Firearms Policy Coalition Is Preparing For Litigation On Bump Stocks

President Donald Trump, the black letter law notwithstanding, told the nation’s governors on Monday that he is “writing out” bump fire stocks.

“Bump stocks, we are writing that out. I am writing that out,” he said, addressing a group of state governors at the White House. “I don’t care if Congress does it or not, I’m writing it out myself.”

The president’s comments come after the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 students and staff dead. Last week, he directed the Department of Justice to create regulations that ban bump stocks.

Trump also said bump stocks should be put into the same category as certain firearms, making it “tough” to get them.

“You do a rule, have to wait 90 days,” he said. “That’s sort of what’s happening with bump stocks. It’s gone, don’t worry about it. It’s gone, essentially gone, because we are going to make it so tough, you’re not going to be able to get them. Nobody’s going to want them anyway.”

Now yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he thinks the Department of Justice has the legal authority to prohibit bump fire stocks.

“We believe in that, and we have had to deal with previous [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] ATF legal opinions, but our top people in the Department of Justice have believed for some time that we can, through regulatory process, not allow the bump stock to convert a weapon from a semi-automatic to a fully automatic,” Sessions told state attorneys general, according to Reuters.

ATF has previously said that it does not have the authority to regulate bump stocks, which increase the firing rate of semi-automatic rifles.

For once, I think BATFE actually got it right when they said they don’t have the authority to regulated bump fire stocks. So does the Firearms Policy Coalition.

They have retained attorneys Joshua Prince and Adam Kraut of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group to submit their response when the rulemaking is announced and to help with any litigation related to the rulemaking. They have promised to go to court if any rule banning bump fire stocks is adopted without any Congressional change in the law.

From their release sent out Monday evening:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 26, 2018) — In a press conference today, President Donald Trump
said
that, “I don’t care of Congress does it or not, I’m writing [so-called
‘bump stocks’] out myself.” In response to these troubling statements,
constitutional rights advocacy organizations
Firearms
Policy Coalition
(FPC) and
Firearms
Policy Foundation

(FPF) have announced that they have retained attorneys Joshua Prince
and Adam Kraut
of the Pennsylvania-based Firearms Industry Consulting
Group, a division of Civil
Rights Defense Firm, P.C., to submit their legal opposition to any
rulemaking and begin preparing for litigation.
 Last month,
FPC
submitted a legal letter of opposition

to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ advanced
noticed of proposed rulemaking on the “Application of the Definition of
Machinegun
to Bump Fire Stocks and Other Similar Devices.” In its comments, FPC
explained that the “DOJ and BATFE clearly lack the statutory authority
to re-define the targeted devices as ‘machineguns’,” and that these
ATF-approved and legally-possessed devices could
not be regulated firearms under the statutes.
 FPC and FPF oppose
restrictions on the acquisition, possession, carry, transportation, and
use of semi-automatic firearms, ammunition, and firearm parts and
accessories by law-abiding people.
 “We will use every resource
and remedy available to us in our ongoing defense of the Constitution,
the rights it protects, and millions of law-abiding American people”
said FPC President Brandon Combs. “While we would
prefer to block any executive action or rulemaking that would ban
currently-legal firearms parts before it becomes law, we would not
hesitate to file a federal lawsuit to protect the rights and legal
personal property of gun owners if that’s what it takes.”
 Those who wish to support
FPC and FPF’s efforts to oppose executive branch gun control and support
legal action a can make tax-deductible donation at
www.defendgunparts.com.
Individuals can become a member of FPC at
www.firearmspolicy.org/join. Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org)
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 arms.
 Firearms Policy Foundation (www.firearmsfoundation.org)
is a 501(c)3 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPF’s mission is to
defend the Constitution
of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges and immunities
deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, especially the
inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms.
 Firearms Industry Consulting Group
(www.firearmsindustryconsultinggroup.com) represents individuals,
organizations, firearms licensees, and others
located across the United States in all matters relating to firearms
and ATF compliance. FIGG is a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm,
P.C.
 

As an aside, the Adam Kraut mentioned in the release is the same Adam Kraut running for the NRA Board of Directors and the same Adam Kraut I have wholeheartedly endorsed. 

