Friday, April 28, 2017

SAF, CalGuns, Firearms Policy Coalition, And Others Sue California Over Mag Ban

News of this was released this afternoon while I was in the Annual National Firearms Law Seminar and didn't have my computer handy. A coalition of groups including the Second Amendment Foundation, the CalGuns Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and the Firearms Policy Foundation plus seven individuals filed suit challenging the state's ban on standard capacity magazines. The suit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California.

From the news release sent out by the CalGuns Foundation:
FRESNO, CA (April 28, 2017) — Today, attorneys for 7 individual gun owners and 4 civil rights advocacy organizations have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the State of California’s ban on so-called “large-capacity” firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds “on their own behalves, and as representatives on behalf of the class of individuals who are or would be affected by the Large-Capacity Magazine Ban.”
The civil rights case, captioned as William Wiese, et al. v. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, et al., was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Fresno Division, and is supported by civil rights groups The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF)
A copy of the lawsuit’s complaint and its exhibits can be viewed or downloaded here.
Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1446 (SB 1446), which changed state statutes to completely ban law-abiding people from possessing all “large-capacity” firearm magazines as of July 1, 2017. Following that, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s Proposition 63 (Prop 63) “Safety For All Act” gun control initiative—which also contained language banning “large-capacity” magazines—was passed by voters in the November general election.
Prior to Proposition 63 and SB 1446, thousands of law-abiding Californians could possess legally-owned (“grandfathered”) large-capacity magazines, but now must remove them from their possession or ownership in the State by July 1 at their own expense or face criminal liability and fines.
The plaintiffs believe that the State’s ban violates their constitutional rights, including their fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms protected under the Second Amendment, because magazines are “an intrinsic part of all semi-automatic firearms” and “are not merely individual pieces of personal property, but rather, are intrinsic and inherent constitutionally-protected parts of constitutionally-protected firearms.”
In a “Finding of Emergency” for related firearm magazine regulations it had sought to issue in December (attached to the complaint as Exhibit A), the California Department of Justice admitted that “[t]here are likely hundreds of thousands of large-capacity magazines in California at this time” and that the “Department therefore expects many gun owners to be affected by the new ban.”
In addition to its Second Amendment claims, the lawsuit “further challenges the Large-Capacity Magazine Ban statutory scheme which would…. subject thousands of law-abiding gun owners to criminal liability and sanctions, and subjecting their lawfully-possessed personal property to forfeiture, seizure and permanent confiscation, without due process or compensation.”
The case also includes vagueness challenges, one of which centers on the confusion surrounding the State’s two active—but very different—chaptered versions of Penal Code § 32406. A number of exemptions to the ban are found in the active Section 32406 that was enacted under SB 1446, but the active version of Section 32406 enacted by California voters under Prop 63 contains far fewer exemptions.
“California’s magazine ban laws violate the constitutional rights of law-abiding people in many ways,” said attorney George M. Lee, a partner of the plaintiffs’ San Francisco law firm Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate LLP. “Not only does the ban infringe on Second Amendment rights, but it is clearly now a taking of private property. In fact, as we contend in the complaint, it amounts to a de facto confiscation.”
Lee also takes issue with the way the new magazine ban affects people who have lawfully possessed “grandfathered” magazines since before the original ban on importation in 2000. “As a part of the legislative compromise associated with that original ban, owners of those grandfathered magazines were specifically exempt from the law,” he said. “The Legislature is basically reneging on that deal made many years ago.”
“The State of California’s ban scheme stands for the proposition that most any personal property can simply be taken away from you or forced out of your possession without due process or just compensation by legislative fiat,” commented CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman. “Today it’s firearm magazines, but tomorrow it will most certainly be some other constitutionally-protected private property.”
“Enforcement of this ban,” explained SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “would immediately place thousands of law-abiding California gun owners in jeopardy of criminal liability and subjects their personal property to forfeiture, seizure and permanent confiscation, which is government taking, without due process or compensation. We cannot allow that to go unchallenged.”
“California’s magazine laws will turn many thousands of good, law-abiding people into criminals,” said Brandon Combs, president of FPC and chairman of FPF, “but do nothing to advance public safety.
“While California’s political leadership might prefer some kind of police state without any Second Amendment or property rights, we believe that the Constitution takes their policy preferences off the table. This lawsuit is one of many that we hope will help restore fundamental freedoms in the Golden State and across the nation.”
Douglas A. Applegate, also of Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate LLP, joins Lee on the case as co-counsel.
This plus the NRA lawsuit is a good start.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Way To Diminish Women, Brady Center

I received the Brady Center's email announcing their Los Angeles fund raiser. The host for it will be Viveca Paulin-Ferrell. According to Wikipedia, it notes that she is a trustee of the LA County Museum of Art and had been an auctioneer for high-end auction houses such Bonhams and Butterfield & Butterfield. Given this, you might think she would be the person pictured in the email.

You would be wrong.

I am thrilled to announce Viveca Paulin-Ferrell to host our Los Angeles Gala Auction again this year!
You may know Viveca from her entertainment career and advocacy work, but you may not know that she is also a talented auctioneer who helps pull in the necessary resources to help us fight gun violence.
Please join Viveca at this year’s LA Gala on June 7th. This fundraiser comes at a critical time in our fight for gun violence prevention. Viveca and all who attend or contribute to the fundraiser are part of a growing group of people standing up to protect Americans from gun violence. You can join us in person and perhaps bid alongside Viveca’s husband Will (as pictured here), or send in your special donation today.
Thank you for adding your support to this important event, and for ensuring we have the resources to arm all Americans with the truth about guns.
I hope to see you there,
Join us in LA!
It is kind of sad. While Ms. Paulin-Ferrell seems to have had successful career on her own, the only reason the Brady Center wants her is for the famous father of her children.

Is The Republican Majority In NC Using Democrat Roy Cooper For Cover On Gun Rights?

