Archive for the ‘Guns’ Category

DC Anti-Carry Law Overturned

Posted: July 28, 2014 by ShortTimer in Government, Guns, Second Amendment, Washington DC

From Alan Gura:

Justice never sleeps…. not even on a Saturday afternoon, when this opinion was just handed down.

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.

Of course, it’s only until DC can make a new law that’s only slightly less onerous.  But there is this for now:

Furthermore, this injunction prohibits the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns in public for self-defense by otherwise qualified non-residents based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District.

From Gura:

In 2012, I won Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933 (7th Cir. 2012), which struck down Illinois’ total ban on the carrying of defensive handguns outside the home. With this decision in Palmer, the nation’s last explicit ban of the right to bear arms has bitten the dust. Obviously, the carrying of handguns for self-defense can be regulated. Exactly how is a topic of severe and serious debate, and courts should enforce constitutional limitations on such regulation should the government opt to regulate. But totally banning a right literally spelled out in the Bill of Rights isn’t going to fly.  My deepest thanks to the Second Amendment Foundation for making this victory possible and to my clients for hanging in there. Congratulations Americans, your capital is not a constitution-free zone.

Not sure I agree with Gura on the “obviously… can be regulated” part.  The Second Amendment is pretty clear that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Also not sure I agree with the “obviously… can be regulated” because once DC comes up with some new unconstitutionally absurd laws (mag limit of one round, no carrying within 10 miles of a school zone, etc.), this will have to be revisited.  That’s also why I’m more of an absolutist on 2A – as passively allowing regulation of a right has gotten us to the point where people can’t exercise the right at all, and where using the natural right of self-defense often gets the very people the law should protect (the law-abiding, peaceable but self-defending citizen) into hassles with statists who resent the authority the individual retains to self-defense.

The fact that an outright ban on a constitutional right even existed for any period of time in the nation’s capitol is hideously offensive, and it’s incredibly hypocritical for the seat of federal government to have utterly shat on the Bill of Rights for decades.

But all that aside, Gura got it overturned, and it’s a very good step in the right direction.  Kudos to him and to the Second Amendment Foundation and all those other 2A groups that gave their support.

Update:

According to Emily Miller, who’s been on this story for years:

DC police chief Lanier, using guidance from AG — grants full reciprocity for all open and concealed carry from others states.

Again:

Per DC Police Chief Lanier, the only gun arrests allowed now are DC residents with unregistered guns and non-residents who are prohibited under federal laws from possessing firearms. Everyone else is in the clear.

Joseph Wilcox of Las Vegas

Posted: June 10, 2014 by ShortTimer in Guns, Heroes, Murder, Nevada

From Heavy:

joseph wilcox las vegas

Joseph Robert Wilcox was in the checkout line at a Las Vegas Walmart Sunday when cops say Jerad Miller entered the store, fired a single shot and yelled for everyone to get out of the store.

Wilcox, carrying a concealed handgun, decided to act. Fearing the worst about Wilcox’s intentions, Wilcox walked toward Miller, prepared to shoot him and potentially save a number of lives.

Miller’s wife, Amanda, who was nearby pushing a shopping cart after she and Jerad had ambushed two police officers in a nearby pizza place, shot Wilcox dead before he could act. Cops soon arrived and cornered the Millers, and Amanda Miller shot her husband before killing herself.

It’s not clear what would have happened had Wilcox not approached Jerad Miller, but Wilcox, 31, is being hailed as a hero who acted selflessly to save others.

He acted bravely, but tragically made an error that most would make.  The media has programmed us to accept a spree killer as a white or asian male working alone.  He expected just to be dealing with Jerad:

Wilcox, who was legally carrying a concealed weapon, told his friends he was going to confront the gunman – not realizing that he had an accomplice.

Wilcox went from the checkout area to Jerad Miller and pulled his concealed firearm. But before he could fire, Amanda Miller shot him in the ribs and Wilcox collapsed.

He was the last person killed before the murderers took themselves out.  He confronted the killers, and by that action, saved others lives.

