Durbin’s “Stand Your Ground” Hearings

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. As mentioned before, he plans to hold a hearing on so-called Stand Your Ground laws. He has entitled his hearings, “‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force”. This hearing is scheduled for tomorrow at 10am.

The witness list for the hearing has been published.

Sybrina Fulton
Miami, FL


Lucia McBath
Atlanta, GA


William N. Meggs
State Attorney
Second Judicial Circuit
Tallahassee, FL


Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr.
Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the Criminal Justice Institute
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, MA


John R. Lott, Jr., Ph.D.
President
Crime Prevention Research Center
Swarthmore, PA


Ilya Shapiro
Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies
Cato Institute
Washington, DC

Sybrina Fulton really needs no introduction as she got more than her 15 minutes of fame during the George Zimmerman trial.

Lucia McBath was the mother of Jordan Davis who was killed in a confrontation in Jacksonville, FL by Martin Dunn. Mr. Dunn is charged with 1st Degree Murder in the case. Ms. McBath is concerned that Dunn will try to claim self-defense under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

Willie Meggs is the State Attorney (or DA) for the 2nd Judicial Circuit which includes the Tallahassee area of Florida. He is a well-known opponent of the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law and has called it “the dumbest law ever put on the books.”

Ronald Sullivan is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. About the only thing I could find about regarding either Trayvon Martin or “Stand Your Ground” laws is that he spoke to a pro-Martin demonstration held by the Black Law Students Association at Harvard. He will also be a speaker on a panel  discussing “Guns, Violence, and Children” at the American Association of Law Schools conference in January 2014.

John Lott, of course, needs little introduction as he is one of the leading pro-gun researchers.

Ilya Shapiro is a Fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute. The Cato Institute has made Durbin’s enemies list. In an article posted in August, Shapiro practically demanded Durbin include him in the list of speakers at this hearing.

This is unacceptable. Senator Durbin, care to invite me to testify at your little hearing? I rather enjoyed discussing Citizens United at the kabuki theatre you ran last year—though you seemed more interested in accusing me of being a pawn of the Koch brothers (with whom I have no beef, but who were actually suing Cato at the time)—and would be happy to have another tete-a-tete with my fellow University of Chicago Law School alum.

What will make this joke of a hearing even more interesting is that the Ranking Member for the Republican side is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). While Durbin will rail on about the Koch Brothers, ALEC, and conservatives, I expect Cruz will be up to the challenge.

So Durbin Wants Hearings On Stand Your Ground

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced on Friday that he plans to hold hearings on Stand Your Ground laws in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights of which he is the Chair.

In a statement, Durbin said the Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee on Constitution, civil rights and human rights ”will examine the gun lobby’s and the American Legislative Exchange Council’s influence in creating and promoting these laws; the way in which the laws have changed the legal definition of self-defense; the extent to which the laws have encouraged unnecessary shooting confrontations; and the civil rights implications when racial profiling and ‘stand your ground’ laws mix, along with other issues.”

Normally, I’d be dreading the nonsense that would come out of such a hearing. While this still could be true, the composition of the subcommittee gives me some hope.

The Ranking Member of the subcommittee is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who is a fierce proponent of the Second Amendment and gun rights. The Republican members also include Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Orrin Hatch (R-U). While Graham and Hatch have been wishy-washy on many things, they have been solid on gun rights.

The subcommittee’s Democrats consist of Durbin, Al Franken (D-MN), Richard Bluementhal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE),and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). Blumenthal is a hard-core anti gunner while the rest are reliably anti-gun.

Ted Cruz, while a mere freshman, has shown no hesitation in taking it to the anti’s. He took Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on in full Judiciary Committee over her AWB and made her look petty. I think he can do the same to those who would seek to diminish the laws of self-defense.

Senate Judiciary Hearing On B. Todd Jones (Updated)

The Senate Judiciary Committee takes up the nomination of B. Todd Jones to be the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives next Tuesday, June 4th, at 10amit has been rescheduled to June 11th at 9:30am. Jones is currently the Acting Director as well as the US Attorney for the District of Minnesota. Interestingly, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) will be presiding over this nomination hearing instead of Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT).

