Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

ATF Rulemaking On Adjudication As Mentally Defective

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

Perhaps someone else I regularly read alerted me to this, but if so, I certainly overlooked it.  This one slid under the wire with me.  Comments close at midnight on April 7th, so these comments will have to suffice.  Prince Law Offices filed an objection to the rulemaking, and their filing is worth reading.  They observe that “few in the Firearms Industry wanted to take a stand against this new notice of proposed rulemaking.”  Perhaps so, but I’m not in the “industry.”  And I do indeed take a strong stand against this rulemaking.  Herein are my comments to the ATF.

The ATF is not the appropriate bureau of the executive to make decisions on adjudication on metal health of any sort.  Furthermore, even qualified individuals disagree with the notion that this will ameliorate crime or other nefarious uses of firearms.  Witness the following list of experts.

Dr. J. Michael Bostwick, Mayo Clinic: “We physicians generally do not know enough about firearms to have an informed conversation with our patients, let alone counsel them about gun safety.”  He continues by arguing:

  • Even if every mentally ill person in the country were registered, the system isn’t prepared to handle them — and only about half of the states require registration.
  • Only about 10 percent of mentally ill people are registered — and these are people who have been committed, they’ve come to attention in a way that requires court intervention.
  • Literature says the vast majority of people who do these kinds of shootings are not mentally ill — or it is recognized after the fact.
  • The majority of mentally ill people aren’t dangerous.

Dr. Richard Friedman: ” … there is overwhelming epidemiological evidence that the vast majority of people with psychiatric disorders do not commit violent acts. Only about 4 percent of violence in the United States can be attributed to people with mental illness.

Dr. Barry Rosenfeld: “”We’re not likely to catch very many potentially violent people” with laws like the one in New York.”

Dr. Steven Hoge: “One reason even experienced psychiatrists are often wrong is that there are only a few clear signs that a person with a mental illness is likely to act violently.”

And National Journal notes the following.

Perhaps most important, although people with serious mental illness have committed a large percentage of high-profile crimes, the mentally ill represent a very small percentage of the perpetrators of violent crime overall. Researchers estimate that if mental illness could be eliminated as a factor in violent crime, the overall rate would be reduced by only 4 percent. That means 96 percent of violent crimes—defined by the FBI as murders, robberies, rapes, and aggravated assaults—are committed by people without any mental-health problems at all. Solutions that focus on reducing crimes by the mentally ill will make only a small dent in the nation’s rate of gun-related murders, ranging from mass killings to shootings that claim a single victim.  It’s not just that the mentally ill represent a minority of the country’s population; it’s also that the overlap between mental illness and violent behavior is poor.

Attempts to restrict firearms ownership for the rightful and God-granted purposes of self defense suffer from lack of legitimacy (since ATF isn’t the right place for such rules to be born) and outrageous prejudice and bigotry, evil features of mankind’s sinful nature that have no place whatsoever in American society.

Since propensity to violence isn’t in any way able to be correlated to mental health issues, and since the mentally ill do not in large measure commit acts of violence at a higher rate than those who are supposedly mentally sound, this rulemaking is unjust and no more than an abortion.  Violence is a function of evil rather than mental soundness, something that an ATF questionnaire or doctor’s examination cannot quantify or repair.

Development Of Weapons Technology In U.S. Lags World Because Of Gun Control

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

WRSA likes this machine gun (details here).  My experience (attempting to exchange email among other things) is that H&K has a rather elitist attitude.  Furthermore, like so many firearms manufacturers, they make many of their weapons systems only for military and law enforcement.

Okay, nice machine gun.  But here is a fact which bears mentioning.  American engineering is second to none.  Things like open bolt versus closed bolt, mechanisms to cool the gun, head spacing, spring constants, gas operation design, component materials (among many others) are all variables that can be used by entrepreneurial engineers and gunsmiths to design a better weapon.