As the alert from Grass Roots North Carolina states below, the Republicans have held a veto-proof majority in both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly for the last three sessions. It seems that they are more interested in who can use a public restroom than in protecting an enumerated Constitutional right that is found in both the US and North Carolina Constitutions. It is time to say, "Get real!" and remind them that the reason many North Carolinians put them in office was to protect and enhance our fundamental right to self-protection which includes getting rid of the racially-inspired pistol purchase permit system.

From GRNC's alert:


NC Republicans are failing to support the Second Amendment, and you’ll never believe their excuse …

Since voters have given the GOP a veto-proof majority, three elections in a row, you might expect the Republicans to use the power we’ve vested in them to push the principles of a free republic; to fight for the recognition and protection of long-eroding gun rights, for example. Unfortunately, if you expected this you would be disappointed. Republicans have gone squishy on gun rights, and you’ll probably be perplexed by their excuse.

Anti-gun Governor is Calling the Shots for Republicans
Republicans have cited a likely “veto from Governor Cooper” as a reason to sell out gun owners. They think they don’t have the votes to override a veto. So, like true RINOs, the legislative actions the House majority are willing to take are predicated on one thought: “what would Governor Cooper do?”

Entire GOP Caucus Running Cover for RINOs
There is no reason that House leaders and committee chairs can’t see these bills to the House floor for a recorded vote and simply let the votes fall where they may. Then why won’t they? It’s simple. If they were unable to pass a particular pro-gun bill, or were unable to override Gov. Cooper’s veto, the squishy, anti-gun RINOs who caused the failure would be exposed for what they are—Pro-gun in Name Only. To keep these softer Republicans from being exposed, the entire caucus is covering for them by hoisting the white flag without a fight. This of course makes all of them complicit in the anti-gun charade.

A Ray of Hope
Although it is thin gruel, Rep. Chris Millis (R-Onslow, Pender) did indeed attach a fiscal note to pro-gun legislation. The fiscal note means that a bill isn't required to meet the fast approaching crossover deadline in order to remain viable. That gives gun rights supporters more time to contact Republican representatives to ask them why Governor Cooper is running the Republican Party, and insist Republicans get in gear and push through these important pro-Second Amendment bills.

Email and Call – Every Day
Please email and phone the Republican sellouts every day. Below, under ‘Immediate Action Required’ and ‘Deliver This Message,’ see how you can easily do this. Republican politicians have banded together to sell you out, and they’re on the cusp of making it official. The Republicans need to know that you are aware of this, and you’re not going to stand for it. They also need to know that you expect them to revive the gun legislation they’re trying to kill and get it to the floor for a vote. This message, from gun owners like you, who gave them their House seats, must be hammered home—daily.

If House Republicans are going to stand as a group against gun owners, they will be held accountable as a group.


  • EVERY DAY, PLEASE PHONE YOUR NC REPRESENTATIVE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. Use the Speaker’s phone number provided below, and the link provided to find your representative.
    Speaker Moore:  919-733-3451

    Click here to find your representative and get his or her phone number (or go to:

    Ask them why, as the super-majority party, they are basing legislative decisions on our anti-gun governor’s platform, and why they've ceded power to him without a fight. Gov. Cooper should not be running the Republican Party.

    Tell them you are aware that pro-gun legislation is still alive, and insist that they get it to the floor for a vote. If the Republican Caucus is going to stand as a group with Governor Cooper, then gun owners will hold them accountable as a group.

  • PLEASE EMAIL THE NC REPUBLICAN CAUCUS EVERY DAY. Use the copy paste email lists(s) and the copy/paste email text provided below under ‘Deliver This Message.’
House Republican Caucus copy/paste email *list(s):;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

*Spam filters or email program limitations may cause the need to send more than one email, to cover the entire list of representatives. If so, the list above is split into pieces, for your convenience.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Warning Shots Are Now OK For Police? Huh?

We as armed civilians are always told that we are responsible for every bullet that leaves our gun. Sometimes this is characterized as every bullet carries a lawyer with it. We are also told that warning shots are never a good idea. If you are in a deadly encounter and you are forced to fire your firearm, then firing a warning shot contradicts the fact that this is a deadly encounter.

What got my attention on this was the newsletter from the Force Science Institute. They were asking for feedback on the "National Consensus Policy on Use of Force" which was published this year by a group of police associations including the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. As part of the section on the use of deadly force, the consensus was that warning shots should be considered by police when they are in a situation warranting the use of deadly force.

From the Force Science Institute:
In a section devoted to deadly force, the Consensus acknowledges that warning shots are “inherently dangerous.” But the guidelines suggest that they be permitted when:

“1. the use of deadly force is justified;

“2. the warning shot will not pose a substantial risk of injury or death to the officer or others; and

3. “the officer reasonably believes that the warning shot will reduce the possibility that deadly force will have to be used.”

In a recent radio interview, the IACP’s deputy executive director, Terrence Cunningham, said “a lot of discussion” preceded this recommendation and that the intent is to give officers more leeway when faced with a threat. He referenced “this new environment in use of force where everybody is trying to learn how to better de-escalate.”

And he asked, “Why not give officers more tools? I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Some trainers, however, have expressed concern that adopting this policy will create a public expectation that warning shots should be fired before every use of force—or that this will open the door to officially urging officers to shoot to wound as the next logical step.
So these cops now think a "McClatchy" (or warning shot named after the co-host of Slam Fire Radio, a Canadian gun podcast) is OK.  Frankly, I think it is a stupid idea.

I'm not sure how I missed it but this was covered by NPR in late March. Massad Ayoob was the first trainer interviewed in the report. He thinks it "opens a can of worms".

Mas had a couple of blog posts on this at Backwoods Home asking for comments. You can read them here and here.

For an extended discussion of warning shots on Liberty Watch Radio between Charles Heller and Mas, go here. It is a great discussion.

While the consensus of these police organizations is that a warning shot has its place, I think I'll defer to more conventional wisdom and especially that of Massad Ayoob and avoid their use. I think they have just too much liability attached them to even consider their use. Besides, as my Dad taught me ages ago, "if you pull a gun on a man you better be ready to use it. If not, he'll shove it up your ass."

