Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Brady Campaign Wants You To Support A Sit-In

I received a text message a few minutes ago from the Brady Campaign. It asked me to call the Manchester, NH office of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). Gun prohibitionists (or anti-gun exhibitionists) have taken it upon themselves to hold a sit-in at Ayotte's office "to demand action".

Ayotte is far from perfect when it comes to gun rights. While she did vote against universal background checks (Manchin-Toomey I and II), she is part of a bi-partisan group pushing a bill before the Senate that would add those in the Terrorist Screening Data to the NICS denied list "with due process".

This said, Ayotte is certainly better for gun rights than her opponent Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-NH). Hassan vetoed constitutional carry, voted against the Castle Doctrine as a state senator, has dodged questions on whether she supports a new AWB, and is being supported by anti-gun demagogue Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and his PAC.

I might suggest people do call Ayotte's Manchester office and say you don't support the Brady Campaign or any gun control measures. Her Manchester office number is 603-622-7979.

By the way, the number I texted back to the Brady Campaign earlier this month is not a real phone number and actually conveys a vulgar message. I'll let you figure it out.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Gun Show Weekend

I went to the semiannual Greensboro Gun Show this weekend with my friend Jeff (Olivia Grace's paternal grandfather).

Before the gun show itself, we met for breakfast with Doc Wesson at a local pancake house. Doc aka The Podfather has been podcasting at The Gun Nation since 2007.  We had a great time talking about guns, podcasting, blogging, industry, flying, etc. I think we all had a great time and it was a great way to start a trip to the gun show.

Doc, for business reasons, guards his identity. Given that pictures of Doc don't exist some people might assume he is a phantom. I can assure you that is not the case. I snapped this quick picture of Doc while he wasn't looking. It didn't come out quite how I expected!

As for the gun show itself, it had a moderate crowd. There were a goodly number of people but the aisles weren't so crowded that you couldn't walk down them. In general, there weren't as many surplus dealers as I expected, there were a number of private sellers with tables selling their hunting rifles and shotguns, and more knife dealers than I expected.

Nate and Nate from N82 Tactical were there. I ended up with one of their IWB holsters for my Ruger LC9s Pro. Time will tell but it looks like a very comfortable holster.

I also came home with a 1200 ft. roll of 550 O.D. green paracord and a box of  cast lead 105 grain .38 caliber bullets. I hope to get those loaded up to use for plinking. I did look at an Ithaca 51 with 2 extra barrels but passed on that.

The other thing on my want list was an Anderson Manufacturing AR15 upper. I found a few but prices ranged from $80 to $120. Given they are selling in the $50 range on the Internet I passed on this.

We finished the day by having a family dinner at Clark's BBQ in Kernersville. As their T-shirts say, they are centrally located between Dollywood and Myrtle Beach.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bleg - .257 B.B. Magnum?

I came across an interesting rifle on an auction site. It was a custom Mauser in a most interesting caliber:  .257 B.B. Magnum. I had been looking for a .257 Roberts which this obviously is not. That said, it has aroused my curiosity as I love oddball, wildcat calibers.

Here is the description from the auction site:
Custom Inter Arms Action 257 BB Magnum; custom stainless barrel with muzzle break; this custom cartridge is a 300 Win mag necked down to a 257 caliber; comes with reloading dies; has a custom stock; excellent overall condition;
As to what the B.B. stands for I've been given several suggestions. "Barrel Burner", " Big Bore", and what is probably the correct answer, "Belted Bottleneck".

You can see a picture of the rifle below. It has some rather nice wood plus some interesting inlays in the stock.

Click to enlarge

Has anyone ever heard of this caliber?

Would I be stupid to even bid on a rifle where I can't even find published load data?

Do you think this would be a screamer?

OK, I think I know the answer to that last question. I really am interested in what readers have to say about this.

UPDATE: The rifle sold onsite to someone for $250 plus the auction house premium of 18%. In the same auction, another custom Mauser in .338-06 sold for $200. Interestingly, that caliber is much more mainstream yet the rifle sold for less.

Dirty Harry Would Approve

Inspector Harry Callahan would approve. It seems that the Auto Mag Pistol in .44 AMP, the pistol used by Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry in 1983's Sudden Impact, is set to make a comeback. According to a press release that came out yesterday, an investor has purchased the rights, plans, and spare parts for the Auto Mag Pistol from the original developer's family.
In 2015, after 40 some odd years of cult status, a private investor purchased the rights, plans and spare parts from the Sanford family. The new company, Auto Mag LTD, Corp., based out of South Carolina, has spent the past year reengineering the iconic pistol using advanced materials in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. Auto Mag is also now an officially registered trademark as of this month. As the prototype process continues to progress, Auto Mag engineers are working to bring back the Auto Mag, better than ever, while taking advantages of the improvements in materials and manufacturing technology advances available today.
The Auto Mag was last made in 1982. The new Auto Mag is still in the prototype stage with no set release date of which I'm aware. According to their website, they have produced about a dozen prototype guns for testing. Below is a computer rendering of their prototypes.

