Sunday, March 24, 2019

Upgrading My $1 Mossberg 500


Years ago I won a Mossberg 500A 12 gauge shotgun in a raffle held by a local police department auxiliary. The entry fee was $1 and I paid it with change in my pocket. The shotgun was in a woodland camo and came with both a 18.5" improved cylinder barrel and a 20" barrel with rifle sights. This shotgun sat in a box for years until just recently when I decided to upgrade it for a home defense shotgun.

My first step was taking it apart (thank you YouTube!) and giving it a deep cleaning. The barrel had a bit of rust on the outside of it so with a mix of sandpaper and rust remover I cleaned it up. I used Birchwood Casey's Gun Scrubber Synthetic Safe Cleaner on all the parts to remove dirt, fouling, and old grease. I then scrubbed the bore of the barrel until it shone like a mirror.

My next steps were to decide if I wanted to replace the follower, to add a picatinny rail, to add a red dot sight, whether to make it compatible with mini-shells, and to upgrade the follower spring. Once I decided to upgrade the stock Mossberg follower I had a number of choices to make. Delrin plastic or aluminum? Lime green or any number of anodized options? It came down to the lime green Delrin  follower from S&J Hardware and the aluminum anodized one from NDZ Performance. I eventually decided on the S&J follower because it seemed "slicker".

S&J Hardware Delrin follower - picture from their website.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

DC Circuit Stays Bump Stock Rule


The Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has issued a stay on the enforcement of the BATFE's bump stock ban. It is only temporary and is intended to give the judges on the Circuit Court the time needed to study the expedited appeal. It doesn't go to the merits of the case but the judges acknowledged that the March 26th deadline was an issue.

From the court's order:
BEFORE: Henderson, Millett, and Srinivasan, Circuit Judges

O R D E R

Plaintiffs in these three consolidated cases challenge a final agency rule banning Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (“Bump-Stock Rule”), which is scheduled to take effect on March 26, 2019. On February 25, 2019, the district court denied the plaintiffs’ joint request for a preliminary injunction staying the Bump-Stock Rule’s effective date. On March 1, 2019, this court granted the Appellants’ joint motion for expedition of this case, in which they sought resolution of the appeal on a highly expedited basis before the March 26, 2019, effective date. Under that expedited schedule, this case was argued on March 22, 2019. At oral argument, counsel for the government explained that it was now its position that the Bump Stock Rule’s March 26, 2019 effective date should be viewed as the date when the government will cease exercising its prosecutorial discretion not to enforce federal law against those who possess or trade in bump-stockdevices covered by the Bump-Stock Rule. Oral Arg. 49:00-51:55. Following oral argument, the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc. filed a voluntary motion to dismiss its appeal, or in the alternative to stay its appeal, and advised that the government opposes the motion to dismiss. In light of these representations, it is

ORDERED that the motion of the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., to dismiss its appeal, No. 19-5043, be granted. Appeal No. 19-5043 is hereby dismissed. It is

FURTHER ORDERED, on the court’s own motion, that the effective date of the Bump-Stock Rule, 83 Fed. Reg. 66514 (Dec. 26, 2018), be administratively stayed in its application only as to the named Appellants in appeals Nos. 19-5042 and 19-5044, pending further order of this Court. The purpose of this stay is exclusively to give the Court sufficient opportunity to consider the disposition of this highly expedited appeal, and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of the appeal. See D.C. Circuit Handbook of Practice and Internal Procedures 33 (2018).
 As I understand this, it only applies to the individuals and organizations named as plaintiffs in the cases.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

World Class Snark


I love snark. The tweet below is, in my opinion, world-class.

As most probably know, that Irish-American former congressman from Texas by the name of O'Rourke has decided to run for president. I'd wager that if he were forced to take an Ancestry DNA test, the only Spanish blood in his veins might have come from a survivor of the Spanish Armada that washed ashore in Ireland.

Cheer to entrepreneur and business advisor Carol Roth for giving us the proper pronunciation of O'Rourke's first name.



Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Polenar Tactical At CZ Media Day


The guys and girl at Polenar Tactical, the Slovenian firearms training and video folks, have just produced a Full 30 video on the CZ's Media Day. Among the firearms shown are the Bren 2 in .308, a CZ precision rifle, and various CZ competition pistols with and without optics.



Monday, March 18, 2019

Give Thom A Call This Morning


Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) has been equivocating on red flag laws in his letters to constituents (like me!). Tillis is also a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee which is holding hearings on red flag laws. Now is the time to send Thom a message regarding red flag law. Grass Roots North Carolina is asking for people to give his office a call this morning to let him know this ain't OK.

Tillis, by the way, is up for reelection in 2020 so he is in that part of his term where he needs to play politician 100% of the time. We need to use that to our advantage.

From the GRNC alert:

STOP 'RED FLAG' LAWS:
CALL THOM TILLIS

On Friday night, GRNC alerted supporters to the fact that US Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) looks to be capitulating to his anti-gun colleagues in Washington. Tillis has telegraphed his support for "Extreme Risk Protection Orders" (or "Red Flag" laws) by supporting S. 7. This bill would allow the word of an accuser, voicing “concerns,” to strip a citizen of several of the Constitutional protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights—without due process. Yet, in Senator Tillis’ recent correspondence with concerned constituents, he did not address any of the glaring and very serious problems with S. 7. Telling the "whole" truth is to tell the truth. Omitting critical details on such an important matter is, well... something else. This does not inspire voter confidence in Tillis' resolve to support the Bill of Rights.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Judiciary Committee, of which Tillis is a member, will conduct a hearing on S. 7 on March 26. Human rights are non-negotiable, and therefore, Tillis must not vote for this bill---but he seems poised to.

