position on the bill.
“It’s a combination, a balance of both sides,” Phelps said, adding that he believes pro-gun groups such as the National Rifle Association have not taken a position on the bill. The NRA endorsed previous versions sponsored by Phelps.The biggest plus of the bill is that it does away with home-rule by Chicago and Cook County on firearms laws. This would mean that items like the Chicago's rules for issuance of firearms license would be gone as would Cook County AWB. This post from Illinois gun rights group GunsSaveLife.com does a good job in pointing the full impact of getting rid of home-rule on firearms laws. They contend that by agreeing to this House Speaker Michael Madigan has thrown Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle under the bus.
Todd Vandermyde, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in Illinois, declined to comment Wednesday and deferred all questions to the organization’s national headquarters. NRA officials could not be reached for comment.
Thirdpower who is an Illinois resident finds it to be a particularly unappetizing sandwich.
Miguel at GunFreeZone gives his opinion here. He believes we're getting shafted by the bill.
Sebastian thinks it might be the best we can get right now.
My feeling is that it’s a shall-issue bill, with preemption. It’s the final offer from the leadership. I’d take the deal and then work to improve the bill through legislation, and I’d re-litigate over the steep fees and argue that many of the places you’re prohibited from carrying are not “sensitive places” per the Heller decision.The Rockford Register Star article details the prohibited places referred to by Sebastian.
Weapons would be prohibited from special events open to the public, schools, amusement parks, zoos and museums, libraries, property owned by park districts, playgrounds, universities and colleges, state and federal buildings, sporting events, residential mental health facilities, and police stations. Guns would be barred from parking lots under ownership of these places.One other thing about the bill - it has no provision for reciprocity with other states. The argument given by Rep. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) is that other states' mental health reporting laws are weaker than that of Illinois. If you want to carry in Illinois and you aren't a resident, it will cost you $300 plus you have to meet their training requirements.
If riding public transit, an individual’s gun would have to be unloaded and stored away in a backpack or other carry-on bag.
If the pro-gun proponents of this bill are correct, future changes to the firearms laws will only take a simple majority instead of a 3/5's majority since home rule provisions will be eliminated. If correct, I think you might see more changes in the Illinois gun laws in the future. There has been a majority to liberalize the state's gun laws but not a super-majority.
Regardless of what happens in the State House, the bill will still have to pass the State Senate.
UPDATE: Please see the comment below from David Lawson. He and his wife Colleen were co-plaintiffs along with Otis McDonald in the ground-breaking Second Amendment case of McDonald v. Chicago. The Lawsons have been at the forefront of the fight for gun rights in the state of Illinois for many years. His perspective on these issues is important and should be given heed.
The Boston Globe publishes an annual list which ranks the best performing public companies in Massachusetts. The winner this year probably surprised them but certainly not those of us in the gun culture. It was the 161-year old firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson which is located in Springfield.
In an article that is mostly unbiased for the left-leaning Globe, they explain why S&W topped the list.
With its sights trained on firearms once more, Smith & Wesson increased profits 14 times over in 2012, netting $66 million on sales of $538.6 million and rocketing to the first position on this year’s Globe 100 list.Currently, Smith & Wesson is the third ranked firearms manufacturer by number of firearms produced in the US behind Ruger and Remington. Their current order backlog is approximately $668 million which is greater than the previous year's sales.
‘We went back to what we do best, which is handguns. We divested the security business very successfully and since that point have not looked back.’ - James Debney, CEO, Smith & Wesson
But the company’s renaissance is not merely a case of addition by subtraction. In recent years, Smith & Wesson has ventured beyond its core revolver business, introducing popular polymer handguns and modern sporting rifles.
The latter — often referred to as assault rifles — represent Smith & Wesson’s fastest-growing product line. Sales increased by 85 percent last year, and a line that did not exist in 2010 delivered more than a fifth of the company’s total revenue.