Computer rendering from Auto Mag LTD Corp.
You can keep up with their progress here. If you are one of those folks who actually has an Auto Mag Pistol Model 180, they also are selling spare parts and you can find those here.

In an era where most new handguns are polymer based, it is nice to see someone coming out with something made of steel and wood.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Most Wonderful News

I got the most wonderful news yesterday. Paul Lathrop, host and producer of The Polite Society Podcast, called to tell me that the Sarpy County (Nebraska) prosecutors were dropping all charges against him.

Paul and his wife Susan have their lives back again!

Paul had been charged with making "terroristic threats" and with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. These charges stemmed from an accusation by another driver at a truck stop in Sarpy County. That truck driver took exception to how close Paul's student came to his truck at the diesel pumps. He then tried to enter the cab to assault Paul and the student and was told to back off by both the student and Paul. Later, this hothead called the sheriff's department and accused Paul of threatening to shoot him which led to Paul being stopped on the highway and arrested.

You can read more about the incident here.

Paul will now be free to tell about his whole ordeal. The next episode of the Polite Society Podcast will feature it.

I'm just glad to get my friend back from under that dark cloud that had been hanging over him.

Monday, August 22, 2016

New Computers

Finally deciding to upgrade your computer to a new one is a leap of faith. You are hoping that the new computer with its shiny new processor and extra-humongous hard drive will bring a quantum leap in computing ability. The new computer will allow you to be faster, stronger, and jump higher or so you hope.

What you forget is all the tedium involved in actually making that switch. Going through your old computer, finding what you absolutely must save, what you think you might need in the future, and the files that you decide to save just because takes time. Then you have to burn these files to CDs or DVDs or copy them to your spare hard drive which you plan to move to the new computer. All of this takes time which you could have used for important stuff like blogging or posting the latest political meme on Facebook. I know there are programs that are supposed to make the switch easier but I didn't have them and wasn't sure I wanted to spend the money to get them.

Then there is making sure that you have a way to save all the old emails, bookmarks on your browser, etc. I was fortunate to find some utility apps that let me do this fairly easily. I wasn't so much concerned about bookmarks as I was about capturing my old emails and address book. I'm guessing it would have been easier if I had been using Outlook instead of Mozilla's Thunderbird. That said, I started many years ago with Eudora and Thunderbird was as close to that as I could come to it.

The new computer is an Acer Aspire with lots of RAM, a huge hard drive, a smaller solid state drive to handle the start-up, and a fancy graphics card running Windows 10 Home. When I compare that to my early PCs, I'm blown away. My first computer was a Kaypro 4+88 which ran CP/M 80 and had a co-processor to run MS-DOS v.1.25. It was followed up by an AT&T PC-6300 which actually ran DOS v2.10 using two floppy drives. I upgraded that PC later with a Quantum Hardcard 20 MB hard drive which cost as much as my entire new computer. Many other computers followed it over the years as new software demanded more and more power.

I'm still in the process of making the conversion. Yesterday I went to install my 1 TB secondary drive which had tons of files from the earlier computer. Of course, I ran into problems. The new computer only had two SATA connections on the motherboard and they were already taken. Not being a techie it took some research to find that SATA data cables are dedicated and that you can't use a splitter like you can with power cables or like you could do with the older IDE drives. I was going back and forth between the new computer and Google images to figure out if I even had an open slot. In geek-speak, it was a PCI Express +1 slot. Thanks to Amazon Prime, my new card that will allow me to add the extra drive will arrive tomorrow.

I don't know how much the new computer will impact my blogging but I hope it will allow me to post better photographs. I have a new copy of Photoshop Elements which I couldn't use on my existing computer because it needed Windows 7 or better. The old computer was from the Windows Vista era if that gives you some idea on its age.

I think back to the computing power that it took to put a man on the moon or for Lockheed's Skunk Works to design the SR-71 and this new computer puts it to shame. That said, those were tremendous accomplishments and no amount of computing power can take the place of the innovative mindset that those engineers and project managers possessed.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What It Could Come To

We know our opponents hate us and our culture. Some of them go so far as to want us dead. We also know what happened to a disarmed people when those in power want them gone. Just ask the Jews and the Armenians.

I came across this patch on Instagram this morning and thought it was extremely powerful in its message. It comes from patch maker Violent Little Machine Shop. If you want one, you can find it here.

