The first Monday in October, the traditional date for the beginning of the U.S. Supreme Court’s term, is almost here: On Oct. 2, 2023, the court will meet after the summer recess, with the biggest case of the term focused on the limits of individual gun rights.

The other core issue for the coming year is a broad reassessment of the power of the administrative state.

Both issues reflect a court that has announced revolutionary changes in doctrine and must now grapple with how far the new principles will reach.

Two years ago, the court began what many consider to be a constitutional revolution.

The new supermajority of six conservative justices rapidly introduced new doctrines across a range of controversies including abortion, guns, religion and race.

When the court announces a new principle – for example, a limit on the powers of a specific part of government – citizens and lawyers are not sure of the full ramifications of the new rule. How far will it go? What other areas of law will come under the same umbrella?

Continue reading “”

Will Gov. Newsom ever realize California’s gun laws must follow the Second Amendment?

By The Editorial Board | |
How many times will it take for Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta and others to realize California’s gun laws must follow the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America?

On Sept. 22, their attempt to limit rifle and pistol magazines to 10 bullets again was shot down by Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District of the U.S. District Court, part of the Ninth Circuit. The ban derived from Proposition 63 in 2016.

The case is Miller v. Bonta. On June 5, 2021 Benitez originally ruled the ban unconstitutional. Sixteen days later a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit stayed the ruling, leaving the law in place. Matters changed after the U.S. Supreme Court strongly affirmed Second Amendment protections in its June 23, 2022 decision, NYSRPA v. Bruen. The top court also ordered the Miller case heard again by Benitez.

In his new Miller case decision, Benitez held, “Based on the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment, this law is clearly unconstitutional … There is no American tradition of limiting ammunition capacity and the 10-round limit has no historical pedigree and it is arbitrary and capricious. It is extreme.”

He noted there is no federal ban on such magazines. And state bans are not uniform and “arbitrary.”

He cited several cases of self-defense where small magazines were inadequate in fighting off criminals. In Kentucky, an intruder came in blasting at a family. One daughter was killed and the father wounded three times as he returned fire with 11 rounds from one gun and eight from a second, failing to hit the assailant, who later was arrested.

Benitez also noted 81 million Americans own up to 456 million firearms. And that criminals don’t follow gun laws.

Benitez performed a “masterful job at the molecular level” of picking apart “every argument put forth by the state of California” and other states to limit the Second Amendment, Sam Paredes told us; he’s the executive director of Gun Owners of California, which filed an amicus brief in the case.

Bonta, who we endorsed for re-election last year, filed an appeal. He said, “We will continue to fight for our authority to keep Californians safe from weapon enhancements designed to cause mass casualties.” Newsom said, “It’s time to wake up. Unless we enshrine a Right to Safety in the Constitution, we are at the mercy of ideologues like Judge Benitez.”

That was a reference to Newsom’s proposed 28th Amendment that, among other things, would ban so-called “assault weapons,” which really are just cosmetically mean-looking rifles.

Ironically, that’s a tacit admission the restrictions he favors currently are unconstitutional.

Earlier this month Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico tried banning open carry of legal guns. She was rebuffed in court and even by such liberal Democrats as Rep. Ted Lieu of Los Angeles, who reminded her, ““No state in the union can suspend the federal Constitution. There is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution.”

Gun rights are here to stay. Newsom and Bonta need to end their assaults on Californians’ right to defend themselves.

This tech has been around for decades. It was – and likely still is – used by the Fed goobermint as well as our military to track down terrorists using networking and targeting techniques that several ‘3 letter’ agencies developed. The method described at the beginning of the article is the way goobermints get around 4th amendment restrictions on searches. Unfortunately, the courts have let this slide as they’re goobermint too and don’t like the idea the mice can play without the cat being able to tell where who and where they are.

Just the Facts on ‘Geofencing,’ the Intrusive, App-Based ‘Dragnet’ That Sgt. Joe Friday Never Dreamed Of.

As worshippers gathered at the Calvary Chapel in 2020, they were being watched from above.  

Carson Atherly, Cavalry Chapel cleric: He got a notice of violation “every Sunday.”

Satellites were locking in on cell phones owned by members of the nondenominational Protestant church in San Jose, Calif. Their location eventually worked its way to a private company, which then sold the information to the government of Santa Clara County. This data, along with observations from enforcement officers on the ground, was used to levy heavy fines against the church for violating COVID-19 restrictions regarding public gatherings.       

“Every Sunday,” Calvary’s assistant pastor, Carson Atherly, would later testify, the officers “would serve me a notice of violation during or after church service.”

Calvary is suing the county for its use of location data, a controversial tool increasingly deployed by governments at all levels – notably in relation to the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. While enabling law enforcement to more easily identify potential offenders, the practice, called “geofencing,” has also emerged as a cutting-edge privacy issue, raising constitutional issues involving warrantless searches and, with Calvary Chapel, religious liberty.

Google Maps
Don’t “geofence” them in, say worshippers in Silicon Valley. This map is from nearby Mountain View-based Google, recently penalized over its location tech.

“We are in the space between the emergence of this technological practice and courts having ruled on its constitutionality,” said Alex Marthews, national chair for Restore the 4th, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans’ rights against “unreasonable search and seizure.”

Continue reading “”

It’s easy to fact-check Al. All he does is lie.

Fact Check: Al Sharpton Says No Mass Killings Without ‘Mass Instruments’

CLAIM: During a Friday appearance on MSNBC, Al Sharpton bemoaned the inability to secure more gun control and claimed there would be no mass killings without “mass instruments.”


Breitbart News reported Sharpton suggested gun control can be pursued under the banner of “civil rights.”