“It’s become an important piece of our business,” Debney said, acknowledging some concern about legislative efforts to ban the controversial weapons. “But at the end of the day, we come back to our core competency, and where we’re strategically focused, in terms of product, is the [military and police] pistol.”
At the moment, civilian sales of polymer handguns outnumber law enforcement sales, 20 to 1. Smith & Wesson only launched a polymer handgun line in 2006, but the company now views it as the main driver of future growth.
Smith & Wesson was given a $ 6 million tax incentive to expand their plant back in 2010. That tax incentive required them to hire an additional 225 over the next seven years. They have already met this requirement as they have hired 350 new workers in the past two years to meet the demand for new firearms. Their payroll is now $80 million annually and their total workforce in Massachusetts now numbers 1,500.
There are a number of comments on S&W topping the Globe 100. Most are as one might expect from what JayG calls the Volksrepublik. They include stuff like "Glorifying a company that manufactures guns?" and "Surely there must be a more worthy #1 pick than an assault weapons manufacturer." It is actually rather amusing to watch the wailing and gnashing of teeth over this. I know for certain that the 350 people who have gotten good paying steady work are not among them.
The draconian gun control bill that was shoved through the Connecticut legislature at the beginning of April was a product of secret negotiations between Gov. Daniel Molloy (D-CT) and both Democrat and Republican leaders in the Connecticut legislature. Now comes word that they are at it again but this time it deals with the release of records relating to the school shooting in Newtown last December.
The staffs of the state's top prosecutor and the governor's office have been working in secret with General Assembly leaders on legislation to withhold records related to the police investigation into the Dec. 14 Newtown elementary school massacre — including victims' photos, tapes of 911 calls, and possibly more.
The behind-the-scenes legislative effort came to light Tuesday when The Courant obtained a copy of an email by a top assistant to Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane, Timothy J. Sugrue. Sugrue, an assistant state's attorney, discussed options considered so far, including blocking release of statements "made by a minor."
"There is complete agreement regarding photos etc., and audio tapes, although the act may allow the disclosure of audio transcripts," Sugrue wrote to Kane, two other Kane subordinates and to Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky, who is directing the investigation of the killings.
The bill that's being crafted has not been handled under routine legislative procedures — it hasn't gone through the committee process, which includes a public hearing, for example. Sugrue's email Tuesday indicated that a draft of the bill was being worked on by leaders in both the House and Senate, and might be ready as soon as the end of the day. Sign Up For Traffic Text Alerts
He wrote: "I just received a call from Natalie Wagner" — a member of the legal counsel's staff in the office of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
"She believes that draft language will be forthcoming today (the work of both houses) in the form of a special act. ..." Sugrue wrote that Wagner "will send me the draft in confidence when she receives it, and I will immediately forward it."
I have to admit that I'm getting more than a little tired of the Newtown parents being trotted out every time someone wants to pass either a new gun control law or, as it seems now, a restriction of the freedom of information. I feel for those parents and can understand their grief. However, since they have now achieved sainthood in the eyes of some, can't we just give them their golden halos and say enough is enough.
I've been out of town the last couple of days on business which accounts for the slow blogging.
To all the road warriors and/or people with ultra-long daily commutes, my hat's off to you. I had about a 2 1/2 hour drive to get home last night and I'm whupped! It could be age or just inexperience in doing this on a regular basis but it wears me out. It also doesn't help not to be in your own bed with your own pillow.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
An ATF sting operation called Operation Fearless will now be investigated by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General. This operation in Milwaukee featured a storefront sting effort that went horribly bad. They had merchandise stolen, left behind confidential documents, damaged the building that they were renting, and had an ATF-owned automatic weapon stolen which is still missing.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel investigated it and has a whole series on it.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote to two members of Congress that the Milwaukee sting appeared to raise "significant management issues relating to the oversight and management" of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The issues, the letter said, were especially troubling coming after the agency had promised reforms.You have to wonder if ATF really has become the gang that can't shoot straight.
