Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Heroes Of The Community, Every One Of Them

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 1 hour ago

Oohhh … they were told there was a gun involved.  So what?  A man has the right to carry a gun on his own property.  This one comes from reader and commenter Ned.

By the way, “You’re under arrest for resisting arrest.” It’s called a tautology. But those cops would have had to go to school to learn that.

ATF Drops Lower Receiver Case For Fear Of Doing Damage To Other ATF Regulations

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 1 hour ago

This is a fascinating case, telling us more about the ATF and their world view than anything to do with lower receivers.  Read every word of the report.

For more than a year, Joseph Roh illegally manufactured AR-15-style rifles in a warehouse south of Los Angeles.

His customers, more than two dozen of whom were legally prohibited from possessing a firearm, could push a button, pull a lever, and walk away a short time later with a fully assembled, untraceable semi-automatic weapon for about $1,000, according to court records.

Roh continued his black-market operation despite being warned in person by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he was breaking the law.

But five years after raiding his business and indicting him, federal authorities quietly cut a deal with Roh earlier this year and agreed to drop the charges.

Why?

The judge in the case had issued a tentative order that, in the eyes of prosecutors, threatened to upend the decades-old Gun Control Act and “seriously undermine the ATF’s ability to trace and regulate firearms nationwide.”

In the eyes of prosecutors, the case “threatened to upend the decades-old Gun Control Act and seriously undermine the ATF’s ability to regulate firearms nationwide.”  This is important.

No one can change the law except those who made the law, i.e., the House and Senate.  It may be that the GCA is reprehensible, and it is, and it may be that it is unconstitutional, and it is, but only the House and Senate can change it.  The fear that losing a case, whatever that case may be, could upend the GCA is ridiculous.  Ponder that for a moment and let’s continue.

A case once touted by prosecutors as a crackdown on an illicit firearms factory was suddenly seen as having the potential to pave the way to unfettered access to one of the most demonized guns in America.

Federal authorities preferred to let Roh go free rather than have the ruling become final and potentially create case law that could have a crippling effect on the enforcement of gun laws, several sources familiar with the matter told CNN. Each requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the case and its possible implications.

Under US District Court Judge James V. Selna’s interpretation of the law, convicted felons and other people prohibited from possessing firearms would be allowed to legally acquire all the parts necessary to assemble an AR-15-style rifle and other weapons, according to federal prosecutors.

[ … ]

The guns are sometimes assembled from separately acquired parts. Under federal law, the one regulated individual part of a firearm is what’s known as the frame or receiver — a piece that, among other things, provides a housing for the hammer and firing mechanism of a gun.

Though incapable of firing a round, the part is considered a gun in its own right and is subject to the same restrictions as a fully intact firearm. Manufacturers must stamp it with a serial number and licensed dealers are required to conduct background checks on prospective buyers. The restrictions are intended, in part, to keep felons and other people prohibited from possessing firearms from acquiring them piece by piece.

AR-15s, however, do not have a single receiver that meets that definition. They have both an upper and lower receiver — two parts as opposed to the single part described in the law.

At issue in Roh’s case was whether the law could fairly be interpreted to apply to just the lower receiver of the AR-15, as the ATF has been doing for decades.

To rule otherwise “would sweep aside more than 50 years of the ATF’s regulation of AR-15s and other semiautomatic firearms,” prosecutors wrote prior to the judge’s order.

Federal law enforcement officials — and members of Congress — have been on notice about a potential problem with the language in federal gun law as applied to AR-15s since at least 2016.

In July of that year, prosecutors in Northern California abandoned a case against a convicted felon named Alejandro Jimenez after a judge found that the AR-15 lower receiver he was accused of purchasing in an ATF undercover sting did not meet the definition of a receiver under the law.

The ruling and subsequent dismissal drew little notice but prompted a letter to Congress from then-US Attorney General Loretta Lynch. She advised lawmakers that the judge’s decision was not suitable for appeal and that if ATF officials believed the definition should be changed, they should pursue regulatory or administrative action.

Further into the report, we get to the details of the case.

“We here at ROHG Industries have been doing build parties for quite some time,” he wrote in the sparsely worded, one-paragraph letter.

“The customer installs the part into our machine and pushes the start button,” Roh explained.

“Is this legal?” he asked.

