Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sour Grapes, Much?

This past Saturday the New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) rallied to gather signatures for a recall of NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester). According to NJ.com, there were 200 activists there ready to go door to door to gather signatures.

We have interviewed both Alexander Roubian and Dan Roberts on The Polite Society Podcast about their plans for this event. It should be noted that only New Jersey registered voters are allowed to solicit the signatures. Thus, the majority of the people at the event were residents of the state registered to vote.

Bearing that in mind, I was amused to read this comment in the story from gun prohibitionist Bryan Miller of Ceasefire NJ and Heeding God's Call.
Bryan Miller, executive director of Heeding God's Call, a faith-based group in Philadelphia that seeks to prevent gun violence, called to respond to the NJSAS gathering on Saturday.

When he heard about the number of people who showed to the event, he said he didn't think it was "a very impressive number."
Can you say "sour grapes"? When was the last time the anti-gunners were able to assemble 200 people in one place for a protest even if they were paid and bused in? They didn't get that many in Nashville even though they tried to make it look like more through trick photography.

Sorry, Bryan, but 200 people that are predominantly registered voters in a state that isn't gun friendly is a heckuva lot of activists.

I'd like to also note that newly elected NRA Board member Tim Knight spoke to the rally before they set forth to gather signatures. It is great to see a NRA Board member getting down in the trenches with gun owners in the fight for gun rights.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Florida Carry Is On The Case

Open carry is generally not legal in Florida. However, it is allowed when you are hunting or fishing. The Tampa PD seems not to have gotten that message. George Freeman, as you can read below, was fishing on a city pier when he was detained and then ultimately banned from a city pier while open carrying.

While I personally prefer concealed carry, I do so in a state where unlicensed open carry has been the rule since the early 1920s thanks to a NC Supreme Court ruling. I believe open carry should be legal because, at the very least, concealed carry holders need protection when inadvertently exposing their firearm.

Florida Carry files lawsuit against Tampa for violations of members' rights and Florida law.
Tampa went too far.

Our member, George Freeman was NOT breaking any law but he was detained for over an hour, disarmed, searched, and ultimately banned from a Tampa city pier and all city parks for exercising his Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms.
The fact that a person is peacefully exercising their right to bear arms is not cause for police officers to attack, detain, search, and trespass a citizen who is a law-abiding gun owner.

To insure that this does not happen again, our lawyers are coming fishing with us at the next regularly scheduled Florida Carry Fishing Meetup, on Saturday, July 11th - 10am Ballast Point Pier in Tampa. Information and directions can be found by clicking HERE.

We have also filed a lawsuit to defend the right to bear arms, our members, and your rights.  You can read about the case by clicking HERE.

We are raising funds to support the lawsuit.  please read more and consider contributing to your fellow gun owner's case at: https://www.gofundme.com/DefendingRKBA
Open Carry Fishing
Open Carry Fishing
We often have to go to the courts to demand our rights.

You can keep up to date on our court cases at: https://www.floridacarry.org/litigation

Friday, June 26, 2015

Learning Patience

This week is teaching me patience.

We had intended this week to be one of having fun with family out in St. Louis. While we have had a small graduation party for my nephew Grant and introduced Olivia Grace to another wing of her family, most of the week has been spent at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

My mother-in-law fell on Saturday while getting out of bed at her memory-care center. She got a nasty bruise on the chin and she had trouble putting weight on her leg. This was the second fall in as many weeks. A mobile X-Ray was inconclusive so her doctor suggested a short in-patient stay to allow her to get an MRI and CT Scan. So she was transferred to the hospital on Monday afternoon. The doc said that my mother in law would probably get the MRI quickly and the doc could evaluate the results shortly after that.

It took over 24 hours to get that MRI done. The results were that she had two fractures in her pelvis and would need rehab.

Her nurses, patient techs, and rehab people have been great at MoBap.

Her case managers, or whatever they call them here, not so much. To be honest, and I'm biting my tongue so I don't say anything worse, they need lessons in how to communicate. I have gotten to the point where I just have to bury my head in a book or the computer so I don't lash out at them. The Complementary Spouse has been a great advocate for her Mom and as a nurse she can speak the language. She has been patient to the extreme and has finally gotten them working for her Mom.

Medicare rules must vary from state to state. My mother-in-law was admitted for observation. One would think that after a diagnosis of a fractured pelvis, a BP spike, AND going into afib, she would have been reclassified to in-patient status. According to the case managers this was not the case. She only got reclassified to in-patient status due to her chin bruise becoming infected and that was only yesterday. The case managers and utilization review say that can't go back and reclassify her. Color me skeptical on that claim.

The reason that status matters is because under Medicare guidelines a person needs three days in the hospital as an in-patient (three midnight rule) in order to have Medicare to pay for rehab at a skilled nursing facility (nursing home). Fortunately, in our case, my mother-in-law will be admitted to an acute rehab facility where the three midnight rule isn't needed. Hopefully, it will happen this afternoon.

To top things off, the hospital somehow, somewhere have lost my mother-in-law's eyeglasses. What next?

The week has had some bright spots. I got to meet Charlie Foxtrot who has been helping us on The Polite Society Podcast. We had a great lunch on Wednesday and a great time meeting one another. The other bright spot is that I've found some really good bourbon that I can't get at home as well as a great place to buy it. Imagine a liquor store in a former Best Buy location with many select barrel offerings and you have Lukas Wine and Spirits. I will be patient and wait until I get home before cracking the seal on the bourbon I purchased.

Keep your fingers crossed for my mother-in-law that she gets moved to her new location sooner than later. A prayer or two would be welcome as well.

