Giffords Law Center Presents Anti-Gun Arguments That Contradict Not Only The Constitution, But Their Own Positions

Herschel Smith · 22 Apr 2020 · 6 Comments

In an Amicus Brief submitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Miller versus Becerra, the Giffords Law Center and associated attorneys make the following argument. Such combat-style features distinguish military rifles and their semi-automatic counterparts from standard sporting rifles, and are not “merely cosmetic”—they “serve specific, combat-functional ends.” H. Rep. No. 103-489, at 18. The Regulated Assault Rifles include features that…… [read more]

Church And Mr. Tacticool

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 2 months ago

I was working in South Carolina this week and staying with my son and his family in upstate S.C.  I attended worship this Sunday at his church (I won’t mention the name of the church), and there he was.  Mr. Tacticool (if I am not mistaken, Mauldin Police Department).

He was awesome, with fatigues, Kevlar vest, patches and insignia, thigh holster, and on and on the equipment went.  Cool, he was.  But that’s all he accomplished today.  Being cool.

If the church was addressing a specific threat, plainclothes officers carrying concealed would have been more effective at catching a perpetrator, which is ultimately the goal of any long term safety and security program.

A skilled shooter, bent on harming the most people and practiced at reloads, could have killed a hundred people before Mr. Tacticool ever made his way into the building (Mr. Tacticool stood on the sidewalk outside the church looking cool, while 2000 people worshiped inside).

The best approach to safety and security for the congregants would have been for as many of them to carry concealed as possible.  The Church authorities should endeavor to make that happen.  As for the police, they were just irrelevant today.  But Mr. Tacticool looked cool.

Gun Laws: Let The Market Speak

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 2 months ago

David Codrea:

Daniele Perazzi, president of the Italian Perazzi Shotguns firm, was taken into custody yesterday by Adams County Deputies [see update, below] along with several prototype shotguns. The executive was picked up in the parking lot of the Denver Merchandise Mart, hosting the high-end Colorado Gun Collectors show this weekend, after a taxi driver, likely reacting to a suspicious activity reporting outreach program conducted by law enforcement, told authorities he thought he could be transporting an armed “foreign speaking” terror suspect.

Continue reading to find out why the Sheriff asked him to leave town despite the fact that he had done nothing wrong.

Kurt Hofmann:

… the Personalized Handgun Safety Act of 2013, mandates within two years that newly manufactured handguns be equipped with the technology that allows the guns to only work in the hands of their owners or other authorized users. Manufacturers that do not meet the standards could be held liable. And individuals or businesses selling older handguns must have them retrofitted with personalization technology within three years after the bill is enacted, at the expense of the federal government.

This bill has little chance of passing, but even if it did, the author isn’t even smart enough to exempt LEOs, who won’t endorse it without that exemption.  Kurt discusses the law enforcement take on such laws.

Both of these issues fall into the category where I advocate letting the market decide who wins.  Colorado has made their bed and must now lie in it.  They will eventually repudiate their onerous laws when enough industry leaves, enough industry won’t consider coming, and enough gangs begin to terrorize the state, but the rich part is that they will learn by doing rather than by being told what to do.  If I was Mr. Perazzi I wouldn’t waste one more dime or second on Colorado.  I’d never return, and I’d do my best to ensure that my wares were never sold in that state.  We need not fill in the gap for the intentional failures of others.  It interferes with the learning process.

As for smart guns, as I said before, I advocate at least one manufacturer investing significant resources to develop the technology and see how the market treats their brainchild.  Will it be alive and kicking, or stillborn?  Perhaps the Obama administration should spend a billion dollars on such technology.  Will we be able to track another Solyndra in the making?

I’ve already inveighed against smart guns, saying that I’ll buy one when hell freezes over.  Are there enough people out there to make this a worthwhile investment?  In particular, I strongly recommend that H&K be the first one out of the gate.