He went on to say that whether gun control is pursued as a civil right or “just on guns, people cannot do mass killings unless they have mass instruments.”

Sharpton focused on AR-15s and suggested he is shocked by people who say, “No, we’re not giving up our AR-15s.”

He did not mention the work done via a partnership between Northeastern University, the Associated Press, and USA Today, which traces “mass killings” back to 2006 and shows “semiautomatic handguns are far more common in mass killings than guns that are typically characterized as assault weapons, such as the AR-15.”

Graphs used by Northeastern/AP/USA Today show handguns are used in “mass killings” almost twice as much as “long guns,” the latter being a category which includes shotguns, rifles of every kind, etc.

During the MSNBC segment, Sharpton pointed to the August 26, 2023, Jacksonville, Florida, shooting in which a man with an AR-15 killed three people at a Dollar General store. He did not mention the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech shooting, in which an attacker with two handguns killed 32 people.

Sharpton also omitted the November 21, 2021, incident in which Darrell Brooks Jr. drove over people during a Milwaukee parade, killing six.

He left out the July 14, 2016, attack in Nice, France, in which a terrorist used a truck to kill 86 people and failed to mention the September 11, 2001, attacks, in which airplanes were weaponized to kill nearly 3,000 people.

Sharpton’s claim is false.

Well, he’s bizarre, so……

Biden’s comments on gun violence truly bizarre

After nearly three years in office, there are a lot of things I’ve come to expect out of the Biden administration. Coherent comments by the president aren’t among them.

Yet in announcing his new Office of Gun Violence Prevention, Biden had to open up and discuss so-called gun violence more broadly. He couldn’t just announce the office and leave it there, he had to explain to the press–the same guys who wanted this for years, mind you–why it was supposedly needed.

In discussing “gun violence,” however, Biden was his typical self, saying things that raised more than a few eyebrows.

On Friday, while touting his strict gun control laws, Biden continued his trend of lying when he claimed he has been to “every mass shooting.”

Biden furthered his support for restricting the Second Amendment, saying, “If you need 80 shots in a magazine, you shouldn’t own a gun.”

Yeah, buddy. That happened.

First, no, Biden hasn’t been to every mass shooting. Especially if you consider the definition of mass shooting that his party tends to prefer, which is the Gun Violence Archive definition that is just based on the number of people shot, not killed.

This definition inflates the number of mass shootings into a huge number, one that would make it impossible for Biden to visit every mass shooting.

Further, Biden offered no real qualifiers on those mass shootings, so even if we use the more traditional definitions that are based on the number of people killed, it’s unlikely he visited every mass shooting that ever happened in the US, much less the planet as a whole.

Because while people like Biden tend to pretend that mass shootings are uniquely American, they happen everywhere.

Then we get to the whole “if you need 80 shots in a magazine, you shouldn’t have a gun.”

First, there aren’t any 80-round magazines out there, though I suspect a company like Palmetto State Armory might be cooking up one right about now.

Yet even if there were, so what?

There is nothing in our Second Amendment that seems to support such a supposition. If we need X number of rounds, we shouldn’t have a firearm? Why is that? Under what criteria would we be allowed to have a gun? Is the limit 79 rounds? Five rounds? What exactly?

Now, generally speaking, people haven’t needed that many rounds for any lawful situation they might find themselves in. Many defensive gun uses take place with zero rounds being fired.

But many others take a lot more than some might think.

The truth is that no one who has survived a gunfight has ever said, “Gee, I wish I’d had less ammo.”

See, the problem with Biden’s myopic comment–and this is me trying to be charitable here–is that it doesn’t account for individual circumstances. There’s a difference between some guy pulling a gun on a mugger and someone who has angered an organized mob that wants their head.

Further, let’s remember that the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting or even muggers, specifically. Yes, the Tyranny of the Thug is a thing, but the amendment was essentially penned as an insurance policy on the rest of our rights. It was meant as a bulwark against tyranny as a whole.

Our Founding Fathers had just fought a war that started when the tyrannical government marched on a town to seize arms from them. It’s really unlikely that they intended to make it easier for a tyrannical leader to do the same again.

So no, there are no exceptions to the Second Amendment, no matter how many rounds you need in a magazine.

But since Biden clearly has never read the Second Amendment and definitely dismissed the Bruen decision, we’ve clearly got a long fight on our hands.


More of that quality New York gun control

New York has tripped over itself as a state to pass as much gun control as it can lately. After the Bruen decision gutted the requirement for people to show cause to carry a firearm, they’ve done what they could to make it untenable to do so.

But this isn’t new. The NY SAFE Act, for example, was a serious infringement on people’s Second Amendment rights and one that, in time, will likely be overturned.

Yet it’s the law here and now for people in the state. Law-abiding citizens don’t get to own things like the same AR-15s most of us can head to the store and buy right now.

It seems alleged criminals have no problems getting them, though.

On September 20th, 2023, Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents, and Officers with the Fortuna Police Department (FoPD) served a multi-location search warrant at a residence located in the 1000 block of Ivy Lane, Fortuna, a residence located in the 1000 block of Shamrock Drive in Fortuna, and on the persons of Aaron Allen ROBERTSON (Age 30) and Heather Danielle SPECHT (Age 29). After a multi-week investigation, the HCDTF believed ROBERTSON and SPECHT were in possession of large quantities of cocaine and multiple firearms for the purpose of sales.…

After ROBERTSON and SPECHT were detained, Agents searched their vehicle and located approximately 8 grams of cocaine, a digital scale, and packaging materials.

