Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

We Can’t Just Pull Our Gun And Shoot Someone

BY Herschel Smith
2 hours, 15 minutes ago


In a classroom on the campus of the Border Patrol Academy here at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Andrew Andrade, an instructor, is guiding a group of future Border Patrol agents through an intensive Spanish language-training course.

Across campus, Ryan Choi instructs another group of Border Patrol trainees in self-defense tactics. “It’s not like the movies,” he said as the trainees paired off. “They aren’t going to stand up and fight, they’re going to charge you.”

In another part of the campus, a Border Patrol instructor enters a building set up to look like a barn where he finds two men counting money with what appears to be packages of drugs. One of the men yells at him in English, while the other man yells in Spanish. Both men move around, gesturing wildly with their hands. Dan M. Harris, chief of the academy, stands nearby urging the instructor to size up the situation. This simulated encounter is used to teach new trainees to consider all options before using deadly force.

“We have to slow it down and think,” Mr. Harris said. “We can’t just pull our gun and shoot someone to get out of bad situation. We have to use our brain.”

Hmm … so let me think about this.  Cops all over America policing U.S. citizens pull their guns out all of the time, and oftentimes let go a barrage of rounds, sometimes hitting their target, sometimes not, sometimes killing innocent people, all because of “officer safety.”  They must get home safely at the end of their shift, no matter what, even if innocent people perish at their hands.  They do this with utter impunity, with no accountability by the courts, the people, or their blue-costumed buddies.  Every little Podunk town now has a SWAT team with tacticool officers who want more than anything to go raid somebody’s house.

And yet the border patrol must think before unholstering their weapons in the middle of an invasion across our borders.  What’s wrong with this picture?  I think I’ve seen it before in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Yes, I know I have.

Update On Open Carry Of Firearms In North Carolina State Parks

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 1 hour ago

If you will recall, I discussed signage in Mount Mitchell State Park that led me to file a complaint.  I had an extended email conversation with Bryan Dowdy with the North Carolina State Park Service.  It is reproduced below.

Mr. Smith,

Your email complaint was forwarded to me for a reply.

The ‘Welcome To’ sign as pictured in your post is correct.   Per North Carolina Administrative Code, 07 NCAC 13B .0901(a) and (b), FIREARMS;  The possession of firearms whether they are openly carried or carried concealed are prohibited in / on all North Carolina State Parks lands and waters unless a person has a valid concealed handgun permit and thus that person may possess a concealed handgun provided they are adhering to the requirements set forth in G.S. 14-415.11.  There are three exceptions to this Rule in that the State Park lands and waters at Falls Lake, Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas are owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and subject to separate federal regulations governing firearms.

I have included the applicable NC Administrative Code below for your information.

Additionally, we do not permit hunting on State Parks lands (including at Mount Mitchell State Park) so anyone openly carrying a weapon or hunting black bear or other animals on the State Park would be unlawful.  You may be confused with the US Forest Service lands and/or North Carolina Wildlife Game lands which border State Park lands around Mount Mitchell State Park which do allow limited hunting.



(a) Except as provided in Paragraph (b) or G.S. 14-269, no person except authorized park employees, their agents, or contractors, shall carry or possess firearms, air guns, air soft guns, paint ball guns, bows and arrows, sling shots, or lethal missiles of any kind within any park.

(b) A person with a valid concealed handgun permit issued by one of the United States that adheres to the requirements set forth in G.S. 14-415.11 may carry a concealed handgun on the grounds and waters of a state park. Persons acting under this exception should take notice that certain Division managed properties are owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and subject to separate regulations governing firearms. Accordingly, concealed handguns are prohibited at Falls Lake, Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas.

(c) The possession or use of cap pistols is prohibited. The possession or use of dynamite or other powerful explosives as defined in G.S. 14-284.1 is prohibited.