Monday, April 24, 2017

Tweet Of The Day

Reflecting on the results of the presidential election in France wherein Emmanuel Macron will face Marine Le Pen in a run-off, David Burge - IowaHawk - tweeted this.

I don't know how he comes up with this stuff but damn that was good.

NRA And CRPA Sue California Over Assault Weapons Control Act

I have not seen the complaint yet but the NRA and the California Rifle and Pistol Association are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the State of California that seeks to have the Assault Weapons Control Act declared unconstitutional. Attorney Chuck Michel said the complaint would be up soon.

I think this is just the beginning of the lawsuits to come against the new gun control laws enacted in 2016 plus by Prop 63.

From the NRA-ILA on the lawsuit:
Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced it is supporting, along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s newly expanded Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA).

The suit, Rupp v. Becerra, seeks to have the courts declare the AWCA unconstitutional because the ill-conceived law will do nothing to stop terrorists or violent criminals, and infringes on the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

The AWCA makes it illegal to manufacture, sell, transport, import or transfer hundreds of popular and commonly owned semi-automatic firearms the law inappropriately demonizes and condemns as “assault weapons.” This means it is illegal for owners to transfer or sell these firearms to anyone in California, including to their own children or heirs upon death. And owners themselves will be violating the law by continuing to possess their firearms unless they register them as “assault weapons” with the state.

The Rupp case was filed in direct response to a number of anti-gun-owner laws, including the expanded “assault weapon” statute, which were signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in July 2016. Collectively, those new gun bans have become known as “gunmageddon” among California’s roughly 10 million gun owners. The Rupp case challenges those restrictions, as well as California’s broader statutory scheme, which arbitrarily and unconstitutionally restricts the use and possession of the most commonly owned firearms in the United States.

Multiple lawsuits challenging other aspects of the unconstitutional laws passed last year are also in the works and will be filed in the coming weeks. Rupp is the first of a number of NRA/CRPA sponsored lawsuits soon to be filed that will challenge the “gunmageddon” bills, as well as the new laws enacted by Proposition 63 -- which was overwhelmingly opposed by law enforcement.

101 Years Ago Today

Since we are on the topic of countries declaring their independence, 101 years ago today, on Easter Monday 1916, the Irish Republican Brotherhood joined by the Irish Citizens Army and the Irish Volunteers declared independence from Great Britain. They were joined by a women's paramilitary group Cumann na mBan.

As I made clear in a post from a few years ago, the Easter Rising was quickly crushed by British forces. It would take another six years before an independent Ireland, the Irish Free State, was created under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

Given my Irish ancestry, I've always felt fortunate to be born on April 24th.

UPDATE: For an interesting article on how families were divided with nationalists on one side and serving members of the British Army on the other, the Irish Times has a great article on Eamonn Ceannt (Kent) and his brother William Kent who was killed in France a year later. Eamonn was a signatory to the proclamation of Irish Republic and was executed by the British in 1916.

A Nice Way To Honor 100 Years Of Finnish Independence

2017 marks the 100th year of Finnish independence. They had been a part of the Kingdom of Sweden until 1809 when they were ceded to Russia as the Grand Duchy of Finland. With the October Revolution and the overthrow of the Czar, the Finns declared their independence.

Now a musical interlude to set the mood and what would be more appropriate than Jean Sibelius' Finlandia.

To commemorate this momentous event, the Finnish firearms company Sako is releasing a limited edition of their TRG 22 sniper rifle in white snow camo.

A special commemorative knife will come with the rifle as well as extra magazines, a bipod, and a case.

I'm sure some people, though not my readers, would be aghast that a company would release a firearm to commemorate 100 years of a free Finland. To those people I would say remember the Winter War and the role that snipers played in keeping the Red Army at bay. Indeed, one sniper, Simo Häyhä, is credited with over 500 kills in a 100 day period using a Mosin-Nagant with iron sights.

Sako was founded a few short years after independence and has played a significant role in the indigenous firearms industry in Finland. They are now part of the Beretta Group.

This press release announcing the TRG-22 "Finland 100" gives more details:

Sako is manufacturing a limited edition of numbered Sako TRG 22 “Finland 100” sniper rifles with white camouflage, designed in the spirit of Finnish persistence to celebrate fFnland’s 100 years of independence. This jubilee model will become a collector’s item.

SAKO, which started as a gunsmith’s shop for the White Guard's joint chiefs of staff and has evolved into a globally renowned manufacturer of rifles and ammunition, has been an important element of the history of independent Finland. Now SAKO wants to pay homage to its traditions and above all to its 100-year old homeland by manufacturing a numbered series of 100 Sako TRG 22 “Finland 100” sniper rifles.

The TRG 22 “Finland 100” jubilee model is offered in .308 Win caliber. The white snow camouflage colouring of the stock and barrelled action of this real collector’s item reflects the severity of the Finnish winter, and, also pays homage to the heroes of the Winter War who saved Finland’s independence in demanding conditions – and relied on Sako products even then.

The Sako TRG 22 “Finland 100” sniper rifle has the text “Finland 100”, and the gun’s serial number is laser-engraved on its frame. The rifle is packaged in a carry case with a jubilee knife with the same engravings as the rifle itself. The jubilee model also comes with two magazines, bipod, muzzle brake and removable open sights.

Sako is retaining part of the series for its own use, for example to be sold in charity auctions. However, part of the series of 100 guns will also be available for sale. Those interested in the Sako TRG 22 “Finland 100” collector's item should enquire from the importers of Sako products in their respective countries.
I was fortunate enough to visit Finland in 1978 while in college. I regret that I've never had a chance to return as it was a beautiful country. I still have my Leuko reindeer knife as a reminder.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Polite Society Podcast Patches

Many of you remember the legal travails that Paul Lathrop of the Polite Society Podcast went through last year. To refresh your memories, a hothead at a truck stop falsely accused Paul of waving a gun in his face and threatening to shoot him. This led to his arrest for "terroristic threats" and "possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony". The good news is all charges were dropped as surveillance video confirmed Paul's account of the incident. The bad news is that he still has some debts left over from the incident.

