Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 39 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]

Out-Of-Round .45 ACP Casings

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Recall I said I had some range time, including with the CMMG PSB .45 ACP?

I kept some of the brass and noticed something for the second time I shot this particular firearm.  Some of the brass has burn marks down one side, like this.

That brass is Federal .45 ACP.  Some of the brass is clean and well-rounded.

That brass is from Double Tap 450 SMC.

Other .45 ACP ammunition I shot didn’t have the burn mark.  I looked more closely at the Federal brass, and noticed what I think is ovality, even to the naked eye.

Given that some brands of .45 ACP can be shot in this gun (along with 450 SMC) with clean results (I also shot a good bit of Freedom Munitions .45 ACP with clean results), I’ve concluded some manufacturers are selling brass that is slightly out-of-round.

I think this is interesting, and I thought I would pass it on.

Gun Laws Manifest Ongoing Polarization Of America

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

It’s obvious to everyone that there is an ongoing polarization in America, in fact with increasing speed and ferocity.  In New York the claim by gun owners has routinely been that NYC is NYC, and upsate is a different beast.  They honor their gun rights around those parts.  I wonder how this will affect them?

Family members, school administrators and law enforcement officials can seek to get guns confiscated from people deemed by courts to be an “extreme risk” to themselves or others, under legislation signed Monday.

The “red flag” law, as it’s called, takes effect in 180 days.

That’s not just NYC.  Next up, from reader Mike, Oklahoma just passed constitutional carry.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Individuals will be able to carry firearms in Oklahoma without a permit or training starting Nov. 1, when a bill passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt goes into effect.

The bill is the first signed by Stitt since he took office.

And there is dispute in Maryland.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis wants Maryland lawmakers to know he will not comply with any bill that restricts a person’s Second Amendment right.

Legislators heard testimony from constituents and public officials during a hearing on Monday that addressed 19 different bills related to firearms. When speaking to a room of people after testifying, Lewis reiterated his thoughts on these bills.

“We’re gonna let them know that we are sick and tired of being penalized for Baltimore City’s inability to control crime,” Lewis told the room in a video that circulated on social media. “If these bills pass, we will not comply.”

Lest he be considered a hero, here the rest of his argument and one of his reasons.

Lewis, who has worked in law enforcement for the past 35 years, said he was not opposed to every piece of gun legislation that has been introduced to the Maryland General Assembly. Rather, he only raises issue with the bills that would “further encroach or infringe upon law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms.”

[ … ]

Another piece of legislation that Lewis took issue with is House bill 612, which would add a Colt AR-15 Sports H-BAR (heavy barrel) rifle to the list of regulated firearms in the state. Lewis said this bill, if passed, would lead to confiscation without compensation.

“There are bills that would truly make it a suicide mission for a sheriff deputy or a Maryland state trooper,” said Lewis, who personally owns multiple AR-15 rifles. “There are just so many reasons why this is unjust and unconstitutional.”

So what if the gun owners were compensated – would that make it okay to the Sheriff?  And what if there were enough officers to effect confiscation without it being a suicide mission?  Would he participate in such a thing?

He needs to have all the right reasons for opposition to gun control, and right now, he doesn’t.

Expect this kind of thing to continue, and increase in speed and intensity.  The left is lurching further leftward, as their heart tells them to do, and the right is splitting into two factions – those who will follow just behind the left, and those who will drift further right.

There are froggy times coming.

Idaho Open Carry “Tiff”

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

News from Idaho:

BOISE — A freshman Idaho lawmaker, who introduced a controversial guns-in-schools bill Tuesday, is speaking out against a Boise restaurant after he and fellow members of the Three Percenters group were chided for open-carrying guns there.

Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Ammon, said he was in a group of five people eating at Bacon when owner John Berryhill told them their firearms were making customers and staff nervous, according to his Facebook post Saturday. He said Berryhill then closed a curtain around their booth.

Berryhill told CBS 2 News Christensen’s account is exaggerated. In a statement to CBS 2, Berryhill said he’s not against guns or even open carry, with the exception of being in populated areas, such as restaurants, libraries and parks.

In his post, Christensen said, “I won’t be stepping foot in that place again. Pass this around patriots.”

Christensen acknowledged to CBS 2 that he is essentially calling for a boycott of the restaurant. He added in his Facebook post that he would use his “reach” to call out any other business owners who “have a problem with guns in Idaho.”

