Criminal Carry?

The anti-rights lobby has now coined a new word. It is “criminal carry”. I learned it when I saw this tweet by the Demanding Mommy herself, Shannon Watts.

Of course, she has characterized permitless or constitutional carry by that epithet. As to the Demanding Moms actually stopping that bill in Tennessee, let’s just say that Mrs. Watts is never shy about taking credit when no credit is due her.

Given the right to keep and bear arms is an enumerated right, I’d like to take Mrs. Watts’ classification of one enumerated right to its illogical extreme by applying it to other enumerated rioghts.

So is it free speech or criminal speech that is protected by the First Amendment?

Is it the free exercise of religion or the criminal exercise of religion?

Is it due process of law or criminal process of law?

Is it a free press or a criminal press?

Is it the right to peaceably assemble or is it a right to criminally assemble?

The list could go on but you get what I’m saying. Someone may not like my right to exercise a constitutional right but to denigrate it diminishes all rights. Too bad Mrs. Watts is not smart enough to realize that.

A First-Class Gunsmithing Program

A couple of weeks ago I got to tour the workshops and classrooms of the gunsmithing program at Montgomery Community College in Troy, North Carolina. To say I was impressed by the facilities is an understatement.

I was given the tour by Len Fagan who is one of the instructors. He also teaches most of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Management classes. Prior to coming to MCC, Len was the lead gunsmith for Alexander Arms as well as was the owner of Old Lodge Armory in Willis, VA.

The first room I saw had both milling machines and metal lathes.

Adjacent to this workshop were both a couple of classrooms as well as another workshop with both milling machines and lathes. The classrooms are not your average classroom with desks. Rather, they have six to ten heavy duty worktables with one to two bench vises attached on each. Companies such as MidwayUSA and Brownells have been very supportive of this program.

From Facebook

Mark Dye is the head of the program. Like Len, he is a graduate of the program himself. He also was a gunsmith with both Clark Guns in Louisiana and Bowen Classic Arms in Tennessee before going out on his own. In addition, he is the inventor of the Drop-In Trigger System for 1911s being marketed by Nighthawk Customs. It is essentially a drop-in trigger job.

Moving on, the equipment available for students includes:

  • 28 lathes
  • 13 Bridgeport type milling machines
  • 2 precision surface grinders
  • 1 CNC milling center
  • 3 commercial spray booths for Cerakote
  • Arms room with 350+ firearms for classroom examples and training aids
  • A myriad of bench and belt grinding equipment
  • Welding equipment¬†
  • Heat treating furnace
  • Hot bluing tanks

The MidwayUSA Arms Room has a wide assortment of firearms with which students can tinker.

If you work on firearms then you need a place to test them. They have two 100-yard ranges on campus which they share with the law enforcement program.

In addition to the regular degree and certificate program, they are one of four schools certified to offer NRA short-term gunsmithing classes and the only one east of the Mississippi. These classes range from an AR-15 armorer’s class up to building your own custom 1911 from a kit. They also will have classes on knife making, shooting, reloading, and finishing. I could easily see myself taking one or more of these classes.

Carolina All Out is a regional TV outdoor program available on cable in the Carolina as well as YouTube. They featured two episodes on the gunsmithing program at Montgomery Community College. The first featured rebarreling a Remington 700 and the second featured taking the rifle’s accuracy to the next stage by bedding and load development. Seen together, you get a good feel for the facilities and the expertise of instructors such as Len Fagan and Mark Dye.

If you are interested in learning more about gunsmithing as either a career or just because you want to tinker on your own firearms, I can recommend Montgomery Community College. In the interest of full disclosure, I will be graduating in less than two weeks from their Hunting and Shooting Sports Management program making me an alumnus of MCC. Nonetheless, I think they are one of the premier gunsmithing programs in the nation.

“Camera” Hogg Throws Everytown Under The Bus

David “Camera” Hogg, the most famous non-victim from the Parkland school shootings, just threw Michael Bloomberg and Everytown for Gun Safety under the bus.

In the tweet below you can read him bemoaning the fact that gun control isn’t happening sooner and suggesting that every politician, Democrat or Republican, needs to be bought off.

I’m not sure what “hmu” means but he is called out on his tweet by someone named Ben Davis. Hogg’s response is to throw Bloomberg, Everytown, and probably Shannon Watts as well under the bus.

