AR-15 Ammunition And Barrel Twist Rate

Herschel Smith · 19 Feb 2017 · 6 Comments

There are a lot of articles and discussion forum threads on barrel twist rate for AR-15s.  So why am I writing one?  Well, some of the information on the web is very wrong.  Additionally, this closes out comment threads we've had here touching on this topic, EMail exchanges I've had with readers, and personal conversations I've had with shooters and friends about this subject.  It's natural to put this down in case anyone else can benefit from the information.  Or you may not benefit at…… [read more]

South Carolina LEOs, Open Carry And Myrtle Beach Follies

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

We’ve discussed at length the South Carolina LEO opposition to open carry legislation and the Senators’ deference to these guys.  Previously we saw that Chief Joseph Hill of the Horry County Police Department said “I don’t have any personal objections to it other than it doesn’t fit the culture of Myrtle Beach.”

To this, Josh said the following.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

The “culture?” Myrtle Beach has absolutely zero culture. It’s a disgusting shithole filled with tourist traps, trash, gross and loud foreigners, drunks, assholes, criminals, and for some reason that continues to escape me, Ohioans.

The Ohioans can have it.

Now we find out just what kind of “culture” Myrtle Beach really has.

At least seven people were injured early Sunday morning in Myrtle Beach after someone began shooting during a crowded street fight, police said.

The chaotic scene was captured and streamed on Facebook Live by a man staying at a nearby hotel.

Bubba Hinson told the Myrtle Beach Sun News that he was in town for a firefighters’ convention when he spotted a large crowd blocking traffic on the street below his room at the Holiday Sands North hotel.

“I thought they were dancing. That’s why I started filming it,” he told the newspaper. “Then, they started fighting. Then, they started shooting.”

Myrtle Beach police said in a statement that, just after midnight Sunday, a fight broke out on Ocean Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in the seaside South Carolina city.

Before officers arrived, a man in the fight pulled out a gun and shot one person, police spokesman Lt. Joey Crosby said.

An armed security guard who was already on the scene witnessed the disturbance and fired at the shooter, Crosby said. The shooter then hijacked a car and fled — but not before firing additional gunshots at people in the crowd, Crosby said.

Here is reaction to the event.

Bob Pisani: “Tell all my friends & family to stay in North Myrtle  because MB isn’t safe for families anymore.Not like it was 7/8 years ago. Went down the Boardwalk today. Bad vibes. Won’t even think of going there after sundown. Rhodes gotta go.”

Regis von Wagner: “Good idea for vacation is to stay away from Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach beach once was a really nice vacation destination. Today it is a dump. Maybe this will help get the word out.”

the video of the shooting that happened last night on the strip is wild. Myrtle Beach really is a crazy place.

— brian knight (@thginkb) June 18, 2017

Laura Wiggins Russell: “We came home early from our vacation Friday from Myrtle Beach because of all the junk that was going on. It was white kids, black kids and Hispanic kids doing all crowding up the streets all night long. They were loud disrespectful and had no fear of the law. The cops were extremely out numbered. During the day all these kids were running the families off the beach because of girls taking their tops off and kids being drunk. It ruined our family vacation. We will not return to Myrtle Beach.”

Kenny Rutherford: “Welcome to Murder Beach! Precisely why I haven’t been there in many years. The young thugs have taken it over and now it is not a desirable destination for myself and many others. People wonder why there is so much racial tension in the US. Here is a prime example.”

Michael S Ford: “Rhodes thinks he has a top not tourist town?…No Bro, you got a town that I very rarely visit, and I’m only five miles away…I even drive around it now.”

David Byers: “My family and I got back from our yearly vacation to MB a couple of weeks ago…While leaving a restaurant I was accosted by a man that claimed his car was broke down and wanted assistance. I got a bad vibe from the guy and noticed his car was in an area off from the street alone near some empty broken down buildings…It felt like a set up. He became upset, verbal, and crowded me, it almost turned bad. I asked him to step away which he did. Never have I had anything like that happen in MB. It has always felt like a safe place but that has changed. I will not be back to MB next year. This video confirms that decision.”

The fact that a near mass shooting happened right beside of me last night in Myrtle Beach haha Classic Senior Week

— Joshua Sayers (@jsayers54) June 18, 2017

Topless girls with your family around you, drunken people staggering around, gangs fighting and dominating the streets, and shootings.

This is alleged to be why S.C. LEOs are opposed to open carry.  Here is the thing and a quick note to S.C. LEOs.  I couldn’t care less about your problems, and I haven’t been to Myrtle Beach in so long I can’t remember the last time.

But if you think a criminal culture is justification for preventing me from openly carrying, you have it all backwards.  What do you think is going to happen with open carry – crime?  Gang fights?  Drunken kids?  You have all of that now.  Don’t come crying to me about your Myrtle Beach problems.

Myrtle beach is a shit hole that deserves to go out of business.  If you don’t want that to happen, then run the hucksters, low rent dives, criminals, unaccompanied minors, tourist traps, fat ass red necks and other low rent trash out of town.  Make it a gated community with higher rent, or do whatever you want to do.

