Overload

A look at the elections, Constitutional Carry in Iowa and Louisiana, and a look at what is probably the most biased gun news article in recent memory. Of course, we will cover the Leland Yee story this week as well. Lots of stuff to cover, but no particular theme. As always, thanks to Armed Novelist for helping out.

1.) 2014. A couple of new studies on the 2014 election seem to give increasing odds to a GOP takeover of the Senate as Obama’s poll numbers (and frankly, everything else) is on the decline. While I hold that the RNC will try to crush any pro-liberty candidate (in place of a moderate or someone whose political opinions bend to the will of the polls), I’d love to be wrong on this. Moving on.

2.) New York. The SAFE Act is falling apart. In addition to the fact that many just aren’t registering their guns to begin with, a lot of the stuff set up in the law isn’t ready yet and isn’t looking like it is going to be ready for a long damn time.

3.) LEOs. Let’s get this out of the way. We are going to be discussing Law Enforcement in this next section. We are not going to be bashing them.

OK. That obligatory disclaimer out of the way, two major notes this week in the subject of the Blue Line. We start off in Vermont, where the city of Burlington passed a handful of gun control measures. Like in New York, the measures are being met with resistance from law enforcement. The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, which claims sheriffs as the top law enforcement (given that local LE is supposedly more powerful in an area than Federal LE), claims that 17 police associations and 500 sheriffs have declared that they will not enforce “unconstitutional” gun measures.

On the flipside, we have the controversial shooting of a homeless man in by police in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The crime, apparently, was that the man was “illegally camping.” CBS News reports:

According to an Albuquerque police spokeswoman, Boyd was carrying knives and threatening to kill the officers. But critics say the incident raises alarming questions about how Albuquerque police use deadly force.

Rob Cameron, an attorney and YouTuber, has a solid video out called “Equal Standard of Conduct for Police” which is pretty self-explanatory.

4.) Yee. Any readers of this blog are probably already up on this, so let’s get it out of the way now. The Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb seized on the hypocrisy of a noted anti-gunner being arrested for weapons trafficking. (Banning semi-autos while trafficking RPGs.)

Gun control advocates view the arrest as a “setback“. The Courage Campaign’s Paul Song told the AP “Ironically, while he’s being charged with gun trafficking, next to (U.S. Sen.) Dianne Feinstein he was probably the second most outspoken gun control advocate. This really leaves us scrambling for someone to pick up that mantle. If it wasn’t so sad it would be comical. But what we’re really worried about is that this will further destroy the momentum for gun control here in California.”

Not that gun control needed help losing momentum.

5.) Constitutional Carry. In both Iowa and Louisiana, lawmakers are mulling bills to essentially scrap their respective permit systems, allowing for open and concealed carry regardless of whether you have a permit. For Louisiana, this is the logical extension to the lifetime carry permit that dropped in May of last year.

6.) Open Carry. A story on Ben Swann’s Truth In Media project asks a very simple question; “Is the Open-Carry Movement Becoming More Popular?” With movements for OC popping up seemingly everywhere (even though, depending on your view, the Starbucks events backfired), it is a legitimate question. I personally don’t OC, but some of you probably do (and I would be interested in hearing about your experiences, quite honestly).

7.) Detroit. I’m not sure I could write a better setup for this next story than the opening paragraphs.

As Detroit continues to reel from the dismal results of progressive policies run amok, citizens in the bankrupt city are being forced to arm themselves to protect life and property.

Amid a staggeringly high crime rate and a police department so beset with budget cuts that responding to calls for help is hit or miss, residents there are determined to defend themselves — and are exercising their Second Amendment rights to do so, The Blaze reported.

The above excerpt is from BizPac Review.

When seconds count…..

8.) Church and Guns. A church in New York gave away a (modified) AR-15 (cue organ music) at a recent Sunday service. The winner, 42-year-old Ron Stafford, told the New York Post “I believe it’s the right of the individual, I believe the church and our God-given rights and our rights to follow the Constitution go hand in hand.”

As Bearing Arms shows us, the Post went on to write one of the most arrogant and biased pieces in recent memory:

An upstate gun nut went to church Sunday and walked out the winner of a high-powered assault rifle similar to the one used to slaughter 26 innocent people at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

But Ron Stafford, 42, an avid hunter and single father of two from Schenectady, said he didn’t see what’s wrong about owning a gun or a church giving away an AR-15 rifle.

