Friday, February 27, 2015

Her Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

Shannon Watts is an out and out hypocrite. She posted the tweet below yesterday. It links to a story arguing against concealed carry by legal concealed carry holders on college and university campuses. It is obviously her position and that of her organization.

I don't believe in visiting the sins of the parents upon the child. I won't name Mrs. Watts older daughter nor will I say which university she attends. However, I will say that the university at which Mrs. Watts' daughter attends has legal concealed carry on campus and has had it for a number of years. This is information that I gleaned from social media postings by the daughter. I believe it to be both accurate and relevant.

Thus, while Mrs. Watts' daughter attends a university where young women that are age 21 or older and have a concealed carry license are able to protect themselves from thugs, criminals, and rapists, she does not want your daughters (or for that matter, your sons) to have that same privilege.

That is the height of hypocrisy.

UPDATE: Students for Concealed Carry on Campus have called Shannon Watts out on this as well. Since one of the state's she bemoans a push for carry on campus is Colorado, they ask whether she is dishonest or oblivious given the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling that public universities cannot ban carry on campus.

The Ruger Red Label Is No More

The Ruger Red Label was Ruger's entry into the shotgun market. While they had limited runs of a side-by-side and a single barrel trap gun, the over-under Red Label was their shotgun. It was introduced originally in 1977 and was chambered in 12 and 20 gauges. A 28 gauge was introduced in 1994. The original receiver was blued steel which was replaced by a stainless receiver for 12 gauges in 1985. Over the years a number of stock styles, barrel lengths, and choke variations were introduced as well as special models.

The Red Label faded away in 2011 only to be reintroduced last year. I remember speaking with a representative from Ruger - it may have actually been Mike Fifer - about the reintroduction of the Red Label at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. He said it had been reengineered to give it simpler internal workings and to make the cost of production affordable for Ruger. This review in the American Rifleman speaks to those changes as well as the gun's history.

Ruger held its quarterly earnings call with stock analysts yesterday morning. The call was to review both the 4th quarter 2014 results and the full year results. Towards the end of the call in a discussion of products, Brian Gary Rafn of Morgan Dempsey Capital Management, LLC asked if there was any news on the shotgun line.

Mike Fifer responded:

I'm not sure whether we've announced it or not, but we have removed the Red Label from our catalog and website. We relaunched it last year with the hopes and expectations that we could hit a certain cost target, and we were never able to successfully get the manufacturing processes under control. And so we have, in fact, discontinued the Red Label.
Checking the website, Fifer is correct. The Ruger Red Label is gone.

I will admit to being saddened by this for nostalgic reasons. We bought one in 20 gauge for my late wife Rosanne back in 1981 which we later sold to pay some bill or another. A few years after her death I again bought a used 20 gauge. I had intended to do some grouse hunting which I never seem to have gotten around to. Nonetheless, it is a nice little shotgun. Mine is a little rough from wear but it is still a good working shotgun and I intend to keep it for many more years.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It Only Took Six Years To Come To This Bad Conclusion

The CalGuns Foundation filed its challenge to the state of California's handgun roster on April 30, 2009 in the case of Pena et al v. Lindley. Today US District Court Judge Kimberly Jo Mueller finally rendered a decision in the case. It has only been five years and ten months.

And after all that time you would think that she would get it right. However, when the decision is rendered by a judge appointed by Barack Obama, you get the clue that she wouldn't. And she didn't.

She found for the state of California and upheld the handgun roster. She went on to say the Second Amendment was not even implicated by the roster. So what if you can't get any new guns or that law enforcement officers and new residents who bring their guns are treated differently than existing residents.

The CalGuns Foundation has already said that they will appeal this ruling. They released this statement:
“We are disappointed that the district court sidestepped a clear violation of Second Amendment civil rights in its decision today. However, we are absolutely committed to litigating this case as far as necessary to reverse this incorrect ruling and restore the right to keep and bear modern handguns in the Golden State.

It is difficult to understand how the Supreme Court’s landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision could be so badly mis-applied. Laws that ban law-abiding people from acquiring virtually all modern handguns following a rigorous background check have no constitutional basis and must be overturned.

It is utterly preposterous that a Federal Court would rule that a ban on all new semi-automatic handguns does not burden Second Amendment rights. Such a decision conflicts with Ninth Circuit precedent, much less the Supreme Court’s holdings in Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.

Our counsel have already appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and will take every action necessary to create a successful outcome there.”
I hope to have more on this ruling after I've read the whole decision as well as on Judge Mueller and her social justice warrior background.

If These Guns Could Talk - The Elmer Keith Collection (Updated)

James D. Julia, Inc. is an auction house in Maine that deals in high end collections including firearms. On March 15th and 16th, they will be auctioning the firearms of the legendary Elmer Keith. These guns come from the Elmer Keith Estate.

Here are some of the firearms that will be in the auction.

This is the W. J. Jeffrey & Co. double rifle in .450/400 Nitro Express that Jim Corbett used to kill so many man-eating tigers in India including the Thak Man-Eater tigress.

Then there is Elmer's favorite elephant gun which he used on safari in Tanzania in 1969. It is a Westley Richards Droplock .476 Nitro Express double rifle.

One of Elmer's favorite cartridges was the .333 OKH (O'Neil Keith Hopkins) which he helped develop. Below is a FN Mauser chambered in it that he used on his first safari.

As any student of firearms history should know, Elmer Keith wasn't just about rifles. He helped in the development of the .357 Magnum, the .44 Magnum, and the .41 Magnum. What can you say about him after that! Below are some of his revolvers.

In .357 Magnum, a Smith & Wesson Registered Magnum:

In .41 Magnum, a pair of Model 57 Smith & Wessons given to Elmer by the company in recognition of his work in developing the caliber:

And then there is the .44 Magnum which will forever be associated with Elmer Keith. First is a pre-Model 29 engraved revolver that was presented to Elmer by S&W President Carl Helstrom. The second is Elmer's personal carry Model 29 along with its holster. You can see the holster wear on the barrel of the revolver. I'm sure that revolver could tell stories!