Boise police spokeswoman Haley Williams told the Idaho Press that private businesses can refuse service to patrons carrying firearms. While Idaho allows open carry of firearms, the law does not apply to private property, the owners of which can make their own rules, she said.

“You can ask them to leave,” she said. “You can set the rules for their establishment.”

Members of the Idaho State Legislature’s Ethics Committee, which met Tuesday for separate purposes, declined to comment on the matter of a lawmaker threatening to use their platform as a mechanism to call for boycott of businesses.

However, Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, told the Idaho Press that Idaho lawmakers are citizens who do not give up their individual right to free speech when they take office.

Yes, establishments have a right to prohibit carry within their premises.  And anyone has a right to say anything about it, at any time, to anyone, and within any context.

Isn’t it interesting that there is a legislator in Idaho who identifies as a Three Percenter?  I didn’t know that.

Appeal Filed After Judge Rules For Bump Stock Ban

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

David Codrea:

“Codrea also asserts that the bump stock rule violates the Takings Clause because it fails to provide compensation to current bump stock owners who must destroy or abandon their property. Regardless of the merits of Codrea’s takings challenge, however, it does not justify preliminary injunctive relief.”

Just because she says so, and she has all the power.

Where we stand now is unless the D.C. Appeals Court grants the appeal with expedited treatment, on March 26 I and others will become felons if we do not surrender or destroy property previously deemed lawful by the same bureau now saying it’s not.

And the FedGov has filed an opposition to expedite.  Of course.

Good on David for soldiering on and going through what will likely be a losing battle.

Matt Vespa On Red Flag Laws

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Townhall.com:

I think there are areas where we can find agreement, like extreme risk protection orders IF THEY’RE DON (sic) RIGHT, but this will also take time to get the language right to ensure people’s rights aren’t trampled, which is absent in the liberal process. It’s hard to discuss this with people whose sole goal concerning gun control is expanding government power. Then again, what else is new when dealing with Democrats.

This is surprising coming from Matt Vespa, who is usually a fairly straight shooter.  So let’s offer a brief rebuttal, shall we?

First of all, it has to do with being a statist, not democrat, and democrats don’t have the corner on that market.  Second, this embraces a false view of the state.  The state isn’t God, and cannot know the future.  Divination and spiritists are forbidden in the Holy Writ and being wicked, and red flag laws are based on pre-crime judgments, that is, someone makes a judgment (sometimes based on the determination of community witch doctors, or Psychiatrists), that a threat exists enough to deprive a man or woman of his or her means of self defense.  This has nothing whatsoever to do with threats, which are already illegal.

Third, we needn’t delineate between gun control, and gun control for the purpose of expanding government power.  All gun control has as its purpose the expansion of government power, and all gun control is evil.  Fourth, rights are trampled with red flag laws, Matt needn’t attempt to ensure this doesn’t happen.  It happens as a function of the process itself.

I could go on, but I’ll let readers fill in the gaps.

Judge Gives Green Light To Trump’s Ban On Bump Stocks

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

Reuters:

A federal judge gave the Trump administration the go-ahead on Monday to ban “bump stocks” – rapid-fire gun attachments used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history – in a defeat for firearms rights advocates.

“None of the plaintiffs’ challenges merit preliminary injunctive relief,” Washington-based District Judge Dabney Friedrich wrote in a 64-page ruling.

[ … ]

Friedrich found courts have regularly recognized the ATF’s authority to “interpret and apply the statutes that it administers,” including the definition of a machine gun.

So in other words, because the courts have teamed up with the administrative state to empower themselves even further, it’s okay.  There’s precedent for it.  Congress doesn’t really matter if we give all authority to the administrative state anyway.

I see that David Codrea is already on this.

Judge Friedrich begins with the assertion that “According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the [Las Vegas] gunman used multiple ‘bump stocks’ in the attack, which increased his rate of fire.”  As contrary to most news reports, political claims and public opinion as this may sound, that has never been definitively established, or if it has, that information has not been made public. True, guns were recovered from the scene with bump stocks attached, but, as a Freedom of Information Act response documented, ATF was denied inspection access to weapons at the scene to determine if the ones used had been modified with “machine gun fire-control components or known machine gun conversion devices,” and to this day no report of technical examination has been released.

He further observes, “Who’s still asleep enough to still think this is “just about bump stocks” or still in denial enough to insist that it’s some genius 3D chess maneuver purposely designed to lose in the courts?”

