TriggerFinger


Colt considering leaving Connecticut

Like every other precision manufacturer in Connecticut, Colt is constantly approached by other states to relocate, but our roots here are deep. Colt is and always has been an integral part of a state characterized by hard work, perseverance and ingenuity.

I know, however, that someday soon, I will again be asked why we fight to keep well-paying manufacturing jobs in Connecticut. I will be asked why we should continue to manufacture in a state where the governor would make ownership of our product a felony.

I will be asked these questions and, unlike in the past, there will be few good answers.

When your home state doesn't want you selling your products there, it's time to move.

Tue Mar 26 00:47:34 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gun control legislation moving in Connecticut

Gee, it's like all the out of state lobbyists in Colorado have moved on to other states now:

Next week, Governor Dannel Malloy (D) and anti-gun legislators are aggressively trying to push through an Emergency Certification Bill (E-Cert), a procedure by which the House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tempore jointly propose legislation and send it directly to the House or Senate floor for a vote.  An E-Cert would bypass the committee process and public hearings, eliminating your opportunity for input.

As of today, the overwhelming majority of gun-related legislation that has been introduced in Connecticut is an affront to your constitutional rights as a law-abiding citizen.  Some of the most egregious proposals are expected to be rolled into this comprehensive gun control package, including a gun and ammunition rationing scheme, a ban on standard capacity magazines, the registration of all firearms and a ban on nearly all commonly owned semi-automatic firearms used for self-defense, recreational and competitive target shooting, and hunting.

This arbitrary and unconstitutional legislation will only burden and punish law-abiding citizens in Connecticut.  Please contact your state legislators and urge them to stand up for freedom by voting against any bill that would infringe upon your Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  Click here to view contact information for your state legislators.

Tue Mar 26 00:47:07 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reid guts gun control bill

He says Feinstein's "assault weapons ban" doesn't have even 40 votes.  That's a big deal, and major egg on Obama's face.  But it doesn't mean the fight is over: Reid is still pushing a ban on private sales, Feinstein is planning to offer her ban as an amendment to other legislation, Bloomberg is there to fund lobbyists and political action committees, and Obama is vowing to keep pushing for a ban in addition to Reid's favored legislation. 

It's not over until the gun banners are out of office.

Tue Mar 26 00:46:40 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Feinstein criticized in her hometown paper

They noticed that her answers to Ted Cruz on whether an assault weapons ban would be constitutional were... somewhat lacking.

Tue Mar 26 00:46:05 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The Mind Boggles, Part II

I'm all in favor of homeschooling, because the public schools aren't exactly doing a stellar job.  But I suppose some parents could possibly do worse.

Tue Mar 26 00:45:20 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Fourth Circuit upholds Maryland's non-shall-issue concealed carry law

The case is Woollard v Gallagher.  Volokh has some analysis.

Losing this case is not a disaster; there are still appeals and we have been winning the shall-issue fight in the legislature.  Maryland is one of the few holdouts.

Tue Mar 26 00:44:50 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gun Control on Senate schedule in April, after break

Gun control will be the first order of business in the Senate when lawmakers return in April from their two-week holiday break.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) formally moved a package of gun-related bills onto the legislative calendar Thursday night, setting up the most serious debate on gun control in Congress in more than a decade.

"After the break" may well mean that your Senator will be coming back to their home state to pretend to listen to their constituents.  Make sure you fill their ears with the words "Vote NO on gun control" and especially "Vote NO on any ban on private transfers".  We have time to make our message clear, and we need to use it.  The assault weapons ban is bad law, but it's short of even 40 votes according to Reid.  We can stop the ban on private transfers too, but we have to make it clear that we oppose that legislation too.

Tue Mar 26 00:44:24 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More voter fraud prosecutions

Milwaukee County prosecutors Thursday filed voter fraud charges against 10 people, including two accused of double voting in 2012 elections and two felons ineligible to vote.

Tue Mar 26 00:43:50 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How the British lost the right to arms

It's instructive, because the same thing is happening here, just on time-delay.

Tue Mar 26 00:43:17 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senator Mike Lee offers amendment requiring supermajority vote for gun control

I think this amendment is unlikely to actually pass, but it is nonetheless useful.  If it gets a vote before the actual gun control bills do, it will give us an idea of where the Senate stands on the issue.  That will be useful to know.  It's also possible it will pass outright if it only needs a majority vote and enough Democrats want to send a signal that they don't want to have to actually vote on gun control directly.