While I’m glad that Everytown is ineffective at their astroturfing, it is a bit unseemly to bite the hand that has been feeding you for so long.

Oh, what the heck, bite that hand Mr. Hogg. There is nothing I like better than to see disarray among the gun prohibitionists.

Went To Troy; Saw This Guy

I had to be at Montgomery Community College in Troy, North Carolina this afternoon. I am getting my Associates in Applied Science from there in Hunting and Shooting Sports Management. Graduation is next month and I needed to pick up my cap and gown. In addition, I wanted to meet a couple of the instructors in that program and in their well-regarded gunsmithing program.

The head of the gunsmithing program, Mark Dye, was delayed because he and the college president were giving a tour of their workshops and other facilities to a visiting “dignitary”. I happened to see the dignitary and thought he looked familiar.

From the Richmond County Daily Journal

He should!

It was Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) who is the front runner in the GOP primary for the US Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC).

Budd, who owns a gun shop and range, has the recommendation of the GRNC-PVF as well as the endorsement of Donald Trump and Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R-NC). I thought it was appropriate that the one area of the college that he wanted to visit was the gunsmithing workshops and classrooms. He may have visited other areas but this is where he was spending a good deal of time.

Lexington And Concord In 4 Minutes

Today marks the 247th anniversary of the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”. Just like then, the government of the day is making moves against the possession of firearms. In this case, it is personally made firearms to which they have applied the pejorative term “ghost gun” (sic) in order to demonize them. Instead of red-coated British regulars marching on Lexington and Concord, I imagine it will be black-clad ATF special agents conducting dawn raids on the homes of hobbyists.

Enough about the modern-day lobsterbacks. It is time to celebrate the insurrectionists of April 19th. I came across this video which summarizes Lexington and Concord in 4 minutes.

In doing research for this post, I also discovered Paul Revere’s account of the night of April 18th and the events leading up to it. His account was written in 1798 at the request of Jeremy Belknap of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Bearing in mind that it was written 23 years after the fact, it is still an interesting account of both that night and the personalities involved in opposing the British.

You can find the original here and a post containing the transcription here. Thanks to the Conservative Treehouse for bringing this interesting bit of history to light.

GRNC-PVF Releases NC Primary Recommendations

The Grass Roots North Carolina – Political Victory Fund has released their recommendations for the May primary. As a reminder, GRNC-PVF makes recommendations – not endorsements – after reviewing each candidate’s response to their questionnaire as well as their past voting record (if any). Unlike some organizations like the NRA-PVF, it does not automatically give a preference to incumbents.

They only make recommendations when there is a contested primary. Moreover, if a candidate blows off the questionnaire, they get a 0* rating.

From the GRNC-PVF release that came out last night:

2022 GRNC-PVF Candidate Recommendations(Listings include only districts with primary races)

Candidate recommendations versus evaluations: Below are recommendations for effective voting strategies by the Grass Roots North Carolina Political Victory Fund. Candidate¬†recommendations, which are more limited than blanket ‚Äúendorsements,‚ÄĚ are not made in all races, only in races where a clear pro-gun candidate stands out or where strategic voting is necessary to keep anti-gun candidates out of office. Note that in most cases, even pro-gun candidates are not included unless they have a primary election challenger.Recommendations differ from GRNC candidate evaluations. While the evaluations are intended to provide an objective measure of where candidates stand on Second Amendment issues, GRNC‚ÄďPVF recommendations are analytical and therefore subject to interpretation. For a full explanation of GRNC‚Äôs objective star evaluations, go to:¬†2022 Candidate EvaluationsImportant notes:

1.       Candidates who lack voting records or other history on Second Amendment issues and who fail to return GRNC’s candidate survey automatically receive a 0-star evaluation on the assumption that they are hiding their position from gun voters. Every election year, we receive complaints about ostensibly pro-gun candidates who receive zero star evaluations due to failure to return the survey. Each candidate is mailed a survey to the address he or she registered with the State Board of Elections. If they fail to return the survey, we cannot help candidates who will not help themselves.

2.       GRNC-PVF candidate recommendations generally are NOT blanket endorsements. We have analyzed nearly 200 races across the state. Unless otherwise stipulated, GRNC does not evaluate candidates on issues other than support for the Second Amendment. A GRNC-PVF recommendation does NOT reflect the candidate’s stance on other issues, and it does not reflect likelihood of winning a given race. The recommendation is merely our estimate of which candidate in a given race is most pro-gun.

