Saturday, January 20, 2018

ATF Or AEF? Trump Budget Proposes A Realignment Of Agency


"Senior administration officials" have told the New York Times that the Trump Administration plans to strip out the tobacco and alcohol enforcement roles from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. These functions would be returned to the Treasury Department as BATFE has ignored cigarette smuggling and bootlegging in favor "fighting violent crime".
Under the Trump administration’s plan, the Treasury Department would inherit the authority to investigate tobacco and alcohol smuggling. The A.T.F. would need a new name. One possibility: the Bureau of Arson, Explosives and Firearms, or A.E.F.

The move would resolve a bureaucratic split that has existed for years. Treasury collects the taxes on cigarettes and liquor, but A.T.F. investigates efforts to evade those taxes.

The change is included in a draft of President Trump’s coming budget proposal, according to two senior administration officials. The plan envisions hiring roughly two dozen Treasury agents, plus auditors and support staff, the officials said. Congress would have to pass a law to reorganize the agencies.

The officials who discussed the proposal did so on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it in draft form. Though budget plans can change, the officials said the A.T.F. language has remained in place through multiple revisions.
Spokespersons for BATFE and the Treasury Department did not respond to requests for comments.

A quick check of CleanUpATF.org shows no comments on the proposed change.

I'm sure this proposal will be the source of some speculation at this coming week's SHOT Show. If I pick up anything juicy or earth-shattering, I'll share it here as an update.


H/T Stephen Wenger's DUF list

SHOT Show 2018






The Complementary Spouse and I leave in the morning for the 2018 SHOT Show. My coverage of the SHOT Show will be a bit different this year. I am (gasp!) going to try to put together a video for each day based upon what I've seen and who I've spoken with. I am a rank amateur at video but Adobe Premiere Elements seems easy enough for me to use. The videos will be posted here and on YouTube.

If there is something in particular that you would like either myself or the Complementary Spouse to check out, we'll try. It's a huge event and I know we can't see everything. The Complementary Spouse mentioned reading this morning that if one tried to hit each and every booth they would only have less than a minute to see it.

You can either leave a message here or alternatively at jpr9954 AT gmail DOT com. I'm thinking the latter may be better as I'll be checking it more often.

A guide to the exhibitors can be found here. Likewise, the list of exhibitors at Industry Day at the Range is found here. The SHOT Show has a free app available for both the IPhone and Android users which is quite helpful.

"The Enemy Within" Is Not Adam Kraut


In a recent commentary published at Ammoland.com, former NRA President Marion Hammer released her list of endorsements. Missing from that list were people like Julie Golob, Tim Knight, and, her obvious target, Adam Kraut. She alleged that those who were nominated by petition, that is the real grassroots, were somehow tainted or less worthy than those nominated by the exalted Nominating Committee.
However, some of the candidates on this year’s ballot were not nominated by the Nominating Committee, but rather they placed themselves on the ballot by collecting petition signatures. Petition signers had no way of knowing the real motives or qualifications of these petitioners.
As someone who signed the petitions of both Adam Kraut and Tim Knight and as someone who actually got off my ass and gathered signatures for Adam Kraut, I take great offense at her comment. I have met both Tim and Adam, I knew their qualifications, and I support them. I am most definitely a fan of Adam's proposed bylaw changes regarding board attendance and the Nominating Committee.

Ms. Hammer also cast aspersions on those in 1997 who stood up and demanded accountability from hired staff of the NRA. Jeff Knox whom I greatly respect has a very good rebuttal to that rewriting of history.

Adam Kraut, who was the primary target of Ms. Hammer's screed, has made a video rebuttal that is worth your time watching.





I have made my feelings known in the past about the celebrities and old hacks on the Board of Directors of the NRA. The world has changed and so has the gun culture. Frankly, most of the Board wouldn't recognize Gun Culture v2.0 if it bit them on the ass. That is a recipe for disaster and it is one that people like Adam are challenging. He has my support. I'm unsure whether I'll "bullet vote" Adam or add a couple of more people to my list. You can be damn sure I'm not voting for anyone of Marion Hammer's list. While some are good, there are a lot of old hacks and celebs on it.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Nighthawk Custom Agent 2


Nighthawk Custom of Berryville, Arkansas released another new 1911 pistol in anticipation of the SHOT Show. They will have it on display at SHOT and will start taking orders in early February. The Agent 2 is not cheap. The MSRP is $4495.




Here is a view of the left side where you can see the sights are made by Heinie if you look closely.




You can find more details on the Agent 2 and read the specifications at this link.

The First Bloomberg Professor Is No Surprise


Daniel Webster is a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University. He is also the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Anyone who follows "gun violence" (sic) or "gun safety" research should have run across his research. It would not be an exaggeration to say his research is slanted against most of what my readers believe in.

Thus, it is not much of a shock to see he has been named the very first Bloomberg Professor of American Health. This is an endowed professorship funded by one of Michael Bloomberg's charities called the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. For those that aren't up on academia, an endowed professorship is considered an honor, it carries great prestige, and it comes with money in terms of salary, extra research monies, and often a dedicated assistant.

The following comment from his benefactor more or less sums up what to expect in the way of "research" from Webster.
“No other developed country in the world has even close to the rate of gun deaths we have in the U.S., and we can’t accept that,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City. “This new position will support the great work Dr. Webster is leading on gun violence and help build evidence for smart policies that can prevent more needless deaths.”
Johns Hopkins University's school of public health is also named after Mayor Bloomberg.