Elmer Keith also liked his Colt Single Action Army revolvers. Below is what he called "The Last Word in Sixguns".

Some of the Elmer Keith Estate's more utilitarian firearms will be also up at auction. These will auctioned by Poulin Antiques of Skowhegan, Maine which is just up the road from James D. Julia, Inc. This auction will take place on March 11th through 14th. Unfortunately, they don't have many pictures up yet.

All the firearms from both auctions have remained in the possession of the Keith family since Elmer's death in 1984. As I said in the headline, if these guns could talk what stories they would tell. They might even be as fantastic as the tales that Elmer could tell.

UPDATE:  The full auction catalog of the Elmer Keith Estate firearms along with the others for auction is now online. Day One is here and Day Two can be found here. Many of these firearms are museum quality pieces. I hope the NRA can partake in this auction as many of these guns belong in their museum.

One Step Down, One To Go For Emily Miller

Emily Miller became the 15th person to be preliminarily approved for a carry permit in the District of Columbia. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier approved Emily's carry permit subject to her successfully completing an 18 hour approved training course training course within 45 days. Emily says she fully intends to complete the process but won't say when or where she will actually carry.

Emily reported on this yesterday on DC's Fox 5 News. Her permit was approved based upon her two police reports involving threats. Chief Lanier dismissed her other documented threat as being too general in nature.


Emily was also on Fox and Friends this morning discussing the carry permit.

Congratulations to Emily on this. If I had to guess, Chief Lanier considered not only the documented threats but the uproar that Emily could have generated if she wasn't given a permit. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy Emily got her permit but I have this gut feeling that your average person's application would not have been given the same consideration.

I'm sure the ne'er do wells at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) will want to start another petition to get Emily fired from her job as an investigative reporter at Fox 5. In the meantime, that wailing and gnashing of teeth in DC just might be coming from them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Finally, Someone Acted Like An Adult In New Jersey

The prosecution of Gordan Van Gilder for possession of an antique flintlock pistol was a travesty from the start. This was compounded when Cumberland County (NJ) Sheriff Robert Austino tried to smear the retired school teacher by saying he was arrested in a "known drug area" while trying to buy drugs.

Fortunately, this afternoon Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae showed some sense and used her prosecutorial discretion to dismiss the case.

I don't think we would have seen this happen without the pressure brought to bear based upon the peculiar circumstances of this case. It was ridiculous from the start and the Prosecutor's Office knew it. They were the ones left to clean up the mess left by New Jersey law enforcement.

Now it is time as some New Jersey legislators have suggested to clean up the law. While I would love to see the entire law scrapped, I know that isn't going to happen. At best, the definition of a firearm will be brought in line with that of the Federal law and pre-1898 firearms will be excluded.

A French View Of The SHOT Show

I stumbled across a report on the recent SHOT Show this evening in a rather interesting and unusual spot:  the official government website of France's Ministère de la Défense. It doesn't surprise me that the French military sent representatives to the SHOT Show. It does surprise me a bit that they'd report on it on their official website given that France is rather parochial about their military arms.

From the intro:

Le salon américain SHOT SHOW 2015, considéré comme la référence dans le domaine des armes de petit calibre, s'est déroulé au SANDS EXPO de Las Vegas. Cette édition a permis d’observer un grand nombre de nouveautés et toujours plus d’innovations. Outre la présence naturelle et obligatoire des plus grands fabricants américains (Remington, Colt Firearms, Ruger, KAC, Mossberg, Smith & Wesson, LMT, LWRC, Troy, Barrett, DSA...), le salon affirme son caractère international au travers de pays comme l’Allemagne, la Grande Bretagne, la Suisse, la Belgique, le Canada, la Turquie, l’Italie, la Pologne, la Bulgarie, la République Tchèque, la Russie, la Serbie, l’Afrique du Sud, les EAU ou encore les Philippines. Il faut noter cette année que la firme SIG SAUER a permis d’observer un grand nombre de matériels en démonstration dynamique.
Given I haven't taken French since grammar school, I had to rely upon Google Translate to do the translation.
The American lounge SHOT SHOW 2015, considered the benchmark in the field of small arms, took place at SANDS EXPO Las Vegas. This edition has allowed to observe a large number of new and ever more innovation. Besides the natural and obligatory presence of the largest US manufacturers (Remington, Colt Firearms, Ruger, KAC, Mossberg, Smith & Wesson, LMT, LWRC, Troy, Barrett, DSA ...), the show confirms its international character through countries such as Germany, Britain, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Turkey, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, UAE or the Philippines. It should be noted this year that the firm SIG SAUER allowed to observe a large number of hardware dynamic demonstration.
Scrolling through the article and looking at the pictures it is interesting to see what caught their reporter's eye. I'm not surprised to see the Sig MCX SBR, the FNS 9 Compact, or the HK VP9 covered. I'm not even surprised to see the less than lethal munitions covered or interest in the .300 Blackout cartridge.

What did surprise me were pictures of the Serbu Shorty 12 ga. shotgun and the Coonan 1911 Compact in .357 Magnum. I guess they were considered just odd enough to catch the eye of the French. I shouldn't forget that the French Army is equipped with the FAMAS as their main rifle.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Twenty-One Days Left To Make Your Voice Heard On Ammo Ban

The March 16th deadline to submit comments to the BATFE regarding their proposed framework for classification of ammunition is in 22 21 days. While they may accept comments for review after that day, they are not obligated to consider it.

Jim Shepherd notes in The Shooting Wire this morning:
This weekend, we received word that apparently many gun owners didn't find this to be a compelling reason to record their objections with the federal government. With only a few days remaining in the ATF's solicitation of comments, fewer than 6,000 shooters have registered their displeasure with the proposal.

That, as one of my least-favorite instructors used to say, is simply unacceptable. So, too, is the ATF's description of criminals as one of the "consumer groups" that is a prime consumer of the ammunition they seek to ban. Since we've rolled out the answers to those ridiculous claims before, I won't keep beating up on that straw argument. Criminals still don't care about the rules; it's why their called "criminals".
There is a concept that I learned in Economics 101. It is called satisficing. Rather than to seek the best, the optimum, the perfect, the most advantageous, it is often better for our purposes to accept a solution that at least minimally meets our needs. In other words, it ain't perfect but it's something and something is good enough.