To help retire these debts, I have had Polite Society Podcast patches made. These patches are 100% silk thread embroidered with a Velcro backing. It measures 2.5" square. As you can see below, the patch company did a great job with our logo.

The price for these patches is $10 for one or $18 for two including postage. I have set up a special PayPal account to handle the sales of these patches. Payments can be sent via PayPal to I'm not going to ask you to send the money as a "gift" but I won't stop you if you do as PayPal charges a transaction fee for payment for "goods".

If you don't wish to use PayPal, just pop me an email there and I'll send you an address to mail a check.

I will have some of these patches with me at the NRA Annual Meeting if you happen to run into me there.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Let's Call It What It Really Is - Institutionalized Racism

I just received an email from the Brady Campaign railing about North Carolina HB 588 and how it rolls back "four decades" of "lifesaving background checks". I'll let you read it first and then I will comment on it.
The corporate gun industry is bringing its fight to weaken lifesaving background checks to North Carolina! Right now, they’re pushing H.B. 588, a dangerous bill that would dramatically undermine the current background check system, through the state legislature.

This bill would roll back at least four decades of a lifesaving policy requiring a background check and a "permit to purchase" for every handgun sale. If this bill passes, dangerous people will easily be able to acquire handguns at gun shows, online or from private individuals without any background check whatsoever.

These permits are proven to lower suicide rates. And when Missouri eliminated a similar law in 2007, the state saw a 25 percent increase in the gun murder rate!

H.B. 588 would also require universities, community colleges, and some houses of worship to allow hidden loaded handguns on campus -- even against their wishes.

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to consider H.B. 588 at any time. It’s critical that we STOP this bill before it goes any further -- and before it has the chance to put North Carolina lives at risk.

Call committee members today and urge them to oppose H.B. 588 and stand up for lifesaving gun laws!

Thank you,

Kris Brown Chief Strategy Officer
First let's be clear - HB 588 does not eliminate the pistol purchase permit as much as I'd like to see it do that. It merely changes how the mental health reporting requirement is implemented. Nothing more and nothing less in that section of the bill.

What the Brady Campaign calls "four decades of a lifesaving policy requiring a background check and a 'permit to purchase' for every handgun sales" is actually 98 years of institutionalized racism. They won't say it but it is what it is.

The pistol purchase permit system was adopted by the General Assembly in 1919 for the implied purpose of denying blacks - and especially those who were veterans that had just come back from France in World War I - the ability to have a handgun for self-defense. There had been significant racial unrest in various North Carolina cities post-war with a major riot in Winston-Salem in late 1918. The "Act to Regulate the Sale of Concealed Weapons in North Carolina" was adopted soon after in March 1919. The primary sponsor of the bill was State Sen. Earle A. Humphrey (D-Goldsboro). Sen. Humphrey's brother-in-law, US Sen. Furnifold Simmons, was the architect of the NC Democrat's segregationist political agenda. I think you can connect the dots here.

As to the claim about the increase in murders in Missouri, it all has to do with how you cherry pick your data. Dr. John Lott exposed it here and here.

The bill would allow a person with a valid carry permit to carry on school property that is also used for worship services AFTER school hours. My thinking is that was included as many church communities have instituted security teams consisting of trained congregation members.

And yes, HB 588 would allow campus carry at both community colleges and public universities in North Carolina. And, yes, it is against the wishes of university administrators because, let's face it, they are anti anything that takes power out of their hands including a monopoly on the power of violence. That said, I also don't know of any public university campus in North Carolina that is fenced and has controlled entry. While they all have their police forces they also are all open to criminals and potential terrorists.

HB 588 does clarify that merely possessing or carrying a firearm, openly or legally concealed, is not grounds for charging a person with going in terror of the public. Many citizens who were legally open carrying and minding their own business have been charged with "going in terror of the public". These cases also are usually thrown out of court because walking down a public sidewalk in a non-threatening manner while open carrying is not a crime in North Carolina.

Instead of calling legislators to ask them to stop HB 588, I suggest calling them to demand an end to 98 years of institutionalized racism and an end to keeping our sons and daughters as defenseless targets in officially gun free zones.

Knife Check Offered By Knife Rights For NRA Leadership Forum

If you are attending the NRA Annual Meeting and plan on attending Friday's Leadership Forum, you need to remember that Secret Service rules are in effect. In other words, you won't be allowed to carry concealed nor will you be allowed to have a knife on your person because the President will be in the attendance.

Last year Knife Rights set up a knife check system and they will again be offering it. As a bonus, if you check your knife with them you could win a new custom knife.

From their newsletter:

Knife Rights FREE Knife Check at NRA for Trump Speech 

Knife Rights is pleased to be able to again provide a FREE Knife Check to NRA Annual Meeting attendees who are going to hear President Trump speak at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum next Friday in Atlanta.  Last year we checked over 2,600 knives in Louisville when then-candidate Trump spoke.

Again this year, Hogue Knives has generously donated a very nice prize that all those who check their knives will be eligible to win.  This year it's a Damascus X5 Flipper that has been custom ground by Allen Elishewitz, valued at $500.  Attendees who bring their Knife Check Claim Stub to the Knife Rights Booth #3717 will be entered to win.

Click here for more information on the NRA-ILA Freedom Forum or to get tickets. 

Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge there won't be any similar gun check system for those carrying concealed. Tom Lindsay at the Fill Yer Hands blog mentioned that Georgia Carry had considered it and then discarded the idea as too expensive and complicated.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Anti-Gun Law Professors Pen Amicus Brief In Bushmaster Lawsuit

Thirteen law professors have penned an amicus brief supporting the plaintiffs in Soto et al v. Bushmaster et al. This is the Connecticut state case where Bushmaster, the distributor, and the FFL are being sued for negligent entrustment for selling an AR15 to the Newton murderer's mother. The case is before the Connecticut Supreme Court on appeal after it was dismissed at the superior court level where the judge said negligent entrustment did not apply.

