The Things You Can Get At Wally World

You can get darn near anything at your local Walmart including, it seems, a 10-point buck.

That was the case at the Burrell Township, Pennsylvania store back in November on the opening day of deer season. Arcangelo Bianco Jr. had just pulled into Walmart when the 10-point buck came around the corner of the building. Not one to let an opportunity like this go to waste, Mr. Bianco hopped out of his truck and started firing at it with his pistol. And there begins his troubles.

From the Indiana (PA) Gazette:

Which is why Arcangelo Bianco Jr., 40, finds himself in trouble with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

According to the commission, Bianco fired several rounds at a hapless white-tailed deer from within the Burrell Township store’s parking lot and bagged the animal on the other side of Old William Penn Highway (Old Route 22) one afternoon last November.

The most serious of the charges he faces is a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment. He also was slapped with five summary offenses, all hunting law violations, including hunting without a license, shooting on or across highways and unlawful killing or taking of big game.

“Obviously, we can’t have someone running through a Walmart parking lot shooting at a deer,” said Jack Lucas, the wildlife conservation officer who investigated the incident.

After killing the deer, Mr. Bianco loaded it up in his truck and took it to the local meat processor to be butchered. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to keep it as it was seized as evidence in the case. Officer Lucas notes that the deer and surveillance footage from the Walmart security cameras will be used as evidence in court. He also said that the buck that Mr. Bianco shot was probably the best he’d seen in the last two years in Indiana County.

I guess the moral of the story is that just because you can get something at Walmart doesn’t mean you should.

UPDATE: CBS Pittsburgh is also covering the story and they have video of the Walmart. I like the comments of the District Attorney who says that they are a big hunting community and that people who are legitimate hunters are upset about the incident. Mr. Bianco is also charged with violations of game laws as they carry stiffer penalties. He faces his first hearing on May 1st.

Huge Backlog On FOID Card Processing In Illinois

So many Illinois residents have applied for a Firearm Owner’s ID Card (FOID) since December that it has swamped the system according to a report by CBS Chicago. The Illinois State Police report that they have a backlog of over 70,000 applications for the card. This backlog has created extraordinary wait times to receive the card. The FOID card is required to purchase both firearms and ammunition in the State of Illinois.

People applying for Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification cards are waiting more than 60 days as the State Police experience one of its busiest months ever processing applications, spokeswoman Monique Bond said Tuesday.

More than 70,000 FOID card applications have been received in March, Bond said, putting it on track to be the record month so far for the program.

According to stats from the State Police website, they received 31,078 applications in December 2012, 61,172 in January 2013, and 56,078 in February 2013. To put this perspective, the January figure is their all time high and the December and February figures are the record numbers for that month of the year. When the March applications are added to the January and February applications, the number of applications received in the first quarter of the year will be more than 50% of what was received in 2012.

430 ILCS 65 Section 5 states:

The Department of State Police shall either approve or deny all applications within 30 days from the date they are received, and every applicant found qualified pursuant to Section 8 of this Act by the Department shall be entitled to a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card upon the payment of a $10 fee.

Nothing in the statute says anything about exceptions for processing larger than normal numbers of applications.

Gun store owners are disputing the amount of time that the Illinois State Police say that people are actually waiting.

However, the state police’s contention that applicants have to wait 64 days for a card is disputed by Greg Tropino Sr., president of GAT Guns in East Dundee. He told The (Elgin) Courier-News that he is hearing from his customers that it is taking them 10 to 15 weeks to receive a FOID card that gun owners in Illinois are required to have.

Mr. Tropino goes on to suggest that when people hear that items will be banned that they rush to buy them before that happens.

As the quote attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. states, “A right delayed is a right denied.”

Another One For The Road, Mayor Lowe?

Mayor Bloomberg can add another of his fine group of mayors to the Illegal Mayors file. Mayor Craig Lowe of Gainesville, Florida was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol on charges of DUI with property damage. According to reports, Mayor Lowe was found asleep behind the wheel of his wrecked Honda Civic this past Thursday. He failed the field sobriety tests administered by the FHP.

Booking Picture – Alachua County

According to the story in the Washington Free Beacon, Mayor Lowe, a Democrat, is in a run-off election on April 16th. He is due to appear in court on April 11th.

