You are stuck at home. It doesn’t matter if it is due to a quarantine, a “shelter in place” order, or your employer has mandated it. While normally you might go to the range once a week or so, that’s out for the most part.
So what can you do? Well, make the coronavirus work for you!
Use some of the time to practice your draw, your trigger stroke, and/or your grip and use coronavirus to do it! As you can see above, I have a target that was provided by Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor himself, set up in my kitchen. The link for it is here.
If I stand on the other side of the kitchen table, I’m just about 4 yards away which is the scale this target uses. You see the numbers on it? They stand for how far away the 8 inch target would appear at 7, 10, 15, 20, and 25 yards respectively. You can use a SIRT pistol or really any UNLOADED firearm. Claude has some safety rules you should follow when dry fire practicing and you can read them here.
News comes this afternoon that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) has backed down from his order that all gun stores are non-essential and must close. His order led to a lawsuit from the Second Amendment Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition entitled Kashinsky v. Murphy.
The Second Amendment Foundation declare victory today when New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy backed away from his earlier position on gun shop operations in the state during the current COVID-19 panic, and will now allow operations by appointment.
SAF sued Murphy and acting State Police Supt. Col. Patrick Callahan in U.S. District Court last week, seeking a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. They were ultimately joined by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, Legacy Indoor Range and Armory LLC and the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Racing Rails LLC d/b/a Legend Firearms and several private citizens. Plaintiffs were represented by noted civil rights attorney David Jensen of New York and Adam Kraut of California.
“We’re delighted that Gov. Murphy has reversed course on this matter, even if it took a lawsuit to get him to do it,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Our lawsuit cut right to the heart of what the Second Amendment is all about, which is personal protection during emergency situations like the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the nation.”
Murphy found himself in the uncomfortable, and untenable, position of having to defend his armed protection detail while having closed down Garden State gun shops, making it impossible for average citizens to by even ammunition, much less a firearm.
“While we pursue litigation elsewhere,” Gottlieb said, “we’re happy that the situation in New Jersey has changed. Regardless what some politicians might think, the Second Amendment is not subject to emergency orders, same as the First, Fourth, Fifth or other constitutional protections.
“This is one more example of SAF’s ongoing mission to win back firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time,” he concluded.
The following editorial was written by my friend “ScotShot”. He is a resident of New Jersey and a firearms trainer. ScotShot is a NRA Training Counselor, a USCCA instructor, and a CCW instructor. He is also the co-founder with Klint Macro of National Train-A-Teacher Day. He has a greater appreciation for the US Constitution and especially the Second Amendment than many. That is because he grew up in a country which has no written constitutionand no such protections.
All of us gun owners across the country have been
watching, and shaking our heads with a sort of wizened “told you so”, at the
stories of people suddenly rushing to buy guns and ammunition, thanks to this
new virus from China.
We’ve reserved particular attention, and rightly so, for
our more liberal brothers and sisters who previously eschewed firearms
ownership. In most states, the worst they’ve had to deal with is a long line,
or perhaps a government mandated waiting period. Oh and yup, the mental butt
hurt that comes from realizing that their favorite 2A loophole (the internet,
gunshows, the gun-fairy..) doesn’t exist. You’d think they’d be pleased, except
now they’re learning the hard way.
Of course, in some States, it’s even more difficult,
which makes the residents of those States more at the mercy of their
Government. Let’s consider what the situation is in New Jersey, which vies with
California to have the most restrictive death-grip on the 2nd Amendment Rights
of its Citizens.
In New Jersey, if you want to buy a firearm for the first time, you need to apply for and obtain a “Firearms Purchaser Identification Card”, the FPID card. Getting one is tedious but straightforward, but usually takes around three months. So, right there, people who want to buy their first firearm in NJ as a result of this viral crisis are, as they say, S.O.L. So, no lines of frustrated gun-newbs in NJ.
“BUT!”, you say, “at least existing gun owners can get a handgun, all those over-under-only hunters and skeeters, can still protect themselves, right?” Sadly, no; to buy a handgun, FPID holders must first get a “Permit to Purchase a Pistol.” Getting one (or two, or as many as you want), is tedious but straightforward and yes you guessed it, usually takes around three months. So, no handgun for you, Elmer; you’d best resort to the Biden Protocol. Oh, you can only get one handgun a month, so too bad if something dramatic happens and you need more, like now.
