Monday, April 07, 2008

Canada refunds millions to gun owners

Canada's attempt to register firearms has met a new low in standards.

"The federal auditor general has estimated that the registry, which was supposed to be self-financing, ran up cost overruns of nearly $1 billion in its first decade in operation."
But ...
"The latest report by the federal firearms commissioner, made public Tuesday, also estimated that some 76,000 gun enthusiasts failed to renew licences [sic] that ran out during 2006."
and ...
"That meant, by year-end, that the holders of those expired licences were deemed - at least according to the letter of the law - to be illegally in possession of roughly 234,000 weapons."

So ...
"Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day announced in May 2006 that the Tories would waive the fees for licence applicants for the next two years and would also grant a one-year amnesty to owners of unregistered rifles and shotguns.

The amnesty, which essentially protects people from criminal prosecution for violating the law, was renewed in 2007 and the government has served notice it will be extended again this year.

The Conservatives have also transferred the Canada Firearms Centre, which had been a stand-alone regulatory agency, to the RCMP in an effort to save on administration costs."

What does this all mean?

Canada's Liberal government, under Prime Minister Jean Chreiten, instituted a Firearms Registry which had been expected to "pay for itself". It didn't. In fact, the concept was so difficult to establish as a registry and so expensive to administer that it has cost the Canadian government over $1,000,000,000 (relax, it's only Canadian money) so far.

The registration is required to be renewed by gun owners annually, but gun owners are declining to renew their registration. They assume that these owners still have the guns, and are therefore illegally possessing firearms.

They can't afford to track down and prosecute illegal firearms owners, so they have declared an amnesty (for two years now, going on the third year) which (a) still isn't working, and (b) even if it did work, they are no longer collecting the fees which (c) wouldn't pay for the 'self-paying' system anyway.

This illicit system of firearms registration doesn't work, doesn't pay for itself, and is now being openly flaunted by gun owners who realize that there's nothing their government can do about it.

Hooray for the Canadians!

They have sacrificed themselves on the altar of Socialism and Nanny-Statism for over a decade, only to prove that ... it ... just ... doesn't ... work!

We can only hope that the American Politicians are paying attention to this fiscal boondoggle, and will cease their attempts to enact similar measures which are ill-conceived and badly implemented.

Frankly, neither Canada nor America can any longer afford these repressive controls on the civil rights of their citizens.

As France, Germany and Great Britain (and now Canada) have learned to their sorrow, Socialism ... and Nanny Statism ... are just not economically feasible in a Major Nation.

It's the Economy, Stupid!

Charlton Heston

I note with great sadness the passing of Charlton Heston.


Academy Award Winning Actor, Civil Rights Activist, President of the Screen Actors Guild and the National Rifle Association ... Heston was a Renaissance Man of the 20th Century.

He was a leader in his art, in his politics, and in his love for his fellow man.

Heston died of Alzheimer's Disease ... an infliction which in unavoidable, untreatable, and the most degrading, painful end known to man. Even the Ebola virus will cause death in a matter of days or weeks, be Alzheimer's takes its toll in years painful to inflicted and to the family.

It is to his credit that when confronted with this horror, he made the announcement personally, on film, with dignity, and seemed to be more concerned with the effect on his family, friends and public than with the effect on his person, his personality.

The death of the mind is the most terrible fate, yet he accepted it with apparent equinimity and faith.


I liked him for his stage performances, I loved him for his forthright stand against encroachment of the rights of his fellow man, but I most respected him for his faith and for his courage.

The world is much smaller for the loss of this fine man.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Encoded Ammunition: South Carolina

The NRA managed to keep its collective head barely above water (rather than it's usual position on these matters ... tucked in a dark, stinky place) by announcing that another Southern state, South Carolina, has introduce an Encoded Ammunition bill (SB1259). (You need to read all the way to the bottom of this NRA alert to find mention of the bill.)


The bill, introduced April 2, 2008, requires that "... certain handgun and assault weapon ammunition ...", by January 1, 2010, "... must be encoded by "... a [sic] unique identifier that has been applied by etching onto the base of the bullet projectile ..." by the manufacturer.

("... No later than January 1, 2012, all noncoded ammunition owned by private citizens and retail outlets must be disposed ...).