Agents continued on to search the residence that ROBERTSON and SPECHT were observed to be exiting. Agents located a large safe in the garage. After gaining access to the safe, Agents located four firearms including a functional 9mm “Uzi” sub-machinegun. Agents also located a box containing multiple plastic baggies, including one large vacuum sealed bag that had been opened. All of the packaging was covered in cocaine residue and accompanied by large bowls and mixing utensils.

Agents responded to the additional property on Ivy Lane that was also under the control of ROBERTSON and SPECHT. Agents searched the Ivy Lane residence and located five additional firearms and ammunition.…

Upon arrival at the residence on Smith Lane, Agents located CERVANTES-CUELLAR, Johnathan Charles ROBERTS (age 26), and Taylor Franklyn MILLER (age 25) inside of the residence. All three subjects were detained without incident.

During a search of the residence Agents located 25 firearms including several assault weapons. Agents also located hundreds of rounds of ammunition, several high-capacity magazines, multiple vests equipped with body armor, packaging materials, and a digital scale with cocaine residue.

I mean, take a look at these guns for a second:

I’m sorry, but that’s kind of impressive when you consider how much of it is outright illegal in the state of New York. Gun control is clearly working out really well there, isn’t it?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think absolutely none of this should be illegal. Yes, I include the actual submachine gun in this, too. The problem is that most lawmakers in the state disagree. They like gun control. They want more gun control.

Yet they don’t seem to grasp that the people who represent a problem, like these suspected drug dealers, aren’t inclined to follow gun laws any more than they’re inclined to obey drug laws.

“But if other states-” Just stop with that crap. You’re embarrassing yourself.

That’s a freaking Uzi and it was described by law enforcement as a functional submachine gun. Please name the state where you can just walk into a store, buy one of those, and walk out. You can’t because no such state exists. These are among the most tightly controlled firearms at the federal level and these alleged drug dealers managed to get their hands on one.

If they could get an Uzi, do you think they’d be unable to get anything else?

I mean, the apparently got their hands on at least some cocaine and that’s even more illegal than most of these guns.

The truth of the matter is that criminals aren’t inhibited by laws. If they’re inclined to break serious laws like dealing drugs then there’s no reason to believe they’ll be beholden to gun laws. New York keeps thinking otherwise, but this story and one earlier this week show just how stupid lawmakers are to believe such a thing.

God-Hating Group Threatens Auburn University With Lawsuit Over Student Baptisms

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is threatening to sue Auburn University after some 200 students participated in a spontaneous and unscripted mass baptism at a “Unite Auburn” worship event Tuesday night.

The “Unite Auburn” event featured performances by Christian worship band Passion and included speakers such as Jennie Allen, a Christian author, and Rev. Jonathan Pokluda, lead pastor of Harris Creek Baptist Church in Waco, Texas.

Following the event, one individual reportedly wanted to be baptized, but a tub was not available for use. Seeking a solution, students began gathering at the lake.

Photographs and video footage from the event showed hundreds of college students lining the banks of the lake as students waded into the water to be baptized one by one over a two-hour period.

About 200 students chose to be baptized from a crowd of over 5,000.

According to the godless twits at FFRF, the First Amendment requires public universities to suppress all religious activity.

Continue reading “”

The Red Tape of the Bureaucracy
By empowering the administrative state—and by increasing legal ambiguity—the Biden administration and various state officials are trying to reduce the use of this right.

It took me a long time to write this piece. I spent the first three months waiting for my writing permit, which by law should have taken 50 days, but which was delayed while the staff at the Federal Department of Print went on strike. Despite asking, I never did get a discount on the $75 processing fee.

After that, I spent a great deal of effort ensuring that I was in compliance with the ever-changing rules. My desktop computer was safely stored, as per regulations, but it turned out that, because the edges of the screen are black and I have a large external hard drive, it has been recently re-classified as an “assault mainframe” with “a high-capacity hard drive.” According to the agents who visited my house, this means that I can keep my keyboard plugged in or my USB cable plugged in, but that I cannot do both at the same time. Working around that set me back a week or two.

And then there were the issues I faced while traveling with my laptop. Thankfully, the state I live in has permitless computer carry, but many of the cities I went through do not. And, annoyingly enough, most of the coffee shops I found were “Writing-Free Zones.” In Denver, I asked the barista if it really mattered, but she gave me a firm look and explained that “arguments start revolutions.” Words, you see, are dangerous. Thank goodness that I’m being forced to pay for language insurance.

None of that is true, of course. The very idea is ridiculous. The First Amendment holds that Congress is prohibited from making any laws that abridge “the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” and the Fourteenth Amendment applies this rule to the states. On the whole, we take this pretty seriously—and those who don’t are mostly forced to by the courts.

But you see my point, don’t you? The fact that we have almost no laws regulating speech in the United States—and the fact that the ones we do have are straightforward—makes it extremely easy for American citizens to speak, write and argue.

When I sat down to write this piece, it never occurred to me that I needed to worry about the precise meaning of poorly written restrictions, or about the capricious whims of politicized bureaucrats, or about the latest bad ideas coming out of Congress. I just did it. I wrote what I wanted to write, where I wanted to write. I read my work aloud with impunity. And, when I was finished, I transmitted it across the internet without permission, dispensation or indulgence.

The Second Amendment does not represent a perfect analogy to the First. But one area in which the two do undoubtedly overlap—and overlap in ways that should be clear to everyone—is in the effect that government restrictions have upon the willingness of the law-abiding to freely exercise their rights. Notably, those restrictions do not need to be stringent to be highly effective.