(d) The possession or use of pyrotechnics is prohibited except for pyrotechnics exhibited, used, or discharged in connection with an authorized public exhibition and approved by the Director of the Division of Parks and Recreation, or designee. Persons wishing to possess or use pyrotechnics in connection with a public exhibition, such as a public celebration, shall file an application for a special use permit with the park superintendent. All applicants shall enter an indemnification agreement with the Department and obtain general liability and property damage insurance, with limits as determined by the Secretary or designee, which are reasonably necessary to cover possible liability for damage to property and bodily injury or damage to persons which may result from, or be caused by, the public exhibition of pyrotechnics or any act(s) or omission(s) on the part of the applicant(s) or the applicant’s agents, servants, employees, or subcontractors presenting the public exhibition. The Division Director or designee may deny an application as deemed necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, or to protect the natural resources of the park unit.

History Note: Authority G.S. 14-269; 14-410; 14-415; 14-415.11; 14-415.24; 113-8; 143B-135.16; 143B-135.43;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. October 1, 1984; January 1, 1983;

Temporary Amendment Eff. July 2, 1997;

Temporary Amendment Expired September 29, 1998;

Amended Eff. January 1, 2014; April 1, 1999;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 12B .0901 Eff. April 1, 2017.

Thank you for your inquiry and we hope this information adequately addresses your concerns.


Bryan Dowdy


Thank for your thoughtful reply.  You are correct about hunting – I was thinking about area appurtenant to the state park.  I appreciate the correction.

However, the administrative code to which you referred simply does not say what you said it says.

It discusses concealed carry, and since when I recently visited Mt. Mitchell I have a CHP, I complied with the law as written.  However, the admin code is simply a recapitulation of already existing laws concerning the carry of concealed handguns throughout NC.

The admin code simply does not say that open carriers must be permitted, and that still appears to me to be in contravention of state law.


Herschel Smith

Mr. Smith,

Subsection (a) of NCAC 07 NCAC 13B .0901 FIREARMS:,  clearly states that no person except authorized park employees, agents, contractors shall carry or possess firearms unless they have a concealed handgun permit or fall within one of the categories in G.S. 14-269 (e.g. law enforcement officers, retired law enforcement officers, active duty military when acting under orders to be armed, etc.).   This prohibition is defined as open or concealed carry of any firearm.

This original Administrative Code prohibiting the possession or carrying of any firearms, open or concealed has been in place for at least 30 years with the exception where we amended the Rule in January 2014 to allow persons with Concealed Handgun Permits to possess a concealed handgun on State Park lands.

(a) Except as provided in Paragraph (b) or G.S. 14-269, no person except authorized park employees, their agents, or contractors, shall carry or possess firearms, air guns, air soft guns, paint ball guns, bows and arrows, sling shots, or lethal missiles of any kind within any park.


Bryan Dowdy

I understand your position Mr. Dowdy.  I don’t want this to be contentious, I just want clarity and I think we’ve achieved that.  One final question, sir.

I note that you’ve referred to administrative code, not general statutes of NC.  To me, this is an important distinction.  I work in an area where we must comply with the CFR, but everything is open to interpretation since these are “rules” and “regulations” rather than “law.”  As such, Congress never voted on them – they merely empowered someone else (i.e., the executive) to make such rules.

I take it that you see the administrative code as regulations / rules, but your agents apply those regulations as laws?  If so, then you have effectively banned unpermitted carry when it is not banned by state law (as long as said carry is open).  I see that as a constitutional and legal issue ripe for litigation.

Thank you for the exchange sir.

Herschel Smith

My readers and I have discussed the difference between “law” and “regulation” in excruciating detail before, so there is no reason to recapitulate that conversation.

To date I have not received a response to this last email.  As you can see, my charge is that the NC State Park Service and appurtenant groups (NC DoJ) have promulgated regulations (i.e., that all carry of weapons in state parks must be permitted, whether open or concealed) that are simply not supported by state laws, since North Carolina is a traditional open carry state.

At least, contrary to Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, he doesn’t assert that open carry is disallowed in state parks.  This is smart and complies with North Carolina law, but the requirement for permitting in state parks for open carry simply does not.  This is ripe for litigation in my opinion.

The Open Carry Of Guns In State And National Parks In North Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 1 hour ago

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said, for example, that visible sidearms wouldn’t be allowed at a similar rally in North Carolina.

