California’s Week Of Freedom

It was a strange and wonderful week here in the People’s Republik of Kalifornistan. For a very short period of time, ordinary law abiding citizens in the state were able to legally purchase standard capacity magazines. Following a federal court ruling that the entire section of law covering the manufacturing, import, sale and possession of so-called “large capacity magazines” was unconstitutional, Californians up and down the state took advantage of the opportunity and stocked up on magazines. But the celebration was short lived. While possession is still legal, sales are no longer allowed. Now it’s the state’s turn and there will be hell to pay. 

In U.S District Judge Roger Benitez’s summary judgment, he declared California Penal Code 32310 unconstitutional and enjoined enforcement of the law.  This section of the Penal Code outlaws everything from the manufacture, sale, import, borrowing, etc. to the simple possession of any magazine capable of holding more then 10 rounds. 

The ruling itself was masterfully and elegantly worded and thoroughly debunked the State’s supposed evidence of a public safety interest in denying standard capacity magazines to law-abiding citizens in the state. He declared that standard capacity magazines were in fact protected as arms in the context of the Second Amendment.  Something most of us already understood. 

The net result was that Judge Benitez’s ruling once again made it legal to purchase and possess standard capacity magazines in California. Immediately after the Friday ruling, the more constitutionally inclined retailers began offering these magazines for sale. Others decided to wait a few more days to see what the state’s response would be and for the lawyers to chime in.  By the first of the week, retailers up and down California began to digest the ruling and began selling.  Out of state retailers, including the biggest names in online and brick & mortar stores also lifted their restrictions on selling standard capacity magazines to California residents. 

Long lines formed at California gun shops and additional shipments from distributers were rushed in. Online retailer’s inventories from across the country were quickly cleaned out of just about every make and style of magazine. The most conservative estimates I’ve seen to date indicate that hundreds of thousands of California residents purchased a minimum of one to two MILLION standard capacity magazines. 

Of course, the State of California wasn’t going to sit by and let this happen. They demanded a stay of the ruling from Judge Benitez, which was granted by the end of the week. However, it wasn’t exactly the result the State wanted. While Judge Benitez stayed the first two sections of Penal Code 32310 (manufacturing and selling), he left in place the judgment against possession.  Judge Benitez also specifically protected those who had sold, imported and purchased during this brief window of legality.  

Both of Judge Benitez’s rulings are a significant victory for California residents. His logic was well thought out and tied to not only the Second Amendment, but to the realities of self-defense and crime in the current day. If you haven’t read it – yes, I understand it is 86 pages long – I strongly suggest you do.  The link is at the bottom of this article.  Reading this will help you to understand not only the flaws in the gun control zealots logic used to justify these infringements, but in your own rights. 

This is an excellent and important ruling, but it is not the final word on the topic. The State of California is not simply going to accept this ruling and go away. Magazine capacity is the cornerstone of modern gun control and if it fails, it will have significant ripple effects in California and around the country.  

This ruling is already being appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – also known as the Nutty Ninth. As we all know, the Ninth Circuit is no friend of the Second Amendment and has already ruled against just about every gun rights appeal, even if it violates the Constitution, Second Amendment or the precedents set in Heller and McDonald.  We can absolutely count on a reversal from the Ninth Circuit, which will need to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

So while we’re all enjoying this little victory as the lawyers are ramping up to fight the pre-destined loss in the Ninth Circuit and appeal to the Supreme Court, I’d like to point out something.  Why are we in this position in the first place? 

If even the extremely low estimates of several hundred thousand magazine purchasers are true, where the HELL where these people when Prop 63 was being voted on? Where the HELL where these people during the Veto Gunmageddon petition drive to put repeal questions on the ballet for these insane, do-nothing but take rights away from law-abiding citizens laws? Where the HELL where all of these people when candidates were running against the gun control zealot politicians?  If everyone was so willing to run down to their local gun shop or hop online and order magazines for themselves, why didn’t this same mass of people get involved and stop the local, state and federal gun control zealots from passing the laws in the first place?

I’ll say what I’ve said before. Fighting to get your rights back after they have been lost is a fool’s errand at best. At BEST you have a long and expensive legal battle with very little chance of actually succeeding, no matter how egregious the constitutional or legal issues are. 