3.       GRNC-PVF candidate recommendations are not given in all races. They are given only for races in which there are clear differences between the Second Amendment stances of candidates and are generally not provided for races in which a candidate is unopposed.

4.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Candidate evaluation listings: After each candidate‚Äôs name, his or her voting record (if applicable) or survey score is placed in parentheses along with their GRNC star evaluation (e.g. ****). ‚ÄúNR‚ÄĚ indicates the candidate refused to return GRNC‚Äôs survey. If the candidate lacks a voting record, he or she gets a 0-star evaluation on the presumption that they are hiding their position.

5.       Recommended candidates: Recommended candidates’ names are printed in bold, upper case font (e.g. JOE SMITH).

Voter deadlines and instructions:
‚Ėļ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†April 22: Deadline for voter registration or to update registration (e.g. for an address change).¬†Click here¬†for details. To check your voter registration,¬†click here. Note: If you are registered as ‚Äúunaffiliated,‚ÄĚ you may vote in¬†either¬†the Democrat or Republican primary election.
‚Ėļ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†April 28: Primary election One Stop Early Voting begins.¬†Click here¬†for details.¬†Click here¬†to find your One Stop Early Voting place.
‚Ėļ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†May 10 at 5:00 PM: Last day to submit an absentee ballot request form.¬†Click here¬†for information on voting by mail.
‚Ėļ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†May 14 at 3:00 PM: One Stop Early Voting ends.
‚Ėļ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†May 17, 2022, 6:30 AM ‚Äď 7:30 PM: Primary Election Day:¬†Click here¬†to find your polling place on Election Day.



US SENATE (R)To replace retiring Sen. Richard Burr, the clear standout for gun voters in the race is Rep.¬†TED BUDD¬†(GRNC¬†****). Not only was Budd a Life member of GRNC long before running for Congress, he is also a gun shop owner. More importantly, he has compiled the best record on Second Amendment issues of any legislator in the NC delegation to Congress, including a 100% pro-gun voting record and co-sponsorship of several pro-gun bills. Budd and Rep. Dan Bishop have the distinction of being the only members of the NC delegation to vote against the National Defense Authorization Act because it contained ‚Äúred flag‚ÄĚ gun confiscation for military members.¬†¬†By contrast, opponent Pat McCrory (GRNC ***) is a RINO (‚ÄúRepublican in Name Only‚ÄĚ) of the first order who has used a variety of false accusations to attack Budd. Worse, North Carolinians are still saddled with our Jim Crow era pistol purchase permit law ‚Äď which urban sheriffs are using to obstruct handgun purchases ‚Äď thanks to McCrory. In 2013, as governor, he threatened to veto omnibus pro-gun House Bill 937 unless the purchase permit repeal was removed from the bill.

Although some gun voters have supported Mark Walker in the race, he has no chance of winning the Republican nomination and acts principally as a spoiler by siphoning off votes needed by Budd to defeat McCrory. In this race, GRNC-PVF strongly recommends you vote for TED BUDD.


Unfortunately, we are dealing with congressional districts imposed on us by the ‚Äúspecial masters‚ÄĚ which the Democrat-controlled NC Supreme Court selected to redraw districts after rejecting those drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature. Despite our Republican-leaning state, the ‚Äúspecial masters‚ÄĚ drew districts which, in normal election years, would yield 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans, effectively costing Republicans two seats. Given that NC picked up a congressional seat and that districts are new, the following analysis will also contain the partisan leaning of each district.

District 1 (R): In this Democrat-leaning (D+5) district, the Republican primary features 8 candidates, only three of which returned GRNC’s candidate survey: SANDY ROBERSON (100%, ****), SANDY SMITH (100%, ****), and BILLY STRICKLAND (100%, ****). Given identical survey scores and GRNC evaluations, GRNC-PVF can only recommend that you pick one of the three.

District 2: In this solidly Democrat (D+13) district, no Republican returned the GRNC survey. The seat is currently held by anti-gun Democrat Deborah Ross (0-star). GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in this district.

District 3 (R): In this solidly Republican (R+12) district, incumbent Greg Murphy (****) faces a field of four Republican challengers in which Brian Michael Friend and George J. Papastrat, returned the GRNC survey with scores of 93 and 91, respectively, giving both 4-star (****) evaluations. Because Murphy has dropped two gun votes in recent sessions of Congress, GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in the district.