As part of Friday's alert, we asked gun owners and other supporters of the Bill of Rights to phone Thom Tillis' DC office on Monday morning (3/18/2019), and this alert is a friendly reminder to do just that. Below, in the Immediate Action section, find details on how to reach Tillis and demand that he stand for the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments, not against them. 

To read more about "Red Flag" laws, and Thom Tillis' willingness, to cozy up to them as a member of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, click to read Friday's alert, and/or click to read a previous alert on the topic.
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IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • PHONE SENATOR THOM TILLIS: On Monday morning (3/18/2019), please phone Thom Tillis’s DC office at this number: (202) 224-6342. If you can’t call in the morning, please call as soon as you can after that. Deliver the following message to Tillis’ staff or his voice-mail.  
Hello, I am calling about the senator’s recent correspondence on the topic of Senate Bill 7, “Extreme Risk Protection Orders,” sometimes called, “red flag” laws. In this correspondence, he conspicuously failed to address the severe Constitutional problems with red flag laws; the establishment of ex parte hearings is just one of many examples. In fact, these laws threaten Second, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment protections—at least.

I am quite troubled by Senator Tillis’ effort to dance around the major problems with red flag laws and I expect him to be more candid, indeed more honest, with me in the future. As a North Carolina voter and a gun owner, I also expect the senator to live up to his oath of office, to the Republican Party’s platform, to the pro-Second Amendment statement on his own website, and to do everything in his power to defeat this revolting, un-American bill, and any other bill like it. Thank you.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Reactions, Pro And Con, To Connecticut Supreme Court Ruling


As you can well imagine the gun prohibitionists are ecstatic over the Connecticut Supreme Court's constitutionally dubious ruling in Soto et al v. Bushmaster et al today. Both the Brady Campaign and the Giffords Law Center had filed amicus briefs in the case.

From the Brady Campaign which has been working hard to punch holes in the Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act for many years:
Justices have reversed a lower court ruling allowing the lawsuit to move forward and put the question to a jury of whether or not Remington and gun dealers can be held accountable for its role in the 2012 shooting. The lawsuit argues that the assault-style weapon used in the massacre had knowingly been marketed to the public despite being designed for military use. It is also argued that the weapon’s marketing deliberately appealed to young people, particularly those like the 20-year-old who killed 26 people in Newtown, Connecticut.

“This is a good day for justice and for victims of gun violence everywhere,” stated Brady President, Kris Brown. “The law requires everyone, particularly businesses, to operate in a way that will not cause foreseeable harm. It’s time for gun companies to be held to this same standard, and stop being allowed to put profits over people. Brady stands ready to continue our support of Sandy Hook families in their quest for justice.”

For 30 years Brady’s legal team has led the way in winning precedent setting cases that hold gun companies accountable for their role in gun crimes. These cases are reining in and challenging gun industry protection laws, and include a negligent marketing claim against the maker of an assault weapon used in a mass shooting in 1993. This case was discussed at length in today’s decision. Brady’s team provided advice and counsel to the Sandy Hook lawyers throughout the case, also filing an amicus brief in support of plaintiffs.

“We are happy that the Sandy Hook families will get the day in court they deserve. Companies that choose to market weapons of war to the public should not get a free pass from the duty to use the reasonable care that every other person or business must follow,” stated Brady’s VP of Legal, Jon Lowy. “It is unfortunate that the gun industry’s special protection law forced these grieving families to endure years of appeals to get what should be rightfully theirs -- their day in court and an opportunity to prove their case. Thankfully this court recognized that if you unreasonably market weapons of war to the public, you can be held accountable for the consequences.”
Reader of this blog know that not one military in the world has adopted the semi-automatic AR-15 or its progeny for use. Calling it a "weapon of war" and "designed for military use" is an outright lie and both Brown and Lowy know it.

Likewise, the Cult of Personality's Legal Arm otherwise known as Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has weighed in on the ruling with a comment from Adams Skaggs who is their chief counsel.
“Today’s decision is a victory for the families of Sandy Hook and a victory for the principle that no industry is above the law or above accountability. The Connecticut Supreme Court squarely rejected the idea that any industry, no matter how powerful, can slam the courthouse doors shut to the victims of their illegal marketing practices. Now, these families who suffered so much will have the day in court they rightly deserve. We look forward to working with them as this case moves forward, and to supporting all victims of American gun violence as they pursue justice.”
Understandably, those who stand for the rule of law and the recognition that the liability for the criminal misuse of any legal product lies with the criminal were not pleased with this ruling.

Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation responded strongly saying, in part:
“This ruling strains logic, if not common sense,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The court dismissed the bulk of the lawsuit’s allegations, but appears to have grasped at this single straw by deciding that the advertising is somehow at fault for what did that day in December more than six years ago.

“This is like suing Ford or General Motors because a car they sold was stolen and used to run over a pedestrian all because the car manufacturers advertised that their car had better acceleration and performance than other vehicles,” he added.

, 20, first killed his mother and took her legally-purchased Bushmaster rifle to the school, where he murdered 20 youngsters and six adults. The lawsuit contends that Remington’s advertising was designed to glorify the Bushmaster rifle and enhance its appeal to younger consumers.
Justice Richard Palmer, writing for the majority, said that the “regulation of advertising that threatens the public’s health, safety, and morals has long been considered a core exercise of the state’s police powers.”

“That is absurd in this case,” Gottlieb observed. “Did the advertising even remotely suggest that the Bushmaster is best for murdering people? It appears to me like the court was looking for a way to squeak around the provisions of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that Congress passed in 2005. After all, the court dismissed most of the allegations, but now has decided that advertising might be at fault. That’s a stretch of credulity worthy of surgical elastic.”

