I’m So Vain

I’m so vain.

Earlier today, I hit my one millionth visitor. I’m a little stunned and a lot gratified that so many people thought what I had to say was important enough that they paid this blog a visit. To everyone who has taken time to read this blog, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

When I started this blog on May 19, 2010 after the NRA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, I had absolutely no idea that it would grow as it has. I am the first to say that it would not have grown as it has if it wasn’t for both luck and for links, referrals, and advice from other bloggers. I want to give special thanks to Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned, Chance at SayUncle, Michael Bane, Gun Rights Examiners David Codrea and Kurt Hofmann, Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street, Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, Sean Sorrentino at A NC Gun Blog, Linoge at Walls of the City, and Thirdpower at Days of our Trailers. They linked to me early and often and I will always be appreciative of that. To them and to every other blogger, thanks!

Finally, the Complementary Spouse has provided me with encouragement from the start. She has been a sounding board, an editor, and a proofreader. She has heard me rant and rave about this politician and that gun control bill. Like all good women, she has listened patiently and kept me grounded. I will never be able to thank her enough.

I guess this leaves just one more thing to do to close out this post – and I’ll leave that to Carly.

LaPierre Appears With Unindicted Gun Law Violator

Today, in a shocking development, the head of the National Rifle Association appeared in public with someone who knowingly and willingly flouted the District of Columbia’s stringent gun control laws. Gun control proponents have made video of Mr. LaPierre’s meeting with this gun law violator public and have disseminated it nationally. It is shown below.

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Of course, the person Wayne LaPierre met with was the host of NBC’s Meet The Press, David Gregory. It was back in December after the Newtown shootings that Mr. Gregory waved a 30-round AR magazine in Mr. LaPierre’s face during an earlier episode of Meet The Press. Under District of Columbia law, possession of any magazine with greater than a 10 round capacity is forbidden. However, in a decision that proved some people are more equal than others, DC Attorney General Irvin Nathan declined to prosecute Mr. Gregory’s violation of DC law.

Virginia Goes Private

This past week Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) signed a bill that would make information about concealed handgun permit holders in Virginia private. The new law forbids clerks of court from disclosing the name and other information concerning concealed handgun permit holders except to law enforcement.

Earlier legislation had forbidden the release of this information by the Virginia State Police. However, most concealed handgun permit information resides with the commonwealth Circuit Courts. That law was in response to the publishing of the names of concealed handgun permit holders by the Roanoke Times back in 2007.

SB 1335 was introduced by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg). The bill was given two thumbs up by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

Obenshain’s original bill was more narrowly focused. It would have shielded from disclosure personal information about permit holders who were under the protective orders generally granted to people threatened with domestic violence.

The bill easily cleared the Senate. It was then overhauled by a House of Delegates subcommittee, which broadened it to include all concealed-handgun permit holders. Obenshain expressed support for that change, which upset advocates for gun control and open government.

One of the things that spurred this legislation was the publication of the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in New York by the Journal News.

It is my hope that North Carolina legislators will now follow suit in this session of the General Assembly. The bills there appear to have good support and with Republican control of both houses are likely to pass.

In Gun Rights Litigation News

It has been a busy day for gun rights litigation. On the down side, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision in Woollard v. Gallagher which had overturned the State of Maryland’s “good and substantial reason” requirement for the issuance of a carry permit. In brief, that court found that Maryland’s interest in public safety met the standards of intermediate scrutiny.

I have not read the full decision so I will defer to Professor Eugene Volokh and Second Amendment attorney Dave Hardy for their learned commentary on the decision.

First, Prof. Volokh:

The court claims that it’s not deciding whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in self-defense extends to carrying a gun outside the home. Rather, the court concludes that, even if such a right exists, Maryland’s licensing scheme — which requires a “good and substantial” reason for a license to carry and which doesn’t treat a general desire for self-defense as an adequate reason — passes intermediate scrutiny.

But it seems to me that means the court is thereby deciding that the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t extend to carrying outside the home for self-defense. If a court lets the government deny the ability to carry guns outside the home for self-defense to nearly everybody, the court is in essence saying there is no such right to carry.

