Thursday, March 31, 2016

IL More on Nuevo Mexico Store Incident: Armed Store Owner Stops Robbery Attempt

A 16-year-old who tried to rob a Des Plaines grocery store at gunpoint Saturday was thwarted by the store owner who pulled a gun of his own from behind the counter and fired on the teen, authorities said.

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Smart Fuses Make Smart Artillery Affordable

I worked on the PGK project while I was at Yuma Proving Ground.  A year ago, this article was published in
WASHINGTON — The US Army has awarded Orbital ATK with a $120 million contract modification to make kits that turn conventional 155mm artillery into a near-precision shell.

The kits are meant to limit civilian casualties and collateral damage, allowing the use of artillery where it would have otherwise been ill-advised — in a congested area or near friendly forces.The guidance fuzes would be fielded to the Army, the Marine Corps, Australia and Canada. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in early 2016, following low-rate initial production, which began in January.

In 2006, ATK — which has since merged with Orbital — was awarded one of two technology demonstration contracts from the US Army to develop the XM1156 precision guidance kit (PGK) for the 155mm howitzer artillery system. In 2013, it won a $58 million contract, with a base requirement and two options for a year of full-rate production; the recent award was option one.
120 million is a nice chunk, but it is not much in the overall DOD budget.  These kits are well worth having.  The article claims that the fuses only cost about 10K each.  That would be 100 fuses per million dollars, or 12,000 fuses total.  I expect the price to drop with mass production.  This is already a significant price drop from the Excaliber round, which I also spent an extensive number of hours supporting.  The Excaliber round current cost of production is about 68K or about seven times as expensive as the PGK.

The range for both of the rounds is about 25-30 km.  I can envision a Tom Clancy type novel, consisting of the consequences of jihadis obtaining a couple of M777 howitzers and 50 of the PGK fuses with the shells to go with them, and how they would be deployed in the U.S.A.

Here is a video of the Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) to make smart shells out of “dumb” standard rounds.

Link to video

It is a great feeling to see that some of the many, many hours I put in on RDT&E is paying off.

Think of how few rounds you need, in comparison with the massive artillery barrages in WWII, when you have this sort of accuracy at your fingertips.
“During this demonstration, PGK delivered 90 percent of rounds fired within five meters accuracy of the target positioned 27 kilometers from the gun position.”
 It probably costs 10K just to get a plane off the ground, not to include the risk to pilot and the plane.

A simple “dumb” round costs about $500. So you can have 21 “dumb” rounds for 1 PGK. But that does not consider the costs of shipping those rounds, transporting them in a combat situation, and storing and guarding them.
Nor are you assured that 21 “dumb” rounds will achieve what you are likely to get with 1 PGK. You have to fire to see where the dumb rounds hit, then adjust them into the target, which gives the target time to react, disperse, get under cover, start counter battery fire...

The over all cost and effectiveness figures are all on the side of the PGK.

There are some times when you need massed fire.  You do not need precision munitions for that.  But have enough precision munitions, and there is a good chance you will not have to use mass fires, nearly as much.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

MO: Man Fires at Armed Intruder


A man fired a gunshot to try to scare away an armed intruder he confronted.

Raytown police were called to a home in the 8300 block of Pershing Road about 10 a.m. Thursday in regards to a disturbance and shots fired. The man who rents the home told police they got back and found an intruder inside.

He told police he knew the armed suspect and fired his gun as a warning shot to scare the intruder away.

More Here

TX: Clerk Shoots at Armed Robber

A store clerk fights back against a robber in Hays County. Now a neighborhood in Buda is on alert after the brazen crime that was caught on camera.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

CNMI's Handgun Ban Unconstitutional

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has declared unconstitutional the CNMI Weapons Control Act that prohibits all residents from obtaining handguns for self-defense purposes.

Manglona ruled that the handgun and handgun ammunition ban contained in the CNMI Weapons Control Act is declared unconstitutional and in violation of the Covenant that incorporated Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Manglona said the implied prohibition on issuing weapons identification cards (WIC) for self-defense, or “family defense” as stated on the WIC application, is declared unconstitutional and in violation of the Covenant that incorporated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

More Here

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

IL: Armed Clerk Stops Robbery Ring


Dramatic surveillance video shows a quick-thinking grocery store clerk who helped bust a robbery ring in suburban Des Plaines.

At the Nuevo Mexico grocery Saturday morning, a 16-year-old pulled a gun on a store clerk to rob the store, but the clerk turned the tables.

More Here

KY: Love Triangle and Possible Self Defense

We're told Wardrip and Thompson went to protect the girl, and that's when the shooting occurred.

Officers say Wardrip is cooperating and confessed to his role in Williams' death.

"He gave a statement," Anthony said.

And while behind bars today, self-defense is being considered as a possible motive for Wardrip.
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CNMI: David and Li-Rong Radich win Second Amendment Case in Northern Mariana Islands

The U.S. District Court of the Northern Mariana Islands has issued a strong ruling that enforces the Second Amendment in the Commonwealth.  The long running lawsuit filed by David Radich and his wife, Li-Rong was settled on 28 March, 2016.  The ruling enforces the findings in Heller and McDonald, both of which are referenced.  Here are the primary findings of the Court:

The import ban on handguns and handgun ammunition is unconstitutional,

Refusing to use "family defense" or "self-defense" as a valid reason for issuing a Weapons Identification Card" (WIC) , required for purchasing a firearm, is unconstitutional.

Refusing to issue a WIC to a lawful permanent resident is unconstitutional;

A WIC will be issued to the plaintiffs, if they meet the other requirements, within 30 days;

Costs and fees will be awarded to the plaintiffs;

Any response by the defendants shall be filed by 18 April, 2016.

It is unknown if an appeal will be filed.  Here is the wording of the actual conclusion of the ruling of the Court. From the ruling(pdf):


Because the Covenant applies both the Second Amendment and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to the CNMI as if it were a state, and it is unconstitutional for a state to ban handguns for self-defense purposes in the home or to restrict handgun possession to citizens but not lawful permanent residents, the Court must grant the Radiches cross-motion for summary judgment as to all counts, and similarly deny the Defendants’ cross-motion for summary judgment in its entirety.

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. Plaintiffs’ cross-motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 51) is granted and Defendants’ cross-motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 50) is denied;

2. The handgun and handgun ammunition ban contained in 6 CMC § 2222(e) is declared unconstitutional and in violation of the Covenant that incorporated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution;

3. The handgun and handgun ammunition import ban contained in 6 CMC § 2222(e) and 6 CMC § 2301(a)(3) is declared unconstitutional and in violation  of the Covenant that incorporated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution;

4. The prohibition on issuing WICs to lawful permanent residents in 6 CMC § 2204(l) is declared unconstitutional and in violation of the Covenant that incorporated the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution;

5. The implied prohibition on issuing WICs for self-defense, or “family defense” as stated on the WIC application, is declared unconstitutional and in violation of the Covenant that incorporated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution;

6. Defendant Deleon Guerrero, in his official capacity as Commissioner of theDPS, and Defendant Larson, in her official capacity as the Secretary of the Department of Finance, are permanently enjoined from enforcing the unconstitutional handgun and handgun ammunition bans contained in 6 CMC §§ 2222(e) and 6 CMC § 2301(a)(3) against Plaintiffs;

7. Defendant Deleon Guerrero, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the DPS, is permanently enjoined from enforcing the prohibition on issuing WICs to lawful permanent aliens in 6 CMC § 2204(l) against Plaintiff Li-Rong Radich;

8. Defendant Deleon Guerrero, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the DPS, is permanently enjoined from refusing to issue WICs to Plaintiffs for self- defense purposes, or “family defense” as stated on the WIC application;

9. Defendant Deleon Guerrero, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the DPS, shall issue WICs to Plaintiffs, if he finds that they satisfy the unchallenged provisions of the Weapons Control Act, no later than 30 days after the  issuance of this Decision and Order; and

10. Plaintiffs are awarded costs and fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988:

a. Plaintiffs shall submit their costs and fees to the Court no later than April 11, 2016, and

b. Defendants shall file their response, if any, no later than April 18, 2016.