“There is no evidence the killer was driven by any advertising whatsoever,” he said. “This is an affront to the First Amendment as well as the Second. Even hinting that the killer was motivated in some way by an advertising message is so far out in the weeds that it may take a map for the court to find its way back.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is located in Newtown, Connecticut and whom is the actual lobby for the firearms industry, also disagreed with the majority's opinion in the ruling. While a bit more circumspect that the SAF's comment, it still expresses their displeasure.
NEWTOWN, Conn. – The Connecticut Supreme Court today reversed (4-3) a state Superior Court ruling and decided in Soto v. Bushmaster that the case can go forward based on the plaintiffs’ allegation that the defendants marketing and advertising of a legal product somehow violated Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA). The Court’s split decision held that CUTPA fit within an exemption to the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that permits lawsuits where the defendant violated a statute applicable to the sale of firearms. In a strongly worded and well-reasoned dissent, Chief Justice Robinson rejected the majority’s overly broad interpretation of the scope of the limited exception, which is contrary to legislative text, canons of statutory interpretation and the legislative history of the PLCAA. The majority’s decision today is at odds with all other state and federal appellate courts that have interpreted the scope of the exception. As the trade association for the firearms industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation® filed an amicus brief in support of the defendants in this case and both respectfully disagrees with and is disappointed by the court’s majority decision.
Finally, from what I can tell from an internet search, neither Cerberus Capital Management nor Remington Outdoor Company have issued statements.

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules Remington Can Be Sued Regardless Of PLCAA


The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled today that Remington can be sued by families of Newtown victims. This overturns a 2016 Connecticut Superior Court ruling that said that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act precluded such a lawsuit. The 4-3 decision by the state supreme court held that while most claims were properly dismissed Bushmaster's marketing of the AR-15 amounted to violations of the state's unfair trade practices.

The majority opinion  written by Justice Richard Palmer concluded:
For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that the trial court properly determined that, although most of the plaintiffs’ claims should have been dismissed, PLCAA does not bar the plaintiffs’ wrongful marketing claims and that, at least to the extent that it prohibits the unethical advertising of dangerous products for illegal purposes, CUTPA qualifies as a predicate statute. Specifically, if the defendants did indeed seek to expand the market for their assault weapons through advertising campaigns that encouraged consumers to use the weapons not for legal purposes such as self-defense, hunting, collecting, or target practice, but to launch offensive assaults against their perceived enemies, then we are aware of nothing in the text or legislative history of PLCAA to indicate that Congress intended to shield the defendants from liability for the tragedy that resulted.

The judgment is reversed with respect to the trial court’s ruling that the plaintiffs lack standing to bring a CUTPA claim and its conclusion that the plaintiffs’ wrongful death claims predicated on the theory that any sale of military style assault weapons to the civilian market represents an unfair trade practice were not barred under the applicable statute of limitations, and the case is remanded for further proceedings according to law; the judgment is affirmed in all other respects.
 The majority also concluded that it was doubtful that the most popular rifle and carbines sold in the US over the last few years was even protected by the Second Amendment. As Professor William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection notes, the Connecticut Supreme Court seems to be daring the US Supreme Court to take this case.

Jacobson goes on to say:
The question is not only whether the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case, but when that will happen — now, or only after a final judgment is rendered in the CT courts. That’s key, because if a gun manufacturer otherwise protected by PLCAA has to go through discovery and trial, that defeats the purpose of PLCAA.
The dissent  written by Chief Justice Richard Robinson examined the PLCAA, Congressional intent, and case law and concluded:
In summary, whether this court agrees with Congress or not, in adopting the arms act, Congress adopted findings and statements of purpose in 15 U.S.C. § 7901; see footnote 1 of this dissenting opinion; which made very clear its intent to absolve defendants like these— gun manufacturers and distributors—from liability for criminal use of firearms by third parties except in the most limited and narrow circumstances and, particularly, to shield them from novel or vague standards of liability.22 This court is obligated, therefore, to construe the predicate exception to the arms act, 15 U.S.C. § 7903 (5) (A) (iii), narrowly in light of that clear expression of congressional intent.
Chief Justice Robinson continues:
Consequently, I strongly disagree with the majority’s conclusion that CUTPA, which is a broadly drafted state unfair trade practices statute applicable to all commercial entities in a variety of factual circumstances, comes within that exception.24 Instead, I would conclude that, because CUTPA, both in its statutory text and in its implementation under the cigarette rule, reaches a range of commercial conduct that far exceeds the manufacture, marketing, and sale of firearms, it is not by itself a predicate statute. That state unfair trade practices statutes had not been used to hold firearms manufacturers civilly liable to crime victims25 renders the plaintiffs’ CUTPA claims particularly novel in the contemplation of Congress; see 15 U.S.C. § 7901 (a) (7) (2012); and, thus, subject to preclusion under the arms act.
I most certainly hope that Remington appeals this decision to the US Supreme Court as this ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court certainly serves to undercut the supremacy of Federal law. More importantly, I hope the US Supreme Court takes this case sooner than later.