A photo posted by Violent Little Machine Shop (@violentlittle) on 

Updated: The Instagram embed was giving some people problems so I changed it. The text that accompanied the original Instagram picture said:

violentlittleGo to your local office and "register" yourself and your family for your beliefs... No big deal they said... "Turn over your arms, the government will take care of you" they said... Get your flair at Thanks for the photo @never_out_tactical.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mayor Bloomberg's Illegal Attorney General (Updated)

First there were the many mayors who were members of Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns who ended up convicted of criminal activity. Now, in a step up, we have a state attorney general who owed her election, in good part, to ads on her behalf by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg being convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice, and other crimes.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Michelle Henry, who joined (Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R.) Steele in presenting the prosecution case, painted Kane as heedless of the law as she carried out her crimes.

"She knew it was wrong, she knew it was against the law, and she didn't care," Henry told the jury. "She did it for revenge. And after that happened, she covered it up with lies."

In its verdict, the jury found Kane guilty of perjury in two instances: That she lied about her involvement in the leak and cover-up, and that she lied again in telling a grand jury she had not signed a secrecy oath pledging not to reveal confidential grand jury information. Prosecutors later found such an oath signed by Kane.
Kane sought revenge against former state prosecutor Frank Fina who she thought he was the source of a news story that was highly critical of how she shut down the prosecution of corrupt Democrats in Philadelphia.

In addition to the two felony counts of perjury, Kane was found guilty of the misdemeanor crimes of conspiracy, official oppression, and false swearing. Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy ordered Kane to surrender her passport and warned that she would be jailed immediately if there was any retaliation against witnesses. Kane could receive up to 28 years in prison but is expected to receive much less since she had no prior criminal record.

Prior to being elected Pennsylvania Attorney General, Kane was an assistant district attorney in the Scranton area who gained attention for criticizing how the investigation of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky had been conducted.

Kane, who has already lost her law license, has until the day of her sentencing to resign. She so far has resisted calls by Gov. Tom Kane and other leading Democrats to step down.

With Kane's conviction, I guess a renaming is in order. Henceforth, the organization formally known as Everytown for Gun Safety will be known as Everytown Moms Demanding Illegal Mayors and Attorneys General.

UPDATE: Kane has announced her resignation effective at the end of the day on Wednesday, August 17th. She says she has "been honored to serve the people of Pennsylvania, and I wish them health and safety in all their days."

Kane's mugshot when arraigned

She faces sentencing in 90 days. While she has promised to appeal, it will be very interesting to see what sentence she gets.

The cartoonist for the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia nails it in the tweet below. Kane, the first female AG in Pennsylvania history, broke the glass ceiling...and floor.

H/T Bitter and Rob Morse

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Obituary And Remembrances

Mike Vanderboegh passed away earlier today after a long battle against cancer. His good friend David Codrea published these two remembrances of Mike in AmmoLand and OathKeepers.

You can find the AmmoLand one here and the OathKeepers one here.

David is correct:  the freedom movement did lose an important voice.

The "official" obituary was published in the Birmingham News today. I have reprinted it in its entirety below:
Michael Brian Vanderboegh

July 23, 1952 - Aug. 10, 2016 born July 23, 1952 in St. Joseph, Michigan, resident of Pinson, Alabama, survived by wife, Rosey, son, Matthew Bradley (Nicole) of Wiesbaden, Germany; daughters Hannah Rose (Brandon Vanslambrouck) and Zoe Kate Vanderboegh all of Pinson, Alabama; and grandsons, Mason Brennan of Youngstown, Ohio and Gabriel Michael, and granddaughter Olivia Laura, both of Weisbaden, Germany; mother, Norma Vanderboegh; brother, Dwight Vanderboegh (Cheryl); sister, Teresa Lehman (Jim). He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Vanderboegh and sister, Meri Kay Vanderboegh. Longtime 2nd Amendment activist, author, citizen journalist, and blogger who, with David Codrea, first broke the story of the Fast and Furious scandal in December 2010. Resident of Alabama since 1985, Mike was also an historian, amateur archaeologist, and researcher of Alabama's civil war history, especially the unionists of Winston County. He was the founding historian of La Grange Living History Association, a founding member of the 1st Alabama Union Calvary Company C reenactment unit and active in local historical preservation issues. More recently, Mike was the founder of the National Three Percent Movement and led armed civil disobedience actions from Connecticut to Oregon, smuggling forbidden firearms magazines to states that banned them. Controversial throughout his life, he was constantly devoted to the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. An adamant enemy of collectivism of all kinds, he was denounced by Bill Clinton on CNN, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League of Bnai Brith, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, as well as the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nations and various racists and anti-Semitic groups. He was also very unpopular with the ATF and the FBI. In 2005, he served with the Minutemen on the New Mexico border and was always proud to say that he had been on the enemy's list of the past three White Houses regardless of party. As his friend Kurt Hoffmann said, "it is better to be despised by the despicable than admired by the admirable." He described himself as a citizen first, Christian Libertarian who believed in God, free men, free markets, the rule of law under the founder's republic and that the Constitution extended to everyone regardless of race, creed, color, or religion. He lived by the motto that "all evil prospers with the silent consent of the good, therefore I will not be silent". Services to be held at Kilgroe Memorial in Leeds on Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 2PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society . Visit online at Kilgroe Funeral Home, Leeds directing.