But just don’t use this as some sort of justification for denying open carry.  It isn’t, and you know it.

Eighth U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals: Police Cannot Stop Open Carriers For Open Carry Where Open Carry Is Legal

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Dean Weingarten on a recent Eighth Circuit decision:

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in August reversed that decision and ruled Officers Nathan Kaiser, Tobias Hite and Shane Jensen violated his Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

The judges took issue with the reason for the stop, saying a report of a person with a handgun isn’t enough to create a reasonable suspicion of a crime, and in Nebraska and Lincoln people can openly carry handguns.

[ … ]

Officer Kaiser relied on an incident report that did not contain information sufficient to create reasonable suspicion that Duffie had already, was, or was about to commit a crime. See United States v. Hensley, 469 U.S. 221, 227 (1985) (extending Terry to the investigation of completed crimes). Nebraska law permits individuals who are at least 18 years old to open carry handguns in public. See Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 28-1202, 28-1204 (2009). The City of Lincoln does not restrict an individual’s right to open carry except in certain locations. See Lincoln, Neb., Mun. Ordinances § 9.36.130. Moreover, the mere report of a person with a handgun is insufficient to create reasonable suspicion. See Florida v. J.L., 529 U.S. 266, 272 (2000)

I thought I found all of the articles on and instances of open carry, but I missed this one.  I’m glad that Dean wrote on this.  It adds to our collected wisdom and information concerning what the courts think of this kind of behavior by the police – at least, some courts, even if they refuse to do anything about it.

For God’s sake.  The 58-year-old black pastor is a double amputee.  He fell all over the place trying to comply with the idiot’s command.  He injured himself and under other circumstances I can see death resulting from his fall (if he had landed differently).

The only disappointing thing about this judgment is that the cops weren’t fired and put in prison.  The circumstances are not necessarily similar to but dovetail with the decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where they found that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police violated the rights of Nathaniel Black, even though Black was apparently a criminal and did indeed break the law.

Nathaniel Black was part of a group of men in Charlotte, North Carolina who local police officers suspected might be engaged in criminal activity. In particular, Officers suspected that after seeing one of the men openly carrying a firearm – which was legal in North Carolina – that there was most likely another firearm present. When police began frisking the men one by one, Mr. Black wished to leave, but was told he was not free to leave. Officers chased Mr. Black and discovered that he possessed a firearm; it was later discovered that he was a previously convicted felon. Mr. Black was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Mr. Black moved to suppress the evidence against him. His suppression motion was denied, he entered a guilty plea preserving a right to appeal the denial of the suppression motion, and he was sentenced to fifteen (15) years imprisonment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, however, determined that the officers had improperly seized Mr. Black, suppressed the evidence against him, and vacated his sentence.

This was the right decision.  Open carry is legal in North Carolina, and without this being a “Terry Stop” – and it most certainly wasn’t – Mr. Black should not even have been detained.

If you are a CLEO or a Chief of Police reading this, listen to me well.  If open carry is legal in your state, you cannot stop someone for open carry.  I know it sounds so obvious and common-sense that this shouldn’t have to be said.  But apparently with the police it does indeed have to be pointed out – again, and again, and again.

Only an idiot doesn’t understand this, or if you understand and refuse to implement and comply, you’re just a criminal with a badge.

The Indiana Supreme Court On Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Guy Relford writing at WIBC.com:

On Monday, the Indiana Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated ruling in Thomas Pinner v. State, which addresses the issue of whether police officers may detain and question a person based only on a report that the individual has a gun.  In agreeing with the Indiana Court of Appeals’ decision handed down last August, the Supreme Court ruled that officers violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures when they detained and questioned Thomas Pinner after a taxi driver called 911 to report that Pinner had dropped a handgun when exiting a cab at a movie theater.

Under rules announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1968 case of Terry v. Ohio, a police officer may briefly detain and question a person if the officer has a “reasonable articulable suspicion” that the person is engaged in criminal activity (or in the words of SCOTUS, “that criminal activity is afoot”).  If the officer also has a reasonable suspicion that the person “may be armed and dangerous,” the officer may conduct a brief pat-down of the person’s outer clothing to check for weapons.  Together, this process is called “stop and frisk” or a “Terry stop.”

Before the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday, there has been a long-standing debate in Indiana.  On one side, many police officers and prosecutors have argued that a Terry stop is justified based on a report that a person is carrying a gun – or an officer’s own observation that the person has a handgun – because the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that the person is carrying a handgun illegally until the officer confirms that the person has a handgun license.  On the other hand, defense attorneys and Second Amendment advocates have countered that the mere possession of a handgun, without some additional indication that such possession is illegal, does not justify the detention of the individual to investigate – much like police are not allowed to randomly stop vehicles to confirm that a motorist has a driver’s license.

