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Citizens Association for Responsible Gun Ownership = CARGO
Hello Fellow CARGO Members,
The next meeting will be held at Napoli’s on Thursday, August 21st.
We have reserved the Napoli's meeting room for dinner AND THE MEETING:
701 N Highway 78 # A
Wylie, TX 75098
We will be in the meeting room between 5:30 and 7:00 for food and fellowship.
For the dinner portion of the meeting we will meet in the restaurant meeting room this month.
The official meeting will start at 7:00 and run until 9:00 in the Napoli’s meeting room.
Please remember, no firearms are allowed – except for CHL Holders’ concealed firearms.
Because we are in the restaurant this month, we have several non-gun topics to discuss. This Month’s topics are: Suppressors and Optics.
Scott Brantley from North Texas Armament has agreed to bring some examples of suppressors and discuss some of the lines that he represents and the tradeoffs of the different options.
If you have a detachable federally licensed suppressor please brings it to the meeting. We would love to hear about the manufacturer, the purchase process, the licensing process, how it connects to a firearm, how well it works etc. Please remember, that because of TABC regulations, no integrated suppressors are allowed at the meeting.
Also, if you have a new / old / favorite optic that you have, bring it to the meeting. (I realize that taking a scope off of a rifle isn’t always an option.) Please bring any optic that isn’t mounted to a firearm (remember this is a no open firearms meeting). We will discuss the pros and cons of the different optic solutions, etc.
If you have any suggestions for future speakers or topics please send your feedback to CARGO@att.net.
Doc has spent a large amount of time working on the web site; please take some time to go to the newly remodeled CARGO website at www.cargogunclub.org
Federal Judge Says AR-15- and AK-style Rifles Not Protected by 2A
By Dave Dolbee published on August 15, 2014
The recent ruling upholds Maryland’s Firearms Safe Act, which was passed in September 2013. Pro Second Amendment groups challenged the legality of the law banning modern sporting rifles and magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. The fact that a judge would uphold legislation is no more surprising than a judge who strikes down legislation—legislating from the bench is commonplace. What separates this decision is the apparent bias, misinformation and flawed logic demonstrated in the opinion issued by the federal judge.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Cheaper Than Dirt! Inc., its employees or management. Analysis performed within this article are only examples and for informational purposes intended to promote an open exchange of information. Publication of any assertions made within this article or analysis are solely those of the author and in no way should be construed to reflect the position or policy of Cheaper Than Dirt!
In an effort to be fair and adequately report on the judge’s decision, we must use the language in the decision. Therefore, please excuse the use of the misleading terms such as high-capacity magazines to describe any magazine capable of carrying more than 10 rounds and semi-automatic sporting rifles such as AR-15s.
The amicus brief in support of the Maryland law continually refers to MSRs as assault weapons. In fact, it goes so far as to use a flawed logic pattern to link to the AR-15 to the M16. The brief the judge appears to have weighed heavily, states the features of an M16 as having select fire for either full auto and semi-auto fire or 3-round burst and semi-auto. It then goes on to state soldiers are instructed that semi-auto fire is more accurate and deadly ergo an AR-15 (semi-auto only) is an assault weapon.
This obviously flies in the face of laws regulating machine guns. But it gets worse. A review of case law set in the District of Columbia v. Heller finds, “the Supreme Court found that the Second Amendment codified a pre-existing, individual right to keep and bear arms and that its core protection was the right of “law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.” 554 U.S. 570, 592, 635 (2008).”
However, in this ruling the judge dismisses Heller by stating, “…it only protects those that are “‘in common use at the time,’”18 and “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.”19 Id. at 625, 627.”
Certainly it should be easily agreeable that AR-15s et al. are in common usage. At one point that judge admits that there are over 8 million such firearms in lawful gun owners hands for lawful purposes, but later minimizes this fact by stating “assault weapons” make up only 3% of firearms and thus are not in common usage.
“Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed…”
“…Even accepting that there are 8.2 million assault weapons in the civilian gun stock, as the plaintiffs claim, assault weapons represent no more than 3% of the current civilian gun stock.”
This flawed logic refers back to Heller in which handguns were main subject and were quoted as 43% of lawfully possessed firearms, but this does not lessen the impact of some 8 million-plus!
“…evidence beyond their desire to possess assault weapons for self-defense in the home that they are in fact commonly used, or possessed, for that purpose.”
Really? No evidence the “assault weapons” are commonly used for self-defense in the home? Does the judge realize the number of firearms kept at home for self-defense that (thankfully) are never actually employed for that purpose? Keeping a gun at home for self-defense is vastly different than statistics showing the number of times a particular weapon was used for that purpose.
The judge later dig a deeper hole with the statement, “the plaintiffs proffer no evidence beyond their desire to possess assault weapons for self-defense in the home that they are in fact commonly used, or possessed, for that purpose.”
Worse than that was the judge’s treatment of what was referred to as “large-capacity magazines.” From the judge’s opinion, “across the nation, LCMs represent 75 million, or 46 percent, of all magazines in U.S. consumer possession between 1990 and 2012. (Curcuruto Decl., Ex. A, ¶ 6; see also Koper Decl., Ex. B, at 1 (stating that gun industry sources estimated that, as of 1995, there were 25 million LCMs available in the United States, and that an additional 4.7 million LCMs were imported into the country from 1995 to 2000). Marylanders owned about 725,000 of those LCMs during that time.”
Then, she completely abandons any further mention of LCMs. Was this not an important fact, or did it simply not fit the narrative? Assault weapons were not considered “in common usage” because they only accounted for 3% of lawfully possessed firearms, so why was 46% not considered in common usage? And if citizens lawfully possess 75 million magazines for a platform, how can that platform not be considered in common usage?
Judge: “In attempting to further the state’s important interests, the legislature is not required to refrain from acting until it has evidence demonstrating proposed legislation will certainly have the desired effects. It is allowed to make predictions.”
See Turner Broadcasting Sys., Inc. v. F.C.C. (Turner I ), 512 U.S. 622, 665 (1994) (“Sound policymaking often requires legislators to forecast future events and to anticipate the likely impact of these events based on deductions and inferences for which empirical support may be unavailable.”).
While it is true that legislators do have to forecast certain events such as budgets, , it takes more than a small leap to suspend the Second Amendment or reasonably believe that outlawing certain classes of firearms, magazines or cosmetic features would prevent murder/suicide. In the Turner case, the Supreme Court stated the speech was neither favorable nor unfavorable in requiring cable companies to carry local channels and prevented a minority from using their economic power to control speech and thus inline with the First Amendment. The requirement from lawmakers, without proof that the cable companies would unfavorably their economic power was deemed appropriate. Was that a far cry from the current justification of denying access to hundreds of thousands of lawful gun owners?
Who’s on First?
The witnesses that were challenged and allowed opens a whole other can of worms and the logic trail is confusing enough to be akin to the classic Abbott and Costello skit.
The first witness challenged was Christopher Koper. The judge states Koper was qualified due to his works in studying the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons ban, which concluded in fact the ban was not effective or responsible for decreasing crime. Yet, the judge goes on to justify allowing the testimony, because Koper suggests other factors may have made it more effective and the Maryland ban did not have certain portions of the AWB, which somehow would make the Maryland law more effective…
The second witness challenged gets even better. Dr. Daniel Webster was challenged stating he had not done any original research and was relying on the works of others, primarily Koper. In essence, it appears Webster’s testimony was heavily based on Koper’s works. Koper than validated that Webster’s testimony was correct and factual. In essence, Koper was credited with validating his own work via Webster! It reminds me of the old tale about two ugly twins telling each other how pretty they look.
Webster also included data from the Mother Jones publication, which he had independently analyzed from an expert. Who was the expert? None other than Koper! By the way, Mother Jones was named after Mary Harris Jones whose accolades include being a member of the Social Democratic Party and the Socialist Party of America. Michael Moore was the editor of the publication for two years before suing for $2 million for wrongful termination.
Judge for Yourself
There seems to be so much more wrong with this decision and the reasoning cited by the judge. Going to the government’s own documents and requisition orders you can easily see where the government considers 30-round magazines as standard capacity. The government defines an assault weapon as having capabilities simply not found on semi-automatic-only versions. The fact that one firearm is more accurate than another or of firearms made 200 years ago hardly justify upgrading their status to “assault weapon.”
It is important to note that I am not a lawyer, do not understand all of the intricacies of the law and case, and make no pretense that my ramblings would pass legal muster—however, even lacking a law degree, I have a working nose and this does not pass the smell test. Be sure to take the time to read the decision and making your own judgment.
Baltimore District Court gun ruling
Published by Ian Duncan
Judge Catherine C. Blake upheld a Maryland law banning the sale of assault rifles and magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds, finding that it did not violate the Constitution.
From Doc Brizendine: From the Texas Law Shield newsletter 8/15/14:
The Castle Doctrine and Standing Your Ground in Texas
If you have watched the news on TV or read a newspaper, you may have heard the phrases Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground in reference to self-defense laws. There has been considerable debate about just what these laws are and how far they allow someone to go in protecting themselves, their homes, and their family. Unfortunately, not every news outlet or blog writer is as informed about these legal concepts as they could be. The purpose of this article is to introduce these important legal concepts to you, and explain them clearly enough that you will be better prepared in case you ever need to protect your family, home, or self from danger.
Does Texas Have a Castle Doctrine?
The concept of the Castle Doctrine comes from the philosophy that every person is the King or Queen of their home, and as such, is entitled to certain privileges. In the context of firearms self-defense law, it generally means that a person is not legally required to run away from their home before using force or deadly force against an unlawful intruder. Texas Penal Code §9.31 (governing the justified use of non-deadly force) and §9.32 (governing the justified use of deadly force) are Texas version of the Castle Doctrine.
Inside your "castle," under certain circumstances, Texas law presumes you acted reasonably and justifiably if you use force or deadly force to defend yourself against an intruder who enters your occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment. Specifically, when an individual unlawfully and with force, enters or attempts to enter your occupied habitation, vehicle or place of business or employment, or if an individual unlawfully and with force, removes or attempts to remove you from your occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment, Texas law will provide the presumption that you acted reasonably and were justified in using force or deadly force. In order for you to be convicted of a crime related to your use of force or deadly force, a prosecutor would have to overcome this presumption in order to prove that you did not act reasonably. Overcoming this presumption can be very difficult in a court of law depending on the circumstances.
With regard to using force or deadly force to defend your "castle," the Texas Penal Code specifically uses the word "habitation," not the words "building" or "property." Texas has a very limited definition of what qualifies as a habitation. The "Castle Doctrine" does not cover your entire piece of property. The legal term "habitation" is defined by Texas Penal Code §30.01 as "a structure or vehicle adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons; and includes each separately secured or occupied portion of the structure or vehicle; and each structure appurtenant to or connected with the structure or vehicle." This means that structures which are detached from the building where you sleep at night are not considered to be your habitation. For example, Texas law does not consider your detached garage, shed, and/or barn part of your habitation. However, if your garage, front or back porch is connected to the structure containing your sleeping quarters (as exists in many suburban communities), it is considered part of your habitation as defined by the Texas Penal Code.
As far as vehicles go, Texas Penal Code §30.01 defines a vehicle "as any device, in, on, or by which any person or property is or may be propelled, moved, or drawn in the normal course of commerce or transportation." This is a very broad definition and appears to include anything that carries people or property from one place to another, including cars, trucks, boats, airplanes, golf carts, etc. One important point to take note of is that you or someone else must be occupying the vehicle to be given the presumption of reasonableness under Texas Penal Code §9.31 and §9.32.
What About People Who are Only Trespassers?
Make sure that you do not fall victim to the common misconception that the Castle Doctrine gives you carte blanche to use deadly force merely because someone is on your property. It does not! In fact, Texas law says the exact opposite. Texas Penal Code §9.41 allows you to use force, but not deadly force that is reasonably necessary to prevent or terminate another's trespass on your land.
Your use of force can have many different manifestations, ranging from initiating a physical confrontation to displaying a weapon. Texas Penal Code §9.04 states that the display of a weapon in order to create apprehension in another person is considered a use of force, not deadly force. That means if someone trespasses on your property, you may display your firearm to create apprehension that you will use deadly force if necessary. You will not be legally justified in discharging the firearm, but you will be legally justified in displaying it to "create apprehension" under the law. Only if the trespasser is committing other acts where the law states that you are justified in using deadly force would you be legally allowed to discharge your firearm.
For example, if you are sitting in your living room and see an individual peering in your window, you will probably not be justified under Texas law in using deadly force against the suspicious person. However, if the same trespasser breaks a window and climbs through, you will be legally justified in using deadly force under Texas Penal Code §9.32. If you see the same individual rummaging around in your detached barn, you will not fall under Texas Penal Code §9.32, because it is not considered an occupied habitation. Note under our examples you may very well be justified under another section of the law in the use of deadly force, but not under Texas Penal Code §9.32.
What if a Trespasser Starts Committing Other Property Crimes?
Can you use force or deadly force to protect your property? The use of deadly force to protect property is contained in Texas Penal Code §9.42. This statute provides that if someone is committing trespass or interference with your property, you may be justified in using deadly force to prevent arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime or criminal mischief during the nighttime.
Texas has a 3-prong test that, if met, gives legal justification in using deadly force to protect or recover stolen property. If:
1. (1) force is necessary to prevent or terminate another's trespass on land or unlawful interference with the property, or
2. (2) deadly force is reasonably necessary to prevent another who is committing arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft or criminal mischief at night, or immediately fleeing with property after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property, and
3. (3) the person reasonably believes that the property cannot be protected or recovered by any other method, or that the use of non-deadly force to recover the property would expose them to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury,
then you will be legally justified in using deadly force to protect and/or recover your stolen property. While you may be legally allowed to use force under these conditions, we want to stress that using deadly force is most likely a very bad idea!