As an aside, Justice Palmer who wrote the majority opinion in this case served as the US Attorney for Connecticut from 1991 to 1993 and was appointed by President George H. W. Bush. So much for assuming Republicans respect the rule of law, the Constitution, or the supremacy of Federal law on what is rightfully a Federal issue. I guess Justice Palmer didn't want to irritate his friends down at the country club by ruling in favor of those icky gun companies.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Plain Meaning Of Statutory Terms? I Don't Think They Understand The Term


The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, otherwise known as the Cult of Personality's Legal Arm, has filed a notice that they will be filing an amicus brief in Guedes et al v. BATFE et al. This is the bump stock ban case that is on appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit after the denial of a temporary restraining order. The amicus brief will be in support of the government's position.
Pursuant to D.C. Circuit Rule 29(b), Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (“Giffords Law Center”) hereby gives notice that it intends to file a brief in this matter as amicus curiae in support of Defendant-Appellees. Giffords Law Center focuses specifically on firearms policy and the plain meanings of statutory terms, highlighting Appellants’ reasoned approach to and the pressing need for bump stock regulation. All parties have consented to the filing of this brief.
Beyond the fact that the BATFE are the appellees and this notice highlights"Appellants' reasoned approach", to say that Giffords Law Center focuses on "the plain meanings of statutory terms" is an oxymoron. The National Firearms Act is clear on the definition of a machine gun and the BATFE's own expert from the Firearms Technology Division Richard Vasquez got it right when he said bump stocks were not machine guns.

The rule from BATFE and the DOJ justification of it were made up from whole cloth. Both the NFA Handbook and ATF Ruling 2006-2 are clear on the definition of a machine gun and a bump stock doesn't meet that definition. Congress was clear in what they meant in their definition of a machine gun and that is the real plain meaning.


NC Bill Allowing For Armed Teachers Makes Fox News


NC Senate Bill 192, the School Security Act of 2019, was introduced in the General Assembly last week. It would allow for teachers who have completed the Basic Law Enforcement Training program to become "teacher resource officers". They would get a bonus for serving as a teacher resource officer in addition to their normal teaching duties.

As the gun prohibitionists like to say about any gun control bill, "It's a good first step." However, in this case it is the first step in allowing some teachers to be armed in an effort to protect students. The BLET requirement is overboard in that it requires the teacher resource officer to be trained in many things that would be extraneous to actually protecting students. For example, there would be no need for a teacher resource officer to know anything about motor vehicle laws, law enforcement driver training, or traffic crash investigation. That said, it gets our foot in the door.

Retired NC teacher and USMC veteran Jean Fitzsimmons was interviewed on Fox and Friends First regarding arming teachers. Here is what he had to say. Kudos to him to him for getting up that early in the morning and for the mention of Grass Roots North Carolina.


Monday, March 11, 2019

Some Humor To Start Your Monday Morning


It's a Southern Thing is one of my favorite humor sites. They have been running a series on the correct pronunciation of towns in various southern states. They have arrived at North Carolina and the results are funny.

As a native North Carolinian and life-long resident, I should note that some of these are hard even for us. I did OK on the western and Piedmont names but got a bit lost on some of the coastal NC names. I had 11 correct and four wrong which is probably because I grew up in the Piedmont and moved to the mountains in my 20s.

I'm a bit surprised that they didn't include some more Cherokee names like Lake Junaluska or the name of my favorite NC town which is Whynot.


Consumer Safety Alert For S&W M&P 15-22


Smith & Wesson has issued a consumer safety alert for all versions of their M&P 15-22 manufactured before February 1, 2019. They found that in a couple of samples the breech face counter bore depth was not within manufacturing specifications and could cause slam fires.

The full alert sent out on Friday is below:

ESCRIPTION - Please Read This If You Have A M&P15-22 Rimfire Firearm.

PRODUCT AFFECTED:
ALL models of M&P15-22 rifles and pistols manufactured before February 1, 2019.

STOP USING YOUR M&P15-22 UNTIL IT HAS BEEN INSPECTED AND YOUR BOLT REPLACED (IF NECESSARY).
Smith & Wesson has identified two M&P15-22 firearms from recent production on which the breech face counter bore depth was not within manufacturing specification. In those firearms, the lack of depth may allow the bolt, upon closing, to crush the rim of the case, causing the round to fire, cycling the bolt, and potentially resulting in multiple discharges without depressing the trigger. This issue can occur in the following two scenarios:

1) With a loaded magazine in the firearm and the bolt locked to the rear, depressing the bolt release to allow the bolt to drop freely may ignite the round as the bolt closes without engaging the trigger and with the safety selector in either the safe or the fire position, and may also result in multiple discharges.

2) With a loaded magazine in the firearm, bolt in the closed position and a round in the chamber and the safety selector in the fire position, depressing the trigger will cause the round to fire normally, however as the bolt cycles, the next round may be ignited by the bolt crushing the rim of the case as it closes, causing multiple discharges.

We believe that these are isolated incidents, however, any unintended discharge of a firearm has the potential to cause injury. Therefore, we have developed this inspection procedure to ensure that all products in the field are safe to use. We are asking customers to perform the following procedure and to refrain from using their M&P15-22 until the bolt has been inspected and replaced as necessary.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRODUCT INVOLVED:
The out of specification condition has been found only in bolts that were recently manufactured. While our investigation suggests that the incidents are isolated, we have established this inspection procedure as a precautionary matter to ensure that all M&P15-22 firearms in service meet our design specifications. We are asking consumers of all M&P15-22 firearms manufactured before February 1, 2019 to inspect their bolt for this condition.

REMEDY/ACTION TO BE TAKEN:
The bolt from your M&P15-22 must be inspected to determine whether it exhibits the condition identified in this notice. To determine whether your firearm is affected by this condition, please inspect your firearm by following the inspection instructions provided here.
DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTION MANUAL | VIEW INSPECTION VIDEO


CLICK HERE FOR FAQ FACT SHEET
If you are uncomfortable in conducting the bolt inspection outlined here, or are unsure whether the condition described in this notice applies to your bolt, please send your bolt to Smith & Wesson for inspection and replacement if necessary.

If you want Smith & Wesson to perform the inspection, send your bolt to Smith & Wesson for free inspection and replacement (if necessary).

If you want to perform the bolt inspection yourself, contact us for the free M&P15-22 BOLT INSPECTION GAUGE Part Number: 3012155 OR place an ORDER ONLINE to recieve inspection gauge.

