McDonald v. Chicago

…the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right, recognized in Heller, to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense.

I didn't doubt it would end up this way, but the Supreme Court has just ruled that the right to keep and bear arms isn't just a right in Federal jurisdictions but also a right that must not be infringed by the states.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Monday, Jun 28 2010 10:07 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Here Comes DC v. Heller, Round Two

There should be a ban on semi-automatic draconian restrictions.

Dick Heller was one of the first in line to apply for his DC Handgun Permit, after Washington D.C. has reacted to its previous handgun ban being struck down by the Supreme Court. His permit was denied because his handgun has a detachable magazine. Even if he uses magazines that don't exceed the arbitrary limit of 10 cartridges, because it accepts magazines that could be larger than this, the entire gun is classified in the same category as machine guns.

Apparently DC has a reading problem, as the ruling from the Supreme Court said this in the penultimate sentence of the summary:

Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.

The handgun Heller tried to register was a Beretta 92, a bigger brother to the Beretta 84 which Pennsylvania was attempting to ban in the infamous Act 17. That attempt led me to move from Pennsylvania to Oregon over a decade ago. Both the 92 and 84 have 10-round magazines available, but also have magazines with greater capacities available as well. Apparently these guns are not welcome for self-defense in DC homes, despite their broad popularity. I have a couple of 92s myself.

That DC does seem to be issuing permits for revolvers is immaterial to the fact that the Supreme Court ruled that DC must issue a license to Heller for his handgun.

As it says in the majority opinion for DC v. Heller:

We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns, see supra, at 54–55, and n. 26. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.

Update: Turns out I'm wrong about which kind of handgun Heller tried to register, as he never tried to register a Beretta 92. Apparently that is a misremembered fact from the Emerson case mis-applied to Heller.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Jul 17 2008 10:30 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

ACLU v. US Constitution

Despite DC v. Heller and a strong belief that all the other items in the Bill of Rights refer to individual rights, the ACLU's official stance is a failed exercise in reading comprehension:

The ACLU interprets the Second Amendment as a collective right. Therefore, we disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision in D.C. v. Heller. While the decision is a significant and historic reinterpretation of the right to keep and bear arms, the decision leaves many important questions unanswered that will have to be resolved in future litigation, including what regulations are permissible, and which weapons are embraced by the Second Amendment right that the Court has now recognized.

There are many things wrong with this position. First, the collective rights premise has never had support from very many legal historians or scholars. The Heller decision is hardly a reinterpretation as there is plainly little if any stare decisis (previous court decisions) to refer to and there is disagreement amongst the circuits (specifically, the most reversed circuit in the world, the 9th Circuit, held the collective rights theory). Finally, it is clear that certain classes of weapons cannot be banned, specifically handguns, because we have a right to own them.

A reminder, from the court's decision:

The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District's total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of "arms" that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster.

I suspect the next real tests will be an incorporation and “assault weapons.” The ACLU seems to be putting itself on the wrong side of these issues as well.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Jul 3 2008 11:44 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Is Chicago Next?

Within 15 minutes of the affirmation of DC v. Heller the Illinois State Rifle Association sued to overturn the Chicago handgun ban.

From that same article, this moment of fear-mongering:

Speaking during a morning event at Navy Pier, [Mayor] Daley said any effort to strike down Chicago's handgun ban would likely increase taxes because of the increased need for police presence. He also says violence sparked by the end of the ban would also increase hospitalizations.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Jun 26 2008 12:42 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Incorporation of DC v. Heller

There are many that have said that the Supreme Court decision in DC v. Heller only affects Federal laws and did not address incporation—the application of the Federal law to the laws of the states. However, the decision cited the role of the Second Amendment in arguments for ratifying the Fourteenth Amendment on pages 43 and 44:

The understanding that the Second Amendment gave freed blacks the right to keep and bear arms was reflected in congressional discussion of the bill [the Freedman's Bureau Act], with even an opponent of it saying that the founding generation “were for every man bearing his arms about him and keeping them in his house, his castle, for his own defense.” Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., 362, 371 (1866) (Sen. Davis).
Similar discussion attended the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 and the Fourteenth Amendment. For example, Representative Butler said of the Act: “Section eight is intended to enforce the well-known constitutional provision guaranteeing the right of the citizen to ‘keep and bear arms,’ and provides that whoever shall take away, by force or violence, or by threats and intimidation, the arms and weapons which any person may have for his defense, shall be deemed guilty of larceny of the same.” H. R. Rep. No. 37, 41st Cong., 3d Sess., pp. 7–8 (1871). With respect to the proposed Amendment, Senator Pomeroy described as one of the three “indispensable” “safeguards of liberty . . . under the Constitution” a man’s “right to bear arms for the defense of himself and family and his homestead.” Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., 1182 (1866). Representative Nye thought the Fourteenth Amendment unnecessary because “[a]s citizens of the United States [blacks] have equal right to protection, and to keep and bear arms for self-defense.” Id., at 1073 (1866).

If the Second Amendment was a impetus to pass the Fourteenth Amendment in order to incorporate the right into all of the states, clearly today's decision affects state laws as well.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Jun 26 2008 11:03 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

DC v. Heller Affirmed

The Supreme Court, in DC v. Heller has affirmed the decision of the DC Court of Appeals that the DC Gun Ban was unconstitutional.

Update: I have placed a local copy of the opinion here.

  1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2-53.
    1. The Amendment's prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause's text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2-22.
    2. The prefatory clause comports with the Court's interpretation of the operative clause. The "militia" comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens' militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens' militia would be preserved. Pp. 22-28.
    3. The Court's interpretation is confirmed by analogous armsbearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28-30.
    4. The Second Amendment's drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. Pp. 30-32.
    5. Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court's conclusion. Pp. 32-47.
    6. None of the Court's precedents forecloses the Court's interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264-265, refutes the individual rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47-54.
  2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller's holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those "in common use at the time" finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54-56.
  3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District's total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of "arms" that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition--in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute--would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. Pp. 56-64.
478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

Update: Another good quote:

We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns, see supra, at 54-55, and n. 26. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Jun 26 2008 07:10 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Supreme Court Gun Case Imminent

According to SCOTUSblog the DC v. Heller case will have an opinion tomorrow. That is likely to be an interesting opinion.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Jun 25 2008 07:39 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Academics for the Second Amendment (A2A)

Academics for the Second Amendment (A2A) now has a blog and they are asking for donations to file an amicus brief in District of Columbia v. Heller. Based on their brief for the U.S. v. Emerson case, I think that's good enough to get into my blogroll.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Nov 22 2007 09:59 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

What Happens When The Supreme Court Rules on District of Columbia v. Heller

“Ride Fast” at Ride Fast & Shoot Straight asks “So what might happen if we win?

Let's look at the individual laws in question, because we're looking at three rulings here, if not quite a few more.

First there's D.C. Code sec. 7-2502.02(a)(4):

§ 7-2502.02. Registration of certain firearms prohibited.
(a) A registration certificate shall not be issued for a:
  (4) Pistol not validly registered to the current registrant in the District prior to September 24, 1976, except that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any organization that employs at least 1 commissioned special police officer or other employee licensed to carry a firearm and that arms the employee with a firearm during the employee's duty hours or to a police officer who has retired from the Metropolitan Police Department.

This does not allow the registration of handguns after 1976. If this tiny but evil piece of code is found unconstitutional I believe it implies that banning guns by not allowing registration is illegal. The first policy item that comes to mind similar to this is the outright refusal of BATFE to register fully-automatic firearms made since 1986. Overturning this tiny piece of code does not make registration unconstitutional, however, it just makes it inappropriate to say “all x must be registered and by the way you can't register it.”

There's history here that can be leveraged, for example the egregious requirements like poll taxes used to deter people from voting. If we lose this one the tactic of registration leading to de facto bans would be affirmed.

What's not being looked at here is the separate numbers in this piece of code which banned other types of firearms than pistols. We don't get to look at sawed-off shotguns or assault rifles this time, sorry.

It's possible we can look at the registration question here, but I doubt it. Getting a consensus amongst five justices often requires very narrow looks at the questions at hand.

Next is D.C. Code sec. 22-4504(a):

§ 22-4504. Carrying concealed weapons; possession of weapons during commission of crime of violence; penalty.
(a) No person shall carry within the District of Columbia either openly or concealed on or about their person, a pistol, without a license issued pursuant to District of Columbia law, or any deadly or dangerous weapon capable of being so concealed. Whoever violates this section shall be punished as provided in § 22-4515, except that:
  (1) A person who violates this section by carrying a pistol, without a license issued pursuant to District of Columbia law, or any deadly or dangerous weapon, in a place other than the person's dwelling place, place of business, or on other land possessed by the person, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both; or
  (2) If the violation of this section occurs after a person has been convicted in the District of Columbia of a violation of this section or of a felony, either in the District of Columbia or another jurisdiction, the person shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.

This prohibits carry, open or concealed, of a firearm in any place other than their home, property, or place of business. It also prohibits the carry, open or concealed, of an unlicensed pistol on even those sanctuaries. This piece of code could get partititioned and we'd be looking at the possibility of having a constitutional right to bear arms on our own property, but not elsewhere. We could also look at the question of licensure in this one. The vast swathes of concealed carry legislation are not being considered here so I'd again expect a fairly limited look. A constitutional protection for carrying on gun on your own property without a license is what I would expect.

Finally there is D.C. Code sec. 7-2507.02:

§ 7-2507.02. Firearms required to be unloaded and disassembled or locked.
Except for law enforcement personnel described in § 7-2502.01(b)(1), each registrant shall keep any firearm in his possession unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device unless such firearm is kept at his place of business, or while being used for lawful recreational purposes within the District of Columbia.

This essentially penalizes people that don't disable their firearms so they cannot be readily used. Winning this one would imply a constitutional protection for unfettered access to one's firearms. Such a ruling might stop one particular “slippery slope”-style incursion on firearms ownership, although I believe that one should secure ones firearms away from misuse by others anyway. Losing this one allows for the slippery slope to continue.

That's essentially it. As one would expect the slices of gun laws being examined are quite limited and the implications of protection from a Supreme Court ruling are similarly limited. Some folks are hoping for rubber-stamping the removal of all gun laws, or the outright ban of guns, but neither is likely from this case. I doubt any case would make it to the Supreme Court with such far-reaching potential.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Nov 21 2007 06:39 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Supreme Court To Hear District of Columbia v. Heller

Finally the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) will be considered by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller after 68 years of messed up gun laws under the botched United States v. Miller.

Apparently it took some effort to frame the question, but this is what they ended up with

Whether the following provisions—D.C. Code secs. 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02—violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?

(via SCOTUS Blog.)

Update: There's a lot of background information at the SCOTUS Wiki.

The Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence has sent out a letter begging for $50,000 by November 30 so they can file an amicus brief.

The Washington Post has written a longer article on this case, as has the Associated Press, which you can read here at Fox News.

Finally, there's some lively discussion on the case at Hot Air.

Update: The grant of certiorari is here amongst the other orders.

Update: Plenty of good background at The Volokh Conspiracy, too. Here, here, and here. Also some discussion about Justice Kennedy's vote.

Update: The Federalist Society has published an email debate on this case. Notice Glenn Reynolds (the InstaPundit) predicting that the Supreme Court would not grant certiorari. Thanks, Dad, for the link!

Update: The Wall Street Journal has weighed in with an article and a Law Blog Q&A posting. The Law Blog swings against the individual right interpretation, which seems contrary to a lot of other thinking.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Nov 20 2007 10:15 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

More Trash Talk From the Freedom States Alliance

The Freedom States Alliance is an anti-gun group that has me on its mailing list. Every day they send me some piece of hyperbole or nanny-state fetishism. Today they equate the hanging of traitors with racist executions:

Help Prevent the Lynching of America by the Gun Lobby
September 12, 2007
Dear Joshua
In Pennsylvania, gun lobbyists threatened the sponsor of a gun control bill, suggesting that he be “hung from the tree of liberty for treasonous acts against the constitution.”
Have you had enough of the threats of violence from gun “enthusiasts”?
We have.

It seems to me more like a threat of prosecution to me.

Attempts to portray gun owners who protect their rights as racist rednecks to the anti-freedom lobby. Between mocking people with quotation marks and smug pronouncements with trite phrases, the Freedom States Alliance has it all, swiftly produced through a media machine intended to draw donations.

Let's ask. What should the penalty for treason be? Isn't subverting the Constitution a form of treason since it invalidates the consent of the governed?

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Sep 12 2007 02:28 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Shakedown Artist Plans Public Exortion Attempt

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., notorious attention-seeker, plans to protest a gun shop in the Chicago, Illinois suburbs for being the most popular in the nation. I guess someone has to be number one.

While he makes wondrous noises and platitudes, for example, “We have the right to live safe and secure, no matter where we live in America.” he seeks to shut down the very stores that offer (for many) a safe and effective solution to threats of personal violence.

“Our marching does not kill people; people who buy guns from gun shops kill people,” he says, forgetting the intended consequence that marching shuts down gun shops, threatening the lives of innocent people no longer able to even the odds against larger, more aggressive criminal assailants. I suppose known misogynist Jackson prefers rape victims to dead attackers in the national equation.

Jesse must believe that after the Virginia Tech incident that gun control is again a hot button in America, but he's wrong. The reaction of the public has been mixed, ranging from his bitter invective of disarm everyone so only muscles and gangs rule the streets, to the opposite side of arming students and teachers against possible future wackos.

Go ahead and have your protest, Jesse, only your fellow travelers in the Brady Coalition even noticed you are up to something, or care.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Jul 6 2007 04:02 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Virginia Tech

Of course the Virginia Tech shootings are a significant disaster, both in loss of life as well as public morale. It is horrible to see a single deranged individual pick up two commonplace handguns and end up killing 32 other people.

The question is what we will learn from it.

Already there are calls for more gun control, but it should be clear that gun control failed in this instance. He made it past the waiting periods, the background check, and laws making it illegal to bring them on campus. Of course, it's also illegal to murder people.

On the other side, what if one or two people had been able to have their own guns for self-defense? Would they have stopped the slaughter? History shows that while some victims are passive (rumors indicate that he lined people up and executed them), others take action to protect others while endangering themselves. Professor Liviu Librescu tried to block the killer out of his classroom and was shot for his trouble, but he may have saved his students.

I had believed that after 9/11 there would never be passive victims to such crimes again in our national memory. Now I don't know what to think.

Beyond guns there is a discussion about mental health. The warning signs of a troubled young man abounded here, with warnings from teachers and even court proceedings related to his mental state. Could we have understood him better and done something more in advance? There are limits, here, too. We can second-guess the judge that allowed him outpatient mental health care which kept the killer from being barred from owning a firearm, but what's the point? Dedicated individuals can find weaponry of any sort to act out their hate. Recall that dedicated Jihadis turn themselves or their cars into weapons or that Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer and diesel fuel to kill more than the VT killer did.

I believe that pre-emption against unknown threats is a fruitless endeavor and that the best strategy is improving our ability to react. In Iraq we dealt with a known serious threat with pre-emption. At home, where we don't know the threats, he harden the obvious targets and grow our ability to respond. The wrong response would be to soften obvious targets like schools and malls by prohibiting the very best tools of response.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Apr 19 2007 11:26 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

More 'News' Pushing for Gun Control

Melissa Santos of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer laments “Despite shootings, gun control unlikely.” While the piece is more balanced than most, it's still a hit job on the rights of gun owners. One usually expects Seattle's paper to print Washington Ceasefire releases nearly verbatim and call for draconian restrictions.

I doubt this plea will be heard, however. Despite a Democratic majority in Washington politics, my state legislators are aware that there are very few gun crimes and quite a few gun owners in the state. It doesn't take much for their to be a backlash against Democrats over wedge issues such as gun ownership.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns, Politics” Friday, Jan 5 2007 12:39 PM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

The Anti-Gun Senate Judiciary Committee

Looks like the Democrats are sending the most anti-gun Senators to their side of the Senate Judiciary Committee (per the Knox fcalerts list):

The Senate Democrats have already made their committee assignments and stacked the Judiciary Committee with the bottom of the anti-gun barrel - Leahy, Kennedy, Schumer, Feinstein, Durbin, Biden, Feingold, Kohl, Cardin, and Whitehouse, but the Republicans are expected to handle that business over the next week or two.

There are some folks on that list that have always hated gun owners (and, in general, citizens that want to defend themselves). We need to make sure the GOP side of the committee is not anti-gun as well. Of those on the GOP side from before, we lost one anti-gunner, DeWine, and there are a few that are positively pro-gun. Fcalerts recommends this:

Please contact Senate Republican Leader Elect Mitch McConnell and Republican Whip Elect Trent Lott, and ask them to keep Coburn, Cornyn, and Sessions on the Judiciary Committee.

Coburn, you may recall, was also a significant porkbuster in his latest term. He's a good guy.

You can leave feedback for those building the committee assignments at Senator McConnell's Office and Senator Lott's Office.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns, Politics” Tuesday, Nov 21 2006 02:37 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

2006 Election Not As Bad For Gun Owners

Dave Kopel has the scorecard.

A short summary:

Net gubernatorial results: -1.5.
Gains: Ohio.
Losses: Colorado, Maryland, and half of one in New York.
Net Senate results: -1.
Net House results: -14, which would drop to -15 if Reichert (WA 8) loses his lead.

I don't like the minuses, but those minuses aren't as bad as they were for the GOP.

Here's in Washington, however, the net loss was quite bad. Joe Waldron of Washington GOAL put it succinctly:

In Olympia it will get real interesting. A Senate split 32D-17R will mean reordering of committees. Senate Judiciary will likely switch from 5D-4R to 6D-3R. That means gun bills (plural) may come out of committee, leading to floor votes. With a 32-17 Senate, I'm not optimistic about holding bills there. The fight will shift to the House, where we have a number of pro-gun Dems. Will it be enough? Good question.
When we put out the call for people to come to Oly for hearings, you'd better come. Legislators are sensitive to this. When we put nearly 400 gunnies into the Senate Judiciary hearing room (and two overflow rooms) two years ago, people noticed.
Our strength is in grassroots. We'll have several opportunities to prove this in Olympia next year.

