SHARE Act Passes The House Of Representatives

The Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2015 aka SHARE Act, an omnibus bill, passed the House of Representatives on Friday afternoon. The final vote was 242 Aye to 161 Nay with 30 not voting. Included in the Ayes were 230 Republicans and 12 Democrats while the opponents consisted of 4 Republicans and 157 Democrats.

Why should we care if this bill passed and why should we fight for it in the Senate? If you read the summary below you will see stuff dealing with polar bears, African elephants, and baited fields. Unless you are a wealthy hunter, you might say, “Meh, who cares.”

However, you will also see increased funding for public shooting ranges, an exemption of lead bullets from the Toxic Substances Control Act, and provisions for armed self-defense on Corps of Engineers managed properties. The Griffith Amendment also includes provisions for safe passage of guns and ammunition by non-prohibited persons. Those are things that everyone one in the gun culture, whether v1.0 or v2.0 can care about.

This bill revises a variety of existing programs to expand access to, and opportunities for, hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting.

Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act

Components of firearms and ammunition and sport fishing equipment and its components (such as lead sinkers) are exempted from regulations of chemical substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The authority of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to regulate the use of ammunition and fishing tackle based on its lead content is limited.

Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act

The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act is amended to: (1) increase the proportion of funding from the Act that states may use for acquiring land for public target ranges, and (2) delay by 10 years until 2026 the date after which interest from the wildlife conservation and restoration fund is available for apportionment.

Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 2015

Interior must issue permits to allow a hunter to import polar bear parts (other than internal organs) if p the bear was legally harvested in Canada from an approved population before the May 15, 2008, listing of the polar bear as threatened.

Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act of 2015

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may not prohibit individuals from possessing a firearm in public areas of a water resources development project.

Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act

Federal public land management officials must facilitate hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting on certain federal public land.

Hunter and Farmer Protection Act

The bill revises standards for determining what a baited area is for purposes of the prohibition on taking migratory game birds.

The National Park Service (NPS) may not prohibit individuals from transporting bows and crossbows if certain requirements are met.

The NPS may establish hunter access corridors.

Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Reauthorization of 2015

This bill revises the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act to extend the authority provided to Interior under the Act.

African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015

This bill revises and reauthorizes the African Elephant Conservation Act through FY2020.

This bill provides special rules to expand access to federal land and waterways for film crews of five people or fewer.

This is a bi-partisan bill strongly supported by the NSSF, the NRA, Safari Club International, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, and many other shooting and hunting groups. Indeed, the target range expansion bill was originally proposed back in 2011 by former Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO).

I look at the Republicans who voted against the bill and some I can understand. Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL) took anti-gun Sen. Mark Kirk’s seat though he IS a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY) is new and represents a Brooklyn and Staten Island district. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is just an asshole. However, Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) who represents south-western Kentucky including Paducah has some explaining to do. He is listed as a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and there are a lot of hunters and anglers in his district.

What I don’t understand (or maybe I do) are the 18 Democrats who are members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus that voted against the bill. Included in this list are past leaders of the Caucus such as Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS). Is their concern and that of their fellow Democrat CSC members polar bears, African elephants, and lead sinkers or is it a need to stick to the Democrat’s anti-gun national agenda?

I’d wager it is unfortunately the latter.

I am thankful that some Democrats – not all of whom are members of the CSC – crossed the aisle to vote for this bill. The goals of the bill are bi-partisan and worthwhile. Now it is on to the Senate where hopefully it won’t get lost in the shuffle. We need to start sending letters, faxes, and emails along with calls to our senators demanding this bill get in and out of committee and brought to the floor for a vote.

Virginia’s Grand Compromise

The compromise between Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) and gun rights supporting legislators over concealed carry reciprocity has been consummated. In exchange for voluntary background checks by VA State Police at gunshows and a state prohibition on firearms for those with permanent domestic violence protection orders against them, carry reciprocity agreements that had been abrogated by Attorney General Mark Herring (D-VA) were restored.

In addition, the Virginia State Police have been ordered to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states as needed so that Virginia carry permit holders can carry in those states. As I read the law, Virginia will now recognize all other state’s carry permits so long as the holder is 21 years old or older and the permit can be verified 24 hours a day.