UPDATE: My mother-in-law was moved to SSM St. Mary's Rehab on Friday afternoon. I knew things were starting to look up when we were talking to the transfer EMTs. One was a North Carolinian and the other a South Carolinian. Moreover, the lead EMT was a graduate of Western Carolina University where I just so happen to teach a class each semester. Perfect!

The difference between the two facilities was like night and day. The room was bigger, the staff was more devoted to the patient than to the computer, and everyone was just a quantum leap more friendlier. I think this is going to work out just fine.

She'll be in acute rehab for at least 2 weeks so long as she shows improvement. Our goal is to get her on her feet again and walking. She was walking without any assistance prior to the fall.

Keep your fingers crossed and prayer wouldn't hurt.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Light Blogging This Week

I will have very light to non-existent blogging this week.

We are in St. Louis to check up on my mother-in-law, see the rest of the family, introduce my granddaughter Olivia Grace to her great-grandmother, and the like.

I will also get a chance to meet Charlie Foxtrot of Not One More Gun Law. He has been helping tremendously on The Polite Society Podcast.

If I am lucky I will also get some pictures of the Mississippi and the Meramac Rivers. I have never seen them so high. The Meramac is supposed to crest at 35.9 feet today in Arnold. Flood stage is 24 feet.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Puerto Rico Goes Constitutional Carry

Most of us don't think much about the US territories and commonwealths. Maybe we should.

Thanks to the Ladies of the Second Amendment and their lawsuit in a Puerto Rico commonwealth court, Puerto Ricans can now carry, open or concealed, without a permit and they no longer need a permit to purchase a firearm. The court's ruling also abolished the gun registry in Puerto Rico. All firearms transactions will now handled in accordance with Federal firearms regulations.

Wow! That's way better than I have it in North Carolina. I still have to have a concealed carry permit and people still need to go to their local sheriff to get a pistol purchase permit (thanks to some Republicans who kow-towed to the Sheriffs' Association.)

Below is the release that the Second Amendment Foundation put out announcing this win for gun rights in Puerto Rico.

BELLEVUE, WA – A surprising victory for gun rights in Puerto Rico has eliminated the firearms registry and licensing requirements to purchase and carry in the Commonwealth, the Second Amendment Foundation has confirmed.

As of now, according to Sandra Barreras with Ladies of the Second Amendment (LSA), the group that brought the lawsuit, “there is no regulation to purchase or carry (and) all purchases will be handled in accordance with federal firearms regulations.” LSA is affiliated with SAF through the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR).

The class-action lawsuit challenged various articles in Puerto Rico’s gun law, which the court declared unconstitutional. Because of the ruling, Barreras said, Puerto Ricans may now carry openly or concealed without a permit, and they do not need to obtain a permit before purchasing a firearm.

This was a class action lawsuit involving more than 850 individual plaintiffs, she reported to SAF offices. The news was greeted with delight, especially because in reaching its decision, the court cited the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases, and the recent ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia. Both the McDonald and Palmer cases were won by SAF.

“Cumbersome firearms regulations have never prevented criminals from getting their hands on guns,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “They have only inconvenienced law-abiding citizens, or deprived them outright from exercising their rights under the Second Amendment.”

Gottlieb said the lawsuit was brought in a Puerto Rican Commonwealth court, rather than a federal court. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and thus is subject to federal court jurisdiction.

“This case turned out better than anyone had really anticipated,” he commented. “We’re very pleased to have played an advisory role in this case, and if there is a government appeal, we’ll definitely be there with whatever support we can provide to our good friends in Puerto Rico.”

A Movie I Might Actually Like To See

I'm not big on movies. For one thing, I don't want to subsidize the anti-gun liberals in Hollywood. For another, I get bored just sitting there. The Complementary Spouse and I like to joke that we have Movie ADD. I don't think we've been in a movie theater since about the year 2000.

However, I came across this trailer for an Australian documentary entitled "Dazzle: The Hidden Story of Camouflage." I think I'd live to view it. Camo in its many forms and permutations intrigues me. Indeed, I spent part of this morning checking out urban camo patterns for an AR-15 that I'm thinking of painting. I'm seriously thinking of trying to go with one of these Dazzle type patterns that are akin to Swedish M90 camo.

DAZZLE: The Hidden Story of Camouflage from Off the Fence Financing on Vimeo.

Interesting Tidbit From CNN

The first reports from Charleston said that the Emanuel AME Church murderer was given his pistol as gift by his father. The implication was that it was a private transaction. This seems to be incorrect.

A report today from CNN had this to say about the purchase of the weapon used to commit the murders.
One key part of this horrific scheme -- the weapon -- came in April, when (the murderer) bought a .45-caliber handgun at a Charleston gun store, the two law enforcement officials told Perez and Bruer from CNN, the first network to report this development. His grandfather says that (the murderer) was given "birthday money" and that the family didn't know what (the murderer) did with it.
As with most media reports after a horrific event, the first reports are usually in error.

If CNN and the law enforcement officials are correct in that the murderer purchased the firearm at a gun store, this indicates that a NICS check was performed and he was cleared to purchase the firearm. This is just like the murders at Virginia Tech, Tucson, Santa Barbara, and Aurora where the murderers all cleared a NICS check.

While the Shadow may know what evil lurks in the hearts of men, I certainly don't.  I just know it exists and that we should be able to protect ourselves from it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Neutered HB 562 Passes The NC House

After considering 10 amendments and voting on seven of them, the NC House passed HB 562 by a 78 yea to 37 nay vote in its 3rd Reading. The pistol purchase permits system repeal was deleted in its entirety. As things were left yesterday, the pistol purchase permits would have only been required for private sales as an exemption was made for sales through FFLs. Today's Amendment 10 by Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett) stripped that provision out of the bill.