We shall live in interesting times.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns, Politics” Wednesday, Nov 8 2006 07:15 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Costco Bans Guns

According to Keep And Bear Arms Costco doesn't want people to carry guns in its stores. They've never harassed me about it, but then again I don't open carry. Perhaps I should cancel my membership anyway.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Oct 19 2006 03:56 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Pac. Nw. Shooting Park v. City of Sequim

In a setback, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled 6-3 against Pacific Northwest Shooting Park, finding that statewide preemption applies only to criminal matters and not civil ones where a municipality or county “acts in a capacity that is comparable to that of a private party.” This is likely to have far-reaching effects.

I have noted before that preemption prevented municipalities and counties from restricting concealed carry on their various properties but with this ruling I predict the return to a multitude of new regulations to harass our people and eat out their substance. There is a glimmer of light in the opinion of the court:

The critical point is that the conditions the city imposed related to a permit for private use of its property. They were not laws or regulations of application to the general public.

Even so, this still implies any private function on public land can now have municipal restrictions on concealed carry.

Still, the court is being disingenuous here. Governments within the state are not private citizens, and they are of course restricted by RCW 9.41.290. Look at how it's worded:

The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.

Clearly a contractual agreement has the force of the municipality behind it, and municipalities are specifically preempted from regulating firearms. Regulating by contract is not sufficiently different than regulating by ordinance or policy, especially when it affects the actions of the general public (and the general public is indeed invited to gun shows). Even if they were renting out the convention center for a wedding, this sort of contractual clause runs afoul of preemption. Cities that own public property and use that power to create the effect of regulation are sufficiently appearing to regulate in my humble opinion, and RCW 4.91.290 was specifically written to preempt such regulation.

The problem crops up in RCW 9.41.300. Convention centers are called out for local regulation except for CCW or “any showing, demonstration, or lecture involving the exhibition of firearms.” Yeah, they managed to weasel on that point. A gun show is not concealed carry or an showing, demonstration, or lecture. It is a gathering to trade firearms.

Except the section right after the above says this:

(3)(a) Cities, towns, and counties may enact ordinances restricting the areas in their respective jurisdictions in which firearms may be sold, but, except as provided in (b) of this subsection, a business selling firearms may not be treated more restrictively than other businesses located within the same zone. An ordinance requiring the cessation of business within a zone shall not have a shorter grandfather period for businesses selling firearms than for any other businesses within the zone.
(b) Cities, towns, and counties may restrict the location of a business selling firearms to not less than five hundred feet from primary or secondary school grounds, if the business has a storefront, has hours during which it is open for business, and posts advertisements or signs observable to passersby that firearms are available for sale. A business selling firearms that exists as of the date a restriction is enacted under this subsection (3)(b) shall be grandfathered according to existing law.

So, weaseling is not enough. It's pretty clear that gun shows cannot be treated any differently than any other show. Unless the City of Sequim has boilerplate on the sales of firearms to anyone renting the convention center, the gun show in question was treated differently because they were selling firearms!

Justice Richard B. Sanders's dissent is great:

The majority concludes Pacific Northwest Shooting Park Association (PNSPA) insufficiently pleaded a claim of tortious interference with a business expectancy because its complaints do not specifically state it expected to do business with vendors and the general public. The majority is wrong. A pleading is sufficient so long as it provides notice of the general nature of the claim asserted. The nature of PNSPA's claim is pellucid and its complaints entirely adequate. It alleges tortious interference with its expectation of hosting a gun show. No additional specificity is required.
Furthermore, the majority concludes RCW 9.41.300, which prohibits municipalities from regulating gun shows, permits municipalities to regulate gun shows. I am nonplussed. The statute means what it says. City of Sequim lacked authority to regulate PNSPA's gun show.

Justice James M. Johnson's dissent was also pretty harsh:

I concur with the dissent; however, I write separately in order to briefly clarify Washington law regarding firearms and their sale, which was misstated or improperly applied by the police chief here. This is particularly important as the Washington constitutional right “of the individual citizen to bear arms” could have also been implicated in this case. Whether this right includes a corollary constitutional right to sell or trade firearms need not be decided since Washington statutory law, correctly understood, allows the sales. I concur with the dissent.
Police Chief Nelson made a significant legal error in his April 11, 2002 memo, which he personally distributed. The memo restricted gun sales at the show in a manner not allowed by Washington law. It is difficult to find that a law enforcement officer, who surely had access to the RCWs, could incorrectly state the law in good faith.

I have edited citations out of the opinions here for brevity. Check out the opinions directly for full text and the background information.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns, Politics” Thursday, Oct 12 2006 12:16 PM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Weapons of Choice

The real “weapon of choice” of terrorists is TATP, not so-called Assault Weapons, Saturday Night Specials, or the infamous .50 BMG.

TATP is a powerful and compact explosive, recently in the news with the terror plot to blow up several planes with liquid explosive in energy drink cans, but also under the feet of shoe bomber Reichard Reid and the Madrid Train Bombers.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns, Terrorism” Thursday, Aug 10 2006 03:17 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite #65

Carnival of Cordite #65 is up at Spank That Donkey. My two posts from yesterday questioning the recent gun rights victories made the list.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Sunday, Jul 16 2006 06:36 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

No Action by the UN A Big Victory?

So, the UN Conference on Small Arms without them doing something and gun rights supporters consider this a big victory?

No recommendations on ammunition, civilian possession or future UN meetings, or for that matter any other subjects, were adopted. The failure of this five-year program to impact the legitimate firearms industry, and the 2nd Amendment rights of U.S. citizens was total.

This is victory? I define victory as something more akin to L. Neil Smith's Atlanta Declaration:

Every man, woman, and responsible child has an unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon—rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission.

When this conference works towards implementing the above goal everywhere on the globe, we might be getting somewhere. When we think it's great that the US Under Secretary of State Robert Joseph strongly states that the UN should not meddle with the US Right To Keep And Bear ArmsTM then we set our sights too low. Instead I want to hear a strong statement that the rights of US citizens are a model for responsible democracies everywhere, and we're taking the first step by dismantling the 20,000 gun laws on our own books, one by one. We can't expect other countries to stop their shameful practices with their own citizens until we can set a good example.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Jul 15 2006 01:19 PM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Vitter Amendment A Big Victory?

Various gun rights organizations have credited an amendment to the 2007 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (HR 5441) as a great victory for gun rights. On first blush it may be, at least, a concession to law-abiding gun owners' need to defend themselves in a crisis.

Here's the amendment (SA 4615):

None of the funds appropriated by this Act may be used to temporarily or permanently seize any firearm during an emergency or major disaster (as those terms are defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122)) if the possession of such firearm is not prohibited under Federal or State law, other than for forfeiture in compliance with Federal or State law or as evidence in a criminal investigation.

So, this is a form of pre-emption. Your local tin pot Mayor can't order the cops to take your guns just because the fit hit the shan. However, this amendment only removes federal funding for disaster workers confiscating guns, and the States can make their own laws in this regard and get the money then, so is this really a victory?

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Jul 15 2006 12:14 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

NWSAFE Calendar

Why not have the NWSAFE Calendar available as a Google calendar?

6/28 Update:

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Monday, Jun 5 2006 05:07 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

It's About Time

The NRA's Personal Protection Outside the Home course is finally going to see the light of day and may even be offered by instructors near you by the end of this year. This course will build upon the successful and comprehensive Basic Personal Protection In The Home course by offering basic instruction for those who have concealed carry permits.

For years I have groused about this developed but not released course that has been languishing inside the Training Department at the NRA, putatively on hold awaiting approval from the legal department. Starting June 10th of this year, Senior Training Counselors will receive training in hopes of minting instructors for this course and perhaps offering instruction later this year.

Already the handbook for this course is available from the NRA Program Materials department although I do not see the handbook available from the online catalog. You can order it directly by calling 888-607-6007, pressing 2, then 1, then asking for catalog number ES30000. I have done the same but I don't expect to get my shipment for a week or so.

Rest assured that once a local Senior Training Counselor (STC) has been trained I will be among the first in line (as a Training Counselor) to get my certification updated for this new course. Then perhaps we'll see NWSAFE offer this material later this year. We've got plenty of folks that have taken our beginning pistol and personal protection courses in the past few years.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, May 24 2006 03:16 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Gun Guys Mess Up

The Gun Guys run a regular mailing list (ostensibly for their fellow petty tyrants) where they tout control fantasies and smear pieces on their own ilk before they get sent to the general public. Today they wrote a screed intended to decry the salary of Wayne LaPierre, putatively the CEO of the NRA:

A million dollars is a lot of money, even when you're talking about the NRA. According to our calculations, that means 35,000 NRA memberships have already been spent, before any gun lobby crony's campaign funds ever see a dime.

No NRA membership money goes to lobbying. Lobbying is paid for solely by donations to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. The ILA is an independent organization within the NRA which conducts all lobbying activities.

NRA membership money goes into other activities, like training (both for police and private citizens), magazines for the members to read, firearms range development, and firearms competitions.

Of course, they don't mention that there are four million members of the NRA, therefore the “35,000” who pay Wayne's salary are a drop in the bucket. They also don't mention that many members are life members (or beyond—for example, I'm an “endowment” member).

Make no mistake, the NRA is a large organization devoted to teaching people how to be safe with firearms and shoot well. It's the largest police firearms training organization in the world. It promotes hundreds of competitions with the intent of safe, accurate, and fun shooting. But are the members money wasted on Wayne LaPierre? Doesn't the third largest lobby US deserve the finest CEO they can afford?

If you're going to smear an organization, at least get your facts straight.

So, ever wonder why these guys know LaPierre's salary? These anonymous fear and smear campaigners pulled the information from his tax forms! Quick! Alert the ACLU!

Update: The Gun Guys corrected their posting to indicate that they looked at the NRA's Form 990, but the email they sent out said this:

Because according to tax forms obtained by us, the guy's making almost (if not more than) a million dollars a year.

Sounds different, doesn't it?

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, May 11 2006 02:47 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

Foot Shooter Sues DEA

The infamous DEA agent who shot himself in the foot moments after claiming to be the only one in the room professional enough to carry the gun is suing the DEA because of the Internet distribution of the video. Apparently his cover has been blown and he is no longer desired as a motivational or educational speaker.

The Smoking Gun, and the complaint, say he accidentally discharged his Glock. From what I saw in the video, I'd call it negligence, if not reckless endangerment. I harped about this in my first posting in reaction to the incident.

This guy was a college and NFL football player as well as spokesman for the Ambassador of Nassau, Bahamas on the issue of drug enforcement. He claims to have been one of the best undercover DEA agents we had. It's amazing how a career can collapse from a careless moment with a gun. In an age where cameras are in everyone's phones, it's silly to think any careless moment won't be captured and published to the Internet moments later.

Previously on Josh's Weblog:
DEA Agent Redux
DEA Annoyed By Internet Exposure of Agent That Shot Himself
The Three Rules of Safe Firearms Handling

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Apr 11 2006 03:03 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

Pimp Gun

Looking through my pictures archive I discovered my .357 picture was corrupt, so I fixed that. Then I noticed I had never posted a picture of the “pimp gun” here:


And it can't be a pimp gun without a Miami Vice caliber:


Obviously this gun is used primarily for special occasions. Shooting a lot of 10mm is rough on the gun.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns, Pictures” Wednesday, Mar 1 2006 09:36 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  1 trackback

Gun Pictures Are Popular

I get a lot of hits on my website looking for gun pictures, even more than cat pictures or my commentary. Here's a little more for the folks that come here looking for guns!

Gripped 1911 by John McEnroe

John McEnroe took the picture, but it's my hands and my Wilson Combat Protector (a very nice 1911, if I say so myself). Notice all the wear and tear on the poor thing as it's my day-to-day carry piece.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging, Guns, Pictures” Tuesday, Jan 24 2006 06:23 PM  |  Permalink  |  5 comments  |  1 trackback

Guncrafter Industries Model No. 2

Guncrafter Industries is showing a sneak preview of their Model No. 2 1911-style .50 GI handgun. It has a full-length dust cover, solid reverse plug, and a equipment rail (best used for a light). I don't think I'd use the equipment rail—I consider lights to be bullet magnets and I don't want it near me—but I like the extra weight of the dust cover as well as the reduced chances of getting crud in the gun because of the redone reverse plug. Add a ambidextrous safety and I like it a lot.

The .50 GI cartridge is controversial, however. Some people don't like unusual case head design, others don't like the low velocity. I kinda like the idea, but I'm worried about the cost of ammunition. This one is really designed for people who reload, and I'm not set up for that (yet). I am a believer in .45 ACP and find it to be comfortable to shoot. The .50 GI is supposed to be similar in recoil and makes for large holes in the target.

The next question is “would I carry it?” There are risks in carrying an unusual caliber, and there are also risks in carrying a gun whose reliability has not been proven in your own hands yet, so for me the jury has evidence yet to hear (let alone being “out”). I have a few 1911s I trust carrying, primarily my Wilson Protector and my Kimber (I sold my Springfield—it hard really sharp edges). I like the familiarity of the Model No. 1's design, therefore, and I'd love to give it a try. I just need three spare kilobucks to try it out…

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Monday, Jan 16 2006 10:58 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite #42

After a holiday break, Carnival of Cordite #42 is up at Resistance is futile! Send congrats to Gullyborg for his marriage over the break, and to the many others with gun-related Christmas presents.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Sunday, Jan 8 2006 10:26 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Hawaii Cub Scouts Get to Break the Rules

When we conduct “Camp White Feather” here in the Pacific Northwest, we train dozens of boy scouts to earn their rifle shooting merit badges and we conduct the entire affair with a keen eye on safety, both in the way we conduct the event and how we teach heart-felt safe gun handling habits in the children that participate. We also try very hard not to get the kind of publicity evident in this article.

Enthusiasm for the hands-on event was strong yesterday, as more than 300 boys—mostly ages 7, 8 or 9—participated in what has been an annual tradition for the Cub Scouts and Schofield soldiers since 1968. Other groups were at the half-day camp Tuesday and today.

It's fun to do a shooting camp. I've done so for many years. However, the maturity of seven-year-old boys requires us to be very careful about how we conduct such a camp. We get very few that young, and we trust parents to bring children that are capable of learning and performing the required skills and the required level of skill or safety (from our application form):

Rifle shooting requires Scouts to “concentrate totally and consistently,” block out distractions and “hold the body completely still while firing the shot.” Scouts who have difficulty concentrating, are easily distracted, or have difficulty holding still will have a very difficult time meeting the shooting requirements.

Soldiers, in general, are also held to a very high standard of maturity with firearms when they are being trained. That's why the following pictures from this article surprised me somewhat.

I'm going to use two pictures of the article under “fair use” rules here. They clearly demonstrate unsafe behavior by the scouts and I want to point out why. One of our teaching rules is “never demonstrate an incorrect technique” but these two photos need comment. They were photographed by Cindy Ellen Russell of the Honolulu Star Bulletin and published in the above article.

Kids running with guns, Cindy Ellen Russell, Honolulu Star Bulletin

We try hard to avoid activities that lead to the photos in that article. The top one, clearly showing children running with M-16s, shows rifles pointed in an unsafe direction, and the possibility of a finger or two on a trigger when it's obvious they are not shooting. We do conduct safe gun handling exercises where kids hold guns, and pass them to one another, and never do we see guns pointed in unsafe directions or with little fingers on the trigger.

Kid pointing gun at photographer, Cindy Ellen Russell, Honolulu Star Bulletin

In this picture, it's clear that a kid is point a gun in an unsafe direction, at the camera person! We never allow parents go down range to take pictures like this (and someone always wants to), and we never let kids aim at a person, or a person-like target. We never let anyone go downrange when someone is near a firearm.

When we teach kids how to earn their merit badges we talk about and demonstrate safety for a whole day. Hitting the target and improving skills comes after a demonstrated understanding of the three rules we should always follow when handling firearms:

  • Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
  • Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use

I understand that most soldiers don't like what they consider to be bureaucratic nonsense and may not understand the single-minded pursuit of shocking imagery common in journalism, but the above two pictures are more damaging to teaching kids how to use firearms responsibly than they are evidence of fun. The soldiers will say that the guns were unloaded, and military discipline on ammunition is pretty good. However, most of the world is not a military camp, and the actions shown above can lead to firearms accidents.

(Hat tip to Alphecca, who pointed to the article here.)

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Dec 30 2005 09:33 AM  |  Permalink  |  3 comments  |  No trackbacks

New Supreme Court Pick a Real Winner

From Gun Owners of America:

GOA wants to thank all of you who contacted the President recently and suggested that he appoint a strong constitutionalist like Samuel Alito, Jr., to the Supreme Court.
As you know, Judge Alito (from the Third Circuit) has a strong record in support of the Constitution. Gun Owners Foundation was involved in the Rybar machine gun case which we ultimately lost in the courts. But Judge Alito offered a strong dissenting opinion to the majority report and argued that Congress has no right to regulate the private possession of machine guns.

Anyone that can actually read the second amendment is more likely to get my vote too!

The nomination of Alito is going to drive the other side crazy. Good. Judge Alito is a tremendous choice, and GOA will be asking you in the future to lobby your two U.S. Senators in favor of this pick.
In the meantime, thank the President for making such a good choice. And thank him for bypassing, once again, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as a pick for the Supreme Court.

Gonzales was calling for a renewal of the time-, money-, and freedom-wasting Assault Weapons Ban.

GOA has asked you several times to contact the President and oppose a Gonzales nomination, because as one of the President's good friends, Gonzales has long been reputed to be on Bush's “short list.”
But that seems to have changed. The Associated Press recently reported that Gonzales is no longer on that “short list” because Bush is “trying to dampen [opposition] on the Republican right, which doesn't think Gonzales is a reliable conservative vote.”
Thank goodness. Bush didn't use to think that way. But you can pat yourself on the back for helping impress this new way of thinking into Bush's head.

Sounds like GOA likes Alito. That's quite different than with previous nominees.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Nov 1 2005 03:25 PM  |  Permalink  |  2 comments  |  No trackbacks

S. 397 vs. The Living Constitution

Eugene Volokh has a piece up today looking at the “findings” at the beginning of S. 397 as more ammunition against the Living Constitution attacks on the Second Amendment.

First, the findings in question:

(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
(1) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
(2) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the rights of individuals, including those who are not members of a militia or engaged in military service or training, to keep and bear arms.

Certainly words for me to like, but why do we care that they are in there? Prof. Volokh explains:

Of course, courts interpreting constitutional provisions are by no means bound by Congress's assertions about the provision's meaning; they may interpret the provision more broadly than Congress urges, or more narrowly. Yet I take it that part of the reason for the findings was that courts sometimes are influenced, at least in some measure, by the judgments of a coordinate branch of the federal government. (At least courts sometimes says that they are thus influenced; query how sincere such assertions are, and to what extent they are just there to support a conclusion that the judges would have reached in any way.)

