Interesting Controversy Going On In Canada

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently made a decision to reclassify the Swiss Arms PE90 as a prohibited firearm. The Swiss Arms PE90 is the Canadian version of SigSauer’s SIG551. The RCMP are in charge of how firearms in Canada are classified. As I understand it, a firearm can be classified as unrestricted, restricted, or prohibited by the RCMP’s Canadian Firearms Program.

The problem here is that the RCMP had originally classified the Swiss Arms Green Classic PE90 as either unrestricted or restricted depending on barrel length 10 years ago. Since then, Canadians have purchased upwards of 2,000 of these rifles at a cost between $3-4000 each. Now the RCMP is telling the gun owners that they must surrender these rifles to them without any sort of compensation.

The CBC has a rather good story on the whole controversy which is shown below:

California Attorney General’s Statement Regarding Peruta Appeal

California Attorney General Kamala Harris released this statement yesterday explaining why she was appealing the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Peruta v. San Diego.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today filed a petition in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, on behalf of the State of California, urging the court to review and reverse its decision in Peruta v. County of San Diego.

In its February 13, 2014 Peruta decision, the Ninth Circuit ruled that San Diego County violates the Second Amendment by requiring individuals to show “good cause,” beyond a mere desire to carry a gun, when applying for a concealed-carry weapons permit.

“Local law enforcement must be able to use their discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon,” Attorney General Harris said. “I will do everything possible to restore law enforcement’s authority to protect public safety, and so today am calling on the court to review and reverse its decision.”

California state law currently requires individuals to show “good cause” to carry a concealed weapon, but gives local law enforcement control over the permit process. If the Ninth Circuit’s ruling is allowed to take effect, officials throughout the State could be required to issue concealed-carry permits to individuals based on nothing more than the applicant’s assertion that they wish to carry a gun for self-defense.

In San Diego County, concealed-carry permit applicants have, until now, been required to show “good cause” by demonstrating “a set of circumstances that distinguish the applicant from the mainstream and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way.”

On February 21, 2014 San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore announced he would not seek further review of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.

As I read Harris’ statement I was struck by two things which I have highlighted. First, she wants “Only Ones” to be able to say yea or nay to who may have a carry permit. This is the same situation we had until recently in the Jim Crow-era South. In North Carolina, pistol purchase permits are still in the hands of local sheriffs but they now have less discretion to deny a permit. When the law was passed by the NC General Assembly in 1919, the intent was that local sheriff would grant pistol purchase permits to upstanding white men and women while denying that same right to blacks. It was racist then and its racist now.

The second thing in Harris’ statement that struck me was the horror expressed that California officials would be required to issue carry permits “based on nothing more than the applicant’s assertion that they wish to carry a gun for self-defense.” Can you imagine the nerve of those ordinary people wanting the same privilege reserved for the high and mighty and/or large donors to sheriffs’ election funds? Does not the ordinary citizen have the same right to self-defense of him or herself?

California prides itself on being a trendsetter. In this case, it is lagging the nation including states like Illinois where, until late last year, carry was reserved for cops and Chicago aldermen.

Anti’s Seek En Banc Review Of Peruta Decision

You just knew that the gun prohibitionists would not take the win in the Peruta decision lying down especially since San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore decided to accept the decision.

Today, in what seems to be a coordinated effort, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the Brady Campaign, the Legal Community Against Violence, the California Peace Officers Association, and the California Police Chiefs Association filed petitions requesting an en banc hearing. The State of California represented by Harris and the Brady Campaign also filed motions to intervene in the case.

Filed (ECF) Amici Curiae California
Peace Officers Association and California Police Chiefs Association
petition for rehearing en banc (from 02/13/2014 opinion). Date of
service: 02/27/2014. [8996109]–[COURT UPDATE: Attached searchable
version of petition. Resent NDA. 02/27/2014 by RY] (PRC)
Submitted (ECF) Intervenor brief for
review and filed Motion to intervene. Submitted by State of California.
Date of service: 02/27/2014. [8996638] (GDB)
Submitted (ECF) Intervenor brief for
review and filed Motion to intervene. Submitted by Brady Center to
Prevent Gun Violence. Date of service: 02/27/2014. [8996736] (NRO)
Filed (ECF) Amicus Curiae Legal
Community Against Violence petition for rehearing en banc (from
02/13/2014 opinion). Date of service: 02/27/2014. [8996737] (SJF)

In an article by Emily Miller this evening, Chuck Michel questioned whether any of these parties have standing.

