Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Democrat State Party Platforms - New Mexico To Ohio



I'm pushing to finish this series before early voting starts in most states. In North Carolina, it starts on October 17th. This group of platforms will include those of the Democrat Parties of New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Ohio. It is an interesting mix composed of three top-10 in population states along with two rather small states.

New Mexico

The 2018 platform of the New Mexico Democratic Party is interesting in that it is upfront about the influence that progressive and leftist groups and politicians have had on it. Of the 31 state platforms I've examined so far, it is the only one that has something like this in it. In a beginning section called "Representation", the platform states:
While this 2018 Platform as a whole is new and original, reflecting New Mexico’s uniqueness and a fresh step forward for the party, it is inspired by language from the 2014 and 2016 New Mexico State Platforms, the 2016 DNC platform, the Santa Fe and Eddy county platforms, Progressive Democrats of America- Central NM Chapter, the Unity Reform Commission, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Campaign promises, and several Obama era Executive Orders. The 2018 Platform borrows language that aligns with the priorities of organizations who are unaffiliated with the Party but who share similar values and goals including: 350.org, New Energy Economy, Food and Water Watch, Common Cause, Frack Free New Mexico, Taos Pueblo, Public Citizen, Move to Amend, Sierra Club...
 Given this background, it is not surprising to see a whole litany of gun control proposals in this platform under "Public Safety".

  • We must expand and strengthen background checks for firearm purchases and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws
  • Oppose the sale of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines by reinstating and strengthening the assault weapons ban
  • Repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that revokes dangerous legal immunity protections for firearm manufacturers and sellers
  • Support the enactment and enforcement of aggressive laws against illegal gun trafficking
As a side-note, this section also has quite a bit about nuclear arms contained within it including challenging the unilateral authority of the President to use nuclear weapons.


New York

New York is home to the NY SAFE Act which was rammed through the legislature in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown murders. Thus, the platform of the New York State Democratic Committee is more of a patting on the back for what they've done than a what we intend to do in the future. The state's gun control laws are already draconian so there is little more that could be added.

In the section of their webpage entitled What We Stand For devoted to firearms they say:
Reducing Gun Violence

When the Sandy Hook tragedy happened, New York Democrats took common-sense action, requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, increasing penalties for people who use illegal guns, setting a penalty of life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and establishing the toughest assault weapons ban in the country.


North Carolina

As a lifelong North Carolinian and former Democrat, I'm not surprised by what I've read in the North Carolina Democratic Party's platform. The party that was composed of moderate and conservative Democrats has been fully taken over by the left wing. That trend started in 1972 with the McGovern campaign and went into high gear in the 90s and early 2000s. Some of this was indigenous and a good bit was due to in-migration from the Northeast.

In the section entitled Security and Law Enforcement, it states with regard to firearms:
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION As Democrats we recognize that there is a serious issue with gun violence in our country, yet we also respect the Constitution’s Second Amendment. We believe the promotion of standards to curtail gun violence is not inconsistent with the Second Amendment. Among the measures we support are strengthening background checks, closing loopholes such as the well-known “gun show loophole,” holding gun manufacturers accountable through repeal of their special immunity status, and keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. We believe that responsible gun owners should not be punished for the wrongdoing of those who seek to do harm, but that we must also take proactive measures to slow and eventually eliminate this epidemic in our country.
Given that the General Assembly no longer really has any pro-gun Democrats, I look at their "respect" for the Second Amendment as a joke. In an earlier section of the platform they state:
We support the fundamental rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association and assembly 2016 North Carolina Democratic Party Platform  and the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. We oppose efforts to limit or eliminate these fundamental constitutional rights.
 They are big on the freedom of speech and assembly parts as evidenced by the "Moral Monday" protests but are paying lipservice to the taking of property without due process of law. The red flag law proposed by Rep. Marcia Morey (D-Durham) provides for ex parte orders taking a person's firearms. This means a judge issues an order based upon what a family or household member or LEO says without the person whose guns are being taken being involved in the hearing. It is only days later that the person who is the subject of the order gets to have their day in court.


North Dakota

North Dakota Democrats are moving right along with the rest of the national Democrats in their support of gun control including age discrimination, training requirements for a first time purchase, waiting periods, and universal background checks. The NPL in the name of the North Dakota party is the Non Partisan League which merged with the Democrats back in the 1950s.

From their platform adopted March 17. 2018:
Firearm Safety – The Dem-NPL Party supports common sense regulations regarding the safe use of firearms for North Dakotans.

  1. The Dem-NPL supports legislation to close the loophole stating that it’s legal to sell and buy modification kits that can convert semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones.
  2. The Dem-NPL supports requiring North Dakota unlicensed gun sellers at gun shows, and private gun dealers to conduct the same instant background checks that licensed dealers need to conduct, using the National Criminal Instant Background Check System.
  3. The Dem-NPL Supports school Resource Officers who are trained in law enforcement, and in adolescent behavior.
  4. The Dem-NPL supports secure processes for students and adults to anonymously report suspected gun violence behavior, along with organized community forums where groups can share ideas, parents and kids can learn where to turn for help, and training is provided in the community to learn the signs of potential danger, and provides information on how to seek out interventions.
  5. The Dem-NPL supports a mandatory Certified Firearm safety training for any first time purchaser of a firearm.
  6. The Dem-NPL supports increasing the age to purchase a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21, and require a 3-day waiting period to purchase.
I presume that Item 1 refers to bump fire stocks as any other kit or sear would come under the National Firearms Act. Likewise, there is no such thing as a private gun dealer. You either are a licensed dealer or you are a private individual selling or trading your personally owned firearms on occasion but not as a business. This is an indication to me that whoever wrote this was unfamiliar with federal firearms law.


Ohio

The Ohio Democrats have adopted the national DNC platform as their own and have not written a separate Ohio-specific platform. Therefore, to get an idea of what Ohio Democrats will do let's look at the platforms or issue statements of Richard Cordray who is their candidate for governor and of Steve Dettelbach who is their candidate for attorney general. These seem to me to be the two major offices impacting firearms rights in the Buckeye State.