That was my first thought when I read the report from Reuters.  Yea, what about that 3D chess match Trump is playing to make this all fail in court?  I’ve seen that sort of floated by Glenn Reynolds before, who also notes that this is unconstitutional.

I never once thought that Trump wanted anything but a bump stock ban since (contrary to what the Reuters article says) the NRA gave him cover for it.  He believes that gun owners are a monolith represented by the NRA, when in actuality, many if not most of us consider them to be to willing too compromise.

It’s as if Trump doesn’t really know who his base is, or doesn’t understand them, or doesn’t really care, or simply believes he can replace them with another base.

How Does It Feel To Be On The Other Side Of The Muzzle, Cop?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

Tales from Minnesota:

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Before 31-year-old Melody Gray was sentenced on Monday, Feb. 25, to serve 19 years in prison, the Minnesota state patrolman she attempted to shoot on Interstate 94 just east of Moorhead shared how that moment nearly a year ago changed his life.

“Without hesitation, Melody Gray tried to take everything away from me,” Mark Peterson said in a statement about the March 5, 2018, check of a stranded vehicle that quickly turned aggressive. “I do not think Melody Gray has any remorse for her actions.”

Peterson said through Clay County prosecutor Pamela Foss that his children later told him “how hard life would be without” him in their lives.

Peterson’s wife also addressed the Clay County courtroom in a statement, writing how she and her husband now have a “new and refreshed appreciation of life” following the incident.

A courtroom full of Minnesota State Patrol troopers, police officers, lawyers and other law enforcement officials listened patiently as Gray was sentenced Monday by Judge Tammy Merkins on one felony count of first-degree attempted murder and one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

So don’t pretend that this doesn’t happen to folks who aren’t cops.  Folks get shot every day, and they are just as human as you, with all of the life to live as you and your family.

And don’t pretend that when cops shoot innocent people, the roles aren’t exactly reversed, with felons shooting people who have precious life to live.  Because that’s what a cop who shoots an innocent person is – a felon, even if the courts won’t call him that.

And when a cop points a firearm at an innocent person, it’s as much assault with a deadly weapon as when the girl did it to you.

Grok that, cop?

Colorado Red Flag Bill A Treacherous Mine Field

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

This is a bit wordy.

DENVER–The “Red Flag” bill moving through the Colorado Legislature has been the subject of plenty of debate, but as it stands now, for persons against whom even a temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) has been issued, there is a risk they could be trapped into inadvertently violating federal gun control laws.

House Bill 19-1177 requires that at the initial ex parte hearing (where the subject is excluded), and based on a judge finding by a preponderance of the evidence that the person meets the “danger to self or others” standard, a ruling issuing a temporary ERPO and search and seizure warrant to confiscate guns is required.

According to federal regulations provided to Complete Colorado by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) someone is “adjudicated as a mental defective” if found by a “court, board, commission or other lawful authority” to be, among other things, “a risk to himself or others.”

A strict reading of the federal law suggests that a person under any ERPO has been “adjudicated as a mental defective” by a judge and is barred from all gun ownership from the federal perspective.

The potential threat to gun owners is that even if the judge declines to issue the year-long order, there is still an adjudication and a temporary ERPO on record that arguably prohibits people from getting their guns back until another court proceeding required by federal law to relieve that disability is held.

As well, an ERPO that expires without further court action at the end of the statutory time period of 364 days doesn’t meet the standard for relief from the federal gun-ownership disability.

Prior to 2008, a judicial finding that a person was a danger to himself or others permanently revoked a person’s right to keep and bear arms. This disqualified many people suffering from temporary mental health issues from gun ownership for life.

The federal NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 provides, among other things, a pathway for people who were barred from gun ownership due to temporary mental illness to regain their rights once they are no longer in crisis.

The 2007 federal law says that a state can provide relief from the federal ban by creating a program for granting relief in state law. The law must provide that a “state court, board, commission or other lawful authority” grant the relief.

Colorado passed just such a statute in 2013 that is found at C.R.S. 13-5-142.5

When petitioned, the court may grant relief if it finds the person is “not likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to the public safety” and that the relief is not “contrary to the public interest.”

The catch is that only persons who have been “found to be incapacitated,” “committed by order of the court” to the custody of the state, or for whom the court has entered an order for short term treatment or for long-term care of a mental health disorder are eligible to petition for relief.

