Friday, May 18, 2018

SCI Honors NC State Senator Bill Rabon


Safari Club International recognized NC State Senator Bill Rabon (R-Bladen, Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender) as their 2017 State Legislator of the Year. He was recognized for his work to preserve and protect hunting and especially for his role in expanding Sunday hunting.

From their release:
Safari Club International has recognized North Carolina State Senator Bill Rabon as SCI's 2017 State Legislator of the Year. We are appreciative of Senator Rabon's efforts to advance legislation promoting and protecting our outdoor heritage and tradition of hunting, our Second Amendment rights, and the valuable role hunting plays in wildlife management and conservation.

"We congratulate Senator Rabon for his outstanding leadership in the North Carolina State Senate, particularly for his tireless efforts to expand Sunday hunting in North Carolina and we are honored to present him with SCI's 2017 State Legislator of the Year award," said SCI President Paul Babaz. "Senator Rabon's work has resulted in great victories for sportsmen and women and we are proud to have him as a leader for SCI and for all hunters in the Tar Heel State."

Since his election to the North Carolina State Senate in 2010, Senator Rabon has been a champion for all sportsmen and women. He has advocated for countless pieces of legislation and has supported hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts – including expanding and repealing North Carolina's Sunday hunting laws and working to make the right to hunt and fish a part of the state's constitution.

"The rights of hunters are increasingly threatened and maligned today, but those rights are inextricably linked to the conservation of wildlife across the world," stated Senator Rabon. "Teddy Roosevelt said it best: 'In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen... the genuine sportsman is by all odds the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination.' It's more important than ever to stay aggressive and diligent as we fight to protect hunters' rights. No one has done that as reliably and successfully as Safari Club International. I've long been proud to be a member, and today I'm tremendously honored to receive this prestigious award."

As Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Sen. Rabon was instrumenting in getting H559 passed which expanded Sunday hunting to include public lands.

Sen. Rabon is also a stalwart advocate for the Second Amendment and gun rights. He is rate 4 stars by Grass Roots North Carolina and has a 100% voting record on gun rights.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Boulder City Council Sued In Federal Court


Tuesday, May 15th, the Boulder City Council unanimously passed a ban on semi-automatic rifles with cosmetics they didn't like, a ban on standard capacity magazines, and bump fire stocks.

As the Denver Post reported:
The ordinance prohibits the sale and possession of assault weapons, as defined by the city. Also outlawed are magazines with high-capacity magazines and bump stocks.

Owners of the latter two items will have until July 15 to dispose of or sell them. Assault weapons will be grandfathered in; those in possession of such firearms have until the end of the year to receive a certificate proving prior ownership.

The grandfather clause was an olive branch to gun owners, said Councilman Sam Weaver, as was the abandonment of an early proposal to establish a registration system for assault weapons in the city.
Colorado has a state firearms preemption law that, on the face of it, forbids cities from adopting regulations which "prohibits the sale, purchase, or possession of a firearm that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, or possess under state or federal law." Firearms law is considered a matter of state concern. Denver, so far, is the only city in the state whose firearm regulations were upheld because it was considered a "special case" due to its size.

At the meeting where the Boulder City Council adopted their ban, representatives from the Mountain States Legal Foundation vowed that they would oppose the measure in court. They have kept their word.

In a release sent out late last night, the Mountain States Legal Foundation announced that they had filed suit in US District Court for the District of Colorado. The lead plaintiff is Jon Caldara who is a member of the Boulder Rifle Club. In addition, Caldara is the president of the Independence Institute, a libertarian think tank, based in Denver.