He was someone who would lay down his life, and did so.

“He was very protective of other people. The reason he got that gun was because he got tired of people like that,” people who would pick on others, Debra Wilcox said.

Joseph Wilcox’s uncle John Wilson, during a phone interview, described his nephew as someone who wasn’t political. “But he definitely believed in the right to bear arms and the right to defend yourself and others,” Wilson said.

Wilson choked back tears and emotion — “It comes and goes,” he said — while speaking about his nephew.

“He basically… he heard the threat to everyone and he was trying to stop it,” Wilson said. “He wasn’t trying to be a hero. He was trying to do what he thought should be done. “

Ultimately his actions did stop the threat.

FOX 5 KVVU in Las Vegas indicates that a memorial fund has been set up for his family:

An account has been set up at Wells Fargo bank for those wishing to donate money to Joseph Wilcox’s family. It is:

Joseph R. Wilcox Memorial Fund

Account number: 8485852688

He did what he could and stood up against a pair of lunatics who’d already ambush-murdered police officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck.

Joseph Wilcox stood up against a pair of murderers to protect people he didn’t even know.

Greater love hath no man than this.

From the National Shooting Sports Foundation:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has  announcedthat it will be holding its second  public workshop on June 3 to discuss the implementation of California’s new lead ammunition ban, signed into law last year by Gov. Jerry Brown after being championed by the Governor’s personal dog walker and Humane Society lobbyist. While this simple public forum may appear benign, this law (AB 711) illustrates the duplicitous work of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

According to its website , HSUS is “the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization.” However, the group is not affiliated with your local shelter or dog and cat assistance agency.  …

Despite deceiving their donors into believing that they are supporting animal welfare efforts with their contributions, only 1 percent of its budget goes to local animal shelters.

I don’t want to steal the NSSF’s thunder here (I recommend reading the whole thing at the NSSF’s site here), but the HSUS uses virtually nothing for animal welfare and shelters, and it’s gotten so bad that states have issued consumer warnings because people didn’t know their money wasn’t going to help animals, but instead to hire lawyers and sink money into Carribean investment funds.

The big news is this:

Now, NSSF has obtained the HSUS playbook to ban hunting with traditional ammunition across the country. AB711 was the first key step in HSUS’s campaign to effectively ban all hunting through pursuing a ban on traditional ammunition.  The playbook says, “We have intentionally chosen to concentrate first on banning the use of all lead ammunition for hunting in California and pursuing a ban on federal lands owned by the Department of Interior in order to build momentum for the campaign and to spur change within the various ammunition manufacturers and state wildlife agencies.”

In its playbook, HSUS also reveals a tactic that should alarm every hunter who has viewed state and federal fish and game agencies as supportive of hunting.  Despite the fact that hunter license fees and excise taxes provide the vast majority of funding for these agencies, HSUS brags about infiltrating these agencies and expresses confidence in shaping their policies when it comes to use of traditional ammunition:

The HSUS has close working relationships with state wildlife agencies all across the country.  Our wildlife department staff and state directors regularly attend state wildlife agency meetings where they have presented to top level agency officials and developed close working relationships with wildlife law enforcement officers in the majority of states.  Our state directors attend department and commission meetings and have developed long-lasting relationships.  We are regularly contacted to participate in stakeholder meetings and asked about The HSUS position on pending proposals.  In fact, many of our staff serves on state wildlife agency appointed boards and commissions.  These existing relationships will go a long way in our campaign to end the use of lead ammunition.

We will be filing a petition to ban the use of lead ammunition for hunting purposes on federal lands owned by the Department of Interior (DOI)—which comprises about one-fifth of the total land area of the United States.

We are in a better position than other groups to spearhead this effort given our strong federal congressional and agency relationships, as well as our years of experience working through these types of reforms. We are currently in discussions with the DOI on furthering this goal, and we have great confidence—given our mainstream approach and our knack for strategy—that we will be able to achieve all or part of this goal.

