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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United Socialist States of America

In a little over a month into our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen our entire economy shut down resulting in 26.5 million Americans, representing 20.6% of our workforce, losing their jobs.  It is currently the highest level of unemployment in our country since 1934 following the Great Depression. With each passing week of our workers being locked in their homes and out of their jobs, it becomes worse. You would think at a time like this our government would be doing everything they can to get us back to the robust economy we had before. Instead, what we have seen is a systematic loss of our rights, our jobs, our freedom and our way of life as opportunistic, power hungry politicians have seized the chance to implement extreme progressive changes they could never have done before without this crisis. The mantra of “never let a crisis go to waste” is quickly turning our nation into the United Socialist States of America. 

At first, the media stoked fear of COVID-19 convinced us that the only way to effectively react to this unknown was to shut down the country except for so-called “essential services”. The first hints of socialist favoritism came when the definitions of essential services varied across the nation. Large and small communities alike granted themselves extraordinary powers to shut down commerce, restrict purchases of goods and services and even permanently seize private property. Statewide restrictions followed and the essentials list grew more restrictive, even to the point of what products could be purchased. Shortages of basic food and other staples spread across the nation. While big box, large chain stores were allowed to remain open, smaller family owned businesses were forced to close. Permitted commerce now only benefits these large stores. 

Health care was limited to essential, COVID-19 relates services. Any other health services are prohibited. Hospitals were cleared out and huge field hospitals were constructed in preparation for the huge influx of patients that never arrived. 

At the same time, shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders were introduced and it became a crime to leave your house except for a strictly defined list of essential needs. Travel outside your immediate neighborhood was outlawed. Travel between some states was restricted. Roadblocks on the highways questioned everyone with out-of-state plates. National Guard troops in one state went door-to-door looking for out-of-state residents who had left their home state.  Those breaking the rules have been fined, arrested or put into mandatory quarantine. 

Traffic and cell phone data have been collected so authorities can determine if people are staying in their homes. Law enforcement agencies have been using drones to monitor the public. Newer drones can now determine if someone has a fever, is coughing and their heart rate from hundreds of feet away. Heavy handed police tactics have been used to deal with mothers, fathers, families and others who dare to break the most minor of state or local rules.  

In the interest of public health, prisoners have been released on mass. Over 17,000 in 21 states, many times as the result of secret, non-public hearings or rulings, with some prisoners even provided with free cell phones and hotel rooms. Keep in mind, this isn’t a temporary furlough where they’ll be coming back when the crisis ends, this is a permanent, get out of jail free card. 

This comes as law enforcement agencies are reducing the type of calls they respond to. The results are what you would expect. Burglary and violent crimes including rape, robbery and murder have increased, many committed by these released convicts. Under the new rules, most who are now arrested must be immediately released. 

“Snitch lines” have been established so you can report non-essential businesses who are open and your neighbors who are defying social distancing rules. One mayor has even proudly proclaimed that ‘snitches get rewards’. 

In different parts of the country, law changes have been administratively altered including such things as extending the time frame for an initial hearing following a red-flag firearms seizure from 10 days to 100 days (California) and eliminating the right to open carry a firearm (Mississippi). 

Perhaps the most egregious rules are those that directly infringe on First and Second Amendment rights. Prohibiting the free exercise of religion, the freedom of speech, the right to peaceably assemble, the right to petition the government for redress of grievances and the right to keep and bear arms. 

Still waiting in the wings is a proposed follow-up to the one-time stimulus payment, is monthly payments to all residents, legal and illegal, for at least a year – in other words, a universal basic income. 

If you’re wondering how this all equates to socialism, it’s really rather simple. The government is determining who is allowed to work and who is not. The government is determining what goods and services can be offered and by whom. The government is determining who can make a profit and who will be required to live on government payments. The longer the economy is shut down, the more small businesses will close forever and the more people will be forced into poverty and will need to rely on government assistance. 

As with all socialist economies, there is an elite class that thrives. As we’ve already seen, the wealthy and the high-level politicians are not only exempt from the daily restrictions placed on the rest of the population, they are able to profit from it too. The politicians pick and choose what industries and what businesses are allowed to operate and which are not. The restrictions on the population keep them at arm’s length and the elimination of their rights keep the elites safe. 

