Sunday, July 15, 2018

Amazon Prime Day Starts Tomorrow


Amazon Prime Day starts tomorrow at 3pm EDT. It will be 36 hours of specials for Amazon Prime members. However, you can sign up for a 30-day free Prime trial and cancel it before the end of the 30 days without having to pay a thing.

It is my understanding the products like Kindles and Alexa will be offered at up to 50% off. The Complementary Spouse loves her Kindle Fire(s).

The reason that I'm posting about Amazon Prime Day is that this blog is an Amazon Associate. The monies earned from commissions on your purchases are donated in their entirety to gun rights groups such as the Second Amendment Foundation and the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund. So linking through No Lawyers - Only Guns and Money costs you nothing but will help raise money to help preserve our gun rights.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Stupid Party Strikes Again


The Republican Party is often derisively called the Stupid Party because of the dumb stuff it does. Things like firing my friend Rachel Malone or things like caving to demands from people who will never vote for them. The latter is the case in North Carolina with the Republicans in the North Carolina Senate.

North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (sic), NCGV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg's Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors, sent out an email early this morning touting their achievement in stopping HB 746 which would have allowed permitless concealed carry. This bill had passed the North Carolina House but stalled in the Senate.

From NCGV:
As reported in previous updates, NCGV was on the lookout for the Senate to taking up HB746, the gun omnibus bill that included permitless carry. If this bill would have passed it would mean that people as young as 18 years old with no training and no background check could carry a hidden loaded weapon in public. Because of NCGV pressure and support, the Senate did not consider the bill. We are proud to report that your support made sure that this bill did not even receive a committee hearing on the Senate side.

As a secondary matter, NCGV spoke with legislators and allies about ensuring that our teachers would not be allowed to concealed carry in schools.

The aadjournment (sic) resolution was not sine die and legislators have scheduled a session in November, presumably to take up matters relating to the amendments. Although the bill is technically not dead, it is incredibly unlikely to be taken up during that fall session.

During the interim, legislators restated their commitment to expanding school safety, studying what more can be done, and working with community partners. NCGV will be in any relevant meetings as they take place during the interim.
So you have a group opposed to civil rights crowing that their pressure stopped Majority Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and the Republicans in the State Senate from even holding hearings on HB 746 which was an omnibus firearms bill which included permitless concealed carry. Please bear in mind that Republicans hold veto-proof super-majorities in both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly. Please also bear in mind that probably not one person in 100 that supports NCGV will even vote for a Republican for dog catcher. They consider themselves the NC equivalent of "The Resistance".

Has the Republican Party of North Carolina never heard of the old adage that you reward your friends and punish your enemies?

As that great Southern philosopher Forrest Gump famously said, "Stupid is as stupid does."

California Sued By Coalition Of Gun Rights Groups Over AWB Registration Disasters


The Second Amendment Foundation, the Calguns Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and the Firearms Policy Foundation have come together to sue the California Department of Justice, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and the head of the California Bureau of Firearms. Their complaint, filed in Shasta County Superior Court, is a constitutional challenge to the bullet button registration system and a writ of mandamus requiring the state to allow people to register as required under state law. That last bit might sound confusing but people had until July 1st to register their bullet buttons. The only problem is that many people were not able to do so because the system crashed. It's a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation.

From their joint release:
The lawsuit argues that DOJ’s “bullet-button assault weapon” registration system was defective, often “crashing” completely, and the various failures prevented many gun owners from complying with the laws—potentially turning people into felons overnight.

SACRAMENTO, CA (July 11, 2018) — Today, attorneys for three gun owners and four civil rights organizations filed a new lawsuit and petition for writ of mandate that claims California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and his Department of Justice (DOJ) violated their civil rights protected under the state and federal constitutions. A copy of the complaint can be viewed or downloaded at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/sharp.

The lawsuit, captioned Harry Sharp, et al. v. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., is supported by The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF). Named as defendants are California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Acting Chief of the DOJ Bureau of Firearms, Brent E. Orick, and the California Department of Justice itself. The plaintiffs are represented in the case by attorneys George M. Lee and Douglas Applegate, as well as Raymond M. DiGuiseppe, a former California deputy attorney general and prosecutor.

