Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 41 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]

ATF Letter To Congress On Bump Stocks

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 23 hours ago

Len Savage received this document as part of his FOIA request.  He asks, “I wonder how many other members of Congress received similar letters?”

This congressman stood by mute while the ATF did an end run around the constitution concerning how laws are made.  Because overlords.  Because administrative state.

And note, Trump is as willing to use this administrative state to accomplish his ends as the democrats.

In order to prevent you from having to download a PDF, I’m showing this to you in JPEGs.

No Compensation For Destroyed Bump Stocks

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Guns.com.

A federal judge last week dismissed a claim from bump stock retailers who sued the government for damages they incurred after having to destroy their inventory.

The plaintiffs include two companies as well as two individuals who in all lost 74,995 bump stocks to the ban which took effect in March. The case, filed in a Washington, D.C. federal court, argued that the ban’s requirement that bump-stocks be surrendered or destroyed within 90 days, with no opportunity for registration, violated the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment which states that private property can’t be taken for public use without compensation.

The court didn’t see it that way.

“The law is different in this case because the government, as the sovereign, has the power to take property that is dangerous, diseased, or used in criminal activities without compensation,” said Senior Circuit Judge Loren A. Smith in his nine-page ruling. “Here, ATF acted properly within the confines of the limited federal police power.”

Smith, appointed to the federal bench in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan, said the $500,000 claim under the Tucker Act would be different “if the government confiscated a gun legally possessed by a person not committing a crime,” but argued that “machine guns,” which was how bump stocks were reclassified, are not protected by the Second Amendment.

First of all, machine guns, since they are used for military purposes, are absolutely protected by the second amendment.

Second,this is called “begging the question.”  I hate it when writers misuse the term “begging the question.”  It doesn’t mean that something necessarily brings up a question, as many writers assume.  It is a formal logical fallacy.  It’s circular reasoning, or proving the presupposition.  Bump stocks were declared machine guns.  Now that they have been declared machine guns, they can be regulated as such, so argues the judge.  That’s like declaring your skin to be green, and for proof reverting back to my declaration.

That’s not the issue.  The issue was and is whether the FedGov ever had the right to declare bump stocks to be machine guns in the first place, and then do they have the authority to take it without compensation.  So much for “judges.”  So much for Reagan.  So much for the constitution.

The constitution, which is merely a covenant, is unimportant to these people.  The FedGov can declare anything they want to be illegal, take it, and ignore appellations in court.  The constitution is a dead document.  The covenant has been broken.  It is null and void, like when a spouse cheats.

And The Number Of Bump Stocks Actually Turned In?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

The Washington Times.

The federal government collected fewer than 1,000 bump stocks during the run-up to a new ban in March, despite estimates that hundreds of thousands of the devices that mimic machine gun fire are in circulation, according to federal data provided to The Washington Times by the Justice Department.

As the nation marked the second anniversary Oct. 1 of the Las Vegas massacre, which prodded the Trump administration to ban bump stocks, the numbers offer a cautionary tale on the scope and resources needed to enforce any sort of gun buyback program.

Between the issuance of the final rule banning the devices in December 2018 and April 4, 2019, shortly after the prohibition took effect in late March, 582 bump stocks were “abandoned” to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to Justice Department records, and 98 bump stocks were kept as evidence.

The Times obtained the records through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The administration cited estimates that 280,000 to 520,000 bump-stock-type devices were in circulation when it published the final rule in December.

I’ve seen estimates as high as 550,000 in circulation, but we’ll take their number of 520,000.  That computes to 0.1119%.

What do you think will happen when the FedGov demands that citizens turn over $1000 rifles which have been bought with the intent of bequeathing to their children for personal defense?

DOJ: Houston Man Charged In First Known Case Since Bump Stock Ban

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Reddit/firearms.

I suspect this is the way it’s going to be for bump stock owners.  No one will come hunting for bump stocks, but if somebody commits a crime, the possession of a bump stock will add to the charges.

Well, I guess the DOJ is proud tonight.

Donald Trump’s Hatred Of Suppressors

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 1 week ago

As soon as the blood was spilled the controllers came out of the woodwork to shill their ideas.  First up is The Washington Post, or in other words, Jeff Bezos’ and the CIA’s blog.

