Thursday, May 24, 2018

California AG Becerra And Cal DOJ Served With Petition By Firearms Policy Coalition


I'll say right off the bat that I don't understand policies and procedures in California. While it is a beautiful state with bad roads and even worse gun laws, their legal and administrative procedures are a bit of a mystery to me. When I received the notice below from the Firearms Policy Coalition, I wondered why a petition with signatures was being served on the attorney general. After I started to read the petition - written by a North Carolina lawyer no less! - I started to understand that citizens and groups in California use petitions to put government officials on legal notice about their action. In this case, it has to do with underground and unpublished firearms regulations that the California Court of Appeals had enjoined AG Xavier Becerra (D-CA) from enforcing.

You can read the release along with the link to the petition below:

SACRAMENTO, CA (May 23, 2018) — Today, civil rights advocates at Firearms Policy Coalition have issued the following statement:
 
Recently, Attorney General Becerra said, “Here in California, we respect the Constitution and follow the law.” But neither is true. 
 
This morning, our Legislative Advocate, Craig DeLuz, served on California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and his Department of Justice a petition challenging their illegal underground regulation. This petition was also sent to the Office of Administrative Law, the state’s regulatory watchdog agency.
 
In spite of an unanimously-decided Court of Appeal published opinion issued in February, and a permanent injunction issued weeks ago, Becerra’s DOJ continues to promulgate and enforce that same illegal underground regulation. Their stunning and troubling disregard for lawful court orders is contrary to the rule of law. 
 
Becerra’s weaponized Department of Justice regularly attacks the fundamental rights and property of law-abiding gun owners in law enforcement actions, their lobbying of the Legislature, and litigation. 
 
Indeed, Becerra and his army of anti-gun DOJ lawyers and special agents ignore the text of the Constitution and California’s statutes, forcing their anti-gun agenda on millions of people—the law and civil rights be damned.
 
Becerra also recently said that, “in California, we believe our communities are safest when we have trust between our law enforcement & the communities they serve.” But such trust is impossible, and undeserved, when the state’s top law enforcement officer shows a total lack of regard for the People, their rights, and the laws he has a duty to follow and enforce fairly. 
 
If Attorney General Becerra and the Department of Justice want to build trust and be respected, they should start by being trust-worthy and giving respect to law-abiding gun owners and their fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

ISRA Needs Witness Slips As Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing Bill Rises Again


The gun prohibitionists in Illinois never give up. They have brought back their gun dealer state licensing plan in another form and the Illinois State Rifle Association needs Illinois residents to send in witness slips.

Let's face it - the goal of this bill is to put the small gun dealer out of business. You may have the right to keep and bear arms but if you can't buy any arms the gun culture will shrink. That is the ultimate goal of these gun banners. Make it so hard for people to buy guns that they will just give up.

Details below:

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Will NC Republicans Let Permitless Carry Die In The State Senate?


HB 746 passed the North Carolina State House in June of 2017. Entitled the Omnibus Gun Bill, the key feature of HB 746 was permitless concealed carry. As I've mentioned before, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled back in 1922 that it was the right of North Carolinians to carry a firearm openly. Since the passage of HB 746 in the House there has been no action on the bill in the State Senate. It seems the Senate Republicans under the control of Majority Leader Phil Berger want the bill to die from inaction. They did nothing regarding the bill in 2017 and now it seems nothing more will happen regarding the bill in the 2018 short session.

It should be noted that it wasn't too long ago that both houses of the General Assembly were solidly Democratic. Thanks to the efforts of conservatives and especially gun owners, Republicans hold a super majority in both houses. Grass Roots North Carolina issued an alert this evening asking people to remind Majority Leader Phil Berger and the rest of the Senate Republicans just who brought them to the dance.

From GRNC:



CAMPAIGNING REPUBLICANS 
SNUB SECOND AMENDMENT 



Senate Republicans may be planning to sell out gun owners… again! 

Strong signals received from Senate leaders suggest that Republicans plan to wrap up 2018 without any action on pro-gun bill, HB 746! Yes, you read that right. After allowing the Permitless Concealed Carry bill (HB 746) to languish in committee for the duration of the 2017 session, Senate Republicans are now aiming to do precisely the same thing in 2018.Once again, it seems Republican Politicians have forgotten who brung ‘em to the dance.
 
They’re taking you and
your vote for granted!

2018 Campaign Promises Will Ring Hollow
As you know, 2018 is an election year. This means all the “pro-gun” Senators who are apparently planning to snub gun owners, will once again be out on the campaign trail, and as always, they’ll be leaning on the Second Amendment. Clearly, politicians have no sense of irony.
 
