Free Books For Your Quarantine Pleasure

If you are into military history, Osprey Publishing is offering a selection of free eBooks every week. Each week they will be putting up a series of five books and you can select one or all for download.

This week the books range from a book on the Hawker Hurricane to Samurai of the mid 1500s. In between is the Battle of Waterloo, US Heavy Cruisers, and the Czech Legion.

The link is here. The code for this week is FREEBOOKS2.

Since you are stuck at home in most places by governmental order unless you are considered essential, you might as well put it to good use.

This Is Why Newbies Are Buying Firearms

If the NICS figures are any indication, a lot of people are buying firearms. While the gun prohibitionists are portraying it as gun owners buying more, we know that is incorrect. There are a lot of first time gun buyers out there even when the state throws up roadblocks.

As to why there are a lot of newbies buying guns, it is because they correctly foresaw a rise in crime. They knew that a firearm, correctly used, will allow them to protect themselves and their families.

New York City has seen an increase in property crimes in the last 28 days according to the NYPD’s statistics. This includes a 6.9% rise in robberies, a 21.8% increase in burglaries, and a whopping 64.2 increase in grand theft auto. This is taking place in a city that is the nation’s epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You are having criminals being released from prison to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Moreover, you are seeing criminals who are caught be released on virtually no bail even for violent crimes. Bond amounts are equivalent to pocket change. And this is in Texas!

Breitbart Texas reports that even Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is concerned about the release of prisoners and the expected rise in crime.

Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo said burglaries in the city are up 20 percent since the issuance of “Stay-Home, Work-Safe” orders put in place by Harris County.

“Right now, burglaries have spiked 20 percent,” Chief Acevedo told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview. “Some people are seeing the shutdown of businesses as a target-rich opportunity. Habitual burglars should not be released.”

The chief said that there needs to be a plan for what to do with habitual criminals that are being released from the Harris County jail under orders from County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “What happens to these folks after they are released,” the chief asked. “What is the plan?”

Acevedo said Judge Hidalgo did not consult with him about the issue of releasing criminals from the county jail, a large percentage of which were arrested by his officers.

You have to wonder if he is rethinking his position on gun control.

The rise in crime seems to be more place specific as there are locations like the Bay Area reporting a decrease in crime while Minneapolis is reporting an increase especially in business burglaries.

UPDATE: Colion Noir who lives in Houston reports that the mayor is asking criminals to just stay home “and chill”. I agree with Colion Noir’s skepticism.

Adjusted NICS Checks Skyrocket In March

The National Shooting Sports Foundation released their NSSF-Adjusted NICS checks report for March 2020. It shows an 80% increase over March 2019!

The March 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 2,375,525 is an increase of 80.4 percent compared to the March 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,317,114. For comparison, the unadjusted March 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,709,562 reflects a 42.4 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,604,927 in March 2019.

Please note: Twenty-five states currently have at least one qualified alternative permit, which under the Brady Act allows the permit-holder, who has undergone a background check to obtain the permit, to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer without a separate additional background check for that transfer. The number of NICS checks in these states does not include these legal transfers based on qualifying permits and NSSF does not adjust for these transfers. Recently, the states of Alabama and Michigan had law changes that affected their Brady Law standing which removed qualifying alternate permits usage for firearm transactions. These changes went into effect July 22, 2019 for Alabama and March 3, 2020 forMichiganIn March 2020, Alabama state’s NSSF-adjusted NICS was 212.1 percent higher than March 2019, which accounts for an additional 41,348 checks over this time last year. March 2020 NICS numbers for Michigan were up 210.8% over March 2019 and account for an additional 57,599 checks.

The NSSF adjusts the gross number of NICS checks to subtract out checks that are used by states for issuing permits such as concealed carry permits and permit rechecks.

It should be noted that there is not a 100% direct correlation with firearm sales as there are states which have substitutes for the NICS check and a NICS check isn’t performed on that sale or purchase. Moreover, if one is purchasing multiple firearms at the same time, a single NICS check will usually suffice. Of course, in many free states, no check of any sort is done on private sales regardless of the type of firearm.

