President Trump’s SCOTUS List, Part 3

These next five potential nominees include the only non-judge on the list – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and the only District Court or non-appellate level judge on the list – Federico Moreno of the Southern District of Florida. My gut feeling is that only Sen. Mike Lee might make the short list if President Trump rolls the dice and takes the chance that a few Democrats will support one of their own colleagues.

One thing I have noticed is that both Joan Larsen and Mike Lee were associates at Sidley Austin at the same time period that our favorite 2A attorney, Alan Gura, was an associate there.

Joan L. Larsen


49 y.o., married to Adam Pritchard who is a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, and has two children.

Current Position: 

Judge, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nominated by Pres. Donald Trump and confirmed Nov. 1, 2017.


University of Northern Iowa, B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1990
Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1st in class, 1993


Judge David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1993-1994
Justice Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court of the United State, 1994-1995

Previous Positions: 

Associate, Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, DC, 1995-1997
Visiting Asst Prof., Northwestern University School of Law, 1998
Visiting Prof of Law, University of Michigan School of Law, 1998-2001
Dep. Asst. Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, US Department of Justice, 2002-2003
Lecturer in Law & Adjunct Prof., University of Michigan School of Law, 2003-present
Visiting Asst Prof., University of Iowa School of Law, 2006
Associate Justice, Michigan Supreme Court, 2015-2017


Of Propensity, Prejudice, and Plain Meaning: The Accused’s Use of Exculpatory Specific Acts Evidence and the Need to Amend Rule 404(b), 87 Nw. U. L. Rev. 651 (1993)
One Person One Office: Separation of Powers or Separation of Personnel, 79 Cornell L. Rev. 1045 (1993-1994)
Constitutionalism without Courts, 94 Nw. U. L. Rev. 983 (2000)
Importing Constitutional Norms from a Wider Civilization: Lawrence and the Rehnquist Court’s Use of Foreign and International Law in Domestic Constitutional Interpretation, 65 Ohio St. L.J. 1283 (2004)
Ancient Juries and Modern Judges: Originalism’s Uneasy Relationship with the Jury, 71 Ohio St. L.J 959 (2010)
Incompatibility Clause in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, 2nd Ed. (2014)

Judicial Opinions: 

For a review of her judicial decisions, see this the blog post from The Vetting Room and this profile from the SCOTUSBlog. Her record on the Michigan Supreme Court tends to be conservative but has voted with the more liberal justices. Since Larsen has been on the 6th Circuit, she participated in eight cases with a published opinion and 28 cases with an unpublished opinion. The cases involved a variety of criminal issues, disability cases, immigration appeals, and financial transactions. None involved any issue concerning the Second Amendment.


The opposition from the Alliance for Justice is centered on Larsen’s scholarship and her time with the Office of Legal Counsel. They accuse Larsen of siding with the wealthy and powerful over the rights of workers while on the 6th Circuit. Interestingly, they ignore a case where she found for a union instead of the non-union worker along with another case where she found the administrative law judge had improperly denied disability benefits. I’d say they engaged in cherry-picking to come to their conclusion. People for the American Way (sic) say in a letter opposing Larsen when she was nominated for the 6th Circuit accused her of being someone who would “diminish the rights of ordinary Americans and enable dangerous abuses of power by the president.”

Michael S. “Mike” Lee


47 y.o., married to Sharon Burr Lee, and has three children. Mormon. His father, Rex Lee, was US Solicitor General during the Reagan Administration and later was the 10th President of BYU. Is the younger brother of Thomas R. Lee. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) is a second cousin.

Current Position: 

United State Senator representing Utah. First elected in 2010. 