Law-abiding Californians caught a huge break with Judge Benitez, but it could have very easily gone the other way. Meanwhile we have a Ninth Circuit with a well-documented history of reversing anything to do with Second Amendment rights.  Our hope now lay with the Supreme Court, which may or may not even accept it.  

We can also count on a vindictive People’s Republik of Kalifornistan to work on ways to punish every one of us who enjoyed this brief window of freedom and invent new and ingenious ways of eliminating our Second Amendment rights once again. 

In other words – it’s time for everyone to get off their asses and start fighting to keep our rights. 

Bob

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https://www.scribd.com/document/403669664/Duncan-v-Becerra

Gun Control Part 2 – The Words Of A Psychopath

In Part 1 I talked about how criminal justice reform is letting more criminals get away with more crimes and letting those few who are arrested and brought to justice, out earlier. The criminal no longer fears the police or the courts; only their intended victim stands in their way. Enter gun control as the means to take that last limitation to crime and violence away and turn law-abiding citizens into law-abiding victims and set up gun control as the means for civilian gun elimination. 

Gun control in the United States has been a slowly evolving effort with the eventual goal of complete civilian disarmament. Despite all the lies of “common sense public safety laws”, “nobody is coming for your guns” or “I support the Second Amendment, but…” the goal has always been to systematically reduce then eliminate the protections granted under the Second Amendment, or just repeal the Second Amendment altogether. 

For those who haven’t admitted it yet, having a former United States Supreme Court Associate Justice – someone who’s job it was to interpret and defend the Constitution – come out and openly call of the repeal of the Second Amendment should spell it out pretty clearly. Or perhaps a more subtle attack under way with the Hawaii legislature to have the Second Amendment reinterpreted as a ‘collective’ vs. ‘individual’ right is more your style. 

We now have a criminal justice system that does not punish criminal behavior or act as a deterrent to crime. Combine this with gun control laws eliminating the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families and what is the expected outcome? 

As an example, take a look for yourself at the magical gun control cure of gun free zones. 98% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in these gun free zones. Gun free zones are only a legal barrier for law-abiding citizens who do not wish to break the law and do nothing to prevent a criminal or terrorist from entering and committing any number of violent acts. These gun free zones provide a false sense of security for those who enter and often contain the most vulnerable members of our society, protected by nothing more than a sign declaring that guns are not permitted.

Try to imagine what criminal or civil laws or penalties would ever discourage a person intent on committing the ultimate crime of murder doing so in a gun free zone. Yet we deny the right for an ordinary citizen to bear arms in these magical gun free zones. Further more, gun control politicians continue to create more laws removing the ability of local school boards to allow legally armed citizens access to school ground or from training and arming volunteer teachers as a last line of defense. In fact, in some communities, schools are demanding their on-site law enforcement officers be disarmed while working inside the schools. 

Now let’s look at the most recent massacre of innocents in New Zealand. A properly government licensed gun owner using illegal modifications to his legally purchased and registered guns is unopposed at two places of worship, killing 50 people. The pathetic police response time in excess of 30 minutes is being hailed as heroic. Within hours of the attack, while surviving victims were still bleeding and fighting for their lives and the dead not even cold yet, the Prime Minister promised, “gun laws will change”. 

The government’s response was right out of current Chicago Mayor and former Presidential Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s playbook of “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.  The tragic loss of life was simply an opportunity to progress an agenda that couldn’t get traction before. Now, because of this crisis, gun control in New Zealand, and the rest of the world, gets a big boost. 

The psychopath low life that committed this atrocity released an 87-page manifesto just prior to beginning his homicidal rampage. In it, he explained he used guns because of the extra media coverage and the social discourse it would cause in the United States. He specifically called out the division over the Second Amendment and the division his attack would cause.  

Here in the United States, the gun control zealot politicians are jumping up and down celebrating the new ban on so-called “assault weapons” in New Zealand and their ability to enact a ban, and confiscation of lawfully owned firearms, so quickly following this horrific act. They are calling this “true leadership”. 

If you haven’t seen the connection between it all, let me spell it out for you. In order to achieve the goal of civilian disarmament, you have to create an environment where the atrocities can occur. You do this by making crime easier and more attractive to commit. You remove the penalties for crime and the ultimate penalty for the ultimate crime. You remove the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves from the most despicable criminal elements among us and you put the most vulnerable in a position to be the easiest victims.  