In the opinion handed down last August by the Indiana Court of Appeals (and written by highly-regarded Judge Melissa May), Indiana resolved that issue for the time being by holding that “the mere possession of a handgun, which is legal, cannot produce reasonable suspicion to justify a Terry Stop.”  The court went on to state that “the State has not directed us to a reason why the police believed when they stopped Pinner that his possession of the gun was illegal, nor has the State asserted any other criminal activity was ‘afoot.’  Accordingly, we are constrained to hold the stop of Pinner was not supported by reasonable suspicion.”  Thus, without a basis to believe that Pinner was carrying a handgun without a license – or engaged in some other illegal activity – detaining Pinner to investigate his possession of a gun violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment.

In Monday’s opinion, the Supreme Court wholly agreed with Judge May’s analysis.  Specifically, the court ruled that a police officer, based only on a tip that a person possesses a handgun, may not detain that person to confirm that he has a license to carry …

[ … ]

Said the ruling:

“The United States Supreme Court has previously declared that law enforcement may not arbitrarily detain an individual to ensure compliance with licensing and registration laws without particularized facts supporting an inference of illegal conduct. See Prouse, 440 U.S. at 663 (‘hold[ing] that except in those situations in which there is at least articulable and reasonable suspicion that a motorist is unlicensed or that an automobile is not registered, or that either the vehicle or an occupant is otherwise subject to seizure for violation of law, stopping an automobile and detaining the driver in order to check his driver’s license and the registration of the automobile are unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment’). In like fashion, we decline to endorse such behavior to ensure compliance with Indiana’s gun licensing laws.” 

This case is actually similar to the case of Nathanial Black decided by the Fourth Circuit.

Nathaniel Black was part of a group of men in Charlotte, North Carolina who local police officers suspected might be engaged in criminal activity. In particular, Officers suspected that after seeing one of the men openly carrying a firearm – which was legal in North Carolina – that there was most likely another firearm present. When police began frisking the men one by one, Mr. Black wished to leave, but was told he was not free to leave. Officers chased Mr. Black and discovered that he possessed a firearm; it was later discovered that he was a previously convicted felon. Mr. Black was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Mr. Black moved to suppress the evidence against him. His suppression motion was denied, he entered a guilty plea preserving a right to appeal the denial of the suppression motion, and he was sentenced to fifteen (15) years imprisonment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, however, determined that the officers had improperly seized Mr. Black, suppressed the evidence against him, and vacated his sentence.

Like Indiana, North Carolina is an open carry state.  Simply openly carrying a gun isn’t grounds for detention.  It must be a so-called “Terry Stop,” and openly carrying a weapon, since it is entirely within the law, isn’t justifiable reason to detain an individual.

The Indiana Supreme Court got this right.  I’ve argued similarly against the new open carry law in Texas, pointing out that “… licensed open carry in a state with no stop and identify statute for enforcement is a shooting-by-cop waiting to happen.  And I certainly don’t support empowering the police state any more by giving them a stop and identify statute.  That would be making something bad even worse.”  As stops must be Terry Stops, and since Texas has no stop and identify statute, and shouldn’t because they are unconstitutional (despite what the courts have said), LEOs in Texas are left with no direction concerning open carriers.

I don’t want LEOs in Texas to be given more direction, any more than I want that for LEOs in Indiana.  I advocate simple observation of God-given rights, and living by the covenant to which we are all obliged, i.e., the constitution.

Constitutional Carry Update In Alabama, Texas And South Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Mark Chesnut:

Three states—Alabama, Texas and South Carolina—are currently vying to be the next state in the nation to do away with the requirement for law-abiding gun owners to be licensed by the government to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense.

This expansion of the “permitless,” or constitutional, carry movement represents a continuation of a march toward freedom occurring throughout the country.

On Tuesday, the Alabama Senate passed that state’s version of an NRA-backed permitless carry measure—Senate Bill 24—by a 25-6 vote. The bill now heads to the House, where it will likely be assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Put simply, SB 24 would eliminate the requirement to obtain a permit to lawfully carry in the state.

[ … ]

In Texas, the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety on Tuesday also passed a permitless carry measure. HB 1911, which passed in the committee by a 6-2 vote, eliminates the requirement for obtaining a license to carry for law-abiding citizens who would otherwise meet the eligibility requirements to qualify for that license.

[ … ]

Meanwhile in South Carolina, efforts to pass permitless carry legislation are also moving forward. Like the House version, the Senate bill—SC Constitutional Carry Act of 2017—allows those who are legally permitted to own, carry or purchase a firearm to do so without having to obtain a permit. Open carry, which allows for a person to carry a firearm exposed on their person, also would be permitted.

Since the last time we discussed the status of constitutional (and open) carry in South Carolina, it’s been difficult to get a read on the status of things.  The House has passed a bill, while the senate is currently debating one, it seems.

But Martin requested the panel suspend discussion on his bill, and instead pick up the House bill to increase the proposal’s chances of becoming law by the end of session the first week of May.

“I just want to give people their constitutional rights to carry,” Martin said.

You see where this is headed, don’t you?  The house was able to get something done.  The senate, not so much.  They have their own version, and if they pass something different than the house, it will have to be “worked out in committee,” likely not getting done before they leave.

And it will all have been done by design.  It appears that Shane Martin wants to move things along, but he has run square into the blocking schemes of the collectivists.  Dean Weingarten points to a potential score in our column, though.

