Thursday, April 30, 2015

Video: Quick Tips On AR Stocks

Here is a quick tips video from on how to switch out your AR-15 stock. It may seem simple and perhaps even obvious but if you are new to the AR-15 world I think this is useful. I'm glad to see Full30 competing with YouTube in terms of really good firearms-related videos.

The "Big Money" Behind Silencers?

Chicago's ABC 7 I-Team is going to let us know tonight about the "big money" who is behind a move to legalize suppressors in the state of Illinois.

Big money? Bwa-hah-hah. The suppressor industry - with perhaps the exceptions of Remington Outdoors and SigSauer - is made up of a number of small businesses. Some are mom and pop operations while others may have 2-300 employees.

Silencers are a safety item. They do not totally cut out the sound; they merely muffle it to a safer decibel level. Anyone who says differently is just restating myth and legend.

I just had my annual hearing checkup on Monday. I shot some in my younger days without hearing protection, attended some auto and boat races with no hearing protection, and, of course, a few rock concerts. I now suffer constant tinnitis (ringing in the ears) and some hearing loss.

About the only "big money" who would benefit from keeping suppressors banned are the hearing aid manufacturers and I doubt even they would want to build business that way.

Stuff You Do If Your Law School's Placement Rank Is 197 Out Of 201

The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law is not, how shall I say it, the best law school in the world. In terms of ranking, they fell below the US News and World Report cut-off to be ranked. Their 2013 placement rank for full-time, long-term jobs for their graduates was ranked at 197th out of 201. So when you are down here you have to do something.

In an effort to entice their students into getting some pro bono legal experience, they are allowing them to postpone one exam if ... they provide legal assistance to the rioters protesters in Baltimore. Because, you know, cops are bad and burning stores expressing your First Amendment violent outrage concerns is good.

From Dean Shelley Broderick:
Dear Students,

We have been watching the news from Baltimore and know that it is having a profound effect on many in the Law School community. As John Lewis said earlier this week, community/police relations is the civil rights issue of this time. Across this Nation, for nearly a year, the concerns of communities of color about persistent and long standing police abuse, have been reflected in demonstrations and public debate. The energy and commitment of those involved in the movement is inspiring and we want the Law School to be part of it.

The situation in Baltimore is of particular concern. Not only is Baltimore just 30 miles up the road, but many members of our community have roots in the City. It is important that we not ignore what is happening to our neighbors. Several students have come to the Deans with a request that they be permitted to defer an exam so that they can provide legal observer and other assistance to those who have taken to the streets to exercise their First Amendment rights and to address these serious issues.

We would like to support this activism. To that end, if any student wishes to participate in legal support for the demonstrations, we will defer one exam until May 11. To do so, you need to connect with one of the legal assistance organizations, develop a plan for the assistance you intend to provide and get this information to Dean Steward before your exam. If you are having difficulty in identifying a group to work with, please let me know and we can assist you. In addition, because these issues affect everyone at the Law School, we would be pleased to support a student organized teach-in. A community event that brings us together around these issues and promotes mutual support is important during these challenging times.

The police accountability movement needs and will continue to need the best lawyers that we can train. It is our aspiration that you become the future of the legal support for the most important cases of the next generation. It is critical that, while we pay attention to what is going on today, that we not lose sight of the essential role you will play once you pass the bar. We need to invest in you to be prepared to play that role. That is our shared commitment.

Shelley Broderick
Who needs to make up satire when you have self-righteous progressives doing it for you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Ultimate Curio And Relic - If You Have The Cash

What might be considered the ultimate curio and relic will be auctioned off by Christie's on July 9th. This curio and relic is a restored Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk1. It was shot down during the evacuation of Dunkirk and it lay buried in the beach mud of France until 1980.
The legendary fighter aircraft, dubbed the ballerina because of its grace in the skies, was originally piloted by Old Etonian Peter Cazenove during the evacuation of Dunkirk.

He was shot down by a single bullet on May 24 1940, and despite radioing in to say "Tell mother I'll be home for tea!" he crashed down on the Calais coast and was captured.

As he was marched off to a German prisoner of war camp his plane remained buried in the sandy beach for decades.

The proceeds from the auction of this Spitfire will be split between the RAF Benevolent Fund and Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. It is expected to fetch in the neighborhood of  £2.5 million.

You can hear more about the restoration and see this beautiful plane in flight in the second video.

There is no word on whether is still has its .303 Browning machine guns or where you could even get non-working replicas.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Well, This Sheds A New Light On Things

At the end of March, US District Judge Richard Matsch dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Brady Center on behalf of Lonnie and Sandy Phillips who had lost a daughter in the Aurora theater shootings. Judge Matsch also awarded attorneys' fees to the defendants in the case including Lucky Gunner and Sportsman's Guide.

