Quote of the day—Alan M. Gottlieb

The long delay is over. The important aspects of the motion to dismiss have been denied. Just as important, the judge’s ruling treats the Second Amendment as any other fundamental individual right that is constitutionally protected.

Our supporters have been asking for months about the lawsuit’s progress. Now we can report that the long wait for a ruling on the motion to dismiss is over, and we won the first round. And now the state, and the initiative proponents, are on the defensive.

Alan M. Gottlieb
May 21, 2019
FEDERAL JUDGE DENIES MOTION TO DISMISS SAF/NRA I-1639 COURT CHALLENGE
[Here is the decision.

These things take so long that I get annoyed. It would seem to me we should get a summary judgement in our favor within a month or so, begin prosecution of the villains, and be done with it. But I recognize I have a bias. It does, however, appear we are making progress so I can’t complain all that much.—Joe]

Washington AG responds to sanctuary sheriffs

The Washington State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, sent an open letter to Washington’s sheriffs and police chiefs refusing to enforce Initiative 1639.

The response is not as bad as I was afraid it might be. He didn’t say he was going try to prosecute them or anything. The worst he said was:

I am deeply concerned that the failure of local law enforcement to perform Initiative 1639’s background check requirement will jeopardize public safety in our state by allowing the sale of semiautomatic assault rifles to dangerous individuals not lawfully allowed to own a gun.  State law provides immunity to local law enforcement officers who run these checks “in good faith.” However, in the event a police chief or sheriff refuses to perform the background check required by Initiative 1639, they could be held liable if there is a sale or transfer of a firearm to a dangerous individual prohibited from possessing a firearm and that individual uses that firearm to do harm. In short, the taxpayers of your city or county assume the financial risk of your decision to impose your personal views over the law.

I find it very telling that he doesn’t address the possibility of liability if someone is denied their right to keep and bear arms is harmed because they were unable to defend themselves.

Near the end of the letter he attempted to peg the irony meter:

Under Article 1, Section 1 of the Washington State Constitution, “All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.” As public officers, our duty is to abide by the will of the people we serve, and implement and enforce the laws they adopt.

He acknowledges the purpose of the constitution is to protect the rights of the people then he claims it is the duty of public officers to infringe upon the right of the people.to keep and bear arms.

Analogies to marijuana and immigration law enforcement are misplaced. This is not a situation where the
federal government is trying to force the state to enforce federal laws.

So… is he saying that it would be acceptable if they were to refuse to enforce Federal gun laws?

He might have been inspired to write the letter because of this map:

51648759_2248972718754894_8468932744657764352_n

I’m keeping a copy of Ferguson’s letter in multiple places for use as evidence at his trial.

They want you dead

Spokane County Sheriff responds to death threats:

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said it checked the Facebook account with the name that the caller provided and found a comment referencing Republicans stating, “i am going to kill every single one of them.”

Investigators said they found more posts referencing I-1639 that stated, “sheriffs that are non compliant will be shot. by me.” and “Ozzie Knezovich is gonna get a bullet in his skull.”

After all, it’s just common sense, right?

They want you dead. Don’t ever forget that. Don’t ever give up your guns.

Quote of the day—Steve Pomper

What is clear is the danger of groups and people who advocate Trask’s position. Trask clarified WAGR’s goals. “This is the first part of our comprehensive gun violence prevention initiative that’s going to make major changes in Washington State’s law and do some big reforms [emphasis mine].”

Okay, now I’ll agree with Trask. His and WAGR’s positions are quite clear: Infringe on Washingtonians’ gun rights in any way possible until you can find a way to completely usurp American’s gun rights.

Steve Pomper
January 4, 2019
Gun Store Owner ‘Resists’ State’s New Gun Law
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Robert Snaza

This law does nothing to prevent criminals from doing what they want to do. This law is more like going after people who are gun owners who are not criminals and telling them what the state wants them to do.

