California Freedom Week V2 – NOT!

For a very brief period, law-abiding California residents were free from the draconian ammunition purchase restrictions imposed by Proposition 63. A federal judge ruled the ammunition restrictions were unconstitutional and issued an injunction.  But alas, that freedom was quickly taken away. After being denied a stay from said federal judge, the State appealed to the Ninth Circuit who issued a stay the very next night. Of course, if this was about keeping ammunition from prohibited persons as the State argues, it would be one thing. But California’s motives and design behind their so-called “ammunition background check system” are more far reaching than they admit. And it is all designed to strip more of your rights away from you. 

By the by, for those of you who don’t think this will impact you since you don’t live in California, think again. Ammunition restrictions are the future of gun control and every gun control extremist in every state wants it. 

On Thursday, April 23rd around 3:00 pm, United States District Judge Roger T. Benitez issued a preliminary injunction against the State of California in Rhode v. Becerra prohibiting the enforcement of the ammunition restrictions imposed by Proposition 63. This included the requirement for a background check for the purchase and transfer of ammunition as well as the restriction on the purchase of ammunition from out-of-state vendors delivered to the purchaser’s home. 

It is worth noting this is the same federal judge who ruled against California’s so-called “large capacity” magazine ban in March 2019. For one week before Judge Benitez issued a stay on his own ruling, Californians were free to possess, sell, purchase, trade, give and most importantly, use standard capacity magazines. Conservative estimates place the number of magazines acquired by Californians at between one and two MILLION. While selling and purchasing standard capacity magazines is once again banned while the stay is in place, the possession and use of them is still allowed in the state. 

In this case, Judge Benitez issued another masterfully worded 120 page ruling against the state, essentially picking apart the State’s argument piece-by-piece, calling out “onerous and convoluted” regulations that violate the constitutional right to bear arms. It’s lengthy, but it’s worth reading to understand the reasoning behind the injunction. A link to the document is at the end of this article. 

But the State was ready this time. The following morning, the State filed a motion to stay the preliminary injunction with Judge Benitez. It also set a time limit of 3:00 pm that day, for Judge Benitez to issue a ruling or the State would consider an appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Judge Benitez denied this motion, again with a well-crafted rejection of the State’s argument. Not to be outdone, the State did appeal to the Ninth Circuit and a stay was issued at 9:54 pm on April 24th.  Thus the duration of the stay, and California ammunition buyers freedom, lasted only about 30 hours. 

So why is this NOT about keeping ammunition out of the hands of prohibited persons? If that was the objective as the State insists, they would have adopted a simple check of prohibited persons similar to what most states use with NCIS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System). Instead, California chose to piggyback the existing DROS (Dealer Registration of Sale) system which is tied into a number of sub-systems including the error prone APPS (Armed and Prohibited Persons System).  Other than creating a system with an error rate of 16.4 % and blocking over 101,047 law-abiding citizen purchases over 10 months, it allows the state to register each and every ammunition purchase to the buyer.  Now why in the world would they want to do that? 

To answer that, look no further than previously proposed legislation in California that was unable to be implemented as the system to support it was not in place, until now. 

Limits on the amount of ammunition you can purchase in a given time period

California has long wanted to limit how many rounds you can buy in a day/week/month, etc. Cries of ‘You shouldn’t be able to walk in and buy an arsenal’ have been around for years. The state has successfully implemented limits on how many handguns and semiautomatic centerfire rifles you can purchase thanks to the DROS entries. Ammunition registration enables this. 

Limits on the type of ammunition

California has outlawed the use of lead ammunition for hunting and has proposed that ban be extended for all shooting ranges. They’ve even proposed that only lead-free ammunition, as certified by the State DOJ (Department of Justice) be available for sale. In other words, think handgun roster for ammunition. Without a registration system for all approved ammunition, this would not be possible. 

This also allows bans of other non-desirable ammunition such as so-called “assault bullets”, otherwise known as common defensive hollow point rounds, or ammunition in certain calibers such as 5.56, .223, 7.62×39 or 5.45×39, ammunition commonly used in AR or AK pattern rifles. 

Limit ammunition purchases to calibers matching your registered firearms

Let’s say of all your firearms registered with the state, none shoot 5.56 / .223. So why then would you need to purchase ammunition in that caliber? The logical conclusion from the state is you have an unregistered firearm. Never mind that it’s possible and completely legal to have firearms that were never registered or even required to be registered now, but that means the state doesn’t know about it. By limiting your purchases to firearms registered in DROS, you can either not shoot that firearm, or you have to register it to get ammo for it.  

Ammunition bans and restrictions are the new promised land in the world of gun control since firearms without ammunition are just expensive clubs. They also know this area is currently very lightly regulated and small, incremental steps to restrict and eliminate it, such as licensing ammunition vendors, restricting internet purchases with consumer direct shipments, background checks and registration will dramatically increase the costs and give them more control over how much ammunition you can have and use.  

Of course, you can’t help but appreciate this short-lived ammunition law injunction being a cruel joke on so many levels. Not only did it only last for about 30 hours, but it occurred at a time when a lot of Californians were out of work and didn’t have any money, many of state’s guns stores were closed as non-essential, ammunition was scarce because of the panic buying over the last month and what was available was priced so high it wasn’t affordable.

