Cops Sure But TSA? WTF?

A number of firearms companies have programs that offer those in law enforcement a substantial discount on their products. This would include FNH-USA which allows a once-a-year discounted purchase in each of three categories – pistols, rifles, and shotguns.

I think this is a worthwhile idea. It allows a company to show its support of police and first responders. It allows a company to get its product in the hand of law enforcement which in turn becomes a marketing and word-of-mouth referral tool. And while I can’t speak for areas outside the South, many law enforcement officers in small communities have fairly low salaries.

FNH-USA’s definition of eligibility for participation in their Individual Officer Discount Program is fairly broad compared to other companies. Perhaps, too broad when you look at their list.

  • All sworn local, county and state law enforcement officers
  • All federal law enforcement officers (i.e., officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Air Marshal Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, etc.)
  • All corrections officers, including parole and probation officers
  • All retired federal, state, county and local law enforcement officers with “retired” credentials
  • Employees of state licensed security companies
  • State/city-licensed security officers
  • Active duty military personnel, all branches
  • Reserve duty military personnel, all branches
  • Honorably retired military veterans with “retired” military I.D.
  • All Transportation Security Administration employees
  • Licensed paramedics and emergency medical technicians
  • Firefighters, including volunteer firefighters, with appropriate I.D.
  • Federal flight deck officers
  • Court judges
  • District attorneys and deputy district attorneys

 All Transportation Security Administration employees? TSA? Really? You mean people like Pythias Green who was convicted of stealing more than $800,000 from travelers should be allowed to buy firearms at a discount? You mean people like George Hristovski who was arrested by the FBI in Northern California on charges of attempted production of child pornography? You mean the people who grope us repeatedly, who share pictures of us going through the NudieScope, and who want us to respect “their authoriteh”?

I understand that FNH-USA was trying to have as broad a list as possible and to be inclusive but this is ridiculous. What the hell were they thinking? TSA employees no more deserve a discount than does the man in the moon.

A Big Win In California

US District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii just ruled today that 10-day waiting periods to pick up your firearm after purchase were unconstitutional as applied to certain individuals. The case, Silvester v. Harris, challenged the waiting periods for those who had passed a background check and who had either a California issued license to carry or hold a Cal-DOJ issued Certificate of Eligibility and possess at least one firearm known to the state.

Here is the release on the win from the CalGuns Foundation who was one of the plaintiffs in the case:

ROSEVILLE, CA (August 25, 2014) – California’s 10-day waiting period for gun purchases was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge this morning in a significant victory for Second Amendment civil rights. The laws were challenged by California gun owners Jeffrey Silvester and Brandon Combs, as well as two gun rights groups, The Calguns Foundation and Second Amendment Foundation.

In the decision released this morning, Federal Eastern District of California Senior Judge Anthony W. Ishii, appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton, found that “the 10-day waiting periods of Penal Code [sections 26815(a) and 27540(a)] violate the Second Amendment” as applied to members of certain classifications, like Silvester and Combs, and “burdens the Second Amendment rights of the Plaintiffs.”

“This is a great win for Second Amendment civil rights and common sense,” said Jeff Silvester, the named individual plaintiff. “I couldn’t be happier with how this case turned out.”

Under the court order, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) must change its systems to accommodate the unobstructed release of guns to gun buyers who pass a background check and possess a California license to carry a handgun, or who hold a “Certificate of Eligibility” issued by the DOJ and already possess at least one firearm known to the state.

“We are happy that Second Amendment rights are being acknowledged and protected by our courts,” said Donald Kilmer, lead attorney for the plaintiffs. “This case is one more example of how our judicial branch brings balance to government in order to insure our liberty. I am elated that we were able to successfully vindicate the rights of our clients.”

Attorneys Victor Otten of Torrance and Jason Davis of Mission Viejo were co-counsel for the plaintiffs.

“This ruling clearly addressed the issue we put before the court,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “We are naturally delighted with the outcome.”

“California gun owners are not second-class citizens and the Second Amendment doesn’t protect second class rights,” noted plaintiff Brandon Combs, also CGF’s executive director. “This decision is an important step towards restoring fundamental individual liberties in the Golden State.”

“This victory provides a strong foundation from which other irrational and unconstitutional gun control laws will be challenged,” concluded Combs. “We look forward to doing just that.”

The court’s decision can be read or downloaded at

This is great news for Californians. Brandon Combs, one of the plaintiffs, was just a guest on The Polite Society Podcast that aired yesterday.  We’ll certainly have to have him back soon!

Sebastian has more on the win here.

If You Want To Donate, Here Are Some Better Groups

Jonathan Lowy of the Brady Center recently sent out the e-mail seen below crowing about going three for three in court cases involving certain semi-automatic rifles whose cosmetics horrify the gun prohibitionists. He is referring to cases that challenged new state laws that created a magazine ban, an “assault weapons” (sic) ban, or both. The states involved were Connecticut, Maryland, and New York.