There are some good things left in the bill. The process for obtaining a pistol permit has been standardized, newer shooting ranges will be protected, state preemption is reiterated, and chief law enforcement officers have to sign off on NFA items if the applicant is not precluded by state or Federal law. Oh, and you can also carry an ordinary pocketknife in the State Capitol and on its grounds.

As you can probably imagine, the Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors and their backers in the legislative gallery who wore their Felon-Orange shirts are crowing about the defeat of the pistol purchase permit repeal. In fact, they are proclaiming victory saying that "the Moms fought the law and the Moms won."
“It was really great that most of the amendments were brought forth by Republicans. This is not a partisan issue: we are talking about common sense safety laws. We're building strong, bipartisan opposition to the gun lobby,” said Sarah Green, state chapter leader of Moms Demand Action.
Sarah Green is correct that the amendments that neutered the bill were brought by the Republicans. The GOP is not called the stupid party for nothing. If the Republicans who knelt in obeisance before the state's sheriffs think that avoiding the issue will gain them political points, they are even stupider than I thought. Those in the galleries wearing their Felon-Orange shirts will never support them and those of us in the gun rights community will never forget.

Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, certainly doesn't intend to forget those Republicans who paid lip service to gun rights in 2014 and then deserted us in 2015. In an email to me, with which I have permission to quote, he said:
"Grass Roots North Carolina would like to thank North Carolina House Republicans for giving us exactly what we asked for: Recorded votes. Lots of recorded votes that tell us exactly who our friends are and are not, and which activate our core supporters going into the 2016 primary elections. Inevitably, the party in power becomes comfortable and unmotivated, in time forgetting who 'brung 'em to the dance.' When they achieve supermajorities and draw themselves comfy districts, that time apparently shrinks to four short years. But in their safe Republican seats, they forget something: Other Republicans can occupy those seats. In 2016, we will use those recorded votes to provide them a few little reminders of that fact."
 Paul is correct. We know who our real friends are when it counts. We also know who is just a fair weather friend making nice noises about the Second Amendment but deserts us when push comes to shove.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

GRNC - RINOs Sell Out To The Sheriffs

Grass Roots North Carolina has sent out an alert this evening before the 3rd Reading of HB 562. That is scheduled for tomorrow and more amendments may be expected to come up.

I think Paul Valone must be as pissed off about this as I am. November 2016 will be here sooner than many of these so-called Second Amendment supporters realize. Indeed, some of them may end up getting primaried.

The letter below mentions GRNC will be watching. I know this is a GRNC alert but I might add in that it will be both GRNC and the NRA that will be watching. Let these politicians figure out which one can harm them the most.

You may want to send a special message to those Republicans that I highlighted in my earlier post. These Republicans including Speaker Pro Tem Paul Stam (R-Wake), Rep. Allen McNeill (R-Randolph), Rep. David Lewis (R- Harnett), and Rep. Brig. Gen. Gary Pendleton (R-Wake) not only sold out gun owners but stuck the knife in and turned it.


Remember how you helped to to elect a supermajority of Republicans in the State legislature? Well, guess what? They're showing their true colors.

In what can only be described as a display of sheer cowardice, several amendments that have considerably weakened H562 (including an amendment to leave the dangerous pistol purchase permitting process in place) were passed during the bill's second reading in the House today. Given the considerable Republican majority in the house, this can only mean one thing: many of the "pro gun" Republicans care more about the NC Sheriffs' Association than they care about you..

Still unwilling to give up their cash cow, even after admitting that the pistol purchase permit system is fraught with problems, it's becoming clear where the loyalties of many of our Republican house members rests.

The fight isn't over, though, and we need to flood the inboxes and voicemail mailboxes of our House members. Demand that H562 pass third reading tomorrow without any more crippling amendments.

We would like to take a moment to thank Speaker Moore, though, for bringing the bill to the house floor for a vote, and for the votes of the House Patriots that did their best to stop these damaging amendments. Extra thanks goes to House members Adams, Pittman and Speciale, for their strong defense of the second amendment.

Lastly: we need to remind all of the House members that we'll remember how they voted (for better or worse) in the next election cycle.
  • EMAIL NC HOUSE REPUBLICANS. Use the copy/paste email list provided below, and the copy paste text under 'Deliver This Message.' Let them know that you're watching carefully, and that we don't need any more weak-kneed amendments.

  • CALL YOUR NC HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE. Tell him or her the same thing: that H562 has been unnecessarily weakened, and that you will not support any more weakening amendments. Find your NC House rep by clicking here 
    (or go to: http://ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx).

  • DONATE TO THE GRNC-PVF. We need your help for primary paybacks. Please visit us at http://www.grnc.org/grnc-pvf/donate-to-grnc-pvf