Nevertheless, law-abiding FPID card owners flooded their local FFLs and consequently flooded the NICS system. Enter villain number two, the NJ State NICS System. NJ is one of the states that gets between its gun-buyers and the Federal NICS system. Soon, the NJ NICS had a backlog of over 1,000 applications and then quickly announced that it was swamped and was unlikely to be able to process these in anything other than geological time. Then, the Governor closed the NJ NICS system, after not protecting gun stores and training facilities as essential, mandating their closure. Now, that’s no guns for anyone.
On Saturday March 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced he is putting New Jersey in lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus. Per Executive Order 107, he is ordering the residents of New Jersey to stay home, directing all non-essential retail businesses closed to the public. At this time, the order includes New Jersey Firearms State Licensed Dealers. The New Jersey State Police NICS Unit is directing the vendor of the NICS Online Application (NICUSA) to turn off the NICS Online Services for submitting NICS transactions by eliminating the “Request Form” button, effective 9:00pm EST, Saturday, March 21, 2020. You will still have the ability to view the message board and the status of previously submitted transactions. This “Request Form” feature will remain off until further order by Governor Murphy.
All of this of course, against a background of a governmental supermajority that supports even greater restrictions on 2A rights, firearm types and features, ammunition registrations and so on.
Hopefully, our new brothers and sisters in most states
are getting what they want, and feel secure. Hopefully, they will go forward
from this viral crisis and obtain proper training on the safe and efficient
handling and use of their chosen firearms and hopefully, that will be happening
all across our great country.
It’s won’t be happening in New Jersey though. In New
Jersey, the State Government will use this crisis to increase its grip on the
lives of the people who live here, and their dependency on the government
March 29th has been set aside as a day we honor those who served in the Vietnam War. It was established in 2017 with the passage of the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act. The day is to recognize and commemorate the sacrifices made by those who served in Vietnam as well as that of their families.
My father, an Army lifer, served two tours of duty in Vietnam. His first tour of duty was in Cam Ranh Bay with the 544th Engineer Detachment October 1967 until October 1968. According to an Army history of the Engineers in Vietnam, this was only two years after they first arrived in Cam Ranh Bay. And yes, he was there for the Tet Offensive. Fortunately, it was not hit as hard as many other places in South Vietnam.
My dad was 52 when he left Vietnam the second time. A year later he would be given a medical retirement due to a whole host of medical problems including a TIA or mini-stroke. Whether it was due to exposure to Agent Orange or due to heavy smoking will never be known. He died from COPD 9 years later almost to the day of his medical retirement. If he were still alive, he would turn 101 in a few days from now.
In my mind’s eye, the Vietnam vet is the slightly older guy in college. In reality, they are today’s grandfathers and great-grandfathers. The last two men killed in the war – Cpl Charles McMahon and LCpl Darwin Judge – were born in 1953 and 1956 respectively. They were embassy security Marines killed in a rocket attack a day before the fall of Saigon. Judge, the younger of the two, would now be 64. That is probably the bottom end of the age cohort of Vietnam vets. Most are in the late 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Wake County (NC) Sheriff Gerald Baker should be feeling a bit uneasy right about now. That’s because three of my favorite groups – Grass Roots North Carolina, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Firearms Policy Coalition – have come together to file suit against Baker’s refusal to even take applications for the Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit.
For those that don’t know, in North Carolina, you need a pistol purchase permit to purchase a handgun regardless of whether it is from a dealer or a private individual unless you possess a NC Concealed Handgun Permit. As I’ve written about it many a time, the law was passed in 1919 in an unspoken but well understood effort to keep African-Americans, Populists, and union backers disarmed.
The suit has been filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The individual plaintiff is Kerry Stafford who decided a handgun was the proper firearm with which to defend herself and her family. After calling the Wake County sheriff’s department for an PPP application, she was refused.
The complaint alleges that Sheriff Baker has exceeded his discretion and has violated the Second and Fourteenth Amendments depriving Ms. Stafford and others of their constitutional rights under color of law. It asks that either an injunction be issued or that the requirement for a pistol purchase permit be waived until April 30th.
It is great to see these groups working together. For GRNC and SAF, it is a reprise of the joint efforts that led to the win in Bateman v. Perdue.
GRNC, SAF, FPC File Federal Lawsuit Against Wake County, NC Sheriff Over Constitutional Violations
RALEIGH, NC (March 27, 2020) — Today, attorneys for an individual Wake County, North Carolina resident, Grass Roots North Carolina, Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and Firearms Policy Coalition filed a federal lawsuit challenging Wake County Sheriff Gerald M. Baker’s recent actions infringing on Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights he announced as a response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. A copy of the lawsuit can be found at:
This latest case tracks a 2011 federal court victory in Bateman v. Perdue, also led by plaintiffs Second Amendment Foundation and Grass Roots North Carolina, which successfully challenged North Carolina statutes restricting firearms during states of emergency.
