Thursday, April 18, 2019

Dont Shoot The Messenger

In the last couple of days since the lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen I've spoken to a former lobbyist for the NRA and two serving NRA Board Members. The conversations were off the record and not for attribution. Then I read this article in The New Yorker thanks to a link to it posted on Facebook by Prof. David Yamane.

The article is entitled "Secrecy, Self-Dealing, and Greed at the N.R.A." Mike Spies article has a subhead saying "The organization’s leadership is focussed on external threats, but the real crisis may be internal." I hate to say this given all the attacks on the NRA from every Democrat running for President, the State of New York, and the media but from what I've gathered Spies is correct. Just because we don't like the source doesn't mean they are wrong.
Last August, the N.R.A., in desperate need of funds, raised its dues for the second time in two years. To cut costs, it has eliminated free coffee and water coolers at its headquarters and has frozen its employees’ pension plan. Carry Guard, which was meant to save the organization, has proved disastrous. According to the memos, in 2017, the year that Carry Guard was introduced, Ackerman McQueen received some six million dollars for its work on the product, which included the creation of a Web site and media productions featuring celebrity firearms trainers. The lawsuit against New York State has created an additional burden. Sources familiar with the N.R.A.’s financial commitments say that it is paying Brewer’s firm an average of a million and a half dollars a month.

An official assessment performed by Cummins last summer dryly describes the N.R.A.’s decision-making during the previous year as “management’s shift in risk appetite.” The document analyzes the organization’s executive-liability exposures and discusses insurance policies that “protect NRA directors and officers from claims by third parties that they have breached their duties, such as by mismanagement of association assets.” From 2018 to 2019, it says, insurance costs increased by three hundred and forty-one per cent. “To say this is a major increase would be an understatement,” Peter Kochenburger, the deputy director of the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut, told me. “This seems to be pretty direct evidence that the N.R.A.’s problems are not due to New York but rather to how the organization conducts itself.”

The memos urged the audit committee to “step up + fulfill its duties!,” but it’s not clear what the board has done to root out malfeasance. James Fishman, a co-author of “New York Nonprofit Law and Practice: With Tax Analysis,” a leading text on nonprofit law, told me, “There is no such thing as a director who doesn’t direct. You’re responsible to make yourself aware of what’s going on. If the board doesn’t know, they’ve breached their duty of care, which is against the law in New York,” where the N.R.A. is chartered. According to Owens, the former I.R.S. official, New York State “could sanction board members, remove board members, disband the board, or close down the organization entirely.”
Read that last line again. New York State could close down the NRA entirely by moving for dissolution. You have a governor and attorney general in New York that hate the National Rifle Association. You have a Board of Directors which is too large to be effective. You have Ackerman McQueen trying to preserve its position and an outside counsel trying to take their position for himself. And then you have internal civil war going on within the organization between loyalists to one executive and friends of another leader.

The bottom line is that there are tremendous troubles within the NRA just when you need it to be steadfast in the face of outside attacks.

How bad are these troubles? A reliable source told me that Marion Hammer who hasn't attended a Board of Directors meeting since hell froze over the last time will be in Indianapolis to attend the Board meeting. It's that bad.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Ackerman McQueen's Statement On NRA Lawsuit

Ackerman McQueen is the largest and oldest ad agency in Oklahoma City. An Oklahoma City news, politics, and entertainment website, The Lost Ogle, refers to them as "OKC's most revered and reviled ad agency." Not living in Oklahoma, I can speak to the veracity of that comment. However, their article was useful in pointing me to the complete statement from Ack-Mac on the NRA lawsuit.

From The Oklahoman:
"During a three-week review, an NRA forensic auditing firm received every single piece of information they (the NRA) requested.

Further, the NRA has had consistent access to any and all documents regarding NRATV analytics.

Despite the representation set forth in their lawsuit, the NRA had the personnel contract they claim AM (Ackerman McQueen) withheld last week before they filed their lawsuit. It was provided by the Williams & Connolly law firm. The transfer occurred as a result of a process for delivery of such highly confidential information.

This flagrant misrepresentation, along with other false claims, serve as the foundation of malicious intent exemplified by this lawsuit.

Months ago, legal counsel informed the NRA that “Mr. Brewer himself has an irreconcilable conflict of interest. Mr. Brewer is the son-in-law of Angus McQueen and brother-in-law of Ackerman McQueen’s CEO, Revan McQueen. Mr. Brewer has demonstrated, in words and deeds, his animus for Ackerman McQueen and these family members and that animus pervades the Brewer firm’s dealings with Ackerman McQueen, whether dealing directly with Ackerman McQueen or through other members of his firm.”

Ackerman McQueen has served the NRA and its members with great pride and dedication for the last 38 years. The NRA’s action is frivolous, inaccurate and intended to cause harm to the reputation of our company and the future of that 38-year relationship.

This lawsuit affects not only Ackerman McQueen, but the members of the organization whose dedication to the Second Amendment is shared equally with the defendants in this case. Much like we have done for the NRA and the Second Amendment over the past 38 years, we too will defend our position and performance aggressively."
You can tell this was written by a PR person. That last paragraph is evidence of that.  As to their lawfirm, Williams and Connolly is pretty fancy. Reports say their first year associates start at $200 grand. You have to bill a lot to be able to pay that.

Village Of Deerfield (Illinois) To Appeal Overturn Of Its AWB

The Village of Deerfield, Illinois had passed an ordinance in 2018 that would have banned standard capacity magazines and "assault weapons" (sic) broadly defined. They were sued by the Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation in the case of Easterday v. Deerfield. A second case was filed against the village by Guns Save Lives which was supported by the NRA.

The village lost in March when the Lake County Circuit Court issued a permanent injunction against the ordinance. Judge Luis Berrones found that the ordinance was a new law and not an amendment of a prior ordinance. In 2013 when the Illinois General Assembly passed the Concealed Carry Act and an amended FOID Act, they gave home rule municipalities a few days to amend their ordinances which could have included assault weapon bans. After that time, this power was reserved to the state.