A story at looking at the court filings by aka Lucky Gunner and Sportsman's Guide said the fees being requested totaled approximately $224,000. There has been much speculation on just who will have to pay these attorneys' fees - the grieving family or the Brady Center. Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned said the Brady Center had reached a new low in exploiting victims especially if they left the family holding the bag for the fees.

We discussed this last night on The Polite Society Podcast. I think the consensus was that we felt for the family especially if they were the ones who had to pay the fees on top of the loss of their daughter Jessica Ghawi.

Thanks to an observant reader, my sympathy for the Phillips has ratcheted down several levels. I, of course, will always feel sympathy for them over the loss of their daughter. It is something that no parent should have to go through. That said, take a look at the following screen captures.

The Phillips were not just grieving parents when they brought suit against Lucky Gunner, Sportsman's Guide, and the other defendants. They were paid employees of the Brady Campaign!

You can find the link to Lonnie's LinkedIn page here and the link to the Facebook page announcing Sandy's appearance on Meet The Press here.

While the amended complaint did not seek outright monetary damages, it did ask for "equitable relief", court costs, and "for such other and further relief that this Court might deem appropriate." They also sought an injunction that would have put the defendants out of business until they adopted the Brady Center's business practices. I do wonder if monetary damages had been awarded would they have gone to the Phillips or gone to their employer due to some pre-trial agreement.

H/T Josh

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Two Gun Rights Alienage Wins In North Carolina

The Second Amendment Foundation brought suit on behalf of Felicity Veasey, an Australian citizen, for being denied the right to apply for a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit. She is a permanent legal resident married to a US citizen living in Granville County. The suit sought to enjoin the enforcement of the state requirement that one must be a US citizen to obtain a CHP. The case was started in June 2014.

The ACLU and the Second Amendment Foundation have won a number of lawsuits challenging the denial of gun rights based on alienage. Between the two, they have won cases in Kentucky, South Dakota, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Massachusetts on behalf of permanent legal residents. Discrimination based upon alienage is considered constitutionally suspect and an regulation or law must be examined under strict scrutiny.

Another case was filed in March 2015 on behalf of Kristen Messmer of Wake County, a German citizen who is a permanent legal resident and who also sought a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit. Her attorney was Camden Webb who also served as co-counsel in the Veasey case.

The cases, though not officially joined, were both heard by US District Court Judge Terrence Boyle of the Eastern District of NC. He granted a preliminary injunction in both cases on Thursday and the opinions were released on Friday afternoon. With the exception of the background of the plaintiffs, the wording in the opinions is virtually word for word the same.

After noting that permanent residents have many of the same constitutional rights as US citizens including their Second Amendment rights, Judge Boyle wrote:
No defendant has proffered a strong argument in support of limiting the concealed carry statute to citizens. No defendant objected to plaintiffs' characterization in court that resident aliens are allowed to possess firearms on their premises and are even allowed to carry firearms openly in North Carolina. In fact, the Sheriff stated in court that he agreed with plaintiffs that the law at issue in this case was unconstitutional. In light of other court rulings, the law in North Carolina, and defendants' postures in this case, plaintiffs have demonstrated that they are likely to succeed on the merits.

The Court further finds that in the absence of preliminary injunctive relief, plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm. The deprivation of a constitutional right, even if only briefly, constitutes irreparable harm.
Professor Eugene Volokh has also covered the Messmer case at the Volokh Conspiracy.

The North Carolina General Assembly, if it were smart, would save the state some money and make the necessary corrections to state law. Judge Boyle issued a preliminary injunction and further hearings and filings would be needed for the permanent injunction.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Can You Shoot Better Than A Cop?

With apologies to the TV show "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader" but can you shoot better than a cop?

The answer, in general, is yes. While there are of course exceptions like a Massad Ayoob or a Bruce Piatt the anecdotal evidence such as the shooting of West African immigrant Amadou Diallo says otherwise. In that case, four NYPD officers shot a total of 41 rounds but hit him with less than half.

Police get some firearms training in the police academy and then a minimal amount after that. From what I've read, the national average in 2008 was between 4 and 16 hours annually. That has probably decreased with the rise in the cost of ammo and the tightness of training budgets.

My university email this morning contained a report on a study that takes this from the anecdotal to the scientific. It was in Force Science News No. 280.

The Force Science Institute did a study which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Police Science and Management. The study entitled "The Naive Shooter from a Law Enforcement Perspective: Hit Probability" was based upon testing 247 police academy students and recruits at two police academies and one college with a law enforcement training program. The study broke down the shooters into three classifications: expert, intermediate, and novice. Experts had either finished the academy shooting course or had been trained in the military while intermediates had no formal academy training but had shot before in either recreational settings or had military rifle training. Finally, the novices were just that. Many of them had never even held a gun in their lives.

The volunteers were allowed to pick between Glock 9mm/.40 S&W pistols and Beretta 9mm pistols. They then were told to take three shots on each of nine targets. These targets were staggered at distance ranging from 3 feet to 75 feet (1-25 yards). They were not told where to shoot on the target.