Guns, Politics, And Freedom Radio

I was a guest yesterday on Episode 24 of the Guns, Freedom, and Politics radio show with Paul Valone. We discussed the failures of law enforcement at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H.S., President Trump’s gun control proposals, the media narrative of events, and what would have worked.

Paul suggested everyone call the White House comment line at 202-456-1111 to let him know where you stand on his proposals regarding bump fire stocks, raising the age to purchase a long arm, and universal background checks. The key thing regarding bump fire stocks is not the stocks themselves but rather if it is interpreted to include anything that might accelerate the rate of fire such as a trigger job, Geissele or Timney triggers, or a different buffer weight.

Paul has made the recording available as a YouTube video. You may want to subscribe to his page so you don’t miss future shows.

Sorry Donald But This Is Bovine Excrement

President Donald Trump released a Presidential Memorandum today directing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to complete the review of bump fire stocks and to promulgate a rule banning them. The problem with this Presidential Memorandum is that bump fire stocks as exemplified by the SlideFire Stock do not meet the definition of machine guns under the National Firearms Act and applicable BATFE rulings. That was why Rich Vasquez when he was charged with analyzing the SlideFire Stock found that it was not a machine gun nor did it convert a semi-automatic firearm into one. I made this very point in my own comment under the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

If President Trump wishes to change the definition of a machine gun under the National Firearms Act or if he wishes to pass a bill banning bump fire stocks, then he should ask Congress to pass such a bill. Directing the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to make such a change to the existing rules governing bump fire stocks ignores the rule of law despite what he might say in this Presidential Memorandum.

You can read the full Presidential Memorandum below:

After the deadly mass murder in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 1, 2017, I asked my Administration to fully review how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulates bump fire stocks and similar devices.


Although the Obama Administration repeatedly concluded that particular bump stock type devices were lawful to purchase and possess, I sought further clarification of the law restricting fully automatic machineguns.


Accordingly, following established legal protocols, the Department of Justice started the process of promulgating a Federal regulation interpreting the definition of “machinegun” under Federal law to clarify whether certain bump stock type devices should be illegal. The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on December 26, 2017. Public comment concluded on January 25, 2018, with the Department of Justice receiving over 100,000 comments.


Today, I am directing the Department of Justice to dedicate all available resources to complete the review of the comments received, and, as expeditiously as possible, to propose for notice and comment a rule banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machineguns.


Although I desire swift and decisive action, I remain committed to the rule of law and to the procedures the law prescribes. Doing this the right way will ensure that the resulting regulation is workable and effective and leaves no loopholes for criminals to exploit. I would ask that you keep me regularly apprised of your progress.


You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.


DONALD J. TRUMP

If Donald Trump has any desire to have a second term, pissing off the gun rights community which provided his margin of victory in battleground states is a damn poor way to go about it.

The State Of The Union Address As I Heard It

This is how I heard President Trump’s first State of the Union address:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:

blah, blah, blah…


Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.


We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.


blah, blah, blah….


Thank you, and God bless America.

You may have heard it differently but that is what I remember hearing.

A Modest Proposal

The Complementary Spouse and I were watching Sharyl Attkisson’s Full Measure news program this morning. She had a story on about waste and fraud in the rebuilding of Afghanistan and its security forces. That is irrelevant to my modest proposal. However, seeing Afghan police carrying AK-47s got me to thinking – why are they carrying ComBloc firearms when they could be carrying firearms made in the good old USA.

The US firearms industry has an inventory problem. They overbuilt before the 2016 election on the presumption that we would have a President Hillary which would cause a mad rush to buy while the getting was good. Instead we have President Trump and the pipeline is full of ARs that manufacturers and distributors are trying to clear out. Tam called it a “gun glut” today in a post.

You only have to see the emails and flyers from companies like Palmetto State Armory and CDNN to see that prices have plummeted.  The subreddit /r/gundeals is full of posts about great buys on anything AR. The deals are not just on any old no-name AR. They include stuff like the Colt LE6920 for $799 and the S&W MP15 for $499. Conversely, it doesn’t look like the prices of AKs have fallen anywhere as much. Romanian Wasrs are still over $600.

