Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 34 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]

Update On ATF And DoJ Interpretation Of AR Pistol Braces

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

We discussed this a bit earlier, and TTAG has an informative update on it.  For a summary, see the picture below, but make sure to read the stupidity at TTAG.

Oh dear.  Am I going to have to teach some ignorant ATF agent and DoJ lawyer, who never studied geometry, the Pythagorean Theorem?  Good Lord.  I guess if you can’t get a job doing anything else, you go to work for the ATF.

Before we get to that, perhaps we ought to teach DoJ lawyers about the second amendment.

Comments On ATF Bump Stock Ban

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 1 week ago

James Wesley Rawles at Survival Blog has done a simply magnificent job of upbraiding the ATF.  It’s an absolute throw-down of blood and gore and broken bones when Rawles gets through with the ATF.  If you like seeing the FedGov slapped around, visit Survival Blog.  Here is a taste.

My specific objections are as follows. Note: I reserve the right to litigate on any or all of these. Furthermore EACH of the following numbered items are distinct separate objections and must be addressed individually with logical and complete specificity by the BATFE before the proposed rule is put into force:

1.) To declare existing privately owned devices contraband machineguns with no available method of registering them as machineguns constitutes an uncompensated taking.

2.) To declare existing privately owned devices contraband machineguns with no Grandfather Clause flies in the face of many decades of Federal case law, under Federal Jurisprudence. This also constitutes an uncompensated taking.

3.) The proposed redefinition of “machinegun” (per 26 U.S.C. 5845(b)) is vaguely worded. For example: What is meant by “function of the trigger”? Does that mean a trigger pull (only)? Does that mean a trigger release? Does that mean a pull OR release of a trigger? Or does that mean a pull AND release of a trigger? Does a partial pull of a trigger still constitute a function? Or must a pull of a trigger be through its entire arc to a stopping point to constitute a function?   Or must a pull of a trigger be through its entire arc to a stopping point and then a release to a reset point to constitute a function?   Or does a release of a trigger from a stopping point to a reset point to constitute a function? Or does a release of a trigger from a partially-pulled position to a reset point to constitute a function?

4.) More than a mere interpretation, it REDEFINES, AMPLIFIES and EXPANDS the wording of the NFA-’34 (26 U.S.C. 5845(b)). This is clearly bureaucratic overreach by the Executive Branch. Per the Constitution, only congress can MAKE laws. The executive branch and agencies can only ENFORCE already legislated and duly enacted laws.

5.) How can the BATFE redefine the meaning of the phrase “single function of the trigger” (per 26 U.S.C. 5845(b)) without the consent of congress?

6.) How can the BATFE further restrict the possession of Militia Weapons without a modification or repeal of the 2nd Amendment?

7.) By declaring a previously legal and constitutionally-protected “arm” suddenly “illegal” and “contraband” is a violation of the 2nd Amendment

8.) By declaring a previously legal and constitutionally-protected “arm” suddenly “illegal” and “contraband” and mandating its surrender to authorities would IDENTIFY the owner is thus a violation of the 5th Amendment protection from self-incrimination. It would also violate the 5th Amendment’s “taking” clause.

9.) By declaring a previously legal and constitutionally-protected “arm” suddenly “illegal” and “contraband” and mandating its surrender to authorities would violate the 4th Amendment protection from seizure without due process.

10.) I take exception to this wording: “Because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle”. That is vague.

11.) I take exception to this wording: “…initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.” That is grossly vague and violates the plain simple, Black Letter Law and the manifold intent of congress when it enacted NFA-’34 See: 26 U.S.C. 5845(b))

12.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert…” It is not a conversion to the operating mechanism. Rather, it is either an adjunct or a firing technique, or both.

13.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun.”   By your new definition, then so does holding your your thumb in your belt-loop when firing from the hip!

14.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun.”   By your new definition, then so does holding the buttstock of a rifle a short distance from your shoulder when firing!

15.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun.”   By your new definition, then so does holding a rifle loosely at either shoulder level or hip level when firing! See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RdAhTxyP64

16.) I take exception to this wording: “harnesses the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm in a manner that allows the trigger to reset and continue firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.” The reset IS indeed physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter because BOTH the shooter’s body (including the trigger finger) and the gun itself (including the trigger itself) are in motion, when under the force of recoil.