More on the lawsuit including a link to the complaint is below:
May 16, 2018 – DENVER, CO.  A group of Boulder residents who face heavy fines and jail time for the mere possession of firearms that are legal throughout Colorado and the United States filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging the Boulder City Council’s actions.  Represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, the plaintiffs are taking a stand against the city council’s unconstitutional passage of a broad-sweeping ban of the most popular and widely-owned firearms and magazines in America.  In a blatant act of discrimination against a political minority, the city council also unconstitutionally raised the minimum age for firearm possession in Boulder city limits to twenty-one.  The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Denver, Colorado.
Jon Caldara, a well-known, pillar of the community; the Boulder Rifle Club, which has been in existence since 1889; Bison Tactical, a small business in Boulder city limits; and Tyler Faye, a member of the University of Colorado Shooting Team, all seek to defend their rights and the rights of their fellow Boulder residents against the illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory actions of the City of Boulder.
“This ban is tantamount to Boulder attempting to stop drunk driving by banning Subarus,” said Cody J. Wisniewski, attorney with Mountain States Legal Foundation representing the plaintiffs.  “It accomplishes nothing other than making criminals of law-abiding citizens.”
“The West wasn’t won with a registered gun,” said William Perry Pendley, Mountain States Legal Foundation’s president.  “Colorado is not California; these laws have no place here.”
On May 15, 2018, the Boulder City Council passed Ordinance 8245, amending the Boulder Revised Code to ban many rifles, shotguns, pistols, and standard-capacity magazines, as well as raising the minimum age for firearm possession to twenty-one, within Boulder city limits. The ordinance was passed by a unanimous vote despite an overwhelming number of public comments, telephone calls, and emails expressing concerns with and opposition to the ordinance.  Mountain States Legal Foundation will be seeking a preliminary injunction to suspend enforcement of the ordinance pending the outcome of the litigation.  Without such an injunction, Boulder residents may be subject to up to $1,000 in fines and ninety (90) days in jail per violation.
Mountain States Legal Foundation, founded in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and ethical government, and the free enterprise system. In 2012, Mountain States Legal Foundation, on behalf of its clients, prevailed in the Colorado Supreme Court in Regents of the University of Colorado v. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. The Court’s unanimous decision in that case confirmed the right of concealed carry permit holders to possess concealed firearms on the public university’s campus.
For more information:  Caldara v. City of Boulder

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ryan Cleckner On Head And Scope Position


Ryan Cleckner is the author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook and a former Ranger sniper. His book is an excellent primer on getting started in long range shooting.

In this video for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Cleckner discusses the proper positioning of your head and scope for prone long range shooting. He makes an excellent point when he says if it isn't right, change it. The scope and stock should adjust to you and not the other way around.


Illinois Governor Issues Amendatory Veto Of Assault Weapons Bill


Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) issued an amendatory veto of Illinois HB 1468. An amendatory veto is when the governor replaces language in a bill passed by the Illinois General Assembly with his own language. The General Assembly has three options. First, do nothing and the bill will die. Second, override the veto with a three-fifths vote in each house and the original language becomes law. Finally, pass the law with the amended language with a simple majority.

IllinoisCarry has an extensive post on the amendatory veto which I am posting below. It does contains things that would be objectionable in a more pro-gun state but are seen as a compromise in Illinois. This would include things like a bumpstock and trigger crank ban as well as 72 hour waiting period on all gun sales.

From IllinoisCarry with links to their discussion forum and Gov. Rauner's veto message:

Gov. Rauner issued an amendatory veto yesterday of HB1468. The bill sent to the Governor's desk 60 days ago with a veto proof majority would have codified into law, for the first time in IL history, a broad brush definition of 'assault weapons'. As we had hoped, he stripped the 'assault' language out of the bill and instead opted for a 72 hr. waiting period on all gun sales rather than risk law abiding gun owners getting caught up in a felony trick bag set up by anti-Second Amendment democrats. In a surprising move, the amendatory veto also included instituting the death penalty for mass killers, freed up local revenue to fund resource officers and mental health workers in our schools, a ban on bump stocks, and set the framework for limiting people who are a danger to themselves or others from having access to firearms. 

With the veto, the Governor protects Illinois gun owners from a  gun grabbing scheme which would have made firearm restraining orders easy to obtain, virtually no-penalty for false testimony, and taking firearms away from nearly anyone by almost anybody for any reason. With the amendatory veto, it becomes a roadblock with a  felony penalty for false testimony,  prevents vindictive grudges being used to take firearms from lawful gun owners while providing a process to curb mentally ill respondents - like the Parkland High School and Waffle House killers - who are a danger to themselves or others from legally possessing firearms . It also provides a clear and timely process for restoration of  rights when a person is no longer a danger.

