Our Fight to Stop Government Overreach

Our Fight to Stop Government Overreach

 As many of you know, on December 16, 2019, the Pennsylvania State attorney General (PA-AG) unilaterally determined that any part or combination of parts that is designed to or can be converted to discharge a projectile through the force of an explosion is now a firearm and must be transferred as such. Without going into how ridiculous this definition is, we have been severely impacted by the intentional timing of this decision. US Rifle made a significant investment in the Oaks, PA year-end gun show that the PA-AG chose to target.

 

The change to the interpretation of state law was issued on the afternoon of the 16th (Tuesday), two days before dealers were to leave for the show. The Pennsylvania State Police immediately changed the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) to classify these items as firearms, however they declined to implement a process for them to be transferred. They decided they will get to it later, sometime, perhaps after the holidays, but certainly after the largest show in the region has passed and small dealers such as we are crippled by their scheme.

 

To further complicate issues, the AG’s office had been telling industry sources that the law wouldn’t be enforced the weekend of the show, but the State Police told dealers that they are firearms and to proceed accordingly. It seems like the leadership of Pennsylvania’s law enforcement community are trying to set up lawful dealers for failure, both legally and economically.

 

By classifying these products as firearms, but then not providing a way to legally transfer them, the PASP has effectively performed an end-run around the PA Legislature and banned these so-called ‘firearms’ indefinitely. To combat this egregious example of legislation by decree, US Rifle LLC has joined with Polymer80 Inc., the Firearms Policy Coalition, and the Prince Law Firm to seek an injunction against Attorney General Shapiro’s order and to prevent the PA State Police from enforcing it until it can be reviewed.

 

This overly broad opinion could be expanded to include upper receivers or other firearm parts, thereby choking off those commerce channels through which our customers legally purchase spare parts or accessories to customize their firearms.

 

These arbitrary decisions have a real-world impact on law abiding business owners like US Rifle. As we are on the cusp of fully launching our brand and bringing our own products to market, a setback as significant as this could derail our entire year. Any reasonable person can see that this ban by decree was deliberately timed to create the most economic harm possible to those who deal in these legal products.

 

Although many people might shrug their shoulders, unconcerned about the restrictions being placed on non- firearms, the question is – what’s next? A block of aluminum from a hardware store can be machined into a firearm. Where will the line be drawn? Will there be background checks at Home Depot?

 

 

Today it is Pennsylvania. tomorrow it may be Virginia, New Hampshire or your home state.

 

Why I Don’t Believe ‘Common-Sense’ Gun Reformers

Why I Don’t Believe ‘Common-Sense’ Gun Reformers

The media has heightened our focus on firearms in American society, fixating on the actions of a deranged few as justification to restrict access for all. A number of proposals have been put forth under the guise of ‘common sense’ legislation, that no reasonable person could possibly object to.

Most claim they don’t want to take away anyone’s guns, but the proposals indicate otherwise.

The most commonly touted cure for firearms violence is ‘Universal Background Checks’, otherwise known as the elimination of private firearm sales. Currently, all federally licensed dealers must perform a background check regardless of location – be it their regular place of business or at a gun show. Non-dealers can sell personal firearms as long as they are not ‘engaging in the business’, meaning buying and selling guns as an unlicensed dealer for profit. While anti-gun factions call this the ‘gun show loophole’, this more frequently takes the form of guns sold at yard sales, between acquaintances, gifts between relatives, or bulletin board ‘for sale’ ads at the local gun range.

All sales through a dealer with a background check maintain a paper form at the dealer with the buyer’s relevant information as well as that of the firearm(s) purchased. These records can be used by law enforcement at any time and are required to be maintained by the dealer for the life of their business. After that they must be sent to ATF headquarters. There is also an electronic record that is kept for a number of months ‘for statistical purposes. Neither of these records may be used to compile a searchable database or registry under current law.

Universal background checks would mandate a record be created for every transfer, regardless of license status. Private sales would be eliminated. Once in place, it would be a very short step to making those electronic records permanent and searchable, i.e. a centralized gun registry that identifies the owner and location of every firearm in the country. This is not paranoid fiction – there have been attempts to permanently keep the FBI NICS electronic data or extend the retention period since it was implemented in 1995.

A ‘blind check’ universal background check system would protect against the abuses made possible by a central registry. This is a system where once a check is made, no record is retained, and no record of the firearm type or other identifying information is kept. This system protects the buyer of the firearm and still accomplishes what the regulation crowd claims to want. Resistance to a blind system would be significantly lower than the UBC system proposed, yet the anti-gun crowd only pushes for the system that can be later used for the next phase in their plan.

Because of this lack of support for a ‘blind check’ system, I do not believe the altruistic motives claimed by the gun control movement. Every jurisdiction that has attempted to ban firearms has failed in the absence of a central registry. New York, Connecticut, New Zealand have all face mass non-compliance by gun owners who collectively flipped off their governments and refused to comply. Understanding this, the gun control movement needs a centralized registry to move forward. Universal background checks accomplish this.

Pass the law, hold the data. Boom, done.

Once the registry is in place, we add to the already long list of ‘unapproved persons’ to minimize the portion of the population that can legally pass a background check. Misdemeanor crimes will be added to the felony disqualifications, but the newest way to confiscate will come in the form of the ‘Red Flag’ laws or Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO).