From the Connecticut Law Tribune:
While a state Superior Court previously ruled negligent entrustment doesn't apply in this case, the professors' brief claims the "flexible tort has been applied to a range of domains, including firearms."

The brief's co-author, Stanford law professor Nora Freeman Engstrom, said negligent entrustment boils down to one question. "That is, did the defendant take adequate precautions given the magnitude of the foreseeable risk? And, here, the jury might ultimately find the defendant failed to take adequate precautions in their sale of military grade assault weapons to an untrained civilian population."

Negligent entrustment occurs when a party provides a product to another party knowing the receiving party may injure someone.
The first case cited in their brief is State v. Skakel in support of their argument for a "flexible tort". That was the murder case involving the Kennedy cousin who may or may not have killed a 15 year old girl with a golf club. As things would have it, Michael Skakel's original attorney was my mom's first cousin and the Skakel family attorney. How weird is that?

Among the group of attorneys on the brief is Prof. John J. Donohue III of Stanford University. Prof. Donohue is best known for his attacks on John Lott's research.

In News That I Missed, The Sky Is Falling

Actually, in the news I missed from last week, SCCY Industries is moving from Florida to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.

From the Daily Times in Maryville, TN:
A Florida handgun manufacturer has reached an agreement with Blount Partnership to bring more than 350 jobs to Blount County with an initial $22.5 million investment, constructing a 150,000-square-foot campus to house corporate, research and development and manufacturing facilities.

SCCY Industries LLC — which company President Wayne Holt said is “probably the fastest growing semi-automatic handgun manufacturer in the United States”— also voiced plans Wednesday to move the company’s headquarters from Daytona Beach to the 68-acre lot in Big Springs Industrial Park.

SCCY founder and CEO Joe Roebuck said during today’s announcement that SCCY needs to expand and it’s “not happening” at its current location in Daytona Beach, Fla., where it employs about 200 people. “We’re at about 40,000 square feet and there’s no room to grow,” Roebuck said, explaining that the biggest problem the manufacturer has there is space and electricity.

Roebuck said his original plan was to expand here, but decided, “Tennessee’s been so great. We’ve got a big piece of land. I’m gonna do it all there.”

“I’m gonna keep a small footprint back in Florida, but I’m moving my headquarters here,” Roebuck said, later explaining, “It’s only going to be an office — maybe some engineering. Ninety-nine percent of the company is coming up here.”

Roebuck also said the estimated employment of 350 people is “very conservative.”
And in something that Michael Bane would appreciate, the story at the link above also included a video of his visit to the SCCY factory in Florida.

The Knoxville News Sentinel produced this video clip of the highlights of the story. They also included this about CEO Joe Roebuck's expansion plans.
Roebuck employs about 200 in his Florida factory, but plans to move only “a few key people,” maybe a half-dozen, to Tennessee as he gradually shuts down the Daytona Beach facility, he said.

Roebuck said he hopes to start construction on a 75,000-square-foot plant late this year or early next, and begin production in mid- to late 2018. Initially, it will have about 200 employees, hired locally, and SCCY will add 50 to 60 people per year for the following three years, he said.

"Anything from office work to machine operator all the way up to high-level administrator” will be hired, Roebuck said. He also intends to start a paid four-year apprenticeship program.

Roebuck plans a campus of five industrial buildings, plus a “sky lodge” to house visiting industry leaders and gun writers, with an outdoor shooting range, he said.
Given I live on the other side of the Smokies, I think this is a very interesting development. I can see why he picked the the Tennessee side rather than here in North Carolina - no income tax, less expensive land, a (somewhat) Republican governor, and a stronger industrial base than in the Asheville area. With some luck, maybe we'll see a blogger shoot put on by SCCY Industries similar to what did back in 2011. That would be cool.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

242 Years Today A Group Of Farmers And Shopkeepers Stopped Being Subjects

Two hundred forty-two years ago today a group of subjects who insisted on their rights started along the path to citizenship.

It began when Gen. Thomas Gage, the military governor of the Massachusetts Colony and the commander in chief of the 3,000 or so British regulars, had been ordered by William Legge, the 2nd Earl of Dartmouth and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, to disarm the militia. Gage sent forth approximately 700 British infantrymen on the night of April 18th to seize the colonists' arms stored at Concord. Their advanced guard led by Major John Pitcairn entered Lexington at sunrise and were met by approximately 80 militiamen.

According to the sworn statement of Captain John Parker who was their leader:
I ... ordered our Militia to meet on the Common in said Lexington to consult what to do, and concluded not to be discovered, nor meddle or make with said Regular Troops (if they should approach) unless they should insult or molest us; and, upon their sudden Approach, I immediately ordered our Militia to disperse, and not to fire:—Immediately said Troops made their appearance and rushed furiously, fired upon, and killed eight of our Party without receiving any Provocation therefor from us.
Who actually fired the first shot will never be known conclusively. Nonetheless, someone did fire his musket and the American Revolution for all intents and purposes began.

The right to keep and bear arms had been well established as a right of (Protestant) Englishman since at least 1689 and this is what the militiamen at Lexington and Concord fought to preserve. While our rights today at the national level are under less threatened than they were in the past eight years, we still have to fight for them. No matter who is in the White House or who controls Congress our rights will always be susceptible to attack. That is why we must always remember April 19th and what it stands for.

Reporting Sad News

I just read that Kevin O'Brien - Hognose - of the WeaponsMan blog has passed away this morning. I saw a post by Tom Kratman and then read the full post on the blog.

His brother Brendan posted this (in part) on the blog:
Kevin and I really became close friends after our childhood. We saw each other just about every day after he moved to a house just two miles away from mine. In the winter of 2015, we began building our airplane together. You could not ask for a better building partner.