The group claims they are “ushering in a new era of humane management” that will only work to outlaw lead ammunition, not ban hunting. However, in an interview posted this month an HSUS spokeswoman revealed their true agenda:  “We are the Humane Society of the United States, so we do not support hunting.”

It’s one more step in the long march.

Banning lead ammunition makes hunting more expensive, which pushes people away from the sport.  Banning lead ammunition on public lands and all DOI lands (which is quite a lot when you look at the agencies they run) pushes poorer hunters out of the sport… which is the point.

Change it from a normal tradition for Americans to one that’s expensive and marginalized and it can be slowly destroyed… as is their objective.

Via Jawa Report, from TheTruthAboutGuns:

An alert reader emailed TTAG central with news that Armatix GmbH – makers of the iP1 “smart gun” – filed a patent application that included a remote kill switch for the firearm. Click here to view patent EP 1936572 A1, dated 2006. (Not a bug; a feature!) I’m not a patent attorney or an electrical engineer, but as far as I can tell this is the bit (translated from the original German) that indicates remote disabling . . .

Preferably, the inventive device is designed such that the device or the activated identification medium authenticated in response to a signal transmitted from a remote station to the device wake-up and request signal, whereupon the remote station a logical and / or physical access or access to one and allows or prevents a target device . . .

Preferably, the apparatus of the invention can be controlled remotely, for example via satellite and can send information to a satellite.

From looking at it in German (ich kann ein bisschen Deutsch), the translation looks pretty well correct.

Can’t say this is all that unexpected.  For a while now, we’ve been talking about the tech tricks of gun banners that aren’t there for safety, but for control; the creepy silicon vally company that wants to change the gun world to all “smart” guns; and Eric Holder spending millions on “smart” gun technology.

Of course a remote shut-off is the next step, along with so many regulations that ownership becomes either criminal or only a luxury for the super-rich, as things are in other progressive nations.  This is a long march through gun culture for them.  Fortunately it’s still a difficult one for the most part.

Update 2: Looks like USDA this time is using them more exclusively for their OIG, which means they probably sit in a locker somewhere until those guys need to serve a warrant.  Either way, the rest of the post stands.

A Breitbart story via HotAir, but it’s also around the internet:

A May 7th solicitation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks “the commercial acquisition of submachine guns [in] .40 Cal. S&W.”

According to the solicitation, the Dept. of Agriculture wants the guns to have an “ambidextrous safety, semiautomatic or 2 round [bursts] trigger group, Tritium night sights front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore group) and scope (top rear), stock collapsible or folding,” and a “30 rd. capacity” magazine.

They also want the submachine guns to have a “sling,” be “lightweight,” and have an “oversized trigger guard for gloved operation.”

The solicitation is from the USDA’s Office of Inspector General, and another of their solicitations submitted on the same day (May 7th) is looking for the “commerical acquisition of ballist vests, compliant with NIJ 0101.06 for Level IIIA Ballistic Resistance of body armor… Body armor is gender specific, lightweight, trauma plate/pad (hard or soft), concealable carrier, tactical vest, undergarment (white), identification patches, accessories (6 pouches), body armor carry bag, and professional measurements.”

The SMGs they’re basically asking for are things like the HK UMP 40 that several DHS components carry (USBP, for example).

oleg volk UMP40

Photo by Oleg Volk.

The Forest Service falls under USDA, and the Forest Service has to deal with things like this:

A marijuana farm with more than 3,000 plants — valued at about $9 million — was found in the Pike National Forest in Douglas County.

“These grow operations are believed to be connected to the Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) that have proliferated on public lands throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Utah, and are now being found in the northeastern, southeastern and southwestern states,” said U.S. Forest Service Special Agent in Charge Laura Mark.

usfs grow op raid 1

The criminals with grow operations tend to guard their crops:

One of the wardens who went to the site found makeshift huts and crude rooms hidden under tarps and disguised in trees. There were rifles and pistols. In other similar illegal drug grow operations, the warden said booby traps and other devices have been used.