So how did it turn out?
SURPRISING HIT RATES. Generally, the Experts scored the most hits. But the edge they enjoyed often proved, at best, surprisingly narrow. Notably:
  • At most distances, there was "no significant difference" in percentage of hits between Expert and Intermediate groups.
  • Against targets 18 to 45 feet away, Intermediates actually registered a higher hit ratio than academy trained shooters--about 41% vs. 38%.
  • At three to 15 feet, where most officer fatalities occur, Expert shooters hit one of the major-damage zones on the target "with eight out of nine bullets they fired," the researchers found, while Novices hit "with seven of the nine bullets they fired"--a scant advantage for the trained recruits of just a single round.
Considering the high volume of shootings that occur "at such close ranges, officers need to have a better advantage over threatening suspects," Lewinski writes.
  • It was not unusual for Novices to cycle through rounds at a cadence of one quarter to one third of a second per shot.
  • At longer distances, Novice accuracy fell off significantly. But Intermediate shooters, apparently able to adapt their long-gun experience to handgun firing, continued to be "nearly identical" to the fully trained Experts.
In summary, Lewinski writes, "[I]ndividuals who had completed standard law enforcement academy firearms training were not more accurate in their shooting" than those with Intermediate skills and "were only moderately more accurate than individuals who...had little to no handgun experience... It was unexpected that the Novices would be so accurate in comparison....

"These findings underscore that critical importance of officers taking every step necessary to maintain control of their weapon," he continues. "Officers will often shoot at a suspect in an attempt to end their efforts to gain control of the officer's gun and these findings highlight why this is understandable and necessary. The result of a suspect gaining control of an officer's gun--even someone who has little or no experience firing a gun--can be catastrophic."
The authors of the study had two conclusions regarding training that we in the self-defense community will also find useful. First, concentrating firearms training into a short block of time (4-8 hour class) as opposed to over a longer period of time induces a quicker decay of skills in the long term. Training and practice in each of the essential aspects - stance, sight alignment, trigger control, etc - one at a time over a period of 2-4 weeks results in better skill retention. Unfortunately, I don't know of any month long training schools for the average shooter.

The second conclusion, however, has greater relevance and applicability to the self-defense community. Inadequate practice led these students to revert to an "internal attitudinal focus". In other words, they were focused on their grip or their trigger control and not on the target (or external threat). More (good) practice leads to these skills becoming automatic and the shooter will then be able to focus on the target and threat recognition. To me this suggests a lot more dry fire and drawing from concealment practice would be useful.

When the study is published, I will link to the finished article. In the meantime, with some training and more practice I think we can shoot better than cops.

Happy Tax Freedom Day

Today is Tax Freedom Day. This is the day of the day of the year in which we in the United States have earned enough money to pay our collective tax bill. It will vary year to year depending on tax rates across the nation. According to Wikipedia, back in the year 2000 it was May 1st which, when you think about it, was fittingly appropriate. However, in 1900, it was a mere January 22nd.

The Tax Foundation notes that we will spend more on Federal, state, and local taxes that what we will spend on food, clothing, and shelter. They also had these key findings about the 2015 Tax Freedom Day.

  • This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 24, or 114 days into the year.
  • Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.5 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of more than $4.8 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation’s income.
  • Tax Freedom Day is one day later than last year due mainly to the country’s continued steady economic growth, which is expected to boost tax revenue especially from the corporate, payroll, and individual income tax.
  • Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2015 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined.
  • If you include annual federal borrowing, which represents future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would occur 14 days later on May 8.
  • Tax Freedom Day is a significant date for taxpayers and lawmakers because it represents how long Americans as a whole have to work in order to pay the nation’s tax burden.
The Tax Foundation has also calculated Tax Freedom Days by state. For example, here in North Carolina our Tax Freedom Day actually occurred on April 16th which puts us 19th in the nation. Our neighbors to the west and south, however, did much better. Tennessee was fourth (April 9), South Carolina was eighth (April 12), and Georgia was 15th (April 15). Virginia, by contrast, was 40th and won't celebrate their Tax Freedom Day until April 27th.

As this is also a gun blog, it is interesting to note that many of the worst states for gun rights - Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, California, Massachusetts, and Maryland - are respectively states 50 through 45 in the tax rankings. I know correlation isn't causation but it does appear to be a bit of a trend.

So as you go about the workday remember this as the day in which you finally get to keep the fruits of your labors. It is also the birthday of people who are as polar opposite as Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson (69) and Hillary and Bill's friend Barbra Streisand (73).

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bad Apple Dealers? What About Bad Apple Lawyers

The Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence (sic) has an ongoing project called "Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers". Ostensibly this project is meant to go after gun dealers who knowingly allow firearms to go into the hands of criminals, the mentally ill, and straw purchasers. In reality, the goal is to bankrupt mom and pop firearms dealers through extended legal action.

