The New York Times – Still A Shill For Gun Banners

The lead editorial in Friday’s New York Times was entitled Handguns for 18-Year-Olds? As one has come to expect from the Times, the editorial was full of the trite phrases and misleading statistics used by gun banners along with their own sense of righteous indignation.

Undermine public safety. Scuttle basic gun controls. Common-sense efforts. The deadly loophole. The gun lobby. Gun traffickers. Allow armed teenagers. Unlicensed sellers. Powerful semiautomatic weapons. Reasonable restrictions. The Times’ editorial may have left out one or two phrases from the approved lexicon of the Brady Campaign but that’s all.

The editorial starts with the accusation that the NRA “keeps coming up with clever new ways to undermine public safety.” It then launches into a litany of supposed sins committed by the NRA including opposition to the Lautenberg proposal to ban firearm sales to anyone on the FBI’s “terrorist watch list” and to a requirement for NICS checks on private sales of firearms between individuals.

The Times gets in a plug for Andrew Traver, Obama’s nominee to head ATF, calling him a “well-qualified career professional”. They bemoan opposition to him by “the gun lobby” saying his “sin” was merely to associate with “a police chief’s group that wants to reduce the use of handguns on city streets.” That it was funded by the virulently anti-gun Joyce Foundation is immaterial to them.

The meat of the editorial is an attack on the NRA for bringing the D’Cruz cases challenging the ban on the sale of handguns to legal adults under the age of 21 and challenging the Texas CHP law which sets 21 as the minimum age for non-military, non-veteran adults.

As a legal matter, both lawsuits should fail. In its recent Second Amendment rulings, the Supreme Court struck down complete bans on handgun ownership, but explicitly left room for limits on gun ownership and possession by felons and the mentally ill, and other reasonable restrictions like Texas’ age limitations. The Supreme Court has said nothing to suggest that the Second Amendment requires Americans to allow armed teenagers in their communities.

Beyond the dubious legal claims, the idea that young individuals ages 18 to 20 have a constitutional right to buy weapons and carry them loaded and concealed in public is breathtakingly irresponsible.

They then throw out statistics saying that 18-20 year-olds commit more violent crime than other age groups and imply that lowering the age to 18 will just put more weapons in the hands of this group. Of course, this ignores both the NICS check required for a purchase of any firearm from a licensed dealer and the training, background, and other requirements needed to obtain a Texas Concealed Handgun License. As an aside, private sales of handguns are permitted for 18-20 year olds in the State of Texas and 18-20 year olds can and do obtain Texas CHL’s if they serve or have served in the military. This, too, is ignored by the Times in their editorial.

The Brady Campaign jumped the gun with their amicus brief in D’Cruz v. McCraw and had to withdraw it. However, as this editorial illustrates, Big Media is more than willing to continue to be a shill and do the propaganda work for them. Some things just never change.

Hornady Critical Defense Ammunition Test

Thirdpower at Days of Our Trailers blog has the results of expansion testing with Hornady Critical Defense ammunition. His uncle tested .45 Colt LEVERevolution, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, .38 Special, and 9mm by shooting them into water jugs and then recovering the slugs. They look like they had uniform expansion as well as good weight retention when compared to the unfired cartridge.

From Days Of Our Trailers

This is the ammo I carry in my Ruger LCR in 110 grain .38 Special +P. I like it even more now that I’ve seen the results of this test.

Doing My Part To Stimulate The (Gun) Economy

Here are all the Black Friday (or earlier) sales that I’ve been able to find. I have included any coupon codes if needed. If you find others, please share them in the comments section.

Brownells Black Rifle Friday Sale

Save 10% on order over $150 with code RFL


Every day, Wednesday, November 24 through Monday, November 29, MidwayUSA will be offering special deals for Customers to celebrate the traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days. On non-sale items, $15 off any $100 order.

Today Wolf .223 is $244 a case among other things.

