Bearing Arms

BATFE, DOJ Rethinking Bump Stock Ruling

To call the bump stock controversial at this point may be the biggest understatement of the year, even outpacing “Lena Dunham is unattractive” in its scale.

Ever since the Las Vegas massacre, the devices have been derided, even by people who are ostensible pro-Second Amendment sorts. Even the National Rifle Association appeared to call for new regulations on the items. While the NRA was quick to oppose actual bump stock laws, even bipartisan ones, they maintained that it was the place of the BATFE to step in and act.

Well, it looks like they’re getting their wish.

The U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday that it is considering a possible ban on certain bump stocks, the attachments that make semiautomatic rifles fire faster and were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in Las Vegas in October.

The Las Vegas gunman’s use of bump stock to allow his weapons to fire like fully automatic machine guns, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds, has led to rare bipartisan agreement in Congress on the need to review whether they should be banned.

“Possessing firearm parts that are used exclusively in converting a weapon into a machine gun is illegal, except for certain limited circumstances,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said in a joint statement. “Today we begin the process of determining whether or not bump stocks are covered by this prohibition.”

Previously, Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill that would outlaw bump stocks, while several Republicans who have typically opposed gun restrictions signaled a willingness to explore the issue.

As part of the ATF’s review into bump stocks, it plans to publish a notice that will eventually appear in the Federal Register seeking public comment.

The legal analysis will revolve around the definition of the term “machinegun” and whether bump stocks fall in that definition.

There still a lot that remains to be seen. As it stands, they’re simply reviewing the earlier decision. This could be for political reasons–to be seen as taking the matter seriously–or because they believe they need to take a step back and review the status of bump stocks.

However, judging by the criteria used, it’s hard to argue that a bump stock is a machine gun or that it should be regulated as one. After all, if I can replicate the same thing with a rubber band, I’m pretty sure regulating the stocks won’t actually accomplish anything. Unless, of course, BATFE wants to regulate rubber bands (I know, I know…don’t give ’em any ideas).

Still, this is news we all should at least keep our eyes on. After all, if they can regulate something as legal one day and illegal the next, how quickly can they turn law-abiding citizens into criminals?

Of course, this would hardly be the first time BATFE changed their minds.

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HR 38 Passes In House

The United States House of Representatives has passed H.R. 38, the national reciprocity bill currently before Congress a short time ago. This is a bill that many in the Second Amendment Rights community has been clamoring for over the last few years.

The vote was 231-198.

From the office of Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia:

ep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) today voted for and the House passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38). The legislation permits individuals with a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed firearm in any state that allows it.

“The Second Amendment is alive and well, and passing this bill reaffirms the constitutional right of every law-abiding American to keep and bear arms,” said Rep. Graves. “With concealed carry reciprocity, those who legally hold a concealed carry permit in one state can carry in another state without fear of accidentally breaking its laws.”

The case of Shaneen Allen is an example of why H.R. 38 is necessary. In 2013, Ms. Allen, a single mother of two, was arrested in New Jersey for unlawful possession of a weapon even though she was licensed to carry a concealed firearm in her home state of Pennsylvania. After spending 40 days in jail and losing her job, she was pardoned by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

The Shaneen Allen case is one that has enraged gun rights activists throughout the nation. However, Ms. Allen was far from the only person to encounter such treatment.

Not everyone is thrilled with this, however. Giffords had their own statement:

“Congress has failed the American people. After two of our nation’s worst mass shootings, Congress took direct instruction from the gun lobby and passed a bill that will override existing state laws and allow dangerous, untrained people to carry guns in every state and every city. Let’s be clear: These politicians are trading our safety for political contributions from the gun lobby. Studies show states with weaker concealed carry laws let people with violent criminal histories carry gunsin public, and as a result those states have more violent crime and murder. If you live in a safe community now, this legislation undermines law enforcement and shreds the laws that protect you.

“Several years after being shot in the head, I’ve learned a lot – how to walk again, how to talk again, and how to start each day ready to change the world. But today, I’m furious. I’m angry that with shootings on the rise, the response from politicians is to sell out to the gun lobby and weaken our public safety laws. I’m angry that House Republicans are trying to sink a genuine bipartisan solution to problems with our background check system. I’m angry that the Senate is avoiding responsibility for limiting bump stocks. I’m angry that when this country is begging for courage from our leaders, they are responding with cowardice.