The crime of criminal trespass is not one of those listed in Texas Penal Code §9.42 or even under the "Castle Doctrine" statutes §9.31 and §9.32. A mere criminal trespass may, however, evolve into one of the above crimes where you may be justified in using deadly force to protect your property. For example, suppose that someone decides to sit on your lawn, and you yell at them to get them off your property. If the trespasser refuses to leave, you are almost certainly not justified in using deadly force to remove him. But if that same person sitting on your lawn gets up and charges towards your bedroom window with a firearm and a crow bar, you will very likely be legally justified in using deadly force to protect yourself and your home. His actions of charging you with a weapon make him more than just a trespasser under Texas law.
Criminal Prosecution Even If You Were Justified.
Just because Texas law affords you a legal justification for using deadly force when someone attacks you, or enters or removes you from your occupied habitation, vehicle, or workplace, this does not mean you are immune from being arrested or criminally prosecuted, even if you are completely in-the-right as far as the law is concerned. Your right to assert legal justifications is just that: a legal justification. It is not a Get Out of Jail Free card. In fact, always remember that there is a high possibility that you will have to go to jail and post bond long before the issue of justification is considered by the prosecutor. We see cases like this unfolding in Texas and other states on a regular basis. You may ultimately have to go to court and assert your justification defense before a judge or jury. This process may take months or even years to get resolved!
Does Texas Have a Stand Your Ground Law?
The phrase "Stand Your Ground, despite its common use in the media, is not found in Texas statutory law. Under certain circumstances, Texas law tells us that there is no duty to retreat if you are faced with a situation where you have to use force or deadly force to protect yourself or another. Even if by retreating you could avoid the entire confrontation, you do not legally have to. Texas Penal Code §9.31(e) and §9.32(c) state that in defending yourself or another person, you have no duty to retreat if: (1) you have a legal right to be at the location where force or deadly force is used, (2) you do not provoke the person against whom force or deadly force was used, (3) and you are not engaged in criminal activity at the time force or deadly force was used. These statutes are better considered "No Duty to Retreat" laws. Under these very limited circumstances, a prosecutor or law enforcement officer cannot argue that you had a reasonable "escape route," or that you should have had to "fall back" before justifiably using force or deadly force. If you are facing a criminal charge, qualifying under this statute could mean the difference between a conviction or not!
In order to receive the "No Duty to Retreat" protection under the statutes, first, you must be justified under the Texas Penal Code in using force or deadly force. As we discussed above, Texas Penal Code §9.31 and §9.32 state that you will be presumed to be legally justified in using force or deadly force if someone is entering, attempting to enter, removing you or attempting to remove you from your occupied habitation, vehicle, or workplace. You will also be presumed to be justified in using force or deadly force if someone commits or attempts to commit: aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery. Force or deadly force can be used to stop any of these crimes, as well as when it may be immediately necessary to protect yourself or another person from the attacker's use of deadly force. If you are at a place you have a legal right to be, only then does the use of force or deadly force with no duty to retreat apply under the statute. To paraphrase a very effective jury argument, the statutes are designed to protect you when "trouble finds you, but not when you go looking for trouble."
Disqualifications for No Retreat Protection
There are multiple situations where your conduct may potentially disqualify you from the Texas "No Duty to Retreat" provision. In order to receive Texas Penal Code §9.31(e) and §9.32(c) "No Duty to Retreat" protection, you must first be justified in using force under Texas Penal Code §9.31. Second, the No Retreat statute themselves have three more qualifications that must be met before you gain the statutes protection.
Disqualifying Under Texas Penal Code §9.31
If you want to protect yourself or another person, there are multiple situations under Texas Penal Code §9.31 where you will not be justified in using force or deadly force. If you fall under one of the following situations, you will not be given the "No Duty to Retreat" protection:
1. The use of force is not justified in response to verbal provocation alone. (If someone is only yelling at you, you are not justified in using force against them).
2. You will not be justified in using force to resist an arrest or search being made by a police officer (unless the officer uses greater than reasonable force), even if the arrest or search is ultimately proven to be unlawful.
3. The use of force against another is not justified if you consent to the force. (No dueling or consenting to gun fights).
4. You provoked the use of force, unless you have clearly abandoned the encounter.
5. If you seek a discussion with another person regarding your differences while unlawfully carrying a weapon, you will not be given the No Duty to Retreat protection. Unlawful carry of a weapon includes:
o a non-CHL holder carrying in places other than their premises, place of business, vehicle or watercraft;
o having a handgun in plain view;
o engaging in criminal activity while carrying a weapon,
o carrying a weapon by a person who is a member of a criminal street gang; or,
o Carrying a prohibited weapon.
Qualifying Under the No Duty to Retreat Statute
As we discussed earlier, the first thing that must be satisfied to receive the No Duty to Retreat Protection is that the person must have had a legal right to be in the location where deadly force was used. What does the law mean when it says that you must be in a location where you have a legal right to be? The best way to clarify this is to discuss places where you do not have a legal right to be. Any location where you would be considered a trespasser is, by definition, a place where you do not have a legal right to be. Under Texas Penal Code §30.05, a person becomes a criminal trespasser if they enter or remain on property without effective consent, or the person had notice that entry was forbidden or received notice to depart but failed to do so. Notice of trespassing includes: oral or written communication, fencing, signs posted on the property indicating that entry is forbidden, purple paint marks on trees or posts on the property, or crops for human consumption growing on the property. As long as you are in a place where you are not considered a trespasser by the law, you most likely have a legal right to be there under the No Duty to Retreat statutes.
In addition to the location test, you cannot have provoked the other's use or attempted use of force. You cannot start a fight and then claim justification for your use of force or deadly force. There is, however, an exception to this rule. If you abandon the encounter or clearly communicate your intent to abandon, and you cannot do so safely, and the other continues to use unlawful force against you, you do not have a duty to retreat.
A very similar scenario played out in a district court in Harris County. An individual was convicted of murdering his neighbor during a conflict that started as a result of a noise complaint. The accused individual videotaped the entire confrontation. The last few minutes of the video seem to show that the man was justified in discharging his firearm after three men charged him. However, prior to the last few minutes, approximately twenty minutes of the video showed the accused leaving his property with his handgun, trespassing on his neighbor's property, and taunting the neighbors by flashing his pistol. As a result of these actions the man did not qualify under the "No Duty to Retreat" statutes. In fact, the prosecutor in the case told the jury that "self-defense was never meant to protect the one that started the fight." The jury only deliberated for 90 minutes before returning a verdict of guilty on a murder charge and ultimately sentenced him to 40 years in prison.
Finally, you cannot be engaged in any criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor traffic offense at the time deadly force was used and claim self-defense.
As you can see, the Texas versions of the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws are extremely complex and cannot be summarized with a simple catch phrase. These topics consume thousands of pages of legal treatises, so this article is only a brief overview of the intricacies that are involved with these topics. We hope, however, that this newsletter provides you with a better understanding of both of these legal topics, and if you have any questions about Texas firearms laws, do not hesitate to contact us.
Concealed Carry Report
August 2014 • Issue No. 33
Congratulations, Sheriff Clarke!
BY TIM SCHMIDT - USCCA FOUNDER
Well, you’ve done it again... You and the rest of the USCCA community have helped prove that responsibly armed Americans CAN and DO make a difference.
This past Tuesday, freedom-loving, pro-gun residents of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin helped Sheriff David Clarke notch a victory in the Democratic primary against his Bloomberg-backed opponent, Chris Moews, by a margin of 52 to 48 percent. Since there is no Republican listed on the November ballot, it’s a near certainty he’ll be officially re-elected come fall.
Congratulations, Sheriff Clarke!
Indeed, his victory is a HUGE win for Milwaukee, a HUGE win for Wisconsin, and a HUGE win for responsibly armed citizens all across this great nation.
The truth is, the USCCA played an important role in this victory. Whether you donated your hard earned dollars, spread and shared his story on Facebook, or voiced your opinion by voting, you have made a difference.
Sheriff Clarke sent me a personal thank you, and asked me to pass along his gratitude to you for your continued support.
He writes, "Congrats to you and your members. WE did this!" (You can read his entire letter here.)
Once again, the USCCA community pulls through to help the good guys—and I couldn’t be more proud.
Sheriff Clarke’s win is one more powerful step in "taking down Bloomberg" and other wealthy anti-gun elites who spent over a half a million dollars in support of Clarke’s opposition.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The sheriff's race drew national attention when the political action committee of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg purchased more than $150,000 in broadcast ads to try to defeat Clarke. The Greater Wisconsin Committee, funded in part by [Milwaukee County Executive Chris] Abele, also purchased more than $400,000 worth of broadcast media to take aim at Clarke."
Typical anti-gun propaganda: someone with money trying to decide what’s best for a community that he’s not even a part of.
It’s easy to say that people shouldn’t have guns…
But in this case, actions speak louder than money!
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again:
Our freedoms are not for sale!
In a radio interview with NRA’s Cam Edwards, Clarke acknowledges that his victory was huge for "people who love freedom, who love liberty, and who cherish the Constitution—specifically the Second Amendment."
I couldn’t agree more. But remember: there will always be more work to do. But if Sheriff Clarke’s victory teaches us anything, it’s that we’re doing something right.
Carry on, friend.
Take Care and Stay Safe,
Publisher - Concealed Carry Report
P.S. - You may remember Sheriff Clarke’s public service announcement that spread like wildfire around the anti-gun community last summer. He said, “I want to talk to you about something personal: Your safety. It's no longer a spectator sport—I need you in the game. But are you ready?...”
You and I have already accepted the responsibility of defending ourselves and the ones we love. But if you’re looking to take your preparedness to the next level, we’ve got something that can help. Pick up your copy of Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals, our best selling book on personal and home defense.
A Personal Thank You From Sheriff David Clarke
David Clarke | August 15, 2014
Dear Tim & USCCA,
Thank you so much for your support in my effort to stave off a hard charge from the anti-gun forces in Milwaukee County as they tried to defeat me in a re-elect primary race. An overwhelming number of people voted in my re-election as Sheriff, more than in the primary for Governor.
You may have heard that Michael Bloomberg, who has committed $50 million dollars to defeat pro-gun candidates across the country, parachuted into Wisconsin and threw $150,000 to run anti-gun TV attack ads against me to go along with a $400,000 ad buy by another anti-gun attack group.
They both miscalculated the support I have in Milwaukee County and all over the country including folks like you in the USCCA.
WE prevailed and now I move into the November general election with a head of steam toward a fourth term as Sheriff of Milwaukee County so I can continue to defend freedom and your rights under the U.S. Constitution.
I will not back down from Michael Bloomberg or anyone else in protecting your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
As long as I have your support we can stare down these anti-freedom, anti-liberty foes!
David A. Clarke Jr.
Sheriff of Milwaukee County Wisconsin
Open Carry Texas met with anger, armed protestors at meeting in black neighborhood (VIDEO)
8/14/14 | by Daniel Terrill
Open Carry Texas planned a march in Houston’s Fifth Ward, a predominantly black area of the city, but when leaders from the area and the group met, things quickly got heated.
Protestors, some of them armed, of the controversial group shouted, “You are not welcome here today or Saturday.” And the Fifth Ward’s leaders questioned the open carry group’s motives and also accused them of being racist.
“If they come with their weapons, I’m quite sure they’ll be a lot of us with weapons also,” Quannel X, an area activist, told local media.
“If this is about gun rights, we can educate our own people about gun rights,” Quanell X said. “Coming like this is totally unacceptable. So if you do come, I guarantee you we will not bring a butter knife to a gun fight.”
In response to instigating violence, Quanell X said, “I’m advocating for them not to come, I’m advocating for them to stay home, to stay in their own community. We don’t need somebody from the outside coming in with guns, who historically have not been friends of our community.”
OCT is scheduled to gather in the area on Saturday, however, the group’s leaders said they may alter some of their plans.
“In the end, I think it’s best to keep our word. We said we were coming for a peaceful event, so let’s have a peaceful event, at the very least on our side of the street,” said C.J. Grisham, president of OCT, in a statement on Facebook. “Let’s show them we believe in 2nd Amendment equality. Let’s prove that we are diversive. Let’s highlight our dedication to our constitutional principles.”
House bill would grant universal concealed-carry reciprocity in all 50 states
3/13/14 | by Chris Eger
A bill currently in the U.S. House of Representatives would do away with the patchwork of state reciprocity laws and establish a uniform right to carry concealed firearms across all fifty states.
This bill, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2013, was introduced last August and would treat concealed carry permits like driver’s licenses, allowing current permit holders to carry in any other state that issues permits.
“If I have a driver’s license issued by the state of Florida and I drive all the way across the country to California, my driver’s license is valid the entire way. Even though the requirements for obtaining a driver’s license may vary from state to state, we have a system that recognizes the need for reciprocity,” explained Rep. Richard Nugent, (R-FL), sponsor of the bill.
“Currently, that sort of reciprocity does not extend to concealed carry licenses for firearms.”
Nugent’s bill, detailed as HR2959, would allow the holder of a valid concealed carry permit to carry a concealed handgun in any state that issues its own residents permits. Persons carrying as a non-resident in a state would be bound by whatever laws of the state they are visiting. This would end the confusing patchwork of reciprocity agreements that are currently in place across the country.
Some states, like Utah, have very flexible reciprocity, recognizing concealed carry permits from as many as 35 states. While others, such as Illinois, recognizes none but their own. Under the Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, this would change.
A companion bill, S.1908, has been introduced into the Senate by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). Both bills have been greeted with opposition from gun control advocacy groups.
“Sen. Cornyn’s bill dangerously introduces a lowest common denominator when it comes to who can carry a concealed weapon,” said Erika Soto Lamb, spokeswoman for Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “Each state sets its own standards and this legislation would undermine those laws.”