Gov. McAuliffe issued a press release calling the passage of this “public safety” legislation historic.

“The historic bipartisan agreement will make Virginia safer by keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and people who cannot pass background checks,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Virginians elect their leaders to work together to get things done, and today I am proud to say we did just that. This is the most significant step forward on gun safety in 24 years, and I look forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly and the public safety community to build on the progress we made this session.”

Buried in press release was the important information about reciprocity agreements with the other statements. It is to be expected that a gun prohibitionist like McAuliffe would want to downplay that part of the agreement and play up the minor concessions from gun rights advocates.

The National Rifle Association’s statement on the deal went to the heart of the deal – carry reciprocity.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Deal Signed in Virginia

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association (NRA) commends Virginia’s leaders for reaching an agreement to secure the rights of law-abiding concealed carry permit holders. H.B. 1163 and S.B. 610 which will restore and promote concealed carry reciprocity for permit holders in the Commonwealth and around the country, were signed into law today.

“Now, more than six million law-abiding gun owners will be free to travel in and out of Virginia with their Second Amendment rights intact,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “Self-defense is a fundamental right that must be respected.”

On Dec. 22, 2015, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring decided to sever concealed carry reciprocity agreements with half the country. The change was set to take effect early in 2016. The decision nullified agreements with the following states; Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

In addition to providing concealed carry recognition for valid permits from other states, the bipartisan legislation signed today requires the Virginia State Police to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states where needed.

“Concealed carry permit holders are among the safest groups of citizens in Virginia and throughout the country. On behalf of the NRA’s more than five million members, we commend this effort to protect public safety and fundamental freedoms. Hopefully this effort will encourage Congress to pass national right to carry reciprocity legislation as soon as possible,” concluded Cox.

Governor McAuliffe signed the legislation earlier today despite a repeated onslaught of attacks from New York City Billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his misguided gun control allies.


As Bad As The Sandy Hook Truthers

I and others get regular emails from what I call “Sandy Hook Truthers”. They assert a number of things including that the whole thing was a hoax. A recent Hillary Clinton fundraising email is in the same league as the Truthers.

As reported by the Daily Caller, the email is headlined, “The differences between Senator Sanders and me.” It goes on to assert that SHE is the only one standing with the Sandy Hook families because SHE voted against the Protection for Legal Commerce in Arms Act of 2005.

In 2007, Senator Ted Kennedy made a valiant effort to pass immigration reform — I stood with him and voted for that bill. Senator Sanders voted against it.

This week, families from Sandy Hook are in court suing the manufacturer of the gun that killed their children, challenging the law that gives gun-makers legal immunity. I voted against that law. Senator Sanders voted for it.

The bill passed the Senate in a 65-31 vote and the House in a 283-144 vote. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was in the House of Representatives then as the sole representative from the state of Vermont. He along with 59 Democrats voted for passage of the PLCAA. Only four Republicans voted against it including, believe it or not, then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).

What Hillary Clinton should be railing against are scum-dog ambulance chasing lawyers who are preying on the emotions of the families of the dead children of Sandy Hook. The manufacturer of the stolen AR-15 is no more responsible for the deaths of those children than you or I. That doesn’t stop the ambulance chasing lawyer from dreaming of a big payday along with big headlines.

Likewise, when it comes to presidential politics and the chance to scarf up money and votes, everything is on the table for Hillary. If it puts her in the same league as the Truthers, so what. They deny the event happened and she is saying that Bernie stands in the way of “justice” for those poor families. Whether she believes what she says is true or not is irrelevant. Money and votes – not the families of Sandy Hook – is what she cares about.

SHARE Act Comes To Vote In The House This Week

Despite the name – the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2015 – it isn’t just for Fudd’s. Yes the act does include a lot of things for hunters but it also includes many things for the Gun Culture 2.0 non-hunting shooter. Stuff like protecting against regulations concerning lead ammunition, support for the development of shooting ranges, and forcing the US Army Corps of Engineers to allow people to protect themselves with a firearm on Corps managed recreational projects. It would also protect knife owners and gun collectors who may have knives or guns with elephant ivory grips.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is supporting this bill and has provide a convenient way to send an email to your congressional representative. The link is in their blurb below:

We need your voice! The National Shooting Sports Foundation has joined 50 sportsmen’s groups representing millions of American sportsmen and hunters to urge members of the US House to vote in favor of HR 2406, the SHARE Act, bipartisan sportsmen’s legislative package, when it is on the house floor this week.