Academy Sports

Academy has Taurus 9mm 609 Compact for $289.99 and Winchester White Box 9mm for $10.99.

10% off all orders over $150. The sale runs through Midnight of Cyber Monday (11-29)

Sinclair International

10% off all orders over $150. The sale runs through Midnight of Cyber Monday (11-29)
If you like them on Facebook, they will give you early notice of what the codes and sale items will be.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Among other things, Remington ammo is buy one, get one 50% off.

Bass Pro Shops

Has listings for both in-store and online specials.

Gander Mountain

Has listings for both in-store and online specials.


Sale goes through Tuesday. Free shipping on all orders over $99 with code GIFTS.

Dunham’s Sports

Thanksgiving Day and online only, save 20% with code DUNTHANKS2010.

Knives and More

Begins midnight Friday.

Michael’s Custom Holsters

Executive Holster on sale for $75 until Tuesday, Nov. 30th.

MD Arms

Saiga shotguns and accessories. 20-round drums are marked down to $80. Great for the Zombie Apocalypse!

Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Assisted Opening knife for $29.95. Free shipping on many items and free shipping on all orders over $149 with code SHIPFREEPROMO.


Black Rifle Sale goes from Friday November 26 00:00 PST and ends Saturday November 27 23:59 PST, 2010. Use code BRF2010 at checkout. Discounts vary by product.


20% off on all holsters, belts, and accessories on Black Friday only. Use code BLACK-1110

Not Your Mama’s Knives

10% off knives from Gerber, ESEE (Rat Cutlery), Spyderco, Kershaw, Microtech, and Benchmade.


Get three accessory items – wide admin pouch, a M4 double shingle, and a surgical glove pouch – with any order of regular items that total $150. Use code 3THANKS.

U.S. Cavalry

15% off everything except 5.11 Tactical products. Use code PN10J152. Good through Monday, Nov. 29th.


Free shipping on all products. ProTool features the Woodsman’s Pal and hunting books by J. Wayne Fears. Cosmetic seconds on the Woodman’s Pal are $39.95 instead of $67.95.

LA Policegear

10% off with code GIVE10. Excludes non-5.11 closeouts.

The Brady Center Doesn’t Act Like Adults

As I wrote about here, the Brady Center recently had to withdraw an amicus brief in the Texas case challenging the prohibition on concealed carry by non-military, non-veteran 18-20 year olds. The lead plaintiff in the case is James D’Cruz of Lubbock, Texas who participated in his school’s NJROTC shooting program with great success and who had passed all the requirements to be granted a Texas Concealed Handgun Permit except for his age.

The Brady Center decided since they couldn’t file their amicus brief they should do everything in their power to denigrate Mr. D’Cruz. They issued a press release yesterday featuring excerpts from his Facebook page and, more or less, accused him of being a violent and twisted individual. Of course, they took stuff out of context which is about par for them.

Sebastian at SnowFlakesInHell does a great job in parsing their press release.

The Brady Center is about as effective and relevant as TSA which doesn’t say much for either organization. They also share the small-minded trait of getting nasty after having been called out on their goofs. The Brady Center certainly doesn’t provide a very good example of how adults should behave.

Second Amendment Protects The Housemates of Felons

Professor Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy blog has a very interesting post today on a case from Pennsylvania. The case, Huet v. United States, involves Melissa Huet who was indicted on aiding and abetting a felon in possession of a firearm.

She lived with Marvin Hall, described in quaint terms by the court as her paramour, and she owned a Yugoslavian SKS M59/66. Ms. Huet had no criminal record, no mental health disabilities, and was otherwise legal to own a firearm. The government accused her of aiding and abetting a felon to be in constructive possession of a firearm. The court disagreed and found that she was protected under the Second Amendment.

Read all of Professor Volokh’s excellent analysis of the case here. He also has the link to the court’s opinion.

Project Gutpile?

