Even ATF Can’t Get The Nomenclature Correct

I tend to scan the press releases from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives where they crow about their latest exploit as the “Violent Crime Bureau”. They usually involve felons in possession or drug dealers getting sent to prison with the occasional straw purchase thrown in for good measure. The press releases are officially from the US Attorney’s Office for the relevant local judicial district.

Today I happened to read one concerning a felon in possession. The headline for the release read “Austin Felon Sentenced for Possessing Assault Rifle.” I immediately wondered how some felon got a full-auto rifle which was an error on my part. Instead it was one of those ugly guns with the shoulder thing that goes up. In other words, a semi auto rifle which in this case probably was a Saiga or one of the many AK clones.

MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 31-year-old felon from Austin was sentenced for possessing an assault rifle. United States District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle sentenced Samuel James Johnson to 180 months in prison on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Johnson, who was indicted on April 17, 2012, pleaded guilty on June 6, 2012.

In his plea agreement, Johnson admitted that on November 4, 2010, he possessed a 7.62 x .39 caliber, semi-automatic assault-style rifle.

This press release came from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. The US Attorney there is B. Todd Jones who is also the Acting Director of BATFE.

I guess one shouldn’t expect the press to get the difference between an “assault rifle” and a so-called “assault weapon” straight if even the agency tasked with the enforcement of firearm laws or its Acting Director doesn’t.

Josh Sugarmann must be doing fist pumps.

Illinois Governor Proposes AWB

The Springfield (Illinois) State Journal-Register is reporting late this morning that Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL) is proposing a ban on so-called “assault weapons” (sic) in Illinois.

The Democrat will use his amendatory veto power Tuesday to include the ban in a bill related to ammunition sales. It would then be up to lawmakers to accept his changes or reject them.

The report states that his proposal faces “big hurdles” noting that other gun control measures have recently failed in the Illinois General Assembly. From a constitutional standpoint, such a law would be on shaky ground as the AR-15 is the highest selling rifle in recent years and should be considered in “common use.”

UPDATE: The Illinois State Rifle Association is taking Gov. Quinn’s proposal very seriously. The bill he hijacked was a pro-gun bill. They sent out the following early this morning:



As many of you know, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today utilized his amendatory veto authority to hijack a pro-gun bill and convert it into a ban on so called assault weapons. Quinn claims that his bill would “…make Illinois a safer place.”

Of course, lawful Illinois firearm owners know better. We know that Quinn’s true aim is to obliterate private firearm ownership in the state. Closer analysis of Quinn’s bill reveals a host of opportunities for Quinn and his buddy Emanuel to make life miserable for the state’s lawful firearm owners.

Here is just a partial list of what this bill would do, if passed:

1. Ban the manufacture, possession or sale of nearly every semiautomatic rifle, pistol and shotgun you own.

2. Specifically ban Glock pistols since they share a common design with the Glock 18, a select fire handgun.

3. Require you to register every semiautomatic firearm and every magazine you own that exceeds 10 round capacity. The kicker is that, under Quinn’s proposal, the State Police can charge you unlimited fees to register your guns. Thus if Quinn’s bill passes, you could very well find yourself paying $100 or even $1,000 per firearm per year to comply with the law. Additionally, you could find yourself paying $50, $100 or even $500 per year for each “high capacity” magazine you own. Can’t pay? Well then you would have to surrender your guns to the State Police for destruction.

This is just a taste of what you could expect from Quinn’s gun ban. Twists and turns in the bill would certainly open up the doors to taxation, regulation, and outright bans on every civilian owned firearm in the state.

Oh, and one thing is for sure, you can forget about concealed carry if Quinn’s gun ban passes.


1. Call your State Senator ASAP and politely tell him or her that you are a law-abiding Illinois firearm owner and that you expect him or her to vote against Quinn’s gun ban should it come up for a vote. If you do not know who your State Senator is, please follow this link:

Illinois Board of Elections District Official/Search:

2. Pass this alert on to all your friends and family who own firearms. Tell them to make calls to the senate as well.

3. Post this alert to any and all Internet blogs or bulletin boards to which you belong.

4. If you’re not already a member of the ISRA, then it’s time you signed on to protect your gun rights. To join the ISRA, follow this link: www.isra.org/join

5. Make a generous donation to the ISRA today so that we will be able to fight on against gun grabbers like Pat Quinn and Rahm Emanuel: www.isra.org/fight_4_your_rights.

If you live in Illinois, now is the time to act. If you have relatives or friends in Illinois, let them know about this attack on their gun rights.