Chuck Michel, the west coast counsel for the National Rifle Association, said Ms. Harris‘ motion to intervene was far out of line because her office wasn’t part of the lawsuit.

“They are trying to improperly influence the court,” Mr. Michel said in an interview. “The are stretching the rules to file in order to get their arguments in front of the court in the hopes that a liberal judge will get the message and ask for a vote himself.”…

“Obviously, what this tells us is the folks that advocate civilian disarmament are upset about the opinion and want to throw everything they can at it to bottle up the 9th Circuit or get it overturned,” said Mr. Michel, whose firm, Michel and Associates, represented the plaintiffs in the Peruta case up to the appeals court level.

UPDATE: As to why Kamala Harris et al are trying to get the Peruta decision reviewed and overturned, I think this story from Fox News pretty much gives the reason.

Gun owners are flooding the sheriff’s offices in two California counties with applications for concealed weapon permits following a bombshell ruling two weeks ago by a federal appeals court that citizens need not justify their requests.

Orange and Ventura counties have dropped the “good cause” standard for issuing conceal carry permits after the requirement was struck down Feb. 13 by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal. A three-judge panel of the court ruled 2 to 1 that the Second Amendment bars California counties from requiring law-abiding gun owners who want to carry concealed firearms to demonstrate special, individualized needs for protection.

More than 500 applications have poured in to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in just two weeks — roughly the total number of applications filed in 2013, a spokesman said. Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens announced on the department’s website that the county will comply with the federal court’s order immediately, sparking the wave of applications.

Once the proles get their permits to carry you just can’t keep them down anymore.

I Wonder Where He Got That AK-47

Making the headlines this past weekend was the capture of Sinaloa drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman by Mexican marines in a joint US-Mexico operation. What caught my eye in the story of how they got Guzman was this little detail.

“He had an AK-47 next to the bed. When the Mexican marines entered the condominium, he was still asleep,” said Michael Vigil, a former Drug Enforcement Administration official who says he was briefed on the raid. “They used the element of surprise, and he did not have a chance to react and seize his weapon.”

Guzman had an assault rifle and ammunition close by when Mexican marines broke into the apartment in a “surgical” operation, the Mexican official said.

What makes this detail so intriguing is that so many of the AKs “walked” to Mexico during Operation Fast and Furious ended up in Sinaloa Cartel hands. Indeed, the cartel’s logistics head who is in US custody, Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, has argued in court filings that the walked guns were meant to arm the Sinaloa Cartel in their fight with their rivals.

You have to wonder if that AK-47 was a walked firearm and, if so, will the serial numbers be sent to BATFE for tracing. For some reason, I think while the Justice Department is quite pleased that they “got Shorty”, I don’t think they will ever want that particular AK-47s serial numbers traced. The answer might not be to their liking.

The Roadkill Platform

If you are a deer hunter and you have ever used scent products, you know of Tink’s #69 Doe-in-Rut deer scent. It is the most famous of products developed by Tink Nathan. Now Mr. Nathan is looking beyond just deer scents and lures to politics. He is a candidate for the Texas House of Representatives running as a Republican.

His platform? Roadkill! More specifically, an end to the prohibition in Texas on picking up roadkill for human consumption.

From the Dallas Observer:

He’s also the only candidate, apparently in the entire state, bold enough stand up and defend Texans’ God-given right to eat animals they run over in their cars.

As it stands, picking up roadkill is a crime. Partly, this is because of health-and-safety concerns (hard to know what vile pathogens might be swarming over any given carcass), partly it’s to discourage people from using their cars as hunting weapons. (This has actually been documented. In a 2012 Dallas Morning News story, a state game warden’s staffer recalled a couple of incidents in which motorists intentionally ran over exotic deer in Kerr County, right in Nathan’s backyard.)

Nathan thinks that scavenging roadkill is a personal decision best left up to a driver and the critter he just flattened. There’s no need for the government to stick its nose in.

Besides, he told the San Antonio Express-News, why should buzzards be the only ones to benefit from the frequent animal-car collisions that occur by the thousands on Texas roads. “That meat goes to waste,” Nathan says. “Why not utilize it?”