He goes on to point out other assertions and findings from the executive branch and then attacks the Living Constitution view of the Second Amendment from four quarters. It's definitely worth a read.

I've never doubted that the correct reading of the Constitution maximizes the freedoms mentioned, but it's alays good to see someone else support that view.

“The very purpose of a Bill of Rights,” Justice Jackson wrote in the 1943 flag-salute case, “was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” Words to live by, it seems to me.

Hear, hear.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Oct 26 2005 01:18 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite #35

Carnival of Cordite #35 is up at Resistance is Futile!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Oct 21 2005 07:54 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

S. 397 Passes House

S. 397 was passed by the House today. As a result the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” has passed in the same form by both the House and the Senate and is on its way to the President's desk. It came through a tortuous to make it here, however.

This particular act started in two forms, S. 397 in the Senate, and HR. 800 in the House. The House version is superior, in my opinion, because it has two less sections.

First, where they agree.

A qualified civil liability action may not be brought in any Federal or State court.

where a qualified civil liability action is defined:

…a civil action or proceeding or an administrative proceeding brought by any person against a manufacturer or seller of a qualified product [firearms, ammunition, and the like], or a trade association, for damages, punitive damages, injunctive or declaratory relief, abatement, restitution, fines, or penalties, or other relief' resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a qualified product by the person or a third party…

It excludes intentional harm or negligence, of course.

Sure, I'd like to see “trainer” or “instructor” in that list, but this is a good start. I'd love for my firearms instruction insurance to go down in price.

But what about where the House and Senate bills are different?

S. 397's Section 5, “Child Safety Locks” requires the inclusion of a trigger lock with every handgun sale, for the stated purposes of

(1) to promote the safe storage and use of handguns by consumers;
(2) to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to or use of a handgun, including children who may not be in possession of a handgun; and
(3) to avoid hindering industry from supplying firearms to law abiding citizens for all lawful purposes, including hunting, self-defense, collecting, and competitive or recreational shooting.

There, of course, is the unstated purposes of being a nuisance for handgun manufacturers and dealers, as well as opening the door for potential liabilty if people don't keep their guns locked up all the time. At any rate, it modifies 18 USC 922 and threatens dealers with suspension of their license to sell firearms if they sell a handgun without a lock.

It also has a curious addition:

(A) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who has lawful possession and control of a handgun, and who uses a secure gun storage or safety device with the handgun, shall be entitled to immunity from a qualified civil liability action.
(B) PROSPECTIVE ACTIONS- A qualified civil liability action may not be brought in any Federal or State court.
(C) DEFINED TERM- As used in this paragraph, the term `qualified civil liability action'--
(i) means a civil action brought by any person against a person described in subparagraph (A) for damages resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of the handgun by a third party, if--
(I) the handgun was accessed by another person who did not have the permission or authorization of the person having lawful possession and control of the handgun to have access to it; and
(II) at the time access was gained by the person not so authorized, the handgun had been made inoperable by use of a secure gun storage or safety device; and
(ii) shall not include an action brought against the person having lawful possession and control of the handgun for negligent entrustment or negligence per se.

A compromise within a compromise! One can almost imagine the point and counterpoint of congressmen amending each other's amendments to make oddities like this. Does this mean we at least get some relief from civil liability if we make a decent attempt to secure a handgun and it gets sprung or stolen? It will probably take some time to put this to a test, but it's an interesting development.

The more insidious piece is the next section, Section 6, “Armor Piercing Ammunition”. This outlaws the manufacture or importation of armor piercing ammunition, with certain exceptions, and asks the Attorney General to do a study and report:

(1) STUDY- The Attorney General shall conduct a study to determine whether a uniform standard for the testing of projectiles against Body Armor is feasible.
(2) ISSUES TO BE STUDIED- The study conducted under paragraph (1) shall include--
(A) variations in performance that are related to the length of the barrel of the handgun or center-fire rifle from which the projectile is fired; and
(B) the amount of powder used to propel the projectile.
(3) REPORT- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall submit a report containing the results of the study conducted under this subsection to--
(A) the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate; and
(B) the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.

A typical compromise measure is to order studies into issues at dispute in order to create a new bureaucracy that studies question endlessly. Most likely a study will find that anything suitable for hunting deer is also likely to defeat most piece of body armor comfortable enough for a police officer to wear in normal duty, therefore more study is required. Studies generally require there to be somewhat friendly bureaucracies to be present. Imagine what would happen if zealots who wish to ban all guns and ammunition were able to conduct such a study.

So, S. 397 passed. What's the reaction?

From the NRA, we have this:

Commenting on the passage of this landmark legislation, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said, “This is an historic victory for the NRA. Freedom, truth and justice prevailed, and today S. 397 is one step closer to becoming the law of the land. No other industry is forced to defend themselves when a violent criminal they do not know, have never met and cannot control, misuses a legal non-defective product. American firearms manufacturers will now receive the same fair treatment.”
Joining LaPierre in commenting on this victory, NRA Chief Lobbyist Chris W. Cox added, “Our judicial system has been exploited for politics and Congress put a stop to that. Passage of the 'Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act' would not have been possible without the support of the 257 House co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. We appreciate the tireless efforts of Rep. Cliff Stearns and Rep. Rick Boucher and the Republican members of House leadership who worked to move the bill in this chamber.”

If only they could have brokered a deal where HR. 800 was passed instead of S. 397.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) has similar praise for passage of S. 397:

“This important legislation will stop the anti-gunners cold in their attempts to bankrupt firearms manufacturers, distributors and retailers,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. “It closes an important loophole through which extremist gun grabbers have been trying to use the courts to crush gun ownership in this country, when they could not get Congress or state legislatures to do their bidding.”
“This common sense legislation,” added CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron, “is long overdue. It sends a clear signal to the anti-gun lobby that mainstream America has had enough of their attempts to have their political agenda forced on us all by the courts.”

What about pro-gun organizations that are not as happy about S. 397? I haven't seen a release from Gun Owners of America yet, but they were pushing hard for HR. 800 instead of S. 397.

The Oregon Firearms Federation sent out a release, though, stating

This bill, strongly supported by the NRA, was intended to protect gun makers and sellers, however it came at a cost of more gun control in the form of mandatory gun locks and other provisions which are dangerous to gun owners.


While we are pleased that gun makers and sellers will get a measure of protection against baseless lawsuits, we are disappointed that the NRA and other groups were so eager to pass this bill instead of the House version, HR 800 which would have accomplished the same thing without giving up more of our rights and freedoms.

We've long known that gun owners have more friends in the House than in the Senate, and it's not just because of the battle lines drawn between the Republicans and Democrats. Even so, those who feel citizens should be subjects have vowed to fight on (as quoted from the OFF release):

In a press release sent immediately after the bill passed, the “Coalition To Stop Gun Violence” stated: “We plan to move forward with our lawsuit against the gun makers and dealers involved in the sale of guns to Buford Furrow, the convicted felon, ex-mental patient, and white supremacist who went on a shooting rampage at a Jewish day care center near Los Angeles, and we believe nothing in the new gun industry immunity bill will prevent us from obtaining a judgment against these companies.”

I haven't seen the Brady Campaign's reaction, but I'm sure it will be similar.

Update: More reactions as relayed by Fox News:

“This legislation will make the unregulated gun industry the most pampered industry in America,” said Kristen Rand, director of the Violence Policy Center.

Update 2: I'm adding this to the Beltway Traffic Jam at Outside the Beltway.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Oct 20 2005 11:45 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  1 trackback

Carnival of Cordite #32

Carnival of Cordite #32 is up at Resistance is futile!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Oct 1 2005 08:21 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Federal Judge Halts New Orleans Gun Seizures

A new SAF alert:

Federal Judge Halts New Orleans Gun Seizures
BELLEVUE, WA—The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana this afternoon issued a temporary restraining order on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and National Rifle Association (NRA), bringing an end to firearm seizures from citizens living in and around New Orleans.

Hooray! That was quick work to get a restraining order, especially with Hurrican Rita threatening to cause more problems in New Orleans.

District Judge Jay Zaney issued the restraining order against all parties named in a lawsuit filed Thursday by SAF and NRA. Defendants in the lawsuit include New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Chief Edwin Compass III.

It's important to repeat and remember these quotes:

New Orleans Police Chief Edwin Compass III: “Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons.”

New Orleans Deputy Police Chief Warren Riley: “No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons.”

“This is a great victory, not just for the NRA and SAF, but primarily for law-abiding gun owners everywhere,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “We are proud to have joined forces with the NRA to put an end to what has amounted to a warrantless gun grab by authorities in New Orleans and surrounding jurisdictions.
“Over the past three weeks,” he continued, “residents who had lost virtually everything in the devastation following Hurricane Katrina had also essentially been stripped of something even more precious, their civil rights, and their right of self-defense, because of these gun seizures.

I think Nagin really wanted to just be able to forcibly evacuate people and this snowballed into a campaign. How could he possibly gain public support for this? Perhaps he thought that memory of residents shooting at rescuers would gain him some sentiment, but surely he realized that the tide had turned against him.

Perhaps he has trouble understanding tides.

“SAF and NRA had no alternative but to take action,” Gottlieb added. “If these gun confiscations had been allowed to continue without challenge, it would have set a dangerous precedent that would have encouraged authorities in other jurisdictions to believe they also could suspend the civil rights of citizens in the event of some other emergency.

A lot of people in power believe this. A lot of people who are representatives hate the idea. It's a difference in attitude.

“What must happen now, and quickly,” said Gottlieb, “is for authorities in the New Orleans area to explain how they will return all of those firearms to their rightful owners, and do it promptly. What this ruling affirms is that even in the face of great natural disasters, governments cannot arbitrarily deprive citizens of their rights. Thanks to some great teamwork between SAF and the NRA, this sort of thing will hopefully never happen again.”

Since the marauding troops following orders didn't seem to be issuing receipts, this is an empty commandment. There's no trivial way to return those firearms, especially if confiscations have been going on for almost two weeks. But Alan has to ask, because failing to comply with this request leads us down the path of seeking damages.

What chaps my hide is that damages are going to have to be paid out of Katrina relief! New Orleans is bankrupt, and the United States Government is going to bail them out. It sickens me to think my taxes are going to be used to pay back gun owners who had their rights violated because of some tinpot dictator I never had a chance to vote against.

PS Click here to make a contribution to help fund this lawsuit.

I've never encountered a reason to not support SAF.

Update: I'm adding this to the Beltway Traffic Jam at Outside the Beltway.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Sep 24 2005 07:14 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite #31

Carnival of Cordite #31 is up at Resistance is Futile!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Sep 24 2005 06:44 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Shotgunning Wife

Misty Poulson and Beretta 391 by John McEnroe

I just realized that I posted a picture of some woman who was not my wife. I'm making amends before I get in trouble. This is my wife Misty, hunting the cagey, wily, and slippery clay pigeon. Photo by John McEnroe.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Sep 22 2005 02:28 PM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks



I have joined the TTLB GunBloggers community. No blogroll just yet, but I'm working on it. Notice that I now extract the Neolibertarian Network blogroll instead of using their roll. Anything I can do to reduce the amount of Javascript on this page is a bonus.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Sep 22 2005 06:56 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Confiscations May Be Continuing

Geek With A .45 has received a report from New Orleans. Gun confiscations appear to be continuing:

My buddy Captain G, Oklahoma Guard, was activated and sent to N.O. His unit was tasked to “keep the peace” in a not-so-nice ward. I talk to him every other day or so, and let me tell you, he is mightily p*ssed off about this. He has been for 12 days now confiscating firearms from all but CCP folks. Did y'all get that? The F'n federal government is taking guns from law abiding citizens in the very moment of their greatest need! I looked for hours today online and found nothing about this, nor have I seen anything from the MSM since the Wednesday after the storm hit (big surprise). Why is everyone not totally frigging apesh*t about this?

(emphasis in original, and I had to censor some words to keep my ICRA rating.)

Like Geek With A .45 I had seen no further reports of gun confiscation, so I'm definitely curious to hear if it is continuing. Like him and TriggerFinger, I'll take emails and protect anonymity if needed.

Update: I'm adding this to the Beltway Traffic Jam at Outside the Beltway.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Sep 22 2005 05:33 AM  |  Permalink  |  2 comments  |  No trackbacks

SAF, NRA Ask Federal Court to Halt New Orleans Gun Seizures

Another press release from the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) worth noting:

SAF, NRA Ask Federal Court to Halt New Orleans Gun Seizures

BATON ROUGE, LA (Sept. 22)—The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and National Rifle Association (NRA) joined with individual gun owners in Louisiana Thursday morning, filing a motion in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana seeking a temporary restraining order to stop authorities in and around the City of New Orleans from seizing firearms from private citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

So they went straight to the state, which has working courthouses, and filed a restraining order as I predicted. This is good news.

Click here to make a contribution to help fund this lawsuit.

I've given to SAF a few times and I have several nice plaques from them. I believe this is an important organization on the legal front of the War To Save Self-Defense. This is the organization you want in your corner when you need to sue for your gun rights, or defend yourself for exercising them. With their latest Gun Rights Policy Conference coming up this weekend they are going to be fired up.

Arbitrary gun seizures, without warrant or probable cause, have been reported during the past three weeks since the Crescent City was devastated by the hurricane. In cases reported to SAF, police refused to give citizens receipts for their seized firearms. Earlier, SAF insisted that police account for all seized firearms, disclose their whereabouts, and explain how they will be returned to their rightful owners. Authorities have not responded.

Governments are not likely to respond on these issues on that one unless compelled to by a judge. They'll use those guns then accidentally lose them all, blaming it on the emergency situation. This is not cynical, as police organizations across the United States are very unlikely to give a gun back to its rightful owner. Once they have it, they think they can make things better by never returning it.

Gun confiscations have been highly publicized since the New York Times quoted New Orleans Police Superintendent P. Edwin Compass III, who said, “Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons,” and ABC News quoted Deputy Police Chief Warren Riley stating, “No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons.”

I'm sure those quotes played well to the typical NYT reader, but not so well in the heartland.

Compass and Riley may have been following the misbegotten orders of Mayor Nagin, but they made a very poor choice here. If I find out that the local emergency organizations had a hand in crafting the order, I'm going to be mad. Still, I think they did it in order to make it easier to do a forced evacuation next. I don't think that line of action is going anywhere anymore. In fact, I think NOLA has stopped confiscating guns door to door at this point, as we've seen no new references to it.

For example, a San Francisco, CA camera crew from KTVU filmed one incident in which visiting California Highway Patrol officers tackled an elderly woman identified as Patricia Konie, to seize her pistol and forcibly remove her from her home. An ABC news crew accompanying an Oklahoma National Guard unit filmed another incident in which homeowners were handcuffed and disarmed, then released but without their firearms.

I carry the Patricia Konie video here in case you want to check it out yourself.

“We are delighted to work jointly with the NRA in an effort to bring these outrageous gun seizures to a halt,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “Our inquiries about these confiscations were cavalierly ignored, as were our demands for a public explanation from the police and city officials about why citizens were being unlawfully disarmed, leaving them defenseless against lingering bands of looters and thugs.
“New Orleans officials left us with no recourse,” Gottlieb observed. “It was bad enough that Big Easy residents were victims of the worst natural disaster in the nation's history. That they would be subsequently victimized by their own local government, taking their personal property without warrant, is unconscionable. These illegal gun seizures must be stopped, now.”

It's so much easier to kick someone when they are down, especially when you are feeling sorry for yourself.

PS Click here to make a contribution to help fund this lawsuit.

Again, SAF is a great organization…

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Sep 21 2005 08:17 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

NRA On The Ground in Louisiana

Unlike the SAF release, I'd like to go through this one and comment.

NRA On the Ground in Louisiana

Friday, September 16, 2005
As was reported last week, in the wake of unspeakable crimes perpetrated by roving, armed gangs and individuals, authorities in New Orleans seized legal firearms from lawful residents, effectively disarming the very citizenry they are sworn to protect.

Indeed, I made the same observation at the time. I said then that I was hoping for a strong condemnation, and it looks like I'm getting one now.

On Monday, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox slammed New Orleans authorities for this incredible action.
“What we’ve seen in Louisiana—the breakdown of law and order in the aftermath of disaster—is exactly the kind of situation where the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves,” LaPierre said. “For state, local, or federal government to disarm these good people in their own homes using the threat of imminent deadly force, is unthinkable.”

Especially when the appearance of law and order in New Orleans is given by the President giving a speech from there. Is it secure or not? If it is, there's no reason to confiscate firearms (nor does it appear there ever was a good reason). If it isn't secure, then the President's address was a sham.

“The NRA will not stand by while guns are confiscated from law-abiding people who’re trying to defend themselves,” Cox said. “We’re exploring every legal option available to protect the rights of lawful people in New Orleans.”

Well, it's a week after the gun confiscations started. I haven't heard of anyone getting sued or of anyone getting their guns back. I suspect this is going to be a long haul at this point. After all, I'm not sure any of the courthouses down there are open during this State of Emergency. However, the state courthouse in Baton Rouge is probably open for business.

“Every legal option” is actually pretty limited until the situation is stabilized, and since no one appears to be giving receipts, and it is notoriously hard to get a firearm back after it has been taken, these people are going to be out in the cold for a long, long time.

To that end, NRA has put professional investigators to work on the ground in New Orleans and surrounding areas. News stories and members’ detailed accounts have been followed up on, but we need more information. Some of our best leads have come from rank and file law enforcement, but we need to hear from all directly affected citizens.

Now the LE angle is on where I can follow up. I already know of one law enforcement trainer in the New Orleans area that will not train New Orleans cops that followed that illegal order. I suspect many others feel the same way.

If you have personally had a gun confiscated in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina hit, please call (888) 414-6333. Be prepared to leave only your name and immediate contact information so we can get back to you. Once again, we are seeking contact information from actual victims of gun confiscation in Louisiana only.
For additional information, please visit, or e-mail us at

Like the SAF contact information, I'll happily echo it here.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Sunday, Sep 18 2005 08:31 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Patricia Konie Gun Confiscation Video

Courtesy of Geek With A .45 I have my own copy of the Patricia Konie gun confiscation video shown on Fox News. Certainly this is evidence that the New Orleans gun confiscation went too far. There are other videos floating around out there, but with obscure codecs or other technical annoyances, so I won't bother posting them.