This project was the topic of a presentation by Florida attorney Cord Byrd at 18th Annual Firearms Law Seminar. Byrd discussed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, the statutory exceptions to the qualified civil liability immunity that it provides, and how the Brady Center is seeking to use state courts to pierce the veil of PLCAA's immunity protection. Byrd then discussed the case of Allen v. Lock N Load where he is the defense counsel to the owners of Lock N Load.

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was passed to stop the many civil cases aimed at gun makers by anti-gun mayors. Congress explicitly called the use of the courts to attack the firearms industry "an abuse of the legal system."  The act provided qualified civil liability protection to gun makers and dealer in both state and Federal courts from the criminal or unlawful misuse of guns and ammo. The law does provide specific exceptions to this qualified immunity.
(i) an action brought against a transferor convicted under section 924(h) of title 18, United States Code, or a comparable or identical State felony law, by a party directly harmed by the conduct of which the transferee is so convicted;

(ii) an action brought against a seller for negligent entrustment or negligence per se;

(iii) an action in which a manufacturer or seller of a qualified product knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought, including--

(I) any case in which the manufacturer or seller knowingly made any false entry in, or failed to make appropriate entry in, any record required to be kept under Federal or State law with respect to the qualified product, or aided, abetted, or conspired with any person in making any false or fictitious oral or written statement with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of a qualified product; or

(II) any case in which the manufacturer or seller aided, abetted, or conspired with any other person to sell or otherwise dispose of a qualified product, knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe, that the actual buyer of the qualified product was prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm or ammunition under subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code;
(iv) an action for breach of contract or warranty in connection with the purchase of the product;

(v) an action for death, physical injuries or property damage resulting directly from a defect in design or manufacture of the product, when used as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable manner, except that where the discharge of the product was caused by a volitional act that constituted a criminal offense, then such act shall be considered the sole proximate cause of any resulting death, personal injuries or property damage; or

(vi) an action or proceeding commenced by the Attorney General to enforce the provisions of chapter 44 of title 18 or chapter 53 of title 26, United States Code.
It is the second and third exceptions that the Brady Center is using to try and pierce the veil of qualified immunity. They are trying to use state statutes on negligence and negligence per se to attack the gun dealers. Moreover, they are trying to use the third exception by claiming the dealer knew it was a straw purchase and then made a false entry into his or her bound book.

In the Lock N Load case, Benjamin Bishop used a shotgun to kill his mother and her boyfriend while they slept. The Brady Center alleges that Lock N Load had denied the sale of a shotgun to Bishop after he failed a NICS check whereupon Bishop came back with his friend Gerald Schwab who bought the shotgun. They then allege that Schwab sold the shotgun to Bishop. Because Schwab allegedly bought the shotgun while accompanied by Bishop, Brady lawyers contend that Lock N Load should have known this was a straw purchase.

It should be noted that BATFE found that Lock N Load did nothing wrong in this case. Moreover, the State's Attorney for Pinellas County made the same finding.

In bringing these cases, the Brady Center attorneys are assisted pro bono by lawyers with large law firms. In this case, it is attorneys from the international law firm of White and Case which has 38 offices in 26 countries. It has US offices in LA, New York, Silicon Valley, Washington, and Miami. They have approximately 1,900 attorneys. By contrast, Cord Byrd is a solo practitioner in Jacksonville Beach, FL concentrating on civil litigation.

This use of pro bono attorneys from major law firms to attack the PLCAA has given me the idea for a series of blog posts. I will be profiling what I call "Bad Apple Lawyers". These are the attorneys who either work for the Brady Center or for these major law firms who are, to be blunt, conspiring to steal our Second Amendment rights. It is past time to shine the light of day on these anti-civil rights attorneys. Fortunately, LinkedIn, Google, and the law firm's own web pages give plenty of info about these attorneys.

I will be starting this series with Jonathan Lowy who heads the Brady Center's Legal Action Project and who was just forced to withdraw from one of their cases in Wisconsin for violating Wisconsin's rules of professional conduct concerning trial publicity

Sunday, April 19, 2015

On April 19th...

April 19th commemorates a number of things.

The Battles of Lexington and Concord was fought on this day in 1775 and thus began the Revolutionary War. It is the day in which farmers, shopkeepers, and Minutemen united as a citizen militia to battle Gen. Thomas Gage's British regulars when the latter came for the former's guns and ammo. It is an official holiday in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where officials have long forgotten what the spark was that ignited the war.

76 men, women, and children died a fiery death in Waco, Texas when the FBI launched their attack on the Branch Davidian compound on this day in 1993. Regardless of who actually started the gun battle between the Branch Davidians and the ATF in February, no one can deny that many innocents died in the fire.

Two years later in 1995 (corrected), Timothy McVeigh "commemorated" Waco by blowing up the Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. 168 men, women, and children died in the bombing and scores more were injured.

