ACSL Archives 2019
PLEASE NOTE: We have tried to maintain links where possible,but due to the archival nature of these articles,some links may have changed or be otherwise unavailable.
House to Move Forward with Ineffective Gun Control Proposals
On Wednesday, gun owners got to see what a Nancy Pelosi controlled Congress looks like as the House Judiciary Committee held its first gun control hearing in nearly a decade. Things went as one would expect.
While the hearing was labeled “Preventing Gun Violence: A Call to Action,” it was intended to be the legislative launching pad for H.R. 8, the “universal” background check bill introduced by California Representative Mike Thompson (D). As we have pointed out, “universal” background checks will do nothing to prevent gun violence. H.R. 8 does, however, have the potential of ensnaring otherwise law-abiding gun owners unfamiliar with its proposed new restrictions on lawful activities that pose no threat to public safety.
From the beginning, it was clear how anti-gun members of the committee intended to steer the proceedings.
First, there was the panel, which consisted of two crime victims, two anti-gun representatives of law-enforcement, one trauma surgeon (who happens to sit on the Board of the anti-gun Brady Campaign), one constitutional scholar, and the Executive Director of the anti-gun Giffords Law Center. Out of the seven panelists, only two—one crime victim and constitutional scholar Joyce Lee Malcolm—spoke against H.R. 8 and other forms of gun control that were discussed.
Notably absent from the hearing was House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R). While the Louisiana Representative is a survivor of a well-known public shooting, and he asked to be given the opportunity to testify, his request was denied. He was likely denied for being unwilling to toe the gun control line, and anyone interested in seeing what he had to say on the matter can see his full statement here.
A tone that was clearly antagonistic towards the right to keep and bear arms was set early by Democrats on the committee. The panelists were each given five minutes to make an opening statement, and most used that time to make clearly emotional, political, and/or arguable points, which is expected in such a setting. But a courtesy normally extended to panelists allows them to make such statements unchallenged. If legislators wish to question something said during opening remarks, they are free to do so during their own allotted speaking time.
Anti-gun Florida Representative Ted Deutch (D) simply couldn’t wait his turn.
After Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm had made her opening remarks, Deutch decided he needed to make sure the anti-gun community knew where he stood. Abandoning common courtesy, he spoke up, misstating what Malcolm had said so that he could appear as if he was correcting her. The message was clear; support the Second Amendment in this committee hearing at your own peril.
It should come as no surprise that the committee didn’t focus on the actual effectiveness of H.R. 8 at reducing violent crime. Recent studies, even those produced by anti-gun research institutions, have found that “universal” background checks are ineffective at reducing crime.
Ultimately, the hearing went as anyone who pays attention to politics would expect. Anti-gun Democrats made sure they were able to promote anti-gun legislation, and they ignored facts, reason, and the concerns of crime victims that don’t support their agenda. What’s next for H.R. 8?
The bill will receive a “markup” as part of the committee process next Wednesday. That’s why it’s important for all gun owners to take action now to help stop this misguided and ineffective gun control from moving through Congress.
While we will keep working to derail this attack on law-abiding gun owners, you need to take action now. Please use this link to let your elected officials know that you won’t be blamed for the actions of violent criminals. Ask your Representative to oppose H.R.8. Additionally, you may call your U.S. Representative using the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Source: NRA / ILA
Stealing Rights and Property in Steel City?
Pittsburgh Reportedly Considering Sweeping Gun Control
The NRA has received copies of what are reported to be draft ordinances being considered by the Pittsburgh City Council to enact sweeping gun control measures within the city.
It appears that Mayor Bill Peduto’s office is sending the drafts to mayors of other large cities, encouraging them to follow suit.
Yet if the drafts were enacted as written, the resulting ordinances would infringe fundamental rights, violate state law, and stick municipal taxpayers with hefty legal fees for the inevitable court challenges the new laws would provoke.
To the extent the Pittsburgh Mayor’s Office may be encouraging its counterparts to follow suit in other states with strong firearm preemption laws, it would be soliciting similar unlawful acts on their parts as well.
The documents received by the NRA contain three draft municipal ordinances to be added by the Council of the City of Pittsburgh to the local Code of Ordinances. It’s unclear whether all three are meant to be introduced simultaneously, as two of them overlap substantially.
One is an “assault weapon” ban that superficially appears to have been modeled on the failed federal ban in effect from 1994 to 2004. It would ban select-fire machine guns, an array of named semiautomatic firearms, as well as semiautomatic rifles and pistols that have two or more of various specified features.
Yet also prohibited would be any firearm that has “the ability to accept” a magazine with a capacity in excess of 10 rounds. This would prohibit essentially all semiautomatic and many manually-loaded firearms, except for specific exemptions that apply to .22 caliber and lever action firearms with tubular magazines.
The ordinance would become effective 60 days after enactment and would grandfather in those who lawfully owned the newly-banned guns before the law’s effective date.
A separate draft proposes to ban a large array of semiautomatic firearms, “semiautomatic modifications” that “accelerate the rate of fire” of a semiautomatic firearm, “large capacity” magazines (i.e., those capable of holding more than 10 rounds), and various types of ammunition.
This ordinance specifically targets centerfire, semiautomatic firearms that have any one of various named features, most of which are common on commercially available guns, or any semiautomatic rifle with an overall length of less than 30”. Also included would be semiautomatic shotguns configured in common ways.