Robert Snaza
Lewis County Washington Sheriff
November 30, 2018
Lewis County Sheriff’s Office won’t seek out I-1639 violators
[Correct. Gun owners are resentful of this and I expect there will be a lot of people who ordinarily are law abiding who will ignore this law and donate money to court cases to see that the law is overturned.

Via email from Chet.—Joe]

If cars were treated like guns in Washington State

From Rehv Arms:

Funny stuff. It would be more funny if I didn’t have to live it instead of just laugh at the poor suckers who have to endure it and hope the courts turn things around. I donated several hundred dollars to SAF and the NRA this weekend. This stuff is real. It must be turned around.

Statement on #I1639

From a gun store, Precise Shooter, just north of Seattle:

As a local firearms dealer, we are committed to delivering the best firearms to local shooters at the best price while fully compliant with the existing laws.

The advantage of AR platform is that it is effectively a “lego set”: different components of the rifle snap together easily even when they come from different manufacturers.

In particular, AR-15 consists of two main components that simply snap together, and upper receiver…

AR15upper

…and a lower receiver…

AR15lower

The upper receiver is an unserialized part and can be sold without a background check. The lower receiver is not a rifle and thus is not subject to the requirements of the initiative.

Therefore, if the initiative in fact passes the court scrutiny, you would still be able to buy America’s most popular rifle just as you did before, it will just be coming in two separate pieces. And of course we will be carrying a full assortment!

Two important exceptions.

Lower receiver cannot be sold to a person under 21 per federal regulations. So if you are a young shooter, you have until January 2019 to buy your rifles.

Also, we cannot legally break existing rifles into uppers and lowers if they were designated as a rifle by the manufacturer. But almost every AR-15 vendor makes these two components available separately.

We will be working with Ruger and other manufacturers of 10/22 components to make the same deal available for 10/22 as well. We will also research and make available an economic 22lr solution based on AR platform.

Best regards,

Your friends at Precise Shooter

I hope they sell thousands of guns.

Quote of the day—City Council of the City of Republic, Washington State

A. The Republic City Council declares that all federal and state acts, laws, orders, rules and regulations past, present or future, in violation of the U.S. and/or State Constitutions are not authorized by the said Constitutions and violate the true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers and are hereby declared to be invalid in the City of Republic, shall not be recognized by the City of Republic, are specifically rejected by the City of Republic and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in the City of Republic.
B. No agent, employee, or official of the City of Republic, or any corporation providing services to the City of Republic shall provide material support or participate in any way with the implementation of federal or state acts, orders, rules, laws or regulations in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1 Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution.

City Council of the City of Republic, Washington State
From Facebook on November 9, 2018
[This is very much like the contemporary Firearms Freedom Act at the state level and the Personal liberty laws just prior to the Civil War:

Because most of the abolitionists and supporters of the Personal Liberty Laws resided in the northern states, the controversy added to the already growing rift between the two halves of the country.[1] The northern states refused to repeal the laws and the southern states were not willing to give up slavery. The end result was the bloodiest war of American history; the Civil War.

See also what the Spokesman Review has to say about the proposed ordinance.

I wonder how this will work out if an 18-year old were to travel there to purchase a “semiautomatic assault rifle” after I-1639 goes into effect. Would the gun shop owner sell to them knowing it was against state law but the local police had orders not to enforce the law?

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Random thought on #I1639

There are lots of grounds to challenge Washington state I-1639. None are a sure thing and since there are so many components to it seems likely the courts will throw out some aspects of it and leave others intact. I have been wondering if the training requirement might be something we have power over and can eliminate even if the courts don’t find it a sufficient burden on the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms.

What if there were no classes that met the requirements of I-1639? Or, at least, the classes were so few, far between, and/or expensive that the vast majority of the population could not take the class. What if all trainers refused to include material which met the requirements? Wouldn’t the courts be, essentially, forced to say I-1639 is blocking the exercise of specific enumerated right?

I realize gun manufactures are not meeting the microstamping requirement of California law. And that has resulted in no new guns being added to the list of “safe guns. But that is going through the courts now and may result in a path to a victory on one element of I-1639.