ABC News And The Media Battle For A New AWB

Diane Sawyer led off ABC’s World News last night with a story that is claiming that cops are undergunned when facing criminals. According to the visuals in the story shown below, it is cops and their Glock 22s versus violent criminals armed with AKs and ARs. Diane introduces the story using buzzwords like “mow down”, “staggering numbers”, and “high powered guns”.

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The story by Pierre Thomas featured a recent shooting in Ogden, Utah that left one police officer dead and five wounded. The shooting involved a special drug enforcement team serving a warrant on a suspect who opened fire on them with an AK-47. His father said in other reports that he had PTSD.

Thomas says that cops are often facing career criminals who are willing to shoot it out rather than to go back to prison and that they are using “assault rifles” which can be bought a “virtually any gun store, online, or through a vast black market.”

The insinuation that career felons Joe Bob, An’twan, and Paco can walk into a gun store and buy anything is false. Every gun sale made or delivered through a FFL requires a background check by the FBI but that is never mentioned. Moreover, while you can purchase a firearm “online”, it still must be delivered to you at a local FFL who will do the background check. As to the vast black market, this is where criminals get their guns. It is illegal for them to possess these guns and illegal for them to buy them so why does anyone presume to think one more law would stop them.

AR-15s or “patrol rifles” are becoming almost a standard issue firearm in many police departments. Moreover, virtually every patrol car still carries a 12 gauge riot gun which is very effective in close quarters encounters. Of course, none of this was mentioned in the ABC report.

The only rationale I can see for this story is to build a case for a new assault weapon ban. If it was just a story about cops getting killed in a raid, that is all they would have featured. However, Pierre Thomas went well beyond that, Diane Sawyer led off with an introduction filled with emotion-filled buzzwords, and it was the lead story on the newscast. I have no doubt we will see more and more stories like this throughout the year. I just wish they would take time to point out the obvious stuff like how it is already illegal for a felon to possess not just an AK but any firearm. That really is wishful thinking on my part.

Coalition Of Mexican And American Groups Seek To Ban “Assault Weapons”

Dave Kopel is interviewed by Cam Edwards on the efforts of Mexican and U.S. groups to have semi-automatic firearms banned in the U.S. According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, they are organizing a petition which they plan to present to President Obama.

One of these groups is Global Exchange. This is a pro-Castro, pro-Hugo Chavez group which sent monies to the families of insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq.

What’s A Few Jobs

In a state with an official unemployment rate of 9.0% for January, losing a few more jobs doesn’t seem to concern Chicago Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly. That is, if they are in the firearms manufacturing industry.

Rep. Edward J. Acevedo (D-Chicago) has introduced bills to ban semi-automatic firearms with certain characteristics and .50 caliber rifles in the past and failed. This year he re-introduced the bill, HB 1294, and it passed out the House Judiciary I – Civil Law Committee yesterday with a “Do Pass – Standard Debate” recommendation.

The synopsis of the bills states that:

it is unlawful for any person within this State to knowingly manufacture, deliver, sell, purchase, or possess or cause to be manufactured, delivered, sold, purchased, or possessed a semi-automatic assault weapon, an assault weapon attachment, any .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge.

The bill would grandfather in any of the affected firearms possessed prior to the effective date. It would allow any previously possessed firearms in question to be passed to heirs, to a person in another state, or to an FFL. As might be expected for a bill introduced by a former police officer, nothing in the bill would prevent law enforcement from possessing any of the weapons in question regardless of their date of manufacture.

The definitions in the bill read like they were taken verbatim from the Cook County’s Blair Holt Assault Weapons Ban.

I have read the bill over and over. I come to the same conclusion each time – it would apply to the production of firearms manufacturers that make weapons that come under the purview of this bill unless they sold only to law enforcement, game wardens, and the military. The way the bill reads, only those weapons that are grandfathered may be sold to a FFL or out of state.

Illinois has a number of firearms manufacturers that would essentially have to move to remain in business. They include Springfield Armory and ArmaLite in Geneseo, Rock River Arms in Colona, Lewis Machine and Tool in Milan, DSArms in Barrington, and Detonics Defense in Millstadt. Les Baer moved his operations out of Illinois to Iowa a couple of years ago due to the anti-gun climate of the state. With the exception of DSArms and Detonics Defense, most of the manufacturers are clustered in the Quad Cities metro area which is also the location of the Rock Island Armory.

I guess that if you live in the Quad Cities or anywhere outside of Chicago, politicians there don’t give a damn if you lose your job so long as they can continue to make Mayor Daley happy. What sad state of affairs.
Illinois HB 1294