The ordinance would additionally prohibit various types of ammunition specified by design or caliber. These would include a wide array of non-lead bullets, .50 BMG rifle ammunition, and tracer rounds, among other things.
Firearms, as well as air guns, that have prohibited modifications would also be banned. These include guns equipped with specifically named accessories – such as “bump stock[s],” “binary triggers,” and “trigger cranks” – and anything else the city considers to “accelerate the rate of fire” of the gun.
Like the other proposed gun ban, this one would take effect 60 days after enactment. Unlike the other proposal, however, it contains no grandfather clause for those who had previously acquired their property lawfully. Mere possession of the banned “firearms,” magazines, or ammunition would be enough to trigger a violation.
The third draft is a gloss on the increasingly common “extreme risk protection order” concept that would empower courts to order seizures of firearms from supposedly high risk persons.
Like the worst of these laws, the proposal would authorize such seizures even before the respondent had a chance to rebut the allegations against him or her. Merely having recently acquired a firearm, moreover, would be evidence the court would have to weigh against the respondent in deciding whether to issue the order. The issuance of a temporary or long-term seizure order would trigger a search warrant for firearms, even though the petitioner would not have to produce any actual evidence of firearm possession.
The draft, in other words, ignores basic concepts of constitutional law in its zeal to empower authorities to confiscate guns from people who in many cases will have done nothing illegal or threatening to others.
It also provides absolutely no other mechanisms to stabilize or incapacitate the supposedly high risk subject of the order, other than imposing firearm prohibitions and seizures.
Each of the proposed ordinances, on its face, would be bad policy, constitutionally suspect, and ineffective in preventing or reducing firearm-related crime.
If that weren’t enough to caution against them, however, all three would be squarely prohibited by Pennsylvania state law.
Like most other U.S. states, Pennsylvania reserves regulation of firearms to the state legislature. State law is clear that “[n]o county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.”
Pittsburgh should be under absolutely no illusions about its local authority to regulate firearms, or to prohibit “assault weapons” in particular, having already lost a preemption challenge to a previous assault weapon ban in the 1996 case of Ortiz v. Commonwealth.
There, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed as “frivolous” Pittsburgh’s and Philadelphia’s attempt to defend their assault weapon ordinances as “fundamental” to their status as home rule municipalities.
“By constitutional mandate, the General Assembly may limit the functions to be performed by home rule municipalities,” the court wrote.
Because the ownership of firearms is constitutionally protected, its regulation is a matter of statewide concern. The [Pennsylvania] constitution does not provide that the right to bear arms shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth except Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where it may be abridged at will, but that it shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth. Thus, regulation of firearms is a matter of concern in all of Pennsylvania, not merely in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the General Assembly, not city councils, is the proper forum for the imposition of such regulation.
Other cases have invalidated different regulations prohibiting otherwise lawful firearm related conduct under the state’s preemption law. These include one where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court invalidated yet another Philadelphia “assault weapon” ban in 2008.
In other words, it has been repeatedly established beyond any reasonable doubt that Pittsburgh lacks the authority to enact any of the provisions included in the draft ordinances, particularly banning categories of firearms that are lawful in other parts of Pennsylvania. Any further attempt to do so would accordingly be a transparent and exploitative political stunt, not a serious attempt to legislate in the public interest.
Despite all this, Pittsburgh’s mayor Bill Peduto has publicly embraced the concept of the city trying to enact its own gun control and of encouraging his counterparts in other cities to do so as well. A local press report mentioned “[d]rafts of three local gun-reform bills” that were attached to the email letter Peduto sent to the other mayors as part of this effort.
If in fact those drafts are the same as those now in possession of the NRA, they evidence not just a lack of imagination and of insight into violent crime, but a wholesale disregard of the rule of law and of the fundamental rights of Pittsburgh citizens.
When lawbreaking becomes good politics, all decent people suffer. Hopefully cooler heads prevail before that again becomes the case in Steel City.
Source: NRA / ILA
Please Contact Your U.S. Representative Today and Ask Them to Vote Against H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112!
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee just passed H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, and they have been sent to the U.S. House floor for a vote! These are Pelosi-Bloomberg gun control bills designed to score political points, and they won’t have any impact on crime or criminals, don’t address America’s broken mental health system and don’t address the underlying causes of violence. For more information, click here.
H.R. 8 criminalizes the private transfer of firearms and targets law-abiding gun owners for persecution. It would make criminals out of law-abiding gun owners for simply loaning a firearm to a friend or some family members. This bill would not stop criminals from obtaining guns because criminals do not comply with the law. And the legislation would be unenforceable without federal gun registration.
H.R. 1112 would allow the government to arbitrarily delay firearm purchases for over 20 days and make it more difficult for law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families.
Again, please contact your Representative today at (202) 224-3121 or here and urge them to vote against H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112!
Source: NRA / ILA
Tell Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills
This week two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called "universal" background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is just a small part of what these overbroad pieces of legislation would do.
Traps for Law-Abiding Gun Owners
Both bills would make it a crime, subject to certain exceptions, to simply hand a firearm to another person. Anytime gun owners carry out this simple act, they would potentially be exposing themselves to criminal penalties. While the bills do create some exceptions, they are overly complicated and create many traps for unwary gun owners. Accidental violations of these complicated provisions are not excused under the proposed legislation.