As anyone who hails from a tyrannical country will tell you, the mere existence of broadly written speech regulations is enough to have a chilling effect on most uses of speech. Uncertainty smothers liberty in the cradle. Tell a man he is free, and he will be free. Tell a man that there are 4,000 laws on the books, that there are four different agencies tasked with enforcing those laws, and that the meaning of those laws is liable to change on-the-fly and … well, he may conclude that he is unwilling to take the risk after all.

This is no mere theory. In spite of the plain language of the Second Amendment, there are still many places in this country in which it is nigh on impossible for even the most conscientious gun owners to remain faithful to the law. Leave aside the possible training requirements, mandatory waiting periods, insurance obligations, permitting fees and other entry-level obstacles, and consider instead the sheer number of rinky-dink rules that are placed in a normal person’s way. Consider the prescriptive safe-storage regulations gun-control proponents want to impose—some of which are so onerous that they undermine the rationale for keeping a gun for one’s defense. Consider the absurd matrix of quotidian parts and cosmetic features that is used in some states to determine whether commonly owned firearms are deemed to be legal or illegal. Consider the patchwork quilt of carry restrictions—sometimes imposed within the same state or city. Consider the inscrutable “gun-free-zone” assignations that can make it impossible to walk from the diner to the mall without trespassing. Sometimes, one gets the impression that the rules have been explicitly designed to force would-be gun-owners to throw up their hands and disarm.

One is right to suspect as much.

Continue reading “”

Pushback: California county sued for using cellphones to track movements of church-goers

They’re coming for you next: Santa Clara county in California is now being sued by Calvary Chapel San Jose and its pastor Mike McClure for using without warrant the GPS data from the cellphones of the church’s members to track their movements without their knowledge.

On August 22, 2023, a lawsuit was filed by Advocates for Faith and Freedom on behalf of Calvary Chapel San Jose against Santa Clara County, California, for utilizing geofencing methods to spy on church members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, Santa Clara County imposed a $1.2 million fine against the church for not abiding by the State’s and County’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Santa Clara County utilized an investigative method known as geofencing. Geofencing is a technological tool the government uses to track people relative to their location and likely locations. This tool is typically used in police investigations of criminal activity and, in these instances, requires a warrant– which is not always granted.

The lawsuit complaint can be read here [pdf]. As it notes:

Unbeknownst to the public, Defendants embarked on an invasive and warrantless geofencing operation to track residents in the County. The Defendants used this tool under the auspices of researching so-called superspreader events and activities.

Geofencing is a location-based tool used by the government to track individuals through their cell phone data. This tool is generally used in police investigations of criminal activity and requires the government to obtain a warrant, which is limited in time and scope.

The Defendants specifically targeted Calvary Chapel San Jose (“CCSJ”) to demonstrate the church was a large superspreader. The County hoped to use this information in its ongoing state enforcement action against the church. To this day, the County cannot trace one COVID-19 case to the church.

The Defendants put multiple geofences around the church’s property so they could track when and where individuals were on the premises. This operation took place over a year with seemingly no oversight, boundaries, or limitations – meaning the Defendants could track churchgoers in the sanctuary, prayer room, or bathroom.

This type of expansive geofencing operation is not only an invasion of privacy but represents a terrifying precedent if allowed to go unaddressed. As it stands, the Defendants are effectively arguing that, as long as they call it research, any level of government can target and spy on any individual or group at any time for any duration, and, if they so choose, they can wield the collected data against said individuals or groups who oppose their orders. This is not just un-American; it is downright Orwellian. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted sentence is the bottom line. Despite imposing a $1.2 million fine against the church for continuing its regular meetings during the COVID lockdowns, the county has yet to document any evidence that the church’s defiance caused COVID to spread at all. If anything, the county’s illegal data-gathering proved it did not, unequivocally.

Of course, any rational person could have told the county this. The lockdowns did nothing to stop COVID, so there was no reason for the church to stop its Sunday services. In fact, the county’s attempt to forbid religious services (while allowing many other group activities to go on), its totalitarian fining of the church, and its illegal surveillance all strongly suggest that county officials had no interest in stopping COVID, but were actually implementing an anti-religious campaign to suppress religious expression.

The county can deny this accusation, but the evidence tells us it is true. Santa Clara County officials decided to use COVID as an excuse to squelch the religious freeom and first amendment rights of this church and its members. In doing so, it is also attempting to establish a precedent that will allow the government to spy on any citizen for as long as it wants, without warrant and for any reason, and then use that data to condemn that citizen.

Note too that the surveillance was without cause, and could not have gotten a warrant even if the county had tried. The church members were not committing any crimes by going to church. If anything they were simply exercising their first amendment rights, guaranteed from this kind of government interference by the Constitution itself.

The lawsuit demands nominal and compensatory damages as well as attorneys’ fees, claiming the county violated the church’s first and fourth amendment rights. I hope a jury gives the church an award that exceeds the county’s fine by many millions.

An Assault on Bill of Rights

The people of New Mexico — and, we fear, the people of the United States — owe Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina a real debt of gratitude.

Medina has stated unequivocally that his department will not enforce an unconstitutional “emergency order” by Michelle Lujan Grisham, the governor of New Mexico, to suspend the right of her constituents to lawfully carry firearms.

The governor’s order is in response to a spate of shootings in New Mexico’s largest city.

“A child is murdered, the perpetrator is still on the loose, and what does the governor do? She … targets law-abiding citizens with an unconstitutional gun order,” state Sen. Greg Baca, the ranking Republican in New Mexico’s state Senate, told the Associated Press.

“I don’t know what her thought process was that she suddenly thought she could trample the Second Amendment,” state Rep. Stefani Lord told KOAT Channel 7 of Albuquerque at a protest against the governor’s order.

