9th Circuit Issues Stay In Rhode

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an administrative stay of Judge Roger Benitez’s grant of a preliminary injunction in Rhode v. Becerra late on Friday, April 24th. Judge Benitez had earlier that day denied an ex parte motion by Attorney General Xavier Becerra requesting a stay of his injunction.

In dismissing it he said, in part:

The Attorney General does not point to any change in circumstances or new evidence to undermine that conclusion. That the laws have been in effect for 10 months reflects this Court’s patient consideration, not its constitutional approval. Any delay was occasioned by judicial optimism that the high erroneous denial rate of early Standard background checks might significantly improve. It did not. Instead, the constitutional impingements on Second Amendment rights that began immediately, will continue if a stay is granted. Thus, the Court cannot find the remaining two factors tip the scales in favor of a stay. A 16.4% error rate that deprives citizens the enjoyment of any constitutional right is offensive and unacceptable.

The Attorney General’s Office then filed an emergency motion with the 9th Circuit to stay the injunction pending appeal and requested immediate relief. They argued that a stay would be in the public interest and would prevent prohibited persons from purchasing ammunition. They went on to say the plaintiffs were not prevented from purchasing ammunition. Of course, this ignores the 16.4% error rate referenced by Judge Benitez.

It should be noted that the stay granted by the 9th Circuit is an administrative stay and does not address the merits of Becerra’s argument. They will rule on that later.

The stay was issued at 9:45pm local time on the 24th. Ammunition orders in the system prior to that could be processed according to what I’m reading.

Freedom Munitions and Brownells both said they would be honoring orders made prior to that time and would be shipping directly to the purchaser.

From The New York Times, No Less.

This report is from the New York Times regarding the school shooter in Oregon. It is about the source of his weapons as confirmed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

In all, the gunman had owned 14 firearms, said Celinez Nunez, an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, including one he had traded in. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department said the gunman took five handguns and a rifle to Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning, and had two pistols, four rifles and a shotgun in his apartment.

“All 14 have been traced to a federal firearms dealer,” some bought by the gunman and others by members of his family, said Ms. Nunez, the assistant special agent in charge of the Seattle field office. “They were all purchased legally.”

As AWR Hawkins of Breitbart said at the recent Gun Rights Policy Conference, “It is harder to find a mass shooter who didn’t go through a background check than one that did.”

To illustrate that point, Hawkins listed a number of these murderers that did pass background checks in a column today in Breitbart.

Why Check If You Won’t Prosecute

Dom Raso has another excellent commentary video up. This time he takes on background checks. As he correctly notes, to the average person background checks sound like a good idea. Unfortunately they do nothing to stop violent crime.

In the most recent statistics, 76,000 people lied about their eligibility to purchase a firearm on the Form 4473. Of these, only 13 were prosecuted according to Dom. We in the gun culture know that it is a Federal felony to lie on the Form 4473 and each question lied about counts as another chargeable crime. We don’t lie because we are honest people. Criminals lie because that is what they do and because they are smart enough to know that virtually nothing is going to happen to them if they do lie. Given that, what incentive is there not to lie if you are a criminal? The answer is none and that is why background checks do nothing to stop crime.

Well, Prostitution Is Legal In Some Nevada Counties

The New York Times ran an article yesterday discussing how Mayor Bloomberg is pushing for background checks in state legislatures. Coming off his success in Colorado, he has now set his eye on the state of Nevada where the State Senate has already passed his background check legislation. Just like in Colorado, he has inundated the State Capitol in Carson City with 11 lobbyists to one from the NRA.

What really caught my eye was this statement by State Senator Justin C. Jones (D-Las Vegas) who was the sponsor of Bloomberg’s universal background check bill.

Mr. Jones said he hoped Mr. Bloomberg would continue to be involved in Nevada politics. He faces re-election next year — he won by just 301 votes in 2012 — and in the past, Mr. Bloomberg has offered political and financial support to candidates who back his policies.

“It never hurts,” Mr. Jones said, “to have friends with money.”

While I understand that prostitution is legal in some areas of Nevada, it is illegal in both Clark County and in Carson City. If political prostitution was as illegal as sexual prostitution, I could easily see Mr. Jones being arrested on charges of solicitation for being the political whore that he is.

Manchin’s Dead Horse

Joe Manchin’s continuing efforts to push background checks and other gun control reminds me of a (bad) joke I heard many years ago.