Brigham Young University, BA, 1994
Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark School of Law, JD, 1997


Judge Dee Benson, US District Court for the District of Utah, 1997-1998
Justice Samuel Alito, Supreme Court of the United States, 1998-1999

Previous Positions: 

Associate, Sidley Austin, Washington, DC, 1999-2002
Asst. US Attorney, District of Utah, 2002-2005
General Counsel, Office of Gov. Jon Huntsman, Salt Lake City, UT, 2005-2006
Partner, Howrey LLP, Salt Lake City,UT, 2006-2010


The Freedom Agenda: Why a Balanced Budget Amendment is Necessary to Restore Constitutional Government (2011)
Why John Roberts Was Wrong About Healthcare: A Conservative Critique of The Supreme Court’s Obamacare Ruling (2013)
Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document (2015)
Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government (2017)


The National Review said if Mike Lee was picked he would be hard to “Bork” as he has a long record of bipartisanship. He has co-sponsored bills with 36 out of the 49 sitting Democrats in the Senate including Chuck Schumer, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Dick Durbin, and Elizabeth Warren. If selected, Lee would be the 16th senator to sit on the Supreme Court and the first since Hugo Black. Lee has a solid conservative record from all the usual sources which upsets the opposition. The Alliance for Justice says, “Senator Lee’s views of the Constitution are radically conservative, even when compared with the record of his former boss Justice Alito. Like D.C. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown, Lee is part of a movement of the wealthy and powerful to restore the “Lochner era” and use the Constitution as pretext to roll back progress made on economic and social rights throughout the 20th century.”

Thomas R. Lee


53 y.o., married to Kimberly Lee, and has six children. Mormon. His father, Rex Lee, was US Solicitor General during the Reagan Administration and later was the 10th President of BYU. Is the younger brother of Sen. Mike Lee. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) is a second cousin.
Current Position:
Associate Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court. Appointed to the court by Gov. Gary Herbert in 2010.


Brigham Young University, BA Summa Cum Laude, 1988
University of Chicago Law School, JD, 1991


Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1991-1992
Justice Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court of the United States, 1994-1995
Previous Positions:
Shareholder, Kimball, Parr, Waddoups, Brown & Gee, Salt Lake City, UT, 1995-1997
Of Counsel, Howard Phillips & Andersen, Salt Lake City, UT, 1997-2004, 2005-2010
Rex and Maureen Rawlinson Professor of Law, Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark School of Law, 1997-2010 (on leave 2004-2005)
Dep. Asst. Attorney General, Civil Division, US Department of Justice, 2004-2005
Distinguished Lecturer, Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark School of Law, 2010- Present


Comment: The Standing of Qui Tam Relators Under the False Claims Act, 57 U.Chi. L.Rev. 542 (1990)
Pleading and Proof: The Economics of Legal Burdens, 1997 BYU L. Rev. 1 (1997)
Stare Decisis in Historical Perspective: From the Founding Era to the Rehnquist Court, 52 Vand. L. Rev. 647 (1999)
Stare Decisis in Economic Perspective: An Economic Analysis of the Supreme Court’s Doctrine of Precedent, 78 N.C. L. Rev. 643 (2000)
In Rem Jurisdiction in Cyberspace, 75 Wash. L. Rev 97 (2000)
The Anastasoff Case and the Judicial Power to “Unpublish” Opinions, 77 Notre Dame L.Rev. 135 (2001)
Preliminary Injunctions and the Status Quo, 58 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 109 (2001)
The Original Understanding of the Census Clause: Statistical Estimates and the Constitutional Requirement of an ‘Actual Enumeration’, 77 Wash. L. Rev. 1 (2001)
“To Promote the Progress of Science”: The Copyright Clause and Congress’s Power to Extend Copyrights (with Orrin Hatch), 16 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 1 (2002)
Demystifying Dilution, 84 B.U. L. Rev. 859 (2004)
Abercrombie Unveiled: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Trademark Distinctiveness, Working Draft, SSRN 1319409 (2008)
Sophistication, Bridging the Gap, and the Likelihood of Confusion: An Empirical and Theoretical Analysis,, (2008)
Trademarks, Consumer Psychology, and the Sophisticated Consumer, 57 Emory L.J. 575 (2008)
Judicial Activism, Restraint, & the Rule of Law, 26 Utah Bar J. 12 (2013)
Corpus Linguistics & Original Public Meaning: A New Tool To Make Originalism More Empirical (with Stephen C. Mouritsen), 126 Yale L.J. Forum 21 (2016)
Judging Ordinary Meaning, 127 Yale L.J. 788 (2018)
Data-Driven Originalism, U. Pa. L. Rev. (forthcoming)