SAF, NRA FILE FEDERAL LAWSUIT CHALLENGING INITIATIVE 1639

It’s nice to see the NRA and SAF working together.

From the Second Amendment Foundation web site:

SAF, NRA FILE FEDERAL LAWSUIT CHALLENGING INITIATIVE 1639

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging gun control Initiative 1639 in Washington State, on several grounds.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. In addition to SAF and NRA, plaintiffs include gun dealers and young adults in the affected age group.

The lawsuit challenges the measure on the grounds that it violates the commerce clause by banning sales of rifles to non-residents, and that it unconstitutionally impairs the rights guaranteed by the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and Article I Section 24 of the Washington State constitution by preventing the sale to otherwise qualified adults under age 21 of certain rifles.

“We are also considering additional legal challenges,” SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb confirmed. “We are disappointed that too many Evergreen State voters were fooled into supporting this 30-page gun control scheme, despite overwhelming law enforcement opposition. This initiative is an affront to the constitutional rights enshrined in the Second Amendment and the Washington state constitution, especially for young adults.

“We’re determined to fight this egregious measure because constitutionally-protected rights should never be subject to a popularity vote,” he stated. “The wealthy elitists behind I-1639 want to turn a right into a regulated privilege. This measure was only designed to have a chilling effect on the exercise of a constitutional right by honest citizens while having no impact at all on criminals, and we cannot let it go unchallenged.”

“The NRA is committed to restoring the Second Amendment rights of every law-abiding Washingtonian,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “I-1639 violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and puts people at risk. This lawsuit is the first step in the fight to ensure that Washingtonians are free to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense.

“The NRA will fight to overturn this unconstitutional initiative. We will not sit idly by while elitist anti-gun activists attempt to deny everyday Americans their fundamental right to self-defense,” concluded Cox.

“While a handful of billionaires spending millions of dollars were able to buy votes, it is our hope they can’t buy the judges,” Gottlieb said.

I find this very interesting. I don’t think anyone has challenged it on the grounds of the initiative violating Washington state law such things as being limited to only one subject, the font was too small to read, the strikeout and other formatting of deleted versus new text was incorrect. It’s possible this was deliberate and we won’t be seeing such a lawsuit for many years and only if this lawsuit fails.

If they can defeat it in Federal court on constitutional grounds it is gone for good so we won’t have to fight it at the ballot or legislature again and it protects other states. But if it is defeated on the basis of ballot procedures and formatting then we won’t be able to fight it on a constitutional until it is passed again. The biggest downside to this is that we will have to live with it until the Federal Courts rule on it. If the district court doesn’t rule in our favor it probably will have to go all the way to SCOTUS because it is unlikely the Ninth Circuit court of appeals is going to rule in our favor on all the aspects of this law.

Quote of the day—Alan Gottlieb

It’s written in a way that puts a chilling effect on gun ownership, but quite frankly, it’s unenforceable. There’s a giant loophole in this law. If they go to Oregon or Idaho, they can bring [a rifle] back. It’s totally legal. They just can’t buy it in Washington state.

Alan Gottlieb
Founder, Second Amendment Foundation
November 7, 2018
Second Amendment Foundation: Loopholes aplenty with I-1639
[There are other loopholes as well. I was at a gun store recently and suggested a loophole they might use. The clerk behind the counter said, paraphrasing, “That should work. But most of the time I expect we will just do it like….” and he explained a simpler approach. I had considered his suggestion weeks ago but figured it was clearly violating the spirit of the law even though it was complying with the letter of the law and that might be too risky. But, he didn’t seem bothered by it so I’m not going to worry about it. I make so many trips to Idaho I will just buy my guns there and not subject myself to the risk.