This is not the first time national right-to-carry reciprocity was tried. In 2011, HR822 was introduced to the house by Rep. Clif Stearns (R-FL), it had much the same wording as the current HR2959. That bill passed the House with a wide measure of support on a 272-174 vote but was killed in the Senate.
In 2004, the The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), was signed into law which allows current and qualified retired police officers to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state laws, with certain exceptions.
HR2959 is currently in the Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. The bill has some 121 co-sponsors, including six House Democrats.
“The previous version of this legislation passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in 2011 and I look forward to seeing it pass again during this Congress,” said Nugent.
Aug 15, 6:39 PM EDT
Critics: Police equipped like armies going too far
By MATTHEW DALY
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Missouri police department at the center of an uproar over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager acquired two armored Humvees and other military gear for free through a Pentagon program that critics blame for "militarizing America's Main Streets" and aggravating clashes between police and protesters.
The Ferguson Police Department received the two Humvees as well as a generator and a flatbed trailer under the surplus equipment program run by the Defense Logistics Agency, which is in charge of getting supplies of all types for the military.
News footage and photos of police outfitted in paramilitary gear clashing with protesters in Ferguson - a largely black suburb of St. Louis with a mostly white police force - have provided new impetus to efforts to rein in the Pentagon program. It provides assault weapons and other surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies across the country.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his committee will review the program to determine if the Defense Department surplus is being used as intended.
The program began in 1990 as a way to help states and local agencies fight drug-related crime. It was expanded in the mid-1990s.
"Congress established this program out of real concern that local law enforcement agencies were literally outgunned by drug criminals," Levin said in a statement Friday. "We intended this equipment to keep police officers and their communities safe from heavily armed drug gangs and terrorist incidents."
Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., plans to introduce legislation when Congress returns in September to curb what he describes as an increasing militarization of police across the country. Police responding to protesters angry about the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown wore riot gear and deployed tear gas, dogs and armored vehicles, sometimes pointing assault rifles at protesters.
"Our Main Streets should be a place for business, families and relaxation, not tanks and M16s," Johnson said in a statement. "Militarizing America's Main Streets won't make us any safer, just more fearful and more reticent."
A spokeswoman for the logistics agency said its Law Enforcement Support Office distributed nearly $450 million worth of equipment last year ranging from blankets and computers to armored vehicles, boats and assault weapons. About 8,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide participate in the program, known as 1033 for its section in the National Defense Authorization Act, said spokeswoman Michelle McCaskill.
Weapons account for just 5 percent of the equipment distributed, McCaskill said.
St. Louis County, which includes Ferguson, has received a dozen 5.56mm rifles, half a dozen .45-caliber pistols, night-vision goggles and a bomb-disposing robot in recent years, the defense agency said.
The 1033 program is just one of several federal programs that provide military-style equipment to local police. The Homeland Security Department offers grants for armored vehicles and other equipment, while the Justice Department provides grants for rubber bullets, tear gas and other equipment used to control crowds.
Homeland Security grant money paid for the $360,000 Bearcat armored truck on patrol in Ferguson, said Nick Gragnani, executive director of St. Louis Area Regional Response System, which administers such grants for the St. Louis area.
Since 2003, the group has spent $9.4 million on equipment for police in St. Louis County. Most of the body armor worn by officers responding to the Ferguson protests was paid for with federal money, Gragnani said.
"We are given 15 different scenarios we are supposed to be prepared for, and one of those is terrorist attacks or civil unrest," Gragnani said Friday. "Those are the response capabilities we are building up for in the St. Louis area."
Kara Dansky, senior counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the police response in Ferguson is just the latest example of what she called the excessive militarization of policing. Heavily armed Special Weapons and Tactics groups, or SWAT teams, are forcing their way into people's homes across the country, often with little justification, she said.
"Neighborhoods are not war zones, and our police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies," said Dansky, the lead author of a June report on the issue.
Militarization encourages officers to adopt a "warrior" mentality and think of the people they are supposed to serve as enemies, Dansky said. The ACLU report outlined a number of examples of equipment transfers that it said were cause for concern. For example, police in North Little Rock, Arkansas, obtained at least 34 automatic and semi-automatic rifles, two robots capable of being armed and a tactical vehicle. Many of those weapons could not be accounted for later.
Attorney General Eric Holder said he was concerned that use of military equipment by police in Ferguson was sending a "conflicting message."
The response by law enforcement to protests "must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them," Holder said. The Justice Department and FBI are investigating Brown's death.
Johnson said his bill would limit the kinds of military equipment that can be transferred to local police and require states to certify that they can account for all equipment received.
He said he is disturbed by reports that some weapons and other equipment distributed to police have gone missing. He also expressed concern that the militarization trend has moved beyond local police departments and sheriff's offices, saying Ohio State University recently acquired a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, or MRAP.
"Apparently, college kids are getting too rowdy," Johnson said.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a possible GOP presidential contender in 2016, blamed the trend on the federal government.
"Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies - where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement," Paul wrote in an opinion column in Time magazine.
"There should be a difference between a police response and a military response" Paul said.
The Striker-Fired Pistol Challenge
By: Dick Jones | August 4, 2014
A range test with three popular striker-fired pistols – Glock 17, Smith & Wesson M&P and Springfield XDm – reveals how this design became a winner.
Currently, there are three primary striker-fired pistols in contention for the service pistol market. There are other notable guns, but for this comparison, I’m covering the guns with the biggest sales numbers. I chose 9mm as the caliber because, in recent times, 9mm Luger, with the excellent loadings we now have available, has regained popularity with law enforcement agencies as a good combination of manageability and power.
Of the three guns, the Glock was the most compact, the XDm the least, but the differences were fairly minor. All the guns in the test are basic models as would likely be chosen by both civilians and agencies.
First for similarities is the fact that all the guns in the test use a polymer frame. All have nonadjustable rear sights that can be adjusted for wind within a dovetail. All have safety triggers that require complete coverage of the trigger before the gun will fire. All use double-stack, high-capacity magazines with witness holes to allow an external round count.
The Glock and M&P have 17 round capacities, and the XDm holds 19. All three guns have a forward rail for mounting lasers or lights, and all have interchangeable back-straps to fit them better to the user’s hand. All three guns are easy to field strip and clean.
The guns were accuracy tested and several hundred rounds were fired in conducting the tests without a single malfunction. In addition to myself, there were two other testers that helped, Ray Owens, president of my gun club and an NRA rifle, pistol and shotgun instructor, and Mike Byrd, my longtime friend and gunsmith who is a fairly successful action pistol and 3-Gun competitor.
The Glock certainly deserves first mention because it was the pioneer in the field. The gun tested is the Model 17, the first model in the now extensive Glock product line.
Currently, the latest version is the Generation 4. Other than the recoil spring and extractor designs, the changes in the Glock generations mostly are concerned with ergonomics. While all the guns reviewed have followers, the Glock probably has the most loyal following of any handgun in the group.
Glock considers its design as a safety action, and it is such safety features that propelled the Glock to the forefront of the striker-fired revolution; in fact, those features could be said to have created the popularity of striker-fired pistols. The Glock is affordable, reliable and safe, and these are characteristics that make a good service pistol.
Of course, the Glock pistol also has detractors. Glocks use a different grip angle from almost every other service-type pistol, and this generates a fair amount of controversy. The other issue is the trigger.
Of the three testers who fired these guns, all said the Glock trigger was the worst, and none liked the grip angle in spite of the fact that Ray regularly competes in Glock events. The sights are a white dot on the front and an outlined U at the rear.
One of the testers liked the Glock sight best. The Glock was arguably the hardest of the three to field strip because the takedown tabs must be held down to allow the slide to extend forward.
The S&W M&P
The Smith & Wesson M&P was introduced in 2005 using a Browning-type locking system. It superseded the Sigma series of pistols with a much better trigger pull and better ergonomics. It’s the only one of the three guns in the test with a manual thumb safety.
While the Glock partially compresses the striker spring on pulling the trigger, the M&P simply rotates it down, which is probably the reason it’s easier to get a better trigger on the Smith.
All the testers felt the M&P had a better feel, even Ray who competes regularly with a Glock. The standard back strap provides a hand-filling grip that doesn’t feel bulky. The M&P was also the winner in the trigger contest, getting two of three votes.
Out of the box, it was crisp and had a good feel. All the testers agreed the M&P had the most controllable recoil, though the best time on six plates at 10 yards went to Mike Byrd, the best shooter in the group, using the XDm. Mike preferred the XDm trigger to the M&P, even though the M&P had a better break. Also, field stripping the gun does not require dry firing the trigger.
The Springfield Armory XDm
The Springfield Armory XDm and I have a lot of history. I’ve shot two Bianchi Cups with my 9mm 5.25 with the only modification being a trigger that Rob Leatham installed. Mine has been as reliable as any gun I’ve ever owned, but this is no distinction in this group of guns, because they all have the reputation for solid reliability.
The XDm has an extra safety feature I really like in the grip safety. For service and duty guns, passive safety systems have proven to have real merit, and the grip safety on the XD is a great idea.
The standard XDm we tested had an excellent trigger, and though it was a reasonable trigger for a service gun, it was the lightest. For some reason, the XD feels tall and a little top heavy. On recoil, Mike and I observed that it seemed to have the most muzzle flip.
I suspect this is because it has the highest center of bore over the grip, but again, it shot the fastest times on the plates. The XDm was the easiest gun to field strip and the only one that didn’t require a pull of the trigger to remove the slide.
I know at least one individual who’s shot his hand disassembling a Glock. (Please, no lamentations that he did the wrong thing, this is obvious, but it is something that happens.) The XDm also has the most substantial frame rails, having what looks like twice the contact area as the other two semi-autos tested.
Can’t Go Wrong
All these guns are exceptional firearms with the right blend of accuracy, safety and reliability that make a great service pistol. What makes a great service pistol doesn’t make a great competition or target gun, though all these guns can be modified to do well in competition, and they regularly do. It all boils down to what you like, both in brand loyalty and features.
Of the three of us, the M&P came out the winner by a slight margin. We all liked it better, but only a bit better. The Glock is a really good gun, but since all of us involved in the test have a competitive background, I suspect the trigger hurt the Glock most, while the different grip angle didn’t help. I imagine if you shot a Glock more regularly, you would feel much differently about our observations.
The M&P and XDm both had features like a cocking indicator, grip safety on the XDm and ambidextrous slide release and simpler take down on the M&P. They are three wonderful guns and all are perfectly suited to the task they’re designed for. It’s your choice and you can’t choose a bad gun among them.
AR-15 Review: Colt LE6920MP USA
By: Dick Jones | August 4, 2014
With a nod toward the AR’s patriotic parentage as the platform created for the U.S. military, the Colt LE6920MP USA looks as cool as it shoots.
When Modern Shooter editor Doug Howlett asked if I wanted to do a review on a state-of-the-art Colt law enforcement carbine, I jumped at the chance.
The rifle we tested is the LE6920MP-USA series. The USA designation indicates a flag of the United States treatment on the stock, pistol grip and forend. It’s sort of Fourth of July camo, and I think it’s fitting since everything about this gun spells U.S.A.
The new Colt is a collaborative effort between two icons in the world of AR-15s. It’s a joint effort between Colt and Magpul, and includes some of Magpul’s most popular furniture for the AR-15 platform. The running gear is the same as the standard carbines, but the LE6920MP-USA sports Magpul MOE handguards, an MOE carbine stock, an MOE pistol grip, the MOE vertical grip and a Magpul back-up rear sight.
The gas system is the standard gas block with an integral front sight. My test gun had a special patriotic flag finish on the stock, pistol grip and forend, which makes it stand out no matter where it is. It is a sharp looking gun for sure.
Basic running gear is a 16.1-inch chrome-lined 1:7 twist barrel with a 5.56 chamber. Basically, there are three chamber choices for .223/5.56 rifles. The 5.56 chamber is the most forgiving of ammunition and will run almost anything. The .223 chamber is a tighter spec chamber meant for a closer tolerance to allow better accuracy. The 5.56 Wylde chamber in my CRP 18 is a compromise, it’s more forgiving of ammunition but still oriented towards match-level accuracy.
Choosing the 5.56 chamber for the LE6920 makes sense because it’s a multipurpose carbine, and the 5.56 chamber and 1:7 twist barrel will accurately shoot any ammunition you can feed it, from cheap steel case stuff to the best 77-grain match ammunition from companies like Hornady and Black Hills.
The gas system is the standard direct impingement system. This also makes sense because there’s little real need for a piston system, unless you’re shooting full auto and/or using a suppressor. Direct impingement is simple and a piston isn’t the answer to all questions. Our M14s had pistons, and they weren’t a totally trouble-free arrangement.
Fit and finish are quite good with only a slight amount of upper to lower receiver wobble. The controls on the LE6920 operated as they should. The trigger was an average service trigger with a little creep at the beginning and breaking at the standard service rifle level of about 51⁄2 pounds. Trigger reset was crisp and positive. With a 16.1 inch barrel and weighing just 6.9 pounds, this is a fast handling little carbine.
I broke it in at Mike Byrd’s tactical range at B&B Precision Machine Co. not far from my home. There were four shooters present from the level of a Master USPSA to me, and I mainly shoot tactical matches for the experience and to better write about them.
All the guys really liked the little Colt and were favorably impressed. While those guys make me look like a rookie with pistols, I do have a little experience with rifles, and I managed 10 consecutive hits on an 8-inch plate in fairly rapid fire standing with the Magpul flip-up rear and standard front sight.
Colt LE6920MP USA Review: Range Realities
Later, and back on my range, I mounted a Nikon 3-12 M.223 scope for accuracy testing. I didn’t expect spectacular accuracy, because chrome-lined barrels rarely shine in the accuracy department. Chrome lining is intended to enhance reliability, corrosion resistance and barrel life.
