Proud Gabby – With Apologies To John Fogarty

I’m reading yet another email asking for money from Americans for Responsible Solutions. They are criticizing the NRA for being respectfully quiet following the Las Vegas mass casualty event. As I continued to read, a jingle started playing in my head to the tune of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Proud Mary. All I could hear was “rollin’ in the blood”.

This led me to rewrite a bit of the first few stanzas of Proud Mary.

Left a good job in the Congress
Workin’ for the Left ev’ry night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleepin’
Worryin’ ’bout the way things should have been

Big money keep on commin’
Proud Gabby keep on beggin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ in the blood

Cleared a lot of checks in the District
Pumped a lot of hands down in Tucson
But I never saw the good side of the city
‘Til I hitched a ride as the anti-gun queen

Big money keep on commin’
Proud Gabby keep on beggin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ in the blood

 This is probably not the most respectful thing to say about a former member of Congress and I am truly sorry that she got shot by a mentally disturbed young man who had passed all background checks. Nonetheless, I get sick and tired of how the gun prohibitionists roll in the blood of the victims before the blood is even dry.

Sharks And Bottom Feeders – Brady Center And Las Vegas Law Firm File Class Action Suit

Sharks are always attracted to blood and bottom feeders exist to scavenge the remains.

Today, little more Friday, less than a week after the Las Vegas mass casualty event, the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project in conjunction with Las Vegas class action law firm Eglet Prince plan to file suit in Clark County District Court against Slide Fire Solutions, LP, and other manufacturers and sellers of bump fire stocks. The case is being filed on behalf of everyone who attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert on October 1st. The suit will ask for both compensatory damages for the cost of counseling for emotional distress and for punitive damages.

From the joint press release, in part:

LAS VEGAS – October 10, 2017. A class action lawsuit was filed in the District Court of Clark County Nevada on behalf of victims of the deadliest mass shooting in American history that took place on October 1, at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The suit, filed by Las Vegas law firm Eglet Prince and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, is against Slide Fire Solutions, LP and the sellers, manufacturers and marketers of “bump stock” devices which convert semi-automatic weapons to the functional equivalent of a machine gun.

This case is on behalf of all the festival goers who suffered emotional distress as a result of the shooting. The lawsuit asks the defendants to pay for the costs associated with counseling and other treatment for emotional distress. The lawsuit also asks the court to award punitive damages. The lawsuit alleges that such damages are appropriate for defendants who provided a product that turned a semi-automatic gun into the functional equivalent of a machine gun, thereby evading longstanding federal law.

The lawsuit asserts that Slide Fire Solutions, LP was negligent in developing and marketing “bump stocks” to the general public without any reasonable restrictions, thereby subverting federal law that has highly regulated machine guns for over 80 years. According to the Complaint, “this horrific assault would not and could not have occurred, with a conventional handgun, rifle, or shotgun, of the sort used by law-abiding responsible gun owners for hunting or self-defense.” The complaint goes on to allege that the damage caused to the plaintiffs, “resulted from the military-style arsenal that the defendants manufactured, marketed, and sold to the public, without any reasonable measures or safeguards.”

Representing the Plaintiffs are Robert Eglet, Robert Adams, Aaron Ford, and Erica Entsminger of the Eglet Prince law firm, and Jonathan Lowy, of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Brady Campaign & Center Co-Presidents, Kristin Brown and Avery Gardiner, released a statement regarding the impact of this case:

The people who attended the concert have suffered so much already. The physical injuries are staggering, and we know the emotional injuries can be equally severe and long term. Brady has decades of experience supporting the victims of gun violence and has been the only organization in the nation focused on seeking justice for them in the courts.

The announcement was made at a press conference on Tuesday, October 10th at 10:30 am PST by Robert T. Eglet of Eglet Prince and Jonathan Lowy, Vice President, Litigation of the Brady Center. The event was held at the law offices of Eglet Prince 400 South Seventh Street, Suite 400 in Las Vegas.

Beyond the obvious gun control political overtones of this case, Eglet Prince attorney Aaron Ford is also the Majority Leader of the Nevada State Senate. His campaign finance reports don’t indicate any direct contribution from either Michael Bloomberg or Everytown. However, Everytown and their PAC did contribute over $600,000 to the Nevada Democratic Party. The Eglet Prince law firm itself is a big donor to both Democrats and to the trial lawyers’ PAC “Citizens for Justice”.