The move by Grisham is excessive. It violates the Bill of Rights and it is exactly the sort of escalation that Americans who defend the Second Amendment fear and warn their friends, neighbors and family about when other measures to curtail gun owners’ rights are debated.

Even proponents of gun control, including activist David Hogg and U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., recognizes that Grisham’s order tramples Constitutional rights.

“I support gun safety laws,” Lieu said on social media, according to a Fox News report. “However, this order from the Governor of New Mexico violates the U.S. Constitution. No state in the union can suspend the federal Constitution.”

We appreciate the congressman speaking out against this violation of the Second Amendment just as we appreciate the police chief’s recognition that his department has no authority to join the governor in violating the Constitution. We hope the rebukes and reprimands are swift and severe enough that this infringement does not spread from the Land of Enchantment to our other 49 states.

Plaintiffs rest in state trial challenging Oregon’s new gun laws

Lawyers for two Harney County residents who are suing the state to block Oregon’s new gun laws wrapped up their arguments Wednesday. They presented two and a half days of expert testimony from firearms experts, law enforcement officers and other people who regularly use firearms in the course of their day-to-day lives.

Measure 114 requires a permit to purchase a firearm and a completed background check and bans magazines holding over 10 rounds of ammunition. It also bans magazines “that can be readily restored, changed, or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.” The provisions were blocked in December by Harney County Circuit Court Judge Robert Raschio pending this week’s trial.

On the opening day of the trial, the plaintiffs called Derek LeBlanc, a firearms instructor, and Ashley Hlebinsky, a former curator at the Cody Firearms Museum in Wyoming.

LeBlanc testified that, for self-defense, he recommends people get a firearm capable of holding as many rounds as possible. Questioned by Oregon Department of Justice attorneys defending Measure 114, LeBlanc conceded that he doesn’t carry the largest magazines possible, such as 60 or 100 round magazines.

Hlebinsky testified that there have been points in history when people carried more advanced firearms than the military. The Oregon Court of Appeals has in the past said firearms that evolved from military ordnance are not protected under the state constitution.

Hlebinsky also testified that there were many early firearms capable of firing multiple rounds without needing to be reloaded, and several makes and models that held over 10 rounds or used magazine-style feeding devices. During cross-examination, Hlebinsky said many of the earlier rifles she mentioned in her testimony were only available in Europe or, if they were in the United States, they were only in very limited numbers.

Hlebinsky’s husband works in the firearms industry and owns over $1 million in stock in an ammunition company. Her ties to the firearms industry and lack of formal training as a historian led a federal judge to question her credibility in a federal trial testing Measure 114′s legality under the U.S. Constitution.

“Ms. Hlebinsky lacks background and training as a historian,” U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut wrote in her July ruling, which found Measure 114 federally constitutional. “More troubling to this Court, Ms. Hlebinsky has both professional and personal ties to pro-gun groups and the firearms industry, which this Court finds limit her ability to serve as a neutral expert in this case.”

Scott Springer, who manufactures firearms parts and accessories, went over several different handgun, rifle, and shotgun magazines, and showed how the most common 10-round magazines can be altered to accept more than 10 rounds. The modifications require a drill, belt sander or additional parts.

Oregon State Police Superintendent Casey Codding, Union County Sheriff Cody Bowen and Harney County Sheriff Dan Jenkins all testified that their troopers and deputies carry firearms with 17-round magazines plus one round in the chamber. They also carry an additional two extra magazines for a total of 52 rounds. Codding said many of his troopers in rural areas take their firearms home with them because they start and end their days at home.

Bowen and Jenkins said their jurisdictions cover large geographic areas where response times can be lengthy. Bowen said citizens have asked him what they are supposed to do while waiting for a potentially 30-minute response “while somebody is beating on the door saying they’re going to kill me.”

“My answer to them, you know, defend yourself,” Bowen testified. “As far as human life, you have every right to defend yourself. You do whatever it takes to stay alive and wait for us to get there.”

Both sheriffs said their deputies have often relied on armed civilians to provide cover for them during incidents. They also testified that residents and deputies use their firearms to protect themselves, their families and their livestock from predators including bears, wolves and coyotes.

Bowen said he recently had a run-in with a bear, although he said the bear “didn’t get his filthy paws on me, but it was way too close for my comfort.”

Lawyers defending Measure 114 objected to much of Codding’s, Bowen’s and Jenkins’ testimony because the law has carve-outs for law enforcement to own and carry high-capacity magazines. Special Assistant Attorney General Harry Wilson said that, unlike citizens, law enforcement has the authority and duty to protect the public.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that police do not have a constitutional duty to protect the public from harm.

Lawyers challenging the new law said law enforcement’s assessment of what is necessary for self-defense is relevant. Raschio agreed and allowed the testimony.

Cattle rancher Shane Otley testified that he carries a Glock 380 and an AR-15. In the Glock, he said he carries a five-round magazine, and in the AR-15, he said he uses between 10 and 30-round magazines. He said he carries the Glock for personal defense and the AR-15 for protecting his livestock.

Harney County gun store owner Ben Callaway testified about the various kinds of magazines and firearms he frequently orders and sells. He testified that several attempts to order 10-round magazines had been rejected by out-of-state companies citing Measure 114′s prohibition against magazines that can be modified to hold more than 10 rounds.

Republicans push ahead with attempt to impeach governor over Albuquerque gun ban

A pair of Republican lawmakers are pushing ahead with an effort to impeach Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham over a gun ban that has been called unconstitutional and thrust New Mexico into the national debate on gun violence.

The effort, however, faces an uphill battle in the state Legislature, where Democrats control both chambers.

