Support For An AWB Hits Low

The Gallup released a poll yesterday that should cast doubts in the minds of any politician proposing a new “assault weapons” ban. Barely one-third of those polled would support a law that “would make it illegal to manufacture, sell, or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles.”

Support for any such “assault weapons” ban only amounted to 36% of those polled. By contrast, the number opposing such a ban comprise 61% of those polled by Gallup. This question has been asked for the last 20 years. The high point in support for such a ban was in the year 2000 when 59% of those polled supported such a law.

Support for a ban does divide along partisan lines with Republicans and independents being strongly against such a ban. Just as importantly, only 50% of Democrats support such a ban which is down from 63% as recently as year 2000.

Gun ownership does play a role in the results with those households owning firearms more likely to be against any new ban than those who don’t. Nonetheless, both groups, owners and non-owners alike, have a majority of respondents who are against a new ban.

A longer term question asked by Gallup has to do with whether the laws governing the sale of firearms should be stronger, weaker, or left as is. This question has been asked since 1990. Currently, 55% of those polled believed laws should be made stricter. This is up from 2012 when only 44% agreed that laws should be made stricter but down from a high of 78% in 1990.

This is just speculation on my part but I think if you were to run correlations of these numbers with the amount of money spent by Bloomberg’s organizations and other allied gun prohibitionist groups pushing “universal background checks” you would find a strong correlation. It does illustrate that the forces on the side of gun rights need to do a better job explaining that the “gun show loophole” (sic) is just a myth and that Bloomberg’s background checks cover a lot more than mere sales.

It should be pointed out that rights and the free exercise thereof should never be predicated on support in the polls. Public opinion is both fluid and fickle whereas rights should be solid and enduring. Polling is better reserved for determining which side is doing a better job of getting their message across than for making changes in laws.

Governing By Edict In Massachusetts

The gun prohibitionists and anti-rights forces just love the word “loophole”. They love it so much in Massachusetts that the attorney general has decided to arbitrarily reinterpret the commonwealth’s assault weapons (sic) ban.

Attorney General Maura Healey (D-MA) announced her edict in the Boston Globe today. She says that as of today, if a firearm has either components that are interchangeable with AR-15s and AKs from the free states or an “operating system” that is essentially the same, it is banned.

From the Boston Globe:

The gun industry has found a way to exploit our laws, a loophole of potentially horrific proportions. And it’s time we act.

The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those weapons. But gun manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to define what a “copy” or “duplicate” weapon is. They market “state compliant” copycat versions of their assault weapons to Massachusetts buyers. They sell guns without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example, small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.

That will end now. On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.

The directive specifically outlines two tests to determine what constitutes a “copy” or “duplicate” of a prohibited weapon. If a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a “copy” or “duplicate,” and it is illegal. Assault weapons prohibited under our laws cannot be altered in any way to make their sale or possession legal in Massachusetts.

We recognize that most residents who purchased these guns in the past believed they were doing so legally, so this directive will not apply to possession of guns purchased before Wednesday. In the dozen years since the federal assault weapons ban lapsed, only seven states have instituted their own assault weapons ban. Many of those bans have been challenged (unsuccessfully) by the gun industry, and we anticipate our directive may be too. But our job is to enforce state laws and to keep people safe. This directive does both.

Healey claims a “moral obligation” to come out with this edict. Methinks it more political grandstanding that any sort of moral obligation.

It will be interesting to see what is meant in real life terms by having an “operating system (which) is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon.” Does that mean any and all semiautomatic rifles that use direct gas impingement are banned? Or, in the case of an AK, does this mean all firearms with short stroke gas systems are banned?

You have to wonder if Remington will restart their production of their Model 7615P pump action .223 that took AR15 magazines. It would be a nice in your face workaround to Healey’s edict.

Emanuel To Propose New AWB For Chicago

Chicago is now jumping on the bandwagon of proposing new gun laws before the Illinois concealed carry law is enacted. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed a new assault weapon (sic) ban that would prohibit the sale and possession of such firearms in the city. From the report by WGN-TV below, it appears the bill will also contain a listing of such firearms and will also contain a magazine ban.

The second bill introduced will ban the carrying of firearms in student safety zones. While I am not completely familiar with the concept, it appears that they include the sidewalks students most frequently use when walking to school. This second bill sounds like even more of an intrusion upon the Second Amendment than the Chicago AWB depending on just how broadly a student safety zone is defined.

The second ordinance would make the punishment harsher for gun-related offenses in “student safety zones”.

Those zones are found near schools, buses, and parks across the city.

Anyone convicted of having a gun in a safety zone would face a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 for the first offense and a mandatory 30 days in jail.

A second offense would carry a fine of $5,000 to $15,000 and a mandatory three months in jail.

