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Tuesday, November 14, 2023

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vs. the ATF

On Sunday's Gun Talk Radio, Tom Gresham talked about last week's court decisions that came out of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.  He mentioned that it is becoming, as Cam Edwards said, the 5th Circuit vs. the ATF court.  Tom said since the Bruen decision, everything has changed.  They said that the ATF's pistol brace rule is unconstitutional.  They threw it out completely.  They have also said the Trump era "bump stock" rule is unconstitutional.  The 5th Circuit has also thrown out the so-called "ghost gun" rule ATF announced this year.  Take a listen.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Ben Shapiro: No, I Will Not Give Up My AR-15

As the manhunt for the Maine shooter continues, commentators are addressing the renewed call by the gun ban lobby and President Biden to ban popular firearms like the AR-15. had this piece by Tom Knighton. Talk show host Mark Levin talked about it on his program last night.  Today, Podcast host Ben Shapiro addressed the shooting and talked about why he has no intention of giving up his AR-15.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Dan Bongino: Defend Yourself at All Costs

The nation learned of another horrific act of violence that took place, this time in Maine. The shooter killed 18 people across two sites. Reports indicate that the shooter spent time in a mental health facility this past summer.  At this writing, he has not been caught.  And, this is no suprise, there have been renewed calls for gun control, especially to ban so-called "assault weapons". According to the Wall Street Journal, President Biden released a statement Thursday that said "Work with us to pass a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, to enact universal background checks, to require safe storage of guns, and end immunity from liability for gun manufacurers." But as podcast and radio host Dan Bongino pointed out on his show today, criminals and those who wish to commit violence don't care about gun control. Instead, he said we need to have a mind set to defend and protect those we love at all costs.  He also talked about the need to continuously train so you are prepared if something happens.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Virginia State Precision Pistol 2700 Championship Results

On September 30, 2023, the Fairfax Rod and Gun Club hosted the 2023 Virginia State Precision Pistol 2700 Championships, sanctioned by the Civilian Marksmanship Program. There were a total of 26 competitors participating in the event representing several states, including Virginia, Maryland, California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Delaware.  The club submitted the following report on the match.

The 2023 Virginia State Precision Pistol 2700 Championship Open Winner is Rich Kang (MD) with a score of 2622-114X.

The highest scoring Virginia resident and 2023 Virginia State Precision Pistol Champion is Joe Chang, with a score of 2545-79X.

Other class winners are as follows:
High High-Master: Jordan Kramp
High Master: Niel Roberts
High Expert: Marlin Ewing
High Sharpshooter: Jonathan Welch
High Marksman: Rich Martinez
High Junior: Patrick Sharkey
High Woman: Julie Latzgo
High 22-Only: Nesly Kaelin

Walter Walsh Service Pistol 1000 Championship
On October 1, 2023, the Fairfax Rod and Gun Club (FRGC) also hosted the 2023 Walter Walsh Service Pistol 1000 Championship, which was sanctioned by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and is recognized as the Virginia State Service Pistol Championship. We had a total of 21 competitors participating in the event representing several states, including Virginia, Maryland, California, North Carolina, Michigan and Delaware.
The 2023 Walter Walsh Service Pistol 1000 Championships Open Winner is Jonathan Shue (NC) with a score of 969-41X.
As the overall winner, Jonathan Shue receives the FRGC Walter Walsh Service Pistol Trophy.
The highest scoring Virginia resident and 2023 Virginia State Service Pistol Champion is Gregg Miller, with a score of 909-20X.
Other class winners are as follows:
High High-Master: Jordan Kramp
High Master: Brian Mason
High Expert: David Melton
High Sharpshooter: Demetrios Stamatis
High Marksman: Jeff Fletcher

CMP EIC Matches
The matches over the weekend included CMP Excellence in Competition (EIC) matches for Service Pistol, 22 Rimfire and Service Revolver.
Overall winners for the EIC matches conducted over the both days during the weekend are:
Service Pistol EIC – 20 Competitors, 7 Non-Distinguished
Winner: Jon Shue (290-20X)
High Non-Distinguished: Demitrios Stamatis (258‐3X)

22 Rimfire EIC – 25 Competitors, 20 Non-Distinguished
Winner: Rich Kang (283‐8X)
High Non-Distinguished: Ian Swisher (274-6X)
2nd Non-Distinguished: Richard Hinzman (273-5X)

Service Revolver EIC – 18 Competitors, 17 Non-Distinguished
Winner: Jordan Kramp (363‐8X)
High Non-Distinguished: Jordan Kramp (363-8X)
2nd Non-Distinguished: Jon Shue (360-10X)

Congratulations to the all the match winners.