IT IS SO ORDERED this 28th day of March, 2016.

Chief Judge
 It is another in a string of wins for Second Amendment supporters. 

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.  Link to Gun Watch

Monday, March 28, 2016

CA: Armed Employee Fatally Shoots 1 of 3 Robbers

A taco stand employee fatally shot one of three suspects in a botched robbery attempt in South Los Angeles Friday night.

More Here

TN: Armed Man Fatally Shoots Robbery Suspect

The person who shot Hurston, 30-year-old Joshua Smith, told police that Hurston tried to rob him at gunpoint.

Smith said that he'd arranged to meet a woman online at a duplex on Hamill Road. He said he got out of his car and was walking to the duplex with the woman when Hurston came out from beside the duplex, pointed a gun at him and demanded money.
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AR: Armed Woman Shoots Intruder

The officer reportedly shot a man who was breaking into her home.
The suspect was treated at a local hospital and released.
He is currently in the Faulkner County Jail facing a charge of residential burglary.

More Here

WA: Husband of Wife Shot in Gunfight, Fatally Shoots a Thief a Month Later

Seul Lim the wife of the shooter, had been shot in a gunfight on February 18, captured on store video.  No video of the current shooting as yet.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ed Troyer at about 10:30 p.m. Friday, two young men were drinking in the parking lot of the Pacific Quick Mart on Pacific Ave S. Troyer said the two went into the store, where there was an attempted shoplift.

Troyer said the store owner/clerk pulled a gun, there was a confrontation and at some point a couple of rounds were fired, hitting and killing the man.

More Here

TX: Clerk Fatally Shoots Robbery Suspect

A 25-year-old store clerk fatally shot a suspected robber inside his store, Houston police confirmed.

It happened around 9:30 a.m. Friday at 8624 W. Montgomery Road.
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OH: Neighbor uses .410 to Stop Break-in

According to Sheriff Joe Browning, Nick Jones, no age verified as yet, had been transported to Holzer Medical Center for treatment before being flown to a Huntington, W.Va., hospital. The weapon used in the incident has been identified as a .410 bore shotgun. Reports suggest the incident involved one neighbor supposedly trying to break into the other’s home, with the shooter trying to prevent the other from entering.

Police reports state the shooting occurred in the 1700 series of Clay Chapel Road. Charles Day, 66, of Crown City, had called the 911 Gallia County Communications Center to report that Jones had allegedly tried to enter his home through a window when Day allegedly fired a shotgun, reportedly striking Jones’ leg.
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NC: Domestic Defense? Father Shoots Son

Holland says an investigation is underway into Hunter's death, but there were "clear signs at the house that Hunter was causing fear to his parents" during a domestic dispute. Investigators believe Hunter's father, Tony Curtis, used a handgun to shoot him.

Tony Curtis was not arrested in connection with the incident, as investigators are still piecing together what happened. No other arrests have been made.

More Here

Rifle in Tree; M86/88 Mannlicher, 1891 Carcano, or Mosin Nagant?

Left to Right: M86/88 Mannlicher, Rifle in Tree, Mosin Nagant action

The image in the middle is a picture that is floating about on Russian social media.  It was sent to me by by a friend, who I previously wrote about, the one of the adventures with two Bushmen.  He asked me if the action bedded in the tree might be a Mosin Nagant.

At first glance, there are definite similarities, the solid magazine, the 90 degree bold handle, the shape of the trigger... but close examination shows that this is no Mosin Nagant.  The most obvious difference is the placement of the bolt handle, at the back of the action, instead of inside the ejection port.  The magazine shape is different, the bolt handle is directly over the trigger, and the shape of the rear sight elevator is distinctive, and clearly not a Mosin Nagant.

I believe the rifle in the tree is an Austrian Mannlicher M86/88.  There is not much difference between the 1886 and 1888 models that you can tell from a photograph such as this.  The picture on the left is of a Mannlicher M86/88.  Comparing them shows the clear family traits of the rifle in the tree.  Everything matches, as much as can be easily derived from the photographs.  While not obvious from the photographs, the Mannlicher is a straight pull bolt action, while the Mosin Nagant and Carcano are of the more conventional type.

It is impossible to tell when the rifle was left leaning against what appears to be an oak tree.  It was long enough ago to embed the rifle barrel rather solidly.  I suspect it was during WWII.  The location of the photograph is said to be from a Russian forest, when I found a matching image in a 2014 article in the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail article says that a reader identified the rifle as an 1891 Carcano.  That is incorrect.  The bolt handle is in the wrong place, even though the magazine and rear sight have similarities.

Long ago I gave up hoping for any firearms knowledge among old media writers.  I offer my services as a firearms subject matter expert to proof these stories, for a small fee, of course.  Such proofing would improve the accuracy of their articles, and gain much needed credibility.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.  Link to Gun Watch

AK: Board of Regents Refuses Gift of Power over Guns and Knives

Entrance to University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Thompson Dr.

A bill in the Alaskan legislature, SB174, has passed the Senate Judiciary committee.  In the Committee, amendments were added that give the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska extraordinary power and immunity.  The legislation would give the Board of Regents the power to ban the open carry of knives and guns.  No city in Alaska has that power. From SB174(pdf):
(c) The Board of Regents may adopt and enforce policies

(1) regulating the possession, ownership, use, carrying, registration,
storage, and transportation of openly carried firearms and knives;
It would grant the Board of Regents, all their staff, and all employees and agents, blanket immunity from any lawsuits as a result of what they did or did not do about guns and knives on campus.  Those amendments were added at the request of the Board of Regents.   From SB174(pdf).
(f) The University of Alaska, the Board of Regents, and any officers,
employees, or agents of the University of Alaska are immune from civil liability for any act or omission resulting from a policy or regulation adopted or enforced under this section by the Board of Regents or the president of the University of Alaska, or a claim arising from the possession, ownership, use, carrying, registration, or transportation of firearms or knives by any person.
Apparently, the Board does not know when to take "yes" for an answer.  They have voted not to accept the power and the immunity offered by the legislature. They demand even more.  Their stated reason is that SB 174 allows students and staff who are over the age of 21, to legally carry carefully concealed knives and guns and knives on some areas of campus.  They would be forbidden to carry or possess them in dormitories or shared residences, for example.  That appears to be a direct violation of the Second Amendment, and the State of Alaska Constitution.  The Board must believe they have more power than the Alaskan Legislature or the Courts.  From
The University's Board of Regents acted today to oppose SB 174 by a vote of 9-2.

The state legislation would allow concealed handguns and knives on campus.
Of course, if the guns and knives are carefully concealed, they can be carried on campus now, in violation of the administrative rules, and almost certainly are.  From
...Kally Greene-Gudmundson, a marketing student at UAA, said. “I know several students who already carry concealed weapons on their person or in their vehicles, not to increase violence or rebel against gun control, but because they feel it’s their civil right to protect themselves especially if they have the license to do so, and within reason, I’d have to agree.”
The Board of Regents instituted their administrative ban on guns and knives on campus in 1995, shortly after the Legislature passed the first Alaska concealed carry permit law.  The current version even bans BB guns, hunting knives, and slingshots. No one has challenged the ban in court, yet, though it seems clear that it violates not only the Second Amendment and the State Constitution, but the strong state pre-emption law as well.