If the bolt from your firearm is affected by the condition outlined in this notice, please send the bolt to Smith & Wesson. If necessary, your bolt will be replaced at no cost to you. Your bolt will be returned as quickly and efficiently as possible. All shipping and replacement costs will be covered by Smith & Wesson.
To determine if this consumer advisory applies to your M&P15-22 firearm, please utilize our
SERIAL NUMBER VERIFICATION TOOL

Website For More Information: MP15-22SafetyAlert.com
Email: MP15-22SafetyAlert@smith-wesson.com
Customer Service Phone: 1-800-713-0356

GRNC Alert On US Senate Gun Control Hearings


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who suddenly grew a spine during the Kavanaugh hearings may be backsliding a bit. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee he plans to hold hearings on gun control including on red flag laws. The Brady Campaign is crowing about it in an email and set up a special alert so as to pack the hearing room.

Grass Roots North Carolina took notice of the hearing a bit earlier and sent out their own alert. This is one that readers from anywhere can use to contact Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. If you are from a state where one of your senators is a member of the committee, make sure to use their email contact form. Just modify the one GRNC composed to be sent to Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC).

From GRNC:

THE GOP THREATENS A
GUN CONFISCATION SCHEME

Is the old Lindsay back? According to US Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), so-called “red flag” laws are an area where Republicans may just reach across the aisle…

As you review the details below, please keep a few things in mind:
  • "Red Flag Law” and “Extreme Risk Protection Order” are simply euphemisms for the unlawful suspension of a person’s constitutional rights, absent any due process, based solely on hearsay from an accuser who has neither witnessed a crime, nor been victimized by one. 

  • The US House is currently held by Nancy Pelosi’s extremely anti-gun party. This means the Senate may be the only reliable road block to extremist gun control bills. Yet, we now see influential Republican senators suggesting they just might send a “red flag” bill to Speaker Pelosi for her party’s rubber stamp.

  • If it can pass the Senate, it’ll breeze through the House, and then it’s on to the President, who unfortunately, seems open to unconstitutional ‘red flag’ laws, and who gets along great with Lindsay Graham.
This is Serious
Wednesday, speaking on CNN as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Graham confirmed that the powerful committee will hold a hearing on gun control. The hearing is expected to cover “extreme risk protection” orders (“red flag” laws). Gun control is a topic usually shunned by members of the Republican held senate, and rightfully so. This is why their sudden interest in a gun control hearing is an ominous sign. 
Click here to read the CNN story, a story that quotes Senator Graham (emphasis ours):
I think there's a lot of common ground
[with Democrats] on enrolling people in
the background system who are a
danger to themselves or others.
It’s probably safe to assume that you don’t want to be “enrolled” in anything concocted by Lindsay Graham and approved by Nancy Pelosi, especially when it comes to infringements on your Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
The CNN Story goes on:
Graham, a supporter and strong ally of President Trump also says he has spoken with the President about it.
(See the last bullet point, above).
Say NO to Ending American Due Process
It is critical that each of us contact the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Particularly North Carolina’s own, Senator Thom Tillis. Below, see how you can reach each member, starting with Senator Tillis, and let them know that you expect them to stand for due process, for gun rights, and against “red flag” laws. 

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IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • SEND AN EMAIL MESSAGE TO US SENATOR THOM TILLIS (R-NC): Tillis is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Use the link provided below, under 'Contact Info,' to visit his Senate contact form. Use the copy/paste message provided below, under ‘Deliver This Message.’   

  • PHONE ALL SENATE JUDICIARY REPUBLICANS: Use the phone numbers provided below. Tell them you are calling about the Judiciary Committee's upcoming gun control hearing (March 26), and make the following points:

    • “Red flag” or “extreme risk protection” laws are a blatant violation of the due-process rights guaranteed to each citizen by the Constitution, not to mention a violation of Second Amendment rights themselves.
    • The Senator surely knows that the term “red flag law” is simply a euphemism for the unlawful suspension of Constitutional rights, and the suspension of these rights is based on hearsay from someone who was neither a witness to, nor a victim of, a crime.
    • Supporting this type of legislation would be a violation of the senator's oath of office and would be a severe breach of the trust the senator has earned from the voters. 
    • No American lawmaker could support this sort of law and still claim to be a supporter and protector of the Bill of Rights. Therefore, I demand that the senator lend precisely zero support to any gun control legislation, particularly “red flag” bills.

  • PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC: Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.

Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee: 
Committee Member Contact Info
Sen. Thom Tillis (NC)
(Please phone & email Sen. Tillis. Copy/paste text below.)
(202) 224-6342
web contact form (email): 
www.tillis.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me
Sen. Lindsay Graham (SC) (Chairman) (202) 224-5972
n. Chuck Grassley (IA) (202) 224-3744
Sen. John Cornyn (TX) (202) 224-2934
Sen. Mike Lee (UT) (202) 224-5444
Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) (202) 224-5922
Sen. Ben Sasse (NE) (202) 224-4224
Sen. Joshua Hawley (MO) (202) 224-6154
Sen. Joni Ernst (IA) (202) 224-3254
Sen. Mike Crapo (ID) (202) 224-6142
Sen. John Kennedy (LA) (202) 224-4623
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (TN) (202) 224-3344

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


Suggested Subject: "NO to Unconstitutional ‘Red Flag’ Laws!"  


Dear Senator Tillis:

It has come my attention that the Senate Judiciary Committee intends to hold a gun control hearing on or around March 26. I also understand that the committee chairman has expressed a willingness to work with Democrats on gun control, specifically so-called “red flag” laws.