Still, the little Colt did an admirable job and stayed under two minutes of angle with the excellent Black Hills 55-grain Barnes TSX load. Certainly this is acceptable accuracy for any law enforcement or civilian carbine.
The AR-15/M16 platform of rifles represents the most successful firearms platform in history. Never before has a military firearm evolved so completely, and in so many directions. While you might not find the AR-15 rifle pretty, you simply can’t argue it doesn’t do everything well.
It is a National Championship level target rifle, a defensive rifle, a hunting rifle and, in the form of the M16 and M4, it’s arguably the best battle rifle ever designed. When I shot that original M16A1, I would have never guessed the platform would ever see the success it’s seen, and that later, I’d be a huge fan of the AR-15.
The patriotic red, white and blue finish on the LE6920MP-USA is fitting in that it represents what’s right with America in a time when many are talking about what’s wrong with America.
Colt is an American company, building sporting, law enforcement and military versions of a successful military rifle designed in America. We’re the only country in the world where the current military rifle, in widespread use around the world, could be adapted and accepted across all aspects of firearms use.
To me, the patriotic finish reminds me that without our precious Second Amendment, this could never happen. I’m sure there will be more collaboration between Colt and Magpul, and I’m excited to see the results.
Colt LE6920MP USA
Caliber 5.56 Nato
Action Type Semi-automatic
Barrel Chrome-lined, six-groove, 1:7 twist RH
Magazine 30-round Magpul
Trigger Single stage
Sights Magpul flip-up rear and standard gas block integral front
Stock Magpul MOE buttstock, Magpul MOE grip and vertical foregrip and MOE handguard
Weight 6.57 lbs.
Overall Length 35.5 in. extended
Shoot One Mile for Just Over One Grand
by Dave Higginbotham on August 10, 2014
I just checked on-line. A Savage Model 111 Long Range Hunter Rifle chambered in .300 Win Mag with a 26″ Barrel and equipped with an AccuTrigger, an AccuStock, and an adjustable comb, sells for $863. A Lucid L5 6x-24 50MM Rifle Scope can be found for $327. Yours Truly is no super sniper, military or law enforcement high-speed, low-drag, kind of guy, but I can consistently hit targets out to one mile with this set-up. This means you can too! And if you are a really disciplined shooter, your results should be phenomenal. This changes everything.
As of the summer of 2014, 9 men have been credited with using a sniper rifle to successfully engage their nation’s enemies from 2,000 yards or greater. Corporal Craig Harrision of the UK’s Military holds the record, having taking down Taliban from 2,707 yards away. Carlos Hatchcok and Chris Kyle are the two most famous Americans to have achieved this distinction although Sgt. Brian Kremer and Nicholas Ranstad have recently done so as well. In addition to excellent physical fitness, bottomless amounts of courage, amazing eyesight, phenomenal training, meticulous discipline and some luck, these men have all been blessed with the best sniping tools money can buy, and that the world’s best engineers can design. The Western World’s security has been buttressed by optically beautiful super long-range scopes, ultimately precise CNC machined rifles, extremely consistent, highly-toleranced CNC machined projectiles, chemically consistent propellants and priming compounds and very fine brass.
As such, the ability of a professional sniper to consistently hit targets one thousand yards away, even a mile away, has never been easier. If you have the money, the time and discipline for training, a great spotter and a place to shoot, you might be able to shoot a mile too.
A top tier scope, like the Nightforce 5-25×56 F1 B.E.A.S.T Riflescope goes for +$3,298 on-line. A top-shelf weapon system Like the Asymmetric Warrior® ASW338 Precision Tactical Rifle,chambered in .338Lapua goes for $8,500 or a Barret M82 .50BMG goes for about the same. Throw in scope rings, bases, bi-pods and ammo, and all of a sudden you are talking $12,000 or more!
This cowboy would love to shoot like the big boys, but I don’t have $12,000 lying around. It seemed that +1,000 yard shooting was going to remain on my bucket list for some time. But then I received an invitation to Lucid Optic’s Long Range Marksmanship clinic.
One mile equals 1,760 yards! I pondered 1,760 yards as I drove the 5 hours from Salt Lake City to Riverton, Wyoming in order to attend Lucid Optics’ 1st Annual Long Range Marksmanship Clinic. I was OK at 1,000 yards, I’d even once dialed in the Remington 700SPS .300WinMag I’d won at a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation dinner, at 1,200 Yards on Camp Gurnsey’s reactive target range during Neale Ashe’s Precision Rifle Workshop. With that background, my hope was to become competent at 1,500 Yards. But was I good enough to go beyond that? Where my physical skills and mental discipline sufficient? I thought breaking my 1,200 yard personal best by a hundred or two hundred yards would be acceptable. If I could ring steel at 1,500 yards, I would be satisfied, and happy the rest of my life. I was skeptical when Jason Wilson, Lucid Optics’ CEO told me that he would have me ringing steel at 1,760 yards. I was stunned when he also told me I didn’t need to bring my rifle. Wilson personally fires about 1,000 rounds a week, is a good hunter and a competent bench rest shooter, so I trusted him and cranked the cruise control higher. One mile equals 1,760 yards!
We got to the range Friday morning, received a safety briefing from the RSO, and then CEO Wilson introduced us to Lucid Optics and then to his new Lucid L5 Rifle scope, $449 MSRP. Believing that long range shooting is only possible with thousand dollar glass from the likes of Vortex, Nightforce, Zeiss and Leupold, I was quite skeptical, but I kept listening.
The Lucid L5 scope features 1/8MOA windage and elevation adjustments on lockable and re-zeroable tactical style turrets. It also has side parallax adjustment combined with an ocular diopter adjustment to provide a crisp target image over the entire magnification range. The most important point for me was learning that the L5 Reticle is a precise MOA measuring devise with 2MOA increments below the rifle’s zero, and has easy and meaningful windage values built in the reticle. All I had to do was to learn to apply the reticle to my specific bullet’s ballistics, and–theoretically–I should be able to make very long shots, even in windy conditions, or on moving targets. I would have to hold the cross-hairs in the required position, execute proper body position, cheek weld, grip, breath control, trigger squeeze and follow through, and the projectile should go precisely where I aimed, at least within the limits of the cartridge.
Theory is fine; the proof is measured by the bullet’s impact. On the range, we chronographed our rounds and fed speed plus current atmospheric data into the STRELOK ballistic calculator program on an iPhone. Based on a 100 yard zero, the program indicated where I needed to hold if I wanted to hit a target at 400, 600 or whatever distance; theoretically. I entered the data, and the little yellow mark popped up where my point of aim should be inside a picture resembling my view through the Lucid L5 Scope. There are always inconsistencies in the manufacturing tolerances of the cartridges, primers, powders, bullets, as well as in the temperature or cleanliness of the firearm and so on, so you have to shoot and make fine course correction. I aimed the Savage LR Hunter .300WinMag I had been assigned at a paper target 100 yards away and shot an adequate 3 round group. Jason showed me how to dial up 2MOA and left 1MOA, and then I was spot-on at 100, on paper, as well as on the 10 inch gong at 110. So far, so good; but nice groups at 100 yards isn’t worth 10 hours of driving.
On to 400. The Strelok program showed a picture of exactly where I needed to hold, in the scope, to hit at 400 yards. I aimed at the center of the 10×12 white steel target, squeezed, and was rewarded with an audible smack. It was an edge hit though, not center. Was it me, or the wind? I worked the bolt on the Savage LR Hunter and locked another .300WM round in the chamber. I squeezed and dented another primer; ping. Dead center, so it had been me. I repeated the pleasurable process once, twice, three times and then smiled. Even though the wind flags were switching direction every few seconds. The round was heavy enough to still nicely hit that 10×12 at 400 yards.
Confidence in the Savage, topped with Lucid L5 glass, established at 400, I moved on to 600 yards. At 600 there were two 10x12’s side by side, like two little Taliban down range. The wind was a little trickier at 600 yards. The blaze orange wind flags would blow left at attention, then straight in, then straight out. My confidence diminished slightly as that flag danced, then died, then did an about face, but I was there to shoot. The Strelok ballistic program showed me the correct holdover; yet I had to figure out the wind better after 2 misses. It turned out that I had to hold on the left edge of the target and it would hit dead center when the wind was blowing full value. Dead center yielded dead center when the wind flag dropped limp. Once I figured out the wind read and the wind hold, I was able to project my will at 600 yards again and again. I was having a good morning ringing steel!
I traded guns with one of the other students and now shooting a 6.5×284 Norma F Class rifle also topped with a Lucid L5 6x-24x 50mm Rifle Scope. I had a good feel for how to use the reticle, the Strelok program and for the wind. I had also established a good working rapport with my spotter, and in long-range shooting, spotters are key! Sight alignment, body position, cheek weld, breathe control and trigger management were all established with the new gun. I was quickly rewarded with ring of steel at 800 and 1000 and many calls of “HIT” from my spotter. I had a serious permagrin on my face. I was getting comfortable using the Lucid L5 reticle, and was now dialed in so that I could nail any target I wanted to between 100 and 1000 yards, with authority, with consistency, and without fiddling with the elevation turret.
After lunch we played search and destroy, blowing up some Tannerite filled jars which had been hidden down range. Then we started what was to become my favorite game. We four students sat at the benches with our rifles. I was assigned a 7mm Mag also topped with the Lucid L5 6X-24X 50mm. Jason Wilson explained the rules to us. We were to put 2 rounds on the 400, 600, 800 and 1000 yard targets, and then work back down two 400, finishing with one round on the 100 yard gong. I realized, after completing this exercise in under a minute, and winning a Lucid M7 Micro Red Dot Sight, that Wilson used this game to force us to learn how to quickly use the L5 reticle’s ranging elements. In fact, all 4 shooters completed the exercise in less than one minute, without dialing. This is a testament to the quality of the various Savage Firearms, the Lucid L5 Scope and the instructors from Lucid Optics, and even more remarkable when you consider the fact that one of the successful 1000 yard students had never even fired a rifle before.
On to a mile!
I got back on the bench with the Savage LR Hunter in .300WinMag that I really had a good feel for. The Strelok program said I was going to have to hold 2/3 of the way down on the fat line at the bottom of the reticle. I could barely see the target, a 48×48 in piece of steel with a 4 inch black square in the middle. The wind was my biggest concern as the flags were moving in a wide variety of directions at the various intermediate distances. Whether I could hit this, and repeatedly, would determine whether my 10 hour drive was to be worth it.
Bipod down and preloaded, correct grip, body position and cheek weld. I called “shooter ready” to my spotter, received “shoot” in response, and did so. Miss 5 feet right, 10 feet short he called a few seconds afterwards. Was it me, the 25-30mph wind, or both? Squeeze again same hold; same miss; must be me. OK, I made a slight adjustment to my hold over, squeezed the trigger, dented the primer and concentrated on shot follow through as I had learned at Appleseed. “HIT” my spotter called out 3 seconds later. I repeated the shot: “HIT.” I could barely hear the pings. I rang that 48 square inch of white metal 4 more times. One of my bucket list items had just been checked off. I had made 5 good shots, in a row, on a target 1 mile away. Remnants of the smile are still on my face.
The day wasn’t finished. I got to ring steel at 350, 400, 600, 800, 1000, and then 1 mile away, using the Savage 111 LR Hunter .338 Lapua topped with the Lucid L5 6x-24x 50MM as well. Same process, same use of the reticle to hold for wind, and for range. Same use of the Strelok ballistic program for positioning within the scope, combined with a high quality shooting tool and proper application of the fundamentals of marksmanship delivered the same result; HITS and more HITS! The Lucid L5 6X-24X 50mm and the Savage LR Hunter is an amazing combination. All 4 of the students in the class were successful at 1 Mile on one of the first days of summer 2014. I never would have believed this was possible without the $10,000-$12,000 setup I described earlier. My mind was blown.
A Savage Model 111 Long Range Hunter Rifle chambered in .300 Win Mag with a 26″ Barrel and equipped with an AccuTrigger, an AccuStock, and an adjustable comb sells for $863. A Lucid L5 6x-24 50MM Rifle Scope sells for $327. For this kind of performance, that seems hard to believe.
We are blessed to be living in the true Golden Age of firearms and optics! In the early summer of 2014 brilliant young firearms industry entrepreneurs like Jason Wilson and Gun Companies like Savage have mastered computer design, computer controlled machining, 6 Sigma quality control and aggressive cost controls so well that they can put a stock rifle and scope in your hands that give you the ability to consistently ring steel One Mile Away, and do so for less than $1,200. $1,200 is 1/10 of $12,000 which is the price of the top-shelf rifle and optic combination I thought was required for this type of shooting. Just give up the Starbucks and we can all manage that cost of entry! I plan to rearrange my firearm collection a wee bit and personally spend my hard earned dollars to buy this Savage .300Win and Lucid L5 6x-24x 50MM “Mile-Maker” set-up. A public “Thank You” to Jason Wilson and the team from Lucid Optics for putting on an amazing 1st Annual Lucid Optics Long Range Marksmanship Clinic, you helped make one of my dreams come true! Another public thank you goes out to the men of the US Military who do this work for real, with targets shooting back at them. I greatly appreciate the challenge of what you do, and the conditions under which you do it. Stay Safe.
The Ruger New Bearcat–More than a Novelty
by Sam Trisler on August 9, 2014
Here’s your firearm’s philosophy question-of-the-day: Is the Ruger Vaquero a big Bearcat, or is the Bearcat a small Vaquero? I can’t decide.