ERPO’s can be filed by anyone who claims a subject is a threat to anyone or themselves. Once filed, the police will be required to remove any firearms or other weapons from that person’s domicile. No due process, hearing, or proof is needed to execute an ERPO. Just the word of any individual who is concerned, has an agenda or has an axe to grind. This system is ripe for abuse and will turn many divorce proceedings and other civil disputes into a nightmare scenario where one may ultimately get killed in the process (this has already happened). Those people who flag your posts on Facebook? They can now ‘Red Flag’ you at will. The penalty for not complying with an ERPO is a felony, whereas making a false claim is only a misdemeanor if you are even found to have acted maliciously.

You may or may not be able to get your firearms back, and if you can they may not be in the condition they left. Depending on the jurisdiction they are frequently destroyed upon receipt, or ‘lost’ or ‘accidentally’ sent to the scrapper. If you wish to regain your property you will need to hire an attorney and appear before the court.

There are already mechanisms in place to file for a High-Risk Protective Order to remove weapons from those deemed a danger.

Family members or domestic partners can report an issue to law enforcement or mental health resource, who can then petition a judge for a temporary restraining order or warrant to secure any weapons. A hearing is scheduled to determine if the information sworn in the warrant was valid and if the order needs to be extended.

Despite these protections already in place, several mass shooters had been reported to law enforcement who chose not to act on the information provided. The Parkland shooter was known to local, state and federal law enforcement for months, yet he was able to pass a background check and purchase a gun. The same can be said for many of the perpetrators of mass shootings in recent memory who not only were a known risk but also passed a NICS check to acquire their firearms.

Because you can already alert authorities for a HRPO, and that background checks failed to stop 100% of mass shooters in the last 10 years, I don’t believe those advocating for these laws are truthful when they claim Universal Background Checks and Red Flag laws are reasonable and common-sense ways to prevent violence. Because they haven’t worked so far, so why would they now?

Assault Weapons? Texting kills 12 times more people than all long guns combined, and assault weapons are in the minority. Perhaps we need ERPO laws for cell phones.

Gun free school zones? These have only been used to prosecute otherwise law-abiding gun owners who forgot they had their gun on or in the car. Not one school shooting has been prevented by these.

I don’t believe the gun-sense crowd when they promote these useless laws.

What I do believe is that these laws are a step-by-step process to develop a firearms registry that will then be used to remove as many guns from American society as possible. Non-compliance will not be a non-violent option.

American gun culture is already being demonized in the media, social media, and in our schools. Banks are encouraged to sever ties with the gun industry, and the Democrats want to remove protections against frivolous lawsuits meant only to bankrupt manufacturers. Children are suspended from school for posting a picture of themselves at the range with their parents or scout group on their personal social media pages. An Us vs. Them line is being drawn by those who want American Gun Culture to disappear.

We see the game you’re playing and the way you are recruiting the many victims of your propaganda who take you at your word. So, forgive us if we don’t sign on to your ‘common-sense’ proposals and take them at face value.

 

Live Free or Die? The New Hampshire Red Flag Gun Confiscation Bill

Live Free or Die? The New Hampshire Red Flag Gun Confiscation Bill

 The New Hampshire legislature is attempting to ram a ‘Red Flag’ Gun Confiscation Bill through in an attempt to let anyone with a grudge against a gun owner have their door kicked in at 4 am.

What? You say that’s not what it’s going to do? Well, that is how it will work if it ever becomes law. Because the penalty for making a false accusation is a B-grade misdemeanor, compared to the felony-level charge for not complying with the order. So the angry significant other, spiteful ex, social justice warrior teacher/social worker/barista have little to fear by calling the hotline to report ‘an unstable individual who may be a danger to themselves or others’.

And when facing a known armed individual, the PD typically don’t call ahead for an appointment. SOP involves smashing the front door off of the hinges when the occupants of the home are asleep, shooting the dog and holding the residents at gunpoint. If the homeowner manages to get off a shot at what he may rightly assume are home invaders, the odds are that he or she won’t survive the encounter. This happened after Maryland passed their ‘Red Flag’ law and a man was killed in his doorway because he got into an argument with his niece during Thanksgiving dinner. True story.

Assuming everyone is still alive when the guns are secured, the PD will dump them in the back of a van in a big pile and haul them off to the property room where they will sit until the owner can remedy the situation via their attorney. So if you happen to have a $50,000 Holland and Holland, or a $75,000 Colt Gatling Gun, you can rest assured that it won’t be returned in the condition in which it was taken. Oh – and you’d better get your door fixed. And call a lawyer.

So, just because some disaffected yo-yo in your life decides to use the ‘I’ll show them’ hotline you could get killed, have your home broken into, your dog killed, your property taken, and your privacy invaded down to the DNA level without any semblance of due process or risk to the accuser. These are not hypothetical scenarios – this happens in the US on a daily basis.

Inviting this sort of nonsense into a state that prides itself on the ‘Live Free or Die’ motto runs counter to everything we supposedly stand for. New Hampshire does not have a gun problem. We have an  opiod epidemic that needs our attention, and wasting our time on establishing a mechanism to use against those whom we have a political disagreement is wrong on so many levels.

Passage of this law will only put firearms in less-secure locations, when owners realize that they’d best not leave all of their guns in that safe or locked closet. Better put one out in the barn, or in the old car out back, or under the dock or in the flowerbed. Because people aren’t obligated to follow unjust laws, in fact they have a duty to resist them. If the New Hampshire legislature passes this law, they will find that the majority of their constituents will not comply.

Mechanisms are in place to allow a confiscation order to be issued with a warrant after a Judge has reviewed the evidence. Eliminating this due process, which ensures that the rights of the accused are maintained, keeps us from sliding ever closer to the rule of fear.

Please contact your representative and ask them to oppose this legislation.