There are 27 Republicans in the Senate, and 18 Democrats. Mere numbers are not the entire story when it comes to passing legislation.  In 2016, the Constitutional Carry bill was bottled up and killed in a Senate subcommittee. Senator Katrina Frye Shealy (R) Lexington was one of the primary opponents. She is still on the Judiciary Committee, which is a likely place for the bill to be sent in the senate.

This year she is listed as a sponsor of SC S0449, which is a senate bill quite similar to H. 3930.  If she actually supports Constitutional Carry in 2017, it would be a significant change.

Contact your senators yet again and let them know where you stand.  This is easy, and we all know it.  Use Robert’s Rules of Order, make a motion, second the motion, “call the question” (or stop debate), and vote on the motion.  It’s easy.  I’ve done this many times in church government.  It can be done in two minutes or less.

You know it can be done, state senators, I know it can be done, and my readers all know it can be done.  We’re privy to the games you play, and “we tried ever so hard but couldn’t reconcile the house and senate bills” just won’t do.  That isn’t good enough.  That will never be good enough again.  That excuse has run dry.

So who wants to be the laughingstock?  Who wants to stop constitutional carry, folks?  South Carolina, Alabama or Texas?  Who among the three of you wants to look the most like communist China?  Who wants to prove themselves the most corrupt?  Who wants to paint that target on their backs?  Speak up.  We’re waiting and watching.

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry Bill

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

The State:

Impassioned pleas by legislators from both sides of the aisle failed to stop a majority of House members Wednesday from advancing a bill that allows for the carrying of firearms without a permit.

On a 64-46 vote, the S.C. House of Representatives passed the bill, which had been clouded in controversy over how it progressed through committee and allegations that Republicans stymied debate. It’ll head for the Senate after a perfunctory vote on Thursday.

“The legislative history of this bill is an embarrassment,” said Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, who repeatedly attempted to thwart a vote on the bill after Republicans invoked a procedural move that limited debate.

The bill calls for what proponents refer to as “constitutional carry,” or allowing those who can legally buy a firearm to carry a concealed weapon without having to obtain a permit.

It also allows for open carry, which grants weapons holders the ability to carry their firearms on their person for everyone to see. The law still would bar carrying a firearm while committing a crime.

Smith was not alone in trying to delay a vote. Several Republicans joined in, because they were against how the bill was advanced or didn’t like parts of the proposed law.

Rep. Gary Clary, R-Pickens, said he was against the bill because during his time as a judge and as a legislator, he has advocated for allowing all sides to have their say. Invoking a procedural vote to limit debate prevented that. He also said he just thinks “it’s a bad bill.”

[ … ]

Like Clary, Rep. Bill Crosby, R-Charleston, called the proposal a “bad bill.” He was against the portion that allows for open carry.

While dangling his concealed-weapons permit from his wallet, Crosby stressed he is “for guns” and the Second Amendment. He said he just didn’t think this change is needed.

“This bill doesn’t help the Second Amendment,” Crosby said. “All it does is it makes these good ol’ boys who like to have guns strapped to their hips not conceal them.”

Crosby said he is thankful for the Senate, which will probably kill the bill by having it languish in committee. Previous permit-less carry bills have suffered that fate in past years.

First of all, invoking a procedural stipulation that limits debate is a tried and true, well recognized procedure allowed by parliamentary rules.  Anyone who has worked under “Robert’s Rules of Order” knows that, and those complaining about closing debate also know that.  They’re making up their objection to closing debate.  It’s just a red herring.  Debate has to be closed at some point, and they just did it sooner rather than later.  It’s entirely possible under parliamentary procedure to have absolutely no debate at all.  The vote is what matters.

As for Crosby’s complaint that “All it does is it makes these good ol’ boys who like to have guns strapped to their hips not conceal them,” we may reply that all the current law does is make those boys have to conceal the guns they have on their hips for no good reason at all except that you want them to.  You like to conceal, others may not.  And your way doesn’t do anything at all for the second amendment.  Your way forces a rule on people who neither want it nor need it.  Our way undoes an unnecessary rule.  You’re the bad guy here, not us.  See how that works, Crosby?

If this does indeed die in the Senate like so many times in the past, then we’ll know who to go after for the next primary and election cycle.  You guys aren’t going to get away with the things you once did.  We’re watching very closely.  Ask former state senator Larry Martin if you don’t believe me.  Go ahead.  Ignore gun owners one more time.  Let’s make sure your name is written down in the memory of patriots everywhere across South Carolina.  We don’t forget.

As for the “journalist” who wrote all of this, Cynthia Roldán, take note that the only ones around her who can make “impassioned pleas” are those who oppose constitutional carry.  It’s as if there is weeping in the halls of power in Columbia over the awful things taking place, not just among Democrats, mind you, but from “both sides of the isle,” with the emotionless gun advocates impervious to the weeping.  And she managed to locate those Republicans who voted against this bill and turn it into quite a dramatic presentation, yes?

Actually, she did us a service.  Otherwise, how would you have know what a putz Crosby was?