Mayor Lowe was one of 30 mayors featured in a recent MAIG video “demanding a plan”. He appears at about the 19 second mark and is given the honor of saying “Newtown” in their list of mass shootings. He looks considerably better and more polished in his dark suit and lavender tie than he does wearing a green-striped jumpsuit as in the picture above.

Illegal Mayors have a way of disappearing as if they were disgraced members of the Soviet Politburo. Instead of not being seen at the May Day parades, they disappear from the MAIG website. A screen capture of their webpage taken this morning still shows Mr. Lowe as a member in good standing of MAIG. I wonder how long that will last.

NRA Board Endorsements And A Non-Endorsement

If you are either a Life Member or a 5-Year Member of the National Rifle Association, you should have received your ballot for the NRA Board of Directors in the March issue of the American Rifleman/American Hunter. There are 29 people listed on the ballot and the Nominating Committee has selected 28 for endorsement. However, you can only vote for 25 directors. Ballots must be returned and received by April 14th.

Dave Hardy has his endorsements for the board up here. He, like me, believes in strategic voting. This means only voting for the 5 or 6 that you consider the best. Dave categorizes them as either indispensable or very, very good. In the indispensable category he places Steve Schreiner, Carol Bambery, and Jim Porter. In the very, very good category he adds Sandy Froman, Lance Olson, and Bob Sanders.

Charles Cotton from the Texas Firearms Coalition and a current NRA board member has his endorsements up here. He, like Dave, endorses both Carol Bambery and Jim Porter. He adds Dwight Van Horn as well. He considers the three all very hardworking and people who get down in the trenches to do the heavy lifting.

Lt Col. Robert Brown, editor and publisher of Soldier of Fortune magazine and a NRA board member, has his endorsements up here. Col. Brown enthusiastically endorses Steve Schreiner for the board. SOF also recommends Tom King, Carol Bambry, Johnny Nugent, Jim Porter and Oliver North. Both Schreiner and King are on the front lines of the battle for the Second Amendment as they are in Colorado and New York respectively.

Jeff and Chris Knox of the Firearms Coalition has traditionally put forth endorsements. Their late father Neal Knox was one of the engineers behind the Cincinnati Revolt of 1977. This year they have not made any endorsements. They don’t think their endorsements would make any appreciable difference and that all the candidates they would endorse are pretty much assured election as are some that they aren’t too thrilled about.

Now for the non-endorsement.

Retired Texas Ranger Joaquin Jackson is a current board member and has been nominated by the Nominating Committee. That said, it is time to thank him for his past service and send him off into retirement. I’m sure he is a fine person, an excellent shot, and a colorful character as are all of the old Texas Rangers.

His comments about semiautomatic firearms and magazine size to the Texas Monthly in 2007 (see video clip below) are just the sort of ammunition our enemies would love to exploit. On the gun boards around the country, there are many “fire Jackson” threads. As an example, see this one from Arfcom. Even MSNBC has noticed this and did a post on it entitled, “Young guns target ‘old school’ NRA board member.”

At this time in our fight for the Second Amendment, we need media savvy directors who are not going to tripped up by reporters with “gotcha” questions. Joaquin Jackson is not one of them. While his heart probably is in the right place, I just don’t think he helps the cause and should not merit re-election as a result.

The Fine Hand Of Bloomberg And Bill Drafting

The New York Post reported yesterday that sources within Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration are blaming the Brady Campaign and Bloomberg’s people for all the problems with the new NY SAFE Act. That is, of course, beyond the fact that the bill was rammed through both houses of the New York State legislature with very no discussion.

A Cuomo administration source is flatly denying the governor’s claim that his new anti-gun SAFE Act was carefully drafted, saying the governor himself wasn’t even aware of some provisions when it was hastily enacted into law.

“The governor thought the limit on the size of [gun] magazines would only apply to assault-style rifles, not to handguns,’’ said the source.

“That’s why there’s the big problem now with handguns, among other things in the statute.’’

The legal sale of virtually all semiautomatic handguns will soon be impossible because Cuomo’s law limits the size of bullet-holding magazines to seven shots, virtually none of which are manufactured for sale.