“Red flag” or “extreme risk protection” laws are a blatant violation of the due-process rights guaranteed to each citizen by the Constitution, not to mention a violation of Second Amendment rights themselves. Because of this, supporting this type of legislation would be a violation of your oath of office and would be a severe breach of the trust you’ve earned from the voters you serve. 

You know as well as I that “red flag law” is simply a euphemism for the unlawful suspension of (several) Constitutional rights. The suspension of these rights is based on hearsay from someone who was neither a witness to, nor a victim of, a crime. No American lawmaker could support this sort of law and still claim to be a supporter and protector of the Bill of Rights.

Therefore, I demand that you lend precisely zero support to any gun control legislation, particularly “red flag” bills. Rather, I expect you to speak against “red flag” laws, exposing them for what they are.

I will be monitoring your actions on this matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.

Respectfully, 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Standing United


The Second Amendment community is like a family. We may squabble amongst ourselves but unite when we are attacked by outsiders. This latest release from the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms illustrates that. It takes aim at attempts by House Democrats to cripple the National Rifle Association through multiple investigations.

BELLEVUE, WA – Reports that the National Rifle Association is being engulfed in what one publication described as “a rapidly expanding tangle of congressional investigations” raise an important question that nobody has been asking: Is this a deliberate effort by anti-gun-rights Congressional Democrats to overwhelm the organization’s leadership and prevent NRA from fulfilling its mission to protect the Second Amendment?

That’s what the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms are wondering as House Democrats are pressing their gun control agenda.

“According to The Trace, which is funded by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, Congress has launched six investigations of the NRA,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “With Democrats in control of the House, promising to push a full slate of gun control measures, that seems just a little curious.”

Gottlieb, who also chairs the CCRKBA, said it is fair to question an avalanche of investigations involving the NRA at a time when its attention should be focused squarely on renewed efforts to erode the Second Amendment.

“Are these investigations legitimate,” Gottlieb wondered, “or are they a deliberately choreographed attempt to distract the NRA’s focus when it needs to be concentrating on the battle now developing on Capitol Hill?

“We’ve been delighted to work with NRA on a number of efforts,” he continued, “including our successful lawsuits against the 2005 post-Katrina gun grab in New Orleans, the San Francisco gun ban, our joint challenge of Seattle’s attempted parks gun ban and our ongoing federal lawsuit against a gun control initiative in Washington State. So, when we see this kind of congressional onslaught at the same time Beltway anti-gunners are trying to ram through an aggressive gun control agenda, let’s just say our radar is up.”

Gottlieb said that if there are legitimate issues, they need to be explained to the nation’s 100 million gun owners.

“Otherwise,” he observed, “all of this may amount to a lot of smoke and mirrors designed to not simply distract NRA but to discredit it in the eyes of its members, supporters and allies when we all should be working together to defend our fundamental rights at a time when they are under unceasing attack.”

I agree with Alan that this is "curious" at a time when more and more gun control bills are being introduced in Congress. Indeed, I read a bill this morning that would put any semi-automatic rifle including Ruger 10/22s capable of accepting a magazine under the purview of the National Firearms Act. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Bumpstock Case Appealed To DC Court Of Appeals


As I reported a week ago, Judge Dabney Friedrich of the US District Court for the District of Columbia denied the motions for a temporary restraining order in the multiple bumpstock ban cases. The plaintiffs including the Firearms Policy Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition indicated they would appeal and they did. On Friday they requested an expedited hearing and briefing before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and it was granted.

More on the case from this joint press release from FPF and FPC:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 4, 2019) — Today, attorneys for Firearms Policy Coalition and Firearms Policy Foundation filed opening briefs in their consolidated appeals with the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the ongoing federal litigation challenging the confiscatory “bump-stock” ban rulemaking by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Copies of the briefs and related filings are available at BumpStockCase.com.

On February 25, United States District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich denied motions for preliminary injunction in the matters. The ruling came little over one year after President Trump directed the Department of Justice, at the time headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to “as expeditiously as possible” propose “a rule banning all” bump-stock type devices. The challenged Final Rule was signed by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and published December 18, 2018.

Counsel for FPC and FPF filed notices of appeal on February 25, and on February 26, they requested an expedited appeal schedule from the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Last Friday, March 1, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit granted FPC’s and FPF’s joint motion to expedite the briefing and arguments, setting today as the deadline to file the opening briefs. The government’s answering brief will be due on March 13, and the appellants’ reply brief will be due on March 15. Oral arguments will be heard by the Court of Appeals on March 22 at 9:30 a.m.

In its brief, FPC argues that the Rule is invalid because it was issued by then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. FPC explains that the designation of Mr. Whitaker – who was neither in the Department of Justice chain of command nor confirmed by the Senate – to serve in that role was both illegal and unconstitutional.

In the Guedes appeal, FPF argues that the text of the federal statutes at issue in the Final Rule are clear and unambiguous, that the rule of lenity precludes the ATF’s proposed new definition of ‘machinegun’, and that the rule is unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious. The brief also argues that the “district court abused its discretion in finding the statutory language ambiguous and erred as a matter of law in according ATF Chevron deference regarding the terms ‘single function of the trigger’ and ‘automatically’.”

Thomas C. Goldstein, Daniel Woofter, Charles H. Davis, and Erica Oleszczuk Evans of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., are on the brief for the FPC appeal. Attorneys Joshua Prince and Adam Kraut of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., and Erik Jaffe of Schaerr Jaffe LLP are on the brief for the FPF appeal.

Unless the appeals result in a temporary injunction or stay of enforcement, the ATF’s Final Rule will take effect on March 26, when the federal government will consider the affected devices to be illegal “machinguns” and carry severe criminal penalties including large fines and up to ten years in federal prison.

