Thursday, August 30, 2012

Help Stop CA's Latest Bad Gun Law

There is a very bad bill on the Governor's desk that needs action on your part. AB 1527 will both require all long guns to be transported in a "locked container" and create a ban on the transportation of long guns outside the home with a list of "exemptions" for lawful purposes. Such systems in other states (notably NJ) have resulted in the arrest of countless law abiding citizens for inadvertent violations, or no violation at all.

Example: The law requires that you proceed directly to and from the "legal activity" while transporting your guns, with only those stops and diversions that are "reasonably necessary". You are coming home from the range and decide to stop for gas. You have half a tank. While you are in line, cop sees your gun case, walks up to your window and when you roll it down he sees you have 1/2 a tank. He runs your address and finds that you are close to your house. He can arrest you and you can be sentenced to 6 months in jail. Ditto if you stop to eat, or visit a friend, or any other activity a cop does not think is "reasonably necessary".

Add to this the fact that the law is very complicated and law enforcement agencies have little money to train officers on new laws and it is an absolute certainty that gun owners who are actually obeying the law will be arrested by officers who have not been properly trained. How do we know this? It is already happening with our current gun laws.

Finally, this is a law in search of a problem. There have been few, if any, cases of people "open carrying" long guns. Unlike the open carry ban on handguns passed last year, there has not been a lot of law enforcement support for this bill. Why is it being passed? Simply to make gun ownership and use harder. After all, one of the supporters of this bill recently admitted that the goal is an eventual ban on all guns, including hunting rifles and shotguns.

I urge you to follow the link below and register your opposition to AB1527 with Governor Brown. I have pasted my letter of opposition below - feel free to use it. When making your selection from the "subject" field, note that there is a specific selection for AB1527 - I believe it's listed as "AB001527 - Firearms". Be sure to click the "oppose" button at the top of the second page. Here's the link:

Here's my letter - feel free to use it - and please let anyone you know who might oppose this law know about this page!


Honorable Gov. Brown,

I am writing in opposition to AB1527. This proposed law is a very bad idea for a lot of reasons:

It will make the simple task of going hunting or target shooting much more complicated.

The law that would be created by this bill is so complex and convoluted that it is virtually certain that both law enforcement and gun owners will misunderstand it.

Exemption based systems, such as the one contained in AB1527, in other sates have resulted in law abiding citizens being arrested for inadvertent violations. They have also resulted in many arrests of gun owners who were, in fact, complying with the law.

AB1527 contains sections that are so vague that they invite abuse by over zealous law enforcement officers and prosecutors.

Because it is both unnecessarily restrictive, overly complex, and contains vague sections, AB1527 is nearly certain to be challenged on 2nd Amendment and other constitutional grounds.

Given that the DC Court of Appeals has ruled that long guns cannot be restricted in the same way, or to the same degree, as handguns it is virtually certain that a challenge on 2nd Amendment grounds will succeed. It is significant that this court reached this decision applying only intermediate scrutiny to the 2nd Amendment. The Supreme Court has signaled in McDonald that the level of scrutiny ultimately applied to the Second Amendment will likely be higher.

Defending AB1527 will cost the taxpayers a great deal of money. In the event of a loss, which is the likely outcome, the state may have to pay even more in attorney's fees and court ordered penalties.

Worst of all, AB1527 is a law in search of a problem. Unlike the situation with handguns, there have not been any problems with "open carry advocates" or others publicly carrying long guns. It simply is not practical to "open carry" a long gun as one goes through one's day. This law was written to prevent a problem that has not happened and probably will not happen.

For all of the above reasons, I respectfully request that you veto AB1527.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Key ATF Official In Fast and Furious Scandal Drawing Government Pay For Not Working While Employed On Wall Street

Deputy Assistant ATF Director William McMahon, who was determined in a congressional report to bear a great deal of responsibility for the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal, has been rewarded with six months pay – and full retirement – while working for a Wall Street investment firm. In an arrangement that directly violates ATF policy, he has been placed on six months paid leave in spite of the fact that he is currently working full time for J.P. Morgan. Even more significant is the fact that this arrangement enables McMahon to qualify for full retirement benefits, which he would not be qualified for without the additional six months of “employment”.