District 4 (R): In what is the most Democrat district in NC (D+16), perennial anti-gun Democrat David Price retired, but with no less than 8 0-star Democrats vying to replace him, things in the district are not likely to improve. That said, in the race for the Republican nomination, GRNC-PVF recommends ROBERT THOMAS (GRNC survey: 98%, ****) over Courtney Geels (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star). 

District 5 (R): In this solidly Republican (R+10) district, GRNC-PVF recommends incumbent VIRGINIA FOXX (****) over challenger Michael Ackerman (survey: NR, 0-star), but notes that Foxx has dropped gun votes in recent sessions of Congress and should be watched carefully.

District 6 (R): In this Democrat-leaning (D+6) district, 7 Republicans are vying for the nomination to face anti-gun incumbent Kathy Manning (0-star). Mary Ann Contogiannis, Lee Haywood, William (Bill) Schuch, and Laura Pichardo returned GRNC’s survey, scoring 100, 98, 91 and 73, respectively. On the basis of Haywood’s history of conservative political activism, GRNC-PVF recommends LEE HAYWOOD. 

District 7 (R): In this Republican-leaning (R+5) district, incumbent David Rouzer (pro-gun votes: 93%, ****) faces Max Southworth-Beckwith (GRNC survey: 98%, ****). Based on Rouzer’s long history of pro-gun votes, GRNC-PVF recommends DAVID ROUZER, but cautions that Rouzer did drop one vote in the current session of Congress.

District 8 (R):¬†In this solidly Republican (R+17) district, incumbent Dan Bishop (pro-gun votes: 96%,¬†****) does not face a primary challenger, but deserves kudos for voting against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) because it contained ‚Äúred flag‚ÄĚ gun confiscation measures for military personnel. Among the NC delegation, only Bishop and Rep. Ted Budd had the guts to vote against the NDAA.

District 9 (R): In the most neutral of Republican-leaning (R+3) districts drawn, incumbent Richard Hudson (pro-gun votes: 82%, ****) faces 3 challengers, including Mike Andriani (GRNC survey 100%, ****) and Francisco Rios (GRNC survey: 100%, ****). Given two 4-star challengers and the fact that Hudson has dropped two gun votes in recent sessions of Congress, GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in this primary.

District 10 (R): In NC’s most Republican congressional district (R+19) Congressman Patrick McHenry (pro-gun votes: 92%, ****) faces four primary challengers. McHenry has been a friend of gun owners ever since his service in the NC House, including his effort to ensure passage of a clean concealed handgun reciprocity bill. Therefore, we are deeply concerned that Rep. McHenry recently dropped the NDAA vote described above. Owing to his long history of service to gun owners, GRNC-PVF continues to recommend PATRICK MCHENRY, but notes that with a primary featuring pro-gun Jeff Gregory (GRNC survey: 98%, GRNC ****), Congressman McHenry needs to focus on avoiding the inherently corrupting influences of incumbency.

District 11 (R): The Republican primary for this Republican-leaning (R+5) district is a slugfest featuring 7 Republican challengers to incumbent Republican Madison Cawthorn (pro-gun votes: 89%, ****). Cawthorn has made a series of gaffs, including being reprimanded by Republican leadership, which damage his legislative effectiveness. Combined with dropping the NDAA vote in his first term in office (he says he voted for it knowing the red flag language would be stripped in the Senate), gun voters in the district should consider replacing him. That replacement should NOT, however, be Wendy Marie-Limbaugh Nevarez, whom leftist Democrat Moe Davis (defeated by Cawthorn in 2020) recruited and for whom he is recruiting Democrats to change registration to vote for her. Challengers Rod Honeycutt and Michele V. Woodhouse both scored 100 on GRNC’s survey, earning 4-star evaluations, but the standout is Rep. CHUCK EDWARDS (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****), who is not only a federally licensed gun dealer, but has a 100% voting record in the NC House Senate and has helped GRNC pass pro-gun legislation through the legislature. GRNC-PVF recommends CHUCK EDWARDS. 

District 12: In this D+14 Democrat district, none of the 3 Republican challengers completed GRNC’s survey, giving all of them 0-star evaluations. But it doesn’t really matter because none of them can defeat ensconced leftist Democrat Alma Adams (0-star). 