Yesterday's Chicago Tribune is reporting that Deerfield plans to appeal.
The Village of Deerfield plans to appeal a judge’s March 22 ruling permanently blocking the village from enforcing a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.

In a short statement Tuesday, the village announced that Mayor Harriet Rosenthal and the village board had unanimously agreed April 15 to appeal the ruling of Lake County Circuit Court Judge Luis Berrones to the Illinois Appellate Court.

In that ruling, Berrones contended that Deerfield overstepped its authority in April 2018 when it enacted a ban on assault weapons after the Illinois legislature had declared such regulations to be the exclusive power of the state.
The village's statement on the appeal notes that they are being represented pro bono.
We appreciate the continued pro bono services that have been provided already, and that will be provided throughout the appellate process by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Mr. Christopher Wilson, partner of the Chicago office of Perkins Coie. We continue to believe that these weapons have no place in our community and that our common-sense assault weapon regulations are legal and were properly enacted."
So an unholy alliance of gun prohibitionists and Big Law (Perkins Coie has 1,000+ lawyers) continues to conspire to help the Village of Deerfield trample on the rights of its citizens to protect themselves. This is lawfare at its worst.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The NRA Sues Their Ad Agency Ackerman McQueen (Update)

I don't begin to know or understand all the internal politics and machinations at the National Rifle Association. I do know that advertising firm Ackerman McQueen and their PR subsidiary Mercury Group have long been considered the power behind the throne. If reports are to be believed, they are the ones who orchestrated the ascension of Wayne LaPierre and the eventual departure of the late Neal Knox. Having heard the story from multiple sources, I give them a lot of credence.

Thus, it was quite surprising to read in yesterday's Wall Street Journal that the NRA was suing Ackerman McQueen and Mercury Group. The story has since been picked up by the New York Times, Fox News, the Washington Post, and a number of other media outlets.

The lawsuit was filed on Friday, April 12, 2019, in the Circuit Court for the City of Alexandria (Virginia). The lawsuit accuses Ackerman McQueen of impeding efforts by the NRA to inspect book and records including contracts related to the existing services agreement. This inspection is essential for the NRA Board to fulfill its fiduciary duty and to comply with New York non-for-profit law which governs the NRA's activities since it is incorporated in that state.

The specific concerns that the NRA sought to investigate include:

  • Out of pocket expenses that lacked documentation as required by the Services Agreement
  • Lack of transparency regarding annual budgets as well as adherence to the budgets by Ackerman McQueen
  • Lack of transparency regarding "fair market value" determinations for services
  • Concerns that the NRA was being invoiced for the full salaries of NRA-Dedicated Personnel despite these people spending time on non-NRA clients
  • Refusal to provide data in writing on number of visitors, viewership numbers, and other performance metrics related to NRATV

A footnote also said that many of NRA's stakeholders were concerned "that NRATV's messaging - on topics far afield of the Second Amendment - deviated from the NRA's core mission and values." I know many of my friends in the Second Amendment community shared this concern.

I should note at this point that NRATV is owned by Ackerman McQueen and that personalities such as Cam Edwards and Ginny Simone are actually Ack-Mc employees. This, in turn, is the heart of the other major aspect of this lawsuit - the role of Oliver North with Ackerman McQueen and to whom he owes his allegiance.

The lawsuit alleges that Audit Committee of the Board of Directors sought to review the full contract between Ackerman McQueen and Col. North but was rebuffed. Moreover, North's attorneys indicated he would only "disclose a copy of the contract to the NRA subject to AMc's consent."

 The NRA's General Counsel was finally allowed to see the contract but was not allowed to have a copy. This review by the General Counsel led to many questions. These included a) was North a 3rd-party contractor or an employee of Ack-Mc with a duty of loyalty to them; b) whether previously disclosed costs borne by the NRA for the "North Contract" were accurate; and c) "whether the contract imposed obligations on Col. North that prevent him from communicating fully and honestly with other NRA fiduciaries about AMc." Thus, the NRA says it became determined to resolve these issues.

The suit asks that Ackerman McQueen be found in breach of contract, that they be required to furnish the NRA copies of all AMc-Third Party NRA Contracts, that they be ordered to furnish the NRA with copies of annual budgets for the period 2016-2018, a list of all NRA-Dedicated personnel and the amount of time they devote to the NRA account, and copies of all records that would show the costs to the NRA or the NRA Foundation (from Jan 1, 2018 through April 1, 2019) incurred by North's American Heroes series, from compensation to Col. North, from office space rented for Col. North or related staff, and whether each item was billed specifically to the NRA, the Foundation, or both.

Ackman McQueen contends this lawsuit is the work of the NRA's outside counsel William Brewer III who is the in-law of their co-CEOs Revan and Angus McQueen. However, the lawsuit is brought by the Virginia law firm of  Briglia Hundley not by Mr. Brewer's firm. Todd Rathner, NRA Board Member, speculates that the attack on Mr. Brewer is the work of the pro-AckMc faction of the Board in an effort to undermine Wayne LaPierre.

Board members Todd Rathner and Joel Friedman are on the record about the lawsuit with the New York Times.
The suit culminates the fracturing of a more than three-decade relationship between Ackerman and the N.R.A., going back to the shaping of such memorable lines as Charlton Heston’s proclaiming that his gun would have to be pried “from my cold, dead hands.” Wayne LaPierre, the longtime chief executive of the N.R.A., had previously been a steadfast champion of the Ackerman relationship.

“I think it says something about Wayne’s character, even though he’s had a long-term working business relationship with a vendor, he’s willing to do what is right and necessary for the N.R.A. and its members,” said Todd Rathner, a board member of the rifle association.

Joel Friedman, another board member, said he was dismayed that the documents had not been turned over.

“It leaves you questioning, and you can come up with all these potential different scenarios as to why, but none of them are good,” he said.

“My mind goes to: Are they overcharging us? That’s one,” he added. “Two, are there things charged to us that were not part of the contract? Then, No. 3, has there been a misallocation of personnel?”
It will be interesting to hear the discussion, if any, of this case at the NRA Annual Meeting which starts in little more than a week. As for me, the fact that Board members are finally questioning the costs as well as the role of Ackerman McQueen is good news. In a saner world, with a smaller board that held actual power, the Ackerman McQueen contract would have been put up for bid multiple times over the years. That it hasn't is a disgrace.

