New Maps Of The Battle Of Gettysburg

Tomorrow marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the battle of Gettysburg. The battle here marked the turning point in the War Between the States (or American Civil War). Confederate forces under General Lee never again ventured into Northern territory after this battle.

On the second day of the battle, General Lee ordered an attack on the left wing of the Union line. Erroneous scouting reports said that there were no Union forces on either Big or Little Round Top. Lee, in essence, started the attack with erroneous information and with what he himself could see of the Union Army.

A team led by geographer Anne Knowles of Middlebury College has created new interactive maps of the battle and the battle terrain for the Smithsonian Institute to commemorate this anniversary.

Knowles had this to say in an interview about the project:

“Our goal is to help people understand how and why commanders made their decisions at key moments of the battle, and a key element that’s been excluded, or just not considered in historical studies before, is sight,” Knowles said.

Long before the advent of reconnaissance aircraft and spy satellites, a general’s own sense of sight — his ability to read the terrain and assess the enemy’s position and numbers — was one of his most important tools. Especially at Gettysburg, where Lee was hampered by faulty intelligence.

“We know that Lee had really poor information going into the battle and must have relied to some extent on what he could actually see,” Knowles said.

The geographer applied GIS to find out what Lee could see and what he couldn’t.

To reconstruct the battlefield as it existed in 1863, researchers used historical maps, texts and photos to note the location of wooden fences, stone walls, orchards, forests, fields, barns and houses, as well as the movement of army units. High-resolution aerial photos of the landscape yielded an accurate elevation model. All of it was fed into a computer program that can map data.

Lee is believed to have surveyed the battlefield from a pair of cupolas, one at a Lutheran seminary and the other at Gettysburg College, both of which yielded generally excellent views.

But a GIS-generated map, with illuminated areas showing what Lee could see and shaded areas denoting what was hidden from his view, indicates the terrain concealed large numbers of Union soldiers.

 A screen cap of this map showing what Lee could and couldn’t see is below. The gray areas indicate what was hidden from Lee’s sight by the topography of the battlefield as he looked down from Seminary Ridge.

I think the Smithsonian has done a great service with these interactive maps as they lead to a greater appreciation of the decision making by both Confederate and Union generals at this battle. The interactive map can be reached here.

A Pet Peeve

I have this pet peeve.

My jaw clenches and my teeth grind every time I hear a politician or a media sort say that so-and-so is a “lifetime member” of the National Rifle Association. I sincerely doubt what they mean is that the person in question has been an annual member of the NRA from an early age and has renewed said membership continually over the years. What I presume they mean to say is that the person is a Life Member or one of its more expensive variants of the NRA.

Some examples:

From the Huffington Post – “Elaih Wagan, 3-Year-Old Texan, Honored By NRA As Youngest Lifetime Member”

From Politico in describing the Manchin-NRA battle:

For Manchin and his top aides, the dispute with the NRA has become increasingly personal. Manchin’s chief of staff, Hayden Rogers, a lifetime NRA member, has let his membership to the group lapse. Rogers even pulled the pro-NRA sticker off his own truck.

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Kelli Wise to the Pike County (AL) Republican Women:

After the recipients read their essays, Wise was introduced and began speaking about her passion for the rights of the second amendment.

“I’ve been a lifetime member of the NRA (National Rifle Association) since I was 21,” she shared.

One news organization that did get it right was Remember the kid who was suspended for biting his PopTart into the shape of a gun (or was it Idaho)?

And what about that 7-year-old boy from Maryland who was suspended for two days because he bit a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun? Well, as for the latter, he’s been given a Junior Life Membership in the NRA.

I know most in the mainstream media look upon the five million of us who are members of the National Rifle Association with utter disdain. That said, I still wish they would be more precise when describing those of us who are Life Members.

Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day comes from a resident of High River, Alberta. That Canadian town of about 13,000 about 25 miles south of Calgary has been evacuated from the greater part of a week due to the flooding of the Highwood River. Residents there are not only angry that they are not being allowed to return to their homes but that the RCMP or Royal Canadian Mounted Police had gone house to house and confiscated their firearms.