When told of a pervert’s interest in bestiality, necrophilia, and BDSM, the listener just rolled his eyes and said, “That’s like beating a dead horse.”

Manchin was interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this morning. In the interview, Manchin continued to insist that his background check bill with a little tweaking could pass the Senate.

From the Fox News Sunday transcript:

WALLACE: All right. Finally, Senator Manchin, you and Republican — fellow Republican Senator Pat Toomey, were the coauthors of this expanded background check that was voted down a few days ago in the Senate. You’re talking now — you’re talking about revising the bill, bringing it back to the Senate floor.

It came out today that your cosponsor, Pat Toomey says, no, I’m done with it. Do you really think that the expansion of background checks can be revised and can be passed by the U.S. Senate?

MANCHIN: I certainly do. The only thing that we’ve asked for is that people would just read the bill. It’s a criminal and mental background check strictly at gun shows and online sales.

The way the law is today, if you go to a gun store, you have a background check done. If you go to a gun show and you go to a licensed dealer, they still do a background check. But you can go to the next table over and have no check at all.

You can online. If you buy a gun out of state online —

WALLACE: But, Senator, respectfully, we knew all that beforehand and your colleagues didn’t vote for it?

MANCHIN: Well, I think — Chris, I think there were some confusion. The first bill that came out basically was dropped, the Chuck Schumer bill, which was all inclusive. Chuck, we talked to Chuck and he backed off that, and we worked on what we thought was a much better bill, especially coming from a gun culture that I come from in West Virginia.

I’ve gone down and worked the bill into the coal fields, into the gun–friendly West Virginians that I hunt with, and sport shoot with. And all of them to a “T,” when they saw the bill, this basically not only protects your Second Amendment rights, it expands your Second Amendment rights.

WALLACE: But, and we’re running out of time, Pat Toomey, cosponsor of Manchin/Toomey, says he’s done with it?

MANCHIN: I don’t think he’s done. I really don’t know. I was with Pat last night and Pat’s totally committed to this bill and I believe that with all of my heart and we’re going to work this bill — when people read the bill, just take time to read the bill. I’ve said this, if you’re a law–abiding gun owner, you’ll love this bill. If you’re a criminal, if you’ve been mentally adjudicated through a court, you probably won’t like it.

But all we’re doing, we don’t infringe on anybody’s rights, individual rights, transfers of families —

WALLACE: I want to make it clear: you’re going to bring this bill back —

MANCHIN: Absolutely.

WALLACE: — to the Senate floor. And you think it’s going to be different?

MANCHIN: I truly believe if we have time to sell the bill, and people will read the bill, and I’m willing to go anywhere in this country, I’m going to debate anybody on this issue, read the bill and you tell me what you don’t like. We stop registration completely from the standpoint of the felony, with 15 years of imprisonment.

WALLACE: And is part of the idea here that you are going to have it stripped away and separate it from —

MANCHIN: The bill needs to be clean, I believe. That’s my belief, that if the bill runs clean and people can vote on this bill up or down based on the merits of this bill, how it protects a gun, a Second Amendment gun person, a law-abiding gun owner, it’s perfect for that person.

If you’re going to a gun show, you’re going to expect to have a background check. If you’re buying online, whether it’s an out-of-state gun or in-state, a background check. No intervening at all with family transfers or any individual rights whatsoever.

Manchin’s co-author Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said the effort was over on his part according to his statements in a conference call on Friday. He has indicated he wants to return his attention to fiscal and economic issues.

From the CapitolInq blog at Philly.com:

“My own view is very simple: the senate has had its vote. We’ve seen the outcome of that vote. I am not aware of any reason to believe that if we had the vote again that we’d have a different outcome,” Toomey, a Republican, said in a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon. “If that were to change my guess is (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid would consider having another vote.”….

“Until we have such reason to believe that we’d have a different outcome I think the issue is resolved by the senate,” Toomey said Friday. “I accept when the senate speaks and so I’ve turned my attention to the fiscal and economic matters that I’ve normally focused on.”

I guess Toomey is not the glutton for pain that Manchin seems to be. 

NSSF – No To Manchin-Toomey

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has come out strongly against the Manchin-Toomey amendment. They have issued an Action Alert aimed at retailers but applicable to all of us.

They object to prioritizing NICS checks coming from gun shows over those at retail counters and the measures that could put a FFL’s license at risk.

