Archive for the 'Gun Control' Category

Challenge To Bump Stock ATF Ruling

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

David Codrea writing at Ammoland:

The stock I obtained, signed by inventor Bill Akins and still in its original packaging, was initially approved as “legal,” then was deemed “illegal,” subsequently returned for rework to remove the spring and once more deemed “legal.”  Now it is supposedly illegal again and if I don’t obey the order to rid myself of my twice-confirmed “legal” property, I’ll be branded a felon and subject to life and freedom-destroying punishments. For the record, I have no intention of using it and don’t even own the type of rifle it is made for. I own it, among other reasons, because I consider it a piece of firearms history, because it pleases me to own it, because the gun-grabbers don’t want me to, and because it is my right.

Yes, to all of the above.  But note that the ATF couldn’t possibly care less how much unjustified damage they do to life and property.  It’s their bread and butter.

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes, perhaps to the Supreme Court.

Gun Controller In Chief

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

The Washington Examiner:

President Trump’s Tuesday announcement of a bump stock ban is upsetting members of a core constituency: gun owners wooed by his effusive campaign-trail vows to defend the Second Amendment, with two groups promising to see Trump in court.

“If there’s anything that irritates you more than a president like Obama who’s trying to stab you in the heart, it’s one who is trying to stab you in the back,” said Michael Hammond, legislative counsel of Gun Owners of America, a group that claims more than 1.5 million members.

Bump stocks allow semi-automatic rifles to fire more rapidly, contributing to the 59-person massacre at a 2017 Las Vegas concert, and the ban was widely anticipated. Owners have 90 days to destroy or give the government their devices.

The ban was regarded as a less-controversial gun control step after Trump shocked gun groups in February by endorsing a higher age limit for AR-15 rifles, background checks for private gun sales, and reforms to let police “take the guns first, go through due process second.”

Hammond, who branded Trump the “gun grabber in chief” when he voiced support for various forms of gun control after the massacre at a high school in Parkland, Fla., now calls him the “gun grabber in chief, with a vengeance,” arguing the bump stock ban is illegal and opens the door to more weapon seizures.

“I don’t think Trump understands that just because he goes to 10 rallies and says ‘I love the Second Amendment’ that if he does things that are dramatically anti-Second Amendment, our people are going to be mad. Our people are not stupid,” Hammond said.

On Friday, Gun Owners of America intends to sue the Trump administration over the bump stock ban, citing the Obama administration’s conclusion that the plastic devices don’t meet the legal definition for machine gun, meaning they cannot be banned.

Hammond estimates that up to 1 million people own a bump stock and objects to the approximately $300 item being taken without compensation. He argues the Trump administration’s legal justification could later allow for a backdoor AR-15 ban.

Another group, the Firearms Policy Coalition, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday challenging the ban.

“The bottom line is President Trump has been more anti-gun in his tenure, in terms of legislation and regulations, than the Obama administration,” said Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition.

“I think his base is probably going to see in the next election cycle the choice between someone who has not been great for us and someone who would probably be worse. Then the question is, what would that mean for turnout?” Combs said.

The bump stock was banned the same day as Trump’s Federal Commission on School Safety adopted a report calling for states to pass laws allowing the temporary gun seizures using “extreme risk protection orders.”

Having done that which Obama wouldn’t even do.  And that about sums it up.  Trump’s Northern progressive proclivities combined with his awful counsel from senior staffers has caused a situation in which he might not get the turnout necessary for another win.

Trump gave us time without another Clinton presidency.  That’s all.  Use it well.

Attorney General Bill Barr On Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

What gun rights?

On the DeConcini amendment, I would prefer a limitation on the clip size. But ultimately, I would recommend the President sign a bill that had the Brady waiting period and the DeConcini assault weapons provisions in it as long as we had other tough crime measures in it that dealt with the other problems. And I have not considered before whether the waiting period should apply to assault weapons, but — and I want to think about that, but off the top of my head, I don’t think there should be an objection to that.

You mean that Red-Flag gun law “Take the guns first,” “ban the bump stocks,” Trump, did it again by completely ignoring gun rights in favor of somebody who mouthed off in favor of Trump?  You mean that Trump chose a personality over deep, ideological commitment?

I’m shocked.

Pittsburgh Gun Control Plan And AR-15s

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

Paul Muschick:

The reaction to my recent column supporting Pittsburgh’s proposed ban on assault weapons, and calling for a similar ban statewide, was predictable.

There was a passionate and often vile backlash from gun owners who cited the Constitution’s Second Amendment and argued it forbids government from interfering with their right to own firearms.

