Uhh, That’s Not A Marlin Lever Action

Examine the picture below. It was used by The Motley Fool website to illustrate a story regarding Ruger’s completion of the Marlin Firearms acquisition as a result of the Remington bankruptcy.

For some reason I don’t think the author was the one who picked the picture used to illustrate the story. That is because the story itself was pretty much on the money when it came to the background of Marlin and the impact the Freedom Group purchase initially had on quality.

Now I don’t claim to be an authority on everything lever action but I do know a Savage 99 from a Marlin 336. I have a couple of the former and one of the latter. I also know that the rotary magazine of the Savage lent itself to the use of the cartridges with spitzer bullets shown in the picture. Marlin lever actions, being tube fed, would generally use round or flat nose bullets.

The rule of thumb for a publication should be to let someone who knows a little bit about firearms pick the picture to illustrate your story on firearms.

No NRA Petition Candidates For 2021

Unless there was someone besides Frank Tait seeking a nomination to run for the NRA Board of Directors by petition, there will be no petition candidates in the 2021 election. If you know of anyone else, please let me know in the comments.

Frank was notified yesterday that he fell short. He had submitted 725 signatures which was almost 32% greater than the required 551 valid signatures. However, he had 227 signatures disqualified for a variety of reasons. The greatest number of signatures disqualified was due to not being a member for five consecutive years.

Frank told me that he assumed that if someone went to the trouble to mail him a signed petition that the person was either a Life Member of some level or a five year member with voting privileges. He said his biggest mistake was not vetting those signatures which looked complete.

Given the restrictions on assembling in 2020 such as at gun shows, he really only had three months instead of the more normal five months to gather these signatures. I remember last year I gathered about a dozen or more valid signatures for Frank at the Grass Roots Policy Conference.

In 2017, there was a package of bylaw amendments that, among other things, raised the minimum number of signatures required from 250 to 0.5% of the number of valid votes in the preceding year. It was an all or nothing package. While some of the bylaw changes were mere housekeeping, others like changing the number of signatures required to be a petition candidate were not. Dave Hardy covered it well back then in his Of Arms and the Law blog.

I went back to read Dave’s post as well as the comments. I found the comments particularly relevant.

Ken914 wrote this, in part, on the bylaw changes:

If this is passed, the Board can assured the nominating committee, made up of Board members, will have complete control of who can run for the Board from now on. The limp-wristed celebrities, hangers-on, and 2A do-nothings that fill so so soooo many seats on the Board will be safe from the NRA membership attempting to replace them with new directors who will advocate for a full understanding of the RKBA.

Remember, this is the same BoD that defended Joaquin Jackson until his death. What could go wrong if we just let them become a closed club who hand-selects their own successors?

Jeff Knox, who urged a “no” vote on the bylaw changes wrote this:

Ken914 is spot-on in his assessment. This is an incumbent protection move, removing power from the members, and giving even more power to the Board.

David is correct that many of the changes are just housekeeping, and some of the other stuff could be justified, but this is an all-or-nothing proposal that would do serious harm.

The suggestion that Bloomberg is going to come in and take over the NRA – or stir up trouble by funding recall elections – is a straw man play. The formula they are suggesting would mean that only someone with Bloomberg’s money could possibly orchestrate a successful recall or bylaw petition.

I won’t go into the other changes wrought by the 2017 bylaw amendments. Suffice to say, it solidified power in the Board of Directors and has made another Cincinnati Revolt virtually impossible. Prior to these changes, Frank Tait would have been on the 2021 ballot.

I did vote NO on the bylaw amendments.

I am going to think long and hard before I support anyone that was nominated by the Nominations Committee for the 2021 Board election.

Dr. John Lott Is Now At DOJ

I got a LinkedIn notice yesterday telling me that Dr. John Lott had taken a position with the US Department of Justice. He is now the Senior Advisor for Research and Statistics. Unfortunately, as Dr. Lott noted to me when I congratulated him on the new position, it is a political appointment which will end when President Trump leaves office in January.

According to an article posted this morning in Yahoo News, Dr. Lott will be working in the Office of Justice Programs which is responsible for administering $5 billion annually in grants to states, police departments, and non-profits.

The article there is a repost from Politico. The headline referred to him as “controversial gun advocate”. Jeez!

Dr. Lott left the Crime Prevention Research Center on October 12th to take the DOJ job according to CPRC Executive Director Nikki Goeser.

From the article:

Lott’s role as president of CPRC was turned over earlier this month to Andrew Pollack, who emerged as a prominent pro-gun voice after his 18-year-old daughter Meadow was killed in the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in 2018.

Pollack did not respond to requests for comment, but CPRC Executive Director Nikki Goeser said the group’s pro-gun advocacy will continue.

“Since Dr. Lott left the CPRC on October 12th, much about the CPRC will remain unchanged,” Goeser told POLITICO by email.

“Research projects that we have been conducting are continuing: on the percent of gun ownership across different countries as well as our regular reports on things such as the number of concealed handgun permits, keeping track of what would have been mass public shootings that were stopped by concealed handgun permit holders will continue, keeping track of states that allow people to carry handguns at state capitols will continue, and similarly for state rules on letting teachers carry guns,” she added.