A bipartisan group of congressional members demanded answers after a Journal Sentinel investigation of the sting that revealed an agent's guns, including a machine gun, were stolen, the ATF storefront was ripped off of $40,000 in merchandise and agents allowed an armed felon who threatened to shoot someone to leave the store. At least four of the wrong people were arrested and three of them charged, including a man who was in prison. The ATF machine gun is still missing.
The ATF promised better oversight in the wake of Fast and Furious, where agents in Arizona encouraged the sale of more than 2,000 firearms to gun traffickers but lost track of the weapons. Many ended up at crime scenes in Mexico and at the scene where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed. The inspector general's report on Fast and Furious was sharply critical of the ATF and the U.S. attorney's office, finding "a significant lack of oversight" by both agencies.
Horowitz's letter on the Milwaukee operation, called "Operation Fearless," said the ATF's internal report on the incident addressed the management issues that concerned him. But Horowitz said his office would still examine the Milwaukee sting, along with other recent ATF operations.
He said he would determine if the Justice Department and the ATF have responded appropriately to the inspector general's recommendations after Operation Fast and Furious. He gave no timetable for when the review would be done.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Yesterday I said things happen in groups of three and wondered when we'd be hearing that CBS New Investigative Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson was targeted. Well, that didn't take long!
It was revealed in Politico today that her personal and work computers have been compromised and the incident is under investigation.
"I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I'm not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I've been patient and methodical about this matter," Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. "I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public."And when did she first notice this intrusion? It was in February 2011 which is when she began working on the Operation Fast and Furious story. According to her interview with WPHT Philadelphia, she was also working on a story about green energy spending by the Obama Administration.
I realize that correlation is not causation. However, it does seem very strange to me that right after Sharyl Attkisson starts work on a big story such as Project Gunwalker, her computers are compromised. When you add in the targeting of William LaJeunesse of Fox News, it gets even stranger.
You wonder if her post on CleanUpATF.org was the trigger or was it something more sinister such as the surveillance of bloggers Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea who passed the story on to her. I'm not a conspiracy theorist but the timing is too coincidental and the topic too sensitive for the Obama Administration.
UPDATE: In an article in Commentary Magazine, Jonathan Tobin calls the attack on the press a fundamental attack on democracy. He discusses both Sharyl and William LaJeunesse.
Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) is now pushing SB 1002 which would ban magazines over 10 round capacity. A "special" feature of this bill are large fines and prison time for possession of standard capacity magazines for AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles.
The ISRA Alert on this bill is below. Please notice their warning in the last paragraph. It seems Sen. Kotowski has no problem using the Illinois State Police as his private storm troopers to stifle dissent.
URGENT ALERT YOUR IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED MAGAZINE BAN ON THE MOVE IN THE ILLINOIS SENATE
Anti-gun extremist State Senator Dan Kotowski has introduced a ban on all magazines having a capacity exceeding 10 rounds. The bill (SB1002) banning magazines also requires large fines and prison sentences if you are caught with magazines for AR-15 and other modern sporting rifles.
SB1002 IS A BOLD AND BRAZEN ATTACK ON THE 2ND AMENDMENT:
1. SB1002 will have no effect on the criminal use of firearms yet will infringe on the right of law-abiding citizens constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
2. SB1002 is a backdoor way to limit your ability to defend yourself and family under the upcoming Illinois concealed carry law.
3. SB1002 is the first step towards the banning of semiautomatic rifles, pistols and shotguns.
BLOOMBERG AND THE GUN GRABBERS WILL PUSH HARD TO GET SB1002 PASSED
Magazine bans are on the top of gun controllers wish list this year. They want to see Illinois join with the likes of New York, Maryland, California, and now Colorado in the destruction of the 2nd Amendment.
ONLY YOU HAVE THE POWER TO STOP SB1002. ACT NOW OR LOSE ANOTHER CHUNK OF YOUR GUN RIGHTS!