Expanded Background Checks Don’t Work
Proponents of expanded background checks claim that they want to stop dangerous people from obtaining firearms, but there is no evidence that expanded background checks are useful for this purpose.
Just last year, a study by anti-gun researchers confirmed that expanded background checks in California did not reduce gun homicides or gun suicides.
This finding is consistent with a review of past studies on expanded background checks by the RAND Corporation that found that “evidence of the effect of private-seller background checks on firearm homicides is inconclusive.”
These studies confirm that anti-gun members of Congress aren’t interested in actually addressing violent crime; they’re just trying to deflect the blame on law-abiding gun owners. Please use this link to let your elected officials know that you won’t be blamed for the actions of violent criminals. Ask your Representative and Senators to oppose H.R.8 and S.42. Additionally, you may call your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators using the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation
The Nancy Pelosi Speaker Era 2.0 continued on Wednesday, Feb. 13, with a markup of H.R 8, the ﾓuniversalﾔ background checks bill, in the House Judiciary Committee. Following on the heels of last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing, the same committee held a markup on Wednesday, where amendments and corrections to H.R. 8 could be considered. Unfortunately, the markup was clearly designed to allow the anti-gun Democrats who control the Judiciary Committee to grandstand and promote attacks on law-abiding gun owners, rather than consider efforts to combat violent crime.
It was clear from the outset that the anti-gun Democrats had no interest in considering reasonable approaches to addressing violent crime. The committee’s Ranking Member, Doug Collins (R-Ga.), offered the first amendment to the bill, which sought other approaches to combating crime rather than “universal” background checks, which study after study have shown to be ineffective, or their effectiveness inconclusive. His amendment was simply dismissed as not germane, without any discussion of its merits.
Representative F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) offered the next amendment. It simply sought to add to the list of exemptions from the “universal” background check requirements anyone who possessed a valid permit to carry a firearm. Adoption of the amendment would have still left the bill as an anti-gun mess, but it was a reasonable proposal considering carry permit holders already undergo a background check in order to obtain their permits. The anti-gun majority made clear they were not interested in anything reasonable, and the amendment was defeated.
The Sensenbrenner amendment was attacked by anti-gunners on the committee with ridiculous arguments and inaccurate information. Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) objected because not all states that issue permits to carry firearms require any training, even though the “universal” background checks mandated by H.R. 8 have no training requirements.Representative David Cicilline (D-R.I.) objected because, according to him, some states have no issuing requirements for permits, which is patently false. Other anti-gun legislators tried to claim that some states that issue permits after an applicant has subThis process repeated itself throughout the day, with other amendments seeking to make even minor improvements to a monumentally bad piece of legislation being rejected similarly, either voted down or ruled not germane, by the anti-gun majority and Chair. This includes simple amendments that merely sought to put a cap on the fees that could be charged for a “universal” background check.
The Chair even spoke out against an amendment that sought to exempt victims of domestic violence from “universal” background check provisions of H.R. 8 by raising the concern of “evidentiary standards” when determining if the victim is actually a victim, even though anti-gun politicians have consistently refused to acknowledge “evidentiary standards” when promoting legislation to strip gun owners of their firearms.
After several hours, H.R. 8 was passed after anti-gun Democrats rejected every amendment offered by Republicans. The Judiciary Committee then took up H.R. 1112, legislation that would change current law that allows an FFL the option to transfer a firearm after three days if a NICS check is delayed. That discussion was much shorter, being dealt with in under an hour.
Although the actual language for H.R. 1112 has still not been made available on Congress.gov, as anti-gun Democrats have been apparently trying to rush legislation to the floor before it is truly ready for consideration, Chairman Nadler explained that the bill would extend the “delay” period from three days to 10 business days. However, after 10 business days, the transfer is not allowed to go through. The prospective purchaser must first file a petition with the Attorney General. If a “proceed” message is still not received 10 business days after the filing of the petition, only then may the transfer go through. However, NICS checks are only valid for 30 calendar days, so this new proposed proceed provision appears to be practically worthless because in almost all scenarios it will take more than 30 calendar days to accomplish.
The entire premise of H.R. 1112 is predicated on the notion that it would have prevented the horrific murders committed in Charleston, S.C., on June 17, 2015. Proponents have argued that the perpetrator of that crime would not have been able to commit his crime if the background check had taken longer. That, however, is simply not true, as the violent murderer was not prohibited from purchasing the firearm he used and his terrible crime took place more than two months after he first attempted to buy a firearm, so even the extended delay of H.R. 1112 would have had no effect in his case.
Ranking Member Collins may have best summarized this week’s markup and last week’s hearing in his opening remarks on Wednesday, when he stated, “I’m sad the bill before us represents another missed opportunity to prevent violence in our communities.” Neither H.R. 8 nor H.R. 1112 will do anything to address violent crime, but both will surely create problems for otherwise law-abiding gun owners and prospective gun owners.
Please thank Ranking Member Collins and the 13 other members of the House Judiciary Committee who voted against the misguided and ineffective legislation that is designed to score political points, not address crime, violence or mental health.
Please use this link to let your elected officials know that you won’t be blamed for the actions of violent criminals. Ask your Representative to oppose H.R.8ﾠand H.R 1112. Additionally, you may call your U.S. Representative using the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Source: NRA / ILA
This weekly update is a very difficult one for me to write. We were unable to put together a weekly update for last weekend because we were preparing to engage the legislature over their intent to run HB 2060, and potentially HB 2227. As you know, HB 2060 ostensibly dealt with domestic violence (PFA) issues while HB 2227 dealt with creation of a new section of law regarding extreme risk protection orders.