I contacted Senator Pete Kelly, who sponsored SB 174.  His position is that the ban put in place by the Board of Regents is not supported under state law, that it violates the State Constitution, and the preemption law.  From SB 174:
FINDINGS AND INTENT. The legislature finds that the individual right to keep and bear arms is a constitutionally protected right under art. I, sec. 19, Constitution of the State of Alaska, and may not be abridged by the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska. The legislature reserves to the state the authority to regulate firearms, except as specifically provided in AS 14.40.173.
Perhaps this is why the Board of Regents objects to SB 174.  It removes any doubt that the Board is subject to the restrictions of the State Constitution, particularly art. I, sec. 19.  It makes clear that only the State has the authority to regulate firearms.

The Board of Regents has been able to run roughshod over the rights of students and staff for over 20 years.  They have never been challenged in court.  It is easy to see that they feel secure in the authority they already wield.

State university systems are one of the most powerful lobbies in any state.  Legislatures lavish money and power on them.  In this case, the Board of Regents may be outsmarting themselves.  If an Alaskan has the guts to wear an openly holstered pistol or a belt knife on a university campus, and is cited with trespass, or administrative sanctions, it is likely they would prevail in court.  Of course, court fights tend to be long and expensive.  The Board of Regents has deep pockets full of other people's money.  It seems to be a gamble the Board of Regents is willing to make.  After all, no one has challenged them.  Yet.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.  Link to Gun Watch

Sunday, March 27, 2016

NV: Gunfight. Resident Wounded, Intruder Killed

Police said an investigation by Metro’s homicide section revealed that the two victims were in the apartment when an armed suspect, who was unknown to them, entered. One of the residents got a gun and fired several rounds at the suspect, while the suspect shot the other resident and injured that person, the release said. That resident was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center to be treated for injuries.

The identity of the person killed will be released by the Clark County coroner’s office. Metro said this was the 37th homicide investigated in its jurisdiction in 2016.
More Here

IL: Son Shoots Man Breaking into Home

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A man whose father was shot in a home invasion more than 50 years ago, shot a would-be burglar who was breaking into his elderly mother's South Shore apartment early Thursday.
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WI: CCW permit holder Shoots man During Fight

Investigators said a 21-year-old man was shot during a fight that followed a minor car accident.

The suspect drove a short distance away, then stopped and called police.

According to investigators, the suspect has a valid concealed carry permit and is cooperating in the investigation.
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The Legal Difference between a Pistol and a Short Barreld Rifle in Pictures

FL: Florida Removes Antique Slungshot Prohibition

Link to video

Florida has eliminated their antiquated slungshot law.  The law was another of those "trendy" laws enacted without much thought, based on emotion and myth.  The item banned, essentially a weight on the end of a cord, is so common and easily made as to be unenforceable.  The items are also commonly known as a Monkey's Fist.  It is interesting that this reform occurs almost simultaneously with the Supreme Court confirming that "arms" under the Second Amendment are "all instruments that constitute bearable arms".  From 14-10078 Caetano v. Massachusetts(pdf) :

The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 582 (2008), and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States,” McDonald v.Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 750 (2010).

Slungshots are clearly "bearable arms". From the bill, HB 4009, as enacted into law(pdf):
House Bill No. 4009
An act relating to slungshot; amending s. 790.09, F.S.; deleting provisions  prohibiting the manufacture or sale of any instrument or weapon usually known as slungshot; amending s. 790.001, F.S.; revising the definition of the term “concealed weapon” to delete the inclusion of a slungshot; amending s. 790.18, F.S.; deleting a provision prohibiting a dealer in arms from selling or transferring a slungshot to a minor; providing an effective date.
I doubt that the Caetano decision was ever brought into debate about the Florida bill.  The bill passed unanimously; slung shots have not been in much use by criminal gangs for some time.  It would have made sense for the Florida legislature to simply have done away with the ban on the carrying of concealed weapons altogether.  The Florida decision is just part of the cultural and legal flow away from civilian disarmament.  Once the dam was broken, and firearms became recognized as Constitutionally protected weapons, useful for self defense, the prohibition on lesser weapons seems pointless and absurd.


One way this is impacting legislation is in widespread reform of knife laws. Knife Rights deserves great credit here.  They have lobbied and pushed legislation into law in a dozen states, creating knife preemption laws to give uniform knife laws throughout a state, and eliminating silly and antiquated bans such as those on switchblade knives.

The switchblade laws were a later version of the slungshot laws: trendy laws aimed at criminal gangs.  At least the slungshot was not an ordinary implement carried by millions everyday.

Another trendy law has been the ban on nunchucks, essentially two sticks or bars joined together with a short length of cord or chain.

Arizona legislators have introduced bills to repeal the ban, which appears to have been based on kung fu movies.  The legislation has not received much support at this time.

The removal of the slungshot ban went into effect on the date of Governor Scott's signature, 24 March, 2016.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

FL: More Details on Tampa Shooting

Solomon shot an intruder, killing him. Days later, we learned the intruder was Lanny Ray Marler II. Marler had several arrests in Hillsborough County for burglary and grand theft, and had just been released from Florida State Prison after serving three years on a burglary charge.

Solomon tells News Channel Eight the home was burglarized once before, about a year ago. On the advice of authorities, he and his mother took all of the first floor blinds down to deter any would be-thieves. That’s when he bought a gun, took a course and paid for the proper permits. He hoped he would never have to use that weapon.

More Here

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Guyana: Suspect Shot by Licensed Firearms Holder

According to a police report, at about 21:35h on Wednesday, the man who has so far been identified as “Jermaine” of ‘D’ Field, Sophia, broke into the Lisa General Store, Charlotte Street, Georgetown, and during a confrontation with the owner, who is a licensed firearm holder, he was shot to his buttocks.

More Here

ID: Governor Otter Signs Permitless Carry, Idaho Becomes Ninth Constitutional Carry State

Governor C.L Butch Otter reluctantly signed SB 1389, the permitless "Constitutional carry" bill that was passed by the Idaho legislature.

His office sent the transmittal letter(pdf) to the President of the Senate today, the 25th of March, 2016.  Idaho becomes the eighth state to restore permitless or "Constitutional" carry.  Vermont never restricted concealed carry from those who were not felons or mentally defective. 

Governor Otter stated that he signed the bill with some reluctance, because the bill did not have a training requirement for the carry of firearms.

There has never been a legal requirement for training in order to carry firearms, openly or concealed, in 99% of the State of Idaho for the last hundred years.

During that entire period, all state and local government officials could legally carry without a permit, and without any training requirement.

It is hard to understand why Governor Otter signed the bill while simultaneously complaining about it; but he did sign it.

The bill will go into effect on 1 July, 2016.  It will not change much.  Constitutional carry was already a fact in the vast majority of Idaho for most people.

But permitless, or "Constitutional" carry was never really about the legal impact.  It was, and is, all about symbolism.  Does the Constitution mean anything?  If it does, it is hard to see how a permit could be required for the exercise of a Constitutional right.

Do more guns cause more crime?  There does not appear to be any hard evidence to indicate that is so; and it is the entire premise that the modern basis for "gun control" or citizen disarmament, has been based on.

The number of states with permitless carry has been accelerating.  For decades, there was only Vermont.  Alaska went "Constitutional" carry in 2003, Arizona in 2010, Wyoming in 2011, Arkansas in 2014, Kansas and Maine in 2015, and West Virginia and Idaho so far in 2016.  There are permitless carry bills pending in a number of other states.