The full text of the veto can be viewed here.  Discussion of the veto can be found on IllinoisCarry's discussion forum.

Ken Hackathorn On The M1 Carbine


Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons just published an interview with the legendary Ken Hackathorn. It is a quite interesting interview dealing with the myth versus the reality of the firearm. Ken said the WWII and Korean War veterans who actually used the M1 Carbine in combat generally liked it. They did acknowledge that the magazines were flimsy and they made a conscious effort to replace them on a regular basis.

I have an IBM-made M1 Carbine and love it. It is light and accurate. However, Hackathorn notes that many of the manufacturers had quality control problems in making these firearms. While the most common, the Inland Division of GM made carbines tended to be the most reliable. That somewhat surprised me.

The interview runs about 19 minutes and is really interesting especially if you like old US military firearms like I do. Now if I could only find a RockOla-made M1 Carbine with an Elmer Keith inspected cartouche like the one Hackathorn has, I'd be set.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

No Changes To What Ruger Makes And Sells


A shareholder proposal put forth by Catholic Health Initiatives and the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment for a vote by Ruger shareholders passed. The proposal which was opposed by the board of directors requires the company to prepare a report on "on how it tracks violence associated with its firearms, what kind of research it is conducting related to so-called smart gun technology and its assessment of the risks that gun-related crimes pose to the company’s reputation and finances."

The measure was spearheaded by Colleen Scanlon who is the chief advocacy officer for Catholic Health Initiatives which is an organization of over 100 Catholic run hospitals.

From CNN Money:
The proposal was spearheaded by Colleen Scanlon, senior vice president and chief advocacy officer for Catholic Health Initiatives, a system of hospitals and academic institutions. Her organization was one of four shareholders who spoke at the meeting, and all of them asked the Ruger executives what they were going to do about gun violence and gun safety.

"We as shareholders are saying that gun violence is significant enough that you, as a gun company, need to address what your responsibility to gun safety is," said Scanlon to CNNMoney.

She said that hospitals within the Catholic health system have treated many patients with gunshot wounds, and she wants Ruger to focus on smart gun technology. She said that her institution was one of 11 religious shareholder organizations to draft the proposal

"Wouldn't it be wonderful to see them leading an effort about making a smarter gun, like fingerprint activated guns and tracking systems for finding lost or stolen guns, like with iPhones?" she said. "We know that gun owners are responsible and sensible people, but we know that guns can end up in the wrong hands."
You can read the shareholder proposal here along with the rationale given for its passage. I would note that any supporting documentation that relies on the Violence Policy Center is suspect. The firm Institutional Investor Services which advises on shareholder proposal urged passage which I assume is the reason some of the major institutional investors vote for it.

Ruger sent out an email this evening with their response to the passage of the shareholder proposal.

The same coalition that pushed this anti-gun nonsense on Ruger will be attempting to do the same thing to American Outdoor Brands Company aka Smith & Wesson. This is the danger that we should come to expect in the future for firearms companies and those that do business with them. I foresee a time in the not too distant future when you will see most of these public companies going private to avoid having to deal with this.

I think it is important that you know just which religious orders are behind these proposals. I'm Catholic but I'll be damned if I agree with any of these nuns. I certainly wouldn't be making any contributions to their orders.

Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment

  • Adrian Dominican Sisters
  • Benedictine Sisters of Cottonwood, Idaho
  • Benedictine Sisters of Mt Angel
  • Congr├ęgation des Soeurs des Saints Noms de J├ęsus et de Marie
  • Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace
  • Jesuits West
  • PeaceHealth
  • Providence Health & Services
  • Northwest Women Religious Investment Trust
  • Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, U.S. Ontario Province
  • Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province
  • Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
  • Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon
  • Tacoma Dominicans

Catholic Health Initiatives


Thirteen congregations of women religious either founded or later joined Catholic Health Initiatives. These congregations support and influence the mission of Catholic Health Initiatives and its public juridic person, Catholic Health Care Federation. Each Congregation appoints a person to represent them at semi-annual meetings with the Board of Stewardship Trustees.