The U.S. Senate is expected to begin debate tomorrow on The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, S. Amdt. 715, proposed by Sens. Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Toomey (R-Pa.). This measure will slow down all storefront FFL checks on weekends by requiring that gun show checks must be COMPLETED before a non-gun show check can be completed.

Prioritizing gun show checks over storefront checks will harm storefront FFLs’ businesses. Weekends, when gun shows take place, are the busiest time for storefront FFLs who may not be able to run checks for their customers. Tell your senators that it’s unacceptable to prioritize the Second Amendment rights of private party transferees over the rights of storefront FFL customers. Congress should provide adequate resources to NICS so that ALL checks are done instantly.

While S. Amdt. 715 is not the universal background check bill opposed by 86 percent of federally licensed firearms retailers, it does not address critical product liability concerns for retailers processing private party transfers and imposes record-keeping responsibilities that could result in license revocation for even simple mistakes. Tell your senators not to put your livelihood on the line.

Call or write your U.S. senators and tell them to VOTE NO on the flawed Manchin-Toomey Amendment and on any bill that does not present real solutions to making our communities safer.

Find your elected officials here.

A Man’s Gotta Know His Limitations

Clint Eastwood’s character “Dirty Harry” Callahan uttered the famous words, “A man’s gotta know his limitations”, in the movie Magnum Force.

So it is with gun rights organizations and their leaders. In the past I’ve criticized the NRA-ILA and Chris Cox for claiming credit for Heller and McDonald when the latter was a project of the Second Amendment Foundation. At the time, I also said in an ideal world there would be a division of labor with the Second Amendment Foundation and Alan Gura doing litigation and the NRA-ILA handling the lobbying of Congress. Those are, and continue to be, the strengths of the respective organizations.

Thus, when news broke that Alan Gottlieb and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was claiming credit for the Manchin-Toomey “compromise” on gun background checks, I was dismayed and, to be perfectly frank, outraged.

It’s time to get real. The Second Amendment Foundation does litigation really well just as the NRA-ILA does lobbying at the national level really well. Just as the NRA is only so-so when it comes to gun rights litigation, SAF’s 503c4-affiliate, the Citizens Committee is only so-so on lobbying. Neither are really as effective at the state level as the state-level organizations such as ISRA, CalGuns, GRNC, or Virginia Citizens Defense League among many others.

Alan Gottlieb and CCRKBA had no business getting involved in writing Manchin-Toomey. Gun control legislation was slowly dying in the Senate until the “grand compromise” revived it. The gun prohibitionists have already jumped on Alan’s statement. Mark Glaze, executive director of Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors, called it “a helpful development” in the Washington Post. Conversely, groups like the CalGuns Foundation and Cal-FFL are not that enthused about it even if it might make things a little easier in California.

There are neither enough goodies nor poison pills for the opposition to make Manchin-Toomey palatable to me. To put it bluntly, I think Alan Gottlieb screwed up royally on this one. The sad part is that it will probably hurt gun rights litigation, which his organization does well.

As I said in the headline to this post, a man’s gotta know his limitations.

UPDATE: Second Amendment scholar and attorney Dave Kopel does an excellent job dissecting the supposedly “pro-gun” portions of Manchin-Toomey and concludes that they are actually very strong anti-gun provisions. He calls its a “bonanza of gun control”. It should be noted that Dave has been both a speaker and attendee at a number of the Gun Rights Policy Conferences put on by CCRKBA and the Second Amendment Foundation.

GRNC Refuses To Pull Punches

After hearing that CCRKBA endorsed Manchin-Toomey today, it is refreshing to see an organization stand firm. Grass Roots North Carolina is not backing down in their opposition to any form of gun control including the lesser background checks of Manchin-Toomey.

From their release:

Stop Toomey-Manchin Sellout NOW!

– Make calls to sellouts who voted for ‘universal gun registration’
– Show up at Sen. Burr’s district office to voice your displeasure


On Tuesday, April 16 at 10:00 AM, GRNC will be holding a demonstration at Senator Richard Burr’s district office in Winston-Salem to deliver the message that his sellout by voting for S. 659 will not be tolerated, and that if he votes for the Toomey-Manchin “compromise” described below, we will work to remove him from office. As always, please “dress for the press” — no offensive signs or clothing. Please note that firearms at demonstrations are prohibited by law. Suggested themes for signs: “Richard Burr: 2nd Amendment Sellout?” and “Burr: Vote ‘NO’ on Toomey-Manchin”. Please RSVP with number of people attending to: Volunteer@GRNC.org Yes, it’s a work day: BE THERE ANYWAY!