It also requires the registration of "ammunition vendor(s)"; the usual identification of buyer on special forms at the time of purchase; the usual monetary and penal penalties for purchaser, vendor and manufacturer for non-compliance; and financial support of the project by 'end-user fees' not to exceed one-half-cent per bullet.

As is also usual with state-based 'Encoded Ammunition' bills, there is no exemption to enactment of the bill if reliable technology is not found to be available within the given time-frame, nor mention that existing technology is both single-user and unproven.

Also, no justification for this legislation is provided, nor is the term "handgun and assault weapon ammunition" defined.
_________________________________

This is the same old "Bulltwaddle" (thanks to Rivrdog for providing useful terminology) which we have seen proposed by the Legislatures of a baker's dozen states previously, but given that the states which first proposed these bills are slowly rejecting the (obviously unworkable) legislation, we can only hope that other states will learn from the lesson and desist in their despicable and detestable efforts to contravene the Second Amendment by other means.

Incidentally, the single-vendor involved, represented by Ammunition Accountability, still lists fifteen states on its roll of political supporters. Among these states is Tennessee, which we have seen today has rejected the bill ... as have some other states.

I don't know about you, but I am shocked, SHOCKED, to discover that gambling is permitted at Rick's American Cafe. Er, sorry; I mean that I am shocked, SHOCKED, to discover that politicians continue to introduce these bills when they have proved to be so problematic.

One is tempted to believe that the politicians involved have agenda which admittedly does not support the Second Amendment rights of the people they expect to vote for them, yet still leads them to propose such bills for the sole purpose of publically helping them to 'look good' to the minority population of their home states who continue, against all reason, to oppose private ownership and usage of firearms.

Could it be that their priority is political, rather than conserving the rights of their constituency?

Shocking.

Dead in Tennesee: Encoded Ammunition Bill

According to a recent NRA announcement, the Encoded Ammunition is D.O.A. in Tennessee.

The bill, which was recently (February 3, 2008) Geek-Announced here, was introduced in both the State Senate (SB3395, which is summarized here) and House (HB3245).

On April 2, 2008, the House took action on HB3245; specifically, as interpreted by the NRA:
House Bill 3245, sponsored by State Representative Larry Miller (D-88), was defeated when it was withdrawn from the House Judiciary Criminal Practice and Procedure Sub-Committee on Wednesday, April 2. HB3245 would have require all handgun ammunition manufactured or sold in Tennessee to be coded with a serial number, and entered into a statewide database at the time of sale. Encoded ammunition would be registered to the purchaser and would include the date of transaction, the purchaser’s name, date of birth, driver’s license number, and the serial number of the ammunition. Its companion bill, Senate Bill 3395, sponsored by State Senator Reginald Tate (D-33) has seen no action in the Senate Judiciary Committee since January 23.
I'm assuming that the Senate Bill is toothless, without a vote for financing from the House.

Personally, I find this heartening ... if not surprising. It's difficult to imagine that the fine residents of Tennessee would allow this kind of repressive end-run on the Second Amendment to be considered without significant negative feed-back from an irate citizenry.

Still, it's worth paying close attention to other state legislatures which have proposed Encoded Ammunition bills. These bills have not received, in the most part, significant publicity from the Main-Stream Media or, for that matter, from the NRA. While the MSM is generally not inclined to serve their readers by announcing this kind of legislation, and the NRA has so many other gun-rights issues which it (apparently) considers 'more important', we would best serve our own interests by being aware of these bills and actively opposing them at the grassroots level ... a level to which the NRA gives lip-service, but not always timely and active support.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Greensburg, Kansas: firearms confiscations in 2007


On May 4, 2007, Greensburg was devastated by an EF5 tornado that traveled rapidly though the area, destroying more than 95 percent of the city and killing 11 people.

As was the case in New Orleans during the predations of Hurricane Katrina, residents were forcibly evacuated. And was the case in Katrina, many firearms were confiscated.

The difference is that the confiscations occurred when there was essentially nobody home. There is no justification proposed for these confiscations. And most telling, the rarest and most valuable of the firearms confiscated have just ... disappeared.