“Protests, you cannot carry,” Harrison said, adding that gun owners need to know the nuances of the law.

Those who carry guns openly can’t do so at organized sporting events. Schools are off limits, and so are state and federal parks.

Upon reading this, I sent a note to Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, and since the note didn’t mirror to my own email address, I will reproduce it here to the best I can remember.

“Mr. Harrison, as best as I am aware, and I have recently discussed this with a ranger who represents North Carolina on these issues, you are flat wrong on the open carry of weapons in North Carolina state parks.  Furthermore, you don’t control the regulations for national parks, and no such regulation exists for national parks, except that you must comply with the laws of the state, and North Carolina is a traditional open carry state.

You have communicated material false information to readers.”

I have yet to receive a reply.

Sig Sauer Reaffirms Safety Of P320 Pistol

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 2 hours ago


… individual attempts to perform drop tests outside of professionally controlled environments should not be attempted.  “SIG SAUER is committed to producing only the finest products,” said Ron Cohen, President and CEO of SIG SAUER. “Safety and reliability have been and always will be paramount to the SIG SAUER brand.”

That sounds rather contradictory to me.  Furthermore, the Sig CEO didn’t do himself any favors when he said that no gun is drop safe.

He’s made three points here, and he’s wrong on every single one of them.

The first is that any gun will fire if dropped from high enough, and if it lands just the right way on an unforgiving surface. This is untrue. Many good modern handguns would likely disintegrate on impact before the forces involved induce firing. My Sig P250 – the P320’s dad – has a firing pin block that would probably put it into this category. I would love to see a test where a P250 can be made to fire as a result from any drop, at any angle, from any height.

The second point is that we’d ‘legitimize mishanding’ if guns were drop safe from typical distances. This is so stupid it actually causes my teeth to hurt. Back when the double-action revolver was the standard police firearm and the most common civilian firearm, mishandling was not ‘legitimized’ by their intrinsically safe design.

Finally, he asserts that guns are ‘inherently’ unsafe if dropped under ordinary circumstances, and by extension, we should have no expectation that they should be. This is again incorrect; it is entirely reasonable to expect that a modern handgun, when dropped in a typical way, will not discharge on impact. Most guns meet this standard, at least if we define ‘typical’ as a drop from waist height on to a hard surface, at any angle. Nobody is complaining that their p320 will fire if it falls from an aircraft. We are complaining because it might fire if it slides off the kitchen table.

I can’t imagine how Sig’s lawyers could have approved a statement like this.

At least the statement is a self inflicted wound.  I don’t know about the gun, since I don’t shoot Sigs.

The Army Wants An Everything-Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 2 hours ago

Stars and Stripes:

The Army is hunting for a new universal assault rifle to arm infantrymen with a lighter, more powerful weapon as a potential replacement for systems ranging from carbines to light machine guns.

The Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle would fill capability gaps at the infantry squad level, the Army said in a federal contract posting last week.

The planning is in the early stages and no formal contract has been awarded, but the Army’s solicitation for concepts is part of a broader push to modernize the force.

In July, defense contractors asked about the ultimate purpose of the new rifle, which was initially billed as a replacement for the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW.

The Army answered that during the next two years, the government will decide whether a next-generation weapon should be able “to fulfill additional roles such as that of the squad designated marksman, medium machine gun, and the carbine,” according to the advisory posted on the government’s main contracting website.

The Army also has been at work developing a new cartridge to replace the 5.56mm round used by the M4 and M16. The aim is to develop ammunition that would be interchangeable with a next-generation weapon.

So the Army is saying, “We want a carbine that is also a light machine gun, capable of shooting any caliber, able to fill virtually any role we ask, with a larger bullet than 5.56mm, and oh, also serving as a designated marksman rifle for long distance shooting, even though we, the Army, have no such role or training as designated marksman.”  While they’re at it, let’s throw in ammunition that is just as light at the 5.56mm even though the bullet diameter is larger, so that women can carry the load.

I want … I want … I want … gimme gimme gimme … everything in one awesome package, right now, dammit!  Something tells me this isn’t going to go down well for the Army.