This tends to fly under the radar, since it’s out where no one sees it.  While DEA or FBI or some other agency could make a special “arboreal operations unit”, the Forest Service already works those areas, knows the areas, and will be the first to respond, and has the jurisdiction and specific enforcement authority protection of national forests.

Again:

Marcos Solano Farias, 32, and Joe Miseal Avaia Talavera, 20, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to charges of unlawful manufacture with intent to distribute more than 1,000 marijuana plants. They also pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm and damage to government property.

Police raided two outdoor marijuana growing operations in the forest a few miles from Highway 21 in Boise County on Sept. 11. The two men, Mexico nationals, were taken into custody at a camp located next to the grow site on Rabbit Creek.

A total of 1,411 live plants, along with several hundred plants that had been harvested, were confiscated. Officers also seized two semi-automatic handguns and a rifle.

And an official “awareness” warning from the USFS:

Illegal drug operations, such as marijuana gardens and methamphetamine production sites, threaten public safety and also damage the environment.

For many years, the Forest Service and other law enforcement agencies have worked together to identify and clean-up illegal drug operations on National Forest lands in Michigan. In recent years, these illegal activities have increased.  For example, 2010 marked the first time that authorities found marijuana grow sites on Michigan’s National Forest lands operated by large drug trafficking organizations.

Thing is, it’s their beat, and USFS law enforcement is who works those areas and who has to be the first one on the scene.  If they get a call that a hiker stumbled over a meth lab on an old logging road and got shot at by the meth cook, they’re the ones who have to go deal with it and have to act because they’re the ones on-scene, and the ones with the knowledge of the area.  If they personally stumble over it, they’re the ones who may have to deal with it immediately.

So there’s little reason they shouldn’t have the option to carry an SMG that’s lighter weight than a rifle, more handy, and convenient.  It’s not as if submachineguns are a new thing for law enforcement.

them trooper with smg

While a fictional example there, no one batted an eye decades ago to the idea that law enforcement working in remote locations with no backup (like, say, rural highways, remote borders, and national forests) should have the option to carry something to at least get themselves out of a bad situation.

Or maybe I’m just the only person who’s seen Without A Paddle and remembers anything from it?

without a paddle 1

While it’s pretty much always good to be skeptical and critical of government, this one, much like DHS’s ammo purchases, may not be so crazy if you assess it a bit more and if it’s USDA procuring weapons for a specific group of law enforcement with a dangerous task.

Unless this is for the anti-raw milk task force.  Then all bets are off.

Update: Minor point that I’ve seen some folks asking is why SMGs in particular, why not rifles (or shotguns)?

Because SMGs are lightweight, they have ease of use, share ammunition with pistols which makes for ease of logistical use, and are compact.  There are all kinds of organizational advantages to have just from those positives alone.  Plus the agencies may already have rifles, and just want to add one more option for their personnel to carry.  Anyone who’s carried a rifle all day can tell you they get heavy.  Anyone who’s not used to carrying a rifle all day is going to really appreciate the saved weight by going from a rifle or carbine to an SMG.  Same goes for shotguns, but they have more limited ammunition capacity, slower reloads, recoil, and other negatives.  So why not have the option to use any of the three?

How Many Peeps Can A .50 Cal Go Through?

Posted: April 20, 2014 by ShortTimer in Guns, Humor

Happy Easter.

Via Breitbart, Eric Holder’s gunrunning ATF is planning to use drones:

Attorney General Eric Holder admitted Tuesday that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was in the process of looking at the use of domestic drones.  …

“Within the Department, the only component that uses these vehicles at this point is the FBI,” Holder explained. “The ATF in the process of working through to see if they want to make use of them.”

And via the Daily Caller, Eric Holder getting mad at being called out for being held in contempt.  Full video of the exchange between TX Rep Louie Gohmert and Mexican-cartel-arms-merchant General Eric “You Don’t Wanna Go There” Holder:

Gohmert is entirely too nice to Holder, and unfortunately seems to try to address a couple too many points as his time runs out.