UPDATE:  Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned had this to say, in part, about the lawsuit.
This is a struggle that needs to happen. Bitter and I are not as anti-Ack-Mac as some folks. We think there’s merit to some of their work, and they do some things do well. But we also believe their relationship with NRA is unhealthy, and there probably is not be any fixing it. Sometimes you’re just better off pulling the tooth, rather than trying to save it. This is probably one of those cases.
I had a call out of the blue late this afternoon from a person on the NRA Board. It was off the record and not for attribution. This person thinks that the lawsuit might be a smokescreen to protect the NRA from New York State. It gives the impression that they are taking their fiduciary and financial duties seriously. As both the lawsuit notes and I mentioned above, the State of New York revised their statutes to require not-for-profits to do more due diligence and to pay more attention to where members and donors money is being spent.

The rationale behind this being a smokescreen to protect the NRA is that, according to this person, the NRA had not been requiring any sort of invoices or other detailed record-keeping for services rendered in years gone by. In other words, Ack Mc said here is how much we want and please send us a check. God forbid that they were that slack but I believe it.

So that you can read the whole lawsuit, I'm embedding it at the bottom of this post.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

NYC Blinks. Unfortunately

When the Supreme Court surprised us by granting certiorari in NY State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York et al, those of us in the pro-rights community rejoiced. This would be the first major Second Amendment case involving firearms accepted for cert since McDonald v. Chicago. A number of states as well as a number of gun rights organizations filed amicus briefs urging the Court to accept the case. As issue in the case was a New York City law that forbid those with handgun licenses from traveling outside the city limits with their handguns. They were only allowed to transport their handgun to one of seven licensed ranges within the city.

It was felt that this case might be used to establish both the right to carry outside the home and to set the standard that should be used in Second Amendment cases. David Kopel said the case offered the opportunity to "to begin reining in lower court nullification of the Supreme Court’s precedents in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago." Brian Doherty writing in Reason noted that the Second Circuit "believed that the constitutional right to keep and bear arms pretty much only counts in the home, and thus these transport laws do not harm its core purpose." He went on to say the many American believe their right to self defense does not end when they step out the door of their home.

At the end of March I noted an op-ed by Ladd Everitt, Director of George Takai's gun control organization One Pulse for America, which urged the City of New York and the NYPD to change the law forbidding transport. I postulated that the gun control lobby was getting a bit nervous by this case and wanted the city to do what it took to moot the case. While I don't think Everitt's op-ed would case the City of New York to reevaluate its law, I'm sure some heavy hitters among the gun prohibitionists getting on-board this bandwagon would.

Michael Bloomberg's wholly funded mouthpiece, The Trace, ran a story on Monday on the case and by Friday the City of New York had filed a motion with the Supreme Court advising them that the NYPD was engaging in a proposed rulemaking that would moot the case.

From the city's attorney:
The Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari in this case on January 22, 2019, and petitioners’ merits brief is currently due on May 7, 2019.

I write to advise the Court of a proposed rulemaking. If adopted in accordance with established procedures, the proposed rule would render this case moot before the parties complete the merits briefing in this case. For this reason, I also write to request that the Court stay the current briefing schedule pending final action on the proposed rule.
The proposed rule would allow residents with a premises permit for their handgun to transport them, unloaded, in a locked container, with the ammo in a separate container to:
  • Another premises of the licensee where the licensee is authorized to have and possess a handgun;
  • A small-arms range/shooting club authorized by law to operate as such, whether located within or outside New York City; and
  • A shooting competition at which the licensee may possess the handgun consistent with the law applicable at the place of the competition.
The NRA-ILA released a statement calling the move, in essence, a sham.
“The City of New York clearly knows that its current restrictions on the carrying and transportation of lawfully owned firearms are unconstitutional and will fail under any standard of constitutional review, as the NRA has been saying for years. Today, it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ignore the Constitution and allow the City to slow walk a narrow expansion of its current policy through a lengthy bureaucratic process -- the result of which, even if adopted, would still unduly infringe upon the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. That is not how things work in the Supreme Court; the Court does not put its review on hold while the government embarks on a journey that at best might fix only a limited part of the constitutional defect. This is nothing more than a naked attempt by New York City to resist Supreme Court review of policies that even New York must recognize as inconsistent with the holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. The City of New York did not respect its citizens' Second Amendment rights before the Supreme Court granted review in this case and it will not respect them going forward. We are confident that the Court will reject New York's desperate attempt to avoid review of its blatantly unconstitutional laws."
 I'm not sure the NRA is correct in being confident that the Supreme Court will reject New York City's request to hold off on briefing the case. Given the chance to avoid the issue, I think the Supreme Court as led by Chief Justice Roberts may do just that. They have had many other opportunities to take another Second Amendment case and have punted.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

I Have A Thing For 16 Gauge

And Stevens has the thing for me!

Stevens by Savage just announced they will be importing their Model 555 and Model 555 Enhanced in 16 gauge from Turkey. They had previously offered these in 12 and 20 gauge.

From their release:
Get the performance and style of the Stevens 555 Enhanced in a new 16-gauge model. Its light aluminum receiver is scaled to gauge and incorporates a steel insert that reinforces the breech, minimizing weight and maximizing strength. The fast-handling over-and-under boasts upgrades including an Imperial walnut stock and fore-end, auto shell ejector, and a silver, scroll-engraved filigree ornament receiver. Standard features include a manual safety and a single, selective mechanical trigger—all at a price that’s unmatched among comparable shotguns.
    New 16-gauge model
    Auto ejectors
    Imperial walnut stock
    Silver, scroll-engraved filigree ornament
    Five interchangeable chokes
    Lightweight aluminum receiver
    Single selective mechanical triggers
    Chrome-lined barrels
    Tang-mounted safety

The Stevens 555 Enhanced comes in at 6.45 lbs, has 28 inch barrels, and is made by Kofs of Turkey.