“There’s only one remedy for a Congress that can’t keep us safe: a Congress that can. Elections are less than a year away, but they can’t come soon enough. Americans will have the choice to demand courage from our elected officials, stand up to the gun lobby, and elect leaders who will put the safety of their families first. Our fight to reduce gun violence won’t be won overnight, but Election Day 2018 will be remembered for when the American voter said, ‘Enough.’”

Of course, all we can do with regard to Giffords is point out to them that, time and again, concealed carry license holders are among the most law-abiding citizens out there, regardless of the state they’re from or the requirements placed on them for those permits.

As a result, it appears that HR 4477 also passed as the two bills had been merged. However, it looks like much of the issue regarding HR 4477 stems from some confusion regarding the bill, so this is likely not the setback some are claiming it is.

Now, the bill goes to the Senate where it’ll face an uphill battle.

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Texas Lt. Governor Wants Texan Churches To Know They Can Have Guns

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is a man on a mission. He’s like everyone else in this country in so far as he doesn’t want to see another Sutherland Springs. He especially doesn’t want to see another one in Texas.

That’s why he’s trying to make sure Texans know that they can carry their guns in church.

Following the mass shooting at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said arming congregants could prevent similar tragedies in the future. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick thinks so, too, and wants Paxton to let more churches know that is an option.

Patrick requested Friday that Paxton issue an opinion clarifying whether congregants can bring guns to church and whether churches are exempt from state fees for creating volunteer security teams. Patrick said in the request that he hoped Paxton could inform more churches “what legal options they have to improve their security.”

Patrick made it clear in his letter to the attorney general that he feels state law allows congregants to bring guns to church unless a sign at the door says otherwise. He also wrote that a recently passed law exempts churches from fees other institutions must pay to form their own security forces.

The law in question just went into effect in September, just a matter of weeks before the tragedy in Sutherland Springs. It allows churches to have armed volunteer security teams without having to pay state fees to license the volunteers. Those fees can be fairly steep, thus creating a burden on smaller churches. The measure’s author, State Rep. Matt Rinaldi, noted last month that he believed that many churches were unaware of the new law.

While many look at Sutherland Springs as evidence that more gun control is needed, they ignore the fact that one armed congregant may have stopped the whole thing before it started.

Of course, gun control advocates scoff at the whole use of the word “may” and note that we know he killed plenty of people, and that’s true. It’s also irrelevant since an armed citizen outside the church engaged the killer and put an end to his rampage.

More armed congregants in more churches may well make churches poor target choices for future mass shooters. After all, these guys are motivated by big body counts. They want fame and notoriety. They relish the idea of everyone knowing their name. That’s part of why we don’t use their names here at Bearing Arms.

However, if they know they won’t get their infamy at a church because they’ll be killed far too quickly, they’ll move on somewhere else.

Harden enough targets by having armed citizens present and eventually we’ll see these dipsticks stop trying to get fame this way. If they want fame, it’ll become much easier to learn how to sing or play a sport than to try and shoot up a house of worship.

If you hit that point, you no longer have to worry. There’s a reason that gun control will never work, and this is it.

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Law Enforcement Arrests Man Planning to Carry Out Mass Shooting at a Mosque

Law enforcement officers in Jacksonville, Florida, may have prevented another horrific mass shooting and heinous hate crime.

According to News 4 JAX, 69-year-old Bernandino Bolatete had his home raided after he was suspected of having plans to carry out a mass shooting at a mosque. Inside his home, law enforcement officers found 12 guns with thousands of rounds of ammunition.

A dozen guns and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition were seized during a raid of the home of the man accused of planning a mass shooting of the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida, federal prosecutors told the judge at Bernandino Bolatete’s bond hearing on Tuesday.

That was among the evidence presented Tuesday at the U.S. District Courthouse in Jacksonville on the gun charge the 69-year-old man is facing. Prosecutors also discussed recorded conversations with an undercover detective in which Bolatete discussed his hatred for Muslims and his plans to shoot up the mosque.