After the Sandy Hook tragedy where a gunman fatally shot 20 children and 6 adults, state lawmakers finally said ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’ and took action.

New York, Connecticut, and Maryland made it more difficult to buy military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, so these weapons of war would never again threaten lives in our homes, schools and communities.

Unfortunately, the corporate gun lobby saw a threat to their profits and went to court to challenge these laws.

At the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project, we didn’t let these attacks on our public safety go unchallenged. We filed amicus briefs and worked closely with state officials to help them defend these life-saving laws. Law firms with our national pro bono alliance, Lawyers for a Safer America, were critical to these efforts.

WE ARE 3-for-3 SO FAR. Federal trial judges in ALL 3 STATES have upheld the new laws. Your support helped us win these victories.

But our work continues — the gun lobby is appealing the rulings, which means we’re still working hard with states and filing amicus briefs to meet the challenge. On August 5, we filed a brief in the New York case. Next week we’re filing in Connecticut.

These federal appeals cases are critically important – the rulings will set far-reaching precedents on the power of states to protect their communities from gun violence.

We need your support to preserve the victories we’ve won so far and make sure the corporate gun lobby isn’t allowed to put profits over people’s lives.

Please support the Brady Center today to help us keep our winning streak going, and protect lives in our nation’s homes, schools and communities.

With gratitude,

Jonathan Lowy
Director, Brady Center Legal Action Project

I’m surprised that Mr. Lowy didn’t include the nonsensical ruling out of Colorado which upheld the Hickenlooper mag ban.

The recent decision out of Maryland does show that certain judges who are ignorant about firearms and who have a bias against them will listen to what the Brady Center puts into their amicus briefs. Even though those of us in the gun culture consider their arguments to be “authentic frontier gibberish” we still need to counter them. Thus I donate to groups like the Second Amendment Foundation, the Mountain States Legal Foundation, and the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund who will present the counter arguments to the Jonathan Lowy’s of the world.

I would encourage you to do the same if you can.

I Would Have Challenged Shannon Watts And Michael Bloomberg

You may remember that the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre was challenged to take the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS by the space cowboy himself, Mr. Gabby Giffords. And Wayne, who we often perceive as a button-downed, corporate type took him up on it.

Wayne then challenged Karl Malone, NASCAR driver Austin Dillon, and Ollie North to take the challenge. That’s fine but I would have challenged Mr. Moneybags Mike Bloomberg to take the challenge. It might have resulted in a bigger check for ALS research. And we shouldn’t forget his little minion, Shannon.

SB 53 – Just One Of A Number Of Anti-Gun Bills In California

Gun rights supporters in California have their hands full with all the misguided, stupid, and ineffective bills coming out the California Assembly and Senate that impact them. One of these bills is SB 53 from Sen. Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles). The bill would ban on-line sales of ammo, create a registry of ammo sellers and purchasers, and require another license for gun owners.

Will it stop gangs from obtaining ammo for their guns? Of course not but that really wasn’t the point anyway.

The Firearms Policy Coalition has created a very good infographic illustrating just what the bill would do if passed. Unfortunately, it is almost out of the legislature and heading for Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

The FPC has created an easy way to state your opposition to this bill. You don’t even need to live in California to send an email. Just go here and you can tell every legislator in California what you think of this bill.

If you want to see other bad bills from California, just go here. Another of Kevin DeLeon’s bills would outlaw “ghost guns”. In other words, any firearm without a serial number such as your collectible .22 LR rifle from before 1968 like my Remington 511 Scoremaster.

DC To Appeal Carry Case

Emily Miller of Fox 5 News (yes, that Emily Miller) is reporting that the District of Columbia City Council will vote to appeal their loss in Palmer v. District of Columbia. She spoke with Council Chair Phil Mendelson who said:

“The whole issue of the public carrying of a firearm is very complicated,” Mendelson said. “And I believe the executive and the attorney general will continue with the appeal.”

Also this week, the city asked the court for six more months to rewrite its gun laws. Right now, the city has until October 22. That’s why Mendelson said gun carry will be at the top of the agenda when the city council returns from recess.

“What the court said very clearly was that a complete 100-percent ban on anybody being able to get a license to carry a handgun was unconstitutional. But there’s a gray area between 100-percent ban and everybody can carry. And that’s what we’re working through.”

This is not an unexpected turn of events. The local political establishment in DC is profoundly anti-gun and to have let Judge Frederick Scullin’s decision go unchallenged would be unthinkable.

Miller also spoke to George Lyon, one of the plaintiffs, about the potential appeal. He was disappointed as you can see in the video below:


H/T Bitter

The Most Absurd Letter To The Editor That I’ve Read In A Long Time

Letters to the editor can vary in quality and substance. In general, people do try to have a well reasoned argument for their position. I might not agree with it but I will defend their right to say or write it.