Is this the future you want for yourself and your country? Are you willing to give up not only your natural, constitutionally protected rights as well as your ability to provide for yourself and your family as you see fit?

Yes, COVID-19 is a serious health issue, but it can be mitigated without the draconian control measures being used in some areas of the country. The most basic level of personal responsibility, social distancing and sanitation, is enough to stop this, without giving up our rights.

Bob

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Liberty Is Essential

While breaking my self-imposed isolation yesterday for a supply run, I saw an older gentleman beside the road in a lawn chair with two flags, an Old Glory and a Gadsden. He was holding a sign that read, “Liberty is Essential”. I couldn’t help but think to myself how appropriate this was right now. Around the country from Maine to California, everyday people are coming together to protest the draconian restrictions, loss of business and the loss of their civil liberties that have become so synonymous with COVID-19.  They are demanding that their states begin to reopen their economies and let people get back to work and take care of their families.  Seeing these loud but peaceful protests springing up, and this one man sitting alone beside the road, makes me proud of what our country can be. 

No doubt you have seen how quickly our rights have been stripped away in the interest of “public health”. Businesses not defined as “essential” by their state or local government have been ordered closed. Of course, there is no standard definition of what essential is. In some areas even those allowed to stay open cannot sell so-called non-essential items such as vegetable seeds or plants. Large retailers are allowed to remain open while small mom & pop shops are ordered closed. Health care has been limited to emergency care only. “Outside is for a brief respite” only. Otherwise, you are expected to remain in your home. 

Yet the worst infringements have attacked our natural, constitutionally protected rights. Religious services banned. The ability of the people to assemble banned. The right to petition our government banned. The right to bear arms banned. 

All of this has been done in the name of public health. Yes, I know. With no effective means to treat or vaccinate against COVID-19, the current best way to prevent the spread of the disease is isolation, social distancing along with protective masks, gloves and good old-fashioned hand washing. Yet all of that can be accomplished without taking away our rights. 

It’s important to keep in mind our constitutionally protected rights don’t have an asterisk next to them. There is no condition, natural or manmade that suspends our rights. In fact, in times of a local, regional or national crisis, I would argue our constitutionally protected rights are even more important. 

Yet our history tells us our governments have done just that. Notably during Hurricane Katrina when personally owned firearms were confiscated from everyone, even those trying to protect their lives and property or attempting to flee the city. Residents were not allowed to congregate and were forcibly removed from their own homes and property seized.  By all accounts, Katrina was a human rights disaster. As a result, laws were passed to prevent abuses like this in the future. Somehow, all this seems to have been forgotten today. 

This crisis has seen the same overzealous enforcement of emergency executive orders as we saw during Katrina. Leaving your home for anything not expressly listed as an essential activity subjects you to arrest. Examples from around the country have shown clearly inappropriate uses of force to enforce social distancing and stay-at-home orders.  

In a protest rally at the capitol in South Carolina, a protestor was arrested, and others dispersed by the State Capitol Police. The Raleigh Police defended the action by putting out a statement “Protesting is a non-essential activity.” 

In Mississippi and Kentucky, among other places, people attending religious services in parking lots, while sitting in their cars, windows rolled up and listening to the services on low-power radio stations, were cited or reported to health departments for mandatory 14-day quarantines. 

Firearms and ammunition retailers have been forced to closed in numerous states and localities as they are not considered “essential”. At the same time, liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries in the same areas have been allowed to operate. 

Probably the most telling comment comes from the Governor of New Jersey when questioned about why he allowed arrests at religious services to be part of coronavirus quarantine enforcement. Asked; “By what authority did you nullify the Bill of Rights in issuing this order? How do you have the power to do that?” The governor responded, “That’s above my pay grade, Tucker, I wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights when we did this.”

So there you have it. Enacting laws and executive orders without considering the Constitutional implications OR, not giving a damn about the Bill of Rights or just plain figuring they can do anything they want. Either way, our rights are being stripped away. 

If you’re thinking, well… this is just a temporary measure for everyone’s safety and protection, isn’t it better to give up our rights for a while? Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Rights taken away are seldom fully returned. There are always asterisks, conditions and exceptions that come along with it that allow rights to be taken away again and taken further away. This year it’s COVID-19. Next year it could be an earthquake or flood, or a bad year for the seasonal flu, or a small group of protesters marching to the capitol. Are you willing to give up your rights during any time of crisis? 