Burr’s office is at: 2000 West 1st St., Suite 508, Winston-Salem, NC 27104. BRING LOTS OF FRIENDS! It you live too far away from this office, visit other district offices, which can be found at: http://www.burr.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

Update: Vote is on Tuesday

On Thursday, both Senators Richard Burr (R) and Kay Hagan (D) sold out gun owners by voting for the “motion to proceed” which will bring “universal gun registration” bill S. 649 to the Senate floor for debate this Tuesday. Hagan has been doing her best to camouflage her stance on the issue, while Burr had previously said he would support the Rand Paul filibuster, before switching sides and voting to proceed. Burr’s claims that he did so only when promised an open amendment process ring false: The most certain way to kill the bill would have been to deny it a floor vote.

‘See a shrink, lose your guns’

Sen. Harry Reid’s original version of S. 649 would criminalize a huge array of lawful behaviors such as loaning a gun to your mother, loaning a gun to a friend to hunt, or even leaving one at home with your spouse for more than 7 days.

The first amendment to be offered, on Tuesday, is the “compromise” worked out by Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). Although you’re being told it is “better” because it protections for gun owners, those “protections” have holes you could drive a truck through.

As is invariably the case, this “compromise” defines a process in which you lose slightly less than under the original proposal, but you still lose! Worse, the Toomey-Manchin measure described by Gun Owners of America as “See a shrink, lose your guns” is a very real threat.

Says “US News & World Report”: “Toomey and Manchin’s legislation clarifies that doctors can enter mental health records into the national background check system without it being a violation of privacy laws.”

Similar measure triggers confiscations in NY

Thanks to the vagueness of Title 18 of the US Code of Regulations, a single doctor’s report could potentially trigger the loss of your gun rights without any type of hearing or due process. If you want to see how that works, check New York State, which recently adopted a similar proposal. As reported by Fox News and others, authorities have begun confiscating guns from lawful gun owners — in some cases, even the wrong gun owners.


Vote likely Tuesday

Burr says he opposes the Toomey-Manchin amendment…but he also said he would filibuster the S. 649 motion to proceed, and we all know how that worked out. Hagan probably wants to vote for it and then claim it as a pro-Second Amendment vote. It is not.

If the Toomey-Manchin amendment passes on Tuesday, it will hurt our chances for killing S. 649. Stopping Toomey-Manchin will probably kill the bill. Accordingly, you need to deliver a LOUD & CLEAR message to both Burr and Hagan (and Republican turncoats from other states) that if they vote for the Toomey-Manchin amendment, they should start looking for a new job.

  • EMAIL & CALL Sen. Richard Burr at: (202) 224-3154 Contact Sen Burr

  • EMAIL & CALL Sen. Kay Hagan at: (202) 224-6342 Contact Sen Hagan

  • CALL: Republican sellouts who voted for the S. 649 motion to proceed


New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (202) 224-3324
Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss (202) 224-3521
Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (202) 224-5754
Maine Sen. Susan Collins (202) 224-2523
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (202) 224-4521
Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson (202) 224-3643
Arizona Sen. John McCain (202) 224-2235
Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker (202) 224-6253
North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven (202) 224-2551
Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (202) 224-2854
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (202) 224-5972
Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander (202) 224-4944
Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker (202) 224-3344
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey (202) 224-4254
Nevada Sen. Dean Heller (202) 224-6244


Suggested Subject: “Stop Toomey-Manchin Sellout NOW!”

Dear Senator:

Your vote for the motion to proceed on S. 649 will be forever reflected as a vote against the Second Amendment. What happens next is up to you: Either you can mitigate the damage by voting against the Toomey-Manchin sellout, or you can once again betray gun owners and the Constitution.

Understand that I do not consider this “compromise” to be anything other than a sellout of Second Amendment interests. The supposed protections if promises gun owners are false, and its dangers to gun rights are very real. As gun owners have told you before: We will not compromise on this issue.

In fact, if you continue to vote against gun rights, I encourage you to look for another job; in your next election, gun owners will work to remove you. I will continue to monitor your performance via Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.