The question is whether this case can go forward given the Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act. The Firearm Blog covered this in relationship to’s decision to not allow any further sales of bump fire stocks on their website. asserts that the PLCAA doesn’t cover the stocks. However, James Reeves who is an attorney and who writes for The Firearm Blog asserts the PLCAA does cover bump fire stocks but it is very questionable whether private sellers would be protected.

Is a bump fire stock a firearm product? While the courts will have to make the final determination, I’m going to side with those who hold that it is covered by the PLCAA.

If bump fire stocks are found to be covered by the PLCAA, then this case should either be moved immediately to US District Court or dismissed immediately. One would hope that the US Justice Department would file a motion in Clark County District Court asking that the case be moved to US District Court. Given the infestation of DOJ by the “deep state”, I’m taking a wait and see attitude on that. In the meantime, we need to keep a watch on this and similar lawsuits.

The full 30-page complaint can be found here.

UPDATE: According to stories in both the Las Vegas Sun and the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the class action lawsuit was actually filed on Friday, October 7th.

Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign, was quoted saying she does not think the PLCAA applies.

Avery W. Gardiner, co-president of the Brady center and the gun control group’s former chief legal officer, said she doesn’t believe PLCAA will protect bump stock manufacturers. “PLCAA covers firearms and ammunition,” she said. “A bump stock is not a firearm and it is not ammunition. It does not qualify for immunity. I would be surprised if the defendants didn’t try to make a PLCAA argument, but they will not win.” Gardiner cited the 2010 letter sent by the ATF, which specifically states that the bump stock “is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm.”

That is an argument that is being made in the press who don’t know the law but I doubt will be made in court. Under 15 U.S. Code § 7903 (4), a qualified product under the PLCAA includes “a component part of a firearm or ammunition.” It can be reasonably argued that a stock – even a bump fire stock – is a component part of a rifle or carbine. Furthermore, Slide Fire Solutions LP and its founder, Jim Cottle, would qualify as a manufacturer and dealer respectively. Slide Fire Solutions LP holds a 07 manufacturer’s FFL and Mr. Cottle a 01 dealer FFL. Both are protected classes under the PLCAA.

NSSF/SAAMI Joint Statement On Las Vegas Tragedy (And Bump Fire Stocks)

The National Shooting Sports Federation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute seem to be taking the same approach as the NRA on bump fire stocks: have the BATFE evaluate them under the existing law. All three groups are intent on keeping Congress out of this fight for the time being. They would prefer to have an agency regulation on the stocks than to have new legislation which would most likely go much further. Feinstein’s S.1916 would certainly do that.

The joint statement is below:

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and loved ones of all those killed and injured in the criminal attack in Las Vegas. The manufacture, distribution and sale of automatic firearms and their components has been stringently regulated by federal laws since 1934. We believe the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) should interpret and enforce existing laws and regulations. We call upon ATF to conduct a prompt review and evaluation of aftermarket trigger activation devices such as bump stocks to determine whether they are lawful to install and use on a firearm under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), or whether, if they have no function or purpose other than to convert a conventional firearm into an automatic firearm, they are regulated items under the NFA. We urge Congress to allow ATF to complete its review before considering any legislation so that any policy decisions can be informed by the facts and ATF’s analysis.

Firearms Policy Coalition Statement On Las Vegas Shooting

The Firearms Policy Coalition released the statement below yesterday. I think it makes some very pertinent points about civil liberties, civic virtue, trust in government, and opportunistic politicians.

It is not a short statement meant to be a sound bite. It is a serious response that needs to be read and digested and then read again.


Our hearts break for the
victims of the heinous mass murder in Las Vegas and our prayers are
with them, their families, and everyone affected by this
incomprehensible act of evil. While it is impossible to measure the
loss suffered in Sunday’s tragedy, the sting from this senseless
violence will doubtless be felt for years to come. 

We are deeply grateful for the law enforcement officers,
firefighters, paramedics, nurses, doctors, blood donors, and countless
volunteers who stood tall and delivered aid to the innocent in a time
of great need, as Americans do. 

Sadly, opportunistic politicians who prey on tragedies like this
one have already begun to suggest that our response should be to
abandon our constitutional principles in favor of policies that would
ban more guns, disarm more victims, and further expand “gun free
zones” — spaces shielded by nothing more than invisible lines and
wishful thinking. 