In this case, while each of us is trying to find the time to craft the perfect response to the BATFE, time to respond is running out. I would make the suggestion that it is better to get some opposition down on record with BATFE now than to miss by a few days the deadline while you are crafting the perfect response.

To make it easy for us, a number of organizations have set up sites with auto-generated letters to send a copy to the BATFE and to each of your Congressional representatives. I've taken advantage of these sites and I would say you should, too.

Here is a list with links of sites that I've used:

We Will Not Back Down set up by the Trop Gun Shop in Pennsylvania. I found out about this page while watching Cam & Co. on the Sportsman's Channel on Friday.

National Shooting Sports Foundation's Take Action Page on M855.

Gun Owners of America's page which sends a message to your Senators regarding the M855 ban. They urge a defunding of the effort as well as a hold on Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch.

The NRA-ILA's Take Action page will send the comment to BATFE, your Congressional representatives, the White House, and for some odd reason, good old grabby hands himself Joe Biden.

Are these the ideal way to submit a comment? No but they will satisfice and will get your views on record with the BATFE which is critical.

UPDATE: Here are a couple of more sites that send comments to BATFE with pre-written letters.

First, the Firearms Policy Coalition has set up They will deliver your letter to BATFE for you. Their goal, according to Brandon Combs, is 100,000 letters.

Second, is this one reports that they have 24,000 letters signed and queued up for delivery. Go to Save M855 to send another one.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Some Good Advice From Jerry Miculek

Mixing in a little humor with some good research, Jerry Miculek addresses the whole SS109/M855 issue. He contrasts true armor piercing projectiles such as a WWII M1 Garand .30 caliber black tip AP round with the M855 Green Tip. There is quite a difference to say the least.

Jerry notes that the intent of the M855 was advanced penetration and not armor piercing. He urges his viewers to do their research and then contact the BATFE to submit a comment. Having read the "ATF Framework" line by line this morning, I think there is a lot that can be challenged in it. If they intend to go forward with this, it will end up in court given the BATFE's selective reading of legislative history combined with a legal analysis intentionally favorable to what they want to do.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Good For Kenn

Kenn Blanchard is a Marine veteran, a patriot, a gun guy, and, most importantly, a friend. That is why I was excited for him when I read the press release below sent out announcing a sponsorship by American Built Arms of his forthcoming radio show. Kenn was one of the first podcasters I started following when I first got an iPod. Back then, he was "the black man with a gun" on the "Urban Shooter Podcast". That morphed into the "Black Man with a Gun Podcast".

According to the release, Kenn is transitioning from podcasting to live radio with a show called Blanchard Outdoors. If anyone can make that transition, it would be Kenn. He's that good and I'm really excited for him. I'm glad to see that show archives will be available for download as podcasts. I sure wouldn't want to miss out.

From the release:
American Built Arms Company, a veteran-owned, built in the U.S.A., manufacturer of firearms and firearms parts and accessories, has partnered with Kenn Blanchard and his new live radio show Blanchard Outdoors.
“We love that Kenn brings years of experience to the outdoor and firearm’s industry and that he wants to bring the joy of the outdoor lifestyle to those who might not have experienced it before. We think this is a great cause and we wanted to help him make it happen,” said Adam Edelman, Co-owner of American Built Arms.
Kenn Blanchard is known for his popular podcast “Black Man with a Gun,” which has been downloaded over 1.3 million times. With Blanchard Outdoors, Blanchard looks to transition from podcast to broadcast. Blanchard wants to use this opportunity to share his love of the outdoors with others and help get people out of the confines of cities and into the wide-open spaces the outdoors provide. The show will feature several co-hosts and a team of expert hunters, fishermen and outdoorsmen sharing their stories, tips and “how to’s.”
“I wanted to be associated with American Built Arms.  I was overjoyed when they agreed to partner with me to launch my new radio show, Blanchard Outdoors.  I really connected with them when we first met. The guys at American Built Arms are cool, innovative and dynamic. They can make almost any firearm related thing you can imagine. I’m grateful that they are making my dream of broadcasting my own outdoors show a reality,” said Blanchard.
The show will be streamed live on the online radio station WBGR Network. It will also be recorded and listeners can download it as a podcast. The show will launch in March 2015.

Does Senator Avella Think New Yorkers Are Going To Go All Hutu Or Something?

I read the most ridiculous story in the New York Daily News yesterday. New York State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) wants to ban the sale and possession of machetes in New York. The move is in response to a murder in July in which a machete was used as the murder weapon.
The sale of machetes should be outlawed after several recent attacks, a Queens pol said Wednesday.

State Sen. Tony Avella plans to introduce a bill to ban the possession of the scary blades in New York.

“The fact that anyone can easily purchase this potentially lethal tool is just crazy,” he said.

Smaller knives such as switchblades and gravity knives are already banned and listed as deadly weapons under state law, but machetes are considered the same as butcher knives.
Avella's bill, Senate Bill 3199-2015,  would add machetes to the list of deadly weapons. This puts them in the same category as firearms, switchblades, gravity knives, brass knuckles, and the "pilum ballistic knife". He claims in the justification that it will allow those who use a machete as a weapon will be charged appropriately. Does it really make that much difference if a person uses a "deadly weapon" as opposed to a "dangerous weapon" when they commit a crime?

According to the Daily News this legislation would mean mere possession of a machete could land you in prison for a year.

It is obvious that Sen. Avella is a nanny stater playing to the media with this proposal. Given New York State's ethnic diversity I'm a bit surprised that he didn't make reference to Rwanda and the desire to avoid a genocide as machetes were the weapon of choice of the Hutu against the Tutsi. Or, better yet, to give this a New York context, the Sharks versus the Jets a'la West Side Story. Just substitute machete for switchblade.