17.) I take exception to this wording: “Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger.” It is NOT automatic fire, as defined by congress in NFA-’34.

18.) I take exception to this wording: “Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger.” It is not producing automatic fire. The shooter’s trigger finger is still producing the fire, one shot at a time.

19.) I take exception to this wording: “With limited exceptions, primarily as to government agencies, the GCA makes it unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun unless it was lawfully possessed prior to the effective date of the statute.” The Hughes Amendment to FOPA restricts only machineguns, not semi-automatics. Only congress can redefine the word “machinegun”.

20.) I take exception to this wording: “Consequently, current possessors of these devices would be required to surrender them, destroy them, or otherwise render them permanently inoperable upon the effective date of the final rule.” To “surrender them, destroy them, or otherwise render them permanently inoperable” would constitute an uncompensated “taking” which is not allowable under Federal jurisprudence.

21.) I take exception to this wording: “The bump-stock-type devices covered by this proposed rule were not in existence prior to the GCA’s effective date, and therefore would fall within the prohibition on machineguns if this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is implemented.” That is fallacious. Stocks that were spring-loaded or hydraulically buffered (to absorb recoil–but that unintendedly can create a bumpfire condition) did indeed exist and were on the open market before FOPA 1986. For example, Winchester’s Hydra-Coil stock was invented and produced starting in the early 1960s. It was made for variety of guns, including some semi-autos including the Remington Model 58 semiautomatic shotgun and the Remington Model 742 semiautomatic rifle (with a detachable magazine). See: https://www.si.com/vault/1963/09/09/596517/an-inventor-takes-the-kick-out-of-shooting

James goes on through number 42.  It’s just a bloodbath, frankly.  He’s not a lawyer and clearly much smarter than anyone who works with the DoJ or ATF.

Closer to home, our own Fred Tippens writes the ATF with the following.

“Turning law abiding patriotic Americans, veterans, suburban moms, and men just trying to raise their families into criminals? Really? Why would I give a flying rat’s backside about a country that does this? Why? Why would I have any loyalty to this country if its government simply takes whatever it wants? I’m sure the irony is completely lost on you but are you going to send men with guns to take them? If you’re going to just up and ban things don’t you make the case for us to stockpile weapons and ammo? Do you know the definition of irony? The courts won’t help. The congress won’t help. The executive won’t help. What redress do we have? Why not just redefine and then ban all of the component parts and accessories of the common rifle? Are you going to ban them one at a time and hope that nobody will notice? Is this not tyranny? Do you want war with your own neighbors? Seriously? I’m only writing this so that I know I’ve done my part to avoid civil war. Now do your part, be for liberty…. I don’t want war so it’s your war to start or avoid. Please choose wisely.”

I have yet to come to terms with writing again.  They clearly didn’t engage what I wrote earlier and have no intention of engaging my points in the future.

I will point out one more thing about this ban.  The GOP establishment is clearly very good at playing the long game.  Trump won, but the GOP establishment is burning the place down, not Trump.

There was no logical or necessary reason to pack the Omnibus bill with spending for Planned Parenthood or for the CDC to issue gun control studies.  They have cut his support from two main constituencies: [1] right to life, and [2] gun rights.

Trump cannot win again without those two constituencies.  I’ve already heard folks in both camps tell me that they won’t vote for Trump again if hell freezes over.  Among pro-life workers (I know some) there was great sadness over the monies given to PP.

Thus the GOP has done two things it wanted to do.  They’ve got their gun control to run on in the next election without having to vote on it themselves (they are cowards).  They got the ATF to do the dishonest work for them.  Second, they have ensured that Trump is a one-term president.

As I said, it is the GOP establishment and not Trump who is burning the place down.

Open Letter To The Department Of Justice, The Federal Bureau Of Investigation And The NYPD

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

So much for the whispers about the good people at the FBI and the NYPD finally speaking out for justice and upholding the law, the sanctity of their oaths, how seriously they take it, and all of that other claptrap.  You’ve heard the whispers in the great unwashed land where the metro doesn’t run, haven’t you?