The Ten Most Popular Hunting Rifles In Alabama

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 2 hours ago

In reverse order, they are: Bergara B-14 Hunter, Weatherby Mark V Accumark, Christensen Mesa, Howa Hogue 1500, Savage Axis, Steyr Pro Hunter, Remington 700, Browning X-Bolt, Ruger American, and coming in at #1, Tikka T3x Lite.

Two quick comments.  First of all, my Tikka is a great bolt action rifle.  It looks like other people think so too.  Second, it’s nice to see low cost, but high quality American-made rifles up in the list, like Ruger American and Savage Axis.

The First Amendment As Protection For Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

Tyler Yzaguirre:

The United States is a nation built upon individual rights and freedoms.

One in particular that is often fought over is the “right of the people to keep and bear arms,” or more simply put, the right to carry a firearm.

Open carry is the act of publicly carrying a firearm on one’s person in plain sight. The majority of states allow citizens to open carry a firearm without a permit.

Surprisingly, Texas is not one of those states.

Now while this may seem shocking at first, most of these open carry states place burdensome restrictions on the act. These include location restrictions such as high schools and certain cities, state buildings, police stations, and shopping malls. With all these restrictions, open carry isn’t as permissible as it sounds.

The First Amendment has historically been much more difficult to limit than the Second, so extending Freedom of Speech to encompass the open display of firearms needs to be addressed. The case for open carrying being protected under the First Amendment can be made through symbolic speech.

The United States Supreme Court has answered the issue of firearms being protected by the Second Amendment through DC v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010). In regards to open carry from a legal perspective, we must look to the state laws rather than the Constitution.

However, there has been no Supreme Court case deciding whether or not the act of open carrying is protected by the First Amendment.

Open carrying a firearm is an action; it is symbolic speech because it is a public statement. As history has shown us, actions and public statements, are protected by the First Amendment under symbolic speech. Examples of this include students in Des Moines wearing armbands to protest the Vietnam War, waving flags that may be seen as offensive and even flag burning.

Symbolic speech relies heavily on the context within which it occurs.

According to Delaware’s leading Open Carry organization, “self-defense is the foremost reason for open carry.”Another leading reason as to why law abiding citizens open carry firearms is for educational purposes.

People want to bring attention to the fact that they have the right to bear arms and that they can legally and safely exercise that right.

Well, this is an interesting perspective indeed.  Since I open carry from time to time and have strongly advocated open carry legislation in my neighboring state of South Carolina, I have addressed the issue of open carry with my readers.

I have said in no uncertain terms that I do not open carry to “make a point.”  I open carry because I hate concealed carry.  It’s uncomfortable and tactically inferior to open carry, and in the summer if I conceal I sweat my weapon, which not only causes rust and corrosion, but makes it a lint-magnet as well.  I have very practical reasons for open carry.

But I have also made it clear that any calls to LEOs because someone openly carries would be a good opportunity for 911 operators to educate the public: “What do you mean he was carrying a gun, ma’am?  Was he brandishing it, holding it, waving it around or threatening someone with it?”  “No?  Okay then, he isn’t violating any law in North Carolina by simply carrying a holstered firearm.”

There is no prima facie reason that open carry cannot be legitimately for the reason of making a statement or for education purposes.  I’ve just never personally taken that stance for myself.  But the author makes a good case for such behavior being protected by the constitution, and I see this as ripe for litigation.

Senator Looking To Restart “Smart Gun” Efforts In New Jersey

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg heads to Washington for the day Thursday, waiting to kick-start a 15-year quest to require personalized “smart guns” on the shelves of New Jersey gun retailers.

Such guns would have technology keeping them from being fired by anyone other than the registered owner or, as envisioned in the case of police officers, the officers and their partners. Current New Jersey law requires them to be exclusively sold in New Jersey once they’re viable – which may be unintentionally undercutting their path to the marketplace.

Weinberg was invited by the head of CeaseFire Washington state to attend Thursday’s event in the nation’s capital, featuring a former United States drug czar and the results of a survey on the safety concerns of 400 law enforcement professionals.