As you can imagine SAF and NRA are looking for evidence for lawsuits, individual and possibly class action. I'm willing to offer my own services as a expert witness (NRA Training Counselor, Judicious Use of Lethal Force Instructor, and more…) to this effort. It'll be a hoot.

It's rumored that the confiscations have been quietly discontinued, but in my opinion it's too late to save face.

Hopefully Kira at won't kill me for posting this video. I'm already the #2 source of traffic for her service.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Sunday, Sep 18 2005 08:14 AM  |  Permalink  |  6 comments  |  1 trackback

SAF Alert on New Orleans Gun Confiscation

The Second Amendment Foundation sent out this alert:

SAF Investigating New Orleans Gun Seizures; Needs To Hear From You

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is calling on members and supporters living in the New Orleans metropolitan area who have had firearms confiscated by police, federal officers or National Guard units to contact SAF headquarters at once.

Over the past three weeks, since the New Orleans and surrounding area was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, there have been disturbing reports about warrantless searches and seizures of privately-owned firearms.

“SAF, in cooperation with the National Rifle Association, has investigators on the ground and has retained legal counsel in preparation for possible action,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb.

SAF wants to speak directly with individuals who have actually had their firearms confiscated. If you, or someone you know, has had a firearm seized by authorities in the New Orleans area in the days following the hurricane, SAF needs to hear from you.

Contact SAF via e-mail at Please provide us with your full name, address, current working telephone number and the date and time of the firearm(s) seizure. Please also let us know the best time of day for us to reach you at that number.

Sincerely yours,
Alan M. Gottlieb
Founder, Second Amendment Foundation

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Sep 17 2005 07:50 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite #30

Carnival of Cordite #30 is up at Resistance is futile! There's a reason they show up in my blogroll, and it's not just because they gave me top billing and two links. I have more New Orleans gun confiscation news to post, but I've got date night to deal with at the moment…

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Sep 16 2005 07:07 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

NRA-ILA Comments On Situation In New Orleans

NRA-ILA Comments On Situation In New Orleans:

Numerous media sources are reporting on a campaign by New Orleans city authorities to confiscate lawfully-owned firearms from people in the city. Louisiana statute does grant the government, during a state of emergency, broad powers in regulating and controlling firearms.
However, we have seen not just with Hurricane Katrina, but other similar situations, that when police are unable to control the criminal element, people turn to the one freedom that protects all others—the Second Amendment.

Many of us would say that the Second Amendment is there so we can protect the rest. Of course, voting is part of it, too, but voting tends to limit the rights of the people, doesn't it?

While one can certainly understand the dire predicaments of all those affected by Hurricane Katrina, as we have learned throughout history, campaigns to disarm the lawful do nothing to disarm the criminal. And in truth, these restrictions make citizens less safe. Despite the valiant efforts of many law enforcement officers and rescue workers, too many of those left in the wake of Katrina are ultimately responsible for their own security and safety and that of their families and loved ones. This is especially true when communication is virtually non-existent and police can't be quickly summoned to respond to calls for help. At these times, lawful gun ownership is paramount to personal safety.

If we cannot be left to defend ourselves, we are wholly dependent on the government to protect us. Some people like that idea. I do not.

Of course, the entire situation in New Orleans is constantly in flux. But rest assured NRA is monitoring this situation very closely and will address any activity by the government that unduly infringes upon the rights of lawful gun owners at the appropriate time. As we learn more, we will report to our members accordingly. In the interim, however, we join with all Americans in offering our thoughts, prayers, and assistance to the victims and survivors of this terrible natural disaster.

I was hoping for a stronger condemnation, but I guess that since we cannot rely on the media to accurately report what is going on in there, we'll have to wait and see…

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Sunday, Sep 11 2005 08:33 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

Firearms Confiscation in New Orleans

Disarming law-abiding and self-reliant citizens in the disaster zone? Dave Kopel writes in Reason:

At the orders of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, the New Orleans Police, the National Guard, the Oklahoma National Guard, and U.S. Marshals have begun breaking into homes at gunpoint, confiscating their lawfully-owned firearms, and evicting the residents. “No one is allowed to be armed. We're going to take all the guns,” says P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police.

So, yes, they apparently are, and they are doing it so they can forcibly evacuate them later. Dave Kopel does not have kind words for this idea:

The good gun-owning citizens of New Orleans and the surrounding areas ought to be thanked for helping to save some of their city after Mayor Nagin, incoherent and weeping, had fled to Baton Rouge. Yet instead these citizens are being victimized by a new round of home invasions and looting, these ones government-organized, for the purpose of firearms confiscation.

Glenn Reynolds adds:

It's especially striking to see this at a time when New Orleans-area police have been abandoning their posts, engaging in looting, and trapping refugees in a flooding city at gunpoint. “Rely on the police to protect you” has never seemed like worse advice.

I certainly wonder if it's legal to forcibly disarm people who are clearly endangered by looters, rapists, and thugs. It certainly isn't ethical. I've heard people complain that a disaster was no reason to curtail civil rights, bo so far I don't hear a lot about this particular infringement.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Sep 10 2005 03:47 PM  |  Permalink  |  2 comments  |  1 trackback

Columbus, OH Loses Money

Columbus, Ohio recently voted to ban the ownership of semi-automatic firearms in its city limits. That doesn't seem like a good idea. It has prompted the National Rifle Associate to cancel a planned member's meeting in that city in 2007 (NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre):

The NRA is not coming to Columbus in 2007. The convention is cancelled because last week your City Council unanimously voted to revoke the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens in Columbus by banning perfectly legal firearms.

The NRA press release goes on to point out that NRA members and convention business would have brought twenty million dollars of revenue to the Columbus area.

I should include the obvious comment that policy decisions like the city council's don't make citizens any more or less safe, so I wonder what they did hope to accomplish other than a political stink.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Monday, Jul 18 2005 10:14 AM  |  Permalink  |  2 comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite #11

My piece on Gerald Nunziato appears in Carnival of Cordite #11 at Pajama Pundits. Go check out the other articles!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, May 6 2005 04:36 PM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Gerald Nunziato Deserves None of Your Attention

In the Houston Chronicle Gerald Nunziato (former head of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms' National Tracing Center) started off sounding reasonable, albeit with poor punctuation:

By shutting down shady dealers, police could stop many illegal gun sales, said Gerald Nunziato… Nunziato is now a partner in Crime Gun Solutions, a firm that consults with local law enforcement groups to try to prevent gun violence.
But the NRA's stance on limiting the weapons purchase information government agencies can obtain and share with one another impedes those crackdowns, Nunziato said.

Liberty versus security strikes again. Because the fanatical police state machinations of ATF administrations have given many law-abiding Americans pause they have lashed back at the organization by limiting its ability to pry into people's personal lives.

Is it simply a dispute over where to draw the line? Who are the real extremists here?

…former ATF officials say the NRA's policies actually protect criminal gun purchases because they are the bread and butter of the U.S. gun industry. Since a gun lasts about 100 years, most law-abiding gun owners buy only one or a few in their lifetime, Nunziato said.
Criminals, on the other hand, buy new firearms every few years, he said.
“If it wasn't for criminals, there wouldn't be a gun industry in this country,” Nunziato said, adding that the claims of the NRA and other gun-rights groups that they are protecting law-abiding citizens with their policies are false.
“The only people it's protecting are criminals.”

Ah. That clears it up. Nunziato is the extremist here. If I was Penn & Teller, I'd be using the famous title of their hit series on Showtime right now.

He doesn't understand that a large number of Americans are gun collectors. I have a large collection, but that is primarily because I like to shoot a variety of different kinds of guns and I even have a few that I bought solely so I could teach others how to use them.

He doesn't understand that so long as people are using them for lawful purposes it's none of his business that they buy one or a hundred.

People have long assumed that a goal of gun banners has been collect a list of firearms owners so they can more easily arrange the inevitable confiscation efforts later on. It's this kind of bluster from a overpaid ex-bureaucrat that firms up that belief. If an ATF official can be so clueless as to why lawful gun owners buy guns, and how many they may buy, why should we trust him about anything?

Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) had strong words for Nunziato:

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb fired back: “If it wasn't for remarks like Nunziato's, perhaps law-abiding American gun owners would not consider ATF an adversarial agency when it comes to Second Amendment rights. His comment is nothing short of slanderous. I guess in his opinion, we're all criminals.”


“We sincerely hope that Nunziato's statements do not reflect the philosophy of the ATF today,” Gottlieb concluded. “This kind of anti-gun bigotry has no place in an agency that deals with firearms manufacturers, distributors, retailers and American gun owners on a daily basis.”

It's interesting that this kind of bigotry gets big press whenever the NRA has it's annual members' meeting. Why didn't the fact that the anti-gun juggernaut could only muster two protesters for the meeting make the news?

I guess if you're Gerald a former badge of office is enough to get you attention if you say things the mainstream media wants to hear. He's certainly beneath notice now.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Apr 20 2005 04:06 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

President Froman

I forgot to mention that this past weekend was the annual NRA members' meeting, which means elections. Sandra Froman was elected president of the organization. She is best known for Refuse to be a Victim and Women on Target. I think she'll be a good president, although Wayne LaPierre is still calling the shots as EVP.

The following were elected as officers of the National Rifle Association by the Board of Directors: Sandra S. Froman, president; Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice-President; John C. Sigler, 1st Vice President; Ronald L. Schmeits, 2nd Vice-President; Edward J. Land, Jr., Secretary and Wilson H. Phillips, Treasurer.
Upon re-election, Wayne LaPierre re-appointed Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of Institute for Legislative Action and Craig D. Sandler, Executive Director, General Operations.

And the following slate was elected to the Board of Directors:

Mr. Sanford M. Abrams
Dr. Thomas P. Arvas
Dr. David E. Bennett, III
Chief J. William Carter
Ms. Patricia A. Clark
Mr. Allan D. Cors
Mr. Charles L. Cotton
Professor David G. Coy
Mr. John L. Cushman
Mr. William H. Dailey
Mr. Joel Friedman
Governor James S. Gilmore, III
Mr. Roy Innis
Mr. John F. Milius
Senator Zell Miller
Sheriff Peter J. Printz
Mr. Todd J. Rathner
Chief Kayne B. Robinson
Chief Carl T. Rowan, Jr.
Mr. Harold W. Schroeder
Mr. Tom Selleck
Mr. Bruce E. Stern
Mr. Don Turner
Mr. Howard J. Walter
Detective Lieutenant Dennis L. Willing

There's some familiar names in there, but I made that commentary months ago when I reported the results of the Nominating Committee.

Now that the Members' Meeting is over, I can start collecting signatures to run for the board next year.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Apr 20 2005 11:26 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite Gets a Permanent Home

The Carnival of Cordite now has a permanent home.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Apr 6 2005 03:49 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

SAF Press Release: Zogby Poll Shows Overwhelming Rejection of Gun Bans as Terrorism Solution

A press release from the Second Amendment Foundation, of which I am a life member…

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today released the results of a recent poll it commissioned, conducted by Zogby International, which shows overwhelming rejection by likely American voters of the notion that banning guns would be effective in the fight against terrorism.

Asked whether they agreed or disagreed that banning guns would reduce the threat from terrorists, respondents to the poll disagreed by a margin of 75 percent. Only one in five respondents supported the notion, and five percent were not sure. Zogby polled 1,009 likely voters chosen at random nationwide with a margin error of plus/minus 3.2 percent. Polling occurred between March 30 and April 1.

SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb said the results of this poll clearly show that anti-gunners trying to use terrorism as an excuse to pass more restrictive gun laws are out of step with the American public.

“It's been pretty clear for a long time,” Gottlieb observed, “that gun grabbers don't have a clue. All they want to do is take guns away from people, any guns, all guns, and they don't care how much blood they dance through or how much false hysteria they spread to get the job done.

“Look at their track record,” he said. “Anti-gunners have used every excuse, every tragic event, to demand increasingly restrictive gun laws. They pushed gun bans to stop urban crime, but look how that has failed in places like Washington, DC and Chicago. They pressed for a gun free school zones law but that hasn't stopped tragedies like Columbine and, more recently, Red Lake High School in Minnesota. And lately they've tried to gull America into supporting bans on certain firearms as a way to thwart terrorism.

“America,” he said, “has finally awakened to what is essentially a one-note campaign being waged against their gun rights. Present anti-gunners with a problem and their only solution is to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. Well, that's not a solution, it's a sham. Whatever else terrorists happen to be, they are criminals, and you do not stop criminals by disarming their intended victims. Average Americans have figured this out, and we can only wonder why the gun control crowd hasn't.”

The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers & an amicus brief & fund for the Emerson case holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Apr 5 2005 02:19 PM  |  Permalink  |  2 comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite #7

Carnival of Cordite #7 is up! I didn't submit anything this time around. If I had more time this week I would have highlighted some new web sites from Beretta.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Apr 1 2005 07:27 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite #6

Carnival of Cordite #6 is up, and they featured my post on the DEA reaction to videos of the agent that shot himself getting on the Internet.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Mar 26 2005 07:19 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

DEA Agent Redux

The DEA Agent who shot himself in a gun safety class has made it into Urban Legends powerhouse

Claim: Video captures a DEA agent who accidentally shot himself while conducting a presentation on gun safety.
Status: True.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Mar 23 2005 07:05 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Gun Bills in Washington State, Most Bills Still Dead

Urged by a reminder email from a reader today—and from the 3/18 GOAL alert—we have a list of dead anti-gun bills here in the State of Washington, except for three remaining ones on which we are neutral but watching. Dead bills numbers are struck through.

Senate bills
SSB 5041Sentencing rangeMcCaslin (R-4)H. Jud.Neutral
SB 5131Insanity finding/firearmsCarrell (R-28)S. RulesDied
SB 5167Firearm suppressorsHargrove (D-24)S. Jud.Died
SB 5342Safe storage of firearmsKohl-Welles (D-36)S. Jud.Died
SB 5343Gun show loopholeKohl-Welles (D-36)S. Jud.Died
SB 5344Capitol campus gun banFairley (D-32)S. Jud.Died
SB 5383Juvenile hunting licensesOke (R-26)S. NatRes.Died
SB 5475Assault weapon banKline (D-37)S. Jud.Died
SB 5545Deployed military CPL renewalRoach (R-31)S. Jud.Died
SB 5593.50 BMG rifle banKline (D-37)S. Jud.Died
SB 5635Restoration of rightsSchoesler (R-9)S. RulesDied
SJM 8005Manufacturer protectionBenton (R-17)S. Jud.Died
House bills
SHB 1133Public disclosure lawNixon (R-45)S. GovOps.Neutral
SHB 1213Juvenile hunting licensesClements (R-14)H. RulesDied
HB 1473Safe storage of firearmsMoeller (D-49)H. Jud.Died
HB 1489Capitol campus gun banWilliams (D-22)H. Jud.Died
HB 1490Park/rec area gun banDarneille (D-27)H. Jud.Died
HB 1627Assault weapon banKagi (D-32)H. Jud.Died
HB 1687Insanity finding/firearmsMoeller (D-49)S. Jud.Neutral
HB 1804CPL renewal notificationEricksen (R-442)H. Jud.Died
HB 1822Lead shot hunting banKagi (D-32)H. NatRes.Died
HB 2211Lead shot excise taxKagi (D-32)H. Fin.Died
HJM 4002Manufacturer protectionCurtis (R-18)H. Jud.Died

There is a hearing schedule on HB 1687 scheduled at 10am March 24th at the Senate Judiciary Committee, in Senate Hearing Room “1” (in the John Cherberg Building).

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Monday, Mar 21 2005 09:40 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

DEA Annoyed By Internet Exposure of Agent That Shot Himself

The DEA agent that I referred to in “The Three Rules of Safe Firearms Handling” was an undercover agent, and the DEA is annoyed because his face has been shown to everyone on the Internet. No mention is made of his behavior in front of a class of Orlando Fourth Graders that endangered their lives.

An investigation has been launched to determine who leaked the home video of the undercover DEA agent shooting himself at an event sponsored by the Orlando Minority Youth Golf Association.
“It puts a lot of undercover agents in jeopardy if their faces are videotaped,” the masked agent told Local 6 News. “His identity is burned. His identity is known as a police officer and its a potential personal safety hazard to himself as well as his family members.”

Speaking of potential safety hazards, how about his actions in front of this class?

“This is a Glock 40,” the agent said on the tape. “Fifty Cent, Too Short, all of them talk about a Glock 40, OK?,” he said. “I'm the only one in this room professional enough that I know of to carry this Glock 40.”
Seconds later, the agent shot himself in the foot.

I'm surprised the Federal Government allows this person to continue to carry a gun in public, personally.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Mar 19 2005 06:35 PM  |  Permalink  |  3 comments  |  2 trackbacks

5th Carnival of Cordite

The 5th Carnival of Cordite is up at Technogypsy.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Mar 18 2005 05:43 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite

One of my articles on the FN 5.7 has been quoted in Week 4 of the Carnival of Cordite. Give all of the articles a read!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Mar 11 2005 07:51 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

The Three Rules of Safe Firearms Handling

Many of us have heard of the DEA Agent who was teaching a firearms safety class and shot himself in the leg. It turns out that there is a video of the event.

The three rules of safe gun handling:

  1. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  2. Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  3. Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

This man violated all three rules and had the audacity to introduce the unplanned event with this:

I'm the only one in this room professional enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock .40. I'm the only…bang!

I'm horrified that a room of kids think that this was the action of a trained firearms instructor.

The first rule of firearms classroom instruction: No live ammunition in the classroom!

(Hat to to Wizbang for this article pointing to this article that had a link to the video.)

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Mar 10 2005 04:27 PM  |  Permalink  |  3 comments  |  1 trackback

Resources for Battered Women

My page of Portland-area firearms training resources has been added to this page listing resources for Battered Women.

I'm glad.

A couple years ago (Mother's Day, May 11th, 2002), when I was affiliated with the Portland Firearms Training Team (PFTT), we put on an event called Women Empowered for Defense with a little grant money from the NRA. We taught them firearm safety, the basics on how to shoot a pistol, a little about the judicious use of lethal force (that's the part I taught), the Refuse to Be a Victim program, and more personal advice from abuse survivors. We did this for free and it was a great success.

While most of that team left PFTT to form Northwest Safety and Firearms Education (NWSAFE), the model in that first event has been replicated several times in the Pacific Northwest. I'm glad to see my page is considered a resource by an organization called the International Peace Resource Center.