The origins of the Bearcat are nebulous, at best. The gun has come and gone from Ruger’s line-up. It is clearly based on the historical single actions that dominate wild west mythology. Ruger released the Bearcat before the Vaquero, but the original design for the rimfire revolver was borrowed from a late 19th century Remington design. The name for the Bearcat may have come from the F8F Bearcat, a WWII era navy fighter made by Grumman, or from the Stutz Bearcat, which was a popular roadster of the early 20th century. Or from a western or two that shared the name, or from the binturong, a Southeast Asian mammal that looks like a small cat-like bear, or maybe a bear-like cat. Regardless of the nomenclature, the Ruger Bearcat is a feisty rimfire single action, another branch on the single-action family tree, and much more than a novelty.
First I need to air my prejudice. I have an abiding respect for single action revolvers. Some of it is nostalgia I was just referring to. I learned to shoot under the tutelage of my grandfather, and he taught me with his old single actions.
He had a number of Rugers, too. I can remember plinking old tin cans with his Single Six back when I was just seven. By the time I was eleven, I had moved up to his well-worn 3 screw .357 Blackhawk. It was a couple more years before I was able to manage the Super Blackhawk in .44 Mag. I can still feel the pain in my hand and the grin on my face from the first time I pulled the trigger on that beast.
As with most of us, my “toys” have gotten bigger as I have gotten older. But the little Bearcat takes me back to when shooting tin cans with a .22 was the biggest thrill of my life. And in a lot of ways, it is still my favorite way to kill an afternoon.
Sometimes it is nice to slow down. It seems like we are rushed more and more, all the time in our “fast food” culture. Heck, that even applies to range time. It is a lot of fun to rapid fire a polymer pistol and rip through a 30 round mag on an AR. But sometimes you just need to take your time and enjoy some slow-motion at the range. The Ruger Bearcat makes you slow down.
This is a 6 shot single-action revolver. You load each cartridge one at a time into the cylinder, through a loading gate. And you eject them one at a time, too. It takes a bit to load and unload. And rimfire rounds aren’t as easy to load as .44 Magnums, or .45 Colts. They’re small, and the holes they go in are small. After taking some time to load up 6 rounds (and pick up the ones you drop), you tend to take your time shooting. You make your shots count. And this is .22 LR we’re talking about, which is still about as hard to find as…
The Ruger Bearcat is a small revolver. It weighs 24 ounces and is right at 9 inches long, though it feels much smaller in the hand. It comes with a barrel that is just over 4 inches. The sights are fixed. It is kind of like a mini Ruger Vaquero. Well, the Bearcat came first—so maybe the Vaquero is a big Bearcat. Either way, this is simplicity at its finest. The review model is blued steel with the traditional Ruger rosewood grips. It is a nice looking revolver. Ruger makes a stainless version as well.
Leather and Blued Steel
There’s nothing even remotely tacticool about the Bearcat, but it is right at home on the farm. This would make a great little barn gun for pesky critters in the feed room. When I picture a blued steel revolver, I usually think of a nice leather holster to go along with it. I had Leather Creek Holsters send me one of their Bearcat holsters. This is a very nice well made piece of leather. The hand-stamped basket-weave of the Leather Creek, especially in this deep red, accentuates the grips on the Bearcat. It fit the Bearcat nice and tight. The traditional hammer loop holds the revolver in tightly and I wouldn’t be afraid of it coming out while on a ride. Follow this link for a more in-depth look at Leather Creek Holsters.
The New vs. The Old
The Bearcat originally came out back in 1958. But when Ruger changed up their revolver line to use their new transfer bar safety mechanism, the Bearcat went out of production. Between 1975 and 1993 you couldn’t buy a brand-new Bearcat. In 93 Ruger reintroduced the Bearcat with the transfer bar safety. With a revolver as small as this one, Ruger must have needed time to get the design just right and to fit the extra pieces inside. It is a tight fit. But you can carry the New Bearcat with all 6 chambers loaded instead of 5 like on the old model.
At the Range
I shot the Bearcat on a number of different trips to the range. I used whatever 22 LR ammo I had (or could get my hands on). Some were fancy Federal match-grade rounds and some were 10-year-old CCIs I found in the bottom of a long forgotten range bag. One of the great things about a revolver is that it doesn’t care what type of ammo you shoot out of it. This was true for the Bearcat. Everything functioned, as it should, every time. This is a really fun little revolver. The recoil is extremely mild and would be great for teaching a first time shooter.
As fun as it is to shoot, I like to hit what I’m aiming at. Ruger makes some tack drivers. I’ve shot 10/22s, and 22/45s, and Mark IIIs that are dead on. Ruger understands how much it means to shooters, and even function test all of their guns before they leave the factory-and part of that function testing includes some basic accuracy evaluations. It is a lot more than most companies do. Yet this one needs some help.
The groups we shot with the Bearcat were not great. It didn’t matter what type of ammo we used. They were pretty wide. This revolver should be able to do much better. From 7 yards they were about .8 inches and opened up to over two inches around from 25 yards. You could look to the platform itself—rimfire revolvers aren’t, on the whole, as accurate as rimfire pistols. The sights on the Bearcat aren’t meant for surgical work. But there’s a bigger problem, and I am pretty sure I know what it is.
I am a big fan of Ruger revolvers and have shot a bunch of them over the years. Like some of my daughter’s potential boyfriends, this Bearcat trigger has some grit, some mush, and a touch of creep. It was also inconsistent. Sometimes it broke around 7 pounds, other times it was closer to 8. It even dropped to 6 pounds a few times. I have shot other Bearcats, new and old models, and none of them had a trigger that felt like this. If this were my personal gun, I would send it back to Ruger for repair. Ruger has great customer service and I have no doubt they would make this right.
And this is testament to a question we at GunsAmerica get from time-to-time. No, Ruger doesn’t cherry-pick the best guns to send to their reviewers. They pull one from the production models and send it on. Occasionally, though very rarely (especially with Ruger), a gun may have an issue that needs more attention.
The trigger isn’t enough to keep me from enjoying the gun. Yet there are some things that I’d like to do with a gun like this that I won’t, at least not until I get the trigger smoothed out. Think about the potential as a teaching tool. If I’ve learned anything about teaching kids, it is that you don’t buy the cheap-ass crap that they market to kids. Go for the best. Make the experience rewarding, and they’ll come back. The Bearcat is the ideal gun to introduce kids to handguns, or it can be. This one will be, after a little work.
If this Bearcat had a better trigger it would be a winner. Even with the bad pull, I did have fun with it. A better trigger would improve the accuracy. With such a small, light revolver, it can be a challenge to keep the gun on target. When the weight was coupled with the pull weight fluctuations, I found it almost impossible to know when the trigger was going to break.
Still, the Bearcat really is a nice little revolver. This quality is reflected in the price. The New Bearcat has an MSRP of $569. That puts this gun in line with a lot of the full-sized single action revolvers on the market (at least the imports). If it were a novelty, or just intended to be a fun-gun, it would have to come in at a much lower price point. But this revolver has higher aspirations. It is a fun range plinker that could also be a useful tool on the farm. I enjoyed the nostalgia of shooting some tin cans. Maybe that is the problem with the groups. The Bearcat doesn’t want to be a range queen. It wants to blast tin cans and protect the corn crib from rats, and it wants to be a quality teaching tool that will out-live you, but not the legacy you instill in your kids and grand-kids. The Bearcat is certainly up for that.
K31 “Schmidt Rubin” Swiss WWII Rifle – The Last Shipment on Tack Driving Rifles!
by GunsAmerica Actual on August 7, 2014
Swiss K31 7.5x55mm at Samco Global
The Swiss are know for two things, neutrality and precision. There is a lot more going on over there than just those two things, but if you look at history, the Swiss are known for being a neutral country during both World Wars, and for their meticulous precision in things like watches. Swiss neutrality, in fact, could not have been achieved without the precision of the Swiss rifle, called the Schmidt Rubin. There is a famous question: “Why was Switzerland never invaded by the Germans?” The answer is simple. In 1912, the German Kaiser asked a Swiss soldier what Switzerland would do if Germany invaded with 500,000 troops, while the Swiss could only muster 250,000. The soldier answered: “Shoot twice and go home.”
He could never have said that without complete faith in the Swiss rifle. The Schmidt Rubin is a straight pull, bolt action rifle, and it is known to be the most accurate battle rifle ever made. Swiss rifles have their own shooting events, and you can even win actual Swiss medals. There are collector associations and discussion boards, all dedicated exclusively to Swiss rifles. Until recently the supply of any Swiss rifles had dwindled to those already in collections. Like myself, most collectors and accumulators don’t like to give up their Schmidt Rubin style rifles, because there is no comparison to the meticulous precision in a wooden stocked bolt action battle rifle. Fortunately a final shipment has recently come into a company that obviously has a passion for these rifles, because they seem to be the only reliable importer since the early 2000s. Samco Global has the last every shipment from Switzerland of these great guns, and you can even get one in nearly perfect, unissued condition.
The top rifle is the old gun. The beech stocks on many of the old guns have worn away for some reason. The second gun is the new unissued beech rifles, and the bottom is the walnut stock.
The top rifle is the old gun. The beech stocks on many of the old guns have worn away for some reason. The second gun is the new unissued beech rifles, and the bottom is the walnut stock.
The rifle under review here is called the K31, and it is not truly a Schmidt Rubin because Schmidt by 1931 had passed away. You don’t lift the bolt and pull back on these guns. The entire pull is literally straight, and the bolt rotates inside the action, not unlike the AR-15, which is an indirect descendent of the Schmidt Rubin. As the Swiss straight pull rifle most common in circulation, most people, including those who sell them, tend to call the K31 a Schmidt Rubin. This is a World War II battle rifle that never saw battle. Every male over the age of 20 was issued one at the time (and that Swiss custom continues to this day for the most part), but Switzerland was never invaded. Nearly every household in Switzerland has a Sig semi-automatic rifle in the closet today. So most likely Switzerland will not get invaded in the next World War either.
I bought my first K31 back in 2005 at a gunshop when I first moved to Miami. I paid roughly $250, and it was explained to me at the time that most of these guns have very rough buttstocks, because the Swiss used a very soft beechwood. In further research it appears that they only did this up through WWII, and they were walnut after that. My original gun is this rough beechwood, but I never begrudged it the bad looks because oh my goodness did it shoot well. My eyes have gone drastically downhill in the last five years as age takes its course, but back then I could repeatedly shoot groups that you could cover with a nickel. Not just 3 and 5 shot groups either. The gun shot into a ragged hole, period, the end. Today, shooting to compare to the new guns from Samco, I was able to keep most shots into 1.5″ at 100 yards, with most of them within an inch. For a full stocked wood and steel battle rifle that is still pretty awesome.
As you can see from the pictures, I bought one the unissued condition beech stocked rifles for $599.95, and one of the walnut stocked guns in special select condition for $299.95. As of this writing they are both still available at Samco, though this may be one of those cases where our early readers win out. The guns were as gorgeous as I had hoped, and all the numbers match. You probably already know that the most crucial part of a rifle’s accuracy is the crown, at the end of the barrel. A perfectly machined and recessed crown is absolutely required for good accuracy, and the beech rifle from Samco actual came with a muzzle cap. The Swiss don’t mess around.
The Swiss match ammo dates back to the 1970s, but still shoots perfect.
The ammo for the K31 is 7.5x55mm, or 7.5 Swiss. There are a number of manufacturers making this caliber today, but I prefer to shoot the original Swiss match ammo. It comes in ten round boxes and usually has dates on it from the 1970s. Our test ammo had a 1978 date on it, and I found some 1982 date rounds at Cheaper Than Dirt for $28 per block of six ten round boxes. I grabbed a bunch, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot left of it in the US these days so grab some if you plan to shoot your rifle. It is still perfect because the bullets are sealed with a wax coating. For most people these are not reloadable since they are berdan primed cases. There is such a thing as a berdan priming tool, that punches through the two small offset holes, but most people don’t reload berdan primed brass. Other manufacturers make boxer primed reloadable rounds, available at many gunshops and online.
What I found most surprising was that I could not get either of the new guns to shoot as well as my old rough beech rifle from ’05. What I’ve read, Googling around, is that the guns that are coming into the country now are all civilian owned rifles, which of course weren’t shot that much after the owner qualified with it. I think maybe they just haven’t settled in as well as the old gun has, and that is why I tend to get more fliers, outside of the 1-1.5″ range. The beech gun may actually be unissued judging by its condition. There are handling and bang in to each other marks, but the metal is perfect.
The K31 is different from most other battle rifles because there is such an enthusiast group behind it. If you search Ebay for K31, you’ll find all kinds of clamp on diopter sights and accuracy tools that you just don’t see for really any other rifle of its kind (not that there really is a rifle of its kind). If you want to get into these cool and unique rifles, also check out http://www.swissproductsllc.com/. Brownells actually sells their stuff, so don’t think that the K31 craze is a few old guys congratulating themselves on MOA groups. The K31 is not a well kept secret, and you’ll be lucky if you can pry one out of someone’s hands if Samco runs out. On GunsAmerica we only get a handful of them a year for sale, even though there have to be tens of thousands in the country.
I did also ask the Samco people if this is really the last of the K31s from Switzerland and they said yes, this is it. I don’t know if that means that they are gone, or if the UN has gotten the Swiss to agree not to sell anymore to the US. Suffice to say that you won’t have to wonder if you’ll get your money back out of a K31 that you buy today. Even the $599 guns will double after a couple years once word gets around that they are all gone. I doubt you’ll be able to even get the ones with the rough old beechwood stocks for under $500. Don’t count on wanting to sell yours though. They are really sweet guns.
NC Sheriff: ‘You better be able to take care of business until we get there’
by S.H. Blannelberry on August 5, 2014
The Sheriff of Harnett County, North Carolina, wants the pubic to be armed and ready to deal with the recent uptick of violent crime in the area, ABC 11 reports.
“When I am out with my family, even though I am a cop, I don’t go anywhere without a gun,” said Sheriff Larry Rollins on Monday night before an audience of about 100 people, who gathered at the Spring Hill United Methodist Church to discuss how to fight back against the criminal element.