One resident with memories of police confiscation of firearms in New Orleans had this to say:

“This is the reason the U.S. has the right to bear arms,” said Charles Timpano, pointing to the group of Mounties.

Video of the confrontation between residents of High River and the RCMP is below.

As a followup, the Solicitor General of the Province of Alberta announced today that he is working with the Mounties to assure a speedy and timely return of the seized firearms to their owners.

Background Check Veto Upheld In Maine

The Maine State Legislature passed a universal background checks bill on June 19th in what was considered a surprise vote. The bill had been defeated twice before in the State Senate.

In a surprise vote Wednesday, the Maine Senate passed a bill that creates civil penalties for those who sell guns in private sales to people who are prohibited from having them.

The legislation imposes a civil fine of $500 if a gun seller does not perform a background check and the buyer is later discovered to be a prohibited person.

The bill, LD 1240, was first watered down by the Senate, but on Tuesday, the House of Representatives sent the original measure back to the Senate. The Senate approved the bill on a 18-17 vote, with two rural Democrats joining Republicans in the minority on the measure.

Fortunately for Maine gun owners, Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME) was true to his word and vetoed the bill. He said the bill only impacted honest gun owners and for that reason he vetoed the bill.

Yesterday, the Maine State House voted to uphold the governor’s veto in a 77-71 vote. The gun prohibitionists in the State House are now threatening to go to a referendum to pass the measure and cite the misleading poll number from an anti-gun push poll.

The background-check bill, L.D. 1240, sponsored by Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland, would have created a civil violation for selling a gun to a person prohibited from owning a gun, such as a convicted felon.

It originally was a sweeping bill that would have mandated background checks before all gun purchases. His bill passed narrowly in the Legislature earlier this month, and the House upheld the veto in a 77-71 vote on Wednesday.

In his veto message, LePage said the bill was focused “on those who would choose to obey the law, and for that reason I believe it misses the target.”

“This is an issue that may need to go straight to our citizens,” Dion said in a statement after the vote. “The governor described my bill as ‘well-meaning,’ but public policy requires more than intentions, it requires action.”

Dion was referring to a potential referendum on the matter: J. Thomas Franklin, president of Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence, a pro-gun control group, said last week that it is considering bringing a citizens’ initiative to ask Maine voters to decide on mandatory background checks in 2014.

Searching the Maine register of lobbyists, I cannot find any that represent Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors nor any that represent other gun prohibitionist group. I am going to assume that Bloomberg didn’t employ his full court press like he did in Colorado and Nevada.

Still that a state like Maine with a long tradition of protecting gun rights would have even considered such a bill – much less passed one – is disappointing. Maine, like the rest of northern New England, is changing and, in my opinion, not for the better.

The Push For Concurrence On HB 937 Continues

It appears that NC Speaker of the House Thom Tillis might be going wobbly on HB 937 and is also spreading misinformation on the position of Grass Roots North Carolina. With Tillis now an announced candidate for the US Senate to run for the seat held by Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), it is time to ramp up the pressure on both Tillis and the rest of the Republicans in the North Carolina House.

From the latest GRNC alert:

It has come to our attention that the office of NC House Speaker Thom Tillis has told callers that GRNC “supports” removal of the pistol purchase permit repeal from House Bill 937 and the replacement of the measure with a study commission. That is a misstatement of GRNC’s position.

With less than two weeks remaining in the legislative session, it became clear that Speaker Tillis, faced with Governor McCrory’s acquiescence to demands by the NC Sheriffs’ Assoc. to remove the purchase permit repeal, might simply kill the entire bill by bringing it to the floor and re-referring it committee, where it would languish, rather than choosing between gun owners and sheriffs.

HB 937 cannot be ‘amended’

Meanwhile, input we have received suggests that gun owners are of two minds: One faction notes that the purchase permit repeal was not in the original bill, and that the substantial gains of restaurant carry, campus carry, assemblies for which admission is charged and more should not be risked for one provision we might be able to get later. Others want us to stand strong for the repeal because other aspects of the bill primarily benefit concealed handgun permit-holders more than other gun owners.