The article also states that a neighbor of Bolatete’s was the person to tip-off authorities, a perfect example of “See something, say something.” According to Bolatete’s neighbor, Bolatete is struggling with his health and commented that he would prefer to shoot up a mosque and take his own life rather than seek medical treatment.

News 4 JAX reported, “A citizen who tipped off authorities to Bolatete’s plan said the man said he had kidney problems and would rather shoot up the mosque and take his own life than go on dialysis.”

The number of guns and amount of ammunition found in Bolatete’s home is reminiscent of the number of weapons and amount of ammo that the mass shooter in the Las Vegas shooting had in his hotel room. The Las Vegas massacre is now the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States.

Bolatete and his brother immigrated to the United States from the Philippines eight years ago and Bolatete was referred to as a “gun aficionado” by his brother, who also stated Bolatete would never hurt anyone. However, what Bolatete told an undercover detective appears to undermine his brother’s defense of his character.

According to the indictment, after the undercover operative sold Bolatete a suppressor for $100 last week, he was arrested on a federal weapons violation. At this point, that is the only criminal charge against him, but it carries a maximum penalty to up to 10 years in prison.

In a transcript of the conversations included in the criminal complaint, Bolatete said he had five rifles, one of which was an AR-15 that can be converted to into an AR-47. He suggested going to the Islamic center on a Friday because it is “their Sunday equivalent to us Christians is Friday … go up to the tower and start shooting, right? It will be great, right?”

When the plans were realized, law enforcement officials took the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the mosque.

This arrest comes after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and the worst mass shooting in the state of Texas’s history, which has prompted partisan and bipartisan gun control legislation as well as calls to reform the National Instant Background Check System (NICS).

Bolatete, who reportedly goes by Nandie Bolatete on Facebook, can be seen here.

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Posted by Nandie Bolatete on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

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Are Fix NICS Concerns Much Ado About Nothing?

The Fix NICS bill is surprisingly controversial. While no one is surprised that gun rights advocates are less than enthused about new gun laws, it seemed entirely probable many would go along with reforming the NICS database following Sutherland Springs. After all, didn’t the shooter get his gun from a gun store despite being a prohibited person?

But it is. The GOA has issued a strong statement against the bill, for example.

Additionally, Rep. Thomas Massie had some harsh words regarding the bill as well.

The bill, known as the “Fix NICS” bill, is an Obama style regulation that, according to Massie, would require government entities to submit thousands of names into the NICS database for denial of the purchase of a firearm.  The legislation is being quietly added in a Trojan Horse style by Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein.

Massie sounded the alarm through a post on Facebook, writing on how “the Senate version of this bill is cosponsored by Senator Dianne Feintstein and Senator Chuck Schumer.”

The bill encourages administrative agencies, not the courts, to submit more names to a national database that will determine whether you can or can’t obtain a firearm. When President Obama couldn’t get Congress to pass gun control, he implemented a strategy of compelling, through administrative rules, the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration to submit lists of veterans and seniors, many of whom never had a day in court, to be included in the NICS database of people prohibited from owning a firearm. Only a state court, a federal (article III) court, or a military court, should ever be able to suspend your rights for any significant period of time.

The bill itself is troubling, but as Massie points out, the bill was sent through committee at breakneck speed, breaking records for fast tracked legislation by entering and exiting committee, with approval, in a matter of hours. The speed at which the bill was passed meant that the bill wasn’t viewable by the public until after it had been approved.

So the issue is that administrative agencies will be adding this new data, not the courts. Sounds fair. Especially if the courts are who is inputting data now.

But they’re not.

A flyer published by the FBI some time back describes who inputs the data into the NICS database:

The NICS Index contains information that may not be available in the NCIC or the III of persons prohibited from receiving firearms under federal or state law. A valid match of a NICS Index record to a prospective firearm transferee results in an immediate determination of firearm disqualification. NICS Index records are voluntarily provided by local, state, tribal, and federal agencies.

All Fix NICS does is try to increase the amount of information being provided by providing incentives to these agencies.

Now, I’m not saying you should support the bill or not. Hell, despite my earlier enthusiasm over the bill, I’m not sure if I support it at this point or not. I definitely agree with Rep. Massie when he said the bill needs to be separated from national reciprocity, though. They’re two separate issues and I’d rather they be voted on separately, especially since any Democrat willing to vote for a national reciprocity bill will likely to so on that issue alone as well.