It'll be interesting to watch.

Tue Mar 26 00:42:35 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

John Lott destroys a major anti-gun study in three paragraphs

Take how they measure gun ownership. Believe it or not, this study measures gun ownership by looking at the share of suicides committed using firearms.

Then the authors go on to commit an egregious and basic statistical error. They claim that states with higher gun ownership have higher gun death rates. But wait a second -- most gun deaths are gun suicides. And what they call "gun ownership" in their study is also measured by gun suicides.

In other words, all the study proves is that more gun suicides leads to, well -- more gun suicides. Any serious statistical journal would not have published such nonsense.

Read the whole thing to find out about the other problems with the study, but the problem above is enough to discredit it completely.  It's a basic mistake that anyone with a few college courses in statistics should be able to catch.

Most medical doctors (the study was published in a medical journal) are well outside their realm of competence when trying to do things related to guns.  Unfortunately, most doctors seem to think that being an expert in one thing makes them an expert in everything.

Mon Mar 25 09:22:27 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Immigration and Customs Enforcement involved in Fast and Furious

At the urging of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), officials with ICE?s Homeland Security Investigations unit did not pursue leads on potential weapons smugglers, according to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) inspector general report released on Friday.

The 84-page report also found that senior leaders in ICE's investigative Arizona division failed to read the reports from agents in the field that identified the "flawed methodology" in the "Fast and Furious" operation, according to the report.

So... how do rogue agents at BATFE engaged in an unauthorized operation without the knowledge of their agency's leadership convince officials at ICE to ignore weapons smuggling leads?

For that matter, how does convincing ICE to ignore those leads help the investigation in any way?

It's almost like the whole goal of the operation was to get a lot of American semiautomatic rifles to Mexican drug cartels so the weapons would turn up at murder scenes where they could be blamed on US gun dealers and used as an excuse to pass gun control laws.
Operation Fast and Furious was run by the ATF and the U.S. Attorney's office with assistance from other agencies, such as ICE, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and the Drug Enforcement Agency. It oversaw the sale of about 2,000 guns in the Southwest region to known and suspected criminals who were acting as straw purchasers for Mexican drug cartels.
2000 guns for a criminal investigation into gun smuggling?  Wouldn't you expect to see some arrests well before the 2000th gun?  For that matter, isn't this rather a lot of agencies involved for something run by a few rogue agents without the knowledge or permission of their supervisors?

Mon Mar 25 09:20:07 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bloomberg buys a whole stadium of astroturf

It seems he's spending $12 million dollars on advertising to support "comprehensive background checks".  Of course, he's being deceptive while he does it.  I'll give you the straight scoop.

In one of the spots, a man holding a shotgun says, "I believe in the Second Amendment and I'll fight to protect it. But with rights come responsibilities. That's why I support comprehensive background checks so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can't buy guns."

A second spot shows the same man saying, "Background checks have nothing to do with taking guns away from anyone."

The implication of these ads is that, today, criminals can get guns without passing a background check.  That's true; they can buy a gun from another criminal without a background check.  That will not change no matter what laws Congress passes.  No matter what Congress does, no matter how harshly Congress punishes the law-abiding gun owner who sells -- or loans -- his gun to his friend, or his wife, or his girlfriend, or his daughter... criminals will still be able to get guns from other criminals without a background check.

It is already illegal for anyone to knowingly sell a gun to a criminal.  It is already illegal for a criminal to possess a gun, no matter how he got it.  It is already illegal for a dealer to sell a gun to anyone without that comprehensive background check.

But criminals don't care about the law and will buy, sell, trade, and even manufacture as many firearms as they want, as often as they want, and if history is any guide, the Obama administration will be right there to help them do it.  (See the Fast and Furious operation).

The only people who will get caught and punished for buying, selling, or trading firearms will be honest men who didn't think they had to ask for government permission to loan their daughter a revolver when she gets her first apartment.

Hat tip to Bitter on this one.

Mon Mar 25 05:00:11 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Kiss your financial privacy goodbye

Financial institutions that operate in the United States are required by law to file reports of "suspicious customer activity," such as large money transfers or unusually structured bank accounts, to Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
For the record, "suspicious activity" is defined as any single transfer equal to or greater than $10,000.  Which means there are a LOT of reports about perfectly legal activity like buying cars, buying houses, rolling over 401k accounts while changing jobs, paying medical bills, renovating houses, paying for kid's college tuition...