MSRP for the Enhanced version is $879 and the non-engraved blued version is $705. That's a lot of gun for the price given that most over-under shotguns start at over $1,000 and go up from there.

As to why I have a love for the 16 gauge, I just do. It is a classic gauge that has fallen out of favor and I think that is part of its appeal to me.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

This Saddens Me

There were two candidates running for the NRA Board of Directors who had been nominated by petition. They were Adam Kraut and Anthony Colandro. Both had a good deal of support from grassroots Second Amendment activists.

You can guess what I'm going to write next.

Neither Adam nor Anthony were elected.

From Adam on Facebook:
Earlier this morning, I received word that I was not elected to the NRA Board of Directors.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who supported me the last three years. The amount of time and effort many of you put in was nothing short of amazing. I am forever grateful that so many of you believed in me.

This was never about me obtaining a seat on the Board but about trying to put the organization on a path that reflected our values. I hope that you all continue to remain engaged, communicate your frustrations with the Board directly, look for new candidates that reflect your values and put the same tenacity in your support behind them as you did myself.

Anthony posted a video about it on Facebook and it can be seen here.

This saddens me. I'm sure when I see the final results that a celebrity who never attends meetings will have come out in first place or within the top five. Moreover, just like last year and the year before, I'll wager that there will be a concerted effort to elect an establishment candidate for the 76th Director.

This sucks because Anthony is doing yeoman's work behind enemy lines in New Jersey and Adam (along with Joshua Prince) is leading the legal battles against the phone and a pen, wink and a nod bump stock ban rule as well as the illegal activities of the Pittsburgh City Council. They are in the trenches. They are actually fighting for the Second Amendment in all its glory. I wish I could say the same for the NRA which has given President Trump cover on both the bump stock ban and red flag laws.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Remington Plans To Appeal Connecticut Supreme Court Ruling To SCOTUS

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled on March 14th that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act did not protect Remington and its fellow defendants in a case brought by families of some of the Newtown murder victims. The split decision allowed the case to go back to the trial court level for adjudication. Given the strong dissent in the case and the way the majority made up a rationale out of whole cloth to support their decision, it was only a matter of time before an appeal was filed with the United States Supreme Court.

Remington filed a motion with the Connecticut Supreme Court yesterday requesting a stay in the decision as they plan to appeal to the SCOTUS.
Remington is filing a Petition for Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court in accordance with the applicable Rules of the United States Supreme Court. The basis for jurisdiction in the Supreme Court is this Court’s decision on an important federal question that conflicts with a decision of a United States court of appeals. U.S. Sup. Ct. R. 10. Specifically, Remington will ask the United States Supreme Court to consider and decide whether CUTPA is the type of statute Congress intended to serve as a “predicate statute” under § 7903(5)(A)(iii) of the PLCAA, a violation of which may deprive firearm manufacturers and sellers threshold immunity against being sued. See 15 U.S.C. § 7902(a) (“A qualified civil liability action may not be brought in any Federal or State court.”). As this Court recognized, “courts that have construed the predicate exception are divided” on whether Congress intended for violation of statutes, like CUTPA, to serve as an exception to PLCAA immunity. Soto, 331 Conn. at 136.
The motion goes on to give a legal rationale for the issuance of a stay.
The Court should stay proceedings pending the United States Supreme Court’s decision to either deny Remington’s Petition for Certiorari or its decision on the merits of the case. Practice Book § 71-7 provides:
When a case has gone to judgment in the state Supreme Court and a party to the action wishes to obtain a stay of execution pending a decision in the case by the United States Supreme Court, that party shall, within twenty days of the judgment, file a motion for stay with the appellate clerk directed to the state Supreme Court. The filing of the motion shall operate as a stay pending the state Supreme Court's decision thereon.
If proceedings are not stayed and Remington is required to undergo the costly and time-consuming burdens of litigation, including further discovery, motion practice and possibly trial, it will irreparably lose the intended benefit of threshold PLCAA immunity from suit. The United States Supreme Court has consistently recognized that “[u]ntil … threshold immunity is resolved, discovery should not be allowed.” Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982).
According to the Associated Press, Remington has until June to file the actual petition for a writ of certiorari. The same article quotes the attorney for the plaintiffs as saying, "is a matter of law for the state of Connecticut.” Given that the case revolved around the supremacy of Federal law in what is arguably a Federal matter, this is a case that should be heard by the SCOTUS. That is, if they want to preserve the intent of Congress and the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution.

Poor Shannon - The Internet Never Forgets

We know Shannon Watts as the "stay at home" mom (of five) who founded Moms Demand Action as a response to the Newtown school murders. Public relations experts are very good at spinning myths and that first sentence contains a lot of myth befitting the PR expertise of Watts. Stay at home was always debatable and mom of five is true only if you include two step-children who probably lived with their real mom and not dad's new younger wife.

An article in today's Wall Street Journal regarding RoundUp weedkiller, Monsanto, and successor company Bayer got me to thinking about Watts' past corporate affiliations. The article detailed the role that Monsanto played in supposedly objective outside research that said their product RoundUp was safe. You had company scientists reviewing the drafts of outside research and suggesting changes. One wonders what role the public relations experts at Monsanto played in this.

The law firm leading many of the lawsuits against Bayer (which previously merged with Monsanto) is Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman PC. They have now started posting Monsanto emails found during discovery on their website. I haven't started searching them yet but I do wonder what name I might discover when I do.

For those that are unaware, long before Shannon Watts was the founder of Moms Demand Action and long before her last name was Watts, she was Shannon Troughton and served as the Director of Global Public and Corporate Affairs for Monsanto from 2001 to 2004. That was a pretty fast advancement for someone who graduated Mizzou a mere seven years earlier. It means she was damn good at spin.

Interestingly, the first article I found linking then-Shannon Troughton with RoundUp was in my former hometown newspaper The Greensboro Daily News and Record. It had to do with a lawsuit filed by Syngenta which has a major facility in Greensboro against Monsanto. Both companies produced herbicides and there was a patent battle.

From the article:
Monsanto spokeswoman Shannon Troughton said the company is "surprised and disappointed with Syngenta's lawsuit, since our business teams were in the midst of discussions on license terms for their new product."