“They’re wanting to move toward the child-proof handgun technology, so we’ll hear the results of that survey. We have a panel. Some people who are involved in the research and development will also be there,” Weinberg said.

Yea, I’m sure that’s what they’re wanting – to move to smart guns for the sake of the children.  Just not for them, but for everyone else.

I hope they are successful fielding a “smart gun” for the cops to try out first.  And once all of that money has been spent, I think the cops in New Jersey should keep them.  Forever.

In light of this, I renew my challenge for any designer to use the NRC fault tree handbook and demonstrate that a “smart gun” is as reliable as any other.  If he can do that, I’ll pour ketchup on my hard hat and eat it.

Tag: Smart Guns

The Army Wants A New 7.62mm Infantry Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

The Firearm Blog:

The US Army has released a solicitation for a new 7.62mm infantry rifle to replace the M4. The Interim Combat Service Rifle programknown to be in the works since April of this year, would replace M4 Carbines in use with combat units with a new weapon in the 7.62x51mm caliber. The new solicitation requires companies to submit 7 weapons plus ancillaries for testing, and includes the promise of up to 8 Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs, non-contract transactions), leading to the eventual selection of 1 weapon for a contract of 50,000 units.

The primary justification for the ICSR program are improved ceramic body armors that are resistant to existing forms of small arms ammunition. The logic goes that the Army’s new 5.56mm M855A1 roundcannot penetrate these new armors, and therefore the service must switch to a new round. However, this is misleading, as current 7.62mm M80A1 is incapable of penetrating these body armors either – and specialty tungsten cored ammunition in both 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibers are capable of penetrating armor of this type. The US Army seems to be banking on its yet-undescribed XM1158 ADVAP round to bridge this gap – however Chief Milley himself admitted in testimony to Congress that the ADVAP’s design could be applied to either 7.62mm or 5.56mm ammunition.

So the bolt action sniper rifles aren’t good enough.  They want a semi-automatic in 7.62mm (presumably the NATO round).  And also presumably so that the standard soldier can be as incompetent shooting 7.62mm as she is shooting 5.56mm, while she also has to carry more weight.  Sounds like a plan to me.

Or the Army could actually teach their soldiers to shoot 5.56mm with proper fire control and using fire and maneuver small unit combat tactics, techniques and procedures, sort of like they’re supposed to.  That way, they could let the designated marksmen shoot the long range shots while they conserve their ammunition for a protracted engagement.  Oh, that’s right.  I forgot.  The Army doesn’t have designated marksmen – the Corps does.

A new cartridge and/or a new gun can’t do what poor doctrine doesn’t do.

Sixty Year Old Texas Woman Fends Off Home Invaders With Handgun

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

The Washington Times:

Two armed home invaders entered a Harris County, Texas, home on Monday, but only one lived to talk about it.

Thomas Gilliland of Harris County Sheriff’s Office told reporters this week that a 60-year-old woman exercised her Second Amendment rights to fend off two men. One of the suspects collapsed and died in her front yard shortly after 11:30 a.m. local time.

“It’s the state of Texas — if you’re going to go into someone’s home, you’re going to get shot,” neighbor Cathy Hanks told a local CBS affiliate. “That’s really how we are. That’s just Texas.”

The unidentified suspect who got away was wearing dark clothing and visible red underwear, the station reported. The victim, whose name was not publicized, said he appeared to be around 20-years-old.

“Both were armed with pistols. She confronted both suspects,” said Mr. Gilliland added.

One firearm was found next to the dead suspect’s body.

There must be some mistake.  This is impossible.  It’s impossible to own a gun and actually be safer because of it.  Er … it’s impossible to defend your life without all of that Ninja warrior stress control training.  Er … it’s impossible for old people to defend their lives with a gun.  Er … a gun makes you statistically less safe.

I just can’t believe this.  You mean she was able to do this without going to classes taught by former SpecOps on CQB and room clearing TTPs?

As for the progs among us, they would rather the woman have been raped and killed than to use a gun to defend herself.

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