Gene Hoffman On The CBS Evening News

As SayUncle said, “Hey, I know that guy.”

Gene Hoffman was interviewed by CBS correspondent Ben Tracy yesterday on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. He gave a great interview and explained the popularity of the AR-15.

Interestingly enough, they never mentioned that Gene is the chairman of the CalGuns Foundation which is probably just as well. They only identified him as an “Internet entrepreneur”.

One of the better quotes from the interview:

 “Look, the right to firearms, the civil right to firearms, is dangerous
and that’s why it’s a right. This isn’t something that’s free or easy.
There will always be people who disagree with it.” he added.

And another great quote:

“The AR-15 is the kind of mainline rifle these days. It’s the most
popular selling firearm. It’s kind of like talking about a Chevrolet,”
Hoffman said.

Gene is a great spokesman on this issue. He is a good public speaker and comes across really well on TV. He looks like the guy next door which is exactly the image that we need to get out there.

Brilliant Move!

The concept of microstamping is fairly well-known by now. It involves a laser-engraved number of a firing pin which transfers that code number to the primer of a cartridge. Its proponents argue that it will allow police to identify firearms used in crimes by shell casings left at the scene. That is, if only it was reliable and worked as its inventor and the gun control lobby said it would.

It is one of those things that sounds great in theory but fails in the real world. That hasn’t stopped states like California from adopting it or New York from strongly considering it.

The New York Times published an article online today entitled “New Method to Track Gun Use Stalled by Foes.” It will appear in the print edition tomorrow. The article describes the technology, the opposition to it by gun rights groups, and some of the studies done on its efficacy.

Its inventor, Todd Lizotte, who claims to be pro-Second Amendment and a member of the NRA had wanted his patent on the process to lapse into the public domain. The patent issue is critical for it to go into operation in California. He and his backers just didn’t figure in the tech industry savvy of the CalGuns Foundations whose officers know a thing or two about patents.

In California, legislation signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 has been held up while the attorney general’s office makes sure the technology is unencumbered by patents. A gun rights group, the Calguns Foundation, went so far as to pay a $555 fee to extend a lapsing patent held by the developer to further delay the law from taking effect.

“It was a lot cheaper to keep the patent in force than to litigate over the issues,” said Gene Hoffman, the chairman of the foundation, adding that he believed the law amounted to a gun ban in California.

For the cost of two hours (or less) of a good attorney, the CalGuns Foundation has stymied the law’s implementation by keeping the patent in force.What an absolutely brilliant move! Gene Hoffman and his group are the masters of strategy and guerrilla tactics and this is just one more example of it.

H/T Brandon Combs

State Senator Leland Yee – The General Gage Of California

A few weeks ago, CBS 5 in San Francisco had a breathless report about a “loophole” in California gun laws that allowed people to have “assault weapons”. The so-called loophole that was just discovered by the intrepid reporters is something called a bullet button which has been around for five years or so. A bullet button allows the use of a removable magazine on an AR-15. However, one must use a tool or the tip of your bullet to remove that magazine. Essentially, it is device that allows fixed magazines to be removed for either loading or clearing a jam.

As sure as the sun sets in the West, you just knew that some politician was going to jump on this imagined bandwagon and introduce a law to outlaw bullet buttons. That politician is State Senator Leland Yee, Ph.D. who represents parts of San Francisco and San Mateo Counties.

Today, Yee introduced his bill to outlaw bullet buttons. He will be gutting the contents of SB 249 and replacing them with his anti-bullet button language.

Leland Yee – California’s General Gage

From his press release:

“There is absolutely no reason why these military style weapons need to have such easily changeable magazines,” said Yee. “While most gun owners are law abiding, I am deeply concerned with these assault weapons getting into the wrong hands, resulting in mass casualties of civilians or law enforcement officers.”

Magazines, or the storage areas that allow for repeat firing, that can be removed by a normal push button in combination with features such as a pistol grip and telescoping stock are banned in California. The law essentially requires magazines to be fixed, or removed or replaced with the use of a tool, in order to slow down the process of reloading.

To get around the law, gun makers have created a new mechanism, or “tool,” that allows the magazine to be easily removed by the tip of a bullet or in some cases by just putting a small magnet over the “bullet button,” basically recreating a normal push button and allowing magazines to be changed within seconds.

“These conversions are circumventing the spirit of California’s assault weapon statute,” said Yee. “Absent this bill, California’s assault weapon ban is significantly weakened. For the safety of the general public, we must close this loophole.”

Fortunately, the people of California have groups like CalGuns and its president, Gene Hoffman, fighting for them. I just loved the historical lesson Gene gave the reporter from CBS 5 and Senator Yee.  Having seen them in action, it would be good for them to take it to heart.

Yee seems to be the type of politician that thrives on attention from special interest groups such as the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center. In his recent effort to be elected Mayor of San Francisco, he touted how he had landed virtually “every major endorsement in the race for mayor.” Yee finished in 5th place.

As a final aside, I find it amusing that Senator Yee insists on putting Ph.D. after his name on his legislative website. While some may find legislators childish, Yee’s doctorate in child psychology has nothing to do with his job as a State Senator. I am reminded of something my late wife Rosanne said about her own Ph.D. – earned at a much more prestigious institution and in a more rigorous field – when asked why she didn’t put it after her name in general usage. She said, and I quote, “that and 50 cents will buy you a cup of coffee.” I think that puts it into perspective.

CalGuns Foundation’s Strategy For Carry In California

Gene Hoffman of the CalGuns Foundation is a really smart guy and it shows in the methodical strategy to win handgun carry for all in California that he has outlined below. I believe it was Gene who said last September at the 2010 Gun Rights Policy Conference, “we lost our gun rights one step at a time and we will have to win them back on step at a time.”