In other words, you create the problem and when the inevitable violence occurs, you are standing by with the pre-designed, pre-made and pre-printed “solution”  – stricter gun control – ready to be implemented when emotions are raw and your defenseless citizens are willing to give up more of their rights to “feel” safe.  It’s so simple, even a psychopath could understand and exploit it. 

Fortunately for us in the United States, we have a strong Constitution and Bill of Rights that includes the Second Amendment protected individual right to bear arms. Unfortunately, we have activist politicians and judges, along with mass media empires willing to push their agenda, who are willing to sacrifice our safety and our lives to achieve their goals of people control through gun control. 

We need to defend our rights every single day, one person at a time if we want to keep our rights intact. 

What are you doing to defend our rights? 

Bob

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Gun Control Part 1: Criminal Justice Reform

For years I’ve struggled to understand the logic of the gun control movement. Gun control laws only target law-abiding citizens of this country, not the actual criminals, thugs and terrorists who are committing the crimes and atrocities. Each new so-called “public safety” law only makes the public weaker and more vulnerable to the very thing the gun control zealots claim they are trying to protect us from. Sadly, it was the words of a psychopath that finally explained the sick logic behind it. 

In order for gun control to work, and by work I mean accepted by the population, a number of social conditions have to be in place. One of the key ones is criminal justice reform. Wikipedia has a great explanation:

“Criminal justice reform in the United States is aimed at fixing perceived errors in the criminal justice system. Goals of organizations spearheading the movement for criminal justice reform include decreasing the United States’ prison population, reducing prison sentences that are perceived to be too harsh and long, altering drug sentencing policy, policing reform, reducing overcriminalization, and juvenile justice reform. “

Those who push criminal justice reform believe, for any number of reasons, that our criminal justice system is simply too severe. They believe there are too many people incarcerated for far too long. Of course, there is rarely a debate about whether or not those who were convicted of these crimes are guilty or not, only that the system has been unfair to them. 

Let’s keep in mind that criminals – the people who break the law – don’t do so by accident. They make a conscious decision to steal someone else’s property, to break into cars, homes and businesses, to rob, rape or murder their victims. It is a choice to break the law at someone else’s expense.  

Prison overcrowding is often the unspoken reason for criminal justice reform as it has been in California. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2011 stated that California must reduce its prison population by 30,000 in two years. As a result, so-called humanitarian reform laws were put into place to keep those convicted of crimes out of prisons and grant early release to those already in custody.  But those reforms can only go so far, so it was necessary to make criminal actions less illegal with far fewer penalties, or make the actions not illegal at all.  

California’s disastrous Prop 47 & 57 are all about reducing the consequences of crime and letting so-called “non-violent” felons out of jail sooner. Of course, the details are a bitch. Property and other crime in the state rose dramatically as there are very few disincentives to committing the crimes. And that list of non-violent felons includes 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. For those of you who like to check the facts and figures, I wish you good luck. By reclassifying crimes and non-crimes, it’s like comparing Apples and Oracles. The official narrative is crime is down, yet everything around us says the opposite. 

Even that isn’t enough. Some states have restricted bail to only the most serious cases and California has eliminated it all together as of October 2019. It is supposed to eliminate bias in the pre-trial release system. In most cases, those arrested must be released within 12 hours. Since local boards would determine the standards to be used and judges would have discretion on more serious offenses, bias will still remain and there will be little incentive for anyone to show up in court to face justice. 

But there’s more. Some of the more activist district attorneys in the country are now flat out declining to prosecute lower level offenses such as trespassing, shoplifting, larceny, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, receiving stolen property, breaking and entering (where it is into a vacant property or where it is for the purpose of sleeping or seeking refuge from the cold and there is no actual damage to property), wanton or malicious destruction of property, drug possession, drug possession with intent to distribute and resisting arrest. 

Not to be left out, California’s new governor just closed death row in the state and put all executions on indefinite hold. Even though the citizens of the State of California have spoken out in favor of the death penalty through ballot initiatives, the Governor has decided that those convicted of the most horrendous crimes in the state no longer deserve the ultimate punishment.  