As with all legal cases, this one will not play out for years to come. During this time, California resident’s Second Amendment rights will continue to erode and the only ones enjoying the ride will be the lawyers. The ONLY way to keep this from happening again in other states is to STOP electing people who will not protect our natural, Constitutionally protected rights. 

Bob

https://michellawyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-04-23-Order-Granting-MPI.pdf

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Goodbye California

You may have noticed the Odd Stuffing pages have been silent for a while. As some of you are aware, the Mrs. & I have recently moved out of the People’s Republik of Kalifornistan. The constant increase in prices, taxes, fees and oppressive laws aimed at the law-abiding while decreasing the consequences of violence and victimization of others, combined with the virtual elimination of the Second Amendment, had become too much for us. When the right opportunities came up for us we made the decision to join the hundreds of thousands of Californians to flee the state. Does this mean we are giving up on fighting for the Constitutionally protected rights in California? HELL NO! 

On a personal note, it was a lot more difficult to move than we imagined. Not only does 25 years together and 20 years in the same house accumulate a lot of ‘stuff’, it also accumulates a lot of very, very close friends.  And, as the Mrs. commented while taking one last drive around our neighborhood, we grew old here. 

But since we’re not dead yet, we had to consider what is best for our future.  Add to the issues listed above, California’s so-called “public safety blackouts”, known to the rest of us as the protect PG&E profit blackouts and businesses being left to fend for themselves against increasingly violent criminals with no hope of intervention by the police and courts. At the same time, your waitress is being arrested for giving customers a plastic straw without asking for it, but it’s okay to leave your used syringes everywhere. Not to worry; they’ll give you more to shoot up with for free. It’s illegal to not clean up after your dog poops in public, but it’s perfectly acceptable for you to poop on the street, sidewalk or any place else you want. In other words, California is train wreck and getting worse by the day. 

Our new home is in the Land of Enchantment. It’s a beautiful state, rich in culture and tradition, with far more Second Amendment rights than are available to those on the left coast. But… that doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. With a Democratic Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and majority in both houses of the legislature, you can be sure gun control will soon be on the agenda here.

While most of the people I have spoken to here agree that firearm rights are taken very seriously here, I’m sure not everyone is aware the New Mexico Attorney General signed a letter of support for California and Vermont’s magazine restrictions.  If the New Mexico Attorney General thinks this is a really good idea in those states, how long do you think it will take before it’s a really good idea in New Mexico? 

My observations of politics have shown me politicians have two main goals once elected to public office. Get reelected and get elected to a higher office. Everything they do while in office revolves on achieving those two goals. The only way they are going to do that is to tow the party line to get the party money. And when the party platform is to enact nationwide, draconian, do-nothing-for-public-safety gun control, that’s what they are going to do. Those who choose to be moderate and not support the gun control party line are soon facing very well funded challengers from their own party who will.  That’s just the way party politics work. 

So if you look at states that are ripe for the introduction of gun control laws, New Mexico starts rising to the top of the list.  It will start slowly and cautiously as it always, but it will start. The top three low hanging fruit laws likely to be introduced first are Universal Background Checks (a ban on private party transactions), magazine capacity (reduced to the national gun control standard of 10 rounds) and so-called “red flag laws” (allowing families, employers, coworkers and the police to strip away your Second Amendment rights based on here say evidence in an ex parte hearing). Other more restrictive laws will follow in subsequent years once the ground has been broken. Then, it will be a slow but steady push towards full elimination of your rights and ability to defend yourself and your family.

Since we moved we’ve had some interesting reactions to people learning we moved from California. From what I’ve gathered, a lot of Californian’s have moved to New Mexico to flee the conditions there, then immediately started working to change New Mexico into the California they left.  I’ve had to assure many people that while I moved FROM California, I’ll be doing everything in my power to not let the state change TO California. 

Overconfidence in the current legal protections and traditions of the state is what has already doomed many formerly pro-Second Amendment states. Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada and Vermont are all examples of not seeing the change coming, and now not being able to stop it.  

How do you stop it? If you think the courts are the answer, they’re not. It’s a fool’s errand to believe that once a law has been enacted, it can successfully be drawn back.  Of the thousands of gun control laws passed around the country, precious few are successfully appealed and reversed. The best way – the ONLY way to stop them is to prevent them from being enacted in the first place.  And the only one who can do that is you. 

Even if you are in the fiercest, gun loving, Second Amendment protecting part of the state, you still need to be fighting for your rights. That means getting involved in what is going on in your home town/city, county and state RIGHT NOW. If you haven’t called or written a letter to every one of your elected representatives recently, then how do they know what is important to you? You can count on the fact the gun control advocates have been speaking to them, a lot. Do you want that to be the only voice they hear? 

Your rights are in your hands. If you don’t protect them, there is a slippery slope waiting that will turn your hometown into the third world living conditions currently spreading across California. Think it can’t happen here? Californians didn’t think so either. 

Bob

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