Many thanks also go to the volunteers for the match, including John Rickards, Dan Gray, Carroll Kisser, Dave Jordan, Astra Daines, Joe Chang, Donna Hollingshead and John Hollingshead. Without their help, the matches would not be possible. Thank you!

Thursday, October 5, 2023

VSSA Joins Amicus Brief in United States vs. Rahimi

Yesterday, VSSA joined an amicus brief filed at the United States Supreme Court in United States vs. Rahimi.  This is a difficult case because Rahimi (who is now in prison) is not a good guy. Additionally, no one wants to lessen protections for victims of domestic violence, and that is not our intent in joining this brief. There is a very good chance that Rahimi will lose his case at the Supreme Court. It is however essential to pursue this case from a Second Amendment standpoint, because the Fifth Circuit’s reasoning was that there are no “historical analogues” for this law under the Supreme Court’s landmark Bruen decision. The gun ban lobby amici are arguing that if the Supreme Court affirms the Fifth Circuit that action will invalidate the domestic violence restraining order laws in all 50 states. The risk from a pro-Second Amendment point of view is that the Supreme Court will water down the very good historical tests in Bruen. To hopefully prevent this, the brief VSSA joined, lays out narrow, alternative ways in which the Court can decide the case without doing damage to the Bruen decision. While technically supporting Mr. Rahimi’s side, the brief urges the Court to strike down the statute on other grounds than were used by the Fifth Circuit.

The brief argues two things. First, without regard to the Bruen historical test, the Court can decide that the federal statute deprives individuals of Second Amendment rights without due process of law. The federal law mentions only the need for notice and an opportunity to participate in a hearing. This leaves open all due process considerations such as the kind of notice, the standard of proof, whether there is a right to counsel, whether there is a right to cross-examine witnesses, whether there is compulsory process to make witnesses appear and to obtain evidence, and the like. The federal statute, which was enacted in the 1990s, does not even require that the individual who is disarmed by that law be found to be dangerous or a threat to others. The brief does not argue that any of the domestic violence restraining order laws in the 50 states are unconstitutional.

Second, strictly by way of background and context, the brief states that the statute is one of the least used of the federal disqualifiers (unlike, for example, felon-in-possession prosecutions, which are vastly more frequent). There are problems with some domestic violence restraining orders in that they are sometimes unscrupulously used to get an advantage in divorce proceedings, for revenge, or other wrongful reasons. Judges sometimes routinely issue such orders because it is the “safe” thing for them to do to protect themselves, even when the evidence is weak or lacking. Many times “mutual” restraining orders are issued against both parties, which can have the effect of disarming the innocent victim who may need a firearm to protect herself against a violent aggressor. Finally, real abusers often ignore restraining orders. Someone who would potentially kill or beat up a weaker person, especially a child or woman, is unlikely to be deterred by a restraining order. These arguments are made respectfully in the brief with regard to potential victims, and with the full recognition that domestic violence is a real problem. And the full range of state protections would remain in place under this approach. That includes not only restraining orders, but also prosecutions under criminal domestic violence statutes, or general statutes against assault, malicious wounding, or the like. We just don’t want more and more statutes taking away people’s firearms rights with few procedural protections. 

The gun ban lobby has weighed in with approximately 40 briefs, and sees this as an opportunity to undermine Bruen.  More and more our battle is being fought in the courts and joining this brief is just one more way for VSSA to protect and restore the rights of law abiding gun owners. You can read the brief by clicking here.  You can help support our efforts in the courts by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Cam Edwards: The ATF’s “frame and receiver” rule is on life support and living on borrowed time

Cam Edwards had a piece at yesterday on the Fifth Circuit's three judge panel ruling on DOJ's request to vacate the district court’s previous injunction related to ATF’s rule treating unfinished frames and receivers as firearms.   

In a decision released on Monday, a three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the government’s request to vacate the district court’s injunction in its entirety, but did “agree with the Government that the district court’s injunction sweeps too broadly.” As a result, the Fifth Circuit panel concluded that non-parties to the lawsuits filed by Tactical Machining, the Firearms Policy Coalition, Second Amendment Foundation, JSD Supply, Polymer 80, and several individual plaintiffs are once again subject to the ATF rule, while those named parties are still protected by the district court injunction.