Reps. John Block of Alamogordo and Stefani Lord of Sandia Park this week launched a certificate form for lawmakers to sign calling for an extraordinary session to impeach Lujan Grisham over an executive order prohibiting carrying open or concealed firearms in public in Albuquerque and across Bernalillo County.

The governor ordered the 30-day gun ban, part of an effort to stem gun violence in New Mexico’s most populous city, after the shooting death of an 11-year-old boy — another casualty in a city beset by crime. The ban also triggered widespread criticism of the governor, who said no constitutional right, in her view, is intended to be absolute.

“The U.S. Constitution is absolute and designed to protect the rights of the people against tyrannical decisions like Governor Lujan [Grisham] attempted to do,” Lord, a staunch gun rights advocate, said in a statement.

Rep. John Block, R-Alamogordo, at the Capitol in January during the legislative session.

Continue reading “”

Opponents of Measure 114 gun laws say case is about “individual rights” in trial opening

In opening statements Monday, lawyers for two people suing over Oregon’s new gun laws said Ballot Measure 114′s provisions are the “most significant threat to [the right to bear arms] Oregonians have faced in nearly 165 years.”

“This case is not about public health, public safety or public concern,” plaintiffs’ attorney Tony Aiello told Judge Robert Rascio. “This is about individual rights. This is about the individual right to self defense and the right to bear arms to secure that right.”

Aiello said plaintiffs in the state trial plan to show that Measure 114, approved by voters last year, effectively limits Oregonians to owning only antique firearms. He said Measure 114 regulates firearms that were plentiful prior to 1859, the year Article I, Section 27 of the Oregon constitution — the section protecting the right to bear arms — was ratified.

The new laws would ban high capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, require a completed background check to buy or transfer a firearm and require a person to take training and receive a permit to purchase a firearm. Raschio, an Oregon Circuit Court judge based in Harney County, blocked the new laws from taking effect in December pending this week’s trial.

In their opening statement, lawyers defending the new rules for the Oregon Department of Justice said the court must determine if large capacity magazines are considered “arms” under the state constitution, and thus protected, a question they said had already been resolved by the Oregon State Court of Appeals.

Continue reading “”

Michelle Lujan Grisham tries to revive Democrats’ “Massive Resistance” to civil rights

Just off the main drag in Farmville, Virginia there’s an unassuming brick building next to a brightly painted tarpaper structure. The unobtrusive sign out front identifies the building at the Robert Russa Moton Museum; a largely unknown place that was the site of one of the most significant events in the civil rights movement. The museum was once R.R. Moton High School, the black public high school in Prince Edward County. In 1951, then 15-year-old Barbara Johns led her fellow students on a walkout in protest of the deplorable conditions of the building and the education they received.

After years of frustration with Prince Edward County school which she describes (later in a memoir) as having inadequacies such as poor facilities, shabby equipment and no science laboratories or separate gymnasium, Barbara took her concerns to a teacher who responded by asking, “Why don’t you do something about it?” Barbara describes feeling as though her teacher’s comments were dismissive, and as a result she was somewhat discouraged. However, after months of contemplation and imagination she began to formulate a plan. As Barbara describes it,

“the plan I felt was divinely inspired because I hadn’t been able to think of anything until then. The plan was to assemble together the student council members…. From this, we would formulate plans to go on strike. We would make signs and I would give a speech stating our dissatisfaction and we would march out [of] the school and people would hear us and see us and understand our difficulty and would sympathize with our plight and would grant us our new school building and our teachers would be proud and the students would learn more and it would be grand….”

Seizing the moment, on April 23, 1951, Barbara Johns, a 16 year-old high school girl in Prince Edward County, Virginia, led her classmates in a strike to protest the substandard conditions at Robert Russa Moton High School. Her idealism, planning, and persistence ultimately garnered the support of NAACP lawyers Spottswood Robinson and Oliver Hill to take up her cause and the cause of more equitable conditions for Moton High School.

After meeting with the students and the community, lawyers Spottswood Robinson and Oliver Hill filed suit at the federal courthouse in Richmond, Virginia. The case was called Davis v. Prince Edward. In 1954, the Farmville case became one of five cases that the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka when it declared segregation unconstitutional.

While Brown v. Board of Education was decided in 1954, public schools weren’t integrated in Prince Edward County for another decade. The school system dragged out any attempt to abide by the decision for years, and when that became untenable the county decided to shut down the public schools entirely rather than integrate. The “Massive Resistance” movement eventually resulted in several communities shuttering their schools, though none for as long as Prince Edward County. It took another Supreme Court decision in 1964 to re-open the schools, this time to both black and white students.

When I first moved to the Farmville area a decade ago I met a man who’d spent several years being taught in a church basement and in the living rooms of family and friends by parents and other adults who refused to let kids go unschooled. In fact, he was the one who told me about this shameful history in the first place.

Both Farmville and the nation at large have come a long way since 1951. Sadly, Massive Resistance to a Supreme Court decision is making a comeback among Democrats, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham seems intent on becoming the standard bearer for the movement.

Grisham made it clear when she first announced she was unilaterally suspending the right to carry in Albuquerque and surrounding Bernalillo County that she didn’t care what the Constitution says, much less the Supreme Court. Even after the police chief and sheriff said they wouldn’t enforce her order because of constitutional concerns she insisted that curbing violent crime required disarming lawful gun owners and rendering them defenseless in public.

During the court hearing that led to her original order being put on ice, the governor’s attorney repeatedly argued that there was no difference between a “good guy with a gun” and a bad guy, that every concealed carry holder was a murderer waiting to happen, and bemoaned the Bruen decision for it supposedly taking away the governor’s ability to “try” to effectively fight violent crime.

