A Loss In Connecticut

Senior District Court Judge Alfred V. Covello ruled in favor of the State of Connecticut in upholding their assault weapons ban and other restrictions. The case, Shew et al v. Malloy et al, was brought by the Connecticut Citizens Defense League and others challenging the law enacted after the Newtown shootings.

Gun control advocates were buoyed Thursday by a federal court decision in Hartford that upholds Connecticut’s toughest-in-the-nation assault weapons ban, calling it a constitutionally valid means of balancing gun rights and the government’s interest in reducing gun violence.

“The court concludes that the legislation is constitutional,” senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello wrote in a decision published late Thursday. “While the act burdens the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights, it is substantially related to the important governmental interest of public safety and crime control.”

Just quickly glancing over the opinion that can be found here, it appears that Judge Covello used intermediate scrutiny to decide in favor of Connecticut and relied upon the 2nd Circuit’s ruling in Kachalsky v. Cacace.

From the article in the Hartford Courant, it appears that Judge Covello bought into much of the anti-gun nonsense that Connecticut used to defend the law.

Covello, agreeing with the plaintiffs, concluded that the weapons and magazines are commonly owned and legally used in Connecticut and elsewhere. But he parted company with the plaintiffs when he wrote that the state’s ownership and sales ban is justified when the government’s goal of reducing violence is measured against the ban’s impingement on Second Amendment rights.

The Second Amendment rights of gun owners are adequately protected by the large number of alternate weapons that can be used for protection, hunting and sports events, he wrote.

On several occasions, Covello adopted the state’s arguments that assault weapons are designed, not for cosmetic purposes, but for “lethality.” And he referred to an affidavit by a state expert who asserted that “Connecticut’s bans on assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and particularly its ban on (large capacity magazines), have the potential to prevent and limit shootings in the state over the long run.”

Covello was appointed to the bench for the District of Connecticut by Pres. George H. W. Bush in 1992.

Stepping Up To The Plate In California

As I reported earlier this month, both Ruger and Smith & Wesson have taken a stand against the California Department of Justice Handgun Roster by letting numerous popular models of their handguns drop off the list. In other words, they refuse to make a California-only model that includes a microstamped firing pin.

Now Mike Fifer and James Debney, the CEOs of Ruger and Smith & Wesson respectively, have filed Declarations in support of the plaintiffs challenging the Handgun Roster in the long-running case of Pena v. Lindley. This is a case being brought by the CalGuns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation in US District Court for the Eastern District of California.

The Declaration of Ruger CEO Mike Fifer can be found here. In it he says that the microstamping requirement is unworkable and that no firearms manufacturer has been able to implement it.

The Declaration of S&W CEO James Debney says that the technology is unworkable and that “the state law requires the technology to perform at a level it cannot.” Debney goes on to point out that many of their handguns also do not have mag disconnects and loaded chamber indicators.

These Declarations join the amicus curie brief of Glock, Inc. in arguing against the Handgun Roster and in favor of the plaintiffs’ position.

The Second Amendment Foundation welcomed the support from all three firearms manufacturers in a release put out yesterday shown below.


BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation is expressing heartfelt gratitude today to three major firearms companies – Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Glock – for their supporting documents in the on-going case of Pena v. Lindley, a lawsuit challenging the California handgun roster requirements that include microstamping and magazine disconnects.

Earlier this week, Ruger CEO Michael O. Fifer and Smith & Wesson President and CEO James Debney submitted declarations to the court, explaining their respective companies’ positions on the California microstamping requirement. Late last year, attorneys representing Glock, Inc. filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the SAF case.

“SAF will be eternally grateful for the timely support from all three companies, which we believe strongly reinforces our case,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The statements from Messrs. Debney and Fifer confirm what we have argued all along, that California’s requirements place an undue burden on both consumers and manufacturers.”