She said Monsanto is "confident in the validity" of the patents, which the company "will vigorously defend."

Troughton added, "If Syngenta wants to face an injunction for product sales in the absence of a license, that's their business decision."
Another article quoting her talked about Brazil's ban on GMO seeds like the Monsanto "Roundup Ready" seeds and her wish that Brazil would allow them in the country. While another article quoting her details Monsanto's legal war against farmers saving seed.

The bottom line is that every time you hear Shannon Watts dancing in the blood of crime victims in her efforts to push gun control "for the children" remember her background. She's an expert at pushing the narrative and the only narrative that really matters is the one that personally benefits her the most.

Now it is time to start searching those lawsuit emails for hidden gems.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Bumpstocks Didn't Get Stay - What To Do Now

This past Friday the US Supreme Court denied the plaintiffs in Guedes et al v. BATFE and Codrea v. Barr a stay in the bump stock ban rule and referred the request back to the Circuit Court for the DC Circuit.

The application for stay, presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court, is denied.

Applicants request that if we deny this application we grant a limited stay of 120 hours to allow them to come into compliance with the Final Rule. We refer the issue of such a stay to the D.C. Circuit for its consideration.

Justice Thomas and Justice Gorsuch would grant the application.
So where does this leave the case now?

The Firearms Policy Foundation released a statement by email along with the response of the Circuit Court on Sunday evening. If you do have a bump stock and are a member of one of the organizations such as Florida Carry or the Firearms Policy Foundation, you have until 5pm, Wednesday, April 10, 2019 to legally turn it in.

From FPF:

On Friday, the Supreme Court denied our legal team’s request for a stay (i.e., postponement) of the ATF’s Final Rule re-classifying “bump-stock-type” devices as illegal machineguns while we continue to litigate the various claims we raised in our lawsuit and in the other consolidated cases. The D.C. Circuit subsequently ordered the following:

PER CURIAM ORDER [1781463] filed that, based on the government’s representation that it will not enforce the Bump-Stock Rule against the named plaintiffs or their bona fide members before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, the emergency joint motion to extend stay order [1781365-2] be denied and the administrative stay entered on March 23, 2019, and clarified on March 25, 2019, be dissolved. The Clerk is directed to issue the mandate forthwith. Before Judges: Henderson, Srinivasan and Millett. [19-5042, 19-5044]

The Government (DOJ/ATF) has agreed to allow the individual plaintiffs in Guedes, et al. v. BATFE, et al. and the organizational plaintiffs’ – i.e., Firearms Policy Foundation, Florida Carry, Inc., and Madison Society Foundation, Inc. -- bona fide members (as well as the individuals in the consolidated Codrea, et al. action) to come into compliance with the new Final Rule by 5p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. The Government also represented that it “will also retain the bump stocks” that are provided to them in compliance efforts until our legal action is completely concluded.

Friday’s Supreme Court decision to deny the stay we requested was disappointing but not entirely unexpected. But importantly, there is much litigation left before the cases are disposed of. Our team is currently working on a petition for en banc rehearing by the full D.C. Circuit. And we are prepared, if need be, to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari (review).

We maintain that the Government’s new rule is unconstitutional and unlawful. And we will continue to aggressively litigate this case and work to defend American gun owners from this unlawful ban mandated by President Donald Trump. Updates will continue to be posted to our case webpage.

In an abundance of caution, we wanted to make you aware of how the Final Rule could affect owners of affected devices. As set forth in the Final Rule, 83 Fed.Reg. 66530, and according to the ATF, a bump-stock-type device owner’s options are:

1) Destroy the bump-stock device according to the ATF’s published “Bump Stock Destruction Instructions”; or,

2) Surrender it/them to the “nearest” ATF office. (ATF advises that it is best to make an appointment beforehand with the nearest ATF office.) You can find your local ATF field office and their phone number at

Non-compliance with the ATF’s Final Rule (i.e., continued possession of a bump-stock-type device) could lead to serious criminal liability. Individuals (or a company/organization) who maintain possession of an affected device can be prosecuted for unlawful possession of a putative machinegun, where he/she/they can be imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined up to $250,000 (or more in some cases) per violation.

Chief Counsel Joshua Prince of Firearms Industry Consulting Group, a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., who is representing Firearms Policy Foundation and numerous other plaintiffs in Guedes, et al. v. BATFE, et al., has suggested that individuals who wish to comply with the ATF’s Final Rule by surrendering their device to the ATF do so under protest.

As you may be aware, both ATF’s website relating to bump-stock devices and the Final Rule, 83 Fed.Reg. 66530, declare that “current possessors also have the option to abandon bump-stock-type devices at the nearest ATF office.” In spite of that, however, some reports (and our own experience) suggest that not all ATF local offices are accepting bump-stock devices. Thus, you should call the local ATF office before you travel there to confirm that they are, indeed, accepting affected devices.

If they are accepting such devices, then make them aware that you intend to visit their office to surrender your bump-stock device(s) under protest and inquire as to whether they have any specific procedures for your entry into the building.

Before you go, you will want to take pictures of your bump-stock device(s), in case there is ever a question as to the condition, make, and model of it/them. And you should also consider preparing a letter, such as the Sample Letter provided below, to advise the ATF that you are providing them your bump-stock device(s) under protest.

When you go, provide the ATF agent handling your matter with a copy of the letter and demand that they provide you with a property receipt that reflects their receipt of your bump-stock device(s) and specifies the make and model of the device(s). Be aware that they may attempt to have you sign an ATF 3400.1 Form – Consent to Forfeiture or Destruction of Property and Waiver of Notice – which you should NOT sign under ANY circumstance. In the event that they ask you to sign an ATF 3400.1, inform them that the only ATF form you are willing to sign is an ATF 3400.23 – Receipt of Property and Other Items. If they argue at all with you, politely tell them to review the internal memo that ATF circulated regarding the right of individuals to surrender bump-stock-type devices under protest and those individual’s right to refuse to sign an ATF 3400.1 form.