To those who have suggested we simply “amend” HB 937 to remove the purchase permit language, however, we are compelled to note that bills are not amendable on concurrence votes. The only option is for the House not to concur, in which case the bill goes to a conference committee comprising members of both chambers. Please note: Once the bill is in conference, we have no direct control over what comes out. The single and only alternative if we don’t like what results would be to kill the bill in its entirety. It is for that reason GRNC has opposed sending the bill to conference.

GRNC strongly urges legislators to concur

In the position just sent to the NC House, GRNC continues to admonish legislators to vote for concurrence. Acknowledging that it is critical to keep the bill moving as the end of the session approaches, however, we also advised them that we will not track the vote on concurrence PROVIDED that the bill is not otherwise weakened in the conference committee. Although we cannot speak for other organizations, representatives of both the NRA and NCRPA have expressed support for the position.

Presuming the bill goes to a conference committee, here is what we will push for:

1. Keeping restaurant and campus carry and all other aspects in the bill;
2. Repeal or curtailment of the present purchase permit system; and
3. Inclusion of key legislators whom we can trust on the committee.

What GRNC will not accept

If, however, a weaker bill leaves the conference committee, any legislator who voted to send it to conference will be assessed as having voted against the interests of gun owners, which will be reflected in “Remember in November” candidate evaluations. This is intended to give the less resolute members of the Republican caucus “ownership” in what the committee produces.

In particular, there is one “deal killer” which may cause GRNC to oppose the bill: Shortening the duration for which purchase permits are valid, which is currently five years. Doing so would punish lawful gun owners for the malfeasance of the Sheriff’s Association, which has known about and refused to address the system’s flaws for decades.


  • CALL & EMAIL YOUR HOUSE REP: Have them tell NC House Speaker Thom Tillis that he should listen to millions of NC gun owners instead of 100 sheriffs by SUPPORTING A VOTE TO CONCUR on HB 937. The fact is that sheriffs and their entrenched, highly paid lobbyist have refused to address this problem for decades. Find your House rep by CLICKING HERE or going to:

  • EMAIL ALL NC HOUSE REPUBLICANS: Tell them they don’t have a “get-out-of-jail-free” card to vote against gun owners. If they vote against concurrence and HB 937 is weakened in conference committee, THEY WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE. If they want the best and safest course of action, THEY SHOULD VOTE TO CONCUR. To email House Republicans, use the copy-and-paste email list below and either the suggested message or one of your own.

CONTACT INFO,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Suggested Subject: “Vote for concurrence on HB 937!”

Honorable Members of the North Carolina House:

Although a campaign by the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association to preserve sheriffs’ power and money seems destined to send House Bill 937 (“Amend Various Firearms Laws”) to a conference committee, I strongly urge you to vote against any motion not to concur (i.e. to concur with Senate changes) as the best and safest method of guarding against wholesale weakening of the bill.

I will be closely monitoring this matter via Grass Roots North Carolina Alerts.


A Coalition Serves Freedom Of Information Request On Bloomberg

A coalition consisting of the Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and Tom Gresham of Gun Talk have served a Freedom of Information Law request on the City of New York to provide all records concerning Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors and the use of city funds to support the group. It is an effort to smoke out just how much the citizens of the City of New York are paying for Bloomberg’s pet project.

From the SAF release:

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today has filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the City of New York for all records relating to Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, after newspaper allegations that city resources have been used for MAIG’s gun control efforts.

SAF is being joined in the request by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and Tom Gresham, host of the nationally-syndicated “Gun Talk.”

“It was bad enough to learn via CBS News that the MAIG website was being hosted on a city-owned server, and administered by city employees,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “but it also appears that a special counselor in the mayor’s office was sent to lobby in Nevada on behalf of MAIG’s gun control agenda.”

The New York Post and Politico both published reports that Mayor Bloomberg sent Christopher Kocher to Nevada, and that in an apparent attempt to conceal who he worked for, Kocher “scrubbed his City Hall e-mail address from the state of Nevada lobbying-registration Web site early this month.”

“The public has a right to know what’s been going on between Bloomberg, the city and MAIG,” Gottlieb explained. “Gun control is Bloomberg’s pet peeve, and he’s been pushing an anti-gun agenda since sending so-called private investigators on a sting operation to gun shops all over the country, which got him in trouble with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.”