SHARE Act is the most important pro-sportsmen and pro-hunting
legislation in a generation. It passed the House in the previous
Congressional session, but was stalled procedurally in the U.S. Senate.

Use this action alert or call the U.S. House of Representatives at 202-224-3121, ask for your U.S. Representative to vote YES on the SHARE Act.

Act today to help promote preserve and protect America’s hunting traditions and the shooting sports.
Email: action alert Call: 202-224-3121

 I used the handy-dandy action alert link to send a message to my congressman. It took all of 30 seconds. I urge you to do the same. We’ve been trying to get parts of this bill passed for the last three Congresses and now is the time to finally get it done.

Presidential Firearms At The Cody Firearms Museum

Ashley Hlebinsky, the Robert W. Woodruff Curator at the Cody Firearms Museum, presents some of the firearms owned and presented to US presidents in this video from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

There are a number of Winchester lever actions in the collection including an 1866 presented to LBJ, an 1894 presented to Ike, and a Model 64 presented to Ronald Reagan. There is also an engraved Winchester Model 70, serial number 500,000, that was made for John F. Kennedy. As Ms. Hlebinsky points out, JFK was a Life Member of the NRA and enjoyed shooting.

Paul’s Legal Defense Fund

I posted earlier in the week regarding the need to raise funds for Paul Lathrop for his bail and legal defense. As I updated, he is now out of jail and home. However, as he told me after his meeting with his attorney yesterday in Omaha, he faces a year of uncertainty while the legal process goes on. His attorney is handling the case for a flat fee but it not a unsubstantial sum of money. This is especially true for good people of modest means like Paul and his wife Susan.

Paul and Susan with me at the SHOT Show.

What makes this so frustrating is that Paul and Susan are having their life turned upside down over an untrue and unsubstantiated accusation by a disgruntled hot-head who was the aggressor in this whole matter. Aggravating it even more is that Sarpy County, Nebraska has a poor reputation on gun rights from what I’ve been told.

Paul is forbidden by his attorney from going public with the nitty-gritty of what happened but I know Paul. I first met him at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando in 2012 and then joined The Polite Society Podcast team over a year ago.

Replacing the PayPal link is a GoGetFunding page. This was the mechanism suggested by gun rights attorney Evan Nappen. The link is below:

You can read more about this case and the appeal on our Polite Society Podcast page.
Please be as generous as you can be. The minimum is $1. Every little bit helps. Please don’t feel they don’t appreciate a small donation. They do. The broader the level of support, the better.

UPDATE: As of this morning, 126 people have donated $4,811. This puts the effort at 32% to the total needed. This is a good start and I appreciate everyone who has contributed.

Campus Carry Updates In Texas And Georgia

Two events in Texas and Georgia illustrate the advance of campus carry.

In the first event, University of Texas President Gregory L. Fenves said he “would bow to state law” regarding campus carry. He adopted the recommendations of the Campus Carry Working Group who has advised him on how to comply with the law. His decision will allow licensed concealed carry holders to carry in classrooms at the University of Texas. However, he will still work to ban firearms from most on-campus residential halls.

From the Austin Statesman:

“I do not believe handguns belong on a university campus, so this decision has been the greatest challenge of my presidency to date,” said Fenves, who has led the Austin flagship campus since June 3. “I empathize with the many faculty members, staffers, students and parents of students who signed petitions, sent emails and letters, and organized to ban guns from campus and especially classrooms.

“However, as president, I have an obligation to uphold the law. Under the law, I cannot adopt a policy that has the general effect of excluding licensed concealed handguns from campus. I agree with the working group that a classroom exclusion would have this effect.”

Fenves is confident his decision will stand up to challenges. However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has previously issued a non-binding advisory memo stating that dorms shouldn’t be off-limits to firearms.