The following is the press release sent out yesterday by the Center for Biological Diversity, PEER, and a group called Project Gutpile announcing their lawsuit against the EPA for not banning traditional lead ammunition and lead fishing sinkers:

Lawsuit Filed Over EPA Refusal to Address Lead Poisoning of Wildlife

Suit Seeks to Prevent Annual Deaths of Millions of Wild Birds, Wildlife From
Toxic Lead in Ammunition, Fishing Gear

WASHINGTON— Conservation and hunting groups today sued the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to regulate toxic lead that frequently poisons and kills eagles, swans, cranes, loons, endangered California condors and other wildlife throughout the country. The EPA recently denied a formal petition to ban lead in fishing tackle and hunting ammunition despite long-established science on the dangers of lead poisoning in the wild, which kills millions of birds each year and also endangers public health.

“The EPA has the ability to protect America’s wildlife from ongoing preventable lead poisoning, but continues to shirk its responsibility,” said Jeff Miller, conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The EPA’s failure to act is astonishing given the mountain of scientific evidence about the dangers of lead to wildlife. There are already safe and available alternatives to lead products for hunting and fishing, and the EPA can phase in a changeover to nontoxic materials, so there’s no reason to perpetuate the epidemic of lead poisoning of wildlife.”

In August, a coalition of groups formally petitioned the EPA to ban lead in bullets and shot for hunting and in fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The petition referenced nearly 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers illustrating the widespread dangers of lead poisoning to scavengers that eat lead ammunition fragments in carcasses, and to waterfowl that ingest spent lead shot or lost lead fishing sinkers. The groups filing the lawsuit today are the Center for Biological Diversity, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and Project Gutpile, a hunters’ organization. Since the original petition was filed, more than 70 organizations in 27 states have voiced support for the lead ban, including those representing veterinarians, birders, hunters, zoologists, scientists, American Indian groups, physicians and public employees.

“Having hunted in California for 20 years I have seen firsthand lead poisoning impacts to wildlife from toxicity through lead ammunition,” said Anthony Prieto, a hunter and cofounder of Project Gutpile, a hunters’ group that provides educational resources for lead-free hunters and anglers. “Although many more sportsmen are now getting the lead out, the EPA must take action to ensure we have a truly lead-free environment. It’s time to make a change to non-lead for ourselves and for future generations to enjoy hunting and fishing with a conscience.”

“Over the past several decades Americans chose to get toxic lead out of our gasoline, paint, water pipes and other sources that were poisoning people. Now it’s time to remove unnecessary lead from hunting and fishing sports that is needlessly poisoning our fish and wildlife,” said Karen Schambach of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “Today’s action is a step to safeguard wildlife and reduce human health risks posed by lead.”

The EPA denied the portion of the petition dealing with regulation of lead ammunition based on an incorrect claim that the agency lacks the authority to regulate toxic lead in ammunition. The EPA asserted that shells and cartridges are excluded from the definition of “chemical substances” in the Act. That claim is contradicted by the legislative history of the Toxic Substances Control Act, which provides clear and specific authority to regulate hazardous chemical components of ammunition such as lead. Earlier this month the EPA also issued a final determination denying the portion of the petition on fishing sinkers, even though the agency itself had proposed banning certain lead fishing weights in 1994.

“The EPA has known for years it has the authority to regulate lead,” said Miller. “Lead shot was eliminated in 1991 by federal regulation to address widespread lead poisoning of ducks and secondary poisoning of bald eagles. And in 1994, the EPA even proposed banning lead fishing weights that were being eaten by waterfowl.”

Hunters and anglers in states that have restricted or banned lead shotgun ammunition or lead fishing gear have already made successful transitions to nontoxic alternatives, and fishing and hunting in those areas remains active. Alternatives continue to be developed, including the U.S. military’s transition toward bullets made of non-lead materials.