Should senators fail to pass HB 746 soon,
do not fall for their 2018 pro-gun campaign promises

Without obvious and immediate action where it is entirely possible and long overdue, any pro-gun campaign rhetoric can be chalked up to crafty but hollow misdirection. As candidates wistfully recall memories involving their daddy’s shotgun, they’ll be quietly hoping like heck that you didn’t read this alert and learn what they really think about protecting and expanding your right to keep and bear arms. Let’s just say, if actions speak louder than words, your gun rights are not their priority.

Don’t Let Senate Republicans Play You 
Republicans, seemingly bent on inaction, may think they have you fooled, but they don’t, and the smartest thing gun owners can do now is let them know. Below, see how you can contact Senate Republicans. Explain to them that you are aware of their plan to do nothing, and that “nothing” is not a reason for you to go out and vote for them. Insist they pass HB 746 this session, and soon.


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • EMAIL SENATE REPUBLICANSUse the copy/paste email address lists provided below, and the copy/paste text provided under ‘Deliver This Message.’
  • PHONE SENATE LEADERS PHIL BERGER & HARRY BROWN. PHONE YOUR REPUBLICAN SENATOR, TOOFind phone number information below and tell the Senators this simple thing: 
Hello, I am an active voter, and I vote on gun rights. I am calling to insist that the Senate pass HB 746 this session, or I will be sitting home in November. Thank you. 

CONTACT INFO
  • Sen. Pres. Pro Tem Phil Berger   (919) 733-5708
  • Sen. Maj. Leader Harry Brown:    (919) 715-3034
  • If applicable, please phone your own Republican senator as well. Click here to find your state senator.

NC Senate Republicans copy/paste email *list(s):

John.Alexander@ncleg.net; Deanna.Ballard@ncleg.net; Chad.Barefoot@ncleg.net; Dan.Barrett@ncleg.net; Tamara.Barringer@ncleg.net; Phil.Berger@ncleg.net; Dan.Bishop@ncleg.net; Danny.Britt@ncleg.net; Harry.Brown@ncleg.net; Bill.Cook@ncleg.net; David.Curtis@ncleg.net;

Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net; Jim.Davis@ncleg.net; Cathy.Dunn@ncleg.net; Chuck.Edwards@ncleg.net; Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net; Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net; Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net; Rick.Horner@ncleg.net; Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net; Joyce.Krawiec@ncleg.net; Michael.Lee@ncleg.net; Tom.McInnis@ncleg.net;

Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net; Paul.Newton@ncleg.net; Louis.Pate@ncleg.net; Ron.Rabin@ncleg.net; Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net; Shirley.Randleman@ncleg.net; Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net; Jeff.Tarte@ncleg.net; Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net; Tommy.Tucker@ncleg.net; Trudy.Wade@ncleg.net; Andy.Wells@ncleg.net  

*Spam filters or email program limitations may cause the need to send more than one email, to cover the entire list of recipients. If required in your case, the list above is split into three pieces, for your convenience. 


DELIVER THIS MESSAGE

Suggested Subject: "Pass HB 746 Now or Lose My Vote"  


Dear Senator:

I am furious after learning that Senate Republicans, by all accounts, intend to allow another year to slip away while taking precisely zero action on pro-gun bill HB 746. It seems as though Republicans have forgotten who “brung ‘em” to the dance, and this is not an acceptable memory lapse.

While you are out on the 2018 campaign trail, be aware that all pro-Second Amendment rhetoric will ring hollow in the wake of the Senate’s inaction, particularly if that trend continues during the 2018 session. There are no carefully parsed words, no glossy campaign mailers, no slick radio ads that will outweigh action in the Senate where real action is entirely possible. Inaction on the other hand speaks volumes.

Pass HB 746 this session. If you don’t, you will lose my vote. And if you have any doubts about the significance of the gun vote, consider Congressman Pittenger’s narrow 2018 Primary loss, after GRNC recommended his opponent due to Mr. Pittenger’s recent anti-gun votes in the U.S. House.

The gun vote makes a difference, and gun owners pay attention to GRNC’s recommendations. Pass HB 746, or face a loss in November. I will be closely monitoring your actions on this issue through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.

Respectfully, 

Document Of The Day


After the murders in Sutherland Springs, Texas by the former airman, the only record you could find about his court martial was a two page summary  The former airman was a prohibited person but the US Air Force neglected to forward the records on to the FBI's NICS System. As I noted at the time, if he had been charged with this crime in a civilian court not only would his records have been sent to the FBI but it was highly likely that he'd still be in prison.

Thanks to the efforts of David Codrea and attorney Stephen Stamboulieh the Air Force was forced to release the entire 610 page court transcript. Codrea had made a request for it under the Freedom of Information Act but the Air Force and the Department of Justice refused to release it. He sued in US District Court for the District of Columbia with the aid of Stephen Stamboulieh. The suit was filed in January of this year and the Air Force has finally released a record of the trial proceedings.