Our natural rights were so important that our Founding Fathers listed them in the Bill of Rights, a document that doesn’t grant those rights, but rather limits our government’s ability to restrict them. This nation was founded during a time of crisis, when we were fighting for our independence from an oppressive government. Men and women were putting their lives on the line and dying so that we could live free.  Knowing our history, how can anyone believe our Constitution and Bill of Rights do not apply in a time of national emergency?  

I’d like to thank that gentleman sitting beside the road yesterday for reminding me and everyone who went by of what is really important. Unfortunately, I’ll likely never know his name and I was only able to give him a couple of beeps of my horn as I passed, but if he provides a little inspiration for just a few us of, then his time very well spent.  

Liberty is Essential 

Bob

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COVID Part 3: Send Lawyers, Guns and Money

Send Lawyers, Guns and Money

Following the liberal / progressive strategy of “Never let a crisis go to waste”, gun control politicians around the country have been using COVID-19 to make further infringements on your Second Amendment protected natural rights. Calling firearms retailers non-essential, they are ordering these businesses closed.  This comes at a time when hundreds of thousands of Americans are choosing to purchase firearms for the first time to protect themselves and their families. Their justifiable fear comes from their local and state governments’ own actions of limiting the types of calls law enforcement will respond to while simultaneously releasing prisoners from state and local lockups “to protect them from COVID-19”.  Just as they have always done, the gun control politicians are creating public safety problems and not allowing law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. 

There are many facets to this problem. With non-essential businesses closed down, retail property is left unprotected. Downtown shopping districts in cities around the country look like they are preparing for a hurricane with windows and doors boarded up to help protect the property from break-ins. Of course, burglaries have been on the increase despite the pleas from local politicians for criminals to stop their law-breaking activity. Go figure. 

At the same time, many law enforcement agencies are no longer responding to non-priority calls, instead taking reports over the phone. Physical arrests are being replaced by citations in most non-violent misdemeanor and felony cases. These actions are meant to minimize the potential exposure of officers, protect the offenders from COVID-19 and not over burden the emergency systems. 

To make things even worse, state, county and local officials are releasing thousands of convicted prisoners from jails and prisons ‘to protect them from COVID-19’. In some areas like California, they claim they are only releasing “non-violent” offenders. Of course, keep in mind that California considers assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer; battery with serious bodily injury; solicitation to commit murder and rape/sodomy/oral copulation of an unconscious person or by use of a date rape drug all non-violent. New York has even gone to the trouble of providing transportation, hotel rooms and pre-paid cell phones at no cost to the prisoners being released for COVID-19 protection. In some states, the ACLU is petitioning for large scale release of prisoners to “protect them from COVID-19”. The results of this are what you would expect. Violent crimes, including rape, robbery and murder have been committed by these released convicts. 

So now an environment has been created where property is unprotected, officers are not responding to calls and so-called “non-violent” criminals are being released back into the community. This on top of a nationwide shortages of essential consumer goods and millions of people out of work with no source of income. 


Guns

A natural response to this would be the desire to protect yourself and your family. Firearm retailers around the country have been mobbed with people looking to purchase firearms and ammunition. So much so that many stores are selling out on a daily basis and desperately seeking new inventory from distributors. NCIS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) reported running 3,740,688 background checks in March, a number 33 % higher than the previous record of more than 2.8 million set in February. 

But of course, the reaction from the gun control groups has been predictable stating: “As a result of fears stoked by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun-industry groups, we saw more federal background checks initiated in March 2020 than any other on record.” 

While the desire to purchase firearms has been an entirely organic response to the decrease in public safety, the most radical anti-gun control states and communities have decided that firearms and ammunition, a natural right protected by the Second Amendment, are not essential and closed firearm and ammunition retailers. 

