SCOTUS Pick To Be Announced Tonight

President Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia will be announced tonight, in prime time, at 8pm EST. During the campaign, Mr. Trump released a list of 21 potential nominees. That list has been whittled down to the two or maybe three finalists.

The three reported to be on the final list are Judge Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 11th Circuit, and Judge William Pryor of the 5th Circuit. Of those three, Judge Pryor is considered to be the most contentious choice as he was barely confirmed when appointed to the Court of Appeals. He is also a protegee’ of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions.

According to CNN, Judges Hardiman and Gorsuch have been brought to Washington which would seem to indicate it is now down to those two.

The SCOTUS Blog has done a good job of summarizing the background of the three finalists.

All three are youngish, conservative, and have good credentials. However, only Judge Hardiman has ruled on Second Amendment issues directly. He had a 40-page dissent in Drake v. Filko which centered around the impediments that New Jersey puts on obtaining a carry permit. His dissent would make him appear to believe that the right of self-defense is guaranteed both inside and outside the home. Second Amendment attorneys David Jensen and Alan Gura were the attorneys of record for the plaintiff in the appeal. Jensen commented on a post I had on Facebook today that he thought it was a good dissent. That sounds good to me.
Of course, given President Trump, this could all be window-dressing and he nominates either Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). They would already be in DC and bringing Judges Hardiman and Gorsuch to town was to throw off the media.

UPDATE: Politico and Independent Journal Review are reporting that “Trump insiders” have confirmed that Judge Neil Gorsuch will get the nod. We’ll see.

UPDATE II: Interesting trivia on Judge Gorsuch – his mother was Ronald Reagan’s first head of the EPA, Anne Gorsuch, who was forced out of office over a House contempt citation pertaining to toxic waste clean-up records. She was never charged with a crime despite allegations.

North Carolina Offers Turkey Hunting Seminars

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission in conjunction with the National Wild Turkey Federation will be offering free turkey hunting seminars across the state in March. It is intended for both beginners and advanced hunters in advance of the spring turkey season.

As an aside, have you ever noticed how many turkeys you see within urban areas and in the city limits when turkey season starts?

More details and locations from the NCWRC below:

RALEIGH, N.C. (Jan. 30, 2017) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with the National Wild Turkey Federation, is offering 14 free turkey hunting seminars across the state in March.

The seminars, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., are open on a first-come, first-serve basis to all ages and skill levels, although participants 16 years and younger will need parental permission to register. Pre-registration is required and participants must register online.

Among the topics that will be covered during the seminars are biology, hunting methods, calls and decoys, firearms and ammo tips, camouflage clothing, and turkey processing and cooking techniques. A question-and-answer session, along with a brief overview of hunter recruitment, retention and re-activation (R3) initiatives, will conclude each seminar.

Dates and locations are:

March 1

Pitt County Extension Center, Pitt County
403 Government Circle, Suite 2, Greenville, NC 27834
GPS Coordinates: (35.638284, -77.360689)

March 2

N.C. State University Engineering Building II (EBII), Wake County
Classroom 1025
3114 Engineering Building II
890 Oval Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606
GPS coordinates: (35.772173, -78.674353)

March 7

Pasquotank County Extension Center, Pasquotank County
1209 McPherson Street, Elizabeth City, NC 27909
GPS Coordinates: (36.298477, -76.235738)

March 8

Onslow County Extension Center, Onslow County
4024 Richlands Hwy., Jacksonville, NC 28540
GPS Coordinates: (34.781641, -77.494023)

March 9

Craven County Extension Center, Craven County
300 Industrial Drive, New Bern, NC 28562
GPS Coordinates: (35.142969, -77.158907)

March 14

Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center, Buncombe County
455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759
GPS Coordinates: (35.424879, -82.560748)

March 15

Cumberland County Extension Center, Cumberland County
301 East Mountain Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28306
GPS Coordinates: (35.012639, -78.893928)

March 16

Bass Pro Shops, Cabarrus County
8181 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord, NC 28027
GPS Coordinates: (35.367147, -80.718964)

March 21

Brunswick County Extension Center, BLDG. N, Brunswick County
25 Referendum Drive, Bolivia, NC 28422
GPS Coordinates: (34.056713, -78.165797)

March 22

Haywood Community College, Haywood County
185 Freedlander Drive, Clyde, NC 28721
GPS Coordinates: (35.525949, -82.927936)