In my experience with the ladies I have met over the years who have managed to escape abusive relationships a court order is not a very good form of self-defense. If one's life in in danger, one should recognize the best tools to use to stay alive.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Mar 10 2005 04:07 PM  |  Permalink  |  2 comments  |  No trackbacks

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Gun Owners of America has sent notice that Rep. John Hostettler will be introducing a bill for national concealed carry reciprocity:

Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) will soon be reintroducing his national reciprocity bill that protects the right of citizens to carry their firearms into other states.
Hostettler's language has a huge advantage over other reciprocity-type bills in that it does not punish states for being too pro-gun. His bill would not penalize citizens from states like Alaska and Vermont, because his proposal doesn't require a citizen to first get a permit to enjoy reciprocity in another state.

I call upon all those folks that helped push the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 reciprocate by supporting this bill. We got nationwide concealed carry for law enforcement, now let's see nationwide concealed carry for citizens who qualify for concealed carry in their home state.

If you need to know more about the patchwork of concealed carry laws, there is no better source than

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns, Politics” Tuesday, Mar 8 2005 03:50 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Terror Watch Lists and Gun Purchases

The New York Times is scooping Lautenberg's newest anti-gun initiatives, this time to encourage keeping lists of gun buyers:

Dozens of terror suspects on federal watch lists were allowed to buy firearms legally in the United States last year, according to a Congressional investigation that points up major vulnerabilities in federal gun laws.

Well, forty-seven purchases out of fifty-eight attempts over nine months. How many other legal purchases of firearms were made in that same period? And who has characterized this as “major vulnerabilities” other than a reporter with an agenda, perhaps one Senator who a history of anti-gun bills, and a anti-gun lobbying organization? What is the percieved value of combatting these perceived vulnerabilities versus the privacy rights of millions of people? In 2003 126,000 purchases were denied out of 7,831,000 applications, so “millions” is the right word to use, here.

People suspected of being members of a terrorist group are not automatically barred from legally buying a gun, and the investigation, conducted by the Government Accountability Office, indicated that people with clear links to terrorist groups had regularly taken advantage of this gap.

Last I checked, if there was a clear link, we charged them with a crime under the PATRIOT Act. If the link is unclear, however, then there's not enough evidence to charge them with a crime. Is that enough evidence to infringe upon their rights?

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, law enforcement officials and gun control groups have voiced increasing concern about the prospect of a terrorist walking into a gun shop, legally buying an assault rifle or other type of weapon and using it in an attack.

Buying an assault rifle, under the National Firearms Act of 1934, is not as trivial as buying a regular firearm. This is the standard conflation of “assault weapon” and “assault rifle” regularly practiced by anti-gun pundits. Since the press is regularly corrected on this issue, misuse of this terminology must be deliberate. Buying an assault rifle (made before 1986, that is, those made after that are just plain unobtainable by legal means) requires BATFE sign off, as well as the sign off of your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (usually your sheriff), paying the $200 tax, undergoing inspection, and a long list of annoyances that Lautenberg would like applied to regular firearms purchases.

One would like to talk to these unattributed law enforcement officials, too.

F.B.I. officials maintain that they are hamstrung by laws and policies restricting the use of gun-buying records because of concerns over the privacy rights of gun owners.

What? More unattributed officials? I'm sorry, but I can't take them seriously unless they are identified. So far all I really see here is the bias of Eric Lichtblau.

The legal debate over how gun records are used became particularly contentious months after the Sept. 11 attacks, when it was disclosed that the Justice Department and John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, had blocked the F.B.I. from using the gun-buying records to match against some 1,200 suspects who were detained as part of the Sept. 11 investigation. Mr. Ashcroft maintained that using the records in a criminal investigation would violate the federal law that created the system for instant background gun checks, but Justice Department lawyers who reviewed the issue said they saw no such prohibition.

An easy spot-check of liberal bias is the deliberate call-out of John Ashcroft. More unattributed lawyers in the Department of Justice. Of course, the reasons for lack of attribution (hidden in the details on the second page) is because the report has not yet been released.

Ultimately Lautenberg's bill is really all about mandating long-term record-keeping of those who might buy guns. It's all about back door registration of gun owners. So, even though the system might have allowed those on watch lists buy guns, Lautenberg really only seems to care about getting guns out of everyone's hands, little by little.

(Hat tip to Just One Minute.)

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns, Politics” Tuesday, Mar 8 2005 02:51 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Geeks With Guns

The Internet already has Geeks With Guns and even a Geek With a .45. I do qualify, however:

Josh Poulson's .45

(That's my Wilson Combat Protector.)

Maybe I should try to be The Geek with a .357:

Josh Poulson's .357

(The modern equivalent of this Taurus is the Model 627 Tracker.)

Sure, the pictures are old and grainy, but I think they make the point.

If that fails to establish my bona fides I'll have to go for “Geek With a .223…”

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns, Pictures” Sunday, Mar 6 2005 08:28 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

Most Washington Gun Bills Die In Committee

From the latest Washington GOAL Post:

At 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday (2 March), bills that had not passed out of their original policy committee were and are considered dead for the session. Remember, these cut-off dates are internal control measures, and may be waived by a simple majority vote.
Almost all of the gun-related bills, good and bad, died this week.

What's left? HB 2211, intended to greatly increase the tax on lead shot. At twenty-four cents an ounce, this would pretty much make it very expensive to shoot skeet…

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Mar 5 2005 11:02 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

More FN57 Scare Tactics and a Useful Handgun Ban

FN 5.7 Pistol

Despite BATFE reassurances (which I documented), the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has pressed their attack on the FN 5.7 pistol.

“We are very grateful to Senators Lautenberg, Corzine and Schumer and Congressman Eliot Engel for introducing legislation in the Senate and the House of Representatives to outlaw this weapon,” said Michael Barnes, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence united with the Million Mom March. “This weapon is a tragedy waiting to happen.”

Ah, the usual suspects for pro-hoplophobic legislation arrived for roll call. It's good to see that they can be counted on to trot out the latest talking points of the gun control lobby. So much for Democrats trying to distance themselves from gun control.

The bill is S. 527 (The Protect Law Enforcement Armor (PLEA) Act), but it is not yet available on the record at the Library of Congress. Lautenberg cites Hillary Clinton as a co-sponsor even if the Brady Campaign does not.

Lautenberg claims the gun was designed to penetrate vests worn by police. That's an overstatement. The gun, and the companion submachine gun, were designed for use by SWAT teams for going up against criminals wearing vests. They focused on capacity and penetration capability. It is primarily marketed to police. The website cited as bragging about the firearm's potential is intended for police.

The bill has some interesting “findings:”

Sec 2.(a)(3) The Five-seveN Pistol and 5.7 x 28mm SS192 cartridges are capable of penetrating level IIA armor. The manufacturer advertises that ammunition fired from the Five-seveN will perforate 48 layers of Kevlar up to 200 meters and that the ammunition travels at 2100 feet per second.

True enough, but you shouldn't be able to get SS192 ammunition in the United States.

Sec 2.(a)(4) The Five-seveN Pistol, and similar handguns designed to use ammunition capable of penetrating body armor, pose a devastating threat to law enforcement.

Here it comes. Any handgun capable of defeating IIA armor is now under attack… Now, what do we know also penetrates IIA? 9mm FMJ at speeds greater than 1100fps, .357 Magnum at speeds greater than 1250fps, .44 Magnum, .50AE, .500 S&W Magnum, etc. etc.

IIA is the minimum recommended level of body armor if you are going to bother wearing it. It'll stop 00 buckshot, and a lot of other little things, but not 9mm Silvertips, for example. It is definitely not what you wear if you're facing rifle or submachine gun rounds. SS192 is a submachine gun round.

Okay, what's the purpose of S. 527?

Sec 2.(b) Purpose.—The purpose of this Act is to protect the Nation's law enforcement officers by— (1) testing handguns and ammunition for capability to penetrate body armor; and (2) prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, or purchase by civilians of the Five-seveN Pistol, ammunition for such pistol, or any other handgun that uses ammunition found to be capable of penetrating body armor.

Welcome to the Lautenberg ban on most guns acceptable for concealed carry. The rest of the bill modifies the pre-existing definition of armor piercing ammunition definition and bans any pistol that can fire ammunition determined to be armor piercing under this new definition.

Nice try.

Let's go back to the Brady Campaign press release:

“Instead of focusing on the threat to law enforcement caused by public sales of this cop killer gun, many in Congress are instead trying to pass legislation that would immunize the gun's manufacturer from lawsuits,” Barnes said. “That's insane.”

Unlike law enforcement deaths as a result of this pistol, the attempts of hoplophobes to sue legitimate gun manufacturers out of business are persistent, despite the high frequency of such lawsuits getting thrown out of the courts. Even if the manufacturers win the suits, they are out a lot of money.

So, the response to this should be “Pot. Kettle. Black.”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an alert to all its law enforcement personnel in November, warning that the SS192 ammunition designed for the gun penetrated body armor. “Sales of this weapon in the U.S. have increased tremendously according to the manufacturer,” the alert stated.

SS192 ammunition is not available for sale in the United States. Only SS196 is available. Sales of the FN Five-SeveN pistol to private citizens may have increased tremendously (from zero sales before the gun was available to distributors), but sales to criminals are still illegal.

Finally, we have this gem:

The National Rifle Association has defended the weapon and questioned the Brady Campaign's testing. In response to their comments, Barnes today suggested that the NRA's President, Wayne LaPierre, “put on a bullet proof vest, and we'll fire the weapon at him, and see what happens. He should put his body where his mouth is.”

I wonder who would beg the most for that video? Not only is the vest not specified, neither is the ammunition or how they might fire it. Knowing what we do about the firearms knowledge of this group, they'd likely shoot for the head and claim the pistol defeated the vest.

The NRA responded:

It is pathetic to see the gun control lobby make hysterical statements to resurrect their failed political agenda. According to the BATFE, this armor-piercing ammunition is only available to the military and police. The Brady Campaign continues to deceive the American people in their effort to ban firearm ownership by all law-abiding Americans.

I'm sure I'll get another drive-by “redneck” comment for this post, but they are sure fun to write.

Update: Alphecca has gathered some quotes on this gun ban, but didn't notice that Lautenberg is trying to ban every handgun that can penetrate a IIA vest.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Mar 4 2005 04:31 PM  |  Permalink  |  15 comments  |  2 trackbacks

The Importance of Defensive Marksmanship

This is a reprint of an essay I wrote for on January 24, 2003. It deserves repeating here.

Every firearms instructor's basic shooting course will teach a new shooter a lot of things, but every student comes to class with different goals for the training. For our basic courses we most often get the following responses to the question “What do you expect to get from today's class?”

  • to learn how to shoot this gun that's been in the house for years
  • my spouse/partner has a gun and wants me to know how to deal with it
  • for personal protection
  • to get proof of training in order to qualify for a Oregon Concealed Handgun License

What is noticeably rare are those folks that are looking for pointers and brush-ups, to learn shooting from the ground up, or to get into competitive target shooting. Such answers used to be more common only a couple decades ago. These days half of our students have done some shooting before, and need a little nudging to unlearn some habits inferred from Hollywood or friends. The other half have never shot at all.

What is patently obvious is that these folks will need to learn the knowledge of, and skills for, defensive shooting, or in other words “shooting to save a life.”

(In addition, many of these people need to know more about the law, but we do not profess to be competent to teach that. We have a lawyer come in for two hours to discuss that in a later course.)

For this reason NWSAFE instructors most often offer the NRA FIRST Steps Pistol class. It covers safety and fundamentals in great detail, however, what bothers us is that many of the students don't seem to go on to practice their newfound skills or to seek further training on defensive shooting.

I'm reminded of the adage, “Marksmanship is a perishable skill.” Many of these students have acquired marksmanship skills that are eroding, and they haven't yet gone past the fundamentals into defensive shooting.

NWSAFE is adding to the class an additional hour of shooting from the standing, two-handed Isosceles position. While this position is not the best for everyone, the instructors feel that firing shots from benchrest is not enough for a new shooter to learn. A two-handed standing position is far more applicable to defensive shooting, as well.

However, I want to remind people that a bare hour of shooting while standing is not really enough, either.

I'm not trying to sell more classes, and I don't make money from the local ranges when they get more business, but I do want people to be safe out there. When we taught an NRA Basics of Personal Protection in the Home course recently, our students were amazed by the difference between target shooting and defensive shooting.

For most purposes, acceptable defensive accuracy is a hand-sized group of hits shot as quickly as such hits can be made. For practice of this, I suggest shooting at a sheet of typing paper mounted on the back of a two foot by three foot rectangle. Every time you shoot a group of six or so shots, examine the target and lay your hand over it, splayed out. If the group is entirely within your handspan, shoot faster. If it's larger than your hand, shoot slower. Avoid focusing on the target or chasing your previous hits. Instead center the sights on the middle of the paper and focus on your front sight.

Practice this a different distances all the way out to fifteen yards or fifty feet. Practice defensive shooting at least once a month.

Keep in mind that the most important aspect of shooting to save your own life (which necessarily means shooting under stress) is a reflexive focus on getting sufficient hits to stop a threat. Those hits have to be in an effective region to stop the threat. Aim at small things to miss by small amounts. If you aim at an imposing huge target approaching a yard on a side then your hits will be all over the paper. Instead focus on getting hits as quickly as possible in the center of the target area.

Shooters who first start this will notice an alarming tendency to pull low and to the opposite side of the target from their shooting hand. This is most definitely caused by trigger pull. Concentrate on a smooth, continuous pull of the trigger straight back to the rear without disturbing the position of the gun, and without changing the grip on the gun all the way through. It sounds easier than it really is.

To improve trigger pull, I strongly recommend dry-firing. Some guns may require the use of special training cartridges called “snap caps” to prevent damage to the firing pin or chamber, but most centerfire guns deal with it well. Remove all ammunition from the dry practice area, check the gun by sight and feel to ensure that no ammunition is present in it, select a target that is a safe direction, say out loud “I am performing dry fire practice with an unloaded gun,” and methodically practice the fundamentals of shooting, with special emphasis on consistent grip, good sight alignment, perfect trigger control and follow through for at least a second after each shot before recocking the hammer. Never just pound away shots like Hollywood, there are other drills for improving your speed. If you have a long double action, make sure the pull is smooth like zipping a zipper from the point where the slack is gone until the hammer drops.

Do not allow yourself to be distracted from the steps necessary to make the gun safe to dry fire. If interrupted, start over from the beginning. Avoid the urge to practice more than a few minutes each day, or when you are on the phone or watching television. When you are done, say it out loud and store the gun, not touching it again! If you dry fire with the same gun you use for personal protection, be especially careful to move to another room to load it, and say out loud that dry practice is over and you have a loaded gun. These habits help prevent accidents!

Dry fire at least one session a week. More often is fine, but be aware that any use of a mechanical system can cause wear. Practice all three of the safe gun handling rules, and the additional rules of shooting, especially “Be sure of your target and what is behind it.” Conscientious practice ingrains good habits that are less likely to fail under stress.

Finally, the greatest skill and confidence builders are found in additional training. No one instructor or class will teach you everything. While NWSAFE focuses on beginners, in every class we point out those additional area instructors who cover more advanced topics, and we even point out those schools on the web site.

The instructors in NWSAFE want people to be safe and conscientious shooters, and we also want people to be good shooters. We highly recommend practice, further instruction, occasional shooting qualification tests, and organized competition to hone your shootings skills.

Be safe out there!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Feb 17 2005 11:21 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Anti-Gun Bills in Washington Update

Again, from a GOAL alert, anti-gun bills in Washington. Much of the data is the same, but there are three new house bills below.

Senate bills
SB 5041Sentencing rangeMcCaslin (R-4)S. Jud.Neutral
SB 5131Insanity finding/firearmsCarrell (R-28)S. Jud.Neutral
SB 5167Firearm suppressorsHargrove (D-24)S. Jud.Support
SB 5342Safe storage of firearmsKohl-Welles (D-36)S. Jud.Oppose
SB 5343Gun show loopholeKohl-Welles (D-36)S. Jud.Oppose
SB 5344Capitol campus gun banFairley (D-32)S. Jud.Concerns
SB 5383Juvenile hunting licensesOke (R-26)S. NatRes.Neutral
SB 5475Assault weapon banKline (D-37)S. Jud.Oppose
SB 5545Deployed military CPL renewalRoach (R-31)S. Jud.Support
SB 5593.50 BMG rifle banKline (D-37)S. Jud.Oppose
SB 5635Restoration of rightsSchoesler (R-9)S. Jud.Support
SJM 8005Manufacturer protectionBenton (R-17)S. Jud.Support
House bills
HB 1133Public disclosure lawNixon (R-45)H. StatGov.Neutral
HB 1213Juvenile hunting licensesClements (R-14)H. NatResNeutral
HB 1473Safe storage of firearmsMoeller (D-49)H. Jud.Oppose
HB 1489Capitol campus gun banWilliams (D-22)H. Jud.Oppose
HB 1490Park/rec area gun banDarneille (D-27)H. Jud.Oppose
HB 1627Assault weapon banKagi (D-32)H. Jud.Oppose
HB 1687Insanity finding/firearmsMoeller (D-49)H. Jud.Neutral
HB 1804CPL renewal notificationEricksen (R-442)H. Jud.Support
HB 1822Lead shot hunting banKagi (D-32)H. NatRes.Oppose
HJM 4002Manufacturer protectionCurtis (R-18)H. Jud.Support

There will be a hearing on HB 1822 on February 15th at 1:30pm. The hearing will be in the John L. O’Brien Building, Hearing Rm “D”

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Feb 12 2005 12:03 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

Bushmaster XM-15 (AR-15) Memories

Poking around the search engines, I noticed my picture of my Bushmaster XM-15 has gone way down in rank on Google's image search. After the arrest of Lee Malvo, I got thousands of hits on because of my picture, linked to below. Not that I'm celebrating anything Malvo did, I'm not, but I thought it was interesting that my rank was so high then, and so low now.

Bushmaster XM-15

(click on this image to get the full-size version)

Nowadays my Bushmaster looks a little different. I changed out the trigger with a Chip McCormick Super Match Trigger Group with the help of trusty gunsmith John McEnroe. Also, I have a ambidextrous safety which is useful for left-handers like myself.

Misty's AR has the trigger group change, but not the ambi-safety.