All of this has taken place only days before the DOJ Inspector General will issue its’ report on Fast and Furious, a report widely expected to also name McMahon as a principle in the chain of responsibility for the ill fated operation.

Why in the world would the administration reward someone responsible for an operation that is at least partially responsible for the death of two Federal Agents? The obvious answer is that this man knows something the administration does not want the public to know.

Perhaps most significant, is that fact that this story broke not from Fox News or they Daily Caller, but in the Washington Post! This issue may be more likely to gain traction because, unlike other aspects of the story, one need not understand anything about guns or gun laws to grasp how wrong and corrupt this is. This may be the clearest indication yet that there is much more to this story than is currently on the record.

I expect we will hear a lot more about this in the next few months.

Update: A great deal has come to light in the short time since the above was written.

First, it has been confirmed that J.P. Morgan is both a major contributor to President Obama's campaign and the provider of credit cards to the ATF.  Given the nature of  McMahon's "arrangement" this is no surprise.

Second, Rep. Issa has revealed that his committee will likely refer McMahon for criminal prosecution for lying under oath before congress (a felony).

Third, we have learned that McMahon's new job is located in the Philippines.

So, let's review: A major figure in the worst scandal to hit the Obama administration is being paid a six figure salary by the taxpayers for doing nothing, while at the same time working for a major ATF vendor and Obama contributor at a job located outside the country.  This arrangement was made just a few weeks before the DOJ's Inspector General's report will be released and shortly before a congressional committee will refer him for felony prosecution.  Said arrangement will enable him to start drawing his Federal retirement in six months and will make it much more difficult to obtain his testimony or prosecute him for lying to congress.

See the August News Links for sources of the above information.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Why California's Latest Gun Control Bill Failed

This week California's latest gun control bill was killed in committee.  It was killed by a liberal Democrat who normally favors gun control.  How in the world did this happen?  Why did this bill (SB249) die?  The best place to begin answering this question is with some undeniable facts regarding SB249:

1) Not one crime has ever been committed with the guns that Yee's bill would have banned.

2) Yee's bill focuses on how the gun looks and how it is held, rather than it's firepower

3) SB249 doesn't affect semi-automatic firearms that "look OK", but are much easier to reload.

4) SB249, if passed, could very well result in the overturning of California's Assault Weapons law. This was recognized by Chairman Gatto in his public statements on the matter.

Some observations on the above:

First, in the past the first three facts would not have matter one bit - and the fourth fact would not have even existed.  Things have really changed since the Heller and McDonald decisions were handed down by the Supreme Court.

Second, Yee attempted to get this bill passed by lying. Although they look very similar, the guns he was trying to ban function very differently than those making headlines. Yet he constantly tries to equate these two very different guns.

Third, and most significant, Senator Yee is living in denial concerning the 2nd Amendment.

Before the Heller and McDonald decisions were handed down by the Supreme Court, states passed gun laws as if the 2nd Amendment did not exist. They did so by arguing that the 2nd Amendment only applied to the militia. Now the high court has established that the 2nd Amendment protects a personal right that is enforceable against the states - and that this right is "fundamental to our system of ordered liberty". This indicates that the protected right is to be accorded a high level of protection - comparable to freedom of the press, religion, speech, etc.

At this point, there appear to be two tests that determine if a firearm is protected: Does the firearm have "militia value"? (Established in Miller.) AND Is the firearm "in common use" by civilians? (Established in Heller). Clearly an AR15 pattern rifle has militia value - but it is also "in common use" in as much as it is the most commonly sold firearm type in the US. These facts place the current CA assault weapons ban in jeopardy.

So, how could the current CA law be defended? The most logical way would be to argue that these guns are not banned, they are merely restricted as to how the magazine operates (and what magazines can be used) in the interest of public safety. The best defense for the CA Assault Weapons ban is the Bullet Button that Yee wants to ban in SB249. Outlaw the Bullet Button and you remove that defense - and probably doom the whole Assault Weapons ban.