Machetes are a tool. I have many of them in various forms, shapes, and sizes. My favorite is one that I inherited from my dad. It is a bolo style machete that I think he picked up in the Caribbean during WWII when he served in the Caribbean Defense Command. The sheath is nicely tooled leather with a pistol belt hook attachment.

This bill is a joke just like its sponsor. Both should be consigned to the dustbin of history. Whether that happens or not only time and public disgust will tell.

The Proud Grandfather

I have been battling a cold and have been reluctant to hold Olivia Grace for fear of passing it on to her. However, last night I covered myself in Purell and got to hold her for the first time.

She had just eaten and was taking her post-prandial nap. Her weight of 7.7 lbs doesn't sound too heavy in the abstract but when you hold her she feels quite substantial.

Though you can't see it because of her cap, she has a full head of curly hair. She is and will be a cutie.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Read Before Commenting On The Proposed M855 Ban

David Codrea has a habit of getting the answers to questions that the Justice Department and BATFE would rather not answer. Yesterday he got an answer to why the proposed regulation change regarding removing the exemption of SS109/M855 62 grain 5.56x45 ammunition from the armor piercing banned list was never published in the Federal Register.

BATFE says they are exempt.

Per Denise Brown of ATF Enforcement Programs and Services in this afternoon’s telephone conversation, this will “not actually be a [regulatory] change, more of a policy along those lines.” Brown said the framework document is a notice only, and will therefore not be published in the Federal Register, characterizing the document’s intent as “information gathering” in order to collect technical information, which could affect the Bureau’s final determination.

Brown confirmed ATF’s decision not to publish in the Federal Register is based on the exemption provision in the APA. That states “Except when notice or hearing is required by statute, this subsection does not apply ... to interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice.” Also exempted is “when the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefore in the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.”
Could the Eric Holder's Justice Department and B. Todd Jones' BATFE say "F-you" any louder?

Read the whole column here. I think it gives a critical perspective on their proposed change and will help in formulating your response that is due by March 16th.

I agree with Michael Bane that this is a well thought out and orchestrated assault on gun owners and the Second Amendment. Along with commenting to BATFE, we need to be sending copies of these comments to our Senators and Representatives. I'd also send a copy of David Codrea's column and ask if the BATFE is not subverting the will of Congress. I'd do the latter in a second letter. The more times we can get this before their radar screen, the better.

My Heart Just Got Stolen

My heart just got stolen. The thief is named Olivia Grace Miller.

Her first picture.

Little Miss Olivia Grace was born this morning at 2:19am to my step-daughter Laura. Can you believe that? Born at 2:19 on 2/19. And it was Laura's official due date to boot. Olivia Grace came into this world weighing 7.7 lbs and 20 inches long.

In her daddy's strong arms.

Both mother and baby are doing fine which is a blessing unto itself. Laura was a real trooper. She fought through the pain and delivered Olivia Grace naturally. It wasn't easy but she hung in there. And as she said this morning, no anesthesia bill!

Monday, February 16, 2015

"Without Even Notifying The Police"

You might respect anti-gun politicians a little bit if they brought reason to the debate. However, given the statement below from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in response to the introduction of The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, there is little chance of that happening.
“This bill is a menace to New York and would allow potentially dangerous people from other states to carry concealed weapons in our grocery stores, movie theaters and stadiums, without even notifying the police,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told the Daily News.

“It is a nightmare for our law enforcement officers and the community, and I will fight this legislation tooth and nail.”
Imagine that.

People would actually enter a grocery store without even notifying the police that they are carrying concealed.

The horror.

John Cornyn On His Reciprocity Bill

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced his bipartisan S. 498, The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, on Thursday. It currently has 16 co-sponsors including one of my own senators, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). The text of the bill is not yet available. An identical bill, HR 923, has been introduced into the House by Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN).

I have more hopes for this bill in this session of Congress than in past sessions. First, Sen. Cornyn is the Majority Whip or number two Republican in the Senate. Second, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is a co-sponsor and the bill has to go through his committee. Finally, there is a Republican majority in both houses of Congress. What happens when it hits Obama's desk is another story unless it is merged in with something he desperately wants as was carry in National Parks.

Sen. Cornyn was interviewed by Cam Edwards of NRA News regarding this bill on Friday. Among the points brought out by Cornyn are that the bill is intended to eliminate "gotcha" moments like happened to Shaneen Allen, he thought national reciprocity was analogous to how his Texas driver's license is recognized in all states, and he thought a number of Democrats will support the bill. He was less optimistic about the reception it would get from President Obama. Cornyn did say it was early in the process and that there is a need to build public opinion in support of the bill. He urged people to contact their Senators and Representatives expressing their support for this bill.

GRNC Alert On First Citizens Bank

First Citizens Bank is headquartered in North Carolina and has 570 branches in 18 states. The majority of its branches are in the Carolinas and Virginia. First Citizens, while publicly traded, is still controlled by the Holding family. Frank B. Holding, Jr., CEO of First Citzens, is the grandson of the bank's founder Robert P. Holding. The bank's Vice Chairman and fellow board member, Hope Holding Bryant, is his sister. Their brother-in-law Peter Bristow is the president of the bank.

Rep. George Holding (R-NC), Frank and Hope's cousin, represents the 13th Congressional District of North Carolina. He was A-Rated and Endorsed by the NRA-PVF in the 2014 elections and was ranked 4-stars by the GRNC-PVF. According to his last financial disclosure report filed in 2014, he held stock in First Citizens (NC and SC) valued at more than $500,000 and less than $1 million.

The bank's Board of Directors recently voted to prohibit lawful concealed carry holders from carrying on their premises. As Grass Roots North Carolina notes below in their alert, they did this despite bank robberies being at a 10 year low in North Carolina. Being a non-public entity, they are certainly entitled to do what they want on their own property. However, their customers and potential customers are just as entitled to vote with their feet if they disagree with the board's action. No state in their markets are lacking in other alternatives.