Xavier has more information about these mysterious disappearances of personal property, and the article discusses the circumstances under which the city was evacuated and how residents were neither notified that their personal property had been removed, by whom, or for what purpose.

Go thou, and read the whole thing.

Air Travel with Firerms is ... confusing

I know you're looking at that title and, if you've every tried to "Fly the Friendly Skies" with a firearm, you're thinking: "Duh!"

My personal experiences are 4 or 5 years old, but I know that the Belts & Suspenders method is best if you really must fly an American airline on your way to a shooting match.

Lessons learned include:
  1. Make reservations as early as possible.
  2. Get an 'electronic ticket'; that assures that your reservations are in the system and WILL be called up on the computer at check-in.
  3. Before the flight (probably before making reservations), go to the airline's website and find their corporate regulations for carrying a firearm and ammunition in Checked Luggage.
  4. At the same time, go to the TSA website and get their regulations. You would be surprised at how widely these two sets of rules can vary, especially in regards to how much ammunition you can carry. No, I don't know why this matters to the airlines ... weight in lead is the same as the weight in toiletries, varying only in quantity. (Keep track of that link ... you'll see it again.)
  5. Print ALL of the regulations, and keep them with you when you check in for your flight.
  6. Call the airline, with the confirming code, and talk to a shift supervisor. You want to talk to her (it's never a 'him') to explain that you will be carrying a firearm in checked baggage, and that you want to ensure that your packing is consistent with their rules.
  7. During the conversation, the supervisor will be adding notes and comments to your reservation. This is important, perhaps crucial, because often the clerks at check-in are not familiar with these regulations.
  8. When you check in to your flight, have the printed rules handy, as well as the name of the corporate supervisor you spoke with. As you explain that you are carrying one or more firearms as well as ammunition, you may notice a growing expression of non-comprehension on the face of the counter clerk. With a smile and a lot of patience, you can walk the employee through the process. They will be reassured when you can point them to their own reservation notes and see where the Corporate-level supervisor has all the necessary information on file for their review.
  9. It is not required by TSA that you demonstrate that the firearms are unloaded; you may affirm that either verbally or by written document. However, the individual airline may (still) require that you demonstrate that the firearms is unloaded. It will help if you carry the firearm sufficiently disassembled that you don't have to rack the slide, or otherwise open the chamber (with accompanying threatening noise) after you have unlocked and opened the case. Remember, you're probably going through this process at the check-in counter with unaware passengers in line behind you, and on either side of you. Discretion is advised to avoid frightening people who have never seen a real, life gun.
Now, some or most of that advice may be dated. I'm hoping that people who have flown with firearms under the more current regulations will chime in here to help provide a better comprehension of the process.

Recently, TSA has changed their regulations.


Geek With A .45 has a summary of those changes, which include an 'advisory' (not a 'regulation') that seems to be significant ... if subtle.

I suggest that you go read his article for a full appreciation of the change.

Skeptical? Remember the link provided in point (4.) above? Click on it and read the original TSA stuff 'in situ'. It won't reassure you, but at least you will be more likely to accept that the Schizophrenics at TSA are working hard to make Air Travel with Firearms [more] ... confusing.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

How Not to Use a Mortar

Scott (via Higbie) sent me this video on Monday.

I'm not quite sure what it represents, or where it originally came from, but it does seem to provide reassuring evidence of the incompetence of the "Allah Ackbar" crowd.

(If you don't like the teeny-screenie version, you can download the full-size version of the 3.3MB video here.)


video\\

Front Sight Range

Sometimes I get email from folks I've never heard of before.

This is the case here, when I received a note from "Rory".

Rory is obviously associated with the "Front Sight" range in Arizona. We've all see the advertisements ("First Lesson Free") over the past few years, and I presume you're as curious as I am about the quality of mass-firearms training as I am.

Here's the information I have been made privy to. I won't make value judgments, that's your job.
Hey Jerry,

Over here at VBS.tv we just had the chance to head out to Pahrump, Nevada to attend the gun training mecca Front Sight, it was like Christmas all over again.