That’s not great news for the DOJ, but it’s the sole bright spot for anti-gunners in an opinion that casts major doubt about the viability of the “frame and receiver” rule once the Fifth Circuit has a chance to weigh on whether the policy is an abuse of executive branch authority. The panel held that “Injunctions that afford relief to non-parties are potentially problematic,” but even there the Fifth Circuit says its decision is subject to further review based on the government’s actions going forward.

Cam went through the decision and concludes that while DOJ did get a little good news from the decision, it is also a warning that it is likely to be the only good news related to the rule that DOJ should expect.

If there was any doubt as to where the Fifth Circuit panel stands, it was removed by the judges’ conclusion.

At the end of the day, we think four things are paramount. First, inferior federal courts must exhibit unflinching obedience to the Supreme Court’s orders. Second, the Court has directed us to be skeptical (if not altogether unwilling) to order universal relief that extends to non-parties. Third, insofar as possible, we should have orderly judicial review in which the status quo is maintained, and the legal rules sorted, without asking courts to make monumental decisions in short-fuse emergency dockets. Fourth and finally, courts should be able to review ATF’s 98-page rule, and the decades of precedent it attempts to change, without the Government putting people in jail or shutting down businesses.

Check out Cam's entire article linked above.

CRPA's Chuck Michel on the California Magazine Ban Fight

On September 22, Judge Roger Benitez once again found California's magazine ban unconstitutional. The case was Duncan vs. Bonta and is one of the cases remanded back to the lower courts after last year's Bruen Decision. In a 71 page decision, Judge Benetez laid out a very well sourced opinion on why the ban is unconstitutional.

On this week's Reload Podcast, California Rifle and Pistol Association's Chuck Michel talks about this ongoing battle, and touches on some other cases. He talks about how the current case before the U.S. Supreme Court, United States v. Rahimi (Docket 22-915), could have a negative impact on last year's Bruen case. Take a listen.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Big Surprise, The Trace Doesn't Like "Gun Inflluencers"

If you want to know what the opposition is thinking, you need to subscribe to their email lists.  Today's edition of The Trace has a piece on so-called "gun influencers" - folks who post about their hunting and or shooting activities on social media like Instagram and Facebook.  Today's piece focuses on Kendall Jones as an example of how the firearms industry turns to these folks to reach a young audiance.

In 2014, Kendall Jones went viral. The then-19-year-old Texas Tech cheerleader became perhaps the “most eminently hateable person on the Internet,” as The Washington Post put it, for posing with the dead bodies of zebras, rhinos, elephants, and lions, among other big-game animals, for pictures posted to her public Facebook page. The collective antipathy toward Jones made her a minor celebrity — and gave her the notoriety that helped kick off her social media influencing career.

Jones, whose Instagram account has nearly 260,000 followers, has influencing and brand ambassador agreements with companies from the hunting and weapons industries, Media Matters reported in August, including She’s part of a sprawling network of influencers that have built large audiences specifically interested in firearms and gun culture — and, The Trace’s Champe Barton reported this week, helped the gun industry reach younger, more impressionable audiences while dodging social media platform policies that ban firearm sales and marketing on their platforms.

Gun influencers like Jones and others live in a gray area. Although some appear to periodically disregard Federal Trade Commission rules about paid marketing disclosures, they’re technically not doing anything wrong by running subtle campaign ads. Their work keeping the gun industry top-of-mind, though, can show up in more than just dollars.
To the gun ban lobby, we shouldn't see young people with firearms much less posting about using them.  They rail against "angry old white men" gun owners but at the same time, they don't want us to see anything that changes that narrative.  Since the pandemic there have been articles written that face of gun owners is changing.

The Trace is fixsated on a connection between gun owners and "white-supremecists" and doesn't miss the chance to bring that in to this article as well.  
Gun influencers like Jones and others live in a gray area. Although some appear to periodically disregard Federal Trade Commission rules about paid marketing disclosures, they’re technically not doing anything wrong by running subtle campaign ads. Their work keeping the gun industry top-of-mind, though, can show up in more than just dollars.

Take Garand Thumb, a verified YouTube account with more than 3 million subscribers. Garand Thumb was named in a New York Attorney General report on the racist mass shooting at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo last year. The office found that the shooter’s “knowledge of weapons and related equipment” came, in part, from “instructional YouTube videos like those of Garand Thumb.” The account was named elsewhere, too: The Buffalo shooter mentioned Garand Thumb in the manifesto he wrote before the massacre.
To the gun ban lobby, if a racist mentions something from social media, it must mean that those who post about firearms on social media feed racist tendencies.  The Trace is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the gun ban lobby and today's piece severs only to advance a narrative they hope will be picked up by legitimate media outlets.