Cordray says his administration (if elected) would do the following:
  1. Require universal background checks
  2. Ban the sale of "high-capacity" magazines and bump stocks
  3. Raise the age to purchase any firearm to 21
  4. Extreme violence protection orders
  5. Appoint a "gun violence protection czar"
  6. Create "gun violence task forces"
Bear in mind that Cordray was Sen. Elizabeth Warren's handpicked choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which should show where he aligns politically.

Dettelbach doesn't mention firearms, gun control, or even "gun safety" on his campaign website. However, in an interview with WOSU Public Media, he says he is for the following:
  • Taking guns away from domestic violence offenders
  • Restricting guns for people who have an established record of serious mental health problems
  • Reinstating the assault-style weapons ban
  • Universal background checks
Moreover, in the state where the FASTER program began, he says he is against arming teachers and administrators regardless of whether they were former military or law enforcement officers. He says, "I think this is a politician’s plan quite frankly I mean it doesn’t protect people in any meaningful way it’s more than a day late and much more than a dollar short." I guess he is ignorant of the studies that have shown the speed of response is key to saving and protecting students.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Democrat State Party Platforms - Montana To New Jersey



The series on the state party platforms of the Democrat Party continues with Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.

Montana

The Montana Democrat Platform addresses firearms in the section on Hunting, Fishing, and Outdoor Recreation and in the section on Crime and Punishment. Under the Hunting section, it says:
The right to keep and bear arms as defined in both the Montana and the U.S. Constitutions.
That section goes on to say that they support public hunting as a game management tool.

The Crime and Punishment section says this regarding firearms:
Responsible ownership of firearms, including gun safety practices and the education and supervision of children in the use of firearms.
That sounds good until you read their action agenda which says they will "Advocate policies that address and prevent gun violence." The very use of the word "gun violence" (sic) indicates to me that they are blaming the firearm and not the person misusing it.


Nebraska

While Montana Democrats are somewhat circumspect about advocating for gun control, Nebraska Democrats are anything but circumspect.  Their platform calls for gun bans, a raise in the age to purchase a firearm to 21, red flag laws, an end to state preemption, and the elimination of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act among other things.

From the 2018-202 Nebraska Democratic Party platform on firearms:
Firearms and Gun Violence Prevention

Nebraska Democrats recognize that gun violence is a serious problem that claims the lives of tens of thousands of Americans per year, injures many more, traumatizes countless others, and disproportionately impacts communities of color. We support the right of Americans to live free of gun violence. We recognize that gun violence is the consequence of an inadequately regulated consumer market.

We support the repeal of the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which offers special immunities from liability to gun manufacturers and sellers and deprives injured persons from their right to legal remedy in the courts.

Nebraska Democrats support the right of communities to respond democratically to gun violence by passing local ordinances to address their needs. If gun s are owned, they must be used responsibly. We support criminal and civil liability for those who do not safely secure their guns. We support a tax on weapons and ammunition to fund school security measures.

We agree with the American Medical Association ’s proposals regarding firearms: limiting the purchase of guns to individuals 21 and over; supporting legislation that allows relatives of suicidal people or those who have threatened imminent violence to seek court - ordered removal of guns from the home; requesting better training for physicians to recognize patients at risk for suicide; and ensuring domestic abusers do not have access to firearms.

The Nebraska Democratic Party further supports the American Academy of Pediatrics’ proposals to enact a strong, effective assault weapons ban, require mandatory background checks and waiting periods of all firearm purchases, enact a ban on high - capacity magazines, enact strong handgun regulations, and require safe firearm storage under federal law.

We support scientific research into gun violence by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and other research agencies.


Nevada

 It should come as no surprise that Nevada Democrats have gone full on gun control. They supported Bloomberg's universal background check initiative and now are calling for much more gun control after last year's Mandalay Bay murders. The days of a more libertarian approach to firearms by Nevada Democrats is long over especially with the number of immigrants from California. As to the Mandalay Bay murders, a motive is still not known and all the firearms were purchased legally including the bump fire stocks.

From the 2018 Nevada Democratic Party Platform:
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION

We support common sense gun safety and gun violence prevention measures, because what happened on 1 October must never happen again.

We support the right to bear arms in a responsible manner. We oppose “Stand Your Ground” laws. We support banning bump stocks or any device that makes a semi - automatic weapon fire like an automatic weapon. We support a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. We support outlawing guns on school campuses and keeping guns out of public and government buildings. We support technology aimed at keeping children safe and ensuring that firearms are stored safely in gun owners’ homes. We support the implementation and enforcement of the ballot initiative that was approved by the voters in 2016 to close the gun show loophole. We oppose any efforts by the Nevada Legislature to make it easier for potentially dangerous people like convicted domestic abusers , violent criminals , stalkers , and those lawfully adjudicated as mentally ill to have easier access to weapons. We support strict standards on reciprocity laws in Nevada that protect our families and visitors. We support reporting gun injuries and deaths as community health problems, and keeping statistics and studying those statistics as a public health issue.


New Hampshire

The days of New Hampshire being the bedrock of New England conservatism is over. You can thank tax-avoiding migrants from Massachusetts for this. The New Hampshire Democratic Party's platform does reflect this. I will say I'm a bit surprised that they haven't called for an end to constitutional carry but that could reflect its popularity with voters.

From the NH Democratic Party 2018 final platform:
  • We believe in universal background checks to protect our communities from gun violence.
  • We believe that military - style weapons, bump stocks, and high - capacity magazine s do not belong on our streets.
  • We believe in the establishment of gun - free zones in certain public places, such as schools , as a means of reducing gun violence.
  • We support a ban on guns in and on the floor of our State House for the safety of our residents, guests , and children who visit .
I do hate to break it to whomever wrote this platform but so-called gun-free zones do not reduce "gun violence". They only put law abiding people at risk from predators and other psychopaths.



New Jersey

I think it was gun law attorney Evan Nappen who once said New Jersey is where gun rights go to die. He's probably right. The NJ Democratic Party doesn't publish a platform and according to Ballotpedia uses the Democratic National Committee's platform. Given that, let's look at the platform of Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) when it comes to guns. He's the key figure in state government so could have to the biggest - and worst - impact on gun rights in the Garden State. It includes a laundry list of things ranging from taxes on guns to so-called smart guns (sic).