North Dakota Constitutional Carry

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 4 weeks ago

Rapid City Journal:

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Legislature has voted to allow most adults to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, but it’s not clear whether the governor will support the move.

The Senate approved the measure 34-13 on Tuesday and the House passed it last month. It would allow people 18 and older to forgo background checks and classes that are now required.

Supporters say the bill promotes constitutional rights and allows protection from criminals. Critics worry it could lead to more shootings as people with less training would be carrying weapons.

Approval of the bill in both the Senate and House generally fell along party lines in the Republican-led Legislature. GOP Gov. Doug Burgum hasn’t said whether he would support the measure and sign it into law.

“He hasn’t seen the bill and won’t make a decision until he receives it,” said Mike Nowatzki, a Burgum spokesman.

Sen. Kelly Armstrong, a Republican from Dickinson, said the measure allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutional right to carry a gun.

It’s time for North Dakota readers to get busy with letters to the governor.  Let him know that he’s a target for replacement if he doesn’t comply with God-given rights to bear arms.

Say, there’s a bill that will soon be debated in the South Carolina legislature on constitutional carry, which also happens to include provisions for de-criminalizing open carry.  This bill needs to pass with no opposition from the GOP.  Why is South Carolina so late to the game?  What are you doing, South Carolinians, to make this a reality?

Laws Against Open Carry Are For The Purpose Of Shaming Gun Owners

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

WISTV.com:

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – Critics are promising to push back on a new bill that would allow gun owners to carry their weapons with or without a permit, but it’s not clear when the proposal will be up for further debate.

Republican members of the South Carolina House Judiciary subcommittee approved H. 3930 late last week in a meeting lasting only minutes and without input from two Democrats who could not attend.

The bill was introduced just two days before the subcommittee vote by lead sponsor Rep. Mike Pitts of Laurens.

Pitts was the only subcommittee member to comment during the meeting.

The bill is similar to a measure backed by Pitts that gained full House approval last year but failed in the Senate.

Senators also overwhelmingly rejected similar so-called “Constitutional carry” legislation in 2014.

Right now, 31 states allow the unconcealed carrying of guns, and they also allow owners to do so without a permit, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

But the proposed legislation still concerns even some gun owners who have permits. Jeff Diehl is one of them. He runs a restaurant called Chickadee’s in Columbia, where he welcomes gun owners with CWP’s, but feels open carry could be dangerous and bad for business.

“That’s an open gun,” Diehl said. “That’s not a police officer. Nothing that says police officer. That’s scary to me. Let’s get out of here. Let’s fight, let’s run, let’s panic. Whatever. To me, it’s inherently dangerous, whether it’s a restaurant or hospital.”

There are some who love their enslavement to the state.  They traffic in hysteria, and they revel in contradiction such as a concealed handgun isn’t dangerous but an openly carried one is.  And those people use tactics like this to shame gun carriers who desire to carry openly.

You understand that, don’t you?  Laws against open carry are for the purpose of shaming.  I don’t disparage concealed carry, and I do it myself under certain circumstances.  I would rather it be customary to openly carry at all times, because I believe that’s more gentlemanly and well-bred, while it’s ill-bred, pedestrian, ill mannered and coarse to conceal weapons.  You may disagree, but that’s my position and it is incorrigible.  I only do it sometimes to avoid the kerfuffle with people who want to shame gun owners, just like the man in the article.

Laws against open carry are bigoted, prejudiced, vengeful, ill tempered and spiteful.  Oppose such laws and don’t be like those people.  And point out to anyone who makes remarks like Mr. Diehl that he is attempting to shame peaceable, good men for no reason other than the hatred in his own heart.  You should be able to carry concealed if that’s your wish.  So too open carriers should be able to carry openly.  It’s a matter of minding one’s own business, another characteristic of well bred and educated men.

S.C. Constitutional Carry Bill

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

The State:

Proponents of gun reform and House Democrats were rattled Thursday when they learned a bill that would allow South Carolinians to carry a concealed firearm without a permit advanced without debate or public input.

The proposed law, by Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, was met with no opposition during a hearing by the Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee.

It calls for what is often referred to as “constitutional carry,” which allows those who can legally own a firearm to carry it – concealed or in the open – without a government-issued permit.

“The right to carry is a constitutional amendment in the Bill of Rights,” Pitts said. “It is a constitutionally protected right, and that’s why I don’t think the government should (issue a) permit” for the carrying of a gun.

Pitts introduced a similar bill in 2016. But this year’s bill also would allow for “open carry,” which means a person can carry a firearm without having to conceal it.

The proposal does not change where firearm owners can carry their weapons. They would still be barred from carrying into schools and other already prohibited locations. And private businesses could still bar firearms from their establishments.

Carrying of a firearm while committing a crime also would remain prohibited.

The bill also would keep the state’s concealed weapons permitting system in place for those who would prefer that or need to have a permit when traveling out of state with a firearm, Pitts said.

No one from the public signed up to speak during Thursday’s hearing, which lasted about five minutes. The bill, which was filed Tuesday, passed with the support of the three Republicans serving on the panel. Reps. James Smith, D-Richland, and Mandy Powers Norrell, D-Lancaster, were absent.