As to why anyone not living in California should even care, one-eighth of all Americans live in the Golden State. They have 53 Representatives in Congress. What begins there often ends up in the rest of the United States over time. If Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) had her way concealed carry laws in the rest of the U.S. would look like those in California.

As I read around the web, I see a lot of confusion and lack of understanding about what CGF is up to to clean up and sanitize carrying a firearm in urban California.

I want to outline the strategy a bit as there have been enough public revelations to make it easy to help outline what’s going on.

The way we see the carry problem here is that there are big issues and little issues that can be resolved both before and after a SCOTUS carry case.

Big Issue

The big issues are the Good Cause and Good Moral Character requirements of California law. Also, we’re taking the narrowest and strongest view of carry which is that it will be heavily influenced by governments’ ability to place time place and manner restrictions on it so long as loaded carry of some sort is allowed all to all non prohibiteds. That’s why we filed Sykes which became Richards v. Prieto. That’s also why SAF also filed, Palmer v. DC, Bateman v. Perdue (NC), Higtower v. Boston, Muller v. Maenza (NJ), Woolard v. Sheridan (MD), and Moore v. Madigan (IL). The whole point was to get SCOTUS to confirm there is a right to carry and may issue/discretionary laws are a prior restraint on the right to carry. Williams and Masciandaro are criminal actions that moved faster and may get us a SCOTUS carry case faster. We are currently cautiously optimistic that we’ll get a a carry case decision from SCOTUS by 6/30/2012, but we’re pretty confident that if that date isn’t hit, it would certainly be complete by 6/30/2013.

Pre SCOTUS Clean Up – The Sunshine Initiative

1. The clean up of California can start now – even before we win the big issue. Amongst the things that need to be fixed are Sheriffs with no policy, Sheriffs who force you to waste money by (having insurance, getting a doctor’s note, making you apply to a PD who will absolutely turn you down first, etc.) This effort can be seen by SF Sheriff’s Office finally issuing a (bad) policy and is exemplified by Rossow v. Merced.

2. Also, some sheriffs tend to be far more lenient on good cause statements from people they “know” for whatever reason. As such we can force a lot of sheriffs to head toward shall issue now (while we wait on SCOTUS) with cases like Scocca in Santa Clara that rely on Guillory v. Gates. This was why we sued Ventura for not disclosing their good cause statements.

3. Further, non California residents really have no way to carry in California. That’s why we filed Peterson v. Denver County Sheriff of the Week. We can prove the issue in the 10th Circuit (and get Californian’s the ability to carry in Denver) and then re-import that decision.

4. California’s license is pretty darn clean. Even 18 year olds can get it. However, we’re watching NRA’s handgun purchase and carry cases in Texas because we’ll want to import those wins here too.

All of this means that, while we wait, more people get permits, more counties get closer to shall issue, and when SCOTUS hits, we can quickly remove all the silly roadblocks to getting permits once they’re clearly our right – in many cases because we already have removed unlawful procedures in most of the California counties.

Post SCOTUS clean up.

1. Hold outs. We’ll have a few. However, we should have fresh case law to prove that much of what they do is unlawful. Add that to the Ezell standard that denial of 2A rights is irreparable harm and we’ll choose one or two counties to make examples of with TROs and PIs.

2. Too slow. Some counties will move too slowly – or are already too slow. Part of the plan with point 1, is to address that. Some time is allowed to complete the background checks, but after the initial crush of applicants 30-60 days is more than enough to process licenses.

3. Too expensive. Many gun owners can’t afford the license. Government is going to have to make accommodations for them. Our initial license is expensive. It’s ongoing maintenance is actually pretty cheap.

4. Other stuff. Psych evals will be killed by inference from a SCOTUS decision but we may have to pick on some issuer. More 42 USC 1988 fees for the attorneys!

A couple additional notes.

1. Licensed carry may be the bare minimum. Just as those of us closely watching Heller got a lot wider decision than we were expecting around carry, who knows how wide SCOTUS’ carry decision will be. We’re asking for the narrowest that gives us a real right because it’s prudent. If we get more on the first bite, well… Things above may be stated too conservatively.

2. CGF has focused on Sheriffs because they can’t weasel out like a PD can/could. However, that means in the future (and even now) sometimes the PD you live in could be a better option. We expect competition based on customer service between sheriffs and PD’s to pop up after SCOTUS. That’s the flip side of our relatively expensive initial permit – it’s a decent revenue source for cash strapped agencies.

I’m sure there is something I’ve forgotten, but I hope this clarifies what we’re up to a bit. There is nothing truly proprietary here – it’s just the best way to go about making life easy for CA gun owners who want to carry a firearm. There are a couple of additional items/clean ups that I’ve not talked about as we need to hold those back until we file them, but suffice it to say that there is a plan and that it should be relatively easy for all who want to carry – hopefully starting July 4, 2012.

I expect the biggest problem to be the lines. I can already tell you that BoF is impressed at what we’ve done in a couple of counties already based on their “carry applications pending” stats.

I certainly hope Gene is correct that the biggest problem will be the lines!

Some Pictures From CCRKBA Rally In Los Angeles

The CalGuns Foundation, the California Rifle and Pistol Association,, CCRKBA, and the Second Amendment Foundation sponsored a rally today in Los Angeles to protest Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayor’s plans for more gun control. It also featured CCRKBA’s Guns Save Lives rolling billboard truck.

Below are some pictures from the event posted by Eugene Tan. I see a lot of great signs with a lot of great Oleg Volk photos in them.

Congratulations are due to Gene Hoffman and all the attendees at this event as well as to the sponsors.

Links to all the pictures from the event can be found here.