Most, if not all, of you reading this have never been engaged in the kind of legislative battle that occurred beginning on Monday the 24th. Make no mistake about it, this legislative battle was a knockdown drag out fight between every gun control group in the country, Moms Demand Action, Every Town, Giffords Law Center, and Cease-Fire PA were determined to pass this legislation!
This battle was initiated over the legislation above due to political/election issues and the speaker of the house representative Mike Turzai whose opponent in the upcoming general election, Emily Skopov (a Mom’s Demand Action-Gun Sense Candidate), ridiculed and derided him in a press release for not running HB 2060. This caused speaker Turzai to be outraged and to immediately schedule HB 2060 a vote this past week and damn the consequences.
So, before I go any further, I want to ask you if you know or understand the issue of Ex Parte hearings? Do you believe that due process is important? Do you believe that laws should not put impossible burdens on the accused especially when they haven’t even had the opportunity to confront their accuser or have their day in court? If you said yes to the above then you have a good start in understanding why both of these bills are constitutionally repugnant and will lay the groundwork if passed for more onerous legislation to violate our right to bear arms and constitutional freedoms!
We are losing our rights in the shadows where these anti-gun organizations are creating legislation and laws that set precedent for future abuses.
As members of Firearms Owners against Crime you expect your officers to take the right position on issues that matter the opposition or consequences! We strive to do this every day! That is why over the weekend we did everything humanly possible to try to organize gunowners to physically go to Harrisburg and support us as well as to make phone calls and send emails to Pennsylvania House of Representatives members.
The problem we have is that gun owners seem to have lost the will to fight or even to recognize the dangers of these kinds of laws! Why do I say that? The fact is is that I do 5 million gunowners in Pennsylvania and 1.17 million citizens with a license to carry we had a total of eight gunowners there in Harrisburg with five of them being FOAC members and three more being members of the Oath Keepers. The picture below is of our information table at our rally point and as you can see there are no gunowners around.
On the other hand, Mom’s Demand Action had over 75 activists in red shirts walking around the Capitol building. See the picture below:
SO IF YOU WERE AN ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE WHO WOULD YOU LISTEN TO?????
There are many in the Second Amendment community that believe that there is no need for personal attendance at the few incidents like this where gun control raises its ugly head. However, that could not be further from the truth! The reason is that the anti-gun groups have realized that there is no substitute, not email or phone calls, for putting a living breathing human being in front of someone and advocating for their position!
This past week has borne out that premise and has set the stage for the success of it with every other gun control measure that comes up!
Furthermore, if gunowners cannot begin comprehending the dangers that our Constitution and all of us are faced with then it is very likely we are going to be in serious trouble. This comment from FOAC member, Brandon Combs, is most poignant:
The new rules are that there are no rules. This isn’t an “honest and open debate,” evidence is merely someone’s policy preferences dressed up in “common sense,” and we don’t get brownie points for “reasonableness.” The objective is to win so hard that none of those things matter. We have a lot of work to do; if gun owners don’t ditch the apathy and false dichotomies, the irrational reliance on Trump-as-savior, and learn how the Constitution and government really works, California will be the model for the nation and not the laughingstock of it.
So, what happened in Harrisburg this week?
It quickly became apparent that chaos was going to reign because many legislators were upset that speaker Turzai was bringing this issue up and putting the entire caucus of Republicans at risk so close to an election on a controversial issue such as HB 2060! Many house members recognized and were concerned about the risks presented with the language in the legislation. However, and this is key, they felt intimidated by the Mom’s Demand Action activists who have been strutting around Harrisburg and disrupting the entire flow of the capital and legislation. This was not going to be a debate on the merits, or lack thereof, of legislation or even an honest attempt at fixing flaws in legislation so there were no unintentional consequences. Now this fight was going to be purely on emotion and who swung the bigger stick. Clearly, through lack of commitment, gunowners had drawn the short straw!
Even with all of the anti-gun organizations and every law enforcement agency (except the Pennsylvania sheriffs but more on that later) in support of HB 2060, and with the NRA claiming to be neutral, the facts and the pro-gun house members were putting up a supreme battle. So much so that HB 2060 did not come up for a vote on Monday nor did it come up for a vote on Tuesday.
We, FOAC, offered a compromise to leadership that would require opening up HB 2060 for amendments and doing what is known as “a gut and replace” with the language from Senate Bill 501 which was amended in the Pennsylvania Senate with language we approved of and then with a couple of technical amendments we would have been neutral on this. This is what we were promised in May and did not happen! In case you hear from legislators that both bills were the same that is a lie! There are subtle but significant differences between the two and anyone it says that has not read both bills and is simply obfuscating the fact that they don’t know what they’re talking about and that they are willing to take the mistakes in HB 2060 rather than do the right thing!
There was such drama surrounding the deliberations on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday that it is almost impossible to put all of that in this report. From speaker Turzai screaming at representative Daryl Metcalfe in the caucus meeting, as well as representative Rick Saccone, to the lies being spread about the Pennsylvania sheriffs Association supporting HB 2060 to the failure of the speaker to follow house rules (specifically rule 24) on motions made by members on the floor.