Such policies are not only irrational, but outright dangerous. As
every attack in what was purported to be a ‘gun-free’, ‘bomb-free’, or
‘vehicle-free’ zone proves, there is no set of laws that will prevent
evil people from monstrously plotting an effective means to harm

In a cruel and potentially dangerous irony, many—if not most—of the
same people who assert that we cannot possibly trust the government
under someone like President Donald Trump also claim that it
is only the government that we should trust to safely and
responsibly possess weapons like the most common semi-automatic rifle
in America, the AR-15. 

We know that the privileged and wealthy elite will purchase
paramilitary protective teams armed with the very firearms they so
desperately wish to put out of the reach of the common man, but the
rest of us would be left to hope and pray. 

That is why the Second Amendment’s guarantees are not a matter of
convenience, nor of need, nor even of want. The basic
 right to armed self-defense against unjust force
is precisely why our Founders enshrined it into our Constitution—to
protect it against the capricious nature of popular opinion, the
momentum of the mob, and those who would seek to limit it to a
watered-down, second-class privilege for some. 

Thankfully, as the Supreme Court correctly noted in the
landmark Heller decision, the “very enumeration of the right
takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of
Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the
right is really worthinsisting upon.” 

Nearly 15 years ago, the Ninth Circuit’s then-Chief Judge Alex
Kozinski aptly wrote that the “prospect of tyranny may not grab the
headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw
the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is
a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare
circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the
government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who
protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no
one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies
may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get
to make only once.” 

Every day, evil people and governments around the world employ
tools ranging from clenched fists to combat aircraft to perpetrate
unspeakable and unjustified crimes upon others. But objectivity and
reason compels us to recognize that those instruments are but the
means to the end, and not the end itself. Indeed, the span of human
history shows that such arms are also used to liberate the oppressed,
establish order and justice from anarchy, and defend innocent life
from cruel despots. 

The American people will not be bullied by killers or politicians
and neither will we cower against attacks on our most important civil
rights. We reject the notion that good, peaceable people and our basic
rights must suffer for the crimes of the wicked.
There is no more pure a victory for evil than for our society to
assault or eliminate the rights of good people in response to things
we did not do. And so a just world must hold accountable the writers
of history for their deeds, not the mere quills through which it is

We law-abiding people of America do not accept responsibility for
the evil, cowardly acts of the deranged and hateful among us, nor do
we accept blame for their unconscionable and cowardly uses of
instruments that can and do serve as instruments of self-defense and

A great champion of individual liberties once said that if civic
virtue does not reside in the people, no constitution, no bill of
rights, no legislative body, and no court will be able to preserve our

That is why, in troubled and troubling times like these, we are
honor-bound to stand united in defense of fundamental, individual
liberties, in all cases, and in spite of the incalculable grief we
feel for the victims of Las Vegas as fellow human beings. 

Firearms Policy Coalition takes seriously our chartered duty to
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially
the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear

FPC and our allies will continue fighting to defend and advance our
Constitution’s protection of fundamental human

Firearms Policy
is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially
the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear

Outside His Area Of Expertise

Former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker was interviewed on CNBC on Monday regarding the mass casualty event in Las Vegas. Swecker was the former number three person in the FBI and was probably called upon by CNBC’s John Harwood because of that.

Listen to what he has to say about suppressors and semiautomatic rifles with ugly cosmetics.

Swecker said that civilians – that’s you and me in his LEO-speak – have no need to own suppressors. He also said fully automatic weapons are illegal and that AR-15s are way too easy to convert to full auto. He wondered “what rational purpose is there for 10 different ‘assault weapons’ (sic) in the hands of one person.”

One must wonder how someone with this level of ignorance rises to the level he did at the FBI. Fully automatic weapons are legal if made before the May 19, 1986 (Hughes Amendment) so long as they are registered under the NFA and the owner paid the tax and underwent the requisite background checks. Furthermore, ARs are not easy to convert to full auto unless you have a machine shop and the proper parts. Bumpfire is still not full auto no matter how fast you can dump a mag.

You also have to wonder where his law enforcement expertise lies. Was he a street guy infiltrating motorcycle gangs and fighting violent crime on the streets?

If his LinkedIn page is any indication, his law enforcement expertise lay in white collar crimes and especially financial and cyber crime. From his LinkedIn page where he lays out his expertise both in the FBI and in his subsequent career.


 In my field it is unethical to practice outside the area of your competence. Given his entire career is and was devoted to white collar crime, financial irregularities, fraud, and the like, Swecker is outside the area of his competence when talking about firearms and violent crime. If he dealt with terrorism, it was regarding the funding of terrorism and not how to rescue someone being held hostage.