Note the complete lack of warrants or probable cause involved here, plus the "suspicious activity reports" that don't actually involve any suspicious activity. 

The truth is, this has been the law for a while.  I believe the provision first showed up in the USA PATRIOT act after 9-11, along with all sorts of other bad ideas that the government promised to only use against terrorists until they ran out of terrorists or something.  The change here is allowing intelligence agencies to have access to the financial information, which previously had been available to the Treasury.

Remember how our spies were supposed to avoid spying on US citizens and concentrate on other countries?  Yeah, we've always been at war with Eurasia.

Mon Mar 25 00:40:35 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Caitlin Halligan nomination withdrawn

The NRA opposed her nomination because she had supported the lawsuits against the firearms industry later blocked by the Protection Of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act.  We can count this as a victory, but should not be surprised if Obama tries a recess appointment.

Mon Mar 25 00:35:32 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Senate votes to reject UN Arms Trade Treaty

The vote was 53-46.  I don't think it's binding, but it may serve as a hint to Obama not to sign the treaty -- not that the Senate can stop him, but they can refuse to ratify the thing.

Mon Mar 25 00:33:50 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More guns, less crime

In the so-called Gunshine State [Florida], home to the most gun permits in the country, firearm violence has fallen to the lowest point on record.

As state and national legislators consider gun control laws in the wake of last month's Connecticut school shooting, Florida finds itself in a gun violence depression. The firearm-involved violent crime rate has dropped 33 percent between 2007 and 2011, while the number of issued concealed weapons permits rose nearly 90 percent during that time, state records show.
Don't assume the whole article is pro-gun though.  They express concerns that murders are using more firearms -- as if it matters what tool the murderer used to kill someone.  They note that we can't attribute the decline in firearm violence to having more guns around, failing to note that having more guns around while crime declines pretty much proves the gun control proposition invalid.

In general, they are right that increasing the number of guns doesn't necessarily reduce crime.  There are many factors in crime rates that make a difference, and it's extremely hard to separate out which ones matter.  But when crime and gun crime are both strongly down, and gun carry and ownership are both strongly up, the idea that reducing gun ownership and carry will reduce crime is falsified.  In other words, it's clear that guns don't drive the crime rate in either direction.

What firearms do do for honest citizens is give them a better chance to survive being a crime victim.  That doesn't show up in the statistics because the crime still happened -- though it may show up in the difference between "burglary" and "burglary, rape, and murder."  I'm all for that difference.

Mon Mar 25 00:32:53 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Andrew Traver transferred to Denver BATFE field office

John at No Lawyers - Only Guns and Money notes an interesting coincidence.  The head of the Denver field office, Andrew Traver, previously got national attention for being Obama's nominee for director of the whole agency.  As you might suspect from one of Obama's nominees, the man is very much pro gun-control.  And now there are all sorts of gun control laws in Colorado. 

It's speculation, but you have to wonder if Traver had something to do with that.

Mon Mar 25 00:30:54 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

NRA challenges New York "SAFE" act

The National Rifle Association today filed a federal lawsuit against New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other officials, seeking injunctive relief from the state's Secure Ammunition and Firearms (SAFE) Act.
There are a number of other plaintiffs in the lawsuit, both organizations and individuals.

I noted earlier that Cuomo was considering trying to make changes to this law after being informed that 7-round magazines are... well, they do exist for some firearms, notable early mil-spec 1911s, but they aren't exactly common, especially in AR-15 type rifles.  Just looking at the timing, I suspect that Cuomo realized he was going to have to defend the law in court, and it would look really, really bad to claim his law passed 2nd Amendment muster while banning almost all currently manufactured magazines for most semiautomatic rifles.


Mon Mar 25 00:28:59 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Joyce Malcolm on gun control


Hat tip to Random Nuclear Strikes.

Fri Mar 22 01:00:02 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Volokh: Louisiana trial court strikes down felon-in-possession laws

Louisiana recently changed it's state Constitution right to keep and bear arms provision:
The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.
The decision is obviously correct, but it's going to make a lot of people uncomfortable.  The truth is there are far too many crimes treated as felonies, many of which are entirely non-violent or technical in nature.  A lot of those have to do with firearms, not surprisingly.  Some of the surprising ways to become a felon:
  1. Say something a federal agent thinks might be misleading during an investigation into securities trading activities which turn out to be legal.  (The Martha Stewart conviction)
  2. Load 8 rounds into a magazine that holds 10 rounds in New York.
  3. Drive through Massachusetts with an expended .22 caliber ammunition casing stuck in your boot tread.
  4. Leave your wife at home with your firearms in Colorado while you go on a trip longer than 72 hours.
  5. Legally check a firearm with your luggage on an airplane flight that lands in New York City.
  6. Ask a police officer if there is a place to safely store your firearm while driving through Washington, DC, and stopping for a necessary medical appointment.
  7. Ship a lobster in the wrong type of packaging.