Owners must evolve into the 21st century and stop allowing ourselves to be bullied by Millionaire monsters like Bloomberg and Soros! We need to put together a ready reaction force, special operations unit if you will, that can respond to these assaults on freedom with dedicated individuals who will take off a day of work and go with us to Harrisburg when necessary! This may happen once or twice a year and we have the numbers in Pennsylvania that can make it fair for everyone! Make no mistake about it though, failing to employ tactics that will properly counter what is being used against our legislators to support gun control will result in Pennsylvania slowly turning into Maryland, New Jersey, New York because right now my friends as far as advocacy goes we are getting our butts kicked!
The final vote on HB 2060 was 131-62 with 54 Republicans and 8 Democrats voting against this bill.ANY House member who voted for HB 2060 has lost their FOAC endorsement and their grade has been reduced. Tomorrow, HB 2060 goes to the PA Senate for consideration through the ‘full’ process including committees. Senators should be ANGRY about the bait and switch with SB 501, which FOAC was neutral and worked on for 3 years. Kind of makes you wonder if something else was going on like maybe helping Rep. Quinn run for the 10th State Senate District open seat?? NAAAHHH, that couldn’t be it could it, could it?
Keep your powder dry my friends, this story is still unfolding!
******This is the enemy Florida gun owners now face as many “A-rated” Republicans they supported betray them and flee.
Is the above happening in Pennsylvania?? Ask Rep. Mike Turzai, who's running scared from a Mom's Demand Action - Gun Sense Candidate, Emily Skopov - his challenger in the upcoming General Election. Along the way, he's throwing PA Gun Owners under the bus!
Reshaping the Debate on the Right To Bear Arms
Those of us who are gun rights advocates and supporters often cite the data, and for a good reason — the data is overwhelmingly on our side, and the data shows the truth. We care about the facts and we want to make ethical, sound judgments based on the available data. We think it’s important that violent crime is down over the last 20 plus years, that gun crime and homicides are down over the same period and that while the United States makes up 4.5 percent of the population on earth, weﾒre accountable for only 3% of the mass shootings in the world. These things matter to us, and they should. They should matter to everyone, and yet, they don’t.
Actress Alyssa Milano — who also recently employed armed guards outside of the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Moms Demand Action and other groups appeal to fear and sadness. They act out Rahm Emmanuel’s famous, “don’t let any tragedy go to waste” political manifesto. To paraphrase Ryan Gresham from Gun Talk Media, it’s a bunch of middle-aged moms in government hearings crying, “but what about the children?” They know that data doesn’t compete with that, that emotion sways far more people than facts. They’re ignorant of guns. Therefore they’re scared of guns and if they’re afraid of guns, then their right to feel safe trumps our right to be safe.
I’m not saying we should give up facts, not at all; I think we need to keep pushing that narrative and bringing the truth to the light, especially when it comes to the number of self-defense uses of firearms in America.
However, I think we need to add an emotional component to our argument as well. We need to market people who have defended themselves and their families with firearms, especially women and minorities.
The right to protect ourselves and our families is a human right, given to all of us no matter our race, gender, religion, orientation or any other thing the left wants us to put front and center to segregate ourselves.
What is more important than protecting your very life and that of your family? If we have a right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” then our lives have to be the first thing we protect. That’s the anti-gunners’ argument, but it should be ours too. It’s up to us to frame that properly because they have skewed it so perversely. As a father, my number one priority in life is to protect my daughter, and I’ll do it at all costs, it’s my most sacred duty. To me, and most of us, this seems like the most basic of common sense. However, we need to frame this in a way that will resonate with the people who don’t own guns. If nothing else, we need their support. And hopefully, we can turn a lot of these individuals who support some gun control, but are not zealots, into law-abiding gun owners.
So, then the question becomes, “how do we do it?” On a broad scale, I admit it’s going to take all of us to adapt to new methods.
However, just like I say to gun owners all the time, on a one-on-one basis, we have opportunities to be advocates and ambassadors every single day with our friends, co-workers, neighbors or perhaps just the person on the bar stool next to you. While exact numbers are hard to come by, approximately at least one in three Americans own at least one firearm. This means teachers, Sunday School teachers, ministers, Cub Scout leaders, swim coaches and a little bit of everyone. There are excellent ambassadors for gun rights out there, everywhere. I know in today’s world of boycotts and social media outrage it’s risky to put yourself in the public eye, but if we don’t have some people stand up for what we believe in their communities, gun control activists are going to continue to try and strip us of our rights. They’re not going to do this all at once. Their plan of attack is obvious — death by a thousand cuts. It’s the capacity of the magazine, bump stocks, waiting periods and raising the age to buy a .22 LR rifle to twenty-one. It’s one little law at a time.
Let’s keep pushing data-driven decision making, but let’s also start asking these people, “What about protecting my family? Why is it okay for you to live in gated communities with armed guards, but you think those of us who can’t afford that don’t deserve any protection at all?” We need to bring their hypocrisy to light. These are the same people who say “all cops are racist murderers” out of one side of their mouth while saying “only cops need guns” out of the other side. They’re fighting dirty because they know they’re out-manned and out-gunned. ALL we must do is wake up and get engaged in the debate!
I’m not saying we sink all the way to their level, but perhaps it’s time to stop being so polite. It’s a death match, not an Ultimate Fighting Championship title fight.
Yours in Freedom!