This is why Chairman Gatto said "the bill would almost certainly result in expensive lawsuits that, if they went in favor of gun rights groups, could actually undermine California's gun control laws. 'We could end up where this bill did the exact opposite of what it was designed to do',"

Chairman Gatto is operating in the present. Senator Yee is operating in the past. The most productive thing that California gun control advocates can do is to follow Assemblyman Gatto's example and hold their fire until the Supreme Court clarifies exactly what restrictions are and are not constitutional. If they choose to follow Yee's example, they do so at their peril.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Proof That Man Pushing New California Gun Law Wants To Ban All Guns

As this is written, a bill is moving forward that will make it nearly impossible for anyone in California to own the most common - and best selling - gun in America: The AR-15 pattern rifle.

Currently, in order for such guns to be owned in their normal configuration the magazine must be "locked" in place and must require a tool for it's removal.  Furthermore, it is a felony to insert a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds.  In other words, these guns are crippled.  But since they still "look evil" state Senator Leeland Yee wants to ban them, and confiscate all of them with out any compensation.

Recently information has come to light that reveals the true agenda of these San Francisco anti-gun politicians.  This information proves that those in the gun rights community who have warned that the ultimate goal is to get rid of all guns - including traditional hunting rifles and shotguns - are 100% right.

The following is a screen shot of an Internet chat between Matt Gray and Sen. Yee's point man for his new gun law (SB249), Adam Keigwin.  The relevant text of the conversation is:

Matt Gray: They can be banned for future purchase, but not taken from current owners without due process of law and compensation (i.e. buyback). A high powered 30-06 deer hunting rifle has far more dire conseqenses, and at a greater distance, as does a shotgun which sprays nearly 3 dozen 30-caliber bullets at once at a very effective urban range.

Adam Keigwin: Let's get rid of those too.

The actual screen shot appears above.  To view it full size in a new window, click here.

Let there be no doubt, even though the Supreme Court has twice held that gun ownership is a constitutional right and that guns "in common use" cannot be banned, Adam Keigwin wants to do just that.  Banning guns that "look evil" and have been labeled as "assault weapons" is only step one.  Adam screwed up and revealed the true agenda that he and his boss have in mind: A total ban on all guns just like they have in Yee's native land - Communist China.

No matter what state you are in, take the time to visit - and then DO SOMETHING.  If you are in CA, contact your State Senator and Assembly member.  If you are outside CA, stay on top of this issue.  We may need help fighting this law in the courts.  If California can get away with this, you can bet that Pres. Obama, or someone like him, will try it nationwide. We need to stop this here and now.  Stand with us.

Update: Yee's bill has been killed in committee by a liberal Democrat!  See THIS POST.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fast and Furious Timeline and News Links - August 2012

August 1, 2012 - NY Post: First, the "fast and furious" small fry

August 1, 2012 - The Daily Caller:
Fast and Furious report: Gunwalking idea came from top Holder deputies in 2009

August 1, 2012 - Des Moines Register: Congressional report: Many share fault in Fast and Furious failures

August 1, 2012 - GOP report distorts facts, Justice Department says

August 1, 2012 - My Fox Phoenix: Fox News Examines blame-filled Fast and Furious indictment

August 1, 2012 - Main Justice: Republican's Take Aim at Magazines Alternative Report on Fast and Furious

August 1, 2012 - KFMB: 5 top ATF agents responsible for Fast and Furious

August 1, 2012 - FRONTERAS: Congress Releases Gunwalking Report

August 1, 2012 - New report on Fast & Furious blasts ATF, U.S. Attorney

August 1, 2012 - Democratic Justice Department shrugs off Fast and Furious report

August 1, 2012 - Fox News: Conflict of Interest in Fast and Furious?