What this increase shows, in my opinion, is that there are a lot of people waking up and realizing that they must be responsible for their own safety and that of their family. One would hope that many of these new firearms owners – especially those who had to jump through all sorts of hoops and waiting periods – will now become Second Amendment advocates.

Greensboro Backs Down But Will Durham

Grass Roots North Carolina and Gunowners of America sent a demand letter to the cities of Greensboro and Durham on Tuesday. It demanded they rescind or change the determination the firearms-related businesses were not essential. They had until noon today to make the change or they would face court action.

Yesterday, Mayor Nancy Vaughan of Greensboro informed GRNC and GOA that she wrongly determined gun stores and ranges as “non-essential”. Now it remains to be seen if Mayor Steve Schewel of Durham will do likewise.

Picture courtesy of Carolina Peacemaker

On a related note, I got a response from Buncombe County yesterday for why they didn’t include gun stores and ranges in their list of essential businesses. Buncombe County felt that since state statute preempted them from closing them during periods of emergency that it would have been superfluous to have listed them as essential.

The release from GRNC on Vaughan’s retreat is below:

The mayor of Greensboro, North Carolina, has reversed herself and now agrees that gun stores within city limits can remain open, after being contacted by Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) and The Mayor had told the media that gun stores were not “essential” businesses, despite the fact that the city’s “stay-at-home” order stated otherwise.

This reversal comes after a Cease and Desist letter from GOA and GRNC urging Mayor Nancy Vaughan to correct her interpretation, or face legal action. Mayor Vaughan informed GOA and GRNC via email that she was incorrect in her interpretation.

While GOA and GRNC are thankful for the clarification, both organizations still look forward to seeing a public announcement by Mayor Vaughan to let the citizens of the Gate City know they can lawfully visit and purchase firearms and ammunition from gun stores during the “stay-at-home” order.

Likewise, Wake County, North Carolina has also reopened its gun stores after a similar letter sent by GRNC and GOA,  which also sent letters Guildford County and the city of Durham urging the localities to ensure gun stores remain open or face legal action.  

Elsewhere, when contacted by legal counsel for GRNC and GOA, the attorney for Orange County disavowed any statements previously made, saying its language would protect firearms businesses, and Buncombe County advises that although they did not specifically list firearm businesses as “essential,” the county will follow state guidelines which protect firearm businesses provided they follow social distancing requirements.

Safariland Launches Tactical Drop-Leg Holster For The Space Force

Safariland just announced today that they are releasing the Model 8304 Space Force SLS™/SRS® Drop-Rig Tactical Holster. It is aimed directly at the newest member of the Department of Defense – the Space Force. You can see a video of this new holster below.

Just a reminder. Before you rush out to your local Safariland dealer because you want to be as tacticool as the next Space Force wannabe, you need to remember the day.

GRNC And GOA Put Durham And Greensboro On Notice

The mayors of Greensboro and Durham have deemed firearms dealers and gun ranges to be “non-essential” businesses. Under their respective proclamations, non-essential businesses must close.

In response, Grass Roots North Carolina and Gunowners of America have sent a joint letter to each mayor. They note the Federal recommendation that firearms related businesses should be critical infrastructure. The letters ask that the mayors reverse the non-essential designation before noon on April 2nd or risk lawsuits. They also point out that Wake County had received a similar letter and made the changes.

From the release which was sent out by email:

Building on our success in convincing Wake County to reopen firearm-related businesses by adding them its list of “essential services” to avoid litigation, as well as today’s court decision ordering Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker to resume issuing pistol purchase permits, GRNC and GOA today sent letters to the Durham Mayor Steve Schewel and Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughn, advising them of their non-compliance with federal recommendations for critical infrastructure by ordering firearm related businesses to close.

GRNC will continue to monitor North Carolina cities and counties for non-compliance with state and federal statutes and for violations of the US and North Carolina constitutions during the coronavirus emergency.

To see the City of Durham letter: 

https://www.grnc.org/documents/goa-grnc-city-of-durham-soe-letter.pdf

To see the City of Greensboro letter: 

https://www.grnc.org/documents/goa-grnc-greensboro-soe-letter.pdf

Taking On Coronavirus!