The bill does not address this situation, meaning that the subject of either a temporary or year-long ERPO might not be eligible to petition for relief under existing Colorado law.

Both federal and Colorado statutes say that persons taken in for observation on a 72-hour mental health hold or those who voluntarily admit themselves to a psychiatric facility do not qualify as being “committed to a mental institution,” which is another event that disqualifies gun ownership. But the Colorado ERPO bill doesn’t require a person adjudicated as dangerous to get any mental health treatment at all.

This potentially puts people who are issued temporary ERPOs pending a full hearing, those who are not issued an ERPO at the full hearing and those for whom an ERPO expired without further court action in the position of having to go back to court to relieve the federal prohibition, if they even know they must do so, only to find that they are not eligible to petition for relief under state law.

As I said, it was a bit wordy but I think I’ve got it.  The Colorado law may put people in “no-man’s” land where he can’t even use what little federal relief there is to get his property back or ever purchase firearms again.

But take note of the comment, which pointed me to this startling passage of the bill.

If a family or household member or a law enforcement officer establishes by clear and convincing evidence that a person poses a significant risk to self or others by having a firearm in his or her custody or control or by possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm, the court may issue a continuing ERPO

Taken without any other context – which it would appear the way this passage is posed – it seems to say that mere possession of a firearm, if deemed unsafe by just about anyone connected to the person, can be a justifiable reason to disarm him.

Oh Colorado.  What have you done by letting so many Californians into your home?

Mauldin Police Officer Arrested After Pointing Gun At Woman During Argument

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

Greenville News:

A Mauldin police officer was arrested and placed on suspension after he was charged with pointing a firearm at a female victim early Sunday morning, according to authorities.

The officer was taken into custody Sunday after Greenville County sheriff’s deputies were called to investigate a disturbance involving a firearm, Lt. Jimmy Bolt of the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Bolt said deputies responded to Sprouts Grocery in Simpsonville early Sunday in reference to a disturbance involving a firearm. A female victim told deputies that she and a male acquaintance had gotten into a verbal argument at a residence, after which the man retrieved a gun, pointed it at the woman and told her to leave, the Sheriff’s Office report said.

After fleeing, the woman called the Sheriff’s Office, the report said.

Deputies took the man into custody without incident and he is currently being held in the detention center.

Mauldin Police confirmed the man was employed as a police officer with the department, but has been placed on suspension.

The firearm that was used during the incident was a personally owned firearm and not his duty firearm, Bolt said.

A wee bit violent, yes?  Assault with a deadly weapon, it is.

At least he didn’t use his service weapon.  That means he’ll be back on the force in no time from his paid vacation.

Benchmade Answers Their Critics

BY Herschel Smith
3 months ago

Recoil has the interview.  Here are some excerpts of it, with running commentary by me.

RECOIL: Before we get into the interview, is there anything that you would like to say to the RECOIL readership and the Second Amendment community about a Benchmade employee cutting up firearms with Benchmade equipment?

MATT ELLIOTT: Yeah sure, I think the story, and the consistent story here is that while this particular event is as it’s come to light for all of us is we’ve realized it’s something that people take high amounts of offense to, especially from the symbolism of it.

In fact, especially with that post going out with no real context behind it, I can understand the strong reaction from the market on it. The fact of the matter is that we’ve supported law enforcement, people’s right to carry, be it knives or guns, and the Second Amendment.

We also have supported military from the beginning of the company until now, none of that’s going to change moving forward. We’re still going to work with law enforcement; we’re still going to support our local police department, the Oregon City PD. I also want people that know that moving forward we will not be engaging in helping the police with those activities [cutting firearms], especially now understanding the way that people feel about it.

What does it mean to support law enforcement, people’s right to carry, and the military?  What does any of that have to do with the situation?  So far, this isn’t helpful.

R: There have been two main topics that have been the focus of comments on RECOIL’s original coverage of the incident. The conversation has become centered around political contributions, which we can get into in a bit, but more so the commitment of Benchmade to the Second Amendment and the Second Amendment community, which we imagine makes up a large part of your customer base. Can you share Benchmade’s stance on Second Amendment issues clearly for our readers?

ME: Benchmade from the beginning has been fully in support of Second Amendment rights. That’s not just a Benchmade thing as a brand; it’s a cultural thing as an organization. I can’t speak to every single person in the business but I myself, I’m a big supporter. I happen to be a life member of the NRA. I’m not alone in that at Benchmade, and moreover, I also think it’s important to make the point that it’s about carry for us and people’s right to carry state to state. And that isn’t just about guns for us. At the end of the day, we’re a knife company.