Last Thursday night was our last “normal” night working on the airplane. I could not join him Friday night, but on Saturday morning I got a call from the Portsmouth Regional Hospital. He had called 911 on Friday afternoon and was taken to the ER with what turned out to be a massive heart attack. Evidently he was conscious when he was brought in, but his heart stopped and he was revived after 60 minutes of CPR. He never reawakened.

On Saturday, he was transported to Brigham and Women’s where the medical staff made absolutely heroic efforts to save his life. Our dad came up on Sunday and we visited him Sunday, Monday, and today. Each day his condition became worse.

As of last night, it was obvious to everyone that he had almost no chance of survival; and that if he did by some chance survive, he would have no quality of life. Kevin’s heart was damaged beyond repair, his kidneys were not functioning, he had not regained consciousness, and he had internal bleeding that could not be stopped. We made the decision this morning to terminate life support.
I enjoyed the WeaponsMan blog because it was informative, educational, and well written regardless of the subject of the post. Hognose did superlative reporting on the Colt bankruptcy among other things. Hognose aka Kevin O'Brien brought a new vitality to blogging and he will be missed.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Infographic - Suppressors And Hearing Protection

Brownells, Inc. has posted an excellent infographic on their Facebook page. It shows things like the decibel level of a gun shot, the average decibel reduction by use of a suppressor, and the impact on hearing of shooting with only a suppressor. Given the nonsensical approach taken by media like the New York Times editorial page and the lies from anti-gun groups like American for Responsible Solutions, this is instructive.

While wearing hearing protection such as ear muffs and ear plugs is essential, the combination of a suppressor plus muffs or ear plugs is even better.

This goes to illustrate when the Hearing Protection Act is not an effort to spur sales for the gun industry but an effort to both reduce noise pollution and to promote public health. While the passage of the Hearing Protection Act would spur sales that is merely incidental in my opinion. As I wrote earlier this year, can you imagine waiting 272 days for government approval to use a product that improves health and safety? Could you imagine the fine OSHA would levy a business if it waited that long?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Guess Who Will Be At The NRA Annual Meeting

That's right, President Donald Trump. The NRA posted this on their official Instagram page yesterday.

Donald Trump becomes the first sitting president to address a NRA Annual Meeting since Ronald Reagan did it back in 1983.

From Bloomberg Politics:
“The NRA is honored to have the president address our annual meeting at the leadership forum,” said Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA. “We’re excited to once again have a president who respects the Second Amendment.”

The NRA endorsed Trump’s bid for president last May, after the then-candidate addressed the group’s annual forum in Louisville, Kentucky. Trump pledged at the time to “save our Second Amendment” and appoint judges which would support expansive gun rights.

His return visit to speak to the group’s 2017 Leadership Forum in Atlanta is likely to appeal to Trump’s base at a time when he has received criticism for reversing himself on promises to his most ardent supporters. At the same time, Trump’s speech to the influential lobby could repel Democrats and moderates who have been chafing under his presidency and have blocked some of his proposals from advancing in Congress.
Speaking to the NRA might repel Democrats but there isn't much Trump does that doesn't repel liberal Democrats. However, I see Trump's visit as part of a "thank-you tour" to those who supported in 2016 and whose support he continues to need.

Appointing Justice Gorsuch and signing the repeal of the anti-rights Social Security regulations were good first steps. Now we need to see movement on national reciprocity and the Hearing Protection Act. More solid judicial appointments would not hurt either.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Judicial Watch Goes To Court Against The BATFE

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives just can't seem to keep themselves out of the news this week. The watchdog group Judicial Watch sued BATFE because they still have not responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents relating to the attempt to ban 5.56x45 "green-tip" ammunition. The FOIA request was made made in March 2015.

From Judicial Watch on their suit:
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the agency failed to respond to a March 9, 2015, FOIA request seeking information on the ammo ban effort:

  • All records of communications, including emails, to or from employees or officials of the ATF related to the decision to revise the ATF 2014 Regulation Guide to no longer exempt 5.56 mm. SS109 and M855 (i.e., “green tip” AR-15) ammunition from the definition of “armor-piercing” ammunition.

The precise statutory definition of “armor-piercing ammunition” can be found in 18 U.S.C §921(a)(17).

“This is yet another example of how Obama’s wanton use of the ‘pen and the phone’ attempted to undermine the constitutional rights of all Americans, as opposed to upholding the rule of law,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama ATF simply ignored our request on their ammo ban. Let’s hope the Trump administration finally brings transparency to this out-of-control agency.”
Reading through the complaint, it appears that BATFE just blew off this FOIA request and didn't even assign it a control number. The complaint asks the District Court to order BATFE to search their records for the requested documents, to order them to hand over all non-exempt documents, and to enjoin them from continuing to withhold any of the requested documents. Judicial Watch is also asking for attorneys' fees.

Judicial Watch is known for its success in these types of lawsuits. It will make for interesting reading what they uncover.

Project Gunwalker Is Back In the News

Project Gunwalker aka Operation Fast and Furious is back in the news. That is because the suspected killer of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has been apprehended in Mexico on Tuesday.

William Lajeunesse of FoxNews reports:
The suspect, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, was apprehended by a joint U.S.-Mexico law enforcement task force that included the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals and the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC).

A $250,000 reward had been sought for information leading to the arrest of Osorio-Arellanes, who was captured at a ranch on the border of the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Chihuahua. U.S. authorities have said they will seek his extradition.

Terry was killed on Dec. 14, 2010 in a gunfight between Border Patrol agents and members of a five-man cartel "rip crew," which regularly patrolled the desert along the U.S.-Mexico border looking for drug dealers to rob.

The agent's death exposed Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operation in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them once they made their way into Mexico. But the agency lost track of more than 1,400 of the 2,000 guns they allowed smugglers to buy. Two of those guns were found at the scene of Terry's killing.
Four members of the "rip crew" have been arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison in the United States. Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga is the only remaining member of the "rip crew" still at large.