In November, the chief of ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch responded to Roh by letter. He told him that if the “build parties” he was referring to resulted in the production of anything the ATF classified as a firearm, he would need to obtain a license for manufacturing.

Roh did not heed that advice. When an undercover ATF agent visited his factory on two occasions in December, he “observed parts and machinery used to manufacture AR-15-type firearms,” court documents state.

Two days before Christmas, the ATF gave Roh a warning in the form of a “cease and desist” letter. It informed him that he was engaged in the unlicensed manufacture of firearms and was at risk of criminal prosecution.

This time, Roh appeared to take heed.

When undercover agents visited his factory in early January, he was not there. But employees told agents they were no longer machining gun parts.

“The ATF had shut them down,” the employees said, according to a report recounting the conversation.

They promised to call the purported customers back when they got the “green light” to resume operations.

Less than a week later they got the call. Their visit to the factory the following day was captured in secretly recorded video obtained by CNN.

Roh, dressed in a T-shirt and New York Yankees baseball cap, appeared congenial and knowledgeable about firearms. He made no secret of his business model.

“Are you here to … make yourself a rifle right now?” he asked the agents during the encounter in January 2014.

“I’m not going to get into trouble or anything like that?” one of the agents asked.

“No,” Roh reassured him. “We’re legal, man.”

Roh told the undercover agents he’d enacted a new policy after being shut down by the ATF: Anyone who wanted machining services performed had to pay a $25 fee to join his “gun club.” That way, he was no longer catering to the general public, he explained.

He told one of the agents he was already considered a member because he’d bought a gun before. Roh told him he would have to vouch for the newcomer so that he could join the gun club as well.

After collecting $25 from the new customer and agreeing to a price of $1,000 each for a pair of rifles he wanted to buy, Roh directed an employee to begin the machining process.

Moments later, he stood next to the agent in front of a large piece of equipment that is computer-coded to precisely machine parts for AR-15-style firearms.

“Go ahead and press the green button,” Roh told the undercover agent.

“The green button?” the agent asked.

“Yeah,” Roh replied. “That basically means that you did it — believe it or not.”

A member of Roh’s staff then oversaw the process of machining and drilling that converted an unfinished lower receiver — an innocuous chunk of metal before the process began — into a finished receiver the ATF considered a firearm under the law.

Roh then added barrels, stocks, bolts, triggers and other parts to make them fully-functioning weapons.

Now to the legal machinations.

When the case finally came to trial last year, much of the four-day proceeding consisted of Nicolaysen, Roh’s defense attorney, grilling ATF officials on arcane gun laws and regulations and the agency’s internal decision-making process.

After both sides presented their evidence, the defense filed a motion for acquittal, arguing that the government’s case against Roh was “legally flawed” because the charges were based on a violation of an internal ATF “classification” as opposed to federal law.

Nicolaysen argued that the definition of a receiver under the relevant federal code differed in various ways from the AR-15 component Roh was accused of manufacturing.

Under the US Code of Federal Regulations, a firearm frame or receiver is defined as: “That part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.”

The lower receiver in Roh’s case does not have a bolt or breechblock and is not threaded to receive the barrel, Nicolaysen noted.

He called the decision to classify it as a firearm nonetheless, the result of “secret, in-house decision-making.”

Nicolaysen accused the ATF of abusing its authority by pursuing Roh based on his alleged violation of a policy “that masquerades as law.”

He asked the judge to consider recommending that then-US Attorney General Jeff Sessions conduct a review to determine whether there were any similar cases pending around the country or past convictions “sustained on the basis of ATF policy, rather than law.”

Prosecutors acknowledged there were technical differences between the regulation and the lower receiver in Roh’s case, but said the ATF’s interpretation of the regulation was consistent with the intent of federal gun laws. The agency’s reading of the law “should also receive deference from this court,” prosecutors Shawn J. Nelson and Benjamin D. Lichtman argued.

Adopting the defense position, the prosecutors wrote, would be “manifestly incompatible” with the intent of the federal Gun Control Act and would “severely frustrate” enforcement of the law.

The prosecutors’ filing said a ruling in favor of the defense could impact the receivers for up to 90% of the firearms in America.