I think he might have a point. In other states it is legal and oft times fresh (emphasis on fresh) roadkill is taken to charitable food pantries for distribution.

Besides, I like his campaign slogan – “Don’t Send Another Lawyer To Austin” – not to mention the fact he is a Life Member of the NRA.

I’ll Bet He Wishes He Still Played For The Bobcats

What is considered normal and lawful in most of the rest of the country is illegal in New York City. Knicks guard (and former UNC Tar Heels star) Raymond Felton unfortunately found this out the hard way. Felton was arrested this morning on two felony counts of possession of an unregistered firearm. The firearms were taken to a local police precinct house by an attorney for his wife Ariane Raymondo-Felton.

From ESPN:

But before the Monday night game, an attorney for wife Ariane Raymondo-Felton arrived at a Manhattan police precinct with a Belgian-made FN Herstal pistol, police spokesman Sgt. Lee Jones said. Ramondo-Felton later went to the precinct that night and made a statement to detectives, police said.

Investigators then contacted the director of security at Madison Square Garden in an attempt to reach Felton, police said.

Felton made no statement after he arrived at the precinct with a lawyer, police said.

He was charged with second- and third-degree criminal possession of a firearm, which are felonies, and fourth-degree possession of a firearm, a misdemeanor, a police spokesman told Police said Felton was in possession of a gun he wasn’t registered to own.

Felton is expected to appear in criminal court in Manhattan later Tuesday.

Raymondo-Felton is a law student at Fordham University School of Law, a spokeswoman confirmed. Court records show she filed for divorce from Felton on Feb. 18.

Felton, a South Carolina native, started his NBA career playing for the Charlotte Bobcats. Given the hell that New York Police are going to put him through, I’ll bet he wishes he still was in Charlotte. 

Tenn Law Review – New Frontiers In The Second Amendment

The Tennessee Law Review will be hosting a symposium on the Second Amendment this Saturday in Knoxville. The symposium will feature a number of Second Amendment scholars including Glenn Reynolds, Stephen Halbrook, and David Kopel. It will have three panels discussing state regulation, the Second Amendment in the “academy”, and the reach of the Second Amendment after Heller and McDonald.

The symposium will take place at the UT School of Law located at 1505 W. Cumberland Avenue in Knoxville. Free parking is available in the White Avenue parking lot. Entrance to the law school is from White Avenue.

The Tennessee Law Review will be publishing the papers presented in an upcoming issue of the Tennessee Law Review (81:3 Spring 2014).  The cost for this issue will be $10 plus postage and can be ordered from TLR.

If you live within driving distance, this sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday morning if you have an interest in Second Amendment scholarship. Oh, and did I mention that this symposium is free? Knoxville is right at a two hour drive for me and I’m going to do my damnedest to be there.

The schedule and list of speakers is below:

Law Review
Frontiers in the Second Amendment
Schedule—March 1, 2014
and Reynolds*
Regulation and the Second Amendment
and Halbrook*
Second Amendment in the Academy
Reynolds, Denning, Kopel, O’Shea, Pratt, and Blackman
the Reach of Heller and McDonald: Second Amendment Penumbra
and First Amendment Corollaries
Pratt,* Denning,* and Blackman*
* Indicates
article presentation

Catching Up

This week was a good example of work interfering with blogging time. I had a two day out of town conference that was mandatory to attend and it was a very full two days. So I am now just catching up on the blog. I’ve bookmarked a number of things and will make this a tab-clearing of sorts.

The biggest news of the week is that San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore will not seek an en banc review of the ruling of the 9th Circuit in Peruta v. County of San Diego. Dave Kopel notes here that one of the judges on the 9th Circuit could still request a vote on an en banc review sua sponte.

It should be noted that there are two cases still pending in the 9th Circuit in which the oral arguments were made at the same time as the Peruta case. They are Baker v. Kealoha et al from Hawaii and the CalGuns/SAF case Richards v. Prieto.

Then there is the new (maybe) stamp from the US Postal Service honoring actor, activist, and NRA President Charlton Heston. Now it seems, that the USPS is denying that they definitely are going to have a Heston stamp, that it was just a suggestion, and that they will take into account opposition from the gun prohibitionists. Bitter rightly calls them out on their outright lies pointing out previous memos and announcements.