In his 2017 campaign platform, he said:
Specifically, as governor Phil Murphy would:
  • Sign commonsense legislation that Christie vetoed: Phil Murphy would start by signing every piece of gun violence prevention legislation that Governor Christie has vetoed. These bills would have enacted bipartisan and sensible solutions, such as keeping guns out of the hands of gang members and domestic abusers.
  • Mandate gun safety training: No one should be able to purchase a firearm without first attending a gun safety training course.
  • Promote smart gun technology: We must regain our position as a leader in the smart gun movement by requiring all gun retailers to carry at least one smart gun once they are commercially available.
  • Keep guns out of the hands of those suffering with mental illness: New Jersey already requires background checks, but it should follow the lead of nearly half the states in the U.S. and require timely reporting of mental illness episodes to the national background check database.
  • Tax gun sales to prevent violence: All gun sales should be subject to a tax that will fund law enforcement, drug treatment centers, and mental health services.
  • Strengthen regulations on gun transfers: Phil Murphy would make it a crime to sell guns without conducting a mandatory background check, and would require individuals to register their firearms kept in the state.
  • Work with neighboring states to promote gun violence prevention: An estimated 80 percent of guns involved in crimes in New Jersey come from out of state. As governor, Phil Murphy will engage partners in neighboring states to find common ground on gun violence prevention efforts.
  • Direct the Attorney General to vigorously defend our gun laws: Governor Christie has allowed the Attorney General’s office to relax enforcement of our gun safety laws, including laws that prohibit illegally transporting guns into New Jersey from out of state. As governor, Phil Murphy would direct the Attorney General to vigorously defend and enforce our gun laws, rather than to act as an agent of the NRA.
With the exception of getting tough on gang members, there is not a thing in that list which would reduce criminal misuse of firearms. It is aimed at the law-abiding gun owner and not the criminal. As we have also seen, Murphy is actively anti-hunting with his ad hoc ban on hunting of bears on state lands. Murphy doesn't even pretend to make lip service about supporting hunters.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

9mm Ruger American Safety Bulletin


Ruger has issued a safety bulletin for their 9mm Ruger American pistols due to premature wear on locking surfaces. It only applies to the 9mm Ruger American model and not those in .45 ACP.



Ruger Firearms, 1 Lacey Place, Southport, CT 06890

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Retro XM177E2 In Full Auto


Eric at IV8888 mated a Brownells Retro XM177E2 upper with a full auto M-16 lower. The fun you can have with full auto! No pumpkin, soda bottle, or watermelon is safe.





Just think, if we didn't have the Hughes Amendment, we could get new full auto lowers or even complete guns.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Democrat State Party Platforms - Massachusetts To Missouri



Continuing on with my series of posts detailing the position of the individual state Democratic Parties on firearms, we move on to a quintuplet of "M" states.


Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Democratic Party platform actually has very little in it regarding firearms. My supposition is that it was created in 2017 before red flag laws came into vogue and, perhaps more tellingly, because Massachusetts already so much gun control.

From the platform adopted in 2017:
Preventing gun violence through universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
This was from the section entitled, "Public Safety and Crime Prevention", which deals more with the militarization of the police, community policing and corrections, and the like.


Michigan

The Michigan Democratic Party platform calls for "common sense gun safety" which must be the dog whistle code words meaning more gun control. In a section of the platform that deals much more with prison reform than crime, the Democrats have this to say about guns and gun control:
Enact common sense gun safety measures. Democrats recognize the Constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms under the 2nd Amendment. The vast majority of Michigan gun owners are responsible citizens and sportsman that value the strong Michigan tradition of hunting and safe use of firearms. Democrats, along with vast majorities of the American public, support common sense gun safety proposals like closing the gun show loophole and preventing potential terrorists from purchasing firearms. If an individual is deemed too dangerous to fly, they should be too dangerous to buy a gun. Democrats also support banning military style weapons, like the AR-15, which has been used in mass shootings in Sandy Hook, Dallas, Orlando, and across the nation.
The Michigan Democrat's platform was one of the first I remember seeing advocating using the "no-fly" list to make one a prohibited person.


Minnesota

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party has much less on gun control in their ongoing party platform than I would have expected. Their section on Public Safety and Crime Prevention only had this to say about firearms:
Reasonable firearm policies that promote public safety and crime prevention without infringing on the rights of hunters and other sports enthusiasts.
Now the question as to what is a reasonable policy is open to discussion. I would call attention to the fact that they don't want to infringe "on the rights of hunters and other sports enthusiasts". They say nothing about those who would use a firearm for self-protection and self-defense. This is interesting as this section also calls for mandatory sentences for drug dealer and rapists as well as stiff penalties for child abuse.

The Minnesota DFL webpage does have an endorsement of March for our Lives and condemns the NRA. That might give you a better feel for what the DFL considers "reasonable firearm policies."


Mississippi

The Mississippi Democratic Party platform was adopted in 2016 and make absolutely no mention of firearms or gun control. It concentrates much more on education and voting rights. Given the history of voting rights in Mississippi in the 1960s, this is understandable.

The Mississippi Democratic Party web presence is a mess. They still have an active website the basically stops in 2008, the one they publicize on Twitter - http://www.mississippidemocrats.org - goes to a suspended webpage, and the one I got the platform from calls itself the classic Mississippi Democratic Party page.


Missouri

The Missouri Democratic Party platform was adopted in August 2018 and calls for reasonable gun control measures. Reasonable is in the eye of the beholder as you can tell below:
Reasonable firearm policies that promote public safety and crime prevention without infringing on second amendment rights. Mandatory background checks and 72-hour waiting periods on the purchase of weapons

  • An assault weapons ban
  • Keeping daycares, schools, health care providers, churches, and universities as gun-free zones
  • Keeping illegal guns off our streets and out of the hands of kids
  • Preventing domestic abusers from owning guns
Perhaps not surprising given that Ferguson was in Missouri but the platform endorses Black Lives Matter, body cams for cops, eliminating minimum sentences, and training in non-lethal techniques for police. It also calls for full restitution of voting rights and the ability to hold public office after a sentence is served.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Photo That Needs No Words




Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

When A Demcrat Says He Won't Ban Your Guns, Look Closer



Phillip Price is the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 11th Congressional District of North Carolina. He will be facing incumbent Rep. Mark Meadows (D-NC-11). I would be in Meadows' district if I lived a mere 10 miles further south.