FPC and FPF remain committed to protecting Americans who own and possess bump-stock devices from the ATF’s unlawful Final Rule.

The case of David Codrea et al v. Barr will also be heard at the same time as the Guedes and Firearms Policy Coalition cases.

Stephen Stamboulieh, who is the attorney for Codrea et al, has this to say about the appeal:
This appeal is about an agency action in which a regulation was promulgated which seeks to dispossess hundreds of thousands of Americans from their private property. The ATF expressly acknowledges that “[b]etween 2008 and 2017, however, ATF also issued classification decisions concluding that other bump-stock-type devices were not machineguns . . . .” 83 Fed.Reg. 66514, 2018 WL 6738526 (Dec. 26, 2018). It is also undisputed that ordinary law-abiding individuals have spent, during that time period, millions of dollars of the purchase of such items in full reliance on repeated decisions of the ATF. Id. at 66543 (“This final rule is expected to have an impact of over $100 million in the first year of this regulatory action.”).

Yet, under the ATF’s new rule at issue here, if those Americans don’t surrender or destroy their heretofore legal private property, they will be prosecuted as felons. However, due to political pressure from an incident in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay and an instruction from President Trump to ban bump stocks, the ATF has taken an unambiguous congressional statute and has redefined plain text into something congress did not intend when it passed the National Firearms Act (“NFA”), just at ATF itself acknowledged during this time period. Worse, the district court sustained this agency action by applying the Chevron doctrine in direct contravention of controlling Supreme Court precedent that make plain that the Chevron doctrine has no place in the construction of criminal statutes.

Justice requires an injunction issue in this case. It requires such because the ATF has no authority to rewrite a congressional statute to fit the current agenda. Congress has expressly denied the ATF the authority to issue regulations with retroactive effect. “Congress alone has the institutional competence, democratic legitimacy, and (most importantly) constitutional authority to revise statutes in light of new social problems and preferences. Until it exercises that power, the people may rely on the original meaning of the written law.” Wis. Cent., Ltd. v. United States, 138 S.Ct. 2067, 2074 (2018). This is not merely a suggestion to the agencies, but a mandate from our highest court. While individuals may or may not like bump stocks, that “new social problem[ or] preference[]” is properly left to Congress to declare such and not an unelected agency which has stated over and over in the past that is has no authority to regulate bump stocks.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Satire Is Sometimes The Best Way To Get The Message Across


A group of ham actors on YouTube calling themselves "Gun Control Hunters"  have created an excellent satire about red flag laws. The video below is a parody but it gets the message across that red flag laws are dangerous, evil, and contemptuous of the Constitutional rights such as due process.







Share this video with your friends, family, and especially those on the fence about red flag laws aka extreme violence protection orders.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Tweet Of The Day


An alternative headline could have been Why (Most) Reporters Shouldn't Write About Guns.



Every reporter who even mentions a firearm in a story should be required to read this little guide first. The National Shooting Sports Foundation created so reporters aren't so grossly ignorant about firearms. Obviously, Ms. Bowman did not read it.


Every Picture Tells A Story, Part VIII


Every Picture Tells a Story has been an ongoing series on this blog since 2011. It graphically illustrates the growth in firearm carry rights over time. Going back to 1986, over 90% of Americans lived in states with either no carry permitted or may-issue carry permits. By contrast, approximately two-thirds of all Americans live in a state with either shall-issue permits or constitutional carry.




The area that has shown the most growth in terms of number of states is constitutional or permitless concealed carry. With the recent addition of South Dakota and Oklahoma, there are now 15 states that do not require you to have a permit to carry concealed. This equates to about 11% of the population of the United States.

As the creator of this graphic, Rob Vance, notes, "While the Supes are figuring out if the word "bear" in the 2nd Amendment actually means something - 15 states have already clarified that simple reading of the English word meaning 'to carry.'"

This number would have jumped even more if the Republican leaders of the North Carolina Senate had not refused to bring up the bill allowing permitless carry in the state. The bill had passed the NC House but Senate Republican were afraid of losing their super-majority if they went on record voting for permitless carry. Ironically, they lost their super-majority anyway.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

District Court Denies TRO In Bump Stock Cases


Judge Dabney Friedrich of the US District Court for the District of Columbia turned down a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent the Trump Administration’s bump stock ban from going into effect. This ruling impacts a few of the bump stock ban challenges including Guedes, FPC v. Whitaker, and Codrea v. Barr.

In his ruling Judge Friedrich said that the BATFE was entitled to Chevron deference allowing it to redefine the actual meaning of words.
Most of the plaintiffs’ administrative law challenges are foreclosed by the Chevron doctrine, which permits an agency to reasonably define undefined statutory terms. See Chevron v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, 467 U.S. 837 (1984). Here, Congress defined “machinegun” in the NFA to include devices that permit a firearm to shoot “automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger,” 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b), but it did not further define the terms “single function of the trigger” or “automatically.” Because both terms are ambiguous, ATF was permitted to reasonably interpret them, and in light of their ordinary meaning, it was reasonable for ATF to interpret “single function of the trigger” to mean “single pull of the trigger and analogous motions” and “automatically” to mean “as the result of a self- acting or self-regulating mechanism that allows the firing of multiple rounds through a single pull of the trigger.” ATF also reasonably applied these definitions when it concluded that bump stocks permit a shooter to discharge multiple rounds automatically with a single function of the trigger. That this decision marked a reversal of ATF’s previous interpretation is not a basis for invalidating the rule because ATF’s current interpretation is lawful and ATF adequately explained the change in interpretation.
The plaintiffs have already said that they plan to appeal this to the DC Court of Appeals.

You can read the reaction of the plaintiffs in this joint statement by the Firearms Policy Coalition and the Firearms Policy Foundation.