“I believe it’s the right of the individual, I believe the church and our God-given rights and our rights to follow the Constitution go hand in hand,” said Stafford, who doesn’t even belong to Grace Baptist Church in upstate Lansingburgh, but made the 25-mile trek from his home for the gun drawing.

“I like to shoot,” said the Second Amendment zealot. “I believe that this shows the will of the people and what this country is all about.”

Stafford was so determined to win, he sat through the entire three-hour service — a requirement demanded by the church’s pastor, the Rev. John Koletas.

While the overall message at Sunday’s service was about God and guns, Stafford refused to ponder the question of whether he could imagine Jesus packing heat.

“I can’t answer that question,” said Stafford. “I’m not Jesus. I believe in my personal thoughts and to speak for him wouldn’t be very Christian of me.”

However, he castigated the media for “demonizing” gun owners and the government for “trampling” on Second Amendment rights.

Realize, by the way, that it’s “Thou Shalt Not Murder.”

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Victories

Georgia’s gun bill passes both chambers, the latest on Ares Armor, anti-gunners go after private business, and Feinstein proposes a ban on imported firearms. Big news in the gun world. Thanks as always to Armed Novelist (DeviantArt / Tumblr) for providing some of the stories this week.

1.) Georgia. Because I’m both biased and live here, let me get this out of my system early. Thursday night, at about 11:20 (40 minutes before the end of the 2014 session) HB 60, a massive gun rights expansion restoration bill got final approval by the House after a few amendments in the Senate. The amendments allowed for churches to “opt-in” to allowing firearms, as well as legalizing suppressors for use in hunting.

Georgia Carry posted an email written BEFORE the bill passed by Americans for Responsible Solutions, an anti-gun group headed up by former AZ Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The email basically shows that HB 60’s failure would have had national implications, and would have been a major boost to anti-gun groups. ARS, Moms Demand Action, and others referred to the bill as the “most extreme gun bill” in the country.

For what it’s worth, ARS posted a brief statement on their Facebook page shortly after the bill’s passage celebrating the defeat of campus carry as well as (falsely) the defeat of church carry. Georgia Carry posted a different, and much longer response on their Facebook, recapping the night and suggesting that more was in the pipe for 2015.

2.) Florida. Elsewhere in the country, Florida’s House passed a bill augmenting the state’s Stand Your Ground law with allowing people to fire a warning shot instead of retreating from the threat of death or harm. The Senate has a bill that is “in line” with the House, and it slated for a vote March 26.

3.) Ares. Now to the big story: the ATF vs. Ares Armor. By now, most who have been monitoring the story know the basics, so we won’t spend too much time on that. A look at an application for a warrant on Ares/EP put the company as part of a wider investigation. The application does not, however, suggest Ares/EP is engaged in any sort of criminal activity.

On March 17, the ATF filed a motion in opposition of the restraining order placed on the agency by Ares. (Not that they paid attention to the order to start with.) At the center of this is whether the 80% complete lowers the company sold were or were not defined as firearms.

Since then, a hearing between the two sides scheduled for Thursday was vacated.

Outside of the Ares fight, the ATF was slammed by a Los Angeles Federal judge for its recent tactics. Judge Otis Wright took his decision to throw out charges on a man arrested during an ATF sting to criticize the ATF’s tactics during those stings. In short, he accused the ATF of setting up “made-up crimes” and “ensnaring chronically unemployed individuals from poverty-ridden areas” in those crimes.

Not the best PR situation for the ATF this week. It could only be worse if the major news outlets were paying attention. That they are in this position at least signifies they are starting to meet resistance. After Fast and Furious, they don’t exactly have credibility.

4.) Connecticut. Authorities in Connecticut seem to be desperate to avoid the word “confiscation.” Apparently being asked to relinquish firearms is not confiscation because it doesn’t involve police physically going door-to-door to grab them. Ever since CT gun owners refused en masse to register their guns, suggesting that it would lead eventually to confiscation efforts, the government and state police have been walking a fine line between being “fair” to those who refused to register and mulling attempting to arrest over three-hundred thousand people.

Keep watching CT. It’s either going to explode or the gun laws will be ignored.