“Many people, including our clients, did everything they could to comply with the law and avoid criminal liability,” commented Lee. “They used updated web browsers, hardware, different devices, and even did internet speed tests to make sure it wasn’t a problem on their end. The DOJ’s crashed system is a reflection of their cascading failures to build a system and allow people to register their guns before July 1 if that’s what they wanted to do."

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.”

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 possibly 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.

“Attorney General Xavier Becerra seems to care about everything but the constitution, the rule of law, and law-abiding California gun owners,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “If Becerra spent as much time doing his job as he does talking about his pet crusades against the federal government, hundreds of thousands of Californians would not be in legal jeopardy right now.”

“We’re suing because California DOJ’s Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) broke down during the deadline week for people to register their firearms in accordance with new state laws,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “For a whole week the system was largely inaccessible, so people who wanted to comply with the law simply couldn’t and now they face becoming criminals because they couldn’t do what the law requires.”

“Predictably the state of California wants to take guns away from the law abiding. In this instance they couldn’t even build a working system to respect gun owners’ rights,” explained CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman. “We simply want to allow those who want to comply with the law to have more time with a working registration system.”

“It’s like a bad version of ‘Catch-22’,” Gottlieb observed. “The government required registration by the deadline, but the online registration failed and people couldn’t register. They’re required to obey the law, but the system broke down, making it impossible to obey the law. Now these people face the possibility of being prosecuted. We simply cannot abide that kind of incompetence.”

“Once again, the DOJ and Attorney General Becerra unlawfully and unconstitutionally moved the goal posts on peaceful, law-abiding gun owners,” observed FPF Vice President Jonathan Jensen. “Their failures should not result in people going to prison and losing their property.”

Combs noted that the case is not an endorsement of firearm registration, which carries its own risks, as many news reports have shown.

“Gun owners had a right to decide how they would approach these serious legal issues,” explained Combs. “Attorney General Becerra and his DOJ denied gun owners the opportunity to exercise their rights and make an informed choice, forcing them into the sights of fascist, hyper-aggressive special agents who kick in doors and put gun owners in jail. That’s completely unacceptable and totally deplorable.”

Californians who tried to register their firearms as “assault weapons” before July 1 but were unable to should contact the Legal Action Hotline immediately at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline or by telephone at 855-252-4510
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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Smart Move On GOA's Part


My friend and fellow co-host of the Polite Society Podcast Rachel Malone was fired last month as Operations Manager of the Texas Republican Party. It seems a certain elected official took offense to her criticism of his 40 point "school and firearm safety" proposals especially since it contained a red-flag law proposal. As a result of Gov. Abbott's complaint as conveyed by his henchman, the Texas GOP Chairman was forced to fire Rachel.

Stupid move, Greg.

If you want to control someone it is much better to keep them under your employ. Firing them allows that person to become a free agent and return to the grass roots firearms activism for which she is known.



While I've known it since Monday, it is now public that Rachel will be the new Texas Director for Gun Owners of America. In that role, she will lobby the Texas legislature directly on gun rights. I know Rachel's ultimate goal is to bring constitutional carry to Texas.

From GOA:
Springfield, VA – Gun Owners of America (GOA) announces today the hiring of Rachel Malone as Texas Director. This signifies a new focus on GOA’s advocacy within the Texas State Legislature.

Texas is a key state for GOA’s work to advance gun freedoms. Texas is known for its rich heritage of gun owners, and it deserves strong advocacy for gun rights. Knowing this, Gun Owners of America is delighted to establish a permanent presence within Texas to preserve and defend Texans’ right to keep and bear arms.

Erich Pratt, Executive Director for Gun Owners of America, stated: “Texas is facing a battle, and GOA intends to be on the forefront. As the no-compromise gun lobby, GOA looks forward to working with grassroots activists all across Texas for victories in their state.

“I’m thrilled that Rachel Malone is serving as Texas Director for GOA. She has a strong background of fighting for firearms freedom, connecting with grassroots, and advocating within the Texas Legislature. I am confident in her ability to represent Texas gun owners in protecting the essential freedom of the right to keep and bear arms.”
 By the way, the picture above of Rachel was from the recent MAG-180 held in Wisconsin where Rachel passed everything with flying colors.