“This is clearly not an anti-hunting initiative, it is about using less toxic materials for the sake of wildlife and our human health,” said Prieto. “When I hunt, I want to make sure I kill only my target animal, and I want to use the least toxic ammunition possible since I will be feeding the game to my family.”

For more information, read about the Center’s Get the Lead Out campaign.
Read Frequently Asked Questions about the lead ban petition.
View photo images and video of wildlife poisoned by lead ammunition and sinkers.

The Center for Biological Diversity ( is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 315,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Project Gutpile is an educational organization comprised of hunters that provides resources for lead-free hunters and anglers. Project Gutpile has been promoting non-lead ammunition and raising lead awareness in the hunting community since 2002.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is a 10,000 member national alliance of local, state and federal resource professionals working to protect the environment. PEER members include government scientists, land managers, environmental law enforcement agents, field specialists, and other resource professionals committed to responsible management of America’s public resources.

What the hell kind of name for a responsible hunting group is Project Gutpile? It sounds like the Brady Campaign’s friend American Shooters and Hunters Association which had no more to do with gun rights than the man in the moon.

The lawsuit that they say they have filed can’t be found on the U.S. Courts’s electronic file system as of yet. When it is up, I will post a copy of the complaint.

NSSF to Intervene in Lawsuit Challenging EPA on Traditional Ammunition

From the National Shooting Sports Foundation on the Center for Biological Diversity’s lawsuit against the EPA challenging lead ammunition:

NEWTOWN, Conn.—In response to a lawsuit filed today challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s denial of a petition to ban traditional ammunition containing lead core components, the National Shooting Sports Foundation will file a motion to intervene. This action allows NSSF to protect industry’s interests in the case and ensure that the will of Congress is adhered to.

The suit was brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, which earlier this year had petitioned EPA to ban traditional ammunition as well as fishing tackle containing lead. CBD claims wild birds are being harmed through the ingestion of spent ammunition fragments, though NSSF contends that no scientific evidence shows that wildlife populations are being affected.

In August after considering the CBD’s petition, EPA denied the request, saying it did not have the legal authority to regulate the production and distribution of traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976. Congress expressly exempted ammunition from being regulated by this law. Some weeks after the agency’s decision on traditional ammunition, EPA also denied the other half of CBD’s request to ban fishing tackle. This one-two punch no doubt prompted CBD to file its lawsuit.

“We knew that this fight was far from over even after we gained that early victory,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “The CBD petition and now this lawsuit are clearly attacks on the right of hunters to choose the ammunition that best suits their hunting and target shooting needs, and they are attacks on hunting as well.”

Launching a strong grassroots campaign in response to the CBD petition, NSSF mobilized the sporting and gun-owning community to make its support for traditional ammunition clear to the EPA and its administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, via e-mailed comments and by contacting their lawmakers.

NSSF continues to stress the following in the debate over traditional ammunition:

  • There is no scientific evidence that the use of traditional ammunition is having an adverse impact on wildlife populations.
  • Wildlife management is the proper jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the 50 state wildlife agencies.
  • A 2008 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on blood lead levels of North Dakota hunters confirmed that consuming game harvested with traditional ammunition does not pose a human health risk.
  • A ban on traditional ammunition would have a negative impact on wildlife conservation. The federal excise tax that manufacturers pay on the sale of the ammunition (11 percent) is a primary source of wildlife conservation funding. The bald eagle’s recovery, considered to be a great conservation success story, was made possible and funded by hunters using traditional ammunition – the very ammunition organizations like the CBD are now demonizing.
  • Recent statistics from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service show that from 1981 to 2006 the number of breeding pairs of bald eagles in the United States increased 724 percent. And much like the bald eagle, raptor populations throughout the United States are soaring.