District 13 (R):¬†The race for this open seat in the most competitive ‚Äúswing‚ÄĚ (D+1) district in the state features no less than 8 Republicans, 5 of which refused to return GRNC‚Äôs survey, earning them the lowest 0-star evaluation. The three 4-star Republicans are Renee Ellmers, DeVan Barbour, and Bo Hines. In previous service in the US House, Ellmers proved to be a disappointment. Trump has endorsed Hines, but some Johnston County Republicans object that he hasn‚Äôt lived in the district.¬†GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in this race.

District 14: In this new, Democrat-leaning (D+6) district, the only candidate to return the GRNC survey was Jonathan Simpson, who scored only 79, earning a poor 2-star (**) evaluation. GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in this race.


NC JUDICIAL RACES The redistricting debacle, in which activist Democrats on the NC Supreme Court invented reasons to reduce the number of conservatives NC sends to Washington, emphasizes why Second Amendment voters MUST vote in judicial elections. Two seats on the NC Supreme Court and four on the NC Court of Appeals will be on the ballot in the state’s 2022 elections with majority control up for grabs in on each court. In particular, Republicans stand an excellent chance of reversing the 4-3 majority currently held by Democrats.

NC Supreme Court Seat 3: For this open seat, there are no primaries for either Republican or Democrat nominations. Court of Appeals Judge Richard Dietz will face Court of Appeals Judge Lucy Inman in November. Despite the lack of primaries, however, GRNC-PVF strongly recommends Judge RICHARD DIETZ, who is a strong originalist and constitutionalist who respects the Second Amendment and has argued gun rights before the US Supreme Court.

NC Supreme Court Seat 5: The race for this seat features two Republicans vying for the nomination to challenge incumbent Democrat Justice Same Ervin IV. The Republicans are Trey Allen, who previously clerked for conservative Chief Justice Paul Newby, and Court of Appeals Judge April Wood. Either Allen or Wood would likely be good on the court. However, if Wood won the race for NC Supreme Court, leftist Democrat Governor Roy Cooper would appoint a Democrat to replace her on the Court of Appeals, potentially shifting control of the Appeals Court to Democrats. For this reason, GRNC-PVF recommends TREY ALLEN for the Republican nomination. 

NC Court of Appeals Seat 9 (Stroud seat): Although GRNC-PVF has supported incumbent Republican Donna Stroud in past elections, she faces District Court Judge Beth Freshwater-Smith, who is a stronger constitutionalist and Second Amendment supporter, in the Republican primary. GRNC-PVF recommends Judge BETH FRESHWATER-SMITH. 

NC Court of Appeals Seat 11 (Jackson seat): In 2020, Gov. Cooper appointed former NC House Rep. Darren Jackson (GRNC 0-star) to a vacant seat which is now up for re-election. Jackson is an anti-gun leftist with only a 7% pro-gun voting record in the House. Republicans Charlton Allen and District Court Judge Michael Stading are vying for the Republican nomination to challenge Jackson. Because Stading is a strong constitutionalist who respects the Second Amendment, GRNC-PVF recommends Judge MICHAEL STADING.