Esther Anderson, OSF, PhD
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Alice Armata, OP
Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena
Taos, New Mexico

Nadine Heimann, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis of Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Joanne Klinnert, OSF
Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota
Little Falls, Minnesota

Joan Elizabeth Cook, SC
Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio

Sharon Ford, RSM
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, West Midwest Community
Omaha, Nebraska

Sally Marie Kiepura, CSFN
Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth
Des Plaines, Illinois

Mary Jo Lewis, MD
Associate Member
Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Fargo, North Dakota

Ann Marie Friederichs, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Heart of MaryHankinson, North Dakota
Hankinson, North Dakota

Susan Gatz, SCN
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth
Nazareth, Kentucky

Francis Schumacher, OSB
Benedictine Sisters of Mother of God Monastery
Watertown, South Dakota

Diane Traffas, OP
Dominican Sisters of Peace
Columbus, Ohio

Sr. Mary Jon Wagner, OSF
Sylvania Franciscans
Sylvania, Ohio

Representative of Partnering Congregations

Sr. Nancy Miller, OSB
Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery
Bismarck, ND

UPDATE: The full transcript of the Ruger annual meeting can be found here. You will note some of the nonsensical questions posed to Ruger CEO Chris Killoy by "religious leaders".

UPDATE II: For an excellent summary of the shareholder proposal accomplished, please read this editorial by Jim Shepherd of the Outdoor Wire. He compared it to a fly buzzing around a cow. It is pestering rather than the steering claimed by proponents.

What Does It Say When Even Hi-Point Drops You As A Customer?


Today's Shooting Wire contained a release from MKS Supply, LLC saying they would no longer do business with Dick's Sporting Goods and its Field and Stream subsidiary. MKS Supply is the exclusive distributor for Hi-Point Firearms and Inland Manufacturing.
In recent months, Dick's Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, have shown themselves, in our opinion, to be no friend of Americans' Second Amendment. We believe that refusing to sell long guns to adults under age 21, while many young adults in our military are not similarly restricted, is wrong. We believe that villainizing modern sporting rifles in response to pressure from uninformed, anti-gun voices is wrong. We believe that hiring lobbyists to oppose American citizens' freedoms secured by the Second Amendment is wrong. Dick's Sporting Goods and Field & Stream, in purportedly doing all of these things, have demonstrated that they do not share our values.

MKS Supply, Hi-Point Firearms and Inland Manufacturing are standing by the American people by refusing any further sales to Dick's Sporting Goods & Field & Stream. We are proud of our products, we are proud of our customers, and we are especially proud of the freedoms secured by our great U.S. Constitution. We are committed to all three.
As I reported last week, Springfield Armory severed their ties with Dick's and the NSSF had expelled them from membership.

This afternoon it was announced that Mossberg was refusing any future orders and evaluating their current contractual agreements with Dick's and Field and Stream.
O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., a leading American firearms manufacturer, announced today its decision to discontinue selling products to Dick’s Sporting Goods, and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, in response to their hiring of gun control lobbyists in April 2018.

Effective immediately, O.F. Mossberg & Sons will not accept any future orders from Dick’s Sporting Goods or Field & Stream, and is in the process of evaluating current contractual agreements.

“It has come to our attention that Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired lobbyists on Capitol Hill to promote additional gun control.” said Iver Mossberg, Chief Executive Officer of O.F. Mossberg & Sons. “Make no mistake, Mossberg is a staunch supporter of the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and we fully disagree with Dick’s Sporting Goods’ recent anti-Second Amendment actions.”
Consumers are urged to visit one of the thousands of pro-Second Amendment firearm retailers to make their purchases of Mossberg and Maverick® firearms. Firearm retailers can be found through the Mossberg Dealer Locator by visiting http://www.mossberg.com/dealers/.
Dick's might not be hurt by this but Field and Stream is going to miss both Springfield and Mossberg. The average Field and Stream store devotes about one-third of its overall space to hunting and shooting. A few more of these announcements and they can kiss the hunting and shooting business goodbye.