Next, Dave Hardy:

 I cannot think of any other right considered a fundamental right, whose
exercise can be (1) punished unless the person receives a government
permit and (2) there are no standards for the permit issuance beyond a
government official’s feelings.

I quite agree with Sebastian that this one is destined for the Supreme Court. This combined with Kachalsky and the twin Illinois cases of Shepard v. Madigan and Moore v. Madigan present a split between the circuits. There is no word yet from the Second Amendment Foundation or Alan Gura but I cannot believe they won’t appeal.

In more positive news, word comes from Louisiana that the state’s felon in possession law was struck down as violating strict scrutiny. In November 2012, the voters of Louisiana overwhelmingly adopted a provision to their state constitution that said,  “The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall
not be infringed. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to
strict scrutiny.”

Finally, the NY State Rifle Association – the NRA’s affiliate in that state – along with a number of other organizational and individual plaintiffs filed suit in US District Court for the Western District of New York challenging the new NY SAFE Act. The defendants include Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneidermann among others.

The suit seeks a declarative judgement and injunctive relief based upon the law violating the right to keep and bear arms under the 2nd and 14th Amendments, the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, the Dormant Commerce Clause, Article I, § 8 of the Constitutions, and the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.

The lead attorney in the lawsuit is noted Second Amendment attorney Stephen Halbrook. The complaint can be found here.

Interesting Interview With Duane Liptak Of Magpul

Cam Edwards of NRA News interviewed Duane Liptak of Magpul yesterday after Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) signed HB 1224 into law. Mr. Liptak is the Director of Product Management and Marketing for Magpul.

Mr. Liptak had a number of interesting comments during the course of the interview. First, Magpul will be going with a multi-state, multi-location manufacturing approach. While they haven’t released just where they are going, certain sites have already been selected. They plan a phased move out of Colorado with the magazine manufacturing being the first part of their company to move for obvious reasons.

When asked about their current employees and the impact the move will have on them, Mr. Liptak said that many of the current employees had expressed a desire to move with the company to the new locations. He seemed rather gratified by this loyalty of the employees to Magpul.

Magpul met with a number of state legislators during the fight against HB 1224. While Magpul presented facts and legal opinions as well as stressing the economic repercussions of the bill, this didn’t seem to make any headway with a number of the Democrats. Mr. Liptak noted that every time they went to the state capitol, they always ran into lobbyists from Bloomberg and MAIG. He said they were everywhere. It is a sad day when a New York billionaire can buy a western state legislature so easily. It reminds one of the railroad barons in Frank Norris’ The Octopus so dominated California of the late 19th century.

Wrong Convenience Store

While I’m not a big Glock fanboy – I only have a Glock 22 Gen 2 police trade-in – they sure do make entertaining ads. The latest features a strung out guy attempting to wrong a convenience store. Unfortunately for him, the lady behind the counter has a Glock.

About Not Having To Aim A Shotgun

Bob Mayne of the Handgun World Show has a nice video up that destroys the myth that all you have to do is point the shotgun in the general direction of the intruder and fire. He shoots his Remington 870 from 5 yards – a good inside the house distance – and gets a nice 3 inch group.

Bob has an excellent podcast that is one of my weekly listens. It is part of the Gun Rights Radio Network and you can find the show homepage here.

IWI Tavor SAR Rifles Shipping

It’s good to have a story today that doesn’t deal with stupid politicians for once. IWI-US Inc. has started shipping their TAVOR SAR bullpup rifles to dealers across the United States. I know there was a good deal of excitement over this rifle at the SHOT Show and now they are heading out to dealers.

From their press release:

Harrisburg, PA (March 21, 2013) – IWI US, Inc., a subsidiary of Israel Weapon Industries (IWI), has commenced shipments of the long-awaited TAVOR® SAR bullpup rifles to their
distributors. Shipments have been carefully choreographed for product arrival to various distributors across the country at relatively the same time. IWI US continues to ramp up production and shipping in the coming weeks. An assortment of black and FDE TAVOR® SAR rifles in 16.5″ barrels and several black, left-hand rifles along with a small quantity of the TAVOR® SAR IDF model are among the initial product shipments.