A few examples from around the country: 

  • The governors of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey (see below) and New Mexico decided firearms retailers were not essential and ordered them closed. Some exemptions were given to those retailers and ranges that service law enforcement or security companies.   
  • New Jersey shut down all firearms sales by simply shutting down the state system used to do background checks. One of 12 “point of contact” states that perform their own background checks, it gives the state instant ability to stop sales statewide with the click of a mouse. (Side note: California’s DROS (Dealer Record of Sales) system has the ability to shut off single retailers, groups, geographic regions or the entire state but surprisingly has not been used in this situation, or at least not yet.) 
  • In North Carolina and Ohio, Sheriffs who were overwhelmed by the influx of pistol and concealed carry permit requests decided to stop processing them until after the COVID-19 crisis, effectively shutting down handgun purchases and new concealed carry permits. 
  • The Los Angeles County Sheriff, and other local authorities, determined firearms retailers were not essential and ordered them to be closed. 

Lawyers

If you’ve read any of my articles before, you already know I’m not a fan of lawyers and filing lawsuits to overturn gun control laws. Even in the absolute best of circumstances, it’s a crapshoot. The chances of getting gun control laws reversed is slim at best and even when they are reversed, new ones are crafted to take their place. 

But I’ll be the first to admit that in this particular crisis, we have seen some success in getting the executive orders closing firearms and ammunition retailers and ranges reversed. It hasn’t been across the board and in places like Los Angeles County, they have flip-flopped back and forth so often it’s difficult to keep track of the current status. 

Highlighting the issue these lawsuits have is that courts are still using “intermediate scrutiny” to determine the merits of the case. Some courts, especially in most liberal circuits are also relying on faulty evidence and ignoring the Constitution and Supreme Court precedence to reach their decisions. The hope is that someday the United States Supreme Court will rule in favor of “strict scrutiny” for all Second Amendment cases. It won’t solve activist judges ignoring the law, but it will be a start. 

One positive thing that has occurred at the federal level is the March 28 guidance from the Department of Homeland Security. In it, the updated list of “essential critical infrastructure workforce” now includes “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.”

Money

Protecting our rights isn’t free. It should be, since supporting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights should be what every United States citizen does every day. But we’ve come to realize that there are those who wish to subvert our rights for the enrichment of their own needs. 

Sadly, lawsuits must be filed which means lawyers are involved. So giving to the Second Amendment / firearm rights protection organization of your choice is essential. If you can’t afford to right now, then volunteer a little time to send letters or emails and help get others to contribute. 

But always remember, the ONLY way to keep these kinds of unconstitutional laws from being enacted in the first place is to STOP electing anti-gun politicians. Regardless of how attractive their other platform items are, if they can’t support and defend the most basic elements of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, how are you going to trust them to do anything else? Find and support politicians at the local, county, state and federal levels who will support and defend the Constitution. 

Warren Zevon got it right, the sh*t has really hit the fan during this health crisis. But rather than sitting back and watching our rights erased before your eyes, it’s time to get up off your ass and do something about it. While mass marches and protests at the capitol aren’t the wisest move during a pandemic, if you have a phone or an internet connection, you can make a HUGE difference. Let your elected representatives know how you aren’t willing to give up your rights for COVID-19. And when you get that “Dear Constituent” letter blowing you off back in the (e)mail, you’ll know who you won’t be supporting in the next elections. 

Time to get on the list! 

Bob

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Tyranny – Closer Than You Think

Here in the United States, we often think of ourselves as being immune from tyranny. We sit comfortably knowing our nation freed itself from a tyrannical government and our Constitution and Bill of Rights will protect us. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy. A Ronald Regan quote helps to put it in perspective. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Those who would oppress us are actively working to take our rights and freedoms away. And, like before, during the time of our revolution, they are the very same ones in charge of protecting our rights. 

Tyranny doesn’t generally occur overnight. Unless you’ve been conquered by force, it’s going to be a slow yet deliberate process. After all, it’s much easier to subjugate a population a little at a time. And it’s so much easier if you can convince the masses that the slight infringements in their rights are in the best interest of all. Wouldn’t you want to give up a little bit of your own individual rights if it meant society would be safer? Wouldn’t your life be better if you let the government take care of more things? Wouldn’t you want to contribute more so that your community would provide for everyone? 

Take a look at the modernized Communist Rules for Revolution for an example of how this is done. 

1) Healthcare: Control healthcare and you control the people.

2) Poverty: Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

3) Debt:  Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

4) Gun Control: Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

5) Welfare:  Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).