Congrats to Rachel on her new position and kudos to GOA for recognizing the gem that is Rachel in hiring her as the Texas Director.

Email Subject Line Of The Day


You have to hand it to the gun prohibitionists. Those that don't have Mike Bloomberg's money at their disposal will find any reason to ask for money. This is especially true of that cult of personality known as Giffords.

Here is the subject line of their latest email missive asking for money.

Gabby and Mark need you to rush an emergency donation to help us stop Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to serve on the Supreme Court. Let me explain why this request is so important.

Don't wait. Don't think about it. Send money now. Operators are standing by. A donation of only $3 will feed a starving prohibitionist for a day. Wait, I think I'm getting these pleas for donations confused a bit.

The email goes on to promise, "We are no doubt going to send a number of emails about Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination." At least that is honest of  their Executive Director Peter Ambler to acknowledge that this just the first in a series of emails. Having been on their mailing list for a few years, I can assure you that each and every one of them will have some "ask" for a donation or to sign up on their mailing list.

GOA Supports Kavanaugh Nomination


This is one endorsement from a gun right group I didn't see yesterday morning. It is from Gun Owners of America. There endorsement is a bit more tempered than that of the NRA or SAF. In my opinion, it is like that of some of us in the gun rights community or that of social conservatives. We had favorites other than Kavanaugh but can live with him as he will help solidify the conservative majority on the Supreme court.

From GOA:
Erich Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America (GOA), issued the following statement on Pres. Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court:

“Gun Owners of America is optimistic that Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be a huge improvement over the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on many constitutional issues, including the Second Amendment.

“Initial reports suggest that Judge Kavanaugh deeply respects the Second Amendment, even though he was not the strongest of the finalists.

“Nevertheless, Judge Kavanaugh filed a pro-gun dissent in Heller II, arguing that Washington, DC’s ban on semi-automatic firearms was arbitrary and unlawful.

“In fact, his dissent was so well argued that GOA’s subsequent legal briefs have repeatedly held up his dissent as the model to follow.

“In another case, Kavanaugh correctly interpreted the Firearm Owners Protection Act to find that a defendant could not be sentenced to 30 years in prison for use of a fully-automatic firearm if he was unaware that the gun fired automatically.

“Kavanaugh also supported the prevailing opinion in the Citizens United case, which affirmed GOA’s voice in the political arena.

“GOA hopes that the Senate will confirm Kavanaugh — and that the Supreme Court will take up more Second Amendment cases, thus repealing the onerous and unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms that exist throughout the country.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Wow! DOJ Settles With Cody Wilson And Defense Distributed


Less than 24 hours after President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice comes to an agreement with the Second Amendment Foundation regarding their lawsuit on behalf of Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed. I know I say that actions have consequences but this one is a "Wow!"

From Josh Blackman's blog with some more details:
BELLEVUE, WA – The Department of Justice and Second Amendment Foundation have reached a settlement in SAF’s lawsuit on behalf of Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed over free speech issues related to 3-D files and other information that may be used to manufacture lawful firearms.

SAF and Defense Distributed had filed suit against the State Department under the Obama administration, challenging a May 2013 attempt to control public speech as an export under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), a Cold War-era law intended to control exports of military articles.

Under terms of the settlement, the government has agreed to waive its prior restraint against the plaintiffs, allowing them to freely publish the 3-D files and other information at issue. The government has also agreed to pay a significant portion of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees, and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed as a result of the prior restraint.

Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.

“Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called ‘weapons of war,’ and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.

“Under this settlement,” he continued, “the government will draft and pursue regulatory amendments that eliminate ITAR control over the technical information at the center of this case. They will transfer export jurisdiction to the Commerce Department, which does not impose prior restraint on public speech. That will allow Defense Distributed and SAF to publish information about 3-D technology.”
Blackman's blog has all the major pleadings in this case. SAF and Wilson had submitted a petition for a writ of certiorari to the US Supreme Court after losing in the 5th Circuit. This writ had not been denied as it was still in the pleading and reply process. Cert was denied in January 2018.

This is a win for free speech, a win for gun rights, a loss for prior restraint, and a giant FU to the State of California and their paranoia over "ghost guns".