I was called a traitor, a parasitic person, a shoddy hack, a fool, a Marxist, a leftist reporter, a libtard, a dumb $%& liberal and so on.

Several readers said an AR-15 does not meet the definition of an assault rifle, and that any weapon could be an assault weapon.

They raised a point worth a deeper look. There’s no question that any gun, and countless household objects ranging from knives to hammers, can be used to commit assault. So is it fair and accurate to use the term “assault weapon”? Just what does that mean?

Well, as you’d expect on a topic as touchy as firearms, there are multiple definitions. How expansive the definition is, and whether it includes an AR-15, depends on who is doing the defining.

I used the term because the proposed ordinance in Pittsburgh uses it, and that’s what I was writing about.

The legislation proposed in Pittsburgh defines an assault weapon as: “A selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semiautomatic or burst fire at the option of the user or a firearm that has the ability to accept a large capacity magazine.”

The definition lists 36 specific “semiautomatic firearms” including “Colt AR-15.”

You can find the complete definition in the proposed ordinance on Pittsburgh’s website, Look under “city info” and then “press releases” for the one titled, “Leaders Forward Package of Common Sense Gun Safety Measures.”

In April, a federal judge upheld Massachusetts’ law, ruling that assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment.

“The AR-15 and its analogs, along with large capacity magazines, are simply not weapons within the original meaning of the individual constitutional right to ‘bear arms,’” U.S. District Judge William Young said in his opinion, according to the Associated Press.

Plenty of people disagree with that, so that debate never will end. Neither will the debate over what an assault weapon is, and whether to ban them.

As I said in last week’s column, bans won’t prevent all mass shootings, but they could make them harder to commit and minimize the damage.

I can live with being called a traitor, a hack and a parasite for suggesting that.

The above is just excerpts from the commentary.

It’s a silly law, almost as silly as this commentary.  The formal definition of assault weapon is as follows:

Assault rifles are short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachinegun and rifle cartridges … Assault rifles have mild recoil characteristics and, because of this, are capable of delivering effective full-automatic fire at ranges up to 300 meters.

The law contradicts itself in its very definition, from first calling it a “selective fire” weapon (which by definition excludes semi-automatic firearms), and then rolling in semi-automatic weapons.

But it’s important not to get too wrapped up in definitions because most readers, as do I, believe that citizens should be armed at least as well as the military.  So let’s don’t worry about what we call it.

Paul commits a formal logical fallacy, to wit, he assumes the accuracy of an opinion based on who believes it, or in other words, the genetic fallacy.  Judges in Nazi Germany believed it was right to send Jews and Christians to the gas chambers too.  The fact that a tyrant believes something is no more proof of its righteousness than my dogs opinion.

Moreover, he’s trafficking in myth-making.  The notion that a ban will make shootings “harder to commit” and “minimize the damage” is just something he made up.  There is no proof of this assertion, and criminals will find a way to perpetrate horrible things regardless of the obstacles in their way.  Some of the worst mass casualties in American history as from explosions intentionally done by the perpetrator (consider Andrew Kehoe and the Bath Consolidated School in Michigan in 1927).

Furthermore, we know that one underreported method to obtain weapons illegally is by targeting LEOs, a tactic frequently employed in Brazil.  The notion that only the LEOs will have access to these weapons is patently false.  Only LEOs and criminals will have access.  The use of such weapons for an individual redounds to self defense, something we know has been employed numerous times with semi-automatic weapons and standard capacity magazines.

There is also the false idea pervading these discussions that a bolt action rifle from a standoff location cannot be used to effect the same casualties, something Charles Whitman proved wrong, and something we know to be wrong from the history of warfare.

Before I close, I want to complain about one more thing.  A pet peeve of mine when people use the word “analog” when they really should have used the word “analogue.”  The two words don’t mean the same thing.  So much for the idiot, U.S. District Judge William Young.

A Democrat House Is Ready To Push Universal Background Checks

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

The Atlantic:

During the November elections, a number of Democratic House candidates made gun control a central theme of their midterm campaign, and dozens more gave the issue strong emphasis on the trail. Next month, they might have a chance to follow through on their campaign promises with legislation requiring federal background checks on all gun sales.

The legislation isn’t likely to become law. It will be a bit like Republican House efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act back in 2017, said Adam Winkler, a constitutional-law professor at UCLA: a symbolic gesture that never becomes the law of the land, but that nonetheless serves a political purpose.