What I am saying, however, is that if you’re going to oppose a bill, be sure you understand exactly what you’re opposing and why.

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Milwaukee Officials, Residents Triggered By Pics Of Armed Construction Workers

Some folks work at jobs that take them into some pretty rough areas. In those cases, it’s not surprising someone would want to carry a firearm. After all, if you’re dead, you can’t spend your paycheck. It makes perfect sense.

However, some photos of construction workers in Milwaukee have a lot of people freaking out over the idea of armed workers.

Construction workers packing — not their lunches, but guns! A photo has surfaced, and it’s creating some controversy in Milwaukee. FOX6 News has confirmed city officials are investigating.

Sewer work near 20th and Meinecke was in progress Monday, December 4th, as some said a photo of workers at another sewer project is standing in the way of progress when it comes to community relations.

“Real scary, scary looking professional. Shouldn’t be carrying guns. Kids around here and stuff,” Lawana Robinson, neighbor said.

The photo shows a worker wearing a Poblocki Paving vest. Poblocki officials said none of the workers seen in the photo are theirs. Company officials said they find the photo disturbing and said their vests are readily accessible to anyone on a project. Poblocki officials said their workers do not carry guns, and they are prohibited from wearing blue jeans on the job.

Senator Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, said city workers and contractors shouldn’t be carrying guns, according to the rules. She said it’s concerning, especially in what appears to be a school zone.

One of the photos in question shows someone who appears to be a worker with an unholstered firearm in his hand, which undoubtedly made some people pretty nervous. However, there’s a lot of context missing from these photos that might explain precisely what’s going on.

Or maybe not.

That said, while I’m an advocate of concealed carry over open carry as a general thing, I can’t help but wonder how many people would have been freaked out over the guns on these guys hips if the sight was more common. After all, the more you see it, the less unusual you view it unless you have some ideological lens you view the world through.

Of course, it does matter whether relevant laws were followed. While I despise any law that tells me where I can and can’t carry a gun or tries to tell me how I can carry a firearm, the law is the law. You either follow it or be prepared for the consequences. Period.

Wisconsin law calls anything a school zone that lies within 1000 feet of the school. While I’m not familiar with this intersection, a quick review of Google Maps shows Phyllis Wheatly Public School as being roughly half a block away. According to the all-knowing Google app, that’s about 272 feet, well within the limit of what is legal.

In short, assuming these workers are legitimate workers and this happened where it’s claimed to have happened, it looks like these guys screwed up. I’m not going to excuse it or justify it. They appear to have broken the rules, again assuming the information is correct.

However, it should be noted that despite that, there were no reported robberies, murders, shootings, or any other kind of violence associated with these men.

I mean, it’s almost like people who openly carry their firearm aren’t likely to intentionally break the law. Shocking, I know!

 

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Armed Bystander Protects Sheriff’s Deputy

No one in this country argues about armed police officers. Disarming law enforcement isn’t even part of the discussion here, and for good reason. The idea is ridiculous.

However, there are a lot of people who would prefer that police officers were the only ones armed legally, and that actually does include a handful of police officers.

A Dawson County, GA sheriff’s deputy isn’t likely part of that number after what happened to him.

A chaotic scene in Dawson County Tuesday afternoon where what started out a good deed ended in gunfire and injuries.

It started at a Chevron on Georgia Highway 400 when 52-year-old Sgt. Randy Harkness arrived with a homeless man. Sheriff Jeff Johnson said the Harkness had given the man a courtesy ride to the gas station to help him out with a bit of money.

“He then began to give the gentleman some money just to help him out and the suspect began to physically assault him,” said Sheriff Johnson.

The sheriff said a woman in a car at the Chevron witnessed the assault, got out of her car, gun in hand, and fired on the homeless man attacking Harkness. Eyewitnesses in the gas station saw it unfold.

“She shot off, a round. The guy got off the police officer and she shot another round and he was running that way I think, there was three shots,” said Aseem Kahn, owner of the station.

The sheriff’s office told FOX 5 News, the man, who’d been hit by at least one slug, ran across the street to this McDonald’s where he attacked an elderly woman in the parking lot.