From GRNC:
FCB Risks the Safety of Banking Customers

In a unified show of ignorant disregard for your safety, First Citizens Bank's Board of Directors recently decided to disallow concealed carry at their branches. This puts all law abiding citizens at risk and should convince current and potential customers of First Citizens Bank (FCB) to reconsider patronizing this, or any bank, that puts customers in harm's way.
What problem are they trying to solve with the ban? If it's bank robberies, the N&O reported in this article that bank robberies hit a 10 year low in 2014 of 91 (as of Nov. 30), down from 267 in 2004. The fact that this correlates perfectly with the exponential growth of CCW in NC suggests that CCW is a large part of that fix. Are they trying to fix the non-existent problems they have with CCW permitholders? Where are those reports?
First Citizens Bank has given its customers a false sense of security inside the bank (criminals will not obey a CCW ban) while enhancing the real and present danger that banning concealed carry presents to its patrons outside the branch doors. Criminals know the best place to find people carrying large amounts of cash is in the parking lot of a bank. A concealed weapons ban means customers will be forced to leave their lawfully carried weapon in their car when they walk into, and out of the bank. None of the bank's elaborate security will do anything to protect people outside of the front doors. In addition, the parking lots of First Citizens Bank will also become fertile hunting grounds for criminals looking to steal guns from cars.
Until First Citizens Bank revokes this counterproductive ban it is imperative that its customers and patrons understand the risks of banking at an institution that jeopardizes its customers' safety by banning them from lawfully carrying a gun for self defense.


It is imperative we express our safety concerns to First Citizens Bank
  • Email first Citizens using their contact page
    linked below.  Copy and paste the message provided under 'Deliver this Message'
  • Phone First Citizens Bank and tell them you will not do business with a bank that disregards its customer's safety by banning them from lawfully carrying guns for self defense. Use the phone number provided below.
You can find contact info for FCB on their web site:
No email address is supplied but you can send email from a form on the contact page.

The general customer support number is: 1 (888) 323-4742
FCB Head of Security
Skip Lee

FCB Board of Directors
John M. Alexander, Jr.Victor E. Bell, III
Peter W. BristowHope Holding Bryant
H. Lee Durham, Jr.Daniel L. Heavner
Frank B. Holding, Jr.Robert R. Hoppe
Lucius S. JonesFloyd L. Keels
Robert E. Mason, IVRobert T. Newcomb
James M. Parker


Suggested Subject: Revoke Concealed Carry Weapons Ban

Dear First Citizens Bank,

I am writing to voice my strong objection to your Board of Directors' recent decision to ban lawful concealed carry in the branches of First Citizens Bank. Not only does this create a false sense of security in the branch (criminals will not obey a CCW ban), but customers will have no way of defending themselves in parking lots where criminals await customers they believe are carrying large sums of cash.
Until this policy is fully revoked, I will not risk my safety doing business with First Citizens Bank and will pass my concerns to my friends and family and encourage them do the same.
I will continue to monitor this situation through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Win Some Guns

Aaron at the has released his monthly compilation of contests. It has some interesting guns this month.

In the handgun category, a CZ Scorpion EVO 3 is on the table. I had a chance to handle it at the SHOT Show. Despite it being a PDW without the stock, it still was easy to handle. It cries out for a SIG brace to be used as a shoulder stock but ATF has said that is a no-no.

In the long gun categories, there are also some interesting guns. There is a Beretta ARX 160, an Arsenal ATI STG-44, and a whole slew of ARs including ones from both Daniel Defense and Aero Precision. There are also a couple of Mossberg shotguns on the table.

A Part Of GCA'68 Found Unconstitutional

A Federal judge in Ft. Worthy yesterday said that the ban on the interstate sale of handguns was unconstitutional. By interstate, I mean where the purchaser both buys and takes possession of his or her handgun in a non-resident state. The Gun Control Act of 1968 allowed the interstate sale of long guns but expressly forbid it for handgun. This is a big win for gun rights. It is also a win for Alan Gura as well as the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

From CCRKBA on the win:

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today won a major federal court ruling in a case involving interstate handgun transfers in which the judge applied strict scrutiny to determine whether a ban on such transfers meets constitutional muster.

The case, which was financially supported by the Second Amendment Foundation, is known as Mance v. Holder. It involves plaintiffs residing in the District of Columbia and Texas, and could have far-reaching ramifications, according to CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb.

“Our lawsuit strikes at the heart of a debate that has been ongoing for several years, since the creation of the National Instant Check System (NICS),” Gottlieb said. “With the advent of the NICS system, it makes no sense to perpetuate a ban on interstate transfers of handguns.”

Indeed, in his ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, writes, “(T)he Court finds that the federal interstate handgun transfer ban burdens conduct that falls within the scope of the Second Amendment.”

The judge later added, “By failing to provide specific information to demonstrate the reasonable fit between this ban and illegal sales and lack of notice in light of the Brady Act amendments to the 1968 Gun Control Act, the ban is not substantially related to address safety concerns. Thus, even under intermediate scrutiny, the federal interstate handgun transfer ban is unconstitutional on its face.”

CCRKBA and the individual plaintiffs are represented by Virginia attorney Alan Gura and Texas attorney William B. “Bill” Mateja of Fish & Richardson in Dallas.

“It is bizarre and irrational to destroy the national market for an item that Americans have a fundamental right to purchase,” Gura observed. “Americans would never tolerate a ban on the interstate sale of books or contraceptives. And Americans are free to buy rifles and shotguns outside their state of residence, so long as the dealers respect the laws of the buyer’s home state. We’re gratified that the Court agreed that handguns should be treated no differently.”

From Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned:
I’m sure it will take a while for FFLs to get updated on this, but unless the government appeals the ruling, and the decision is stayed or reversed, the 11th of February will go down as the day we won Interstate sales of handguns through FFLs. This is a great win for us, and one which I would like to congratulate and thank Mr. Gura and his plaintiffs.
Sebastian has more on the case here.