“The necessary result of this would be that the unregulated parts could be manufactured, sold, and combined with other commercially available parts to create completed, un-serialized firearms which would not be subject to background checks, and which would be untraceable,” the prosecutors wrote. “Defendant’s interpretation would mean that nearly every semi-automatic firearm could be purchased piece by piece with no regulation or background check before a prohibited person would have a firearm.”

Though the trial lasted less than a week, Selna deliberated for more than year. In April, he issued a tentative order in which he determined that the ATF had improperly classified the AR-15 lower receivers in Roh’s case as firearms.

He rejected the prosecution’s argument that the ATF’s interpretation of the regulation describing a receiver could reasonably be applied to the device at issue in Roh’s case.

“There is a disconnect,” the judge wrote.

Selna added that the combination of the federal law and regulation governing the manufacturing of receivers is “unconstitutionally vague” as applied in the case against Roh.

“No reasonable person would understand that a part constitutes a receiver where it lacks the components specified in the regulation,” Selna wrote.

Therefore, the judge determined, “Roh did not violate the law by manufacturing receivers.”

The judge’s tentative order also found that the ATF’s in-house classification process failed to comply with federal rule-making procedures. Changes to substantive federal regulations typically include a notice-and-comment period and eventual publication in the Federal Register.

“Consistent with the intent of federal law.”  What the ATF doesn’t want the general public to know is that they’re making up the rules as they go.  Letters to the ATF and ATF responses don’t constitute law, and they don’t even constitute regulation, strictly defined.

First of all, I’ve discussed that before.  There is a difference between law and regulation.  Laws are made by Congress.  Regulation, that behemoth which has so empowered the federal executive and the bureaucratic state, at least has the requirement that it gets published in the federal register, has a comment period, goes through a cost-benefit analysis as required by law, and then the final version gets published in the federal register.  ATF regulations get none of this, and judgments and rules promulgated by the ATF bypass all of these requirements.

Second, it’s apparent that the whole intent of the ATF rules is to limit the firearms in circulation, attempt as best as possible to govern who has them, and know with as much certainty as possible where they are at any particular time.  The rules aren’t arbitrary – they have the purpose the controllers intended.  They make the policy as it suits them at the moment, and then change it on a whim if they deem it more advantageous to their designs.  For a silly example of this, witness their hand-wringing and rule du jour over whether you can legally shoulder a stabilizing brace.

Third, they are so afraid that this decision would have disrupted those designs that they were willing to drop the case outright.  After hearing the truth from this judge, that is, that the ATF was illegally bypassing the regulation process and imposing seemingly arbitrary policies in lieu of real regulations and laws, they literally don’t care.  They are completely unmoved by the revelations of their illegality.

Fourth, the ATF is run by controllers.  We’ve also discussed this before.  As I’ve pointed out before, “The desire to control others is the first sign, incorrigible pathology and premier sin of the wicked.”  These folks are sociopaths.  They have no conscience, and their pathological drive is to control others.

Performance Of .45 ACP In A Modified 1911 With A Spring Intended For 450 SMC

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 2 hours ago

As readers know, I modified a S&W E-Series Performance Center 1911 by installing a 22# spring purchased from Wolff Gunsprings in lieu of the 18# spring that came with the gun.

Since then, it has performed flawlessly with 450 SMC, albeit a little stiff on the recoil.    Recall that the 450 SMC round comes with a rifle primer rather than a pistol primer, leaving more room for powder.  With stippled wooden grips I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to shoot more than three or four dozen rounds before getting some hand sting.  I would need to install different grips if I intended to shoot 450 SMC all day at the range.

But the question came up about this round whether the higher spring constant affected the gun’s ability to properly cycle .45 ACP (i.e., does the weaker ammunition incompletely cycle the slide and cause a FTF/FTE)?

I can confidently say after having shot several brands of .45 ACP with the stiffer 22# spring that I’ve had no malfunctions at all.  To me this is good news since I won’t have to change the spring for my choice of ammunition.

Firearms,Guns Tags: ,

Crime Date No One Wants To Talk About

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 2 hours ago

This video is a little dated, but informative.

The Second Amendment Isn’t The Second Commandment

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 2 hours ago

A pastor named James Pence.

As a nation we have seemed to somehow elevated the Second Amendment to the status of one of the Ten Commandments as if God positively said, “Thou shalt bear arms.” Of course the irony is there is the commandment that forbids murder, and nowhere in Holy Scriptures do we see the necessity of having weapons.