5.) Feinstein. To nobody’s surprise, California Senator Dianne Feinstein has a new gun control proposal out. This time, the bill seeks to ban firearms “not generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes” from being imported into the US. Yes, “sporting purposes.” Although, one could argue that target shooting/3-Gun are sports and any number of guns can be used in those.

But even if they couldn’t…..”sporting purposes” is a resurrection of the idea that the Second Amendment is not about defense, but about hunting. It hasn’t worked in decades, and there is no reason to suspect it will work now.

6.) Idaho. A massive nullification bill was signed into law in Idaho this week. The bill, which nullifies future gun laws and prevents all forms of confiscation (barring guns used to commit felonies), among other things, is part of a growing movement among states to nullify what they see as the Federal government overstepping its authority. The Tenth Amendment has seen a lot of attention lately.

7.) Next up. With the legislative front going so poorly, gun control advocates are moving to pushing private businesses to ban firearms. It’s nothing new, but it is general admission that gun control isn’t popular enough to get through any government. The only two “victories” in that have been Starbucks saying guns are “unwelcome” and a minor Facebook policy change regarding blatantly illegal gun purchases.

Let’s be honest, when you are resigned to “pressuring” businesses and taking credit for things you had nothing to do with, it’s time to re-evaluate your argument.

Stay informed, stay alert, stay free.

Militia

The concept of a militia reaches the pages of USA Today, the ATF ignores restraining orders, Connecticut ramps up confiscation efforts, and a bit of hope for millennials (and gun rights in general). Also, this week we have a blazing speech on the President’s tendency to change laws on his own. Armed Novelist is a co-producer at this point.

1.) Militia. The concept of the militia hit the pages of USA Today this week in a column by Glenn Reynolds. The column goes over the (real) definition of the “militia” as meant in the Second Amendment (i.e. an armed citizenry, not the National Guard). An article on Bearing Arms ran with this, and added notes from Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story and Townhall columnist Rachel Alexander.

It is interesting seeing discussion of the militia hit such a major website.

2.) Raids. The gun retailer Ares Armor got a restraining order against the ATF earlier this week. The ATF threatened to seize the company’s consumer list and about $300,000 in inventory if the company did not hand it over voluntarily.

With the restraining order in place, the ATF respectfully ignored it, brought different charges, and raided the place anyway. The ATF, apparently, has more interest in treating Mexican drug cartels better than it does American businesses.

At the same time, Ares is dealing fighting their home city to keep a sign up outside the building that features an AR-15 silhouette.

The CEO of the company, Dimitri Karras, is a former Marine and apparently has no intention of backing down from either fight. At about midnight, he posted the following to the company’s Facebook page

The ATF did execute a search warrant against all of our buildings today. None of our employees have been detained or arrested. We will be open for business tomorrow. We will be back up and shipping out orders on Monday. We wholeheartedly believe that they are WRONG in their actions and we will be relentlessly pursuing remedy through the courts. Quote from an ATF Agent during the raid “searching is fun! paper work sucks.” Maybe the ATF thinks the Constitution is part of that paper work that sucks… Despicable behavior on their part. This is just the beginning! Thank you all for the support! -Dimitrios Karras, CEO

3.) Connecticut. Now over to one of the flashpoints. We have covered the action in Connecticut extensively here; from the gun laws that were passed, to the registrations that never happened, to the first round of confiscation letters. Now we have a second round of letters going out.

Much like in New York, those with unregistered firearms must either render them inoperable, get them out of the area, or relinquish them to police.

The governor of CT is standing on the law as well. Essentially his response to critics and those who refuse to register their firearms was “your side lost, deal with it.”

4.) The Next Generation. A Pew study suggests that, by a small margin, Millennials oppose gun control. The study found that the views of Millennials is in-line with the views of previous generations…at least by the study.

Expect that margin to expand eventually. Which direction is in our hands.

5.) Government. The final story tonight is a speech from Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SD). Rep. Gowdy took aim at the President’s tendency to enforce bills when he chooses to do so, and rewrite them without any oversight or approval. In his 5-minute speech, he notes how the branches of government are supposed to operate in concert, and where the lines are in terms of their authority (checks and balances). President Obama’s non-stop modifications to laws like the Affordable Care Act, Gowdy says, could be extended to the President changing election or discrimination laws.