Given the Obama Administration’s efforts to punish whistle blowers as well as intimidate the press, Mr. Jones’ roll in this should be examined. Last July, Jones issued a video to all ATF employees under his “Changecast” set of videos. Changecast No. 8 was entitled Choices and Consequences. While Jones tried to portray this as a warning not to do stupid stuff, most in the field took it as a warning not to follow the path of whistle blowers like Senior Agent John Dodson. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) saw it this way as well and pressed him on this. I don’t know if he ever bothered to answer their letter.

Even if Jones sticks with his denial that it was meant as a warning to whistle blowers, it most certainly has had that impact. A case in point is the CleanUpATF.org website. Many who have followed this blog for a while know that it is a website run by and for dissident ATF agents who were fed up with the cronyism, stupidity, and malfeasance of the ATF leadership.

For the most part, this website has gone quiet since the beginning of the year. The Grapevine thread which used to be very active has had no posts since March. The Fast and Furious page has had nothing except a cartoon since February, The ATF-EEO violations thread has had nothing since January.

I’m sure veiled and not so veiled threats have been made to ATF Special Agents that they are to keep their mouths shut if they want to keep their badge. I do realize that correlation isn’t causation but I don’t think CUATF going quiet is just happenstance. While I do think ATF needs a permanent director, I don’t think B. Todd Jones is the person for the job.

UPDATE: The webmaster at CUATF posted the following on June 4th regarding the nomination of B. Todd Jones and their adamant opposition to it. I think they make a good case as to why B. Todd does not deserve to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will soon hold hearings
regarding B. Todd Jones, Barrack Obama’s nominee to become the next
Director of ATF. By any rational measure, Jones has been a pathetic disgrace and utter failure as ATF’s Acting Director. He represents exactly what is wrong
with the Bureau; a profound lack of integrity, transparency and
competence, shameless cronyism, vicious protection of the ATF management
“good `ol boy club”, and institutionalized corruption. His
confirmation as Director will only ensure that what was once one of the
world’s greatest law enforcement agencies will contine to decline and
fail in its primary mission. If anything, Jones should be summarily fired, if not prosecuted for his breathtaking malfeasance as Acting Director.



While it is certainly true that ATF desperately needs a
permanent Director, can’t we do better than this? In a nation of over
300 million people, can’t we find someone who actually has the basic
integrity, commitment to justice, and elemental competence to finally
put an end to the embarrassing plague of disgusting corruption and
managerial stupidity that has paralyzed the Bureau for far too many
years?

As Acting Director of ATF, B. Todd Jones has:


  • Played a starring role in ATF’s criminal obstruction of justice and
    outrageous stonewalling of Congress in a wide variety of matters, but
    particularly with regard to the “Fast & Furious” debacle.
  • Engaged in flagrant relatiatory conduct against legitimate
    Whistleblowers. He is currently the subject of several federal
    investigations for this illegal conduct.
  • Presided over one of if not the lowest government-wide employee approval ratings ever recorded since such surveys have been conducted.
  • Repeatedly protected, promoted or otherwise rewarded profoundly
    incompetent and corrupt managers, including the SAC/DAD of Milwaukee,
    who was directly responsible for ignominously failed operations. Jones
    personally ensured that this beacon of performance was quietly
    transferred to where he had been begging to go for years.
  • Allowed the ATF Reno office to be closed due solely to grotesquely incompetent local leadership, with zero adverse consequences for the guilty managers.
  • Personally approved or at least looked the other way regarding the
    blatantly illegal arrangement” under which William McMahon, one of the
    primary perpetrators in the horrendous “Fast & Furious” scandal, was
    allowed to “double-dip” (collect a “no-show” ATF paycheck while
    actually working elsewhere) in flagrant violation of federal law and ATF
    policy. This was most likely done to buy McMahon’s silence and protect
    both the Obama Administration and ATF from rightful scrutiny.
  • Personally assisted the notoriously lawless, abusive and shockingly
    corrupt Chief Counsel’s office to unlawfully attack, smear, relaiate
    against and personally destroy legitimate Whistleblower and EEOC
    complainants, while aggressively protecting the litany of corrupt
    managers who necessitated the complaints.
  • Promoted one of the most viciously corrupt, dishonest and
    incompetent managers in the history of ATF (and that is really saying
    something) to head the Bureau’s Internal Affairs Division.
  • Has repeatedly rewarded unethical or demonstrably incompetent
    Assistant Directors that have miserably failed in their HQ duties by
    giving them paid moves back to cushy SAC positions of their choice.
  • Engaged in numerous additional actions to cover ATF management’s
    asses at all costs, regardless of trivial considerations such as truth,
    justice, law, policy or the disasterous consequences that all of this
    corruption has wrought on the agency and its ability to protect the
    American public.