Published in The Birmingham News on Aug. 12, 2016

Michael Brian Vanderboegh

Click name above for additional details at:
Arrangements under the direction of:
Kilgroe Funeral Home
1750 Ashville Rd | Leeds, AL 35094 | (205) 699-3181

RIP Mike Vanderboegh

Mike Vanderboegh passed away in the wee hours of the morning today. Cancer finally did to him what the government, the gun prohibitionists, and the Southern Poverty Law Center could not do. It stopped him. Mike was 64.

I had occasion to meet Mike at a number of Gun Rights Policy Conferences and NRA Annual Meetings. Despite the impression he might have given by his angry prose, in our first meeting at the 2011 NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh I found him to be a loving father who was more interested in talking about the soccer prowess of his two daughters than he was about gun related stuff.

Mike should always be remembered for the role he (and David Codrea) played in exposing Operation Fast and Furious. It would have remained a virtually secret government operation aimed at increasing support for gun control without his efforts to get congressional investigators interested. He is owed an eternal debt of gratitude by the gun culture for this.

There is a long obituary and account of his life at the Kansas City Star. It called him a militia and "Patriot" leader in the headline. Even the despicable SPLC had a long account his life and death. The comments on the announcement there are as one might expect from those of their ilk. Nonetheless, it looks like Mike had the last word even there.
Yet the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights can never die “as long as there remain free men and women who believe in the Founders' vision,” Vanderboegh wrote.

“This is the essence of the Three Percent,” he said, “that no matter how small our numbers are –– if we remain armed and determined –– we may yet preserve the flickering flame of liberty.”
Sipsey Street Irregulars will not be going away. Mike's son Matthew has taken over running the website and has continued postings there. I do hope he will finish his father's manuscript of Absolved as it was a great story in the John Ross/Matt Bracken mold of anti-gun control fiction.

The announcement of Mike's passing on Sipsey Street can be found here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Monthly Gun Contests

The monthly contests from Aaron at Weapon-Blog have been posted. You can see all the firearms below. He has some interesting guns in this month's list such as the Lionheart LH9. This is an updated version of the Daewoo DH51 which has the Safety Fast Shooting System.

  • Lionheart Industries LH9
    Deadline: August 15, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Sig Sauer 1911 Extreme
    Deadline: August 31, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016 Glo Glock 17
    Deadline: August 31, 2016
    Added to list: July 19, 2016
  • Del-Ton Echo 316 M-LOK
    Deadline: August 31, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Sig Sauer P320
    Deadline: August 31, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Women's Concealed Carry Package
    Deadline: August 31, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Sig Sauer P320
    Deadline: September 1, 2016
    Added to list: July 7, 2016
  • Wilson Combat Vickers’ Elite 1911
    Deadline: September 5, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Heritage Rough Rider
    Deadline: September 13, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Heckler & Koch VP40
    Deadline: September 13, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Glock 17
    Deadline: September 30, 2016
    Added to list: July 7, 2016
  • EAA Corp 1911 Polymer
    Deadline: October 1, 2016
    Added to list: July 12, 2016
  • Dream Gun Giveaway
    Deadline: October 31, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • RIA TCM Rock Target FS HC
    Deadline: November 1, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Shooters Arms 1911
    Deadline: December 31, 2016
    Added to list: April 5, 2016
  • NRA 24-Gun Collection
    Deadline: December 31, 2016
    Added to list: September 4, 2015
  • NRA Crack The Vault
    Deadline: December 31, 2016
    Added to list: June 13, 2016
  • DPMS GII Recon Rifle
    Deadline: August 9, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Spike’s Tactical Crusader AR-15
    Deadline: September 16, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Smith & Wesson M&P AR-15
    Deadline: December 31, 2016
    Added to list: October 7, 2015
  • Thompson/Contender Compass
    Deadline: December 31, 2016
    Added to list: July 19, 2016
  • Mauser Karabiner 98 Kurz
    Deadline: 300 Contest Entries
    Added to list: July 7, 2016
  • Savage MK II BTV
    Deadline: 5,000 Group Members
    Added to list: January 7, 2015
  • Xena-15 GEN4
    Deadline: 100,000 Subscribers
    Added to list: February 18, 2016
  • CVA Muzzleloader
    Deadline: Recurring Monthly
    Added to list: January 1, 2015
  • Finnish M39 Tikka
    Deadline: August 16, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • None this month
Air Rifles
  • None this month
  • None this month
  • None this month
  • None this month
Gun Rights Organizations
  • None this month
  • POF USA Drop-In Trigger
    Deadline: August 12, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Rothco Specialist Range & Go Bag
    Deadline: August 31, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • $1,000 Condor Gift Card
    Deadline: August 31, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Press, Bullets, and Brass
    Deadline: August 15, 2016
    Added to list: July 13, 2016
  • CrossBreed Gear Up Giveaway
    Deadline: August 31, 2016
    Added to list: July 19, 2016
  • Stealth Cam Ultimate Archery Giveaway
    Deadline: September 1, 2016
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • NRA Truck Raffle
    Deadline: September 15, 2016
    Added to list: May 13, 2016
  • Rusty's Rags Cleaning Cloths
    Deadline: Recurring Weekly
    Added to list: February 11, 2015
  • Dead Air Armament #MuzzleBrakeMonday
    Deadline: Recurring Weekly
    Added to list: June 9, 2015
  • ATN SHot Trax-HD
    Deadline: Recurring Monthly
    Added to list: April 4, 2016
  • Parker Compound Bow
    Deadline: Recurring Monthly
    Added to list: February 11, 2015
  • Parker Crossbow
    Deadline: Recurring Monthly
    Added to list: February 17, 2016
  • Trailboss
    Deadline: Recurring Monthly
    Added to list: July 13, 2016
  • $100 60X Gift Card
    Deadline: Recurring Monthly
    Added to list: August 8, 2016
  • Black Rain Ordinance Recon
    Deadline: August 11, 2016
    Added to list: June 1, 2016
  • NRA Truck Raffle
    Deadline: September 15, 2016
    Added to list: March 7, 2019
  • Outdoor Mentors Gun A Week
    Deadline: December 31, 2016
    Added to list: January 6, 2016
  • Hart's Fort Rifle
    Deadline: December 31, 2016
    Added to list: February 8, 2016
  • 2016 50 Gun Fundraiser
    Deadline: Only 500 tickets sold
    Added to list: January 28, 2016!2016-50-Gun-Fundraiser/cp5g/i2l12v0s1
  • Tactical Training Adventure
    Deadline: 60,000 Contest entries
    Added to list: August 17, 2015
  • None this month