NC House Republicans Email List:
Jay.Adams@ncleg.net; Dean.Arp@ncleg.net; Marilyn.Avila@ncleg.net; John.Bell@ncleg.net; Dan.Bishop@ncleg.net; Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net; John.Blust@ncleg.net; Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net; John.Bradford@ncleg.net; Bill.Brawley@ncleg.net; Mark.Brody@ncleg.net; Rayne.Brown@ncleg.net; Brian.Brown@ncleg.net; Rob.Bryan@ncleg.net; Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.net; Justin.Burr@ncleg.net; Rick.Catlin@ncleg.net; George.Cleveland@ncleg.net; Jeff.Collins@ncleg.net; Debra.Conrad@ncleg.net; Leo.Daughtry@ncleg.net; Ted.Davis@ncleg.net; Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net; Josh.Dobson@ncleg.net; Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net; Jeffrey.Elmore@ncleg.net; John.Faircloth@ncleg.net; Carl.Ford@ncleg.net; John.Fraley@ncleg.net; Mike.Hager@ncleg.net; Jon.Hardister@ncleg.net; Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net; Bryan.Holloway@ncleg.net; Craig.Horn@ncleg.net; Julia.Howard@ncleg.net; Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net; Frank.Iler@ncleg.net; Charles.Jeter@ncleg.net; Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.net; Bert.Jones@ncleg.net; Jonathan.Jordan@ncleg.net; Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.net; James.Langdon@ncleg.net; Chris.Malone@ncleg.net; Susan.Martin@ncleg.net; Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net; Allen.McNeill@ncleg.net; Chris.Millis@ncleg.net; Gary.Pendleton@ncleg.net; Larry.Pittman@ncleg.net; Michele.Presnell@ncleg.net; Dennis.Riddell@ncleg.net; George.Robinson@ncleg.net; Stephen.Ross@ncleg.net; Jason.Saine@ncleg.net; Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net; Phil.Shepard@ncleg.net; Michael.Speciale@ncleg.net; Paul.Stam@ncleg.net; Bob.Steinburg@ncleg.net; Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net; John.Szoka@ncleg.net; John.Torbett@ncleg.net; Rena.Turner@ncleg.net; Harry.Warren@ncleg.net; Sam.Watford@ncleg.net; Roger.West@ncleg.net; Chris.Whitmire@ncleg.net; Larry.Yarborough@ncleg.net; Lee.Zachary@ncleg.net; Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net; Paul.Tine@ncleg.net

Suggested Subject: "Why is H562 Getting Gutted?"

Dear Representative:
I was shocked and disappointed to see so many weakening amendments passed this afternoon on House Bill 562. Not only do these amendments retain the dangerous and capriciously bigoted Pistol Purchase Permit system, but they also repeal necessary protections for the collection of a patients' personal information that has absolutely nothing to do with the delivery of good health care. These actions are dangerous for the citizens of North Carolina and contradict the rights of the state's law-abiding citizens.

I insist that you actively oppose any further amendments that will weaken H562 when it goes for its third vote in the House tomorrow.

I will continue to monitor the progress of H562 through Grass Roots North Carolina alerts.


Naming Names - NC Republicans Who Deserted Gun Owners

As I said in the prior post, there were three amendments that gutted much of what was good in HB 562. The gutted parts include both the repeal of the pistol purchase permits system and the patient privacy protections. It is obvious that the unholy alliance of the North Carolina Sheriffs Association with the gun prohibitionists triumphed today. The only major things that helped out gun owners that survived are range protection, must-sign requirement for the CLEO on NFA items, and the reiteration of statewide uniformity on firearms law. Any of those three could have been a separate bill that would have passed.

Amendments One, Five, and Seven were the key amendments that gutted the bill. Every Democrat voted for them as expected. It is the Republicans who should be ashamed of their actions.

Amendment One seemed to have the quasi-support of some of the bills sponsors and may have been a previously agreed upon change to the final bill.

Here are the Republicans who voted for Amendment One:
Representative(s): Arp; Avila; B. Brown; Blackwell; Boles; Brawley; Bryan; Burr; Conrad; Daughtry; Davis; Dixon; Dobson; Dollar; Faircloth; Fraley; Holloway; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Jeter; L. Johnson; Lambeth; Langdon; Lewis; Malone; McElraft; McGrady; McNeill; Pendleton; R. Turner; Robinson; Ross; S. Martin; Schaffer; Shepard; Stam; Stevens; Tine; Warren; Watford; Yarborough
Amendment Five, as I noted, doubled down on keeping the pistol purchase permit system. The Republicans who voted for it were:
Representative(s): Avila; Blackwell; Boles; Brawley; Bryan; Daughtry; Davis; Dobson; Faircloth; Fraley; Holloway; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Jeter; L. Johnson; Lambeth; Langdon; Malone; McElraft; McGrady; McNeill; Pendleton; R. Turner; Riddell; Robinson; Ross; Stam (CHAIR); Stevens; Tine; Warren; Watford; Zachary
Finally, Amendment Seven removed the patient privacy protections, weak as they were. It had less Republican support but could not have passed without these Republican representatives:
Representative(s): B. Brown; Blackwell; Brawley; Bryan; Davis; Dollar; Faircloth; Fraley; Horn; Jeter; L. Johnson; Lambeth; Lewis; Malone; Pendleton; Ross; Stam; Tine; Watford
If any of these Republicans are your representative, you may want to call them, email, or fax them your displeasure. Frankly, I'm at the point where I don't give a damn if what is left of HB 562 passes or not. Is a neutered, watered-down bill worth it if it gives our so-called "friends" something with which they can say to voters that they voted for gun rights? I say no.

Stabbed In The Chest Or Stabbed In The Back?

I am listening to the debate in the NC House of Representatives over the HB 562. I have also looked at the amendments that have passed the House so far.

Amendment One was proposed by Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett). This amendment effectively deleted the pistol purchase permit repeal from HB 562. It deleted Sec. 10(a) and 10(b) from the bill. The only good thing it did was say that if you purchased a handgun from a dealer after 2018, then a NICS check would suffice. It passed 87-29.

Amendment Two was proposed by Rep. Jay Adams (R-Catawba). This amendment specified that the pistol purchase permit would be on specially watermarked paper that would be hard to counterfeit. The permit would also have an embossed seal specific to each sheriff. I can't argue with that. It passed 112-3.

Amendment Three was proposed by Rep. George Cleveland (R-Onslow). This amendment seems to me mainly clarifications as to references in the bill. It passed 115-0.