The U.S. Congressional Committee on
Government Oversight and Reform assesses B. Todd Jones’ tenure as Acting
ATF Director as follows:


  • Failure to hold all the ATF personnel responsible for Operation Fast and Furious accountable
    Nearly two years have gone by since the congressional investigation
    began. Still, several key individuals identified by both Congress and
    the Inspector General as having played prominent roles in using reckless
    tactics remain with the agency.
  • Failure to support Fast and Furious whistleblowers
    The Congressional investigation, the independent Department of Justice
    Inspector General, and an internal ATF review during Jones’ tenure exonerated the Fast and Furious whistleblowers.
    Yet, Jones has never commended or publicly defended these agents who
    brought the wrongdoing in Operation Fast and Furious to light. These whistleblowers faced retaliation
    from both inside and outside the Department of Justice, but Jones has
    steadfastly declined to recognize their heroic efforts to stop ATF
    gunwalking.
  • Perceived hostility to ATF whistleblowers – In a video sent agency wide, Jones instructed ATF employees not to complain about problems outside their chain of command.
    ATF released the video as Fast and Furious remained prominently in the
    news. Agents within ATF were concerned enough to contact Congress
    about what they perceived to be a veiled threat and indirect criticism
    of Fast and Furious whistleblowers who spoke to Congress and reporters
    about gunwalking after complaints to ATF officials had fallen on deaf
    ears.
  • Affording special treatment to ATF supervisor cited for negligence in Fast and Furious – In a particularly outrageous series of events, one of the key players in Operation Fast and Furious accepted a lucrative job at J. P. Morgan
    while still on ATF’s payroll. While the agency had no obligation to do
    so, the supervisor was given a special waiver under Jones’ tenure as
    Acting Director to remain employed by ATF while he simultaneously worked
    for J.P. Morgan. This was apparently done so that the agent could gain
    seniority for his government pension.
  • An unwillingness to engage Congress – Jones
    has refused to discuss his actions and problems within his agency
    related to Operation Fast and Furious with congressional investigators.
    This position stands in stark contrast to his predecessor, former
    Acting ATF Director Ken Melson, who proactively sought an opportunity
    to tell investigators his understanding of what had gone wrong in
    Operation Fast and Furious and with the Justice Department’s flawed
    response to whistleblower allegations.
  • Failure to apply lessons ATF has learned from Fast and Furious
    – Jones has, to date, exhibited a general failure to articulate to
    Congress, ATF agents, and the public his understanding of what went
    wrong, who is responsible, and what ATF needs to do in the future to be
    successful in its mission of enforcing firearms laws. He has not
    offered plans for reforming or restructuring the failed supervisory
    framework that allowed reckless tactics to continue for over a year and
    contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent and numerous Mexican
    citizens.


Please contact your Congressmen and Senators immediately and urge them to just say “Hell No!” to B. Todd Jones.

“Jumped-Up Refugee From A Zoning Board”

The title of this post comes from a description of Sen. Dianne Feinsten (D-CA) made by Tam in a post back in February. I loved it then and I especially love it now that DiFi is all butt hurt over the eloquent thrashing she took from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

Ted Cruz asked DiFi whether she thought Congress could likewise limit the right of the people under the 1st and 4th Amendments as she is seeking to do with her Assault Weapons Ban of 2012. As you can see in the video below, DiFi gets all huffy about it. Three male Democrats also have to jump in because it seems that they are worried that a woman can’t make a strong enough argument or so it would seem.