Moving on to Georgia, the House Public Safety and Homeland Security approved HB 859 which would allow concealed carry in school buildings including classrooms. However, the bill excludes carry from dorms, sorority and fraternity houses, and athletic facilities. The bill was passed out of committee on a 10-3 vote and now goes to the House Rules Committee before it is voted on by the entire Georgia House of Representatives.

If the Georgia bill passes the House, it will go on to the Georgia Senate. Not being a Georgian, I’m not sure of the bill’s chances in the Senate. That body did remove campuses from an expansion of carry locations in a 2014 bill.

H/T Georgia Carry

Now That Chris Christie Is Out Of The Race, What Happens To This Guy?

When Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) was seriously running for the Republican nomination for President, high profile cases involving New Jersey’s unjust gun laws tended to bring clemency. In this latest case involving a Pennsylvania corrections officer who was hit by a drunk driver on his way home from Atlantic City, one has to wonder.

Ginny Simone, in a report for NRA News, discusses the case of Sgt. Ray Hughes who is facing felony charges.

A Couple Of Alerts From ISRA

The Illinois State Rifle Association has always had to fight the gun prohibitionists on many fronts. These two alerts show that nothing has changed.

First, if you live in the Cook County area, you might want to have a bun and coffee at the Corner Bakery tonight around 6:30pm.


ISRA has learned that a gun control group called “Northwest Suburbs
Organizing for Action(NWSOFA)” will be holding a recruitment and
strategy meeting this week in Arlington Heights. The NWSOFA has the
following objectives:

1. Passage of a state “dealer licensing” law which would
drastically raise the cost of firearms and ammo and eventually lead to
the closing of all gun shops in the state. The NWSOFA is a proponent of
Father Pfleger’s “Bad Apple Gun Dealer” campaign which has harassed
law-abiding firearm dealers for several years.

2. Replacing the late Justice Scalia with a gun grabber.


1. No matter where you live, you should plan on attending the NWSOFA Meeting:

WHAT: Gun control recruitment and strategy meeting

WHEN: Thursday, February 18, 2016

TIME: 6:30 PM

WHERE: The Corner Bakery, Northpoint Shopping Center, 470 E. Rand Road, Arlington Heights

NOTE: Please dress “under cover” so that you are not denied
entry to the meeting. Nobody needs to know your view on guns until the
meeting gets started.

2. Pass this alert on to all your gun owning friends and family and tell them to attend the meeting.

3. Please post this alert to any and all Internet blogs, bulletin boards, or social media sites to which you may belong.


Second, no matter where you live in Illinois, you can respond to this one. Under a bill being considered, you would need the permission of every building owner and tenant in a 1,000 yard radius to discharge a firearm while hunting. The bill exempts “licensed ranges”. That’s fine except there is no such thing in Illinois. The wording “licensed ranges” is something that has been used in Bloomberg-sponsored bills in other states. I don’t doubt that this is the origin of this bill as well.


The gun-grabbers are going all out with HB6008 in hopes of dealing a
fatal blow to hunting and target shooting here in Illinois.  We all
know that the next step would be a full out attack on defensive firearm
ownership and the shuttering of gun shops.

Under HB6008, it would
be illegal for anyone to discharge a firearm for hunting purposes
within 1,000 yards of any building without the permission of the
building owner or tenant.  Yes, that’s right – 1,000 yards!  What that
means is that if you want to bag a rabbit for dinner, you have to get
the permission of every person living or working within one square mile
of where you’re standing.  What are the odds of success with that

Meanwhile, your dinner has hippity-hopped his way down the road.

crazier is the provision in HB6008 that would make it illegal for you
to allow a dog to hunt within 1,000 yards of any building without the
permission of the building owner or tenant.  So, you’re out walking your
dog one evening and Scooby-Doo happens to flush out a couple of
sparrows.  Ruh-row…no permission from the neighbors so it’s off to the
big house for the two of you.

The gun controllers are especially
sneaky when it comes to the third provision of HB6008 – a provision
that exempts “licensed” ranges from the 1,000 yard rule.  If you feel
good about that exemption, you shouldn’t because there are no licensed
ranges in Illinois.  No license – no neighbor permission – no range. 
It’s as simple as that.