Amendment Four was proposed by Rep. Rena Turner (R-Iredell). This amendment deals with the criteria that a sheriff may use when issuing a concealed handgun permit. The original bill said a sheriff could only consider certain violent misdemeanors that happened within the last five years. This amendment says that it didn't matter when the violent misdemeanor occurred, it is a disqualifying factor. The misdemeanors in question involve violence against a child under 12, assaults on a female by a male (but not vice-versa), assault that caused serious injury or with a deadly weapon, or domestic violence upon anyone. It passed 87-26.

Amendment Five was proposed by Rep. Allen McNeill (R-Randolph). This amendment renumbers much of the stuff in Amendment One and doubles down on keeping the Jim Crow-based pistol purchase permit system. It includes the verbiage that says the issuing sheriff must be satisfied of the good moral character of the applicant.

Amendment Six was proposed by Rep. Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston). It removed the language permitting members of the General Assembly and their staffers who held North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permits from carrying firearms in the legislative buildings or on its grounds. This amendment passed 69-44. I agree with this amendment as legislators and their staff should not have any privilege that the rest of us don't have save for maybe dedicated parking spaces.

Amendment Seven was proposed by Rep. Gary Pendleton (R-Wake). It removes the entire Section 16 from the bill. This amendment would have preserved patient privacy from intrusive questioning by healthcare professionals. It was not a gag order on healthcare providers but merely notified patients that they didn't have to answer the question. This amendment squeaked through on a 61-51 vote.

Amendment Eight was proposed by Rep. Paul Luebke (D-Durham). This removed the portion of Section 4 that ordered the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Public Safety to come up with ways to provide safe storage of firearms at the State Fair. It failed 41-73.

Amendment Nine was proposed by Rep. John Ager (D-Buncombe). This amendment would have added the North Carolina Mountain State Fair as an event that the Commissioner of Agriculture could ban concealed carry. The bill already gives the Commissioner the ability to do that at the NC State Fair. This failed 46-68.

The amendments by Republican Representatives Lewis, McNeill, and Pendleton effectively gutted important parts of the bill. The two minor amendments by Democrats which failed were much less offensive. This is an outright stab in the back to gun owners by those to whom we gave a super-majority. The roll call names are not yet available but you can be damn sure I'll publish them when they become available.

The entire bill with these amendments appears to have passed the House on the Second Reading by a vote of 78-37. It will be on the House calendar tomorrow for the Third and final reading.

You have to wonder whether it is better to have Democrats in control of the General Assembly or Republicans. Democrats when they propose gun control will come directly at you and try to stab you in the chest. Republicans such as David Lewis and Allen McNeill, in the name of public safety and kow-towing to control-hungry sheriffs, are stabbing gun owners in the back. So you have to ask yourself, do you stand a better chance against an attacker who comes at you head-on or one that sneaks up behind you? As a Second Amendment voter I'm sure which I'd prefer.

Even The Sheriffs' Own Report Contradicts Themselves On HB 562

North Carolina's HB 562 - the Second Amendment Affirmation Act - has been added to the House calendar for today. In the meantime, a report from the North Carolina Sheriffs Association directly contradicts their assertions that the sheriffs are the ones best placed to determine who should be allowed to purchase a handgun. They have been arguing that sheriffs know more about the people in their county than what is contained in the FBI's NICS database.

HB 937 passed in the 2013-2014 session of the General Assembly required sheriffs to submit a report assessing how many existing pistol purchase permits were still held by disqualified persons. The bill as passed allowed for the North Carolina Sheriffs Association to submit one report compiling the results from all 100 sheriffs. Let's just say the results are not exactly what the NCSA wishes to be known.

Grass Roots North Carolina details the results in the alert below. Note that it includes a link to the report. I suggest that you take that link and send it with a note to your own House representative. I certainly plan to send it to Rep. Brian Turner (D-Buncombe) who is my rep.


Sheriff report shows NICS checks are superior to our archaic permit system at keeping criminals from getting guns. . .

The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) has been the leading opponent of House Bill 562, in particular its repeal of North Carolina’s Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit (PPP) system. Their objections have been a moving target as they first claimed sheriffs “know” their constituents and “know” who is unfit to get a permit; then they claimed the National Instant Background Check System is inadequate to conduct criminal background checks (although in truth most sheriffs conduct only a NICS check prior to issuing a permit); finally, they shopped the argument that relying on NICS for point-of-purchase checks would somehow undermine the sheriff and empower the federal government – an argument rendered ridiculous if you understand that sheriffs are required by law to do NICS checks prior to issuing purchase permits.

Sheriffs’ own report an indictment of the system
So imagine our surprise when we discovered that the NCSA had quietly shelved its own report describing what complete chaos the pistol purchase permit system is in, and how many permits might currently be held by criminals. Under HB 937, passed in 2013, sheriffs were required to develop a report indicating how many disqualified persons still held permits which are valid for 5 years and allow them to bypass background checks via NICS. They were also required to revoke invalid permits. To see the NCSA report, CLICK HERE (or go to: http://grnc.org/documents/NCSA-PPP-Revocation-Report-2014-FINAL.pdf).

Some highlights from the NCSA report with most in sheriffs’ own words:
  • “[NICS] reports included 165 or 23.5% of permits being subject to revocation in Camden County and 35,488 or 38% of permits being subject to revocation in Mecklenburg County.”

  • “…sheriffs’ offices [submitted] 674,806 permits for review representing 344,338 different permit holders. CJLEADS returned 26,637 permits to sheriffs as subject to revocation due to an event or condition that occurred subsequent to the issuance of the permit that would have disqualified the individual from receiving a pistol purchase permit at application.” [That rate is about 4%, or four times higher than NICS, suggesting that the PPP system is *inferior* to NICS at preventing criminals from getting guns.]