“I mean it’s sad we have to have that attitude, but I am going to protect myself and my family,” the sheriff continued. “I want my deputies at your house just as fast as they can when you got a problem, but you better be able to take care of business until we get there if you have to protect your family.”
Indeed. An armed society is a polite society.
PTR 91 Rifle is a Slam Dunk
By Bob Campbell published on August 4, 2014 in Reviews, Rifles
The .30-caliber battle rifle has a proud heritage. The M1 Garand and M14 rifles, not to mention the FN FAL and Heckler and Koch G3, are excellent examples of the breed. However, an American-made rifle currently is garnering a lot of attention.
Why a .308?
Originally envisioned as a short-range weapon for jungle warfare, the .223 certainly fits that niche well. In urban use, the .223 is a great rifle. However, for 500 yards plus, target use at very long range and hunting medium-sized game, the .223 falls short.
The .308 is a popular designated marksman rifle at the squad level. Shooting through walls and taking out a sniper in a bell tower still falls to the .308 (my younger son, an Army captain, said he would probably call in a rocket, although the .308 has its place). We do not have to find a niche to support the .308. If you like the looks of the rifle, buy it—and buy more than one.
It is satisfying to some to fire a lot of .223 after varmints or in three-gun matches and then go prone the next weekend with the .308 and match-grade loads. And that is how it should be.
The PTR 91 rifle relies on the proven HK G3 mechanism. That action is not gas operated; it relies on a roller-locking cam for performance. The remarkable action is long-lived and durable. Be certain you know what you are getting into. The PTR 91 is heavier than an AR-15, kicks more and is more expensive to feed. It will do things that the AR-15 cannot; it is more powerful and as accurate as most AR-15s and more accurate than others.
If you want a .308-caliber self-loader, the original HK rifles proves the design, refined in the PTR 91. The military rifle is a fine rifle in the G3 variant. The PTR 91 (and I have fired each) seems more tightly fitted and accurate. Either is more accurate than I may demonstrate off the bench rest; this is simply an impression. The PTR 91 is far more affordable. From a shooter’s viewpoint, rather than a collector’s, the PTR 91 is a great rifle.
Firing the PTR 91
I tested the PTR GI model rifle which was well lubricated beforehand. PTR recommends a 100-round break-in before reliable function begins. That is reasonable and a mark of precision manufacturing. The break-in period with Winchester USA ball ammunition was uneventful. In the intervening time, I also fired the rifle with Federal American Eagle FMJ and Federal 168-grain BTHP, with good results from both.
To ready the rifle….
1.Be certain the magazine is removed
2.Make sure the the rifle is empty.
3.Load the magazine.
4.Grasp the cocking handle on top of the barrel.
5.Bring it to the rear and lock the handle in place. That locks the bolt to the rear.
6.Insert a loaded 20-round magazine.
7.Ensure the magazine locks into place and is seated properly.
8.Release the cocking handle, allowing the bolt to run forward, stripping a cartridge from the magazine and loading it into the chamber. The PTR may be placed on safe if you are not going to fire immediately.
The sights are proven HK type, with a bold, protected front post. The rear sight is a turret-style battle sight with an open leaf for 100 yards and aperture rear sight for 200, 300 and 400 yards, with the smaller aperture for longer range. The sight is turned to each setting depending on the range.
Trigger press is smooth and crisp. The rifle is comfortable to fire. The push is more than the .223, of course, yet not uncomfortable. The roller-cam action absorbs much of the recoil of the powerful .308 Winchester cartridge. I fired the rifle off hand in fast-moving drills with excellent results. To 100 yards…
1.Place the front sight on the target.
2.Line up the aperture rear sight.
3.Squeeze the trigger and you have a hit.
Firing from a solid bench-rest firing position, the rifle exhibited excellent accuracy potential. To confirm reliability with sporting loads, I fired the rifle with Fiocchi 165-grain SST. Reliability was good in firing a single magazine of that accurate, powerful hunting load (a single magazine is a 20-round box).
Accuracy testing involved firing three-shot groups at 100 yards. Firing with iron sights for accuracy demands attention to detail, including sight alignment, sight picture and trigger control. The results reflect the shooter’s skill more than the accuracy potential of the rifle.
On several occasions, two-shot groups hovered around 1 MOA, with the third shot bringing the group to 1.5 inches. Suffice it to say, the rifle is accurate enough for practical application in the hunting field and as a recreational shooter. You would increase practical accuracy with an optical sight. However, the intrinsic accuracy of the rifle is excellent.
The PTR 91 is well made of good material and among its most important attributes is a well-defined pride of ownership.
You ready to go out and fire the PTR 91 and enjoy this powerful rifle? Already shot one? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section.
Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooter’s Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.
Michael Bane Builds an Off-Grid House
By Michael Bane published on August 3, 2014 in General, Preparedness, Prepper Talk
I got up this morning, turned on the coffeemaker, walked the puppy, watched a little television news, booted up my computer and went to work.
I bring this up not because it’s particularly remarkable—quite the opposite—but because the New Improved Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains connects to no power lines. There’s no cable for cable television, no phone lines, no sewer or water connection. In fact, it is untethered from what we’ve come to call “the grid.”
And, at least for the moment, it’s working.
The journey began as so many epic adventures do—with a simple question. My Sweetie and I were living in the little Colorado town of Nederland at 9000 feet, where to quote actor Will Geer’s Bear Claw in Jeremiah Johnson, “Winter’s a long time going … stays long this high.” After 13 winters, it was time to Go Down.
When we moved to Ned 13 years ago, it was a quirky place whose only real source of income was the Frozen Dead Guy, a Norwegian grandfather kept on dry ice in a Tuff Shed—Google it, even I can’t make stuff like that up — and the eponymous Frozen Dead Guy Days each bitterly cold March. We even marched one year in the Frozen Dead Guy parade through the one-block-long town. As newcomers, we got the ideal position between the herd of alpacas and the bondage sluts riding on the hoods of hearses. Really.
When we decided to leave Ned, it had become the epicenter of the “marijuana revolution” in the United States. The little mountain town of 1200 people and some dogs sported five medicinal marijuana outlets, one retail marijuana outlet, a “smoking room,” three hydroponic gardening centers, a pipe store, 30 grow rooms blossoming with designer ganja and a startling number of vintage Volkswagen buses and tie-dyed T-shirts, as if the Grateful Dead tour had just trucked in from 1968. My Sweetie and I were the only two people in town with reliable short-term memories.
After a year of searching, we found a stunning 34 acres with breathtaking views, close enough to go into the northern Colorado cites of Ft. Collins and Loveland for a good dinner and upwind enough from Denver to miss most of the fallout — joke, JOKE! After all, I was the producer of the first “survival” show, “The Best Defense/Survival,” which laid the groundwork for those that followed. One London newspaper reporter referred to me as “the most depressing man in America” after my guest appearance on the History Channel’s special, “After Armageddon.” I told her I thought I was upbeat and perky as well as heavily armed. You’ve got to expect a certain level of paranoia.
As we looked out over this amazing property, which equally amazingly we could afford, we both noticed an absence of power lines, telephone poles and the other accoutrements of the 21st century.
“What would you think,” asked my Sweetie, “about building an off-grid house?”
“Yippie!” my Internal Survivalist shouted. “Hmmmmmmmm,” I said out loud. But the die was cast.
Michael Bane hosts Down Range TV, produces the weekly Down Range Radio podcast, and writes at The Michael Bane Blog.
Do you dream of living off the grid? If so, let us hear your motivations and challenges in the comments section below.
New Kid on the Glock: Glock 42 Review
By: Dick Jones | August 7, 2014
Perhaps more than any other handgun introduction in 2014, this one caught the attention of concealed carry fans everywhere. In this Glock 42 review, Dick Jones gives his impression.
One of the hottest categories of handguns is that of the subcompact .380 semi-auto. These guns have been so popular there have been off-and-on ammo shortages for .380 ACP throughout recent years. It’s easy to see the reason for their popularity.
Many modern .380s are lightweight, easy to shoot, carry and conceal and they have good reputations for reliability. While no one will ever call it a heavy metal man stopper, recent advances in ammunition have brought the .380 cartridge into unprecedented viability as an extremely reasonable defense round.
This year at SHOT Show, Glock released the long awaited Glock 42 in .380 ACP. I think I can safely say it’s the largest departure from the standard Glock line I’ve seen, and I can’t imagine it shares any parts with anything else Glock makes.
It’s a true subcompact, though one of the largest of the popular .380 subcompacts. It has real sights, not a tiny representation of sights, and the dovetail-mounted sights have the familiar Glock-style white U and dot outlines for low light alignment.
The trigger of the G42 is also standard Glock fare, with the traditional center blade, relatively long first stage and reset. The trigger on my test gun broke cleanly at just over 8 pounds with only a little over-travel, and a little over-travel isn’t a bad thing on a defensive firearm. Magazine capacity is six plus one, about standard for this class of gun, and quite adequate, in my opinion, for a concealed carry gun.
Glock 42 Review
The G42 is a full-featured pistol with a proper magazine release, and the slide locks back on the last round. Some subcompact pistols have traded the slide lock for lighter weight, and this probably isn’t a good idea.
While most subcompacts are reliable, malfunctions in semi-auto pistols are inevitable. When they happen, clearing a gun without a slide lock can be challenging in perfect conditions and borderline impossible under stress.
Doing a fast reload worked just like it would with the G42’s big brothers except that everything was smaller. The magazine drops when the button is pressed, and the slide can be dropped with the release or with a pull and release.
I’ve recently reviewed several guns in this class, and I can say without hesitation that the Glock was certainly the easiest to shoot well, and it had the least recoil. It also had the best hand position of the subcompact .380s I’ve shot lately.
Even though the grip is about the same length as some of the other subcompacts, it feels longer. The Glock also clearly has the best sights of any of the guns in this category.
Glock 42 Accuracy?
The almost full-sized sights certainly were an aid in the excellent accuracy I found in the G42. At 10 yards, standing, my best group was just over an inch, center to center, with six of the 10 shots in a ragged hole less than ½-inch center to center. Most groups were less than 2 inches, but the little Glock is more than up to the job.
While the Glock 42 is larger than most guns in its class, this isn’t really bad news. The tiniest of the subcompact handguns can be difficult to operate, especially for women with low grip strength. The larger size of the G42 allows more purchase of both the gun hand and the slide hand, making it one of the easiest guns in its class to operate. At its widest point, the 42 is only .976 inches, and it weighs less than 14 ounces.
In the process of testing several brands and styles of ammunition, the Glock 42 did experience one malfunction with a full-metal jacket, economy line of ammunition. It was a double feed on the second round from a full magazine.
This happened when I was holding the gun normally, making me suspect the round, but I saw nothing unusual about it. One test I put every defensive semi-auto through is shooting with a limp wrist. I shoot with a very loose hold from both right and left hands. During the limp wrist test, the G42 cycled every time but in one session, the slide failed to lock back on the last round.
This is an excellent little gun that represents a worthwhile compromise in its class by sacrificing some of the lightweight properties and ability to be concealed like similar .380s, but in exchange the shooter gains much more accuracy and manageability.
All gun choices involve compromise. Less weight is easier to carry but yields more recoil. More power means a bigger gun and problems hiding it. High magazine capacity means a gun with a much thicker imprint. Concealed carry guns don’t serve the same purpose as service pistols.
They’re for defensive use, and they’re often carried for a lifetime without a single use. When you buy a concealed carry gun, you want to carry it, knowing you can rely on it, but never having to use it. I think the little Glock 42 fills that bill nicely.
Capacity: 6 + 1
Barrel: 3¼ in.
Sights: Dovetailed rear
Slide: Steel matte black
Length: 5.93 in.
Height: 4.13 in.
Weight: 13.76 oz.
Pistols with a shot at replacing the M9
Aug. 28, 2011 - 08:56AM | Last Updated: Aug. 28, 2011 - 08:56AM
The Army has a new pistol in its sights. After 25 years of action, the M9 is on its way out as officials are confident they can give soldiers a better pistol at a better price. The goal is to replace all 239,000 M9s and the concealable M11s.
"The M9 is at the end of its lifecycle," said Maj. Art Thomas, small arms branch chief at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga. "It is an old weapon. We can do a lot better with what technology can provide us now."
Lethality is among the M9's several "limitations," said Daryl Easlick, project officer for close effects. The requirement for a new pistol calls for "an increase in permanent wound channel," which suggests something more powerful than a 9mm may be on the horizon.
Other limitations the new pistol must overcome include:
• The slide-mounted safety. When solders rack the slide to alleviate a jam or stovepipe in the M9, they often inadvertently engage the safety — and won't realize this until they reacquire and squeeze the trigger.
• The open-slide design, which allow contaminants and dirt into the system.
• The lack of a modular grip, integrated rail and night-sight capabilities.
• The inability to suppress.
• Limited service life — replacement should have a service life of at least 25,000 rounds.
Service life is a key issue, Easlick said, noting that the M9 is only required to fire 5,000 rounds.
"We are looking for a threshold capability ... in the magnitude of five times better than that," he said.
Beretta insists that the M9's numbers are well beyond 5,000 rounds. Two-thirds of all M9s fire 5,000 rounds with one or no malfunctions, said Gabriele de Plano, Beretta's vice president of military sales and marketing. Slides have 35,000-round durability, frames last for 30,000 rounds and locking blocks for 22,000. The average reliability of all M9s is 17,500 rounds without a stoppage.
During one test conducted under Army supervision, 12 M9 pistols shot 168,000 rounds without a malfunction.
But that is not the norm. Easlick said an M9 is tempo-dependent, and its service life is "exponentially" dropped when it is used as an offensive handgun and in intense combat training.