Attorney Dave Hardy at Arms and the Law has this to say about the reach of the ruling:
UPDATE: it's not clear to me how the ruling applies geographically. Clearly it applies in the Northern District of Texas. But it orders the Attorney General (any by extension anyone working under him) to stop enforcing the requirement, so may apply anywhere: if he enforced it in Maine or in Washington, he'd have violated the injunction, and could be held in contempt by the Texas court. Citizens' Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was an organizational plaintiff (the court cites to it without the first word in its name), suing on behalf of its members, so the ruling would protect, at the very least, its members.
The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, Fredric Russell Mance, Jr aka Rick Mance is a fellow gun blogger and blogs at Traction Control. His response is summed up in his headline: Heh. He also has links to other posts about the decision.

I have not had a chance to read the full decision yet as I was podcasting last night. I hope to have another post up after I read through the decision. In the meantime, you can find the opinion and order from US District Court Judge Reed O'Connor here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

ATK, Formerly Alliant Techsystems, Is No More

ATK, or Alliant Techsystems as it was formerly known, is no more. In its place are two new companies: Orbital ATK and Vista Outdoor. When ATK merged with Orbital Sciences Corporation, the sporting group  of ATK was spun off into Vista Outdoor while the defense contracting component remained in the new combined organization at the close of business yesterday.

If the first day of trading is any indication, shareholders have placed their bets with the sporting group or Vista Outdoor (VSTO). It was up $1.91 at the close while Orbital ATK (OA) was down $1.90.

Vista Outdoor stable of brands includes everything from Federal Premium and Savage Arms to Bolle and Serengetti sunglasses. For reloaders it includes well-known names such as RCBS, CCI, Alliant Powder, Speer Bullets, and Federal. 

Mark DeYoung, former CEO of ATK, cast his lot with Vista Outdoor instead of the defense component. The new company is headquartered in Clearfield, Utah which is halfway between Salt Lake City and Ogden. Vista Outdoor has 5,800 employees.

They released this video profiling Vista Outdoors yesterday.

The Firearms Policy Coalition Adds Alan Normandy To Its Board

The Firearms Policy Coalition added Alan Normandy to it Board of Directors yesterday. Mr. Normandy is the CEO of Battle Comp Enterprises and is, in addition, a retired law enforcement officer.

From the release:
Firearms Policy Coalition announced today that E. Alan Normandy has been elected to its board of directors.

In addition to being the founder and CEO of Battle Comp Enterprises, a company that designs and produces firearm components for military, law enforcement, and civilian shooters, Normandy is a retired police lieutenant and 29-year police force veteran. He also serves as a firearms instructor, gunsmith, court-certified firearms expert, and a consultant for firearms industry manufacturers and the entertainment industry.

“As Firearms Policy Coalition sharpens its focus on improving the methods and outcomes of Second Amendment civil rights advocacy, we welcome Alan Normandy and his leadership to our board,” said Brandon Combs, the group’s chairman and CEO.

Combs continued, “Alan’s vision for the future and deeply-held convictions will have an immediate impact on our organization and our fight to advance the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms. We are simply delighted that Alan is joining our leadership team.”

“I am humbled and honored to have been elected to serve the members and supporters of Firearms Policy Coalition, the public, and our Constitution,” commented Normandy. “It is exciting to join such a committed group of Second Amendment advocates and I look forward to helping FPC defeat gun control wherever it may surface. I’m ready to get to work.”
Battle Comp makes a full line of muzzle breaks and recoil compensators at their plant in Prescott, Arizona.

Remington Makes It Official

Rumors started on Saturday that Remington Outdoor Company was going to fold the Para-USA label into the Remington label.

From the blog of a Raleigh, NC gun store called Carolina Gunrunners which broke the news early:
We have just gotten news that Para will no longer make pistols after the first quarter of 2015. If you currently own a Para 1911 they will continue to honor the warranty. The plan is to focus on one 1911 brand, and that will be the Remington 1911. We will start seeing new Remington 1911’s but they will look more like a Para. The new Remington 1911’s will be available in various sizes from 3 and ½” barreled compacts to full size double stacked frames. The new Remington 1911’s will be announced as they begin to approach manufacturing readiness. Until then, they will not be making any announcements about the change.
Remington had already announced that they were closing the suburban Charlotte facility that housed Para and moving it to their new facility in Huntsville, Alabama.

I think Remington has been telegraphing the end of Para-USA over the last year. You saw a lot of $100 rebates plus amazingly low prices on the Para-USA 1911s. I think this was an effort to clear out inventory before the rebranding. Then at the SHOT Show, I saw Para's pro-shooter Travis Tomasie wearing Remington colors along with Gabby Franco.

Yesterday, Remington Outdoor Company made it official in an amazingly frank press release. They admitted that they botched the Marlin relocation and the introduction of the Remington R51 pistol. I doubt there is anyone out there that would disagree with them on this. That is why my one and only Marlin lever action was built in 1962 and not 2014.

The press release continued:
In 2012, with a goal of expanding its handgun line, ROC acquired Para USA (“Para”), a company that specialized in the production of competition, high capacity, and double action 1911-style pistols. Following Remington’s acquisition, Para, which had been experiencing quality control issues, saw a steep decline in warranty claims.

In 2014, ROC announced its new, world-class firearms center of excellence in Huntsville, Alabama. Here, Remington is integrating product development, engineering, production, and quality control - a first in Remington’s 200-year history. The integration of modern sporting rifles, suppressors, and Remington pistols commenced immediately, and Para is scheduled to move to Huntsville next month.
I remember speaking with a Para USA engineer at the NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis in 2012. This was soon after the Freedom Group acquired Para. He made the point that Remington engineers had started working with Para to tighten up quality and tolerances in their products. He told me that before then they just didn't have access to this level of expertise.

Remington says that they will be keeping their own R1 line of 1911s along with "popular Para products, characteristics, and names such as the 'Warthog'". I take this to mean that you will see a rationalization of the two lines with duplicate products dropped and the best selling of the Para products retained. I do wonder if they will continue with the LDA or light double action line of pistols.That is one of the things that made Para-Ordnance and Para USA distinctive.