Your cowardly leader, Mr. Comey, has stated that they did the impossible, reading more than half a million emails in eight days.  Nothing to see here, move along folks.  Perhaps he’s thinking that this will all go away and he can salvage some sort of life after this.  Or that you can.

He can’t, and you can’t.  You see, little children have been abused, their lives are at stake, their souls cry out for protection and justice.  These words will weigh heavily on you.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea (Matt 18:6, KJV).

You know what’s been going on.  We all do.  Children have been kidnapped, they are held against their will, and they have been sexually abused by the forces of darkness.  You have a mountain of evidence of it, and you know it to be true.

But you won’t just continue with your lives after this is over.  Oh, I know that there is still some good will out there.

Dear FBI Employees: we know that this isn’t your fault.  You found “overwhelming evidence” of corruption, enough to press many charges, yet Obama forced your corrupt bosses to let her go.  Now is your opportunity to step up and go public with the true story.  The future of America is at stake.

But see, I think it is your fault.  You are complicit if you do nothing, and the lawyers at the DoJ are officers of the court.  They should be aggressively pursuing justice.  But justice won’t come in time for those little boys and girls who scream by day and cry by night.  And what remains of the little bit of good will out there for you will evaporate overnight.

It only gets darker from here on.  You will never forget these things.  You won’t be able to shake them.  You won’t be able to look people in the eye again, you won’t be able to trust even your own spouse, because you know oaths and vows mean nothing if yours doesn’t.  You will run from shadows, fear the night, and dread the day.

God will turn you over to the evil one, and demons will terrorize your sleep while you hear the screams and cries of the little ones during the day.  You will raise coffee to your lips trying to shake the fitful sleep, and you will forget that you have a cup in your hand.

Your family will not prosper to the third and fourth generations, and evil will be upon your world.  You may as well inscribe Ichabod on your doorposts, because you will rue the day you were born.

Operation Choke Point Is Alive And Well

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 3 months ago

This report comes from The Daily Signal.

In early June, after Lichterman fought back and went public with his story—accusing the bank of participating in Operation Choke Point tactics by discriminating against him because he sells guns—HomeTrust Bank reversed its policy and offered Lichterman an account.

But on June 14, two days after an Islamist-inspired terrorist shot and killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in an attack at an Orlando nightclub, the bank again reversed its policy and told Lichterman he couldn’t use their services without completing an “addendum” demanding more information about his business.

The Daily Signal sought comment about this request from HomeTrust Bank via phone and email, but it did not respond.

Among other demands, the addendum, which Lichterman provided to The Daily Signal, asks Lichterman to “submit a complete list of all firearms and ammunitions vendors and customers” that he conducts business with. In part, it reads:

After the first/initial submission subsequent lists are to include all relevant parties since the date of last report. Each list is to specify personal and business names and associated FFL [federal firearms license] numbers and should indicate whether the individual/entity is new or repeat. The list must identify all firearms and ammunitions transaction entities regardless of whether HomeTrust Treasury Management ACH [automated clearinghouse] origination services are used for the transaction.

The list is due no later than the fifth day of the first month in each quarter.

This is a blatant attempt to shut him down, if not at the transactional level, at the legal.  This kind of bullying by the federal executive is still commonplace.  Frank Miniter reports the following.

Many executives at gun manufacturers have told me in off-the-record conversations that their longtime banking relationships have been threatened, even terminated, for political reasons. They say the Obama administration’s “Operation Choke Point” was only a government-led example of a trend. Operation Choke Point is an initiative run by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ); basically, the federal government, in this case via a list sent out by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), threatens to penalize financial institutions that do business with companies or company types the government says might be violating the law—this list previously included gun manufacturers and stores that sell firearms.

Even though they were targeted by the federal government and treated as if they are selling illegal (not just politically incorrect to some) products, most of these firearms-related companies prefer not to go public with their grievances—perhaps because they don’t want to draw the wrath of the federal bureaucracy, but also because most marketing departments and corporate boards naturally prefer to keep clear of controversy.

No one wants to rock the boat, and so the outrage continues.  Now it has been expanded to knife manufacturers.  Concerning Hogue, we have this report.