In a sane world, the involvement of the Obama Administration and Attorney General Eric Holder in Project Gunwalker should have brought it down. It didn't. Given all the talk about "fake news", this whole sordid episode is a reminder of how the mainstream media did not do its job.

The only two mainstream reporters that worked on the story were Fox's Lajeuness and then-CBS Investigative Report Sharyl Attkisson. If it was not for the efforts of the late Mike Vanderboegh, David Codrea, and Dave Workman, we never would have even known that the Justice Department and the BATFE were involved in allowing firearm to be walked to Mexico in an effort to build support for gun control measures.

While nothing will bring back Brian Terry, I'm happy to see his killer apprehended.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Difference Between Stupid And Really Stupid

Stupid is blowing off a "request" to appear before the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. The committee was investigating the death of a Federal law enforcement officer, ICE's Jaime Zapata, by Mexican cartel members using firearms BATFE allowed to be "walked" to Mexico.

This is what BATFE's Associate Deputy Director Ronald B. "Ron" Turk did on Thursday, March 9th. In response, the committee chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), issued a subpoena for Mr. Turk.

Now that was stupid. Really stupid is what happens next.

Turk did finally appear on April 4th at another House Oversight hearing at which his earlier absence was noted. After getting into it with Rep. Chaffetz about why he didn't appear when "invited", Turk made this accusation as he really starts to go off: "You want to get your 15 seconds of YouTube minute time to challenge my honor." You can see this starting at 4:56 in the attached YouTube video.

It takes Rep. Chaffetz another minute or so of questioning before he really lights into Turk for blowing off the committee and for his YouTube comment. That starts at 7:12 and runs until about 8:04. At this point Turk realizes that he has screwed up and starts to grovel for the remainder of the time.

Bear in mind that Turk is not only the number two person at BATFE but he is also a Brigadier General in the Maryland Air Nation Guard where he serves as Chief of Staff. He didn't get to those two positions by being a good street agent or a good airman. He got there by being a good politician and a good politician should know when to shut up. That he had that lapse of judgement was a bit surprising given the political astuteness of his leaked white paper. It was really stupid on his part and cements the impression that BATFE is out of control.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Two New Ruger Handguns Released Pre-NRA Annual Meeting

Sturm, Ruger & Co. released two new handgun models on Friday. The first was an addition to the LCRx line in .22 LR and the second was their a laser-integrated version of their LCP II.

The LCRx is the exposed external hammer version of the LCR. Previously only available in .38 Special +P and .357 Magnum, the new LCRx in .22 LR features a 3" barrel, 8-shot capacity, adjustable rear sights, Hogue Tamer grips, and the other features that made the LCR famous. Given all of this, it has the makings of a updated and more modern kit gun at an MSRP about $200 less than the S&W Model 317 Kit Gun.

The specs on the LCRx in .22 LR are here.

The second new handgun model is the LCP II with a factory-installed Viridian E-Series red laser. What makes this really interesting is that the laser is from Viridian and not from Crimson Trace. Ruger had for years worked with Crimson Trace on grip-integrated lasers as well as frame-integrated laser. This is just speculation on my part but the purchase of Crimson Trace by competitor Smith & Wesson undoubtedly played a part in switching to Viridian lasers.

The specs on the LCP II with Viridian E-Series laser are here. The addition of the Viridian laser adds $90 to the MSRP of the LCP II bringing it up to $439. That's not too bad and having a laser in such a small gun would be a plus in my humble opinion.

All in all, Ruger has two new winners here. I'm anxious to see what is released at the end of the month in Atlanta at the NRA Annual Meeting.

Friday, April 7, 2017

How The Gun Prohibitionists Reacted To Gorsuch's Confirmation

The anti-civil rights gun prohibitionists wasted little time in reacting to the news that the US Senate had confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to succeed the late Antonin Scalia. Using terms like "NRA puppet masters", "lapdogs", and "radical position on the Second Amendment", they vented their angst and anger due to the realization that the Second Amendment will not be marginalized as it would have been with a Justice Garland.

Oh, where to start with the whiny bitching, oh where to start. I might have started with the Everytown Mommies Demanding Illegal Mayors but they have posted no response. I guess Shannon Watts is still more worried about the dress code for people flying on United buddy passes than she is on the Supreme Court. Thus, I guess I should start with the Brady Campaign as they have been around the longest.

From Dan Gross at the Brady Campaign:

WASHINGTON - Brady Campaign president Dan Gross issued the following statement after the Senate upended longstanding rules to force through Neil Gorsuch's confirmation as Supreme Court Justice. The corporate gun industry spent millions to pressure senators to confirm Gorsuch by any means necessary.

"The gun industry spent big to ram their SCOTUS pick through the confirmation process, and the industry's lapdogs in the Senate bent over backward to give the lobby its money's worth. All eyes, especially ours, will be on this new justice. We'll hold Gorsuch and the senators who sold out his seat accountable for any decision he makes that puts gun industry profits ahead of the right of all Americans not to be shot. We will continue to fight and be the voice of the 93 percent of Americans who demand sensible solutions to prevent gun violence."
Moving on to Gabby Giffords and her Americans for Responsible Solutions (sic) where Peter Ambler released their statement:
“The United States Senate just voted to confirm a justice whose views do not reflect the values and priorities of the American people. Throughout the confirmation process, Judge Gorsuch avoided giving meaningful answers on a range of topics, including the Second Amendment. Despite persistent questioning, he refused to acknowledge that the Second Amendment, like all constitutional rights, was ‘not unlimited’—a point the landmark Heller decision made explicitly. This is serious cause for concern and suggests that he would be willing do the gun lobby’s bidding and prioritize his own political agenda over an open-minded, fair interpretation of the law. When a groundswell of opposition to Judge Gorsuch’s nomination surfaced, Senate Republicans changed rules—instead of the nominee—in order to make sure he was confirmed. Americans deserve better. We deserve justices on the Supreme Court who respect the Second Amendment while also recognizing that reasonable regulations that reduce gun violence do not violate anyone’s constitutional rights.”
Also from their coalition partners the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (sic), Robyn Thomas had this to say:
“Anyone concerned about public safety in America should be concerned that today the Senate voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. More than once in his time on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch voted to weaken the federal law that has prohibited felons from possessing guns for the past 50 years, a law that has saved thousands of lives and enjoys near-unanimous support among Americans and elected officials on both sides of the aisle. Even Justice Scalia, arguably the most conservative Supreme Court justice in modern history, spoke out in favor of reasonable firearms regulation, including the prohibition on felons possessing guns. Gorsuch’s radical position on the Second Amendment is far outside the mainstream, and his presence on the Supreme Court demonstrates just how important it is that we stand up for the commonsense, proven solutions that we know save lives.”
Given it is Friday and you probably need a laugh, both Ambler and Thomas were referred to as "gun safety experts". When I see their Range Safety Officer certifications, then I'll believe that they are gun safety experts. In the meantime, I'll just consider them charlatans pushing more gun bans and confiscations.