Monday, February 25, 2019

GRNC Alert - Federal Gun Control Vote This Week


Grass Roots North Carolina released an alert concerning votes on HR 8 and HR 1112 which may be coming this week. The first mandates universal background checks for all purchases and transfers while the second changes the procedure for a "hold" on NICS checks. Tom Gresham has written about this combination and the danger it poses. While a Democrat president might not use emergency powers to declare an emergency over "gun violence" (sic), it has been threatened by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. When you add the combination of these two bills to a declared emergency, you could have a perfect storm for the gun culture. That, of course, is the intent of all these type of bills - to make it so hard to purchase or own a firearm that most people will just give up.


FEDERAL GUN CONTROL
VOTING THIS WEEK


As you know, Democrats in Washington are pushing dangerous gun control bills, and it appears the US House will be voting on these measures this week…

After assuming power in the US House, the anti-gun party went right to work pushing heavy-duty gun control---two bills particularly. In brief, H.R. 8 (Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019) makes private firearms transfers a crime, while H.R. 1112 (Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019) establishes a nationwide waiting period for gun purchases.

Although bills such as these seem like “Democrat” bills that would never make it through the Republican-held Senate, don’t be so sure. As it stands, these bills are labeled “bi-partisan” because some less reliable Republican lawmakers (read: RINOs), have co-sponsored them. This allows for the following scenario:
  1. If these bills have bi-partisan support, they’ll likely pass the House easily, even if a few conservative Democrats vote against them. As it stands, no less than five Republicans have signed on to H.R. 8. So far, H.R. 1112 has only one Republican co-sponsor, but it can still be labeled bi-partisan, and is quite likely to pass the House. Other than the co-sponsors, it’s anyone’s guess how many other unreliable Republicans will vote for one or both of these bills.

  2. If there are Republicans in the House who sign on to these oppressive gun control laws, who’s to say that certain “moderate” Republicans in the Senate won’t do the same?

  3. While it’s true that we have a Republican executive, it’s also true that President Trump has dithered on questions of gun control. He has supported so-called “red flag” laws, which arbitrarily deny due process and strip citizens of their Second Amendment rights by bureaucratic whim. Also, by executive fiat the president recently banned bump stock devices. By these examples, you can see there is no guarantee that the president would veto a gun control bill, and there is even reason to believe that he would happily sign into law certain gun control measures.
In the very possible scenario outlined above, one can see that there is real risk here, and things could start sliding the wrong direction this week! Clearly, it’s up to us, the people, to stop this.
It appears that the US House will
be voting on gun control measures this week
...
... so please, as soon as possible, contact your representative and demand that he or she continue to recognize and vigorously defend guaranteed human rights. Below, see how you can easily email and phone your Republican US House Representative and demand these very things. 


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IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!

  • PHONE AND EMAIL YOUR REPUBLICAN US HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE: If your House rep. is a Republican, inform him or her that you are well aware of the gun control bills being proposed in the US House (H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112). Insist that he or she oppose these bills, and by doing so, vigorously defend the Natural rights guaranteed by the Constitution.  Tell him or her that nothing short of unwavering resistance to these leftist gun control bills will be acceptable.

    Below is a phone number list and email form links for North Carolina Republicans in the US House. For the electronic message, use the copy/paste text provided under ‘Deliver This Message.’

    If you don’t know who your representative is,
    click here to find that information. (On the right, toward the top, provide your zip code and then click LOOK UP).

  • PHONE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN McCARTHY if your representative is not a Republican, or if you live in the 3rd or 9th district (currently unfilled seats). Tell Rep. McCarthy that you expect Republican leadership to live up to the party platform, and push all Republicans to stand firm on the Second Amendment (vote 'NO' on H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112). Contact information for Rep. McCarthy is also below.

  • PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC: Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Also, bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.
CONTACT INFO

Republican Rep. Name (District)
Phone Number Contact Form
Rep. George Holding (2)    (202) 225-3032 https://holding.house.gov/contact/
Rep. Virginia Foxx (5) (202) 225-2071 https://foxx.house.gov/connect/default.aspx
Rep. Mark Walker (6) (202) 225-3065 https://walker.house.gov/contact/email
Rep. David Rouzer (7) (202) 225-2731 https://rouzer.house.gov/contact/email
Rep. Richard Hudson (8) (202) 225-3715 https://hudson.house.gov/email-me/
Rep. Patrick McHenry (10) (202) 225-2576 https://mchenry.house.gov/contact/
Rep. Mark Meadows (11) (202) 225-6401 https://meadows.house.gov/contact/
Rep. Ted Budd (13) (202) 225-4531 https://budd.house.gov/contact/
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (202) 225-4000 Call if your district's seat is not held by a Republican or is currently unfilled (3rd & 9th).

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


Suggested Subject (where applicable): "Oppose Gun Control Bills H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112"  


Dear Representative:

I am writing to express unequivocal opposition to the gun control bills recently introduced in the House of Representatives. In general, gun control is an affront to a free people and a violation of the human rights recognized and protected by the Constitution. Bills recently introduced, H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, are no exception and are truly egregious examples.

It’s discouraging to see that both bills carry bipartisan sponsorship, but I want to make it clear that I expect you to stand for what is right, not what seems most expedient due to the perceived zeitgeist, nor out of a belief that there is virtue in all compromise. While compromise has its place, there can be none when it comes to questions of Natural human rights, particularly Second Amendment rights.

Oppose H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112. Oppose them publicly and vigorously. This is the only proper and acceptable path for a member of the Republican Party, a party that has documented its broad support for the Second Amendment in its party platform. As my representative, I expect you to live up to this.

I will be monitoring your actions on this matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.

Respectfully,