Monday, August 8, 2016

NSSF On DDTC "Guidance" On ITAR

The US State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls recently issued so-called guidance on what activities would come under the umbrella of the International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR). We just interviewed gunsmith Joseph LaJoy of LaJoy Precision on Friday night for the Polite Society Podcast on this very issue. Activities listed as manufacturing and thus subject to ITAR include traditional gunsmithing activities such as threading a barrel or reaming a new chamber. Gunsmiths will now have to pay an annual fee of $2,250 if they do something as simple as that or face massive fines and/or imprisonment. We concluded the rationale behind this "guidance" was to attack the gun culture and to drive gunsmiths out of business.

Joseph LaJoy said in the interview that he wished groups like the National Shooting Sports Foundation would get involved in the issue. From Joseph's mouth to the NSSF's ear, the release below was sent out on Saturday.
NSSF Statement Regarding DDTC’s Recent Firearms “Guidance” on Registration
On July 22 the U.S. Department of State – Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) issued “guidance” meant to clarify who is required under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to register as a “manufacturer” of “defense articles,” which includes firearms and ammunition products (U.S. Munitions List Categories I – III), and pay an exorbitant annual $2,250 registration fee. Under the law, registration is required even if the manufacturer does not export and even if the manufacturer makes component parts.

DDTC asserts that the guidance merely restates existing DDTC policy and interpretation of the AECA and ITAR manufacturer registration requirement.

Unfortunately, DDTC’s “guidance” has created considerable and understandable confusion and concern among gunsmiths and gun owners. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is reviewing the guidance and will send a letter of protest to DDTC expressing our strong opposition to the new “guidance,” the scope of which clearly exceeds their statutory authority. The term “manufacture” as used in the AECA and ITAR is its ordinary dictionary definition. Clearly, many of the activities DDTC claims require registration constitutes gun smithing and is not manufacturing under any reasonable dictionary definition of the term. DDTC’s position is similar to claiming an auto mechanic who fixes your car is a car manufacturer.

NSSF has been working diligently for many years to eliminate, or at least significantly lower, the excessive and burdensome registration fee especially for non-exporting manufacturers and non-essential component parts manufacturers. Simply put, forcing small manufacturer to pay $2,250 annually to register when they are not utilizing the DDTC export licensing system to export products is an unfair and onerous regulatory burden. This is even more outrageous when one considers that DDTC is sitting on at least $140 million dollars of previously paid registration fees collected over many years from exporters from many industries including ours.