Smith said he was out of town, while Powers Norrell said she was out of the country when both were reached by phone. Smith said if either had been present, they would have attempted to delay a vote, giving more time for word to spread to the public.

“The meeting was set Wednesday for Thursday morning,” Smith said. “It’s clearly being fast-tracked, which has undermined the ability for adequate public input because nobody had the time to react.”

The panel’s advancement of the bill without testimony from constituents or without all of the committee members present frustrated Sylvie Dessau, a local volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization that calls for “common-sense legislation” to address gun violence.

“Simply put, this is not how our democracy works,” Dessau said. “We urge House leadership to reject this stunt to advance legislation pushed by gun lobby extremists. South Carolinians deserve to have a say in legislation that may impact our lives for years to come.”

But Rep. Greg Delleney, R-Chester – who is also the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee that will debate the proposal next – stressed the bill’s timing was related to the Legislature’s shorter session this year.

[ … ]

Delleney said he thinks the bill will be well-received by members of the House. The House has previously passed legislation that allows for constitutional carry. But the bills have died in the Senate, with its rules that allow deliberation and easier blocking of legislation.

 

The State just had to consult moms against something or other.  God forbid they write a piece on proposed gun legislation without talking to folks funded by Michael Bloomberg.  You can almost sense the panic in the article.

Good on the S.C. House.  We’re watching.  Let’s push this thing through and get it done.  Quickly.  Use whatever rules you have to in order to minimize debate.  One delaying tactic is to let bills like this rot on the vine by debating them forever, and then close the legislative session without taking action because, well, there’s just not enough time left to finish the job.  You can finish this job and you know it.  It’s also especially good that this bill includes open carry.  For us, this is like Christmas.  It’s most of what we want wrapped up in one present.

Larry Martin was thrown out of the S.C. Senate for delaying this action in the past, forcing it to dry up in the judicial committee.  We watched.  We took action.  We’re watching you too, Senators.  We’re watching all of you, and we will seek retribution on a name by name basis.  Every one who delays or votes against this will be a target in the next primary or election.  Do this thing.  Get it done.

Don’t listen to LEOs who stand to lose money if you pass this bill.  Very few LEOs ever want this sort of thing because it interferes with their revenue stream for buying the newest and latest Dodge Chargers and all of that new, fancy Comms gear and automatic weapons for the SWAT teams for throwing grenades and busting in doors.  Listen to your voting constituency.  That’s us.

We’re American gun owners, and we don’t compromise or forget.

Arkansas Gun Owners Divided On Constitutional Carry?

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

This one is a real zinger, folks.

A proposed bill in the Arkansas State Legislature with the potential to allow the concealed and open carry of a handgun without a permit is a more divisive issue for gun owners than most might think. The bill is scheduled for discussion during the senate judiciary committee on Tuesday, March 7.

El Dorado native and freshman State Senator Trent Garner (R-27th District) spearheaded Senate Bill 444 supporting what people know as constitutional carry, a movement sweeping the nation for non-permit open and concealed carry of a handgun as suggested by the second amendment: “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

In addition to the discrepancy mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, proponents of non-permit carry argued that there are too many confusing laws and registration paperwork for gun-carrying citizens, and if criminals and reckless people are already in possession of a handgun in public, then law-abiding citizens should be able to as well, Garner said.

Some argue that Arkansas is already somewhat of a constitutional carry state.

In 2015, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge interpreted Act 746, passed in 2013, to allow people in Arkansas to openly carry a handgun with a few caveats: law officers can ask the user’s intent of the weapon, carrying a weapon is not allowed in restricted areas — government building, public university, etc., private property owners have authority over whether people can openly carry a weapon and the law doesn’t affect concealed carry statutes.

Arkansas isn’t the only state considering the move for constitutional carry. Other similar bills are being considered in 14 other states including: Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, to name a few.

As of late, Garner’s proposal is empty, but the idea of what it could lead to has been polarizing for gun-owning citizens of El Dorado spanning from law-enforcement and gun shop employees to average gun-owners and the rest of the state. But, each stance agreed that a knowledge of gun safety and the state law is required for every gun-owner, even if it’s not mandatory.

“I have a real problem with people carrying guns without proper training,” said Larry Combs, local gun instructor and former mayor of El Dorado. “There’s enough gun accidents already.”

Combs teaches classes for people interested in obtaining a concealed carry license, and has seen some local gun-owners who have carried a handgun without a license or permit.

“This is the state of Arkansas, I’ve seen people who carry a gun concealed and say ‘I don’t need a permit, I’ve handled a gun my whole life’ and they can — unless they get stopped by the police, then they’re in trouble,” Combs said.

Danny Farley, lead court security officer for the El Dorado Federal Court building, is also a concealed carry instructor and does not favor non-permit concealed or open carry.

“It’s a bad idea,” Farley said. “The major problem is people need to know when it’s not okay to carry a weapon. I have no problem with people carrying a weapon, but they need to be educated, which a license guarantees.”