In his statement, Fifer bluntly observed, “There is no workable microstamping technology today, and Ruger believes that California’s microstamping regulations make compliance impossible.”

Debney concurs in his statement, noting, “Smith & Wesson does not believe it is possible currently to comply with California’s microstamping regulations. Quite simply, the state law requires the technology to perform at a level that it cannot.”

In its earlier brief, submitted by attorneys Erik S. Jaffe of Washington, D.C. and John C. Eastman of Orange, Calif., Glock maintained that neither its pistols nor any other handgun in common use can comply with California’s microstamping mandate.

“You cannot regulate handguns out of existence or out of the marketplace by mandating technology that doesn’t work,” Gottlieb observed. “Now three major gun companies have weighed in and we’re confident their opinions will carry a lot of weight.”

The impact of the microstamping requirement on handguns available for sale in California can be seen in this infographic from the CalGuns Foundation.  It is not a pretty picture and not a Constitutional one in my opinion.

If You Do Watch ABC’s 20/20 Tomorrow Night

Diane Sawyer and David Muir will have a special edition of ABC News’ 20/20 tomorrow night. The special is entitled Young Guns: A Diane Sawyer Special and will be, from everything I have seen, a hit piece on firearms. It is officially supposed about kids and guns as well as parental responsibility.

Before you watch this “report”, I’d suggest you do two things. First, you should read David Codrea’s column published today. As David reports, based upon one of their teaser episodes, Diane Sawyer and ABC News are attempting to cast doubt on the NRA’s Eddie Eagle child gun safety program. In the set-up that they use to do so, they may be in violation of Florida Statute 790.174 which specifies requirements for the safe storage of firearms when there are minors present. Of course, they probably won’t be charged with anything for this violation of Florida law.

The second thing I would suggest you do is to two interviews with an Armed Citizens Project participant from Texas named Amanda. She is a single mom with a special needs child. As she details on Episode 80 of the The Squirrel Report podcast (13:50-53:00), she and a number of other women who participate in the Armed Citizens Project were interviewed by ABC producers as well as David Muir. She reports that the ABC producers were disappointed in the answers that she and the other moms gave. She fully expected for much of what they said to be left on the cutting floor.

Amanda reported back in Episode 82 of The Squirrel Report podcast (39:40-51:00) that the ABC producers had contacted her to say that the group interview was being cut. They did invite Amanda and her son to be filmed in an individual segment. Amanda said she was willing to appear but not with her son. From her conversations with the other Armed Citizen Project mothers, they, too, had been approached.

So if you do watch the 20/20 Special, just remember that a lot was left on the cutting floor during editing. Moreover, remember it was filmed by people who had no hesitation at encouraging little kids to violate Col. Cooper’s Rule No. 1 – All guns are always loaded.

Congratulations To Tennesse On Landing Beretta

After looking at seven states and 80 potential sites, Beretta chose Gallatin, Tennessee as the location to expand its US manufacturing operations. Gallatin is about 25 miles NE of Nashville giving it easy access to Interstates 24, 40, and 65 as well as a large airport in Nashville.

Beretta USA officials along with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced today the company will expand its U.S. operations by building a new firearms manufacturing plant in the Gallatin Industrial Park. Beretta, a global manufacturer of high-quality sporting and military firearms, will invest $45 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D facility. Beretta will create 300 new Tennessee jobs. The company is expected to complete construction on the facility this year.

As you might expect, officials in Tennessee are very happy.

Gov. Bill Haslam has this to say:

“Beretta is one of the world’s greatest companies, and their decision to expand into Tennessee speaks to the standards of craftsmanship and quality our state’s workforce embraces every day,” Haslam said. “Attracting a legendary company like Beretta reinforces our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs. I want to thank the Beretta family for their substantial investment in Tennessee and the 300 jobs they’ll create in Sumner County.”

Gallatin Mayor Jo Ann Graves called it a “platinum project” and went on to add:

“It’s an international company. It’s well-known, it has an excellent reputation and we’re very excited that they’ve chosen (us) over eight other states.”