House Democrats, led by Thompson, are planning to introduce the legislation within the first 100 days of the new Congress, according to a report from Politico on Monday. “The new Democratic majority will act boldly and decisively to pass commonsense, life-saving background checks that are overwhelmingly supported by the American people,” incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. And activists want to do it by February 14, the one-year anniversary of the 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Oh, I think it’s more than just pro forma legislation.  First of all, it isn’t clear to me that the GOP has the guts or belief system in anything but themselves to press back against this, so this stands a chance.  Second, I’m not sure what Trump will do, since he doesn’t really believe in anything.

Finally, it’s a sign of things to come.  At some point, the democrats will own the White House again, and enough votes in both chambers of Congress to pass universal background checks.

You’re prepared, aren’t you?

White House School Safety Report Recommends Gun Confiscation Orders

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago


The White House School Safety Commission’s report will be released this week, and it will include calls for such confiscatory laws. On December 18, 2018, Breitbart News quoted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s  preview of the report, saying, “Our report endorses states adoption of extreme risk protection orders, which temporarily restrict access to firearms to individuals found to be a danger to themselves or others.”

DeVos stressed that the White House wants the confiscatory orders structured in a way that is “cognizant of due process protections and respectful of Second Amendment liberties.”

Brought to you by the department of pre-crime, whether a democrat or republican administration.  Yea, I’m sure these laws won’t be abused by estranged spouses looking for revenge.  I’m sure all such confiscations will be perfect in their prophesy of would-be felons.

And I’m sure all of these laws will follow due process, and won’t infringe on the second amendment.  And I’m sure Trump is a proud father of such laws.

The progressives are closing the vise.  Their design and desire for control will never be abated.

For One Colorado Rancher, An AR-15 Is A Tool To Protect His Herd

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

That day, Scott had laid out some of his guns on the kitchen table. He isn’t sure how many he owns.

“I’d have to count them all,” he said with a chuckle. “Twenty-five to 30 I’m guessing. Just off the top of my head.”

Scott goes through his collection of firearms, some family heirlooms, some purchased, from hunting rifles to handguns, describing how they work and what kind of ammunition they take.

And then, the gun that scares everybody in the world,” Scott said as he unzipped a soft black case. “This is [an] AR-15 … And it’s a semi-automatic … I’m just as proud of that gun or this AR as, say, somebody on the Front Range that owns a GTO or a Mustang, a classic car.”

The AR-15 is a widely owned, semi-automatic rifle.

For many, it has a distinctively threatening look, from the color (black), to its pistol grip. While the AR-15 has been used in recent mass shootings, it accounts for a small percentage of firearm murders.

But when Scott hears people say things like, ‘Why would anybody have one except to kill people?” he has an answer:

“This is our No.1 defense against predators for our cattle,” he explained.

[ … ]

The cows need to be protected from predators, especially during calving season when coyotes and mountain lions are drawn into the barn by the scent of afterbirth.

The AR-15 is what Scott grabs on a winter night when he needs to stop a coyote before it eats one of the cows or newborns.

“For me, it’s the way its held,” he explained. “I’m more accurate with it, especially at night … I can hit coyotes, especially when they’re running.”

JJ prefers a .30-06, a traditional hunting rifle, because, Scott says, it has more “knock-down power.”

“[A] tool. I don’t look at it as a gun-gun,” Scott said. “I know some people are afraid of ’em. Some people are obsessed with them. I myself, I just see ’em as a gun.”

“We use ours more towards protecting our livestock,” he said. “We do hunt as a family and harvest the meat to feed our family, but it’s more like a tool than it is a weapon.”

[ … ]

Scott feels that if his guns were taken away or heavily restricted, his way of life would somehow change. But guns, of course, affect communities in different ways, especially in the context of gun violence.

He agrees that there should be some restrictions on guns to reduce gun violence. Instead of more regulations, he would prefer to “fine tune” existing regulations like background checks.

“The problem that we face as Americans today is too many people have just drawn the line,” said Scott. “They’re 100 percent anti-gun or 100 percent ‘Oh NRA, yeah, yeah, yeah.’ I’m in the middle there. I’m not pro-rally NRA, [though] I am an NRA member. On the other hand, [they’re] saying all guns are bad. And that’s not true.”

I have to say, Scott, that I don’t see you or this author as an ally at all.  First of all, while you have an answer for why you need a semiautomatic rifle, so do I, regardless of the fact that I’m not in the bush protecting my herd.

You see, there are threats wherever you live, some four-legged, some two-legged.  And I am suspecting that the author wouldn’t give me so much credence as [s]he did you.

Next, while you had me with your story about protecting your herd with AR-15s, which I do see as the perfect weapon for this, I’m not with you at all on the need for fine-tuning background checks.

You’re just engaging in myth-making, the same myth-making in which the progressives traffic.  That more scrutiny will make anyone safer.