Dave Hardy at Of Arms and the Law notes that the Washington Post only remembers one of these events.

Frankly, we should remember all three as each event imparts a lesson we should learn. I'll leave it to you and to history to figure out those lessons.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mainiacs With Switchblades? Ayuh!

Congratulations to Knife Rights and thanks to those in Maine legislature who voted to repeal the ban on automatic knives aka switchblades. Knife Rights reports that Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME) signed LD 264, "An Act To Restore the Right To Possess Certain Knives That Are Used by Many Citizens as Tools", which repealed the state's ban on switchblade knives. Gov. LePage signed the bill on Thursday and it will go into effect 90 days from the end of the legislative session.

The bill's text is about as simple as can be:
1 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
2 Sec. 1. 17-A MRSA §1055, as amended by PL 2011, c. 464, §18, is repealed.
4 This bill repeals the provision of law making possession or distribution of dangerous
5 knives a Class D crime.
The vote on the bill in the House was 120 yea, 24 nay, and 7 absent. The Senate had a voice vote in concurrence.

 From Knife Rights (in part):
Knife Rights would like to thank and congratulate LD 264 sponsor Representative Joel Stetkis for his leadership in passing LD 264. As a freshman legislator it means a lot to us that Knife Rights' victories in repealing bans in seven states previously gave Rep. Stetkis the inspiration and confidence to take on Maine's ban as one of his first legislative efforts.

The new law takes effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns, so we can't really give you a date at this point.

Automatic knives are now legal for civilians without restriction in 27 states, and legal with various restrictions in 10 more. Eight of those 27 states have been added by Knife Rights since 2010. Knife Rights passed the nation's first repeal of a automatic knife ban in 2010 in New Hampshire and has since passed repeal of automatic knife bans (and repealed other knife restrictions) in Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.
Rep. Stetkis is a self-employed building contractor from Canaan, ME. I imagine as a builder he has used a knife a time or two as a tool.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Another Case Of A Gun Company Marketing To Youth

The gun prohibitionists like to compare firearms manufacturers to tobacco companies in that both supposedly have to market to youth because their customer base is old and white and dying out.

For example, this article from Think Progess asserts that Americans have a declining interest in the shooting sports and the gun companies have to hook kids on AR-15s.
Responding to Americans’ declining interest in shooting sports, gun manufacturers are developing programs to market their products to younger children. The National Shooting Sports Foundation trade association and the industry-funded National Rifle Association spend millions of dollars annually to recruit kids as gun enthusiasts. And those efforts increasingly focus on pushing semi-automatic assault weapons, including the very model used by the shooter in the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.
The mainstream media loves this meme and repeats it incessantly as evidenced by stories in the paper of making things up (NY Times), CNN, the Guardian, and others. It ignores the fact that one has to be 18 to purchase a long gun from a FFL and 21 to purchase a handgun. Moreover, many states forbid the possession of a firearm by youth under certain ages unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Of course this is utter bovine excrement. If anything, introducing kids to firearms through proper training programs like 4H, the NRA Junior programs, and the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation programs help build more responsible and more mature youth.

Thus, when I got the following press release from Glock yesterday announcing their contribution of $25,000 to the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, I smiled. I knew it would help kids and piss off the gun prohibitionists which is a true win-win.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Apr. 10, 2015 GLOCK, Inc. donated $25,000 to the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) at the 144th NRA Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

Ed Fitzgerald, Special Projects Manager at GLOCK, Inc. has worked closely with the SSSF over the years. “As an industry leader, GLOCK understands the importance of promoting safe and effective ways of introducing competitive shooting to young men and women who are just starting in the sport,” Fitzgerald said, “The next generation of shooters are fostered through organizations like the SPP. We will continue our efforts to lead the way by supporting the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation.”

Accepting the check at the GLOCK Booth (#633) were Ben S. Berka, President and Executive Director of the SSSF and Scott Moore, National Director of the Scholastic Pistol Program (SPP). Presenting the check on behalf of GLOCK were Josh Dorsey, Vice President at GLOCK, Inc., and GLOCK spokesperson, R. Lee Ermey, “The Gunny.” The ceremony was attended by an exclusive group of Industry media.

GLOCK has been an active sponsor of the SPP since its creation in 2012. “The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation is honored to receive this major gift from GLOCK. GLOCK’s support of the SPP is a key element to building a foundation from which to grow all action pistol sports,” Ben S. Berka said. “This donation will help local Scholastic Pistol Programs at the grass-roots level and provide local teams with the education, support and resources to run successful programs.”

I do wonder what The Gunny might say to those who would criticize Glock's donation to SSSF as merely buying future customers. It probably wouldn't be printable in a family publication.

I Guess We Don't Suck And They Don't Hate Us

A long-running Internet meme started by Larry Correia about Heckler and Koch goes like this:  HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.