The only other big differences are that I got a .22 LR upper, in the A2 configuration, for target shooting from Fulton ARmory. I definitely recommend Fulton ARmory for AR-15 parts. I haven't had a chance to try their work since John is so much closer to home.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns, Pictures” Thursday, Feb 10 2005 06:10 PM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Declaring the Washington Assault Weapons Ban an Emergency

I talked about SB 5475 before in this posting but I did not delve deeply into the emergency clause:

This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately, except for section 4 of this act which takes effect July 1, 2005.

What I didn't know before is that bills passed with this clause cannot by changed by a referendum. Per the Washington Constitution, Article 2, Section 1:

…The second power reserved by the people is, the referendum, and it may be ordered on any act, bill, law, or any part thereof passed by the legislature, except such laws as may be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, support of the state government and its existing public institutions, either by petition signed by the required percentage of the legal voters, or by the legislature as other bills are enacted…

Emergencies that have tax effects have a limited lifespan, but this one is more of an unfunded mandate than a tax. It's no small wonder they want this text in there. It's not to pass it and have it take effect immediately, it's to protect it from the significantly more pro-gun majority of citizens!

At the moment this bill is held in committee due to a power struggle between the urban and the rural Democrats. Obviously the rural Democrats don't want to lose the next election. The urban ones don't bother hiding their citizen-hating desires.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Feb 4 2005 04:25 PM  |  Permalink  |  2 comments  |  1 trackback

Lethal Force at the Capitol

In the Olympian we see an article in favor of the capitol gun ban, SB 5344. That's not surprising. What is surprising is this quote:

[Brendan] Williams [D-Olympia] responded: “This is by no means gun control as that term is commonly used. What I would refer to as 'place and time' restrictions are as applicable to gun rights as they are to First Amendment rights. The rationale for concealed weapons is self-protection. Yet self-protection cannot be a principled motive for carrying a gun in the Legislative Building, as lethal force can generally only be used in response to lethal force under our self-defense laws—and if only the State Patrol were armed, whose lethal force would one have to protect oneself against?”

He seems to think that the only threat model at the capitol is people shooting at you. I, for one, recognize that there are a lot of ways one can be threatened with death or grave bodily harm. Admittedly, they already ban knives and other objects from the capitol, although that seems pretty silly to me, too. (I need to take note of the fact that Olympia apparently has a three inch blade limit. Other jurisdictions are longer.)

His statement contains a fallacy. He asserts that by making it illegal to carry on the capitol (they already have metal detectors to enforce it) that the only one that might threaten you with a gun on the capitol is the State Patrol. However, as an example, that presumes that someone authenticating as a State Patrol officer is not a threat (can anyone see the security risk in that?). As another example, imagine someone (or several of them) shooting their way into the capitol and getting past the troopers to the unprotected legislators and observers inside.

Personal protection is just that. You cannot abdicate personal protection. You cannot assign it to some troopers who are there to maintain order for the entire capitol. They have a hard enough mission without having to worry about me. Add to this the precedents that police are not obligated to protect individuals but rather society and you can see the key problem. I do not want my personal safety to be someone else's responsibility.

Williams seems to believe that when he and I are faced with the same risks (because we're on the capitol) that I should not be responsible for my own life, because he feels I threaten his. He can make that choice for himself, but I don't like it when he makes that choice for me. He made a choice to run for office and be there.

What I think is happening is that Williams is afraid of his constiuents. He considers his personal safety to be more important than theirs. He thinks his job is more important than theirs. To me he has become a malignant narcissist. He should be ignored. Certainly this self-important blow-hard shouldn't be in office.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Feb 1 2005 05:04 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

More Anti-Gun Bills in Washington

We've received more updates from GOAL (Gun Owners Action League) about legislative activity in Washington. There's a ton of data.

Senate bills
SB 5041Sentencing rangeMcCaslin (R-4)S. Jud.Neutral
SB 5131Insanity finding/firearmsCarrell (R-28)S. Jud.Neutral
SB 5167Firearm suppressorsHargrove (D-24)S. Jud.Support
SB 5342Safe storage of firearmsKohl-Welles (D-36)S. Jud.Oppose
SB 5343Gun show loopholeKohl-Welles (D-36)S. Jud.Oppose
SB 5344Capitol campus gun banFairley (D-32)S. Jud.Concerns
SB 5383Juvenile hunting licensesOke (R-26)S. NatRes.Neutral
SB 5475Assault weapon banKline (D-37)S. Jud.Oppose
SB 5545Deployed military CPL renewalRoach (R-31)S. Jud.Support
SB 5593.50 BMG rifle banKline (D-37)S. Jud.Oppose
SB 5635Restoration of rightsSchoesler (R-9)S. Jud.Support
SJM 8005Manufacturer protectionBenton (R-17)S. Jud.Support
House bills
HB 1133Public disclosure lawNixon (R-45)H. StatGov.Neutral
HB 1213Juvenile hunting licensesClements (R-14)H. NatResNeutral
HB 1473Safe storage of firearmsMoeller (D-49)H. Jud.Oppose
HB 1489Capitol campus gun banWilliams (D-22)H. Jud.Oppose
HB 1490Park/rec area gun banDarneille (D-27)H. Jud.Oppose
HB 1627Assault weapon banKagi (D-32)H. Jud.Oppose
HJM 4002Manufacturer protectionCurtis (R-18)H. Jud.Support

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Feb 1 2005 08:02 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  3 trackbacks

Bill Text

In a followup to yesterday's posting, we have text!

SB 5342, “AN ACT Relating to safe storage of firearms; amending RCW 9A.36.050; adding a new section to chapter 9.41 RCW; and prescribing penalties.”

This one specifically states that a person is guilty of reckless endangerment if they leave a loaded firearm where a child (defined as anyone under sixteen years of age) is likely to get ahold of it. Defenses include locking the gun up in some way, providing adult supervision, or if the child obtained it through unlawful entry. What I don't like, however, is that there may be some pretty responsible teenagers out there (sure, we hear about the irresponsible ones) that could need to defend themselves with the family firearm.

This bill has a lot of compromise wording in it, including

Nothing in this section shall mandate how or where a firearm must be stored.

However, it does mandate that stores selling guns conspicuously display a sign with the following far less friendly language:

…the following warning sign, to be provided by the department of licensing, in block letters at least one inch in height: “IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE OR LEAVE AN UNSECURED, LOADED FIREARM WHERE A CHILD CAN AND DOES OBTAIN POSSESSION.”

The typical person reading that does not get the comforting glow one might get from reading the bill itself. Notice the sign does not actually call out RCW 9A.36.050 or 1997 c338 s45 where they could look up the actual rules.

No news on whether the signs will cost $500 apiece and take fourteen months to ship. The Department of Licensing is pretty much on top of things. They run the DMV, for example.

SB 5343, “AN ACT Relating to the sale of firearms at gun shows and events; amending RCW 9.41.010; adding a new section to chapter 9.41 RCW; and prescribing penalties.”

Apparently there's been some trouble at gun shows and the legislature is here to save us. I have difficulty remembering the incidents they are responding to, other than the fear, uncertainty and doubt promulgated by the hoplophobes.

The basic idea of this bill is that all sales of firearms at gun shows must be conducted through a dealer, and a dealer may assist with transfers between private citizens for a reasonable fee. (Dealers are folks with a FFL, obtained under 18 USC 923(a).)

We have three basic definitions of “gun show” from this bill:

“Gun show or event” means a place or event, a gun trade show, gun collectors' show, flea market, or auction, other than a permanent retail store, at which three or more individuals assemble to display, sell, lease, or transfer new or used firearms or firearm components to the public and that is not exempt from collecting sales tax under RCW 82.08.0251.

This seems like a reasonably good definition of a gun show.

“Gun show or event” includes a place or event where ten or more firearms are offered for transfer or transferred.

Ah, so if I were to sell off my collection (more then ten firearms) and people came over to my house to look it over, it would now become a gun show. This is a gotcha. I can imagine putting an ad in the paper having people come over and getting stung by the WSP.

“Gun show or event” includes, but is not limited to, an area near the gun show or event that the sponsor knows or should reasonably know will be used for parking for the gun show or event.

Duh, it's a bad idea to circumvent the law by going out in the parking lot to conduct the transaction. However, notice the chilling effect here. They specifically call out the sponsor! The sponsor can hardly regulate the activities of every attendee at the show. In fact, imagine two people driving up to the gun show and advertising and selling in the parking lot. Sponsors will now have to hire security to wander through the parking lot breaking up possible sales.

The other change comes to this line (changes highlighted):

“Dealer” means a person engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail who has, or is required to have, a federal firearms license under 18 USC 923(a). A person who does not have, and is not required to have, a federal firearms license under 18 USC 923(a), is not a dealer if that person makes only occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or sells all or part of his or her personal collection of firearms, in a private transaction not through a gun show or event.

They are, at least, clarifying that people who make personal sales in private transactions are not dealers… for now.

SB 5344, “AN ACT Relating to possession of firearms on the state capitol campus; reenacting and amending RCW 9.41.300; and prescribing penalties.”

Not a big change, just adding the legislative building at the state capitol to the list of restricted areas in Washington:

It is unlawful for any person to enter the state legislative building on the state capitol campus when he or she knowingly possesses or knowingly has under his or her control a firearm…

Doesn't matter if you have your state-issued CCW, of course. They don't like us. Of course, this only tells us that our state legislators are weenies, since this will not prevent criminals and cronies from bringing their guns onto the capitol. They don't like licensed private citizens from having guns near them.

Last, but certainly not least. SB 5475, “AN ACT Relating to the assault weapons ban of 2005; amending RCW 9.41.010 and 9.94A.515; reenacting and amending RCW 9.94A.515; adding a new section to chapter 9.41 RCW; prescribing penalties; providing an effective date; providing an expiration date; and declaring an emergency.”

Sounds ominous. So, what do they think an assault weapon is?

"Assault weapon" means: (a) Any semiautomatic pistol or semiautomatic or pump-action rifle or shotgun that is capable of accepting a detachable magazine, with a capacity to accept more then ten rounds of ammunition and that also possesses any of the following: If the firearm is a rifle or shotgun, a pistol grip located rear of the trigger; If the firearm is a rifle or shotgun, a stock in any configuration, including but not limited to a thumbhole stock, a folding stock or a telescoping stock, that allows the bearer of the firearm to grasp the firearm with the trigger hand such that the web of the trigger hand, between the thumb and forefinger, can be placed below the top of the external portion of the trigger during firing; If the firearm is a pistol, a shoulder stock of any type or configuration, including but not limited to a folding stock or a telescoping stock; A barrel shroud; A muzzle brake or muzzle compensator; Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the hand that is not the trigger hand;
(b) Any pistol that is capable of accepting a detachable magazine at any location outside of the pistol grip;
(c) Any semiautomatic pistol, any semiautomatic, center-fire rifle, or any shotgun with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition;
(d) Any shotgun capable of accepting a detachable magazine;
(e) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder;
(f) Any conversion kit or other combination of parts from which an assault weapon can be assembled if the parts are in the possession or under the control of any person.

Quite a laundry list of cosmetic or convenient features. For some reason cylinders on shotguns are scary, even though there are many ways to have a large amount of ammunition in shotgun magazines.

It's crap of course. However, this is a grandfather clause:

Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to any of the following:… The possession of an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, but only if the person legally possessing the assault weapon has complied with all of the requirements of subsection (5) of this section;

Now that's especially ominous. What does section five say?

In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing the assault weapon shall do all of the following:(a) Within ninety days following the effective date of this section, submit to a background check identical to the background check conducted in connection with the purchase of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer; (b) Unless the person is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, immediately register the assault weapon with the sheriff of the county in which the weapon is usually stored; (c) Safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection; (d) Annually renew both the registration and the background check; (e) Possess the assault weapon only on property owned or immediately controlled by the person, or while engaged in the legal use of the assault weapon at a duly licensed firing range, or while traveling to or from either of these locations for the purpose of engaging in the legal use of the assault weapon, provided that the assault weapon is stored unloaded and in a separate locked container during transport.

I can pass a background check. I've done it a hundred times. However, I'm not really happy about giving the sheriff a free fishing expedition on my property every year. I'm not happy about registering my firearms.

As I mentioned before. This lame duck governor may do whatever possible to make this pass. We shall have to be vigilant.

Update: Some have asked about the “State of Emergency” for the Assault Weapons bill. The main piece of information from the bill is this:

This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately, except for section 4 of this act which takes effect July 1, 2005.

Seems mild, but I believe the Democrats want this bill on the books before the possibility of a different governor.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Saturday, Jan 29 2005 10:25 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

Anti-Gun Bills for the Lame Duck Washington Governor?

No, I don't mean Locke. He's gone. I mean Gregoire.

As the election contest in Washington continues, the wheels have apparently been greased for a series of anti-gun initiatives. Are they trying to get them to the Governor's office before a revote is called? With a legislature and executive (and judiciary) controlled by Democrats, it's probably a good reason to get pet projects out of the way as soon as possible.

On the 25th of January seven gun bills had a hearing (from the 1/25/05 GOAL Alert):

  1. SB 5344: Regulating possession of firearms on the state capitol campus.
  2. S-0541.1: Fifty caliber gun ban of 2005.
  3. SB 5131: Revising provisions concerning possession of firearms by persons found not guilty by reason of insanity.
  4. SB 5343: Regulating the sale of firearms at gun shows and events.
  5. SB 5342: Encouraging safe storage of firearms.
  6. S-0230.2: Assault weapons ban of 2005.
  7. S-0032.1: Renewing a concealed pistol license by members of the armed forces.

(The “SB” items are public Senate Bills, and private citizens can indeed get a copy of them if they want it. The “S-” items are not yet public and we can't get a copy of their contents, yet.)

The Gun Owners of America also sent out an alert on some of these bills, and also included a link for finding your state legislator. They suggested sending a note asking for a “No” vote, along with the following suggested language:

SB 5342 is an unnecessary bill that will make it difficult for me to defend my loved ones and property. It is nothing more than a “Lock Up Your Safety” bill which is otherwise meaningless, given that Washington already has reckless endangerment statutes for prosecutors to use against the truly negligent.

Seems straightforward to me. What they are leaving out is that many people prefer to have a firearm safely stored but relatively handy for use. Attempting to regulate this area may cause confusion or increase danger.

SB 5343 would ban ALL private individual sales of firearms at gun shows—and is designed to shut down gun shows altogether by holding promoters responsible for the actions of patrons. And no matter what those seeking to disarm me will tell you, gun shows are not the venue of choice for violent felons seeking firearms. Not even close.

To me SB 5343 is a solution in search of a problem. It's a clear case of looking for little victories in order to boil the frog. However, it's not unheard of for feel-good, ineffectual laws to get onto the books, is it?

We will have to watch as these bills march forward. It is just as bad down south in Oregon. Maybe I'll post on that later.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Jan 28 2005 01:24 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

FN 5.7 Pistol

According to the ATF, responding to a press release from the Brady Campaign to End Handgun Violence, the “SS196” pistol cartridge for the FN 5.7 pistol is not armor piercing.

First, a gun picture:

FN 5.7 pistol

Ah, yes, welcome to the plastic fantastic twenty-first century.

Second, the Brady claims:

The gun, the Five-SeveN handgun manufactured by FN Herstal of Belgium, is lightweight and easily concealable. IBPO Legislative Director Steve Lenkhart referred to the Five-Seven as “an assault rifle that fits in your pocket.”

If it was an assault rifle, then it would be fully automatic. The version sold to private citizens is not, of course, as it would be regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934 and thus unavailable to private citizens, like any fully automatic firearm made after 1968.

It is marketed by the company on its website as intended “to defeat the enemy in all close combat situations in urban areas, jungle conditions, night missions and any self defense action. Enemy personnel, even wearing body armor can be effectively engaged up to 200 meters. Kevlar® helmets and vests as well as the CRISAT protection will be penetrated.”

Well, no, the private citizen version of this pistol is not marketed in this fashion. The law enforcement and military version of this pistol is marketed this way. The Brady Campaign is not sensitive to market segments, however, activism is a global issue.

What does the ATF say?

FTB has also examined a 5.7 X 28 mm projectile that FN Herstal has designated the “SS196.” The SS196 is loaded with a Hornady 40 grain, jacketed lead bullet. FTB classified SS196 ammunition as not armor piercing ammunition under Federal firearms statutes.
According to FNH USA, FN Herstal tested the SS192 ammunition. SS192 ammunition did not penetrate the Level IIIA vests that were tested. FNH USA states that SS196, Hornady V-Max 40 gr. bullets fired from a 4-3/4 inch barrel did not penetrate the Level II vests that were used in testing.
FNH USA has informed FTB that SS192 is no longer imported for commercial sale to the United States and that commercial sales of 5.7 X 28mm ammunition are restricted to the SS196 (not armor piercing).

In my opinion, if you want a hot .22 pistol, there are certainly better choices than this expensive number with its expensive ammunition. Criminals and terrorists don't have a lot of money to spend on this crud when there are easier targets.

But to the Brady Campaign there is no easier target than guns it thinks no one should ever need. If you want to boil a frog, you turn the heat up slowly. They attack the .50 caliber guns and the hot .22s and continue working their way towards the middle, at which point no guns or ammunition would be legal.

If I was going to spend another $900 on a pistol, I'd get another 1911, probably a longslide in 10mm. If I had more than that to spend, I'd be getting a .50 GI. I'm not going to waste my time with a hot .22. There are far better target pistols and there are far better defensive pistols. This gun was targeted at people who like to have guns that look like what the professionals use.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Jan 27 2005 07:18 PM  |  Permalink  |  29 comments  |  1 trackback

Updated NWSAFE Calendar


I've updated the calendar at the Northwest Safety and Firearms Education (NWSAFE) web site for the first time in a year. I can't believe it's been that long. I know the guys had complained but I've really let some things fall by the wayside.

Once I get done with the MST I'll have to think about teaching again.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Jan 27 2005 09:55 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

John Lott Responds to the National Research Council

On December 21, I posted about the National Research Council report on John Lott's research, and subsequent book, More Guns, Less Crime. Eugene Volokh, over at The Volokh Conspiracy, has pubilshed John Lott's lengthy response to the report.