“Much of what’s in the law was drafted by people connected to Mayor Bloomberg and the Brady Center, not by the governor’s staff,” the source said. “That’s why there are so many problems with it.’’

As Michael Bane has reported many times, the new gun control bills in Colorado were drafted by Bloomberg and his people and have definitions that are peculiar to New York law and not Colorado law. This especially relates to the definition of transfer of a firearm.

Meanwhile back in February, in Minnesota, Rep. Alice Hausman, the prime sponsor and ostensible author of HF 241 – the Minnesota “assault weapons” (sic) ban – left the hearings on her own bill and let Heather Martens, a lobbyist from the gun control group Protect Minnesota, explain the bill. Hausman told a reporter later that she really didn’t understand her own bill. That bill also had a different definition of “transfer” as well.

As used in this section, “transfer” means a sale, gift, loan,
assignment, or other delivery to another, whether or not for consideration, of an assault

When the BATFE speaks of transfer of a firearm, they mean the transfer of ownership or title. Under normal commercial law, a sales transaction or transfer of title requires an offer, an acceptance of that offer, and the offering of consideration. Consideration is the cash or other remuneration paid for the item. Without those three actions, the transaction or transfer is void and didn’t occur. Notice that the Minnesota law explicitly removes the third element from their definition of transfer.

I’m sure a close examination of any of the other gun control bills involving semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and background checks that have been introduced in many state legislatures would show these same similarities. What Michael Bloomberg and his billions can’t achieve on a national level might be achieved on the state level if we aren’t on guard. As Michael Bane said to Tom Gresham on Sunday during his interview on Gun Talk, they were blindsided in Colorado.

UPDATE: It seems like Mayor Bloomberg isn’t pleased with the reports that Cuomo is blaming the drafting of NY SAFE on him.

Asked about that criticism today, Bloomberg erupted in anger.

“What did we do, put a gun to their head, if you pardon the pun, and force them to write legislation?” he said, during a press conference in Brooklyn about helping the unemployed get jobs. “Is that the allegation? That we were up there with automatic weapons with expanded capacity magazines forcing them to write a bill?”

“That’s the kind of journalism that I find troublesome,” he continued. “You’ve got a source that isn’t willing to put their name on the bill and the reporting of it wasn’t in the context of, is that credible? But they were forced by guns, or a knife at their throat, to take our ideas. If they took our ideas, I’m flattered. I hope they did. And I don’t know whether they did or didn’t, and I don’t know whether they got it accurate or not.”

In a latter statement from one of Bloomberg’s press spokesman, they said they wanted micro-stamping in NY SAFE but never said anything about magazines. Hmmm.

Jacob at has more on this along with some analysis. Sebastian discusses this buck-passing and the reliance on polling by some politicians in a post this afternoon. I suggest reading both.

100 Most Influential Lawyers In America

The National Law Journal released its list of the 100 most influential lawyers in America. Listed amid the partners at the DC mega-firms, former Solicitor Generals, the Attorney General of New York, was Second Amendment attorney Alan Gura. He is called the master of gun litigation.

Meet the master of gun litigation. Alan Gura surprised gun-control
groups in 2008 by winning a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning
D.C.’s 33-year-old handgun ban. The decision blasted away decades of
precedent. In 2010 came another 5-4 ruling overturning Chicago gun laws
and expanding the reach of the Second Amendment. Last year Gura, 42,
persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to strike
down a Chicago law forbidding individuals from carrying guns in public.
With Congress and state legislatures considering new gun-control laws in
light of the Newtown, Conn., mass shooting, Gura’s services are likely
to be even more in demand.

In an interesting symmetry, Alan’s opposing counsel in the Heller case, Walter Dellinger, made the list as did former Chicago mayor Richard Daley whose anti-gun laws led to the McDonald case.

Another attorney with sterling Second Amendment credentials making the list is Prof. Eugene Volokh of UCLA and the Volokh Conspiracy blog.

Attorneys were selected for inclusion on the list based on five criteria – political clout, media presence, thought leadership, business leader, or legal results. Alan Gura was chosen based upon his legal results.