The body of the TAVOR® SAR, specially designed for the US market, is crafted from high strength polymer, and will be offered in black or Flat Dark Earth colors. Features include full ambidextrous controls, removable 16.5″ or 18″ barrels, Cold Hammer Forged (CHF) CrMoV chrome-lined barrels with 1:7 twist, a full-length top-mounted integral Picatinny rail and another short rail forward at a 45° angle for mounting accessories. A stock left-hand model with 16.5″ barrel and an “IDF” model with integral MEPRO-21 reflex sight round out the product line. The TAVOR® SAR uses standard AR-15/M16 magazines and can be easily field-stripped into sub-assemblies for routine maintenance. The standard caliber is 5.56 NATO (.223REM), with conversion kits available in 9mm Luger Parabellum and 5.45X39mm. MSRP starts at $1,999.00.

About IWI US Inc.

IWI US, Inc. is a subsidiary of Israel Weapon Industries (IWI), which for many years has operated in the global
Defense and Law Enforcement markets. IWI US, Inc. was established in 2012 in order to offer the hig
quality and most advanced products available

as well as to provide a high level of service and support

American consumers. Located in a 21,000 sq. ft. facility in Harrisburg, PA, IWI US has appointed a very
experienced team of senior managers
to oversee its operations in the US market. The IWI US line of products
includes several configurations of the TAVOR
SAR, and the UZI
PRO Pistol.

Hickenlooper Seeks Political Cover With Signing Statement

When Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) signed into law Colorado’s forthcoming ban on standard capacity magazines, he took a page from Presidents Bush and Obama and issued a signing statement with the bill. The signing statement notes that Gov. Hickenlooper consulted with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office on the bill and how it should be construed narrowly by law enforcement.

This is nothing but an attempt to push off some of the blowback he is receiving or will receive about this law on to the Republicans. No Republican legislator voted for this law and were adamant in their opposition to it. However, Colorado’s Attorney General, John Suthers, is a Republican. In my opinion, Attorney General Suthers should not provide any political cover to Gov. Hickenlooper and should tell him the law says what it says. It will only be when Colorado voters realize just how draconian this law really is that they will turn out the Democrats responsible for it.

Narrow enforcement of this law may make it tolerable over time. Strict enforcement of the law, despite the harm it will do, will turn this law into a 21st Century Intolerable Act and force its repeal. It will also make court challenges more likely to win especially if the “readily converted” provision makes many firearms unusable.

The signing statement is below:



In signing HB13-1224, we acknowledge that some have expressed concerns about the vagueness of the law’s definition of “large-capacity magazine.” By its terms, the law does make illegal any magazine manufactured or purchased after July 1, 2013, that is capable of accepting, or is designed to be readily converted to accept, more that 15 rounds of ammunition. Similar language is used in other states’ statutes limiting large-capacity magazines. We know that magazine manufacturers have produced and sell magazines that comply with these other state laws that limit large-capacity magazines and we are aware of no successful legal challenges to those laws. And when a Colorado-based magazine manufacturer came to us to share their concerns about the vagueness of the definition of “large-capacity magazine” contained in the original version of the bill, we worked with the bill’s sponsors to fine-tune the definition to make it more precise.

We also have heard concerns about the requirement in the law that a person who owns a large-capacity magazine prior to the law’s enactment may legally possess that magazine only as long as he or she “maintains continuous possession” of it. We do not believe a reasonable interpretation of the law means that a person must maintain continuous “physical” possession of these items. Responsible maintenance and handling of magazines obviously contemplates that gun owners may allow others to physically hold and handle them under appropriate circumstances. We are confident that law enforcement and the courts will interpret the statute so as to effectuate the lawful use and care of these devices.

In considering the language of HB13-1224, we have consulted with the Office of the Attorney General and we concur with its advice that the large-capacity magazine ban should be construed narrowly to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Second Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. We have signed HB13-1224 into law based on the understanding that it will be interpreted and applied narrowly and consistently with these important constitutional provisions.

To this end, today we are directing the Colorado Department of Public Safety to consult with the Office of the Attorney General and others, as necessary, with respect to the interpretation of HB13-1224’s large-capacity magazine ban, and then to draft and issue, to law enforcement agencies in the State of Colorado, technical guidance on how the law should be interpreted and enforced. This work should be done by July 1, 2013, the law’s effective date.