Jesse Pearson pulled the short straw and got to head out for a long weekend on the ins and outs of self defense, gun maintenance, and valuable lessons such as the way to put someone down, really, is to place two shots in their thoracic cavity and then, if they are still coming, send one coup de grace to a little box on the human face that's framed by the eyebrows and the upper lip. We had a blast and think that given the current strife over the 2nd Amendment, the timing of this piece could not be better.

After all, when the meth head kicks down your door looking for cash, do you want a Glock or an egg beater? That's what I thought.

4 Part Series on Front Sight on VBS.tv

Tactical firearms training in the middle of the Nevada desert.
Jesse's shooting partner is terse, but supportive.
A not too surprising consensus on the importance of the second amendment.
When someone's at your door, screaming "Where's my drugs?" you should be on the ready.

I thought the content would be perfect for fans of the site, hope you agree.

Stay locked and loaded,

Rory


Rory Ahearn
VICE/VBS.tv
97 North 10th St
Suite 204
Brooklyn, NY 11211
718-233-3684
AIM - roedood

California AB2062: Permit to buy ammunition

HT: NRA
On February 19, 2008, California Assemblyman de Leon introduced a new bill (AB2062) which would require ammunition purchasers to obtain a permit to buy ammunition, at a one-time cost of $35, before any ammunition purchases could be made from retailers. There is a 30-day waiting period before the permit would be issued.

The bill would authorize the Department of Justice to incorporate the permit information into a permittee's California driver's license, as specified.
It would ("... commencing July 1, 2009 ...") prohibit anyone from transferring more than 50 rounds of ammunition per month to another person without buying an Ammunition Vendor License. (Special provisions include " ... a background clearance for any employees who would handle ammunition ...").

Ammunition vendors would be prohibited from displaying ammunition where a customer could access it.

This is, of course, entirely apart from Ammunition Serialization, Ammunition Encoding, and Microcoding of Ammunition bills and/or laws which are already either extant in law or proposed.


You can contact Assemblyman de Leon at:
Capitol Office:
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0045
Tel: (916) 319-2045
Fax: (916) 319-2145

District Office:
360 West Avenue 26, Suite 121
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Tel: (323) 225-4545
Fax: (323)225-4500



Let's review:

Current law requires that firearms 'microstamp' identification on the cartridge. Proposed laws would, if enacted, require that ammunition be encoded (serial numbers on the base of the bullet or projectile, and a matching serial number on the interior of the cartridge case). And of course, the purchaser of any ammunition must, by current law, be identified by name, Driver's License Number, Date of Birth etc.

Now the purchaser must be registered ("buy a license") and observe a waiting period before purchasing said encoded ammunition to shoot in a microstamping firearm, and would be prohibited from providing said registered ammunition in quantities exceeding fifty (50) rounds per month to anyone ... including immediate family members.

There are no definitions of what ammunition is covered by this bill, so we can safely assume that all ammunition is subject to these restrictions. Read: one box of .22 rimfire, or two boxes of shotgun shells, are the most you could provide for your child or spouse.

If there was ever any doubt that the State of California is determined to put as many obstacles as possible in the path of an honest citizen who chooses to own and use a legal firearm, let this put an end to this delusion.

It's obvious that this and similar bills serve no legitimate purpose (legitimate in the context of "use of firearms for nefarious purposes" ... as far as the California State Assembly is concerned, any use of a firearm is 'nefarious'.) The only purpose of this kind of legislation is to inconvenience legitimate owners of legal firearms owners, with the intention of rendering their firearms economically infeasible and administratively cumbersome.

Lip Service reference is made in the text of the bill to "... persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms ..." as well as a new concept: "... persons prohibited from possessing ammunition." I submit that the latter encumbrance is superfluous, gratuitous and insulting.

What about the Registration of Ammunition Purchasers?

Strangely, the 'registration' portion of this bill refers directly to Section 11106 of the Penal Code, Paragraph d, sub-paragraph a in the phrase: "...or information reported to the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 12062 as to the brand, type, and amount of ammunition transferred
...".

This would seem to imply that much more stringent identification requirements must be met, to the degree cited for Firearms Registration.

The assumption is that the update to existing laws are borrowing from a section already restricting firearms ownership, but inappropriately. You will have to reference Section 1106, Paragraph C, in order to put it in context. But who cares to do this, as this bill is not only ill-advised, but poorly constructed, and is (hopefully) destined for oblivion if only because the new Californian Assemblyman Kevin DeLeon is so incompetent that he and his staff cannot write a consistent change to existing law.