Here is what you need to do to stop SB1002:
1. Call your State Senator and politely tell the person who answers the phone that you are a law-abiding Illinois firearm owner and that you oppose SB1002 and you expect the Senator to vote against the bill when it comes to the floor. If you do not know who your State Senator is, the Illinois State Board of Elections has an interactive search page here:
If you already know who your State Senator is and just need the contact info, you can find that here: www.ilga.gov/senate/.
2. When you call your Senators office, you may hear all kinds of nonsense about how SB1002 will not affect law-abiding gun owners. Politely tell the person that you are not interested in hearing that, you are only interested in seeing SB1002 defeated.
3. Pass this alert on to your friends and family and tell them to make calls as well.
4. Post this alert to any and all Internet blogs or bulletin boards to which you may belong.
5. Help keep ISRA on the frontlines of this fight for your rights, go the extra mile and recruit a new ISRA member. Sign them up over the phone at 815-635-3198, or browse to isra.org/join .
SPECIAL NOTICE: DO NOT call Senator Kotowski unless he is your Senator, and even then be very careful. Kotowski has a track record of having the State Police investigate and harass people that disagree with him.
Monday, May 20, 2013
It is often said that things, especially bad things, happen in threes. I wonder if that will be true of disclosures about Project Gunwalker.
The first thing that happened is that the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice released a report saying that former US Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke had leaked a sensitive document to the press with the intention of undermining the credibility of ATF Senior Agent John Dodson. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) blasted this in a release earlier today.
The second thing that happened was the revelation that the Department of Justice targeted two FoxNews reporters and one producer. While much of the attention is about their targeting of Fox's Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen, what caught my attention was that they also targeted William LaJeunesse. You may remember that LaJeunesse was one of two mainstream reporters who reported extensively on Operation Fast and Furious.
I'm now wondering if we will soon find out that the DOJ was also targeting CBS's Emmy-award winning Investigative Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. She not only was the lead mainstream reporter on Project Gunwalker but has also made the White House's shit list over her reporting on the Benghazi scandal.
You know I wouldn't be surprised given the Obama Administration.
Driving to work this morning it hit me that yesterday was the third anniversary of starting this blog. The realization that three years has elapsed gives me an even greater appreciation for bloggers like Kevin, Tam, JayG, Sebastian, and SayUncle who have been doing this for much longer.
Looking back over these three years is interesting.
We won the McDonald case and it has opened a whole new avenue of Second Amendment litigation in the states. Since then, we've won some and lost some. We are still waiting for another case to make it to the Supreme Court. I anticipate it will be a case involving carry outside the home in some manner.
We have seen tremendous growth in the sales of firearms and ammunition. The important thing about this growth is that many of these firearms are going to first time gun owners.
Illinois will have carry in some form thanks to the twin cases of Shepard v. Madigan and Moore v. Madigan. The Illinois General Assembly is still fighting it out to see what form it will take.
Despite some well publicized mass shootings and in the face of a full court press from White House, the media, and gun prohibitionists, we've beaten back efforts for new gun control legislation at the Federal level. Unfortunately, the gun prohibitionists have turned more of their attention to the states and have had some success. The usual areas such as California, New York, and Maryland have new gun control laws. More surprising was the enactment of background checks and magazine bans in Colorado.
We are still working to get to the bottom of the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal. Attorney General Eric Holder is still fighting requests for documents from Congress. Moreover, while some involved have been reassigned, no one has yet to lose their job over this much less be indicted for violations of Federal law.
Among the gun prohibitionists, the old line groups such as CSGV, Violence Policy Center, and the Brady Campaign are fading in influence. Taking their place, for the most part, is Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors. To be more exact, it is Bloomberg's willingness to spend some of his personal fortune that is pushing this effort more than anything the mayors themselves are doing. I still see the Giffords-Kelly creation of Americans for Responsible Solutions as being on the periphery for now. They are useful mostly as a reliable photo op.