Sphinx Arms – We Didn’t Develop Any Tracking System

Sphinx Arms of Interlaken, Switzerland, who is affiliated with the company making the KRISS Vector, is taking great issue with a report on Swiss National Television reporting that it developed a technology for firearms and ammunition tracking. Sphinx denies developing any such technology and says the developer is actually another Swiss-based company Nano-ID Security Systems. Moreover, the TV report said the technology allows tracking from the air up to a kilometer away which Sphinx says is totally inaccurate.

From their press release on it:

Interlaken – 25.03.2013 – Sphinx Arms denies the information provided during a segment of the Swiss National Television’s news, wrongly stating that it had developed a ground-breaking technology to be used for firearms and ammunition tracing. This technology has been developed by Nano-ID Security Systems, a Swiss based company, which has requested Sphinx Arms to test and evaluate this technology only in conjunction with a project for sensitive material tracing and authentication in Switzerland. One of the key features of this technology is to prevent alterations or defacing of serial numbers.

Sphinx Arms confirms that no identification solution has been deployed and will not be deployed in any of its firearms produced and exported to countries out of Switzerland, unless mandated by law from a sovereign country or state. A project, exclusive to Switzerland, is currently being evaluated as a potential marking solution for special categories of firearms. The adoption of such a marking solution, based on Switzerland’s political system, would first require to be submitted to Swiss citizens for voting and adoption, prior to its deployment by Swiss authorities. As a Swiss based manufacturer, Sphinx emphasizes that it will comply with any Swiss state and federal laws, as well as foreign government policies that would be required for firearms importation, exportation and distribution.

The Nano based identification system, applied on firearms, does not allow any form of remote identification, real-time tracking or energy output, making it impossible to transmit or compromise sensitive data. Data can only be accessed through specific readers, similar to a bar code system, that are only made available to Law Enforcement and Governmental entities which would require a maximum of 10 inches of distance, with an unobstructed line of sight, between the reader and the tag to be effective.

GearScout has more on the controversy including a link to the German language report.

Hickok45 Tests Out Joe Biden’s Advice…Kinda

Greg Hickok – Hickok45 on YouTube – decided to test out Vice-President Joe Biden’s advice that a double barrel shotgun is the best thing for home defense. He compared its ease of use and effectiveness to the AR-15 with a standard capacity magazine. Greg didn’t fire through a door or shoot into the air as Mr. Biden famously suggested.

Greg decided, unsurprisingly, that the AR-15 would be his choice for home defense. It has less recoil, it is easier to reload in a stressful situation, it provides more rounds of ammunition, and it would be more effective against multiple attackers as in many home invasions. The double barrel shotgun, by contrast, would have significantly more recoil, requires aiming – not mere pointing – to be accurate, has limited capacity, and would be prone to difficult reloads in stressful situations like when facing home invaders or other intruders.

One of the objections that some might raise to the AR-15 as compared to the double barrel shotgun is the issue of over-penetration. Olympic Arms conducted tests on this and also examined other studies comparing penetration of the .223 versus typical handgun and shotgun rounds. They found that the 5.56/.223 55 grain HP tended to break apart in drywall. The results of another test are shown here. This test used five different .223 rounds. Like all things, it comes down to the choice of ammo.


The state of Colorado has been saddled with a number of new gun control measures ranging from restrictions on standard capacity magazines to universal background checks. This has so dominated the news regarding gun rights in that state that I almost forgot about another story that has pretty much flown under the radar.

Last August, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives moved around a number of field division heads. The Denver Field Division got a new Special Agent in Charge whose name should be very familiar to readers of this blog – Andrew Traver. At the time of his transfer from Chicago, Traver was still the official nominee to become the Director of BATFE.

Traver had this to say about working in Denver:

I am
encouraged to see the great
relationships ATF has established
with our law enforcement partners throughout the entire Denver Field Division,” said
Traver. “We will continue to target
the most
violent offenders with the
goal of reducing
violent crime and making our communities
safer place
to live.”

I know it is just a coincidence that Traver is the SAC of the Denver Field Division and that Colorado is now saddled with new gun control laws. Still you have to wonder if Mr. Traver was doing any behind the scenes lobbying for new gun control laws.