You are stuck at home. It doesn’t matter if it is due to a quarantine, a “shelter in place” order, or your employer has mandated it. While normally you might go to the range once a week or so, that’s out for the most part.

So what can you do? Well, make the coronavirus work for you!

Use some of the time to practice your draw, your trigger stroke, and/or your grip and use coronavirus to do it! As you can see above, I have a target that was provided by Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor himself, set up in my kitchen. The link for it is here.

If I stand on the other side of the kitchen table, I’m just about 4 yards away which is the scale this target uses. You see the numbers on it? They stand for how far away the 8 inch target would appear at 7, 10, 15, 20, and 25 yards respectively. You can use a SIRT pistol or really any UNLOADED firearm. Claude has some safety rules you should follow when dry fire practicing and you can read them here.

The original target was created by Hilton Yam of 10-8 Performance. Claude just modified it to add the coronavirus instead of black circles.

The bottom line is you can work on your skills, have some fun, and get back at that damn Wuhan coronavirus (aka Kung Flu aka COVID-19 aka China virus).

New Jersey Backs Down

News comes this afternoon that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) has backed down from his order that all gun stores are non-essential and must close. His order led to a lawsuit from the Second Amendment Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition entitled Kashinsky v. Murphy.

SAF provides more info in this release:

The Second Amendment Foundation declare victory today when New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy backed away from his earlier position on gun shop operations in the state during the current COVID-19 panic, and will now allow operations by appointment.

SAF sued Murphy and acting State Police Supt. Col. Patrick Callahan in U.S. District Court last week, seeking a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. They were ultimately joined by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, Legacy Indoor Range and Armory LLC and the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Racing Rails LLC d/b/a Legend Firearms and several private citizens. Plaintiffs were represented by noted civil rights attorney David Jensen of New York and Adam Kraut of California.

“We’re delighted that Gov. Murphy has reversed course on this matter, even if it took a lawsuit to get him to do it,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Our lawsuit cut right to the heart of what the Second Amendment is all about, which is personal protection during emergency situations like the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the nation.”

Murphy found himself in the uncomfortable, and untenable, position of having to defend his armed protection detail while having closed down Garden State gun shops, making it impossible for average citizens to by even ammunition, much less a firearm.

“While we pursue litigation elsewhere,” Gottlieb said, “we’re happy that the situation in New Jersey has changed. Regardless what some politicians might think, the Second Amendment is not subject to emergency orders, same as the First, Fourth, Fifth or other constitutional protections.

“This is one more example of SAF’s ongoing mission to win back firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time,” he concluded.

While I might have liked to say it was ScotShot’s guest editorial that convinced him to change his mind, I think it is more likely the combination of the lawsuit and President Trump declaring the firearms industry including gun stores as essential businesses.

New Gun Owners In Some States, But Not Others

The following editorial was written by my friend “ScotShot”. He is a resident of New Jersey and a firearms trainer. ScotShot is a NRA Training Counselor, a USCCA instructor, and a CCW instructor. He is also the co-founder with Klint Macro of National Train-A-Teacher Day. He has a greater appreciation for the US Constitution and especially the Second Amendment than many. That is because he grew up in a country which has no written constitution and no such protections.

All of us gun owners across the country have been watching, and shaking our heads with a sort of wizened “told you so”, at the stories of people suddenly rushing to buy guns and ammunition, thanks to this new virus from China.

We’ve reserved particular attention, and rightly so, for our more liberal brothers and sisters who previously eschewed firearms ownership. In most states, the worst they’ve had to deal with is a long line, or perhaps a government mandated waiting period. Oh and yup, the mental butt hurt that comes from realizing that their favorite 2A loophole (the internet, gunshows, the gun-fairy..) doesn’t exist. You’d think they’d be pleased, except now they’re learning the hard way.

Of course, in some States, it’s even more difficult, which makes the residents of those States more at the mercy of their Government. Let’s consider what the situation is in New Jersey, which vies with California to have the most restrictive death-grip on the 2nd Amendment Rights of  its Citizens.