Summing up, we have gained more than we've lost over the last three years. The key is to hold on to what we've gained by beating back the threats organized and financed by Mayor Bloomberg. The saying about eternal vigilance is true. We have to stay alert, stay focused, and continue to educate and energize those who believe in freedom.
The next three years should be interesting!
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I haven't done a weekend tab clearing in a while so I thought it might be time to do one.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has been pushing its member physicians to ask about firearms in the home. Nancy R. has a post about her recent experience with this and her excellent response. This is one to pass on to all your gun owning friends with younger children who will encounter pediatricians and their questions about gun ownership.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) may now be open to reviving the Manchin-Toomey background check bill if this article from Philly.com is to be believed. While he has primarily refocused his efforts on economic and financial issues, it seems he hasn't totally given up on background checks.
The Army had been running a competition to select their next generation carbine. However, the Improved Carbine competition may be put on hold. Gen. Ray Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, has indicated that he is content with the improved M4 carbine.
Forbes ran an excellent article by Amy Showalter about just why the NRA succeeds in the gun control debate. It isn't for the reasons that Mayor Bloomberg, the mainstream media, and the gun prohibitionists push. No, it is because of the grassroots and the efforts that that the NRA puts into training its volunteers.
Congratulations to Kevin Baker at The Smallest Minority on his 10th anniversary blogging. I don't know what that is in human years but it is a lot!
Thirdpower points out the absurdity of the hysterics of the gun prohibitionists about "smart rifles". As he says, "Joe Gangbanger isn't going to be anywhere near one of these." It might be because they cost over $23,000.
Bob Owens has a good post on Cape Fear Arsenal which recently announced they were building a new plant in Robeson County, North Carolina. To be honest, I'd never heard of Cape Fear Arsenal or their ammo before this weekend.
The Brady Center is suing the town of Nelson, GA over the town's enactment of a law requiring each household have a firearm. As Dave Hardy notes, he has a hard time seeing any case or controversy as the law has no penalty for violation.
Cabbie tells authorities he has a terrorist in his cab. Adams County, Colorado deputies meet the cab and take said terrorist into custody. The terrorist? Daniele Perazzi of Perazzi Shotguns. He and his shotguns were released shortly after they figured the owner of one of the world's most expensive shotguns wasn't a terrorist. Word is that he is considering legal action as well he should.
You know how Vice-President Joe Biden said rifles were too complicated for women's feeble little brains? Breda provides a graphic demonstration why the Vice-President is an idiot.
Speaking of the Obama Administration, CBS News' Bob Schieffer who has rarely criticized it, just unloaded on them in his Face the Nation commentary today. It was a bit shocking to hear someone in the mainstream media actually say what he did.
The final item comes from California where the best looking attorney general in America (according to BHO) has now certified that there are no patent restrictions encumbering microstamping. The net effect is that it freezes the existing California handgun roster.
The scandal involving the IRS targeting tea party groups and auditing certain conservatives is having a welcome unintended consequence. Not only does it have the White House playing damage control but it may have put a hold on further attempts to reintroduce the Manchin-Toomey background checks.
According to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) himself on a West Virginia radio show, it isn't helping.
Isn’t it more understandable, asked host Hoppy Kercheval, that people who fear more government intrusion or influence would now have some of those fears stoked after the revelations in the past week?I guess we should be thanking those faceless Obama ideologues in the IRS for being so overtly and over the top political in their actions.
“Absolutely - I agree 1,000 percent,” Mr. Manchin said on MetroNews’ “Talkline.” “People are saying, ‘Joe, we read your legislation, it makes all the sense in the world and we’re for that legislation - we’re just afraid government won’t stop there.’”
Manchin goes on to say that the Second Amendment can only be changed by the legislative branch of the government. Perhaps someone needs to send Manchin a copy of the United States Constitution. The amendment process involves both Congress AND ratification by three-fourths of the states. Article V of the Constitution also say the states themselves could call for a constitutional convention.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
There is a Twitter hashtag campaign called #ObamacareInThreeWords. The campaign was started by conservatives. So you have stuff like "IRS meets Kevorkian" and "Premiums will double".