Do you want to know why that doesn’t happen in America?  There is no incentive.  The largest gun market in America is civilian, and as you know the manufacture and sale of newly designed or built fully automatic weapons has been illegal to anyone except LEOs since the abomination called the Hughes Amendment.

William J. Hughes was a democrat from New Jersey in case you were wondering.

Mental Health And Guns: Mentally Defective Because You Believe In The Second Amendment

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

Remember when I asked this question?

When will you be adjudicated mentally defective because you believe that being armed is the surest way to ameliorate tyranny in America?

Now we know the answer.  Via Uncle, The Washington Post:

[Plaintiffs allege that, as] of February 3, 2011, Plaintiffs possessed FOID cards, owned firearms, and kept their firearms in their home. At some point before February 3, 2011, David expressed “unpopular political views … about his support of Second Amendment rights” to “a locally elected official.” That official, somebody in that official’s office, or one of the individual defendants falsely construed David’s comments “as evidence that [he] had a mental condition that made him dangerous.” On February 3, 2011, [Illinois State Police] Lieutenant [John] Coffman wrote a letter to David revoking his FOID card under § 8(f) of the Act based on the false and unreasonable assertion that David had a “mental condition” within the meaning of that provision.

On February 5, 2011, with Lieutenant Coffman’s approval, Agents Pryor and Summers entered Plaintiffs’ home without a warrant or consent, conducted a search, and seized Plaintiffs’ firearms, which Plaintiffs used for personal protection, hunting, investment, and enjoyment …

Simply because local LEOs wanted to, the Plaintiffs had their weapons confiscated, and the LEOs ignored constitutional protections regarding illegal search and seizure.  The case has to do with residents of Illinois, but it could be anywhere.

Now someone spend the time and expend the effort to explain to me how mental health checks are going to keep guns out of the hands of “dangerous criminals.”  Go ahead.  I’m listening.

Georgia Gun Law Changes

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

The content of HB 60, the omnibus gun bill passed by the Legislature last Thursday, is finally available online and in hard copy at the state Capitol.

Two areas are likely to spark some controversy. First, there’s a requirement that holders of concealed weapons permits must have that license on their persons when they carry. Which is immediately followed by the caveat that cops aren’t allowed to stop anyone solely to check for that permit:

(a) Every license holder shall have his or her valid weapons carry license in his or her immediate possession at all times when carrying a weapon, or if such person is exempt from having a weapons carry license pursuant to Code Section 16-11-130 or subsection (c) of Code Section 16-11-127.1, he or she shall have proof of his or her exemption in his or her immediate possession at all times when carrying a weapon, and his or her failure to do so shall be prima-facie evidence of a violation of the applicable provision of Code Sections

(b) A person carrying a weapon shall not be subject to detention for the sole purpose of investigating whether such person has a weapons carry license.

Howard Sills, sheriff of Putnam County, noted the language as the bill passed last week:

“Then there is one sentence, and it destroys everything, ” Sills said.

That one sentence says police may not detain anyone to demand to see a weapons permit. That means, Sills said, that if someone is walking down the street late at night with a pistol stuck in his waistband, police may not stop him and ask to see his weapons permit.

I don’t have much to say about this except notice the sleight of hand by the CLEO.  What the proposed law says is that you must have your permit with you, and then they made it clear that there will be no “stop and identify” authority.

As it is now, Georgia is a stop and identify state (with some form of law intended for loitering).  They are undoing that.  That has no bearing on the issue of permits, and the CLEO knows it.  He knows that he told a lie when he said one sentence “destroys everything.”

The CDC On Guns And Health

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 3 days ago

In what must certainly make her parents proud, Hannah Sparks recently wrote Guns are bad, m’kay?  There isn’t time enough to address all of the inconsistencies and misrepresentations in the commentary, but one egregious error stands out.

Run-of-the-mill governmental corruption aside, the gun lobby wields its power in more insidious, blatantly harmful ways. One of its worst tactics is stymieing government research into gun violence from a public health perspective. The lobby’s first target was the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was conducting important data collection on gun violence in the mid-1990s.