The heroic bystander declined to speak publicly about her actions, but Sheriff Johnson said, “I truly believe she’s a hero. I believe she thankfully saved this officer’s life.”

I’m inclined to agree.

The vast majority of armed citizens may be carrying primarily to protect themselves and their family but would feel no remorse about stepping in to protect a total stranger, especially in a case like this one.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Dawson County District Attorney’s Office are investigating whether or not to file charges against the good Samaritan, as well as other things, but since Georgia is Stand Your Ground state, so I’d be very surprised to see her face any legal ramifications. After all, it seems as though had she not intervened, Sgt. Harkness might have been seriously injured.

I suspect this will be over and done with pretty quickly and the woman be permitted to move on.

However, there’s a lesson in this that doesn’t necessarily include “no good deed goes unpunished.” The lesson is that even the police may need help, and armed citizens can and do save lives.

Had this woman failed to act, would we be reporting the murder of a deputy? We don’t know, but thanks to her, we didn’t find out the hard way. Thanks to her, we know for a fact Sgt. Harkness will be quite alright. That’s a win in my book.

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Savage Arms Under Fire For Exploding Barrels

This was the last thing Vista Outdoors, owners of brands like Savage Arms and Federal Premium Ammunition, needed right about now. It seems that some of the guns the company made are having some issues. Serious issues.

Like exploding barrels level serious.

It was the opening day of deer hunting season, and Ronald Hansen says he loaded his rifle the same way he had countless times before, aimed at a target and fired a shot.

This time, the gun barrel exploded, knocking the farmer from Hampton, Iowa, backward, severely damaging his right hand and ear and burning his face.

Unknown to Hansen, the manufacturer of the rifle that injured him in 2014 had received other complaints of explosions and injuries over the prior decade. Customers repeatedly reported that the barrel of the stainless steel 10 ML-II muzzleloader exploded, burst, split or cracked, according to thousands of court documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Lawyers for the company, Westfield, Massachusetts-based Savage Arms, were expected to appear Wednesday in federal court in Iowa to defend against a lawsuit filed by Hansen. He is seeking damages for his injuries, alleging the company failed to warn customers about the defect.

It’s one of several lawsuits that have claimed the company recklessly kept the muzzleloaders on the market even as they kept occasionally mangling hands, damaging hearing and burning faces. At least three have been settled on a confidential basis since last year.

The gun in question was discontinued in 2010, but by then the damage was done. There’s been no recall notice on these weapons, and now people are getting hurt.

While gun companies do enjoy a certain level of protection from lawsuits due to the Protection of Lawful Commerce of Arms Act, that law does absolutely nothing here. In fact, the law explicitly states it doesn’t prevent manufacturers from being sued in cases dealing with faulty products or negligence by the manufacturer.

That means if these allegations are true, Savage Arms is going to have to pay out some serious cash as well as take a significant PR hit. In this day and age, the market for guns is too saturated for people to feel the need to shrug and move on. After all, many people will look at the history and ask why should they buy this gun from a company with such a black mark against them when there are a dozen other firearms at a similar price point from gun makers who didn’t sell exploding muzzleloaders?

I can’t say that I’d blame them.

However, Savage Arms maintains it’s not to blame for the mishap. Instead, they claim it was the result of operator error due to the plaintiffs having created too much pressure within the firearms, thus causing the explosion.

To be sure, that can happen with even the finest muzzleloaders if you’re not careful.

From here, it’s virtually impossible to tell for certain as to whether or not Savage Arms is responsible or not, and it’s not our place. That’s what the courts are for, and this is a case many of us will be keeping an eye on this one.

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California’s Inefficiency May Screw Over Ammo Vendors

California has a reputation as perhaps the most anti-gun state in the country. Yes, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois have all made their bids to be part of that number, but Massachusetts may be one of the few states who really compares to California when it comes so pretending the Second Amendment amounts to nothing more than a polite suggestion.

The latest problem in California comes from an issue involving ammo sales. You see, the state passed a new law that created new regulations for ammunition vendors. The process for complying with those regulations, however,  didn’t come from the legislature, but from the bureaucracy, and that’s where the problems kick in.

California’s onerous new ammunition regulations haven’t even gone into effect yet, and gun stores are already wondering whether they’ll be able to sell ammo when the new background check requirement kicks in.