Kim Stolfer, President
Here are this Week's Top News Stories From Firearms Owners Against Crime
Duke University Op-Ed Argues Gun Control Not Possible
I tend to read a fair number of op-eds in the course of my day. Most are the typical talking points with little new worth discussing. This is especially true with publications tied to colleges and universities, even the unofficial ones.
Pennsylvania House approves bill upping regs on mandatory gun surrenders
Lawmakers this week passed a measure decried by gun rights advocates that requires those subject to a protective order to turn in their guns within 24 hours.
It's official, crime rates decreased last year
Some good news came out of the Federal Bureau of Investigation this week: crime decreased in 2017.
Gun Control Group Targets 15 House Races
It seemed the gun grabbers had gotten a little smarter. They realized that they were never going to get gun control at the national level, so they started hitting the states hard. There, they could find populations more interested in stripping citizens of their God-given rights and find a foothold.
Bloomberg Gun-Control Group Launches Mass Shooting Ad Campaign to Flip GOP House Seats
Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun-control advocacy group founded by Michael Bloomberg, is launching a $5 million digital ad campaign featuring ominous allusions to recent mass shootings in an effort to flip 15 Republican-held suburban House districts.
Danger Extreme Risk Protection Order- Critical Votes in Pennsylvania Monday
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- The Pennsylvania House has announced plans to take two anti-rights bills off the table and bring them to a vote on the House floor this Monday and Tuesday.
Gun Control Twist: Saving One Life "Does Not Justify" Right-to-Carry
Gun control advocates often use some version of the phrase “if it saves one life” in order to justify their ineffective proposals. This week, the anti-gun editorial page of the Chicago Sun-Times offered a different take. Fearful that the Right-to-Carry was getting too much good publicity in the wake of an Illinois concealed carry permit holder’s heroic actions, the Sun-Times editorial board felt it necessary to lecture its readers, “One brave rescue of a Cicero cop doesnﾒt justify concealed guns.”
PA Superior Court: Taking Natural Gas Without Permission From Neighboring Property Is Trespass, Overturning Rule Of Capture For Unconventional Gas Wells
The PA Superior Court Monday issued an opinion saying Southwestern Energy drilling company trespassed on the property of Susquehanna County landowners by taking natural gas from an adjacent property without permission through its unconventional drilling operations.
Members of the Briggs family own about 11 acres of land adjacent to an unconventional natural gas well operated by Southwestern Energy since 2011 in Harford Township, Susquehanna County.
The Briggs family did not lease their mineral rights to Southwestern for development.
Southwestern Energy argued and a lower court agreed there was no trespass because of the “rule of capture.” Rule of capture means the first person to capture a natural resources owns that resource under English common law. It can be applied to groundwater or natural resources like oil and gas. Click Here for a Penn State Law presentation on the issue.
The Court ruled prior cases involving the rule of capture do not apply to unconventional natural gas drilling because hydraulic fracturing is not the same as oil and natural gas freely migrating from a reservoir and across property lines.
The Court said--
“Unlike oil and gas originating in a common reservoir, natural gas, when trapped in a shale formation, is non-migratory in nature. Shale gas does not merely “escape” to adjoining land absent the application of an external force.
“Instead, the shale must be fractured through the process of hydraulic fracturing; only then may the natural gas contained in the shale move freely through the “artificially created channel[s].”
“Further, we are not persuaded by the Coastal Oil Court’s rationale that a landowner can adequately protect his interests by drilling his own well to prevent drainage to an adjoining property.
“Hydraulic fracturing is a costly and highly specialized endeavor, and the traditional recourse to “go and do likewise” is not necessarily readily available for an average landowner.
Additionally, while we are cognizant that establishing the occurrence of a subsurface trespass determining the value of natural gas drained through hydraulic fracturing will present evidentiary difficulties, see Coastal Oil, 268 S.W.3d at 16, we do not believe that such difficulty, in itself, is a sufficient justification for precluding recovery.
“We additionally echo the concern raised in both the Coastal Oil dissent and Stone that precluding trespass liability based on the rule of capture would effectively allow a mineral lessee to expand its lease by locating a well near the lease’s boundary line and withdrawing natural gas from beneath the adjoining property, for which it does not have a lease.
“In light of the distinctions between hydraulic fracturing and conventional gas drilling, we conclude that the rule of capture does not preclude liability for trespass due to hydraulic fracturing.
“Therefore, hydraulic fracturing may constitute an actionable trespass where subsurface fractures, fracturing fluid and proppant cross boundary lines and extend into the subsurface estate of an adjoining property for which the operator does not have a mineral lease, resulting in the extraction of natural gas from beneath the adjoining landowner’s property.
The Court remanded the case to lower court to allow for the Briggs family to fully develop their trespass claim, including any estimates of the extent of the trespass and how far the subsurface fractures extended from the unconventional gas well.
Click Here for a copy of the opinion.
This decision can be appealed to the PA Supreme Court, but they are not automatic and very few appeals are ever granted.
This is another court decision people will be chewing on for a while.
Source: PA Environment Digest
You’ve Got Fail: Investigation into Online Gun Sales Backfires on Gun Controllers
In yet another embarrassment for the gun control lobby, a government investigation of online gun sales designed to determine “whether private sellers would knowingly sell a firearm to an individual prohibited from possessing one” determined that … no, actually, they would not. In 72 attempts undertaken over 2 ½ years, undercover agents trying to buy guns through readily-accessible Internet sites failed exactly 100% of the time to complete a sale when the seller had reason to believe the buyer was prohibited or lived in another state.