We were just informed that Wells Fargo Bank would not do business with us, refusing to provide their services based on the fact that we manufacture “weapons” (aka knives). Incredibly, this refusal came after THEY initially pursued us to gain our business. Once we had decided to go with Wells Fargo, they then pulled the plug saying they could not provide their services since we manufacture weapons…Needless to say, we are shocked and confused – considering their logo is a stagecoach and driver with a shotgun too! We felt we needed to inform the firearm and knife community of this discriminatory stance Wells Fargo has taken.

The lawyers who work for the DoJ are sworn officers of the court, and are supposed to live by a very specific oath.  It wouldn’t be too much to demand that when this is all said and done, they all go public – every one of them, from the chief executive down to the lowest entry level lawyer who participated in this moral abomination – to stand in front of the world at a press conference and say, in unison, “I am a toad.  I care nothing about the law or a righteous moral compass.  I am unworthy to govern you, but I owe you my servitude.  Therefore, I will be finding each and every company and person who was affected by this and working as your slave for a decade.  Need your car washed?  I’ll do it.  Need pet-sitting?  I’m there.  Need legal paperwork done?  Well, I’m probably not really qualified, but if you’ll let me earn your trust back I’ll do my best.  Give me a small room and I’ll work for mere scraps of food.  For a decade.  Because I am a toad.”

Operation Choke Point Hits Ammunition Company In Maryland

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 11 months ago

Via Overlawyered:

Why am I still hearing about Operation Choke Point?  Why?  Why can’t the GOP-controlled House act, up to and including shutting down the government if the DoJ doesn’t come clean on Fast and Furious, or stop intimidation of gun and ammunition companies?

Why, after all of these years of obscene, immoral criminality by this administration, can’t anyone stop it?

Holder Revives Task Force On “Homegrown Extremists”

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 5 months ago

Reuters:

The United States is reviving a law enforcement group to investigate those it designates as domestic terrorists, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Following hate-motivated shootings such as the one at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, Missouri in April, federal prosecutors have pressed the need to coordinate intelligence about such criminals on a national level, Justice Department officials said.

The Department of Justice will reconstitute a task force that was originally formed after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing but dissolved after the Sept. 11, 2001 hijacked plane attacks as law enforcement agencies focused on threats from militants abroad.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that the United States remains concerned about threats from Islamic extremists, but the group will focus on other motives for attacks within U.S. borders.

Events like the April 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, in which the attackers appeared to be influenced by extremists abroad, would not fall under the jurisdiction of the group, named the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee.

“We must also concern ourselves with the continued danger we face from individuals within our own borders who may be motivated by a variety of other causes from anti-government animus to racial prejudice,” Holder said.

The official statement is here.  As usual with Holder, there is disinformation being purveyed.  See for instance this LA Times article:

Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder, Jr. on Monday announced the creation of a task force within the Justice Department to combat an “escalating danger” from “homegrown” terrorists within the United States.

The Justice Department, in a news release accompanying Holder’s weekly video address, cited a Congressional Research Service report last year that said domestic terrorists were responsible for more than two dozen incidents in the U.S. since 9/11.

Holder, in the video, cited the Boston Marathon bombings last year and shootings at Fort Hood in 2009 and 2014 as examples of “the danger we face from these homegrown threats.

The use of the phrase “domestic terrorists” and Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev is a misdirect.  Another source, The Guardian, has a report agreeing with the first one.

The group will coordinate cases that involve Americans who may be spurred to violence for political or prejudicial reasons.

It will include representatives of the FBI, the National Security Division of the Justice Department and the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, which includes representatives of federal prosecutors.

Then Attorney General Janet Reno first established such a task force following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, but it was dismantled after the September 11, 2001 hijacked-plane attacks as the agencies turned their attention toward threats from abroad.

US Attorney General Eric Holder signed a memorandum last month reconstituting the group and will announce the details on Tuesday, one official said.

Events like the April 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, in which the attackers appeared to be influenced by extremist groups abroad, would not fall under the committee’s jurisdiction.

Islamists, terrorists, and international threats aren’t the focus of this group.  You get one guess as to Holder’s target.  Post guesses in the comments.


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