Strong State Preemption Bill Passes In Kansas

The Kansas State House of Representatives gave their approval on Saturday to HB 2578 which provides for state preemption of local ordinances and regulations regarding both knives and firearms. It also overturns restrictions on open carry by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City (KS).

The vote in favor of passage of the conference committee substitute was 102 in favor with only 19 opposed. On Friday, the Kansas State Senate approved the bill 37-2. The bill now goes to Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) who has traditionally been a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights.

From the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Kansas law doesn’t expressly forbid the open carrying of firearms, and the attorney general’s office has in the past told local officials that some restrictions are allowed. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., has prohibited the practice, but the bill would sweep any such ban away, except to allow cities and counties to prevent openly carried weapons inside public buildings.

The measure also would prevent cities and counties from enacting restrictions on the sale of firearms and ammunition, or imposing rules on how guns must be stored and transported. Existing ordinances would be void, and local governments couldn’t use tax dollars for gun buy-back programs.

According to a summary of the conference committee report, the bill would also remove the arbitrary discretion from chief law enforcement officers to deny NFA transfers, it would forbid municipal governments from requiring disclosure of carry permits by their employees, and it extends the prohibition about carrying under the influence to all methods of carry.

The bill was strongly supported by the Kansas State Rifle Association, the NRA, and the American Silencer Association. As you can imagine, the gun prohibitionists are full of sour grapes over the passage of a strong bill that could be a model for other states.

But Jonathan Lowry, director of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s efforts to defend gun control policies in court and oppose the lessening of existing regulations, called the Kansas measure “undemocratic.”

“The gun lobby likes to prevent people who believe in sensible gun laws from having a say in protecting their own communities,” Lowry said. “It’s cynical, and it’s dangerous public policy.”

No word on any organized opposition to the bill from (former) Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors or the Kansas Chapter of the Demanding Mommies.

Kudos to the Kansas State Legislature for passing such a strong bill that includes both firearms and knives under its preemption requirements.

ATF 41P: Deadline For Comments Is Monday At 11:59PM EST (Updated)

Back on September 9th, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives issued a proposed rule and opened the comment period. The proposed rule would require Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) signoff for all NFA transfers including ones for trusts, partnerships, and corporations. As we all know, in many areas, this is impossible to obtain and people go to NFA or gun trust route for just this reason.

The comment period is coming to an end tomorrow (Monday, December 9th) at 11:59pm EST. As of Saturday, BATFE has received 7,291 comments on the ATF 41P. From what I can tell, the overwhelming majority are firmly opposed to this proposed rule.

The American Silencer Association has an excellent page up on how to comment along with templates for your comments. I used one of their templates and then modified it.

Robb Allen at Sharp As A Marble has posted his comment which is much shorter and to the point. There are some variations in the comment section. I think any or all of them would make worthwhile comments to submit.

Jeff Know of The Firearms Coalition has his organization’s comment up here. They are pointing people to attorney John Pierce’s site for examples of short comments as well as some background information on the rulemaking effort. Mr. Pierce has nine suggested comments.

It is too late to mail a comment by the US Postal Service but it sure isn’t too late to use the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Just ID as being for ATF 41P.

All you need to do is cut and paste one of the suggested comments from the links above. It will push up the number opposing it and make it harder for the BATFE to justify going through with this nonsensical proposal.

Or at least it should!

UPDATE: The number of submissions as of Sunday night was 8,124. That means they received 833 comments or more than 10% of the total yesterday. Let’s see if we can double that today!

UPDATE II: The comments are now closed for ATF 41P.  David Codrea’s National Gun Rights Examiner column from Tuesday points to one of the more important submissions. It is from the Firearms Industry Consulting Group of the Prince Law Firm. The submission, which can be downloaded in its entirety here, is over 500 pages including appendices. The comment was submitted on Monday to the Federal and does make reference to a number of the earlier comments submitted.