Manufacturers Dabble In Smart Guns

More On Smart Guns

Pushing Smart Guns

Review Of Drago Double Rifle Case

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 3 months ago

I had been looking for a while for a good range and field bag for more than one Carbine, and I’m very pleased with my new Drago double gun case.

2013E 021 

It’s made of a heavy fabric with heavy duty zippers, and it seems to hold up very well.  It has molle straps on the outside of the case for attachment of other gear.  It has a good look and multiple pockets.

2013E 022

It’s outermost pocket is perfectly sized for the height of 30 round magazines, and it would carry many more than I have shown in this picture.

2013E 023

It has two inner compartments separated by padding, each with a pocket for the rifle ends and velcro straps for holddown.  That’s an AR-15 with a 16″ barrel.

2013E 024

That’s an M1 Carbine.

2013E 025

This is a compartment between the case and the outermost magazine or tool pockets.  It has multiple compartments as you can see.

2013E 026

This may be the best feature of the bag.  The heavy duty backpack straps allow for hands-free carry in the field, and I especially like the large straps as opposed to the thin straps that typically come even with good backpacks.  The shoulder straps puts most backpacks to shame.

There is one qualifier.  It is a 36″ bag, so don’t expect to put longer barrel rifles in it.  The bag is made for Carbines.  It’s a bit pricey but overall I’m very pleased with it.  Disclaimer.  I haven’t received any gear or a single penny for this review.

Sniper Rifle Found In L.A.

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 3 months ago

I predicted it.  Now, the L.A. Police have found a sniper rifle in the city.

Thanks to a push from local faith-based organizations and an assist from the Pasadena Police Department, 135 guns were taken off the streets Saturday at the Pasadena Area Gun Buyback and Peace-source Fair.

More than a hundred gun owners drove up to the Pasadena PD and unloaded guns to be traded for gift certificates to Ralphs, Target and Best Buy stores.

According to Lt. Tracey Ibarra, of the weapons collected, about half were rifles and half were pistols — and there were some especially notable items, including an AK-47 assault rifle, an SKS assault rifle and a sniper rifle with scope that would be repurposed by the department for training use.

Likely it was a bolt action rifle with a nice scope, 5.56 mm, or .243, or .270, or .308, or .338.  And rather than it being considered a hunting rifle, or a target shooting rifle, it was a “sniper rifle.”

Make no mistake about it.  The press doesn’t know the difference between a magnifying glass and a rifle scope, or a detachable magazine and a flash suppressor.  They got this stuff from the LAPD, who “repurposed” the weapon to something they wanted.  The LAPD told the press that they bought a “sniper rifle” in the buyback.  Unfortunately, the police are still controlling the narrative.

I had previously asked the question of a purchase at Walmart, “If someone had purchased a really nice bolt action .308 with expensive glass, what would the press have done if this had gotten into criminal hands?  Perhaps call it a “sniper rifle?”

No.  It doesn’t have to be in criminal hands at all.  It just has to be a bolt action rifle with a scope.  But make no mistake.  The only time it will really be a sniper rifle to most civilians is if the police ever try to confiscate such firearms.  If they do that, millions of people will “repurpose” their guns just like the police did.

Today’s Reading

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 3 months ago

David Codrea:

“Apparently Square is joining several other payment processors and financial institutions and are now refusing to do business with anyone who has anything to do with guns, ammo or other weapons,” the Guns Save Lives blog observed, adding “Paypal has long had a standing policy of refusing to business with any gun related business, including for things as innocuous as gun magazines. GE Capital, one of the largest lenders in the US recently announced they would no longer work with the gun industry as well.”

“We may decide not to authorize or settle any transaction that you submit to us if we believe that the transaction is in violation of this Agreement,” Square warns its users.

David is covering financial companies who refuse to do business with firearms buyers and sellers.  This is one reason we have tried to close out our bank account with Bank of America.  We’re about there.