Larry was making fun of the assumed Teutonic superiority of HK as evidenced by the reaction of their fanbois to any criticism of HK.

I came across a press release today that indicates that maybe they don't hate us. They are starting a sponsored shooting program for all levels of shooters from novice to expert. Moreover, you can apply for the sponsored shooting program via the Internet. In other words, you can find them, they don't have to find you. Applications will be accepted today through May 31st.

Columbus, GA — Heckler & Koch announced today a new sponsored shooter program structured to assist shooters competing in all divisions and skill levels, from novice to expert. Competitors must complete an online application with profile information, photos, videos and events for approval. Levels of support will include a wide range of subsidies and assistance. Applications will be accepted from April 17th to May 31st.

To learn more about opportunities with the HK Shooting sponsored shooter program and become a candidate, complete an online application at Limited slots available.

Heckler & Koch is the world's premier small arms systems company and a major supplier to global military, law enforcement agencies, and civilian shooters. An innovative leader in design and manufacturing, Heckler & Koch provides technologically advanced firearms, logistical support, training, and specialized services with the highest standards of innovation and reliability to its customer base.

For further information, please contact:
HK-USA Public Relations

Tel: 1-703-450-1900 x1226

American Website:
Global Website:

H/T: The Outdoor Wire

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Protecting Liberty

Second Amendment commentator and independent film producer Billy Johnson has a new project. It is a documentary called Protecting Liberty. He has a Kickstarter campaign going with the intention of raising $225,000. He has until April 29th at noon to raise the money. He is far from the goal with only approximately $31,000 raised as this morning.

I met Billy briefly at the NRA Annual Meeting this past weekend. I have always found his commentaries for the NRA to be very thoughtful and thought provoking. This film will show how the mainstream media-fed misperceptions about violence are a threat to our civil rights and our fundamental human freedoms.

I intend to make a contribution and would urge you to do so as well. Films such as Protecting Liberty are how we in the gun culture can fight back against the mainstream media and their goal of suppressing our rights.

The Kickstarter page is here.

Swiss Army Dirk?

A Swiss Army knife should be considered a dirk (or dagger) under the law so sayeth California Attorney General Kamala Harris. She is appealing a California Court of Appeals ruling that a Swiss Army knife, even if carried with the blade open, cannot be considered a dirk or dagger. The case is California v. Castillolopez.

I first heard about the case from Brandon Combs of the Firearms Policy Coalition over lunch at the NRA Annual Firearms Law Seminar. He was telling those of us at the table about the case and that the Second Amendment Foundation was joining with Knife Rights on an amicus brief.

As to Kamala Harris and the state of California, it is as if they have something against the Scots-Swiss carrying a Swiss Army knife in their sporran.

The joint release from SAF and Knife Rights on their amicus brief is below.
A legal brief urging the California Supreme Court to rule that common, non-locking Swiss Army Knives and similar pocketknives are not illegal 'dirks' or 'daggers' was filed on Monday.

George M. Lee, a partner at the San Francisco law firm of Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate, wrote the "friend of the court" brief in the criminal matter of State of California v. Emmanuel Castillolopez on behalf of the civil rights organizations Knife Rights Foundation and Second Amendment Foundation.

Knife Rights would like to thank our good friends at the Second Amendment Foundation, Cal Guns and the Firearms Policy Coalition for their support of this brief.

The case stems from a dispute over section 16470 of the California Penal Code, which defines a dirk or dagger as "a knife or other instrument....that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death." But, for everyday pocketknives like the one at issue in Castillolopez, the definition applies only "if the blade of the knife is exposed and locked into position."

Castillolopez was convicted in 2012 by a San Diego County jury for illegally carrying a concealed dirk or dagger after law enforcement found a Swiss Army Knife with the blade open in his pocket following a traffic stop. The Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal later overturned his conviction, holding that Castillolopez' pocketknife didn't meet the statutory definition of an illegally-carried 'dirk' or 'dagger' because it didn't have a locking mechanism.

"For simply having a common, everyday Swiss Army multi-tool with the blade open in his pocket, Mr. Castillolopez was charged, prosecuted, and convicted of a very serious crime," explained Lee. "We strongly believe that the Court of Appeal correctly held that the State's arguments are wrong on the law and hope the Supreme Court similarly disposes of the matter in its forthcoming decision."

Doug Ritter, founder and Chairman of the Knife Rights Foundation, said, "Ultimately, our important brief is about protecting knife owners from prosecutorial overreach by maintaining the historical definition of a 'dirk' or 'dagger' in California. If the State wins this case with their expansive theory on how a 'dirk' or 'dagger' is defined, every Boy Scout and slipjoint folding knife owner in California might one day be guilty of a felony. With millions of Californians at risk, and a potential bad state precedent to be set, we were compelled to stand up for their rights as we have elsewhere in this country when the government attempts to overreach in cases against knife owners."

Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb agreed, saying that he hoped the high court would keep owners of regular, non-locking pocket knives from being subjected to felony criminal liability. However, he was quick to clarify that, "in order to secure the rights of law-abiding people, sometimes we have to take a strong position on a law's application, even when the person at issue in a given case isn't ideal."

The Calguns Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition contributed assistance to the brief's preparation.

A copy of the filed Amicus Brief can be viewed at:

The Opening Brief from California Attorney General Kamala Harris can be viewed at:

The Appellant's Answer Brief can be viewed at:

The State's Reply Brief can be viewed at:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

NRA Annual Meeting - Guns of the Falklands War

I just sat in on the majority of a lecture by author and historian Martin K. A. Morgan on the firearms of the Falklands War. It could have been just was well been named FN Goes to War because the primary battle rifles and general purpose machine guns were either made or designed by FN Herstal.

The British used the L1A1 SLR, a semi-auto version of the FN-FAL, as their main battle rifle while the Argentinians used both the FN-FAL Model 50.00 and their own licensed DGFM/FMAP "DM" FAL. All these weapons were chambered in 7.62x51 Nato. This worked to the advantage of the British when they captured large stockpiles of Argentine Army ammo at Goose Green.

Morgan mentioned the anecdotal reports that troops with 2 Para switched their L1A1 rifles for the Argentinian select fire rifles that they captured at Goose Green. Interesting, I had just heard that same story of British soldiers trading firearms from an engineer at Remington after I told him I was going to this lecture. There must be some truth to this story for it to have come from such diverse sources.

The primary machine guns by both sides were again FN Herstal designs. The Brits used the L7A2 GPMG while the Argentinians used the FN Mag-58 GPMG.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

NRA Annual Meeting - First Impressions

I spent Friday at the NRA's Annual Firearms Law Seminar which was well attended. Rather than reinvent the wheel, check out Sebastian's live blogging of that event. He did a great job. You can find it here, here, here, here, here, and here.

I'll have more about the seminar later.

I also had dinner with Marcus Luttrell yesterday. It was sponsored by Lucky Gunner to celebrate the launch of his Team Never Quit ammo line made by Snake River.

I did miss all the political speeches. As I understand it, all the potential Republican candidates were there except Rand Paul and Chris Christie. Paul is saying that he wasn't invited due to his NAGR connections. I will say that while I like much I learn about Rand Paul, the NAGR connection does cause me to question his judgment.

Today I plan to cruise the floor and maybe take in one or two of the seminars. More later.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Off To The NRA Annual Meeting

I leave in a few minutes for the NRA Annual Meeting in Nashville. I love the fact that the 2015, 2016, and 2017 meetings are all within relatively easy driving distance.

I will do my best to get some posts out over the long weekend. I will have some interesting stuff to talk about including shooting the new Glock 43, the Annual Firearms Law Seminar, having dinner with Marcus Luttrell, beer with Michael Bane, and acres and acres of guns.

New firearms introductions are starting to be announced.

Last week Ruger introduced a six-shot, 4.2"     SP-101 revolver in .327 Federal Magnum. The .327 Mag is a good cartridge looking for a home. I hope this helps it.

This week Remington introduced an alloy-framed small .380 ACP called the RM 380. It is supposed to be the first pistol made in Huntsville. I'm not sure what niche it is supposed to fill that hasn't already been filled. That said, Remington has this one chance to get it right after the R-51 debacle of last year.

Also, this week, Heckler Koch just announced a subcompact version of the P30. It is the P30SK which has a capacity of 11+1 in 9mm.
The P30SK ("SubKompact") has all of the sought-after characteristics of the larger frame P30 and P30L pistols but in a more concealable design.

The completely adjustable P30 grip feature -consisting of interchangeable backstraps and lateral grip panels -is replicated in the shortened grip frame of the P30SK. Changeable backstraps and grip panels allow the pistol to be easily modified to fit any individual user. Like its larger frame P30 counterparts, the P30SK is available in multiple trigger firing modes including HK's enhanced double action only "Law Enforcement Modification (LEM)."For the P30SK, the LEM trigger is configured with a "light strike V1"setup -requiring approximately 5.4 pounds-force to pull the trigger.
Finally, I have an iPod full of podcasts including, of course, the Polite Society Podcast to keep me going for the 5-hour drive. Nothing like a long drive to catch up on your podcast listening!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Win Some Guns

Aaron at the Weapon-Blog has released his monthly list of contests featuring firearms.

The giveaway compilation includes 17 handguns, 17 rifles, and 0 shotguns. I guess shotguns are being held back for closer to hunting season.

The handgun list includes 1911s, Sigs, a CZ Scorpion, and a Lionheart 9mm. The Lionheart is a latter day version of the earlier Daewoo 51. I have the Daewoo 40 and they are nice.

Thanks to Aaron for taking it upon himself to compile this list on a regular basis. If you know of any contests that aren't listed, let him know.