Most of the credit for the passage of SB 1389 belongs to the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance.   The ISAA has been pushing for permitless carry in Idaho since 2013.  Idaho was always considered a prime state to restore permitlyess carry.  As the ISAA lobbied for bills in the legislature, it was able to find out who the players were that were blocking their bills.  As they became more sophisticated about their lobbying, the ISAA grew, and grew, and became more and more powerful.  It became a force that the legislators could not ignore.  In 2016, the ISAA organized a rally of a thousand supporters at the state capitol  They kept the legislators busy answering phone calls and emails.  They gathered crucial support from the Sheriffs association and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Much credit belongs to Greg Pruitt, who is a driving force in the ISAA.  Now that ISAA has passed permitless carry, the ISAA will not be going away.  They have plans to restore more freedom and remove more restrictions from Idaho law.

The NRA, GOA, SAF and other organization all helped pass the legislation, and all deserve some credit.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

MS: Supreme Court: Statutory Protection of Employee 2A Rights is Valid

Mississippi is a hire or fire at will state.  The Doctrine is from the State Supreme Court.  Employers or employees may terminate their relationship at will, for any or no reason. There are very few exceptions to this Mississippi legal doctrine.  Those exceptions have to be codified by the legislature.  That is exactly what the legislature did regarding the exercise of Second Amendment rights through the storage of firearms in employees' locked vehicles on company property.

A company, Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, ignored the state law and fired an employee, Robert Swindol, for violating the policy.  They publicly fired Swindol in front of other employees and explained why they had done so.  Swindol sued, and the case was appealed to the Fifth Circuit.

The Fifth Circuit noted that the company violated state law:
The Fifth Circuit began its discussion by noting Mississippi Code Section 45-9-55(1), which provides:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, a public or private employer may not establish, maintain, or enforce any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting a person from transporting or storing a firearm in a locked vehicle in any parking lot, parking garage, or other designated parking area.
Miss. Code Ann. § 45-9-55(1) (Rev. 2015). The cross-referenced subsection (2) provides a different rule for certain secured parking lots, but neither party claims that rule applies here. Swindol, 805 F.3d at 521. It also is “undisputed that Aurora had a firearms policy that is inconsistent with [Section 45-9-55].”
The Fifth Circuit said that there was no case law on the subject in Mississippi, so they referred the case to the Mississippi Supreme Court.  The Mississippi Supreme court found that the legislature was empowered to protect the individuals exercise of Second Amendment rights as it had.  From Swindol v. Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. MS Supreme Court(pdf):
Swindol appealed, and the Fifth Circuit has now certified the following question to this Court:
Whether in Mississippi an employer may be liable for a wrongful discharge of an employee for storing a firearm in a locked vehicle on company property in a manner that is consistent with [Mississippi Code] Section 45-9-55.
Swindol v. Aurora Flight Sciences Corp., 805 F.3d 516, 523 (5th Cir. 2015). The Fifth Circuit also concluded that it “would benefit from [this Court’s] analysis of whether Section 45-9-55(5) bars” Swindol’s suit. Id. at 522.
The Mississippi Supreme Court found that the Constitution and statutes of Mississippi protected the right to keep and bear arms, including in a persons's vehicle.  In conclusion the Mississippi Supreme Court wrote:
 While Mississippi is an at-will employment state, that doctrine is not absolute. This Court repeatedly has stated that the doctrine must yield to express legislative action and/or prohibitions found in federal or state law. We find that such “express legislative action” and “state law prohibitions” exist here. We also find that Subsection (5) does not protect Aurora from liability under the facts of this case. As such, we answer the certified question affirmatively.
While seemingly obvious and incremental, the case adds to the growing number of cases that find that state governments have solid and presumtive reasons for protecting their residents' right to keep and bear arms.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

IN: Mother Wins Gunfight with Invader

“She heard the window get busted and she called her husband and said I think somebody’s breaking in the house,” said Edsel Ballard, the woman’s father.

“He broke in through the baby’s window, ok, and when he was coming out the door, my sister was coming out her bedroom door, he aimed and shot at her first and then she shot him,” said Eddie Ballard, the woman’s brother.

The woman exchanged gunfire with the burglar, family members said, and the intruder was hit multiple times. He was taken to an Indianapolis hospital, police said. Dispatchers said the intruder was also carrying zip ties and a walkie-talkie.

More Here

SC: Neighbor Holds Burglar at Gunpoint

COWPENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Spartanburg County deputies said a burglary suspect was arrested after neighbors discovered him leaving the scene and held him at gunpoint until deputies arrived at the scene.

More on TX: Couple Used Gun to Tell Armed Guest to Leave

The couple told police Roberts had been living there, but was no longer welcome.

“(The husband) told the suspect he needed to move out of their house because of his drug use,” the affidavit stated. “The suspect became upset and pulled the handgun and pointed it at (the husband).”

When the husband “pulled his own gun out and pointed it at the suspect,” the affidavit stated, “the suspect then put up his gun.”
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Pope Francis Blames Weapons Manufacturers for Brussels Attack

Image from

Pope Francis has been a grave disappointment to many Christians, not just Catholics. He appears to be as steeped in "Merchant of Death" conspiracy theory as he is in Christian theology. At a traditional pre-Easter ritual, the Pope washed the feet of refuges, including a Catholic woman, Muslims, and a Hindu man. The ritual had long been limited to practising Catholic men, almost exclusively, priests.

Many Catholics are unhappy with this severe break in tradition.

Of greater interest is that the Pope blames the terrorist attack in Brussels on arms manufacturers and arms traffickers.  From
"Three days ago, there was a gesture of war, of destruction, in a city of Europe by people who don't want to live in peace," he said. "Behind that gesture there were arms manufacturers, arms traffickers, who want blood, not peace, who want war, not brotherhood," he said.
In a reference to the Brussels attackers, Francis condemned "those poor creatures who buy weapons in order to destroy brotherhood," comparing them to Judas Iscariot, the apostle who the Bible says betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
 This is not the first time that this Pope has inappropriately condemned weapons manufacturers. 

This is not Christian theology.  It is "Merchants of Death" conspiracy theory.  This theory claims that it is arms manufacturers who push for and cause wars.  It minimizes conflicts between nations and people who have ideological and religious differences, or who are competing for limited resources such as territory, food, raw materials, or for dominance.  The theory, like many conspiracy theories, is popular among people who want someone to blame for wars, and an "easy fix" to stop wars.  Movies have been made with this theme.
The theory has long been discredited.  War is as old has humanity, as old as social insects.  It existed long before there were weapons manufacturers and has been waged by numerous states where the manufacture of weapons of war was done only by the state.  For Pope Francis to make this statement shows a profound and deep misunderstanding of the causes of war, and of human nature.

The weapons used in the Brussels attack were not manufactured by an industrial concern.  They were homemade from common household chemicals.

The change in the foot washing ritual also shows a profound misunderstanding of human nature.  To Muslims, it is a symbol of submission.  Fundamental Muslims will interpret this as a sign that the attack in Brussels was a tremendous success. It will embolden them and lead to more attacks.  After all, because if it, the Pope knelt down at the feet of Muslims in an act of submission.

When the Pope exhibits such a deep misunderstanding of human nature, of human organization, and of global realities and of Christian doctrine, it is a grave cause for concern.

If Popes in the days of the Crusades had urged their followers to welcome Muslim invaders, Christian Europe would never have survived and thrived.  There would not have been a reformation, the renaissance, or the scientific revolution. It happened in the Middle east, eastern Europe, North Africa and Spain, where Muslim invaders conquered vast areas controlled by Christians, and destroyed the Christian Byzantine empire.  Science in Muslim lands never advanced beyond that of the middle ages, in spite of Muslim access to Greek manuscripts, Indian mathematics, and Chinese printing blocks, and gunpowder technology, all of which travelled through Muslim controlled lands before they reached Christendom.