March 23

Caldwell County Extension Center, Caldwell County
120 Hospital Avenue NE/Suite 1, Lenoir NC 28645
GPS Coordinates: (35.922477, -81.523500)

March 28

Catawba County Extension Center, Catawba County
1175 South Brady Avenue, Newton NC 28658
GPS Coordinates: (35.647028, -81.223360)

March 29

Forsyth County Extension Center, Forsyth County
1450 Fairchild Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27105
GPS Coordinates: (36.128816, -80.225864)

March 30

Guilford County Extension Center, Guilford County
3309 Burlington Road, Greensboro, NC 27405
GPS coordinates: (36.084624, -79.738867)

“This is the third year the Wildlife Commission and the National Wild Turkey Federation have offered these expanded, statewide seminars prior to the start of the spring gobbler season and they have been very popular with both novice and experienced turkey hunters,” said Walter “Deet” James, the Wildlife Commission’s hunting heritage biologist. “New for 2017, we have combined both introduction and advanced segments into one seminar thereby eliminating redundancy and the need to attend multiple seminars. In short, we will continue to improve the cooperative seminar series based on conservation partner and attendee feedback.”

The statewide season for male or bearded turkey only is April 8 through May 6, with a youth-only week from April 1-7. Regulations and restrictions on turkey hunting, including information on youth season, are available in the 2016-17 Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest.

For additional information, contact James at 919-707-0059; mobile, 984-202-1387 or

Visit and click on the “What to Hunt” link for information about wild turkeys in North Carolina.

Punching Back Twice As Hard

Everytown for Gun Safety (sic) likes to parachute their New York attorneys into states out West in order to push their gun control agenda. This is why you get initiatives in Nevada and Washington State and bills like in Colorado that read like New York law and not the laws of those respective states.

Another place Everytown has parachuted one of their carpetbagging attorneys is Missoula, Montana, They are successfully sought to have the City of Missoula adopt an ordinance that would force NICS checks on all private transfers even though this is in conflict with state law.  Attorney General Tim Fox issued an opinion on this matter which states, “the Montana Legislature has prohibited all forms of local government from exercising regulatory power over the purchase, sale or transfer of firearms.”

The city is home to the University of Montana. That plus the school system and the two hospitals are the largest employers in the city. As you might guess, the city trends liberal and tends to be a blue spot in a sea of red. Clinton beat Trump here 53% to 37%. It was only one of six Montana counties that Clinton carried out of a total of 56 counties.

However, Everytown and their carpetbagging attorney did not count on Gary Marbut and the Montana Shooting Sports Association. Using freedom of information requests, they established that Everytown attorney Jonas Oransky provided certain council members what appears to be legal advice on the Missoula ordinance and its legality. Mr. Oransky, however, is not licensed to practice law in the state of Montana. It is illegal in Montana like in most states to practice law without a license.

Marbut and the MSSA have filed a formal complaint with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel with copies to the Montana State Bar Association and the Montana Attorney General’s Office. Marbut had this to say:

“It is a criminal act in Montana for a person who is not licensed to practice law to hold himself out as an attorney and to provide legal advice or services. It would be disappointing if members of the Missoula City Council have relied on criminal acts of someone from New York City in formulating public policy deemed suitable for Montana people.”

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel is saying that they don’t have jurisdiction over Mr. Oransky. However, both the State Bar and the Attorney General’s Office say they are investigating the matter. Mr. Oransky declined to comment to local radio station KGVO on the issue. Missoula Councilman Bryan von Lossberg confirmed that he reached out to Mr. Oransky for advice but said he was not under any retainer.

Bar associations tend to be very protective of their local turf and do not take kindly to unlicensed, out of state attorneys practicing law in their state. This is a great move on the part of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. Other local and state gun rights organizations would be wise to emulate them and use their own state’s FOIA to dig into communications between public officials and Everytown. Where it can be established that apparent legal advice was given, it’s time to nail them if the attorney is not licensed in that state. Carpetbaggers who connive with local scallywags to limit enumerated civil rights should be dealt with harshly.

For Illinois Residents – A Tax Alert

The power to tax is the power to destroy is an abridged quote from the great orator, lawyer, and politician Daniel Webster. Illinois politicians know this all too well and now are seeking to add a 5% tax to club membership dues. So if your local rifle and pistol club charges you $200 a year in dues, your actual cost will now be $210 with that extra $10 going to the State of Illinois.