Additionally, we have been working with allies in Congress to pressure the Obama administration to complete the Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, which would with limited exceptions do away with the AECA and ITAR manufacturer registration requirement and onerous fee for commercial and sporting firearms.

To date, the Obama Administration has refused to publish and implement the regulatory changes necessary to transfer for export licensing of commercial and sporting firearms and ammunition products to the Department of Commerce from the Department of State. 
Read more on Export Control Reform. Yet, the proposed rules have been drafted and ready for publication since December 2012. Inaction persists despite congressional testimony and letters to members of the U.S. House and the Senate that they would publish the rules.

Why has the Obama administration refused to move ECR forward for our industry? It is really very simple. The Obama Administration is singling out our industry for different treatment under the ECR because of its gun control politics. It is time to force Congress to step in and stop the Obama Administration’s gun control agenda from stopping this needed reform. See the 
ECR dashboard.

How can members of the firearms industry and gun owners help?

  1. Call your U.S. Representative at 202-225-3121 and U.S. Senators at 202-224-3121 urge him or her to support Rep. Collin Peterson’s (D-Minn.) Resolution, (H. Res. 829) that demands the Obama administration complete the ECR and publish the proposed rules to transfer the licensing of commercial and sporting firearms and ammunition products to the Department of Commerce (which does not require registration or payment of a fee).
  2. Tell your U.S. Representative and Senators to force DDTC to stop imposing excessive and onerous registration fees on small businesses that do not export products. Tell them to support language in the Fiscal Year 2017 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that will reduce the registration fee to a nominal amount for all non-exporting manufacturers and component part manufacturers.
  3. Tell your U.S. Representative and Senators stop the Department of State from exceeding its statutory authority; that mounting new sights to improve accuracy on your hunting rifle doesn’t require you to register with the Department of State and pay a fee of $2,250.

Craig DeLuz Of FPC Speaks To The Publius Lawsuit

In this video, Craig DeLuz of the Firearms Policy Coalition speaks to the lawsuit just filed Friday against the Legislative Counsel of California on First Amendment grounds. This lawsuit is nicknamed the "Tyrant Registry Lawsuit" in honor of the blog post that is at the heart of it.

Firearms Policy Coalition Sues California on First Amendment Grounds - Again

The Firearms Policy Coalition has sued the Legislative Counsel of California, Diane Boyer-Vine, for her attempts to suppress free speech. The suit centers around a blog post that posted publicly available addresses and phone numbers of Assembly members who voted for gun control. The post by FPC member "Publius" on his or her blog, The Real Write Winger, was removed by after the Legislative Counsel said it violated California law. The suit, as described in the press release below, seeks to have California Government Code section 6254.21(c) declared unconstitutional and to enjoin its enforcement.

This is the second lawsuit this year that the Firearms Policy Coalition has brought this year on First Amendment grounds. In the first lawsuit which they won, they challenged the California Legislature's ban on the use of video footage from floor debates in political ads. This is an interesting tactic as it forces judges to apply, in most cases, strict scrutiny.

More on the lawsuit and the whole back story is below:
SACRAMENTO (August 5, 2016) A just-filed First Amendment lawsuit challenges the State of California's attempt to censor a political blog using an unusual and unconstitutional “takedown” process authorized by a state statute. The lawsuit is funded by the Firearms Policy Coalition, and filed on behalf of one of the Coalition’s members.

“Publius” (a pseudonym, since the challenged law carries a criminal penalty) runs a political blog under the alias “The Real Write Wringer” and writes extensively about California politics, civil liberties, and the Second Amendment.

The case, Doe Publius v. Diane Boyer-Vine, Legislative Counsel of California, seeks a restraining order against and challenges California Government Code section 6254.21(c), which broadly restricts the publication of the home address or telephone number of any “elected or appointed official” on the Internet.

Following California Governor Jerry Brown’s July 1 signing of six new gun control laws, the FPC member (pseudonymized as “Publius” in the lawsuit due to potential criminal liability) published a post on July 5 saying, in part, “... below is the names, home addresses, and home phone numbers of all the legislators who decided to make you a criminal if you don’t abide by their dictates. So below is the current tyrant registry. These are the people who voted to send you to prison if you exercise your rights and liberties. This will be a constantly updated list depending on future votes ....”

Soon after, the political blog’s hosting site,, received a censorious takedown letter from the California Legislative Counsel threatening litigation if the “tyrant registry” wasn’t removed due to the “grave risk” that it supposedly posed to the safety of elected officials.

In her letter, Deputy Legislative Counsel Kathryn Londenberg told that “My office represents the California State Legislature” and that it had “come to [their] attention that the home addresses of 14 Senators and 26 Assembly Members have been publically [sic] posted on an Internet Web site hosted by you without the permission of these elected officials.” She went on to say that if the content was not taken down within 48 hours, “we reserve the right to file an action seeking injunctive relief, as well as associated court costs and attorney’s fees.”, which sees about 83 million unique monthly visits, and Automattic capitulated immediately, removing Publius’ “tyrant registry” content and subsequently barring them from publishing any similar content.