Last year Californians voted in favor of Proposition 63, a measure that institutes background checks for all ammunition purchases and requires sellers to obtain an “ammunition vendor license.” The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) was supposed to have solidified in July the process for obtaining such a license. But they failed to do so. They submitted the proposed regulations three days ago (December 1), which, as the NRA-ILA points out, doesn’t give ammunition vendors enough time to apply for and obtain a license before the law takes effect.

Even if the Golden State bureaucracy expedites the approval process, ammunition dealers will still not have enough time to get the state’s permission to sell ammunition. Unless the state extends the deadline, 6 million firearms owners in California might not have access to ammunition after the beginning of the new year.

Online sales aren’t an option as out-of-state vendors begin halting direct sales to customers in California.

The paranoid guy in me can’t help but wonder how much of this is intentional, but then I just tighten the tinfoil and move on.

However, this is a significant problem as firearms are nothing more than expensive and fairly fragile clubs without ammunition, yet it appears that on January 1, there won’t be any ammo for sale anywhere within the state.

Savvy shooters will likely stock up prior to the implementation of the new law, but that will still leave plenty of shooters without access to ammunition and a lot of vendors unable to sell a product that makes up a good bit of their revenue. This is hurt struggling businesses and small-time operations the most but serve as barely a blip on the radar of big box stores like Walmart.

Way to go, California. Screw over the little guys so you can benefit the larger retailers. Good job.

Is there any wonder that so many of us looked at the idea of California seceding from the United States and thought, “Great!” and little else? Any state that can screw the pooch this badly is hardly a state I’d want to model anything after, much less laws that deal with our constitutionally protected rights.

Not that we should be modeling squat over them in the first place. After all, the phrase is “shall not be infringed.” Words have meanings, after all.

 

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National Reciprocity Boosts Stock Prices

With so many mass shootings over the last couple of months, it’s easy to believe that even with the massive Black Friday, there’s still little good news for the firearm industry. However, as news broke of national reciprocity being so close to becoming law, it appears that stocks for gun companies started rallying.

An impending vote on concealed carry reciprocity may have bumped share prices for major gun makers up 3 percent this week.

Stock for American Outdoor Brands — the holding company of Smith & Wesson — and Sturm, Ruger and Co. closed 3.55 percent and 2.87 percent higher Monday. Share prices for Vista Outdoor — owner of more than three dozen companies in firearms, ammunition and shooting accessories, including Savage Arms, Stevens, Federal Premium, Speer and American Eagle — likewise climbed more than 5.6 percent.

The market reaction follows chatter on Capitol Hill over H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, as it winds its way through committee in preparation for a floor vote later this week. Lawmakers will likely amend portions of the Fix NICS Act into the measure in an attempt to bring Democrats on board, Guns.com previously reported.

Fix NICS incentivizes states and federal agencies to upload disqualifying records into the databases feeding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System — the application gun dealers use to verify a buyer’s identity and criminal history.

The system came under scrutiny last month after a man gunned down 26 people in a Texas church with a rifle he bought legally — despite his domestic assault convictions and bad conduct discharge from the Air Force three years earlier. Military officials admitted failing to report the shooter’s criminal record to the FBI — an endemic problem dating back two decades. A review of Department of Justice records in 1997 and 2015 found roughly one third of service members’ criminal convictions were missing from federal databases.

The Fix NICS bill is a far more controversial piece of legislation, and while folding it into HR 38 may make the bill more palatable to Democrats, it may also serve as a poison pill for many Republicans who may view the bill as being untouchable. This is especially true in light of the tough comments from the Gun Owners of America which derided the bill last week.

Luckily, it doesn’t appear Fix NICS is enough to run off investors who apparently expect the national reciprocity bill to spur addition gun sales, or at least create a stronger gun market.

Whether those investors know about Fix NICS–and it’s possible they don’t since the bill is non-controversial in the mainstream media–or not remains to be seen, however. It’s possible that they are unfamiliar with the strong sentiment against the NICS bill.

Regardless, this is likely good news for investors who already have stock with these companies. As the price increases, the value of their investment does as well. It’s not exactly rocket science, after all.