It would also be prudent to separately document your experience of the encounter in writing – such as the date and time of your visit, the location of the ATF office you went to, the names or other identifying information (ID #, etc.) of all ATF agents or persons you spoke with, the details of all discussions, and any other information they told or provided you – and keep it in a safe place.

You can also let our team know if the ATF in any way refuses or rejects your attempt to comply with the Final Rule. You can submit a report of your issue to and/or contact your attorney for specific legal advice.

In the event that ATF elects to institute a forfeiture action against your property, they are required to serve you with a copy. If that happens, you should immediately contact an attorney, preferably one who specializes in federal firearms law, if you wish to challenge ATF’s ability to forfeit your property. Again, you can submit a report of your issue to, but always contact your attorney for specific legal advice.

Again, we will continue to aggressively litigate this case and work to defend American gun owners from this unlawful and unconstitutional ban.

If you are able, please help support this important lawsuit and our fight for your rights by making a tax-deductible donation at

NOTE: This message and its contents are intended to provide general information only. It is not intended to provide legal advice. You should always contact your attorney if you want or need specific legal advice. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

A Partial Loss In California Mag Ban Case

The opinion and ruling by US District Court Judge Roger Benitez in the California magazine ban case - Duncan et al v. Becerra - has garnered lots of attention this past week. His ruling was a permanent injunction on California's ban on the sale of standard capacity magazines. The result has been that the major online retailers such as Palmetto State Armory, AIM Surplus, Brownells, and Midway USA have been inundated with orders for magazines by California residents.

As you might imagine, the State of California and Attorney General Xavier Becerra are not happy campers. They requested an immediate stay on the ruling while they appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This afternoon, Judge Benitez granted a partial stay after weighing the arguments of both sides and trying to satisfy both sides.

From his order:
In layman’s terms, the State of California and the law enforcement agencies therein will be free to re-start the enforcement of Calif. Penal Code § 32310 (a) and (b) which currently prohibits, among other things, any person in the state from manufacturing, importing into the state, offering for sale, giving, lending, buying, or receiving a firearm magazine able to hold more than 10 rounds (as defined by Calif. Penal Code § 16740). This will continue until the appeal proceedings conclude or the stay is modified or lifted.

At the same time, the State of California and the law enforcement agencies therein will remain enjoined (or prevented) from enforcing Calif. Penal Code § 32310 (c) and (d) which would have criminalized the simple possession of a firearm magazine able to hold more than 10 rounds and required disposing of such magazines. This will also continue until the appeal proceedings conclude or the stay is modified or lifted.

Both parties indicate in briefing that persons and business entities in California may have manufactured, imported, sold, or bought magazines able to hold more than 10 rounds since the entry of this Court’s injunction on March 29, 2019 and in reliance on the injunction. Indeed, it is the reason that the Attorney General seeks urgent relief in the form of a stay pending appeal. Both parties suggest that it is appropriate to fashion protection for these law-abiding persons.

THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Judgment is stayed in part pending final resolution of the appeal from the Judgment. The permanent injunction enjoining enforcement of California Penal Code § 32310 (a) and (b) is hereby stayed, effective 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 5, 2019.

IT IS HEREBY FURTHER ORDERED that the preliminary injunction issued on June 29, 2017, enjoining enforcement of California Penal Code § 32310 (c) and (d) shall remain in effect.

IT IS HEREBY FURTHER ORDERED that the permanent injunction enjoining enforcement of California Penal Code § 32310 (a) and (b) shall remain in effect for those persons and business entities who have manufactured, imported, sold, or bought magazines able to hold more than 10 rounds between the entry of this Court’s injunction on March 29, 2019 and 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 5, 2019.

Dated: April 4, 2019

Translated this means that standard capacity magazines can't be sold, made, imported, or given away after tomorrow, Friday, April 5, 2019 at 5:00pm PDT. However, if you bought a magazine, sold a magazine, or otherwise transferred one into California between March 29th and April 5th at 5:00pm, you are still covered by the permanent injunction against the ban. This means you have until 5:00pm tomorrow to receive it. Or take a quick trip out of state - Nevada, Arizona, etc - and be back by 5:00pm with your new standard capacity magazines.

Moreover, further translating, the preliminary injunction prevents prosecution of those who possessed a standard capacity magazine prior to July 1, 2017. They will not be forced to dispose of their magazines to comply with subsection (d).

You can read the relevant penal code here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Misleading Headline But Then Again It's Al Jazeera

There was an article online with Al Jazeera that had a headline that read, "New Zealand gun lobby backs ban after Christchurch mosques attack". You are justified in thinking that New Zealand firearms organizations are a bunch of sheep-like wusses if you believed that headline. The only problem is that when you dig further the anonymous author took quotes out of context and ignored actual opposition to the proposals of Prime Minister Jacinda Adern.

It starts with this from the Secretary of the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners:
In stark contrast to the United States, where even the most minor curbs on gun ownership meet ferocious opposition led by the National Rifle Association, New Zealand gun owners agree action is needed.

"We want to support our government in any changes to prevent a terrorist attack from happening in New Zealand again," said Nicole McKee, secretary of the Council of Licensed Firearm Owners.
That differs from what they are saying now on their Facebook page. They have asked that the consultation period be the normal six months and that a select committee be set up to study it. This has been ignored in the NZ government's planned bill and COLFO has said:
Today, the Arms (Prohibited firearms, Magazines and Parts) Amendment Bill was released. You had best sit up and pay attention as we are being let down BADLY.