Price owns a company that deals in reclaimed lumber as well as continues to be a touring musician with his band called D. S. F. Earthcorps. He is also a self-proclaimed hunter and has been running the following ad on local TV stations saying no one is coming for his guns or your guns.




In a section on his campaign website called "Vision", he devotes a page to "Common Sense & Guns" which features a banner photo of the Demanding Moms for Illegal Mayors. As he makes clear, he has their endorsement. Here is what he says on that page:
Gun Reform

Our schools, churches, movie theaters and concert venues are becoming targets for gun violence, and it is no longer enough to offer thoughts and prayers. We need change, and it is up to our elected officials to create it.

That’s why I support sensible gun reforms. I want to close the loopholes on background checks to buy weapons and ban gun purchases for those who have a history of domestic violence, violent mental illness or animal abuse. We must restore the ban on those semiautomatic weapons that have been used in so many attacks, and get rid of the large capacity magazines and bump stocks that make it even easier to hit multiple victims so quickly.

I’m a hunter and a gun owner and I stand with most Americans who already support these commonsense changes in policy.

After reviewing the campaign’s stance, I recently received the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction, acknowledging my support for real reform.

If my vision reflects your vision, won’t you please volunteer or contribute to our campaign? Working together, our vision can become reality.
Not coming for your guns? Really? He says one thing on TV and figures he can tell the real story on his website because few people will read it.

Given his past run-ins with the law regarding marijuana possession, there are real questions as to whether he is a prohibited person or not. I don't think most voters would take kindly to a prohibited person telling them they can't have a semi-auto rifle, pistol, or carbine. Would you?


Saturday, October 6, 2018

This Reporter Gets It



Kimberly Strassel is a journalist and member of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board. Unlike many in her profession, she is a conservative. Moreover, she has been steadfast in her support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and has been very vocal about it on Twitter.

Yesterday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (RINO-AK) broke with her Republican colleagues and voted against invoking cloture on the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. While saying that Kavanaugh was a good man she said he was not the right man for the Supreme Court "at this time".

Strassel, in a pair of tweets, points out what Murkowski is really standing for.


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Friday, October 5, 2018

Cloture Invoked On Kavanaugh Nomination



The Senate voted 51-49 to invoke cloture on debate regarding the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. This means that a final vote can be taken as early as Saturday afternoon. Cloture was invoked at 10:36am EDT which started the 30 hour clock on debate. If the Democrats relinquish the floor at anytime during that 30 hour period, the final vote can be called.

The only Democrat to vote for cloture was Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) while the only Republican to vote against it was Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Manchin is up for re-election this year while Murkowski doesn't have to face Alaska voters until 2022. President Trump won both states in the 2016 election.

If this vote holds without any more Republican defections, then Judge Kavanaugh will become Justice Kavanaugh. The one wrinkle in this right now is Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) who plans to be out of town on Saturday to attend his daughter's wedding. Too bad she didn't have a June wedding!

The ayes and nays are below:

Grouped By Vote Position 
YEAs ---51
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Young (R-IN)
NAYs ---49
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Duckworth (D-IL)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Harris (D-CA)
Hassan (D-NH)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Jones (D-AL)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Smith (D-MN)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

National Vodka Day? Nyet!



October 4th in National Vodka Day. I'm old enough to remember when vodka came in one flavor. Now you can get flavors ranging from birthday cake and bubble gum to virtually any flavor of citrus you could come up with.

I'm not a vodka aficionado. It serves its purpose in some cocktails like a Bloody Mary but that is about it. I'm more of the opinion of author Fred Minnick as expressed in his tweet today.



Moreover, as Liberty Pole Spirits makes clear in this tweet, there never was a Vodka Rebellion. I think the primary purpose of vodka was to keep the serfs from rising up and even that failed.

Democrat State Party Platforms - Kansas To Maryland


Now that we have to wait on the FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, it is time to continue my series on party platforms. This post will look at the Democrat Party platforms for Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, and Maryland. When I finish this series on the Democrats, I plan to do a similar one on Republican state party platforms.

Kansas

Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) signed permitless concealed-carry into law in 2015. Last year, campus carry was legalized as of July 1st. Bear this in mind when reading what Democratic Party of Kansas has to say on firearms.

From the addendum to their platform adopted in 2018.
Kansas Democrats believe guns have no place in public schools, in our colleges, universities, public libraries, or other public buildings.

We insist that firearms be carried only by those who have been properly trained and certified in their use, have passed a thorough background check, and have been licensed by the state.
In other words, they object to all the progress on gun rights passed in Kansas over the past few years.


Kentucky

The Democrat Party of Kentucky does not publish a platform on its webpage. According to Ballotpedia, they merely adopt the national Democrat Party's platform. Some Kentucky Democrats have suggested a platform but I can't find any evidence of one being adopted. The national platform has this to say about "gun violence" (sic).
With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. To build on the success of the lifesaving Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we will expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws; repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to revoke the dangerous legal immunity protections gun makers and sellers now enjoy; and keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM’s)—off our streets. We will fight back against attempts to make it harder for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to revoke federal licenses from law breaking gun dealers, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, intimate partner abusers, other violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues. There is insufficient research on effective gun prevention policies, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must have the resources it needs to study gun violence as a public health issue.
Louisiana

Like Kentucky, the Democrat Party of Louisiana does not publish a platform on its webpage. Again, like Kentucky, it merely adopts the national Democrat Party's platform. A search of their website for "platform" turns up only elections to the platform committee of the national convention. I'm sure most in Louisiana do not agree with the national party's platform regarding firearms. That might explain why there is only one Democrat congressman from Louisiana and Gov. John Bel Edwards ran for election on a pro-2A platform.


Maine

Maine used to be a state where the Democrats were pro-gun and most of the state outside of southern Maine is still relatively pro-gun. Voters in Maine did turn down a Bloomberg sponsored and financed referendum calling for universal background checks. Moreover, the state joined New Hampshire and Vermont in approving permitless or constitutional concealed carry. However, the platform of the Democratic Party of Maine does contain calls for more gun control even if they call it gun safety (sic).

