The main problem here is that the ATF is basically reversing its own prior decisions and turning anyone who owns one of these devices into something like an instant criminal even when they bought a legal device and did nothing wrong. Even if you accept the constitutionality of the machine gun ban (which I do not), this brings in 5th amendment seizures and due process considerations.
I suspect that the anti-gun crusaders just learned a painful lesson about how important the NRA is to gun rights. That is, not very, anymore. Our political power comes from our millions of motivated individuals, and the NRA ultimately does little more than point out problems. And frankly not very much of that, under Wayne lately.
Millions of gun owners have learned that large organizations and their leadership are susceptible to corruption. We've also learned to compensate for the failure by finding other sources of the information we need to make a difference.
Don't get me wrong, the NRA is an important organization, and it's currently threatened status is a shrewd political move by opponents. But the organization has been troubled for some time. We need to hope for the best -- a renewed, reinvigorated NRA -- while planning for the worst.
This result is not justice, but that's the nature of plea bargains. But the requirement to forfeit the specific firearms involved in the case stinks of anti-gun politics, especially as he can legally replace the weapons immediately.
Let's deal with the obvious first. A dog cannot smell the lack of a serial number.
Further, lack of a serial number doesn't make the gun illegal either. You just can't engage in commerce with it.
And guns don't have to be registered in most states, with or without a serial number, not even in California -- with an exception for so-called "assault weapons" which means basically anything with a reasonably sized magazine.
A dog can probably smell gun oil or fresh rubber or plastic. But a dog who alerts on anything with oil or plastic is useless to anyone who cares about accuracy. (What is your car made out of again?) To the sort of police who think "ghost guns" are actually a threat, though, such a dog would be quite useful. "Probable cause on four legs", as the saying goes, because such a dog will alert at every single traffic stop, 100% of the time, and that's only a problem when a savvy defense attorney requests the dog's scent records.
But hey, the police departments gets to show off their very expensive new pet who can smell gun oil. (Note: the police officer can probably smell it too; stuff is pretty pungent).
I just wish I could be there to watch the dog alert to his handler's own firearm.
Bottom line: Biden and his handlers have a hard-on for gun control and the BATFE plans to deliver whatever they can without going through Congress. The media and police in at least some areas are ready to get out their kneepads like it was the Clinton administration again.
Putting AR-15s (and inevitably all other magazine-fed, semiautomatic rifles, and probably most magazine-fed handguns) under the National Firearms Act would mean they would be registered and subject to draconian regulations. Arguably, it could even mean banning the manufacture of new AR-15s, and allowing individual states to ban ownership and possession retroactively.
As AR-15s are undeniably in common use, such a policy would be in direct contravention of the Heller case. And it's not just AR-15s.
This really shouldn't be news. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act is not new. But with Democrats eager to win victories on gun control and in control of Congress and the White House, the law might become one of their targets.
Texas Senate passes 2nd Amendment Carry -- now back to the House
It's going back to the House because both sides have passed slightly different legislation, but similar 2nd Amendment Carry legislation did pass the House recently. I would expect the House to pass this, and the governor to sign it.
It feels like the Supremes finally taking a gun case has opened the floodgates.
And obviously this is unconstitutional. If you have to remove three guns on the list in order to add one, eventually your list will have just one or two guns on it and no other models -- ever -- will be allowed.
My take is that the court wants to strike down may-issue concealed carry licensing, while leaving shall-issue licensing in place. They may even want to be specific about what may issue regimes are allowed.
This will be the first 2nd Amendment case the Supreme Court has taken up in some time, and how the justices vote will be closely scrutinized.
David Chipman was involved in Waco and Ruby Ridge, which should be disqualifying in and of itself. He also served as a lobbyist for gun control firms after leaving government, which should also be disqualifying for different reasons. Together, they send a rather threatening message.