To get the changes it desires, the Army adopted the Air Force's Modular Handgun System proposal, which had been approved by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council but lost steam in recent years.
The Army plan has jumped through most hoops and is at Army Headquarters awaiting approval. Of course, there is the reality of diminishing defense dollars. But Thomas said all participants are "working diligently" to create a budget-friendly fielding and funding plan.
While timelines remain to be seen, the Army in a June 30 omnibus reprogramming request placed procurement in fiscal 2014.
Your next pistol
Officials are not allowed to discuss the selection process while requirements are being written. But Thomas did say the next pistol would be a commercial, off-the-shelf product.
Narrowing the field is not especially hard. The soldier requirements division must first consider existing programs of record. If another government agency has a pistol program that meets or exceeds the Army's requirements, that is the one you will get.
There are some strong contenders in that category, and they are not limited to the .45 caliber and 9mm varieties. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in 2010 made a big switch to the .40 caliber, and many military leaders would like to do the same.
Smith and Wesson's .40 cal M&P nudged the Glock 22 and 27 in the ATF competition. Scores were so close that both received a part of the $80 million contract — and prime standing as the Army enters its search.
"It's kind of hard to beat the Smith and Wesson M&P right now," said one industry insider from a competing company, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "It is a polymer gun with high-capacity steel magazines. It has a positive safety and ambidextrous controls ... they simply came out of the gate with the right gun."
Other companies with existing government contracts and weapons that meet Army requirements include:
• Beretta. The company in 2010 launched the 92A1 9mm and 96A1 .40 S&W pistols. They include increased capacity magazines, removable front sights, an accessory rail, captive recoil spring assembly, frame recoil buffer and sand-resistant magazines. The Army would need no transitional training if it chose the 9mm, and parts compatibility is 90 percent.
Beretta's next-generation Px4 family of pistols has polymer frames, modular grips and a rotary barrel system similar to a bolt-action rifle. The Px4 Storm Special Duty .45 ACP, which had been submitted for the now-defunct Joint Combat Pistol program, includes a long barrel for suppressor mounting.
• Sig Sauer. Many Navy SEALs carry the company's P226, and the Coast Guard has adopted the P229. The industry insider called the Sig a "workhorse," but said the P229 is an unlikely selection because it is double-action only and has no positive safety.
The .40 caliber P250 probably has little to no chance. The pistol had 58 stoppages, 13 of which were gun-induced, during the ATF competition. Smith & Wesson had 16 shooter-induced stoppages and Glock had seven, and neither had gun-induced stoppages.
• Heckler & Koch. The HK P2000 is lauded by the Border Patrol. They love its modular grips, dual slide release levers and mounting rails that easily accommodate a variety of lights, lasers and accessories.
• Glock. A longtime favorite among many special operators, the latest variants include modular grips and shorter trigger distances. The recoil spring also has been replaced with a dual recoil spring assembly to reduce recoil and increase life cycle.
But the venerable Glock does have its detractors, the industry insider said — primarily because the pistol lacks an external safety. In addition, there is no metal-on-metal contact in the magazine catch-recess area, causing magazines to wear out faster and sometimes drop out of the gun.
• Colt and Springfield. Both companies are competing to replace the Marine Corps' M45 Close Quarter Battle Pistol. If the winner becomes a program of record before the Army opens its selection process, then it would be in the running. But Colt's variant is a single-action, cocked and locked pistol, which is not popular with many folks in Big Army.
Pennsylvania: Suit to allow Sunday hunting shot down, not protected by 2nd Amendment
6/24/14 | by Chris Eger
A federal judge found that the Second Amendment protections do not include recreational hunting in dismissing a lawsuit brought about to grant hunting on Sundays in Pennsylvania.
The suit, brought about by the Lancaster County-based Hunters United for Sunday Hunting against the Pennsylvania Game Commission, was an attempt to ask the courts to compel the state to end its so-called “blue law” forbidding the taking of either small or large game on Sunday.
The Keystone State is one of only 11 that currently prohibit Sunday hunting.
“The Court can find no legal support for Plaintiffs’ argument that Second Amendment protections extend to recreational hunting,” wrote Federal Judge Yvette Kane of the U.S. Middle District in dismissing HUSH’s suit in her June 18, 2014 decision.
Kane, a Clinton-era appointment, continued, writing, “Indeed, Plaintiffs’ use of this language ignores the context of the Supreme Court’s opinion, which actually ties the codification of the Second Amendment to the populace’s fear that the federal government would destroy the citizen’s militia by taking away their arms, not that the federal government would regulate recreational hunting.”
Kane also dismissed a further argument from HUSH that the Game Commission created multiple but discriminatory classes of hunters due to the fact that Pennsylvania hunters are restricted on Sunday to the taking of feral pigs, and varmints such coyote and fox, while small and large game animals are restricted.
Kane further rebuffed First Amendment claims made by the hunter’s group, holding that HUSH failed to explain how the ban violates religious beliefs or forces “them to participate in state religion.”
Reaction to the ruling
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, which was not a party to the suit, weighed in on the case.
“While we do not agree with the court’s decision based on the Heller decision, the ruling will only serve to strengthen the resolve of NSSF and the fellow members of the Sunday Hunting Coalition to reform antiquated blue laws and to give the professional game managers in Pennsylvania the discretion to permit hunting on Sunday as part of their scientific wildlife management plan,” said Larry Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel to Guns.com Monday.
“We know the Commission in Pennsylvania supports repealing the statutory ban which is not based on any wildlife management principle,” Keane explained.
The game commission voted 4-3 in favor of asking the state legislature in 2010 to repeal the Sunday prohibition, but recreation and insurance groups blocked a 2011 bill sponsored by Rep. John Evans (R-Crawford) aimed at doing just that.
Attorney Stephen Halbrook, who litigated Virginia’s right-to-hunt guarantee, took exception with Kane’s ruling that hunting was not a fundamental right, saying, “This disregards that historically, hunting has been basic to the human existence. Brushing the activity off as “recreational” ignores that hunting promotes basic survival.”
Halbrook expanded on this to Guns.com, “Further, the Second Amendment right to bear arms, the Supreme Court recognized in DC v. Heller (2008), was adopted in part so that people could have arms to defend themselves and to hunt. While that does not resolve the issue of Sunday hunting, it suggests that the matter should not be lightly brushed off.”
Second amendment scholars found a curious aspect to Kane’s ruling.
Any lawful purpose?
“This case highlights what could be an important debate over the scope of the Second Amendment: does it guarantee a right to have a gun for any lawful purpose — or only for self-defense?” explained Adam Winkler, professor of law at UCLA, in an email to Guns.com.
Winkler continued, “The Heller decision failed to answer this question clearly. On the one hand, the Court emphasized throughout the opinion that self-defense was at the core of the Second Amendment. Yet the Court also referred to possessing a gun for any lawful purpose. ”
The problem at hand could prove a larger specter for gun rights than in hunting.
“This debate could shape how courts analyze a number of gun control issues, from high-capacity magazines to so-called ‘assault rifles,” Winkler said. “If the right is only for self-defense, then perhaps the government can justify restrict high-capacity magazines on the argument that self-defense with a gun almost never requires more than 10 rounds.
“Similarly, military-style rifles, it has been argued, are not primarily used for self-defense but for recreational purposes. Of course, these arms can be used for self-defense. But if that’s not their ‘common use,’ then they might not be protected to the same degree by the Second Amendment.”
Philadelphia agrees to $1.4 million settlement in CCW info leak suit
7/23/14 | by Chris Eger
The City of Philadelphia Tuesday agreed to a $1.425 million settlement in a class action lawsuit involving the 2012 release of some 3,265 concealed carry applicants’ personal information.
The case, in which the city did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement, came after a number of applicants for locally issued License to Carry Firearms were rejected and had their personal information posted online for three days. The city claimed it was an effort at transparency in government.
Attorneys for the applicants contended that the city had put their clients at risk by listing not only the names and addresses of applicants, but also why they wanted a permit.
“As a result of the Settlement, the City will pay $1.425 million to the class and will be separately responsible for the costs of administering the settlement. Further, and of similar importance, the City has agreed to a number of policy changes,” read a statement released Tuesday by Joshua Prince, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the case.
The settlement agreement outlines that after attorneys’ fees, each of the 2,188 applicants whose personal information was posted on the city’s website will get a payout of $450, while a second group of 1,077 applicants whose information was kept in a database open to city personnel will each receive $25. In addition to the disbursement, the city agrees to not disclose LTCF applicant information in the future, require personal references for applications, or require an applicant to disclose if they possess a firearm during the application process.
Further, the city will change its policy on how fast permit applications are processed from 45 business days to 45 calendar days, as well as other procedural adjustments to address training issues.
“Individuals generally don’t have the money to be able to fight City Hall,” Prince told CBS Philly. “So by wrapping all of these issues up into this one settlement, no one individual has to litigate City Hall into ensuring compliance. If they fail to comply, we can go in and file for contempt of court.”
Meanwhile, representatives for the City of Brotherly Love are taking the settlement in stride.
“A lot of those terms are things that we had no problem agreeing to, because they were things that we were already doing, or the law says we should be doing,” said Craig Straw, an attorney for the city. “That’s what the law is: we’re not going to take somebody’s gun unless we have probable cause that a crime is being committed. And the police department did not have any problem with making them terms of this.”
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Jacqueline Allen has signed an order preliminarily approving the terms of settlement that was mediated by former U.S. Magistrate Judge Diane Welsh. Once the final settlement is approved, the city will start mailing checks out to the plaintiffs.
As part of the settlement, funds that have gone uncollected after 90 days will be dispersed equally between the School District of Philadelphia, and the National Rifle Association’s Civil Rights Defense Fund and Eddie Eagle Program.
Tennessee sheriff stockpiles 161 military weapons for 31 deputies (VIDEO)
7/22/14 | by Chris Eger
In rural McMinn County, Tennessee, Sheriff Joe Guy has achieved a more than 5 to 1 ratio of guns per officer after participating in a Department of Defense surplus program.
The guns obtained on loan through the program include 71 early-model M16 rifles and another 71 M1911A1 pistols for use by a department with just 31 sworn personnel.
“They’re here as our department grows. We’ll have additional firearms for future officers,” Guy told News Channel 5. Guy maintains that he had asked for half the quantity of weapons received through the surplus program, but “there was a little error in the order.”
The sheriff’s office is participating in the DoD’s Law Enforcement Support Office, better known as the 1033 Program. Set up in 1997, the program, which is run by the Army, allows federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement agencies to request excess equipment from the military’s stockpiles. The items available range from vehicles and aircraft, to office equipment and weapons. To participate, agencies pay a yearly fee ranging from $400 to $1,000 based on size.
According to the program’s website, the only three surplus weapons currently up for distribution to law enforcement agencies are the M16A1 and M14 rifles, and M1911A1 pistols. However, there are limits set on how many of each a requesting agency can ask for based on how many paid and sworn personnel the department has on its roster. Currently participating organizations can request up to 100 percent of their order in both M16s and .45 pistols, and up to 50 percent in M14s.
McMinn County has a population of just over 50,000. To keep the peace, Guy’s department has 26 academy-certified officers and five detectives, which would authorize the agency for a maximum of about half its current weapon allocation.
The guns are still technically owned by the Army and the law enforcement agencies are not authorized to sell, demilitarize or destroy any weapons allocated through the program. Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, select-fire rifles such as the M16s bring with them a 10-year felony charge if they are transferred out of the agency to an unlicensed person.
Guy’s windfall mirrors that of many small departments across the country. Since its conception in 1997, the 1033 Program has transferred approximately $4.2 billion worth of military gear to U.S. law enforcement entities. This has seen departments from Florida to Utah receive not only small arms but mine-resistant armored vehicles, grenade launchers, medical gear, camera equipment, pliers, emergency blankets and various other equipment.
These transfers are drawing criticism from some who feel the line between law enforcement and the military is becoming increasingly blurred.
“What we’ve done is encourage the police to become more like the military,” said Radley Balko, an author who has been outspoken about what he sees as the increasing militarization of America’s police forces over the last several decades.
“When you surround yourself with the weapons of war, with the language of war, you’re going to be much less likely to look for ways of resolving disputes using the least amount of force possible,” Balko said.
Sometimes an anti-gunner can’t figure out how to spin an event:
Teen Girl Used as a Human Shield Until Her Father Fatally Shoots Suspect
Posted by Lisa Fogarty on Jun 11, 2014 at 8:50 AM
It isn't often we come across a story these days in which guns are being used for the purpose of self-defense, but here's a time when I can't help but feel grateful that a couple owned firearms. A 17-year-old girl stepped outside her home in St. Louis at around 11 p.m. to retrieve something from her car, when two armed men reportedly put a gun to her head and used her a human shield so they could break into her house. The girl's mother and father were home at the time, as was a 5-year-old child.
But instead of letting themselves be victims or, worse, watching their teen daughter get hurt or killed -- her mother and father grabbed their guns and defended their family by shooting both suspects and killing one.
Terrell Johnson, 31, and Cortez McClinton, 33, reportedly approached the girl while she was just a few feet away from her front door and placed a gun to her head. Her father, who wishes to remain anonymous and says he was visiting their home at the time, witnessed it happening and was ready when they entered their home. Both he and the teen's mom grabbed their guns and shot at both men. The mother missed, but the father killed Johnson and wounded McClinton, who was able to flee the scene but was later apprehended and is in critical condition.
More from The Stir: Deadly Oregon School Shooting Is 37th This Year
Both men had served time for previous crimes, according to police. Johnson had been found guilty of first-degree robbery, for which he was given a 16-year sentence, and McClinton was charged in 2010 with first-degree murder, but the charges were reportedly dropped because witnesses wouldn't participate in the trial. McClinton has now been charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping, burglary, and criminal armed action and is being held on $1 million bond.
Police are still uncertain if this crime was random or whether the men had planned to target this young girl and her family.