Fortunately, wiser Popes in the western half of Christendom recognized the legitimacy of self defense and helped expound the doctrine of "Just War".  It is a long standing and well developed Catholic doctrine.   The comments of Pope Francis seem to be inconsistent with  the "Just War" doctrine.  How can there be a "Just War" if the manufacture of weapons is illegitimate?  For that matter, how can the Pope maintain an armed guard of Swiss mercenaries to defend the Vatican?  Will the next proclamation of Pope Francis be that he is throwing wide the gates of the Vatican to refuges, and disbanding the Swiss guard?

I hope, and pray, that this will not happen.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.  Link to Gun Watch

Friday, March 25, 2016

Open Carry at the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky

The NRA annual meeting is fast approaching.  This year it will be in Louiseville, Kentucky, starting on May 20th, 2016.  My colleague, Liston Matthews has inquired and has determined that lawfully carried firearms will be permitted in the Kentucky Exposition Center.  The NRA quite properly requires that attendees follow the law regarding carry in Kentucky.  Here is an explanation of the open carry law From

Open Carry (Without a Valid Permit/License)

Open Carry is legal in Kentucky. Not all places listed in the “Places Off Limits” apply to those who are Open Carrying. It is up to you to know what laws apply to you when Open Carrying. When open carrying, be prepared for Police Officers to question you as open carrying firearm gets their attention. See the “RV/Car Carry Without a Permit” section for carrying in a vehicle. 

The state preempts all firearm laws in the state and local authorities can’t have Laws/Ordinances against open carry. Remember that if you enter any property and the owner/responsible person ask you to leave you must leave. Failure to leave can result in Trespass Charges. Kentucky Government White Paper on Open Carry can be seen Here. The Minimum age for Open Carry is 18.

 In some states Open Carry is forbidden in places where those with a valid permit/license can carry. This is not the last word on Open Carry in this state. Check at or go to Google and type in State Name Open Carry or Open Carry State Name for a search for open carry info in this state. Check with the State's RKBA Organization/s. Also see “Attorney General Opinions/Court Cases” Section for any written opinions/Cases on Open Carry.
At the last NRA annual meeting in Nashville, there was a nasty Internet meme that claimed the NRA was banning people from carrying guns at the Annual Meeting.  That idea was used a potent propaganda by disarmists to claim that the NRA was being hypocritical.  I and others killed that story with pictures and articles.  This year, we should make certain that the world knows that we are not ashamed of being armed citizens.

I wanted some local knowledge to confirm what was on  I asked a seasoned open carrier at if he had any wisdom to impart about open carry at the coming NRA meeting.  Here is his reply:
There is no reason anyone should shy away from OC at the NRA convention. It looks like almost all of the events are to be held at the Ky State Fairgrounds and Exposition Center or the Louisville Convention Center, downtown. The NRA Women's Leadership Forum Luncheon & Auction will be at the Marriott Hotel adjacent to the Convention Center. The NRA-ILA Dinner and Auction and the Prayer Breakfast will be held at the Galt House Hotel's restaurant, but I doubt that any of us would be interested in those, the dinner is $500 a ticket and the Breakfast is $40. The Toby Keith concert on Saturday night will be at the Yum Center, also a state building. I don't know how Toby Keith feels about OC. Friday night the NRA Jam will be outdoors, at the Bellvedere. That is owned by Louisville Metro and they are preempted from any firearms regulation. The Galt House is private property and can do what they want, but the Fairgrounds and the Convention Center are both state owned facilities and they do not prohibit guns, no matter how they are carried. The only other possibility would be for the NRA to ban all guns or just ban OC. What are the odds of either of those happening?
The last time the convention was in Louisville, I OC'ed everyday. I expect to do so this year. I hope that others will join me.
I will be open carrying at the annual meeting in Louisville.  With the constant threat of extralegal action by President Barack Obama, we should consider open carry at the meeting to be a political act.  Consider wearing your prettiest handgun.  It is unlikely that you will be under physical attack at the NRA meeting; but you will be under constant political attack.

Open carry with holstered handguns is an effective way to strike back politically.

If you are concerned about open carry and safety, carry your nicest pistol in its prettiest holster without a round in the chamber, or completely unloaded if you like.

We should refrain from unholstering pistols, even if someone really wants to see it.  Cameras will be everywhere, and angles will taken advantage of to make a gun in the hand look unsafe.

Do not do it.  Keep the pistol holstered.  Be safe.  Open carry at the NRA annual meeting is strong, symbolic, protected, political speech in favor of the Second Amendment.  Use it to promote your rights.

Definition of  disarmist

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

KY: May You Legaly Carry at the NRA Meeting in Louisville?

Not all NRA Annual Meeting venues have historically welcomed peaceable citizens carrying handguns.

This year, with the upcoming meeting in Louisville, KY, it seemed prudent to inquire of NRA about carrying at the meeting.

A question was sent:

from: Liston Matthews
date: Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 1:58 PM
subject: 2016 Meeting
Will permitted individuals be allowed to carry at the meeting in Louisville?
The answer was yes:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Followup SC: Grand Jury Refuses to Indict Jimmy Joe Methe for Shooting Running Teen Thief

A Kershaw County grand jury has refused to indict a Camden man charged with voluntary manslaughter for shooting and killing a 17-year-old who was apparently trying to siphon gasoline from the man’s pickup truck in the middle of the night in February.

The teen, Brandon Spencer, was running away at the time after trying to steal some gasoline from the truck of Jimmy Joe Methe, 49, while it was parked in front of his Norden Drive home in Camden, according to evidence in the case.

Methe shot Spencer once in the back of the head from a distance of 37 yards as Spencer was fleeing down a street with an accomplice – apparently another youth – around 3 a.m. Feb. 13, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said Friday.

The charges Matthews had filed against Methe now will be dismissed

More Here

NM: Felon who Shot Thief goes to Prison on Gun Charge

Albuquerque police says Chavez told them he shot someone during an attempted break-in.

Charges were filed after it was discovered Chavez was a felon and not supposed to own a gun.

More Here

AZ: Subdivisions of Government Can be Sanctioned for Violating State Constitution or Law

On 17 March, 2016, Governor Ducey signed into law SB1487.  The law gives legislators and the State Attorney General a way to sanction lower units of government who flout the State Constitution and State law.  How does it work? From the bill(pdf)
41-194.01. Violations of state law by counties, cities and towns; attorney general investigation; report; withholding of state shared revenue


A legislator files a complaint with the state Attorney General stating the allegations that a sub unit of government is violating the State Constitution or state law.  The AG investigates and makes a report to the Governor, the Secretary of State, the Senate, the House and the originating legislator(s).  The report needs to be don in 30 days. If the report concludes that the governing body is in violation, they will be given 30 days to comply; if they do not comply, state revenue sharing will be withheld. 

Once they comply, revenue sharing will be restored.

Political subdivisions of the State are all creatures created by the State government, which are regulated by the state government.  No authority at a lower level than the State, except for the people, has direct Constitutional authority.  Only the State and the people do:  all the rest are derivative from state authority.

The problem has been that some political subdivisions of the state have decided not to obey state law, on the presumption that the State has no penalties in place to force compliance.  This law puts the penalty authority in place.  It also allows for subdivisions of the state to ignore those penalties if they are willing to give up the state revenue sharing.

Arizona Citizens Defense League (AZCDL) supported this reform, as they have seen numerous instances where subdivisions of the state have violated the state firearms preemption law with impunity.   I have personally noted situations where local governments refuse to check firearms (store them) for areas where they restrict access from legally armed people, as required by law.  Tucson has put in place a legal requirement to report lost or stolen firearms that is in violation of state law.  This law provides a means of redress. 