Safety Recall On Certain S&W M&P Shield EZ Pistols

Smith & Wesson has issued a safety recall on certain M&P Shield EZ pistols manufactured between March 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020. They have found cracked hammers on two of these pistols which will let them potentially have multiple discharges. The hammers were manufactured by an outside supplier for Smith & Wesson.

Smith & Wesson has identified two M&P Shield EZ Pistols on which the hammers manufactured by our supplier were cracked.  In those firearms, the hammer failed to fully engage the sear, causing the round to fire, cycling the slide, and potentially resulting in multiple discharges without depressing the trigger.  This issue can occur in the following two scenarios:

1. With a loaded magazine in the firearm and the grip safety depressed, releasing the slide (by pulling it back, or releasing the slide stop), may ignite the round as the slide closes, without engaging the trigger.  The condition may occur, regardless of the manual thumb safety position if equipped.  This may also result in multiple discharges.
 

2. With a loaded magazine in the firearm, the grip safety depressed, manual safety in the fire position, slide closed, and a round in the chamber, pulling the trigger will cause the round to fire normally, however as the slide cycles, the next round may be ignited as it is chambered by the hammer failing to fully engage the sear, causing multiple discharges.

In all cases, the firearm will NOT fire unless the grip safety is depressed.  While this condition has been found only in two hammers, and our investigation suggests that these two incidents are very isolated, any unintended discharge of a firearm has the potential to cause injury.  Therefore, we have established this Safety Recall as a precautionary measure to ensure that all M&P Shield EZ Pistols in service meet our design specifications. 

Stop using your M&P® Shield™ EZ pistol until you determine whether it is included in this safety recall, and if so, until it has been inspected and repaired by Smith & Wesson, if necessary.

PRODUCT AFFECTED:

This notice applies ONLY to M&P® Shield™ EZ pistols (including Performance Center® models) manufactured between March 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020, and only to a small percentage of that population. It does NOT apply to all SHIELD™ pistols.  To determine whether your M&P Shield EZ Pistol is affected, check the label on the box to determine date of manufacture (see image below), and if manufacture date is between March 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020 – your pistol may be affected. In this case (or if you are unsure of your date of manufacture), simply go to MPShieldEZrecall.com and input your serial number, or call 888-871-7114 .

Smith & Wesson has set up a special website where you can check your serial number to see if it is one of the impacted pistols. This recall applies to both 9mm and .380 Shield EZ pistols

You can go to the website here.

NRA Settles CarryGuard Debacle With NY State

The National Rifle Association entered into a consent order with the New York State Department of Financial Services today. The Department of Financial Services had charged the NRA with violating New York insurance law with its CarryGuard program as well as with its affiliate insurance programs.

From the NY DFS new release:

Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell today announced that the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has entered into a consent order with the National Rifle Association (NRA). On February 5, 2020, DFS served a statement of charges and notice of hearing to the NRA over violations of New York Insurance Law. That case is now resolved by a consent order that includes a civil monetary penalty of $2.5 million for violations of New York insurance laws.  

In addition, the NRA is banned from marketing insurance in the State or receiving compensation in connection with any newly issued New York insurance policies for five years, irrespective of whether the NRA obtains a license. This brings to a close a three-year investigation. 

In the consent order, DFS found that, despite lacking a license to conduct insurance business in New York, the NRA violated various New York insurance laws and regulations by, among other things, acting as an insurance producer without a license in participating in efforts to solicit and market the sale of insurance products, including the NRA’s Carry Guard insurance program. 

“The NRA operated as an unlicensed insurance producer and broke the New York Insurance Law by soliciting insurance products and receiving compensation,” said Superintendent Lacewell. “Even worse, the NRA violated the New York Insurance Law by soliciting dangerous and impermissible insurance products, including those within its Carry Guard program that purported to insure intentional acts and criminal defense costs. The Department will continue to protect the integrity of the insurance market for the purposes of safety and soundness and the good of all consumers.” 

The CarryGuard program was rushed into the market under the management of former Executive Director of General Operations and former Chief of Staff Josh Powell. As I understand it, his predecessor Kyle Weaver, then Director of General Operations, was building the program out step by step which wasn’t fast enough for the powers that be. The thought behind the program was that the NRA had helped get shall-issue concealed carry introduced in many states. However, they saw groups like USCCA offering legal defense programs which the NRA saw as making money off their hard work and they wanted in on it.

Then, Powell replaced Weaver and rushed the product to market with big fanfare at the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta. That rush has now cost the NRA $2.5 million it can ill afford to spend.

In a story from Reuters on this consent order, NRA outside counsel William Brewer III tries to put a positive spin on it.

The NRA has said it did not underwrite its insurance programs, and that like “countless” affinity groups it relied on industry experts to market products to members.. It did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to settle.

William Brewer, a lawyer for the NRA, said in a statement: “The DFS inquiry, which began with a roar, ends with a whimper.” He said the settlement has no effect on other litigation pending between New York state and the NRA.