“There certainly appears to be a serious problem in Bloomberg’s administration,” Gresham added. “Evidently, the mayor and his staff have a gross misunderstanding of how the taxpayers’ money should be spent, and that should not include sending New York employees around the country to lobby for Bloomberg’s pet projects.”

The request was filed by SAF Special Projects Director Philip Watson, for the following information:

1. All electronic records related to Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the website, including, but not limited to:

  • a. All electronic files saved on city servers

  • b. All Emails to or from users at the domain

  • c. All current and former employees, officials, outside contractors, and volunteers with access to the website

  • d. All current and former Email users and usernames that have had access to send or receive Email from

2. Any and all records related to Mayors Against Illegal Guns electronic files, including, but not limited to:

  • a. Emails

  • b. Any written documents

  • c. Any records describing processes for cooperation with this group

  • d. Any records describing how received communications with this group are processed

  • e. All employee pay or overtime related to cooperation or time spent with this group

  • f. Official names, titles, and contact information of all employees, officials, outside contractors, and volunteers involved with domain hosting, creation, maintenance, and communication for

  • g. All costs incurred by the City of New York for creation, maintenance, domain hosting, and communication for

3. Any and all records of communication since January 1, 2002 between any city official, employee, or volunteer and any gun control advocacy organization, including, but not limited to:

  • a. Mayors Against Illegal Guns

  • b. Demand A Plan

  • c. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

  • d. Center for Gun Policy and Research

  • e. Ceasefire

  • f. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

  • g. Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

  • h. Joyce Foundation

  • i. Violence Policy Center

  • j. Legal Community Against Violence

  • k. Million Mom March

“The man is obsessed,” Gottlieb continued, “and if he’s spent so much as a dime of public money on what amounts to a private crusade, Mayor Bloomberg needs to be held accountable for that.”

Gottlieb has called on New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to launch a full-scale investigation into the mayor’s potential misuse of public resources for his own private war on gun owners. He renewed that call today.

“If Eric Schneiderman won’t investigate Bloomberg for possible misuse of public funds,” Gottlieb said, “we will. The mayor has been acting increasingly like a self-appointed monarch, but this still the United States, not Bloomberg’s personal fiefdom.”

Given that other states and cities have strong freedom of information laws and given that there are a number of cities with a mayor belonging to MAIG, I think this provides a nice template for a grass roots effort to smoke out the use of public funds to promote gun control efforts. These politicians are like cockroaches and hate to see the light of day shone on their activities.

The Farewell To Arms Festival

The group Free Colorado is holding an event on Saturday in Glendale, Colorado called The Farewell to Arms Festival. Free Colorado’s mission is to engage in targeted actions to reverse Colorado laws that imperil the rights of law-abiding firearm owners;
and ensure that no other State passes such reckless government regulation.

The event is meant to highlight the July 1st start of Colorado’s ban on standard capacity magazines. The first 1,500 attendees will receive “a free Magpul Gen M2 MOE 30rd magazine featuring either the Free Colorado or Boulder Airlift design, courtesy of Magpul Industries.”

There will be live music and an appearance by conservative talk show host Dana Loesch.

If you are in the Denver area and support gun rights, you ought to take advantage of this. More details are in the flyer below.

Emanuel To Propose New AWB For Chicago

Chicago is now jumping on the bandwagon of proposing new gun laws before the Illinois concealed carry law is enacted. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed a new assault weapon (sic) ban that would prohibit the sale and possession of such firearms in the city. From the report by WGN-TV below, it appears the bill will also contain a listing of such firearms and will also contain a magazine ban.

The second bill introduced will ban the carrying of firearms in student safety zones. While I am not completely familiar with the concept, it appears that they include the sidewalks students most frequently use when walking to school. This second bill sounds like even more of an intrusion upon the Second Amendment than the Chicago AWB depending on just how broadly a student safety zone is defined.

The second ordinance would make the punishment harsher for gun-related offenses in “student safety zones”.

Those zones are found near schools, buses, and parks across the city.

Anyone convicted of having a gun in a safety zone would face a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 for the first offense and a mandatory 30 days in jail.

A second offense would carry a fine of $5,000 to $15,000 and a mandatory three months in jail.