Are there dangers in this law?  Certainly.  An unscrupulous AG could cut off revenue sharing from political subdivisions that they wished to punish; the AG could refuse to certify that they were following the law not matter what they did.

The only redress would be to impeach the AG, or to replace them from office in the next election.  It may be sufficient.  Perhaps this will spark a movement for political subdivisions to return to less reliance on the State to collect and redistribute taxes.  The most responsible political subdivisions would be least subject to this type of sanction.

Some of the earliest complaints will likely be about firearms law.  We will find out in the next few months.

Other states have taken other, more specific measures to insure that subdivisions of the state comply with laws designed to protect the right to keep and bear arms.  Florida and Pennsylvania have passed laws that allow individuals and organizations to sue subdivisions who flout the law.  Those laws allow the plaintiffs to collect costs and punitive damages.

Texas has a law that requires the AG to investigate governmental subdivisions who violate State law on where firearms may be prohibited.

 Definition of  disarmist

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

ID: Calls to Governor Otter for and against Permitless Carry 50-50

With the Idaho legislature's permitless or "Constitutional" carry bill on Governor Butch Otter's desk, I read a comment on the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance facebook page that seemed unlikely. It seemed that numerous disarmists were calling the Governor's office to urge a veto.  From the ISAA facebook page:
SB 1389, Constitutional Carry, was delivered to the Governor's office yesterday (March 21st) at 2:40 p.m.

That means today is the 1st of 5 days he has to act.

The gentleman I spoke with said that the calls were 5 to 1 againat Constitutional Carry. Bloomberg is clearly spending money to make it look like Idahoans are opposed.
Better step up your game!


I called Governor Otter's office to see what was happening with the bill, and what sort of opposition it was getting.   I was refereed to the Press office.  As expected, they are very busy because this is the end of the legislative session.  They are handling large numbers of calls on numerous issues.

Most of the callers are from out of state.  I was told that this was common on issues involving abortions, wolves, and guns. 

On the particular issue of permitless or "Constitutional" carry, the phone calls are running 50/50 for and against.

The Governor's office confirmed that they have until 2:40 p.m. on Saturday to veto or sign the bill.

If the veto occurs after the end of the legislative session, there will not be any reasonable chance to override the Governor's veto, because the Governor would have to call the legislature back into a special session for an override.

I do not see that as happening.

Permitless carry passed the legislature with veto proof margins.  27-8 in the Senate, 54-15 in the House.  It has the endorsement of the Idaho Sheriffs Association and the Fraternal Order of Police.

The comments on the Governor's facebook page are overwhelmingly in favor of permitless carry.  Here is a typical comment:
Chris Fullmer Governor Otter, please show that you uphold to Constitution by signing SB 1389. Do not be swayed by out of state influences like Michael Bloomberg who would try and control us. Stand true to your oath.
Governor Otter has a reputation as Second Amendment Supporter.  I will be surprised if he vetoes S 1389.  We will know by Saturday afternoon.

Definition of  disarmist

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

AZ: Media Company Pays for Firearms Safety Instruction

Another company has paid for firearms safety training for employees.  What is interesting about this company is that it is a media company.  After decades of dominance by philosophically identical members of a media that propagandized for more and more infringements on the Second Amendment, this is a refreshing difference.  Not surprisingly, the media company is part of the new media. From
Liftable Media, Inc., the parent company of Western Journalism, paid for its employees to go through a concealed carry certification course over the weekend.

About half of the staff took the company up on the offer and participated in four hours of teaching by active and former police officers with Arizona Defensive Firearms Training.
Liftable Media is not shy about its philosophical roots and affiliations.  It does not try to convince you that it is neutral about everything, and that all values are the same.  For example, it actively seeks truth. From
Liftable Media, Inc is a media company that drives positive cultural change through media, truth, and storytelling. We are a Top 10 digital publisher consistently ranked among the Top 50 most visited media networks in the U.S. and we receive over 150 million pageviews each month in our network. We are proud to operate some of the world’s top conservative news and commentary news sites, including and Liftable Media, Inc also operates growing lifestyle sites and
For decades Second Amendment supporters have held to the truism that one of the easiest ways to convert some one into a Second Amendment supporter is to take them shooting.  Introducing a significant percentage of a media outfit's staff to the experience of shooting is a good way to improve their knowledge and writing ability about shooting and Second Amendment related stories.  It is much harder to be blindly prejudiced against an activity once you have actually experienced it.

I suggested that the Bloomberg funded propaganda workshop for media personnel, that was held in Phoenix, include an evening's experience at the range.  I was not surprised when my suggestion was ignored.  The disarmist media are usually ignorant about guns, and proud of their ignorance.

Definition of  disarmist

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

Hollywood Think Tank Offers “Firearm Depiction Suggestions,” Critics Call Foul

Is Hollywood indoctrinating audiences to view guns as dangerous? At times, some would say that it seems that way. Recently, attention has been drawn to the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC), a non-profit organization with the mission of providing “information, awareness and understanding of major health and social issues” among the entertainment industries and to audiences. The organization’s stated goal is the accurate depiction of these issues in Hollywood and beyond, and it bills itself as a resource to writers, directors, and producers. However, the organization recently earned the ire of some gun rights advocates after The Daily Caller pointed out that EIC offers a list of firearm “depiction suggestions” on its website. Second Amendment advocates and groups, such as the NRA, accused the lengthy list as propaganda that demonizes guns and gun ownership.

Here are a few of the entries of that list from the EIC website:

More Here

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

FL: Cell Phone Video Suggests "Road Rage" Homicide was Self Defense

That's when Alvarez made a U-turn and followed Bellino, BSO said. At some point Bellino Shot Alvarez, who later died.

BSO said in a statement "homicide detectives said the statements provided by Bellino and Alvarez’s girlfriend were consistent with eyewitness accounts and her cell phone video that suggested the shooting was a result of self defense."

More Here

NC: Armed Victim Shoots 2 of 3 Armed Robbers; All Arrested

Four people apparently met at the restaurant to finalize a Craigslist deal for the cell phone, Medlock said. Three men planned to sell two cell phones to the fourth man, who was already waiting inside the restaurant.

During the transaction, police said, the three robbed the awaiting buyer with a handgun. The buyer then fired back with a handgun of his own inside inside the busy restaurant at the other three, striking two of the men.

More Here

GA: Man Shoots Intruder who Came to "Get Revenge"

The suspect is identified as 34-year-old Blake Elliot Herman. He was shot in the leg.

The resident told investigators he heard a noise coming from his sister’s bedroom. When he opened the door, he reported seeing a man standing in the doorway. The resident adds, he feared for his life thinking Herman had a gun.

Herman told deputies he had a key to the home. He also admitted that he used to date the woman who lives at the home and that he was there to get revenge.

More Here

ID: When will Governor Otter Sign Permitless Carry?

On Friday, 18 March, the Idaho permitless carry bill, S 1389 was passed by the Idaho House of representatives, 54 – 15.  Once a bill has passed both houses, there is a procedure to be followed for it to go to the Governor for consideration.  On Monday, 21 March, S 1389, S 1389 was enrolled and officially sent to Governor Butch Otter of Idaho.  From  
03/21 Returned From House Passed; referred to enrolling             Reported enrolled; signed by President; to House for signature of Speake
Received from Senate; Signed by Speaker; Returned to Senate
Reported signed by the Speaker & ordered delivered to Governor
Monday is the official day that S 1389 was sent to Governor Otter.  He has five days, not counting Sunday, to sign or veto permitless carry. From
After receiving a bill passed by both the House and Senate, the Governor may:
  1. Approve the bill by signing it within five days after its receipt (except Sundays), or within ten days after the Legislature adjourns at the end of the session (“sine die”).
  2. Allow the bill to become law without his approval by not signing it within the five days allowed.
  3. Disapprove (veto) the bill within five days and return it to the house of origin giving his reason for disapproval, or within ten days after the Legislature adjourns “sine die.”
A bill may become law over the Governor’s veto if both houses vote to override the veto by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present in each house.
When a bill is approved by the Governor or becomes law without his approval or over his veto, it is transmitted to the Secretary of State for assignment of a chapter number in the Idaho Session Laws. Most bills become law on July 1, except in the case of a bill containing an emergency clause or other specific date of enactment. The final step is the addition of new laws to the Idaho Code, which contains all Idaho law.
Sin die (the day the legislature adjourns) is estimated as March 25th for 2016.
If the legislature adjourns before Governor Otter has the bill for five days, he has an additional five days after that, not counting Sundays, to sign or veto the bill.  If he does neither, the bill becomes law.