We NEED 100,000 people to step up and state they wish to be able to fire their centre-fire semi-automatic firearms. We NEED you ALL to submit to the select committee and to ask to speak in person. That is the simple key message.
I don't think that sounds like an organization that is backing the government of New Zealand's gun control policies. They are also feeling like scapegoats.
Some Licensed firearm owners are feeling they are being made the scapegoat for the actions of a terrorist, we would like to quote the Prime Minister and say on their behalf ‘We did not do this’.
Here is what is being banned by the Government of New Zealand's proposed bill which will carry penalties from 2 to 10 years of imprisonment for violating it.
The Bill inserts new provisions to provide a general prohibition on importing, selling, supplying, or possessing any of the following:

  • a semi-automatic firearm (other than a pistol), with some exceptions:
  • a pump-action shotgun that is capable of being used with a detachable magazine:
  • a pump-action shotgun that has a non-detachable tubular magazine or magazines that can hold more than 5 cartridges or magazines:
  • magazines for shotguns that can hold more than 5 cartridges:
  • magazines for any other firearm that are detachable and can hold—

  • 0.22 calibre or less rimfire cartridges and more than 10 of those cartridges; or
  • more than 10 cartridges and can be used with a semi-automatic or fully automatic firearm:

  • any other magazine that can hold more than 10 cartridges:
  • a part of a prohibited firearm, including a component, that can be applied to enable, or take significant steps towards enabling, a firearm to be fired with, or near, a semi-automatic action.
In the quote from the National Rifle Association of New Zealand referring to only shooting with single shot bolt action rifles, it was taken from the President's newsletter which contained a number of bulleted items. NRA-NZ is a rifle shooting club that engages in stuff like the Palma Championships and F Class rifle contests. The newsletter notes that they are part of the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners and are letting that organization take the lead in the response to the political situation post-Christchurch mosque attack.

Finally, the COLFO has a number of position papers including this one on what they call "military-style semi-automatics" or MSSAs. From the position paper:

COLFO considers the current licensing requirements for military style semi-automatic firearms meets both the needs of society and firearms owners. The legislation has proved successful in regulating the ownership, use and safe storage of such firearms.

COLFO also believes that MSSAs should be transferable between E endorsement holders and those with a C category endorsement. This would enable bona fide collectors and museums the opportunity to retain or purchase them.


The tragedies that involve mass murder using firearms are normally followed by emotive calls for tighter gun control as people look for a quick fix to feel more secure. It is a fact that those who are diagnosed as mentally ill have little or no respect for any laws let alone firearm laws.

COLFO considers legislating to further restrict firearms possession among law abiding and licensed owners will have no effect on the incidents of violence involving firearms. This has been proven by overseas experience.
I think this conclusively puts a nail in the coffin of the quote implying that they support the NZ government's plans to ban these firearms.

My final comment is that the number of firearms voluntarily turned in is minimal (less than 50). Despite not having constitutional protections for either free speech or the right to keep and bear arms, it seems many New Zealanders are taking the Gonzales approach - Come and Take It.

He's Right, You Know

MADEbyJIMBOB is an anti-politically correct satirist. He was the subject of a story in The Federalist a few days ago about the memes he puts up on Instagram and one that recently was removed. JimBob was put on notice that his account could be shut down if he has "subsequent violations.

So what did he do that was so objectionable?

He told the truth about the mosque murders in New Zealand and the reaction of the government of Jacinda Adern.

From The Federalist:
When asked what he was hoping people would get from the post, MADEbyJIMBOB said: “The purpose of the meme was explore the perhaps unhealthy relationship between terror, trauma and reactionary legislation. The definition of terrorism is the use of violence or threat with political motivation, the inquiry is, is terrorism being exploited for political action and where is the line between responding to terrorism and rewarding violent behavior with legislation.”

This is a valid question, but one Instagram apparently thinks isn’t worth entertaining on their platform. Whether it be due solely to the mention of terrorism or some perhaps more nefarious politically based antagonism, it’s hard to say why Instagram found this so unacceptable. And there’s no appeal process, so MADEbyJIMBOB might never know.

And the meme:

Copyright MADEbyJIMOB

If you've read any of the killer's off-the-wall manifesto - and I have - you know this was his intent.

As Morgan Freeman would say:

A Dating Partner Of The Respondent?

The proposed red flag for North Carolina, HB 454, includes in its definition of "family or household member" as someone you are dating. Thus, someone you go out with on a blind date would be eligible to seek an "Extreme Risk Protection Order" which would order the police to take all your firearms. They could do this electronically, with no court costs, and, if they possessed a valid "Address Confidentiality Program" authorization card, could keep their address secret.

Do we really need the modern day equivalent of the Star Chamber?

I say no and so does Grass Roots North Carolina which issued the following alert:


Like everyone else, Gun Owners have the Constitutional right to due process and the presumption of innocence. House Bill 454 would change all of that, allowing anyone in an ever-expanding circle of people, including a ‘dating partner,’ to decide you are ‘imminently dangerous’ and direct the authorities to confiscate your guns.

H454 doesn't define ‘dating partner,’ ‘imminent’ or what makes someone a 'danger to themselves or others’.  But keep in mind that those who would deny your Second Amendment rights often consider any gun owner to be ‘dangerous,' and they would be able to force the confiscation of your guns without your foreknowledge (through an ex parte hearing).

So let’s say you go on a casual outing with someone who knows you have guns, and they decide to "report"  you, for revenge, out of spite or whatever (due to unrequited interest, for example). They can honestly claim to be a ‘dating partner,’ a term entirely undefined by H454, and have your property confiscated at the point of a gun.

On top of all of this, the authorities can charge you a storage fee for keeping your guns and ammunition. They take your guns against your will and in violation of your rights, and you get to pay for the privilege! Nothing in the proposed law would stop the authorities from test firing your guns for a ballistics database to see if they were used in a crime, or doing anything else with them for that matter. While you may have to undergo a ‘mental health' or 'chemical dependency' evaluation to keep what you already own, your accuser has the option of staying anonymous under the ‘Address  Confidentiality  Program’. How nice for the accuser who will never have to confront you in court, in blatant violation of the 6th Amendment.

Laws already exist for Involuntary Civil Commitment, and these provide due process, but apparently, these aren’t good enough for the gun grabbers. In addition to being unconstitutional, clearly this new form of government overreach isn’t effective, as research shows that these new laws do not work as advertised.