For concealed-carry certification in the state of Arkansas a person is required to take a 5-hour class where the instructor must stress liability and safety, show how to load and discharge a gun, read the state and federal gun laws in a coherent manner, and make sure the person is competent in handling a gun through a “live-fire” test.

Once training is completed, a questionnaire covering a person’s mental health, drug, alcohol, and criminal history is filled and submitted to the Arkansas State Police, at which point officials can grant or repeal a person from obtaining a license to carry a concealed handgun.

Open carry has no strings attached.

“To me, I don’t like open carry because there’s no regulations or class required,” said Ricky Roberts, Union County Sheriff. “With concealed carry, dispatch can run your name through the system and know whether you have a license to be carrying a weapon or not.”

Also, law enforcement officers are restricted to a certain extent when confronting people who openly carry a handgun, for instance: the officer can ask for that person’s intent and if the officer believes it’s for self-defense and hasn’t seen any suspicious activity, the officers move on. This can be a slippery slope, Farley said.

“If you carry openly, an officer has the right to ask if it’s for self defense use, and once that’s done he walks away, that’s all that police can do,” he said.

A large concern for gun-owners is that laws aren’t strict enough on criminals or mentally-ill persons, and until those laws are enforced law-abiding citizens should have easier access to owning a gun for self-defense, said Linda Newbury, mayor of Felsenthal.

So gun owners are split, or something like that, on the question of constitutional carry in Arkansas, but in order to prove the pretext of the article, the author cites Larry Combs, local gun instructor and former mayor of El Dorado, Danny Farley, lead court security officer for the El Dorado Federal Court building, who is also a concealed carry instructor, and Ricky Roberts, Union County Sheriff.  Two of them stand to lose the class fees for permitting if constitutional carry passes, and one of them is a LEO, and LEOs almost always hate constitutional carry.  Just because.  Shut up.  They’re in charge.

Of course, they are all huge supporters of the second amendment, but there’s that little nit early in the article on the “discrepancy mentioned in the U.S. Constitution,” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean.  Discrepancy.  It must be that the founders didn’t really mean what they wrote, or something.  But remember, folks who want a government permitting fee are always “big supporters of the second amendment.”

As for open carry, can you imagine a sillier Kabuki dance than a LEO stopping to ask why a person is openly carrying a gun?  “Why no officer, it isn’t for self defense, it’s for shooting up the local elementary school.”  How absolutely ridiculous.  As if the person couldn’t also carry concealed if he intended nefarious things with his weapon.

And don’t even mention that Arkansas crime hasn’t skyrocketed with blood running in the streets since the Arkansas AG interpretation that the law allows open carry with caveats.  It’s the caveats that are absurd, along with the notion that being able to surmise that a person openly carrying has a permit.  Oh, that’s right, the progressives want LEOs to be able to stop and identify you if you’re openly carrying and ask for proof of permitting, a schema that doesn’t acquiesce to the notion that all stops have to be so-called “Terry Stops” in order to be constitutional.

Oh dear, people just cannot learn to keep from looking like imbeciles when they speak of these things.  They really should look to the other open carry states, where things work just fine, LEOs aren’t running scared of open carriers, blood isn’t running in the streets, and where constitutional carry (in the states that honor it) hasn’t caused wild west shootouts because people don’t know the law.

Just take a deep breath, people.  Look around you.  Think.  Ponder in the quiet for a period of time.  Learn from history.  Quit being hysterical.  And make sure to reject lawmaking for the purpose of permitting and class fees and coffers of those who benefit from that revenue.  There is a fairer way to raise revenue than penalizing gun owners.

Perhaps some reader in Arkansas can give us an update on the state of things in your beloved state.

The Mythical Argument Supporting The Florida Open Carry Ban

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks ago

Eugene Volokh responds to the recent Florida Supreme Court decision on open carry.  He first cites part of the ruling.

Before the Fourth District, the State argued that by restricting how firearms are carried in public so that they may only be carried in a concealed manner under a shall-issue licensing scheme, deranged persons and criminals would be less likely to gain control of firearms in public because concealed firearms — as opposed to openly carried firearms — could not be viewed by ordinary sight.

Norman contends that the State has not produced evidence that Florida’s Open Carry Law reasonably fits the State’s important government interest. However, under intermediate scrutiny review, the State is not required to produce evidence in a manner akin to strict scrutiny review….

[W]hen reviewing under intermediate scrutiny Second Amendment challenges to laws regulating the manner of how firearms are borne, “courts have traditionally been more deferential to the legislature in this area.” This is especially so when considering that “[r]eliable scientific proof regarding the efficacy of prohibiting open carry is difficult to obtain.”

Therefore, we agree with the Fourth District and are satisfied that the State’s prohibition on openly carrying firearms in public with specified exceptions — such as authorizing the open carrying of guns to and from and during lawful recreational activities — while still permitting those guns to be carried, albeit in a concealed manner, reasonably fits the State’s important government interests of public safety and reducing gun-related violence.

He then responds with this.