Firearms are explicitly mentioned in two sections of the platform. First, under "Health Care":

d. Support for programs that increase gun safety
And then under "Freedom, Safety, and National Security":
5. Ensures responsible gun ownership in accordance with the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and works to strengthen background checks for every firearm sale within the State of Maine and promotes the restoration of gun safety research..
As Democratic state party platforms go, that is relatively weak stuff.


Maryland

Given that Maryland has a plethora of gun control laws including requiring a class in order to purchase a handgun, a mag ban, and a ban on modern sporting rifles, it should be surprising that the Maryland Democrats have come up with even more things they want in the name of "gun safety" (sic). Sadly, it isn't. The Maryland Democratic Party devotes a full webpage in their Issues section to gun control.
Gun Safety

Democrats support Americans’ Second Amendment guaranteed rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

We also believe the government should pass sensible laws that stem gun crimes, violence that too often destroys families and communities. A staggering 89 percent of unintentional, fatal shootings of children occur in the home.

Guns and domestic abusers are a deadly combination.

Of women killed by men, more than 90 percent are killed by a man they knew personally.

At least 62 percent are killed by an intimate partner. Over the past 25 years, more intimate partner homicides have been carried out with guns than with all other weapons combined.

No law will prevent all gun crimes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t implement sensible gun regulations that strike a balance between liberty and safety.

Currently the law prohibits a convicted domestic abuser from purchasing or possessing a gun, but the law does not provide a timeline for forfeiture or a requirement of proof of forfeiture.

General Assembly Democrats are leading the fight to require abusers to forfeit guns within 48 hours and to give notice of forfeiture within 5 days.
I searched their webpage for any mention of the murder rate in Baltimore, gang violence, or even crime (other than "gun crimes") and I couldn't find anything. I guess it is easier to go after domestic abusers who are already banned under Federal law (Lautenberg Amendment) from possessing a firearm than it is to attack criminal gangs and drug-related crime in Baltimore.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Thank You, Sen. Tom Cotton


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) called out Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and his lies about service in Vietnam. As I have mentioned more than once on this blog, my father was both a WWII and Vietnam veteran.

He was drafted in October 1940 before WWII, served in the Caribbean Defense Command during the war, married my mom in 1945, and got his GED and college degree after he was discharged. He rejoined the Army in 1953 and served continuously from then until his medical retirement in 1973 caused by a transient ischemic attack and the beginnings of COPD. Along the way, he went to Vietnam in 1967-68 and again in 1970-71.

I hate politicians like Blumenthal who have lied about their service and I always will. Cotton, by the way, was a Harvard Law grad and practicing attorney when he applied for Officer Candidate School. He could have gone JAG but went Infantry and has his Combat Infantryman Badge. I respect that.



Sec. Zinke Is Coming To Asheville (Updated)


I saw this moments ago in The Outdoor Wire. Too bad I won't be able to attend. I'm guessing Mr. Zinke will be talking about arrests for bear poaching. That is what it usually is.

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will host a press conference in Asheville, North Carolina, on Thursday, September 27th to announce the results of a major joint law enforcement operation. Secretary Zinke will be joined by Federal, Tribal, State and local partners. This will be the Secretary's third trip to the Asheville region since taking office.

WHO:
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
Federal, Tribal, State, and local partners

WHAT:
A press conference to announce the results of a major law enforcement operation in Indian Country

WHEN:
Thursday, September 27, 2018
9:30 A.M.

WHERE:
Veach Baley Federal Building, 151 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC

UPDATE: Well it wasn't bear parts but drugs including opoids, Fentenyl, marijuana, meth, and pills. A task force of Federal, state, and tribal officials broke up a number of drug distribution networks on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, NC. That is the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

From what I've been told by a former student, teens are targeted by drug dealers at age 15-16. They want to get them dependent so that they can get their major payout from the trust funds enrolled members receive at age 18. The amount that an 18 year old will receive before taxes is (or was) in the $160,000 range.

The full details on the arrests is found in this news release from the Department of the Interior.

Will Kavanaugh Be Found Unmutual?



I saw this posted this morning on MeWe by Kevin Z. Williamson. The more I watched it, the more I thought The Prisoner was way ahead of its time and that it was a preview of what we might see today from certain members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Will Judge Kavanaugh be found to be disharmonious? Will he be deemed unmutual? Will DiFi remember to wear her top hat and stripes?



Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Ford's Prepared Testimony Before The Senate Judiciary Committee



Earlier today I published the prepared testimony of Judge Brett Kavanaugh which contained his unequivocal denial of participating in any and all sexual assaults. Needless to say, I believe him.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's attorney has now posted her prepared testimony which is scheduled to be delivered before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. If this were the court of law instead of the court of public opinion, this case would never have even gotten to trial. As it is, this was meant to be the Democrat's bombshell revelation that would take down a good man and destroy his chances of serving on the Supreme Court. I imagine it was also intended to force him to step down from his position as a judge on the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. I think it will fail as well it should.


Judge Kavanaugh's Prepared Statement For Thursday's Senate Hearing



Judge Brett Kavanaugh's prepared testimony for his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee has been released. In it, he addresses the charges by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually attacked her at a party 36 years ago. He categorically denies it.

It is a strong statement but I wish he might have taken the approach of Justice Clarence Thomas and called it for what it is - bullshit. However, Kavanaugh is a more measured, judicious, and temperate person than I am which is why he's a judge and I'm not.

As posted at The Atlantic:
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Members of the Committee:

Eleven days ago, Dr. Ford publicly accused me of committing a serious wrong more than 36 years ago when we were both in high school. I denied the allegation immediately, unequivocally, and categorically. The next day, I told this Committee that I wanted to testify as soon as possible, under oath, to clear my name.

Over the past few days, other false and uncorroborated accusations have been aired. There has been a frenzy to come up with something—anything, no matter how far-fetched or odious—that will block a vote on my nomination. These are last-minute smears, pure and simple. They debase our public discourse. And the consequences extend beyond any one nomination. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country.

As I told this Committee the last time I appeared before you, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I am and will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. This effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. I am here this morning to answer these allegations and to tell the truth. And the truth is that I have never sexually assaulted anyone—not in high school, not in college, not ever.