If Grisham truly thinks that the only way to do that is to prohibit the right to carry, then there’s no way she would have let her initial order expire after its 30-day period was up. She would have extended it for as long as she got away with it, just like Prince Edward County did with the public schools in the 1960s.

Unlike the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the bigots engaged in Massive Resistance today aren’t doing so on the basis of race (though there’s a strong argument that racial minorities are still suffering a disproportionate amount of harm from gun control laws). Instead, it’s the mere exercise of a constitutional right that causes Grisham and others to view their friends, neighbors, and constituents as dangerous “others” who must be suppressed in the name of public safety. Black, white, gay, straight… it doesn’t matter. If you’re a gun owner, and certainly if you’re a gun owner who wants to carry your gun in public, you’re the problem. You must be “fixed”. You must be put in your proper place, and your right must be deemed a wrong.

I don’t know if Michelle Lujan Grisham is smart enough to have realized this, but the Massive Resistance movement failed. In Farmville the worst fears of the segregationists have been realized. Black and white kids are going to school, becoming friends, getting married, having kids, and living their lives in a community that is much changed for the better.

Like her fellow civil rights suppressors in the 1950s and 60s, Grisham is ultimately lashing out because she’s losing. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and there’s a portion of the gun control movement that believes it’s time to start lobbing Hail Marys through executive orders and tossing verbal hand grenades at the Supreme Court over Bruen, while the more institutional wing seems intent on taking a more traditional incrementalist approach.

If Grisham thought she was acting in a position of strength in proclaiming a constitutional right suspended because of a self-proclaimed public health emergency (at a time when homicides are actually trending down in Albuquerque, by the way), the backlash from many of her fellow Democrats and the refusal to enforce her order by local and state officials should have disabused her of her delusions. I think she was well aware of the weakness of her position before she made her announcement. She just decided if she was going to “do something”, she might as well do something big.

Grisham has backed down slightly from her original order, a decision I suspect that is almost entirely based on the unwillingness of police and prosecutors to go along. Massive Resistance implies mass, after all, and in Grisham’s case she (so far, anyway) hasn’t had the institutional backing she needs to pull off her unconstitutional scheme. That may have even factored into her decision to revise her original order instead of bringing lawmakers back to Santa Fe for a special session to address this “emergency”; she knows that she doesn’t have the political capital at the moment to control the outcome and ensure that her desired gun control bills get passed.

Lately, it seems like the governor’s been more interested in burning bridges with her fellow Democrats than building them, but that could easily change over the next few months. The self-proclaimed “emergency” in Albuquerque was her first attempt at massive resistance to the Bruen decision but I doubt it will be the last, and if she (or her handlers) have an ounce of political acumen they’ll be looking for buy-in and political cover from the Democratic majority before she unveils her next terrible and tyrannical idea.

Anti-gunners really don’t understand concept of freedom

Your God-Given Rights vs. Their Power-Driven Rules

ATF Backs Down on Retaliatory License Revocation of North Dakota Gun Store

Washington, D.C. — Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) are excited to announce that the ATF has backed down from attempting to revoke the FFL license of Morehouse Enterprises in Valley City, North Dakota.

Previously, GOA and GOF had filed a lawsuit in defense of the gun retailer, which does business as Bridge City Ordnance. The company was facing the loss of its license due to minor paperwork errors, which, under the new Biden “Zero Tolerance” policy, was grounds for revocation.

Previous ATF policy dictated that warnings and required corrective action were appropriate measures for first-time errors, and only after that could license revocation proceedings be initiated if improvement was not demonstrated.

It has become quite obvious to the average individual that the ATF conducted the “random” inspection of Bridge City Ordnance right after the company joined GOA and GOF in a separate lawsuit challenging the ATF’s Ghost Gun Frame and Receiver Rule last summer.

Litigation is ongoing in both cases.

“The ATF kicked a hornet’s nest when they thought they could send a message to gun dealers who dared to challenge their illegal actions in court. In response, GOA and GOF stepped in, and we made clear they were about to engage in a losing battle. We are thrilled for Bridge City Ordnance and hope this encourages ATF to revisit their ‘zero tolerance’ policy.”

Read Related: Retaliation: ATF Shuts Down FFL After Gun Store Sues the Same ATF

California passes call for constitutional convention on guns

California Gov. Gavin Newsom floated his idea for a 28th Amendment that would codify certain gun control measures into the Constitution and called for a constitutional convention to pass it.

It’s kind of hilarious because gun control advocates can’t get these things passed as actual laws at the federal level, but they’re sure getting them in as a constitutional amendment would be easier.

Apparently, none of them ever took civics.

Regardless, Newsom’s effort required the state legislature to actually pass a call for a constitutional convention. On Thursday, the legislature did just that.

California lawmakers on Thursday approved Gov. Gavin Newsom’s resolution calling for a constitutional convention of the states to consider a new amendment on gun control, a politically astute yet seemingly unattainable proposal from the Democratic leader.

The governor introduced the proposal on national television over the summer, boosting his profile in the culture wars between Democrats and Republicans at a time when many voters feel increasingly frustrated over the lack of action in Washington to address mass shootings that have anguished communities all over the country. But constitutional scholars have warned that Newsom’s plan could be risky by opening the door for other changes to the U.S. Constitution if a convention took place.

Newsom’s resolution asks Congress to call a constitutional convention to allow states to approve an amendment that imposes new laws requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, raises the federal minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, institutes a “reasonable waiting” period for all gun purchases and prohibits the sale of assault weapons to the public. The resolution also calls for states to be able to approve an amendment to affirm that federal, state and local governments may adopt safety regulations limiting firearm sales, possession and carrying guns in public.