Judicial Opinions: 

With regard to Lee and the Second Amendment, the SCOTUSBlog had this to say:

During Lee’s time on the Utah Supreme Court, he has had only few cases dealing, albeit indirectly, with the rights of gun owners, and it is difficult to glean much about his position on the scope of the Second Amendment from those cases. The case most directly on point is Herland v. Izatt, a 2015 lawsuit against a gun owner who allowed an intoxicated woman to hold his loaded handgun. The woman then accidentally, but fatally, shot herself in the head. Lee joined the other members of his court in holding that the lawsuit could go forward. The court, in an opinion by Chief Justice Matthew Durrant, acknowledged that the “right to bear arms is enshrined in both the United States and Utah Constitutions. But with that right,” the court continued, “comes responsibilities,” and the state legislature has placed some restrictions on gun use and ownership – for example, by enacting a bar on supplying guns to children and people with mental illnesses. For that reason, the court concluded, gun owners have a duty “to exercise reasonable care in supplying their guns to intoxicated individuals.” However, the court cautioned, that duty “does not mean that” gun owners “will necessarily be liable for damages when those individuals injure themselves, because in most cases the intoxicated individual’s negligence will likely exceed that of the gun owner as a matter of comparative negligence.”

Lee also takes a narrow view of the deference courts should give to agency interpretations of laws and regulations. He said that the courts have the prerogative of interpreting the law. Lee is also a very strong originalist


Last year when President Trump was deciding on the replacement for Justice Scalia, a group of academics did an empirical study as to which potential nominee would be the closest to Scalia in judicial philosophy. They said it was Lee. If you look at his body of scholarship above, I think you can see why. The SCOTUSBlog said Lee had a “storied legal background”.  As to opposition, the Alliance for Justice, not surprisingly, thinks he’s a bad choice based on Utah Supreme Court decision dealing with reproductive rights, criminal justice, employee rights, and the environment. I’m surprised they didn’t go after him for just being a Mormon.

Edward M. Mansfield


61 y.o., married to Elizabeth Hall-Mansfield, and has three children. 

Current Position: 

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Iowa. Appointed by Gov. Terry Branstad in 2011 to replace a justice recalled by Iowa voters. Returned to the court by voters in 2012. 


Harvard University, AB, 1978
Yale University Law School, JD, 1982 


Judge Patrick Higginbotham, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1982-1983 

Previous Positions: 

Private Practice, undisclosed law firm, Phoenix, AZ, 1983-1996
Partner, Belin McCormick, Des Moines, IA, 1996-2009
Iowa Court of Appeals, 2009-2011
Adjunct Prof of Law, Drake University, 1997 – present. 

Judicial Opinions: 

To my knowledge, Mansfield has not ruled on a gun rights case. He did rule in 2015 against the Iowa State Patrol in an asset forfeiture case and remanded the case back to district court. The person involved did get his money returned. His perhaps most controversial case involved a dentist firing an assistant for being “too attractive”. The dentist fired the assistant when his wife learned the two, both married, were texting back and forth after hours and demanded she be fired. He found that the assistant had not been fired because of her gender but to save his marriage. There was no claim of a hostile work environment or sexual harassment. Mansfield said they weren’t asked to determine if the dentist treated the assistant badly in firing her but only whether it was unlawful sexual discrimination and it wasn’t under Iowa or Federal law. Mansfield dissented in a case this past Friday where the Iowas Supreme Court struck down a law that required a mandatory 72 hour waiting period before having an abortion. 


There seems to be no real opposition to Mansfield by the Alliance for Justice. I’m guessing that they don’t consider him to be that likely to be picked by Pres. Trump.

Federico Moreno


66 y.o, married to Maria Cristina Morales, and has three children. His daughter Christina is an Asst US Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. Moreno was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Catholic. 