Kurt Hofmann:

At the state level, exploiters of murdered children have over the last few months parlayed the Sandy Hook Elementary atrocity into magazine and “assault weapon” bans–in some cases confiscatory bans–and have castigated Congress for not following the same unconstitutional path at the federal level. 3-D printing has already spelled the doom for the effectiveness of such bans, as well as background check requirements and other restrictions on “assault weapon” sales.

We will ultimately win, and I think that’s Kurt’s point.  As for this whole 3D printing issue, I am thus far not impressed enough to do anything more than distribute the files if someone sends them to me.  I’ll stick to what I’ve got and what I plan to get until further advancements in technology (and those advancements will come).  But the paranoia made me more interested than I otherwise would have been.  If the government forbids having the files, I want them.  If you can’t distribute them, I want to be a clearinghouse for them.

Via Say Uncle, another New Yorker will be prosecuted for the ridiculous law.

An upstate man was arrested under the state’s new gun law when troopers found him with a legally registered pistol that had a magazine that held nine bullets – two more than the new statute allows, state police said.

Troopers from the New Lebanon barracks in Columbia County stopped a car driven by Gregory D. Dean Jr., 31, of Hopewell Junction, around 9:45 p.m. Sunday on Route 22 because the vehicle’s license-plate lamp was not working.

While interviewing Dean, troopers noticed a handgun on the front seat, partially covered by a sweatshirt.

The troopers determined the gun, a .40-caliber pistol, was legally registered and possessed. However, when the troopers inspected the pistol, its magazine contained the nine bullets – New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Actonly allows seven bullets per magazine.

Police charged Dean with unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation,both misdemeanors, plus vehicle infractions, police said.

Ah, there we go again calling a cartridge a bullet, and New York’s finest spending time shutting down violent gangs on tax money … er uh … harassing gun owners on tax money.

Dave Hardy:

Maryland Shall Issue has filed a lawsuit against the State Police. The gist of it is that the police are taking an average of 55 days to issue permits, while the statutory command is that they do so within 7 days.

But Dave.  They’re the police.  They can do what they want to.  If they can shoot innocent people in SWAT raids, no one will care if they don’t issue carry permits when the law says they must.  By the way, Maryland is one of those states through which I will not drive, and over which I will not fly.

The Hazards Of A Militarized Police Force

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 3 months ago

At, one genius SWAT team member makes this remarkable argument.

Tactical teams seeking their terrorist prey in the greater Boston area did so in great numbers — numbers that would make military commanders in Afghanistan envious. Video footage showed the American law enforcement warrior looking for a fight.

Citizens cheered as the second terrorist was captured, jubilation spread across the country. We American Law Men were especially proud as our brothers in the Boston area took the fight to the terrorist. These men and women are true American Patriots — a testament to the “Warrior Spirit” in law enforcement — as tactical teams and uniformed officers brought swift justice and victory.

Warrior.  Marine Corps training seeks to seed the warrior spirit, but rather than see themselves as peace officers in the finest tradition of colonial constables, SWAT team members now see themselves as “warriors.”  And note the utterly heroic terms he uses to express the recent travesty of justice in Boston.  “Looking for a fight” … “proud” … “cheered” … “jubilation” by the people.

But I’ve addressed this issue of the fact that they will never be as trained, qualified, or reliable as a well trained military.

As shooters, remember our rules for safety, trigger discipline being among the top rules.  This is true for police and SWAT team members as well.  It’s true because of sympathetic muscle reflexes.  An example of this kind of bumbling stupidity is the death of Mr. Eurie Stamps, where the police officer stumbled over the top of his prone body (Mr. Stamps had done what he had been told to do and gone to the floor), and in so stumbling, the officer – whose finger was on the trigger of his rifle – squeezed the trigger and killed Mr. Stamps.  Mr. Stamps was innocent of all wrong-doing.  The name of the officer is Paul Duncan.  His first thought when he killed Stamps was, Jesus, was that my rifle?”  And it was, and Mr. Stamps is dead.