Peter King And Mike Thompson To Introduce Toomey-Manchin In The House

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) have announced they will be introducing the House version of the Toomey-Manchin amendment on Monday.

“I will be introducing, along with Mike Thompson [D-Calif.], basically the House version of the Manchin-Toomey bill on Monday or Tuesday at the latest,” the New York Republican said, referencing the bipartisan agreement on background checks reached this week between Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

He said the legislation will “replicate” what was agreed to by those senators, a bipartisan deal that expands background checks for commercial gun purchases, including those made at gun shows.

King noted that Toomey’s conservative credentials make it easier for House Republicans to vote for background checks.

In my opinion, Peter King is and has always been a big government statist type. Seeing him introduce a gun control bill is not a surprise as he has supported them many times in the past.

Thompson is a self-described Blue Dog Democrat and gun owner. Thompson says he is familiar with assault rifles as he carried one in Vietnam – over 40 years ago. While I thank him for his service, that was a long time ago.

He issued a statement yesterday hinting towards this House bill and applauding the Senate for passing the motion to process on S. 649.

“Today Senate Republicans and Democrats voted overwhelmingly to reject the shameful filibuster that attempted to deny Americans a vote on legislation that will reduce and prevent gun violence.

“Background checks are the first line of defense against criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from getting guns. That’s why the American people, gun owners, NRA members, and even many House Republicans support background checks.

“The bipartisan background check legislation that I will introduce and will be voted on in the Senate is enforceable, will save lives, and respects the Second Amendment rights of law abiding Americans. It’s time for Congress to act. The American people are getting a vote in the Senate. They deserve one in the House.”

Text To Manchin-Toomey Amendment Is Now Available

After the Senate adjourned this evening, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) released the official language to the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act. This is the amendment that he and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) will submit to Sen. Chuck Schumer’s S. 649.

I’ve briefly scanned through it and have some preliminary observations.

First, the incentives to the states to provide more and better data to the NICS System looks to have been lifted in its entirety from Sec. 101 and 102 of Schumer’s S. 374.

Second, if you offer to sell a firearm using any forum, gun board, Facebook, Gunbroker,com, etc. OR any classified ad in a newspaper or free trading post paper, you must do a background check. From Section 122

(B) pursuant to an advertisement, posting, display or other listing on
the Internet or in a publication by the transferor of his intent to
transfer, or the transferee of his intent to acquire, the firearm.

The bill does say offering to sell or exhibit your gun for sale in your private residence doesn’t constitute a gun show. Still, if you offered to sell it first on the Internet and completed the sale at home, a check would be required.

Third, while the dealer can substitute a CCW or FOID card for the NICS check, it still has to be done by a licensed dealer and a Form 4473 must be completed. Moreover, if I’m reading it correctly, substitution of the CCW for the NICS check would only apply if the Feds have certified it is equivalent. I know there are many states where the a CCW is not accepted in lieu of a NICS check.

Fourth, under Sec. 129 – Rule of Construction it states:

Nothing in this subtitle, or an amendment made by this subtitle, shall be construed-
to extend background check requirements to transfers other than those
made at gun shows or on the curtilage thereof, or pursuant to an
advertisement, posting, display, or other listing on the Internet or in a
publication by the transferor of the intent of the transferor to
transfer, or the transferee of the intent of the transferee to acquire,
the firearm; or
(2) to extend background check requirements to
temporary transfers for purposes including lawful hunting or sporting or
to temporary possession of a firearm for purposes of examination or
evaluation by a prospective transferee

I would still worry about so-called temporary transfers for purposes other than hunting or sporting purposes between non-family members. If you loaned a friend who was separated from an abusive spouse a gun for self-protection, it might be dicey.

Finally, the only part of the bill I like is that it makes knowingly violating the prohibition against a national gun registry an offense with a 15 year prison term.

UPDATE: Sebastian has a much more thorough analysis of the amendment here. I would make sure to read the comments as they also contain a lot of analysis.

In general, it seems to be upon reflection that requiring background checks for private sales conducted or arranged at gun shows or through the Internet or a publication is just one step away from universal background checks. All it would take to make it so would another amendment to the bill. The gun prohibitionists could make the argument, and in this case I’d consider it valid, if you are going to require background checks for a gun sold through a posting on an electronic bulletin board, why not require it for posting a notice on a cork bulletin board at work.