If the legistature adjourns after 25 March, and the bill was not signed by the Governor, the bill will become law on 25 March.  If the legislature adjourns before 25 March, and the bill is not signed or vetoed, it will become law on 31 March.

I expect that Governor Otter will sign permitless carry.  He has a good track record as a Second Amendment supporter.  The bill is a small, symbolic, incremental, step to restore this freedom to Idaho; and it is supported by the vast majority of law officers in the state.

When Governor Otter signs S 1389, Idaho will be the ninth state to have permitless or “Constitutional” carry.  Seven states have restored permitless carry since 2002.  The eight states with permitless carry are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Vermont.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

What Caetano v. Massachusetts Means for the Carry of Knives in New York

Over the past decade, 60,000 people in New York City have been victimized by corrupt prosecutors for possessing common pocket knives.  They have been cited, arrested, fined and imprisoned for carrying some of the most common tools in existence in the United States, under an incredibly broad interpretation of New York law banning "gravity" knives.  The New York City prosecutor has demanded payment to his office fund of for "knife safety", what  amounts to extortion money so as not to be prosecuted for selling these common knives. 

All of that is threatened by the clear finding of the wording of the Second Amendment by the Supreme Court today, March 21st, 2016, in the case of Caetano v. Massachusetts.

Jaime Caetano is a woman who was poor and homeless, who carried an electric stun gun for self defense.  She also used it for that purpose.  But the stun gun was discovered in her purse when she consented to a search for shoplifting.  No stolen items were found, but she was charged with illegal possession of a stun gun.  Massachusetts bans possession of stun guns.

The case was appealed to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, which ruled that stun Guns were unusual and dangerous weapons, that did not exist at the time of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, and so, could be banned.

The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which disagreed, and in a very shot ruling confirmed that the Second Amendment applies to all bearable arms.  From 14-10078 Caetano v. Massachusetts(pdf) :
The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 582 (2008), and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States,” McDonald v.Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 750 (2010).
The Supreme Court has cleared up numerous lower court confusions with this simple ruling.   Clearly knives constitute instruments that are bearable arms.  Clearly folding pocket knives are common, as are fixed blade knives or all lengths.  Therefore there is no doubt that a ban on possession of common knives is unconstitutional on its face.

The same goes for sticks, clubs, and virtually all types of  firearms that have sold more than the approximately 200,000 electric stun guns estimated to be in the United States.
From Justice Alito's concurring opinion:
(Almost Entirely) Nonlethal Weapons, and the Rights To Keep and Bear Arms and Defend Life, 62 Stan. L. Rev. 199, 244 (2009) (citing stun gun bans in seven States); Wis. Stat. §941.295 (Supp. 2015) (amended Wisconsin law permitting stun gun possession); see also Brief in Opposition 11 (acknowledging that “approximately 200,000 civilians owned stun guns” as of 2009).
Thus we have an lower limit for what is considered "common";  any type of weapon that can be shown to exist in numbers approaching a couple of hundred thousand is in common use.  Locking, folding, pocket knives exist in tens, more likely, hundreds of millions.  There are millions of semi-automatic rifles that meet the facial description of common, bearable, arms.  The open carry of those arms in dozens of states makes it clear that they are both bearable and common.

I do not see how the numerous local and state bans can withstand this argument.  No doubt those cases are on the way.

Caetano v. Massachusetts will provide a powerful argument for those who are attempting to reform these ineffective and archaic bans on common arms.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Supreme Court Confirms Second Amendment Applies to all Bearable Arms in Common Use, Including Stun Guns

In a historic, but extremely short unanimous opinion, the United States Supreme Court has confirmed that the Second Amendment applies "to all instruments that constitute bearable arms,".   As this is an enormous class of nearly all weapons, the decision is properly applied to knives and clubs, and nearly all firearms that have been sold in the United States.  Nearly all types of firearms are more common than stun guns. From
But in an unsigned opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday vacated that ruling. It said the Massachusetts court improperly found that Second Amendment protection applies only to weapons that were in common use at the time of the nation's founding.

Referring to its landmark 2008 ruling on handguns in the home, the justices said the Second Amendment applies "to all instruments that constitute bearable arms," even those not in existence at the time of the founding.
The unsigned opinion is very short.  It is sparse, as noted by justices Thomas and Alito.  Alito writes a much longer and more forceful opinion in concurrence.  It could, and should, have gone much further.  None the less, it is an enormous win for Second Amendment supporters, and it extends far beyond stun guns and Massachusetts.  Because the opinion is short, here is the unanimous opinion, without Justice Alito's concurrence, which is at the link.

14-10078 Caetano v. Massachusetts(pdf) :

Cite as: 577 U. S. ____ (2016)
ALITO, J., concurring in judgment




No. 14–10078.Decided March 21, 2016


The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U. S. 570, 582 (2008), and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States,” McDonald v.Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 750 (2010). In this case, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts upheld a Massachusetts law prohibiting the possession of stun guns after examining “whether a stun gun is the type of weapon contemplated by Congress in 1789 as being protected by the Second Amendment.” 470 Mass. 774, 777, 26 N. E. 3d 688, 691 (2015).

The court offered three explanations to support its holding that the Second Amendment does not extend to stun guns. First, the court explained that stun guns are not protected because they “were not in common use at the time of the Second Amendment’s enactment.” Id., at 781, 26 N. E. 3d, at 693. This is inconsistent with Heller’s clear statement that the Second Amendment “extends . . . to . . . arms . . . that were not in existence at the time of the founding.” 554 U. S., at 582.

The court next asked whether stun guns are “dangerous per se at common law and unusual,” 470 Mass., at 781, 26 N. E. 3d, at 694, in an attempt to apply one “important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms,” Heller, 554 U. S., at 627; see ibid. (referring to “the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’ ”). In so doing, the court concluded that stun guns are “unusual” because they are “a thoroughly modern invention.” 470 Mass., at 781, 26 N. E. 3d, at 693–694. By equating “unusual” with “in common use at the time of the Second Amendment’s enactment,” the court’s second explanation is the same as the first; it is inconsistent with Heller for the same reason.

Finally, the court used “a contemporary lens” and found “nothing in the record to suggest that [stun guns] are readily adaptable to use in the military.” 470 Mass., at 781, 26 N. E. 3d, at 694. But Heller rejected the proposition “that only those weapons useful in warfare are protected.” 554 U. S., at 624–625.

For these three reasons, the explanation the Massachusetts court offered for upholding the law contradicts this Court’s precedent. Consequently, the petition for a writ of certiorari and the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis are granted. The judgment of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts is vacated, and the case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

There is strong language in this opinion.  If 200,000 stun guns in the U.S. are "common", it is hard to believe that 5 million AR-15s and millions of other semi-automatic rifles are "unusual".  If stun guns are common and protected by the Second Amendment, then so are knives, clubs, and future weaponry.