After the committee business meeting, DiFi had to run to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to wrap the mantle of victimhood across her shoulders. She said, “Well, I just felt patronized. I felt he was somewhat arrogant about it.” CNN is still playing the clip below of DiFi whining about her treatment as I saw just this morning on TV in a local McDonalds.

Did DiFin really say she put her fingers in the wounds of George Moscone and Harvey Milk? Hmnm. I wonder when DiFi will get around to telling people that fellow Supervisor Dan White didn’t use an AR or an AK or even an FN-FAL to murder them. No, Dan White used a S&W Model 10 in .38 Special – a plain old everyday revolver then used by police forces around the country.

20 years in the Senate and 9 years as the accidental mayor of San Francisco still doesn’t make one a expert on Constitutional matters. Nor does it seem to engender any real respect for it either. She is, and will always remain, what Tam described her as – a meddling harpy and a jumped-up refugee from a zoning board.

Feinstein Gets Her Way

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) got her assault weapons ban (sic) – S. 150 – out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today on a 10-8 party line vote. It now goes to the full Senate.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) offered four amendments to the bill which were all defeated on an 8-10 party line vote. His amendments would have made exceptions for those in rural areas; for those who had obtained a protective order; for those who certified they were the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking; and for those people who were residents in a county or municipality that borders Mexico to protect themselves against the narco-terrorists. I think Cornyn’s intention was to put the Democrats on record as anti-rural, anti-woman, and anti-self defense.

The votes on Jane Kelly to be an Appeals Court judge in the 8th Circuit and on Kenneth Gonzales to be a District Court judge in New Mexico were held over.

 The results of the business meeting as reported are below:

Results of Executive Business Meeting – March 14, 2013
The Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting to consider pending nominations and legislation on March 14, 2013.

Agenda

I. Nominations

Jane Kelly, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit
Held Over

Kenneth John Gonzales, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Mexico
Held Over

II. Legislation

S. 150, Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (Feinstein)
Ordered Reported by Roll Call Vote, 10-8

Amendment ALB13181 (Cornyn)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 8-10

Amendment OLL13116 (Cornyn)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 8-10

Amendment OLL13117 (Cornyn)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 8-10

Amendment OLL13118 (Cornyn)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 8-10

The webcast of the meeting for anyone with the stomach enough to watch it is here.

UPDATE: According to Politico, the White House is urging swift action on Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. Press Secretary Jay Carney had this to say:

“Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary committee voted to send the full Senate an important piece of legislation to help keep weapons of war off America’s streets,” Carney said Thursday. “As you know, banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines is an important piece of the president’s plan to reduce gun violence.

“We urge congress to swiftly vote on and pass this legislation and other common-sense measures like requiring a background check for all gun purchases and cracking down on gun trafficking and straw purchasers. There’s been significant progress this week on these proposals and the president welcomes that. We urge congress to keep it up.”

Frankly every time I hear the words “common sense” out of Jay Carney or President Obama’s mouth, I shudder at the perversion of the English language.

Results Of Today’s Senate Judiciary Committee Meeting



As I said earlier today, the Senate Judiciary Committee was going to resume meeting to discuss three gun related bills and the nomination of Kenneth Gonzales. They have released the results of the meeting and I have posted it below. Gonzales’ nomination was not acted upon nor was Dianne Feinstein’s S. 150. However, both Sen. Chuck Schumer’s S. 374 and Sen. Barbara Boxer’s S. 146 were reported out of committee with amendments.


Results of Executive Business Meeting – March 12, 2013
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a continuation of an executive business meeting to consider pending legislation on March 12, 2013. The Committee was not able to complete action on all pending matters and the meeting recessed subject to the call of the Chair.

Agenda
I. Legislation

S. 374, Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013
Ordered Reported by Roll Call Vote, 10-8

Amendment ALB13180 (Schumer)
Adopted by Unanimous Consent

S. 146, School Safety Enhancements Act of 2013
Ordered Reported by Roll Call Vote 14-4

Amendment OLL13111 (Leahy)
Adopted by Unanimous Consent

Amendment OLL13112 (Grassley)
Withdrawn

 Last week I wrote that I found it strange that Sen. Chuck Schumer’s S. 374 – Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013 – did not have an action component. It merely consisted of findings which were more suited to a Senate Resolution than to actual legislation.