Speaking of gun prohibitionists, Bob Owens applies a well-deserved fisking to that Demanding Mommy (and formerly well-paid Democratic PR flack) Shannon Watts. I think calling her the Carrie Nation of the Gun Prohibitionists is spot-on.

On Wednesday, the Washington Times had a feature length article on the case of Lane v. Holder. The plaintiffs have appealed the decision of the 4th Circuit which dismissed the case for a lack of standing to the Supreme Court. The plaintiffs are petitioning for a writ of certiorari in the case. The article features one of the plaintiffs, Amanda Welling, and her challenge to the Gun Control Act of 1968 which prohibits residents of one state from purchasing a handgun in another and then taking delivery of it in the purchase state. Currently, while you can buy a handgun from an out of state vendor, it must be delivered to an in-state FFL who then completes the transfer.

In a blow to the anti’s argument that guns cause crime, the FBI released a report this past week which showed that crime actually went down as the sales of firearms went up. It is even more interesting to note that in the areas with the highest firearms ownership – the MidWest and South – crime went down even more than in areas with less firearms ownership – the NorthEast. Go figure. However, as Jason Riley at the Wall Street Journal notes, “Not that gun-control zealots, who are so certain of a causal link between firearms and violent crime rates, care about such details.”

When it comes to firearms, state laws are often stricter than Federal laws. This is most evident in what firearms and accessories citizens of a state are allowed to possess, e.g, mag restrictions in New York, etc. However, these state laws may include disqualifying events that preclude a person from legally purchasing a firearm which are stricter than Federal law. Attorney Paloma Capanna has an interesting article up on these state prohibitors and their roll in NICS check denials.

The fallout in New York from the decision of Remington Outdoor Company to expand to Huntsville, Alabama continues. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in denial about the roll of the NY SAFE Act in Remington’s decision saying it was for “purely business reasons”. Other analyses say that the SAFE Act is one of the major reasons that Remington looked South.

Attorney Chuck Michel takes apart a study purporting to show that policies designed to reduce the number of firearms in the home, especially handguns, were instrumental in reducing the number of childhood gunshot wounds. The funny thing is that injuries and deaths involving children have declined as the number of firearms in circulation has increased dramatically. The old saw about lies, damned lies, and statistics would seem to be the case here especially since Chuck notes the author uses “non-traditional” data sources.

Some Thoughts About Remington, Jobs, And Its Union

I will be the first to admit I don’t know much about the inner workings of unions. I was born and bred in North Carolina which is both a right-to-work state and the least unionized state in the nation. While I have and have had relatives who were union members in the North, I’ve never worked in a job that lent itself to unionization.

Yesterday I received a very perceptive and enlightening email regarding Remington, jobs, and unions. The person who sent it to me is very well versed in the inner workings of unions but prefers no attribution and to remain anonymous.

The first point he made is that Remington Outdoor Company will say nothing about moving jobs from Ilion to Huntsville for a couple of reasons. First, anything that Remington says that could be interpreted as coercion or related to bargaining would likely lead to serious charges brought by the National Labor Relations Board. The second reason is that Remington’s contract with UMW Local 717 could very well contain language or clauses that would lead to automatic unionization of the Huntsville facility. This is referred to as successor language.

The second point he made is that without successor language, it doesn’t look good for union representation in the South especially given the loss at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. Interestingly enough, Alabama has the highest unionization rate of any Southern state.

Remington has a large operation in Ilion and it won’t be easy to move. But given time, you will start to see operations begin to move South. It is my understanding that R&D is already slated to move to Huntsville. The city, by the way, is also home to the Redstone Arsenal which has as one of its component organizations that Army Material Command as well as a number of Ordnance Corps units. If the Republicans take control of the US Senate, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is the 3rd ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and could easily get the ear of the DoD for Remington.

I was able to look at an earlier collective bargaining agreement between Local 717 and Remington. While I did not find successor language in it, I did see language that mandated certain models produced by Remington must be made in Ilion. Article II- Scope and Coverage, Section g – Job Security says that products such as the Remington Model 7, 700, 7400, and 7600 rifles and the Remington Model 870, 1100, and 1187 shotguns “will continued to be produced only at the Ilion plant”. It did allow for Remington to procure component parts elsewhere. This contract expired in 2007 and I can’t imagine succeeding contracts not containing similar language.