President Trump campaigned on “buy American” and issued an Executive Order  in April which seeks to maximize the procurement of American-made products by Federal agencies. The Department of Defense and the State Department both provide security assistance to Afghanistan.

While it is somewhat counter-productive to my own selfish interests, I would propose that DOD and the State Department begin buying up much of this surplus inventory at these bargain prices. It would then be used to replace those ComBloc AKs with good, American made, semi-auto AR15s. While as a consumer I would miss being able to buy good quality AR lowers for $50 or less, I also recognize that I have a greater interest in seeing firearms companies – especially the smaller specialty ones – survive as going concerns. The average Afghani cop isn’t going to care if he is issued a Del-Ton, a Colt, or a Spike’s Tactical. He’s just going to be happy that he has a new rifle. Reequipping the Afghanis with AR15s will also provide opportunities for training companies to instruct the Afghanis on the use, care, and maintenance of their new rifles.

I’m sure the media would portray this as a sop to the NRA and the firearms industry. Nonetheless, it helps an American industry, it fulfills a campaign promise to buy American, it ties the Afghanis to us for training, spare parts, etc., it could be done at bargain prices, and it helps preserve the smaller companies. My modest proposal is, at least to me, a win all around.

Guess Who Will Be At The NRA Annual Meeting

That’s right, President Donald Trump. The NRA posted this on their official Instagram page yesterday.

Donald Trump becomes the first sitting president to address a NRA Annual Meeting since Ronald Reagan did it back in 1983.

From Bloomberg Politics:

“The NRA is honored to have the president address our annual meeting at the leadership forum,” said Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA. “We’re excited to once again have a president who respects the Second Amendment.”


The NRA endorsed Trump’s bid for president last May, after the then-candidate addressed the group’s annual forum in Louisville, Kentucky. Trump pledged at the time to “save our Second Amendment” and appoint judges which would support expansive gun rights.


His return visit to speak to the group’s 2017 Leadership Forum in Atlanta is likely to appeal to Trump’s base at a time when he has received criticism for reversing himself on promises to his most ardent supporters. At the same time, Trump’s speech to the influential lobby could repel Democrats and moderates who have been chafing under his presidency and have blocked some of his proposals from advancing in Congress.

Speaking to the NRA might repel Democrats but there isn’t much Trump does that doesn’t repel liberal Democrats. However, I see Trump’s visit as part of a “thank-you tour” to those who supported in 2016 and whose support he continues to need.

Appointing Justice Gorsuch and signing the repeal of the anti-rights Social Security regulations were good first steps. Now we need to see movement on national reciprocity and the Hearing Protection Act. More solid judicial appointments would not hurt either.

Comment Of The Day

President Trump held a news conference yesterday and, from what I’m reading, it was pure Trump.
The heads of the media personalities are still exploding and they don’t know why.

The best comment came in response to a post by Professor William Jacobson regarding the news conference. VaGentleman had this to say:

I’m reminded of the scene in ‘Patton’ where he is standing on the hill overlooking the battlefield and shouts, “Rommel, you bloody bastard, I read your book!”. Alinskyites, take note.

Charles Heller of Liberty Watch Radio, JPFO, and AzCDL made the nearly the same point when we recorded him for an interview with The Polite Society Podcast. He urged gun rights activists to read the Rules for Radicals and use them.

NRA Going All In For Gorsuch

The NRA-ILA reacted very quickly to the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. They released a statement within minutes as well as this graphic which was placed on Instagram.

NRA Applauds Neil Gorsuch’s Nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association (NRA) applauds the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the United States Supreme Court.

“President Trump has made an outstanding choice in nominating Judge Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. He has an impressive record that demonstrates his support for the Second Amendment,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “We urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, just as it did in confirming him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit by a unanimous voice vote.”

During his tenure on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch has demonstrated his belief that the Constitution should be applied as the framers intended. To that end, he has supported the individual right to self-defense. Specifically, he wrote in an opinion that “the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own firearms and may not be infringed lightly.”

“On behalf of our five million members, the NRA strongly supports Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. We will be activating our members and tens of millions of supporters throughout the country in support of Judge Gorsuch. He will protect our right to keep and bear arms and is an outstanding choice to fill Justice Scalia’s seat,” concluded Cox.