The White House is trying to fight back. One of their many Tweets is below.
It's. The. Law. #ObamaCareInThreeWords, twitter.com/whitehouse/sta…
— The White House (@whitehouse) May 16, 2013
It is an arrogant and authoritarian response in my (not so) humble opinion. Just because a bill is rammed through Congress, doesn't make it then ensuing law any good.
James Alan Fox is the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern University. He is a columnist for the Boston Globe and is a strong proponent of gun control. In a column from this past August Fox examined the trends in mass shootings. Despite the perception that they are on the increase, Fox acknowledges that they aren't in his Boston Globe column.
There is one not-so-tiny flaw in all of these theories for the increase in mass shootings. And that is that mass shootings have not increased in number or in overall body count, at least not over the past several decades.So the next time a gun prohibitionist says that mass shootings are on the increase, point them to the data which refutes it.
Based on data extracted from official police reports to the FBI, the figure below shows annual incident, offender and victim tallies for gun homicides in which at least four people were murdered. Over the thirty-year time frame, an average of about 20 mass murders have occurred annually in the United States with an average death toll of about 100 per year.
Without minimizing the pain and suffering of the hundreds of who have been victimized in seneless attacks, the facts say clearly that the has been no increase in mass killings, and certainly no epidemic. Occasionally, we have witnessed short-term spikes with several shootings clustering close together in time.
H/T Dave Kopel
Friday, May 17, 2013
Beretta USA has been saying for a while now that they would respond to Maryland's new gun control legislation when Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-MD) actually signed it. He signed it yesterday morning and they have responded.
They do not find the new law acceptable and consider it an insult to them and their employees. Beretta USA is evaluating where other than Maryland it plans to expand plant, jobs, and production. They cannot immediately move all operations out of Maryland as they have contracts for M9 pistols to fulfill for the Department of Defense. Moving the production machinery for these pistols out of state would cause unacceptable delays in delivery to the military. A recent interview with Guns.com has more on that here.
The full official Beretta response is below:
This morning, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed into law SB281, a bill that will severely limit the Constitutionally-protected rights of American citizens in the State of Maryland.
Following the signature of the Bill into law, Beretta has issued the following statement, regarding our company's position regarding the law, and our willingness to remain in the State of Maryland.
You may also wish to read this article, outlining our future plans to remain in a state that has chosen to cripple its citizens' Second Amendment rights.
"The firearm companies owned by Beretta Holding in Maryland — Beretta U.S.A. Corp., Benelli U.S.A. Corporation and Stoeger Industries, Inc. — have all been deeply concerned about Governor Martin O’Malley’s effort this year to impose broad new restrictions on the rights of Maryland citizens to buy firearms, as well as on the types of firearms and firearm magazines they can acquire. The Companies have submitted comments before the Maryland legislature and to the press condemning these efforts and stating that the Governor's anti-gun activity is causing them to evaluate whether they want to remain in this State.
Notwithstanding some media reports to the contrary, those efforts have had some beneficial effects.
Through the Companies’ legislative efforts and with assistance led by Delegate Joe Vallario and others provisions were stripped out of the final Bill that would have required an immediate move of certain operations out of Maryland. The parts of the legislation that remained, though - and that were not deleted notwithstanding the Beretta Holding companies efforts to do so -remain offensive not only to our companies as firearm manufacturers, importers and distributors and as investors in jobs, taxes and income within the State of Maryland, but also to those of us who, as Maryland citizens, will now be encumbered with obstacles to our exercise of our Constitutional rights, such as a requirement we now be fingerprinted like a criminal before we can buy a handgun, without providing a commensurate benefit in reducing crime.