Earl Fischer, Chairman of the Gallatin Economic Development Agency Board of Directors, had this to say regarding the role of support for the Second Amendment in Beretta’s choice:

”Tennessee’s track record of
supporting Second Amendment rights definitely worked in our favor.”

The Tennessean reports that the state will be giving Beretta tax credits and infrastructure and job training grants. The City of Gallatin will be giving Beretta a “payment in lieu of taxes” grant.

Beretta will be buying a 100 acre parcel in the Gallatin Industrial Center to build its manufacturing and R&D facility. Construction is expected to begin in May and the first firearm is expected to come off the assembly line sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

I like what Bitter at Shall Not Be Questioned had to say on Beretta’s announcement and how the company’s concerns were dismissed by Maryland.

I find it amazing how quickly these blue, anti-gun states with leaders who claim to care about working class folks are so quick to dismiss the manufacturing jobs created by gun companies. The companies are clearly getting tired of it and moving.


UPDATE: The news above makes the fail noted here by Miguel even sweeter. Madison, by the way, is between Nashville and Gallatin.

Beretta’s Jeff Reh On Why They Chose Tennessee

Jeff Reh is the general counsel and vice-GM of Beretta USA as well as a member of their Board of Directors. In addition, he is the President of their Stoeger subsidiary. In the speech below, he explains why Beretta chose Gallatin, Tennesse as the location for their expansion.

Beretta probably would have expanded at or near their Accokeek, Maryland plant if that state hadn’t passed their onerous gun control laws in May 2013. Gov. Martin O’Malley and the gun prohibitionists in the Maryland legislature cost that state at least 300 jobs by passing the new gun control law. Moreover, I would not be surprised to see that more and more of the operations in Maryland will be transferred to Tennessee as time goes by.

As Reh notes in his speech, they only looked at states that had a consistent and strong support for the Second Amendment. While many in West Virginia are strong supporters of the Second Amendment, many of their politicians are lax in their support. It was specifically due to Joe Manchin and his push for gun control that West Virginia was crossed off the list of potential expansion locations.

The transcript of Jeff Reh’s speech:

“The Beretta family has manufactured products and done business from the same town in northern Italy for almost 500 years. This means that when Beretta chooses a location for its business, we plan not just in terms of a return on investment within the next few years. We also start with the possibility that we will be in that location for decades, if not hundreds of years, to come.

Around March 2013 the Beretta family decided to expand its manufacturing and business operations outside Maryland, where Beretta U.S.A. is located. We started our search by looking only at States that have a consistent history of support for and likelihood of future support for Second Amendment rights.

We then reduced this list of States further by looking at traditional business-related factors such as tax rates, cost of living, cost of doing business, availability of white and blue collar workers, traditions of high-level manufacturing in the area, the quality of local educational institutions, availability of job recruitment, screening and training, and so forth.

From that analysis we reduced our list of States to seven. Working through the Governor’s Office in each of those states, we came up with a list of 80 sites within those seven States that we then visited over the past five months. Based on those visits we narrowed the list of 80 sites down to six. Then we made second and third visits to those locations and reduced that list to three.

We scored each of those three locations using 20 evaluation criteria and, based on those evaluations, we unanimously chose Gallatin, Tennessee as the best of all the candidate locations we saw. Our choice was then confirmed through a personal visit by Mr. Ugo Gussalli Beretta, Franco’s father, to Gallatin on December 30, 2013.

I can say, based on this very rigorous search methodology, that not only was Tennessee the best State we found within which to locate our business, but also that Gallatin provided the best location for us within Tennessee. We thus move forward with confidence knowing that Tennessee is a great place to do business. We look forward to our opportunities here and we look forward to working side-by-side with our new Tennessee neighbors.”