The speech was in support of the ENFORCE The Law Act, which streamlines the process for Congress suing the President for failing to enforce laws. It passed the house, but Obama has threatened to veto it under the apparently serious claim that it violates the separation of powers.

Almost through the first quarter of this election year. Primaries in May for most of the country. With the action in Connecticut, New York, and others, guns are looking like central issue for the 2014 elections.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Surge

California CCW sees a surge after the 9th Circuit decision (and sees a backlash against smart guns), the fight in Connecticut intensifies, and Americans rally for Connecticut gun owners and for the Second Amendment in general. I owe Armed Novelist range time at this point.

1.) California. Two solid stories out of California this week. First off, we have a surge in CCW permits following the 9th Circuit decision that struck down the State’s “May Issue” system.

Also, with the introduction of a “smart gun” in California came the inevitable backlash that resulted in the store pulling it. Moving on.

2.) Connecticut. Monderno has an article recapping most of the confiscation story so far. Meanwhile, the organization Connecticut Carry is saying that the government “does not have the balls” to come for people defying the gun registration laws. Others have told lawmakers in person that they have no intention of complying with it.

The Capitalism Institute has another approach on this. They have released an article titled “Why Every American Must Rally Around Connecticut Gun Owners.” The Institute says that those outside the State need to keep the spotlight on CT lawmakers because A.) the media won’t and B.) to not do so would essentially allow CT to go after those fighting the law without anyone noticing.

Personally, I’d just argue it’d be pathetic for us to not back people who have taken the fight into their own hands. The pro-gun side-streams are pretty much the only people tracking this story. (It is quite interesting to see antis ignore it, though. Suddenly they aren’t as interested in using the “nobody is coming for your guns” line….)

Also of note is the fact that apparently law enforcement is refusing to enforce those laws in the first place.

3.) Missouri. Nullification is the word of the day in MO. The Senate there voted to pass a bill essentially gutting Federal gun laws by a 23-10 vote. The bill has been passed off to the House Rules Committee.

4.) Nationally. Apparently looking for a quiet restart, President Obama is using the 2015 budget to renew efforts for gun control. He spend about 30 seconds on it during the State of the Union show in January, and hasn’t been too loud about it since then.

5.) Resurgence. A USA Today piece entitled “Americans Embrace Guns“…..put bluntly, we’re winning. Americans are rediscovering their rights and, at the risk of being dramatic, their history. Gun control has been reduced to seeing minor changes like Facebook’s policies as massive victories. (They wanted basically a ban on all gun sales, what they got was much smaller.) That they are that desperate for victories should tell you more than they’d like about the state of their argument.

With the trend we are seeing now, it is only going to get worse for them.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Stand Your Ground

Connecticut gun owners in revolt, the rest of the planet in revolt, Piers Morgan in the can, and lessons from Ukraine. BIG stuff tonight. Of course, thanks to Armed Novelist for contributing a few stories to the Run tonight.

1.) Connecticut. By now, you know it’s not going to well for Connecticut anti-gunners. An editorial in the Washington Times has a solid recap of the events, and the odd position it catches both police and government officials in. The Times notes that, should they choose to enforce the law and go after those who haven’t registered, the likely outcome would be SWAT teams raiding the homes of those who refused to register. It’s an ominous concept, but given the tendency of some police forces to take to a small issue with Boston bomber-levels of aggression, not entirely farfetched.

The recent efforts at confiscation in Connecticut don’t make this any less feasible.

2.) Nationally. The reality of 2013 America is that “it’s the law” is no longer a reason to follow it. Another article in USA Today notes three such examples where this mindset is seeing incredible (and, for many pro-liberty types, heartening) resistance. Namely, the demise of the national license plate tracking system, the FCC’s backtracking on placing “monitors” in newsrooms, and the backlash in Connecticut. In other words, you are seeing a resurgence.

I would like to note that we live in a nation where the phrase “government monitors in American newsrooms” can be used without a trace of sarcasm or irony. It has gone from something we mock other countries on to something we had to face off with.

3.) Globally. The rest of the planet seems to be on fire. Reason has a note on three different revolts happening around the world. Of the three, none of which can be grouped together into a nice package like the so-called “Arab Spring” but all of which are based around distrust of the government boiling over into the streets.

It’s something that is at least worth considering happening here, despite the multiple promises we’ve seen.