If I were to guess why CNBC called upon Chris Swecker to talk about the events in Las Vegas, it is because they knew of him from his role in investigating and prosecuting financial irregularities and thought they could parlay his old position as No. 3 at the FBI into something newsworthy.  In my opinion, they failed.

Can You Still Hear A Suppressed Rifle From 500 Yards Away?

The answer to the title question is yes.

Rebel Silencers made an ad hoc video on the level of sound suppression on a suppressed rifle. It was done quickly and the production values are not pristine. The microphone picks up wind like nobody’s business. That said, it does a good job of illustrating that a suppressor only lowers the db level and doesn’t eliminate it.

Here was their setup. One guy shot an AR, both unsuppressed and suppressed, from a ridge about 500 yards away from the person listening. The guy listening was a shop machinist who probably didn’t have the world’s best hearing. He stood in the bed of a pickup, closed his eyes, and turned around many times so he didn’t know if was facing or not facing the shooter. He was asked to in the direction of the heard shot. He did it both times with reasonable accuracy.

Is this a perfect test under controlled laboratory conditions? Absolutely not. Does it illustrate that you can both detect the sound and the direction of the suppressed gunfire? Absolutely yes.

Those who have an axe to grind against guns and/or the Hearing Protection Act will say this video proves nothing. I would disagree and say that it shows that the average untrained person can indeed detect suppressed gunfire and that any “shot detectors” would also be able to detect the direction of the gunfire.

You know your member of Congress is under pressure from the anti-gun, anti-suppressor forces to kill the SHARE Act in the wake the mass casualty event in Las Vegas. Now is the time to make your voice heard again and again in favor of passage of these bills.

The Need To “Act”

I received a text this afternoon from the Brady Campaign regarding the mass casualty event in Las Vegas. They are urging people to contact Congress and ask for more gun control. You can see the screenshot of it below.

Let’s look at what we know and what we don’t know.

Do we know the name, age, and race of the murderer?

Yes. However, I make it a policy of this blog never to grant mass murderers the pleasure of having their name become infamous. He was a white male aged 64.

Do we know the number of victims?

Yes. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the latest count is 58 killed and at least 515 wounded.

Do we know why the murderer did this?

No. As far as it has been reported, there has been no manifesto, no suicide note, and no indications as to why the murderer decided to commit this evil act.

Is it terrorism related?

While ISIS has claimed responsibility for this calling it a lone wolf attack by someone who had recently converted to Islam, the FBI has discounted this. However, as Andrew McCarthy at the National Review noted, the murderer did terrorize the community.

Do we know what type of firearm or firearms he used?

No. They have been variously reported as .223 and .308 caliber rifles along with the AK-47.

How many firearms did he have?

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told the press officers found 10 rifles in the murderer’s room. The Wall Street Journal reports, however, the number at 18-20.

Did he have fully automatic rifles?

The best answer is maybe. He may have had a full-auto rifle or he may have had a bumpstock or GAT crank. There is debate on this and no one has reported conclusively on this issue. He was reported to have been a multi-millionaire with multiple homes and two airplanes. He could have afforded to buy legal NFA machine guns but we don’t know.

Do we know how the murderer obtained his firearms?

No. Update: ABC News reported on their evening news that at least some of the firearms were purchased from a gun store in Mesquite, NV after the requisite NICS check. They are not a Class 3 dealer.

Do we know how the murderer died?

Yes. He committed suicide as the police were breaching the door to his room.

Did the murderer have a criminal record?

No. His late father, however, was a convicted bank robber and had been on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. The father had escaped from Federal prison and did try to run down FBI agents with a car. He died in 1998.

What firearms law would have prevented this?

Put bluntly, none. The killer had a clean record and had no reported history of mental illness. He would have passed even the strictest of background checks including those required to purchase NFA items. Moreover, given his financial resources, he could have obtained any sort of weapon on the black market. A determined lone wolf with his resources will always be able to cause death and destruction. In this case it seems the killer put a good deal of planning and money into getting the right location at the right time.

Policy made in haste rarely is good policy. We should resist any and all efforts to use this tragedy as the basis for new gun control laws. The Rahm Emanuel “never let a tragedy go to waste” days should be over and they should stay over.

Ben Shapiro at the Daily Wire puts it very well in this post from earlier in the day.