A third offense would carry a fine of $10,000 to $20,000 and a mandatory six-month jail term.

Neither bill nor its text is posted on the City of Chicago’s website as of now.

Someone Needs To Do Some Explaining

Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) is the primary sponsor of Oregon HB 3200. This bill, if passed, is a draconian gun control measure which would have drastic consequences.

From the Oregon Firearms Federation email alert:

HB 3200 not only bans most modern guns and magazines, it allows warrantless searches of your home, requires background checks and registration for a firearm you already own and as-of-yet undefined storage requirements. We say “a firearm” because even if you comply with the restrictions in this bill you may still only own one.

Section 4 of HB 3200 is the kicker. This section requires you to register your firearm and magazines owned before the bill’s passage and to undergo a new background check. It then goes on to say:

(4) A person may not register more than one assault weapon and
three large capacity magazines
under this section. Additional
assault weapons and large capacity magazines must be disposed of
in the manner specified in section 3 of this 2013 Act.
(5) A registered owner of an assault weapon or large capacity
magazine is required to:
(a) Securely store the assault weapon or large capacity
magazine pursuant to rules and regulations adopted by the
(b) Allow an inspector from the department to inspect the
storage of assault weapons and large capacity magazines
to ensure
compliance with this subsection;

Here is where it gets really curious. Rep. Greenlick who, mind you, is the primary sponsor and the one who introduced HB 3200, disagrees with parts of the bill he introduced.

From The Oregonian:

Even Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, the chief sponsor of House Bill 3200, said the bill as introduced goes too far in not only banning the sale of these weapons but in limiting each gun owner to continue possessing just one of these firearms.

Greenlick said he also disagrees with a provision that would allow the state police to investigate gun owners who possess one of these weapons to make sure they are safely stored.

“In its current form, it’s a pretty flawed bill,” said Greenlick, adding that “I don’t think [the bill] is in play.”

As The Riddler of Batman fame would say, so riddle me this Rep. Greenlick, did you not know what was in the bill when you introduced it and, if not, why not?

Could this piece of legislation that has Oregon Ceasefire swooning be another piece of legislation written by Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors and dropped by parachute into the hands of willing naifs in the Oregon Legislative Assembly?

Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised.

Who Cares About Jobs When Ideology Is At Stake

The gun prohibitionists in the Minnesota State House and Senate obviously don’t care about jobs if they are in the firearms industry. Otherwise, Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul) and her compatriots would never have introduced HF 241. This bill would make it a crime to “manufacture, import, transfer or possess an assault weapon” after its enactment.

The Freedom Group subsidiary DPMS/Panther Arms is located in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It employs 115 employees. In the video below, Adam Bullard, Product Manager for DPMS/Panther Arms testifies before the Minnesota House Public Safety and Policy Committee on HF 241.

The only exceptions the bill provides for the exemption of the manufacture of “assault weapons” for sale to the armed forces or to a Minnesota law enforcement agency. Notice that says nothing about exempting out of state sales and that includes out of state sales to even law enforcement agencies.

Just like Remington is being courted in New York, I’m sure that DPMS/Panther Arms management is hearing from industrial recruiters in other states.

A Suggestion

So Obama gives his endorsement – sorta, kinda, maybe – to the call for a new “assault weapons ban”. As part of a “comprehensive strategy”, he’d like to see “if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced.” While it isn’t a ringing endorsement, the media is playing it that way as are the gun prohibitionists like the Brady Campaign.  So too, in all honesty, is the NRA.

Given that, I expect the sales of ARs and AKs to accelerate along with standard capacity magazines.

Here is a suggestion. Rather than running out and buying your third, fourth, or fifth AR-15 and your second or third AK-47/AK-74, why not take some of that money and make a campaign contribution or series of contributions to pro-gun rights candidates. It has the advantage of helping to elect enough pro-rights candidates which, in turn, will prevent any new AWB from even getting out of committee. Moreover, instead of having to pay some ridiculously inflated price for that next AR or AK, the market rates will remain stable or even go lower.

The NRA-PVF list of endorsements and grades are here and the GOA’s list is here. Many state level organizations such as Grass Roots North Carolina and the Illinois State Rifle Association have their grades and endorsements as well.

The price of a box or two of decent ammo sent to the right candidate in a close race helps a lot. Be selective and be strategic. Go for the close races because it will have a stronger impact. Remember also that you aren’t limited to giving money to a local candidate. So far this year I’ve given small donations to candidates in Arizona, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio plus Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund.

If you are bound and determined to get another AR, just buy a stripped receiver for a hundred bucks or less. It is the part that has the serial number and thus is the “firearm”. You can always pick up the rest of the lower parts and a completed upper at a later date.