"Our Publius lawsuit argues that a State of California statute and the Legislative Counsel's demand letter threatening legal action and penalties unconstitutionally forced WordPress into taking down the material,” explained Brandon Combs, president of Firearms Policy Coalition.

“Our member’s truthful, non-threatening speech was attacked mere days after the elected subjects of their speech carpet-bombed the Bill of Rights in the largest legislative attack on Second Amendment rights in decades.”

“FPC will not tolerate it or its members voices being censored by any government.”

"The First Amendment protects the publication of facts about government officials, especially facts drawn from the public record,” explained Eugene Volokh, an attorney and UCLA law professor working on the Publius case.

“Of course, the First Amendment doesn't protect true threats of violence, but the statute and the California government's demand letter forbid all publication of these facts, whether or not accompanied by threats.”

The publication of legislators’ addresses and phone numbers can serve a variety of lawful purposes. For example, residential picketing is allowed in many places, and concerned citizens can hardly engage in such picketing to demand action from their legislators without knowing where they live.

And even where a local government has a valid content-neutral restriction on residential picketing, marching through residential neighborhoods, or even walking a route in front of an entire block of houses, is likely constitutionally protected conduct.

In Brayshaw v. City of Tallahassee, 709 F. Supp. 2d 1244 (N.D. Fla. 2010), the ACLU of Florida challenged a similar statute and got it struck down in an order by United States District Court Judge Richard Smoak, who held that the Florida law was facially “invalid as unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”

Following the victory, Randall Marshall, ACLU of Florida Legal Director, said that it “cannot be a crime to publish truthful information. With very rare exceptions, courts protect the publication of truthful information that is already available to the public.”

Publius is represented by Bradley Benbrook and Stephen Duvernay of Benbrook Law Group as well as Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor who has written and taught extensively about the First and Second Amendments.

Before joining the UCLA faculty 20 years ago, Volokh clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. He also operates the popular legal blog “The Volokh Conspiracy,” now hosted at the Washington Post.

A copy of the complaint, which includes exhibits containing the censored content, can be viewed or downloaded at

Friday, August 5, 2016

Commutations And Felons In Possession

It is within the power of the President of the United States to both commute sentences and grant pardons. President Obama used that power on Wednesday to commute the sentences of 214 individuals. This was the greatest number of commutations at a single time.

These commutations are being portrayed as being for mainly "nonviolent drug offenses". President Obama went on Facebook to argue that our drug laws are too harsh and that Congress needs to institute sentencing reform.
But this is a country that believes in second chances. So we've got to make sure that our criminal justice system works for everyone. We've got to make sure that it keeps our streets safe while also making sure that an entire class of people like Sherman (Chester) isn't relegated to a life on the margins.
The impression given is that many of those who had their sentences commuted were convicted of having relatively small amounts of drugs. How the Obama Administration defines "small" is open to debate.

Would you consider five kilograms of cocaine a small amount given the approximate street value per kilo is around $30,000? At least 15 of those convicted had this much or more in their possession when arrested. Of course it would be hard to top Ralph Casas of North Miami Beach who was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 9,445 kilograms of cocaine.

What does get me is that not all of these are "non-violent felons". Jazz Shaw at points out that about a fourth of those who had their sentences commuted were also convicted of crimes involving firearms.
Basically one in four of the commuted sentences were for gun charges. First of all, when you’re packing heat as part of your drug dealing business you’re not exactly projecting the image of the non-violent criminal, but that’s hardly the point here. We’re being lectured on a daily basis by Barack Obama and his Democratic allies about the need to shut down the flow of weapons, end gun violence and every other catch phrase you can imagine which involves limiting the Second Amendment rights of law abiding gun owners. We are also assured of the need to curb the power of “the gun lobby.” In response, conservatives regularly point out that we might want to enforce the gun laws we already have on the books first and deal with the actual criminals who are trafficking in illegal guns. (Which are used in the vast majority of gun crimes in this country.)
Going through the list - and I may have missed some - I found 25 convicted felons in possession of a firearm. For some reason I don't think these guys went through a NICS check. I know for sure that Kenneth Lee Kelley of Westville, OK didn't go through a NICS check because he was convicted of not only two counts of being a felon in possession but also for having a stolen firearm. Nor did Ervin Darnell Worthy of Akron, OH who had a firearm with a altered serial number.

Joshua Boyer of Tampa, FL takes the prize for most interesting firearms offense. He was convicted of having possession of a firearm that was not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. If I were to speculate, Mr. Boyer was emulating Jack Miller of US v. Miller fame in that he had a sawed off shotgun. He may, of course, had a full-auto firearm or a silencer.