August 1, 2012 - Fox News: New GOP Fast and Furious report singles out 5 ATF officials

August 1, 2012 - Fox News: Justice Department: GOP Fast & Furious report is 'distorted'

August 2, 2012 - Justice Department: Fast and Furious report distorted

August 2, 2012 - NewsMax: Grassley to Newsmax: Likely Holder Knew of 'Fast and Furious'

August 2, 2012 - HS Today: ‘Fast & Furious’ Guns Should Have Been Tracked by GPS, Report of GOP Investigation Says

August 2, 2012 - 'White House fingerprints all over' final Fast and Furious report

August 2, 2012 - Huffington Post: Fast And Furious: William Hoover, Ex-ATF Deputy Director, Leaves Agency

August 2, 2012 - NPR: Head of Embattled ATF Says Running Bureau Testing All My Skill Sets

August 2, 2012 - Politico: ATF official leaves agency in the wake of Fast & Furious investigation

August 2, 2012 - The Foundry: Operation Fast and Furious: The Buck Stops…Well…Somewhere Else

August 2, 2012 - The Daily Caller: ATF official resigns after Issa, Grassley nail him in congressional Fast and Furious report

August 2, 2012 - Fox News: ATF figure in Fast and Furious leaves agency

August 2, 2012 - The Crescent-News: ATF figure in Fast and Furious leaves agency

August 2, 2012 - CNN: Deputy Director William Hoover resigns from ATF in wake of critical report

August 3, 2012 - NY Times: Official Leaves A.T.F. After Uproar Over Gun Inquiry

August 3, 2012 - CNN:
The AC360 Weekly Buzz: Fast and Furious, Bachmann, Reid, Romney, Syria, Aurora shooting warning, holograms

August 3, 2012 - ABC15: Former ATF Deputy Director leaves agency

August 3, 2012 - Federal agents take aim at Fortune's Fast and Furious report

August 3, 2012 - Agents say 'DOJ is hanging ATF out to dry' in Fast and Furious

August 3, 2012 - Pittsburg Tribune-Review: Fast & Furious: Where the buck stops

August 3, 2012 - MY VIEW: Demand answers for Fast and Furious

August 4, 2012 - San Francisco Chronicle: Fast, Furious gun-walking called unusual

August 5, 2012 - ATF head Jones avoiding volunteered evidence about earlier gun operation

August 6, 2012 - San Diego Reader: Fast & Furious Gun Intended for Leyzaola Assassination Attempt

August 7, 2012 - NPR: Fast And Furious Whistle-blower Reaches Agreement Over Retaliation Claims

August 7, 2012 - The Daily Caller: Report: Drug cartel used Fast and Furious weapon in failed assassination plot

August 7, 2012 - The Washington Times: ATF whistleblower’s revenge case settled

August 8, 2012 - Fox News: Justice announces new whistleblower post in wake of 'Furious'

August 8, 2012 - Fox News: Looming report the final word on 'Furious'? Findings to hit at peak political time

August 10, 2012 - The Furor Over “Fast and Furious”

August 10, 2012 - KVOA: Veteran ATF agent demanding answers

August 10, 2012 - KETK: More Fast and Furious

August 10, 2012 - Fronteras: Untangling Operation Fast And Furious

August 13, 2012 - TPM: Issa Sues Holder Over Fast And Furious Documents

August 13, 2012 - The Washington Times: GOP sues to force Obama, Holder compliance on Fast and Furious

August 13, 2012 - Fox News: GOP lawmakers file suit against Holder seeking 'Furious' documents

August 13, 2012 - Human Events: Civil suit filed against AG Holder

August 13, 2012 - UPI: Fast and Furious: Issa sues Holder

August 13, 2012 - New American: Cartel Member Makes Startling Claim About Fast and Furious

August 13, 2012 - Wall Street Journal: Firearms Bureau Struggles to Define Its Role

August 14, 2012 - Lawmakers file lawsuit against Holder for Fast & Furious documents

August 14, 2012 - Fox News: Issa delivers message to Eric Holder

August 14, 2012 - Fox News: GOP hopes judge can force release of gunrunning docs

August 17, 2012 - Agents mull ATF name change amid bad press

August 19, 2012 - Conspiracy indictments indicate sanctioned gunwalking, government lies

August 21, 2012 - Facts of Shipley case lead to some conclusions, much speculation

August 21, 2012 - Washington Post: ATF official also holding private-sector job, Congress members say