Sexual assault is horrific. It is morally wrong. It is illegal. It is contrary to my religious faith. And it contradicts the core promise of this Nation that all people are created equal and entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. Allegations of sexual assault must be taken seriously. Those who make allegations deserve to be heard. The subject of allegations also deserves to be heard. Due process is a foundation of the American rule of law.

Dr. Ford’s allegation dates back more than 36 years, to a party that she says occurred during our time in high school. I spent most of my time in high school focused on academics, sports, church, and service. But I was not perfect in those days, just as I am not perfect today. I drank beer with my friends, usually on weekends. Sometimes I had too many. In retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now. But that’s not why we are here today. What I’ve been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior. I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes.

The allegation of misconduct is completely inconsistent with the rest of my life. The record of my life, from my days in grade school through the present day, shows that I have always promoted the equality and dignity of women.

I categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by Dr. Ford. I never had any sexual or physical encounter of any kind with Dr. Ford. I am not questioning that Dr. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by some person in some place at some time. But I have never done that to her or to anyone. I am innocent of this charge.

Cody Wilson Out, Paloma Heindorff In At Defense Distributed



Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed parted ways as of Friday, September 21st, according to the new Director of Defense Distributed, Paloma Heindorff. The news came in a press conference held in Austin, Texas yesterday (September 25th).
Good morning, thank you for attending. My name is Paloma Heindorff, I’m the new director of Defense Distributed and CEO of Ghost Gunner. I spent last three years at DD working as director of development and VP of Operations.

Cody Wilson tendered his resignation on Friday evening to focus on personal legal affairs. Defense Distributed Board of Directors accepted his resignation and thus his role at the company has been concluded.
Also on the stage at the news conference were Defense Distributed's attorneys Josh Blackman of  the South Texas College of Law Houston and Chad Flores of Houston law firm Beck Redden.

During the news conference, Heindorff continually emphasized that Wilson has no further involvement with Defense Distributed and that she would not answer any questions regarding his personal legal issues. She did say, "it was Cody Wilson's decision to resign and Defense Distributed supported him in that."

When she was asked by a reporter if anything in her views had changed on the case, Heindorff made a strong statement of her beliefs.
The same as we stood before. We believe in the right of people to have these files; we believe in our right to publish them. I believe very strongly in both the First and Second Amendment causes in the case. That's where I stand. The same as where I stood a week ago.
Asked if she had spoken with Cody Wilson, she said, "Cody and I have been speaking. It is important for the transition. We still have some paperwork to do."

Heindorff's background is in the arts. When asked why she left New York and moved to Austin to work for Defense Distributed, she had this to say.
It's the most effective and elegant activism I'd seen performed and I wanted to be a part of that. It's just so beautiful, isn't it, to exercise one's rights like that and to do so in a way that pushes authorities to allow you to. Too often people are perturbed by threats, and I found it incredible that this company persisted.
Heindorff spoke about this in more detail at last year's Gun Rights Policy Conference held in Dallas. You can see her comments in this video starting at about the 24:30 mark.

When asked about the case brought the attorney general of Washington State to prevent Distributed Defense from posting the files online , Josh Blackman emphasized that there was no change in the case. Later in the news conference, both he and attorney Chad Flores re-emphasized that they are DD's attorney and that Cody Wilson has his own attorney for his issues. With regard to legal issues, all three pointed out that the approximately $400,000 raised for legal fees was for Defense Distributed and no monies were being used by Cody Wilson for her personal defense on charges of sex with a minor.

The change of leadership at Defense Distributed and Ghost Gunner has received attention across the spectrum. You have stories by the NY TimesFox News, NPR, and the Austin Statesman. You have stories by Recoil, Ammoland, and  TTAG. The story was also covered by tech industry publications like Ars Technica and Wired.

Heck, even the Brady Campaign released a statement concerning the change in leadership. The funny thing in their statement is their acknowledgement that the "Pandora's box had been opened, and it won't go away with Wilson." Then they said they would continue to fight the threat. I find it funny that they realize the signal can't be stopped and then in the next breath say they are going to fight it. There is nothing to compare to the posturing of the gun banners when they know the fight is futile.

The whole news conference is shown in the video below. The actual news conference begins at about the 2 minute mark.


Foster Parents In Illinois Sought As Plaintiffs In 2A Lawsuit


Illinois Carry is seeking foster parents in Illinois as plaintiffs in a Second Amendment lawsuit. I'm guessing it will be similar to the recent lawsuit in Michigan. In that case, a Michigan foster parent sued the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services over a requirement that firearms and ammunition to constantly locked and inaccessible. A Federal judge said the suit should be allowed to proceed.

From Illinois Carry:
Are You An IL Foster Parent?

Are You Willing To Be A Witness/Co-Plaintiff In A Second Amendment Lawsuit?

Please contact IllinoisCarry spokesperson Valinda Rowe immediately by sending an email to:

VRowe@IllinoisCarry.com

Valinda Rowe has done incredible work in the Prairie State in advancing the cause of armed self-defense.

Rossi Revolver Safety Warning Issued



If you bought a Rossi revolver made between 2005 and 2017, you need to read this:

Rossi is issuing a voluntary safety warning on .38 Special and .357 Magnum revolvers made between the years 2005 and 2017 that may have a condition that could cause, under certain circumstances, the revolver to fire if dropped

This Safety Warning covers .38 Special and .357 Magnum revolver models R351, R352, 461, R462, R851, R971, and R972 with serial numbers beginning with the letter Y, Z, or A through K.

Rossi is developing inspection and repair solutions. Rossi will make every effort possible to ensure Rossi Revolvers will be inspected, serviced if necessary, and returned to customers in a prompt, timely fashion.

Issues underlying this Safety Warning are currently pending before the court in a proposed class action lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida styled Burrow v. Forjas Taurus, S.A., civil action file no. 1:16-cv-21606-EGT

ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN:

Stop using your revolver immediately.

Call 855-982-8787 for assistance.

If you no longer have this revolver, please inform current owner of this notice.

We appreciate your business and value you as a customer.

Here is a link to where you can search the serial number of your Rossi revolver (if you have one). If it is one of the revolvers in question, then stop using it and follow their instructions for returning it for inspection and repairs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Committee Vote Is Friday




September 25, 2018
 
RESCHEDULED NOTICE OF COMMITTEE EXECUTIVE BUSINESS MEETING
 
        The Executive Business Meeting originally scheduled by the Committee on the Judiciary for Monday, September 24, 2018 at 10:00 a.m., in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building has been rescheduled for Friday, September 28 at 9:30 a.m.
 