WIRED Magazine goes into great detail about what Cody has been up to the last few years, the why of Defense Distributed, the gnashing of teeth by the antis, and the blurred line between the First and Second Amendment.

And Now The Reactions From The Prohibitionists, Part 3


Let it not be said that the cult of personality known as Giffords would be left out of making their opposition to Judge Brett Kavanugh known. While I may have serious doubts that Ms. Giffords actually wrote her piece in opposition, it does go out over her name.

From Giffords and Giffords Law Center:
July 9, 2018 — Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, released the following statements after the announcement of President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court following the retiring of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords:

“In nominating Judge Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court justice, the Trump Administration is once again showing brazen disregard for the people it claims to protect. Judge Kavanaugh’s dangerous views on the Second Amendment are far outside the mainstream of even conservative thought and stand in direct opposition to the values and priorities of the vast majority of Americans. America needs a Supreme Court justice who respects the Second Amendment but who also realizes reasonable regulations that reduce gun violence do not infringe on anyone’s constitutional rights. But that’s not the kind of justice President Trump nominated today.

“America’s gun violence epidemic weighs daily on the minds of so many families in our country. Parents live in fear of hearing their children describe to them what it’s like to go through an active shooter drill. Too many people in communities across the country live in fear of being shot in their neighborhoods. In states across the country, students and voters have been speaking up, taking to statehouses, and demanding that lawmakers pass effective gun safety legislation. Their advocacy is delivering results: just since the massacre in Parkland, more than 50 gun safety bills have passed in 26 states. Should the Senate confirm the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, we have every indication to believe that he will prioritize an agenda backed by the gun lobby, putting corporate interests before public safety. Make no mistake, the progress we’ve achieved passing firearm laws that save lives every day will be in serious danger.”

Hannah Shearer, Staff Attorney and Second Amendment Litigation Director at Giffords Law Center

“Judge Kavanaugh has expressed a dangerous hostility toward reasonable gun regulations and made clear he believes the government’s power to address gun violence is extremely limited. Judge Kavanaugh rejects the idea that courts should consider public safety when judging gun cases and would strike down bedrock gun laws like those that restrict civilian use of the dangerous, military-style weapons regularly used in mass shootings.

“Even Justice Scalia, one of the most conservative Supreme Court justices in modern history, endorsed reasonable firearm regulations like the ones Judge Kavanaugh would strike down. Judge Kavanaugh’s positions on the Second Amendment are outliers far outside the mainstream, and confirming him to the Supreme Court could negatively impact efforts to fight gun violence for many years to come. The notion of Judge Kavanaugh serving on our nation’s highest judicial bench should worry Americans who care about the safety of their families and communities. Now is the time for them to speak up and demand a nominee who will respect centuries of American legal tradition, recognize that gun rights have always gone hand-in-hand with responsible regulations, and put the life and liberty of all Americans ahead of the interests of the gun lobby.”

Since District of Columbia v. Heller was decided by the Supreme Court ten years ago, the lower courts have overwhelmingly upheld reasonable gun safety laws more moderate than the handgun ban Heller invalidated. The United States Supreme Court has not granted review in a significant Second Amendment case since Heller and its companion case, McDonald, and they have denied review in more than 80 cases. The confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh could mean that the Supreme Court intervenes more in these lower-court cases and overturns decisions that have consistently protected public safety.

In the near future, the Supreme Court may have the opportunity to rule on a variety of Second Amendment issues that are pending in the lower courts. For example, a series of NRA-backed lawsuits were filed this spring to challenge strong concealed carry permitting laws in New Jersey, Maryland, and New York. The NRA has also filed or supported a number of suits challenging critical gun safety measures adopted after the Parkland massacre, including laws that restrict access to the large capacity magazines used in Parkland and other mass shootings. Any one of these cases could be the next major Second Amendment case to reach the Supreme Court, with critical implications for public safety.

Frankly, I do hope Hannah Shearer is correct in her assumption that the Supreme Court might finally start hearing Second Amendment cases. Their failure to do so merely has encouraged judges in lower courts who disagreed with Heller to ignore that opinion and to use the Supreme Court as a doormat.