Ironically, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report -- ﾓInternet Firearm Sales: ATF Enforcement Efforts and Outcomes of GAO Covert Testingﾔ – was commissioned by three staunchly anti-gun members of Congress. Leading the charge was Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who was joined by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
The legislators were apparently banking on GAO to replicate the results of three earlier “studies” bought and paid for by über anti-gun sugar daddy Michael Bloomberg, beginning with 2011’s “Point, Click, Fire.” Using a similar methodology to the GAO study (responding to online sales ads with the suggestion they couldn’t pass a background check), Bloomberg’s investigators claimed that 62% of private sellers were nevertheless willing to proceed with the sale.
Two later Bloomberg-backed efforts – one specifically timed to support the Bloomberg-funded “universal background check” initiative campaign in Nevada – claimed to prove that prohibited criminals were posting “want-to-buy” ads for gun. This was supposedly ascertained by comparing information the posters provided with their ads to criminal history records.
Combining the results of the studies, Bloomberg’s lackeys extrapolated that hundreds of thousands of dangerous criminals were acquiring firearms through “unregulated” online sales every year.
Needless to say, Bloomberg and his constantly-rebranding gun control empire – variously known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and Everytown for Gun Safety – argued the results of these publicity stunts “proved” the need for more gun control. The number one policy prescription was a federal “universal background check” law.
But the GAO report also reinforced what the NRA has said all along, that online sales are not “unregulated” but subject to the same federal laws that apply to any other commercial or private gun sales. These include licensing for commercial sellers (with the attendant responsibility to identify buyers, keep transaction records, and run background checks), restrictions for all sellers on transacting across state lines, and a ban on selling to anyone with reason to believe the person is prohibited.
GAO’s findings showed nothing so much as that private sellers advertising online are knowledgeable about the law, conscientious, and self-policing. Fifty-six of the sellers (78%) “outright refused to complete a transaction once our undercover agents revealed either that the shipping address was across state lines or that the agent was prohibited from owning firearms.” In five other cases, the forum on which the ad was posted “froze” the prospective buyers’ accounts and blocked the transaction once information on their prohibited status was revealed. The agents failed to complete the remaining 11 cases because they determined the sellers wanted to take their money without actually making delivery of the firearm.
In every single case, however, the sellers would not deliver a firearm to a buyer they had reason to believe was prohibited or lived in a different state. The GAO report also showed that websites and legitimate sellers were willing to freeze out suspicious actors and cooperate with law enforcement officials to identify and successfully prosecute criminals operating online.
So much for the “Wild Wild Web” that Bloomberg has spent so much time and money trying to conjure in the public imagination.
The investigators went even further, however, and also tried to purchase guns on the so-called “Dark Web,” which the report said “contains content that has been intentionally concealed and requires specific computer software to gain access,” thus affording users “little risk of detection.” The ATF put it more simply, explaining the Dark Web is “designed to facilitate criminal activity online.”
But even on the Dark Web, and even dropping the ruse that they were prohibited purchasers, GAO’s undercover agents were still only able to complete two of seven attempted transactions. One involved a semi-automatic Uzi that had been (apparently falsely) advertised as a machine gun, and the other was an AR-15 with an obliterated serial number. Both cases were referred for further criminal investigation.
Yet in sharp contrast to Bloomberg’s previous efforts, the GAO did not substantiate that most private sellers advertising online are willing to break the law. To the contrary, the GAO results showed that sellers operating on readily-accessible websites understood the law about restricted firearm sales and scrupulously followed it (even if some were seemingly willing to scam apparent criminals out of their money).
In Bloomberg’s world, you get what you pay for, and that includes “investigative” outcomes and fawning attention from the press. But GAO is not on his payroll. To their credit, they did a professional job with their investigation, and the results speak for themselves. Just don’t expect to hear about it from the media this time.
Source: NRA / ILA
NYC Deputy Director of Criminal Justice Fired Amidst Illegal Shooting Investigation
Earlier this month, we revisited the bizarre story of how an aide to anti-gun senator and presidential hopeful Kamala Harris (D-CA) was once arrested for impersonating a police officer, with accusations that included wearing a phony uniform, driving a phony police car, and carrying an all-too-real sidearm. Meanwhile, another prominent anti-gun Democrat on the East Coast is now facing an embarrassing firearm-related episode of his own, having been forced to fire his deputy criminal justice director as police continue to investigate the woman’s possible involvement in an illegal shooting.
New York City is known for its restrictive gun control. It has gained a reputation for punishing unwary travelers who accidentally violate its draconian laws while traveling through the city. In 2017, the Big Apple launched the Office to Prevent Gun Violence, which among other things is tasked with “introduce[ing] technological solutions to prevent gun violence to create safe, empowered and interconnected communities in New York City.”
Ironically, one of those “technological solutions” might have led to the arrest of a senior official in the city’s administration. According to a New York Post article from April, “Reagan Stevens, a deputy director in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, and two young men were arrested for illegal weapons possession while sitting in a double-parked car near the scene of a Saturday night shooting in Queens ….” The article went on to report, “The trio’s arrest followed a burst of five gunshots that activated an NYPD ‘ShotSpotter’ device in Jamaica at 9:42 p.m.,” and “private surveillance video captured the muzzle flashes of five shots fired from the Infiniti” in which the suspects were located. Officers recovered a “loaded, 9mm semi-automatic pistol with its serial number defaced” from the car’s glovebox, and “there was a spent shell casing on the floor near Stevens’ feet in the rear” of the vehicle.