  • “Sheriffs have reported revoking 5,255 permits from 2,447 permittees as a result of the background check and review process through April 25, 2014. However, it should be noted that a sheriff has no way of knowing if a permit has been used since issuance.” [Translation: Perhaps only ¼ of 26,637 invalid permits were “revoked,” leaving potentially 22,000+ criminals in possession of permits and able to bypass background checks.]

  • “Sheriffs’ offices are staffed to review and process Pistol Purchase Permit applications and not to conduct periodic reviews of active permits…”

  • “Conducting an ongoing manual case by case review of 289 permits in Tyrrell County or 93,486 permits in Mecklenburg County is nearly impossible.” [So much for NCSA’s argument that sheriffs “know” who in their counties should have permits. If they can’t manually check them now, how can they do so before issuance?]

  • “Several sheriffs’ offices had over 40% of their permits reported subject to revocation in the NICS report.”

  • “Sheriffs’ offices cannot account for permits claimed to be ‘lost’…”

  • “Gun dealers do not know if a permit has been revoked…”
What the NCSA report means
While the sheriffs will undoubtedly claim that inconsistencies of data matching contributed to high rates of permits being reported for revocation, even the “best” possible number of 5,255 permits “revoked” means 5,255 criminals had (or have) guns under the system.

By the way, did we mention that “revocation” means only that the sheriff issued a revocation letter? If the criminal says, The dog ate my permit, they have no recourse and that criminal may still use that slip of paper to bypass a computerized background check.

The bottom line is that NICS checks are superior to our archaic permit system at keeping criminals from getting guns.

Adding insult to injury…

Before the NCSA apparently instructed sheriffs to stonewall on the cost of issuing each pistol purchase permit, Forsyth County was kind enough to give the following estimate: $50.54 for each pistol purchase permit issued, meaning a waste of taxpayer dollars of $311,781.26 for just one county. Multiply that by 100 counties, and the evidence is compelling that millions of dollars of your money is being wasted to shore up a system that lets criminals get guns while obstructing the law-abiding from doing so.

By the way, did we mention that Forsyth reports denying nearly 10% of permits applied for, with most presumably under the “good moral character” loophole? That rate of denial is roughly 10 times higher than NICS and once again suggests that good guys are being denied guns while bad guys are getting them.


  • EMAIL NC HOUSE REPUBLICANS. Use the copy/paste email list provided below, and the copy paste text under 'Deliver This Message.' Ask them how they can justify retaining an archaic system that allows more criminals to get guns than NICS.

  • CALL YOUR NC HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE. Tell him or her that he or she had better support repeal of a system which quite obviously hinders law-abiding citizens from getting guns while enabling criminals to do precisely that. Find your NC House rep by clicking here
    (or go to: http://ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx).

NC House Republicans Email List:

Jay.Adams@ncleg.net; Dean.Arp@ncleg.net; Marilyn.Avila@ncleg.net; John.Bell@ncleg.net; Dan.Bishop@ncleg.net; Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net; John.Blust@ncleg.net; Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net; John.Bradford@ncleg.net; Bill.Brawley@ncleg.net; Mark.Brody@ncleg.net; Rayne.Brown@ncleg.net; Brian.Brown@ncleg.net; Rob.Bryan@ncleg.net; Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.net; Justin.Burr@ncleg.net; Rick.Catlin@ncleg.net; George.Cleveland@ncleg.net; Jeff.Collins@ncleg.net; Debra.Conrad@ncleg.net; Leo.Daughtry@ncleg.net; Ted.Davis@ncleg.net; Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net; Josh.Dobson@ncleg.net; Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net; Jeffrey.Elmore@ncleg.net; John.Faircloth@ncleg.net; Carl.Ford@ncleg.net; John.Fraley@ncleg.net; Mike.Hager@ncleg.net; Jon.Hardister@ncleg.net; Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net; Bryan.Holloway@ncleg.net; Craig.Horn@ncleg.net; Julia.Howard@ncleg.net; Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net; Frank.Iler@ncleg.net; Charles.Jeter@ncleg.net; Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.net; Bert.Jones@ncleg.net; Jonathan.Jordan@ncleg.net; Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.net; James.Langdon@ncleg.net; Chris.Malone@ncleg.net; Susan.Martin@ncleg.net; Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net; Allen.McNeill@ncleg.net; Chris.Millis@ncleg.net; Gary.Pendleton@ncleg.net; Larry.Pittman@ncleg.net; Michele.Presnell@ncleg.net; Dennis.Riddell@ncleg.net; George.Robinson@ncleg.net; Stephen.Ross@ncleg.net; Jason.Saine@ncleg.net; Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net; Phil.Shepard@ncleg.net; Michael.Speciale@ncleg.net; Paul.Stam@ncleg.net; Bob.Steinburg@ncleg.net; Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net; John.Szoka@ncleg.net; John.Torbett@ncleg.net; Rena.Turner@ncleg.net; Harry.Warren@ncleg.net; Sam.Watford@ncleg.net; Roger.West@ncleg.net; Chris.Whitmire@ncleg.net; Larry.Yarborough@ncleg.net; Lee.Zachary@ncleg.net; Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net; Paul.Tine@ncleg.net


Suggested Subject: "End the ‘Felon Enablement’ Permit System"  

Dear Representative:

With respect to House Bill 562, a report shelved by the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) and only recently unearthed demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that sheriffs are shoring up an archaic pistol purchase permit system which allows thousands of felons to get guns, while denying law-abiding citizens whom the sheriff arbitrarily deems not of “good moral character.” The report reveals that the computerized National Instant Background Check System (NICS) found 26,637 permits held by disqualified individuals – nearly 4%, or roughly four times higher than denials by NICS. Even if the NCSA claims errors in data matching, the organization admits 5,255 revocation letters were issued, meaning that the archaic pistol purchase permit system let at least 5,255 criminals have guns.