Members of Congress allied with the gun lobby altered funding for the CDC in a way that explicitly prevented it from advocating for gun control. Recently, the National Institutes for Health has gotten similar treatment from Congressional Republicans for similar research. Funding for studies by public institutions like these is all but dry, and private researchers just can’t do the same kind of work as the CDC and NIH do.

Idiot Representative Keith Ellison sings the same tune in his recent interview with idiot Bill Maher.  We’ve discussed this before, the notion that the gun lobby is preventing anything from happening concerning studies.

All the gun lobby managed to do is prevent your and my tax dollars from going to such research.  The country is broke and we certainly can’t find a better way to cut wasteful spending.

As for the fact that “private researchers just can’t do the same kind of work as the CDC,” that’s just too damn bad.  If there is a market for it, private industry or private individuals will find a way to fund it.  Either way, you have a right to tax me for the common defense and building roads and bridges to enable interstate commerce.  Beyond that, I see no constitutional basis for confiscation of my wealth for any government program.

For Hannah, don’t use words like m’kay in the title line.  It evokes visions of stupid, gum-chomping girls.

More On Backstreets Pub And Deli On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

Fox Carolina:

CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) – A photo of a sign that hung inside a Clemson bar telling customers guns are not allowed has sparked outrage online because of the wording on the sign.

The sign read, “No concealed weapons. If you are such a loser that you feel you need to carry a gun with you when you go out, I don’t want your business. D-bag.”

The owner of Backstreets Pub and Grill, who did not want to be identified because of the backlash, said it has all been blown out of proportion.

“I just used the wrong wording,” he said.

Since the photo was shared, he took down the bar’s Facebook page and the Yelp profile has been slammed with negative reviews because of the sign. The sign was hung up after South Carolina legalized concealed weapons in bars earlier in 2014. The law does not allow people legally carrying to drink.

“There’s no reason in a college town to bring a gun into a college bar with college kids and that’s just what I was trying to get passed,” he said.

The owner said the sign is not about taking away customers’ second amendment rights. He also has his own permit.

“I’m a gun owner, I got a right to carry permit when they first came out,” he said.

But when asked why he typed up the sign, he said he was frustrated following the law.

“I was just frustrated, I had one more thing to worry about,” the owner said.

No reason, he says.  So college students don’t have a right to self defense?  Yea, he does have something to worry about.  College kids getting killed because they can’t defend themselves in his establishment.

Prior: Do You Carry A Gun?  Are You A Douche Bag?

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

David Codrea:

“ATF carried out these storefront sting operations across the country, from Oregon to Florida, and utilized deplorable tactics including exploiting mentally disabled individuals to generate business and later arresting them, setting up storefronts near schools, and even losing high-powered firearms … “It is surprising that failures such as Operation Fearless in Milwaukee occurred despite this enhance oversight from ATF leadership”

I would rather have thought that it was specifically because of this enhanced leadership that these things occurred.  Of course, this feature of the system isn’t a bug.  It’s by design.

Kurt Hofmann:

There is perhaps a compromise to be found here for people living under such laws. Defy those laws, obtain the “illegal” guns–even if you have to make them yourself in order to do so. Don’t register them (obviously)–perhaps even convert the registration forms into atmospheric carbon, just to get the “progressives” still more hot under the collar. But also maintain at least one “legal” AR-15, even if doing so requires odd gadgetry like the ARMagLock and the “SAFE Act”-compliant stock–just to let the other side know that however many gun ban laws they come up with, they’re still being outsmarted, and people are still buying AR-15s (which can, after all, be quickly converted to full capability).

Kurt cites me and I appreciate the attention.  Let’s be clear.  When I referred to the silly modified AR-15 as an abomination, I did so because it mocked Eugene Stoner’s intent to prevent a couple about the firing hand when it is used by placing all of the force on the same axis as the chamber.  I do hate it so when Mr. Stoner turns in his grave.  I admire him so, and feel his pain when he hurts.