“The handgun seized by cops has an eight-round magazine and held three cartridges — two in the magazine and one in the chamber,” sources told the Post. Police also reportedly noticed a strong smell of marijuana as they approached the vehicle.
The Post learned this week that Stevens was finally fired from her $90,000-a-year position with New York City in July. The paper had earlier described her job duties as “implementing a 2017 state law that will raise the age at which kids can be prosecuted as adults for non-violent crimes from 16 to 18.” Stevens herself was 42-years-old at the time of her arrest. Her co-defendants were 24 and 25.
Stevens continues to face two counts of criminal firearms possession. The occupants of the car would not tell police who owned the gun in question.
Kamala Harris might have at least been able to claim that her wayward employee aspired to something worthwhile by imitating a police officer. What Reagan Stevens aspired to by being in that vehicle last April, and by her apparent refusal to cooperate with the police investigation, is not clear.
Most Americans would probably consider this an apt opportunity for officials to give a break to New York City’s already beleaguered law-abiding gun owners and refocus reform efforts closer to city hall, but we’re not holding our breath.
Source: NRA / ILA
Muzzleloaders Now Targeted by “Giffords” Gun Prohibition Lobby
It didn’t take long after the events in Las Vegas, Nevada for gun control advocates to resort to their usual tactic of blaming hardware for the acts of an evil man. Numerous anti-gun bills were introduced almost immediately, with arch anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) leading the charge. “This is written in clean English,” Feinstein insisted of her bill. “It does not take anyone’s gun.” Less than a month later, however, Feinstein abandoned the pretense of “not taking” guns and introduced perhaps the most sweeping gun and magazine ban in U.S. history.
Close on her heels this week was the recently-rebranded “Giffords” gun control consortium, which released a report that used the current debate over firearm legislation to … well, advocate for gun bans, too. But the Giffords report went well beyond the usual gun control talking points in extending its attack all the way to muzzle loading firearms. From the modern to the archaic, no gun is safe from the newly-emboldened prohibition lobby.
Considering these proposals, it’s hard to imagine how any firearm can thread the needle through all the justifications gun control advocates use to argue for additional bans.
Semiautomatic carbines that use detachable magazines must go, they say, because they can fire too many (relatively small) rounds too quickly.
But muzzleloaders -- which fire one shot at a time and must be laboriously loaded through by hand down the barrel – can deliver what “Giffords” calls “a particularly lethal .50 caliber round” and are therefore unacceptable as well.
Bump stocks should be banned, according to the report, because they increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle held against the shoulder.
Yet dispensing with the stock entirely – as in the case of AR- or AK-style pistols – also presents a problem for the “Giffords” group because that creates guns capable of firing rifle-sized cartridges that are “concealable like handguns.”
But concealability of course isn’t the only problem for “Giffords.” Exceptionally large guns are out, too. The Giffords report goes on to fault modern .50 caliber rifles for combining “long range, accuracy, and massive firepower.”
Of course, the actual use of .50 caliber rifles to commit crime in the U.S. is vanishingly rare, thanks to their considerable weight, bulk, and price tag. A five-foot long gun that weighs nearly 33 lbs. and costs as much as many used cars is not likely to be the sort of tool most common criminals will lug from one crime scene to the next.
Where does this all lead? The Boston Globe answered that question this week with an article headlined, “Hand over your weapons.” It states: “The logic of gun control lies, at bottom, in substantially reducing the number of deadly weapons on the street—and confiscation is far and away the most effective approach.” This thesis is accompanied by the usual celebration of Australia’s mass gun confiscation effort, an almost mandatory feature of any journalistic exploration of gun control these days.
And while admitting that “America is not Australia,” the Globe writer nevertheless asserts “there’s no way around” the conclusion that widespread gun ownership is to blame for violent crime in America and that the solution must involve confiscating “millions of those firearms … .”
It’s telling that the “Giffords” organization – once among the more moderate of the gun control advocacy groups – now demands curbs on the sorts of muzzleloaders that it admits “fell out of favor as a firearm of choice almost a century ago, and are generally seen as primitive antiques.”
But what’s really out of favor and antiquated, in the unforgiving worldview of gun abolitionists, is your Second Amendment rights. The values of America’s Founding Fathers are just as obnoxious to them as the revolutionary-era rifles that helped win America’s freedom.
Source: NRA / ILA
From the Organic Daily Post, we made a huge post about how to protect your yard from ticks, and I think it's super useful.
Wow! What a week.
It started with two White House conference calls to help get Judge Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to Supreme Court by the United States Senate.
Then we won a major legal victory against the U.S. Department of Justice in our Defense Distributed lawsuit…
,,, and got the government to admit that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.
Then we filed a new lawsuit in California against anti-gun Attorney General Xavier Becerra to stop their new faulty online gun registration scheme that puts gun owners in legal jeopardy.
As a result of all this, so far this week, I have been on and in over 800 TV, radio, print and Internet media outlets.
In addition, I am working to get two new critical pro-gun rights lawsuits filed as soon as possible.
Source: Second Amendment Foundation