As someone who ordinarily rallies against gun possession, I can't help but feel relieved that, in this case, the victims were able to defend themselves and their children. But it's truly terrifying to think that this is even necessary.
Does this story make you think twice about gun ownership?
Federal court upholds Florida law in ‘Docs vs. Glocks’ case; Doctors can’t ask about gun ownership
7/27/14 | by Chris Eger
A Federal Court of Appeals overturned a 2011 injunction Friday won by Florida doctors against a state firearms owner’s privacy law.
The suit, brought in part by the Florida chapters of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics, had won an injunction by a lower court in what became known popularly as the “Docs vs. Glocks” case. That injunction was struck down this week in a 2-1 ruling by a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta.
“We find that the Act is a valid regulation of professional conduct that has only incidental effect on physicians’ speech,” wrote Circuit Judge Gerald Tjoflat for the majority in the mammoth 161-page ruling in the case of Wollschlaeger v. Governor of the State of Florida published Friday.
The case dates back to 2011 when Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, signed the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act into law that discouraged health care workers to ask patients questions about firearms that were not directly relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety. Violations of the law could trigger fines, restriction of practice, return of fees, probation and suspension or revocation a health care professional’s medical license by the state.
The act had been passed by the Florida legislature following a series of complaints from patients that medical personnel were asking unwelcome questions on firearms ownership during interviews. In one case mentioned in the complaint, a health care provider falsely told a patient that disclosing firearm ownership was a Medicaid requirement. In another, a mother was separated from her children while medical staff asked the children whether the mother owned firearms.
However, just four days after Scott signed the new law, a number of physicians filed suit in U.S. District Court against the state, arguing that the new measure would violate their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The argument garnered an injunction by the court from U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke to prevent most of the provisions of the act from taking effect. This injunction was upheld by the court on a permanent basis in 2012, which led the state to successfully appeal it to the Eleventh Circuit.
Tjoflat, a 1975 appointment by President Gerald Ford, explained that the court found “[t]he Act simply codifies that good medical care does not require inquiry or record-keeping regarding firearms when unnecessary to a patient’s care.” He went on to explain that so long as a health care provider acted “in good faith within the boundaries of good medical practice” that they had no reason to fear the new Florida law.
District Judge L. Scott Coogler, a President George W. Bush appointee, joined Tjoflat in the majority position of the three member panel while Circuit Judge Charles Wilson, a 1999 President Bill Clinton appointment, disagreed, calling the law an unconstitutional prohibition on free speech.
“Regardless of whether we agree with the message conveyed by doctors to patients about firearms, I think it is perfectly clear that doctors have a First Amendment right to convey that message,” wrote Wilson in his dissent.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, whose executive director Howard Simon in a release stated, “We are astounded that a court would allow the legislature to override the free speech rights of doctors and medical personnel,” in support of Wilson’s views
Gun rights advocates in the Sunshine state see this case as a big win for the Second Amendment.
“The court confirmed the correctness of the intent of the legislation,” Marion Hammer, president of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida and past president of the National Rifle Association, told Guns.com Friday. “The intent is to protect the privacy of firearms owners and to stop the political interrogation of gun owners and the children of gun owners when they seek medical care.”
Hammer continued, saying “When the court said that the legislation ‘simply codifies that good medical care does not require inquiry or record-keeping regarding firearms when unnecessary to a patient’s care’ — they nailed it.”
California battle over concealed-weapon rights could be headed for Supreme Court
By Lee Ross ·Published July 31, 2014
The Supreme Court has turned aside all Second Amendment challenges since a pair of landmark rulings in 2008 and 2009 confirmed the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms.
But some believe a California case could make the high court return to the controversial area and determine whether gun ownership rights extend beyond the corners of one's home.
"If this goes to the Supreme Court, I'll probably be right there on the doorsteps fighting and advocating," Michelle Laxson proudly said. She and a handful of other San Diego County residents joined together in a lawsuit challenging how stingy their sheriff was in issuing permits to carry concealed weapons.
"The attitude of the sheriff's department was very cold," Laxson recalled to Fox News. "And a kind of like chip on their shoulder regarding gun rights and concealed weapons and basically said, 'Ha! You really think you're going to come through and get a [permit]? This little precious girl?' You know, in her dress and her boots and her lipstick. They looked me and it was almost like a laughingstock. Like a joke."
In February, a divided three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in Laxson's favor concluding that as responsible citizens she and the other plaintiffs have the right to carry a concealed weapon for self-protection.
The San Diego Sheriff's Department initially said it would follow the court's ruling and not appeal. But California Attorney General Kamala Harris intervened and is asking the Ninth Circuit to rehear the case. The legal pathway likely ends with a petition to the Supreme Court.
"Unfortunately, Heller and McDonald left more questions unanswered then they answered," Laxson's attorney Chuck Michel said about the two major high court rulings from a few years ago. "Inevitably it's going to go back -- it has to go back to the Supreme Court to settle some issues."
In 37 "shall issue" states, applicants for permits to carry concealed weapons (CCW) must pass basic requirements for approval such as proof of residency and a clean background check.
Nine "may issue" states give local officials much more latitude in determining who gets permits. In California, an applicant must also demonstrate "good cause" why he or she should receive a permit. Four other states (Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming and Vermont) have no permitting requirements.
Laxson, born and raised in rural San Diego County, has been around guns all her life. "I met every other qualification. I've met the standard for all of the safety requirements. I've gone through every course. I'm an avid shooter and very responsible in what I do," Laxson explained. "I was heartbroken that my own safety wasn't [good] cause to protect myself."
In striking down the California system, the court ruled that "a law that destroys (rather than merely burdens) a right central to the Second Amendment must be struck down." It determined that the state must allow citizens the ability to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense.
Judge Sidney Thomas, considered in 2010 by President Obama for a seat on the Supreme Court, issued a strongly worded dissent saying his colleagues went too far. "Carrying concealed weapons in public by definition does not inherently involve defense of hearth and home, so the core of the Second Amendment is not implicated."
Laxson's case is still pending before the Ninth Circuit as Harris has asked for a larger panel of judges to rehear arguments. A decision from the court on whether that happens hasn't been announced.
Meanwhile, other California counties are following the February decision and have relaxed their CCW permitting process. Orange County, for example, has seen a rush of filers. More than 6,000 applications have been made with the sheriff's department in the last five months.
I Don’t Need an AR or a Corvette
By Bob Campbell published on July 27, 2014 in AR-15, Firearms
Guts, Harleys, initiative, fast cars, the CycoCycle, fireworks and possibly the Les Paul guitar are on a short list of the things many in our government and certain bluebloods do not wish us to have. It is a wonder we are able to produce fighter pilots, military intelligence officers and skyscrapers!
Rifles with a military look are among the things they do not want us to have. The anti-gunners have been trying to cultivate a bad impression of the gun owner since at least 1930, and that is the same mentality in a different dress that we fought against during the American Revolution and other wars.
Some wish we had not won those wars, I am afraid. Evidently, not all the Tories escaped to the Bahamas. In our own country, freedom reigns so, conversely, we tolerate elements within it who do not want to allow us our freedom as we now enjoy it. Those elements are sometimes called socialists, although that is possibly too mild a tag.
To avoid the horrible situations that have occurred—such as British rule in Ireland—and still occur worldwide, we need to be aware and awake and always vote and promote our beliefs.
That brings me to the AR-15 rifle, and gun owners who sometimes shoot themselves in the feet, figuratively speaking, of course.
A generation ago, more than a few gun writers took the old line that the AR-15 was flimsy and unreliable. A certain group within the Army had almost managed to ruin the AR-15, despite the protests of the brilliant Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay, a gun person and man of vision.
Not many men flew over and bombed both Berlin and Tokyo. The wrong gunpowder and wrong rifling twist did not make the AR a target gun; it made it a maintenance nightmare.
Back to the gun writers—they told us to get shotguns. They also said a good bolt-action rifle is superior to the AR-15 in a survival situation.
Well, shame on them.
A few have been retired because of those comments. The finest tradition in America is for those not in uniform to own and use military rifles for hunting. Sure, General Custer preferred sporting rifles to the Springfield Trapdoor—who could argue?
Once we had the Krag, then the Springfield; the military gave us the greatest hunting and all-round shooting rifles in the world. However, there was a distinction at the time. Citizens sometimes preferred the lever-action rifle. The Arizona Rangers liked the hard-hitting .30-40, then adopted the lever-action rifle out of familiarity.
If you were in an infantry squad back in the day, what was important was that massed fire could drop an Indian war pony at 200 yards. Your buddy had your back. A scout traveling alone, attacked by superior numbers of aboriginals or bandits at close range, preferred the fast-handling Winchester rifle.
The civilian needed more firepower than the Army did, not less. Civil disturbance and the lone man led to such choices.
You cannot own a single AR-15 once you get the bug.
Soldiers have backup. You and I are on our own. Later, as self-loaders became popular, plenty of cops and civilians adopted the Remington Model 8 and Winchester .351 SLR. Those were not powerhouses and not particularly accurate, but they were reliable rifles that saved a lot of skins.
And while Hollywood loved the Thompson submachine gun, there were probably a hundred Winchester .351s in cop hands compared to the Thompson. The .351 hit harder, too, but that is another story. A new Ford was about $600, a Winchester .351 perhaps $30 and the Thompson about $300. You and I may not have owned a Thompson. The Winchester gave the owner plenty of pride of ownership. So do the AR-15 and PTR 91, if you know how to look at them with an appreciation of design principles.
There are those who prefer blue steel and walnut and will have nothing else. That is fine; my Colt Series 70 has that appeal, and so does the AR. Sometimes folks groan and say, “There are millions of AR-15s.” Sure there are—because you cannot own just one.
We absorbed millions of M1 Garand rifles and even more M1 carbines. We have room for the AR-15, and the fact is it outshoots many traditional choices. I once compared the AR-15 to a pair of .223 bolt guns. A heavy barrel .223 would place three Winchester 69-grain JSP bullets into a 0.5 inch at 100 yards. The shorter bolt gun would do 2.0 MOA on a good day, although it was a youth model. The Daniel Defense rifle will put the same load into 1 inch on demand.
I did not need that heavy-barrel bolt gun, although it was twice as accurate by some measures. It was a process of elimination, a walk up the logic ladder. The AR performs more chores, including personal defense, which is pretty important to me. The AR-15 solves problems with a minimum of shots, and nothing handles like it. The shotgun is a great weapon as far as it goes, but it kicks a lot. It is not as versatile as the rifle and puts a lot of buckshot out in a crowded house. The AR-15, for the sake of argument, is a better choice for public safety than a shotgun.
Yes, I like the AR-15, whether I need it or not. In my climate, I really do not need my 4×4 truck for snow travel, and I like to get muddy sometimes. I really do not need the Corvette, but the technology is fascinating. Going up the Saluda grade in fifth gear at 63 mph with the tachometer reading 1,200 RPM and the digital readout indicating we are getting 23.9 MPG is exciting.
By the same token, getting three .223 bullets into a 0.5 inch circle is exciting. Those things add to my life, although none of it is cheap. The Corvette demands Mobil 1 oil and the highest-octane gasoline. With almost 200,000 miles on the odometer, that treatment has paid off for longevity.
By the same token, the Daniel Defense rifle has perhaps 10,000 rounds on it with no sign of slowing down and no degradation in accuracy or function. It is a handy rifle, a lot of fun at the range, and I am never far from the pretty girl.
I used to gauge expenses or investments by an ounce of gold. Now, it is a tank of gas. Do not laugh. A trip to the beach or a day at the range may cost about as much as the other. There are a dozen feature articles about how to survive and find ammunition during times of shortage. Others are about how to use the box method and avoid expending ammunition when properly sighting in a rifle. It works, and you save ammunition.
How far would I get asking you to slow down on firing the AR-15? Not far!
When you buy an AR-15 rifle, it is good for many parts of the industry. You need more than one magazine (10 is a realistic minimum). I have quite a few for the AR and PTR 91.
When it comes to the self-loading rifle, I like the convenience, although pride of ownership is another factor. In addition, it is not just the AR they do not want us to have, so the Governor and I have the same rifle.
With all due respect to Winchester, there is nothing better made than the PTR 91 in the sporting line. In some areas, the technology is amazing. There is a roller cam set up in the rifle. Another reason they are popular is that Americans are good riflemen. We pay attention to precision rifles. We like to help interested youngsters. A significant number of the kids at church have had their first experience with one of my AR-15 rifles.
Now the AR does not do everything, and the Corvette does not push a snowplow. But the AR-15 does many things, and introducing youngsters to centerfire shooting is one thing it does like no other rifle.
Firing at targets of different sizes at unknown and known distances is the true test of a rifle and, as a marksman, I have taught them. Many of those youngsters, later in life, traveled to some exciting places with names such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Korea—another good reason for owning the AR-15.
They respected—not feared—the rifle when they first went to the training range and progressed quickly. One was the best shot in his class at Paris Island. That was worth the expense of the rifle and a few rounds of Winchester USA ball ammo.
Never underestimate the AR-15. Those rifles will outshoot many of the best bolt-action rifles. In a world filled with expensive cars, trucks, games and other gear that depreciates quickly, the AR-15 will not become worthless overnight. I think a $1,000 rifle and an Army locker filled with magazines and ammunition is an excellent investment in the economy, maybe more than the Corvette or that reel-to-reel sound system; you get the point.
Having had the privilege to train quite a few riflemen, my goals are self-discipline and mastering the rifle. That is a good reason for owning something I do not need.
Before you cave to the anti-gunners, remember, every loss diminishes us. If they outlaw the AR-15, then the gun and ammunition industry, and many good makers of fun accessories, will take a very hard hit. What guns do you own that you do not need? Tell us in the comment section.
Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooter’s Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.
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