August 22, 2012 - Senior ATF Official Accused of Collecting Pay From Private Sector Pay While On Leave

August 22, 2012 - Washington Examiner: Double-dipping: ATF ‘rewarding’ man who ran Operation Fast and Furious

August 22, 2012 - Fast and Furious: DOJ Inspector General Report Delivered

August 22, 2012 - Fox News via YouTube: BUSTED: Top Fast & Furious Official Caught Double-Tipping from Taxpayers and Big JP Morgan Bank 

August 22, 2012 - KETK: Lawmakers seek answers on official at center of 'Fast and Furious'

August 22, 2012 - Senior ATF official Bill McMahon accused of 'double dipping'

August 22, 2012 - Grassley, Issa zero in on dual employment of F&F figure

August 22, 2012 - Main Justice: Lawmakers: ATF Deputy Also Working For J.P. Morgan

August 22, 2012 - McMahon not only one favored with ATF ‘sweetheart deal’

August 22, 2012 - Federal Times: ATF official collects paid leave and private-sector salary, lawmakers charge

August 22, 2012 - LA Times: Republican lawmakers question ATF official's 'double-dip' arrangement

August 22, 2012 - Washington Examiner: Examiner Editorial: Fast and Furious figure double-dips at JP Morgan

August 22, 2012 - Newsmax: GOP Claim: Top Fast and Furious Officer Now Getting Two Salaries

August 23, 2012 - Fox News: ATF official tied to 'Furious' sting on leave, earning second paycheck, lawmakers allege

August 23, 2012 - Channel 6 News Now: Republican lawmakers question ATF official’s ‘double-dip’ arrangement

August 23, 2012 - Human Events: Fast and Furious: Bill McMahon’s long vacation - "In a completely unrelated coincidence, JP Morgan just happens to be the credit card provider for the ATF. And they’re big-time Obama donors." (This closes the loop nicely.)

August 23, 2012 - Government Executive: ATF official allegedly collects paid leave plus J.P. Morgan salary

August 23, 2012 - Washington Examiner: Video: Fast and Furious figure double-dips at JP Morgan

August 23, 2012 - New American: Fast and Furious ATF Leader on JP Morgan Payroll May be Prosecuted

August 23, 2012 - Fast and Furious official MIA in order to avoid testifying

August 23, 2012 - KETK: Federal double-dipping (Video)

August 23, 2012 - American Thinker: Lawless DOJ Reports on Itself in Fast and Furious

August 23, 2012 - Issa says ATF’s McMahon ‘will probably be referred for criminal prosecution’

August 24, 2012 - Catholic Online: Officials furious at 'Fast and Furious' figure's alleged 'double dipping'

August 24, 2012 - Main Justice: Isaa Asks IG to Testify Next Month about Fast and Furious Report

August 24, 2012 - The Hill: Issa asks official to testify on long-awaited 'Fast and Furious' report

August 24, 2012 - Inspector General’s report on Fast & Furious should be released

August 25, 2012 - Big Hollywood: Issa Asks IG Horowitz to Testify on Fast and Furious

August 26, 2012 - Interahsyon: Suspended US ATF official holds private-sector job in Philippines

August 26, 2012 - The Washington Times: PICKET: Issa calls DOJ's IG Horowitz to Capitol Hill for September hearing on Fast & Furious

August 27, 2012 - ABQJournal: Editorial: ATF Double-Dipping Adds Insult to Injury

August 27, 2012 - Issa to question OIG head as ATF pores over report

August 27, 2012 - BayouBuzz: Exclusive: Fast and Furious IG report slams ATF Phoenix personnel

August 27, 2012 - Report: ATF Officials in Phoenix Responsible for Fast and Furious

August 28, 2012 - Right Side News: Congressional Report on Operation Fast and Furious

August 28, 2012 - MainJustice: Report: DOJ Fast and Furious Report Lays Blame with Phoenix ATF Office

August 28, 2012 - Does IG report scapegoat Fast & Furious?

August 28, 2012 - CBS News (Sharyl Attkisson): Exclusive: Fast and Furious IG report slams ATF Phoenix personnel

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