Call the bill’s main sponsor, Rep. Carol Sente at (217) 782-0499, and
POLITELY inform her that you are a lawful Illinois firearm owner and
that you won’t be fooled by what’s contained in HB6008.  Tell her that
you expect her to withdraw the bill or you will do everything in your
power to see that HB6008 is defeated and that you will work tirelessly
to prevent her from being re-elected.

2.  Call your own State
Representative and tell him or her that you are a law-abiding firearm
owner and that you deeply oppose HB6008.  Tell him or her that you
expect them to vote against the bill.  If you do not know how to get in
touch with your State Representative, then click here for the Illinois State Board of Elections

3.  Pass this alert on to your gun-owning family and friends. Tell them to make calls as well.

4.  Post this alert to any and all Internet blogs, bulletin boards or social media sites to which you may belong.

A Friend Needs Our Help (Updated)

As many of you know, I am a regular co-host of The Polite Society Podcast. Paul Lathrop is the host, producer, and creator of that podcast and he needs our help.

His regular job is that of a long-haul truck driver and he often has student drivers assigned to him. On Friday, he was training a student and they had stopped in Nebraska for refueling. This is where the incident began. The summation below by Frank Fiamingo, a fellow friend and the former president of New Jersey 2A Society, explains it well. Suffice to say, he is facing serious charges due to what I consider a false report.

Paul is a graduate of Massad Ayoob’s MAG-40 class and is sponsoring one in Sioux Falls, SD later this spring. I add this to emphasize the fact that Paul has been trained by the master in what you should and should not do when carrying concealed. Moreover, in our weekly podcasts we review defensive gun uses and what the person did right and wrong. Paul’s comments are well-reasoned and reflect how one should act in a confrontation.

Human Rights Advocate Paul Lathrop needs your help.
(Frank Jack Fiamingo)
Paul is a longtime advocate of the people’s right to self-defense. He is the author of the popular Podcast “Polite Society”. Paul is about as “salt of the earth” as you can get. A truck driver and driving instructor by trade, he and his loving wife Susan are two of the finest people on the planet.
Paul was in Nebraska with a truck driver student perfoming training. The student stopped at a station to refuel. As the student pulled away from the pump, another driver apparently felt that the student was too close to his rig. Although there was no collision, the irate driver of the other truck rushed over to the driver’s side and agressively approached the student to the point that the student felt that he was about to be assaulted.
The student told the other driver to back off. Paul also demanded that the driver back off. After some back and forth, the other driver finally went back to his vehicle and the student drove off. Unfortunately the other driver decided to call the police and accused Paul of threatening him with a gun. The student swears that he never saw a gun at any time during the confrontation, but the police stopped them and Paul was arrested.
Paul is being accused of making “terroristic” threats. Many of you are aware that that is one of the latest ploys used by ambitious prosecutors all over the nation. In addition, they included “Possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony”. Of course the “felony” is the trumped up charge of making terroristic threats. I find that to be a self-referencing, catch 22 type of charge.
In any event, many of you know Paul and those of you who don’t but who know me (Frank) can feel confident that he deserves our help and support. Paul is going to need money for bail and for a defense attorney. I am asking you to please consider helping this very deserving, hard-working advocate of our rights. Paul’s resources are modest and he really needs the help of the 2A and human rights community. Thank you.
(Susan) I am on my way to Nebraska this morning to meet with a lawyer and to hopefully get Paul out of jail. I will keep everyone updated as more information becomes available.
We are working on setting up a Go-Fund me page for Paul’s legal defense and for bail. If you would like to donate before the page is operational, you can send donations through PayPal to

Paul and his wife Susan are not wealthy people. They are salt of the earth, good-hearted people struggling like everyone else in this economy. I can only imagine the financial burden that these false accusations have put on them. I have sent money their way and I hope you will see to it in your heart to do so as well.

While we are working on setting up a donation page or GoFundMe page for Paul’s defense, please consider sending any amount you can spare to Susan by way of PayPal. Send it as a “friend and family” donation which will mean all the money goes to Susan and Paul. The email address is

UPDATE: Paul was released from jail yesterday morning and arrived home in South Dakota yesterday evening. I spoke with him last night. He is overwhelmed by the level of support he has received from the 2A community. He was rather choked up when we spoke.

He is under orders from his attorney to say nothing about the incident. He will be having a court hearing next month and is hopeful.