Frankly, I really am not that sympathetic to junkies who ruin their lives by their choices. I am at the point where legalizing all drugs is starting to make some sense given the militarization of the police, overuse of SWAT teams, etc. However, knowing that junkies will do anything for their next fix including killing you or me for the change in our pockets, I am not that sure that commuting the sentences of those who facilitate drug use is the correct thing to do if we want to "keep our streets safe." I don't necessarily know the correct thing to do but commuting the sentences of many of these felons doesn't quite sit right with me.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Highest July On Record For Adjusted NICS Checks

The National Shooting Sports Foundation released their adjusted NICS checks numbers for July 2016. Let's just say upfront that all the gun control talk coming from Democrats is having an impact. It's just not the one they want.

From the NSSF Bullet Points:
The July 2016 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,210,731 is an increase of 27.9 percent compared to the July 2015 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 946,528. For comparison, the unadjusted July 2016 FBI NICS figure of 2,187,190 reflects a 37.6 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 1,589,462 in July 2015.
As you can see in the graphic below, July 2015 had been the highest on record as well and it just overwhelmingly eclipsed.

The next graphic shows the year over year results by month. For the last twelve months, the adjusted NICS checks numbers were greater than the same month in the prior year.

As always, NICS checks are not a perfect correlation with gun sales as many states use the NICS System for carry permit purposes and as a CCW is accepted in lieu of a NICS check in many states such as North Carolina and Texas.

Interesting Move On The Part Of Campari

Gruppo Campari has been the corporate owner of the Wild Turkey Distillery since 2009. In a very interesting move, they have named actor Matthew McConaughey as the Creative Director for Wild Turkey and its signature bourbons. According to reports, he signed a multi-year deal that will have him writing and creating advertising spots for the bourbon brand in addition to appearing in ads for it.

From AdWeek:
Often the hire is perceived as a stunt, but Melanie Batchelor, senior marketing director of whiskey for Wild Turkey's parent company, Gruppo Campari, says that isn't the case this time.

"I know that [celebrity creative director] can be a title that's talked about by a number of other companies, but our experience has been that Matthew has had an extremely high level of engagement," said Batchelor. "He's been involved in every single piece of the process, from writing the ads—he's obviously starring in the ads, and he's also directing the ads—so he's both in front of and behind the camera."

The ads mark the first time that McConaughey, who has also appeared in ads for brands like Lincoln, has served as a director.

"When making a movie, you have two hours to tell a story," said McConaughey in a statement. "Here I have 30 seconds to reintroduce the world to this authentic American brand that has helped shape an entire U.S. industry: bourbon. It will be a very interesting and fun challenge."
I will admit to thinking when I heard the news that it was a joke. However, after seeing the video short that he produced below, I've changed my mind. I really don't think Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell would have appeared in the video if McConaughey wasn't serious about it and about their bourbon.

We toured the distillery after attending the NRA Annual Meeting. I remember our tour guide was a salty old former USMC drill instructor from Salisbury, North Carolina. We talked bourbon and Cheerwine. Watching the video, it reminds me of both the unique location of the Wild Turkey Distillery overlooking the Kentucky River and of the tour we had.

I guess if having McConaughey on board as creative director pays off for Campari, executives in Sesto San Giovanni will gladly be saying, "Alright, alright, alright", with an Italian accent. I think they will also be trading their Negronis for Boulvardiers as it combines two of their signature products.

Sorry For The Light Blogging

Sorry for the light blogging this past week. We just got back this weekend from St. Louis where we were visiting family and friends.

I did get to visit with fellow gun blogger Charlie Foxtrot and his wife. He helps us on The Polite Society Podcast and he blogs at Not One More Gun Law. After a lifetime of living in Southern California, he is still somewhat amazed at the change in the role of the gun culture in local politics. He noted that politicians in California would never mention their NRA-PVF grades especially if they were better than a "F". By contrast, in Missouri, candidates fight over who is more gun friendly and brag on it.

I also got to visit a really great reloading shop in St. Charles. Graf's Reloading - not be confused with Graf & Sons - is a full-service shop dedicated to reloading. While they have a small gun counter, reloading is their specialty. Seeing row after row of just bullets in any weight, style, or caliber was amazing. If you are in the St. Louis area and have time, they are just off of Interstate 70 in St. Charles. I found their prices to be very competitive and cheaper than the Bass Pro Shop down the street.

My granddaughter Olivia Grace traveled with us to St. Louis and was a big hit. She is fast approaching one and a half. As the picture below shows, she might have a future in reloading as she was quite interested in the bags of bullets.

We also trolled a number of thrift shops while in the St. Louis area. I picked up that cast iron pot in the picture at thrift shop and think it will be just right to serve as a lead melting pot. For $4 it can't be beat.