But details of the rampage include one fact unique to the growing list of active-shooter cases: the assailant used a .45-caliber handgun with extended magazines and a barrel suppressor. This small detail — that the loaded gun was fitted with simple, and lawful, “silencing” equipment — threatens to upend how we understand and train for active-shooter cases in the future.

Let’s stop right there.  I’ve never “trained” for an active shooter situation by learning to “run, hide and fight.”  Only the DHS is stupid enough to purvey such nonsense.

But details of the rampage include one fact unique to the growing list of active-shooter cases: the assailant used a .45-caliber handgun with extended magazines and a barrel suppressor. This small detail — that the loaded gun was fitted with simple, and lawful, “silencing” equipment — threatens to upend how we understand and train for active-shooter cases in the future.

But the Virginia Beach killer seemed to want the anonymity of silence, a tool of the coward, not one seeking fame or a blaze of glory. None of the videos or manifestos we’ve seen from New Zealand to Las Vegas appear to be part of the Virginia Beach story. The killer wanted silence.

Silence is the enemy of time. An entire “run, hide, fight” policy that governs every school, workforce and the first-responder community in active-shooter cases is conditioned on an important premise: that there is situational awareness that shots have been fired, bullets are flying and it’s always best to run the other way. Once you know where the bullets are coming from, you can — as I tell my own kids — “sprint if you can; duck if you can’t; and fight only if you must. I only have one of each of you.”

If she would rather teach her children that than arm defenders around them, she hates her children.  But you see where this is going.  Now the controllers are targeting suppressors.  Next up, USA Today.

It’s not immediately clear how long Friday’s attack lasted, or how much time passed before the first police officers arrived on scene. But some gun control advocates say the suppressor may have caught the victims off guard. One survivor described hearing something that sounded like a nail gun.

“Especially on a handgun, a suppressor will distort the sound in such a way that it would not immediately be recognizable as gunfire to people who sort of know what that sound is,” said David Chipman, a retired agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and now the senior policy adviser with Giffords, a gun-control lobbying group.

Oh, I see.  An “expert.”  It’s always better for your story when you can get an “expert” to weigh in, yes?

But finally, the beloved Donald Trump himself.  Someone baited him with a question about suppressors, and he had this to say.

Q    The suspect in the Virginia Beach shooting used a silencer on his weapon.  Do you believe that silencers should be restricted?

THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t like them at all.

First we had the bump stock ban courtesy of a single, solitary, action by the federal executive remaking federal law on a whim.  Nice precedent, Mr. Trump.  We’ll see that used for very nefarious purposes in the future, no doubt.  Then we had support for red flag laws (or so-called extreme risk protection orders).  Then we had the selection of a gun controller to head the ATF, and finally today we get loathing of suppressors.

In fact it wouldn’t surprise me to see a bill pass the House and Senate headed for Trump’s desk to outlaw them completely, something that is no more than a muffler intended to save the hearing of target shooters and sportsmen.

You see, Trump can honestly claim that he is a defender of the second amendment when his definition of the second amendment is that you get to keep a pistol in your home if the Police say so, and only under certain very strict conditions you may be able to carry it like he does.

It’s a matter of language and world and life view.  His isn’t yours, and yours isn’t his.  When he says he is a defender of the second amendment, he doesn’t mean what you want him to mean.

FOIA Information Releases On Bump Stock Ban

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 4 weeks ago

Len Savage sends the following pages released as part of his FOIA request on the bump stock ban.

Now, let’s pose some questions for readers to consider.  First, why are these pages marked SECRET/NOFORN (No Foreign Nationals)?  Second, if you were Paddock, why would you voluntarily choose to shoot an AR-15 with a bump stock in a crime you intended to perpetrate when you could shoot a fully automatic weapon?  Third (and I’ll keep asking this until I get an answer), why did the FBI refuse to allow the ATF to examine the crime scene weapons?

Apparently, the most important requirement for government “service” is that you are willing to hide things from the public and release only information you see as beneficial to your cause (whatever that might be).  In other circles, that’s called lying.