Restaurant Carry In North Carolina

North Carolina HB 17 went before the House Judiciary A Committee yesterday. That bill would provide for the confidentiality of pistol purchase permit and concealed handgun permit data. It would have also legalized concealed carry by non-drinking patrons in restaurants and eating establishments. The Judiciary A Committee saw fit to pass a substitute amendment which dropped restaurant carry. Word coming to Grass Roots North Carolina is that this change was at the behest of Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) who may have higher aspirations in 2014.

GRNC is asking that people contact both Speaker Tillis and their own representative to ask that restaurant carry be restored to HB 17.

Restaurant carry is down but not out …

The North Carolina House Judiciary A Subcommittee today stripped restaurant carry out of House Bill 17, leaving only the language which would remove concealed handgun and handgun purchase permits from public record, before passing the bill out of committee. What remains now moves to the floor.

Both bill sponsor Representative Justin Burr (R-Montgomery, Stanly, GRNC ****) and Judiciary subcommittee chair Rep. John Blust (R-Guilford, ****) made it clear that the Proposed Committee Substitute used for the deed was not of their making, but rather from “higher up” — the “higher up” in question being Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg, ****) himself. Said Tillis by email: “We have delivered legislation to the Senate [in the last session] and we look forward to the Senate responding in kind this session.”

While Tillis is correct in noting that during the 2011-2012 session, the House under his leadership passed HB 111 for restaurant carry, only to have it stalled by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Guilford, Rockingham, ****), numerous House members have complained about the lack of movement in potentially contentious legislation, further speculating it may be related to Tillis’ aspirations to the U.S. Senate.

Representatives from Tillis’ office deny this, of course, noting they have already moved contentious legislation and allowing that they might move restaurant carry if either the Senate says they too will act on the bill, or if it is received from the Senate. Below you will see our recommendation that you contact both your House representative and Speaker Tillis to tell them to move restaurant carry, but please understand the Speaker has not dismissed the idea, so do not treat him as an opponent (yet).

SB 342: “Amend Gun Laws”

Meanwhile, restaurant carry lives in the Senate. Introduced by Judiciary Co-Chair Senator Buck Newton (R-, Johnston, Nash, Wilson, ****) and sponsored Dan Soucek; and Jeff Tarte; (primary) and Tom Apodaca; Andrew C. Brock; Warren Daniel; Ronald J. Rabin; and Shirley B. Randleman (cosponsors), the bill encompasses not only the restaurant carry language drafted by GRNC and Rep. Mark Hilton in the last session, but also a “cleanup” of the parks carry language currently being tortured by municipalities to ban guns in whole parks. Given that the Senate stalled restaurant carry in HB 111 last year, the fact that Judiciary Co-Chair Newton and Rules Chair Tom Apodaca have signed on as sponsors bodes well for the bill. See below for recommendations on action.


NC House:

  • Contact Speaker Thom Tillis at 919-733-3451 and Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net. Once again, Tillis is not yet a lost cause, so BE POLITE.

  • Contact your NC House representative: Tell them to contact Speaker Tillis and remind him that gun owners help put him in his position for the purpose of LEADING on this issue. Have them ask him to return restaurant carry to HB 17. To find your House rep, CLICK HERE or go to: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx Once there enter your address into the text box for NC House.

NC Senate:


NC House:

Dear Speaker Tillis:

While I appreciate that the North Carolina House, under your leadership, moved House Bill 111 for restaurant carry in the previous session, only to see it die in the Senate, I also expect you to realize that gun owners played a huge role in making North Carolina the only battleground state to repel the Obama political machine and elect conservative, pro-gun leaders.

We elected you to lead; now we expect you to deliver. Now is not the time to dither about which chamber should be the first to move what is a top priority for North Carolina gun voters, but instead to lead decisively and by example. That means returning restaurant carry to House Bill 17.

I will spare you the facts about concealed handgun permit-holders being model law-abiding citizens: You already know them. Instead, my message is this: Please move restaurant carry.

I will be monitoring your actions via Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.