The right to self-defense is important, and it doesn't become less so just because someone has made mistakes in the past.  We can make a value judgment that someone who has committed violent felonies in the past is likely to commit more in the future, and that this justifies a prohibition on possession of firearms by that individual.  Extending that same prohibition to all felonies, including non-violent crimes, does not and should not pass strict scrutiny.

It's the right decision, I'm just worried it will scare people who aren't clued in to the details of the issue.

There are at least two reasons not to panic.  First, this appears to be a decision based on state law.  It won't strike down federal felon-in-possession laws.  Second, the obvious response for the Louisiana legislature is to pass a more selective felon-in-possession law that focuses on violent criminals.  Third, there probably will be appeals.

The firearms issue certainly is heating up lately.

UPDATE: Dave Hardy comments here with a similar take.  The central point is that judges do this to express their hostility to the right to arms.  If gun control laws receive intermediate scrutiny, courts treat it like rational basis and uphold almost anything that the state can provide some evidence for.  If gun control laws receive strict scrutiny (as the Louisiana constitution now requires) we get rulings like this one that go way past the public's comfort zone.

I think strict scrutiny is the right standard, I just don't think this is the right time to have the discussion about felon-in-possession laws.

Fri Mar 22 00:59:36 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Only a fool, indeed

Any fool knows that Lanza couldn't possibly have killed as many children as quickly as he did on the morning of Dec. 14 without an assault weapon in his hands. So how does the President and any other big politician who allows the gun nuts from the National Rifle Association to win again answer the larger question about weapons that make killings like the elementary-school massacre ridiculously easy:
Maybe fools know that, but a well-informed commentator would know that the Virginia Tech murderer killed 32 college students and wounded 17 with two handguns, while the Newton murderer killed only 26 children -- I hate to use the word "only",  but it's significantly less than the Virginia Tech total -- despite having two handguns, some type of AR-15 "assault weapon", and a shotgun.

Fri Mar 22 00:59:04 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why we need standard-capacity magazines

A woman was home alone when two suspects, heavily armed with guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, reportedly attempted to enter her home... When [her] husband arrived home there was an exchange of gunfire. The two suspects were found dead.
Politicians want to limit us to no more than 7 rounds.  Criminals will ignore those limits.

UPDATE: The link appears to be down.  I should have quoted more from the story, it appears, but it was pretty short.  To summarize what I recall, two people allegedly committed several burglaries and, I think, at least one alleged murder in the space of a day or two.  Some, but not necessarily all, of their weapons were what they had stolen in the burglaries.  The woman mentioned in the story lived in a very rural area with lengthy police response times.  When she noticed people breaking in, she hid and called her husband, who got home before police arrived, retrieved one of his firearms (it's unclear whether he brought one with him or retrieved it from the house), and engaged the criminals.  The results were as quoted above.

Fri Mar 22 00:56:43 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Cuomo seeking to repeal his own law

Lesson: If you are chasing a roadrunner and run off the edge of a cliff, don't look down.
Cuomo downplayed the revision, saying it merely addresses a few "ambiguities" and "grammatical errors." The law passed in January includes an exemption for the use of 10-round magazines at firing ranges and in competitions, but buying the magazines is banned. The new language will allow 10-round magazines to continue to be sold in New York, but it will be illegal to load more than seven rounds into those magazines.
And if you forget to pretend your 10 round magazine only holds 7 rounds, it's a felony for which you can go to jail for a year, lose your right to own a firearm for life, and probably never work again in a job that doesn't involve washing dishes.

Fri Mar 22 00:55:41 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Maybe it's just me, but...

But Richard M. Aborn, the president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, described the concerns from gun owners about a scarcity of seven-round magazines as "a manufactured crisis."

"I think the governor and the Legislature got it right the first time," Mr. Aborn said, adding, "We don't want to have to tell the mother of a young man who's just been shot and killed that he was killed with the ninth bullet."

... I don't think the mother of a murder victim will care which bullet he was killed with. 

Fri Mar 22 00:54:50 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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