Maybe Kurt has something, and I don’t mind ways to insult silly rules and keep our freedoms.  But take note.  One compromise here, another there, and the anti-gun zealots won’t be mollified.  They’re just emboldened.

WRSA has a great quote by C.S. Lewis that is a must read.  Sometimes I don’t think commenters understand what’s being said.  One implies that Lewis was a conventional conservative, statists who “mean well” but ending up harming us.  Not so fast.  Read a little deeper man.

The modern State exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good — anyway, to do something to us or to make us something. Hence the new name ‘leaders’ for those who were once ‘rulers’. We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals.

Lewis isn’t pitying the statists because they’re screw-ups who are trying to do good.  He is saying that their world and life view is different, leading them to different value judgments.  Their whole concept of good and bad, right and wrong, is different that yours or mine.  Or to cite Alvin Plantinga, their very of what’s logical is different than mine because of differences in world view.  This leads to different value judgments.

Go read Mike Vanderboegh’s latest letter to the legislatures of New Jersey and Rhode Island.

The firearm owners of your respective states tell me that you are busy men and women with short attention spans so I will try to make this brief …

Some things are just priceless.

Kel-Tec PMR-30 Review

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

I’ve had a Kel-Tec PMR-30 for a while now, and wanted to do a review of it.  But I had decided that I wouldn’t publish on this gun until I felt that I had a feel for what it did, why it did it, and how to operate it properly.  This is a unique gun for a number of reasons, and proper operation and maintenance isn’t intuitively obvious, even to an experienced gun owner like me.

2014B 001

The Kel-Tec PMR-30 is a .22 WMR (or .22 magnum) pistol that fits 30 rounds into the magazine.  It is light, very narrow framed, and odd in its parts and manipulation.

2014B 012

Below I show the Kel-Tec alongside a Smith & Wesson 1911 E Series pistol in order to show that the PMR-30 has a long barrel (both of these guns have a five inch barrel).  But in spite of the double stack magazine loading, the frame is still so narrow that the form and fit is different, requiring time at the range in order to accustom yourself to it.

2014B 014

It disassembles into an assortment of parts that looks different than any other polymer frame pistol (e.g., my XDm or my M&P), and certainly different than the 1911 pictured above.

2014B 017

But the PMR-30 is a finicky weapon, and one of the parts that failed on me after about two years of shooting is what I’ll call the slide retaining pin, pictured below.  The one that failed is pictured alongside the replacement from Kel-Tec, and as you can see, there is a stress concentration point in the design of the pin half way across the width of the slide.  This pin goes through the slide and holds it in place.  You can see the residual gun oil on my wife’s antique furniture, so perhaps she isn’t reading this article.

2014B 015

Another failure occurred about a year and a half ago with what Kel-Tec calls the “recoil spring guide lock ring.”  Once after shooting I attempted to disassemble the gun for cleaning and ended up having to force the slide off of the frame, with the result being that this ring elongated and became essentially a straight pin sitting on my kitchen floor somewhere (this happened because the ring had seized between the recoil spring guide rod and springs for some reason unknown to me).

After sweeping the kitchen, finding what was once the lock ring, and doing my own gunsmithing and reforming and reinstalling the ring, it worked fine and has worked ever since then.  The lock ring is shown below in what is admittedly a poor picture.


The PMR-30 has both a good and bad reputation within the gun community, good because it is a remarkably fun gun to shoot, and bad because it is remarkably finicky and picky.  I have suffered my share of failures to feed, failures to eject, and strange little parts failures with this gun.

That said, I have landed on what for me has made the difference in a horrible little bitch to shoot and a delightful partner at the range.  It all comes down to ammunition and magazine maintenance.

Pictured at the very top is nothing but personal defense ammunition in .22WMR.  I don’t shoot common .22 magnum ammunition any more in the gun, and I have had no failures since shooting high quality ammunition.  Rimfire ammunition is notoriously unreliable and dirty ammunition anyway and requires careful cleaning of the weapon after use.  Use of high quality ammunition makes the experience much more reliable with the PMR-30.