        By order of the Chairman.

I. Nominees

Brett M. Kavanaugh, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Jonathan A. Kobes, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit
 
Kenneth D. Bell, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of North Carolina

Stephanie A. Gallagher, to be United States District Judge for the District of Maryland

Mary S. McElroy, to be United States District Judge for the District of Rhode Island

Carl J. Nichols, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia
 
John M. O'Connor, to be United States District Judge for the Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma
 
Martha Maria Pacold, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois
 
Mary M. Rowland, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois
 
Steven C. Seeger, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois


II. Bills

S.2785, DETER Act (Durbin, Graham, Blumenthal, Cruz)

S. 3178, Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018 (Harris, Scott, Feinstein, Leahy, Durbin, Whitehouse, Klobuchar, Coons, Blumenthal, Hirono, Booker)   

When The Company You Work For Lives Up To Their Name, Look Elsewhere



I got a press release in my email today from Sig Sauer announcing Jack Barnes as their new VP for Commercial Sales. Normally, I would not be blogging about something like this. However, in the case of Mr. Barnes, his former employer was a company that lived up to its name more than once:  Dick's Sporting Goods.

Here is the relevant paragraph from the press release:
Barnes comes to SIG SAUER with a robust background in retail commercial sales, serving the last nine years at Dick’s Sporting Goods where he was Vice President General Merchandise Manager. While at Dick’s, Barnes focused on the hunting and outdoor categories, and led the development of the Dick’s Sporting Goods, Field & Stream retail stores from concept to grand opening. He further led the continued growth and sustainability for Field & Stream stores through sales, inventory control, and merchandising. Prior to that, Barnes worked for twelve years at Wal-Mart in various management roles. Notably, Barnes gained tremendous firearms experience as a professional competitive shooter, before he began to focus his career in retail sales management.
I don't know whether Mr. Barnes left Dick's on his own or was forced out when Dick's CEO Ed Stack went full gun control after the Parkland mass murders. Regardless, I'm glad to hear he is now with a company that respects the Second Amendment.

By the way, this afternoon I drove right by a Field and Stream store and kept on going. Mr. Barnes did a good job in developing them but I refuse to spend my money with a company that advocates for gun control.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Sharp V. Becerra - Assault Weapon Registration Lawsuit - Moved To Federal Court



In late August, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA)  moved to have the lawsuit against him and the California DOJ over their ineptness implementing the new registration of bullet button weapons moved to Federal court. One would have thought that he'd want to keep a suit against the California Department of Justice in state court.

The case was moved to US District Court for the Eastern District of California and assigned to Judge Morrison England, Jr. 

Today, the plaintiffs which include a number of individuals and a number of civil rights organizations filed an amended complaint. Joining the plaintiffs is the Madison Society Foundation.  The amended complaint also adds a Section 183 claim for deprivation of due process rights.

While I might have been tempted to just say "screw it", all the individual plaintiffs spent hours trying to comply with the law requiring registration of their firearms. Some of the plaintiffs are IT professionals and tech savvy. Nonetheless, the database system was so screwed up, most of them were not able to do so. The response of Cal DOJ was "you procrastinated, so tough". From the complaint:
The following Monday, July 2, 2018, Plaintiff (Terry) Jahraus contacted the DOJ for assistance, but the DOJ official told him, essentially, “it was [his] responsibility to comply with the law [and] that he had all year to do so.” In other words, DOJ blamed him for failing to register, even though its own statutorily-mandated registration system was inaccessible and defective throughout the entire period he had attempted to register it well before the deadline.
The joint release of the Second Amendment Foundation, Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, and the Madison Society Foundation is below:
SACRAMENTO, CA (September 24, 2018) — Attorneys for seven California gun owners and five advocacy organizations announced a new court filing in a now-federal constitutional rights lawsuit over the State of California’s “assault weapon” registration debacle. The case, Sharp, et al. v. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., was originally filed in the County of Shasta Superior Court. But in late August it was removed to federal district court in Sacramento at the request of Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the DOJ defendants. The new court filing is online at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/sharp.

On August 24, the California Attorney General moved the case to federal court on the basis that the plaintiffs’ claims present a federal constitutional question, in addition to their state-based claims. That same day, the lawsuit was assigned to District Court Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. Two years ago, Judge England issued a bench ruling to enjoin a California statute that criminalized the use of Assembly video footage in political advertisements in a case brought by Firearms Policy Coalition and its Proposition 63 ballot initiative political committee, FPC Second Amendment Defense Committee.

“While it’s interesting that Attorney General Becerra doesn’t want his own state’s courts to hear how badly he mis-administered the mandated firearm registration program, we welcome the opportunity to show Judge England how the DOJ violated the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs and others like them,” said George M. Lee, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “General Becerra’s actions and failures affected many gun owners from San Diego to Eureka. These law-abiding gun owners tried to register their weapons as required by law but could not do so because DOJ’s registration system was wholly inadequate to do the job. We are simply asking that those injuries be reasonably remedied so that those citizens are not subject to criminal liability for possessing illegal, unregistered weapons – solely as a result of DOJ’s failures.”

In the latest complaint, submitted last Friday, the plaintiffs added a claim for deprivation of their due process rights under Title 42, Section 1983 of the United States Code. The complaint also adds as an institutional plaintiff the Madison Society Foundation, a nonprofit organization that fights to protect the right to keep and bear arms.

The plaintiffs say that Becerra and the DOJ had a legal and constitutional duty to provide a functional registration system during the registration period, but that they were unable to exercise their own rights and legal duties “due to the Defendants’ actions and failures, including but not limited to the inaccessibility, defects, and/or non-functionality of the DOJ’s CFARS-based registration system.” The plaintiffs alleged that the DOJ’s ‘botched’ “assault weapon” registration scheme – including the error-prone Internet application for registration that often crashed completely – violated both the U.S. Constitution and California Constitution’s guarantees of due process. They also allege that the failed DOJ system violated the plaintiffs’ and other similar gun owners’ statutory rights.