Then there is this very short letter to the editor that appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a couple of days after Michael Brown was shot in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

Why? In 2014 and the age of the Taser, why should any police officer on routine patrol need to carry a deadly weapon?
Anthony Wippold  •  Clayton

Clayton, for those not familiar with St. Louis, is one of the wealthiest places in the state of Missouri. It has a household income of over $87,000, the 3rd highest home value in the state ($607,800), and one of the highest education attainment rates.

I don’t know what sort of bubble Mr. Wippold lives in but the world outside is dangerous. Even the most ardent pacifist should understand that.

No One Should Be Surprised By This Remington Move

In the wake of both softening sales for firearms and the move of much of their operations to Huntsville, Alabama, Remington announced another round of layoffs at their Ilion, New York plant. 105 jobs will be cut at the New York plant starting Monday. This is in addition to 80 jobs that had previously been moved to Alabama.

As the later news report below makes clear, these workers will have the opportunity to relocate to Alabama and apply for jobs down there. If I heard it correctly, Remington has agreed to give a preference to the pool of laid-off workers for new jobs in Alabama.

More Time, Please…Because We Are Sensitive

The District of Columbia is arguing that they need more time beyond the original 90 day stay granted by Judge Frederick Scullin in the DC carry case, Palmer v. DC. First, they are arguing that if they decide to appeal the decision, they want the decision stayed throughout the appeal process. Second, if they forego the appeal, they want an additional 90 days in which to craft a carry law.

The District of Columbia in their brief (available here) argues that the judge erred in stating that the core right of the Second Amendment extends outside the home. Further, they argue that a good part of DC could be considered a sensitive area.

I found what they had to say interesting.

Thus, even assuming some form of public carrying of handguns is protected by the
Second Amendment, it is not at the core of the right, and, accordingly, a court must examine the strength of the government’s justifications for its regulation, pursuant to intermediate scrutiny.
See Heller II, 670 F.3d at 1252. The Court here did not do so, ignoring the many, important
public safety and other reasons put forth for the District’s longstanding prohibition, many of
which are unique to the District of Columbia, a state-level jurisdiction with an almost completely
urban makeup that as the seat of the national government is home to the White House, the U.S.
Capitol, dozens of federal agencies, and hundreds of international diplomats and has, over the
years, experienced attempted as well as successful assassinations of Presidents and other officials
of national importance using firearms.
These and the other important public safety concerns will
need to be considered by the D.C. Circuit in any appeal, and will present a serious question (even
assuming the Circuit concludes a balancing test is necessary), one that is of first impression in
this Circuit.

Of the two Presidents assassinated within the District of Columbia, Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield, neither had any sort of bodyguards or other security with them when they were murdered. Contrast that with the security cordon erected around modern presidents such as Barack Obama. I guess you could argue that Ford’s Theater is a “sensitive site” given it is a National Historic Site run by the National Park Service.

That said, there are significant portions of the District that can in no way be considered sensitive.

For example, this corner at the intersection of Atlantic St and 14th St SE is considered one of the most dangerous spots in the US. You have a 1 in 14 change of being a crime victim here.

I fail to see how this “abandominium” as they are called by local DC housing activists could be considered sensitive even if it is owned by the DC government.

The argument that the majority of the District of Columbia is a sensitive place fails when you examine what’s on the ground. I would have no disagreement with the argument that many DC neighborhoods have improved with gentrification. However, just because a neighborhood has gentrified, it doesn’t make it a sensitive place. In my opinion, it may have made it a target for which the residents might need a firearm for protection both inside and outside their home.

“You’re not supposed to shoot so many times”

Dr. Michael M. Baden is the former Chief Medical Examiner for the City of New York. He was hired by the family of Michael Brown, the teen shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, to provide a private autopsy.  I’m not going to get into the whole sordid mess surrounding the shooting and subsequent unrest in that St. Louis suburb.

The majority of the private autopsy results were released to the New York Times. It appears that Mr. Brown was shot in the front of his body by the Ferguson officer six times. What caught my eye was this statement by Dr. Baden:

“In my capacity as the forensic examiner for the New York State Police, I would say, ‘You’re not supposed to shoot so many times,’ ” said Dr. Baden, who retired from the state police in 2011. “Right now there is too little information to forensically reconstruct the shooting.”

I have always been taught as well as read in reliable sources that you shoot until the threat has been stopped. There is no magic number. Bear in mind that Mr. Brown was reported to be 6’4″ tall and weighed 292 pounds. According to the autopsy, it also appears the first four shots hit Mr. Brown in the arm and not center mass. While that would have hurt like hell, they were not sufficient to stop the threat. (This, of course, presumes that the officer involved perceived Mr. Brown as a deadly threat.)

I think the good doctor needs to reevaluate his statement and remember that there is no magic number when it comes to stopping the threat.