In New Jersey, if you want to buy a firearm for the first time, you need to apply for and obtain a “Firearms Purchaser Identification Card”, the FPID card. Getting one is tedious but straightforward, but usually takes around three months. So, right there, people who want to buy their first firearm in NJ as a result of this viral crisis are, as they say, S.O.L. So, no lines of frustrated gun-newbs in NJ.

“BUT!”, you say, “at least existing gun owners can get a handgun, all those over-under-only hunters and skeeters, can still protect themselves, right?” Sadly, no; to buy a handgun, FPID holders must first get a “Permit to Purchase a Pistol.” Getting one (or two, or as many as you want), is tedious but straightforward and yes you guessed it, usually takes around three months. So, no handgun for you, Elmer; you’d best resort to the Biden Protocol. Oh, you can only get one handgun a month, so too bad if something dramatic happens and you need more, like now.

Photo from Gov. Phil Murphy’s Facebook page

Nevertheless, law-abiding FPID card owners flooded their local FFLs and consequently flooded the NICS system. Enter villain number two, the NJ State NICS System. NJ is one of the states that gets between its gun-buyers and the Federal NICS system. Soon, the NJ NICS had a backlog of over 1,000 applications and then quickly announced that it was swamped and was unlikely to be able to process these in anything other than geological time. Then, the Governor closed the NJ NICS system, after not protecting gun stores and training facilities as essential, mandating their closure. Now, that’s no guns for anyone.

On Saturday March 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced he is putting New Jersey in lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus. Per Executive Order 107, he is ordering the residents of New Jersey to stay home, directing all non-essential retail businesses closed to the public. At this time, the order includes New Jersey Firearms State Licensed Dealers. The New Jersey State Police NICS Unit is directing the vendor of the NICS Online Application (NICUSA) to turn off the NICS Online Services for submitting NICS transactions by eliminating the “Request Form” button, effective 9:00pm EST, Saturday, March 21, 2020. You will still have the ability to view the message board and the status of previously submitted transactions. This “Request Form” feature will remain off until further order by Governor Murphy.

All of this of course, against a background of a governmental supermajority that supports even greater restrictions on 2A rights, firearm types and features, ammunition registrations and so on.

Hopefully, our new brothers and sisters in most states are getting what they want, and feel secure. Hopefully, they will go forward from this viral crisis and obtain proper training on the safe and efficient handling and use of their chosen firearms and hopefully, that will be happening all across our great country. It’s won’t be happening in New Jersey though. In New Jersey, the State Government will use this crisis to increase its grip on the lives of the people who live here, and their dependency on the government spoon.

National Vietnam War Veterans Day

March 29th has been set aside as a day we honor those who served in the Vietnam War. It was established in 2017 with the passage of the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act. The day is to recognize and commemorate the sacrifices made by those who served in Vietnam as well as that of their families.

My father, an Army lifer, served two tours of duty in Vietnam. His first tour of duty was in Cam Ranh Bay with the 544th Engineer Detachment October 1967 until October 1968. According to an Army history of the Engineers in Vietnam, this was only two years after they first arrived in Cam Ranh Bay. And yes, he was there for the Tet Offensive. Fortunately, it was not hit as hard as many other places in South Vietnam.

His second tour of duty in Vietnam was with the 554th Engineer Battalion where he served as the Construction Operations Sergeant and then as First Sergeant for Co. A. This was from April 1970 until April 1971. He was first in Lai Khe and then later the entire battalion moved into the southern highlands building road QL-20.

My dad was 52 when he left Vietnam the second time. A year later he would be given a medical retirement due to a whole host of medical problems including a TIA or mini-stroke. Whether it was due to exposure to Agent Orange or due to heavy smoking will never be known. He died from COPD 9 years later almost to the day of his medical retirement. If he were still alive, he would turn 101 in a few days from now.

In my mind’s eye, the Vietnam vet is the slightly older guy in college. In reality, they are today’s grandfathers and great-grandfathers. The last two men killed in the war – Cpl Charles McMahon and LCpl Darwin Judge – were born in 1953 and 1956 respectively. They were embassy security Marines killed in a rocket attack a day before the fall of Saigon. Judge, the younger of the two, would now be 64. That is probably the bottom end of the age cohort of Vietnam vets. Most are in the late 60s, 70s, and 80s.