That was then and this is now. The amendment that Schumer made today in committee to S. 374 contains the meat of the bill and it isn’t pretty. Not only does it have universal background checks but it contains a provision that requires gun owners to report stolen weapons within 24 hours to authorities. The bill has also been renamed to the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013. There is more to the bill and I will have a separate post up about it after I finishing reading the whole thing.

Here is the link to my separate post on the bill.

Senate Judiciary Committee Meets Again

Last Tuesday the Senate Judiciary Committee met to vote on nominees for various judgeships and on a whole host of gun control bills. They ran out of time and only passed out S. 54 which is Sen. Leahy’s bill on “gun trafficking”.

Today they will continue this meeting. US Attorney for New Mexico Kenneth Gonzales will be back on the agenda as the nominee for a District Court judgeship for the District of New Mexico. Also on the agenda are the three gun control bills that they didn’t vote on last week.

As an aside, Chuck Schumer’s S. 374 – Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013 – still doesn’t have an action component to the bill. It still reads more like a resolution than a bill.


CONTINUATION


A continuation of the March 7, 2013 Executive Business Meeting has been scheduled by the Committee on the Judiciary for Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 10:15 a.m., in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.


By order of the Chairman.


AGENDA


Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226
March 7, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.


I. Nominations


Kenneth John Gonzales, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Mexico


II. Bills


S.150, Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (Feinstein)


S.374, Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013 (Schumer)


S.146, School Safety Enhancements Act of 2013 (Boxer)

The Judiciary Committee is also scheduled to meet on Thursday, March 14th, on a similar agenda.

Mixed Results From Today’s Judiciary Committee Meeting

There is both good news and bad news from today’s Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting. The meeting agenda had votes on six nominees for US District Court judgeships and four gun control bills.

First, five out of the six the judicial nominees were passed out of committee on voice votes. However, Kenneth John Gonzales, the US Attorney for New Mexico and a nominee for a District Court judgeship, was held over. This would appear to mean that according to Committee Rules at least one member of the Judiciary Committee requested that the vote on Gonzales be held over until the next committee meeting. As I mentioned yesterday, Gonzales and his office have been pursuing a vendetta against the Reese family of Deming, New Mexico. Check out the Tea Party of Luna County for complete info on the prosecution of the Reeses.

Second, three of the four gun control bills were held over. The bad news is that Chairman Patrick Leahy’s S. 54 – Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 made it out of the committee. It passed on a 11 to 7 vote. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was the only Republican to vote for the bill.

Grassley did have an amendment to the bill that would require the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, or Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division to personally review and approve any “Fast and Furious” type of operation. This amendment was adopted unanimously.

The full results of the business meeting with links to the amendments is below:


The Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting to consider pending nominations and legislation on March 7, 2013. The Committee was not able to complete action on pending matters and the meeting recessed subject to the call of the Chair.

Agenda

I. Nominations

Sheri Polster Chappell, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida
Ordered Reported by Voice Vote

Kenneth John Gonzales, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Mexico
Held Over

Michael J. McShane, to be United States District Judge for the District of Oregon
Ordered Reported by Voice Vote

Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Ordered Reported by Voice Vote

Luis Felipe Restrepo, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Ordered Reported by Voice Vote

Jeffrey L. Schmehl, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Ordered Reported by Voice Vote

II. Legislation

S.150, Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (Feinstein)
Held Over

Amendment ALB13141(Grassley)
As Amended, Adopted by Voice Vote

Second Degree Amendment ALB13196 (Coons)
Adopted by Unanimous Consent

Amendment ALB13190 (Grassley)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 9-9

Amendment OLL13115 (Cornyn)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 9-9

S.54, Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 (Leahy)
Ordered Reported by Roll Call Vote, 11-7

Substitute Amendment HEN13250 (Leahy)
Adopted by Unanimous Consent

Amendment ALB13193 (Grassley)
Adopted by Unanimous Consent

S.374, Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013 (Schumer)
Held Over

S.146, School Safety Enhancements Act of 2013 (Boxer)
Held Over

GOA On The Senate Judiciary Bill Mark-Ups

The Gun Owners of America have sent out a notice about the bills that will be voted on in the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. While they mention S. 443, I’m wondering if this bill will be substituted for the S. 54 which is on the agenda. I don’t always agree with GOA but I think are correct about S. 443 being more dangerous than S. 150 which doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being enacted.