We have a word for you.  It’s called Fudd.  You and your ilk assist the controllers rather than hinder their plans.  And you will have a target on your back just like all other AR-15 owners, regardless of the fact that you need one to defend your herd.  There will be no exceptions, and increased scrutiny is only the first of many steps they intend to take.

You’ll learn soon enough.

Communists In Alaska?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

News from the bush country:

Since the 1990s, Alaska’s state constitution has said gun rights can be exercised by individuals. The Legislature has expanded gun rights over the years.

First, there was the “Castle Doctrine,” which allowed people to use deadly force to protect their homes. Then, a few years ago, the Legislature expanded that doctrine with a “Stand Your Ground” law, removing the requirement that an Alaskan had to retreat from a confrontation — if possible. Now an Alaskan can use deadly force for protection on the sidewalk or any place the person has a legal right to be.

But there’s also been a move in the Legislature to restrict gun rights for people undergoing temporary mental problems. That bill was sponsored by Rep. Geran Tarr, an Anchorage Democrat.

“I haven’t been called a Communist, but people certainly get pretty passionate about the Second Amendment,” Tarr said in a recent interview.

Well then, let me be the first.  Making laws that attempt to restrict rights before a crime has ever been committed is what communists do.

You are a communist.

I’m glad I could be the first.

New Jersey Magazine Ban

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Via WiscoDave, this unfortunate view:

A new magazine capacity restriction goes into effect today in New Jersey. The internet is on fire with cries of people, including many gun owners not in New Jersey, criticizing the law as unjust, unconstitutional, meaningless, unfair and worse. What is missing is much real practical advice for New Jersey Gun Owners. What should they do now? What should they do with magazines that have a capacity of over 10 rounds?

Unfortunately, while the law may eventually be found unjust and overturned, today it is the law. Second Amendment Organization is a staunch advocate of Gun Rights, but those rights are defined by our laws. We believe it is imperative that Responsible Gun Owners follow the law. In this case, that means the New Jersey Gun Owners should comply with the law… and fight it! Part of fighting it involved educating people about why these types of laws have little or no effect in regard to saving lives and why people might want or need large capacity magazines in the first place. 2AO is staunchly against magazine capacity restrictions, as stated in this set of Position Statements. Recommending that New Jersey residents comply with the law is not “compromise,” it is accepting the current reality.

Okay Rob, but what happens when it proves impossible to overturn that restriction?  Then what?  What do you answer to God when you’re incapable of properly defending your family because the criminals bust through your front door carrying standard capacity magazines while you have none?  It’s happened, you know.

This is the only amusing thing from this whole abomination.

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said New Jersey’s newly implemented high capacity magazine ban endangers the lives of officers by also limiting their magazine size when they are off duty.

This week, Breitbart News reported that December 11, 2018, was the effective date for a New Jersey “high capacity” magazine ban that makes it a fourth-degree felony to possess a magazine holding more than ten rounds, even if that magazine was legally acquired.

Kerik is now tweeting a letter from the Bergen County prosecutor that says the ban also applies to off-duty officers …

Of course, he doesn’t answer how the ban can “endanger” the lives of cops while it has no affect on the more ordinary among us.  Nor does anyone say how they are going to enforce this ban.

Then there is also this.

We at 2AO would respect the intention and actions of anyone actually performing true civil disobedience. A group or individual heading to a gun range in New Jersey this afternoon with standard magazines of a capacity greater than 10 rounds and publicly, proudly and overtly using them as a public act of protest, for example. Obviously, those persons would be risking arrest but they would also obviously be following in the footsteps of other great Civil Rights Protesters. Sneakily keeping magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds in your home and hoping you never get caught is not Civil Disobedience, it’s just being a criminal.

I think Rob is tilting at windmills and [Sneakily] forcing a distinction without a difference.

David Codrea has thoughts as well.

Proposed Rifle Ban In Pittsburgh

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago


Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto was joined by Gov. Tom Wolf, members of City Council and state Democratic lawmakers Friday in proposing legislation that would ban semiautomatic rifles and certain ammunition and firearms accessories within city limits.

Citing the 11 people killed in the Oct. 27 mass shooting at Squirrel Hill’s Tree of Life synagogue, Peduto said the ban is necessary to protect the safety and welfare of Pittsburgh residents. He vowed to build a coalition among municipalities and residents across the nation to fend off legal challenges from gun rights activists that are certain to come. Peduto said he’s written letters to more than 100 cities seeking support.

Who knows how this would go if appealed to the Supreme Court?  Consider Scalia’s idiotic words, “[the] American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon.”

I’ve said before that Scalia did America no favors by his ruling in Heller.

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