You don’t have to be a criminologist to understand the implications of all this. With very little to zero disincentive to committing crimes, criminals will continue to commit them at an increased rate. In an environment that is permissive of lower level crime, more aggressive and violent crimes follow.  And what are the police to do? Will they waste their time taking someone into custody and do all the paperwork only to have the case dropped before it ever gets into court? Of course not.  Other than the colossal waste of time, it opens departments and officers up to be held liable for arrests they know will never be prosecuted. 

The result is a revolving door criminal justice system where even if someone is arrested for something that is still considered a crime, the chances of there being any real punishment is practically non-existent. With more criminals being let out of prison and fewer ever facing any consequences for their actions, all forms of crime and violence will continue to escalate. The criminal no longer fears the police or the courts; only their intended victim stands in their way. 

One last thought… With all the so-called “criminal justice reform” going on, have you seen any of these politicians and social justice activists say a single word about reducing or preventing crime? How about making you and your family safer in your home or on the streets? 

Gun Control Part 2 – The Words Of A Psychopath is next week.

Bob

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Safe Storage Laws – Punishing Crime Victims

One of moldy oldies of the gun control movement is experiencing resurgence these days. Safe storage laws are once again being pushed in communities and states around the country. And as always, it has nothing to do with safety, only control. It is just another way for gun control zealot politicians to intimidate, harass and punish law-abiding firearm owners and minimize their Second Amendment rights, at the expense of the very people who they claim they are trying to keep safer. 

Firearm storage inside the home is a very personal subject. Most people who own firearms for self-defense choose to have them ready in case they are needed. In those situations, seconds really do count. Unlocking a safe, removing a cable lock and then loading your firearm essentially renders it useless as a self-defense tool. 

That of course is the idea behind safe storage laws. Anti-gun politicians don’t want you to be able to defend yourself in an emergency. They want you to be 100% reliant on the government for your safety. Also keep in mind that your local law enforcement agency has no legal responsibility for keeping you safe.  Many lawsuits against law enforcement from victims of violent crimes due to government inaction or negligence have been dismissed, as the police have no duty to protect you, even if they could have and simply decided not to. 

So even though the government knows they can not adequately protect you in public or in your home, they want to make sure you are not able to protect yourself either. By passing so-called safe storage laws, you are required to keep your self-defense firearm unloaded and disabled in your own home. AND… if you do leave your firearm unlocked in your locked home and it is stolen, you have committed a crime. 

Consider the following scenario. You leave your house in the morning for work, give your dog a new chew toy, lock the doors and set the alarm. While you are gone someone breaks into your house. They do this because they know the chances of being caught are low and the chances of any real penalty coming out of it if they are caught are practically non-existent. 

In the quick ransack of your house, burglars find your non-government approved firearm storage spot in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator’s vegetable crisper drawer.* They take this firearm and commit yet another crime and injure or kill someone with it. What happens to you? You are arrested for improper storage of a firearm. 

Now let’s change this scenario a little. Upon breaking into your home, the burglars find your new 10” Wustoff cook’s knife. They take this knife and commit yet another crime and injure or kill someone with it. What happens to you? You are NOT arrested since you were the victim of the crime of burglary and had no involvement in the commission of the crime using your stolen property. 

Let’s change that scenario one more time. Upon breaking into your home, the burglars find your car keys. On the way out the door they go by the liquor cabinet and grab a bottle of Jack Daniels. They take your car and liquor, get drunk and drive the wrong way down the interstate and injure or kill someone. What happens to you? You are NOT arrested since you were the victim of the crime of burglary and had no involvement in the commission of the crime using your stolen property.

I’m not aware of any other situation where the victim of a crime can be criminally charged as a result of being a victim of someone else’s crime. By creating these feel-good but useless public safety laws that criminalize legal behavior inside of your own home, you become both the victim and the criminal with no action necessary on your own part. 

The other side of so-called safe storage laws concerns children gaining access to unsecured firearms. As someone who has been involved in firearm safety for decades, I can honestly tell you there is no excuse for this. There is also no excuse for the bad parenting that lead to it. 

My story: As a child growing up, my family owned firearms, as did most of our relatives. Some were stored unsecured and loaded for home self-defense. I knew where these firearms were in our house and those of our relatives. Did I ever touch them without permission? HELL NO!! Why? Because I was taught the difference between right and wrong, as well as a respect for firearms. 