“Although Sheriff Gerald Baker claims his refusal to accept applications for pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits doesn’t infringe on individual rights, nothing could be further from the truth,” said GRNC president Paul Valone. “During this emergency, as always, GRNC intends to ensure that lawful North Carolinians have the means to protect themselves and their families.”
“Sheriff Baker is implementing by fiat what the Supreme Court struck down in Heller – a ban on a citizen’s right to purchase a handgun for the defense of hearth and home. This action cannot be allowed to stand,” said GRNC Director of Legal Affairs Ed Green.
“Times of emergency is when you need the ability to obtain the means of self-defense the most. Suspending that right is not acceptable. That is why this lawsuit is so important,” commented SAF founder and Executive Vice President, Alan Gottlieb.
“Sheriff Baker’s unconstitutional actions have and will deprive law-abiding, peaceable individuals the opportunity to obtain handguns, the ‘quintessential self-defense weapon’ according to the U.S. Supreme Court, in a time where the arms are most needed,” explained attorney and FPC Director of Legal Strategy, Adam Kraut. “Sheriff Baker’s actions to stop processing and issuing required Pistol Purchase Permits violate fundamental human rights. We are proud to join GRNC and SAF in this fight to defend the rights of North Carolinians.”
Individual arms applicants/purchasers and retailers affected by ‘stay-home’ or shutdown orders can report potential civil rights violations to FPC’s COVID-19 Issue Hotline at www.FPChotline.org.
Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Ed Green, Raymond M. DiGuiseppe, and Adam Kraut.
Grass Roots North Carolina (www.grnc.org) is North Carolina’s most effective gun rights organization. GRNC was founded in 1994 as an independent, all-volunteer 501(c)(4) not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving constitutional freedoms. The organization’s projects are primarily devoted to defending the individual right to keep and bear arms.
Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing, and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom.
I received an email yesterday afternoon from Kimber. It was detailing the impact of COVID-19 on their operations. Kimber has plants in both Yonkers, New York and Troy, Alabama. If you have spent any time watching the talking heads on TV, you know that New York has overtaken Washington State in the number of coronavirus cases.
Here is part of what was in the email:
Due to the New York state decision to shutter non-essential businesses as part of the COVID-19 response plan, Kimber Mfg. Inc. has stopped production at its New York facilities.
Production continues at Kimber’s new, state-of-the-art Troy, Alabama manufacturing facility, with the entire line of handguns and long guns being assembled. Due to the large number of parts manufactured in Yonkers and the state mandated closure in New York, the Troy facility will suspend production on March 31st. “This situation is unfortunate as we were off to an incredible start in gun shipments in 2020 and were running our factories seven days a week. We would like to thank our dealers and consumers for their overwhelmingly positive response to our 2020 new products,” said Greg Grogan, Kimber president. With that said, if you are in the market for a Kimber firearm, now is the time to make that purchase.”
Kimber’s Alabama based customer service and repair services remain open to help customers with any questions they may have. In addition, the Alabama based Kimber online store is open and products are shipping as long as inventory lasts. Montana based dealer sales and customer service departments also remain open.
The bottom line is that even though your assembly plant is in an area which only has a relatively small number of coronavirus cases, you are still impacted adversely. Alabama has 531 cases as of today versus New York State with 39,140 cases according to the Johns Hopkins University compilation. Indeed, Westchester County, NY where Yonkers is located has over 10 times as many infections as the entire state of Alabama.
Then there is the whole issue of essential versus non-essential businesses. Some states have said firearms manufacturing would be considered an essential business because it provides tools to the defense industry or to law enforcement. Other states do not consider it essential. Even if you are in a state that considers your production essential, if your subcontractor making critical parts is located in a place that takes the opposite view, you are screwed.
The firearms industry is composed of primarily small businesses. Even the largest companies like Ruger and Smith & Wesson are considered small by comparison to other manufacturers. While the products are flying out the doors now, a mid to long period of enforced closure due to the pandemic is going to hurt.
I learned yesterday that Kristie, the wife of well-known gun blogger SayUncle, passed away quite unexpectedly. Despite not showing any symptom of heart issues, she went into cardiac arrest on Friday, was later declared brain dead, and per her wishes was taken off of life support on Sunday.
On March 20th, my beloved wife and mother of my children, unexpectedly went into cardiac arrest. She had never presented any symptoms prior to then.
On March 21st, her doctor informed me that her brain was no longer functioning and there was no chance of recovery.