Now.  Let’s discuss something that most people don’t know about Marine Corps training.  My son was a SAW gunner in the 2/6 infantry, Golf Company, 3rd Platoon, during the 2007 combat tour of Fallujah and the pre-deployment workup.  The senior Marines had experienced a tour of Iraq, and wanted their SAW gunners to have a round in the chamber, bolt open (the SAW is an open bolt weapon anyway), and finger on the trigger.  They had seen combat and they wanted their SAW gunners with zero steps to shooting.  Their lives depended on it.  They also did CQB drills with live rounds, along with squad rushes.

My son had an ID (if I’m not mistaken it was during training at Mohave Viper).  He tripped and had a sympathetic muscle reflex, squeezing the trigger of his SAW.  He spent an extended period of time in the “room of pain.”  They wanted him trained to overcome that sympathetic muscle reflex (which can be done, but it takes hundreds or thousands of hours of drills).  He spent the time learning to overcome that reflex, and performed well during his tour.  He also tried to teach his “boot” Marines the same way he was trained, but the Marines had begun to change and focus more on cultural sensitivity training and other COIN tools.  He got out of the Marine Corps.

Why am I discussing this?  Because no matter who you are, no matter how much time you spend, no matter how earnestly you wish it, no matter how many directives you write, if you are a SWAT team member, you will never be trained in such a manner.  Never.  You will never be trained like a U.S. Marine who has spent every day for a year and a half in pre-deployment workup to do a combat tour of Iraq.  Because you will never be trained in this manner, your tactics are dangerous, all of the time, and in all situations.  I don’t care how many times you have inexperienced Soldiers spend a week with you doing CQB drills.  With the standdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, they oftentimes know as little as you.  These tactics place people in danger when there are better alternatives.

Now for the next step.  Nor should you be trained like my son.  It isn’t within your province to do this.  The militarization of the police and police tactics in America is an effort to sidestep Posse Comitatus.  It’s a way to have a standing army police Americans rather than have the existing standing army do the policing of Americans.  It’s a typical progressive, statist trick.

And just recently I remarked about the fact that I know people who were engaged in open carry near Lake Norman North of Charlotte (N.C. is an open carry state), where LEOs unholstered their weapons and pointed them at my friends.  Someone will get killed, I said, and when they do, LEOs will not be held accountable for their hazardous actions.

Now let’s take a quick look at Boston under siege.


A word for you Boston SWAT snipers.  You are a hazard to everyone within a solid angle of 180 degrees centered on your rifle muzzle, you dumb shit.  Put your weapon away.  No one needed you to do that.  Rather, good detective work should have been the order of the day.  Learn to use your brains.

Police Converge Mass

Hey moron.  When there is a child around, get your hand off of your damn weapon.  I don’t care about your trigger discipline.  When you unholster your weapon I don’t know what you will do.  I have a child in my arms.   Moron.  Learn to use your brain.

There are many, many more such examples, and I’m not sure what the SWAT officer was talking about when he discussed the jubilation America displayed when Boston was locked down like a prison, but around these parts we were livid.  We don’t want you.  We don’t need you.  We don’t see you in heroic terms.  We think you’re dangerous and a hazard to the peaceable among us.

Finally, you have no moral right to unholster your weapon and point it at me, my family or my beasts.  You don’t have a moral right to forcibly enter my home, and you don’t have a moral right to endanger me, my family or my beasts because you want to “go home at the end of the day.”

Oh, and by the way.  I think your reflexive shooting of dogs during your stupid SWAT raids is cowardly and ham-handed (it happens all over America every day).  If a dog comes after you when you force your way into a home, maybe you shouldn’t have been in that home in the first place.  And most of the time if you can’t handle dogs without reverting to shooting them I think you’re a pussy.

3D Printed Guns? Not If The U.S. Government Has Anything To Do With It

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 3 months ago

David Codrea:

The Department of Defense Trade Controls has “requested” Defense Distributed to remove files associated with its Wiki Weapon Project, an announcement posted on the DEFCAD website today announced …

This development is occurring mere days after the announcement that a complete working 3-D printed firearm, the Liberator, had successfully been built, and follows speculation from earlier today when a “temporarily unavailable” message appeared when trying to access the downloadable files.