 You can read the full press release here.

After reading this and being aware of Webster's work, all I can think of is the title of the famous short story by Stephen Vincent Benet - The Devil and Daniel Webster. Unlike farmer Jebez Stone in the story, in this case it is Webster himself who has sold his soul or so it would seem.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

GRNC Reminds Us What Could Have Been


North Carolina is under a declared state of emergency due to snow, ice, and extreme cold. I know those living in the upper Midwest are probably scratching their heads over this but remember North Carolina doesn't have the infrastructure - plows, etc. - to deal with this as a regular occurrence.

I bring this up as a reminder that before McDonald v. Chicago brought Second Amendment rights to the states it was state law in NC that no one could be armed outside the home during a state of emergency. Moreover, firearm and alcohol sales were also suspended. The win in the case of Bateman v. Perdue changed this as the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina found this to be unconstitutional. Thanks needs to go to Grass Roots North Carolina, the Second Amendment Foundation, and attorney Alan Gura for bringing the case. It was the first case filed after the win in the McDonald case. If you search this blog using "Bateman" or "emergency", you will find numerous blog posts about the case.

Grass Roots North Carolina sent out a reminder yesterday about the win in Bateman yesterday.


'STATE OF EMERGENCY' &
YOUR
 RIGHTS


Thanks to GRNC: Your Gun Rights are Recognized and Protected During this Snowstorm. . . 

Due to winter weather, on Tuesday, Jaunary 16th, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a “state of emergency.” What does that mean to you today, and what could it have meant? Find out below. 

As you may recall, Grass Roots North Carolina was a plaintiff in Bateman v. Perdue, when we sued Governor Beverly Perdue over the State of Emergency gun ban, a ban on law-abiding citizens carrying guns during a declared state of emergency.

GRNC argued that the ban constituted an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment. We did so after the town of King, NC posted the entire town against firearms in advance of a pending snowstorm, and after Gov. Perdue declared a statewide State of Emergency, in response to an advancing hurricane, on the opening day of dove season, making criminals of thousands of dove hunters. GRNC and other plaintiffs won the lawsuit, and the law was struck down as unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

Like Our Work?
Thanks to the GRNC, and gun owners like you who support GRNC, law-abiding North Carolina gun-carriers have not been rendered criminals today just because a little snow fell.

So . . . rest easy, and enjoy your hot chocolate! And if you care to contribute to our all-volunteer organization so we can continue to protect and expand gun laws in our state, please 
(or go to: https://www.grnc.org/join-grnc/contribute

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Did They Really Have To Tell You This?


I'm reading over the list of items that are prohibited in your luggage when flying. I was trying to decide whether my camera batteries needed to be in my carry-on or checked luggage. In the category of things I learned while looking for something else come this from the TSA.

Can you believe that? Hand grenades are banned on planes even if they are in your checked luggage. They also listed dynamite as being banned. No word on C-4 or Claymore mines but I'm assuming they are a no go as well.

What Can I Bring?



Planning ahead and packing properly can facilitate the screening process and ease your travel experience at the airport. Know what you can pack in your carry-on and checked baggage before arriving at the airport by reviewing the lists below. Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. Read about civil penalties for prohibited items.
For items not listed here, simply snap a picture or send a question to AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter. We look forward to answering your questions, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends/holidays.

The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.


Flammables 


Hand Grenades



  • Carry On Bags: No
  • Checked Bags: No




Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Queen Cutlery Closes Its Doors


Queen Cutlery, maker of fine pocket knives, announced last week that they would be closing their door and furloughing their employees.

From their Facebook page:
Kenneth Daniels CEO and President of Queen Cutlery has announced effective January 10, 2018, that due to issues with cash flow, Queen Cutlery Company has been forced to cease all production and close it's Titusville Pennsylvania facility, and furlough it's employees while it goes through a period of reorganization.
KnifeNews.com wrote on the closure:
It is unclear whether or not the closing will be a permanent one. But either way, it marks the end of 507 Chestnut Street’s run as the longest continually operating knife factory in the United States. Schatt & Morgan first opened the plant in 1902. It was then purchased by Queen in 1933. In the early seventies, Queen itself was bought by the Servotronics corporation and subsequently acquired by Kenneth Daniels in 2012.

In recent years Queen has produced knives under its own label, as well as Tuna Valley Cutlery and Schatt & Morgan, and for Northwoods Knives. One of their most recent projects was a series of old-style automatic knives, which they kicked off with the John Henry model last year under the Schatt & Morgan label. Like other traditional slipjoint manufactures, Queen knives enjoyed an avid fan base. Ryan Daniels told us last year that about 80% of their business came from dedicated collectors.
Queen Cutlery had been in business for 90 years. They are not the first traditional pocket knife maker to close in recent years. Canal Street Cutlery closed its doors back in 2015.

As a collector and user of traditional slip-joint pocket knives, I find this very sad. I have a number of Queen, Canal Street, and Schatt and Morgan knives. I never really got into collecting Case knives though I have a few. Beside Case, this leaves Great Eastern Cutlery as the remaining major US manufacturer of traditional pocket knives.

I'd suggest now is the time to start scouring stores and online if you want any of the Queen or Schatt and Morgan line.

UPDATE: There is a long thread about the Queen Cutlery closure on BladeForums.com. The gist of it is that quality was down, prices were up, customer service was poor, and their best cutlers had left to go to Great Eastern Cutlery which is also in Titusville, PA. Read the thread and make up your own mind as to what was behind the demise of Queen.