Finally, when even a low-end producer like Hi-Point wants nothing to do with you, it says you suck and big time.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Ollie North To Be New NRA President


An alternative headline might be "The Triumph of the Staff".

While I think Ollie North is an OK guy and a believer in the Second Amendment, I just don't think he is the right person to be the next president of the National Rifle Association. In the release below he is being compared to Charlton Heston. In other words he will be a figurehead. What the NRA needs is not a figurehead but an effective leader in the corporate chairman of the board mold who will hold the hired staff - Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox - accountable. An effective president (or chairman of the board) would have slapped Wayne and Chris down when they sandbagged the board by suggesting regulation of bump fire stocks without consulting the board.

My second objection is North's age. He is 74 years old. I'm sure he is a very vigorous 74 years old but it reinforces the notion that the NRA is old, white, conservative, and bit out of touch. That's not the truth of many of the members but appearances matter. As Sebastian notes, "Exciting for whom?"


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Third, I think the gun control industry is jumping up and down with glee over the selection of Ollie North. Even though his convictions for gun running in the Iran-Contra scandal were thrown out, he will still be painted as a gun runner. This doesn't help our cause.

Finally, his attendance record at NRA Board meetings is not stellar. For the eight meetings from January 2015 through May 2017, North only attended three meetings. He had excused absences three times and two unexcused absences. Let's face it, it sucks.

The NRA has been in reactive mode since Parkland. We have lost more than we've gained since then and this is no way to win the war for the Second Amendment. We need to be proactive and I just don't see the elevation of Ollie North to the presidency of the NRA as going in that direction.

I could be wrong. I hope I'm wrong. But the reality that I'm seeing on the ground right now seems to be saying I'm not wrong.

The full announcement of the North selection:
DALLAS – Lt. Colonel Oliver North, USMC (Ret.) will become President of the National Rifle Association of America within a few weeks, a process the NRA Board of Directors initiated this morning.

“This is the most exciting news for our members since Charlton Heston became President of our Association,” said NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre. “Oliver North is a legendary warrior for American freedom, a gifted communicator and skilled leader. In these times, I can think of no one better suited to serve as our President.”

North said he was eager to take on this new role as soon as his business affairs were put in order. North is retiring from Fox News, effective immediately. “I am honored to have been selected by the NRA Board to soon serve as this great organization’s President,” North said. “I appreciate the board initiating a process that affords me a few weeks to set my affairs in order, and I am eager to hit the ground running as the new NRA President.”

The NRA Board acted quickly to begin the process for North to become President, after former NRA President Pete Brownell announced this morning that, in order to devote his full time and energy to his family business, he had decided not to seek election to a second term. In his letter to the Board, Brownell wholeheartedly endorsed North for President.

“Discussing this with Wayne LaPierre,” Brownell said in the letter, “he suggested we reach out to a warrior amongst our board members, Lt. Colonel Oliver North, to succeed me. Wayne and I feel that in these extraordinary times, a leader with his history as a communicator and resolute defender of the Second Amendment is precisely what the NRA needs. After consulting with NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox, First Vice President Childress and Second Vice President Meadows, I can report there is extraordinary support for Lt. Colonel North.”

“Pete has served the NRA with great courage and distinction,” LaPierre said. “I am grateful that he joined me in enthusiastically recommending Oliver North to the Board of Directors.”

After the announcement, NRA First Vice President Richard Childress informed the board that he had multiple commitments in the next several weeks and was unable to be immediately available to serve as interim President. The Board then selected Second Vice President Carolyn Meadows to serve as its interim President. Meadows will step aside in a few weeks, when Lt. Colonel North is prepared to take on his new role as NRA President.

LaPierre congratulated the NRA Board for its action. “The board acted quickly and with great vision,” LaPierre said. “Oliver North is, hands down, the absolute best choice to lead our NRA Board, to fully engage with our members, and to unflinchingly stand and fight for the great freedoms he has defended his entire life.”

“Oliver North is a true hero and warrior for freedom,” LaPierre said, “and NRA members are proud to stand with him.”