As for the magazine, it has a polymer follower combined with a polymer magazine frame, and the two don’t slide against each other very reliably unless I use a little oil in between the follower and magazine just prior to shooting.  I have not had any so-called “rimlock” failures, and I find that it’s relatively easy to load the ammunition.

I don’t want to repeat the other PMR-30 reviews out there, and there are a lot of them.  I also don’t want to repeat the ballistics gelatin tests of .22WMR ammunition (and there are plenty of them).  You don’t need me to perform Google and YouTube searches for you.

Basically, the .22WMR goes a full 14 inches or more into ballistics gelatin, and cavitates along the way.  The PMR-30 has a reputation for extreme muzzle flash, and I can vouch for this.  The round leaves energy in the barrel because of the slower burning rimfire load, but it still manages to achieve some 1375-1400 FPS muzzle velocity.

Readers know that I am a fan of .45 ACP, and this is my choice of personal defense weapons and ammunition.  Would I recommend carrying .22WMR for personal defense?  You’ll have to wait a moment to find that out.

The negatives of the PMR-30 include the polymer magazine, and I would willingly give up a little weight to have more reliable feeding of ammunition with a stainless steel magazine.  Also, if you are going to have reliable rimfire ammunition, you need to purchase high quality round, these being expensive enough to roughly compare to 9mm.  So if you’re going to shoot for training or carry a smaller defensive round, why would you choose .22WMR rather than 9mm?

The positives of this weapon and .22WMR are numerous.  First of all, I like the fiber optics sights.  Next, the .22WMR round has so little recoil that I can shoot it and retain or regain my sight picture with no effort.  This allows me to lay rounds on target much faster than I can with say .45 ACP or .40S&W.  I always end my range time with rapid fire of at least a couple of magazines, and no matter how much range time I put in, .45 is a hairy chested, big boy round, with a lot of powder pushing 230 grain fat boys.  That’s why I like it.  But it is difficult to maintain accuracy with rapid fire.  With the .22WMR it is effortless.  This means that for every two rounds of .45 I can put on target, I can put five or more .22WMR on target.  This means something, including in personal defense situations.

The magazine is long, and can hold up to 30 rounds.  I rarely put 30 rounds in, but whether it’s 20 or 25, this is a lot of rounds before reloading.  Would I carry .22WMR for personal defense?  I consider that to be an illegitimate question.  Hypotheticals don’t matter in personal defense.  The question is, “Have I carried the PMR-30 .22WMR for personal defense before?”  The answer is yes.

I carry different firearms at different times for different purposes and under different circumstances.  I would also recommend this round as a good backup round (say in an ankle holster).  Is it what I consider the premier personal defense round?  Of course not.  My choice for premier personal defense round would be a tossup between .357 magnum and .45 (both of which I have shot extensively).

But you may not have access to your premier round when you want it, or you may find it uncomfortable or unwieldy to carry.  I would certainly rather have this gun than not, especially given that I can lay so many rounds down range so quickly and accurately.

This gun is not a good recommendation for a single personal defense firearm for those who can only afford one weapon.  This gun is an extremely fun range toy, good for training purposes, capable of accurate rapid fire, and acceptable for personal defense in the absence of whatever you consider your premier personal defense round or as a backup weapon.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

David Codrea:

Such an assumption is not backed by a ruling or determination that so-called “80 percent receivers,” heretofore acknowledged by ATF not to be firearms, are now considered unregistered guns.

EP Armory and Ares Armor is doing yeoman’s work in this struggle against the forces of darkness, and you have to respect them for their position.  Visit David’s article for the latest.

Kurt Hofmann:

Without manufacturing or selling anything that can be considered a firearm under the law, one must, according to the BATFE, still be licensed as a gun dealer before offering access to the tools, and providing instruction in the process of completing an 80% receiver. There is, of course, precisely nothing in any federal statute that would impose such a requirement–the BATFE is making it up from whole cloth.