Friday, April 3, 2015

SAF Reaction To DC's Decision On It's Appeal Palmer Case

On Wednesday, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine announced that his office would ask the US Court of Appeals to dismiss their appeal of Palmer v. DC. That decision in that case forced the District of Columbia to start issuing carry permits.
“We need to focus our energies not on litigating old laws, but defending new ones that our leaders enacted in good faith to comply with court rulings while still protecting public safety,” Attorney General Racine said. “The Council enacted a law that sets a process by which individuals may apply for gun licenses, which has superseded the law at issue in Palmer v. District of Columbia. Going forward, our energies are best spent focusing on defending the current law. We are vigorously defending it in the district court, and we are confident that it will be upheld.”
The new carry laws that the DC Council "enacted in good faith" (sic) are so onerous and so draconian that the Second Amendment Foundation filed a second lawsuit. DC took as their model Maryland who has a "good cause" requirement.

The Second Amendment Foundation is pleased with their victory but note that it isn't over yet. They still have pending motions before US District Court Judge Frederick Scullin over the enforcement of his decision in addition to Wrenn et al v. DC.
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation will continue fighting the District of Columbia’s new concealed carry law, while notching a small victory with today’s decision by the city to drop its appeal of SAF’s victory in the Palmer case that forced the city to adopt a carry permitting structure.

“While we’re happy to see the city drop their appeal of our earlier victory,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “we were eager to face them in court, as there was no possible way they could have successfully argued in favor of continuing an outright ban on carry in the District.

“This is one more critical Second Amendment Foundation victory for gun rights,” he added. “But we will continue to keep suing the city of Washington, D.C. over their new carry law that is still an unconstitutional infringement on our Second Amendment rights.”

Under the District’s newly-adopted law, permit applicants must still provide a good reason for carrying a protective firearm outside the home, and the police chief gets to decide whether that reason is valid. So far, only a handful of applicants have been approved, and Gottlieb said that shows a fundamental flaw in such a discretionary permitting scheme.

“No public official should enjoy that kind of sway over a citizen’s right to bear arms,” Gottlieb stated. “It creates a manifestly unfair system that is wide open to abuse and favoritism, as we’ve seen in New York, California and elsewhere that insiders and elitists can get permits, but average citizens are routinely given second-class consideration, or no consideration at all.”

This is not the end of the Palmer case, however. SAF still has outstanding enforcement motions pending before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr., who handed down the initial Palmer ruling. His rulings on those motions could produce further appeals, SAF attorney Alan Gura explained. SAF has already filed a lawsuit challenging the District’s current highly-restrictive “good reason” requirement.

“Our intent is to continue our battle for the right to bear arms on behalf of all the citizens, not just a privileged few,” Gottlieb concluded.
One thing I did notice in DC Attorney General's release was the Congress has until May to disapprove the Council's permanent legislation concerning concealed carry. I'm not sure where that stands but Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) have introduced the Second Amendment Enforcement Act of 2015 which would remove the power of the DC Council to enact gun control legislation. The bill also includes shall-issue carry permits, the ability of DC residents to purchase firearms in Maryland and Virginia, and repeal the firearms registration system.

One way or another the District is going to be dragged kicking and screaming into recognizing the Second Amendment just like the South was over civil rights and integration. And just like the South, the District will attempt to do it with all due deliberate speed if their new mayor is any indication.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

For WNC Shooters

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission announced a temporary closing of Wayne E. Smith Shooting Range in Haywood County. The temporary closing is for annual maintenance. The range is in the shadows of Cold Mountain (yes, THAT Cold Mountain). As it is the closest (free) public range, I've shot there a number of times.

From the WRC:
WAYNESVILLE, N.C. — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will close the Wayne E. Smith Shooting Range on Cold Mountain Game Land in Haywood County April 13-17 for routine maintenance and repairs.

Commission staff closes the range for one week each spring to clean the grounds, shore the backstop, grade the shooting lanes, and then seed, fertilize and lime the lanes. Staff also will repair and grade the parking area and entrance road, as well as repair or replace shooting benches as needed. The range is scheduled to reopen on April 18.

The Wildlife Commission does not staff the Wayne E. Smith Shooting Range, but it is open to the public free of charge during daylight hours Monday through Saturday. No shooting is allowed on Sundays. Shooters are allowed to use pistols, rifles, shotguns and muzzleloaders on the range, which features five shooting lanes.

The range does not have an address, but it is located near Waynesville in Haywood County, about two miles past Lake Logan off of Hwy 215, when traveling from Hwy 276. GPS coordinates are: -82 56.385, 35 22.841.

For more information about public and private shooting ranges across North Carolina, see the Wildlife Commission's online interactive map. For more information about the Wayne E. Smith Shooting Range on Cold Mountain Game Land, contact Land Management Biologist David Stewart at 828-648-0008.
The only correction I might make to this is that the range, in my opinion, is closer to Canton than Waynesville.