Worse, Forsyth County reports that the cost of issuing a single purchase permit – for which the county gets $5, is $50.54 while nearly 10% of applications are denied, suggesting that across our one hundred counties, tax payers are funding a system which wastes millions of dollars denying guns permits to law-abiding citizens while giving them to felons.

Bring HB 562 to the floor for a vote and pass it, including its provision for repealing the purchase permit system. If House Republicans fail to act, they are perpetuating a “felon enablement” law.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Ruger Redhawk In .45 ACP And .45 Colt

Now this is interesting. Ruger is getting into the .45 ACP revolver game. They have just announced a new version of the Ruger Redhawk that will handle both the .45 ACP with moon clips and the .45 Colt.

The specs are below:

Model Number: 5032 | Caliber: 45 Auto / 45 Colt
Material:Stainless SteelFinish:Satin Stainless
Front Sight:RampRear Sight:Adjustable
Barrel Length:4.2"Overall Length:9.50"
Weight:44.00 oz.Grips:Lasered Hardwood
Twist:1:16" RHGrooves:6
MA Approved & Certified:NoCA Approved:No
Capacity:6Suggested Retail:$1029.00

It's a bit pricey but they are still making double action revolvers unlike the bankrupt Colt. I have a couple Ruger revolvers and they are solid, well-made handguns.

UPDATE: Ed Head has part one of his review of the Ruger Redhawk in .45 ACP/.45 Colt up. Ed is one of the people that Ruger sends firearms to so that they can be wrung out before launch.

It's Official - Colt Is In Bankruptcy

It have embedded below the Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed by Colt Defense LLC and its associated companies with the US Bankruptcy Court for Delaware. The associated companies include both Colt's Manufacturing Company and Colt Canada. The petition was filed on Sunday evening according to their press spokesman.

I have not had time to read the whole document and I'm not an expert on reading bankruptcy petitions. However, I did read through the list of unsecured creditors to whom it owes money. Number two on the list was Magpul. Colt owes Magpul almost $1 million presumably for PMags, MOE furniture, etc. Many of the other unsecured creditors are small companies that provide services to the firearms industry. As such, Colt's bankruptcy is going to be felt throughout the industry.

Jim Shepherd at The Outdoor Wire has some good commentary about the role of Sciens Capital Management in the Colt bankruptcy. They are the favored buyer or stalking horse bidder. Also read the commentary on the bankruptcy at Weaponsman.com.

More filings and the press release can be found here.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Report: Chapter 11 Filing Tomorrow For Colt

Matt Jarzemsky of the Wall Street Journal reports that Colt Defense LLC will go into bankruptcy tomorrow.
Gun maker Colt Defense LLC plans to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy-court protection by Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, amid business-execution issues and a heavy debt burden.

The company has secured financing from its existing senior lenders to continue operating while in bankruptcy and expects to remain in business after the restructuring, the people said.
According to the article, Sciens Management LLC owns 87% of Colt Defense. Moreover, some of the principals of that firm have ownership stakes in Colt's West Hartford, CT plant. The lease on that plant comes up for renewal in October.

Colt will be relying on a bankruptcy court-ordered auction of business assets to help pay down its $355 million in debt. The primary assets that they own are their intellectual property (patents) and their trademark. It is my understanding that these have been heavily mortgaged already.

For a great historical perspective on the origins of Colt's problems, see this post in the Weaponsman blog by "Hognose".

I will be checking Pacer tomorrow to see what I can glean from the bankruptcy filing.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Huff Post College ran a story this week about the move to rename university buildings that had been named for ardent segregationists and racists.
Two weeks ago, the board of trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced that Saunders Hall -- named for William Saunders, a 19th-century North Carolina secretary of state and chief Ku Klux Klan organizer -- would be renamed Carolina Hall.

This wasn’t enough for many activists who have been fighting to remove Saunders’ name. The same day, the board also announced a 16-year freeze on naming other buildings -- meaning that Aycock Residence Hall, named for white supremacist and former North Carolina Governor Charles Aycock, will remain as it is until at least 2031.

Aycock Residence is just one of many college buildings named for American historical figures who were known to have an active role in perpetuating systemic racism. At some schools, students, professors and community members have been fighting to remove these names, in some cases coming up against strong administrative opposition. At other schools, the names remain uncontested.
There is also a move to rename Tillman Hall at both Clemson and Winthrop Universities in South Carolina. Sen. Ben "Pitchfork" Tillman (D-SC) was an active participant as an orator

If find it ironic that many of the same people that want to remove the names of these building are the same people who are fighting the hardest against HB 562. That bill would do away with North Carolina's pistol purchase permit system (among other things). While the white supremacist movement got its start in North Carolina through the machinations of Furnifold Simmons, his lieutenants included the above named Charles Aycock, Angus McLean, and Cameron Morrison. These three all have university buildings named for them at UNC-CH.

I guess it is one thing to take the name of a white supremacist off a university building but a wholly different thing to repeal a law enacted by white supremacists to keep African-Americans unarmed if it suits the aims of modern day gun prohibitionists. Ironic, isn't it?

My, How Times Have Changed!

The Complementary Spouse and I were enjoying our morning coffee while reading the  weekend Wall Street Journal. She came across an article about the term "grand slam" and how it migrated from the card game bridge to general usage to baseball to other sports. As she was reading it she came across the following paragraph which caused us both to laugh about how times have changed.
The rapid popularity of bridge brought its lingo into common use by the turn of the 20th century, and “grand slam” gained a more general meaning of “a great success.” When Asheville, N.C., easily passed a Prohibition referendum in October 1907, the Winston-Salem Journal referred to it as “the grand slam made by the prohibitionists.”
 What makes this so funny to us now is that Asheville won the title "Beer City USA" in 2010 and 2011. It tied with Portland, Oregon for the title in 2009 and with Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2012. In a poll put on by USA Today and 10Best, it came in as number three on the list of Ten Best Beer Towns. The fourth annual Asheville Beer Week just ended two weeks ago. It is said that beer rivals the Biltmore House as a draw for tourist to the area.