On March 22nd, in accordance with her wishes outlined in her living will, I authorized the medical staff to remove life support. She passed away peacefully at 8:48am central time while I held her hand. She will be missed.
March 23rd would have been our 18th anniversary.
In addition to Chance, she leaves a daughter and a son who are both in their teens.
Please pray for SayUncle and his family during this incredibly sad time. All I can say is that it is a tragedy when someone that age passes away so suddenly from natural causes. You just can’t prepare for it.
Grass Roots North Carolina issued an alert this evening asking people to contact the Wake County Sheriff’s Department concerning the suspension of accepting applications.
From what I understand, GRNC is also considering legal action in light of this violation of state law.
Sheriff Baker: No Guns for You
Surprise, surprise, surprise. Sheriff Baker is at it again. On Tuesday, March 24th, Baker announced that the Wake County Sheriffs Office will no longer be accepting applications for Pistol Purchase Permits or Concealed Handgun Permits. Under the guise of public safety, he is stripping away the one constitutional right that allows the men and women of North Carolina to keep themselves and their families safe.
Nothing under the NC Emergency Management Act gives the sheriff additional powers to restrict pistol purchase permits or concealed handgun permits during a declared state of emergency. The statute is quite clear that he has 14 days to issue or deny purchase permits, and nothing allows him to deny permits because he feels his office is too inundated with applications.
While some sheriffs have said they don’t want the public health risk of taking fingerprints for new CHPs, nothing should restrict applications for CHP renewals or PPPs.
GRNC will be calling for the repeal of the full Pistol Purchase Permit statute, as this lays bare the real reason sheriffs have lobbied to keep this leftover Jim Crow era law on the books. It gives them the power to arbitrarily deny firearms to citizens.
Call his office and repeat this message, we cannot let up: 919-856-6900
PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC : Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.
Your actions on March 24th are a direct violation of your oath of office, and are not outlined in the NC Emergency Management Act. By law, you must approve or deny permits within 14 days. I call on you to immediately restore services to Wake county for pistol purchase and concealed handgun permits.
Sheriff Gerald Baker, Sheriff of Wake County, has unilaterally suspended taking new applications for pistol purchase permits and NC Concealed Handgun Permits through April 30th. Current applications will continue to be processed.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office will suspend pistol and concealed-carry permit applications until April 30 as demand surges amid the coronavirus outbreak, Sheriff Gerald Baker announced Tuesday.
Applications that have already been submitted will continue to be processed, Baker said during a press briefing.
Pistol permit applications last week averaged 290 per day, or more than three times the roughly 90 applications per day during the same time period a year ago, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Baker said his office needs time to manage the backlog.
WRAL covered the press briefing and you can see it below. Sheriff Baker’s statement regarding pistol purchase permits and NC CHPs begins at the 5:15 mark.
Sheriff Baker has the gall to say that “it is not an emergency situation.” Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) declared a state of emergency days ago. Tons of businesses have been ordered to stay closed. The largest county in North Carolina just issued a shelter in place order and the sheriff of the second largest county says it isn’t an emergency situation. Protecting yourself and your family during a time of crisis is always an emergency situation if you don’t have the means to do it.
While Sheriff Baker may think he has the power to unilaterally suspend taking applications, state law says otherwise.
The sheriffs of any and all counties of this State shall issue to any person, firm, or corporation in any county a permit to purchase or receive any weapon mentioned in this Article from any person, firm, or corporation offering to sell or dispose of the weapon.
§ 14-404. f. goes on to say that the sheriff after doing the requisite background check has a limited time to deny or issue the permit.
Each applicant for a license or permit shall be informed by the sheriff within 14 days of the date of the application whether the license or permit will be granted or denied and, if granted, the license or permit shall be immediately issued to the applicant.
Nothing says a sheriff can suspend taking applications because “we are too busy.”
State Senators Warren Daniel (R-Burke) and Danny Britt (R-Robeson) issued a statement condemning Baker’s actions.
State law requires a sheriff to approve or reject a pistol permit within 14 days.
Sheriff Baker must immediately rescind his illegal decision to halt the sale of pistols in Wake County
People are already suspicious and on edge. It’s reckless to illegally suspend their Second Amendment rights just when they need assurance that they can trust government.
We will also be urging our colleagues in the legislature to take action during the short session to address this illegal behavior.
Justice Scalia in the Heller decision noted that “the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon.” Sheriff Baker’s unilateral decision runs afoul of court precedent as well as of black letter North Carolina law.
The NRA-ILA was quick off the mark with an alert about Sheriff Baker’s actions. It can be seen here.