Arms and the Law

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Updated: 1 month 1 day ago

Justice Gorsuch starts in with a bang

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 11:24

Story here. He sets the record for most questions asked by a new justice, and has a fine time at it.

Trump to speak at NRA Convention

Fri, 04/14/2017 - 23:52

Story here. A delicious twist: it's the same day as the White House Correspondent's dinner, which he announced he would cut.

Back into the future

Fri, 04/14/2017 - 19:46

Oregon proposes to repeal ban on duelists holding office. Good. Can't see any reason why a man should be unable to run for office just because he requested that satisfaction due a gentleman.

At last!

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 19:00

Alleged murderer of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry arrested. Agent Terry was the agent murdered using guns run in the "Fast and Furious" scandal.

Justice Gorsuch may find things a bit busy....

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 21:41

Right now there are two cert. petitions pending: Peruta (can California make all handgun carry, open on concealed, subject to "may issue" permitting) and Binderup (an as applied challenge). Plus CalGuns Foundation is going to go for cert. on Silvester v. Becerra (can California impose a waiting period even on purchasers who already own firearms).

Here's hoping. The problem is, if they couldn't get four Justices to vote to take cert. when Scalia was on the Court and voting in favor, they probably won't get four with Justice Gorsuch as his replacement. (We know he was voting in favor, because he joined with Justice Thomas in a dissent from a denial of certiorari in two 2015 cases.

BATF financial fun

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 20:07

Story here.

"Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives used a secret, off-the-books bank account to rent a $21,000 suite at a Nascar race, take a trip to Las Vegas and donate money to the school of one of the agent's children, according to records and interviews."

They were investigate cigarette smuggling, and when an informant operating as a smuggler began making big profits, they used them to set up their own private account.

Economic impact of the firearms industry

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 16:27

In 2016, it was up 168% compared to 2008, when the greatest gun salesman in history took office. Employment in the field rose from 166,000 to 300,000 over the same timeframe.

John Lott on Sup Ct nominations

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 09:58

At Real Clear Politics. His thought -- Supreme Court nominations have become more contentious because the court has become more powerful -- has been applied to presidential elections as well. Woodrow Wilson ditched his obnoxious attorney general by nominating him to the Court, clearly figuring that it was an honorific but powerless post. And it wasn't that long ago that the idea of the Executive Branch regulating the flushing power of your toilet would have been thought ridiculous.


Thu, 04/06/2017 - 13:23

The GOP goes nuclear over Gorsuch. If Schemer could get his hands on Harry Reid right now, he'd make that deadly exercise machine or whatever it was look harmless.

BATF acting head testifies

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 16:14

Video here. Egad. He says that at least eight Justice people advised him not to attend a Fast and Furious hearing, and puts up quite a struggle over naming them. He and the chair really get into it.

A brief history of Supreme Court nomination controversies

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 12:50

Going all the way back to 1795, when the Senate rejected George Washington's nomination of John Rutledge for Chief Justice. Rutledge was already "on the Court" via a recess appointment; the rejection was payback for Rutledge's vehement opposition to the Jay Treaty.

Supreme Court rules on 18 USC 924's mandatory sentence

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 13:55

Dean v. United States, decided today. For repeated use of a firearm in violent offenses, defendant was subject to 30 years' imprisonment without probation or parole, this to be additional to sentences for the violent offense themselves.

The sentencing for the offenses themselves is affected by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which aren't really binding but are used as the starting point for determining a sentence. The Supreme Court ruled that, in determining a sentence, the trial court should also take into account that the defendant is subject to an additional mandatory term. Essentially, if in this case the court thinks 30 years is enough, and the Guidelines call for 10 years on the underlying offenses, the court should consider reducing the 10 years so as to get closer to what the court thinks is just.

Hearing on BATF use of informants tomorrow

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 11:44

It's in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and focuses upon BATF and DEA use of informants. The background section looks very interesting: "ATF could not easily identify and track total payments made to individual informants, and it did not have reliable information about some higher-risk CIs. [confidential informants]"

A good question

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 11:54

Why is it so impossible for the media to be honest about guns? The nice thing is . . . I can remember when it would have been impossible to get an article published on that theme.

Lawmakers looking to expand gun owners travel rights

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 17:25

Story here. I'd suggest a major improvement would be to modify the present protection for interstate travel (provided the firearm may be possessed in the state where you begin and in the state where your trip ends) to convert it into something other than an affirmative defense.

An affirmative defense is something that amounts to: even tho the defendant broke the law, he still should be acquitted because (to choose some examples) the statute of limitations has run, or he was insane, or his violation was legally justified.

Court have construed the protection for interstate travelers to be such a defense, thereby rejecting lawsuits for false imprisonment. Antigun governments and agencies can arrest despite the protection, and essentially say, "tell it to the judge." So the gun owner might win acquittal in the end, but in the meantime he's been jailed until he bonds out (not easy to do far away from home), loses thousands in legal fees, and so on.

Home robbery is not a safe occupation in Nevada

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 15:43

Two home invaders tie up couple, but the man frees himself and gets to a gun. One invader dies at the scene, the other is wounded and arrested.

Karma is a b_____

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 23:27

Chuck Schemer says he'll filibuster the nomination of Neil Gorsuch. But what is going thru his head is Harry Reid and a bunch of cusswords. Reid led the successful Demo charge for the "nuclear option," to forbid filibusters on o nominations other than Supreme Court justices. Now Republicans have only to eliminate that exception.

Oral argument in Teixeira v. Alameda County

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 11:43

Issue is zoning conditions for a new gun shop; one of the conditions is that any gun store must be 500 feet from any residential property. Video here. Don Kilmer argues for the good guys. The good guys won before a three judge panel, but then the Ninth Circuit granted en banc review.