The resulting law that passed is not acceptable, even with the improvements we were able to obtain. In short, the law that finally passed went from being atrocious to simply being bad.
The question now facing the Beretta Holding companies in Maryland is this: What effect will the passage of this law--and the efforts of Maryland government officials to support its passage--have on our willingness to remain in this State?
In that respect we are mindful of two objectives: We will not let passage of this legislation prevent us from providing on-time delivery of our products to our U.S. Armed Forces and other important customers. We also will not go forward in a way that compounds the insult made to our Maryland employees by their Governor and by the legislators who supported his efforts.
Prior to introduction of this legislation the three Beretta Holding companies located in Maryland were experiencing growth in revenues and jobs and had begun expansion plans in factory and other operations. The idea now of investing additional funds in Maryland and thus rewarding a Government that has insulted our customers and our products is offensive to us so we will take steps to evaluate such investments in other States. At the same time, we will continue our current necessary operations within Maryland and we are thankful for and welcome the continued support of our employees as we do so."
From the NSSF release on the lawsuit:
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, has joined with 54 county sheriffs, Magpul Industries, the Colorado Outfitters Association, several firearms retailers, disabled individuals and other parties in a federal lawsuit brought today in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado in what is a broad-based challenge to Colorado's recently enacted gun-control laws.From the Independence Institute's release published in The Outdoor Wire this morning:
"In addition to Constitutional infringements and unenforceable requirements regarding magazine capacity, as the sheriffs have pointed out, we believe it will be impossible for citizens to comply with mandated firearms 'transfers' through federally licensed retailers," said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. "Colorado's federally-licensed firearms retailers are being asked to process these transfers as if they were selling from their own inventory and to monitor both seller and buyer through a state-administered check process that can take hours or even days. They will not be able to recoup the actual cost of providing the service, which is capped at $10, but they will be liable for paperwork errors and subject to license revocation. Not surprisingly, we expect few, if any licensed retailers will step forward to provide this service."
"For this reason and the many others detailed in our joint action with our fellow plaintiffs, these laws need to be struck down," Keane said.
Colorado Sheriffs to File Suit This Morning Against Colorado Anti-Gun LawsThe complaint is not yet up on the District Court's Pacer site. I'll post a link when it is available.
Photo, Video, and Interview opportunities with plaintiffs, including Sheriffs, Disabled gun owners, Women gun owners
Legal challenge to Colorado's new anti-gun laws begins in earnest tomorrow morning in Federal Court
Copies of the legal Complaint will be available
Contact Mary MacFarlane, 303-279-6536 x102, email@example.com
Friday morning, May 17, at 10 a.m., Colorado Sheriffs and other plaintiffs will hold a press conference detailing the filing earlier that day of their federal civil rights lawsuit against House Bill 1224 (magazine ban) and 1229 (sales and temporary transfers of firearms).
The press conference will be held at the Independence Institute, 727 East 16th Ave., Denver.
The press conference will have broadcast live on KFKA radio, 1310 AM, Greeley, www.1310kfka.com
A full video will be uploaded to http://www.youtube.com/user/davekopel shortly after the conclusion of the press conference.
Sheriffs are coming from as far away as the Western Slope to participate in the press conference. Also at the press conference will be disabled citizens in wheelchairs, and representatives of Women for Concealed Carry.
After approximately 15 minutes of prepared statements by the Plaintiffs, the Plaintiffs, as well as Sheriffs' attorney David Kopel, will take questions from the media. There will be photo and video opportunities. Plaintiffs will be available for interviews.
Dave Workman has more here as does Michael Bane here.
UPDATE: The complaint that has been filed US District Court for the District of Colorado can be found here. The case is
The case is being brought on 2nd and 14 Amendment grounds as well as under the Americans with Disability Act. They are asking for declaratory and injunctive relief.
The press conference video is up on YouTube. I have embedded it below. Bitter at Shall Not Be Questioned has an earlier video of lead attorney Dave Kopel being interviewed about the case.