4.) Standing. The Bang Switch, the blog of Military Arms Channel, is taking a different approach to the events in Ukraine, and the motivations mentioned above. Specifically, MAC sees the Ukraine action as proof positive that Americans need to continue to support (or, for some, start supporting) the Second Amendment. Ukraine doesn’t have a similar “right” in its legal system, although gun owners in Ukraine have begun calling for one to be added into it Some estimates put government-owned firearms at 7 million while about 3 million are estimated to be in civilian hands.

By comparison, the US military has roughly 1.4 million people, whereas there are about 310 million firearms in private hands.

5.) Piers. Citing pathetically low ratings, CNN and Piers Morgan have decided to cancel the anti-gun crusader’s program. Regular readers/amyone with a pulse in the gun community already know Morgan’s background, so not much else needs to be discussed there.

6.) China. Islamic militants in China killed about 29 and injured about 130 today. Contrary to what American networks were hoping for, it was all done with knives.

The incident that stands out to me this time was when a UK soldier was beheaded on a London street by a pair of Islamic nuts while virtually everyone around the pair was powerless to stop them.

The action in Ukraine, the terror attack in China, and the beheading last year in London. All three are incredibly powerful arguments for the right to keep and bear arms here in the United States.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Overreaction

Wild West, guns “blowing up railroads”, and a newspaper calls for the arrest of CT gun owners who didn’t register. We’ve got all kinds of hyperbole from antis, and some good news on CCW this week. Thanks as always to The Armed Novelist for helping gather stuff for tonight’s Run.

1.) “It’s the law.” The Hartford Courant published an op-ed this week entitled “State Can’t Let Gun Scofflaws Off Hook.” In it, the Courant’s editorial board suggests that “widespread noncompliance” to the “hopefully effective” law is a problem for the state. The paper concedes that willful noncompliance is a “major issue” only to immediately suggest that it’s also possible many gun owners are unaware of their “obligation to register military-style assault weapons and would do so if given another chance.”

I give (most) of the people in CT credit. A lot of them quite itterally stuck to their guns and refused to register.

2.) Who will blow up the roads? Jesse Jackson doubled down on a claim that semi-auto weapons can be used to blow up railroads. He added that guns can also be used to shoot down airplanes (though how anyonw on the ground can hit a target moving THAT fast at 30,000 feet up is anyone’s guess). The concept doesn’t need much more exposure, so let’s move on.

3.) Wild West….again. Georgia’s gun bill was the subject of a column in the Albany Herald, in which the author stated that the bill currently going through the Senate would revert the state back to (what else?) the days of the Wild West. It is quite honestly dripping in sarcasm and exaggeration, but you expect that at this point. The “rumors” about campus carry are false, by the way.

Also, I say that it is working its way through the Senate because earlier this week it passed the House 119-56. I have no ETA on the Senate, but will update when I do.

If you need a refresher, the bill would allow for CCW in bars and churches (assuming the bar or church ALLOWED it), remove the fingerprinting requirement from RENEWALS, strengthen the state’s Stand Your Ground law, among many other very much pro-gun measures.

4.) Surge in manufacturing. New information on the production of firearms in 2012 reveals that over 8.5 million guns were manufactured in the US. This is, of course, prior to the Newtown shooting and the surge in gun sales that followed and sent manufacturers into a rush to keep up. The number is a 31% jump from 2011’s 6.5 million. A National Opinion Research Center poll suggests, however, that gun ownership has actually DECLINED. Admittedly, this concept was something that NRANews contributer Billy Johnson handled brilliantly in one of his recent commentaries.

5.) Surge in ownership. News about a surge in CCW permits continues into 2014. An article by Examiner.com’s Dave Workman provides a nice summary, touching on the Ninth Circuit Court victory, plus a surge in permits in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Washington State. Women are a huge portion of the surge across the nation, and were also a big part of the audience in the Great Outdoors Show here in Georgia.

Despite this surge, however, the latest FBI report suggests that violent crime (and murder specifically) have tanked in the first half of 2013.

6.) Finally this week, guns and football. The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association is sueing the NFL over its ban on virtually all handguns in stadiums. Police say it goes against state law, and puts the public in danger.

Texas, meanwhile, has come up with a more efficient way of going around the NFL’s handgun ban. Ignoring it, and allowing off-duty cops to carry via normal procedure anyway.

Because Texas is awesome.