Asheville and adjoining towns are home to at least 28 breweries including the East Coast locations of Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Oscar Blues. Sierra Nevada and New Belgium are ranked at number three and four respectively on the Brewers Association list of Top 50 Craft Breweries. We also have two hard cider makers and four craft distilleries in the area. Our local community college even offers an associates degree program in brewing, distillation, and fermentation which has competitive entrance requirements.

The city fathers buried in Riverside Cemetery might be rolling in their graves but the rest of us are enjoying Asheville's new grand slam just fine.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hog Wild In Hong Kong

I knew that Texas and many places in the South have trouble with wild pigs. It looks like they aren't the only ones. According to the Wall Street Journal, the population of wild pigs or boars has exploded in Hong Kong. The number of human-pig interactions has grown due to the growth in the number of wild pigs.
On a Sunday in May, a wild boar got into the Paradise Mall in the city’s Chai Wan district, walked into a children’s clothing store and scared off the two employees. The small female boar climbed up into, and then crashed through, the store’s ceiling. It bit a mannequin and was trapped in a changing room before it was tranquilized by authorities.

Earlier in the day on the other side of town, another wild boar was subdued in a public park after taking a swim in a lake. The week before, police with riot shields chased a boar into a parking garage and barricaded it with dumpsters before it was taken away.

“They are wild animals and not pets,” says Chan Kang, the 72-year-old factory owner who leads the Sai Kung Wild Pig Hunting Club—so named because Hong Kongers use the terms “wild pig” and “wild boar” interchangeably. “They are fierce and not kind.”

But partly due to the new boar boosters, Mr. Chan’s team killed “less than 3 boars” last year compared with “over a hundred” a year a decade ago. The boars are growing in number and “fear no man,” Mr. Chan said.

The city, he says, didn’t have a wild boar problem when the hunters were allowed to roam more freely.
On the other side of the spectrum is the Hong Kong Wild Boar Concern Group who contend that the boars are gentle and the hunting of them  should stop. Roni Wong, who founded the group, hands out pamphlets featuring drawings of the boars as fuzzy, adorable animals. Even though he has a picture of a boar nuzzling a cat, I'm wondering if the boar is merely sizing up the cat as a potential meal.

Seeing the damage that hogs have caused both farmers and the environment in the US, it is hard to believe that Chinese hogs are any different. Perhaps Hong Kong would be better off letting Mr. Chan turn a few hogs into Moo Shu Pork. Either that or we send them Pigman.

The Misuse Of The Courts - Cold Steel V. CRKT

Thanks to a post by Linoge on Facebook, I became aware of a lawsuit filed at the end of last week by knife company Cold Steel against fellow knife company Columbia River Knife & Tool (CRKT). It seems that Cold Steel is upset over an advertising claim by CRKT that some of the CRKT lock systems make their folding knives "virtual fixed blade" knives. Rather than fighting it out in the marketplace and the court of public opinion, Cold Steel has filed suit in US District Court for the Central District of California.

Cold Steel and CRKT both serve what I would call the mass middle market of the knife industry. You have the Frosts and Uniteds who make their knives in Pakistan and China on the low end with the Benchmades, Emersons, and Chris Reeve Knives on the higher end. I have a number of knives from both companies including some with the disputed lock systems by CRKT.

Lynn Thompson, president of Cold Steel, explained his lawsuit as being about safety and "protecting customers fingers". He says he had sent a letter to CRKT demanding they amend their advertising copy which CRKT ignored. His post makes it sound like he is engaging in lawfare out of altruism. He does say that any profits from the lawsuit will be donated to Knife Rights. Frankly, it sounds like he is getting a lot of heat about it.

The lawsuit below contends that the "virtual fixed blade" advertising claim for CRKT's knives that have LAWKS, AutoLAWKS, and L.B.S. is "a completely false claim" and that these knives "will fail catastrophically when significant pressure is applied." Cold Steel alleges that the locking mechanism can be caused to fail by applying slight pressure on the spine or side of the knife. They contend this become a safety issue "if the knife is used to stab a hard surface or pry a resilient material." To me it would seem that stabbing a hard surface or using a knife as a pry bar is an intentional misuse of a knife regardless of whether it is a folder or fixed blade.

Cold Steel contends the advertising claims of CRKT have caused an "immediate and irreparable injury" for which they are entitled to a permanent injunction of those claims. Moreover, they are asking for actual damages, the profits that CRKT has made from the sale of these knives, exemplary damages, court and attorney's fees, AND three times the profits that CRKT made or losses that Cold Steel alleges to have incurred, whichever is greater.

As anyone who has attended a NRA Annual Meeting or seen one of Cold Steel's videos will know, Lynn Thompson is a showman. This lawsuit, to me, comes under the heading of lawfare - using the courts against your competitors - and is frivolous. I don't think it really has much to do with false advertising or a concern for the customer but rather a different way to draw attention to yourself and your company. The timing of it is also suspect. It was filed two days before the opening of the June 5-7 Blade Show. This is the knife industry's version of SHOT.

My contact at CRKT says an official response from them will be forthcoming. When it is, I will publish it.

My personal response to this lawsuit will be to vote with my wallet. I won't be buying any new Cold Steel knives in the future. I don't approve of lawfare and I won't subsidize it with my consumer spending. In fact, I may just have to buy that CRKT Liong Mah GSD knife I fondled handled at the SHOT Show.