I do have one Para 1911 in my collection. It is a Officer-sized model called the CCO with a the LDA trigger. It is from the Para-Ordnance days and is roll-marked "Ft. Lauderdale, FL". It is a fairly accurate pistol but it does have its ammo preferences. I have had no problem feeding it .45 ball but give it any hollow-point ammo and it just stops. I haven't tried it with stuff like CorBon PowRBall but I really don't consider it my carry gun so why bother.

Remington says that they will continue to honor Para's lifetime warranty and continue providing warranty service.

I hope this goes well for both Remington and Para. Remington has a sullied reputation for handguns given the R51 while Para had a reputation for innovation but was plagued by quality issues. Given that the R51 was in actuality made by Para, I guess their quality issues carried forward on that as well. Still, a new plant with new machinery and improved engineering (and proper testing) should put both of these brands back on the road to success. Here's hoping that "should" becomes "will".

There Will Always Be An Exception

Holders of concealed carry permits have been shown to be more law-abiding than law enforcement officers over the years. That hasn't stopped groups like the Violence Policy Center from doing everything in their power to portray permit holders as killers and wild cowboys with itchy trigger fingers.

Just as a bad cop is an exception to the norm, so too is a concealed carry holder that commits murder. Unfortunately, we in North Carolina now have one of those exceptions. A 62-year old man who held a NC Concealed Handgun Permit killed one person, wounded another, and killed the wounded woman's unborn child. He then killed himself. The murder-suicide reportedly stemmed from a business dispute according to local papers.

Sean Sorrentino has much more detail and commentary on the incident. I'd suggest going there to learn more about this story.

All I can say is that it is a sad thing all around but that it is an exceptional one. And being exceptional, it is not reflective on concealed carry holders nor concealed carry in general. Even the Chicago Tribune concedes this point noting that it has been a quiet first year after Illinois finally got shall-issue concealed carry.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Instagram Picture Of The Day

I found this on Instagram today. It comes from Freedom Hill Gear.  If you have small kids or have been around them recently, you know that they love the movie Frozen and know all the lyrics to "Let It Go". It hasn't reached the level of fingernails on a blackboard for me...yet. But for those it has, this picture is for you.

It also works if you need someone to blame for all the snow you are having to shovel.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Well, That Didn't Take Long

When it comes to dancing in the blood of victims and using their tragedy for her own purpose, Shannon Watts has few equals. Like a vulture attracted to carrion, she is attracted to any shooting that she can twist for her own purposes.

Yesterday, in Douglasville, Georgia, a disturbed man shot his ex-wife and children before killing himself. He reportedly killed five including himself and wounded two others. The earliest reports that I can find of this very sad tragedy was about 4:25pm.

So how long did Shannon wait until racing to Twitter to make light of this tragedy in her efforts to push gun control? How about 329 minutes or just under 5 1/2 hours. Blood takes from one to two hours to dry after being exposed to air. Thus, the blood had barely dried before she took to Twitter.

The mom and children killed are just props for Shannon. That's sad, it's pathetic, and it's repugnant. However, that is just par for the course for Shannon Watts, Mike Bloomberg, and the rest of the gun prohibitionists in Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

"How Did You Know? I Listened"

I love this ad. It has just started playing in time for Valentine's Day. When you first hear the music and see the box, you are thinking Kay Jewelers or a chain like that.

Friday, February 6, 2015

When I Use The Term "Booth Babe", This Is What I Think Of

On Monday I did a post about the growing maturity of gun  industry marketers and the absence of booth babes. By the comments, it seems to have been well received by the women of the gun culture.

As I mentioned in the post, the last time I was to the SHOT Show was in 1996 while working for a local knife company. I also mentioned that the company's booth not only featured our knives but the owner's girlfriend. She was actually really a nice person and quite smart. I never really got what she saw in my boss who was an incompetent boor who loved to show her off.

It took some searching but I found a CD-ROM with back issues of Blade Magazine.  I was searching for an advertisement from the now defunct Paragon Cutlery that might feature "Miss Paragon". I was in luck and found the one shown below where they were pushing the X-9 Parabow.

While Kelly didn't wear the outfit shown below, she did wear a skintight minidress with spike heels. Those body-hugging minidresses were not nearly as common then as they seem to be now.

So now you understand what I feared I would see at the SHOT Show. That I didn't was a pleasant surprise.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Do We Really Need A Modern Pepperbox Pistol?

There is an old saying that goes "Just because you can doesn't mean you should." That saying should, in my opinion, be applied to The Reliant from Signal 9 Defense.

What is The Reliant? It is a four-barrel pepperbox-style pistol that weighs 16 ounces and has a 2.63" barrel. The dimension of it are 5.25" long by .94" wide by 4.25" tall. It has a four-shot speedloader that fits into its grip similar to a magazine. It is available in .32 H&R Magnum, .32 ACP, .380, and .38 Special. The trigger pull on The Reliant is 8 lbs. It can come with an integral laser from LaserMax.

Base price on The Reliant is $499 with the red laser being an additional $149. If you want a green laser, that is an additional $299. Extra barrels are available so you can change calibers. These run $175.

If I had to guess, I'd say the designers had the derringer in mind when they developed this. The break-action loading is similar to that of derringers. The change was to add another two barrels.

Signal 9 Defense is positioning The Reliant as a concealed carry gun. They state that it could be used as either a primary or backup weapon by shooters of all experience levels.

Let's look at some alternatives for a small concealed carry pistol. The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, the Springfield XDx 9mm, and the Ruger LC9/LC9s are all single stack pistols that are easily concealable and have 7 (or 8) +1 capacity. Sizewise, they are all as thin, approximately the same height, and just marginally longer. In terms of weight, they range from the LC9s at 17.2 ounces to 23 ounces for the XDs-9. They all have a lighter trigger pull.

I checked the prices on all of the above alternatives using Davidson's Gallery of Guns for my local dealer's price. The M&P Shield was $354 delivered, the XDs Essential was $407 delivered, and the LC9s Pro (which I just ordered) was $333 delivered. All of these prices include North Carolina sales tax.