Really? Open carry is being banned because, by being visibly lethally armed, open carriers are putting themselves at more risk of crime? Would a reasonable person, deciding whether to openly carry a gun, think, “I probably shouldn’t do that, since people will be more likely to target me because they see I have a gun”?

This strikes me as quite implausible. To be sure, we can imagine some situations in which open carry could make a person more vulnerable. Indeed, as the court points out, in some situations, an attacker “might be more likely to target an open carrier” because the “visibly armed citizen poses a more obvious danger to the attacker.” In others, open-carrying by a gang member onto another gang’s turf might be seen as especially provocative and might therefore lead to a shoot-out.

But those would be relatively rare instances, no? On balance, wouldn’t there be many more situations where a would-be attacker would try to steer clear of a visibly armed person than where the attacker would deliberately target that person first? And given that the government interest is in preventing crime generally, the question is whether the law would on balance reduce crime, not whether it could in some rare circumstances reduce crime but in more common circumstances increase crime.

True, I know of no empirical studies one way or another. But even under “intermediate scrutiny” (as opposed to the highly deferential “rational basis” scrutiny), one should have either empirical studies or at least an inherently plausible theory, rather than mere hypothetical and unlikely speculation. And here the theory that, on balance, being visibly lethal will draw attackers rather than deterring them doesn’t strike me as plausible.

Now perhaps open carry bans might be justifiable on other grounds, such as that open carry (even holstered, rather than brandished) causes law-abiding passersby to feel uneasy. The two dissenting justices discussed that theory, and here’s what they had to say:

[The majority’s] reasons may not be totally irrational, but they do not provide any substantial justification for the ban on open carrying. Such “speculative claims of harm to public health and safety” are “not nearly enough to survive the heightened scrutiny that applies to burdens on Second Amendment rights.” There is no substantial link between the ban and public safety, and the State’s speculation is no substitute for such a link.

The suggestion that someone committing a crime “might be more likely to target an open carrier than a concealed carrier” is subject to the rejoinder that a criminal confronted with the presence of an open carrier may be more likely to leave the scene rather than face the uncertain outcome of exchanging gunfire with an armed citizen. In hostile encounters between armed individuals, the outcome is seldom certain, and even criminals can understand that fact.

Many — admittedly not all — armed criminals will give a wide berth to someone they know to be armed. Likewise, speculating about the disarming of individuals who are openly carrying firearms by “deranged persons and criminals,” is a grasping-at-straws justification.

The reality is that it is highly unlikely that these feeble proffered justifications had anything to do with the adoption of the statute banning open carrying…. The ban on open carrying is best understood as the Legislature’s response to the public concerns swirling around adoption of the concealed-carry law…. [T]he Legislature decided that the sacrifice of open carrying was a necessary and appropriate response to the public opposition generated by the passage of the concealed-carry law. But the legal landscape has now dramatically shifted. Heller has settled that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms. And Heller‘s historical analysis points strongly to the conclusion that the individual right includes the right to carry arms openly in public.

This truth should be acknowledged: opposition to open carrying stems not from concrete public safety concerns but from the fact that many people “are (sensibly or not) made uncomfortable by the visible presence of a deadly weapon.”

Of course, many people are made uncomfortable by the fact that others are permitted to keep and bear arms at all. But contemporary sensibilities cannot be the test. Such sensibilities are no more a basis for defeating the historic right to open carrying than for defeating the understanding that the Second Amendment recognizes the right of individuals to keep and bear arms.

This is a tangled web, yes?  So let’s break it down.  The Supreme Court deferred to the legislature on what keeps folks safe, having relegated this question to intermediate scrutiny.  They found plausible (or said they did) the notion that someone could snatch a gun from an open carrier and thus make the public less safe.

But here they leave unaddressed the question why the legislature doesn’t prohibit LEOs from openly carrying weapons as it merely provides opportunity for gun theft.  And if the answer to that is the function they expect LEOs to perform, the obvious answer must be that according to Tennessee v. Garner, LEOs cannot do any more with weapons than you or I, to wit, self defense.  If the open carry of guns is unsafe, then prohibit LEOs from doing it.

Furthermore, why must we conclude that the public is less safe with open carriers just because the possibility exists that open carriers might be targeted first in any confrontation or mass shooting?  Wouldn’t that make the public safer?  That’s been my argument all along.  That an open carrier is the first target is an awful, terrible, cowardly reason not to open carry.

There might be good reasons, but that you don’t want to be the first target is not among those reasons.  I would rather I face an attacker than any women and children who might be around me.  Otherwise, what use am I?  Why am I here on earth if I cannot honor God in this way (John 15:13)?  If openly carrying a gun makes you the first target, and if there are people willing to be that target, then it stands to reason that this is advantageous to public safety and health.

Finally, the dissent make clear the real issue, and it was legal concealed carry is a compromise for squeamish and childlike people who think that the lack of visible presence of a gun on your hip means that you’re not armed.  Truth telling by the justices is a good thing. In other words, it’s an appeal to myth and fairy tale.  Few criminals are going to advertise their intentions in this manner, which is the reason that concealed carry at one time in history was considered ungentlemanly and boorish.


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