“Even though the lawsuit is now in a federal district court, it’s still just a straight-forward case about how Attorney General Becerra and his DOJ didn’t do the job they were mandated to do,” explained Firearms Policy Coalition President Brandon Combs. “Their actions and failures violated the rights of thousands of California gun owners. It’s just that simple.”

Under California’s voluminous gun control laws, someone merely transporting an unregistered “assault weapon” to the shooting range – even if one believes it was legal and registered under other DOJ systems, like DROS – “is guilty of a felony” and potentially subject to a prison sentence of “four, six, or eight years.” Other crimes can be added on to that, including common separate charges like possession and manufacturing.

The complaint says the plaintiffs “seek an un-extraordinary result, compelled by the basic tenets of due process: That they simply be allowed to register their eligible firearms and comply with the law, and that the Attorney General, the DOJ, and their officers and agents similarly comply with the law by allowing such registrations and ensuring they are properly and timely processed through a functioning online database as they have been required by statute to do.”

“This unjust California government-created problem must be stopped immediately,” Second Amendment Foundation Founder and Executive Vice President, Alan Gottlieb, said in a previous statement. “Gun owners should not be put at risk due to state regulatory incompetence.”

The plaintiffs said that they would soon be asking Judge England for a preliminary injunction to protect affected gun owners’ rights and property while the case goes forward to summary judgement or trial.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys George M. Lee and Douglas Applegate of San Francisco-based Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate LLP, as well as Raymond M. DiGuiseppe, a former California deputy attorney general and prosecutor. Attorneys Bradley Benbrook and Stephen Duvernay of the Sacramento-based Benbrook Law Group, who earlier this month secured a major First Amendment victory in a case that challenged a different California gun control statute that banned truthful, non-misleading speech about handguns, have been added to the legal team.

The lawsuit is backed by The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF), and Madison Society Foundation (MSF), also institutional plaintiffs in the case.

Californians who tried to register their firearms as “assault weapons” before July 1 but were unable to, or who suffered a privacy breach at DOJ, should contact the organizations’ Legal Action Hotline immediately at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline or by telephone at 855-252-4510
.

GRPC 2018 - My Talk



The 33rd Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago ended yesterday. I was honored to be on the panel speaking on Using New Media to Advance Gun Rights. I was joined on the panel by Don Irvine of Accuracy in Media, Paul Lathrop of the Polite Society Podcast, and Charlie Cook of Riding Shotgun With Charlie (on YouTube). This was my fourth time to be on the panel and I'm still surprised to be asked each year.

Below is my speech. This year I recognized that we are under attack like never before and need to up our game. I also recognized the diversity of those supporting our civil right to keep and bear arms. I don't care who you sleep with or the color of your skin or even your political beliefs so long as you unreservedly support the right to self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms.
I’m John Richardson.

I blog at No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money and am also a co-host of the Polite Society Podcast.

If anything this year and indeed this past week have shown, it is that we are in a culture war. Everything we hold dear is under attack by an unholy alliance of the well-financed gun ban lobby, tech oligarchs, and the mass media. They have the money, they control the air waves, and are increasingly controlling and censoring our social media. Moreover, they have gotten smarter, savvier, and are actually, unfortunately, gaining a grass roots.

Nothing but our personal destruction will satisfy them. One need only to look at what they are trying to do to Judge Kavanaugh or to the vile, personal, and vicious attacks by former Parkland student David Hogg on those who would oppose his gun control agenda to understand this. In my past talks on using new media to advance gun rights I took a kinder, gentler approach.

No more.

We are all warriors in this culture war or we wouldn’t be in this room this morning.

I look out across this room and I don’t see men or women, young or old, gay or straight, liberal or conservative, white, black, Hispanic, or Asian. I see the Special Forces of the gun rights movement – people who believe in freedom, the right to armed self-defense, and the right to keep and bear arms – and who have the will to fight for it.

We have to be like the Green Beret A Teams sent behind enemy lines to create insurgencies to sap the strength and will of those who would curtail our constitutional rights.

Let me give you an example. When a Federal court in Washington State ignored the First Amendment implications of suppressing computer code and issued a temporary restraining order preventing Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation from putting it online, a group of civil rights groups including the Calguns Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition who were not covered by the order set up a website and put the information online themselves. They knew you couldn’t stop the signal.

I and hundreds of thousands others downloaded it. However, we didn’t stop there. We put the links up on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. When the oligarchs running Facebook and Twitter tried to suppress the links, we went around them and put up pictures of the links or used barcodes. CodeIsFreeSpeech.com is still up and running and it infuriates the anti-gun, anti-civil rights elites.

That is just one example.

Virtually everyone in this room right now has on their person a very effective weapon. I’m not talking about those who the state of Illinois allows to carry concealed but rather all the iPhones and Android cell phones. They allow you to take both pictures and video as well as being connected to the Internet.

What kind of pictures or videos?

Well, my favorite ones are of anti-gun politicians and gun control celebs like Mike Bloomberg, Shannon Watts, and David Hogg surrounded by their armed security guards. They don’t want you to be able to protect your family and yourself. However, they insist on their own armed protection. You know there is a word for people like that – hypocrites. If you do get those kinds of pictures, post them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other place you can think of. If you see them posted by someone else, share or retweet them. Make it go viral!

Likewise, if you are going out shopping or taking friends out for dinner and you come across a store or restaurant that is posted against carry, take a picture. Post it to social media. Ask why these establishments want to keep you defenseless and put you at the mercy of those who would harm you or your family. As Massad Ayoob has said many times, gun free zones are nothing but hunting preserves for psychopaths.

Go to events sponsored by the gun control lobby. If they are having a town hall, record it on your phone. Take pictures of the Demanding Moms or the student marchers. Compare the numbers reported in the media with what you see with your own eyes and call them out on inflated numbers. I remember my late friend Bob Owens of BearingArms.com going to an anti-NRA rally held by Shannon Watts in Nashville. He took pictures from all angles and then compared them to their “official” picture. He exposed their lies and showed how they rigged the photo to make it seem like there were a lot more people there than there actually were.

My final thought on using New Media to advance and protect our rights and our culture. We have all the tools we need. We just have to have the will to use them and use them effectively.

Thank you for your time today.