December 14, 2018 Newsletter by Jeff Pittman
Tomorrow, December 15, is Bill of Rights Day. President Donald Trump’s proclamation of such urges Americans to take time to “recognize the key role of the [federal] Bill of Rights in protecting our individual liberties and limiting the power of government.” Celebrate appropriately.
SCOTUS case update
- BREAKING: Supreme Court Grants Cert in Case That Could End Deference to Regulatory Agencies, Challenge ATF Regulatory Power [The Truth About Guns]
In an email announcement sent to ATF mailing list subscribers, the Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch (FTISB) stated that they will no longer accept any accessory for a classification determination under the Gun Control Act (GCA) and/or the National Firearms Act (NFA) without a being installed on a corresponding host weapon.
We wonder about a situation where a non-NFA/GCA manufacturer submits a weapon with accessory to the ATF, which in turn determines that the combination is something prohibited or requiring a different license. Won’t ATF then prosecute the manufacturer for violating the Act under which it simply requested a determination? Conversely, doesn’t it mean that the accessory must be submitted with each and every possible firearm for determination?
But Guns.com reached out to a number of attorneys involved in firearms law and, in general, the consensus on the change in procedure is that it is not being done to make it harder to get future items cleared, but rather to avoid having examiners create a testbed for a submission, which can lead to unintended consequences.
Other sources that work closely with ATF have indicated that apparently the FTISB has been swamped with submissions from manufacturers without a host weapon as context for how the device will be utilized, and the change is simply procedural in nature.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, investigating the February shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 people dead and 17 wounded, voted 13-1 this week to recommend the state legislature pass a proposal that teachers who volunteer to undergo “proper training” and a background check be allowed to carry firearms at schools. One wonders if/why they’re not already doing background checks on teachers. Our report also indicates that Florida schools are allowed under current law to arm certain employees, such as resource officers or administrators.
(Apparently legislation to arm or allow arming teachers in MS is also currently on the radar screen here. But if memory serves, anyone with an enhanced MS CCW license is already legal to carry in MS schools.)
Meanwhile, Broward Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning has rejected former deputy Scot Peterson’s claim that he had no duty to confront the gunman during the school shooting, and refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the parent of a victim against Peterson. Judge Henning said Peterson did have a duty to protect those inside the school.
Blue Book of Gun Values author Steve Fjestad informs us that there are currently 242 makers of AR-15 style rifles. Ten years ago, there were fewer than 30. They have made over 7 million such rifles in 53 different calibers (including AR-10 rifles) in the last 8 or 9 years.
The Only Ones
The bullet that killed a Ventura County (CA) Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus – who was nearing retirement — responding to November’s mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill was fired by an unidentified California Highway Patrol officer, according to authorities. Sgt. Helus was also struck by five rounds fired by the massacrist, but it was the sixth round, fired by the CHP trooper, that struck Helus’ heart and killed him.
Retired Mansfield (OH) police Sgt. Jan Wendling, 68, has been charged with misdemeanor negligent assault after his gun “accidentally” discharged at a barber shop on Nov. 5. According to the incident report, Wendling and two others were discussing firearms when Wendling took his 9mm handgun from his holster and one round was allegedly discharged into the floor, causing injuries and damage. Negligent assault is a third-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Prosecutors at Joaquín (El Chapo) Guzmán’s drug trafficking trial in Brooklyn, NY, are asking US District Judge Brian Cogan to block any defense questions of witnesses about the US government’s felonious “Fast and Furious” gun running scheme in which federal agents allowed illegal weapons to flow over the border to Mexico in an effort to gain intelligence on drug cartels and gin up political support for US gun control laws. Apparently they don’t want the jury to realize that they are trying El Chapo for illegal drug smuggling while the government was illegally smuggling guns at the same time. US Attorney Richard Donoghue wrote in a motion that “The defense is attempting to use the well-known operation to place the government on trial.” Well the felonious government scumbags involved in F&F SHOULD be on trial, Mr. Attorney!
The capital murder trial began this week for a man whose crime partner was killed by their victim during his kidnapping.
Dept. of Idiocy
Here’s what passes for “journalism” today, as reported on the WAPT Channel 16 (Jackson, MS) website. Bracketed words are mine.:
“Police say her husband Thomas Ballenger, 70, is a suspect and was still in her room when police entered. They arrested him and placed him in custody.
Police are investigating the suspect’s motive.
Investigators have not confirmed if the suspect [husband] and victim [wife] knew each other. Neither of their identities have been released.” [Yet both names were reported in the article.]
Meanwhile, the weirdo Vox Media “news” site, which claims to explain the news to us in their terms, reports that there have been 1,917 “mass shootings” in the US since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. Funny, I missed all those reports.
A North Carolina woman was killed and two of her young grandchildren were injured in an attack by four escaped Rottweilers at a school bus stop. When deputies arrived and got out of their vehicles, the dogs began approaching them in “an aggressive manner,” and were shot and killed. Too late.
57% of violent offenders released in 2016 served less than three years in prison per a new DOJ report. Guess where they are now?
About those gun-free zones
- France ‘terror’ shooting leaves 3 dead, multiple injured with gunman on the run: officials
- Where guns are banned
We have word that GUNS magazine, long a premium source of information and entertainment and staunch supporter of 2A rights, is dropping David Codrea’s excellent “Rights Watch” column, in order to go in a “different direction.” Though the current-issues column didn’t always lend itself well to print media due to magazine lead times, one wonders what possible “different direction” away from our rights the magazine has in mind. We will see.
Southern Ohio Guns, more commonly known as SOG in C&R and milsurp circles, has gone out of business.
The Bino Dock adapts a vehicle cupholder into a binocular holder. $50 on sale.
Big Horn Armory has a new “Scout Rifle Lever Gun” (I would have called it a “Scout Lever Rifle”) chambered in .500 S&W. $2800.
Garrow Firearms Development has a new design in its patented AR-15 [AR-17] upper for the .17 HMR, which uses a delayed roller system, but instead of a blowback action, it uses the gas system. (The .17 HMR does not lend itself well to autoloaders, so this is interesting.) $600 on sale.
“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” — Robert Heinlein