Read also David’s War On Guns post about this subject.  Now take a quick look at what Mike Vanderboegh says, and take note that if anyone has files they would like to send to me I’ll take possession and distribute them like Mike.

Totalitarians will be totalitarians.  But they will not win.

UPDATE: The thought occurs to me that Holder is several days late (and if he was one second late it’s game over).  Bit torrent sites will have the files forever now, encrypted.  So it’s game over.  There’s nothing Holder can do about it.

Gun Control: Sleeping With The Enemy

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 3 months ago

Senator Tom Coburn cooperated with Senator Manchin (and Schumer) for a while on “expanded” (universal) background checks before he pulled out of the negotiations for whatever reason.  He was simply indignant when Senator Reid later pushed him around.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Thursday blasted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as a “failure” and said the Democratic leader broke his promise to allow him an amendment on last month’s gun control bill.

“Harry Reid is a nice guy. I like him. But I think he has been a failure as a majority leader for the Senate in terms of keeping the history of the Senate and the progress of the Senate in line with what it was intended to be by our founders,” Coburn said.

The Oklahoma Republican was appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to explain why he had attempted to attach an amendment to a water resources and infrastructure bill that would have allowed gun owners to carry firearms into recreational areas.

“They were very good to allow me an amendment, and the reason they did is because Harry [Reid] denied me an amendment on the gun bill on one that would have passed and solved the problem, which he promised to give me,” Coburn said.

“He has been dishonest with me, not truthful, not kept his word,” Coburn continued. “He’s played games, you know? We’ve done our own damage to that in response to it. So what we have is people pointing fingers at each other.”

Coburn’s amendment to the water and infrastructure bill would have allowed states to decide whether visitors to areas controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — including many of the nation’s campsites and trails — would be allowed to carry weapons. The amendment failed Wednesday in a 56-43 vote, four short of the 60 necessary to proceed.

More specifically, Coburn’s proposal would have opened up lands heretofore prohibited from weapons as well as begun to make DHS accountable for it’s ammunition orders.

The Senate has rejected an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act that would have repealed a ban on carrying guns on land managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The amendment, by Sen. Tom Coburn, was defeated 56-43, falling four votes shy of the 60 needed to defeat a Democratic-led filibuster. Coburn withdrew a second amendment that would require annual reports from federal agencies on ammunition and gun purchases and firearm thefts.

Democrats said it could “threaten critical facilities like dams and flood control projects.”  So in addition to .22 LR shots potentially adversely affecting the nation’s energy grid, we now have rifle or handgun shots that can take out a dam.  The power of small projectiles is storied and amazing, to be sure.

The real lesson in all of this isn’t the amendment, which was sure to fail, or the moronic Democrat response to it, but that Coburn offered it.  He is feeling heat from his cooperation with the totalitarians on gun control, and he’s trying to shore up his pro-gun credentials.

It won’t work.  Gun owners never forgive, and never forget.  Like wicked men chasing after whores, the politicians in Washington chase after the next feel-good measure rather than act on principle.  But when you sleep with the enemy you contract their diseases.  Coburn is damaged goods.

As for guns on federal land (specifically, guns in national parks), my FOIA request proves that the predicted apocalypse of gun crime after weapons were made legal didn’t obtain.  To the surprise of the Brady campaign, gun owners are responsible people.

Chris Murphy On Guns And God

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 3 months ago

Real Clear Politics:

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) on states nullifying federal gun laws: I mean, let’s look at the context of nullification. Nullification was last used by Southern states to try to eviscerate Civil Rights legislation, to try to prevent states from basically enforcing desegregation and frankly, I think history will look back on this round of nullification as kindly as it did on the last round.

It is laughable also because it is a total bastardization of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is not an absolute right, not a God given right, always had conditions upon it like the First Amendment has. The idea that the Second Amendment was put in there in order to allow citizens to fight their government is insane.