6) Education: Take control of what people read and listen to — take control of what children learn in school.

7) Religion: Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.

8) Class Warfare:  Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

While these steps are pretty clear, I’m going to contend there is a prerequisite in order to accomplish this list, the full control of the government. And control doesn’t just mean having one party in complete control, it means the government has set itself up as a privileged entity with rights, benefits and protections not available to the regular public. 

Take a look at our current federal government. Members of congress enjoy salary, vacation and retirement, weakened insider trading restrictions and many other perks not commonly available to the general public. And, they themselves are in complete control over raises and increase in perks. With no term limits for members of congress, they are free to build their government service into virtual lifetime positions. 

But it’s not just our congress that protects its own interests above that of the people it represents. As examples: California’s primary and general elections have been tweaked to the point where the party in charge is ensured of remaining in charge. Virginia’s legislature responded to the Second Amendment protests and calls to replace their representatives by proposing changing the law governing recalls. Instead of requiring 10% of number who voted in the last election, it would require 25% and must be completed within 60 days. 

Control of the courts is also vital. With our three separate branches of government – executive, legislative and judicial – the courts are supposed to be the independent arbitrator of facts and interpreters of the Constitution. Sadly, this is no longer true. Judicial appointments are made to those who will carry out the will of the politicians who appoint them. These activist politicians-in-robes are in place to approve to any law created by politicians who appointed them, regardless of legal precedent or even Supreme Court rulings. Look no further than the history of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, representing the western United States for vivid examples of judicial activism run amuck. 

This year’s all-out assault on the Second Amendment in places like Virginia, Vermont, New Mexico, California, Hawaii and all points in between have clearly demonstrated our elected officials have no interest in representing our needs, only the agendas set by deep pocketed special interests. We’ve witnessed the hubris of representatives who have used their positions to retaliate against communities and law enforcement officials who have taken a stand against them.  

At the same time, we’ve also seen the results of the pressure brought by masses with representatives voting against draconian gun control laws they once supported. Those results, even if few and far between, are the encouraging news.  We The People still have a measure of control over our own government, if we choose to use it. 

We The People get to decide what kind of government we have and who represents us, IF we stand together and participate.  Tyranny isn’t that far behind us and right now, our best means of defense is our vote.  Make your vote count this year. 

Bob

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New Mexico’s Red Flag Disgrace

New Mexico’s version of the so-called “Red Flag” law (SB5) passed the House last Thursday and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature to become law.  And what a sad, sad spectacle it was.  This law breaks new ground in the nation including never before seen provisions designed to punish law enforcement for noncompliance, expanding the definition of who can petition for an Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order as well as completely giving up any resemblance of being concerned with public safety.  Still, if any version was going to pass and become law in New Mexico, I’m glad it was this one.  Why? That’s simple. This law removes any shadow of a doubt that the purpose behind it is purely about government gun control and nothing else.  Hopefully this will be what unites the New Mexico’s citizens to take back control of their government from the special interest groups. 

The scene that played out in the Roundhouse on Thursday shows how little our current government cares about public safety.  Aside from the live feed inexplicably going out during the final hearings, the Sheriff’s in attendance needed to be “escorted” outside the chamber on bathroom breaks. If that wasn’t enough, they were subsequently ejected from the chamber altogether. What does it say that the government of the people chose to remove the elected sheriffs from the room while this law was being considered? 

Through the multiple revisions that lead to this point, the law strips away law enforcement immunity for failure to enforce these “red flag” orders. This of course is in direct response to 30 of the 33 elected sheriffs signing on to oppose the “red flag” laws and vowing not to enforce them. Also dragged into the loss of immunity are the district attorney’s offices and the office of the attorney general. Potential damages to be awarded were also raised into the millions of dollars. 

Attempts to amend the law to remove the loss of legal immunity for law enforcement and the district attorneys failed. And – bear with me for a minute on this – I’m glad these amendments failed. Keep in mind I’m saying this as a former law enforcement officer who believes this is a slap in the face of everyone who wears a badge. 