[ … ]

The times call for bold action once again in the face of the national epidemic of gun violence by restricting a class of weapons to only the military and our law enforcement personnel. I’m tired of seeing “Thou shalt not kill” being violated in mass killings, but, most of all, I’m tired of lowering the flag to half staff every two weeks when it could be flying high and proud.

You can read the rest for yourself.  The problems with this commentary are manifold and too numerous to address in full, but we’ll make a few observations.

As I’ve pointed out before, when Jesus commanded His disciples to go find swords, he wasn’t the Bohemian, peacenik, flowerchild hippie He’s made out to be by contemporary preachers of false theology.  No, He was quite literally commanding His disciples to go procure weapons in direct violation of the law at the time.  He was commanding disobedience to the law.

… for some evidence, see Digest 48.6.1: collecting weapons ‘beyond those customary for hunting or for a journey by land or sea’ is forbidden; 48.6.3.1 forbids a man ‘of full age’ appearing in public with a weapon (telum) (references and translation are from Mommsen 1985). See also Mommsen 1899: 564 n. 2; 657-58 n. 1; and Linderski 2007: 102-103 (though he cites only Mommsen). Other laws from the same context of the Digest sometimes cited in this regard are not as worthwhile for my purposes because they seem to be forbidding the possession of weapons with criminal intent. But for the outright forbidding of being armed while in public in Rome, see Cicero’s letter to his brother relating an incident in Rome in which a man, who is apparently falsely accused of plotting an assassination, is nonetheless arrested merely for having confessed to having been armed with a dagger while in the city: To Atticus, Letter 44 (II.24). See also Cicero, Philippics 5.6 (§17). Finally we may cite a letter that Synesius of Cyrene wrote to his brother, probably sometime around the year 400 ce. The brother had apparently questioned the legality of Synesius having his household produce weapons to defend themselves against marauding bands. Synesius points out that there are no Roman legions anywhere near for protection, but he seems reluctantly to admit that he is engaged in an illegal act (Letter 107; for English trans., see Fitzgerald 1926).

It was against the law for His disciples to own and bear a sword, especially in a populated area like that, and no amount of Scripture twisting can change that.  Jesus commanded them to be lawbreakers by going about armed.

Next, the preacher should be asked if he would allow his wife to be raped and his children to be murdered by home invaders, or if he would attempt to stop it.  The police can’t get there in time, and besides, you can’t use a phone when you’re tied up awaiting torture.  So the scenario we may pose is this: four home invaders have just busted into his home intent on raping his wife and dousing him with gasoline before setting him on fire.  He needs a semiautomatic weapon to handle the four invaders.  What does he do, and if he doesn’t make plans ahead of time to defend home and hearth, is he any better than a child molester or wife beater?

We’ve asked these questions before, Mr. Pence.  No gun controller or pacifist Christian has ever responded.  May we hear yours?  Oh, and by the way, what do you think causes all of that violence?  Where does it come from?  To answer this question, turn to the first few chapters of Genesis like your seminary professors told you to do.  Do you really believe that more controls will make the federal headship of Adam go away?

Weapon Of War And It’s Contemporary Relevance

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 2 hours ago

David Codrea.

“They all started out as ‘weapons war,’ you lying dumb@$$!” I’d love to hear somebody within microphone range yell back. Having “every other terrible implement of the soldier” is what the Founders intended “the people” to keep and bear. Even the rigged Miller opinion admitted the plan was for their arms to have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia [or] that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.”

I’ve pointed out before ” …the next time some loud mouth tells you that “civilians” should not have “weapons of war designed only to kill others,” inform them that every soldier or Marine is first and foremost a civilian (in that he came from our ranks and will return to our ranks), and that every weapon that has ever been designed, or improvised, by an insurgency or uniformed army, is a weapon of war.  There are no exceptions, from sticks to rocks, from shotguns to rifles, from revolvers to pistols, from bolt action long guns to machine guns.”