Current Position: 

Judge, US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Nominated by Pres. George H.W. Bush and confirmed July 16, 1990. 


University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1974
University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 1978 

Previous Positions: 

Private practice, Miami, Florida, 1978-1979
Assistant federal public defender, Southern District of Florida, 1979-1981
Private practice, Miami, Florida, 1982-1986
Judge, Dade County [Florida] Court, 1986-1987
Judge, Circuit Court of Florida, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, 1987-1990 

Judicial Opinions: 

Moreno has heard more that 5,000 cases in his time on the bench. One of his most notable ones involved ruling against the Coast Guard who had returned 15 refugees to Cuba under the “wet foot-dry foot” policy. The 15 were found standing on the piling of a former bridge in the Florida Keys. The USCG and the government argued that the pilings were “rooted in the water” and not part of Florida. Moreno disagreed and ordered the government to do what was necessary to allow these 15 to return to the US as refugees. As to Second Amendment cases, I really didn’t find any. 


The Alliance for Justice doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about Judge Moreno. I believe his age – 66 – and his position as a District Court judge make it highly unlikely that he’ll make the final short list.

Guess Who Will Be In Dallas On Friday

President Trump didn’t think the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was worth attending. From what I heard about it, he was right. However, a number of reports say that he will be attending the Leadership Forum at the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas on Friday. A number of politicians from VP Mike Pence to Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had already been scheduled to appear. My thought was that Pence was to be the stand-in for the President Trump at the event.

I’m sure this will guarantee that there will be protesters at the Annual Meeting. I’ve heard that Alyssa Milano will be leading the Holly contingent and I guess Shannon Watts will be there with the Demanding Moms for Illegal Mayors. However, this leaves open the question as to whether everyone’s favorite (sic) David “Camera” Hogg will be there to lead the Children’s Crusade Against Enumerated Rights.


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In response to the conflicting and confusing messages regarding gun control coming from the White House and @realdonaldtrump’s Twitter account, Grass Roots North Carolina issued an alert yesterday asking for members and supporters to call the White House, email the White House, and email their Senators and Representatives. They want the message delivered loud and clear that no new gun control is acceptable.

From GRNC:

See below, under ‘Immediate Action,’ to sign the petition against gun control.
“Dance with the One That Brought You”  is always good advice – especially in politics.

The nation’s Left (and now it appears President Trump) is hoping to use the emotion of the moment to to chip away at our rights with the false promise that it will solve the problem.  They will then walk back the promises as being “A good first step”.   After which they will patiently await for the next mass killer to show up and do it all again.

The proposed ‘Bump Stock’ ban has nothing to do with the mass murder in Parkland, Florida but is being pushed under the guise of“Doing Something, anything”.  It could change the meaning of a machine gun from trigger pull to firing rate and be applied to anything that could increase this rate and used to cover every semi-automatic firearm under the odious rules of the National Firearms Act [NFA].

Support for President Trump came from many of the 2nd amendment community because he pledged to protect these civil rights.  Now is the time to remind him (even if you have done so already) of this commitment, and that the gun grabber Left is only cuddling up to him in order to score some wins against the cause of Liberty.

It is critical that we remind President Trump that pro-gun voters like you elected him to stand firmly in support of the Second Amendment!

    • SIGN OUR PETITION: Please visit our website at to sign our petition to President Trump to stand firmly with the Second Amendment, and to oppose the latest round of corporate-funded gun-grabbing hysteria.
    • PHONE AND EMAIL THE WHITE HOUSE: Let’s light up the White House switchboards. The phone number is 202-456-1111. 
      Deliver the following message:
      Hello. I am calling to tell President Trump that, as a law-abiding gun owner, I oppose any of the gun control efforts currently being discussed. This includes banning bump stocks or any other devices to modify rate of fire, raising the minimum age of any firearms purchases, expansion of any “gun free zones” that continually put our citizens at risk, or so-called universal background checks. Thank you for your time.
    • EMAIL THE WHITE HOUSE AND NC REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS: Remind the President, NC’s U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative that we supported them during election season, and we insist that they protect our Second Amendment rights.   Use the links provided below to access their contact pages. Use the copy/paste text provided under ‘Deliver This EMAIL Message’ (adjust the opening salutation as necessary).
    • DONATE TO GRNC: Unlike the billionaires that create astroturf gun control lobbies, Grass Roots North Carolina is run by volunteers and funded by people like you; regular, law-abiding Americans that value their rights and freedoms. Please consider making a donation to GRNC by visiting this link: 
President Trump (the White House):
Your U.S. SenatorsSenator Burr:
Senator Tillis:

NC’s Republican U.S. *Representatives

Representative Contact Page
George Holding (2nd)
Walter Jones (3rd)
Virginia Foxx (5th)
Mark Walker (6th)
David Rouzer (7th)
Richard Hudson (8th)
Robert Pittenger (9th)
Patrick McHenry (10th)
Mark Meadows (11th)
Ted Budd (13th)
* Due to zip code limitations, it’s likely  you will only be able to contact your own rep. If you don’t know who your rep. is, click here, use the zip code search positioned at the top right corner corner of the page. 

Dear [Mr. President / Senator Representative]:
I am a law-abiding citizen, and I am contacting you to voice my strong opposition to any of the gun control schemes currently being discussed. This includes banning bump stocks or any other devices to modify rate of fire, raising the minimum age of any firearms purchases, expansion of any “gun free zones” that continually put our citizens at risk, and so-called universal background checks.
Rather than pushing for infringements on the civil rights of the peaceful law-abiding citizen in order to  quiet a very loud, but small group of anti-gun extremists, you ought to be examining true solutions, such as eliminating gun-free zones, areas that are soft targets, sitting ready for the criminally insane to exploit.
I demand that you end this talk about gun control.  I will be monitoring your actions on this matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.

GRNC Alert – Call The White House Comment Line

I’m not sure given what we’ve been hearing out of President Donald Trump’s mouth if this is too late or not. Nonetheless, it is important to go on record and make the call.

From GRNC:

The recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, underscores the continued failure of “gun-free” zones. Creating target-rich environments, and then relying on government ineptitude to “secure” those environments has proven time and time again to be a recipe for failure. Unfortunately, the anti-gun movement is seizing this moment (as they do with every other tragedy) to push an agenda that will turn your Constitutionally-protected right into a narrowly carved out privilege.

Grass Roots North Carolina stands firm with Gun Owners of America,who recently noted that “If President Donald Trump’s goal is to ban bump stocks, then that is a gross infringement of Second Amendment rights. GOA has long warned that such a ban can easily be applied to triggers, magazines, or semi-automatic firearms.”

It is critical that we remind President Trump that pro-gun voters like you elected him to stand firmly in support of the Second Amendment!

    • SIGN OUR PETITION: Please visit our website at to sign our petition to President Trump to stand firmly with the Second Amendment, and to oppose the latest round of corporate-funded gun-grabbing hysteria.
    • PHONE AND EMAIL THE WHITE HOUSE: Let’s light up the White House switchboards and remind them that pro-Second Amendment voters like you voted for President Trump for a reason. The phone number is 202-456-1111 and the email link is
  • DONATE TO GRNC: Unlike the billionaires that create astroturf gun control lobbies, Grass Roots North Carolina is run by volunteers and funded by people like you; regular, law-abiding Americans that value their rights and freedoms. Please consider making a donation to GRNC by visiting this link:

Hello. I am calling to tell President Trump that, as a law-abiding gun owner, I oppose any of the gun control efforts currently being discussed. This includes banning bump stocks or any other devices to modify rate of fire, raising the minimum age of any firearms purchases, or the expansion of any “gun free zones” that continually put our citizens at risk. Thank you for your time.

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
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
Policy Coalition
(FPC) and
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,
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
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
Individuals can become a member of FPC at Firearms Policy Coalition (
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 (
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
( 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,

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.


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.