Too often in the world of gun control laws, state legislators buy the cooperation and loyalty of the law enforcement community by granting them generous exemptions to the laws impacting the regular citizens of the state. What we’ve seen here is a deliberate legislative smack down of any law enforcement discretion or compliance with Constitutional standards. It clearly states they will blindly obey or pay the price.  The fact that is was purposely introduced and left in a so-called “public safety” law should remove any doubt about the true intent, gun control and gun confiscation.  

Other fascinating additions to this law include the expanded list of who can be the reporting party. It includes the usual relatives plus now “… child, person with whom a respondent has or had a continuing personal relationship, employer or public or private school principal.”  There is no definition of  a child here, so supposedly any child able to speak is old enough, nor is there a definition of continuing personal relationship. Exactly how many dates does it take to equal a “continuing personal relationship”. Your anti-gun employer or principal? No problem!  Keep in mind the reporting party incurs no costs to initiate a complaint – actually a reasonable thing since the ability to pay should not be a limiting factor – but there is also no penalty for false or misleading claims.  

Of course, this courtesy doesn’t extend to the respondent, the person being accused of being a danger to themselves or others. Since this is a civil matter, albeit law enforcement, a city, county or state prosecutor and a criminal court judge are involved in getting the order, the respondent has no right for a public defender in these proceedings. And since this process assumes the respondent is guilty until proven innocent, fees are currently running upwards of $15,000 for legal representation.  In other words, justice and restoration of your Constitutional rights is denied for anyone who can’t afford it. 

Then there is the fact that the respondent, accused of being an imminent threat to themselves or someone else, to the point where their Constitutionally protected rights can be stripped away from them without due process, has 48 hours to surrender their firearms to law enforcement or a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). 

Set aside the absolute insanity of thinking that a person who is an immediate threat to themselves or others could not utilize some other form of violence (knives, club, car, chemical, hands & feet, etc. etc. etc.) to carry out their plans, giving them 48 hours to voluntarily comply shows this law has nothing at all to do with public or personal safety. 

Every state in this nation has legal mechanisms to deal with individuals who are a threat to themselves or others. The horrific violent incidents that gave rise to these “red flag” laws all have the same thing in common; a complete and utter failure of federal, state, county and local government officials in multiple agencies to act on clear indications of impending violence. Simply put, the government already has all the tools to save lives but has been criminally negligent in enforcing them. 

New Mexico’s Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order law will soon be signed by the Governor in what is expected to be a made for media event designed to demonstrate how this law, and this law alone, could have saved the lives of those lost to previous violence. 

The signing of the law will also be our wake-up call to the fact that our representatives no longer represent our interests. By enacting a law that has ZERO to do with public safety and is only a back-door method of confiscating firearms and stripping away Constitutionally protected rights without due process or evidence of a crime committed, the New Mexico legislature has shown they are only interested in compiling with the national political party platform and gun control special interests. 

Is this the kind of government you want?  Maybe it’s time to vote for someone else. 

Bob

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2020 – Time To Get On The List

In the past, my New Year message has included a call to go out and introduce a friend or family member to the shooting sports. After all, only by breaking down the barriers and showing others what a responsible, law-abiding firearm owner is really like can we hope to gain support in battling oppressive, unconstitutional gun control laws. But this year, I’m asking for something different. I’m asking for you to get off your ass and get involved in stopping these anti-Second Amendment laws.  It’s time to get on the list! 

What can you do?  You can contact each and every one of your elected representatives from your local town/city/county councils to your state and federal representatives. Don’t know who they are? FIND OUT!! The internet is your friend here folks. Figure out who they are and what their address, email address and phone number is. Pick the medium and send a message. 

What should you say? It doesn’t have to be long or particularly artful. All you have to do is let your representatives know you DO NOT support gun control legislation and you DO NOT support elected officials who do support gun control legislation. Urge them to vote NO on any proposed gun control laws.  That’s all there is to it! 

For those who resist doing this because they don’t want to get put on a list of some kind, guess what… You are already on the list. If you’ve purchased firearms and ammunition, belong to a gun group or range, read a pro-Second Amendment blog, liked a picture of a firearm on social media, you’re already on ‘the list’. Get over it! 

And if you’re not on a list, why they hell aren’t you?? The ONLY way we are going to stop these local, state and national infringements on our Second Amendment protected natural rights is to stand together. Just the few people who make a lot of noise isn’t going to cut it anymore. We ALL need to stand up and get counted. 