And from Instagram:

We will need the NRA going all in for Judge Gorsuch as the battle lines were being drawn in minutes. The NY Times had an editorial out within minutes calling it a “stolen seat” and Merrick Garland “better qualified”. I’m sorry but mere tenure on the bench does not make you a better judge or better legal mind. It only means you are older.

SCOTUS Pick To Be Announced Tonight

President Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia will be announced tonight, in prime time, at 8pm EST. During the campaign, Mr. Trump released a list of 21 potential nominees. That list has been whittled down to the two or maybe three finalists.

The three reported to be on the final list are Judge Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 11th Circuit, and Judge William Pryor of the 5th Circuit. Of those three, Judge Pryor is considered to be the most contentious choice as he was barely confirmed when appointed to the Court of Appeals. He is also a protegee’ of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions.

According to CNN, Judges Hardiman and Gorsuch have been brought to Washington which would seem to indicate it is now down to those two.

The SCOTUS Blog has done a good job of summarizing the background of the three finalists.

All three are youngish, conservative, and have good credentials. However, only Judge Hardiman has ruled on Second Amendment issues directly. He had a 40-page dissent in Drake v. Filko which centered around the impediments that New Jersey puts on obtaining a carry permit. His dissent would make him appear to believe that the right of self-defense is guaranteed both inside and outside the home. Second Amendment attorneys David Jensen and Alan Gura were the attorneys of record for the plaintiff in the appeal. Jensen commented on a post I had on Facebook today that he thought it was a good dissent. That sounds good to me.
Of course, given President Trump, this could all be window-dressing and he nominates either Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). They would already be in DC and bringing Judges Hardiman and Gorsuch to town was to throw off the media.

UPDATE: Politico and Independent Journal Review are reporting that “Trump insiders” have confirmed that Judge Neil Gorsuch will get the nod. We’ll see.

UPDATE II: Interesting trivia on Judge Gorsuch – his mother was Ronald Reagan’s first head of the EPA, Anne Gorsuch, who was forced out of office over a House contempt citation pertaining to toxic waste clean-up records. She was never charged with a crime despite allegations.

#2A Selfies

Among the many things President Trump is known for include his use of social media and his use of his three oldest children as advisors. A number of weeks back I remember Mr. Trump telling 60 Minutes that he had 28 million followers of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

This got me to thinking about how we in the gun culture at the grassroots could use this to advance our Second Amendment rights. Mr. Trump owes us in the gun culture for our support throughout the general election campaign in return for his promises of supporting the Second Amendment. I’d wager, though I haven’t seen any hard statistics, that Mr. Trump’s pro-gun stance helped him eke out wins in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

My idea is to use social media and in particular Twitter and Instagram to communicate our grassroots message to Mr. Trump and his kids. For it to be effective, it has to go viral.

Simplicity is the key. While I have a whole list of things I want, picking 2-3 is more effective. It is also more readable in a picture which I have found out by experimentation. See the difference below. The first is my laundry list and the second is the top things I want.

Large List
Highlighted List

Shadows or not, I think the second picture is more effective as it shows that a person is standing behind it and has a limited list.

All you need to participate is a phone with a camera, a Twitter account, and/or an Instagram account. I would urge you to do both. The photo doesn’t need to look professional and indeed I think it is better if it didn’t. Post the picture with this hashtag –  #2ASelfie.

Your post needs to include your selfie, the hashtag, and the following addresses:

For Twitter:

  • @potus
  • @whitehouse
  • @realdonaldtrump
  • @donaldjtrumpjr
  • @erictrump
  • @ivankatrump
  • @(fill in your Representative’s Twitter handle)
For Instagram:
  • @whitehouse
  • @realdonaldtrump
  • @donaldjtrumpjr
  • @erictrump
  • @ivankatrump
  • @(fill in your Representative’s Instagram name)
Remember that Twitter has an 140 character limit. Instagram, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t have a character limit.

Forward this post to your friends and family who support the Second Amendment. Unlike the stuff that comes out of Bloomberg’s Everytown or the Brady Campaign, this really is a grassroots effort. Again, we need this to go viral. If it goes viral, it will have more of an impact than any Change.org petition.