That story also has this from Superintendent Lacewell regarding the other insurance offered through the NRA.

She also accused the NRA of misleading gun collectors, dealers, instructors, clubs and shows by promising coverage at the “lowest possible cost,” when the group typically kept between 13.7% and 21.9% of premiums paid.

2021 NRA Board Nominations

30 individuals have been nominated by the NRA Nominating Committee to run for the Board of Directors in 2021.

Rather than listing them by name, here is a photo of the list.

This does not include those who plan to run by Petition such as Frank Tait.

I’d like to point out sitting Directors who would normally be up for re-election this year that are not on the list.

First and foremost is LtCol Robert Brown. Evidently he was just a bit too free-spoken and too likely to rock the boat. I did hear a rumor that NRA President Carolyn Meadows had earlier demanded he resign from the Board.

Also missing are people like Il-Ling New, Kristy Titus, and Robert “Bob” Nosler.

What is that old saying, “the more things change, they more stay the same.” 2020 has seen the New York AG move to dissolve the NRA, Republican control of the Senate is on the edge, and a new anti-gun administration presumably (if possibly fraudulently) has been elected. So the Nominating Committee comes up with a list of the same old names with a few new ones tossed in.

All I can say is that Wayne is secure if not the organization.

Sigh.

Snark Of The Day

Writing something with just the right amount of snarkiness is an art form. Of course, we all know that Tam is the High Priestess of this. But she may have a competitor in Dov Fischer, a lawyer and rabbi, who writes for The American Spectator.

Writing about the opinion polls that were so wrong, Fischer noted that they gave Democrats the courage to tell Americans exactly what they intended to do if elected.

In the list of things the Democrats planned to do was this:

We will end the Electoral College because it is the only college left in the country that does not have a Critical Race Theory major requirement.

Given the crap being proposed at my alma mater, I think he may be correct.

“It’s Not Over Until We Say It’s Over”

Despite the mass media asserting that Joe Biden is the President-Elect and despite Biden himself standing in front of a backdrop sayin “Office of the President-Elect”, Joe Biden is not the President-Elect. The Electoral College has not met and most states have not certified their election results.

Until this happens, he is, at best, the presumptive President-Elect or the projected President-Elect.

My only other comment on this comes from future Sen. John Blutarsky.

Happy 245th Birthday, USMC

Today marks the 245th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps at Tun’s Tavern. While I never served in the armed forces and actually come from an Army family, I have a lot of respect for the Marine Corps ethos.

The Commandant’s Birthday video featuring Gen. David Berger and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Troy Black is below:

His birthday message is found here. He concludes his message by writing:

In a year of significant change and uncertainty, I am reminded of the words of American novelist, John Dos Passos, “In times of change and danger when there is a quicksand of fear under men’s reasoning, a sense of continuity with generations gone before can stretch like a lifeline across the scary present…” Never forget, what you do today becomes the foundation for the generations of Marines that will follow. There is no challenge we cannot overcome, together, by holding fast to our core values. Happy 245th Birthday Marines.

He is correct – it has been a year of change and uncertainty.

Alex Trebek RIP

As if you needed another reason to hate the year 2020, it was announced within the past hour that Alex Trebek has died from cancer. He was 80 years old and had been fighting pancreatic cancer.

Trebek had hosted Jeopardy! for almost 37 years and was an institution. I am a huge fan of the show going back to the Art Fleming days. It just won’t be the same without Alex.

From the release put out by the show today:

JEOPARDY! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. He was 80 years old.


Alex was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2019, and he continued to host JEOPARDY! for the next 18 months. Throughout that time, Alex was open and public about his battle with cancer. JEOPARDY! episodes hosted by Alex will air through December 25, 2020 (his last day in the studio was October 29). The show is not announcing plans for a new host at this time.


Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Alex hosted dozens of game shows before becoming the host of JEOPARDY! in its syndicated debut in 1984. He hosted more than 8,200 JEOPARDY! episodes over the course of nearly 37 seasons, setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a single game show. Alex won the Daytime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Game Show Host seven times and was honored with Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He received the Order of Canada honor from his nativeland in 2017.


“This is an enormous loss for the JEOPARDY! staff, crew and all of Alex’s millions of fans. He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years. Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host JEOPARDY! was an
incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen. His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever,” said Mike Richards, JEOPARDY! Executive Producer


Alex is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean, and children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky. The family has announced no plans for a service, but gifts in Alex’s memory could go to World Vision.

“Today we lost a legend and a beloved member of the Sony Pictures family,” said Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “For 37 amazing years, Alex was that comforting voice, that moment of escape and entertainment at the end of a long, hard day for millions of people around the world. He was the heart and soul of JEOPARDY! and he will be deeply missed by everyone who made him part of their lives. Our hearts go out to Jean, Matthew, Emily, and Nicky.”


“We join our colleagues at Sony Pictures in mourning the passing of Alex Trebek,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Corporation. “Alex was an extraordinary talent whose intelligence, wit and comforting presence appealed to millions of people around the world and made JEOPARDY! the outstanding show it is today.”