The current contract was ratified in December 2012. The highlights of the contract as publicized by the United Mine Workers of America HQ include:

The new pact includes a provision extending Local 717 jurisdiction to any new plant that Remington builds, as the company is presently considering, within a 100-mile radius of the main plant in Ilion, N.Y. In addition to a $500 signing bonus, the contract features 3 percent wage increases in each of the first four years, and 3.5 percent in the final year. It also maintains the current level of medical benefits, improves the language governing overtime and creates a new position, Utility Specialist, aimed at reducing the reassignment of regular workers.

This contract was ratified two days before the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. They could not have imagined the NY SAFE Act when the collective bargaining agreement was ratified. If this contract contained the same earlier language as to what models would be produced at the Ilion plant, you have to wonder if it extended to the Bushmaster AR-15s whose production had been shifted from Windham, Maine to Ilion. It is hard to conceive that a company would want to take the chance of producing a firearm in a state where it couldn’t be sold.

To sum it all up, while Remington’s current contract with Local 717 may preclude the rapid transfer of existing production lines from Ilion to Huntsville, production will start shifting South over time.

The Official Announcement From Remington And Alabama

Remington, the Governor’s Office, and the local governments involved sent out a joint press release yesterday announcing the expansion of Remington Outdoor Company in Huntsville, Alabama.

The release is below:



Remington Outdoor Company Announces Expansion to Alabama

HUNTSVILLE AND MONTGOMERY, AL — Governor Robert Bentley on Monday announced Alabama has recruited the country’s oldest firearms manufacturer to Alabama.

Remington Outdoor Company (ROC) will expand to the old Chrysler building in Huntsville, and create more than 2,000 new jobs within the next ten years. Governor Bentley joined Remington Chairman and CEO George Kollitides and other state and local leaders for the official announcement.

“I am honored to welcome Remington to Alabama,” Governor Robert Bentley said.

“The Alabama workforce, our business climate and our quality of life continue to make Alabama extremely attractive to companies. Remington will soon experience the same type of success that other companies in Alabama have already experienced. Today’s announcement will create more than 2,000 jobs in Huntsville, and reflects a statewide capital investment of $110 million. Our relationship with Remington is just beginning, and I look forward to a continued partnership with the company.”

“With the acquisition of this facility, we plan to create more than 2,000 jobs in Huntsville over the next decade,” said George Kollitides, Chairman and CEO, Remington Outdoor Company. “This additional capacity is essential to fulfill demand and introduce new products. Having watched our Company grow from 2,400 employees in 2008 to 4,200 employees by the end of 2013, a five year, 75 percent increase, it is easy to see why we’re investing now.”

In 2013, ROC made significant strides including its ammunition facility expansion, firearm capacity growth, winning a multitude of highly competitive military and law enforcement contracts, launching its 1816 lifestyle brand, and introducing a series of exciting new products such as Ultimate Defense Handgun Ammunition and the 783 bolt action rifle. Bolstered by record sales, the company chose to expand operations to Alabama.

“2013 was an outstanding year during which we grew by every key measure,” continued Kollitides. “We are capitalizing on this momentum by strengthening our positions across the board. With demand for our products at an historic high and more new product launches planned for 2014 than ever before in our 200-year history, we are investing in the future.”

Last year, ROC modernized its production facilities, re-focused its research and development on customer requirements, and ensured consistent, high-quality manufacturing. Together, these advancements demonstrate a commitment to meeting customer demand. The Huntsville expansion provides for future needed capacity to support existing product demand and a robust new product pipeline.

ROC has 19 locations in the United States, and Huntsville and Madison County officials praised the company’s decision to expand to Huntsville.

“With news of this Remington facility expansion, we have yet another example of Huntsville fulfilling its economic development promise,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said. “Our workforce is among the best and brightest in the nation, and they deserve challenging career opportunities, along with the high quality of life Huntsville provides. We are thrilled to welcome Remington to our city and region.”

“Our pro-business environment, along with the region’s extensive manufacturing experience, helped us outmaneuver two dozen other states looking to attract Remington,” Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong said. “This announcement represents new diversity to our local economy, and will provide an array of opportunities for skilled tradesmen, engineers and support personnel.”

Following facility upgrades, ROC is expected to begin operations in Alabama within the next 18 months.