A Way To Commemorate The War To End War

World War I was first called the war to end war in August 1914 by H. G. Wells. It was thought that defeating “German militarism” would bring about an end to war. How naive some were at the beginning of that brutal and horrible war which introduced tanks, planes, and chemical warfare to the arsenal of battlefield implements.

Also introduced to more widespread use in World War I was the 1911 pistol which first saw use in the latter stages of the Moro Rebellion in the Philippines. While originally only manufactured by Colt and the Army’s Springfield Armory, the need for more pistols saw other manufacturers given contracts to make the 1911. Included in this list of manufacturers was Remington-UMC.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One, Remington is teaming up with Turnbull Manufacturing to reintroduce a historically accurate Remington-UMC 1911. They will only be making 1,000 sets which include the 1911, the holster, 2 magazines, a lanyard, and mag pouch. I don’t know how much this commemorative set will be but I guess it won’t be cheap. According to the comments, you will be able to order this through your local Remington dealer.


The Obligatory “Gun Violence” Reference In Obama’s SOTU Speech

I guess it would be too much to ask to hope that President Obama might concentrate primarily on national security, economic growth, and jobs growth in tonight’s State of the Union speech. The obligatory reference to so-called gun violence (sic) along with a pledge to keep pushing gun control with or without the aid of Congress.

From the speech:

Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say “we are not afraid,” and I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.

The British paper The Guardian notes, however, that it seems the First Lady has somewhat shifted her focus from gun control issues. The point out that she had four invitees last year post-Newtown to push the issues. This year the sole invitee representing “gun violence” is the school bookkeeper from Atlanta who talked a school shooter into giving up the gun.

From four invitees in 2013, the number of guests of the first lady invited this year to spotlight the problem of gun violence in the US is one. She is Antoinette Tuff, a bookkeeper from Georgia credited with preventing a shooting at an elementary school in an Atlanta suburb by talking the would-be shooter out of it.

Otherwise, the makeup of Michelle Obama’s viewing box for Tuesday night’s speech is largely unchanged from a year ago. Among her 22 guests (Jill Biden and Valerie Jarrett aside) are small businesses’ proprietors and employees, overachieving students, young immigrants, beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act and a wounded veteran.

President Barack Obama ended his 2013 State of the Union speech with an emotional call for Congress to vote on new gun legislation. Underscoring the point was the presence in the first lady’s visitor box of the parents of a Chicago teenager killed in gun violence; a police lieutenant who was shot 15 times when he responded to the mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin; and a teacher at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

Let’s hope this is a harbinger of things to come.

UPDATE: Here is a link to a video clip of Obama and this part of his State of the Union address. I’m linking because it is an auto-play video.

2014 SHOT Show – Magpul Industries

Duane Liptak of Magpul was interviewed by the folks over at Arfcom about the new products they were releasing at the SHOT Show. The one that immediately caught my eye was the PMag for the AK-47. If it is as reliable as the steel mags from the Eastern Bloc nations, they will have a winner on their hands.

Liptak said that they didn’t release many no products this SHOT Show due to the relocation and he wouldn’t be giving any sneak peaks. However, he did say that Magpul would be releasing a number of new products over the coming year even as they relocate to Wyoming and Texas.

Off Topic But A Nice Story

I was sitting in bed this morning, drinking my first cup of coffee, and watching CBS Sunday Morning when a story by Steve Hartman came on. When they first flashed the preview of the story something about that school logo triggered something in my subconscious.

A few words into the story and I knew why that logo triggered something. It was the logo from my alma mater! One does not expect to see a story on TV about their old high school unless it is the scene of a tragedy. This is especially true when it is a small school located in the Piedmont of North Carolina located midway between Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

Hartman’s story is about a cancer survivor who is playing the game in memory of a friend who also had cancer but didn’t make it. The players on the boy’s basketball team were asked to pick someone to dedicate the game to and junior Spencer Wilson picked Josh Reminger who had died nine months earlier.

I’ll let Steve Hartman tell the rest of the story.