Biden admin to bring executive orders on gun control
Normally, I'd say the White House's ability to make trouble with executive orders is somewhat limited, but those limitations come from political pressure. The current left has decided to go for broke and do All The Things. And while courts may restrain those excesses eventually, it's by no means certain.
The GOPe, which Rubio has always been the personification of, has now crossed the rubicon by introducing gun control legislation that would deny the second amendment rights of anyone who has even been investigated for "terrorism" without due process. Note that Democrats are now calling participating in peaceful protests or believing Biden stolen the election "terrorism".
Looks like we'll find out of the court has found the stomach to stand up for gun rights. From the description, this case should really be a slam dunk. No violence, no crime, unwarranted search of a home, confiscation of property that was never returned. If "but it was a gun!" can legally justify all that, the Constitution is a dead letter.
Don't bother with the rest of the article, it's all fear-mongering. Basically, these are kits that include a roughly 80% complete block of material which requires some labor with machine tools to turn into a frame, after which you use more tools and the rest of the parts in the kit to manufacture a firearm which is legal only for personal use and not for sale to others. The legality of this has always been on thin ice with the ATF, and it appears they have decided to crack down under a Biden administration.
So two significant new gun control initiatives already in motion even before Trump leaves office.
They think that the New York lawsuit has the NRA sidelined, and they are probably right. The BATFE and other agencies will be eager to help. Court challenges take time and money. Legislation is hard and can have political costs. So, Biden will issue executive orders and do as much damage as he can.
If Biden obtains the White House, he'll be looking for gun control options. New taxes would require new laws, but ATF can attempt to "reclassify" things so existing firearms fall under different categories. And with the Dems in control of the House and the White House, the Senate will be squeezed. The upcoming Senate runoffs in Georgia could give the Democrats control of that body too, and their base has been pushing to eliminate the filibuster.
... and they did it because of red flag laws. They are also refusing to share their bodycam footage, because of course they are. After all, that footage would expose them as liars who shot and killed a man while he slept peacefully in bed next to his pregnant girlfriend, who they also shot.
The police are keeping the survivors under surveillance and threatening them with arrest if they attend protests.
Everyone involved here needs to go on trial for murder and violation of civil rights. But they won't. Because they are police.
If Biden wins, he won't exactly stop gun control. Given Bloomberg's financial push and the legal troubles of the NRA, we're likely to see a lot of activity on the gun control front this election cycle in any areas where Democrats have significant power. Eventually this may backfire if our slimly pro-gun Supreme Court majority holds.
There are so many wrong lessons here I hardly know where to start. There's a kid who checks that his mom is peacefully reading a book, then goes upstairs to (presumably) her room and opens her chest of drawers to find a gun (very much not safely stored). Without checking whether it is loaded or if a round is in the chamber or the condition of the safety if the gun has one, he puts it into his backpack without a holster or other protective covering and takes it to school with him before pulling it out of his backpack and putting it on the teacher's desk and asking the teacher to get rid of it because "he doesn't want to have a gun in the house."
Leaving aside the many insanely unsafe gun handling practices in this propaganda video, he's stealing a gun from his parents and taking it to school in order to turn it in to someone who (just based on profession!) likely has no idea how to handle it safely or dispose of it legally. Not to mention the school itself is a gun free zone. So. How many laws did this kid violate?
1) Felony theft of a firearm. Most gun felonies are 10 year federal crimes. 2) Gun-Free School Zone laws. $10,000 fine and 5 years. 3) Carrying concealed without a license, depending on state laws. 4) Illegal transfer of a firearm without a background check, depending on state laws. 5) The teacher may be liable for receiving stolen property. 6) Arguably reckless endangerment of the students and teacher, brandishing, etc. 7) Aside from the above, the student will undoubtedly be immediately expelled.
In addition his mom (and/or dad, who is never shown) will be vulnerable to criminal attack and may get in trouble for their unsafe storage. If either of the parents are police officers, military, or security, the gun may not even be theirs -- meaning they are in trouble with their jobs, and may be legally charged or fired.