A third offense would carry a fine of $10,000 to $20,000 and a mandatory six-month jail term.

Neither bill nor its text is posted on the City of Chicago’s website as of now.

Madigan’s Procrastination Rewarded….Again

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan was granted a second extension of time in which to file an appeal in the joint cases of Moore v. Madigan and Shepard v. Madigan. Justice Elena Kagan granted the extension of time to file the appeal until July 22nd.

The extension was granted by Justice Kagan on June 18th. One has to wonder if it had been Justice Thomas or Justice Scalia would Madigan have gotten her extension granted so easily. Unfortunately, the 7th Circuit is assigned to Justice Kagan for these type of matters.

The whole issue would become moot if Gov. Pat Quinn signs the carry bill that was passed on June 4th by the Illinois General Assembly. Madigan’s father, House Speaker Michael Madigan, is urging Quinn to do just that.

The Chicago Democrat’s office said Tuesday that the governor has not decided what action he’ll take on the legislation. The attorney general’s office released Kagan’s order but did not have an immediate comment.

House Speaker Michael Madigan – the attorney general’s father and a fellow Chicago Democrat – urged Quinn to sign the bill, which was a hard-fought compromise between the House and Senate.

“If you look at the vote in the House and the Senate it’s pretty clear that the governor’s veto could be overridden,” Madigan said after an unrelated committee hearing Tuesday.

As Sebastian noted when Madigan requested the second extension, this is getting ridiculous and it is time for Illinois politicians to stop playing games.

It Is Time To Demand Concurrence On HB 937

The North Carolina Senate took the House-passed HB 937 and made a good gun reform bill into a near great one. The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association in now balking on passage of the bill due to the elimination of the archaic and racist pistol purchase permit system run out of each county’s sheriffs’ department. As the alert below from Grass Roots North Carolina makes clear, what they really object to is a loss of power and a loss of revenue.

News stories about the recent shooting in Greenville, North Carolina are now trumpeting that the Pitt County Sheriffs’ Department had turned down the shooter for a “gun permit” last year. The only problem is that North Carolina doesn’t have a “gun permit.” If what they are saying is that he was turned down for a pistol purchase permit by the sheriff, it certainly didn’t stop the shooter from obtaining the shotgun which he used to wound four people. Nowhere in any of the stories about this shooting is mention made of just how the shooter did obtain the shotgun. He may have owned it for years, he may have stolen it, or he may have legally purchased it after a NICS check. We don’t know but I would wager the reason we are hearing that the shooter was turned down for a “gun permit” is part of the effort to stymie HB 937.

From the GRNC Alert:


In recent days, the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) has flip flopped on its support for HB 937, a common sense bill that would modernize North Carolina’s gun laws, and allow law-abiding citizens to better defend themselves and their families from predators who do not pay attention to gun laws. The reason for the NCSA’s reversal on this bill clearly revolves around the money the sheriffs collect, and the power they maintain, through our State’s outdated pistol permit system.

Aside from the fees the sheriffs are currently charging in the current system, each county’s sheriff has unlimited power to decide who may or may not purchase a handgun. That means your county’s sheriff can arbitrarily deny anyone their Second Amendment rights, absent any due process. For these reasons: money and power, the NCSA does not want this shameful, Jim Crow-era leftover to be eliminated. But HB 937 would do just that. It would eliminate it, and replace it with the fair and reliable National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This is a dependable, computerized system that has been tried and tested, and in thirty-six states it is the sole background check system, eliminating old-fashioned pistol permits.

The NCSA has had a lot to say about what it would mean to eliminate the current system, a system in which they hold all the power. Let’s examine their statements, and contrast them with the facts:

The NCSA Says: NICS obtains criminal records from North Carolina only regarding persons who are fingerprinted, which includes felons and some limited categories of misdemeanants. Many misdemeanants, punishable for up to two years in prison, are not fingerprinted and, therefore, are not reported to NICS.
The Fact Is: People convicted of state-level misdemeanors punishable by less than two years are not prohibited from owning firearms under federal law, meaning sheriffs want discretion to deny permits to people who are not prohibited.