In my home as an adult, I also kept loaded firearms for self-defense. Did my son ever touch them? HELL NO!! Why? Because he too was taught the difference between right and wrong, as well as respect for firearms. To this day, I wouldn’t even question if my now adult son walked into my house and found a loaded firearm sitting on the dining room table, he would ask before he handled it.  

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has an excellent – and free – program called Project ChildSafe. It combines information, education and gunlocks distributed for free by law enforcement agencies around the country. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has a child firearm safety program available – also free – called the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program. It teaches children what do if they find an unsecured firearm. Both have been successfully educating children and youth about real firearm safety for years. 

Firearm safety and storage is a very personal subject. What works for me in my home may not be appropriate for a home with young children living or visiting in the home. There are solutions for everyone that does not sacrifice safety or security. What doesn’t work for either is a one-size-fits-none government mandate that firearms shouldn’t be available for self-defense. How does being a helpless victim keep anyone except the criminals safe? 

Bob

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*Note to self: Move firearm out of vegetable crisper drawer.  

Evidence-Based Solutions?

There’s been a subtle change of late in the rhetoric from the anti-gun zealots. Added to the typical “common sense” and “public safety” gun control message. They’ve added the term of “evidence-based solutions” to their new and improved do-nothing regulations to outlaw guns and get them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. Where does this come from? It’s from the gun control idea factories they call gun violence research centers, and you are the one making it all possible. 

Federal funding of so-called gun violence research has long been restricted, and for very good reason. Those who set up these restrictions knew that whomever controlled the research funding would control the research results themselves. True, non-biased scientific research is extraordinarily difficult, especially these days since many who are willing to provide the funding also have an agenda they want the research to support.  This is the situation we find ourselves in now here in California with taxpayer funding of the California Firearm Violence Research Center at the University of California Davis. 

California prides itself on being at the forefront of draconian gun control efforts under the self-perpetuating belief that less – leading to zero – guns in the hands of law abiding citizens will make the public safer from thugs, gangs, criminals and terrorists. In fact, the state’s policies are now focusing on turning as many law-abiding firearm owners in to criminals as possible in order to weed their lawful ownership out of their ideal society. 

When California first decided to use our tax dollars to fund gun violence research, I thought it was just another means to justify their ludicrous laws that do nothing to decrease crime or increase public safety. But quite honestly, they’ve never needed anything to back up their ideas. And as for justification, they’ve got their hand-selected activist judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – who are more interested in advancing social agenda than the rule of law – to rubber stamp their every whim and rule it Constitutional.  What they’ve needed was an idea-generating factory. Under the pretense of research, it’s a way for lawmakers to make more laws to restrict the presence of legal firearms.

Even the charter of California’s new gun control research center reveals the implicit bias. They are only concerned with gun violence instead of the causes and factors of all violence. Gun violence is simply a subset of the overall violence problem in our country, and solving that requires solving a host of other societal issues, including education, employment, criminal justice and mental health. Solving gun violence – at least from their point of view – is easy; just get rid of legally owned guns. 

We’re already starting to see the results of this so-called research sneak into California laws. Penalties for minor non-firearm/non-violence alcohol related offenses are beginning to include bans on firearm ownership. Why? An association between alcohol related offenses and firearm related offense has been ‘discovered’. Most honest researchers understand the fallacy that correlation does not imply causation, otherwise known as cum hoc ergo propter hoc. Yet the California Future Crimes Division is willing to revoke your Second Amendment rights based solely on this dubious body of so-called research. 

Just in case you’re curious about some of the things you won’t see coming out from the California Firearm Violence Research Center: 

  • Law-abiding citizens use legally owned firearms to prevent and stop crimes at a rate of three times more than firearms are used feloniously in this country, to the tune of 2.5 to 3 million times per year. 
  • 98% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in gun free zones.
  • Concealed carry permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at less than a sixth the rate for police. 
  • Crime and violence rates – including gun violence rates – are highest in the states and municipalities with the most restrictive gun control laws. 

So whenever you hear the new gun control mantra of evidence-based solutions to gun violence, understand where their “facts” are coming from. And understand the very same people who want to take your Second Amendment rights have no interest in solving any of the underlying societal problems that cause crime and violence. They just want to take away your firearms and call it a win for “pubic safety”. 