This video is stupid propaganda encouraging kids to do things that will get them in serious legal trouble even if they do not accidentally hurt themselves or those around them.
Retired Justice Stevens suggests Supreme Court may advance gun rights
First the factual aspect. Assuming it's accurate, it confirms something the gun rights community has long suspected. (I don't particularly doubt the accuracy of the claim, although Stevens may be overstating his own role as as persuasive force...)
Now the facts.
We don't know where the current court sits on gun rights. Roberts has demonstrated squishy behavior before. Kennedy was replaced with Kavanaugh, presumably a solid 2nd Amendment vote, but Trump's first pick Gorsuch replaced Scalia (solid pro-gun vote) with a presumably solid pro-gun vote. Neither Kavanaugh nor Gorsuch have really been tested yet and Roberts is untrustworthy. We're probably better off with Kennedy replaced. But we need to win one more to feel secure, and even then, we can't count on the new Justices until we see how they vote.
Since Stevens is clearly trying to stoke panic here, let me rebut.
Gun free zone laws around schools have stopped precisely zero school shootings. As with other places declared gun free, criminals view them as soft targets. The only people deterred from carrying in such zones are the honest, law-abiding people who you would want to have a gun in case of such an attack.
"Laws intended to keep firearms out of the hands of especially dangerous individuals" has a couple possible meanings. Do they mean felons? Most felons will be able to get a gun as easily as they can get drugs, ie, illegally. Challenges to the core of felon-in-possession laws seem unlikely in the near future, though we will likely see nibbles around the edges for people acting in self-defense, whose crimes were not violent in nature, and who have been rehabilitated into society. Do they mean people like the Parkland shooter, who should have been on the naughty list but was not due to law enforcement failures? Law enforcement will have failures no matter what laws you pass. Do they mean people like the man who died at the hands of police in Maryland recently? How many innocent people need to die because one of their in-laws didn't like them owning a gun?
She will have control of the House for the next two years, so this should be a matter of significant concern for us. She's specifically talking about gun registration in the form of so-called "universal background checks". In practice that means that every time anyone buys or sells a gun, they have to be background checked, and that check creates a government record of the sale. Transferring a firearm without a background check would immediately become a felony, and any firearm in your possession without a matching record with a manufacture date after the legislation took effect would be a presumption of guilt.
Now, the good news...
Pelosi's comments came immediately after a mass murder in California, which already is practically a gun control paradise. That won't help her argument and passion is likely to cool before the new Congress is seated.
Furthermore, gun control has passed the House before. The Senate is the more difficult hurdle. Republicans still hold the Senate, and even increased the margin a little. However, many of our Senators are a bit wobbly on this, and Trump is a bit of an unknown. He's already backed a bump-stock ban and he has New York attitudes about guns. We don't want this to get to Trump's desk.
Schumer probably can't count to 60 on this, but "universal background checks" are a recognized point of political weakness. We know they don't work but politicians find it hard to vote against them.
It seems likely Pelosi's real goal is to excite her base and force a vote on the record, then use it to fundraise and go after vulnerable 2020 senators.
Worse, this is a declaration of war from the Democrats. They no longer believe that gun control loses elections.
Democrats propose semiauto confiscation backed by nuclear weapons
Does anyone remember the Democrats, as a party, seriously campaigning on gun control this cycle? Sure, a few folks mentioned it. But apparently the real program is mandatory buybacksbacked by nuclear arms. That seems extrema and not what voters were promised.
The population is Texas is approximately 30 million people and the state is solidly Republican. When, not if, Texas says no to confiscating their semiautomatic firearms (note: rifles and pistols both), will the Democrats nuke Texas? According to the CDC (not exactly a gun-friendly source), there are 12,979 firearm homicides per year in the United States. If the goal of firearms confiscation is to save lives, and the cost is nuking Texas, it would take two thousand, three hundred, and 11 years to save a single life... and that's assuming none of those 12,979 firearm homicides was justified or replaced by an alternative weapon.