Choice quotes include:

The big news that has been ignored on all the blog sites is that the academy's panel couldn't identify any benefits of the decades-long effort to reduce crime and injury by restricting gun ownership.
Based on 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, and some of its own empirical work, the panel couldn't identify a single gun control regulation that reduced violent crime, suicide or accidents.
James Q. Wilson's very unusual dissent is very interesting (only two out of the last 236 reports over the last 10 years have carried a dissent). Wilson states that all the research provided “confirmation of the findings that shall-issue laws drive down the murder rate…”
Even with the very selective sample of regressions that they pick, there is not one statistically significant bad effect of right-to-carry laws on murder. Only one case for robbery and that is one problematic specification from Ayres and Donohue.
While the NAS is in name an academic organization, the process was hardly an academic one. Members of the panel were forbidden to talk to me about the issues being examined by the panel. Despite promises to get my input on the panels' review as it went forward, that never occurred… If I had been involved, I could have helped catch some of their mistakes. When the report was finally released to the public, I was promised that I would get a copy at the beginning of the presentation and that I would be allowed to ask questions. I was told that they preferred that I not attend the presentation, but there would be no problem with me asking questions. Instead even though the presentation ended a half hour earlier than scheduled because there were supposedly no more questions, my questions were never asked.

And, finally,

It is hard to look through the NAS panel's tables on right-to-carry laws and not find overwhelming evidence that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime. The results that don't are based upon the inclusion of zero values noted in point 1 above. Overall, the panel's own evidence from the latest data up through 2000 shows significant benefits and no costs from these laws.

Despite all the statistics and finagling, I find the argument for right-to-carry is far more personal. Individuals should be allowed to defend themselves with the best tools for the job, and they should be allowed freedom in that selection. No one is going to assign me a bodyguard anytime soon, nor are they likely to assign one for my wife and kids.

We'll have to watch and see if this response prompts a dialogue. links

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Jan 13 2005 07:35 PM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Updated schools.html

Seems to be a busy day for the “Guns” category, but this is more related to training. I finished my updates for schools.html, which lists all the major firearms training within a few hours of Portland, Oregon.

As a note of disclosure, I have been an instructor for PFTT and NWSAFE on that list, helped out at FAS and TPTS infrequently, and certainly taken courses from them. I try to be objective, however. It seems to work, it's one of the more frequently accessed pages on my site.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Dec 21 2004 08:04 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Ken Grubb on the Population With CCW Permits

(Original posting here.)

After crunching through the 2000 Census and 2003 Census estimates, the numbers in Chris Bird's The Concealed Handgun Manual, 4th Ed, some official sources online which are a little more current, and filling in a few gaps from a 1998 CCRKBA report, the winners are:

Percent of Adults with a License to Carry in each Shall Issue State

7.45% South Dakota
6.79% Indiana
6.76% Pennsylvania
5.23% Connecticut
5.12% Washington
4.34% Idaho
4.10% Utah
3.86% Oregon
3.45% Tennessee
3.15% Alabama
2.72% Florida
2.71% Kentucky
2.67% Wyoming
2.41% Maine
2.18% Arkansas
2.11% Virginia
1.94% West Virginia
1.76% Arizona
1.75% Oklahoma
1.70% Montana
1.70% Michigan
1.62% Texas
1.39% South Carolina
1.34% North Dakota
1.00% North Carolina
0.86% Mississippi
0.62% Louisiana
0.58% Nevada
0.45% Minnesota
0.36% Missouri
0.33% Ohio
0.20% Colorado
0.16% New Mexico

Honorable mentions go to Georgia and New Hampshire. These are “old wave” Shall Issue states—IOW, pre Florida. Because issuance is scattered among many local agencies, no one in either Georgia or New Hampshire is collecting statewide numbers on how many folks are packing. Seems reasonable to place 'em somewhere between the two statistical extremes among the other “old wave” states (South and North Dakota). However, if I were a bettin' man I'd put 'em near the top, and probably above Washington.

Total licensees among the Shall Issue states (excluding Georgia and New Hampshire):

Total population living in True Right To Carry states (Alaska and Vermont):
1,267,925 (0.44 percent)

Total population living in Shall Issue states:
185,039,207 (63.75 percent)

Total population living in May Issue states:
81,350,620 (28.03 percent)

Total population living in No Issue states:
22,588,641 (7.78 percent)

Ken Grubb
Bellevue, WA links:

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Dec 21 2004 06:54 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

More Guns, Neither More or Less Crime

Stuart Benjamin, at the Volokh Conspiracy, reports on the findings of the National Research Council that the liberalization of the carry laws in several states have no appreciable effect on crime.

They discuss Lott's research at some length and find it wanting. Note that they do not say that right-to-carry laws increase crime. That may be a silver lining for those opposed to gun control who believe that in the absence of evidence of a benefit states should allow people to carry guns, but it doesn't help Lott very much: He staked his reputation on his claim that the data showed a decrease. So much for his reputation.

The release gives its conclusions:

The role of guns in U.S. society is a subject of intense policy debate and disagreement. However, current research and data on firearms and violent crime are too weak to support strong conclusions about the effects of various measures to prevent and control gun violence, says a new report from the National Academies' National Research Council. A comprehensive research program on firearms is needed if criminal-justice and crime-prevention policy is to have a sound basis.

The cynical amongst us will note the call for more research and, thus, more funding.

The chapter on Right-To-Carry laws is online, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. links:

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Dec 21 2004 06:28 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

DOJ Declares 2nd Amendment Protects an “Individual Right”

Tonight there's been some excitement over this article, which, while dated August 24th, 2004 has escaped noticed by everyone until now. Apparently there's been some curiosity in the Department of Justice on “whether the second amendment secures an individual right.“ We can jump straight to the conclusion of this 93-page treatise:

For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and to bear arms. Current case law leaves open and unsettled the question of whose right is secured by the Amendment. Although we do not address the scope of the right, our examination of the original meaning of the Amendment provides extensive reasons to conclude that the Second Amendment secures an individual right, and no persuasive basis for either the collective-right or quasi-collective-right views. The text of the Amendment's operative clause, setting out a “right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” is clear and is reinforced by the Constitution's structure. The Amendment's prefatory clause, properly understood, is fully consistent with this interpretation. The broader history of the Anglo-American right of individuals to have and use arms, from England's Revolution of 1688–1689 to the ratification of the Second Amendment a hundred years later, leads to the same conclusion. Finally, the first hundred years of interpretations of the Amendment, and especially the commentaries and case law in the pre-Civil War period closest to the Amendment's ratification, confirm what the text and history of the Second Amendment require.

This has drawn comments from the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), as you might imagine:

“This report confirms what the gun rights community has known to be true for many years,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “The right to keep and bear arms is a right to be enjoyed and exercised by every citizen. Henceforth, all Americans will know that the claim by anti-gunners that the Amendment only protects some mythical right of the states to form militias and National Guard units is an outright fraud.”

I have to agree. For too long have there been arguments about this amendment being outdated, or only to state militias as Mr. Gottlieb refers, and that us regular proles have no rights to effective tools of self-defense. Such arguments have always irritated me. Isn't (most of) our background in English Common Law evidence enough? The Castle Doctrine, for example, implies to me that not only is a man's home his castle, that his possessions are his to use as he sees fit (unless he bothers someone else), and his work is his to wreak, and he should have the best tools with which to protect those things that are his.

Too often this goes back to natural law. I think it's simple ethics.

It's a pity that this study did not go further to investigate the scope of the second amendment. For example, I believe that it should extend to whatever a modern, but solitary, soldier might need to use in the furtherance of his duties. The ownership (and knowledge) of the modern M-16/M-4 (not the nerfed “civilian” version, the AR-15) should be sacrosanct. Yeah, that means I think regular people should know how to handle select-fire weapons. Why not? Our current enemies do.

Also, It should extend to whatever is appropriate to personal self-defense. The modern handgun fits this. The modern shotgun fits this mold for defense of the home as well.

I wonder what will happen next?

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Dec 17 2004 09:13 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

SFO Handgun Ban

In a bizarre move, San Francisco is considering banning handguns. Via Alphecca where I see the occasional article rounding up gun bias in the media, we reach this editorial on the ban at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Clayton Cramer also comments on the article, posting out that guns are already confiscated from those that carry openly, carry without a permit, commit crimes with them and so on. The point of the gun ban, then? To get rid of the ones that are not carried illegally or used in crimes.

He points to a full article on the issue at

How many residents would be affected by the ban is unclear, since California does not require residents to register handguns that are kept in a private residence of business.

How on Earth will the ban be implemented then? With a house-to-house search?

The measure, which will appear on the municipal ballot next year, would bar residents from keeping guns in their homes or businesses, Bill Barnes, an aide to Supervisor Chris Daly, said Wednesday. It would also prohibit the sale, manufacturing and distribution of handguns and ammunition in San Francisco, as well as the transfer of gun licenses.
Barnes said the initiative is a response to San Francisco's skyrocketing homicide rate, as well as other social ills. There have been 86 murders in the city so far this year compared to 70 in all of 2003.

As mentioned in the article, they are disappointed being behind Washington, D.C., the only city in the United States with a handgun ban, and certainly a more violent place than San Francisco. It appears SFO doesn't like being behind DC in murder rates. Either than or they are trying to rival the dramatic increase in violent crime exhibited by Great Britain, after their handgun (and other gun) ban.

The proposal was immediately dismissed as illegal, however, by Gun Owners of California, a Sacramento-based lobbying group. Sam Paredes, the group's executive director, said the state has for years had a “pre-emption law” on the books that bars local governments from usurping the state's authority to regulate firearms.
“The amazing thing is they are going to turn San Francisco into ground zero for every criminal who wants to profit at their chosen profession,” Paredes said. “People are going to be assaulted, people are going to be robbed, people are going to be pushed around by thugs and the police are going to be powerless to do anything about it.”

Indeed, the law may violate California's weak pre-emption law, but liberla bastions have looked for ways around pre-emption statutes all the time. The fight from 2001–onward in Portland, OR over the banning of carrying concealed with a legal state permit (which statewide pre-emption prohibits localities from further regulating) has been fascinating. The city hires a private contractor and the local cronies on the courts upheld this move saying that private businesses are not affected by pre-emption even though their employers are. That and local schools have tried time and time again to prohibit permit holders from carrying on their campuses.

How many residents would be affected by the ban is unclear, since California does not require residents to register handguns that are kept in a private residence of business. Only 10 people in San Francisco have been issued concealed weapons permits allowing them to carry guns and the city has only three licensed gun dealers, Barnes said.

Compare ten permit holders to seventy or eight thousand in the greater Portland area. That's the difference between a state where permits are issues to cronies (California) to a state where permits are required to be issued to those to meet the legal backgound and training requirements (Oregon). Washington, just across the river, has no training requirements, and yet doesn't havemore crime committed by permit holders.

Update: Some reminders from the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF):

“This issue was decided by the California courts more than 22 years ago, and the gun ban extremists lost,” recalled SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “Why some city supervisors want to waste the time, and money, of voters to revisit an issue that was unanimously trounced by the State Court of Appeals makes no sense. Even if the ban were to pass, it will not hold up in court.”
In late June 1982, then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein pushed through a handgun ban in San Francisco that lasted only three months before it was overturned by the California State Court of Appeals. Twenty days after the ban was enacted, SAF took Feinstein and the city to court, ultimately beating the ban on Oct. 30 of that year. The city appealed that decision to the California Supreme Court, which allowed the Appeals Court ruling to stand in January 1983.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Dec 17 2004 07:32 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Condi Rice Against Gun Registration

Via Clayton Cramer's Blog we find a quote discovered by David Kopel:

Rice has said memories of Birmingham's racial turmoil shaped some of her core values.
During the bombings of the summer of 1963, her father and other neighborhood men guarded the streets at night to keep white vigilantes at bay. Rice said her staunch defense of gun rights comes from those days. She has argued that if the guns her father and neighbors carried had been registered, they could have been confiscated by the authorities, leaving the black community defenseless.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Nov 19 2004 09:03 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Kerry and Gun Control

Over at OpinionJournal Kimberley Strassel examines Kerry's apparent reversal on gun control. She points out an issue that is obvious to the folks who actually watch gun politics:

His other credibility problem is his record. Guns have been a big voter issue for a long time, and there is no shortage of organizations on both sides of the debate to keep track of votes. Whether you ask the NRA or the Brady Campaign, the word on John Kerry is the same: He has voted for every gun-control bill in the Senate over the past 18 years.

She also observes the fruits of his attempts to pander to gun owners:

This all explains why Mr. Kerry is getting shot down in his gun efforts. This past weekend, while interviewing potential voters at a Pennsylvania gun show, I asked several if Mr. Kerry's attempts to look gun-friendly had made an impression. Those attendees who didn't immediately bust out laughing or roll their eyes noted that it was the past 20 years that would matter when they entered the voting booth, not the past 20 months.

There are New England liberals that don't have the same problems when they venture out and talk to gun owners in the rest of the United States.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Sunday, Sep 19 2004 10:08 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

New More Powerful Tasers

My local KATU News reports about more powerful tasers available to the public. Insert local big city cop fear-mongering here.

Looks like the cops are nervous about people with tasers. However, the quote I find interesting is Multnomah County (Oregon) Sheriff's Deputy Paul McRedmond's:

If you point a Taser at an officer, a law enforcement officer, we may use deadly force upon you.

Why do you think this is? Beacuse incapacitating a police officer makes it impossible to perform his duty to protect the public. If your duty is to protect your family, I think you can do the math about what you should do in a similar circumstance.

I'm sure this will lead to discussion.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Sep 16 2004 11:30 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Applying Cooper's Seven Problems and Pitfalls of New Product Development to Firearms Instruction

Robert G. Cooper's book Winning at New Products, 3rd Ed (ISBN 0-7382-0463-3) is an interesting read for those of us making new stuff, but I wondered how his seven weaknesses could be applied to firearms instruction. If you want to read about it in the book, see the end of Chapter 2.

Here are the seven weaknesses:

  1. A lack of market orientation
  2. Poor quality of execution
  3. Moving too quickly
  4. Not enough up-front homework
  5. A lack of product value for the customer
  6. No focus, too many projects, and a lack of resources
  7. The lack of a systemic new product process with discipline

At first blush it's pretty easy to see how to recognize these pitfalls. I have been through them myself. Not identifying the right target market is self-explanatory. Not teaching the class well (execution) is easy to notice as well. We at Northwest Safety and Firearms Education (NWSAFE) figured that one out right away. “Moving too quickly” emphasizes the need to actually prepare for a class by learning a lesson plan and making (and sticking to) a budget. The up-front homework primarily consists of preparing the student for the class to ensure their attendance and payment. The “too many projects” bug has bitten us a few time, but now that we have generated enough instructors who can execute on almost any lesson it is less of a problem.

We do fight the lack of resources issue all the time. People think that firearms instructors who do it for fun get rich in the process. That's hardly true. I did a big study on it a few months ago and found that most volunteer firearms instructors are in the hole and at best break even after they have been at it for a while. The places to make money, and even then it's not a lot, is when you have an advanced curriculum and you own your own range that has other ways to support itself. The public and member-run ranges get antsy about us teaching there a lot and they do charge us for the privilege.

The last is the most interesting. “A systemic new product process,” to me, means the development of new courses. NWSAFE relies on NRA's training department to do much of the course development, while we tweak it to work with our resources, making sure we meet the requirements. One course that we've been waiting for is to teach private citizens about concealed carry. Such a course has been in development inside NRA for over seven years. It has been announced to the senior trainers more than once, and withdrawn. Perhaps it is NRA that needs to learn new product development.

I have suffered and overcome some of these pitfalls, but I face a new one not on Cooper's list. Burn-out. Between my returning to school, and having a family with at least one school-age kid, I have very little time to dedicate to my firearms pursuits anymore. My latest project is building a range on my own property so I don't have to drive an hour to shoot.

We'll see how it goes.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Sep 15 2004 09:27 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks


Via the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL), we find this on the ATF web site:

On September 13, 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Public Law 103-322. Title IX, Subtitle A, Section 110105 of this Act generally made it unlawful to manufacture, transfer, and possess semiautomatic assault weapons (SAWs) and to transfer and possess large capacity ammunition feeding devices (LCAFDs). The law also required importers and manufacturers to place certain markings on SAWs and LCAFDs, designating they were for export or law enforcement/government use. Significantly, the law provided that it would expire 10 years from the date of enactment. Accordingly, effective 12:01 a.m. on September 13, 2004, the provisions of the law will cease to apply. This open letter is to advise the import community of the effect of this on importations.

It's over.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Monday, Sep 13 2004 08:27 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Kerry Asks Bush to Extend Assault Weapons Ban

Via Yahoo News we find that Kerry wants Bush to not let the AWB sunset.

Campaigning in Missouri, where he trails Bush in opinion polls less than two months before the Nov. 2 election, Kerry said as a hunter and outdoorsman he would never try to change the Second Amendment to the Constitution giving Americans the right to bear arms.

It is to laugh. The cheeseball from Massachusetts goes on to use a scare tactic, like Cheney was accused of:

“I don't think we need to make the job of terrorists any easier,” the Massachusetts senator said.

And he tries to claim that the AWB has no real effect on gun owners:

“I mean, heavens to Betsy folks, we've had that law on the books for the last 10 years and there's not a gun owner in America who can stand up and say they tried to take my guns away,” he told a town hall meeting in St. Louis. “I mean, let's get real. Let's get real.”

The condescending sap obviously hasn't tried to buy full capacity magazines, or rifles appropriate to high-power competition, or even my little Beretta 84F, has he?

Even at face value, Kerry fails the gun owners' test badly.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Sep 10 2004 04:02 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

My Campaign Pledge for NRA BOD

If elected, I will do everything in my power to encourage the NRA training department to roll out their already-developed training for the nation's millions of concealed carry permit holders called Personal Protection Outside the Home. That training has languished unused for seven years and has been announced to instructors several times. It is terrible that the world's largest firearms training organization refuses to teach private citizens how to draw a pistol from a holster.

Joshua R. Poulson
Ridgefield, WA
NRA Training Counselor

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Sep 2 2004 10:27 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Not Selected by NRA Nominating Committee

As I expected, I was not selected by the NRA Nominating Committee for inclusion on the ballot this coming year. Now I have to go collect signatures of life members.

Upshot, though, is that I get some statistics and information.

62 eligible people were submitted to the nominating committee, 28 were selected for inclusion on the ballot. Some have have already been members of the board, as we would expect: Sanford M. Abrams, Thomas P. Arvas, Dave E. Bennett III, J. William Carter, Patricia A. Clark, Allan D. Cors, Charles L. Cotton, Dave G. Coy, John L. Cushman, William H. Dailey, Roy Innis, Herbert A. Lanford, Jr., John Milius, Ernie Padgette, Peter J. Printz, Todd Rather, current NRA president Kayne B. Robinson, Carl T. Rowan, Jr., Harold W. Schroeder, Bruce E. Stern, and Harold J. Walter.