Senate “Deal” Would Impose
Even More Gun Bans
Gifts, gun raffles and multiple sales of guns would be effectively banned

Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up four bills arising out of the Newtown tragedy:

* The Feinstein bill — which would ban millions of shotguns, rifles, handguns and magazines that Americans can legally own — but which will probably die on the Senate floor.

* The universal gun registry — which may also die on the Senate floor — unless a last-minute deal with Sen. Tom Coburn brings it to life.

* Legislation by Barbara Boxer, which throws away $100,000,000 on school safety studies, but doesn’t immediately mention guns.

* And, currently the biggest danger, the Leahy-Gillibrand-Kirk bill, which has ominously been labeled a “gun trafficking” bill.

In regard to this latter piece of legislation (S. 443), the bill is being sold inside the Beltway as a bipartisan “compromise” because anti-gun Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) is a cosponsor of it.

But S. 443 would dramatically threaten to put gun owners in jail with horrendously long sentences for the most minor of infractions.

Essentially, the bill would impose a 15-year prison sentence for “negligent multiple sales by a dealer,” “negligent gifting” or “negligent raffling.”

Increasingly, there are more and more individuals who are “prohibited persons” for non-violent reasons — for instance, they smoke marijuana or they are military veterans suffering from maladies such as PTSD.

But if S. 443 is passed, any person who sells to such prohibited persons two or more firearms … or gives them a firearm as a gift … or raffles a firearm (where they are the recipient) … does so only at the considerable risk of spending 15 years in a federal penitentiary.

You don’t need to know the person is a prohibited person under either example. Nor does the recipient need to know they’re a prohibited person.

In fact, you don’t need to do anything more than plan (“conspire”) to transfer the gun. In addition, the recipient doesn’t need to be on the NICS list to be a prohibited person.

Not only that, under section 4 of the bill, if you even “intend” to sell a firearm to a person who turns out to be a marijuana smoker — or one of the prohibited military veterans suffering from PTSD — you become a prohibited person yourself.

Go here to read the entire analysis of S. 443.

When all is said and done, this bipartisan “compromise” is as bad as the Feinstein gun ban (S. 150).

ACTION: Click here to demand that your U.S. Senators oppose the Leahy-Gillibrand-Kirk bill (S. 443).

Senate Judiciary Committee Votes On Gun Control Tomorrow



The Senate Judiciary Committee will have an executive business meeting tomorrow morning at 10am. There are a number of items that should be of concern to those concerned with the Second Amendment and gun rights.

The first item on the agenda is a confirmation vote on six nominees for US District judgeships. Of particular concern is Kenneth John Gonzales to be a District Court judge for the District of New Mexico. Gonzales is currently the US Attorney for New Mexico and the man behind the egregious prosecution of the Reese family of Deming, NM on charges of arms smuggling. They have already been found not guilty on 24 out of 28 charges and are seeking dismissal of the other four charges due to prosecutorial misconduct.

National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea and the Firearms Coalition’s Jeff Knox have been doing yeoman’s work in covering this case since the beginning. Here are a couple of their latest reports. The Tea Party of Luna County (NM) has been on the case since the beginning as well.

Based on the prosecution’s behavior under Gonzales, I and many others feel he is unfit to sit on the bench. David Codrea is urging that people contact Sen. Chuck Grassley R-IA) to make their opposition known.

The other major items on the Judiciary Committee’s agenda are votes on four gun control measures.

II. Bills

S.150, Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (Feinstein)

S.54, Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 (Leahy)

S.374, Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013 (Schumer)

S.146, School Safety Enhancements Act of 2013 (Boxer)

Given the composition of the committee, I really have no expectation that they won’t pass these measures. The only question is whether any Republican votes for any of these measures.  I would hope not but there is no guarantees. Sebastian has a good post up today about the risk of letting gun controllers have any victory. In my opinion, a party line vote is about the best we can expect in the Senate Judiciary Committee and would count as a win.

It’s time to tell the Republicans on the committee that we expect them to hold the line. Contact info is available here.