Luckily the nuclear button is in Trump's hands. Bet you never thought those words would be written here.
Trump may be unpredictable, but he's not crazy.
What the Democrats are proposing would lead immediately to civil war, if passed and implemented. Luckily the chances such a confiscation bill would pass the Senate are low. Luckily, Trump is in a position to veto it for now. But losing 2020 could have dire consequences, and we'll have to watch the Senate like a hawk to make sure nothing gets to Trump, who just might be unconventional and New York enough to sign it.
We will fight you on our soapboxes, our microphones, our websites. We will fight you in the House. We will fight you in the Senate. We will fight you in the White House. We will fight you on the streets in protests and petitions. We will fight you at the ballot boxes. We will fight you in the courts. If necessary, we will fight you from our rooftops, in the back alleys of your cities, in the tanks and aircraft and naval vessels based on those states which remain free, and in every place you don't expect us to be. We will pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to this cause. Should your nuclear fire rain down upon our nation, burning friend and foe alike, from our backyard bunkers our answer shall resound throughout history, soaked in the blood of your abbatoir altar: NO.
The imaginary date suggests December, ie, next month. BATFE is going to do this without legislation, and it will have a significant economic impact (hundreds of millions) even ignoring the fact that the law will take probably thousands of people who bought legal products for their firearms and turn them until felons unless they destroy their property for basically no reason, all sparked by a shooting that the government continues to hide details about -- and can't even prove the shooter actually used bump stocks, because they did not examine any of his firearms.
Trump should step in and smack this down hard. But he probably won't, because it's not really his issue.
Maybe the NRA can wake him up... except they are kinda-sorta-agreeing.
Anti-gun politicians abusing the Parkland murders for their own purposes
Not everyone who lost someone to the Parkland murder is for gun control. And the people who are using that crime to push for policy changes they favored, and that have nothing to do with the murders, are vile. The ones using it to fundraise are worse.
What is it with corporations spending millions on idiotic political virtue signaling? Nike made the face of their brand the anti-patriot kneeler, and now a jeans manufacturer decides that going against the Constitution is a good public image and worth millions of dollars to convey to the public.
So, the CEO even admits it is unpopular, but he felt compelled to do it anyway.
He could have saved himself a little unpopularity if he had stuck to the platitudes about wanting to stop the violence, but he had to go and compare American gun owners to racists. That makes it clear where he stands, and that this is far more about virtue signaling and looking down on ordinary Americans than it is about safety.
Confiscation of semiautomatic rifles in Chicago area town
So, once they figure out you own an assault weapon in this town, they want you to give it up to their police force. Not remove it from their jurisdiction, sell it to someone else, or destroy it -- the daily fines continue until they have it in their hands and you do not. That's a definite escalation from other attempts at gun bans that have focused on banning new manufacture or sale while grandfathering existing firearms.
The actual ordinance is more precise. It's a one-feature test. Semiautomatic, capacity to accept a detachable magazine, plus one feature (including a pistol grip, forward grip, thumbhole stock or other scary stock types, shroud, or anything scary on the muzzle).
In practice, that means almost any semiautomatic firearm with the capacity to accept a magazine regardless of size (since you can always find a standard-capacity magazine).
So, as you may have guessed, the "Wizard of ID" is in fact Joe Huffman of Boomershoot. I am attending his shooting event for the second time.. and this time around I am much better prepared. I am using the same rifle I used last year (no last minute panics!) and know more about what I'm doing. I also have better blogging equipment, which will enable me to bring a lot more of the event to the web for my readership. My one regret: I started the day with the wrong type of media for recording video. I was at least able to dispatch a minion to retrieve the correct media, so I will have video tomorrow. I hope, anyway.