I just can't understand why you'd want to go with a pepperbox (or 4-shot derringer) when you could get a semi-automatic pistol with double the capacity, that is the same approximate size and weight, has a better trigger pull, reloads easier and quicker, has plenty of holster options, and most likely costs less.

It just doesn't make sense to me nor do I see it's utility.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

DC Sued Again Over Concealed Carry

The District of Columbia was sued today by the Second Amendment Foundation on behalf of two DC residents and one Florida resident who resides in Virginia. The suit challenges DC's "good reason" requirement to be issued a concealed carry permit. Currently, only eight permits have been issued out of 69 applications.

Attorney Alan Gura is representing the plaintiffs in the suit entitled Wrenn et al v. District of Columbia

From SAF's release:
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a federal lawsuit challenging the District of Columbia’s highly restrictive concealed carry permit requirement that applicants provide a “good reason” before such a permit is issued, which violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. SAF is joined by three private citizens, Brian Wrenn and Joshua Akery, both of Washington, D.C., and Tyler Whidby, a Florida resident who also maintains a residence in Virginia. The city and Police Chief Cathy Lanier are named as defendants.

The lawsuit asserts that “individuals cannot be required to prove a ‘good reason’ or ‘other proper reason’ for the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.” All three individual plaintiffs in the case have applied for District carry permits and have been turned down by Lanier because they could not “Demonstrate a good reason to fear injury to person or property.”

“The city’s requirements to obtain a carry permit are so restrictive in nature as to be prohibitive to virtually all applicants,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “It’s rather like a ‘Catch 22,’ in which you can apply all day long, but no reason is sufficiently good enough for Chief Lanier to issue a permit.

“Because of that,” he added, “the city has set the bar so high that it relegates a fundamental civil right to the status of a heavily-regulated government privilege. That is not only wrong, it also does not live up to previous court rulings. Law-abiding citizens who clear background checks and are allowed to have handguns in their homes are being unnecessarily burdened with the additional requirement of proving some special need.

“The last time we checked,” Gottlieb concluded, “we had a Bill of Rights that applied to the entire nation, including the District. It’s not, and never has been, a ‘Bill of Needs’.”

The city is still appealing its earlier loss in Palmer v. D.C., the SAF-sponsored case that struck down the city’s total ban on carrying handguns. The courts have not yet ruled on SAF’s claim that the city’s “may issue” law violates the Palmer injunction.

“We will give the courts every chance to bring Washington, D.C. into constitutional compliance,” said attorney Alan Gura, who represents SAF and the other plaintiffs in both cases.
The complaint can be found here.

Thank You, Julie!

I got linked by Julie Golob!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Not The Blog Post I Intended Before SHOT Show

It was a comment by Grant Cunningham on The Gun Nation podcast that originally inspired me to think about this post. At a previous SHOT Show, he had asked trainer Gila Hayes if she wanted to check out the "Silicone and Aluminum" section. He was referring, of course, to the abundance of booth babes aka gun bunnies in the tactical section.

I had planned to do a post that juxtaposed booth babes with what I considered to be the young, accomplished women of shooting. Now don't get me wrong. I don't object to pretty women in skimpy and revealing clothing. Far from it. However, everything has a time and a place.

I am not a prude but a realist. With the influx of all the new women shooters of all ages I thought companies that resorted to booth babes or gun bunnies to hawk their products were out of touch with the new reality. Women don't mind seeing an attractive woman representing a company. From my conversations with many women at the SHOT Show and elsewhere, they do however object to the skimpily clad booth babe who doesn't know the product and whose attire might have been more appropriate to that other event in Las Vegas the week of SHOT. It turns them off.

With this as the backdrop, I made it a point of trying to get pictures of what I considered accomplished women shooters at the SHOT Show. For example, there is Maggie Reese of Team Colt. She has won multiple 3-Gun events as well as USPSA events. I don't think anyone would deny she is young and attractive.

Maggie Reese of Team Colt
I ran into Annette Wachter, the .30 Cal Gal, at the Devil Dog Arms booth. She is a member of the US Rifle Team, holds multiple national records, has won at Camp Perry, and was a fierce advocate against I-594 in Washington State.

Annette Wachter - 30CalGal
Then there is Julie Golob. Captain of Team Smith & Wesson, US Army Marksmanship Unit, multiple IDPA and USPSA National Championships, first person and only woman to win National Championships in all six USPSA divisions, and the list goes on. Plus being a mom, hunter, and great cook. And that is just the beginning when talking about Julie.

Julie Golob - Captain of Team Smith and Wesson
Finally, I ran into Kim Rhode at the Beretta booth. I was there for a presentation for bloggers when I turned to my left and there was Kim. As for Kim, she is the only American, male or female, to have won a medal in an individual event in five consecutive Olympic games. She has three Gold, one Silver, and one Bronze medal plus she is tied for the Olympic record in skeet with 99 out of 100. This doesn't count her many wins in other international competitions.

Kim Rhode - Olympic Medalist in 5 Olympic Games

My only experience with attending a SHOT Show before this year had been at the 1996 SHOT Show in Dallas. I had been working part-time for a knife company and was given an opportunity to work the booth. The owner of the company used his then-girlfriend as the booth babe. Let's just say she was blonde and enhanced and wearing clothing to show off her assets. Her job was to sit on a stool and look pretty. She didn't know a thing about knives. However, she must have been legendary because when I mentioned to Michael Janich this year what company I worked for, he said, "Ah, Miss Paragon".

As I said in the beginning, I wanted to contrast women like Maggie, Annette, Julie, and Kim with the booth babes or gun bunnies. My only problem is that I honestly didn't see any. I'm sure that there may have been a few. They may have been at booths that I missed. Alternatively, I just wasn't at their booth at the right time. If I had seen them, I would have taken their pictures just like I took the pictures of the women above. Julie Golob told me in an email that she didn't run into any which was a big contrast from her first few SHOT Shows.

If my experience (and that of Julie) mirrors the reality of this year's SHOT Show, then it shows a growing maturity by the industry's marketers. That and a realization that women are an important and growing component of the gun buying public.