The ones that were not former board members—from what I could see at The “NRA Winning Team” web site—were Joel Friedman, James S. Gilmore III, Zell Miller, Tom Selleck, Don Turner, Todd A. Walker, and Dennis L. Willing.

So, twenty-one of twenty-five outgoing board members were reselected by the nominating committee, and they picked seven new names out. However, Zell Miller and Tom Selleck are obvious celebrity candidates. James S. Gilmore III is a less-obvious celebrity if you aren't from the Washington, DC area. Don Turner is the chief rangemaster for the Ben Avery range in Arizona. The others certainly have firearms involvement, but aren't as big of names.

My petition needs to be postmarked by October 11, 2004 to get on the ballot at this point.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Sep 2 2004 08:33 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Governor, Veto AB50

We all must ask Governor Schwarzenegger to veto AB50. He is speaking tonight at the RNC, but he must hear the cries of gun owners that more bans are not the answer and more government regulation that wastes taxpayers money is not the answer. He may be a moderate, but he must recognize that bills should be judged on their effects and not how they make some people feel.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Aug 31 2004 04:44 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Break-Action Semiautomatic Shotgun? Beretta UGB25 Xcel

Well, it's an interesting beast to look at, but Beretta has released the UGB25 Xcel which features a break action for safe carry in competition. As a bonus, it's a semiautomatic that has its magazine as a open area outside of the receiver so you can see if it's got another round ready to go. Obviously magazine capacity is low.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Aug 31 2004 11:04 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Sportsmen for Kerry Edwards

The Sportsment for Kerry Edwards? web site is a great resource for gun owners should not support Kerry, or Edwards. Edwards is more likely to skip a vote than vote against gun owners, but that's hardly friendly either, eh?

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Sunday, Aug 29 2004 09:25 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

A Column Against the Assault Weapons Ban

Joe Waldron and Dave Workman have written a column in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about the fear, uncertainty, and doubt used to sell the Assault Weapons Ban.

One of my favorite quotes from the column is from John Sugarman of the Violence Policy Center:

The weapons' menacing looks coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semiautomatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase that chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

The column comes to this conclusion:

Anti-gunners want to ban guns, period, no matter how they mask it, or how they accomplish it.

That's certainly true, whether or not they admit it. At least it appears they are losing their fight.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Aug 25 2004 10:33 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

American Gold Medals w/Guns

Kim Rhode won the gold for the second time in three olympics at Women's Double Trap. The article goes on to mention that double trap may not be offered any more at the Olympics.

Matthew Emmons won the gold in 50-meter rifle prone position.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Aug 20 2004 09:43 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

John Kerry Most Anti-Gun Presidential Candidate

Our friends at the NRA Institute of Legislative Action have posted a fact sheet about John Kerry's voting record.


FACT: Kerry has voted nine times in favor of banning semi-auto firearms.
FACT: Kerry has voted for a Ted Kennedy amendment to ban most rifle ammunition, including the most common rounds used by hunters and target shooters.
FACT: Kerry commended commended an anti-gun group`s demonstration in Washington that called for gun owner licensing, gun registration and other restrictions on law-abiding gun owners.

I don't think making appearances as a hunter (especially since it seems he hasn't had a hunting license in a while) makes up for this record, even with the trap shooters.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Aug 19 2004 04:38 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

A Reply to Angel Shamaya

Angel Shamaya read my recent piece on the ATF Statement on HR 218 and had a response for me.

Angel Shamaya wrote:

Special exemptions for government employees is not "firearms rights," Josh.

Ah, in this case they are. They allow off-duty and retired cops to carry. That's our in. The fact that they allow a class of people to carry, nationwide, is an improvement. That we are not easily members of that class is not as material as the easement of restriction.

To the contrary, it's just one more way to enshrine the unAmerican concept that working for the government means you should not have to obey the laws to which the people are subjected and under which peaceable citizens are fined, thrown in jail, imprisoned and even killed.

But they allow it for people who aren't working for the government at the time! I'm not saying this is a great victory for the common man, but it's a step towards boiling the frog.

I agree with you on some things, certainly in principle. I, for example, think it's horrible that Lon Horiuchi got a free ride for shooting Vicki Weaver. However, I can recognize an opportunity when I see one.

Here is a (surely partial) list of gun rights organizations who stood opposed to this evil and corrupt nonsense:
I only ask that the cops who wanted my help getting HR 218 passed will help me when I try to get this passed.
Good luck. A large portion of the cop groups who endorsed HR218 don't support citizen carry in their own communities:

Well, I have many times expressed my own dismay at HR 218 in the past, and I didn't do much of anything to get it passed. However, now that it made it through the door it's up to us to reshape it in a more palatable form.

Frankly I don't mind having to shoot a police qualifier at my own expense if it can get me nationwide concealed carry. I know that many decry *any* restriction on concealed carry because it can (and, therefore, will, if we know our bureaucracies well) be abused. A universal (at least, on a per-state basis) qualifier for cops and private citizens has an appeal. If you can't arm your cops because the test was designed to keep out most private citizens, then you know something is wrong with the test.

I have a good relationship with many police trainers because I have helped them with some issues (a list including, oddly enough, cost accounting and parliamentary procedure). Perhaps I see the best side of them as a result.

Read the full report some time:

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Aug 19 2004 11:24 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

ATF Statement on the Passage of HR 218

HR 218 was touted as "Nationwide Concealed Carry for Cops" by its proponents, and it's my hope that it will someday lead to a standardized national concealed carry for private citizens. The folks at IALEFI sent me a link to the ATF's Statement on the passage of this law.

It's short enough to include here:

Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004
On July 22nd, President Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, Public Law No. 108-277. The Act became effective upon the President's signature. The Act amends the Gun Control Act (GCA) to exempt qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from State and local laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms.
The officers and retired officers eligible for the exemption are those meeting the Act's definition of “qualified law enforcement officer” and “qualified retired law enforcement officer.” Among other things, the Act's definition requires qualified retired law enforcement officers to meet, at their own expense, their State's standards for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers. Eligible active and retired officers must also possess certain identification. Active officers may use the identification issued by the government agency by which they are employed. Retired law enforcement officers must have identification indicating that they have been tested or otherwise found to meet firearms standards established for active law enforcement officers.
Qualified active and retired officers eligible for the exemption are still subject to certain provisions of the GCA. The Act specifically states that persons who are prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm are not eligible for the exemption. In addition, qualified current and retired officers must undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) check if they are purchasing a firearm for their own use, and federal firearms licensees must still complete and retain required records under the GCA.

Notice that retired LEO's need to maintain their qualifications based on their state's standards for active duty law enforcement. This statement by the ATF does not go into particulars, however, as there are some additional caveats and details. Any ex-cop cannot just start carrying wherever they want. This ATF statement might also lead to the impression that one has to have all of the training an active duty cop has to go through, including diversity awareness. That, at least, is not necessary.

18 USC 44 Sec. 926B(c)(4) states:

(4) meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;

A later section (e) makes sure the law does not include machine guns, silencers, or destructive devices. It does leave long guns in play.

We also see that the person had to be a law enforcement officer for fifteen years or more.

Sec. 926C(c)(5) reiterates and expands:

(5) during the most recent 12-month period, has met, at the expense of the individual, the State's standards for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry firearms;

Sec. 926C(d)(B) finishes it up:

(B) a certification issued by the State in which the individual resides that indicates that the individual has, not less recently than one year before the date the individual is carrying the concealed firearm, been tested or otherwise found by the State to meet the standards established by the State for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm.

The complete text of HR 218 is here.

Now I celebrate this new plateau for firearms rights, but there's room to improve it. My first suggestion is to push for the right of anyone who can meet the state's standard for active duty law enforcement and passes a NICS background check to be eligible for national concealed carry. Is this a pipe dream? I don't think so. I only ask that the cops who wanted my help getting HR 218 passed will help me when I try to get this passed.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Aug 19 2004 09:30 AM  |  Permalink  |  5 comments  |  1 trackback

NRA BOD Submission

I mailed in my questionnaire to the Nominating Committee today, answering lots of snoopy questions and a few doctrinaire ones. For the most part I think I'm a longshot for getting selection by the committee. After all, they are looking for more people to support Wayne LaPierre as Executive Vice President of the NRA. Who the heck is this Poulson person? What did he send that guarantees he will support The Winning Team?

Wendell, the Evil Scoutmaster, commented that I should not have mentioned my stint with the Libertarian Party of Oregon. However, I think it was valid experience. I served on their Board of Directors for a year as Membership Director in 1996. I also served on their Judicial Committee and as their Parliamentarian. To top it all off, I ran for the Oregon State Legislature in 1998 and got 15% of the vote in Southwest Portland.

Others might think my background in software development and management has nothing to do with the NRA Board of Directors. There I have to disagree. The NRA badly needs technological know-how if it plans to modernize. Right now it is giving boatloads of money to advertising agencies who make interesting websites. But do they get us more members? Do they teach more people to use guns safely? Do they serve the needs of the growing population of those who legally carry guns concealed?

That is the perspective I plan to bring to the NRA if I get on the ballot and perhaps on the board.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Aug 18 2004 05:30 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

NIJ Agrees: Assault Weapons Ban Didn't Do Anything

The National Institute of Justice funded an independent study on the Assault Weapons Ban and the Washington Times reports that the unreleased report finds it did not reduce violence.

"We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation's recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence," said the unreleased NIJ report, written by Christopher Koper, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
"It is thus premature to make definitive assessments of the ban's impact on gun violence. Should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement," said the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times.

It's not often you find a government report that says a policy didn't do anything.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Aug 18 2004 09:02 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Rambo Granny

The Rambo Granny myth is circulating the Internet again...

MELBOURNE, Australia
Gun-toting granny Ava Estelle, 81, was so ticked-off when two thugs raped her 18-year-old granddaughter that she tracked the unsuspecting ex-cons down -- and shot their testicles off!
"The old lady spent a week hunting those bums down -- and when she found them, she took revenge on them in her own special way," said admiring Melbourne police investigator Evan Delp.
"Then she took a taxi to the nearest police station, laid the gun on the sergeant's desk and told him as calm as could be: 'Those bastards will never rape anybody again, by God.'"
Cops say convicted rapist and robber Davis Furth, 33, lost both his penis and his testicles when outraged Ava opened fire with a 9-mm pistol in the seedy hotel room where he and former prison cellmate Stanley Thomas, 29, were holed up.
The wrinkled avenger also blew Thomas' testicles to kingdom come, but doctors managed to save his mangled penis, police said.
"The one guy, Thomas, didn't lose his manhood, but the doctor I talked to said he won't be using it the way he used to," Detective Delp told reporters. "Both men are still in pretty bad shape, but I think they're just happy to be alive after what they've been through."
The Rambo Granny swung into action August 21 after her granddaughter Debbie was carjacked and raped by two knife-wielding creeps in a section of town bordering on skid row.
"When I saw the look on my Debbie's face that night in the hospital, I decided I was going to go out and get those bastards myself 'cause I figured the police would go easy on them," recalled the retired library worker. "And I wasn't scared of them, either -- because I've got me a gun and I've been shootin' it all my life."
So, using a police artist's sketch of the suspects and Debbie's description of the sickos' car, tough-as-nails Ava spent seven days prowling the wino-infested neighborhood where the crime took place till she spotted the ill-fated rapists entering their flophouse hotel.
"I knew it was them the minute I saw 'em, but I shot a picture of 'em anyway and took it back to Debbie and she said sure as hell, it was them," the ornery oldster recalled.
"So I went back to that hotel and found their room and knocked on the door -- and the minute the big one, Furth, opened the door, I shot 'em, got right square between the legs, right where it would really hurt 'em most, you know. Then I went down to the police station and turned myself in."
Now, baffled lawmen are tying to figure out how to deal with the vigilante granny. "What she did was wrong, but you can't really throw an 81-year-old woman in prison." Det. Delp said, "especially when all 3 million people in the city want to nominate her for sainthood."

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Aug 17 2004 09:56 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Olympic Shooting Sports Coverage

The Alphecca blog has a nice article on the coverage of shooting sports in the Olympics. Traditionally there has been very little coverage, especially on television, of the shooting sports in the Olympics.

NBC will apparently be broadcasting some of the shooting, according to their schedule. The women's trap gold medal final is today, for example.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Monday, Aug 16 2004 10:45 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks


Bans, bans everywhere. "tedb" of the Out of Control Blog has posted Ban Wagon listing many silly, and other not so silly bans in effect around the world.

I'm looking forward to the sunset of the Assault Weapons Ban although I won't like the lowered value of various pieces of my collection, I will like the ability to get magazines of appropriate size for the guns I do have.

My distaste for assault weapons bans ni particular goes back to Pennsylvania's infamous Act 17, which threatened to classify my diminutive Beretta 84F Cheetah as an assault weapon because it had a pistol grip and a 13-round magazine. Because of Act 17 I looked to move from Pennsylvania. It did not take long to find a reasonable job in Oregon and I moved in 1995.

The Clinton Gun Ban did go on to classify my pistol as an assault weapon when I had a 13-round magazine in it. Since then I've collected a variety of pre-ban firearms and accessories, partly because of their value due to the ban, and partly because they've been banned.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns, Politics” Thursday, Aug 12 2004 11:23 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Followup on Oshkosh, WI Gun Seizure

The Oshkosh Northwestern has released another article on the shooting of a policeman and subsequent actions of the police that led to a seizure of firearms in Oshkosh, WI. The Wisconsin Gun Owners site has an additional article as well. What we do know is that firearms were seized from two of the six searched homes and have since been returned. The police apologized to the owner in one home, and arrested the other on drug charges unrelated to the shooting.

While the issue may be settled with the individuals involved, this incident may well circulate the pro-gun mailing lists for years.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Aug 12 2004 08:09 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

A recent post to

Subject: Basic Pistol vs. Personal Protection

Since we're speaking of analogies, requiring Basic Pistol to carry on the street is like teaching people to race Stock Cars so they become good defensive drivers. Sure, some of the skills for competition translate to the street, but by no means is it the most appropriate method of instruction. There is, perhaps, wasted effort. There are, in fact, unanswered questions for those who wish to learn skills appropriate to defensive pistolcraft.

It behooves the largest developer of firearms training in the world, both for private citizens and for law enforcement, to develop a basic course appropriate for teaching people to safety draw pistols from concealment and develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to safely learn shooting pistols defensively.

It pains me to learn that a course meeting this objective has lain dormant in NRA's training department for the better part of a decade.

There are tons of private enterprises that do an excellent job of teaching these techniques. There should be a baseline of basic skills and a course that teaches them.

Let's serve our shared common interests here. It behooves us all for there to be inexpensive basic instruction available in the baseline skills.

Josh Poulson, TC
Ridgefield, WA

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Tuesday, Aug 10 2004 04:54 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Local Paper Learns That Some May Lie With Statistics

Elizabeth Hovde writes about her discovery of the truth behind a statistic promulgated by Washington Ceasefire, a local anti-gun organization. What she discovered is that there are still those that try to mislead others with statistics.

The truth is that children are not dying in droves from accidental discovery of guns in homes in Clark County (where I live), yet Ceasefire is saying that 12 children were killed by guns from 1997 to 2001. Turns out that suicide and gang violence were the cause, not misadventure.

I'm shocked! Shocked!

My favorite quote from this article:

Statewide data also show that among kids ages 0 to 14, unintentional firearm deaths are as rare as kids dying from bee stings: zero in 2002, the latest year in which I found numbers through the DOH Web site. The leading causes of unintentional deaths among children remain car accidents, drownings and suffocation.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Friday, Aug 6 2004 03:38 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Gun confiscation in Oshkosh, WI?

There's been an article floating around the gun-friendly mailing lists about firearms confiscation in Oshkosh, WI. I did a little poking around of my own.

According to two articles on the Wisconsin Gun Owners site, after a police shooting in Oshkosh, WI, police went through the neighborhood and confiscated guns to determine if they had been used in the crime. These articles were written July 17th and 29th according to the byline. They indicate that more than one resident had guns taken.

The July 20 Oskosh Northwestern story indicates that at least one resident had firearms taken after consenting to a search. Another resident had drawn attention by refusing search and had a search warrant served the day after the crime.

A later article from August 5 indicates that at least one resident on the block had been arrested because drugs had been found during the search and that the suspect had been linked to the shooting, although not charged.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Aug 5 2004 08:51 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Washington State Concealed Carry Reciprocity

According to the Washington State Attorney General's site full reciprocity on concealed carry permits has increased to the following states:

  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • North Carolina

This means my Washington permit is good in those states, and people with permits from those states do not need any additional permits to carry in Washington. Michigan always accepted any state-issued permit, but Washington, until now, did not reciprocate.

In contrast, Oregon has no reciprocity with anyone. You need an Oregon permit to carry in Oregon, and it depends on the sheriff in a particular country on whether they will issue to you or not.

As usual, I recommend using the license tool to start your research on where your permit is accepted, followed up by checking the applicable state laws.

When it comes to Washington, the wa-ccw Yahoo group is a good resource. There is a corresponding group for Oregon, which I created. I am also an assistant moderator for the wa-ccw list.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Thursday, Aug 5 2004 10:07 AM  |  Permalink  |  3 comments  |  No trackbacks

Josh Poulson, NRA Board Member?

Today I received a letter from Edward Land, Jr. of the NRA. My name has been submitted to the NRA Nominating Committee for its consideration in selecting nominees for the NRA Board of Directors.

It would be interesting to contribute some time to the NRA BOD. I certainly have some ideas about how the NRA could improve its efforts to train private citizens and I have some involvement in police training as well. Since one of the NRA's missions is to train private citizens in the safe use of firearms, I think I could contribute here. My campaign promise would be to do the heavy lifting necessary to get the NRA to roll out training for private citizens on the safe and effective deployment of firearms from concealment. It is a travesty that so many states allow concealed carry but the largest firearms training organization in the world does not offer this basic information.

I guess in the next few days I should put together my response to the questionnaire and get a decent portrait taken. As I get that material together I will also post it here. The good news is that they do not require a campaign promise in their material. The bad news is that if they knew what I was promising, I would probably not get selected.

If the Nominating Committee does not select me, it is still possible to get on the ballot by collecting signatures. While it's probably not a bad idea to start collecting signatures now, I need to look up the proper procedure. More on this later.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Guns” Wednesday, Aug 4 2004 04:28 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks


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