Stephen Halbrook On The Challenge To The Multi-Gun Reporting Requirements

Attorney Stephen Halbrook was interviewed yesterday by Cam Edwards of NRA News about the challenges to the ATF’s multi-long gun reporting requirement for the border states. He discussed the motion hearing held in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday. One of the more interesting things he mentioned was that Judge Rosemary Collyer asked the government’s attorneys about Operation Fast and Furious.

Meanwhile, The Anti’s Are Spinning

Joyce Foundation funded Media Matters for America is desperately trying to spin the recent Gallup Poll as support for gun control. After attacking the question on handgun bans as outdated, they try to say that most people support “reasonable gun control”.

In other words, the vast majority of Americans support reasonable gun control measures; only a small fraction is actually opposed to gun control.

This finding is confirmed by other recent polling that shows that Americans support measures to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. According to one poll, 89 percent of respondents support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check at gun shows, 94 percent support requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen, and 69 percent support requiring those buying ammunition to pass a criminal background check. Another poll showed 86 percent of respondents supported background checks for every gun buyer.

And what are the polls that they use to “confirm” this? None other than the discredited push polls commissioned by Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors. I think that says about everything.

UPDATE: Thirdpower has more on this and examines some of the comments made supporting the Media Matters’ spin on gun control.

SAF On Recent Gallup Poll

The Second Amendment Foundation released this in response to the recent Gallup poll showing support for more gun control at an all-time low.

For Immediate Release: 10/26/2011

BELLEVUE, WA – Today’s revelation by Gallup that a record low number of Americans support a legal ban on handgun possession by private citizens demonstrates a positive change in the public attitude about personal protection and the Second Amendment, the Second Amendment Foundation said.

According to Gallup, only 26 percent of Americans favor a handgun ban. The annual Gallup Crime poll was conducted Oct. 6-9.

“American citizens have become increasingly aware that they are the true ‘first responders’ when a crime happens in their presence,” noted SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “The public’s attitude about gun ownership has changed dramatically in the last decade, and especially since the Supreme Court’s Heller ruling in 2008 and our victory in the 2010 McDonald ruling, affirming the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right.

“The public has also realized that all the doom and gloom rhetoric from gun prohibitionists about more crime and violence associated with increased gun ownership has been wrong,” he continued. “More Americans today own firearms than they did a generation ago, yet violent crime rates are at their lowest levels in many years.”

According to Gallup, there is also greater opposition to a ban on semiautomatic sport-utility rifles, often wrongly identified as “assault weapons.” Only 43 percent of those polled think these guns should be banned, down ten percent from the 2001 poll. Support for stricter gun laws has also declined, with 44 percent believing laws should be left as they are, and 11 percent favoring less strict laws.

“The pendulum has definitely been swinging in favor of expanded gun rights,” Gottlieb observed. “For too long, people were fooled by hysteria and misinformation from gun prohibitionists and their cheerleaders in the press. But their alarmist rhetoric has failed the test of time, and now Americans by greater percentages than we’ve seen in generations are realizing that gun rights are important, to our security as a nation and to public safety in our own neighborhoods.”

Janet Napolitano Was “Recalcitrant” And A “Reluctant Witness”

In an interview with Lou Dobbs on Fox Business, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) characterized Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano as recalcitrant and a reluctant witness. She testified before the House Judiciary Committee where she was grilled about Operation Fast and Furious by a number of Republican members of the committee.

Napolitano, at one point likening the questioning to a cross-examination, said repeatedly she only learned of “Fast and Furious” after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in December. She emphasized the operation, conceived and run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, “was an ATF operation,” under the auspices of the Justice Department, not her department.

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As SayUncle Would Say – Winning!

The Gallup Poll released a report today showing that self-reported gun ownership is at the highest level in 18 years. Currently, 47% of American households report that they have either a firearm in their home or somewhere else on their property. This is an increase from last year when only 41% of homes reported a firearm.

The bottom line according to Gallup is this:

A clear societal change took place regarding gun ownership in the early 1990s, when the percentage of Americans saying there was a gun in their home or on their property dropped from the low to mid-50s into the low to mid-40s and remained at that level for the next 15 years. Whether this reflected a true decline in gun ownership or a cultural shift in Americans’ willingness to say they had guns is unclear. However, the new data suggest that attitudes may again be changing. At 47%, reported gun ownership is the highest it has been in nearly two decades — a finding that may be related to Americans’ dampened support for gun-control laws. However, to ensure that this year’s increase reflects a meaningful rebound in reported gun ownership, it will be important to see whether the uptick continues in future polling.

While gun ownership is highest among men, Republicans, and Southerners, what is most interesting to me is not that there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans but that self-identified Democrats or Democrat-leaning who report having a firearm rose from 32% to 40%. (See graph on gun ownership by Party ID.) This would correlate strongly with what Sebastian reported earlier about support for a handgun-ban being at record lows.