David notes that:

The FICG comments raise serious questions about both ATF’s compliance with established rules and the law, as well as about the Bureau’s relationship with leaders of the National Firearms Act Trade and Collectors Association, which filed the petition ATF says prompted the rulemaking change proposal in the first place.

Joshua Prince, one of the two principal authors of the submission, says that the BATFE’s actions with regard to the rulemaking give plenty of cause for judicial review if the rule is adopted.

While our Comment may seem massive to some, with funding, a thorough Comment with evidentiary support, including expert affidavits, reports, and analysis, would have likely been almost double in size. Nevertheless, ATF’s failure to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act in a number of ways will allow for judicial review, if ATF decides to move forward with promulgating any final rule. If ATF is inclined to move forward with any final rule, it’s best course of action is to start anew and correct all of its violations of law. But, we know ATF won’t do that, because it cannot admit when it violates the law.

Hence, the Firearms Industry must prepare to fund the necessary litigation to invalidate any final rule.

Given the BATFE’s predilection for bending or breaking the law and with the Democrats’ packing of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, this rulemaking bears a lot of attention as it goes forward.

ATF Proposed Rule on NFA Trusts Published

We knew it was coming and now it is here. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, at the behest of President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, have now published their proposed rule regarding background checks and Chief LEO sign-offs for trusts and/or corporations seeking to purchase firearms that come under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

The proposed rule was published today in the Federal Register and can be found here.

The more extensive rationale for this as signed by Attorney General Holder can be found on the ATF website here.

We will have 91 days from today in which to submit comments regarding this proposed rule. I hope to have an automated letter generator up similar to what we did a couple of years ago on the multiple semi-auto rifle purchase reporting requirement. In the meantime, Prince Law Firm has a number of suggested letters here. They have some additional suggested steps to take here.

As attorney Dave Hardy said with regard to the petition from the NFA Trade and Collectors Association, expecting ATF to be reasonable is never a good idea. David Codrea has more on the petition from NFATCA here and the consummate stupidity of their move.

While the background checks of all responsible persons within a gun trust might be tolerable, it is the requirement for the CLEO check-off that is the real knife in the back. In many locations, chief law enforcement officers won’t sign off on any NFA item regardless of whether it is a suppressor or a full-auto machine gun. NFA gun trusts were the one way around anti-gun police chiefs and sheriffs. The new proposed rule does away with that.

I had batted the idea of a NFA trust around with my brother-in-law. I think we may be doing something sooner than later and I’d suggest you might want to do the same.

If I Had The Money….

I like to look over the firearms auctions on on a regular basis. This week I came across an estate auction that would set the heart aflutter of most any collector.

It is from the collection of Richard Wray of Cincinnati, Ohio. I don’t know who Mr. Wray is or was other than he owned Wray Electric Company. I do know he had more Class III NFA firearms than most museums!

In addition to the more common items like a M-16, a Browning M-2, and the M-60 machine gun, the collection has stuff like a Carl Gustafs Model 1921/1924 Browning Automatic Rifle in 6.5 Swedish Mauser with Finnish Army proofs.

OK, that is a bit too pedestrian for your tastes, how about a Vickers Mark I Water-Cooled Machine Gun in .303 and retaining most of its original finish?

Nah, you say, Vickers made a lot of machine guns.  Then try a U.S. Model 1909 Benet Mercie Light Machine Gun made by Springfield Armory.

You need to check this auction out if only to see all the unusual US and foreign machine guns Mr. Wray had.

As for me, what I’d really want to bid on is the Smith and Wesson Model 76 Submachine gun which is the US copy of the Swedish K-gun. I got to shoot one a couple of years ago at the LuckyGunner Blogshoot and really liked it. It was easy to shoot and you might even still be able to get spare parts for it from Numrichs. It is also expected to sell in the 4-digit range and not the 5-digit range. Now all I would have to do is clear the NFA background check and wait…and wait.