Further, though, it can create an opportunity for most investment and expansion of the company as more and more investors buy in, injecting cash that can be used for new hires, expansion of physical plants, and new tooling.

Plus, it helps keep the companies around for a lot longer, which means they get to keep selling stuff for us to buy.

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National Reciprocity Vote In House As Early As Wednesday

National reciprocity has some far-reaching ramifications for those with concealed carry permits. For one, it will allow those who have been vetted and permitted in their home states to carry a concealed firearm throughout the nation. It’s one of the things gun owners believed we would see with the Republican Party in control of both chambers of Congress and the White House.

Unfortunately, it’s been slow going throughout the year, but now it looks like something is about to happen.

The House of Representatives will vote on national gun-carry reciprocity and gun background check fix bills this week.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 and the Fix NICS Act will be combined and likely voted on Wednesday, a GOP aide told the Washington Free Beacon Monday.

“It is my understanding they may be combined,” the aide said. “Rules is meeting at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday. They have both. Floor vote should be Wednesday.”

The House Committee on Rules website shows the texts of the two bills combined as well as an amendment filed by Rep. Dina Titus (D., Nev.) that would strip the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act from the bill. The Republican-controlled committee is likely to defeat the amendment and move the combined bill to the House floor where it is currently scheduled for a vote on or after Wednesday. The bill, which currently has 213 cosponsors, is likely to pass the House vote.

It will then move to the Senate where it will face an uphill battle to garner the 60 votes necessary for passage.

The House shouldn’t be a problem, but the Senate will be.

However, even there, it’s not improbable that some Democrats will side with the bill. For one thing, Democrats in rural or other pro-gun areas may find that opposing the Second Amendment is hazardous to their reelection chances.

Another possibility is a bit of quid pro quo. In other words, A Republican convinced the Democrat to vote for this bill in exchange for the Republican’s support on another matter.

Who knows?

But what we do know is that we’ll soon be one step closer to a saner system of laws regarding concealed carry since a permit for one state will be good for all.

Critics of the bill have made all kinds of extraordinary claims, including that the bill will allow criminals to walk the streets armed. There are some seriously stupid people out there who believe stuff like that. Meanwhile, they ignore the fact that concealed carry license holders are invariably among the most law-abiding people out there.

Of course, most of those who say this are either willfully ignorant or they’re lying. They simply don’t like the idea of armed citizens and they’ll tell any whopper they can think of to prevent there being more of them. Plain and simple.

Meanwhile, the criminals continue to carry firearms without regard for any law or regulation. They obtain them and use them regardless of what lawmakers try to impose, and they use them despite every legal code banning their activities. It’s almost like criminals don’t follow the law or something.

Law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits not only follow the law, but they keep themselves and everyone around them safe.

The post National Reciprocity Vote In House As Early As Wednesday appeared first on Bearing Arms.

The Truth About The 4,000 Guns Sold By Gun Stores To Prohibited Individuals

Sutherland Springs exposed flaws in the NICS system. Whether you agree with background checks or not, they’re the law and the Air Force blew it on that one. They failed to input the information into the system. Plain and simple.

However, is the lack of data being input the only flaw in the system by any stretch of the imagination. Well, the FBI asked BATFE seize thousands of firearms from prohibited people who bought them in gun stores, most after NICS failed to report that the individual was prohibited.

Federal authorities sought to take back guns from thousands of people the background check system should have blocked from buying weapons because they had criminal records, mental health issues or other problems that would disqualify them.

A USA TODAY review found that the FBI issued more than 4,000 requests last year for agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to retrieve guns from prohibited buyers.

It’s the largest number of such retrieval requests in 10 years, according to FBI records– an especially striking statistic after revelations that a breakdown in the background check system allowed a troubled Air Force veteran to buy a rifle later used to kill 26 worshipers at a Texas church last month.

The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) vets millions of gun purchase transactions every year. But the thousands of gun seizure requests highlight persistent problems in a system where analysts must complete background checks within three days of the proposed purchase. If the background check is not complete within the 72-hour time limit, federal law allows the sale to go forward. ATF agents are asked to take back the guns if the FBI later finds these sales should have been denied.

It appears that the claim is that the NICS is overworked and mistakes get made, yadda yadda yadda. A former BATFE agent even called the three-day provision on background checks “reckless.”