Do you feel safer yet? 

Bob

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Assault Style Weapons

Despite no single definition of what a so-called “assault weapon” is, our elected representatives are wasting no time trying to ban whatever an “assault weapon” is.  Of course the ambiguity of what is and isn’t an “assault weapon” is one of it’s biggest advantages. By leaving the definition open to endless interpretation and addition, it can evolve to include just about every firearm, which is the intended purpose. What is just another legal firearm today is tomorrow’s illegal deadly and too dangerous in the hands of civilians “assault weapon”.  What a wonderful time to be an anti-gun zealot! 

As a little bit of history, the original assault weapon ban came to us from the great (gun hating) State of California. Enacted in 1989, it banned over 50 specific brands and models of rifles, pistols, and shotguns. This list is now referred to as Category One assault weapons. Category Two and Three followed, and the latest version is now the Bullet Button Assault Weapons. Each iteration of the law added more and more firearms to the banned list. Californians who owned them prior to their cut off dates could keep them as long as they were registered. Registration came with significant restrictions including not being able to sell them or pass them down to descendants. 

Since then, other states and the federal government have passed assault weapons bans. The federal ban passed in 1994 sunsetted in 2004 and was not renewed. The same cannot be said for the state laws. 

What is now considered an “assault weapon” varies by state. When banning individual makes and models wasn’t effective, a “features” test was added to the laws. This typically spells out innocuous ‘evil features’ such as a pistol grip, adjustable buttstock, flash suppressor or even a bayonet lug (because drive by bayonetting is apparently a concern). However this too is becoming ineffective in the eyes of the gun controllers and we now find assault weapon laws being written to include ALL semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns of all calibers. 

Even the new Federal Assault Weapon Ban of 2019 introduced by California’s senior Senator, the author of the original Federal Assault Weapon Ban, includes some upgrades to include more firearms. Specifically, it: 

  • Bans firearms containing a detachable magazine and one or more “military characteristics”.
  • Bans stocks that are “otherwise foldable or adjustable in a manner that operates to reduce the length, size or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability of a firearm.”
  • Bans assault pistols that weigh 50 or more ounces when unloaded.
  • Bans assault pistol stabilizing braces that transform assault pistols into assault rifles by allowing the shooter to shoulder the weapon and fire more accurately.
  • Bans Thordsen-type grips and stocks that are designed to evade a ban on assault weapons.

Of the notable inclusions are so-called “assault pistols”, a definition that now encompasses some large regular pistols and considering a pistol stabilizing brace as something that turns an “assault pistol” into an assault rifle – which is a completely different class of firearm. By calling out Thordsen-type grips and stocks, it’s clear than even firearms converted or originally designed to be free of all evil features – featureless rifles – they too will be considered an “assault weapon”. 

If you can call any part of having your Second Amendment rights slowly but surely infringed amusing, it’s the logic applied to these laws. 

Assault weapons are always referred to as being “high-powered” when in reality they are considered intermediate.  

Assault weapons are not useful for hunting despite being “high-powered” and actually being used widely for smaller game.

Assault weapons are called “weapons of war” when no army in the world fields a semi-automatic version of these rifles. 

Assault weapons are not suitable for home defense when in reality the size, configurability, ease of use and intermediate cartridge size makes them ideal, something millions of Americans have already discovered. 

One politician in making the point that there is no need for “assault weapons” pointed out that many other rifles can do the exact same thing as an “assault weapon”. 

Then of course there is the inconvenient truth that more homicides are committed in this country by knives or cutting instruments OR personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) OR blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) than ALL rifles – a category which includes the most widely used definitions of “assault weapon”.  

Law-abiding Americans use firearms of all shapes, sizes and configurations every day to defend themselves and their families at a rate of three to one over the felonious use of firearms. 

It’s time to stop this moronic assault on our Second Amendment rights. 

Bob

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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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Hope From The Supreme Court?

You’ve probably heard the United States Supreme Court has finally decided to hear a Second Amendment case after refusing to do so in the 11 years since Heller and McDonald. The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York case involves a unique to the nation law severely limiting the ability of New York City residents to transport firearms outside their homes. While 2A advocates around the country are hoping this will be THE case to finally break the gun control zealots back, there is an equally good chance it will not. 