District 01 (R):¬†In a district which found two Republicans ‚Äúdouble bunked,‚Ä̬†GRNC-PVF recommends NORMAN SANDERSON¬†(pro-gun voting record: 100%, ****) over Bob Steinburg (pro-gun voting record: 84%, ***).¬†¬†
District 04 (R): This race represents a rare opportunity for gun voters. In the Republican primary for NC Senate District 4, the GRNC-PVF strongly recommends BUCK NEWTON (pro-gun voting record: 100%, GRNC ****). In previous NC Senate service, Newton was a gun rights leader who wrote and sponsored numerous pro-gun bills. Meanwhile, opponent Joe DeMocko (GRNC survey: NR, GRNC 0-star) refused to return GRNC’s candidate survey, suggesting that he doesn’t want you to know where he stands on the Second Amendment. In this race, Newton is the clear choice.
District 05 (D): In this D+8 district, GRNC-PVF recommends LENTON CREDELLE BROWN (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) over Kandie D. Smith (NC House pro-gun voting record: 25%, 0-star).
District 10 (R): In this R+11 district, GRNC-PVF recommends BENTON SAWREY (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) over Matt Ansley and Jill Homan (both GRNC surveys: NR, 0-star).
District 12 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends incumbent JIM BURGIN (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) over challengers David Buboltz and Ernie Watson (both GRNC surveys: NR, 0-star).
District 13 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends DAVID BANKERT (GRNC survey: 96%, ****) over Jeff Werner (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 18 (R): In this race, E.C. Sykes (GRNC survey: 95%, ****) and Dimitry Slabyak (GRNC survey: 93%, ****) both earned 4-star evaluations. Consequently, GRNC-PVF makes no recommendation in this race.
District 19 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends WESLEY MEREDITH (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) over Dennis Britt (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) due to Meredith’s voting record and history of bill sponsorship in previous NC Senate service.
District 30 (R): In this rematch, Steve Jarvis (****) and incumbent Eddie Gallimore (****) have both returned GRNC surveys (with 98% and 97%, respectively), both have 100% pro-gun voting records, and sponsored pro-gun legislation in the past (Gallimore in the NC Senate, Jarvis in the NC House). However, Gallimore is the more devoted Second Amendment supporter. GRNC-PVF recommends EDDIE GALLIMORE.
District 36 (R): Shirley Blackburn Randleman (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****), Lee Zachary (pro-gun votes: 87%, ****) and Eddie Settle (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) have all earned 4-star evaluations. However, GRNC-PVF recommends SHIRLEY BLACKBURN RANDLEMAN due to her 100% voting record in previous senate service.
District 37 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends VICKIE SAWYER (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) over Tom Fyler (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 42 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends SCOTT STONE (pro-gun votes in previous service: 100%, ****) over Cheryl Russo (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 46 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends WARREN DANIEL (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) over Mark Crawford (GRNC survey: 98%, ****).
District 47(R):¬†An unfortunate race in which two pro-gun Republicans have been ‚Äúdouble bunked.‚ÄĚ Both Deanna Ballard (****) and Ralph Hise (****) have 100% pro-gun voting records. GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in this race.

District 5 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends DONALD KIRKLAND (GRNC survey: 92%, ****) over Bill Ward (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 6 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends MURRAY SIMPKINS (GRNC survey: 99%, ****) over Joe Pike (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 9 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends TONY MOORE (GRNC survey: 94%, ****) over Timothy Reeder(GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 13 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends either PETE BENTON (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) or CELESTE CAIRNS (GRNC survey: 100%, ****), but not Eden Gordon Hill (survey: NR, 0-star). 
District 14 (R): Incumbent George Cleveland is one of the few long-term stalwart Second Amendment defenders of the NC House, with a 100% voting record and repeated 100% survey score, more than earning a GRNC 4-star evaluation (****). GRNC-PVF strongly recommends GEORGE CLEVELAND over challenger Debbie Burke (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 25 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends ALLEN CHESSER (survey: 99%, ****) over Yvonne McLeod (survey: 87%, ***) or Alsey Heth Hopkins (survey: NR, 0-star).
District 26 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends incumbent DONNA MCDOWELL WHITE (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) over challenger Rick Walker (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 28 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends LARRY STRICKLAND (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) over James Davenport (GRNC survey: 79%, **). 
District 35 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends FRED VON CANON (GRNC survey 92%, ****) over Brandon Panameno (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 43 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends DIANE WHEATLEY (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) over Clarence W. Goins, Jr. (GRNC survey: 94%, ****) due to Wheatley’s demonstrated voting record.
District 47 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends JARROD LOWERY (GRNC survey: 96%, ****) over Mickey Biggs (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 52 (R): In another unfortunate double-bunking of Republicans with good voting records, GRNC-PVF recommends BEN MOSS (pro-gun votes: 100%, GRNC ****) over Jamie Boles (pro-gun votes: 95%, ****). 
District 53 (R): Because voting record is a better measure of candidates than survey scores, GRNC-PVF recommends HOWARD PENNY, JR. (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) over Brian Hawley (GRNC survey: 100%, ****).
District 54 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends CRAIG KINSEY (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) over Walter Petty (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star). 
District 55 (R): Because voting record is a better measure of candidates than survey scores, GRNC-PVF recommends MARK BRODY (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) over Brandon Smith (GRNC survey: 96%, ****). 
District 63 (R): Because voting record is a better measure of candidates than survey scores, GRNC-PVF recommends STEPHEN ROSS (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) over Ed Priola (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) or Peter Boykin (GRNC survey: 95%, ****).
District 65 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends A. REECE PYRTLE, JR. (GRNC survey: 94%, ****) over Joseph A. Gibson III (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star). 
District 70 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends incumbent PAT B. HURLEY (pro-gun votes: 94%, ****) over challenger Brian Biggs (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 73 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends PARISH MOFFITT (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) over Catherine Whiteford (GRNC survey: 88%, ***) and Brian Echevarria (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star). 
District 78 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends CORY BORTREE (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) over David Ashley (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star) and Neal Jackson (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 79 (R): GRNC-PVF strongly recommends incumbent KEITH KIDWELL (pro-gun votes: 100%) over challenger Ed Hege (GRNC survey: 100%, ****). Kidwell has been a leader for gun rights, sponsoring numerous pro-gun bills.
District 83 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends BRAD JENKINS (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) over Kevin Crutchfield (GRNC survey: 88%, ***) and Grayson Haff (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star). 
District 89 (R): Because voting record is a better measure of candidates than survey scores, GRNC-PVF recommends MITCH SETZER (pro-gun votes: 98%, ****) over Benjamin Devine (GRNC survey: 100%, ****). Kelli Weaver Moore (GRNC survey: 84%, ***).
District 90 (R): Incumbent Sarah Stevens (pro gun votes: 93%, ***) dropped votes in years past but has voted with gun owners in recent years. Challenger Benjamin Romans returned a 100% survey, earning four stars (****). GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in this race. 
District 91 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends incumbent KYLE HALL (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) over James Douglas (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star) and Stephen L. James (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).
District 109 (R): In this four-way Republican primary, Donnie Loftis is the incumbent but has no voting record because he was recently appointed to fill a vacant seat. GRNC-PVF recommends DONNIE LOFTIS (GRNC survey: 95%, ****) over Lauren Bumgardner Current (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star), John Gouch (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star) and Ronnie Worley (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star). 
District 113 (R): Another unfortunate district in which redistricting double-bunked two pro-gun Republicans, Jake Johnson (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) and David Rogers (pro-gun votes: 100%, ****) have identical voting and survey scores. GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in this race.
District 117 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends DENNIS JUSTICE (GRNC survey: 96%, ****) over Jennifer Capps Balkcom (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star) and Chelsea Walsh (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star). 