NRA – CRPA Comments on Microstamping to Cal DOJ

From C. D. Michel at CalGunsLaw:

Lawyers for the NRA and CRPA Foundation have submitted another set of comments to the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) opposing DOJ’s recently revised proposed regulations requiring new handgun models sold in California to be equipped with a “microstamping” mechanism. If adopted, the new regulations may be used to implement AB 1471, which requires that after January 1, 2010, all semiautomatic pistols not already listed on the roster of handguns approved for sale by firearm retailers be “designed and equipped” with microstamping technology.

The law only takes effect “provided that the Department of Justice certifies that the technology used to create the imprint is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by any patent restrictions.” The current technology is not only unreliable, it is also encumbered by a patent. For those reasons, AB 1471 has yet to be implemented.

Microstamping is a theoretical process whereby a semiautomatic firearm leaves a unique imprint on each ammunition casing ejected from the firearm upon discharging it. Given the lack of available micro-stamping technology, these proposed regulations are completely unnecessary. The NRA & CRPAF are objecting to the DOJ even engaging in the rulemaking process at this time for this reason and others.

The NRA & CRPA letter to the DOJ is posted here. The NRA and CRPA submitted a similar letter to the DOJ on February 15, 2010 during the initial comment period, but the DOJ has nonetheless insisted on proceeding with the rulemaking process.

The most recent letter to the California DOJ can be found here. The earlier letter may be found here.

Left-leaning Website Covers Traver Nomination

The lefty website, TPMMuckraker posted a story ridiculing the NRA’s opposition to Andrew Traver as head of ATF. They titled the story NRA Opposes Obama’s ATF Nominee Because They Googled Him.

In the article they posted a video interview of Chris Cox, NRA-ILA head, on Cam & Company. They say:

According to his interview with the NRA-sponsored radio program, Cox’s opposition to Traver is based on Internet searches from when Traver’s name was first floated over the summer.

“I sat at my computer when this guy’s name was first brought up and Googled him,” Cox said, encouraging listeners to do so themselves.

For this story they also interview Paul Helmke, head of the Brady Center, who said:

“That’s just guilt by association to the first degree,” Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence told TPM. “If you sit down in a room with the chiefs of police that the Joyce Foundation put on, you’re automatically suspect. They didn’t even go to the content of what was in any of these recommendations.”

Well, heck, I did the same thing – only sooner. Back in July I started doing Google searches for Andrew Traver and found what was available on him.

And actually, it was quite a bit. I found out what fellow ATF agents thought of him, I found out how he cozied up to politicians, I found out that he made a habit of working with anti-gun organizations such as the Joyce Foundation and the IACP, I found out that he was a cancer survivor, I found pictures of his wife and sons (which I didn’t post), I found news clips of him at press conferences with then-Representative Mark Kirk who is anti-gun, and I could go on.

I’m not an “accredited or authorized” journalist so I could not just call Andy or the White House up to ask about the status of his pending nomination and expect to get an answer. Google and the Internet were the only ways to gather the info I sought.

That said, there are questions to which I would like answers. For example, I’d like to see Andrew Traver’s full military record including his fitness reports. He represents that he was ranked third in his Officer Candidate School class and was a honor graduate of the Surface Warfare Officer School. The normal officer service commitment upon commissioning is three to five years. Yet Traver seems to have served a shorter time period than this. If he was 44 years old in 2008 when diagnosed with prostate cancer and joined the ATF in 1987, this would mean he was approximately 23 years old when he left the U.S. Navy to join ATF. Assuming he was 21 when he graduated Northern Illinois University, that would give him two or maybe the minimum three years of service.

Moreover, why would he give up what seemed to be a promising Navy career to join a backwater Treasury Department agency. The 1980s were the Reagan years and the Navy was expanding towards a 600 ship Navy. They needed officers as well as men to run those ships. The ATF didn’t have (and still doesn’t have) the law enforcement reputation that you’d find in the FBI or the Secret Service.

If Traver ever does get to confirmation hearings and isn’t made a recess appointment, I hope some Senator or their staffer asks those questions. Plus a whole lot more.