The case is about a New York City law called a “premises license”. With it, the very few New Yorkers who are lucky enough to get it are allowed to posses their registered firearm ONLY at their home or be transported, unloaded, locked and separate from ammunition, to one of seven NYPD approved shooting ranges within the City of New York. The firearm cannot be taken out of the city to any other range or property, even if the owner owns the other property. 

New York City used to issue a “target license” in addition to the nearly impossible to get “carry license”, issued only to retired law enforcement, celebrities and other favored persons.  However the City reported widespread abuses of the target license with licensees traveling out of state, attempting to take their firearms out of the city on airplanes and being in possession of their firearms in areas and at hours when no NYPD approved shooting ranges were open. Thus the more restrictive “premises license” scheme was put into place. 

Even the most skeptical of us can see glaring Constitutional issues with this type of licensing. Only being able to possess your legally owned and registered firearm at your residence – the single premises listed on your license – or back and forth to one of seven shooting ranges within the city is so restrictive that you would not even be able to secure your firearm elsewhere should you leave on vacation, to say nothing of sanctioned shooting events, training or lawful self defense anywhere except the one licensed premises. 

Yet, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled this law was Constitutionally valid under the McDonald precedence that “the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home.” While this is one purpose of the Second Amendment, it is not the only one. 

One of the major issues with rulings like this is the level of scrutiny applied by the courts. In this case, like most others by courts hostile to the Second Amendment, intermediate scrutiny was used as opposed to strict scrutiny. While most of us would probably agree that determining whether something is Constitutional valid is going to be the same no matter how you look at it, that’s not the way the courts see it. 

In the absolutely briefest of terms, under intermediate scrutiny, it must be shown that the law or policy being challenged furthers an important government interest by means that are substantially related to that interest. In this case, that guns on the streets of the city are bad and having less of them makes the city safer. As we’ve seen in any number of other Second Amendment cases, the government doesn’t even have to prove that their logic is valid, only that they are pursuing this interest. 

Strict scrutiny on the other hand requires a narrowly tailored and least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest. Most First Amendment cases are decided under strict scrutiny and very few First Amendment restricting laws have been able to pass this test. 

So where does this leave us? Well, it’s very unlikely the current Supreme Court, with two new Constitutional originalist Justices, was willing to accept this case to uphold it. To do so would essentially relegate the right to keep and bear arms to your own home. However, as with all court challenges, nothing is a sure thing. 

Many gun rights advocates are looking at this case as being the one that finally affirms the right to bear arms outside the home, just as Heller and McDonald did for firearm possession inside the home. However that may be a little bit optimistic. Supreme Court rulings are more often than not very narrowly focused, impacting only the case at hand or ones nearly identical to it. With this being a one of a kind law, even if the appeal is successful, it may not easily translate into extended Second Amendment rights elsewhere. 

Potentially the best-case scenario would be a ruling that all Second Amendment challenges be interpreted using strict scrutiny. While highly unlikely, this would signal that the Supreme Court is finally ready to consider the Second Amendment a first class right. 

While I am cautiously optimistic, it’s worth noting that even with the Heller and McDonald decisions, politically motivated activist judges around the country have been upholding Constitutionally invalid laws that fly in the face of these Supreme Court rulings for years. 

Why? Quite simply it’s a numbers game. The gun control lawmakers and judges know the US Supreme Court only hears arguments on about 80 cases per year, and decides about 50 more without oral arguments. This is out of the roughly 7000 requests to hear cases per year. And that 7000 represents the best of the best cases with the highest likelihood of success before the court, thus worthy of the time, money and effort needed to litigate them. Knowing this, it would take the Supreme Court decades of hearing nothing but Second Amendment cases to reverse all the Second Amendment infringements across the nation. 

With this, I’m going to repeat what I’ve said time and time again. Getting your rights restored through the courts AFTER they have been taken away is a fool’s game. Once your rights are gone, there is no guarantee and only a fair chance AT BEST that you will ever have these rights again. The ONLY way to positively keep your rights is to stop electing the people who write and support the laws designed to strip away your rights in the first place. 

Bob

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Eliminating Firearm Retailers

Following the lead of other gun hating / gun control states, the freshly elected Democratic Governor of Illinois has signed a new Gun Dealer Licensing law. Not content with firearms retailers already being one of the most heavily regulated industries, closely monitored by the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives), the new governor has created a licensing scheme guaranteed to do one thing and one thing only, eliminate firearm retailers in the State of Illinois. 