Literally.  The Marine Corps used shotguns to clear rooms in Now Zad, Afghanistan.  Carlos Hathcock used a Winchester model 70, as did the Marine Corps in Desert Storm.  Revolvers were in use in WWI, perhaps during parts of WWII (I truly wish I could find a picture of use of revolvers in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan – that would make my day, and I and readers could celebrate an astounding victory!).  The Marine Corps infantry officer course in Quantico still teaches the use of improvised weapons in the bush, including rocks and sticks in hand-to-hand fights.  I have a 9mm pistol, but John Moses Browning’s 1911 is still my favorite gun to shoot, as it is with Clint Smith.

‘Ghost’ Handguns And ARs Confiscated

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 1 hour ago

Ridiculous news from a reader.

A Port Washington man hoarded more than two dozen guns and assault rifles — including about a dozen untraceable “ghost guns” — and thousands of rounds of ammunition in his home, Nassau County police said Saturday, the day after his arraignment on weapons possession charges.

Nassau County police, State Police and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested John Dejana, 47, following a search warrant Thursday at his home on Slocum Avenue, authorities said.

Dejana, who had no licenses for any of the weapons, was charged with first-degree criminal possession of a weapon, police said. He was arraigned Friday in First District Court in Hempstead, where bail was set at $200,000 bond or $100,000 cash. He could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.

“We took these weapons … out of the home of someone who should not possess those weapons,” Singas said. “This defendant possessed an arsenal of firepower. This is deeply disturbing this firepower was in a home in Port Washington in our county.”

The FBI investigation and Nassau intelligence officers recovered 27 weapons including 12 ghost guns, five assault rifles and 10 other long guns and handguns, Nassau County First Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Smith said.

Ghost guns are classified as untraceable guns without serial numbers, or those that may be untraceable. Some guns are assembled through kits or 3D printers and may not be detectable through metal detectors, Smith said.

I can’t tell you what he may have planned for all these weapons,” Smith said.

Authorities unveiled the haul of weapons and 3,000 rounds ammunition Saturday in Mineola to conclude “Operation Ghost Gun.”

Dejana, who has no prior criminal record, worked as a contractor and lived in the home with his wife, four daughters and two dogs. Detectives recovered an unloaded handgun with a plastic magazine and a pink Louis Vuitton holster in his 12-year-old daughter’s nightstand, police said.

Well, maybe he just liked guns.  Maybe he was a collector and didn’t have the money to purchase NFA machine guns like he was rich.  Maybe he was planning to shoot competitively.  I don’t know his plans either, and it’s none of my business.

Contractor.  I assume a hard working man.  No criminal record.  Didn’t bother anybody.

Um … they do realize that the world’s best machinists, fabricators, builders, chemists, metallurgists and engineers live in America, right?

You can’t stop the signal.

CNN Tries To Get Interior Department Official Fired For Opposing Jihad Violence

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 1 hour ago

PJM.

So it turns out that the acting director of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, William Perry Pendley, has denied the Left’s “climate change” mythology, and opposes jihad violence and illegal immigration. CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski is out for blood, trying to get Pendley for heresy, that is, for his dissent from Leftist orthodoxy.

Leftists want you and your family to suffer – to terraform the nation, to see violence and to redistribute your wealth through whatever means they can concoct (e.g., anthropogenic global warming).

The Holy Writ says that “The good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”

The Evolution Of America’s Best Service Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 1 hour ago

And The Number Of Bump Stocks Actually Turned In?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

The Washington Times.

The federal government collected fewer than 1,000 bump stocks during the run-up to a new ban in March, despite estimates that hundreds of thousands of the devices that mimic machine gun fire are in circulation, according to federal data provided to The Washington Times by the Justice Department.

As the nation marked the second anniversary Oct. 1 of the Las Vegas massacre, which prodded the Trump administration to ban bump stocks, the numbers offer a cautionary tale on the scope and resources needed to enforce any sort of gun buyback program.

Between the issuance of the final rule banning the devices in December 2018 and April 4, 2019, shortly after the prohibition took effect in late March, 582 bump stocks were “abandoned” to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to Justice Department records, and 98 bump stocks were kept as evidence.

The Times obtained the records through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The administration cited estimates that 280,000 to 520,000 bump-stock-type devices were in circulation when it published the final rule in December.

I’ve seen estimates as high as 550,000 in circulation, but we’ll take their number of 520,000.  That computes to 0.1119%.

What do you think will happen when the FedGov demands that citizens turn over $1000 rifles which have been bought with the intent of bequeathing to their children for personal defense?



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