I think it’s important for us to be authentically who we are, and we’re a knife manufacturer. Now we are also the knife manufacturer that has really spearheaded and led the charge for as long as I’ve been working here, which is more than a decade. Long before that with the manufacturer of automatic knives and helping to break down doors around antiquated or outdated legislation that has been very restrictive.

When I started at Benchmade, I believe there were really only three states that allowed for carry of automatic [knives], and to date, that number has grown to 30 plus. I can’t speak to the exact numbers because I’m not an expert on the laws in every state. I’ve watched that number grow and grow primarily over the course of the last five to six years right.

Okay, I grok that they’re a knife company rather than a gun company.  But in the end as customers we’re interested in a full-orbed view of the second amendment and aren’t interested in companies that don’t protect those rights.  Why are they so surprised at the reaction they got?

R: Can you expand on how Benchmade supports organizations like the NRA?

ME: We have been members of organizations, the NRA included, for decades and are very proud of that fact. We will continue to support their efforts to support gun owners rights and the Second Amendment. We participate in programs that give discounts to members of these organization along with our long-running history of financial support, along with the other actions we have taken through our direct relationships with them and the community.

The NRA is the largest, most well-connected, well-funded gun control organization on the planet.  It doesn’t help their case to invoke support for the NRA.  This is getting worse as the interview proceeds.

R: Can you explain the political contributions listed on OpenSecrets.org that have been circulating social media?

ME: Oregon is a hotbed of knife makers, but also is a heavily Democrat-leaning state making most of the politicians with an interest in introducing legislation that is pro-knife often Democratic. When the donations were made to pro-knife politicians, it was about knife rights.

Gun owners are protected when traveling through states by the Firearm Owners Protection act; knife owners don’t enjoy that kind of protection. The Interstate Transport Act was a very important piece of legislation that Benchmade has been working to get passed for over five years, alongside the American Knife and Tool Institute.

This bill had co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. The effort requires bi-partisan support and we need to ensure we are reaching across the aisle and bringing both parties to the table. I don’t think most people are aware of how serious the penalties can be for certain types of knives in certain states …

I’m sorry, but I’m left unpersuaded.  I cannot for the life of me see that any of the democratic politicians to whom they donated are “pro-knife.”

R: Was this the first time that the Oregon City Police Department has asked Benchmade for this type of assistance?

ME: No, they have asked Benchmade two or three times a year over the last few years to assist them in cutting the firearms to be destroyed according to their policy to the correct size for the special destruction box. Since Benchmade has assisted law enforcement since day one, we agreed to render assistance in the past.

In other words, they’ve cut up firearms for the cops in the past, lots of them in fact.

R: What will be the answer to the Oregon City Police Department if they ask Benchmade to assist in cutting firearms into smaller pieces that fit inside of an incineration box?

ME: Benchmade now has a policy to politely decline to assist Law Enforcement in the cutting up of firearms regardless of reason. If the local law enforcement request assistance with other matters, we will be happy to accommodate them as long as doesn’t involve cutting firearms.

That should have been your policy all along.

R: Was it known that the police department was taking photos of the firearms being cut up by a Benchmade employee?

ME: The police department was given permission to take the photos even though the Benchmade policy is that there is no photographs allowed in the facility. We have launched an investigation internally to ensure that this type of incident never happens again.

In other words, you regret that you got caught.

R: Does Benchmade have any thoughts about the internal OCPD policy that mandated that firearms which were unable to be returned to their owner for whatever reason, be it legal or otherwise?

ME:  Since OCPD’s post went viral we have conducted an investigation into the entire event. We are hoping this can be an opportunity to have a more open discussion about the intricacies of such an important subject. We have learned a lot and as I said earlier, we will not be allowing this practice to happen in our facilities again.

Here is a brief rundown of those “intricacies.”  The politicians to whom you donated are communists.  Only communists cut up firearms.  Those firearms could have been sold to good, peaceable men and women to protect their hearth and home at a reduced cost, thereby rendering aid to those less wealthy than someone who can purchase the firearms new.  If you can’t change the laws where you live, the least you can do is not willingly cooperate in the communism they want to foist on the rest of us.

Note to Benchmade.  You did yourselves no favors with this interview.


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