HR 822 – What It Does And Doesn’t Do

With HR 822 having passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on a 19-11 vote, it is important to understand what it does and doesn’t do. Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors are leading the charge against it from the anti-gun side. Moreover, there are some pro-gun activists such as the National Association for Gun Rights that claim it is a stealth bill for more Federal control. Finally, there is the false accusation in some quarters that the NRA-ILA was coming down on bloggers about the bill.

The impact of HR 822 on North Carolina will be minimal as Sean Sorrentino has pointed out. Effective December 1st, we have universal reciprocity and will recognize the permits from any other state.

In the video below, Cam Edwards interviews John Frazier, Research Director for NRA-ILA, on what the bill does and doesn’t do.

Ball And Dummy Drill

Saturday was spent at the TigerSwan Training Collaboration Center taking an Introductory Pistol class with five other NC gun bloggers and a few other folks. I didn’t believe it was possible to learn so much in one day!

One of the drills we learned was called the Ball and Dummy Drill. A quick Google search shows that there are many variations of this drill. While some have criticized it, I found it a very helpful drill. The goal is to have the shooter stop anticipating the recoil or to stop jerking the trigger.

The variation we used did not involve using dummy rounds. Instead we paired off with one person shooting and the other person loading one round. With his or her back to the shooter, one person would either load or not load a magazine and then insert it into the shooter’s pistol. The pistol would then be handed to the shooter to take the shot.

Sean* acting as coach and loader

I found that you could go a number of shots/non-shots and then screw up out of the blue. Then you had to make a mental note to concentrate on a smooth trigger pull and do it again and again.

I should note here that we did this drill while shooting at 25 yards at a B-8 target. Other variations of the drill suggest doing it at 3 yards.

Lynell being coached by George while instructor Brian Searcy watches.

 One of the other things instructor Brian Searcy added to the mix was to have the coach/loader put his hand in front of your face every so often and have you call the shot after you just took it. This helped up build awareness of where our shot went.

The only downside to not using dummy rounds involves pistols that have a loaded chamber indicator. If, like my Ruger SR9, the pistol has a loaded chamber indicator, then the loader and shooter have to make a conscious effort to hide that fact from the shooter. I know both I and Sean did make this effort.

This is a drill you can practice at any range whether indoor or outdoor. As I said earlier, I found it really valuable in helping develop a smooth trigger pull and in stopping anticipation.

*This Sean is not Sean Sorrentino but the other Sean in the class. We had two Georges and two Seans in the class.

NSSF To File Amicus Brief In Jennings v BATFE Appeal

In their Bullet Points newsletter, the National Shooting Sports Foundation announced plans to file an amicus brief in support of the NRA’s appeal of Jennings et al v. BATFE. This was the NRA’s challenge in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on the prohibition of the sale of handguns to 18-20 year old adults by Federal Firearm Licensees.

In response to a ruling by a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas in favor of the federal government in a case brought by the NRA challenging the federal restriction on the purchase of handguns by 18-20 year old adults, NSSF plans to file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of NRA’s appeal of the ruling. In the case, Jennings v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the NRA and a group of responsible young adults argued that since 18-20 year olds are considered adults for virtually every other purpose, such as voting and military service, adults in this age group should also be able to purchase handguns from licensed retailers. A similar case, in which many of the same plaintiffs challenge the state of Texas’ ban on issuance of right-to-carry permits to adults under 21, remains pending in the same court

Attorneys for the plaintiffs filed their appeal on October 7th and the case was assigned a docket number last week on the 19th. No briefs have yet been filed.


North Carolina Gun Blogs

Thanks to the efforts of Sean Sorrentino, six North Carolina gun bloggers (and four other fine folks) got together for a day of pistol training at the TigerSwan Training Collaboration Center near Fayetteville, North Carolina. More about that in later posts.

One of the important things that came out of Saturday is the realization that there is a growing gun blogger community within North Carolina. In addition to Sean, whom I had met before, I got to meet George (Newbie Shooter), Paul (Arms are the Mark of a Free Man), Larry (Last Refuge of a Scoundrel), and Rich (Knitebane Manor). And with the exception of George, we all attended an open carry dinner in Garner afterwards.

In addition, I just corresponded with Ron at When the Balloon Goes Up! which is a new gun blog that is off to a well-deserved fast start. Of course, I had to find out about a North Carolina blog by reading a blog in Pennsylvania!

If you look in my sidebar, you will notice a new addition. Just below my Blog Archives you will find a new section entitled NC Gun Blogs. I want to bring attention to the growing and vital North Carolina gun blogging community. While this list is not complete, it does include those bloggers with whom I have either corresponded or met in person. I fully expect this list to grow. Indeed, if you are a gun blogger and you reside in North Carolina, let me know and I’ll add you to the list.