Please Contribute to GRNC-PVF
It’s going to be a busy year in the world of freedom-fighting. At the same, time multiple special elections approach, House and Senate bills, both good and bad, are being filed in the General Assembly. Funds and volunteers are already stretched thin, and we’re still climbing toward peak activity. Now more than ever, this all-volunteer organization needs your support. Anything you could spare will help GRNC-PVF and would be greatly appreciated, and let’s face it, with all that’s coming our way, donations are nothing less than an investment in the future of gun freedom in our state. Please CLICK HERE to donate to GRNC-PVF

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  • EMAIL BOTH PARTY'S LEADERS IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Below, find the copy/paste contact information you need to tell the party leadership that this unconstitutional gun control bill must not receive a hearing. Use the copy/paste text provided under the ‘Deliver This Message’ section.

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

NC General Assembly Leadership copy/paste email list:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;


Suggested Subject: Stop H454, the Gun Confiscation Bill

Dear Republican Leader:

I am writing today because I am outraged over H454's attempted erosion of Constitutional liberties, in particular, the right to due process.  With just the word of a ‘dating partner’ (an undefined term), someone’s firearms can be forcibly confiscated by law enforcement. This confiscation would be based on ‘dangerous behavior,’ another term that the bill doesn't define.

Those who are hostile to the Second Amendment often (and absurdly) consider gun owners dangerous by their mere existence. Considering that, and the fact that anyone, out of spite or revenge, would be able to have a citizen's guns forcibly taken from him or her, these constitutionally abhorrent orders will, in essence, legally codify the practice of ‘SWAT-ing’ anyone who owns or is believed to own a gun.

For these reasons, I’m insisting that you take whatever legislative steps necessary to halt this freedom denying measure.

Do the right thing: use your position to take active steps to make sure this ominous gun control bill will never have a hearing, and never receive a vote. I will be closely monitoring your actions regarding this gun control bill through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.


I think Black Rifle Coffee has captured the type of "dating partner" who might file for a ERPO if they knew you possessed a firearm in the video below. Yes, it is a spoof but the reality is that there are men and women like that out in society.

Monday, April 1, 2019

DC Circuit's April Fools Joke On The Constitution

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia released its decision in the combined cases of Guedes et al v. BATFE et al and Codrea et al v. Barr. It was a per curiam decision with Judge Karen Henderson dissenting in part and concurring in part. The court sided with the District Court in denying the preliminary injunction of the bump stock rule.

PER CURIAM : In October 2017, a lone gunman armed with bump-stock-enhanced semiautomatic weapons murdered 58 people and wounded hundreds more in a mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the wake of that tragedy, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“Bureau”) promulgated through formal notice-and-comment proceedings a rule that classifies bump-stock devices as machine guns under the National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. §§ 5801–5872. See Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66,514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (“Bump-Stock Rule”). The then- Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker initially signed the final Bump-Stock Rule, and Attorney General William Barr independently ratified it shortly after taking office. Bump- stock owners and advocates filed separate lawsuits in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to prevent the Rule from taking effect. The district court denied the plaintiffs’ motions for a preliminary injunction to halt the Rule’s effective date. Guedes v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives , 356 F. Supp. 3d 109 (D.D.C. 2019). We affirm the denial of preliminary injunctive relief.
 The case was heard by Judges Karen Henderson, Sri Srinivasan, and Patricia Millett. Srinivasan and Millett were appointed to the Court of Appeals by former President Obama while Judge Henderson by President George H. W. Bush.

In reaching their decision, the court found that BATFE was entitled to Chevron deference and that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed in their case as a result.

Judge Henderson parted company with her colleagues and said that the bump stock rule does contradict the statutory definition of a machine gun. As such, she would have granted the injunction.
She examined the history of the National Firearms Act, rulings of BATFE, the previous rulings that the bump stock was NOT a machine gun, the slow motion video evidence submitted to the District Court, and the affidavit of Richard Vasquez who had done the technical evaluation of the bump stock.

She concluded:
If the focus is —as it must be—on the trigger, a bump stock does not qualify as a “machinegun.” A semiautomatic rifle shoots a single round per pull of the trigger and the bump stock changes only how the pull is accomplished. Without a bump stock , the shooter pull s the trigger with his finger for each shot. With a bump stock, however, the shooter —after the initial pull —maintains backward pressure on the trigger and puts forward pressure on the barrel with his non- shooting hand; these manual inputs cause the rifle to slide and result in the shooter’s stationary finger pulling the trigger. Bump -Stock - Type Devices , 83 Fed. Reg. at 66,533 (“The constant forward pressure with the non- trigger hand pushes the firearm forward, again pulling the firearm forward, engaging the trigger, and firing a second round.”). T he bump stock therefore affects whether the shooter pull s his trigger finger or keep s it stationary . It does not change the movement of the trigger itself , which “ must be released, reset, and fully pulled rearward before [a] subsequent round can be fired.” Verified Declaration of Richard (Rick) Vasquez, former Acting Chief of the Firearms Tech . Branch of ATF, at 3–4.

Like countless other Americans, I can think of little legitimate use for a bump stock. That thought , however , has nothing to do with the legality of the Bump Stock Rule. For the reason s detailed supra , I believe the Bump Stock Rule expands the statutory definition of “machinegun” and is therefore ultra vires . In my view, the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their challenge and I would grant them preliminary injunctive relief.

Accordingly, I respectfully dissent

Brownell's Releases The BRN-134D Minigun

A full-auto minigun would be a NFA item and probably would run afoul of the Hughes Amendment. However, Brownells has recently released a semi-auto version of the minigun. It isn't cheap but I could see buying a few of these if I had been the lucky person in Wisconsin who just won the Powerball lottery last week.

They say:
In this special edition of our weekly Brownells new products vlog, Paul Levy shows us the new BRN-134D™ Minigun. Developed in partnership Dillon Aero, the BRN-134D is the latest addition to Brownells line of detail-correct semi-auto clones of military firearms. It sports all the standard Minigun features: rotary barrel system with 6 ordnance-grade steel barrels chambered in 7.62x51 NATO, electric-powered motor, disintegrating link feed chute, and a 3,000 round ammo box. The BRN-134D comes with a Picatinny rail up top for the red dot or scope of your choice (optic not included) and an aircraft-mountable stand of rugged, powder-coated steel (included). The price? Surprisingly reasonable!
 Paul Levy has a different idea of "surprisingly reasonable" than me. That said, you are getting a lot of weapon for your $125,000.