This is what happens when a lawless man like Eric Holder supervises a lawless organization like the DOJ under Obama which manages yet another lawless sub-part like the ATF.  Laws are for little people.  And the judges are in the administration’s pocket.

Via Uncle, Only Guns and Money has endorsements for NRA board.  By the way, I recently renewed my NRA membership (yearly renewal), as I figure that it justifies my right to complain when they don’t do what I want them to do.

Mike Vanderboegh is out of surgery.  He thanks all those who prayed for him.  I did.

Finally, via the Professor, there is this:

“Given that there are tens of thousands of substations on the national grid, PG&E’s experience may not seem so alarming. But according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission study disclosed by the Journal, a few dozen of the substations are so important to the flow of energy that knocking out just nine of them would cause a metastasizing blackout that stretched from coast to coast. And replacement transformers for these substations can take more than a year to build, deliver and install, in part because most are made overseas.”

And of course, my readers already knew this.  And knew it some more.  And some more.  And more still.  I’m not bragging.  I’m just sayin’.

Local Control Over Gun Laws

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Reader Michael Gilson sends this along from Charles C.W. Cooke:

… holding that municipalities are in fact the very best places for laws to be made, tested, and obeyed; and that keeping as much as possible as local as possible is the best way of ensuring that dissenters can choose somewhere else to live without having to leave the country.

The trouble with this view in the modern area, though, is that even in a reasonably small-government place such as Arizona, the sheer size of the state has ruined much of the virtue of local variation. If we lived under only a few laws, the live-and-let-live ideal inherent to localism would be infinitely more profitable. Phoenix could have stricter smoking laws while Tempe boasted looser ones; Boston could have a sales or hotel tax while Springfield politely declined; Boise could try out a certain school curriculum and compare it to the diametrically opposed one in Meridian. But there are an awful lot of rules now, and this has effectively made local control a tool that is only truly useful in the hands of the authoritarian.

Why? Well, the reason that “lawmakers often complain that the federal government oversteps its boundaries in state matters” is that the rules that are set by the federal government ultimately afford lawmakers in the states only one option: to add to them. Which is to say that in our hyper-governed and overly centralized age, regulation works only one way. No state is able to tell Washington that it will be operating with a minimum wage that is lower than the federal one; many, however, may elect to pass higher thresholds. No state is permitted to opt out of federal regulations; every legislature, however, is free to make them stricter. And when it comes to guns, the story is no different at the state level: “municipalities’ rights” always means that the progressive town in Idaho gets to prevents its citizens from carrying firearms in the manner to which the state’s other citizens are accustomed and never means that the conservative town in Massachusetts gets to opt out of that state’s stricter rules.

Well, it depends upon a whole lot of things, including whether states have preemption laws that stop cities and townships from imposing regulations on gun carriers that would prevent them from carrying in, for example, city parks.  My state of North Carolina has just such a law.  If we didn’t my city of Charlotte (progressive as it is) would have imposed such a regulation.

My reaction to Charles’ commentary is several-fold.  First, note that I have commented that the best place for lawmaking is the state, because in order to prevent local hicks, ne’er-do-wells and criminals from acting out their Napoleon fantasies upon other men, association with the state means that … local municipalities and townships shouldn’t be able to preempt state laws.

Second, this still leave a lot of room for the state.  States can allow liberal rules for concealed carry, ensure shall-issue statutes are passed and enforced, pass open carry laws, court gun manufacturing businesses (witness South Carolina), and citizens can elect (and Governors can appoint) judges who are amenable to expunging of criminal records for crimes that would otherwise prevent ownership of firearms per form 4473.

Finally, Charles is correct on state preemption of federal laws inasmuch as states willingly comply with them.  Here I return to the issue of nullification, and point out what I have so many times before.  States have as much power over the expanding federal government as they want to have.  If they refuse to stop it, the federal leviathan will continue to grow.

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