Illinois Carry has issued an alert on SB009 which, due to an amendment, would impose this very tax. Senate Amendment 2 specifically includes gun clubs, hunting clubs, and fishing clubs by name as “amusements”.  I know that the Prairie State’s finances are none too solid but I think a tax on the right of association as it were is going too far.

From Illinois Carry:

Call to
Action – Oppose SB009 Revenue Various
(Tax on gun
clubs, ranges, and hunting clubs)
Your State Senators This Week!
In our first Call to Action of the
newly seated 100th General Assembly, we bring to your attention
Revenue Various
started as a simple question of creating new taxes, a question too easily
answered “yes” in this state.  It is now more than that.
 Much more. 
Senate Amendment 2 seeks to impose 5%
membership and service taxes:
> In addition to the amusement
tax on ranges already imposed by several municipalities
> In addition to the Cook County tax on firearms and ammunition
> In addition to the proposed fees covering the cost of serializing
ammunition under HB271
> In addition to the already costly training and license fees required to
carry a concealed firearm in Illinois
> In addition to the cost of hunting licenses
> In addition to current local, state and federal sales taxes on products
associated with membership and use of hunting and gun clubs, training, and
These new taxes were
not, of course, presented in a forthright way that would foster open debate.
 Instead, they were hidden in amendments to SB009 among a plethora of
other taxes, filed quickly and quietly on a bill positioned to move through the
Senate at a moment’s notice.
We must recognize that
the more the state taxes our ability to train, compete, and hunt the more it
discourages the very practices that foster safe firearm ownership.  The
more it encourages people to purchase products and services elsewhere.​
The truth will be SB009’s greatest obstacle.
 Spread some truth, and spread our rights.
Beginning Monday, 1/30/2017, please
contact your State Senators in their district offices. Politely explain that
SB009 is no longer as it seems. Let them know that while we can debate the
wisdom of burdening Illinois with additional taxes one thing is not debatable.
The State does not have proper authority to tax our Second Amendment rights.
Contact information for your State Senator can be found here.

New SSA Regulation May Be Overturned

The recently adopted Social Security Administration regulation that would report some seniors and disability recipients as mentally deficient to the NICS system will come under review by Congress. That regulation deemed that anyone who required a trustee or custodian to manage their monies to be mentally deficient. The NRA reports that Congress will now review this regulation under the Congressional Review Act with the aim to overturn it.

This is good news and I would hope that they review the similar policy or regulation at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

From the NRA-ILA:

Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today scored a victory when Congress agreed to review, and likely revoke, a final rule by the Obama administration that would blindly strip law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights.

“Congress’s decision to review the Obama administration’s back-door gun grab is a significant step forward in protecting a fundamental constitutional right for law-abiding gun owners,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The NRA has been fighting this unconstitutional government overreach since it was first discussed and we look forward to swift congressional action.”

Last year, the Social Security Administration finalized a proposed rule to ban certain recipients who use a representative payee from owning firearms. This ill-conceived action affected the most vulnerable in America and stripped them of their right to keep and bear arms without due process.

The NRA immediately opposed the Obama administration’s efforts when the proposal was first announced in summer of 2015. The NRA has fought every step of the way to ensure that social security recipients are not stripped of their rights without due process of law.

Today, we learned that Congress will review the Obama administration’s unconstitutional ban under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). CRA allows Congress to dispose of any actions an outgoing administration initiates in its last six months. This final rule falls under that time frame, and the review process is expected to move forward in the House and receive a vote as early as next week.

Imminent revocation of this egregious government action marks the culmination of the NRA’s diligent efforts on behalf of its members and law-abiding gun owners.

“This is a new era for freedom-loving Americans and the NRA is excited to begin work with our pro-Second Amendment president and Congress to ensure that law-abiding Americans’ constitutional rights are respected,” concluded Cox.

The NRA thanks congressmen Sam Johnson (R-TX), Ralph Abraham (R-LA) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) for their work on this effort. It would also like to thank Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for their leadership on this issue.

Something To Remember

Sometimes those of us who live in what I affectionately call free states forget that there still is a vibrant gun culture in states with draconian gun laws like New York, or Massachusetts or California. While it is all too easy to just say that gun owners should move out of those states, family or work obligations often make this impossible.

The vibrancy of the gun culture “behind enemy lines” can be shown in this report about a gun show held this past weekend at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York.

The Westchester County Council had voted to ban gun shows on county-owned property but County Executive Rob Astorino (R-Westchester) vetoed it. As such, the gun show went on.

At 8:30 a.m., the line to enter Saturday’s gun and knife show was already wrapped around the side of the Westchester County Center. By 3 p.m., the steady-moving line was just as long.