As Codrea noted in an article about the release:
The refusal to comply with the FOIA, forcing the filing of a complaint to obtain requested documents, points to a desire to cover up a record that shows the Air Force knew his crimes rose to the level of required reporting. (An attached motion alleging “illegal pretrial confinement and punishment” is also something they probably weren’t eager to see come to light).

This was clearly a damaged, a violent, and of relevance, a guilty young man, and as we’ve seen in similar cases, the government knew about him. They nonetheless failed to report to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, allowing the killer to purchase firearms from a Federal Firearms Licensee without the system flagging him.

What this and similar reporting failures acting as catalysts for “Fix NICS” and other legislation fail to account for is that ultimately, being a “prohibited person” cannot stop anyone so inclined from obtaining a gun. If it could, we wouldn’t see regular headlines about “gun violence” from places like Chicago.
I would urge readers to go to Ammoland and read the whole article. Then they should start scanning the trial transcript. It makes for interesting reading.

As a refresher, David Codrea and the late Mike Vanderboegh were the citizen journalists who broke the story on the Obama Administration's Operation Fast and Furious which allowed firearms to go to Mexican cartels and which resulted in the deaths of two Federal law enforcement officers and untold numbers of Mexican nationals.

Friday, May 18, 2018

SCI Honors NC State Senator Bill Rabon


Safari Club International recognized NC State Senator Bill Rabon (R-Bladen, Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender) as their 2017 State Legislator of the Year. He was recognized for his work to preserve and protect hunting and especially for his role in expanding Sunday hunting.

From their release:
Safari Club International has recognized North Carolina State Senator Bill Rabon as SCI's 2017 State Legislator of the Year. We are appreciative of Senator Rabon's efforts to advance legislation promoting and protecting our outdoor heritage and tradition of hunting, our Second Amendment rights, and the valuable role hunting plays in wildlife management and conservation.

"We congratulate Senator Rabon for his outstanding leadership in the North Carolina State Senate, particularly for his tireless efforts to expand Sunday hunting in North Carolina and we are honored to present him with SCI's 2017 State Legislator of the Year award," said SCI President Paul Babaz. "Senator Rabon's work has resulted in great victories for sportsmen and women and we are proud to have him as a leader for SCI and for all hunters in the Tar Heel State."

Since his election to the North Carolina State Senate in 2010, Senator Rabon has been a champion for all sportsmen and women. He has advocated for countless pieces of legislation and has supported hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts – including expanding and repealing North Carolina's Sunday hunting laws and working to make the right to hunt and fish a part of the state's constitution.

"The rights of hunters are increasingly threatened and maligned today, but those rights are inextricably linked to the conservation of wildlife across the world," stated Senator Rabon. "Teddy Roosevelt said it best: 'In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen... the genuine sportsman is by all odds the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination.' It's more important than ever to stay aggressive and diligent as we fight to protect hunters' rights. No one has done that as reliably and successfully as Safari Club International. I've long been proud to be a member, and today I'm tremendously honored to receive this prestigious award."

As Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Sen. Rabon was instrumenting in getting H559 passed which expanded Sunday hunting to include public lands.

Sen. Rabon is also a stalwart advocate for the Second Amendment and gun rights. He is rate 4 stars by Grass Roots North Carolina and has a 100% voting record on gun rights.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Boulder City Council Sued In Federal Court


Tuesday, May 15th, the Boulder City Council unanimously passed a ban on semi-automatic rifles with cosmetics they didn't like, a ban on standard capacity magazines, and bump fire stocks.

As the Denver Post reported:
The ordinance prohibits the sale and possession of assault weapons, as defined by the city. Also outlawed are magazines with high-capacity magazines and bump stocks.

Owners of the latter two items will have until July 15 to dispose of or sell them. Assault weapons will be grandfathered in; those in possession of such firearms have until the end of the year to receive a certificate proving prior ownership.

The grandfather clause was an olive branch to gun owners, said Councilman Sam Weaver, as was the abandonment of an early proposal to establish a registration system for assault weapons in the city.
Colorado has a state firearms preemption law that, on the face of it, forbids cities from adopting regulations which "prohibits the sale, purchase, or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, or possess under state or federal law." Firearms law is considered a matter of state concern. Denver, so far, is the only city in the state whose firearm regulations were upheld because it was considered a "special case" due to its size.

At the meeting where the Boulder City Council adopted their ban, representatives from the Mountain States Legal Foundation vowed that they would oppose the measure in court. They have kept their word.

In a release sent out late last night, the Mountain States Legal Foundation announced that they had filed suit in US District Court for the District of Colorado. The lead plaintiff is Jon Caldara who is a member of the Boulder Rifle Club. In addition, Caldara is the president of the Independence Institute, a libertarian think tank, based in Denver.

