New York, Pistol Grips And Spray Firing

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 3 weeks ago

Eugene Volokh:

Laws that ban so-called “assault weapons” often define them with reference to various features, such as a rifle’s having a bayonet mount or “a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon” (to quote the New York assault weapon ban upheld by N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Cuomo (W.D.N.Y. Dec. 31, 2013)). One reason given for focusing on rifles with such pistol grips is that, in the words of the court, this “feature[] aid shooters when ‘spray firing’ from the hip.” … I’m not an expert on firearms tactics, but I’m very skeptical of this.

Eugene isn’t merely asking the question in a vacuum.  It’s right there in the ruling:

But for the contested features, like a pistol grip and thumbhole stock, New York points to evidence that these features aid shooters when “spray firing” from the hip. (Bruen Decl., ¶ 19); see Heller II, 670 F.3d at 1262–63 (quoting Siebel Testimony, supra). As the Second Circuit has held, “This factor aims to identify those rifles whose pistol grips are designed to make such spray firing from the hip particularly easy.”

Eugene is skeptical because that’s one of the stupidest things I have ever read anywhere, not just in a legal ruling.  Spray firing from the hip.  And the ruling seems to rely on that explanation – and not just for real assault rifles (the formal definition of which we have discussed, including selective fire), but for semi-automatic weapons.  Semi-automatic weapons!  Spray firing from the hip.

This is not intended or taught in any tactical maneuver in any branch of the military that I’m aware of, including and most of all Marine Corps squad rushes.  It would be a stupid, juvenile waste of ammunition and would get people killed (friendly more than anyone else).  Furthermore, a rogue shooter in America wouldn’t hit anything (except by accident) with such a tactic.  It would be the least effective thing a rogue shooter could possibly do.

The Weapons Warrant Officer for Marine Corps 2/6 wouldn’t allow their deployment to Iraq in 2007 (where my son was a SAW gunner) without the SAWs being equipped with optics.  And this judge relied on the notion of “spray firing” to make his ruling, marking one of the dumbest things ever to go down in the annals of legal history.

Moron.  Next time just ask somebody who knows this stuff.



  • Jack

    If the Judge was interested in logic and the opinion of experts, he would have sought them out. But doing so would have introduced him to the uncomfortable feelings of cognitive dissonance — and would have exposed him to ridicule from his peer group. It was so much easier to become an ostrich and publish rulings that would only be ridiculed by those he views as second class non-citizens.

  • http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-in-st-louis/kurt-hofmann Kurt Hofmann

    It’s with a weird mixture of amusement and horror that I contemplate the range masters’ reaction if I had ever “spray fired from the hip” on any range I was ever on in my Army days.

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Perhaps our judge got his information from watching Rambo movies. As for range masters, my son was one on the MC pistol range one day and saw an officer muzzle flagging everyone and jacked him up. The other officers watched and told the offending officer not to muzzle flag people, and my son told the officer that it was his range, regardless of rank.

  • Dan

    Gun banners and the kangaroo courts that facilitate these assaults on freedom and society
    simply do not care if their claims and rationales are accurate, logical or even physically possible. They fully understand that society is split into three groups. Group A is well aware of why the Second Amendment exists, what it says and what it REALLY means. They don’t care, guns pose a threat to their agenda therefore guns are to br demonized, vilified, attacked and bannrd at any and all opportunity. Group B are gun owners and those who know what the intent of the Constitution and the BOR is and who oppose Group A in order to maintain their freedom. This group, like the guns in question are to be demonized, vilified and attcked both verbally and judicially at every opportunity. Group C, the third group are the uninformed, the illogical, the emotionally driven….and plain syupid idiots. THIS is the group that these bizarre and ridiculous explanations and rationales are aimed at…knowledgeable people are aware of the absurdity of these claim. It’s the low IQ low info person who this drivel is created for.

  • Phelan Kell

    Tyranny has been telegraphing this punch in America for 30 years now. Anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty knows they are coming for our guns one way or another. At this point I really have to question the wisdom of it. Mentally most of America is completely neutered and asleep at the switch. They allow the gov’t to have half their paychecks now with barely a mutter or complaint.

    The news was full of pictures in Connecticut of the proud ‘Group C’ lining up for disarmament and enslavement. I used to think that Americans would never surrender or allow themselves to be enslaved, now I fear we already are

    May God forgive us for our lazy submission to enslavement and allow our children to regain the heritage won for them by the founders.

  • Paul B

    The first woman president will clean us out. She is a statist prig from the word go. We must defeat her.

    Maybe then we can do something about the courts. Right now they are in for life. And praying for short lives is not christian.

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Remember imprecatory prayers, Paul. If it was good enough for David …

  • revjen45

    Note that the “normal” stock lines up with the ergonomic wrist angle with the rifle held at the hip, while the pistol grip lines up when fired from the shoulder.

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Right. That’s the whole point of the Stoner design, i.e., to place recoil at the centerline of the weapon and directed back at your shoulder so that it doesn’t “rotate” about a pivot point centered somewhere around the trigger.

  • opaww

    Male cats spray, garden hoses spray, Anti-gunners spray out their a_ses, guns just shoot when someone pulls the trigger.

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You are currently reading "New York, Pistol Grips And Spray Firing", entry #11719 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control,Guns and was published January 2nd, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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