The purported intent of this law is to enhance “responsible business practices” and uses as justification that the ATF is far too busy to keep a close enough eye on Illinois’s approximately 2400 Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs). It also claims the ATF lacks the authority to enforce the kind of “responsible business practices” the State of Illinois thinks should be implemented on the state’s firearm retailers. 

Among the many things the $1500 five year state license gets a firearm retailer are increased record keeping requirements including electronic inventory and sales records linked to the State, the need for increased security systems including 90 days storage of video surveillance – reviewable by law enforcement at any time, mandatory training and annual in-service training for the owner and all employees, interviews for approval from the State, the right of denial by the local law enforcement agency, specifically worded legal signage in one inch high letters, state mandated zoning limitations and of course, unannounced inspections and review of all business operations.  All additional cost and administrative burdens firearm retailers must now bear. 

Like most gun control measures, this is being sold as a “public safety” law without any proof that any of the things it requires will actually increase public safety. It all plays into the myth that firearm retailers are the cause of violent crime solely because they legally sell firearms. 

Ignored are numerous statistics proving criminals don’t buy their guns legally. Even the recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has found that the vast majority of criminals armed with firearms obtained their guns from a place other than a gun shop or gun show.  The evidence revealed that only 1.3 percent of prisoners who committed crimes with firearms had obtained them through a retail sale.

The Illinois State Rifle Association and the National Rifle Association have called this unprecedented and have promised a lawsuit.  Unfortunately, it’s a little too little, a little too late.  The precedent has already been set by other states. 

For those of us who work in the firearms industry in California, this is old news. The State has long since licensed firearm retailers and by implementing its electronic DROS (Dealer Record of Sale) system has registered the buyer, seller and firearm information of every transaction for years.  

But wait, there’s more!! The Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing law specifically calls out that there is nothing that prevents local jurisdictions from implementing further restrictions and regulations. Again, this is nothing new to those of us in California. 

Local anti-gun cities have been enacting their own firearm retailer licensing schemes, each with redundant or additional security, record keeping and inspection requirements. All of which require local political approval and additional costs. The justification being used is that the ATF and the State licensing agencies are far too busy to keep an eye on all the FFLs in the area. 

But that’s not all!! The latest trend in the most progressive anti-gun municipalities – my hometown included – is to funnel any new firearm retailers through the local Conditional Use Permit process, a politically based ‘feel good’ process that has no clear definitions of what is needed to be approved and can be denied just because the local NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) crowd doesn’t want a new gun store in town. 

All of this has one purpose and one purpose only. By making it so costly, so complex and so easy to make an administrative mistake in the myriad regulations from so many licensing authorities that firearms retailers will simply be run out of business. 

The City of San Francisco, CA is held up as a model city when it comes to firearm dealers. Its comprehensive package of ordinances, designed to “ensure that local firearms dealers utilize common sense and responsible business practices”, has had the exact impact intended – the last firearm retailer in the city closed in 2015. 

The San Francisco supervisor who wrote the ordinance that finally drove the store to close had this to say: “From my perspective, if the last gun store in San Francisco wants to close its doors because of my legislation, so be it,” he said. “This store sold over 1,000 guns each year. I would much rather have a preschool or coffee store in the neighborhood than a gun shop.”

So there you have it; firearm retailers are being driven out of business one by one, state by state, community by community. Does this impact your Second Amendment rights? So far the courts have said no since you have other buying options in other communities. But what happens when they are gone too? What happens when your entire state has been purged of firearm retailers and the law says you can’t buy firearms out of state? 

If you think it can’t happen, look to our neighbors to the south. Mexico has one, and only one legal firearm retailer. The Directorate of Arms and Munitions Sales is outside Mexico City and run by the Mexican Army. Funny thing is Mexico’s Constitution also guarantees the right to bear arms. But years and years of limitations and regulations – all in the name of “public safety” have restricted firearms so heavily that almost nobody can buy one legally.  And you can see for yourself the type of “public safety” the Mexican people now enjoy. 

How “safe” do you have to feel before you help stop the erosion of your Second Amendment rights?

Bob

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