I’m a bit torn between keeping loopholes like this quiet and openly mocking the ignorance and stupidity of the people that write these laws. On the one hand we get more time to get more guns into the hands of more people. On the other we embarrass the anti-gun activists and cause them to lose face and status in the eyes of those who donate millions of dollars.—Joe]

Quote of the day—On licensing a right

I was going to make the content of this image my quote of the day because of the application to I-1639:

LicensingLiberty

“No state shall convert a liberty into a license, and charge a fee therefore.”

(Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105)

“If the state converts a right (liberty) into a privilege, the citizen can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right (liberty) with impunity.”

(Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham, Alabama 373 U.S. 262)

Unfortunately, as near as I can tell, neither ruling contains the word “convert”. There are some phrases that one might extrapolate to what is seen above, but they are extrapolations.

Here is the phrase in MURDOCK v. PENNSYLVANIA (CITY OF JEANNETTE) which I found to be the best fit:

A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the Federal Constitution.

And in SHUTTLESWORTH v. BIRMINGHAM, (1969) No. 42:

“It is settled by a long line of recent decisions of this Court that an ordinance which, like this one, makes the peaceful enjoyment of freedoms which the Constitution guarantees contingent upon the uncontrolled will of an official – as by requiring a permit or license which may be granted or withheld in the discretion of such official – is an unconstitutional censorship or prior restraint upon the enjoyment of those freedoms.” Staub v. Baxley, 355 U.S. 313, 322 . And our decisions have made clear that a person faced with such an unconstitutional licensing law may ignore it and engage with impunity in the exercise of the right of free expression for which the law purports to require a license.

Hence, I would like to suggest people not use the “quote” which has been circulating for some time now. Use an exact quote from the actual cases so you won’t get drawn into a debate over the meaning of the words you used versus what the courts actually said.

The actual words should be strong enough to make the case for our rights to be free of licensing restrictions. This practice should actually be far more effective since it avoids the deflection made possible by using words not actually found in case law.

Rounds in the last month

I reloaded 4,069 rounds of .40 S&W last month. 406 rounds were 180 grain Hornady Action Pistol (HAP) bullets. 505 rounds were from Eggleston Munitions. These were 180 grain polymer coated bullets loaded really light for steel matches. 504 were blue and one was purple (it somehow found it’s way into the container of blue bullets). 1,567 rounds were loaded with red bullets from Acme Bullets. These were also loaded for steel matches. 1,591 of those rounds were 180 grain Montana Gold JHP to be used for practice at indoor ranges.

This is the most rounds I have reloaded since the first month I started reloading back in October 1996 when I reloaded 10,944 rounds. The Dillon XL650 made the difference. Ignoring the time running the cases through the case gauge after assembling it more doubles my rate of production I was getting with the Dillon 550B. If I don’t have many malfunctions with a messed up piece of used brass or something I can reload 800 rounds in an hour.

This month will not be so productive. I reloaded a few .40 S&W rounds but am switching back to the 550B to reload .223. Back in 2016 I purchased a bunch of components in preparation for a Hillary Clinton presidency and with the passage of I-1639 I now feel a need to do something to support the AR.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 4,813 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 1,591 rounds.
40 S&W: 94,462 rounds.
45 ACP: 2,007 rounds.
9 mm: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 125,270 rounds

It looks like #I1639 will pass

At 8:30 PM with 63.45% of the precincts reporting I-1639 is passing 60.69% to 39.31%. Unless eastern Washington hasn’t sent in any results yet and they voted something like 90% against it means the next step is to take it to court.

The last time I talked to someone in the office of the Second Amendment Foundation they expected to win in court but I’m not quite as confident as they appeared to be.

Quote of the day—Matthew Knott

Gun control is now a winning issue for US Democrats – in the key swing state of Florida it’s shaping up to be critical. Could it be the “Gunshine State” that helps end America’s love affair with firearms?

Matthew Knott
November 4, 2018
How gun control went from a vote loser to a vote winner these midterms
[In Washington state the anti-gun people have the mindshare they need but they may not have the passion to vote in sufficient numbers to win. I suspect it is also the case in many other states.

Gun people need to vote and get others of a similar mind to vote.—Joe]