In the absence of any further information, I’ll continue to believe my own son’s analysis after listening to the consistency of the rate of fire over video: “He was using a fully automatic weapon.”  And my son has plenty of time under his belt shooting fully automatic weapons.  Bottom line – I’ll believe my son over the FedGov.

FOIA On Bumpstocks Used In Crimes

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 2 weeks ago

In FOIA Response From The ATF: No Bumpstocks Used In Any Crime To Date, I conveyed an ATF response to a FOIA request.  This request was made on behalf of Len Savage, and Len sends me this initial letter making the request.

Obviously, they had trouble getting anything out of the ATF.  Len also sent some other email exchanges between him and the ATF which I will eventually post.

In the mean time, David Codrea had this to say.

Herschel has some thoughts. [More]

To reiterate, it’s not “us” creating “conspiracy theories”: Mr. Stamboulieh, Mr. Savage and I are simply repeating what the government is saying, and if that results in inferences and conclusions, they are the ones who can clear it all up — and won’t.

I received the Chisolm letter from the principals the other day along with the document that prompted this response. There’s more to say, which I will in a day or so when I finish some other stuff I’m working on first.

The main “spoiler” I’ll give away is that the government attorney is being cute here, and I don’t think the federal judiciary is going to appreciate that.

Stay tuned.

Okay, I’m a bit out of the loop on this and both Len and David know more than I do about what’s going on.  I’ll try to stay in better touch with both of them on this.

I accept David’s observation that the government is trying to be “cute.”  But I’ll throw in that they’re also being very careful.  I’ve worked with FedGov lawyers before, and they don’t like putting documents out containing material false information.  If any licensee of any kind sends information to FedGov that causes them to repeat it in such a manner that the FedGov owns it, e.g., it ends up in the federal register or other archived government documents, they get really pissed and come after you.

They don’t like material false information because for one, it’s illegal to communicate it (either to or on the part of FedGov), and two, it’s unethical.  If it can be demonstrated that the material false information was knowing and intentional, that can mean disbarment (for a lawyer) or even imprisonment.

I’m sure they’re being “cute.”  I am also sure they are being very, very, very careful.

FOIA Response From The ATF: No Bumpstocks Used In Any Crime To Date

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 2 weeks ago

Via reddit/firearms.

The poor guys at reddit are befuddled.  “So the Vegas shooting was a lie? This is confusing me … It confuses the hell out of me, too.”  Others think it was a lazy, cursory search.

Nay.  I say that the DoJ responded this way because, hold your breath and grab your britchesthere have been no bump stocks used in any crime to date.

UPDATE: FOIA On Bumpstocks Used In Crimes

How Many Bump Stocks Have Been Turned In To The Miami-Dade Police Department?

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 2 weeks ago

Gun Free Zone:

I sent a Public Records request to MDPD and I just got the response.  I chose MDPD because it is the largest police department in the county.

[ … ]

No Bump Stock Has Been Turned In To Miami Dade Police Department since before and after the ban was signed in the State of Florida .

PS: Or the way that pkoning put it in the comments: “M-D Police has no record of any bump stock being turned in”.

That is directly proven by the letter you showed.

Guess they didn’t get the memo, huh?

RW Arms Sues Government Over Destruction Of Bump Stocks

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 1 week ago

Liberty Headlines:

(Matthew Adams, Dallas Morning News) RW Arms, a Fort-Worth, Texas, firearms dealer, has filed a federal lawsuit seeking damages after destroying 72,400 bump stocks to comply with a Trump administration order that took effect March 26, the company announced Monday.

The company filed the case under the Fifth Amendment taking clause, which prohibits the government from seizing property.

RW Arms destroyed the bump stocks on March 26, resulting in its losing millions of dollars, the company said.

When I saw the headline over news search I immediately thought “They must have done this under an illegal taking.”  Sure enough they did.

It’s the only way they can show standing, and it applies.  They should win in a just world.  The world isn’t just, and neither is the U.S. government.  Sorry to say, I predict a loss.

This is Trump’s bump stock ban.  It belongs to him.  He owns it.  We can call it by it’s proper name forever.  550,000 bump stock owners = 550,000 voters.  Grok that, Trump.


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