More on the lawsuit including a link to the complaint is below:
May 16, 2018 – DENVER, CO.  A group of Boulder residents who face heavy fines and jail time for the mere possession of firearms that are legal throughout Colorado and the United States filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging the Boulder City Council’s actions.  Represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, the plaintiffs are taking a stand against the city council’s unconstitutional passage of a broad-sweeping ban of the most popular and widely-owned firearms and magazines in America.  In a blatant act of discrimination against a political minority, the city council also unconstitutionally raised the minimum age for firearm possession in Boulder city limits to twenty-one.  The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Denver, Colorado.
Jon Caldara, a well-known, pillar of the community; the Boulder Rifle Club, which has been in existence since 1889; Bison Tactical, a small business in Boulder city limits; and Tyler Faye, a member of the University of Colorado Shooting Team, all seek to defend their rights and the rights of their fellow Boulder residents against the illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory actions of the City of Boulder.
“This ban is tantamount to Boulder attempting to stop drunk driving by banning Subarus,” said Cody J. Wisniewski, attorney with Mountain States Legal Foundation representing the plaintiffs.  “It accomplishes nothing other than making criminals of law-abiding citizens.”
“The West wasn’t won with a registered gun,” said William Perry Pendley, Mountain States Legal Foundation’s president.  “Colorado is not California; these laws have no place here.”
On May 15, 2018, the Boulder City Council passed Ordinance 8245, amending the Boulder Revised Code to ban many rifles, shotguns, pistols, and standard-capacity magazines, as well as raising the minimum age for firearm possession to twenty-one, within Boulder city limits. The ordinance was passed by a unanimous vote despite an overwhelming number of public comments, telephone calls, and emails expressing concerns with and opposition to the ordinance.  Mountain States Legal Foundation will be seeking a preliminary injunction to suspend enforcement of the ordinance pending the outcome of the litigation.  Without such an injunction, Boulder residents may be subject to up to $1,000 in fines and ninety (90) days in jail per violation.
Mountain States Legal Foundation, founded in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and ethical government, and the free enterprise system. In 2012, Mountain States Legal Foundation, on behalf of its clients, prevailed in the Colorado Supreme Court in Regents of the University of Colorado v. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. The Court’s unanimous decision in that case confirmed the right of concealed carry permit holders to possess concealed firearms on the public university’s campus.
For more information:  Caldara v. City of Boulder

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ryan Cleckner On Head And Scope Position


Ryan Cleckner is the author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook and a former Ranger sniper. His book is an excellent primer on getting started in long range shooting.

In this video for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Cleckner discusses the proper positioning of your head and scope for prone long range shooting. He makes an excellent point when he says if it isn't right, change it. The scope and stock should adjust to you and not the other way around.


Illinois Governor Issues Amendatory Veto Of Assault Weapons Bill


Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) issued an amendatory veto of Illinois HB 1468. An amendatory veto is when the governor replaces language in a bill passed by the Illinois General Assembly with his own language. The General Assembly has three options. First, do nothing and the bill will die. Second, override the veto with a three-fifths vote in each house and the original language becomes law. Finally, pass the law with the amended language with a simple majority.

IllinoisCarry has an extensive post on the amendatory veto which I am posting below. It does contains things that would be objectionable in a more pro-gun state but are seen as a compromise in Illinois. This would include things like a bumpstock and trigger crank ban as well as 72 hour waiting period on all gun sales.

From IllinoisCarry with links to their discussion forum and Gov. Rauner's veto message:

Gov. Rauner issued an amendatory veto yesterday of HB1468. The bill sent to the Governor's desk 60 days ago with a veto proof majority would have codified into law, for the first time in IL history, a broad brush definition of 'assault weapons'. As we had hoped, he stripped the 'assault' language out of the bill and instead opted for a 72 hr. waiting period on all gun sales rather than risk law abiding gun owners getting caught up in a felony trick bag set up by anti-Second Amendment democrats. In a surprising move, the amendatory veto also included instituting the death penalty for mass killers, freed up local revenue to fund resource officers and mental health workers in our schools, a ban on bump stocks, and set the framework for limiting people who are a danger to themselves or others from having access to firearms. 

With the veto, the Governor protects Illinois gun owners from a  gun grabbing scheme which would have made firearm restraining orders easy to obtain, virtually no-penalty for false testimony, and taking firearms away from nearly anyone by almost anybody for any reason. With the amendatory veto, it becomes a roadblock with a  felony penalty for false testimony,  prevents vindictive grudges being used to take firearms from lawful gun owners while providing a process to curb mentally ill respondents - like the Parkland High School and Waffle House killers - who are a danger to themselves or others from legally possessing firearms . It also provides a clear and timely process for restoration of  rights when a person is no longer a danger.

The full text of the veto can be viewed here.  Discussion of the veto can be found on IllinoisCarry's discussion forum.