Finally, there is the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic). I see they haven't really changed their rhetoric much since Ladd Everitt left them for greener pastures with George Takei and his group. Some things never change and CSGV's statement shows that they are as pathetic as ever.
CSGV Statement: Senate Breaks the Rules to Confirm NRA’s Nominee

Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation is a low point in American legislative history

Washington, DC (April 6, 2017) — Today, the United States Senate paved the way for the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court justice by invoking the “nuclear option” — a move that blatantly disregards precedent and ends the ability to filibuster the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice.

This confirmation is legislators’ latest gift to the National Rifle Association (NRA), who played a significant role in Gorsuch’s nomination and spent $1 million in advertising to ensure his confirmation.

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz released the following statement:

“Trump and his NRA puppet-masters now have a reliable vote in Neil Gorsuch. This stolen seat was one that the gun lobby invested in, and NRA leaders now expect a return on that investment. Between their unprecedented obstruction of Merrick Garland and their willingness to fundamentally change the rules, Mitch McConnell and his unscrupulous colleagues have shown they will stop at nothing to give the NRA what they want.”
Given all this nonsensical rhetoric, I think it would be helpful to follow the advice of Kevin Creighton and Michael Bane to read Dan Gifford's article "Rebranding the Gun Culture". As much as I make fun of the gun prohibitionists, I know that there are many in the mainstream media and the Northeastern power elite that will give them the time of day. For this reason, we need to fight them smarter and more effectively. We need to come up with effective terms to combat their use of "gun lobby" and "NRA puppets".

The Vote To Confirm Justice Gorsuch

The Senate voted this morning to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. The final vote was 54 yea and 45 nay. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) is recovering from back surgery and was absent from the vote.

Here is how the Senate voted:

YEAs ---54
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Strange (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Young (R-IN)
NAYs ---45
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Duckworth (D-IL)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Harris (D-CA)
Hassan (D-NH)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
Not Voting - 1
Isakson (R-GA)

Senators Donnelly (D-IN), Heitkamp (D-ND), and Manchin (D-WV) were the lone Democrats that crossed party lines to vote for Judge Gorsuch. I presume the other Democrats were either supportive of their leader Chuck Schumer and scared of offending their progressive money sources and thus did not vote for a supremely qualified jurist to fill the open seat on the Supreme Court.

Re-Writing A New York Times Editorial From 2013

The New York Times ran an unsigned editorial on Nov. 21, 2013 entitled "Democracy Returns to the Senate." In light of the events of yesterday in the Senate where the Republicans invoked the "nuclear option" and just this morning confirmed Neil Gorsuch as the newest Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, I thought a little re-writing was in order. My changes are in bold.

It starts:
For five years This year, Senate Republicans Democrats have refused to allow confirmation votes on dozens of perfectly qualified candidates nominated by President Obama Trump for government positions. They tried to nullify entire federal agencies by denying them leaders. They abused Senate rules past the point of tolerance or responsibility. And so they were left enraged and threatening revenge on Thursday when a majority did the only logical thing and stripped away their power to block the president’s nominees.
It goes on:
In a 52-to-48 vote that substantially altered the balance of power in Washington, the Senate changed its most infuriating rule and effectively ended the filibuster on executive and judicial Supreme Court appointments. From now on, if any senator tries to filibuster a presidential nominee, that filibuster can be stopped with a simple majority, not the 60-vote requirement of the past. That means a return to the democratic process of giving nominees an up-or-down vote, allowing them to be either confirmed or rejected by a simple majority.

The only exceptions are were nominations to the Supreme Court, for which a filibuster would still be allowed. But now that the Senate has begun to tear down undemocratic procedures, the precedent set on Thursday will increase the pressure to end ended those filibusters, too.

This vote was long overdue. “I have waited 18 years for this moment,” said Senator Tom Harkin Charles Grassley, Democrat Republican of Iowa.
Republicans Democrats warned that the rule change could haunt the Democrats Republicans if they lost the White House and the Senate. But the Constitution gives presidents the right to nominate top officials in their administration and name judges, and it says nothing about the ability of a Senate minority to stop them. (The practice barely existed before the 1970s.) From now on, voters will have to understand that presidents are likely to get their way on nominations if their party controls the Senate.
The editorial concludes:
Democrats Republicans made the filibuster change with a simple-majority vote, which Republicans Democrats insisted was a violation of the rules. There is ample precedent for this kind of change, though it should be used judiciously. Today’s vote was an appropriate use of that power, and it was necessary to turn the Senate back into a functioning legislative body.
Not surprisingly, the New York Times has no unsigned editorial praising the Republicans for getting rid of cloture votes on Supreme Court nominees. The filibuster isn't gone - you just have to do it the old fashioned way which involves a beach ball sized bladder and a lot of stamina.

What has surprised me the most in this whole episode was that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) actually had the cojones to go nuclear. For a Republican whose spine seems to be made of Jello, that was remarkable.