This message supporting the above-named candidates was authorized and paid for solely by the Grass Roots North Carolina Political Victory Fund. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.

Note – GRNC-PVF did not pay me to report their recommendations. I have reposted them as a news item.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part XVII

Georgia becomes the 25th state to enact permitless or constitutional carry. Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) promised to sign the bill if it came to him and he did it this afternoon in Douglasville, Georgia. With the addition of Georgia, over 36% of all Americans reside in a state with unrestricted or permitless concealed carry.

The graph originally developed by Rob Vance back in 2011 has certainly changed a lot over the years. At first, it was the addition of shall-issue concealed carry into the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. I said at the time that shall-issue was the new normal.

Then it started adding more and more states who had adopted permitless carry. This year it is had to be revised a number of times. It may be revised again if Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has his way down in Florida. If that happens, almost 43% of all Americans would live in states with unrestricted carry.

Shall-issue is no longer the new normal; unrestricted carry is the new normal.

Below is the latest graph by Rob that shows the addition of Georgia.

Contrast the current graph in 2022 with the graph from 2011 shown below. You see two things: the growth of unrestricted carry and the decline of effectively no-issue to virtually nil. If I had to come up with reasons for this change, I’d say it is due to three things. First, wins in court. Second, the election of pro-rights legislatures in many states. Finally, governors seeing the writing was on the wall and knowing their own political fortunes were in peril if they didn’t sign the bill.

While I’d love to see the yellow or may-issue section decrease, I don’t think we will see any movement in that until and unless the Supreme Court rules against New York in the Bruen case. I am keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

Tweet Of The Day

The tweet of the day comes from the Firearms Policy Coalition. It points out that President Biden’s new nominee to head BATFE, Steve Dettelbach, is like David Chipman but without the paper trail.

I love the play on the old Scooby Doo cartoon as well.

Follow-Up On Nebraska

As I posted yesterday, supporters of permitless carry in Nebraska failed to get enough votes to invoke cloture on the filibuster of LB 773. The bill would have made Nebraska the 26th state with unrestricted or permitless carry. Gov. Pete Ricketts (R-NE) had said he would sign the bill.