Of course, that former agent now works for Giffords, so you know where his loyalties lie, and it’s not with the United States Constitution.

Now, 4,000 mistakes sound like a lot, but let’s put this in perspective. According to USA Today, the total number was 4,170 goofs. However, the NICS processed over 27.5 million checks in 2016 alone.

I’m not the only one who sees this perspective.

Larry Keane, general counsel for the firearm industry trade association National Shooting Sports Foundation, noted that the FBI’s seizure directives represent only a small portion in the flood of of transactions that the bureau has been processing in recent years. On Black Friday alone, FBI examiners fielded more than 200,000 background check requests, a one-day record for the system.

“What we support are more resources for the NICS operation to process the volume of requests,” Keane said.

Keane said there has been no discussion in the industry about extending the three-day time limit for completing background checks, adding that more than 90% of all checks are completed almost immediately after the request is forwarded to the FBI. He said less than 1% of all firearms transactions are later referred to the ATF for retrieval.

Unfortunately, looking at the numbers, it appears Keane overstated the problem. You see, we’re actually looking at more like 0.015 percent of all background checks made resulted in a situation like this, not one percent.

Tricky journalism

What’s happened here is a journalism trick.

Journalists know that people won’t freak about a problem that represents 0.015 percent of the total number. Even if that represented millions of people, that number sounds so small as to be trivial. It simply can’t be presented as being that small a sample.

So what they do is they phrase it such a way that will grab your attention. “Thousands” sounds like so much larger a problem with 0.015 percent, even if it’s the same exact thing. “Thousands” gets your attention, it makes it seem like something you need to be concerned with, makes it a problem you should be talking about with your co-workers around the office water cooler.

But the numbers are what they are.

Does that mean USA Today meant to mislead people? Perhaps.

You see, this trick really has more to do with marketing your story to editors and the readers–yes, this works on editors too–and less with manipulation, as a general rule. If the headline doesn’t grab you, if that happens enough, no one will buy the paper or access the website. It’s something we all do, to some extent. Think of it as an early form of clickbait.

Crossing the line

Where USA Today crossed the line, however, is in presenting this information with no reference to just how many total background checks do take place. They failed to provide sufficient information so the reader could discern the scope of the “problem” for themselves.

There are only two reasons to do this: Laziness and Lying.

Laziness is just failing to do it because you couldn’t be bothered. However, the report is done in a manner where laziness doesn’t appear to be an issue. The journalist contacted people from both sides, quoted them, and appears to have done the difficult legwork just fine. It was the minute detail in one aspect missed. Now, that doesn’t mean laziness couldn’t be an issue. After all, everyone overlooks something that might have been revealed with just a bit more work from time to time, right?

Besides, didn’t the reporter quote Keane from the NSSF?

Well, yes. At the end of the piece.

You see, newspaper writers tend to use a format called the inverted pyramid. You put all the most important information at the top of the story, and then work your way down in order of importance. Here’s a visual of what it would look like.

(Public domain image)

This is done so editors can make cuts easily. They just start at the bottom to chop off information so the story will fit in the newspaper space available.

In the age of the internet, this is still in use at many sites because readers lose their attention after a time. You provide the key points at the top, then work your way down in order of importance, ostensibly so the reader gets all the relevant information.

Keane’s quote, however, is at the bottom. It’s where readers are least likely to see it, meaning many will read a chunk of the story and then click away to read something else, all the while believing there’s this epidemic of firearms in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. They have no reason believe this is really a non-issue because they clicked away before that.

Now, couple the placement of Keane’s quote with the lack of information about the total number of background checks–information available with a quick Google search–and it’s really difficult to see any way this is an honest mistake.

This isn’t fake news. This is activism masquerading as journalism, and it’s pathetic.

The fact is that there is no problem with massive numbers of bad guys getting guns and then doing horrible things. USA Today even notes that the BATFE agents charged with recovering these guns don’t view most of these people as dangerous, and that’s because few ever do anything dangerous with those guns.

The only real problem here is when supposedly unbiased media outlets present manipulated facts in order to sell a narrative.

 

The post The Truth About The 4,000 Guns Sold By Gun Stores To Prohibited Individuals appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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