County Executive Rob Astorino said attendance numbers from the first day of the show were expected to break the anticipated two-day total. Astorino vetoed legislation Thursday that moved to ban gun shows on county-owned property.

“I tried to look at this issue not in the emotional way, as some people wanted me to do it,” he said. “There was no justification to ban a gun show based on the facts and based on the law.”

This was the first time in four years that a gun show had been held at the center. The last one was scheduled in early 2013 but was cancelled due to reaction to the Newtown school murders.

H/T Stephen Wenger

Olympic Arms To Close Its Doors

Olympic Arms, one of the earliest makers of AR-15 clones, has announced that it is closing its door at the end of February. Long before there was a Stag or Daniel Defense there was Olympic Arms. According to their website’s serial number history, they began making their ARs in 1979.

I don’t know if this a general trend or merely an older company that was eclipsed by the younger, more innovative companies. I would tend to think it is the latter and not the former.

I do remember my friend Milo being all excited when he got his Olympic Arms AR-15. I had an email from his describing how he and his son John carefully broke it in. I’m guessing this was during the early years of the Clinton assault weapon (sic) ban.

Here is the announcement from the Olympic Arms website:

After more than 40 years of business, it is with great sorrow that we announce that February 28th, 2017 will be the last day of operation for Olympic Arms, Inc.
The Schuetz family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to all their friends, associates, and partners that have been a part of the Olympic Arms experience. Most of all we would like to thank our loyal customers and patrons who have been with us all this time.
In the course of closing, we are announcing the following changes in policy effective immediately:
  1. All sales are final.
  2. No refunds or returns will be accepted after 1-25-2017.
  3. On-line Shopping Cart will be active and effective while supplies last.
  4. All Warranty service ceases 1-25-2017. Warranty work and repairs currently in-house will be serviced and returned.
  5. New orders will only be taken for inventory currently in stock, or that can be built from remaining inventory.
  6. All inventory will be liquidated.
  7. ALL SALES will cease at close of business 28 February, 2017
 Thank you for your patronage.

A Humorous Look At Etiquette For SHOT Show Attendees.

Shawn from We Like and Sara of Kitfox Design Group have collaborated to produce a humorous video on etiquette for attendees at the SHOT Show. It looks at stuff like spreading germs, producing noxious gases, those infernal rolling milk crates, slow walkers, and other stuff.

The only thing I might partially disagree with is “patch whores”. The old Boy Scout in me loves patch collecting and I actually do have a couple of patch displays from past NRA and SHOT Shows. I would agree with them on those who are greedy about it and take piles of patches. They are just greedy.

It’s fun to think of the SHOT Show as one big gun show where you get to handle all the new cool stuff and a fun time is had by all. However, the SHOT Show is about business. It is about selling product and getting orders that could range into the millions of dollars. Even media is there on business whether it is about getting a new sponsor for their podcast or a freelancer arranging the evaluation of a new product that will lead to multiple story placements.

So with that in mind, enjoy this video from Shawn and Sara.

H/T Ben Langlotz

I’m Amused

Jane Jetson haircut?

Not going to take fashion tips from some former Monsanto PR-hack?

I have no clue what the Demanding Mommy herself Shannon Watts had to say about Dana Loesch but it must have been catty. I know they go at each other on Twitter all the time.

Dana’s response on NRA TV to Grant Stinchfield amused me no end.

Jane Jetson haircut, bwahahahahaha! I wonder if Watts has a dog named Astro…

UPDATE: Thanks to Todd Vandermyde, I now know the backstory. You can read about it here. I’m still laughing about the Jane Jetson haircut.

SHOT Show Through Foreign Eyes

Sometimes it is better to look at something familiar through different eyes. Polenar Tactical is a group of shooters from Slovenia who produce some pretty cool videos on YouTube and Full 30 which have  found a following here in the United States.

Zigo, Samo, and Manca (she’s the cute one) are first time visitors to both the US and the SHOT Show. This video is a record of their journey from Slovenia to Las Vegas and their experiences at Industry Day at the Range. You will see some other familiar faces such as Ian and Karl from Forgotten Weapons as they traverse the range.

There are only two comments I would make. If you ever start to feel jaded and bored by the SHOT Show experience just watch this video to recapture some of that newbie enthusiasm. The other comment is that I think the first English adjective learned by young Europeans must be “fucking” as it is used a lot in this video. Tender ears be warned.