While the Nebraska Legislature is officially non-partisan, the senators have political affiliations and are supported by the political parties when they run for office. The website Ballotpedia did the research and has the political affiliation of each senator.

As I noted yesterday, two more votes in favor of cloture were needed. I thought it would be interesting to look at who voted against the bill and, more importantly, those that voted “present – not voting”. This latter wanted to eat their cake and have it too. While they can say they didn’t vote against the bill, they still condemned it to defeat by not voting.

Voting Nay

  1. Sen. Eliot Bostar (Dem – Dist 29)
  2. Sen. John Cavanaugh (Dem – Dist 9)
  3. Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh (Dem – Dist 6)
  4. Sen. Jen Day (Dem – Dist 49)
  5. Sen. Wendy DeBoer (Dem – Dist 10)
  6. Sen. Matt Hansen (Dem – Dist 26)
  7. Sen. Megan Hunt (Dem – Dist 8)
  8. Sen. Steve Lathrop (Dem – Dist 12)
  9. Sen. Adam Morfield (Dem – Dist 46)

These nine Democrats all represented districts in either Douglas County (Omaha) or Lancaster County (Lincoln).

Present – Not Voting

  1. Sen. Carol Blood (Dem – Dist 3)
  2. Sen. Suzanne Geist (Rep – Dist 25)
  3. Sen. Robert Hilkemann (Rep – Dist 4)
  4. Sen. John McCollister (Rep – Dist 20)
  5. Sen. Mike McDonnell (Dem – Dist 5)
  6. Sen. Lynne Walz (Dem – Dist 15)

If truth be told, I have more respect for those senators that voted against invoking cloture. At least, they had the courage of their convictions however misguided.

No Permitless Carry For Nebraska

Supporters of LB 773, the permitless carry bill in Nebraska, fell two votes short in their attempt to invoke cloture on a filibuster against the bill. The vote was 31-9. Failure to invoke closure in the Nebraska’s unicameral legislature means the bill is dead for the year. If it had passed, Gov. Pete Ricketts (R-NE) had promised to sign it.

The primary sponsor of the legislation, Sen. Tom Brewer (Dis. 43- Gordon) has promised to bring the bill back next session.

From the Omaha World-Herald:

“Next year we’ll start over again,” he vowed, predicting that newly elected lawmakers will change the makeup of the Legislature and provide enough votes for the measure to pass.¬†

Under LB 773, which was co-sponsored by a majority of state senators, Nebraska adults who were not otherwise banned from having guns would no longer have had to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Initially, the bill faced opposition from major law enforcement groups in Nebraska such as the Omaha Police Officers Association and the Omaha PD. However, Sen. Brewer had negotiated a compromise and the law enforcement groups would change to neutral on the bill if that compromise amendment was adopted.

Again from the Omaha World-Herald on the compromise:

But the amendment failed on a 13-29 vote Monday, with hard-line gun rights advocates joining those who favored gun restrictions to shoot it down. 

The Omaha police union then switched back to opposition and began urging senators to vote against the bill. 

The compromise amendment would have allowed cities of the metropolitan class, meaning Omaha, to continue to require registration of all handguns, other than those owned by people with a concealed-carry permit. The city could not deny registrations to anyone allowed by state law to own a gun.

The amendment also would make it a crime to carry a concealed handgun while committing any of a lengthy list of offenses. The list ranges from murder to ‚Äúunauthorized‚ÄĚ graffiti and includes violations of city or village ordinances, as well as state laws.

As I’m not a resident of the Cornhusker State, I don’t know all the hoops that Sen. Brewer had to jump through to get that “compromise” but to me it seems he was giving up more than was gained. While permitless carry would have been great, registration of handguns and any sort of a carve-out for Omaha would seem to negate what would be gained. Any registration scheme is anathema to me.

I hope Sen. Brewer is correct in seeing a potential pickup of the needed seats to overcome a future filibuster in the next session. I’d much rather see the effort go to picking up those seats than to making any sort of compromise that would minimize the win of getting permitless carry passed.

As you would expect, the anti-rights forces are crowing about the failure to invoke cloture.

In another tweet she says they sent 400 emails and made 400 calls as if that was an overwhelming number. Jeez!

The Nebraska Legislature is officially non-partisan. It will take some research to check the affiliation of the nine nay votes and the six who voted “present-not voting”.