This Affects Us All

February 16th, 2014


Michael Dunn has been convicted on three counts of attempted second-degree murder. The conviction follows an altercation in which he fired into a car following an argument over loud music with the occupants. While the trial didn't generate the same media coverage as the Zimmerman case, it's still national news. It's also still a problem for us.

There are three parallels to the Zimmerman case. The first is race. We don't know that it was a factor in Dunn's decision to open fire, but it's going to come up anyway.

The second is the media focus on Florida's "stand your …

An Unexpected Win

February 14th, 2014


Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals delivered a surprising verdict in the case of Peruta v. San Diego [pdf]. California's requirement that applicants for concealed carry permits prove "good cause" has been ruled unconstitutional. 

The district court erred in denying the applicant’s motion for summary judgment on the Second Amendment claim because San Diego County’s “good cause” permitting requirement impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense. [p. 77]

Wow. Nobody really expected that from this court, and I really didn't expect this from Judge O'Scannlain, who was less than helpful in Nordyke.

Connecticut Already Considering an Amnesty

January 27th, 2014


Compliance rates for the gun and magazine registry in Connecticut are much lower than expected. This comes as little surprise, since post offices closed early the day before the January 1 cutoff and most people wait until the last minute to meet deadlines like this. In an effort to salvage some credibility, the state is already considering an amnesty and a second chance at registration, less than a month after the original deadline.

Historically, such schemes have met with little success. Canada and Australia should be considered as test cases. There was little reason to expect better results in Connecticut.

Before we …

The Wages of Microstamping

January 21st, 2014


If a manufacturer wants to sell a handgun in California, there's a process. Samples have to be submitted to the state Department of Justice for testing and approval. Certain state-specific limits and safety devices are required. Even then, only that particular model and iteration is permitted. The manufacturer must periodically resubmit guns for the same process, or they fall off the list.

In 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger signed off on a bill that added microstamping to the list of required safety features. At the time, there was no workable method, so the bill stated that the process …

Ghost Guns

January 21st, 2014


It's no secret that California Senator Kevin de Leon hates guns. His voting record shows ample proof of that. His latest crusade is against so-called "ghost guns."

What is a "ghost gun?" Apparently, it's a convenient catchall phrase (like "assault weapon") that includes polymer receivers and guns without serial numbers. I'd ask Kevin himself, but he seems to be a bit fuzzy on technology. A shorter version of the video is here, but the gist of it is this statement, which is taken verbatim:

This is a ghost gun. This right here has the ability 30-caliber

On Double Standards

January 17th, 2014


Harvey Weinstein and Meryl Streep have announced their intentions to make a feature film bashing the NRA. Weinstein is the founder of Miramax, a company known for producing wholesome family films that teach nonviolent solutions to life's problems. Pulp Fiction, Death Proof, Sin City, Django Unchained, and Inglourious Basterds are just a few of the heartwarming movies he's bankrolled and produced.

There's no small irony in the fact that he's a big fan of gun control. I can't fathom what philosophical justification he has for condemning the instrument while celebrating the act of violence to the extent …

41P on Hold for Now

January 15th, 2014


The American Silencer Association met with the ATF yesterday, and this is what we know about the proposed rule change:

There were 9500 comments, 1000 of which were rejected for "vulgarity, anonymity, or non-applicability." (Thanks for the Obama Kenya Nazi thing, Joe Bob)
The ATF has to respond to every comment in writing. This means, even if they decide to go ahead with the rule change, it will be at least six months to a year before it takes effect.
We don't know if Forms 1 and 4 already in process will be affected. Based on history, the ASA …

Bloomberg's Paper Trail

January 10th, 2014


There have been some questions about the exact relationship between Michael Bloomberg's New York City Hall staff and his employees at Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Judicial Watch obtained over 500 pages of emails through an FOIA request, and they have it posted here [huge pdf file].

The chain of emails begins a couple of hours before the Sandy Hook shootings on December 14, 2012 and continues through January. Their intention to take control of the debate, even before the White House and Congress have had a chance to respond, is almost immediately apparent.

The Week in Politician Gun Safety

January 8th, 2014


On Tuesday, it was reported that New York State Homeland Security chief Jerry Hauer had pulled a gun and flagged two Swedish officials with it. Why?  He needed a laser pointer, and the closest one at hand was the one on his gun.

Let's spot the number of problems with his explanation:

In the end, I used the laser gun. Was it the smartest thing in the world do? Absolutely not. (…) I would never point an empty firearm [ed: there is no such thing] at anyone, let alone a loaded gun.

Not only was it not the smartest thing to do, …

2013 NICS Numbers

January 8th, 2014


The FBI has released the tally of NICS background checks, broken down by state [pdf]. Georgia had 527,885, which puts us about the middle of the pack. It's the highest number since the system went on line in 1998. States with over one million checks were Florida, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Texas had the most checks at 1,633,278 and Hawaii came in last at 17,416.

These numbers only tell part of the story, however. Many states, including Georgia, exempt buyers with state-issued carry permits from the NICS check, and a one-time sale of multiple guns only counts …

Listen Up, Hippies

January 4th, 2014


Here comes Captain Buzzkill to harsh your mellow. The state of Colorado claims it's now legal to purchase, possess, and consume recreational marijuana. In short, you can spark up the bong and the fuzz can't bust you. That's the groovy part.

The heavy part, man, is that smoking the reefer is still a violation of federal law. In case you're confused, that's the bigger part of government. The one all the way over in Washington, DC. Put your finger on the map and move it to the right. Past Kentucky. A little further. There you go.

By their laws, you're an …

NY SAFE Act Upheld at District Court

December 31st, 2013

Andrew Cuomo

Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny ruled today on the constitutionality of New York's SAFE Act [pdf]. Yet again, the right to keep and bear arms is subject to intermediate, not strict, scrutiny. Citing Justice Breyer's dissent in the Heller case, the court held that a lower standard applies, saying "these types of restrictions are presumably justified because of the unique ability of firearms to upset and disrupt public order."

Some of Skretny's citations are truly bizarre. He falls back on a 1998 ATF study on "sporting purposes" and articles from Mother Jones, of all things. But hey, this is New York, and he's doing the job he was appointed to do.

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