Now, let’s quote Dr. Douglas F. Kelly in The Emergence of Liberty in the Modern World concerning Huguenot religious revolutionary texts.

As far as the development of political thought is concerned, the most important thing to come out of these struggles was a group of Protestant tracts justifying revolution on an old yet new basis.  They taught concepts of religious liberty flowing from a divinely ordained covenant structure of society, as well as a concept of popular sovereignty, giving the people of the nation power to make and depose kings.  Although the Protestants lost the struggle militarily, these concepts became internationally influential long after the fight for freedom was lost in the French nation.

As far as the use of nullification to eviscerate civil rights, Murphy has it exactly backwards (and read here and here).  But it stands to reason.  If you get idiot senators on idiot talk shows being led by idiot talk show hosts, both of whom are ignorant of history, you’ll come away with idiotic conclusions.

The Slippery Slope Argument On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 3 months ago

There is an increasing number of charges that the recent gun control legislation was rejected because of slippery slope arguments.  One such charge was leveled by the loser himself, Joe Manchin.

Think gun control failed in the Senate because of gun-clutching extremists? Or because of fanatical radicals who want to abolish the Second Amendment? Senator Joe Manchin, who’s been at the heart of the effort, says it’s nothing of the sort. In fact, the central problem really has nothing to do with firearms at all — it’s about trust.

When he speaks to gun owners, “they’re scared this is the first step” in a massive government overreach, said Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat. He made the remarks during an interview with Margaret Carlson at the New York Ideas Festival, a daylong conference sponsored by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute.

“When you say universal background check, the first thing that comes in the mind of a gun owner is that means registration, and registration means confiscation. ‘I haven’t broken the laws, why do you want to know everything?'” he said. According to Manchin, even in gun-loving West Virginia, constituents he spoke with repeatedly told him that if the bill did only what it said it does, they would wholeheartedly support it. (“There’s a lot the NRA likes in this bill,” he added.) The problem is, they’re skeptical that the bill will in fact go farther than it claims. That means the effort to pass it on a second try will require emphasizing, for example, the harsh penalties associated with keeping records past a certain period.

He portrays gun owners as pitiful sheep, “scared” of anything and everything.  The reality is much different.  But then there is Cass Sunstein, who thinks he is much smarter than we are.  You can read his entire piece, but this is the money quote.

Illuminating though it is, Hirschman’s account misses an especially pernicious example of the rhetoric of reaction: the slippery-slope argument. According to that argument, we should reject Reform A, which is admittedly not so terrible, because it would inevitably put us on a slippery slope to Reform B, which is really bad.

But the problem is that this criticism neglects to consider – or maybe intentionally ignores – the real presence of intentionality.  I have never made the case that the proposed gun control law should have been rejected because it is a slippery slope and could lead to more pernicious or onerous things.  I don’t know another gun rights blogger who has made that case.

The case that I have made, and repeatedly so, is that a system of universal background checks is a precursor and necessary prerequisite to a national gun registry.  I have never charged that it would be some accidental feature of overbearing governance.  I have charged that it would be intentional, and that universal background checks would have no effect on gun crime.

Furthermore, I have pointed to progressive arguments for that very system, showing that this is the real goal of every progressive.

The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.

Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it.  The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them.

In the end, Manchin’s proposals were rejected because the people didn’t like his ideas, and Cass Sunstein isn’t as smart as he thinks he is.  Gun control laws such as universal background checks may in fact end up a slippery slope because the federal government is a micromanager and even if there is opposition to a national gun registry one may develop anyway.  But the reason to oppose them has more to do with intentionality, not accident.

Finally, there is another reason to have opposed Manchin’s proposals.  We simply didn’t like what he proposed.  Or in other words, we like the idea that we can buy and sell guns to each other without having to go through a federal firearms license and pay a transfer fee, and we like the idea of gifting guns to each other without telling the federal government about it.

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