For Newsom’s proposed 28th Amendment to be considered, legislatures in two-thirds of the states must vote in favor of a constitutional convention.

And, to be fair, according to Common Cause 28 states have already called for a convention, with California being the 29th.

So it would really just take a few more to reach that threshold.

Continue reading “”

The Tool Who Governs New Mexico Has Handed Patriots a Potent New Tool

I want to thank the versatile governor of New Mexico, whose name I don’t care about, for being a communist and a fascist all at once. Now that may seem strange, coming from somebody who actually believes in freedom and actually defended it for 27 years, but I want you to hear me out. She may be an aspiring dictator and a mid-wit Karen brimming over with Xanax wishes and Chardonnay dreams, but she’s providing us with a valuable opportunity that we should take full advantage of. She has decreed that the constitutional right to keep and bear arms must yield to what she unilaterally decided is a “public health emergency.” Cool. Now, I’ve got some decrees of our own.

I’ve long said that there are three ways things can go. Option One is a free society where there are norms and rules that we all abide by and our Constitutional rights are protected and everybody has a right to participate in their own governance. This is my favorite option. It’s the one that I grew up in back when America was a free country and not a pronoun-fixated banana republic. Option Two is an authoritarian dictatorship where guys like me are in charge. Not my first choice, but I can live with it. Finally, Option Three is a communist dictatorship, and then it’s basically break out the rifles, boys. I was never good at kneeling, and at my age, my knees just won’t tolerate it any better than my attitude will.

Well, Governor Paula Pot has made it clear that Option One is now off the table, so I guess we have to go with Option Two – ironically, during the week of the 50th anniversary of Augusto Pinochet overthrowing the communist dictator of Chile. Now, I think it’s a bad idea and I’m still pushing for Option One, but it’s pretty clear that freedom no longer an option. So Option Two it is.

Let’s start decreeing stuff, Republicans!

The first thing red states need to decree is a ban on the teaching, advocacy, or practice of socialism in any of its putrid forms. Those who care nothing about the children will immediately pipe up about the alleged right to speak freely, but they refuse to acknowledge the harm this poisonous ideology does. Harm trumps rights, as colleges and the regime media have taught us. And boy, is socialism harmful. It’s violence – literally. Marxism is responsible for over 100 million deaths in the last century. That’s more deaths than net neutrality, Republican Medicare cuts, and dead-naming combined!

From the killing fields of Russia and Ukraine, to those of Red China and Cambodia, Marxism is murder. We must prioritize safety, for the children, and there is no safe space when an ideology of death like socialism is able to be articulated and advocated in public. Free speech is nice, I guess, but it is officially known that no right is absolute. Socialism is clearly hate speech, which is totally a thing in our Constitution, according to sources and experts who you can watch on MSNBC anytime you want – well, not after we ban socialism! Because socialism is hate speech, not only can we ban it, but we must ban it as the public health menace that it is.

And when we retake the White House, it won’t just be red governors doing it. As a nation, we will be able to scratch “Destroying Socialism” off our to-do list. It will be totally illegal and we can get right on enforcing the ban with the reconstituted FBI, the reformed Department of Justice, and the United States Army helicopter corps.

The next public health decree? No trans insanity! We’ve got a public health crisis where children are being mutilated with chemicals and scalpels to conform their God-given bodies to the delusions of their Chardonnay-sodden Munchhausen mommies. This must stop. I know it’s weird that I have to say it, but castrating a boy so he can more effectively pretend to be a girl causes harm. And it is unsafe. And therefore it should be subject to being banned by a decree issued by a caring chief executive. And if you disagree, you clearly don’t care about the children – wait, that’s actually not sarcasm.

But why stop at kids? The decree should include outlawing mutilation as a treatment for mental illness in adults as well. I know that there are some well-meaning libertarianish folks out there who buy the idea that after age 18, we as a society have no interest in what you do to yourself. Well, we don’t let people walk into a hospital and say “Chop off my arm” because they feel like it, and what’s good for the arm is good for the penis.

If you want to cut up your body because you think you’re the other gender, you have a mental problem and not a physical one that can be cured by some quack surgeon slicing you into pieces. Some people will say this isn’t tolerant, and that’s fine with me. We tried tolerance, and we ended up with men dressed like Charo twerking their be-thonged butts in the faces of our kindergartners.

The next decree should address a massive public health crisis among children, because it’s always about the children, who are failing to learn and be educated in unionized schools. That’s public healthish, right? Clearly, teachers unions must be outlawed, and those running them prosecuted and punished for the lasting harm they have inflicted on a generation of kids. Now, some might argue that this is the kind of policy that should go through the normal legislative process, but I beg to differ. It’s a public health emergency when children are failing to learn to read and write because I said so, and if you disagree that’s violence, and if you oppose this common sense measure, you clearly hate the children. There’s blood on your hands. You should be deplatformed. You’re also racist and probably a transphobe or something.

Remember, we must protect Our Democracy, which is why those in power – us – must be able to rule by decree. Now these decrees may represent an expansive reading of “public health emergency,” but that’s OK. As currently understood, laws should be read expansively if that’s what’s required to, say, get the result a politicized prosecutor wants. Once again, it’s not the paradigm that I support – I think this is all a terrible idea – but it is the operative New Rule, and I know that because I see a governor of a miserable desert state issuing decrees that the Second Amendment is no longer in effect, and I watch a senile, corrupt, desiccated old pervert’s Department of Justice (sic) being sicced on a man who will very likely be his opponent in the next presidential election.

Again, I don’t like any of this, but you know what I like even less? Taking this crap without hitting back. Leftist jerks, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I told you so.