The case lays to rest the idea that courts can simply say anything other than handguns are "uncommon" or "unusual" and are therefore exempt from Second Amendment protections.

This case will be cited far into the future.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Guns on Post Office Property Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear the appeal from the 10th Circuit of Bonidy v. United States Post Office.  The case is one in which Tab Bonidy, a Colorado citizen with a concealed carry permit sued the Post Office for infinging the Second Amendment by declaring it a crime for him to carry on Post Office property, including Post Office parking lots.  From
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court won’t hear a dispute over a U.S. Postal Service regulation that bans guns from post office property and adjacent parking lots.
 It is easy to under stand why Second Amendment supporters on the Court would not want to hear this case at this time.  Antonin Scalia is dead.  There are now only 3 justices on the Court who can reasonably be counted on to uphold the Second Amendment.  They do not want to hear a Second Amendment case that could be used to gut the Amendment.

We do not know who voted to hear the case or not.  But I am not surprised that the Court decided not to hear this case.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

Monday, March 21, 2016

MO: Man Shoots Car Thief in Confrontation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Kansas City police are investigating a shooting on the city's east side involving a homeowner and a man trying to steal a pickup.

More Here

GA: Man Shoots Car Thief, is Charged with Murder

Atlanta police were securing murder warrants Sunday against a man who shot at least five times and killed a suspected car thief in southwest Atlanta on Saturday, police said.

Witnesses outside a gas station told Channel 2 Action News they watched a man open fire on a man who climbed into a black sedan that was left running on the side of the store.

More Here

TN: Armed Victim Wounds Suspect, is also Wounded

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police in Memphis are investigating a double shooting.

A man in the 3100 block of Ray Charles Drive said he was getting out of his car when two men approached him with a gun asked: “Where the money at?”

More Here

TX: Intruder Shot and Killed in Floresville

FLORESVILLE, Texas - A man was shot and killed Saturday morning after he tried to burglarize a building, according to Floresville police.

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SC:Man Shoots Intruder at Castle

A trespasser was shot and killed by a homeowner on private property in Greenville Co., according to deputies.

The Sheriff’s office says they received a call about a suspicious person on a property on Altamont Road and that the homeowner fired a weapon.

The coroner has ruled the death a homicide.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

FL: More Details on Tampa Shooting of Intruder

Solomon grabbed his gun, went downstairs and found a man in the kitchen. He told officers he was "in fear for his life," and then fired multiple gunshots at the intruder, according to police.

The intruder was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity was not released Tuesday by police, who said they were trying to find his next of kin. The police released no other details about the incident.

"It does make you want to be prepared," said Chris Mercer, a friend of Solomon's. "I'm in awe."

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CA: More on Ontario Home Invasion Shooting

A suspected intruder was shot by an Ontario homeowner early Tuesday morning after his daughter alerted him that someone broke into her bedroom, authorities said.

"I had complete tunnel vision. I didn't know I hit him until he fell on the floor," Arthur Corral, the homeowner, said.
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MO: Shooting of Truck Thief Under Investigation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The homeowner who shot a thief he said was trying to steal his truck from his driveway has been arrested.

Police were called to the home on East 47th Street early Friday morning. Now the man in his 70s is back home, while he waits to see what prosecutors have to say about the shooting.
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Armed man Shoots Aggresive Car Thief

According to Drobik, the guard found the suspect allegedly trying to get into a car on the property.

A confrontation ensued and the suspect pulled out a weapon.

Police say the suspect then got closer to the guard, who fired his weapon.

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WV: Invaders Assault Couple, Resident Shoots 1

Davis and Todd Benson, both of Clarksburg, are alleged to have broken in through the back door of the home at around 5:14 a.m., according to Clarksburg Chief of Police Robbie Hilliard.

The man and woman living in the home woke up and were assaulted by the suspects. The man then reportedly shot Davis in self-defense.

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TN: Woman Hides in Closet, Shoots Intruder with .357

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Police say an attempted burglary suspect was shot in the arm by a resident late Friday morning.

It happened just before 11 a.m. at Waterford Crossings on Old Franklin Road.

The resident heard repeated knocking at her door, and saw a man she did not know when she looked through the peephole.

She became concerned and hid in a closet in her bedroom with a .357 revolver.

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ID: Why Permitless Carry has Taken so Long in Idaho: Three Powerful House Chairs Oppose it

Idaho is a strong Republican state.  It is known for being Second Amendment friendly.  The reason it took so long to pass permitless or "Constitutional" carry is epitomized by the three Republican committee chairs shown above.  All three chose to vote against permitless carry.  They were the only Republicans in the House to do so.

It says a great deal that these powerful people chose this political hill to die on.  Why?  Why not vote for the bill, and at least camouflage your actions?  How many are in the Idaho legislature who did exactly that? These are only the ones in the House. There is likely a similar cabal in the Senate.

These three representative control three of the most powerful committees in the Idaho legislature.  They can pass bills and stop bills.  They can prevent bills from ever seeing the light of day.  It seems that they have done so.  The final vote in the House was 54 to 15!  Only active suppression by the legislative leadership could keep that sort of support bottled up.  And it did.  Until now. From Idaho
Three high-profile Republican House members opposed a bill Friday that would allow permitless concealed carry throughout Idaho.
Despite the opposition from most House Democrats and Reps. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry, and Fred Wood, R-Burley, the bill cleared the chamber on 54 to 14 vote and now moves to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk for his consideration.
In the image above, courtesy of the Idaho Reporter and, from left to right:

Fred Wood, R-Burley
Health and Welfare, Chair
  • District 27
    5th term
    P.O. Box 1207, Burley, 83318-0828
    Home (208) 312-1056
    FAX (208) 677-3136
    Physician (retired)
    Health & Welfare - Chair
    Resources & Conservation 

Maxine Bell, R-Jerome From
 Rep. Maxine Bell, a retired school librarian from Jerome, was first elected to the Idaho Legislature in 1988.  She’s the longtime co-chair of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, which crafts the annual state budget.
 District 25
14th term
194 S. 300 E., Jerome, 83338
Home (208) 324-4296
Retired Farmer/School Librarian
Appropriations - Chair
Agricultural Affairs

Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry
Judiciary, Rules and Administration, Chair
 District 23
7th term
P.O. Box 602, Glenns Ferry, 83623
Home (208) 366-7408
Bus (208) 484-0403
FAX (208) 366-2457
Business Owner, Opera Theatre/ Communications Consulting Business
Judiciary, Rules, & Administration - Chair
Transportation & Defense
If these three Chairs are against you in the Idaho legislature, it does not matter very much who is for you.  It takes the overwhelming force of a higher power to overcome the resistance of the massive legislative clout of these Chairs.

And that is what happened.  The overwhelming force was the force of the voters in Idaho.  At one point, a thousand demonstrators showed up at the Idaho capitol, and this was not a one time event.  This has been building for years.  On the side of this bill are the vast majority of Idaho sheriffs in the Idaho Sheriffs Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the NRA.  The overwhelming political force of the voters was organized by the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance.  They have become a powerful voice in the Idaho legislature.  I expect to hear more from them in the future.

I have seen this pattern before, in numerous other legislative bodies, and in many executive offices.  The longer a person stays in power, the more arrogant and disdainful of the people they become; and they become more and more likely to wish the people disarmed.  

The bill has not yet passed.  It has been sent to Governor Butch Otter.  I expect him to sign it.  He has been pro Second Amendment in the past.  If he does not veto it, it will become law five days (not counting Sunday) after it is enrolled and the Governor receives it.  The legislative web site is not yet showing it as enrolled.

Update: Constitutional carry was signed by Governor Otter on March 24, 2016.  These three Republicans are emblematic of why it took so long to accomplish.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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