The NCSA Says: North Carolina state law only requires the Clerks of Superior Court to report to NICS a limited category of those persons involved in an involuntary mental health commitment.
The Fact Is: According to the FBI, the NICS database encompasses: A person adjudicated mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or incompetent to handle own affairs, including dispositions to criminal charges of found not guilty by reason of insanity or found incompetent to stand trial.

The NCSA Says: Persons from North Carolina who are prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm, but who are likely to not be discovered by a NICS check, are persons who: Are under indictment or information in any court for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; Have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; are fugitives from justice; are unlawful users of or addicted to any controlled substance; have been adjudicated as mentally defective or have been committed to any mental institution; Who are subject to a court order restraining them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or Who have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
The Fact Is: The FBI says otherwise. Their description of the contents of NICS cover all of the situations that the NCSA mentions above.

The NCSA Says: The pistol purchase permitting process in North Carolina is currently far superior to the NICS check and provides increased public safety for our citizens.
The Fact Is: For rifles and shotguns, the NICS is already used in North Carolina, and without objection from the NCSA. If NCSA considers NICS to be an inadequate means of background check, why has it not objected to its use as the sole background check system for long guns?

The NCSA Says: Sheriffs’ “local knowledge” gives them familiarity with local residents that goes above and beyond what the NICS can provide.
The Fact Is: NCSA’s “local knowledge” argument is a stretch. Although sheriffs claim that familiarity with local residents gives them knowledge above and beyond that provided by NICS, the argument is rife with flaws. Just one example would be the fact that Mecklenburg County has processed 12,000 permits thus far for 2013. Is it the position of the NCSA that sheriffs in large counties routinely check tens of thousands of households? Unlikely.

The NCSA needs to get its facts straight, and the antiquated pistol permit system needs to be replaced with a proper, twenty-first century alternative. It’s also a fact that the NCSA’s misguided opposition to this one provision in HB 937, threatens to derail the entire bill. That’s a real problem.



Tell Speaker Tillis and the other elected members of the NC House that you’ve had enough of our outdated, Jim Crow pistol permit system.

Call Speaker Thom Tillis, and ask that he bring HB 937 forward for a vote, and that he encourage his colleagues to vote for concurrence: 919-733-3451.

Use the following cut-and-paste email list to contact NC House Republicans:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;


Suggested Subject: “Sheriffs’ Association Spreads Misinformation about Purchase Permits”

Honorable Members of the North Carolina House:

I have recently become aware that the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) has been distributing misinformation about our State’s archaic pistol permit system, an outdated system that HB 937 seeks to replace with modern, computerized background checks. The NCSA has gone so far as to refer to the current system as “superior” even though it still contains the “arming felons loophole.”

I am writing to inform you that I strongly support HB 937, as currently written, and I would consider a vote against concurrence to be an anti-gun vote. I encourage you in the strongest terms to vote for concurrence in order to strengthen and modernize our State’s gun laws.

Originally, the NCSA had supported the bill entirely, and even now they still claim to support it, but only oppose the provision that removes the purchase permit requirement. The NCSA seems desperate to hang on to last century’s permitting method, no doubt so they can continue to use it to collect fees that they are currently attempting to double, and to maintain unchecked power over who can obtain a pistol permit. I have done my research, and I strongly disagree with the NCSA’s new position.

I’ve learned that thirty-six states are already using the dependable, computerized National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as the sole means of conducting background checks. I also know that the nature of our outdated pistol permit system opens the door for dangerous criminals to buy guns with pistol permits that were legally obtained before the criminals committed their crimes. These old-fashioned paper permits are not traceable nor are they revocable, and they remain valid for years. This “handguns for felons” loophole would be eliminated through use of the NICS.

The NICS is also a fair system in which everyone can expect to be treated equally under the law. Through the NICS, sane, law-abiding citizens cannot be denied their Second Amendment rights for arbitrary reasons. This is something that cannot be said of the current pistol permit system, which can be used to subjectively deny any citizen a pistol permit without due process. That is just wrong, and it’s time to do what’s right.

Again, I ask that you vote for concurrence on HB 937. A vote against concurrence would indeed be an anti-gun vote. Please do what’s right, and bring North Carolina’s gun laws into the twenty-first century. I will be monitoring your actions via Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.