If it's any consolation, here's the current status of the bill as of the 2/19/07 reading:\
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.


I only hope that I have correctly interpreted this bill as having roundly been Stuck In Committee for all eternity.
_________________________________________________


Purely for your convenience, here is the introductory text and official summary of the bill:
AB 2062, as introduced, De Leon. Ammunition.
Existing law requires the Department of Justice to maintain records pertaining to firearms transactions.

This bill would require the department to maintain additional information relating to ammunition transfers, handgun ammunition permittees, and licensed handgun ammunition vendors, as specified.

Existing law establishes the Prohibited Armed Persons File, which lists persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms, as specified.

This bill would expand those provisions to include persons prohibited from possessing ammunition.

Existing law generally regulates the sale of ammunition.

This bill would establish a program administered by the Department of Justice for licensing handgun ammunition vendors, as specified. The bill would also authorize the issuance of a handgun ammunition permit, to be used by purchasers of handgun ammunition, as specified.

The bill would authorize the Department of Justice to incorporate the permit information into a permittee's California driver's license, as specified.

The bill would establish a database maintained by the department to serve as a registry of handgun ammunition vendors. The bill would also establish a database of handgun ammunition permittees.

This bill would require that commencing July 1, 2009, unless specifically excluded, no person shall sell or transfer more than 50 rounds of handgun ammunition in any month unless they are registered as a handgun ammunition vendor, as defined. The bill would also require these vendors to obtain a background clearance for those employees who would handle ammunition in the course and scope of their employment. The bill would require the Department of Justice to maintain a registry of registered handgun ammunition vendors, as specified. Violation of these provisions, as specified, would be subject to civil fines, as specified.

The bill would also provide that no retail seller of ammunition shall sell, offer for sale, or display for sale, any handgun ammunition in a manner that allows that ammunition to be accessible to a purchaser without the assistance of the retailer or employee thereof. Violation of these provisions would be subject to civil fines, as specified.

The bill would further provide that handgun ammunition may only be purchased in a face-to-face transaction and only if certain conditions exist.
Existing law generally regulates what information is required to be obtained in connection with the transfer of ammunition.

This bill would, subject to exceptions, require certain ammunition vendors to obtain a thumbprint and other information from ammunition purchasers, and would require submission of that information to the Department of Justice, as specified. A violation of these provisions would be subject to civil fines, as specified.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

snip-snip, bang bang?

This was brought to our attention by Conservative Scalawag, who offers no assurance that it is not an April Fools joke.

Personally, I think it's for real. I think not, but I sure hope that the Indians are NOT trading firearms licenses for vasectomies.

That would be just too cruel.

"The number of vasectomies in the district had not even crossed the double digit figure in the past eight years. Last year, there were only eight cases of vasectomy and, surprisingly, a year before that (2006) it was only one," Shivpuri District Collector Manish Shrivastava told IANS on phone.

"I then put on my thinking cap and tried to find out the reason behind such a poor response to vasectomy. I soon came to know that the people in this region have a penchant for their macho image and they find going for sterilisation beneath their dignity.

"Since people in this dacoit infested district also have a penchant for guns, I thought of providing them a bigger symbol of masculinity (a gun) and told them to come forward for vasectomy," Shrivastava said.

"Guns in dacoit infested Chambal region, of which Shivpuri is a part, are not only considered a status symbol but are also a sign of manliness."

This has obviously worked better than the Rs.1,100 given to the man undergoing vasectomy and Rs.200 to the person who motivated him - the earlier incentive schemes.

"This year, however, over 150 men have got themselves sterilised since we have offered gun licences. I expect another 100 by the end of this month," Shrivastava said.

Brrrrrrr!

"New Constitutional Right"?

Kevin, over at The Smallest Minority, posted a brilliant argument in favor of the Second Amendment as an Individual Right.

This was over a week ago, and I am chagrined that I didn't actually read it earlier. I've obviously been too busy Having A Life, which is Death For A Blogger.

Go read the article here (it's not Geek Length) and tell me you don't find his thesis convincing.