Trust me, there are worse things than being on a list of pro-Constitution, pro-Second Amendment, pro-independent thinkers, pro-freedom loving patriots. 

Take a look around you. Look at what is happening in Virginia, Texas, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. Look at what’s already happened in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii.  How much of your rights or your family’s rights are you willing to give up staying off the list? 

There isn’t one state in this country where our Second Amendment rights are not being challenged. If you think you are safe where you are because of long standing traditions and state level protections, think again.  Everything and everyone is in play here. 

You are the only one who can make a difference here. Make 2020 the year you get involved and get on that list. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #GunControlFails, #GetOnTheList, #GunVote, #2020, #ProtectYourRights, #mewe, #medium, #oddstuffing.com

Gun Owner’s Insurance

A new bill in the New York State Senate proposes all firearm owners be required to buy and maintain an insurance policy in an amount not less than one million dollars “to cover any damages resulting from the use of such firearm” prior to obtaining a firearm. Even though no such policy exists or would ever be offered by any insurance company, even it if were, the costs would be beyond the reach of most New Yorkers – which of course, is the main purpose. It is just another attempt to prevent them from owning firearms in the first place. 

Under justification, New York Senate Bill S2857A lists: 

“Injury and death by gun has increasingly become a problem in U.S. and in New York State. In the wake of recent mass shooting incidents in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut; there has been a nationwide attention on gun control and public safety.”

Of course, the acts listed were all intentional crimes committed by those who had no intention of following the law. For someone who intends to commit mass murder, exactly how important does anyone believe it will be for them to carry the statutory level of firearm insurance? Yet all the law abiding firearm owners will be expected to. 

So if there’s no chance in hell a mass murderer is going to carry insurance for his or her illegal acts, what is the real intent of this proposed law? Well, the first part of the bill reveals it rather clearly. 

“Failure to maintain such insurance shall result in the immediate revocation of such owner’s registration, license and any other privilege to own such firearm.”  

You probably noticed that word “privilege” in there.  New York politicians, being the anti-gun/anti-Second Amendment zealots they are, consider owning a firearm a “privilege”. In other words, a restricted benefit enjoyed by a special elite class. By considering firearm ownership and use a “privilege”, the state can regulate, tax, control and ultimately eliminate it for all except the state and the chosen few. 

Like all of the other licenses, permits, taxes and fees placed on the purchase and ownership of firearms and now ammunition, the purpose is two fold: First, to make owning a firearm so expensive that people will be prevented from owning them based on the cost alone.  Second, to set up yet another so-called legal means of stripping firearms away from someone who does not comply with the exact letter of the law.  

But then there is the other side of the coin.  The State of Washington just joined New York in banning the NRA branded insurance product “Carry Guard”.

The NRA Carry Guard website states: “NRA Carry Guard teaches you how to avoid and de-escalate conflict situations. But should you ever have to defend your life, you could face serious criminal or civil liability—even when you are completely innocent. In those devastating circumstances, NRA Carry Guard provides access to important resources.” The program provides up to $1,500,000 of civil protection and $250,000 in criminal defense costs. 

This, according to Washington and New York officials, makes the insurance product illegal because it insures unlawful activity. After all, insurance covers unintended acts, in other words accidents, actions that are not deliberately committed. A simple example: Burn your house down accidently, covered. Burn it down on purpose, not covered. While the rest of the world might consider even an unsuccessful self-defense shooting a non-intentional criminal act, Washington and New York consider this a deliberate criminal act not deserving of insurance coverage.

So let’s go back to the justification for New York Senate Bill S2857A. Because of the deliberate criminal acts of mass murders, the State of New York is going to require all firearm owners carry liability insurance, insurance that does not now and can never exist and is strictly forbidden since the state will not allow any insurance to cover anything it considers a criminal act, even if unintentional. 

As with California’s flawed microstamping law, just because something doesn’t exist or would never work if it did, doesn’t mean your federal, state or local government can’t pass a law requiring it.  New York is working to require something that they themselves forbid, a catch-22 for firearm owners who cannot own a firearm without it, but can’t buy it to own a firearm.  In other words, no insurance = no guns. 

Do you still think it doesn’t matter whom you elect as your local, county, state or federal representatives? 

Bob

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